Bhopal – Nagpur- Raipur – Road Trip Review

This is my first road experience in my own car and first in Ghummakkar. Recently on 5th May 2014, we had the Bhopal- Betul- Nagpur- Raipur road trip and back via the same route. The total road distance between Bhopal to Raipur is near about 650 km as per google map. And it is true as we have covered a total distance of 1375 km near about to and fro during the tour.

Let me divide the whole trip into two sections:
Section A: Bhopal to Raipur (Total Distance 640 kms) date of journey 5th May 2014.

Car- Ford Figo Titanium (Petrol)
Total Number of members of family- Me and my brother (Both as drivers); my wife and my child 4 years.

We covered the entire distance in 1 day. Started at 5 Am early in the morning  from Bhopal and reached Raipur at 6.25 pm same day with a two halts of 30 min approx. On the way. As I am travelling with my family and a child and the may month summer is known to everybody on the central plains of India, we have carried lots of water and eatables with us. After a marathon driving we reached Raipur at 6.25 pm as I have already said. As we started early in the morning we do not encounter heavy traffic on the way. We reached Itarsi at about 7 Am.

Road Conditions:
Bhopal to Obedullagunj – Very  Good
Obedullahgunj to Budhni- Good

Budhni to Itarsi stretch is too bad to travel as the road is under construction …so lots of dust and potholes and the rush of trucks makes it worse. Especially, the stretch between budhni- Hoshangabad –itarsi is too bad. Somehow we can manage to reach 4th gear in a few minutes and most of the times Sheffield between 1st to 3rd gear.

Road condition between Budhni- Hoshangabad NH69

Road condition between Budhni- Hoshangabad NH69

After Itarsi the road to Betul is Good (manageable ) for driving till Betul.

The entire route can be divided into 5 separate parts (according to the highways)- NH 69 and AH46/ NH6. We reached betul at around 9 Am without any halt. But we halted at a magnificent place just on the NH 69 at Balajipuram for  breakfast and change of driver. We have taken about 20-25 min halt here and after some refreshment continued ahead at around 9.30 am.

Sri Rukhmani Balaji Temple at Balajipurum (Near Betul) on NH 69

Sri Rukhmani Balaji Temple at Balajipurum (Near Betul) on NH 69

After a few kms from Betul there comes a magnificent NH 69 a four lane road (without toll) till NAGPUR…………wow what a Makkhan road it is of around 200 kms. It is the best part of driving during the trip. We drove between 90- 100 kms with no tension and controlled situations. There is no traffic ….some time we have only ourself on the whole road, no one coming from behind and no one seems ahead till the long distance we can see. Well, we enjoyed the best and of course my car with AC on must have enjoyed the best part of the stretch.

We were on the Ring road, Nagpur at around 12.30 pm and after that we continued towards the NH 6/AH46. We decided to continue without taking hold due to traffic in the city. We just stopped to exchange of driver seat at the outer ring at the start of AH46 where the road sign shows that Raipur is now 275 kms ahead. So now I have the pilot seat in my hands. We continue towards the Raipur on the Nagpur- Durg- Raipur express way. The complete AH 46 is a 4 lane road, but with some traffic. After driving about 70 kms we reached Bhandara at about 2 pm and here we decided to take a halt and have lunch. We found a restaurant just on the highway and also a petrol pump besides it. So this is the best place to have a halt. After having a good lunch at Bhandara and having a tank full of my car, I continue ahead towards the Raipur. The road is excellent with lots of toll plaza in between we paid around Rs. 250 as a total toll from Weinganga Toll plaza to Raipur Toll plaza.

The road from Bhilai is with lots of traffic and from here I found the name expressway and paying toll as an injustice to the travelers.  But still after a lot of hustle and bustle we reached Pandri Raipur same day and we notice the time is 6.25 while entering the Raipur from Tatibandh Square and covered the distance from Tatibandh Square Raipur to Pandri Raipur (9.7 kms) takes 45 minutes and finally reached our hotel in pandri Raipur at 7.10 pm. Thanks to the congested and traffic with no traffic sense peoples of Raipur. Now I have to complete the official and the important tasks for which we have travelled Raipur.

