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Old 21st September 2011, 18:45   #16
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Hi MC, do PM me know if you need any stay at bhubaneshwar and Vizag.
I would also suggest you to skip Vizag and Araku. Both of those can be done with a couple of days vacation and clubbing them with weekends at a later stage say like around December 25th. No point wasting time there especially when your main plan is to visit Bhutan.

I am not sure how far is Mirrik lake from Darjeeling, but if you visit darjeeling, may be you can think of visiting Mirrik lake too. (I loved it around 8 years back)

I am planning to do a similar trip to Bhutan for 21 days in January/February. I guess my planning should start now.

I would like to know which routes are closed and which are susceptible to closing. I am especially interested in doing Sa Le Pass (during snow) and Nameri. (From ADCs travelogues ). Tawang and Thimpu would be covered while going to Sa Le Pass I guess.
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Old 21st September 2011, 20:56   #17
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
...
e) You can also plan a deviation to Manas from Sikkim and then to Bhutan as well.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
...
Alternately, if Anirudha feels the threat of Earth quake, he ca do a glorius trip of North East covering Guwahti - Shillong - Kaziranga - Dibrugarh - Tezu - Ziro - Tawang - Nameri - Guwahati
From the Indian side, Manas is approached from Barpeta Road, which is close to Bongaigaon.

Add Namdhapa to the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
...
I am not sure how far is Mirrik lake from Darjeeling, but if you visit darjeeling, may be you can think of visiting Mirrik lake too. (I loved it around 8 years back)
...
There is a road from Mirik to Ghum - Darj. Used to be one of my favourites.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 21st September 2011, 22:18   #18
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Hallo,
I shall just like to add that due to the current state of the roads after the monsoon, covering the Bhubaneswar-Siliguri distance in a day will be very difficult. NH 34 is in very bad shape, I am told.
Regards,
Rahul Biswas
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Old 22nd September 2011, 16:06   #19
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Is there a route from Thimphu to Tawang through Bhutan and enter India through the eastern side of Bhutan? Google maps shows that we have to enter back into India through Jaigaon (South west part of bhutan) and then travel in india to reach to Tawang.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 16:30   #20
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post

I am not sure how far is Mirrik lake from Darjeeling, but if you visit darjeeling, may be you can think of visiting Mirrik lake too. (I loved it around 8 years back)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
From the Indian side, Manas is approached from Barpeta Road, which is close to Bongaigaon.

Add Namdhapa to the list.


There is a road from Mirik to Ghum - Darj. Used to be one of my favourites.

Regards
Sutripta
Yes Mirik is recommended if you have an extra day in hand to stay in darjeeling. More so than Mirik, the drive from siliguri- mirik- Ghoom- Darjeeling (Approx 100kms) will be the highlight. And Since this route sees less traffic than NH55 (The shorter way to darjeeling, 75 kms), its in a better shape as well.

So instead of Siliguri- Darjeeling then going to Mirik the next day, take the Siliguri-Mirik-Ghoom-Darjeeling route and kill 2 birds with 1 stone

Last edited by amrisharm : 22nd September 2011 at 16:32.
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Old 22nd September 2011, 20:42   #21
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Is there a route from Thimphu to Tawang through Bhutan and enter India through the eastern side of Bhutan? Google maps shows that we have to enter back into India through Jaigaon (South west part of bhutan) and then travel in india to reach to Tawang.
Exit at Samdrup (near Rangia).

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 22nd September 2011, 22:04   #22
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

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Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Hi MC, do PM me know if you need any stay at bhubaneshwar and Vizag.
I would also suggest you to skip Vizag and Araku. Both of those can be done with a couple of days vacation and clubbing them with weekends at a later stage say like around December 25th. No point wasting time there especially when your main plan is to visit Bhutan.
Himavanth,
Looks like you have some connection with bhubaneshwar.
Do you have any info about the current condition of NH-5 in orissa, after the monsoon and the floods? I will be starting for Cal next weekend. Any info about the current route condition will be helpful.
Thanks.
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Old 23rd September 2011, 03:35   #23
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

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Originally Posted by 9tMax View Post
Himavanth,
Looks like you have some connection with bhubaneshwar.
Do you have any info about the current condition of NH-5 in orissa, after the monsoon and the floods? I will be starting for Cal next weekend. Any info about the current route condition will be helpful.
Thanks.
Hi, I do not have any connection in Bhubaneshwar. I had done Kharagpur - Bhubaneshwar - vizag route 4 years back while I was studying.

