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Old 22nd December 2017, 12:46   #1
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Default Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT

Presenting my first travelogue here. Neither am I a good photographer nor a good writer, but I shall try my best to cover maximum details of my trip which maybe useful for people who take this route in the future.

THE BACKGROUND

After repatriating from the Middle East, in June 2016, circumstances made me settle down at Kolkata, whereas my parents are at Delhi (which at one time was my hometown, having lived in Dwarka, Delhi for 7 years). Those days I had an Indica DLE, sold, followed by a Indica DLS (which was disposed off in 2008, three years after I moved abroad).

Whenever I came to Delhi, on holidays, the khujlee (itch) to drive was always there, but the khujlee (itch) remained a khujlee (itch), as we did not have a vehicle at our disposal. In July 2016, at Kolkata. I purchased my Dzire AGS (AMT) diesel with one of the objectives being to travel around.

In October 2016, along with my wife and 3 year old son, flew to Delhi to spend the pooja vacation with my parents. We were there for 30 days and thats is when the khujlee (itch) was so severe, (I was just short of going to a skin doctor) that I took a firm decision that one day, I shall drive my car from Kolkata to Delhi and back.

The DEL KOL road trip tread created by SS Traveller became my bible. Each and every update on that tread was memorized by me. Add to that my discussion with Samba, Saskar and Debjyoti cemented the plans, though dates were not decided.

5th December 2017 happened to by my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. Yes, this is it, froze my travel dates

28/11/2017 departing from Kolkata, night halt at Varanasi
29/11/2017 departing from Varanasi, night halt at Greater Noida (my Mama's place)
30/11/2017 departing from Greater Noida to Dwarka, New Delhi

Since wife did not want our son to skip school for so many days, it was decided that I shall be doing it solo. For the return leg , my college mate Tarun had committed himself. Since both of us had not seen the aarti on the Ganges at Varanasi, this was a good opportunity to experience it. In the mean time, I was in contact with a few friends appraising them about this trip, suddenly, Prashant, my ex - colleague (more a friend), who resides at Delhi, told me that he was keen to join my for the Kolkata Delhi leg. Prashant booked his flight tickets, scheduled to land at Kolkata on 24th night. Since it was his first time at Kolkata, we planned a couple of sight seeing joints.

A couple of snaps in Kolkata

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-kol-1.jpg

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-kol2.jpg

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-kol3.jpg

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-kol4.jpg

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-kol5.jpg


Prashant is on the right, yours truly on the left.

My car had done 18K plus kms so got the 20K service done at Deluxe Service Station (Authorized MASS) at Phoolbagan. Engine oil, oil filter were replaced. I inspected the air filter, after an air blow clean, it too seemed in ok condition, but i kept in mind, I shall have to check its condition at Delhi.

THE PREVIOUS NIGHT (27/11/2017)
Since we had decided to pack sandwiches for our journey (Prashant had brought some home prepared mayonnaise from Delhi), we shopped for tomatoes, cucumber and a small loaf from The French Loaf at Salt Lake, filled up diesel, topped up Nitrogen. Prepared the sandwiches, kept them in the fridge, loaded the car, all set to go.

THE JOURNEY

28/11/2017 ODO 1771 5AM DEP MY HOME AT BIDHAN NIBAS, CLOSE TO THE ULTADANGA FLYOVER

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-start1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-start2.jpg

(Apologies for the bad quality of snaps)

Commenced our journey with yours truly at the wheel. FM was playing some good bhajans which added to the journey commencement mood. It was a smooth drive all the way to Durgapur, barring the fact that at tolls, cash counters were empty as compared to fastag lanes (I had fastag) which lead to some frustration.

28/11/2017 ODO 17895 755 AM (183 KMS) ARR DURGAPUR OUTSKIRTS
Stopped at a road side tea shop. Inside the car was comfortable as the climate control was taking care of our needs, but as soon as we stepped outside, we could feel the nip in the air.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-durgapur-bfast1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-durgapur-bfast2.jpg


28/11/2017 ODO 17895 811 AM DEP DURGAPUR OUTSKIRTS
Prashant at the wheel. Having lived for many years at Australia, he had is share of experience in driving automatics, but never an AMT. I told him to get a feel of the car, which in a couple of kms, he said "Dada feel ho chuka hai, now I know how this gearbox behaves.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-enroute.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-enroute2.jpg

28/11/2017 ODO 18064 1045 AM (169 KMS) ARR BAGOHAR
Both Prashant and myself had a mutual understanding that we shall start looking for petrol pumps once the fuel gauge drops below the half tank mark. Stopped at the COCO petrol pump, made sure we parked our car next to a diesel dispenser. Asked the attendant if debit cards are accepted he said yes, but told me to speak the the manager.

