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Old 5th February 2018, 16:52   #1
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Default Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip

Hello All,

As I could not find any ownership reviews for the Hexa 4x4, I decided to pen one down.
I intend to keep this thread updated with my road tripping memories and hope fellow owners and those aspiring to, find it helpful.

I have tried to give readers a fellow-passenger like experience through this narrative.

And to make reading more manageable, I have divided this thread into the following sub-topics. So feel free to jump directly to that particular post.

1. Arriving at the purchase decision & D-day
post #2

2. Road Trips -
>> Break-in in 5 days
post #3

>> 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory
post #4

Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 21st February 2018 at 23:05.
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Old 18th February 2018, 19:00   #2
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Default Arriving at the purchase decision & D-day

PROLOGUE

2015 saw my trusty old Alto LX (lovingly referred to as Crystal) celebrate its 15th birthday. It had been my workhorse for over a decade & a half and never (almost) left me stranded ever. But with over 1,30,000 kms under her belt and nearly all of its life parked exposed to the elements, age had started to show.

I’ve driven her hard, taken her for umpteen road trips – maximum being a 1,050 km Mumbai-Bangalore run in a single day. And have managed to keep her in a relatively ship-shape condition.

But with age comes the perennial demand of up-keep. Basically, grumpiness had finally set in, if I may put it that way. And the bitterest pill to swallow was the fact that I would no longer be able to rely on her for road trips, short or the long haul ones.

I shifted base to Cochin in 2013 and Crystal moved with me. After a year or so when things at work settled, it dawned upon me that if I were to explore this half of the country proper, I needed a vehicle proper. Crystal just wouldn’t cut it anymore as my daily driver. Plus, roads in Kerala are awesome (yes, I know the local folks would disagree, but trust me, roads here, in general, are really good).


SHORTLISTING & TD’ing

Thus began my search for a suitable upgrade. With a budget of upto 16 lakhs OTR, few ground rules for this purchase were set –

1. This should be a non-incremental upgrade - as I had spent a considerably long time with just a single vehicle, instead of the average 5 – 8 years
2. Only the fully loaded trim would do
3. Diesel only – this after TD’ing a few diesel rockets, the turbo push got addictive
4. Manual only
5. If budget permits, an SUV – yes, since the time I started earning, I had a soft spot for SUVs and always dreamed to own one

So the cars shortlisted were –

1. Suzuki S-Cross 1.6
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-marutiscross.jpg
It was all about the engine. Also the fact that it was unlike any Maruti ever seen in India. I remember taking at least 6 to 7 TDs, different dealers of course, not wanting to risk being blacklisted. And every single one was ripping across the highway. The smile the boost brought to my face was evident and nothing on this list came close in that regards. All this well within my budget too.

The only thing that went against it were its looks. What were they thinking, launching a 2+ year old design in a rapidly growing and highly competitive market such as ours? Anyways, although the engine was a gem, I decided to hold off as news about the facelift had already started to trickle in.

Heart: 4/5
Mind: 2/5
Wallet: 4/5

2. Hyundai Creta 1.6
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-hyundaicreta01.jpg
Hyundai’s epitome of quality. The Creta already scored well in my mind when it came to looks. It had the street cred of an SUV as well. Add to it the sweet 1.6 from Hyundai with oodles of useable torque. It made an extremely strong case for itself.
But there was something missing. I don’t know how to express it, but I felt a disconnect. Although very good in all areas, it felt extremely cold. It did not tug at my heart. Plus the top end meant me stretching my budget by at least a lakh.

Heart: 2/5
Mind: 4/5
Wallet: 3/5

3. Skoda Rapid 1.5 DSG facelift
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-2016skodarapid01.jpg
I was recommended this by a lot of friends, simply for the DSG gearbox. Despite of being fully aware of Skoda’s after sales, I went in for a TD. Fit and finish was good, lot of new touches had been added. Car’s front façade looked extremely sharp.
However, post the TD, I came out disappointed. The engine felt muted. Plus the fact that it was an auto.

Heart: 2/5
Mind: 2/5
Wallet: 4/5

4. Honda City 2017 facelift
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-honda-city.jpg
This was never in the running, up until the facelift launched. And boy did Honda do an awesome job with improving the front end. I am a sucker for features and those LED headlights simply stole my heart. Sunroof and a frameless IRVM were like cherries on the cake. Drive was not bad either. This car suddenly became a front runner

Heart: 3/5
Mind: 4/5
Wallet: 4/5

Honorable mentions –
1. Hyundai Verna 1.6
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-hyundaiverna4s19.jpg
Ever since the first Verna launched in India, I was always fascinated with the fact that Hyundai did not shy from plonking an extremely powerful engine into it. With the fluidic design, it was a very attractive car indeed. You can say that it always had a soft spot in my heart. Famous for its unimpressive handling and the fact that it was long overdue for a major facelift, I decided to give it the skip

2. Honda BR-V
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-hondabrv01.jpg
Honestly I had a lot of expectations from this launch. Ignoring the fact that it was only a facelifted Mobilio, Honda had the opportunity to load it with features, a good engine, thus making it an exciting proposition. But it was not meant to be. Uninspiring engine, average interior quality and lack of features drove me away from it.

3. Renault Duster AWD
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-renaultdusterawd08.jpg
Renault had a golden opportunity to refresh the Duster’s interior and exterior with the launch of the AWD. It did not. Then with the facelift in 2016, it dropped the ball again. Its dated interior was the deal breaker for me.


You might have noticed that all cars mentioned above launched between mid-2015 to early-2017. Yes, it took me a while to decide, as I considered this to be one of the most important purchases I would make and the car would be with me for a minimum of 7 years. Hence I had to be absolutely sure.

Now, to spice up the mix, the Tata Hexa broke cover at the 2016 Auto Expo. And boy-oh-boy was it a looker. Expo reviews and first person feedbacks were extremely positive. This was definitely a car that would make me push my purchase decision till its launch.


Fast Forward to October 2016

This is when proper road test reviews of the Hexa started coming in. All of which were extremely promising. TBHP review further reinforced the fact that TML had done an excellent job with their new vehicle.

As the Hexa Experience Centre (HEC) wouldn’t come to Cochin, I decided to attend it in Bangalore along with a couple of my office colleagues. Getting to look at the vehicle up close for the first time and then to experience it in person left us all mind-blown! TML definitely had a winner in their hands.

The only catch now was to see how they price it. Fingers crossed. Took a few test drives in the meantime and the folks at RF motors, Cochin were kind enough to provide a 20+ minute one, complete with some bit of mild rough-roading. Decided to wait it out.

Heart: 5/5
Mind: 5/5
Wallet: ?/5


Another Fast Forward to 18th January 2017

With bated breath, I sat in front of my computer viewing the live stream. And when the prices were revealed, it was a mix bag for me. The top variant (XT 4x4) that I had foolishly hoped go for ~18 lakh OTR was actually retailing for close to 21+ lakhs. Ouch! I could hear my heart break into a thousand pieces.

Heart: 5/5
Mind: 4/5
Wallet: 1/5

With great difficulty I steered my heart and mind towards the option that I had shortlisted so far – City or Creta, with me decision now leaning more towards the City.

While trying to work up on the financing bit, I always felt this void in my heart. Time spent at the HEC and a couple of long TDs had created a yearning that neither the City nor the Creta could fulfil really. Yet jacking up my budget by 5+ lakhs was simply not at option at the moment.

Then came news about the now famous GST and how all taxes for vehicles, especially for SUVs that were taxed the most, were speculated to drop sharply.

On D-day – July 01, 2017, as predicted, process for most cars fell. Being least bothered about ‘other cars’, I quickly checked what impact it had on the Hexa’s pricing. And sure enough, new OTR price now was a shade under 20 lakhs.

Now, ever since I began my search, there were so many instances when I could have finalised my purchase. But for some reason it kept getting delayed. I thought to myself, “Is this a sign? It has to be!”
I quickly re-worked my finances and all of a sudden, the Hexa seemed like a reality.

Finally, on my birthday, 3rd August, I decided to gift myself one and put down the booking amount.


Purchase & Delivery

Purchase was made from Fortune Motors, Thane and not from Cochin as all my official docs have that address. Plus the cops in Kerala are pretty cool with outstation vehicles, proof my MH registered Alto. While I was in the middle of coordinating with my SA, there came news of the government planning to roll back the GST benefit for SUVs. Great!

Called up my SA and asked him to invoice it right away. After making a couple of quick to & fro trips for signing of finance and delivery documents, the car was invoiced on 22nd August and delivery taken on 5th September.

Delivery experience was nothing to write home about. I probably had set my expectations pretty high – assuming that I was purchasing a Tata flagship and also after reading some wonderful ones which others had with other manufacturers. Absolutely zilch arrangement by the dealer Fortune Motors, Thane. Garland, haldi-kumkum, incense sticks, coconut – I was asked to get these! The car was mildly decorated with a few ribbons here & there. They didn’t even have a bag to hand over the car documents in, forget about sweets or goodies. This, after zero negotiations done by me throughout the booking process. I didn’t even ask for (well I did, but never got) for floor mats. Heck I had a much better experience buying an Alto 16 years ago.

Guess this is purely dealership related and not reflective of TML. As my other friends have had much better delivery experiences. Well, I’m never buying anything from this dealer again for sure.

Although a point to note about my SA, he was an extremely communicative and helpful guy. Handed over a small Kerala house-boat replica as a gift of remembrance.

I would rate the entire experience a strict 3/5.

My first glimpse of the 'Beast'
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-delivery-01.jpg

The customary Pooja and Coconut break
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-delivery-02.jpg

Finally, she's mine!
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-delivery-03.jpg

Proud owners, makes me so happy to see the smile on their faces
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-delivery-05.jpg

Ek new car collage toh banta hai boss
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-delivery-collage.jpg


It was christened 'Juggernaut', from the Marvel Comics character
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Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 21st February 2018 at 22:27.
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Old 18th February 2018, 19:42   #3
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Default Break-in In 5 Days

BREAK-IN IN 5 DAYS

Running in a new car is probably the most boring part of one's ownership. Luckily, this was not going to be so in my case, as I had an epic 1500+ kms trip back to Cochin lined up that weekend.

