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Old 23rd February 2011, 09:24   #121
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

hjbrl, NH60 is the default route to take, not NH5 between Balasore/Baleswar and Kharagpur (NH5 goes via Baripada, NH60 goes straight via Jaleswar & Dantan).

I mentioned that GM is not updated - take a look at, for example, Jaleswar: GM shows the road on the old 2-laned road running through Jaleswar town, whereas now NH60 has been rerouted to the 4-laned road running as a bypass east of Jaleswar town.

NH60 is the best and least time-consuming route. No Naxal/Maoist safety issues, the highway is trafficked 24x7, but almost entirely by long-distance trucks.

Bangalore-Chittoor, the default route is via Palmaner, Mulbagal, Kolar & Hoskote. Krishnagiri is nowhere in the picture because that is south of NH4 and Bangalore.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 21:02   #122
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Originally Posted by hjbrl View Post
Sumit, any reason you want me to avoid NH5 in that stretch? Though I am again referring to Google Maps, and HVK clearly mentioned that it is not updated, it says that taking NH5 will be more time efficient.
NH60 via Jaleswar is part of the GQ. Baleswar - Baripada - Jharkoporia - Jamsola - Bohargora - Chichira - Kharagpur is not. Other than being longer, narrower, not as good etc, it passes through Lodhasuli - Jhargram, and two choke points/ border checkpoints.

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Old 24th February 2011, 20:28   #123
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

hjbrl,

Don't worry - the road conditions are quite ok now. I made 2 hyd-cal trips - my 1st one in april,09 and the next one in october,10. And there was a significant improvement in between the two trips. First of all the incomplete 2-laned stretches are quite short now. Earlier we had 2 long stretches both near the north and south OR border, totalling to about 100 km almost.

But the south side border is almost complete now. Even during my oct. 10 trip the longest incomplete stretch on the south side was hardly 4-5 km. The greatest relief is that the earlier off-roading track at the AP-OR border in Ichapuram is now a 4-laned smooth black road. Though you have to face the kilometers long truck jam, but it is still managable. Just be alert near the border - because most of the time one lane gets totally blocked with the trucks and private cars are allowed to move through the other lane (which is essentially the wrong lane). Best policy is to spot one of the local passenger cabs (the tata aces) and start following it.

On the north side there are diversions but the road quality is good in general. But be careful near the culverts and the diversion points - because in all likelihood there will a big crater near it, which you have to tackle at a slow speed.

But for enduring all these punishments, you will be rewarded suitably, once you enter into WB, with NH-60 - the concrete runway.

Overall there is nothing to be worried about. Wish you a happy and safe journey.
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Old 25th February 2011, 13:19   #124
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Smile khub Bhalo

Khub bhalo laglo podthe apnar travelouge. May be someday I will follow in your footsteps and do the trip from Mumbai.

Good Job

Regards
RoS
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Old 27th February 2011, 09:28   #125
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Well...Thanks all for your priceless suggestions...Finished the trip yesterday at 5:10 pm. Experience was good. Once I find some time, I will write a travelogue and post it in a different thread.
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Old 1st March 2011, 19:38   #126
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
NH60 via Jaleswar is part of the GQ. Baleswar - Baripada - Jharkoporia - Jamsola - Bohargora - Chichira - Kharagpur is not. Other than being longer, narrower, not as good etc, it passes through Lodhasuli - Jhargram, and two choke points/ border checkpoints.
From my recent experience of visiting Tatanagar by car in January, I have found out that the condition of Bahragora-Kharagpur stretch is fair with a few potholes.
But just for anyone wishing to drive to Jamshedpur from Calcutta, after crossing Galudih, the last 35-40 KM of the road is not so good.
Regards,
Rahul Biswas
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Old 2nd March 2011, 09:29   #127
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Can't believe that the Chichira section has been repaired. Thanks for the information.
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Old 6th September 2011, 13:53   #128
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I am planning to drive to Calcutta for the Dusserrah festival.Can anyone please update me on the road conditions and the best route ?
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Old 9th September 2011, 01:58   #129
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

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I am planning to drive to Calcutta for the Dusserrah festival.Can anyone please update me on the road conditions and the best route ?
I believe the road are pretty neat but not sure what monsoon has done it, best thing is to ask the cross country truck drivers. But a lovely time to drive down as it shouldn't be too hot as this time.

