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Old 15th January 2018, 15:21   #2221
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

Parag's post on this route was of immense help for my trip to Mumbai and back last week. Parag also helped me find a reliable bunk on the way back as the Coco I planned to halt at was closed.

I left on Thursday 4th with a halt at Kolhapur then drove to Mumbai. Returned on 10th Wednesday with a night halt at Kolhapur again. On the way back I stopped at Pune for some work then left late evening towards Kolhapur.

Overall road conditions were the best I have seen during all my earlier trips. Only the flyover constructions near Satara were pending completion else the road was brilliant. Earlier trip 3 years back was harrowing as Maharashtra roads were poor in terms of surface and undergoing construction.

Now I feel some of the KA sections after Chitradurga till Hubli need some updating.

While driving to Mumbai. I stopped at Agarwal Bhawan for breakfast and decided to have a late lunch at Hubli. I knew about the Indian Paratha centre but Google took me to Hubli. I somehow missed to spot it at Varur 10kms before Hubli so headed back. Google shows an Indian Paratha inside Hubli town which is wrong. This is the right Indian Paratha company: https://goo.gl/maps/mCtnVhzgcZA2. Food is good but bangalore airport was better. Loos were not great especially ladies based on my sister. We preferred loo breaks at CCD. Just buy a Frappe and use the restrooms.

1. Breakfast at Agarwal Bhawan
2. Coffee / restroom break at CCD Gollarahatti before Davangere
3. Lunch at Indian Paratha company , Varur 10kms before Hubli bypass
4. Fuel stop Belgaum
5. Night halt Kolhapur Hotel Panchshil.
6. Lunch at Datta snacks on Mum Pune expressway just after coming down from Lonavala. Its behind the food court.

I left Bangalore at 9am on Thursday, reached Kolhapur at 6PM. Next day started from Kolhapur again 9am. Pune by 12 noon and 3pm at Powai.

On the way back, I had work in Pune so started from Mumbai only at 11am then finished Pune work by 6pm and left towards Kolhapur. There's a new Shell bunk 30kms after Pune at Varve. This is the best place to stop as you don't have the long queues at the bunk like the one at Warje https://goo.gl/maps/ghG19BriKDo

Stopped for dinner at Sai International half hour before Kolhapur and then reached the Kolhapur hotel by 10:30pm. Next day had a late start after breakfast at 9:30am. Only one stop for lunch and coffee at CCD before Ranebennur: https://goo.gl/maps/3C8zjiFAZGR2

There was a COCO on both sides 10mins later but the one on left side was closed so I went till Chitradurga where Parag pointed me to a BP bunk just before the 6 lane highway.
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Old 15th January 2018, 15:53   #2222
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
There's a new Shell bunk 30kms after Pune at Varve. This is the best place to stop as you don't have the long queues at the bunk like the one at Warje https://goo.gl/maps/ghG19BriKDo
Thanks Viddy! Seems like you are referring to the same one which existed since 2009-10 that got closed for some reasons and re-opened again. I used to refill here long go and one day the attendant said he can only clean my wipers as the bunk is permanently shutting down. I could notice that this started operating few months back during my trips twice last month. Till last year, this one looked like an abandoned place and ever since fuel subsidy was removed, many outlets started functioning back.

In fact, members have discussed about the same Shell bunk quite a few times here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
True. I used to fill here at this Shell Station way back in 2009-10 when I drove Pune Bangalore almost every alternate weekend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
This shell fuel station was operational earlier & is in shutdown state for quite some time. Perhaps due to recent daily revision of fuel prices, it would get operational again.
Quote:
There was a COCO on both sides 10mins later but the one on left side was closed so I went till Chitradurga where Parag pointed me to a BP bunk just before the 6 lane highway.
This is actually a Brand new COCO. As I said, you should be lucky if this one had started operating as it still was getting final touches on Dec 30th.

I hope this should open up very soon now.

