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Old 29th January 2017, 18:27   #1
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Default 3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast

Since many years, there was always this thread running at the back of my mind to do this trip and whenever it was brought up during planing, it would be put aside with views that its not safe to drive through Orissa. Now with the GQ well in place and having read a lot of reviews, it became quite apparent that this was a very much doable trip and finally it materialized.

The usual way to plan this trip from Bangalore would be to take flight to Bhubaneswar and cover the places in 3 to 4 days. When charting out such a flight-based plan, it felt like after landing, the standard places to be visited are very near to each other and the plan felt boring.

A road based travel sounded a lot more exciting with an opportunity to cover a number of places along the way.

Some Highlights of the Trip

Day 1: Bangalore to Vijawawada (660 KM)
Day 2: Vijayawada to Vizag (390KM)
Day 3: Vizag to Puri (440 KM)
Day 4: Covered Puri, Konark and Chilika lake
Day 5: Puri to Bhubaneswar (70 KM)
Day 6: Places around Bhubaneswar, round trip to Cuttack.
Day 7, 8: Bhubaneswar to Vizag (442 KM) and Rajahmundry (200 KM)
Day 9: Around Rajahmundry.
Day 10: Rajahmundry to Tirupati (570 KM)
Day 11: Tirupati to Bangalore (250 KM)

Total Distance covered: 3422 KM.
Avg Fuel Efficiency: 22.7 Kmpl.

Route taken:
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-maproute.jpg

Last edited by for_cars1 : 5th April 2017 at 10:36.
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Old 14th February 2017, 22:45   #2
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Default Day1: Bangalore to Vijayawada (660 KM)

Planned to drive through Chittoor, Tirupati Ongole towards Vijayawada.

Started at 4:50 AM from Bangalore, there was sparse traffic on the way and reached Chittoor at 7:45 AM.

After Chittoor, encountered heavy traffic and the progress was really slow due to the single lane road most of the places until we reached the GQ AH45 at Naidupet at 11 AM.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-1_1bangaloretirupatiafterchittoor_3.jpg

Got a very good average FE of 26 kmpl for the first 400 KM.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-1_2bangaloretirupatiavg_fe.jpg

Along the GQ, did not find any good place for food until the restaurant above the toll booth just before Ongole at 1:45 PM.

Felt like a really long stretch after Ongole and reached Vijayawada by 4:45 PM.
Inside Vijayawada, traffic was really a mess along the GQ road and got stuck in a huge jam until 6:15 PM. Covered about 750 meters in 1.5 hours. City Traffic in Vijayawada felt chaotic at best with vehicles all over the place.

Crossing Vijayawada via AH45 seemed to be a real pain, so decided to avoid this route on the return journey.

Covered 660 KM from Bangalore to Vijayawada on Day 1. It is tempting to keep higher speeds on the GQ but it is better to stick to sane speeds and be alert.

Day 2: Vijayawada to Vizag (390KM)
It was a 390 KM 7 hour drive from Vijayawada to Vizag. The first half of the drive is through the west-Godavari district which is the most fertile region in AP with lush paddy fields.

Found the NH(GQ) busy throughout with lots of truck traffic and two wheelers doing inter-town rounds making it absolutely essential to keep speeds in check (at max ~ 80 kmph) being careful of bikes and people driving on the wrong side of the highway.


Day 3: Vizag to Puri 440 KM
Started at 10:40 AM on AH45. There was lots of truck traffic and queues at toll plazas which was time consuming.

Maintained a steady speed of 80 to 90 kmph. At Behrampur, there were incredibly long queues of trucks fully clogging the highway. Had to drive on the opposite side of the highway along with the other small vehicles just to get past this ocean of trucks. The truckers must be really going through hell in such check posts with endless queues. Hopefully with the introduction of GST this year, long queues of trucks at state border checkposts might become history thankfully.

There was heavy two wheeler traffic highway after crossing over to Orissa. Kept the speeds really slow and steady.

Being on the eastern side, it got dark pretty early at 5:15 PM.

The road was pretty narrow after turning right onto the Puri road, passing through villages and railway crossings with closed gate. After about 30 KM of what seemed like a very long time (2.5 hours).
The road got better after reaching Bhubaneshwar-Puri road.
Puri was super crowded due to the holiday rush, retired for the night.

Last edited by for_cars1 : 17th April 2017 at 00:26.
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Old 14th February 2017, 23:11   #3
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Default Day 4: Puri and Konark

Puri is like a typical temple town with lot of hustle bustle with a number of narrow lanes and by-lanes. I found it to be clean though. Google navigation helped going through the narrow lanes on the way to the main temple. Visited Jagannath Temple at 9:30 AM and it took around until 12:30PM to come out.

Although the rush was heavy, the darshan was easy. There was no holding up of people and creating long artificial queues, just a short queue before the metal detectors, free entry and possibility of doing multiple darshans inside the sanctum sanctorum. But it was hard to properly see the main idols as it were placed very far away. Beware of pick-pockets inside the sanctum sanctorum though as I learn't the hard way.

