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Old 14th July 2013, 16:50   #31
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Default Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi - A round trip this time

This June, a year and 10 days after the first trip, we did a full Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi round trip. I will refrain from writing a full travelogue and just narrate the photos. A few pointers:

1. This time my Father-in-Law accompanied me for the Delhi-Kolkata trip. Though he's above 55, he looks far younger than his age. An enthusiastic driver and a sportsman. He enjoyed the first trip so much that he decided to join us for the return trip as well. Even brought his elder brother along!

2. This time the driving format was different. On our first trip we hardly carried any food (just snacks and refreshments). Hence we had to stop repeatedly for breakfast/lunch. This time we packed the car with food - breakfast, lunch, lots of snacks - so that we could drive end-to-end without stopping. Having my FIL meant one of us could drive while the other ate/rested.

3. We recorded some good driving times. On the first day, we did Delhi - Banaras (about 780 kms) in just about 9 hrs of driving. This included just 2.5 hrs to reach Agra from Delhi, thanks to the phenomenal Yamuna Expressway. (Last year it had taken us 5 hours from Agra to Delhi and about 13 hours in total!).

On the second day we reached Kolkata (about 700 kms) from Benaras in 9 hrs again. This despite being slowed down for 2 hrs by pouring rain in Jharkhand and average speeds plummeting.

4. Predator, as usual, was a fast and effortless highway drive. It was riding on newly fitted MRF ZLOs - a review of my new tyres after the highway drive here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...ml#post3150085

The pics now:

Delhi to Benaras

The fabulous Yamuna Expressway.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00440-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00444-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00446-edit.jpg

The Budh, of course

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00468-edit.jpg

The 2 drivers. Who looks younger?

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00521-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00534-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00537-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00540-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00547-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00552-edit.jpg

These speeds are easily achievable on the Allahabad-Kanpur expressway

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00553-copy.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00563-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00565-edit.jpg

We near Benaras, and the end of the first day's drive.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00569-edit.jpg

Benaras to Kolkata

We started early from Benaras. The skies were bright and sunny in the morning.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00570-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00573-edit.jpg

How wide is his load?

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00583-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00586-edit.jpg

Unfortunately, about 500 kms before Kolkata we hit perilous thunderstorms. It was the end of photography as we struggled to drive with limited visibility and animals on the road.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00588-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00610-edit.jpg

The skies did clear up, but only once we were well within West Bengal borders. No more pics of the onward journey.

(Coming up - Kolkata to Delhi)
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Old 15th July 2013, 10:18   #32
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

Thanks for the thread. Any particularly bad road sections in this entire trip? Any traffic bottlenecks etc?
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Old 15th July 2013, 11:36   #33
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

Nice pics of the route predatorwheelz. How is the Panagarh section these days? Any respite? Also, would like to know about the traffic condition before entering Kolkata? Is it too crowdy?

The Yamuna Expressway looks so inviting!

Regards,
Saket
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Old 15th July 2013, 20:49   #34
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUXX View Post
Thanks for the thread. Any particularly bad road sections in this entire trip? Any traffic bottlenecks etc?
No real bad sections on the road except the stretch through Panagarh which remains potholed and crowded as ever. Also, if you're driving a low ground-clearance vehicle loaded with people/luggage, be a little wary of eastern UP highways around Benaras. The road was probably opened to heavy traffic before the concrete/tar hardened. This resulted in truck "tracks" being formed on the highway. The raised middle section of the "tracks" may brush your undercarriage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Nice pics of the route predatorwheelz. How is the Panagarh section these days? Any respite? Also, would like to know about the traffic condition before entering Kolkata? Is it too crowdy?

The Yamuna Expressway looks so inviting!

Regards,
Saket
As said above, Panagarh remains crowded and potholed as ever. No respite.

There are no traffic snarls before entering Kolkata. If you carry on till the end of NH2, you'll cross the overbridge and enter Dum Dum (near the airport) which is crowded like hell. If you turn right and enter through Kona expressway, you'll find traffic near the Vidyasagar Setu - slow but moving.

The Yamuna Expressway is a delectable piece of road. Just ensure driving in a straight line doesn't make you sleepy.

Now for the remaining pics

Kolkata to Benaras

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00612-edit.jpg

My parents bought a new i10 Sportz while we were in Kolkata. Dad had doubts of how the car would perform on the highway. This pic's for you dad!

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00617-edit.jpg

Inter-town office traffic between Durgapur and Asansol slowed us down this time too.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00621-edit.jpg

The roads get wonderful once you enter Jharkhand.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00629-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00631-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00632-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00633-edit.jpg

The scenery gets interesting too

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00637-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00639-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00647-edit.jpg

The 2 gentlemen who accompanied us for this trip - My Father-in Law and his elder brother.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00653-edit.jpg

The beautiful tarmac enabled us to keep up very good average speeds.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00657-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00659-edit.jpg

You cross over into Bihar shortly after this toll.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00660-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00666-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00668-edit.jpg



Benaras to Delhi

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00675-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00676-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00681-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00683-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00690-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00696-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00699-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00703-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00709-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00710-edit.jpg

For the first time in 5 years, I get to sit on my car's rear seat on a highway trip. Must say, its pretty comfortable

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00719-edit.jpg

We've made phenomenally good time, which is why we're on the expressway by 3.30PM.

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00721-edit.jpg

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00722-edit.jpg

The 2 gentlemen on the right enjoyed the trip to the hilt, as did the gentleman on the left!

Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!-dsc00727-edit.jpg
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Old 26th August 2013, 01:21   #35
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

hi Aniket da..went through your log and enjoyed it immensely. very detailed information about routes and other tips about hotel, food etc. we are thinking of driving down to Kolkata this October during Pujo. we were apprehensive about the roads and safety etc but after reading your log my doubts are at rest. thanks so much.
we will be travelling in Fortuner with 2 kids.
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Old 9th September 2013, 19:00   #36
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

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Originally Posted by Ricxx View Post
hi Aniket da..went through your log and enjoyed it immensely. very detailed information about routes and other tips about hotel, food etc. we are thinking of driving down to Kolkata this October during Pujo. we were apprehensive about the roads and safety etc but after reading your log my doubts are at rest. thanks so much.
we will be travelling in Fortuner with 2 kids.
Hi Ricxx, sorry I saw your post late. Thanks, glad to know my thread has helped you.

As I've written already, the roads are beautiful and you shouldn't have any problems. In the Fortuner the journey should be a breeze. Please post a travelogue for the benefit of fellow enthusiasts.
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Old 7th February 2014, 09:59   #37
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Default Travellogues : The Tao of Driving

Dear BHPians. I am a new inductee into this fantastic forum. Driving has always been the greatest passion in my life and have had the opportunity to drive quite a bit across our country and abroad including a couple of stints in competitive driving. However, this forum has occurred quite late in my life when free-wheeling drives are slowly and "alarmingly" reducing in my life. Perusing through the various posts, I came across an extremely interesting observation by one of the members "ss-traveller", wherein he has likened the driving experience to meditation alongwith a great comparative analogy. I couldnt agree more with him and that probably is the best and most definitive statement on the experience of driving long distances.

However, slowly and "alarmingly", my driving opportunities (qualifying criterion- self-driven drives lasting more than 10-24 hours) are greatly reducing nowadays with rise in professional commitments and incidental stupid positional increments (read - driver being provided with office vehicle). Still, I do take-off at the first available opportunity and have made a few plans to do a couple of routes I am still to do.

I have had the privilege of driving across the north, south and central India (never in the east- though am a Bengali) and also across Sudan, Uganda and Congo in Africa and the famous I-95 in the States (which incidentally I feel was one of the most boring and uninteresting trips I have ever driven). I have done a number of drives on the Himalayan spine particularly in the Ladakh, Himachal and Joshimath Sectors (where had done a couple of competitive drives long back in 2000-2003).

Seeing all the posts and travellogues, I congratulate each member and Team-BHP for the wonderful community you people have created and allowed me to be part of. I will try and upload a few of my old travellogues with pics if I can manage to retrieve the data from my old media. However, it will be my endeavour to contribute henceforth on my next drives.

I love driving - the medium (read-vehicle) doesn't matter much. So wont be able to give much inputs on under the hood issues. One of my fondly remembered drives is of a Shaktiman Truck (Old Army Trucks of the 80s) across the Khardungla Top to Srinagar way back in 1995 with an avalanche thrown in between. Similarly, the drive on I-95 in States in a Nissan Accura (extreme high-end) was probably the dullest and most boring drive I have ever done.

I am driving soon on 28th Feb from Agra to Kolkata through NH 2 and the various posts have really helped in finalizing my plans. Am going to be accompanied by my wife and kids with a two days halt at Varanasi. Would be really grateful if any member can please give a feedback on the latest conditions or any major changes on the route.

Wishing all Happy Driving !!! Will be back with the details of my trip soon.

Last edited by tsangchokla : 7th February 2014 at 10:28.
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Old 28th March 2014, 18:46   #38
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Kolkata to Benaras
Now that you have done this trip a fair bit, where do you put up at Varanasi? Where do you get off the NH2 to get to it? On your onward journey to Delhi from Varanasi, do you track the same route back to NH2 before turning towards Allahabad, or you take an alternate route to meet NH2.
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Old 28th March 2014, 20:12   #39
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

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Where do you get off the NH2 to get to it?
Check this link for the route to enter Varanasi while coming from Kolkata - http://goo.gl/n9aOfB.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
On your onward journey to Delhi from Varanasi, do you track the same route back to NH2 before turning towards Allahabad, or you take an alternate route to meet NH2.
The exit route is this one - http://goo.gl/yvgZgP

This way, you run the least distance while getting in and out of Benaras, and also avoid crossing the Ganga Bridge on NH2 which has a toll (Rs.75 IIRC).

