Kolkata to Bangalore Car Trip: I Shouldn’t be Alive

2000 km drive to Bangalore from Kolkata

What do a bored computer engineer and a jobless corporate lawyer do for entertainment considering the fact that they may have exhausted all the real happening pubs, clubs, karaoke joints and chic restaurants of Kolkata? Simple, they make a crazy 11th hour plan to drive 2000 km across the Southeastern Coromandel Coast to Bangalore from Kolkata!

Crazy enough because there is never any elaborate planning possible if you happen to decide at 11 pm that in 5 hours’ time you are beginning your drive- which essentially means the car set up has not been verified and you trust it holds up in such a long haul. And then how about finding that this small oh-what-the-hell-can-happen attitude might have scripted a very different story than this blog?

So, the story begins at my home where my mountain biking buddy Vinay Bhatia, the corporate lawyer protagonist of the story above who happens to suffer from a self inflicted joblessness (read resignation), laments the fact that he would have to send his car to Bangalore via the transporters and then book a flight ticket where how nice it would have been if he could drive it to his destination.  This suddenly spikes the bored computer engineer, which of course is me, to decide that he is going on a long drive with his buddy-while his wife just watches, chuckles and smiles for she knows her husband has always been that crazy kinds!

Day1: Kolkata-Bhubaneshwar-Vizag (900 km)

Finally, VB (shorthand for Vinay Bhatia) and I set off in his Hyundai Elantra from Saltlake Kolkata at 4 am on Friday May 7th, 2010. The spirits were high and the plan was simple. We would drive to Vizag (900 km from Kolkata) and break for the night. The next day we would see the Arku Valley and the Borra Caves and leave by midnight and reach Bangalore (another 1100 km).

Vinay Bhatia aka VB in the driver's seat. The whole way we fought for the wheel

The start on NH 6 was awesome. It is super smooth and VB was at the wheel. We crossed Kharagpur in 2 hours. After Kharagpur we crossed over to NH 60 where the road was smoother and sparse in traffic so our pace quickened. The progress was fast and the pace was relentless. The 125 bhp, 4 cylinder inline DOHC petrol engine was revving nice and smooth. However, our haphazard planning landed us the first blow when VB figured out that the steering column would pick up an annoying vibration upward of 130 kmph- the smoking gun for poor balanced wheels.

yeah baby....touch enabled in car entertainment system! that made the drive so much more fun

The in car comfort was excellent. The front and rear gas filled shock absorbers were making light work of the small potholes and bumps by absorbing them nicely. The cabin was nice and cool with the climate control and the best part was the fabulous music system that our lawyer friend had installed. The journey seemed so much more pleasurable for these gadgets and the music.

Anyway, 230 km from Kolkata near Belda we stopped for Tea worrying about the fact that the Orissa border was nearby and we would have to pay up the strange Rs. 800 Orissa road tax. We switched positions and I took the wheel. The difference in the drive quality was stark. I drive a WagonR and a Spark and the Elantra seemed like a cruise ship in comparison. With almost the double the number of horses under its bonnet as compared to my machines, it seemed like a car on some serious adrenalin shot infused into her arm.

Me driving the 125 bhp beast........thanks VB for clicking the pic!

We were pleasantly surprised when we passed the Orissa-Bengal checkpost without being stopped to pay for the grotesque Orissa Road Tax, though it was clearly written on large fonts making them unmistakable. But the euphoria of evading the tax payment sublimated quickly as the road conditions worsened. Pretty soon the NH 60 was replete with potholes and diversions. The most annoying were the speed breakers. They were numerous- making them a constant bug bear and then they came in bunches, sometimes as many as 10 neatly stacked together and going over them felt like a camel ride. The worst was their construction. It seemed like someone had put a 6 inch diameter pipe and put some coal tar over it to masquerade the job as speed breakers.

