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Old 1st August 2007, 00:16   #16
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Thanks Abhi/Kumar. My preliminary plan was as follows:

Day 1 - Delhi - Udaipur
Day 2 - Udaipur - Mumbai
Day 3 - Rest in Mumbai (Stay with family)
Day 4 - Mumbai -Hubli
Day 5 - Hubli - Mangalore
Day 6 - Attend Friend's Wedding.
Day 7 - Day 15 Open for suggestions (please keep them coming).

NK.
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Old 1st August 2007, 08:31   #17
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Originally Posted by nkapoor777 View Post
Thanks Abhi/Kumar. My preliminary plan was as follows:

Day 1 - Delhi - Udaipur
Day 2 - Udaipur - Mumbai
Day 3 - Rest in Mumbai (Stay with family)
Day 4 - Mumbai -Hubli
Day 5 - Hubli - Mangalore
Day 6 - Attend Friend's Wedding.
Day 7 - Day 15 Open for suggestions (please keep them coming).

NK.
ANy particular reason to stay in Hubli? There is nothing there, Mumbai to Hubli will take you just 6 hours, I suggest you drive another 2 hours and stay in Gokarna or Murudeshwar, see the beach and enjoy, have darshan...You can start Gokarna/Murudeshwar - Mangalore drive after lunch on Day5...Have some nice photoshoot at Maravanthe stretch where Nh17 bisects between river and sea like below...


Day7: Mangalore - Goa
Day8-9: Stay in Goa and roam around (read my goa travelogue and chalk out a plan for Goa interiors)
Day10: Goa - Ganapatipule/Mahabaleshwar
Day11: Ganapatipule - Mumbai
Day12: Stay with family
Day13: Mumbai - Udaipur
Day14: Udaipur - Delhi
Day15: Full rest in home
Day16: Back to office
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Old 2nd August 2007, 09:44   #18
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ANy particular reason to stay in Hubli? There is nothing there, Mumbai to Hubli will take you just 6 hours, I suggest you drive another 2 hours and stay in Gokarna or Murudeshwar, see the beach and enjoy, have darshan.
No particular reason Abhi.I figured out that the distance between Mumbai and hubli is about 600 kms. Didn't wanna stretch that drive. Thanks for the alternatives.

I am travelling these days, with mobile being my only internet gateway. Haven't yet had a look at your goa travelogue. It would be helpful if you could paste a link for that here. Thanks for all the help again.

