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Old 25th December 2007, 21:21   #1
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Arrow Short Trip-Ahmedabad-Shirdi-Ahmedabad

Hai TBHpers,

Here's my trvelogue of a 2 day trip, the trip logs are @:


http://www.arkzsol.com/Abad-Shirdi2007.htm


22-12-07:
The Scorp sitting in the garage and a kindled wander-
lust combined is like C4 wating to go off. My parents
visit to Ahmedabad, long week-end, the Scorps portent
taunting, "try me on the hills" threw the sucker-
punch; we decided to visit Shirdi for the annual
visit.

The prospect was daunting; no reservations in ANY
hotels there, reports of possible huge crowds and
blocks was scary, yet challenging. Hot wired all
contacts, used up pending obligtions with people and
managed an apartment at Hotel Sun
& Sand and some passes for the temple. The hotel was
packed, getting a room next impossible, the passes
inside the temple akin to pulling out the wisdom tooth
from people. Finally, friends @ Sun & Sand said both
are done and our gang of 10 was packing.

We were 6, me, Anu(Wife), Brijesh & Nidish (Sons) and
my parents. Had Manoj, a close friend on a Fiesta -1.4
-petrol, with his family of 4, all looking forward to
a gret drive, a nice Darshan and smooth sailing all
the way. Little did they know about the twists and
turns of outrageous fortune....

There wasen't much to prepare, just for a nights out
and some warm cloths. 22nd morning 5 am saw us scamper
into the Scorpy, we were soon whizzing past Baroda
through the Exressway in 1 hour. Found the Fiesta
cruising better, had a hard time keeping up with it,
Scorpy's engine was roaring a notch above the comfort
level, switched off the A/C and that made a big
difference to keep @ 120+. After Baroda till Surat the
road work was slowing traffic, the superior road-
presence, pick-up of the Scorp helped us pull far away
from the Fiesta. Things this time around Surat were
better organized, traffic was flowing, no major
blocks; thank God for small mercies. Had usual b'kfast
stop at Nyay Mandir, after 320 kms,@ 1215 & took the
left turn towards the saputara mountais. This was the
first serious mountain/ghat road test for us on the
beast, all through the November 6500 trip to south, we
had kept off the hills.

The roads were OK till we hit the foot-hills, then
turned nasty. Some sections were patched up and the
edges of the roads deep. Running off the road was not
an option and traffic was relatively heavy, mostly
innov/qualis/scirpio taxis most people on the road,
heading to the hill-resort for the long week-end. The
often reported back seat bounce proved to be true, 30
kms on, Nidish on the last row told me to stop, he was
feeling pretty wooshy. Another 20 kms on, Anu joined
him and we shifted her to the front seat. From there
till Saputara, the apex of the climb, we took 2/3, 10
minute breaks till the halt for lunch.

The fiesta was not doing well, bumpy roads slowed it
down, on the hair-pin bends, I could see it struggling
ahead of me even on high revvs whereas Scorpy pulled
up with amazing ease. Lots of curves going up and
down, I tested out the handling, breaking etc., pretty
good except when you hit bumps, dips or rumble strips,
its unnerving, you feel as if the back wheels are
sliding out of you and your intestines does a fox-
trot, your back seat occupants feel like a tennis-ball
being bit by Pete Sampras. This is the only area I
wish the beast is better, my experience with Innova,
Qualis & Dicor were much better in areas of back seat
comfort and bouncing on bumps.

