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I and a couple of my friends took a road trip to Shirdi from Nagpur in Samruddhi Mahamarg. We started our drive in the night around 12.30 am and reached Shirdi around 6.30 am. We ate breakfast and did Shirdi darshan and drove back to Nagpur. Around 10 am we left Shirdi and reached Nagpur by 3.30 Pm. We have a good sleep beforehand and all 3 of us took turns and drove. I will talk about the road & amenities of Samruddhi Mahamarg from Nagpur to Shirdi. And whether you should be travelling on Samruddhi Mahamarg.
Nagpur to Shirdi
We started our drive from Nagpur around 12.30 am at night, we had a quarter tank of fuel and decided to refill on the Samruddhi Mahamarg. We got to a fuel station around 120 Km into the drive, we refuelled and changed the driver and drove further. I started to feel hungry, but we could not find anything to eat on the Samruddhi Mahamarg. We thought it is night so we could not find anything. So we stopped at the next petrol pump where we saw a lot of trucks parked, we asked them if could we can get something to eat, he said we have to take an exit into any town and find something to eat. But it was around 3 am, and we thought even if we took a detour into a town now we cannot find anything, so we kept driving.
Around 5 am we took an exit to Jalna, Jalna city was just 10 km from the exit point. We stopped at a tea stall and had some tea and chips because it was early and we could not get anything else to eat. So we changed the driver and headed towards Shirdi, we reached around 6.30 am. The chaos around the famous Shirdi temple was a sight to see, people stopped us and asked whether we wanted to enter the Mandir, whether we wanted to park our car, or wanted to take bath. This was very frequent, as people kept on coming and asking us this.
A couple of times people asked us from the moving bike which was hilarious. I was shocked to see the commercialism that has grown around the Shirdi temple. The last I visited was when I was a kid around 6 years old. A lot has changed in the last 25 years. One more funny thing which I saw was each and every store, restaurant and hotel had Sai in front of their name.
We stopped at Sai Shubham Pure Veg for breakfast, we had a heavy breakfast, as we were hungry. Then we started our way back to Nagpur around 10 Am.
Shirdi to Nagpur
We started around 10 Am towards Nagpur, we filled the petrol on Smaruddhi Mahamrag, and we clicked some videos and photos along the way back. The total roll cost was Rs 1900, for a total km of 1100, it cost us around Rs 1.7 per km.
Amenities in Samruddhi Mahamarg
We in total got 6 petrol pumps, 3 while heading to Shirdi and 3 while heading back to Nagpur. Those petrol pumps had toilets for both Males and females, and the toilets were not that clean for a road that just opened 3 months back. There is no food court, or drinking water provision in the petrol pump or anywhere else. If you want to eat food and drink water, either carry it with you or take an exit to the nearest towns on the way, which will consume extra time and fuel.
Also, I didn’t see any electric charging points while I was travelling on Samruddhi Mahamarg, I might have missed it, if you have seen it let us know in the comments.
The road is good, with proper lane markings, and sign boards for exits. There are emergency u-turns at specific locations. You have toll-free numbers, and we saw a lot of bolero pickups for roadside assistance in case of any problems. The views around the road are good, you see open lands, mountains and more. The speed limit is justifiable, you don’t feel like you are driving at 120 Kmph. You can even go higher, to the original speed limit of 150 kmph, which has been limited to 120 Kmph. But because of the bumpiness of the road, you might not get the confidence to do so.
We saw a lot of skid marks on the road. The road is bumpy, and when there is a bridge, the connection between the road and the bridge is quite bumpier. You have to reduce your speed to quite an extent otherwise you will feel the jolt.
The driving gets boring after a while because you are driving straight continuously. Also, there is quite a lot of tyre noise, as you are driving on the cement road, but you get used to it after some time. You would also see random dogs and monkeys on the road, even after the animal crossing which was built for them. The traffic is quite low, mostly trucks. Overall it is good to drive on this road. But you have to be cautious.
But please make note of these points if you are planning to drive on Samruddhi Mahamarg.
Things to check before driving on Samruddhi Mahamarg
- Make sure your car is in good condition and serviced
- Make sure your tyre is in good condition and has the correct air pressure.
- Carry Drinking water and food with you, if you do not want to take a detour to the nearest town
- Do not drive continuously take breaks after 200 km, for 10-15 mins, though it is not needed it would be good for your car and yourself
The problems with Samruddhi Mahamarg
The government opened Smaruddhi Mahamarg on Dec 11th 2022 for the public, and we travelled on the road on Feb 18th 2023. The road is straight with very few turns which will create boredom, and that can create a chance of accidents. You might have heard of cars crashing, people dying, and animals dying on the Smaruddhi Mahamarg. We also saw an i20 crash on the side of the road in the daylight.
There are no trees around the Samruddhi Mahamarg only trees you can see in the nearby farmlands. Which makes the environment hotter, now it is okay because we have temperatures around 30° C, even then we felt a bit hot and had to put on our AC. But just think about travelling on Samruddhi Mahamarg in the summer, with no amenities, no trees around and a scorching temperature of 44°+ C, it would feel like driving in the desert.
Driving continuously on cement roads in the heat with a bumpy road is not great for your tyres. I think the road was not supposed to be open, without amenities. Government should have waited and worked on the amenities and should have planted trees in the surrounding.
Also, I would like to mention, a lot of farmland has been used, a lot of mountains have been cut and a lot of animals’ daily routes would have been disturbed, while in the making of this road.
I would not suggest you travel by this road until all the amenities are in place, and please avoid travelling on Samruddhi Mahamarg during summer, it would not be good for your car and for yourself.
A lot of things are planned around the Samruddhi Mahamarg, yes it reduces travel time and connects the 2 major cities of Maharashtra. But opening without any amenities makes the road a bit risky for travellers. They should have focused on the complete development of the road not partial. So drive carefully and cautiously.