Last edited by MadTiger : 9th September 2011 at 01:59.
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Old 9th September 2011, 22:20   #130
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

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I am planning to drive to Calcutta for the Dusserrah festival.Can anyone please update me on the road conditions and the best route ?
I did a trip to Calcutta back in March this year. I took 3 days as I was driving with two young kids. I did roughly between 600 and 700 Km per day. The route I took was as follows:

Day 1/Segment 1: Bangalore (OMR) - Tirupati - Srikalahasti - Join NH5
(Nayudupeta - the GQ begins). This segment is about 320 Km and can be done in about 6 hours (plus breaks). Most of the road is two-laned and undivided, but quite good. You can reach the same point by going via Chennai. It adds about 100 Km to the trip but then you get a 4 lane highway all the way through.

Notes:
- After Tirupati, the number of stealth speed breakers increase.
- Night driving in this segment is very painful/dangerous as bus & truck traffic is quite high and no one uses low beams.
- You should use Google Maps to plan your route so that you can bypass most of the towns enroute (including Tirupati). If you don't do this, you will waste an hour or two, depending on the time of day.
- No issues getting food on this route until Tirupati. No issues with fuel most of the way. Bans Hotel is a good place for food as you don't need to get off the highway and waste time (it's on the Chittoor bypass).

Day 1/Segment 2: Nayudupeta - Nellore - Vijayawada (~350 Km). Enjoy the ease of driving on a (wide) 4 lane, divided highway.

Notes:
- You can expect to average at least 80 Km/h. So this segment is doable in about 4.5 hours (not counting breaks).
- Staying option in Vijayawada (I took this piece of advise from t-bhp forum): Go towards the railway station. Lots of hotels in all price ranges.

Day 2: Vijayawada - Gopalpur (All on the GQ except the last 10 odd Km). ~630 Km.
Notes:
- Most of the way you can expect to average at least 90 Kmph.
- Crossing the AP-Orrisa border can be a pain. The moment you encounter trucks parked, stop and ask for advise on how to get through. Also, search the t-bhp forums for information on how to get through. I just followed some local vehicles that went on to the wrong side of the road and crossed the check post. My logic was that if NO ONE was moving, technically there was no wrong side!
- We spent a day in Gopalpur on the beach. If you want to push on, you will need to research hotel options before hand as I don't remember much on the way until Bhubaneshwar. Vijayawada to Bhubaneshwar is almost 800 Km. Doable, but tough.
- The GQ roads through AP is the best. I hit 150 Kmph a few times on long straight segments where I could see the road for miles. My wife didn't even notice!

Day 3: Gopalpur - Calcutta (GQ until Kharagpur, then right onto NH 6 - watch for clearly marked signs). ~ 615 Km

Notes:
- First half you can expect to average 75 Kmph, second half, 80.
- NH6 is similar to GQ except that it is a slightly narrower 4 lane, divided road. Truck traffic increases considerably.
- Again you need to research and plan your Orissa-WB crossing. When I could not get through, a trucker was kind enough to point out a village road that ran parallel to the highway (this happened on the way back). Just remember not to get too deep into the jam before asking.
- Ignore all signs indicating distance to Calcutta. Most are wrong (probably referring to a pre-GQ route). Stay on the GQ.


A general word of caution:

- Most of the GQ roads are good. However, don't be complacent. You will encounter hazards everywhere such as:
-- Vehicles of all sizes and shapes on the wrong side of the road, on the left side.
-- Some will even do it on the right side.
-- If you are trying to overtake a bus or a truck and he suddenly changes lane to give you way, it may be a trick! Something may be coming head-on on the wrong side of the road.
-- Cows (and other animals) on the median that may suddenly jump on to the road. No matter what size of vehicle you drive, hitting even a goat at 100+ Kmph will ruin your day.
-- People, bikes, tractors, autos, vans, etc. will cross the road at most unexpected places. Most of these people have never driven a vehicle at 100+ Kmph, so have no idea how much time it takes for you to stop.
- Food options are generally limited on the GQ (most cater to truckers). Your best bet is to plan ahead and know a couple of food options in the towns enroute. Most cities you can find food more easily without going too far from the highway. Do carry lots of packaged food/snacks and water.
- I never use a horn in the city. But on the highway, a small beep is advisable when you overtake a bus/truck. When they say "Horn OK Please", they're not kidding.
- Bikes are your enemy. If you consistently avoid hitting them, town after town, they will test you. Honk liberally if you see one.
- Orissa has fewer fuel stations on the highway. Refuel as soon as you hit half tank. Orissa also had the worst section of GQ. There were a lot of sections under construction. (This was in March so the situation may have improved now).
- Make sure you have all your car documents in order. Else, cops (especially at check posts) will try to extract money from you.
- This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don't over speed. Drive for longer duration than over speed. Personally, I think anything over 120 Kmph is asking for trouble in India. If you have more than one person driving, you can do the trip in two days.

