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Old 11th September 2009, 18:22   #76
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Driving day 4:

It was time to leave Delhi. The plan was to reach Agra as early as possible. See Taj Mahal and then head to Kanpur.
Managed to hit the highway only at 6:20am. Roads till Faridabad are decent, some diversions here and there, but 4-lane. Oh, forgot to mention, again it was raining, heavily.
Like all other driving days, rain was chasing us. There were no rains in the last 1 week, but it had to rain today.

Anyways, after Faridabad the roads opened up and the usual GQ quality came back.
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This “JAAT BOY” full of jaats.
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And soon we were very close to Agra.
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This Gurudwara was looking more “white” than Taj Mahal.
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Mathura refinery from a distance.
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Third lane overtake.
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And we are in Agra.
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You would find a board marked Taj Mahal right 17kms. Do NOT take this right.
Keep going straight till you see a board marked Taj Mahal right 6 kms or something.
After the turn you would see this board.
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I must say the roads inside Agra, after the right turn, were not good. I expected more quality from the roads which lead to one of the 7 wonders of the world. It was as good or as bad as any normal town road would be. No special treatment.

There are 3 gates to enter Taj Mahal campus. The first left turn for parking takes you to the West gate. We went to this one and parked the car there. From here you would want to take one of the methods to reach the Taj – camel cart, horse cart or an electric auto-rickshaw. Camel cart cost 50/- for one side and horse cart cost 20/- for a side. I do not know why but I chose the camel.

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It was real slow, as it should be. And the horse was whizzing past every now and then.
After a while the guy stopped the camel and requested us to visit the Meena Bazaar. We told him that we were not interested in shopping, but he kept requesting us to have a look.
Commision thing? Whatever.
We asked him to continue and so he did.
He kept telling us stories throughout. He told that few years back there were many factories which were closed down near Taj Mahal. So all the unemployed people got something from the govt, either camel or horse or the electric auto-rickshaw. They get salary from the government. And the money they take from us is for the welfare of the animal. Atleast that is what he told us.

And we are at the Taj entrance point. Purchased the entrance ticket and headed for brunch at a small but exorbitant restaurant (govt owned I think).
After that we headed for the security check point.
The check was very strict, and it was done more seriously than they do at many airports in India. Even foreigners were thoroughly searched and their bags too. No colonial overhang for the guards I guess.

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And the beautiful Taj shows itself.
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It was when I saw it in real, that I came to know how huge the monument was.
I don’t care if it is white or has become yellowish, it still looks great to me.
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There were mosques on both sides of the Taj Mahal.
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The yamuna river.
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Few years back I had seen the images on the discovery channel, the river looked very dirty. It seems they got their act together and now the riverbed was looking much better.

Here the Taj looks yellowish, or may be we are on the wrong side out of the 4 sides.
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We spent few peaceful hours here doing nothing. We kept staring at the monument.
And now it was time to leave. While walking back to the gate we kept turning back to have one more look at the Taj. Amazing creation.

We were back on the highway, gunning for Kanpur.The time was around 12:30 pm.
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Are they the Swades movie guys ?
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Old 11th September 2009, 18:26   #77
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Driving Day 4 continued:

And we are very close to Kanpur
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Kanpur has a lovely bypass. 25kms elevated road, no U-turns in between for 20kms atleast.
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Battle going on. 10kmph vs. 11kmph.
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We had called Hotel Kanishka in the morning, to confirm the booking.
After the Kanpur bypass ended at 5:20 pm, we took a U-turn and went 4 kms towards the city. On the right side we could see the Hotel Kanishka. An OK hotel I would say. The rate was negotiable, and we could manage 900/- for a day. I believe there is scope for more negotiation.

