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Old 20th December 2020, 23:58   #1111
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post

For the onward journey we took the Dumka - Bhagalpur route.
Hi Saikat,
Is there any broken bridge in dumka-bhagalpur road. I saw in some YouTube videos. Please let me know as I would be traveling in next week via that road to Siliguri.
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Old 21st December 2020, 09:56   #1112
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

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Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Returned to Kolkata from from Darjeeling yesterday, 19/12/2020, evening and thought of updating the road conditions, in case it proves to be of help to anyone planning to travel shortly.
Thanks Arjab for a detailed and lively route update . Given your engine is still hot from the trip, please allow me to ask you a couple of specific points.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjab View Post
The Farakka Feeder Canal bridge has been fully refurbished and is smooth sailing.
Do you mean that the south-bound lane (old Ahiron road bridge) is now operational at Ahiron? At the end of October, we saw that they had re-casted the concrete deck of the old bridge.

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Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Kaliachak junction ... Sujapur junction Roads are ok.
It's good to know. How was the pace of the ongoing 4-laning work in the Kaliachak - Sujapur stretch?

Thanks,
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Old 21st December 2020, 12:42   #1113
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

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Originally Posted by arjab View Post

Alternative to Botolbari entry
Try to get in through Domohana turn - off. This road is excellently surfaced. It is around 20 kilometres ahead of Botolbari turnoff if you are coming from Raigunj.
The problem with the Domohona approach is the "tailback effect" from Dalkhola junction. Nowadays, Dalkhola is witnessing 20-25kms long truck pile-up's. No one knows the reason why! There are no crashes, political "road roko's" etc but traffic just does not see to move!
And it is some of this traffic that you have to negotiate to reach the Domohana turn-off.
From Domohona where to go? I want good surface in Bengal to Bengal road. Can you guide me please? Should I go to Rudel from Domohona or somewhere else?
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Old 21st December 2020, 15:51   #1114
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Do you mean that the south-bound lane (old Ahiron road bridge) is now operational at Ahiron? At the end of October, we saw that they had re-casted the concrete deck of the old bridge.
I forget the name of the place but this is the bridge which looked like Kolkata's howrah bridge which had pockmarked surface. This is now a proper surface.
Also, Golam-da, that narrow single lane iron bridge just before Farakka, has been closed and in its place two brand new , up and down lane bridges opened.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
It's good to know. How was the pace of the ongoing 4-laning work in the Kaliachak - Sujapur stretch?

Thanks,
Pretty good. Saw men & machinery in action. The problem at Sujapur is purely "man-made" now. It's a kind of free for all.
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Old 21st December 2020, 15:58   #1115
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kousikjana View Post
Hi Saikat,
Is there any broken bridge in dumka-bhagalpur road. I saw in some YouTube videos. Please let me know as I would be traveling in next week via that road to Siliguri.
As indicated in my previous post the road through Katania being under repair had led us through that diversion as indicated in the map and we faced the bad roads for a limited distance. There are two alternative routes in this diversion to cross the Mayurakshi river. I suppose the route we followed as indicated by Google Map did not encounter the broken bridge but the other route may have had and I recall a group of bikers putting up a video on youtube showing a broken bridge in this route which if I am not wrong you may be also referring to the same one.

However the good news is, recent routing using google maps is showing the direct route through Katania without that detour hence it is my guess that the actual road is now operational.

