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Old 27th July 2012, 11:52   #1
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Default Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

Friends,
After being inspired by BHPians like adc, I am planning my first long road trip. The plan to to visit Gurez Valley in Kashmir and then head back via Wagah Border - Jaisalmer to Bangalore.

I would traveling with wife and two kids, 6 and 8 years old.
The vehicle to be used is my Safari which would be 18 months old at the time of trip.

Frankly speaking, just being a bit nervous at this would be a 7000kms long trip spread across 20 days.. So, need some kind of help in terms of "DOs and DONTs for Long Trips with Kids".

The itinerary has been made after checking several thread on tbhp. So, need help of experts to certify and approve the itinerary.

Itinerary
-------------
13th:Start early from Bangalore. Reach Nagpur by eod(1070 kms).
14th:Reach Gwalior via chhinchwada- Sagar(690 kms).
15th Oct: Reach Agra and see Tajmahal. Reach Ludhiana(640 kms) by eod.
16th Oct: Start late by noon. Drive to Mansar Lake (265 kms) by 7pm. Check into JKTDC hotel.
17th: Leisure Drive to Pahalgam(255 kms).
18th: Explore the Betaab valley and then drive to Srinagar(90 kms).
19th: Drive to Gurez Valley (140 kms)
20th: Gurez Valley
21st: Back to Srinagar(140 kms).
22nd: Visit Gulmarg(55 kms) and back to Srinagar.
23rd: Another day to relax in Srinagar.
24th: Start early and drive to Wagah Border(450 kms)
25th: Visit Golden Temple and drive to Bikaner. Sight seeing.
26th: Drive to Jaisalmer(330 kms).
27th: Jaisalmer
28th: Jaisalmer
29th: Ahmedabad(550 kms)
30th: Pune(660kms)
31st: Bangalore(850 kms)

Thanks,
JP
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Old 27th July 2012, 15:16   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

The itinerary will definitely go awry since the duration is quite long - especially with kids around. Even though you have planned for 20 days, set aside 3 or 4 days extra because you could be delayed.

- Do NOT drive faster than you normally would, just to fit the plan you have made.

- Do some research on hotel accommodation all along the route, preferably just off the highway. For many reasons/delays, you might have to stay in places you might not have originally planned.

- Take a basic medicine kit - including over-the-counter medication for fever, stomach ache, diarrhea etc

- It helps if your wife knows how to drive. Let her take over the wheels at least once a day if the roads are relatively empty.

- Not sure if "driving in a straight line" all the way from Bangalore to Agra is the best route to take. Check with others on the road conditions.

- Taj Mahal has timings - check on that. It's pretty much impossible to see Taj Mahal and drive 700 kms the same day.

- The schedule is seriously packed, with too many destinations, too far away from each other. You might want to skip Kashmir in this trip and make it a Agra/Rajasthan Tour. If you have time, you could add Gwalior to the list. Visit Kashmir the next time.

Last edited by smartcat : 27th July 2012 at 15:19.
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Old 27th July 2012, 20:33   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by recker_us View Post
Nagpur by eod..Reach Gwalior via chhinchwada- Sagar(690 kms)...Reach Agra and see Tajmahal
Not an expert but from the last update I'm aware of :

1. The road from Hyderabad to Nagpur, about 70 odd Kms is quite bad.
2. Then, the Pench area, around 30 Kms is bad. Karia till Chapra is a 4-lane road but after that till Kareli via Lakhnadon, is bad with lots of diversions.
3. Around 200 odd kms is in good shape after that but the road from Jhansi to Gwalior is bad again. The road leading to Agra is a 2 lane I guess, but good.

If you have not considered this already, take the NH8 (via Jaipur) to Agra. Reach Sringar via Ambala/Ludhiana/Pathankot - but this is a mess. Too much traffic + some flyover construction happening.

If you're willing to keep the Taj Mahal as a last option, go to Jaisalmer first and from there on to Srinagar. You may consider Agra on the way back.
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Old 27th July 2012, 22:18   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

29th: Ahmedabad(550 kms)
30th: Pune(660kms)
31st: Bangalore(850 kms)

This portion of the trip is very doable. Roads are fairly good between Jaisalmer and Ahmedabd. After Ahmedabad, take the Vadodara Express way and use the left side narrow bridge near Bharuch on the Narmada river. Expect traffic jams on the main bridge which is on the right side.

Good luck with your travels.