Section B- Reverse Gear to Bhopal via Nagpur- Betul.

Four lane road from Nagpur to Betul (NH 69)

Four lane road from Nagpur to Betul (NH 69)

Betul Ghat (NH69)

Betul Ghat (NH69)

we  started from Raipur at around 2pm on 8th May 2014 via the same route without any change. We have taken Dinner at NH 46  on Saoner Bypass. And continued further till Balajipurum (Betul) At Balajipurum the time is around 1 am. We decided to have rest in the car in front of a tea restaurant which is opened whole night and day, and also there is a Sulabh facility there by MP tourism. We slept in a car whole night. But here we have made one big mistake. The mistake is that we slept whole night in a car with fan on and mobile chargers on. We wake in the morning at around 6 am when the Sri rukmani Balaji Temple speakers turn on with magnificent bhajans and aartis. After having used toilets and tea, snacks, we try to start our car………..and then we realize our mistake. The battery got down. But thanks to lord Balaji…. The city Betul is 4km ahead. We younger brother takes lift from a truck and left in search of a mechanic, and I stayed with my family in the car. We were guilty of our mistake and it is true that we have never thinks about the result that can happen. But this is the lesson for us. At around 8 am my brother comes with a mechanic with a battery. He started our car with his battery and hardly it takes a minute that we are ready to start. But this costs us Rs. 400. But still we are thankful the mechanic. And finally we started at around 8.30 am. On the way we reached Bhembaitka highway treat for a rest at around 12.30pm . Bhopal from here is around 41 kms. We reached Bhopal at 1 pm 9th may 2014.

At Highway treat Bhimbethka

At Highway treat Bhimbethka

Really road tells us about the diversity of peoples, their cultures, beautiful landscapes of india and ofcourse tests our patience and attentiveness.

Thanks to the Maps of India , GPRS and Ghummakkar blogs which helped us for this trip. And above all the spirit my family shows along with me.

6 Comments

  • Anupam Chakraborty says:

    Welcome to our family of Ghumakkar Dr Ravi!

    A good review. Nice photos. Some more photos would have been better.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Anupam Chakraborty says:

    @ All Ghumakkars : Today I was shocked to read the sad news that Chhanda Gayen, first civilian women from West Bengal who scaled Mount Everest on 18-05-2013, is missing after being caught in an avalanche on her ascend to Kanchenjungha West. She scaled Kanchenjungha on last Sunday. She and Tulsi Das are the first Indian women to climb Kanchenjungha Main.

    Find the news here http://epaper.telegraphindia.com/paper/[email protected]@2014-1001.html

    I pray for her safe return and also request my fellow Ghumakkars to join me in the prayer.

  • Dr. Ravi Sharma says:

    Thanks Anupam.
    I will incorporate the suggestions in my upcoming posts after completing my nest tour, which is to be starting from 24th May 2014. ……again a road trip …..
    this time as below:
    Bhopal——>gwalior…..> Barielly……..> Bhimtal….> Nainital……> Almorha….> Ranikhet…..> Jim COrbett…..> Dehradun…..> Haridwar…..> Rishikesh….> Agra…..> Bhopal

    Any suggestions are welcome related to stay, road conditions, dos and donts ……as i am agin accompanied with my family including a 4 year kid.

    regards

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Welcome aboard Doc.

    This road review would be very useful for people who want to take this route since it is very hard to find the road conditions on web.

    For you Uttrakhand trip, I would suggest that you break your query into multiple parts and post it on the stories on these locations. All the best.

  • Deepank Chandola says:

    Sir,

    It is a really resourceful article as I have to leave for official work from Budhni to Nagpur by my own car. You will be happy to know that stretch between Budhni-Hoshangabad-Itarsi has been well constructed now (even few kms are 4-lane now!)

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