Bangalore to Mumbai and back by ROAD!!!

After my last trip from Mumbai to Bangalore by train, it was now time to get back to Mumbai to shift our house hold articles. We were shifting majority of them to Kerala, while a few necessary ones were to find their way to Bangalore. A packing company was arranged for, and transport arrangements were made.

We began our trip to Mumbai from Bangalore on May 01, 2008 at around 0421 on my brother's Toyota Innova!

At the start of the trip...

It was pretty windy and cool in the morning. We reside at Kodichikkanahalli on the Bannerghatta Road. Roads were pretty empty in the morning, and we made a very quick progress upto Yeshwantpur. Truck traffic on the road was pretty high after Yeshwantpur, and works on the Service road from Yeshwantpur to Nelamangala made matters really worse. It was a painfully slow progress upto Nelamangala Toll Plaza. Nelamangala is the first of 17 toll plazas that you have to cross on your way to Mumbai (it is 18 if you travel upto Mumbai City, we went only upto Navi Mumbai). Out of the 17 toll plazas, you need to pay cash at 14, while you need to show the toll receipt of the previous plaza at the remaining 3!

Nelamangala Toll Plaza - the first of 17 toll plazas on the way!

You need to shell out Rs. 22 at Nelamangala before your proceed! The road works are complete from Nelamangala to Tumkur Byepass. Tumkur Bye-pass is yet to be completed, and the signboards there are a bit confusing - you need to take a right at that "Y-Shaped" junction. We took a left, but realized the mistake just as we entered the road itself!

Works are complete all the way from Tumkur to Chitradurga Bye-pass. We stopped for breakfast. This was the first halt of the day. We covered 204 kilometers in a minute less than 3 hours - an average speed of 68.38kmph. It was my brother at the wheels till here. I took over after Breakfast, and did the honors upto Belgaum. The worst stretch in this highway is from Chitradurga to Haveri. Roads are in a real bad condition, and work on the 4-laning is progressing slowly (dead in some places!)

You end up driving zig-zag all the way. Speeds were in the range of 65-90 rarely hitting above 110. To make matters worse, there were two accidents causing more diversions! You need to transverse Ranebennur Town, and it was pretty crowded. The town would be entirely bye-passed once the works on the bye-pass is completed! We stopped somewhere near Dharwad for refueling - had covered 243 kms from Chitradurga @ 66.27kmph! We then headed straight to Belgaum, where were stopped at Hotel Sankam Residency for Lunch. That was a distance of 62 kms covered @100.54kmph!!! The lunch was brilliant, except for the fact that the desert took a long time to reach our table - we lost 67 minutes for lunch!

The road from Belgaum to Kolhapur is awesome! 4-Laning is complete, and is concretized in many sections! The road was pretty empty, and was twisty-curvy!

It appears that there is a good number of buses on the Belgaum-Kolhapur section, and majority were run by NWKRTC! We crossed over into Maharashtra in style, with a stylish board welcoming us into Maharashtra (The only sad part is that the board was entirely in Marathi with no english boards elsewhere!)

It was my brother at the wheel all the way from Belgaum, and were going non-stop. The traffic on the road increased as were neared Karad. There was pretty heavy traffic as we crossed Satara. Khambatki Ghat is one interesting section where the down traffic goes through a tunnel, while the UP traffic needs to climb up and down a ghat!

Khambhatki Tunnel...

Inside the Khambhatki Tunnel...

This ghat section of about 8 kilometers is separately tolled! The traffic could be attributed to the fact that the section is shared by the traffic coming from the popular hill station at Mahabaleshwar! We made our first halt post lunch at Soul Curry Restaurant near the way to Pimpri MIDC. That was 341 kms covered in 4 hours and 19 minutes - Average speed of 78.99kmph! The food at the hotel was good, but the service was too slow. We lost 47 minutes here! We hit the Express way at around 1840. We covered 109 kms from the hotel to my home in Belapur, Navi Mumbai in about an hour and 19 minutes @ 82.78kmph!

Sunset at the express way....

Overall Down Journey details: Total Distance: 959 kilometers; Time taken: 15 hours and 24 minutes (including breaks; deducting all breaks - 12 hours and 54 minutes); Average running speed (taking into account only the actual running time): 74.34 kmph!

:: :: R E T U R N J O U R N E Y :: ::

The return journey began at 1630 hours on May 04, 2008. We had a busy day and hence decided not to drive much into the night. I took the wheels, and hit the expressway. The car was pretty heavily loaded, and the car wasn't able to put up enough power at the ghats on the Expressway - affecting speed and fuel efficiency hard! We managed to cover only 92 kilometres in 70 minutes! We made a short halt at the last food plaza on the expressway for a tea and some snacks! The food on the expressway is pretty expensive, and is not something really encouraging!

