Sunday, 25 December 2016

Family , fun and a long road trip

The pleasant and lasting memories of our first long road trip (First long drive) were a reason good enough to plan another one which was stretched far as well. This time we decided to travel some cities that would come along our way to reach home and go beyond that. This was an elaborated trip unlike the previous one which limited the route only to our native place. The experience of the first trip was memorable and yes, it was a strong incentive to plan for many more in the years to come.
It took us a lot of planning and discussions on as to how  to plan the trip. Since my bua had been calling us to visit Delhi and this time she was also in Basti to attend my son’s birthday, we decided to drive till Delhi taking her along with us. We decided to plan the route in such a way that we can cover at least main places which are nearby Delhi or else we would have to specially plan for those places again.

Finally, our plan was finalized in this way: Pune – Ujjain – Lucknow – Basti – Delhi – Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur – Baroda – Pune.

26-Oct-2016 : Pune to Ujjain

This time instead of Bhopal our night halt was in Ujjain, at our Mausi’s place and of course to visit the Mahakaleshwar temple. We started our journey at 5 in the morning from Pune and reached Ujjain at 7 in the evening.

27-Oct-2016 : Ujjain

The next day we visited the temple. To our surprise there was no rush in the temple, unlike on the weekends and we thoroughly visited the whole temple and had easy Darshan.

28-Oct-2016 : Ujjain to Lucknow

Sharp at 5:30 we moved to Lucknow. We followed the route Ujjain – Ghatiya – Susner – Jhalawar – Baran – Shivpuri Jhansi road – Jhansi – Kanpur – Lucknow - Basti.
The road condition was Very good in Rajasthan. Travelled a long stretch with very few vehicles on it and then we joined Kota – Jhansi highway NH 27 (East West Corridor). NH 27 was one of the awesome roads in our whole trip with a very less vehicle. One can easily maintain 100+ Kmph of speed, but always be careful about the animals that may roam around amidst your way. Be loaded with snacks and food items, as there are rarely any dhaba and hotels on that route. Also have enough fuel before joining NH27 due to less fuel outlets.


Due to all favorable road conditions we reached Jhansi at 2pm and covered 495 Km in 8h 30 min.
At 7pm we reached Lucknow and covered 315 Km in 5 hrs. I reached my In laws home and since it was  the day of Dhanteras so we were advised not to leave Lucknow the same day as we could stick with the crowd and jam before we could leave the city. We shopped for some utensils on the eve of Dhanteras and had very tasty veg Kabab paratha for dinner.

29-Oct-2016 : Lucknow to Basti

It was a lovely morning next day as we left for Basti and reached within 3 hours covering a distance of 207 Km.

1-4 Nov-2016 : Basti - Lucknow - Jagadishpur - Basti

A week went so early in celebrating Diwali, the celebration of my Son’s birthday and Bhaidooj for which we had our second visit to Lucknow and returned Basti via Jagadishpur after spending two days at my sister in laws place. 

5-10 Nov-2016 : At home

While we have a few days to leave for Delhi, there came the breaking news of demonetization on 8th Nov. Though it was good in the sense that we saved so much on Toll, it was the time to get change for our 500 and 1000 notes.

11-Nov-2016 : Basti to Delhi

There was no chance to withdraw money from ATM for the reason known to everyone. I got some cash from home of about Rs. 5K for an emergency and was asked if I needed more, although I denied as I thought I would find an ATM on my way. The condition was so miserable that I could not even manage to withdraw any money at any ATM on my way till I reached Pune.
It was the time to leave for our next destination Delhi.  As my Bua ji had come from Delhi to attend the birthday party and it was already planned to go Delhi with her, we left Basti at 5am and followed the route  Basti – Lucknow – Kanpur – Itawah – Firozabad – Mathura – Delhi.
Before Agra we were stuck in a big traffic congestion in Shikohabad & Firozabad and wasted our 1 hour being just stand still in long queue.  We did not join Yamuna express way and it was a very unfortunate decision to reach Delhi via Mathura, as again in Mathura we got stuck in a jam and these jams exhausted us a lot. After getting over all of these we refreshed ourselves at a cold drink shop and it recharged us enough to continue further. We met across heavy traffics throughout our way owing to the fact that there were many marriages scheduled on that date and there seemed lots of diversions and traffic jams on our way to reach home. Finally the struggling and tiring journey concluded as we finally reached home at 11:30pm.