I walk upto the manager's office and the conversation goes like this

Manager - 'Kitne ka bharwana hai' (for how much do u want to fill)
Myself - 'cut off point tak full karna hai' (I would like to fill till the cut off point)
Manager - 'Woh kitna rupaie ka hoga' (that would be for how many rupees)
Myself - a bit zapped 'mujhe kaise maloom kitne rupaie ka diesel, tank ko full karega' (how would I know how many rupees worth shall make the tank full)
Manager - after a bit of thought 'aacha bharwa lo' (ok, fill up the tank)

Walk back to my car, the manager signals the attendant to fill up my car. I told the attendant to fill till the auto cut off point - the attendant tried to put the nozzle into the fuel filler hole, it would not go in, he said 'nozzle bara hai' (the nozzle is big). I told him to fill till a little lower than the neck, which he did. The car gulped in 20.94 Ltrs, returning a mileage of 17.14 kmpl. Walked back to the manager's office to make the payment by card. Unfortunately, his card machine was not getting a signal, so ended up paying cash.

28/11/2017 18064 1057AM DEP BAGODAR
I took over the wheel. Since we had exhausted our topics of conversation for the time being, Prashant started playing music from youtube through his phone plugged in into the AUX of the car via a cable. It was a smooth drive all the way to Aurangabad. Our intention was to stop for lunch at Aurangabad, unfortunately a couple of dhabas passed by, could not stop as we were carrying speed in excess of 100 kmph. I spotted a small dhaba and decided to stop.

28/11/2017 18255 204 PM (191 KMS) ARR AURANGABAD
An accepted fact to all road trippers, the stomach tends to digest food at a fast rate and hunger alarm bells start ringing at closer intervals. We had ample supply of sandwiches, but Prashant, the cook in his blood, went to the kitchen, spoke to the 'so called chef' got some really tasty onion and tomato pakoras tossed up. This was a dish not on their menu. Pakoras, sandwiches and hot tea, made the mouth burn, no doubt about that, but it was quite filling and enjoyable.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-auranabad-dhaba.jpg

28/11/2017 18255 254 PM DEP AURANGABAD
Prashant at the wheel. After covering a couple of kms, I got a call from Samba. He called to know our whereabouts. I informed that we had crossed Aurangabad, he said, the toughest part of the drive is yet to come, true to his word, the driving conditions did deteriorate considerably. Crossing Dheri on Sone and the bridge was a breeze, but after that flyover construction were a plenty. On the slip road created for traffic flow, speed breakers, the size of Mount Everest, made sure we were slower than crawling speed. Darkness came quickly, followed by smog and dust. Must say, Prashant was having a tough time driving, but we chugged along.

Through makemytrip.com, we had booked Hotel Kaushik for our overnight stay (advantage being it is located on the highway), but due a major goof up, thanks to makemytrip, they upgraded us to Hotel Hindustan International, including complimentary breakfast. To reach this hotel, we had to drive through Mughalsarai. Traffic was really frustrating and to add to our misery, Google Aunty showed 1.5 hours to cover the 16 kms to the hotel. The entire road marked in red.

28/11/2017 18417 (162 kms) 5.49 PM ARR HOTEL HINDUSTAN INTERNATIONAL VARANASI
The last stretch had taken its toll on both of us. We were really tired, needed a shower, something to drink and hit the sack at the earliest. While we were checking in, we requested the duty manager to arrange to pack our breakfast as we intended to leave by 6 AM, which he agreed to. I took a shower first. then checked out the stock of sandwiches, 6 remained. On discussion with Prashant, we decided to order a tandoori chicken online. In about an hour, the delivery guy, called up from the hotel's entry gate, Prashant went and collected the parcel. It hardly took us hungry souls, hardly any time, to polish off the tandoori chicken and sandwiches.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-hhi1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-hhi2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-hhi3.jpg


29/11/2017 18417 549 AM DEP HINDUSTAN INTERNATIONAL HOTEL, VARANASI
With myself at the wheel, we set off with the objective to cover as much distance as possible. As requested, the hotel gave us packed breakfast. Soon the dreadful Vanarasi bypass was covered. Then came the Allahabad bypass which was sparce on traffic. We could maintain 120 kmph consistently which helped to gobble up a number of kms in a short time.

