Even with an average of 22 km per litre of non-premium diesel in my Swift VDi, AC 2-tier travel by Indian Railways works out cheaper than car travel for two people. Only if three or more people travel together, car travel makes economic sense. Apart from the fuel cost, there are substantial additional expenses on board and lodging (hotels) during road trips involving one or more night halts. The point I’m trying to make here is that my long-drive decisions are not economic ones. It’s simply my passion for driving which makes the additional cost, additional risk and a goodly amount of irritation with the unruly Indian traffic worthwhile.
This was my third visit to
I could comfortably maintain 80-100 kmph on NH33 and 80-140 kmph on NH2. The best stretch was the Allhabad bypass on NH2 on which I’ll write a separate post. The Swift VDi once again performed admirably without a single problem. I love the torque and power of the Multijet engine, especially at low engine RPM. At anything above 1300 RPM or so, the car lurches forward like a wild beast at the slightest pressure on the gas pedal. Another thing I really like about this car are the powerful brakes, so essential in the badlands of India where any vehicle, animal or sub-human may suddenly decide to get on a collision course with you without any warning.
With the steady improvement of Indian roads, car suspensions are generally subjected to relatively less punishment nowadays. However, even on GQ one suddenly comes across some deep potholes or undulations and if one is doing high speeds there isn’t enough reaction time and the suspension gets subjected to huge impacts. On non-GQ highways it is common to find broken stretches everywhere in India. Another pain in
Speed-breakers to watch out for on this route
1) The most horrible speed-breakers (4 of them) are at a place called Mandu on NH33. Mandu is 23 km from Ramgarh (towards Hazaribagh).
2) There are another 4 speed-breakers just after Hazaribagh as one is proceeding towards Barhi.
Let me now furnish some more details of our
Day 1 (while going) : Drove 476 km from Jamshedpur to Mohania and put up in Hotel Kaimur Vihar (phone : 06187-222822) of BSTDC. Mohania is in Bihar, quite close (24 km) to the U.P. border.
Day 2 (while going) : Drove 407 km from Mohania to Kanpur.
Day 1 (while returning) : Drove 625 km from Kanpur to Barhi (where NH2 joins NH33 in Jharkhand) and put up in hotel Highway Inn (phone : 06543-266319).
Day 2 (while returning) : Drove 260 km from Barhi to Jamshedpur.
1) Total distance clocked during Jamshedpur-Kanpur-Jamshedpur trip: 1796 km
2) Average fuel consumption over the entire distance of about 1800 km: 22.50 kmpl (using non-premium diesel; nil AC use; 2 persons; light luggage; includes about 100 km of city driving; 1700 km of highway driving includes hundreds of km at 100-140 kmph)
The tomb of Sher Shah Suri at Sasaram (Bihar). He made significant contribution to building / renewing the original Grand Trunk Road
Distances measured by car’s odometer :
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Namkum rly. crossing : 128 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Kantatoli Chowk, Ranchi : 131 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Ramgarh : 172 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Kujju bypass : 187 km (bypass about 1 km long)
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Mandu (4 huge speed-breakers) : 195 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Hazaribagh (Circuit House) : 223 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Barhi Chowk : 259 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to NH2 (Barhi) : 260 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Dobhi : 320 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Aurangabad : 381 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Dehri-on-Sone bridge : 404 to 407.5 km (bridge 3.5 km long)
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Mohania : 476 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Naubatpur (Bihar / U.P. border) : 500 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Varanasi Ganga bridge : 539 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Allahabad bypass starting point : 632 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Allahabad bypass ending point : 714 km (bypass length : 82 km)
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Rooma (Toyota showroom) : 861 km
Jamshedpur (Sonari) to Kanpur entry point (“Chakeri Indl Area 2” signboard) : 863 km
Kanpur entry point to Rama Devi chowraha, Kanpur : 5 km
Sunrise near Hazaribagh (Jharkhand)
Some more pics taken during this car trip may be seen at http://picasaweb.google.com/debashis1/ImagesWhileDrivingBy#