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Old 10th May 2019, 15:36   #946
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

The Kolkata - Siliguri road condition continues to improve. As noted previously:

1. One of the flanks of Malda Bypass is ready and it does not take more than 10 mins to bypass Malda town (previously it used to take 30-40 mins to pass the town depending on the time when you crossed through).

2. Farakka is also open - which means you get another 30mins to 1 hours back on your clocks.

Both of these factors have contributed towards reducing the travel duration.
* * *


We did a short trip to Chalsa in May. This time I decided to try the Dalkhola Bypass instead of Botolbari - Dhantola route. This route is under construction as you can see from the photos below. It is also 20 kms longer, thereby requiring some extra time too. Hence not recommended for now.

Calcutta - Bagdogra
Started from Kolkata and reached Bagdogra in 12 hours, with a breakfast and evening snack door to door.

Cooch Behar - Calcutta
We started from Cooch Behar ar 4.15 AM and reached our Calcutta apartment at 7 PM via the Dalkhola route covering a total distance of 740 kms. It would have been much faster had it not been for a humongous traffic jam of 10 kms before Raiganj. Some speculated it was due to an accident - but whatever be the reason, we lost 45 mins due to it. During the return we were carrying packed food from home, hence, we didn't stop for lunch or breakfast.

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-dalkhola-bypass-_photo1.png

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-dalkhola-bypass-_photo2.png

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-dalkhola-bypass-_photo3.png

As Golam-da has mentioned, construction of the second Farakka bridge seems to be in full swing. Also, the four lane work from Raiganj to Dalkhola has started.

Last edited by sayakc : 10th May 2019 at 15:43.
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Old 15th May 2019, 21:30   #947
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
Calcutta - Bagdogra
Started from Kolkata and reached Bagdogra in 12 hours, with a breakfast and evening snack door to door.
Can you please tell the entire route you have taken?
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Old 15th May 2019, 21:44   #948
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

As noted in my post, I had tried a slightly different route this time (but don't recommend)
Kolkata - Burdwan (SH7) - Morgram - Farraka - Malda (Malda Bypass) - Raiganj - Dalkhola Bypass (under construction) - Nichitpur - Kishanganj - Islampur - Bagdogra.


This is the route which I recommend/team bhpians usually avail.
Kolkata - Burdwan (SH7) - Morgram - Farraka - Malda (Malda Bypass) - Raiganj - Botolbari - Dhantola - Islampur - Bagdogra.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Krishroy View Post
Can you please tell the entire route you have taken?

Last edited by sayakc : 15th May 2019 at 21:45.
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Old 16th May 2019, 17:04   #949
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
As noted in my post, I had tried a slightly different route this time (but don't recommend)
Kolkata - Burdwan (SH7) - Morgram - Farraka - Malda (Malda Bypass) - Raiganj - Dalkhola Bypass (under construction) - Nichitpur - Kishanganj - Islampur - Bagdogra.
.
I took this route too a couple of months back. Was approaching this stretch around 3AM and wasnt keen on taking the Botolbari stretch at that hour. A quick check of gmaps revealed that Dalkhola was traffic free and indeed it was a breeze.

I agree that this route would be longer in most other times of the day.
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Old 16th May 2019, 20:35   #950
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Did a Kolkata - Gangtok - Kolkata run last week.

Dankuni to Burdwan is smooth and fast.
Road surface of Sh7 is smooth, be careful of sudden road humps.
After exiting from Sh7, the 3 km stretch on Panagarh - Moregram highway is now freshly laid, which was filled with craters in March.

From Moregram be careful of sudden potholes till the first toll.
From the toll to 4 km before Farakka is breeze.
While approaching Farakka, do expect some congestion due to truck traffic.
Farakka was clear.
Took the Malda bypass this time. Only one side is operational. Its 80% complete. There are few rough patches and uneven bridge joints. Low gc cars should take extra care on the uneven joints. The underbelly might get scrapped.

Post Farakka till Raigaunge roads are great. Took Botolbari- Dhantola road after crossing Raigaunge. Its best to avoid Botolbari- Dhantola road during peak traffic hours due to too much town traffic.

The last 500 meter before the exit to Dhantola is pure offroading! To avoid that, take left, just before the bad road starts and exit on the service road.

Dhantola to Bagdogra road is great. Expect slow traffic in Islampur.

The flyovers near Bagdogra town are almost complete now. So Bagdogra to Siliguri drive is not taking much time either.

