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1100D 3rd June 2012 04:36

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
24 Attachment(s)
For any North Bengal /Sikkim enthusiast, the prospect of having to endure the ever congested, permanent state of disrepair, and some infamous level crossings is a sure turn off that comes out like a sore thumb all the time. On this ground upon discussion with team bhpian ADC and upon consultation with another bhpian Sheel had tried out this route last October. It turned out to be relatively stress free and ensured an end to end travel duration of under 13 hours.

Like it is always said, one instance does not make it a rule. We tried the route again a couple of weeks back. Similar result. To me this will be a preferred route till the so-called 4-laning of the NH34 takes place.

The route starts of with taking the NH2 (Durgapur expressway) to either Panagarh or Bardhaman, and then makes its way to Siuri.

In our case, we took Panagarh and will define it from that standpoint, but the Bardhaman Bolpur Illumbazar will be better.

We started at 4:38 and within 2 hours and 5 minutes was at Panagarh-darjeeling more (Kaksa more). The only reason we took this route is for easy availability of breakfast. But then, this time they were puting a lot of excuses towards not providing bread and eggs, though a little persuation helped.

The alternate route will involve driving via Messanjore Dumka Bhagalpur and Purnea before reaching Dalkhola. So to reach Messanjore first, we would have to drive on SH9 till it merges onto NH60 at Dubrajpur, cross Siuri, cross tilpara barrage and approximately 4 kms from the barrage comes the Seorakuri more (80 kms from Darjeeling more at Panagarh and 55.7 kms from Illumbazar more)

At Seorakuri more, one has to take a left turn towards Messanjore. This turn is a pretty non descript one, as it is actually narrow but has two entries with a buildings in between. Mesanjore is 30 kms from there on SH-7.

Attachment 935656

9 kms after Seorakuri more comes the Bengal Jharkhand border

Attachment 935662

Attachment 935657


We stopped at the Messanjore Dam about 9am.

(Pic taken last time)
Attachment 935658

Had a separate travelogue to this place
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-birthday.html

Another 15 kms from that through a very sceneic involving partial hilly terrain, comes up Pattabari where the road ends in a T junction. Its the Rampurhat-Dumka higway.

Attachment 935663

Take a left on this highway. Dumka is only 15 kms from here, but the road condition was bad. This 15 kms took us about 40 minutes. Could have been done faster but was taking it very very easy.

Sristi Park Kuruwa
Attachment 935664

Clock tower at Dumka (turn left on it)
Attachment 935665


At Dumka we refuelled at the biggest Indianoil outlet there and was soon out for Bhagalpur around 111 kms from there. My fathers calculations (of both occasions) though, hint at fuel from this pump not giving a good range. But I think its just my aching right foot.

The road till about Hansdiha has some sporadic potholes, nothing that cannot be avoided by carefull watchout. Infact polarised sunglasses help better identification of potholes!! Beyond Hansdiha, the road surface was fantastic.

A few pics enroute

Attachment 935659

Attachment 935660

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Attachment 935666

Attachment 935668

We took a small tea break after crossing Valjore. Soon the road merged with SH23 near Banka road.

Few more pics

Attachment 935669

Attachment 935670

Attachment 935671

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At Banka road, the railway flyover was in shambles last time, looks like it has been resurfaced now. Apart from this last time few of the culverts on this road was not surfaced with expansion joints projecting around 2" above the concrete slabs. This time though, the culverts were smooth, a few of them still did not have the ramps metalled. But nothing to worry about.

Attachment 935672

We reached Bhagalpur at 5 mins past noon. Infact its a good time to reach such a congested town. As post noon traffic starts lightening. Sheel had asked me to keep a watch for a right turn, just before I reach the railway flyover. However by the time the flyover comes to the view, the turn is behind you. But right at that point if you make an obtuse angle right turn into another lane there, you will meet up with the road you were supposed to take. Both times we took this turn! Next time I will know how to spot the right right turn. There is a "half-mandir" on the left of this junction on which this turn has to be taken!

Once on this road, another 4 way junction comes up within 700meters or so. One needs to take a left turn here. The moment you turn, you will have a school on the right (as an identifier). Drive straight on this road, will go under railway lines, for around 1.8 kms to Kacheri chowk (Bhagalpur court).

At Kacheri Chowk, take a right turn (you have avoided the core Bhagalpur town area). Another 3.5 kms on this and one will see a wide road going on the left side to the Vikramasila Setu.

Attachment 935673

The Vikramsila setu is 3.5 kms long

12 kms from the end of Vikramsila setu is Tulsipur, where one meets NH31 .

