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Old 1st January 2006, 19:55   #1
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Default Explored - Highways of AP

The Long Christmas & New year Weekend saw me explore the Highways of AP in my Fiat Siena 1.6 ELX..

1. Hyd - Srisailam Route -> Couldnt find many maps of this Road by googling. Me & my friend stared at 7:30 am & found the state highway from the LB Nagar Crossing. Srisailam is around 220kms from Hyd..Initial 30-40 kms is full of small towns & you need to be careful of Bullock Carts, & herds of Bullocks & Goats. Post this stretch, this highway is a MUST DO...No Trucks, not many villages, very few vehicles on the road & excellent visibility. Touched a Max speed of 145 kmph(speedo) for just around 30-35 s, but 110-120 is quite do-able on long stretches. Wonderful jungle roads as you approach Srisailam & a short stretch of Ghat Roads too. the Last stretch of 50-80kms is not silken smooth, but non the less very exiting to drive - curvacueus turns & minimal traffic. We reached Srisailum around 12, with 5 breaks of 5-10 mins..so approx avg speed of 49kmph. Wandered around the Temple Town, took pics of the Dam , had our lunch & we decided to come back at around 2:30 pm. We reached the outskirts of Hyd by around 6:30pm - but took us 1.5 hrs extra to negotiate the pathetic Saturday evening Hyd Traffic.
Mileage : Tank full to tank full (~42 litres) gave me 550kms ( ~50kms of city driving) : An avg of 13km/litre.

2. Hyd - Nagaram (NH 202) - Took a break of 2 days..Had actually planned to meet a friend at Jagdalpur (Chhatisgarh) & stay with him for the next 3-4 days exploring the Waterfalls of Bastar District. But something else was in store.
The route according to Maps of India is Hyd-Jangaon-Warangal-Mulug- Nagaram- Bhadrakali-Bhopalapatnam - Total 302kms. The NH 202 then meets the NH 16 at Bhopalapatnam & goes to Jagdalpur (Bhopalapatnam - Jagdalpur being 223 kms).
I started at 6 am in the morning - with all the precautions/maps taken - as I was going to be driving alone - The NH 202 Starts from the Uppal Crossing ( the 1st left on the Uppal Crossing as you approach from Tarnaka). The Initial 30 odd kms is 4 laned with dividers. But after that the road is 2 laned. Some streches of bad roads (culvert widening & large potholes) near Jangaon & Ghanpur. From Ghanpur till Warangal the road is excellent. Top speed of 110 kmph - BUT need to be very careful as there are villages along this entire route & lots of village traffic( Local autorickshaws, buffoles, goats, carts). Met with some traffic at Warangal but the road is smooth upto Mulug..
MUST DO - The Single lane 40 km drive in the National Park(as part of NH 202) from Mulug to Nagaram. Heavy Jungle, but a silken smooth straight road with excellent visibility. You can cruise your vehicle at 100+ speeds - but i preferred to drive slowly at 50-60kmph & breathe in the fresh jungle air. Beware of trucks & buses (very few) coming from the opposite side as 1 of you will have to give way - by riding in the gravel(remember it is a 1 way).

Now comes the Interesting part - according to Maps of India the NH 202 goes till Bhopalapatnam. BUT, I was shocked to find out that there is no NH to enter from Nagaram to Chattisgarh. I was given wrong directions by some locals at Nagaram & almost went right upto Bhadrachalam ( but had to come back). There were 2-3 small roads from Nagaram, but after 1km of driving on each, all of them were non- gravelled country roads..
I called up my Telgu friend in Hyd to speak to Locals for Directions but got nowhere...
Just imagine driving for 2 hrs in total -going nowhere , lost & no knowledge of local language.
& it was not all - There was a lurking fear in the back of my mind that this area has Naxalites.
& WORSE - The Horn FAILED....I have gone through So Many Threads..on Highway driving/long driving precautions at team bhp...But this one..well..just came from the blue !!! It is a nightmare driving in broad daylight through Highways without a Horn. I opened up the fuse box & followed the manual to locate the horn fuse...I swapped the fuse ( one 20A fuse with a alternated 20A fuse) but to no avail... I stopped the car at any visible Mechanic Shop ( 5 shops)...BUT...NO ONE was able to locate the Horn of the Siena.. !!!!

With all this happening, I looked at my clock & realised that it was 3pm & I had been driving for almost 9 hrs !!!

It was decision time & I decided to come back to Warangal to get my horn repaired...the Fiat Garage didnt have stock of the Horn...So I ended up being quite miserable & lost at Warangal...I decided to chuck the entire trip...I COULD NOT drive without a Horn...

So the only option left for me was to stay back at Warangal for the night & then drive back to Hyd the next day morning....But I decided that I could drive from Warangal - Hyd in the night itself...took the chance & reached Hyd at around 9:30 pm...Phew I had driven for almost 15 hrs the entire day...!

3. Hyderabad- Suryalanka Beach - Bapatla Beach - Chirala - Vijaywada- Maginapudi Beach - Vijaywada - Hyderabad.Took a rest of 2 days & was encouraged by a friend to go on a long drive again. We started from Hyd at 8 am.
Hyd - Vijaywada - NH 9 - 282 Kms - the road is 4 laned from LB Nagar Crossing till 35 kms. Although 4 lanes sounds exiting - but it is quite dangerous - day time local traffic - autorickshaws,cyclists, pedestrians - all walking & driving on the wrong side.Immidiately after the 4 laning ends, the road quality detiriorates & there is heavy traffic on the Hyd-Vijaywada route. Trucks , local rural autos, carts...what not...till Suryapet, the road quality was also not good & the speeds were slow..After Suryapet, the 2 lane highway improves & u can drive at 100kmph in many stretches...Around 50 kms before Vijaywada the 4 Lane Toll Highway starts & is quite smooth & fast. We reached Vijaywada at 2 pm. Had our lunch at the AP Tourism Guest House on the NH...& started for Guntur.

Vijaywada - Guntur is 33 kms on the NH 5 as part of the Golden Quadrilateral Project & is a 4 laned highway. Reaching Suryalanka Beach - take a left turn for Ponnur from the NH5 - The State Highway is pretty good & you can do 80 kmph for long stretches. 10kms before Bapatla Beach the road goes through lots of villages & pot holed roads. At Bapatla, there is sudden left again right in the middle of the crowded market for Suryalanka Beach (8kms). There are absolutely zilch tourist facilities at Suryalanka Beach except for AP Tourism Beach Houses. There is also a Naval Base at Suryalanka Beach. We reached Suryalanka at around 5 pm...Total around 90 kms covered in 3 hrs !!

Stayed at the beach for 2 days...You get loads of peace here as this part is any thing but tourist infested !!!!

Suryalnaka Beach - Maginapudi Beach ( ~ 200kms) with the route as Suryalanka-Bapatla-Vijaywada - Machilipatnam-Maginapudi.
This includes the NH5 Stretch from Guntur to Vijaywada( no need to enter the Guntur). From Vijaywada to Machilipatnam is the NH 9. Two laned with heavy traffic.
Maginapudi Beach is 9 kms from Machilipatnam & again minimal tourist facilities. Just a couple of shacks selling cold drinks & mineral water.

After staying overnight at a shady Lodge , we came back to Vijaywada next day morning. Spent the entire day there & started back at 7 pm from Vijaywada to reach Hyderabad at 12 in the night. A stretch of 282 kms covered in 5 hrs with 5 breaks...

Some observations :
1. The only cars which we saw on the Highways & rural AP were Indicas, Sumos, Zens with an occasional Ambys.. I guess the Altos, Santros & Wagon Rs are pretty much Big City Cars.
2. Driving on 4 Laned NH was a much scary experience compared to driving on 2 laned NH - Reason : Trucks just change lanes without indicators(in daytime) & autos, cyclists, pedestrians all using the wrong side of the road...Atleast on 2 laned NH the Truckies drive quite safely & you have more gravel width in case of emergencies..
3. In night driving, the trucks follow the rules to the T...But what makes night driving more dangerous is the APSTRC buses & the monster Volvos. They b...dy...just Overtake like crazy with their 6-8 Bright Lights..making you completely Blind. Additionally in early night time ( 7-9 pm)...the village tractors returning home without any lights ( or at best 1 headlight- which makes you confuse them with 2 wheelers !!)..are also quite scary !

The Car - The Car is a dream to drive on the Highways. Potholed roads dont matter..even at high speeds..Never once did i feel like loosing control of car at sudden braking or sudden turns. & with 100 horses available...overtaking is like cutting a cake ! AC or no AC..not a factor at all...I got a mileage of 14~15 overall in the entire 1700 kms drive. The headlights are quite good for night driving.

So all in all an amazing long weekend in a amazing car..

PS : I will post the photos in a day or 2...
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Old 1st January 2006, 22:30   #2
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paharino1, that was quite a bit of rubber you have burnt within a short period and overall, looks like you had some good time. Please don't forget to post some pictures. I myself am planning to go on a trip to Srisailam, so this info is definitely useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paharino1
Now comes the Interesting part - according to Maps of India the NH 202 goes till Bhopalapatnam. BUT, I was shocked to find out that there is no NH to enter from Nagaram to Chattisgarh.

Just imagine driving for 2 hrs in total -going nowhere , lost & no knowledge of local language.
This is something surprising. Looks like you didn't had enough planning. Maps of India if no way exhaustive. We have TTK maps for each state and these maps are a good resource as far as I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paharino1
Stayed at the beach for 2 days...You get loads of peace here as this part is any thing but tourist infested !!!!
How did you spend the 2 days ? Are there any other attractions around ?

Cheers
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Old 2nd January 2006, 23:02   #3
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Attaching images of the trip

Maginapudi Beach





Suryalanka Beach





The Car


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Old 2nd January 2006, 23:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnu
How did you spend the 2 days ? Are there any other attractions around ?
cnu....The Coastal AP region is not developed for Tourism at all...
Suryalanka Beach has just the AP Tourism Beach Houses as accomodation..So book in advance if you plan to go there..Take your own food & all the necessary items for the holiday..There are just a couple of khokhas/bandis selling bottled water/cold drinks/snacks on the beach..

The beach is just good for plain idling & swimming...No other water sport activity is available. Just see if you can convince the fishermen to take u for a ride in their fishing boats.

But if your idea of a holiday is fun with plenty of activities..I guess u can give Coastal AP a complete skip..If solitude is what u seek...do go there..

Additionally..The entire Eastern Coast - the seas are quite choppy..not as peaceful as many places on the Western Coastal Areas..
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Old 3rd January 2006, 11:15   #5
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well Dude looks like you Enjoyed a LOT...
looks good...
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Old 3rd January 2006, 17:15   #6
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Hi Paharino. Nice writeup. You are true about the wide and smooth 4-lane roads in AP. I too prefer a smooth 2 lane road with less traffic.
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Old 3rd January 2006, 18:44   #7
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[SIZE=2]Interesting write up - thanks![/SIZE]
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Old 3rd January 2006, 22:33   #8
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I was recently gifted the Eicher Road Atlas of India by 1 of my friend.
It is a highly recommended Road Companion for those who love to travel on the Indian Highways on their cars/bikes..
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Old 4th January 2006, 20:20   #9
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Hi Paharino .. nice to read your adventures in AP ...
sad to hear about your Bhoopalapatnam trip .. Next time you feel like taking a road trip please feel free to contact me and maybe i will be able to help you with routes .. I have pretty much travelled all over AP ..
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Old 12th January 2006, 15:10   #10
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Hey AP guys..
Me & my friend are planning to do the Tadoba National Park ( Maharashtra) over this long weekend in my Siena..

Here is the route which we got from the bsmotoring site :
Hyderabad-Siddipet-Ramagundam- Karimnagar-Mancherial-Asifabad-
Ballarpur-Chandrapur-Padmapur-Moharli

Basically we need to take the NH7 till Adilabad & then go to Chandrapur..

Anyone done this road recently...? Hows the road condition ? Anything to be particular about ?
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Old 11th February 2006, 23:34   #11
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take on NH7 till Pandarkawada after adilabad, After Pandarkawada you will find place called Karanji around 20KMs on NH7, from there you can take a right turn towarda place called Wani. That road will take you to Chandrapur. About road condition from Hyd to Adilabad its good even you can touch and maintain upto 120Kmph. you will find ghat section between nirmal and adilabad on NH7. After adilabad upto Karanji the road is pathetic. But after karanji the SH road is good.

About accomodation you can stay at Chandrapur, try to carry food and water from chandrapur because you may not get good food at Tadoba.
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Old 5th May 2008, 12:35   #12
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@paharino, did you finally do this route? How did you find it? Am planning to do Hyd-Tadoba in a couple weeks' time. Am considering two options:
1. Hyderabad-Siddipet-Ramagundam- Karimnagar-Mancherial-Asifabad-
Ballarpur-Chandrapur-Padmapur-Moharli (interior roads, but shorter)
2. Hyderabad-Adilabad-wani- chandrapur-Moharli
Would like some information on the better route, in terms of better roads, and scenic beauty. Anybody else done any of the above routes?
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Old 2nd November 2008, 11:37   #13
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Hi Anurag,
Could you make it to Tadoba? Which route you took and how was the route conditions?

I am planning to drive to Tadoba from Hyd and want to take Karimnagar while going and Adilabad on return if both routes are ok to drive.

Thanks.
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