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Old 24th November 2014, 00:07   #1
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Default Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

I am planning a winter trip to Mechuka and if possible to Roing / Anini from Kolkata. Need help with the route planning.

I will do the Kolkata Siliguri leg via the Dumka Bhagalpur route. What are the best routes from Siliguri to Dibrugarh and possible night halt options ? Once I am in Dibrugarh , I plan to take the Silapathar, Likabari , Along , Mechuka route with a night halt in Along.

Is river crossing with a vehicle possible from Dambuk to Roing ? or do I need to come back to Dibrugarh from Mechuka (possibly via Pasighat) and then take the traditional route to Roing ? If I need to re enter Assam , do I need two separate permits ? , as I will be entering Arunachal again. Not really sure whether I can get these permits from Kolkata , are Itanagar or Dibrugarh a better option for the permits instead and do I need any special permit for the vehicle ?

Any idea how the Roing to Anini route via Mayudia pass is likely to be in the last week of Dec / first week of Jan ?

The other option would be to drive to Itanagar from Siliguri , in this case what are the best routes and halt options ? Is the scenic beauty of the Itanagar , Ziro , Daporijo , Along route recommended during winter ?

I will have about 15 nights from Kolkata to Kolkata , therefore will need to plan the night halts accordingly enroute.

Thanks for all the help and pointers , would be driving a Duster AWD with family.
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Old 25th November 2014, 22:57   #2
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
I am planning a winter trip to Mechuka and if possible to Roing / Anini from Kolkata. Need help with the route planning.

I will do the Kolkata Siliguri leg via the Dumka Bhagalpur route. What are the best routes from Siliguri to Dibrugarh and possible night halt options ? Once I am in Dibrugarh , I plan to take the Silapathar, Likabari , Along , Mechuka route with a night halt in Along.
Dumka-Bhagalpur route is i bad shape in some sections, but that is the better of the available options

If your first destination is Mechuka, there is no need to go to Dibrugarh.
To go from Siliguri to Assam, you have choice of the EW Corridor via Alipurduar, Bongaigain, Nalbari & Rangiya. Road is being widened, and is mostly good (many sections are complete, but still yet to be commissioned as 4-laned road), but be very careful of several bridges under construction where there are messy unmarked diversions.

From Rangiya, continue on the road to Guwahati, but turn off at Baihata Chariali & go via Mangaldai, Tezpur & North Lakhimpur to Demaji. AFter Siliguri, you could consider halt at Mangaldai (possible) or Tezpur. Beyond Tezpur, there are some decent hotels in Bandardewa too. After that, you can stay in Along.

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Is river crossing with a vehicle possible from Dambuk to Roing ? or do I need to come back to Dibrugarh from Mechuka (possibly via Pasighat) and then take the traditional route to Roing ? If I need to re enter Assam , do I need two separate permits ? , as I will be entering Arunachal again. Not really sure whether I can get these permits from Kolkata , are Itanagar or Dibrugarh a better option for the permits instead and do I need any special permit for the vehicle ?
AFAIK, it may be possible to do the crossing - I think the ferry runs in Dec. Worst case scenario, you will have to abandon that sector & come to Dibrugarh - taking the Bogbill-Kareng ferry near Shilapather.

Permits are issued for a period of time, based on your itinerary, and multiple entries are possible. Permits can be obtained in Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, Tezpur & Dibrugarh. You have to take the permits before entering AR state, so the question of taking it at Itanagar does not arise for road tourists. Ideally, get it done in Calcutta or Delhi in advance else you will end up wasting lots of time in the government offices for obtaining the permits.

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Any idea how the Roing to Anini route via Mayudia pass is likely to be in the last week of Dec / first week of Jan ?
I have no idea.

Quote:
The other option would be to drive to Itanagar from Siliguri , in this case what are the best routes and halt options ? Is the scenic beauty of the Itanagar , Ziro , Daporijo , Along route recommended during winter ?
There is nothing really in Itanagar for a tourist.
Route is as I mentioned earlier. Definitely very pretty landscapes.
The Itanagar-Ziro-Daporigo-Along-Pasighat route is very beautiful, but Dec is a dry month & it is best from April onwards.

