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Old 5th June 2012, 00:03   #1
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Default Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

Guys,
Am back for some advice again. This monsoon I am planning for a roundtrip to central India covering Khajuraho, Chitrakooot falls and Hyderabad. Have 10 days in hand, my initial draft is as below

Day 1 - Mumbai to Shivpuri
Day 2 - Shivpuri - Khajuraho
Day 3 - Khajuraho - Bhedaghat
Day 4 and 5 - Bhedaghat - Jagdalpur
Day 6 and 7 - Jagdalpur - Hyderabad
Day 8 - Hyderabad - Pune
Day 9 - Pune - Mumbai.

Day 1 is a stretch at 1250kms but am planning to take the Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Kota route which is fast and I hope to make it by nightfall with a 3am start. Can the experts and locals here pls comment and suggest changes as required?

Last edited by nix1976in : 5th June 2012 at 00:06.
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Old 6th June 2012, 10:30   #2
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Default Re: Monsoon 2012 : Chitrakoot falls

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Originally Posted by nix1976in View Post
Guys,
Am back for some advice again. This monsoon I am planning for a roundtrip to central India covering Khajuraho, Chitrakooot falls and Hyderabad. Have 10 days in hand, my initial draft is as below

Day 1 - Mumbai to Shivpuri
Very difficult to reach the same day.
If you take the Udaipur route, then with a 3 am start from Bombay, Udaipur could be past by 2 pm (no-break driving style), it will take you another 3 hours to Kota & 4 more to Jhansi. Shivpuri is now bypassed by a good margin of 15 kms & it makes more sense to target reaching Jhansi which is just 1 hour away from Padora where NH25 intersects NH3. In case you lag behind, try to make it to Kota which has lots of good hotels too.

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Day 2 - Shivpuri - Khajuraho
It is 4 hours from Jhansi (add 1 more from Shivpuri) o Khajuraho, so you can arrive mid-morning there, and spent the rest of the day sightseeing, rounded off with a sound-and-light show in the evening.


Quote:
Day 3 - Khajuraho - Bhedaghat
Ideally, take the Khajuraho-Panna-Amanganj-Katni-Jabalpur route, although you can expect roads to be rough. Should take you 5-6 hours.

Quote:
Day 4 and 5 - Bhedaghat - Jagdalpur
For this, although alternative routes are available like going through Seoni-Balaghat-Chilpi ghat, it may be a better idea to go via Nagpur till Raj Nandgaon and then go to Jagdalpur via KOndagaon or Kanker.

You can avoid Nagpur by going off NH7 from Mansar & going via Ramtek, Tumsar to Bhandara, which road was good sometime ago. From Bhandara, it is excellent 4-laned road till Raj Nandgaon.

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Day 6 and 7 - Jagdalpur - Hyderabad
The easiest route is to take the Sukhma route (which crosses the worst-affected Maoist part of CG), and go via Bhadrachalam, Khammam & Suriapet to Hyderabad. Alternative routes are not exciting since they involve longer routes like going all the way to Vijayanagaram, Vizag, etc.

But is there any reason you want to go via Hyderabad? The shortest route for you wuld be to go back to Raj Nadgaon & take the Nh3 till Nagpur and then Pune via Amaravati, Karanja, Mehekar & Aurangabad.
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Old 6th June 2012, 17:28   #3
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Default Re: Monsoon 2012 : Chitrakoot falls

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For this, although alternative routes are available like going through Seoni-Balaghat-Chilpi ghat, it may be a better idea to go via Nagpur till Raj Nandgaon and then go to Jagdalpur via KOndagaon or Kanker.
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You can avoid Nagpur by going off NH7 from Mansar & going via Ramtek, Tumsar to Bhandara, which road was good sometime ago. From Bhandara, it is excellent 4-laned road till Raj Nandgaon.
Chilpi ghati is in a very bad shape. I would go by the second recommendation of going via Mansar - Ramtek - Tumsar - Bhandara. Road is narrow but in good shape and devoid of traffic. However, please be aware of lack of facilities on this stretch. From Bhandara, you can go off NH6 at Durg and hit NH43 at Dhamtari. NH43 is excellent all the way till Jagdalpur but for a small stretch near Kanker.

On a side note, the best season to visit Chitrakoot falls is during/post monsoon when it is in all its glory. That said, CG is a beautiful state at any time of the year

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The easiest route is to take the Sukhma route (which crosses the worst-affected Maoist part of CG), and go via Bhadrachalam, Khammam & Suriapet to Hyderabad. Alternative routes are not exciting since they involve longer routes like going all the way to Vijayanagaram, Vizag, etc.

