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Old 23rd August 2010, 12:12   #1
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Unhappy A Terrible day and a Horrible drive

Yesterday me and my wife drove to Nagarjuna Sagar which is around 140 km from Hyderabad. It was supposed to be a fun drive and a joyful experience and when we started, I had planned to write a travelogue on this trip but it was not meant to be. Instead I ended up writing a street and travel experience. I do not even wish to post pictures from the trip which are required for a travelogue.

This is the story of a terrible day and a horrible drive. It all started when we kind of hurriedly planned a weekend drive to Nagarjuna sagar on saturday night, started from home at 9 AM sharp in the morning, crossed whole city via Tolichowki -> Mehdipatnam -> LB Stadium -> Koti -> Dilsukh nagar -> LB Nagar -> and got on the Sagar road via Ibrahimpatnam. There is nothing special to write about the drive. Dam is 160 odd km from my home in Hyderabad and we covered the distance in pretty much 3 hours. Roads are nice but they surprise you with sudden speedbrakers, pot holes, and a very long stretch of good roads suddenly followed by a short burst of bad patch (might be the rain-effect). One has to be extra careful while driving on these types of roads. While approaching the dam, spotted a recently toppled Indica. Although I hope occupants might have escaped with minor injuries looking at the condition of the vehicle but nevertheless, initial signal of a bad day ahead. Reached Sagar dam at 12.30 PM and came the first signal of a bad day....no water at all on the left side of the dam. This was a shocker since I had assumed that the dam gates must have been opened due to heavy rains past few days. Forget about open gates, not even a single drop of water oozing out of them. We proceeded further towards the Etipottala waterfalls. Signal no 2, They have stopped letting tourists go downwards near the falls and the temple. 2 years back I along with my friend had enjoyed lots near the stream. Ahhh.... what do I see there then? two waterfalls flowing down the rocks? From Pune to Mumbai I see a lot better than these during monsoon. Saving grace was the abundance of water flow at the sight. Scorching heat did not help either. Just when we started towards the launch station (for boating and archaeological survey of India museum), it started raining. Last time when I visited Nagarjuna sagar, I missed this due to lack of time so desperately wanted to do it this time. By the time we reached there, rain gods put the pedal down and even our umbrellas could not save us from getting wet like a fish. Got in the queue for tickets and boarded the launch finally. Signal no. 3, in sharp contrast to our assumption that this whole stuff would complete in an hour or so, it took 3 and half hours (2 PM to 5.30 PM) just for this activity alone and by the time we got out, we were totally exhausted and bored. Museum is good but not really worth spending so much time in company of the small bites all the time. Weather complicated matters again. By then it was already 5.45 and we were quite hungry since we skipped afternoon meals due to the rush of completing boating, waterfalls etc. in time. There is a nice restaurant near the dam (6 km from dam site), named Hotel Siddhartha. We found it very nice, hygienic, decent and good tasty meals. We had planned to just have a coffee break there (initial plan was to reach hyderabad and have dinner in Wontons), but ended up having full meals. Quite yummy and the only saving grace of this tour. (By the way, the sudden thought of finishing off the meals activity in the hotel itself rather than waiting to reach hyderabad was hugely a blessing of god as was evident later).

We started on our return drive at 6.45 PM. It was cloudy and drizzling that time with lights rapidly fading. We had just crossed around 30 km when we were suddenly stopped by the traffic ahead. I could see the crane lights and sensed something bad when the news came from the driver of the jeep ahead that there was a head on collision between a 16 wheeler truck and Maruti swift. The crane was there to remove the mangled car. According to the driver, bodies were still in the car and the accident must have happened just few minutes before. To add to what we were experiencing, it started raining heavily and I could see policemen and few volunteers really drenched in huge downpour guiding the vehicles and helping in clearing the traffic both sides. After everything was cleared out, and as I passed by, managed to take a good look at the mangled remains of swift, oh god, front half of swift was non-existent. I didn't want to look at the bodies inside. I cannot imagine anybody alive out of that crap. R.I.P. Just a few meters ahead, truck was on the roadside. Not much affected by the head on but the car was miserable. We crossed a few km and again it started raining heavily. Visibility was absolutely nil and I relied on the hazard lights of the vehicle in front of me. With these kind of rains and the 'surprises' on the road, my little cutie got frequent bad hits but it didnt complain even once, as usual. Let me tell you, this car is as reliable as ever and my fond for her grows everytime I take her out for a long drive. Rest of the journey was painful since it was pitch dark and my eyes were really strained coz of the upcoming traffic lights. Most of the drivers do not even budge to your dipper requests. Huhh..
As we entered Hyderabad city via LB Nagar at 9.15 PM, at the very first traffic signal, there was a huge jam, all for nothing. I couldn't find any reason for the jam except for the fact that the signals were off, and that there was no traffic cop at all . Jam continued for an hour or so (didn't move an inch). Traffic cops came and thereafter 45 minutes later vehicles started moving slowly ahead. Eventually we managed to get on the Dilsukh nagar road at 10.30 PM. No more adventures by gods grace and we reached home at 11.45 PM. Home..happy home.


