Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues > Route / Travel Queries


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th November 2009, 12:09   #1
BHPian
 
josepeter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 416
Thanked: 547 Times
Thumbs up Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip

My last road trip of 2009 is being drawn up!

We are planning a family trip from Chennai to Agra and have a very loose plan stretching for 14 days starting from Dec 21st. There are two other families; a total of 3 cars, My Bolero, a Chevy Spark and a Santro.

The plan at this stage looks like this:

Chennai- Bangalore-Goa-Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Jaipur-Agra

Agra-Jaipur-Jaisalmer-Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Bangalore-Chennai.

The only night drive planned is the Chennai-Bangalore stretch; hope to spend the night at each of the above places; and an extra day/night in Goa and Jaisalmer.

Need a lot of advise and tips; on the intended travel plan; interesting deviations and what to look out for

I'm game for a total revamp of the plan too..In case there are better ideas!
josepeter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2009, 12:24   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
vkochar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Delhi / Agra / London
Posts: 2,036
Thanked: 219 Times
Default

Nice ! I will be glad to help you out regarding any information you need on Agra and booking.

I also noticed that you do not have Udaipur in your route. Why ? It's a nice place and falls enroute from Mumbai - Ahemdabad - Udaipur - Jaipur - Agra.

You also do not have Delhi on the route. you could do the golden triangle that is Agra, Jaipur & Delhi.

All the best for the trip. I will be hooked on to this one
vkochar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th November 2009, 20:42   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 336
Thanked: 5 Times
Default

Jose, you are better of breaking down into distance between your night stays so that you know. I see Agra - Jaipur - Jaisalmer.. Are you planning on doing this in one day. Even Jaipur - Jaisalmer will be 8-9 hours drive. So, mark your night stay spots, and then work out the distances so that you know the approximate travel time.

Udaipur falls enroute and you can definitely spend a couple of days there.

And be aware that Taj Mahal is closed on Monday. Learnt the hardway after reaching Jaipur and had to return without driving to Agra.

Good luck with your trip.

Nainar
anainar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th November 2009, 16:46   #4
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 723
Thanked: 50 Times
Default

Jos. Nice trip planned.
As ananair and Vkochar suggested, it'll be apt to include Udaipur in this trip either in to or fro journey. The other one cane be through Jaisalmer. I'll be hooked to this thread as myself thinking of our first trip to southern India next summer.
Best wishes for a safe trip ahead.
LongDrive lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2009, 00:10   #5
BHPian
 
josepeter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 416
Thanked: 547 Times
Default

After much deliberation over the past weeks; the trip has been realigned; mostly because of popular opinion to spend more days in Goa . So we agreed to cut out the Jaipur and Agra bits.

So its gonna be Chennai to Jaisalmer in the following route:

Chennai - Bangalore ( Night Halt) - Goa ( 3 nights) - Mumbai ( Night halt) - Ahmedabad (Night Halt) - Jaisalmer ( 3 nights) and back with a single night halt in all locations. have booked hotels in all locations except Mumbai...plan to gatecrash into friend's homes...Nasty surprise!

Also we the Santro will be staying back; Bolero and Spark it will be.

Any tips?
josepeter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2010, 16:03   #6
BHPian
 
josepeter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 416
Thanked: 547 Times
Default

I'm a month too late in updating this travelogue! Office crap mostly.

So the inevitable kept happening; trippers kept striking themselves off the list; and the destinations kept getting fewer and nearer. All drop-outs were due to addition and deletion into family trees..cant help it!

So the final tripper list got reduced to 6; my family of four; our friend Sreekanth and my trusty Bolero. And the Travel Plan was

Chennai- Bangalore-Goa-Bangalore-Cochin-Chennai; some 3.5K Kms in all.
We were open to detours on the way.

18th Dec FRIDAY

We started off from T-Nagar in Chennai at 17 Hrs; soon getting caught up in come traffic on Poonamalle high road. It is quite painfull to get to the GQ; Traffic is quite insane; nevertheless this wacky padmini kep us quite amused!

Name:  pad1.JPG
Views: 2036
Size:  94.7 KB

Normal service was resumed within an hour; we crossed Sriperumbathur and drove on for 2 hours when hunger pangs struck. We stopped for dinner in one of the "THABA"s; I guess its short for "Tamil Dhaba" LOL! There was no lack of amusement though. The menu is enough to keep customers happy throughout the meal.

Have a look and call me; i'll buy you a pint if you can decode all of them!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-menu.jpg


The food was excellent though! We stuck to veg mostly, Dal fry was super. We reached Bangalore before midnight and checked into a hotel close to Lalbagh.


