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Old 23rd January 2023, 16:25   #16
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post

An Evening in Hampi




Speaking of my car, my partner in this drive, the car did just great here. Such smooth and fast highways is what the car was built for, and for a change, the car enjoyed playing in the "home ground", if I could put it that way. I often use this car on bad roads and roads ridden with slow and messy traffic. Although I still enjoy the car there, the true strengths of the car are hidden in those conditions. But here, with wide open highways for hundreds or thousands of kilometers, and with thin traffic, the car could play to its strength and it was just amazing! The dynamics of the car are perfect for the highway speeds. At those speeds, the ride quality is very good without sacrificing handling - a perfect blend of ride and handling at highway speeds. Lane changes at high speeds were a breeze. Overtaking slow vehicles was a breeze. I never felt tired even after driving many hundreds of km in one go. I was also getting a range of about 1000km on a full tank, and the car, while doing very good average speeds, returned a fuel economy of 17 km/l across the entire drive! This was indeed the ideal car for this drive (for a change, else many times I end up using this car on roads where an SUV would be more ideal!).

Anyways, let me stop that longish epilogue here. That is all folks. Thank you very much for reading! [/left]
Thanks Dr AD for the absolutely beautiful pictures and your travel experiences. I love driving but have never considered the idea of solo travel plan. Reading your regular Tlogs I am seriously considering to do it.

I absolutely concur with your observations of our road network. The NH in general have scaled multifold in the last 7-10 years and city roads have regressed. The need for rugged cars and SUVs is actually more inside the city than on the highway where a sedan is absolutely a joy to drive.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 16:40   #17
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

I have incredible amounts of respect for you for taking such a route! Hats off. I'm really happy to see such roads coming up in India and I hope to be able to drive on then sometime after turning 18 (and hopefully one day take such a non-optimal route myself).

And your photos! Even the shots from your phone were brilliant, like the picture zooming into the distance, showing the expressway curving far into the distance, while everything else needs no introduction.

I found your opening post particularly interesting by the way, and it's great to see you take your 3 Series literally everywhere. We debated driving to Aurangabad some time ago and I might have just found the perfect travelogue to help us out with the route.

Last edited by GForceEnjoyer : 23rd January 2023 at 16:44.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 16:49   #18
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

Was beginning to miss your travelogues Dr. AD; so was glad to see this one. Commendable, the way you combine business and hobby during your solo drives. Those are lovely sunrise frames that you shot. Flickr is a great community and you will love it there. If you have the time you can go through my albums in Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/114966916@N06/albums

Regards,
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Old 23rd January 2023, 17:49   #19
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

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Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Thanks Dr AD for the absolutely beautiful pictures and your travel experiences. I love driving but have never considered the idea of solo travel plan. Reading your regular Tlogs I am seriously considering to do it.
Thank you very much!

Quote:
The NH in general have scaled multifold in the last 7-10 years and city roads have regressed. The need for rugged cars and SUVs is actually more inside the city than on the highway where a sedan is absolutely a joy to drive.
I agree. The city roads are often worse than the intercity highways. The highways have improved a lot. But whenever I enter a city or a town, that is when I typically encounter bad roads. Often the last mile near a destination (especially if a destination is jungle resort or a wildlife sanctuary or something of that nature) are the most challenging roads for a sedan!

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Originally Posted by GForceEnjoyer View Post
I have incredible amounts of respect for you for taking such a route! Hats off. I'm really happy to see such roads coming up in India and I hope to be able to drive on then sometime after turning 18 (and hopefully one day take such a non-optimal route myself).
Thank you very much for your kind words! Wish you all the best for your own driving experiences and journeys in future!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UD2021 View Post
Was beginning to miss your travelogues Dr. AD; so was glad to see this one. Commendable, the way you combine business and hobby during your solo drives. Those are lovely sunrise frames that you shot. Flickr is a great community and you will love it there. If you have the time you can go through my albums in Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/114966916@N06/albums
Thank you very much! Yes Flickr is a great community and over last month or so I am hooked on to that. I love seeing hundreds of amazing pictures every day and interacting with other photographers from all over the world!

Thanks for sharing your Flickr link. Those are some very nice pictures!
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Old 23rd January 2023, 18:55   #20
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post

Wrong but Fun Solutions to my "Traveling Salesman Problems"


My driving partner in this solo drive was my beloved red BMW 320d, that car that is ideally suited for such long interstate highway drives!
Dr.AD, certainly you are an inspiration to fellow team bhpians who aspire to go for a long solo drive, including me. Though i live in Pune, I have never been to Bhigwan. All my drives were with my family to our hometown. Solo drive is one of my 2023 wish list. I am hoping for it in the second half of this year.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 19:53   #21
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

Wonderful pictures Doc, once again and as always . In my limited highway driving experience across India, one highway that has 120 kmph limit is the eastern peripheral expressway / yamuna expressway along NH-19 but it has undulations along the length and hence 120 kmph does not feel planted ride, 105 / 110 is best at most. Even Agra Lucknow Expressway or Purvanchal Expressway have speeds capped at 100 kmph. This samruddhi highway seems to ace them all.

Good captures all around, from sunrise to sunset landscape or the birding photos. Ellora caves would have been an icing but may be next time. Keep sharing.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 21:01   #22
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

Nice loop covered Dr. AD. If I visit Pench tiger reserve in summer, I would like to take a quick U turn on Samruddhi expressway too. Or, better would wait for your valuable suggestion. Basically would like to avoid NH4.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 21:27   #23
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

Lovely TL, Dr. AD. Enjoyed reading it to the hilt! I admire your inclination to try out new highways and make spur-of-the-moment changes to your travel plan, just to enjoy great sceneries.

I am amazed at the FE you got on your Bimmer, despite the great speeds. Keep munching miles. I hope you have got your bumper scratches fixed by now.

And yes, even I was misled to that wrong turn to Ellora from the Dhule highway, but as i was in my Ecosport, I did not face much issues. And the bad stretch was only for half a km or so.

Thanks for your lovely feedback on the Samruddhi Expressway. I agree with you fully on the humming noise caused by concrete roads and how annoying it can be. This apart, it is not advisable to do great speeds on such surfaces, as they do cause tire blowouts.
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Old 24th January 2023, 00:33   #24
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

Great non-optimal travelogue you wrote. Non-optimal word must be feeling proud itself.

I am also planning to drive on this expressway in February, starting from Pune and ending at Nagpur.

According to you, how long should it take to reach Nagpur, if I start from Pune at 4am?

Regards,
VWGuy
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Old 24th January 2023, 08:09   #25
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Anyways, let me stop that longish epilogue here. That is all folks. Thank you very much for reading!
I was waiting for your travelogue and the well composed photos, since the start of 2023 and when I couldn't find until this was posted, I was re-reading your past travelogues.

Great post and nice idea to include Samruddhi Mahamarg in the itinerary.

How did the Tyre pressure varied on the full concrete road ? Does it heated up more ? Please share any observations.

Thank You and Happy New Year too !!
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Old 24th January 2023, 08:27   #26
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

Great Clicks and a wonderful post.
Thanks much for sharing
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Old 24th January 2023, 21:13   #27
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

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Originally Posted by pranavGTI View Post
Dr.AD, certainly you are an inspiration

Solo drive is one of my 2023 wish list. I am hoping for it in the second half of this year.
Thank you and wish you all the best for your solo drive plan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
Wonderful pictures Doc, once again and as always .
Thank you!

Quote:
This samruddhi highway seems to ace them all.
True. I have not driven on all the roads you mentioned, but I have driven on some other expressways in India. Yes those are all good. But I do not recall any other road where you could do straight 500km (soon 700km once the entire road is completed) without having to brake or having to even stop at a toll booth. This would be a 700km of nonstop high speed drive without any obstruction at all, and legal speeds of 120km/h. That is really special in our country.

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Originally Posted by livetodrive View Post
Nice loop covered Dr. AD. If I visit Pench tiger reserve in summer, I would like to take a quick U turn on Samruddhi expressway too. Or, better would wait for your valuable suggestion. Basically would like to avoid NH4.
Thanks! For Pench, you do not have to go to NH4 at all. Did you mean NH44 (Hyderabad-Nagpur highway)? Yes, you have to take NH44 and Pench is right on that highway just after Nagpur. NH44 is a very good road all the way till Pench. No issues at all. It is a good fast four-lane road. And no, you can not avoid that (and no reason to avoid that at all) to go to Pench.

Yes you can surely drive on Samruddhi and take a U-turn just to check out that road. But you may to have travel some 60km or so for a U-turn. There is no U-turn at all on the highway. You will have to figure out which exit to take and then come back and enter the expressway again in the opposite direction. You will have to do some research on this. I guess Wardha is the first exit and that would be about 60km from the entry on Samruddhi Mahamarg. But I am not sure. Maybe there are other exits before that. I did not pay attention to those early exits from Nagpur.


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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Lovely TL, Dr. AD. Enjoyed reading it to the hilt! I admire your inclination to try out new highways and make spur-of-the-moment changes to your travel plan, just to enjoy great sceneries.
Thank you very much!

Quote:
I am amazed at the FE you got on your Bimmer, despite the great speeds. Keep munching miles. I hope you have got your bumper scratches fixed by now.
Thanks. Yes the bimmer returns great FE if I drive at constant speeds, even at high speeds. For example, from Pune to Bhigwan, in that early morning drive with good speeds but constant speeds, I got 22km/l! The 2.0 diesel engine is a gem.

Nope, I did not fix the bumper scratches. The scratches are on the underside of the bumper (where I got hit) and are not easily visible. Further, I am not so obsessed about the scratches and other cosmetic things now after driving this car for more than 80,000km in all sorts of conditions. I maintain the car in mechanically (and functionally) in top shape, and do all service and maintenance in time (often in advance), but do not worry about minor scratches and dings. Maybe in a few months, after I gather a few more bumper scratches (inevitable when driving on bad roads) I will get the whole bumper repainted once and remove all scratches together.

Quote:
And yes, even I was misled to that wrong turn to Ellora from the Dhule highway, but as i was in my Ecosport, I did not face much issues. And the bad stretch was only for half a km or so.
Oh, ok. Yes, I saw most of the traffic (including all tourist taxis) were taking this short cut, and I assumed this to be the main road looking at the flow of the traffic. Yes, the bad patch is only half a km. But it is so bad in that half km that it is enough to cause damage to a low slung sedan. I was very careful there, but still could not avoid one single hit at some deep pothole and that is where I got scratches under the front bumper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VWguy View Post
Great non-optimal travelogue you wrote. Non-optimal word must be feeling proud itself.
Thank you!

Quote:
According to you, how long should it take to reach Nagpur, if I start from Pune at 4am?
I assume you will drive from Pune to Aurangabad and from there to Nagpur. Pune to Aurangabad should take 4 to 5 hours if you start at 4am. And then once you enter Samruddhi Mahamarg, it will take another 4.5 hours to reach Nagpur. In-between, you will have to cross Aurangabad city and that can take some time depending on traffic. Overall, I would say 10 hours is a good estimate. Check the thread on Samruddhi Mahamarg where lot of people have posted their driving times from Pune to Nagpur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaitanyakrish View Post
Great post and nice idea to include Samruddhi Mahamarg in the itinerary.
Thank you very much!

Quote:
How did the Tyre pressure varied on the full concrete road ? Does it heated up more ? Please share any observations.
It was no big deal for tyres. I started with 33psi in front and 36psi in rear (my typical highway pressures), and as in any other highway drive, the pressures were around 37-38 psi front and 39-40psi in the rear during the drive. Nothing unusual.

Honestly, the tyre pressures are not a big deal. My tyres have speed rating of W, which means 270 km/h. For those tyres, the speeds I was driving at are no big deal.

If your tyres are in good health, and good speed rating (V, W, Y or Z), and inflated properly, then such highway runs are nothing to worry about. In fact, not that I would recommend on public roads, but these tyres are absolutely safe and fine even at much higher speeds than what I did. So it is all fine.

In fact, this road is no special for tyres. I have been driving on fast interstate highways (and many of those are concrete roads anyways) for long, and on those roads, one has to constantly brake and accelerate due to slow traffic and other obstacles. Compared to that, the constant high speed run on Samruddhi is much easier on the tyres as well as on the car in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedate_Drive View Post
Great Clicks and a wonderful post.
Thanks much for sharing
Thank you!
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Old 24th January 2023, 21:41   #28
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
In fact, this road is no special for tyres.
Thank You.
The reason for asking is, I had driven across KA,KL,a bit of TN and the Tyre pressure went to a maximum of 36.
But,in my recent trip to Hyderabad, I did a short trip to Warangal and Tyre pressure went up to 39.
That made me wonder, if its due to the road surface or weather condition etc.

Last edited by chaitanyakrish : 24th January 2023 at 21:45.
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Old 24th January 2023, 22:01   #29
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

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Originally Posted by chaitanyakrish View Post
But,in my recent trip to Hyderabad, I did a short trip to Warangal and Tyre pressure went up to 39.
That made me wonder, if its due to the road surface or weather condition etc.
It is due to a combination of many factors including road surface, ambient temperature, driving speeds and acceleration patterns, cornering, load in the car (passengers. luggage), and of course, the cold tyre pressure to begin with. All these factors interact together to influence the hot trye pressure.

However, there is no need to worry or be overly conscious of this. I keep repeating this, but the fundamental point is to make sure you have the tyres of right speed rating (V, W, Y, or Z), are in good condition (not worn out and do not have bulges or other damage), and are properly inflated. Once you ensure these conditions are met, there is no need to worry about tyres. 39psi that you mentioned is absolutely fine. Tyre pressures can even reach mid 40s (psi) during fast highway runs, and again as long as the condition I mentioned above is true, there is nothing to worry about. Most TPMS systems will throw alarms if your tyre pressures approach 50psi or so. That is when you need to worry.

Note that these are hot air pressures I am talking about. Not cold. For cold tyre air pressures, usually 42psi to 44 psi or so would be the limit, depending on which tyres you have.

In fact, for my car, if the car is loaded with 3 people in the rear and luggage, the recommended cold tyre pressure at rear is 41psi. If I do that and drive the car fast on a highway on a hot summer day, I am sure to reach 46-47 psi in the rear and that is fine too, as long as the condition I mentions is true.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 24th January 2023 at 22:06.
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Old 25th January 2023, 09:23   #30
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Re: Solo & Non-Optimal: Bhigwan and Hampi via Samruddhi Mahamarg

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
It is due to a combination of many factors
Thank You for the details. Very helpful.
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