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Old 1st September 2009, 13:31   #1
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Default Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Its Time to get some ROI on my Bolero GLX 4WD ;-)
So, Iam to hit the road during OCT 10th & OCT 31st
with the following tentative schedule:
Days 1+2+3+4
************
Hyderabad-Suryapet-Rajahmundry-Vizag-Bhubaneshwar-
-Baleshwa-Kharagpur-Siuri-Moregram-Malda-Siliguri-Gangtok
2250Kms 10-12 hrs driving @ approx. 600km/Day <--Reasonable enough ?
Days 5+6+7
**********
Gangtok-Mangan-Lachung-Lachen-Yumthang-GuruDongmarLake-NathuLa
Days 8+9+10+11+12
*****************
Gangtok-Phuntsoling-Thimphu-Thimphu/Punakha-Thimphu-Paro-Phuntsoling-Siliguri
Days 13+14+15+16
Siliguri-Khargpur-Hyderabad
Any comments, tips & recommendations are Appreciated.

My dear Friends,
hv_kumar/sudipto_s_team/mobike008/BlackPearl/andy_dog_lover/FazalAdil

FYI and I appreciate it, if you can provide further advice regarding
1. Getting InnerLine Permit - How to handle ! Tips.
2. Use of privateVechicles Vs Cabs in North Sikkim.
3. BhutanVisa- Do I necessarily need a passport or Indian DL will do ?
(My companion will be a chief-mechanic@M&M dealer AML MOtors and
might He might not have a passport - Thats why this concern.)
4. Is my schedule practicle enough.
Thanks Guys-
..jp..
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Old 1st September 2009, 22:45   #2
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ADC is the expert in getting ILP in Sikkhim! Normally, permits are not issued for Lachen, Yumthang and Nathu la, but ADC has some way of getting it!

If you get your ILP, I would take own car and not go about in a taxi.

Having an Indian Passport with you will cut out one procedure - that of going to the Indian Consulate in Jaigarh (the Indian border town) and getting them to attest your DL, which then has to be submitted to the Bhutan Immigration Office. If you have the Indian Passport, you can directly approach the Immigration Office.

3 days to Gangtok from Hyderabad is doable. You could stop over at Behrampur/Bhubaneswar on Day 1, and maybe Malda on Day 2.

Sikkhim round looks good too, assuming you take off to Yumthang for 2 days, Nathu La for 1 day and 1 day in Gangtok. From what I have heard, it may take upto 2 days to get the ILPs, which means your drive to North Sikkhim and Nathu la could be touch and go.

I think the Bhutan sector is at least 1 day too short, because:
- You must drive from Gangtok to Phuntsoling on the evening of Day 12
- Day 13 you will get your permits early in the morninga nd drive to Thimphu
- Day 14, you will get your permits for Punakha at Thimphu, and look around Thimphu
- Day 15, you will drive to Punakha and back
- Day 16, you will drive to Paro
- Day 17, you will drive to Siliguri


You can read my detailed Log Book & Travelogue in the following link:
H V Kumar - Driving Log Books - KUMAR'S DRIVING LOG BOOKSNorth East India, Bhutan & East-West Drive Apr 2009

Last edited by hvkumar : 1st September 2009 at 22:46.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 08:18   #3
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Thanks for the input Kumar. I will get touch base with ADC regarding ILP>

Once again Thank You.
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Old 7th September 2009, 11:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
ADC is the expert in getting ILP in Sikkhim! Normally, permits are not issued for Lachen, Yumthang and Nathu la, but ADC has some way of getting it!
Surely I never expected it to be so smooth for myself. but now having completed all the areas where permits are required and hard to get, surely it does feel good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp_in_hyd View Post
Thanks for the input Kumar. I will get touch base with ADC regarding ILP>
Sorry for the late reply, seeing the PM now, could log in today itself.

Permits are given at the Permit Office, a building just below the overbridge at the start of the MG road.

