Monday

Bombay Bangalore highway driving- dream fulfilled






Driving 9hours of a 13hr journey because the road was divided, and because it had a proper 4 lane driving path was fulfilling! A highway lined with bursting red, pink, pale yellow, white flowers - all along the 13hour stretch! Beautiful.

But all is not well.

Years ago people were mindful of other drivers and were respectful of highway etiquette which is very sadly lacking in today’s driving scenario! If you are in a vehicle that cannot drive at a speed meant to be on the right side of the road, then you have no business driving on the right side. Period! People stick to the right side of the road, drive slow, stay adamantly stuck to the right side even if you flash your headlights or honk(considered bad road manners)! Such thick skinned, arrogant attitude amazed us all through are onwards and return journey! Such lack of civility and road ethics… I don’t get it honestly; this thick skinned attitude was a bit puzzling and a bit scary. Because if they don’t know the basics what are they doing driving on highways?!?

The Pune expressway as always feels like the runway (given the chaos of traffic in Bombay), but wait till you hit the Karnataka highway! Pure makhaan – the car glides on the roads effortlessly- what a pleasure driving on these roads

Straight, straight straight touching the horizon, undulating up and down in parts, the highway roads in India have never been such a pleasure before

I was so full of pride to see and realize the beauty of NH4! Wow somewhere someone in the Govt machinery is working (atleast construction of highways proves that!)

The closer one moves towards Bangalore the highway topography changes a bit – the 4 way divided highway becomes elevated and includes underpasses and service roads for the entire length on both sides of the highway. So if one is searching for a petrol pump or is looking for a washroom break- its best to stick to the left side of the road to detect a road break to get off the highway onto the narrow road below

We witnessed many pockets where cattle breeders were generally parked on the median resting, pondering…with their legs stretched out on the highway road- don’t stick too close to the median while driving…

A few words of advice:

There are way too many trucks (as expected) plying these highways. The reason to be sharp and careful (especially if driving in the wee hours of the night)is, A LOT OF THESE trucks do not have rear light or brake light. So you maybe speeding and before you know it you may kiss the back of a black truck that was camouflaged because of the night:( be CAREFUL

Keep ready money for the multitude toll plazas that come all along the journey, it’s not good to hold up traffic for lack of exact change

For those who love Ferrari and the races, do determine speed by the car you drive, the age of tyres and how well you can handle speed.

We witnessed some bad crashes on NH4, helped put an immediate perspective on our own driving speeds and skills. Sad reminders though. Road routes are not about how soon you get there, but whether you do! Driving on highways is really about staying alert while enjoying the ride.

Safe driving!

27 comments:

Aijaz Ahmed Pitafi said...

Beautiful roads, equally awesome landscapes; all drivers on strike :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi M:

Nice blog again :) Love to read your writing. Hope u r doing well.

Chester

melinda said...

Ah! I can see the joys of the black beauty eh?:) Enjoy!

ashish said...

So you did hit the road - seems like an awesome highway.

Jim said...

I travelled approx 2 yrs ago and the roads were patchy good and really nasty in some parts- glad to know this improvement. Encouraging.

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice pics and a lovely drive.

www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

RavneetSingh said...

Beautiful. Hope all sorted in BGLR.

sheila said...

Hey Mee! U r god sent> We planning to go by road to Bglr early April- will call you to get details. Lovely post, drive looks beautiful.

Kalpana Sareesh said...

Beautiful.. Is it India cant believe..

Mike said...

I can vouch for this journey. FABULOUS roads:) - I hope they stay that way

gita said...

I have to admit city driving and highway driving sucks in this nation of educated people! SUCKS!! Whats with F******** people? Have they sold their senses or simply oblivious to the world around them? The more I vent the more I want to ....this post touched a raw nerve...

Jim said...

Here is even more good news:) ABB Wins Contract to Build Indian Power Highway http://on.wsj.com/gOuAjC

Mee said...

@Aijaz Ahmed Pitafi -no need for strikes, this is a rarity, and we were lucky to discover it. Else city roads are very sucky:(

@Mel - THE Black beauty is MY pride:)

@Ashish -Twas Awesome:) you must do this route for sure!

@Jim - absolutely gorgeous NOW:)

@R Niranjan Das - have you traveled these roads?:)

@RavneetSingh Yes:)

@sheila- have fun, enjoy your trip and look fwd to your perspective soon

@Kalpana Sareesh- hey am told TV state highways are pretty decent too?

@Mike- Inshallah:)

@Gita- vent as much, becos with venting hopefully someone will listen and behave!

@Jim- :)

sajeevkmenon said...

I didn't know the Bombay Bangalore highway was so beautiful! Very nice post and pictures!

Sneo said...

NH4 is a drivers dream come true. By my experience, this is one of the best highways in Karnataka and the only other i know is Bangalore-CHennai route. But doesn't NH4 deviation to Mumbai begin to deteriorate after Hospet or around there?

Mee said...

@sajeevkmenon - ty

@Sneo - no. goes smoothly, right into Tumkur and after that is when trouble starts (entering Bangalore)

Sarah said...

Amazing1 This is really amazing! The pictures, the story, they really created the image of the perfect road trip.

Neeraj said...

The highway tolls mean that this has nothing to do with the gov't. They have dumped THEIR responsibility on some private enterprise who will build the road and charge tax payers for using it, while the gov't pockets the tax payers money - that's what is going on!

we all know how gov't roads are simply washed away after the rains...

Neeraj said...

Oh, I forgot to say- the roads are indeed very nice!

I was on Pune-Aurangabad highway recently.. it's very nice compared to some years ago. HOWEVER, the 7-8 toll plazas (on a 200km stretch) make the journey somewhat unpleasant! We ended up shelling ~200 bucks just one way on tolls. This only shows the gov't NOT working :)

Sneo said...

Oh that reminds me of the time I was taking Paulo travels to Goa and the driver and his aide were speaking "Bangalore ka entrace itna kharab hai. yehi se tragedy shuru hota hai" :)

Mee said...

@Sarah - TY!

@Neeraj - True!! Must add there were many sections in between which are called "free roads" which are perhaps the Govt built roads- which were also super cool:)

But your point on tolls and Govt's non functioning is spot on!

@Sneo - "Paulo Travels" I traveled by this Bus like twice, and once got stranded in Goa becos arbitrarily they decided to cancel a journey back to Bglr!:(- they r the guys who r responsible in making me dislike bus journeys!:)

But yea its true, entry to Bglr sucks:( - so for anyone doing the journey to Bglr by road- dont think about getting inside Bglr between 5-8pm- after that the roads become a bit sane.

Rajaram S said...

hi ..do you remember the spot where the second photo was taken? It is surprisingly green for the season!

Mee said...

@Rajaram S : Our co-passenger Suresh, who has extensively done this route many times over, explained to us, 2 things about this green patch. Even when other areas around flood during monsoons, this area is not impacted at all ( perhaps becos it is slightly on higher altitude) and the 2nd thing he said is- all year round, this area always remains lush green ( something to do with ground water availability):) _ this patch comes ( return journey frm Bglr) after abt an hr or so of entering Maharashtra.

जाट देवता (संदीप पवाँर) said...

हाईवे हो तो ऐसा,

Mee said...

@Sandeep Pawar- BILKUL sahi farmaya!:)

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