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Old 15th October 2008, 11:11   #31
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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Banobashi
If you are coming in from Giridih to Kolkata you don't need to come via Deoghar/Madhupur/Chittaranjan etc anymore. You come to Dumri/Parashnath and then turn left towards Topchanchi-Asansol-Burdwan-Kolkata - brilliant 4-lanes.

Anuj would have probably come like this

Even there is one short route available and I come on that route. By Dumri - Parasnath is more distance.

Kolakata - Gobindpur - Tundi - Giridih - Deoghar. This is the best route for Deoghar.

Gobindpur is the place where left turn (From Kolkata side) from GT road goes to Dhanbad and Right turn goes to Giridih it is usual road for Giridih - Dhanbad.

Gobindpur - Giridih is good road and Giridih to Deoghar is excellent new road and the new road reduce distance by more than 40 Kms to Deoghar from Giridih.
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Old 15th October 2008, 11:29   #32
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@ 1100D and Saurav
Thanks both for your comments. The basic romance of Benares remains the same. But as everywhere else in India, the noise and visual pollution levels have increased manifold. We as a race don't know where to stop. Those going there after 20 years will find a new menace in the form of auto. They dart at full speed through the narrow, dark gallis but always get "near misses" and never hit anyone.
During the Ekadashi bhashan procession I realised that it is actually possible to kill a human being with noise. I almost died from the noise level in Godaulia that evening.
And yes, Bengali is understood everywhere in Benares and most shopkeepers will speak with you in Bengali. Many of them are actually Bengali as well !! The fancy jarda shops are all owned by Bengalis.
Given the brilliant road, Benares is now almost a weekend destination from Calcutta.

@ Banobashi
It is not Maithon sir. It is Massanjore. Probably a typing error (you are quite a veteran of road travel and wouldn't normally make that mistake) but it may confuse someone who doesn't know.

@ Anuj
Chhotonagpur, Ranchi and Hazaribagh used to be very popular hangouts for Bengalis, because this area used to be part of Bengal presidency before independence and the climate suited us, not to speak of the natural beauty. We had a house with garden in Deoghar which we could somehow maintain till late 80s even without living there permanently.
Then it became impossible to keep the house on remote control basis because local strong men used to forcibly enter and we would need to physically go, file a police case and evict them etc. Police always helped us. But again they would enter within a few months. They used to negotiate with my father with their arms (licenced of course) kept on the table!! This became too much of a headache to manage for my old father.
Finally as my father grew old and I wasn't old/earning enough to take care of the property we had to sell it off in 1991. This is one of the most regrettable things that happened in my life.
I am sure this is more or less the same sad story with most other Bengali properties/families in those regions. Even Sir Asutosh Mukherjee's property in Madhupur had to be sold off under duress !!
Those who personally stayed on, had money and local influence or didn't have young daughters have managed to stay on till today.
Regrettable but that's the reality of the whole situation.

Sudipto
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Old 15th October 2008, 11:40   #33
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Anuj
It is excellent news to know that there is a great road between Deoghar and Giridih now. How far is Giridih from Deoghar by this route? Can it be a day trip? That is, I go there from Deoghar - eat lunch - and then come back to Deoghar?
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Old 15th October 2008, 13:36   #34
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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Anuj
It is excellent news to know that there is a great road between Deoghar and Giridih now. How far is Giridih from Deoghar by this route? Can it be a day trip? That is, I go there from Deoghar - eat lunch - and then come back to Deoghar?
Sudipto

There are some new road came from Giridih to Deoghar. Now it is only 60 - 70 Kms from Giridih. Before, from the old roads via Jamua 125 kms & via Madhupur it was around 105 kms.
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Old 16th October 2008, 13:32   #35
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Hi Sudipto,

Nice Photo Travelogues, I have downloaded your Log for the trip,
I can see your waypoints were in Lat/Long, presumably you must be
using a GPS , could you tell me what Make/Model of GPS and Map
Software you used during this Trip ?

Also what were the potential choking points on this Part of GQ ?

Cheers
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Old 16th October 2008, 16:00   #36
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Hi Capt Dey
I use a Garmin Foretrex 101. Its just a basic GPS and can't use a map. I mean you cannot upload a map on this GPS. I deliberately bought this basic GPS as an entry model because when I bought it more than a year ago India didn't have any digital map. So I thought let me understand the concept first.
The latitude and longitude does not serve any real purpose. I am sure you understand all this much better than I do, being a mariner.
The stretch beyond Dumri is still incomplete for about 30/40 km. The other choking point is a bridge after Mohania. But total time lost due to bad road/bridge is nothing more than an hour or so perhaps.
If I can go, anyone can go. lol

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 16th October 2008 at 16:03.
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Old 16th October 2008, 16:29   #37
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I have been personally stopped by Naxals in interior Andhra - they were black masked and carrying sten guns. Saw my MH number plates, gestured me to stop, made polite enquiries as to my identity and destination, and let me go. As long as they are convinced that you are not a establishment guy, they have no problems with you. On another occasion, I was in coasatl Karnataka (interior from KUndapura-Baindur-Kollur) where there are certain Naxal problems, and I was cautioned to get out of the area (these were villages on the foothills, not even connected by pucca road) before dark. This time, I was on an official mission with a high-profile organisational identity, which could have created problems for me.

