Showing posts with label Kanpur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kanpur. Show all posts

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Day 3 -- Bhopal to Lucknow

08:40 AM Started for the day, took Bina, Lalitpur. Joined NH-44 which joins NH-27 after Jhansi.
11:45 AM Crossed Malthone
12:00 PM Stopped by a small Dhaba to grab something to eat.
Sri Radha Kunj Dhaba
 Took a break of around 30 minutes.

Govindam Hotel

12:45 PM Crossed Lalitpur
2:00 PM Crossed Jhansi, now we are on NH-27.
3:52 PM Reached Govindam hotel just after Orai.
Looked like a decent place with toilets etc.
Observed a very interesting fact on Jhansi to Kanpur NH-27. The roads towards Kanpur is really in bad shape while Kanpur to Jhansi, though not great, is much better. On asking some locals, I was told, there is a very heavy traffic from Jhansi to Kanpur of Sand trucks while the trucks that come back are empty and that is the cause of uneven wear and tear on road.
Awadh Ki Rasoi
5:35 PM Stopped at a Reliance petrol pump for refueling.
The place accepted credit cards. I also got free advice at this pump from a fellow traveler, who remarked, "Sir why are you wearing the seat belt? No checking happens here.".
7:00 PM Crossed Kanpur
7:50 PM Stopped at a road side eatery called Awadh Ki Rasoi. OKish place.
9:15 PM Entered Lucknow. The city looks much better than what I had hoped. Particularly the area around M. G. Road where my hotel was. There are well laid out parks, wide roads.

9:35 PM Reached hotel. We had planned on staying at Vivanta By Taj. Here is my review of the hotel.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Druk Diaries: An experience of a lifetime

During January 2015 when I first mentioned that I think we should drive to Bhutan, the family's response was cautious. I think they initially though that I was joking and they let it pass. As day came nearer, I started preparing for it. Slowly everybody was on board.
The original plan was to start the trip in second week of April, but my family has to be in Delhi during first week of April. We decided that they will directly join me in Kolkata and I will drive from Bengaluru to Kolkata alone. My all the road trips have been with family and this was the first time when I was planning on driving more than 1500 kilometers alone.
You can find the total trip map above. We reached Bhutan by taking east coast of India and then came through central India. The total distance of the trip was upwards of 7700 kilometers and total fuel consumed was more than 850 liters. I did not keep track of total toll paid for this trip but it must be more than Rs. 4000/-.
Here is the detailed account of the trip.

  1. Prologue
  2. Bhutan Road Trip Process
  3. Day   1 : Bengaluru to Rajahmundry
  4. Day   2 : Rajahmundry to Kolkata
  5. Day   3 : Kolkata to Asansol
  6. Day   4 : Asansol to Siliguri with blessing from Baba Vaidyanath of Deoghar
  7. Day   5 : Arriving in Bhutan, Siliguri to Thimphu via Phuentsholling
  8. Day   6 : Permit Extension, Thimphu sightseeing
  9. Day   7 : Thimphu local attractions and Dochu La
  10. Day   8 : Thimphu to Trongsa via Punakha
  11. Day   9 : Trongsa local attractions
  12. Day 10 : Trongsa to Bumthang and Bumthang local attractions
  13. Day 11 : Bumthang to Phobjikha and chillout at Phobjikha
  14. Day 12 : Phobjikha to Thimphu, personalized stamps at Thimphu GPO
  15. Day 13 : Thimphu to Paro, Paro Dzong
  16. Day 14 : Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger's Nest, a great trek
  17. Day 15 : Chele La, Haa and Paro Market
  18. Day 16 : Return journey, Paro to Purnea
  19. Day 17 : Return journey, Purnea to Kanpur
  20. Day 18 : Return journey, Kanpur to Bhopal
  21. Day 19-22 : Break at Bhopal, Fixes to the car
  22. Day 23 : Return Journey, Bhopal to Bengaluru
This trip was a test of endurance for us, all of us in the family, which we passed with flying colors. Many times it was tough, particularly during that dark, rainy night of drive to Trongsa, when we had no idea whether we were even on right path or the final day of drive when we decided to do Bhopal to Bengaluru without taking at break. At around 12:30 AM when I was really sleepy, my wife, who doesn't prefer to drive in night, offered to drive and that hour and half of drive by her made it easier for us to reach without taking too much risk.
Before this trip, the maximum that we had driven in a day was approximately 985 kilometers, i.e. Pune to Mount Abu. Now it stands at 1500+ kilometers.

