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Old 5th August 2011, 13:32   #61
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

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I haven't even realized that I am crossing borders. And as long as valid papers are in the Car, it shouldn't be a problem.
Jams? Bengal borders are infamous for these.

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Old 5th August 2011, 14:01   #62
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

You would encounter jam at Dalkola, only if you are going to Siliguri, if you are coming down to Purnea, you might not as there is a fly-over constructed to ease traffic.
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Old 6th August 2011, 22:16   #63
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

^^^
Also WB-JH border on approach to Dumka?

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Old 6th August 2011, 23:44   #64
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

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^^^
Also WB-JH border on approach to Dumka?

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Sutripta
Hi!

Don't recall any one being apprehended at the border. I myself might go over in September. Shall up-date.

Golden rule is to avoid days like 15th Aug and trail a local registered heavily tinted SUV or ambulance. Though I think these aren't even required either at Dalkola or Dumka.

http://maps.mapmyindia.com/#directio...g4Kzg4LjM3MDI=

Last edited by Sheel : 6th August 2011 at 23:48.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 01:05   #65
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

Friends, A quick question.
Is it advisabale to start from Bangalore on Dec 2, return by Dec 23? As per the plans, I will be in Thimphu on Dec 10/11, Shillong on 14 and Tawang on Dec 16/17.

How are the chances of roads getting blocked, avalanches etc during this time?
The other option is to start a week early, Nov 25 to Dec 16. I will be at the above places exactly a week early. Will that make any difference?
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Old 23rd August 2011, 23:25   #66
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

Starting on Dec 2 does not seem to be an ideal plan. Instead I will be starting on Nov 19. Here is the draft itinerary I have prepared based on your inputs.

Name:  Itinerary.JPG
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Cells marked in yellow are my concerns.

1. I will be reaching Phuentsholing on Friday Evening. On Saturday, Nov 27 morning I have to get the permits to enter Bhutan. I want to make sure that Saturday Nov 27 is a working day for the Bhutan Immigration office. Next day is a Sunday, so I have to get it on Saturday at any cost.

2. Thimphu - Guwahati: I have to get the permits from Thimphu and then start to Guwahati. I don't think that will be possible in a day. Where should I stop in between to spend the night before heading towards Guwahati?

3. Tawang - Guwahati: It has been already discussed here. I hope I can make it in a day.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Bhutan Itinerary.xls (27.0 KB, 251 views)
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Old 23rd August 2011, 23:37   #67
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

Have driven a Landcruiser Prado on the Phuentsholing-Gedu-Paro-Thimpu route many years back, SUVs like these are a boon. Try to avoid the monsoon, landslides are common during that time. Siliguri-Gangtok-Phuentsholing is weird, You go all the way up and come down and then to Bhutan border. Expect bad roads in Bengal. 4 lanes from Purnea(Bihar) to Siliguri, good road for most of Siliguri-Gangtok, bad roads between Siliguri-Birpara-Phuentsholing.

Also I suggest do Gangtok-Tsangpo Lake(near China border) in the trip. And it will be a mistake if you miss visiting Nathula border.

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Old 24th August 2011, 00:42   #68
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

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Have driven a Landcruiser Prado on the Phuentsholing-Gedu-Paro-Thimpu route many years back, SUVs like these are a boon. Try to avoid the monsoon, landslides are common during that time. Siliguri-Gangtok-Phuentsholing is weird, You go all the way up and come down and then to Bhutan border. Expect bad roads in Bengal. 4 lanes from Purnea(Bihar) to Siliguri, good road for most of Siliguri-Gangtok, bad roads between Siliguri-Birpara-Phuentsholing.

Also I suggest do Gangtok-Tsangpo Lake(near China border) in the trip. And it will be a mistake if you miss visiting Nathula border.

Regds
Thanks for the suggestion haldar. Untill when will the monsoon lasts in north-east? I thought it should get over by mid November.

Places to visit in each of the location are yet to be finalised. I will definitely keep Nathu-la and Tsangpo in mind.
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Old 24th August 2011, 00:48   #69
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Holyghost - For day 5, I would suggest you to halt at Siliguri. Proceed only if you start quite early from Patna and the driving time is shared.
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Old 24th August 2011, 13:16   #70
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

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Holyghost - For day 5, I would suggest you to halt at Siliguri.
Thanks Sheel, Point taken.
I want to know when the monsoon ends in North-east?
Do I have to delay the trip by another week to avoid monsoon?
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Old 24th August 2011, 13:21   #71
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@HolyGhost,
I'll tell you the trend of the stupid Road repairers here, they somehow stitch up the roads after the monsoon around Nov-Dec, which start getting bad at exactly the beginning of next monsoon. Even a solar eclipse is less predictable than this.
Ya Monsoon will be well over by November.
As Sheel says, you should halt the day 5 at Siliguri, because the next leg of journeys is very arduous.
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Old 24th August 2011, 15:01   #72
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

@Holyghost - I have a concern for day 12. Guwahati-Shillong will take around 3.5-4 hours and from Shillong, Cherrapunjee (aka Sohra) is another 2-3 hours drive round way.

My suggestion will be on Day 12, reach Shillong early, explore and night halt at Shillong. On day 13, try to reach Cherrapunjee(Sohra) early, explore and start for Kaziranga.

Another thing is that you cannot enjoy Kaziranga and reach Tawang in the same day. Try to increase a day, so that you can enjoy the places.
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Old 24th August 2011, 15:39   #73
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

Holy Ghost - As mentioned by Haldar, monsoon gets over by mid October. The roads take almost 2 months to be back in shape. I would be able to give you feedback of the section between Patna - Siliguri as accurate as possible.
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Old 24th August 2011, 23:49   #74
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

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Holyghost - For day 5, I would suggest you to halt at Siliguri. Proceed only if you start quite early from Patna and the driving time is shared.
I too would have to recommend strongly that you stay the night in siliguri. The road from siliguri to Gantok takes about 3-3.5 hrs for the taxi drivers who know each and every curve and bump. For us mere mortals it will take much longer. And by sundown gantok starts to get deserted slowly. I have entered gantok after sundown and its not a good feeling with the town seeming deserted.

Plus this year the monsoons have been quite heavy so i am expecting the bengal side of the NH 31A to be filled with potholes and not so smooth roads. And around here if the monsoons end around october end, then even by April/May next year the roads wont be fully repaired.

If you dont want the hastle of entering siliguri then there is a very nice hotel called "Marinas Hotel" in Bagdogra, near the Airport( 8 kms from siliguri). Its very clean and frequented by decent people with families. You can stay there for the night and start your journey the next day.

Getting permits for your vehicle inside sikkim for a self drive trip to Tsomgo lake and Nathula is quite difficult as this route is heavily controlled by the taxi drivers association. So be prepared to be given a hard time. There are travelogues on this site explaining fellow members experiences on this matter.
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Old 24th August 2011, 23:53   #75
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Default Re: Bangalore - Shillong - Bhutan

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Plus this year the monsoons have been quite heavy so i am expecting the bengal side of the NH 31A to be filled with potholes and not so smooth roads. And around here if the monsoons end around october end, then even by April/May next year the roads wont be fully repaired.
I have personally found roads being repaired by December last, January first between Maldah to Siliguri.

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