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Old 22nd May 2012, 09:38   #31
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Most probably, my drive from Siliguri to Guwahati will be in the night. So should I stick to the Boxirhat route?

Without any stops, how much time would it take for the drive between Siliguri and Guwahati with current route conditions?
Day or night, stick to Boxirhat route. Allow for 10-12 hours drive time for Siliguri-Guwahati.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 21:29   #32
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Most probably, my drive from Siliguri to Guwahati will be in the night. So should I stick to the Boxirhat route?
Night -> Boxirhat. BTW what vehicle.

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Day or night, stick to Boxirhat route.
Reason?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 22nd May 2012, 21:47   #33
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Night -> Boxirhat. BTW what vehicle.
My vehicle is Tata Safari 4x4.

We have decided that we are going to attempt to do the Bhutan East West drive and Tawang/Sela Pass in the 16 days that we have.

In case we would not be able to finish these drives due to roads being closed or some other circumstances, we have to plan for alternate places to visit. Could you suggest some places around Assam or Sikkim?
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Old 22nd May 2012, 22:06   #34
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Night -> Boxirhat. BTW what vehicle.


Reason?

Regards
Sutripta
I meant that it is better to avoid the Bongaigaon route. And I have not heard of any safety concerns on the Boxirhat route.

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Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
My vehicle is Tata Safari 4x4.

We have decided that we are going to attempt to do the Bhutan East West drive and Tawang/Sela Pass in the 16 days that we have.

In case we would not be able to finish these drives due to roads being closed or some other circumstances, we have to plan for alternate places to visit. Could you suggest some places around Assam or Sikkim?
Meghalaya, of course, with Shillong & Cherapunjee.
Kaziranga and other WLS should be closed already.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 22:11   #35
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

^^^
What are your interests?
Assam is essentially the Brahmaputra valley. Aside from the NP/ WLS (which will be closed for tourists) I find it difficult to recommend something offhand. Could be because we don't see the NE through the eyes of a tourist. Use Assam as a base for Arunachal and Meghalaya.

Sikkim, you can do the usual tourist circuits.

For Bhutan, remember to take the extended geographic cover (insurance).

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 22nd May 2012, 22:23   #36
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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I meant that it is better to avoid the Bongaigaon route. And I have not heard of any safety concerns on the Boxirhat route.
Agreed Boxirhat is safe. Srirampur route: Safety was one of the reasons why I said 'daytime only'. The other is that given the road conditions, it helps if you can see way beyond your headlights. Advantage is far less traffic.

My preferred route is Srirampur - Gossaigaon - Kokrajhar - Bahalpur - North Salmara. Which I use all the time. However, would not recommend it for tourists. Chances of getting on wrong extremely bad roads very very high.

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Old 23rd May 2012, 13:04   #37
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
What are your interests?
Assam is essentially the Brahmaputra valley. Aside from the NP/ WLS (which will be closed for tourists) I find it difficult to recommend something offhand. Could be because we don't see the NE through the eyes of a tourist. Use Assam as a base for Arunachal and Meghalaya.

Sikkim, you can do the usual tourist circuits.
Since we are taking a car, we want to visit places that are difficult to access otherwise or off-beat places. By difficult to access, I do not mean difficult terrain, although we can take up the challenge. By difficult to access, I mean the connectivity to those places is very poor and very few people visit such places.

For example, Gangtok and Darjeeling are proper tourist destinations and it is easy for us to reach there without a vehicle of our own. (WE can take a flight to Kolkata and then the train and taxis) However, Tawang is a bit more difficult to access because of its remote location. We want to visit such places.

If none of those 'off-beat' places work out for us, we can fall back on the usual tourist destinations. But we do not want to keep the 'Usual tourist destinations' as the primary aim.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 20:38   #38
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

^^^
Ok. Got it. Now let me rack my brains. But why don't you PM ADC, HVK, San Phrangmung and others.

Arunachal, except for Tawang, Namdapha (partly) and the Itanagar - Along - Daporijo circuit, and NH52/ NH37 circuit is essentially off the map. And also no infrastructure! Meets your description, but will it interest you. Birding? Fishing? White water rafting?

I was just checking your itenary. Some sections seem very difficult for the time allotted.
Assam (in fact all Eastern/ NE India) has to be done respecting local culture - lahe lahe. (You'll know what that means when you get there!

Regards
Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 23rd May 2012 at 20:41.
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Old 24th May 2012, 11:43   #39
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Ok. Got it. Now let me rack my brains. But why don't you PM ADC, HVK, San Phrangmung and others.

Arunachal, except for Tawang, Namdapha (partly) and the Itanagar - Along - Daporijo circuit, and NH52/ NH37 circuit is essentially off the map. And also no infrastructure! Meets your description, but will it interest you. Birding? Fishing? White water rafting?

