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Old 8th December 2014, 09:28   #361
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Originally Posted by Kn1ght1941 View Post
Are there any specific hotels on the way which we can use for breakfast/lunch , and washrooms, keeping in mind we have ladies in the party who are used to road trips only in the Gulf?
Two main halt points I can think of:
1. At Govindpur (Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail). The Khalsa hotel has a swankier branch next door nowadays, which is vegetarian, but is clean, has decent washrooms and air-conditioned seating area. Not preferred by truck drivers, and a decent go-to place for folks who prefer that.

2. At Asansol (Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail). Again, probably the kind of place you are looking for.

Hope this helps.
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Old 8th December 2014, 15:17   #362
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Many thanks Sir,

Your advice is of paramount importance to me.

I hope to post photos of my journey and maybe a travelogue on this trip soon, and I will definitely keep in mind your contribution.

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Only 1 word for you sir: RESPECT!
======
Thanks a lot for sharing all these wonderful threads with us.
Indeed. Could not agree more. I have covered the entire UAE (all 7 Emirates) in 1 DAY, but that is nothing compared to SS-Traveller and his keen sense of observation.

Last edited by Samurai : 8th December 2014 at 17:14. Reason: back-to-back post
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Old 9th December 2014, 08:29   #363
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Originally Posted by Kn1ght1941 View Post
Dear SS-Traveller,



I am coming to India after some time now, and am planning to make my first road trip from Patna to Kolkata.

Hi Kn1ght

For Patna- Kolkata, you would need at least two breaks. Your first break would be before you catch NH-2 at Barhi or Dobhi (Depending on the route till NH-2).

The First 150-200 Km would be two laned road with heavy local traffic, so you would need a break after 3-4 hours of starting from Patna

1. If you take Patna- Bakhtiyarpur- Nawada- Koderma Route. You may stop at Jumari Tiliya after the Koderma Valley.
There are also couple of Hotels before Koderma Valley (Hotel Samrat & others).
They have good Toilets but you may find the place not good enough for family, so take a hotel inside Tiliya Town, you would be still be on your way. (Instead of by-pass, take the city Road, both equally good or bad)

2. If you take Patna- Bodh Gaya Route. Please stop at Bodh Gaya for break.

Both Route are good options as Patna- Bakhtiyarpur is newly made, which was earlier a nightmare.

Last edited by Wanderers : 9th December 2014 at 08:32.
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Old 9th December 2014, 11:46   #364
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

Thank you Wanderers,

I think I will most likely stop at Bodh Gaya.

I hope the road conditions are good enough for my Liva, which has decent GC, but India roads can challenge even the best.

When I drove to Maner from Patna earlier this year, the roads after Danapur were so horrible that at places I had to drive from left to right and even in the reverse direction to avoid knee deep craters.
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Old 9th December 2014, 15:11   #365
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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...roads after Danapur were so horrible that at places I had to drive from left to right and even in the reverse direction to avoid knee deep craters.
LOL... and I thought roads like that stopped existing in BR about a decade ago. The NH2 itself used to be like that in the late 80s and throughout the 90s.

Two quotes from truck drivers come to mind whenever I remember such roads:

One trucker said
Dilli se Calcutta jaise sadak na ho
Agar beech mein Bihar na ho.

(There's no road like Delhi to Calcutta, if Bihar didn't happen to be in the middle.)

Another described
Aisa gaddha, jisme chaar saal ka bachcha gir jaata hai toh nikal nahi paata.
(Potholes so deep that a 4-year-old can't climb out if he falls into one.)

We have come a long way in our quest for world-class roads since then. Yet, some parts seem to have improved a whole lot less than the others.
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Old 11th January 2015, 12:21   #366
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

Need to visit Kolkatta for 2 Days at month end with family for a function , request help in planning itinerary

Chandigarh - Kolkatta - Darjeeling - Chandigarh or Chandigarh - Darjeeling - Kolkatta - Chandigarh , have to be in Kolkatta on 30th & 31st so maybe I can use 26th weekend and go first to Darjeeling

can someone apprise the present road conditions and best route from chandigarh / Delhi for Kolkatta & then further to Darjeeling . Will it be ok to take 5 series or should I stick with Fortuner ?

Last edited by Turbanator : 11th January 2015 at 12:39.
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Old 11th January 2015, 13:24   #367
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Need to visit Kolkatta for 2 Days at month end with family for a function , request help in planning itinerary

Chandigarh - Kolkatta - Darjeeling - Chandigarh or Chandigarh - Darjeeling - Kolkatta - Chandigarh , have to be in Kolkatta on 30th & 31st so maybe I can use 26th weekend and go first to Darjeeling

can someone apprise the present road conditions and best route from chandigarh / Delhi for Kolkatta & then further to Darjeeling . Will it be ok to take 5 series or should I stick with Fortuner ?
Chandigarh > Delhi > Kolkata would be a smooth drive in most parts, with sections where road repair/widening are in progress.

The main section to worry about is the Siliguri-Kolkata (or vice versa) route. Alternatives to the usual NH34 route have been discussed in these two threads:
1. (Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34) ; and
2. (Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes).

I would prefer a Fortuner over a 5 series any day to cover the route.
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Old 11th January 2015, 14:03   #368
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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The main section to worry about is the Siliguri-Kolkata (or vice versa) route
Thanks , SST

Have you any experience on Roads via Nepal , I recollect during my recent visit to Nanakmata Sahib ( near Khatima ) I saw some Truck Trailers ( Car Carriers ) maybe these were coming from siliguri side .


https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Da...30.7333148!3e0

Last edited by Turbanator : 11th January 2015 at 14:20.
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Old 11th January 2015, 15:35   #369
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Thanks , SST

Have you any experience on Roads via Nepal...
I haven't driven across Nepal personally, but would suggest you look up these two threads for details:
1. (A basic guide to traveling into and in Nepal) ; and
2. (Self driven road trip, Siliguri (W.B) to Kathmandu (Nepal))
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Old 24th June 2015, 14:09   #370
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
The 33rd one-way trip:
And the 34th one-way journey, from Delhi to Kolkata, will begin tonight.

The 35th trip will be completed by the end of this month.

Suddenly, everyone has been asking my wife and daughter: Are you inspired to do this by watching the movie 'Piku'?

You decide...
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Old 24th June 2015, 14:17   #371
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
And the 34th one-way journey, from Delhi to Kolkata, will begin tonight.

The 35th trip will be completed by the end of this month.

Suddenly, everyone has been asking my wife and daughter: Are you inspired to do this by watching the movie 'Piku'?

You decide...
An awe inspiring feat indeed I guess you would be entering West Bengal around noon tomorrow, so here's a weather check - overcast skies with intermittent rain interspersed with some heavy showers.

Piku!!
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Old 28th June 2015, 12:42   #372
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

Hats off to you Sir,

I have always been a fan of your stupendous ability to both drive and observe, and before we mortals can recover, there you go again.

Please do share your experience this time around.
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Old 1st July 2015, 16:55   #373
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

Each new trip on this road is a new experience. One sees new things, new developments. The road improves in certain areas, but oddly, deteriorates in others.

The YEW is as good as it always was. The one road where cruise control can be engaged for over 150 km almost continuously (apart from stopping at the toll gates). How one wished the whole stretch between the two cities was this way! Some day, maybe...

The section between Tundla and Etawah is the usual 4-lane road. Traffic was not too bad on both the 34th and 35th runs, but rainwater collected in the wheel ruts formed by trucks meant heavy splashing while overtaking, on the return journey.

We got stopped by a team of UP cops (including a senior officer) at Firozabad late at night on the way out. All SUVs were being pulled over. One cop comes over and says, hooter bajaiye.
- Hooter? What hooter?
- Jo aap abhi raste mein bajate huwe aa rahe thae.
I denied having a hooter / siren installed in my car.
- Bonnet kholke dekhaiye.
He takes a cursory look under the bonnet, is satisfied, and waves at me to go. I ask him what they were checking for, really. He tells me they are conducting a drive against the pretend-to-be-a-VIP culture - so all SUVs are being checked for sirens, red lights, tinted glasses et al. Good for them, and their income, I suppose. Now if only they'd check if all vehicles have operational tail lamps, headlamps and brake lamps - it just might save a few lives too.

Between Etawah and Kanpur, the roadworks are almost complete. The flyovers are operational, and traffic is smooth. Only two diversions remain, which we sailed through easily. On the downside, one of the diversions on the westbound carriageway is not clearly marked, and I almost drove off the road in heavy, blinding rain.

Kanpur to Allahabad was reasonably smooth on the way out, but the westbound carriageway has a few speed bumps when passing by villages. Difficult to spot in heavy rain, and dicey to brake hard for on wet roads. Ended up taking a few at speed, with no consequences other than disturbed sleep for the passengers.

The Allahabad Bypass was just fine on the way out, but the toll gate was jammed at midnight with a long line of trucks on the way back. We decided to travel through Allahabad city, which took us 1.5 hours and 68 km to rejoin the highway. My guess would be that we did not lose much time this way (and saved Rs.170!), since waiting at the toll gate would have meant as much lost time as we'd have gained on using the bypass. Allahabad city slept as we passed by, with almost zero traffic. The undivided highway on either side of the city is much as I remember it, though the stretch on the western (Cantonment) side is certainly smoother and wider. Noticed a few flyovers inside the city too, where there were none earlier. Was a little confusing to navigate after so many years, but then there's always GPS to the rescue.

Between Allahabad and Benaras, the road is less bumpy than it used to be. What ruined our progress on the outward journey was a humongous jam on the bridge over the river Ganga. Jumped over the median, and got stuck on the bridge itself half a km ahead. 1.5 hours of twiddling our thumbs later, once we were moving, we couldn't figure out what had caused the jam in the first place.

On the way back, we get stuck at another massive 5-6-km-long traffic jam near Mirzapur, around 10 pm. A UP-16-reg Scorpio and a local Bolero ahead of us were blocking a convenient section of the median that I could jump across. The Scorpio driver, a young gent, refused to either try to cross the median, or even budge his car (he refused to even lower his window and communicate!). The Bolero team (a half-dozen rustic males) was sceptical that the divider could be crossed, but was willing to let me try first (no, I didn't tell them I had a 4wd vehicle ). They reversed to give me just enough space to reach the suitable spot, and I managed to crawl across to the other side - then reversed a bit, and drove away westwards on the eastbound carriageway without waiting to see if the Bolero was equally successful or not.

This pair of journeys I would remember only for the number of times I have crossed the median to escape traffic jams - 4 times on the DEL-CCU journey, and twice for CCU-DEL. Not many cars (that I can afford) would do that so effortlessly as the Scorpio does, while providing sufficient driveability, passenger comfort and space.

After crossing the Ganga bridge, it was smooth sailing except for a small jam at the Integrated Check Post at Mohania. Crossing the median again solved the problem. The road through Bihar and Jharkhand is quite a pleasure to drive on, until one gets to Topchachi. Here we are, with a mid-morning tea break at a Line Hotel.

Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-10404307_10153445515974851_7843105039237375340_n.jpg


Beyond this, heading eastwards, the NHAI is carrying out some major roadworks, and there are multiple diversions and choke points from here till Panagarh (which itself has been a major choke point for many years now). To put this in numbers, there are 6 diversions between Topchachi and Barakar bridge (JH-WB border), and at least another 23 between Barakar and Panagarh.

We spent a good half hour stuck at one of these diversions in Jharkhand, due to a broken down trailer truck blocking the single lane.

Though these diversions in JH did not hold us up much on the CCU-DEL leg, a major jam at the WB-JH border resulted in us needing to extensively drive on the *wrong side* once again, crossing the Barakar bridge on the eastbound carriageway. The westbound carriageway looked like this:
Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-img20150701wa0015.jpg

Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-img20150701wa0016.jpg

The run from Barakar to Panagarh was slow, due to the numerous diversions and choke points. At a level crossing near Asansol, our waiting time exceeded 15 minutes as a goods train crawled by. The video shows the ruts in the road caused by truck wheels, and the single-lane diversion at this section of the road which leads up to the railroad crossing. One vehicle breaks down, and it means a miles-long jam.

Yet, I dream. A fuel station attendant at the HP COCO at Durgapur told me that the plan is to build an elevated road from Panagarh to Asansol, with 6 lanes below for local traffic. That, I hope, will happen in a few years' time. Till then, I also hope not to travel through the mess in the next couple of years (unless it is an emergency), and pray that trailers do not keep jack-knifing ever so often, adding to the mess. This was on the return journey:
Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc_1298.jpg

Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc_1299.jpg


Panagarh - well, the less said, the better. We were lucky enough to get across the divider, and managed to bypass the traffic holdup, on the DEL-CCU leg. The video will give you a pretty good idea of the situation. On the return leg, thankfully, we sailed through without interruptions.


On the stretch between Bardhaman and Dankuni after sundown, sand-laden trucks rule the road. Traffic laws are not for them, and they try to intimidate anything else that rolls on the road. One encounter on the outward journey left me quite shaken.

I crossed this section in the daytime on the return leg, and there was not a single sand-laden truck on the road at all.

The 42-rupee toll on the Nivedita Setu at Dakshineshwar was the only toll gate where we had to dig in and find that two-rupee coin. Everywhere else, the toll charged is in multiples of 5s and 10s. Good job, NHAI! The total toll payable for DEL-CCU is now Rs.1762, including the Nivedita Setu toll.

Incessant rain on the return journey also meant that the car looked like this - a matter of much curiosity for drivers alongside once we entered Delhi, which has been quite dry the last few days.

Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-muddy.jpg

Time taken for both the onward and return journeys was almost the same - about 25.5 hours. Probably the longest time I have taken to travel each way in the last few years. But then, it had not rained so much during those trips...


Last edited by SS-Traveller : 1st July 2015 at 17:06.
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Old 2nd July 2015, 13:05   #374
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Each new trip on this road is a new experience. One sees new things, new developments. The road improves in certain areas, but oddly, deteriorates in others.

The YEW is as good as it always was. The one road where cruise control can be engaged for over 150 km almost continuously (apart from stopping at the toll gates). How one wished the whole stretch between the two cities was this way! Some day, maybe...
Oh, well, one can always dream can't one .........

Quote:
Yet, I dream. A fuel station attendant at the HP COCO at Durgapur told me that the plan is to build an elevated road from Panagarh to Asansol, with 6 lanes below for local traffic. That, I hope, will happen in a few years' time.
I very much doubt whether this will happen even in the next 10 years. The promised Panagarh Bypass is yet to materialize.

Quote:
We got stopped by a team of UP cops (including a senior officer) at Firozabad late at night on the way out. All SUVs were being pulled over. One cop comes over and says, [i]hooter bajaiye.


Quote:
On the way back, we get stuck at another massive 5-6-km-long traffic jam near Mirzapur, around 10 pm. A UP-16-reg Scorpio and a local Bolero ahead of us were blocking a convenient section of the median that I could jump across. The Scorpio driver, a young gent, refused to either try to cross the median, or even budge his car (he refused to even lower his window and communicate!). The Bolero team (a half-dozen rustic males) was sceptical that the divider could be crossed, but was willing to let me try first (no, I didn't tell them I had a 4wd vehicle ). They reversed to give me just enough space to reach the suitable spot, and I managed to crawl across to the other side - then reversed a bit, and drove away westwards on the eastbound carriageway without waiting to see if the Bolero was equally successful or not.
Now, that's the power of 4WD!

Quote:
A major jam at the WB-JH border resulted in us needing to extensively drive on the *wrong side* once again, crossing the Barakar bridge on the eastbound carriageway.
This is a regular occurrence here. I have faced this problem almost ever time while crossing the border into West Bengal. The jam starts in the late afternoon/ early evening and gets longer as the night progresses.

Quote:
The run from Barakar to Panagarh was slow, due to the numerous diversions and choke points.
Compounded by the blue/grey metal crash barriers positioned haphazardly across the road - they are almost invisible at night and are lethal if you unfortunately happen to barge into one, in anything short of a truck.


Quote:
On the stretch between Bardhaman and Dankuni after sundown, sand-laden trucks rule the road. Traffic laws are not for them, and they try to intimidate anything else that rolls on the road. One encounter on the outward journey left me quite shaken.
They are run by the sand mafia carrying illegally mined sand. None of these trucks have valid papers. In fact, if you look closely enough, you'll find quite a few of them running with partially obscured license plates and sometimes with no plates at all.

Quote:
The 42-rupee toll on the Nivedita Setu at Dakshineshwar was the only toll gate where we had to dig in and find that two-rupee coin. Everywhere else, the toll charged is in multiples of 5s and 10s. Good job, NHAI! The total toll payable for DEL-CCU is now Rs.1762, including the Nivedita Setu toll.
True, I have never paid in anything but multiples of fives or tens on any National Highway/Expressway, but then I have limited experience.

Quote:
Incessant rain on the return journey also meant that the car looked like this - a matter of much curiosity for drivers alongside once we entered Delhi, which has been quite dry the last few days.
Home sweet home. The Hawk back in its usual resting place

Quote:
[center]Attachment 1388262

Last edited by Babuda : 2nd July 2015 at 13:10.
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Old 10th September 2015, 10:17   #375
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Time taken for both the onward and return journeys was almost the same - about 25.5 hours. Probably the longest time I have taken to travel each way in the last few years. But then, it had not rained so much during those trips...
Dear Doctor Sahab,
I wish to drive to Agra next month. I like to start from my home at North Calcutta at around six at the evening, so that I may reach Agra comfortably by ten at the evening of the next day.

But now this news report has made me a little apprehensive, as my schedule makes me cover the stretch between Dobhi town to Barachatti before sunrise. As a veteran of this route, I shall like to ask you whether there is really any cause of concern.
Warm regards,
Rahul Biswas,
Cossipore,
North Calcutta

Last edited by rahul4640 : 10th September 2015 at 10:19.
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