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Old 4th June 2011, 13:01   #46
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

Isnt the NH55 not under BRO control?? I am asking because i am surprised that a landslide last year has still not been repaired.

I have travelled all over Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal, Uttarakhand etc, and wherever BRO is in charge roads generally remain open. They may not always be in great condition, but roads are opened even after heavy landslides very quickly.

I remember last year, I had travelled to Uttarkashi and Gangotri only 2 weeks after massive flash floods and landslides had killed many people in Uttarakhand, but roads had already bee opened and were underway to be repaired fully with completely new surface.

By the way, the route you mention via Mirik is not marked on Google maps.

PS: You can take "print screen" when google maps is open and then post the pic here.
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Old 4th June 2011, 13:28   #47
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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Isnt the NH55 not under BRO control?? I am asking because i am surprised that a landslide last year has still not been repaired.

I have travelled all over Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal, Uttarakhand etc, and wherever BRO is in charge roads generally remain open. They may not always be in great condition, but roads are opened even after heavy landslides very quickly.

I remember last year, I had travelled to Uttarkashi and Gangotri only 2 weeks after massive flash floods and landslides had killed many people in Uttarakhand, but roads had already bee opened and were underway to be repaired fully with completely new surface.

By the way, the route you mention via Mirik is not marked on Google maps.

PS: You can take "print screen" when google maps is open and then post the pic here.
Dont think NH55 is under BRO. Maybe it was in the past (not sure)? But not anymore. Not only is NH55 been closed for over a year, even our world heritage darjeeling toytrain is not running the full route between darjeeling to siliguri due to the landslide (the rail tracks run alongside NH55). So i guess you are getting a picture of how neglected this area is.

You are right about the Mirik route, it seems to be missing from google maps. The road is pretty straight forward, there is only 1 main road going from siliguri to mirik to darjeeling. i will try to find my map book and will scan and post the map from there. I just shifted house so will need to do some looking lol.
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Old 4th June 2011, 13:35   #48
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

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Not only is NH55 been closed for over a year,
Then how does one travel form Siliguri to Kurseong, Ghoom and Darjeeling?
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Old 4th June 2011, 13:46   #49
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

Hey how about taking NH31A, which is superbly well maintained by the BRO upto Kalimpong and then come down to Darjeeling from there??

I had heard the train was not running, but I though that was due to the apathy of the Indian Railways, not bothering to repair the tracks. I had thought that the roads would have been reopened as they would be under the BRO.
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Old 4th June 2011, 13:50   #50
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Then how does one travel form Siliguri to Kurseong, Ghoom and Darjeeling?
Short body tata trucks are going from Siliguri-mirik-ghoom-kurseong.

The majority of trucks that transport goods to darjeeling/kurseong normally are the Swaraj mazda trucks and mahindra pick-up's and they are short and narrow enough to use the Siliguri-Rohini-Kurseong route.

Cars and jeeps had stopped using the long NH55 ever since Rohini road was opened about 5/6 years ago. So small vehicle traffic has not been affected much. Only that the Rohini rd has become very very crowded and the condition of the road has become pathetic due to usage by load carrying vehicles.
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Old 4th June 2011, 14:58   #51
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Hey how about taking NH31A, which is superbly well maintained by the BRO upto Kalimpong and then come down to Darjeeling from there??

I had heard the train was not running, but I though that was due to the apathy of the Indian Railways, not bothering to repair the tracks. I had thought that the roads would have been reopened as they would be under the BRO.
Well i am going to kalimpong on monday, will give you a full report of the road then.

The road to kalimpong NH31A runs along the teesta river for about 30-40 odd kms. this section of the road is twisty but not steep. When you get to the teesta bridge there is a fork in the road. if you cross the bridge then that road heads to kalimpong and if u dont and head straight then the road heads to darjeeling. and it i from this bridge that the real climb begins for both darjeeling and kalimpong.

So you cannot go from siliguri-kalimpong-darjeeling.
it is more like
siliguri-teesta bridge-kalimpong
or siliguri-teesta bridge- ghoom-darjeeling.

The road from teesta to darjeeling is a very very steep climb. It is also called Peshok ko ukkalo (Peshok uphill) and is a very famous road among locals here due to its steepness. local people even joke about it saying " once u have driven up peshok hill then you can pretty much drive anywhere in the hills". The last time i was on that road was a few years ago in a Gypsy mg410w as a passenger. And let me tell u, the gradient of the road is extremely steep with long stretches in 1st gear. Plus this route of siliguri-teesta-darjeeling is extremely long and not recommended.

The best route in my opinion if you want to get to darjeeling fast is the Siliguri-rohini road-kurseong -darjeeling. Go very slowly on bad sections and you should be fine. after all its probably only 10 kms or so in total of bad roads on the rohini road until u reach kurseong. after that its fairly ok till darjeeling.

If you have time on your hands, then do research on the Siliguri-mirik-ghoom-darjeeling route. a mid journey stop in mirik for lunch would be a great idea.

I found my map book but it seems detailed road map of mirik is not there either. I did find a small map online,

Siliguri Yellow Pages Images

the mirik route i am referring to on the map would be siliguri-sukna-panighata-mirik-ghoom-darjeeling. (approx 3 hrs)

This is a more detailed map. zoom in and start from siliguri:

http://www.actnowornever.org/images/...ep_bht_map.jpg

Last edited by amrisharm : 4th June 2011 at 15:02.
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Old 4th June 2011, 15:29   #52
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

Yes, I know about where to turn off for Darjeeling from NH31A. I have been to Sikkim no less than 5times now, so I know NH31A pretty well. I just could not recollect the name of the place, ie Teesta Bazaar,where you turn off towards Darjeeling by not going over the Teesta Bridge.

