Mumbai Indore - Road Trip # 1

May 16, 2014 dawned with the rush of getting ready and leaving for our family vacation. The difference this time was that we had planned to go to Delhi from Mumbai by road, further up to Punjab, and back to Mumbai. Peppering this long drive with spice of tourism and also rest were stops at Indore, Kota and on our way back, Ahmedabad.

Some random notes, some meticulous records from the trip:

We leave from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai at 6:28am.

One thing I always enjoy on road trips is keeping track of the toll being paid. We usually carry a box of coins to pay the toll - having change saves time, but it also gets us wonderful reactions.

Just 9.5 km into our journey comes the first Toll Plaza (Shilphata Toll Plaza) and the day starts with a big smile and cheery 'thank you' from the toll collector.

To begin with, the road is good. It's a road with divider, two lanes each side. It is lined with parked trucks and trailers, on both sides though.

A couple of minutes later, starts the mountain view. It's a little far off yet, but it gives a certain surreal feeling to the morning.

And then we become part of heavy traffic of trucks and long trailers.
The road is dotted with many restaurants and small hotels and lodges.

Mountain road begins and soon both the lanes are occupied with trucks crawling and we, in our Toyota Fortuner, end up doing the same behind them, more often than not.

After passing the second toll, we get stuck in a very long jam. Trucks are napping or standing in groups - it seemed like rather regular place for a jam. Some driving on the wrong side got us out of the jam, and into another one just half a km later. There are even beggars begging in these jams - as I said, a regular affair, may be for that time of the day.

As the mountains end, the two lanes converge into one with township on both sides.

After passing a crossing manned by traffic police, the traffic eases.

As Mumbai Nasik Expressway starts around 45 km after we left, the road is good (part of it, 3 lanes on both sides). On both sides are dhabas (some look very good), restaurants and lodges.

At around 7:45am, we cross a complex 'Food Hub', which has KFC, Dominos, Kamats, etc.

The beauty of driving in Maharashtra is the fact that it is so liberally sprinkled with mountains, it seems. You drive some distance and landform seems to change. Plains and mountains (some high, some not-so-high) co-exist beautifully.
Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Another fun of driving on highways is the, at times, humorous ways authorities have of telling the drivers to be careful. On this route, I am disappointed that for a very long time, the only boards were rare ones of a curt message of 'Drive Slow'.

The same applied to the messages painted behind trucks. There are hardly any. As I said, disappointing.

Thankfully soon, there were quite a few roadside directives (Highway Gyan) and quotes painted on trucks (Truck theories). I have listed a few towards the end.

We pass through the Nasik city, just as it is waking up. We admire the city from the many flyovers we drive over. We start noticing trees with fiery orange-red flowers, which will remain more or less constant through the many states we travel.

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

From the highway itself, Nasik gives us glimpses of restaurants like Mainland China and showrooms of Audi, Toyota, etc.

Nasik (Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)
Nasik (Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)

After paying toll again at Pimpalgaon Toll Plaza, a much better highway begins.

Many houses on this routes are painted in multiple or distinct colours - pink and yellow and blue and gray. The colours are not as vibrant as the ones I had seen on way to Goa and in Goa, or the hotels in Gujarat and Rajasthan, but they still stand out.

A Dash of colour (Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)

Along the highway, we catch glimpses and some shots of Onion Market and a couple of Onion Export Houses.

Onion Market (Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)

Onion Market (Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)

Onion Market (Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)

Our first stop is at 12:30pm at a restaurant that we like the look of. The food is decent, and the spelling mistakes entertaining.

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip 

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Thali (Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)

Mumbai - Indore Road Trip

Reach Indore (Hotel Fortune Landmark) at 2:45 pm.

Toll Paid (Navi Mumbai to Indore) on May 16, 2014

Distance from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai
Time (Left Kharghar at 6:28am)
Description (if any)
Amount paid
Shilphata Toll Plaza NH4

Mumbra Bypass NH4

Mumbra to Vapde
Mumbai Nasik Expressway
Pimpalgaon NH3
Chandwad NH3
Songir Toll Plaza

Shirpur Toll Plaza
NH3 at km 141.85


New toll booth in the making
(Mumbai - Indore Road Trip)

Highway Gyan:
Drive with Care, Life has no spares.
Mobile off and seat belt on.
Don't mix drinking with driving. (Coincidentally, we saw this one, when we were having Frooti.)
Be Smooth on my curves.
Time is money, but life is precious.
A cat has nine lives, you have only one.

Truck Theories:
शौक अभी बाकी है
जीयो और जीने दो

The same truck had two quotes painted on it:
Love is life & कर्म ही पूजा है
The guy is really confused.

And then there are the standard:
Horn Please
Horn OK Please
They have found a new version of this 'Blow Horn'

And the ever popular:
बुरी नज़र वाले तेरा मुँह काला

I did try to keep a record of things on the way, but it's not always easy - there are many distractions, especially when travelling with children.
But this particular day had an additional distraction - it was the day of election results. So my mind through the day was on keeping a track of who's winning which seat (thanks to twitter). 'Abki baar Modi Sarkaar' was clear pretty soon, though.


  1. Interesting pics...... And yes, the truck theories always amuse me!!! Loved the post!!

    1. Thanks a lot, Bhavani. I love reading stuff written on trucks and buses and autos. Good to know you do too.

  2. hahaha the truck and its quotes!! sometimes they are so hilarious, guess most of the time.

    1. Yes, they are... and reading these quotes (and when possible, jotting them down) is one of my favourite things to do, when on a road trip...


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