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Old 11th July 2008, 19:49   #1
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Smile Trivandrum-Agra-Gangtok suggestions

We are planning a cross country trip across India starting from Trivandrum, ending at Gangtok, Sikkim and then back.

Our proposed route plan is:
Trivandrum-Kochi-Mangalore-Goa
Goa-Mumbai-Jaipur-Agra
Agra-Patna-Darjeeling-Gangtok

Return:
Gangtok-Kolkatta-Cuttack
Cuttack-Rajamuhndy-Chennai
Chennai-Madurai-Nagercoil-Trivandrum

Current plan is to go in 1 car and 2 bikes, with 8 people. Car could be either a Maruthi 800 (more likely) or a Toyota Innova (if Maruthi is not feasible).

I would like to know your opinions, route suggestion and also importantly is it practical with a Maruthi.

Please give your thoughts!
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Old 11th July 2008, 20:55   #2
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Will be happy to share with you detailed route info, except for the Delhi-Calcutta route. Please email me at hvkumar@gmail.com, so I can sent you a few of my old log books that may guide you in your own planning.
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Old 11th July 2008, 20:57   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
We are planning a cross country trip across India starting from Trivandrum, ending at Gangtok, Sikkim and then back.

Our proposed route plan is:
Trivandrum-Kochi-Mangalore-Goa
Goa-Mumbai-Jaipur-Agra
Agra-Patna-Darjeeling-Gangtok

Return:
Gangtok-Kolkatta-Cuttack
Cuttack-Rajamuhndy-Chennai
Chennai-Madurai-Nagercoil-Trivandrum

Current plan is to go in 1 car and 2 bikes, with 8 people. Car could be either a Maruthi 800 (more likely) or a Toyota Innova (if Maruthi is not feasible).

I would like to know your opinions, route suggestion and also importantly is it practical with a Maruthi.

Please give your thoughts!

Plan the time of your trip carefully, ideally in Nov-Dec, when there are no rains in the North East and the roads are in good condition. Roads are fine all along.

Any car is feasible, but I would suggest you have 1 vehicle if possible - less probabilities of mechanical problems!
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Old 11th July 2008, 21:07   #4
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yah rusty.. as hvkumar said..please try to take an innova only, as theres only 8 people and it would be a merry travelling all along in a single vehicle. Also as above said,less probability of mechanical failures be there.
wishing you all the best bro..
take care.
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Old 12th July 2008, 14:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Our proposed route plan is:
Trivandrum-Kochi-Mangalore-Goa
Goa-Mumbai-Jaipur-Agra
Agra-Patna-Darjeeling-Gangtok

Return:
Gangtok-Kolkatta-Cuttack
Cuttack-Rajamuhndy-Chennai
Chennai-Madurai-Nagercoil-Trivandrum
Some ideas and suggestions:

NH17 from Kochi to Panvel (near Bombay) via Goa is a great route, with some exceptions:
- Traffic density is very high during day time in most parts of Kerala, especially between Kozhikode and Kannur.
- If possible, do the TVM-Mangalore drive through the night so that you can be in Karnataka early in the morning.
- Mangalore-Udupi stretch is under widening and has many dislocations, so ideally take it early in the morning so that you do not get stuck in jams
- Last year, the monsoons wrought heavy damage on NH17 in Kasargod area, Karnmataka and South Goa. Hopefully, this year it will not be repeated in which case it may be difficult to drive on this highway
- Goa-Bpmbay is a delightful highway, with lots of ghats thrown in, and hopefully the rain-bad sections in Mahad-Panvel will be repaired once the rains are over

NH8 from Bombay to Delhi

- There are some rain-bad sections north of Bombay near Vasai
- Road widening work beween Surat and Baroda is resulting in heavy traffic jams, often increasing travel time beween Bombay and Ahmedabad by as much as 5 hours (normal travel time 7 hours)
- Road north of Baroda is fabulous, but plan your journey from Jaipur to Delhi carefully since traffic can be very high at certain times of the day
- You have no choice but to go through Delhi, but transiting from NH8 to NH2 is an easy and painless process compared to jams in several other Indian cities

From Delhi

- I think it would be the best idea to go down NH2 via Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi to Durgapur insead of taking the difficult route via Patna and Begusarai and Purnea to Dalkola
- NH2 is a good road (but for some bad sections in Bihar area), but fast and safe
- You can turn off at Durgapur and go via Siuri to Morgram where you can join Nh34 (Kolkara-Siliguri highway)

Darjeeling & Sikkhim

- Hopefully, the Gorkhaland agitation will cool off, very intense at the moment

Road back to Kolkata

- NH34 from Siliguri to Kolkata is a narrow road but otherwise a good drive


Down the East Coast

- Roads south of Kharagpur (NH60/5) are badly damaged in Orissa and I doubt they will be restored in the next 6 months
- Once you cross into AP, roads are fabulous
- Maybe you should extend your route down the coast, and take the East Coast Road from Madras via Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Nagapattinam to Thanjavur
- South of Nagapatinam, the coastal roads are in a shambles, but from Thanjavur you can come to Pudukottai and Madurai
- Road widening is on between Madurai and Nagercoil

Places en route of interest:

Kerala - not considered, since you are from Kerala, and you should not waste your time seeing Kerala on this trip

Karnataka - Udupi, Kollur, Maravanthe, Murudeshwar, Gokarna

Goa - beaches, beaches and beaches

Maharashtra - Ganapatipule (50 + 50 kms detour), Mahabaleshwar (35 + 35 kms detour)

Gujarat - nothing en route

Rajasthan - Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Jaipur

UP - Agra, Allahabad, Varanasi
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Old 13th July 2008, 17:07   #6
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Thanks a lot guys. I am considering making it a one car trip, but getting the Innova is the problem. But yeah I agree that seems to be the better option.

Do you know how good the road is from Siliguri to Gangtok? Yeah I am aware of the Gorkhaland situation there, but as you said hopefully it will cool off. We are looking at doing this in November-December possibly or if that doesn't work out in February-March.

Yes, even I was thinking of coming back along the eastern coast, but we might end our trip at Bangalore, that was the reason why I didn't point that out earlier.

Anyway thanks again! Will keep you posted on the progress
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