Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th October 2008, 22:43   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default Bombay to Chattisgarh, via Bangalore & Hyderabad

Why go from London to Paris direct when you can always go via LA and Singapore - was my logic when I planned my Chattisgarh trip during Sep 19-29, 2008?

I realised I had not seen some parts of Andhra (Telengana region) and I could also combine some work in Bangalore and Hyderabad, and I had to be in Raipur anyway for a family get-together on Sep 28, that is how this trip evolved.

Bombay-Bangalore, Sep 19, 2008
New Bombay, Vashi: 525 pm
Bangalore, Yelahanka: 815 pm


Driving out of Bombay straight from work into evening peak hour is not the most optimal way to start a 4,500-km trip, but I thought it a sheer waste of time to do my usual 3 am - 3 pm drive to Bangalore. Leaving my office in South Bombay at 4 pm, I crossed New Bombay at 530 pm, and discovered that my windshield water nozzles had stopped working (blocked and damaged from my jabbing at it in attempts to clean it up). And it decided to rain all night in Maharashtra giving me hellish visibility, and I had to stop from time to time to clean windscreens that night.

Pune Bypass which I whiz through normally early in the morning, turned out to be a nightmare, as I got stuck in a traffic jam for nearly 60 minutes at the HInjawadi Flyover junction. Some wonderful town planners have got it all wrong - the Flyover should have been on NH4, but instead it is now Hinjawadi-Pune, which is not where the maximum traffic flow is. So, by the time I crossed Pune, I was already like a Indian Railway train, running late by 1.5 hours.

The apples were delicious, and I made a sumptuous dinner of them as I drove alone through the night with a broken-down radio, which seldom worked. Drizzled steadily throughout, and after the customary refuelling in Konduskar's after Kolhapur (since Maharastrian diesel is cheaper than Karnataka's), I gunned the car on the excellent and now-dry NH4 via Belgaum, Hubli and Haveri.

As I explained in an earlier mail, the Haveri town has a nice bypass, but where it ends, they forgot to join the road with the one coming from town and as a result, if you don't watch out, you could take off like a chimpanzee driving a jeep in the circus ("Flying Chimp" act). The Haveri bypass end is very bad, watch out, there is no warning, there is no sign that road will crack up so badly - please follow my log book coordinates and know where to slow down.

From Haveri to Ranebennur was conventional 2-lane road under cosntruction (work in progress since 1999), and you have some bad rumbler strips, but road is free of pot-holes. There are 2-3 level crossings which may give some respite from driving, but happily I was spared the agony of waiting at any.

Ranebennur bypass is not ready, so you have to pass through the town (not messy in the middle of the night), and after you cross the town, you find NH4 is 4-laned but there are several sections which are closed to traffic, so you zig-zag in and out - needless to say, there are no markers or signboards, and you often find yourself in the wrong lane rushing towards oncoming traffic. Sometimes, you think you are in America - the traffic direction are reversed - you in the right side thinking you are in America, and the oncoming guys on the left side thinking they are also in America.

And if you think this was bad, you will have the best part in the Harihar-Davangere bypass which has always held pride of place - as usual, the road is dirt track, muddy in some places (luckily it was not raining), has uneven bounce, can scrape a car's bottom if you are not careful, and it is like going in a hill-station, always enveloped in misty (but of fine red dust). At one place, they also throw you riddles such as by showing you 3 roads and asking you to choose (no signages, of course, that would make it too simple), so you boldly drive onto the path most well-trodden and also observe democratic behaviour (go on the road which has max traffic of trucks).

I was becoming bolder and bolder, as the night wore on, and threw some of my usual caution to the winds - I normally refuel before 12 since even the 24hour guys go off to sleep, and it was now 345 am and I was running on an empty tank, hoping that I would get fuel at Chitradurga. But so had several others and the 2 petrol pumps in Chitradurga bypass were full of trucks, and I kep going - was lucky to get one pump down the road, and I refuelled 440 kms after I had left Kolhapur. I am surprised everyone keeps talking of how bad the Chitradurga bypass is, but it is fine (I think they mix it with the Davangere bypass!). Of course, it is still 2-lane but no bad sections.

