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Old 13th November 2014, 17:24   #16
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
On the contrary, as @gearhead_mait mentions below, there are evidences of roadworks being taken up, in quite a involved way, this route is soon going to become important (Hence the thread)

At the moment about 25kms from Futishanko towards Moregram is excellent (picture attached in post above) and if that is what the sections that are currently being worked on turns out, this road is going to be a breeze, however the towns enroute will still be a pain.

My reservation was mostly on the NH34 section of the drive.
Future of this route looks even better! According to recent Q2 report (available here), construction firm HCC is expecting to begin commercial operation (toll) for Farakka-Raiganj section of NH-34 by end of this year. In order to do so they need to complete 75% (~77 KMs) of full 4-laning work.

Given the ground reality as reported here, I guess their schedule looks bit tight. Anyway, even if they take few more months, at least some portion between Malda northern-end and Kaliachak needs to be completed to reach their target of 77 KMs. One possibility could be that they put new Malda Bypass in operation.

Last edited by gmhossain : 13th November 2014 at 17:40.
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Old 16th November 2014, 22:34   #17
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Doing Kolkata to Siliguri in 13hours is pretty decent considering the present condition of roads between these two cities. Those who want to do Kolkata Siliguri I would suggest not to take Dumka Bhagalpur route. As soon as you enter Bihar from Jharkhand the night mare begins until you cross Bhagalpur. The roads are bad enough to scrap the underbody of even 210mm GC SUVs.

Crossing Bhagalpur is something which can irritate and frustrate even the most patient drivers. If you cross during day time the local traffic will irritate you and if you cross during night time the thousands of trucks gonna frustrate you, either way one will take hours to cross Bhagalpur. The Vikramshila Setu which is 4.7kms long is no better than Farakka bridge can easily take you an hour or so to cross. Though once you cross Bhagalpur and reach NH 31, it's a breeze to drive till Siliguri.

P.S The above details has been shared based on my trip from Siliguri to Deoghar in XUV 5OO on 5th November 2014
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Old 17th November 2014, 23:49   #18
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Please do share. It would be really helpful for the people who needs to drive only a part of this route say to Malda/Raiganj from either Siliguri or Kolkata.

Best,
Golam
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
I am interested for some insight into Botolbari-Dhantola stretch (maybe some pictures as well), if you could, please!
I do not have many real time pictures on this route as each time I have driven on this, it had been under headlights, however, will still try to give some insights.

Here is a snapshot of the route (Please note, this is the actual erstwhile Bengal-to-Bengal Bus route)

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-untitled.jpg

The link to the route

https://goo.gl/maps/uGbej

The route starts at Botolbari, which is approximately 15.6 kms from Raiganj 4-point junction. Or alternatively, 14.2 kms from the WBTDC Raiganj Tourist Lodge Gate.


The entry into this route looks like this (This is the only pic we managed). One needs to take a right turn into the narrow road on right.

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6467.jpg

From the above entry point, drive for 17 kms on a narrow road (acceptable road surface - but even two auto's crossing each other would need to put one wheel each onto the lower shoulder) to a town called Rudel (also known as Barhas)

At Rudel, at the T-junction, one would need to make a right turn onto the road to Shahpur (Incase one needs to ask a local, ask for directions to Shahpur).

This same road will go all the way to Dhantola on NH31 (43kms later). If one has a navigator, one can easily set for destination as "Islampur" and depend on the directions they provide from this point.

However, approximately 13kms from Dhantola and 47kms from Botolbari (30kms from Rudel) one would get a 4 point crossing in a busy looking area. One will need to take the road on the opposite side (carry on straight), which is a little offset to one side and is much narrower (Roads to all the 3 other directions would look wider and better surfaced and it would be quite natural to ignore this road ahead). The road surface also deteriorates from this point all the way till NH31.

On the way back,

The entry into this route will look like this, will come up approximately 7.5 kms from the 4-lane start after crossing Islampur

Infact the entry is quite easy to miss, because one hardly spots it

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-dsc09884.jpg

Until one is almost on it.