New car, new experience, with a bit of added caution as I was still getting used to its gargantuan dimensions.
Took the Thane – Bangalore – Cochin route and by Sunday, the car was in Cochin, with over 1600 kms on the odo.

Took a short breakfast break on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Mom was uber comfortable in the captain seat
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-1a.jpg

Arrow straight & super smooth roads - all 1500 kms of it
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-2.jpg

About 300kms from Bangalore, stopped over for snacks
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-3.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-3a.jpg

Final leg of the journey, weather was awesome
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-3b.jpg

Time for its first foam bath..
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-5.jpg

..looking all squeaky clean. At my office parking. Had to get used to parking this, instead of the Alto now
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-6.jpg

5 days in & break-in done. What a relief, now I can stretch its legs properly
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-4.jpg

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Old 18th February 2018, 20:18   #4
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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory

8500 KMS | COCHIN TO WAGAH | 18 DAYS | 9 STATES, 1 UNION TERRITORY

My Mausiji (mom's sister) and her family shifted to Jaipur around mid-2017. Mom started making plans to visit the Pink City months before. Coincidentally, my Ahmedabad cousin’s marriage also got confirmed for November.

So basically this was an Inception moment in my head. A fresh new vehicle, 2 reasons, 2 destinations = A perfect recipe for a road trip, no?

I had done an Udaipur road trip before, but the prospect of visiting Jaipur was extremely exciting. That too in the perfect weather – November/December. Pulled up Google Maps and charted the course that I would take for the trip; Cochin – Bangalore – Thane – Ahmedabad – Jaipur. A total of 5500+ kms and combined 4 days of drive seemed very doable. I was ecstatic. This would be my longest trip ever, beating my previous 1700+ km Thane – Ahmedabad – Udaipur trip by a healthy margin.

And then the inevitable happened. While preparing the itinerary for Jaipur, it dawned upon me that a few must-visit destinations were within arm’s reach of Jaipur – Taj Mahal, Golden Temple & Wagah Border. I thought to myself; if I am doing this trip, why not it properly? After all, YOLO, right?

With the possibility of the entire idea being thrown out of the window, I presented it to parents and to my surprise, they were game for it. Yay! Discussed this with Mausiji and sought my Mausaji’s help for bookings and VIP passes for the Golden Temple and Wagah.

So now, the trip would pan out as follows –

Route: Cochin – Bangalore – Thane – Ahmedabad – Udaipur – Jaipur – Pushkar – Agra – Jalandhar – Amritsar – Wagah – New Delhi – Jaipur – Ahmedabad – Thane – Bangalore – Cochin
Days: 18 days (23rd November – 10th December)
Base camp: Jaipur City
Driving duty: Exclusive to yours truly

Now, before undertaking a road trip of this magnitude, one has to prep well. Got the following accessories ordered, to add to the stuff which I already had:
a. Electric air pump
b. Car vacuum cleaner
c. Small hammer
d. Dual usb fast charger & 1 mt. cable
e. Magnetic mobile holder
f. Additional bulbs and fuses
g. Combination spanner set
h. Fastag purchased via PayTm
i. Custom cut mat for the dashboard cubby hole

Along with a few cosmetic upgrades for the Juggernaut

Satin Black roof, A-pillar and ORVM wrap from 3M
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-prep-01.jpg

Along with a paint protection film on all four running boards. Total cost for both about Rs. 20,000
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-prep-03.jpg

German font style number plate and a few stickers to adorn its rear
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-prep-04.jpg

Finally, Lord Ganesha to bless all the journeys
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-prep-07.jpg

Juggernaut was due for its first service on 22nd November. Perfect timing. Got it serviced at Concorde Motors, Cochin on 18th November. Invoice Rs. 0.

Too much chrome, you say? Not really, as it balances out perfectly with the Tungsten silver color
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-prep-06.jpg

On the D-day, with everything set and 3221 kms on the ODO, I set off.


DAY 1 – 23rd Nov, Thu. Cochin to Bangalore. 550 kms, 8 hours

National highways of India are very good. This is especially true for this particular stretch of the road. It is pretty scenic too. I was driving alone for this leg of the journey, hence have no pictures to show. Drive was pretty straightforward.

Had dinner at a friend’s place and he graciously allowed me to crash there for the night. Plan was to get a good night’s sleep and push off before morning traffic sets in. With that, I call it a night.

DAY 2 – 24th Nov, Fri. Bangalore to Thane. 1050 kms, 13 hours

Started off by 07:30am after a heavy breakfast. Refueled at a nearby fuel station and with the blessings of Lord Hanuman, headed on.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-thn-01.jpg

Although the drive wasn’t going to be strenuous, given that 100% of it was divided highway, the fact that I would need to push over 1000 kms in a single day meant that I could not afford to take a lot leisure or photo breaks. Thankfully the heavy breakfast helped.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-thn-03.jpg

Side-by-side with the real beast
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-thn-04.jpg

Spotted this sweet Africa Twin moto while I had stopped for tea. A couple from Bangalore were touring on it
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-thn-05.jpg

The final 30 kms of the journey took the most amount of time due to Friday rush hour traffic on the Thane-Belapur road and at Kalwa bridge. Finally by around 10:30pm, I was home.
Plan for the next day was to leave by around 10am.