If I were to do it again
If I were to do it again, I would probably modify the itinerary as follows.
  1. Do Dochu La as part of drive to Punakha and stay in Punakha
  2. Do Trongsa in day time and continue and stay in Bumthang
  3. Move Paro to start of the trip
  4. Couple of days extra for Mongar and Trashigang, 1 day to Mongar 1 day in Trashigang and then exit via Samdrup Jongkhar
Because of under construction roads, drive to east is specifically painful in Bhutan currently. It is very difficult to drive long distances across West-East highway. If locals were to be believed, it would probably 2-4 years before things would become better.

Lessons Learnt
  • How important are your own tools in the car. The puncture guys whom I found on highway neither had spanner nor jack that would fit my car.
  • It is very important to have a pump in your car. With a slow leaking tire, my trip would have been very difficult if I did not have pump with me to fill it up
Thanks are in order
This trip would have been much harder to plan and execute if not for the support of many friends on HVK Forum on facebook including but not limited to Rajneesh Khare for all the help around central india,  Sandipan Mallick for all the help around east specifically Kolkata and Asansol and showing a friendly face in hotel, Panduranga Kudige Shenoy for helping me finalize the Deoghar route, Kumar HV for all the guidance, direction and help and everbody who is working with HVK Central Hotel Desk
If I missed somebody, it is not intentional, I am thankful for any help extended by anybody that helped me make this trip successful.
Finally thanks are in order to my wife and daughter for agreeing and putting up with the madness of being on the road for more than 20 days.

Druk Diaries: Day 18 - Return journey,Kanpur to Bhopal

We had planned on staying in Bhopal for few days, so this day was a shorter drive.

5:40 AM We were out on the road.
7:20 AM Crossed Orai

9:25 AM Crossed Jhansi bypass.
10:25 AM Crossed Lalitpur
11:22 AM Crossed malthone

11:58 AM Reached Bina.

1:45 PM Crossed Vidisha
1:55 PM Crossed Sanchi

2:40 PM Reached Bhopal

Druk Diaries: Day 17 - Return journey, Purnea to Kanpur

We continued our return journey. Since it is just a return journey, the only stoppage were for food and bio-breaks.

4:45 AM Started from Purnea, got out of the town and was on highway in less than 10 minutes. Early mornings are the best time to drive in India. Very few people to bother you on the road.
5:43 AM Crossed forbesganj.
9:08 AM Byepassed Muzaffarpur
10:20 AM Sometime after this, we got stuck in a road block. It seems some of the locals wanted LPG because there is no supply of LPG and they decided that the best way to get it is to block NH.
11:20 AM Finally police arrives, they negotiate with protesters, and they let us go. Don't know if they got the LPG or not.
11:50 AM Crossed Gopalganj.
12:25 PM Crossed the border and into Kushinagar.
12:42 PM Just when I thought only people of Bihar can block national highway, this time politicians of UP. The highway is this time properly blocked by the police.
1:03 PM Finally police relents and lets us go.
1:28 PM Get on to Gorakhpur outer ring road
1:51 PM Exit Gorakphur ORR
2:22 PM Found a restaurant called Anand Resort on the highway. Had lunch there. The place is really terrible. Don't bother eating there.

5:20 PM Stopped at another road side restaurant for Tea. Regular bus stop kind of place. Nothing to write home about.

6:30 PM Crossed Barabanki
7:10 PM Got on to Lucknow Outer Ring Road. Great road
7:30 PM Got on to Kanpur Road
8:26 PM Crossed Unnao
8:40 PM Entered outskirts of Kanpur

9:20 PM Reached CHD arranged hotel. The hotel did not have any dinner service at least on that day. I am not sure if they ever have or not. There is a restaurant just next door, but unfortunately for us, there was a wedding going on so they told us that there would be 45 mins wait time. We were not keen on waiting for that long. So we had to take out our car again and go in search for food. Finally we ended up at Cawnpore 1857. Here is my review of the place.