Take a right turn. Drive for around 68 kms to reach the entrypoint of Purnea.

Attachment 935674

Road on left takes you into Purnea, road on right is NH31, continue on it. 10 kms later comes a huge roundabout.

Attachment 935675

Take the exit on the right and 4 lane road starts from there.


Dalkhola is 35 kms from there but comes up in less than 25 minutes. Beyond Dalkhola its the regular route.

Attachment 935677

BP Dalkhola is a good place to have lunch, as well as breakfast on the way back.
Attachment 935678

Tea Estate before Bagdogra
Attachment 935679

samarjitdhar 3rd June 2012 10:09

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Beautiful. Just what the doctor ordered. However this is turning out to be a nice travelogue so why don't you get this thread moved to that section? I am pretty impressed by roads in Bihar contrary to what I have seen during my childhood. I was born and brought up in Bihar and later Jharkhand so have seen some crazy roads. Good to see Bihar progressing in terms of road communication and quality of roads.

hvkumar 3rd June 2012 16:29

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
This guide was sorely needed, now that both NH60 via Siuri to Morgam and NH34 via Krishnanagar are looking terrible options to go to North Bengal.

Assuming you turn off at Bardhaman & go via Bolpur, where does one exactly turn off at the expressway - and do you have to go through Bardhaman & Bolpur towns?

Wonder how the rains are going to treat these roads!!

noidea 3rd June 2012 17:21

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
1 Attachment(s)
I just did a google map search for directions from Kolkata to Siliguri and the second option was pretty much as you have travelled. Thank you very much for the detailed directions.

Here is a snap shot of the page. There are small differences but this is it I guess.
Attachment 935921

1100D 3rd June 2012 20:05

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hvkumar (Post 2797148)

Assuming you turn off at Bardhaman & go via Bolpur, where does one exactly turn off at the expressway - and do you have to go through Bardhaman & Bolpur towns?

Wonder how the rains are going to treat these roads!!

Nope, a couple of weeks back on a Sunday just drove this route to exploring two routes.

1> Kolkata-Bardhaman-Guskhara-Bolpur-Prantik-Ahmadpur Siuri
2> Siuri-Dubrajpur-Illumbazar-(just ahead of Bolpur)-Guskhara-Bardhaman

The second route, though longer was faster. However will try it again on a coming weekend, this time will go to Siuri (From Bolpur) through Sattore.

Now, coming to our route. Bardhaman-Guskhara-just ahead of Bolpur-Illumbazar-Dubrajpur-Siuri does not entail driving through the towns. Only there is a level crossing just while leaving Bardhaman. But this road being a busy one, the crossing is one of the better managed ones.

The turn-off (right) for the Bolpur road at Bardhaman from the DGP expressway comes up after around 6kms as you are flying past the Bardhaman PWD building (pink coloured building). This turn comes up quite fast as the expressway curves to the left. There is an opening on the right. One needs to take this opening to the right, cross the expressway, turn right again and within 100 meters turn left onto the Bardhaman Bolpur route (NH2B). The road ends in a sort of junction after 48 kms or so. (On google maps its going to look like a T junction, but it is not, its a proper 4 way junction).

On this junction you need to take left, Illumbazar is around 15kms from there.

Going straight (though the road does not come up on G-map) is a village, gravel road that meanders through huts and reaches the Sriniketan market , the startpoint of the Bolpur-Siuri route via Sattore. This road is the one to enjoy in Richard Burns mode, more-so if your vehicle is rear wheel powered, min was! However since its a proper village road, theres always thepossibility of chickens crossing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by noidea (Post 2797167)
I just did a google map search for directions from Kolkata to Siliguri and the second option was pretty much as you have travelled. Thank you very much for the detailed directions.

Here is a snap shot of the page. There are small differences but this is it I guess.
Attachment 935921

Yes thats the route. But at Bhagalpur, follow my post, it was suggested by another bhpian Sheel. However, have also tried the regular station route at 9th hour and its really suggested not to try it.



Quote:

Originally Posted by hvkumar (Post 2797148)
Wonder how the rains are going to treat these roads!!

Last year when we took the route (post Monsoon), the entire section between Messanjore and Dumka was totally eroded. Then Dumka to Hansdiha was just about drivable. Then Panagarh to Dubrajpur was also mostly brokem.

So I do not think they are immune from the Monsoon onslaught.

Sutripta 3rd June 2012 20:58

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1100D (Post 2797238)
The second route, though longer was faster. However will try it again on a coming weekend, this time will go to Siuri (From Bolpur) through Sattore.

Please do let us know before doing this. And need to meet with your father before you do this!

