Delhi – GOA – Delhi Road Trip (Driving Marathon) – Part 3

Day 7 : Goa – Pune

Cavelossim – Margaon – Ponda – Londa – Khanapur – Belgaum – Kolhapur – Satara – Pune

We started back on Day 7 i.e. 15th of August. We were heading for Pune according to our plan and took a different route for the way back. We planned to take NH-4 for Pune and for that we had to reach Belgaum in Karnataka first which was around 120 Kms from Goa. The day before we’d asked some locals about the best route from Goa to Belgaum and followed the same from Margaon. Another way was to go via Panaji and then take the road towards Belgaum. We took the the route from Margaon as it was shorter from South Goa.

Goa - Morning of Independence DayGoa – Morning of Independence Day

The total distance of today’s drive was around 450 Kms and after two days of stay and rest we were again charged for the day. We started little late around 7:30 am from our resort and after crossing Margaon took the road towards a place called Ponda. Streets and Buildings were decorated because of Independence day but we did not face any city traffic and were quickly able to cross Margaon.

View Larger Map

Road towards BelgaumRoad towards Belgaum

Feel the green with speed Feel the green with speed

The road from Margaon to Ponda was again like NH-17 and in the morning it was a very beautiful sight. There were lush green forests as far as we could see. At somepoints, we literrally went through the clouds. Next milestones were Londa and then Khanapur in Karnataka. Most of the route from Ponda to Londa was through Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. The route from Londa to Khanapur is also part of Dandeli wildlife sanctuary, so this journey was full of greenery.

Road was very bad at some stretches (because of rains) and sometimes we were also surrounded by number of trucks as well. As this route is also through the Western Ghats one has to be little careful on hilly roads specially while overtaking because hilly roads are not wide enough and always turning.

Just before BelgaumJust before Belgaum

It took us around 4.5 hours to reach Belgaum which included few breaks for leaks. Time taken in crossing the bad stretches of road was relatively more because of our earlier experience and we avoided any chance of hitting the bottom of our car.

Took first break at Belgaum on NH-4Took first break at Belgaum on NH-4

We reached Belgaum around noon. We were now on NH-4 which was a 4-lane express way where you can clearly see few kilometers ahead and speed accordingly. After sometime, we took a tea break and spent little more time in taking pictures, checking air pressure of tyres and also streched and walked a bit.

Checking air pressureChecking air pressure

The journey was resumed around 1 pm and at that time we were around 320 kms away from Pune. Road condition was awesome and we utilized the opportunity completely by maintaining good speed. Beautiful surroundings added to the thrill.

National Highway Number - 4 (heading towards Pune)National Highway Number – 4 (heading towards Pune)

Just Before PuneJust Before Pune

We left Kolhapur and Satara behind while driving on NH-4 and reached Pune around 5:30 pm. We took around 4.5 hours to cover 320 Kms which included a lunch break. We checked-in before dark in our hotel which was in Deccan area of Pune. We spent most of the evening in nearby market area and tasted Maharastrian Thali for dinner.

Day 7 was well spent and we went to sleep little early as we had to leave for Vadodara early next morning.

Day 8 : Pune – Vadodara

Pune – Mumbai – Vadodara

In this part I am going to cover only Pune-Mumbai because rest of the route was the same as we took while starting the journey and has been covered in the intial posts. We started early from Pune as we had to reach Vadodara by evening and it was around 550 Kms and as usual we wanted to reach there before dark.

We had already done some research and also asked few people there about how to quickly get out of Pune in the morning. We had to go towards Hinjewadi and then take Mumbai -Pune expressway for Mumbai.

Mumbai-Pune ExpresswayMumbai-Pune Expressway

When we entered the expressway, it was raining mildly. The expressway seemed like a runway in the middle of hills where driving cars is allowed :-). The expressway is six lane with maximum speed of driving 100Km/hr for cars but most of cars including mine were doing more than that without even realizing it because of its surface quality. You can read the link above for more details about the Mumbai – Pune Expressway.

Approaching a tunnelApproaching a tunnel

Inside Bhatan tunnelInside Bhatan tunnel – Longest in this route

We covered 93 kms of express way in around 1 hour and took the exit for Panvel at the end. From Panvel we continued towards Thane, followed NH-4 till Thane and then asked for NH-8. Road was in quite bad condition again due to rains and it took us more than 2 hours to reach NH-8. Due to the past experience we were mentally prepraded for the same.

We were back on NH-8 and headed towards Vadodara. We managed to reach Vadodara just before the final ray of sun vanished and then spent the whole next day there. We left Vadodara for Jaipur on Day 10 and on Day 11 came back from Jaipur to Delhi. Few Pictures on return journey:

At chittaurgarh - BP dhabaAt chittaurgarh – BP dhaba

Hawa Mahal - JaipurHawa Mahal – Jaipur

Amber Palace (Jaipur) - Last day of our journeyAmber Palace (Jaipur) – Last day of our journey

Few points for concluding the complete journey:

1. The round trip was around 4500 Kms (my longest road trip!)
2. Spent around 2000 INR in toll taxes.
3. Esteem survived some how but it is not a good idea to take low clearance vehicle for such a long trip especially in rainy season
4. Mumbai to Goa (NH-17) and Mumbai Pune expressway (NH-4) — A Must drive!!!
5. Long trips like this should have more than 2 people (More people = More support in difficult times).
6. Our trip was little hectic experience, one should ideally have 3-4 days extra and spend sometime at the halts.
7. Manual Air pump and puncture kit (for tubeless tyres) is must for longer trips like this. They come in handy in city as well :)
8. Despite all the harassment to Esteem, it gave an average of 17 kms/ltr. Fuel costed us around Rs 12K for the entire trip.
9. States Crossed – Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.
10. The longest journey in a day was Vadodara to Jaipur which was around 800Kms (12 hr journey, 6am to 6pm).


  • Nandan Jha says:

    4500 Kms. wow. I am amazed to find that you could clock such good averages like doing 320 Km in 4.5 hours with a lunch break, 93 KMs in an hour and finally 800 in 12 hours. Knowing you, I am certain that it was a safe speed which makes me think that Gujrat-Maha are probably pretty ahead of North in terms of road quality.

    too good.

  • Sudhir says:

    Very well summarized. I can vouch for the Belgaum-Bombay stretch. It is amazing. You only slow down at the toll plaza and otherwise it is a runway.
    Excellent pics, Aditya and hats off to your grit and determination.

  • Aditya says:

    Thanks Sudhir for your words.

    Nandan, The roads i mentioned in Gujarat-Maharashtra are mostly expressways which are similar to Jaipur-Kishangarh or Kishangarh – Chittaurgarh where you can clock good averages easily.

    I was mostly driving on 100-120km/hr (most of the times unknowingly) on these stretches for longer durations, which does matter for better averages.

    The best was from Chittaurgarh-Jaipur(300 kms) which we did in 3 hours and I am sure we did not cross 130km/hr.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    Driving thru green is always exciting. The route you took look awesome. Wet season may not do good to the tar but the freshness it provides is unmatched.

    Wonderful journey. May your greatest dream come true soon.

  • Pawan Singh says:

    Hi Aditya,

    Congrats on successful completion of motor marathon.

    I have been dreaming for such long stretch since childhood. Now the golden quadrangle has given us appropriate opportunity to realize childhood daydreams on such beautiful tarmac. I am contemplating a similar trip (bit short) from Delhi to Shirdi with night halts at Udaipur (Day 1), Daman (Day 2), Shirdi (Day3) in next month around 13th. I suppose the return trip will be around 3200 Kms and my target is to return within a week. I have chosen Nh8/Nh79 till Daman. I will be the lone trained and certified pilot for this planned journey along with my family (wife + kid).

    I have a query from your well summarized checkpoints. Which foot air pump you are using and where do we get puncture kit for tubeless tyres?

  • smitadhall says:

    Addy, Tanay’s dad’s (Pawan’s) comment brought me back to this post.

    It is a great idea to have the trivia in the end.

    • Pawan Singh says:

      Hi Smita,

      I agree with you, a summarized checkpoints will be boon for other route followers.

      Also Aditya’s motor marathon is an inspiration for me to do Delhi – Shirdi -Delhi.

