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Old 21st January 2010, 12:16   #1
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Default Food trip: Delhi to Amritsar & back in about 36 hours. Doable?

Here's the deal - Everyone's getting (a bit) bored in Delhi and we thus took an impromptu decision to head over to the land of food - Amritsar. We plan on loading ourselves with the finest fish, chicken, lassi (and ghee!) that mother earth has to offer. The thing is, our work schedules are packed to the gills until Friday night and from Monday morning onward, so we've planned on leaving Delhi at 7 this Saturday and get back by about 9pm-ish the following day.
Here's what the rough itinerary looks like:
7AM Jan 23 - Leave Delhi
Lots of food en route
4PM - Pull into Wagah for the flag retreat
6PM - Back to Amritsar
Morning of Jan 24 - Golden Temple incl. langar, JW Bagh
3PM - Leave Amritsar
Lots of food en route
11PM - Delhi

What I'd like to know is whether my travel times are okay considering the fog that's enveloped most parts of Delhi. Plus, (sorry if I sound a bit paranoid) would it be safe to travel to Wagah this weekend considering that Republic Day is just around the corner? One more thing, is it safe to park imported sports cars on the streets of Amritsar? What's the car jacking scene like?

Thanks.

Last edited by khan75 : 21st January 2010 at 12:18.
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Old 21st January 2010, 17:42   #2
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You've only 36 hrs at your disposal and that is cutting too fine.

If I had to do what I would've done:

Leave on Friday night and reach Amritsar by day break on Saturday. Go to Wagah for the flag hoisting. It is equally spectacular and calmer than in the evening, when the crowds throng and is generally a chaos. You also will have a better photographic opportunity in the morning.

Come back to Amritsar when the city is waking. Visit Jallianwla Bagh first and then Harmandir Sahib, the crowd is thinner and good viewing. Catch the morning Sun illuminating the Golden Temple. Have langar.

Now you've the afternoon for some loafing around. Reach the Wagah border again at 5 pm for the retreat ceremony.

Come back and finish your shopping and don't forget to savour the famous Bansal ki Pinni.

Rest well in the night. Next day finish anything remaining by 12 and leave for Delhi. You should be here by 8 pm.

Now, why I'm suggesting this? This is the only way you shall be able to beat the fog on your return journey. If you leave at 3 pm, IMO, it will be late and the fog would have started settling in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan75 View Post
Here's the deal - Everyone's getting (a bit) bored in Delhi and we thus took an impromptu decision to head over to the land of food - Amritsar. We plan on loading ourselves with the finest fish, chicken, lassi (and ghee!) that mother earth has to offer. The thing is, our work schedules are packed to the gills until Friday night and from Monday morning onward, so we've planned on leaving Delhi at 7 this Saturday and get back by about 9pm-ish the following day.
Here's what the rough itinerary looks like:
7AM Jan 23 - Leave Delhi
Lots of food en route
4PM - Pull into Wagah for the flag retreat
6PM - Back to Amritsar
Morning of Jan 24 - Golden Temple incl. langar, JW Bagh
3PM - Leave Amritsar
Lots of food en route
11PM - Delhi

What I'd like to know is whether my travel times are okay considering the fog that's enveloped most parts of Delhi. Plus, (sorry if I sound a bit paranoid) would it be safe to travel to Wagah this weekend considering that Republic Day is just around the corner? One more thing, is it safe to park imported sports cars on the streets of Amritsar? What's the car jacking scene like?

Thanks.
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Old 21st January 2010, 17:50   #3
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Nobody will car-jack your sports cars, however nicks and dents from autos etc., on the ultra narrow bylanes can be trouble.
So park your cars where you are staying, and hire an Auto.
Other than that, watch your speed in Haryana, they have multiple laser mounted vehicles, just like Delhi.
NH1 has 6 laning going on, and Fog is pretty bad too, so watch your speed elsewhere also, if you don't want to end up in an unmarked mound of mud.
After Ludhiana, the stretch get foggier, through roads are decent with some single stretches.
As for Republic day, the border is always safer than the cities
That said, your plan is fine and easily doable.
Barring fog Delhi-Asr is 8 hours run

If you want, PM me your number and I will sms you the fog conditions in Punjab(Ldh-Jalandhar highway) on 23rd morning, as I will be on that stretch in the morning.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 21st January 2010 at 17:52.
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Old 21st January 2010, 19:19   #4
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considering the dense fog since last 2 days andtoday as well, i dont think its doable.

so just relax your iternary a bit and keep some extra time.
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Old 21st January 2010, 22:23   #5
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Do not worry about the 26th January preparations. You should be all right at Wagah.

BUT doing a to and fro trip in 36 hours with sightseeing - tough in this fog.

Remember Fog is at its worst in Delhi, so imagine double that in Amritsar.
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Old 21st January 2010, 22:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khan75 View Post
4PM - Pull into Wagah for the flag retreat
6PM - Back to Amritsar
Morning of Jan 24 - Golden Temple incl. langar, JW Bagh
3PM - Leave Amritsar
Lots of food en route
11PM - Delhi
I was in Amritsar about a fortnight back and you need to reach Wagah atleast by 3pm as the crowds that flock is just shocking and lot of jostling, pushing goes on which i didnt quite like.

Parade program gets over by 6pm, which means you will reach back into Amritsar only by 730'sh as its 36 kms away as you need an hour considering the traffic and fog conditions.

I started from Amritsar at 11AM and reached Delhi around 7:30pm and notice that fog really picks up before, at and after Ambala area.

