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Old 16th January 2011, 18:01   #1
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Default Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Mates, I will be doing the Siliguri - Guwahati stretch during last week of Feb, as part of the Indo-Bhutan rally. The rally will be flagged off from Guwahati this time.

As per reports that I am getting, this 500kms stretch is in pretty bad shape, with huge craters all around. Its taking almost 12-14hrs to cover this.

Seeking updates on the current road conditions.

Last edited by Saurabh M : 16th January 2011 at 18:07.
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Old 16th January 2011, 18:43   #2
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

It continues to be as bad as ever thanks to teh never-ending road widening.
However, the road between Siliguri & Phuntsoling via Sevoke, Birpara & Hasimara is in excellent condition. What is bad is in the Assam side via Bongaigaon, Nalbari & Rangiya. The alternative road via Cooch Behar, Ghauripur & Goalpara is good though.
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Old 16th January 2011, 19:25   #3
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

HVK, many thanks for your inputs. Is this the route that you are suggesting?

Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?-siliguri-guwahati-via-coochbehar-ghauripur-goalpara.jpg

How long should it takes along this route, assuming a driving speed not exceeding 100kph. Is this route safe? Does this route go through any major town other than Jalpaiguri, that might slow us down?
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Old 17th January 2011, 20:07   #4
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
HVK, many thanks for your inputs. Is this the route that you are suggesting?

Attachment 484356

How long should it takes along this route, assuming a driving speed not exceeding 100kph. Is this route safe? Does this route go through any major town other than Jalpaiguri, that might slow us down?
Yes, this is the route I was talking of.

Routing as follows:
Siliguri-Mainaguri-Drupuguri-Falakata-Cooch Behar-Tufanganj-Boxirhat-Gauripur-North Salamara-Jogigopa-Goalpara (bypassed)-Paikan-Krishnai-Boko-Jalukhbari-Guwahati.

Distance is 490 kms. I have taken 9 hours. Roads are not great, but better than the other route. Lots of small towns, all the towns indicated above are reasonably large, and the road itself is quite narrow in WB, but once you enter Assam, expect some fantastic open roads.

Safety is not a big issue, but be prepared for the usual hartals, etc in Assam, and avoid the WB-AS border region (Tufanganj-Goalpara) at night.
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Old 19th January 2011, 20:28   #5
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Right now, NH37 (Goalpara - Boko) is VERY tense (Garo - Rabha ethnic conflict). As in any place in Assam, find out if buses are plying on that route at that point of time before taking a decision. Overall though, the South Bank route is preferable. (At least I use it)

Did Siliguri - AlipurDuar last month. The worst has been patched up, but road is still bad beyond Birpara.
Did Bongaigaon - Guwahati yesterday via NH31. Roads bad beyond Patshala. And jams everywhere.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 20th January 2011, 08:56   #6
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Sutripta, surprised to hear that the conflict still goes on, heard there are lots of bandhs and rasta rokos on the NH37 in the Boko-Dudnai area. Are there disruptions often?

How is progress on road widening? Surprisingly, I do not find any road widening happening in the WB side.
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Old 20th January 2011, 19:27   #7
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Sutripta, surprised to hear that the conflict still goes on, heard there are lots of bandhs and rasta rokos on the NH37 in the Boko-Dudnai area. Are there disruptions often?

How is progress on road widening? Surprisingly, I do not find any road widening happening in the WB side.
This conflict has been simmering for a long time. It burst forth this Jan on a large and violent scale. Curfews, shoot-at-sight, villages being burnt etc. Just type Garo, and Rabha in any search engine. This is separate from the countless bandhs called by all and sundry. And with elections approaching, the number of bandh calls can only increase.

Roadwork/ widening is going on, but at such a desolutary pace that one thinks it is actually a 15 year plan. And in WB, the East West highway has been realigned. No work on the realigned section.

One thing about this road widening I could never figure out is why they don't tackle the choke points first. These would be about 5% of the total length, but significantly improve travel times.

Regards
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Old 10th February 2011, 18:22   #8
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

The Siliguri - Guwahati stretch seems to be getting tensed each day. Added to that is the recent flare up in the Dooars area. Going by the updates on NH 37, will it be wiser to take NH 31 instead?