Then the road was all filled up by suicidal and homicidal wrong-siders. The drive to Balasore-Bhadrakh was no fun at all and we were averaging just 50 kmph. However, we had some good laugh when we spotted a local bus with ‘Google’ written in its rear.

Yes sir.....Google has penetrated everywhere, even where there are no comps

A few hours later near Bhadrakh we spotted a truck. Our jaw dropped when we saw what was written there! It screamed “Stop or Die”. A close look confirmed that it was just the registration number written in a font that makes one read it like a prophetic warning.

Stop or Die? or it is just Stop and the number OR 01E?

At 11 am we reached Cuttack and the city traffic slowed us down considerably. We crossed the vast Mahanadi which had very little water. The bridge over Mahanadi continued till an eternity.

Mahanadi crossing........seemed endless

Soon we stopped at the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar, 460 km from home at noon for lunch. It was a dhaba with a shady character but it did not bother us much. We had our share of laughter when we had a look at the T shirt slogan of one of the dhaba workers. Take a look.

"The Woman is a Rose" probably.....Rose has been spelled as "Hose" giving a whole new meaning to the slogan

After Bhubaneshwar we crossed over to NH 5, a part of golden quadrilateral project and hit an open road stretch. Khurda, Plasa went by in a jiffy as we were cranking 100 kmph with ease. The only specs of bother were the incessant wrong-siders and numerous cows and buffaloes who would test your reflexes by embarking on a slow road crossing anytime from anywhere.

Cows, buffaloes, monkeys, dogs, goats, chicken, humans.....everything crosses the road here in Orissa

Further on at Behrampore the good road stretch of 80 km ended and madness began. The surface quality became pathetic and the road became amazingly narrow and littered with uncountable railway crossings. To add to our pains, we were getting stuck at each of these railway crossings as we were almost travelling parallel with a slow moving goods train.

The last bit of Orissa was beautiful as well as maddening. As we neared the border of Icchapuram, the road climbed some 500 feet and that made us have a great panoramic view of the Chilka Lake. It was beautiful and then we saw a goods train chugging by the lake side. That pretty much made our day.

Chilka Lake and a Chugging Train...........

We stopped there for some time and enjoyed the view of the lake.

Stop......Marvel......Travel

The final punishment of driving through Orissa came in the last few km near the border. The road was under construction there and it was horrible to drive on it with a low ground clearance car like ours.

The 4 laning would comfortable take another 2 years to complete in Orissa

And the Orissa-Andhra Pradesh border was a pure insanity with no lane discipline in 2 km of either side. Everyone was coming from everywhere and there were head on traffic jams on the both sides of the carriageway. Somehow we wriggled through it with a huge help from the bully bus drivers and their helpers and sighed with relief as an open well constructed dual carriageway welcomed us.

Enter Andhra and the roads are great........thank god Orissa is not as big as Andhra!

No more breaks and we knocked the miles with ease and sailed into Vizag at 8 pm. We had booked our accommodation in Andhra Pradesh Tourism Guest House named ‘Haritha’ on the Beach Road. It was a decent affair with a very noisy bar. However, the rooms were all sea facing.

A little of whisky to celebrate the 900 km drive and a great fresh from sea prawn curry made for a nice good night’s sleep.

Day 2: Vizag-Borra Caves-Arku Valley- Vizag (300 km)

The next day, May 8th 2010, was an off day from driving and we donned our touristy cloaks and hired a local cabby for a day tour of Borra Caves and Arku Valley.

Borra Caves is situated some 90 km from Vizag and is considered the deepest and the longest natural cave in India. It is over 150 million years old (twice as old as Himalayas) and has an impressive display of geological forces in forms of Stalagmites and Stalactitesand other limestone deposition features. It was also found to be a dwelling for primitive cavemen dating 40,000 years back.

It was an amazing place to be. The fascinating formations were everywhere and we took a lot of time exploring the cave’s internals.

The Borra Caves: 150 million old wonder of nature

Very impressive was our driver. He was a 10th standard pass out and spoke really good English. As I would talk about how the Stalagmites and Stalactites formed through millions of years’ of geological chemistry, Venu would fish out his mobile and type the learning in a draft SMS!

Venu: the cab driver who impressed us a lot. Spoke great english, was very interested in learning things and was not at all the complaining driver types

However, not everyone in the cave would appreciate the scientific value of such an asset. The guides in the cave were busy showing the tourists the ‘Shiva Linga’, the ‘Uma Parvati Structure’ and all that mythological gibberish completely omitting the facts. The gullible tourists would listen to it mesmerized and in one place offer prayers and bounties to a so called ‘Shiva Linga’!

VB and I were enjoying ourselves and we would stop at each turn marveling the wonders of the cave.

the natural chimney of Borra Caves. The overhead opening to the ground is over 80 feet...that is almost as much as a eight story building!

I lamented the fact that my camera was not powerful enough to capture the beauty in such dim lit conditions.

VB admiring the spectacular geological features

After finishing the Borra Caves, we went 30 km further to reach Arku Valley, touted as the Ooty of Andhra. We found it a dull place and the only saving grace was witnessing a tribal dance.

The Tribal dance of Arku Valley. The area is maoist infested but is peaceful for tourists

We were back in Vizag by evening and we decided to do two things. First, give our car for a wheel balancing and alignment and second, while the car was being worked upon-visit the Vizag beach.

Vizag Beach

The beach was an open air party with tourists descending on it from all parts of the country, but mainly from Bengal.

One interesting thing caught our attention on the beach. There was this guy who had covered himself in Aluminium dust and was standing still without moving a muscle- looking like a statue of Mahatma Gandhi! VB went to him and asked if we could photograph him and he did not twitch a muscle, let alone reply to the lawyer. So, we clicked a pic of this amusing spectacle too.

Aluminium dust all over, scantily dressed, not moving an inch and making money...beat that for a living!

Back at the garage, we saw our car being readied. The mechanics balanced the wheels and fixed the tires using power tools. We drove off happily to our guest house for a drink and dinner. Little did we know that we had walked into a dangerous situation by now and it was matter of time when the disaster would strike.

Day 3: Vizag-Vijaywada-Gudur-Tirupati-Kolar-Bangalore (1100 km)

We started at 2 am from our guest house, determined to make it to Bangalore by 6 pm. The night drive was brilliant on a billiard top smooth NH 5 and post the wheel balancing the car was very happy to go over 130 kmph. I was at the wheel and the km went by effortlessly. Before long we were cruising on the highway and barring the frequent toll plaza stops the moving average was 100 km/hr.

It cleared up a bit while we crossed the Godavari River at Rajamundry. The route was all along the Coromandel Coast and it was a beautiful drive. The best part of the drive presented itself between Rajamundry and Vijaywada. The roads were clear and the visibility was excellent and I opened the throttle all the way. The car did 150 kmph, then 160 kmph and then it topped at 170 kmph! The handling was excellent and it was fun to drive.

To Vijaywada.......fabulous roads......begs you to speed 🙂

At Vijaywada VB took the wheel and he also took the car for a fly. However, just as everything seemed perfect for us to reach Bangalore way ahead of our estimated 6 pm marker, we started hearing a low repeatable sound from the left side of the car.

We stopped the car and got down to inspect. All seemed well and we continued with the sound persisting. We stopped at Ongole, a small settlement some 200 km from Chennai and 350 km from Bangalore at noon and found a mechanic.

a lawyer on a vehicle that screams of being an outlaw.....

As the mechanic had a look in the car, our lawyer friend got an irresistible desire to get himself photographed on one of the Willy jeeps standing there.