The entry looks like this, the landmark is the Indianoil pump (inset)

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-dsc09887.jpg

However on the way back from Dhantola to Botol bari, one will need to watch out for 2 things

1> 25.6kms from the start of this route at Dhantola, there will be a fork, while it will be natural to carry on straight into the village here, one will need to take the road on left and continue straight for 17kms to Rudel. (If one needs to setup the Navigator, one can do so over here with directions to Tourist Lodge at Raiganj)



Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-untitled1.jpg

2> At, Rudel, which is approximately 43.3 kms from entry to this route at Dhantola (17.6kms from the point mentioned in 1 above), one will need to take a narrow road on left (This road is easy to miss, so keep a watch for roads on left side at Rudel). To get local confirmation, ask for road to Botolbari, they should be able to relate to it (as Auto's also run the route)




Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_kej View Post
Doing Kolkata to Siliguri in 13hours is pretty decent considering the present condition of roads between these two cities. Those who want to do Kolkata Siliguri I would suggest not to take Dumka Bhagalpur route. As soon as you enter Bihar from Jharkhand the night mare begins until you cross Bhagalpur. The roads are bad enough to scrap the underbody of even 210mm GC SUVs.

Crossing Bhagalpur is something which can irritate and frustrate even the most patient drivers. If you cross during day time the local traffic will irritate you and if you cross during night time the thousands of trucks gonna frustrate you, either way one will take hours to cross Bhagalpur. The Vikramshila Setu which is 4.7kms long is no better than Farakka bridge can easily take you an hour or so to cross. Though once you cross Bhagalpur and reach NH 31, it's a breeze to drive till Siliguri.
This route is documented in the following thread, created separately for it.


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

The Dumka Bhagalpur route has its own perils as well.


The intention of creating the SH7 thread is to keep a watch on the developments on this route, which we believe, will be the eventual route of choice.
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Old 18th November 2014, 08:27   #19
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
I do not have many real time pictures on this route as each time I have driven on this, it had been under headlights, however, will still try to give some insights.

Here is a snapshot of the route (Please note, this is the actual erstwhile Bengal-to-Bengal Bus route)
...

The link to the route

https://goo.gl/maps/uGbej
Thanks! It appears that the Botolbari-Dhantola route is actually shorter (origin to destination is around 60 km)!. For the same origin and destination but via Dalkhola, the distance is around 78 km. How long did you take to cross this section? Secondly, how is the current surface of NH-34 post-Raigang towards Dalkhola?

On a separate note, NHAI has now put up multiple tenders for repairing NH-34 stretches between Barasat and Raiganj where 4-laning work is not yet done! Recently, Calcutta High Court had pulled up NHAI officials in response to a PIL regarding bad conditions of NH-34.
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Old 20th November 2014, 08:08   #20
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Default Via Katihar

Once you reach Maldah and cross it, you have to ask for Ratua, from Ratua you have to go to Bhaluka. From Bhaluka you have to take a right turn, 1.5 kilometers later, you will come across a triangle, you have to left turn and then the next place on your radar will be Dilli Diwangunj. It is some 15+ kilometers from that triangle where you will take a left.

Going on this route, you will come across a railway crossing, as soon as you spot this, you have to keep looking for a left turn which will help you bypass the approach & departure of Labha bridge which is constructed and can be seen from there. The approach & departure road is not. Hence, this diversion. This route is not on Google Maps. You have to ask for it.

Next destination is Pranpur, which falls in Bihar, it is a straight road from Pranpur to Katihar via Bastaul.

XUV 500 has done this route without much difficulty. There would absolutely be no issues in SUV's. But if there are rains, then please avoid this route.

Because Labha bridge's non-functioning this route is not preferred, else this will be the default route. It cuts short the distance to Malda by ~40kms.
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Old 20th November 2014, 15:01   #21
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Thanks! It appears that the Botolbari-Dhantola route is actually shorter (origin to destination is around 60 km)!. For the same origin and destination but via Dalkhola, the distance is around 78 km. How long did you take to cross this section? Secondly, how is the current surface of NH-34 post-Raigang towards Dalkhola?