From Chitradurga, it is the usual speed run to Tumkur. I had planned to take A K Roy's suggestion and turn off NH4 at Dobespet (16 kms after Tumkur) to avoid the traffic congestion between Nelamangala and Bangalore. So, I turned off under the Dobespet Flyover and went on the Dodballapur road (7 am). Great 2-lane road, no traffic, reminder of Bangalore of bygone years (green, misty, cool, drizzly) and I was clipping at 140 kmph.........when my BRAKES FAILED.

This was definitely one of the Cat's 9 lives and I managed to control the car (Scorpio), and had to limp on thereafter. This is a good route if you want to go to New Airport/NH7 Hyderabad road or even Old Madras Road, but can be confusing for someone who is unfamiliar with Bangalore city topography and layouts - since I know the city well, I could make my way through Dodballapur, Yelahanka and Hebbal. Please follow the guidance in my log book in case you are planning to take this route. It will definitely avoid the Nelamangala traffic, give you a glimpse of some beautiful countryside and save some time also, assuming you do not get stuck in Yelahanka town traffic.

As I came into Bangalore city (by now 830 am), I buzzed fellow-Scorpion Srimanto who tied up my M&M workshop and I fixed up my appointment on the fly, so to say. Quickly visited my hospitable host Tirthankar near K R Puram, took a shower and by 1045 am, I was in the M&M workshop attending to the brake problems (and Tirthankar spent the whole day with me there, thanks a great deal). What should have been a 15-minute job naturally took me the whole day, and I tottered out of the workshop at 5 pm, to have lunch with A K Roy at 530 pm! Thanks for your patience, Abhi!

This Bombay-Bangalore turned out to be one of the longest drives ever - I normally do it in 12 hours, and my best time is 11.50 hours, but the combination of night drive, peak hour traffic, failed wiper nozzles and brake failure resulted in the extra 2 hours.

That evening was the tbhp meet on Sarjapur Road, where we all discussed the forthcoming GQ Drive.

Next 3 days were in Bangalore, attending to a few personal problems.

My log book is uploaded in the KUMAR's LOG BOOKS section:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/indiah...0Books/Chatti\
sgarh2008.xls

In case you have appetite for more, you can also see the Photos and Videos in the following link:
H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR's DRIVING LOG BOOKS, Bombay to Chattisgarh via Bangalore & Hyderabad, Sep 2008

Last edited by hvkumar : 6th October 2008 at 22:47.
hvkumar is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 22:51   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Where we last got off:

Yes, I am driving from Bombay to CG via KA and AP, and I had repaired my brakes at Bangalore, and spend 3 days there.... now to go on:

I had driven from Bombay to Bangalore solo, but now my cousin flew down from Bombay to Bangalore and joined me on my onward journey to Chattisgarh - having done his B-School sometime ago, maybe he thought he will try out his negotiation skills with the Maoists who we could be expected to encounter as we cross from AP to CG.

Bangalore-Hyderabad-Warangal, Sep 22, 2008

Left in the evening on my second night drive of the trip. Pushed my way out onto the peak evening traffic at M G Road at 7 pm, and made it to the new airport area by 8 pm, which is much faster than the Merus, Vayu Vajras and the Airlifts can do in the messy traffic.

NH7 is being widened, widened, widened since the last Govt fell in the Centre. It is a total mess in the Karnataka side, bad road sections, unmarked deviations, etc, and generally an unpleasant order till you cross into AP. In AP luckily, the new 2 lanes are properly segregated and there are seldom any cross-overs which means you can have a better run although you do get reminded that the road is under construction.

The night was long and boring - Bagepally (KA) 920 pm, Penukonda 1004 pm, Ananthapur 1107 pm, Gooty 1213 am, Kurnool 200 am.

The Kurnool bypass is ill-marked and I went off by mistake into Kurnool town since the bypass resembled some sort of dirt track, but luckily there are no BPOs in Kurnool, and there was no traffic inside town.

It was becoming dreadfully boring, and highly-trafficked with hazaar buses transporting people to Hyderabad (must be for interviews at the US Consulate there in the morning), and I got fed up and took a well-deserved nap on the road-side for 30 minutes outside Jadcherla, and ambled into Hyderabad town by 6 am, a time when most decent people are taking their morning walks or reciting their Gayatri mantras. It turned out to be my longest drive from Bangalore to Hyderabad - earlier drives were all in 8-9 hour range.