Saji
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Old 28th July 2012, 09:47   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post

1. The road from Hyderabad to Nagpur, about 70 odd Kms is quite bad.
2. Then, the Pench area, around 30 Kms is bad. Karia till Chapra is a 4-lane road but after that till Kareli via Lakhnadon, is bad with lots of diversions.
3. Around 200 odd kms is in good shape after that but the road from Jhansi to Gwalior is bad again. The road leading to Agra is a 2 lane I guess, but good.
I somehow got the impression from few posts that Road between Hyd and NGP is fine.. Thanks for updating. How much time should I budget for HYD-NGP and NGP-Gwalior?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post

If you're willing to keep the Taj Mahal as a last option, go to Jaisalmer first and from there on to Srinagar. You may consider Agra on the way back.

The kashmir trip was planned for April, this year. But the high pass to Gurez valley was not open that time.. So, we ended up doing a touring/trekking trip from Delhi to Uttaranchal. I am worried that if I do Jaisalmer first, I might be even more late to reach Gurez valley.. This is anyways cutting too close to snowfall time in October.
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Old 28th July 2012, 09:54   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SajiNSalin View Post
29th: Ahmedabad(550 kms)
30th: Pune(660kms)
31st: Bangalore(850 kms)

This portion of the trip is very doable. Roads are fairly good between Jaisalmer and Ahmedabd. After Ahmedabad, take the Vadodara Express way and use the left side narrow bridge near Bharuch on the Narmada river. Expect traffic jams on the main bridge which is on the right side.

Good luck with your travels.

Saji
Thanks Saji.. Any recommendations on places in this route which is not to be missed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
The itinerary will definitely go awry since the duration is quite long - especially with kids around. Even though you have planned for 20 days, set aside 3 or 4 days extra because you could be delayed.

- Do NOT drive faster than you normally would, just to fit the plan you have made.

- Do some research on hotel accommodation all along the route, preferably just off the highway. For many reasons/delays, you might have to stay in places you might not have originally planned.

- Take a basic medicine kit - including over-the-counter medication for fever, stomach ache, diarrhea etc

- It helps if your wife knows how to drive. Let her take over the wheels at least once a day if the roads are relatively empty.

- Not sure if "driving in a straight line" all the way from Bangalore to Agra is the best route to take. Check with others on the road conditions.

- Taj Mahal has timings - check on that. It's pretty much impossible to see Taj Mahal and drive 700 kms the same day.

- The schedule is seriously packed, with too many destinations, too far away from each other. You might want to skip Kashmir in this trip and make it a Agra/Rajasthan Tour. If you have time, you could add Gwalior to the list. Visit Kashmir the next time.
Thank you.. I would keep that in mind and see if I can readjust my itinerary.. Increasing the number of days is not an option as schools would be open from 30th. I am already eating into their school days.

Are you aware of Child Friendly Places to stay enroute?? I mean the places which have enough play areas for kids in the hotel or have some stuff to keep the young kids interested... Nothing better to relax the kids other than giving them a place to play and stretch around at the end of the day.

I am concerned that the boys should not start losing interest after few days in the trip.
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Old 29th July 2012, 22:14   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

As Smartcat has mentioned, your trip is strenuous, especially if you are the only one to drive. If the wife can share the driving, it will be much easier. The kids are too small to really participate in the excitement, especially after the first few days, so you will have to keep them occupied with games involving places enroute, probably give them a map and ask them to help with navigation etc.

Again, this should be a pleasure trip, not just to log miles. The success of the trip depends on your mental state; you should be at peace with the road, traffic, vehicle and yourself to really enjoy the journey; a sort of synchronization with the different disparate elements of your journey. Also, there is a lot of danger in a journey like this, so like in all such activities, you should be aware of the limits of the vehicle, the road and yourself. Never drive if you don't feel like it.

The road from Jaisalmer to the Gujarat border is desolate, but a visit to Akkal fossil park about 40 km after leaving Jaisalmer would be worthwhile. This is on the main road and is well signposted.

Ahmedabad police has this strange requirement for painting the corners of the headlights with yellow paint or yellow sticker. So do remember to do that to avoid a fine in the Gujarat region. Also remember that Gujarat is a dry state, so avoid carrying alcohol bottles when you enter Gujarat as there is frequent checks on vehicles.

I would also advice on skipping some of the intended places of visit so that you can concentrate on fewer places. You have to decide on this.

A good place to stay in Jaisalmer is the RTDC hotel, which you can book online. In Ahmedabad, Ginger is a good place to stay.
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Old 5th November 2012, 09:32   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

Suddenly got some time to do this trip. I am leaving on wednesday afternoon (Around 50 hours from now ) The final points to visit are not decided but first challange is to reach till Chandigarh(Need to go there).

Then depending on the weather and road conditions, I might do either Kashmir or Kinnaur.

But back to basic problem.. What is the Best Route between Bangalore and Delhi? Restating the option here:

- GQ: Blore - Mumbai - Ahmedabad - Jaipur - CHD
Advantage of this route is that, I get to see the Little Kutch in Zainabad which I have wanting to see for while. Also get to meet friends/family in Mumbai and Jaipur. I have travelled to most parts of Rajasthan other than Jaisalmer. So, no real motivation of passing through Chittorgarh/Udaipur or Ajmer.

N-S Corridor: Havent ever travelled through central india, so thats the motivation. It looks like the shortest route.

It would help to know the latest road conditions on the stretch between Nagpur and Delhi. I hope it would have got better in the last few months. Badly looking for inputs about this stretch.

Thanks,
JP
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Old 27th July 2013, 10:33   #9
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

Apologies for not updating the thread for a long time. Now as I am going back to India on a vacation, I logged on tbhp for the first time in 8 months and was ashamed to see this thread which I havent updated.
As they say, "Better Late than Never"... So, quickly penning down the fine points of the trip.

1. Day1: Started around 3:30am from Whitefiled in bangalore. With no traffic, the only resistance to speeding Safari were the omnipresent speed breakers of Bangalore. Reached Toll gate after Devanahalli on Hyderabad road by 4:30.
Excellant highway roads saw us within 100 km of Hyderabad by 8:30. After that, we slowed down to take the exit which takes us toward Hyd. We contacted our BHpian friend Kalyan who met us in Hyderabad. After spending time with him for breakfast, we moved on to Nagpur. We took the wrong diversion which took us around the ring road. Finally we were on road to Nagpur by 11:30.
The road to Nagpur was good other than the last 100 kms which was in very bad shape. The road was kinda non-existent at places.. Finally reached Nagpur around 8pm.

Day2: Started early by 4:30am.. Headed to Jhansi via Chhindwada, Narsinghpur - Sagar. The road till Narsinghpur was narrow but low on traffic. Some stretches in the morning looked very beautiful. The road from Narsinghpur for next 20kms was bad. Reached Jhansi via lalitpur by 2:30pm. We wasted a lot of time on lunch. And around 4pm when we thought on starting towards Gwalior, we met an army officer. Seeing a Karnatka vehicle and a family and kids in it, he spent some time convincing us not to head towards gwalior as it might be risky. So, we thought of spending the night at Orchhha which kalyan had recommened on Day1.

Day3: Started by 6.. The road to gwalior was in a bad shape.. there was ongoing construction on lot of strecthes of the road. Safari was enjoying the offroading on such roads.
Just before Gwalior, there was a road going to the town and another one towards Agra. On this stretch the road was closed... We found a construction truck going on the closed road and we just followed it keeping faith on the power of safari..After some serious off-roading on non-existent road, we managed to finally joined the highway to Agra. The eating options on this road were very limited. Finally we found a MPTDC run eatery. Around 12pm, we were in Agra. The kids wanted to see Tajmahal, so after spending time in Tajmahal, we headed to Delhi around 3:30pm.. We took the Yamuna Expressway.. It was fun driving continuously at 150. Safari tested its all time high of 160 on this road. Around evening we touched the maddening traffic of Delhi. It took us around two hours to cross Delhi and take the famous GT highway. The ongoing flyover construction on this road had created slow traffic conditions till Sonipat.
After a sumptuous lunch at a dhaba in Murthal, we headed to Chandigarh. Stopped in between at Pipli for a break and remember my enginering days in Kurukshetra. During those days, GT road was supposed to the best road for driving in north india. But it stands pale with bad traffic, non-existent vegetation on dividers which makes driving difficult due to lights of vehicles from the oposite direction. Around 2am we reached Navanagar, where there is a beautiful ashram just 2kms before baddi on nalagarh road.

With this the first leg of the trip was over..

Last edited by recker_us : 27th July 2013 at 10:42. Reason: .
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Old 30th July 2013, 04:33   #10
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Default Re: Bangalore - Gurez Valley - Jaisalmer?

Next Leg:

Day4: Short trip from Baddi to Jalandhar.
Day5: Jalandhar to Patnitop. We took a longish route after Lakhanpur driving along the Ranjit Sagar Dam and its beautiful catchment. If you want to drive leisurely, this route is strongly recommended. The roads are two lane in most of the places but devoid of any traffic and in good condition for most of the part.
Day6: Started early to Sanasar Lake. Then drove to Pahalgam.
Day7: Started late as it suddenly started snowing heavily. Went to Betaab valley and as far as the road seemed safe on the road to chandanbadi. The whole landscape looked awesome after the snowfall. The same day we drove to Srinagar.
Day8: Sightseeing in Srinagar.
Day9: Drove to Gulmarg and then back to Srinagar.
Day10: Drove to Ludhiana. The Batisha as Mood is worth trying..
Day 11: Got dropped to Chandigarh and flew to Bangalore.
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