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Old 6th May 2018, 21:30   #1
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Arrow Family Trip to North India in a Baleno

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Preparation & Planning:
By mid-February, got delivery of my Baleno after a waiting period of one month. It's a Delta 1.2 variant with ‘Autumn Orange' color.

What first came to mind was to go for a North India road trip. My daughter's board exam was going to finish by 3rd week; we had planned to set out by 1st week of April.

I need help with route planning and layover. But my initial post regarding all enquires got deleted due to some ‘forum rule violation'. Had so many queries regarding weather in Northern India, wi-fi connection while driving, navigational maps etc. Anyway, had to take some blind decision due to lack of information.

Before reaching India purchased a few things as part of preparation.
1. Android-based music system with navigation. It's a Quad Core, 32 GB, 4G, Android 7.1 music system with navigation and in-built dash cam & reverses cam facility. Also, support OBD2. I have installed Navitel with India Map for off-line navigation as well as Waze for online support. This system is specifically meant for Baleno, so no need to cut wire. Got it from Suzuki showroom Dubai.
Total cost = $279 (System Cost : $245 + Navitel Map : $34)

2.Purchased an Indian Map. Surprisingly, Garmin sent me 2016 India Map. When enquired, they told that this is the latest. A little confusing though. The device comes with 4GB micro SD card for video recording. But its too small, so I got 68GB SD card. I tried with 128 GB first but found that 68GB is the maximum supported by Garmin.
Total cost : $481 (Garmin DriveAssist 51 LMT-S : $380 + India Map : $79 + 64GB SD Card : $22)

3.Last time, while on All India ride with my Yezdi, near Pune my GoPro fell down and got crushed by a passing lorry. 2 years passed by, so decided to buy a new one. A trip without some video of the road is something I don't want to miss. So, got a new GoPro Hero6. I was a little bit hesitant to go for it as some guys expressed their opinion that this model is not good if a video is taken for a long time at 4K. But I wanted to give it a try.

I kept it running overnight and it took video for a little over 8 hrs @4K 60frm. Not bad. But memory card to make a lot of difference. I am using a Samsung EVO+ 256 GB. Proper precautions need to be taken while removing the USB port door, be very cautious. Better to check on YouTube how to remove it. It needs to be removed if someone wants to keep the power source on all the time while recording.
Total cost: $516 (GoPro Hero6: $380 + 256 GB SD card: $136)

A few other stuff.
1. OBD2 from OBDLink. Bought this from Amazon - $63
2. 3 Port USB - $8
3. Cable organizer - $12.25
4. 2 pc push LED for Boot. (4 LED operates on 3 AAA battery) - $15.25 


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Old 6th May 2018, 21:38   #2
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Day 1: 5th April 2018

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We - me, my wife and daughter, started from home sharp at 3:05 hrs. and took by-pass to reach Nivedita Setu crossing Kasba, Ultadanga and Kolkata Airport. Just after Kolkata Airport, a truck overturned diagonally blocking the road completely. It took 45 mins to clear the traffic and we already lost some precious time in the morning itself. After crossing Nivedita Setu and once we were on NH19, the road was smooth, and driving became tranquil. Maintaining an average speed of 80-100kms/hr. we reached Asansol at 8.15 hrs. covering a distance of 237 km.



Though I didn't want to stop at that point, still when you have the family especially a child, you need to stop periodically for food and rest. So, soon after crossing Asansol, we took our first break for 30 mins to have breakfast egg-toast and tea at a small roadside ‘Dhaba’.



9:00 hrs., we crossed the Bengal-Jharkhand border. A kilometer or so from Beliyad toll plaza, we stopped at BP gas station for refueling. So far, the road was world standard with proper lane markings. 258kms from home, we hit the first road-hazard. The road was broken for 2kms approximately. Then again after 70 more km, the lane was closed from one side for 2.5kms. due to an accident.

Beautiful roads, songs of Begum Akhtar playing in the background and I was totally lost in my driving mode. Suddenly, the voice from rear seat brought me back. “Dad, don’t you think we should stop now for lunch”. It was 14:30hrs and we already covered 500 km I briefly said “Yes papa, we need to” …. and stopped at the next ‘Dhaba’. The paneer-masala at Hotel Uttranchal, Banian can give a challenge to any Michelin chef. What can be a better lunch then roti, egg-curry, paneer masala and curd with complimentary fresh green salad, potato fries, and special homemade pickle. 50 mins break, and we were again on the road.

