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Old 12th July 2007, 18:34   #1
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Question Delhi - Chennai : Route Queries

Hi,

I am driving from Delhi to Chennai, route is as follows:

Day 1: Saturday 14th July: Delhi to Ahmedabad/Gandhi Nagar via Jaipur/Udaipur (~900 km)
Day 2: Sunday 15th July: Ahmedabad to Hubli via Mumbai (~1100 km)
Day 3: Monday 16th July: Hubli to Chennai via Bangalore (~800 km)

I'll be doing this solo and vehicle is my Landcruiser 80. Can people who have current information on the road conditions along this route please update me? I have been hearing/seeing reports of flooding in Rajasthan/Gujarat/Maharashtra but looks like the rains have abated a bit so the flooding should be over now. How are the roads post the flooding?

Gears,
Red-One.
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Old 12th July 2007, 20:52   #2
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I know from NHAI that Delhi - Mumbai is complete....
and Mumbai to Belgaum will be a breeze, Belgaum to Bangalore (read my goa travelogue) and Bangalore to Chennai is a breeze...

For further info, ask hvkumar....Mumbai - Delhi is like his territory...

Abhi
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Old 12th July 2007, 21:00   #3
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Recent info on Bombay-Bangalore is that the Davangere bypass continues to be bad, but happily both Haveri and Ranebennur bypasses are complete.

Delhi-Bombay, no current update, but normally after a spell of heavy rains, expect terrible roads between Vadodara and Surat.
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Old 12th July 2007, 21:54   #4
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Between Belguam and Bangalore roads aprox. 70km are in bad condition still getting ready or work is stoped, around 40km no 4 lane highway (few bypass roads.).

Bad roads :

Between Hubli and Haveri (20km).
between Harihar and Ranebennur (25km)
between davengere and chitradurga (35km)
Tumkur Bypass (4km)

Apart from these bad stretches there are unexpected not finished diversions and sudden no entry spots.

Few finished 4 lane roads are not released so the result tractors/ 2 wheelers come in wrong direction.

Still this GQ 4 lane is dream not ready fully may be in 2 years it will take.

You can see the details here as well: Welcome to NHAI

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 13th July 2007, 08:39   #5
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yep, the stretch between hubli and hiriyur continous to remain bad!
Delhi-Mumbai is complete 4lane with an expressway between ahm and baroda. The roads may be a lil bad around surat due to rains.

Mumbai-Pune :expressway
Pune-Hubli : dream roads
Hubli-Hiriyur : some real bad stretches includin a railway crossin!
Then on, its again a good smooth drive
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Old 13th July 2007, 13:11   #6
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Thanks all the replies. So around Surat and after Hubli 100 odd km's are possible bad roads. That I can live with.

Kumar, thanks for the SMS. Waiting for any other updates.

Gears,
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Old 18th July 2007, 10:30   #7
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Default Completed the drive

I completed the drive with more or less the same plan as mentioned in 1st post.

Day 1: Saturday 14th July: Delhi to Surat via Ahmedabad/Udaipur/Jaipur (~1200 km in 19 hours). Included taking wrong road twice and having to retrace. Lost about 1.5 hours due to this. To be fair, there were adequate signages, I just missed it. Roads till Baroda is very good and tarffic is also quite good except for the occasional (and mandatory) bad drivers. Baroda-Surat road is one big traffic jam with horrible roads. I reached Baroda at 5:45 PM or so and took 5+ hours to crawl into Surat at 11 PM)

Day 2: Sunday 15th July: Surat to Hubli via Mumbai (~900 km in 13 hours). Good roads again till just before Mumbai. Crossing Mumbai was easy as it was a Sunday and also because Kumar met me and guided me through the major traffic/city areas. Good roads all the way through to Hubli. The Hubli-Dharwad bypass is the only non 4-lane road but it is in good shape.