Visited Konark temple about 30 KM from Puri in the afternoon, and it was spell-bindingly beautiful.

The short drive (31KM) from Puri to Konark is scenic and along the beach.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_1drivefrompuritokonark2.jpg

Lagoons formed by Rivers meeting the sea along the way
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_1puritokonarkriversjoiningsea.jpg

The incredibly magnificient and elegant Sun Temple
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_2konarkgreatsuntemple.jpg

The main door of the temple has been sealed since 1903 by then lieutenant Governor of Bengal in order to "preserve this superb specimen of old Indian Architecture" for future generations
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_3konarktempledoorsealedsince1903.jpg

The intricately carved magnificient main door of the temple
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_4konarkmagnificientmaindoor.jpg

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_5konark.jpg

One of the carved stone wheels
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_6_konarkwheel.jpg

The temple is built like a chariot with wheels.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_6konarkbuiltlikeachariot.jpg

A small river joining the sea at Puri. There were curious tourists walking on the loose silt along the river. It is actually dangerous to walk there as there is a risk of quicksand in such deltas.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-4_7puririverjoiningthesea2.jpg

Last edited by for_cars1 : 17th April 2017 at 00:50.
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Old 14th February 2017, 23:22   #4
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Default Day 5 and 6: Chilika Lake and Bhubaneswar

On Day 5, set out from Puri in the morning and visited the famous Chilika lake around 50 KM to the south. One has to be really careful on this stretch and watch out for two wheelers and people criss-crossing the roads throughout.

Puri to Chilika, drive along the Salt Lake

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-5_2puritochilikalakedrivealongthesaltlake2.jpg

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-5_1drivealongthechilikalake.jpg

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-5_2aboutchilikalake.jpg

There were no lifejackets on offer at the boating venue.
However we had not planned for boating but were more enjoying the vast expanse of the lake.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-5_3chilikalakeboatingparking.jpg

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-5_2alongthechilikalaketopuri.jpg



Then drove to Bhubaneswar about 70 KM away and reached by 2PM.

Some interesting car exhibits

Ford Roadster 1930
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_1fordroadster1930.jpg
Interiors
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_2fordroadsterinteriors.jpg
Sideview
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_3fordroadstersideview.jpg

Chevy Belair 1956
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_5chevroletbelair1956.jpg
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_6chevroletbelairabout.jpg
Side profile
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_7_chevroletbelairsideprofile.jpg

Plymouth Suburban 1956
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_8plymouthsuburban1956.jpg
Side profile
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_9plymouthsuburbansideprofile.jpg


At Bhubaneswar, visited Lingaraj, Muktheshwar and Brameshwar temples and Udayagiri caves.
Bhubaneswar is literally a city of temples. After visiting Lingaraj Temple we were asking for directions to Muktheshwar temple and people were pointing to whatever temple they chose to and they could have been right from their perspective. After going around in circles a couple of times realized that Google maps was the best way to locate the temples.

Brameshwar Temple in typical Odissi Architecture
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_10brameshwartemplebhubaneswar.jpg

Khandagiri caves. Be prepared to do a lot of walking up and down these stony paths.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_11khandagiricavesbhubaneswar.jpg
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_12khandagiricavesbhubaneswar.jpg


Bhubaneswar has good clean wide roads and is well designed. It still has the old world charm (read less hustle-bustle) that is hard to find in other cities.

Nice roads, predominantly two wheeler traffic and unpredictable, need to be extra cautious.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-7_1bhubaneswarroads.jpg

Last edited by for_cars1 : 17th April 2017 at 01:02.
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Old 14th February 2017, 23:40   #5
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Default Day 7 onwards: The return journey to Bangalore

Covered the following places at Vizag on the return journey

Bhimli Beach, Rushikonda, Kailasa Hills, Ramakrishna Beach and reached Rajahmundry in the evening.

It was surprising how much Vizag has changed in the last 25 years. I remember the earlier hills surrounding the city all untouched and now there are buildings all over the hills. Lots of flyovers and overcrowding. But I found it very clean and still beautiful (It was even more beautiful and pristine a couple of decades back )

Bheemili Beach Vizag
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-8_1bheemilibeachvizag.jpg

Beach Road Vizag
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-8_2beachroadvizag.jpg


Spent a day through the lush green east and west Godavari areas including Sir Arthur Cotton Museum and the incredibly long Dowaleshwaram barrage and the rail-cum-road bridge across the mighty Godavari.

Sir Arthur Cotton, the genious and great British Engineer who designed and built the Dowalishwaram barrage and canal system and transformed the Godavari basin into a fertile belt. He is still revered and worshipped today in these areas.

