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Old 18th January 2012, 19:11   #61
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Default re: Mumbai - Kolkata : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by deepakkher View Post
just completed a drive from durgapur to pune via Balasore, Bargarh(near Sambalpur), Pulgaon and Pune.
Please excuse me from being too inquisitive, how did you go to Balasore from Durgapur? Did you take the Raniganj-Kharagpur road? If so, what is the condition of the road at present?
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Old 19th January 2012, 20:53   #62
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i went via Dankuni, the road from Raniganj to Kharagpur is NH on paper only
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Old 13th April 2012, 14:54   #63
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Default re: Mumbai - Kolkata : Route Queries

Hi,

Plan to drive from Mumbai to Kolkata around the 10th of May 2012. Will be driving a Yeti 4x4. Would like to travel via Varanasi on the way to Kolkata. Plan to stop a couple of nights there. Loved Fauji's description on a different thread. On the way back would like to come through Sambalpur, Raipur, etc. If possible would not mind coming through Jabalpur or Bandhavgarh. Would prefer not to do too much night driving.

Would request suggestions on route and halts please. Ideally if I were to go through MP on my way to Varanasi, would like to take my first halt at Guna (is this do-able?). In December had driven in 9 hours (door to door) to Indore.

Thanks
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Old 13th April 2012, 17:45   #64
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Default re: Mumbai - Kolkata : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by satrab View Post
Hi,

Plan to drive from Mumbai to Kolkata around the 10th of May 2012. Will be driving a Yeti 4x4. Would like to travel via Varanasi on the way to Kolkata. Plan to stop a couple of nights there. Loved Fauji's description on a different thread. On the way back would like to come through Sambalpur, Raipur, etc. If possible would not mind coming through Jabalpur or Bandhavgarh. Would prefer not to do too much night driving.

Would request suggestions on route and halts please. Ideally if I were to go through MP on my way to Varanasi, would like to take my first halt at Guna (is this do-able?). In December had driven in 9 hours (door to door) to Indore.

Thanks
I am not sure if you can make it to Varanasi in a day starting from Mumbai. its close to 1600 kms and probably it would take at least 20 hours of driving on the most optimistic side. I am not sure which route you are taking from Mumbai to Varanasi NH3-NH2 or NH6-NH7-NH2, either way sections of these roads can be bad and/or have enough traffic to slow your progress considerably. You might have to break earlier. Experts who have done this route can give you a better idea on this.

If you want to do Jabalpur/Bandhavgarh I might suggest it to combine it with Varanasi as then you can use NH6-NH7-NH2. If you want to do Varanasi only in one leg and then Jabalpur/Bandhavgarh in the leg where you travel through Sambalpur/Raipur then you might have to drive through some really average to broken roads in Chattisgarh unless you come to Nagpur all the way and then go up towards Jabalpur/Bandhavgarh.

Might be a good idea for you to post some more details about your plan and there are enough experts who have done these stretches to give you sound advice
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Old 13th April 2012, 18:53   #65
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Default re: Mumbai - Kolkata : Route Queries

Sorry, if I was not very clear. What I planned was to travel from Mumbai to Guna on day 1. Stop for the night at Guna. The next day go to Varanasi and stay for 2 nights. Next travel to Kolkata, with a short detour to Bodh Gaya (understand that its not too far from NH2).

The plan from Kolkata to Mumbai is still very unclear. Would like to come thorugh Orissa and Chattisgarh to Nagpur, but if the roads are not good or safe, then could do an alternate route. I am quite fine not doing Jabalpur. Been there earlier.

Basically the trip, for me, is the destination. So would love to see things, even if it means taking an additional day on the journey.
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Old 14th April 2012, 08:10   #66
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Default re: Mumbai - Kolkata : Route Queries

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Sorry, if I was not very clear. What I planned was to travel from Mumbai to Guna on day 1. Stop for the night at Guna. The next day go to Varanasi and stay for 2 nights. Next travel to Kolkata, with a short detour to Bodh Gaya (understand that its not too far from NH2).
This sounds much better and doable. Yes I think Bodh Gaya should be doable en-route from Varanasi to Kolkata provided you start early from Varanasi and don't intend to spend a lot of time in Bodh Gaya. I think you have to take NH83 on the left after crossing Sherghati on NH2. Remember that on NH2 the biggest jam that you will most likely encounter is at a place called Panagarh after crossing Durgapur. Lots and lots of truck and local traffic clog up the highway and you can easily lose 1-2 hours crossing a mere 3-4 kms stretch so might be advisable to plan your trip in such a way to cross Panagarh before sundown because after dusk it is absolute mayhem. Also it gets very difficult at night navigating the very heavy truck traffic on NH2 just before Kolkata. Keep these aspects in mind.

