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Old 1st April 2009, 23:00   #1
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Default Bangalore to Hyderabad :-: my first travelogue

After being a silent spectator, reader & information-leecher for quite some time on TBHP I decided to muster some energy to overcome my laziness (and muster some courage) and put down a few words for the travelogue on my recent trip.

The Vehicle: Santro Xing XP, 4Yrs / 35K.
Most of it on good old Bangalore roads. But it had its fair share of long & fast runs on the highway during trips to Tirupathi, Nellore, Ooty, Coorg and most recently Hyderabad.

The Drive: Bangalore (C.V.Raman Nagar) to Hyderabad (Lingampalli) and back, during the Ugadi long weekend.

Distance: 598Km (Door to door, one-way)

Travel time: 10.15hrs (5.15am to 3.30pm) with 3 breaks
[Return trip was longer by 1hr due to heavy traffic near Yelahanka and on ORR after Hebbal]

I looked up couple of travel and route threads on TBHP. They provide all the information. So frankly I cannot probably add much in terms of general route etc.

But I want to add a few points that might be of extra help to anyone planning to do this route in near future.
  • Stock up well on food, snack and beverages. This route is as barren as gets.
  • Some stretches of road immediately after Devanahalli are witnessing massive constructions & diversions. Be careful with speed brakers that are the size of mini mountains.
  • Close to Chikballapur, a new BP petrol bunk with Ghar-Dhabha opened on the Ugadi day. It serves by far the best food on this route (seems to be a Kamat franchisee).
  • Ofcourse the other 2 older ones are at Gooty and Kurnool but the food there is strictly survival-grade. I did like the coffee at Gooty BP bunk though
  • While coming from Bangalore, I missed the bypass for Kurnool town. It starts just before the city and takes to the left. The initial patch is pretty bad and constructions going on. But take it. You wouldnt want to tackle the traffic inside this town - I lost 30mins in this logjam (might be due to election campaign season).
  • 4-laning is going on all through this route. There are lot of diversions, some of which are well marked but most are poorly marked or unmarked at all. This also means that you have to look out for oncoming traffic.
  • Finally, on stretches where the road seems good, be attentive to changing 'layers' on the road. These are points where a road thickness drops or increases due to a new layer of tar on the road. If you are running close to 100kmph these can give a nasty bump to the occupants of the car (esp back seat).
  • If you need to fill up petrol midway, do it near Kurnool. Soon after that, the 4-lane toll-gate-operational section starts and there is no worthwhile petrol bunk (unless you get off it and go into Jadcherla or Shadnagar towns).
Few things I liked on this trip:
  • The Outer Ring Road in Hyd which starts right near the Shamshabad airport junction and branches to the left to Gachibowli. Really makes your drive enjoyable!
  • The ISKON temple near Anantpur is nice. I recommend a visit to this, atleast to appreciate the beauty & architecture. It comes on right side, coming from Bangalore (some photos below).
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If you have read till here, then thanks for your patience and your comments/feedback is most welcome!
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Old 1st April 2009, 23:13   #2
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Thumbs up Good start!

Hey Rajiv, This is a good start! Expecting more pics and more travelogues.

I have passed by the Iskon temple, but never stopped by... will take a look during my next Hyd trip. Quite an 'eye-catching' building.

Waiting for the next installment of your log...

Last edited by hotstuff : 1st April 2009 at 23:15.
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Old 1st April 2009, 23:39   #3
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I hope most of the roads get completed soon! I am due for a trip in May!

Have traveled lots of times on this stretch but never noticed that Iskon temple!
Quote:
Finally, on stretches where the road seems good, be attentive to changing 'layers' on the road. These are points where a road thickness drops or increases due to a new layer of tar on the road. If you are running close to 100kmph these can give a nasty bump to the occupants of the car (esp back seat).
This has been the situation since couple of years! Will keep in mind that it it hasn't improved even till date!
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Old 1st April 2009, 23:57   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajiv0 View Post
  • Close to Chikballapur, a new BP petrol bunk with Ghar-Dhabha opened on the Ugadi day. It serves by far the best food on this route (seems to be a Kamat franchisee).
BP Ghars' in NH7 between Hosur-Krishnagiri and Dharmpuri-Thoppur are run by A2B. Kamats' are generally found next to Indian Oil pumps on NH4 in Dobbspet and Sira.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajiv0 View Post
  • If you need to fill up petrol midway, do it near Kurnool. Soon after that, the 4-lane toll-gate-operational section starts and there is no worthwhile petrol bunk (unless you get off it and go into Jadcherla or Shadnagar towns).
Does that mean at least some portion is complete and tolled? How many kilometers would that be?

I guess once it is fully done, outskirt to outskirt can be done in 7 hours.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 00:19   #5
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Good Travelogue! I believe, so far you’ve driven your Santro mostly in the city, how did she behave on the open starches? Anything which you like / dislike in your Santro on highways?