But is there any reason you want to go via Hyderabad? The shortest route for you wuld be to go back to Raj Nadgaon & take the Nh3 till Nagpur and then Pune via Amaravati, Karanja, Mehekar & Aurangabad.
Completely agree with Kumar Sir on both of the above points...
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Old 6th June 2012, 19:17   #4
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Default Re: Monsoon 2012 : Chitrakoot falls

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But is there any reason you want to go via Hyderabad?.
Thanks HV. The idea is to visit Hyderabad and have some biryani!!

Some queries
1) How is the road from Kota - Shivpuri - Jhansi?
2) Since I have already visited Bhedaghat, can I skip Bhedaghat and plan any other interesting stop between Khajuraho and Jagdalpur?
3) Is the Jagldalpur - Hyderabad stretch safe?

Thanks a ton for all the help.


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Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
On a side note, the best season to visit Chitrakoot falls is during/post monsoon when it is in all its glory. That said, CG is a beautiful state at any time of the year
Thanks for the inputs Mr. Dube!. The plan is set for late July, was just testing the waters on feasibility of the route.

Last edited by nix1976in : 6th June 2012 at 19:23.
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Old 6th June 2012, 19:27   #5
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Default Re: Monsoon 2012 : Chitrakoot falls

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Originally Posted by nix1976in View Post
Thanks HV. The idea is to visit Hyderabad and have some biryani!!
Best reason why

Quote:
Some queries
1) How is the road from Kota - Shivpuri - Jhansi?
One of the fastest in India. The day before yesterday, one of our friends did Jhansi-Kota in 3.5 hours (i.e. a distance of 325 kms. Please note that you bypass Shivpuri by some 15 kms and intersect NH3 south of Shivpuri at Padora. Poor facilities between Jhansi & Kota.

Quote:
) Since I have already visited Bhedaghat, can I skip Bhedaghat and plan any other interesting stop between Khajuraho and Jagdalpur?
Panna WLS is between Khajuraho & Katni.


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3) Is the Jagldalpur - Hyderabad stretch safe?
The Collector Alex Menon who was abducted recently - that happened very close to Sukhma just off the NH221 (Jahgdalpur-Bhadrachalam road). When I travelled in it in the year 2008, insurgency was at its peak and this road was under seige with complete military & police patrolling, besides horrible roads. I am told that since, the road has improved & safety is much better. At least, I have not heard of any mine blasts on this road, which has been the case earlier. On balance, I would not be unduly perturbed about safety, leave Jagdalpur in the morning and you will be out of this sector before lunch time.
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Old 6th June 2012, 20:00   #6
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Default Re: Monsoon 2012 : Chitrakoot falls

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3) Is the Jagldalpur - Hyderabad stretch safe?
I would NOT recommend the Sukma or the Bhopalpatnam route. If you HAVE to go to HYD from JDP then I would still recommend the round about way of Vizag/Vijaywada. The probability of anything going wrong is very low but IF it does (and you cannot predict that), then you will regret the decision I have relatives in that area and hence, would request you to take this advice. Final decision is still yours.

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The plan is set for late July, was just testing the waters on feasibility of the route.
Cool... you should be able to see the falls in full glory by then. Better still would be mid-Aug.
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Old 7th June 2012, 02:19   #7
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Default Re: Monsoon 2012 : Chitrakoot falls

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3) Is the Jagldalpur - Hyderabad stretch safe?

The plan is set for late July, was just testing the waters on feasibility of the route.
There are two routes for Jagdalpur to Hyderabad. Both are equally unsafe in my opinion.

Route 1: Jagdalpur - Pamunuru ( Here you enter AP) - Warrangal - Hyderabad
Route 2: Jagdalpur - Sukma - Bhadrachalam - Kothagudem - Khammam - Suryapet - Hyderabad

The first route is close to Dantewada, famous for the massacre. The second route is the Sukma route famous for the abduction of the collector there. So I guess you have to choose between the devil and the deep sea

If you want have time on your itenerary, I would recommend route 2 as you can go to the famous Lord Rama Temple of Bhadrachalam. ( Near Kothagudem ). Infact this temple town falls enroute. Also you can see the magnificent Godavari River in full flow (Hopefully) during that time.

