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Old 21st October 2014, 16:09   #1
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Default Bangalore to North East - Advice needed

Hi BHPians,

I am planning a trip from Bangalore to the North East in December with my family and am looking for some advice and help. Current route is roughly - Bangalore > Kolkata (GQ) > Siliguri > Thimpu > Tawang > Kohima > Shillong > Kolkata > Bangalore. There has to be many stops/detours in between. I need help on two areas -

1. What would be your recommendations on stopping points in this rough route ( I have three weeks to travel )

2. Is there any place where I can rent a roof rack and box. There are four of us and I want as much space in the car (Innova) as possible. I checked with Methods in Bangalore and the cost of both comes to around 50K.

Rgds
Robby

Last edited by GTO : 21st October 2014 at 17:01. Reason: No renting here :)
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Old 21st October 2014, 21:48   #2
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Default Re: Bangalore to North East - Advice needed

For both Tawang as well as Kohima you will need an ILP.

For Arunachal, the best place to get this done will be in Guwahati, if you can't find a reliable person let me know and I have an ex-army contact who can help. I would not recommend doing Tawang with an Innova, although I got there with my Swift! The roads are need a 4x4 90% of the time, and despite the great work from the BRO it is very touch and go. My drive there was in April - so expect the roads not to have changed much, but for the worse in the rains.
If you do intend on taking it all the way, please start extremely early, carry a puncture kit, and split the drive from Guwahati to Tawang in 2 stages - Guwahati - Bomdilla; Bomdilla - Tawang - you can return in 1 day. If you are lucky (dry roads, no landslides) that should work out.
I carried camping gear as well as spare fuel/water.

The Nagaland ILP is a straightforward process at the Naga House either in Guwahati or Shillong - will take you 45 minutes - 2 hours; depending on how busy the officer is.
Carry photographs and preferably passports (any other government ID should be OK, but they might ask you a few questions).
Please always stay abreast of information about the region when heading to Kohima, since you will pass Dimapur - where road blockades are common place. Just looking up things on the previous night will help. You will need to pass this on the way to Kohima.

Please note that you will need to double back to Guwahati to go from Tawang -> Kohima -> Shillong

Approximate Drive Times are:

Guwahati - Tawang - 16-24 hours - split across 2 days, uphill; 16 hours downhill.
Guwahati - Shillong - 4 hours in the day, 5 hours at night - road works in progress + rain
Guwahati - Kohima - 8 hours approx (+ 2 hours for miscellaneous issues!)

Also one more piece of advice - the chicken's neck can be very tough so please plan for some contingencies: that is the gateway to the NE - Srirampur on the Assam border, roads are under construction and sometimes leads to inexplicably long bottlenecks.

I have no experience with Thimphu. But there is a very good travelogue on that (en route to Tawang) that might be of great help.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...an-tawang.html (Northeast Himalayan Escape - Bhutan and Tawang)

PS: The NE is incredibly beautiful, and I cannot ever convey how much I want everybody to go there. If anything is a bottleneck or doubt, post away, and I will try to help you find a solution.
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Old 22nd October 2014, 09:04   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore to North East - Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbythomas79 View Post
Bangalore > Kolkata (GQ) > Siliguri > Thimpu > Tawang > Kohima > Shillong > Kolkata > Bangalore.
I drove on this route - except Tawang and Kohima, which are very much on my wish-list - in my erstwhile petrol Linea during April 2012. I won't comment on the road conditions, which must have improved a lot now. Here are the actual itinerary, timing [ignore the toll], details of COCOO pumps [ignore the price] and hotels [ignore the tariff]:

Bangalore to North East - Advice needed-bhutan4.jpg

Bangalore to North East - Advice needed-bhutan2.jpg

Bangalore to North East - Advice needed-bhutan3.jpg

Bangalore to North East - Advice needed-bhutan1.jpg
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Old 22nd October 2014, 16:05   #4
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbythomas79 View Post
Hi BHPians,

I am planning a trip from Bangalore to the North East in December with my family and am looking for some advice and help. Current route is roughly - Bangalore > Kolkata (GQ) > Siliguri > Thimpu > Tawang > Kohima > Shillong > Kolkata > Bangalore. There has to be many stops/detours in between. I need help on two areas -

1. What would be your recommendations on stopping points in this rough route........
I'll try to provide some inputs regarding the North East part.

Firstly, Thimphu and Tawang will be literally freezing in December with even water pipelines freezing up in Tawang if you encounter one of those crazily cold days. But, on the positive side you don't need to face the mud and slush that is there in the April to August period on the way to Tawang.

I'll cover the sectors as under-

1) Thimphu to Tawang - You have to break at Guwahati or Tezpur. I suggest you leave early from Thimphu and reach Guwahati. You can then get the ILP at Guwahati for both Arunachal and Nagaland the next morning and move onto Tezpur and stay the night there. Next day you can move to Tawang which would be a bit of a stretch. Else you can break the journey at Bomdila.

2) Tawang to Kohima - From Tawang you can come down to Tezpur in 12-13 hours and stop overnight. From Tezpur you can go directly to Kohima (without backtracking to Guwahati) which would be 7-8 hours from Tezpur.

3) Kohima to Shillong - You can stretch from Kohima to Shillong in a day bypassing Guwahati.

You can easily take your Innova in this circuit. The only thing you need to be wary about is snow on some patches on the way to Tawang. Tbhpian ADC has done the circuit in the winter season in his 2wd Safari. So you should not have much issues.

Last edited by wanderer4x4 : 22nd October 2014 at 16:09.
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