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Old 16th January 2011, 19:00   #1
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Default X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back

It was a long time wish for us (me and my wife) to drive to Ahmedabad via Pune. Well, one weekend (1st week of December) morning, while having tea and breakfast, we thought of planning the year end vacation in Pune and Ahmedabad.
Did lots of R&D and my only risk factor was I am the only driver (I don’t allow my wife to drive in Highways) and whether I can cover approx 835 KM from BLR-PUNE in a day. Most of the guys told me not to but some how I had some feeling, ‘yes, I can do it’. Also to be honest, we kept one option open – if I feel I can’t, will stop at any passing by city and start next day morning.
On 24th December morning 5:15 AM, we started with our WagonR. At Peenya, there was some traffic and were struck there for around 10-15 minutes. Once we crossed Peeneya, we were in NH4 elevated highway of Nilamangla. Fog was there and hence had to reduce the speed. However I was lucky get an Innova in front of our car and hence followed the same car till the fog disappeared. We reached Chitradurga around 8:15-8:30 AM and took a break for breakfast. The road was just excellent till Chitradurga! From Chitradurga to Hubli, the construction is going on in few patches, hence the speed cannot be maintained. Otherwise the road is good and pleasant one. Reached Hubli around 11:30- 11:45 AM and took a break of 15 mins for a cup of tea and some snacks. From Hubli to Belgaum, the road is not that great but enjoyed driving. Once we crossed Belgaum, the road was again 4 lane and wonderful road! Don’t remember exactly when we crossed Kolhapur, but the best part is that when you will enter Maharashtra, you will find the shops of Aloo Vada/Aloo bhajji at every toll plaza. We stopped in one such shop had some aloo vada!!! Wow, its splendid!! I was in Maharastra for 4 years in my college days and hence you can understand the taste of vada was so nostalgic!!! J. We reached Katraj (the point on NH4 from where you enter Pune city) around 7:30 in the evening. We were planned to stay with our old close friend who stays near hinjewadi. He told us to keep moving straight on NH4 for another 25-30 KM till I get the Hinjewadi exit. This part of the road is also good but there are many exits to different part of Pune and hence there’s a mix of highway traffic and local traffic. So need to be bit more careful. After few more calls to my friend for directions, finally I reached his place at 8:15 PM. The meter in car shows we have drove 845 KM!! Enjoyed every part of it and decided to take a day’s rest in Pune and celebrate 25th Dec and then start for Ahmedabad on 26th Morning.
25th Dec was a lazy day for me and my wife as we knew we have another odd 650 KM to travel on next day. My friend took us for some places in Pune and had early dinner in my friend’s wife’s favorite restaurants on JM Road, Pune.
26th Dec - Started at 6 ‘o clock in the morning. My friend’s house was just 5 minutes away from NH4 and we stopped on the highway to re-fuel the car. After traveling another 10-15 KM, got a diversion for the Pune – Mumbai Expressway. Wow!!! This is the first time I am on any express way in India!! The scenic beauty and the road – simply moved us!!! In one of the services we stopped and had poha (I remembered, this was the only breakfast we used to get in our college days). When we were approaching Mumbai, we got an exit for Parvel and there’s where I made the biggest mistake of this whole trip. I took this exit (still I don’t know why I took) and it was 8:15 AM! Had to ask few guys on the road and ask for the way to Godbunder. After few more stops for the direction, finally reached Godbunder Road – NH8 crossing at 10:15 ish. From that point till Surat, the road was good but occasionally there were constructions going on. We saw a fatal accident which occurred few minutes before we reached that point. The accident was between a Scorpio and a bike. Took a break after Surat (not sure about the name of the place) around 2:00 PM for lunch and re-fueling. After Surat, the road was very good and there were no more diversion for construction. Near Bharuch, an old bridge was getting repaired and hence there was huge traffic jam. However we wasted 30 minutes over there. And after that the road was just good like anything. From Baroda, we took the NE1 to reach Ahmedabad. This expressway too is pretty good but somehow I felt the Pune – Mumbai Expressway is comparatively better and have more service exits. Once reached Ahmedabad, I called up my uncle who stays there for the direction of his place. It took another 45 minutes to reach his place via the ring road.
27th Dec – Sightseeing in Ahmedabad. Went to Aksardham but it was closed (weekly off on Monday, I guess). Visited Adalaj Step Well and just roamed about on the roads of the East and West Ahmedabad to see around.
28th Dec – Started around 9 ‘o clock for Lothal, Harappan port, it’s around 80 KM from Ahmedabad. Today we took my uncle’s Swift and he was driving. We took the NH8A via Ring Road and headed towards Lothal. On the way to Lothal, you will find the sign boards of Kensville Golf Club. Reaching Bagodra, you need to take a left turn towards Lothal. The direction is there on the road and the condition of road is also good. Before reaching the Archeological site, we were greeted by the herd of buffalo. J…

There is a museum and ruins of the civilization. We liked the place.We spent around 90 minutes there and thought of returning to Ahmedabad and having authentic Gujrati Lunch.

On 30th Dec, we started around 6 o’ clock with a target to reach Pune by 5 o’ clock. The way back was similar (as we didn’t take any other route) but due to jam in Bharuch and diversions at places where the construction happening on the highway (after surat), we could reach Gudbander by 4 ‘o clock in the evening. From Gudbander, it took an hour and half to reach the Pune – Mumbai express way. Then it was another 2 hours (approx.) journey to reach Pune. We stayed with our friend till 31st and celebrated 31st in Pune.
1st Jan – We started from my friend’s place in Pune around 9 AM in the morning. The route was to follow the NH4 till you reach Bangalore. We reached Hubli around 4:30 in the afternoon. We were in a dilemma to stay back in Hubli. I thought of continuing towards Bangalore. The stretch between Hubli to Chitradurga was a bit painful. Slowly it was dark and due to road constructions, sometimes the four lane road became two lanes. Took a break at Chitradurga and continued towards Bangalore. We reached home around 12 mid night.
This was the first above 1K KM drive for us. We enjoyed a lot. Luckily the 2nd was a Sunday to take rest!!!
Attached Thumbnails
X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back-adalaj-step-well_6.jpg  

X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back-lothal_1.jpg  

X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back-pakwaan_1.jpg  

Last edited by GTO : 17th January 2011 at 16:08. Reason: Removing FONT Tags. Please do NOT cut-copy-paste text from other word softwares. It results in a formatting error.
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Old 18th January 2011, 22:47   #2
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Default Re: X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back

You could do with some more pictures!nice writeup
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Old 19th January 2011, 00:02   #3
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Default Re: X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back

Hi Musafir,

Nice TL you got there. Its a good start. Thank you for updating the road conditions. Waiting for more pics.
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Old 26th January 2011, 18:00   #4
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Default Re: X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back

Thanks sami316 and ranjitp1.

Sorry for the dealyed as was travelling on some official trip... :(

Some more pics added. 2 of them are of the frustrating traffic jams on the highway!! :(
Attached Thumbnails
X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back-adalaj-step-well_3.jpg  

X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back-trafic-jam-near-bharuch.jpg  

X-Mas & New Year Celebration - Drive to BLR - Pune - Ahmedabad and back-trafic-jam-near-hubli.jpg  

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