As every time we do have a vacation during our kids winter holidays & this time it was planned for Mumbai & Goa. it has been more than 4 years since we had been to Goa. Moreover we can also escape from the Delhi chill. So the itinerary was planned as below :
We started by 4.15 am. We were apprehensive about fog, were slowed down for the 1st 100 kms till around Neemrana with occasional foggy patches. Rest overall progress was fast and uneventful. Breakfast stop at Nasirabad and Lunch after Udaipur. Got a minor jam at Udaipur. Thankfully cleared it in 30 minutes. As we approached Chittorgarh the sun turns brighter and slowly we start to shed our layers of clothes, Udaipur was hotter and woolens no longer reqd.
By 6 pm reached Ahmedabad Chiloda circle , we stayed at Hotel Surya Palace which is 1/2 km before Chiloda circle with enough parking and reasonable rates. We got a double room for Rs 1350/-. The day was hot but evening and mornings are chilly due to the wind flow.
Delhi - Jaipur - Widening in progress, overall ok. Jaipur bypass - 2 major diversion at city, rest all after Manoharpur is in good condition. Post Jaipur - Roads are great.
We resumed our journey by 8 am. Morning was chilly. Enjoyed the 80 kms drive on NE-1. Office traffic was high and after Baroda truck traffic too was high. Roads are in good shape all the way till Mumbai. Breakfast was at NE-1 exit near Reliance pump. Lunch at Hotel Ahura after Vapi before Charoti toll. The food was good. At Bharuch toll traffic at both end was smooth, pleasantly surprised. Overall road condition was good and reached Malad, Mumbai by 4.30 pm.
Since we have travelled on NH4 many times, it was decided to take NH17. Our plan was to drive all the way on Pune expressway till the toll gate and after paying Rs 90/- toll , immediately taking a U turn and exit via gate No 2 to Penn connector road. This is again a toll road approx 27 kms and connects at Penn. Advantage one can avoid all major traffic between Panvel till Pen. Road condition and traffic is minimum.
We started our journey by 5.40 am from Malad. Took JVLR , Airoli to Express way. Moderate traffic was there till expressway. Post that the progress was quick. We reached Pen by 7.15 am and distance of 115 kms. Took our break fast at Kamat residency at 8:15 which is at 150 kms from Mumbai.
NH17 is overall in good shape but single lane with reasonably high truck and opposite traffic progress is slow. Only around 25 km around sawantwadi till Goa border is in bad condition. Goa NH17 is in good condition but undivided and high traffic. Drive is scenic and not to mention tiring too. One has to be constantly agile for slow and opposite traffic. I my opinion NH4 is easier and faster than NH17. We reached Margao , Goa by 06:30 pm.
Our stay was at Club Mahindra - Jasminn which is around 5 kms from KT Circle Margao. CM has converted 5 - 6 big bungalows to the hotel with all required facilities. Ideal for those who want tranquility away from city buzz.
Betalbatim is a small Indo-Portuguese village, surrounded by rice fields and is away from city traffic and is very serene. The beach is also at a secluded area and was around 1.5 kms from our hotel. Colva Beach is around 6-8 kms from here. One more observation about Betalbatim is the presence of foreign tourists. Among the popular stay here was Nanu's resort & also lots of home stay options too.
We were the only Indian family there & rest all were foreigners. The sea too is very calm. This Goa trip - kids demanded no sight seeing only beaches as a result of which our time was spent on the beach and shacks. Morning till 11am in Betalbatim and evenings at Colva. All in the agenda was to eat and drink.
Our evening hangouts were at Colva beach. The best part is that there is an activity for all age groups. Lots of shopping, eating and adventure activity like boat ride, Jetski, Para-sailing. Of course many photography subjects too. Evenings become very lively with live music and great crowd.
This is one of the best beaches in south Goa and the longest beach too. Our favourite eateries were Luke's place, Kentuckee and Sagar Kinara for South India dishes. Goan fish curry with rice is our favorite pick.
We also visited Vasco da gama. It was around 35 kms from our resort. We saw the 400 year old St. Andrews church. Just after the airport is the Naval Aviation Museum. We were late as the timing is only upto 4pm only.
Day - 8 Goa - Bangalore - 709 kms
As the plan got extended for a business meeting in Bengaluru , route decided was Margao - Karwar - Hubli - Tumkur - Dodabalapur - Devanhalli - Budigere - Hoskote. The Tumkur - Devanhalli is in good condition and very less traffic. We planned to start early but could start only by 7.15am. Traffic around Margao was already high. Progress till Canacona was slower due to school traffic.
Margao - Start 07:15 am
Canacona - 08:30 - 43 kms
Karnataka Border : 08:45 - 68 kms - Stopped and enquired about our travel and asked for Liquor/Wine being carried.
Karwar City : 09:00 - 76 kms (Here again we were stopped and enquired about our travel)
Breakfast Stoppage : Udupi Cafe
Warship Museum : 10 am - 81 kms (Again at karwar exit too was stopped for general enquiry)
Left turn to Hubli : 110 kms - 11 am
Yellapur - 175 kms - 12:15 pm (Jungle area)
Kirwati - 200 kms - 12:30 (Jungle area)
Kalghatgi - 220 - 12:45 (Major part of NH63 my Airtel or Vodaphone was not working)
Hubli - 245 - 1:10 pm - NH4 the progress was fast.
Since we will be travelling by the North-South Corridor NH7 for the first time, planned to start as early as possible so that we cover Nagpur if possible.
Hoskote 04:30 Am - Start
Devanhalli - Via Budigere - 05:15 am - 36 kms
Bagepalli Toll Rs 60 - - 05:42 am - 100 kms
AP Border : Penukonda - 06:05 am - 140 kms
Haripuram - hilly area, Beautiful Sun rise. - 150 kms
Marur Toll Rs 80 - - 06:35am - 193 kms
Anantpur - 06:46 am - 213 kms. (Big city)
Kasepalli - Toll Rs 75 - - 07:15am 261kms (Before toll IOC coco pump & After HP coco pump)
Gooty - 07;15 am - 264 kms
Dhone - 07:43 - 314 kms
Amkanthadu Toll Rs 75 - - 07:50 am - 320 kms
Kurnool Town : 08:15 am - 350 kms Big town , high traffic, Lot of automobile workshops
Breakfast - At town exit, (Right side 3 pumps in a row) Dhaba Hotel Taj Palace run by a Mallu. There egg masala & kerala parotta was very good. We had an heavy breakfast and a good 40 min refreshing stoppage.
Landmark for Hyderabad ORR : Just before you approach ORR there is a single lane flyover. Most of the construction work around ORR is over and markings are pretty clear
Original plan was to Exit at Gachibowli, but seeing the empty expressway we drove all the way till Patancheru (where ORR crosses NH9). Beyond this ORR is under construction. From Patancheru we drove back to Miyapur and after crossing Miyapur took a left turn which goes via Bachupally to Medchal and meet NH7.
For actual bypass : Exit from Gwachiboli which is around 21 kms from NH7 ie EXIT No 17. Then take the Gwachiboli - Miyapur Road. Once you are at Miyapur ask for Dr Reddy campus or Bachupalli. You can see Hotel Sree Krishna Grand or Angara from where you have to turn left which will join at Medchal NH7. Also there will be a major intersection and a railway cross too before it merges to NH7.