While going it took us 11 hours from Dankuni to Sevoke including breaks. 9 Pm to 8 Am.
While returning it again took us 11 hours from Sevoke to Dankuni including breaks. 5 Pm to 4 Am.

Last edited by Samba : 16th May 2019 at 20:44.
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Old 16th May 2019, 20:55   #951
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Thank you Sayak for this very useful update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
... One of the flanks of Malda Bypass is ready.
Sayak, I am wondering whether they have completed the road painting work along this flank? Also, did you see any actual ongoing work there? Specially, near the railway over bridge site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sayakc View Post
Also, the four lane work from Raiganj to Dalkhola has started.
That is quite heartening to see. I hope that after election the work on the other stalled stretch of Barasat - Krishnanagar resumes too.

Best,
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:30   #952
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Golam-Da,

As far as I remember, I did see machinery standing idle(on the North Bound left flank), but no men.

Again, sorry, but I don't remember the painting work

But one thing I can add, now, even trucks are plying through the "One Flanked" bypass - hence I believe, it is becoming the regular route going forward

Thanks,
Sayak

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Sayak, I am wondering whether they have completed the road painting work along this flank? Also, did you see any actual ongoing work there? Specially, near the railway over bridge site.
Best,
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Old 19th May 2019, 09:30   #953
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
The last 500 meter before the exit to Dhantola is pure offroading! To avoid that, take left, just before the bad road starts and exit on the service
Actually this portion is someone's personal property and when the government intended to buy that land from the owner, other encorchers demanded the same amount of damage. Multiple meetings were held to solve the issue, but till now the situation remained the same.

One can do some detour from the Biprit crossing, just take the right as on map. The condition of this road is good and it also bypass most of the Islampur traffic to.

Only thing to worry on this Bengal to Bengal route is safety. Please try to cover this route in daytime. I heard of some incidents even at around 7 to 8 PM before the Volvo time. Even a scratch on a goat or bike may cost thousands. So be cautious!

Here is the detour highlighted in blue, other one is the route for offroading at the end.
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-screenshot_20190519092201_maps.jpg  

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Old 3rd June 2019, 10:28   #954
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Coming back to the old and formidable issue of crossing Bhagalpur, is the Hawai Adda detour to reach Vikramshila Setu good to go? Circa 2017 one of the small bridge/culvert was still unfinished. Thanks
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Old 3rd June 2019, 10:45   #955
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

So back from another drive to Kolkata.

Route taken while going - [not taking this route in a while]

Purnia - Bhagalpur - Dumka - Massanjore - Birbhum - Bolpur - Burdawan - kolkata

Route taken while coming back - [would be sticking with this route]

Kolakata - Asansol - Nala - Palan - Masalia - Dumka - Bhagalpur - Purnia.

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-whatsapp-image-20190603-10.26.52-1.jpeg

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-whatsapp-image-20190603-10.26.52-2.jpeg

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-whatsapp-image-20190603-10.26.52.jpeg

If you are lucky, this entire road should take you 10 hours with breaks. From Asansol, blindly follow G-Maps. Also, Bhagalpur bypass should be functional within the next 15 days, so no truck queue, no jams. Just remember to take to your right when you see an overbridge over your head .

In case you are coming from Purnia, simply climb on the overbridge after exiting Vikramshila setu.

2512'25.8"N 8658'20.7"E This is the address.

Last edited by Sheel : 3rd June 2019 at 10:46.
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Old 5th June 2019, 15:48   #956
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
....
Route taken while coming back - [would be sticking with this route]

Kolakata - Asansol - Nala - Palan - Masalia - Dumka - Bhagalpur - Purnia.
Great update Sir.

how is the road condition between Hansdiha to Bhagalpur?

Also, about the bypass to Bhagalpur town, can you plot your on Gmap and share?

Thanks and best regards
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Old 5th June 2019, 17:00   #957
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive_factor View Post

how is the road condition between Hansdiha to Bhagalpur?

Also, about the bypass to Bhagalpur town, can you plot your on Gmap and share?
The road post JH border onwards isn't very good, but is doable, I mean you can maintain 70-80 kmph.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/25...7!4d86.9724167
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Old 7th June 2019, 23:51   #958
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Returned to Kolkata on 5th June after a trip to the hills of North Bengal. This time the steed was a Tiago petrol.

