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Old 27th February 2011, 18:21   #1
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Default Travel from Nagpur to Shahdol Dist.(M.P.)

During the last few days I was away on a road journey from Nagpur to a village in Shahdol dist. via. Jabalpur and Katni (M.P.).This was in connection with some work.But the day long journey- about 13 hours both ways (13 +13) proved it to me that road travel is the best way to remain in touch with the ground truths as none of the things we observe on road journeys are experienced in either train or air journeys. Air journeys are the best way to travel in total isolation with ground truths but are unavoidable depending on circumstances.Train journeys are better to remain in touch with the ground truths of the places but nothing beats a road trip.
It was a 2003 Mahindra Commander (750DP 4X4 )with about 75000 kms on the clock.We had a driver and I was observing.Starting at 8.00 a.m. in the morning on Thursday (23/02/2011) from Nagpur we were at Jabalpur at around 1.30 pm.The Nagpur Jabalpur road traverses through Mansar,Deolapar, Khawasa, Seoni, Lakhnadon and finally touches Jabalpur. The four lane construction is in progress on the Nagpur -Mansar stretch. After Khawasa the four lane stretches for many kms and in forest areas or ghat sections its again the old two lane that has not been touched.
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A Mahindra ferrying people and agricultural produce
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A two lane stretch after the four lane-feels one is back to the medieval times after a dose of 21st century!
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Jabalpur still has these Tempo Hanseat designed three wheelers as seen in the pictures above.In local dialect these are called "SUARS" meaning pigs as they look like pigs. And we call the beautiful Fiat Elegants as "Dukkars." These 3 wheelers have a Greaves Cotton made Lombardini noisy and polluting diesel engine, which is started with a nylon rope that provides torque to the pulley.In the last pictures, a dangerously loaded truck with steel for construction is seen right ahead of our Commander. The portrusion is at the windscreen level and a very good recipe for disaster in the offing. If the truck brakes suddenly and we are not consious the steel beams can penetrate right through the windscreen into the passenger cabin.
Finishing lunch, we were at Katni by 4.50 pm. Both these cities have very good and real bypasses that save a lot of time traversing through the cities.
We commenced the drive from Katni and went through Bandhavgarh Reserve Forest (a Tiger Reserve) periphery after halting for a while at a small town Malhar.It was pitch dark and there were no motor vehicles sighted all through the forest area journey other than a truck that was loading tendu leaves in the pitch dark. They had lit wood for warmth and light. We also sighted a bike or two.There was a heavy downpour while driving through the forest area. My colleague in the jeep who works in the area told me that sighting Neelgais, wild boars, deers, hares,jackals were common but the rains played kill joy.
The whole road journey was through beautiful stretches of tar roads. I believe M.P. has done it as far as road construction and maintenance is concerned at least in this part of the state.The forest patch through Bandhavgarh forest (17 kms) was on a very worthless road that had more potholes than many cities. The forest deptt. does not permit road construction in their reserve forest areas.Traversing this stretch took all of our 45 minutes.Then we crossed the Son river bed through a truck road- there's no bridge at this part.
Travelling through pitch darkness and cart tracks we reached the destination Beohari by around 9.10 pm.
Pictures show the traffic conditions, toll tax booths, Malher (village near the reserve forest) after the rain at night and the Bansagar Dam project (on Son River).The parking lot shows bikes at Malher village.
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The door of the ACE if left opened accommodates more passengers.
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Traffic Islands of the Indian kind
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Lush green "Sarson da Kheth"
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Puppies have a field day
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The Bansagar Dam Project on Son River
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A small boy in the pillion on a HH bike is holding two gas cylinders. What a way to travel?
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Bansagar Dam by night
Coming to the common automobiles that do duty in the hinterland for Hero Honda its 3 out of 5 bikes and Bajaj and TVS share the rest in the pie (the parked bikes in Malher show the motley mix thats popular).The old Rajdoot still remains a favourite and quite a few could be seen.Three wheelers its the Piaggio APE thats getting the sales right and these carry upto 10 or more passengers. Bajaj 3 wheelers are getting extinct? The Tata ACE is also common but operators are still preferring the noisy APE.In the four wheeler segment its Mahindra that walks away with all honours. The CJ 500DP (extended chassis)and Major are very common. Richer folks own the Bolero. A few older Tata Sumos are still sighted.
The Mahindra Commander is a tough workhorse and its guts of steel were evident all along the to and fro journey.It has leaf spring suspensions all around. The rear seat is not that comfortable for long distance journeys but the toughness of the MUV beats everything else.The engine is noisy and is the 2112cc 540DP from Peugeot. This is also a very tough workhorse.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 27th February 2011 at 18:31.
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Old 27th February 2011, 20:19   #2
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Default Re: Travel from Nagpur to Shahdol Dist.(M.P.)

Nice to read a TL on Shadol district. A friend of mine is from Amlai. I had heard a lot about Shahdol and Anuppur, but not read about it and seen snaps!

It feels good to revive old memories.

By looking at google maps, just a question:

Did you follow NH78 to Umaria or go through other roads?
Did you all the way till Shahdol?
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Old 27th February 2011, 20:43   #3
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Default Re: Travel from Nagpur to Shahdol Dist.(M.P.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice to read a TL on Shadol district. A friend of mine is from Amlai. I had heard a lot about Shahdol and Anuppur, but not read about it and seen snaps!

It feels good to revive old memories.

By looking at google maps, just a question:

Did you follow NH78 to Umaria or go through other roads?
Did you all the way till Shahdol?
Thanks ampere. We had a driver for the Commander.The beginning was through NH7 (Kanyakumari-Allahabad road) which is being four laned.This road took us from Nagpur to Katni. Near Katni we detoured and took the SH 10 and later diverted through the forest route and smaller roads to proceed to Beohari. This was a short cut and very few vehicles opt for this route.I feel Umaria is connected by a State Highway from Shahdol.
Some more pictures:
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In one picture we see the service lane on the 4 lane NH7.The last picture shows fresh cabbage in a cultivated land.And yes we do have mopeds still fit and running. The TVS Heavy Duty 65cc is still seen. In the village Beohari there are Hero Honda, Bajaj and TVS showrooms displaying their products. The TVS showroom does not have any Scootys or the like but stcoks the 65cc Heavy Duty moped.The m80 from the Bajaj showroom is missing. Must have been buried by the BajajSons.
Similar showrooms are seen in many other towns and villages with the same product line-up.
A thing I forgotten to point out.As we go farther ahead of Jabalpur and beyond Katni , the "Might is Right" principle is practiced by many a truck, bus and also taxi (jeep)drivers. They simply drive on the right side of the road, coming towards your vehicle.The road may be empty on their left, but its arrogance and might that perhaps draws them to the right.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 27th February 2011 at 21:06.
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Old 27th February 2011, 22:03   #4
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Default Re: Travel from Nagpur to Shahdol Dist.(M.P.)

Thanks for this update, Anjan.
Glad to know they have started the 4-laing north of Nagpur at last!
The forest sections (Pench WLS) before Seoni are unlikley to see any widening because the MoE&F has denied permission to NHAI on the grounds of being forest area!
From what you say, you do not have to enter Katni town? Where does one turn off NH7 exactly to get onto the Shahdol road (NH78)/SH10? Clear signages?
Looks like NH78 to Umariya/Shahdol is in good shape at last!
Would it not have been a better idea - for better roads - going via Shahdol to Beohari despite being longer?
No night drive restrictions in the sector crossing Bandhavgarh WLS?
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Old 27th February 2011, 22:21   #5
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Default Re: Travel from Nagpur to Shahdol Dist.(M.P.)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Thanks for this update, Anjan.
Glad to know they have started the 4-laing north of Nagpur at last!
The forest sections (Pench WLS) before Seoni are unlikley to see any widening because the MoE&F has denied permission to NHAI on the grounds of being forest area!
From what you say, you do not have to enter Katni town? Where does one turn off NH7 exactly to get onto the Shahdol road (NH78)/SH10? Clear signages?
Looks like NH78 to Umariya/Shahdol is in good shape at last!
Would it not have been a better idea - for better roads - going via Shahdol to Beohari despite being longer?
No night drive restrictions in the sector crossing Bandhavgarh WLS?
hvkumar True what you say about the NH7 and the Pench wildlife resort. Not only Pench but there are some forest areas just south of Jabalpur before you enter Bargi where the two lane continues may be due to permission not forthcoming from the forest department.
Katni is totally bypassed.The town or any section of it is not traversed on the highway.These are beautifully aligned bypasses at Jabalpur and Katni. The Shahdol detour is located just ahead of the bypass with a clear signboard.
The better way to reach Beohari would have been to go to Shahdol a little ahead or Rewa on NH 7 and then reach the village on a very good road.Both the ways its abit longer but the roads are superb. We turned adventurous and the shorter forest route was taken. We would we sight some wildlife, but the heavy rains and the lightning just then, played spoilsport.I feel we can take the forest route. They have forest checkposts and make enquiries about the purpose of visit and so on but then allow.
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