I have recently finished off my road trip from Hyderabad to Gwalior. Covering a total distance of ~1200 KMs, below are some of the pointers. I have also shared a picture mentioning the time taken. I really hope this helps you.
22nd Nov 2020 & 23rd Nov 2020
Vehicle used :
Baleno Delta petrol
Fuel consumption :
around two full tanks ~ 6k (got around 20KMPL)
I have tried to maintain a speed between 85 to 100 as i am not habitual to drive for long on highways. Maximum i have reached is 121 KM.
I have stayed in Sagar in a pocket friendly property called Kuber Vatika, Booked them thru OYO. They charged around 1800 for two rooms on double occupancy including breakfast. The rooms and service were good, the property is big including parking (pics attached) but i think they can keep it cleaner. They are around 500 mts from NH44, the main reason for choosing this property. 7770961717, their contact number, incase required.
Total 19 tolls with an exact amount of INR 1700. Tolls and petrol pumps are the two things which are in abundance on the complete route. Also, please do not forget to get fast tag, if you are not having one. you can easily add 1-1.5 hrs. to your travel time if you are not having a fast tag. One advice which you will be thanking me for, never choose the left most lane to cross the tolls, those are generally cash one and few tolls allow fast tag cars to pass thru them. even if the lanes towards left seems to be more lucrative with less traffic choose the right ones, they would clear of faster.
Food and restrooms:
Not many good ones available on the entire stretch, we have packed all our food for day 1 and got something packed for day 2 and water bottles from the hotel. Got tea and other refreshments as well packed, so only stopped closer to dhabas to have those. Restrooms can be used at dhabas and petrol pumps; at many petrol pumps generally the restrooms are closed so prefer dhabas over petrol pumps.
In this Covid times, there is certainly a good thing which is less traffic. There were less cars and bus traffic on the road. I do not go out on highway much so not sure if the truck traffic was lower or on higher side but in my opinion there were umpteen. Truck traffic grew more and more towards the evening.
Please be vigilant/ scared off of the below while on roads
1. Cows, Dogs, cattle heard and Monekys/langoors (towards pench forest only). The number of animals keep increasing as move towards the north.
2. A$$h*** driving bikes, cars, tractor and trucks(yes!! trucks) on wrong side. It really angers when someone drives on the right side of the road in a wrong way (you need a lot of courage to do that).
3. Slow down your vehicles towards intersection as many two wheelers are not visible due to big trees.
4. Cars driving exactly over the dotted line in between two lanes.
so i have kept best for the last. Out of 1200 Kms that i have travelled. Hardly 25Km to 40 Km would be considered as bad roads and rest all of it is in perfect condition. Being a 90s kid i can only imagine roads can be so good so such a longer highway. Barring diversion at few places, complete road is 4 lane highway with a divider in between which is as big as a single lane. i am bifurcating the road conditions basis their location:
Hyderabad to Adilabad: In perfect condition, can drive around at 100-110 KM/hr. Since, I have started early in the morning, so drove a bit
slow in the morning. Once there was ampler light on the roads, it was no stopping or slowing.
Adilabad to Nagpur: Roads are pretty good. It is just towards Maharashtra, the roads have potholes at few places and uneven filling of potholes can surprise your car’s suspension. A place just before Nagpur called Butibori where a flyover is being constructed, you can see a small traffic jam including other cars and trucks.
Nagpur to Seoni: As most of us know there is a patch in the Pench forest which is under construction and few months back it was only one way but the good news is, it is open for cars for both ways and only trucks are asked to use the diversion. The roads are in pretty bad shape full of mud and dust. The good thing was people stayed in queue and not topple each other to cross the car ahead of you which actually helped to cross the bad patch in as less time as possible. May be if they don’t do, authorities would again close it. I have also recorded the video but not sure how to upload it. It is major off-roading for any vehicle.
Seoni to Sagar: it is smooth as butter. It was started to get dark and my car was having low visibility due to headlights, yes!! I need to change it, but the roads were so good that I just concentrated on the intersection, people coming wrong way and cattle and leave the condition of the road in god’s hand but Voilaa!! It turned out to be great and did not felt even slighted of bump across.
Sagar to Jhansi : Again great roads with good scenic views, roads looked so clean as if someone just cleaned them an hour back. Someone mentioned to click a picture near the Lalitpur lake, so did i. It was really huge and beautiful lake.
Jhansi to Gwalior: I have seen so many people complaining about the roads are worst in the country but you should really see them now. I guess it is one of the best ones. All the small villages got bypasses and you can pass any city in a jiffy. I have taken much less time to reach Gwalior from Jhansi.
In the end I would just like to say that, I have not done much road trips but doing such a big one have given me nightmares. However, I have planned it well using groups like this, which really helped. The cherry on the cake was good road conditions which made a bit physically tired at the end but not at all mentally.