However, I know some people from hyderabad who have guest houses in Bhubaneshwar and those guest houses can provide excellent accomodation at very very reasonable prices. That is the reason I mentioned that stay at bhubaneshwar can be arranged by me.

That said, the Andhra Pradesh side of NH 5 is in excellent condition as I had gone upto Srikakulam and a little bit beyond from Hyderabad very recently.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 23rd September 2011 at 03:38.
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Old 23rd September 2011, 21:14   #24
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
However, I know some people from hyderabad who have guest houses in Bhubaneshwar and those guest houses can provide excellent accomodation at very very reasonable prices. That is the reason I mentioned that stay at bhubaneshwar can be arranged by me.
Can we have some details about these guest houses please? Are they on the NH-5 or do we have to enter inside the city? And what is the kind of range?
Most likely I will take a night halt at BBSR. That's why i'm asking all these questions.
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Old 23rd September 2011, 22:00   #25
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Thumbs up Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

as mentioned by many, the plans are very very optimistic. It takes at least 10-12 hours to cover Kolkata to Siliguri, you want it done in one day. Please note that golden quadrilateral ends at Kolkata and hereafter you are on single lane highways.

the hill plans are a little messed up. I am taking a little liberty here and suggesting the following. of course there is HVK to correct it later.

Kolkata Siliguri stretch is 12 hours of driving at least. so plan accordingly.

Siliguri-Mirik-Darjeeling as suggested by another esteemed T-Bhpian is the right choice.

Do you really want to visit Sikkim or just want to touch Gangtok? Because Sikkim calls for one whole trip altogether.

If you want to just touch Gangtok and run, Darjeeling-Gangtok is okay. I think it should take 4 to 5 hours. Please do not calculate KMs and hours in hills.

Gangtok to Jaigaon/Phuntshilling should be done making sure you reach Phuntshilling before the offices open on a working day if you want to push on to Thimpu that very day. Otherwise, you will have to stay one night at Phuntshilling. Permit etc will take time. You have to get permits for yourself and companions as well as for the vehicle which is issued only after you get hold of your permit. You will have to run to two different offices for the same and no, they do not give it in a hurry. On a trip that we undertook, we (two of us hit two different offices simultaneously) obtained the permits by 3:30 p.m. We had reached Phuntshilling around 9:30. We pushed on to Thimpu which is another 6-hour drive and we reached around 11 that night. We took a break for refreshments in between. This I would not advise to anyone because I totally missed the scenery en route, as i drove through the distance at night.

If you go to Thimpu, you would not want to miss Paro. that is one day's trip.

If you want to cross Bhutan and come out at Samdrup to enter Assam, you are again going to need permits at Thimpu (same process) and I don't think it can be covered in one day. Forget reaching Tawang, you cant cross the whole country in one day.

If you want to come back the same route you went to Thimpu, no need for Permits again. you come back to Jaigaon and then start towards Tawang which again is not possible in one day. I am assuming one day means daylight time. If you are driving like mad the whole time (day and night), I see no point in going to these beautiful places.

I have never visited Tawang or beyond Rangia in Assam, so would not be able to suggest anything after that.

All the best for your trip and I hope you enjoy it.

Last edited by novice_alto : 23rd September 2011 at 22:04.
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Old 24th September 2011, 01:21   #26
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

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Originally Posted by 9tMax View Post
Can we have some details about these guest houses please? Are they on the NH-5 or do we have to enter inside the city? And what is the kind of range?
Most likely I will take a night halt at BBSR. That's why i'm asking all these questions.
These are not in highway. You need to enter Bhubaneshwar. Please PM me if you need further information. Area is Rajpath
Range is around 1500 Rs per night. All rooms will be AC and food will be pretty cheap.
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Old 24th September 2011, 09:45   #27
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Thanks everyone for the advise. I guess need to go back to the drawing table and rework the plan.

With my considerable driving experience on the Indian Highway, primarily attained on the 2 laned roads, I come to conclude that on 2-laned highways, your max average speed can not be more than 60kmph. On hill roads (Ladakh Types) barring landslides/traffic jams et al the average will be about 25-30 kmph.

Let me rework the routes and come back to you guys!

Thanks again.

Cheers
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Old 24th September 2011, 10:07   #28
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Does one have to be physically present at the permit office when applying for a permit for Tawang?

