Showing posts with label Pune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pune. Show all posts

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip

Christmas 2013, we decided to undertake a road trip from Bangalore to Rajasthan. We had 21-December-2013 to 01-January-2014 at our hand to undertake the trip. Looking at the road conditions and time at hand, we decided following route.


The trip was split up in following fashion.

The trip was total of 5,637 Kms with total of approximately 88 hours of driving involved. Total of approximately 440 liters of diesel was consumed. Total amount of tolls paid was Rs. 4113/-. The details of all the tolls are here.

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #12 of 12 -- Return journey continues, Pune to Bangalore

01-January-2013
Previous night ushered in the new year. We were ready to continue our drive back to Home.
8:45 AM Checkout after breakfast and started on final let of journey back to Bangalore.

9:50 AM Stopped a the petrol station to fill up.
11:00 AM There is a new complex with cafe coffee day and KFC near Surur. We stopped there for coffee break.

11:15 AM Started our journey back.
11:45 AM Crossed Satara
12:25 PM Crossed Karad
1:15 PM Crossed Kolhapur
New Goa Paradise Dhaba
2:05 PM Stopped at a road side dhaba called "New Goa Paradise". Was really useless place. But the security guard there decided to clean my car properly so we got the car cleaned and had something to eat.
We also saw a new brand of mineral water here called Bilori.

2:31 PM Crossed Nipani
2:45 PM Crossed Sankeshwar
3:21 PM Crossed Belgaum
4:30 PM Crossed the twin cities of Hubli-Dharwad
4:55 PM Stopped at the Kamat just after Hubli-Dharwad. The place was really crowded probably because of the last day of vacations and everybody returning back to Bangalore.

5:35 PM Crossed Haveri
5:50 PM Crossed Ranebennur
6:10 PM Crossed Harihar
6:20 PM Crossed Davangere
7:00 PM Crossed Chitradurga
7:25 PM Crossed Hiriyur
8:05 PM Crossed Sira
8:35 PM Crossed Tumkur
9:25 PM Got on to NICE Road
10:00 PM Got off the NICE Road.
Finally an interesting trip across six states of India spanning over 12 days finishes.

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #11 of 12 -- Return journey continues, Indore to Pune

31-December-2013
11:00 AM Return journey back to home continues, we start from Indore and continue on AH-47.

11:30 AM Get off the Indore Bypass and continue on the national highway.
12:30 PM Cross the bridge on Kalaghat on Narmada.

12:43 PM Found a small dhaba and stopped for a small tea break. Not a great place really.

12:50 PM Started the journey back.
1:20 PM Crossed Sendhwa
1:35 PM Crossed Palasner
1:50 PM Crossed Shirpur
2:30 PM Bypassed Dhule
3:15 PM Stopped at Sai Car Family Dhaba just before Malegaon.

4:00 PM Bypassed Malegaon. Here we decided to leave the AH-47 and turn towards road to Manmad. This is where the road is not that great but drivable. We continue towards Manmad.
4:30 PM Crossed Manmad
5:05 PM Crossed Yeola
5:33 PM Crossed Kopargaon
5:40 PM Here we are supposed to turn into Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai highway. But the road is so bad that I could not even take my car on this road. So we continued straight for 6 kilometres and then took a right turn and continued another 6 kilometres to join back the Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai highway.

6:30 PM Reached Talegaon. The road improves but is still not great. It is just drivable two lane road and makes overtaking almost impossible.
6:52 PM Crossed Sangamner, now we join Nashik Pune highway. The road becomes better but it is still narrow two lane road.
7:30 PM Stopped at a place called Daulat refreshments for tea.
8:30 PM Crossed Alephata
8:45 PM Crossed Narayangaon
9:30 PM In Pune City
10:30 PM Reached Holiday Inn hotel and checked in.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #2 of 12 -- Pune to Mount Abu

22-December-2013
This was the longest day of the drive for us. We had to start from Pune and reach Mount Abu. We had to drive through Gujarat and enter Rajasthan.
6:20 AM We left the hotel. The hotel is right on Pune Mumbai bypass and entry into expressway is pretty easy.
6:40 AM We reached the toll gate for the expressway. The expressway is alway a fun to drive, early morning on a Sunday, it was not very crowded either.
6:58 AM Crossed Lonavala
7:32 AM Crossed Kalamboli
7:54 AM Crossed the Vashi Bridge
8:12 AM We entered Eastern Expressay
8:45 AM Entered NH-8 at Ghodbunder

I was concerned with traffic that I may encounter in Mumbai partly because of a political rally in the city, with help from HV Kumar group, I found a quick exit form Mumbai. The map above incorporates that.
9:35 AM Stopped for a quick tea break at Vithal Kamath.
9:58 AM Started back for onward journey.
11:05 AM Crossed Vapi
11:32 AM Crossed Valsad
12:41 PM Crossed Navsari
1:48 PM Crossed Ankleshwar
2:03 PM Crossed Baruch
2:36 PM Just before Karjan, there is a rest stop which has Cafe Coffee Day, Subway and Dominos. We stopped here. The restaurants and other facilities (toilets) are good.
Rest stop just before Karjan
3:22 PM Crossed Karjan
4:10 PM Crossed Vadodara
5:01 PM Entered Ahmedabad Ring Road
As soon as I entered ring road, I was flagged off by a traffic police man, he stopped me, asked for car registration, pollution certificate and license. Also asked me, where I was going, to which I replied that I am going to Mount Abu. Then he walked to the front of car, possibly looking for that yellow sticker, which I had put on my car based on all the feedback. Then he let me go. No harm done. That Rs. 20/- for the yellow tape was worth it, I guess.

5:57 PM Crossed Kalol
6:52 PM Crossed Mehsana
7:10 PM Crossed Unjha
8:28 PM Crossed Palanpur
Cama Rajputana Club Resort
9:17 PM Started climbing the Mount Abu climb. It is approximately 20 Kms. I would not classify as a very difficult hill climb but it was dark and it was a hill climb after all.
10:00 PM Reached the hotel in Mount Abu. It was Cama Rajputana Club Resort. Here is my review of the hotel.
This was the longest day of drive in this journey, we completed more than 850 Kms with a drive of around 14 Hours with a 2 hour break in between. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #1 of 12 -- Bangalore to Pune

21-December-2013
05:30 AM Started from home, 06:25 AM got on to NICE road towards Tumkur Road.
07:00 AM Got off NICE road and on to Tumkur Road.
07:330 AM Stopped at the Kamath just before Tumkur.
08:22 AM Started back on journey after a sumptuous breakfast. I have always missed Kamat chains of hotels once you are out of Karnataka. None of the other states really have similar eateries on the highways. The worst part is that even Cafe Coffee Day becomes sparse outside of Karnataka.
10:30 AM Bypassed Davangere
10:55 AM Stopped at the Kamat just after Harihar for a quick tea.

11:50 AM Bypassed Haveri
12:40 PM Crossed Hubli bypass.
Hubli to Dharwad the road is just two lanes. The speeds go down because there is heavy truck traffic and it is very hard to overtake anything.
2:00 PM Got into Belgaum town for quick Lunch. When travelling with family, I think Sankam Residency is a decent option for lunch. It is just off the highway and getting into and getting out is very easy. Here is my review of the restaurant within the hotel from an earlier trip.
3:20 PM Left Belgaum after lunch towards Pune.
3:54 PM Crossed Hattargi
4:05 PM Crossed Sankeshwar
4:20 PM Crossed Nipani
4:43 PM Crossed Kagal
5:05 PM Crossed Kolhapur
5:57 PM Crossed Karad
7:12 PM Crossed Khed
7:51 PM Crossed Khandala
Since we were coming from Bangalore and had planning on going to Mumbai, we had booked Hotel Holiday Inn for the night stay. It is very nicely located for people coming in from Bangalore and continuing their onward journey to Mumbai. Here is my review of the hotel from an earlier trip.
9:10 PM Reached hotel.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Travelog: Seven Jyotirlings and other stuff, 14 days Part 14/14

01-May-2013 The plan was to start early morning but the fatigue of long drives was finally catching up. We decided to sleep late and could start only by 10:00AM.
The road exiting Pune were really crowded, my guess was probably people who do daily commute and were going to their offices.


View Larger Map
11:05AM We got clear of Pune city traffic.
Sai International
12:52PM Crossed Satara
1:31PM Crossed Karad
2:00PM Reached Yelur. There is a decent restaurant called Sai International here. We stopped here for Lunch.
2:45PM Left the restaurant.
3:15PM Crossed Kolhapur
3:30PM Crossed Kagal
4:30PM Crossed Belgaum City. Just after Belgaum, we filled the fuel and continued on.
Kamat Upachar
5:30PM Crossed Belur
5:45PM Crossed Dharwad
6:05PM Crossed Hubli
6:56PM Crossed Haveri
7:15PM Crossed Renebennur
7:45PM Crossed Harihar
7:55PM Crossed Davangere
8:40PM Crossed Chitradurga
9:15PM Crossed Hiriyur
9:45PM Crossed Sira
10:00PM Stopped at Kamat Upachar just after Sira. Stopped for dinner here.
10:25PM Started from the Kamat Upachar.
11:15PM Crossed Tumkur city.
11:50PM Crossed Neelamangala
11:55PM Got on to NICE road. Because it was just few days before elections, we were stopped on NICE road for a checking.
1:05AM Reached Home.

Travelog: Seven Jyotirlings and other stuff, 14 days Part 13/14

30-April-2013
We started our journey back in morning from Ujjain.
8:00AM We crossed Indore. The route shown by Google Map took us to a wrong path. We landed up on NH59 and the road from NH59 to AH47 did not exist which google map was claiming to exist. We had to take some really bad rural road to get back on correct path.
10:09AM Crossed Dhamnod
11:05AM Crossed Sendhwa
12:25PM Crossed Dhule
2:15PM Crossed Malegaon.
We decided to go very close to Mumbai on AH-47 so that we can take Mumbai-Pune expressway to reach Pune. It was longer route but we just wanted to drive on expressway.
3:45PM We crossed Nashik
5:15PM Crossed Igatpuri
6:40PM Just after toll plaza, turned left to take the Pune Expressway.
7:00PM to 7:30PM We were stuck in severe traffic. Nothing moved at all.
8:20PM We joined Mumbai-Pune expressway near Kalamboli
8:36PM Crossed Bhatan Tunnel.
10:37PM Reached and checked into Holiday Inn in Hinjewadi.

View Larger Map

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Travelog: Seven Jyotirlings and other stuff, 14 days Part 2/14

07-04-2013
Day #2 of the drive, the plan was to getup early, and leave for Aurangabad after a quick breakfast. We could only leave by 9:45am after breakfast and completing checkout processing at the hotel. We started our drive towards Ahmednagar and Shirur.
10:15am Crossed Koregaon
10:50am Crossed Shirur
11:15am We stop at this complex called The Smile Stone, has a bunch of shops and eateries. The toilets are clean. There is a coffee day as well here. Ample parking space is also there. Seems to be a popular stopping point for people travelling on this route. There are signages for the place almost 15 kms before its location and it is very easy to spot.

12:25pm Crossed Ahmednagar
1:55pm We entered Aurangabad city. 3:00pm.
We had booked Hotel Lemontree but the location of the hotel in Google Maps is marked incorrectly so it took us a while to find it and check in. We were finally in the hotel by
Since we were only in Aurangabad for a day, we had to finish all the site-seeing that day itself. The hotel seemed nice, they have a large pool, rooms are big. But once you travel outside of metros, you realize that the definition of service changes completely. Everything is leisurely.  If you order a bottle of water, you should not be surprised if it takes half an hour to one hour to get.
Pretty much everybody has started arranging buffets for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But after filling your plate with food, you realize that breads (roti/nan) may take half an hour to arrive.
Once bowls are finished, they may take another half an hour to arrive.
Once you are out of metros in India, you should tune yourself to these service standards. I did the mistake of expecting too much to start with and was disappointed. In hindsight, they probably were doing the best that they could and it was considered great service in these places.

4:00pm We left to visit Ghrushneswar Jyotirling and Ellora caves. 
4:15pm Crossed Daulatabad fort. Since we had little time, we did not plan on stopping here. See the video below, Daulatabad fort can be seen on the left side.

We continued our journey towards Ghrushneswar Jyotirling temple. The road is narrow but surface quality is good.
4:35pm We arrive at the temple. There are couple of parking areas near the temple, the access is very narrow to these areas but since this was not a peak day, it was easy getting in and parking. As soon as you get off the car, there is usual set of vendors who approach you but that was not a huge hassle here though.

The temple was pretty much deserted and we could do the darshan pretty quickly. We were in and out in about 45 minutes. The next stop was Ellora Caves. These caves are less than one kilometer from this temple. Ellora Caves, like most ASI monuments, close at sun-set, so we really did not have sufficient time to do justice to this place. Unline Ajanta caves, Ellora caves are spread over a larger area but the good thing is that you can rent autos and they will take you to each of these places.
5:15pm We reached Ellora Caves. One needs to buy ticket to get in. Here are couple of Panorama photographs of Ellora entrance.
Here is another one with slightly different angle.

Ellora has multiple caves which are numbered. We visited only some of them. Here are some assorted photographs from these caves.








6:30pm The monument closed and we were kind of kicked out of the place. We started our drive back. After little shopping on the way, we were back in hotel by 8:00pm.
Since we had planned to leaving early the next day, we had the dinner and called it a day.