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Old 8th December 2015, 18:22   #661
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

That is a scary sight Maverick14.

I plan to drive up to North Bengal to a place called Balurghat - I was born and spent my childhood there. Before it was connected to Maldah on the train route (in 2004) buses used to be the option to reach there. I have some unforgettable (seemed terrible at that time) experiences on the NH34 from those days - once it took 2 days to reach from Kolkata due to backed up trucks and once in 1995 there was major flooding and a bunch of friends and I reached home from Kolkata in 5 days using multi-mode transport and wading through chest deep water.

Fast forward to today and to this planned drive - I read through this very resourceful thread and spoke at length of tbhpain Samba and think this route is the best available option for me https://goo.gl/maps/Sdm8b3EtLeq. Am I choosing any bad road/s here?

Compared to the Panagarh/Illambazar route (https://goo.gl/maps/k6NDW1ewTCz) this saves me 30 kms.

Now I have two kids (the older one is 9 and I can sedate her with Harry Potter movies but the toddler is going to be a handful) and so reaching faster is of higher priority to me than the distance.

Let me know what you folks think and yes I have a dzire.
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Old 24th December 2015, 00:10   #662
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

My trip to Benaras has now changed to Darjeeling. Will be leaving on 25th or 26th December. Which is the best route to take now ?
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Old 25th December 2015, 19:20   #663
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

I drove to Balurghat on 20th December. I drove the Burdwan->Bhedia->Bolpur->Suri->Rampurhat->Morgram->Farakka->Malda->Gazole->Balurghat route.
The road conditions have been adequately described by Samba and Arav a few posts back.

I just want to add that there is road work between Rampurhat and Nalhati and the condition of the road is relatively bad - so be prepared to take this stretch slow and be careful where the freshly laid surface meets the old surface - serious enough undulations to jarr your ride.

Be also prepared and patient to negotiate the usual choke points - Rampurhat (There was an accident that happened a few vehicles ahead of me at the bus stand - I turned back to take a detour through the town), Kaliachak (I availed the Mothabari road but got stuck there as well due to a large religious gathering).

Other than this nothing very exciting.
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Old 29th December 2015, 22:29   #664
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Just drove down from Siliguri to Kolkata yeaterday. Road conditions as described in the earlier posts. Just one addition, the single bridge at Ballalpur now has a diversion around it and only small vehicles pass through it. So no jams on this bridge. All other jams mentioned earlier persist though!
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Old 29th December 2015, 22:44   #665
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindam_xeta View Post
Crisp update Samba.

Found another smaller bypass for the unforgiving Kaliachowk, actually I did these streches along with Samba on the same day. Take Masterpara rd, then instead of taking a left turn towards Muthabari Rd, take the straight through road, left of kaliachowk police station. This road meets NH 34 at Baliadanga. It's a lonely road with level surface having decent width. From Baliadanga on, one will get few streches of 4 laned roads, thus helping in maintaining better average speed.
Only the first 1 km of masterpara road is horribly narrow, and hugely undulating, if one passes on a Sunday afternoon more chance that this road will be clearer since it passes through a bazaar.
This route to Siliguri is shorter, and doable in any small car as of this day!
Is the Masterpara road doable in a Safari Storme?
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Old 30th December 2015, 15:56   #666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
Is the Masterpara road doable in a Safari Storme?
Yes it's more than do-able in high gc cars, only problem is if you get any traffic from the opposite direction. You will need to size yourself up in one of the few available gaps. But this super narrow stretch is barely 600 mts. After that it slowly eases out into a decent width! But seeing storm I think anyone approaching will start digging holes much earlier and you can march along!
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Old 3rd January 2016, 17:57   #667
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Am to drive back to Siliguri on the 6th. From the recent posts, I think that the best option will be to take the NH 34 option. Since I will be starting from Kalyani, I plan to start by around 0630 hrs. Thereafter take the NH 34 and continue. From what I have been able to glean so far, I need to take the Krisnanagar bypass and thereafter the Masterpara road to get through Kalichak. Some questions that remains unanswered is:

i. Where do I take the Malda bypass? From the Google images that I can see, the bridge across the Mahananda on the bypass is not complete and I am not sure that any road exists between NH 34 to the bridge which appears to be under construction.

ii. Is the old Malda road worth taking?

Pointers will be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by neel385 : 3rd January 2016 at 18:02.
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Old 4th January 2016, 16:01   #668
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

A few updates on some stretches of the possible routes to Siliguri from Kolkata.

