Entering Chhattisgarh - Hyderabad To Bastar Road Trip
Entering Chhattisgarh

Hyderabad to Jagdalpur Road Trip – Driving to Chhattisgarh, My First Time!

Mid-August was a long weekend here in India due to Independence Day falling on Tuesday and everyone applying for leave on Monday thus getting 4 days of the long weekend. And I’m quite sure that there were only a handful of people who didn’t go on holiday. I too was quite sure about a holiday, but wasn’t quite sure of the destination for a road trip from Hyderabad.

My last plan was to either drive to Panchgani or Goa, but I kept researching for my next road trip destination. During my research, I thought of Bastar. Not a destination that is on many bucket lists. My travel friends from Bastar have been inviting me for long and I never got a chance to visit. Luckily Bastar was just under 600 km from Hyderabad and this made it a perfect one-day road trip from Hyderabad.

In this blog post, I’ll talk about my experience of the Hyderabad to Jagdalpur road trip. I’ll share the details about the route I took, road conditions and stops, and everything else. If you’re new to my blog, I’d suggest reading my blog post on Road Trips from Hyderabad which is a collection of more than 11 road trips from Hyderabad that I’ve taken. Unlike the other blog posts that you might have read, I’ve taken all the trips listed in this post. So do have a read and get the first-hand experience.

Note: If you are of the thought that it’s a naxal hit region, then I urge you to read my upcoming posts. I hope to change your perception a little about Bastar, Jagdalpur, and Chhattisgarh in general. A lot of people did reach out to me when I posted that I’m in Bastar around the same lines. So as a part of the next few blog posts, I’ll try to share my experiences.

Hyderabad to Jagdalpur Route

I have not traveled to the east of India much except Vizag, so this one was going to be an exciting trip. Jagdalpur is located in the southern region of the state of Chhattisgarh a state that I had never visited earlier. Located at a distance of about 600 km from Hyderabad, Jagdalpur made a perfect road trip destination considering the distance that I’d want to drive. Like always, my road trip planning started a few days in advance. I use Google Maps extensively and plan my rest stops, fuel stops right from my doorstep to the destination.

On Google Maps, it shows multiple routes. I took one of them while driving from Hyderabad to Jagdalpur with a detour. However, on my return journey, I took a different route – built my own route. Below are the routes that I took.

Route 1: Hyderabad -> Warangal -> Mulugu -> Bogatha Falls (detour of 2 kms) -> Dudheda -> Bhopalpatnam -> Bijapur -> Geedam -> Dantewada (detour of 20kms) -> Jagdalpur [NH 163 and NH 63]

If you Google, this isn’t the default route that it’ll show. I tweaked it because there were a couple of places that I wanted to explore. Bogatha falls in Telangana was one and Danteshwari Mandir in Dantewada was anohter. I had planned by road trip in a way that I could cover these places without much detour. And driving to visit just these places at a later time wasn’t a smart move. So if you’re also planning a Hyderabad to Jagdalpur road trip, then this should be the route that should choose too and cover all these places along the way.

Route 2 (return): Jagdalpur -> Sukma (via Kanger Valley Park) -> Konta -> Bhardrachalam -> Suryapet -> Hyderabad [NH 30 and NH 65]

The reason was taking this route was because I wanted to drive through the Kanger Valley National Park. For some reason, green canopies and forests just amaze me, and add ghat roads to it, I’ll fall in love. That was a major reason I took this route. But more about this route is in the following section.

Road Conditions from Hyderabad to Jagdalpur

Since it was going to be a 600km road trip, I was prepared it would easily take us 12-14 hours. I took a similar time to drive from Hyderabad to Chikamagalur, but that was close to 750 km. Keeping that in mind, we left at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning. I was quite familiar with the route until Mulugu (Ramappa Temple). So I knew exactly where to stop for breakfast, fuel stops, etc.

My breakfast place is New Vivera Hotel, their Idli Sambhar is out of the world! After the breakfast stop, we drove towards Ramappa temple. As we were closing in, I was getting excited as I was going to be on a route that I hadn’t traveled earlier.

After crossing it, we entered the Etunagaram National Park and I was greeted by dense forests and everything was so green. I stopped in the forest for a while took photos and just soaked in the vibes of the place and listened to birds chirp. It was so relaxing! From there we crossed the mighty Godavari river before reaching our first detour of Bogatha Falls. It’s a small waterfall but very crowded. People take baths here and hence it’s super crowded on weekends. There’s an entry ticket for Rs 120, but the arrangements are not good. Plus you do have to walk a bit even after the parking.

Hyderabad to Jagdalpur Road Trip via Etunagaram National Park, Bogatha Falls
Etunagaram National Park, Bogatha Falls

The roads were sublime until here, but there was a very short patch of rough roads before entering Chhattisgarh. The first bridge that I crossed to enter Chhattisgarh was extremely beautiful, the stream was a treat to the eyes. We crossed the ghat region and crossed through a few villages and were amazed to see the setup – so systematic and in order. There were a lot of govt residential schools on the way. Along with that, there were also a lot of CRPF camps along the way and hence a lot of barricades.

Though a double-lane road, the road condition is superb in Chhattisgarh (at least on this route) it was an amazing experience driving on these roads. We then stopped for refueling in Bijapur before taking a lunch halt at Bastar Kings for lunch. This was the first time I was trying Punjabi food outside of southern states and boy what food! It was super delicious and affordable. The service was slow, but the food was yummy!

Entering Chhattisgarh - Hyderabad To Bastar Road Trip
Entering Chhattisgarh

Post lunch we drove to Danteshwari Mandir in Dantewada. Mythologically it’s one of the 52 shaktipeeth. Historically, Kakatiya kings built the temple. After spending an hour or so here, we started our final leg of the journey towards Jagdalpur. We did stop for dinner at Amcho Bastar dhaba. The setup is very basic, not too hygienic, and could be avoided. However, there were a lot of people in there. The food however was pretty good and affordable.

We reached our resort at about 9:30 PM. So if you see, we took about 16 hours to cover a distance of 560kms. Amazing roads and I’d totally recommend taking this route if you’re planning a road trip from Hyderabad to Jagdalpur.

Road Conditions from Jagdalpur to Hyderabad

As mentioned earlier, I took a different route upon return. I wanted to experience driving in the Kanger Valley National Park. Not with the intention of seeing some animals but just driving through a dense forest with tree canopy is therapy for me. The forest road is about 80 km from Jagdalpur to Sukma. There are bad patches along the road and hence you’ll take a good amount of time to reach. We left Jagdalpur at around 7 in the morning and reached Sukma around 11.

Road from Kanger Valley National Park to Sukma, Konta
Road from Kanger Valley National Park to Sukma, Konta

From Sukma, the roads improve. But it’s largely a double-lane road. Lots of greenery but average road conditions. Finding petrol pumps, restaurants and rest stops is difficult. The road has more CRPF posts compared to the earlier route. Most of the time you’re driving alongside the Sabari River that separates Chhattisgrah from Orissa. This stretch is extremely boring and there is not much to see on the route until Badrachalam.

From Badrachalam I go on to the national highway towards Suryapet. The road condition again isn’t very good. Once we hit Suryapet, we stopped at 7 Food Court for a quick coffee/washroom break. It was around 7 we were here. From here, it was a familiar route and we drove until ORR and eventually reached home around 10 PM. I’d suggest not taking this route. Just to experience the forests in Kanger Valley I took this route and realised it was a bad decision. The roads are good for a large part, there aren’t many rest stops, so traveling with family is a concern.

An Amazing Road Trip – Hyderabad to Jagdalpur

My goal for the long weekend was to drive long distances and Hyderabad to Jagdalpur, Bastar proved to be an amazing road trip. My Tata Punch performed extremely well. It was able to deal well on highways and also tackle the bad roads and the ghats. I did feel the lack of power at times, but not a major problem. So overall we covered a distance of almost 1500 km over a span of 4 days.

In terms of expenses for the road trip, I think I spent Rs 8000 on fuel and Rs 600 on tolls. There’s no toll in Chhattisgarh, so whatever I paid was only in Telangana. In terms of average, the MID showed 20.9 kmpl which is extremely good.

Overall, it was an amazing road trip. The amount of greenery and forests I saw on this route is second to none. Further, the road conditions on the first route are very good which makes the drive more enjoyable. So if you’re looking for a road trip from Hyderabad, Bastar, Jagdalpur is surely a good destination.

That’s about it for the blog post. If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, please post them in the comments below. Tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM me on Instagram, or Get In Touch.

About Atulmaharaj

A seasoned blogger and a content marketer for close to a decade now. I write about Food, Technology, Lifestyle, Travel, and Finance related posts. Blogging brings me joy and the best part is I get to read and e-meet so many amazing bloggers! PS: I'm also the founder for Socialmaharaj.com :) Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

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One comment

  1. For people planning a road trip to Bastar, it is a must-read.

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