Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by Ani, Sep 26, 2011.
very eager to know more ...
and congratulations on the trip.
Day 1 !!!
Awesome to see the responses ... Let's get it going then ...
As i wrote earlier was getting bored with work, needed some thrill in life so the plan was born. 2 friends & the Punto would take on the longest journey possible within India.
Started the Journey on the 17th of July knowing that any later would risk bringing in the onslaught of Monsoon in full fury...The blogs on the roads to Leh via Manali were not very encouraging, read about Innova's getting stuck there, did not want to risk any damage to my pride & joy so decided on the Srinagar route... Followed the Team BHP blogs on the route and the things to carry, picked up loads of chocolates, chewing gums, dry fruits , water ,a puncture kit, a small pipe , funnel & a Can ( the last 3 for emergency fuel fills).
Google Map showed total journey distance as 8006 km with 16 days in hand, read the National Highway had awesome roads so that was the chosen route for us. Plan was Mumbai - Jaipur - Punjab - Srinagar - Leh.
Started the journey around 2:00 AM on Sunday Night with good weather route to Mumbai was NH4 had been to Goa many times before so knew these were good roads, intended to get to Mumbai by evening, was not very comfortable driving at nights ( Cant travel as fast as Day time ),we had a simple plan 100 Kms in an hour would get us there on time,was not quite possible but well you have to aim high in life
Took the Nelamangala toll roads and the moment we got there it started drizzling, good for us the time was just right traffic was less and the roads were well lit which means we could still travel fast. With speeds around the 140km/hr mark by the time it was 6 AM we were already near Hubli , around 11 AM we stopped at a McDonalds outlet somewhere before Pune by 1 PM we had crossed Pune and were looking forward to the Mumbai express way.
Throughout this leg of the journey,we were making excellent time,the minimum speed was always above 140 km/hour.
On the expressway the highest we got to was 175 km/hr. All the way we had no car overtaking us till we came across an Audi 2 seater , we overtook that as well only to be vroomed past by it and never to be seen again . Reached outskirts of Mumbai by 2 PM.
1000 kms - 12 hours!!! And to think about it folks back home said it will take 17 hours LOL!!!
We planned to spend the night at my friends place in Powai... Entered Mumbai and experienced the worst roads i've ever come across, craters as big as the car , traffic where you move an inch in a minute with cars, rickshaws, bikes , humans coming at you from all sides with my stomach in my mouth hoping no one bumps us up. Reached my friends place only by 5 PM. 3 hours!!!
Day 1 was a success, was relieved to know 1000 KM a day was do-able was reassured about the upcoming journey ahead! Spent the evening catching up with my friend and enjoying Mumbai.
Preferred mode of transport!
Obviously on the Expressway
Roads in Karnataka
Our First Tunnel
Sorry about the order of the pictures, new here will improve with time . Day 2 follows after a good nights sleep
Ani I am glued to your thread.
1000km in just 12 hours thats too much. (but yes it was required) How your 90HP behaved when you were driving her for contineous 12 hours with avg speed of 100kmph.
Photos are so nice....and where are the photos from KA.
Awaiting for updates of your trevelogue.
Nice start Ani, Well how was the 90HP behaving when you touched the Mark 175...........
Yeah Mumbai roads are really a night mare, specially when they see the Number plate from different state, the passer by will jump on you even if you are on the correct lane...
Day 2 !!!
Before I start on the Day 2 episode, answering the questions posed earlier...
@ Kedar... Most of Karnataka was covered at night and rain hence the unavailability of pictures then... I've driven the Punto numerous times above 100 for long hours and did not feel any difference except for the gear stick getting a little stiff only to be fine the next morning apart from that, it is supposed to be a drivers car and that is what it is!
Coming to the other question-
The Punto is AN AMAZING VEHICLE & HANDLES SURE FOOTED AND PRECISE IN THE HIGHEST OF SPEEDS!!! You would just wish the needle would climb higher and not stop where it does... Where other cars are uncertain the Punto is in Home Ground!:twisted: The best part is you never feel the speed inside the cabin.