You can get permit forms from a xerox shop down below near the overbridge or can ask the numerous taxi fellows standing for permit form shop.

And then on filling it up just stand in front of the Sikkim Police permit window and thrust it to the person sitting on the other side. Let him and your luck decide then.

I was there for standing in a such a way, not in front of him but in a sideways so that everytime picks up his head, he sees me.

When my application came up from scrutiny, he and another senior fellow asked about whether I was the driver and owner [showed registration], with the application gave a biodata of my travels, [The safari VTT by that time had done some audacious journeys], me, wife and the child the only passengers proving that we are private tourists and thus not a big party, attached a couple of photos, and seeing a Safari may be also [though this can be doubted!], and voila he believed me to the hilt [of course whatever showed was true!] and gave me the permits, first day for the Tsongmo Lake and again next day he sees me standing and gives me the permit for complete North Sikkim.

Now this is easiest single window clearance, took around 2-3 hours both time [for Tsongmo and North Sikkim] neither I had to go to the Secretariat or the Main Police Station or meet any beaurocrat. If you are declined over here, you have to follow this roundabout tortous way.

The other roundabout, most tortous way as it seems

read it over here

60kph Message Board :: View topic - Amazing ride to North Sikkim

For summary of the above link, for the roundabout way you would have to go through
1. Army: Colonel Anand Mehrotra GSO (Int.) HQ, 17 Mountain Division, c/o 99 APO, Deorali, Gangtok.
2. Police: IGP Checkpost, Sikkim Police, Gangtok.
3. District Collector, North (Mangan).
4. Sub District Magistrate, Chungthung, North Sikkim.



The third time, in June this year, got very exotic permit that goes through the opposite way to Gangtok via Zuluk. This was done by SDPO, Rongli and luck would have it that he was trying to learn how to play a CD in his newly acquired IBM laptop and I was just there at that time to help him out and put him at east on that! Plus again the record that of that previous permit also helped. And also Mr Pradhan of Rishi Eco tourism testimony also helped me a lot and since he also accompanied me to the SDPO office - a good local influential contact.

BTW, All the Sikkim travelogues are out here on teambhp.


So, a big good luck on this very encompassing tour - surely the places are exotic and just do the trip, everything will fall in place.

Do let me know if need more info

Last edited by adc : 7th September 2009 at 11:34.
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Old 28th November 2011, 12:24   #5
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Default Hyderabad - Sikkim Route queries

Folks,

I am planning to drive to Sikkim on 17th December, 2011. I have prepared the itenary and have attached it to the post. We are 2 couples.



I have few questions :

1. Can this be done?
2. Is it best to stick to NH5 or drive via Nagpur?
3. How are roads from Vizag to Durgapur?
4. My biggest worry is about Durgapur -> Darjeeling. Can this be done in 12-14 hrs?
5. Any other suggestions welcome.

Also, any suggestions for stay on the route will really help me.

Cheers,
windsurfer
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Last edited by windsurfer : 28th November 2011 at 12:26.
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Old 28th November 2011, 20:56   #6
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Sikkim Route queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by windsurfer View Post
Folks,

I am planning to drive to Sikkim on 17th December, 2011. I have prepared the itenary and have attached it to the post. We are 2 couples.



I have few questions :

1. Can this be done?
2. Is it best to stick to NH5 or drive via Nagpur?
Not sure of Sikkim roads after the recent earthquake.Would be a good idea to pm Tbhpian San Phrangmung from Guwahati or Tbhpian puffdamgcdragon regarding recent conditions since they are in the region.

As for Hyd-Srikakulam in 11hours is a bit too ambitious I thought?Its better to go via Vijayawada & NH5.Hyd-VJA would take you anywhere between 6-7hours,from there to vizag another 7-8hours.Vizag-Srikakulam would take you another 2-3hours.So I guess 15hours is a safe bet from Hyd to Srikakulam.
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Old 29th November 2011, 22:08   #7
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Sikkim Route queries

@windsurfer:

Hi,
Seeing Durgapur in the itenary I think you are thinking of NH60 from Kharagpur - Bankura - Durgapur. Don't.