In fact, the only time I have been to Darjeeling is as a part of the west Sikkim trip, when we spent 2nights at Darjeeling. But that was after 3days at Pelling, thus I have never taken the Siliguri to Darjeeling section.
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Old 4th June 2011, 21:26   #53
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
This is the route. But Google map is not showing the extension upto Birati. Possibly not been updated.
Opened only in January.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Is it really worth taking the diversion?? I mean how much time would you actually save, or are the road conditions much better??
I take the normal (ie NH34) route only when the local population is sleeping: night and siesta time (say 1400 - 1700)

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Is this the road which takes you towards the Birati railway station from Jessore Road?
The NH34 - BiratiStn - Belghoria Stn road. Buses/ autos use it. There are RoBs.

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Old 4th June 2011, 21:54   #54
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Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
In addition to what is shown on the map,
Rohini road to Kurseong.
Tenzing Road from Jorebungalow to Darj
+ the other road/ track (forgetting the name)
On the Northern side, you also have Darj - Manjithar. Unfortunately the bridge there is a pedestrian bridge, though you can take a motorcycle across (when no one is looking).

In terms of steepness, I'd put Pankhabari and Peshok on par. Peshok runs for longer, Pankhabari is more twisty. Peshok has a delightful loop. (As does the Kalimpong side).

Though I've done these routes in all kinds of cars, some are best done in sturdy cars. Esp. Bagora, Manjithar, maybe even Takdah.

If you are doing it on a motorbike, be very careful on HC Rd. In lots of places, the rail line sticks out well above road level. And you approach it at an angle, not square.

Mirik - Ghoom used to be through deeply wooded regions. Sadly denuded now.

NH 55 is another of those 'upgraded' highways. Used to be a SH. Not under BRO.

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Old 4th June 2011, 23:32   #55
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
I take the normal (ie NH34) route only when the local population is sleeping: night and siesta time (say 1400 - 1700)
Honestly speaking, I have never driven in NH34 at the middle of the night, as the sight of those long distance night buses with multiple headlights focused permanently on high beams, that even on a two lane busy highway makes me nervous. But I do know that many people prefer to travel by night in NH34, due to lesser volume of traffic.
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Old 5th June 2011, 08:38   #56
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

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Cars and jeeps had stopped using the long NH55 ever since Rohini road was opened about 5/6 years ago. So small vehicle traffic has not been affected much. Only that the Rohini rd has become very very crowded and the condition of the road has become pathetic due to usage by load carrying vehicles.
Where does one turn off for the Rohini route - at the same NH55 junction on entering Siliguri?
And from the maps, it looks as though you take the same NH55 route till Sukhma - is that right? Or one has to take the Mirik route out of Siliguri?
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Old 5th June 2011, 10:35   #57
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Where does one turn off for the Rohini route - at the same NH55 junction on entering Siliguri?
And from the maps, it looks as though you take the same NH55 route till Sukhma - is that right? Or one has to take the Mirik route out of Siliguri?
yes, that is correct hvkumar sir. you turn off from sukhna and its on the way to mirik and Pankhapari. I think its about 14kms from siliguri. There are no sign posts or anything to let u know of the turn off point for Rohini Road, so you will have to do some asking along the way.

Alternatively there is another way to get there if you are coming from the east as in kolkata, or bihar. 5kms before reaching siliguri you come to a place called Mathgara, at matigara there is a traffic light stop, and if you turn left there you will be on a road that leads straight to Rohini turn off and mirik/pankhabari. This route is ideal if you do not want to stop over in siliguri. Note: on google maps this road i am talking about from matigara is marked as NH55. That is false. It is a SH (secondary highway). The road marked as Hill cart road on google maps is in actuality NH55.

Sir just curious to know how extensively have you traveled in these parts? and when was the last time you were here?
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Old 5th June 2011, 10:56   #58
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Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
yes, that is correct hvkumar sir. you turn off from sukhna and its on the way to mirik and Pankhapari. I think its about 14kms from siliguri. There are no sign posts or anything to let u know of the turn off point for Rohini Road, so you will have to do some asking along the way.

Alternatively there is another way to get there if you are coming from the east as in kolkata, or bihar. 5kms before reaching siliguri you come to a place called Mathgara, at matigara there is a traffic light stop, and if you turn left there you will be on a road that leads straight to Rohini turn off and mirik/pankhabari. This route is ideal if you do not want to stop over in siliguri. Note: on google maps this road i am talking about from matigara is marked as NH55. That is false. It is a SH (secondary highway). The road marked as Hill cart road on google maps is in actuality NH55.

Sir just curious to know how extensively have you traveled in these parts? and when was the last time you were here?
Thanks, that is great info.
Not a traveller in those parts, have driven to the region just thrice.
Last time I was in Siliguri was in 2009, when I went to to SK, BT, AS and AN.
Not been on NH55 to Darjeeling since 2001!
Another road I want to go on is the Teesta-Ghoom road which I last rode through in 1994!
However, I keep myself up-to-date on the state of the roads thanks to good friends like Sutripta and also advise many driving to those parts, hence I keep getting frequent feedback.
I hope to make one more trip to the region this year-end.
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Old 5th June 2011, 20:25   #59
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

Hi,
Just checked Google Maps.

HC Rd, Rohini Rd, Pankhabari Rd, Peshok Rd, all accurate, but with very wrong nomenclature. Peshok Rd has some inaccuracies, but one will not get lost.

The Ghoom - Mirik road is shown till Manebhanjan.
Mongpu, Takdah, Bagora roads are not shown.

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Old 5th June 2011, 21:34   #60
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Default Re: Bhubaneswar to Darjeeling

Among roads missing, the road from Jorethang in south Sikkim to Darjeeling is also missing.
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