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Old 9th November 2006, 12:24   #1
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This Diwali, we drove from Mumbai to Uttaranchal: Corbett Park, Nainital,
Gwaldam, Badrinath, Tehri and Dhanolti. Here is an account of the trip, ex-Delhi.

From Delhi, we crossed the Nizamuddin Bridge to take the Ghaziabad
road on NH24 (or is it NH24A?). This is a good route that goes via
Ghazipur Mandi and bypasses Ghaziabad and takes you through Hapur
(bypassed), Gajraula (bypassed), Moradabad (bypassed) and Kashipur
to Ramnagar (base town for Corbett Park).

I guess if you leave early in the morning, this would have been a
pleasant 4-5 hour drive (265 kms from Nizamuddin Bridge), but I left
Delhi after 3 pm, through lots of messy traffic in the villages/
small towns of UP en route. The road is a double road till Hapur
after which construction work is going on in a chaotic fashion. Lots
of miscellaneous traffic, you need to be very patient and tolerant
even when cars cut across the Q at toll gates!. Wierdly, each one of
the UP villages had 2 pillars of a flyover built, but no flyover!
Hopefully, in the next 5 years the flyovers will eventually be
built. Petrol pumps are aplenty throughout, including Reliance
(after Ghaziabad, at Gajraula, at Kashipur and Ramnnagar). You can't
go fast, maximum speeds possible are 100kmph. You cross the River
Ganga after Grahmukteswar and Gajraula is eatery town (try aloo

Moradabad bypass is the best of the lot, and even to go to Ramnagar,
you can take it. Go to the end of the bypass and then turn back for
2 kms towards Moradabad, where you will see a right turn to
Ramnagar. Signages are very prominent at the end of the bypass and
the point where you turn right. From Moradabad to Ramnagar is a
narrow but otherwise excellent road (NH121). Uttaranchal has great
roads all the way, and traffic is also far more orderly.

After spending 2 nights at Corbett Park (we sighted Tiger, elephant
herds, lots of deer, black/red-faced monkeys and also took an
elephant ride into the jungles), we took the road to Nainital. There
are 2 routes to Nainital from Ramnagar, both of them via Kaladhungi.
The first turns left at Kaladhungi and Nainital is 30 kms from
there. The other route goes via Haldwani and is longer at 65 kms. We
did not go directly to Nainital, instead taking the road 3 kms
beyond Kathgodam to Bhowali to see the Bhimtal, Naukuchiyatal and
Sattal lakes - all more peaceful and scenic than Nainital town which
was choked with tourists from Bombay and Gujarat!

Signages/ roads are good.

We spend exactly 1.5 hours in Nainital town, before leaving for
greener pastures. Ramky (of Ahmedabad Ford Fusion fame) and I had a
rendezvous just outside Bhowali (Ramky was doing a Uttaranchal
holiday too), and we ended up comparing log books and taking
photographs - he was lucky to have to seen snow at Badrinath the
previous day.

It was sunset time at Binsar (the road from Ayarpani Check Post to
Binsar is awful and rattled everyone), and we were disappointed that
KMVN did not have rooms to spare. We thus carried on via Club
Mahindar at Bansoli to reach Bageshwar for the night (there is a
KMVN hotel there). Please be warned that faclities are very poor
after leaving Almora till you reach Karnaprayag.

The next days' drive from Bageswar to Badrinath was good - the
scintiallting Himalayan snow-clad peak views at Gwaldam and the
riverside cliff-hanging roads all the way to Karnaprayag where you
join the NH58 coming from Rishikesh. NH58 was in good condition all
the way to Joshimath, the base camp (and the convoy gate)for
Badrinath. There being a landslide, the road was closed for 2 days
and we were lucky to be in the first convoy after the road was
cleared. For those not in the know, please remember that the 47 km
drive from Joshimath to Badrinath is regulated by gate timings (630,
900, 1100, 200 and 430), and you have to be there on the dot to
catch the convoy. Despite the landslide, the Badri road was good and
we were disappointed not to see snow (it had snowed 2 days ago).

Turning around from Badrinath, it was a fast drive on NH58 till
Deoprayag (via Joshimath, Karnaprayag and Rudraprayag). There is at
least 1 GMVN hotel every 25-40 kms, and several petrol pumps (please
see listing in my log book). Traffic was light because the
pilgrimmage season has more or less ended (Kedarnath, Gangotri and
Yamunotri had just closed), and we reached Deoprayag by 100 pm
(having left Badri at 620 am).

We took the country road from Deoprayag to Tehri via Hindolokhal and
Anjani Sain - this is a very peaceful but steep climb and the road
was in great shape. Approaching Tehri, you are treated to a fabulous
view of the Dam and the reservoir. Unfortunately, the original road
is now under water and the new road takes a 15 km detour. The roads
in and around New Tehri are a total mess and there are no signages,
very easy to get lost. Keep asking for the way all along!

Nevertheless, NH94 from Tehri to Chamba was good, and so was the
road from Chamba to Dhanolti. The Dhnaolti road winds alongside the
cliffside and one is advised to take utmost caution on this narrow
road since there are no protective walls on the valley side (and
boisterous Delhi/Uttaranchal drivers come tearing in from the
opposite side).