1. 4 laning is in progress between Nowapara and Debagram on SH7 leading to bad roads/diversions. The rest of SH7 had great surface and less traffic till Kuli more (no experience of SH7 beyond that). Khargram - Beharampur stretch is patchy, but doable with slower speeds.

2. Initial few kilometers on the Bardhaman - Bolpur NH 2B have rough and patchy surfaces.

3. Ranaghat - Krishnanagar - Karimpur - Domkal - Murshidabad SH11 has excellent surface. However, the stretch passes through several villages with frequent bottom scrapping speed breakers to slow down traffic movement.
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Old 4th January 2016, 21:25   #669
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by black_panther View Post
1. 4 laning is in progress between Nowapara and Debagram on SH7 leading to bad roads/diversions. The rest of SH7 had great surface and less traffic till Kuli more (no experience of SH7 beyond that). Khargram - Beharampur stretch is patchy, but doable with slower speeds.
Thanks! I was really looking for an update on the stretch of SH-11 between Kuli and Khagraghat (NH-34).


Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
Am to drive back to Siliguri on the 6th. ... I will be starting from Kalyani, I plan to start by around 0630 hrs. Thereafter take the NH 34 and continue.
If you are starting from Kalyani then I would suggest the following route up to Khagraghat, specially after the input from black_panther. Afterward, you can continue along NH-34. Although it is slightly longer but you would avoid the horrible stretch (Krishnanagar-Baharampur) of NH-34 as well as Baharampur town traffic.
  1. Kalyani-Kalna-Katwa-Futishanko via SH-6 (Saptagram-Tribeni-Kalna-Katwa or STKK road)
  2. Futishanko-Kuli Chowrasta via SH-7
  3. Kuli to Khagraghat (NH-34) via SH-11

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-kalyanikalnakhagraghat.png


I drove through the stretch (1) on Jan 1, 2016 in a hatchback. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. WBHDCL has now almost completed the expansion of first 35 KMs of STKK road and is in excellent shape. Another 20 odd KMs stretch between Katwa and Purbasthali is also in excellent condition. The rest are in moderately good shape barring few bad patches. However, compared to some of the current stretches of NH-34 these were cake walks!

Here are couple photos of the route:

SH-6 between Saptagram and Kalna
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-sh61.jpg


SH-6 between Kalna and Purbasthali
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-sh62.jpg


SH-6 between Purbasthali and Katwa
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-sh63.jpg
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Old 5th January 2016, 08:46   #670
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hi Folks,

Did Kolkata - Kalimpong yesterday via Bhagalpur. My two bits...

Kolkata - Dumka

Dream run. We left Kolkata in my Xylo E9 with wife, kid and dog at 0615h. Reached Dumka by 1400h. Now we were 113km short of Bhagalpur if I remember correctly.

Dumka - Bhagalpur

Trouble started after we left Dumka...the road started deteriorating and within 20 mins I was crawling and weaving trying to avoid the crater sized potholes. Spoke to some locals who diverted me to the Banka - Bhagalpur Road. For this I went till DHAKA Mor and turned left till I reached Banka and from there right towards Bhagalpur. Rd condition was better but got stuck in jams enroute. Finally reached Bhagalpur at 1715h. Took a break at Karan Hotel and Restaurant and then pushed for Katihar where we were staying the night.

Bhagalpur - Katihar

Getting out of Bhagalpur was via ZERO MILE from where we turned left onto the bridge across Ganges and hit the NH 31 near Naugachian. The bridge is single lane (like Farakka) and one would have thought that after 68 years of independence we would have at least got our strategically important bridges in better shape. Turned right after the bridge and went on straight to GEDABARI from where we turned right for another 20 km to Katihar. Road from Naugachian to Gedabari was good highway (but not two way) and from Gedabari to Katihar was a narrow but decent road.

Katihar - Kalimpong

This was a no fuss drive...lot of improvement taking place closer to Siliguri.

Hope this is of use.

Regards

Jai
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Old 5th January 2016, 23:17   #671
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Got back last week from a Kolkata Darjeeling trip in my Ritz. Below are my 2 bits

Kolkata to Siliguri - Total Time 16 hours including a lunch break at Malda Golden Park Hotel.

Kolkata to Morgram - Excellent to decent roads. Made very good progress

Morgram to Farakka - Mostly great roads. Made decent progress

Farakka to Malda - Traffic at Farakka however not for long. Reached Kaliachawk and called Samba for the Mothabari Road detour. Masterpara Lane shows up on Google Maps, its the next unnamed left turn after it. Decent roads till you fall for the 'Google trap'. It showed me a left turn which took me through a Mango garden. The roads were initially great, cemented and twisties and then it suddenly disappeared. Huge craters and I found myself in the middle of the Piran-e-Pir mosque and fair. The place was crowded and barely wide enough to squeeze through. After negotiating through what seemed like unending horrible roads I was back out only to be caught in the Malda station traffic because I took a flyover, when I was supposed go below it to take a left to NH34. All this ate up a lot of time for me. Stopped at Golden Park for lunch.