12-Nov-2016 : Delhi

This was the day that we kept safe for us to take a good amount of rest,  though later we  regretted as we could have been in the market for some shopping.

13-Nov-2016 : Delhi (Akshardham)

The day was planned for the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple visit. Before going Akshardham we explored  the Sarojini Nagar market and then proceeded  for Akshardham and reached at 2 PM. Purchased combined ticket for all the visit and shows. It was excellent and must visit place, the Water show was awesome and no words to express the beauty of the various shows that took place in the temple premises. Visiting Delhi is complete once this temple is visited as it is just much more than a contemporary temple, it has everything to invest a day in.

14-Nov-2016 : Delhi - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri

Morning at 9:30pm we left for Agra via Yamuna express way. Here we paid a toll of Rs. 415, we were surprised that why we were asked to pay if all the highways were toll free, and then we came to know that this highway does not comes under National Highway. Now it was the  time to take fuel so we stopped at an IOC pump (J.P. Infratech). I asked them to fill the petrol of Rs.2000 and then he left the nozzle of  the petrol pipe in the car tank and immediately moved to talk to someone, then another person came and I told him to fill petrol of Rs.2000. He zeroed the meter and filled petrol of Rs.1700 and said the previous guy has already filled petrol for Rs.300 and I felt something wrong was going on. As I always ask for Bill whenever on longer routes to maintain my record, he gave me the electronic bill of Rs.1700 then I asked for the bill of previously filled petrol of Rs.300. They were giving unnecessary explanations for that missing bill of Rs 300 and tried to settle down the issue by providing any random bill to me. As the timing and bill number shown in Rs.300 bill should have been prior to that of Rs.1700 bill so I asked them to provide me the correct bill but they are not in condition to provide me the same. I met the manager and explained the issue, he checked the system log and found that it was not indicated anywhere that they have filled Rs.300 petrol before Rs.1700. Finally, they provided the remaining fuel of Rs.300 and we moved from there. This confusion, wasted our 30-40 mins and this had us thinking that on highways it is very important to be careful and one has to always keep the eyes on meter as well as on the filling staff to avoid some unwanted scenarios.
We reached the Taj Mahal parking at 1:30 PM and had our lunch in the car itself which we got packed from home. There we got ourselves surrounded by many Guides and agents. They were trying to convince us to hire them by telling us that there was too much rush and it was very difficult to get the tickets on your own. Finally, we decided to do it on my own and it took hardly 5 minutes to get the tickets and then we followed the queue that took us 10 minutes to enter the Taj Mahal. When you witness such a beauty, every moment is worth living its charm. We went short of the poses and pictures as the grandeur of this eternal monument can never be captured in the lenses but it surely casts its image on our soul forever. The kids had a fabulous time running each and every corner of the Taj and getting themselves clicked in the various famous poses with the Taj. Now it was the time to say goodbye to the Taj and at 5pm and we had to leave with a promise to ourselves to visit again.

We proceeded for Fatehpur Sikri and on the way we purchased famous “Panchi Angoori Petha” from their own outlet, reached Fatehpur Sikri at 7:00 pm and checked in the hotel “Goverdhan Tourist complex”. After that we were out for a small walk and had our dinner.

15-Nov-2016 : Fatehpur Sikri to Jaipur

We got up early in the morning and had our luggage packed because after sightseeing we had to check out from the hotel. Here we visited the very famous  Buland Darwaza and the Jodha Bai Palace.

Our next destination was Jaipur and we left Fatehpur Sikri at 1:00pm. We were totally dependent on navigation and on entering Jaipur just before reaching our Hotel “Anurag Villa” the navigation showed a right turn on one square.  We followed the route shown on our screen and suddenly I observed that I was the only one who took a right turn, but before realizing that the right turn is not allowed and it was a one way road a Traffic cop came in front of the car and stopped us. They asked us to pay the fine and I told him that I was short of cash and also was not able to withdraw from the ATM. I requested them to let us go as we were new to the city and had absolutely no ideas about the roads and were just following the routes as per shown by navigation. Finally the matter settled and we moved ahead. Checked In at the hotel at 6 PM. An hour after we Checked In we hired an Auto and visited a shop and purchased some bedsheets and a sari and while on our way to return to the hotel at Collectrate circle we had Paani Puri, Idli sambhar and Dosa.

On the way to Jaipur:

16-Nov-2016 : Jaipur

Places of tourist interest in Jaipur are Jantar Mantar, Museum,  Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal & Amer fort, Market and a very entertaining Puppet show at the hotel only.

Hawa Mahal


Jantar Mantar

Amer Fort

Jal Mahal

17-Nov-2016 : Jaipur to Baroda

The morning we left Jaipur to Baroda and we had only Rs.1200 in hand. I had been looking for any ATM but all efforts went in vain. I even requested the hotel reception staff to swipe my card and give me some cash but that also didn’t work. The only good thing was that we got the petrol on the card and there wasn’t any toll as well. Till Baroda each and every ATM was having long queues so there was absolutely no chance for us. Finally, we reached Baroda in the evening.

18-Nov-2016 : Baroda

The day was well spent in Baroda with a visit to the Iskcon Temple. My brother in law somehow managed to get some cash from the bank after struggling for hours. We were given Rs.5000 that was more than enough to help us reach Pune and this money also helped us to fulfill our daily needs for many days till we got ourselves standing outside the ATM and bank.

Welcome to Vadodara


9-Nov-2016 : Baroda - Pune

Reached Pune at 9. Since we were out for more than three weeks we were getting calls from a few of our neighbour about our whereabouts. It was a pleasant feeling when on reaching home, we were invited by one of our neighbor and dear friend Mr. Srivastava to have dinner with them as we had been through a long journey. After dinner and a long discussion about our journey we thanked him for this kind gesture and everybody retired for the night to have a long sound sleep. Sunday was kept safe for only rest and unpacking to begin afresh the next day and get started in the routine life.

Hotels stayed in :

Hotel Anuraag Villa, Jaipur (Rajasthan): Review @ Click Here

Hotel Goverdhan Tourist Complex, Fatehpur Sikri (U.P.): Review @ Click here


About the trip

Route : 

Pune – Malegaon – Indore – Ujjain – Jhalawar – Jhansi – Kanpur – Lucknow - Basti.

Basti - Lucknow - Kanpur - Firozabad - Mathura - Delhi - Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur -  Baroda – Mumbai - Pune.

Car : Hyundai Grand i10 (Petrol)

Kilometers covered: 5,005

Speed limit: 80 - 100 Kmph

Fuel consumed: 265 Liter

Fuel cost: Rs.20,600

Toll paid: Rs.2,418

Toll saved due to demonetisation: Rs. 2,105

Flat Tyre: No

Fuel economy with 70% AC on: 18-19 Kmpl

Longest drive in a day: 810 Km (Ujjain to Lucknow)

Longest non stop drive in a day: 610 Km (Ujjain to Jhansi)

Road condition:

Pune To Sangamner: Road widening is in progress, 70% completed, but be aware of the diversions.

