Noida to Ranchi 1250 Kms One Gr8 Road Trip – Part 1

It was being planned since very early in the year 2010, to undertake this exhilarating trip to Ranchi (my hometown) from Noida (Delhi & NCR) my current place of residence and work. There were a lot of apprehensions as I had already done a road trip from Delhi – Allahabad – Delhi in Nov 2007 and had faced a few bottlenecks most notably entering and exiting Allahabad where we got struck for 4 hrs (on Exit) and had commented to my friends about the criminal wastage of time, resources and fuel on such an important route which did not have a by pass for such an important and heavily populated town. God did hear my complaints as I realised in this trip.

I must congratulate Anjana Saha for her very informative post for the Delhi- Kolkata Road trip which formed the basis for the planning and executing this trip. However, long road trips had caught my imagination ever since I saw DIL CHAHTA HAI during my college days and their famous Mumbai to Goa Road trip. The shots of the the superb Mumbai – Pune Expressway in the movie were amazing, and one could only dream of traveling on such roads as there was no Golden Quadrilateral at that point of time (2000).

The trip is divided in two halfs 1) Noida (Sec 61) to Varanasi 814 Kms 2) Varanasi to Ranchi 450 Kms. The other co passengers included my wife a reserve driver Dilip and our 10 month old Labrador, Simba. Car was my Tata Indica XETA

Noida to Varanasi – 814 Kms

We had planned to start at 5.00 AM on 30.10.10 but we could only start by 6.00 AM from Sec 61 Noida and headed towards Mathura road NH 2 via Kalindi Kunj. Once on Mathura Road on the National Highway 2 (NH 2) we found that the carriageway of the fly over over Badarpur Border Crossing going towards FBD had still not opened but the opposite carriage way was thrown open to the public coming from FBD to Delhi, which had eased a lot of traffic jams in the stretch of road. Clearing Agra by 9.00 AM was the aim but the delayed start had a cascading effect on the milestones and most of the original planned stop overs had to be rescheduled with a delay factor. Clearing Faridabad, Palwal etc was not a problem as we zoomed past the these townships with relative ease. The road quality was very good but most of these townships had small hamlets onthe NH – 2 as a result we often had to slow down for the odd tractor, auto or minibus taking a turn. A later start would have most definitely delayed getting past Palwal, Ballabhgarh but we managed to scrape through just in the nick of time.



We managed to reach Mathura by 8.40 and decided to halt for Breakfast at the Mc Donalds situated on the NH 2 almost directly opposite to the refinery. The Mc Donalds had caught my attention in a couple of other posts in Ghumakkar including one by Nandan. The time by the clock was 8:50 AM and we were very excited for the rest of the journey. We had a sumptuous break fast although I noted that Mc D’s did not give us an option of choosing individual burgers but were forced to select their combo meals with the burgers, fries & drinks all in one. Cost for Breakfast for 3 was Rs 450 approx. However the space for parking our car and walking my dog was more than ample and we halted for around 45 mins.

We again started by 9.40 and got stuck at Agra at the entrance to the town near the tomb of Akbar (if I remember correctly). We could leave Agra only after 1 hr which we took to clear a traffic intersection near the city which had caused a huge jam. We came across various road crossing till Tundla which was almost 22 kms from Agra and did not get a clear stretch of road to accelerate. However after Tundla till Etawah roads were excellent and we could maintain very good speeds of more then 100 kmph. I decided that we would halt for lunch after crossing Kanpur which I targeted to cross by 1:45 pm. However due to village panchayat elections in UP on that day we came across frequent gathering of people for voting etc at schools along the Highway and which sometime forced us to slow down and twice forced us to stop for 10 mins.

Even after Etawah the roads to my surprise were mostly cemented without any potholes. The erratic tractor and the tempo coming from the wrong side were irritants which better be watched out but mostly journey was good and comfortable. We stopped to refuel just after Etawah at a BPCL outlet. Time was 1.00 pm We again started targeting Agra by 2:00 which was 125 kms however I was forced to stop for 15 mins to let Simba take a walk have his lunch and attend to his natures calls. We could only reach Kanpur overhead by Pass at around 2.20 .

