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Old 25th December 2011, 17:55   #1
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Default Gurgaon - Varanasi - Gurgaon

A sudden death in the family on 17th made me undertake this 1740 kms journey to Varanasi & back. Quick telephonic conversation with HVK settled the route issue -

Gurgaon - Faridabad - Agra - Etawah - Kanpur - Allahabad - Varanasi ( NH 2 throughout).

I had last gone to Varanasi in 2002 in my Esteem LX and had taken the same route. It was a nightmare then. Now the road is a smooth metalled 4 lane all the way.

Delhi/NCR was experiencing a severe cold wave and so was the entire North-India. Worst reports of foggy conditions were coming from UP/Punjab area with several trains cancelled/delayed and the flight situation was no better.

As the last rites of the family member were to be performed on 18th, I decided to leave by road at midnight of 17th along with my wife. It was going to be tough as I had a very busy day at the office on the 17th, hence no rest.

Topped up the fuel in the Bull, checked tyre pressure & all fluids, got the air-filter cleaned and tested all electricals. After packing my duffle-bag & having a light dinner, I was ready-to-roll.

18th December, 2011

Did not encounter much traffic on the NH 2 to Agra that was due to the following factors:

1. It was very cold
2. It was a weekend - Saturday/Sunday
3. Midnight
4. Anticipation of heavy fog.

Maintained an average speed of 90 kmph and the Philips Essential Vision (White Light) 100/90W bulbs with the new beams gave a fantastic road illumination and also kept the rogue high-beamers from the opposite side on check.

It was nearing 4 am that I neared Etawah and hit a white dense wall of fog. Switched on the hazard lights, the fog lamps and dipped the beam to low. This wall of fog remained with me till the outskirts of Varanasi and reduced the speed too.

A few of my fellow Delhi/NCR Scorpions shall testify to the fact that I'm not a slouch on the roads, but fighting nature was not my cup of tea. Enroute I saw many a mangled metal, some very fresh that resulted due to fog.

Around 5 am after I had just crossed Auraiya, my eyes refused to co-operate with me. This was a dangerous situation. I spotted about 4 or 5 trucks & trailers parked on the side and parked The Bull right in front of the first truck. This would save my back and no one would bang from behind. Reclined the seat and had a shut-eye. When I woke-up it was 7:15 am and daylight had broken. As I looked around, I could only see a white opaque sheet enveloping all. On the right across the road I could barely make out an outline of a building. It turned out to be a Fuel station. Topped up the tank and got an average of 13.5 kmpl. It was a bit strange as I had got 14.7 kmpl just a week back when I had gone to Sariska.

Around 9 am I had crossed Kanpur taking the by-pass and headed towards Allahabad. Spotted a restaurant just after the Kanpur by-pass flyover ended and stopped. This was next to a defunct Reliance fuel station and formerly was the A1 chain, now taken over by some private operator. Not a soul in the vicinity. Honked a few times and the manager came out shivering & rubbing his sleepy eyes. Ordered breakfast that consisted of Butter-toast & ginger tea. I spoke to HVK also from here to give him an update.

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Freshened up & hit the road with renewed vigour. As I reached Raja ka Talab near Benares encountered heavy traffic and this condition was to remain till Nadesar as I reached the Taj Getaway, a bit irritated & tired. Dumped my luggage in the room, freshened up and left for my relative's place in Hanuman Ghat to take part in the last rites.

Benaras is still seeped deep in tradition and customs, unlike the bigger modern Metros, returned to Hotel cold, wet & extremely tired. Had a refreshing warm water bath, ate light dinner and crashed out.

19th December, 2011

Got-up leisurely, had breakfast and left for my relative's place. The Sun peeped a little and then vanished. My cousin informed me that all the relations who were in B'lore were a bit scared to come to Varanasi as the severe cold was un-bearable for them. So he instead would go to B'lore to perform the rest of the ceremonies. I told him it wasn't possible for me to come to B'lore and returned to hotel. I was to check-out the next day.

20th December, 2011

Got up in the morning and was feeling very lethargic, hence decided to postpone my return by a day. Visited Vishwanathji, Sankat Mochan, BHU & Sarnath. The Sun was out and there was no fog throughout the day. Topped up the Bull's tank and hit the bed as I had a long drive staring ahead the next day.

21st December, 2011

Settled my account with Taj and moved out at 10 am. In no time reached Allahabad as there was no dense fog enroute, took a wrong turn and got embroiled in the city's traffic mess. One of the roads took me right in front of the Allahabad High Court and huge crowd of lawyers moving in & out surpassed even that of Tees Hazari & Patiala House in Delhi. Lost almost 30 minutes negotiating that small stretch of road. Finally hit the 4 lane by-pass to Kanpur. Crossed Etawah around 7:15 pm and encountered fog. By 8:15 pm I was at Sikandara, Agra. My son called and asked me to get Angoori Petha form the Panchchi Petha shop on the NH2 highway. Picked a box for him and resumed the journey.

Stopped at a road-side dhabha after Kosi-kalan to have dinner - Gobhi Parantha with a big dollop of butter. Took a half-an-hour nap and headed home. Crossed the new flyover near Badarpur and via Tughlakabad, Khanpur, Saket & MG Road, reached home by 1:45 am.

The overall average that I got was 13 kmpl. The journey was trouble-free with the Bull not even clearing its throat once or hiccuping.

Last edited by gd1418 : 25th December 2011 at 18:20.
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Old 25th December 2011, 19:49   #2
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Varanasi - Gurgaon

Nice! This was a quick trip, must have been a hectic drive for you. Incidentally, how is the surfacing of the westbound carriageway between Varanasi and Allahabad (i.e. while travelling from Varanasi to Allahabad?

The Allahabad bypass - what toll are they charging nowadays? Aren't there proper signages yet to direct you to the bypass and avoid Allahabad?
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Old 1st January 2012, 10:12   #3
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Default Re: Gurgaon - Varanasi - Gurgaon

The surfacing between Varanasi & Allahabad is a 4 lane wonderful road. The toll is Rs.70/-. I'm not very sure since I didn't tabulate.

And there are no signages that direct you to the bypass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

Nice! This was a quick trip, must have been a hectic drive for you. Incidentally, how is the surfacing of the westbound carriageway between Varanasi and Allahabad (i.e. while travelling from Varanasi to Allahabad?

The Allahabad bypass - what toll are they charging nowadays? Aren't there proper signages yet to direct you to the bypass and avoid Allahabad?
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