Checked-in and done for the day. Ordered food, switched on TV. Re-organized the log book and the day ended.
Tomorrow the aim is to reach my home town Bokaro. It is 770kms from here. 720kms on the GQ and the last 50kms on NH32.
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Old 11th September 2009, 19:38   #78
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I know I already commented on your journey, but I am even more overwhelmed and feel part of it. Eagerly awaiting next episode of this show. Better than National geographic
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Old 11th September 2009, 19:50   #79
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR'S DRIVING LOG BOOKS,*Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) Drive, Dec 2008

You can check out this link for the details of our GQ Drive.

Or click the following link for the detailed log book:

Thank you Sir ji, Appreciate it.

K bhai
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Old 11th September 2009, 20:25   #80
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Enjoyed the touristic perspective on Delhi, Agra and Jaipur!
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Old 11th September 2009, 21:29   #81
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Wonderful travelogues. I always wanted to do a long trip on my car, but unfortunatly my wife doesnt like travelling at all!!. But I hope I can convince her some day.

Hope to see more pics from your travel experience.
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Old 12th September 2009, 01:03   #82
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I forgot to mention that we took a late lunch break for 1 hour, before reaching Kanpur. There was this place called Entertainment District, 13kms before the start of Kanpur Bypass. It offered good food and comfortable ambiance.
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Old 12th September 2009, 01:19   #83
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From here on the journey will become very boring for most of you guys. We are done with all the tourist destinations and what is left are roads and more roads.

Driving Day 5 :

We started from Kanpur at 4am sharp. When we started our journey we were not sure if Allahabad bypass is really complete, since discussions on T-bhp was indicating mixed opinion. Also I was expecting small bad patches near Bihar border and Dumri in Jharkhand. So I had a late evening kind of finish in mind.

Since our hotel was right on the highway, we did not waste anytime and were heading towards Allahabad. First 100kms took us about 75 minutes. At around 145kms from the Kanpur BP end, we reached a point where it read Allahabad to the right and Bypass to the left/straight. There were no barrier/barricades blocking the entry to the bypass so it was clear that the bypass is open. We climbed onto that. The bypass road was very good and desolate. So one can do high speeds here. There were occasional stretches of few kms where the other side was blocked and road became 2-lane, but not for long. I completed the 80kms bypass road in around 53 minutes.
Let me mention here that throughout the complete trip I was trying not to drive high speeds for extended periods of time. This is quite opposite to my usual ways, but it was a pre-decided thought of doing so on this trip. Thus any average speed I mention here and in my log, can be easily bettered in a similar or better car.

Some hazy indicators of the Allahabad Bypass stretch condition.

Here the right arrow marks the Allahabad city and straight for the bypass.
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After the Allahabad BP end at 6:50am, we were 80 odd kms from Varanasi. From here to Varanasi we took 1.5 hours, which includes 25 minutes break.

We crossed the Ganga river. Although nothing in this picture makes you feel you are going over a river or what.
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Bihar border was around 45 kms away.
Roads were still great.
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There was greenery all round.
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The Delhi Kolkata railway line, also called the Grand Chord line, runs parallel to the highway most of the time.
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Roads continued to be good.
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When suddenly few kms before the Bihar border the bypass was still under construction and we had to meander inside a town. We were on narrow 2 lane roads and got stuck in a jam for 10 minutes.
We could see the bypass construction work at a distance.
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But to our surprise, once the jam was cleared, 1km later we could again see 4 lane roads.
Now we were in Bihar.
And looks like Bihar had good monsoon this year.
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After few kms we were back to GQ quality roads in its full glory.

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Around 52 kms after the Bihar border, we noticed that a Reliance A1 plaza was open. We entered there for breakfast.
Surprisingly these guys had an Air-conditioned section too. Welcome to Bihar.
We had a good 45 minutes break here. Fully fed and re-energized we resumed the drive at around 10:40am.

Sasaram BP came and went by. And I started looking for the famous Dehri-on-Sone river bridge.
And here we are on the bridge.
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The bridge was 3.2km long (as I vaguely remember).

We crossed the Aurangabad Bypass after sometime.

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The trip meter was @ 475kms. And the time was 11:45.
We have traveled 475kms in 7:45 hours which includes breaks of 86 minutes and jam stuck for 10 minutes.
We crossed Dobhi(535kms) at 12:35pm. Soon after came the Jharkhand Border. I don’t remember seeing any check-post across the Bihar-Jharkhand border. But there were 8-10 hawaldar type cops on the border who were stopping every truck to get whatever petty amount they could get. No troubles for cars though.

We crossed Barhi bypass (595kms) at around 1:30pm.

The roads in Jharkhand were more than excellent. Long straight roads with very little population nearby. The area was filled with small shrubs everywhere. Always a mountain was visible in some near distance. Totally loved driving on this stretch.

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Then came the Dumri town. This place is also called Isri Bazar. There is no bypass, you have to go through the narrow congested roads. And also lots of potholes on the road.
I forgot to mark how long the stretch continued, but I believe it would not have lasted more than 3-4 kms.

And we are again on the 4-lane beautiful roads. The roads remain like that till we turn right for going to Dhanbad. The Dhanbad railway station is just 6 kms from here.
Sorry for the hazy picture. Just after the right turn.
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The time is 3:10 and we have traveled 710kms since we started in the morning.
We have already taken around 100 minutes of break. From here our destination for the day, Bokaro, is just 60 kms. We have been running ahead of the planned schedule, and that is why my pace kept decreasing through the late Bihar and whole Jharkhand stretch.

We reached Dhanbad town and while negotiating the roads to reach the NH32 highway, suddenly Paan spit on our windscreen. There was no bus nearby. It probably came from one of the buildings nearby.
Welcome to Jharkhand, my native state. It is not that it could not have happened anywhere else in the country, but when it happened here I got a mixed feeling of anger and laughter. This place has not changed a bit, and I kind of like the stagnancy here.

Another 1.5-2 hours we were at our home in Bokaro Steel City.

We would spend the next 5 days doing nothing and just idling around. I have come to my home after 8-9 long months.

Last edited by pkumar : 12th September 2009 at 01:21.
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Old 12th September 2009, 11:51   #84
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Interesting travelogue. Very informative, should prove quite useful for planning a highway drive.
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Old 12th September 2009, 23:19   #85
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@pKumar, great write up. Feels like I am traveling with you. Great sense of photography which reminds me my trip to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur (though not on road). Please post the rest of the journey quickly. I am hooked to this post.

Yes, it's true, it is very difficult to convince your other half about such long trips. You are really lucky, man.

Good Luck.
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Old 12th September 2009, 23:23   #86
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Originally Posted by Pragmites View Post
I know I already commented on your journey, but I am even more overwhelmed and feel part of it. Eagerly awaiting next episode of this show. Better than National geographic
Thanks for liking the travelogue. The whole idea of the thread is to share some wonderful experiences and also help understand the road conditions better, for those who would be driving on a similar route.
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Old 12th September 2009, 23:44   #87
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Default simply 5 star

great photographs, simple narration
simply 5 star, nothing less
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Old 13th September 2009, 01:20   #88
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awesome stuff - I hope to undertake a similar trip one day!

really amazed at how you drove alone for such long distances, especially during nights!

Can't wait for more.


PS: 5 stars from my side!
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Old 13th September 2009, 02:14   #89
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Great travelogue. Excellent write-up with excellent pictures. The whole thing created an excellent visualization in all the readers mind.

If I can do this someday, I'll do the whole GQ just for the heck of it.
This travelogue just created another item in my list of Driving trips I'd keep living for.
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Old 13th September 2009, 04:59   #90
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Nice blog.. Very unique way to tour most of India. Though the mallu's@gods own country must be screaming mad that they have been left out of the GQ loop. ..

I was interested in knowing how much highway toll did you have pay for the whole journey. Hopefully, you have maintained a detailed record of this.
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