More or less smooth sailing both ways. Took Kolkata-Burdwan-SH7-Moregram-Farakka-Malda-Botolbari-Islampur-Siliguri route. We travelled during daytime as we had a three year old with us.
There was no hold-up at Farakka.
Kaliachak was a mess, the entire bazaar seemed to be on the road and , thus a lot of "creative" driving was required to wiggle one's way out!
Kolkata bound flank of Malda Bypass was functional and it took less than fifteen minutes to cover the bypass. The expansion joints of the various bridges on the Malda Bypass hasn't been smoothened over yet, so you have to "tip-toe" your way over them.
Botolbari - Dhantola was smooth - avoiding the last 200 metres by going through the bazaar.
A lot of road widening work is on before Bagdogra resulting in a lot of dust clouds thrown up by preceding vehicles.
Please be careful and don't tailgate the vehicle in front of you too much, as the surface is loose gravel and there may be a chance that the preceding vehicle spits back a couple of loose stone chips out of its tyre treads to pop out your car's windscreen!
Siliguri traffic was its usual glorious chaotic self.

Hill roads were largely fine. Pankhabari till Kurseong is in good condition. Kurseong to Darjeeling via Hill Cart Road is ok, apart from heavy traffic. Darjeeling to Kalimpong via Jorebungalow-Lamahatta-Peshoke-Teesta Bazaar is in good shape. Kalimpong to Delo Hill, both, the longer route as well as the short cut are in great shape. Kalimpong to Gorubathan via Lava is being repaired in places , thus it's in a bit of a spotty condition. Gorubathan to Siliguri via Coronation Bridge is again in fine fettle.
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-img20190528wa0010.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-img20190528wa0022.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-img20190601wa0003.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-img20190528wa0016.jpg  

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34-img20190528wa0013.jpg  


Last edited by arjab : 7th June 2019 at 23:59.
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Old 8th June 2019, 00:41   #959
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Hi gents I am looking for advice, as we will be making a trip to Darjeeling around the end of the month. I have booked a self drive Creta from zoomcar and want to start around midnight from Kolkata.

Please could one of you be kind enough to let me know how to plan the travel (route, petrol pumps, pit stops, and any essentials I should be aware of) so as to reach Darjeeling by around 4 pm the next day (ie around 16 hours).

I'd also like some help on what essential checks should I do while taking the rental car. It's my first long drive and that too in a rental.

We will be 4 adults and a 3 year old child. I am a sedate driver and rarely go above 70 kmph.

Any inputs would be of much help. Thanks
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Old 8th June 2019, 03:19   #960
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalnirvana View Post
Please could one of you be kind enough to let me know how to plan the travel (route, petrol pumps, pit stops, and any essentials I should be aware of) so as to reach Darjeeling by around 4 pm the next day (ie around 16 hours).
Avoid starting at midnight. You will find truck congestion at Dankuni toll.

Start by 6 Pm. Reach Azadhind Dhaba on Nh2 by 8 pm and have dinner. Get the fuel tank filled to the brim at the BP petrol bunk over there. By 9 pm you can finish your dinner and resume the journey. So by 10 Pm you should be crossing Burdwan town and it should be devoid of traffic.

With sedate driving, if you cross Burdwan around 10 Pm, expect to reach Moregram around 1-15 Am in the night through Sh7.

By 3 Am you should cross Farakka and by 5 Am you will be crossing Raigaunge and reach the Botolbari entrance by 5-15 Am. With less traffic in early morning Dhantola should come up by 6-30 Am.

So expect Siliguri around 8 Am. Refuel at Siliguri and have breakfast. If you start by 9 Am you should be at Darjeeling before Lunch!

This timing can be maintained with a very sedate pace including refreshment breaks!

In the present condition, with moderately fast driving (maintaining around 80-90 km/hr) Kolkata - Darjeeling can be covered in 14 hours!

Route - Kolkata- Dankuni - Ullashmore- Burdwan - Khargram -Moregram -Farakka - Malda - Raigaunge - Botolbari - Dhantola- Islampur - Bagdogra - Matigara - Rohini Road - Kurseong - Ghoom - Darjeeling.

Few points
-

Parking is a problem at Darjeeling, so try to find a hotel with parking. The newly made common parking at Darjeeling is beside the Darjeeling station, but its a half an hour walk from the mall.

The Farakka bridge is a no overtaking zone.

If you are not accustomed, avoid Malda bypass at night. After taking the bypass, Gmaps keeps on rerouting as its still under construction. In case you take it, just drive straight till it merges back with the main highway.

Last edited by Samba : 8th June 2019 at 03:37.
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