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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Mumbai to Nagpur

Driving to Nagpur by road was the only option left when our train tickets to Nagpur were still wait listed 2 days prior to our scheduled travel date. Tatkal quota overflowed within a few minutes of opening the bookings. These were Diwali days.

Started around 5:30 am from home and hit the Eastern Express Highway at Mulund exactly at 6:00. Going was good until the car stalled at Bhiwandi toll post. Our plan was to reach Nagpur the same day but I was not sure now. A little push and the car started and I put my worries at rest.

Expert at Spark Battery Works was available just outside Bhiwandi even at that early hour. But as it normally happens, the patient behaved well in front of the doctor and we continued. Another hiccup was experienced only when we were just about 10 minutes from my Parent's place in Nagpur.

We took to the road again with full confidence after getting the green signal from the expert. We took our first of several photo-stops when we were nearing Nasik (also known as Nashik) near this temple. In my memory, this temple seems to be perpetually under construction. Even today one could see some stone work in progress in the foreground.


The pleasure of driving on a 4 lane double road (about 145 kms) which started at Mulund, Mumbai ended when we were just short by 23 Kms from Nasik. The next 60 Kms must have been the slowest of the whole of 860Kms drive. It was both traffic on the Nasik-bypass and fly-over construction.

The 4-lane 120Km road that started just after Pimpalgaon, a small town - about 50 Kms outside Nasik - was a good drive but then another photo-stop was a must at the following spot :


Very soon a breakfast stop was also due which we took after Malegaon. Nothing much to speak of this restaurant nor the others that we stopped for our very-late-lunch at 3:30 pm and the last just before Amravati at 8 PM.
                                                                                                                                                                             
This butterfly waiting just outside the restaurant greeted us after our breakfast.

The stretch of this 120 Kms, NH3 took us just beyond Dhule until the road split - the straight road NH3 over fly-over going to Indore while the right turn (beginning of NH6 or AH46) below the fly-over, to Nagpur.

NH6 is a 2-lane road with no sign of any construction for 4-laning. My major thought on this about 425 kms+ 2-lane stretch was whether we would be able to make it to Nagpur the same day. The road reminded the 'good old' roads of eighties when we travelled in our Fiat of 1963 model.

On this 425 km stretch, we crossed familiar towns some of which often used in antaksharis we played during our childhood .... Bhusawal, Varangaon, Malkapur, Nandura, Khamgaon, Shegaon, Akola, Badnera, Murtizapur and Amravati.

Here was another temple that we came across when we were nearing Bhusaval.

Good part was that the highway bypassed these towns and in some occasions we had only a small glimpse of what could be waiting for us, had we taken the route through the towns. Only town which I would have liked to pass through was Shegaon known for the Saint Gajanan Maharaj but as it happened, the town was a little away from the highway.

Further photo-stops were when we passed this giant Hanuman idol in Nandura, the sun-flower plantation when we were nearing Akola and then a spot by the side of the road where red chillies were being dried.

On the way somewhere just before Bhusawal it was nice to see Tata Motors - Day & Night Service centre. Though it was not much help to us, its sight was very comforting and wondered if some day Mahindra and others would have similar stations.

Later I was also taken by surprise when we crossed Akola airport. Had never heard of it before. Need to check if it was operational though my using it is unlikely.



The following picture shot somewhere just beyond the half way did not require any stop :

Just around 8 PM we took another stop for some food at Prince Restaurant just before Amravati bypass, still about 150KMs from Nagpur. Still on a 2 lane highway we were not sure if it would be prudent to go to Nagpur the same day but then we took the decision that we should. The road guide that I had printed from a 2 year old blog did indicate that somewhere soon we should expect a 4-lane road that should speed up our journey.

We crossed several toll posts charging varying amount from Rs 10 to Rs 100 but by now I had come to conclusion that roads charging Rs 10 for the toll could not be depended upon. The free ways were as good or bad as the ones charging Rs 10.

The final stretch of 4-lane highway was about 110Kms and took us straight into Nagpur just before 11 PM.

Into the city we must have been just about 3-4 kms from my parents place when again the engine stalled. An insignificant push and the remaining short distance was covered quickly. Mechanic later assured me that I need not worry about it until I return to Mumbai. 

Now it was time for Diwali celebrations ! Happy Diwali to all of you !


Following travel-log should also be interesting to some of the readers:

SrPlaceKm countDist from MumbaiTimeComments
1Western Express Highway, Mulund44935006:00:004 lane road starts
223 Km milestone to Nashik4507313808:00:004 lane road ends
3After Pimpalgaon on NH34514020509:45:004 lane road starts
4Breakfast break (20 Kms after Malegaon)4522028510:45:0035 minutes halt
5Right turn to Nagpur on NH3, Dhule exit4526132612:05:004 lane road ends
6NH6 (AH46) starts4526132612:05:002 lane road starts
7Lunch break near Malkapur4544350815:35:0045 minutes halt
8Nandura - Huge Hanuman idol on NH6 (AH46)4547153616:45:003 minutes stoppage
9Diesel Halt just after Shegaon exit4549856317:28:0010 minutes halt
10Photo stop - Sunflower cultivation4551057517:45:003 minutes stoppage
11Akola airport on left4555161618:24:00 
12Dinner break - Prince restaurant, 4562869319:55:0030 minutes halt
13Amravati by-pass starts4563069520:28:00 
144-Lane road starts - NH 64566272721:32:00 
15Nagpur arrives4580286722:48:00 












3 comments:

  1. eventful journey!
    very informative too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your blogs. Well written. Good photos. You have an aptitude to write ! Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great blog , Nandan and the photos bring the trip to
    Iife

    ReplyDelete