From Political capital to financial capital, the Delhi-Mumbai road trip covers the beautiful state of Rajasthan, Gujarat leads to Maharashtra. The total distance between the two cities is around 1400 km via NH8. In a go this distance can be covered in a non stop 24 hour drive, but what’s the fun if you can’t take a stopover in cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat.
The entire road is as smooth as cake with few bad patches, but others are so good that the entire journey will not be tiring. Though driving 1400 km is in a way tiring if you are not used to driving for long hours. Earlier, when I did this drive I was accompanied by a driver, hence it wasn’t that painful as the driver did all the work. However, this time it was ourselves who were driving on our own and that was a challenge. If one has days to cover the distance, then stretch it to 3-4 days so that you also have time to see around the city and at the same time cover the distance. Since we were shifting to Mumbai, for us it was one way journey, whereas if you are visiting one of the city for just sightseeing then return journey will need in total 6 days minimum considering, you cover the entire distance in two days one side and 2 days for rest & sightseeing in the city.
We covered the entire stretch of Delhi-Mumbai in 2 and a half day with a night halt in Jaipur and Ahmadabad with lunch break in Udaipur and Surat. We started from Delhi in the evening towards Jaipur. Earlier, our target was to reach Ajmer on the first day, but we faced a tragedy with a flat tire. It took us 1 hour to change the tire in the middle of the highway with no street lights in the pitch dark due to winter night. We reached Jaipur at 9 pm and choose to stay at the hotel which was on the bypass road straight towards Ajmer making it easier for us to leave the next day. The night halt was at Ginger Hotel. Compare to its 3 star standard it was a decent hotel for a stay over, but there were many services faults. The main problem during our stay was that their key card were not working and all doors to each floor and rooms open with a key card. Since the system which generate key card was not working, we had to bang on the door to enter the floor so that someone from the other side open it and call the housekeeping guy to open our rooms to that we can enter our room. Other than this, the hotel was clean and offered good food for dinner and breakfast.
On our second day, we started our journey at 9 am towards Udaipur. The Jaipur – Ajmer stretch was super smooth and with bypass, we avoided the city traffic. After Ajmer, you need to go straight towards Udaipur. At one point, there are two roads, one leading to Mount Abu/Sirohi and other to Udaipur. Both roads after Rajasthan will meet at Ahmadabad so you have open to choose any. NH8 is the one which passes through Udaipur.
Rajasthan State Highway
We made a mistake of missing NH8 and went straight towards Sirohi. After covering 20 odd km, we realized our mistake and took State highway towards NH8. Naming it State Highway doesn’t mean it was a good road. The entire road was single lane passing from one mountain to another with completely broken roads in between. Though the scenery was nice, but our car went through the hardship of moving on the worst road possible. (Note: If you make the same mistake as ours and need to connect with NH8, do it after reaching Sirohi. Take the Sirohi-Udaipur road which is much better than any other road in between) After driving 30km, we connected to NH8 and continued towards Udaipur. At 4 pm, we reached Udaipur. After finishing off the late lunch and buying the spare tire (replacement of burst tire), we continued our journey towards Ahmadabad.
The road from Udaipur-Himmatnagar was indeed a scary one as it was not lit at all. When we left Udaipur, it was already dark which made it all the more difficult to reach Himmatnagar. Luckily, once you enter the Gujarat border, the road gets better with good radium light on road to inform you about the turns and edge of the road. After crossing Himmatnagar, roads were good till Gandhinagar. Being Capital of Gujarat, Gandhinagar looked not at all developed and road between Gandhinagar-Ahmadabad was a single lane highway with no divider. Finally, we somehow managed to reach Ahmadabad at 10:30 pm and spent the night in Four Point by Sheraton.
Next day, on our final day, we left Ahmadabad at 10 am and headed towards Surat. The best part of this route was expressway from Ahmadabad to Vadodara. Amongst all the stretch this is by far the best. Almost 6 lane road, it is a dream for people who wish to speed up but doesn’t get the opportunity. Moving on in our journey, we reached Surat. Since we were meeting our cousin there for lunch, we ended up going inside the city which has maximum number of flyover connecting all parts of the city. Despite having a flyover to control the traffic, people here don’t follow the signals, causing slow moving traffic. We spent more than the allotted time in Surat which affected our journey further towards Mumbai.
After leaving Surat the journey got difficult as we faced traffic at Bharuch and due to the delays, when we entered Mumbai from Virar, we faced the worst traffic in the entire journey. From Vasai to Mira Road, the bridge connecting the two stop had a big patch of traffic. Vehicles were moving at snail speed and the entire part which was hardly some 5 km, we took 2.5 hours to finish. The total pleasure covering so much of a distance between Delhi-Mumbai was ruined by 50 km of super bad traffic. Finally, after buried deep within our frustration, we reached Mumbai at 10:30 pm. As it’s said, the city never sleeps, the crowd at Mumbai was there, but thankfully no traffic in the city.
Important Note: Time your journey in such a way that when you enter big city like Mumbai or Delhi before 5 pm thus avoiding the traffic. Especially when you are reaching the city on the last day of weekend, Sunday, make sure you reach before people start to enter.
The route is simple: NH8
Cities in between: Delhi-Neemrana-Jaipur-Ajmer-Udaipur-Himmatnagar-Ahmadabad-Vadodara-Surat-Talasari-Mumbai
Excursion: If time permits and you would like to take an excursion on the route, then you can opt for Ranthambore from Jaipur, Pushkar from Ajmer, Chittorgarh from Udaipur, Daman from Valsad and Silvassa from Vapi. All these excursions are some 2-3 hours away.