When we started from home, my plan was to try to reach Kanpur or at least Allahabad. But, a year of not sitting on the wheel, jetlag and “full stomach” lunch started to make me feel exhausted. Briefly stopped and had a conversation with @SS-Traveller. His advice was to take the night-break at Varanasi without stressing myself more. Advice well taken and booked a hotel via OYO apps.


We reached Varanasi by 19:30hrs. It took us almost an hour to reach the hotel. The city traffic at Varanasi is absolutely insane. To save the car from scratches and navigate through these types of insane traffic is a nightmare. We found ourselves in the luxury of a very comfortable room at Hotel Siddharth. Car parking was also proper. Quick hot water shower, little dinner and we were all deep in sleep.

So, the 1st day of our road-trip passed without any major incident. It’s a unique experience to sit on the steering of a car after a whole year and that too which I never drove before and then covering 700 km.


Lunch: Hotel Uttaranchal, AH1, Banian, Bihar 824208, India. Ph: +91 79034 89518 (24.66734, 84.55288)
Night Stay: Hotel Siddharth, D 58/9-A, Sigra, Varanasi, UP 221010, India. Ph: +91 542 222 0961 (25.309855, 82.989914)


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Old 6th May 2018, 21:48   #3
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Day 2: April 6th, 2018

Next morning, we left Hotel Siddharth at 5:30 in the morning. Our target was to reach Meerut. Knowing it will be a long and tiring leg of the trip, we packed some snacks. The meter reading was 1403kms, which means we already covered 698kms. So, first thing first – filled the tank. Before reaching NH19 took a short break of 15 mins to have tea.

At around 12:30hrs, we were about to reach Kanpur. Was feeling hungry so stopped to have some refreshment. City Cafe on the other side of the road was a nice place to have some good food at reasonable price. Especially, the Lassi was awesome. 1hr break, and we are back on the road.

A little after Normai, suddenly saw Lucknow-Agra road. But there was no place to connect to that road. Asked a local guy, who directed me to a 'kachcha' road to get to Lucknow-Agra road. Once on this road, it reminds me of Dubai roads... smooth with proper lane marking. But it seems, Garmin map was not updated and was periodically screaming to take a detour.

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By 18:15hrs, suddenly it was a massive storm. Visibility dropped to few meters, with hail-storm and high wind speed. The whole car was shaking. I had to decrease speed, kept hazard lights on and kept moving keeping myself on the 2nd lane. Most of the car stopped on the hard-shoulder. Somehow, I didn't want to stop completely fearing hail-storm may damage the vehicle. As expected, 15-20 mins, the storm stopped but it was still raining heavily. We crossed the last toll plaza at around 19hrs and stopped at the food park. It was still raining heavily, the weather was not at all good.

I was confused whether to go ahead with the initial plan. An old saying, when confused, always discuss with someone wise. So, called @SS-Traveller and discussed the whole situation. He advised not to push any further then Greater Noida keeping in mind I had a family with me and the weather situation. So, we booked a hotel at Greater Noida through OYO apps.

Once it was finalized that we would be spending the night at Greater Noida, I took some more time to relax and had dinner at the food plaza itself. Kids are uncontrollable if they ever find 'chaat'. So dinner was with papri chaat, panipuri, aloo tikka, dosa, and sandwich. The tea on earthen pot was exceptionally good - had to go for second round.



20:30hrs we started heading towards Greater Noida. Never knew, the worst hotel experience was waiting for us. Once we reached the hotel, they demanded "only original Aadhar" for all members as proof of identity. But for them, even a photocopy of my daughter's Aadhar not acceptable. Bizarre. I tried to explain that it’s my family and I am with a kid, who has original school identity card mentioning both parents name. With no option left, we canceled the booking online and booked another hotel. 30mis of the drive, we reach a place somewhere on Dadri road, absolutely dark with no street lights, broken roads and no place to park the car. I was too scared to even venture out and check the place. Again, canceled the booking and booked another hotel - Sangvi Palace. By the time we reached Sangvi Palace, I was too exhausted to even think of finding another option. On apps, they have advertised about car parking, but in reality, it's an open field opposite to the hotel – cheaters!

