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Old 3rd September 2013, 20:08   #1
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Default Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

Since we came back from USA in 2011 November we have done numerous long trips across the length and breadth of India, but being a not-so-good-writer I never had the urge to pen all those trips down. Having a poor memory does not help either. But during the current exile which is going to last another 5 months, I have plenty of time to reminisce about those travels and write whatever I remember about them. So going back to 2011, went back to India but did not have a car to call my own. Booked a Bolero LX 4x4 and the wait was excruciatingly painful. The dealership had given a time frame of 3 months. Started driving my father's 2005 zen, but I never liked that car due to the over-sensitive steering. After hunting for a few days, bought a 2007 Esteem vxi. Did the routine maintenance needed for a used vehicle and started on a 6500 Km trip just after 4 days of getting the vehicle (Hindsight says it was not such a good decision).
Bhpian and colleague XetaGLGRocks lent his GPS. This was the first time I was going to use a GPS in India.

Day 1 - Started from Kolkata at 1 a.m. and planned to halt at Varanasi.

A few tea breaks en route -
Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc00372.jpg

Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc00389.jpg
Reached Varanasi at around 11 a.m. but got stuck amidst the mid day rush. Both of us decided that we were not going to stay in Varanasi, instead we pushed forward for Lucknow. Took the newly opened Allahabad bypass and missed the turn for Lucknow. We were doing about 120ish and suddenly heard a deafening sound. The rear right tire had given up and I remembered not to hit the brakes under such circumstance. There was plenty of room ahead and slowly eased the car to a halt. The sight was horrible, the 4 year old JK tire was completely shredded.

Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc00423.jpg
Changed the tire, drove at 60kmph for the rest of the journey to Kanpur (we missed the turn for Lucknow) and finally reached Lucknow at 9 p.m. The distance covered was 1100 Kms instead of the 950 due to the mistake. Started looking for a decent hotel and the UP Government one did not turn out to be good. Finally stayed at Tulip Inn and the service was amazing.


Day 2 - The first day in Lucknow was enough for us to realise that traffic was absolutely crazy. Next day we did not take any chance and took a rental car, another Esteem for Rs 950.

Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc_1815.jpg

We visited Imam Bargah, Bhulbhulaia etc. Lunch was at Tunday Kababi and it was outstanding to say the least. Dinner at Dastarkhwan and it was quite good, but not at par with Tunday. Bought four new Bridgestone tires.

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A customary pic in front of Tunday with driver Mr. Shailendra
Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc_1998.jpg

Day 3 - Started for Binsar at 10:30 a.m. and drove slowly to run in the tires for the next 200 kilometers. Reached Haldwani via Bareilly as per the route mentioned by XetaGLGRocks. Got lost several times enroute and finally reached Almora in the evening. The road for Binsar from Almora was blocked due to landslide and we took an alternative route that went through a jungle. Got lost royally and spent the next 4 hours trying to figure out what to do. There was no phone signal and the fuel indicator needle was hovering near empty. Next day we found out that we had gone till Kosi! Finally we retraced our way back and started afresh. This time found out that we had missed a miniscule arrow painted on rock showing the direction towards Binsar. We reached the Club Mahindra resort at 4 in the morning!!!

Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc_2768.jpg

Day 4 - Almora

Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc_2052.jpg

Day 5 - Patal Bhubaneshwar - 240 Km round trip

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Day 6 - Binsar Sanctuary and Zero point. Entry fee was Rs. 150 per head and Rs 250 for car. Could not see the peaks due to clouds :-(

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to be continued...

Last edited by BlackPearl : 16th February 2016 at 15:32.
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Old 18th November 2014, 18:57   #2
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Default re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

Day 7 - Kausani via Baijnath. Then went to Birthi Falls via Chaukori and Tejam. Not worth driving so many kilometers for Birthi falls as there was very little flow at that time of the year. Drove 400 Kms in about 14 hours. For the first time in my life felt tired of driving.

Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc_2454.jpg

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Day 8 - rest

Day 9 - Started from Binsar and reached Nainital via Almora.

Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip-dsc_2823.jpg

Left Nainital at 10:30 a.m and Reached Agra at 9 p.m. after witnessing some crazy driving en-route. Stayed at hotel Vikram Palace on NH2. Please avoid this hotel as it seemed to be quite shady.

Day 10 - Visited Taj Mahal. I did not want to see the Taj Mahal because of the fear that it might not live upto the enormous expectation I had in my mind. This had happened to me on several occasions for well known places. But Taj Mahal was beyond expectation!! It would have been a miss if we did not visit and no amount of superlative is enough.

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We started from Agra at 2:30 p.m after lunch and reached Kolkata at 9 a.m. next day, 17 hours of non-stop driving except for fuel and bio breaks. The drive was uneventful but fast and the Esteem gave a mileage of 20kmpl , the highest I have ever achieved.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 16th February 2016 at 15:30.
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Old 16th February 2016, 18:50   #3
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Default re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

Thanks for one more lovely travelogue, BlackPearl - a pleasure to read as usual. So this has been cooking in the Assembly Line for quite a long time!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
We were doing about 120ish and suddenly heard a deafening sound. The rear right tire had given up...
...the 4 year old JK tire was completely shredded.