Either way, leave early from Jagdalpur and enter Andhra pradesh by Lunch time. That way it should be fine.

As far as my experience is concerned, they wont be relevant as I have done both Routes about 16 years ago, when I was quite young. I remember this because my father and mother were scared as we were stuck in the jungle with roads blocked on both sides and people scaring them all the more. We were supposed to go to Bacheli (NMDC township and famous for the iron ores) from Hyderabad. I dont remember the exact village, but it must have been after crossing Pamunuru because people were speaking in Hindi. Thankfully some people in the village helped us find an alternate route and we finally went to Bacheli early the next day morning. Because of this incident, my father said that we will return via Bhadrachalam. I specially remember this route because of the trees on both sides forming a canopy over the road. The sun could not penetrate onto the roads. Not sure if the canopy still exists right now.

However, Chitrakoot falls are a magnificent sight to see. Even though it was a really long time ago, I still remember them as if I had gone yesterday. Some memories last. That trip to Bacheli and then to Chitrakoot falls on Armada Jeeps was one of my first road trips that I remember my Dad taking me to.



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Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
I would NOT recommend the Sukma or the Bhopalpatnam route. If you HAVE to go to HYD from JDP then I would still recommend the round about way of Vizag/Vijaywada. The probability of anything going wrong is very low but IF it does (and you cannot predict that), then you will regret the decision I have relatives in that area and hence, would request you to take this advice. Final decision is still yours.
Cool... you should be able to see the falls in full glory by then. Better still would be mid-Aug.
I just do not think that even the Jagdalpur - Vizianagaram route is comparatively safer. The point is Jagdalpur is between the Agency Areas. The Jagdalpur Vizianagaram route crosses through Sunabeda which is again Naxal infested area. Making a trip of 1000 kms instead of the 550 kms is not worth it. If any one has doubts over the safety, then going to Jagdalpur and Chitrakoot must be avoided at any cost. I am not sure about these areas as I have not traveled here recently. So I am not the right person to comment.

+1 to your comment on the falls in Full Glory. They are truly a sight. Splendid. One can feel the force of the water falls from a distance.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 7th June 2012 at 02:33.
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Old 8th June 2012, 09:28   #8
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Default Re: Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

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The Collector Alex Menon who was abducted recently - that happened very close to Sukhma just off the NH221
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
I would NOT recommend the Sukma or the Bhopalpatnam route. If you HAVE to go to HYD from JDP then I would still recommend the round about way of Vizag/Vijaywada. The probability of anything going wrong is very low but IF it does (and you cannot predict that), then you will regret the decision I have relatives in that area and hence, would request you to take this advice. Final decision is still yours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
There are two routes for Jagdalpur to Hyderabad. Both are equally unsafe in my opinion.
The first route is close to Dantewada, famous for the massacre. The second route is the Sukma route famous for the abduction of the collector there. So I guess you have to choose between the devil and the deep sea
I just do not think that even the Jagdalpur - Vizianagaram route is comparatively safer.
Ok guys...U got me sufficiently scared!!! Dont wanna take so much risk for a biryani!!

Alterations to my itinerary...

Day 1 - Mumbai to Shivpuri / Jhansi
Day 2 - Shivpuri / Jhansi - Khajuraho
Day 3 - Khajuraho - Bhedaghat
Day 4 and 5 - Bhedaghat - Jagdalpur
Day 6 and 7 - Jagdalpur - Chilkhaldara
Day 8 - Chikhaldara - Pune
Day 9 - Pune - Mumbai.

Now...how is the Jagdalpur - Nagpur stretch and does it make sense to stay over another day at Khajuraho?

Last edited by nix1976in : 8th June 2012 at 09:30.
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Old 8th June 2012, 09:34   #9
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Default Re: Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

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Ok guys...U got me sufficiently scared!!! Dont wanna take so much risk for a biryani!!

Alterations to my itinerary...

Day 1 - Mumbai to Shivpuri / Jhansi
Day 2 - Shivpuri / Jhansi - Khajuraho
Day 3 - Khajuraho - Bhedaghat
Day 4 and 5 - Bhedaghat - Jagdalpur
Day 6 and 7 - Jagdalpur - Chilkhaldara
Day 8 - Chikhaldara - Pune
Day 9 - Pune - Mumbai.

Now...how is the Jagdalpur - Nagpur stretch and does it make sense to stay over another day at Khajuraho?
Hey, Hey, what is this, I say????
The Sukhma road is nowadays in good condition, I am told, and safety concerns less!!

