Tadoba - Part 10

Read earlier posts here - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

After much debate, we decided not to take Ghugus Road for the worst experience we had earlier in the trip. There were two options in front of us. 
  1. Moharli-Chandrapur-Warora-Jamb-Hinganghat - This would still have made us travel a comparatively bad road from Hinganghat onwards past Deoli. 
  2. Moharli-Chandrapur-Nagpur-Amaravati-Akola - Good road condition from Nagpur to Akola was a major temptation. However, the distance was too much and the road from Hinganghat to Nagpur was again unknown. 
Finally decided to take Warora-Jamb road. 

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And to our surprise, the road was beautiful!! However, this time we kept our fingers crossed almost until we reached Jamb.

We reached Jamb at around 2, which is just about two hours for 90Km!! It was time for lunch and we were looking for decent place. Unfortunately, we didn't see any good place, which was contradictory to whatever we had heard about the place. Everyone had advised us to have food at Jamb and we didn't see anything around at Jamb Junction. We took the road towards Hinganghat, which was NH7. As soon as we left NH7, we inquired about restaurant and everyone pointed us back to Jamb!!

Frustrated enough, we decided not to go back and test our luck on the road itself. And on one fine turn, just outside an industrial complex we saw Dhaba. Delighted. I stepped out of the car for quick inspection and inquiry. The uncle was pretty friendly and the place was clean. To top it, he had chapati and Dal-Jira too. मृण्मय की तो निकल पड़ी!! We had awesome Dal,  Alu-Gobi and tawa parathas!! Delicious!!

Now we were getting prepared for the bad road upto Pulgaon via Deoli. However for some reason, we didn't find the road that bad this time and always kept wondering whether we have taken the same road or some different road. However some landmarks were familiar (e.g. Cotton processing Unit, some warehouses etc) Finally we concluded that the Gugus road has made me a better driver for such roads ;)

The road from Pulgaon to Chandur Railway Station was at par anyways. By this time it was almost dark. The roads didn't have the lights and the signboards were scarce. However, there were not many diversions/alternate roads, so easily hit the Amaravati bypass pretty quickly. By our initial estimate, we were hoping to reach Akola by 11 in the night or so (12 hours journey - based on the earlier travel time.) But by taking that Jamb road, we seemed to have saved almost two hours. By sevenish, we were close to Amaravati Bypass. And by 8:30 or so, we reached Akola. Tired, but happy. I was saved of almost 90 mins of driving time :)

Total distance travelled: 360 Km.
Total Driving time: 9 hours.
Total Travel time: 10 hours.

Few lessons from this trip:

  • Do some homework about the roads in the area that you plan to travel. Find out some local contacts and ask very direct questions. Prefer the advise from those folks who use those roads regularly.
  • Ask. We benefited when we asked and were at disadvantage when we didn't. A very casual question at Pulgaon, helped us in finding a good place for Breakfast. But shyness or laziness at Jamb junction kept us hungry for long.
  • Start early. Given the travel time during our journey to Tadoba, if we had started late by an hour or so, we might had reached late at the entry gate of the way to Tadoba, which closes at 7 PM. and we had reached there by 6/6:15 or so. This could be one off case, however, early start also reduces the night travel
  • Carry some snacks apart from Biscuits :) Some fruits might be helpful as a quick snack. Near Ghugus, we had to purchase few bananas to fill our stomach, in the absence of any decent place to eat.
  • Use Navigation system: We used Meghana's Galaxy S II very effectively. But remember the navigation system doesn't tell you how the road would be :)
  • Do not rely completely on Google maps. The route shown by Google to reach Moharli was not feasible as Forrest department doesn't allow passengers to take that route. This misled us to certain extent until we called up our tour guide/operator.
  • State Highway does not mean sub-par road and National Highway doesn't mean good road. NH-7 was a big flop show whereas most of the state highways were in much better condition. So do not base your calculations or plans solely based on whether to road is NH or SH.
This concludes the 10 part series on our trip to Tadoba. Unfortunately Meghana is still processing the photos and hence haven't included any yet. As soon as the photos are available, I am planning to put up a photo story :)


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