Hyderabad to kolkata Via Road in Car Latest Updated-2021

Introduction Hyderabad to Kolkata Via Road in Car

This blog is a cumulative collection of all information about the journey from Hyderabad to Kolkata and Kolkata to Hyderabad from 2013 to 2020. This includes my journey with family along with Solo drive. I have tried to explain our conditions, plan, preparation, road safety rules, road conditions in this blog. This will help you plan your trip comfortably. As of right now, it helped 250+ friends in Hyderabad and Kolkata to venture into this journey. Hope this will help you too.

Our Preparation

2013 Scenario our first true long drive

My parents were dead against the idea of the Long drive to Kolkata Via Road. Even my parents-in-law were also against this idea. My close relatives disbelieve this. Close friends said a single driver cannot do this.

They even added only a truck driver could do this. All preferred train journey to Kolkata instead of my car. If the train was not available they suggested taking flight. But since our dates were not confirmed, we really could not book either of them. We had to stop for Durgapuja in Hyderabad. Being a Bengali, not going to home town -Kolkata for celebrating ma Durga (When it is worshipped in our house itself) was something which was outside of bong culture. With a broken heart, we stopped and visited ma Durga in the nearby pandals.

How it started again:

The road bug started biting us(me and my wife). We were getting long leaves in January. We thought to go to some seaside as my wife loves the sea. We planned for Vizag. Yes, the best sea beach in Andhra Pradesh. I started googling, there were a lot of articles in team-bhp about Hyderabad to Vizag travel. Even we got a few from Chennai or from Bangalore to Vizag. I inquired my gang(Souritra and Harish ) about this idea. They did that trip by bike.

They agreed that it would be a memorable trip. During my further research, I came to know about a Bengali gang who did Hyderabad to Kolkata in an Alto car.[This was the second gang followed by Jacob] But it was their fun trip and there were no ladies with them. They were going back to Kolkata permanently. I asked my mates about the journey to Vizag.

Sunil who is a native of Rajamundry frequently visits Vizag suggested to me that it would take the max of 12 hours from Hyderabad. The road was excellent. All most at a last-minute, I got a call from my friend Arindam, who did Kolkata to Vizag and he told the beauty about the road and the beauty of sea beaches of Vizag. He also informed us that they took 16 hours to reach Vizag as the road condition was nice. With a happy heart, I zeroed to visit Vizag. I was pretty sure I could do this trip in my car.

2+2=4- The decision

At night, around 2 AM when I was just thinking about the journey, the devil idea popped up. Arindam drove 16 hours from Kolkata to Vizag and the roads were nice and Sunil said that he did this journey recently and the roads were awesome too from Hyderabad to Vizag, why would we settle for less with 800KM?

We could very much do 1700KM with one night stay in Vizag. I got up from the bed and gave a ring to my friend cum tour guide Souritra. Yipee…He agreed. Even he said they had done it a couple of times before with family. Wow!! exactly the fuel, I needed. He provided all sorts of information, I needed. The discussion ended on a positive note at 5 AM.

Safety Rules and Research:

The next day, I did a lot of research on the route, political problems, night driving safety etc. from every angle it was safe. Souritra called me and guided me to follow night driving rules:
For the traveller’s safety I am just describing the rules:

  1. Take a power nap whenever necessary possibly near the toll plazas. The toll plazas are safe and have nice toilet facilities. There are several plazas in the route.
  2.  Depending on the comfort level we can start the journey. but he suggested starting at evening 6 from Hyderabad.
  3. If I start at 6 PM by 4 PM, I will be able to reach Vizag with little aggressive driving. But with normal driving, we can reach by 7 AM.
  4. If health permits then drive till Gopalpur. It will put less burden on the next day.

While chalking out the plan, one of the senior Vijay just gave me a few more important advice

  1. never ever go near the long carriers or lorries without a proper hand or light signal.
  2. follow hand or light signal religiously.
  3. Never overtake anything in a blind curve.

I just memorized the rules. These were very valuable inputs. I was very much excited about the plan. Next to check if I can do this with my ford Figo. Back of the mind, my brain was pointing to the fact that an alto did it. Why not a bigger engine with higher capacity?

The Route

Journey to kolkata
The long drive Hyderabad to Kolkata Via Road

Google said the route will be via NH16[Then NH5]. Note many times google may suggest you go in a different direction to save times but as per expert advice-“Never ever leave NH16 until there is a real cause or diversion by police or accident”.

Overall the route is as follows:

Hyderabad–>Vijayawada–>Eluru–>Rajahmundry–>Vizag–>Sreekakulam–>Berhampur–>Bhubneswar–>Balasore–>Baleswar–>Jaleswar–>Belda–>Kharagpur–>Andul–>Santragachi

Near Rajahmundry Godavari river google generally divert to another road via Rajahmundry. But I was suggested to stay with NH-16/NH-6 even if it is broken

Car testing:

This is the most important aspect. You need to inspect the car for this drive. You need to make this engine ready. Check engine oil, brakes, lights, tyres.

The next day, I reached out to my service adviser Qazi from fortune ford tollichowki. He heard my journey details and sent my car for inspection. Most importantly, he himself did this checking. He tested the wheels, tyres and brake condition. And suggested taking a new pair of brake pads for the front wheel. Tested the battery and all other necessary things, only a ford expert can understand.

