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Old 10th September 2013, 13:11   #106
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
On the other hand I am more concerned about the Vizag-Koraput stretch. The ghat roads are practically non-existent, expect to take about 5 hours to get this stretch done. Also keep in mind that a couple of weeks back some paramilitary forces were killed by a IED attack on this highway. I dont think either APSRTC or OSRTC are running their regular buses on this route yet.
Has that stretch deteriorated so much? Around a decade ago, I drove to Damanjodi from Vizag and the roads were decent, though un-divided. The stretch from NH5 from the spot where one takes a left at a fork to go towards Vizianagaram was quite wide and decent. But from Vizianagaram to Salur, the road was a bit narrow, but decent.

Even the Salur ghat (a.k.a. Sunkhi ghat) was decent.

I agree with Julupani over avoiding night travel. I remember even Damanjodi was attacked by Naxals a couple of years ago.
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Old 10th September 2013, 13:32   #107
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Has that stretch deteriorated so much? Around a decade ago, I drove to Damanjodi from Vizag and the roads were decent, though un-divided. The stretch from NH5 from the spot where one takes a left at a fork to go towards Vizianagaram was quite wide and decent. But from Vizianagaram to Salur, the road was a bit narrow, but decent.

Even the Salur ghat (a.k.a. Sunkhi ghat) was decent.

I agree with Julupani over avoiding night travel. I remember even Damanjodi was attacked by Naxals a couple of years ago.
That stretch is in complete shambles, largely due to the Maoist problems. The Maoists have heavily targeted any govt developmental work in the area. There are practically no road contractors who want to work in that area. Most tenders floated for road repair get no interest at all. Some contracts which did start were terrorised by the Maoists, and many left their work half way through leaving some stretches of the road in complete disrepair. Some minor repair work does get done once in a while, but post monsoon the road will be at its worst. There was even some talk of handing over the stretch to the BRO temporarily so that the road can be maintained, especially so that it can be used by two critical defense facilities at Sunabeda, the HAL engine factory and the Navy Armament Depot.

Other than that, there are many stretches where you pass through areas where govt control is practically non-existant. Like I said, recently a few paramilitary forces were killed while on this highway

Its not a complete no-go area, but one should be safe by keeping to day times. Normally when we travel from Bhubaneswar, we leave early in the morning between 5-6am, and reach Ramabhadrapuram before the start of the ghat section in about 6 hours, where we have an early lunch. The 100kms between Ramabhadrapuram and Koraput generally takes about 3-4hours.
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Old 10th September 2013, 13:52   #108
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

Road surface between NH5 turning to vizianagaram and ramabhadrapuram is excellant, except few stretches. i had traveled on this road on aug 29th, 2013. i do not know about ramabhadrapuram-salur-koraput, i had never used this road.
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Old 10th September 2013, 15:08   #109
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

Hey Guys/Thanks for all your replies. I really appreciate the help here. I am noting all the points. This is the first time I am doing this route in my own car and family and of course a little nervous.

Well, I am born and brought up in Jeypore which is in Koraput district and have stayed there for first 20 years of my life. My parents still stay there. The nearest 2nd tier city for us is always Vizag and we keep travelling between Vizag and Jeypore and once I cross Vizag it is almost home for me The roads are not great but you have a very bad stretch only for 20 Kms. The Salur ghat section has excellent roads. Once you cross Sunki roads become little ok.

@Julupani: There are never any naxal problems in this route. The naxal prone areas are basically Malkangiri district which would start once you cross Boipariguda which is 20Km south of Jeypore. The other naxal prone areas are in and around Rayagada, Laxmipur and Narayan Patna. I need not take these routes.

Had I not worried about Naxal problems then my route would have been

Blr-Hyd -Warrangal- Etunagaram-Bhadrachalam- Malkangiri-Koraput
or
Blr-Hyd-Warrangal-Dantewada-Jagdalpur-Jeypore-Koraput

Both have very fast highways but either I have to cross Dantewada or Malkangiri which are naxal zones. So do not want to risk it.

I am planning to travel to Koraput from Bangalore on Oct 1st and my return would be on Oct 18th.
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Old 10th September 2013, 16:51   #110
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by sam_boy View Post
Hey Guys/Thanks for all your replies. I really appreciate the help here. I am noting all the points. This is the first time I am doing this route in my own car and family and of course a little nervous.

Well, I am born and brought up in Jeypore which is in Koraput district and have stayed there for first 20 years of my life. My parents still stay there. The nearest 2nd tier city for us is always Vizag and we keep travelling between Vizag and Jeypore and once I cross Vizag it is almost home for me The roads are not great but you have a very bad stretch only for 20 Kms. The Salur ghat section has excellent roads. Once you cross Sunki roads become little ok.

@Julupani: There are never any naxal problems in this route. The naxal prone areas are basically Malkangiri district which would start once you cross Boipariguda which is 20Km south of Jeypore. The other naxal prone areas are in and around Rayagada, Laxmipur and Narayan Patna. I need not take these routes.

Had I not worried about Naxal problems then my route would have been

Blr-Hyd -Warrangal- Etunagaram-Bhadrachalam- Malkangiri-Koraput
or
Blr-Hyd-Warrangal-Dantewada-Jagdalpur-Jeypore-Koraput

Both have very fast highways but either I have to cross Dantewada or Malkangiri which are naxal zones. So do not want to risk it.

I am planning to travel to Koraput from Bangalore on Oct 1st and my return would be on Oct 18th.
Well, I too belong to the area, though I havnt lived there much, except for about 4 years in Sunabeda. But somebody from my family is always travelling on that route. Even now I have family in Sunabeda, Jeypore, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kotpad and Jagdalpur. Do get some latest updates on that route from your family, immediately preceding your journey.

As for the road conditions, you rightly point out that about 20kms is extremely bad, but the rest is not a peach either from what I have heard. At the center of that 20km stretch is Ralegada, which is a Maoist hotbed, near where the incident which I was talking about took place.

Though overall, the highway may be safer than Malkangiri or the Dantewada region, but still it is best to stick to day time hours and get at least to Similiguda before 4pm. The area around Laxmipur has quietened down after last years abduction of the very popular local MLA. Most OSRTC buses now use the Rayagada route rather than the usual AP route via Rajam.

BTW, I am sure you must have heard that the Jeypore ghat is the worst of it all. Sometimes the 25km stretch can take 2hours.
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Old 11th September 2013, 21:50   #111
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Well, I too belong to the area, though I havnt lived there much, except for about 4 years in Sunabeda. But somebody from my family is always travelling on that route. Even now I have family in Sunabeda, Jeypore, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kotpad and Jagdalpur. Do get some latest updates on that route from your family, immediately preceding your journey.
Great to have someone from my place. Guys, the area we are talking about is one of the remote areas of Odisha and you might not find many from these areas. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Odisha. ADC went to this area and he has a wonderful travelogue, if time permits go through it, it is really well written with some amazing photos.
@Julupani: I am a true Koraputia

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
BTW, I am sure you must have heard that the Jeypore ghat is the worst of it all. Sometimes the 25km stretch can take 2hours.
Yeah there are days when a truck or bus breaks down and these roads get totally jammed and it takes 4-5 hours to cross the ghat. But these are off days.The worst part is almost everyday I travel in this particular road as my in-laws stay in Koraput and my parents stay in Jeypore.

I spoke to my dad today morning on the routes and in his opinion roads are not as bad as 2 years back, but definitely it would not be a awesome drive either. I promise a full travelogue on this route.
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Old 17th September 2013, 14:33   #112
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

Bandh in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema on Sep 24, National Highways may also be blocked as per this report :

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/13091...an-bigger-stir
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Old 18th September 2013, 09:23   #113
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Bandh in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema on Sep 24, National Highways may also be blocked as per this report :

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/13091...an-bigger-stir
Hello Sir,
Thanks for this heads up. Really appreciate, but I am now worried as the news snippet also says that there is a protest that involves the Banks on 26th & 27th September. I am traveling on these 2 days and will be crossing Andhra mainly on these dates. How bad can the protests be on NH 5 as I will be with family.
My travel dates are fixed as follows :
1) 27th Sep - Bangalore to Rajahmundry via Tirupathi & NH5
2) 28th Sep - Rajahmundry to Bhubaneshwar via NH5

Any guidance will be appreciated - Thanks.
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Old 18th September 2013, 10:17   #114
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Hi All,
I did a bit of my own research and as per the excerpt from TOI - Hyderabad dated 17th Sep, the details of the agitation are as follows -

"According to the schedule announced by Ashok Babu, the agitation beginning on September 19 would end on September 30. Apart from the Seemandhra bandh on September 24, the Seemandhra electricity employees would stop the power supply across the state between 6 pm and 8 pm on September 21.
The private bus services would be stopped on September 25 and 26. A siege of the central government offices has been scheduled on September 27-28 and a road blockade resorted to on the highways from Srikakulam to Tada in Nellore on September 24. Ashok Babu said a massive public meeting would be organized in Vijayawada on September 20."
If I go by this news, I think I am safe to take the highways in AP on 27th & 28th, if there is any advise from Team BHP group otherwise. Looking forward to your inputs. Thanks.
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Old 18th September 2013, 10:37   #115
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Originally Posted by RollingWheels View Post
Hello Sir,
Thanks for this heads up. Really appreciate, but I am now worried as the news snippet also says that there is a protest that involves the Banks on 26th & 27th September. I am traveling on these 2 days and will be crossing Andhra mainly on these dates. How bad can the protests be on NH 5 as I will be with family.
My travel dates are fixed as follows :
1) 27th Sep - Bangalore to Rajahmundry via Tirupathi & NH5
2) 28th Sep - Rajahmundry to Bhubaneshwar via NH5

Any guidance will be appreciated - Thanks.
Well, a suggestion of timing to avoid any protests, if you think they will be a problem.

Dep Bangalore 3/4pm
Dinner near Tirupati
Arrive Rajahmundry by 9am next day
Sleep the whole day at Rajahmundry
Depart Rajahmundry next day at 5/6am
Take Vizag bypass, and clear Srikakulam by around 11am
Reach Bhubaneswar by 4pm, with lunch near Berhampur

By driving through most of Andhra at night you will most likely avoid most road blockades. You should clear Viajaywada around 6-7am, so avoiding any protests. By taking Vizag bypass, you can also avoid the chance of any protests in Vizag city, and the early departure should make sure you are past Andhra before most protests start in the mornings. Once you clear Srikakulam you are pretty much home free till Bhubaneswar.
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Old 18th September 2013, 11:08   #116
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Well, a suggestion of timing to avoid any protests, if you think they will be a problem.

Dep Bangalore 3/4pm
Dinner near Tirupati
Arrive Rajahmundry by 9am next day
Sleep the whole day at Rajahmundry
Depart Rajahmundry next day at 5/6am
Take Vizag bypass, and clear Srikakulam by around 11am
Reach Bhubaneswar by 4pm, with lunch near Berhampur

By driving through most of Andhra at night you will most likely avoid most road blockades. You should clear Viajaywada around 6-7am, so avoiding any protests. By taking Vizag bypass, you can also avoid the chance of any protests in Vizag city, and the early departure should make sure you are past Andhra before most protests start in the mornings. Once you clear Srikakulam you are pretty much home free till Bhubaneswar.
Dear Julupani,
Great suggestions and I am thinking on these lines already. Just one clarification - is it safe for women at night on this route till Rajahmundry? This is critical decision making point.
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Old 18th September 2013, 12:17   #117
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Dear Julupani,
Great suggestions and I am thinking on these lines already. Just one clarification - is it safe for women at night on this route till Rajahmundry? This is critical decision making point.
Well, unfortunately I dont have any idea regarding that.

BTW, the idea came to my head as I recently travelled from Bangalore to Bhubaneswar at sort of similar timing. The main difference was that the big break in Rajahmundry was missing as I was taking the Kesineni Bangalore-Cuttack bus service.
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Old 18th September 2013, 12:28   #118
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Default re: Bangalore - Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneswar : Route Queries

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Just one clarification - is it safe for women at night on this route till Rajahmundry? This is critical decision making point.
Most of the travel from Nayudupet to Rajamundry will be in NH5. It is quite safe. And in general, most main routes in southern states are quite safe.
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Old 18th September 2013, 13:08   #119
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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Well, a suggestion of timing to avoid any protests, if you think they will be a problem.

Dep Bangalore 3/4pm
Dinner near Tirupati
Arrive Rajahmundry by 9am next day
Sleep the whole day at Rajahmundry
Depart Rajahmundry next day at 5/6am
Take Vizag bypass, and clear Srikakulam by around 11am
Reach Bhubaneswar by 4pm, with lunch near Berhampur

By driving through most of Andhra at night you will most likely avoid most road blockades. You should clear Viajaywada around 6-7am, so avoiding any protests. By taking Vizag bypass, you can also avoid the chance of any protests in Vizag city, and the early departure should make sure you are past Andhra before most protests start in the mornings. Once you clear Srikakulam you are pretty much home free till Bhubaneswar.
with julupani. There is an another route via Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Rajamundry. Google Maps show a 998kms exactly with 13.30hrs of driving. Considering the safety and road conditions I would suggest you to go via Hyderabad even though it is longer by 150 kms. 4 lanes all through. If you start from Bangalore by 3.00 p.m, you will reach Hyderabad ORR by 9 or 10 p.m. It is only 3 to 4 hours from ORR to Vijayawada, which means you should be there by 2 or 3 a.m. From there Rajamundry is another 3 to 4 hours. You can reach the city by 8 a.m max, so that you wont be waiting on the highway stranded. There are countless diversions on NH5 from Nellore to Vijayawada due to 6 laning work in progress. This might take the toll on your time. There are no issues with safety. Hope you will have a safe journey.
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Old 18th September 2013, 20:19   #120
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Originally Posted by RollingWheels View Post
My travel dates are fixed as follows :
1) 27th Sep - Bangalore to Rajahmundry via Tirupathi & NH5
2) 28th Sep - Rajahmundry to Bhubaneshwar via NH5
Even I am traveling on the same date and on the same road. I am traveling up to Vizag though and I am with my family too.I 'm not able to send you a private message. Any idea how do I contact you ?

Last edited by sam_boy : 18th September 2013 at 20:20.
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