Although I have done so many long drives both day trips and night trips for more than 700 km, there were a few new learnings and re-affirmation for the old learnings from this trip.

1) Never ever continue with a trip half-heartedly. Unless you are fully into it, you are not going to enjoy the drive and even minor hiccups will switch you off.

2) Know about the destination and the road condition beforehand from a reliable source. Never assume anything.

3) Avoid night driving whenever and wherever possible. It will strain your eyes and increase your fatigue. Moreover, your vehicle gets hit badly when you cant spot a pot hole or a bad patch. I know there are people who love night drives and I too have done many of them in the past but my personal opinion is that human eyes are not meant to see in the night. Avoid as much as you can, thats it. Also, night driving on untrodden paths is a complete no no. Even with a known path, be careful since road conditions do change frequently and make no assumptions.

4) If you feel like taking a break for anything, take it. If you are hungry, have meals. Stretch yourself frequently while on a long drive. Feel good about driving and your journey.

5) Avoid long drives during monsoon or if the destination demands a visit in monsoons only, be very cautious. There is a thin line between being adventurous and being silly. Maintain that line. On the same lines, respect big vehicles and follow upper dipper laws.

6) Traffic jam is caused 20% by nature borne disasters and external factors and 80% by non-sense people.

7) Traffic jam is cleared 20% coz of traffic cops and 80% coz of few good samaritans amongst us.

8) Final and the most important, wear seatbelts (even at the rear seat) and drive slow. Drive slow guys please. You can only be 50 % perfect driver. It is road transport, never forgives anyone. A fraction of second here and there and .... Bang... Drive your machine within its limits and you must be in full control and must feel confident about controlling your vehicle in case of emergency. As a principle, I do not go beyond 100 at any point in time even if it is a oneway. Life is beautiful. Appreciate this god's gift and respect other's lives too.

P.S - hey by the way I spotted a red accent CRDI on the way with a team-bhp sticker on it. That time I realized the importance of it. I wish I could have that sticket on my car too and we could have clubbed the road trip together.

Last edited by bblost : 23rd August 2010 at 13:43. Reason: Please use only 2 Smileys per post. Thanks.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 13:36   #2
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Sorry to hear about your bad experience. The learnings are definitely worth more than one bad day.
Your post got me thinking.
Everytime I venture out of Mumbai,
1. It takes at least 60-90 minutes just to get out of the city and hit the highway. Ditto when I return.
2. Road conditions are nothing to write home about irrespective of the season.
3. I end up seeing at least 1-2 mangled vehicles by the road-side. Have been lucky till date not to have witnessed a fatal accident in front of me.
4. Lack of lane discipline and general attitude of other users of the road (including pedestrians) puts you under immense stress, especially during night driving.
5. The overall facilities at our tourist places leave a lot to be desired and take away a lot from the travel experience.
6. Even a 3 hour drive wears me out to the extent that it takes me another day after returning to come back to normal.

I still do these outings as they are better than sitting around at home or going to the mall to buy stuff that you don't need. The occasional stretch with beautiful surroundings or an empty stretch of good tarmac makes the rest bearable. Time spent with the family makes up for the tough drive. There is always a silver lining to the dark cloud.

Last edited by SDP : 23rd August 2010 at 13:38.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 13:58   #3
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Quote:
4. Lack of lane discipline and general attitude of other users of the road (including pedestrians) puts you under immense stress, especially during night driving.
Yeah SDP, more than my probabilities of a head-on with a truck or bus, I always worry about hitting a pedestrian, a bicycle or a biker with no tail lamps. I spotted a whole bunch of such stupid fellows even last night. They will drive right on the lane close to the mid of the highway and swerve around crazily. Once while coming back from a place early morning at 5 AM, it was still dark and near a village I had to manouever around the 'exercise' loving youth who were doing pushups and situps on the highway lane itself huhh.

And talking about attitude, yesterday when we stopped to see what happened with the swift, the driver of the qualis ahead of us got out towards the accident site and thereafter, all other occupants too, when they opened the rear door, we could see beer bottles in the vehicle with these youths and I suspect they all were drinking inside (looking at the condition of bottles and the youth themselves. Also, whenever such traffic halt occurs due to some situation, you will always find a few smart guys driving parallel to you blocking the oncoming traffic. What to say.

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I still do these outings as they are better than sitting around at home or going to the mall to buy stuff that you don't need. The occasional stretch with beautiful surroundings or an empty stretch of good tarmac makes the rest bearable. Time spent with the family makes up for the tough drive. There is always a silver lining to the dark cloud.
There you go. I too drive for my passion of nature and driving and almost everytime I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed my drive to the fullest. Spotting of fresh accidents have become common and although we are getting used to them now, but it is hard to ignore the temporary sadness they come with...and I always think, couldn't this be avoided with simple precautions and sane driving?
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Old 23rd August 2010, 21:43   #4
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Originally Posted by sforsarang View Post
Never ever continue with a trip half-heartedly. Unless you are fully into it, you are not going to enjoy the drive and even minor hiccups will switch you off.
Sforsarang,

You are spot on .

Reminds me on one of our trip which we cancelled recently. At 11 AM, on on fine Saturday, decided to go a trip to Kurnool, Manthralayam and near by places. Started from Miyapur - Gachibowli. Unfortunately, I went through the Microsoft - Wipro Junction - Infotech road thinking that it will meet Outer Ring Road somewhere. After we cross Infotech, 1 KM or so, the road is still in construction. Decided to go ahead and finally reached ORR through Narsing, Kokapet etc. By the time I hit NH7, I was totally exhausted. Had a talk with better-half and decided to cancel the trip. So on return trip enjoyed the drive from NH 7 - ORR - Gachibowli, had lunch at good restaurant, came home, slept peacefully for the rest of the day

Thanks,
Srinivas.R
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Old 24th August 2010, 00:36   #5
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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
1. It takes at least 60-90 minutes just to get out of the city and hit the highway. Ditto when I return.
Same is the case with most cities.
From Pune it takes me 60mins to hit the Katraj ghat to touch NH4.
From Bangalore it takes me a little less than an hour to hit NH4. But with the negmangala overbridge completed, it might come down. I have even thought of spending the night in a cheap hotel in Tumkur and hit it at 5AM towards Pune.

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Old 24th August 2010, 09:47   #6
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Originally Posted by sriswe View Post
Sforsarang,

You are spot on .

Reminds me on one of our trip which we cancelled recently. At 11 AM, on on fine Saturday, decided to go a trip to Kurnool, Manthralayam and near by places. Started from Miyapur - Gachibowli. Unfortunately, I went through the Microsoft - Wipro Junction - Infotech road thinking that it will meet Outer Ring Road somewhere. After we cross Infotech, 1 KM or so, the road is still in construction. Decided to go ahead and finally reached ORR through Narsing, Kokapet etc. By the time I hit NH7, I was totally exhausted. Had a talk with better-half and decided to cancel the trip. So on return trip enjoyed the drive from NH 7 - ORR - Gachibowli, had lunch at good restaurant, came home, slept peacefully for the rest of the day

Thanks,
Srinivas.R
Hehe that was quite funny Srini, but I did not understand when you come from Miyapur to Gachibowli, you just cannot miss ORR...it is right there at the Y junction. How did you manage to miss that? :-P

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Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Same is the case with most cities.
From Pune it takes me 60mins to hit the Katraj ghat to touch NH4.
From Bangalore it takes me a little less than an hour to hit NH4. But with the negmangala overbridge completed, it might come down. I have even thought of spending the night in a cheap hotel in Tumkur and hit it at 5AM towards Pune.
Yeah Parvez, that's true. However, the time taken to cross the city limits is greatly reduced for early starters. For long drives, I start at 5 AM and get out of bowenpalli in half n hour when I go to Nagpur, patancheru in half n hour when to Pune, and NH7 towards bangalore in half n hour thanks to the ORR.
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Old 24th August 2010, 12:05   #7
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Originally Posted by sforsarang View Post
Hehe that was quite funny Srini, but I did not understand when you come from Miyapur to Gachibowli, you just cannot miss ORR...it is right there at the Y junction. How did you manage to miss that? :-P
Oh, I just thought there might be a road connecting from Infotech to ORR and just wanted to try that even though there is a straight forward way from Gachibowli Y junction. Although it was little frustrating drive through village roads ( actually no roads, only some pathways for tractors etc..) it was a good test for my driving skills and to my Indica

Thanks,
Srini.
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:04   #8
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Nagarjuna Sagar is quite losing it's sheen these days - the drive is nothing exciting, they no longer let you walk/drive on the dam. Closing Ethipothala downstream path is due to my experience last month http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...ed-naxals.html (Mugged at Ethipothala, Nagarjuna Sagar by alleged Naxals)

So you must be glad that you atleast didn't have any utword incident happening with you!

On that trip however, I did find a spot that was a bit fun. When you go from the dam towards Ethipothala, you need to cross the bridge over river krishna. Instead of taking left towards the bridge, go straight. There's a landing, a small temple and steps leading you towards the rocky bed of river Krishna. Though a bit risky, you can hang around here - my kid had a great time throwing pebbles into the river
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:16   #9
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Sarang, after reading your entire trip log, i couldnt find anything that was so horrible that your thread title outlines, except for the fact that as you rightly said venture into a trip whole heartedly and this trip looked that you were not into it right from begining. Best would have been to cancel midway and head back home as Srinivas did.

Hyderabad TBHP group had so many Nagarjunsagar drive meets that we dont remember the count now. Each time the trip was enjoyable and we had a whale of a time having lunch at Vijay Vihar ( Awesome Fish Fry). Not to mention some high speed driving that we did on that stretch.

P.S: I think the Red Accent ( Was it a Viva?) with stickers that you saw is my ex-car
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:18   #10
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i am sorry, but what was so horrible and terrible about this drive? Maybe i failed to spot it!

Every ride/drive has its share of ups and downs. Thats what makes it interesting no?
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:19   #11
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Originally Posted by KESriram View Post
Nagarjuna Sagar is quite losing it's sheen these days - the drive is nothing exciting, they no longer let you walk/drive on the dam. Closing Ethipothala downstream path is due to my experience last month http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...ed-naxals.html (Mugged at Ethipothala, Nagarjuna Sagar by alleged Naxals)

So you must be glad that you atleast didn't have any utword incident happening with you!

On that trip however, I did find a spot that was a bit fun. When you go from the dam towards Ethipothala, you need to cross the bridge over river krishna. Instead of taking left towards the bridge, go straight. There's a landing, a small temple and steps leading you towards the rocky bed of river Krishna. Though a bit risky, you can hang around here - my kid had a great time throwing pebbles into the river
Yeah Sriram, I had read your post and felt so sorry about your bad experience there. Fortunately nothing of that sort happened to us. Also, we went there on Sunday and overall it was crowdy so felt safe.

Similar kind of spot where we can get down and play in dam water is on the way to launch station. This time however it was raining heavily so could not enjoy there.
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Old 24th August 2010, 14:22   #12
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Default Few snaps uploaded from the tour

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Old 24th August 2010, 14:36   #13
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Sarang, after reading your entire trip log, i couldnt find anything that was so horrible that your thread title outlines, except for the fact that as you rightly said venture into a trip whole heartedly and this trip looked that you were not into it right from begining. Best would have been to cancel midway and head back home as Srinivas did.

Hyderabad TBHP group had so many Nagarjunsagar drive meets that we dont remember the count now. Each time the trip was enjoyable and we had a whale of a time having lunch at Vijay Vihar ( Awesome Fish Fry). Not to mention some high speed driving that we did on that stretch.

P.S: I think the Red Accent ( Was it a Viva?) with stickers that you saw is my ex-car
Guessed it right Mobike008...it was Viva...and it stopped in front of us too mid way.. I thought of getting acquainted with guys inside for once...



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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
i am sorry, but what was so horrible and terrible about this drive? Maybe i failed to spot it!

Every ride/drive has its share of ups and downs. Thats what makes it interesting no?
The accident that we witnessed was horrible and though I am used to seeing mangled cars, bikes and bodies...this was too bad. I did not elaborate much about it since the mere thought of it makes me sick. I just 'mentioned' about it in the post. Maybe the title is misleading but that was horrible.

A terrible day huhh... thats because we expected too much out of this trip based on my previous experience in Nagarjuna Sagar and not even 10% of that was fulfilled. for e.g., we assumed and expected so many things..like water in the left side of the dam, cool weather, playing downstream at etipotla and all... which we did last time... and the boating is too boring..

Yeah you are right, every ride has its share of ups and downs and new learnings as well..
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Old 25th August 2010, 11:42   #14
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Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Same is the case with most cities.
From Pune it takes me 60mins to hit the Katraj ghat to touch NH4.
From Bangalore it takes me a little less than an hour to hit NH4. But with the negmangala overbridge completed, it might come down. I have even thought of spending the night in a cheap hotel in Tumkur and hit it at 5AM towards Pune.
I do understand that Prince-pervez. What is alarming is that I stay on the absolute outskirt of Mumbai and even then it takes me that much of time before I hit anything that resembles a highway. This is because, outside Mumbai is another equally big (in fact bigger) city with its own set of traffic woes
The bypass road concept has not really worked in India as the city eventually grows to engulf even the bypass within its bounds.
No easy solutions there.
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Old 28th August 2010, 10:24   #15
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@sforsarang, Driver of the Swift and the person sitting behind him died on the spot. Another person died the next day. Only one person survived but he too is in critical condition. People say the Swift hit the truck at about 120 kmph.
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