( Going to put a Tuning Kit some day , wanna push the beast farther!!! )
Coming back to the journey...
Started from Mumbai at 4:30 AM to get lost in the first 5 minutes, figured our way out and were on the highway towards Surat ...The Rain Gods kept us company right from the beginning, After we paid our first toll for the day, the only thing we saw around us was Trucks , Trucks & More Trucks, navigating that took time and the high speeds we were doing a day before seemed only a dream on Day 2 ... by around 11ish we were nearing Surat, 288 Kms in 6 hrs After crossing Surat the trucks faded out and we were back to driving in the 5th Gear. We stuck to the Golden Quadrilateral after crossing Vadodara started Narendra Modi's dream project - the Vadodara Ahmedabad express way.
Personally I think this is the Best Road available in India to test your vehicle reason being the Mumbai expressway is all Concrete this is Tar! Smooth as Butter, car handles better on tar than on Cement!
For anyone planning this journey be aware there is a turn before you reach Ahmedabad that takes you away from the city and keeps you on the GQ watch out for it and please take it or you might just experience what we did!
We were moving fast and before we realized the turn passed us, we had no option but to move ahead and hope to find a route from Ahmedabad, paid the toll just before the city and got pulled over by cops. Reason - Our car did not have the yellow sticker on the right headlight ( Some Rule in Gujarat - Reason for the cops to collect money from out of state travelers ) I had read about this rule in some blog but from what i recalled it was in Rajasthan this rule applied but we did not intend on arguing over it and wasting time so paid up the money. Rs 220. Rs 200 Fine and Rs 20 for a tout to put some yellow electric wire tape over the headlight! ( I'm sure the entire roll would not have cost more than what he charged us!)
With the cops forcing us to stop we decided to have our lunch too the Dry fruits were not sufficient any more and chewing gum just made us hungrier!
With a full stomach we were set for out next pit stop Udaipur!
You know you are in Rajasthan when the view around you changes from flat land to lush green hills ,the roads were awesome!
Deciding which state has the best roads can be quite a challenge , however when the results are out Rajasthan will definitely be in my top 3!!!
Curvy Roads with awesome views and clear blue sky ,Rajasthan was a treat all the way!!! By the time we reached Udaipur it was already around 5ish , we had already driven for 13 hours with one stop for lunch, wanting to find a motel now we agreed Ajmer would be a good place to call it a night, so we kept on driving hoping to reach Ajmer by 8 or 9.
With the 2 of us in the car it was pre decided each one of us would drive for half the days quota of km's. I had done mine in the morning and after the partying in Mumbai and the 4:30AM waking up i needed to take a nap, so that is what i did, only to be woken up by my friend hours later to announce we had missed the Ajmer turn .
There was no point going back so it had to be Jaipur where we would spend our night!
After the decision was made I was back at the wheel... With Incessant Rain pounding us and a long days drive behind us all we wanted to do was hit the sack bad and fill our hungry stomachs!!!
We made it to Jaipur only by around 10:30 PM... got some dinner ,found a room (Our most expensive room through out the journey for Rs 1200 /- )
Day 2 - 1200 km - 18 hours !!!
Falling off to sleep was not a problem that night!
Now the pictures from Day 2-
From our first stop for lunch in Gujarat ... The rain made sure we had a nice message board!
Rajasthans mode of transport-
Juicy Rajasthan Roads -
Typical Rajasthan Domes
The Rs 20 Yellow Tape
Our Room in Jaipur
More After a Good Night's sleep
awesome travelogue Ani!! keep it coming without making us wait much
Hats off to you Ani.....
I am glued to your post like Fevicol again. You people enjoyed a lot.
One question, Did you guys have any information about the MP Road.
I am also planning this trip in next year.
