Table of contents for Delhi - Goa - Delhi Road Trip
- Delhi – Goa – Delhi Road Trip (A Driving Marathon) – Part 1
Background: This plan also came into existence during discussions with Nandan. We met one evening after his road trip to his native place (Delhi – Patna – Delhi) and were discussing longer trips when the idea of Delhi-Goa came up. Nothing much was discussed at that time but the idea got registered in my mind.
I did some research and presented an itinerary few days later to Nandan and rest of the gang. I was trying to utilize the holiday, 15th of August 2008 which was a Friday. It was an 11 day trip with 6 off days required. The dates were to be from 9th of August to 19th of August. It was a big trip, no doubt and it is generally difficult to plan 6 off days together with 4-5 working people so again it was only me and my better half who could plan this at the end.
The two of us left for Goa on August 9th early morning from Noida.
We planned to complete Delhi to Mumbai in 3 days and Mumbai to Goa in one day. Following was the itinerary:
Day -1 : Delhi – Udaipur
Day -2 : Udaipur – Vadodara
Day -3 : Vadodara – Panvel (near Mumbai)
Day -4 : Panvel – Goa
Day -5,6 : Stay at Goa
Day -7 : Goa – Pune
Day -8 : Pune – Vadodara
Day -9 : Stay at Vadodara
Day -10 : Vadodara – Jaipur
Day -11 : Jaipur – Delhi
You see that Vadodara is very active stop on both sides of trip because my elder brother stays there. We kept one day as buffer and finally spent it at Vadodara on return journey.
Most of the time we were on road so covering the entire journey in one post will become monotonous and humongous. I will try to break the journey into three parts:
1. Delhi to Vadodara
2. Vadodara to Goa
3. Back from Goa to Delhi
Day 1 : Delhi – Udaipur
Delhi – Jaipur – Kishangarh – Bhilwara – Chittaurgarh – Udaipur
We started at 5 am as we were in Noida and it takes some time to reach NH-8 from there. It was beginning of August, “the” monsoon season in North India. The weather was OK though I was little worried about it as the sky was cloudy but it was not raining. We reached NH-8 in 40 minutes as roads were clean in morning and by dawn we were somewhere near Manesar after Gurgaon. Road was good and surroundings were very green as it had rained couple of days back.
At around 100Kms from Delhi, we had an accident. Not a big one, but could have been if there were some other vehicle behind us on the highway. We were at about 100 kmph and suddenly from the divider, two dogs came running to cross the road right in front of our car. I could not see them coming as the divider was covered with green bushes/grass due to the rainy season. I somehow managed to not hit the first one but when second one appeared, I was too close to the dog to avoid collision. The dog just disappeared again in fields at the left side of the road, so do not know what happened to him. We were safe in the car, the front bumper got damaged but not too badly. We pulled over and calmed down, checked the car and continued our journey.
Entering Jaipur Bypass
Road from Delhi to Jaipur is very well known for its good surface quality and in morning you can drive little more relaxed. Around 9 am we took Jaipur bypass and few minutes later took our first break. It was beautiful around with pleasant weather. We had tea and some sandwiches as our breakfast which we were carrying from home. We usually carry our breakfast as it saves time and gives us an opportunity to stopover wherever we want. Normally we carry hot water in a flask, sugar, milk sachets, tea bags, coffee sachets for instant tea/coffee and sandwichs/cakes/biscuits etc for breakfast.
break for breakfast
After 15 minutes we were back on the road. We were quite familiar with this route because of last year’s Vadodara trip . Road from Jaipur to Kishangarh is awesome. Generally it is 6 lane but while crossing cities and towns turns into 4 lane flyovers. You can easily cover this stretch in around 1 hr, also depends on your interest in high speed driving :-). My wife & I controlled my self to not exceed 110km/hr.
On Kishangarh you get 2 options for Udaipur, via Ajmer (NH-8) and via Bhilwara (NH-79) .I had this impression that NH-8 should be better than NH-79 probably because of Delhi-Jaipur (NH-8) experience. But NH-8 between Kishangarh and Udaipur was not upto my expectations in my last trip. The road is in good condition but because of trucks, petty traffic, no divider and hilly stretches, you need to struggle if you want to speed up to reach Udaipur before dark. For more details on this route, you can go through my earlier journey’s details at Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi Road Trip (Part-1).
This time we decided to take NH-79 instead of NH-8 to reach Udaipur quickly. This route is a little longer but road condition is much better. This stretch is also part of Golden Quadrilateral.
We were progressing at a good pace and were on track on our plan to reach Udaipur before dark. We took another break near Bhilwara for lunch. It was Bhilwara Midway and we had satisfactory meal there. After having a cup of tea post lunch, we moved on.
It was around 2 pm and 200Kms were left for the day. I was pretty comfortable at that time because around 4.5 hours were in hand before dark but as soon as we reached Chittaurgarh we faced a jam. Chittaurgarh does not have by-pass yet, work is in progress for the same. We lost around half hour there and then after crossing the city were again on a better road.
Chittaurgarh to Udaipur is around 120 Kms and it took us around 1 hr to reach Udaipur bypass & from there we spent some extra time in city to reach our hotel. We checked in around 5:15 pm. I was happy as we reached well before dark covering more than 700kms from Delhi.
We spent some time at hotel. Refreshed ourselves, had tea and some snacks there. After some time we left for lake which was not very clean because of rainy season. Finally we went for dinner at Garden Restaurant where we had all our meals in the last trip. They offer a very good quality thali at Rs 99. Try it if you get a chance to go there sometime.
Day 1 was a success and every thing was on track in our Mega trip. We were more than 700Kms from home and lot more had to be to covered in the next few days to reach Goa.
Day 2 : Udaipur – Vadodara
Udaipur – HimmatNagar – Vadodara
According to plan, this day’s drive was comparatively easy. We had to cover around 350 kms to reach Vadodara. Our estimate was to reach at my brother’s place around noon but some times things don’t happen the way we plan. Because of easier day we left Udaipur little later than usual i.e around 6:30 am. First few kilometers were covered very quickly as it was still early morning but after driving for 70-75 kms from Udaipur we had to stop.
NH-8 was blocked by some school students. We, along with hundreds of people had to stop. Initially we thought that this would get cleared in sometime but soon we realized that this is going to take longer than we were expecting.
NH-8 blocked by school students
According to the locals, students were very upset because of poor hostel conditions & classes and were blocking the road because they wanted to talk to the District Magistrate. It took around 2 hrs to resolve this whole scenario and then another 15-20 minutes to come out of the jam created due to the 2hr road blockage on both sides.
Back again on the road it felt as if we’d just started as only 70-80 kms had been covered since morning. Soon we crossed Rajasthan and entered Gujarat. Roads are quite good and straight in Gujarat so we took advantage of it and drove faster.
The road from Udaipur to Vadodara is very well maintained in both the states, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Road is more scenic on Rajasthan side but tar become more black once you enter in Gujarat. Roads in Gujarat are straight so you can drive little fast but at the same times it becomes boring as well.
As we’d already lost more than 2 hrs in the jam and hadn’t had any breakfast this morning, we took an early lunch break. We had our lunch at some place 50 kms before Ahmedabad.
Finally we entered Vadodara around 3 pm and reached my brother’s place in another 1/2 hr. Vadodra feels like home as i’ve been visiting my brother since past 5 years. We were meeting after a long time so we all spent some time together and had a relaxed evening. I got my car checked from the local service station.
I was little worried about the next day because till this point we had information on roads and stoppages because of our last trip. But beyond this point, we were getting into an unknown territory.
We did our homework by discussing some routes for getting out of the city quickly and entering the Mumbai road (NH 8) next morning and then went off to sleep.
Day 2 was complete. We were anxious, but not aware that the toughest day of the trip was about to start. Leaving here for now, rest of the journey in next post.