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Old 25th October 2009, 20:18   #1
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Default AP to AP queries (Hyd-Vtz-Barddhaman-Siuri-Maldah-Siliguri-Tezpur-Tawang-Shillong)

It all started at a Hyderabad (AP) Team-BHP meet. Someone suggested we do a GQ run from Hyderabad which was quickly amended to a drive to Leh and beyond. Absynthguzzler immediately suggested that we do a drive to Tawang (AR). There was some talk about the plan and somehow people forgot about it. For some reason it stuck in my mind and last week at a TBHP dinner in honour of our HRH-RR (now in exile in Chennai & NY) I broached the subject with Absynthguzzler who immediately jumped at the idea. Pulsar56 and Rajesh Rawal were keen but expressed reservations about getting leave etc. - they were put down under 'tentative but probable'. I realised that time was quickly running out and that we had to move fast if we were to make this vacation happen so I went through the various travel, route etc. threads on TBHP.

I now understand why HVKumar is called 'Chief'. My God! That man is astounding, the amount of information, knowledge and experience he has is just mind-boggling. He could easily replace hordes of Tourism Authorities, Road Information Systems and Cartographers. A PM to him and in a little while I had his logs in my mailbox. Thanks Chief for the logs as well as sharing your wealth of knowledge and tips on various threads here on TBHP. I also stumbled upon posts (and threads) by several TBHP members notably AKRoy and Saurabh M which served to inspire me and gave me vital information on the route beyond Kolkata. Thanks guys.

With the rudimentary information in hand, I sent out a few mails but most Hydeez had other engagements or were unable to take time off from work. Today two 'confirmed' and a 'tentative' had a quick meet over lunch, from there we called another 'tentative' who was just about to call me - talk about telepathy. By the time we left after lunch - there are 4 confirmed (+2 dependants) driving two cars (a Skoda Laura and a Linea, one Diesel and one Petrol). As of now we have two cars and four drivers (all with a fair bit of experience driving on highways), pretty good. Anyone who wants to join in esp. those en-route are welcome to join in, but please confirm as soon as possible so that Permits, accomodation etc. can be tied up. Frankly, we have no time to lose.

Here is the outline of our plan. We shall prepare the final route and detailed plan after obtaining more information about road conditions and accomodation.

1. 20.12.2009 06.00 hrs Leave Hyderabad and drive to Visakhapatnam
a. Via Suryapet, Khammam and Rajahmundry - 607 Kms? or b. Via Vijayawada - 670 km (Please let us know which road is better)

2. 20.12.2009 Spend the night at Visakhapatnam Ė either hotel Daspalla or Prince or Waltair Club.

3. 21.12.2009 06.00 hrs Leave Visakhapatam at and drive to Kharagpur (747 Km) / Bardamman (946 Km) / Bolepur (976 Km) / Siuri (1035 km) / Maldah (1222 kms). (Please let us know approx. driving times and give us suggestions for accomodation).

4. 21.12.2009 Spend the night at Kharagpur (747 km) / Bardamman (946 Km) / Bolepur (976 Km) / Siuri (1035 km) / Maldah (1222 kms)

5. 22.12.2009 Drive to Siliguri (720 from Kharagpur/ 521 from Bardamman / 432 from Siuri / 245 from Maldah)

6. 22.12.2009 Spend one night in Siliguri (Fliers can join us here by flying to Bagdogra). (Please give us suggestions for accomodation).

7. 23.12.2009 Drive to Tezpur (Updates on road conditions and driving time will be highly appreciated)

8. 23.12.2009 Spend the night in Tezpur (Fliers can join us here by flying to Tezpur)

9. 24.12.2009 Drive to Tawang and spend the night there (Fliers can join us here by taking the flights to Guwahati and thereafter the helicopter service to Tawang)

10. 25.12.2009 spend in Tawang and explore surrounding areas

11. 26.12.2009 spend in Tawang and explore surrounding areas

12. 27.12.2009 spend in Tawang and explore surrounding areas

13. 28.12.2009 Drive to Kaziranga National Park / Tezpur

14. 28.12.2009 Spend the night in Kaziranga National Park / Tezpur

15. 29.12.2009 Drive to Guwahati (if necessary) else proceed to Shillong

16. 29.12.2009 Spend the night in Guwahati (If necessary) else in Shillong (Please give us suggestions for accomodation).

17. 30.12.2009 Drive to Shillong / Explore Shillong and surroundings

18. 30.12.2009 Explore Shillong and surroundings

19. 31.12.2009 Explore Shillong and join in the festivities there for the New Years eve.

