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Old 5th December 2012, 17:44   #91
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

@ Samarjit: Sir, agreed, as I said, the nature and character of traffic (and of course political scenario too) is entirely different on the NH34 as compared to NH2. Let us see if our dreams of a butter smooth NH34 ever becomes a reality ...

@Sutripta: Sir, sorry I missed your post about the details of the "bitter experience" of my friend. The details are there in my post dated 28th October 2012 on this thread. (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post2945543 (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34))

My Brother-in-Law is starting from Siliguri tonight (after dinner) & hopefully I will track him over phone as long as he is awake. My wife spoke to him a few hours back and the reason he is again doing the stretch at night is avoiding local slow moving traffic.

Will post his experience later.

Regards,
Saurav
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Old 29th December 2012, 19:32   #92
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

In a recent journey between Kolkata to Sikkim, I tried out both the options and here's the details :

While going :
Started at 5 am. Reached Madhyamgram and found a big traffic jam. Followed the Kalyani express way and rejoined NH34 at Barajaguli. Road till Baharampur was okay. 4 laning work in progress between Krishnanagar to Baharampur.
From Baharampur till Malda, road surface is pathetic for a small hatchback or sedan. Four laning is in progress here also and diversions are in place almost everywhere.

We reached New Farakka at 14:33.

Big traffic jams at Kaliachawk and Sujapur and what we heard from Local traffic police was Kaliachawk is infamous for traffic jams.

We crossed Malda at 16:30.

After crossing Raigunj, we enquired about a way to bypass Dalkhola and came to know from Locals that there is one and they advised us to exit NH34 even before Karandighi and follow the road till Dhantola (via Rasakhoa) .
We were on that road at 19:50 and reached Dhantola at 21:35.

We were making slow progress on NH31 as visibility was very poor due to heavy fog. Reached Islampur at 22:00 and decided to have dinner at dhaba beside Islampur Bus stand.

Left Islampur at 22:40 and Reached Hotel Central Plaza, Siliguri at 00:30

Total journey time : 19.5 hours

While coming :
Started from Siliguri at 9:30. Wanted to explore the road via Bhagalpur and Dumka.

Reached Islampur at 11:15
Vikramshila setu at 14:30

We crossed Bhagalpur in just 20 mins ( As per previous threads, the ideal time to cross such a traffic heavy town is between 12 to 15 hrs )

Reached Hansdiha at 17:00. Road is great all the way from Silliguri till here except few rough patches near Bhagalpur, but easily manageable by any car.

Reached Dumka Bypass at 18:05. Hansdiha to Dumka fresh carpeting is being done right now and expect a very bad road surface in this stretch. In fact the work is mostly done near Hansdiha side, but near Dumka its quite bad.

The worst road in the whole journey was after crossing Dumka. There's absolutely no road surface. At one point of time I was so frustrated that stopped by a truck and asked the driver if there's any better option to reach Siuri. He assured me that Massanjore road is 'Top e Top'. It indeed was. Once we were on Massanjore road at 19:15, it was a pleasing change.

At 20:05 we were at Sheorakhuri more and reached Siuri by 20:20. The road condition is Not that great but still manageable.

From Siuri we went to Bolpur via Purandharpur. Quite desolated at that time and we made good progress. Reached NH2B ( G T Road ) after Bolpur at 21:35.

From there the road is good all the way till kolkata.

Reached Burdwan at 22:30 and on to Durgapur exp way. There was very slow moving truck traffic on Durgapur Exp way. We reached Ballyghat by 12:30

Total Journey time : 15 hrs.

Remarks
It was a solo drive. Even if we were three people on board travelling in my Indica Vista, I was the only person driving. And mostly I move on a sedate speed. While going we had a major problem with fog, while coming that problem was NOT encountered.

I know its not an apple to apple comparison, but still it feels to me that if someone is driving a hatchback or sedan, it makes sense to follow the Dumka - Bhagalpur option compare to traditional NH34. At least someone can drive in peace and not get frustrated in negotiating broken turmac.

- Abhijit
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Old 25th January 2013, 10:56   #93
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Dear BHPians,

Planning a Bangalore-Bhutan, Sikkim & Darjeeling Trip from 16 Feb, please advice on the following:-

a) Road to use after Kharagpur?-NH 2 or NH 34 (which means I may have to cross Kolkata?? -been there a No. of times).
b) Any special preparations for the trip on entering Bengal/Bihar? (been on numerous long drives to North, West 7 South India)
c) Any hotels recommended after-Kharagpur-say-Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim.
d) State of the roads-read the previous posts and have a rough Idea!!

Just two of us -wifey and self-celebrating my 'Sweet 60th year"-with a long drive.

