Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th December 2009, 06:49   #1
BHPian
 
sumannandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 691
Thanked: 210 Times
Default GQ Driving - Kolkata-Chennai-Bangalore

Overview: Kolkata to Bangalore drive from Dec 20 to Dec 24. Wanted to visit some of the places on the way.

Special Thanks to: adc,vikram,hvkumar,akroy, Sutriptoda and others

Good News:

Car: Tata Safari TCIC - The best mileage was 14.9 kmpl+. Average was around 12.1. No problem except AC did not work from Vizag and we had to drive without AC through Chennai.

Highway: NH5 between Balasore and Soro is in good shape if you are driving through Balasore town. Take a diversion at Faluri on NH60 before touching NH5, drive around 7 kms through village roads, hit a flyover in Balasore town, take right before you cross the flyover, get on the the flyover on your left and keep driving (ask for police lines if you get lost). You will hit NH5.

Bad News

Car: AC did not work from Vizag. Tata Motors Vizag response took 1.5 hours to attend to the problem at 1.30 A.M. in the night.

Road Conditions: Not good at certain parts of AP and between Nellore and Chennai. Worst road at Ichapuram. Not so good between balugaon and berhampore. Good between Balasore and Soro. Speed breakers all of a sudden on GQ after you cross Jaleswar, and at many other places in Orissa.

Dealers: Tata motors breakdown service could not contact the 24X7 team after they attended the fault. They kept us waiting for almost an hour and the manager even tried to charge me saying that the breakdown assistance is applicable for day only, at night it is required to pay 300/-. The problem was sorted out after they contacted Tata Motors. The problem was diagnosed to afaulty fan that Just Services at Kolkata replaced 1.5 months before the trip (they offered to refund me the expenses if I courier them the fan from Bangalore).

Night Halts: Balasore, Barakul, Vizag, Nellore

GPS: We forgot to take our Garmin GPS loaded with Openstreetmap maps (We thought it was in the car but it was actually in our house). But if you use a BSNL SIM with a Nokia handset and a detailed roadmap (we used the road atlas), you should be able to navigate your way correctly, as the location will be displayed on the handset. We used this to navigate through Vizag and Chennai.

Toll: Around Rs. 800

I will post a detailed travelogue soon.

Last edited by sumannandy : 28th December 2009 at 06:50.
sumannandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2009, 08:08   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Good drive! Surprised to hear of the new bad road sections, especially between Nellore and Madras. BTW, did the cops stop you at Jaleshwar to extort road "tax"? Where did you sta at Balasore and Barakul (I suppose that was on the banks of the Chilka Lake)?
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2009, 08:10   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
akroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Posts: 2,414
Thanked: 29 Times
Default

Wow nandy da (there is another suman da from delhi so addressing u as this), was looking forward for this travelogue.
The condition of ORissa stretches seems to be never ending. Both Congress and BJP govt couldnt address them. God knows who will solve the issue.
I never felt the need to GPS in these routes. A good map does help a lot.

Waiting for the detailed travelogue and pics.

Abhi
akroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2009, 09:29   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 951
Thanked: 7 Times
Default

Hi Suman, looking forward anxiously to your detailed travelogue. Am myself planning towards a Chennai-Kolkata trip coming Jan. Once I go through the detailed travelogue, may bother you with asking for some specific details.

While driving thru AP, is there any concern with respect to the Telangana issue?
sanjayc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2009, 10:55   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 3,506
Thanked: 2,072 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumannandy View Post
Overview:
Highway: NH5 between Balasore and Soro is in good shape if you are driving through Balasore town. Take a diversion at Faluri on NH60 before touching NH5, drive around 7 kms through village roads, hit a flyover in Balasore town, take right before you cross the flyover, get on the the flyover on your left and keep driving (ask for police lines if you get lost). You will hit NH5.

....

Night Halts: Balasore, Barakul, Vizag, Nellore
Ah. So you found that elusive alternate connector. Great. By flyover in Balasore, you mean the Rail overbridge next to the station? If I'm on the RoB, how do I get to the connector?

Why a night halt at Baleswar? Did you start very late?

When are you driving back?