  • Aditya says:

    Hi Pawan,

    Welcome to Ghumakkar. We all have a common connection here through Tanay. I’m Pihu’s mausa.

    The air pump (Rs 400) and puncture kit (Rs 100) were bought from a tyre shop in defence colony market but i think you can get these from any decent tyre shop.

    Best of luck for your trip and do get back to us with your experience.

    • Pawan Singh says:

      Hi Aditya,

      Its a great to notice that friendship between Tanay and Pihu is now our epicenter.

      Thanks for the input, I was shocked by the exorbitant price of Michilin air pump (3150 INR on website).

      Dates are final now, the voyage will start on 13th Morning from Indrapuram and terminate back on 21st. I suppose the mansoon effect will be least, anyway I am driving a car with ground clearance of 190mm to bear the potholes beating.

      On return I intend to visit Mount Abu, any clue on
      1) What should be my route from Ahmedabad to Abu Rd?
      2) Present road condition between Abu Rd and Udaipur (east west corridor work has messed traffic last year April)?

  • Aditya says:

    Smita, Thanks for your comment. I thought it’d be a good idea to summarize all the learnings at the end. Glad you appreciate it.

  • Aditya says:


    I have no-idea about road from Ahmedabad to Abu Rd but you should get some exit from NH 8 after Himmatnagar to go towards Abu Rd. There is another article here which can tell you more about it.

    Patrick described it really well and you can ask for any further clarification about roads.

  • mathew says:

    hello adi..
    very well narrated stuff..well am planning my road tour from delhi to kozhikode(my home town) on swift vdi(newly bought)..ur inputs is really helping me to choke out my plan for the journey..i just got the route from the maps of india..and am following the same route u followed upto goa..and from goa i am planning to take route along the coastal line via mangalore to kozhikode…am too much excited…
    any suggestions on my plan…
    day 1…delhi to udaipur(679 km)
    day 2…udaipur to panvel(779 km)
    day 3…panvel to vasco da gama (560 km)
    day 4… vasco da gama to kozhikode (500 km)

    am planning my journey on 19 june 2009..two drivers…
    pls give ur comments..

    • naveen nath says:

      hi mathew,
      did u eventually make the trip.jus wanted your assessment o the route conditions as i propose a similar trip to Mahe this October. I had earlier driven down the same route in 2000.

  • Aditya says:

    Hi Mathew, Thanks for appreciative words. Your plan looks great, I think there should be no problem if you have 2 drivers but still i will suggest to include a day break in your planned journey. This will really refresh you and will make your rest of journey more fun.

    Udaipur-Panvel can take some extra time because I guess there is widening work still going on between Vadodara and Surat.

    Do get back to us with your story.Best of Luck!!!

  • Abhijit says:

    Great description of the entire drive. Isn’t it possible to drive to Ahd on Day 1 itself by starting an hour early from Delhi/Noida?

  • Aditya says:

    Thanks Abhijit, for your comment. I think one can manage Delhi – Ahmadabad by starting little bit early and can also take advantage of road between Jaipur and Chittaurgarh i.e. Speed little bit more but in control :-)

    Ahd is around 250 Kms from Udaipur and road is also good. If you leave Delhi early and manage to reach Udaipur around 4-5 pm as we did, You can continue on NH-8 and should possibly reach Ahd around 8-8:30pm.

    You will get zig-zag turns and little hilly drive after Udaipur but as you will cross Rajasthan border, you will get straight stretches with really better quality roads.

    Do let us know about your trip. Best of Luck.

  • tripper says:

    The road widening work is over between surat and vvadodara…so u people can juz clock 1.5 hours or less for the 150 kms stretch between surat and vadodara,,,,

  • jhontu001 says:

    I just did this trip Delhi to Goa and back during Dussehra. I took the Delhi-Jaipur-Udaipur-Vadodara- Mumbai- Goa through NH8 and then NH-17. While coming back I took the NH3 from Goa-Kolhapur-Satara-Pune-shirdhi-Indore-Guna- Gwalior-Agra-Mathura- Delhi through NH4 then NH3 finally NH2. Iwas simultaneously using maps from websites which I had downloaded, Road maps from INDIA, maps from different books. The route through Udaipur is longer but the road is really good. I would suggest one should use NH-17 atleast once on your way for its scenic beauty. Otherwise use NH4 which is a nicely made 4 lane road.

    It was almost 2100 kms which going through Udaipur. While coming it was around 1800 kms through Indore and Gwalior. The road after Indore is with bad patches and very few cars ply on this road. You usually see only trucks. Even the road near Shivpuri is best avoided during night time or late evening.

  • omdutt sharma says:

    very good road omdutt sharma
    chennai 09442626017

  • Ravi says:

    Excellent write up, straight from the heart. and a stupendous effort.
    Hats off for not giving up. Especially since you chose to do it during the monsoon season.
    I can vouch for NH4 and 17, they are an experience. We once did Panaji to Shirdi in a day, nearly 700 kms. Used NH4, which is a delight by itself, but the best part was to exit Goa from the northern side via Amboli, hitting NH4 near Nippani, just 20 kms from Kolhapur.

  • Aditya_sharma says:

    Hi Aditya,
    I am also planning a trip to Goa taking the same route as you had taken. Will be leaving on 2nd of October in my Qualis RS. My wife and son would accompany me. Have taken a copy of your log, I think it would be very helpful. I have done a trip to Leh in the same vehicle in July 08. We had gone through Manali and came back via Kargil, Drass, Srinagar. Was a memorable trip-did 3200Kms, in 10 days. We were benefitted by a same kind of log of a braveheart who had taken up the same trip from Mumbai to Leh in a very old Matiz. It helps a lot. Thanks. Will try keep you guys updated on my journey.

  • Aditya says:

    Hi Aditya,

    Best of luck for your trip and do update us when you are back from your journey.

  • varun says:


    My borther is planning for a long trip this december from jaipur to goa and then from goa to munnar… he is having 20 days time…
    can any one please suggest the route and best detinations in between…. we know till ahemdabad but how to proceed from there?

    Please suggest

  • Aditya says:

    Hi Varun,

    I went to GOA (from Delhi) in 2008 and roads were generally in good condition. I am not aware of road condition beyond goa but here is the breakup of different stretches on this route:

    1. Jaipur – Ahmedabad – You already know about this. I would suggest go via Chittaurgarh.
    2. Ahmedabad – Suart – Road widening work was on when I went but I think this is complete now and should be good.
    3. Suart – Mumbai – Very Good
    4. Mumbai – Goa – Please get your directions from Google maps or similar website for passing through mumbai. It is a big city and you can get confused easily. Once you reach on NH -19 it is all very beautiful with good road condition. If you are taking NH-4 that is also one of the best roads I know.
    5. Beyond that : I do not know, but definitely want to drive on this stretch.

    Please update us after your journey. Best of Luck.

    • Aditya Sharma says:

      Hi Varun/ Aditya

      I have just completed this stretch in the month of October. The roads are normally very good. The stretch between Jaipur and Ahmedabad is excellent. Take the NH79-76 combo which goes through Chittorgarh as suggested by Aditya. One can easily do 70-80 Kms on an average on this route. The work between Ahmedabad-Surat is complete. The road is excellent. I would suggest you take the expressway from Ahmedabad-Vadodara. It took me 50minutes to complete a 92KM stretch. From Surat there is widening work going on till Mumbai but it is problematic only when you reach a point where a flyover is getting constructed. Otherwise on this stretch also the roads are fine. From Mumbai as Aditya mentioned in his trip description even I was very keen on taking the Western Ghats route (NH17) to Goa. The route is very bad till Alibaug which is maybe around 40 odd Kms from Panvel. From there the road is excellent at places and not so good at places. But totally driveable. And there is an excellent alternate route which goes through Pune. For that you will have to take the Mumbai-Pune expressway and continue on that road till Kohlapur and turn from there towards Goa. So the choice is yours.

      Hi Aditya,
      Couln’t update you on my trip to Goa. It was an excellent trip and you writeup helped a lot. Thanks. I think even i would like to do south india sometime down the line. I personaly feel that if there are 2 drivers in your car then doing Delhi-Bangalore is certainly possible in 3 days. Right now the only problematic stretch is Delhi-Jaipur that too while going from here since it is getting 6 laned. Should be complete in an years time. So Delhi-Ahmedabad-Pune-Bangalore is what i think one should be able to do in an year’s time pretty easily. My mail id is Would like to know of more trips that you are planning to do.