On a separate note, NHAI has now put up multiple tenders for repairing NH-34 stretches between Barasat and Raiganj where 4-laning work is not yet done! Recently, Calcutta High Court had pulled up NHAI officials in response to a PIL regarding bad conditions of NH-34.
Well! From my fathers little trip log!

The start to finish on this route took 1 hour 47mins, distance is 63.4kms actual (Average ~36kmph)

The first section to Rudel was around 18kms took 39mins (Normal time)

The mid section was faster, but that day was of religious importance, so had two 5 minute holdups due to processions.

The last 10 kms from my memory took a little over 20 mins (But this can take longer for a low-GC vehicle)

So barring the holdups, it will be safe to assume a 1hr 35 min travel time.


Now comparing this to the traditional route

It benefits from 46kms of 4-lane between Dalkhola and the point at Dhantola where the Bengal-Bengal route meets it.

Have done this stretch (all the way till the 4-lane end prior to Islampur) in 30 minutes flat earlier. Going by that average, this 46 kms would take anywhere between 25-28 minutes. But those days, this stretch was a Billiard board surface, however at the same time, the flyovers at Kishangunj were not made that time (so we have an advantage now).

Secondly Extrapolating the time from Raiganj to Botolbari (patch repaired but with heavy truck traffic) at 36kmph, to calculate the time taken for Raiganj-Dalkhola stretch (43.5 kms) will take around 1hour 10 mins.

So in essence the longer route would probably take similar time, or even lesser (if one drives faster between Raiganj and Dalkhola).

But! What I have not written about is the time it can take to get from one end of Dalkhola to the other. Presently its anyone's guess. (Historically, the best I have managed across this town is 45 minutes end to end)

So choose your route accordingly!

Last edited by 1100D : 20th November 2014 at 15:03.
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Old 3rd January 2015, 00:25   #22
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

After reading gearhead_mait's post in early November as described here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34), one wouldn't even think of taking full NH-34 through Krishnagar, Baharampur given the road condition. However, while returning from Airport in a rented car on Dec 13, 2014, I was pleasantly surprised to see that resurfacing work of NH-34 between Airport and Bara Jaguli was mostly completed. Furthermore, I was told that resurfacing work between Bara Jagauli and Krishnanagar was also in full swing. So with a bit of apprehension I decided to try full NH-34 on Dec 22, 2014 for a family trip to Malda with my better half and our little daughter on board.

Airport - Bara Jaguli:
One can either take NH-34 or Kalyani Expressway. Surface wise both roads are now in good condition but the later has lesser congestion.


Bara Jaguli - Krishnanagar :
We got into NH-34 in Kalyani More at around 6:30 am and crossed Krishnanagar at 7:50 am. It is the fastest run that I have managed in this section in last three years! This is despite the fact that there were couple of stretches where repairing work was not completed. Importantly, the 4-laning work for this section (Barasat-Krishnagar Expressways Ltd) has finally picked up some pace!

After Birohi
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3126.jpg

A bad stretch
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3132.jpg

After Ranaghat
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3145.jpg

Between Shantipur and Krishnanagar
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3165.jpg

Between Shantipur and Krishnanagar
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3171.jpg

Krishnanagar - Sargachhi (Baharampur) :
We reached Sargachhi More at 10:40 am. In between we had couple of breaks of around 30 min. To cross this stretch of 80 km, we took 2 hr and 20 min despite having around 40 km of 4-laned stretches. You can imagine how bad were the remaining stretches. Only silver lining that I could notice is that the adjacent shops are being broken down in large scale in all small towns.

After Debagram
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3231.jpg

One of many bad stretches
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3202.jpg

Shops are being removed for widening
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3241.jpg


Sargachhi - Girja More - Shibpur Toll Plaza (Bypassing Baharampur town):
I had heard about this bypass road earlier so decided to give it a try. It turned out to be really good. It took around 35 min to cross this 18 km stretch. Again this was my fastest crossing of Baharampur Town!

