I am back guys. Sorry for delay. Didn't get much time in between.
Lets get back to the trip.
We had planned this trip a week back and anybody and everybody discouraged me to take the car in this route due to the following reasons:
i> In between Kharagpur and Baharagora the road passes through dense forests in the border area of West Bengal and Jharkhand. These forests are the places were the naxals are active and a dacoity prone zone in the highway mostly in Lodhasuli. There have been many such instances of dacoity in this stretch of the road where trees were felled and the cars and trucks were looted, even ambulances. I read these in newspapers in internet. So, passing through this area after 4-5 pm is a strict NO NO.
ii> The roads were pretty unknown and i did not get any first hand knowledge from anybody who passed through this route recently. I had inquired from few professional drivers as well.
iii> We knew that the road between baharagora and jamshedpur was pretty bad and an accident prone zone. I went through some of the newspapers of jharkhand through internet and what i read was that there are fatal accidents in that route each and every day due to rash truck drivers and stupid guys speeding their bikes among those craters and i have got that first hand experience driving among them. This is also a naxal and dacoit prone zone. In fact NH33 is famous for this till upto Ranchi. So, driving through this area after 4-5 pm is a strict NO NO and after night falls all the trucks go in convoy with police cars. In fact for this reason trains do not ply between Jamshedpur and Kharagpur at night till now.
iv> The drive would be long and tiresome as i will be the only person driving. We were going on Saturday and coming back on Sunday.
However, i stuck to my decision and decided i would be going ahead with the drive. Fully tanked up with diesel and checked the tyres and had a preliminary checkup of the car like the oil levels, brakes, suspension, lights etc etc. This is a must before any long drives and should be done at least a week back before you travel.
We planned to start very early, sharp at 4.30. But as we know, we ended up starting at 5.30. It was raining pretty heavily. Picked up my friends from 2 different locations and reached the second hoogly bridge at around 6.10. Once we paid the toll and moved on we were in Kona Expressway(NH117). That was a bumpy ride till we reached NH6. The road has totally broken down due to heavy monsoons. It was around 10 kms. Once we were in NH 6 it was a joy to ride and zoomed to kolaghat for our first break and reached there around 7.20. Noticeable landmarks in between were dhulagarh, uluberia, bagnan. We took a break for about 45 mins for breakfast at the famous Sher-E-Punjab.
Once done we were ready to move on. We started around 8.15 and again zoomed till Kharagpur and reached there at around 9.15. Till Kharagpur it was a 4 lane drive and a joy to drive as the GQ on NG 6 ends there. Do not miss the loop in kharagpur. If you want to go straight on NH 6(Bombay road) take the loop on the 1st left diversion. If you want to continue on GQ at NH 5 go below the 1st loop and then take the 2nd one towards Balasore.
By the way can anyone tell me from where to add captions for the pictures? How can i add pictures within the write up rather the pictures coming at the end after the write up. Any help will be highly appreciated. Other wise the travelogue wont be that interesting.
Below are few pictures of the second hoogly bridge, the sher-e-punjab dhaba at kolaghat and my beauty taking a breather at kolaghat.
I will be back with the rest of the story tomorrow for sure. [:-)].