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Old 5th November 2017, 10:11   #841
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_kej View Post
So it's been more than 5 years since this thread started and being a resident of Siliguri I really feel sorry for my State that still the road connectivity of two biggest cities of West Bengal is still a puzzle. Still there is no definite route which we can follow for our road trips between these two cities.

We keep coming up with new routes and worst part is that we need to choose the best route from the worst ones. Really waiting for the day when Siliguri Kolkata and vice versa will be a breeze to drive, waiting for the day when there are no updates required in this thread, waiting for the day when we cover this two cities faster than Darjeeling mail does.
Sad indeed, but I have read travelogues on this forum from 2009, and as per that travelogue, the NH34 ( or the old road ? ) looked pretty nice and those guys timed Siliguri following the same route as NH34 in 12 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmchak@gmail.co View Post
"Asansol Deoghar Bhagalpur route sans last.."

I agree, its nice route with great views - however, in this highly unpredictable route, I have always see some consistency in Dalkhola & Kishanganj.. you will surely get stuck for sometime... like what used to happen in kaliachawk

Next - using SH7 and SH 11 you will surely reach Berhampore within 5 hours(worst), and if road between Kuli and Moregram is fixed, you will reach Moregram within 5 hours... in next 4 hours, you will reach Raiganj... I understand now Raiganj to Botolbari is semi-fixed (patch work)... and in next 4 hours you reach Shiliguri.. (very conservative estimate) - 13 hours in relaxed driving is a good time.

Once road till Krishnanagar is fixed, i think NH 34 or now 12 will get some glory..
Kisangunj for me has always been lucky, Islampur always gives me some headache, the main problem along that route is Naugechia and Bhagalpur but that usually can be managed. Dalkhola if you are coming from Purnia is not a problem, but if you are connecting NH31 from NH34 at Dalkhola, then it's a real mess, but Botolbari-Dhantola sorts that now though.

Along the Bengal route via SH7, upto Moregram is fine, but Farakka, Kaliachowk and Malda are really unpredictable, although recent road works have sorted Rosulpur and Kaliachowk, and the problem now remains to be Malda town truck and local traffic.

Still in doubts which route to follow, the Bengal route despite the heavy rains, took me about 14 hours max to reach Lataguri, so this should take about the same or less if I start earlier next weekend. While the Dumka Massanjore route is usually even better than the Deoghar Banka route, but will take about 1 hour more, but will have virtually no traffic on almost the entire route.
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Old 14th November 2017, 13:29   #842
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Was patiently going through this thread. Doing research for my trip to Bhutan from Bangalore. Am quite puzzled (read confused) about two things.

1) If one should keep Kolkata as part of the route or should plan for an alternate from Nagpur? Pls suggest.

2) Is it only road conditions that make people take Dumka route to Siliguri or is it also security issues? Is it safe for night driving too - just in case if am running late.

Would be great, if anyone of you could help me plan on this. Thanks in advance.
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Old 16th November 2017, 19:10   #843
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Drove from Kolkata to Siliguri last Saturday, started at 3AM followed the SH7 and the Botolbari-Dhantola as I did in July, and honestly, this route in one go always takes 14/15 hours with an hour break at Malda Golden Park, the parameters change, but the result remains the same. For example, in July started at 5:30 AM and found Dankuni and upto Bardhaman a breeze, then some traffic as usual in Bardhaman town, but entire SH7 was choc a bloc with traffic and goats. Reached Malda Golden Park at 2:30. In July halted at Malda, so the Botolbari Dhantola was a breeze too, since I took to it pretty early in the morning the next day.

But this time, starting at 3:00 AM didn't prove to be fruitful either, all the Toll Plazas, starting from Dankuni, seem to have only half the toll gates open at that hour, and the rush to get to the toll booth is mad, being the only car among the trucks, had to really put in a fight to get there, and lost a precious 25 minutes at Dankuni itself. SH7 was comparatively free since I passed this leg of the journey before schools opened, and passed Farakka and Kaliachowk too, but then as expected lost major energy and time in crossing Malda, reached Golden Park at 12:30 PM, took 9 1/2 hours to this point, took a rushed break and started off again and after beating the Raigunj traffic reached Botolbari at a point when traffic through this narrow road is at its peak and reached Siliguri at 6:30 PM. So in the end it still took me a tiring and stressful 15:30 hours end too end.

Drove from Siliguri to Pelling along the Reshi, Legship route, Melli - Jorthang stretch is pretty improved now, really, but beyond Jorthang, Reshi and Legship is real hell, most of it is broken, narrow and wet and with massive tree trunks and rocks hanging over your head, memories of last monsoon it seems!

Stayed in Pelling and chose Magpie Chestnut since its pretty new, and as luck would have it, this resort too has such an infamous approach road that small to medium cars are not climbing this stretch at all, and Innova taxis are having troubles too, the loose rock and gravel steep road with deep ruts, is not suitable for Innova too, only Bolero Taxis and Trucks and my XUV managed the climb it seems.