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The plan from Kolkata to Mumbai is still very unclear. Would like to come thorugh Orissa and Chattisgarh to Nagpur, but if the roads are not good or safe, then could do an alternate route. I am quite fine not doing Jabalpur. Been there earlier.
While returning from Kolkata via NH6 towards Nagpur its a much better idea to get off NH6 at Kharagpur and get on NH60 through Jaleswar, then NH5 and then NH42 to reach Sambalpur. Here is the link to the route. NH6 through most of Jharkhand and Orissa till Sambalpur is a total car breaker and even SUVs would be difficult hence should not be taken unless you hate your car and family (if they are traveling with you ). This alternate route is way better. Only thing while driving through Orissa (which you have to drive through anyway) is to watch out for corrupt transport department officials who demand a road tax of about Rs 1000 even from vehicles passing through Orissa. This tax is totally illegal and they try their best to intimidate and force it from vehicles specially with non Orissa registrations. Just make sure you stand your ground and refuse even better else just drive off. All you need to pay in Orissa is toll which will be hardly above Rs 40. There are quite a few travelogues and posts here in this forum who have detailed out the roads and experience on this NH60-NH5-NH42 stretch. Most of this stretch is 4 laned and very easy to drive apart for some speed breakers. Roads through Chattisgarh towards Jabalpur after Sambalpur are known to be bad (local roads and state highways) though I have not taken them and add to that this is typically Maoist territory. I guess going to Mumbai you have to make two stops one at Sambalpur/Raipur and the other at Nagpur. Sections of NH6 between Sambalpur till Raipur are broken but driveable (check travelogues here). Not much to see or do on NH6 except for lots of truck traffic .
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Old 14th April 2012, 10:48   #67
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Default re: Mumbai - Kolkata : Route Queries

Driving Bombay-Varanasi in a day, whichever route you take, is impossible.

Of the routes that you may wish to consider, you may like to consider the following:

Route #1: Bombay-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Chittorgarh-Kota-Jhansi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi
That is the semi-GQ route - and 4 laned all the way! But definitely very long.
But if driving is your goal, you can do this in 2 days, staying overnight at Chittorgarh on Day and aiming to reach Varanasi on the late evening of Day 2.

Route #2: Bombay-Indore-Guna-Jhansi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi
Between #1 and #2, I would go with #1 any day. This route has lots of 2 lanes, is messy with truck traffic, poor facilities, etc. Reaching Guna on Day 1 is going to be difficult (but you will, at the end of an exhausting day), and there will be no significant time gains compared with #1.

Route #3: Bombay-Nagpur-Jabalpur-Rewa-Varanasi
Central India route, mostly 2-laned, has lots of bad sections (Nagpur-Seoni, Rewa-Varanasi), poor facilities, trucker route. Plus, you will see this route partly to return from Calcutta too. You can do at best Seoni on Day 1, and of course Varanasi on Day 2.

For Calcutta-Bombay:
The conventional NH6-NH3 route is fine, with the re-routing through NH60-NH5-NH42 suggested by samarjitdhar.
I would like to add one more suggestion. On Nagpur-Dhel rute, turn off at Amaravati and come via Karanja, Mehekar, Jalna, Aurangabad to Bombay, which is least traffic, excellent, but no-facilities route.
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Old 14th April 2012, 12:08   #68
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Default re: Mumbai - Kolkata : Route Queries

Thanks @hvkumar. Thanks @samarjitdhar.

Was planning to do route 1 as suggested by @hvkumar, but having heard horror stories of the Bharuch/Ankleswar bit and also of the Golden Bridge was a little diffident about taking that route. I guess was also a bit carried away by my drive to Indore in December 2011, which I did in 9 hours. The road was also great and relatively less traffic. As an alternate is it feasible to reach Chittorgarh via Nasik, Dhule, Dhar and Ratlam in a day? After that would be Route 1.

@samarjitdhar thanks for the feedback on the Orissa/Chattisgarh route. Also read another post of yours on Allahabad/Jabalpur/Nagpur thread. Am very tempted to follow that route to Bhandhavgarh. Had been there a couple of years ago and it was an amazing experience. Am very tempted to stay there. As an alternate could follow Route 1 all the way back, but don't really want to do that. This of course has the advantage of avoiding the red belt.

On my way to Kolkata am actually thinking that it might be good idea to go to Bishnupur from Burdwan and see the terracotta temples.
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Old 14th April 2012, 15:20   #69
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@samarjitdhar thanks for the feedback on the Orissa/Chattisgarh route. Also read another post of yours on Allahabad/Jabalpur/Nagpur thread. Am very tempted to follow that route to Bhandhavgarh. Had been there a couple of years ago and it was an amazing experience. Am very tempted to stay there. As an alternate could follow Route 1 all the way back, but don't really want to do that. This of course has the advantage of avoiding the red belt.
You're welcome. I am not sure if you went through my travelogue here (When Bagheera met Shere Khan - Trip To The Heart Of Incredible India) where I have covered this route in detail. If you have time in your hand and want to do Bandhavgarh during this time you will have a very good chance of sightings. Do keep 2 days (four safaris) at least in hand for Bandhavgarh. You will also love the roads in MP going to Bandhavgarh. They are a dream to drive.

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On my way to Kolkata am actually thinking that it might be good idea to go to Bishnupur from Burdwan and see the terracotta temples.
It might be a huge stretch if you want to do Bodh Gaya as well as Bishnupur the same day while trying to reach Kolkata. For reaching Bishnupur the best is to turn right from Durgapur and take SH9 (don't look at Google Maps for this as they have messed up with the marking of SH9 and clubbed it with SH7) towards Bankura and then following NH60 on the left from Bankura till Bishnupur. Be warned that NH60 is broken in this part of West Bengal. Also there will be lot of local traffic in this route which will slow your progress. You will have to again come back the same way to get back on NH2 and then go to Kolkata. Going from Bishnupur to Kolkata is possible through local highways but again these are in a bad shape AFAIK and again a lot of traffic . If I were you, I wouldn't try to do Bishnupur and stick only to Bodh Gaya as going to just Bishnupur en-route to Kolkata is really tough trying to make it the same day.

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Old 14th April 2012, 18:47   #70
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Thanks. Just went through the travelogue. All I can say is Wow.

Was in Bandhavgarh in October 2008. Lehman collapsing, markets meltdown, all meant that the place wasn't very crowded. Did three safaris. Had sightings each time. One was of a tigress with her two cubs. It was majestic.

Point noted about Bodh Gaya and Bishnupur the same day. I guess if we really decide to do Bishnupur, will stay there. Possibly my parents and in-laws will join us there from Calcutta. In any case, am sure my wife would hate me if I don't give a lot of time to shop for Balucharis in Bishnupur (not to soeak of Banarasi silks in Banaras)
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Old 14th April 2012, 19:44   #71
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As an alternate is it feasible to reach Chittorgarh via Nasik, Dhule, Dhar and Ratlam in a day? After that would be Route 1.
That will be tough, since the Indore-Chittorgarh road is not as fast as the NH8 option, also has lots of miscellaneous traffic by day, so you would get slowed down considerably. YOu can turn off NH3 from Dhar bypass and go via Pithampura to Lebad to avoid Indore and road sections in that route.
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Old 15th April 2012, 00:04   #72
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Point noted about Bodh Gaya and Bishnupur the same day. I guess if we really decide to do Bishnupur, will stay there.
I suggest that you may seek accommodation at the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation's hotel in Bishnupur. It is the closest one from the temples and has ample car parking facilities inside the boundary. And last time when I took the Durgapur Bankura road about four months ago, although I only went up to Bankura, the road was slightly broken but manageable.

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Old 16th April 2012, 15:48   #73
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That will be tough, since the Indore-Chittorgarh road is not as fast as the NH8 option, also has lots of miscellaneous traffic by day, so you would get slowed down considerably. YOu can turn off NH3 from Dhar bypass and go via Pithampura to Lebad to avoid Indore and road sections in that route.
Dear HVKsa'ab. Thanks. That was what I proposing to do. Would you think that using this route I would get to Udaipur/Chittorgarh in a day. Plan to start from Mumbai at about 5 am.

A wild thought sir -- how would the roads from Bhopal to Jhansi be? If this is decent, would like to stay the night at Bhopal and then go to Jhansi. Basically what I'm trying to do is to cover as much distance as I can on day 1, so that on day 2 I don't reach Varanasi at some unearthly hour.

@Rahul4640. Thanks for the suggestion about the WBTDC hotel.
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Old 16th April 2012, 21:36   #74
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And last time when I took the Durgapur Bankura road about four months ago, although I only went up to Bankura, the road was slightly broken but manageable.
Hi,
I did Durgapur - Bankura in Dec 2011. The road had just been relaid, and it was a pleasure driving on it. When did you go?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 16th April 2012, 21:45   #75
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Dear HVKsa'ab. Thanks. That was what I proposing to do. Would you think that using this route I would get to Udaipur/Chittorgarh in a day. Plan to start from Mumbai at about 5 am.

A wild thought sir -- how would the roads from Bhopal to Jhansi be? If this is decent, would like to stay the night at Bhopal and then go to Jhansi. Basically what I'm trying to do is to cover as much distance as I can on day 1, so that on day 2 I don't reach Varanasi at some unearthly hour.

@Rahul4640. Thanks for the suggestion about the WBTDC hotel.
I think it will be very very difficult to reach Udaipur/Chittorgarh via Indore the same day, unless you drive very late. If you take the Ahmedabad route, you can easily reach Chittorgarh the same day.

Bhopal-Sagar-Jhansi road is very bad in some places before Sagar. Avoid.

o cover max distance the same day, take the NH8 route only, if you are fast, you can reach Kota the same day. My friend drove yesterday from Bombay to Ajmer (430 am - 830 pm), so you know what I mean.
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