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Old 29th November 2011, 09:36   #91
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Default Road condition update

A close friend drove from Kolkata to Delhi in the first week of November 2011, and reports that the road is as good as it can be. The section between Benaras & Allahabad has been repaired and is smooth to drive on. Anyone headed that way can rest easy about having a great drive all the way.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 22:33   #92
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

24 hours, 24 minutes. Left DEL at 6 pm on 22 March 2012, reached CCU today at 6:24 pm. Non-stop, as in I did not stop to sleep. With stops, obviously - they don't have mobile refuellers on NH2, and I can't hold on that long!

1540 km door to door (the new extra 40 km is thanks to the Allahabad bypass).

Toll rates seem to have changed - some increased (obviously), others lowered, and some disappeared . Will have to total up the tickets and check. In a day or two.

Allahabad bypass still does not require toll payment. Enjoy while it lasts.

Kanpur elevated bypass road has at least one HUGE hidden depression in one of the section joints - put my wheel alignment & balancing out of kilter to a small extent, because I did not manage to notice it in time. Drive slow on the bridge.

A few pretty pics clicked too.

Most happy experience this time: Superb mileage.

Most saddening experience this time: I lost faith in a Dhaba that I frequented for the last 20+ years, and recommended to everybody. Long story that I'll come back with soon!

Good night.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 23:27   #93
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Default re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

Thanks for the tip on the Kanpur elevated bypass section. Will come in handy on the 28th March when I will be crossing it.

Your travelogue mentioned somewhere that you have been to Varanasi. Can you please suggest how to get to The Mall Road in Varanasi from NH2? I need to get to The Radisson in Varanasi. Will be traveling from Purnia side. Should I take the Madan Mohan Malviya Bridge or should I enter Varanasi from the BHU side? Will be reaching Varanasi at around 1800 hours and don't want to be stuck in too much of a traffic.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 24th March 2012, 10:24   #94
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Default re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

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Will be traveling from Purnia side. Should I take the Madan Mohan Malviya Bridge or should I enter Varanasi from the BHU side? Will be reaching Varanasi at around 1800 hours and don't want to be stuck in too much of a traffic.
Whichever route you go, at 6pm Varanasi traffic is lethal. I would still prefer to go over the old rail-cum-road bridge, past Kashi and Varanasi railway stations, and on to Mall Road.
Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh, India to Radisson Hotel Varanasi - Google Maps.
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Old 24th March 2012, 12:00   #95
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
24 hours, 24 minutes. Left DEL at 6 pm on 22 March 2012, reached CCU today at 6:24 pm. Non-stop, as in I did not stop to sleep. With stops, obviously - they don't have mobile refuellers on NH2, and I can't hold on that long!

1540 km door to door (the new extra 40 km is thanks to the Allahabad bypass).
WOW, Doc testing your endurance to the limits. I have never tried beyond 15-16 hrs non stop. Will be interesting to try it once.
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Old 26th March 2012, 13:03   #96
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Most saddening experience this time: I lost faith in a Dhaba that I frequented for the last 20+ years, and recommended to everybody. Long story that I'll come back with soon!
Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc05192k300.jpg

My favourite eatery on the NH2 since the last 20 years and more, was at Govindpur (JH). The New Khalsa Hotel, it is called. They served lovely non-veg fare, parathas, chicken curries, and a lot else besides. Seating was basic (though they had a family room), no air-conditioning, but the service was prompt and always with a smile.

We looked forward to stopping here for lunch. All morning, as we drove through BR & JH, we salivated thinking of the feast we would have there during lunch. And finally we were there at 1 PM, hungry enough to eat a whole rooster each. We decided to forego the parathas, opting instead for a plate of chicken dopiyaza, a plate of chicken liver curry fry, and rotis.

The food took longer to arrive than what we expected. In the meanwhile, we sized up the gentry there. There seemed to be a change in the demographics. No truck drivers. No long distance travelling family types. Most seemed to be local folks, chatting and drinking beer(!) - not something we have seen before. Seems the place had become more popular as a bar than as an eatery. Well, the food ought to be good...

One mouthful of chicken got me salivating. My mouth was on fire. My nose was on fire too, and poured out mucus in an endless stream. My eyes hurt and watered. I have never, ever, had so much of chillies in any food in all my life. My family was suffering worse than I was. And the waiter who dumped the food on our table so unceremoniously, was nowhere to be seen. Thinking the liver dish would be better, we tried that. And it was equally supersaturated with chillies.

Now, mind you, I have eaten traditional Andhra food fairly often in the past to know that it has a lot of chillies added to it. But Andhra food is like Cerelac compared to this stuff. Send this to the Army, and they can replace the gunpowder in their cannon shells with this. And the shells would still fire clean across Pakistan and land in Afghanistan.

