Delhi to Haridwar on a no-traffic route
There are few thousand people who go to Haridwar everyday and most of them use the traditional route of
Delhi – Meerut – Khatauli – Purkaji – Muzaffarnagar – Chhapar – Roorkee – Haridwar
and then there are some who go much less often and take the road less traversed.
which even though being a national highway is actually nothing closed to being called one. This highway is actually not better then any small town road and can actually get worse then that courtesy the usual traffic rush and impatient drivers. Also, the towns which fall on the way are not too great outsiders-lovers and their own life revolves around this highway, unlike NH1 esp between Delhi and Amritsar section, where you do get long stretches of no-habitation. So all this heavy traffic is dealt with bad speed breakers and what not.
So in one of our trips, we had the same dilemma and we were struggling hard to figure out whether an alternate route will make sense. We were essentially thinking of a way to avoid this highway as much as possible and if somehow we can connect to NH24, which is much better and quicker.
And after lot of calculations and some brave calls, we decided to do the following
Haridwar – Najibabad – Bijnaur – Mirapur – Mawana – Meerut – Delhi
This route will connect us back to the standard road at Meerut and was coming out to be about 25 KMs costlier but we took the bait and boy, it was worth it, every meter of it.
Haridwar – Kotdwar / Najibabad : From Haridwar, turn right at the gol chakkar (roundabout) towards najibabad / kotdwar. This is a big turn and anyone would know it. As you turn right, you hop on to a bridge ending in a temple. If your taste buds dont need the certificate of city-clean-food always and are permeable enough for street food then have some fresh fruit chat. If you love visiting temples then there is this famous temple on the river bank, I think it was Durga, I am not 100 % sure though. Keep driving on this road and you will notice that you are actually driving along a animal sanctuary, Rajaji. All those years, we used to look at Jim Corbett map and wonder that how come this is so big, as big as 500 Sq KM and we never know from where it starts and where does it finish. So actually this road connects to the Kumaon and you can go to Kashipur and to Corbett. Rajaji has lots of Elephants and you may get lucky.
The road is very well laid, the tar was fresh but it was not meant for a high speed drive so be careful as it can get a little bumpy and the curves could get dangerous. Keep driving straight till you get a gantry where you need to take a right which goes towards Bijnaur and then further to Delhi.
Najibabad – Bijanur : In this section you hit smaller towns, villages but no traffic. You keep going straight, occasionally you will have a tractor or two to maneuver or a group of cattle but thats fine. Again, you dont hit more then 100, usually you drive at 70 but with no traffic, fields on both sides and a countryside to cherish, you wont get fatigued.
Bijnaur – Mirapur : Bijanur is the biggest town in this route so you would want to stop and take a bite, there are some decent option. We stopped at ‘Vyanjan Vatika’ which is just after Bijanur. From here you need to go straight to Mirapur. This section is the best section in terms of driving pleasure and speed. The road is really impressive, you can push the pedal and you still dont see too much of traffic. But now we are entering into the sugrcane belt.
Mirapur – Mawana – Meerut : From Mirapur, you go towards Mawana, the town which has made its name in Sugar trading. Mawana is a decently sized town and you can get your provisions here incase you are a long drive and most likely coming from Delhi. It takes a while to clear Mawana owing to petty traffic and from here you head on to Meerut.
Getting Through Meerut : This gets a little tricky so avoid this route in odd hours since you would need to ask your way through. Go towards Cantt, then towards jail-chowk or karagar-chowk or something like that. Move towards Chaudhary Charan Singh University and you will reach a fork, take right and then first left again. There is a minuscule, hidden cut on your right so be very very vigilant. Once you take this right, you will wonder that where-the-hell you are driving since now you are a narrow tar-strip with fields on both sides. Again avoid this in odd hours, keep going straight and you will meet the main highway. Go a little further and now you are on partapur bypasss, hooooh you are back.
From there you just go straight towards Ghaziabad and then hit Delhi.
So if you are looking for a countryside drive which is away from the maddening crowd on the main highway then take this one and you will thank your stars. We did this in Apr’2007 and roads can change over time but its well worth it.