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Old 11th October 2021, 16:31   #1
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Default Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift.
The Swift ZDi was my first car bought in December 2011. All through its 10 year or 1 lakh KM journey it was single drive and almost majorly with only me in the car. This year, after my car crossed the 1 Lakh KM mark, I decided to move the car back to my hometown. I don’t intend to sell it and hence it will stay in the family to be used rarely.
With that decision, I decided to drive the Swift from Bangalore to Jamshedpur, a 2000KM journey across the length of the eastern coast. I read through posts on the forum, spent hours on Google maps analyzing the route and preparing the car for my journey.
Preparation : I had run the car on stock tires and they had mostly run their life. My Swift ZDi had come factory fitted with MRF ZVTV 185/65 R15 tires. My car was mostly used in urban terrain and hence the tires easily ran through the 1 lakh KM life. I decided to change all 5 tires to the same make. The Swift belonged to the era when spare tire had the same alloy and specs as the other 4 tires. I also changed the car battery to a new Exide zero maintenance battery. Post these changes, I got a thorough check up of the vehicle for any visible leaks or damages. The car was perfect and ready for its long journey ahead.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-1.jpeg
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The route I had decided on was Bangalore to Tirupati, Tirupati to Vijayawada via Nellore and Ongole, onwards to Visakhapatnam. From Visakhapatnam, I was to go towards Bhubaneshwar via Berhampur. The last leg was from Bhubaneshwar to Jamshedpur via Balasore. The total distance came to about 1900 KMs. I had decided to start in the afternoon on 18th August and stop at Tirupati, a distance of 250km. The next morning, my journey would go on till Vishakhapatnam, a distance of 770Km. My final journey on day 3 was from Vishakhapatnam to Jamshedpur, covering 833Km in the last day. For my stay, I had booked Fortune Kences in Tirupati and Taj Beach Resort in Vizag. With Covid still looming large in Odisha, I had planned not to have any stop over in Odisha at all.
Day 1: At about 11am on 18th August, I started from Bangalore on this epic journey. It was special as this was going to be last drive in the Swift. The Swift had been my daily drive to my office, about 25Km away in Bangalore. I used to spend more than 2 hours every day in the Swift in the Bangalore traffic before Covid hit us. It was nostalgic, that I will now be spending close to 3 days in the Swift.
The first leg of the journey was going to be short at only 250Km to Tirupati. I had planned a short start as I had to wind up stuff in Bangalore, load things up and did not want an early start on the first day itself. A little past 11 in the morning, I started off.
Getting out of Bangalore was smooth as I started from Mahadevpura and immediately crossed KR Puram bridge onwards on the Kolar Highway. Once I crossed the Hoskote toll plaza, the road widened up to 6 lanes and I could get to a nice cruising speed between 80 to 100Km/h. The roads till a little before Chittoor were great and I had nothing to complain about.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-3.jpeg
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-4.jpeg
Once I took a left from Chittoor towards Tirupati, the roads were unbelievable. They were sheer runways with absolutely no distortions, amazing grip, perfect banking and no disturbance from merging traffic. If there is a road you want to test speed limits on, this will be my pick. I floored my Swift on this stretch and there was no protest from the car at all.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-5.jpeg

I reached Tirupati at about 2.30pm, a distance of 250km in a little over 3 hours, clocking an average of 80Km/h. I had not stopped anywhere in between. At Tirupati, I checked into Fortune Kences and they upgraded me to a larger room. The hotel has great location just off the highway and has excellent food. The staff here was very helpful. Once I settled in my room and had rested a bit, I thought of driving to the foothills and offering my prayers from there. Tirupati was chaotic with flyovers being constructed all over the city. Here I had a small mishap with an Alto brushing against my car. It was majorly the black rubber from the bumper against my car and I managed to get it off at the hotel.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-6.jpeg

Day 2: Post a nice and heavy breakfast at Fortune Kences, I started off on my day 2 drive at about 8am. The first 70Km till Naidupeta was a two lane highway. It is here that I spent almost 2 hours. The roads were narrow and had heavy oncoming traffic. Once I reached Naidupeta, I merged with NH 16. The national highway that connect Chennai to Kolkata. This stretch of the highway would easily by my second favorite road stretch. The journey from Nellore till Vijayawada was absolute smooth. The day was clear, traffic light, and the diesel engine just marched on without stopping. NHAI has done a fantastic job on this stretch with scientific banking, perfect markings, flyovers over busy intersections. At Ongole a 10Km flyover bypasses the city and is a sight to behold.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-7.jpeg

