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Mid of April month,
I am Planning to have a Shirdi trip from Lingampally(Hyderabad),
Lingampally - Naldurg - Tuljapur - Terkhed - Jamkhed - Ahmednagar - Shirdi
return with same route.
Would like to know the current road condition of the above route.
This is about June 2016 travel to Tadoba Tiger reserve from Hyderabad.
In Jan-2016 I had traveled Chopta and Munsiyari in Uttarakand with another three new travelers met first time at Delhi. One of them Mr. Pandey is from Nagpur and he asked me to come down to Nagpur for visiting Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and booked safari a couple of months before for 12th June 2016 . Till then I had no experience of any forest safary and I was excited to see many wild animals. Mean time our travel friends planned for Ladakh tour in the last week of June, 2016 (25-06-2016). It was one of the dream destination and I know it will be difficult and expensive if I go alone and said OK and booked flight/train to Delhi and back. Then started thinking it will be hectic for two tours in two weeks. But Pandey who is also coming for Ladakh trip did not agree and made me to visit Tadoba.
On 11th June we started at 5.00 Hrs in my car from Hyderabad. My wife and son were with me. We are two drivers and had a back seat to sleep if needed. We reached Nirmal by 8.00 Hrs entered town leaving NH44 and had breakfast at Hotel Mayuri. Breakfast was good but when we had lunch next year, it was very bad. We joined NH44 through old NH7 road. Reached Nagpur by 13.00 Hrs and Pandey's home by 13.30.
Roads up to Adilabad were excellent. Four lane work and Underpass works at Hingenghat (about 30 Kms) not completed and have to change lanes and pass through the villages. Road at places in this section also not good. After that till Nagpur roads are good.
One more travelmate Mr. Jagtap from Betul (MP) who is mine safety officer in Western Coal Fields (WCF) and a native of Nagpur was supposed to join us with his family in his car. But due to some fire accident in a coal mine he could not join us.
Our plan was to reach WCF guest house at Murpar which is about 15 Kms away from Navegaon Gate of Tadoba Reserve and stay overnight and reach the gate early in the morning.
We started from Nagpur at about 17.00 Hrs and reached Murpar by 19.45 Hrs. While entering Chandrapur district at Umred check-post, local police stopped our car for checking and found one whiskey bottle in our luggage which was kept by Pandey.
The police told me that alcohol is banned in chandrapur district and we can not carry. I said I am from Hyderabad and I do not the local rules and never imagined that a particular district will have a ban.
He looked at Pandey in the car and asked he is from Maharashtra and how come he do not know. I said he does not know about it and i brought it my self. Some how he took away the bottle and allowed us to proceed further.
So those who are travelling to Tadoba please do not carry alcohol.
By the time we reached Chimur which is a little bigger town close to Navegaon Gate, it started drizzling and when we took right turn at Khadsangi for Murpar, heavy downpour started and visibility was hardly 20 mtrs in head lights. Left turn at Khadsangi will lead to Navegaon gate. Mr. Jagtap booked the guest house at WCF mine area, Murpar. We found one Telugu cook in the guest house and when we told him about Umred check post incident, he said we are too lucky to be let off, otherwise they arrest and harras for carrying alcohol. When we asked about dinner he said other than non veg, he will prepare any thing. Non Veg has to be brought from Chimur some 12 Kms away and it is not possible at that time and that too in heavy rain. We ordered roti, dal and sabji with omlets.
Mean time me and pandey went to Khadsangi in the rain and enquired about safari vehicles. we were told that there is no need to book in advance and Gypsy cars will be available at the gate as per the serial and as many as permitted for the day/session. We had dinner and had good sleep.
We got up early and reached Navegaon gate before 5.30 Hrs. We found only one car before us at the gate. We went to gate office and booked a safari car and engaged a Guide. Safari car is for Rs. 600 and Guide Rs.350 (That's what I remember). Sky is clear and we found water of previous night's rain on the roads pot holes. We entered the forest by 5.45. Our guide said it is always advantage of more sightings if your car is first and it proved correct.
Myself with wife and kids of Pandey
The first site before entering the core area
Second sighting a glimpse of bear
Then a Jackal
There were lot of birds and I could not shoot them as I do not have a proper lens.
The same bear came out of the forest and crossed our path.
We were told that Tiger will come here but after waiting enough time he did not turned up.
There are many deers and Neelgai
Obviously not happy with our presence
Canter from Moharli gate
Now many jeeps arrived and waiting at a water hole for the arrival of the Big Cat.
But it did not show up and the our morning session ended. Little disappointed and our guide was telling us that people make more than six safaris and go back without seeing a Tiger. We had a booking for afternoon safari also. With a little hope we returned to our guest house.
On the way back from morning safari
Padey with our Driver and Guide.
Will continue with after noon Safari..
Now I can say, it's a necessity for me to replace my Honda City with a new car and that should surely be a SUV or at least a crossover.
Me and my father do many roadtrips, we travel much, but never did we face problems with the Honda City. That's a beautiful car. A car that introduced me to the world of revvs and performance. This car performs extremely well on the highways, effortlessly cruises at 140kmph.
But as the trips kept increasing, rather the exploring part kept increasing, the need for a SUV started. This beauty isn't able to take bad roads well. We always feel bad for abusing the car taking it to badly laid roads. We scraped it's under body 4 times in one year which stopped is from doing further exploration trips on this car.
Here, the need of a SUV or a crossover came up.
A brief about the car:
It's a 2014 Honda City VX (topend) i-VTEC which comes with a cruise control, sunroof, auto climate control, rear AC vents, 2 airbags, ABS with EBD, ventilated leather seats, all leather upholstery.
A car with class leading comfort, luxury and space. (Here I don't consider any of the Maruti Suzuki cars because they don't even come near to any of the C segment cars in the market)
The boot is so huge that it takes almost everything that a family carriers during long drives without compromising on the second row leg room.
So, an upgrade or even replacement means that the vehicle should offer few more latest features including those which my City offers. Or at least should offer those which already exists.
Now as I'm already a satisfied and happy owner of Ford Freestyle my second car, I want my next car to be a Ford and not others even if they're better.
Test drove the Tata Harrier, Hexa, XUV5OO (ridiculous interior plastic quality) Jeep Compass, Hyundai Creta. All these cars are no doubt awesome. Of all these I loved the Hexa. But as said I don't want to come out of Ford and want to be a Ford owner always. So, here comes the problem. I'm in a confusion of what to do.
Shall I wait for the new SUV launch from Ford in collaboration with Mahindra?
Or take the EcoSport?
Is EcoSport really a proper replacement or upgrade to my City?
Does it offer more than what my City offers including space?
Or at least what my City offer?
all these are everytime running in my head. And a thought of restricted rear space, rear AC and boot space is stopping me from taking the EcoSport. I request EcoSport owners to give me some detailed information of EcoSport and request others to help me get the answers to the questions that are running in my mind.
Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th