After the Allahabad bypass, the road, even though a double track, is pretty narrow. Add to that school going kids walking on the edges and riding bicycles. Worse than that was the scooter and motorcyclists who were riding double flank refusing to give way to us. A bit later, I saw a bus parked on the highway in such a way that it was blocking the fast and the slow lanes. I told Prashant, I do not like the look of it. There was no vehicles in front of us, hence we parked next to the bus. Soon there was a huge line of traffic behind us. On inquiring what had happened, the local people pointed out to the opposite flank. Apparently, a couple we riding on a motorcycle, the lady's saree got entangled by the rear wheel of the bike, we fell on her right along with the rider and a truck ran over them. The truck did not stop. The incident must have happened 5 mins before we reached, the bodies were still on the road. Locals of that area had blocked both sides of the road and would not let any traffic movement till the police arrived. As expected the crowd started multiplying, Prashant and myself were getting this very queasy feeling wondering what lay in front of us. In what seemed like eternity, police and ambulances arrived. The police quickly ordered to move the bus (that was blocking our flank) to release our side of the traffic. One hour fifteen minutes wasted by the time we could get ourselves rolling.

29/11/2017 18609 (192 kms) 907 AM ARR RELIANCE PETROL PUMP, FIROZABAD
Must admit, the upkeep of the Reliance petrol pump, the behavior of the staff and the cleanliness of the washrooms came as a really pleasant surprise. Debit card accepted with no problem at all.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-reliance-petrol-pump.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-reliance-petrol-pump-2.jpg

29/11/2017 18609 925 AM DEP RELIANCE PETROL PUMP
Prashant at the wheel. Having witnessed that dastardly sight a short while ago, neither of us were in a mood to eat anything. Soon we crossed the Kanpur bypass.

29/11/2017 18843 (234 kms) 1225 PM ARR AT A SPOT TO CHANGE DRIVERS

29/11/2017 18843 1228 DEP FROM THE SPOT TO CHANGE DRIVERS
Myself at the wheel, munching kms after kms. Suddenly my phone rang, took the call since I was on bluetooth. It was Samba, inquiring about our status. on being informed, he told us to be careful of dogs who suddenly cross the road. Again right to his word, spotted more than usual squashed dogs on the road. As said, time is the best healer, both of us had got over the accident sight and were hungry. Stopped at a road side Dhaba after Etawah.

29/11/2017 18934 (91 kms) 146 PM ARR AT A SPOT AFTER ETAWAH
Nice and clean place. Ordered tea which was really good. The hotel had packed two apples, one banana, four grilled chicken sandwiches, two boiled eggs and small packets of sauce. Two such boxes. We could just finish one of them. Second round of tea followed. The very thought that fantastic roads awaited us was a real mood elevator.

29/11/2017 18934 207 PM DEP AT A SPOT AFTER ETAWAH
Myself at the wheel, soon I could see the elevated portion of the ALE, I grinned to myself. Proceeded straight under it, passed a Reliance petrol pump on my right, after about 500 m, took a right U turn. Stopped at the Reliance petrol pump to tank up. In sheer excitement of driving on the ALE and YEW for the first time, forgot to note down the odometer and time.

After refueling, drove under the ALE, after about 500m, took the kachaa road, on the left, which was an uphill slope to join the ALE. This point is on the 78th km pillar.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-ale-1.jpg

Driving on the ALE was orgasmic to say the least. I have never driven on such kind of roads in India. Hats off to whoever conceived and executed the construction of this road. A driver's paradise.

But, worth mentioning here, however good the roads are, however good and fast the vehicles are, till the attitude of the road users does not change, these kids of roads are a death trap. I would not mind vehicles zipping at high speed on these kind of roads, but definitely would not like vehicles coming on the 'wrong side'. Trucks and buses apart from cars, cooling driving on the wrong side of the road just add to the probability of an increase in the 'fatal road accident statistic'.

The integration of the ALE with the YEW is really good. I was really amazed to see Agra is totally bypassed.

29/11/2017 19224 (290 kms) 530 PM ARR GREATER NOIDA (BEHIND GREATER NOIDA AUTHORITY OFFICE)
The traffic at Pari Chowk was a total mess. Dropped Prashant there as he had to proceed to Civil Lines, Delhi. From Pari Chowk, my Mama's residence is a 10 min drive.

Was expecting the NCR to be cold, but was surprised that I was pretty comfortable in a T shirt, but as the adrenaline level lowered, I wore a hoodie over my T shirt. It felt a sense of accomplishment, CCU DEL done. My car behaved well, a niggling apprehension was always there on the back of my mind - how shall the AMT take this drive, a mixture of all sorts of driving conditions. Must admit, it took it well, if one can discount the head nods on heavy acceleration.