Regards
Sutripta
Sutripta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2009, 14:51   #6
BHPian
 
sumannandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 691
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Good drive! Surprised to hear of the new bad road sections, especially between Nellore and Madras. BTW, did the cops stop you at Jaleshwar to extort road "tax"? Where did you sta at Balasore and Barakul (I suppose that was on the banks of the Chilka Lake)?
I stayed at OTDC in Balasore and Barakul. OTDC Balasore is good but nothing great. OTDC Barakul was better. Deluxe rooms cost around 650.

There was no cop at Jaleswar this time. However during my earlier trip in October before diwali, I had to pay the so called tax. I think they are out there on festival seasons and weekdays. This time I crossed on sunday afternoon.

The road between Nellore and Chennai is not very bad, but the surface is broken and not smooth in some stretches. Also, there are multiple diversions as the six lane work is going on.

BTW, your GQ travelogue was extremely detailed and very helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Wow nandy da (there is another suman da from delhi so addressing u as this), was looking forward for this travelogue.
The condition of ORissa stretches seems to be never ending. Both Congress and BJP govt couldnt address them. God knows who will solve the issue.
I never felt the need to GPS in these routes. A good map does help a lot.

Waiting for the detailed travelogue and pics.

Abhi
Yes, this time the road between Balasore and Soro was better, but the stretch between Balugaon and Berhampore was not that good. However, the four lane work is partially complete in most of the stretches, so if you are driving carefully during day, you should not have any issues.

The original plan was to follow thw route you had taken, but due to the problems in AP, we decided to drive through Chennai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjayc View Post
Hi Suman, looking forward anxiously to your detailed travelogue. Am myself planning towards a Chennai-Kolkata trip coming Jan. Once I go through the detailed travelogue, may bother you with asking for some specific details.

While driving thru AP, is there any concern with respect to the Telangana issue?
You are welcome. We did not find any issues in AP except some problems at Ichapuram and somewhere near Ongole. But usually they do not create problems for private vehicles and as long as your are on NH5 you should be alright. NH5 bypasses most of the major cities anyway, so any problem is unlikely.

Do plan for Ichapuram and Jaleswar borders. We found long queues at Ichapuram and Jaleswar. Trucks park/wait on the road blocking the lane and you may have to drive through the other side/lane. The problem is more at Ichapuram as it is a two lane road there and the road condition is also not good.

You may get in touch with vikram and hvkumar for the latest conditions and alternate routes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Ah. So you found that elusive alternate connector. Great. By flyover in Balasore, you mean the Rail overbridge next to the station? If I'm on the RoB, how do I get to the connector?

Why a night halt at Baleswar? Did you start very late?

When are you driving back?

Regards
Sutripta
We wanted to visit the places nearby. However, we started late and reached Balasore only in the evening.

I am not sure about the railway bridge as it was dark. If you are driving from kolkata, after you cross the milepost that says 10 kms to Balasore, look for a place called Faluri. There is a bridge at Faluri, and the exit is on the left. GQ is mostly complete there, and people drive on both sides of the road. You need to be on the left side of GQ. At first it seems like a dead end in a market, but you can drive through for about 7 kms through 2 narrow bridges and not so good road. After about 6-7 kms, the road goes straight under a flyover. Do not cross the flyover. There is a broken road which kind of goes by the side of the flyover on your right. The road is blocked by iron roads so that heavy vehicles cannot enter. Go through the road, and when the flyover ends, take a left and get on the flyover. Keep driving straight and you will hit NH5.

We were not sure about this road, but the hotel guys directed us to this road.

Last edited by sumannandy : 28th December 2009 at 14:56.
sumannandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2009, 21:50   #7
BHPian
 
sumannandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 691
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Day 1:

Start Time: 12.37 p.m. (from Kolkata) End Time 6.10 p.m. (at Balasore OTDC hotel)

Good News: Relatively good roads till Balasore.

Bad News: Diversions few kms before Balasore. Multiple speed breakers on GQ all of a sudden after Jaleswar. Truck traffic at Jaleswar.

We started from our house in Kolkata at around 12.37 p.m. The plan was to start early and visit some of the places around Balasore if time permits, but we got delayed. Also, having read multiple warnings about the road conditions between Balasore and Bhadrak, we wanted to start early from Balasore.