The waiter was back. Nonchalantly tells us that no one else is complaining, so this stuff should be fine. Well, we had to eat - after all, we were seriously hungry. A clean bowl was called for, and Bisleri poured into it. The pieces of chicken & liver were washed in water, and consumed. Still tasted nice and spicy, I can tell you! The young Sardar at the cash counter said they have a new cook, and the regular clientele likes what he makes. No apologies.

Not that I am going back to ask again...
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Old 26th March 2012, 13:24   #97
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Default re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

It's tomato harvesting time in Bihar
Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc07459k300.jpg

Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc07460k300.jpg

Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc07461k300.jpg

The jungles around Chouparan are on fire with these red blooms

Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc07476k300.jpg

Triple riding is common everywhere, but what do you call this?
Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail-dsc07464k300.jpg
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Old 26th March 2012, 15:37   #98
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
My favourite eatery on the NH2 since the last 20 years and more, was at Govindpur (JH). The New Khalsa Hotel, it is called. They served lovely non-veg fare, parathas, chicken curries, and a lot else besides. Seating was basic (though they had a family room), no air-conditioning, but the service was prompt and always with a smile.

The food took longer to arrive than what we expected. In the meanwhile, we sized up the gentry there. There seemed to be a change in the demographics. No truck drivers. No long distance travelling family types. Most seemed to be local folks, chatting and drinking beer(!) - not something we have seen before. Seems the place had become more popular as a bar than as an eatery. Well, the food ought to be good...

One mouthful of chicken got me salivating. My mouth was on fire. My nose was on fire too, and poured out mucus in an endless stream. My eyes hurt and watered. I have never, ever, had so much of chillies in any food in all my life. My family was suffering worse than I was. And the waiter who dumped the food on our table so unceremoniously, was nowhere to be seen. Thinking the liver dish would be better, we tried that. And it was equally supersaturated with chillies.

Now, mind you, I have eaten traditional Andhra food fairly often in the past to know that it has a lot of chillies added to it. But Andhra food is like Cerelac compared to this stuff. Send this to the Army, and they can replace the gunpowder in their cannon shells with this. And the shells would still fire clean across Pakistan and land in Afghanistan.

The waiter was back. Nonchalantly tells us that no one else is complaining, so this stuff should be fine. Well, we had to eat - after all, we were seriously hungry. A clean bowl was called for, and Bisleri poured into it. The pieces of chicken & liver were washed in water, and consumed. Still tasted nice and spicy, I can tell you! The young Sardar at the cash counter said they have a new cook, and the regular clientele likes what he makes. No apologies.

Not that I am going back to ask again...
On our way to Varanasi we had stopped here and noticed that they have opened a swankier more upmarket one next to the one you had lunch. This nicer one is called Khalsa Vegis and is purely vegetarian. Given that it was a Saturday and most of the traveling party would have vegetarian food we went into this one. It was really comfortable, air conditioned, clean toilets, very helpful and friendly waiters and the food even though vegetarian was extremely good. Very sad to hear about your experience given that the owners of both these establishments are the same.

Unless you prefer only having non-vegetarian I recommend going to Khalsa Vegis. Its anyway a huge hassle that this stretch on NH2 from Mohania till Govindpur hardly has any decent eating options .
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Old 26th March 2012, 17:30   #99
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Default re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

The dhaba episode was really awful and to add chilies to your food was unapologetic behaviour. Simply not done.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Triple riding is common everywhere, but what do you call this?
Attachment 907331
All I can do is hang my head in shame. Does it happen at other places as well?

Cyclists load up cheap chairs & retail it. Its the first time, I am seeing Motorcyclists doing the same. And I am sure no one would be stopping them.
They would be parking it on the main-stand, but cornering? And what if it falls on your bonnet & breaks your wind-screen?

The chairs cost @150 INR per piece.

OT : Would you be doing this stretch in June? *winks* ?
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Old 26th March 2012, 19:00   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar
Unless you prefer only having non-vegetarian I recommend going to Khalsa Vegis. Its anyway a huge hassle that this stretch on NH2...
I noticed the Vegis, but my family prefers to be carnivorous.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel
All I can do is hang my head in shame. Does it happen at other places as well?

Cyclists load up cheap chairs & retail it. Its the first time, I am seeing Motorcyclists doing the same. And I am sure no one would be stopping them.
They would be parking it on the main-stand, but cornering? And what if it falls on your bonnet & breaks your wind-screen?

The chairs cost @150 INR per piece.

OT : Would you be doing this stretch in June? *winks* ?
Hmm... the story of those chairs is interesting. Why would you be ashamed? This is overutilization of available resources & cost-cutting at its jugaadoo best!!