We piled on to my colleague's hotel room (remember, Hyderabad was a business visit) - so, in a single-occupancy room, 3 of us had nice hot water showers - and then I was ready for the business of the day. never fancied MLA Pesarattus, but I am told that they were good (I stuck to my button idlis), and we were on our way to Jubilee Hills to hunt down a Private Equity candidate (we got the mandate!). I always disarm the client by telling him about my driving exploits, so they become sympathetic and say, let us hear more, we will engage you as our financial advisor, maybe I will also get some free highway advice!!!

Anyway, after some sumptuous Hyderabad biriyani, and after forgetting to tell my cousin after the Ramzani Haleems, we left Hyderabad at 600 pm, again into peak-hour traffic - my colleague was vacating his room, so we had no place to stay had we wanted to stay back in Hyderabad - and we headed for Warangal on NH212. Directions out of Hyderabad city are patchy, but NH212 is a brilliantly-laid road, whose only problem is it goes via many small towns, none of whom have bypasses. Clearing the Hyderabad suburb of Tarnaka at 7 pm, we were in the outskirts of Warangal by 915 pm. The biggest problem was a misleading signboard which pointed to the right just before entering Kazipet town (which was the direct route). This turned out to be a road which evaporated into some dirt tracks, and gave us sightings of several squatters (night soil, of course) and landed us up back on NH212 near Hanamankonda under a flyover which had craters the size they are on the moon.

We were advised to go to a certain Hotel Ashok where we found 2 opposing football teams glaring at each other as they out-stared each other prior to the next day's State-level championship. No room, the hotel said.

Warangal is surely a hot destination for the budget hotel industry as we were to discover in the next 30 minutes - we felt we were the Lonely Planet guys, visiting every hotel to be told that there was no acco available. When we queried as to which football championship, political rally, earthquake or such other was causing such acute room shortages, we were given condescending smiles and told that this is everyday Warangal hotel room situation. As we headed for the Warangal Railway Station parking lot (so we could park there and sleep, or bargain with waiting rooms there), we ran into one more hotel where the only room available was the Maharaja suite (remember, Warangal was the capital of the Kakatiya Empire), and we gratefully hired the most expensive room in the house!

....and we refilled the water bottles in the car, and slept peacefully thereafter.....
hvkumar is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 22:55   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
mjothi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,252
Thanked: 216 Times
Default

Interesting one to read. I heard about your Scorpios brake failure during the meet, but never imagined it would have happened around 140kmph. Man, its scary to hear. Good to hear you managed.
mjothi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 22:58   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
akroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Posts: 2,414
Thanked: 29 Times
Default

Nice travelogue Kumar Sir, Hope to see the rest of it coming soon !!

Abhi
akroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 23:02   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Surprise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chennai
Posts: 2,299
Thanked: 129 Times
Default

One word - You are the "KING OF TEAM-BHP" (Travelogue).
Surprise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 23:02   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Day 1/2: Bombay-Bangalore, Sep 19/20, 2008, 1082 kms
Day 2/3/4: Bangalore, Sep 20/21/22, 2008, 154 kms
Day 3/4: Bangalore-Hyderabad-Warangal, Sep 22/23, 2008, 775 kms


In case you have still not seen the links:

Log Book of the trip, for the moderates:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/indiah...0Books/Chatti\
sgarh2008.xls

Log Book, Photos & Videos for the hedonics:
H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR's DRIVING LOG BOOKS, Bombay to Chattisgarh via Bangalore & Hyderabad, Sep 2008

We slunk out of the Maharaja Suite in the Warangal hotel as though we were running away from the Mughals. 1000-pillar temple, that is what Warangal is well-known for, apart from the 50 Degree temperatures. Alas, I could not really make out how they arrived at the 1000 pillar count, much as I was expecting something like what you see in the Madurai Meenakshi temple, this was not so.

The Badrakali Temple, the more venerated temple, stands by a sylvan lake and darshan there was also in our plan.

My friend from Warangal had told me about Ramappa Temple, which lies on my road to Chattisgarh and that is where we went, after we left Warangal at 830 am. Ramappa was truly beautiful, as you can see from the carvings that we have photographed.

The NH202 from Warangal was beautiful, running through green countryside, across what are the Naxal badlands of Telengana region.

After Ramappa, one crosses the beautiful Eturunagaram Wild Life Sanctuary. I was convinced that the NH212 routing in the maps was wrong and we were cheered when we saw lots of CG lorries coming our way - so there was indeed a road to Chattisgarh this way. But once we reached Eturunagaram, my doubts were proved right - we had come to a dead-end and there was NO bridge across the River Godavari to Venkatapuram and Bhopalpatnam on the other side. And no car ferries either. But all our wonderful maps show a brillkiant road crossing the River and going to the other bank. So, I notched up my 201st mistake in the Eicher Road Atlas of India, which many seem to regard as a bible of maps in India (which I have been hotly rebutting ever since it was published).

So, there we were in Eturunagarm village, asking passing truck drivers, which is the way out, and finally we discovered the Bhadrachalam road (100 kms south east of Eturunagaram), which we also sensed from the number of trucks comin out on that road). Needless to say, this road does not exist on any map, whether it si Eicher or any other, but is an excellent road going via Kamalapuram and Manuguru to Bhadrachalam, where you can connect to Vizakhapatnam via Rajahmundry.

We crossed the River Godavari at Bhadrachalam at 130 pm, and skipped visiting the famous temple there in the interests of making it beyond the Naxal/Maoist areas before night fell. We left NH212 and switched over to NH221 at Chintur (AP)/Konta (CG), from where we are in the heartland of Maoist rule. Road is in a terrible condition but the deep jungles are a fantastic site. Trucks carrying bamboo for the ITC's paper plant in Bhadrachalam are aplenty, as are several police/para-military camps all over. One can see the Solva Jadum (the civilian army) where kids of 15-18 are armed with stenguns and patrolling the thick jungles. Luckily, no blasts while we were there. Road was fit for a 4x4 vehicle in some places, and we could see only Mahindra Boleros doing yeoman duty in these parts. Facilities are poor, and the only largish town is Sukhma which also marks the end of the worst sections. We managed to scrape through Sukhma by the time the sun went down (615 pm) and from there, the roads were excellent all the way till Keshlur, which is where you join NH16, coming from Nizamabad in AP (also a spooky road, as I discovered a couple of years ago, road exists only in maps, no bridge across River Godavari after mancherial).

We were in Jagdalpur, the heart of the Bastar Region of Chattisgarh by 800 pm, and this was to be our destination for the night of September 24, 2008.

The story will continue......expect to read of Chattisgarh's 2 best-known tourist spots.
Attached Thumbnails
Bombay to Chattisgarh, via Bangalore & Hyderabad-picture-004.jpg  

Attached Images
    

Last edited by hvkumar : 6th October 2008 at 23:04.
hvkumar is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 23:10   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Chattisgarh is indeed one of the least-visited, most beautiful of States to drive to. When the State was formed, I remember that CM Ajit Jogi (who is an ex-IAS guy) got one of his old IAS pals from Kerala to do a "God's Own Country" packaging for CG.

Well, they did a good job of packaging the State in the media - glossy advts, write-ups, etc - but judging from the state of facilities, not much seems to have been achieved.

- For instance, there is not even a tea-shop at CG's most famous Chitrakote Falls.
- Or, barring the log hut resort I saw there, I did not come across any State-run tourism hotels.
- Hotels exist, but for businessmen, in large cities like Jagdalpur
- You see prominent CG Tourism boards in several places, but no explanations as to what is the attraction of the place where the boards are situated!
- Much like what Kerala and Karnataka have done, the highways sport tourist destination boards (being painted as I visited), but the colour scheme and the language used (Hindi only) does not appear to be impressive.
- Tourism does not appear to be an industry here, and since I had a car I could get around, but did not see a single tourist anywhere!!! Was the only tourist in the whole Bastar Region the day I was there.

