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Old 1st November 2012, 11:31   #1
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New Delhi
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Default Round Trip from New Delhi to Gaya

Hi Everyone

Always keeping in mind the TBHP slogan of “LIVE TO DRIVE”, I really am one of those mortals who follows this philosophy. My idea of long drive is never a distance of 100-200 kms. It always is around 500+ kms. And I never want to miss even a single opportunity of drive to take up this challenge.

This opportunity came to me this dusshera/durga pooja/navratra in the form of a chance to drive down to my hometown in Gaya district which is one of the major tourist location in east india and place of great importance in the Buddhist circuit. I will cover them up one section at a time.

It all started with my parents planning to visit my hometown more than 3 months back. They arranged Train tickets for themselves. Tried getting tickets for myself half heartedly and thankfully could not get one. Parents were preparing for another boring train journey when suddenly this brilliant idea struck me to hit the road and make this trip a memorable one. One fine evening on a weekend, I asked them if they were interested to travel by road to Gaya. Firstly, they all were taken aback by the idea but on my insistence and lots of convincing, everyone finally agreed. The only issue was with the youngest traveler of the lot (my 5 months old baby). We were all scared and hence decided that if there are any issues mid-way, we will take a break instantly.

Before we stared on Sunday on this epic journey with 4.10 travellers (4 adults and .10 for my baby) on Sunday, i.e., 21st October 2012, got the following checkup done on 20th October for my white rocket and the following for ourselves.
1.Got a tankfull of Diesel
2.Checked the air pressure in all 5 tyres
3.Got a basic checkup and top-up done for all the vital fluids
4.Got my car a perfect wash
5.Plenty of eatables to minimize the stoppages during travel
6.Some commonly used medicines for ourselves
7.Some sunshades to make A/C more effective and ensure some privacy during travel
With all this, I was in for a long drive. And more so was fully determined to make it a success

DAY 1-Sunday-21st October 2012
Started at 4.45AM in the morning with odometer reading at 15559 kms. Since it was still dark and had the basic idea that morning time is very fatal for drive as the drivers seem to fall asleep while driving. This proved to be true within the first 20kms of my drive where witnessed a very fatal accident between a truck and a tractor. Since there were no survivors, hence did not take the snaps as it would have been very disturbing one. The fault was only of the tractor which had come onto the wrong side and would have been driving in the middle. Seems the drivers in the rural areas forget that there is another side of the road and come at breakneck speed towards you.

Reached Mathura at 0645 hrs in the morning and got a tankfull again. Calculated the mileage. My ritzy was giving me an awesome average of 21.42kmpl. Crossed agra within no time and headed towards Ferozabad. The City traffic as usual was disturbing with people coming into you from all sides. After crossing the city, it was time for some quick bite. My mom had taken plenty of items to eat and did a driving breakfast. Managed to reach Kanpur by 1200 hrs. and then moved towards Allahabad. Since all the travelers who frequent this route will agree that this route(NH-2) is seriously lacking in some good dhabas, hence was having a difficult time convincing the fellow travelers to hold on to their hunger nerves. Managed to find a OK type of dhaba. Saw some cars parked there and seems they all were hungry. Most of them were families who would be commuting.

Reached Allahabad bypass at around 1500 hrs and paid a toll of 150 rs for crossing the Allahabad bypass. And boy-o-boy, it was really marvelous. The excellent road, the sparse traffic, the breathtaking scenes and the wonderful climate outside. It was really a situation meant for long drive and I was doing speeds of around 120-140 kmph. Stopped the car midway somewhere to relieve myself. Meanwhile, my better- half was itching to get herself at wheel. As soon as she saw my seat empty, she jumped onto the drivers seat. Once started, she was having a difficult time in holding herself from pushing my white rocket beyond 120-130 kmph. The entire stretch was covered in 1-1.5 hour and now we were headed towards Benaras. Just after the Allahabad by-pass was over, stopped to have cup of tea at a very local dhaba. Did take some good snaps of the sunset. With light slowly dimming down, it was time for me to take over again from her. And as we were to enter benaras, it was time for the youngest traveler to sleep and she started looking for her mother. As decided before the commencement of journey, we decided to take a break at Benaras itself. Looked for a decent hotel and checked in. With a tarriff of 1000 per night and decent centrally air-conditioned hotel, it was time for us to take a break for rest of night and retire onto our beds.

DAY-2-Monday-22nd October 2012
With an entire day of driving the previous day, we took a long nap in the morning and got up at around 0700 hrs in the morning. Went downstairs and prepared my white rocket for the new day. Gave her a good wiping and cleaning, re-arranged the entire stuff and went back upstairs into the room to have a shower. Meanwhile, my parents were insisting on visiting the ganga-ghat and the Jagannath temple. Could not accompany them as could not leave my better half and the youngest companion in the hotel. As adviced by some fellow BHP-ians, asked my parents not to take the car and instead take a rickshaw instead which would be a better mode of transport in a city like varanasi. Parents visited the ganga-ghat but could not visit the Temple because of the huge crowd of around 1000 devotees already in queue. Finally they returned from the temple at around 0930 hrs. We checked out of the hotel and moved out at around 1000 hrs.

Again got a tank top-up done at Varanasi and started to cruise comfortably on the N.H.-2. Encountered some very funny and strange sights along the way. Kept on driving till dobhi ghat on the NH and reached around 1400 hrs there.
Took a left turn and reached bodh gaya in another 20 mins. There were lots of foreigner tourists who were travelling to the same place from Benaras. One thing I must acknowledge is that Bihar has improved leaps and bounds. At least the roads and the infrastructure have immensely improved. The road from Dobhi ghat to Bodh gaya was marvelous and even though it was a single road but it was wide enough to be 4 laned.

After crossing bodh gaya took a right turn and headed towards my village which is again around 50 kms from there did encounter some very mindless speed breakers from gaya to my home but they were not done by the civic agencies but by the locals. They had put some concrete poles on the road and applied concrete on both the side so that the pole does not move. Everytime you cross them, no matter how slow you are but you are sure to scrap your vehicles. underbody They were more of a shocker breaker rather than speed breaker. Reached my village at 1500 hrs and my family heaved a sigh of relief.

DAY 3-Tuesday-23rd October 2012
This day was spent without much activity. Lazied out to the clean smoke free surroundings of my village.

DAY 4-Wednesday-24th October 2012
My cousin joined from pune and my uncle had reached from Bangalore. We were sitting previous day in the evening when suddenly this idea of visiting the renowned world heritage site of ruins of 2600 years old Nalanda University occurred. Someone even proposed the famous rajgir and Mahabodhi temple of bodh gaya. We started at 9 Am in the morning towards Nalanda. Did cross some beautiful road which were on the foothills of the hill. (Just before I proceed further, would like to mention that my village is surrounded by hills from all sides and road is running along the foothills. Did take some beautiful snaps even.

Reached Nalanda university area. And took the snaps of the information displayed on the main entrance about this great university. The entry fee is a mere 10 Rs for Indian Citizen and Rs 100 for foreign visitors. There are no parking charges or attendents all around but still there was no mess. Even the tongas and the rickshaws were properly parked on one side of the road. Went around the entire Ruins of the university and found them to be very interesting and was really surprised by the planning and architecture all around. A real “HATS OFF” to the planners of those era.

From there we moved on to Rajgir(better known as Rajgriha during medival times). There we could not move around much as we all were hungry and looking for some quick bite. Still somehow managed to reach “Swarn Bhandar”. It is said that this is the entry to caves where jain Munis used to medidate and pray. The exact place is around 5 kms inside the cave where King Bimbisara had stored all his Gold items. True or false, but the guide over there told us that Britishers had tried to break open the door made of stone by blasting it using a canon ball but could only manage to break a small piece In the corner. There is some code that is written in the hall and it is said that the door will open only after someone is able to read them.

Then There is the wrestling place of Jarasandh (dates back to the times of the Mahabharata). This is the place where Bheema killed him thru guidance of lord Krishna. Although today there is nothing but now the government is trying to restore the spot.

From there we moved towards Bodh Gaya which is around 35 kms from Rajgir. The road again is really good and one can easily reach upto the speeds of 100-110 kmph. We had taken our cousins bolero to all these places. On the roads of Bihar and Jharkhand one can easily use the boleros and travel safely. Else the local buses and autos will always try to scare and bully you.

We reached bodh gaya within another 90 mins. After reaching bodh gaya, one can feel the peace and serenity in the wind and the atmosphere. It is extremely amazing how the mindset changes once someone reaches a place which is world famous for giving birth to a religion which is built on a platform of peace. The temple is totally free for everyone to enter and there are no restrictions other than u are not allowed to wear shoes. The calm atmosphere puts you into the same mode and one tends to forget everything and all the vices and tensions go away from your mind. There are no loudspeakers and the people who are offering prayers are doing it so slowly that one needs to hear them very patiently and carefully. There are others who are meditating and seem to be very focused. The Great banyan tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment is a tree worth visiting. The branches have spread themselves so far that they are now supported by iron Girders all around. The entire place is neat and clean. It atmosphere smells of yellow Marigold flower and is decorated the whole year like that only. After paying a visit to the temple, we were very relaxed. Heart wanted to spend some more time in those premises but mind said the other way. With a relaxed mind and devoted heart, we left the place at around 1700 hrs in the evening.

While returning encountered some speed breakers (read shocker breakers) along the route. These were created by locals residing in the area. Instead of creating a hump on the road, they had dug the roads. If I would have been travelling in my Ritzy, I would have definitely scrapped my underbody. But thanks to the good ground clearance of Mahindra bolero. Everything seemed just like the order of the day. Since it was dusshera hence there was a huge crowd on the road everywhere. Hence it took us about 3 hours to cover the distance which one normally does in an 90 minutes or so. Finally we reached home at about 2000 hrs. Had a cup of hot tea which refreshed us like nothing else.

In the end it was a very good trip. We often tend to ignore something which is very close to us and start gunning for those which are far away. I am 33. It took me all these years to realize this.

DAY 5 & 6-Thursday & Friday-25th & 26th October 2012
Since we had a tiring last day hence we decided to take a break and do nothing. Also since we were scheduled to leave back for New delhi on Saturday-27th October 2012 hence decided to spend some time with family and appreciating the nature and enjoying the beautiful climate.

Day 7-Saturday-27th October 2012
As decided we did leave my native place at 600 hrs in the morning. Took us around 1 hour to reach gaya and another 20 mins or so to touch the NH-2. Once on NH-2 it was a breeze again with the speedometer touching around 110-120 regularly. This time we had decided not to halt at all and continue driving till we reach our home in delhi. My wife took over from me after crossing gaya and continued to drive till we reached Kanpur. Crossed Kanpur by 1900 hrs in the evening. Got the tank filled up again and started driving towards the destination and finally reached at 0200 hrs on 28th October. Since we had already had our dinner on the highway dhabas near agra, hence no-one was in mood to have anything more. We reached home and it was time for us to give ourselves the much required break.

It took us around fuel worth Rs 5000/- approx and toll worth Rs 1600. From New delhi to Gaya was also 20 hours taking a stopover in Varanasi and same Time was from Gaya to New delhi- non stop. It was really a fun for me but other seemed not so keen to do this similar trip next time.

Thatz it from my side as of now. Queries and suggestions are welcome.

Looking forward to another similar trip soon.

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Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2012 at 13:54. Reason: Please do NOT post any content / pictures about illegal speeds on public roads
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Old 1st November 2012, 14:17   #2
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 206
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Default Re: Round Trip from New Delhi to Gaya

Adding more pics of the trip of my visit to the Mahabodhi temple. This is the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment
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su1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2012, 10:11   #3
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Default Re: Round Trip from New Delhi to Gaya

su1978, that was an audacious decision to drive with a baby on board!

I'd have thought a zillion times!

i envy your courage for taking up such a long drive with the family, and thanks for the pics. appreciate if you can add more photos probably with captions.

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Old 6th November 2012, 19:54   #4
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Default Re: Round Trip from New Delhi to Gaya

Never an issue with my baby. She is used to these drives. Rather she is the happiest one while on the move or after it. Tried posting the pics with captions but could not. Else would have definitely described the snaps that i have taken. Have many more such snaps but did not post it since it would a bit confusing.
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