I was just checking your itenary. Some sections seem very difficult for the time allotted.
Assam (in fact all Eastern/ NE India) has to be done respecting local culture - lahe lahe. (You'll know what that means when you get there!
Thanks a lot for the advice. I will PM the members and start bothering them .

White water rafting is something we are interested, but we were unsure whether the rafting would be open during monsoons. Could you suggest some places that would be open? Fishing is another thing that we would like to try out.

In order to accommodate this in our already tight schedule, we can let go of Tawang and enjoy some of the places you mentioned above. I will do more research on the internet about places in NE as well as places you have mentioned

In my Itenerary, I can only think that Kolkata - Guwahati in 24 hours seems difficult. Could you let me know any other sections that are difficult to do in the time Allotted ?

We want to keep in mind the 'Lahe Lahe' culture of Assam and NE, but we have only 16 days due to time constraints. I would love to spend more time there and get to know more of the culture there.
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Old 24th May 2012, 22:16   #40
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Quote:
White water rafting is something we are interested, but we were unsure whether the rafting would be open during monsoons.
Could you suggest some places that would be open?
Normally on the Siang. People do it here because it is fast, tough, challenging, and dangerous! (So I guess doing it with the river in spate would only add to the thrill) Only meant for the very experienced.
But there is no infrastructure. You will have to arrange everything yourself.
There used to be a run on the Tista near Melli (on the way to Gangtok), but I think it is closed during monsoons.

Quote:
Fishing is another thing that we would like to try out.
Jai Bharali famous for Mahseer. Google. Some tea estate bungalows had been turned into heritage lodgings. They took care of all necessities. In lieu for an arm and a leg. And some more.


Quote:
In my Itenerary, I can only think that Kolkata - Guwahati in 24 hours seems difficult. Could you let me know any other sections that are difficult to do in the time Allotted ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post

Option 1:
Day 0 : Hyderabad - Vijayawada
Day 1 : Vijayawada - Vizag - Bhubaneshwar - Kolkata
Day 2 : Kolkata - Siliguri - Jaigaon (Night Stay)
Day 3 : Early Morning Start - Jaigaon - Phuentsholing (Get the Visa and Drive permit upto Thimphu) - Thimphu ( Night Stay)
Day 4 : Take Drive permits to the drive through the remaining parts of Bhutan. Roam Around Thimphu
Day 5 : Thimphu - Paro - Drukyel Dzong - Trongsa - Bumthang (Night Stay at Bumthang)
Day 6 : Early Morning Start - Bumthang - Mongar - Trashigang ( Night at Trashigang)
Day 7 : Trashigang - Dantak - Reach India - Samdrup - Guwahati - Take permissions in Guwahati for the drive through Arunachal Pradesh
Day 8 : Guwahati - Dhirang
Day 9 : Dhirang - SeLa Pass - Tawang
Day 10 : Tawang - Peding Teng Tso – Sangetsar – Tawang
Day 11 : Tawang – Bumla – Tgompa – P Tso lake – Tawang
Day 12 : Tawang – LumLa –Zemithang – Urgelling – Tawang
Day 13 : Tawang – Sela Pass – Dhirang – Guwahati
Day 14 : Guwahati - Kolkata
Day 15 : Kolkata - Vishakapatnam
Day 16 : Vishakapatnam - Hyderabad
Kolkata - Siliguri - Jaigaon
Depends on when you leave Calcutta. If you can make it beyond Siliguri, night stay at Madarihat or Hasimara. Jaigaon is, well, pitiful.

Paro (with Taktsang) A leisurely one day, but one day nonetheless. Paro is to the west of Thimpu. With Thimpu as base, Paro + Thimpu in one day becomes very rushed. Foreign groups do it because they land in Paro.

Guwahati - Dhirang :- Tough
Tawang - Guwahati : Very tough
Guwahati - Calcutta : Very tough

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 24th May 2012, 23:13   #41
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Normally on the Siang. People do it here because it is fast, tough, challenging, and dangerous! (So I guess doing it with the river in spate would only add to the thrill) Only meant for the very experienced.
But there is no infrastructure. You will have to arrange everything yourself.
We are not experienced and I dont think that we will even think of getting into rough waters without proper supervision and equipment. We are not that daring. I think you overestimated us

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Jai Bharali famous for Mahseer. Google. Some tea estate bungalows had been turned into heritage lodgings. They took care of all necessities. In lieu for an arm and a leg. And some more.

Paro (with Taktsang) A leisurely one day, but one day nonetheless. Paro is to the west of Thimpu. With Thimpu as base, Paro + Thimpu in one day becomes very rushed. Foreign groups do it because they land in Paro.

Guwahati - Dhirang :- Tough
Tawang - Guwahati : Very tough
Guwahati - Calcutta : Very tough
Thanks a lot for this information. I will have a relook at this part. Guwahati Calcutta, I am not bothered so much on return because even if it takes us upto 32 hours as well, we will be in good shape to return on time. But for the rest, thanks a lot for updates.

Could you please let me know for non stop driving, how much will it take for Guwahati - Dhirang?.
Once I know the time, we can move some of my itenerary around.

And We are planning to extend one more day at Bhutan after your suggestion about Paro. We will try to cut short our Tawang stay to 2 days instead of 4 planned.
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Old 25th May 2012, 20:43   #42
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Could you please let me know for non stop driving, how much will it take for Guwahati - Dhirang?.
I think HVK's logs are the best guides. Add 25?% to his times!
Speeds fall dramatically after Bhalukpong.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 25th May 2012, 20:56   #43
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Could you please let me know for non stop driving, how much will it take for Guwahati - Dhirang?.
Once I know the time, we can move some of my itenerary around.
As Sutripta says, it all depends on the road condition to Bhalukhpong.

If all is well, you could reach Tezpur in 3 hours from Guwahati, then Dirrang in the next 6-8 hours.


Quote:
And We are planning to extend one more day at Bhutan after your suggestion about Paro. We will try to cut short our Tawang stay to 2 days instead of 4 planned.
Tawang does not demand more than a day or two. I would put all those extra days into the Bhutan itinerary.

Last edited by hvkumar : 25th May 2012 at 20:59.
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Old 29th May 2012, 16:24   #44
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^

Arunachal, except for Tawang, Namdapha (partly) and the Itanagar - Along - Daporijo circuit, and NH52/ NH37 circuit is essentially off the map. And also no infrastructure! Meets your description, but will it interest you. Birding? Fishing? White water rafting?
Sorry for bothering you again. I hope you do not mind me asking so many questions.

The Guwahati - Ziro - Daporijo - Along - Tezu - Guwahati circuit seems very interesting for us. The reason we are including Tezu is because we found the place Roing and Pasighat very beautiful and want to see that as well which are enroute to Tezu.

This circuit as per google maps and it is showing 1600 kms
Google Map of Guwahati - Ziro - Along - Tezu - Guwahati Circuit

If my guess is correct, this will take a minimum of 5 to 6 days to cover this circuit and we may have to remove Tawang off our itenerary.

Do you think during monsoons, these roads would be open? Also, if we plan to extend the trip by 2 more days. Do you think it is feasible to cover Tawang and the Along - Daporijo Circuit in 7 days? ( may be 8 days )

Last edited by himavanth_m : 29th May 2012 at 16:25.
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Old 29th May 2012, 17:02   #45
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Default Re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

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Sorry for bothering you again. I hope you do not mind me asking so many questions.

The Guwahati - Ziro - Daporijo - Along - Tezu - Guwahati circuit seems very interesting for us. The reason we are including Tezu is because we found the place Roing and Pasighat very beautiful and want to see that as well which are enroute to Tezu.

This circuit as per google maps and it is showing 1600 kms
Google Map of Guwahati - Ziro - Along - Tezu - Guwahati Circuit

If my guess is correct, this will take a minimum of 5 to 6 days to cover this circuit and we may have to remove Tawang off our itenerary.

Do you think during monsoons, these roads would be open? Also, if we plan to extend the trip by 2 more days. Do you think it is feasible to cover Tawang and the Along - Daporijo Circuit in 7 days? ( may be 8 days )
Not as simple as it looks!
I have done this circuit.
You cannot go from Pasighat/Ranaghat to Roing/Tezu because that road exists only on paper, there are broken bridges, total 4WD tracks & ferry crossings. So no one goes to Roing or Tezu this way, they come round through Chongkham or Parsuram Kund.
These roads are best done only during Oct-April. Most of these places are as good as inaccessible during the monsoons.
You have to be prepared to beat up your SUV in these tracks at the best of times. Sedan - forget it.

I have done a fast-paced drive as follows:
D1: Guwahati-Tezpur-Itanagar
D2: Itanagar-Hoj-Ziro-Daporigo
D3: Daporigo-Along-Pasighat-Shilapathar
D4: Shiapathar-Bogbil/Kareng Ferry-Dibrugarh-Tinsukhia-Namsai-Chongkham-Parasuram Kund-Hayuliang
D5: Hayuliang-Walong-Kibithu-Walong-Hayuliang-Tinsukhia-Dibrugarh

These are just drive-throughs only for those who enjoy nature at its best.
Facilities are as good as non-existent, and you have to rough it out in terrible lodgings.
Route is mostly lonely terrain, anything happens to you or your car, you will have a task on your hands.

Places you have missed out - apart from Kibithu - are Mechuka & Tuting, each of them a 3-dayer in themselves from Along.

Most maps of Arunachal are wrong.

You will find all details of my drive in the link that I had put up earlier
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