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Old 27th June 2014, 13:02   #1
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Default Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Every since we bought the Honda City i-DTEC in January, a long family trip was in the cards. However, with work commitments of my parents and my brotherís school, the trip just got postponed. Finally a roadtrip to Bhutan sometime in early June was planned. I was in constant touch with fellow member and travel guru, H.V.Kumar Sir regarding route queries and stay options in Bhutan. However, Kumar Sir suggested me to avoid going to Bhutan during June as it pours heavily during this time and there might be landslides. We were a little upset with this bit of info as we were very keen to visit Bhutan. Nevertheless, we started seeing some alternatives. My parents are avid travelers and having visited most of the places in the tourist circuit, they were looking for something offbeat, some unexplored destination. Finally after lots of discussions, Kumar Sir suggested us to visit the relatively unexplored region of Tirthan Valley and places like Sarahan, Jalori Pass and also the very picturesque Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh. Knowing that Manali and Shimla will get crowded during the summers, we planned to stopover at Thanedar and then proceed towards Kinnaur and back to the Tirthan Valley and finally return via Aut and Mandi.

But soon I left for Sikkim on a motorcycling trip with a few friends and by the time I returned, I learnt that there were a few official commitments scheduled in Bangalore, Chennai and Vellore in June first week so the Himachal trip will have to be scrapped. My father started looking for tickets but as luck would have had it, the flight tickets were way too expensive than expected. I was disheartened at not being able to go for a roadtrip though. But the genius mind was at work, and finally an idea came into my mind. Why not drive down to Bangalore, Chennai and Vellore, get all the work done, visit a few places on the way and make it a fun family roadtrip for a fortnight. I immediately asked my parents the dates on which they wanted to be in Bangalore, Chennai and Vellore. I was told that 6th June we had to be in Vellore positively, 7th June in Chennai and 9th June in Bangalore. Now the task for my parents was to get so many days off from work.

Finally, it was decided that we leave on 28th May and return by 15th June. Exactly what I wanted, a fortnight long roadtrip.

Fast Forward to 27th May, evening

Bags packed, all documents and toolkit in place, car serviced, we were set to leave early next morning. But where? We had no clue.

No hotels were booked, as it was expected to be a loosely planned roadtrip. We planned to get back to Ranchi by 13th and have 14th and 15th June as buffer days. With total confusion, we called it off a night as we had to leave very early the next morning.
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Old 27th June 2014, 13:11   #2
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Fantastic. Bring it on. Just when I thought I would ping you for writing it for us. Reading a family's 6.5K kms roadtrip experience spanning the lengths of the country would be really something I would be looking upto.
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Old 27th June 2014, 13:18   #3
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Day 1, 28th May 2014


We left home at 6 am sharp, very confused whether to go towards Jamshedpur or towards Rourkela. After a quick voting, my father wanted to go towards Jamshedpur but the other 3 members in the family wanted to go towards Rourkela and then to Raipur. So finally, we proceeded towards Rourkela. We crossed Khunti in good time and had our first chai-naashta break in a small village called Simdega.

We preferred the Ranchi-Khunti-Simdega route over Ranchi-Gumla-Simdega route because it was less crowded, had a better surface which made driving pleasurable and also for the lovely views this route offers.

However, the road from Simdega to Jharsuguda was in a mess. Potholed surface, way too many speedbreakers, lots of truck traffic and diversions meant we were driving in crawling speeds. Post Rourkela, the road to Sambalpur was a little better but by the time we reached Sambalpur, it was 3 pm. We stopped over at a restaurant for lunch. We also saw the Hirakud Reservoir just after Sambalpur. We expected the Sambalpur-Raipur stretch to be excellent since it was a part of the Kolkata-Mumbai highway. However, that was not to be.

Few miles beyond Sambalpur, road construction work was going on in full swing and the road had a lot of diversions and traffic. By the time we reached Saraipali, it was dark. We even thought of spending the night in Saraipali and proceed towards Raipur the next morning but the lack of any standard hotels forced us to proceed towards Raipur, on the pathetic stretch of road between Saraipali and Arang. This stretch was basically a single-lane National Highway with lots of traffic, dust and dirt which made driving a pain.

Finally, by the time we reached Arang, it was 9.30 pm. Raipur was another 55 kms away. We found a good hotel along the highway, and called it a night.

Route Taken:Ranchi-Khunti-Simdega-Jharsuguda-Ved Vyas-Sambalpur-Saraipali-Arang

Total Kms done: 612 kms

Total Toll Tax Paid: Rs 20
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 27th June 2014, 13:22   #4
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Congrats for doing this long trip. 17 days long trip without fixed plan and hotel bookings, this is going to be an interesting travelogue!

