I started preparing for the trip right from April, 2012 & took alsmost 4 months to execute the plan!! By then I had already started googling about the road directions & hotels for night stays. I had read many blogs to get some fair idea about the journey through NH5 (Golden Quadrilateral). By June end I was ready with all the required information's & a 30 page well documented maps with other details like; eateries, staying options, petrol bunks, emergency services etc.
But one thought was always haunting me from safety point of view, travelling such a long distance in a small car will not be viable as to & fro journey will be around 5000Kms. And you need to have the comfortable journey throughout specially when you have 16 months old baby, Saanvi that's my daughter's name. Off course, lot of people have travelled with small cars & made it looked so easy (Hats-off to them). Yes, I wanted to give my family a comfortable ride with all sorts of inbuilt safety equipments. Then came the idea of going for a bigger car & finally after lot of market research we zeroed in for SX4 which meets our expectations!! Here comes the day, the 14th-August2012 we got the car, SX4 parked in my garage.. Wonderful moment!! isn't it!! We decided not to tell any body about this including our parents in fear of dampening the road trip..& we thought will give a surprising visit.. A detailed list of "things to carry" was prepared for travelling on National Highway which included:
1. All original car documents including duplicate key
2. First aid box with all required medicines
3. Details Road map well documented with important city diversions to avoid delay
4. Lots of stuffs to chew, munch & drink (cool drinks & Juices)
5. In-Car emergency equipments like; toolkit, tow rope, torch, spare tube, tubeless puncture repair kit etc
6. Sufficient cash as most of the petrol bunks & hotels will not have credit card facility
7. Car sickness remedies (Ginger biscuits & candies, peppermint candies, alcohol wipes, paper bags etc)
8. Sufficient drinking water (preferably 20 ltrs. can)
9. All types of music CD's or songs stored in flash drives which will set the perfect atmosphere while driving
10. GPS or Google map enabled in your cellphone
11. Camera, Video Camera with spare batteries & chargers
12. Pillow & blanket & GOOD ATTITUDE The final travel shedule was as follows: BLR - TIRUPATI - VIJAYAWADA - RAJAHMUNDRI - VIZAG - GOPALPUR - SONAMUKHI (by-passing Kolkata) - DUMKA - PURULIA - BANKURA - SONAMUKHI - PURI - VIJAYWADA - BLR
- 16thSep, 4:30AM - Start from Bangalore & reach Rajahmundry by dusk (865 Kms)
- 17thSep, 7:00AM - Start & reach Goplapur at Sea by 2:00PM, spend the day liesurely (460 Kms)
- 18thSep, 6:00AM - Reach Bankura (West Bengal) by dusk to my in-laws place (610 Kms)
- 22ndSep, 8:00AM - Start for my Native place Dumka, Jharkhand (200Kms)
- 27thSep, 1:00PM - Good bye to my home town & reach Purulia where my elder brother stays (200 Kms)
- 29thSep, 7:00AM - Onward journey begins, proceed for Jagannath Puri & reach by dusk (650 Kms)
- 1stOct, 6:00AM - Start from Puri & reach Vijayawada by dusk (790 Kms)
- 2ndOct, 6:00AM - Start for Bangalore & reach by dusk (675 Kms)
Me the solo driver, wifey, Saanvi our darling baby (19 months) & her care taker The Car:
SX4 - ZXi Day1:
Thus began a journey that I had waited for years .. A journey more satisfying than any I have ever undertaken!!
This journey has been conquered by many & many have written their experiences, and those who look forward to travelling the same road know all the landmarks, the diversions and points to avoid.
All our lugguges were loaded the prvious night itself to avoid delay in the morning. We were so exited about the journey that we could hardly sleep the previous night before the D-day. Woke up at 3:00AM in the morning, had my shower in cold water as it keeps you refressed throughout the journey. Started from Bangalore exactly at 4:30AM as planned from our HSR layout residence. It was pleasant outside with all the street lights guiding us the way with Ganesha vandana playing on the background. Road was almost empty & quiet which helped us to reach Old Madrass road through outer ring road in no time. Guess what?? Suddenly my wife said something with a big heavy shy on her face which prompted me park the car on the side of the highway after Hosekote. She said that she had forgot to switch off the gyser after shower, but not sure. I thought my wifey is not so insincere about such things & beleived she had for sure turned off the gyser before leaving. After all there is no point in going back again 40 Kms to our home which will intern kill our precious time, so decided to move on.. Reached Tirupati bypass by 8:00AM & had home made breakfast underneath a tree with blistering breeze coming from everywhere along with the chirping sounds of birds above the trees. Trust me, it was a wonderful experience!!
With 20 mins of welcome break & stomach feeling we started again towards our destination, Rajahmundry which was another 600 plus kms from there. I was worried & bit apprehensive about reaching the destination before dusk as I completely avoid night driving with family on board. I pause for a moment & told myself lets do it step by step & at first try to reach Ongole by 12:30PM and to my surprise we were there at Ongole by sharp 12:30PM.
We had a good 45 Mins of lunch break with wifey serving the world's best food (as I say to her) & headed towards our next destination Vijayawada. I had estimated to reach Vijayawada by 3:00PM but was late by half an hour because of 2 breaks in between (One nature's call & one for re-fuelling). We had a good tea break at a nearby dhaba & started for our last leg of journey for the day!! The last 160 Kms took me around 3 & half hours - thanks to the traffic as the entire stretch was crowded with truckers & bikers (was tiring indeed). Reached Anand Regency (a good upmarket hotel) at sharp 8:00PM, checked in, had good veg thali meal & retired for the day.
Day 1 Pics: