Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bhubaneswar to New Delhi: Driving Directions & Precautions

The beautiful state of Odisha is always known around the globe for its brilliant Temple architecture and exotic coast line. The coastal belt is surrounded by a fascinating patch of green when you travel up north or towards west from coast. Districts of Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Phulbani, Koraput, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda,Gajapati etc. districts do have incredible patchs of green and also has its own share from mother nature. I totally do remember the days of my childhood when I used to travel frequently in those remote areas with my Uncle. I believe, I always was a lover of mother nature as far as I remember and my Uncle made me adventurous with numerous night rides/bike rides during early 90's. Anyways.

Travelled Route:

Few random Photographs can found in the previous post HERE.

My personal Experience
- Crossing the Odisha border is not an easy game. Nicely laid tar but the diversions and dividers are killer. I remember a whole vegetable market on highway (NH5) where we were stuck for some good 20 minutes, somewhere before Bhadrakh. Should I explain the condition of a couple of bridges! Nah.
- If you are starting from Bhubaneswar and instantly you do notice some mechanical problems then Bhadrak is the place. Reason, most of the mechanical shops are beside the highway, it means lots of saving of precious time. If you are starting at early morning and without breakfast, then Bhadrak is the place. The food specialty of the place is 'Palua Ladu', a special kind of locally produced sweet.
- After Balasore, till Kharagpur, just get seated with a heavy pedal on the accelerator. Good wide and empty roads just to zoom in. I was speeding like anything as if the road is all mine. But remember, speed thrills but kills. Drive absolute safe.
- Crossing Durgapur but was a pain, it was around 7 in the evening when we crossed with all the workers leaving off from work from factories and this resulted in a slow moment on road. Not to mention about the dust.
- I some how am little crazy to drive during night. We road until Dhanbad on the first day. Dhanbad is a sleepy town after dark. We choose a decent place on NH for the night stay.
- Kanpur was our next stop by 7 in the evening after driving some 750+ kilometers, the dense for dint allow us to proceed further.
- After dusk, driving through any city in UP will kill your time. Also be prepared for unexpected road blocks or some deadly accidents to divert your route via some unknown interior village. Anything may kill your schedule.
- Crossing places like Agra, Mathura, Chatta are undescriptable as these towns are on NH itself.

What to DO
- Make Sure your vehicle papers are updated including Insurance and PUC (Pollution Under Control).
- Keep a single set of documents photocopied.
- It is the age of GPS but I always do carry a printed map, Eicher India Road Atlas is my best friend on road.
- Seat belts are must when you are on road with a something movable.
- Keep all your Petrol bills during your travel.
- Keep safe all your toll passes. You might need to spend some 1500-2000 rupees as toll charges. (These will act as proof of your travel in case of emergency)
- Avoid Night Travel.
- Be highly careful and drive real slow when passing through villages or narrow roads. (We personally had a bitter experience of hitting an very old guy in his 80s who suddenly decided to come to the middle of the road without caring anything, but ended with some bruises and all. We managed to get rid of it only after getting him first-aid as eyewitnesses supported us and thanked us to control the vehicle instantly to save the chap's life). So just be careful.
- We had no encounter with Police/Traffic Police anywhere, but my previous personal experience says that, a very confident and polite approach will bring you no harm.
- Get food on time, because you never know if you will find a decent place to eat or not if decide to skip the time.
- Same principle to decide where to stay. We lost roughly 90 minutes in-between taking decisions to stay at Dhanbad or not. In confusion, traveled ahead and again returned back as the next place with hotels to stay was some 80+ kilometers away.
- Make it sure to grab some decent sleep and do start as early as possible. This is the only way to munch miles sooner with empty roads. Once the day breaks, driving through Bihar and UP is a different experience.
- Always take the bye-pass to any city, be it any longer. Driving through a city like Allahabad during day to save some 40 odd kilometers can be a nightmare.
- Prefer not to get off the National Highway, driving on NH saves a lot of time as you can drive in a constant speed.
- Kanpur flyover is a great time saver.
- For me it was a trip to enjoy the drive only, so I just packed my camera in 2 levels of security but had a point and shoot handy. Because I know, once I'll start clicking, I'll reach Delhi no less than a week. Places like Allahabad, Banaras were so tempting to take the camera out.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Happy Holi


Hope this festival of color will bring out new shades in your life...

Monday, March 05, 2012

Under the Sky...


A new community shaping up somewhere in the Capital city...