Jude
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Old 28th January 2013, 22:29   #94
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Planning a Bangalore-Bhutan, Sikkim & Darjeeling Trip from 16 Feb, please advice on the following:-
a) Road to use after Kharagpur?-NH 2 or NH 34 (which means I may have to cross Kolkata?? -been there a No. of times).
IMHO the best route option is to avoid NH-34 and instead take the NH2, via Bolpur-Siuri-Dumka-Bhagalpur-Purnia. A friend of mine is taking this route on Sunday, so may give you an update of the road condition later.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
b) Any special preparations for the trip on entering Bengal/Bihar? (been on numerous long drives to North, West 7 South India)
I do not think that you need anything special.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
c) Any hotels recommended after-Kharagpur-say-Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim.
From Kharagpur you may easily reach Siliguri within 15-16 hours with breaks (going via Dumka). If you start early, there will not be much of a problem because most of the last three hours drive is on a divided four lane road. Is it OK for you? At Siliguri the best option is to stay at Mainak tourist lodge run by West Bengal government tourism department. It has ample secured parking space.
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Old 28th January 2013, 22:41   #95
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
At Siliguri the best option is to stay at Mainak tourist lodge run by West Bengal government tourism department. It has ample secured parking space.
Rahul da, is Mainak tourist lodge on the highway or inside the city?
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Old 28th January 2013, 23:11   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post

Rahul da, is Mainak tourist lodge on the highway or inside the city?
Its inside the city just after you enter it from Darjeeling More.
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Old 28th January 2013, 23:22   #97
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Dear BHPians,

Planning a Bangalore-Bhutan, Sikkim & Darjeeling Trip from 16 Feb, please advice on the following:-

a) Road to use after Kharagpur?-NH 2 or NH 34 (which means I may have to cross Kolkata?? -been there a No. of times).
b) Any special preparations for the trip on entering Bengal/Bihar? (been on numerous long drives to North, West 7 South India)
c) Any hotels recommended after-Kharagpur-say-Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sikkim.
d) State of the roads-read the previous posts and have a rough Idea!!

Just two of us -wifey and self-celebrating my 'Sweet 60th year"-with a long drive.

Jude

At the risk of taking a longer route onward, I would connect from Bangalore via Bombay to the East West Corridor at Udaipur & take it all the way to Siliguri, as follows:

Bangalore-Bombay-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Chittorgarh-Kota-Jhansi-Kanpur-Lucknow-Gorakhpur-Gopalganj-Muzaffarpur-Darbhanga-Forbesganj-Purnea-Dalkola-Siliguri

Superb 4-laner all the way except for some minor sections still being widened (around Gopalganj & Darbhanga-Forbesganj).

Guaranteed to reach you in Siliguri on Day 4:
D1-Vapi, D2-Kota, D3-Gorakhpur, D4-Siliguri

Bihar is good nowadays, both for roads as well as road safety.
Facilities are still poor though, but if you plan your overnight halts well, no problems at all.

For return journey, you can take the Siiliguri-Bhagalpur-Dhumka-Calcutta-Bhubaneswar-Vizag-Vijaywada-Tirupati-Bangalore route.

I would take Kona Expressway for Kharagpur-Calcutta instead of trying interior roads of Midnapur, Bishnupur towards Durgapur.

To get to BHutan border, stick to Siliguri-Sevoke-Mal Bazar-Birpara-Chalasa-Hashimara-Phuntsoling route.
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Old 29th January 2013, 00:27   #98
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post
Rahul da, is Mainak tourist lodge on the highway or inside the city?
It is located only at a stone throwing distance from the main highway. You may have seen a statue of Tenzing Norgay on your left, while entering Siliguri. Immediately after that the road goes elevated to cross the Siliguri-Alipurduar railway line. You have to take the first left exit right there after crossing the rail line, to turn right on the highway by the underpass below.
Just a hundred meters or so down that road (Hill Cart Road) stands this hotel where I stayed last summer. This place also have a secured parking space, although limited to only three or four cars. I found that their rooms were clean, rates were cheaper (after bargaining), services were good, though the rooms were not as large as the ones at Mainak.
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-117.jpg
Good friendly staffs. Cheaper than the other expensive hotels. But they do not have a restaurant, although they serve tea or coffee in rooms. And given the money, the staffs happily purchase food from outside and serve it in your room.
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Old 29th January 2013, 10:17   #99
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

[quote=hvkumar;3027058]At the risk of taking a longer route onward, I would connect from Bangalore via Bombay to the East West Corridor at Udaipur & take it all the way to Siliguri, as follows:

Bangalore-Bombay-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Chittorgarh-Kota-Jhansi-Kanpur-Lucknow-Gorakhpur-Gopalganj-Muzaffarpur-Darbhanga-Forbesganj-Purnea-Dalkola-Siliguri

Dear HVK,

Thank you for the route suggested-recall me? Colonel Jude -we met near outer Thane for a brief while -Feb 2011-on our way to GJ & RJ!!!
The reason for taking the route via Orissa is that will be crossing my home town Cuttack-to & fro-to meet a sister of mine and tons of friends.
Will wait for rahul4640 update after his friend traverses the route this Sunday.

Any advice from Kharagpur to Bardhaman??

Jude
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Old 29th January 2013, 10:19   #100
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

[quote=Judemayne;3027265]
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
At the risk of taking a longer route onward, I would connect from Bangalore via Bombay to the East West Corridor at Udaipur & take it all the way to Siliguri, as follows:

Bangalore-Bombay-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Chittorgarh-Kota-Jhansi-Kanpur-Lucknow-Gorakhpur-Gopalganj-Muzaffarpur-Darbhanga-Forbesganj-Purnea-Dalkola-Siliguri

Dear HVK,

Thank you for the route suggested-recall me? Colonel Jude -we met near outer Thane for a brief while -Feb 2011-on our way to GJ & RJ!!!
The reason for taking the route via Orissa is that will be crossing my home town Cuttack-to & fro-to meet a sister of mine and tons of friends.
Will wait for rahul4640 update after his friend traverses the route this Sunday.

Any advice from Kharagpur to Bardhaman??

Jude
Of course, sir, how can I forget you???
I prefer the Kharagpur-Ulberia-Kolkata-Bardhaman-Durgapur route, instead of the NH60 route via Midnapur, Bishnupur
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Old 29th January 2013, 14:13   #101
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I prefer the Kharagpur-Ulberia-Kolkata-Bardhaman-Durgapur route, instead of the NH60 route via Midnapur, Bishnupur
Respected HVK Sir, The stretch between Panagarh and Siuri is broken, as far as I know. Only suggested with a car of higher ground clearance and definitely not with a sedan. The Bardhaman-Bolpur-Siuri route is shorter and better, if you are coming from Calcutta side. The problem is that this route is difficult to recognize, at least for someone who is not much familiar with these areas, although a GPS device on board will definitely help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Will wait for rahul4640 update after his friend traverses the route this Sunday.
Yes Jude, definitely. A good friend of mine is taking the Dumka route to reach north Bengal this Sunday, with his VW sedan. Although he is not a member of this forum, he is a keen driving enthusiast and is known to many of the Calcutta BHPians. I shall definitely request him to furnish his observations about the current road conditions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Any advice from Kharagpur to Bardhaman??
About a month earlier I went up to to Garbeta town, driving via Kharagpur. The road was excellent up to a place called Salboni but after that it was broken, yet manageable. But I was told that the road from there to Bankura town was in bad shape. I am sorry I do not have any more details, although it seems that Bankura town-Durgapur road is OK.

Last edited by rahul4640 : 29th January 2013 at 14:23.
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Old 29th January 2013, 14:14   #102
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

[quote=hvkumar;3027268]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post

Of course, sir, how can I forget you???
I prefer the Kharagpur-Ulberia-Kolkata-Bardhaman-Durgapur route, instead of the NH60 route via Midnapur, Bishnupur
Yes, i agree with HVK. KGP to Bishnupur is so-so, with a mixed bag of bad to okay sort of roads. Bishnupur to Bankura, the first 10-15 kms is horrible, after that till bankura it a average road with okay to bad roads and from bankura to durgapur is newly laid fresh tarmac which is obviously very good other than the couple of kilometers before Durgapur which is congested. So, i would prefer sticking to the main NH as mentioned by HVK. Coming from the Calcutta side it is best to catch the Barddhaman-Guskara-Bolpur-Suiri via NH 2B. Its shorter and road is in much better condition.

Last edited by A.G.The Rambler : 29th January 2013 at 14:27.
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Old 29th January 2013, 15:04   #103
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Problem with the Dumka route is also the problems of navigating through Bhagalpur town which is a total mess.

I got an update from a friend who drove from Kol to Siliguri last week entirely on NH34, and reported it to be quite OK, and better than the Bhagalpur-Purnea route which he had gone through last month.
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Old 29th January 2013, 20:13   #104
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

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Problem with the Dumka route is also the problems of navigating through Bhagalpur town which is a total mess.

I got an update from a friend who drove from Kol to Siliguri last week entirely on NH34, and reported it to be quite OK, and better than the Bhagalpur-Purnea route which he had gone through last month.
Yes, seems it has somewhat improved, as mentioned by Adc in the following thread post # 120,

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-phalut-8.html (Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut).

Do not know why but personally myself always get inclined to travel by NH 34 whenever it comes to driving to North Bengal.
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Old 29th January 2013, 20:32   #105
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

we did the bardhaman-siuri malda route,in the first week of dec and the road post bardhaman was incredibly bad - huge potholes, roads missing half the distance, fog+dust, lorries - we wasted a lot of time on that road. We came back via Berhampore/Krishnanagar. the roads were a bit more crowded, but infinitely better.

Last edited by greenhorn : 29th January 2013 at 20:33.
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