Your rest of the observations on FASTag in MH vs KA and the roads in General is spot on. I felt the same too that FASTag was super fast in MH while in KA It was jittery. The longest I waited was at Hattaragi for 10 minutes when a KSRTC SCANIA reversed umpteen times due to scanning difficulties while I passed in under 10 seconds without issues.

Last edited by paragsachania : 15th January 2018 at 16:00.
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Old 17th January 2018, 14:57   #2223
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

I'll be driving to Pune for the 26th Jan long weekend.
Had planned to start on 25th Jan early morning and reach Pune by evening.
But the Karnataka Bandh on 25th Jan (Details Here) has made me extremely apprehensive.
Specially since the bandh is for the water supply of the northern part of Karnataka (area which we need to cross to get to Pune). For safety reasons, I don't prefer driving at night. Any suggestions from fellow members.
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Old 17th January 2018, 15:10   #2224
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

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Originally Posted by greatgyan View Post
Had planned to start on 25th Jan early morning and reach Pune by evening.But the Karnataka Bandh on 25th Jan (Details Here) has made me extremely apprehensive.
The earliest you can start is 0300 so you cross Hubli by 0830/0900 and Belgaum by 1000/1030.

For sure Hubli will witness the ire since it is one of the affected Districts.

Quote:
I don't prefer driving at night. Any suggestions from fellow members.
In Sept-Oct 2015, There was a Bandh for the same reason and I had to drive to Goa and I left Bangalore at 2200 and crossed Hubli by 0300 and it was easy to get inside Goa in wee hours as the actual bandh was to close the entry exits at the KA-GA border. But yes, that is because I was completely OK to drive through the night.

I would suggest you leave at 0300 for the benefits mentioned or reschedule your plan completely.

In terms of roads, there is no real & viable alternative apart from the usual route since it is the best and shortest for Pune. Anything else will be heavily time consuming including via Hyderabad where part of Hyderabad-Pune too is not in great shape, plus its longer too.

One thing you could still do is to depart from Bangalore a day in advance. Around 1600 or 1700 you leave from Bangalore, settle for the night at Hubli around 2200. Next day start from Hubli at 0500 and enter MH by 0800/0900.

Last edited by paragsachania : 17th January 2018 at 15:12.
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Old 17th January 2018, 15:30   #2225
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

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Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Since it is a Sunday, sooner the better...by your departure time at 0700...it will be 1300/1400 when you reach Bangalore which is just prefect for a Sunday!

Have a safe drive.
Thanks for your valuable inputs, Parag!

Did Pune - Bangalore over the weekend. Left Pune (Pimple Saudagar) around 1200 on Saturday. With 3 small breaks in between (non-descript places), reached Hotel Metropolis, Hubli around 2000. Encountered city traffic in Hubli, but nothing too bad.

Left Hubli around 0930 on Sunday, after a heavy breakfast. Reached home in Whitefield, Bangalore around 1630. Encountered very little city traffic in Bangalore.

Had an amazing drive!

Thanks!
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Old 17th January 2018, 16:11   #2226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
.

I would suggest you leave at 0300 for the benefits mentioned or reschedule your plan completely.
Thanks a lot for the advice. Guess I'll wait and see if the bandh scheduled on 25th persists.
If it does, then will reschedule and leave either on 24th or 26th early morning.
26th the downside is that there would be heavy traffic on the roads, cause of the long weekend. But have got very few alternatives, thanks to the bandh.
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Old 17th January 2018, 16:17   #2227
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Originally Posted by greatgyan View Post
26th the downside is that there would be heavy traffic on the roads, cause of the long weekend. But have got very few alternatives, thanks to the bandh.
Even on 26th, if you leave before 0500, you should be all good. Most of the traffic out of Bangalore would be tailing you by 30-45 minutes while you will face minimal traffic.

Additionally, you will have an easy drive in MH as well since most industries will be on Public Holiday and hence lesser traffic between Kolhapur - Pune.

Also, the traffic would be more from Mumbai/Pune side heading down south (Mostly Kolhapur & Goa) that you will still have an easy drive on 26th.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 19:04   #2228
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

ALERT: Those heading to Mumbai only or back towards Panvel/Pune
JAN 23 - FEB 12 - Vashi Creek Bridge will be Partially Shut


Source

Quote:
PWD to carry out maintenance work; those travelling from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai will have to use old Vashi bridge
  • Navi Mumbai to Mumbai : To use the Mumbai-Vashi lane
  • Mumbai to Navi Mumbai : To use the old Vashi bridge
  • Light vehicles coming from Mumbai to Panvel will use the old bridge
  • Heavy Vehicles will not be allowed on the old Bridge
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Old 23rd January 2018, 10:24   #2229
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

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Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
ALERT: Those heading to Mumbai only or back towards Panvel/Pune
JAN 23 - FEB 12 - Vashi Creek Bridge will be Partially Shut


Source


  • Navi Mumbai to Mumbai : To use the Mumbai-Vashi lane
  • Mumbai to Navi Mumbai : To use the old Vashi bridge
  • Light vehicles coming from Mumbai to Panvel will use the old bridge
  • Heavy Vehicles will not be allowed on the old Bridge
Please note this has been rescheduled to February 2nd instead of 23rd Jan'18. The said bridge will be taken for repair between Feb 2nd to Feb 21st.

Read more here - https://m.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-...WBbN3OUrL.html
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Old 23rd January 2018, 10:29   #2230
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Originally Posted by vivek95 View Post
Please note this has been rescheduled to February 2nd instead of 23rd Jan'18. The said bridge will be taken for repair between Feb 2nd to Feb 21st.
Glad they did, may be to mitigate the extended weekend rush.
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Old 24th January 2018, 09:27   #2231
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Now I feel some of the KA sections after Chitradurga till Hubli need some updating.
Not sure about Chitradurga-Davangere Section, but Hubli-Davangere Section has been notified to upgrade. 6 lane work has started in a phase manner. I could see land filling work going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
I stopped at Agarwal Bhawan for breakfast and decided to have a late lunch at Hubli. I knew about the Indian Paratha centre but Google took me to Hubli. I somehow missed to spot it at Varur 10kms before Hubli so headed back.

Its better to type it as Hotel The Cult, rather then Indian Paratha Centre. There is also a new one "Sugar N Spice" near Reliance Market. Towards Bangalore, it is on the left side. Location . It is Pure Vegetarian. Non Veg guys might have to look somewhere else. It is good & clean.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Google shows an Indian Paratha inside Hubli town which is wrong.
Hubli Town ? Seriously When did this became town ? Its the 2nd Largest City in State. If Mysore & Mangalore can be called as Cities, why cant this ?

Don't want an argument. Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
There was a COCO on both sides 10mins later but the one on left side was closed so I went till Chitradurga where Parag pointed me to a BP bunk just before the 6 lane highway.
The left one is the new one. Don't even bother to fill up there, its not going to be open, at least this year. The right one can be used though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Thanks Viddy! Seems like you are referring to the same one which existed since 2009-10 that got closed for some reasons and re-opened again. I used to refill here long go and one day the attendant said he can only clean my wipers as the bunk is permanently shutting down. I could notice that this started operating few months back during my trips twice last month. Till last year, this one looked like an abandoned place and ever since fuel subsidy was removed, many outlets started functioning back.

This is actually a Brand new COCO. As I said, you should be lucky if this one had started operating as it still was getting final touches on Dec 30th.

I hope this should open up very soon now.
If you are referring about the 2 BPCL COCO near Ranebennur, the Left one is closed and will be closed forever. Right one where you have a Ghar Dhaba can be used though.
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Old 24th January 2018, 10:28   #2232
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Originally Posted by CarguyNish View Post
The left one is the new one. Don't even bother to fill up there, its not going to be open, at least this year. The right one can be used though.
Quote:
If you are referring about the 2 BPCL COCO near Ranebennur, the Left one is closed and will be closed forever. Right one where you have a Ghar Dhaba can be used though.
Referring to the same and I have been using the left one since at least 8 years now. The left one (Bangalore side) time and again keeps showing signs of opening that even at 0300AM the lights are on giving any commuter a hint that it would start functioning tomorrow.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 11:29   #2233
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

Stopped over at this relatively new (to me) place just before Chitradurga, on the right side when going from Bangalore, just after the windmills/VRL depot, with clean restrooms and excellent coffee & bonda soup btw

Upadya Veg
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/AwmxBFFFhtr

With no good places to stop after leaving Tumkur, this is a refreshing place : much better than mysore cafe after Chitradurga.

Last edited by null : 2nd February 2018 at 11:31.
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Old 12th February 2018, 02:17   #2234
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Default re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

Had to drive to Pune with a friend's family who lost a member in their family on Tuesday in Bangalore and they wanted to conduct their last rites in Pune and with limitation in time and the delay in getting the NOC from the Police (which was too late when we obtained it), we arranged a freezer based ambulance to ferry the body of the deceased.

I volunteered to drive their family to Pune in tow with the ambulance that we booked.

While I drove through the night on Tuesday with their family, I returned solo on Thursday driving through Friday morning, through the night again.

Due to ambulance in tow and the super long breaks in between to wait for the ambulance after almost every toll booth we crossed, we took 16 hours to reach Pune. Not to forget a 1 hour Jam after Tumkur due to a very minor incident involving 2 SRS buses (one rear ending another). As the length of the Jam grew, many vehicles started to pass us from the service lane while we stood no chance .

Return was solo, and it took just about 10 Hours from Pune bypass till 8th Mile (Hesarghatta Road Junction) in Bangalore without even exceeding 120 KMPH, a refueling break at the beginning of the trip near Khedshivpur and 2 bio breaks.

Talk about endurance, I did not turn off the engine for 10 hours as my only breaks after refueling were for relieving myself after couple of toll booths.

I got some fantastic FE during return and I did Khedshivpur to Bangalore in a single tank of Diesel.

Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries-geotracker20180211231055.png

A driving only average of 84KMPH for over 800 Kms without really testing the speeds. Well, that is where I like to settle around the sweet spot of 110-120 KMPH always!

Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries-20180209_064110.jpg

The Trip meter set to Zero Shell, Khedshivpur ended at 800 as I reached home, in single tank.

Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries-20180209_064100.jpg

The only significant update: Harihar bypass, Bangalore side corridor now gets speedbreakers and they are indeed nasty and placed very close, just before the Tungabhadra bridge and soon after you exit Harihar town entry.



FASTag Update:
Mixed bag but mostly positive except the dreaded JAS twins. They must now learn to implement Hybrid system or totally get rid of FASTag. It is simply not worth it finding the FASTag lane at the last minute and cutting across others who are waiting. I hence paid cash here:



Here's a short time lapse of most of the booths on this stretch:



@1:09 in the above video you can also notice cops stationed right after the booth flagging down vehicles.

Maharashtra and Cops on the highway :
In 12 years of my driving to Mumbai/Pune, I was stopped between Karad and Satara for the first time ever. Needless to say, I carry all originals and upon producing the same, I was let go instantly without further fuss.



Off late, I get to see too many of them, especially towards Pune and hence I would advise each one to strictly carry all the originals, along with a valid emission test certificate.

I also noticed a Sumo with 'Highway Patrol' sticker and a beacon light filled with Traffic cops which means these are essentially the same cops who will flag vehicles on the highway. Ironically, the same cops didn't bother to stop any 2 wheeler emerging out of the booths without helmets, without mirrors or number plates and many triple riding!

So the Highway Patrol is least bothered about one of the biggest menace on MH highways, 2 wheelers which directly or indirectly are resulting in many accidents.

Last edited by paragsachania : 12th February 2018 at 02:30.
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Old 1st May 2018, 11:50   #2235
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Default Dinner at Empire, Indira Nagar

Dinner at Empire, Indira Nagar

We had a four-day weekend with no plans. The wife on Wednesday was reminiscing about food in Bangalore, and said that she wished she could have a meal in Empire.
On Thursday, I told her that lets have dinner there. She said its really short notice and tickets would be expensive.
I told her that people like us, drive to dinner, not fly.
The Hexa was sitting idle in the garage for months, with only 2000+ kms on the odometer after 7 months of ownership.
We started at 6:30 AM, half hour delay attributable to the kids, reached Vashi, then automatically rolled on to Mumbai-Pune Expressway. It was the wrong day, sadly. With thousands of cars on the road, the traffic cops, in all their wisdom, decided to direct LCVs to take the route through Khandala / Lonavala town, the road where all the chikki shops are.
Obviously some wise men had to hold a marathon through the same roads, the same day. I mean, when else will you find an opportunity to inconvenience so many people at the same time! We finally managed to get back on the Expressway by 9:30 AM.
The entire idea of beating Pune city traffic had gone up in smoke. Happily drove behind hordes of two wheelers, people using their phones while driving, pedestrians weaving in and out of traffic and reached Pune-Solapur Toll Road and came to a dead halt.
Pune -Solapur is the only stretch where the flyovers are still incomplete. Massive blockages at every single junction. (RANT: Pune - Solapur was awarded to Reliance Infra close to 2009 (Disclaimer: Ex-employee). Even after 9 years the project is still not complete. NHAI needs to take action against Concessionaires who do not complete projects or cause inordinate delays. I spoke to my colleagues who said that traffic was 2x normal that day but that’s no excuse.)
Finally reached Kolhapur at 1:00 PM. Roads were fine after that, though more crowded than normal. As we were coming here after a couple of years decided to have a good meal at Opal. Food is still amazing!!!
Kolhapur – Nipani – Belgaum – Dharwad was a breeze. However, Dharwad – Hubli was packed. I am surprised that this road has not been upgraded to a divided 4-lane. Kept weaving in and out of traffic and reached Reliance Mart by sundown.
We decided that Bangalore would be an unnecessary push and decided to stop mid-way. Chitradurga did not have great options, so choose Davangere.
Stayed at Southern Care, Davangere for the night. It is a brand new hotel with good service and a decent restaurant. It is a 1 km detour from the highway, which takes less than 5 minutes each way. Davangere amazed me. A city which I barely knew the name of has a multiplex, a shopping mall, Big Bazaars, More, etc., etc. I realize I know so little about my own country.
Next morning, after a hearty breakfast, reached Bangalore by noon.
Dinner at Empire, Indira Nagar was as good as my wife remembered.
Next morning, went to MTR for breakfast, but it was closed. We left Bangalore at 9:10 AM with plans to take a night halt at Belgavi.
The roads were mostly empty and we kept averaging 110+. Reached Davangere at 12:30, Belgavi at 3:30 and decided to push on. Had a quick break at Kolhapur around 4:30. Traffic was bad after that with umpteen two-wheelers, riding three to a bike, on the left and heavy vehicles on the right. Also, there are numerous rumblers on the lanes heading towards Mumbai. Speed was not high till Karad, which we reached at sun-down. Then easy drive on Pune – Satara, Pune outskirts, and Expressway.
Reached home at 11:30 PM. Total journey time 12 hours and 20 mins.
Hexa was amazing. Always steady, always responsive. AC unit performed admirably at 40 degrees. My sons slept in the back seat comfortably, taking turns. The middle row captain seats had ample space. Only issue, lack of luggage space was solved by a luggage rack, which was not used this time.
Fastag: Not accepted at a few toll plazas. Had to pay cash. Also, most toll plazas allow non-fastag cars in the ETC lane, which is sad.
Roads: Davangere –Chitradurga is showing signs of age, needs resurfacing. Everywhere else is good. No major construction left except Pune Solapur.
Highlights: Hexa, Empire Food, and my kids who at 5 years and 2 years travelled 2200 kms in three days without any issues at all.
Thanks for reading!
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