Last edited by haisaikat : 21st December 2020 at 16:00.
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Old 21st December 2020, 15:59   #1116
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

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Originally Posted by indrasis_gun View Post
From Domohona where to go? I want good surface in Bengal to Bengal road. Can you guide me please? Should I go to Rudel from Domohona or somewhere else?
Punch into GMaps, Islampur when you reach the Domohona fork. You can also try Dhantola Bazaar or Siliguri & GMaps will take you there.
This will follow the Domohona - Chakulia route. It'll bypass Rudel and rejoin at the Goagaon - Dhantola stretch. Entire route is smooth and devoid of potholes. (Pic below)
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)-img_20201212_140144902_hdr.jpg  

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Old 22nd December 2020, 18:48   #1117
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

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Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Punch into GMaps, Islampur when you reach the Domohona fork. You can also try Dhantola Bazaar or Siliguri & GMaps will take you there.
This will follow the Domohona - Chakulia route. It'll bypass Rudel and rejoin at the Goagaon - Dhantola stretch. Entire route is smooth and devoid of potholes. (Pic below)
Thanks for sharing this arjab , are you referring to this route ? This comes up in GMaps now. Given the width of some of the sections on this route as depicted in GMaps , I was wondering whether it would be wide enough for a car This was before I saw your post !

Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)-domohona-route.jpg
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Old 22nd December 2020, 21:16   #1118
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Thanks for sharing this arjab , are you referring to this route ? This comes up in GMaps now. Given the width of some of the sections on this route as depicted in GMaps , I was wondering whether it would be wide enough for a car This was before I saw your post !
Yes. The roads are fine. In some stretches it's a bit narrow but the surface is smooth and should you face large oncoming vehicles the shoulders are good enough to drop two wheels and move on. Another thing is that this route is not frequented by those crazy Mahindra Bolero drivers out to deliver the new Bolero's, specially in the afternoon. They still stick to the Botolbari stretch.

The only problem in this route is squeezing through the tailbacks of hundreds of trucks from the Dalkhola jam. Particularly the Karandighi & Tungidighi part.
You'll have to hop over to the "wrong side" and avail the shoulder for extended periods of time to make onward progress. The shoulder itself is not in great shape with quite a few deep ditches. I didn't have a problem as I was in my Nexon and it didn't scrape anywhere at all but a gent in an i-20 that was following me, scrunched various parts of the undercarriage (I could clearly hear it as my windows were rolled down) and after sometime i-20 decided not to push any more.
Attached Thumbnails
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)-screenshot_20201222210232.png  

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Old 23rd December 2020, 19:44   #1119
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

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Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Returned to Kolkata from from Darjeeling yesterday, 19/12/2020, evening and thought of updating the road conditions, in case it proves to be of help to anyone planning to travel shortly. Safe travels and wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas! Drive safe!
Thank you so much bro for the detailed update. Wishing you too Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year !!!
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Old 24th December 2020, 14:04   #1120
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Don't avail bhagalpur road now. There are two broken bridges. I will update details later and a video of how we bypassed the broken bridge.
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Old 29th December 2020, 12:56   #1121
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Completed our 3rd road trip between Kolkata and Siliguri in 2020 ( Jan, Oct, Dec) as we travelled to Sikkim during Christmas weekend (24-27 Dec). Will restrict this update only to road condition between Kolkata 2nd Hooghly toll and Bagdogra airport crossing. Please refer to the excellent and comprehensive update provided by bhpian arjab and many things may be common.

Route Summary

From 2nd Hooghly toll till Bagdogra airport crossing on NH 27 it took 13 hrs 10 mins starting at 3:30 PM. While returning, it took 13:30 hrs starting at 10:40 AM. Route was Kolkata-Burdwan-SH7-Morgram-Farakka-Malda Bypass-Raiganj-Dalkhola-NH27-Kishanganj-Islampur-Bagdogra-Siliguri. Return trip was through Dhantola-Botolbari route instead of Dalkhola. Reason we avoided Botolbari is due to security concerns at night - though I am not sure whether its a reality or myth. Also I saw police barricades at entry of both Domohona and Botolbari at night.

Fog: Towards Siliguri, light patches of fog after Maldah and some pockets of dense fog after Raigunj as we crossed at night . While returning, no fog anywhere - probably because we crossed all fog prone areas early evening or daytime . Did not encounter any fog on SH7.

