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Old 19th May 2008, 17:03   #1
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Default mumbai to shillong by road

hi,
we plan to drive from mumbai to shillong around the 10th of June, in a three year old scorpio.
We have about two months. So we are not really in a tearing hurry to get there. The idea is to be safe (since we are two women and a dog), enjoy the road, see a bit of the country on the way - and finally make it to shillong.
I have been reading up on the threads here and looking at the eicher road maps of india. and this is how i see our journey, thanks to all the learnings from the posts here!
Would really like to know some answers and advice.
thanks.
DAY 1
Mumbai – pune - expressway
Pune – solapur – NH 9 (245 kms)
So if we reach Pune by 9am, we should be in Solapur for lunch.
Questions:
  • Is the bypass from Pune well marked? Or does anyone have any idea where national highway 9 starts from Pune?
  • Accomodation in Solapur. Since we have a dog, it needs to be safe and well, accepting of friendly well-mannered pets. So any ideas?
  • Do we need to enter Solapur for accommodation or is there anything that’s just outside the town. In case we have to enter, does anyone know how much time/distance we should account for there?
DAY 2
Solapur – Hyderabad – NH 9 ( 301 kms)
Questions:
  • All accounts read on team BHP tell me this road is pretty decent. Any watch outs?
DAY 3
Hyderabad – Suriapet – NH 9 (127 kms)
From Suriapet bypass to Khammam – kallur – dammapeta – ashwaraopet – zangareddigudem – koyyalagudem – gopalapuram – kovvur – Rajahmundry (259 Kms)
Rajamundry – NH 5 (GQ) – tuni (96 kms)
Total: 482 kms
Questions:
  • Read on Team BHP. And this seemed to come up over and over again that following NH 9 and getting into Vijaywada is a pain thanks to crazy traffic. Lots of folks seem to suggest the Suriapet bypass to avoid Vijaywada. Any idea on the road? Do we expect kaccha roads or do we expect to do decent time?
  • Also is it desolate, but since we are covering this in the morning not so worried about that.
  • Is Tuni a better option to stay or Annavaram? Read somewhere that Annavaram is a temple town, which means it should have more places to stay. But really if anyone has any idea and can even suggest a few places, would be great.
DAY 4
Tuni – vishakapatnam - NH 5 (GQ) (95 kms)
Questions:
  • Accomodation ideas anyone? Preferably on the beach!
DAY 5
Vishakatanam – gopalpur on sea – NH 5 (GQ) (283 kms)
DAY 6
Gopalpur on sea – chilka – NH 5 (GQ) (61 kms)
DAY 7
Chilka – bhubaneshwar – cuttack – bhadrak – baleshwar (GQ now becomes NH 60 ) – kharagpur
(411 Kms)
Questions:
  • Tried to check on the NHAI site on the road from bhadrak to baleshwar to kharagpur. Not much help. Have been reading accounts that the road isn’t too good. Does anyone have any idea on the road? And approximately how much time will it take us to get from Chilka to Kharagpur? Read somewhere that Bhubaneshwar to bhadrak should be 3 hours and then Bhadrak to kharagpur should be another 3 hours. Is that right?
  • Also once again, accommodation suggestions for kharagpur...please.
DAY 8
Kharagpur (GQ becomes NH 6) – Kolkatta (117 kms)
DAY 9
Kolkatta – NH 2 (GQ) – barddhaman – kaksa – (get off NH 2 here) – iilam bazaar – cross shantiniketan – siuri (221 kms)
Questions:
  • Any information on how good is the road? And again how much time will it take to there? Took this road because I read that NH 34 from Kolkatta is very crowded.
  • Accomodation in Siuri?
DAY 10
Siuri – Muhammad bazaar – fatehpur – Rampur haat – takipur – morgram (back on NH 34 here) – cross Farakka - Ingraj bazaar - maldah - – raiganj – dalkola ( get on NH 31 GQ) – kishanganj - baghdogra – siliguri (437 kms)
Questions:
  • Till about Takipur we seem to be pretty close to the Jharkhand border. Need to know how good is this road. Any safety watch outs as well?
  • Also this whole stretch seems a longish stretch to me. Since I don’t know road conditions. So in case it gets too much, might stop at Maldah. Any idea if it just seems long or is it manageable.
  • Any places we could stay at Siliguri?
Some days in Darjiling and Gangtok...and then...
DAY 1 to Shillong
Siliguri to Alipur Duar NH 31C (158 kms)
DAY 2 to Shillong
Alipur Duar to Shillong NH 31C NH 40 ( 350 kms)
Questions:
  • Again the roads. I hear from someone who lives in Darjiling that the Siliguri – Guwahati – Shillong stretch is pretty good. But again, any watch outs.
  • Plan to stop at Alipur Duar because I feel the drive to Guwahati might be too long. Any ideas for accommodation?
  • Also any watch outs with safety etc.

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th May 2008 at 09:54. Reason: Made the headings bold (which was lost with font tag removal)
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Old 19th May 2008, 18:43   #2
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Tried to check on the NHAI site on the road from bhadrak to baleshwar to kharagpur. Not much help. Have been reading accounts that the road isn’t too good. Does anyone have any idea on the road? And approximately how much time will it take us to get from Chilka to Kharagpur? Read somewhere that Bhubaneshwar to bhadrak should be 3 hours and then Bhadrak to kharagpur should be another 3 hours. Is that right?
Also once again, accommodation suggestions for kharagpur...please.
Bhubneshwar to Bhadrak is a good stretch.
Distance is approximately 210km. Can be easily done in 3 hours

Bhadrak to Balasore -- Stretch is horrible.
But can be easily managed in 1.5 hours

Instead of coming to Kharagpur same day try visiting Chandipur. Heavenly place.
Balasore to chandipur is about 16Km

Balasore to Kharagpur Distance is around 120km and the road is extremly good.

Quote:
DAY 8
Kharagpur (GQ becomes NH 6) – Kolkatta (117 kms)
DAY 9
Kolkatta – NH 2 (GQ) – barddhaman – kaksa – (get off NH 2 here) – iilam bazaar – cross shantiniketan – siuri (221 kms)
Questions:
  • Any information on how good is the road? And again how much time will it take to there? Took this road because I read that NH 34 from Kolkatta is very crowded.
  • Accomodation in Siuri?
Instead of coming to Kolkata if you have no intention of travelling via NH34
Take the Road NH60 from Kharagpur to Ranigang and from Ranigang take NH2 and go upto Darjeeling More and continue further.
U can avail accomodation at Durgapur.

and u can easily save a day.
Kharagpur -Mednipur - Bankura - Ranigang - Durgapur - illam bazar - suiri.

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th May 2008 at 09:55. Reason: Please do not type in ALL bold text.
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Old 20th May 2008, 00:09   #3
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I did almost the same route when I drove from Bombay to North East India a few years ago. The major differences were that (a) I went through Calcutta and Krishnagar (instead of Siuri), (b) went on from Guwahati to Tezpur (insttead of Shillong), and (c) the GQ roads were still under construction.

I will be happy to share my detailed log book, and answer any queries you may have. Here is the link to the log book, photos of that trip:

H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR'S DRIVING LOG BOOKS North East India, Dec 2001


Incidentally, the shortest route to Calcuta is via Nagpur, Raipur and Sambalpur, but this East Coast route is definitely more interesting. You can trace that route in the above log book too - since I returned to Bombay on that route (took 2 days).

I also wentt on the East Coast roue recently, altthough it was not a true NH5 drive - wentt coastt-hopping. You can see the log book/photos in tteh following link:

http://hvkumar.googlepages.com/kumar'sdrivinglogbooks,coast2cape2coast,dec 2005

Last edited by hvkumar : 20th May 2008 at 00:10.
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Old 20th May 2008, 00:31   #4
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Some specific replies:
1. Is the bypass from Pune well marked? Or does anyone have any idea where national highway 9 starts from Pune?

YOU HAVE TO GO INTO PUNE CITY, GO VIA PUNE RAILWAY STATION AND CATCH THE SOLAPUR ROAD WHICH IS VIA THE CONTONMENT. I AM SURE PUNE MEMBERS CAN GIVE YOU AN EXACT ROUTE - I KNOW THE ROUTE, BUT WILL FIND IT DIFFICULT TO GIVE YOU EXACT COORDINATES.

