India is infamous for its shabby roads, but at the same time there are many fantastic driving roads spread through the length and width of our beautiful country. OVERDRIVE has been fortunate enough to experience quite a few of these roads, and we want to share the joy with a weekly feature of a fantastic road that you should aspire to experience someday.
This week, we will get you acquainted with a smooth stretch of tarmac that has reduced travel time between Mumbai and Surat to around five hours. And these two cities are separated by a good 300 kilometres. There are a few routes that one can choose to drive from Mumbai to Surat or vice versa, but we are going to talk about the National Highway 48 which goes via Manor and Valsad. This route passes through some scenic countryside which is pleasing to the eye. However, what makes it special is that majority of the route is well-paved. It is almost completely devoid of any potholes or unmarked speed breakers or broken patches of tarmac.
All intersections are well-marked and one can cruise comfortably without worrying about nasty surprises. The fast and smooth dual-carriage highway ensures you reach your destination quickly while keeping driving fatigue to a minimum. The only troublesome bit is in getting out of Mumbai as being a city that never sleeps, its roads are always clogged with cars. After you cross the turn off for Virar, the traffic thins out considerably. Also, there aren't too many corners and the route is straight for majority of the distance. Since there are hardly any speed breakers, it's smooth sailing all the way.
There are plenty of food and lodging options along the route. With respect to food, there are two restaurants we recommend. One is the Pari da Dhaba which is located in Talsari. As the name suggests, it serves some delicious Parsi food. In Surat, we recommend going to Kansar Gujrati Thali. Their unlimited thali has over 10 signature dishes, and you can eat to your heart's content for just Rs 270. It is one of the most delicious vegetarian meals we have had in a long time.