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Old 23rd December 2020, 17:03   #2866
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Originally Posted by Peepsimus View Post
Hi Friends,

I am planning a Bengaluru to Rajkot drive coming weekend with a stopover in Pune. With an early morning start from Bengaluru, plan to be in Pune by evening.

Coming to the need for help - Originally I had planned to have an early morning start from Pune (~ 4am) to beat Mumbai traffic and reach Rajkot in time to beat the 9pm curfew in Rajkot. But now with a night curfew in place in Maharashtra as well, and my lack of understanding about what's allowed and not allowed in Maharashtra during night curfew, I am unsure if a 4am start from Pune would be possible. Starting at 6am would likely put me in a lot of traffic in Mumbai and I might be cutting it too close to make it to Rajkot before 9pm. Traveling with family and hence breaks needed would be more than my previous solo runs.

Any pointers on the Pune start situation would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance.
I just left Mumbai to Bangalore this morning at about 5am, there were hardly any checks along the way to indicate enforcement of a curfew. Even otherwise, the curfew prohibits congregation of more than 5 ppl together, so if you are a family of less than 5 driving through, in my view should not be a problem.

Secondly, even if you do start by 6am, you will hit Mumbai by 8.30am, and not be entering the city.. You will hit Thane and take Ghodbunder rd to turn into the Surat highway.. and if you are doing this on a weekend, traffic should not be an issue at all.

I would suggest sticking to your 4am plan and play it by the ear.. IMO, the curfew is to avoid large gatherings around yearend and new year celebrations, genuine transits should not be an issue.
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Old 23rd December 2020, 20:40   #2867
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Default Re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

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I just left Mumbai to Bangalore this morning at about 5am, there were hardly any checks along the way to indicate enforcement of a curfew. Even otherwise, the curfew prohibits congregation of more than 5 ppl together, so if you are a family of less than 5 driving through, in my view should not be a problem.

Secondly, even if you do start by 6am, you will hit Mumbai by 8.30am, and not be entering the city.. You will hit Thane and take Ghodbunder rd to turn into the Surat highway.. and if you are doing this on a weekend, traffic should not be an issue at all.

I would suggest sticking to your 4am plan and play it by the ear.. IMO, the curfew is to avoid large gatherings around yearend and new year celebrations, genuine transits should not be an issue.
Thank you Prasanna for the inputs. Adding to all the restrictions, now we have a curfew in Bangalore also to deal with! Will plan to start early at both places and see how it plays out.
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Old 24th December 2020, 13:30   #2868
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Default Re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

Did BLR->PUNE yesterday via Chitradurga, Belgaum, Kolhapur in 11:30 hrs. Left bangalore at 5AM, make three 5 min bio-stops, one 15 min lunch stop enroute and reached pune at 4:30PM. The roads are good until the border where multiple diversions have been called out by fellow Bhpians. Roads in MH are okayish, albeit narrow 2-4 lane. Be careful of the slow moving tractors carrying sugarcane after entering MH as it is the sugarcane harvest season.
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Old 28th December 2020, 05:23   #2869
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Planning to drive from Pune to Cochin in the coming few days. Any update on BPCL COCO on route to Bangalore? Barring Nippani, some of the other COCO are showing up on Google as permanently closed.
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Old 28th December 2020, 10:22   #2870
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Did the Bangalore to Rajkot drive on Friday and Saturday last week with family (Me, wife and our 4 year old daughter) with moderate speeds and multiple long breaks.

Quick summary of the drive:
Car: Hyundai i10 NIOS Petrol AMT (Asta)
Start from Bangalore: 4:30am Friday 25th December (Christmas Day)
Reached Pune: 9pm, stopover at Orchid Hotel (right next to the Highway)
Start from Pune: 5:30am, Saturday 26th December
Reached Rajkot: 8:50pm

Route feedback: From Bangalore to Pune, roads are very good till Chitradurga, post which diversions show up fairly regularly till Hubli. In all there were ~ 15 diversions, most of them between Chitradurga & Davangere, some small and some big ones but nothing that's overly stressful.

Hubli-Dharwad is the only part that really slows you down with limited opportunities to maintain good speeds but the stretch is over before it becomes too painful.

Traffic was heavier on the Maharashtra part of the roads with a significantly higher 2 wheeler traffic.