The kanpur by pass built as a fly over (4 lane) should be the longest in the country as a flyover. People going to Kanpur city and on to Lucknow should take left just before the flyover and should NOT climb the fly over. The Length of the fly over is 23 kms from end to end and the driving is a breeze, even at 100 kmph you feel the need for speed. A word of caution though there are may sections on the fly over middle dividers which have been broken down for providing U turns and u may suddenly have to stop for a truck taking a slow turn or a truck that has broken down and is stationary. Although the flyover by pass provides very good view of at least a km any time during the day where such occurrences could be spotted one needs to be cautious while traveling by night which may put a stationary truck as blind spot.

However, the chaos of Kanpur is actually by passed and it does save you at least an Hour if not 2 had there been no fly over the journey would have been miserable.

We crossed the Kanpur flyover and landed into another mini traffic jam caused by a very illogical and poorly designed U turn with a number of trucks taking the U turn to go to Kanpur City. Once out of the Jam we pressed the throttle towards Allahabad eager to drive on the expressway like By pass so pertinently mentioned in Anajana Saha’s write up. The time at Kanpur exit was 2.40 pm. After driving for half an hour we stopped for Lunch at a Dhaba and helped ourselves with home made lunch while relishing the dhaba tea. Simba as usual went for a walk and came back for a quick bite. We again started at around 3.50 and my reserve driver took over while I took a nap. The distance from the Dhaba towards Allabahad was around 120 kms however the road was like a runway but I was not foolish enough to think my little Indica to be an aircraft.

But it is important to mention that the TATA Indica Xeta is no Cab either, I brought my Tata Indica Xeta after almost no one agreed to my decision to go for it, a) Because it lacked class b) It was commonly used as a Cab c) Since none of my friends owned it they though it best to keep away from experimenting. I had a limited budget and and the XETA GLG offered immense value for money with front power windows, air conditioning, Fog Lamps, rear demister, power steering, central rocking. Its ride is extremely comfortable and with myself being 6’2 it offers very good legroom. just roll up the windows, switch on the AC and enjoy the ride. I have loved it ever since I bought it in 2008, not withstanding its cab like image and a few people waving me almost every day to take a lift just before entering DND on my way to office. The after sales service and ownership experience also has been very satisfactory. TATA motors has moved on and shall in the coming few years be one of the most preferred car brands. Even the average is decent at 13.0 kmph (city) 16.0 at the highways although maruti cars have better fuel efficiency.

We reached the entrance of the Allahabad by Pass at around 5.30 and were very excited to see the by pass and drive on it. The distance to Varanasi was 169 kms a little more than the conventional route. We kept our avg speed very high and once again put travel time to VNS by 7.30. As we drove through the by Pass it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. It brought back the memories of Dil Chahta Hai the three cruising on the Mumbai – Pune Expressway. This road was no different and I have been to the Mumbai – Pune Expressway and shall vouch that the Allahabad by Pass is one of the most well maintained and constructed roads in the country & I hope they keep it that way.

It is pertinent to mentioned that I took over the drivers job and shunted our driver Dilip to the Back seat with Simba much to his disappointment and my excitement. I wish I had a Ferrari or a Merc SLK roadster. The govt or who ever built this superb road needs to be commended for job well done, the entire road is cemented and No POT Holes. They are trying to fence the entire stretch to keep the cattle out but the fence is being damaged by villagers who don’t wish to take a detour. We were also surprised that No toll was collected either at the entrance or at the exit. We exited the By Pass at 6.50 and VNS was still 40 odd kms. Again we ran into a election convoy at the Mirzapur, VNS, Allahabad tri junction but we drove on after 15 mins of delay and managed to reach VNS entrance by 7.30. We exited NH 2 towards the left and entered VNS city road on the outskirts which was poorly maintained and found pot holes big enough to be a kids pool, the first in the journey. The various electoral candidates continued to party with their supporters and this slowed our journey to the city. We reached near VNS railway station at around 8.00 pm and took a right turn towards Sigra which was another 2.5 kms which we covered in 10 mins. At Sigra we were welcomed by my in laws who were all too happy to meet their daughter,I of course being the son in law was a always accorded a very ceremonious welcome along with great benarasi hospitality which included delicious Kababs and refreshments which just melted in my mouth. A perfect end (Halt only) to a wonderful journey. Even Simba was accorded a very warm welcome and was soon enjoying the tastes of Benarsi Hospitality. We halted for a day and then continued towards Ranchi which would be covered in part 2 of this amazing exp.

Snippets of Noida Varanasi Leg :

1) Kms Travelled – 815 (point to point)

2) Average Speed – 58 Kmph

3) Travel Time – 14 Hrs (including all breaks)

4) Fuel Consumption – 62 Ltrs

5) Toll Tax Paid – Amount Rs 560/- over 13 different places

26 Comments

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Welcome aboard Ravi,
    Very interesting post supported with great pictures. The captions on photos was lacking.