Last year, i did the same timing that you plan to do and we were completely caught in super thick fog. It was really painful to drive in such conditions and you cannot do Asr-Del in 8 hours.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 15:04   #7
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Hi Khan,

Right now I am on NH-1 between Ludhiana and Jallandhar. There was thick fog until 13:00 hrs today. Now the visibility has increased a bit say around 100 mtrs on NH-1. By 16:00 hrs the fog will again start getting dense. Very few trains can be seen on the Delhi - Jallandhar railway track. I think trains are getting cancelled today also.

Now regarding your journey tomorrow, I am sure Delhi - Amritsar can not be done in 8 hrs because of fog. There are diversions on the highway between Panipat and Jallandhar (6 laning under progress). If you leave Delhi 7 AM then you will encounter zero visibility around Karnal, Kurukshetra, Ambala and Rajpura. Be careful while driving on this stretch. There are accidents due to fog on NH1 which also create traffic jams on NH1. Now you will leave Amritsar by 11:00 PM - You will encounter thick fog during this journey as well. I have seen the NH1 (between Jallandhar and Ludhiana) during the last 2 nights, it is alsmost empty after 10:00 PM, there is very less number of trucks due to fog.

Therefore, I would suggest you to keep 1 extra day or delay your trip. Please do let me know if you need further updates on this stretch.
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Old 25th January 2010, 20:11   #8
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Guys, the question I had asked last week was, could this be done? The answer's simple, not unless you're insane and traveling with a bunch of wacko friends.
Yep, we did whatever we had set out to do in the exact time frame that I had posted earlier. We set out on Sat morning at 7 and (no) thanks to the super thick fog, we hit Jhilmil at about 10.30. Mercifully, visibility improved tremendously after that and although it still was a bit foggy, we were able to push forward at about 100-120ks for the next couple of hours and after what seemed like an eternity, hit Wagah at 4.30 to catch a glimpse of the ceremony.
After heading back to Amritsar, it was business as usual as we gulped down plate after plate of some seriously delicious food at the multitude of dhabas around Hall Gate, helped by overly generous servings of lassi. The only problem was finding a place to put up for the night and after a lot of deliberation, we ended up at the Golden Temple's quarters which I must say, were very comfy considering the subsidized price of a 100 bucks per room. For anyone who's heading over to Amritsar, I'd strongly suggest ditching all the hotels nearby (ours was Hotel CJ) and heading straight to the niwases behind the langar area. The only problem was getting the car into that area. The bylanes that lead to the temple are thinner than an intestine and piloting a RRS through that was like climbing a mountain while suffering from a severe case of arthritis, something that required serious balls that only the owner had (everyone else was too scared of nicking the car). The rest of us spent the next 30-45 minutes out on the road directing oncoming traffic, especially those pesky rickshaws.
Anyways, we had a sumptuous meal at the langar, paid our obeisances and took tons of photographs of all the structures inside the complex.
At 5AM the following morning (Sunday), we headed back to the temple area to see the Granth being moved to the temple, and sat on the rooftop for the next 3 odd hours to listen to hymns and soak in the very peaceful (and quite cold!) atmosphere, occasionally bothered by a bunch of loud mouthed Englishmen who seemed to be out in Disneyland rather than a place of worship. After a not-so-tasty langar tea, rusks and biscuits, we headed back to the niwas, packed our stuff and moved out to see the Jallianwala Bagh. After acting like traffic officers for the second time in less than 12 hours, we managed to inch our way to Maqbool Road to load ourselves to the brim with Chungi's chhole kulche with at least 100gms of butter each, cholesterol and heart attacks be damned. Just when we thought we couldn't possibly have anything else, we moved to Kanhaya sweets on Lawrence Road for some puris, rasmalai, gulab jamuns, pinni and (obviously!) more lassi. Next stop on the whirlwind tour was supposed to be Makhan Dabha to try their fish but some local informed us that the shop on Lawrence had closed down. Sheesh! Surjit's was the next stop for a couple of plates of Amritsari and tandoori fish for takeaway. Although they were closed, the owner was very gracious in getting a special order done for us and we spent the next 30 odd minutes watching the Aussies battle it out with the Paks while the chef battled with pieces of fish in the kitchen. As we headed out of the door, one of us suddenly remembered Bansal sweets. Oh, we weren't going to forget anything even remotely related to food, no sir. Bansals for pinnis and all of us were beginning to look like famished vagabonds who had suddenly chanced upon tons of manna. There was a beggar near Bansals who kept asking us to give her some sweets, but my friend asked her if she had any for us to devour.
After a quick refuel at some IOC pump at about 2, we hit the road and averaged about 120-130 through most of Punjab, gorged on more food at Karnal Haveli after popping fish cubes into our mouth like Eclairs, and thanks to the superb visibility, were home high and dry at 10. Of course, getting to Delhi on time involved a lot of off-road excursions through the construction territory (due to some massive mela near the HR-PB border), weaving between trucks and shoving slow moving motorists off the fast lane with a blast of Hella rally lights. AvB's A State of Trance gave us the necessary pump to get well into triple digit speeds.

Odometer reading at the end of the trip: 1,096 kms
Average fuel consumption: 7.7 kpl

I had originally hoped to create a travelogue but I guess this mini trip report conveys the kind of stuff that's possible if you want to do a weekend trip. Pics of the food (yummmmmmyyyyyy) and other stuff can be posted if anyone's interested.

P.S.: Mods, could you move this to the trip reports sub-forum and possibly rename the title to "Food trip: Delhi to Amritsar & back in about 36 hours. Doable? Yep, it sure is!"

Last edited by khan75 : 25th January 2010 at 20:15.
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Old 25th January 2010, 21:02   #9
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Nice one, Khan75!

And YES, please post the food pics
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Old 26th January 2010, 23:44   #10
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Nice thread ,even am feeling like going on such a roadtrip now.

Quote:
And YES, please post the food pics
+1
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