‘Next is what?’ conquering NH4? I need a co driver for my next trip, are you up to it ?
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Old 2nd April 2009, 09:19   #6
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Nice piece of update on the important stretch between the two developing cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajiv0 View Post
The Drive: Bangalore (C.V.Raman Nagar) to Hyderabad (Lingampalli) and back, during the Ugadi long weekend.
You stay very near to my house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajiv0 View Post
Close to Chikballapur, a new BP petrol bunk with Ghar-Dhabha opened on the Ugadi day. It serves by far the best food on this route (seems to be a Kamat franchisee).
Thats a nice update. It can be a nice drive cum breakfast meet for some of the Bangalore folks. (But I doubt whether it is Kamats as they are mostly associated with IOC)

Abhi
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Old 2nd April 2009, 11:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
Have traveled lots of times on this stretch but never noticed that Iskon temple!
Are you serious? this is the only visible thing on the eintre highway (sort of!).
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajiv0 View Post
Close to Chikballapur, a new BP petrol bunk with Ghar-Dhabha opened on the Ugadi day. It serves by far the best food on this route (seems to be a Kamat franchisee).
  • While coming from Bangalore, I missed the bypass for Kurnool town. It starts just before the city and takes to the left. The initial patch is pretty bad and constructions going on. But take it. You wouldnt want to tackle the traffic inside this town - I lost 30mins in this logjam (might be due to election campaign season).
new BP is defenitely a good thing. I guess you meant Kunrool town. not city? is that bypass 4 lane or two lane?
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Old 2nd April 2009, 11:13   #8
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Nice write up. However, I was expecting you to mention that stretch of completed 4-lane highway after you cross Kurnool. I guess it is about 160+ kms, which is a pleasure to drive on. It makes you forget and forgive the bad patches that you encounter till then.

Even I have seen this temple many times, but haven't really stopped there to check it out. During my next visit, I do plan to stop as there is a ultimatum from my kid, which I cannot afford to take it easy.

I also agree that due to 4-laning of the highway, a lot of eating options have vanished and it would be good if you can stock enough food and water.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 14:52   #9
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Good Begining on this section. It's been some time i drove on this stretch. I guess it is going to happen quite soon.

Any more pictures coming by?
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Old 2nd April 2009, 15:27   #10
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Good start, Rajiv. Hope to see more from you.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 20:39   #11
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Thank you [hotstuff, pulsar56, arindamray, Limpid, akroy, kutlee, muralisk, mobike008, pjay_in] for your reply & encouragement.
Sorry for the late reply, couldnt check updates due to work load at office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
...I have passed by the Iskon temple, but never stopped by...
Definitely stop by next time you drive down this road. But note that it is closed between 1 to 3 in the afternoon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
...Kamats' are generally found next to Indian Oil pumps...

Does that mean at least some portion is complete and tolled? How many kilometers would that be?...
You may be right. I just guessed it as Kamat based on food style - especially the sambar. We were even luckier bcoz they prepared fresh and hot vada just for us, it was worth the wait!

Yes, soon after Kurnool you will enter a completed stretch with two toll gates. Single-way charge is Rs.38 at one toll and Rs.40 at the next one. I think its a stretch of about 150kms and it ends before you get close to
Shamshabad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Limpid View Post
...how did she behave on the open starches? Anything which you like / dislike in your Santro on highways? ...
Ya, I did make few highway trips on my Santro. But I also did few trips on Alto and Wagon R, and one on Civic, which is anyway beyond comparision

Things good about Santro:
Definitely the peppy engine, with 5ppl and full AC it still runs like its on fire.
Tall boy design helps in a more comfortable posture, esp for back seater passengers.
It does 100 ~ 120 speeds easily and seemingly safely. Infact I managed to touch 135~140 on some occassions, but by then the vibrations set in quite visibly.

Things that can be better:
The hydraulic power steering is cool in city but gets a bit itchy when cruising at 100+ speeds. So you have to be careful to avoid oversteer.
Even though I personally didnt feel it being in the drivers seat, the backseat ride seems quite bumpy when the road is not so good.

I need input from experts here on one issue:
I dont use AC much in the city. Infact I hardly used it 5 or 6 times in the last one year. In the recent servicing Advaith guy asked me to get a cleanup done (@ Rs.750). But I didnt do it bcoz I believe Advaith service guys do a lot of stuff just to charge and make profits.
But it seem to be true. My mileage was around 20kmph without AC. And it ran down to 15.5 with AC.
SO my base question is:
Do I get the AC 'cleanup' done? What exactly is involved here, since Rs.750 seems steep to me. Is there any credible alternative option for this? (He quoted Rs.1800 for AC overhauling!!!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kutlee View Post
...you meant Kunrool town. not city? is that bypass 4 lane or two lane?
You are right, Town is better suited. But localites from that 'Town' may not agree!!
The bypass is actually witnessing a major flyover construction, so 'no road' is a better description

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
...Any more pictures coming by?
I dont have any more pictures unfortuately. Even these were taken with my phone camera!
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Old 2nd April 2009, 21:06   #12
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The COCO bunks at Gooty are pretty okay for fuel too. I tanked up there last time I travelled. Not as good as shell but not bad either.

The diversions are a big pain on this route and so are the idiots going the wrong side of the road. When I did a trip last month, only one toll booth was collecting toll. So looks like another one is up and running.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 21:22   #13
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Yes two are running and a 3rd toll gate seems to be nearing completion!
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Old 2nd April 2009, 23:26   #14
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Thanks for the travelogue rajiv, I am planning to do the same trip except the other way round, Hyd-B'lore-Hyd. Lots of useful info from your trip.
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Old 2nd April 2009, 23:50   #15
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Have a nice and safe trip, downsouth!
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