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Old 27th September 2010, 11:47   #1
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Default Road condition in Himachal

Hi,

I am planning a sojourn to Kasol in mid-October, but I am a bit apprehensive about the condition of roads. I have been to Uttarakhand recently, and roads were terrible. I do not fancy driving on such roads for long.

Had anybody driven to these areas recently? How are the roads - the plain parts and the hilly parts? We will be driving in a Gypsy and a Swift.

Also, is it possible to drive from Delhi in a day? We plan to leave by 4:00 AM< and cover the plains in 6 hours by 10:00. And then the hilly parts in another 6-7 hours. Is it doable?

Regards

Nitin
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Old 27th September 2010, 12:11   #2
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Damage due to the recent extreme wet weather notwithstanding, roads in both the hill states - Himanchal and Uttarakhand tend to be excellent. Their economies are tourism based, so they cannot afford otherwise. Also, many (not all) of the roads are maintained by the Border Roads Organisation being strategically important. Even landslides are promptly fixed.

Uttarakhand has had extensive devastation but I will be surprised if the majority of the roads are not up and running within a month, though perfection may take a couple of months more. I myself drove around a lot in the Kuamon region in February and was delighted by the roads. I am surprised by your comments.

You should expect the roads to be winding and sometimes narrow, so plan accordingly. A motoring trip is highly recommended. However, do not budget on more than 35-40 kph on the hill roads. Be patient, and you will be rewarded. Also, carry food and fluids in the car, in case of any landslides. I carry a car fridge (for the past 30 years) with me on long trips.
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Old 27th September 2010, 12:24   #3
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I went via Naggar to Manali, and roads were okay. Till Kullu the section is mostly good tarmac, with one or two broken patches.
From Kullu to Manlikaran no idea.
That said, the roads in Tirthan region are mostly fine(except for Jalori pass section), and you should be fine.
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Old 27th September 2010, 12:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Uttarakhand has had extensive devastation but I will be surprised if the majority of the roads are not up and running within a month, though perfection may take a couple of months more. I myself drove around a lot in the Kuamon region in February and was delighted by the roads. I am surprised by your comments.
I covered almost all of Kumaon (entered from Bazpur-Kaladhungi-Nainital-Bhowali-Almora-Kausani-Bageshwar-Chaukori-Thal-Birthi-Munsiyari-Birthi-Thal-Berinag-Patal Bhuwaneshwar-Lohaghat-Tanakpur), in June and roads were excellent. Then I drove to Nainital in beginning of August, and roads upto Kaladhungi were terrible, though Kaladhungi to Nainital was OK.

My last drive to Kumaon was about a week ago and the road from Bhowali to Mukteshwar was BAD. In fact the worst drive, I have ever had in Kumaon; and I had had quite a few :-)

Nitin

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I went via Naggar to Manali, and roads were okay. Till Kullu the section is mostly good tarmac, with one or two broken patches.
From Kullu to Manlikaran no idea.
That said, the roads in Tirthan region are mostly fine(except for Jalori pass section), and you should be fine.
Thanks TSK. Is it doable in one day? I can;t afford more than 2 days' leaves, so it will be a 4 day trip - I plan to drive to Kasol on Saturday, spend Sunday and Monday there and drive back on Tuesday.

Nitin

Last edited by tsk1979 : 27th September 2010 at 13:58.
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Old 27th September 2010, 13:54   #5
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Easily doable. You can hit Chandi in under 4 hours if you leave a bit earlier. From there its via Bilaspur and Mandi. The roads are very good and you can make it to Kullu in under 6 hours. The roads are not so good from Kullu to Kasol - but its a short distance.
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Old 27th September 2010, 14:00   #6
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With a gypsy you are looking at 12 hours driving time. So its doable in a day.
An early start will help you skip the morning rush hour traffic near Karnal which is a mess due to six laning.
Just before PB take the banur road to Kharar,from there go to Ropar, then to Manali road.
At Kiratpur you start ghat section, and till Bilaspur, esp swarghat its painful due to steep gradient. This means you will need to overtake truck convoys doing 8-10kmph
Moreover, these trucks normally are in groups of 3 or 4 and travel with barely 2m space between them. So either you overtake all or overtake none.
This is the only painful part of driving this section.
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Old 27th September 2010, 14:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
With a gypsy you are looking at 12 hours driving time. So its doable in a day.
An early start will help you skip the morning rush hour traffic near Karnal which is a mess due to six laning.
Just before PB take the banur road to Kharar,from there go to Ropar, then to Manali road.
At Kiratpur you start ghat section, and till Bilaspur, esp swarghat its painful due to steep gradient. This means you will need to overtake truck convoys doing 8-10kmph
Moreover, these trucks normally are in groups of 3 or 4 and travel with barely 2m space between them. So either you overtake all or overtake none.
This is the only painful part of driving this section.
Hi Tanveer,

Thanks for the detailed route. Google maps is showing a route via Panchkula-Pinjore-Baddi-Nalagarh and another one via Ambala-Kharar-Kurali-Rupnagar (is it same as Ropar?)-Kiratpur-Swarghat. The second route is about 40 KMs longer, but since you are recommending it, I take it that it will be better/with less traffic; right?

