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Thread: Golden Quadrilateral - A dream come true :-)

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    Jelliffe Jeganathan's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Golden Quadrilateral - A dream come true :-)

    Completed driving around the Golden Quadrilateral last month, March 2012, in my Fiat Linea MJD. It was a dream come true for me!!

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    I did this trip along with my parents, who are as enthusiastic as me about travelling!

    The route that we took:

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    Our schedule for the GQ Drive had to be arranged after considering these factors:

    1. Both my parents are 55+ years old, so we had to make sure that we did not travel very long distances in one day and that we took enough breaks in between.

    2. Had to spend some time for sight seeing in Rajasthan and Agra.

    3. We had to attend Church on Sunday mornings, so had to alter our schedule accordingly on Saturdays and Sundays.

    4. We had to halt in Chennai for a couple of days, for my niece's 3rd birthday celebration, before continuing with our journey

    Finally our trip summary was thus:

    Prologue: Virudhachalam to Chennai, TN - 240 km

    Day 1: Chennai to Harihar, KA - 660 km.

    Day 2: Harihar to Pune, MH - 589 km

    Day 3: Pune to Ahmedabad, GJ - 679 km

    Day 4: Ahmedabad to Ajmer, RJ - 599 km

    Day 5 (Sunday): Ajmer to Jaipur, RJ - 153 km

    Day 6: Jaipur to Delhi - 281 km

    Day 7: Delhi to Agra, UP - 218 km

    Day 8: Agra to Allahabad, UP - 496 km

    Day 9: (March 8th) Did not travel - Due to Holi.

    Day 10: Allahabad to Asansol, WB - 617 km

    Day 11 (Saturday): Asansol to Kolkata, WB - 218 km

    Day 12 (Sunday): Kolkata to Bhubaneswar, OR - 459 km

    Day 13: Bhubaneswar to Rajahmundry, AP - 657 km

    Day 14: Rajahmundry to Virudhachalam, TN - 901 km

    TOTAL - 6,767 Km

    This is a short photologue about our GQ drive

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    Day 1: Chennai - Bengaluru - Harihar

    Our first stop for breakfast. At Vellore, TN.

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    Crossed Krishnagiri and on the way to Hosur on NH 7.

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    Hills being scraped for the six-laning work on the NH 7.

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    Entering into the first state of our journey! Karnataka!!!

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    About that "yellow sticker".. I've been a 'ghost member' of tbhp for the past 2 years. Meaning, I'm a member, but not a member. And I got that sticker about a year back. Anyway, this GQ drive was greatly inspired from the travelogues I used to read there a few years back, before I stumbled upon GH, so just left it there as a token of remembrance. Now that I'm safe, I'll continue with the story

    There came a toll gate and right after the toll gate, I missed the ring road exit and took the electronic city flyover instead. I convinced myself that I'd get down at the next exit, take a U-turn and catch the ring road! I realized how ignorant I was as the flyover kept going and going and going.. Maybe since I kept on looking for an exit to get down, the flyover seemed even longer. But it was a beautiful one.

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    Right after the flyover was over (that was around 10km I guess), got down and got stuck in this traffic with no idea of where we were.. A good start!

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    Till then, I was very suspicious about my new GPS device. I had never seen one before. Just a week before we started the trip, I got a basic one and figured out how to use it a day or 2 before the trip (till then I was confident that I could drive around India with just the road maps in hand!! I later realized that it would have been a disaster!!). So I was not totally trusting it till we reached Bangalore. After we lost our way inside Bangalore, it guided us through some small roads, onto Mysore road and finally to Tumkur road! Then I became totally dependent on it for the rest of the trip! Now I can proudly say that I drove throughout India and did not ask a single soul for directions I don't know about the other GPS devices available in the market. Better ones maybe available. But, I can definitely vouch for Mapmyindia!

    Out of Bangalore and towards Tumkur with beautiful flowers in the median.

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    We stopped for lunch at this hotel called "Kamat Upachar". I think this was in Nelamangala, on NH 7 towards Tumkur. It was a neat hotel with good food and decent toilets.

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    Windmills, somewhere near Hiriyur

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    Finally we reached Harihar by 5PM, our target for day 1. We stayed in this Grasim Industrial Guest House, on the banks of river Tungabadhra. It was a beautifully maintained campus with awesome food.
    It is allowed only for guests of employees in the Grasim Industries. You can find more info about all our places of stay here: Hotel Details - I have compiled information about all our places of stay throughout the trip.

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    Day 2: Harihar - Hubli - Kolhapur - Pune

    We started from Harihar by 5AM and there was thick fog on the highway! So thick that I had to crawl at 20kmph behind trucks in some places. I had never driven in such thick fog before! No pictures of the fog though.

    As soon as the sun came up, the fog disappeared and we had another worry coming up - no hotels in sight for breakfast! Hubli was too early for breakfast. We thought we'd find some hotel in the Belgaum bypass. Alas, not a single hotel in the entire bypass. It was getting late and my diabetic parents were becoming anxious! Finally we spotted a hotel.. Seven Loves. Funny name! Dusty, not so great food, toilets were just okay. We were thankful that we had our breakfast atleast here, because we didn't see any other hotel for another 2-3 hours!

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    The roads were really good. But still no sign of any hotel! Had we missed that "seven loves" thinking that we'll find a better hotel somewhere further, we'd have been in for a surprise!

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    Me, in my most favorite corner in this whole wide world!! Towards Maharashtra!!

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    Beautiful view of a plain below. Now I'm wondering why I didn't stop there and get down to get a better photo of the view

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    Entering into Maharashtra! Yayy!

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    We reached Kolhapur too early for lunch, so just had a 'snack' at the McD in Kolhapur and continued forward. By lunch time, we came across many small dhabas, but this was the first decent hotel after Kolhapur, Hotel Sarowar. It was neat and served good food

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    Once inside Maharashtra, our rendezvous with chapathi begins!!!

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    One of the tunnels that we came across on the way to Pune. It was the first time I drove inside a tunnel and in the first tunnel I drove in with my sunglasses on and for a moment it was pitch dark inside!! I panicked and removed the glasses hastily! Feels funny now!

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    Another tunnel on the NH 4.

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    Approaching Pune and excited! Our target for day 2 - reached!

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    Our stay in Pune - Ginger Hotel, Wakad. It is bang on the highway! Highly recommended, but do book early. We booked rooms right there and ended up paying around 3.5k per room. It was very pricey just for a single night's stay, but my mom was too tired to go hotel hunting then. So we decided to stay there. The rooms were really cool with an amazing view of the city! The price also included a buffet breakfast in the morning, but since we had to cross Mumbai before the peak hour, we had to skip the free breakfast :/

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    A view of Pune from our room! In fact, this is just a part of the view. It was an amazing view and I could have stood by the window and watched the traffic go by for hours together, but we had yet another long day tomorrow, so I had to pull myself away from the window. The chain of yellow lights you see (arrow) are actually vehicles on the NH 4, going towards Mumbai. Beautiful

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    So there ends our day 2.

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    Thanks a ton for starting this thread Jelliffe. I am going to be watching this thread very closely.

    I have been dreaming about this for the last 3yrs, but yet to find equally crazy friends to take a week off to do this trip with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jelliffe Jeganathan View Post
    Windmills, somewhere near Hiriyu
    That would be Chitradurga. Some lovely pics there, keep them coming
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    sriharsha's Avatar
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    Jelliffe Jeganathan : nice tlog.
    BTW, how did you manage to book your accommodation at the grasim guest house??


    Quote Originally Posted by Jelliffe Jeganathan View Post
    awesome food.
    are you sure??

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    Wow this all sounds so magical! Amazing trip. Tell me all!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jelliffe Jeganathan View Post
    We reached Kolhapur too early for lunch, so just had a 'snack' at the McD in Kolhapur and continued forward.
    Just opposite to McD there is a BP petrol bunk and you will find a dhaba inside it, they serve delicious spicy foods of Kolhapur cuisine...I guess the dhaba name is Jai Hind. Also Kolhapur is famous for Mitsal pav, not sure whether you have tried this.
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    Dude.. You are lucky! I attempted half of this 6 years back. The plan was to buy a used Lancer from Delhi, drive it all the way back to Kerala. But the deal went sour and I had to catch a train back home. I still plan to do an all India drive one day. Keep the travelogue coming. Respect!

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    Thank you very much guys, for the encouraging replies

    Quote Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
    Thanks a ton for starting this thread Jelliffe. I am going to be watching this thread very closely.
    I'm honored mclaren1885 Do drive the GQ when you get the opportunity. It is almost 99% complete (except for some places in Odisha) and it is a wonderful experience

    Quote Originally Posted by sriharsha View Post
    how did you manage to book your accommodation at the grasim guest house??
    A friend of ours is working in the Grasim Industries in Harihar. We got the accommodation through him. About the food, we stayed there for a night and for dinner they served nice fluffy chapathis with fried potatoes, dhal, raitha, pulao and cutlets. Since we were on the go, I had to restrict from stuffing myself We enjoyed the stay and the food!

    Quote Originally Posted by nfspoet View Post
    Wow this all sounds so magical! Amazing trip. Tell me all!!
    Thank you nfspoet

    Quote Originally Posted by camchennai View Post
    Also Kolhapur is famous for Mitsal pav
    I have tried mitsal pav in Mumbai a few years back. Never knew that Kolhapur was famous for it Since I was looking for the McD I must have missed the dhaba!

    Quote Originally Posted by xander View Post
    Keep the travelogue coming. Respect!
    Thanks a lot xander!

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    Wonderful experience Jelliffe. Congrats on achieving all this, and kudos to your parents for being with you all along.

    Keep the pics coming, and if you don't mind please also share how your car fared & how much fuel you consumed during the drive.

    P.S. - Linea looks fab & shining. Makes me go & buy one (always have that feeling when I look at a well maintained one).

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