Malda to Islampur - For this part of the journey I had 2 options.
1. Go through Dalkhola and Kishanganj or
2. Take the Botolbari - Islampur route as suggested by 1100D and Himadri.

Himadri had returned from Siliguri the day before and informed that supposedly there was a 3 day traffic block at Dalkhola/Kishanganj. The Botolbari - Islampur route was cautioned by both to have a treacherous last leg of about 5-10 kms where one needs to be really careful.

I still decided to go with the latter not wanting to be stuck at Dalkhola for 3-4 hours at least since it was getting dark. The entry point for the Botolbari route is well explained by 1100D is his thread of the same name. Initially it was fine and I was carrying a printout of the route from 1100D's thread. NBSTC buses were also using the same route I guess to avoid Dalkhola. There were bad stretches and busy sections however not something any car can manage until I reached the last leg. I saw an entire Ciaz disappear in front of me. It reappeared in reverse because it could not go out from the other side. Patiently I negotiated all the craters without hitting the underbelly even once and was out on NH31 till Islampur.

Islampur to Siliguri - Great roads. Made good progress.

Siliguri to Kolkata - Total Time 12.5 Hours including 2 breaks, Breakfast break at Malda Golden Park Malda and late lunch at NH2 Azad Hind after Burdwan.

Siliguri to Malda Golden Park Hotel - I left Siliguri at 5:35 AM and was sitting at Golden Park waiting for my Alu Parathas at 9:45 AM. I was really proud of this specially since Golden Park to Siliguri had taken me 7+ hours during the onward journey. This was possible thanks to Himadri. The night before he mentioned that he got to know of another detour to avoid Dalkhola at a place called Nichitpur. I began a little research and I found the road he was talking about on Google Maps. Its a narrow lane on the left about 4.2 kms after the Surjapur Toll plaza. The road (College Road) takes you through villages and an unmanned railway crossing. The roads are very good thanks to some Pradhan Mantri Yojna except a km or so of bad roads but nothing even a civic can't manage if driven carefully. When you come out on NH34 I sailed through till Malda Golden Park. I however did get some mini traffic jams at Raiganj crossing.

Malda Golden Park Hotel to Farakka - I took the unfinished Malda Byepass , however was diverted to towards Malda town again since the road was closed midway. After crossing the terrible Malda traffic I thought of taking the correct Mothabari Road again to avoid Kaliachawk. As luck would have it, I was not allowed to go through since the road was closed for some repair work at the Railway Crossing gate. I had to go through Kaliachawk, most times driving on the wrong side and crossed the Farakka bridge which was surprsingly empty. Had met 1100D as well here who was on his way to Sandakphu in his Marengo.

Farakka to Burdwan - The fun began after Farakka before the Ballalpur (Single) Bridge. There was a 5km long line of trucks I guess if not more. I started driving on the wrong side again, on the gravel. I am glad I did that or maybe I would have been still stuck there now. After crossing the same I was in 3 minds.

1. Beherampore - Kolkata route
2. Morgram - Bolpur - Burdwan route (which I used during the onward journey)
3. Khorgram- Burdwan route as suggested by Himadri

I went with 3 and the roads were good most of the way however a considerable amount of it was under construction or had portholes big enough to require a hatch to slow down and I lost quite some time there. An SUV need not bother about the same. I by mistake also went into Burdwan town and thanks to the horrible traffic it took some time to come out on the Durgapur Expressway.

Burdwan to Kolkata - Durgapur Expressway. Enough said. Had stopped in between for a late lunch at Gopalpur Azad Hind.

To conclude below is my recommendation for the route from Kolkata to Siliguri and vice versa. This route would ensure in the current scenario, good to excellent roads 90 - 95% of the route and avoid most major bottlenecks.

Kolkata - Burdwan through Durgapur Expressway (take right from Renaissance) - Bolpur - Suri - Morgram - Farakka - Mothabari Road to avoid Kaliachawk (make sure you find the road and follow it) - Malda (use Bypass if possible) - Raiganj - take right for College Road at Haripur - Nichitpur - Kishanganj - Islampur - Siliguri.