Hmmm... this turned out to be quite a long post. I should have probably thrown in a few pictures and made this into a travelogue :-)

Enjoy your drive!
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Old 11th September 2011, 11:48   #131
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

here are a few more.

1. There is no good restaurant between Balasore and Kolaghat, unless something has come up recently. Between Bhubaneswar and Ichchapuram, the only good restaurant is at Barakul, which is a great place to stop. You might also want to stay at the hotel (OTDC). We did not find any good restaurant at Ichchapuram. Also, there are limited options for food between Ichchapuram and Vishakhapatnam. There are few dhabas though next to petrol pumps.

2. Be careful of the autos taking sudden right turn/U-turn from the left most lane.

3. you might want to restrict your speed to 80-90 kmph in OR. However, the stretch from Vijaywada to Bangalore, or Balasore to Kolkata would be better.

4. Stick to the GQ route (Bangalore-Chennai-Kolkata) if possible. Its slightly longer, but usually safer. Crossing Chennai however would take time as the directions are not well marked, unless you are aware about the place. As far as I remember, it is almost like a "U" road to get to NH5.



If you are travelling with family, there are not many good places where you could stop.

Also, NH5 bypasses most of the towns. So please refuel whenever you get a chance, and do not wait for the next best restaurant if you find a decent one.

People at the toll plaza are usually helpful. Usually they also have facilities in the plaza which you could use.

Have a safe drive.
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Old 13th September 2011, 09:37   #132
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

Quote:
Originally Posted by XR4Ti View Post
I did a trip to Calcutta back in March this year. I took 3 days as I was driving with two young kids. I did roughly between 600 and 700 Km per day. The route I took was as follows:

Day 1/Segment 1: Bangalore (OMR) - Tirupati - Srikalahasti - Join NH5
(Nayudupeta - the GQ begins). This segment is about 320 Km and can be done in about 6 hours (plus breaks). Most of the road is two-laned and undivided, but quite good. You can reach the same point by going via Chennai. It adds about 100 Km to the trip but then you get a 4 lane highway all the way through.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumannandy View Post
here are a few more.

1. There is no good restaurant between Balasore and Kolaghat, unless something has come up recently. Between Bhubaneswar and Ichchapuram, the only good restaurant is at Barakul, which is a great place to stop. You might also want to stay at the hotel (OTDC). We did not find any good restaurant at Ichchapuram. Also, there are limited options for food between Ichchapuram and Vishakhapatnam. There are few dhabas though next to petrol pumps.
Thanks guys for the great info.My tentative plan is to start on Sunday (Oct 2) very early so that I can target to reach Vizhianagaram by around 9-10 PM.Need to see how well I can meet this target.

The fact that I need to be in Bangalore on Oct 9 means I have a very tight schedule if I plan the drive to Kolkatta and hence I might/might not drive down to Kolkatta. If I drive,I have to leave Vizianagaram on Oct 4, reach kolkatta on Oct 5, which leaves me with just one day in kolkatta as I have a 3 day drive back to Bangalore. Hence my doubts..
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Old 13th September 2011, 10:52   #133
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

Do I have to leave NH 5 near Baleshwar to join NH6 at kharagpur ? Google maps shows Nh5 heading northwards at Baleshwar and the route map takes me through a different route(named as OT road) which joins NH6 at Kharagpur.

How safe are the roads if I plan to do a night drive from Vizianagaram to Kolkatta (entirely through NH5/NH6 combo) ?
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Old 13th September 2011, 18:56   #134
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

Continue on NH60. Its a straight (and great) road, except Jaleswar border.

You will join NH6 near Kharagpur.

Can't comment on safety, as we drove through the day. We did not feel anything out of place, except the borders. People who are regular on this route can comment better.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 11:38   #135
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Default Re: Travelogue: Bangalore to Kolkata

Hello friends, I am planning the following trip next month, with family :


Bangalore to Vijayawada : leave at 5 in the morning, reach by dusk.

Stay overnight at Vijayawada.

Vijayawada to Bhubaneswar : Again, leave at 5 in the morning, reach by dusk.


Is the above time schedule feasible / achievable, at my driving speed of 90 to 100 kmph, with minimum breaks ?

Thanks in advance
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