Ok done.. Though I stay in the other end of the city (Gol Park), we can catch up, subject to me coming to Kolkata next week. Would like to discuss the Himalayan drive as I myself am planning a Sikkim Village stay.
You should be able to do that with ease. Should not face any issues. I guess, you would be starting from somewhere in Malad(correct me if i am mistaken). Take western express highway into godhbunder road and from Thane take left cross the bridge and get into NH 3. Till dhule roads are excellent except the nashik stretch. I covered Dhule - Mumbai non stop in around 4hrs 30 mins(i didn't face any traffic in Nashik). In dhule you will find good eateries where you can time off. It totally depends on how comfortable you are in your drives. So, best of luck and have a great journey. The scenic beauty in kasara-igatpuri ghats are excellent, so dont miss capturing them . I missed them badly .
Your guess is right. But normally i take Jogeshwari Vikhroli link road(JVLR) to reach Thane that saves 6kms and road is also less crowded. And thanks for encouraging me . I had a glimpse of Kasara ghat when i visited bhandardara few days back. I will keep asking you about this. My trip is almost final.
You are right Chandranath, its been a typo, 10 mins gap.. I will update the log. I had prepared most of the logs beforehand and we were putting them in paper while travelling. I have the gps logs though, but i need to decode them.
The one who was sitting in front beside me at that point was taking down the notes and i was supervising if things were being noted properly :-).. Hahaha.. The other one in the meantime was trying to sneak out a short nap in the rear seat.. But alas.. that couldn't happen... Thanks to me ...Hahahahaha...
You are right Chandranath, there has been a typo, 10 mins gap.. I will update the log. I had prepared most of the logs beforehand and we were putting them in paper while travelling. Now i am getting those details into soft copy and sharing it with everybody. I have the gps logs though, but i need to decode them.
The one who was sitting in front beside me at that point was taking down the notes and i was supervising if things were being noted properly :-).. Hahaha.. The other one in the meantime was trying to sneak out a short nap in the rear seat.. But alas.. that couldn't happen... Thanks to me ...Hahahahaha... Both might have been cursing me all day:-).. But i really appreciate their effort, it is difficult to stay awake all day sitting beside me and doing calculations. In fact, it was my ploy to engage them in calculations so that they dont fall asleep... Hehehe.. In fact it had become a habit, once they started feeling sleepy suddenly all of a sudden they themselves started calculating something even if it was not necessary and i did not request that particular information... It was great travelling with them.. Such enthusiastic college going young guns..
So after months of preparation we were travelling. I came back from office early so that i can take a short nap before i start driving. But the excitement of this trip took my sleep away and after trying for sometime i started to get ready for moving out. Made couple of calls to Soham and Suvarka to get themselves ready. So by 1.30 am i was ready to move out with all my bags and baggage, said good bye to my family and moved on.
Recently i had installed the Sygic Mobile Maps for GPS and after a couple of shots before leaving configured my route and reached my partners house. In the meantime a police jeep stopped me to ask what i was doing so late at time and i didn't want to waste a single minute talking to them as the excitement was getting on me ... Doors locked, bags in the boot and here we are crossing the NH 2/ NH 6 fork in no time.
It was around 3 and pretty chilly outside. The temperature might have been around 8-10 degrees C. So at that point of time not many pictures were taken as were trying to sink into the fact that we are really on that move. We whizzed passed Kolaghat bridge and we did not face any traffic there. Soon we were hurtling towards Kharagpur. Near empty roads with few trucks jogging eearly in the morning.
Once we crossed the Kharagpur Bypass, we were into NH 60 and from now on we were into unknown zone. Earlier i had driven till Kharagpur and went straight towards Jamshedpur. NH 60 are concrete roads and in excellent condition. You will feel the groan once you are doing 100 + and what a drive.. In the darkness and emptiness of the roads at that point of time we had a eerie feeling and my partners were 1st timers, but as time passed we were enjoying the drive. Let the videos to the talking...
A funny incident happened in this toll. After paying the toll, the guy asked me where we were going. I said , we are going to Mumbai. He sat up in a bewildered look and told me "Bhubaneswar is okay but why Mumbai". I was also taken aback by his question. I said, "i am going for a test drive" and you should have looked as his face as if he saw a ghost in front of him [:-)].. We moved on.
One thing worth mentioning about NH 60 is, though the road in excellent, but the small bridges and the small humps holding the bay are broken, patchy and very rough. So, that would bring down your speed or if you miss them you will go over some rough patches wit h some big thuds and rattles.. Lets move on...
Okay, now we are almost at the WB-OR border and approaching Jaleswar. We had heard a lot about the racket of extorting 6 months of tax from private vehicles in the checkpost and it was a bad one. But after lot of complaints, heard that it had been stopped for the time being. But we were apprehensive. Roads approaching the border was in a mess. Couple of diversions, huge huge lorry traffic and you will find trucks standing on both sides occupying almost the total width of the road and the amount of space left is for vehicles for both ways. So, quite a mess. We were slowly moving towards the border, very apprehensive about what is going to happen. By the way, i had jotted down all the NHAI numbers in case trouble crops up in the check post and i was sure that i was not going to pay that amount come what may.. Lets check out the video and then see what happened there ..
So, we crossed the check post without any trouble, by paying only Rs 40 toll that too against a valid toll receipt. I was relieved that i did not have to waste time here. We had to follow that single lane, half of my car in mud and half in the tarmac, my car leaning towards my left, honking, braking, skidding and what not. Somehow, we managed to cross those couple of kilometers, crossed the broken muddy divider and rattled away into the correct lane and we could see the heavens clearing up and a ray of light. We were delighted at the sight and merrily drove ahead.
First of all let me congratulate you on your successful completion of your trip. Did you start your journey, leaving Calcutta on 23rd December, early in the morning? I took this road one day earlier than you. But I did not go far. I had been only up to Talcher, where I had stayed for visiting Satkosia. I was accompanied by my wife and twelve year old daughter.
Please allow me to post some pictures of my trip.
Left Calcutta early in the morning. Crossed Kharagpur bypass road when there was enough daylight.
The empty toll plaza.
I was already familiar with this road, as last summer I drove to Puri.
Although last year took the road avoiding the long line of trucks through Jaleswar town, this time decided not to take any diversion. As soon as I approached the border I was asked by the locals to move towards the other side of the divider. Did that but had to drive very slow, as had to deal with the oncoming trucks with extreme caution. Similar to you, I also had to cough up forty bucks at the border. But the two tough looking young men who waved me to stop and asked me to pay was kind enough to hand me over a receipt.
Somewhere near Cuttack. The place where I had to turn right towards Chaudwar is called Manguli.
A view of NH 42. Good road surface, I must say. But there were many speed breakers on the road.
After bypassing Dhenkanal town.
Shortly ahead of Angul town, there was a place known as Banarpal Chowk. Here I had to say goodbye to the road taken by you (NH 42) and join NH 23.
It was also a beautiful road and I only had to drive about 25 KM or slightly more before I entered Talcher town.