At about 1pm, I crossed Guntur and entered towards Vijayawada. Between 2011 and 2012, I had stayed in Vijayawada for about 6 months and it is the roads of Vijayawada where I first started driving the Swift. Vijayawada has grown since then and it was journey down memory lane crossing this city. There was flyover works going on and that slowed me down. It was about 3 when I left Vijayawada. My original plan was to have lunch at Vijayawada, but with the traffic slowing me down, I decided to stop for lunch after crossing the city. Once I was out of Vijayawada and crossed Gannavaram, traffic thinned down and the road was again 6 lanes but with diversions in between for road constructions. I eventually stopped after Eleru at Garuda Food Court. The Garuda Food court is run by APTDC and they are very clean and have great food. I spent about an hour eating and resting here and started at 5pm from here.
Once I reached Rajahmudry, there was a massive traffic jam with the bridge being allowed for one side of traffic to pass at a time. There was absolute chaos reaching up to the bridge on Godavari. It took about an hour to cross this stretch outside Rajahmundry. It got dark by the time I crossed Rajahmundry and was back on open highways.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-8.jpeg

The road from Rajahmundry to Vizag was uneventful, though the darkness slowed me down considerably. I reached Taj Hotel Beach Road Vizag at about 11.30. Taj had kept my dinner ready in my room as I had informed them that I am delayed.

I had driven about 800km over 14 hours of driving time and an hour of resting, averaging a little under 60Km/h in this stretch. That night it rained and that helped my car get cleaned up a little.
The next day was a rest day for me as I had decided to stay at Vizag for a day to remember my past days. I had lived in Vizag for 3 years between 2012 and 2015 and this is where I had truly learnt driving and taking my Swift on long drives on the winding beach roads. I intended to go down those routes once again.

The beach road at Vizag stretches over 20Km between Vizag and Bheemli. The road has the sea on one side and mountains on the other and is easily the most scenic drive. Driving down those roads took the fatigue away completely. The bay of Bengal looked resplendent under the monsoon skies.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-9a.jpg
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-10.jpeg

Stay at Taj had nothing to complain with excellent food and very friendly staff. One of my favorite cafes at Vizag was Pastry, Coffee and Conversations at Dutt island and I made it a point to have their burger and cold coffee there. I also packed a lot of bakery stuff from FoodEx for my journey the next day. I had decided not to stop for lunch the next day.
Last Day: Today was going to be my longest drive covering nearly 900Kms. I started at 8am after a nice and heavy breakfast. This was critical as I was not going to stop for a proper lunch. I started off from Taj and drove along the beach road one last time. At Vizag the beach road is parallel to the highway and I planned to merge with the highway near INS Kalinga, a navel base station 20Km from Vizag. The beach road was empty and I had a nice start to the day. From the beach road I turned left onto a nearly deserted stretch of 2 lane road till NH 16.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-11.jpeg

On the NH16, the drive all through north Andhra Pradesh was uneventful with wide roads, little disturbance and overall great tarmac. A little after Srikakulam, I also happened to see an interesting load on a trailer. A howitzer gun was loaded on the trailer most likely on its way to be repaired. I had only seen the howitzer in TV. In real the gun is way larger than it looks. You would not want to be in front of it.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-12.jpeg

By about 11, I crossed Palassa and entered into Odisha. This stretch on the borders of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh is breathtaking. The road winds through small hills and just as you emerge out of the hills, you catch the expansive view of Chilika lake. The scene on both sides of the roads had such beautiful hues.
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-13.jpeg
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-14.jpeg

The greens and the blues and browns just merged into each other in what looked straight out of a drawing book. The stretch of roads here weren't at its best with broken patches here and there.
I drove without stopping right till the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar. At about 2, I stopped to eat everything I had packed. The Foodex stuff was fresh and delicious and after a quick 15 minute break, I started off once again. Crossing Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack took about 2 hours and by 4, I was back on the Balasore highway. From Cuttack, I had two options to take, either take the route via Keonjhar to Jamshedpur or take the route via Balasore to Jamshedpur. The Keonjhar route was shorter, but involved long stretches of two lane highways and I had heard of the road being full on high speed breakers. At night, I wanted to avoid two lane highways. The Balasore road was going to be longer, and the four lane highway was under construction at numerous places. I decided to stick to the Balasore highway. The road was full of diversions all through till Balasore. Every flyover was under construction and that meant going on a narrow diversion road below the fly over. It took me 4 hours for a distance of 200Km on this stretch.
Jamshedpur was now only 200Km away and this was going to be the final race to the finish. By now, I was tired and was looking forward to my bed. The road from Balasore to Baripada was decent and I managed to make some speed there. I stopped at a Dhaba at about 9PM after crossing Baripada to have dinner and rest a bit. At 10pm, I started for the final dash to the finish line. I had another 120Km to go and the roads though decent, night visibility was limited. I took about 3 hours for the final 120Km and made it to Jamshedpur just a little before 1AM on 22nd of Aug. I had drive a total of 16 hours at an average speed of little under 60Km/h. My 2000 KM journey done, the longest I had drive, clocking a little over 33 hours of driving time and had maintained an average speed of 60Km/h. I had crossed 29 toll plazas and paid Rs 2054 in tolls, spent 105 litters in Diesel at an efficiency of about 19Km/lt and drive 1944Km. And most of all, over 4 days, I had given my Swift a befitting farewell.

Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-15.jpeg
Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift-16.jpeg

Last edited by Sheel : 13th October 2021 at 16:31. Reason: Rule #11.
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Old 11th October 2021, 17:35   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Not quite the last journey, because you still have possession of the car. For me, a similar journey is described here (Call of Kamakhya: Our emotional 2000 km Delhi-Guwahati Swift run), though the car remains in the Team-BHP family!
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Old 12th October 2021, 19:55   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Nice drive you had there! And thank you for the detailed road and stay descriptions, I will use this as a reference whenever I plan to ride down to Jamshedpur.
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Old 13th October 2021, 09:30   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Awesome thread, I love long distance riding/driving and am myself planning on a 4k drive hopefully by year end if all goes well.

On 4 Wheels I've only crossed state borders sparingly so this does add to the excitement. As for the Car of choice it would be my Alto as it's closer to the heart and more highway friendly than the alternative.

Reading your experience did serve as motivation however I felt a bit off when it came to retiring the Swift, age aside I cannot find a reason to decommission the same especially when it's Returning that kinda FE.
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Old 13th October 2021, 10:16   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Old swift diesel is a fine machine which can munch miles at ease, with stupendous efficiency
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Old 13th October 2021, 11:31   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Quote:
Originally Posted by anubhav7286 View Post
I had run the car on stock tires and they had mostly run their life. My Swift ZDi had come factory fitted with MRF ZVTV 185/65 R15 tires. My car was mostly used in urban terrain and hence the tires easily ran through the 1 lakh KM life. I decided to change all 5 tires to the same make.
So you're saying that you have been using those stock tires for 10 years/1 lakh km?

In my opinion, even sparingly used hard compound tires should only be retained for a maximum of 5 or 6 years. In your case, those stock tires were way past their recommended age or mileage. Mate, you were being a safety hazard for yourself and others on the road for a considerable duration. You were lucky to have decided to replace them before this long trip.
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Old 13th October 2021, 14:04   #7
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Long drives like this are inspiring. Also a superbly maintained car, I must say!

That generation of diesel Swift is an absolute joy to drive. It changed my opinion about diesel mills.
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Old 13th October 2021, 14:31   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Great travelogue. I would suggest to replace the tires ASAP.

I religiously rotate the tires after every 5K right and never compromised on the service, balancing and alignment. Even with my track record, I had changed mine of the same model (2012 ZDI) by 50K due to loss of grip.

Upgraded to 195/60 R15 Michellin XM2. They served well until 91K. Having plans to sell it of soon as I am waiting for next Harrier with all disc brakes, ventilated seats, 360 degree camera etc, I had delayed it. But with indefinite waiting, thought its not worth to drive with your loved ones on highways with cracked tires. Replaced again with 195/60 R15 Yokohama few days back at 91K.
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Old 13th October 2021, 16:24   #9
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Great travelogue, enjoyed reading every bit of the journey. 1Lakh kms on stock tires is really insane. I changed tires after 3 years/45k kms on my old ride. Those were Ceat tires. Sad to see the damaged caused in Tirupati, hopefully some rubbing and polishing should take care of it.

1.3 Fiat Diesel engine is such a gem of an engine and thus earned it's national engine title. Really happy with the performance on my Fiat sourced 2.0 D engine as well.

What will be your next car then? Anything shortlisted?
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Old 13th October 2021, 20:53   #10
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Default Re: Bangalore to Jamshedpur - The last 2000 Km journey in my 10 year old Swift

Congratulations on the ownership of covering those 100,000 KMs.

Coming to your trip that was one good distance covered. I have done 2 round trips to Tata from Hyderabad in last 10 months and my views:

Quote:
Originally Posted by anubhav7286 View Post
The Keonjhar route was shorter, but involved long stretches of two lane highways and I had heard of the road being full on high speed breakers.
  1. If you do Chandikol -> Dubri -> Keonjhar, then the Chandikol - Dubri section is infested with speed breakers. This stretch should be okay after 4 lane work gets completed.
  2. If you do Panikoili -> Keonjhar it's much better with 4 lanes all the way (except some stretches)
However, before Chaibasa the NH20 is in bad shape and everyone takes the Jagannathpur road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anubhav7286 View Post
The Balasore road was going to be longer, and the four lane highway was under construction at numerous places.The road was full of diversions all through till Balasore.
That's exactly the impression I got. It defeats the whole purpose of covering the trip on 4 lane roads. Plus the construction work(s) at Baripada does take a toll on time if you happen to cross during busy hours.

Till the 4 lane work gets completed, my take will be Panikoili -> Anandpur -> Karanjia -> Tata, even though the roads are narrow and with numerous speed breakers. I get a small ghat section plus a small forest range to cheer me up . Flip side is you don't have good places to eat or fuel up.
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