    Thanks.

    Mukesh Bhalse

    • Ravi Shekhar Singh says:

      Not Really clear how to add captions….else you’d really connect well with the snaps !!! Let me know and I’ll update accordingly.

      • Sahil says:

        Ravi ,

        Once you upload your pic from the computer, there are many options below – Title , Caption. Just write the caption there and then click on “Insert into Post” and then click ” Save the Changes “.

        Regards,
        Sahil

  • Sandeep Sehgal says:

    Great post and good pics!

  • rajan arora says:

    That was a nice write up Ravi. Been to kanpur several times but not beyond. Would definitely love to drive on the allahabad bypass. waiting for the second part.

    cheers
    Rajan

  • Roopesh says:

    So some praise for Indica Xeta the car I own. I bought it for value for money but long drives have not been so comfortable with AC on. It becomes sluggish. Otherwise brave effort.

  • Ravi Shekhar Singh says:

    Can’t really support as I had a pretty amazing run with the car……….it may not be as quick as a swift but its quite decent for its output, as for the sluggishness well the its compensated by the air conditioning which feels like a fridge after 30 mins

    Next on the cards is a trip to Daman and Diu………..whenever it happens .

  • Hi Ravi,
    Lovely post indeed. If you want to add captions to your pictures, feel free to send me a list of what caption should go with what picture and I will update your post.

    Waiting for the next part of your story.

    – Vibha

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Been to Lucknow by the same route and hoping to go beyond soon.

    Simba is cute but road pics are too many. Could’ve avoided the similar looking ones.

  • Nandan says:

    I have saved this post for a leisure read since I didn’t want to rush through it. I am waiting for that holy-grail post on this route where someone can do Delhi-Patna in one day :-)

    Great ride Ravi and a warm welcome to Ghumakkar. Road reviews are a speciality here and we look fwd to reading part 2. McD at Mathura is a great halt but its a time killer as well. I drove to Khajuraho last December and we resisted the temptation to stop there , to save time. Also we were lucky to get past it at/around 7.45/8.00.

    There is a small typo where you mentioned that you trageted to hit Agra by 2 PM (after Tundla), I think you meant Kanpur.

    For folks headed to Kanpur, I guess you should be taking the flyover till Ramadevi Chowk, take a U turn and then turn right. There is a great legendary post at Ghumakkar on this route with 238 comments which takes this case in much greater detail – http://www.ghumakkar.com/2008/02/11/road-review-delhi-kanpur-lucknow/

    I have not been to Allahabad bypass and when I did this stretch in 2008 June, it was not there and I really really want to do that someday. Thanks for taking me there. It greatly encourages and motivates me :-)

    Also please, get a Gravatar and add details of your bio. Me/Vibha can help you set this up pretty quickly. Just let us know.

    And finally finally, when do we get the Part 2.

    Long comment , welcome to Ghumakkar again.

  • Very good post. I enjoyed reading it and specially like pics and description of roads.

  • Rahul Khanna says:

    Dear Ravi,
    Excellent review! Am also in Sector 61 Noida from where I plan to drive to Varanasi via LKO sometimes in December. Inputs are very informative. Thanx.
    Rgds
    Rahul Khanna

  • Rahul Khanna says:

    Had driven from Dwarka, New Delhi to Calcutta in 2008 January without taking a break in about 25 hours. Distance is around 1500 kms. Did stop by in Agra for breakfast, Allahabad for lunch and Sasaram bypass for dinner. Had a bitter experience in Allahabad where there was no bypass then and one had to travel through the city, where roads were very bad. There was this fraudster who hailed us down from his bike, posing as a policeman, saying we had violated traffic when we hadn’t. Our vehicle had a Haryana registration number and I think they pick and choose their victims which are from a different state. He fleeced Rs.1000/- from us and then let us go. It was later that we realised that we were fleeced. A very exhaustive experience.

    • Ravi Shekhar Singh says:

      We had the same horrendous experience when we went to attend a friends wedding at Allbd in Nov 2007 by car from Delhi. While on the return we were stuck in the outskirts of allbd for 4 hrs which really messed up our sch. I do not how much I cursed our country for living 50 yrs behind times the fuel wasted in the Jam, loss of productive time and cost to the economy etc. The moot point for putting up 5 snaps in the last (of this post) of the Allbd Bypass is that we may be slow but we are definitely moving ahead. Someone had earlier commented on too many photos of the roads, now you’d appreciate my sense of relief, joy, pride, enthusiasm all at once when I drove on the bypass. You’d appreciate it much better because of similar experiences while crossing that particular stretch.

      Cheers!

  • Ashish says:

    Hi All,
    I am new in NCR,planning to drive car from Greater Noida to varanasi in coming December-11, Please let me know which route would best for the same.

    Thanks
    Ashish

  • Ravi Shekhar Singh says:

    The Best route is through NH 2 as on date as I dont think the Yamuna Expressway has opened, yet. You can head straight to Sarita Vihar via Kalindi Kunj and take a left towards badarpur border just before the flyover after sarita vihar and on NH 2. From Thereon its a straight drive crossing Faridabad Palwal onwards to Agra. You can start early between 4-5 AM and try to reach Agra between 7.30 to 8.30 The Mc D is open from 6.00 AM at Mathura. Be sure to cross Agra by 9 as the NH passes through the town which is unable to handle so much traffic, so NOT getting into a Jam is an exception.

    Further the road signs are self explanatory From Agra to Etwah, From Etwah to Kanpur, From Kanpur (take the flyover bypass) to Allahabad Bypass and there onwards to Varanasi. You shall find very feww quality and clean dhabas so please stock up accordingly. Have a Happy and a Safe Journey !

  • Kaka says:

    Planning to cover Noida-Ramgarh Cantt.(Jharkhand) in Etios during yearend. Reading thru this thread got a fair idea about route till Banaras. Queries: 1) What route to follow from banaras(details please) and distance to ramgarh and appox time to travel. 2) Planning to stay at Banaras Cantt, so how far will it be from NH2 and also directions to return back to hit back NH2 again. Earlier had covered around 525 KM(solo drive 10 hrs) Delhi- Dharmshala many times..

    • Ravi says:

      1) From Benaras you’d have to take left towards Mughalsarai and move towards Bihar Border. After about a 1-1.5 hrs of Driving you’ll be in Bihar with Mohania being the first major town. and then you can move straight towards Sasaram & Aurangabad. There arent’ any quality eating joints in between but you may try to find a nice and clean eating place, like the one we found at Shertghati. The distance from Benaras to Hazaribagh is about 340 Kms and Ramgarh about 390 Kms. Watch out for the right turn at Barhi, we missed it and drove up some 20 kms. We left Benaras at 8.30 and were on NH 2 by 8.50 AM. We were in Ramgarh by 4.00 PM, including breaks and slow driving due to NH 33 4 laning from Barhi to Ranchi 2) NH 2 to Benaras Station (almost City Centre) is around 20 Kms and last year the roads werent (from NH to VNS town) good its like driving from Ramgarh Cantt to Barkakana, only its more heavily populated. You got to take a left before a flyover to enter Benaras town, its well demarcated.

      HAPPY JOURNEY AND DO PASTE PHOTOGRAPHS AND LATEST REVIEW OF THE ROADS !

      Try to leave the Benaras town by 7.30 AM to avoid the intercity traffic going towards Jaunpur and Allbd while exiting Benaras.

  • kaka says:

    Apologies for being late in providing the update.
    Well due to some personal reason, need to prepone this trip during Christmas weekend. Started alongwith wife from Noida at 0430 hrs in my Oct born ETIOS (P) with trip meter set to 0 . Had a tank filled till brim at H.P Badarpur filling station and soon zoomed thru FBD, Palwal and then a waiting behind trucks near kosi for around 30 mins. Hit the Kanpur bypass around at around 07:15, all crossin Firozabad, the road became very clear, without any potholes and less traffic and were crusing comfortably at 120+.

    Mostly I travel on Delhi-CHD highway and when comparing to it this NH2 was having less traffic , clear road(there are so many diversion on DEL-CHD) and above all scanty traffic. Only ve point is absence on any decent Dhaba on NH2(Which are plenty on NH1). We are in habit of stopping at Murthal for mouth watering tandoori parantha, soon crosiing Delhi, but on NH2 dhabas dont even seem decent enough to stop as mostly have huge clusters of trucks parked outside with their drivers/cleaners engaged in morning rituals. But atlast due to stomach cramps had to stop around Itawa, tea was good, but after ordering 2 parantha, we returned one as never thought that Parantha can taste so horrible.