NBengal Sikkim. Times seem optimistic.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 1st December 2011, 13:38   #8
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Default Re: Hyderabad - Sikkim Route queries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
@windsurfer:

Hi,
Seeing Durgapur in the itenary I think you are thinking of NH60 from Kharagpur - Bankura - Durgapur. Don't.

NBengal Sikkim. Times seem optimistic.

Regards
Sutripta
Thanks Sutripta. This is not finalized. Which place do you suggest to stay on the way to darjeeling? Would it be possible to drive to darjeeling from W bengal in a day (14 hrs)?
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Old 1st December 2011, 16:53   #9
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Default re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

@ windsurfer Kolkata to Darjeeling is not possible within 14 hrs. Right now the Nh 34 is in very bad shape, and kolkata Siliguri is taking around 18 hrs. A distance of around 550 kms. I would suggest Staying near Dhulagarh Toll booth. Then start next day and reach Siliguri.
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Old 1st December 2011, 17:00   #10
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Default re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Not sure of Sikkim roads after the recent earthquake.Would be a good idea to pm Tbhpian San Phrangmung from Guwahati or Tbhpian puffdamgcdragon regarding recent conditions since they are in the region.

As for Hyd-Srikakulam in 11hours is a bit too ambitious I thought?Its better to go via Vijayawada & NH5.Hyd-VJA would take you anywhere between 6-7hours,from there to vizag another 7-8hours.Vizag-Srikakulam would take you another 2-3hours.So I guess 15hours is a safe bet from Hyd to Srikakulam.
+1.
Hyd - Srikakulam is very difficult to do in 12-14 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by windsurfer View Post
Folks,

I am planning to drive to Sikkim on 17th December, 2011. I have prepared the itenary and have attached it to the post. We are 2 couples.

1. Can this be done?
2. Is it best to stick to NH5 or drive via Nagpur?
3. How are roads from Vizag to Durgapur?
4. My biggest worry is about Durgapur -> Darjeeling. Can this be done in 12-14 hrs?
5. Any other suggestions welcome.
First of all best of luck for the plan.

1. From your itinerary, it looks like you will be doing only day driving. Out of the 14 days, you are loosing approximately 6 to 7 days in driving from Hyd - Gangtok/Darjeeling. Plus consider the hectic journey because of which you would spend time at the hotel. So revisit the driving plan. My suggestion would be if you have 2 experienced drivers on board, make sure you do Hyd - Kolkata at a stretch with halts for restrooms- if possible, extend to Gangtok directly. And plan such that while one is driving the other is asleep. Remember we are not HVK sir . This way, you will get additional 2 days at Darjeeling/Gangtok which you can use to recuperate and take rest.

You would need permissions to go Lachen and North Sikkim. Atleast 2 days will be wasted for running around for permissions (From what I saw in ADCs travelogue). So if you reach Gangtok really fast, then you can use the additional time for taking permissions to North Sikkim.

Also do check the weather conditions there because in December, the roads there might be covered with Ice as it is winter time. If it is not possible to visit North Sikkim due to various reasons, dont be disappointed. Plan for alternate places around Darjeeling/Gangtok. There are many- check ADC's travelogues. You can visit either west sikkim or east sikkim both of which are splendid.

If it were upto me, I would suggest either to strike off Darjeeling or North Sikkim because covering too many places would be hectic. Rather take rest enjoy the place. While I understand that these trips dont happen too often, it is best to leave some places for a later time and spend more time at one place and enjoy it.

Vizag - Durgapur- I have heard roads in Orissa are in bad shape (Searching through his forum). And follow Sutripas suggestion of not taking Durgapur route.

Also, I am planning a trip myself for North Sikkim from Hyderabad, but mostly this will be in March for 18 days (15 days + 3 days in case of delays). But I would be visiting either North Sikkim Or Arunachal pradesh. Plus we are 4 drivers. So when one drives, others take rest which makes it possible for us to cover long distances without a night halt anywhere. Thus we get to spend more time at the place rather than in the car or on some hotel by the highway.

In case of North sikkim, we plan to head to Gangtok and then from there to North Sikkim after taking permissions. On our return, if we have enough time, we may plan to check out Darjeeling or Mirrik Lake. But our plans are very preliminary.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 1st December 2011 at 17:01.
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Old 1st December 2011, 17:31   #11
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Default re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

I have traveled this stretch from Durgapur-Bankura-Bishnupur-Kharagpur in 2008 while coming back from Gangtok.
Kharagpur-Bishnupur lots of lorry traffic and plenty of railway crossing roads are average.
Bishnupur-Bankura is the most bad stretch.
Bankura-Durgapur roads were good.
It is worth while going through Kolkatta.
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Old 1st December 2011, 17:40   #12
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Default re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Stop over in Gangtok on way to get your permits
Take only the Kharagpur-Kolkata-Darjeeling More route, and not the Midnapore-Bankura-Durgapur route
Roads in WB are in bad condition now (NH60 from Darjeeling More and NH34 from Morgram), but I also heard that they have started repairs in some sections.
Roads are bad in AP-OR border
Expect jams in many places, including Or-WB border & Panagad Bazaar on NH2 before Darjeeling More
Fog could be an issue on some days
Sikkhim roads are not badly affected by the quake, even roads to N Sikkhim are OK now, but don't expect great roads anyway
Roads in N Sikkhim & to Nathu la can get blockaded due to snow, so hopefully you will have good luck
Darjeeling area sees frequent rasta rokos and agitations, so research ground situation before you arrive there.
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Old 1st December 2011, 17:43   #13
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Default re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Thanks guys but i have already made booking for darjeeling Hotel for 19th. I know i should have waited but i got a very good deal and i fell for it. Now, I am in two minds. Any suggestions? - it looks highly impossible to reach darjeeling even if we start very early from W Bengal. :-(

Just to add about permits, I am not planning to drive to nathula pass and other places. We have contacted a travel agency and they are procuring permits and a vechile for extreme places. I guess, we should be fine there.


How about Kolkata -> Bardhaman -> Mayureswar?

Last edited by windsurfer : 1st December 2011 at 17:53.
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Old 1st December 2011, 17:58   #14
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Default re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Stop over in Gangtok on way to get your permits
Take only the Kharagpur-Kolkata-Darjeeling More route, and not the Midnapore-Bankura-Durgapur route
Roads in WB are in bad condition now (NH60 from Darjeeling More and NH34 from Morgram), but I also heard that they have started repairs in some sections.
Roads are bad in AP-OR border
Expect jams in many places, including Or-WB border & Panagad Bazaar on NH2 before Darjeeling More
Fog could be an issue on some days
Sikkhim roads are not badly affected by the quake, even roads to N Sikkhim are OK now, but don't expect great roads anyway
Roads in N Sikkhim & to Nathu la can get blockaded due to snow, so hopefully you will have good luck
Darjeeling area sees frequent rasta rokos and agitations, so research ground situation before you arrive there.
Thanks hvkumar. Can you please elaborate this Kharagpur-Kolkata-Darjeeling More route? I am not able to locate this on google?
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Old 1st December 2011, 18:01   #15
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Default re: Hyderabad -> Sikkim -> Bhutan Query

@ windsurfer, NH 60 After Kharagpur, and specially NH 2B and NH 34 are like Hell for your car till Dalkhola. So please take your time and start early like one day in advance to make the trip successfull. During October I made Siliguri Kolkata in around 19 hrs. Such is the condition of the road and on return journey I halted for a night stay at Malda. which has a WBTDC tourist lodge right beside the Highway.

BTW Darjeeling more is before Panagarh Bazaar on NH 2 around 20 kms from Durgapur towards kolkata.

Last edited by sumitkalindi : 1st December 2011 at 18:03.
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