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Old 12th January 2015, 14:32   #76
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
If travelling at an earlier or later hour, you would do well to follow the traffic advisories issued by the authority:
1) limit speed to visibility conditions
2) keep all lights on including the hazard lights.
So the authorities are themselves recommending all vehicles to use Hazard lights while driving through fog?
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Old 12th January 2015, 19:10   #77
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
So the authorities are themselves recommending all vehicles to use Hazard lights while driving through fog?
"When in India - do as the Indians do."
Borrowed from the other adage : "When in Rome, ... "
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Old 5th January 2016, 14:56   #78
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Default 2015/16 drive key highlights

Its time again for our annual sojourn to Kolkata. Milemuncher, our trusty steed, was the ride of choice that would take us through 4 states in 3 calendar days.

Agra was quintessentially Mughlai - despite average room service at hotel Luv Kush

Happy to see the key stretch from past Shikhohabad to Kanpur is 99% complete. Barring a holdup after Auraiya , which sent us down into the adjoining fields for a detour, it was great going.

Cops in Kanpur were stopping trucks rather than out of state cars. We felt good about that - considering our experience in the same stretch last time.

Allahabad bypass seems to have improved - culverts cum speedbreakers are noticeably better aligned to the rest of the motorway.

Varanasi was at its scintillating best - with new year festivities decorating the way to shops selling delectable rabri, samosas and gajar ka halwa.

Khalsa restaurant at Govindpur purveyed average food - eminently avoidable like the rest of the dhabas in this stretch. I must say, that one is better off picking up packed meals at Varanasi or Kolkata (depending on origin).

The stretch from Dhanbad More to Darjeeling More is a construction zone, with the road narrowing to single lane width in many places.

Thru traffic at Panagarh was as badly managed as always. Luckily a spot of driving on the verge , helped avoid being stuck behind a long line of stationary trucks.

The langchas , samosas and mochar chops at Shaktigarh were a welcome relief after the madness of the construction zone and Panagarh

And finally we were home.

A few memories on the way...

Wah Taj !
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इलाहबाद bye-pass
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Kashi Vishwanath मंदिर - revisited
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The point beyond which all electronics, cameras and leather is strictly prohibited.
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बनारसी (of Varanasi) Sarees on display.
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Enjoying a cup of লেবু চা (lemon tea) at Dashashwamedha Ghat
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Samosas at गोधूलिया (Godhulia chowk)- to die for!
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BHU gate provides welcome respite from traffic
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( - we stopped by at a residence inside the campus - so the private road rule did not apply to us)

Ma Saraswati offering her blessings to us lesser mortals.
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Dehri-On-Sone bridge South-East of Varanasi
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A laugh a minute- Indian highway humour on the way
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Milemuncher poses at Maithon dam - just before entering West Bengal
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The tranquil waters of the reservoir that tamed Bengal's sorrow
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Langcha Mahal, Shaktigarh, WB, made famous by Uttam Kumar
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A welcome cup of tea at Shaktigarh
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Old 14th June 2016, 23:13   #79
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

An update is in order. Another run to Kolkata, and then the days were rudely cut short , necessitating a dash back to Delhi.

The plan was to meet up with BHPian Inquisitive, at Agra on June 2. The next day was reserved exclusively for a convoy (of two) drive to Bodh Gaya. June 4 - was set aside for sight seeing and on June 5, we would reach Kolkata.

So here goes.
June 2: Milk run on Milemuncher to Agra.

We stayed at Taj Kheema, an arms length away from the Taj Mahal. When in Agra, we never pass up the opportunity to attend the Son et lumièreat Agra Fort. This was topped off with a delicious Mughlai dinner at Jahanpanah , Sadar Bazar.

The approach and exit of UPTDC Taj Kheema is a bit of a bother. If one arrives late, there's no option but to walk about a kilometer from the Taj East gate parking to the hotel. Otherwise one can use the battery operated buses.

But the difficulty is more than made up for in the outstanding views of the Taj Mahal on offer. I have never had , and never will have the opportunity to stay this close to the monument.

taj at 0500 hours
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June 03: BHPian Inquisitive and I embarked on the 845 km run to Bodh Gaya.
The road condition was excellent, and an average of 90 was easily achievable.