How typical of JK Vectra tyres to come apart in this fashion! Look at this thread. (JK Vectra tyres: Weird Failure)
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Old 16th February 2016, 19:40   #4
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Default re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Thanks for one more lovely travelogue, BlackPearl - a pleasure to read as usual. So this has been cooking in the Assembly Line for quite a long time!?
Thanks a lot SS-Traveller! Yes it had been lying in the assembly line for ages. Actually I had thought I would club all my travels of around 2 years in a single travelogue, but that was turning out to be too much of a task. So many are still pending

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
How typical of JK Vectra tyres to come apart in this fashion! Look at this thread. (JK Vectra tyres: Weird Failure)
Oh the pattern of failure is an exact match
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Old 17th February 2016, 15:30   #5
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Default Re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

There is nothing new to write about your travelogue's. They are always nice with great pics & this one is no exception either! Plus this travelogue appealed me more as this travelogue was done in a sedan & has no mention of engaging 4H or 4L! That definitely gave me some relief as till date i do not own a 4x4! Pure jealous statement you may say!

Few observation's-
3 years back you looked younger!
Post number one was posted in 2013
post number 2 in 2014
& post number 3 in 2016!

This must be one of the laziest travelogue in Team Bhp! Fast car= Slow travelogue?
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Old 17th February 2016, 17:21   #6
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Default Re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

Samba sumed it up really well. Lovely travelogue, all the more different as it was done in a sedan. You really take good photographs, the documentation is followed beautifully by some lovely frames. 6000kms plus of travel is really huge.
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Old 19th February 2016, 13:17   #7
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Default Re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
There is nothing new to write about your travelogue's. They are always nice with great pics & this one is no exception either!

Few observation's-
3 years back you looked younger!
Post number one was posted in 2013
post number 2 in 2014
& post number 3 in 2016!

This must be one of the laziest travelogue in Team Bhp! Fast car= Slow travelogue?
Thanks Samba. Isn't it obvious that I would look younger 3 years back Morover, I used to wear a cap all the time during those days, that might be a reason for the younger look!


Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
You really take good photographs, the documentation is followed beautifully by some lovely frames. 6000kms plus of travel is really huge.
Thanks Himadri!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Plus this travelogue appealed me more as this travelogue was done in a sedan & has no mention of engaging 4H or 4L! That definitely gave me some relief as till date i do not own a 4x4! Pure jealous statement you may say!
Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
Samba summed it up really well. Lovely travelogue, all the more different as it was done in a sedan.
Samba and Himadri, it was not so long back that I traveled the length and breadth of India in a sedan, here is the travelogue. More than half of the 20K kilometers was done in an Esteem

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...oa-sikkim.html (Kolkata to Kashmir to Kerala, with a dash of Goa & Sikkim)
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Old 21st February 2016, 19:45   #8
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Default Re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

You are a person of different class! Be it Esteem, Baleno, Bolero or Thar you know how to fly.
Long Live Blackpearl!
Wish to go on a long road trip with you someday.
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Old 24th February 2016, 11:35   #9
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Default Re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Since we came back from USA in 2011 November we have done numerous long trips across .................
Hello BlackPearl,

I missed this thread earlier and came across it this morning. A great travelogue/photologue as always, and for me it carries more significance, since Lucknow is also my home town. Tunday's has acquired a well-deserved reputation which is all to the good - till fairly recently, there were quite a few imitators who had climbed on to the Tunday gravy-train and were calling themselves by the same name in different parts of the city! Fortunately, the laws of natural selection seems to have worked and one doesn't see much of the imitators any longer!

And Uttaranchal (Binsar, Almora) was an added bonus since Naukuchiatal has, over the years, become a home from home for us and our pets. All in all, a lovely trip down nostalgia lane!
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Old 26th February 2016, 19:30   #10
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Default Re: Lucknow, Binsar and Agra in an Esteem - 6,500 km trip

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Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
You are a person of different class! Be it Esteem, Baleno, Bolero or Thar you know how to fly.
Long Live Blackpearl!
Wish to go on a long road trip with you someday.
Thanks Arunashish. Hopefully someday we will make a trip together!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashanka View Post
Hello BlackPearl,

I missed this thread earlier and came across it this morning. A great travelogue/photologue as always, and for me it carries more significance, since Lucknow is also my home town. Tunday's has acquired a well-deserved reputation which is all to the good - till fairly recently, there were quite a few imitators who had climbed on to the Tunday gravy-train and were calling themselves by the same name in different parts of the city! Fortunately, the laws of natural selection seems to have worked and one doesn't see much of the imitators any longer!

And Uttaranchal (Binsar, Almora) was an added bonus since Naukuchiatal has, over the years, become a home from home for us and our pets. All in all, a lovely trip down nostalgia lane!
Thanks a lot Shashanka. Lucknow is a beautiful place and the food is simply awesome. This January I was planning to visit Lucknow again while returning from Uttarakhand, but then went to Delhi on the insistence of certain Bhpian friends
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