Or can one send the documents to an associate, say at Guwahati, who can apply on one's behalf at the Guwahati permit office and keep the permits ready before hand?
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Old 24th September 2011, 10:58   #29
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Some comments on your drive plan:

1. Hyderabad-Bhubaneswar is going to take you all of Day 1 & Night 1. One has to wait and see how much of damage the NH5 takes during the current floods which has breached sections of road in Bhadrak & Chandikoli.

2. Bhubaneswar-Siliguri is virtually impossible in a day, even after assuming that the roads leading to North Bengal (currently in terrible condition) will be repaired by the time you travel (a reasonable possibility). That means you are going to drive Night 2 too, and your plan suggests that you are going to be driving 2 days and 2 nights non-stop to have any chance (slim that it is) of keeping to this drive plan.

3. Roads in Sikkhim are damaged during the quake.

4. You need 1 day to go to Nathu la from Gangtok, and if you are going to try for permits for your own car (taxi cartel ensures that private cars are discouraged and have to run around to get permits, which are not given gladly or easily), you do not have enough time (at least an extra day to spare). Moreover, at that time, chances of disruption/ closure of the road to Nathu la thanks to snow fall are very high. What is the use of going to Sikkhim and not being able to visit Nathu la or see the wonderful landscapes & gompas in West Sikkhim like Pemayangtse & Rumtek? Your SK plan is woefully inadequate.

5. Doing Gangtok-Thimphu is not possible since you have to first obtain permits at Phuntsoling not only for yourselves but also for the car. Permits are issued by Immigration MInistry/ RSTA (Bhutan's RTO) only during stipulated times during the day. Keeping in mind that Bhutan time zone is 30 minutes ahead of India, you have to plan to reach somewhere en route the previous night itself (say, some place 4 hours from Gangtok like Jaldapara/Hashimara) so that you can reach Phuntsoling before 9 am when the offices open. You need at least 2 hours if not more to get all the permits which also depends on the crowd on that particular day. Do not be misled by the distance of 200 kms from Phuntsoling to Thimphu, it takes 5-7 hours to do it, and it is pointless to drive this beautiful stretch after dark (it becomes dark by 4 pm in Dec-Jan).

6. Bhutan without Paro?

7. And you are going to drive back the same way to Thimphu? You should plan so that you have 3 extra days so you can drive through from West to East Bhutan and exit Bhutan through Samdrup Jhonkar close to Guwahati. But, as Sutripta pointed out, expect snow to blockade some of the high passes like Trumsingla and maybe even Dochu la. It will be bitterly cold in Bhutan, mercury hovering in the -10s.

8. Thimphu to Tawang in a day? Saar, Thimphu to Guwahati is not possible in a day, and from Guwahati to Tawang is more than a long day. What you are talking about is 2 days + of hard driving, pre-dawn to late evening. Roads are also terrible all the way from Phuntsoling to Guwahati now and will not improve in next few months. And what about the time taken to obtain permits for going into Arunachal, that itself can take you half a day at government offices in either Guwahati or Tezpur (unless you catch hold of a travel agent to procure in advance, or get it ahead from AN offices in Delhi or Calcutta). From Tezpur to Tawang itself, it will be a tough day's drive (classic tour operators take 2 days one way for Tezpur-Tawang drive), and very very tough even to do Tezpur-Bomdila-Dirrang-Tawang in a day. There will be snow on Sela La/ Jaswantgarh too.

9. Se la is on the Tezpur-Bhalukhpong-BOmdila-Dirrang-Se la-Tawang road, and beyond (after taking special permits) are PT Tso Lake, Sangatsar Lake, Taktsang Gompa & Bum la. The road to Bum la is also likely to be snow-bound and on some occasions impassable.

10. Tawang-Shillong very very tough, if not impossible. Unless you drive day and night.

11. I think you should cut out places in AP like Rushikonda & Araku Valley and concentrate on the North East. Either cover SK/Bhutan or only AN/AS within the time frame you have. The way your plan is now, you will do justice to none of the sectors. I would suggest you go for the latter and cover Kaziranga WLS also on the way back from Tezpur.
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Old 25th September 2011, 00:44   #30
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Tawang via Bhutan: What to do in a 20 day vacation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
These are not in highway. You need to enter Bhubaneshwar. Please PM me if you need further information. Area is Rajpath
Range is around 1500 Rs per night. All rooms will be AC and food will be pretty cheap.
Thanks, but since they are not on the highway, though the rate looks attractive, i think i'll stick to my usual pitstops right on the NH-5. It saves some time for me.
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