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From Bangalore to Siliguri on the road


April 2, 2013
 

I need help with route map from Bangalore to Siliguri, including stopovers. Travelling with my dog who will turn 1.5 human years in october.

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April 2, 2013

Trisha's answer about road trip in Kolkata, Chandipur, Puri, Vizag, Vijaywada Hardware, Tirupati, Bangalore and Siliguri
Bangalore to Siliguri roadtrip

Hi there!

Bangalore to Siliguri is one long road trip - 2,705 kms approximately and around 40 odd hours of driving. Since you have not mentioned if you any particular preferences about the kind of places you would like to stop at on the road, or the number of hours you would like to drive per day, I take the liberty to devise a road trip that takes in the best of all the attractions en route.

The route Is suggest is such - Bangalore, Kolar, Tirupati, Gudur, Vijaywada, Vizag, Borra Caves, Gopalpur, Puri, Bhubaneshwar, Chandipur, Kolkata, Siliguri.

You can check out the entire road map for the trip here.

The entire trip can be broken up into various legs:

Leg 1 - Bangalore - Kolar - Tirupati (5 hours of driving, 250 kms covered)

Leg 2 - Tirupati - Gudur - Vijaywada (6 hours of driving, 417 kms covered)

Leg 3 - Vijaywada - Vishakapatnam - Borra Caves (7 hours of driving, 450 kms covered)

Leg 4 - Vishakapatnam - Gopalpur - Puri ( 7 hours of driving, 463 kms covered)

Leg 5 - Puri - Bhubaneshwar - Chandipur (5 hours of driving, 268 kms covered)

Leg 6 - Chandipur - Kolkata (4 hours of driving, 258 kms covered)

Leg 7 - Kolkata to Siliguri ( 10 hours of driving, 580 kms covered)

Road Trip in India (Source: bjoern)

Below, I have detailed out each of these legs of the trip for your convenience. Have a look -

1. Bangalore - Kolar - Tirupati

Distance covered - 250 kms, Time taken - around 5 hours

Here's the route map for the day - 

From Bangalore, take the NH4 going towards Chennai. Once you are out of the main city, driving should be easier and traffic not so much of a hassle. Kolar is only an hour away from Bangalore, so you can make this your first ever pit stop. If you want, you can visit the Kolar Gold Fields, or if you want something offbeat, there is a village by the name of Kammasandra, which is famous for having one of the largest Shivalingas in the world. The village as a whole is the holy abode of some 80 shivalingas, the largest of which is 108 ft in height.

Bangalore - Kolar - Tirupati

 (Source: The Unbiased Blog)

After Kolar, the ghat region of Palamner opens up. This region is known as the "Ooty" of Andhra, and once you're driving here, you'll know exactly why. cruise down the ghat roads until you reach Putalapattu, where you take a turn off the highway and head toward Tirupati.

Bangalore - Kolar - Tirupati - 1

tirupathi - main temple (Source: flickrPrince)

Make Tirupati your stop for the night. There will be no dearth of accommodation, plus you can walk around in the quaint little town and avail of some great photo ops. If you're feeling religious, you can stand in a long long queue and try to get a glimpse of the much revered deity, or do the pilgrim's walk from Tirupati to Tirumala

Bangalore - Kolar - Tirupati - 2

 (Source: ShashiBellamkonda)

2. Tirupati - Gudur - Vijaywada

Distance covered - 417 kms, Time taken - 6 hours

Here is the route map for the day -

From Tirupati, on to the Golden Quadrilateral, or GQ in highway parlance, and it should be a real smooth sail all the way till Vijaywada. You can floor your car on this highway, and within no time you'll be past the small towns of Gudur and Nellore. The best bit of this leg comes after Nellore, when you drive through forested roads that are practically deserted. There are many places you can stop at during the drive for a break or some refreshments - Nellore, Guntur, Ongole being the ones recommended. Once you cross the bridge over the Krishna river into Vijaywada, you would have covered almost 500 kms this day. 

