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NH4 or AH47…My Mumbai Entry December 26, 2012

On way to Mumabi fron Bangalore

NH4: Bangalore-Mumbai: Photo in Belgaum, Karnataka

This is the blog about my bike trip from Bangalore to Navi Mumbai via NH4, which recentlyhas been renamed as AH47 . The highwayconnects two metropolis city: Chennai & Mumbai.

My journey: Bangalore to Mumbai ( 12+ 6=18 hrs of biking).

Driving time: 12+6 =18 hrs.

Total distance: 950 kms

Bangalore to Mumbai is part of Golden Quadrilateral & so throughout it’s a 4 lane highway, with some exceptions. It is to be remembered, NH4 from Bangalore to Chennai is not part of Golden Quadrilateral, but nevertheless, that section of road is also superb, of which you can find more details in my blog: https://omus.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/bike-trip-bangalore-nellore-bangalore/

Bangalore-Mumbai-NH4 route

Bangalore-Mumbai-NH4 route

Coming back to my journey from Bangalore to Mumbai on my Avenger 200cc, it has my personal record of travelling maximum distance in one day: ~750 kms from Bangalore to Satara. It took me 12.5 hrs. of driving from 5:30AM to 6:00PM.

I will describe the whole leg of journeys in sections:

DAY1: Bangalore to Satara (~750 kms-12.5 hrs.)

1)      Bangalore to Tumkur (~90kms-2 hrs.): With completion of expressway, once a hell road has turned into a sexy driving experience. But it’s best to drive early morning, when traffic is least. It’s not easy to exit for food or toilet or fuel.

2)      Tumkur to Chitradurga (~150kms:2.5 hrs.): Again a very sexy road with most part became or becoming 6 lane highway. Good thing is that the village section of the roads cemented on both sides, there-by increasing safety. Also good nos. of skywalks have been provided for pedestrians to cross the road.

3)      Chitradurga-Davengere-Ranebenur-Hubli (200kms-3.5hrs): Here some construction is going on, to convert to 6 lane or provide safe underpasses & so frequently service road turns into highway. Nevertheless, the service roads were also good enough to drive 40-50 kmph speed. Nearing Chitradurga, one can see miles of wind farms, a good site to see in India.

4)      Hubli- Belgaum (100 kms- 1.2 hrs): Hubli bypass is a 2 lane highway & got decent traffic because of industrial areas in & around. But once out, a very sexy cemented highway starts. One can easily zip on 100kmph. I was on outskirts of Belgaum around 2 pm (against my plan of 6pm). The new Karnataka assembly of Belgaum, is standing right on highway & is a sight to watch the majestic palace like building in middle of vast grassland. After having lunch & some rest, I started towards Kolhapur.

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Karnataka assembly-Belgaum- right on NH4

5)      Belgaum to Kolhapur (~110kms-1.5 hrs.): Again most part of the 4 lane highway is cemented, allowing good speed. This is where my mobile went on roaming mode, as I crossed over to Maharashtra. Quality of road somewhat is somewhat inferior compared to that in Karnataka. Anyways I reached Kolhapur by 4:30PM. I was remembeing all that famous Kolhapuri: Chappal & veg Kolhapuri. I decided to continue towards Satara.

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My lunch in a highway Rajasthani dhaba on a jute khatiya

6)      Kolhapur to Satara (~130kms-2 hrs.): I started from Kolhapur targeting to stretch till Pune. But as sun went down & heavy traffic on road, coupled with some inferior quality of road & drive fatigue, I decided to drive till Satara & stop for the day. I reached Satara by 6:15PM & stopped on a highway hotel (Raju hotel: Rs. 600 per night).

 DAY 2: Satara to Navi Mumbai (Nerul) (~220 kms-6 hrs)

7)      Satara to Pune (~100kms-2hrs): I started around 6:30AM, a foggy chilly morning in Satara. As I was close to my destination, with lot of time in hand, I decided to drive lazily & get some feel of Maharashtra. I was amazed to real estate development in & around Satara, which I think is because of Mumbai-Pune proximity effect. After having a heavy breakfast on Maharashtrian dish of Missal-Pav & Poha, I continued my journey & reached Pune around office going hours of 9 AM. I was expecting lot of traffic in Pune, but because of no signal on bypass, I zipped through the city & reached on other side of Pune by 10 AM.

8)      Pune to Nerul (Navi Mumbai) (~120kms-3.5hrs): Bikes are not allowed on Mumbai-Pune expressway & I had to stick to NH-4. But it turned out to be a good one, as there was hardly any traffic on road (as all traffic went to expressway). I would suggest all to drive on NH4, if speed driving is not the requirement + it saves lot of toll money. At some part quality of road is inferior & also some part is a 2 lane highway. Nevertheless, this is a picturesque part of the whole journey, with hills, tunnels to be crossed. I think, in my career of Biking, it’s first time I (personally) drove in a tunnel. There are 3 tunnels on way from Pune to Mumbai. Also one passes through the Bollywood made famous, “so called hill stations” of Matheran, Khandala, Lonavala. I reached Panvel, entry point of Navi Mumbai by 11:30AM. Now traffic starts getting worse here, with some bad roads & signals & some careless driving.

Most interesting part happened here, when I entered the expressway in Panvel, & then after entering 100 mtrs, there was a board reading “No-Entry” for 2 wheelers & living 4 wheelers. It was like putting ladies toilet board inside the toilet. Foolish authorities.

Like a long distance train slowing down just before the destination, I also decreased my speed to 20-30 kmph, as I had to search my way to Nerul. Finally I reached my friend’s house around 1:30PM & most interesting incident of my 950kms journey happened here. My bike won’t start in-front of entry on my friend’s housing complex. I had to pull my bike for last 60 meters ;-). GOD is indeed Humorous, but he is GREAT.THANK YOU GOD.

I will remember this journey for following reasons:

–          It marked my entry of Indian city of dreams, Mumbai.

–          My personal record of driving longest in a single day (750Kms surpassing 650Kms of Dec-2009)

–          When authorities give warning of “No-entry” after you have entered expressway…Ridiculous.

–          My bike won’t start & thus I had to pull it for last 60 meters of the journey. Thank God, it didnot happen in between the journey.

On a highway dhaba- near belgaum

On a highway dhaba- near belgaum

Cemented NH4..also seen is Belgaum's Karnataka assembly.

Cemented NH4..also seen is Belgaum’s Karnataka assembly.

 

ADIEU TO BANGALORE November 23, 2012

Filed under: Personal — omus @ 12:00 am
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Bye Bye Bangalore City

Finally after 6.5 yrs, it’s time to say good bye to Bangalore & to GE. It was 4th March 2006 when I came to Bangalore for first time & I won’t say it was “Love at first sight”. It just felt like another Indian metropolis city. I cleared my interview & so was back again on 4th June 2006, but this time for a long stint. Before that I always thought, 4 years of hostel life in NIT Rourkela were most happening part of my life, but these 6.5years in so called “Garden City” proved me wrong. These 6.5 years has made me a complete Man, a person with more experience of life events, situations, who can handle any adverse moment of life.

I am proud to say that, I am the person with longest stay in Bangalore from our 2006 NITR batch, with people coming in & going out. I have shared house rent with 25 even friends. Having stayed in many parts of Bangalore (Whitefield, BTM, HSR, Sarjapur junction on Outer Ring Road, Kodihalli), I can proudly be called a Bangalore travel guide. I have seen areas of Marthahalli, Whitefield, Outer ring road grow in front of my eyes, but regret about my failure to get my hands wet in this “flowing Ganges” of booming real estate (Hindi proverb). I was one of the few in non-software job in Silicon Valley. Whenever I say, I work in Bangalore, by default it is assumed that I work in a software company & it was always difficult on my part to explain that I was not in any software or IT company. Sometimes I even gave up  (I remember my telephonic discussion with HSBC Credit card agent, where he denied me CC, the moment I said I am not in any software company..ridiculous). Nevertheless, in this environment of high attrition rate among my fellow netizens, I know 6 years is a very long stint in a company. But, GE-JFWTC is a company where you stay for lifetime. It is definitely THE best working place in India & I was very lucky to have it as my first job. But then as saying goes “some good things cannot stay permanent in your life” & so time has come to say it bye.

GE-JFWTC, Bangalore, is the company to work for especially if one is of electrical & Mechanical background. The work environment is just superb, relaxing & thought provoking. Salary may be median of industry standards, but other facilities & environment, they provide is just priceless. Jokingly, we often say, the place is perfect for retirement.

 Bangalore..what do I say? I have got mixed emotions for it. On good side is, it’s hill station type weather, largest boiling pot of culture n people (after Mumbai & Delhi) and relatively good n cool people. It does provide purse emptying shopping, dining & pubbing experience. And the best part is, it’s centered geographical location in South India, which makes it perfect base camp to explore all of South India on weekends. On downside is its crumbling infrastructure, looting attitude of transport agencies. The worst things are the back breaking humps which are anywhere & everywhere. In nut shell, Bangalore is one of the paradises, which will soon fall victim to human greed.

Life for me in Bangalore has been through lots of ups & downs. Ups with weekend parties with friends, long drive with them, in-house smiley ball cricket, lots of dating n flirting, lot of rewards n recognition in professional life, two foreign trip opportunities. Down with daily traffic jams, couple of robberies, broken heart & few unfulfilled dreams. Nevertheless, it has taught me priceless lessons, which will be there with me all the life. I can definitely now say, I am now a complete Human being, who has known the purpose of life: is to perform your duties without attachments.

So what I will miss (but no attachments)? Personally, I will miss by bus stop casual flirting, I used to have in BTM (Upudi garden stop), in malls, pubs n restaurants, fast rides on NICE road, late night drive to Hosur to have a cup of Tea & very early morning rides to Nandi Hills & ISKCON temple. Definitely, will miss the most pampering working environment of India (JFWTC-Bangalore), weather of Bangalore & last but not least my friends in Bangalore. It is you all people, who made my life in Bangalore beautiful & sometimes sour. Thanks for your company all these years, late night khattis n smiley cricket. I know our roads will cross again & again, till death terminates the roads. So, no good bye to you guys.

So gone are those days. What happened in Bangalore, stays back in Bangalore. I will just take away all the sweet memories n lessons learnt. Looking forward to another new world. Here I come MUMBAI.