3800 km road trip in a Toyota Innova Crysta

The decision of driving during the first & last night of the itinerary saved some time. I would say that a compact tour of 8 days covering 3,800 km is not bad.

BHPian Travelmania recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

As the Durgapuja bell rings, we begin tingling our palms to venture out somewhere to enjoy the festive occasion. This year I got a decent leave of nine (9) days at a stretch. Thinking about our journey structure, I began arranging the vacation with my team to finish a fascinating trip by seeing the features of the last visited places and adding new locations. I planned the itinerary in an accompanying way for recreation, drilling free drive, and co-travellers solace. As a road traveller, I generally attempt to plan my schedule to live it up with my family.

  • Vehicle: Innova Crysta
  • Passengers: Me with my wife, brother with wife and daughter.
  • Distance covered: 3802 km
  • The total number of days: 8 (eight) door to door.
  • Day 1: Left Kolkata 8th Oct in the evening to drive overnight and reach Varanasi in the morning. 697kms
  • Day 2: Varanasi to Lucknow 327kms
  • Day 3: Lucknow to Agra 337kms via ALE
  • Day 4: Agra
  • Day 5: Agra to Rishikesh 426 km via YEW, Eastern peripheral and Meerut Expressway, Delhi-Haridwar road.
  • Day 6: Rishikesh
  • Day 7: Rishikesh to Lucknow 758kms via YEW, ALE
  • Day 8: Lucknow to Kolkata (Garia) 1027kms

Day 1: Kolkata to Varanasi

We left home around 5.30 pm to reach our dinner stop on Durgapur Expressway by 8.30 pm. But to my bad luck first got stuck at Kolkata Jam due to heavy traffic for Durgapuja, so we pathetically crossed the mess to hit another traffic jam at Dankuni. Somehow reached the dinner point at Mirchi Highway Dhaba. A decent vegetarian eatery with good service and a clean ambience. After dinner, we left for Varanasi at 9.30 pm.

Sailed overnight to reach our Hotel at Varanasi Cantonment by 7.30 am. Throughout the road, the condition was good to better. Especially I should say the highway in Jharkhand was amazingly smooth. There is some diversion in a few stretches between Barhi and Aurangabad, but that will not obstruct the driving pleasure. My logic of night drive compared to day drive is to get more rest between movements and visit any highlights of the place in the evening if possible. Otherwise, the cost of the hotel is identical in both cases. We checked in at Hotel Meadows, a small boutique hotel at Varanasi cantonment and safe parking on a private road in front of the hotel. The highlighted part was they provided early check-in at no extra cost. They also served breakfast promptly after order. I was a bit tired of the overnight drive, so I escaped for a tight nap of 2 hours.

Few snaps of the Hotel and Parking as well.

Our Crysta was parked safely just in front of the hotel.

We have already planned to taste the delicious preparation at Deena Chat Bhander. However, Kashi Chat Bhander is also a renowned chat stop beside. They served lots of variety to fulfil our appetite. The following snaps will give a better description.

Our next program was to visit Sankat Mochan Temple and Ganga Aarti from a boat. On our last visit, we missed the Sankat Mochan Mandir due to weekly closure, so we were lucky to get the opportunity to offer our prayers to Lord Hanuman.

Felt the divine feelings after the whole performance of Aarti at Dasaswamedh Ghat. The Aarti is best viewed from a boat to get a front look of the Purohits. After the Aarti, we took the boat to the middle of the river to float Diyas in the Ganges. We never miss this activity of offering prayers to Maa Ganga whenever we visit Varanasi.

Sunset on the Ganges

Mata Ganga Aarti

Our full team

Varanasi Ghats at night from the Ganges

Day 2: Varanasi to Lucknow

Left early by 8.30 am towards Lucknow. We got a clean dhaba for breakfast just after the toll plaza on Lucknow road. The Alu Paratha was delicious and served hot.

The kitchen was very clean and tidy.

We reached Lucknow in time without any hassle or delay. We booked Hotel Legend Inn at Gomti Nagar near Sahara Hospital, more specifically beside Sanjivani Hospital. Very neat and professional hotel with good rooms and better service. Enough car parking place at the open space in front of the hotel.

Though we have visited Lucknow a couple of times, still we decided to visit Bara Imambara, particularly the Bhulbhulaiya, in the evening.

Sunset from Imambara

Rumi Darwaza

After finishing some shopping to please the female team members, we landed at Dastar Khwan for the speciality dish.

I hope nobody doesn’t miss the opportunity to have some biriyani and kebabs at the eatery whenever passing the City of Nawabs.

Continued from Day 2:

Day 3: Lucknow to Agra

Left Lucknow after breakfast at around 9.30 am towards Agra via Agra Lucknow Expressway. Experienced a fatigue less drive maintaining a specific speed limit of 100 km/h. We reached Agra without any more halt. Nothing to describe more about the fantastic turf to drive. But the highway authority is extremely strict about speed limits.

Our Crysta on Agra Lucknow Expressway on the way to Agra

We checked in to Raddison Agra. Very good property with luxury accommodation. Not very far from the highway and an extremely helpful front desk for fast check-in formalities.

Later afternoon we visited the most wanted and sought-after place of the city, The Taj Mahal. Whenever I saw this heritage earlier wanted to spend some hours to feel and believe the architecture. But this time found the monument cleaner. Thanks to the Archaeological Department to brighten up the Seventh Wonder. Instead of describing the following snaps can express my feelings.

The rooftop of the hotel is the highlighted part due to the swimming pool and cafeteria with the Taj view.

View from the rooftop of the Raddison

Day 4: Agra

Many short itineraries are possible from Agra. But we decided not to choose one of the regular itineraries and visit Birds Paradise at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur. The benefit of taking own vehicle gives pleasure to accommodate the itinerary as per wish. Bharatpur is only 73 km from Agra. The hotel security suggested we take the road via Gwalior highway to avoid the narrow and congested route through the city narrow lanes. Our whole family was super excited about the activity of bird watching without any complaint. We spent some 4-5 hours at various locations under the guidance of an experienced guide and enjoyed every bit of the time spent with nature and its existence. To me, the spot is a multiple-time visit destination. The more we saw, the more we wanted. The charges are Rs 150 per hour for rickshaws and 250 per hour for guide. I didn’t negotiate to get the best service from them. I tried to draw it more elaborately by the following photographs.

A short description of the park given by our guide

Tortoise found at the waterbody beside Mandir after we entered the park

Full Team busy with bird watching


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