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Old 3rd May 2016, 10:46   #1
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Default 11 States - 2910 Kms - 4 Days - Karaikal to Punjab!

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The Jazz has been my constant companion, like forever. Seven years now and its never let me down (touch wood)!! The story dates back to 2009 when our 5 year old workhorse, the Scorpio was to be replaced and there was not a single car in the market at that time that we could think of, fit for the job. And then Honda launched its Jazz. Spacious, powerful and more importantly, A HONDA! Being owners of Honda vehicles for almost a decade and a half, we knew the value of that last point well!

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The Jazz has proven to be a very worthy companion in these 7 years

We were amongst the first ten in our city to book a maroon Honda Jazz from Lally Motors, Ludhiana and boy did we love it. It had all the features to replace the Scorpio as a luggage hauler- spacious interiors, numerous cubby holes, relatively compact dimensions and a M-A-S-S-I-V-E boot to boast about! I was in Pune at that time, doing my MBBS while my dad used to punt around in the city with this car and sing praises of it almost daily. In 2013, I graduated and got a PG seat in a small lesser known town of Karaikal. 300 kms further down from Pondi, on the ECR, this is a small town on the East coast of India. Beautiful as it might be, this being a small city put having a car as a priority on the must haves list! The Honda Jazz, now 4 years old was thus put on a trailer to Karaikal for my 3 years stint as an Ophthalmology Post Graduate here in this port city. It served me well and how!! I took it around to all the different places in Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore, Nagapattinam, Chennai, Pondicherry and Madurai. A young turban clad fellow in a Punjab registration vehicle drew many a gaze here and there, for sure! It was fun and the car never gave me any trouble. I managed to maintain the normal 10000 kms service routine at Capitol Honda, Pondi( 150kms from Karaikal).

3 years now and its time for me to go back. I contacted the person who had helped me transport my car here, but the price for the service had shot up almost 5 times. So, an alternative had to be thought of. All options were thought of including getting a driver to drive down the car back home before this wild but amazing idea popped up in our heads! We could drive back ourselves!! We mulled on the idea for quite sometime using are hearts as well as our minds to try to finalise on something. People were called and the frequent travellers contacted. Finally, we concluded that this could actually be an excellent once in a lifetime opportunity, something that we should'nt let go so easily. And this is how this plan came to be.


THE PREPARATION:
The first thing was to get the car ready for the drive. 76000kms on the odo|6 years old, one had to be doubly sure that the machine was in a proper running condition.

1. First was getting the car serviced. Since my car had already visited the Doc( Capitol Honda, Pondy) around 5k kms back, I took the car to a local mechanic who gave a cursory glance to all the parts for wear and tear. He advised me to get the horn changed which I did promptly. Got a Roots horn fitted for around Rs. 750. It was nice, loud and clear and gave my Jazz a new voice fit enough for an Índian Idol' participation.

2. The mechanic also advised me to take the car for Tyre servicing. I took the car to a MRF T&S centre (Kaveri Tyres, Karaikal). These people balanced and aligned the tyres. Extremely professional, I loved the service quality.

3. Last but not the least, a proper and thorough car wash.

And thus my Jazz became ready for the longest trip of its lifetime.


WE MADE A FEW GROUND RULES FOR THE TRIP:
1. We would drive only during daytime
2. We would restrict our speed to 100kmph
3. We, being 2 drivers, would alternate on each tankful


My parents arrived on the 20th of April in the Karaikal Express. Much has been said about how the Railways is doing a commendable job in improving the quality of rail travel in our country and this time I witnessed it first hand. The Karaikal station was spick and span inspite of it being fairly busy station. My parents too were quite happy with their journey by train from Chennai.

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Karaikal Railway Station

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Appreciation where it is due

20th April 2016

After the goodbyes at my college with my colleagues and staff, we started with THE MARATHON JOURNEY FROM PONDICHERRY TO PUNJAB. I had read about the condition of the roads and the various routes that fellow teambhpians had taken and had a detailed itinerary ready, for our journey.