Quote:

The turn-off (right) for the Bolpur road at Bardhaman from the DGP expressway comes up after around 6kms as you are flying past the Bardhaman PWD building (pink coloured building). This turn comes up quite fast as the expressway curves to the left. There is an opening on the right. One needs to take this opening to the right, cross the expressway, turn right again and within 100 meters turn left onto the Bardhaman Bolpur route (NH2B).
I think it is better explained if one looks at it when coming from Durgapur.
The GQ is the Bardhaman bypass. Take the road to enter the town, and within 200 m one gets the turnoff on the left. One almost immediately come across the Talit Rly Stn LC. Most certainly does not look like a NH, so very misleading.

Quote:

So I do not think they are immune from the Monsoon onslaught.
There are reports of flooding/ waterlogging on parts of the road during monsoons.

I take it that there are essentially only two choke points: crossing Bhagalpur, and if not using the Ilambazar route, crossing the rly line at Bolpur?

Regards
Sutripta

1100D 3rd June 2012 21:53

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2797266)
Please do let us know before doing this. And need to meet with your father before you do this!

Will surely try. I will tell him to spare time away from STAAD. He spends all day with it!!


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2797266)
I take it that there are essentially only two choke points: crossing Bhagalpur, and if not using the Ilambazar route, crossing the rly line at Bolpur?

Regards
Sutripta

Even Dumka is a wee bit of a choke point, near the bus stand. But avoiding it is more of a hassle than tolerating it. At Bhagalpur avoiding the railway station is key.

I did not get the rlwy line at Bolpur, do you mean the crossing at Bardhaman on the Bardhaman Bolpur NH2B?

Sutripta 3rd June 2012 22:03

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1100D (Post 2797308)
Will surely try. I will tell him to spare time away from STAAD. He spends all day with it!!

Structural engineer?



Quote:

At Bhagalpur avoiding the railway station is key.
Can you avoid it?

Quote:

I did not get the rlwy line at Bolpur, do you mean the crossing at Bardhaman on the Bardhaman Bolpur NH2B?
Bolpur to Ahmedpur. LC either at Bolpur or Prantik.

Regards
Sutripta

1100D 3rd June 2012 22:26

re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2797317)
Structural engineer?

Civil Engineer




Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2797317)
Can you avoid it?

Yes Here goes. Quoting from the opening post.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 1100D (Post 2796885)
We reached Bhagalpur at 5 mins past noon. Infact its a good time to reach such a congested town. As post noon traffic starts lightening. Sheel had asked me to keep a watch for a right turn, just before I reach the railway flyover. However by the time the flyover comes to the view, the turn is behind you. But right at that point if you make an obtuse angle right turn into another lane there, you will meet up with the road you were supposed to take. Both times we took this turn! Next time I will know how to spot the right right turn. There is a "half-mandir" on the left of this junction on which this turn has to be taken!

Once on this road, another 4 way junction comes up within 700meters or so. One needs to take a left turn here. The moment you turn, you will have a school on the right (as an identifier). Drive straight on this road, will go under railway lines, for around 1.8 kms to Kacheri chowk (Bhagalpur court).

At Kacheri Chowk, take a right turn (you have avoided the core Bhagalpur town area). Another 3.5 kms on this and one will see a wide road going on the left side to the Vikramasila Setu.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2797317)
Bolpur to Ahmedpur. LC either at Bolpur or Prantik.

Regards
Sutripta

Both are flyovers. One at Bolpur just after crossing the railway station and the other one at Ahmadpur.

However, the route I said I will try out, is not the one I did. I was told that the surface was good, thats why I tried it. But has a lot of potential choke points on the way, Bolpur itself being one.

The other route is what I am being told by one of my dad's friends, is through Sattore. Thats the one I will try out. But I do not think that will be as promising as the Illumbazar Siuri 45km run.

Sutripta 4th June 2012 20:42

Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1100D (Post 2797336)
Both are flyovers. One at Bolpur just after crossing the railway station and the other one at Ahmadpur.

You're right about Bolpur. (Think crossing, write LC!) Don't know about Ahmadpur. Prantik is not a ROB, AFAIK. Normally the crossings are close to/ at one end of the station. And over the years a market grows around the Rly Stn. Ergo, to cross the line, one has to drive through the market. So the question is is it possible to avoid it?

Quote:

The other route is what I am being told by one of my dad's friends, is through Sattore. Thats the one I will try out. But I do not think that will be as promising as the Illumbazar Siuri 45km run.
How is the road from Darjeeling Morh to Ilambazar now?