Quote:
Thanks for all the help and pointers , would be driving a Duster AWD with family.
That is the problem. If anything goes wrong with the car, you will get no support at all. And don't tell me that the French built cars well, or your car won't fail.....
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Old 25th November 2014, 23:41   #3
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

A reply from none other than the venerable HVK really makes my day !

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Dumka-Bhagalpur route is i bad shape in some sections, but that is the better of the available options
I drove this route during my Bhutan sojourn in 2012 , sad to know the current conditions.

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

If your first destination is Mechuka, there is no need to go to Dibrugarh.
To go from Siliguri to Assam, you have choice of the EW Corridor via Alipurduar, Bongaigain, Nalbari & Rangiya. Road is being widened, and is mostly good (many sections are complete, but still yet to be commissioned as 4-laned road), but be very careful of several bridges under construction where there are messy unmarked diversions.

From Rangiya, continue on the road to Guwahati, but turn off at Baihata Chariali & go via Mangaldai, Tezpur & North Lakhimpur to Demaji. AFter Siliguri, you could consider halt at Mangaldai (possible) or Tezpur. Beyond Tezpur, there are some decent hotels in Bandardewa too. After that, you can stay in Along.

AFAIK, it may be possible to do the crossing - I think the ferry runs in Dec. Worst case scenario, you will have to abandon that sector & come to Dibrugarh - taking the Bogbill-Kareng ferry near Shilapather.

Permits are issued for a period of time, based on your itinerary, and multiple entries are possible. Permits can be obtained in Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, Tezpur & Dibrugarh. You have to take the permits before entering AR state, so the question of taking it at Itanagar does not arise for road tourists. Ideally, get it done in Calcutta or Delhi in advance else you will end up wasting lots of time in the government offices for obtaining the permits.
Thank you for all of this information. Being based in Kolkata , I will try for the permits locally offcourse, not sure whether they would be surprised with my request, the most they do here is issue tourist permits for the Tezpur - Tawang sector.


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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

I have no idea.
I am hitting a dead end for this leg with almost no information at all and that doesn't seem to be good. Might be too adventurous , it seems !


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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post

That is the problem. If anything goes wrong with the car, you will get no support at all. And don't tell me that the French built cars well, or your car won't fail.....
This gets me seriously thinking , I know that the only ASC in those parts is in Itanagar. and anything French would be Greek to the locals
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Old 25th November 2014, 23:49   #4
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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Thank you for all of this information. Being based in Kolkata , I will try for the permits locally offcourse, not sure whether they would be surprised with my request, the most they do here is issue tourist permits for the Tezpur - Tawang sector.
Don't worry, they routinely issue to any sector you ask for.
In reality, once you enter AR state border, no one ever asks you for the permits again


Quote:
I am hitting a dead end for this leg with almost no information at all and that doesn't seem to be good. Might be too adventurous , it seems !
Play it as it comes. If not possible, you have Plan B of gong via Dibrugarh anyway, at least to Roing.


Quote:
This gets me seriously thinking , I know that the only ASC in those parts is in Itanagar. and anything French would be Greek to the locals
No need to get unduly perturbed, but that was to make you extra cautious, prepare the car well and mitigate risks of any problems
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Old 26th November 2014, 00:08   #5
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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Play it as it comes. If not possible, you have Plan B of gong via Dibrugarh anyway, at least to Roing.

No need to get unduly perturbed, but that was to make you extra cautious, prepare the car well and mitigate risks of any problems
Thank you once again. Plan is to make it to Sally Lake Resort near Roing and try the Forest Rest House near Mayudia pass. I would definitely not want to be caught on the other side of the pass some where around Hunli or Anini , if it starts to snow heavily on the pass .