Finally, at 22:15hrs, we checked-in at the Hotel. All night, it was without AC (due to load shedding), mosquitos, no internet connection. However, next morning, we had to pay the tariff as per AC room. The very unprofessional attitude of the Hotel stuff and I had the worst experience.

Lunch: City Cafe (25.597924, 81.440906)
Sangvi Palace: Plot no. 33 2D, Knowledge Park III, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201310, India

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Old 6th May 2018, 21:59   #4
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Day 3: 7th April 201
By the time it was 4:30 in the morning, we were already on our way to Haridwar reaching there by 10:30 hrs. On our way, stopped for an hour at a roadside Dhaba for breakfast. There were many such Dhaba along the road. Most of the villagers have converted the front portion of their field into Dhaba – smart move. But isn’t it illegal to make some permanent structure on agricultural land – just came to mind.

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Once we reached Haridwar, we went straight to Hotel Alaknanda. This is a State Govt. hotel. As expected, the location was super with huge rooms but infrastructure not so good. Seems, years of neglect and no proper maintenance already started to take its toll.

We rested for couple of hours, then had lunch at famous ‘Dada Bowdi’ hotel. It seems, anywhere you go, there will be a Bong Dada-Bowdi waiting to serve you with Sukto, ghee-rice, chatni, misti-doi…))). Post-lunch, visited Ma Anandamayi Ashram and few other adjoining temples.

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Haridwar is famous for Ganga Aarti at Har-Ki-Pauri. Each evening at sunset priests performs Ganga Aarti here when diyas are set on the water to drift downstream. Thousands of people gather on both the banks of river Ganges to sing its praises. The priests hold large fire bowls in their hands, the gongs in the temples at the Ghat start ringing and the chants flowing out of lips fill the air. People float earthen Diyas, with burning flickers and flowers in them as a symbol of hope and wishes. The golden hues of floral diyas reflected in the river Ganges present spectacular view.

By 19:30 hrs, everything was over and we headed back to our Hotel room. A simple dinner and we were in bed.

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देवि सुरेश्वरि भगवति गंगे त्रिभुवनतारिणि तरल तरंगे।
शंकर मौलिविहारिणि विमले मम मति रास्तां तव पद कमले ॥

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Old 6th May 2018, 22:46   #5
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Day 4: 8th April 2018

6:00hrs, we bow to Ma Ganga one last time, and started our journey. The mighty Himalayas with its celestial beauty is always addictive. The roads ahead will be narrow, unpredictable and weather changing rapidly, I was confident, but a little worried. But if you are on a pilgrimage, His presence of felt everywhere, and Ma Ganga blessing you with her never-ending burbles, even the extreme paths seems easy.

The previous day in the evening had a long discussion with @SS-Traveller. We checked, which would be the best route to take. Lastly, it was finalized that after crossing River Chandrabhaga at Rishikesh, will take Rishikesh–Chamba–Tehri road, then on reaching Chamba will take Mussoorie Road.

Till Shree Pitreswar Mahadev Mandir, Bemunda everything went as expected. Then suddenly, every calculation went wrong. Due to a landslide (30.26590 78.36305), the road was closed and we had to wait an hour and a half until Indian Military came and clear the road. It was raining periodically and the weather was quite bad. Salutation to my brothers in uniform - their sacrifice keep us safe and comfortable.

We crossed Chamba at 10:30hrs and headed towards Dhanolti. The road was narrow but good, but then what we have seen will remain in my mind forever. As if God has created this paradise with his own hands. Such is the beauty, such as the view. We tried to click some photographs, but such illusive beauty can't be captured in frames.


The weather was really bad and it was raining continuously, the temperature dropped to 6 degrees. By the time we reach Dhanolti, it was showing 11:45 hrs. We stopped for lunch at a beautiful restaurant. The moment we were seated, realized the fresh coat of paint already left a few stain marks on our cloth. My daughter was not ready to stay a moment further - her favorite pant got so badly stained….)))). Sensing an outburst about to happen, I offered to buy the same pant again and moved to another restaurant. So, lunch with hot Maggi, paneer pakora and masala tea – 45 mins over and we started our journey.

"When ‘Dad' is on steering, I can comfortably go for my afternoon nap…)))"

Instead of New Chamba-Mussoorie Bypass road, I wanted to take the old route through Landor Bazar, then Camels Back Road. But on reaching Landor market, the locals informed that the road was closed due to a landslide from the previous night. So, how to reach Dakpathar? They guided me to a short-cut road. First time realized that by not following GPS and by listening to locals at times, may lead to the most dangerous situation.

The scariest part of the whole journey came within few minutes. The short-cut 'Ek-Margiya' unmarked road was so narrow with no barriers and exposed gorge that two vehicles can't cross each other. Some experience is really hard to be explained through words. Here is the video.


Once back on the New Chamba-Mussoorie Bypass road, we drove continuously till we cross Kempty-falls. I needed a break and wanted to have some refreshment. The owner of the tea-stall - believe me in you, was such a nice person. We had some funny chit-chat till my wife and daughter finished buying some few traditional ornaments for a gift.

Crossing Dakpatthar, Herbertpur reached Paonta Sahib at 18:00 hrs. Darkness already started descending, the weather was getting bad to worse. Shimla still 170 km. By 20:45hrs I got totally exhausted. Was waiting to reach Shimla and threw me on the bed. 55 km more to reach my destination. We plan, but God always has something in store. When we reached the Kumarhatti area of Solan and stopped to buy some water, incidentally meet a Bengali gentleman over the counter. He advised not to move any further towards Shimla as we the weather was bad. He suggested that we should rather stay at Sonal. Though I always follow my pre-scheduled route, somehow the elderly person sounds wise. We booked a hotel through OYO and headed towards Hotel Paragon.

Reached there exactly by 23:30hrs, and called for the day. The room was very comfortable; the view was good and rent reasonable though the food was over-priced. I would like to suggest fellow Bhpians to try this hotel if they ever stay at Sonal for short period.

Hotel Paragon Palace: Mall Rd, Anand Vihar Colony, Solan, Himachal Pradesh 173211, India (30.909646, 77.094424)

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Old 6th May 2018, 22:59   #6
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Day 5: 9th April 2018

Cold weather, warmth under the comfortable blanket, exhaustion from previous day’s extremely tedious drive made me stay in the bed till 8 in the morning. By this time, my wife and daughter already finished their extravagant ‘complimentary' breakfast. We were getting late, so against wish, dragged me out of the bed.

Completed checkout formalities and started our forward journey towards Manali. The roads were ok, with some surface scars. Once on NH 154 and crossed Ghaghas Chowk, pushed the accelerator a little more to cover the lost time.

While crossing Sundar Nagar, commanding voice came from the back-seat .. "Dad, there is a Mela here. Please stop, we will buy Jalebi". Who could ignore such temptation? 30 mins break, hot Jalebi and few other sweets got packed and we started moving upward again.

Soon night falls and driving started becoming tedious with unpredictable turns, rough patches, rushing traffic heading towards the plain. Passed Mandi, Kullu… and a few more towns on our way to Manali. Small towns by the mountainside, with lights on in a dark night, looks like thousands of fireflies glowing. Such is the romantic beauty of the mountain.


23:15hrs, we reached Manali. We checked a few cottages but most of them had a difficult parking spot. And lastly, we found ourselves in Armaan resort. We have to agree that so far, this was the most comfortable, luxurious room we checked-in. Rent was just nominal. Honestly, never expected such service and comfort with such little rent.

It was already late hours, but the restaurant guys were more than happy to serve us with hot rice, dal, paneer…. The day ended with a sweet note and ice-cream.

Hotel Armaan Resorts: SHURU, DISTT, Naggar Rd, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131, India, +91 94180 40202 (32.215165, 77.197946)


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Old 6th May 2018, 23:03   #7
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Day 6: 10th April 2018

"Papa wakes up, see the mountains are all snow clad". The excitement in her voice, the magnetism of mountain sprinted me out of the bed in the balcony. Oh, what a scenery, what a beauty. I have traveled half of the world, but can vouch, Tagore rightly said - "sakal desher rani seje amar jomnobhumi" (My motherland is the queen of all lands…) Nowhere you can find such beautiful landscape except the Himalayas. The weather was clear but chilling.

I wanted to spend the whole day sitting on that balcony, mesmerizing the beauty. But then, kids always want to venture out. So, called the hotel desk and arranged for a car to take us for local sight-seeing.

