After getting the Baleno from Kerala, most of the driving was within the city and a long highway drive was overdue for the car. An unplanned drive to make good use of a long weekend around the Independence Day holiday. Hyderabad, unlike Mumbai, Pune or Bangalore is not blessed with as many weekend getaways, or so is the saying. But if expectations are not too high, and being on the road is more of the idea than the destination itself, there are some fair roads to drive on. One of those being the NH 7. The choice was between heading west, North or east and we chose North. I did look up about the road condition of the highway and got some forum responses, which though couple of years old, reflected the current scenario pretty well.
From Hyderabad till the Northern border of Telangana state, the roads are as good or better than many international freeways. Tolls sum up to around Rs.520/- per side, but if you enjoy driving and being on the highway, that’s the cost of therapy. The bad patch of roads after Maharshtra border last around 60 kms with a mix of really good roads and really bad roads.
In case driving at night, be wary of the stretch to throw up some unexpected huge potholes. Almost all of the towns along the highways are bypassed making it real quick. Would advise not to risk running a low fuel tank as petrol stations are not as frequesnt as one would expect on a gleaming highway. The roads are mostly deserted. Surprising lack of traffic, be it trucks, public transport or cars. Not sure if the BOT contractors are getting their investment repaid.
Breakfast: With an 5:00 am departure, we stopped at the small town of Armur for breakfast. We passed by a rather small local hotel, but the name pulled us back. Kochin Mess!. As always is the case with these wonderful small hotels, tasty idli, wada and tea was served. Had a short n sweet conversation with the owner, who moved over to this part of the country quarter of a century ago, but still loves homeland Cochin.
Sri Ram Sagar Reservoir
Beautiful reservoir and best stop in the trip till now.
A welcome change from the flat highway to short stretch of well laid winding roads with green trees. Water was scarce in the waterfall, stones nevertheless were in abundance.
Kochera Falls is yet another waterfall quite soon as we hit the highway again, 3 kms detour from the highway. Rocks yet again and there was hardly any water falling from them. No pic clicked. Decided not to fall prey to anymore waterfall boards on the way. Back to the highway and touched Adilabad town to withdraw some cash and then back to the road again.
Stopped for lunch at a dhaba @ Pandharkawada, Maharashtra. Mediocre food. Started seeing an overdose of Ghutka and special ways how the panwalahs mix it up for the customers. Fuel gauge was leaning towards the red and so filled up, which turned out to be a day saving decision. No more stops and reached Nagpur before daylight started fading. Well laid wide roads, but bad traffic discipline with no respect to the traffic lights. Halted for the day at Nagpur.
On Nagpur and return journey another day.