But the roads in CG are fantastic, even the remote interior ones I went through in Dantewada (more famous for its Naxals) and Bastar districts, but you need to do your route research before you attempt to drive on these roads. Facilities such as petrol pumps or puncture shops are few and far between, but conditions are as safe as anywhere else. No Check Posts harass you - I must have passed countless CPs on the Konta-Sukhma road, not stopped at even one - and I did not find police harassing anyone.

So, we set out to see the Bastar Region on the morning of Sep 25, 2008, from our very good Hotel Devansh in Jagdalpur. We set out on a circuit that would cover all the best sights in Bastar Region. We visited the entrance to the Kanger national Park (from the Sukhma end), but were told that the main attractions there - the Kotamsar caves (where you can see Stalagamites and Stalactites) and the Crocodile sanctuary are all closed during the monsoons and open only in mid-November. One more example of poor tourist info - you will not find this info widely in any web-site or literature.

Chattisgarh is gearing up to receive more tourists, whether they are really ready or not - at the Kanger Valley WLS CP, we had to pay Rs 150 as entry fees! Truly on its way to beat Rajasthans and Kerala in that matter at least.

Anyway, that cut off a lot of must-sees from our itinerary - the Kotamsar Caves, Dandak caves and the Kanger Valley WLS would have taken almost 3/4 th of a day - so we proceeded directly to the Tiratgarh Falls which is magnificent now in the rains. The only other visitors were a VIP - the PostMaster General of CG - and a romancing couple. There 4-5 tea shops but no other facilities. You can walk all the way down to the Falls, and like the Phantom Cave, go behind the water and be drenched by the spray.

We took a road from Tiratgarh which is unmarked in all maps, via Katekalyan to Dantewada. Great landscapes, green paddy fields, Jatropha farming and hardly any souls around, almost like being in Europe. And this route was safe except that it borders the Maoist areas.

Dantewada is named after the Danteswari Temple, which is the limit of the Kakatiya Empire's (from Warangal) influence. We bisected the NH16 at Giddam - looked to be in a bad shape from Giddam to Bijapur-Bhopalpatnam (which are all badlands, I believe) - and visited some old temples in Barsur.

The 50-km drive from Barsur to Chitrakote Falls is one of the best one can find anywhere through thick jungle, totally unpopulated remote area. I was running short of fuel, but there were no petrol stations.

Chitrakote Falls is the symbol of Chattisgarh tourism, its crowning jewel and popularly called the Niagara Falls of India, it having the same horse-shoe shape as the River Indravathi tumbles down (not very high). The waters are rich in iron, and you can't get down. Not sure how much water will flow in the lean winter and summer seasons, but we were in the best of times with the river roaring down intpo a gorge, into rainbows and white smoke. As I mentioned earlier, there were no facilities there, except a PWD Inspection bungalow and a so-called CG Tourism resort.

Maybe because the Prez was due to visit 3 days later, the place was spick and span and the 37-km road to Jagdalpur is one of the fastest and best.

We decided to wind up Jagdalpur/Bastar tour and go on to Raipur the same day.

NH43 between Jagdalpur and Raipur has been named as one of the top 10 drives in India by the Jet Aiways inflight magazine. The 300-km drive is indeed beautiful, but goes through several small towns - no bypasses - which can be a nuisance, especially the Damtari town. The ghats after Keshkal were also good roads. I managed to do the Jagdalpur-Raipur drive in 5 hours.
Attached Images
   
hvkumar is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 23:12   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

And here is the magnificent Chitrakote Falls.
Attached Images
     
hvkumar is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2008, 23:17   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

And now that I have seen the sights of Bastar Region in Chattisgarh, I spent 3 days in Raipur at a family get-together, and set off for Bombay at 3 am on Sep 29, 2008 - on the last leg of the journey, I am alone, my cousin having got off at Raipur.

NH6 coming from Calcutta can take you all the way to Bombay, interconnecting with NH3 at Dhulia. The conventional route goes via Nagpur, Amaravathi, Akola, Khamgaon, Jalgaon, Dhulia, Malegaon and Nashik. But I decided to try out the new road which the Govt of Maharashtra is trying to promote and built as an alternative to NH6.