2. Accomodation in Solapur. Since we are two women and a dog, it needs to be safe and well, accepting of friendly well-mannered pets. So any ideas?

NO IDEA ABOUT PET-FRIENDLY HOTELS. BETTER TO FIND A HOTEL OUTSIDE CITY LIMITS, ESPECIALLY A RESORT.

3. Do we need to enter Solapur for accommodation or is there anything that’s just outside the town. In case we have to enter, does anyone know how much time/distance we should account for there?

THERE SHOULD BE HOTELS ON SOLAPUR BYPASS. IN ANY CASE, YOU WILL FIND HOTELS IMMEDIATELY ON ENTERING CITY AND THE NH9 IS NOT TOO FAR AWAY FROM CITY CENTRE.

Solapur – Hyderabad – NH 9 ( 301 kms)
Questions:
1. All accounts read on team BHP tell me this road is pretty decent. Any watch outs?

GREAT ROAD, FINAL STRETCH INTO HYDERABAD CITY (AROUND 30 KMS) WILL BE CONGESTED.

1. Read on Team BHP. And this seemed to come up over and over again that following NH 9 and getting into Vijaywada is a pain thanks to crazy traffic. Lots of folks seem to suggest the Suriapet bypass to avoid Vijaywada. Any idea on the road? Do we expect kaccha roads or do we expect to do decent time?

NH9 IS VERY CONGESTED. BUT OTHERWISE, GETTING ONTO NH5 AT VIJAYWADA IS NO PROBLEM AT ALL. TO AVOID NH9, FOLKS HAVE GONE VIA KHAMMAM (CHECK OUT TIRTHANKAR BASU'S RECENT CCU-HYD TRIP DETAILS) WHICH WILL LINK YOU DIRECTLY TO RAJAHMUNDRY ON NH5. BUT I WOULD STILL PREFER NH9/NH5 VIA VIJAYWADA FOR THE SHEER PLEASURE OF DRIVING ON NH5 FROM VIJAYWADA ONWARDS.


2. Also is it desolate, but since we are covering this in the morning not so worried about that.
3. Is Tuni a better option to stay or Annavaram? Read somewhere that Annavaram is a temple town, which means it should have more places to stay. But really if anyone has any idea and can even suggest a few places, would be great.

ANNAVARAM IS A FAMOUS SATYANARAYANA TEMPLE TOWN, HAS SOME HOTELS. BEST IS TO STAY AT RAJAHMUNDRY OR VIZAG, OR BETTER STILL LOCATE A SUITABLE RESORT ON THE HIGHWAY (FOR THE DOG TO STAY WITH YOU) SINCE MOST CITY HOTELS MAY NOT ALLOW YOU AND THE DOG.

Tuni – vishakapatnam - NH 5 (GQ) (95 kms)
Questions:
1. Accomodation ideas anyone? Preferably on the beach!

APTDC HAS A LOVELY HOTEL AT RUSHIKONDA BEACH- CHECK OUT THEIR WEB-SITE FOR DETAILS.

1. Tried to check on the NHAI site on the road from bhadrak to baleshwar to kharagpur. Not much help. Have been reading accounts that the road isn’t too good. Does anyone have any idea on the road? And approximately how much time will it take us to get from Chilka to Kharagpur? Read somewhere that Bhubaneshwar to bhadrak should be 3 hours and then Bhadrak to kharagpur should be another 3 hours. Is that right?
2. Also once again, accommodation suggestions for kharagpur...please.

ROUTE IS RIGHT. ROAD IS INCOMPLETE AND BAD IN SOME PLACES, BUT FOR MOST PART A GOOD ROAD. TIRTHANKAR WENT THAT WAY LAST WEEK, HE WAS QUITE HAPPY.

KHARAGPUR HAS LOTS OF HOTELS, STAYED THERE ONCE MYSELF, BUT DON'T KNOW ANY SPECIFIC HOTELS.

DAY 9
Kolkatta – NH 2 (GQ) – barddhaman – kaksa – (get off NH 2 here) – iilam bazaar – cross shantiniketan – siuri (221 kms)

Questions:
1. Any information on how good is the road? And again how much time will it take to there? Took this road because I read that NH 34 from Kolkatta is very crowded.
2. Accomodation in Siuri?

ABHIJIT ROY HAS BEEN ON THE BARDHAMAN-SIURI ROUTE, PLEASE CHECK OUT HIS DISCUSSION THREAD. SOME BAD SECTIONS REPORTED IN SIURI AREA.

DAY 10
Siuri – Muhammad bazaar – fatehpur – Rampur haat – takipur – morgram (back on NH 34 here) – cross Farakka - Ingraj bazaar - maldah - – raiganj – dalkola ( get on NH 31 GQ) – kishanganj - baghdogra – siliguri (437 kms)

Questions:
1. Till about Takipur we seem to be pretty close to the Jharkhand border. Need to know how good is this road. Any safety watch outs as well?

IN GENERAL, I HAVE BEEN TOLD TO AVOID FARAKKA STRETCH AT NIGH, BUT I ALSO KNOW THAT BLACK PEARL (OUR INHOUSE EXPERT ON NH34) HAS DRIVEN THROUGH AT NIGHT WITHOUT ANY ISSUES - AND SO HAVE I. BUT SINCE ROAD IS NOT GREAT, BETTER TO DRIVE BY DAY.

2. Also this whole stretch seems a longish stretch to me. Since I don’t know road conditions. So in case it gets too much, might stop at Maldah. Any idea if it just seems long or is it manageable.

YOU CAN MAKE IT TO SILIGURI THE SAME DAY, BUT IF YOU HAVE TO STOP, THE LARGE TOWNS ARE MALDA, RAIGANJ, DALKOLA, KISHANGANJ TILL SILIGURI.

3. Any places we could stay at Siliguri?

Some days in Darjiling and Gangtok...and then...
DAY 1 to Shillong
Siliguri to Alipur Duar NH 31C (158 kms)
DAY 2 to Shillong
Alipur Duar to Shillong NH 31C NH 40 ( 350 kms)

Questions:
1. Again the roads. I hear from someone who lives in Darjiling that the Siliguri – Guwahati – Shillong stretch is pretty good. But again, any watch outs.
2. Plan to stop at Alipur Duar because I feel the drive to Guwahati might be too long. Any ideas for accommodation?

GOING VIA BAROBISHA, BONGAIGAON AND NALBARI IS PREFERRED TO THE ROUTE VIA TOOFANGANJ. BAROBISHA ON THE BENGAL-ASSAM BORDER HAS A GOOD RESORT - CHECK OUT MY LOG BOOK. IDEAL HALT. NO DRIVING IN ASSAM AFTER DARK FOR SAFETY REASONS.

3. Also any watch outs with safety etc.

Last edited by hvkumar : 20th May 2008 at 00:32.
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Old 20th May 2008, 07:55   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
DAY 9
Kolkatta NH 2 (GQ) barddhaman kaksa (get off NH 2 here) iilam bazaar cross shantiniketan siuri (221 kms)

Questions:
1. Any information on how good is the road? And again how much time will it take to there? Took this road because I read that NH 34 from Kolkatta is very crowded.
2. Accomodation in Siuri?

ABHIJIT ROY HAS BEEN ON THE BARDHAMAN-SIURI ROUTE, PLEASE CHECK OUT HIS DISCUSSION THREAD. SOME BAD SECTIONS REPORTED IN SIURI AREA.
If at all you are not taking Ranigunj route take the GQ throughout. Keep going on GQ you will hit NH2 near Dankuni bypassing Kolkata. The route is:
Kolkata - Palsit - Barddhaman - Panagarh (turn right at DarjeelingMore) - Ilambazar - Siuri - Rampurhat - Takipur - Moregram. Meet NH34 here, take left for Farakka - Malda - Gajol - Dalkhola.