Thanks again

Nitin
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Old 27th September 2010, 14:41   #8
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Yes, Rupnagar is the place(Ropar)

Route
ambala-rupnagar
Ambala City, Haryana 133001 to Rupnagar, Punjab - Google Maps
Till Kharar traffic is thin.
From Kharar to Rupnagar is slightly heavy with Rupnagar being a trouble spot.
After that most of the road is 4 lane, with some sections under construction, but its fast.
From Kiratpur Sahib you take the diversion to Manali(keep your eyes peeled for directions as the diversion is not well marked). Its right at the start of Kiratpur town, right after you cross a bridge over a canal.
Sutlej can be seen from this bridge far to the left.
Rupnagar, Punjab to Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131 - Google Maps
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Old 27th September 2010, 14:46   #9
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Thanks mate :-)

Nitin
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Old 27th September 2010, 15:13   #10
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The good part is there are no tourists there right now, and repairs are starting soon.

The bad part is that besides the crap Kiratpur-Sundernagar section, there were potholes up to Manali not like the usual smooth tarmac. But not bad enough for you not to go

PS: Even kalka-solan is completely crap right now (a friend came back on thursday) - expect to see it repaired within two weeks.
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:51   #11
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Default Nainital Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Damage due to the recent extreme wet weather notwithstanding, roads in both the hill states - Himanchal and Uttarakhand tend to be excellent. Their economies are tourism based, so they cannot afford otherwise. Also, many (not all) of the roads are maintained by the Border Roads Organisation being strategically important. Even landslides are promptly fixed.

Uttarakhand has had extensive devastation but I will be surprised if the majority of the roads are not up and running within a month, though perfection may take a couple of months more. I myself drove around a lot in the Kuamon region in February and was delighted by the roads. I am surprised by your comments.

You should expect the roads to be winding and sometimes narrow, so plan accordingly. A motoring trip is highly recommended. However, do not budget on more than 35-40 kph on the hill roads. Be patient, and you will be rewarded. Also, carry food and fluids in the car, in case of any landslides. I carry a car fridge (for the past 30 years) with me on long trips.

Hi Sgiitk,

Finally from this post, some good news after all the landslides and floods in recent times in Uttarakhand and nearby regions.

Have you travelled through the areas mentioned recently after the landslides or so. Would be of great help if you or anyone can provide more information on current situation on train journey between delhi and kathgodam, and there on from Kathgodam to Nainital.

I have made up plans to go to Nainital and Corbett in Nov 1st week, i.e. between Oct 30 and Nov 5th.

Will the recent landslides and floods hamper my trip in anyway. Please let me know latest situation as such and hope all will be fine by Nov 01.


rrds
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Old 29th September 2010, 00:12   #12
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Folks,

here's the story from an intrepid experienced adventurer, who headed out for smashing the north-south bike record but suffered a crash courtesy the roads at rohtang:
Motoroids North South Blitzkrieg - breaking the current K2K record - Page 12 - Motoroids Forums
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Old 29th September 2010, 00:19   #13
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Bikers have a lot more difficulty than 4 wheelers.
Rohtang currently is crossable, and weather is clear from past couple of days as monsoon has withdrawn from himachal.
Moreover, when people start with motives of creating speeding records on public roads usually end up in the hospital, rohtang or no rohtang
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Old 29th September 2010, 10:03   #14
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Tanveer,

You didnt need to take a general dig at Arn. That gentleman holds many records all over India - he fell while trying to cross slush - nothing to do with the record attempt (which would happen in return, seven days later).

I completely disagree that bikers have it worse in most conditions (except hardcore rock climbing or pure 4x4 section.) - you saw Vaibhav/others have an uneventful ride in Nubra, Avinash crossed Wari La late oct. Many many more bikers have climbed Marsimek than the handful of car adventurers like you.

Anyone can make an error of judgement when one gets impatient or gets fed up in the Rohtang chaos. To link it with bikes or a later record attempt is sketchy at best.

That said, the road is in horrendous shape. People need to be very very careful. While the monsoon is gone, the winter is almost there and the last convoys would be scrambling out.

Last edited by phamilyman : 29th September 2010 at 10:04.
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Old 29th September 2010, 11:36   #15
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No dig at motorcycles, I was generally making a dig at speed record attempts. Many have been made in cars too for example east west corridor record attempt by some auto mags etc,
Regarding "bikes have it worse" I was talking about normal roads in the himalayas with black ice, slush etc.,
A biker is more likely to skid etc,.
Of course where there is no road and part of road has been washed away leaving a narrow track, a cycle or bike will easily cross.

But if you are talking about a normal broken muddy road, bikers have it a lot tougher.
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