The lane next to New Pratap Restaurant is where all the hotels that predatorwheelz or I have stayed in, are located - UP Tourism's Raahi Tourist Bungalow, Hotel Plaza Inn (http://goo.gl/KjxKSJ) and Varanasi Plaza.
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Old 28th March 2014, 22:47   #40
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Check this link for the route to enter Varanasi while coming from Kolkata - http://goo.gl/n9aOfB.

The exit route is this one - http://goo.gl/yvgZgP

This way, you run the least distance while getting in and out of Benaras, and also avoid crossing the Ganga Bridge on NH2 which has a toll (Rs.75 IIRC).

The lane next to New Pratap Restaurant is where all the hotels that predatorwheelz or I have stayed in, are located - UP Tourism's Raahi Tourist Bungalow, Hotel Plaza Inn (http://goo.gl/KjxKSJ) and Varanasi Plaza.

Thanks, this helps, so what will be the exit points to watch out for from the NH2 (apart from being approximately 127.9 kms from Dehri-on-Sone bridge end)

Also while coming from up north what would be an appropriate landmark/exitpoint/marker to watch out for to enter Varanasi towards Pratap?

On a totally different note, if one decides to not stop at Varanasi, does the NH2 need to be left? In that case, hows the traffic on this toll-road?
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Old 29th March 2014, 12:26   #41
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Thanks, this helps, so what will be the exit points to watch out for from the NH2 (apart from being approximately 127.9 kms from Dehri-on-Sone bridge end)

Also while coming from up north what would be an appropriate landmark/exitpoint/marker to watch out for to enter Varanasi towards Pratap?
You need to take a look at this...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
From the west (from Delhi, Kanpur, Allahabad):

Look for the "Benaras/Varanasi 19 km" marker milepost. Another @ 1.5 km further on, look for a flyover after a marketplace. Take the road under the flyover, drive to the centre of the flyover alongside it, and turn left obliquely to join up with the old highway. 14 km down this road is Benaras railway station.

From the east (from Kolkata, Barhi, Sasaram):

Look for the "Benaras/Varanasi 12 km" marker - big green overhead board across the road. Another @ 1.0 km further on, look for a flyover (about 34 km from the Bihar-UP border). Take the road under the flyover, drive to the centre of the flyover alongside it, and turn right, under the flyover to take the road to Ratangarh. Follow this road (about 6-7 km) to a T-junction. Turn left here - this is the old highway. A right turn here takes you to Mughalsarai. The road goes over the old Ganga bridge and winds through town to the Benaras station - @ 8 km from the T-junction.

Hope that helps...
================================================== ====================================
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
On a totally different note, if one decides to not stop at Varanasi, does the NH2 need to be left? In that case, hows the traffic on this toll-road?
No. Just continue on the highway. You avoid entering Varanasi and Allahabad.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 29th March 2014 at 12:30.
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Old 29th March 2014, 13:09   #42
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
You need to take a look at this...

================================================== ====================================

No. Just continue on the highway. You avoid entering Varanasi and Allahabad.
Super, it cant get simpler than this! Will trouble You/Aniket more and more in the coming days, because, with Mid-May being quite sometime away (for a planned Ladakh trip), will tempt me to keep irritating people with questions. I just wish I could just drive out right now, without seeking any information, finding things on the go and no target date to reach.
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Old 30th March 2014, 17:34   #43
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

Greetings of the day!

1. On the NHAI-NHDP website, the map shows NH2 to be complete between Delhi and Agra.

2. Does this mean that the regular NH2 stretch can be an equally good option for Yamuna Expressway?

Regards!
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Old 30th March 2014, 21:04   #44
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Default Re: Predator conquers NH2 - Kolkata to Delhi EDIT: Now once again!

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Originally Posted by onkar1710 View Post
1. On the NHAI-NHDP website, the map shows NH2 to be complete between Delhi and Agra.
2. Does this mean that the regular NH2 stretch can be an equally good option for Yamuna Expressway?
The regular NH2 stretch was the only decent option till the Yamuna Expressway was inaugurated in August 2012. Compared to the YEW, the NH2 runs through multiple areas of habitation, with slow-moving vehicles all along the stretch. So a Delhi-Agra run takes at least 4.5 to 5 hours along the NH2, but is doable in 2-2.5 hours on the YEW without exceeding the speed limit.

The NH2 is therefore not an 'equally good' option as the YEW.

A third option to connect from Delhi to Agra also exists - via Khurja, Aligarh and Hathras. Takes at least 6-7 hours to cover the distance.
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