Monday, April 18, 2011

Road Trip - Hyderabad to Pune

The road trip from Hyderabad to Pune took me 11 hours. The early start helped a bit. Hyderabad to Sholapur was pretty decent as it always has been and the 300 kms were done in 5 hours as always. But the 4 laning work on the Sholapur-Pune road took almost the same time - earlier would do that stretch of about 250 kms in about 4 hours. The roads in Maharashtra are exactly half the size the roads in Andhra or Karnataka, the two other states that we pass which always makes you wonder why. Anyway the 4 laning work will amend it all, with new bridges, roads etc.

The stretch after Sholapur is the most frustrating because the traffic on the highway is almost bumper to bumper. Its like driving in the city traffic - only with many outsize vehicles, trailer trucks, petrol tankers, LPG cylinders. There were times when we had to go as slow as 10 kmph as traffic crawled. No escape as the road allows no space for any tricks.
There were some interesting things I noted this time. Firstly the brilliant colours on the trees and in the fields. The new greens on certain trees that glinted with the mischief of youth, the luxurious carpet of yellow flowers that drifted down from a tree whose name I know not. Gulmohur of the brightest red and another shade of orange, a brilliant purple or violet bloom of the odd jacaranda tree peeping out shyly, magenta explosions in bougainvillea trees, ripe and disciplined sunflowers standing up to greet us as if it were a yellow army. Wonderful colours looking so much more colourful against the blue blue April sky.

Then there were the mad guys I saw walking by the road (in addition to those on the road). I counted at least five of them, clothes torn, walk unsteady, look crazed, emaciated. I wondered why so many of them were walking along the highway. And maybe that is a sign that they were not mad. They were more disciplined than the crazy guys who suddenly run on to the road oblivious of the speeding traffic, vehicles that take U turns with no warning - they kept to the side. And if they were mad why were they on the road and not in the fields? Maybe they just want to e alone with their thoughts.

Mad ones posing as normal guys were there aplenty. In cars and trucks honking madly in stagnant lines, on two wheelers speeding crazily and actually taking pangas with bigger vehicles - must be mad! But the craziest sight was the number of people who were busily spitting from their vehicles, mostly on their own vehicles, some perhaps on their own feet. But they were spitting almost every five minutes, cheeks blown out with paan juice that they were eager to spit. Every few moments the head appears metronomically at the window, spits and goes back in. Where he spat no one knows - mostly on his own car but he does. So from buses, cars and other transport that is a danger - a splash of red as a souvenir. If you're lucky it could just be water!

Another thing you notice is the freedom with which people throw garbage out of moving vehicles. From biscuit wrappers to plastic bottles,  to finished food and unfinished lunches, the road is the trash basket and there they merge with so much more.  


Anonymous said...

I am also planning for a trip from hyd to pune this weekend.Can I get your contact details?Mine is 9581000983-Vikas

Harimohan said...

It's a comfortable ride, if you get off early and miss the city traffic, atleast one way. Will call you Vikas.

Sreekanth Sampath said...

I am planning to bring my family by car to pune, Should i take any NOC from Road Authorities. The visit is for 3 weeks only. Please help.

Harimohan said...

Sreekanth, No NoC required if it's a temporary stay. Just carry all your original papers - license, RC, pollution, insurance and you should be good.

Srinivas Nadimetla said...

Hi Hari,
I am planning for trip from Hyd to Pune, a stay at Pune .. From Pune to Lonavala Kandala and from there to Kalyan, Stay at Kalyan (to meet some relatives) and from Kalyan to Mahabaleshwar. Staty at Mahabaleshwar and then From Mahabaleswar to Hyderabad .. I am planning for this trip in month end with my family ( I am having two kids), Do you suggest anything :-)

Harimohan said...

Hi Srinivas, Looks pretty well spaced out. The longest journeys are the Hyd-Pune and Mahabaleshwar-Hyd ones obviously - all others relatively much smaller.
Mahabaleshwar- Hyd is the longest. It is another 110 kms or so from Pune with a bit of a ghat (small ones) so it would take you an extra three hours over the Pune-Hyd trip. You could, depending on the road conditions, perhaps break that journey too - unless there are two of you who drive. Also the kids may find such a long drive rather monotonous. Sholapur is an option or even Pune.
Do write if you have any further queries. Otherwise, have a great trip. Enjoy the strawberries and cream at Mahabaleshwar and stop at Mapro outlet near Panchgani. Great food and some lovely products to buy.

Srinivas Nadimetla said...

Hi Hari,
How is road condition now from Sholapur to Hyderabad. Can we travel without hurdles now.


Harimohan said...

Hi Srinivas, Last I drove in May, it was not so good. I don't know how it is now.

Sudeep Edakkattu said...

Hi Hari,

Any idea on the condition of Pune to Hyd road, is it good to travel.



Harimohan said...

No update Sudeep. I'd reckon the roads in AP and Karnataka, the first 200 kms HYD-Pune, may not be all that good because of the rain. The Maharashtra ones would still be in some state of completion - especially the Sholapur - Pune stretch. All in all, a slow, careful drive preferably day time is what I predict. But I haven't travelled on it in the last 6 months.