Delhi to Kolkata By Road in Two Days

21st Sep 2017

Del-Kol in 2 days

Photo of Delhi to Kolkata By Road in Two Days by Pamela Roy

There are times when the urban nomad living peacefully inside, rebels against the nonchalance of the daily life and challenges you to attempt the most unexpected. What did you do this time, you ask? Accepting the challenge of enduring a road trip as crazy as Delhi to Kolkata!

The mornings started feeling chilly and I could smell the Shiuli flowers from 2000 km away. It’s that time of the year! Durga Puja. Every Bong millennial’s sweetest dream. It’s that time of the year that makes every Desi person homesick. For it brings the never-dying allure of reuniting with family in the disguise of religion- Durga puja to Chhat puja to Diwali. Autumn is bliss.

I have made quite a name for myself in the inner circle for being crazy. Much to my surprise, I got 3-4 volunteers to join me in this historic trip. I was glad that the cost of Rs. 35000 for the hired cab is not going to burn hole in my pocket anymore. Not to forget the journey now will be of laughter and fun and a series of good times.

The Route:

Photo of Delhi to Kolkata By Road in Two Days 1/1 by Pamela Roy
Day 1
Photo of New Delhi, Delhi, India by Pamela Roy

Time On Road: 1 hr 30 Mins

Around 6 in the morning, we hit ignition of the car engine and set out on a journey that none of us had imagined we would take even a week ago! We were following the route of Yamuna Expressway and the car was running like Zeus’ bolt. The packet of air filled happiness known as chips, The Journey Song from Piku, the scenic view of the surroundings made the drive no less than a filmy one. The changing horizon from Noida’s skyscrapers to Aligarh’s green paddy fields left a lasting impact on mind. I couldn’t help wondering how much our country has evolved, how much we have evolved over the past 25 years.

Photo of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India by Pamela Roy

Time On Road: 6 hrs 30 Mins

Distance: 474 KM

Top Experiences:

We reached Kanpur at around 3 pm and headed directly to The Chat, highly recommended by a Kanpuriya friend. Their Dosa and Chat Golgappe are the hottest selling dishes. When the body was recharged, we fuelled up our souls by devouring Kanpur’s most famous sweet shop -Thaggu ke Laddu’s Badnaam Kulfi and Doodh Peda. The shop is more than 60 years old, but the taste is preserved like a bottle of vintage wine.

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Pamela Roy

Time On Road: 5 hrs 45 Mins

Distance: 333 KM

Top Experiences:

After we gained much needed energy to race against the road again, we started for Varanasi - the city with a soul that is thousand years old. We reached around 9 at night. The evening arti was over by that time, the crowd had been thinned out and the shops were shutting down for the day. The welcome silence of the otherwise bustling ghats calmed our whole system down. We sat on the Dashashwamedh Ghat and enjoyed the song of the river which we could have missed if we reached in the busy hours. The peace that prevailed in that place at night was so infectious that we lost track of time. The rustling of winds, the light & shadow-play on water, the tranquillity of the nightfall painted a timeless picture of the city on our mind. I couldn’t help but wonder if Gautam Buddha enjoyed the same serenity the night he left his bride. If Tulsidasa was inspired to write Ramcharitmanas sitting right here. Whether Akbar fell in love with India listening to Ganga arti one evening. My thoughts were interrupted by a call from home. The excitement to see the beloved child can hardly be suppressed! Only few more hrs to reach Kolkata.

Where To Stay:

We took refuge at Zostel Varanasi for Rs. 1000 per bed and slept the night away. Hotels here are cheap and available from Rs. 300 to Rs. 8000 depending on your budget.

Where To Eat:

Early morning next day, we enjoyed the best breakfast in Baati Chokha with the most delicious Litti Chokha and Sattu Parathas. Like a true-blue foodie, we ended the meal with the cult classic Banarasi Paan from Deepak Tambul Bhandar.

Day 2
Photo of Gaya, Bihar, India by Pamela Roy

Time On Road: 5 hrs 45 Mins

Distance: 265 KM

Gaya, the city of Bodhi (wisdom). The place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. The place which has attracted devotees for thousands of years. We touched Gaya at around 1 pm.

Top Experiences:

Mahabodhi Temple, the greatest shrine of Buddhism is the main attraction of Gaya. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site. It is open from 5 am to 9 pm daily. The intricately carved ancient temple is not only a religious site but an architectural marvel too. We witnessed the timeless beauty and the charm it holds before starting for the last part of the trip. En route we were spellbound by the greatness of the 80 ft tall statue of Gautam Buddha.

Photo of Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Pamela Roy

Time On Road: 9 hrs

Distance: 482 KM

We continued driving for 8 more hrs and reached the city of joy at around 11 PM. Amaar shohor, all decked up for Durga puja was welcoming us like a mother welcomes her children. The trip was over but the stories, will remain forever.

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