After that very short tea break, I once again hit the highway and we had another non-stop run thereafter. The Pune Bye-pass road was pretty crowded (we reached there at a time when most offices close for the day!), and we took pretty lot of time to make it to the Katraj Bye-pass. The new Katraj bye-pass is a beautiful section, one which many of us would enjoy driving on! There is one very beautiful viaduct on the way. The highway too was pretty busy. We decided to halt for the day at Satara. We hired a room at Hotel Maharaja Regency. All hotels that we enquired in Satara had all AC rooms occupied! The receptionist at our hotel gave the reason as a movie shooting! The hotel had real good rooms, and the climate was on the cooler side! We covered 232 kilometres in about 3 hours and 17 minutes on Day 1 with an average speed of about 70.66kmph!

We began Day 2 at 5:36AM on May 5, 2008. The day being a Sunday, the highway was a bit less crowded. It was all trucks and intercity buses occupying the roads at that time. There were very little private vehicles on the road. Most truck drivers appeared to be sleepy already since the trucks were slowly moving to the right lane, then sharply moving back to the correct late! Almost all vehicles tend to come to the right lane if you blow a horn while overtaking them! It was a non-stop run all the way to a roadside hotel somewhere in Karnataka. We had a short break for breakfast here. We covered 163kms in just 108 minutes @ 90.56 kmph! This run formed the base of the day's run, and helped us reach Bangalore pretty earlier than we had imagined!

We left the hotel after a rather prolonged break of 29 minutes at 07:53. I kept speeds in the range of 110-130kmph all the way. We stopped at the end of the Dharwad-Hubli byepass road for change of charge! My brother took over from here, and I settled for a seat at the back of the car! We made another halt at around 1140 for fueling - covering about 307kms after breakfast with a speed of about 80.79kmph. We made another short hop before stopping for lunch at Reliance A1 Plaza near Chitradurga Bye-pass. That was a distance of 58 kilometres covered in an hour!

We started off at 1325 after lunch. It was then an almost non-stop drive upto home! We made short halts some where near Jayanagar for getting some fruits, then a short halt near home to get milk for the evening, finally landing up at home at around 1700 covering about 205 kilometres after lunch in about 215 minutes at an average of 57.21kmph! The road from Chitradurga to Tumkur and beyond upto Bangalore was heavily crowded!

Overall Return Journey details: Total Distance: 965 kilometers; Time taken: 14 hours and 54 minutes (including breaks; deducting all breaks - 13 hours and 28 minutes); Average running speed (taking into account only the actual running time): 71.66 kmph!

Some notes about the route:
  • The work on 4 laning is complete in all stretches except for Tumkur Bye-pass, Chitradurga Byepass, Chitradurga town, Ranebennur Byepass and some areas around Haveri. This would count for about 80-100 kilometres!
  • There are 18 toll plazas between Yeshwantpur and Mumbai including two on the Expressway.
  • For a Car you would end up paying about Rs. 561 towards Toll alone if you travel only upto Vashi in Navi Mumbai. You need to pay another Rs. 25 if you enter into Mumbai city limits! That takes the total amount to Rs. 586! User fee is not charged for some 170 kilometres on the way since the works are not yet complete - once this is done, the total user fee could go up further!
  • You can maintain speeds in the range of 100-130kmph consistently in the Haveri-Panvel stretch. The worst stretch on the route is Yeshwantpur-Nelamangala, and Chitradurga-Haveri. It is either too crowded, or the road is the real bad shape!
  • There aren't any major ghats enroute except the Khambhatki Ghats, which you need to transverse only in the Mumbai-Bangalore direction (you transverse the ghats through a Tunnel in the opposite direction!).
  • Private vehicle traffic is generally on the lower side, and most of the traffic is comprised of trucks and buses. The traffic is generally light between Hubli and Kolhapur, and pretty heavy between Satara and Mumbai!
  • The Mumbai-Pune expressway is a real delight to drive, and I hit a top speed of about 155kmph on the expressway!


Amit Abhishek said…
Nice blog! I am moving from Bangalore to Mumbai for good. Transport companies are charging a ransom for the delivery of my car a WagonR. Is it a good idea to travel 1000 odd kms in my car? What is the density of petrol pumps on the way? If I do a stopover in the night (i will start my journey on 20th sept @ 3am) which should be an ideal town?
Binai K Sankar said…
Oh great! Traveling in a car is always fun... WagonR is a great car for that. If you start by 3AM from Bangalore, you should be in Mumbai by the same evening with stopovers for b/fast, lunch and an evening snack...Kolhapur/Satara is a good place in case you need to stop over...
Unknown said…
Thanks for this very important & help full information for those who travell via roar