NK.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 11:11   #19
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I went from Bombay to Ahmedabad and back yesterday on NH8/NE1.
Road conditions are awful in some places and journey time is increased - from my best timing of 6.5 hours (550 kms), I found that I could do the trip non-stop in 7.5 hours onward (400 am-1130 am) and 8.5 hours return (300 pm-1130 pm), which is around pre-GQ timings.
A recap of the road conditions, Ahmedabad downwards:
NE-1, the Ahmedabad-Vadodara expessway is fantastic as usual, whose 100 kms I did in 45 minutes onward, 40 minutes return. But once you join the Vadodara Bypass on NH8, the bad news start. The road is very bad but there are several places where one side of the dual carriageway is closed and traffic is forced on to 1/2 lanes. This cramping is compounded by bad traffic management at 2/3 intersections on the bypass. Had to shut engine off, and crawled through the bypass with a 30 minute delay.
From Vadodara to Surat, road is bad, with many potholes. You have to be very watchful and cannot have speeds more than 100 kmph. Plus, it kept raining on and off incessantly making the drive all the more bad.
The first happy news is that both bridges on the River Narmada are open and there is no congestion there now (was very bad last week). Road shoulders are terrible and one has to be careful not to get too close to the middle divider which is also broken (with debris strewn around).
The second happy news is that at last they have started the widening work on the Vadodara bypass-Surat stretch and I can see considerable progress in clearing the land on both sides of the road (alas,lots of trees have been cut down). L&T appears to be the contractor and I saw work going on at several places. One of the good things about this construction is that the toll gates for this stretch have been closed down and one can save some change!
There is hardly progress on the River Tapi bridge near Surat, work has been going on for some years now and I don't see any change.
From Surat onwards, the road is great all the way to Vapi and Manor, just 55 kms short of Ghodbunder (and almost Bombay border).
Looks like an earthquake ripped apart the road from Manor onwards, particularly the last 30 kms approaching Ghodbunder. Vehicles are waltzing around in a drunken fashion all over the road and speeds are reduced to 10-20 kmph on first gear. Looks like someone will have to storm the toll gate and make them stop collecting toll for this fantastic roller coaster experience. The deterioraion in this road has been the worst I have seen in several years and I am afraid that we won't see any repair work happen till at least September unless the rains dry out in the next 2-3 weeks. For those going in the South-North direction, the news is brighter, the road is mostly intact.
Therefore, all those who plan to drive on NH8 (friends from Bangalore/South/Delhi driving to West India, please note) are cautioned that road conditions are bad, traffic congestion/ jams excrutiating and speeds slow.
And the final word is that Gujarat cops nab you for not having the yellow sticker on your RHS headlamp - India is surely become like US of A with each State imposing its own rules and preying on outstation cars to make some easy money - strangely though I found that none of the heavy vehciles in Ahmedabad had the yellow stickers.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 14:09   #20
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Kumar, thanks for the update. Some more details on this sticker would be helpful. Have not understood the pasting of sticker on RHS H/L. Where is it stuck & what purpose would it serve?

I remember in June last when I drove to Mumbai, in some place in GJ (don't recall now) was stopped by some cops on the highway passing through the city. They were standing under some banner that proclaimed that a drive was going on for all healdlights to be half blackened. No sooner than I stopped a jerk with a brush & paint darted to the front to paint the HLs.

I jumped out and caught him by the scruff of the neck and pulled him away and hollered - This is my car and before you touch seek my permission. Probably the cops too hadn't seen such defiance. One senior lookin guy ambled across and said that a traffic safety week os on progress.

I told him that I am tourist and I'm not supposed to know about such drives happening across the nation and in any case am not a resident of thta city. Since I'm passing through enroute to Mumbai this rule doesn't apply to me. I know that I was talking through my hat but somehow that guy bought this and let me go.

I would like to know what is to be done in case one encounters such drives or directions in force in various cities/towns enroute to a destination by road?

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
And the final word is that Gujarat cops nab you for not having the yellow sticker on your RHS headlamp - India is surely become like US of A with each State imposing its own rules and preying on outstation cars to make some easy money - strangely though I found that none of the heavy vehciles in Ahmedabad had the yellow stickers.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 14:38   #21
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Kumar, thanks for the update. Some more details on this sticker would be helpful. Have not understood the pasting of sticker on RHS H/L. Where is it stuck & what purpose would it serve?


I would like to know what is to be done in case one encounters such drives or directions in force in various cities/towns enroute to a destination by road?

This sort of thing is normal all over India, each State's cop harasses you with talk of some local regulation or the other. The best way to handle this to give him some chai-paani and escape the scene. Yesterday, at Ahmedabad, I was levied a fine of Rs 100 and actually given a receipt! This is the first time I have ever been stopped in Gujarat (maybe the month-end targets had something to do with this sudden law-enforcement drive). It has happened to me in Punjab (same sticker issue), Delhi (glass etching), etc.

The sticker I referred to is the one that they keep on the extreme edge of the RHS hadlamp to cut the glare. I think you should accept this as part of Indian reality and not lose your cool, best is to pay up and get on with your trip.

For isntance, whever I cross over from Goa to Karnataka towards Karwar on NH17 (or vice versa), I have been singled out (MH registration) and money extorted - plus I have o enter my horsocope in some register and pay money without receipt. 4 times of 5 I have been through this. I never asked why, maybe they think that I am privileged to encounter them.