Between Siliguri and Guwahati, how much would be the stretch of bad roads, in kms? Assuming early morning start from Siliguri, what can be the approx travel time, including a couple of short breaks in between? Really getting very concerned about reaching Guwahati from Kolkata in 2 days.
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Old 10th February 2011, 19:33   #9
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Well Saurabh i have not travelled beyond Paikan in the south and Patacharkuchi in north. As Hvk & Sutripta mentioned, south seems in better shape.

In case the Kamatapur or Bodo agitators calls bandh the north side road would be effected. While bandh call by Rabha's would effect the southern road. Both sides would be cut off in case its a bandh by Minorities or AASU.

What i would suggest is to keep an extra day in hand for the Guwahati leg, just in case.

And though i have not driven upto Siliguri, personally i would prefer the north bank road because of scenic beauty and better photo opportunities upto Bongaigaon.

You can have a feel of both sides by crossing the Naranarayan Setu connecting Goalpara to Bongaigaon.

To get a glimpse of road between Guwahati and Samdrup you can check my Bhutan log.
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Old 14th February 2011, 22:14   #10
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Few houses of Rabhas were burnt by the Garos a day back, so the southern bank is heated still. And the Bodo militias has called for highway blockade apart from kidnapping few WWF workers for Rs1 crore ransom.

So come early and cross the troubled areas safely.

Last edited by San Phrangmung : 14th February 2011 at 22:16.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 18:40   #11
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Tea tribes student leader shot dead, wife serious. Bandh call given in tea belt.
So be careful about tea garden/dooar areas, speak to the locals for latest news.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 21:45   #12
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

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Originally Posted by San Phrangmung View Post
Tea tribes student leader shot dead, wife serious. Bandh call given in tea belt.
So be careful about tea garden/dooar areas, speak to the locals for latest news.
This is in WB region (Gayerkota, Chalasa) or in ASsam (Jorhat, Tinsukhia)?
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Old 21st March 2011, 15:40   #13
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Hi, am also planning the same trip. I should be starting from Guwahati on the 23rd morning (5 in the morning if possible) and am planning to reach Cooch Behar for lunch. Should I be following the same route or should I think of alternatives.
The same evening I have to reach Hasimara, stay for the night there and planning to reach Gangtok by the 24th afternoon.
Till now, I was thinking of taking the NH 31 and 31 C (Nalbari-Bongaigaon) since it looks shorter on gmaps.

Waiting for a reply soon.


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Old 21st March 2011, 16:08   #14
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

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Originally Posted by sibi_81 View Post
Hi, am also planning the same trip. I should be starting from Guwahati on the 23rd morning (5 in the morning if possible) and am planning to reach Cooch Behar for lunch. Should I be following the same route or should I think of alternatives.
The same evening I have to reach Hasimara, stay for the night there and planning to reach Gangtok by the 24th afternoon.
Till now, I was thinking of taking the NH 31 and 31 C (Nalbari-Bongaigaon) since it looks shorter on gmaps.

Waiting for a reply soon.


Sibi
I would suggest you take the same route unless you hear of any bandh calls in the Goalpara area. The Nalbarai-Bongaigaon route is seeing road widening work and is also relatively more unsafe.

From Cooch behar, you can go to Alipurduar and connect to Hashimara. Please check locally if the Cooch behar-Alipurduar road is open after dark since it passes wildlife areas.

Allow for a journey time of 5-7 hours maximum to reach Cooch behar (with breaks), and another 2-3 hours for Hashimara.
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Old 1st April 2011, 01:13   #15
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Default Re: Current road conditions between Siliguri and Guwahati ?

Hi guys,
Just back after a long trip from guwahati to gangtok to darjeeling and back over the last 9 days and updating the road condition.
Car - Swift Vxi - 4 yrs old. Drivers - self and wife.
Day 1 - ghy to hasimara - took the south assam route - bad stretch from the diversion from the airport till Palasabari. Good roads till Goalpara (bypassed) and Abhayapuri. Took the NH 31 from here and headed towards Gauripur and then to the border. Road widening and patching up is on at places - but got stuck big time in the traffic at Bauxirhat. Took us abt an hour and a half there. Bypasses Coochbehar and reached Alipurduar (abt 6 and 1/2 hrs). Had lunch and started for Hasimara. Went through the Buxa wild life sanctuary and drove on all kinds of terrain. At two places, a wide stretch of the road was under construction - took abt 3 and a half hours for the last stretch. Rested at Hasimara for the evening.

