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Old 12th January 2015, 14:32   #76
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

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Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
If travelling at an earlier or later hour, you would do well to follow the traffic advisories issued by the authority:
1) limit speed to visibility conditions
2) keep all lights on including the hazard lights.
So the authorities are themselves recommending all vehicles to use Hazard lights while driving through fog?
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Old 12th January 2015, 19:10   #77
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
So the authorities are themselves recommending all vehicles to use Hazard lights while driving through fog?
"When in India - do as the Indians do."
Borrowed from the other adage : "When in Rome, ... "
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Old 5th January 2016, 14:56   #78
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Default 2015/16 drive key highlights

Its time again for our annual sojourn to Kolkata. Milemuncher, our trusty steed, was the ride of choice that would take us through 4 states in 3 calendar days.

Agra was quintessentially Mughlai - despite average room service at hotel Luv Kush

Happy to see the key stretch from past Shikhohabad to Kanpur is 99% complete. Barring a holdup after Auraiya , which sent us down into the adjoining fields for a detour, it was great going.

Cops in Kanpur were stopping trucks rather than out of state cars. We felt good about that - considering our experience in the same stretch last time.

Allahabad bypass seems to have improved - culverts cum speedbreakers are noticeably better aligned to the rest of the motorway.

Varanasi was at its scintillating best - with new year festivities decorating the way to shops selling delectable rabri, samosas and gajar ka halwa.

Khalsa restaurant at Govindpur purveyed average food - eminently avoidable like the rest of the dhabas in this stretch. I must say, that one is better off picking up packed meals at Varanasi or Kolkata (depending on origin).

The stretch from Dhanbad More to Darjeeling More is a construction zone, with the road narrowing to single lane width in many places.

Thru traffic at Panagarh was as badly managed as always. Luckily a spot of driving on the verge , helped avoid being stuck behind a long line of stationary trucks.

The langchas , samosas and mochar chops at Shaktigarh were a welcome relief after the madness of the construction zone and Panagarh

And finally we were home.

A few memories on the way...

Wah Taj !
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इलाहबाद bye-pass
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Kashi Vishwanath मंदिर - revisited
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The point beyond which all electronics, cameras and leather is strictly prohibited.
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बनारसी (of Varanasi) Sarees on display.
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Enjoying a cup of লেবু চা (lemon tea) at Dashashwamedha Ghat
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Samosas at गोधूलिया (Godhulia chowk)- to die for!
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BHU gate provides welcome respite from traffic
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( - we stopped by at a residence inside the campus - so the private road rule did not apply to us)

Ma Saraswati offering her blessings to us lesser mortals.
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Dehri-On-Sone bridge South-East of Varanasi
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A laugh a minute- Indian highway humour on the way
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Milemuncher poses at Maithon dam - just before entering West Bengal
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The tranquil waters of the reservoir that tamed Bengal's sorrow
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Langcha Mahal, Shaktigarh, WB, made famous by Uttam Kumar
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A welcome cup of tea at Shaktigarh
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Old 14th June 2016, 23:13   #79
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

An update is in order. Another run to Kolkata, and then the days were rudely cut short , necessitating a dash back to Delhi.

The plan was to meet up with BHPian Inquisitive, at Agra on June 2. The next day was reserved exclusively for a convoy (of two) drive to Bodh Gaya. June 4 - was set aside for sight seeing and on June 5, we would reach Kolkata.

So here goes.
June 2: Milk run on Milemuncher to Agra.

We stayed at Taj Kheema, an arms length away from the Taj Mahal. When in Agra, we never pass up the opportunity to attend the Son et lumièreat Agra Fort. This was topped off with a delicious Mughlai dinner at Jahanpanah , Sadar Bazar.

The approach and exit of UPTDC Taj Kheema is a bit of a bother. If one arrives late, there's no option but to walk about a kilometer from the Taj East gate parking to the hotel. Otherwise one can use the battery operated buses.

But the difficulty is more than made up for in the outstanding views of the Taj Mahal on offer. I have never had , and never will have the opportunity to stay this close to the monument.

taj at 0500 hours
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June 03: BHPian Inquisitive and I embarked on the 845 km run to Bodh Gaya.
The road condition was excellent, and an average of 90 was easily achievable.

The drive from Agra to Surya Dhaba (Auraiya) was marred by a couple of frustrating failures. The first one was the Pioneer ICE unit in Milemuncher acted up and refused to work. The second one was the sudden appearance of the ABS light on the dashboard.

So whilst the family partook of breakfast, I dismantled the fascia to discover any loose wiring that could be the cause for the malfunctioning ICE. Nothing. But luckily it all worked just fine, when I put everything back.

The ABS light on the dashboard stayed with us till Varanasi, when it disappeared almost as mysteriously as it had appeared. None the less, an appointment was made at Buddha Toyota on the Dobhi-Gaya road.

Here's us on a break at Mount View Resort (near Tara Chandi Temple, Sasaram)
A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata-mount-view.jpg

June 4:
The day was blazingly hot. What else can one expect in summer? By 10 AM we had finished doing the mandatory spots. So when the family decided to cool off with some iced coffee, I made the trip to Buddha Toyota - about 20 km away from Bodh Gaya.

Milemuncher up on the lift
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An hour later, and parting with Rs 280/- for greasing the ABS sensors on the wheels, I was back at Bodh Gaya.

The rest of the day was spent in aimlessly wandering around the different temples. We called it a day by 7 PM, and went back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.


June 5:
A late start was on the cards, as the distance was not too much today. We started around 10 AM, tarried on the way for fuel, a puncture, breaks and tiffin.

Past Raniganj, Inquisitive had an unfortunate brush with a truck. Our final goodbyes were at Shaktigarh over scrumptious mochar chop, cha and shingara.

June 7: Received news of an emergency situation at home - so we packed our bags

June 8: Early morning departure from Chinsurah at 5:30 AM. We made a cannonball run to Kaushambi (just past the Allahabad byepass) and decided to halt for the night at one of the nondescript hotels with a gated parking.

June 9:
Again an early morning departure- 5:30 AM. Again a cannonball run, saw us back home in Delhi at 2 PM


Road conditions:
UP: Aside from the stretch at Firozabad/Shikhohabad (considerably tamer from yesteryear) the drive was a breeze. Average speeds of 90 kmph is easily achievable as much of the highway is 4-6 laned. Waiting for the Agra Lucknow expressway to be commissioned by the end of the year, and I think then the run to Kanpur can be achieved in a little over 4 hours (ex Delhi)

Bihar: Despite misgivings after a discussion with Drivetrain at Binsar TRH, Dehri-on-sone bridge was a breeze.
What's not a breeze however is the relatively poor condition of the northbound NH2 from Aurangabad to Sasaram. Beats me why they still dare to collect toll for this stretch!

Jharkhand: Excellent roads - enough said till Dhanbad (southeast bound). Then the 6-laning nightmare stays with you till you exit the state (and beyond).

West Bengal:
Conditions deteriorate abysmally with many a diversion particularly between Raniganj and Durgapur. With the onset of rains , and no sign of a speedy completion, it's bound to get worse.

Overall - a better run than the one last year at this time of year. Partly due to the completion of construction on the Kanpur-Etwah-Shikhohabad stretch.
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