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-10_1sirarthurcottongreatbritishengineer.jpg
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-10_2sirarthurcottongreatbritishengineer.jpg

Visited the ISKCON temple at Rajahmundry by the river in the evening and had a fabulous darshan of Lord Jagannath, the identical image just as it is in the Puri temple.

Some views of the mighty and beautiful Godavari river.
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-10_3_godavarisunset.jpg
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-10_4godavariroadbridge.jpg
3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-10_5_godaravibridgesunset.jpg


Planned for a halt at Tirupati during the longish drive from Rajahmundry to Bangalore. Rajahmundry to Tirupati took about 9 hours with an added 2 hour break.

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-11_eastcoastreturndrive.jpg

On the way back from Tirupati, one needs to be extra careful around certain hilly sections with lots of curves. Saw a couple of accidents at this stretch and not anywhere else on the trip. People tend to take it for granted and overtake recklessly at this stretch.

Overall the whole trip was a very enjoyable and a learning and memorable experience.

3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast-6_4preservenature.jpg

Last edited by for_cars1 : 17th April 2017 at 01:04.
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Old 17th April 2017, 08:23   #6
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Default re: 3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast

Mod note: Thread moved to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 17th April 2017, 08:56   #7
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Default Re: Day 7 onwards: The return journey to Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by for_cars1 View Post
It was surprising how much Vizag has changed in the last 25 years. I found it very clean and still beautiful
Excellent pictures!!!!!

I took a train ride to Bhubaneswar in end 2014 and was awe struck by the Godavari , and "dumb" struck by the filthy Vizag station.
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Old 17th April 2017, 20:23   #8
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Default Re: Day 7 onwards: The return journey to Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
Excellent pictures!!!!!

.. was awe struck by the Godavari ,...
The Godavari is indeed so breathtakingly huge and beautiful. The rail-cum-road bridge across the river has a span of about 4 KM
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:54   #9
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Default Re: 3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast

Nice crisp travelogue there, for cars1;Thanks for sharing.

Going by the images, it appears that your ride was the 2014 facelift City. However I could not figure out whether it was I-Vtec of I-Dtec.

More information on the way the car performed, handling in twisty roads, mileage, AC effectiveness, tyres and any issues if faced, would be helpful.
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Old 21st April 2017, 14:43   #10
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Default Re: 3,422 km round-trip to Orissa along the south-east coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
...However I could not figure out whether it was I-Vtec of I-Dtec.

More information on the way the car performed, handling in twisty roads, mileage, AC effectiveness, tyres and any issues if faced, would be helpful.
Mine is an iDtec Diesel variant.

Gone are the days when the City used to be associated with low ground clearance issues. In the latest 4th Generation, the stiffer suspension combined with a completely re-designed undercarriage has completely resolved all earlier generation Ground clearance issues and makes the 4th Gen City a take-anywhere car with no worry about speed-bumps.

Also the mileage returned by the Diesel is phenomenal for the size of the car and even with a full load and loaded boot and AC ON or OFF has little impact on the mileage due to the ample torque. The secret to this is the well designed all aluminium diesel engine which ensures a high thermal efficiency and has anti-friction coated pistons. I'm really impressed by the engine as it is able to deliver 80% of the torque from as little as 1100 rpm and the turbo kicking in at 1650 rpm which means no perceptible turbo lag issues and needs very little gear changes which makes for an enjoyable drive.
I'm of the opinion that all the talk about more Engine noise in the Diesel is more of a hype created initially by the auto review portals (because the initial batch of test drive cars were noisy which was corrected in the production cars). End of the day, a Diesel will sound like a Diesel and one should expect this. The noise levels are on par with all the other diesels in this segment, nothing abnormal.

Handling of the car is pretty good upto 110 kmph and maybe upto 120 kmph although the car will keep pulling strongly and eagerly to higher speeds easily, anything above 100- 110 kmph is not safe even on our 4 laned roads and better stick to <90 on our divider-less highways. Anyone (animals, people, vehicles) can run across anytime and better to keep that in mind however empty the road may appear.
I've driven the stock tyres (175/65/R15) for the first 30K Kms and apart from looking skinny, I found it quite adequate without any real need for upsizing.

After upsizing to 195/60/R15 Michelin XM2s, surprisingly the mileage has improved by atleast 1 kmpl maybe be due to it having very low rolling resistance (I was expecting the mileage to drop after upsizing.) Handling has been good always before and after the upsize on uneven roads, pot-holed roads and twisties. Due to the stiffer suspension, the ride gets better at higher speeds. The AC is sufficient, it is better to leave it in Auto mode and let it decide automatically on the blower settings rather than fiddling manually on the blower speed.

One of the best things Honda has done to the Gen 4 City is to completely customize it for Indian conditions and it has that typical Japanese fill-it, shut-it and forget-it type of operation (touch-wood). I'd call it a real evolution of the design that is really practical and useful.

Last edited by for_cars1 : 21st April 2017 at 14:59.
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