As ever, I trust this guy blindly. Most importantly, he never tried to snatch money from my pocket. He handed over the key with a smile and assured me that my Figo was ready for the 3500KM+ journey.  My ford was ready for a long journey. Mr Quazi has also suggested noting down all the ford service centre’s contact numbers handy. (Just in case)

During my journey, I have noted that almost in all major cities the big/popular companies workshops are present. You really do not need to panic.  Just note your toll-free number to get support from your company.

Planing:

Being prepared from all sides, I started convincing my wife -Devopriya. She initially said no but seeing all the facts, took one day to approve my plan. Yipeeee, The road bug had bitten her as well. Now she took control of all preparation and started helping me with all document related work. She downloaded a google map prepared 3 different plans with tentative timings to reach the major cities.

What if

  1. we started early morning
  2. it started in the afternoon
  3. we started late evening or midnight.

It helped me a lot to plan well. After a lot of discussions, we fixed plan-II which was to start at 6 PM and drive till morning.

The journey could be divide into two parts..
1. Hyderabad to Vizag or Gopalpur
2. Vizag / Gopalpur to Kolkata

For part-1, Hyderabad to Vizag:

Hyderabad-ORR-Suryapet–Vijayawada–Rajamundry–Vizag was the best route. Hyderabad to Vijayawada was having express or super expressway. From Vijayawada to kolkata was NH5. The nice part about both the parts of the route was that we could cover them in 2 days without stressing much.

Few other routes:
1. One of my friends suggested a route
Hyderabad–ORR–Suryapet–Khammam–Devarapally-Dommeru–Godavari bridge-Rajamundry-Vizag

But as we were travelling at night, we took the main road. Secondly, I heard that the road condition was too bad to drive in some places. Thirdly, Khammam was not recommended during a night drive.

Accessories:

Souritra fitted 2 Hella G3 projector along with 2 , 4300K HID in my headlight. Apart from these, I also fitted 2 Yellow hella FF7000 and 2 , 35 W HID from motominds. They were extra, Just in case, the projector failed.

Long drive to kolkata Via Road
HID

Food:

Next comes food. As suggested by Souritra, we purchased lots of dry foods as we will be travelling in night. We cleaned all our water bottles to carry extra water during night journey. We also purchased a thermo flask  to carry tea.We finalized our D day . It was 15th Jan 2016. on the D day, Devopriya took all the control of the ground work.It gave me a chance to sleep for the entire day.At around 4 PM, I wake up and checked all the luggage.Made necessary changes and put inside the car.

Latest Update as of 2020- from my solo drive- You can carry foods, but these are optional. Throughout the journey, you will get lot more shops roadside, dhabas to get these items.
Long drive to kolkata Via Road

Starting:

At around 6 PM we started for this long drive. We headed towards TSPA and took ORR. We drove almost 50 KM via ORR and took the exit for Vijayawada. It was 7:30 PM by the watch. It was winter. Post 8 PM cars started to disappear soon. All trucks were giving us company. Since there was no much traffic, we travelled to Suryapet within 1 hour and 30 mins. We Stopped for snacks and tea break. The hotel name Food Court-7(Followed the alto guy )From Suryapet, we went straight to Vijayawada.

In between, we took two small breaks on the toll plazas. The teas at the junctions were tasty and the Hyderabad, Vijaywada highway was having lots of toilet facility.

From my 4 times up and down -few of them were clean and few of them were dirty. If you do not wish to go to one and it is not urgent you will get the next facility in the next 1 hour.

We reached Vijayawada at 11 PM. But due to the construction work of the road, we had to circle Vijayawada multiple times before we could reach PVP mall.

It was a mess, We had to travel 10 KM extra inside Vijayawada. Luckily, we got dinner at PVP mall. Popular KFC was still open for us. Probably, we were the last customer for the day. We grabbed quick mills and rested for sometimes.

Latest Update- The Vijayawada is clean as of 2020. They have done an excellent job to make a bypass. You can take the bypass to reach NH-5/16 directly.

We always prefer to visit PVP mall for our dinner. At 11:30 PM during our first journey, only a handful of shops were opened. Handy Biriyani and KFC were opened. We opted for KFC.

Chizza at KFC Vijayawada
Chizza at KFC Vijayawada

The journey from Hyderabad to Vijayawada was great. The roads were fine. It was an expressway having almost 400 rs INR toll. Just after crossing Vijayawada, we refilled our tank. Once we crossed Vijayawada, we met NH-5(Part of a golden quadrilateral ).

In case, you want to take the Vijayawada Bypass, you can take that. The great food junction after Vijayawada is Brew Buzz. I have given the map points here. The details are as follows:

  • Address- beside the model dairy factory, Nidamanuru, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh 521104
  • Contact Number- +919491055554
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During my latest solo ride, I had opted for dinner here. I must say it was great. I tried Chicken corn soup, Broccoli -chicken roasted and finally a cup of coffee. The Coffee was awesome as it was produced by their own firm.

 

Long drive to kolkata Via Road
on the way to Vizag

This was one of the best route available to us. Literally, we started gliding in NH5. After crossing Rajamundry, we stopped for a tea break. Tea and boiled eggs prepared by Devopriya. As it was winter, there was chilling effect. We somehow ended our snacks and hurriedly went inside of our car.