The drive from Agra to Surya Dhaba (Auraiya) was marred by a couple of frustrating failures. The first one was the Pioneer ICE unit in Milemuncher acted up and refused to work. The second one was the sudden appearance of the ABS light on the dashboard.

So whilst the family partook of breakfast, I dismantled the fascia to discover any loose wiring that could be the cause for the malfunctioning ICE. Nothing. But luckily it all worked just fine, when I put everything back.

The ABS light on the dashboard stayed with us till Varanasi, when it disappeared almost as mysteriously as it had appeared. None the less, an appointment was made at Buddha Toyota on the Dobhi-Gaya road.

Here's us on a break at Mount View Resort (near Tara Chandi Temple, Sasaram)
A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata-mount-view.jpg

June 4:
The day was blazingly hot. What else can one expect in summer? By 10 AM we had finished doing the mandatory spots. So when the family decided to cool off with some iced coffee, I made the trip to Buddha Toyota - about 20 km away from Bodh Gaya.

Milemuncher up on the lift
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An hour later, and parting with Rs 280/- for greasing the ABS sensors on the wheels, I was back at Bodh Gaya.

The rest of the day was spent in aimlessly wandering around the different temples. We called it a day by 7 PM, and went back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.


June 5:
A late start was on the cards, as the distance was not too much today. We started around 10 AM, tarried on the way for fuel, a puncture, breaks and tiffin.

Past Raniganj, Inquisitive had an unfortunate brush with a truck. Our final goodbyes were at Shaktigarh over scrumptious mochar chop, cha and shingara.

June 7: Received news of an emergency situation at home - so we packed our bags

June 8: Early morning departure from Chinsurah at 5:30 AM. We made a cannonball run to Kaushambi (just past the Allahabad byepass) and decided to halt for the night at one of the nondescript hotels with a gated parking.

June 9:
Again an early morning departure- 5:30 AM. Again a cannonball run, saw us back home in Delhi at 2 PM


Road conditions:
UP: Aside from the stretch at Firozabad/Shikhohabad (considerably tamer from yesteryear) the drive was a breeze. Average speeds of 90 kmph is easily achievable as much of the highway is 4-6 laned. Waiting for the Agra Lucknow expressway to be commissioned by the end of the year, and I think then the run to Kanpur can be achieved in a little over 4 hours (ex Delhi)

Bihar: Despite misgivings after a discussion with Drivetrain at Binsar TRH, Dehri-on-sone bridge was a breeze.
What's not a breeze however is the relatively poor condition of the northbound NH2 from Aurangabad to Sasaram. Beats me why they still dare to collect toll for this stretch!

Jharkhand: Excellent roads - enough said till Dhanbad (southeast bound). Then the 6-laning nightmare stays with you till you exit the state (and beyond).

West Bengal:
Conditions deteriorate abysmally with many a diversion particularly between Raniganj and Durgapur. With the onset of rains , and no sign of a speedy completion, it's bound to get worse.

Overall - a better run than the one last year at this time of year. Partly due to the completion of construction on the Kanpur-Etwah-Shikhohabad stretch.
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Old 13th May 2019, 14:01   #80
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

Hey guys - anybody interested to go Delhi-Chinsura (near Kolkata)-Delhi riding in my car
Departure New Delhi - Saturday, 15th June early morning Arrival Chinsura (near Kolkata)Sunday 16th June, late evening
Departure Chinsura (near Kolkata)- Tuesday 25th June early morning, Arrival New Delhi 26th June , late evening
Rest stop Varanasi during the intervening night in both directions.

If interested please PM me.
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Old 2nd December 2020, 11:30   #81
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Default Re: A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata

The Varanasi - Sasaram stretch is now notorious for road closures. I would like to know the merits of avoiding this stretch altogether -
https://bit.ly/37rCVir (346 km, 9 hours start at midday)
vs the straight road on NH2
https://bit.ly/2VnEBDV (246 km , 5 hours start at midday)

There are some chances this is not an obvious choice.