Sargachhi Bypass
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-sargachhibypass.png

Sargachhi Bypass road
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3260.jpg

Girja More
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3284.jpg

Shibpur Toll Plaza
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_3296.jpg

Shibpur Toll Plaza - Farakka - Kaliachak:
This stretch has been already discussed many times. However, let me share a video that I recorded using my phone-cum-GPS-Navigator-cum-Car-DVR!



Kaliachak Masterpara Road (avoiding Chowrangee More) :
As expected there was a jam at Kaliachak. So I decided to try a small slip road using which one can avoid crossing Kaliachak Chowrangee More. Afterward one can reach Malda either via Mothabari or Amrity. These state roads are in good shape.
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-kaliachakmasterpararoad.png

We crossed Kaliachak at around 2:20 pm. We had around 90 minutes of total breaks in between. So overall, we took 6 hour 20 minutes of drive time to cross 260 km between Kalyani More and Kaliachak Police station.

Last edited by gmhossain : 3rd January 2015 at 00:35.
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Old 25th November 2015, 14:23   #23
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Wanted to know the current condition of SH7, specially the stretch between Narjja-Mangalkot-Debagram crossing.

Anyone who covered this stretch recently (i.e. after Durga Puja)?

Note: Partial coverage of the route has been done by AJ recently. His update:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post3853925 (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34)

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 25th November 2015 at 14:27.
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Old 6th April 2016, 16:09   #24
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

This route is just fantastic. Having doing this route over a year, I would say SH7 has been a charm. So has been the Dalkhola bypass, Botolbari route. With time this route has not only just become better but it seems actually faster than the NH34 till Berhampur from Kolkata. There is a rough patch after Panchgram which can be bypassed by taking any of the rights (enroute Siliguri) and you will land on the Berhampur Farakka toll road. I went to Sikkim to visit Gurudhongmar and on the way back took this same route. One can easily do Kolkata Siliguri within 10hrs.

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Last edited by himadrimondal : 6th April 2016 at 16:12.
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Old 7th April 2016, 22:14   #25
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
This route is just fantastic. Having doing this route over a year, I would say SH7 has been a charm. So has been the Dalkhola bypass, Botolbari route. With time this route has not only just become better but it seems actually faster than the NH34 till Berhampur from Kolkata. There is a rough patch after Panchgram which can be bypassed by taking any of the rights (enroute Siliguri) and you will land on the Berhampur Farakka toll road. I went to Sikkim to visit Gurudhongmar and on the way back took this same route. One can easily do Kolkata Siliguri within 10hrs.

Thanks for the update. Looks like, TBHPians are finally inching towards some sort of convergence on the best possible "Kolkata-SIliguri" route!


I agree with you that NH-2/SH-7 route to Morgram from Kolkata is now faster than taking NH-34 up to Morgram. For this stretch, the SH-7 route is around 9 km longer but has around 100 km 4-lane road (whereas NH-34 has around 50 km of 4-lane).

Secondly, other state highways (SH-6,SH-11, etc) connecting SH-7 at different points have also improved and are in decent shape. These roads become crucial if one is forced to take a detour due to road blockade/accidents while driving on SH-7. In fact, I drove to Futishanko (SH-7) even from Krishnanagar (NH-34) via Nabadwip, Katwa (SH-8/SH-6) several times in last couple of months (to avoid some stretches of NH-34).


Here are few additional updates on NH-34 stretches of the route. According to the latest official report [1], provisional toll operation (~77 KMs) for Farakka-Raiganj section of NH-34 is now scheduled to begin by May 2016. In fact, what sounds even more interesting is that they are aiming to complete the widening of Kaliachak stretch (3.5 km) by June 2016. Though, later looks bit tight to me.

And finally please allow me to share a video from our recent drive on SH-6 during a detour from SH-7.




[1] http://nhai.org.in/spw/Concessionair...FEB%202016.pdf

Best,
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Old 8th April 2016, 09:16   #26
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

I would request someone to provide exact markings of the route to take. From where and which route to take, landmarks/co-ordinates, etc.