Road is good there. DarjeelingMore to Moregram (150km) can be done in 2.5 - 3 hrs depending upon time of day. I did Kolkata to Siuri by North Bengal Bus last week. Bus takes 3hr 45min including a 15min break at Shaktigarh and other stoppages (I did the route in 2.5 hours in my Alto in 2006 nonstop)

Pls read the Darjeeling thread by BlackPearl.
You can also go through my Blr - Kolkata travelogue thread and btirthankar's recent drive as well.

There are couple of nice hotels near Siuri Bus stand. At the start of the Siuri Bypass after PDCL (Bakreshwar), there is a right turn which will take you to Siuri town (another 2 km may be, this road is known as Dubrajpur road). You will hit a 3 road junction and a BP petrol pump in a corner. Bus stand is other corner. Couple of hotels are there as well.

Abhi
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Old 20th May 2008, 11:13   #6
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just a quick thank you. will read all accounts and logs mentioned in the replies. and get back wt further queries.
the great part is from all your replies is looks like it's going to be a great drive. very excited. thank you.
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Old 20th May 2008, 13:00   #7
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I can help you with the first leg of the journey:

From Mumbai pune expressway - keep going straight where the expressway ends.
Straight till your reach Hinjewadi/Aundh. The landmark is a flyover. You can take left and enter Pune city from here.

But my preference would be Baner road (which makes the route slightly longer, but less congested, and less turnings). Baner road is a left turn further ahead. There is one Sadanand Resorts board (the resort is at the turning only). You can feed your stomach there, food is pretty good and affordable too.

From Baner Road or Hinjewadi/Aundh road keep going straight. Till you reach a flyover intersection. This is University area. Keep going straight on the Flyover.
Straight, straight, no turns anywhere.

You will reach Shivajinagar. Straight again from there. Till you reach Cantonment/MG road.
Ask anyone there how to reach Solapur road - it is pretty straightforward and easy.

Once you hit Solapur road inside Pune - you are on your way to Hyd!
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Old 20th May 2008, 15:34   #8
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Hi sneaker love

You can find an interactive mapping system on yahoo.com, here is the link, add the cities you want to travel to , you can also add way points, for your journey you wish to travel to the NE via HYD, you can choose a way point to get detailed instructions on the route. Meanwhile please ask queries for road conditions on the way on the forum.

Here is the link Yahoo! Maps, Driving Directions, and Traffic

Cheers

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Old 20th May 2008, 15:43   #9
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Hi Sneaker love,

The correct URL is Yahoo! India Maps this gives you a turn by turn , distance by distance mapping.

You can print this out into 200 or 300 km distance maps and you are good to go.

Cheers

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Old 20th May 2008, 16:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
I did Kolkata to Siuri by North Bengal Bus last week. Bus takes 3hr 45min including a 15min break at Shaktigarh and other stoppages (I did the route in 2.5 hours in my Alto in 2006 nonstop)


Abhi
Sir, how can you be a traitor - you mean you travelled by bus? Poor Alto, how would it have felt about it?
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Old 20th May 2008, 19:13   #11
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Aah, I'm really looking forward to see some updates on the Kolkata-Guwahati section. So they've repaired the Srirampur gate to Guwahati road? Last time I heard it was not in good shape but that was more then a year back.
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Old 21st May 2008, 07:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Sir, how can you be a traitor - you mean you travelled by bus? Poor Alto, how would it have felt about it?
Sir ji, My Alto was resting in Bangalore. Due to scarcity of leaves I had to take a flight to Kolkata this time.
I generally take train for Siuri but now for a change tried the bus to check the route conditions. Bus drive is very fast now and people are taking bus these days. Including all breaks, bus takes 4 hours from Kolkata (Esplanade bus stand) to Siuri bus stand.

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Old 21st May 2008, 14:17   #13
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Default a plan B - south india

hi everyone.

was planning a road trip from mumbai to shillong around 10th june. just heard from friends in guwahati that the rains might play spoilsport. also having lived in the north east and assam for many years am wondeing if its wise to brave the monsoons.

but since i already have my two months off, i want a plan B. which is a road trip through south india. have never been that side. one idea would be to go to macchlipatnam in AP from mumbai and carry on down the coast to kanyakumari and work our way bk the other coast to mumbai.

any suggestions. detours. places not to be missed. or route ideas. please and thanks.
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