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Our Route for Day 1- 309 kms

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Last minute checkup by a mechanic

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Petrol price- cheapest of all

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The entry to Karaikal is marked by these Pillars

We started off for Chennai by 2pm. This route is frequently used by tourists visiting the famous Church in Vellankini or even those visiting the temple towns of Karaikal and Thirunallar. The road from Karaikal to Chidambaram is a two lane highway that is quite narrow at places and with innumerable twists and turns. On reaching Chidambaram though, the road turns into 4 lane highway right upto Chennai. Although quite busy, the traffic flow is smooth. The only downside is the huge number of barricades that have been placed all along , perpendicular to the flow of high speed traffic which spoils the fun of the drive since one needs to come to a dead stop everytime we encounters one of these. Just before entering Pondicherry is a place called Adyar Anand Bhavan(A2B) at Cuddalore. We made a 30 min halt and filled our empty stomachs with delicious South Indian Meals.

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The food that we were served at A2B , Cuddalore

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The Paradise beach of Pondy is really popular but it has a huge queue of people waiting in line to get on the jetty that takes you to the beach. Instead, try looking for a nice beach on the highway itself. This was a small less crowded beach that we found right on the road from Pondy.

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Numerous salt farms line the highway too

Satisfied with the food and service, we moved on towards Chennai. We reached Chennai at 6pm and were hit by the Chennai traffic. It took us almost an hour to reach our destination ie the hotel that we had booked, Hotel KEK Accommodation at Tambaram, Chennai. This hotel is normally used by travellers in transit. A typical budget hotel, this is an ideal place if you just want an overnight stay. This is also located in the outskirts of the city and is thus quite close to the Chennai Bypass road which was the road that we were to take on the next day.

21st April 2016

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Our route for Day 2- 627 kms

We started off for Hyderabad early at 5:30am to avoid heavy traffic. We had planned to reach Hyderabad by evening where my sister and family was waiting for all of us.The early head-start paid off!! It hardly took us any time to reach the Chennai bypass and thus start the next leg of our journey to Hyderabad.
The road upto Nellore is a very nice and smooth 4 lane road. It is the road between Nellore and Ongole that has numerous speedbreakers. Hondas have always been unhappy negotiating even the smallest of speedbreakers.The Jazz’ underbelly scraped its bottom bringing chills down the spines of the occupants of the car, every time we heard that sound.

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4 laned highways all through

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Trucks parked right on the highway slowed us down near Nellore
The route to Hyderabad is smooth except for a few towns like Addanki and Piduguralla where the roads are narrow and crowded.

We stopped for food at a FoodPlaza at Pudur which offered us very tasty Chicken Biryani.

We finally reached the outskirts of Hyderabad at 4pm and took the Outer Ring Road to reach my sister’s place by 5:15pm.

22nd April 2016

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Our route for Day 3- 1089 kms

We started early from Hyderabad at 4am and it took us around 10 mins to cut through the city to reach the Outer Ring Road and then continue on to Nagpur.

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It always pays to start early!! Less traffic means one can cut through major cities in a jiffy

Our plan was to cross Nagpur before 12 noon and then continue to Sagar where we planned to spend the night. We planned to book our place at Sagar at a place called Deepali Residency (as suggested on numerous Teambhp threads) but then thought otherwise. The road to Nagpur was an excellent 4 lane highway with moderate traffic .

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The roads did not dissapoint

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Roadside dhabas are few, but me managed to find a decent place serving delicious stuffed parathas

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We spotted a tiny Gurudwara too, enroute Nagpur

This helped us reach Nagpur early at 11am. Nagpur city is a well planned city with wide roads and well managed traffic. We continued on this dream run to reach Seynar where the road turned into a 2 lane road for a few odd kilometres. We hit the MP border at 12 noon and reached the ghat section by around 12:35pm. The ghat roads too have been made excellently with proper sign boards and markings.