Long drive to kolkata Via Road
the chilling effect at 3 am

Devopriya turned on the heater. When we started again a dense fog engulf us. We flashed our additional yellow hella many times to see what’s coming in front. While I was driving Devopriya was keeping a close eye on the navigator system and was alarming if there was a turn, As the road was good and empty almost, I could manage to drive 120 KM per hour. By 4:30 am we reached Vizag. We stopped in a tea stall after crossing Vizag. It was chilling cold outside. We had to take two rounds of tea to keep ourselves warm and awake.

Vizag

The best city in Andhra Pradesh in terms of natural beauty.Even though we travelled via Vizag and stayed only overnight and roamed only Ramakrishna Beach. Both the times the scenic beauty of Vizag in the lap of Eastern Ghat was very nice.

This city was having crowd 24*7. During our first visit, we reached 4.30 am and we saw several people(Male & Female)were heading towards some factories. Before reaching Vizag we started encountering this traffic. The traffic continues even after Vizag till 6.30 am. This gave us confidence and we felt very happy seeing so many people.

All the time as we stayed R.K.Beach, we could not fight with waves and could not get drench. We were told to visit the country’s biggest port and the oldest shipyard. As we were fighting with times we could not cover the same. The humidity was high even in January.

During our second third and fourth visit, we stopped here. But the coolness of the port city gave us enough energy to visit nearby. Treeboo hotels are great to stay. They mostly do not have a kitchen facility. But all of them have free breakfast. If not APTDC hotels, you can certainly book them and stay for a day.

R.K.Beach was not for swimmers having a combination of soil, water, sand and bolder. The night was very nice. Lots of people were at the sea beach. There were gas balloons (fanus) in the sky. We visited the fish museum, on top of this museum, There was a nice coffee bar overlooking the sea and sea beach.

I liked this coffee shop so much, whenever I am around Vizag, I go there at least once. The street cuisine was hot and spicy. All could not touch much. However, we get a nice hotel having a nice breakfast and lunch option. We saw the submarine museum from outside as we had to travel another 15 hours to reach Kolkata.

Visakhapatnam is the city of destiny and jewel on the east coast. Great roadside hotels-By the way-Bengali food chain-Nimantran Sabba garden.

Long drive to kolkata Via Road
dawn at vizag
Long drive to kolkata Via Road
sunrise at vizag

coming back to our first journey, we did not stop in Vizag. We zoomed past sleepy fishermen village. The cocktail of sea, ghat road and chilka added a new flavour to our journey.

At 5:30 am we started again,we enjoyed a very rare sunrise moment after crossing the Vizag. Once again, after crossing Vizag the road was empty. We saw an HP petrol bunk while crossing Vizag and they surprisingly accepted credit card.

Long drive to kolkata Via Road
chilka lake from ghat
Entering at Gopalpur
Entering at Gopalpur

We refilled the oil tank once more. At around 8 am we crossed the border-AP-Orrisa border. After crossing the border, we stopped for breakfast, few eggs(left out and tea). Few curious eyes were watching us. Looked like a very unusual scene for them. Thermoflusk was doing his job nicely. The tea was still hot even after 16 hours. At around 9:45 am we started again for Gopalpur. Devopriya already had a chat with the Hotel guy and they confirmed the room was ready.

Gopalpur

We reached hotel Mar-maid at around 12 noon. We parked the car in the hotel. Check-in was pretty simple. The hotel although had a kitchen and cooking setup but was closed due to less number of visitors. The hotel guy was gentle enough to offer us lunch from outside. We ordered our lunch. Took our required bags and went to bed for deep sleep.

At around 2:30 Pm they served chicken curry, prawn curry and dal with rice. Gopalpur is famous for seafood, But the amount of food they served and the price they quoted was not matching with our expectation.

 

(Prawn curry was Rs450 per plate, Rice was Rs65 per plate and the Chicken curry was Rs350 per plate). We had no other choice at that point of time.At around 3:30 PM the we wake up and had our lunch. We took our bath and slept once again.At around 6:30 PM, we came to our balcony to watch the sea. But to our surprise, there was a huge gathering of locals on the sea beach. We got ready and went outside to visit the nearby sea beach. It was sankranthi , hence there was a celebration on the sea beach.

Morning tea after chilka
Morning tea after chilka

At around 7:30 PM we woke up fresh. We thought to go to the seaside for a walk. Hotel Mar maid was just opposite to seashore. When we went out we saw a large gathering of the crowd. While talking to locals, we came to know it was Sankranthi which was being celebrated. We enjoyed rice with spice popularly called jhal muri. Fresh fish fry, Chola (seeds). Later we found plenty of options for dinner. To our surprise it was cheap. It was rs 150 fish fry plate,rs 20 per plate of rice. Curd was free. The total bill was Rs440. We got a rs 40 discount as well. we understood, the hotel guy made some quick bucks. We roamed for around 1 hour. We came to the hotel and paid for all the bill. We had our dinner and hit the bed at around 11 PM.

Gopalpur in My-views(The sandy golden beach)::

Gopalpur was traditionally a nice and clean beach with different shades of blue seawater. Yes! I must say that the sunset was the best part of this travel. We enjoyed the sunset from our balcony with hot tea.(Served in our room).The evening was very much enjoyable with chirping birds, setting sun and the essence of a new flower. The whole sea beach was scenic and tranquil. To our understanding, this was the least explored beach on the east coast.
The beach was clean and people could walk across the beach for several hours. We went during Sankranthi time. We saw lots of entertainment options for different people of different ages(Horse riding, camel riding etc).
There were lots of hotels here in Gopalpur.

Gopalpur sea beach
Gopalpur sea beach

There were makeshift arrangements as well. Many were offering to pay guest facility. Most of the hotels were on the bank of the Bay of Bengal. The connecting road was diving them from the sea beach. Being a very remote area, there was not much offering like Puri or Vizag or as a tourist spot. But local vendors were capable enough to accommodate or provide foods to all. There were many items on the menu like- fish fry, fish curry, Chinese items, chicken items etc. The best part of these shops was that we could change the spices as per our need. But yes if you were travelling a non-festival time, post-sunset was not good to roam on the beach or the road. It was also not advisable to venture into sea post-sunset as there were no lifeguards, police patrolling available.

There was no toilet facilities or bathing facilities available on the beach. So it was always better to take a room in nearby hotels(you could book one after coming here, be prepared for hard bargaining). While privacy was a concern, a few KMs apart from the main beach cleanness was almost non-existent.
We had not taken bath here due to the time crunch. But seems like the sea bed was safe. The slope was gradual. Being shallow and sandy, one could enjoy swimming. As there were very fewer tourists and no lifeguards were available, I would suggest not to venture too much into the sea.

However, the waves were gentle and pleasant. The Bay of Bengal was a mixture of very high and very low tide. So it was better to take care of the length of the tide.
Coconut water was a must-have item in Gopalpur along with popular jhalmuri. We did not try other items as we needed to keep our stomach fit for the next leg of our journey. But there were lots of other items available like-Crab, prawn, motor chana, different teas etc.
In my views, Gopalpur could be visited throughout the year. The summer would be a little humid and hot. As we had visited during the winter,it was very cold.

Panorama of Gopalpur beach
Panorama of Gopalpur beach

Gopalpur to Kolkata- The Second part of the journey

The Alarm beeped at around 5 AM in the morning, we jumped out of the bed and started for the next day’s long drive. We were really quick and started at around 5:30 PM. Even though the sunset was beautiful, the sunrise was even better. At 5:40 we hit the main road NH-5.

We drove some km and we found the beautiful chilka Lake from top of a small ghat section. There were a lot of visitors busy clicking the sunrise. The road was a small ghat section. Every corner of the road gave us the natural beauty of the sunrise over chilka. Post crossing chilka , actual Orissa started.

Chilka Ghat
Chilka Ghat

The view of chilka from the car’s window was also awesome. When we entered a small ghat road the beauty became even more prominent.

Bengal and Orissa have almost the same taste, the same food habits. We felt that we were in our town. We stopped for a quick tea that boosted us for the next course of the journey. But we had to little careful here. All diversion and the broken road started. NH authority was trying hard to maintain the road. At around 11 AM we reached Bhubneswar and at 12 noon we hit Cuttack.

At Cuttack and Bhubneswar, you have many options for food near NH16.

  1. Super Mall – tea junction and food plaza
  2. Lots of Dhabas
  3. Mainland china at Bhubneswar
  4. Maharaja at Bhubneswar
Break at Bhubaneswar
Break at Bhubaneswar

Seeing a good roadside Dhaba we stopped for lunch. We resumed our journey at around 2:30 PM again. Btw, the food was super tasty. The road after Cuttack was almost empty, we could manage to maintain 100Km/hr most of the time. the road condition was great too. At around 3:30 Pm we reached the Bengal border.

Crossing the border was no mean an easy task. Lots of trucks were in the queue. We were told that they would move before midnight. We had to take the wrong route to cross the border. The police of both sides were kind enough to make our way to Bengal. Just after crossing the border and Orissa, we felt instantly, we were at home. Only 300KM to go. We stopped for a quick tea at the Jaleswar border.

Latest Update as of October 2020- The road condition from Baleswar to Jaleswar is bad. Lots of bad patches, diversions.

The road condition of Bengal was nice and smooth. We could drive 120KM/hr constantly till Andul. At around 6:30 PM we reached our home. A solid 1600Km drive came to an end. Till this point, my parent did only know we were coming via train and had to do a lot of break journey as we did not get a direct ticket. Seeing our car they were surprised. It was a mixed reaction from them. My mom said that she knew that I was not going to take such a huge risk to cross 4 states with connecting trains. Mom will be moms. You can not lie to your own mom!!!.

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However, it was a nice and pleasant journey with lots of memories. Special thanks to Sunil to provide road condition to Vizag, special thanks to Arindam to provide the road condition from Vizag to Kolkata, Based on them we did a 2+2=4 calculation. Last but not least our travel guru Souritra and Harish for fitting projectors, guide and long drive guidelines.

Kolkata to Hyderabad Return journey:

We had 3 different timing for our 4 times returns from Kolkata to Hyderabad. But every time we decided to stop at Vizag. The reason why we choose to stop at Vizag not anywhere else as the bad patch on the road existed only between Jaleswar to Baleswar. The Pareto analysis only showed that all bad patches we would be crossing on broad daylight. So we could reach Vizag easily.

The first time

Good morning at NH-16
Good morning at NH-16

Every time we do not maintain good timing, this time we maintained good timings. We were always on or before the time of the schedule. That put us always one step ahead. We started Santragachi at 5 am in morning and touched Kona highway in no time. After 15 minutes we touched NH5. Kona expressway and Nh-5 was very good with very good road. We drove straight towards kolaghat.