Day 3: Monday 16th July: Hubli to Chennai via Bangalore (~800 km in 13 hours of which 2 .5 hours were just to get thru Bangalore and Chennai). Bad roads starts about 40 kms from Hubli, where the road just ended in a dirt road, 2 more dirt roads branching off and no sign anywhere (and there are ZERO signages anywhere till Chitradurga). Having started at 4:30 AM, there were nobody on the roads to ask for directions. I was the first there and soon there was a convoy of about 10 trucks all stopped due to not knowing which road to take. A load-auto (auto with small load area in back) came around presently and he knew the way. It was quite a sight: The tiny load-auto leading at 20 kmph, 10 trucks and a Landcruiser respectfully following! The "GQ" alternated between 4 lane and no lane till Chitradurga; the NHAI claim of the GQ being 98% complete seemed a big lie at that moment. Missed the GQ in Bangalore (again bad signages) so had to take the Old Madras road which is a 2 lane road but in good shape. Reached home at 5:30 PM.

Through out the drive, I tried to cruise between 100 and 120 kmph and tried not to drop below that speed as much as possible. Mileage was between 8.5 to 10 kmpl. Ironically, better mileage was in the sections of bad roads and traffic. No car troubles what-so-ever. Reliance A1 plaza's are a boon to long distance driving; just wished they accepted credit cards. Number of passenger cars on these roads are still a small percentage compared to commercial traffic, which indicates the travel preferences of people being still being rail/air or bus. Most drivers are still uncourteous and drivers of passenger cars are the worst of the lot, refusing to give up right lane etc.

Big thanks to Kumar who helped me through out the drive with route and other guidances.

If anyone has any specific queries, please feel free to ask.

Gears,
Red-One.
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Old 18th July 2007, 10:45   #8
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redone : yeah, i remember the baroda-surat stretch. done it twice on two-wheelers while doing pune-delhi and delhi-pune.. specially the jam just before u hit surat..

Yep the Rel A1 are great places. Food has been tasty all over india and we even slept in one in a place called farakka in west bengal.
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Old 18th July 2007, 11:13   #9
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Nice to see that u have completed the stretch as per plan...I think the surat stretch is recently affected by the floods....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnyPunia View Post
Yep the Rel A1 are great places. Food has been tasty all over india and we even slept in one in a place called farakka in west bengal.
Sleeping in A1 Plaza is a nice bet if u r not with family... For 50 bucks a bed its a nice arrangement !!!
Hey when did u do this? in Karizma?

OT: Hope u have seen the Farakka Barrage, I am the proud grandson of one of the engineers who were involved in the project between 1965-72...
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Old 18th July 2007, 11:15   #10
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yep, rode thru the bridge

we slept at the A1 on the GIR : The "REAL" me: 23rd Nov: Kolkata to Reliance A1

yeah, I forgot to mention, its not recommended if you are with a family. we had dinner there, and they didnt charge us for the cots.

a pic of the A1 whr we stayed, taken at around 10pm..deserted look!
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Old 18th July 2007, 11:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnyPunia View Post
yep, rode thru the bridge

we slept at the A1 on the GIR : The "REAL" me: 23rd Nov: Kolkata to Reliance A1

yeah, I forgot to mention, its not recommended if you are with a family. we had dinner there, and they didnt charge us for the cots.
Reliance A1 is simply following a long tradition of our dhaabas where you can sleep in the charpoys without any charge. I have done such sleeping myslef in my good old biking days, and all I have paid for is a cup of tea.
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Old 18th July 2007, 15:26   #12
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trust reliance to squeeze money wherever possible . Yes, the A1s are a boon, and I second the Credit card option. maybe someone ought to take this up with the ambanis!!
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Old 30th July 2007, 23:08   #13
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Hi RedOne/Bunny/hvkumar/Others

I am planning a drive down to Mangalore from Delhi (accompanied by my wife) in November. A dear friend is getting married. Can you guys suggest a route/travel plan with decent accomodation en route (a balance between budget and decency would do)? We would not be in a hurry, not wanting to drive more than 600 kms in a single day.

Oops, forgot to mention! The car I will be driving is a 2004 Wagon R LXi. I know the choice of vehicle is strange, but thats the best I've got. Anyways, that good ol' Wagon R has had a beating at the Raid de Himalaya 2006, and still came back unscathed. So no sweat!!

