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Old 22nd February 2009, 05:20   #1
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Default Grand Himalayan Road Tour - Places to see?

While a final vehicle choice is still be made, I am trying to decide the broad routes for the Grand Himalayan Road Tour (GHiRT).

I must clarify here, mine is a leisurely, sight-seeing kind of tour with drives of 300-350 KMs per day. Looking at driving my own vehicle as a convenience; though plan to enjoy the driving too!

The following 6-7 segments give a "broad" idea of the route. Have I missed any important routes or side-routes? Actual places to visit, stay, sight-see etc. will come later.

Any Suggestions on Route, Side-routes (and places) to see most welcome ..... anybody done these routes and has Trip-Logs to Share?


1. J&K segment

Pathankot, Udhampur, Batole, Anantnag, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Ganderbal, Sonmarg, ZoziLa pass, Drass, Kargil, Parkachik, Padum, Kargil, Lamayuru, Khalsi, Nimmu, Spitok, Leh, Nubra Valley, Leh, Upshi, Pang, Sarchu, Baralacha La, Dharchu, Keylang, Gramphoo, Rohtang Pass, Manali


2. HP segment

Manali, Rohtang, Gramphoo, KumZumLa, Kaza, Khibber-Ki, Dhankar, Tabo, Sumdo, Puh, RekongPeo, Sangla, Chitkul, Wangtu, Sarahan, Rampur, Theog, Shimla

3. Uttranachal segment

Shimla, Theog, Kotkhai, Jubbal, Hatkoti, Tiuni, Purola, Barkot, Yamunotrui, Barkot, Dharasu, Uttarkashi, Gangotri, Daharasu, New Tehri, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Tilwara, Bhatwari, Okimath, Guptkashi, Kedarnath, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Chamoli, Joshimath, Badrinath, Mana, Karnaprayag, Tharali, Baijnath, Bageshwar, Thal, Tejam, Girgaon, Munsiyari, Thal, Didihat, Jauljibi, Dharchula, Pithoragarh, Champawat, Tanakpur

4. Nepal segment

Banbasa, >>> Missing Data to get from Nepal road maps >>, Kakarbhitta, Siliguri

5. West Bengal - Sikkim segment

Siliguri, Darjeeling, Jorethang, Legship, Pelling, Yuksam, Pelling, Legship, Ravangla, Gangtok, Chungthang, Yumthang, Gangtok, Tsangu, Gangtok, Rumtek, Kalimpong, Sevoke,

6. Bhutan segment

Sevoke, Coronation Bridge, Binnaguri, Dalgaon, Jaigaon, Phuntsoling, Gedu, Dantak Canteen, Bunakha, Chukkha Zong, Chuzom, Paro, Chuzom, Thimpu, Dochu La
>>>> further east of Thimpu possible in Bhutan ? and then exit into Assam where ?? is below ok?? >>>>
Thimpu, Wangdi-Phodrong-Dzong, Sankosh, Damphu-Dzong, Sarbhang, Saralpara, Bongaigaon,

7. Assam & Arunachal Pradesh

>>>> ????? still to research & decide >>>>>>>>>>>>>


Thanks in advance .... for all help and advise.

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Old 22nd February 2009, 14:17   #2
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My comments are in Bold

1. J&K segment

Pathankot, Udhampur, Batole, Anantnag, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Ganderbal, Sonmarg, ZoziLa pass, Drass, Kargil, Parkachik, Padum, Kargil, Lamayuru, Khalsi, Nimmu, Spitok, Leh, Nubra Valley, Leh, Upshi, Hanle, Tsomoriri Lake, Debring, Pang, Sarchu, Baralacha La, Dharchu, Keylang, Gramphoo, Rohtang Pass, Manali


2. HP segment

Manali, Rohtang, Gramphoo, KumZumLa, Kaza, Khibber-Ki, Dhankar, Tabo, Sumdo, Puh, RekongPeo, Sangla, Chitkul, Wangtu, Sarahan, Rampur, Theog, Shimla. Maybe it could be Sach Pass and Chamba too.

