Delhi to Chennai – A journey with passion (Oct ’08)

The idea came to our mind when I started driving the then new car more often to Himalayas. So, I thought of trying it on plains. It was during the ‘Diwali’ time we decided to do this drive. Did a lot of research on the road conditions, road maps & other necessary things for a long journey. We decided to take on the GQ route as the road will be excellent for about 85% travel.

Day 1 – Faridabad – Delhi – Jaipur – Udaipur – Ahmedabad – Vadodara – Baroda – Surat – Vapi – 1350 kms – 21 hrs

It’s all started on Octeber 24, 2008 @ 2.30 AM. The idea was to avoid the traffic in Delhi, but got stuck in Faridabad itself after bit of struggle reached Nehru place @ 3 and filled up the tank and headed towards Jaipur. The ride was pleasant and we are very much excited about this travel. Crossed Jaipur @ 6.15, Kishangarh @ 7.35 and refulled here. First stop at Bilwara for breakfast around 8.45 and had a very good organic food. After relaxing a little bit started our journey towards Udaipur. Then I started felling little dizzy and took a short nap between 10 to 10.30 and headed our way to Udaipur. One of the best road starts from Jaipur – Udaipur via Chittorgarh. We crossed Udaipur at 12.30 and refuelled tank again after crossing Udaipur.

We stopped for lunch on the highway towards Ahmedabad around 13.45 and the food was spicy enough to bring tears in my eyes πŸ™ and didn’t finish it and had a cold drink. Continued our journey from 14.30. Our plan was to reach Vapi a city near Mumbai but it seemed to be a herculian task (knowing that we have to cross the bad stretch Borada – Surat). Reached Gandhinagar around 4 pm and headed towards National Expressway 1, which connects Ahmedabad and Vadodara. We entered the NE1 at 4.25 and exited at 5.10 and the total distance covered is 75km, not bad at all. Touched maximum speed here 150kmph in this road but the allowed speed is 100. You need to be very careful as cops will be standing watching your speed (I come to know about this only after crossing NE2 where a friend of mine tipped this info).

We reached Baruchi around 5pm and did a mistake by taking a wrong route and have to travel 60 kms in all to reach Baruchi again. So, the toughest part of this trip is awaiting us. We started from Baruchi at 6 pm and it was hell to drive on this road. We did a lot of offroading, sneaking between big trailers and after a lot of energy loss we reached Surat with little damage to the bottom of the car and little scratches on the side doors – courtesy pot holes & uphill turns with lots of gravel & a Santro. It took 3 hrs 45 mins to cross 75 kms and indeed it was a very bad stretch.

Here we have to make a decision to stay at Surat and start our journey next day or travel till Vapi as planned. We decided on the later and continued our journey and reached Vapi at 12 midnight. Had dinner enroute to Vapi and the food was good. After reaching Vapi, We found a hotel on the hightway itself, Hotel Easy Retreat and retired for the day. Oh man it was a great day indeed.

Day 2 – Vapi – Mumbai – Pune – Hubli – Bangalore – Chennai – 1575 kms – 22.30 hrs

Second day journey started at 7 AM from Vapi and we headed towards Pune. We bypassed Mumbai, courtesy a friend of mine from Internet community. It is very difficult to find the routes but managed to be on track most of the time and reached another pleasant road NE2. We reached there at 10 and it was a pleasure to drive on this road and would love to do it again. The road has got its own charm – beautiful greeneries, tunnels, curvy roads, uphills and a food plaza. We stopped there for a our breakfast and I would recommend people to try out this place. We had breakfast at dosa plaza, where they offer as many varities as 110 different dosa’s.

After having breakfast, we headed towards Pune and the ride was smooth and reached Pune around 12.15 PM and traveled towards Hubli. This is another excellent road in the GQ and you can maintain a steady speed of 100+. Lots of greeneries, beautiful looooooonnnng road. Drove non-stop and reached Hubli at 5 PM and Haveri @ 17.30 PM. The road between Haveri and Chittardurga is not so good (infact no road at all at some stretches) and with little difficulty reached Chittardurga at 20.15. There we had a light dinner and started our journey towards Bangalore. Reached Bangalore at 11.30 and I am literally have no energy to proceed further but kept the spirit and drove till Chennai and reached at 5.30 AM.

The long tiring journey came to an end.

Some Numbers:

Total distance traveled – 2925
Total driving hours – 44
No. of toll booths – 43
Rs. spent on toll alone – Rs.1300/-
Fuel – 225 Ltrs
States covered – 7 (Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu)

P.S. We came back from Chennai-Delhi on the same route in 3 days

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