20. 1.1.2010 Drive to Siliguri

21. 1.1.2010 Spend the night in Siliguri

22. 2.1.2010 05.00 a.m. Drive to Siuri / Bardhamann / Kharagpur

23. 2.1.2010 Spend night in Siuri / Bardhamman / Kharagpur

24. 3.1.2010 05.00 a.m. Drive to Visakhapatnam

25. 3.1.2010 Spend the night in Visakhapatnam

26. 4.1.2010 05.00 a.m. Drive to Hyderabad

27. 4.1.2010 Arrive in Hyderabad.

I request members to chip in with their comments and suggestions, updates on road conditions and driving times.

a. Information about the road conditions beyond Siliguri are sketchy and hazy, we therefore particularly request members to update the road conditions, diversions etc. in those parts.

b. I am also unable to figure out decide whether we can drive from Tezpur to Shillong in one day.

c. We desperately need information on accomodation in West Bengal on the route indicated i.e. Kharagpur, Bardamman, Bolepur, Siuri, Malda and Siliguri. We would like 2 or 3 rooms for a night (each way) each room ideally costing under Rs.1000/- but not exceeding Rs.1500 per night. Suggestions for accomodation is Shillong are also welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
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Old 26th October 2009, 10:39   #2
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@Ravvs, wonderful idea. Might get some useful information here:
Tawang Trip Report - India Travel Forum | IndiaMike.com
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Old 26th October 2009, 10:54   #3
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Hi Ravveendrra,

In Kharagpur, you should have no issues finding a good place to stay. Just go close to the IIT campus and before the main gate from the railway station side, you will have a couple of hotels just before the railway crossing. One of them is called hotel Park, email hotelpark.kgp@in.com, mobile 09474682660
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Old 26th October 2009, 11:26   #4
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You don't need to go to Bolpur. That would be a detour. After B'man will be Panagarh if you stick to NH2. Turn right from a place called Darjeeling Morh just after the small town of P'garh (it's a pretty obvious right turn there). This road goes straight to Moregram (via Suri) which is on NH34.
If you are a reasonably fast driver you can quite make it to Siliguri in about 13 hours from K'pur and hence no need to stay in Maldah.

Regarding Bagdogra accomodation, it's about 10/15 km from Siliguri which has a 1001 hotels. Spend the night in Siliguri. I prefer Central Plaza. WBTDC hotel is right next door. Both these have adequate parking facilities. Central Plaza has a nice restaurant. These are near Darjeeling Morh (there are quite a few Darjeeling Morhs in this route .

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 26th October 2009 at 11:30.
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Old 26th October 2009, 11:34   #5
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A few views:

- Maybe you can cut down 1 day in Tawang, I think you can do the excursions out of Tawang like P T Tso and Bum la in a day

- Road from Guwahati to Tezpur is outstanding, whichever NH you take - either NH 37 (south bank, via Kaliabor) or NH52 (via Mangaldai). Both are same distance - 210 kms.

- From Kaziranga, you do not have to enter Guwahati to go to at Jorabat, before reaching Dispur, you take NH40 and go 80 kms to Shillong. You can easily do Tezpur-Shillong in a day, with a lot to spare

- Definitely visit Cherrapunjee near Shillong

- Try to stay near Umiam Lake betwee Shillong and Guwahati

- Assam in general has excellent roads, but avoid NH31 via Bongaigaon and Rangiya, the road is being widened and in a total mess. Take the route via North Salamara and Cooch Behar instead, which is a good road.

- You have got lots of hotels before and after, and inside Malda. Check out my log book (link attached) for info. Why go into Bardhaman when you can stick to the fast expressway?

Here is the new link to the log books of my last trip to North East, which has complete route info for your trip (except Shillong and Nagaland).

NORTH EAST 2009 - hvkumar | Google Groups
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Old 26th October 2009, 11:47   #6
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@ravvs, is it right time to think about Arunachal Pradesh esp. there is a bit escalations between India and China on the border issues in Arunachal Pradesh?

PS1: I do remember Arun mentioning that Nov-Dec is wonderful time to be there!

PS2: If I remember, DKG was also interested in the drive, though he was talking about doing it in 4x4!!
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Old 26th October 2009, 11:55   #7
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No problems in Arunachal. More of media hype. Remember to obtain your permits in advance.
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Old 26th October 2009, 23:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkr2k2 View Post
@ravvs, is it right time to think about Arunachal Pradesh esp. there is a bit escalations between India and China on the border issues in Arunachal Pradesh?

PS1: I do remember Arun mentioning that Nov-Dec is wonderful time to be there!

PS2: If I remember, DKG was also interested in the drive, though he was talking about doing it in 4x4!!
arey kirkiri ,whats with the avtaar pic man? all garland and all! dowry mein car mila kya.lol
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:38   #9
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All the internet portals are showing no availability of rooms at Shillong during 30th & 31st December.
Does anyone have pointers towards good hotels at Shillong? We require 3 double bedrooms as of now!
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
All the internet portals are showing no availability of rooms at Shillong during 30th & 31st December.
Does anyone have pointers towards good hotels at Shillong? We require 3 double bedrooms as of now!
Arun!!! who else???
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
arey kirkiri ,whats with the avtaar pic man? all garland and all! dowry mein car mila kya.lol
lol, good one buddy. Did not take any pics of the car other than the day we brought the car home after the mandatory pooja, so the garland.