3. Uttranachal segment

Shimla, Theog, Kotkhai, Jubbal, Hatkoti, Tiuni, Chakrata, Purola, Barkot, Yamunotrui, Barkot, Dharasu, Uttarkashi, Gangotri, Daharasu, New Tehri, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Tilwara, Bhatwari, Okimath, Guptkashi, Kedarnath, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Chamoli, Joshimath, Badrinath, Mana, Karnaprayag, Tharali, Baijnath, Bageshwar, Thal, Tejam, Girgaon, Munsiyari, Thal, Didihat, Jauljibi, Dharchula, Pithoragarh, Champawat, Tanakpur

4. Nepal segment

Banbasa, >>> Missing Data to get from Nepal road maps >>, Kakarbhitta, Siliguri

Routes to Nepal from India:

Route 1: Mahendranagar, Mahakali Zone, Nepal from Champawat District, Uttarakhand, India
This is the closest from Delhi, but also the farthest entry point from Kathmandu. Last town in India is Tanakpur in Uttarakhand.
Travel on NH24 out of Delhi via Ghaziabad 25 kms, Hapur 25, Moradabad 110, Rampur 40, leave NH24 and switch to NH87 till Rudrapur (Uttarakhand) 40, take NH74, Kichcha 15, Sitarganj 20, leave NH74, Khatima 30 - take Pithoragarh Road-Banabasa-Tanakpur (last Indian town) 25-cross River Sarda into Mahendranagar in Nepal.
From Mahendranagar (a large town with good facilities), you can take the famous East-West Nepal Highway ( Mahendra Raj Marg) via Danagarhi (another entry point from India), Chisapani, Royal Bardia National Park, Kohalpur off Nepalganj (another entry point from India), Bhutawal (north of Bhairawa, another entry point from India). From Bhutawal, you have 2 choices - go via Pokhara (longer route) or via Bharatpur to Kathmandu.

Route 2: Mohana/Danagarhi, Seti Zone, Nepal from Lakhimpur Kheri District, UP, India
This route runs via Dudhwa WLS and connects to Danagarhi in Nepal, which lies on the East-West Nepal Highway (discussed in Route 1).
Travel on NH24 (discussed in Route 1 above). From Rampur, continue on NH24 to Bareilly 65 kms, switch to NH74, Philibhit 50, Puranpur, Khutar, Mailani, Bhira, Palia, Dudhwa WLS, Phulwariya, Paulaha, enter Nepal at Mohana and proceed to Danagarhi. Alternatively, you can also take the same Route 1 till Sitarganj, then travel to Philibit 50 kms.
From Mohana/Danagarhi, take the East-West Mahendra Raj Marg to Kathmandu, as discussed in Route 1.
One of our friends entered Nepal this way when he visited Dudhwa WLS, and reported poor facilities on the Nepal side.

Route 3: Nepalganj, Bheri Zone, Nepal, from Bahraich District, UP, India
This is a preferred route for those travelling from Delhi since you transit through Lucknow and get into Nepalgang area, which has excellent facilities, and Nepalganj itself is a big town.
To get to Lucknow from Delhi, you have 2 choices - either take NH24, going on from Bareilly to Shahjahanpur 75 kms, Sitapur 115, Itaunja 60, Lucknow 25. You can chose to bypass Lucknow, by turning off NH24 at Itaunja and going directly to Bara Banki 30 kms.
From Lucknow, leave NH24, and go via Bara Banki 30, Ramnagar 30, Bahraich 55, Nanpara 35, Rupaidha 25 (last Indian town, and enter Nepal at Nepalganj. From Nepalganj, you can connect to the East-West highway at Kohalpur, and take the same route discussed in Route 1.
Alternative route to reach Lucknow (High speed) is to take NH2 (GQ) via Mathura, Agra 200 kms, Etawah 120, Auraiya 65, Kanpur 90, switch over to NH25, Lucknow 80. This route is a very fast way to get to Lucknow, and may be preferred to the NH24 route.