And to go to Jadavpur area, won't it be better to go all the way by NH-34? [Secondary query] Or take the NH-2 and reach Calcutta around midnight to avoid the mad rush. Visitors won't know which is one-way and other details, plus Calcutta is a bit confusing
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Old 8th April 2016, 10:32   #27
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I would request someone to provide exact markings of the route to take. From where and which route to take, landmarks/co-ordinates, etc.
The directions and map markings for both SH7 route and Botolbari-Dhantola route are both well covered at the beginning of this thread.

Regarding Himadri da's update for the diversion to take to avoid construction work in Panchgram and connect with NH34, the pointers are:

1
or
2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
And to go to Jadavpur area, won't it be better to go all the way by NH-34? [Secondary query] Or take the NH-2 and reach Calcutta around midnight to avoid the mad rush. Visitors won't know which is one-way and other details, plus Calcutta is a bit confusing
A bit for this thread but still:

There are 2 main entry point for people coming into Kolkata via NH6 or NH2:
- Kona Expressway
Suitable for people going to South-West (Behala, Khidderpore etc )and Central Kolkata (Alipore, Esplanade etc)
- Belghoria Expressway
Suitable for people in North Kolkata region (Dum Dum, Salt Lake) and areas connected by Eastern Metropolitan bypass like (Garia, Jadavpur via Kalikapur or even Park Circus (Parama Flyover)) **

** Parama flyover is one way from 9 am - 9 pm towards Airport. So, people coming in Kolkata during this time period should take Kona Expressway and AJC Bose Road flyover(till Park Circus) and further Parama Flyover to connect to Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

If using NH34, the entry is via either Kalyani Expressway(Birati)-Airport or via Barasat-Airport.

At this moment, for Jadavpur destined people, Belghoria Expressway is the best bet.

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 8th April 2016 at 10:39. Reason: Formatting of text
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Old 8th April 2016, 21:18   #28
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I would request someone to provide exact markings of the route to take. From where and which route to take, landmarks/co-ordinates, etc.

And to go to Jadavpur area, won't it be better to go all the way by NH-34? [Secondary query] Or take the NH-2 and reach Calcutta around midnight to avoid the mad rush. Visitors won't know which is one-way and other details, plus Calcutta is a bit confusing ...
Hello Sheel,

As gearhead_mait has suggested, please use Belghoria Expressway to enter Kolkata. To be specific, following is my suggestion (as a visitor!) for reaching Jadavpur area. The entire stretch is divided carriageway. So you don't need to worry about one-way issue.

https://goo.gl/maps/GPkZeuzracP2

Durgapur Expy - NSCBI Airport - EM Bypass
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-dankuniairportjadavpur.png

During day-time, when you drive down the ramp of Belghoria Expressway (near the airport), you should enter Airport complex road to reach VIP road (as also suggested by GMaps).


Finally, even if I take NH-34 to reach Kolkata, I do prefer to switch to Kalyani Expressway using Bara Jaguli - Kampa connector to finally reach Belghoria Expressway. This avoids the congested areas of Barasat and Madhyamgram on NH-34.

Best,
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Old 4th October 2016, 14:55   #29
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Hello everyone

I just finished Kolkata - Siliguri - Guwahati these past two days, scheduled return on Thursday early morning. I thought I'd write down my experience here in case it is useful to anyone.

Firstly, many thanks to TeamBHPiam Samba for tolerating a whole lot of questions from me couple of days before my journey.

Kolkata to Siliguri (via SH7 and NH34), started at 0545

Upto Burdwan: Uneventful though Burdwan city traffic was bustling at 0810 on a Sunday. The ramp to SH7 after the station was quite congested and the opposite side had a small traffic jam.

SH7: Overall good except a bad patch of 4-6 km between Khargram and Panchgram.

Morgram to Farakka: A superlong truckers jam at Umarpur due to the 4-point crossing there. I tamely followed a seasoned driver on his Scorpio as he took the shoulders of the road to bypass most of the traffic, in total about 45 mins delay. Farakka crossing itself was dreadful and I wonder how such an important crossing is allowed to become so bad.