Let's discuss the June trip after I complete trip #29 at the end of this week!
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Old 26th March 2012, 20:00   #101
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Default re: Delhi-Kolkata by Road | NH2 in Full Detail

Only 1 word for you sir: RESPECT!

I usually don't come into the travelogue section since once hooked it takes a long time with regular follow ups to finish the journey if I may call it that. Now I am hooked to your threads. Just finished reading this one from the start in under an hour, absorbing each pic of the road and the brilliant, short but crisp description from your side. Excellent way to describe things. I have always wanted to explore the Indian highways but till now have never been able to really go beyond the usual Delhi-Jaipur, Delhi- Chandigarh routes. After reading your thread I have again started dreaming about doing the Del-Kolkata stretch. Lets see when does it materialize.

Thanks a lot for sharing all these wonderful threads with us.
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Old 26th March 2012, 20:01   #102
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
My favourite eatery on the NH2 since the last 20 years and more, was at Govindpur (JH). The New Khalsa Hotel, it is called. They served lovely non-veg fare, parathas, chicken curries, and a lot else besides. Seating was basic (though they had a family room), no air-conditioning, but the service was prompt and always with a smile.

We looked forward to stopping here for lunch. All morning, as we drove through BR & JH, we salivated thinking of the feast we would have there during lunch. And finally we were there at 1 PM, hungry enough to eat a whole rooster each. We decided to forego the parathas, opting instead for a plate of chicken dopiyaza, a plate of chicken liver curry fry, and rotis.

The food took longer to arrive than what we expected. In the meanwhile, we sized up the gentry there. There seemed to be a change in the demographics. No truck drivers. No long distance travelling family types. Most seemed to be local folks, chatting and drinking beer(!) - not something we have seen before. Seems the place had become more popular as a bar than as an eatery. Well, the food ought to be good...

One mouthful of chicken got me salivating. My mouth was on fire. My nose was on fire too, and poured out mucus in an endless stream. My eyes hurt and watered. I have never, ever, had so much of chillies in any food in all my life. My family was suffering worse than I was. And the waiter who dumped the food on our table so unceremoniously, was nowhere to be seen. Thinking the liver dish would be better, we tried that. And it was equally supersaturated with chillies.

Now, mind you, I have eaten traditional Andhra food fairly often in the past to know that it has a lot of chillies added to it. But Andhra food is like Cerelac compared to this stuff. Send this to the Army, and they can replace the gunpowder in their cannon shells with this. And the shells would still fire clean across Pakistan and land in Afghanistan.

The waiter was back. Nonchalantly tells us that no one else is complaining, so this stuff should be fine. Well, we had to eat - after all, we were seriously hungry. A clean bowl was called for, and Bisleri poured into it. The pieces of chicken & liver were washed in water, and consumed. Still tasted nice and spicy, I can tell you! The young Sardar at the cash counter said they have a new cook, and the regular clientele likes what he makes. No apologies.

Not that I am going back to ask again...
Felt bad to read about your experience at Khalsa Hotel. Having grown up in Dhanbad and feasted there I can understand. Let's hope it's one off experience.

Surprised at you finding people drinking there. The place has always been like this. Though it had never lost its character of a family restaurant.
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Old 26th March 2012, 21:09   #103
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

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Surprised at you finding people drinking there. The place has always been like this. Though it had never lost its character of a family restaurant.
There was a separate section at the back where liquor was served - and even then, we never found large numbers of locals drinking there at lunchtime. That's why the surprise.

And the bigger surprise was the unashamed manner in which they refused to accept that anything was wrong with the food, and going to some length in trying to justify that it wasn't bad at all.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 26th March 2012 at 21:11.
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Old 27th March 2012, 16:31   #104
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
My favourite eatery on the NH2 since the last 20 years and more, was at Govindpur (JH). The New Khalsa Hotel, it is called.
Sir, I hope that you share my feelings for this hotel. I stopped at this hotel for lunch last year, after reading about this eatery in your travelogues. The only thing I liked was that the waiter talked to me in fluent Bengali and there was a separate toilet for ladies. But the food served there was of average quality. It was however possible that they did not offer me such hot dishes (full of chillies) because I ordered rice for lunch. I guess that had I ordered parathas or rotis, I would have been offered the same very hot and spicy food.
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Old 27th March 2012, 23:08   #105
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Default Re: Delhi-Kolkata : Trip#28 on NH-2 (DEL-CCU)

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...there was a separate toilet for ladies.
Even that was horribly dirty this time. Definite deterioration, and I would say, highly avoidable. The Khalsa Vegis restaurant next door looks swanky, but then, it's vegetarian...
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