Saturday, April 9, 2011

Travelogue - My Journey from Hyderabad - Indore and back - by road

Part III 

The Journey begines

08 May 10

Missed the alarm at 0425. Got up only at 0503. No panic as packing is done. A cup of tea and dot at 0600 we moved out. From Bolarum we went on to Shamirpet - Hyd road and turned right in to Alwal to reach Nagpur road (NH 7). By 0630 we were on the Nagpur road. Road condition  was very good. Till Medchal the traffic was heavy, after that traffic conditions became better. Stopped at Harita Restaurant of APTDC, 102 km from home after two hours at 0805. Good place, good food but crowded and self service  hence takes time. 

We spent 30 min which included a plate of Idli and two cup chai.  Preparation is good and the place is recommended (don’t have breakfast at home, keep that for Harita of APTDC). Road condition thereafter was good with four lanes in place except when road passed through a major town like Armur, Nirmal and Adliabad or forested area (about 80 km) but in the forested areas the two lane surface is very good and sufficiently wide. Good thing however is that the bypasses around Nirmal and Adliabad are likely to be ready very soon (may be within a month).

Worst was yet to come. When we reached Maharashtra the road became bad. Four lane work could be seen everywhere but most work looked dead (no one was working though some road laying activity at some stage could be seen) Small patches were ready and put to use. Therefore, every 200 meters there was a track change (diversion) from old road to new patch and vice versa. The junctions between diversions were not levelled properly. This nightmare continued till 388 km from Hyderabad (about 90 km from Nagpur) when good four lane surface started. Till four lane work  is done the patch post Adliabad (20 km from Adliabad) till 90 km from Nagpur (a stretch of 60 km) is going to be bad.

With this journey we made it to Nagpur (490 from home) in total 8.30 hrs of time (only 7.30 hrs of driving in our Indigo Diesel). We enjoyed two more breaks (apart from Harita) in the car itself with AC running (just stoped to the side of the road) and had a cup of good dip tea during those two breaks (using Electric Kettle which works with car cigarette lighter socket and it was very convenient). Once full Four lane  road is available the time between Hyd and Ngp would be 6.30 hrs of driving time@100 km top speed. The economy we got was 16.43 km/Ltr with AC on and about 100 km of poor quality road (with outside temperature of about 42 degree centigrade). Stayed at Nagpur for the night. My mom and daughter also arrived at Nagpur in the evening from Mumbai.

Travelogue - My Journey from Hyderabad - Indore and back - by road

Part II  

Still Planning

03 May 10

Efforts to send fax requesting accommodation booking at Khawasa over 30 Apr and today to Field Director, Project Tiger, Seoni did not succeed. On the given fax no, the ring was going but fax tone was missing. Eventually spoke to Shri Tiwari Deputy Director, who after understanding the problem agreed to take the request for accommodation over phone. After some time spoke to his staff, a lady, who noted the requested and promised that the accommodation would be booked at Khawasa FRH. She however mentioned that cooking facility is not likely to be available. We would have to go to Turia where the park main gate is there. She also advised to book safari trips in advance at because only 50 vehicles are allowed per trip. Have sought advice from Dr Ghosh on the matter.

All the references accumulated during the research for accommodation are as follows:-

(a) Field Director, Project Tiger (MP), Seoni
Phone 07692-223794, 222169 Fax  07692 – 223204
For booking of Forest Rest Houses at Karmajhiri (Rooms / Dorms) Two units, Tourist Hut at Karmajhiri and FRH at Khawasa.

(b) Bison Retreat at Rukhad on NH7 and Kipling’s Court at Pench can be booking online on MPSTDC website where availability also can be checked. Phone no of Bison Retreat is 07695-290130 and at Kiplings Court is 07695 – 232830, 232855 and fax is 07695 - 232850.

(c) FRH at Sillari in Maharashtra (32 Km from Pench Main Gate in MP at Turia) can be booked with DCF, Nagpur at 0712 – 2524624. FRH at Totaldoh can be booked with Field Director, Project Tiger (Maharashtra), Nagpur at 0712 – 2560748.

(d)  MTDC Resort at Sillari (understand the management is in private hands) can be booked by speaking to Mr Kale, Manager at 07114 – 691415 (Rate Rs 1400 for AC Double and Rs 1000 for Non AC Double). 

Advice form Dr Ghosh received and very useful. Dr Ghosh has also recommended booking of safari slots online at and hence we have booked two safaris, one on 09 May afternoon and second on 10 May forenoon. With this my preparation for Nagpur / Pench part of the trip is over. All that remains till we depart on 08 May for Nagpur is to do careful packing. Did essential shopping and toping up  fual tank of the Car on 06 May and on 07 May finished packing. Ready to go. Plan to leave between 0530 to 0600 AM.

Travelogue - My Journey from Hyderabad - Indore and back - by road

Part I

02 May 10 
Basic research for the trip

After a long gap of over a year we decided to undertake long Road Journey over land in our Indigo LS which is two years old. The trip route originally planned was – Hyderabad – Nagpur (where Pranay, our son was to join us) – Jabalpur – Indore – Shegaon -  Jalgaon – Tuljapur and back to Hyderabad. A chance discussion with a colleague brought in Pench Tiger Reserve about 90 km from Nagpur on the way to Jabalpur on NH 7 in to our programme.

Then started the research on Pench. A treasure trove was found in Team BHP forum post of Mr Adil and same post gave me introduction of Dr Abheek Ghosh of Nagpur. Discussions with him cheered me more as I could get pin pointed information on budget (absolute budget) accommodation in Pench area. They included FRH at Karmajhiri, Khawasa and Bison Retreat on NH 7 in MP and FRH Sillari and MTDC Resort at Sillari. Other accommodation that I had searched earlier was exorbitantly costly (one could do two safaris in Pench in the lower side of their rent and about eight safaris in the rent on higher side). I was trying to book FRH at Khawasa or Sillari. Worst case I was to look at MTDC Sillari. Bison Retreat at Rukhad, 110 km from Nagpur on NH 7 could have been a good option but it wais booked on my date with Pench. FRH stay would have been by itself an adventure as no cooking is available.