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Old 7th November 2014, 00:37   #1
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Default Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Was able to evaluate the SH7 route today, which is being touted as an alternate to following the Dumka, Bhagalpur, Purnea route - the one that has been discussed and dealt with in great detail in this thread.

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

To start with the whole route looked like this on Googlemaps

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

Here is the URL to the Map

https://goo.gl/maps/L9d4Q


The end to end distance as indicated by Gmaps was 562 kms

Whereas actual Odometer reading read 589.8kms (minus a 5km back and forth extra at Umerpur)


The drive time taken was (excluding stops) - 13 hour 8mins


Main points of interest will be

1> the SH7 portion between Burdwan and Moregram and
2> section between Botolbari and Islampur (Byepassing the infamous Dalkhola crossing jam, and also shortening the distance)

Coming to the first part, the SH7 Portion

This is how it looks like on Google

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

Url

https://goo.gl/maps/yrMeV

I will try my best to provide visuals of the important turns as I did on the Dumka-Bhagalpur thread


The entrance to this route is roughly 15kms from the Palsit toll, the first entry point (coming from Kolkata) into Burdwan town

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6367.jpg


Your drive on that road for 5.6 kms through the town, roads look like this

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6373.jpg

At the end of 5.6 km, one encounters a traffic light that looks like this, one needs to take a right fork here

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6374.jpg

The above crossing seen upclose, one needs to drive up the ramp shown by the arrow (bike going up)

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_63761.jpg

soon there after, another right onto this bridge

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6380.jpg

right after the bridge take the left as indicated, this becomes the Burdwan-Katwa road

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6383.jpg

Take this road for about 13.8 kms, the surface is good, till one reaches this fork, where the road to Katwa (on right) has to be exited for the road on left (there on the fun starts, more on that later), The road on left goes through small settlements called Muratipur, Natunhat (Mangalkot)

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6399.jpg

About 20kms from the above fork, there is another and its quite easy to take the road straight, whereas actually SH7 is the road on right (Easy to make a mistake here). This is also the first time this road is indicated as SH7.

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6410.jpg


About 2 kms from the above right turn is this bridge

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6414.jpg

Right after this bridge one has to take road on right.

22kms from after the fork (at the end of the bridge) is Futisanko, one has to keep on straight

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6424.jpg

The board in the picture above seen vaguely should be a guide, seen below, the same board.

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6427.jpg

The road surface becomes good for the next 25 kms or so

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6433.jpg

Driving straight for around 67.5kms from Futishanko, SH7 merges into NH60 (Panagarh-Moregram Highway), one needs to take a right

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6456.jpg


(from the opposite end) The same approach to SH7, but from Moregram side looks like this

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6459.jpg


2.5 kms on the Panagarh Moregram Highway, one will reach the Moregram circle

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6462.jpg

So distance from Entry to Burdwan to Moregram is 136kms. Time taken (No stops) 3hours 26mins. Holdups none. Halts None. Average speed 39.64KMPH on a SUV

So what is the Cause behind the abysmal average speed?

Right after leaving the Burdwan-Katwa road (as indicated somewhere above) these things happen in random order over multiple instances!!

The roadsurface (AND the Duck family as well)

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_64221.jpg

The congestion on settlements

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6447.jpg

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6408.jpg


Slow moving carts

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6452.jpg


Picture like this is an exception!!

Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-img_6418.jpg


The 4-lane from Moregram to Farakka was a breeze, we thought we will make good time hence (was probably expecting a one hour travel time between Farakka and Malda). But the actuals look grossly different. The time it took from the moment we got off the Farakka Barrage (after an agonising endless drive on the barrage) was 2hours and 2 minutes to reach the start of 4 laning on the otherside of Malda (Merely 45kms apart). That too after being the most successful negotiator on the embankments even with respect to the local Tata Iris drivers.

And today seemed to have been a good day without any traffic holdups/blockades. Wonder what would happen on a bad day.


Then from start of 4laning after Malda till Raiganj, was no great shakes either, 1hr 18 mins for what was only a 66km stretch. The last 22kms from Itahar being pretty rough.


Verdict : I will take the Dumka Bhagalpur route on the way back (Its about 100km longer but takes shorter time and is far less stressful on man and machine).

Depending on any part of NH34 is ruled out for me in the near future.

I know, I did not share the Botolbari-Dhantola detail as indicated before, but I doubt with the information posted above, anyone will be interested in it. But it did provide a lucrative and timesaving alternative to going through Dalkhola, but with the Dumka-Bhagalpur route, one does not need to bother about it!

Still if anyone is interested, let me know, I can later go ahead and post that as well.