DAY 3 – 25th Nov, Sat. Thane to Ahmedabad. 500 kms, 11 hours

But ‘we have to pakka for sure leave on time’ plans seldom pan out. Thanks to the laziest one amongst the group – yours truly. Guess I missed home and my ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ air so much that I slept in till 7am!
Having woken up with a startle, I hurriedly rushed off to find a car wash.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-ahd-01.jpg

After a quick clean-up of the car, we set off for Ahmedabad by around 9.30am, confident that I would reach my destination by 5pm.
Slow start, as there was traffic right at the doorstep
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-ahd-03.jpg

Stopped over for a quick lunch at this hotel. Food was good. We pushed on
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-ahd-04.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-ahd-05.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-ahd-07.jpg

Little did I know what was in store, as after Surat, there was unusually heavy traffic that ended up adding an unnecessary 4 hours to the journey. Seems it was an auspicious day for weddings, hence the traffic.

Reached Ahmedabad by 8.30pm. A quick freshen-up later, headed for the sangeet ceremony.

Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 21st February 2018 at 23:04.
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Old 19th February 2018, 16:50   #5
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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 4 – 26th Nov, Sun. Rest day. Mild sightseeing at Ahmedabad

I have visited Ahmedabad several times previously and have explored most of it. Yet there were a few places that I hadn’t yet, so decided to do so in the 6 hours or so which I had with me post a very late breakfast.

Stop 1 was at Sarkhej Durgah.

Sarkhej pond in the backdrop
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-01.jpg

Next headed over to the newly constructed Sabarmati Riverfront & the Riverfront Flower Park. Well maintained and clean.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-04.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-06.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-08.jpg

Everyone has the right of way
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-09.jpg

In all my visits to this city, I somehow always missed to visit the Auto World Vintage Car Museum. I am not a very vintage-car guy, but having heard so much about the cars on display here (heard there were over 100), I had to check this place out.

And the account opened with the sight of a beautiful 1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV. I am totally head over heels over the Ford Mustang fastback or a similar type of body style.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-10.jpg

Beautiful color combination on the Bentley
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-11.jpg

You always find something quirky in such places. Not sure what this was, but definitely noteworthy
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-15.jpg

Cars back in those days were h-u-g-e
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-16.jpg

A nice, comparatively modern BMW 3-series
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-18.jpg

Ford Model T chassis & engine
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-20.jpg

There were a couple of bikes there as well. 1941 Indian
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-21.jpg

Proudly displaying our National colors, was a 1926 'Azad' Rolls Royce Phantom I
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-22.jpg

Hood ornaments. Every car back in the day had to have it. Some were the symbol of elegance and luxury, like the Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstacy or the Bentley B-ornament, some were quirky, like this on the 1911 Daimler..
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-23.jpg

..some purely utilitarian, like on the 1926 Lagonda 2ltr, while some were downright funny, like on the 1909 Fiat
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-23a.jpg

I will now leave you with a collage of all the cars there on display
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-24.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-29.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-25.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-30.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-26.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-31.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-27.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-32.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-28.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-33.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-34.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-ahd-17.jpg

By the time we were done, it was 5pm. After attending the evening wedding reception, all decided to call it a night as we had a pretty long drive ahead of us.

I had plans to meet up with a fellow Hexa owner Mitul Desai over breakfast or post dinner. Unfortunately due to how tight my schedule was, I could not.
@Mitul, promise to meet you next time I am in Ahmedabad.

Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 21st February 2018 at 22:27.
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Old 19th February 2018, 20:19   #6
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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 5 – 27th Nov, Mon. Ahmedabad to Jaipur, halt at Udaipur. 700 kms, 12 hours

Started off a bit late after a sumptuous breakfast. Planned to visit City Palace and Jagdish Temple at Udaipur.

"I am ready, come let's go!" says Juggernaut
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-01.jpg

Chimneys of Gandhinagar thermal power plant were MASSIVE, made us feel so tiny
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-01a.jpg

Gujarat highways are extremely good and I love driving here. Reached Udaipur by around 2pm.

City Palace is one of the most sought after tourist destination for anyone visiting Udaipur. Extremely well maintained and not too crowded (will tell you why very shortly).
Parking is conveniently located within the premises and just a short 5 minute walk away from the main gate, to the left. Best part being no hawkers or guides forcing their services upon you.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-04.jpg

Tickets to this place are expensive. Rs. 30/head just to enter the place. Rs. 300/head to visit the museum and a whopping Rs. 250 for parking. This is one reason why you only see a large number of foreigners and tourists at this place. Not many locals. So after shelling out a whopping Rs. 1240 for 3 pax, our visit began.
Oh and it is best to carry your own water and snacks. Anything inside is again, costly.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-02a.jpg

One thing I must say is that the entire place is extremely picturesque. A treat for a any photographer

One of the water front restaurant just outside the main entrance. Nice view.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-05.jpg

A lot of such beautiful work can be seen all over the palace
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-07.jpg

Great view of the city through these 'jharokas'
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-08.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-09.jpg

Taj Lake Palace
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-12.jpg

This verandah looked especially good
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-13.jpg

Of the thousands of artifacts inside the museum, these two caught my eye. Made from pure silver
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-14.jpg

This exit leads to eateries just outside the palace premises. Once you have your fill, you have to cross back across the palace grounds to get to the parking
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-16.jpg