We reached Kolaghat by 2p.m. Felt hungry, had a quick food stop there. Started from Kolaghat and reached Kharagpur in about 50 minutes.

Despite multiple warnings in team bhp about taking NH60 and not continuing on NH6, we went to NH6. We were supposed to go under the flyover at Kharagpur. Now I was of the impression that the straight road goes to the flyover, and the road on the left goes under it. It does not. The road on the left (NH6) goes to the flyover, and the straight road goes under the flyover to Jaleswer. There was a truck at the junction, and the signages were poor, so we confidently took the left road (NH6) only to realize the mistake later. It took us sometime to come back to NH60.

Drive from Kharagpur to Jaleswar was on concrete road, but there are all sorts of vehicles coming at you in the wrong direction. Even pedestrians were walking in the wrong direction in the fast lane. I can understand (at least) why the vehicles are taking the wrong direction, but no clue why pedestrians were also walking on the fast lane in wrong direction. I restricted the max spoeed to 80-90 kmph only in this stretch.

We were expecting RTO officials at Jaleswar border extorting money, but there was none. May be they were busy taking rest on a sunday afternoon. But soon after we crossed the border, there was a jam. Truckers parked on one lane, and one overloaded truck could not pass through the other lane as there was not enough space. We wasted about 20-30 mins there. And it is not a pleasant experience to wait with your family in a place with lot of trucks parked on the side, specially in the afternoon.

Cow Psychology: There are grasses and bushes of all sizes between the opposite lanes. Cows graze at the place. They have a nasty habit of jumping in front of your car. So what do you do? When you spot a cow, slow down. Ok, but what if the cow is hidden behind the bushes? The best way is to drive on the left lane. You will get some extra time to slow down. Now you spot a cow, you slow down, and the cow eventually crossed the lanes. What is next? If a cow crosses the road, chances are there that a calf will cross the road after sometime. The calf just follows the cow, and does not necessarily looks for oncoming vehicle. So it is better to be very careful, specially during afternoon and morning. The problem is more in WB and OR.

After we crossed Jaleswar, the GQ continued. All of a sudden there were speed breakers on the road. You have to slow down or the vehicle may be damaged. There are a number of speed breakers between Jaleswar and Balasore. Few kms before Balasore, diversions started. Roads are mostly complete, so people drive on both sides of the road.

We called OTDC Balasore, and they asked us to take a diversion near Faluri. We asked the locals, and eventually found the place. There is an exit on the left on NH60, about 10 kms before Balasore. The road goes through a market and then two narrow bridges. Road condition is not great, but nothing to worry as such. The road goes under a flyover in Balasore Town. We had to take a right before we reached the flyover, and then take flyover on the left. The road goes through Balasore town to Police lines near OTDC hotel.

OTDC hotel was decent. We decided to check the shopping areas. We went to Motigunj market by a rickshaw. Being a sunday, lot of shops were closed. We came back soon by rickshaw.

We decided to start early next morning since the road between Balasore to Bhadrak was supposedly bad. Although our experience next day was different.
sumannandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2009, 21:55   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumannandy View Post

Despite multiple warnings in team bhp about taking NH60 and not continuing on NH6, we went to NH6. We were supposed to go under the flyover at Kharagpur. Now I was of the impression that the straight road goes to the flyover, and the road on the left goes under it. It does not. The road on the left (NH6) goes to the flyover, and the straight road goes under the flyover to Jaleswer. There was a truck at the junction, and the signages were poor, so we confidently took the left road (NH6) only to realize the mistake later. It took us sometime to come back to NH60.
Surprising that they have still not put up proper signage at this crucial junction. This was the state of affairs 1 year ago too!
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2009, 17:15   #9
BHPian
 
sumannandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 691
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Here are some pictures from the trip.

Name:  DSC01052.JPG
Views: 4714
Size:  153.5 KB

Name:  DSC01041.JPG
Views: 4672
Size:  106.2 KB

Name:  DSC01042.JPG
Views: 4674
Size:  84.8 KB

Name:  DSC01043.JPG
Views: 4708
Size:  84.4 KB

Name:  DSC01054.JPG
Views: 4669
Size:  99.7 KB

Name:  DSC01057.JPG
Views: 4570
Size:  84.2 KB
sumannandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2009, 17:49   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
akroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Posts: 2,414
Thanked: 29 Times
Default

Nandy da, Nice pics. But pls provide some captions also (like which stretch, which place etc etc), It provides a wonderful read of the travelogue.

Waiting for more.

Abhi
akroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2009, 07:54   #11
BHPian
 
sumannandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 691
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Sure, will do that. All the above pics are taken in AP.

Day 1: (contd.)

Facilities - Facilities between Kolkata and Balasore are really poor after Kolaghat. You get good pumps and dhabas till you reach uluberia. There are few good dhabas at Kolaghat as well. But after that it is hard to find good dhabas or pump. About 15-20 kms from Kolaghat towards Kharagpur, there is another dhaba on your right hand side.

With possible delays at Jaleswar, plan for your stops.

After you reach Balasore, about 230-240 kms from Kolkata, you will get good facilities if you are driving through the town.

Day2:
We planned to start really early in the morning as almost everybody warned us about the bad roads between Balasore and Soro/Bhadrak. OTDC provides you with free breakfast, but we decided to skip that. That was a bad decision. There are some food provisions at Soro (roadside dhabas) but there is practically nothing till you reach Cuttack.

We filled our tank and drove through the town. After few kms we reaached NH5.

The GQ between Balasore and Bhadrak is partially complete in one side and the road condition was good. You can easily drive at 70-80 kms per hour. There are multiple diversions, but the road was smooth.

We reached Soro shortly. There are multiple shops by the side of the road for breakfast. But we decided to drive and find something later. That was a bad decision as we did not find anything on the way.

GQ started near Bhadrak. Even though the road is four lanes, we did not dare to drive beyond 70-80 kms per hour due to stray cows jumping on the lanes all of a sudden, oncming vehicles coming at a decent speed on the wrong fast lane, cycles etc. I can still understand about the stray cows, but even the cyclists will see you and cross the road at a very slow speed, as if it is your duty to save their life. Sometimes they will even laugh at you when you are forced to brake your car hard to avoid a collision. This actually continued in entire Orissa. In AP, we had cows, but mostly there were somebody manning(womanning) the cows.

The traffic between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar was really heavy and it was like driving through a city roads. People, specially the scorpio drivers do not hesitate to overtake through the shoulder and sometimes will force you to stop.

We reached Bhubaneswar in about 4.5 hours. There was huge traffic at Bhubaneswar. At one intersection near airport, we were stopped for more than 15-20 minutes since a v.i.p. was coming and there was a huge traffic build up.

We had our lunch at Bhebaneswar. After you cross the Bhubaneswar town towards Bhubaneswar airport, there are multiple dhabas on the left side of the road. So you do not need to take any diversions or go inside the city.

Drive from Bhubaneswar to Balugaon was uneventful. The GQ continues till few kms to Balugaon. After that the road quality detoriates. The road is also two lane. You can do decent speeds but the road is broken. Also there are multiple level crossings on the roads.

The signages for OTDV Barakul starts few kms after Balugaon. You need to take a left and drive for 1-2 kms. Barakul and Balugaon are actually nearby. There are few other hotels near OTDC, but nothing great. It is best to stay at OTDC. It is advisable to book in advance, as tehy are often fully booked. We stayed at a double deluxe room for 650. The room is poractically on Chilka. They also offer you free breakfast. They organize motor boat trips with free insurance. Highly recommended.

The trips are usually over by afternoon. A private motor boat costs around Rs. 600. A shared boat will cost you Rs. 50 but you will have to wait till it is full. You can also take the private boats there. A half an hour ride in a private boat will cost you between Rs. 50 to Rs. 80. A reserved private boat will cost you around Rs. 400. A shared boat will cost you Rs. 25, but you will have to wait till it is full.

The day we were there, there was a film shooting going on at night.

The food at OTDC was decent. We ordered creamy chicken soup in the afternoon, and I could not drink it. My wife tried to drink it after adding lot of sauce.

Dinner was not bad though.

We did some photography.

We had an early dinner and watched the shooting from our room.

We decided to start next day after breakfast. That was a good decision since again you do not get any decent place till Ichchapuram.
sumannandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st December 2009, 11:54   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,534
Thanked: 984 Times
Default

Good write up there mate! Pics are also good but like Akroy pointed out, captions would definitely help!

Loved the cow psychology bit !!



Quote:
Originally Posted by sumannandy View Post

Cow Psychology: There are grasses and bushes of all sizes between the opposite lanes. Cows graze at the place. They have a nasty habit of jumping in front of your car. So what do you do? When you spot a cow, slow down. Ok, but what if the cow is hidden behind the bushes? The best way is to drive on the left lane. You will get some extra time to slow down. Now you spot a cow, you slow down, and the cow eventually crossed the lanes. What is next? If a cow crosses the road, chances are there that a calf will cross the road after sometime. The calf just follows the cow, and does not necessarily looks for oncoming vehicle. So it is better to be very careful, specially during afternoon and morning. The problem is more in WB and OR.
abhinav.s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd January 2010, 00:31   #13
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default

Suman, it was nice meeting you this evening and exchanging the experiences. Waiting for next posts and photos offcourse.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd January 2010, 09:05   #14
BHPian
 
sumannandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 691
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Suman, it was nice meeting you this evening and exchanging the experiences. Waiting for next posts and photos offcourse.
It was nice meeting you.

Here are some photos from our day 2 drive.

My data card internet is really slow this morning. Will post the pics once the speed picks up.

Here are some pics of the famous bridge near Cuttack.
GQ Driving - Kolkata-Chennai-Bangalore-dsc00791.jpg

GQ Driving - Kolkata-Chennai-Bangalore-dsc00792.jpg

GQ Driving - Kolkata-Chennai-Bangalore-dsc00793.jpg
sumannandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd January 2010, 06:01   #15
BHPian
 
sumannandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 691
Thanked: 210 Times
Default

Here are some more pictures of Chilka lake and the Mahanadi bridge.

GQ near Bhubaneswar
Name:  DSC00796.JPG
Views: 4968
Size:  117.8 KB

Railway crossing near Balugaon, We liked the brick/stone surface near the lines. We did not observe this in any other place.
Name:  DSC00815.JPG
Views: 4432
Size:  102.4 KB

Name:  DSC00816.JPG
Views: 4313
Size:  105.4 KB

View from balcony. OTDC rooms are great and offer a great view of the lake, specially on full moon days.
Name:  DSC00822.JPG
Views: 4280
Size:  97.4 KB

Name:  DSC00823.JPG
Views: 7205
Size:  132.1 KB

Sunset at Chilka lake from the bank.
Name:  DSC00861.JPG
Views: 4272
Size:  97.4 KB

Lake.
Name:  DSC00851.JPG
Views: 4206
Size:  99.0 KB

Name:  DSC00838.JPG
Views: 4176
Size:  106.9 KB

You can board private boats from here. There are a number of private boats operating till evening.
Name:  DSC00839.JPG
Views: 4234
Size:  97.5 KB

Name:  DSC00848.JPG
Views: 4215
Size:  70.4 KB

NH5 through mountains after Rambha. It offers a great view of the lake as well. Roads are two laned, but the surface is not bad, except few kms of gravel roads while climbing the ghats.
Name:  DSC00865.JPG
Views: 4298
Size:  133.8 KB

Bridge.
Name:  DSC00794.JPG
Views: 4089
Size:  79.4 KB

The lake is visible from the balcony. A great place to spend the evening with your spouse.
Name:  DSC00824.JPG
Views: 4178
Size:  131.5 KB
sumannandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2 adc Travelogues 78 30th March 2017 21:54
Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 1 adc Travelogues 19 16th June 2015 01:43
"Kolkata - Leh - Kolkata * Interested Kolkata TBHP Members. Captdey Route / Travel Queries 17 17th May 2010 23:48
Kolkata-Vizag-Kolkata (All in a weekend and a bit more) Incognito Travelogues 15 11th March 2008 00:10
Bombay-Mumbai; Madras-Chennai; Calcutta-Kolkata; Bangalore - ?? Rtech Shifting gears 26 15th December 2005 11:18


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 16:31.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks