Delhi to Hyderabad – On the road

“It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had.”

“This is too audacious!!!”
“Have you gone crazy??”
“I guess you are drunk…”

Some of the reactions when we told people about our plan to travel from Delhi to Hyderabad in a non AC car in the most “pleasant” weather of May :P

So we started from Okhla, Delhi on Friday, the 14th May, 2010 in the afternoon after having lunch. The weather was hot, sun was beating mercilessly but we marched towards our destination. We had booked a room in Hotel Tansen Residency in Gwalior so our first day target was to reach Gwalior which was around 320 kms. We crossed Faridabad, Mathura and some other smaller towns and reached Agra bypass at around 6:50 PM when it started to get dark. We had been advised not to travel after it was dark as we would cover lesser distance in more time due to reduced speed. Another reason was that between Agra and Gwalior falls the famous Chambal region. Still not wanting to look for a hotel in Agra, we marched on. In the meantime, I called up on the emergency no. listed on the a board on the highway and asked the person about the law and order situation and whether it was safe to travel on this stretch at night.

Agra-Gwalior Highway



The person on the other side reassured us and told that the highway was in good condition and there were no security issues. So we continued towards Gwalior and found his words to be true(except for a few places where construction was going on). Highway was very good and sufficient traffic was there. One regret was not being able to see the beautiful Chambal valley because of the darkness. I so wanted to click some pics but was disappointed . Anyways we crossed Dholpur and Morena to reach Gwalior at around 9 PM. The hotel run by MP tourism was quite good, room was spacious and everything was fine except the AC which was a bit disappointing. We freshened up, had dinner(which was definitely good) in the Hotel’s restaurant, studied the route ahead and called it a day.

Hotel Tansen Residency, Gwalior

Dont Fast


Day 2
We had planned to start early the next day but having gone to sleep at around 12, it was humanely impossible to get up at 5 and then travel the whole day without any fatigue. So we got up around 6, got ready, had a token breakfast(because the restaurant wasn’t open yet) and left Gwalior at around 7:20 AM. Our target for the day was Nagpur(>700kms away) as we had arrangements for stay in the city and also coz it would give us ample time to cover the 500kms Nagpur to Hyderabad stretch on the last day.

Entry to Jhansi

But pretty soon we discovered the realities. We managed to reach Jhansi as per the schedule in around 2 hours but the roads after that were a nightmare. Construction was going on everywhere on the highway and our speed was reduced to a great extent. There were a lot of diversions which passed through villages having infinite speed breakers, children running here n there and cattle moving on the roads.

Some beautiful clicks on the way...

:)

We reached Sagar in MP at about 3 PM where we had lunch. By now reaching Nagpur seemed difficult so we thought of staying over for the night in a town which was there on the milestones for quite sometime: Lakhnadaun. We traveled n traveled in the heat n dirt on the broken and still under construction highway. At around 7, it got dark and we were around 40kms from Lakhnadaun.

The AWESOME Highway

Some more trouble...

Construction or Destruction!!!

Normally one can expect to cover this much distance in an hour n so did we. But the so called highway was in pretty bad shape and had 2 way traffic on a single lane which greatly reduced our speed . This road had rocks and forests on its sides and with no sign of life nearby it was pitch dark. Moreover the traffic was very very thin so all in all we were alone in the middle of nowhere . Now this was the only moment(s) in whole journey when we felt a bit afraid . The concern was that if we had some problem with the car then we may not be able to find out someone to help us out. On top of all this, the distance to Lakhnadaun didn’t seem to reduce.

It took us 2 hours to reach Lakhnadaun and when we reached there, boy!!, what a disappointment it was . Considering the fact that it was being mentioned on the milestones we were expecting it to be a decent sized town with some good facilities. Instead it was almost like a village having 2 lodges with neither of them having AC. People suggested we go to Seoni which is a city in Maharashtra and had good hotels. Having no other option, we started for it. It was around 70 kms from here but was connected by a 4 lane highway. The initial 6-7kms were in very bad condition and after coming 5kms away from Lakhnadaun, the front tyre burst . Now this was a despairing situation except for the fact that a few meters away was the repair shop. So the guys there worked on it which took almost one and a half hour. We started again and the rest of the journey was uneventful. Reached Seoni at around 12, found a decent hotel and went to sleep without having dinner

The hotel room at Seoni

Day 3

As we went to bed past midnight last day and that too without dinner, so got up at around 7AM , got ready and ordered a very filling breakfast which was spicy n tasty. Started at around 8 with Nagpur being around 130kms away. Major portion of the road was two way, two lane highway which was not in really good condition so speed was not that good.

Anyways it passed through ghats which were quite scenic and provided several opportunities for a pic. We reached Nagpur at around 11 AM which was the target, picked up mineral water bottles and continued onwards. Nagpur city is pretty big and nicely developed. The roads were quite good n we could see lot of big buildings and shopping malls on the sides. I also found the city pretty neat and clean. The distance to be traveled was roundabout 500 kms which should have taken around 9-11 hrs depending on the roads. As we were running on a tight schedule and wanted to reach Hyderabad max by 10 PM, we decided to skip lunch and instead made good use of the snacks we had brought with us.

Probably the best part of the journey :)

The drive from Nagpur to Hyderabad was a breeze as most of the way was 4 laned highway with occasional diversions through Andhra villages. It also provided a lot of scenic views on the way.

Jab bhai ki gaadi chalti hai to hawa bhi apna rukh badalti hai!!!

So we just sailed on the road occasionally stopping to have something to beat off the heat(neembu paani, lassi etc) and buying water bottles :cool: This leg of the journey was mostly uneventful and finished happily. We entered Hyderabad at around 8:30 PM and reached home by 9 PM even though bro didn’t know the way to his home properly. :)

Backseat of the car after 3 days of travel :)

Some water bottles we purchased on the way!!!

Some highlights of the tour:

  • Wonderful, exciting n interesting
  • Covered 7 states Delhi, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, MP, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh
  • Covered this distance in a 9 year old non AC Maruti 800
  • Heat was too much, still enjoyed
  • Sang songs with me providing background music using empty water bottles
  • Bought 14 water bottles(50%) with rest being provided by our 5L jug.
  • Clicked some pics, will share them soon
  • Were helped a lot by Ghummakar, Team BHP and Google Maps.

 

25 Comments

  • Anil Misra says:

    Excellent. It isn’t that difficult to travel all over if you don’t listen to others. The first trip is the most difficult. You are a pro now. Congrats. Keep travelling.

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    wow.. a car roadie like me… am so proud of you

  • Sahil Sethi says:

    Rohit, Excellent Stuff .
    It is great that you managed to cover such a distance in a small car. Kudos !!!

    Sahil

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Great Rohit Great,

    Hats off to your courage…. Traveling from DL to Hyd. in M800 that too in May …………..unbelievable. Narration was excellent and also pictures were great, specially the quotes written on back of trucks representing the philosophy of truck drivers who spends most part of their lives on roads and are away from mainstream of society to provide a good social life to their dependents.

    Thanks.

  • Nandan says:

    Welcome aboard Rohit. It would be good to hear from you on the comments from fellow Ghumakkars.

    Bhai ki Gaadi is a hit. :-)

  • Rohit Mittal says:

    Thanks all for the appreciation :)

    @Anil Comments like these make the travel more interesting and one more determined to achieve the objective.

    @Onil :)

    @Sahil Maruti Suzuki has made some of the toughest cars in India!!

    @Mukesh These small tid-bits behind trucks have always intrigued and invited me to take a closer look in their lives but so alas! so far have not been able to do that…

    @Nandan that one is my favorite too :)

  • Sahil Sethi says:

    @ Rohit ,

    Well said. Even I own a M800 and it is 10 years old. I also do my road trips on M800 and I have no complaints regarding this car. But my personal favourite is driving it in hills . Be it in plain highways or in hills , it just rocks.

    I wish if you could have added your car pics in the log.

    Sahil

  • sameer says:

    why u didn”t tokk the route via jaipur,udapiur,surat…etc??
    i guess roads here are pretty better then via agra…!!!!

  • Rohit Mittal says:

    @Sameer But that would have meant covering an extra distance of approx 500 kms or 33% which I dont think would have been compensated by better roads.

  • Sunil Pathania says:

    @rohit– Maruti should give award to you guyd !

  • harsh5 says:

    hey guyz…. i have been moving long distances in car too…jus covered Nagpur to Lucknow… since i had received quite a few updates thru GHUMAKKAR, i thot of sharing my experience too and updating a few bits and pieces of info of the route.

    Unfortunately i have not been able to start a new Post…gues m doing sumthing rong while initiating a new post… can anybody help me with that plz…

    u can fwd suggestions or help links on harshchauhan77@gmail.com

    thanx a ton

    Harsh

  • Amit Asthana says:

    Hi All,

    Gr8 info from this blog & much appreciated…..
    travelling on 17th Aug 2012 from hyd to G.Noida on my broken down verna just released from the service center 2 days back(head gasket & engine bore + engine repair)…. and hence ready for surprizes…hope the seoni to nagpur patch be in a better condition…. yamuna express way would surely be a help towards the end.

    Having my fingers crossed for the trip..

    Any pointers would be much appreciated.

    Cheers
    Amit

  • brijesh says:

    Dear Rohit,
    Thanks to you for inspiring the enthusiasts. I am a 47 years old defence officer. I started my jorney from Polo diesel car (which I purchased from Ambala few days back) from delhi to hyderabad on 01 Jul 12. I had a driver with me from delhi to Jabalpur. I took the route as below:-
    delhi-agra-gwalior-Jhansi-Lalitpur_Sagar _Damoh-Jabalpur-Seoni_Chindwada_Nagpur_Hinganghat_Adilabad bypass-Nirmal_Hyderabad

    I started at 6.30 pm on 1st July from Delhi as I got late. I reached Agra at 10.30 hrs as we were going slow. This is my first car and before this I had driven friends car occasionally. So I am not a confident car driver. My driver was driving the car during rains. We stayed in a hotel at Agra for the night. Lot of hotels are available on the highway it self. We chose a hotel where my car can be parked inside the hotel premises. We started from agara at 0545 hrs on 02 July 12 . We passed through beautiful ravines of chambal. Road from agara to Gwalior was extremly good. From gwalior to jhansi it was very bad road as there was actually no road. Main high way was under repair and a side by temporary kachha road was used by us. Seven Kms before entering Jhansi there was a sign board showing right turn for Lalitpur bypass. we took right turn and went ahead at least 30 kilometeron this road. However there was no further sign board showing Lalit pur on this road. All sign boards were showing Kota 230 Kms. We stopped and enqured from petrol pump on the road , we were told that this road was going to Kota. On further enquiry we came to know that the road authrities have put a sign board for Lalit pur. However actual Roasd for Lalit pur was yet to be constructed. Really disgusting, this can happen only in my country. Iwas told by the genleman on the road that at least 50 vehicle take this wrong route to lalit pur daily because of the wrong sign board. So we had to turn back on the same road . We came to jhansi then went to lalit pur. Jhansi to lalit pur was single good road. From lalit pur to Sagar it was 4 lane wonderfur road. From Sagar to Damoh it was single good road. From Damoh we had to pass through Veerangana durgavati national park . 10 Km of road was bad. Finally we reached Jabal pur at 08.30 PM. Journey through national park was adventourous. I stayed that night at Jabalpur. My driver was from Jabal pur. I dropped him there. From Jabal pur to hyderabad I started the journey alone on 3rd July 12.

    I started at 02.00 pm from Jabal pur as I had some old friends there and spent morning hrs with them. From jabalpur to seoni road was ok. However i was told that road from Seoni to Nagpur through Pench national park is under extremly bad condition. No repair is being done as Government want to close this road to save national park. Hence no repairs. Therefore I took road from seoni to Chindwada a 75 km journey which took one hour. A very good single road. From Chidwada to nagpur a very good single road. Distance is 120 KMs. I reached 30 Km short of nagpur at 07.00 PM. Then it became dark. I do not have driving experence in dark. My car front glass was dirty and I tried to clean it with a cloth which unfortunatly had some oil particles in it and made the glass totally dirty. Then started the nightmare. No visibility from glass , single road, fast traffic from opposite side and an inexperience driver. I stopped on the left side and this again happend inside Chindawada national park Jungle. luckily a truck crossed me at a speed of 35 kms per hr. I started my vehicle and just started following the truck and reached Nagpur at 8.30 PM. There I cleaned the front glass of the car with soap and water. A wonderfull event full journey.

    I stayed that night at Nagpur and started from there at 0800 AM on 4th July. I reached Hyderabad at 0630 PM. Road From Nagpur to Hingonghat was very good. From Hinganghat to next 30 Km was an ordinary road good for 60 km per hr speed. From there to another 20 Kms road was extremly bad . I had to drive at 20 Km per Hrs. From Hyderabad 372 Km mark, road was good for next 100 Kms. Again a stretch of 10 Km was very bad . From Adila bad to Hydera bad for 300 Kms Road was extremly good. it took time for me as I turned from Nirmal to Kuntala Falls which was 10 Kms from the High way. Kuntala happen to be a wonder full picnic place in Adilabad forest area. A lot young boys and girls were there at Kuntala. I took me extra two hrs for this trip. Road from highway to kuntala falls was extremly bad.

    Finally Istarted and reached at home at Hyderabad at 0630 PM on 4th July.

    At the end of the day a wonder full experence to remember for the old age. This trip was agains my wife/family members advice as you rightly said they told me also that Iwas getting mad and I am not young enough for this adventure. But at the end of the trip I will say its all in mind. Its a fear of un known. But it is absolutly normal to have these trips.

    Inspired by this trip, last month I did a more adventure trip on my New KTM duke 200 bike from Hyderabad -Nagpur- pench and Kanha Nationalpark-Nagpur-Hyderabad in four days . This trip was terribally opposed by my wife. But again a terrific fun filled trip. A more adventrous trip.

    Now for me its appear to be absolutly normal to drive from hyderabad to Delhi by car. Yes it may be adventrous on a Bike. But bike must be a Bullet or any other sports bike of 200-500 cc.

    Thanks buddy for inspiring me
    Regards

  • brijesh says:

    Dear Rohit

    I forgot to tell you that I could get the courage of starting my journey from Delhi to Hyderabad after reading your article above.
    Thanks

    • Rohit Mittal says:

      Dear Brijesh Sir,

      Thanks for your kind words. It is the community at Ghumakkar which inspires one to travel and then share these stories with the world so that the lost ones can find their way home :)

      I am a bit surprised that you undertook a bike ride for this much distance at this age, but then probably age is just a number, more so for brave defence personnels like you :D

      Your nice narrative made for a wonderful reading. Whenever we start for a road journey, the concern is more about the road conditions than safety or the adventure. Thats the sad truth. Hopefully things will change for the better in the times to come. :)

  • paul says:

    I am traveling from Hyderabad to Punjab by road. If anyone is traveling the same day then please let me know as we can start the journey together..

  • paul says:

    I forgot to mention that I will start my journey on 10 of November..

  • Abhishek says:

    Brijesh Sir…
    wow!! It was really inspiring. I always feel those action matters which inspires and infuse positive confident vibes in others and your post has done the same.

    Rohit- Maruti should definately appreciate you for proving.. M 800 cc is correctly the rise pulse of India.

    I’m travelling by road on 8-Oct-2012 so it will be really helpful, if anyone has any suggestions to take alternate road for the bad sector in MP.

    Abhishek

  • Harpal says:

    Hello All,

    I am planning to do a road trip from HYD to DEL in December 1st week.
    Planning to start from HYD during the early hours with the following route:

    Hyderabad > Nizamabad > Nagpur > Seoni > Sagar > Lalitpur > Jhansi > Gwalior > Agra > Delhi

    Can somebody please give me the latest update on the driving conditions for this route…???
    Appreciate and thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    Harpal

  • Revan Aayushman says:

    Wow comrade you can do anything in your life….

  • Rohan says:

    Hi,

    Planning Hyderabad – Delhi sometime in March/April, request if someone could help me with the logistics as to the best route, road conditions, places to stop at.

    Will be travelling alone and plan to do it in 2 days.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards

  • kulender says:


    Hi friends ,i have come from Delhi to Hyderabad by road ,started on 17 feb 2014 at 4:30pm from Delhi and reached Agra at 7 pm.took a hotel on station road and stayed there for the night.Paid about 1000/- for the room for two people.Went around in Agra to bye some sweets as this place was famous for Peta.Found out a place called panchi which was a good place to bye good quality sweets,then also happen to bye some leather shoes and came back to the room and had dinner and went to bed by 10 pm got u p early got ready went to Taj mahal then had breakfast there. We started to Hyderabad by 9am . i wanted to reach nagpur by 8pm so that i can taake some rest and then start from napur and reach hyderabad but before jansi the road was very bad and it continued to be bad till i crossed jansi and 30 km ahead ,then i drove to a place called seion which was 129km before nagpur and stayed there for the night this time i fount a very good accommodation which was on high way for just 1000/- had goo dinner .the reason we stayed here was we were told that road was not good till nagpur and after that also.
    we got up early and then started to nagpur and found that about 150km before and after nagpur road was very bad .we reached adhilabad at 1pm and from there the road was very very good till we reached hyderabad at 6pm.
    total about 1600km i found 1200km road was good and 400 was very bad.
    i spent 6000/-for my car fuel
    1600/- for toll
    2000/- for stay
    1500/- for food
    it was a good experience .for everything good and bad i faced on journey.

  • Amol says:

    Read your article very late but it was good. I have done some travelling by an Alto LX, Swift, Thunderbird and a Yamaha RX-135. I have done trips from 50 km to 2000 kms mostly in south India.

    Still looking for the time to write the experiences. Your blog is an inspiration.

    Hope the roads in MP have improved as its 2015 now.

    Regards,
    Amol

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