30/11/2017 19224 941 AM DEP GREATER NOIDA
The final leg of my journey. I have self driven this stretch about 13 years ago in my Indica. Compared to that, it was a breeze driving my Dzire ASG. Left leg totally relaxed. Left hand on the steering wheel at all times. Acceleration and braking controlled by the right leg.

30/11/2017 19290 (66 kms) 1156 AM ARR DWARKA, NEW DELHI
Was really elated to park my car at my society at Dwarka. WB plated car seemed to have made friends with the DL plated cars nearby.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-d-parking-1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-d-parking-2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-d-parking-3.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-d-parking-4.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-d-parking-5.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-d-parking-6.jpg

WITHIN DELHI

Thanks a lot Mrs and Mr SS Traveller (Bowdi and SSda) for the great lunch at your residence. Kindly take the honors to post the lunch pictures here.

Not to forget to mention, thanks SSda for taking me to your trusted FNG to install the iRoad dashcam. More on this in a separate thread (as of now, yet to get a hang of certain critical things). Lost the entire DEL KOL footage due to some setting issue. Have changed the settings and presently its under observation mode.

iroad dashcam installation

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-dc1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-dc2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-dc3.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-dc4.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-dc5.jpg

Leather wrap done by Raju / Rahul - G2 Palika Bhawan, Netaji Nagar, Opposite Hyatt Regency. There is a thread on their fitment in this forum. I am pretty satisfied with the job.
Rs 2200 - steering wheel cover
Rs 500 - gear knob cover
Rs 300 - hand brake cover (they offered me the option to removed the entire hand brake assembly to leather wrap the entire level, due to paucity of time, I requested them to just wrap the hand brake lever without removing it.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-lea1.jpg

To be continued as i have reached my 30 snaps attachment limit.

Last edited by Aditya : 1st January 2018 at 09:38. Reason: Typos
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:54   #2
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Default re: Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-lea2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-lea3.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-lea4.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-lea5.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-lea6.jpg


On my bucket list was a spin to Rail Vihar Sector 56, Gurgaon, where I resided in 1998 ~ 2000, not having the opportunity to visit that area subsequently. Those days, I used to work at Udyog Vihar and ride my motorbike to and from work. After work, at night, after the Hotel Bristol round about, the ride was really spooky as it used to be pitch dark and not a soul visible on the road. I was more than shocked to see the transformation of the whole area. As a matter of fact, I nearly missed spotting the entrance to the DLF Golf and Country Club.

I went to a MASS close to my residence with the objective to check the air filter and change it if necessary. Thanks to the dust generated primarily by the flyover construction on the Varanasi stretch, the air filter was in a bad condition was was promptly replaced.

THE RETURN JOURNEY
10/12/2017 PRE DEPARTURE DAY
Tanked up the diesel tank. (Within Delhi, with A/c on full time, the car returned a mileage of 16.31 kmpl). Topped up Nitrogen in all the tyres, check the fluids - the car was all set to roll.

11/12/2017 19706 647 AM DEP DWARKA
The destination was Madhuvan Enclave, near Preet Vihar to pick up Tarun (my college friend for the last 29 years). He had agreed to do the return trip with me.

11/12/2017 19739 33 KMS 8.02 AM ARR MADHUVAN ENCLAVE

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-front-taruns-house-1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-front-taruns-house-3.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-front-taruns-house.jpg
Tarun's silver Toyota Liva can be spotted.

11/12/2017 19739 813 AM DEP MADHUVAN ENCLAVE
Tarun at the wheel, it was the first time he was driving an AMT diesel. His automatic transmission driving experience, till then was limited to driving my Altima on the Muscat Salalah road (he had come to visit me at Oman in 2010). It did not take him much time to get a hang of the AMT and soon was appreciating how relaxed his left leg was. Soon we were on the YEW. It was a repeat bitter feeling that the YEW does not accept fastag, hence we had to shell out Rs 415 in cash. The first stop of the day was just after the 2nd toll barrier (where the road exists to Brindavan).

11/12/2017 19884 145 KMS 955 AM ARR 2ND TOLL PLAZA ON YEW

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-yew-2nd-toll-plaza-1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-yew-2nd-toll-plaza-2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-yew-2nd-toll-plaza.jpg

There was a nip in the air, purchased tea and had our packed alu parathas for breakfast, sitting on a bench, basking in the sun. Hot tea and the gren chillies in the parathas soon worked their magic in getting us warm. The car had done 205 kms since the last top up, I told Tarun, lets tank up, but the fuel gauge needle had hardly moved from the F position, hence we decided to move on without tanking up, what a wrong decision it would turn out to be.