Sangamner - Kopargaon : Good

Kopargaon - Malegaon : Very Good

Malegaon - Indore : Excellent 4 Lane

Indor- Ujjain : Very good

Ujjain - Jhalawar : Very good

Jhalawar – Baran - Kota Jhansi highway : Very good with some section of road work in progress.

Baran - Jhansi : Excellent 4 Lane

Jhansi - Lucknow : Very good 4 Lane

Lucknow - Basti : Excellent 4 Lane

Lucknow - Itawah : Very good

Itawah - Agra : Very good

Agra – Delhi via Mathura : Good

Delhi – Agra via Yamuna Express Way : Excellent 4 Lane

Agra - Jaipur : Excellent

Jaipur – Baroda : Excellent

Baroda – Pune : Excellent

Toll Plaza and the amount paid :

                                           Toll Plaza
Moshi, Pune NH-60
Sonway : Indore-Khalghat NH-03
Dhule NH-03
Songir Toll Plaza (Dhule to Nardana) NH-03
Shirpur Toll Plaza (Nardana to Palasner) NH-03
Khalghat Sendhwa (MP/MH Border) NH-03
Indore NH-03
Mahakaleshwar Indore-Ujjain  SH-27
Mahakaleshwar Tollway   SH-27
Ujjain Jhalawar Rd project (Ujjain-Agar)   SH-27
Ujjain Jhalawar Rd project (Chamarda-Chawli)   SH-27
Ridcor Toll Plaza (Ujjain - Jhalawar)   SH-27
Ridcor Toll Plaza (Jhalawar - Baran)  SH-27
Kota Baran Tollway : Fatehpur : Derumata temple - Ghadwali River  NH-27
Jhansi Baran Pathway : Mundiyar  NH-76
Jhansi Baran Pathway : Ramnagar  NH-76
Jhansi Baran Pathway : Raksha  NH-25
Semri Toll Plaza (Jhansi - Pooneh)   NH-27
AIT Toll Plaza (Poonch - Orai)  NH-25
Usaka (Chamari) NH-25
Etawah Chakeri Kanpur Highway Pvt. Ltd. : Barajore
Kanpur Ayodhya Tollway : Nawabganj NH-25
Kanpur Ayodhya Tollway : Faizabad Rd, Ahmadpur Chauraha Dist Barabanki NH-28
Kanpur Ayodhya Tollway : Raunahi NH-28
Ayodhya Gorakhpur SMS Tollway : Chaukdi Toll NH-28
Ayodhya Gorakhpur SMS Tollway : Chaukdi Toll NH-28
Kanpur Ayodhya Tollway : Raunahi NH-28
Kanpur Ayodhya Tollway : Faizabad Rd, Ahmadpur Chauraha Dist Barabanki NH-28
Ayodhya Gorakhpur SMS Tollway : Chaukdi Toll NH-28
JayPee Infratech : Yamuna Express Way (Does not come under National Highway)

Petrol Pump used for filling:

(HP) Swami Samarth Enterprises, Bhosari, Pune
(HP) Radhika Petroleum, Malegaon Manmad road
(BPCL) Govind Ram Hanuman Prasad, Ujjain
(IOC) Shri Gayatri Highway Service Somai road, Jalaun NH 27 UP

(HP) Lucky filling station, NH-27, Kanpur road, Jalaun 285202
(IOC) RKBK Ltd, Kachehari, Basti
(HP) Gosaiganj (On the way to Jagadishpur)
(HP) Jitendra Kumar, Marwatia, Basti.
(HP) Chauhan filling Stn., Kalpi rd., Pakri, Kishan Nagar, Kanpur
(IOC) J.P. Infratech, Yamuna Express Way

(IOC) J.P. Infratech, Yamuna Express Way
Saraogi S, Govt. Hostel Crossing, Ajmer Rd, Jaipur, Rajasthan

(BPCL) Katabjiwalan Lunavada, Gujrat
(BPCL) G.C. Patel & Sons, Pardi, Valsad, Gujrat