It was a cold winter morning hence no traffic. We reached Kolaghat within 45 minutes. Famous sher e punjab was yet to start their business. We thought to have our breakfast at Kharagpur instead.In another 1 hour, we reached Kharagpur. We had our tea and some snacks. At around 9 AM we crossed Bengal -Odisha border. We crossed Balasore,Markona and then Bhadrak. I was expecting some good hotels at Bhadrak but we could not find a suitable one. Seeing no other option, I had to drive to Bhubaneswar.

Sunset at chilka
Sunset at chilka

It was around 1:30 PM. We took our lunch. The hotel at Bhubneswar was quite nice and clean. We ordered a fish meal.  The food was very tasty. After finishing our lunch, we started our journey again. After crossing Bhubneswar, till Ganjam, the road was almost empty with one or trucks(very slowly munching miles). At around 5 PM we reached Brahmapur.

As it was only 5 PM, we decided to go ahead. Our plan was to stop at the popular area when we would feel that we needed rest. But Just after crossing Icchapuram, the road till Srikakulam was almost empty.

Mummy Dhaba at Khurda
Mummy Dhaba at Khurda

As we experienced, while going, this side of Andhra Pradesh did not have any issue during travelling at night. So we drove till Vizag. We reached Vizag at 9 PM. We did not book any sea view hotel. It was just near to the NH5. The journey from Kolkata to Vizag was simply breathtaking with some bad patches in Odisha.

Vizag was a beautiful city. This beautiful city gave us a piece of good news that Saradindu and Sutapa blessed with a baby boy. It was truly a piece of excellent news. We hurriedly ordered dinner for us. We took a hot water shower to reduce the tiredness. Once our dinner was served, we quickly ate all and hugged the bed as we were very tired.

The day-2 Vizag to Hyderabad

The next day we woke up at around 10 AM had our breakfast. We roamed this city a little bit and touched the sea. We got dinner in a nearby hotel and slept to make ourselves ready for the last leg of the journey. At 7:30 PM we woke up again and started preparing for a drive. At 8:30 PM we started again.

Just after crossing, Vizag we realized that we were hungry. We got a CCD attached to an HP diesel bunk. We took a coffee and a sandwich(chicken). At around 9:20 PM we started our journey via NH-5. At 9:40 PM we finally bid adieu Vizag. The road became very active during the night with lots of dhabas. They were fully operational. We stopped at a family Dhaba for dinner. We also refilled our tea flask and ended up buying half a dozen boiled eggs for our journey.

Night at Vizag
Night at Vizag

Once we restarted our journey, we never felt that we were alone, Lot of Volvo buses, private cars, govt buses were coming from Vizag to different cities. We zoomed past Rajamundry and after crossing Rajamundry, we stopped for a quick tea break. Our next break was at Tuni at around 3 AM. It was very cold outside of the car. We took tea and a boiled egg. At 3:30 AM we started for Vijayawada.

Sunrise on Vijayawada Hyderabad Expressway
Sunrise on Vijayawada Hyderabad Expressway

At 7 AM in the morning, we crossed Kanaka Durga temple. On this cold morning, Vijayawada offered us a traffic-free bypass from NH5 to Hyderabad Vijayawada expressway. After crossing kondapally fort, we stopped for a tea break. But as I was very tired, I slept for a couple of hours. This power nap gave us fresh energy to start our journey again.

The second time

This time we had a different plan. And we were two families. Sourav and Madhurima joined us on the return journey. They started from Durgapur in the morning and stopped near Kona junction to join us. My sister got married to Belda. We had a plan to visit her house as well. We started at 12 noon met Sourav and Madhurima at 1 PM and reached Belda at 6 PM. We spent a great time at my sister’s place for 2 hours and started again at 8:30 PM.

The night drive was a breeze with very fewer vehicles on the road. We had to encounter the diversions and bad patches till Cuttak. we stopped for dinner at Cuttak(Around 12:30 AM). After Bhubneswar, the driving became very easy under the HID.

It took  8 hours to reach Vizag. The up line was completely damaged, having lots of bad patches, diversions. The bumpers were too high for Figo. Almost 8-10 time my underbody touched the bumpers.

Vizag RK Beach
Vizag RK Beach

We rested for the whole day and at around 7 PM we started our journey again. We were fresh and up for the next course of action. This time the road was very bad. A lot many potholes, diversions actually slowed us. There were 4 rounds of thunderstorms too. We lost almost 3-4 hours in this process. We drove the whole night and could manage to reach Vijaywada in the early morning(6 AM). We stopped for tea and breakfast in a roadside Dhaba.

Goodmorning at Tuni
Goodmorning at Tuni

We took ample rest here and started again at 8 AM. The Vijayawada was full of traffic and we managed to cross Vijayawada at 10 AM. Just after crossing the Vijayawada, we started to feel the hunger again. We stopped at a great restaurant for tiffin. The tandoori chai was beautiful and mesmerizing. The rest of the journey was regular. We reached Hyderabad home at 3 PM.

 

Some memories, incident or news

Attempt to Car hijack

Let me tell you, in my 8 years of driving experience into NH-16, I never encountered this issue. I always got Orissa guys as very helpful. Recently Jajpur car hijack came into the picture. It is now available on youtube. You can run into the same issue in any part of our country like this. See the video and react accordingly.