Raiganj to Dalkhola was a nightmare. The light was fading, the road surface was twisted into giant waves of solid rock with smallish boulders everywhere. This 40 km took me almost 2.5 hours with three breaks to recover from the spine-jarring experience. I was planning to take the Botolbari shortcut [and even saw the entrance] but at 4-30 pm did not want to risk entering alone. Before Dalkhola there was another 2 km long truckers jam due to the railway crossing which i shamelessly avoided by driving on the wrong side pausing ocassionally on the opposite footpath for oncoming vehicles.

Dalkhola to Islampur on NH27 was much better after the ordeal of the previous stretch but the road surface was uneven and I could not travel faster than 35-40 km/hr in the darkness. I stopped for the night at a well-lit petrol pump outside Kishanganj with three dozen trucks for company. In the morning I resumed at 4-30 am.

Islampur to Siliguri was excellent.

Total travel time [on road] 17 hours, excluding 8 hrs halt

Total distance 570 km

Siliguri to Guwahati (via Malbazar - Hasimara - Alipurduar - Gossaingaon - Bongaigaon - Nalbari)


Siliguri to Ethelbari (about 110 km) was a very good road and the scenery and periodic military camps made it interesting.

Birpara to the Alipurduar bypass crossing (60 km) was in poor condition, the stretch bordering Buxa forest particularly so.

The next stretch Tatpara to the Bengal-Assam border was a toll section totalling 35 km of excellent concrete 6 lane road. While great for making up lost time I noticed three-four dangerous break/rift zones in the concrete slabs that seemed quite capable of inflicting damage. I inadvertantly hit one at 60 kmph and thereafter had to slow down everytime I saw a dark colored patch up job. The border at Assam had another lengthy truckers jam waiting to cross a bridge over a medium-sized tributary of the Brahmaputra.

Gossaigaon to Bongaigaon was a frustrating 75 km drive because of the heavy rain and the frequent interruptions of the otherwise fine 4 lane highway (in the first half) bynumerous culverts which were in a state of extreme disrepair.

Bomgaigaon to Guwahati was a great drive barring a brief stretch of 10 km after Goraimari that was periodically in terrible condition. From Nalbari to Guwahati the road is as good as Kona Expressway.

In Assam I was stopped by police for document checks 11 times. I guess I fit a target demographic - solo male driver, 30s, out-of-state registered car, just about right for harassment. The stopping was quite dangerous and inefficient because cops on the divider would yell at me travelling at 60-80 kmph and expect me to stop. On finding my documents in order more than half fished for a bribe by suggesting that I'd have to go to the P.S. to make an "entry". I had to show them my Advocate ID Card which worked quite well in securing a 'release'. None of the cars stopped for these 'random' checks were local (AS-plate cars).

Total travel time [on road] 12 hours, excluding 12 hrs overnight halt at Bongaigaon. Total distance 466 km

I will post a few photos after I return to Kolkata on Friday. In the meantime does anyone know if the Dumka-Bhagalpur route is better than taking Dalkhola - Raiganj ?
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Old 12th November 2016, 21:44   #30
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Default Re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

The good news is, Panchgram-More-gram stretch on SH7 is now resurfaced and wide! So no real need to take the detour through Panchgram-Nabagram route to merge into the NH34.

Going from Burdwan to Moregram, there is one moderately rough 4km stretch just beyond Kuli and a couple (2) of similarly bad streches of 2-3 kms after that. So a total of 9 kms of medium bad surface (but wont break hatchbacks) beyond Kuli towards Moregram.

But the section between Rudel-Shahpur (and also between Raiganj and Botolbari) on the Botolbari-Dhantola route needs repairs.

The Kaliachak section being 4-laned now. The overall combination of NH2-SH7-NH12(34)-Botolbari-Dhantola-NH31 seemed to be at its best, as far as I have seen in my life!

And to top it, I did not have to pay a single Rupee in Toll tax today!!
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