Tamil Nadu is the worst - 6 months ago I was in Ooty, the cop insisted hat I was a taxi-driver (since my car is a Scorpio) and wanted a small fine of Rs 5,000. Or if you happen to travel to South TN, they harass you in the name of LTTE (apparently, anyone from outside the State is a LTTE terrorists - something funny, since I thought all LTTE terrorists are supposed to be Tamil!!!!).

I have also been stopped in Kerala while driving through late at night and interrogated in the name of security, etc etc.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 17:55   #22
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i like the LTTE story :-) Brainless nuts. LTTE speak a more pure form of Tamil than a lot of Tamilians.

I just came back from a drive there. Didn't get caught. Missed the fun.

Great updates on the GQ
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Old 1st September 2007, 17:01   #23
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Another update on the road conditions in Ahmedabad-Bombay on NH8.

The least one can say is, please AVOID any drives on this road for the time being till the roads are repaired post-monsoons.

I went from Bombay-Ahmedabad in 7.5 hours, but returned night in 11 hours, both non-stop. My normal time on this route is 6.5 hours, so you can imagine how bad the road is.

Problem areas are:

Baroda bypass - widening is going on, and some flyovers (Halol crossing) are being built. There is absolute anarchy at these crossings. I lost 30 minutes in traffic jams in this stretch, switch off the engine and wait. In many places, the dual carriageway gets compressed into a 2-lane road. Maybe, the better idea may be to enter Baroda city at the North end of the expressway and exit at the south end (assuming you know your way around Baroda city).

Ankleshwar town: Lost 45 minutes here, jam-packed. Saved a lot of time snuggling along the road shoulders that are dangerously pitted and pot-holed and one wrong move can capsixe the car. Could find no major reason for the jam except that road narrows down to 2-lane and everything is a mess, especially if a vehicle breaks down.

Surat bypass: Approaching Surat town turn-off was a 3-4 km traffic jam, where I lost 1 hour. Maybe I could have saved a few minutes by getting into the wrong side of the road but that looked very dangerous with lots of traffic rushing through. All one can do is to switch off the engine and wait. The reason for the jam turned out to be quite silly, traffic being stoped at the junction - I did not see any major traffic flow anywhere but on the NH8, and could not figure out why the traffic was being stopped repeatedly. In any case, 2-3 non-uniformed men with lathis were controlling the traffic, no policemen in sight

Manor-Ghodbunder Road: This turned out to be the biggest horror story. Road is almostly fully washed out in some parts (especially beyond the toll gate), and I had my sump guard coming off (remember the Scorpio has very good ground clearance, yet I hit the sump guard). The road has worsened since I went by less than a month ago, and the only reason for it is poor drainage of water in the North-South direction (towards Ahmedabad, the road is in a better shape).

I deliberated whether I should take the Manor-Wada-Bhiwandi-Thane- Bombay route, but I decided against it because that road also takes a beating during the rains and I thought it best to stick on to NH8 at night.

So much of love and affection for the GQ - this is the state of the GQ just 1 year after NH8 has been fully commisisoned in the Bombay-Ahmedabad sector. Night driving is hazardous, the road dividers are broken badly in many places, calling for sudden detours and there are no reflectors or warning signs to mark the divided road, making the drive one big lottery, especially since it was raining heavily in many stretches.

The Surat-Baroda route is being widened and the main work is yet to begin, I can't imagine how messy it is going to be - they have just now chopped off all the road-side trees, real work is yet to begin. Looks like Indian highay engineers need a crash course on how to build flyovers without messing around the whole area with debris and construction equipment.

It took me from 2 pm - 10 pm driving from Thane-Ahmedabad and 4 pm-3 am driving back.

I wish to take a minute off to pray for all those victims of this haphazardous construction activity that has resulted in many accidents. What a cost for building better roads that crack up within 1 year of construction!
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Old 20th September 2007, 10:57   #24
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Another update on the road conditions in Ahmedabad-Bombay on NH8.