Please help me plan this trip or I would have to look for cheap air tickets some time soon (now that would be boring, to say the least). Also, given the couple we are, we might want to drive down till Chennai after attending the wedding before we start our long journey back home.

Last edited by nkapoor777 : 30th July 2007 at 23:12.
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Old 31st July 2007, 07:38   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkapoor777 View Post
Oops, forgot to mention! The car I will be driving is a 2004 Wagon R LXi. I know the choice of vehicle is strange, but thats the best I've got.
If my Alto can do Blr - Kolkata - Blr without any fuss...WagonR can do it as well..

Quote:
Please help me plan this trip or I would have to look for cheap air tickets some time soon (now that would be boring, to say the least). Also, given the couple we are, we might want to drive down till Chennai after attending the wedding before we start our long journey back home.
I would suggest instead of going Chennai (which has nothing but sweat !) you can take a trip of the beaches of karnataka, Goa, MH...

While coming dont break for beaches, u can enjoy in the return journey...

Onward Journey:
Day1 & 2: Delhi - Mumbai or Pune (kumar can suggest you which place is best for halt)
Day3: Mumbai/Pune - Hubli (on NH4), Hubli - Ankola (NH63) and then on NH17 (halt at Gokarna, Hotel Gokarna International is nice) - about 700km.
Day4: Gokarna - Mangalore
Day5: Attend Wedding

Return Journey
Day5 evening: Start from Mangalore, Halt at Turtle Bay Resort in Kundapur (about 100km / 3 hours from Mangalore)
Day6: Kundapur - Goa (you can pay visit to Murudeshwar Shiv temple, read Samurai's travelogue), For Goa read my travelogue, I have done entire Goa...
Day7: Goa - Guhager / Ratnagiri / coastal MH (Kumar can elaborate on this)
Day8: Coastal MH - somewhere between MUM - Delhi
Day9: Reach Delhi by late evening / night...

Abhi

NOTE: Pls read my travelogue of Coastal Karnataka, Goa for more details...

Last edited by akroy : 31st July 2007 at 07:39.
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Old 31st July 2007, 10:01   #15
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I second Abhi for most of his suggestions on the trip plan.

Whether you want to stay in Mumbai depends on whether you have someone to stay with there, else it is not wirth wasting money on a hotel and it is better to carry on to Pune or somewhere else like Satara.

My suggestion for Day 1 halt would be Udaipur (~700 kms) or better still Gandhinagar (~900 kms). THis will mean a long day's drive.

The second day of course will depend on the first day. If it is Gandhinagar, reaching Pune(~700 kms)/Satara (~800 kms) (the second preferred) for the night halt should not be dificult. In case you halt at Udaipur on Day 1, maybe you will not make it further than Mumbai (~750 kms) on Day 2. Or, in case you are running late, halt at some place like Vapi (~150 kms before Bombay,~600 kms from Udaipur) on the Gujarat-Maharashtra border, where there are good hotels.

Day 3 could be Hubli (~600 kms from Bombay).

On Day 4, striking towards the coast from Hubli is a good idea. Maybe you should proceed directly to Mangalore for the main business on hand, or stop by at Gokarna (great beach) or Murudeshwar (better accomodation) or even Turtle Bay at Maravanthe (both beach and resort are good!).

On Day 5, you could go towards Mangalore to attend the wedding. Allow for a 4-5 hour journey from Gokarna/Murudeshwar, or a 3 hour journey from Maravanthe to Mangalore.

Maybe you should stay at Mangalore that night.

On Day 6, drive direct from Mangalore to Goa on NH17 and reach Goa by noon/tea. Stay overnight at Goa.

Maybe Day 7 can also be one more day's stay at Goa.

From Goa, the best option would be to drive on NH17 to Bombay. By now, I am sure you would be having a surplus of beaches, and I don't think Guhagar is a great idea. In case you do want to go to a beach, try Ganapatipule which is near Ratnagiri (~250 kms) or if you want a hill station try Mahabaleswar (a detour of 40 kms off NH17, ~200 kms before Bombay).
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