While overall smooth roads, the observation I had was that the right most lane in MH highways tend to have the surprise small/big craters and the middle lane tends to be very smooth. Had to adjust my driving accordingly post a few painful bumps!

Also, all along the route, there were small blockades on the right most lanes as there was pruning of road divider based plants going at multiple places across Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Best stretch of the entire journey was the Pune - Mumbai expressway, really international level quality, excellent road surface, markings, signage & largely disciplined traffic.

Crossing Mumbai (Thane - Ghodbunder) was trouble-free except for the chaos at Vasai Creek bridge.

Roads in Gujarat were generally great from Mumbai to Ahmedabad but with noticeably poor road discipline.

Ahmedabad - Rajkot is undergoing road expansion work and was most tricky part of the drive. About 2 hours of this drive was driving post sunset, and with multiple diversions, no road markings, sudden lane reductions from 3 lanes to 2 lanes, coupled with the heavy traffic rush to beat the 9pm curfew deadline made this one of the more stressful sections.

Stops en-route
Traveling with family meant we did more stops and quality of washrooms, & general hygiene were a priority. Here is feedback on the places we encountered:

Day 1
1st stop at Kamat Upachar Sira
Clean washrooms
Limited food menu as it was 6:30am, they start to have more options 7am onwards

2nd & 3rd stop was at Cafe Coffee Day Gollarahatti (just before Davangere) but it was 1. very crowded 2. under staffed 3. the restaurant area itself was unclean 4. long queues to use the rest rooms. We moved on to Apoorva resort just a small distance ahead and while it was also very crowded and suffered with slow service, the washrooms were clean. Would recommend this place over the Cafe Coffee Day stop.

4th Stop: Shell Petrol pump after Dharwad. This would be another recommended stop on this route, clean restrooms, great selection of snacks and other travel relevant items at the store.

5th Stop: Lunch at Nisarg hotel - Belgaum. It's right on the highway and offered very good vegetarian food, with good service. Would recommend this for vegetarians.

6th Stop: Vithal Kamats, Indoli - average on cleanliness, didn't eat here so not sure of the quality of food. Tea/Juice were below average, would skip this next time.

Night halt at Orchid Hotel Pune - was a fairly busy place, the contactless check-in i had spent time in a day before didn't help at all as they didn't seem to have our information on file and had to go through all the paperwork at the checkin in desk. While this takes only 10 mins but defeats the purpose of a contactless process and not welcome at the end of a very long drive! In general, average service, average quality of rooms - sufficed for the purpose of a quick night's sleep but wouldn't recommend this one otherwise for a longer stay.

Day 2:

1st Stop: Hotel Dream, Kude
Clean washrooms
Great choice and quality of breakfast items
The security guard cleaned the glass areas of the car when we were inside the restaurant. While I understand the need for him to do this to earn a bit of extra money, but the cleaning cloth was so dirty and left muddy swirl marks everywhere. I had to do a mini car cleaning session owing to this, would proactively ask security to not do this going forward.

2nd stop: The Grand Shivkrupa Hotel, Asuria (Just after Bharuch)
Average cleanliness of restrooms
Standard highway fare for food - has many options

3rd Stop: HFM Limbdi (After Ahmedabad on Rajkot highway)

Tolls:
Except NICE road in Bangalore, FASTAG worked everywhere. The seamlessness of it was another story. At many toll booths the scanner would read your tag automatically and you are out quickly but at many places the scanners don't work and first you are asked creep forward a bit more and then a bit more but generally without success! Then the booth operator would out with a hand-held scanner and do the scanning. As this was happening to multiple cars ahead of us, I think it is to do with the positioning of the scanners and hopefully this process improves soon.

On a related note, most of the police checking was right after the toll booths but we were not stopped at any place on the entire journey.

I hope this information helps some of you making a similar drive.

We look forward to our return journey from Rajkot to Bangalore in a few days!
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Old 29th December 2020, 13:41   #2871
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Default Re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

Took the good ol' GQ after a year. The completed sections on Chitradurga-Hubli are fantastic. Things are little messy as you near Hubli.

