Showing posts with label Noida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Noida. Show all posts

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Summer 2019

It is the month of April again and summer vacations have started. Along with the whole nation is about to undergo general elections.  Being on the road during elections is a difficult proposition in India. There is additional checking and you have to be prepared to be stopped and the whole vehicle checked at any point on the road. In order to minimize the inconvenience to ourselves, we decided to restrict our travel plans to areas which have already undergone voting or areas where voting was scheduled much later. We could not completely accomplish this, but we gave it a try.

The primary tourist places to be covered were Panna, Chitrakoot, and Khajuraho. As a bonus, I also visited the National Museum in Delhi which was a delight. Here is the itinerary that I followed.

  1. Bengaluru to Hyderabad (18-April)
  2. Hyderabad to Bhopal (19-April)
  3. Bhopal (20-April)
  4. Bhopal (21-April)
  5. Bhopal to Panna (22-April)
  6. Panna National Park (23-April)
  7. Panna to Khajuraho via Chitrakoot (24-April)
  8. Khajuraho (25-April)
  9. Khajuraho to Noida (26-April)
  10. Noida (27-April)
  11. The National Museum (28-April)
  12. Noida (29-April)
  13. Noida to Bhopal (30-April)
  14. Bhopal (01-May)
  15. Bhopal (02-May)
  16. Crescent Water Park (03-May)
  17. Bhopal to Hyderabad (04-May)
  18. Hyderabad to Bengaluru (05-May)
The trip was total of 5321 kilometers, consumed more than 500 liters of diesel. The total toll paid through FasTag was Rs. 3290. There were few instances of toll payment through cash since the machine was not working. We can assume that the total toll payment was closer to Rs. 4000/-.

Noida to Bhopal

It was the day to start unwinding the journey. The first stop while travelling back was Bhopal.
7:30 AM Started from Noida.
9:00 AM Stopped at Costa Coffee in the rest area on YEW.
1:00 PM Stopped at Barista Gwalior for lunch.
Normally I travel through Dabra, Datia, Jhansi, Malthone, Bina. Google suggested to go via Guna Shivpuri. So we decided to take that route.
5:00 PM Stopped at Shanti Dhaba & Restaurant on NH-46. The place was alright but the toilets etc were not kept clean.
8:40 PM Reached home in Bhopal.

Khajuraho to Noida

8:35 AM We left Khajuraho and decided to take route via Lucknow Agra expressway. We were not sure about the quality of roads.

The roads were bad to average till the time you join Lucknow Agra expressway. We reached expressway around 3:45 PM. Till that time it was very slow progress. If one is driving on this route, it is better to wait until you hit the highway to look for any food places. Dhabas on the way are really bad.
There are some sectors where the road is really bad.
4:30 PM We got on to Yamuna Expressway.
7:15 PM We reached Noida.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Summer 2018

It's summer vacation time again and time for another road trip. This year the plan was to visit Amritsar, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, and Shimla.

Following was the itinerary that was decided for this trip.
  1. 07-April-2018 Day 1 -- Bengaluru to Nagpur
  2. 08-April-2018 Day 2 -- Nagpur to Noida
  3. 09-April-2018 Day 3 -- Break in Noida, mostly rest day
  4. 10-April-2018 Day 4 -- Noida to Amritsar and Amritsar Local sightseeing
  5. 11-April-2018 Day 5 -- Amritsar Local and Wagah Border
  6. 12-April-2018 Day 6 -- Amritsar to Dalhousie
  7. 13-April-2018 Day 7 -- Dalhousie Local
  8. 14-April-2018 Day 8 -- Dalhousie Local and Khajjiar
  9. 15-April-2018 Day 9 -- Dalhousie to Mcleod Ganj
  10. 16-April-2018 Day 10 -- Mcleod Ganj and Dharamshala Local
  11. 17-April-2018 Day 11 -- Mcleod Ganj to Shimla and The Mall
  12. 18-April-2018 Day 12 -- Shimla Local
  13. 19-April-2018 Day 13 -- Shimla to Noida
  14. 20-April-2018 Day 14 -- Noida to Mitaoli, Padavali, Bateswar and Gwalior
  15. 21-April-2018 Day 15 -- Gwalior to Bhopal
  16. 22-April-2018 to 27-April-2018 due to some personal work to be taken care off, the drive was suspended in Bhopal for a week.
  17. 28-April-2018 Day 22 -- Bhopal to Nagpur
  18. 29-April-2018 Day 23 -- Nagpur to Bengaluru
The was a trip that I enjoyed a lot. We saw places that were very different than each other and offered something interesting to view.