Anyway... we reach Saputara @ 215, there's a huge
crowd everywhere, parking and restaurants full. We
manage to find a joint next to shilps Resorts, they
dished out delicious hot rotis& curry, people ate with
relish. At 315pm we rolled out, crossed Vani and hit
Nashik @ 515 pm, 517 kms on. The traffic towards
Shirdi, 85 kms away gave an indication of things to
come. All the way through, it was packed with
pilgrims, lots of people walking to Shirdi, vehicles
of all sizes and shapes filled with pilgrims, took us
almost 3 hours with some traffic blocks. Road was
wide, surface good till Sinnar ghats, then narrow,
more curvy and pilgrim traffic heavier. Near Shirdi,
there were processions going on, thankfully regulated
by devoties and police, a great piece of team-wrok
considering the density of traffic on the roads. Never
seen such a crowd in a small place in recent times and
was wondering how it's going to be possible to get
Darshan. When we reached Sun & Sand our worst fears
came true. The parking was flush with VIP cars with
flashers, security cars and gun-guards; politicians,
cine-stars and all the big-guns from Mumbai have
arrived. Met our contact @ hotel; though he grudgingly
gave 2 apartments, the Darshan next day morning seemed
impossible, he said the VIP passes he promised has not
come, he will have to try throughout the night and the
next day morning!!!!! Well.. we were too tired to
fight / argue and crashed out early @ 8 PM.

23-12-07:
4 AM, was a misty cold morning as we got into the
hotel car to the temple, the whole place was busting
at the seams with people!!! Reportedly they were
waiting from previous night, there was a fight with
the security for the VIP passes and we almost gave up
getting inside, there was no space to even stand.
Somehow, after trying for long, showing my 85 year old
father (age does have its merits) our contact got us
inside, 3 at a time and we had a quick clen darshan,
thanked God for the "Chamatkar"; we were indeed lucky,
later got to hear people at our hotel saying they have
been trying 2 daysfor a Darshan without result!!!!
We said good bye to Manoj & Family, they'd stay on for
one more day; we pushed off @ 9 am towards Nashik. The
road was less crowded on the way back, increased
traffic was flowing towards Shirdi, I shudder to thihk
what would be the condition for a Darshan around 24th/
25th; would be pretty tough.

We hit Nasik aroud 83 kms on @ 11am, turn off towards
Triambakeswar, hit a police road-block, lots of
traffic cops, they were stopping all private cars too.
The guy checked my licence, all papers carefully,
asked lots of questions; grilled me since the Scorp is
in my company's name and I had to establish a
connection with the papers. Convinced them through my
name on my Driving licence, the name on my visiting
card with my company name and the name of the company
on the RC Book to establish a link !!!! They treated
me like one of those guys who run a taxi service on
the sly, I had to show them my old parents inside the
car to get the message across that I'm not cheating
the road-tax department off lakhs of rupees by runnig
a fleet illegally!!! What got their goat was that I
was not inclined to tip & after 10 minutes let me off.
Learning here, carry all papers, Dr.licence, RC Book,
insurance, tax token, pollution test report and
anything else at all related to your car. I saw them
fleecing a couple of unfortunate private cars whos
papers were not OK.



Last year we came to Trimabk, there was some festival
going on, there was a 3 hour queue, time was getting
short and we aborted the attempt. Reach Thriambak to
see Nightmage at Elm street 28 unfolding, the setting
was no less than Kumba-Mela, sprawling parking lots
chock-a-block with vehicles, spilling out into the
main roads road, chek-posts and cops everywhere. We
manage to park, walk bravely towards the temple hoping
for some more "Chamatkar" to happen,the queue is
longer, at least 7 hours worth. Try as we did, there
was no channel open for a Darshan till nightfall;
sadly for my parents we had to call off this
adventure, no sense in wearing out ourselves and old
people with a tough 600 drive back home ahead of us.
We double back the 35 kms to Nashik, the same police
barricade stops and lets us off, this time without a
check, we hit panchavati circle @ 120pm & Vani@ 215pm.
Stinging sun is up, the day clear and the penorama of
mountains, water bodies, wine-yards, ghat roads and
sugar-cane crops paint a fentastic vista, which we
missed on the way up due to the mist. We make picture.
We make more stops, my wife and mother are estatic;
vegetables, grapes, tomatos etc., being sold @ almost
30% of street price, soon the Scorp looks like a Mandi
Mahendra Truck!!!!! We stove the stuff under the
seats, behind the seats and stock up to the gills, I
say no more when it comes to filling the space under
the driver's seat where I keep my precious Camera, Car
Papers etc., strapped up.