Thanks to my timing, experienced near empty MH tolls all the way till Pune. Started from Hosur at 10am and stayed at Sai International at 10 pm with 1:45 hour worth breaks at Mysore Cafe and Roti Ghar. Started at 5:00 am next morning and entered Wakad at 7:20 am. There were maximum 1-2 vehicles in line in MH tolls.

Mysore Cafe is avoidable for the slow service.
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Old 3rd January 2021, 11:50   #2872
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Default Re: Bangalore - Pune - Mumbai : Route updates & Eateries

Completed the return journey from Pune to Bangalore on 30th Dec but this time the FE achieved was less about 19.9 kmpl due to AC on for 75% of the time. The avg speed achieved was 70 kmph. As usual started from Pune at 4.30 am and reached Bangalore at 5.10 pm, journey completed in 12 hrs 40 min ( a full 1 hr lesser than the Bangalore Pune run) including 4 breaks totaling 70 mins.
Encountered dense fog from Karad all the way till Kagal, zero visibility took away almost 30 mins of driving time. Another 30 mins avg time lost at the tolls due to longer lines inspite of having Fastag. 15 mins lost in Bangalore traffic.

All in all a fun to drive experience. My son has other views, he has pledged to travel by air next time when I propose to drive to Mumbai.
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Old 5th January 2021, 13:12   #2873
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Completed Mumbai - Banglore - Hyderabad - Mumbai between 24th Dec 2020 to 1st Jan 2021

The banglore highway is dotted with too many diversions I felt the fun of driving from nipani to banglore isn't that great now specially Hubli onwards , there are around 13+ diversions which just kill the drive , am not sure why they are building so many flyovers the road was always good even without them so beats me .

Had lunch at below hotel , good one with clean toilets
Hotel Vinayak pure veg by OJAS in Chitradurga
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Old 22nd January 2021, 09:21   #2874
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Looks like the Hubli-Dharwad by-pass issue will not disappear for another 2 years at least. The work on expansion is slated to start after another 8 months. Planned to be a 3+3 lane main section and 2+2 lane service road. Till then .. grin and bear that 30km ..

source: news-item
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Old 22nd January 2021, 17:21   #2875
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Looks like the Hubli-Dharwad by-pass issue will not disappear for another 2 years at least.
3 years and 4 months minimum. The current contract expires in May 2024
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Old 22nd January 2021, 17:35   #2876
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Looks like the Hubli-Dharwad by-pass issue will not disappear for another 2 years at least. The work on expansion is slated to start after another 8 months. Planned to be a 3+3 lane main section and 2+2 lane service road. Till then .. grin and bear that 30km ..

source: news-item
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
3 years and 4 months minimum. The current contract expires in May 2024
Newspaper (Deccan Herald) on 16th January had reported approval of 4 laning work for Hubli-Dharwad bypass. I had posted this here.

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Old 22nd January 2021, 17:54   #2877
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. I had posted this
Actually, what i posted is from today I think. And the 3+3 lanes will bring it in line with the rest of that NH.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 18:59   #2878
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Actually, what i posted is from today I think. And the 3+3 lanes will bring it in line with the rest of that NH.
Well it had to be 3+3 condor, if they call that "expansion".

Even when this NH was made 4 lane, all overbridges were already 6 lane to make way for future expansion except Chitradurga bypass. And now, Chitradurga is getting an all new 6 lane bypass that will start right where the current 6 lane from Bangalore side ends and will meet NH again near Mysore Cafe.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 20:42   #2879
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Chitradurga is getting an all new 6 lane bypass ..
It's been a year since I went that route - I had even forgotten about this one. The by-pass work had started already. Any idea what's the status now ? It starts near the Mysore cafe, and rejoins the NH near the VRL depot this side,

Last edited by condor : 22nd January 2021 at 20:43.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 21:04   #2880
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Any idea what's the status now ?
Since I drove to Hubli few weeks before, I could pass both the staring point and the end point of this new bypass.

Then I drove to Sholapur via Hospet and could also see progress where this bypass will intersect NH50 with a view on the interchange here.

Quote:
It starts near the Mysore cafe, and rejoins the NH near the VRL depot this side,
Starting Point from Bangalore side: LINK
End Point from Bangalore side: LINK

And the yellow line depicts where the construction work is going on that you can always check on maps with Satellite mode . You will be able to see that certain sections are asphalted too.

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