11/12/2017 19884 1026 AM DEP 2ND TOLL PLAZA ON YEW
Tarun again at the wheel. Sooner than expected we were close to the end of the YEW. I could not see any direction signs pointing to Lucknow, instead saw a signboard pointing left showing Kanpur, I told Tarun to take the left exit, only to realize it was a wrong turn. 100 meters and a right U turn later, we headed to the ALE and a right slip road got us onto its butter smooth surface. Repeating what I have mentioned before, this road is a death trap till traffic coming on the wrong side are not banned completely. While Tarun was at the job of gobbling miles, I had taken over the duty to play some of our college time favorite songs, playing them on you tube. Casually I glanced at the speedometer, I asked Tarun, what speed are we travelling at? According to the forum rules, I shall not mentioned that here, but shall mention the MID showed the AVG km/L at 7.9 kmpl. As a comparo, I would like to mention, just yesterday, with a couple of friends and their family, we went for a small day outing around Kolkata. At a sedate pace, limited to just 100 kmph, I could extract 29.2 km/L, the highest I have ever achieved. Now with the car in full guzzling mode, the fuel needle started defying gravity and started falling towards E at a really uncomfortable pace. I knew at the 78th kms marker, we could take the slip road down, join the Etawah / Kanpur bypass road at Karhal and top the tank at the Reliance petrol pump. Unfortunately, with the kind of speed we were carrying and myself fiddling with the tab to get the next number to play, we crossed the 78th kms marker. We carried on hoping google maps shall come to our rescue. After covering about 100 kms, we started to slow down at every left exit, only to discover that the road was under construction and not possible to drive a sedan on it. At the 5th exit, we spotted a few people working. Stopped as asked them where could we find a petrol pump. We were told to drive upto the Talegram signboard and take the left exit. They were not sure of the distance. I then told Tarun not to exceed 120 kmph, in order to get a better mileage. After what seemed like eternity, we spotted the Telegram exit and drove upto the first filling station that we spotted.

11/12/2017 20130 246 KMS 1229 PM ARR TALEGRAM
Tanked up, the car having swallowed 35 ltrs of diesel.

11/12/2017 20130 1243 PM DEP TALEGRAM
I took over the wheel with the back of the mind tension having gone (read low fuel). I kept myself confined to the middle lane, just to ensure I had enough time to react in case I spotted incoming vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road, which I did find in regular intervals. The drive to Lucknow was smooth and google aunty directed us straight to our hotel.

11/12/2017 20283 153 KMS 219 PM ARR HOTEL GOLDEN SKY LUCKNOW
Tarun's cousins reside at Lucknow. They were aware of our plans. Tarun called them up just after we checked in. By 5 PM both the cousins were at our room and the plan for dinner at Tunday kababi was chalked out. One of the cousin's expressed his desire to join us till Varanasi, as he was keen to witness the aarti at the Ganga. Tarun and myself were more than happy to have him on board.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-tunday-kababi.jpg

After dinner, we came back to our hotel and called it a day, with the decision to leave the hotel by 8 AM.

12/12/2107 20283 803 AM DEP HOTEL GOLDEN SKY LUCKNOW
Monu (Tarun's cousin) came to the hotel at 7.30 AM and announced that he shall be joining us till Kolkata. Initially, it was planned that Tarun shall be residing at my house, but with Monu tagging along, I had to arrange a guest house close to my residence. After breakfast at the hotel, with myself at the wheel, google aunty directing us, we started our journey towards Hotel Kaushik, Varanasi. The route was via Rae Bareilly. Road quality was good, frequent speed breakers coming up unannounced (luckily not car breakers) and heavy traffic, compelled to drive really slow. After Rae Bareilly, the road is single track. Add to that, it passes through various towns and villages. Stress levels were well within acceptable limited as the left leg and hand were relaxed.

12/12/2017 20443 160 KMS 1051 AM ARR KUNDA, PRATAPGARH
Tanked up

12/12/2017 20443 1100 AM DEP KUNDA, PRATAPGARH
With Tarun on the wheel, we proceeded towards the Allahabad bypass. Once we reached the bypass, comfortable on good roads, our stomaches started ringing bells!!