Somewhere around 290 kms on @ 4 pm, take the hills
slow and smooth to help people in the back who are
busy watching a hindi flick, Brijo on the front seat
navigating the many turns & take a wrong turn (the-
overconfidant-teenager-syndrome). 30 km too late, I
realize this, we loose precious time. It's a good
policy to use day light as much as possible, I wanted
to drive past bad roads before sun-set which looked
remote now. I fiddle withh the GPS to find an
alternate route to hit NH8, looked like the route thro
NH-6 & Surat Jn to be the best bet. Though this road
was good, single track with great surface, the trffic
and a closed railway gate blew up the timings. We hit
Surat NH 8 junction around 0630 PM; it has taken 9
hours to cover 400 kms,not one of our best timings .

From Surat to Baroda Expressway, about 100 kms, is a
real pain, no way to overtake lumbering trucks through
right, risky through the left due the road widening
work, soft mud, naked road margins and deviations
galore. This section throws all timing/ calculations
out the window for long distance riders with no sign
of things improving in the near future. We stop @ A1
plaza near Baruich, finish an early dinner; this place
is good, they serve tasty hot food @ OK rates. We hit
Baroda BP @ 10 pm and enter Expressway @ 1015 pm. We
pay the toll and keep a steady 130, the tacho @ 3k +,
"Om Santi Om" running, passengers engrossed, when we
hit this small dip on the Expressway. Holy-Mother-of-
GOD, we leave the ground for 2/3 seconds and come down
bump!!!!!!! This was so unexpected and crazy to have
on the expressway, I track the ODO immediately to warn
others on the way.

Exactly 48 KMs from the Baroda entry this small dip is
enough to cause accidents to unwary drivers; if they
oversteer, it could be lethal. Anyone on this road
should watch out for this blip if they are speeding
up, I am writing to the NHAI and also to the lay
press.

We reach home by 1140pm and watch the election
news..... This result was music to petro-heads, the
roads in Gujarat will improve plenty fast.

1268 kms in 2 days; in comparison, the 14000 kms I've
done in 130 days of owning the new scorp somehow looks
small !!!!

---------

Last edited by ramkya1 : 25th December 2007 at 21:23.
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Old 21st May 2008, 16:37   #2
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That was a nice report Ramkya,
I did that Ahmedabad - Baroda express way last week (I was at 120 KMPH most of the time on it) but could not find that dip at 48KMs,, either I missed it or you got it fixed

I'm leaving for Bangalore tomorrow morning from Rajkot. I'm searching for options to get to Bangalore via Shirdi and ShaniSingnapur, if it can be done without wasting too much of time, I should do it else I will keep that for later - dont want to miss on my original schedule...

I checked mapmyindia and it gives me following from Surat..

Surat >> Surgana >> Lasalgaon >> Shirdi

Had another look at SatGuide and it gives me almost similar way to reach Shirdi (multistop planner doesnt seem to be working when it comes to view the route overview somehow!!)

Let me know if you have a good route in mind where I can cover Shirdi and ShaniSingnapur on my way to Bangalore and also want to spend much time on GQ / NH4 if possible...
Thanks..
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Old 21st May 2008, 19:57   #3
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Arrow They Fixed That Dip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
That was a nice report Ramkya,
I did that Ahmedabad - Baroda express way last week (I was at 120 KMPH most of the time on it) but could not find that dip at 48KMs,, either I missed it or you got it fixed

I'm leaving for Bangalore tomorrow morning from Rajkot. I'm searching for options to get to Bangalore via Shirdi and ShaniSingnapur, if it can be done without wasting too much of time, I should do it else I will keep that for later - dont want to miss on my original schedule...

I checked mapmyindia and it gives me following from Surat..

Surat >> Surgana >> Lasalgaon >> Shirdi

Had another look at SatGuide and it gives me almost similar way to reach Shirdi (multistop planner doesnt seem to be working when it comes to view the route overview somehow!!)

Let me know if you have a good route in mind where I can cover Shirdi and ShaniSingnapur on my way to Bangalore and also want to spend much time on GQ / NH4 if possible...
Thanks..
Hai Ketan,

You'd notice that the dip is on the return leg from Baroda to Ahmedabad. I had written to NHAI also, don't know it that worked. All I know is that it was not tere from Feb onwards, a friend checked that out on his way back from Baroda, they must have filled it up.

Only way to go from Surat section to Shirdi and Sanisignapur is thro. Sabutara, that would slow you down plenty. If its a visit to both the temples, you'd have to plan for a night halt. Early next day morning if you push off, you'd be able to make good time, and even reach Bangalore straight, if you drive hard and don't mind reaching late at night.

On the way back, you can cover it up thro Pune, Shirdi, Sabutara, Surat Ahmedabad. A stop over is ideal at Shirdi.

Will try the Satguide, I have destinator 9 now. If you put start as Ahmedabd and stop as Pune, it would give a crazy route map which will probably take 2 days of riding. Best is to do multi-stop plan Pune to Shirdi, Shirdi to Surat and Surat to Ahmedabd.

Happy Driivng,

--Ramky
-------------
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Old 21st May 2008, 20:05   #4
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Thanks for the response Ramky,

This is my journey back to Bangalore - I was here in my hometown for few days.
Do you think if I start early morning tomorrow. I can make it to Shirdi by evening sometime? I also want to visit Sanisingnapur and can spend a night there...

I'm not driving an SUV so I may be slower than what you took to reach Shirdi via Saputara route..

Let me check how many KMs its going to be from Singnapur to Bangalore and road conditions that would decide the time I'm going to take....
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Old 21st May 2008, 20:26   #5
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Ketan, if you want to go via Shirdi, here is the direct route:

Rajkot-Tarapur-Borsad-Vasad-Vadodara-Surat-turn off NH8 into NH6-Bardoli-Navapur-Dhulie (NH3)-Malegaon-Pimpalgaon (off NH3)-Manmad-Kopargaon-Shirdi-Ahmednagar-Karmala-Temhurni-Solapur-Bijapur-Hospet-Kudligi-Chitradurga-Bangalore

Alternatively, you can turn off at Tembhurni and go via Pandharpur and Sangli to join NH4 at Kolhapur and continue via Belgaum and Hubli to Bangalore.

NH6 from Surat to Dhulia is in good condiiton, so is NH3 to Malegaon. Unfortunately, road widening is on around Shirdi and the road upto Ahmednagar is slow and has high traffic congestion. If you chose the Bijapur route, let me tell you that NH13 (Solapur-Bijapur-Hospet-Chiradurga) is not in good shape and can slow you down. If you go via Pandarpur and angli to Kolhapur, that road is in good shape, as is the rest of the road to Bangalore.

Unless you have a specific agenda in Shirdi, I would still recommend you take NH8 all the way to Thane and go on NH4 via Pune and Kolhapur. Fast and best. And double road all the way. Bypassing Thane-Mumbai is no problem at all.

If tou leave Rajkott in the early morning, you can targett Pune for overnight stay on Day 1, and reach Bangalore on Day 2.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 15:14   #6
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Hai Ketan,

Hope this is useful to you, could not access mail till now.

I would recommend Rajkoat-Ahmedabad -Surat - Saputara - Nasik for a fast drive, roads up to the left turn off is good, you'd make good time.

Look at the distances below:
Rajkoat to Ahmedabad - 260
Ahmedabad to Lturn towards Saputara - 335
Lturn off to Nasik - 191
Nasik to Shirdi- 81
Total = 867.

If you start early in the morning, you'd be able to make it to Shirdi by 7/8 pm, there are the ghat roads. Youd have to push yourself to visit the temple at Shirdi and then go to Singnapur for the temple visit, another 20 km away. There isn't any decent place to stay there, you'd have to come back to Shirdi for a stay.

Distance from Shirdi:
Shirdi- Pune = 180 kms ( not sure will have to confirm )
Pune to Bangalore - 1070 kms.
Total- 1250.

If you do the temple visits @ shirdi and Shingnapur early in the morning, that would zap about 2 hours and then you'd have a hard ride of about 1200 kms to reach Bangalore. Either way it looks difficult. If you are prepared for that 1200 Km drive or if you have a sapre driver it is very much doable.

What car are you driving? When you finish the drive, please let us know how it turned out.

Happy driving,

--Ramky
==========

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
Thanks for the response Ramky,

This is my journey back to Bangalore - I was here in my hometown for few days.
Do you think if I start early morning tomorrow. I can make it to Shirdi by evening sometime? I also want to visit Sanisingnapur and can spend a night there...

I'm not driving an SUV so I may be slower than what you took to reach Shirdi via Saputara route..

Let me check how many KMs its going to be from Singnapur to Bangalore and road conditions that would decide the time I'm going to take....
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Old 22nd May 2008, 15:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
What car are you driving? When you finish the drive, please let us know how it turned out.
Ramky Sir, Ketan is driving Palio D. He was attempting this Blr - Rajkot trip since last 2-3 years but finally amterialized now.

Abhi
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Old 22nd May 2008, 17:02   #8
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Arrow 1000 Kms Would Be Tough

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Ramky Sir, Ketan is driving Palio D. He was attempting this Blr - Rajkot trip since last 2-3 years but finally amterialized now.

Abhi
Abhi thanks for the update,

On my Fusion, I did about 720 kms from Pune, Shirdi, Saputara, Surat and Ahemdabd. Was zapped by the time I reached there. It would have been less tiring on a Scorpio / SUV.

On a palio the stretch from Rajkoat to Shirdi and then Shirdi to Bangalore would need lots of motivation to do.

-Ramky
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Old 25th May 2008, 21:09   #9
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Thanks Kumar sir and Ramky sir for your responses on this one..

You are right Ramky sir, based on what you explained about the route, Rajkot >> Shirdi >> Bangalore really needs a good SUV and endurance.. However, I felt Palio did perform well, little beyond my expectations...again, I'm not a right guy for comparision as I have very little driving experiance and almost 99% is with my Palio

I've reached Bangalore yesterday evening and read these responses today only. I had decided to take the normal route Rajkot >> Ahmedabad >> Mumbai >> Bangalore

Later when I was close to tarapur chokdi, I decided to bypass Ahmedabad and Baroda as well and took Tarapur >> Borsad >> Bharuch route.. that was a mixture of good,okay and bad patches again with two lane roads almost all the time..

I felt I spent lot of time by while hoping to avoid the 150 KMs patch between Baroda-Surat which is being worked on at present...coundnt avoid Bharuch > Surat part of that patch with diversions though...

spent one night in Mumbai and another on NH8 a guest house (not a good experiance) close to Goa intersection (after Nipani). Overall it was a very good experiance,, I should plan more such trips but in a little organized fashion..

I shall wait for next opportunity and make Bangalore >> Shirdi >> Singnapur >> Bangalore.

Thanks again..

Last edited by Ketan : 25th May 2008 at 21:13.
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Old 25th May 2008, 22:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
Later when I was close to tarapur chokdi, I decided to bypass Ahmedabad and Baroda as well and took Tarapur >> Borsad >> Bharuch route.. that was a mixture of good,okay and bad patches again with two lane roads almost all the time..

..
Ketan, did you take the Tarapur-Khambat-Petlad-Amod-Bharuch route via Dahej-Gandhar? How is the road condition? When I toured that area 2 years ago, they told me that the road from Amod to Vadodara (except through Karjan) and Khamba was in shambles.
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Old 25th May 2008, 23:13   #11
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Quote:
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Ketan, did you take the Tarapur-Khambat-Petlad-Amod-Bharuch route via Dahej-Gandhar? How is the road condition? When I toured that area 2 years ago, they told me that the road from Amod to Vadodara (except through Karjan) and Khamba was in shambles.

Kumar sir,

I'm not able to recollect which route I took from Dholka to Borsad, but I remember I did not go towards Baroda and kept going straight (towards Bharuch) from Borsad BP. That took me towards Padra and then Jambusar >> Amod >> Bharuch...

I remember getting onto NH8 again at Bharuch.


Roads till Borsad was good, wide two lane road, it started getting worse in some of the patches after I crossed Borsad,, I guess the last 50 KMs to Bharuch was a narrow road till Bharuch BP. It was overall okay and could have felt good with an SUV.
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Old 25th May 2008, 23:56   #12
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Arrow Nice update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
Thanks Kumar sir and Ramky sir for your responses on this one..