During the trip, we drove a distance of 6065 kilometers in approximately 107 hours. Approximately 610 liters of diesel was used up. Approximate toll amounts were more than Rs. 4000/-. 

Summer 2018 -- Day 14

10:45 AM We started from Noida, quickly got on to Yamuna Expressway. We had planned on leaving earlier but we got delayed and we ran the risk of sun-set before we could reach today's destination.
11:45 AM Stopped at the rest area on YEW for a break and coffee.
Since we were running late, we decided to skip Lunch and have a driving lunch in the car itself so that we can give us enough time to see all the place that we had planned on seeing.
4:20 PM We reached Mitaoli or Mitavali. This is where one sees a circular temple.

The temple at Mitaoli located on an isolated hillock is known as Ekottarso Mahadeva Temple among the local inhabitants. The place of this temple is rather peculiar and is very much similar to the layout plan of Chausath Yogini temples which contain cells in a circle around the main temple similar to the one located at Bheraghat near Jabalpur.
The temple has an entrance from the east and contains small cells against a pillared verandah. Some of these cells contain sivalingas. The main shrine in the center is placed on a raised circular plinth and has a Siva Linga. On the basis of the inscription, this temple was constructed in 1323 AD by Maharaja Devapala. At the foothill of the temple, some life-sized stone sculptures of Kushana period, adorned with heavy ornaments have been recovered which are now displayed in the archaeological museum, Gwalior Fort, Gwalior.
We left Mitaoli temple at 4:56 PM  for Padhavali temple which is a 6-minute drive away.
5:02 PM We arrived in Padhavali temple.

The temple of Garhi Padhavali originally consisted of Sanctum Sanctorum and Mandapa, which is mostly obliterated except ornately designed Mukhamandapa, standard on the entrance of the temple.  Built over a considerable raised Adhisthana, it might be dedicated to Siva, as evident from the huge Nandi found from the temple ruins. The interior of the structure is richly carved with designed, friezes of sculptures of various divinities of Brahmanical pantheon -- Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar, Surya, Ganesha, Chandi, and incarnations of Vishnu. The reliefs also narrate the mythological story from the epics and Puranas. The carvings reflect the art and culture of the period.
The study of the original feature of the temple shows, it was built during 10th century AD. Later on, the temple was fortified by the rulers of Jat Ranas of Gohad during 19th century AD.
We left Padavali at 5:23 PM towards Bateswar temples which is a 5-minute drive from padavali.
5:33 PM We arrived in Bateswar group of temples.

A group of ruined temples spread over the western slope of an isolated hill is located south-west of Padavali village in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh. Made of stone masonry, the ruins comprised of the temple remains, gateways, stepped tanks, architectural members, Amalakas, Brahmanical icons etc. This group of temples can be stylistically ascribed to post-Gupta to early Pratihara period ranging from 6th to 9th century AD. It shows the early stages of development of temple art. The earliest group of temples are having sanctum proper with flat roof while the temples of later phases are possessed with curvilinear shikhara over the sanctums. One of the surviving temples, dedicated to Lord Siva known as Bhuteswara temple, shows all the features of Pratihara art.
Some of the temples are reconstructed by the archaeological survey of India recently in its original form and renovated most of the structures.
This site has hundreds of temples and their remains. We spent almost an hour here. By this time sun had almost set and we left the place of the hotel in Gwalior.
We had booked ourselves on Hotel Deo Bagh. Here is our review of the place.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Summer 2018 -- Day 4


With one day's rest, we were charged up to continue our journey.
06:20 AM We started from Noida,
07:10 AM We were on the other end of Delhi.
As we reached Murthal, we were looking for Amrik's Dhaba but the new toll is so close to the dhaba, by the time we realized we had reached Amrik's Dhaba, we were in the toll lane.
07:54 AM We finally stopped at 70 Mile Stone Dhaba and Restaurant. The place is decent, food is good. Here is my review of the place.
10:51 AM Stopped at Midway Dhaba for another break. This is just an average place. I would suggest to avoid it.
At this time we discovered that one of the tires in the vehicle had an irreparable puncture. We tried to repair it few times but it wouldn't just hold. So we decided to look for options to repair it. Since we were about an hour away from Ludhiana, we called BMW service center in Ludhiana. They had just one tire. We decided to get it repaired there before continuing on the journey.
12:20 PM We reached Krishna Automobiles in Ludhiana. BMW dealers offer very good service, there is only one problem with them, they have no respect for people's time. Even though we told them that we are on a long trip, they took six hours to replace one tire. Anyway, we left the place at 6:28 PM.
8:46 PM We reached Amritsar and arrived at our hotel. We were staying at Hotel Sawera Grand. Here is our review of the place.

On arriving, we decided to have our dinner at Brother's Dhaba which is located just opposite to the Town Hall and Partition Museum. We walked up to the place. The food was good. Here is our review of the restaurant.

After dinner, we straight away decided to visit the Golden Temple. In night time it is a sight to see.

Partition Museum

Summer 2018 -- Day 2


05-45 AM We started towards Noida which was our destination for the day. We decided to go via Chhindwara. The roads on this section are good but they are not divided road.  Also, it is very difficult to get any amenities on this route till you are back on the highway.
07:55 AM Crossed Chhindwara

09:15 AM  Crossed Narsinghpur and got back on the NH-44.
10:35 AM Reached Sagar, stopped at Hotel Deepali.
If you intend to stop at Hotel Deepali in Sagar, please be careful. Google map shows two hotels with the same name. You need to go to one that is just 1 kilometer away from national highway. The other one shows a diversion of more than 8 kilometers.
12:20 PM Crossed Malthone
12:50 PM Crossed Lalitpur
1:50 PM Crossed Jhansi
Cocina Highway Retreat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato3:20 PM Stopped at the Cocina Highway Retreat just on the national highway. I have been stopping in Barista for which I had to take a one-kilometer diversion into the city. This restaurant was just on the highway and newly opened so I decided to give this one a try.
The restaurant was a hit and miss, the food was just average, facilities were also average. But the place was full of students from nearby colleges and it was just too noisy, almost bordering rowdy.
4:05 PM We started after lunch. Crossed Morena at 05:15 PM.
5:45 PM Crossed Dholpur.
7:10 PM Entered Agra. Crossing Agra is always a challenge. I have not understood why there is not a better way to get on to Agra Ring Road while coming from Gwalior.
7:40 PM Entered Yamuna Expressway.
8:25 PM Stopped at the rest area in the middle of Yamuna Expressway for a coffee.
10:15 PM Exited YEW
10:40 PM Reached Noida.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Day 14 -- Bhopal to Delhi

This was an impromptue trip to Delhi and back.
5:30 AM Started from Bhopal, took the Sanchi Road.

09:10 AM Reached Radha Kunj Dhaba near Lalitpur. I pretty much always stop here for breakfast. Not great, but a typical highway dhaba.
10:50 AM Turned towards Gwalior at N-S corridor.
11:55 AM There is a Reliance Petrol station in Dabra, they accept credit cards, stopped there for filling up the tank.
12:41 PM Stopped at the Barista Gwalior for a small snack and coffee break.
2:20 PM Crossed Chambal Ravines
3:30 PM Entered Agra.
4:00 PM Entered Yamuna Expressway
6:00 PM Reached Noida.

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.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Day 4 -- Noida to Hanumangarh

9:15 AM Started from Noida towards Hanumangarh. We were not really sure about the route, so we decided to take whatever google maps told us.
9:50 AM Entered Noida-Greater Noida expressway.
10:00 AM Exited the expressway
10:35 AM Reached Paschim Vihar
11:10 AM Reached Bahadurgarh
11:35 AM Crossed Rohad toll plaza. We saw vehicles lining up for a ralley so decided to let their convoy go ahead and stopped at the place that claims to make India's largest paratha.
Preparations were going on for some
12:45 PM Finished the paratha and continued on with the journey.

4:25 PM Google maps shows multiple options to turn left to go to Hanumangarh but all the roads were extremely narrow, so we continued driving till Dabwali and then took an extreme left to continue towards Hanumangarh.

The road after Dabwali becomes two lanes undivided road but the surface quality is good and traffic is comparatively less.
5:30 PM We reached the hotel in Hanumangarh. We had decided to stay in Narang Hotel and Restaurant. Here is my review of the place.

Day 3 -- Bhopal to Noida

6:00 AM I started towards Delhi from Bhopal.
7:00 AM Crossed Sanchi.
7:15 AM Crossed Vidisha
8:10 AM Crossed Kurwai
8:25 AM Crossed Bina
8:55 AM Crossed Malthone, joined NH-44.
9:11 AM Stopped at Sri Radha Kunj Dhaba, It has kind of become my favorite for breakfast. It is at a sufficient distance from Bhopal for a breakfast.

10:30 AM Crossed Babina
10:45 AM Crossed Jhansi and turned towards Delhi on NH-44. The bad road starts from here and lasts till Gwalior.
11:15 AM Crossed Datia
11:45 AM Crossed Dabra
12:30 PM Byepassed Gwalior
1:15 PM Crossed Morena

1:30 PM Crossed Dholpur. I was stopped here by a police checkpoint, they were looking for currency notes in the light of demonetization. They were disappointed when they didn't find any and they let me go.

2:30 PM Reached outskirts of Agra. I always saw an under construction road that goes towards left with a signage showing Delhi. It was always closed, this time it was open, so I took it believing it to be a byepass for Agra. It is a byepass alright but it lands you straight in Mathura town and you have to get on to YEW from there. I am not sure if it is a good idea.

3:45 PM Got on to YEW after couple of detours. If one does not get lost, I think one can get on to YEW 15 minutes earlier.
5:40 PM Exited YEW.
6:15 PM Reached destination.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Christmas 2015 - AIM - 2015 Day 10, Noida to Ujjain

Finally we were in the return leg of the trip. The day's target was to reach Ujjain.
6:00 AM Started from Noida, partly because of the road condition between Jhansi and Gwalior and partly because I did not want to drive on same road again, we decided to go towards Neemuch route.

8:00 AM Stopped at Shiva Oasis restaurant just after Neemarna.
10:30 AM Crossed Jaipur
12:25 PM Crossed Ajmer
1:30 PM Stopped at a road side hotel for chai
2:10 PM Crossed Bhilwara
2:30 PM Stopped at the restaurant with Reliance petrol bunk. Ordinary restaurant.
4:40 PM Crossed Nimbahera
5:10 PM Crossed Neemuch
6:00 PM Crossed Mandasaur
7:30 PM Crossed Jaora
8:00 PM Crossed Nagda
9:00 PM Reached Ujjain

Christmas 2015 - AIM - 2015 Day 7, Mandi to Delhi via Chandigarh

The plan for the day was to leave early from Mandi, reach Chandigarh quickly, meet couple of friends and end up in Delhi by the end of the day.

6:00 AM Left the hotel and started back towards Chandigarh.
7:15 AM Stopped at a road side dhaba who was getting ready to start making Aloo Parathas. Had breakfast and tea there.
7:50 AM Started back the journey
9:15 AM Crossed Nauni
10:25 AM Crossed swarghat
11:00 AM Crossed Kiratpur Sahib
12:30 PM Reached friends place for lunch.
2:00 PM Started for second friends place
2:20 PM Reached second friends place
4:40 PM Started back for Delhi
Bangedup car on highway
Every now and then one encounters a vehicle that one gets reminded of safe and defensive driving.
5:40 PM Crossed Ambala
6:25 PM Crossed Kurukshetra
7:15 PM Crossed Karnal
8:05 PM Crossed Panipat
8:10 PM Stopped at Hotel Swarn Mahal just after Panipat.
8:45 PM Started back towards Delhi
9:30 PM Crossed Sonipat
10:30 PM Reached Noida