Out of my many Road Trip today I will describe about one of the tour that I had under taken on 4th April, 2012 from Delhi to Bodh Gaya in 14 hours and the total distance is 1063 Kms and I would like to emphasis about the condition of the National Highway 2 which connects Delhi to Calcutta and my journey was upto Barhi a small town in Bihar(on NH-2) and also a border of Jharkhand.
(i) The distance is 201 Km from Mayur Vihar Phase-I to Agra and I left around to 4:30 AM & in the morning the traffic was not too much but you will find many tractors in between from Badarpur to Palwal and after Palwal the traffic get lesser and you could have a smooth ride and the road condition is quite good. The first Toll Plaza falls at Hodal which is almost 70 Kms from Delhi and after Toll Plaza you may find the traffic policeman to monitor the speed so be carefull. After 18 Kms from Hodal you get into the U.P Border and near the border you will find number of Trucks are parked there for paying the octroi and other taxes and it indicates that you are entering in U.P whereas the road should look wide and nice but the crowd of trucks indicate the general environmental of the state especially I have seen crowded boarder near orissa also near Ichapuri when u enter from Andhra Pradesh on NH 5 however i do not find such crowded boundary in other states and the excellent arrangement is made especially by the Gujarat Government when you enter from other states they have made the road congestion free and to facilitate the out side trucks a special area is designated for enquiry and clearance.
(ii) After entering U.P the road is quite good and you can drive at the speed of 120 Km but due to Autos, Cycles the speed has to be cut down and 90-100 Km per hour is quite comfortable for person to drive and you could enjoy the beauty of your journey then the next Toll Plaza falls after Mathura and in Mathura the road is under construction and you do not have much liberty to occupy more road space and especially I find the traffic sense is very bad in Uttar Pradesh.
(iii) The next city is Agra where due to crowd you waste some time and specially in the morning there is a vegetable market and all the vehicles drive on the wrong side just to save some time and traffic police just dnt act at all and the moment you cross Agra there is a Potholes and that should have been repaired but in the last five years I have not seen any changes. I will recommend that we need to have a bypass the way we have made on NH 8 near Jaipur so that the time wasted in traffic inAgrashould have been avoided. After Agra the road is good and after covering 18 Kms you will find a bridge which is under construction for the last five year and still I find no progress and for at least 2 Kms you have to drive on the wrong side and then u cross tundla and the next toll plaza falls and then u reach Ferozabad where also sometime time is wasted in the traffic in the city crowd and not much has been done by the District Administration in spite of knowing the importance of this National Highway that too it is a part of the Golden Quadrilateral and this is the first Mega Project initiated during the NDA regime.
(iv) After Ferozabad you can drive in relax mood and road condition is quite good and you can cross Itawa without any issue because there is a bypass but on the bypass the road need to be smoothen because there is some uneven patches and due to high speed the vehicle get jumped up.
(v). After Itawa you get into Auraiya and then Sikandrabad and then Kanpur Dehat( new name is ramabai nagar) and from Kanpur Dehat to proper Kanpur the distance is 98 Kms and in the periphery of Kanpur the road condition is not so good and there is lots of ups and downs and it seems that the road has come down because of the weight of the traffic and also about the bad material used during the construction and nothing has been done by NHAI to make the road flat and plane.
(vi) AfterAgrathere is fourTollPlazaup toKanpurand in allTollPlazayou will find counter is located towards driver and passenger seat whereas counter should be located towards driver seat and it is basically the norms in most of theTollPlazaI have noticed. The best part from Delhi to Kanpur is the 23 Km over-bridge in Kanpur which you can cross within 15 minutes but it is pathetic that sometimes trucks travel on the wrong side on this bridge and also during rain there is a lots of water logging but after all it is a fantastic drive on this bridge.