You are right Ramky sir, based on what you explained about the route, Rajkot >> Shirdi >> Bangalore really needs a good SUV and endurance.. However, I felt Palio did perform well, little beyond my expectations...again, I'm not a right guy for comparision as I have very little driving experiance and almost 99% is with my Palio

I've reached Bangalore yesterday evening and read these responses today only. I had decided to take the normal route Rajkot >> Ahmedabad >> Mumbai >> Bangalore

Later when I was close to tarapur chokdi, I decided to bypass Ahmedabad and Baroda as well and took Tarapur >> Borsad >> Bharuch route.. that was a mixture of good,okay and bad patches again with two lane roads almost all the time..

I felt I spent lot of time by while hoping to avoid the 150 KMs patch between Baroda-Surat which is being worked on at present...coundnt avoid Bharuch > Surat part of that patch with diversions though...

spent one night in Mumbai and another on NH8 a guest house (not a good experiance) close to Goa intersection (after Nipani). Overall it was a very good experiance,, I should plan more such trips but in a little organized fashion..

I shall wait for next opportunity and make Bangalore >> Shirdi >> Singnapur >> Bangalore.

Thanks again..
Hai Ketan,

Thanks for the update on the road conditions. The Borsad stretch would be surely slower, if you take the Baroda expressway, you'd be able to drive fast, except the sureth bottleneck. If you plan to hit the Surat section early in the morning, you could get through fast and save lots of time.

Given time, I am sure the Palio would be able to do much more, or if you have a spare driver, you could alternative and do 1000 KM + in a day. A SUV type vehicle would be less tiring.


Amyway, you now have the experience of one more route
Happy Driving,

--Ramky
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Old 22nd December 2009, 12:42   #13
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Hi All,

My BIL would be driving down from Vadodara to Amravati and wants to cover Shirdi on the way.

I would be suggesting him the following routes,

Vadodara>>Surat>>Thane>>Pune>>(Night halt at my place in Pune)>>Shirdi>>Nagar>>Aurangabad>>Jalna>>Sindkhedr aja>>Mehkar>>Karanja>>Amravati

Vadodara>>Surat>>Dhulia>>Shirdi>>??
I am not too sure about this route. How are the road conditions? Can we bypass surat and dhulia and get on some other highways? And anyways he will have to take a night halt at shirdi and start the onward journey next morning.

Which route would be the best, in terms of road conditions and speed?

Request advice..
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Old 22nd December 2009, 13:32   #14
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Turn off at Surat and take NH6 to Dhulia, that is the best route to take. At Dhulia, join NH3, and go via Malegaon to PImpalgaon where you take off NH3 and go via Manmad to Shirdi.

From Shirdi, there are several routes to go to Amaravati.
- return to Dhulia and go on NH6 via Jalgaon, Khamgaon and Akola to Amaravati
- go via Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jalna and Buldhana to join NH6 at Khamgaon
- go via Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jalna, Sindkhed Raja, Mehekar and Karanja to Amaravati

All routes are good and fast. Maybe I would take the route via Dhulia, instead of going via Aurangabad, although it is super-fast roads from Ahmednagar to Aurangabad.
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Old 22nd December 2009, 15:22   #15
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Many thanks for a quick revert!

I was just wondering, do we need to reach Surat and then turn towards NH6? or is there some point in between where the we can turn towards NH6.

I guess I'll suggest him the Mehkar-Karanja route as I am familiar with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Turn off at Surat and take NH6 to Dhulia, that is the best route to take. At Dhulia, join NH3, and go via Malegaon to PImpalgaon where you take off NH3 and go via Manmad to Shirdi.

From Shirdi, there are several routes to go to Amaravati.
- return to Dhulia and go on NH6 via Jalgaon, Khamgaon and Akola to Amaravati
- go via Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jalna and Buldhana to join NH6 at Khamgaon
- go via Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jalna, Sindkhed Raja, Mehekar and Karanja to Amaravati

All routes are good and fast. Maybe I would take the route via Dhulia, instead of going via Aurangabad, although it is super-fast roads from Ahmednagar to Aurangabad.
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