The resort is losing business due to this, and when I was there, I have talked to the labours who have been hired to put some surface on this road. When I left for Kaluk yesterday, they were laying the top part of the road already, so soon enough this nice resort will be accessible to all. For interested people, its along the road that slopes down to your right when you enter Pelling from the Pemyagtse road and reach the Pelling Fuel Station.

Pelling to Kaluk is good if you go via Dentam, so took that road, and other than a few patches of broken road around the "jhora" that fall along the road, and a pretty bad patch at the base of the Changey fall, its a pretty good stretch to drive on.

But now my concern is the return trip, I really wish to drive upto Purnia along the nice Purnia-Siliguri highway and NH31 and then drive through Dumka, don't want the stress of Botolbari, Malda, Raiganj or Farakka or SH7 anoymore, yes, they won't come all of them together, but at least 3 out of these are sure to give you enough pain if you want to take it in a single day.

So instead of halting at Malda or Raigunj, driving from Kaluk, or even halting at Siliguri, I would rather drive straight to Purnia and stay at Center Point like my earlier trips, but one deep pain is bothering me, and I might have to overcome it in the end. I might have to drop the bottle of my favourite Whiskey before entering Bihar, I will still have some left for the road, which unfortunately can't carry into Bihar anymore. @Sheel bhaisaab, please, is there a way I can keep it deep in my luggage? I am sure I don't have a choice, and it's unlawful too. But anyways, I am almost sure I'll take the Purnia, Dumka route while returning.

@shreedharan

1. There are experts on this here, I am sure you'll get suggestions.

2. Mostly road condition and traffic congestion that forces us take the alternate route, but at the same time, the Botolbari-Dhantola route is very close to the Bangladesh Border and is considered unsafe in the dark.

Last edited by themagicclicks : 16th November 2017 at 19:25.
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Old 16th November 2017, 22:59   #844
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreedharan View Post
2) Is it only road conditions that make people take Dumka route to Siliguri or is it also security issues? Is it safe for night driving too - just in case if am running late.
I drove to Bhutan from Chennai last month. I took the Kolkata-Burdwan-Morgram-Farakka-Malda-Raiganj-Danthola-Siliguri and while returning took Siliguri-Dalkhola-Purnea-Bhagalpur-Dumka-Raniganj-Bankura-Kharagpur.

Both roads were bad but personally I feel the former is slightly better. I drove the return route during night time and stuck in traffic after Bhagalpur for about 2-3 hours. It was painful. Plan accordingly.
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Old 22nd November 2017, 20:55   #845
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Back home now, and an interesting update. First of all decided to take the Bengal to Bengal route again, to be give it another try. But changed the route a little, started at 4:30 AM from Siliguri, Royal Sarovar Portico and was home, Tollygunge, by 7 PM. Starting early meant, Dhantola-Botolbari was completely deserted and Malda too took only about 25 minutes to cross, was at Moregram at about 12 noon, and then instead of taking the SH7 route to Funtishanko, drove straight to Nalhati, the road is bad and if one can manage trucks, it's manageable, the first 10/15km till Nalhati is not the best drive, but between Nalhati and Suri, the road is better, but after Suri truck traffic increases, so took the Suri Main Road to connect to SH6, then from SH6 took the Sekhampur-Sahapur road or Surul road that took me straightonto AH1 just ahead of the Palsit Toll Plaza. Didn't have to cross Bardhaman town and the entire stretch is so smooth that it is almost a dream come true. The distance is about 20/25km more than the SH7 route, but the drive is stress less to the core and enjoyed it a lot. Will try this route again in the near future.
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Old 26th November 2017, 09:32   #846
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

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Originally Posted by themagicclicks View Post
Back home now, Will try this route again in the near future.
Thanks for the update. Can you post a route map, if possible.
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Old 26th November 2017, 13:36   #847
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Here goes the approximate plot on Google Maps. Note that at the point where Panagarh Moregram State Highway meets Suri Main Road, Google Map is showing both the route via the Panagarh Moregram State Highway and via Suri Main Road from the fork, I took the Suri Main Road because both Google and locals suggested that the Suri Main Road was faster by about 1 hour at that moment, and the Suri Main Road devoid of trucks, and with a nice tarmac, turned out to be the better option, followed by a stretch of SH6 and then onto Surul Road or Sekhandpur-Sahapur Road that takes you straight onto AH1 a little short of Bardhaman while driving from Malda, and you get to avoid the Bardhaman City traffic too this way, while SH7 takes you into Bardhaman if you follow the Badsahi Road. The Road Condition of the entire stretch beyond Suri is excellent. Moregram to Nalhati is bad, but it is only about 15/20km I guess.

This map does have a few odd extra points, but the main idea is to take Moregram PAnagarh State Highway upto Suri then take Suri Main Road, then SH6, and then Suri-Bolpur Road, which then becomes Surul Road or Sekhandpur Sahapur Road and go straight on to AH1.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Pa...7537!3e0?hl=en

Last edited by themagicclicks : 26th November 2017 at 13:49.
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Old 27th November 2017, 14:59   #848
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quite a good decision by you.