The present road closures on NH-19 at Varanasi shown by GMap seem to be technical artifacts. I'm told the Allahabad -Varanasi segment is all 6-lane super fast expressway.

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/busines...n-of-nh/688613

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd December 2020 at 22:30. Reason: As requested
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Old 24th December 2020, 23:08   #82
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Default Route update

Reached Chinsura/Kolkata over 48 hours ago - and still nursing the sore back from hours of non-stop driving. But a route update is absolutely par for the course. So here goes - a brief summary - make of it what you will!

Day 1: Egress Delhi 21 Dec Approximately 8 AM.
Clear blue skies and minor fog (ie visibility of ~500 m) stayed with us all through the Yamuna Expressway.
Given the 75 kmph speed limit, I kept a check on the speed between Jewar and Mathura toll plazas. That was followed by a 40-minute breakfast break at our favorite rest stop on the YEW. The Agra toll plaza is not too far away - but that did not deter me from having a go with R3 and letting the engine rip a little bit. Agra Ring Road disappointed me somewhat as they aren't yet integrated with FAST TAG. And then came the Agra Lucknow Expressway (ALE) - 4 hours of mind-numbingly boring driving on the cruise - as one's feet go to sleep. I preferred eating in the car as opposed to stopping at Billu Tandoori. Crossed over into Lucknow-Varanasi road (Rt 30). It's a toll road but it's anything but limited access. Be warned. Finally managed to emerge from it after 6 hours of battling undivided UP traffic horrors, and straight on to the Allahabad Byepass. Past Handia - the drive was superb. The stretch from Handia to Varanasi used to take close to 2.5 hours, but evidently, the NHAI has done a superlative job, and now the well lighted 6 lane highway, makes light work of all the villages, towns, foot traffic, encroachments, and other impediments, and that enabled us to reach our hotel in the Cantonment just past 8 PM.
Checked into the Hotel Rivetas by Ideal - damage to wallet - approximately Rs 10000/- all inclusive of two luxury rooms, dinner and buffet breakfast for 4 pax.

Day 2: Egress Hotel Rivetas, 22 Dec, Approximately 8 AM
The exit from the hotel was quick enough, but intra-city traffic slowed down progress, so it was just past 9 AM, when we finally found ourselves merging into NH-2/AH-1.
That's when the horrors started. Diversion after diversion continued to greet us well past the Mohania toll plaza and into Bihar. The 6-laning work is continuing in full swing. We stopped at Tara Chandi mandir (Hotel Mountain view) for a quick cuppa and thought we'd passed the worst of it but we were wrong, dead wrong. After the usual melee on the approach to Dehri-On-Sone, the tarmac was a catastrophe. And that's not all. It was worse on the other end. Nevertheless, we bravely plodded on till the next diversion and the next - ad nauseam.
As Sheraghat drew closer, there was a tiny bit of hope that maybe Jharkhand might offer uninterrupted driving. That hope was dashed very soon. As it turns out, our sources had been right - the 6-laning work has effectively ensured your average speed remains 50 kmph right upto the exit(s) for Dhanbad FROM Varanasi.

So in saying that, just a word of caution to those following the (so-called) Delhi-Kolkata experts who tout the Lucknow->Muzzafarpur->Barauni -> Dumka->Masalia->Nala->Asansol route towards Kolkata. That will only get you more frustration than the NH-2 - and of course more transit time. So if you want that annoyance of driving B roads - for sure - follow the so-called experts.

Post Dhanbad, the road was smoother, but the driving experience (till Bardhaman) was expectedly botched up by the two-lane highway, on which drove slow truckers, excessively fast bus drivers, and nouveau rich Bengalis with a death wish.

Finally made it home 13 hours after exiting the hotel in Varanasi.

Not particularly looking forward to the drive back to Delhi. There's nothing to look forward to - this trip is so over-rated.
PS: I know, I know - I succumbed to it's mysteries - Once Upon A Time. But I think that was then, and honestly, there's absolutely nothing remotely interesting in it left for me, Now.
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