The entire distance for the return leg was 612 kms from Pradhan Nagar in Siliguri to Saltlake and I managed to just about complete it in 1 tankful. I donot have the photographs with me right now for the College road and Nichitpur entrances, however I will post them as soon as I can. A screen shot of the route map there is below.

Many many thanks to Samba, Himadri and Anirban (1100D) for all your help and support. I know I bugged you guys a lot however you have been patient throughout. @Samba thanks for keeping a track of my progress and help all through the journey. You guys rock !!
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-nichitpur.png  


Last edited by Altocumulus : 5th January 2016 at 23:25.
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Old 6th January 2016, 09:02   #672
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
Got back last week from a Kolkata Darjeeling trip in my Ritz. Below are my 2 bits
...
The night before he mentioned that he got to know of another detour to avoid Dalkhola at a place called Nichitpur. I began a little research and I found the road he was talking about on Google Maps. Its a narrow lane on the left about 4.2 kms after the Surjapur Toll plaza. The road (College Road) takes you through villages and an unmanned railway crossing. The roads are very good thanks to some Pradhan Mantri Yojna except a km or so ...
Thanks for sharing the above detour which appears very much like a de-facto Dalkhola bypass to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
Farakka to Burdwan - The fun began after Farakka before the Ballalpur (Single) Bridge. There was a 5km long line of trucks I guess if not more. I started driving on the wrong side again, on the gravel. I am glad I did that or maybe I would have been still stuck there now.
I guess, I should add few comments here. The Bailey bridge at Ballalpur sits on top of a damaged railway overbridge. However, the trucks are not allowed to use it. For trucks there is a small diversion around it and it passes through a manned level crossing. The train line (Farakka-Katwa-Bandel) is mostly a single line. So it's often the case that the level crossing remains closed for 10-15 minutes even for a single train to pass.

So given the truck density on NH-34, it is almost "normal" to have a truck queue of couple of KMs long at Ballalpur when the level crossing is closed for a train to pass. It can become even longer if a second train were to pass after the first one.

However, for passenger vehicles it is not much of a problem. Basically, the "unwritten rule" there is to take the right side and keep driving no matter how long the truck queue is. Couple of years ago, once I crossed a truck queue which was around 16 KMs long.

Cheers,
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Old 8th January 2016, 18:53   #673
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Made it from Kolkata to Siliguri on 6th in 12.5 hrs. Followed the route suggested by gmhossain till Kuli crossing and then continued straight till Morgram. The 50 km stretch till the NH was interesting! About 30 km was good but the reat was pretty bad, but major repairs are onway. I took about 1 hr to make it to Morgram from Kuli so I woud think that I still saved time compared to going via Behrampur . At Kalichak took the Masterpara road. Anyone looking for a road will be disappointed because it looks no more than a track. I missed it at the starting but found a connector about 100mtr ahead. This connector also ensures that one misses the narrow stretch in the beginning. Once I reached the police station, I turned left and took the first right which again got me back to NH 34. Total time taken about 15 min. For anyone trying to take the detour coming from Siliguri, as you approach Kalichak, lokout for MA Honda 2 wheeler showroom on the right and take the first lane to the right after it. Again do not look for a road kind of thing. You will see something that looks like a dirt track, but the lane is comfortably motorable. Thereafter got stuck in Malda for about 40 min and Dalkhola for about 40 min. Knew the detour at Dalkhola, but did not take it becaise it was already dark. Rest of the way was pretty smooth.
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Old 15th January 2016, 09:47   #674
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hi TeamBHPians
Can anyone here suggest me the best route to take if I need to come to Shantiniketan/Bolpur from Muzaffarpur/Motihari(Bihar) ?
Regards
Samrat
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Old 10th February 2016, 14:32   #675
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hi everyone,

We (my wife and I) are taking a roadtrip from Bangalore to Bhutan on our motorcycle (RE Classic 500) this March and the route we have planned is BNG > VIZAG > BHUBANESWAR > KHARAGPUR > SILIGURI > sikkim & Bhutan.

We are looking for some of your valuable advice about the route we should take from Bhubaneswar onwards. Should we cross KOLKATA? OR take the Kharagpur>Bankura>Ranigunj>Chittaranjan>Jamtara>De oghar>Bank a>Bhagalpur>Vikramshila Setu>Purnea>Dalkhola>Siliguri ROUTE?

https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Kh...26.7083818!3e0 as suggested by BHPian J.Ravi

We're fairly experienced travelers on the road and can do 800 KM/day on 4 lanes without any issues. Is the above plan feasible?

Your valuable suggestions will help us decide better
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