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Old 15th September 2008, 17:43   #1
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Arrow Hyd - Calcutta - Siliguri - Gangtok

Hi Guys,
Iam planning to hit the road on OCT 6th to cover
HYD - CALCUTTA - SILIGURI - GANGTOK +++ back
**Giving myself about 10 days of driving
up untill HYD-GANGTOK-HYD back.
**Giving myself about 7-10 days to roam
about in sikkim+bhutan+Eastern Nepal
I drive a Bolero4WD...
Advices/Suggestions from
Anybody who has done a similar circuit
is well appreciated. I have 2 questions for now

1. What are the road conditons on
hyd-cal cal-slgri-gagtok
2. How does my timeline look. Doable !!

Thanks in advance.
..jp..
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Old 15th September 2008, 20:42   #2
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Except for Orissa, other route is doable although NH34 can be crowded. But since you drive a Bolero, whatever the roads, no worry.

You need to check out my Blr - Kolkata thread.
Mostly recently andy_dog_lover did Mumbai - Siliguri trip via Hyd. Pls check his travelogue as well.

My suggession for route will be this:
Hyd - Suryapet - Rajahmundry - Vizag - Ichchapuram - Bhubaneshwar - Balasore - Kolkata - barddhaman - Panagarh (Darjeeling More) - Ilambazar - Siuri - Rampurhat - Takipur - Farakka - Malda - Raigunj - Siliguri

Abhi
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Old 15th September 2008, 21:09   #3
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@JP, thats a pretty long trip planned and i am quite sure a 10 day trip for driving back and forth should be more than enough to take the sights and enjoy the drive.

Btw, how much is the distance both ways?
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Old 15th September 2008, 21:14   #4
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Very aggressive time schedule - I presume you mean you will have 7 days to tour Sikkhim and Bhutan!

A drive schedule could look something like his:
Day 1: Hyderabad-Bhubaneshwar
Day 2: Bhubaneshwar-Calcutta/Malda
Day 3: Calcutta/Malda-Gangtok
Day 4: Gangtok
Day 5: Gangtok
Day 6: Gangtok
Day 7: Gangtok-Phuntsoling
Day 8: Phuntsoling-Thimphu
Day 9: Thimphu/Punakha
Day 10: Thimphu-Paro
Day 11: Paro
Day 12: Paro-Phuntsoling-Siliguri
Day 13: Siliguri-Calcutta
Day 14: Calcutta-Behrampur
Day 15: Behrampur-Hyderabad
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Old 15th September 2008, 22:49   #5
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This is really a very aggressive time schedule as mentioned by hvkumar. Hyderabad to Bhubaneshwar in a single day and that too in a bolero will be very tiresome. Hyderabad to Vizag akes about 11 Hours of driving at a good pace and Vizag to Kolkata another 12 hours or so at a very fast pace. I did this in a baleno last year and I think the bolero will be a bit slower. Kolkata to siliguri again takes 12 Hours at a good pace and is similar for Baleno and Bolero as the SUV will make up time on the bad stretches. But my main concern is whether the Bolero is a comfortable SUV or not because driving for such long distances in an SUV is really difficult and also the passegers will get tired if the ride is not comfortable.. but it will be a great tour if you really do this and best of luck...
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Old 16th September 2008, 15:00   #6
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Hi jp,

Going by my personal experience, Hyd - Icchapuram would be a dream drive. Then bad stretch from Iccha for approx 120 Kms and then you join NH5 again and good drive upto Bhadrak. From there to just 30 Kms before Kharagpur is a pain in the A#@ stretch literally if you know what I mean.

Again the Malda to Kishanganj (60 Kms from Siliguri) stretch for approx 200 Kms is awful. Other than the above, I think it'll be a good driving experience for you.

Do share the experiences once you are back. Good luck!!

p.s - I did the trip in mid-july. So road conditions might have changed since then. HVK would be your best bet for the latest road conditions.
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Old 17th September 2008, 12:29   #7
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Add one day extra for permission in P'ling and another working day in Thimphu for going to Punakha. These must be working days in Bhutan. Check their annual holiday list from their website.
BBSR to Malda in a day might not be very doable - though NH 60 from Balasore to KGP is now open and restored. Take NH2 upto Panagarh (that is, continue on NH6 without getting into Kolkata). Turn right from Darjeeling Morh towards Moregram. Lots of places to stay on this route if it gets dark.
Beware of political agitation in the Darj region.
Regards
Sudipto
ps. A pune member recently came to Kolkata. We are waiting for his travelogue. Don't remember his id here. His real name is Gautam. And another Calcuttan recently went to Gangtok and back on his bike riding virtually non-stop. He can give you the latest on this stretch. It's very sad, to say the least. Particularly Farakka/Dhulian region. Roads may not exist. So driving time will rise.

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 17th September 2008 at 12:38.
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Old 17th September 2008, 12:32   #8
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Guys,
Thanks a lot for your time and help. Appreciate it.
I would also want to wander in pakistan - china in future.
Manali - leh - ladakh - srinager - muzzafarrabad - KKH - China
Khatmandu - lhasa. Any thoughts on this most welcome
C'yu guys someday sometime.
..jp..
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Old 17th September 2008, 13:15   #9
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Don't think Indians are given visa to travel on Karakoram Highway since that place is POK.
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Old 17th September 2008, 13:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Add one day extra for permission in P'ling and another working day in Thimphu for going to Punakha. These must be working days in Bhutan. Check their annual holiday list from their website.
Indian Embassy in P'Soling does not work on Saturdays, Sundays and Indian holidays. Bhutan Foreign Office is open on Saturday, and you can be granted visa if you carry your passport alone. Indian Embassy requires only proof of Indian residence. Bhutan Foreign Office guys very helpful, call them up if need be, numbers on web-site.
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Old 17th September 2008, 14:51   #11
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I think the day 3rd will be not possible. From Kolkata to Siliguri its almost 700KM. after that reaching Gangtok will be very risky as these will be evening for you...
And I think the NH34 is not in Good shape. I will ask by brother and update you. Be careful while driving from Malda to Siliguri spl at night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Very aggressive time schedule - I presume you mean you will have 7 days to tour Sikkhim and Bhutan!

A drive schedule could look something like his:
Day 1: Hyderabad-Bhubaneshwar
Day 2: Bhubaneshwar-Calcutta/Malda
Day 3: Calcutta/Malda-Gangtok
Day 4: Gangtok
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