However, my favorite as of now is

https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Pa...24.8040117!3e0

You avoid Burdwan town, Kuli to Moregram bad stretch, and even Kuli to Kandi bad stretch.

Any idea from anyone about present SH 7 condition between Kuli and Moregram?

Last edited by bblost : 27th November 2017 at 15:04. Reason: Typo fixed.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 16:21   #849
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmchak@gmail.co View Post
Any idea from anyone about present SH 7 condition between Kuli and Moregram?
Very, very bad, SH11 is a much better option.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 18:54   #850
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmchak@gmail.co View Post
Any idea from anyone about present SH 7 condition between Kuli and Moregram?
Total 15 kms of bad road, rest is good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_kej View Post
So it's been more than 5 years since this thread started and being a resident of Siliguri I really feel sorry for my State that still the road connectivity of two biggest cities of West Bengal is still a puzzle. Still there is no definite route which we can follow for our road trips between these two cities.

We keep coming up with new routes and worst part is that we need to choose the best route from the worst ones. Really waiting for the day when Siliguri Kolkata and vice versa will be a breeze to drive, waiting for the day when there are no updates required in this thread, waiting for the day when we cover this two cities faster than Darjeeling mail does.
Yes it is sad but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have visited North Bengal multiple times this year through the same route shown by Google and have faced issue only once due to traffic jam from Raigunj to Botolbari. I have been travelling on NH34 from 2005 and believe me, the worst days are over. One cannot imagine how the condition was in 2006 and 2007. Volvo bus service had stopped and it used to take us 20 plus hours to reach Siliguri from Kolkata. It is far better now and those who have traveled during those times will appreciate the improvements. Road condition wise the improvement has been vast, the only concern nowadays is the traffic jams at a few remaining bottlenecks. With the amount of work going on, a few years down the line it will really be a breeze to travel between Siliguri and Kolkata.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 3rd December 2017 at 00:26. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 2nd December 2017, 20:28   #851
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Totally agree with BlackPearl. Every trip I make down that route has always been better than the previous. Uncertain traffic snarls apart, the surface is now majorly smooth. Few bottlenecks, though remain, are not as bad as before. Driving time in my case has reduced from 14-16 hours to 10-11 hours currently. A case in point here is the Kolkata-Siliguri Volvo bus timings. The evening 7 PM bus from Esplanade had a scheduled 9:30 AM arrival at Siliguri. Currently the bus departs at the same time but scheduled arrival has been revised to 6:30 AM.The NHAI has had a hard time with land acquisition in this stretch. With the Maldah bypass nearing completion, things are going to improve significantly. The day is not far when driving to Darjeeling will be as relaxing and predictable as driving to Puri.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 15:18   #852
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

This travelogue from early 2010 says, surprisingly, that in 2009, NH34 was a breeze.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...road-trip.html
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Old 25th December 2017, 22:06   #853
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Hello everyone - I have availed the Kolkata Siliguri route via SH7 last week. Following it the update - hope this will help all.

-----------------------------------

Route updates

1. SH7 from Burdwan to Kuli is in excellent condition. From Kuli to Moregram, 15 of the 35kms is completely broken. If your car is a hatch of a sedan, you need to be extremely careful to avoid any underbody hits.

An alternative is to take right from Kuli to Beherampore bypass (Badshahi Road) and take left on reaching NH34 to head towards Siliguri. The total detour would be around 20kms, but time taken would remain the same as the former route.

Having availed both the routes, I would strongly recommend that the second option is taken.

2. Farakka Bridge remains as unpredictable as ever. I faced hardly any traffic while going towards Siliguri, but was stuck for almost 1.5 hours while returning back.

3. Kaliachowk also remains as unpredictable as ever. The only good part is police would help you to take the wrong side to avoid the truck queues.

4. Botolbari is best covered before dark. For the last 200 meters, do not follow Google Maps. Take left via the narrow bridge and follow this path to reach the highway. Please check the attachment below.

Food and Bio breaks

It is better to start as early as possible. Following could be good stopping points:

Breakfast - Moregram COCO BP
Lunch - Malda or Raigung (Tourist Lodge)
Evening Tea - Islampore
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)-botolbari.png  

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Old 31st December 2017, 09:38   #854
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Very crisp & clear update,will use this route in future.
Is the Kaliachowk bypass not yet ready ?
Regards
Samrat Mukherji
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Old 1st January 2018, 23:22   #855
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pushpakb View Post
... 3. Kaliachowk also remains as unpredictable as ever. The only good part is police would help you to take the wrong side to avoid the truck queues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samratrek View Post
Is the Kaliachowk bypass not yet ready ?

Although the original DPR had a plan for Kaliachak bypass, it's no longer present in the scope of current widening project. Owing to land acquisition issues, NHAI had decided to scrap it. Now they have made 4-laned highway and the service lanes along the existing alignment. Unfortunately, the service lanes have become almost like permanent parking lots for local vehicles!

In any case, the traffic situation at Kaliachak is significantly better now. Earlier, it used to often take order of hours to cross over which now takes order of minutes.

Best,

Last edited by gmhossain : 1st January 2018 at 23:26.
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