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Old 5th June 2013, 12:46   #1
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Default Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Hello BHPians,

Wifey not well...feeling very weak. I am on leave from office to take her care. I ask her to get ready...

She asks: Kahan jana hai? (where are we going?)
Me: bas ready ho jao. (just get ready)
Like a obedient kid, she gets ready with just a few arguments like "doctor ke pass nahin jaenge, wo blood test karega, injection dega"...I just ask her to get ready. She presumes that we will be seeing a doc.

Not the best of the plots to start a day which will end with a travelogue and a much needed break from the usual for both of us.

In fact, what was running in my mind is that more than a doctor, she, in fact we needed to take a break, though a minuscule one compared to the vacations we planned, but at this time with monsoons knocking, I can do nothing except put off our Darjeeling-Gangtok trip for the next few months.

We got ready very casually, lazily and started off in our trusty (but not rusty!) 11 year old vehicle.

Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-08022013.jpg <b><u>My 11 Year Old Companion on Roads.</u></b><br /> <br />
While in the apartment parking, wife screamed (she had that much energy): arey, chappal pehan kar hi aagaye?<br /> <br />
I looked at my feet, I was in my brown hawaii chappals. Did not bother to change, that was the extent of our laziness; we just started, did not really care to change. Went to the fuel bunk and filled some fuel. Then started for the drive through a secret location. <br /> <br />
Well, it was secret for my wife...I had not told her that where are we going and she kept pondering for the first 7 kms until we crossed a signboard reading 'Patratu-34 Kms.'<br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01556.jpg <b><u> Clicked on the way to Patratu, Before Pithoria Village.</u></b><br /> <br />
Suddenly, I could see a smile on her face. She had two reasons: One, we are going for a drive which means a nice day and secondly & more importantly for her, no blood tests & injections.<img src=

About the place: Patratu is a very small town located in the state of Jharkhand, just 40 kms away from Ranchi. The major encouragement for visiting Patratu comes from the fact that the way to the place is very scenic, mostly through the descending Patratu Valley. Another attraction is the Patratu dam, which is both scenic and one can enjoy boating in it. For, tourists, there is nothing much to do otherwise. Though for information, Patratu houses the famous and powerful PTPS (Patratu Thermal Power Station) which is one of the major sources of power in the region. Also, recently Jindal Steel & Power has started its operations in the town. Other than this, Patratu has nothing much to offer to visitors.

Info: I find it necessary to disclose that as it was an unplanned trip, we did not carry a camera. I know its a blasphemy but my cellphone was promoted for the job. I will mix some photographs of the place from my previous visits to make the reading experience more fuller. Thanks for your understanding.

We took the road to Patratu through Kaanke> Pithoria village> Patratu Valley> Patratu. The road before reaching Kanke itself (in Ranchi) translates to a 4 lane and the quality of tarmac is fantastic. At par with the best in the country. The project was handled by Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Co. Its a breeze to drive on this stretch. As I was on a pleasure drive & we had loads of time to kill, I was cruising effortlessly at about 60-70KMPH. Soon, we crossed Kaanke and reached Pithoria. Its a small village and the Patratu valley starts as soon as we cross Pithoria. At some small stretches, like near Pithoria, the road is 2 lane.

Soon, we started descending the Patratu valley, which had lush green trees and vivid forests. The traffic on this stretch is mostly sparse as all these areas are somewhat under naxal influence. I was generously using the engine braking by descending in 3rd and sometimes even in the 2nd gear. The descend is such that the engine was running at a very high RPM when engine braking was used, esp. in the 2nd gear.

Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01562.jpg <b><u>Start of the descending & beautiful Patratu Valley</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01589.jpg <b><u>Spiralling Roads; Note My Shadow falling on the Road Beneath!</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-copy-04062013001.jpg <b><u>My 2 Better Halves Enjoying the Splendid View! Do I remain anything?</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01592.jpg <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01593.jpg <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01597.jpg <b><u>A Driver's Paradise!</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01611.jpg <b><u>Heart Formation!</u></b><br /> <br />
Patratu's elevation is about 404m above the sea level (as I checked later by using MMI) where as Ranchi is 629m. <b>Hence there is a 750 feet/ 225m descend in the coarse of just a few kms of the valley.</b> Also, as a matter of fact, reaching Patratu from Ranchi by train is at least a 4 hour affair due to longer rail route, just because of the hilly terrain. <br /> <br />
It was fascinating. There were curves of roads visible from where we currently were; as they unfolded themselves while descending. A few years before the lane widening work was done, Patratu valley was even more scenic and tricky to drive upon. The lane widening is mostly achieved by cutting the mountains. Hence, mostly in the valley, one side is the mountain & the other side is a deep deep trench.<br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01559.jpg <b><u>Tough Job: Peddling their way to Ranchi to sell some Coal.</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01577.jpg <b><u>Thankfully Some Help is Always Available to Them.</u></b><br /> <br />
In the middle of the valley, the Patratu dam becomes visible. Its a bliss to watch a water bed on the foot of the PTPS chimneys. Upon reaching the place, one may find that the PTPS & dam are actually a bit farther than what one would perceive from the valley.<br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01574.jpg <b><u>As seen from the middle of the valley. Pics really don't do justice to the actual view.</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01639.jpg <b><u>The 820 MW Capacity: PTPS</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01645.jpg <b><u>And Closer!</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01621.jpg <b><u>Why did you turn it off? It was so nice! (shamelessly lifted from Philips Powerhouse Ad!)</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01622.jpg <b><u>Almost there. BTW, Patratu is in Ramgarh District. Some Gyaan.</u></b><br /> <br />
We reached Patratu dam by 11:30 AM, after an hour we left home. The drive was 41 kms from home. The area which is normally flocked by tourists on weekends and holidays wore an empty look, completely devoid of tourists, except us. Why on earth would anyone come here on a hot afternoon & working day! But we did not complain, just made a deal at Rs. 80/- for a boat ride. It was little cloudy but still the heat was pronounced, though not really unbearable.<br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013018.jpg <b><u>Our New Ride.</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013004.jpg <b><u>& the New Driver!</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013025.jpg <b><u>And of course, the travelers- Not that religious, just fighting heat!</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01638.jpg <b><u>Not a Sea!</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013022.jpg <b><u>She found a new game to play.</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013024.jpg <b><u>Ahem....!! WE found a new game to play!<img src=


Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013027.jpg <b><u>The River Nalkari Slides; on which the dam is built. Some Gyaan again!</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013030.jpg <b><u>The Jindal Steel & Power Plant, established a few years ago.</u></b><br /> <br />
After a fantastic and refreshing boat ride, we decided to have lunch somewhere while returning, but our return route was changed at wifey's request. We decided to return through Ramgarh. For information, Ranchi, Patratu & Ramgarh are located as such they make a triangle.<br /> <br />
Main distances measured are as following:<br /> <br />
Ranchi to Patratu: 41 Kms<br />
Patratu to Ramgarh: 30 Kms.<br />
Ramgarh to Ranchi: 45 Kms.<br /> <br />
We drove through the 4 lane Patratu- Ramgarh highway by about 01:00 PM. The road was fantastic, as much as I once clocked 120 kmph, but had some stretches & diversions which were in pathetic state, especially near railway crossings, where fly-overs are being made.<br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013028.jpg <b><u>Patratu to Ramgarh Route</u></b><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013029.jpg <b><u>Patratu to Ramgarh Route</u></b><br /> <br /> <br />
Just before reaching Barkakana (place just before Ramgarh), we stopped and bought some fresh vegetables! I am always fascinated by the idea of buying 'desi' vegetables, which although don't look as tempting as hybrid ones, but I opine are better health-wise.<br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-dsc01647.jpg <b><u>Barkakana Railway Station. The place is at least 3.5 Hr of journey, if the mode of travel is train, due to hilly terrain.</u></b><br /> <br />
We had glassfulls of mausambi & mango juice. This to make sure that we make up for the dehydration at Patratu dam. We soon reached Ramgarh and took NH-33 for Ranchi and reached Ranchi at about 02:30 PM. We walked straight to a restaurant and had some delicious chicken Momos and blue lemonades. <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013038.jpg <b><u>Delicious Momos and the tempting blue drink!</u></b><br /> <br />
We reached home clocking a total of 117 Kms on the odo and day well spent. <br /> <br /> <a href=Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013040.jpg <b><u>Now please don't embarrass me. Its a genuine 24K kms on the odo & my car features in the thread dedicated to low mileage cars.</u></b><br /> <br /> <b>PS: <br />
1. Without visiting the doctor, wife is already feeling normal and the break has helped me bust my work-stress as well. That is the magic of this unplanned journey to the scintillating Patratu!<br /> <br />
2. A special note of thanks to GTO for helping me putting things in order at the assembly line.</b><br /> <br />
Thanks for your time Gentlemen! Please do take a stop to look at the photographs. They have been captioned for detailed information.<br /> <br />
Regards,<br />
Saket</div>   <div style=
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Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!-04062013033.jpg  

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Last edited by saket77 : 6th June 2013 at 18:10. Reason: Sequencing the pictures
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Old 6th June 2013, 22:50   #2
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 7th June 2013, 10:10   #3
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Soon, we started descending the Patratu valley, which had lush green trees and vivid forests. The traffic on this stretch is mostly sparse as all these areas are somewhat under naxal influence. I was generously using the engine braking by descending in 3rd and sometimes even in the 2nd gear. The descend is such that the engine was running at a very high RPM when engine braking was used, esp. in the 2nd gear.
Looking at those pictures made me drool. Thanks for sharing.

