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Old 16th February 2011, 16:14   #16
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

If possible, try to avoid driving the 2lane section in Orissa on NH5 at night. After driving on 4lane roads for very very long, shifting over to a 2lane section is always very tough. Especially since the same amount of traffic is squeezed into smaller space. Not to mention driving at night with the very heavy truck traffic on a 2laned major national highway.

Also a lot more trains pass in that section during night, meaning it is more likely to face a jam in that section.

Try to leave Vizag in the morning and you can reach Puri by evening comfortable covering about 550kms.
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Old 16th February 2011, 16:32   #17
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Thank you.

Now that the route is finalized (KL-BLR-TRPT-VJWD-PURI), which are the places worth visiting on the way?

I have covered Tirupati/Kalahasti.

Is it better to stop @ Gopalpur on return?
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Old 16th February 2011, 16:50   #18
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Gopalpur is a pretty nice place, a pristine largely untouched beach, just a 5-6km diversion from the NH. Similarly, Chilika is also a decent place to visit and close to the NH, though I would say you have missed the best window to visit Chilika.

Though do have a visit and some food at Chilika Dhaba on the NH5 near Barkul Panthanivas. Some of the best fish you can have in the country and at cheap prices. Recently a national TV news channel rated this as one of the best Dhaba in the country from a culinary point of view. The place is very very famous for its crab dishes.

Last edited by julupani : 16th February 2011 at 16:53.
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Old 16th February 2011, 22:55   #19
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

chilika is awesome. lose the dolphins ( trust me , there really is nothing to see there) , and if you like crabsm head out to the beachside restaurants which offer JIT made seafood
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:09   #20
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KALINGA View Post
Just returned from orissa trip last night.
No safety issues anywhere in orissa.
Road is excellent from BALASORE to BHUBANESWAR.
Except in SORO(my home town ) 1-2 KM bad patch. GQ work is going on in full speed.
They will complete it with in 15-20 days.
SORO (After soro college) to BBSR excellent 4 lane road.
Kalinga, is the 4-laning between Baleshwar & Soro complete in all respects? Or almost done?
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:15   #21
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Places to see between Calcutta & Bangalore:

- Digha Beach if you take a detour off NH6 at Kolaghat and rejoin the GQ on NH60 at Jaleswar

- The famous circuit of Puri & Konarak, if you take a detour off NH5 at Bhubaneswar

- To experience the Chilka Lake, you can take a lovely boat road (car ferry) from Satapada - also has OTDC & dolphin-spotting spots - to Krishnaprasad island, where a road connection takes to NH5 at Humma, south of Rambha & Bhalugaon. Please be warned that ferry runs only 1-2 times a day and roads were last reported to be bad from Krishnaprasad island. But a lovely experience.

- Gopalpur-on-Sea, not to be mixed up with Gopalpur or Gopalpur Port

- Once you enter AP, there are lots of temples you can drop by at: Simhachalam (suburb of Vizag), Annavaram (between Vizag & Rajahmundry) & Mangalagiri Narasimhan (between Vijaywada & Guntur).

- Vizag, with its Rushikonda Beach, Kailasagiri Peak & submarine museum
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Old 17th February 2011, 10:26   #22
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

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Kalinga, is the 4-laning between Baleshwar & Soro complete in all respects? Or almost done?
Sir , this road is almost done with over-bridges. Only SORO Bus stand to Soro College (2 KM) is very bad shape. The work is going on very fast. It will must complete with in 1 month.

After SORO college, the road is done.
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Old 17th February 2011, 12:53   #23
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

The target for completion of the GQ project in Bhadrak to Balasore section is as of now March 31st and by the looks of it likely to be completed within the period.

The section between Balugaon By-pass upto the start of Berhampur by-pass is liklely to take upto the year end to finish. The major issue in this section is that almost half of this section is liklely to follow a new alignment altogether due to occurence of a number of by-passes. Which means you are pretty much running on an age old NH5 with almost no-repairs for years together. The major problem of the delay in this section is due to the collapse of the new Rushikulya bridge twice while under-construction causing the contract to be cancelled and re-tendered by the NHAI.

@hvkumar

Its Balugaon and not Bhalugaon. Bhalu would mean bears, while balu on the other hand corresponds to sand, because of a small sandy beach on the Chilika Lake in this town famous for its seafood catch from the lake and areas around the Rushikulya river mouth.

Gopalpur is the village itself, while Gopalpur-on-sea is the beach head just a few kms ahead on the same road. A few hotels today operate at Gopalpur-on-sea. Gopalpur port is slightly south of the Gopalpur-on-sea beach. The road from the village will take you from the NH5 to the Berhampur University, the Army Air Defence College, Gopalpur village and finally on to the beach called Gopalpur-on-sea.

Another nice beach is the Chandipur beach, more famous for the Chandipur ITR missile testing facility of the armed forces. The place also is home to Chandipur beach, one of the largest tidal surges of India, upto 4kms.
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Old 17th February 2011, 20:57   #24
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

KALINGA and julupani, thanks for the useful updates on NH5. What a relief it will be when the last leg of GQ on the east coast gets completed. At least this monsoon we should see some smooth drives. But what are they doing to solve the WB-OR checkpost jam problems, it appears to be a chronic problem.

Thanks a great deal for the clarifications on the place names. The first time I visited Gopalpur, I made the mistake of going first to the village then had to take some side roads to get to Gopalpur-on-sea!

Are there good stay facilities in Chandipur beach too?
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Old 17th February 2011, 21:25   #25
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

By this monsoon you should be able to do a 600km continuous 4-lane drive from Kolkata towards south. But dont expect the great ride to last long though as the 6laning of the 70odd km stretch from the south end of Bhubaneswar till the junction of NH5 with NH200 at Chandikhol is set to start post monsoon this year. Some contracts have been awarded and land acquisition in required areas has already begun.

There are decent facilities in almost all tourist places in coastal Orissa. At least you will find a Panthanivas or a Panthika by OTDC even at the smaller places.

Chandipur has a few hotels other than a OTDC Panthanivas.

The jam problems at the Orissa-AP border are all but gone, at least for private vehicles due to the opening up of the Ichapuram bypass with better check post facilities. The large volume of trucks still requires more people at the post for the truckers/taxis though.

About the problem at the OR-WB NH60 border, I have no latest info. But there was a crackdown on the illegal collection of tax from private vehicles there though. But it might have restarted.

The border check-post at Jharpokharia on the NH5 though is now much smoother.
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Old 17th February 2011, 22:40   #26
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Thanks a lot to you all.

The planning has become much clearer now.

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Old 21st February 2011, 15:23   #27
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Hi,

List of places to visit in Orissa has been decided. Please let me know if i have missed any important ones.

Puri – Jagannath Temple
Bhubaneswar- (Lingaraja Temple, Chandaka, Nandan Kanan, Mukteswara, 64 Yogini, Rajarani, Dhauli)
Konark – Sun Temple
Udayagiri caves, Khandagiri, Ratnagiri
Simlipal national park
Satpada/Chilika (possibility of ferry back to KP island /Rambha on return) Any idea of the ferry timings?
Gopalpur
Taptapani

I believe Udaigiri caves/Khandagiri is nearby.

What is to see in Ratnagiri?

There is another place called Udayagiri near Kalinga. Any sightseeing there? Is it worth the 200+ Km drive?

Is it better to take the conducted tour by OTDC inside Bhubaneswar than driving?

Thanks.

Last edited by Skyline GT-R : 21st February 2011 at 15:29. Reason: Important Question
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Old 21st February 2011, 15:40   #28
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline GT-R View Post
Hi,

List of places to visit in Orissa has been decided. Please let me know if i have missed any important ones.

Puri – Jagannath Temple
Bhubaneswar- (Lingaraja Temple, Chandaka, Nandan Kanan, Mukteswara, 64 Yogini, Rajarani, Dhauli)
Konark – Sun Temple
Udayagiri caves, Khandagiri, Ratnagiri
Simlipal national park
Satpada/Chilika (possibility of ferry back to KP island /Rambha on return) Any idea of the ferry timings?
Gopalpur
Taptapani

I believe Udaigiri caves/Khandagiri is nearby.

What is to see in Ratnagiri?

There is another place called Udayagiri near Kalinga. Any sightseeing there? Is it worth the 200+ Km drive?

Is it better to take the conducted tour by OTDC inside Bhubaneswar than driving?

Thanks.
Similipal national park was closed for Mao-attack on forest office/ and its officials some days before.

Don't no the current status. As currently the situation is also bad. Check the below link.

Malkangiri Collector kidnapping: Orissa govt halts anti-Maoist operations

I suggest to skip the "Similipal national park" from your list.

Its always better to take the local transport in a new place. So its good to take the conducted tour by OTDC inside BHUBANESWAR.

You can also drive your car around, but always to ask for direction if you don't have map/GPS etc.

Last edited by KALINGA : 21st February 2011 at 15:42.
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Old 21st February 2011, 15:55   #29
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KALINGA View Post
Similipal national park was closed for Mao-attack on forest office/ and its officials some days before.

I suggest to skip the "Similipal national park" from your list.

Its always better to take the local transport in a new place. So its good to take the conducted tour by OTDC inside BHUBANESWAR.

You can also drive your car around, but always to ask for direction if you don't have map/GPS etc.
Thanks. Simlipal was a half-hearted addition; but now it is dropped.

I tried to explore the city in Jaipur but was bolted royally due to the traffic+roadworks+all buildings looking same combination. But the RTDC tourbus was effective in terms of cost/time.

Prefer to ask the route a couple of times than the GPS' perfect route.

Are BBSR drivers peace loving?
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Old 21st February 2011, 18:09   #30
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Default Re: Is it safe to drive through AP/Odisha(Orissa)?

Skip Simplipal National Park, as it is most likely to be closed due to the recent Maoist incidents.

Might suggest also skipping Chandaka Reserve forest, unless you are a big wildlife enthusiast. I would much rather spend a longer time in Nandankanan, one of the best zoos in the world today.

Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves are pretty much on the NH5, within Bhubaneswar city limits.

Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri and Udaygiri (not the previous one) are a cluster of places about 25kms of NH5 on NH5A, about 150kms round trip from Bhubaneswar. They are famous for remains of Buddhist monasteries.

Bhubaneswar city traffic is no worse or no better than any other city traffic. There are some pretty good and wide roads around though. It is very comfortable most of the time, except on one or two roads. But traffic is very bad during peak hours of 8-11am and 4-9pm due to a much higher percentage of cars and lack of Public transport capacity. There was a time, when the number of vehicles registerd at Bhubaneswar RTO outnumbered the people in the city. Things are not that bad today, but still dont be surprised to get stuck at some traffic junction for more than one cycle.

Always welcome to PM me for any help required in Bhubaneswar.
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