Just returned from Surat yesterday. We visited Ahmedabad twice in my Linea without the mandatory yellow sticker pasted to the RHS headlamp. But, thank god, we were not stopped by the Gujarat cops on both the occasions. I thought they were lenient for non-Gujarat cars.
Amazing is the word! I loved the pictures and every detail you shared.
I specially liked the yellow cello tape part! God knows if there is such a rule at all. Perhaps modi knows! I even doubt whether they were really GJ police or some local gang making money from non-GJ vehicles!
Every time I see these 4-lane marked express highways, I yearn to see such a one in my home land, Kerala. I don't know when I will be able to see such a road touching the north and south of Kerala!
Day 3 & 4 -
@ Kedar - from the blogs heard MP is not a very safe road at nights, till indore roads are good , UP roads from what I have heard are not that great + these roads pass through villages and towns hence cannot move fast. BUT THIS IS NOT FIRST HAND INFORMATION, someone who has travelled these roads can shed more light on it. My advise would be to stick to the GQ!
@fiatlover - Ive travelled on the Kerala roads, with the topography you have there having 4 lanes is difficult, that does not mean you don't have good roads , they are pretty scenic too
Coming to the rest of the journey-
We had done 2200 kms in 2 days and wanted to visit a service center before we took to the mountains for a general check up. Googled the service centers and found one in Gurgaon. We left around 8 AM ,called them up on the way from Jaipur confirmed we should be there by 10 , around 150 km before Delhi we got pulled over by a cop again, this time it was our tints! Rs 500 and we were back on the roads!
With all the road widening going on and morning traffic on that route we landed there only around 12 noon, got to the service center only to be told we have to wait till the Fiat guy shows up, after waiting for half an hour the Fiat representative met us and said he can only start working on it after 2 PM.
Waiting is something I did not want to do so we decided to move on.
Time was around 12:45 , traffic in GGN was insane and it was boiling hot , our route to Punjab was supposed to be the GK road but to get there we would have to pass through the city, at this point of the day that would take us through Delhi's famous traffic the only way to avoid it was the state highway from Gurgaon that takes you through Rohtak where you connect to NH 71A and then Panipat, at that time this seemed like a good idea, once we took the road however we realized how big a mistake it was to stray off the GQ. The roads were bad, most of the way it was a narrow 2 lane road the only saving grace was that we managed to avoid losing a couple of hours navigating Delhi roads, once we touched Panipat the roads got better and we were back on the GK roads and back to travelling fast!
From Ambala we took the road towards Ludhiana , roads were good and 4 laned however many flyover constructions in regular intervals hence many detours. After crossing Ludhiana we had our dinner on one of the road side dhabas and were on the lookout for a room to spend the night, took up a road side hotel for the night with our night's rate being Rs 960.
With our planned General checkup getting missed our next option to have it done was in Jalandhar , called up the service center confirmed that we would be there by 9, got there by 9:30 and like discussed the service center manager was waiting for us, the place was only a service center and not a showroom but the service was better than what was provided the day before in Gurgaon, the team there got to work immediately finished checking the car in an hour, reported there was nothing wrong and recommended we have the car cleaned up.
The cleaning took close to an hour and a half by 12 we were ready to move, the bill for the service and the cleaning - Rs 460!
After having our lunch in another dhaba we were back on the road. Punjab roads are fun to drive in , wide and without much traffic, we intended to reach Srinagar by evening, however by 5 PM we only crossed Jammu.
Jammu onwards the roads are not that wide and the ghats begin as well, the view is good, on the way we got pulled over by state cops for our tints again, bribing them was not an option with a lot of grief for us and much joy for them the Punto's tints were removed
We decided to halt the night at Udhampur . Room tariff there was - Rs 800.
Now for the pictures--
CHECK UP IN JALANDHAR-
LIMO IN PUNJAB -
SUNSET IN KASHMIR-
ROAD SIDE PLANTS IN UDHAMPUR-
ROOM IN UDHAMPUR-
More after a Good Nights sleep again
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