The garage at Ongole........one of the many confusing clues that impeded diagnosis

The mechanic came back to us with mixed news. He said that the suspension has some damage, which was the bad part. The good part was, we could continue to Bangalore if we drove conservatively.  I took over the wheel and immediately felt that something was surely amiss in the drive. The steering was getting a bit of vibration and we slowed down to 100kmph, for a change to adhere to the speed limit. We discussed the possible reasons for the suspension damage and zeroed on wear and tear issues. Anyway, we did not suspect anything as the mechanic had told us we could reach Bangalore.

Shortly after that reached Gudur and stopped for a final check and to figure out the route. I favored the route via Chennai to Bangalore. Albeit 120 km longer it would be a better bet for nursing the crippled beast to its den. VB felt we should take the shorter route via Tirupati and Kollar.

No wonder the owner of the car wins these arguments, so we took the route to Tirupati from Nayadupeta bidding goodbye to the excellent NH 5.

via Chennai or via Tirupati? The lawyer won and we chose Tirupati.....Dude next time you will be in my car!

We had our lunch at the Andhra tourist rest house near Tirupati. The hot sun and the extremely hot Andhra food induced lethargy and I slept at the back of the car while VB drove.

I woke up near Chittoor and immediately realized that the sound had gone much worse. From Chittoor town I took the wheel and in no time all went downhill.

Very soon the sound forced me to slow down to 60 kmph and in another 20 km, we were down doing 40 kmph. We stopped at a tea stall and VB made a few calls to figure out about a tow truck. We were 110 km from Bangalore and some 50 km to Karnataka border. The tow truckers advised us to somehow manage to reach Karnataka border and they could take it from there on.

So we stopped at a garage to seek a temporary fix for the next 60 km. This is where we got the shock of our lives. The mechanic inspected the underbody and it was all good. Just as we were planning to drive away, he spotted that one of our left wheel bolts was not present. It turned out that the left wheel was just hanging by a few threads! All the bolts were loose and the wheel was dangerously close to break free.

I shouldn't be alive: if that wheel had come off..................

This stunned us. Yes there was a vibration in the steering but we had just got the wheel balanced and the wheels were fitted with power tools and the other mechanic had clearly said it was a suspension problem and we had done our math all along these lines never suspecting a loose wheel! I got Goosebumps thinking what could have happened if we had lost a wheel at high speeds! We looked at each other when VB exclaimed “I shouldn’t be alive”!

All bolts tightened, double checked, we left. For the rest of the journey our conversations centered around what-could-have-happened-ifs and we steadily closed in to Bangalore. Finally after a really patchy section of Kollar-Bangalore, where the dual carriageway is under construction, we reached Bangalore at 8 pm.

The total drive was 2000 km covered in 34 hours. We could have shaved off 4 hours or so if we had not gotten into the fix. However, it was a great drive and we enjoyed ourselves. It had everything, the thrill of doing an unplanned journey, the creeps of knowing you came a wafer thin margin away from disaster, the pleasure of a great drive through some great terrains and the relief of making it to the destination.

Manasij Ganguli

manasij.ganguli@gmail.com

+919874544003

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59 Responses to “Kolkata to Bangalore Car Trip: I Shouldn’t be Alive”

  1. Ramki Says:

    Hey Great journey by wheels – Way to go!! Had fun reading it!!

    • manasij Says:

      Thanks Ramki, it was a great drive. Had great fun doing it. Sometimes it pays to be impulsive 🙂

  2. RG Says:

    You guys are crazy! My jaw fell to the table when i read about the tyre working loose! Wonder how you guys would have felt when you discovered it!
    Very well written Manasij, and i am sure you guys would have a wonderful time!!
    Cheers,
    RG

    • manasij Says:

      Hey RG, trust me bro I was SCARED!
      It was just too close for comfort anyway and we cursed the Ceat Tyre Shoppe at Vizag with all available expletives so far known to us 😀
      But it was an amazing journey, more so because it was unplanned and we depended on the situational inspirations to dictate the terms.
      And as always VB was an electrifying company!

  3. Varinder verma Says:

    Awesome manasij! I always read your blogs. You make them so interesting to read. Keep enjoying man! And keep writing

  4. Steve Hoge Says:

    I’ve heard this story before: a friend picks up his jeep after tire rotation and wheel alignment and 4 blocks away from the shop he sees his own rear wheel passing him by on the street! The idiots obviously failed to tighten the wheel nuts after threading them only finger-tight!

    Hope you’ll do a more thorough maintenance and safety check before your next epic MT BIKE ride!

    • manasij Says:

      looks like an endemic problem…………..
      it was scary though and more so because we were really cranking some serious pace…
      learnt my lesson though, always check yourself first 🙂

  5. prachi Says:

    nice and wonderful story dear

  6. Shas Says:

    Hey Manasij

    Great drive and fun writing! I am planning to go the other way, from Bangalore to Kolkata, on June 8. I was wondering if I could give you a call to ask for some directions.:)

    I am planning to do Bang-Hyd-Vizag-Bhub-Kol, taking things slow. I am guessing the roads will be better from capital to capital. I would like to know just a couple things, really. If my old Hyundai Accent breaks down on the borders of Orissa and Andhra, how much chance do I have to get killed by the Maoists (thats being asked in all seriousness)? Also, Vizag to Kol in a day, I see that you did that in a new Hyundai Elantra. I am wondering if my old car can do that. Any ideas? Finally, if I skip Hyd and go from Bang-Vizag, how is the road, which is the best road (best views and road conditions) and how much time will I need if I start at 8am from Bang airport? Oh, and lastly, any good hotel in Vizag with a phone number? Budget is anywhere between 0-2000!

    Thanks in advance, and pls drop me a quick email letting me know if and when I can call ya’ll.

    Thanks

    Shas

    • manasij Says:

      Hey Shas,

      Bang-Hyd-Vizag-Bhub-Kol is a good route and the roads are all good except for a few patches in Orissa.
      Don’t worry about Maoists, they do not harm tourists at all.
      All their wrath is against the govt and you will have no trouble
      FYI,we did the trip on our 47.000 km logged Hyundai Elantra.
      As far as break down in concerned, all major cities have Hyundai service stations so it should not be a problem…….
      You can skip Hyd as well.
      The road from Bang-Vizag is good except for the Bang-Kollar 70 km stretch as the roads are being double laned there.
      Take Kollar-Chittor-Tirupati-Naydeupeta-Vijaywada-Vizag route.
      You can call me anytime on my cell 9874544003

      Cheers,
      Manasij

  7. Srinivasan Says:

    Hi Manasij,

    Nice write-up with relevant pictures.

    I recollected one of the best dirves I experienced, between Bangalore and Goa.

    Sure you would have luvd driving on the road overseeing Vizag beach.

    The apt title would be ” Life is like Bolts and GOD decides when to tight and when to let loose”

  8. DINESH BIJLANI Says:

    i love to travel by road,almost every part of north india have been travelled by me in my wagon r and indica but on 29th morning of aug 10 i will be driving my indigo from kharagpur to bangalore.i love all those who take such challenges on road.well i can understand the experience KEEP IT UP.
    DINESH BIJLANI,
    KHARAGPUR

  9. Siddharth Shresth Says:

    Hi Manasij

    A nice trip and an exellent writeup.
    I am planning to do a similar trip in end Sep this year on my Swift. My family including my wife, parents and my daughter would be travelling with me. I did a trip Kolkata – Bhubneshwar-Puri last year during Durga puja. The road conditions were bad around bhadrak. I did make till Bhubaneshwar by 1 pm.
    What suggestions would want to make. any detours, hotels for staying etc. I dont think I will be able to do 900 Kms on the First day, or on any day. So where should I make the night stay (btn Bhubaneshwar and Vizag) and also btn Vizag and Bangalore)

    • manasij Says:

      Siddharth, your best best would be to break at Bhubaneshwar, Vijaywada and then reach Bangalore. The stretch between Bubhaneshwar and Vijaywada is around 800 km but has excellent roads after you cross over to AP. Drive safe and enjoy your ride 🙂

  10. Susil Says:

    I could not miss a single word….it was so exciting..great escape….God saves the good people. I had the same experience when I drovedown from Bangalore to Kolkata. I took exactly 30hrs in Ford Ikon..

  11. somik goswawmy Says:

    wow it is a great journey i learnt a lot i and my friend will go one day . nothing can resist me from a long drive.

  12. Siddharth Says:

    Hi Manasji!! I completed my road odessey in Sep2010. It was Good. Made the first halt at Gopalpur, a small fishermans cove. Next, I had planned to stop at Vijaywada, but continued till Guntur. Third day afternoon I was in Bangalore. Excellent Roads throughout, even the stretch near Orissa Border seems to be worked upon. However, i had left Gopalpur very early to avoid the delays in the border. No probs with the car – Swift Vxi.

  13. priya Says:

    I like to have long drives like you,me with my frnds planning to drive frm bangalore to hyd

    • fullorissa Says:

      Bangalore to hyderabad is the best highway that i covered… Reached in 8 hrs…

      • Anil Pandey Says:

        Bangalore Hyderabad can be easily done in 5 hours. Other wonderful roads are Bangalore-Madurai, Bangalore-Belagavi (Belgaum), Nadiad-Ahmedabad (on Mumbai Ahmedabad highway).

        I remember in those days, around 2008, journey up to Cuttack was pathetic as the 4 laning was going on. Do not know the present situation. I may go on a Bangalore-Kolkata trip in January 2017. Bangalore to Vizag (1009 km) and then next day to Kolkata (891km).

        Have done multiple 1000km a day like Bangalore Mumbai, Bangalore Nagpur in a day, max being Mumbai Jaipur (1200 kms). That trip was 6000 kms (Bangalore-Mumbai-Jaipur-Delhi-Rishikesh-Muradabad-Faizabad-Indore-Pune-Bangalore) Wonderful journey indeed.

  14. Indranil Nath Says:

    Hi Manasij,

    I tried your cell no but wasn’t able to connect. I am planning a trip; Kol-Blr on 8th Sep-2011. I will be great if I can have some of your valuable tips. Request you to please sms your contact @+917278004448.

    Thanking you in advance..
    Indranil

  15. hindhava Says:

    How about a ride in a bike? would it be cool or foolishness or a mixture of both?
    any suggestions?

  16. fullorissaPattanaik Says:

    Hey Manasij,
    please let me know how was the road from Nh5 to Bangalore via Tirupati???
    I mean I am planning to travel from Bhubaneswar to Bangalore… so which should be the better way for me? shall I drive through Chennai or the Tirupati wala road is good enough? please advice

  17. Ratul Says:

    Nice Manasij …. I am planning to travel from Blore to Kolkata

  18. Indranil Nath Says:

    Hey Manasij,

    Thanx for talking to me… I completed the trip in 3 days .. Kol-Bhub-Vizag-Blr…without (much) hiccups …A little bit risky I suppose as I was all alone ..but all the more for the kick..lol..
    ..The Andhra stretch was awesome … specifically the drive to & from Vizag ..

    Cheers but Drive Safe .. 🙂

  19. Biswajit Says:

    Hi All,
    Thanks Manasiji for posting the details of your road trip from KOl-BLR. I am planning to drive my new Beat Diesel from Kolkata to Bangalore on 14th May 2012, if you can spare some time of yours, then please share some ideas with me related to the route. I am planning to reach Bangalore by 15th night.

    Cheers,
    Biswajit
    09620414441

  20. KOUSIK Says:

    Hi Manasij,

    I am all alone to start my journey with my old Maruti 800 (mileage between max of 14-15 km/ltr) on may 7th. Now just help me out that whether it can be safe to start with my old car(condition of my car is 80% OK) and if yes then please guide me with the shortest route and where I can halt etc. with approx budget .

    waiting for your reply at the earliest.

    Thanks
    kousik

  21. anthony rozario , calcutta Says:

    very well written manasji. the traveler’s diary cudn’t get any better. had a nice time reading it

  22. KOUSIK Says:

    Hi Manasij,

    I am all alone to start my journey with my old Maruti 800 (mileage between max of 14-15 km/ltr) on June 7th. Now just help me out that whether it can be safe to start with my old car(condition of my car is 80% OK) and if yes then please guide me with the shortest route and where I can halt etc. with approx budget .

    waiting for your reply at the earliest.

    Thanks
    kousik

  23. KOUSIK Says:

    Hi Manasij,

    I am all alone to start my journey with my old Maruti 800 (mileage between max of 14-15 km/ltr) on June 7th.rom Bangalore to Kolkata.

    Please help me out that whether it can be safe to start with my old car (condition of my car is 80% OK) and if yes then please guide me with the shortest route and where I can halt etc. with approx budget (petrol consumption and toll tax ,halt etc etc).

    waiting for your reply at the earliest.

    Thanks
    kousik

  24. pawan mishra Says:

    Mr. Ganguli
    I am planning a trip from Bangalore to Kolkota in an old 1993 Maruti Omni with my family of three including me and one driver I normally drive slow average 60 Kmph . I am not in a hurry and dont mind doing the trip in 5 Days , I ve got to reach Kalkata on 20th of June 2012 , I plan to start from bangalore on 15th June . I would drive only between 6.00 Am to 6.00 Pm . Can you suggest the best route and some nice places for night halt , I have friends in Outi and Bhuvnashwar I need to halt in Andra. Pawan Mishra 9980636746

  25. Shubham Ghosh Says:

    i will drive from kolkata down to bangalore in my esteem this december. I will call you Mr ganguly if I ned any suggestion. Thanks.

  26. Manas Says:

    Great! nice read.. I am going to do it reverse (Bangalore to Kolkata) alone in my swift this month end!

  27. Rajeev Says:

    Hi Manas
    I just read your awesome road trip from kolkata to bangalore. Believe me it was like i am travelling and driving on the roads.
    It was an excellent travelogue
    I am planning a trip from Kolkata to Goa Via Bhub-Vizag-Bangl-Goa by road in Dec 2013 around Christmas in my Maruti Swift.
    Would earnestly like to seek your valuable advice

  28. Sumit Says:

    Hey Manasij, that was an awesome trip u guys had with a good lesson learnt on that wheel issue, I wish I was there too. Am a lawyer too like your buddy Vinay, I love roads trips but my longest trip was only till Asansol in my Aveo 1.6 LT. On 7th December 2013, I will be driving to bangalore from kolkata, can you please advise the best route and the hotels/lodges on the way for night stay, it will be great help. Any idea on the present conditions of the Highways on this route? Any plans for any other similar trips…hey do you still have that Elantra?

    Waiting for your early reply.

    Thanks
    Sumit.

  29. Pradip Says:

    Hi All
    I plan to travel Chennai to Sikkim on 16th January 2014 . Any suggestions.
    Thanks
    Pradip

  30. Sumeet Mukherjee Says:

    Hi Manas

    this was a real happening one. I have done quite a few long drives across india, but yours was really happening. Not that i wish mine to be such happening, but you had a real close shave.

    wonderful post, keep travelling and keep writing.

    Sumeet

  31. rajeev Says:

    manasji fantastic trip. i too am planning a trip to bhutan in 2014 may.your t log would be helpful for my route till kolkata.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    You’re a wordsmith!!!

  33. veembil Viswanathan Says:

    Hey, you have given a nice write up of your travelling experience which is really helpful for those who are planning for a CAL – Bangalore trip with lot of informations and precautions to be taken.

    Veembil Viswanathan

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Hi

    I am thinking (not planning) a trip from Bangalore to Liluah. I will be driving a jeep – a 2014 thar DI. And I maybe drive alone or Max with 1 companion. Any tips/suggestions/advice since your write-up happened almost 3 years ago?

  35. vikram Says:

    Hi
    I am thinking of a trip from bangalore to Liluah.
    I will be driving a Thar DI. Either alone or with a friend.

    Any updates/advice/suggestions/tips since this great write-up happened over 3 years ago?

  36. Sreekumar Rakshit Says:

    Hi dear,
    two decades back your aunt and yours truly with two daughters & a daschund had covered 1100 Km from Gevra(Near Korba) to Calcutta in 2 1/2 days in an 84 Maruti. We are now planning a trip from Bangalore to Calcutta by road in a 2004 Maruti(800)
    May God guide us!
    The article was hilarious and thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks:)

  37. Prasanta De Says:

    Hi Can anybody suggest the present road condition from Puri to Vizag?

  38. B B ARNAB Says:

    Its inspre me to drive from Kolkata to Bengaluru and back at my present age of 67 yrs.Hats off to U.

  39. Manisha Says:

    hi, I found this blog a great help for me. I must thank you for this of your creation. I am heading for the Saddle shore event of IBA to win the title of World’s toughest rider on motor bike. For this ,I have to choose a route of 1600kms and to travel in 24hrs. I chose the route BBSR-BLORE. But I was worried about the condition of NH5 and was searching for some information about the road condition. After reading this, I am relaxed. I will be riding KTM DUKE 390. Any advice will be a help for me.

  40. fullorissa Says:

    Btw how much was the total Toll Gates charges? They might have looted like anything???

  41. Anik Bhattacharya Says:

    Hello from a fellow computer engineer(rather. a soon to be engineer). Just graduated and going to join the company at the end of this month in Banglore. Was toying with the idea of driving my car to Banglore from Kolkata and landed up in your blog after I googled for some information. I have to say, it was very entertaining read and filled me up with more enthusiasm about the idea. Just a quick question though, could you tell me how much would I have to spend on the fuel if I do finally decide to drive my Chev Uva petrol car down to Banglore?.

  42. Ankit Says:

    Hi,

    It was nice to read about your experience. I am planning a 800km (one way) trip to my home town. It will be from Delhi to Gorakhpur (Up).
    Suggest me how should I plan the same. Also I would be the sole driver and two co-passengers. Your advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks

  43. akkytherocker Says:

    Hey brother,

    I’m planning a bike ride from Bangalore back to my hometown Kolkata on a 180cc Pulsar DTS-i Engine.

    Is it really possible to travel so much of distance on bike? Or do I need to have a pillion rider with riding skill also?

    Do let me know. I read your story and completely loved it. But clocking 160 – 170 kmph is possible on such great Sedans like the one you drove, maximum I can attain 120kmph on a pulsar 180 cc.

    Suggestions needed!

    Thanks,
    Aakash.

  44. Dipesh Majumdar Says:

    Nice blog. Even i like road trips a lot and recently did a Bangalore to Bhubaneswar road trip in Indica vista quadrajet. Here is the blog link: http://dipeshmajumdar.com/entries/travel-and-events/drive-from-bangalore-to-bhubaneswar

  45. anjali gupta Says:

    It was lovely to read about your trip experience from Kolkata to Bangalore. Being the IT capital of India, Bangalore is very well connect by other cities of India. One can get reasonable flights from various places such as Rajahmundry to Bangalore flights, Delhi to Bangalore flights.

  46. Syed Shiraz Shah Says:

    Neat and informative write-up there Manas! Could you confirm if one needs to follow the same route on a motorcycle ride from Kolkata to Chennai? Please do tell!

    Regards,
    Shiraz

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