Highway- Highspeed- Highbeam is must

It was an experience during our first journey. We were cruising on 90+ on NH-16. As there were lots of bikes coming from the opposite direction, I was keeping my lights in the low beam so that the bikers can see the roads better. I was not sure why they were coming in the opposite direction. It was in Orissa. Possibly this question should have stuck to mind. But as it was our first night drive, we could not understand.

In a certain part of the road, the bikers disappeared. I could not see anybody. hurriedly, I put my high beams on. To my surprise, within 500 meters there was an under-construction pillar of the bridge. I got panicked and hurriedly pushed my brakes. The ABS activated, the car skidded a bit but managed to stop at a distance of 150 meters from the piller. It was a great escape. We thanked God, came back to the point where the bikers disappeared. Noticed the diversion signal. As I was on a low beam and the signal board was a little high, we missed it.

While coming back, we met a bunch of young local Oriya guys on bikes, who understood that we were in danger were chasing us to tell us that it was a dead end. One of them offered us drinking water. We thanked them and proceed further. Since then I followed this rule- on the highway, if I am at high speed I always put high beams.

Do not Overtake unnecessarily

This was another incident on our second journey. This time I was a little confident about our journey, car, speed etc. It happened after crossing the AP- Orissa border in 2015. There was a local small car that was always trying to overtake me. The healthy competition went on for around 50kms. Both the car was running at a speed of 80 to 90Kms/hour.

At one part, my wife pulled the chain. She insisted me to allow the small car to pass. As we were driving over 12 hours, she thought I might not be in a position to continue the race. I was not also in the mood to race. I let the car went past me. The driver had a great smile and they zoom past us.

At this point, I maintained the same speed of 80KM/hour. I saw that this car stated a race with another bolero. Even though I was not part of the race, it was happening in front of us. This drag race continued for around 10 KMs. At one point this small car tried to overtake the Bolero from the left side. To do that it went too much left and hit a lorry which was stopped on the left side of the road near a dhaba.

We stopped the car wanted to help. The locals also rushed to the spot. There were 2-3 ladies and a small kid present in the car. The driver breathed his last there itself. The locals were very kind to arrange the ambulance. They sent all of them to the hospital. They also suggested that we should not fall into this as we might be questioned by the police. We left the place. We were in deep sorrow as the person we saw half an hour ago happily crossing us, was no more when we reached them.

Machine and Human power

This was another incident that happened during our second return journey. Just when we reached the Dhaba in Andhra Pradesh in the morning, I had to rush to the toilet. To my surprise, before me, there were two little girls waiting outside of the toilet. The dhaba was having only one toilet for both ladies and gents. I was third on the queue. Their mother came to us and was kind enough to allow me to use it before them.

They were talking in Bengali. Within no time, we started chatting with them. They were four and travelling from Malda to Bangalore. Such a huge distance. I was curious to know how they had managed such a long distance. The father explained how they had transformed the Tata Safari to a mini home. They removed half of the second-row seats and completely removed the third-row seats. Then they arranged a nice bed inside the large safari. At times when one of them feeling drowsy, they can sleep there for hours.

When we started again, they stopped for some more times. I thought maybe the person was tired. But around half an hour later I found the safari honking against me to get the right side road clearance. He wanted to overtake me. I gave them the side. I saw that the father and girl duo ware shaking hands to us and posing a victory sign.

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Oh, wait, if the father was in the co-driver seat, then who is driving? That shy lady in a saree? My male ego pumped up. I can not be defeated by a lady. I began to accelerate. Not sure what happened to my fellow driver Sourav. He was not in this race. He began to fade away from my rear looking class. But this machine and driver were way too much skilful and having lots of power. My machine could not compete with them at any cost.

Keeping my ego aside, I had to accept the defeat. Later half an hour later Sourav joined me. He said that he understood the issue but he knew I could not win. We laughed, smoked and started again.

Fog,Mist,ghost drive

On the Hyderabad Vijayawada highway and several parts of Andhra Pradesh, orrisa and West Bengal you will encounter fog, mist. They will reduce your visibility to few meters to zero. We heard it from several travellers including souritra. During our first journey, we experienced it. We got little fog near Suryapet junction. We tackeled it nicely. But around 2:30AM when we were crossing Rajahmundry, we got a bigger one. My wife just closed her eyes for sometimes to get rest. At that point we entered into this stretch.

Seeing this , I had to start wiper at full speed. Our wipers were running heavily to reduce the fog from the glass. Hearing the sound, she opened her eyes, it was a different world. She could harly see anything infront of us. As per her “It was a ghosty situation just like we see in cinema before a ghost appear. I was looking for the ghost to dash our car or something unusal to happen”.

But fortunately it did not happen to us. We switched of the main HIDs and reduced speed to 20KM/hour. We were crusing on your low beam and yellow fog lamp. After 10 minutes of travel the fog disappeared.

More Information: Thank you Jacob Jose for this information

JOSE, HYDERABAD-DARJEELING
LEGEND
By PassBPOffTurn off <NHx>
Bharat Petroleum PPBPCLLCRail Level Crossing
Credit CardCCLTOTurn LEFT
Check PostCPNHNational Highway <x>
Double RoadDRPPPetrol Pump
2-lane Road2L24H PP24 hour Petrol Pump
FlyoverFORRoad to the Right goes to <Place><x> kms
Hindustan Petroleum PPHPCLRelReliance PP
Indian Oil PPIOCRTOTurn RIGHT
Left Road goes to <Place><x> kmsLSStraight Road goes to <Place><x> kms
Mahindra Service CentreM&M ASCSBIState Bank of India
KmsCumKmsRemarks
1Hyderabad HiTech City/Gachibowli
2Shamsabad2222Airport, NH9,L-Hyderabad,R-Bangalore,
S-Vijaywada
33860RTO, NH9 towards Vijaywada
4363Ramoji Film City
51275
6Chottuppal1590
7Chityal25115
8Narketpalli9124
9Nakrekal28152
10Suriapet24176
11Kodad44220
12Nandigama44264
13Kanchikachrela20284
14Vijayawada-Prakasam barrage29313
15Vijayawada5318NH5 towards Eluru,R-Guntur
16Vijaywada318Hotel Garuda (next to Taj), 0866-2499991,
2499992,2499993, MG Road
17Vijaywada Benz Junction1319
18Nidamanuru11330
19Vijayawada Airport6336
20Ganavaram3339
21Toll8347
22Hanuman Junction14361
23Toll8369
24Eluru BP1370R-Eluru
2514384R-Eluru
26Eluru BP3387R-Eluru
2712399L-Kovvur 23
2822421R-Bhimavaram 34
29Tadapalligudem BP21442R-Tadapalligudem 6,Bhimavaram 36
30Tanuku16458
31Toll2460
3214474R-Narasapur
33River Vashishti Bridge2476
34Ravalapalem10486R-Amalapuram 36
35River Gautami Bridge3489
3619508R-Kakinada
37Rajahmundry BP12520L-Rajahmundry/Hotels/APTDC
38Toll53573
39Kattipudi8581R-Kakinada
40Annavaram BP14595L-Annavaram Satyanarayana Temple/
Hotels
41Tuni17612
42Toll13625
43Yellamanchali30655
44Anakapalle BP27682L-Anakapalle/Hotel Vijay Residency,(891)-2560828/9490446979
45Toll14696
46Vizag Steel Plant1697
47Gajuwaka5702
48Vizag Port4706
49Vizag Airport3709
50Vizag14723R-Vizag/Hotels/APTDC Vizag Beach, 0891 2562333, 2788824,9705173100
51Vizag723APTDC Rushikonda, 0891-2788826/9848813581
52Vizag723APTDC Rushikonda, 0891-2788826/9848813581 ,NH5
53Toll18741
54Ranasatalam27768
55Toll14782
56Srikakulam BP17799
57Tekkali BP52851
58Toll21872
59Ichchapuram BP59931
60AP CP4935
61OR CP3938
622940BPCL Ghar
63Behrampur BP21961R-Gopalpur-on-sea 8, L-Gopalpur-8/OTDC (0680) 2243931 to 2343931
64Ganjam25986
65441030R-Chilka Lake, OTDC Panth Nivas 06756-227488/227388, Chilka Lake
66Bhalugaon71037
67Bhubaneswar951132LTO,R-Puri 60
68River Mahanadi Bridge221154
69Cuttack BP51159
70Toll71166
71Chandikoli271193
72Toll291222
73Jajpur31225
74351260Hotel Dixit Resort,06784 – 240174
75Bhadrak71267
76131280Hotel
77Soro161296
78151311BPCL Ghar
79141325Hotel Staff
80Baleshwar BP11326Many other hotels inside town
81FO101336Off NH5, Take NH60 straight to Jaleswar,L-NH5 to Baripada
82Jaleshwar BP511387
83Sonakonia51392
84OR/WB Border1392
85Dantam BP171409
86Belda BP91418
87Toll261444
88Kharagpur BP181462RTO,Off NH60, NH6 towards Kolkata
89Toll201482Kona Expressway
90Debra41486
91341520R-Haldia
92Kolaghat Bridge31523Sher-e-Punjab Dhaba
93Ulberia231546
94Toll161562
95Motel Midway, Dhulagori11563RHS
96Dhulagori Logistics Centre1563
97Calcutta BP91572TURN RIGHT to enter Calcutta city
98Calcutta Vidyasagar Setu10
99South Calcutta Park Circus7
100Calcutta Vidya Sagar Setu7
101Toll2
1028RTO,FO,L-NH6, Durgapur Expressway
10381580FO,R-Calcutta via Bally Bridge
104Toll/Dankuni71587
105Toll/Palsit631650
106Bardhaman BP161666R-Bardhaman
107531719DR ends
108Panagarh21721
109Darjeeling More21723RTO, Off NH2, S-Durgapur, Siuri Road
110Illam Bazaar231746
111Dubrajpur291775
112NTPC Bakreshwar11776
11391785Hotel Hindustan
114LC101795
115Siuri BP21797
116Dam-Bridge51802
117Shoshwat Bazaar81810No PP
118Deucha Bridge71817
119Rampur hat111828
120?191847
121River Brahmani Bridge121859
122Nalhati11860
12321862Bad roads
124Moregram201882LTO, NH34, No facilities,R-Calcutta, no village
12541886PP
126Umarpur131899Hotel Sonar Bangla
127Farakka481947
128Farakka Barrage21949
129271976Hotel Green View
130Malda71983Lots of Hotels
131River Hoogly Bridge21985
13251990Hotel Golden Park
133Gazole202010
134Raiganj BP522062
135Dalkola472109DR begins, NH31
136BIHAR BORDER312140
137Kishanganj2140
138WEST BENGAL BORDER2140
139Ratanpur2140
140Gaisal2140
141Islampur302170
142362206Miramar Resort
143142220R-Jalpaiguri,NH31
144Bagdogra122232R-Bagdogara Airport
145Siliguri132245LTO towards Darjeeling
146Sukna112256
147Tindharia162272
148Gayabhari82280
149Mahanadi52285
150Kurseong82293
151Tung82301
152Sonada82309
153Rangbull62315
154Ghoom32318
155Darjeeling52323