Gulaba Viewpoint, Solang Valley, Vashist ashram, Hidimba Devi Temple, Buddhist monastery… from 9:00 in the morning till evening, we covered all these places. By the time we reached Johnson Café to have some ‘Trout delicacies’ as suggested by @SS-Traveller, it already started drizzling and the weather turned bad. Unfortunately, that vary day, they were closed at that time and requested us to come back post 21:00 hrs. Considering next morning drive from Manali to Delhi, we decided to skip this part till we come back again in future.

My personal view, Manali is anytime a great place to rest but not extraordinary. I found the eastern Himalayas wilder than the western part. Especially the local sight-seeing spots are overrated.

Anyway, by 18:30, we were back to Hotel. A little relaxation, dinner and some post-dinner hot tea. The day ended with mixed experience.

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Old 6th May 2018, 23:11   #8
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Day 7: 11th April 2018

New Delhi - here we come. Starting at 5:30 hrs among rain, we took usual brief stop for breakfast around 8:30 hrs … crossed Chandigarh, and reached Karnal.

"Dad… Saaaanjhaaa Chuula" came to the screaming voice…. As if she found her long lost friend. So, parked the car and thought of having some lunch. By the time the came out of the rest-room, I was with @SS-Traveller over the phone. A wise suggestion came … "move a little further and stop over at Mayur Dhaba. You guys can have the world famous chicken paratha".

It was our first experiment with "Chicken Paratha". So mouth-watering. But one is good enough to fill my tiny bong belly. Then came another request…"Can we have ice-cream papa"? Well, such was the sweetness in her voice, how can I deny.

Delhi-traffic …. You are just scary. Was following GPS to reach Chittaranjan Park… missed a few turns and it seems, I had seen half of Delhi that evening. Exhausted, tired of driving continuous from Manali to Delhi covering 575 km, I was in no mood to surf for hotels. Found a couple of hotels in OYO, but none of them were comfortable enough. And most of them were not having a proper parking place. Its surprising how Hotels can advertise ‘with parking facilities' and the guest was given space on the open road.

We had one more try and found Hotel "Gera". Same story, parking by road-side. However, on request, got a little better place few meters from the hotel. The room was small, but the food was good. We had a simple menu for dinner and went to bed.

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(shhh...those roses were bribe, so that 'they' don't make anymore noise about hotel and just check-in at the next available)
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Old 6th May 2018, 23:38   #9
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Day 8 & 9: 12 - 13th April 2018

In the morning, we decided to check a few places. So took Ola, and went to Qutub Minar. It may sound controversial to few, but I always feel that our Indian History is distorted to a great extent to glorify "some" while covering ‘loot, plunder, and destruction'. History should always need to be presented factually. Don't want to write further and enter into a controversy but few pictures from the Qutub Minar complex draw my attention. What is the source of this architecture, who destroyed them, when and how - Indian History never explained?

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Back to CR park, and lunch at Sonar Bangla. Small restaurant but good food with reasonable price. After a week's gap, our bong belly was happy having authentic bong dished. 2 hours rest at the hotel, then again took a cab to reach Sarojini Nagar Market. My niece, whom I meet after a decade joined us. I last saw her when she was still in junior school and now became an investment banker.

3 ladies, ample time, attractive cheap items, a lot of opportunities to bargain - one can imagine the marketing spears. I was having a pan and hopping from shop to shop holding bags. Marketing ended with all smile on their faces. When ladies buy after a bargain, the faces reflect a different satisfaction - as if, a war won. (Well, please don't think me a chauvinistic person and ear-drop my words to them … just kidding)

I have no idea, who on earth found Tahir's paratha roll at Nizamuddin the creamiest in the whole universe. But then, YouTube sometimes spread such pieces of information which made the life of parents like me difficult. Next, we found ourselves at Tahir's. The first sight and the heavy smell gave a warning bell. But, there was no escape route. Paratha rolls were served. Everyone enjoyed including me though the enjoyment ended with frequent loo-visit from midnight till we reached Varanasi 3 days after. I realized, after staying abroad for more than a decade, my bong belly which was so accustomed to street-foods could not coup anymore.

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Back to the hotel, but the night was memorable for all wrong reasons. I found myself more on the toilet than on the bed.

Next morning, we check-out of the hotel. Exactly at 9:00hrs, Mr. Chakraborty came to take us for Delhi sight-seeing. Visited Lotus Temple, India Gate, Teen Murti, Humayun's Tomb, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Rajghat, 1 Safdarjung Road (Indira Bhawan) … then came to Bongo Bhawan for lunch. I was already down, but then usual advice came - "Sob khetehoy, tarpor ekta hojomer osudh kheye nio. Sob thik hoye jabe" (Eat everything and then have a digestive medicine, all will be fine). Sometimes married life is suicidal.

