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Old 10th February 2014, 14:05   #1
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Default On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

I am planning to drive down from Agra to Santiniketan (WB) on the NH2 with a halt in Varanasi from 28-02 Feb. My proposed itinerary is :-

(a) Day 1 (28 Feb) : Start at 0700 and reach Varanasi (Night Halt Varanasi)
(b) Day 2 (01 Mar) : Visit Varanasi and Sarnath
(c) Day 3 (02 Mar) : Varanasi to Santiniketan

Will be accompanied by my Wife (Highway non-driver) and two kids. My main queries are :-

(a) Is the itinerary feasible given the present conditions of NH2 ?
(b) How safe is the Bihar-Jharkhand Sector and how long would it take me to cross this Sector ?
(c) My GPS (TOMTOM) shows a route peeling off after Asansol to Santiniketan via Suri, whereas I have been told that its better to carry on till Durgapur and peel off at the Darjeeling More and reach via Ilambazaar. Any comments ?
(d) Appreciating that I would probably clock an average speed of 60 - 70 kmph, is there a possibility of nightfall enroute in either leg ?
(e) Any major bottlenecks (state crossings/tolls/truck stops etc) presently in either legs ?
(f) Any other info as may be helpful.

Would be really grateful if any member can please fill in with the details.

Regards
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Old 10th February 2014, 22:16   #2
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsangchokla View Post
I am planning to drive down from Agra to Santiniketan (WB) on the NH2 with a halt in Varanasi from 28-02 Feb.

My GPS (TOMTOM) shows a route peeling off after Asansol to Santiniketan via Suri, whereas I have been told that its better to carry on till Durgapur and peel off at the Darjeeling More and reach via Ilambazaar.Regards
Hi, pl go the thread below for details on the route. In my latest post (#304), I've also included couple of pics taken in this route. Roads in Bihar are pretty bad in comparison to Jharkhand. I don't see any issues with regard to safety enroute but be cautious on where you stop for taking breaks.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...g-nh34-21.html (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34)

Last edited by Redeemer8 : 10th February 2014 at 22:17.
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Old 11th February 2014, 14:15   #3
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

I would like to add that from Asansol to Shanti Niketan, the road would pass through Ranijung, Dubrajpur etc. and these are coal mine areas of ECL. So it would be much better to continue upto Durgapur (darjeeling more) and go via IllamBazar to Shanti Niketan. This way you would enjoy NH2 till Durgapur.

I hope you have gone through these threads on NH2. You'll get every details about the road you'll travel.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ll-detail.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...nce-again.html (Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!)
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Old 12th February 2014, 09:22   #4
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
I would like to add that from Asansol to Shanti Niketan, the road would pass through Ranijung, Dubrajpur etc. and these are coal mine areas of ECL. So it would be much better to continue upto Durgapur (darjeeling more) and go via IllamBazar to Shanti Niketan. This way you would enjoy NH2 till Durgapur.

I hope you have gone through these threads on NH2. You'll get every details about the road you'll travel.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ll-detail.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...nce-again.html (Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!)
Dear Redeemer,

Thanx for the info. I too had the same inclinations regarding Asansol and Darjeeling More. There used to be a grand dhaba "RAJA DHABA" (if am not mistaken - last seen 08-09 years back) bang on the crossing. Served great prawns !!! Hope the Ilaambazaar stretch has improved and is now safer.

Regards

PS: Thanx for the thread links. Had read Predators but the other one was equally useful.
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Old 12th February 2014, 13:14   #5
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsangchokla View Post
Dear Redeemer,

Thanx for the info. I too had the same inclinations regarding Asansol and Darjeeling More. There used to be a grand dhaba "RAJA DHABA" (if am not mistaken - last seen 08-09 years back) bang on the crossing. Served great prawns !!! Hope the Ilaambazaar stretch has improved and is now safer.

Regards

PS: Thanx for the thread links. Had read Predators but the other one was equally useful.
Sorry I don't know if this question is for me.

But I would not be able to confirm the name of the dhaba, but the road was in good condition as far as I know.
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Old 12th February 2014, 13:52   #6
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

I will also advise you to continue till Darjeeling more, panagarh and go to Shantiniketan via Ilambazar. I did this route during my drive last year from Ranchi. The NH2 is very good in Bihar & Jharkhand and you should not worry at all particularly if you are traveling through this section during the day.

The NH2 slightly deteriorates as you enter WB, but still none to be over concerned. However, T crossings are the norm for NH2 in WB and be cautious at all junctions.

About bottlenecks, you may face a delay near panagarh due to truckers, rest all fine.

You can also club a visit to Deul resort with your Shantiniketan Trip. It's as refreshing as it can get. An overnight stay at the resort will enable you to witness the beautiful sunset & sunrise. You can check out my log here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ul-ranchi.html (Road Trip To Shantiniketan & Deul from Ranchi)
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Old 13th February 2014, 07:50   #7
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

Hi, my replies below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsangchokla View Post
My main queries are :-

(a) Is the itinerary feasible given the present conditions of NH2 ? - Absolutely.

(b) How safe is the Bihar-Jharkhand Sector and how long would it take me to cross this Sector ? - Except one solitary stretch in Jharkhand, there is no safety issue. That too you'll be travelling in the day and the roads are good, so just make sure you don't stop at Jharkhand. If you drive non-stop, should take you 5 hours from entering Bihar to getting out into Jharkhand.