I trust HP but seems like Reliance petrol bunks are better in terms of space, facilities and rates. They are 1 rupees cheaper than other bunks. Some of the oil stations are having snacks facilities.

Great Food Stalls:

  • Punjabi Dhaba – Mummy Dhaba Khudda- Location
  • Super Mall at Bhubneswar Best for snacks and a cup of coffee- Location
  • Excellent toll plaza to rest and snacks- Srikakulam- Location
  • Food stall at WB- Orissa Border- Location
  • Hotel Greenzone Bhubneswar- Location

Hotel and Stay

  • Treebo Vijayawada and Vizag- Location
  • Hotel Garuda at Vijayawada
  • ITC Welcome Grand Bay-Vizag
  • Hotel Hindusthan International – Bhubneswar
  • OTDC- Barkul/Rambha
  • Treeboo Trend Sea- Vizag

Few Travel logs to follow:

Toilets-

  • Almost all the toll plazas and hotels in Telengana to Vijayawada have western and Indian toilets. They are well maintained too. Few unfortunates are always there. But you will get through the road.
  • After Vijayawada the next stop is Brew Breeze- they have a western clean toilet facility.
  • Tadepalligudem- 80% indian and 20% western
  • Rajamundry- Mixed depends on the hotel
  • Tuni- Mostly Indian and not that clean.
  • Srikakulam- Mostly Indian and not that clean.
  • Ganjam to Bhubnseswar- Mostly Indian
  • Bhubaneswar, Cuttak Khurdaroad- Mixed depends on the hotel
  • Baleswar-Jaleswar- WB Border- Mixed depends on the hotel
  • Belda- No toilet facility
  • Kolaghat- Mixed depends on the hotel
  • Andul, Kona,Santragachi-Mostly Indian and not that clean.

Cost Details:

Diesel Cost: Single side:

  • 1st time-Diesel- Rs 4000
  • 2nd time-Diesel- Rs 4400
  • 3rd time-Diesel- Rs 4750
  • 4th time-Diesel- Rs 6750

Toll Cost

  • Toll Cost: -Rs 1750 all 3 times
  • Toll Cost: -Rs 2250 (2020 oct)

Hotel Cost:

  • 1st  time -Rs 1700 at Gopalpur
  • 2nd time – Rs 4500 at Vizag
  • 3rd time – Rs 1500 at Vizag
  • 4th time- Rs 2700 at Vizag

Car used:
Ford Figo

Is there any police checking or petrol?

Yes, In boarders you may get several checking including

  • Corona negative report
  • Enquery about carrying cash or liquire
  • Are you travelling for voting porpose or not.
  • Is you vehichle available for Election purpose[vehicle seizure]?
  • Regular police checking.

Throughout the journey you will get support of NHAI authority/police petroling support in case of emergency or in some sort of need.

Why in car?

You can bring your car to kolkata or travel Kolkata from Hyderabad or vice versa only if the below conditions satisfy:

  1. Incase if you have the passion to drive down so long.
  2. You are coming to avaoid Airport route.
  3. Relatively safer in pandemic situation.
  4. Coming for at least two weeks and want to travel kolkata or West Bengal by car.

The halts

  • This is very tricky. If you are desparate driver and you have similar mindset co driver or wife, you can drive non stop and take power nap inside car. During my car driver visit I have met such couples.
  • If you are having a plan  to drive 80% and want to stay at the comfort of hotel. You can cover this in 2 days. You need to be an expert in driving. You need to have adequite patients for driving.
  • In case you have kids and you want 50% travel in a day, you need divide the journey by 3 or 4 equal parts. The major cities on the route have beautiful facilities. So major halts can  be Vijayawada, Rajahmundry,Vizag,Berhampur[Gopalpur], Bubneswar, Kolkaghat while coming from hyderabad to kolkata and Bhubneswar[Puri], Berhampur[Gopalpur],Barkul, Srikakulam, Vizag, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada while travelling from Kolkata to hyderabad.

Overall Road condition[Updated]

  • Hyderabad to Vijawada- Excellant
  • Vijayawada- Eluru-NH16 is getting wider, expect many diversions
  • Eluru- Rajamundry- Vizag- Some bad patched but overall great road
  • Vizag- Srikakulam- Chilka- Excellant roag
  • Chilka- Bhubneswar- NH16 is getting wider, expect many diversions
  • Bhubneswar- Baleswar- Jaleswar- WB Border-NH16 is getting wider, expect many diversions
  • Belda-Kharagpur- Andul- Santragachi- Excellant

Share and Enjoy !

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