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Old 8th June 2015, 11:43   #1
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Default Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

Shantiniketan is the quintessential weekend getaway from Kolkata, especially if a short, easy drive is also wanted. I have been there several times over the last twenty years (we have a small place there). All those trips were by train from Kolkata (SNK Express, Shatabdi, Rampurhat Exp, etc.) though I did once suffer a spine-jarring ride on a bus with terrible suspension. It was therefore of great interest to plan a drive during a time when the weather was sunny and the rains have not started. I had been trying to elicit interest in my friends and family here but everybody seemed reluctant to venture out in the Summer blaze and so I decided to drive solo and return the same day.

Route: I chose the Howrah-Burdwan-Guskara-Bolpur route via Kona Expressway (NH2 / AH1 to Burdwan) and NH2B (from Burdwan to Bolpur). I wanted to go one way by the Panagarh-Illambazar road which is quite scenic but did not care to try that (relatively) more remote road solo.

Preparation: Many, many thanks to Teambhp member 1100D and his wonderfully illustrated guide here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34) (covering many routes) - which I read a dozen times before starting the journey. I even took screenshots on my digicam in case of an emergency but they were not needed. A close study of Googlemaps for a couple of hours helped also.

For the journey I carried a packed lunch, two litres of water, med-kit, swiss knife, nylon rope, non-adhesive plastic tape, mobile charger, a change of clothes, umbrella and Rs 3k in cash. Also a page of my journey notes and distance markings. A debit card was hidden in my socks. Sunglasses were a must as was a moist towel. All original car papers were carried.

Vehicle: 2011 Polo 1.2 Petrol. The car was in good condition, 10 months since last annual service. Tyres were checked for air a week ago (I deliberately do not top up air just before a long drive as a waiting period in case of human / machine error in filling air. This way any problems will make themselves apparent before the journey.)

DOJ and Time:
0940 on a Sunday (June 07, 2015).

Breaks/Halts: None, though I did stop more than a dozen times to take photos (mostly during the onward journey). On reaching Shantiniketan I halted at our (dusty) house for more than an hour for lunch before starting my return.

Guide to posts. The writeup is in four parts.

1. Getting to Dankuni Toll Plaza
2. Dankuni to Burdwan
3. Burdwan to Bolpur
4. Return

*****

1. Getting to Dankuni Toll Plaza [Distance: 32.7 km, Time: 59 minutes]

From within Kolkata, there are two main routes to get to the Dankuni Toll Gate -- via Vidyasagar Setu (New Howrah Bridge) [useful for South Kolkata folks] or Vivekananda / Nivedita Setu (New Bally Bridge) [best if coming from Salt Lake or North Kolkata].

In this map below, the Vidyasagar Setu (VS) route is marked in Green, the Vivekananda / Nivedita Setu (NS) in purple -- assuming origin at Park Circus. The VS route was about 8-10 km longer for me but has relatively much less city traffic so this is what I chose.

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I started at 0940 from home with a 5 minute stop 200m away at Uma Service Station (IOC) in Dhakuria to get a full tank of petrol, reset trip odometer and to withdraw cash at the ATM.

Vidyasagar Setu (8.7 km) was reached at 0958. Traffic in the city was ver light due to the Sunday and the heat (outside temperature 35 deg C). There's a Rs 10 toll.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3883.jpg

Immediately before crossing the bridge toll gate, there are clear signs for the toll lanes for those going to Kona Expressway. After the toll the road involves taking a flyover which also has clear signs indicating Kona Expressway. Following the flyover is this overhead sign below (at 13.4 km) which can be safely ignored.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3885.jpg

The road is average with light bald depressions that limit max speed to 40/50 and brushes past Santragachhi Railway Terminus (on the left) as well as the new Santragachhi Bus Terminus (also on the left). Thereafter there is a longish flyover loop and after about 10 km the road becomes excellent (with service lanes) and merges into NH2 with Dankuni Toll Plaza (rear view below) approaching after 2 km. The Toll plaza (32.7 km) was reached at 1034.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3889.jpg

The toll is Rs 95 for a return journey, valid for 24 hours (not same day!) I was surprised that the car number was actually recorded in the receipt.

