Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi Road Trip (Part-1)

Background

It all started from a discussion with Nandan when he gave an idea for a long road trip from Delhi to Mumbai. It was a bit ambitious for a software guy like me, but the idea clicked and registered so gravely in my mind that I planned a smaller version from Delhi to Vadodara. Why Vadodara? That’s because my brother lives there and we visit his place every year. We usually go by air, i thought driving down would be a good change! :-). After numerous discussions with friends (including Nandan), we couldn’t find any company for the trip. Finally me and wife Shagun decided to take the plunge without any other companions and started for Udaipur (our first milestone) on the morning of 29th September.

Day 1 – 29 September : Delhi to Udaipur,~ 675 kms

In order to save 30 kms from the long drive, instead of starting from our home in Noida, we started early from Shagun’s parents’ house in West Delhi. Weather had started getting cold as it’d rained the previous night. The familiar 250 km stretch on NH-8 from Delhi to Jaipur was covered quite comfortably in 4 hrs and a 10 min tea break. We had done all the planning and had a big stack of print outs courtesy googlemaps.

On NH-8, around 30 km before Jaipur, we took a left towards the NH-8 by-pass leading to Ajmer without entering Jaipur city and avoiding the daily traffic. The by-pass road/fly-over actually turns 270 degrees and takes you to perpendicularly right direction of NH-8. Although, this road cuts just out of NH-8, it offers a completely different view. A straight, long, wide road with tiny mountains scattered here and there. We were impressed!

This wide road continues till Kishan Garh from where we had two options leading to Udaipur i.e. NH-8 and NH-79. The latter option is not recommended for an evening drive. Also, since we had to come via Chittaurgarh (which falls on NH-79) on the way back, we decided to take NH-8.
Let me take a moment to give a review of both the stretches.

NH-8 (Ajmer-Beawar-Devgarh-Haldighati-Udaipur) is 2 lane highway. This is the route that we took. Since its a not a toll road, lots of heavy vehicles cross Rajasthan through it. Next 50 Kms after Kishan Garh were a little difficult as we had become used to the 6 lane highway and suddenly were on a 2 lane road with no divider and trucks in-front, behind and in the opposite direction of us! Till Udaipur the road is 2 lane but after few Kms the heavy vehicles start getting lesser, the road clearer and more scenic. The road turns a lot and could be risky for fast drivers.

NH-79 (Nasirabad-Bhilwara-Chittaurgarh-Udaipur) – 4 Lane highway, longer in distance (around 50 more Kms, which can make difference if you are driving in the evening), toll road so less scenic, straight and bit boring.

Moving on with our story – After 50 Kms from Ajmer (just before Beawar), at around 1:30 pm, we took a break at A1 plaza. We had lunch, took a little nap and finally had tea before leaving. All in all, it was a 1.5 hr break! Uaipur was 230 Kms from this point. After driving for 115 kms (half way from Beawar to Udaipur), I needed some rest as I’d already driven around 550 Kms since morning. My wife took charge and drove the next 50-60 Kms.
We took another tea break at around 5:30 pm from where I got behind the wheels.
The last 70 Km stretch was most challenging. It was the same 2 lane road, but now with lots of zig zag turns and suddenly number of trucks increased. It was getting dark so everyone had their lights on, with high beam. But the last surprise was still awaiting us!

Around 20 kms before Udaipur, almost abruptly, we were on a hilly road. Later we felt, we should’ve anticipated it, as Udaipur is surrounded by hills. But to our surprise, none of our friends who have visited or even stayed in Udaipur for years, ever mentioned it, as they had no clue about this since they’d always traveled by train or through the other route (NH-79). By this time fatigue had started building and since we were mentally not prepared for the hills, each Kilometer felt like 10! Although tired, the drive had it’s own fun! Finally we reached Udaipur around 8 pm and checked into the Hotel at 8:30 pm.
Day 2 – 30 September : Stay at Udaipur:
Next day we explored Udaipur and stayed there. I will try to write about the city in a separate post, right now, lets just focus on the “road trip”! I must mention here that the drive within Udaipur is pretty interesting as it is not leveled and is surrounded by hills. On 1st October, after staying for a day in Udaipur, we left for Vadodara.

Day 3 – 01 October : Udaipur to Vadodara, ~350 kms

We started around 6 in morning, again continuing on NH-8. This time a 4 lane toll road which starts right after Udaipur. This was the best road of our trip! It is very well maintained and interesting stretch of road with lots of turns and hills around, specially with pleasant weather in the morning, it seemed beautiful. This road continues for around 120 kms till Rajasthan border (Ratanpur).

Once we entered Gujrat, we sensed a drastic change in the quality of roads. I can say Rajasthan roads were well maintained but Gujrat roads are better than any roads I’ve ever seen!

The road looked fresh, jet black in color and every white mark on the road appeared as if it were painted yesterday. I also observed , that in Gujrat, the roads are very straight. There are well planned by-passes and clean toll roads that help you to reach your destination. We traveled from Ratanpur, Himmat Nagar, Ahmedabad to Vadodara in around 6 hours with max speed of 90-95Km/hr. Roads were too good but I kept my speeding temptation under control!

Finally we reached Vadodara, at my brothers place at 1 pm in IPCL township, which is out of city and one has to cross the city to reach the IPCL campus. Next 2 days were spent chilling out in Vadodara. On 4th October we traveled back to Delhi via Chittaurgarh & Jaipur.

Think i should take a break now as this post seems to be getting longer than expected. Would be covering the return trip from Vadodra to Delhi in my next post.

14 Comments

  • Rahul says:

    Nice One. Reminded me of my long drive to Jaisalmer, and now I am tempted to have a road trip whenever next possible. Most of us who are used to driving on the dreadful roads around Delhi especially in U.P., are pleasantly surprised to find superbly maintained highways, that we wouldn’t have thought could exist in India.

  • nandanjha says:

    I would rather not talk of road back home (read North Bihar), infact there is no road to talk about.

    Adi has been thinking/planning it for a while and we have talked about it so much that it seemed to me that he has reached vadodra, the moment he left ;)

    need more meat on your post, I am sure that you have hazaar things crossing your mind and its difficult to write it all. looking fwd to your next post.

  • tripper says:

    guys u have to check out the road from ahmedabad to vapi….its one of the best kinds of roads…..bright enuf to keep a sleepy driver awake at night…..and roads always look freshly paved……it doesnt offer scenic route but yeah a heavy traffic route( tat looks sparse) but u can easily maintain a speed of 80-90 kph cause drivers maintain lane discipline here…..tough i am not a big driver my hubby is….n he enjoyed driving from ahmedabad to mumbai early 4 am…it was breathtaking beautiful……n we covered 400 km in 4 hours flat with 20 mind tea break…..

  • nandanjha says:

    Just drove back from Chittorgarh to Delhi and took NH79 till Kishangarh. Its a brilliant tar and one can easily get an average of 75. Its a long boring road but a 4 lane double so one can cover long distances quickly.

    We took our first stop after 3 hours of driving and we were averaging 80 Km per hour. After our first stop, when we stopped again at Mid-way Behror, we were still averaging at 70.

  • DINESH says:

    wow !, nice your detailed description has encouraged me .I am also planning to go to Vadodara in next month .please give me suggestions/advise as this will be first long road journey after nainital
    (which was short journey)
    thanks,
    dinesh.

  • swadesh says:

    thanks Aditya for your Post here, Did the same journey from Vadodara to Noida and back Yesterday. Your post helped a lot

  • swadesh says:

    Driving from Vadodara to Noida, was an Bliss ! Had decided to visit my Parents in Noida for Diwali, by my new owned Car Hyundai Xcent, Petrol. Had always loved driving on long route, now since i own a Car, such long drive would be a regular feature of our lives !

    So, we started our journey at 0200 Hrs from Vadodara, I chose this time ,as im more comfortable in driving at night than day !, simply coz I hate day time traffic. And reached Gurgaon at around 1800 Hrs. Had forgot to take the Pre-Diwali rush into account ! and it took me about 3.5 Hrs to reach noida from Gurgaon ! . Apart from this last leg, every thing else was smooth. Had taken enough Sandwiches / fruits / Water / Juices / RED BULL (to keep me awake and alert, it worked though)

    Roads from Vadodara to Jaipur are great, loved driving on this entire stretch. No Issues were encountered at any Point of time, as the Roads were clear and well laid out. If any one trying this Trip in future, plan without a Fuss, but be ready to pay the Toll of your Life ! Yep, I had to pay about 1000 /- in various Tolls, ranging from INR 25 to INR 125/- .

    Only Issue comes when you reach Jaipur city, there is a By Pass at Jaipur, which is very very congested. The Jaipur Delhi highway is under repair at several locations, so it took us almost 5-6 Hrs to cover 250 Kms.

    Be careful in driving at high speeds at Jaipur Delhi Highway, you wont know when a pot hole or broken road will appear and that will be enough to damage your vehicle . So advised not to get tempt to press the pedal !

    Route taken

    Vadodara Ahmedabad Himmat Nagar Udaipur Chittorghar Bilwara -Jaipur Gurgaon Delhi Noida

    Total time : 16 Hrs

    Mileage – 18.67 KMPL (Petrol)

    • harsh says:

      Hi!I m planning del to vadodra.. Can u tell me whether u took NH 79 as u mentioned u came through Chittorgarh… Also is it possible to by pass Udaipur and avoid hilly drive thereof.. Also can I call u to understand the trip…

      • swadesh says:

        Dear Harsh,

        Had taken the Exact same Route while coming back also. Yes, Udaipur By pass was taken , infact had not entered any of the Cities enroute. While coming from Delhi, the Jaipur Road is in much better condition.
        you can mail me at swadeshgauravsingh@gmail.com

  • DINESH says:

    Thanks aditya ji. With ur help I travelled not only to Vadodara but further Vadodara- Mumbai (panvel -essel world- murud zanjira )and then to amalner district jalgaon via nasik. From amalner I travelled to Ajanta ellora caves.while return to Delhi ,I took route of amalner- dhule – mandsaur- chittorgarh- Jaipur.Without you and ghummekkar I couldn’t have made 4049kms singlehandedly. Again thanks.

  • swadesh says:

    Hi, Did anyone attempted this Route again ? I’m planning to go again to Delhi, so wanted to know if there are any changes in Road conditions. Sply the Jaipur-Delhi Highway. Has the Situation / Road Condition improved or still same

  • swadesh says:

    Hello, I just did the same trip again during Diwali break :).

    This time I changed the route a bit. Instead of Jaipur – Gurgaon – Delhi – Noida, I opted for Jaipur – Bharatpur – Mathura – Noida, Via Yamuna Express way.

    Last year, the roads between Jaipur and Delhi was very bad, and I got stuck in Massive JAM of 4-5 Hrs in Gurgaon/Delhi. Since i had to go till Noida, this time i thought to use Yamuna Express Way. So, left Jaipur and moved towards Bharatpur – NH11. then to Mathura and then took, Yamuna Express Way till Noida.

    Road between, Japiur and Bharatpur is good, It’s 4 Lane Toll Road, and very less traffic. Driving from Bharatpur to Mathura was a bad experience ! Road is single Lane with very heavy traffic and pot holes and speed breakers all the way.

    From Mathura, entry to expressway is near, and then it’s a butter smooth ride till Home in Noida.

    In My Excent, it took me about 15 Hrs, with 3-4 stops in between for tea/nature calls. Got Mileage of 18 Kmpl :) with Full luggage in Boot and back seat.

  • manish says:

    Hi,
    I am planning a road trip from delhi to mumbai passing through ahmedabad. I have been told that gujarat is dry state. I want to know whether gujarat police frisk your vehicles when you enter gujarat border.

    • Nandan Jha says:

      Hello Manish – On my last trip, I was never frisked in Gujrat (neither when we were entering nor when we were exiting). I have not heard from anyone on being frisked.

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