Few panaroma shots of..
Walkway to the main entrance
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-17.jpg

Palace grounds and restaurant. Remember what I mentioned about high ticket prices. You can see the effect here - not a lot of crowd. You get you own sweet time to hang around
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-17a.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-17c.jpg

Udaipur city & Taj Lake Palace
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-17d.jpg

This is near the entry/exit
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-17e.jpg

By the time we came out, it was almost 4.30pm, hence we decided not to halt at the temple. Darshan was done from the doorstep, after which we continued on..
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-18.jpg

..as we still had a healthy distance to cover
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-19.jpg

Where have you come from, where do you go
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-20.jpg

Majority of the belt between Udaipur and Jaipur is famous for marble quarrying. And we saw loads and loads of trucks carrying huge blocks of the stone.
This one I guess was carrying an SMS for someone?
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-jai-23.jpg

Reached Jaipur at around 11pm. Temperature was a refreshing 18 C. finally some good weather that we all were waiting to enjoy.

After discussing plans for the next 3 days that we were going to be in Jaipur with Mausaji & Mausiji, we called it a night.

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Old 19th February 2018, 21:29   #7
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Question 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 6 – 28th Nov, Tue. Jaipur to Agra & back. 500 kms, 9 hours

Plan was to visit Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal today. It would be my mom's and my first ever visit here. We both were super excited.

After a good night’s rest, started off for Fatehpur Sikri by around 10.30am
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-01.jpg

With Mausiji joining us hereon
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-02.jpg

FasTag dedicated lane. This lane was empty only in Kerala. Otherwise this was the case at most other locations.
Point to note is that it worked at 100% of the tolls I encountered over my entire journey, with the exception of 4, if I remember correctly, as those were private toll roads.
I would say one should definitely go in for it as it not only saves you the hassle of keeping the exact change, but also saves quite a bit of time overall.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-03.jpg

A good cutting-chai can virtually give you super-human powers, no?
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-09.jpg

You know you are in Rajasthan when you see these on the road
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-10.jpg

Reached Fatehpur Sikri by 1pm. Drive was okay and the roads were in decent shape.
At the Agra gate
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-11.jpg

Parking is located a good 1 km away from the place and there are regular buses that ply. However a quicker (and not much costlier) option is to hire a rickshaw. They charge you a total of Rs. 100 for a to & fro trip.

We hired the services of a guide right from the parking lot who then handed over the responsibility to a second guide waiting ahead. I would recommend using a guide as they are not that costly (we paid Rs. 50) and you wouldn’t know the significance of the place otherwise. Our guide was extremely enthusiastic and helped clicked a lot of snaps of us.

However, as all guides do, they also take you to their designated hawker who would do his level best to sell you his goods – cloth, flowers etc. all to be offered when you visit the main Durgah.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-12.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-13.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-13a.jpg

It is a beautifully built place
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-14.jpg
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Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-16.jpg

Quote of the Day anyone?
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Left for Taj Mahal at around 2.30pm and after cutting through bad roads, narrow streets, heavy traffic and road users (man, machine, animals – all using the road at the same time), reached the magnificent Wonder of the World by around 3.45pm.
But seriously, something has to be done about the road condition. Roads in the radius of about 30 kms are in need of some serious repairs. You don't feel that you are visiting a wonder of the world.

You park about a km away from the main gates and from there take an electric buddy. Pretty zippy this thing was
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-20.jpg

Greeted by this massive gate behind which the main monument hid
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-21.jpg

And there she was...
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-22.jpg

...in all its glory! It is a surreal feeling for sure seeing it in person. Honestly, any words I type here won't do it justice
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-23.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-24.jpg

As you get closer to it, you really need to take a moment to take in every bit of its beautiful architecture
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-27.jpg

Sunset by the Taj
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-28.jpg

The promenade at night
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-29.jpg

Now, after just having exited the Taj premises, we had an extremely close call with a drunk bike rider. I was waiting patiently to join the main road and this guy, who is travelling at a decent pace, tangles up with another bike rider. Both of them fall and skid toward me. First bike comes to a halt right ahead of me and the other comes to rest on the front right wheel. The car shakes and my heart breaks. I was like "Seriously?!"
Got out expecting damage to the bumper, wheel and (hopefully not) sheet metal. Thankfully as the wheel was turned right, the tyre and the alloy ended up taking the full force of the impact. No other damage done. Whew! The biker sheepishly got up and just stood there. Was unhurt. I chose not to bother and left.

Back at Jaipur after a hard day at work
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-agr-30.jpg

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Old 19th February 2018, 23:59   #8
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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 7 – 29th Nov, Wed. Jaipur to Pushkar & back. 300 kms, 6 hours

After a hectic 6 days, we all decided to take today slow. Plan was to visit the nearby Brahma Temple at Pushkar.

Did a quick inspection of the wheel. Noticed a couple of small dings and slight scuffing on the surface. Extremely minor
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-01.jpg

Reached Pushkar in a little over 2 hours.