Having left Raipur at 3 am, NH6 in Chattisgarh was not the best, but did not have any pot-holes, except at the final CP on the border. All major towns - Bhilai, Durg and Raj Nandgaon - are bypassed. Once you enter Maharashtra, the road condition gets radically transformed and you are whizzing at 120 kmph speeds. 4-laning work is going on all the way to Nagpur. Traffic is light. Facilities are poor - many petrol pumps but very few eating places.

I covered the 300 kms to Nagpur in 4 hours without even going very fast, maintaining comfortable cruising speeds of 100-120 kmph. Nagpur city has always been a difficult city to get through, there being very poor road signages. There are large 4-lane roads all over the place and I steered with memories of past trips and general directional aids (e.g. if you go left, you are going South, etc). I did not miss a beat and navigated the town in the early morning hours without any trouble, hitting NH7 in 15-20 minutes and taking the Hyderabad NH7. Surprisingly, the petrol station near Buti Bori accepted credit cards.

NH7 is fabulous and mostly 4-laned to Buti Bori.

Immediately after Buti Bori, I left NH7 and took the state highway to Yavatmal.

The rest of my route went as follows:

Buti Bori-Wardha 47 kms - Yavatmal 78 - Darwha 47 - Karanja 40 - Malegaon 61 - Mehekar 54 - Sulytanpur 11 - Sinbdkhed Raja 49 - Jalna 28 - Aurangabad 61 - Ahmednagar 122-Shikarpur 90-Chakan 31-Talegaon 24-Lonavla 28-Bombay Thane 96, totalling 1,195 kms

At the outset, I must tell you that this is good state highway, but facilities like hotels are virtually non-existent, and road signages are intelligible only if you know the route in advance. Secondly, there are several places where you have to turn off, and if you miss any, you could be totally off-course. Thirdly, I have not heard of any safety issues, but at least till you reach Karanja, the route is quite lonely, and maybe I would avoid driving on it at night.

I also discovered that it is shorter to reach Karanja via the conventional NH6 route, interchanging at Murtijapur, and the distance back to Nagpur is only 216 kms whereas the way I came via Wardha/Yavatmal, it was almost 250 kms.

Road condition was great most of the way, with it improving once you hit Karanja, where you also start seeing lots of truck traffic. Roads were a little bad between Sultanpur and Jalna. This seems to be an all-weather route unlike the conventional NH6/NH3 route from Nagpur to Bombay which gets broken down off Amaravathi and in the Nashik-Bombay sections. No impact of rains in this route.

I could have maybe cut the distance short had I turned off at Wardha and gone via Phulgaon and Malegaon to Mehekar, avoiding Yavatmal and Karanja, but I have no idea what the savings in distance are.

There are hardly any bypasses, although Wardha has a good bypass. I saw good hotels only in Yavatmal (till Aurangabad).

Having crossed Buti Bori at 8 am, I covered the next 415 kms to Jalna in 6 hours which I think is very good time for these types of roads.

From Jalna onwards, 4-laning work is going on all the way to Pune via Aurangabad and Ahmednagar. The big bother is having to go through Aurangabad city (no bypass), and also Ahmednagar city. The road from Aurangabad to Ahmednagar is fabulous (4-laning almost done), and the 122 kms got done in 1 hr 40 minutes (100 minutes).

There are some well-known temples en route. Or you can drop in at Lonar, the only large meteorite lake in India, which is off Sultanpur. Or even better, Aurangabd is the base for Ellora/Ajanta.

The Aurangabad-Ahmednagar road is almost 4-laned although some works remains., This is also a fast road. I was in Ahmednagar by 445 pm (from Raipur 925 kms, 13 hours 45 minutes). I am happy to report to Scorpio fans that I had a duel with a brand-new Safari and Suzuki Grand Vitara and I am happy to say I won handsomely.

One can go to Bombay (325 kms) from Aurangabad via Nashik, but I chose the Ahmednagar-Pune route.

From Ahmedanagar you can also go directly to Bombay via Alephata, Malshej Ghat and Kalyan, but I stuck to SH60 to Pune. From Ahmednagar onwards, I ran into heavy traffic and I took the detour at Shikarpur to Talegaon via Chakan so as to avoid the messy roads inside Pune city. That road was serious trouble, since I got stuck in traffic jams at Chakan junction (Pune-Nashik road junction) - besides from there to Talegaon (NH4) the road was quite a mess, and I ended up at Talegaon at around 8 pm, and missed the entry point to the Expressway, having to go till Lonavla on NH4.