Route 4: Sonauli/ Bhairawa, Lumbini Zone, Nepal, from Maharajganj District, UP, India
The large Indian town point is Gorakhpur. From Gorakhpur, travel via Sahabganj, Pharenda 45 kms, Lehra, Mahua, Nautanwa 40 (last Indian town), and enter Nepal at Sonauli/Bhairwara.
From Sonauli, you can take the East-West highway from Bhutawal (see Route 1)

Route 4: Birganj, Narayani Zone, Nepal, from Raxaul, Purbi Champaran District, Bihar, India
The large Indian town is again Gorakhpur. From Gorakhpur, drive on NH28 via Kushinagar 55 kms, Gopalganj 60, Barauli , Pipra Kothi 30, Motihari 15, Sagauli 25, Ramgarha to Raxaul 30, he last Indian town, and enter Nepal at Birganj. From Birganj, there is a direct highway to Kathmandu.

Route 5: Kakarbhitta, Mechi Zone, Nepal, from Darjeeling District, West Bengal, India
From Siliguri/Bagdogara, travel via Naxalbari to Kakarbitta
From the Nepal border, take the East-West Mahendra Raj Marg to Kathmandu.



5. West Bengal - Sikkim segment

Siliguri, Darjeeling, Jorethang, Legship, Pelling, Yuksam, Pelling, Legship, Ravangla, Gangtok, Chungthang, Yumthang, Gangtok, Tsangu, Gangtok, Rumtek, Kalimpong, Sevoke,

6. Bhutan segment

Sevoke, Coronation Bridge, Binnaguri, Dalgaon, Jaigaon, Phuntsoling, Gedu, Dantak Canteen, Bunakha, Chukkha Zong, Chuzom, Paro, Chuzom, Thimpu, Dochu La
>>>> further east of Thimpu possible in Bhutan ? and then exit into Assam where ?? is below ok?? >>>>
Thimpu, Wangdi-Phodrong-Dzong, Sankosh, Damphu-Dzong, Sarbhang, Saralpara, Bongaigaon,

You can drive from West to East Bhutan via the following route:
Thimpu, Dochu La, Lobesa, Pele La, Gantey Gompa, Trongsa, BUmthang, Thrumsing La, Mongar, Trahsigang, Khaling and Samrup Jongkhar (India border with Assam), from where I believe Guwahati is just 70 kms away.


7. Assam & Arunachal Pradesh

>>>> ????? still to research & decide >>>>>>>>>>>>>

You must visit Guwahati, Tezpur, Bpomdila, Tawang, Itanagar, Ziro, Daporijo, Tuting, Along, Pasighat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukhia, Digboi, Margherita, Ledo, Konsa, Mon, Mokokchung, KOhima, IMphal, MOirang, Nungba, Jiribam, Silchar, Aizwal, Shillong, Cherapunji
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Old 23rd February 2009, 12:30   #3
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HVKumar: Thanks for your detailed inputs here. Particularly Re: Nepal and Bhutan and North-East routes. You have saved me a lot of effort on research, by providing such a detailed route data - Kesri
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Old 24th February 2009, 10:51   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
6. Bhutan segment

Sevoke, Coronation Bridge, Binnaguri, Dalgaon, Jaigaon, Phuntsoling, Gedu, Dantak Canteen, Bunakha, Chukkha Zong, Chuzom, Paro, Chuzom, Thimpu, Dochu La
>>>> further east of Thimpu possible in Bhutan ? and then exit into Assam where ?? is below ok?? >>>>
Thimpu, Wangdi-Phodrong-Dzong, Sankosh, Damphu-Dzong, Sarbhang, Saralpara, Bongaigaon,

You can drive from West to East Bhutan via the following route:
Thimpu, Dochu La, Lobesa, Pele La, Gantey Gompa, Trongsa, BUmthang, Thrumsing La, Mongar, Trahsigang, Khaling and Samrup Jongkhar (India border with Assam), from where I believe Guwahati is just 70 kms away.
I think it is not allowed to enter Bhutan through one entry point and exit through another with your own vehicle. Please cross check this. The towns with proper rooms on this route beyond Thimphu are Tongsa, Bumthang, Mongar, Tashigang and Samdrupjhongkar. Going from west to east in Bhutan between June and October with one single vehicle is well nigh impossible due to landslides. Bhutanese get their essentials through transhipments at the landslide points.

You can also go down south from Tongsa through Shemgang and then Gaylegphug. From Gaylegphug to Bongaigaon in Assam is around 60/70 kms through very dense militant and elephant infested forests. This place is also very close to Manas.

I lived 3 years of my life in a village near Gaylegphug and Mongar between 1989 and 92. Incidentally, some of the name spellings of towns might have changed in the last 20 years.

Best of luck
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Old 6th March 2009, 12:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
I think it is not allowed to enter Bhutan through one entry point and exit through another with your own vehicle. Please cross check this. The towns with proper rooms on this route beyond Thimphu are Tongsa, Bumthang, Mongar, Tashigang and Samdrupjhongkar. Going from west to east in Bhutan between June and October with one single vehicle is well nigh impossible due to landslides. Bhutanese get their essentials through transhipments at the landslide points.........
Best of luck
Thanks, Sudipto for your inputs reg. Bhutan

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Old 6th March 2009, 13:05   #6
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You may contact MAI Bombay for their detailed route maps/tulips/places and facilities they have which they used for the Himalayan rallies. This covers extensive research on the Himachal,uttaranchal and UP sectors of the tour.
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Old 6th March 2009, 14:05   #7
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Hi,

I won't advice the Sach Pass via Chamba. That is restricted only to the Defefnce forces now (and to terrorists!). You can go only up to Bani. That is one beautiful place if you cross the village and go closer to the Pangi range. It is virgin beauty.

When you cross the Punjab border, take the Udhampur road to by-pass Jammu. Jammu doesn't offer anything, anyway. So you can afford to miss it. Stop at Mansar lake for a while. Nothing special but you will need the rest. You will reach Udhampur directly through this route.

Between Udhampur and Srinagar, take a detour from Batote towards Doda. You can go to Bhaderwah and ahead from there. Also come back towards Doda and go over, in the other direction to Kishtwar, another beautiful place. But, please remember that the Doda district is more sensitive than entire Kashmir valley. So, please avoid driving after 4 pm on the road and absolutely no night driving. But this detour will set you back by two days (at least). Please note that.

Before Batote, there is a place called Kud. Stop there for a few minutes at Prem sweets and taste his ware. His sweets are unbelievably tasty. Also, do not miss the rajma chawal at Peera enroute to Srinagar.

In Srinagar, base yourself in the main town and visit Pahalgam and Aru on one side and Chadoora on the other. There is a beautiful lake enroute to Chadoora. Unfortunately, I forget the name. But its famous and you can easily find it. In the city, take a complete round of the Dal. There are many things to see - Char chinar, Nishaat, et al.

If you have the time, visit Matan. It has a famous temple there. In Srinagar, visit the Adi Shankaracharya temple. The view of the Srinagar valley and the Dal is amazing from the top.

In the district of Anantnag, visit Verinag and places around there. For this, you will have to take a detour while enroute to Pahalgam.

The Kashmir valley is not for a whirlwind tour and just to mark your attendance in scenic places. Take time to let the fresh air, pure water and scenic beauty to get into your inner self. It is like wine. Gulping it down won't be of any use. You have to sip it slowly, stir it with your fingers, smell the aroma and the let the taste linger on forever.

And while in the valley, drink water directly from the fountains, roadside taps and other ground water sources. Don't use mineral water. The water there has medicinal properties and will help in solving many tummy problems. I have experienced that. In fact, take empty bottles and fill them up.

Hope this is useful.
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Old 7th March 2009, 10:47   #8
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@scoooby05: Thanks, will checkout MAI Bombay.

@travelwriter: Thanks for your valuable inputs on J&K sights and side-trips. This is very useful. I plan to do this tour at a leisurely pace and so your information is really valuable.

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Old 11th March 2015, 08:31   #9
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Default September trip : Uttarakhand or Himachal or Darjeeling

We are 4 families with 7 kids planning a trip somewhere in first week of September when our kids have a holiday.
We just want to relax and enjoy for 4 to 5 days. Where can we go such that we don't get stuck in rains?<br />
Initially we thought of Amritsar and Manali but it seems to be hot at that time.
Can anyone suggest a nice cool place to travel to at that time. My friends are not really very interested in historical places.
Can we go to Uttarakhand or Himachal? Which city? Or otherwise Darjeeling.
Please give your suggestions. Any place other than the ones mentioned above can also be suggested.
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