KANPUR TO BARHI
- After Kanpur excellent road and Allahabad is 190 Kms from Kanpur and you can reach within 2 ½ hours and the moment you enter the Allahabad bypass( also known as expressway) which is 80 Km in length and this is the best track in India and it is one of the expressway out of 15 existing expressway and I have drove on 10 expressway and you will love to drive on this route and wonderful to shoot any movie/documentary or you just love to walk/run and you can test the speed of your car and I had done at 160 Km in my fort figo diesel and 80 Km I had covered in 40 minutes and now the diversion is only 1 or 2 but before there were 5 to 6 diversion which use to reduce your speed and also frustrate that in spite of such a nice road you could not able to enjoy the speed and bit adventurism. After crossing Allahabad bypass you again come on the main highway and there is a small town but the traffic is ok not much to worry and from there Banaras is 90 Km and that distance you can cover between 70 minutes but the road condition is not much good and due to the weight of the traffic you will find small trenches at least up to 60-70 Kms from Allahabad bypass to Banaras but this experience of bad route get compensated when you cross Banaras without any difficulty since the Banaras bypass is exellent with many over- bridges and there is 2 to 3 entry point from the highway towards the main city. Between banaras and fatehpur at one point the road is almost damaged so be carefull in crossing the little stretch. After Banaras you reach the border District at Chandoli where lots of truck is parked and they are engage in coal trade and which is very surprising that there is no coal mining area in Chandoli but the coal from Jharkhand, Orrisa, Chhatisgarh comes to Chandoli and from here it get transported to other states may be because of less cess charge by the U.P Government. After chandoli the next main town is at mohania in bihar from where u take left turn forpatnacity. TheAllahabadexpressway is divided equally between allahabd and banaras and on expressway there is no provision of petrol pump so be carefull that u have sufficient fuel to cross this stretch.
- After you cross Chandoli you get inside the State of Bihar and the first impression comes after seeing the policeman those manage the border they look bit weak and their fitness level is very low but the road is excellent better then U.P except the initial part and I feel that may be because of the fund given by NHAI to the State Government is utilized in more transparent and proper manner or may be due to less traffic.
- After Banaras the main destination is Sasaram and then Dehri-on son and between that you will find one of the longest bridge on son river and then you cross Aurangabad and up to Barhi the road is fantastic but lesser dhabba and the traffic sense is not bad and from Barhi you take a left cut for Bodhgaya and the distance is 30 Km and it is the single track road from Barhi to Gaya and the road condition is ok and it is easier to drive in the day time but in the night due to high beam use by almost 99 per cent bus drivers and car users it is very difficult to drive on the road during the night time and it is not only in the single track but on the national highway also I felt the beauty of the road condition have to be ensured by strict traffic regulation whereas high beam should be disallowed.
- For safe driving I will suggest that you can drive at the speed of 90-100 Km and if you can control then on most of the stretches 120 Km is quite safe. In U.P be carefull from cycle, motorcyclist because they love to travel on the wrong side and they do only to save some distance because the cuts are not at frequent places as wanted by those people and such situation you will not find in other states. For Dhabas before 30 Km from Itawa there is on of the best food joint and you will find with lots of other common facilities and if somebody want to have non-veg and drinks then there are few nice dhabbas near Banaras which provides place for drinks and non-veg and also in Bihar before Aurangabad there is one nice restaurant for non-veg lovers. Overall road condition is excellent and you can reach at the same time which is taken by super fast train but by road you travel almost 70 KM extra.
- 5. Distance and Time- From Delhi to Agra u can cover within 3 hrs in morning hrs, from agra to kanpur the distance is 285 and it take 3 hrs and 30 mnts and on this stretch u can drive at 120 KM per hr, after kanpur the distance is 198 km upto allahabad and out of that 40 kms falls within expressway and upto the starting point of allahabad expressway u may require around 2 hrs to reach and if drive at 140km per hr then within 40 mnts u will able to over the 80 km stretch of Allahabad expressway, from the end point of Allahabad expressway u need 70 mnts to reach banaras and then 90 minutes to cross sasaram and further 1 hr to touch barhi and then 40 mnts to gaya.The total distance is 1063 km and u take around 13 hrs and 30 minutes and I expect after opening of yamuna expressway the time will get reduced to 12 hrs and 30 mnts but also u have to keep in mind that u drive almost 70 km extra than the rail route since by rail it is 990 km from delhi to gaya and by road it is 1063 km precisely. Therefore I would like to conclude that the 1000 km u can cover within 12 hrs which the time taken by the rajdhani express and the speed of your car at some pint is more than the rajdhani and even satabdi trains. To encourage the traveler govt need to make more such road and especially expressway so that the crowd and waiting list for train passenger will be reduced and by road u get connected with the real India and also come across the actual socio economic conditions of ur country and yes the thrill has no match with any mode of travel u choose.