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/
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.
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.
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.