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Old 8th December 2010, 23:31   #31
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Default Re: Udaipur Chittorgarh Bhilwara Kishangarh Jaipur - Behror Gurgaon Delhi

Hi Unni,
A nice read and it is for sure one tough ride. 7 days non stop, i could understand your passion for driving!

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Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
Stage 2

And, we met with an accident.
This was bad, good that nothing major happend. Keep the pics coming in.

Regards,
Scorpio Fan
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Old 8th December 2010, 23:35   #32
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Great details Unni.
I know how frustrating it must be to drive through those horrible traffic in Allahabad. We curse the traffic sense of people here in Hyderabad and Bangalore, but up north, it is a totally different world altogether. People there have care the least about others but they care for themselves even less. What if you didn't give way to that Tata Ace. I don't know how, but they just don't give a damn to anything at all.

The accident in the last pic looks scary.
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Old 8th December 2010, 23:43   #33
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Stage 2 seems to have been a lot of drama and plain good luck! You were very very fortunate that the Ace episode left you with only a broken mirror. Driving on the wrong side of the 4-laned road (including on the extreme right lane) has become the most dangerous habit on India's new highways.

It is quite shameful that the RJ-HR border check posts are always chaotic and choked up. I have seen the south-bound direction to be even worse early in the morning. But what is even worse was that Unni and JK had to cool their heels for quite a long time to buy toll tickets on the Gurgaon-Delhi expressway, supposed to have been built to speeden things up! I think it is a general problem of trucks driving through Delhi in the night resulting in all entry/exit points around Delhi being congested after 10 pm.

Unni, tell us more about the hotel you stayed at Udaipur, the dnner break at Kishnagarh and the nap at Dab Chik in Hodal. And also the hotel in Allahabad?

How bad was the road approaching Allahabad city? One wishes that they had some motels on the brand-new Allahabad bypass which could have saved them all the trouble of getting through the narrow broken-up roads into the city.

Happily, there does not appear to have been a fog problem despite you going in winter through the HR-DL-UP region.
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Old 9th December 2010, 08:15   #34
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Red face Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

@Unni,

Sad to know that you had an accident, For the OVRM glass to shatter the impact must have been really bad. Did it leave any marks/dents on the front door too? Thats one black spot in your otherwise fanatastic journey. I must say the pics are really good.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that I dont read any more accidents in your coming posts.
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Old 9th December 2010, 12:36   #35
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
.....The lorry was actually giving way to Ace coming the wrong way on the right lane. I flicked to the left, but the right ORVM glanced the Ace, shattering to pieces. ...........going around trying to find a hotel. Enquired at 3 places before we got one.
Morons coming through the wrong way/fast lane is very common in south too, as we constantly shift lanes to give way to trucks/buses/bullock carts etc. We regularly suffer that and no clue when this practice will come to an end ! People say until the new wide road constructions finish, but thats a never-ending scenario !

About the hotel hunting, did you face anything worse than what we went through in Chennai ? I still consider that as the worst for the past and future !
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Old 9th December 2010, 13:41   #36
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by shajufx View Post
Morons coming through the wrong way/fast lane is very common in south too, as we constantly shift lanes to give way to trucks/buses/bullock carts etc. We regularly suffer that and no clue when this practice will come to an end ! People say until the new wide road constructions finish, but thats a never-ending scenario !

About the hotel hunting, did you face anything worse than what we went through in Chennai ? I still consider that as the worst for the past and future !
They are much more of a problem in the North. Compared to that, the amount of vehicles coming the wrong way are lesser in South. Hotel hunting was almost as painful as the Chennai experience, except for the narrow roads!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
@Unni,

Sad to know that you had an accident, For the OVRM glass to shatter the impact must have been really bad. Did it leave any marks/dents on the front door too? Thats one black spot in your otherwise fanatastic journey. I must say the pics are really good.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that I dont read any more accidents in your coming posts.
The impact was pretty hard. Thankfully there is no mark on the door or anywhere else due to this since it was just the mirror that touched the other vehicle. The sound was awful though. JK initially thought that we had more of damage. There are some slight marks on the window glass though. I guess it broke off and hit the window glass.

No more accidents. It was just that stretch, just that day! Mirror, scratches on bumper, all just that one day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
Great details Unni.
I know how frustrating it must be to drive through those horrible traffic in Allahabad. We curse the traffic sense of people here in Hyderabad and Bangalore, but up north, it is a totally different world altogether. People there have care the least about others but they care for themselves even less. What if you didn't give way to that Tata Ace. I don't know how, but they just don't give a damn to anything at all.

The accident in the last pic looks scary.
Thanks Fordmanchau. My exposure to North India is very less, this is the first time in fact. I really could not get my head around the fact that people don't care about their vehicles. When stuck in the jam, we actually saw vehicles nudging each other!! The traffic starts moving a bit and all vehicles are bumper to bumper, literally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpio_fan View Post
Hi Unni,
A nice read and it is for sure one tough ride. 7 days non stop, i could understand your passion for driving!

This was bad, good that nothing major happend. Keep the pics coming in.

Regards,
Scorpio Fan
Thanks Scorpio Fan. The accident could've easily turned into a head on. Was lucky enough that we could avoid that, and loose just the mirror.
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Old 9th December 2010, 16:09   #37
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
They are much more of a problem in the North. Compared to that, the amount of vehicles coming the wrong way are lesser in South.
The reason you feel this is lower in the south is because most of your drives are during the night, when not many take such risks. Also, the general public using the highways reduces by a large margin, thereby reducing the number of mopeds, bikes, and bullock carts.

On my drives back from Kerala to Bangalore, when on the tolled roads near Salem and Krishnagiri, i have faced Tata Aces, TVS 80s, bikes etc all along the wrong side of the road, on the fast lane, and yes.. driving fast at you. Owing to greater visibility, we are able to move out of the way in advance, negating the risk.

On the Bangalore-Mysore road, you can regularly find bullock carts coming up on the wrong side if you are driving early in the morning!

Just thought i would add my experiences on this topic.
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Old 9th December 2010, 20:16   #38
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Default Allahabad Varanasi Sasaram Aurangabad Barhi Dumri Bardhaman Calcutta

Stage 3

Allahabad – Varanasi – Sasaram – Aurangabad – Barhi – Dumri – Dhanbad – Durgapur – Bardhaman – Calcutta

Start Time – 0720hrs 1st Dec, Allahabad
Stop Time – 2030hrs 1st Dec, Calcutta
Distance – 840kms

Got up a bit late on this day. Plan was to start by around 6am, and this got delayed to 6:30am. Must’ve been the thought that its just 840kms!!! We walk to the parking, and find that the rear left tyre is punctured. What a start to the day.

And, this is the first puncture I’ve had on the Fiesta. So, getting the car up and tyre replaced took some time. SMSd HVK updating him of the delay and enquiring if there were any tyre shops on the way where we could fix a puncture. His reply simply read no facilities till Calcutta! So there we were, looking at 800 odd km journey with no spare. But, then what’s a journey without some uncertainties! We rolled past Sangam, Varanasi, and stopped for lunch just before Aurangabad at Reliance A1 plaza. The food was pretty decent.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4086.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4088.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4095.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4104.jpg

Carried on, crossed Aurangabad, Dumri, Dhanbad, WB border (which was a bit clogged, but managed to tail a WB registered Verna, he knew his way!), Durgapur, and near Panagarh got stuck in another major major traffic jam. Some how managed to get through by driving on the shoulder, grounded the underbody at one place. In fact all through the journey, this was the only place where we grounded. This too was not because of bad roads, and was more so because I was trying to get the car off the road to drive past the traffic jam.

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4116.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4117.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4119.jpg

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4142.jpg

Calcutta. Again, HVK to the rescue. Was on the phone with him continuously with him guiding us through. The same rigor, asked around at 3 places before finally getting a place to stay!!!

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4130.jpg

By now, we had figured out a way to get through borders without getting noticed much. Just keep following a local registration vehicle, preferably a white SUV or an ambulance. Will tell the ambulance story later in the log!

Tomorrow is a semi-rest day. Car service was scheduled for 2nd Dec 0930hrs at Victoria Ford, Topsia. Ate well and went to bed for a good, long sleep!!

Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!-img_4151.jpg

Last edited by FlyingSpur : 9th December 2010 at 23:12. Reason: As requested.
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Old 9th December 2010, 20:46   #39
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Congrats Unni on joining an elite club, very nicely written, thank god you got away with just a broken mirror, how many hours or kilometres did each of you drive in a day ?
Looking forward to more updates.
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Old 9th December 2010, 20:57   #40
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You were very very fortunate that the Ace episode left you with only a broken mirror.

Unni, tell us more about the hotel you stayed at Udaipur, the dnner break at Kishnagarh and the nap at Dab Chik in Hodal. And also the hotel in Allahabad?

How bad was the road approaching Allahabad city?
Yes, we were thinking about how it could've been worse. Lucky to've got through with just the mirror damaged.

At Udaipur, we stayed at Hotel Geetanjali, right on the main road. Decent accomodation, nothing fancy. Car park was right in front of the hotel but on the road. Not enclosed parking. Room service available. Room rent was Rs800 for double room (including tax).

Dinner break was at Hotel Panghat, where you guys had stopped for dinner on your drive!! The food was good, with enclosed parking space. They have accommodation facility also, with rooms ranging from Rs600 to Rs800. By the looks of it, it should be a decent place to stay if anybody wants to explore that option.

Dab Chik at Hodal was a breakfast stop. The ambiance and the food was good. They too have accommodation facility there. Not too sure of the exact rates, but will be on the higher end since its owned by Haryana Tourism. By the looks of it, it would be fun to stay there. Green lawns, a nice little pond etc.

Allahabad camp was at Hotel Saket. Enclosed parking space available, room rates slightly on the higher side, but worth for the amenities provided. Rs2500 for the room, 12.5% tax, total Rs2625. I think this was the most we paid on the whole journey for accommodation.

The approach road to Allahabad is broken in patches. Some sections of it are smooth, but does not allow for fast driving owing to local traffic. Some one needs to come up with hotels on the by pass. It is just not worth going into Allahabad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
The reason you feel this is lower in the south is because most of your drives are during the night, when not many take such risks. Also, the general public using the highways reduces by a large margin, thereby reducing the number of mopeds, bikes, and bullock carts.

On my drives back from Kerala to Bangalore, when on the tolled roads near Salem and Krishnagiri, i have faced Tata Aces, TVS 80s, bikes etc all along the wrong side of the road, on the fast lane, and yes.. driving fast at you. Owing to greater visibility, we are able to move out of the way in advance, negating the risk.

On the Bangalore-Mysore road, you can regularly find bullock carts coming up on the wrong side if you are driving early in the morning!

Just thought i would add my experiences on this topic.
Very possible. Another reason to stick to night travel. However, North India is a revelation. The amount that comes at you, you end up wondering if there is no track on the other side!
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Old 9th December 2010, 21:52   #41
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Unni, at least you did not get stuck in traffic jams in the Varanasi bypass!

How did you feel driving through Bihar, once upon a time (before GQ) some of the most dreaded roads in India?

How do you rate the facilities en route from Delhi-Allahabad-Calcutta? Petrol pumps, hotels, restaurants, puncture shops, etc?
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Old 9th December 2010, 21:55   #42
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

BTW, for those wanting to go into Calcutta, thanks to Sudipto, I managed to guide Unni onto the Belgaria Expressway (from NH2 at Dankuni) to the Airport and then the right turn onto the VIP Road where all the hotels are located. That is where Unni found a good hotel - I am sure he will tell us more about it. IT was also very conveient for him to go to the Victoria Ford workshop at Topsia next day from the VIP Road. ADC had recommended Hotel Akash Deep at Park Circus, but unfortunately accommodation was not available there.
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Old 9th December 2010, 22:28   #43
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
Congrats Unni on joining an elite club, very nicely written, thank god you got away with just a broken mirror, how many hours or kilometres did each of you drive in a day ?
Looking forward to more updates.
Thanks Hari. We did not keep a log of the kilometers or hours driven by each of us. When ever the other felt tired or wanted a change, we switched. No particular pattern followed.

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
How did you feel driving through Bihar, once upon a time (before GQ) some of the most dreaded roads in India?

How do you rate the facilities en route from Delhi-Allahabad-Calcutta? Petrol pumps, hotels, restaurants, puncture shops, etc?
Entering Bihar and driving through it was pretty fine. We had a slight traffic jam at the border, but nothing that killed too much time. Traffic kept moving. There are some villages/towns on the highway which can kill time since almost all business/market happens on the road. So watch out for that. People crossing helter-skelter are a given.

Delhi - Allahabad stretch is any time better than Allahabad - Calcutta in terms of petrol pumps, hotels etc. Puncture repair shops are in good numbers and every where. One of the items that I plan to carry next time I travel is a tube that fits the tire size i have. This way I dont have to wait for a proper tire shop to repair the tire in case of an emergency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
BTW, for those wanting to go into Calcutta, thanks to Sudipto, I managed to guide Unni onto the Belgaria Expressway (from NH2 at Dankuni) to the Airport and then the right turn onto the VIP Road where all the hotels are located. That is where Unni found a good hotel - I am sure he will tell us more about it. IT was also very conveient for him to go to the Victoria Ford workshop at Topsia next day from the VIP Road. ADC had recommended Hotel Akash Deep at Park Circus, but unfortunately accommodation was not available there.
We stayed at Hotel Shivangan on VIP road. Decent place with rates around Rs1500 for a double room. Only disadvantage is that there is no enclosed parking. Parking is available right in front of the hotel, and a security is present. Room service is available.
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Old 9th December 2010, 23:01   #44
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

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Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
Delhi - Allahabad stretch is any time better than Allahabad - Calcutta in terms of petrol pumps, hotels etc. Puncture repair shops are in good numbers and every where. One of the items that I plan to carry next time I travel is a tube that fits the tire size i have. This way I dont have to wait for a proper tire shop to repair the tire in case of an emergency.
That is the reason why I always carry spare tubes in my car kit. That is to put the tube inside the tubeless tyre in the event that I do not find a competent guy to fix a tubeless tyre puncture. Also useful if the tubeless tyre develops a cut or abrasion that may affect its ability to hold air in.
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Old 9th December 2010, 23:36   #45
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Default Re: Around India in 7 Days - GQ Drive!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
Traffic kept moving. There are some villages/towns on the highway which can kill time since almost all business/market happens on the road. So watch out for that. People crossing helter-skelter are a given.
You need to keep your cool in these places. (Go very slow when approaching a village/crowded area)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
That is the reason why I always carry spare tubes in my car kit. That is to put the tube inside the tubeless tyre in the event that I do not find a competent guy to fix a tubeless tyre puncture. Also useful if the tubeless tyre develops a cut or abrasion that may affect its ability to hold air in.
Doesn't Slime help in much?
(Not when there is a deep cut and is recommended to carry tubes at places where it is irreparable)

Last edited by Sheel : 9th December 2010 at 23:38.
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