A big concern I have is the availability of Diesel in these parts and the quality of the Diesel. I would offcourse get the car thoroughly checked before the journey , what preparations would you suggest for a new car ? I saw in the manual that in case the car needs to be towed , all four wheels need to be off the ground !
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Old 26th November 2014, 00:11   #6
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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Thank you once again. Plan is to make it to Sally Lake Resort near Roing and try the Forest Rest House near Mayudia pass. I would definitely not want to be caught on the other side of the pass some where around Hunli or Anini , if it starts to snow heavily on the pass .

A big concern I have is the availability of Diesel in these parts and the quality of the Diesel. I would offcourse get the car thoroughly checked before the journey , what preparations would you suggest for a new car ? I saw in the manual that in case the car needs to be towed , all four wheels need to be off the ground !
Quality of diesel in these parts is not great - usually adulterated with kerosene.

You won't get flat-bed towing vehicles in those parts. So evacuating a broken-down vehicle is not going to be easy
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Old 26th November 2014, 21:07   #7
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

Was tagged to this thread by @Sheel. Personally, when driving to Guwahati side from Siliguri, I will take the route which makes me enter Assam via Tufanganj no matter what. More so due to some very very bad experiences. Also, once in Assam, I will drive via Tufanganj to Gauripur and then proceed towards Goalpara rather than take the Bangaiogaon route to Nalbari.

I am attaching the kml files for tracks which I have personally driven on.

My choice of route for Siliguri to Guwahati:
Siliguri - Sevoke - Mal Bazar - Nagarkata - Binaguri - Birpara - Falakata - Cooch Behar - Tufanganj - Gauripur - Chapar - North Sialmara - Crossing over Bharamputra - Goalpara - Dudhnai - Guwahati.

Be careful of of a few junctions near Birpara, Falakata and Cooch Behar which are very easy to miss. Also, when approaching the Bengal-Assam Border, I usually avoid the toll gates for it is always jammed with trucks. These logs have the detour. Take this only if you have a vehicle with decent ground clearance.

I understand you want to proceed towards Tezpur and then to Arunachal. I would go to Tezpur via Nowgaon.

Please note that these tracks are upto somewhere between Guwahati and Shillong.

Edit: I just re-read your requirement. You want to proceed towards Dibrugarh? Simply carry on driving till Jorabat. Take a left and then keep driving straight for about 400 odd kms. You'll reach Dibrugarh. Roads are generally in great shape other than the 4-laning work on bridges. Jorbat to Dibrugarh is doable in 4-5 hours and is very scenic considering you cross Kaziranga. On this particular stretch, fill up at the NRL pumps. One is just before Jakhlabanda. The next is at Jorhat bypass. Quality of fuel is not a concern here. Also, when you cross the Brahmaputra, after driving for about 3 kms, you'll come across a NRL pump on your right, fill up here. In Assam, try and fill up at NRL pumps as far as possible.

Just one more advice, be weary of Assam cops who will try to fleece you at every given opportunity. Make sure all your papers are in order. Throw names and influences if you have to. Don't pay any bribes for if you do once, you'll have to pay at every corner every time you're stopped.
Attached Files
File Type: kml 130501_174026.kml (52.2 KB, 183 views)
File Type: kml 130501_084746.kml (500.1 KB, 156 views)
File Type: kml 130501_182502.kml (86.1 KB, 167 views)
File Type: kml 130501_052636.kml (15.8 KB, 161 views)
File Type: kml 130501_055206.kml (20.9 KB, 169 views)
File Type: kml 130501_061430.kml (105.9 KB, 161 views)
File Type: kml 130501_074041.kml (82.1 KB, 147 views)

Last edited by SumitB : 26th November 2014 at 21:34.
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Old 26th November 2014, 21:25   #8
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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Was tagged to this thread by @Sheel. Personally, when driving to Guwahati side from Siliguri, I will take the route which makes me enter Assam via Tufanganj no matter what. More so due to some very very bad experiences. Also, once in Assam, I will drive via Tufanganj to Gauripur and then proceed towards Goalpara rather than take the Bangaiogaon route to Nalbari.
In the last couple of months, the roads via Bongaigaon have improved a lot, making it a good option - and with less truck traffic.
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Old 26th November 2014, 21:26   #9
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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In the last couple of months, the roads via Bongaigaon have improved a lot, making it a good option - and with less truck traffic.
I agree Sir, but the locals have not changed a bit. Driving here after night fall is a risk. This risk is not there on the other route. You can do the Goalpara route even in the middle of the night. Not so for the Bongaigaon route IMO.
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Old 27th November 2014, 08:44   #10
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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Originally Posted by SumitB View Post
Was tagged to this thread by @Sheel. Personally, when driving to Guwahati side from Siliguri, I will take the route which makes me enter Assam via Tufanganj no matter what. More so due to some very very bad experiences. Also, once in Assam, I will drive via Tufanganj to Gauripur and then proceed towards Goalpara rather than take the Bangaiogaon route to Nalbari.

I am attaching the kml files for tracks which I have personally driven on.

My choice of route for Siliguri to Guwahati:
Siliguri - Sevoke - Mal Bazar - Nagarkata - Binaguri - Birpara - Falakata - Cooch Behar - Tufanganj - Gauripur - Chapar - North Sialmara - Crossing over Bharamputra - Goalpara - Dudhnai - Guwahati.

Be careful of of a few junctions near Birpara, Falakata and Cooch Behar which are very easy to miss. Also, when approaching the Bengal-Assam Border, I usually avoid the toll gates for it is always jammed with trucks. These logs have the detour. Take this only if you have a vehicle with decent ground clearance.

I understand you want to proceed towards Tezpur and then to Arunachal. I would go to Tezpur via Nowgaon.

Please note that these tracks are upto somewhere between Guwahati and Shillong.

Edit: I just re-read your requirement. You want to proceed towards Dibrugarh? Simply carry on driving till Jorabat. Take a left and then keep driving straight for about 400 odd kms. You'll reach Dibrugarh. Roads are generally in great shape other than the 4-laning work on bridges. Jorbat to Dibrugarh is doable in 4-5 hours and is very scenic considering you cross Kaziranga. On this particular stretch, fill up at the NRL pumps. One is just before Jakhlabanda. The next is at Jorhat bypass. Quality of fuel is not a concern here. Also, when you cross the Brahmaputra, after driving for about 3 kms, you'll come across a NRL pump on your right, fill up here. In Assam, try and fill up at NRL pumps as far as possible.

Just one more advice, be weary of Assam cops who will try to fleece you at every given opportunity. Make sure all your papers are in order. Throw names and influences if you have to. Don't pay any bribes for if you do once, you'll have to pay at every corner every time you're stopped.
Thank you so much. If I leave by 3 or 4 AM from Siliguri, is the Siliguri to Guwahati route described by you doable in a day ? Is there a route to Bypass Guwahati and proceed towards Tezpur ? . I was planning 2 options and will take one , one was to go towards Along from Tezpur on the otherside of the River , or go to Diburugarh , take the ferry to Shilapathar and enter via Likabali Check gate. Any recommendations on places to eat or stay from Siliguri onwards ?
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Old 27th November 2014, 09:03   #11
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Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Thank you so much. If I leave by 3 or 4 AM from Siliguri, is the Siliguri to Guwahati route described by you doable in a day ? Is there a route to Bypass Guwahati and proceed towards Tezpur ? . I was planning 2 options and will take one , one was to go towards Along from Tezpur on the otherside of the River , or go to Diburugarh , take the ferry to Shilapathar and enter via Likabali Check gate. Any recommendations on places to eat or stay from Siliguri onwards ?
Siliguri-Guwahati is doable in a day.
However, there is no need to go via Guwahati. If coming via Bongaigaon (recommended), I would turn off at Baihata Chariali via Mangaldai towards Tezpur & stay in either Mangaldai or Tezpur.
If coming via Cooch Behar, I would turn off at Jhalukbari (just before Guwahati) and go to Baihata Chariali and take the same Mangaldai route. Alternatively, you could take the Guwahati bypass at Jalukhbari & go via Jorabat to Kaliabor and Tezpur.

There ae good hotels at Mangaldai, Tezpur, Bandardewa, North Lakhimpur, Shilapather, Along, Pasighat.
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Old 27th November 2014, 09:42   #12
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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On this particular stretch, fill up at the NRL pumps. One is just before Jakhlabanda. The next is at Jorhat bypass. Quality of fuel is not a concern here.
For everyone's information, NRL is the one supplying fuel to BPCL outlets at many places in the North-East region. So, really not a concern.
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Old 27th November 2014, 10:05   #13
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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Thank you so much. If I leave by 3 or 4 AM from Siliguri, is the Siliguri to Guwahati route described by you doable in a day ? Is there a route to Bypass Guwahati and proceed towards Tezpur ? . I was planning 2 options and will take one , one was to go towards Along from Tezpur on the otherside of the River , or go to Diburugarh , take the ferry to Shilapathar and enter via Likabali Check gate. Any recommendations on places to eat or stay from Siliguri onwards ?
Siliguri to Guwahati via Cooch Behar is about 49x kms. I do this in about 11-12 hours. Some bad roads near Cooch Behar and just before the Border unless they have repaired or relaid them.

As far as I know, if going via Dibrugarh, you need a ferry to cross into Arunachal and yes, the vehicle can be ferried too.

If you leave at 3-4 am and plan on driving towards Dibrugarh, stay at any of the many hotels in Kaziranga sector. If I was on an adventure/leisure trip, I would dedicate a day to go for an elephant safari in Kaziranga but you'll have to book in advance. If you leave at the intended time from Siliguri, you should reach Kaziranga at about 7pm or 8pm in the evening depending on how you drive and how many halts you make. Think about it.

Last edited by SumitB : 27th November 2014 at 10:09.
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Old 27th November 2014, 10:51   #14
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Default Re: Kolkata to Arunachal Pradesh - Routes & halts

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A reply from none other than the venerable HVK really makes my day !



I drove this route during my Bhutan sojourn in 2012 , sad to know the current conditions.



Thank you for all of this information. Being based in Kolkata , I will try for the permits locally offcourse, not sure whether they would be surprised with my request, the most they do here is issue tourist permits for the Tezpur - Tawang sector.




I am hitting a dead end for this leg with almost no information at all and that doesn't seem to be good. Might be too adventurous , it seems !




This gets me seriously thinking , I know that the only ASC in those parts is in Itanagar. and anything French would be Greek to the locals
Dear Drive Train I'd travelled to arunachal in 2010. Don't know the current conditions but when we'd done it in January 2010 the roads were in okay condition with us going through Sadia. Mayodia pass was accessible and as we had reached the top it had started to snow.Hence you can pretty much drive to Roing and then onto Mayodia pass too.
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Old 27th November 2014, 15:20   #15
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Siliguri-Guwahati is doable in a day.
However, there is no need to go via Guwahati. If coming via Bongaigaon (recommended), I would turn off at Baihata Chariali via Mangaldai towards Tezpur & stay in either Mangaldai or Tezpur.
If coming via Cooch Behar, I would turn off at Jhalukbari (just before Guwahati) and go to Baihata Chariali and take the same Mangaldai route. Alternatively, you could take the Guwahati bypass at Jalukhbari & go via Jorabat to Kaliabor and Tezpur.

There ae good hotels at Mangaldai, Tezpur, Bandardewa, North Lakhimpur, Shilapather, Along, Pasighat.
To go to both Tezpur or Dibrugarh, I'd recommend going via Jorabat - Nagaon from Jalukbari point. On a bad day near Saraighat bridge, one can lose upwards of 2 hours just to reach Baihata which otherwise is 20-30 mins at the most from the bridge. And traffic snarls in that area from Jalukbari to Baihata is increasing every day especially during morning and evening hours.
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