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Old 15th May 2012, 19:00   #91
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
We took the route shown in the map while coming back and it is in very good shape. From Moregram to Dalkhola NH34 is bearable and does not take a whole lot of time to travel. With the road work going on I am quite optimistic that we can do Kolkata-Siliguri in 9 hours in future provided Dalkhola level crossing does not play spoilsport.
Read in the newspaper that there is a plan for a bypass with a railway overbridge for Dalkhola. Land acquisition is in progress.
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Old 15th May 2012, 21:13   #92
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
I am very interested in your trip now as I have always felt thwarted by having to make a North Bengal trip through NH34. Will wait for your travelogue and keeping fingers crossed that you do get your leave approved
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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
I am just inquisitive about this road and you may say that possibly I am too much eager to have a first hand look myself. But please remember that taking this route would make a considerable amount of detour.
We are all interested in this route.
To keep Rahul on the straight and narrow (road via Bhagalpur), I suggest we gang up on him. Gatecrash his driving party, ride shotgun, get off at Siliguri. In the interest of fairness, we should defray some of his costs.

From what I can see, Darjiling More - Moregram - Malda - Dalkhola is about the same distance as Darjiling More - Dumka - Bhagalpur - Dalkhola.

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
We took the route shown in the map while coming back and it is in very good shape. From Moregram to Dalkhola NH34 is bearable and does not take a whole lot of time to travel. With the road work going on I am quite optimistic that we can do Kolkata-Siliguri in 9 hours in future provided Dalkhola level crossing does not play spoilsport.
Couple of questions:
When did you cross Bolpur? During working hours, is it better to cross the railline at Bolpur or at Prantik?
Any idea of the MohammedBazar - Sainthia - Ahmadpur Rd.
Driving time logs, or GPS tracks?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 15th May 2012, 22:54   #93
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
We took the route shown in the map while coming back and it is in very good shape.
This route (NH 2B, I guess) is really very nice. I have taken this route on my last trip to Shantiniketan. It also saves one from the possibility of a traffic jam at Panagarh. However, the road as is shown in your map passes directly by the front entrance of Bolpur station and in the daytime hours this road becomes a part of the main market. To cross it during the day is really very difficult. Did you travel at night or take some other bypass road?
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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
We are all interested in this route. I suggest we gang up on him. Gatecrash his driving party, ride shotgun, get off at Siliguri. In the interest of fairness, we should defray some of his costs.
From what I can see, Darjiling More - Moregram - Malda - Dalkhola is about the same distance as Darjiling More - Dumka - Bhagalpur - Dalkhola.
Sutriptada, I could easily accommodate you. Having such a veteran traveller as well as an experienced driver like you on board of my car is always a pleasure. But the problem is that I shall leave home at three O'clock in the morning, so I guess you have to spend an extra night at my home. Secondly, Sheel has invited me to spend one night at his place (at Purnea), which I have already accepted. But please rest assured, I shall definitely keep you updated on the route. Already I am feeling happy to know from you that both these two routes have almost equal distance and I am not spending anything extra for fuel. And although this road may be less wider than NH34, this road has considerably less traffic as well. But possibly roadside facilities are poor in this Bhagalpur route, so I shall better take some dry food and adequate water for my daughter.

Last edited by rahul4640 : 15th May 2012 at 22:56.
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Old 16th May 2012, 00:19   #94
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Couple of questions:
When did you cross Bolpur? During working hours, is it better to cross the railline at Bolpur or at Prantik?
Any idea of the MohammedBazar - Sainthia - Ahmadpur Rd.
Driving time logs, or GPS tracks?

Regards
Sutripta
Crossed Bolpur at about 10 o clock in the night. I have no idea about crossing the railline during working hours or the MohammedBazar - Sainthia - Ahmadpur Rd. I was blindly following the Pajero. I did not have a GPS either. Sorry for not being able to answer your questions
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Old 16th May 2012, 22:03   #95
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Sutriptada, I could easily accommodate you. Having such a veteran traveller as well as an experienced driver like you on board of my car is always a pleasure.
That's a very open hearted offer. Thanks. Let me mull over it.