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Very realistic Signboards

This led onto Chhindwara were we got onto the desolate Outer Ring Road by 12:50pm. This town has a surprisingly good road network inspite of being a very small town on the map. This entire stretch is a 2 lane highway with the only downside being very few roadside shops and petrol pumps on the way. We reached Narsinghpur by 2:45pm from where the road is a 4 lane highway all the way upto Sagar where we landed at 4pm. Our initial plan was to stopover at Sagar but seeing the entire day still infront of us we made a bold decision of continuing upto Jhansi. The roads right till Jhansi were well carpeted and 4 laned which helped us reached Jhansi by 7:30pm. We had booked a room online enroute at a place called Nand Palace. This place although located quite close to the highway on Google Maps but was a disaster to reach. The rooms too were typically budget class- very shabbily maintained. The hotel staff though tried their level best to make our stay comfortable by providing us with good dinner and an A/C room to stay in.

23rd April 2016

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The final leg of Our Journey- Day 4 - 768 kms

We started off early again at 4am since today was he last leg of our journey. The stretch between Jhansi to Gwalior was the worst of the lot. The highway has numerous potholes and roads are non existant at places. We still managed to reach Gwalior by 7:00am. We planned to visit the Gurudwara Bandi Chhod at Gwalior located atop the hill flanked by the Gwalior fort on one side and the Scindia School on the other.

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The grand entrance to the Gurudwara

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Simple but delicious langar (meal) at the Gurudwara

After a halt of about an hour, we started off for Agra by 8am. The road to Agra was again in a poor condition for uptil 10kms after which it becomes okay again. We reached Agra by 9:40am . Having seen the various monuments of Agra numerous times, we skipped the sightseeing and headed for the Yamuna Expresseway. True to its name, the Yamuna Expressway is a pleasure to drive on, with a cap on the speedlimit of 100kmph. The highway has numerus stops on the way for food and workshops for your car too incase any servicing is required. We stopped at a foodplaza to grab a quick bite and freshen up a bit. The Buddh International Circuit can be seen right from the YEW and is a sight to watch. We made it to Delhi by 1:30pm.

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A line of cars waiting for getting their tyre pressure checked at a petrol pump before getting onto the Yamuna Expressway

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The YEW is lined by numerous food plazas and workshops

Avoiding the afternoon Delhi traffic, we bypassed Delhi to reach the NH1 which brought us to Ludhiana in 5 hours.The Grand truck road, as it is called is a 4 lane highway with moderate to heavy traffic throughout. We made a stop at Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba, Murthal which is a popular stop for all. This place had started off as a local typical dhabha but has recently undergone a radical transformation. It offers a typical Punjabi cuisine. The rush is huge but the crowd is managed excellently with prompt service. After filling ours tanks with food dripping in Desi ghee, we continued to Ludhiana where we managed to reach in 5 hours.

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Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba

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Punjabi food at last!!

All in all an amazing trip and experience!

To Summarise:
Kilometres covered: 2910kms
States crossed: 11 states
Time taken: 4 days
Toll booths encountered: 36
Total expenditure on fuel: Rs.~12,000
Adventure Quotient: 100%
Condition of roads: Excellent

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th May 2016 at 19:17. Reason: Added some bold headings :)
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Old 4th May 2016, 18:09   #2
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Default re: 11 States - 2910 Kms - 4 Days - Karaikal to Punjab!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th May 2016, 19:23   #3
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Default Re: 11 States | 2910 kms | 4 days | Karaikal to Punjab!

That's quite a road trip ! Excellent write up on the details - road conditions , places to stay , etc .

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_doctor View Post
Avoiding the afternoon Delhi traffic, we bypassed Delhi to reach the NH1 which brought us to Ludhiana in 5 hours.
What's the best way to bypass Delhi from YEW side towards Ludhiana - how did you bypass Delhi - and how long did it take ?
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Old 4th May 2016, 21:57   #4
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Default Re: 11 States - 2910 Kms - 4 Days - Karaikal to Punjab!

Superb TL Iktej. Crisp report with a lot of information and great snaps

Your Jazz's first appearance on TBhp covered on http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...uth-india.html (Five Days, Four Cities and Three Cars - A trip to South India)

Was good fun driving it around. Been a year since that eventful trip.

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once in a lifetime opportunity
I hope you do not mean long drives being a once in a lifetime opportunity

Last edited by navsjab : 4th May 2016 at 22:25.
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Old 4th May 2016, 22:58   #5
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Wow, what an epic journey you had. Was happy to see that your car performed extremely well on such a massive journey. How were the roads between Nagpur & Adilabad. There was a bad patch
in between. Has that been repaired & four laned?
Last but not the least, very detailed beautifully written.
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Old 5th May 2016, 10:34   #6
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Default Re: 11 States - 2910 Kms - 4 Days - Karaikal to Punjab!

I'm jealous! You did an epic journey! Great going Doc.

People like you inspire us to hit the road often!

Last edited by GTO : 5th May 2016 at 10:40. Reason: Typo
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Old 5th May 2016, 13:08   #7
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Default Re: 11 States - 2910 Kms - 4 Days - Karaikal to Punjab!

Now this is the kind of stuff/drive dreams are made of . This complement comes from a fellow Jazz owner. Hoping to undertake a similar journey in my Jazz someday.
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Old 5th May 2016, 14:23   #8
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Default Re: 11 States - 2910 Kms - 4 Days - Karaikal to Punjab!

Wonderful, crisp narration! Nice photo's too!

I can identify with your sense of adventure & thrill.
Your journey reminded me of my December 2015 drive from Chennai to Kolkata in my Swift ( 110,000 kms old). Yes, it was definitely a shorter haul than yours, around 1720 kms compared to your 3k kms, but the sense of achievement and thrill were possibly similar.

Once again many congrats for the marathon!

Drive safe !
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Old 5th May 2016, 15:35   #9
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The happiness of graduating coupled with this amazing road-trip! You must be on cloud nine Doc! Hearty congratulations on both your accomplishments
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Old 5th May 2016, 15:40   #10
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Very pleased to know that you have graduated and happier to note the good times spent with your parents on the road. That's a double delight.
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Old 5th May 2016, 16:23   #11
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Superb TL Doc, enjoyed reading it.
Hope to see many more travelogues from you in the coming days.
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Old 5th May 2016, 18:31   #12
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Thank you for sharing Sir! North-South corridor is one of my favorite stretches except Jhansi-Gwalior section . The terrain & weather changes real fast and is quite an experience.
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Old 5th May 2016, 18:54   #13
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Excellent and i assume all the members here would like to do a drive like this.
Nicely written and motivates to see the improvement of Indian road condition.
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Old 5th May 2016, 22:02   #14
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Wow Man, what an amazing journey, and a very crisp travelogue.
And, Congratulations of Your Graduation,
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Old 6th May 2016, 08:57   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdp1975 View Post
That's quite a road trip ! Excellent write up on the details - road conditions , places to stay , etc .

What's the best way to bypass Delhi from YEW side towards Ludhiana - how did you bypass Delhi - and how long did it take ?

Thank You sdp1975! The best way to bypass Delhi is via the Noida Link road-> ORR-> GT Road.

11 States - 2910 Kms - 4 Days - Karaikal to Punjab!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1462505226.213035.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by vdm295 View Post
Wow, what an epic journey you had. Was happy to see that your car performed extremely well on such a massive journey. How were the roads between Nagpur & Adilabad. There was a bad patch

in between. Has that been repaired & four laned?

Last but not the least, very detailed beautifully written.

Thank You vdm295. There were bad patches of roads near Nirmal-Adilabad but the flow of traffic was smooth and this didn't delay us much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bordeaux View Post
Thank you for sharing Sir! North-South corridor is one of my favorite stretches except Jhansi-Gwalior section . The terrain & weather changes real fast and is quite an experience.

Hey bordeaux! Yes, the Jhansi-Gwalior stretch is the worst of the lot. Roads are almost non existent at places.

Last edited by moralfibre : 6th May 2016 at 09:39. Reason: Back to back posts.
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