The least one can say is, please AVOID any drives on this road for the time being till the roads are repaired post-monsoons.
Kumar,
Looks like I escaped the worst in terms of timing. Had I postponed my trip, waiting for the roads to be improved/repaired after the rains, I would have been stuck!

Yes, at times, the state of the much touted GQ and it's maintenance seems far fetched. I mean, how difficult is it to construct and maintain roads in regions which are known to be prone to water logging etc?

Gears,
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Old 29th June 2009, 14:07   #25
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Default Chennai to Delhi via Hyd, Nagpur, Gwalior, Agra.

I did a Chennai to Delhi in my skoda octavia on May 01 2009. The roads are good for around 85%. Stick to the main highways and do not think of saving distance by short cuts.

NH5, NH9, NH 7, NH26, NH75, NH3, NH2.. All in this order.

Blogged my trip at chennai2delhi.blogspot.com with lots of tips for long driving.

If you need extensive road conditions details, you will have to wait for my post on this thread. I am working on it from my notes that i took during my drive.
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Old 29th June 2009, 14:27   #26
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Yes, I agree, the route via Gwalior, Jhansi, Bhopal is the best route for the moment - till hopefully the NS corrdior is completed via Laknadon.
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Old 4th April 2011, 14:43   #27
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Default re: Delhi -> Chennai

I plan to do a road trip to Delhi from Chennai in October 2011 to catch the F1 Grand Prix at Noida.

I want to keep the travel time minimalist and stay at Delhi for 2 nights. I am thinking of driving 1000kms a day. On my return I can stretch to 1200kms a day too.

The car I'll be using for this drive is Chevrolet Cruze LTZ.

I will need help from members here who have done such trips before and most importantly from HVKumar. The current road conditions. I want to stick to only NH for most part of the journey. I dont mind doing an extra 50-100kms if I have to stick to NH. Also some info on night stops will be good and some food joints on the way. I prefer decent accommodation. I want to bye pass big cities in non-peak hours.

Some research that I have done is I can either go via Bangalore Pune Thane Surat Udaipur and Jaipur. Approx distance 2700kms.

The other route is via Vijaywada Hyderabad Nagpur Jhansi Gwalior Agra.Approx 2100kms.

I do not have any idea about this route. The road conditions. Safety aspect.

Pls suggest best route for Chennai-Delhi.
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Old 4th April 2011, 15:00   #28
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Default re: Delhi -> Chennai

Stick to Chennai-Bangalore-Pune-Mumbai-Surat-Baroda-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Chittaurgarh-Kishengarh-Jaipur-Delhi.

4 laned all the way and most of the major cities/towns are bypassed.Road conditions are excellent

Day 1,you can target for stay at Belgaum.Day 2 at Ahmedabad or if you can stretch it,then stay at Himmatnagar.Day 3 you would be in Delhi.

At Belgaum,you can stay at Sankam Residency and at Ahmedabad Hotel Anjali or if Himmatnagar,then Hotel Landmark.
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Old 4th April 2011, 19:19   #29
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Thank You Red One.

I ll need to have more details of the NH. Probably hvkumar can guide me.
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Old 4th April 2011, 22:52   #30
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Default re: Delhi -> Chennai

It would be better if you go via Banglore- Mumbai -Ahmedabad-Chittaurgarh-Jaipur-Delhi.
I had travelled from Hyderabad to Delhi 2months back Hyderabad-Nagpur is almost 4lane.
Nagpur-Bhopal-Guna -Gwalior is regular dual carriage national highway a lot of time will be lost driving in this stretch.Lots of traffic on Bhopal-Gwalior stretch.
Gwalior-Delhi almost four lane but heavy traffic.
I do not know the status of Nagpur-Sagar-Gwalior where four lane is in progress.
Long journeys on four lane is better than by dual carriage national highways
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