Tuesday, 1 December 2015

My first ever longest drive

Grand Trip of 4200 Km

I am a regular reader of travel blogs, as I love to travel. I decided to post one of my own. Since it is my first article about my journey it had to be special and so it was, about my longest road trip by our car "Hyundai Grand i10" to our native place Basti (U.P.). It was a round trip of 4200 Km. Initially, it was like a dream to plan such a long journey by car, but reading, travel blogs of many daring travelers helped me fully make my mind to do it.  
After preparing myself, I started preparing my wife for this grand trip. Believe me, the trip was planned for November 2015 but everybody was getting mentally prepared for this since February 2015 itself. After some yes and many no’s everybody seemed to start showing interest for the trip and finally they were 100 percent ready to go.
The decided date to start the trip was 5th November 2015. As I was very excited, I started noting down the things to be taken for the journey. As my daughter is 6 years old and son is 2 years old, I had to take care of their sleeping and sitting arrangement to make the journey comfortable for them. Two days before the journey there were some changes in the rear seat to make like leg room area which I filled with mattress and made it to the seat level so as to make it spacious for them to sit, play or sleep. Packing was done on 3rd itself. The day before leaving, we had our dinner at 8 pm. Food for the journey was also partially done and we slept at 9pm after finalizing everything. The next day was the day for which we all were waiting for. Me and my wife woke up at 3 am and started preparing puri sabji. In addition, we kept boiled eggs, some packed Lassi and lot of snacks along with about 6 liter of chilled water. We carried this much of stuffs to avoid breakfast and lunch in the restaurant, as usually we both don’t like to stop much in long journeys as it kills time. As far as hygiene is concerned, kids would enjoy the home made food all the time as much as possible. We decided to take the breaks only for tea.
5-Nov-2015: Pune to Bhopal
Sunrise: On the way to Sangamner
At 4:45am we locked the door and now we were ready to move and started at 5am. In the morning there was very less traffic on Nasik highway and we reached Sangamner by 7.30am. Took right for Kopargaon and then turned left after 6 km for Manmad, we joined NH-3 (Before Malegaon Girna river, take right and join NH-3 for Indore) and took our first tea break at 10:30am at hotel A-1 Sagar (Hotel is just 9.7 km after Malegaon junction which has excellent parking and restroom). 
Hotel A-1 Sagar
Dhule Indore highway (NH-3)
Till now we have covered 268 km and again we started at 11:00 am towards Indore via Dhule and Sendhwa. There is a rumor that Sendhwa is a dacoit zone but it’s not true, one of my friends from Indore  told me that it was there around 10-15 years back when the new highway was not built. In old days there were police vans which would provide protection to bunch of vehicles. 
Welcome to Madhya Pradesh

Toll boothDewas Bhopal corridor
After Indore via Dewas bypass we took a right for Bhopal and reached Bhopal at 8pm. We decided to stay in Bhopal at our relative’s home. Here the worst thing to happen was that we both have lost our data connection, as we were totally dependent on GPS only to reach home. Well, we started asking for J.K.Road but to our surprise anyone we met had no idea of the address which was not very far away. One of a guy expressed that how the J.K.Road can be here (J.K. road yahan kaise ho sakta hai) (lol). Getting right direction was difficult and we lost our 1 hr in just taking rounds of the city. Finally, we met a guy who clearly explained the way to reach our destination, and at last we reached home at 9.30pm and covered another 509 km (Total: 778 km). During this 509 km stretch we only took a break to fill our bottle with cold water. We didn’t get the data connection till the time we stayed in Bhopal.
We had our dinner and slept at 12:30pm and woke up at 5:30am. Bua ji prepared Poha and packed up some Poha, bread jam and bread butter for us. We had our breakfast and were again ready for the next move to Basti. It was quite good for us and again we don’t have to worry about the lunch for the kids.
6-Nov-2015: Bhopal to Lucknow
Standing on the Tropic of Cancer