I can't think of a better car to take on those lovely roads than India's first go-kart!

Good on you to give your wife such a pleasant surprise.
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Old 7th June 2013, 10:53   #4
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

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Originally Posted by Eddy View Post
Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks a lot Aditya for doing the needful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Looking at those pictures made me drool. Thanks for sharing.

I can't think of a better car to take on those lovely roads than India's first go-kart!

Good on you to give your wife such a pleasant surprise.
Thanks a lot GTO. The roads are indeed fascinating and could easily be the sole reason to take this trip.

I am literally awed by the appreciation the car gets.

Thanks & regards,
Saket
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Old 7th June 2013, 11:08   #5
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Smile Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Hi Saket77,

Thats a perfect way to destress, drive on those wonderful roads. I must admit Jharkhand has some really good roads to drive. I esp liked the 3 pics under the heading "Driver's Paradise" - a dream stretch for cars known for good handling. Do these roads have hefty tolls to be paid?
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Old 7th June 2013, 11:33   #6
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

@Saket77 nice impromptu break for both of you. A break like this does do miracles on one's health. The curves to Patratu valley are one of the best I have ever seen in India!! Would be fun driving there.

Cheers!
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Old 7th June 2013, 12:00   #7
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Good roads and refreshing to see them. I've been upto Ranchi from Hazaribagh in 2010 and the road at that time were being expanded to make it 4 lane.

Had been to Patratu in childhood and faint memories are there, seems this now makes a new excuse to visit.
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Old 7th June 2013, 12:24   #8
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Hi Saket,

Excellent pictures. Anybody will fall in love with the place. What a change!!!

This is an area widely traveled during my childhood. Father was with Coal India and used to travel to CCL mines for office work. We were then based out of Dhanbad. Ranchi used to be my father's HQ.

Dhanbad-Chas-Bokaro-Gola-Ramgarh-Ranchi was a route oft traveled. Potholed roads, maze of dust and rashly driven trucks & buses used to be the characteristics of the journey. An early morning start from Dhanbad was a shade better. Ramgarh to Ranchi traffic (read trucks & buses from the opposite side) used to be scary.
Mode of transport - White Ambassadors of CIL (non AC of course), M&M Jeeps (soft top). We used to regret not having good trains between Dhanbad & Ranchi, then.
This was the 1980's.

Late 80's traveled to Patratu, Barkakhana, Bhurkunda, Sayal, Karanpura, Netarhat, Daltonganj, McLuskieganj, etc. with my parents. Mode of transport - M&M Jeeps, Willy's Jeeps (there was one in Bhurkunda that was LH drive with a petrol engine) - all soft top.
Experience of road conditions - Bad to Hellish
During this time our route to Ranchi had changed due to the bad traffic on Ramgarh - Ranchi sector and bad roads on the Bokaro - Ramgarh sector.
We used to travel along Dhanbad-Chas-Purulia more-Jhaldah-Muri-Ranchi.
Road conditions were slightly better, esp in the section along Bengal. Muri - Ranchi traffic was sparse with NO commercial vehicles. And it was SAFE.

Now times have changed. Going by your write-up, if I had to take a call today, I would be using the old route via Ramgarh for the sheer pleasure of driving. Ramgarh to Ranchi, 4-lanes on the ghats, seems awesome. Route via Muri today is infested with Maoists, so no use traveling that way.

I have been planning a trip to Ranchi-Patratu-Netarhat-Daltonganj via Dhanbad & Jamshedpur with family.

Purpose - for me to re-live the childhood nostalgia, to show my wife - Ranchi in new light (old light - a bus full of tourists from Kolkata, returning from Netarhat, caught for 2 days in Ranchi amidst curfew, with no food / water = "dreaded place") and also to visit her mama-jis at Jamshedpur after ages, for my Father to revisit his old "Karma-bhoomi" after 20+ years. Start opening up my son to traveling and learning.

The million dollar question is "WHEN" will this happen??

Still trying to find answers.

Till then ...

Regards,
Saurav

Last edited by sauravdc : 7th June 2013 at 12:41.
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Old 7th June 2013, 12:28   #9
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

"A drive a day keeps doctor away" seems appropriate :-) Nice TL Saket. The road looks really amazing, a drifters delight.
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Old 7th June 2013, 13:02   #10
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Do these roads have hefty tolls to be paid?
Would you believe me if I say "NO"!

In fact, not as yet. But a section of NH33, which is converted to a 4 lane is all set to become a toll road soon, as it is named as Ranchi- Hazaribagh Expressway.

But for the question, the Ranchi-Patratu Road is not a toll road as of now.

Regards,
Saket
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Old 1st September 2013, 16:44   #11
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

The road to Patratu is indeed amazing. Good to see the roads around Jharkhand are developing at a fast pace now.