Kolkata-Burdwan

Smooth sailing between 2nd Hooghly toll till you merge on to SH7. It seems some pot holes in Burdwan and around has been patched up from October trip.While returning, encountered very heavy truck traffic on NH19 between Burdwan and exit to Vivekananda setu along with hold up in Dankuni toll.

Burdwan-SH7-Morgram

Completed entire stretch of SH7 from Burdwan to BPCL Coco pump in 3:35 hrs . While returning, we took 3 h 40 mins from BPCL pump (which was about 50 km after Morgram towards Farakka - not COCO Morgram pump) till Burdwan.

Till Narja you will find scraped tarmacs and pot holes - but manageable. Road is a mix of good and bad between Narja and Futishanko - but many parts are riddled with pot holes and broken tarmacs. In Muratipur we counted almost 12 bumps within a span of 50 m. After you cross Lochondas setu and SH7 takes a right, you will be greeted by 3 humongous bumps as if they were built to prevent army tanks from rolling in. Road gets worse between Futishanko and Kuli - broken tarmac, innumerable bumps, craters, pot-holes. But still in parts you can get to high speeds. Be cautious while driving - whether you can avoid a bump or not depends on speed especially at night. In January, this stretch (excluding the part between Lochandas and Futishanko which we did not cover because of diversion) was in very good state but deteriorated sharply in Oct and I did not see any improvement from October till now except that a road construction got completed bypassing a narrow culvert. At some parts, if you are not careful, road condition might damage side walls of your tyres if not bend its rims .

Alternative : From Narja crossing, one can take SH14 towards Katwa and then take left turn from Sipahi Dighi crossing towards SH6 , cross Ajay river through Chorki bridge and then rejoin SH7 at Futishanko. But this will only solve a part of problem from Narja to Futishanko - you still need to face poor road condition after Futishanko

40 km of road from Kuli to Intersection of Morgram Panagarh highway ( NH14) the surface is very good . No need to take road right from Kuli towards Palsanda/NH12 as by this time you have already crossed the worst part of SH7.

From Nh14-SH7 crossing to NH12 crossing it’s almost off road. Moon sized craters , completely scraped off surface, broken tarmac. On top of that a heavy and slow traffic accentuated by stranded trucks due to mechanical failures . You cannot follow a rule of thumb here due to traffic congestion and road condition acting as a double whammy - at times you may have to get down into some craters if your approach angle , power and ground clearance permits . If possible keep on extreme left ( though trucks will take that place if it’s heavy traffic) . From Jan to Oct and Dec this is also a road which saw sharp degradation. While returning, we got less traffic here and also felt that NH14 flank towards SH7 from NH12 junction is in a tad better condition

Morgram-Farakka

Road is good till Farakka barrage . Before entering Farakka barrage about 200-300 m of road is pretty bad. But we faced major delay of more than a hour in Farakka barrage ( a truck broke down) . While coming back we did not face any such issues

Farakka toll-Dalkhola/Dhantola-Botolbari-Siliguri

From Farakka toll to Bagdogra airport crossing it took about 5:30 hrs from 11:12 PM via Dalkhola. While returning, we took 05:40 hrs starting from 1:40 PM via Dhantola-Botolbari.

Since we crossed Malda-Kaliachak-Sujapur-Raigunj at night we sailed smoothly except the places where we had fog. While coming back we faced traffic here . Kaliachak seems much organised now. But Sujapur road condition is still pathetic due to 4-laning work (i.e. flank towards Farakka). No improvement from Jan and Oct. It seems though that some part of 4-laning work had been completed since October - though not yet open. Raiganj was a traffic mess as always.

We crossed Dalkhola at about 2:15 am . Before that need to do lot of tiki-taka with trucks, moving from left to right road flanks before finally managing to squeeze between 2 trucks before the railgate . But in spite of that Dalkhola seems to be a relatively smooth sailing . Thought of taking Arararia Naxalbari road instead of NH27 but fear of fog prevented us to do that . Would like to know from fellow bhpians whether Araria-Naxalbari road is safe at night and whether this is more prone to fog than others. There are some pockets of heavy traffic in NH27 especially before Kishanganj. Road condition at Kishanganj has become much better from Jan this year - especially flyovers does not have craters and broken tarmac.

While returning, we took Dhantola-Botolbari route. Saw that Islampur bypass work is in full swing and I hope it will be opened by March end ( just guessing). Reached Dhantola at 2:45 pm and completed Botolbari in 1:50 mins. First 30 km from Dhantola to Goagaon is very good - all 3 times in the year we found it in good condition. While taking left from Goagaon we saw the road straight which goes to Domohona. It seems to be encouraging as the road looked good. Last 30 km on Botolbari stretch is simple horrible - completely broken road on both side , narrow road, huge craters, pot hole, broken tarmac . You need a car with good ground clearance- otherwise you have to be extremely cautious not to scrape underbody or get stuck.

Last edited by brownianmotion : 29th December 2020 at 13:14.
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Old 29th December 2020, 19:33   #1122
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownianmotion View Post
Completed our 3rd road trip between Kolkata and Siliguri in 2020 ( Jan, Oct, Dec) as we travelled to Sikkim during Christmas weekend (24-27 Dec). Will restrict this update only to road condition between Kolkata 2nd Hooghly toll and Bagdogra airport crossing
The Domohona road throughout is good. None of the Botolbari horror show. But the problem with the Domohona route is that it joins NH-12(nee NH34) somewhere at Tungidighi which essentially means you are effectively dropped back into the maelstrom of truck traffic

I don't know what we folks from West Bengal have done not to deserve a good NH-12(nee NH-34) since time immemorial.
In fact, when we used to travel to North Bengal & Sikkim in our Fiat's and Ambassador's and then the Maruti 800's and Maruti Van's, by the traditional undivided, Kolkata-Barasat-Kalyani-Krishnanagar-Malda-Dalkhola-Siliguri old route, it used to take us exactly 10 to 10 and a half hours to reach our Siliguri hotel (typically Sinclairs or the then just opened Mainak Tourist Lodge). This was with a breakfast stop at Krishnanagar, lunch at Malda, samosa break at Kishanganj etc. Ad-hoc stops to top up "radiator water" and to "cool-off" an overheating ignition coil were part of the game.

And now, with faster cars, far more reliable cars, if one does Siliguri in less than 12 hours from Kolkata, the person is considered a hero!
Agreed, traffic is more, there is more congestion et al, but when the rest of India, particularly South India and now Rajasthan and M.P. went and improved their road network by leaps and bounds, can the Government (irrespective of any political party) not build a better NH-34? Isn't 50years enough to widen a road? To construct a Dalkhola bypass? To smoothen out Shantipur and Raigunj bottlenecks?
And this road is perhaps one of the most strategically important route of India, connecting the North East to the Mainland.

I don't know whether I will live to see a "fifth gear - 80kmph - cruise - through" Dalkhola intersection in my life !
Hopefully my five year old daughter will when she gets her driving licence and heads off to see her favourite "ice-cream mountains"

Last edited by arjab : 29th December 2020 at 19:35. Reason: corrected typo's
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Old 4th January 2021, 14:41   #1123
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Default Re: Kolkata - Siliguri route updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjab View Post
Yes. The roads are fine. In some stretches it's a bit narrow but the surface is smooth and should you face large oncoming vehicles the shoulders are good enough to drop two wheels and move on. Another thing is that this route is not frequented by those crazy Mahindra Bolero drivers out to deliver the new Bolero's, specially in the afternoon. They still stick to the Botolbari stretch.

The only problem in this route is squeezing through the tailbacks of hundreds of trucks from the Dalkhola jam. Particularly the Karandighi & Tungidighi part.
You'll have to hop over to the "wrong side" and avail the shoulder for extended periods of time to make onward progress. The shoulder itself is not in great shape with quite a few deep ditches. I didn't have a problem as I was in my Nexon and it didn't scrape anywhere at all but a gent in an i-20 that was following me, scrunched various parts of the undercarriage (I could clearly hear it as my windows were rolled down) and after sometime i-20 decided not to push any more.
This route is indeed with very good tarmac. But traffic is very dense as lots of cars , mini trucks , buses and even fully loaded trucks are using this route nowadays. From Chakulia , you can also take a left turn and meet the highway at Kishanganj . But this really does not help as you still need to negotiate the broken stretch at Kishanganj due to the flyover construction. Hence entry and exit from Domohona and Dhantola are the best options
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Old 8th January 2021, 13:07   #1124
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

Dooars Trip: Dec,2020 - Jan,2021

Just concluded my Dooars trip and want to share my experience here. I did not drive at a stretch for 18 hours or so to reach Siliguri/Jalpaiguri, but took night halts.

While going from Kolkata (Newtown) to Chalsa (as this is the gateway to most of the Dooars attractions), we halted at Raiganj (Hotel Vinayak: Good hotel within the town with parking space) and while coming back, we stayed at Malda (Mayaban Resort, just beside the NH, with good accommodation, food and parking space).

Let me update here on the Botolbari - Dhantola road condition. I will also talk about the SH7 in a subsequent post.

A - Siliguri - Dhantola:
While coming from the north (Siliguri/Chalsa), Islampur junction is narrow with bad road condition - we got into traffic and with lots of truck lining up, 5 to 7 mins of delay is expected during day time. However, Islampur bypass is being made, so in the next 6 to 9 months once that become operational, these issues would be gone. The road condition of NH27 is otherwise pretty good with occasional diversions due to constructions of overbridges etc.


B - Dhantola Entry/Exit point:
The Dhantola-Rasakhowa road entry point is a little tricky as the road shown by GMap is broken. I have attached a bigger map screenshot here for better understanding.
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)-dhantola-entryexit-point.jpg
Map1: Botolbari Entry/Exit Point

C - Dhantola - Goagaon:
The road from Dhantola to GoaGaon (approx 30 KM) is smooth. A decent speed of 55-60 kmph can be maintained easily. It takes 20-25 mins to cross this section.

D - Goagaon - Botolbari:
From Goagaon junction to Botolbari junction on NH via Rudel is really bad with lots of potholes and broken surfaces. This is another 30-31 KM stretch which will give trouble and it is better to drive carefully at 20-40 kmph range. It takes around 45-50 mins to cross this section

The overall stretch of Dhantola to Botolbari of 61 KM takes around 1 Hr to 1Hr 15 mins based on how carefully one would like to drive.
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)-botolbaridhantola.png
Map2: Botolbari - Dhantola road

E - Domohona - Goagaon - Dhantola:
Alternatively, rather than entering through Botolbari, Domohana entry point is also good. Domohana entry point is around 20KM upward from Botolbari. There is an IOL Petrol pump (on NH) just before entering into Domohana road, and it helped me to fill up the tank there.
Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)-bolotbaridomohanadhantola.png
Map3: Botolbari - Domohana - Dhantola road
From Domohana to Goagaon is around 22.5 KM and the overall road is good with few patches of broken surface and potholes. It will take around 40 mins to cover it.

Overall both the routes take similar time and effort. However, as many suggested, due to Dalkhola traffic snarl, Domohona may get blocked. So, please keep an eye on the Google-Maps to see the road condition etc.

The journey is good as long as you are not rushing or tensed - as always.
I have got the entire stretched recorded into my dashcam, so would be happy to help you, should you require any assistance.

Regards,

~/KB
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Old 8th January 2021, 15:14   #1125
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Default re: Kolkata - Siliguri route via Dumka, Bhagalpur or NH-12 (old NH-34)

This should have been in thread: "Kolkata-Siliguri through SH7, NH34 and Botolbari-Dhantola routes". requesting Moderators to move this post appropriately.
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