I also drove through the Bhadrachalam-Konta-Sukhma-Jagdalpur route recently, which is supposed to be the hotbed of Naxal warfare - no problem there too.
I am glad your experience bears out the general observation made.
Two points: even establishment people are by and large OK. Policemen in uniform are likely to be in trouble, especially if armed.
And it is important not to travel after dark because many dacoits and road-rangers take advantage of the bad reputation that Naxalites have to block roads with rocks and hold up scores of cars, buses, trucks, the works.

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Old 16th October 2008, 17:33   #38
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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post

@ Banobashi
It is not Maithon sir. It is Massanjore. Probably a typing error (you are quite a veteran of road travel and wouldn't normally make that mistake) but it may confuse someone who doesn't know.

Sudipto
So sorry. It is a mistake, and it happened due to my having spent quality time with my cousins over the Pujas after decades actually. Their father used to take us kids boating on Maithon. So by association Maithon has been in our conversation and my thinking for the last few days, and that's how I made this howler.

Apologies again.

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Old 17th October 2008, 11:16   #39
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Originally Posted by anujmishra View Post
Even there is one short route available and I come on that route. By Dumri - Parasnath is more distance.

Kolakata - Gobindpur - Tundi - Giridih - Deoghar. This is the best route for Deoghar.

Gobindpur is the place where left turn (From Kolkata side) from GT road goes to Dhanbad and Right turn goes to Giridih it is usual road for Giridih - Dhanbad.

Gobindpur - Giridih is good road and Giridih to Deoghar is excellent new road and the new road reduce distance by more than 40 Kms to Deoghar from Giridih.
This is useful and relevant information; thank you very much. This morning I checked out the facts you and Sudipto-S-Team sent me, both on Yahoo Maps and with someone who is resident in Giridih, and regularly travels there. Both ways it turned out that the route I took first time, Calcutta-Madhupur-Deoghar, was the worst of the four options.

Never again.

My informant tells me that going straight from Gobindpur to Deoghar skipping Giridih altogether is theoretically possible. However, since Giridih to Deoghar is over far superior roads compared to the straight route, it is better to go Gobindpur-Giridih-Deoghar.

Your driver is still very, very good to have done the distance in 4 hours. I am planning to take 5, and stop on the way as required, say a total journey time of 6 hours door to door.

Thanks once again.

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Old 17th October 2008, 13:43   #40
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Originally Posted by bonobashi View Post
This is useful and relevant information; thank you very much.
That's the beauty of team-bhp. You get to know interesting people and useful information here. I intend to post some more interesting photographs of our trip in the evening taken by my friend who also went with us in his own car.
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Old 17th October 2008, 19:11   #41
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Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
That's the beauty of team-bhp. You get to know interesting people and useful information here. I intend to post some more interesting photographs of our trip in the evening taken by my friend who also went with us in his own car.
Sudipto
  1. Breath bated - check
  2. Eyeballs bathed and cooled - check
  3. Page-up and page-down finger limbered up, oiled and greased, and grease removed - check
  4. Snacks at system side - check
  5. Servants, Dad yelled at, informed I am on seriously important computer work - check
  6. Wife and daughter informed no phone-calls till further notice due to 'heavy' task ahead - check
OK, I'm ready, bring on the pics.
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Old 18th October 2008, 02:34   #42
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Excellent travelogue Sudipto Da and very nice pics.. one question, dis you go over any place named Behragora?? dont remember the place where I took a stop in the morning while coming back from Delhi
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Old 18th October 2008, 07:23   #43
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Baharagora is the junction of NH6 and Ranchi Road (NH33 I guess). The road on the right goes to Ranchi while NH6 continues on the left. Following NH6, you should come up to the junction of NH5 and NH6. Baharagora should not be on the Benaras route and is notorious for its worst surface conditions. If you follow NH60 from Kharagpur, it is now possible to avoid Baharagora altogether.
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Old 18th October 2008, 11:26   #44
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Hi Blackpearl
Adding to what Saurav says, are you referring to Bagodar or Barhi? These are after Dumri/Parasnath in Jharkhand. The other place names on this route starting with B are Barachatti and Barwa Adda. But then Barachatti and Barwa Adda as a place are totally insignificant, you wouldn't even notice them. However, they are significant mileposts for NHAI because they mark the end/starting point on two sections of the highway. Something similar to Palsit (near Shaktigarh). Nobody other than NHAI officials and the Palsit locals know the name !!
I agree, memory becomes a blur when you are travelling - particularly place names. That's why these days I take notes.
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Old 19th October 2008, 12:09   #45
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For a short while I don't mind that confusion. That place is famous for fantastic lassi

Nice read and great pictures.
Rudra da the place is also famous for malai/rabri in bengali !!

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Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
Benaras never ceases to amaze me. The word "timeless" is most appropriate here. I used to spend my whole day sitting at the ghats or roaming through the narrow winding lanes where each and every building has a story of its own, to tell.
You are right. The sunset from the ramparts of Chunar Fort is amazing.
Saurabh M,your writing and Sudipto da's travellogue made me soo very nostalgic!I have been to Benares twice ,once alone in 1992 (was a schoolboy then) and again with family in 2000.

Benares has such a charm that inspite of the city being outright dirty,one doesn't feel bad at all. The different smell of the ghats,the alleys,the temples at different times of the day is something that brings back fond memories.Plus the 'sandhya-arati' at Dashashamedh Ghat is such a visual and aural treat.

The photo opportunities in Benares are available a dime a dozen with aged women,loads of sadhus and peculiar characters loitering on the streets and ghats.

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