      Aditya Sharma

  • rajesh sharma says:

    dear sir
    i m planning to a trip from delhi to goa. in ur suggestion which road is better through agra gwalior indore or through jaipur ahmdabad bombay
    plz suggest me
    rajesh sharma

  • Rohit Sharma says:

    Hi Aditya,

    Im planning a trip Del – Goa – Del. Could you advise which route to take. Via Jaipur or Via Indore. Two drivers and using a Pajero.



  • Aditya Sharma says:

    Hi Rohit,

    This is Aditya Sharma, not Aditya the original writer of this writeup but since i did this trip in last october only, i think i can update you a bit on this. I took the jaipur, udaipur route which Aditya had taken. The road is excellent except till about the Jaipur bypass. Here the road 6 laning is going on because of which the Delhi-Jaipur side was a bit troublesome. The work was going on at a very brisk pace so maybe this side is also complete. The Jaipur-Delhi side of the road was much better and i could do Jaipur city-Gurgaon in 3.5 hours. Apart from this the road from Bharuch till Maharashtra border has a lot of flyovers being constructed. So one has to take a detour to the sidelane everytime you hit a flyover construction. Apart from that the road till Mumbai is excellent. From Panvel if you are planning to take NH-17 i.e. the konkan road, the road is a mix with very good road at places and bad at others. But the sceneary is excellent which more than makes up for the bad roads which you keep hitting at some places. The road via pune is a wonderful road but as Aditya also mentioned the charm of going through the Konkan belt is unmatched. So would suggest that you take the konkan route at least on one side.

    Since i didn’t take the indore route on either side so would not be able to comment on that.

    All the best for your trip.

    Don’t forget to take the road via Chittaurgarh for Udaipur. I think it is NH76 & NH79.

  • Aditya says:

    Thanks Aditya for providing information to Rohit. Rohit, I have not been to this stretch for long time. Aditya gave some latest updates in his comment, make use of it and Best of luck for you journey.

    Do update us after your trip.

  • Rohit Sharma says:

    Hi Aditya,

    Thanks for your comments. I am back now from an amazing journey from Dehradun – Goa – Dehradun. As suggested by Aditya, I went thru Jaipur – Ajmer – Vadodara – Thane – Belgaum – Goa route while going and the roads were just so amazing. Jaipur now is very strict on the pollution check for vehicles. We stopped overnight at The Airport hotel in Vadodara, the rooms are clean but the service was not that good.

    Incase someone is traveling again to Goa, we would recommed Goa-Casitas, in North Goa, who have several serviced apartments in Candolim, Vagator, Calangute which are well maintained and very modern. You could rent a 2BHK for 4000/- which is complete with a modular kitchen, Fridge, TV and Dish Tv. They also offer a car with driver if you need one.

    On our way back, we took the Mapusa – Sawantwadi – Kolhapur – Aurangabad – Indore – Agra – Aligarh – Meerut – Dehradun route. The roads were great until Aligarh. We reached Aligarh at 9 am in the morning yesterday, after driving non stop from Aurangabad after a night halt, Dehradun is only about 383 kms from Aligarh, however the entire stretch from Aligarh to Meerut via Khurja is pathetic with almost potholes at every 5 meters and it took us 12 hours to reach Dehradun.

    The return route is definitely shorter, however not recommended as you get very tired on this stretch and as you need to cross the cities in between, it turns into a painful ordeal.

    I’m planning a trip to Gangtok in the North East soon, so I would request you to please let me know of any suggestions on the route.

    Many thanks to both Aditya(s) on your suggestions on my Goa trip.

    Warm regards,


  • Rohit Sharma says:

    Hi Again,

    The details for Goa-Casitas are available on their website: The contact person is Mr.Manoj Jalan and he can be reached at: 9810113150.



  • Arvind says:

    I am planning to drive my Qualis from Delhi to Bangalore some time next week (with luggage) . Looking at the distance many people (chicken-hearts) have backed out, but I am determined. I shall start alone. Is anybody willing to join me?… If yes, please write back to
    Bye-the-way– No one has commented on the biggest thugs on the highways (the police) — Any problems with them?
    The most important thing – Can we bye-pass Gujarat (without trouble) with alcohol in our vehicle (which we won’t consume in Gujarat)? I have some exotic Wines and Scotch.

  • Rohit says:

    Hi Arvind,

    Please avoid carrying liquor into Gujarat. The checking is very strict and attracts a heavy fine almost 45000 bucks that you need to pay in court or have your vehicle impounded. I was fined 3000 rupees for carrying just two bottles of beer, this amount was negotiated with the police thugs. Dont risk it.

    Enjoy your trip.



  • Arvind says:

    Anybody seeking suggestion on travel to Uttarakhand (UP) hills and Himachal, may please write to me or post on this site.

  • Arvind says:

    Thanks, but the stuff I have is of vintage value and not for consumption (until some nice occasion). I have been having the stuff since 1995 and never consumed it. I am surprised at this (prohibition stuff). From Germany on Lufthansa, I brought 14 bottles of booze (different varieties) and the airport checking staff let me pass through in Delhi (even after checking). They should not object to passengers who are passing through the state (without consuming). I can’t leave it anywhere since I am shifting to Karnataka and I won’t leave it either.

  • Aditya Sharma says:

    Hi Arvind,

    I didn’t face any problems in Gujrat but while coming back from Goa, the police in Maharashtra do check your vehicles. They know that more often than not one would be carrying liquor while coming from Goa. They are normally trying to make some money out of you. Though I was carrying my liquor from Delhi and had not bought anything in Goa, I had to shell out some money to them. The problem with these states is that they lose out on the taxes if you buy liquor from other states and consume it in their states. But why do they have problem with imported liquor, nobody knows. As far as driving to Banglore is concerned i feel it should not be very tough. Even i am thinking of doing Delhi-Banglore sometime this year or next year. My personal view is that if you are 2 drivers, one can do it in 3 day i.e. Delhi-Ahmedabad-Pune-Banglore. Even if you want to take it easy it can be done in 4 days since the roads are very good and getting better all the time. All the best.

  • sanjeev says:

    road from gwalior to indore are very very bad (lots of big pot holes)
    journey date 24-12-11

  • Arvind Sen says:

    Hi All,
    Its been 10 months since my last post. There were four others who were supposed to join me for this Delhi-Bangalore trip, but backed out due to fear of driving 2,500 kms and also tried to scare me.

    Anyway, I (Alone) did successfully perform the journey from New Delhi to Bangalore. Brief details:

    09th April, 2011
    07:00 hrs from Delhi
    17:15 hrs reached Udaipur and stayed there for the night.

    10th April, 2011
    09:20 hrs Left Udaipur
    17:25 hrs reached Vapi and stayed overnight.

    11th April, 2011
    09:55 hrs left Vapi
    17:55 hrs reached Satara and stayed overnight.
    (Best was Ahmedabad Vadodara Expressway, which is @ 100 kms and I could cover it in 42 minutes)
    (Worst was crossing Thane, where I wasted 2:40 hrs trying to come to the Pune Expressway).

    12th April, 2011
    09:48 hrs left Satara
    18:10 hrs entered Bangalore.

    In the meanwhile, I have driven from Bangalore to Shirdi and back in November, 2011.

    I am again going to drive back to Delhi sometime next month and as usual once again alone.

  • Anshuman says:

    Dear All,
    Amidst all the suggestions and encouragement above I’m planning to do a Delhi-goa-Thiruvanathapuram-Bhubaneswar-Delhi on my TVS Wego. I know it’s dangerous but jsut wanna do it! Any suggestions advice.. pls update..

  • Puneet Jain says:


    I’m planning to kill this road trip in July (Delhi-Goa-Delhi)

    I’m the only driver in this trip.

    Can you tell me the total cost of trip which includes resort costs and all minute costs?

    What safety things I should carry with me?

    Asking all this as it’s going to be my first road trip like this.

    Prior to this I have done Delhi-Haridwar-Delhi in just one day :)

    I’ll be taking my Honda Amaze (petrol) which gives an average of 15 kmpl on highways.

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