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Old 2nd October 2010, 00:20   #16
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I don't think Narara is open yet, permits are issued only by mid-Oct.
HVK Sir, you might be right there partially. Permits to Pirotan island start mid-oct is the info i have. Narara is open from Sep onwards. And the tidal movements enabling a good tour of the reef should have started a month back. One can still their luck by directly going to Narara (round trip is only a 36KM deviation from the SH). There should be a sentry and a guide (Ahmed) stationed there permanantly. 'Requesting' them for a quick tour of the reef might help.
OT. I think the authorities should start promoting Narara in a big way and issue permits on the spot. The place has a lot of potential.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 09:25   #17
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HVK Sir, you might be right there partially. Permits to Pirotan island start mid-oct is the info i have. Narara is open from Sep onwards. And the tidal movements enabling a good tour of the reef should have started a month back. One can still their luck by directly going to Narara (round trip is only a 36KM deviation from the SH). There should be a sentry and a guide (Ahmed) stationed there permanantly. 'Requesting' them for a quick tour of the reef might help.
OT. I think the authorities should start promoting Narara in a big way and issue permits on the spot. The place has a lot of potential.
Thanks for this info. Will keep this in mind, since I am planning a drive to Piritan/Narara shortly.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 21:14   #18
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The trip is postponed by another day. Shall start on Monday now. HV, chief Sirohi-Beawar-Ajmer route is if I go down the Rajasthan route right? I shall be doing Agra-Gwalior-Shivpuri route.
Extreme Torque: Thanks for the tip mate but I dont think I shall be doing the Gujrat circuit this time. I shall do it as a standalone trip by the coast line later. This time its Mhow and the surroundings with Bhopal and Khajuraho thrown in but still maybe.
Phamilyman: Please the email. Dr Arn?
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Old 2nd October 2010, 22:40   #19
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Thanks for this info. Will keep this in mind, since I am planning a drive to Piritan/Narara shortly.
HVK,

Pirotan permits are stopped recently from what I heard from Arpit; has done lots of research on the corals there. You can talk to him directly, refer my name, 09426442243, he would also guide you properly about other islands aroud, time, things to do etc., he is a veteran there.

--Ramky
=======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 2nd October 2010 at 22:41.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 20:55   #20
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The trip is postponed by another day. Shall start on Monday now. HV, chief Sirohi-Beawar-Ajmer route is if I go down the Rajasthan route right? I shall be doing Agra-Gwalior-Shivpuri route.
Extreme Torque: Thanks for the tip mate but I dont think I shall be doing the Gujrat circuit this time. I shall do it as a standalone trip by the coast line later. This time its Mhow and the surroundings with Bhopal and Khajuraho thrown in but still maybe.
Phamilyman: Please the email. Dr Arn?
Dear Wanderernomad,

Back in Hyderabad from a recent shambled trip all the way from New Delhi.

Since you are planning for a trip to Mhow passing by Gwalior-Shivpuri, would suggest you to think twice before you take this route.

I travelled on 29th september from Delhi and stayed the night in Shivpuri. Roads are in absolute shambles, moon craters around everywhere (infact faced millions and millions enroute to hyderabad).

First of all, there is this Agra byepass to Gwalior, seemed quite a decent two track road for some good 10-12kms, then we got to a point where, there've been so many many trucks queued up moving inch by inch, once we reached our turn, we saw another two track road to Gwalior filled with queued up trucks on both sides, maybe some of the truckers wanted to act intelligently but in vain. We decided to take the route through Agra town (10kms) and passed through all the crowded places reached Collectorate office is a good landmark where we took a right turn to Gwalior and so on forth.

We thought that would be it for the trip, but there were surprises galore as expected in the monsoon season. Dholpur (Rajasthan) is a crumbled stretch till you cross into MP state. After some 5kms of crossing over Rajasthan, you get onto to a good 4 track road till you reach Gwalior.

Gosh, as you byepass Gwalior-its heavily loaded with deep 2-3 feet of little bit like ponds, big time moon craters, we couldn't understand as to why would have all the trucks have lined up for so many hours together. We tried our best with our low ground clearance vehicle, but it did hit underneath the surface quite a few times. Some trucks have come to a grind halt due to the ones which have broken up in the middle of nowhere to go for them.

We were for some relief in ourselves once we passed Lashkar area, tried to find out with some local chaps around, they seemed quite confident of the road to Shivpuri and all the way to Biaora (Bhopal and Indore). Infact one of them said we could cover 100km in an hour or so. Well we wanted to see what's been waiting for us and were really rueing the fact why take this route, since there was no go, we went ahead and reached Shivpuri hitting hi and low so many millions of heavily potholes at 9:30pm, even after a start of 8:30 am from Delhi airport (it took us 3 hours to be exact to reach Faridabad, Haryana i.e 45kms-road near Badarpur village border of Delhi-Haryana is in shambles). We covered a distance of 450 kms from Delhi to Shivpuri.

Next morning start seemed good, but came across lakhs of broken roads, we were looking out if there is a road or not, so many trucks broken down, all along byepassing Badarwas, Guna (byepass is a good 2 way track road for some 10-14kms with a toll), but again the same course repeated through Binaganj, there is one small ghat type road heavily big time no road and so much of broken road till Biaora byepass. My suggestion would be, take probably a different route to reach Mhow, inorder to escape all the frustrations, low ground clearance hittings, if the vehicle breaks up or flat tyres. Think twice and decide on this route. If no other go and have to take this route, do it in day time. Never think of doing it once it gets dark.

Regards.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 22:49   #21
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scorpydave, thanks for this detailed account of the road conditions, sounds like the road I know! NH3 has been always bad after the rains, and it is only during winter that the roads are made up and motorable. At least you turned off at Biaora, the road further on NH3 towards Dewas is even worse than the preceding sections. I have been stuck in 20-km jams on this road in rainy season myself, and hence my once-bitten-twice-shy attitude about using this route.
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:58   #22
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H V K sir,
Though we were three drivers, it was quite a headache trip. I will jot down the whole trip soon, but saw wanderernomad's trip, thought would update him of the latest conditions on this route. Ofcourse was in two minds whether to take the Dewas route to Indore, Dhule and so on (my past trip in 2009 feb was quite a decent stretch on this route) but instead stuck to Bhopal-Nagpur (after passing Betul, there is quite a big temple on the left, (Betul-Multai route) they've got quite a decent kids park, with a small aircraft parked to attract tourists) from here the road was good all the way to Nagpur maybe here and there few potholes, but manageable. Probably on the whole trip of 1600 kms, we've encountered 200 kms of shambled/absolutely no road to drive for.
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Old 4th October 2010, 23:22   #23
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scorpydave, I never liked the NH3 then and now. Bad roads, terrible facilities and absolutely forgettable terrain. It has been worse some years, but has never improved over the years from the time it used to be a little more than a truck-packed 1-laned road.
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Old 6th October 2010, 17:09   #24
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@scorpydave"thanks mate for the update though didnot read it till I had reached Mhow. But your update sure made me relive the stretch once again.
@HVK: No major jams even beyond biaora (maybe as most of the trucks that we came across were either lying horizontal on the ground or immobile with broken axles) till Dewas but yes the roads were bad though marginally better than the gwalior- shivpuri section.
Add me to the growing fan club of NH3. The road, if we can call it a road, is well now where to be seen. So after travelling this stretch I am sure I can apply to be a mars rover driver in case they plan on sending a manned one that is.
Started from Agra at 900 hrs and it was good going till we hit Dhaulpur. It is in a mess with no tarmac and highs n lows worse than the sensex. Anyway the absolute rut started after we somehow crossed the Gwalior town and were enroute to Shivpuri. How we managed only we know and on the way lost the front right fog lamp. The entire casing came out and was left dangling on the road. The glass and the bulb broken. I took it out of the holder for posterity. The only good stretch was the Guna byepass and the Indore bypass. Apart from these two relatively small stretches of about 50 Kms in the entire 550 Kms drive you will be hard pressed to find a stretch of road without potholes. Sorry forget potholes the craters. At times the trenches (yes they are trenches across the whole breadth of the road about a foot deep and about half across) are unaviodable. Still the marina (even with the side steps and full load) bottomed just once. Hard hits on the rims were numerous but they still remain in shape. Reached Mhow at around 2130 hrs. Had the roads even been average I am sure we would have reached at around 1800 hrs. The road conditions are so bad. I am told its even worse through Kota and if I decide the Bhopal -Jhansi route its no better. Lets see which way to return.

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Old 6th October 2010, 17:36   #25
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wandernomad, makes sorry reading, but not surprised. I have never found NH3 a good highway to drive in anytime, except maybe in winter by which time the bad roads are patched up a little.

Nonetheless, you have made good speeds!

Difficult to decide on the new route - the road via Bhopal also means navigating some bad roads but make enquiries if the road to Sagar is good (was good before the rains), if so you can return via Bhopal-Sagar-Jhansi-Gwalior.
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Old 6th October 2010, 19:59   #26
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@HVK Sir: Yes you are absolutely right, I did my Delhi-Gwalior-Indore-Shirdi-Nagar-Solapur-Hyd trip in Feb2009, because it was the last month of Winter, the roads were showing good progess. On the whole of my past to and fro Hyd-Delhi 5 trips, the latest Del-Gwalior-Shivpuri-Bhopal-Nagpur-Hyd has been more of a nightmarish experience.
@Wanderernomad:Thanks to Honda, we had to hit the bottom of Low GC civic since there was no other go, the Civic dealt good with no road shoulders, huge craters all the way to Hyderabad not losing one thing. Yes you are right, except the Guna byepass and Indore byepass(i remember it as a fourlaned in 2009), the others have been in dire straits. Incase you plan to do Itarsi to Bhopal (Hoshangabad-Bhopal seemed good), its one of the worst hit surfaces, absolute a nightmare one, rather you can take NH86 from Dewas head to Bhopal, find out about this route. I can tell that from Biaora-Narsinghgarh-Bhopal is ok road, though its potholed but not heavily. However from Biaora, we both know how it is going to be passing through Binaganj-Shivpuri-Gwalior (except the Guna byepass). Maybe try to look out for the Bhopal-Sagar-Jhansi-Gwalior (i remember so many diversions, there was much pending work to be done when i did my trip in late feb 2009, guess by now it would be less work and you could evade the craters/no road existence on this route and also would not lose any accessories.
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Old 6th October 2010, 22:59   #27
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@hvk: considering the road conditions yes we did make good time. Will be trying to find a better way home or in case no clear information is available it would be the same way back.
@scorpy: If I have to come back to biaora then I might just as well stick to the Dewas-Biaora route rather than face some unkown route and then still end up with the same story from Biaora onwards. I lost the fog as now I see that the fogs are not clamped. They are just placed in that well with a plastic casing upfront to hold them in place. Once that plastic casing goes the entire fog lamp is up for the jump. Will see to what can be done to make it more secure in future.
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Old 7th October 2010, 12:15   #28
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@wanderernomad: Guess you are right, since you are well-versed with the Biaora-Dewas stretch, you would know whats up ahead and where to slow down & manuevour, instead trying a new route to Bhopal and heading to Biaora. Hope the fogs just stick up all through your journey.
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