Waiting for more details eagerly.

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SS
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Old 27th June 2014, 13:40   #5
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Day 2, 29th May 2014


At Arang, we decided that we will head to Mumbai and then go southwards towards Bangalore and Chennai. The Arang-Raipur stretch was a blast. We covered the 55 kms to Raipur in a very short time and since it was very early in the morning, there was minimal traffic too. We crossed Raipur and after clocking a few kms, we stopped for breakfast: Delicious, hot paranthas and chai at a roadside dhaba.

The initial plan was to do Arang-Raipur-Nagpur-Amravati-Akola today, but the amazing road made us cruise in three-digit speeds with ease. We were in Nagpur before we even realized it. But sadly, we missed an exit that bypasses Nagpur and ended up wasting 90 minutes asking for directions. A GPS device was sorely missed. It was hot and humid and we got a taste of the summers in Nagpur. However, the Honda City has a terrific AC. The outside temperature was hovering around 45-46 degree Celsius, but all four of us were cocooned in the comfortable and cool interiors of the City.

Just after Nagpur, we stopped for lunch and for tire pressure top-up. The road upto Amravati and Akola was amazing and we were in Akola by 4 pm, so we decided to proceed further to Bhusaval.

While crossing Khamgaon, we were stopped by a few policemen who demanded all the vehicle papers as they saw an outside state registered car. We showed them all papers, documents, fuel bills and toll tax bills which proved that we were mere tourists. However, they demanded Rs 1500 as a fine for supposedly not getting a permit to enter Maharashtra. I straight away refused to pay a single penny, as I knew it was just a stunt to get some money from inter-state travelers. While we were talking, one of the policeman started calling up somebody and explaining them the situation. He handed over the phone to me and the other guy on the phone asked us to pay the fine. I politely refused.

I demanded them to show me a written proof where it should be mentioned that inter-state travelers have to pay such a fee as a permit tax. As expected, they failed to do so and finally let us go. We also saw they had stopped a MP registered Chevrolet Enjoy and the driver of the Enjoy also refused to pay a single penny. But out of the many hundred cars that probably cross Khamgaon in a day, atleast a few of them would certainly be preys of these cops who want to get some easy money.

We reached Bhusaval after dark and checked into a hotel. After a sumptuous dinner, it was time to hit the bed.

Route Taken: Arang-Raipur-Bhilai-Nagpur-Amravati-Akola-Khamgaon-Bhusaval

Total kms done: 745 kms

Total Toll Tax Paid: Rs 416.00
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by //M : 27th June 2014 at 13:50.
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Old 27th June 2014, 19:55   #6
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Day 3, 30th May 2014


Early in the morning we left Bhusaval, crossed Jalgaon and proceeded towards Nashik. The last time we were in Nashik, we visited Shirdi, Sani Signapur and Tarambakeshwar Temple. So this time, my parents wanted to see the Kalaram Mandir at Panchvati and also the Godavari Ghat. We reached Nashik by noon and went to Panchvati and Godavari Ghat. The Godavari Ghat was a sight to behold. Kids enjoying the cool waters in the hot summers, elders taking the holy bath, so many temples near the ghat and ancient coins and rare spices on sale. But it was very hot and humid. After clicking a few photographs of the area, we proceeded towards our destination for the day, Mumbai.

The road that runs from Nashik to Mumbai has been designed for a petrolhead. Long straights, swooping ghat sections, wide corners, scintillating scenery all around. The Honda City i-DTEC with just 99 horses on tap is not really a sporting sedan, but it did well to clock up kms in good time and never felt short on power.

The lovely Kasara Ghat section and the amazing roads around Igatpuri were truly a delight. We crossed the exit for Kalyan and Bhiwandi and the first glimpse of the Mayanagri was right in front of us. By 4 pm, we reached our destination in Andheri.

Route Taken: Bhusaval-Jalgaon-Dhule-Nashik-Mumbai

Total Kms done: 442 kms

Total Toll Tax Paid: Rs 350
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 27th June 2014, 23:44   #7
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Day 4, 31st May 2014


We woke up late in the morning and went on seeing a few places in Mumbai, like the Juhu Beach, Carter Road, Bandstand, Bandra Fort, Sealink, Marine Drive, Colaba Causeway, Gateway, Chowpatty, Malabar Hills and Linking Road.

