One of my Uncle’s wanted me to be in Hyderabad for sometime as a moral support, so I wanted to take by car to Hyderabad so that I can stay with him, till he needed my support, and then proceed on South India tour. My nephew aged around 34 years, wanted to accompany me on my trip to Hyderabad, more as a matter of love towards me. But he does not know driving. I am aged 61 years, physically handicapped person, retired from SBI. I am using a Maruti Alto 800 cc with an adjustment to Brake pedal so that I can operate the brake with my right hand.
Though it is time consuming and sometimes tiresome, I think, nature has always got a way of teaching “to accept life as it is and live contently”. As when one travels by Road, one has to have to adjust to the changing faces/ vagaries of climate and road conditions. Probably that is the reason why I prefer to travel by road when other convenient comfortable modes of transport are available.
I checked the route map in google and we wanted to take the Delhi – Agra-Gwalior-Jhansi-Sagar-Narsimhapur on day-1 and Seoni/ Chindwada-Nagpur-Nirmal on day-2 and Hyderabad on day-3. On 14th Sep.2012 I got a call from hotel Pratap Palace, Nasimhapur MP conforming our reservation of room and on my enquiry advised that the Sagar – Narsimhapur stretch is a 4 lane Road, except in for a some patches wherein the diversions are there, as bridges are under construction and if we start early we may reach Narsimhapur by 8.00 pm
We started from Sector-4 Dwarka New Delhi at 4.25 a.m. on 15.09.12 with an aim to reach Gwalior by 9.oo am for breakfast and Jhansi by 2.oo pm for lunch, Sagar by 4.00 pm and Narsimhapur by 6.00 pm .
On 14th Sep.12 evening, there was heavy downpour in Delhi and I can hear thunders throughout the night. The drizzle continued as we stated our Journey and we reached Agra by 7.30 am. As we entered Agra we found a Signage showing us to take a Right turn for a bypass for Gwalior- Jaipur Highway. Because of Heavy Rain on 14th we found a large number water pools on the bypass. We found a truck stuck-up in a Gadda (ditch) on the Bypass and there is ample space and a small pool of water beside the truck, I slowed down the car and started rolling slowing to cover the water patch and as luck would have it, got stuck-up in the Gadda too. It took us some time as a couple of good Samaritans came to our help and pushed the car back from the gadda. We thanked our stars and proceeded further, only to find a number of gaddas everywhere on the bypass. I have decided not to take any risk and waited for some local Auto fellow, to move forward, so that so we can safely take that path, and it proved to be wise. It is nearly 9.30 am by the time we reached Gwalior highway out of Agra. (Note: It is advisable to go through the City of Agra instead of taking the bypass especially in Rainy season). We had our breakfast at a Dhabha on the Highway and proceeded for Gwalior.
We breezed through to Gwalior and the Road to Jhansi is in very bad condition. In fact, there is no road but a mud path and some small stretches of intermittent roads. We avoided the bypass to Lalitpur in Jhansi and we found it wise. We came out of Jhansi and once we are on Lalitpur Road we had our so called lunch and proceeded further to Lalitpur. The Road to Lalitpur is a good single road upto 60 km and later it a smooth 4 lane road to Sagar. One has to be on constant alert for sleeping cows on Lalitpur- Sagar ghat section. It’s a pleasure to drive on this highway. It was 5.00 pm by the time we reached Sagar. As we were advised by Hotel personnel at Nasimhapur that the Sagar – Narsimhapur is a 4 lane road except for a few patches of diversions, we decided to move further to Narsimhapur and stay there overnight.
This we found to be good in a way and bad in another way. Good in the way because, had it rained, it could have been totally impossible to go forward as we found it later. Just before Sagar there is a signage for diversion to Narsimhapur on the Highway. When we took the road and after going some distance, I had an inconvenient feeling that we are heading a wrong direction, so we stopped and asked a villager who is going on a bike, whether that road goes to Narsimhapur. He told us as that we are heading a wrong direction, and the Highway is closed as for construction of a bridge, we should go into Sagar town and at Makronia Chowk we should take left turn to go to Nasimhapur. We entered Sagar and the people are very helpful in giving proper directions and putting us on the right road to Narsimhapur. It was just getting dark as we headed towards Nasimhapur and our Nightmarish Journey started. From Sagar outskirts to Narasimhapur Highway, there is no road, with a lot of truck traffic both ways. The road condition is far worse than what e have seen while coming from Jansi to Lalitpur. There are patches where one may get stranded and one does not know which way to go. So we have decided to follow a truck, till some other car comes from behind, so that we can use it as a pilot and move forward. It was a good decision, as we are able to find the way correctly. There are a number of diversions, with long patches of dirt, Medium to small rocks stones, deep heavy cuts on the road, with intermittent patches of National Highway. Luckily for us, a Tata sumo with M.P. registration overtook us. We overtook the truck and followed the Sumo. On highway the Sumo kept a speed of 90- 100 so I had to keep the same speed and it was easy for me to follow the car, some times when I could not keep the pace, his tail lights helped us to give me an indication of the road condition. At about 60 km from Narsimhapur there was a sudden drop on the Highway filled with medium sized rocks. The Sumo tried to cut his speed by hard braking. Though it hit a hard ditch he was able to move taking advantage of the vehicles high base. This gave me enough time to bring my car to dead slow, and slowly rolled my car though the gaps of the ditches and stones. I heard something hit under the engine but the car rolled forward without any difficulty. After this rough patch, when I tried to keep the same pace with the Sumo on the Highway, I found my car is somewhat slow in picking up speed and so I could not tail the Sumo, but I was able to see its tail lights at a distance, and even this was helpful for me in driving. Later during driving I also observed that some odd noise is coming whenever I tried to take a sharp left turn or sudden braking, otherwise the drive is smooth.
I was roughly at a distance of one minute behind the Sumo and whenever it a diversion on the highway, I was able to keep my car behind him. Just at about 20 km from Nasimhapur, the Sumo stopped at some dhaba on the Highway and I was left to fend for myself. At the next diversion, I found a State Bus which I kept, following. The way the driver drove the bus, through the rough, rocky/stone/mud road I found it very difficult to follow him and I lost track of him. As I moved forward we moved through few villages and they gave us proper directions to Narsimhapur.
We reached Nasimhapur by around 10 pm and glad that we reached the hotel. We found that we have to park our car on the road outside the hotel. As I am having a lot of luggage I don’t want to park the car on the road leaving the luggage in the car. So we asked for a safe parking so that we can keep the luggage in the car. This was provided to us, wherein we parked our car in the residence of the hotel owners which was locked during the night.
I was driving from 4.25 am to 10 pm and my body wanted desperately a hot water shower. The manager said there is no availability of hot water and even if we want tea or Dinner we have to place an order and it will take at least 1 hr, as they have to get the food from outside. We ordered for Dinner and by the time, he served us it was 11.30 pm. The Hotel id moderately priced with an AC double room at Rs.1000.00 per day.
After seeing the car taking a beat yesterday, we have decided to start our journey after getting my car checked-up at a Maruthi Authorised Service Station on the next day before heading to Nagpur. At 9.30 am on day-2, we checked out of the Hotel and went to a Maruthi Service Workshop who advised that the car had got, hit by a stone, so it took some bent resulting in the front Right tire, touching the mudguard. They advised us to go to Jabalpur where they will get the part replaced under Insurance claim and will cost an additional Rs.4000 to me and it will take at least two to three day to get the repair done. I said I can’t go to Jabalpur as I was heading to Nagpur on our way to Hyderabad. They advised us to get the car serviced at Nagpur. I asked them whether the car will take the pressure if I take it to Hyderabad; they advised that I can take the Car, if I drove it slowly.
Before checking-out I enquired from the hotel manager, the condition of the Road to Nagpur via Seoni. The Manager advised us to go to Nagpur through Chindwada, as the road is good to go for one vehicle only leaving some little margin. After the nightmarish experience of National High, we have no desire to go Nagpur via Seoni and also seeing our car condition. We took the State High to Chindwada. The first 20 – 30 km, it was a single road, comparatively in good condition. We found a lot of truck traffic on the road, but every time, wherever possible, they gave us side, and we proceeded comfortably. Afterwards, the road is broad enough for one vehicle for upward and another for downward journey, duly marked with paint as demarcation. It is a pleasure to drive on this ghat road. We found that the preparations are on full swing for making the entire ghat road, as a two way lane on either side. We stopped 20 km before Nagpur as we wanted to take lunch before we entered Nagpur and proceed further towards Hyderabad with an intent to reach Nirmal for an over-night stay.
The Nagpur- Hyderabad is very good up to Hinganghat. Surprisingly, we found speed breakers on the highway, whenever we approached a village. From Hingonghat it is an ordinary road for 30 km and afterwards the road condition is very bad. By the time we reached Pandhapur it is getting dark and the road ahead is very bad, till 20 km short of Adilabad. It is nearing 7 pm when we are near Adilabad and Nirmal is at distance of 90 Kms. keeping our day 1 experience, we decided to halt in Adilabad.
Through Internet we found a Hotel Raviteja, priced reasonably, at Rs.850.00 for an AC double room but one has to park the car on the inner road, opposite the hotel. The Manager is considerate and provided us with hot water, to smoothen our nerves, after a long drive.
Caution on Nagur Highway ghat section:- In some stretches, one has to be alert and should be on look-out for one feet diameter deep ditches, which crop-up at regular intervals and can be fatal, depending upon the speed and inclemency of weather and sun-light.
Next day, we started our journey at 6.00 pm with an aim to reach Hyderabad, latest by 12 noon. The Highway is kept in excellent condition with good visibility of signage and whenever there is diversion, proper road is made and kept in good condition. However, we found a considerable number of toll gates till we reached Hyderabad. Once we neared and entered the city there is no signage and one has to take the help of other motorists. The roads are small, to the extent, that, we could not find the Outer Ring Road because of lack of signage, so we perforce, have to enter the city, which in a way, reduced our distance, to our destination to ECIL Cross Roads. Thanks to the City Motor bikers, who came to our rescue and gave us proper directions. As planned, just before noon i.e. at 11.45 am we reached our cousins house in Nagarm in Hydeabad City.
Long back I realised that I am in His Protective Hands. This tour has, just reiterated, how the Divine Authority has guided us all through the way, always protecting us and the Elements of Nature, always showing their best side. In most of the places just before we entered any big city/town we got welcoming showers
At the end of it, we feel, if one starts from Delhi and wants to take this route to Hydeabad, it is advisable to stop at Sagar MP on day -1, then from Sagar, take Narsimhapur – Chindwara-Nagpur Road and Stay at Nagpur over night and on day -3 complete the rest of journey to Hyderabad comfortably and enjoying the long drive
Some other observations:
- All most all the states during this tour always ignored and did not bother the development of highway roads connecting their State with the Other State and we could not comprehend the reasons.
- Right from Delhi to Hyderabad, surprisingly, we found only one public toilet on the National highway between Nagpur and Hinganghat.
- On the entire stretch between Delhi and Hyderabad, we did not find any good Place providing good food and rest Houses on the Highway. But when travelled in North, we found Hotels run by State Tourism on the Highway in Punjab and Haryana and large number of good dhabas in Punjab, and a good number of Private restaurants run by House-holders in Himachal.