The expressway ahead (below) is in great condition.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3890.jpg

Last edited by Kumar R : 8th June 2015 at 19:57.
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Old 8th June 2015, 13:13   #2
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2. Dankuni to Burdwan [Distance: 84.3 km, Time: 81 minutes]

This leg (NH2) is ideal for driving and except for a couple of instances is quite doable at a steady speed of 80 kmph. The stretch is marked by a green line (see below) and is uneventful except for another toll gate at Palsit. This road will suffice till the start of NH2B at Burdwan.

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I was probably one of the slowest cars and plenty of big and small vehicles dashed by at speeds in excess of 100+. The highway is well maintained with 4-6 lanes throughout and a number of flyovers. Petrol pumps are located every 7-10 km. The weather was hot ! (39 deg C) and I did not use the AC for fear that the increased load would affect performance.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3897.jpg

The scenery is mostly unfarmed plains and easy on the eye.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3901.jpg

Road quality is top notch but I noticed and felt mild indentations at a few places (many more on the return leg). These depressions may worsen during the rains so be careful if driving at high speed. There are no speedbrakers. Traffic discipline was also very good except for some rash rental Sumos / Scorpios as well as the occasional white coloured SBSTC buses (those are the worst). Plenty of families in self-driven vehicles stopping once in a while for a break.

At about 44 km after the Dankuni Toll Gate is a signboard advising the commencement of Burdwan district boundary. The town , though, is still a good 40 km away.

At 60 km after the Dankuni Toll Gate is the Palsit Toll Gate (picture below). This one is a bit steeper -- Rs 105 for a 24 hour return journey. I reached there at 1136.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3902.jpg

Following the toll gate is a 25 km journey till the right turn to NH2B in order to go to Bolpur. The road quality remains excellent (see below) but this last 25 km portion has more traffic including more commuter / chartered buses as well as local Burdwan-based vehicles.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3904.jpg

The only other place of interest is Shaktigarh (12-13 km after the Palsit toll gate) which is a good pit stop for a tea / water / food break should you need one. Personally I found the stretch (about 100m of dhabas) slightly annoying because of the habit of the dhaba helpers to stand in the middle of the highway waving at vehicles. A risky occupation on a road where average speed is 60+ kmph!

Reaching the entrance to NH2B (For Guskara - Bolpur)

I can add nothing to 1100d's superb guide here (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34). His distance calculations are precise; About 1.0/1.5 km before the entrance to NH2B, I saw a fancy inverted L shaped stylised 'Shantiniketan' signboard that proclaims the right turn to be at 8.4 km; this is quite obviously wrong. A good landmark is a signage on the left for a Renaissance Township (also on the left). The right turn for NH2B (photos in 1100d's thread) is immediately after the entrance to the Township. I reached the start of NH2B at 1155.

Last edited by Kumar R : 8th June 2015 at 20:37.
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Old 8th June 2015, 16:12   #3
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3. Burdwan to Bolpur [Distance: 59.2 km*, Time: 105 minutes]

*The official distance is 52 km but my destination in Bolpur was another 7.2 km. Hence the difference.

Finally the last stretch! A map of the road is shown below (covered route in green) along with some markings that will be explained further below.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-map-3.jpg

The start of NH2B from off NH2 is characterised by a small bit of congestion in the form of rickshaws, private vehicles, bicycles and trucks all manoeuvring in different direction. Once past the first 50 metres, things improve and the now divider-less road takes on a good (though far from stellar) appearance (see below).