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
I was blindly following the Pajero. I did not have a GPS either.
So the Bolero and Pajero have already bonded!

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 22nd May 2012, 18:29   #96
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

nice trip. Would love to explore that part of the world on 4 wheels. What a fantastic choice of vehicle as well. Rugged and something that one can flog.
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Old 31st May 2012, 11:35   #97
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Waiting for someone to do the Dumka - Bhagalpur - Purnea route and report back.
As I had already told you, took the Bhagalpur route on 24th of this month. Started from Calcutta and moved up to Massanjore very smoothly. But the road turned bad soon thereafter. All through the state of Jharkhand the road is bad. But if you are driving at daytime, it may be a good alternative to NH 34, considering the fact that (while returning back) I wasted a good three and half hour at Dalkhola.
Here are some photos about my trip.
Entering Jharkhand.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-018.jpg
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-021.jpg
Massanjore dam, very nice looking in the morning.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-027.jpg
As from the suggestion of the locals, I took a small detour and went through a small road which was supposedly in better shape than the main road leading to Dumka and was frequently used by the small cars of the locality. I can not say much about this road, except that it passes by a small airstrip.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-031.jpg
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-032.jpg
A scene after crossing Dumka. Please remember that the road at the right, which goes to Bhagalpur is full of innumerable potholes of varying sizes. To add insult to your injury, unmarked speed brakers may surely test the suspension of your car, unless you are driving very cautiously.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-033.jpg
After darkness comes light. After struggling with your car in Jharkhand, relief comes in the state of Bihar. I have now started to believe that this is the state having the best road surfaces in Eastern India. Good road. Proper direction boards. Only no speed brakers.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-039.jpg
The entrance to Vikramshila bridge on river Ganga, between Bhagalpur and Purnea.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-044.jpg
Regards,
Rahul
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Old 31st May 2012, 12:28   #98
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
As I had already told you, took the Bhagalpur route on 24th of this month. Started from Calcutta and moved up to Massanjore very smoothly. But the road turned bad soon thereafter. All through the state of Jharkhand the road is bad. But if you are driving at daytime, it may be a good alternative to NH 34, considering the fact that (while returning back) I wasted a good three and half hour at Dalkhola.
Here are some photos about my trip.
Rahul da. A separate travelogue please . Need details of this alternate route.

Also what is the total length of the broken roads between Dumka till the Bihar border. I am assuming that once you enter Bihar towards Bhagalpur, the road condition improves.

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 31st May 2012 at 12:33.
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Old 31st May 2012, 13:04   #99
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Also what is the total length of the broken roads between Dumka till the Bihar border. I am assuming that once you enter Bihar towards Bhagalpur, the road condition improves.
Oh yes! The roads are really excellent in Bihar. There is only this 70 KM or so of bad roads, located entirely in the state of Jharkhand. You will surely be able to cover this distance comfortably in about three and half hours. But I suggest that you please do not travel at this section after sunset. And if you have ladies and children with you, good restaurants with proper toilet facilities are rare. But I have seen that there are few good dhabas after Bhagalpur, which have clean toilets and they do serve very tasty maach-bhat (fish curry and rice).
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Old 31st May 2012, 13:15   #100
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

Rahul Da, a separate travelogue please.

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
I wasted a good three and half hour at Dalkhola.
There is a Dalkhola bypass through Kanki and Chakuliya. It saves a lot of time as ADC da and I found out after being stuck in a jam at Dalkhola. While coming from Siliguri, there is a weigh bridge on the right called Kanki Weigh Bridge. Opposite that there is a narrow lane that goes through a village. We took the road at night, so it was not congested. I am not sure what it would look like during daytime. There is another bypass but I don't know the route. I think Debarshim had taken that route last time.
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Old 31st May 2012, 21:17   #101
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
As I had already told you, took the Bhagalpur route on 24th of this month. Started from Calcutta and moved up to Massanjore very smoothly. But the road turned bad soon thereafter. All through the state of Jharkhand the road is bad. But if you are driving at daytime, it may be a good alternative to NH 34, considering the fact that (while returning back) I wasted a good three and half hour at Dalkhola.
Great! Somebody finally bit the bullet.
Did you maintain any logs? Distance/ time. Or maybe you could check the EXIF info of your pictures.

Along with

Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Rahul da. A separate travelogue please . Need details of this alternate route.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Rahul Da, a separate travelogue please.
let me also put in my request for a separate travelogue.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 31st May 2012, 22:09   #102
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Rahul Da, a separate travelogue please
Quote:
Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Rahul da. A separate travelogue please . Need details of this alternate route.
There is not much to share really, except that I myself was little curious to have a first hand look about this route and decided to investigate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Great! Somebody finally bit the bullet.
Did you maintain any logs? Distance/ time. Or maybe you could check the EXIF info of your pictures.
Yes Sutriptada, I had checked the EXIF data of the photos. And the timings show that at 04-17 in the morning I was the first customer at Azad Hind Dhaba on NH2. At 07-45 AM I was standing near the Massanjore dam. I entered Bihar at as early as at 10-12 AM. This picture was taken at 10-15 AM, when the road became excellent.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-041.jpg
And this picture was taken at about 02-35 PM, at a place 31 KM south of Kishanganj. No idea why this marker puts the distance between Bagdogra and Siliguri 49 KM apart. AFAIK, it should not be greater than 15 KM or so.
Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalut-046.jpg
Warm regards,
Rahul

Last edited by rahul4640 : 31st May 2012 at 22:25. Reason: Adding text
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Old 31st May 2012, 22:34   #103
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

Hi,
So essentially 2.5 hrs to cross ~80 Km of Jharkhand?
And 2H20M to cross Bihar? Distance?
Calcutta - Kishanganj -> 10.5 Hrs?
31 Km from Kishanganj: Mahananda Bridge?

Regards
Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 31st May 2012 at 22:46.
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Old 31st May 2012, 23:03   #104
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
There is not much to share really, except that I myself was little curious to have a first hand look about this route and decided to investigate.
Rahul da, there is actually a lot to be gained from it. Specially what turns to take, what things to avoid, how good/bad the roads are, time taken for sprints between points. Helps a lot for somebody who plans going through this route next. Please do write up something and share.
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Old 31st May 2012, 23:11   #105
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Default Re: Destination Sandakphu, the Land Rover territory. Update - another trip till Phalu

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
We are all interested in this route.
To keep Rahul on the straight and narrow (road via Bhagalpur),
Regards
Sutripta
Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
As I had already told you, took the Bhagalpur route on 24th of this month. Started from Calcutta and moved up to Massanjore very smoothly. But the road turned bad soon thereafter. All through the state of Jharkhand the road is bad. But if you are driving at daytime, it may be a good alternative to NH 34, considering the fact that (while returning back) I wasted a good three and half hour at Dalkhola.

Rahul
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Great! Somebody finally bit the bullet.

I had been taking this route since last year. My father has detailed logs of each landmark on the route.

Latest I took it is this month itself (12-May)

The route is

Kolkata-Bardhaman-Bolpur-Ilumbzar-Siuri-Messanjore-Pattabari-Dumka-Valjore-Bhagalpur-Purnea-Dalkhola (the other side) - Kishanganj-Islampur-Bagdogra -Siliguri

Total 690kms from home - done in 13hrs including stops.

Only the stretch between Pattabari and Dunka (15kms was in shambles this time)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Hi,
So essentially 2.5 hrs to cross ~80 Km of Jharkhand?
And 2H20M to cross Bihar? Distance?
Calcutta - Kishanganj -> 10.5 Hrs?
31 Km from Kishanganj: Mahananda Bridge?

Regards
Sutripta
I can forward you the detailed trip log if you need. Roads in Bihar were better, and if you find out the way to avoid the Bhagalpur railway station, you will be out of Bhagalpur in 25 minutes even at peak hours.
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