12/12/2017 20548 1238 PM ARR PAWAN DHABA, SOMEWHERE ON THE ALLAHABAD BYPASS

12/12/2017 20548 140 PM DEP PAWAN DHABA, SOMEWHERE ON THE ALLAHABAD BYPASS
After a nice lunch, with myself at the controls, it was just a matter of kms and distance to reach Hotel Kaushik.

12/12/2017 20617 238 PM ARR HOTEL KAUSHIK
Having experienced the unreliable service of Make my trip, this time on consultation with Yogesh, the manager of Hotel Kaushik, I transferred the room rent to him by PayTM, Rs 950 for a non ac room. He immediately got back saying the room was confirmed. While checking in, we told him to provide an extra bed which he agreed at an extra charge of Rs 350. Once we entered the room, we discovered the room was really small to accommodate a foldable bed, hence requested for another room, the room next to our room was immediately allotted. So Tarun and Monu in one room, myself alone in the other.

After a quick freshen up, we headed back to the reception area to work out our transportation to the Ganga ghat. Yogesh was again very helpful in suggesting to park the car in the parking area of a mall and take an erickshaw to the ghat. He even pinned the mall's location on the google maps of my phone. With Tarun at the controls, myself navigating, it took us one hour and 15 mins to get to the mall. We soon got a erick guy to charged us Rs 20 per head, pick from the mall, drop back and he shall wait till we finish the aarti. He also told us he shall get a good deal for the boat. Good to his word, he managed to get us a share boat at Rs 250 per head against Rs 300 that the others had paid. The weather was superb, cool breeze blowing, really serene atmosphere, the aarti darshan is something one just should not miss.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-ganga-ghat-1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-ganga-ghat-2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-ganga-ghat-3.jpg


Our friendly erick guy was waiting for us, took us back to the mall, we piled into the car and were back at Hotel Kaushik by 8.15 PM. By 9.15 PM we are at their dining hall for dinner. Must make a mentioned here, the food is really good in quality and quantity. For future diners at their restaurant, please order the side dishes conservatively and place another order, if required after the serve the first order as the quantities they serve are on the really higher side. During dinner it was decided that we shall be departing at 5 AM. With dinner tucked in, I cleared all the bills and settled down for the night, only after ensuring that I set the alarm for 4 AM, 410 AM and 415 AM (just incase the repeat function failed on me).

13/12/2017 20652 532 AM DEP HOTEL KAUSHIK, VARANASI
Woke up just before the alarm could tear into the silence. Knocked the next door. Apart from the morning chores, had a nice cold water shower (I shower in cold water throughout the year), which got me ready for action. By the time the three of us were ready it was 520 AM. Tarun and Monu commented it was cold outside, I was not feeling it since I was all charged after my cold shock bath. Started the car, let it idle for 10 mins, the time being utilized to set the luggage and we set off with myself at the controls. During the Kolkata Varanasi journey, we had to turn right from the highway and go to our hotel via Mughalsarai which took us close to 2 hours. I was pretty happy and contented after studying google maps that we could easily shave off one and a half hours during the Varanasi Kolkata stretch as Hotel Kaushik was bang on the highway. How really wrong I was. 3 kms after the hotel we got royally stuck in a traffic jam at the toll plaza. What I realized, the volume of traffic was just too high to be handled by the number to lanes available. Once we cleared the toll tax, a bit further, to my utter disgust I discovered, I had done just 30 kms in one and a half hours. The car breakers were worse in this road flank and at each of them, I had to stop the car completely, just before the breaker, make some momentum to enable the front wheels to cross and slowly get the rear wheels to cross. Really bad experience. By about 8 AM considering the amount of distance we had covered, doing a rough calculation made me realize that Kolkata shall see us post 830 PM, whereas my intention was to get there by 630 AM. Deri on Sone bridge was clear and we kept chewing kms rather than gobbling them. Mornings on Indian highways is always a pain as school going kids, on all sorts and modes of transport are on the road, making the driver to drive on caution mode. By 930 AM the travellers could hear their stomaches making weird sounds, indicating breakfast time.

13/12/2017 20849 197 KMS 941 AM ARR HOTEL PUNJAB AND RESTAURANT, JUST AFTER AURANGABAD
Hot tea followed by alu and gobi paratha (which were really good) following by hot tea again got us fully charged for the moment. The parathas were well stuffed and pretty big in size, which was the perfect ingredient to feel sleepy.

13/12/2017 20849 1032 AM DEP HOTEL PUNJAB AND RESTAURANT, JUST AFTER AURANGABAD
For me no worries as Tarun was at the controls.

13/12/2017 20931 82 KMS 1156 AM ARR AT A PLACE AFTER SASARAM TO FILL FUEL
As soon as we stopped to fill fuel, Tarun said the parathas are making him sleepy, so he was shunted to the rear seat, Monu as my navigator, we proceeded.

13/12/2017 20931 1204 PM DEP AT A PLACE AFTER SASARAM TO FILL FUEL
With myself at the controls, the aim was to cover as many kms as possible during daylight. Road conditions having improved considerably, my objective was to take the average speed as north as safely possible.

Soon we were at Topchachi, where it mandated for a photo op with 'instruments of human destruction'.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-topchachi-1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-topchachi-2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-topchachi-3.jpg

13/12/2017 21179 245 KMS 350 PM ARR CLOSE TO CITY CENTER, OPPOSITE CEMENT PARK, DURGAPUR

With myself back on the controls, mile munching was the major priority. Asansol and Ranigunj were gobbled in quick succession, thanks to the new flyovers. Soon the breakfast parathas seem to have been digested and the stomach demanded its fill. Stopped at a joint, close to Cement Park for a quick snack. Must admit, we had the worst dosas that we have ever had.

13/12/2017 21179 427 PM DEP CLOSE TO CITY CENTER, OPPOSITE CEMENT PARK, DURGAPUR
I have a disability, which I recognize, have learnt to accept and have no shame in expressing it. I am extremely uncomfortable driving during dusk. The gradual darkness, headlight throw being ineffective as per the throw I shall be comfortable driving. Tarun knows my problem, since we have been road tripping since 1989 (in college, initially on his Kinetic Honda and subsequently on my Kawasaki Bajaj KB 100 Delta). Tarun at once understood, rather anticipated, that he had to do the honors, which he did. Tarun drove till the Dankuni Toll Plaza, after which I took over the for the final leg.

13/12/2017 21367 191 KMS 815 PM - REACHED THE FINAL DESTINATION, MY HOME, CLOSE TO THE ULTADANA FLYOVER, KOLKATA

Tarun left for Delhi by flight on 16th December, Monu took the Durunto from Sealdah station on 17th December. I managed to get them a room at FabHotel Astoria located at AE 7, Salt Lake Sector 1, for their stay at Kolkata.

Since Tarun and Monu were visiting Kolkata for the very first time, there was somethings that I wanted to show them (they are religiously inclined). Kaali Bari, Kaali Ghat, Dakshineshwar, Belur Math were on the agenda. Even though we took a boat from Dakhineshwar Temple to Belur Math, the premises had closed. We did manage a visit to Princep Ghat. Attaching some snaps

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-dakhineshwar-temple-1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-dakshineshwar-temple-2.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-kaali-baari-kalighat.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-kali-temple-kalighat.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-princep-ghat-1.jpg
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-princep-ghat-2.jpg

Concluding my trip here.

With this trip the khujlee (inch) has been temporarily relieved. No better test of the AGS (3655 kms) which performed flawlessly.

Next on the bucket list Sikkim / Bhutan / or for that matter Manipal (via Vizaq and Bangalore)

Till then signing off.

Last edited by Aditya : 1st January 2018 at 09:40. Reason: Typos
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Old 29th December 2017, 10:03   #3
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th December 2017, 10:12   #4
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Congratulations Suneel Da on your maiden KOL-DEL-KOL trip and travelogue. I am sure there will be many more trips and logs in the coming years. The travelogue is a detailed one, thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th December 2017, 11:15   #5
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Congratulations Suneel Da. A very well written log with details that will help any traveler embarking on the Delhi-Kolkata route. Missed meeting you in Delhi as I was busy in the wedding preps of my SIL. Our travel dates were just one week apart.

I loved the relaxed manner of your trip visiting the cities in between. We used to do it earlier. But now since my wife has also seen most of the cities in between & we are perennially short of time, we resort to non stop drives.

Waiting for your Sikkim/Bhutan/North Bengal adventure.

PS: Please call me whenever you feel you have a doubt about roads in UP.

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 29th December 2017, 11:38   #6
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Quote:
I loved the relaxed manner of your trip visiting the cities in between. We used to do it earlier. But now since my wife has also seen most of the cities in between & we are perennially short of time, we resort to non stop drives.
Thanks Pawan for the words of encouragement. I normally prefer departing at 4 am, but with others around, had to compromise a bit. By 6.30 pm maximum (winters) and 7.30 pm is when I prefer to stop for the night. I am seriously not into night driving at all.

Last edited by Rehaan : 29th December 2017 at 13:47. Reason: Post edited. Please do use the quote feature.
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Old 29th December 2017, 13:12   #7
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Congratulations on the trip. Very well written and in great details. Will definitely help me plan my upcoming KOL DEL trip.
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Old 29th December 2017, 14:36   #8
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Wonderful Tlog Suneel da. I have noted down the details and names of the pit-stops you have made. It will definitely come handy.

Take care
Regards
Avishek
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Old 29th December 2017, 15:25   #9
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Congratulations on your wonderful trip sir!! Dzire is definitely a very reliable car but it failed when I was on my Leh-Delhi trip. I was left stranded near tanglang la due to gearbox failure as gear shifter broke on leh-manali highway. However, I have a wonderful 1.25lacs kms of memories in dzire VDI 1st gen.
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Old 29th December 2017, 19:02   #10
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Congrats on your maiden 'Delhi Chalo' trip !

Though its your first travelogue, its a great read. Hope to read some international travelogue's from your Oman days.

Personally knowing you, i know how enthusiast you are regarding road trips. Am sure very soon you will flood the travelogue's section with many more cross country road trips.

It feels good to see WB registered cars on 'Delhi' roads! A pic of my Car on Yamuna Expressway!

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-12011319_10153573918785768_834462769875716765_n.jpg

EDIT- How about some mouthwatering food pics from Lucknow?
& rated 5*

Last edited by Samba : 29th December 2017 at 19:12.
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Old 29th December 2017, 19:10   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Congrats on your maiden 'Delhi Chalo' trip !

Though its your first travelogue, its a great read. Hope to read some international travelogue's from your Oman days.

Personally knowing you, i know how enthusiast you are regarding road trips. Am sure very soon you will flood the travelogue's section with many more travelogue's across India.

It feels good to see WB registered cars on Delhi road! A pic of my Car on Yamuna Expressway!

Attachment 1710866
I too would love to pen down my Oman road and automobile sales experience, but the problem is I do not have many photographs.

My parents flat at Dwarka, New Delhi, is located in such a way, that one can see the parking lot from the window.

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-d-parking-5.jpg

This snap has been taken from the drawing room window. Agreed with you 100%, it was an altogether different feeling to see WB parked alongside DL vehicles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blacklist View Post
Congratulations on your wonderful trip sir!! Dzire is definitely a very reliable car but it failed when I was on my Leh-Delhi trip. I was left stranded near tanglang la due to gearbox failure as gear shifter broke on leh-manali highway. However, I have a wonderful 1.25lacs kms of memories in dzire VDI 1st gen.
Since my Dzire is the AGS (AMT) variant, I was really apprehensive of what shall happen if the AMT packs up. Luckily, no such issue came up.

Last edited by noopster : 30th December 2017 at 01:04. Reason: Merged back to back posts
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Old 30th December 2017, 10:26   #12
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Very well written Travelogue and nice pics. Keep it up!
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Old 30th December 2017, 16:06   #13
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That was a nice point-to-point log. Enjoyed reading it. Sad that you lost the videos of the trip back to Kolkata.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALTIMAed View Post
Thanks a lot Mrs and Mr SS Traveller (Bowdi and SSda) for the great lunch at your residence. Kindly take the honors to post the lunch pictures here.

Not to forget to mention, thanks SSda for taking me to your trusted FNG to install the iRoad dashcam.
It was a pleasure having you over, both at home as well as some time well-spent a few days later at my FNG, tinkering with your camera's wi-fi sync, and having a great lunch of pizzas!
Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-yi_1512293023717.jpg

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-img_20171203_135510.jpg

Kolkata -> Varanasi -> Delhi in my Dzire AMT-img_20171209_144427.jpg
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Old 30th December 2017, 20:57   #14
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Originally Posted by ALTIMAed View Post
Presenting my first travelogue here ...
Congratulations, on your maiden travelogue at Team-BHP! It was a pleasure to read your fast-paced travelogue!

Keep driving and keep writing!

Cheers,
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Old 30th December 2017, 21:31   #15
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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Congratulations, on your maiden travelogue at Team-BHP! It was a pleasure to read your fast-paced travelogue!

Keep driving and keep writing!

Cheers,
Guru, I have made sure, in the entire TL I have not mentioned kmph. One thing I can say with confidence, give another 2 years, KOL all the way to the point where the road joins the ALE shall be a pleasure to drive.

I did not even realize, due to the flyovers, Asansol, Ranigunj and Durgapur just flew past.
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