Day 5, 1st June 2014


We decided to give the City a rest for a day and went on to meet a few friends and relatives. It was basically a lazy and relaxing Sunday.
Attached Thumbnails
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Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip-dsc08917.jpg  

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Old 28th June 2014, 04:50   #8
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Awesome write up coupled with great pics. I am glued to this thread. The title is appropriatly named. Surely this has to be a legendary roadtrip.

Waiting for the rest of the LEGENDARY Roadtrip episodes.
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Old 28th June 2014, 08:06   #9
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Day 6, 2nd June 2014


I always wanted to drive down from Mumbai to Mangalore through the coastal road seeing all the beaches en route. Now, we had limited time as we had to be in Vellore on 6th but still we proceeded down south through the coastal route. We left Mumbai early in the morning, crossed Navi Mumbai at dawn and reached Panvel in a very short time.

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We took the NH-17 to Pen and then moved towards Alibag. The Alibag beach was quiet and serene early in the morning and had dark clouds hovering above.


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We spent some time walking in the beach and then moved towards Kashid.
We also stopped at the Nagaon Beach on the way. The coastal route had swaying palm trees on both sides with some spectacular views of the sea. Kashid beach was beautiful, and had white-sand which looked amazing.


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We had a nice breakfast at a shack on the beach and then started our journey towards Murud. The Murud beach was a little dirty when compared to the Kashid Beach, but few kms down was the amazing Janjira Fort which stood like a wall in the middle of the sea. We had limited time, so skipped the boat ride to the Fort but I wish we could have gone there as well.


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to be continued..
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Old 28th June 2014, 13:15   #10
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

This is turning into a beautiful thread, apart from a legendary road trip. BTW, where were the last 4-5 pictures clicked precisely? The place looks beautiful & calm.
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Old 28th June 2014, 13:28   #11
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Excellent pictures! May I know what camera did you use?
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Old 28th June 2014, 15:25   #12
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Default re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
We preferred the Ranchi-Khunti-Simdega route over Ranchi-Gumla-Simdega route because it was less crowded, had a better surface which made driving pleasurable and also for the lovely views this route offers.

However, the road from Simdega to Jharsuguda was in a mess. Potholed surface, way too many speedbreakers, lots of truck traffic and diversions meant we were driving in crawling speeds. Post Rourkela, the road to Sambalpur was a little better but by the time we reached Sambalpur, it was 3 pm. We stopped over at a restaurant for lunch. We also saw the Hirakud Reservoir just after Sambalpur. We expected the Sambalpur-Raipur stretch to be excellent since it was a part of the Kolkata-Mumbai highway. However, that was not to be.

Few miles beyond Sambalpur, road construction work was going on in full swing and the road had a lot of diversions and traffic. By the time we reached Saraipali, it was dark. We even thought of spending the night in Saraipali and proceed towards Raipur the next morning but the lack of any standard hotels forced us to proceed towards Raipur, on the pathetic stretch of road between Saraipali and Arang. This stretch was basically a single-lane National Highway with lots of traffic, dust and dirt which made driving a pain.

If you were supposed to come to Raipur why did you take the route through Sambalpur, any specific reasons for that. I think Ranchi-Gumla-Jashpur Nagar-Pathalgoan-Raigarh-Saraipalli-Raipur would have been much better. It passes through some forest and hilly areas between Gumla and Raigarh and has some well maintained tolled state highways. Also this way you could have avoided a major portion of the bad roads from Bargarh to Saraipalli.

The portion between Arang to Sambalpur was being widened, the Orissa portion was almost complete while the CG portion was lagging behind. How is the progress in this streach.

The Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Rourkela route was once built and maintained by L&T and was one of the best roads in Orissa, I hope the road is still well maintained. I once dared to take the Rourkela-Khunti-Ranchi road in December 2007 and the condition of the road was like hell then, I never dared to travel on that route after that.
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Old 28th June 2014, 20:10   #13
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Excellent narration, with equally good photographs. Awesome. One day I'll also write something of this sort :-D
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Old 29th June 2014, 11:47   #14
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

Wow! Super awesome travelogue! Had been following your Initial Ownership Review from the start, and have to say, your car looks amazing!

Waiting to see the rest of the travelogue and the pictures you click along the way. All the best for the remainder of your journey. Drive safe!!
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Old 29th June 2014, 15:26   #15
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Default Re: Honda City i-DTEC: 17 days, 8 states, 6467 kms, 1 legendary roadtrip

What a thread! Remember reading a similar one from our friend roamingrao almost an year ago! This is truly a treat to read. Please keep them coming!
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