(c) My GPS (TOMTOM) shows a route peeling off after Asansol to Santiniketan via Suri, whereas I have been told that its better to carry on till Durgapur and peel off at the Darjeeling More and reach via Ilambazaar. Any comments ? - As Sommos said, the Asansol-Siuri route passes through the coal mine belt. Not advisable. Its better to continue till Darjeeling More and take a left towards Illambazar.

(d) Appreciating that I would probably clock an average speed of 60 - 70 kmph, is there a possibility of nightfall enroute in either leg ? - Don't think so. Agra to Varanasi is about 600 kms, Varanasi to Shantiniketan should be around 460. If you start at 6AM, you should finish by early evening both days.

(e) Any major bottlenecks (state crossings/tolls/truck stops etc) presently in either legs ? - Not really. The Bihar state crossing has a truck line, but also a side road for private cars to pass. You might find some congestion at the Jharkhand/WB border near Maithon.

(f) Any other info as may be helpful. - As I said, don't stop for anything in Jharkhand. Besides, there arent too many great Dhabas in the Bihar-Jharkhand stage, so carry sandwiches/chocolates/water for refreshments. Watch out for unruly traffic at the crossings near Dhanbad, and again once you enter WB.
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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
About bottlenecks, you may face a delay near panagarh due to truckers, rest all fine.
I don't think he'd face the bottleneck. Coming from JH side, he'd be turning off from Darjeeling More before the Panagarh stretch really starts.
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Old 13th February 2014, 11:25   #8
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

Here is another log on the NH2 and I hope the most recent one.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...i-kolkata.html (A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata)

Hope this helps in you planning.
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Old 13th February 2014, 11:41   #9
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

The Varanasi - Shantiniketan stretch took me 8 hours by my Figo and around 7.5 hours on my KTM 390 in November.
After Darjeeling more till Ilambazar expect lots of potholed roads. In mid november they had been filled upto some extent but after the smoothness of NH2, it seems like a nightmare.
Apart from state border crossings you shouldn't really face any issues!

By the way, if you are going to Santiniketan, do try to match your visit with the holi season (dol). Its a very different experience there.
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Old 13th February 2014, 13:10   #10
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Hi, my replies below:





I don't think he'd face the bottleneck. Coming from JH side, he'd be turning off from Darjeeling More before the Panagarh stretch really starts.
Dear Predator,

Thanx a ton for all that succinct info. Couldnt have given a better picture. Enjoyed going through your blog. Hope to see more of your drives in future.

Reagrds
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Old 13th February 2014, 13:17   #11
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

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Originally Posted by Mik View Post
The Varanasi - Shantiniketan stretch took me 8 hours by my Figo and around 7.5 hours on my KTM 390 in November.
After Darjeeling more till Ilambazar expect lots of potholed roads. In mid november they had been filled upto some extent but after the smoothness of NH2, it seems like a nightmare.
Apart from state border crossings you shouldn't really face any issues!

By the way, if you are going to Santiniketan, do try to match your visit with the holi season (dol). Its a very different experience there.
Dear Mik,

Thanx for the info. Actually i belong to the place and like a true native always avoid Santiniketan during the Dol and Paush Mela.

Have done the Santiniketan - Kolkata via Gushkara route a number of times but havent been on the Ilaambazaar axis in a long while. Thanx for the update. Expect to cross the forest stretch around sundown. Hope the police convoys are still operating.

Regards
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Old 13th February 2014, 13:20   #12
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
Here is another log on the NH2 and I hope the most recent one.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...i-kolkata.html (A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata)

Hope this helps in you planning.
The blog was an immense help and excellent info. Thanx for forwarding.

Regards
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Old 13th February 2014, 17:15   #13
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

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Originally Posted by tsangchokla View Post
Dear Mik,

Actually i belong to the place and like a true native always avoid Santiniketan during the Dol and Paush Mela.
--
Expect to cross the forest stretch around sundown. Hope the police convoys are still operating.
Ah well! Then you know when not to go
I didn't see any police convoy around that forest stretch but I did cross it at around 7/8 PM. Locals say its safe till 9 PM (in Novemeber i.e.)
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Old 13th February 2014, 19:14   #14
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Except one solitary stretch in Jharkhand, there is no safety issue. That too you'll be travelling in the day and the roads are good, so just make sure you don't stop at Jharkhand.

As I said, don't stop for anything in Jharkhand. Besides, there arent too many great Dhabas in the Bihar-Jharkhand stage,
Come on now, how could you write this…!

How could you resist the urge of having chai at the most scenic portion of the entire NH2 drive…!

Where the air breathes fresh… And the green cover soothes the eyes… The rolling hills are a beholden sight… And the dhabas on the serpentine road reminds you of the ones swallowed by the passage of time…!

Yes, driving on this stretch at night, as anywhere in the country, is to be best avoided. But suggesting not to stop even during the daytime is, I think, taking caution a bit too far. I am sure the Big Daddy would agree. Wouldn’t you SS Da?
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Old 13th February 2014, 20:25   #15
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Default Re: On the NH 2 : Chambal (Dholpur) to Tagore (Santiniketan)

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Originally Posted by anandjha View Post
Yes, driving on this stretch at night, as anywhere in the country, is to be best avoided. But suggesting not to stop even during the daytime is, I think, taking caution a bit too far. I am sure the Big Daddy would agree. Wouldn’t you SS Da?
Curious - which parts have folks actually experienced / seen issues first hand (or heard from a reliable source?).?

I used to hear similar stories about eastern UP (or rather the Agra-Kanpur stretch).But after driving on those sections many times over the last six years - I can confirm that stretch (Agra-Kanpur stretch) is really safe.
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