19th Dec SATURDAY

Soon after checkout at 6AM, breakfast was had at MTR ( Mavalli Tiffin Room). This place is a must visit for historic reasons; Its been around since 1924 and is quite a nice place.

Mavalli Tiffin Room - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Dosas and coffee is quite delicious; but flavours were different from the ones you get in Tamilnadu and quite rich with Pure ghee flowing from every pore!


We quickly hit the Bangalore-Mumbai GQ; and got a taste of GQ ouside our usual Chennai-Bangalore stretch. Quite crappy though! almost every town/village we passed through had a bad strech or road; not a very enjoyable experience. We were having a laugh joking about the fool hardy adventure that a bunch of students from SRM college were supposed to be attempting, circumnavigating the GQ in under 72 hours; quite possible if they had chopper flying alongside and lifting them off at every bad stretch.

Sample some of the bad stretches!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqroad2.jpg

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqtraffic.jpg

Local Jeepers will not complain: No need to endure hours of pain on smooth highways to hit off-road!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqroad1.jpg


In some places the roads were really ridiculous; with only one side completed. Farmers from the fields alongside were drying sugarcane on the road..and we call this Golden Quadrilateral!

Only in INDIA : The GQ Farmer!


Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqfarmer1.jpg

GQ farmer in Close-up!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqfarmer.jpg

A lot of accidents on these roads too! You could see overturned trucks almost every where. Most of these look like they were caused by lunatics driving on the wrong side of the road.

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-accident8.jpg

Even truck chassis' weren't spared.

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-accident9.jpg

We did stop to tank up and the wifey wanted to hit the loo! We saw her see the sign "Fluers - Clean toilets" and proceed in anticipation; only to sprint back for her life! Not all fluers are clean! Lesson learnt.

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-fluers.jpg


One peaceful moment while Jeremy was taking a dump on the fields nearby!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gq.jpg

Anyways the drive till Dharwad was OK; the worst was yet to come. We turned away from the GQ just before it hit Dharwad; This was the road to Panaji, roughly 165 Kms only!
Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-dharwad.jpg

Smell of Fish curry! Be right Back!
josepeter is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2010, 16:33   #7
BHPian
 
sameer sultan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 343
Thanked: 299 Times
Default

nice pics and intresting write up. keep it coming soon
sameer sultan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2010, 21:26   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,045
Thanked: 64 Times
Default

Good stuff. The menu was hilarious. I could actually decode everything except for "solai", "lara", "kowdhari" and "gafsi"
hondadude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2010, 12:02   #9
BANNED
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 723
Thanked: 50 Times
Default

Nice, crisp and interesting narration. Intelligent selection and captions of pics. Liked the 'GQ farmer' the most! Bring them on in good number.
LongDrive lover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2010, 00:07   #10
BHPian
 
Klever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 69
Thanked: 3 Times
Default

Excellent narration, Jose!!! Eagerly waiting for the updates.
Klever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2010, 00:32   #11
BHPian
 
bnzjon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Dubai
Posts: 836
Thanked: 125 Times
Default

Very interesting narration. Please continue.
Nice pictures. Waiting in anticipation for more pictures and travelouge.
bnzjon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2010, 18:31   #12
BHPian
 
josepeter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 416
Thanked: 547 Times
Default

Guys, I don't know of it was the fish curry, but something blew my oil seal quite badly and I'm up and running now with plug! Phew!

SO here we were, just 165 Kms from Paradise; It surely couldn't be far; we had come a long way; 771 Km from Chennai without much of a bother.

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-badroad1.jpg

The road ahead looked more like a crocodile's back than anything else, not that we expected GQ tarmac, nevertheless we were OK, how bad can it get? that was the thought passing through our minds!..and of course, we were heading to paradise, the kind where the stuff that can get you an infraction on Team BHP flows like water!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-badroad2.jpg

It wasn't long before tarmac disappeared, country road it had become.

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-badroad3.jpg

We kept pounding on for another 26 Kms when we reached Alnawar. There was a lonely "puncher" guy on the road who we asked for directions. he told us that road ahead was really screwed up and asked us to take a diversion to Khanapur and onto Ramnagara and then to the Goa border. The new route map would look something like this.
Name:  Route Map.JPG
Views: 4038
Size:  45.3 KB

The road from Alnawar to khanapur via Beedi; around 38 Kms was also narrow but tolerable.

But once we hit a left from Khanapur to Panjim, all hell broke loose. It was off-roading all the way; and it was a national Highway [NH4A] for Christs sake!

But we kept moving on unaware that we had make a tactical blunder with our fuel calculations. The detour had meant that we will be doing an extra 40 odd kilometers; we hadn't tanked up fully in our last pitstop hoping to fill up with Cheap fuel on the Goa border.

We kept navigating huge craters on the road, rarely going beyond second gear; the fuel needle hovering on Empty. In the heat of this all we failed to notice that they were no cars on the road at all; just the occasional ST bus and lots of dump trucks. Why? we didn't figure out till much later.

No pics guys! We were far too uncomfortable to click 'em anymore. To conserve fuel, we switched off the Aircon, rolled down windows and realised we were engulfed with insane amounts of dust. Plain unbearable it was. There were dump trucks in the front and the back and everywhere, we seemed to be the only small fry around.

I began thinking of the worst case scenario; us having to plead to one of the dump truckers to tow us ( for an insane amount) to the nearest fuel bunk; spending the night in the car with my children crying out loud etc. etc. etc. But somehow I kept believing that the Bolero would get us safe to the nearest Bunk safely. Luckily the children weren't making too much noise; as if they were aware of the prospects!

After some 20 odd kilometers our patience died out and we decided we should befriend a friendly trucker and get some fuel. The first attempt with a trucker didn't work out though. But on the second attempt Sreekanth was able to convince one of the truckers and he most generously offered 2 litres of bliss, if only we could find a hose to siphon it out from his tanks. This we managed from a house nearby and phew! we had 2 litres more of fuel inside!

All of us breathed a sigh of relief when we saw the GOA border checkpost! HEAVEN it was. The cop at the border stopped us and asked for driver's license. And after taking down our names and inquiring what we were upto; he did ask us if we were mad to come by this road! We asked him... and you know what he said?

There were some 500 dump-trucks plying 24X7 on this road; apparently to transport construction material to a site in Goa which had rendered the roads useless for anything but themselves. We were relieved to have come out of this scary experience without much fuss.

There was a pump just across the border and we looked on in awe as the dispenser kept going above 55 litres; the tank capacity was only 60 litres.

I couldn't believe it; the tank took in 58 Litres; meaning there was only 2 litres in the Tank! The Two liters gifted by the kind trucker. We agreed to ourselves that were were quite stupid to have done this; with the wifey and kids onboard.

Lesson : Tank-up even if the next stop; Saudi Arabia is 2 Kms away!

Humbled by our experience, we moved in air-conditioned comfort to paradise; Tropicano Resort in Candolim.

We had stumbled on this resort on the net and made a booking; but later found its reference in Lonely Planet India that we were carrying all the way! More on this later!

We didn't waste anymore time and headed for dinner, with lots of infractions -of couse!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-dinner.jpg

The next 3 days was pure Bliss!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz z
josepeter is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2010, 18:48   #13
BANNED
 
Spitfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Panaji - Goa/Bangalore - Karnataka
Posts: 3,250
Thanked: 707 Times
Default

Thank god, you did it in a Bolero. I did the same route 2 years back and it was absolutely the same.

Oh and why didnt you bother look at the route queries on here. We have mentioned it in BOLD all over that thread.
Spitfire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2010, 19:47   #14
BHPian
 
josepeter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 416
Thanked: 547 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Oh and why didnt you bother look at the route queries on here. We have mentioned it in BOLD all over that thread.
You got it Bang on Mate!

I keep doing this over and over again...lemme list a few of them.

1. Bought a Bolero SLE and then read reviews on Orkut and Tbhp
2. Upsized the wheels and Tyres; came back home and found the right upsize guide! ( and confirmed my goof up)
3. Got tipped off about the pathetic road condition to Goa weeks before the trip, ignored it and took the beating.

Somethings never change?
josepeter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2010, 22:26   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 967
Thanked: 235 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by josepeter View Post
1. Bought a Bolero SLE and then read reviews on Orkut and Tbhp
@josepeter, i thought you loved your Bolero!

-- Torqy
Torqy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Taj Mahal. A roadtrip. nickatnite Travelogues 35 7th February 2010 00:20
A monument to love Ė Mumbaiís Taj Mahal tifosikrishna Shifting gears 19 5th December 2008 12:22
Please Vote For Taj Mahal salilpawar1 Shifting gears 36 8th July 2007 17:17
TAJ MAHAL.....the real history!!!! manson Shifting gears 2 26th July 2005 06:27


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 05:27.

Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks