Sunday, November 11, 2007

Agra to Kanpur in 4 hours

We left Delhi on 10 Nov in the afternoon and reached Agra in the evening. Spent the night at Agra and started for Kanpur at 0430 hrs this morning. Early morning is a good time to start a long drive as the roads are deserted (no jaywalkers or local traffic and also very few trucks move at that time) and it is easy to get out of a city / town. By the time the sun rises one has got nicely tuned to the highway and with increasing visibility one can really step on the gas and enjoy the drive. The picture below shows the sun rising on NH2 this morning.


Whenever I drive in the dark, I try to follow some other driver who is driving at a decent speed. Driver of the leading vehicle does the dirty work of keeping his eyes peeled for perils on the road (and honking to make trucks let him pass). I simply concentrate on following his tail lights and maintaining a reasonable distance. One must always remember not to use high beam while following this strategy. This morning I followed a Scorpio for a considerable distance.

The roads are excellent and I could maintain a range of 100 to 120 kmph throughout. I could do 130 kmph on some stretches and touched 140 a few times. Reached Kanpur in slightly over 4 hours (tea / pee breaks included) -- averaging about 65 kmph overall.

The more I experience this new toy of mine, the more I fall in love with it. At 140 kmph the car was rock steady and smooth and was begging to be pushed harder. I guess the only reason why I haven't pushed the car to its top speed of 160 kmph is that I'm not a young man any more and don't like to like to take any risks on the Indian highways. If I had been driving this same car on the expressways of a civilised country, I would definitely have taken it to top speed as soon as the running-in was completed.


Dead insects stuck on the front licence plate during the drive to Kanpur

4 comments:

NoPretense said...

Hi DM,
Enjoyed your blog Agra to Kanpur. I was looking for some update on the status of 4-laning of this stretch, when I stumbled upon your blog.

Since you have clocked and avergae of 65KPH, it seems most of it has been four laned.

Can you update on the staus of this stretch and whetehr it is safely motorable in night in a 800cc car? Also, how does it compare to ND-Agra?
Thanks
NP

dm_mouthshut said...

Hi,

You're quite correct -- most of the stretch between Agra and Kanpur has been 4-laned (as a part of the Golden Quadrilateral project of NHAI) and driving is a pleasure. This stretch is as good as the ND-Agra stretch.

Going by my several decades of experience of driving on Indian highways, I would never recommend a car owner to drive at night -- on any stretch, however good. Most Indians have no concern for others -- they use high beam, drive heavy vehicles while drunk, drive on the wrong side of dual carriageways even at night and leave you bleeding to death when you are injured. It's the law of the jungle, so better to stay away from it at night.

I have had the good fortune of driving on the expressways of some civilised countries and out there I found no difference between day and night as far as driving comfort and safety are concerned.

Once again, I would advise you to refrain from driving on Indian highways at night if longevity happens to be one of your life's goals.

Debashis

NoPretense said...

Thanks Debashis.

Actually the NHAI site has conflicting status reports about Agra-Kanpur stretch of NH-2. In one of the reports it shows the Entire Agra-Rajpur section under implementation, while in another map it shows only Etawah bypass as pending.

I agree with and will remember your advice against night driving.

Thanks
RT

vinni said...

awesome blog... mind blowing

thanks for sharing very good info with all of us.

JaiHind.