Musoorie Town is a horror story, especially when you come in from
the Tehri side. The direct route into Musoorie town descends into
narrow alleys and eventually you can get lost in the Landour Bazaar
if you miss the check post to enter the Mall. It is a better idea
to take the Dehra Dun Bypass road 5 kms before Musoorie town and
climb back along the Dehra Dun road to Mussorie. The Road leading
out to Kempty Falls was choked up and we had to turn around after
waiting almost an hour in the traffic jams. I wish the Mall is
restored to being a walkway instead of letting vehicles in.

From Dhanolti, we headed out to Agra via Dehra Dun and Roorkee.
Unfortunately, we had to go via Delhi - not being sure of the Meerut-
Aligarh-Hathras-Agra direct route. Musoorie-Dehra Dun is a good road
and the signages through Dehra Dun city are adequate. We turned off
NH72A at Chutmalpur and took NH73 to Roorkee (which has a good
bypass) to link up to NH58 coming from Hardwar. NH58 is in a bad
shape especially in and around Meerut town and it gets congested as
you cross Modinagar and approach Ghaziabad.

Thanks to my friend Mohnish (who lives in Delhi), I was able to navigate a less-congested corridor to exit Delhi (I was passing through to go to Agra direct), such that I reached Badarpur from Ghaziabad in 1 hour - quite a record considering that there was dense midday traffic. The route I took
was as follows: I turned right into NH24 at Ghaziabad and
immediately after crossing the Hindon River, turned left (signages
point to Shahadra straight, and Delhi to the left), and kept going
till I reached NH24A at Ghazipur Mandi where I turned right
(straight goes into the Mandi). Just before Nizamuddin Bridge
begins, turn left and take what is the beginning of the road to
Greater Noida all the way through Mayur Vihar, Noida till you cross
the Noida Toll Bridge - 9 kms from the Nizamuddin Bridge turn off,
turn right to cross the Yamuna at the Saritha Vihar bridge and touch
Mathura Road just after Apollo Hospital and before Badarpur.
Badrapur's jams make you wish that there is an overhead road.
Traffic remains chaotic on NH2 till you cross Faridabad and
Ballabhgarh after which you can take off. The Agra road is as
wonderful as ever and we reached Agra city in 1.5 hours from
Faridabad. When are they going to build a bridge across the railway
line at the entry point to Agra and avoid the stoppages at the level
crossing? Happily, the approach road into the city has now been
widened and improved. There is so much confusion as to which gate to
take to reach the Taj Mahal and signages abruptly disappear at
crucial junctions.

Back in Delhi after an overnight stay at Haryana Tourism's Dabchik
Motel at Hodal (UP-Haryana Border) - in the early morning, you can
cover the 85 kms to Delhi in an hour.

You will notice that I deliberately did not return to Bombay on NH3
from Agra instead opting to return to Delhi and take NH8 via Jaipur.
My past experience with NH3 has not been encouraging especially
after the rains, and the GQ makes the drive on NH8 a pleasure
despite the larger distance that you have to cover to get back to
Delhi. We also did not take the direct Agra-Jaipur road via
Bharatpur since we wanted to visit Delhi for a few hours to show the
kids around Delhi.

The return to Bombay on NH8/GQ was another wonderful driving
experience. Having left Delhi Airport by 4 pm, we stopped near
Kishangarh for the night (Hotel Panghat, at the end of the Jaipur-
Kishangarh expressway, just after the toll gate and before the
bypass to Bhilwara/Chittorgarh/Udaipur. The hotel is on the right
and you will have to drive ahead and make a U turn.

Leaving Kishangarh at 4 am the next morning, we reached Bombay by
630 pm after having stopped for an hour on the Vadodara Expressway.

Here is the link to the detailed log book of the trip:
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Old 9th November 2006, 20:21   #2
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welcome to the forum Mr. Kumar !!! So finally this forum has dragged you too...
BTW: those who dont know...Mr. Kumar is our Dr. Kumar of indian highways (indiahighways yahoogroup)....

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Old 10th November 2006, 11:56   #3
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Originally Posted by akroy
welcome to the forum Mr. Kumar !!! So finally this forum has dragged you too...
BTW: those who dont know...Mr. Kumar is our Dr. Kumar of indian highways (indiahighways yahoogroup)....

Hai akroy,

When I met Kumar at Uttranhal briefly near Nainital, I told him about BHP and sent him the link. I think many people here already know him; his experience and deep knowledge on Indian roads will be a great help to those who want it.

Yes, BHP is a magnegic community....

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Old 10th November 2006, 19:32   #4
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Originally Posted by ramkya1
Hai akroy,

When I met Kumar at Uttranhal briefly near Nainital, I told him about BHP and sent him the link. I think many people here already know him; his experience and deep knowledge on Indian roads will be a great help to those who want it.

Yes, BHP is a magnegic community....

Hi ! This is Monish from Indiahighways at yahoogroups ! Ramky, I had known about this forum, however seriously checked it our only after a mention in one of your mails on the indiahighways forum. Have become a member here very only a couple of days back. Good to see the guys here too. Seems both Kumar and you had a wonderful trip. Cheers, Monish
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Old 22nd June 2008, 19:55   #5
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Thats a very methodical writeup. I wonder how you maintain such a detailed log book !!!
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Old 1st May 2010, 07:04   #6
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Looks like this was first of HVK's TLs as what Abhi mentioned.
Traces HVKs routes to YahooGroups and how he came to BHP !

HVK sir are you still active in those forums or its BHP all the way?

I feel like Khoj today.

Last edited by ampere : 1st May 2010 at 07:08.
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