Fearing more "advice", kept all pain within me. When you grew up in a village environment, you adopt the art of clinging belly putting both hands inside the pocket. Applied this long forgotten art… and managed to be in the Red Fort and then famous Kali Bari at CR park without any ‘accident'.

Our Delhi day-tour ended at 17:30 hrs. We checked out of the hotel in the morning and kept all languages inside the car. So, as soon as Mr. dd dropped us, we started our journey towards Agra.

Crossing greater Noida and then taking Agra Expressway, reached Hotel Amar Vilas, Agra by 21:00 hrs. The hotel was not very far from Taj Mahal. A good place to stay with proper parking facilities. They had proper dinner, but I just took a glass of curd milk and went straight to bed.

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Old 6th May 2018, 23:42   #10
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Our Delhi Moments..

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Old 7th May 2018, 00:11   #11
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Day 10: 14th April 2018

Taj, the magnificent symbol of Love. Eternal beauty. We reached Taj Mahal by 9:00 hrs and spent 2 hrs. Spending most of the time clicking pictures from every angle possible. I had been to TM couple of times before, but the more you see Taj, the more you fall in love.

How come sales guy could sniff prospective buyers - mystery. Not even one single guy approached me. But then, there were ‘others’ with me, who the sales guy rightly targeted. Well, spent one more hour, buying gift items. As if, Taj was cheery, but marketing was the actual cake.
All happy, back to the hotel and started our journey towards Varanasi.

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Nothing much happened till we reach Allahabad by-pass except stopping at same Cafe for lunch at 21hrs. Few km on Allahabad by-pass, there was a massive jam. Tried to navigate my way out, but soon got entangled more and more on that massive jam. With huge loaded trucks blocking all lanes, there was no way to move an inch further. Words came from miles apart that the villages blocked the road due to an accident. Hell democracy!

An hour passed. Then came UP police in our rescue. They moved the trucks in a zigzag way, making some space for smaller vehicles to pass. Experimenting all my driving skills, at last, crossed over to the opposite side of the road. I am always critical to vehicles moving in the wrong direction but had to opt for the same as there was no other way. Safety of my co-passengers in middle of nowhere was also an issue. Anyway, few kilometers driving in the wrong lane behind a truck, got a cut and came back to proper lane.


By the time we reached Varanasi, it was well past midnight. Checked at Hotel Siddharth again. But, it seems the story of our woos was never-ending. Though I made a booking well in advance, we have been so late, they allotted the room to someone else. And due to some festival, all rooms were already occupied. We were offered the last remaining room, big enough but filled with the smell of fresh paint, AC without any remote, exposed electric wires, toilet lights not working, water dripping constantly from the wash basin. Several calls to the front desk, but ultimately nothing much happened except an apology. Though, next morning they changed the room up to our satisfaction and gave one night stay as complimentary.

2:30 am.... and everyone exhausted, we took shower and went to bed.
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Old 7th May 2018, 00:31   #12
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Day 11: 15th April 2018

Varanasi and Bengali ladies will not buy Banarasi saree - no way. So, the morning started with another round of marketing. The mercury was jumping with every passing hour. But it seems, every shop has something to offer but unfortunately, if the color matches, quality of cloth was not so good. Ladies do have a ‘power-bank', which they use only during marketing. At last, Baba Viswanath listens to my silent prayers and we got back to Hotel room.

A long due Sunday afternoon nap was over by 5:15 and we headed to Dashashwamedh Ghat. My old friend was there with his boat. This time, we had a very good time, with pleasant boat-ride on Ganga. The Ghats were clean, changes were visible. But, two groups performing Ganga Aarti at the same time with huge loud-speakers competing with one another made the whole ‘Aarti' part too commercialized. A few years back, it was a more pleasant experience.

Once done, we went to Shri Viswanath Temple to offer puja. This part of Varanasi visit is always very special to me. Even if I got a chance to get darshan for few seconds, still it feels my soul to the fullest.
The day ended with Kulfi and special Banarase Paan.

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Old 7th May 2018, 00:38   #13
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Day 12: 16th April 2018

Like my previous visits at Varanasi, this time too, we started from Varanasi early in the morning. My first job was in Sasaram. Spent few months there before joining another company and went back to Kolkata. Sasaram always had a special place in my mind.

Missed previous opportunities to be in Sasaram, but this time instead of taking the by-pass, went inside the town. Everything changed in last 20 years. I hardly could recognize my office building, the place where I used to stay. However, we had a brief stop at Tomb of Sher Shah Suri. The smell coming out of the adjoining pond was horrible. It seems ASI focus only on selected sites and ignores the others (Jantar Mantar at Delhi too was not in very good shape).

Family Trip to North India in a Baleno-my-post.jpg

We stopped near Dhanbad at 13 hrs for lunch. Once over, we drove constantly till we found street-light pillars decorated with blue-white led lights. An hour more… and we reached home. It was showing 23:09hrs, 5175km on the meter.

Traveling with family, driving a new car, Delhi-belly… our 4470km long journey ended with a lot of unique memories.

Thanks to my daughter for managing all our finances (no question plz...) and helping me as a navigator, wife for motivating and keeping us in good spirit, @SS-Traveller for constant guidance, Rasik bhai for helping me procure the equipments, Vishal for making images more presentable with his magic touch and surely Ma, family members and friends for their blessings and good wishes.

Family Trip to North India in a Baleno-img_20180416_231055-copy.jpg
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Old 7th May 2018, 00:57   #14
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SOME HIGHLIGHTS:

Car : Baleno Delta 1.2
Starting : 05.04.2018 - 3:00 am from Kolkata, WB
Ending : 16.04.2018 - 11:09 pm at Pailan, South 24Prgs, WB

Starting meter reading : 705 km
Ending meter reading : 5175 km
Total Kms covered : 4470 km

Expenses in INR :
Fuel - 23,606.70/-
Toll - 3,730/-
Food & Hotel Stay - 33,032/-
Total expenses - 87,174/-

Instruments Used :
GoPro Hero 6: Initially, I planned to use it as primary video capturing device. However, after couple of hours later, found that its getting very hot and 4 hrs of video just filled up 256GB SD Card. Though the video quality is unmatchable, still its not a very good option if someone wants to catcher very long videos. I removed it and kept it for special moments.

SJCAM: From my previous sad experience of loosing the only video cam, and not been able to video graph the trip, this time, I took this cam as a backup device. But with GoPro acting like a ‘temperamental mistress’, I started using this device. Good quality, long video capturing.

Garmin DriveAssist 51: Absolute nonsense for Indian roads. The maps are not updated, the lane demarcation are not proper. However, I kept it attached to use it as a dash-cam.

In-built Android system: With Google Map, radio, reverse-cam display, YouTube and many more features, this is absolutely a must for long-drives.

Headlight: PHILIPS X-treme Ultinon LED bulbs.

Video Comparison between GoPro Hero6, SJCAM SJ-4000 & Garmin DriveAssist 51


Route taken :
Kolkata - Asansol - Varanasi - Allahabad - Kanpur - Agra - Greater Noida - Meerut - Haridwar - Chamba - Dhanolti - Missouri - Kempty Falls - Dakpatthar - Herbertpur - Paonta Sahib - Banethi - Sonal - Manali - Bilaspur - Kiratpur Sahib - Ambala - Karnal - Panipat - New Delhi - Agra - Kanpur - Varanasi - Kolkata - Pailan.

Family Trip to North India in a Baleno-screen-shot-20180430-10.15.46-am.png



Fuel Chart:
Family Trip to North India in a Baleno-screen-shot-20180430-6.54.22-pm.png.jpeg

Toll Chart:
Family Trip to North India in a Baleno-screen-shot-20180430-6.53.08-pm.png.jpeg
Attached Files
File Type: kmz Road Trip.kmz (572.8 KB, 92 views)
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Old 7th May 2018, 02:52   #15
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Default re: Family Trip to North India in a Baleno

Many good wishes on completing your memorable trip. Went through the whole travelogue word by word and the way you narrated the trip along with pictures and videos is superb.
One thing which caught my attention in the first video is the clean roads and market around your place of residence. The streets are litter free.
Its already 2.50 am and me and my family are taking a road trip from Mumbai to Rajasthan early morning and here I am glued to your thread.
Subscribed to this thread

Last edited by Akib Khan : 7th May 2018 at 02:54.
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