PS: Dahej mein used gaadi thodi na accept karoonga!!!
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Old 27th October 2009, 18:36   #11
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I would suggest driving further than Vizag on the 1st day; May be hit BBSR if possible as distances would be covered quite easily on the GQ. 700 odd Kms from Kharagpur to Siliguri will be a tough call considering WB road conditions and traffic.
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Old 27th October 2009, 21:29   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
... Road from Guwahati to Tezpur is outstanding, whichever NH you take - either NH 37 (south bank, via Kaliabor) or NH52 (via Mangaldai). Both are same distance - 210 kms..
+1, I came back yesterday after doing to & fro road trip on Guwahati-Tezpur-Lakhimpur route via NH-52. The road is very good indeed, check the pic below.

AP to AP queries (Hyd-Vtz-Barddhaman-Siuri-Maldah-Siliguri-Tezpur-Tawang-Shillong)-image243.jpg

For food break on this route, I'll recommend a restaurant ( forgot name) built on top of a shopping plaza near Tezpur circle

Last edited by breezydrive : 27th October 2009 at 21:30.
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Old 27th October 2009, 23:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
we do a drive to Tawang (AR).
Fantastic, we are planning around those days itself at Tawang with the Safari but wont be able to confirm as of now - lets see - plans are going awry nowadays for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
I would suggest driving further than Vizag on the 1st day; May be hit BBSR if possible as distances would be covered quite easily on the GQ. 700 odd Kms from Kharagpur to Siliguri will be a tough call considering WB road conditions and traffic.
Kharagpur to Siliguri should be doable in around 14-15 hours if day time and in 12 hrs if night. And plus seeing that there are 4 drivers for 2 cars.


Quote:
Originally Posted by breezydrive View Post
+1, I came back yesterday after doing to & fro road trip on Guwahati-Tezpur-Lakhimpur route via NH-52. The road is very good indeed, check the pic below.
Did you pass any Sanctuary named Orang or Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary on NH52? Any tour story coming up like?

Last edited by adc : 28th October 2009 at 00:00.
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Old 28th October 2009, 00:39   #14
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Default More clarity now

I have been absent from this thread for a bit, not because I lost interest. Far from it, I have been reading all suggestions here and am most grateful for them.

@ Anurag: Thanks for that link, it was informative and useful

@ Akadian: Thanks for that info about the Park, I intend to book rooms there for our return journey. So, if you have stayed there and can give us a brief review including pricing it would be nice.

@ Sudipto: Thanks a lot. We intend to do a Siliguri - Kharagpur run on our return as per your info on driving times. Thanks for the precise directions regarding the turn off after Panagarh. Incidentally does "Morh" mean a junction or something - like "Phata" in Maharashtra? That would explain the numerous Darjeeling Morh - meaning Darjeeling Junction. Will try for accomodation at Central Plaza as it is tried and tested by you both on the way in and back.

@ HVK: Chief, I can never thank you enough. Your travelogues and logs have assured me that such a trip is indeed possible. Your check lists have given structure to the planning. Your tips on routes and road conditions gave us the confidence to push ahead. Your suggestion on cutting down the time in Tawang prompted me to research a little more and I realised that in December the road to Tawang gets icy and sometimes is snow bound so I have built in a buffer by scheduling a night halt at Dirang as two FWD vehicles - a Laura and Linea are our chariots. Plan B of course is to leave the 'Plains' cars in Gauhati / Tezpur for some TLC and take a 4X4 to Tawang. Plan C, in case Tawang road is snow bound is to take the chopper service from Gauhati and have a 4X4 waiting for us there. I have taken your recommendation to take the route via Koch Bihar though it is 60 Km longer, incidentally MapMyIndia shows this as NH 31 and the road via Bongaigaon as NH 31C, I wonder which is correct.

@ Kkr2kr: Boss you seem to have lost track of time - this is December that Arun was talking about. If we waited for all of India's neighours to quieten down we will be waiting for ever. Another thing is, if India goes the way the way it did with Kailas + Manasarover, might need a Visa to go there in the future. (OT - I knew the car was not part of your dowry. If the garland was on you, I might have got some doubts!)

@ MC: Thanks for the tip man. Venu saab was of the same opinion, so now the 1st night halt is at Rambha in Ganjam Dist. It comes to roughly 1000 Km. I do not want to push further in the night as Orissa has a reputation for poor roads.

@ breezydrive: Thanks for the information - as they say in MH - aapka muh mein Ghee + Shakker!

As of now the plan is as given further below. My mind is now totally confused and totally awash trying to come to grips with all the imponderables, permutations and combinations. That is perhaps a good sign since it means that there is some mental activity going on and perhaps there will be useful product at the end of all that activity.

4 Adults + 1 child confirmed for the drive out. One Adult will fly to Tawang and join us there for the journey back. One Adult is tentative for the Shillong and return leg of the journey. One Adult is tentative for all of NE sectors flying in and out.

We are still working on fine-tuning the plan but roughly it is as follows:

Day 1 5.00 am: Hyderabad - Vijayawada - Visakhapatnam - Srikakulam - Berhampur - Rambha. 1000 Km N/H @ Pantanivas OTDC Rambha

Day 2: 6.00 am: Rambha - Kharagpur - CCU Bypass - NH2 Barddhaman - Panagarh - turn right at DarjeelingMorh - Siuri. 810 Km. N/H @ Siuri (Suggestions for hotels here please)

Day 3 7.00 am: Siuri to Siliguri. 360 Km. N/H Central Plaza, Siliguri. (plan to leave earlier if there is no fog)

Day 4 6.00 am: Siliguri - Koch Bihar - Tezpur. 610 Km. N/H Tezpur

Day 5 6.00 am: Tezpur - Dirang. 140 km. N/H Dirang

Day 6 6.00 am: Dirang - Tawang 120 km. (One or maybe two adults will join here)

Day 7 Tawang

Day 8 Tawang

Day 9 6.00 am: Tawang - Dirang 120 km. N/H Dirang or if we reach early push towards Tezpur

Day 10 6.00 am: Dirang - Tezpur (If we do Tawang to Tezpur in a day push along to Shillong or beyond depending on accomodation availability)

Day 11 6.00 am: Tezpur to Shillong via NH 37A, 37 & 40. (If we reach Tezpur on Day 9 - we return to Shillong from Cherrapunjee etc. today) (One adult is likely to join us here)

Day 12 : Shillong and surrounding areas

Day 13 6.00 am : Shillong - Gauhati - Koch Bihar - Siliguri. 560 Km. N/H Siliguri. (Perhaps two adults will leave us today @ Guwahati)

Day 14 5.00 am: Siliguri - Maldah - Siuri - Barddhaman - Kharagpur. 740 Km. N/H Hotel Park, Kharagpur (I hope we will be able to reach Kharagpur by 8.00 pm taking into account the fog that is common in northrn WB and our sedate driving styles).

Day 15 6.00 am: Kharagpur - Visakhapatnam. 765 km N/H Visakhapatnam or push along to Rajahmundry 958 km and N/H Rajahmundry

Day 16 6.00 am: Visakhapatnam - Rajahmundry - Khammam - Hyderabad.

As is my wont - suggestions and comments are solicited and welcome. Criticism and brickbats are more than welcome - they will only add to the confusion in my mind and make the end product better.

Cheers,

P.S. & N.B. All those who are confirmed for the trip, please send scanned copies of their DL or other ID and a recent passport photgraph to Absynthguzzler for obtaining ILP (Inner Line Permits).

Last edited by Ravveendrra : 28th October 2009 at 00:45.
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Old 28th October 2009, 02:43   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Day 1 5.00 am: Hyderabad - Vijayawada - Visakhapatnam - Srikakulam - Berhampur - Rambha. 1000 Km N/H @ Pantanivas OTDC Rambha
Barkul or Rambha both are okay. Barkul is just a little more towards the Calcutta side.

Quote:
Day 3 7.00 am: Siuri to Siliguri. 360 Km. N/H Central Plaza, Siliguri. (plan to leave earlier if there is no fog)
Siuri-Siliguri should be closer to 500 km. Good hotels at Siuri, dont know - may be stay at Santiniketan - many hotels

Quote:
Day 9 6.00 am: Tawang - Dirang 120 km. N/H Dirang or if we reach early push towards Tezpur
While coming if a stay is required, can be Bomdila/Bhalukpong/Nameri, though heard that Bomdila is much better - so that not to duplicate the same place again.

Quote:
Day 10 6.00 am: Dirang - Tezpur (If we do Tawang to Tezpur in a day push along to Shillong or beyond depending on accomodation availability)
If you can find, staying at Umiam lake is absolutely great but you will miss the fanfare and the much revelry that happens at Shillong town itself. We stayed at Umiam Lake resort it was fantastic.

If you have a day at Guwahati, do visit Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, has the densest population of rhinos and is very less known than Kaziranga but the adventure is much more out here. Sitting on the elephants bare back we chased and tracked rhinos.

We do have one previous travelogue to Tawang on tbhp: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ng-beyond.html (Tawang And Beyond)

Last edited by adc : 28th October 2009 at 02:51.
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