Hello beautiful
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-03.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-04.jpg

Some authentic cuisine - Daal Baati Churma
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-05.jpg

View of Pushkar ghat
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-06.jpg

2 sizes small eh?
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-07.jpg

Just had to try it out
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-08.jpg

Beauty shot
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-09.jpg

Leaving the sunset behind, we called it a day
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-pus-10.jpg


DAY 8 – 30th Nov, Thu. Rest day. Sightseeing & shopping in Jaipur

One week into the trip and decided to give the Juggernaut its first weekly off.
Plan for the day was to visit a few touristy spots of Jaipur. And so, off we went.

Welcome to the Pink City
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-01.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-02.jpg

The famous Hawa Mahal, in all its glory
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-04.jpg

At the City Palace gates
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-06.jpg

Pretty neat, everything finished in pink here as well
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-08.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-09.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-14.jpg

32 gun/spear salute anyone?
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-12.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-13.jpg

The Durbans and the Caretakers
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-10.jpg

This is the Gangajali, urn made out of silver. I believe it holds a Guinness record for being the largest of its kind
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-11.jpg

Spotted this dog catching some quick Z's, almost human like
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Albert Hall museum
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-15.jpg

Decided to call it an early day to get some much needed rest. The next 4 days would be hectic.

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Old 20th February 2018, 00:42   #9
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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 9 – 1st Dec, Fri. Jaipur to Jalandhar. 600 kms, 10 hours

Today was an extremely early start to the day. Plan was to cover as much distance as possible before traffic builds up.

It was my Dad’s birthday too. So after some early morning cake-cutting and wishing, we were off by around 6am. Mausaji joined us for this leg of the journey.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-01.jpg

Mornings are extremely beautiful and refreshing in this weather
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-01a.jpg

Stopped here for breakfast (forgot the name of the restaurant)
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-02.jpg

Overloaded vehicles were a common sight, this one carrying cotton
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-04.jpg

But the smooth and empty roads ensured the drive stayed as stress free as possible
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-06.jpg

Mausiji looked pretty comfortable here
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-06a.jpg

Stopped over at this restaurant in Haryana for lunch and had to try out the speciality – aloo parathas, which were as expected, super yummy
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-07.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-08.jpg

Reached Jalandhar by around 5pm. Climate was a pleasant 20 C with night time temperatures dropping to as low as 6 C.
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-09.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-jal-10.jpg

Tomorrow would be an early start.

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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 10 – 2nd Dec, Sat. Jalandhar to Amritsar, Wagah & back to Amritsar. 160 kms, 4 hours

A chilly start to the day. Juggernaut woke up in a single crank
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-04.jpg

Plan was to visit Golden Temple in the morning and then head over to Wagah border by late afternoon.
Thanks to my Mausaji, a guided visit of the temple was arranged. I was also stoked about the fact that I could take the car right upto the door step of the temple – felt blessed.

Almost there
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-06.jpg

Behind the white building was the Golden Temple
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-06a.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-07.jpg

Serene
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-07a.jpg

Also got a tour of the kitchen where rotis are made
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-08.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-10.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-11.jpg

Jalianwala Bagh is a stones throw distance away from GT. From history books to seeing it in person is an experience in itself
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-12.jpg

This is the Martyr's well
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-13.jpg

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-13a.jpg

Just seeing the bullet marks gave me goosebumps
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Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-15.jpg

In honor of the martyrs who lost their lives on the fateful day
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-17.jpg

Tried out some local roadside food. One thing you do not have to worry about is the taste. It is extremely good, anywhere you eat
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-18.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-19.jpg

Next we headed for the Wagah border. I was so happy that I was getting to visit this iconic place
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-20.jpg

Could see our neighbours from here
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-21.jpg

Got the best seats in the house
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-23.jpg

The Border
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-24.jpg

This is Line Zero. Probably as close as you can get to the border without a passport and not getting arrested
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-25.jpg

Indian BSF Ranger
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-26.jpg

And the ceremony began
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-27.jpg
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The show of strength - without weapons
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-33.jpg

Bird's eye view?
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-34.jpg

Wagah – to sum it up in one word ‘Surreal
If you are visiting this side of the country, I strongly recommended you take time out and witness this first hand.

Returned back to our hotel after a quick stop for dinner. Was joined by a friendly neighbourhood doggie
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jal-wag-35.jpg

A day well spent.

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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 11 – 3rd Dec, Sun. Amritsar to New Delhi. 470 kms, 12 hours

My cousin who works with a shipping company was about to be deputed for an overseas stint, hence the plan was to go meet him. Day started at 9am and after a couple of stopovers at relative’s place, hit the highway by 1pm.

Somewhere along the way spotted 2 youngsters on bicycles being escorted along. They were on a 4000 km Kashmir to Kanyakumari expedition.
Kudos kiddos
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-wag-del-01.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-wag-del-02.jpg

Had spoken to a fellow Hexa owner from Gurgaon – Angad Adlakha and plan was to meet him for dinner or post dinner tea – depending on what time I reached. Per the map, New Delhi ETA was 8.30pm. Drive was going as planned, but as soon as we reached Narela, about 50 odd kms from New Delhi, there was crazy traffic.
It took us over 3 hours to cover this distance and by the time we reached our destination, it was almost midnight! Meet & greet plan with the Gurgaon gang had to be called off.

With my cousin Aniruddh
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-wag-del-03.jpg

Quick dinner later, hit the sack.


DAY 12 – 4th Dec, Mon. New Delhi to Jaipur. 280 kms, 8 hours

With nothing much to do during the first half of the day, went around the city to take in the sights.

And we were welcomed almost immediately by Delhi's Monday afternoon traffic
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-del-jai-01.jpg

Wish we had such roads in Mumbai
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-del-jai-01a.jpg
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Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-del-jai-05.jpg

India Gate
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-del-jai-08.jpg

Stopped over for some desi chaat
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-del-jai-09.jpg

Post lunch, we left for Jaipur
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-del-jai-11.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-del-jai-12.jpg

Reached Jaipur by around 9pm.


DAY 13 – 5th Dec, Tue. Rest day. Sightseeing in Jaipur

With one rest day available, spent most of it relaxing and enjoying the chilly weather of Jaipur. As I knew that a few days from now, it would only be 30+ everywhere.

One thing that was on my mind since the start of this trip was the 2nd service, which according to my initial calculations would fall per the kilometers run – 10,000 and would happen in Jaipur. But as the trip went on, it seemed like this would now happen back home in Thane. Booked an appointment via the TMSC app.

Late evening we went to see the light & sound show at Amar Jawan Jyot
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-01.jpg

While on the way back saw this awesomely lit up building
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-jai-03.jpg


DAY 14 – 6th Dec, Wed. Jaipur to Ahmedabad. 660 kms, 10 hours

Saddest part of any road trip – the return journey. Bidding farewell to Mausaji, Mausiji, the beautiful city of Jaipur and with wonderful memories firmly ingrained, we headed back
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-ahd-01.jpg

As the roads were extremely smooth and empty, I was cruising at a steady 120kmph. And soon I received a reminder on the speed limit for national highways (this one) being 90kmph. Was stopped by highway patrol.

The conversation goes like this –
Me: Roads are so good and empty, I was driving carefully sir
Cop: But the speed limit was exceeded by a lot
Me: Is it?
Cop: Yes. Big cars drive very fast on such empty highways
Me: Hmmmm. So till what speed is okay?
Cop: About 10 over is fine
Me: Hmmmm


Funny thing happened next, a Jeep Compass and an Innova zoomed past me as I was handing over the cash to the cops and I instinctively asked –

Me: Will you not stop them?
Cop: (smirking) They will be stopped at the next toll plaza
Me: Really?
Cop: (no reply)
Me: My mistake I stopped, right?
Cop: (smiles)
Me: (face-palm moment)


Got issued a challan for over-speeding and in 5 minutes I was poorer by Rs. 400. Anyways, continued now with cruise control set at 105kmph and with a new determination to claw back my hard earned money by way of better mileage
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-ahd-01a.jpg

While we were stopped over for lunch, I noticed a shiny object on the rear left tyre. Lo & behold, a nail. As there were no puncture shops in sight and no apparent loss in tyre pressure, I decided to get it fixed once I enter a proper township which was a couple of hours later
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-ahd-02.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-ahd-03.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-jai-ahd-04.jpg

Reached Ahmedabad by around 7.30pm


DAY 15 – 7th Dec, Thu. Ahmedabad to Thane. 500 kms, 8 hours

An uneventful and relaxing drive back home.
Sun was at its shiniest..
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-thn-01.jpg

..and the bugs at their nastiest
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-ahd-thn-02.jpg

We were home by 7pm.

Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 21st February 2018 at 22:48.
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Old 20th February 2018, 02:01   #12
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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

DAY 16 – 8th Dec, Fri. Rest day. 2nd free service

Had just 1 day with me and loads of pending work to be completed.

Took the vehicle for its 2nd free service to Fortune Motors, Thane. Service experience was shoddy, to say the least. More on that later on in the ownership review
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-thn-01.jpg

Met up with a fellow Hexa owner Prem Iyer and we chit-chatted about all stuff Hexa for the next couple of hours
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-thn-02.jpg

Post service, headed over to Goregaon to meet up with a few of my ex-office buddies
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-day-thn-03.jpg

Called it a day by 11pm. Had an extremely long day of driving ahead of me.


DAY 17 – 9th Dec, Sat. Thane to Bangalore. 1050 kms, 13 hours

This leg of the journey was extremely tiresome, not because the roads were bad, but due to the fact that they were so good and straight that the drive got extremely boring. Having done this stretch thrice already, there was nothing much to look forward to, except reaching pit stop as soon as possible.

Encountered some dense fog on Mumbai-Pune expressway which was a nice surprise
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-blr-02.jpg

Somewhere after Pune, saw this Peugeot 208 being driven enthusiastically. Decals were masked
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-blr-02a.jpg

Stopped over just after Pune for some Misal pav & Thalipeeth. Yummy
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-blr-03.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-blr-04.jpg

En-route, spotted this newly opened restaurant called Pitstop, about 20kms from Dharwad. Decided to give it a check. Food was good, interiors were done up well and the owner was friendly & clearly a car lover
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-blr-05.jpg

It was close to 9pm when we touched Bangalore city and encountered traffic. Well, at least the walls were something to stare at
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-blr-06.jpg

With 5 1's up on the board, called it a night
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-thn-blr-07.jpg


DAY 18 – 10th Dec, Sun. Bangalore to Cochin. 550 kms, 9 hours

Last day of the journey and I could not wait to reach home. Started off with a hearty breakfast and planned to cover this leg of the journey with only two long breaks – lunch and tea
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-koc-01.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-koc-02.jpg

Finally at 7pm, we reached home
And had some crazy numbers on the MID
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-koc-04.jpg
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-koc-05.jpg

Whew!
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-koc-07.jpg


DAY 00 – Time for some well earned TLC

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-koc-08.jpg

"Bro, where to next?"
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-blr-koc-09.jpg

Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 21st February 2018 at 22:51.
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Old 20th February 2018, 02:30   #13
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Default 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

NUMBERS, STATS AND HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP

ODO: 11,669
Total distance covered: 8448 kms
Days: 18
Amount spent on fuel: ~Rs. 45,000
Amount spent on toll: ~Rs. 7,500
Mileage: ~11.7 kmpl
Fuel price fluctuations: Rs. 58.18/lt on 1st Dec (best) and Rs. 62.67/lt on 6th Dec (worst)
Maximum distance driven in a day: 1050 kms (Thane-Bangalore)
Longest non-stop run: ~5 hours @ 120 kmph
Maximum passengers: 5 + luggage

My travel trail
Name:  route taken.jpg
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The cockpit setup
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-cockpit-setup.jpg

Launch-key!
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-6.jpg

Kilometer milestones over the last 15 weeks of ownership
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-km-milestones.jpg

OMG moment of the trip. Seeing my current location on the map and it dawning upon me how much had I travelled
Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-wagah.png


WHAT’S GOOD, WHAT’S NOT, WHAT’S BAD

A. What I love:
1. Ride quality – is phenomenal
2. Weight – on paper it might look like a disadvantage, but 2.3 tonnes keep this behemoth firmly planted at all speeds
3. Torque – Full 400Nm of it, makes overtaking a breeze
4. Effortless cruising – most of my trip was done at 120kmph with the turbo whistling at a relaxed 2300rpm
5. Sound system – the JBL 9.1 speaker system sounds awesome
6. Road presence – all vehicles give way almost immediately, especially so on highways
7. Best in class seats – zero fatigue even after 12+ hour runs, including my parents. Thanks to the captain seats
8. Loaded to the gills – a suite of active and passive safety features ensure you have the peace of mind at all times. Plus the creature comforts and options that it pampers you with are second to none at this price point
9. Interior fit & finish – looks $$
10. It's looks – love the clean cut lines

B. What needs improvement:
1. Low beams – are poor. Had to use my highs for most of my night driving
2. Sound system – deeper, richer base is needed. Currently the system is tuned for mids & highs. Good, but has the potential to be great

C. What’s lacking and inexcusable at this price point:
1. Auto dimming IRVM – an inexcusable omission. My eyes hurt a lot during those long night time highway runs
2. Pure keyless entry & go – would have been good to have, now that even 5 lakh rupee cars get it

My 2 cents:
1. Car definitely gets better with time. You get to grips with its size, behaviour and its then when you truly start enjoying it even more
2. For all those worrying about a notchy manual gearbox, dont. It will get smoother. Plus once then gearbox oil gets to its operating temperature, shifts are smooth
3. Thank God Tata did not opt for that lifeless electronic power steering. This hydraulic unit ensures you stay connected with the road feel. I find it perfectly tuned


EPILOGUE
India is a beautiful country and the best way to explore it, the way it’s meant to be seen, is via its roads. Everyone who has access to a set of wheels must do a long road trip once. It’s an experience in itself.

In the Hexa, I discovered not only an extremely reliable travel companion, but also a vehicle that would take on the best and the worst of what the Indian conditions have to offer. In the 11,669 kms which I threw at her in the very short span of 3 months and a week, taking her through torrential rains, scorching temperatures, freezing nights and marathon runs – she simply dismissed them all without so much of a squeak or a misfire. It was just a regular day for her in office.

That night, as I sat down on my couch, hot chocolate in one hand and phone in the other, browsing through the 2500+ memories which I had collected, deep inside my heart I knew that I had made the correct decision – of following my heart and putting my money where it would reap the greatest of rewards – on my Juggernaut.

Well done Tata.

Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip-parting-shot.jpg

Last edited by McLaren Roxx : 21st February 2018 at 22:59. Reason: Drafting
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Old 22nd February 2018, 08:33   #14
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Default Re: Cochin to Wagah in a Tata Hexa 4x4: An Epic 8,500 km road-trip

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd February 2018, 09:58   #15
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Default Re: 8500 kms | Cochin to Wagah | 18 Days | 9 States, 1 Union Territory cont..

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Roxx View Post
EPILOGUE
India is a beautiful country and the best way to explore it, the way it’s meant to be seen, is via its roads. Everyone who has access to a set of wheels must do a long road trip once. It’s an experience in itself.
You summarized it very well, cant agree with you more on this.
Wishing you many many more miles with your Hexa and hoping to see some 4X4 action soon.

On auto dimming mirrors, a cheap solution until you install the auto dimming mirror is to install a light sun film on the rear hatch door glass. Costs less than 350 and can be removed once the right mirror is in place.

Last edited by arjithin : 22nd February 2018 at 10:08.
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