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3904.jpg

There is a railway crossing about 3.4 km after the road starts but I had no wait. There are steep speedbreakers on either side. Following the crossing there begins a series of minor culverts - throughout the next 45 km. All of them are slightly raised, some more than others and as 1100d has mentioned, two are quite narrow. Here is the first one, pictured after I crossed. (This one is about 5 km from the start of NH2B)

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3905.jpg

At about 15 km into the road, the landscape is quite scenic, mostly farmlands (see below). The road is good though farmers were drying straw on some sections making those effectively single lane.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3912.jpg

Further ahead, at the 19 km mark is a small temporary single lane bridge (see below), in place till the permanent one (on the left) is ready (looks almost ready). A sign says that only one vehicle must use the bridge at a time. There is also a small chowky where a few officials were stopping tempos and LCVs (maybe to check for weight?). I had no trouble and they waved me through.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3915.jpg

A view from the back after crossing the bridge.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3916.jpg

Plenty of indigenous palms around. This one is a clump of mature, fruiting Borassus flabelliber (tal palm)

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3918.jpg

The town of Guskara is reached at the 26 km mark. It is full of steep S turns and nakabandis (I counted four). There are also some menacing speedbrakers that are very hard to spot if the road is clear. Below is an example of a small traffic jam inside Guskara owing to the need to move some power transmission lines to make way for this crane.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3942.jpg

At 39 km is the smaller town of Bhedia, immediately adjacent to the elevated railway line. To get to Bolpur the road must cross the line; there are two options, neither of which is particularly pleasant. The choice comes at the entrance to Bhedia itself; In the below photo NH2B snakes to the right while the road to Bhedia proper is to the left. (more on the choices later below)

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3943.jpg

Taking the right turn leads to this underpass (below) which has a horrible approach filled with loose stones for 30-40 metres as well as a deeply grooved floor that can easily scrape the bottom of your vehicle if you are unlucky. There's another broken bit of road on the other side for another 20 metres or so till you get back up on the metalled surface.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3919.jpg

A close up of the underpass after making the crossing.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3921.jpg

If you take the left turn at the Bhedia fork (pictured above) you will get onto a narrow, poor but otherwise motorable road that crosses the railway line in a tiny underpass just about the width of a luxury sedan, the arch of which which is probably too low for a Scorpio. This 'tunnel' is very claustrophobic but at least there is no fear of bottomscraping. I took the Bhedia route on my return. It's quite likely that this will be problematic during the monsoons.

Once past the railway underpass there is no more trouble. A short bridge named Aman Setu crosses the Ajay river at the 43 km mark. There is a Zilla Parishad toll tax booth on the other side (Rs 10 per crossing). Further on is the Shibtola road crossing (47 km) where I took a right turn. 2 km after the turn is another small entry tax naka where a Rs 20 entry tax is levied (showing the pink receipt exempts payment of the tax on the way back). The Kashipur Bypass road is on the left just after this naka and I took it to avoid having to drive past Bolpur station. The road quality has deteriorated and there are many sections where the asphalt layer has been stripped off (see below) making 4th gear travel difficult.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3940.jpg

Fortunately this last leg is just 2 km and at the end is this T junction where I took a right turn (to the left is Sriniketan).

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3927.jpg

After the right the journey is a difficult 2 km till another crossing where a left heads towards the Bolpur post office / Visva Bharati. The Railway Station is to the right and Prantik is straight ahead. My destination was close to Viswa Bharati and I reached there at 1345 (just over 4 hours door to door). Here is the car taking a much needed rest on arrival. Total Distance door-to-door was 176.2 km.

Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-img_3928.jpg

Last edited by Kumar R : 8th June 2015 at 16:22.
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Old 8th June 2015, 19:39   #4
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4. Return (Bolpur to Kolkata) [Distance: 174.3 km, Time: 3 hrs 40 minutes]

On arrival at Shantiniketan, I rested for over an hour before starting the return drive. I had earlier planned to let the heat subside and start at 1630 but the thought of being stuck on NH2B in the dark should something go wrong was even more unpleasant than the weather and after a quick lunch and a bit of re-hydration I started at 1515. By that time the mid-day Birbhum heat had risen to 41 deg C and I was cooking inside the car in my own sweat (fully open window would have let in the bone-dry hot air that would quickly suck the life out of me -- so they were 1/5 down). The only positive was that roads were deserted and traffic non-existent. Meanwhile the heat (or perhaps bad timing) had weakened the glue on my Bata Hush Puppies shoes and the sole had partially come off -- it was a good thing I am used to (and enjoy) barefoot driving because that is what I had to resort to for the return journey.

The Bolpur-Burdwan stretch was much easier to complete due to the familiarity with the road. In general I lost time both ways due to watching out for animals and speedbrakers (Guskara, Bhedia and Bolpur are full of goats, ducks, roosters, sheep and cattle that dart across the road at the last moment). I did not care to do the main Bhedia underpass again and took the town road (see earlier post) which was quite ok due to no traffic. There was a small jam just before Burdwan owing to a broken down truck and it's a point to be mindful of just how quickly jams can develop on these narrow roads. On the entire (50 km) stretch after Bolpur there were just about two, perhaps three petrol pumps and five-six kaccha tyre repair huts, the latter locked for the day / afternoon. No open shops either and not much chance to buy water (or anything else) should the need arise. I reached the Expressway (NH2) at 1636.

Burdwan-Dankuni was completely uneventful and the traffic had increased - as to be expected on a Sunday evening. However the return stretch had many more depressions / indentations on the surface and these can be dangerous at high speed. These depressions / indentations were more near the divider and increased as Dankuni neared so I generally took the left lane at the cost of a little speed. The toll gate lines at Palsit and Dankuni were about 4 vehicles each and that took about 5 minutes at each place. I reached Dankuni just before 1750 and finished the last of my water; by now I was salt crusted and had a slightly stiff neck. The AC was used for the rest of the journey. Driving solo might avoid the distraction of chatting with others but as a result there is no movement of the neck and shoulders causing stiffness after prolonged periods. Fortunately I always use a small pillow to support my back and that proved to be very helpful as these straight seats lack lumbar support over long periods.

After Dankuni I realised that planning the return approach keeping in mind Kolkata's many entrances was lacking on my part. At 3 km after the Dankuni Toll gate I spied a single exit on the left for 'Kolkata' with the right arrow pointing at 'Kharagpur'. This made me take the left connector which turned out to be the approach to the new Vivekananda Bridge at Bally. The map below shows the erroneous turn, not helped at all by the lack of road signs.

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I was so confused that right until the toll counter I kept thinking that I had found some inter-dimensional shortcut to the Vidyasagar Setu and it was only when the toll clerk asked for Rs 42 (versus Rs 10 at Vidyasagar Setu) that I realised my mistake.

Anyway there was no turning back and so I reluctantly crossed and spent the next hour on what is probably Kolkata's worst stretch of main road -- the Barrackpore Trunk Road (purple route in post #1 above), with taxis and buses vying for a chance to scratch and dent my car. The traffic was bad on a Sunday evening and I can well imagine how much worse it will be on a weekday. I arrived home at 1855.

Here is a breakdown of the three stretches on the return journey (contrasted with onward journey):

1. Bolpur to Burdwan [59.2 km | 80 minutes (~23% faster)]
2. Burdwan to Dankuni [84.3 km | 70 minutes (~13% faster)]
3. Dankuni to Kolkata [30.8 km | 70 minutes (~ 20% slower)]

Total distance covered (up and down) = 350.5 km, in 7 hours 40 minutes (average 46 km/hr)

Total toll / taxes paid: Rs 292. Approximate fuel cost Rs 1,100 to 1,400 (@70 pl)

By comparison, for a single traveller:

- a round trip on the Shatabdi Express (Howrah-Bolpur) A.C. Chair Car would have cost approximately Rs 1,400 (including taxi to / from station) i.e. 17% less and taken 6 hours 40 minutes i.e. 13% less time; and

- a round trip on Shantiniketan Express (Howrah-Bolpur) A.C. Chair Car would have cost approximately Rs 1,000 (including taxi to / from station) i.e.40 % less and taken about 7 hours 10 minutes i.e. 7% less time.

I have only an approximate calculation for the mileage but if the petrol tank indicator on the Polo is accurate it should be between 16-20 kmpl (depending how how the gauge is read -- if I see a fuel gauge bar showing half, I understand it means at least half is left. When that half bar vanishes, I take it that less than half is left).

Closing thoughts on the car -- For a (relatively) heavy vehicle such as the Polo, the three-cylinder 1.2 petrol is excellent in city traffic but quite obviously weak at high speeds. At 2,000 rpm (fifth gear) I managed 85 kmph, 2,500 rpm took it to 100 kmph; I suppose 3,000 would take it to 120 but at no time did I cruise at excess of 2,200 rpm. Nonetheless I had no illusions about high speed performance at the time of purchase and while I occasionally wish having bought the 1.6 petrol there are no serious regrets whatsoever (in these four years). This apart, there were no problems, ground clearance was just about ok (at least for this stretch) and steering was effortless as always -- perhaps a little too effortless. I will have to see how the steering / mileage is after the planned upsize my tyres and rims later this month.

*****

Thanks for reading! Suggestions and comments most welcome.

Last edited by Kumar R : 8th June 2015 at 20:40.
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Old 9th June 2015, 13:19   #5
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th June 2015, 15:57   #6
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

I really like your detailed route chart, it deserves a

But, I am equally perplexed as to why you did not use the car's AC. Trust me, all of us use it, especially in a scorching summer like this, infact, the car, sometimes acts like a mobile office, idle with aircon running.

Going by that logic, imagine the heat & relative temperature your tire would be operating at, ditto for our engine.

Hope to read more detailed logs like this. Thanks for sharing
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Old 9th June 2015, 16:09   #7
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

A good write up with some illustrative maps and pictures.

You were lucky that the Guskhara Underpass was open to cross or else many times a detour from here through the village roads (with no tarmac) is required to move further.

Hoping to catch up with you at the Team-BHP Kolkata Chapter Summer Meet to be held soon.
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Old 9th June 2015, 22:44   #8
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
But, I am equally perplexed as to why you did not use the car's AC. Trust me, all of us use it, especially in a scorching summer like this, infact, the car, sometimes acts like a mobile office, idle with aircon running.
You're right. It felt like a precaution, no doubt reinforced by all the Maruti 800 owners I've known as a kid (and some quite recently) who'd warn that we would have to choose between the 4th gear or the AC but not both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
You were lucky that the Guskhara Underpass was open to cross or else many times a detour from here through the village roads (with no tarmac) is required to move further.

Hoping to catch up with you at the Team-BHP Kolkata Chapter Summer Meet to be held soon.
Look forward to meeting on June 28. I think the Illambazar route is worth it if no other reason than because it avoids this underpass. It's a poor state of affairs that the underpass has been allowed to subsist for so long. I would imagine it would not be too hard to either bore another tunnel or pile some earth and make a level crossing, or failing all that build a simple cement / metal flooring for the underpass.

Last edited by Kumar R : 9th June 2015 at 22:52.
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Old 10th June 2015, 00:26   #9
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
This 'tunnel' is very claustrophobic but at least there is no fear of bottomscraping. I took the Bhedia route on my return. It's quite likely that this will be problematic during the monsoons.
Thanks Kumar for your travelogue. I am quite regular on this route. Yet I must say that I have not seen such an illustrated and detailed route map like yours for this route.

During monsoon, specially after a spell of heavy rain, the railway underpass on the main NH-2B gets invariably flooded. In such situation, the only option for hatchbacks would be to go through Bhedia town and actually pass through the "tunnel" as it has raised floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
... Further on is the Shibtola road crossing (47 km) where I took a right turn. ..
Given your destination, my suggestion would be to drive straight at Shibtola More instead of turning right. It would lead you to Sriniketan More there you would take a right turn followed by a left turn immediately after Kali Shayor (a big pond on the left). Then you would head towards Viswa Bharati. This road is in much better condition and also shorter than the road that you have taken.

Best,
Golam
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Old 10th June 2015, 01:26   #10
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

I have been on this route umpteen number of times but have never noticed things that you have put up. In fact it hardly ever occurred to me before seeing this thread that such detailed description could be given about a 170 km odd route. Thanks a lot for sharing.

P.S: As Sheel has mentioned, please use the AC in future. In this heat you could have fallen sick without the AC.
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Old 10th June 2015, 02:14   #11
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

I am yet to see such a detailed description for a 170 km stretch and written in such lucid style with useful anecdotes such as keeping debit cards in the socks and then finally driving barefoot as the soles of hush puppies came off due to heat.
And finding clumps of Borassus flabelliber along the way.

You set a new standard of writing travelogues in this site IMHO.
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Old 10th June 2015, 10:33   #12
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

This is the definitive "Kolkata-Shantiniketan by road" guide.

I have done this regularly between 2009 and 2012. The last being a dash in April 2014.Of-course all credit/discredit for that goes to our President Pranab Mukherjee, who (the then Finance Minister) setup the regional Central Excise Headquarters at Bolpur. I have enjoyed most of these trips. Normally, I used to take the Panagarh route to Bolpur and take the Guskara route on return. Regular stops were the usual Shaktigarh, then Baba Restaurant at Darjeeling more. I would also often take the small detour to Deul Park Resort just for driving on the morrum roads and for the delicious chicken curry they serve. Then I would just stop amidst the forests after taking the right turn from Ilambazar and venture into the woods on foot. The West Bengal Govt. run Shantiniketan Tourist Lodge would be our preferred destination for food at Bolpur. Shamefully, out of nearly fifty visits to Bolpur, I have visited Shantiniketan just twice.

Last edited by mi2n : 10th June 2015 at 10:34.
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Old 10th June 2015, 16:30   #13
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

Kumar its surely the most detailed Travelogue for Kolkata - Bolpur. Congratulations on completing your solo drive and I hope you have enjoyed it (Except the Temperature).

I would also like to request you to use AC in this kind of weather to keep you comfortable.

Regarding the Underpass before Bolpur, it is like that for quite long. As said by gmhossain one spell of rain can change the situation. I have faced such situation in 2011 Pujas.


Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-durga-pujo-0006.jpg

While reading your experience, I remembered my first drive to Bolpur in 2006. I travel to Bolpur at least 2 times in a year one of which is during the Durga Pujas and I recommend the same to others also.

One of the best puja around Bolpur is "Hiralini Durgotsab" I am giving a picture of the same below.


Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B-durga-pujo-0100.jpg


We all hope to have more Travelogues from you in future and Wish you many more successful trips.
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Old 10th June 2015, 23:24   #14
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post

I was probably one of the slowest cars and plenty of big and small vehicles dashed by at speeds in excess of 100+. The highway is well maintained with 4-6 lanes throughout and a number of flyovers. Petrol pumps are located every 7-10 km. The weather was hot ! (39 deg C) and I did not use the AC for fear that the increased load would affect performance.
Excellent and very detailed write up for such a short trip. Though it's very surprising that you did it without using AC in such a scorching hot and humid conditions. Trust me Polo wouldn't loose its performance with use of AC. In fact if you keep your windows rolled down you will loose performance with drop in mileage along with driver fatigue because of wind noise and dust entering inside.

These days AC usage hardly affects the performance of any car and affects the mileage very minimally. From next time have a better drive with windows rolled up and keeping a pleasant temperature inside your cabin.
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Old 11th June 2015, 11:03   #15
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Default Re: Sunday Solo drive: Kolkata to Bolpur (Santiniketan) via NH2 / 2B

Dear Golam, BlackPearl, imove, mi2n, SouraC and rahul_kej, thanks for the kind words (and the photos). Yes, lesson learned on AC usage (or rather non-usage)
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