Showing posts with label Agra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agra. Show all posts

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Resurrection

Our car broke down while returning from Pangong Tso. It was an extremely frustrating experience when the machine gives up on you even though you have taken good care of it.
BMW Road Side Assistance asked to leave the car and leave the key with somebody from whom they can take it. We did that. The car was finally picked up on 27-September-2017 at 5:40 PM and dropped off at the service station in Chandigarh on 29-September-2017 around 9PM.
The initial diagnostics suggested multiple unrelated parts failed at the same time. It was puzzling but true.
28-October-2017 
Finally after a month, I landed up in Chandigarh to pick the car. It was fixed and ready to go.,
12:20 PM Got the delivery of vehicle after repairs and straightaway started back to Bangalore. The plan was to drive as long as possible and take a break for the night.
3:20 PM Stopped at Haldirams for a late lunch. Continued onwards after a half an hour break.
5:45 PM Entered Yamuna Expressway.

6:56 Arrived at the rest stop midway on Yamuna Expressway. Had a coffee break for around 45 minutes and then continued towards Agra.
Hotel Mansingh Lobby
8:48 PM Reached Hotel Mansingh in Agra. Decided to stop here for the night. Here is my review of the place.

29-October-2017
5:10 AM Started from the hotel. 
Cattle on highways in North India has become an extremely dangerous issue. See the above video. One has to very careful in driving.
7:10 AM Crossed Gwalior
8:15 AM Crossed Datia
9:05 AM Crossed Jhansi
10:20 AM Crossed Lalitpur
11:20 AM Stopped at Hotel Deepali in Sagar for a Breakfast.
3:35 PM Stopped at MPTDC Motel at Rookhad. It is a nice place for a small break and food.



6:36 PM Reached Le Meridien in Nagpur which was the pitstop for the night.

30-October-2017
4:50 AM Left the hotel. As the luck would have it, was stuck at Hinghanghat Railway crossing for 10 minutes.
8:28 AM Stopped at Singh is King Dhaba just before Nirmal. Unfortunately, the food was disappointing this time around.
12:20 PM Stopped at Cafe Coffee Day near Mahboobnagar.
3:25 PM Stopped at Bluemoon Foodcourt near Anantpur
6:30 PM Crossed Hebbal Flyover and got on to Outer Ring Road.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Ladakh 2017

Finally all the pieces fell into place, Dussera was earlier this year so it was possible to drive to Ladakh during Dussera school vacations. Still cramming the itinerary was becoming difficult, so we decided that I would start driving earlier and the family will fly directly when the school vacations start. Following was the decided route plan.



Following was the day wise itinerary decided.


  1. 15-September-2017 Day 1 -- Bengaluru to Nagpur
  2. 16-September-2017 Day 2 -- Nagpur to Agra
  3. 17-September-2017 Day 3 -- Agra to Ludhiana
  4. 18-September-2017 Day 4 -- Ludhiana to Jammu
  5. 19-September-2017 Day 5 -- Jammu to Katra
  6. 20-September-2017 Day 6 -- Katra to Srinagar
  7. 21-September-2017 Day 7 -- Srinagar to Kargil
  8. 22-September-2017 Day 8 -- Kargil to Leh
  9. 23-September-2017 Day 9 -- Leh acclimatization and local sightseeing
  10. 24-September-2017 Day 10 -- Leh to Turtuk
  11. 25-September-2017 Day 11 -- Turtuk to Pangong Tso
  12. 26-September-2017 Day 12 -- Pangong Tso Manali, Car breakdown, back to Leh
  13. 27-September-2017 Day 13 -- Leh Local
  14. 28-September-2017 Day 14 -- Fly back to Bengaluru
  15. 28-October-2017 - The Resurrection
The trip was an interesting trip. Unfortunately it had to be cut short due to vehicle failure. After more diagnosis it seems like BMW technician in Ludhiana ignore a error code related to Diesel Particulate Filter. He told me that there is an error code but nothing to worry about. That resulted in exhaust being completed clogged and finally catastrophic failure. Goes to show the fragility of technology in modern cars.
We completed approximately 5000 kilometers of total 7800 kilometers planned, we completed all the tourist attractions that we intended to visit. The return journey had to be abandoned and we had to fly back.
As we speak the car is still being repaired since some parts had to be imported from Germany.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Day 2 -- Nagpur to Agra

16-September-2017
Got up early and was on the road at 5:25 AM. Google Maps suggested to go via Chhindwara and since I had no preferences, I decided to follow google. Drove continuously for four hours  did not find any place worth stopping for.
10:30 AM Reached Hotel Deepali in Sagar. Decided to eat something.


My brother had planned on joining me on this journey from here, but he was still on his way. It looked like it is going to take some time for his to reach, so I decided to drive up to Rahatgarh to pick him up there.
12:10 PM Reached Rahatgarh
12:53 PM Crossed Khurai
1:35 PM Crossed Khimlasa
1:50 PM Joined National Highway back at Malthone.
2:30 PM Crossed Lalitpur
4:00 PM Stopped at MP Tourism Hotel at Datia.

6:30 PM Stopped at Barista on the outskirts of Gwalior.
9:50 PM Reached Agra. Checked into the Hotel Four Points by Sheraton Agra. Here is my review of the place.


Day 3 -- Agra to Ludhiana

17-September-2017
We had planned on leaving early but we needed to get some car repairs done and the last place where those repairs could be done was Ludhiana. When we called the dealership, they told us to come next day. We realized there was no point in rushing to Ludhiana because nothing is going to get done today. So we decided to relax little bit.
Fed up with the hotel food last night, we decided to explore some restaurant in the town. We found this place called Bob Marley Restaurant, so we decided to go there for breakfast.
The restaurant is a laid back restaurant with a Indian  and Continental menu. The service is little leisurely but the food was good and portions were generous.


Here is my review of the place.
11:15 AM We finally checked out of the hotel and started towards Ludhiana which was the destination of the day.
For some reason it was easy to get out of Agra city, we quickly got on to Ring road which took us straight to Yamuna Expressway.
1:10 PM Got off YEW and into  to Noida.
2:10 PM Exited Delhi on other end. Being sunday it helped, did not encounter too much traffic in Delhi.
2:45 PM Stopped in Murthan at Mannat Dhaba. Here is my review of the place.
3:15 PM Left after lunch.
4:29 PM Topped up the fuel.
6:20 PM Stopped at Highway King Vaishno Dhaba for a chai.

7:15 PM We reached Hotel Park Plaza in Ludhiana. Here is my review of the place.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Christmas 2016

The plan was to travel to see the remaining places in Rajasthan during Christmas of 2016.


Following itinerary was followed for this trip.

The distance covered was  5476 kilometers. Approximately 3000 rupees of tolls were paid during the journey and approximately 550 liters of diesel was consumed. This was the first trip after the demonetization so the cash expenses had to be kept to a minimum.  All the fuel expenses were done electronically by credit card and most of the toll expenses were done using FasTag. Wherever FasTag was not working, PayTM was used.
I had booked quite a few hotels with Hotels.Com. Couple of those booking were with Hotel LemonTree in Jaipur and in Hyderabad. Both of these hotels called me and wanted me to tell them my credit card over the phone. I refused to give the card because I was not sure who called it. Both the hotels told me that they would cancel my bookings.


Day 9 -- Agra to Sagar

30-December-2016
9:30 AM We started from Agra after the breakfast. The roads were foggy and the progress was slow.

11:20 AM After two hours of driving, we were near Gwalior. This section of the route has pretty much zero facilities on the highway, so we decided to take a small detour towards the Gwalior town and stop at the Barista.
The place is good, and it is around one kilometer from the national highway and the approach road to the place is not crowded at all. So this makes for a good stopping point particularly if one is traveling with the family. Here are my thoughts on the place.
We continued after a small break at Barista and soon hit the bad Gwalior-Jhansi section of the road. This road is pretty bad and shows no sigh of being improved. 

1:20 PM We realized that we were near Datia and decided to stop at MP Tourist motel for a lunch. That would save us from going into Jhansi city to look for food. When in Madhya Pradesh, it is always a good idea to look for MP Tourish Motels, they are pretty good for small breaks and food.
Jhansi Fort
2:30 PM We started after lunch.
3:10 PM We crossed Jhansi
4:10 PM We crossed Lalitpur
4:40 PM We crossed Malthone
5:20 PM We were in Sagar.

Day 8 -- Agra

29-December-2016
This day was reserved for sightseeing around Agra. We just got lazy on this and decided to not hurry up. The end result was that we reached the Taj at 1:15 PM only.
The place was crowded, I never expected it to be so crowded. After we took the tickets and walked to the east gate of the Taj, we found that there was almost one kilometer long queue. It took us almost an hour to actually get into the Taj.
After that long queue experience, once we reached inside the Taj, it was another painful experience. There was a long queue that we had to stand into to reach the platform of the Taj. We finally gave up and just took some pictures. It was too late to go to the fort that we were keep to visit, so we decided to just go back to hotel and call it a day.





The moral of the story, don't go to popular historical monuments during the holiday rush.

Day 7 -- Jaipur to Agra via Bharatpur

28-December-2016
05:45 AM We started early from our hotel, the plan was to spend the whole day in Keoldeo National Park, Bharatpur and then reach Agra for the night.
08:15 AM Reached Keoldeo National Park Bharatpur.




















Finally, we left the park around 5pm. Since we hadn't had any lunch, we stopped at this pizza place just outside the park.
The place serves  reasonably good pizza. Here is my review of the place.
6:30 PM We started from Bharatpur towards Agra. There was huge traffic jam on the toll gate just outside of Bharatpur. No management was in place. It took 20 minutes to get out of that toll gate.

8:15 PM Reached The Gateway hotel in Agra. Here is my review of the hotel.