    On my vehicle, have Zen 10 year old and from last one year was looking for 1 more. Visited showroom in around May to check ETIOS and was impressed by the features at this price and overall performance during test drive. I think one can find it a good vehicle, if they can stop looking for looks/features of 10+L car in ~7L car, and also my wife who believe in looks and average, performance are criteria she is least bothered about.. Did Delhi-Dharmshala, 3rd day after its purchase and as advised by dealer, the speed never crossed 70KMPH, and I got an unexpected average of 18.

    Croosed Kanpur thru that flyover around 1100hrs and tank was also approaching empty mark, was looking for the BP petrol Pump (mentioned by Ravi), but I was unable to find and probably miised, had to refuel from small village pump. Now conscious about purity and also the fact that my tank is almost empty and sign board still read Allahabad 130, estimation average on 15, I got 7 lts filled and started again. I was thinking of getting tank filled Before Allahabad bypass, it was God calling before bypass that I found 3-4 huge petrol pumps, and decided to get tank filled from IOC one consuming around 38 Lts. I am sure if I missed these pumps then with next 1 KM was on bypass and only option left then is to go via Allahad city. But tank filled and around 1245 hrs hit Allahabad bypass. As commented earlier this was really wonderful with relatively no traffic, crosiing a truck or 2 after 5-6 Kms, zipped thru it at 140. Atlast stoped at some family restaurant at varansai outskirts around 1400 hrs, had lunch and left NH2 at around 1500 hrs and moved towards Cantonment. Finally stayed at the GRC Cantt and as per local recomnedation, hired a auto to visit various ghats/aartis and sankatmochan mandir. Before dinner, had 2 large Old Smuggler and finally a good meal after near to fasting day.

    Taking lesson from the previous day experience, had a good breakfast before leaving and was again at NH2 at aroung 0900 hrs 25 Dec, cruesing comfortable at 110+. The road condition still immaculate. After Mohania asked for directions to Barhi and that chap turned out to be CRPF cop, posted at ranchi and give us distance in exact KM as to which place if from where. Doesnt have any trouble after following his direction and we soon zipped thru gaya, barhi and finally on HZB-RMG_RNC road. Pathetic stretch around Barhi for around 6-7 kms, but soon on the newly bulid highway towards HZB. Diversion were there but dont have much impact. Just before HZB at 1230 found a decent restaurant MANOKAMNA and decide to had lucch. Good decision I must say as the food was awesome. Had Desi chicken in Desi style and it really tasted well. Soon started from there and at around 1445 hrs ,reached my destination Ramgrah Cantt. Trip meter reading 1208 Km and curious to know average again have my tank filled at Ramgarh and filled till brim for 40 ltrs. So total fuel consumed by 85 ltrs and calculated average to hovering around 14.2~14.5, which I will consider decent as most of time we were 120+.

    Ponits to take care: Since road are empty enough and one can easily go 120 but beware of the trucks(Specially after Varansi) as they change the lane anytime. While passing dont expect that they will stick to their lane. Keep honking to tell about your presence otherwise it happened to me 3-4 times that it changed lane suddenly. And last, as commented earlier, Dont expect to find any decent eating place on NH2..

    Happy, safe driving

  • prashant says:

    hi
    I am planning to drive my new tata safari storme from ranchi to delhi next week ie around 25 sep 13.I request someone who has travelled the route to give me an idea of the suitable halt point and likely bottlenecks.I plan to do the distance over two days.
    thanx in advance
    prashant mishra

  • nitin sharma says:

    I have to shift my car to Ranchi, from Noida so I would like to drive from Noida to Ranchi, please guide me short and cleans roadways to from Noida to Ranchi. thanks

  • J Y Desai says:

    I am driving from Jamshedpur to New Delhi and might take a detour to Palwal/Bhiwadi.Can I use the Yamuna Xpressway to avoid Agra jams and crowded roads

  • Sanjeev says:

    Hi Folks,

    I m planning to drive from New Delhi to Jamshedpur in mid May2016.
    Any info about the road condition from BARHI to Ranchi.

    Thanks
    Sanjeev

    • Ravi Shekhar Singh says:

      Hi! Recently (2016) one of my colleagues drove to Jamshedpur from Delhi and confirms that the roads are in a decent condition. However the stretch from Ranchi to Jamshedpur is uniformaly bad (half of about 135 kms) and should not be covered very late in the night. Have a safe journey and do post some latest photos.Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *