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.
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:
- 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.
- Depending on the comfort level we can start the journey. but he suggested starting at evening 6 from Hyderabad.
- 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.
- 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
- never ever go near the long carriers or lorries without a proper hand or light signal.
- follow hand or light signal religiously.
- 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?
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:
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
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.
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.
- we started early morning
- it started in the afternoon
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Super Mall – tea junction and food plaza
- Lots of Dhabas
- Mainland china at Bhubneswar
- Maharaja at Bhubneswar
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!!!.
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 Pass BP Off Turn off <NHx> Bharat Petroleum PP BPCL LC Rail Level Crossing Credit Card CC LTO Turn LEFT Check Post CP NH National Highway <x> Double Road DR PP Petrol Pump 2-lane Road 2L 24H PP 24 hour Petrol Pump Flyover FO R Road to the Right goes to <Place><x> kms Hindustan Petroleum PP HPCL Rel Reliance PP Indian Oil PP IOC RTO Turn RIGHT Left Road goes to <Place><x> kms L S Straight Road goes to <Place><x> kms Mahindra Service Centre M&M ASC SBI State Bank of India Kms CumKms Remarks 1 Hyderabad HiTech City/Gachibowli 2 Shamsabad 22 22 Airport, NH9,L-Hyderabad,R-Bangalore,
3 38 60 RTO, NH9 towards Vijaywada 4 3 63 Ramoji Film City 5 12 75 6 Chottuppal 15 90 7 Chityal 25 115 8 Narketpalli 9 124 9 Nakrekal 28 152 10 Suriapet 24 176 11 Kodad 44 220 12 Nandigama 44 264 13 Kanchikachrela 20 284 14 Vijayawada-Prakasam barrage 29 313 15 Vijayawada 5 318 NH5 towards Eluru,R-Guntur 16 Vijaywada 318 Hotel Garuda (next to Taj), 0866-2499991,
2499992,2499993, MG Road
17 Vijaywada Benz Junction 1 319 18 Nidamanuru 11 330 19 Vijayawada Airport 6 336 20 Ganavaram 3 339 21 Toll 8 347 22 Hanuman Junction 14 361 23 Toll 8 369 24 Eluru BP 1 370 R-Eluru 25 14 384 R-Eluru 26 Eluru BP 3 387 R-Eluru 27 12 399 L-Kovvur 23 28 22 421 R-Bhimavaram 34 29 Tadapalligudem BP 21 442 R-Tadapalligudem 6,Bhimavaram 36 30 Tanuku 16 458 31 Toll 2 460 32 14 474 R-Narasapur 33 River Vashishti Bridge 2 476 34 Ravalapalem 10 486 R-Amalapuram 36 35 River Gautami Bridge 3 489 36 19 508 R-Kakinada 37 Rajahmundry BP 12 520 L-Rajahmundry/Hotels/APTDC 38 Toll 53 573 39 Kattipudi 8 581 R-Kakinada 40 Annavaram BP 14 595 L-Annavaram Satyanarayana Temple/
41 Tuni 17 612 42 Toll 13 625 43 Yellamanchali 30 655 44 Anakapalle BP 27 682 L-Anakapalle/Hotel Vijay Residency,(891)-2560828/9490446979 45 Toll 14 696 46 Vizag Steel Plant 1 697 47 Gajuwaka 5 702 48 Vizag Port 4 706 49 Vizag Airport 3 709 50 Vizag 14 723 R-Vizag/Hotels/APTDC Vizag Beach, 0891 2562333, 2788824,9705173100 51 Vizag 723 APTDC Rushikonda, 0891-2788826/9848813581 52 Vizag 723 APTDC Rushikonda, 0891-2788826/9848813581 ,NH5 53 Toll 18 741 54 Ranasatalam 27 768 55 Toll 14 782 56 Srikakulam BP 17 799 57 Tekkali BP 52 851 58 Toll 21 872 59 Ichchapuram BP 59 931 60 AP CP 4 935 61 OR CP 3 938 62 2 940 BPCL Ghar 63 Behrampur BP 21 961 R-Gopalpur-on-sea 8, L-Gopalpur-8/OTDC (0680) 2243931 to 2343931 64 Ganjam 25 986 65 44 1030 R-Chilka Lake, OTDC Panth Nivas 06756-227488/227388, Chilka Lake 66 Bhalugaon 7 1037 67 Bhubaneswar 95 1132 LTO,R-Puri 60 68 River Mahanadi Bridge 22 1154 69 Cuttack BP 5 1159 70 Toll 7 1166 71 Chandikoli 27 1193 72 Toll 29 1222 73 Jajpur 3 1225 74 35 1260 Hotel Dixit Resort,06784 – 240174 75 Bhadrak 7 1267 76 13 1280 Hotel 77 Soro 16 1296 78 15 1311 BPCL Ghar 79 14 1325 Hotel Staff 80 Baleshwar BP 1 1326 Many other hotels inside town 81 FO 10 1336 Off NH5, Take NH60 straight to Jaleswar,L-NH5 to Baripada 82 Jaleshwar BP 51 1387 83 Sonakonia 5 1392 84 OR/WB Border 1392 85 Dantam BP 17 1409 86 Belda BP 9 1418 87 Toll 26 1444 88 Kharagpur BP 18 1462 RTO,Off NH60, NH6 towards Kolkata 89 Toll 20 1482 Kona Expressway 90 Debra 4 1486 91 34 1520 R-Haldia 92 Kolaghat Bridge 3 1523 Sher-e-Punjab Dhaba 93 Ulberia 23 1546 94 Toll 16 1562 95 Motel Midway, Dhulagori 1 1563 RHS 96 Dhulagori Logistics Centre 1563 97 Calcutta BP 9 1572 TURN RIGHT to enter Calcutta city 98 Calcutta Vidyasagar Setu 10 99 South Calcutta Park Circus 7 100 Calcutta Vidya Sagar Setu 7 101 Toll 2 102 8 RTO,FO,L-NH6, Durgapur Expressway 103 8 1580 FO,R-Calcutta via Bally Bridge 104 Toll/Dankuni 7 1587 105 Toll/Palsit 63 1650 106 Bardhaman BP 16 1666 R-Bardhaman 107 53 1719 DR ends 108 Panagarh 2 1721 109 Darjeeling More 2 1723 RTO, Off NH2, S-Durgapur, Siuri Road 110 Illam Bazaar 23 1746 111 Dubrajpur 29 1775 112 NTPC Bakreshwar 1 1776 113 9 1785 Hotel Hindustan 114 LC 10 1795 115 Siuri BP 2 1797 116 Dam-Bridge 5 1802 117 Shoshwat Bazaar 8 1810 No PP 118 Deucha Bridge 7 1817 119 Rampur hat 11 1828 120 ? 19 1847 121 River Brahmani Bridge 12 1859 122 Nalhati 1 1860 123 2 1862 Bad roads 124 Moregram 20 1882 LTO, NH34, No facilities,R-Calcutta, no village 125 4 1886 PP 126 Umarpur 13 1899 Hotel Sonar Bangla 127 Farakka 48 1947 128 Farakka Barrage 2 1949 129 27 1976 Hotel Green View 130 Malda 7 1983 Lots of Hotels 131 River Hoogly Bridge 2 1985 132 5 1990 Hotel Golden Park 133 Gazole 20 2010 134 Raiganj BP 52 2062 135 Dalkola 47 2109 DR begins, NH31 136 BIHAR BORDER 31 2140 137 Kishanganj 2140 138 WEST BENGAL BORDER 2140 139 Ratanpur 2140 140 Gaisal 2140 141 Islampur 30 2170 142 36 2206 Miramar Resort 143 14 2220 R-Jalpaiguri,NH31 144 Bagdogra 12 2232 R-Bagdogara Airport 145 Siliguri 13 2245 LTO towards Darjeeling 146 Sukna 11 2256 147 Tindharia 16 2272 148 Gayabhari 8 2280 149 Mahanadi 5 2285 150 Kurseong 8 2293 151 Tung 8 2301 152 Sonada 8 2309 153 Rangbull 6 2315 154 Ghoom 3 2318 155 Darjeeling 5 2323
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:
- Hyderabad to Kolkata with wife, and 1.5-year son
- Hyderabad to Kolkata in a Maruti Alto
- Travelogue of Kolkata to Hyderabad in a Baleno
- Alternate route from Hyderabad to Kolkata
- 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.
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: -Rs 1750 all 3 times
- Toll Cost: -Rs 2250 (2020 oct)
- 1st time -Rs 1700 at Gopalpur
- 2nd time – Rs 4500 at Vizag
- 3rd time – Rs 1500 at Vizag
- 4th time- Rs 2700 at Vizag
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:
- Incase if you have the passion to drive down so long.
- You are coming to avaoid Airport route.
- Relatively safer in pandemic situation.
- Coming for at least two weeks and want to travel kolkata or West Bengal by car.
- 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