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Old 6th May 2011, 09:54   #61
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

Your teasers have gotten to me just cannot wait to read your posts as they will be my blueprint/Bible or what ever name one would call it?? please post your trip till Gangtok in one post??Be absolutely specific!
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Old 6th May 2011, 10:15   #62
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

Contd.,

Filled up the I20 Tank and drove as per navigators route in Kolkata city. Kolkata & it's few Bazars (shoba & Shyam ) were still alive. Before Shyam-Bazar saw a mini crowd at a Lassi shop. We joined them & sipped Gulab(rose Flavoured) thick cool Lassi. Via Aiport road joined NH34 & continued the journey.
Further after 60~70KMS the Highway condition started deteriorating & big pot holes appeared frequently. It was 2Lane highway & oncoming lorries in opposite direction with high beam lights and the crater type pot holes slowed down our drive drastically.
Around 1-00am stopped on a aroad side dhabha since couldn't locate any decent hotel opened @ late night. Ordered for a fresh tea (even though wifey insisted not to have seeing un-hygenic kitchen conditions).
Continued the journey and after a hour or so the "dabba Tea" started to show it's adverse effect to both me & wifey. Son was happily dreaming in the rear.
Controlled my tea effect emotions (stomach grumbling) till we reached a BPCL bunk in Berhampur. Woke up the staff, filled up fuel & requested for the keys of the washroom. Initially they didn't oblige, showed my BPCL petro card & convinced them that I am an esteemed BPCL customer from many years & later they obliged.
After a great relief continued the Journey.
The Superlative description of the road conditions changed from worse to worst.The higher order pot holes were available at will for free on this strecth. It was very difficult to negotiate these craters & suddenly the I20's Right wheel bumped & jumped out of a deep pot hole with a huge thud.
We were worried & also my son woke up for the jump & sound.
Pulled the I20 to the road side & checked the right wheel & the under carriage with a torch. Luckily didn't see any minor or Major damage. Thanked God!!

After few silent moments, cranked the engine & found the car's ABS warning light stayed on (it was supposed to off after 3seconds). I sensed some problem with the right wheel ABS & luckily the Brake Warning light was off. Checked the Braking conditions & found OK. Decided to get the ABS checked in the next available Hyundai service centre.
Couldn't do anything else at that moment, relaxed for few minutes & continued to drive slowly for some time & then picked up the speed.

With in between short breaks, around early morning 5-00Am we reached the Farraka Bridge. The drive on it was very bumpy & some what our tired bodies were put into vibration mode.
Couldn't click any snaps due to darkness & Photography was also not allowed.
Drove till 6-30Am & i was feeling very drowsy. Saw a small temple by the side of a big tree and decided to have a break over there.
Removed the traveling bed from the car & spread it over the platform in the temple's front. Slept for 1.00hr.
Continued the Journey & further the traffic was blocked on the Highway due to a major accident. The people over there informed us the jam was for more than 3.5KMS & the crowd @ accident spot were fury because few had lost lives.
Locals told us that it would need another 2~3HRS for the jam to clear. Few advised us to take diversion on a Village road & rejoin Highway after the accident spot and many autos / LMV's were doing so. We anxiously waited for 30Mins in the traffic jam and didn't see an inch movement.
Later we too took the diversion & drove in the Village roads. Initially it was asphalted road but later turned into kuccha mud roads. My car bottom took many hits while passing through these roads.
After 18KMS rough drive rejoined the NH34. While passing through these villages, I was taxed by locals as they were collecting funds for Durga pooja. Around 8-45 AM just before Malda town got freshed in a road side restaurant and had our packed dry snacks & cakes. Didn't want to take risk after the night tea incident.
Drove through light Malda traffic. The deaf cycle rickshaw pullers had started their occupation & were troublesome on the Highways. They travel all parts of the road & do not follow rules.
Later joined NH31 @ 11-00am. The Road conditions improved & zoomed upto Dhalkaola. Stopped @ a BPCL Ghar dhaba for the pit stop.

to be contd.,
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Old 6th May 2011, 11:22   #63
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

@ judeymane & sami
I am a fast rider but slow blogger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sami316 View Post
Wow!! Cant wait for the next log to unfold. Really good to see the places you have visited so far. The best pic was the Illuminated Howrah Bridge, it never looked better. Thanks again for sharing this beautiful experience.
The Illuminated Howrah bridge was at its best and its view was amazing. Its lighted only on few important days. A locale told us the lighting costs kolkata Municipal about 2.00Lacs for a Night.

regards
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Last edited by sree70 : 6th May 2011 at 11:24.
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Old 6th May 2011, 11:42   #64
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

I travelled from Hyderabad to Darjelling in 2007.
Reading your drive got nostalgic.
While driving between Cuttack and Kolkatta started around 3am till Bhadrak
roads were good after that started deteriorating stopped for refuel at Baleshwar and took a detour to
Chandipur to see the low tide beach and then proceeded to Kolkatta.
The road from Kolkatta to Farakka was bad and had to cross a broken
bridge between Malda and Dhalkaola with huge traffic jam on either side.I think
the bridge has been built now.
Nice pictures enjoying your travelougue

Last edited by gajadonga : 6th May 2011 at 12:06.
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Old 6th May 2011, 12:12   #65
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

Great trip Sree!! I just love the way you have explained stuff. I don't mind at all if you are a slow blogger, just make sure you put in as many details as possible. You see, I'm planning to keep this travelogue as a reference for a yet to be planned long trip
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Old 6th May 2011, 13:54   #66
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

Thanks for sharing this beautiful journey Sree! Are you riding on stock lights of the I20? How was the overall experience? Were you able to drive comfortably on low beam?
I like your style of posting, keeps it interesting :-)
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Old 6th May 2011, 22:44   #67
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

contd.,
The 469KMS drive from Kolkata to the Junction of NH34 & NH31 after Malda took almost 12Hrs with all the breaks & Jams.
It was around 12-00 noon refilled I20 in the bunk. Recharged our electronic Gadgets (Navigator & Mobile phones) and our tired bodies in the Ghar Dhabha.
Left the place @ 12-45 noon & zoomed on NH31. At Islampur the 4 lane converged into 2lane. Passed Islampur @1-23PM.

While passing Islampur

Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-img_5148.jpg

Bagdogara Airport Entrance
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-img_5159.jpg

on NH31A
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-img_5162.jpg

The road conditions on NH31 is a mixed bag. Reached Bagdogara @ 3-10pm and the roads are in bad conditions & patching / repairs were going on. Touched Silliguri @ 3-47pm and the trip meter read 599KMS.
The Airport traffic from Bagdogara to Silligri slowed down the speed.
The 600 kms drive galloped 16Hrs & it was total tiresome.
The Gangtok was approximately 120KMS from Silliguri. Even though i was very tired after 16Hrs solo drive didn't want to halt @ Silliguri because it would almost take an extra day. I pretended not to be tired with the other members & assured them that i would drive them to Gangtok safely.
From NH31 jumped to NH31A and contd., the ride. For the first few KMS the roads were flat & newly laid.

to be contd.,
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Old 7th May 2011, 11:49   #68
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

When I drove in 2007 even I took 15hrs to reach from Kolkatta to Siliguiri.
At Malda town I almost gave up going to Darjeeling and thought wil get back to Kolkatta seeing the plight of the roads but for my son who insisted on going to Darjeeling.
I started around 3am reached Silguri 6pm.
I think still the road from Islampur to Silguri has not been four laned.
On the return from Darjeeling took the Rampurhut-Ilambazar route and tried to skip Kolkatta
in the process went through Bankura Bishnupur route actually where no NH exsisted upto Bishnupur.

Last edited by gajadonga : 7th May 2011 at 11:57.
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Old 7th May 2011, 12:11   #69
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

@gajadonga
2007 or 2010 same scenario of W/B roads while traveling from Kolkata to Sililguri.
Didn't see any sign of developments & the 2012 scare will also pass. ,but the WB road conditions may not improve. WB road department is under deep sleep.
sree
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Old 7th May 2011, 13:46   #70
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

Contd.,

The ABS warning light was irritating & wanted to get rid of it, searched for Hyundai service centre @ silliguri but could not locate it as it was shifted to a new location.

Negotiated through Silliguri town traffic & drove silently (in I20) on the highway mostly occupied by the Taxis which transit people from silliguri to Gangtok. Further drive led us to Coronation bridge. The Hilly roads & the thick tall trees originated & it was a spectacular view. The Gorgeous River Teesta welcomed us with its surging tone.
The mountainous view & the gushing Teesta gave us an electrifying jiffy.

It was a sudden transformation from straight level Highways to Hilly / curvy roads. The gushing Teesta's natural music replaced the automobile noises on highways.
The NH31A is a narrow 2 lane road on certain stretches the roads were in very bad state. The top layer of the road had completely washed away and loose boulders were found on certain stretches. The Land slides debris were being cleared. Later got the information that in 2010 Sikkim state had received more monsoon rains than its annual average rainfall.
The Jumbo-Combo of Ghat roads, Teesta & the Rough terrains would be a bit scary for 1st timer (also me).
I applied my all driving skills & experience and we followed the hilly roads, gazing the gorges along side. Later all of us started enjoying the drive.
Reached the sikkim state border check-post and the police glimpsed inside the car including the boot and since we looked like typical southindian's didn't ask for any ID proof's (my guess). Thus we entered Sikkim !!!... The 4th state en-route on our long journey. Our confidence level boosted and we started felling hungry. Reached Rangpo @ 6:15 pm. Had delicious hot-hot Veg momos, onion pakoras and jalebis. We were tasting momos for the first time and relished it. After lunch this was the 1st solid food stuff that we chewed. The tedious journey from Kolkatta to silliguri made us tensed and desperate to reach Gangtok. So the minds didn't think about the input and output of our exhausted bodies.
After Rangpo the Road conditions improved & as well as my energy level.
Reached the Capital City of Sikkim "Gangtok" safe & securely @ 8.00PM.

Few inputs about 2nd Phase of the Journey ie, from Kolkata to Gangtok
Kolkata - ODO- 20147KMS left on 03-10-2010 @ 11-00PM
Gangtok - ODO- 20858KMS reached on 04-10-2010 @ 08-00PM

Searched for Lodges with secured Car Parking. (highly recommended by HVK'sir) but in the night we could not locate one.
Could not find near MG Marg & Checked into Hotel Vinayaka on Palzor stadium road, near Gangtok Post Office. The lodge didn't have its own car parking facility but could be done on the opposite road. The parked vehicle would be visible from the Reception counter & as well as our Room.
Occupied a spacious 3Bed accommodation. Though the exterior looked pale the Room interiors was clean & Tidy.
Non-energetic to move out, ordered for room service & had dull dinner.
Sound Sleep took over us.

to be Contd.,
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Old 7th May 2011, 16:03   #71
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Thumbs up Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

sree70,

This is a fabulous trip and is coming along nicely. Loved the photo collages and the pics do show the diversity & beauty of our wonderful country.

Few years back people would have branded you crazy for undertaking such a trip! Now the times have changed, Roads have improved and the unknowns are less and people have come to accept the concept of a road trip but still it takes a lot of determination & a bold spirit to embark on such a journey with your family and that deserves plaudits

Your narration is interesting and takes the reader along

My 5 stars added. Thanks for sharing and eagerly waiting for more.
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Old 7th May 2011, 19:37   #72
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

@ lloydofcochin
Thanks for the appreciation and 5* ratings.
Along with the determination & a bold spirit, you need time & lots of cash.

Sree
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Old 7th May 2011, 23:02   #73
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

Contd.,

DaY.7 - 5-10-2010
After driving 2777KMS from Bangalore we say these in Sikkim.

Welcome to Sikkim
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-dsc056922.jpg

Spectacular Hills

Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5238.jpg

Gangtok City Bird View

Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5248.jpg
A colorful Dragon
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5174.jpg

MS. Tourist Sikkim
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-dsc057162.jpg

Wifey on Hired Traditional dress
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5191.jpg

Son
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5193.jpg

A Stupa
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5211.jpg

Prayer Wheels
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5207.jpg

Prayer Hall
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5215.jpg
Gangtok City Bird View
Click image for larger version

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Water Falls
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5233.jpg
I will tell the Story later.
regards
Sree

Last edited by sree70 : 7th May 2011 at 23:05.
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Old 8th May 2011, 09:14   #74
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Default Re: Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road

Adding few more,

PINK FOR PINK
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5200.jpg

AN INSTITUTE
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5204.jpg

TIBETOLOGY MUSEUM
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5223.jpg

SIKKIM HANDICRAFTS
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5228.jpg

TASHI VIEW POINT @ 6000FT
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5241.jpg

TRYING TO CAPTURE MORE
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5240.jpg

PRAYER FLAGS
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5246.jpg

SREE WONDERING WHAT'S BEYOND LINES
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GANESH MANDIR ON GANESH TOK (HILL)
Attached Thumbnails
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5252.jpg  


Last edited by sree70 : 8th May 2011 at 09:15.
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Old 8th May 2011, 09:29   #75
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HANUMAN TOK

Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5254.jpg

CLOUDS MEETING SKY

Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5260.jpg
EXPLORING & CAPTURING GANGTOK
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GANGTOK ROPE WAY (UNDER REPAIRS)
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THE TAXI & DRIVER WHICH TOOK US TO SEE ALL ABOVE
Sillicon Hub - Bangalore To Shiwalik Ranges -sikkim & Bhutan By Road-_mg_5237.jpg

MG MARG @ NIGHT
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to be Contd.,

Last edited by sree70 : 8th May 2011 at 09:30.
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