Why CHikhladhara? Tiger-hunting?

Road from Jagdalpur to Nagpur via Kanker & Durg/Raj Nandgaon is excellent except that the Bhandara-Nagpur road is still 2-laned and has high density of traffic.
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Old 8th June 2012, 10:00   #10
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Default Re: Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

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Ok guys...U got me sufficiently scared!!! Dont wanna take so much risk for a biryani!!
Sorry my intention was not that. As I have mentioned, I have traveled there long long back and it is irrelevant right now. The rest of the incidents are from News papers. As HVK mentioned, travelling on this road during early morning and lunch time should be no cause for concern.
OT:
If Hyderabad plan does not work out now, since you are from Mumbai, You can come on a separate trip to Hyderabad for the Biryani. It is totally worth it.
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Old 8th June 2012, 12:03   #11
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Default Re: Monsoon 2012 : Chitrakoot falls

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I just do not think that even the Jagdalpur - Vizianagaram route is comparatively safer
I did that route in January this year and no issues whatsoever. That said, you never know
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Old 8th June 2012, 22:43   #12
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Default Re: Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

Thanks guys, am sufficiently reassured now! So am reverting back to my original plan skipping Bhedaghat and adding a day at Khajuraho

Day 1 - Mumbai to Shivpuri / Jhansi ( via Udaipur /Chittor / Kota)
Day 2 and 3 - Shivpuri /Jhansi - Khajuraho
Day 3 and 4 - Khajuraho - Jagdalpur
Day 5 and 6 - Jagdalpur - Hyderabad
Day 7 - Hyderabad - Pune
Day 8 - Pune - Mumbai.

A few queries
1. Is Khajuraho - Jagdalpur doable or is a stop advised in between?
2. Will take the Jagdalpur - Sukhma - Bhadrachalam - Kothagudem - Khammam - Suryapet - Hyderabad route? Are the roads fine
here?
3. Overall, Is this a good plan for a monsoon drive?

Thanks a ton for all the help!

Regards,
Nikhil
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Old 8th June 2012, 23:54   #13
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Default Re: Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

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1. Is Khajuraho - Jagdalpur doable or is a stop advised in between?
No, it is a day's drive at most.

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2. Will take the Jagdalpur - Sukhma - Bhadrachalam - Kothagudem - Khammam - Suryapet - Hyderabad route? Are the roads fine
here?
No recent update on the Jagdalpur-Sukhma-Konta-Bhadrachalam road, last heard it was good, but one can never say. Suryapet-Hyderabad NH9 is still being widened, but rad conditions are good.
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Old 10th June 2012, 11:27   #14
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Default Re: Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

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Thanks guys, am sufficiently reassured now! So am reverting back to my original plan skipping Bhedaghat and adding a day at Khajuraho

2. Will take the Jagdalpur - Sukhma - Bhadrachalam - Kothagudem - Khammam - Suryapet - Hyderabad route? Are the roads fine
here?
3. Overall, Is this a good plan for a monsoon drive?
Bhadrachalam - Khammam (120 kms) and Khammam - Bhadrachalam (65kms) are in good condition. It is in 2 lane and it should not be a problem to drive in this stretch.

Suryapet - Hyderabad road has lot of diversion due to road widening. Make sure you go slow on this stretch to see for diversions as some of them are unmarked. It is possible that if you miss the diversions, you can go in the opposite side of the road. But do not worry, go slow and move to the correct lane when you find opportunity.
You will find heavy traffic in this route as well. About 70 to 80 kms from Suryapet, the road will be proper 4 laned. And you should find no issues further.

It should be good monsoon drive.
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Old 5th July 2012, 17:35   #15
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Default Re: Monsoon Visit : Chitrakoot falls

Have been delaying the trip but now that the monsoon has set in right earnest, have revived my plans

One change I have made is that instead of treading through from Jagdalpur to Hydearbad, am looking at making stops at Araku vallaey and Rishikonda near Vizag and then move to Hyderabad.

So the new plan is

Day 1 - Mumbai to Nagpur
Day 2 and 3 - Nagpur - Jagdalpur
Day 4 - Jagdalpur - Araku Valley
Day 5 - Araku Valley - Rishikonda Beach
Day 6 and 7 - Rishikonda - Hyderabad
Day 8 - Hyderabad - Pune
Day 9 - Pune - Mumbai

Can you pls validate the plan and share any suggestions?
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