Last edited by 1100D : 7th November 2014 at 01:07.
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Old 7th November 2014, 12:35   #2
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Route / Travel Queries. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th November 2014, 14:54   #3
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

I am interested for some insight into Botolbari-Dhantola stretch (maybe some pictures as well), if you could, please!
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Old 7th November 2014, 16:28   #4
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

I was thinking of taking this route in December, but after your post I will stick to Bhagalpur.
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Old 7th November 2014, 17:05   #5
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I was thinking of taking this route in December, but after your post I will stick to Bhagalpur.
What's the Destination ?
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Old 7th November 2014, 17:48   #6
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

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Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
What's the Destination ?
Not confirmed yet, most probably Gangtok or Darjeeling. Nothing offbeat.
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Old 8th November 2014, 12:39   #7
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Was able to evaluate the SH7 route today, ... So distance from Entry to Burdwan to Moregram is 136kms. Time taken (No stops) 3hours 26mins. Holdups none. Halts None. Average speed 39.64KMPH on a SUV

The 4-lane from Moregram to Farakka was a breeze ... The time it took from the moment we got off the Farakka Barrage (after an agonising endless drive on the barrage) was 2hours and 2 minutes to reach the start of 4 laning on the otherside of Malda (Merely 45kms apart). ... Then from start of 4laning after Malda till Raiganj, was no great shakes either, 1hr 18 mins for what was only a 66km stretch.
Thanks a lot for such a detailed update. An expert assessment for this new route was very much needed!

From your figures, however, one point still stands that SH7 is still better than some section of NH-34! Your average speed on SH7 was around 40 kmph whereas it was only 33 kmph for the Farakka-Raiganj section of NH-34, as you have covered 111 km in 3 hour and 20 minutes .


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
I know, I did not share the Botolbari-Dhantola detail as indicated before, but I doubt with the information posted above, anyone will be interested in it. But it did provide a lucrative and timesaving alternative to going through Dalkhola, but with the Dumka-Bhagalpur route, one does not need to bother about it!

Still if anyone is interested, let me know, I can later go ahead and post that as well.
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
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Old 8th November 2014, 14:24   #8
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Verdict : I will take the Dumka Bhagalpur route on the way back (Its about 100km longer but takes shorter time and is far less stressful on man and machine).
But I was told that the stretch between Hansdiha and Bhagalpore is too much bad! Please post your observations. Though I am also told that the road immediately north of Bikramshila bridge is bad, it does not concern me much, as I prefer to take the "Tetri Durga Mandir" bypass.
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Old 11th November 2014, 12:24   #9
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I was thinking of taking this route in December, but after your post I will stick to Bhagalpur.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
But I was told that the stretch between Hansdiha and Bhagalpore is too much bad! Please post your observations. Though I am also told that the road immediately north of Bikramshila bridge is bad, it does not concern me much, as I prefer to take the "Tetri Durga Mandir" bypass.

I used the Dumka Bhagalpur route yesterday on the way back from Siliguri.

To provide a proper assessment, lets just say that out of the total 665kms door to door, the first 253kms from Hotel Mainak at Siliguri to Vaibhav Inn on the outskirts of Bhagalpur took exactly 3 hours sharp (used the Tetri Durga Mandir road).

The next 412 kms took a stagerring 9 and half hours. With a total drive time of 12.5 hours (including 40 mins of railway crossing time - 32 minutes static for no reason at Siuri and 8 mins at Burdwan)

The stretch between Hansdiha and Bhagalpur is bad but not as bad as the Itahar-Raiganj section (where you simply have to crawl)

However, we were a little unlucky yesterday to have been facing blocks everywhere, including the Durgapur Expressway (where 2 accidents caused delays and unusually high truck traffic on way to Kolkata after Azad Hind)

However, even then, if I am given a choice today to take a route to Siliguri, I will take the Bhagalpur route. It does have its stoppages, but you do get stretches to drive on, unlike the steady crawl on NH34 (Especially between Farakka and Malda)





Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
whereas it was only 33 kmph for the Farakka-Raiganj section of NH-34, as you have covered 111 km in 3 hour and 20 minutes .
Thats how statistics can be skewed!! If I were to remove the sugar coating, the Farakka entry to Malda exit took a little over 2 hours for a 45km run, thats 22kmph for two straight hours back to back, nothing beats the stress it induces!

However this route, within the coming years will probably be "the route to take" to Siliguri.

One thing we did not understand, that there were many places on the NH34 which had a wide spaces for the 4-laning to have been extended to those, Infact, Approach to Kaliachowk has for most parts, quite a lot of unutilised space on each side of the NH34. Even Itahar to Raiganj does not seem to have width restrictions, so not sure why there has been no work on either surfacing or widening of those sections.


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
Will do shortly
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Old 11th November 2014, 15:25   #10
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Thats how statistics can be skewed!! If I were to remove the sugar coating, the Farakka entry to Malda exit took a little over 2 hours for a 45km run, thats 22kmph for two straight hours back to back, nothing beats the stress it induces!

However this route, within the coming years will probably be "the route to take" to Siliguri.
Yes, I agree with you. Farakka-Malda stretch is currently in horrible condition. The real problem actually begins from Kaliachak College More which is about 7 km after the end of Farakka bridge.

Let me share two routes that are being used by locals nowadays between Kaliachak and Malda. Unfortunately, even to access these two routes one needs to endure at least 2 KMs of bad road up to Kaliachak Chowrangee More.

(1). Kaliachak-Mothabari-Sadullapur-Malda This route is around 3 KM longer than full NH-34. However, you will avoid around 16 KMs of horrible stretch. Nowadays, many private vehicles are using this route for commuting between Kaliachak and Malda. These state roads have been widened and resurfaced recently. Here is the screenshot of the route 1:
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-r1.png


(1). Kaliachak-Mothabari-Amrity-Malda This route is around 9 KM longer but you will avoid around 21 KMs of bad road. At the end of this route, you will see the approach to Malda flyover. Take the flyover to cross both railway line and NH-34. Then take a u-turn at the circle immediately after the end of the flyover. Then merge back to NH-34. The surface of this entire stretch is reasonably good to very good. Here is the screenshot of the route 2:
Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes-r2.png

Given these routes pass through small settlements, you may have to drive bit slowly at stretches but it will be much better than current NH-34.
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Old 11th November 2014, 16:12   #11
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Given these routes pass through small settlements, you may have to drive bit slowly at stretches but it will be much better than current NH-34.
You are right. But the main problem is the uncertainty of the origin of the congestion. On my onward journey, the congestion was due 3 truck breakdown 2 kms before Kaliachak crossing. While on my return, the congestion was much earlier than Jadupur (same reason). So, in both cases I wouldn't have reached the point of making use of those routes.
The routes you have mentioned surely would provide better road (although I haven't traveled on them) than NH34, but surely it can't insure against the time lost due to congestion.
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Old 11th November 2014, 19:50   #12
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Thanks for the update Anirbanda. I was always curious about the SH-7 route from Burdwan to Moregram. But now, I am certain that I am not going to try it any time soon.
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Old 11th November 2014, 20:38   #13
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Let me share two routes that are being used by locals nowadays between Kaliachak and Malda. Unfortunately, even to access these two routes one needs to endure at least 2 KMs of bad road up to Kaliachak Chowrangee More.
Jalpaiguri - Siliguri from time to time is in equally deplorable condition. So traffic (including trucks) started using similar backroads, damaging these pretty fast. Like a locust swarm, the heavy trucks chew up one road, and then move onto the next. More importantly, this enraged the locals, who put up roadblocks, and then some miscreants started extorting 'tolls'. Hope that sequence does not follow in this case.

Regards
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Old 12th November 2014, 12:40   #14
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Came back from a two day return trip to and from Malda last weekend.
The onwards journey was taken through NH34. The experience have been documented here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34).
The return journey was via this route (Morgram-SH7-Burdwan). Although the experience has been neatly documented by Anirban da (1100D) who took the trip 2 days prior to me, but I will like share my two cents:

1) The road surface has deteriorated significantly after my last trip on May 2014 through this route. One can find about 25 kms of very good
surface now, but that is it. Rest are in shambles.

2) I found a lot of places in this route where the work is in progress. So mostly across these stretches its basically a single way traffic at a
time.
But the most important part -The nature of work being carried out is not merely patching. The roads are being excavated up to 2-3 feet
deep with heavy Komatsu's in action.
Is it a part of this?

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 12th November 2014 at 12:53.
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Old 12th November 2014, 13:35   #15
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Default re: Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
Thanks for the update Anirbanda. I was always curious about the SH-7 route from Burdwan to Moregram. But now, I am certain that I am not going to try it any time soon.
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.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Came back from a two day return trip to and from Malda last weekend.
The onwards journey was taken through NH34. The experience have been documented here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34).
The return journey was via this route (Morgram-SH7-Burdwan). Although the experience has been neatly documented by Anirban da (1100D) who took the trip 2 days prior to me, but I will like share my two cents:

1) The road surface has deteriorated significantly after my last trip on May 2014 through this route. One can find about 25 kms of very good
surface now, but that is it. Rest are in shambles.

2) I found a lot of places in this route where the work is in progress. So mostly across these stretches its basically a single way traffic at a
time.
But the most important part -The nature of work being carried out is not merely patching. The roads are being excavated up to 2-3 feet
deep with heavy Komatsu's in action.
Is it a part of this?

My reservation was mostly on the NH34 section of the drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Verdict : I will take the Dumka Bhagalpur route on the way back (Its about 100km longer but takes shorter time and is far less stressful on man and machine).



Depending on any part of NH34 is ruled out for me in the near future.
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