I finally reached home in Bombay at 945 pm. That ended the 1195 kms drive from Raipur to Bombay in 19 hours, slowed down mainly because of the messy traffic in the Pune region. Maybe I could have saved 2-3 hours had I rationalised the route via Amaravathi, Phulgaon, and/or short-cutted from Ahmednagar/Aurangabad to Bombay.

For sake of comparison, I had done the same drive kin 2002, via NH6/NH3 - distance was 30 kms less, but I reached around 30 minutes earlier (320 am Raipur, 10 pm Bombay).

I did not face diesel shortages anywhere en route in MH, KA, AP and CG.

Mostly refuelled on premium diesel, but ordinary diesel was available everywhere.

Never stopped anywhere en route for food, so cannot comment on the location or quality of eating places. All my food was stocked on board and I managed with fresh fruits, dry fruits and biscuits, as is my usual habit. I also carry my own water stocks, so did not buy any mineral water en route.

So here ends the story of my Chattisgarh trip.
Total Kms covered: 4,437 kms
hvkumar is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2008, 07:32   #10
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bangalore / Madras
Posts: 1,980
Thanked: 14 Times
Default

Very nice. The attention to detail never ceases to amaze me.
hrag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2008, 11:15   #11
BHPian
 
Su-47's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 624
Thanked: 91 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Well, they did a good job of packaging the State in the media - glossy advts, write-ups, etc - but judging from the state of facilities, not much seems to have been achieved.
Absolutely right! I was in Bhilai for quite a while and have asked the locals about good places to visit. I never got to know that such magnificent falls exist. Perhaps, I asked the wrong people.

And, about your duel (or tri-el) with Safari and GV: I guess with your driving experience, lesser mortals would need atleast an RS.

Congratulations on the awesome write up!
Su-47

P.S: How do your co-passengers cope up with your non-stop no food break driving style?

Last edited by Su-47 : 7th October 2008 at 11:18.
Su-47 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2008, 11:29   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Su-47 View Post
P.S: How do your co-passengers cope up with your non-stop no food break driving style?
Well, I was alone on Bombay-Bangalore, and Raipur-Bombay sectors. We do not starve - we have lots of goodies on board - fresh fruits, dry fruits, biscuits, chocolates - and we subsist on such a diet plan. During this trip, we did not stop over for breakfast, lunch or dinner (when travelling overnight) anytime. Same with even my long trips, typically we end up having food in a restaurant once a day. Even my family does the same when they are on the trips.
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2008, 11:49   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
snaronikar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 2,845
Thanked: 23 Times
Default

Very neat and crisp travelogue. Your detailing of no. of kms from one place to another, roads and turning is amazying.

@SU-47: These kind of drives are done alone. If co-passengers are there, then these timings would not be possible. Hvkumar was alone driving in this whole journey.
snaronikar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2008, 11:55   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
jaysmokesleaves's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mostly Mumbai
Posts: 1,676
Thanked: 1,159 Times
Default

Quite a few learning points for me to incorporate. I need to start keeping a log of intercity distances traveled and travel time and make small notes about road conditions.
Quite an exhaustive detailed report.
jaysmokesleaves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2008, 12:45   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
kutlee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1,126
Thanked: 194 Times
Default

thanks for the log books. the indianhigways link is not working. i opened the files folder and the C'garh trip log is missing.
The falls look fantastic. As i can't see the log, could you please tell me the distance and time from Hyd to C'garh?
kutlee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bombay Dandeli Bombay prabuddhadg Travelogues 14 19th June 2017 01:08
A road trip from Chattisgarh to Vibrant Goa (Bhilai-Pune-Goa-Hyderabad-Bhilai) Sommos Travelogues 21 27th October 2014 15:14
Bangalore -> Bhilai, Chattisgarh Freebird82 Route / Travel Queries 40 19th September 2013 16:48
Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha Fauji Travelogues 102 9th February 2012 23:06
The flying fortress : Bombay-Udwada-Udaipur-Mount Abu-Bombay issigonis Travelogues 13 20th August 2010 19:19


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:51.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks