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Old 13th March 2011, 16:59   #1
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Default Mumbai to Gorakhpur and back in Honda City

Mumbai To Gorakhpur via Ahmedabad – Chittaurgarh – Shivpuri – Kanpur – Lucknow (2080 Kms)

Though initially thought of leaving at 6 AM, we began our journey from Wadala in Mumbai at 9.13 AM in Honda City (2005) with my wife and a 5 yr old daughter. I am not a good writer but still posting it thinking it might help someone. As I was the only driver, I could not record many a things on the way. I did not get any positive feedback on road conditions between Dhule – Indore – Shivpuri and hence took the Gujarat Rajasthan Road.

DAY 1 – 19.12.2010 - MUMBAI TO RAJASTHAN BORDER (RATANPUR), 700 KMS IN 13 HOURS.
It was an unplanned trip. Highway was full of traffic and there was a truckers’ jam at Gujarat Border before Vapi. Wasted 30 min and proceeded. The road is good but there are lots of diversions due to construction of flyovers at various small towns on the way. Stopped for lunch before Surat some 180 kms from Dahisar Toll Gate. Touched Baroda at 4.30 pm and my fuel indicator sends an alarm for refueling. Did not find a Petrol Pump till the Express way and also was a huge traffic Jam on the way. Did not take the expressway and came on to NH8 for refuelling but none would sell the premium, speed or power. So went inside the city looking for it. Including traffic jam, fuelling and snacks break we wasted more than 3 hours in Baroda. Finally crossed Ahmedabad by 8 PM. From Ahmedabad it was horrible to drive on a road without divider and that too in the night. It was a pain and dead slow till we hit the four-lane after about 30 min. Then it was a smooth drive till 10 PM upto Rajasthan border where we stayed overnight at RTDC motel, Ratanpur. We were only people staying there and luckily they served us the dinner which they had cooked for themselves. We clocked 699 kms in our first leg in 12 hrs 45 min which should not have taken more than 9 or 10 hours. If one leaves Mumbai at 5 AM can reach Chittaurgarh by 7 PM and make a night halt there.

Day 2 – 20.12.2010 - RATANPUR TO SHIVPURI, 650 KMS IN 11 HRS 30 MINSStarted at 8.47 AM and crossed Udaipur at 10.20 AM. Some initial patch from Udaipur to Chittaurgarh is bad but later you enjoy. Reached Chittaurgarh at 12 noon and decided to do some site seeing and went to the Fort and had lunch at a heritage hotel. Fuel was again a problem and filled a bit to get us going till Kota. It was a lovely two hours drive till Kota from 3.00 PM till 5.00 PM. There was a diversion to enter the city which was strangely completely deserted. Spotting a few vehicles was only solace. Crossed thru the city and filled up Power at HP Pump and decided to continue upto Shivpuri. Road was lovely but soon it was dark. For miles there will be no vehicles on either side nor any signs of human habitat but suddenly you will notice someone standing alone or sitting on the road divider doing nothing. We just prayed that we reach Shivpuri as the area is known for Dacoits. Had already crossed Chambal river in Kota. Luckily nothing happenned and near Shivpuri we came on to horrible NH 3 which is full of pot holes, full of trucks and no divider on road. The 10 km odd patch took our 20 mins while earlier 230 kms we did in 2 hrs 30 mins. Drove upto MPTDC’s beautiful Tourist Village resort and alighted from the car at 8.20 pm. The best ever experience at any Govt owned Hotel/Resort. Very hospitable people, excellent food. My daughter had proper meals there and that was the best experience. I only ordered their local chicken curry for all the meals I had. It is located in the Madhav National Park and we were amused to hear the howling jackals throughout the night. The experience was so good that we extended our stay by one day.

DAY 3 – 21.12.2010 - Stay at Shivpuri. Chilled out, boat ride in lake amidst crocodiles and migratory birds and jungle safari in my own car. Spotted Jackals, Fox, deers, wild boars, crocodiles and lovely birds.

DAY 4 – 22.12.2010 - SHIVPURI TO GORAKHPUR, 730 KMS IN 15 HOURSStarted at 6.03 AM. The staff at the resort were so nice they gave us packed complimentary breakfast and bed tea, so early in the morning. Crossed Jhansi (90 kms) at 7.15. Roads in UP were unbelievably excellent and comparable to roads in Gujarat. Wasted sometimes in Orai town as the bypass is under construction. Stopped at a road side dhaba for tea and drove upto Kanpur some 225 kms from Jhansi and reached there at 11.30 AM. The mistake I did in Kanpur was to follow the road sign for Lucknow. It was aweful to enter Kanpur city looking for Lucknow Road. We should have taken the flyover for Allahabad (probably the longest flyover in the country). We took the same flyover after driving its parallel road for more than an hour. Had to take a U turn on the flyover to come down and reach Ramabai chowk. We refuelled our car and off to Lucknow. Kanpur to Lucknow is one hour drive but to get on to Faizabad Road to go to Gorakhpur, we had to wade thru the entire city. It took us more than an hour to cross Lucknow. Soon we crossed Barabanki too and stopped for lunch at 3 near Safedabad. Bad food and loud music are the two things I can remember about that resort type dhaba. At 4 we launched our final assault and crossed Fizabad at 5.30 PM. Road between Lucknow to Gorakhpur is under construction and only one side of the divider is open for traffic. Reached Basti at about 7.00 PM and the road there was horrible, it is yet to be pitched. Suddenly near Khalilabad (around 30 kms from Basti) the road became excellent and more or less it was good till Gorakhpur. Apart from driving on a single lane road at night, another problem was Fog. Reached Gorakhpur at 8.45 PM. In all it took close to 15 hours to cover 730 kms from Shivpuri to Gorakhpur.

We had to pay heavy tolls in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan while in UP for a stretch of 700 kms only one Toll was collected for Rs.35/- near Kanpur.


Gorakhpur To Mumbai via Varanasi – Rewa – Bandhavgarh – Kanha – Nagpur – Amravati – Dhule – Nasik (2020 Kms)

DAY 1 – 01.01.2011 - GORAKHPUR TO REWA, 460 KMS IN 12 HOURS.
We left our home at Medical College Road at 6.10 AM. It was damn cold and foggy. No Petrol Pump was open in the city and so filled the tank on the outskirts at Nausarh. Took left turn for Benares and the road was bad and visibility was 10 ft. After couple of hours visibility improved but road was horrible. Reached Benares at 11.30 AM i.e. 5 hrs 30 min to cover 220 kms. Missed the bypass and waded thru city to get to Mirzapur Road. Actually we asked a waiting auto driver who misguided us…. Reminds me of Benaras ke thugs! Road continued to be bad till Mirzapur and MP border. UP Police asked for full papers of vehicle and later asked for entry fees which we did not pay. Entered MP and the policeman straight asked for entry fees without checking papers. He was wasting our time so paid him 50 bucks instead of 100/- and continued onward journey. All the while from Gorakhpur to MP we were cursing UP roads till we realised they were excellent as compared to MP roads. We wondered if there are pot holes in the road or road in the pot holes and we preferred driving on muddy footpath on the highway. That was far better. Close to Rewa the road betterred but then it was dark. Checked in a hotel, horrible food had to be thrown.

DAY 2 – 02.01.2011 – REWA TO BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK, 165 KMS.
It was a leisurely beautiful 3 hour drive. On the way bought 10 samosas for 20 rupees. Saw a fox and a jackal within 20 kms range crushed to death on the road and one jackal nearly came under my wheels. At Bandhavgarh checked in Moghli resorts. Other than food it was very good resort.

DAY 3 – 03.01.2011 – BANDHAVGARH TO KANHA, 250 KMS IN 6 HRS.We began our day at 5 AM as we went for a tiger safari. Were lucky to spot a tiger from an elephant and then kept roaming in the forest till 11 AM. We packed our luggage, had lunch and left for Kanha at about 2.30. Filled our tank at Bandhavgarh and we were off to another lovely drive. The road near Bandhavgarh was bad but who cares as we were enjoying the jungles. On the way we came across a National Fossil Park and spent an hour there. We loved the entire patch till Mandla town and looked for our way to Kanha. It had become dark in Mandla but we drove on the nice Kanha road and reached Moghli Resort at about 8.30 PM. The dinner there was excellent but resort was not as good as the one in Bandhavgarh.

DAY 4 – 04.01.2011 – KANHA TO AMRAVATI, 470 KMS IN 9 HRS 30 MINS.
Next morning we went for Tiger Safari and were again lucky to spot one roaming tiger. Returned, had lunch and started at 1.30 PM. We reached Nagpur at around 6.30 PM, roamed around and had dinner at a domino outlet. Filled our tank and at 8 PM started for Amravati. It was a bad decision to drive on as I was feeling sleepy later on. Reached Amravati at 11 PM checked in a hotel and went to sleep.

DAY 5 – 05.01.2011 – AMRAVATI TO MUMBAI VIA DHULE, 675 KMS IN 13 HOURS
Started at 8 AM after breakfast. Road upto Dhule is without divider but condition is good except a few patches. After driving thru cold and jungles of MP, better roads were hardly any solace for the heat and bald patches of Maharashtra. Really felt bored in our last leg of journey. But from Dhule to Mumbai the road is very good and mostly 4 laned. The patch in Nasik city is not yet complete and we took time crossing Nasik city in the evening time around 5 or 6 PM. We reached our home in Wadala at 9 PM.
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Old 13th March 2011, 21:23   #2
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Default Re: Mumbai to Gorakhpur and back in Honda City

Thats a pretty long road trip you had especially with a 5 year old in tow. Was she able to handle the long drive? I am specifcally asking this because i have a 5 year old son but i still do not make plans of long drives with family as i am not sure how it would work out.

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Originally Posted by ashtrix View Post
We had to pay heavy tolls in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan while in UP for a stretch of 700 kms only one Toll was collected for Rs.35/- near Kanpur.
So did you experience major difference in road condition while on the UP stretch?

Also would this post be updated with snaps as well?
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:02   #3
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Default Re: Mumbai to Gorakhpur and back in Honda City

Very detailed account, thanks for all the useful info.

Can I make a few comments and ask a few questions?

1. It was a bad decision to go on NH8, the best place to have refuelled was Ankleshwar where you have some excellent pumps. Further down, Baroda bypass also has a few. Unfortunately on expressway, for 75 kms there is none (only the Reliance pump).

2. What is the state of NH8 between Baroda and Ahmedabad (been a long time since I travelled on it) - is it 4-laned now or still the old 2-laned highway?

3. For Ahmedabad, you should always take the Sardar Patel Ring Road which is a breeze to drive on and avoid the inner roads which are a mess and can confuse a new person. Ideally, NH8 intersects the SP Ring Road some 10 kms before the city, which you could have taken to get directly onto Himmatnagar/Udaipur road.

4. I am surprised that you found some sections of Udaipur-Chittorgarh bad, the entire stretch is a lovely 4-laner! Did you make a mistake somewhere and take the old 2-laned road instead of going via the Airport?

5. KOta bypass is still incomplete thanks to delays in construction of a bridge across River Chambal.

6. The Kota-Shivpuri sector is one of the loneliest highways in India, has absolutely no facilities and I also struggled to find a petrol pump. Precaution here is to refuel in Kota city like you did. That section looks scary.

7. You had to go off NH76 to get to the MPTDC at Shivpuri - is it not a better idea to take the east side exit to Shivpuri (towards Jhansi) instead of taking the west side (from Kota side)?

8. Is 4-laning on Jhansi-Kanpur section complete?

9. I am sure you must have struggled through Orai town!

10. Thanks for the tip on crossing Kanpur to get onto the Lucknow road.

11. Lucknow bypass is still closed?

12. I thought the Lucknow-Gorakhpur section is fully 4-laned? Because when I went that way in Apr 2009, I remember almost everything was complete and in finishing stages!?

13. There is a Varanasi bypass to get onto NH7?

14. I am not surprised about the extortion demands by the UP cops, I found myself running away from them every time they accost me! How did you manage without paying the "entry" fees?

15. Roads were bad all the way from Varanasi to Rewa? I guess you stuck to NH7?

16. For my understanding, where exactly does NH7 begin off NH2 at Varanasi - before the Ganga bridge (i.e. towards Allahabad) or east of the Ganga bridge (towards Calcutta)?

17. Did you go to Bandhavgarh via Katni & Umariya?

18. Did you have to go into Jabalpur city to go to Mandala - and how bad was it to find your way through?
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:15   #4
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Default Re: Mumbai to Gorakhpur and back in Honda City

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
8. Is 4-laning on Jhansi-Kanpur section complete?

9. I am sure you must have struggled through Orai town!

10. Thanks for the tip on crossing Kanpur to get onto the Lucknow road.

1
I drove this section in late November. I will be surprised it it is. Basically Jhansi- Ait was done and the rest was work in progress. Why I am doubtful is that culverts, flyover (at Bhognipur) were all in a somewhat early stage.

The link to NH25 from NH2 is really bad. The much better way is as he says - head towards Allahabad and then come back. What i shoucking is that NH25 was the first part of the GQ taken up (after all Lucknow was then the Royal constituency). It will take not less than 6 months to complete. As per the local 'noise' Kanpur-Lucknow which took about 2:30 now can easily take 4 hours. Of course it will be only two if you are Lucky!
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:27   #5
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Default Re: Mumbai to Gorakhpur and back in Honda City

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Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Thats a pretty long road trip you had especially with a 5 year old in tow. Was she able to handle the long drive? I am specifcally asking this because i have a 5 year old son but i still do not make plans of long drives with family as i am not sure how it would work out.



So did you experience major difference in road condition while on the UP stretch?

Also would this post be updated with snaps as well?
My kid was very cooperative but she did get bore as she wanted to run around and play and had to be kept entertained. We had stacked lots of eatables and drinks for her and also toys / games. Day 1 she tolerated but day 2 we took a long break mainly for her.
Our initial plan was not to go to Gorakhpur but my child refused to eat any meals as she missed her home made khichri, paranthe etc. Thats when we decided to go to Gorakhpur (my native place) from Shivpuri. Our initial thoughts were Shivpuri, Khajuraho, Panna, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench and back.
Reg. road conditions in UP, I would say Very Good except for few patches near Basti. Also the Lucknow - Gorakhpur 4 laning is not complete hence pressure on driving and given the fact its most populous stretch in the country. Covering 730 kms in less than 15 hrs from Shivpuri to Gorakhpur with night drive after Faizabad in dense fog, is not bad at all.
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Old 14th March 2011, 12:31   #6
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Thanks for going thru my write up in detail. In fact I now recall, I got lot of help from your experiencesand I am thankful to you for sharing your experiences. It is over 2 months that I took this journey and replying to you based on whatever I remember now. I am replying to you point wise and hope I am able to answer your queries.

1. I did not take NH8 for Ahmedabad just took turn for refuelling as I might not have got fuel on expressway. I did find many Pumps on NH8 but none had the premium so went inside city. We wanted a fuel cum refreshment break. Well, we could have planned it better.
2. We went a few kms on NH8 and it was good and 4 laned.
3. We took the same route.
4. It is within 10 - 15 kms from Udaipur, after that it was a breeze. I cant say about taking the old route but I just followed the road signs and vehicles mainly trucks.
5. Yes, and Kota city road had bad patches as you cross thru busy markets.
6. I loved this patch and wished it was not dark. Next time I will drive during the day time. I would say that Udaipur to Shivpuri Patch is loneliest, 4 laned and drivers’ delight. I was almost flying but you come across some idiots driving on the wrong side of the road. I was specially cautious of Tractor Trolleys and Cattles. Bad thoughts about dacoits did come while approaching Shivpuri.
7. I did not have much idea and it was dark already but while leaving we took the east side which was much better but lonlier as well and I might have struggled in the night to locate the resort from that side.
8. Not really, there are some patches like Orai bypass and in between some places and some flyovers are under construction.
9. Oh yes, there is some old bypass which all the truckers were taking and a gentleman told us to go thru the city to beat these truckers which was very useful but till we reach the highway it was pain.
10. It is stupid for road authorities to give wrong instructions. We did not take the flyover but kept driving parallelly in crowded traffic for more than an hour to get on to same flyover and after abt 2 kms take a U turn for Lucknow. This direction is mentioned on the flyover saying stick to right lane for Lucknow and take U turn after few meters for Lucknow. Unfortunately, in all travellogues I have found people telling to avoid getting on to the flyover else you will reach Allahabad. I am not sure but it must be a 20 km long flyover.
11. I did get phone calls for taking bypass in Lucknow to get to Faizabad road but did not see any directions and moreover people advising me themselves had never been on that so thought of better being safe than losing my way.
12. Well even I would say it is almost complete. But after Faizabad it became dark and foggy and every time oneside of the road was closed but still it was wide enough for the two way traffic. Just that I don’t like headlights hitting my eyes on a road without a divider.
13. I missed the roadsigns at the crossing and the Banarsi Babu guided me thru the city. He was not wrong but he could have simply asked me to take left instead of going straight.
14. The Sub Inspector checked my papers for 15 mins and while returning the papers sent the cop to check my car and he demanded the money there. I asked him to give me the receipt and bluffed him that I am from Benaras, going to Rewa to my relatives and a regular on this route. just started the engine and drove away.
15. It was worst of all roads. It was better near Rewa.
16. Cant say about that but entire drive from Varanasi to Rewa was not a pleasant experience and I wont advise people to take road journey on this patch.
17. We took Rewa – Beohari – Jaisinghnagar – Bandhavgarh. We had the whole day with us and purposely did nt push beyond 60 kmph, just wanted to enjoy the journey.
18. For Kanha we took the inner road via Umaria, Shahpura and Mandla. The road before Umaria was bad but lovely forest compensates for it. Very narrow roads but then no other vehicles in sight. Had absolutely no problem finding my way as I had asked the route from the resort guys. Same Moghli resorts are there at both the places. Just loved the lonely remote villages and expanses of jungles. We did not cross Jabalpur.
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Old 14th March 2011, 13:48   #7
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Thanks, those clarifications were very useful.
Good to know that you can go direct from Bandhavgarh to Kanha without getting back to NH7 and via Jabalpur.
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Old 15th March 2011, 09:38   #8
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[quote=hvkumar;2276995]Very detailed account, thanks for all the useful info.

4. I am surprised that you found some sections of Udaipur-Chittorgarh bad, the entire stretch is a lovely 4-laner! Did you make a mistake somewhere and take the old 2-laned road instead of going via the Airport?

HVKumar-you are absolutely spot on-the Udaipur-Chittorgarh section is one of the better roads I drove on in my whole trip. Its at the turn off to Chittorgarh till the Fort where the surface gets a little rough at places. I am talkig of as recently as 28 Feb.
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Old 15th March 2011, 10:48   #9
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@Ashtrix: Great detailed account of your trip! Congratulations on accomplishing this and that too with your kid alongside. Look forward to your pics from the trip especially the ones from the MP forest reserves. Going by your experiences, one can technically drive till Kathmandu if Indian passenger vehicles are allowed into Nepal (not sure if that is allowed though).
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Old 15th March 2011, 12:11   #10
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Sorry to say but dont have any pics worth posting. I was the only one to drive and a few pics we took were either in the resorts or in the safari. will try to upload a few. I did make a trip to Nepal upto Lumbini and Triveni Ghat and since you mentioned will write about it. Gorakhpur to Kathmandu can be done in a day's time. Indian registered vehicles are permitted in Nepal.
Thanks
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Old 14th June 2011, 12:03   #11
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This write up is going to be very useful for me as I plan my Rajasthan trip from Calcutta. Regarding HVK's question on the road to Rewa, if you are coming from Allahabad side cross the river and then the first flyover on GQ crosses this highway coming from Benares in the left and going to Chunar to the right. There is no proper exit from the highway but there are some informal exits to go to Chunar to your right and then onwards to Rewa. You don't need to drive through the city (essentially old GT Road) to get this road.

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 14th June 2011 at 12:09.
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Old 27th August 2012, 14:28   #12
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Default Re: Mumbai to Gorakhpur and back in Honda City

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashtrix View Post
Sorry to say but dont have any pics worth posting. I was the only one to drive and a few pics we took were either in the resorts or in the safari. will try to upload a few. I did make a trip to Nepal upto Lumbini and Triveni Ghat and since you mentioned will write about it. Gorakhpur to Kathmandu can be done in a day's time. Indian registered vehicles are permitted in Nepal.
Thanks

Did you post your travalogue on gorakhapur-lumbini? can you share the link.

Which route you took from gorakhapur to varanasi. Is it safe around gorakhpur?
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