We started at 9:15am from Bhopal and have to cover 850 km. It was too late to start, but we have the option to stay in Lucknow, as my wife’s home is there. Due to this late departure, we skipped to visit the Sanchi stoop which was on the way, but will definitely cover in our next trip :-). Via Vidisha and Bina we joined the NH-26 (North-South Corridor) in Malthone. The road was excellent till Jhansi you can maintain 100+ Kmph but wait for the twist; beware of Cows and buffaloes as you can’t realize from which corner of the road they will instantly pop up in front of your vehicle. Definitely you will get some stretches in these 153 km to maintain the stated speed but always be alert.
We joined Jhansi-Shivpuri road (NH-25, NH-2: East-West Corridor) then took right and continued, after 9.5 km turned left and then after 850mtr took right to Kanpur. We took our first tea break of 30 minutes near Kalpi before 76 km of Kanpur. We continued till Kanpur which is famous for traffic jam. We were stuck in a jam on the bridge and started the GPS a bit late, so wrongly we continued on Allahabad route. When the GPS started showing a “U” turn, then it struck that something went wrong. It was not too late; hardly it was 5-6 km extra because of this wrong way. We then took the “U” turn and stopped at one Omelet stall before joining Lucknow road. We ordered two plate bread omelets and it was our unexpected Second break in Kanpur near Lucknow-Kanpur highway. We started now for Lucknow and again we stuck in a jam after crossing Ganga river. Thank God it was for only 15-20 minutes, the jam got cleared and finally we continued for Lucknow. Now it was 10:00pm so we decided to stay in Lucknow and when my brother in Law came to know that we will be staying in Lucknow he brought Kabab and Parathas (Yummy ) for us. As we entered Lucknow we were hardly 8 km near home when we again stuck in Jam. After 20 minutes of jam we came out and reached home at 11:15pm. We have now covered 1474 km from Pune.

7-Nov-2015: Lucknow to Basti

We woke up at 5 am,  had our breakfast and left for Basti at 6 am. There was no traffic and it was easy to maintain 100 kmph, so we covered 206 km in 3 hrs and at 9 am we were on our doorstep. Till now we  covered 1680 Km.
7-12 Nov- 2015: At home

We were at home only busy enjoying Dhanteras and Diwali.
My grandfather with my daughter
Lakshmi poojan

Bhadeshwar Nath temple - Basti

13-Nov-2015: Basti to Lucknow
Ayodhya bridge (On the way to Lucknow)

As it was the day of Bhaidooj, we again moved to Lucknow at 8:30 am and reached at 12 pm to my brother in law’s home for Teeka. All my sisters in law reached just after we reached. In the evening we visited Phoenix mall and the day ends here.
14-Nov-2015: Lucknow to Basti
It was already in our plan to visit Lucknow Zoo to make the day enjoyable for the kids. Me, my wife, both kids and her both sisters with their kids reached the Zoo. Now we all have a count of 10 members (my brother in law joined us later). After some time he came with Tunde ki Kabab and parathas. We all enjoyed the meal.

Lucknow Zoo

In the evening at 5 pm we finished our visit to the Zoo. At 5:30 pm we departed for Basti and reached at 9:00 pm and covered 204 km.
15-Nov-2015: Devi Patan temple
We visited Devi Patan (Maa Pateshwari) temple, Located in town Tulsipur in Balrampur District. It is the most important and among one of the 51th Shakti Peeths in the region. Nepal is just 23 Km from Tulsipur. After reaching the temple we parked the vehicles and stood in the queue for Darshan.

Devi Patan temple main entrance

We did our darshan in about 30 minutes. Time for lunch so we chose to sit under the tree and had our home made lunch. After spending 3 hours we left from there.
There were 9 members, including 3 kids so we took two cars (Grand i10 and Zen). From Basti the distance of the temple is 114 Km. Road condition between Basti and Itwa was good 2 Lane road but from Itwa to Tulsipur the stretch of 50 Km was horrible and worst ever road in my whole trip.
18-Nov-2015: Basti to Jagdishpur
The day came to return Pune. The distance from Basti to Bhopal is 870 Km and it seemed difficult to cover it in daytime, as I strictly avoid driving at night with family. So we decided to split our journey and we moved for Jagdishpur located in Sultanpur district, which is 145 Km from Basti, to my sister-in-law’s place.

Resting for the next drive !!

Indogulf township park

Indogulf temple

We stayed 18th and 19th in Jagdishpur only. Jagdishpur visit had been already there in our plan, but before the 18th. To break this 870 Km stretch we have covered it on 18th November Instead of going from Lucknow, via Jagdishpur we skipped two Toll plazas which is located between Faizabad to Lucknow.

20-Nov-2015: Jagdishpur to Bhopal
This was the day when we moved to Bhopal. My wife and her sister prepared Puri Sabji and also packed some snacks. We started the journey at 5 am. Instead of going via Lucknow we decided to take left from Gosaiganj and continue till Mohanlalganj. We filled our tank on HP (Hamara pump, Mohari kala) just after new district jail. The road condition from Jagdishpur to Lucknow Kanpur highway is very good. After the railway crossing we joined Lucknow-Raebareli road. Again, we took a left and immediate right for Kanpur. By this route we bypassed Lucknow and joined Lucknow Kanpur Highway (NH 25). Ajgain is 21 Km from this junction.
As we entered in Kanpur a traffic police stopped us and very politely he asked “Agar kasht na ho to gadi ke papers dikha sakte hain kya?” (If you don’t mind could you please show me the car documents?). This was the first and last time that my car documents were examined during the whole trip. Later he  asked from where I am coming and where I am going then by himself, he guided me the route to Jhansi. At the same checkpoint the car next to our’s was also MH-12 Pune passing. We were quite happy to see this.
By 10:45 am we reached Jhansi and took our first tea break of 45 minutes. At 11:30 we continued for Bhopal and with non stop driving we have reached Bhopal at 7pm.Before Sanchi due to some reason the road were blocked by police and the route was diverted. Somehow, with the help of GPS we came out from all the diversions and joined on main road.
21-Nov-2015: Bhopal to Pune
We woke up at 4:30am, had our breakfast and departed at 6 am for Pune. It was a lovely morning and we came across Bhopal lake which was on the way and we couldn’t stop ourselves to visit the lake. We captured some photos and then continued to Indore.

Bhopal during Sunrise

Leaving Bhopal

My better half trying her hand on driving

A huge hunk - 74 Wheels

Thumbs up hill - Manmad

Our next target was to reach Sangamner before the Sun set and by 6:30 pm we touched Sangamner. And finally 9:30pm we reached home.

About the Trip: 

It was our first and a very long trip indeed. The result was that all four of us enjoyed and were again ready anytime for such long drive with our Grand i10. Must say it was an awesome experience.


Pune – Malegaon – Indore – Bhopal – Bina - Malthon – Jhansi – Kanpur – Lucknow - Basti.

Basti - Jagdishpur - Mohanlalganj - Kanpur - Jhansi - Malthone - Bina - Bhopal - Indore - Pune.

Car : Hyundai Grand i10 (Petrol)

Kilometers covered: 4,200

Speed limit: 80 - 100 Kmph

Fuel consumed: 220 Liter

Fuel cost: Rs.14,680

Toll paid: Rs. 3,403

Flat Tyre: No

Fuel economy with 70% AC on: 19 Kmpl

Longest drive in a day: 778 Km

Longest non stop drive in a day: 505 Km

Road condition:
Pune To Sangamner : Road widening is in progress, but no issues in the early morning to cover the distance in time.
Sangamner - Kopargaon : Good
Kopargaon - Malegaon : Very Good
Malegaon - Indore : Excellent 4 Lane
Indore - Dewas : Very good 2 Lane
Dewas - Bhopal : Excellent 4 Lane
Bhopal - Vidisha : Good
Vidisha - Malthone : Very good
Malthone - Jhansi : Excellent 4 Lane (Bumpy road)
JhansiLucknow : Very good 4 Lane
Lucknow - Basti : Excellent 4 Lane
Basti - Faizabad : Excellent 4 Lane
Faizabad -to Jagdishpur : Very good 2 Lane
Jagdishpur - Gosaiganj : Very good 2 Lane
Gosaiganj - Mohanlalganj : Good 2 Lane
Mohanlalganj - Lucknow-Kanpur highway : Very good 2 lane.

Toll Plazas and the amount paid:

Toll Plaza Amount
Moshi, Pune 28
Dhule : NH-3 120
Songir : NH-3 55
Shirpur : NH-3 85
Khalghat, Sendhwa 86
Indore 80
By-pass NH-3, Indore 45
Dewas-Bhopal Corridor 42
Dewas-Bhopal Corridor 43
Bina 30
Bina 20
Malthone 85
Jhansi-Lalitpur 60
Babina 80
Semri NH-26 80
Baleswer 80
Usaka (Chamari) NH : 25-2 80
Barajore, Etawah Chakeri Kanpur highway 120
Nawabganj (Kanpur to Lucknow) 65
Ahmadpur chauraha (Lko to Fzd) 80
Raunahi, Faizabad 85
Harraiya (Towards Gorakhpur) 85

Petrol Pump used for filling :

(HP) Chondi, Taluka Malegaon - MH 
(HP) Gram Mahobi, Bhopal - MP 
(HP) Kanpur dehat - UP
(IOC) RKBK Basti - UP
(HP) Pandey, Basti - UP
(IOC) Devipatan, Tulsipur - UP
(HP) Hamara Pump, Mohari kala, Lucknow - UP
(HP) Shivpuri road, Sujwaha, Jhansi - UP
(HP) Bhopal road, Rangai, Vidisha - MP
(HP) Rachna sales and service, Phanda Sehore, Bhopal - MP
(HP) Yeola, Nagar Manmad road - MH

Car performance: Hyundai Grand i10 is an awesome piece of technology and you can blindly trust in it. I drove 510 Km nonstop from Malegaon to Bhopal without any trouble. The car is very comfortable for long drives. Now I am a big fan of Hyundai.

At last, I would like to appreciate my family members for showing immense patience throughout this long journey and making my dream journey to come true.


  1. Awesome blog shekhar bhai....really impressed with this...cheers....

  2. Excellent Shekhar.... I also read such blogs on teambhp , it was a feeling like reading blog written by professional blogger . All the best.

    1. Thanks for such nice wordings Rhushi. Leh-Laddakh trip is still in my mind. We must have to do it dude.

  3. Great Grand Trip Shekhar....I should plan too

  4. Great Grand Trip Shekhar....I should plan too

  5. Nice blog Shekhar bhai....fully motivational....

  6. बहुत सही अंशु भैया आप ने अपने विचार और अपने अनुभव से हम लोगो को अवगत कराया☺☺☺☺��

  7. Really Amazing and inspirational story. Good Job Shekhar

  8. Wow!!driving to home is always thrilling that too wit family.. wat else can make u happy.. narrated well wit pics..i felt i drove frm Pune to Basti.i enjoyed reading nd the most i liked is the note abt road conditions nd toll rate...fantastic... looking forward ur next trip..

  9. Excellent blog Shekhar. Very impressive. I am also planning to go to Gwalior from Pune in October 2017 month. Please could you suggest good route.

    Any specific reason for choosing Pune-Sangamner route instead of Ahmednagar - Manmad route?

    1. Thank you..!!

      As per your location in Pune, till Manmad you can chose any of the route either via Sangamner or Ahmednagar.

      The routes I chose till Jhansi is below :

      1 -> Pune – Manmad – Indore – Dewas – Bhopal – Vidisha – Bina – Malthone – Lalitpur – Jhansi – Gwalior. : (Km. 1231)
      2 -> Pune – Manmad – Indore – Ujjain – Ghatiya – Susner – Jhalawar – Shivpuri – Mohana - Gwalior. (Km. 1175)

      Route 1: I drove till Jhansi on this stretch and it’s very good. The Malthone Jhansi road is the North-South Corridor road, Its excellent. I am not in the condition to tell about Jhansi – Gwalior road, as it is Shrinagar – Kanyakumari highway and I guess the road condition would be good.

      Ujjain is the center location between Pune to Gwalior, if you stay there and if time permits, you can also visit Mahakaleshwar temple.

      Route 2: I drove till Shivpuri. Road condition in Rajasthan is very good. Jhansi Shivpuri road is the East-West Corridor road and well maintained. You would have a nice experience driving on this stretch. I have not tried Shivpuri to Gwalior (115 Km) route, as it is Mumbai Agra double lane national highway and it seems to be in good shape.

      The reason for choosing Pune-Sangamner : As I stay in Moshi Pradhikaran so travelling via Ahmednagar road the distance will increase by around 40 Km. I have also heard that the road condition after Ahmednagar is not that much good.

      I am also going to Basti (U.P) in October 2017 and selected the 2nd route.

      I hope the given information would help you to plan your trip better.

      Wish you all the best for your upcoming journey in Oct 2017. Share your travel experience once you complete your trip.

      Happy and safe driving….!!! :-)

    2. Thank you for your detail inputs.

      Wish you Happy and safe journey.