Regards
Sutripta

1100D 4th June 2012 23:31

Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2798306)
Don't know about Ahmadpur. Prantik is not a ROB, AFAIK.

Ahmadpur is ROB. Prantik, as you said is LC.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2798306)
Ergo, to cross the line, one has to drive through the market. So the question is is it possible to avoid it?

If you are talking about Bolpur, its yes, you can avoid the station area and is also recommended.

At the junction at NH2B (The Bardhaman Bolpur rd). There will be a wide road on left soon after it, take it. You will meet another junction, ide road, take right, go straight till you cross the railway tracks.

However, I will try the more direct route from Bolpur to Siuri, without needing to go to Prantik etc (though the Prantik road is very good visually)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2798306)
How is the road from Darjeeling Morh to Ilambazar now?

Regards
Sutripta

I can say its smooth, but will refrain, because they are repairing the road in funny sort of patches, after digging through them. If you note the spreadsheet that I shared the other day, it has a "truck breakdown", actually it was an accident caused when a truck hit one of these patches and dislodged its front axle. Think what would happen to a normal car (though normal car would not carry that load). However, these patches can easily be avoided and a cruising speed be maintained.

rahul4640 5th June 2012 21:35

Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
9 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1100D (Post 2796885)
At Seorakuri more, one has to take a left turn towards Messanjore. This turn is a pretty non descript one, as it is actually narrow but has two entries with a buildings in between. Mesanjore is 30 kms from there on SH-7.

Although I felt the directions through the Bolpur road somewhat confusing and decided to go for the Panagarh route instead, this junction was hard to miss. It was actually the first road on your left after passing Tilpara barrage. These are two photos from that road.
Attachment 937054
Attachment 937055
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2798306)
How is the road from Darjeeling Morh to Ilambazar now?

Here are few photos I took on the Panagarh-Ilambazar road. Is not the road in good shape?
Attachment 937050
Attachment 937051
Attachment 937052
Attachment 937053
Quote:

Originally Posted by 1100D (Post 2798447)
I can say its smooth, but will refrain, because they are repairing the road in funny sort of patches, after digging through them. If you note the spreadsheet that I shared the other day, it has a "truck breakdown", actually it was an accident caused when a truck hit one of these patches and dislodged its front axle. Think what would happen to a normal car (though normal car would not carry that load). However, these patches can easily be avoided and a cruising speed be maintained.

Yes, certainly they may be easily avoided at the times of the day, specially because the road is sufficiently wide to safely manoeuvre your car out of it. But it became little difficult for me, as I returned by this road at midnight and sometimes the high beam of the headlights of the trucks dazzled and effected the visibility of the road. But nothing which may not be managed with little careful and cautious driving.
And here is a photo of the Massanjore dam from the road leading to Dumka.
Attachment 937056
This is the road leading to Bikramshila bridge, after crossing Bhagalpur town. It was only at Bhagalpur that I had to ask for direction. At Purnea there was proper signs on the roads, so it was easy to take the bypass. From the Google map I remembered the big circular turnabout where the divided road starts.
Attachment 937057
This is a picture of the four lane road after Purnea.
Attachment 937058
Regards,
Rahul

Sheel 6th June 2012 14:48

Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
A small heads-up -

Bhagalpur bye-pass is functional now. After crossing Vikramshila Setu and taking the right for Bhagalpur town, one may spot a BP fuel outlet. Alongside it, is a left turn which will take you away from Bhagalpur's madness & chaos.

Post 20th June, I shall post proper pictures of the other way and its directions.

Sutripta 6th June 2012 21:03

Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rahul4640 (Post 2799449)
This is the road leading to Bikramshila bridge, after crossing Bhagalpur town. It was only at Bhagalpur that I had to ask for direction. At Purnea there was proper signs on the roads, so it was easy to take the bypass.

Hi,
Was wondering what happened to you! You OK?

Sheel says the Bhagalpur bypass is now complete. Guess I'll give this road a try this September.

Regards
Sutripta

samarjitdhar 8th June 2012 19:07

Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur. Avoiding NH34
 
From what I remember, at Sri Niketan junction there is a road that would also take you to SH6. AFAIK most of the longer distance traffic in the sense Bolpur-Siuri use that route. One can reach the Sri Niketan junction using the bypass which helps in avoiding all the nasty traffic at Bolpur and inside. Has this been explored? Last I had seen, this road was a nice two laned road in good condition.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2800618)
Was wondering what happened to you! You OK?

Sutripta da, Rahul da is piggy-backing his travelogue on every other thread possible :uncontrol.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sutripta (Post 2800618)
I'll give this road a try this September

Me too, but just can't figure out when :Frustrati, but definitely this year.


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