Day 2 - Started at seven - took NH 31 C - The roads were good for most of the journey except in small stretches. google maps showed us a longer route (bypassing binnaguri) and we tried to get back to the shorter one and were driving in beautiful tea gardens for about an hour. Joined back at Banarhat and till Sevoke bazar had uneventful journey. Followed a Taxi (scorpio) from there till Gangtok - helped us deal with the oncoming traffic. I found the taxis (especially the sumos) bully you on the road. Reached in about 5 hours. Again some small bad stretches but otherwise good roads.

Day 3 to 5 - Roamed around in Gangtok, visited the monastries, waterfalls, gardens and on Day 5 went to Nathula (in a hired scorpio). Rested and then shopped in Gangtok on day 5.

Day 6 - Started for Darjeeling -The same route back till the diversion for Kalimpong. Took the diversion for Darjeeling and we were amazed at the spiraling path and the incline. Some of the inclines were quite steep and I was missing 4 wheel drive then. We were climbing for about 6 thousand feet before we reached DJ. (though the roads to DJ were nothing as compared to the ones in the town - I was amazed at the way people drove old Maruti 800s on those inclines.). Went to Glenary's for dinner.

Day 7 - Was raining and quite cold - went out to the eating joints in the town - Keventers, Mayfair and then Shangri La (the last was a bad choice - though it was recommended by lost planet and a few sites on the net). My son (3 yrs old) wanted to travel by the toy train - couldn't get the tickets.

Day 8 (Wednesday, 30/3/11) - Started back from DJ. Had planned to cross Siliguri and reach Cooch Behar before 1430 Hrs (0900H GMT) before the toss. Started after breakfast and took the direct road to Siliguri - and that was my mistake. I had heard my fren say that his Taxi driver took the longer route to reach NJP via NH 31A and reached in less than 4 hours. The NH 55 is relatively good till u reach Kurseong. And then the descent starts - the entire stretch is bad. Took us 4 hrs to reach Sukna and another hour to cross the city ( spent some time at CCD - Savin Kingdom - packed some sandwiches and got coffee). SH 12A was in good condition and we were able to make up some lost time but it was already past 2 pm when we crossed JP and reached Dhupgari. Here the NH 31 turns north and looking at the map I got tempted to take the Falakata road. And those 20 odd kilometers took about an hour and a half. That was the second worst stretch during the entire journey (the Bauxirhat one was much shorter but then u dont get cornered and ambushed by huge trucks on Falakata road). Reached Cooch behar and checked into a hotel (had booked a room in Royal palace (the hotel)) by 4 pm (Sehwag meanwhile was out after his blistering start according to cricinfo).

Day 9 - I wanted to avoid the Bauxirhat crossing and so went asking for an alternate route. Someone said balarampur and then cross the border to Agamani. And my gmaps also showed me the route. Reached Balarampur without a problem but then could not find the route shown on map. I cant say where all I drove coz those places were not marked but after getting lost and reaching dead ends (and crossing a river on ferry) we reached a metaled road and decided to hit to Tufangunj. It took us about 3 hours to bypass 20 kilometers and still ended up before the dreaded crossing. The jam started about 4 kilometers before the actual town. I was told about a small road bypassing Bauxirhat and I found it just at the board which says 3 kms to Bauxirhat. Took it and I was about 3 kms beyond Buxirhat in about 15 mins. The road goes through small villages and I followed an Indica whose driver I presumed knew the roads. After that the road is all good till Palasbari and I was doing about 80 kmph average. Again took the road south of B'putra bypassing Goalpara. Reached home (Ghy) by 730 pm (drove for more than 10 hrs - except for the boat ride).



Well, I hope this helps some of u guys planning to take this road.



Have taken a lot of pics but they are not yet segregated. Will post them soon,


Bye for now


Sibi
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