Tirupati - Gudur - Vijaywada

Nellore (Source: ramkrsna)

If you have time to spend in Vijayawada, there are quite a few attractions that are worth the time. The 14th century Kondapalli Fort with its three storied rock tower, the famous Lenin Statue, the caves of Undavalli and the auspicious hill of Mangalgiri. And for the religious minded, the Subramanya Swamy temple which happens to be the most highly regarded of all the temples in the city is a must see. And of course the food in the city is an added bonus, and a definite reason to spend the night :)

Tirupati - Gudur - Vijaywada - 1

Undavalli Caves (Source: kkalyan)

3. Vijaywada - Vizag - Borra Caves

Distance covered - 450 kms, Time taken - 7 hours

Here is the route map for the day - 

From Vijayawada, the city of Vishakapatnam is a 5 hour drive, but since almost the whole route is on the highway you should be able to make good time. One of the highlights of the road in this leg is the Rajamundhry bridge, which is considered to be an icon of Indian engineering. Also known as the Godavari Arch Bridge, this is the second longest road cum rail bridge spanning a water body in Asia.

Vijaywada - Vizag - Borra Caves

Godavari Bridges (Source: kkalyan)

Once in Vizag, you can either decide to rest, or if you're not yet fatigued by the journey then make the two hour trip to the Borra Caves in Araku Valley. Known for their amazing stalactites and stalagmites, as well as for the Paleolithic implements found here in 1807, Borra Caves would be a wonderful detour on the trip. There are other attractions too in Vizag, including a long leisurely walk along the beach with your four-footed friend :)

Vijaywada - Vizag - Borra Caves - 1

 (Source: Autherous)

4. Vizag - Gopalpur - Puri

Distance covered - 463 kms , Time taken - 7 hours

Here is the route map for the day - 

Vizag to Gopalpur is a mercurial stretch of road to say the least. In the past the roads in Orissa have been known to be bad, and the fact that it is a coastal stretch does not really help much. The roads are in much better condition now, but this part of the GQ is only a double-lane highway so traffic might still be a problem.

Vizag - Gopalpur - Puri

Gopalpur-on-sea (Source: allestern)

Gopalpur-on-Sea was once a famous port, which is now not in use. The town though still remains a tourist favourite and a getaway for the youth in the capital city. There's not much to do or see in this sleepy town, and the beach is average at best. If you do go there, be wary of the sudden currents and the rip tides. 

I would not recommend that you halt here. Puri, the temple town which is only a couple of hours away is a better place for a rest. 

Vizag - Gopalpur - Puri - 1

Puri Beach (Source: souravdas)

Besides the main Jagannath temple of Puri, the beach is what the tourists come for. The waters here are much more gentle than in Gopalpur. There are also some other smaller temples you can explore, the handicraft town of Pipili, and if you can spare the time then a day trip to Konark should be on the cards as well.

Vizag - Gopalpur - Puri - 2

Jagannath towels and lamp shades (Source: Proxy Indian)

5. Puri - Bhubaneshwar - Chandipur

Distance covered - 268 kms, Time taken - 5 hours

Here is the route map for the day -

Bhubaneshwar is the capital town of Orissa, and I would strongly recommend that you break your journey here and make Bhubaneshwar your base to explore Orissa better. If you decide to halt at Puri for a couple of days, then you can easily visit Konark and the nearby attractions. Next on the list should be the temples of Lingaraj and Rajarani, the caves at Udaygiri and Khandagiri, the Shanti Stupa at Dhauligiri, the old capital of Cuttack, Chilika Lake, and the famous nature spots of Similipal Tiger Reserve and Bhitarkanika

Your next stop - Chandipur is aptly named, considering it is a tidal beach that follows the dictum of the moon. Twice a day, every day, the waters of this beach recede outwards leaving behind an expanse of grey seabed littered with oceanic treasures. It is indeed a surreal feeling to walk on a sea-floor-turned-shore; ambling towards the horizon.

Even more wonderful is the walk back, with the water lapping at your feet and reclaiming its shores till the moon calls it back once more.

Puri - Bhubaneshwar - Chandipur - 1

 Orissa (Source: Kalpurush)

Tide timings can be found displayed outside the OTDC Panthnivas on the way to the beach.
Nearby areas of interest would include Remuna, which is famous for its brass and bronze artistry, and the Panchlingeshwar temple.

Puri - Bhubaneshwar - Chandipur - 2

chandipur_sea_beach_Baleswar (Source: psubhashish)

6. Chandipur - Kolkata

Distance covered - 258 kms, Time taken - 4 hours

Here is the route map for the day -

According to most travelogues on the web, the Chandipur - Balasore - Kolkata drive is an uninspiring one with the roads beset by numerous potholes, the constant irritation of traffic bottlenecks (the Jaleshwar - Laxmanath stretch being the worst affected), and the Rs. 800 odd road tax levied by the Orissa Government at the border. 

There is not much to see on the road once you leave the coastal beauty of Chandipur behind, so its best to press on till you reach Kolkata and then take a breather. Post Kharagpur, the roads should be in better condition and the traffic should ease up a little but be ready for a lot of honking and yelling and following the tails of trucks and buses while on this leg.

Chandipur - Kolkata

Truck graffiti (Source: dineshobareja)

Once you reach Kolkata, take another much needed break. There is so much to do and see here in this erstwhile British settlement, that you can forget your car for the next couple of days and just bask in the historic splendour of the city.

Chandipur - Kolkata - 1

Leaving this town! (Source: R. Mitra)

Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Church, Fort William, Park Street Cemetery are some of the quintessential British landmarks here. On the other hand you have the artisan colonies of Kumaratuli, the red-light area of Sonagachi, the forgotten palaces of Sovabazaar and Jorashanko which are typically Bengali in their feel. The best way to see it all is on foot, and walking tours are the norm in Kolkata nowadays. if time is not a a constraint, you can even make a trip to Murshidabad, the former Bengal capital, and Bishnupur, where you will find amazing sandstone architecture dating back centuries.

Chandipur - Kolkata - 2

Jor-Bangla Temple, Bishnupur (Source: kg.abhi)

7. Kolkata - Siliguri

Distance covered - 580 kms, Time taken - 10 hours

Here is the route map for the day - 

This is the longest stretch of the entire trip - 11 hours in total. The usual route that is followed is - Kolkata - DumDum - Barasat - KrishnaNagar - Malda - Islampur - Siliguri. The road conditions on this stretch aren't that great either. So be careful, and be ready for another set of traffic jams and irritating bottlenecks.

Here's some information from a travel forum on the status of the Kolkata - Siiguri route:

I took this road in the middle of January this year from Bally (near Kolkata) to Imphal (Manipur) travelling 1750 km in 3 days. As suggested in all previous posts, take Durgapur expressway and further up to Panagarh (Darjeeling more). Excellent road. From panagarh NH-60 up to Nalhati road condition ok (up to seuri very good). From Nalhati to moregram Bad (deep craters). When you merge into NH34 at moregram, road condition is average thereafter up to Dalkola. From dalkola to siliguri NH31 is very good but not excellent. Unfinished patches and lack of maintenance of the road will keep you busy navigating potholes. If I can remember correctly a few speed breakers are in place on this patch of NH31 ( speed breaker on expressway!!).

 (Source: IndiaMike.com)

Kolkata - Siliguri

Mosque (Source: S. Chowdhury-Diesel Philic-Electric Affinity)

Closing Notes

Hope this helps :) If you need further information on the stops along the way, or assistance with accommodation, food, sightseeing etc, you know we are just a question away ! Do write back and let us know how you plan to proceed with your trip.

Have a safe trip!

Cheers :)

Trishya

Motion Blur (Source: shivganesh)



Answered by Trisha Kumari

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