Here are a few pics that I took:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...jharkhand.html (The scintillating Patratu Valley in Jharkhand)
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Old 2nd September 2013, 11:05   #12
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Hi Saket,

Nice set of pics, and it is indeed refreshing to go out for an unplanned trip. But never risk the safety measures especially car's health , some first aids etc while going on a trip. It is highly recommended. Really happy that you could take a much needed break from your work. I enjoyed the pics a lot and for a thought, pics would have been better if you had a dedicated camera.

And for a thought, can we make those ghat section roads as drift tracks. I believe it would be perfect.

Drive safe.

Cheers
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Old 2nd September 2013, 11:10   #13
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

I hope that the pictures of the road, specially the loops are from this trip. In that case I must say that the road conditions have improved drastically during the last 2/3 years. From my experience of staying in the state I have encountered very horrible roads in Jharkhand in some of these roads.

NH 23 : Rourkela - Ranchi-Bokaro.
NH 75 : Barbil - Chaibasa.
The Jamshedpur (Adityapur) - Chaibasa road.
NH 32 : Jamshedpur - Purulia - Chas - Dhanbad.
Even the NH 33 between Ranchi - Jamshedpur was in bad shape at times.

Has the road condition improved throughout the state or is this predominantly around the capital only. I say this because I visited Bokaro last in Oct'12 and I have not seen such roads on the way.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 11:39   #14
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Aah, the bliss of going on an unplanned drive!

in my case, it means increased dependency on route/ eatery/ stay planning and it somehow takes away the charm of just going when and where one feels like. Hope to return to this way soon, thanks for the reminder of a simpler life free from maps and navigation systems.

I know we can crib that you could take the camera for better pics, but what matters most is that you enjoyed that day.
I felt more nostalgic as my first car was a Zen too.

here is looking forward to more trips and TLs from you.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 13:12   #15
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Default Re: Unplanned Visit to the Scintillating Patratu!

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
The road to Patratu is indeed amazing. Good to see the roads around Jharkhand are developing at a fast pace now.

Here are a few pics that I took:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...jharkhand.html (The scintillating Patratu Valley in Jharkhand)
Thanks man for the link; though I have gone through it a few times already NIce set of pictures. I must say, your post had inspired me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by voyageur View Post
Hi Saket,

Nice set of pics, and it is indeed refreshing to go out for an unplanned trip. But never risk the safety measures especially car's health , some first aids etc while going on a trip. It is highly recommended. Really happy that you could take a much needed break from your work. I enjoyed the pics a lot and for a thought, pics would have been better if you had a dedicated camera.

And for a thought, can we make those ghat section roads as drift tracks. I believe it would be perfect.

Drive safe.

Cheers
Thanks voyageur for your concern. Along with the car's own maintenance, I keep updating the first aid kit of the car too by replacing the solutions & other stuff which have expired. The car had had an engine oil change & a complete service barely a week or two ago.

Also, it looks like a drifter's delight, but since there are no guard rails, it can be dangerous esp. with the trenches running hundreds of feet below!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sommos View Post
I hope that the pictures of the road, specially the loops are from this trip. In that case I must say that the road conditions have improved drastically during the last 2/3 years. From my experience of staying in the state I have encountered very horrible roads in Jharkhand in some of these roads.

NH 23 : Rourkela - Ranchi-Bokaro.
NH 75 : Barbil - Chaibasa.
The Jamshedpur (Adityapur) - Chaibasa road.
NH 32 : Jamshedpur - Purulia - Chas - Dhanbad.
Even the NH 33 between Ranchi - Jamshedpur was in bad shape at times.

Has the road condition improved throughout the state or is this predominantly around the capital only. I say this because I visited Bokaro last in Oct'12 and I have not seen such roads on the way.
You are right. Not all roads are upto these standards. The Ranchi Bokaro route, where I drove through Shantiniketan in the last week of January was just in okay state. Nothing special about it, same with Jamshedpur route. THe Jamshedpur road is narrow and is in pathetic state just before jamshedpur.
However, the road to Patna, patratu, are in very good shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Aah, the bliss of going on an unplanned drive!

in my case, it means increased dependency on route/ eatery/ stay planning and it somehow takes away the charm of just going when and where one feels like. Hope to return to this way soon, thanks for the reminder of a simpler life free from maps and navigation systems.

I know we can crib that you could take the camera for better pics, but what matters most is that you enjoyed that day.
I felt more nostalgic as my first car was a Zen too.

here is looking forward to more trips and TLs from you.
Nice to know that you enjoyed the TL & pictures. However, let me add just here that I am a silent reader of your great threads of your 'mini travelogues': to your office!

Coming back, since it was a relatively small round trip, abuot 120 kms, I did not have much to think about. Also, being local to this place, I have a basic idea about the good eateries available.

Regards,
Saket
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