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Old 22nd September 2012, 21:25   #31
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

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it seems you enjoyed gopalpur far more than me. Somehow after growing up in trivandrum, with a beach almost everywhere, beaches don't impress me any more :P

I stayed in a much better resort (which we got for a song)
I've put up my pictures - including those of bhitarkanika - do have a look and reconsider if its worth going
Yes I read your travelogue. Where did you park your car when you went to Bhitarkanika? It does look beautiful but I heard winter is the time to go there. Any recommendations on stay there?

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Great writeup. And what a co-incidence.
I am planning to make a trip to Chilka lake just after Dashami in our Vento Tdi.

This will be informative. Thanks a ton.
Cool. I am sure you will love driving the Vento TDI on NH5. Where do you plan to stay? I would recommend you stay at the OTDC hotel at Satapada which is reachable through Puri. That way you can watch the dolphins and visit the sea mouth. Then if you are up for a little bit of excitement, catch the ferry from Satapada and drive over to the other side. You will love the experience.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 22:04   #32
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

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Yes I read your travelogue. Where did you park your car when you went to Bhitarkanika? It does look beautiful but I heard winter is the time to go there. Any recommendations on stay there?
Yup, in fact I'd suggest winter/sprint for *any* sort of travel in orissa. It's a lot more fun doing anything when there is a cool breeze. I'm sure you would not have been too happy about being being in the searing heat, even in the middle of the lake - I wasn't

In bhitarkanika, again, you'll be sitting on a boat, a bigger one though, for a long time, and walking around a *lot*. Depending on how much time you have, they'll shorten your trip, but I suggest you take 2 days/1 night to explore the whole place. Also, the places you will be going to are rather isolated, plus you'll have to pay a fixed rate for the boat, accomodation etc, so would suggest you go there with some more folks. We were about 12 or so college guys, so it was fine, But I'd be wary of going there alone with a wife + kids.

My car was parked near the forest office at gupti. The pic of my car on some grass - that was the spot. It was in an area surrounded by a makeshift wire fence.

We stayed at a forest office in dangmal. they had a room with some 12 or so bunk beds, which we got for 640 bucks (for the whole thing ) - we had gotten a letter from college stating that we were students, so we got concessions on a lot of things

Get more info here
http://www.bhitarkanika.org/ecotour.htm
I believe you have to make arrangements in advance before going there

Last edited by greenhorn : 22nd September 2012 at 22:06.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 12:35   #33
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

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Cool. I am sure you will love driving the Vento TDI on NH5. Where do you plan to stay? I would recommend you stay at the OTDC hotel at Satapada which is reachable through Puri. That way you can watch the dolphins and visit the sea mouth.
Have not finalised any place to stay. My worry is, the timing is such (Durga Puja) I might find all the hotels completely booked. I have heard, it is the time for retreating monsoons, Specially in orissa. That is why I am scared of booking the hotel in advance. Planning to leave in the morning at around 6:00. I hope I can reach by 2:00 in the afternoon. It took 12 hrs for you to reach the destination. But then you had a couple of detours. Do you think it is possible to reach balugaon from Calcutta in 8 hrs?


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Then if you are up for a little bit of excitement, catch the ferry from Satapada and drive over to the other side. You will love the experience.
Sure if time permits.

Last edited by oxyzen : 23rd September 2012 at 13:00.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 20:02   #34
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Thank you for sharing!

It brought back nostalgic memories of my drive from Bhubaneshwar and Puri to Visakhapatnam in 2002 (including Satpada to Rambha boat ride, while my car took the road route). Glad to see the fresh water dolphins (Irrawady) are still around. Unless the ones you captured in the photo are bottlenose dolphins. They are an endangered species and rare to sight. Apparently, the salinity level of Chilika has been rising . BTW, enroute to Vizag, close to Berhampur there is a hot water spring place called Taptapani. There is this place where Asoka had denounced violence after Kalinga war and had his edicts carved in stone at a place called Dhauli along Daya river. Majestic views from here.
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Old 24th September 2012, 07:40   #35
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Do you think it is possible to reach balugaon from Calcutta in 8 hrs?
Yes it should be possible. The distance is around 540 kms and if you start early in the morning with some aggressive bursts 8 hours is easily doable. Make sure you go through Jaleswar town instead of the bypass where the truck jam can slow you down setting you back by 1/2 hours easily.

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Thank you for sharing!

It brought back nostalgic memories of my drive from Bhubaneshwar and Puri to Visakhapatnam in 2002 (including Satpada to Rambha boat ride, while my car took the road route). Glad to see the fresh water dolphins (Irrawady) are still around. Unless the ones you captured in the photo are bottlenose dolphins. They are an endangered species and rare to sight. Apparently, the salinity level of Chilika has been rising . BTW, enroute to Vizag, close to Berhampur there is a hot water spring place called Taptapani. There is this place where Asoka had denounced violence after Kalinga war and had his edicts carved in stone at a place called Dhauli along Daya river. Majestic views from here.
You are welcome. Yes those were the Irrawady dolphins as we were told and there were plenty of them. Only my camera and noob skills were not quick enough to capture them . I skipped visiting Dhauli and Taptapani because of the detour I would have had to take plus the road to Dhauli appeared a bit broken. The upside is that now I can add them to my list for my next trip that side .
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Old 25th September 2012, 21:10   #36
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I was just wondering about the Odhisa road tax collection @ Jaleswar by the corrupt RTOs. Because I faced them while returning from Chandipur trip.. They demanded Rs 700, though we stuck to a strict no no and finally they gave up and let us pass.. Didn't you face them during this trip???
When did you do the Chandipur trip? I brought my car from Kolkata to BBSR in February,2012 and there were no such incidents, just paid the normal 40 rupees toll tax.


@Samarjit: Great writeup. Would actually serve as a guide to visit places in Orissa(specially for Kolkata folks).

Just a question, How complicated is the road through Jaleswar town? I plan to do a return-home trip to Kolkata during October and getting stuck in between trucks for hours is the last thing I would want to be in.

BTW I share cubicle space at office with Anupam Kumar.
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Old 25th September 2012, 22:38   #37
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Day 5: Gopalpur By Sea - Goodbye Gopalpur

I decided to return back to Barkul. My short solo road trip was over. My system was cleansed of the office toxins now and was ready to ingest more.
What an end! Read the TL in go! Your narration is amazing. It felt as if I saw those places through you. Videos with RDB in the backdrop were simply amazing. The funny conversation with the "budhiya" kept me smiling for a long time . The pics are amazing too. Must compliment your photographing skills!!

I am seriously looking forward for a similar trip. Though I am into business since 3 years, the typical daily chores and some personal happenings have made me sick.

Its great to see that a TBHP sticker on the car can do such wonders. I believe you did a fabulous job by deciding to stop and check for the polo @ the garage.

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 25th September 2012 at 22:41.
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Old 25th September 2012, 22:43   #38
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@Samarjit: Great writeup. Would actually serve as a guide to visit places in Orissa(specially for Kolkata folks).

Just a question, How complicated is the road through Jaleswar town? I plan to do a return-home trip to Kolkata during October and getting stuck in between trucks for hours is the last thing I would want to be in.

BTW I share cubicle space at office with Anupam Kumar.
Thanks. Good to know that you know Anupam Kumar that well. The road through Jaleswar town is a straight road with some local traffic thrown in. There are certain sections on the West Bengal side after/before crossing Jaleswar where the road is broken but nothing that cannot be managed with a little care. Since it was monsoons I assume they were in their worst shape but still pretty much driveable. This is the actual NH60 (the truck jams happen on the Jaleswar bypass actually) so once you drive straight through you will be on the main highway and don't have to deal with the trucks at all. There are some intermediate roads with some broken ramps through which you can get back on the main highway too. For reference check the attached GPS track and you can figure it out when you open this in Google Earth.

Barkul-Kolkata.kml

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What an end! Read the TL in go! Your narration is amazing. It felt as if I saw those places through you. Videos with RDB in the backdrop were simply amazing. The funny conversation with the "budhiya" kept me smiling for a long time . The pics are amazing too. Must compliment your photographing skills!!

I am seriously looking forward for a similar trip. Though I am into business since 3 years, the typical daily chores and some personal happenings have made me sick.
Thanks much. Glad you liked it. Such compliments let me earn brownie points to go get an upgrade to an SLR soon (basically its a race between me and my wife, we don't want and more importantly cannot afford 2 SLRs at home ).

Go ahead and take your break. These trips allow one to de-stress greatly and show you that living is more important than just having a life. Remember the opening quote of this travelogue .

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 25th September 2012 at 22:50.
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Old 27th September 2012, 01:37   #39
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

[quote=saion666;2915151]When did you do the Chandipur trip? I brought my car from Kolkata to BBSR in February,2012 and there were no such incidents, just paid the normal 40 rupees toll tax.

I went in 2011. While we were on our way to Chandipur, the checkpost at Jaleshwar was empty and no RTO/police were present to charge you with road tax. It was on our way back when the same check post was seated by corrupt RTO and police. They were stopping cars (specially WB registered cars) and harassing them to make the payment. Such was the audacity of these corrupt Govt. officials that they were openly challenging us to go and lodge an FIR against them in the nearest police station. They were showing a piece of printed paper which did not have any Govt stamp and had the rates specified for different types of vehicles.
I argued a lot and challenged them as I was aware of their practice. After long argument, they finally let me go without charging me a single penny. This is totally an unfair practice. As far as I am aware, a private registered vehicle is free to go in any state, provided it has already paid the road tax in it own state.
Anyways just be careful and wish you never encounter these thugs..
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Old 27th September 2012, 22:52   #40
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I argued a lot and challenged them as I was aware of their practice. After long argument, they finally let me go without charging me a single penny. This is totally an unfair practice. As far as I am aware, a private registered vehicle is free to go in any state, provided it has already paid the road tax in it own state.
Anyways just be careful and wish you never encounter these thugs..
Hmm. Interesting. As far as I know this practice has stopped now on NH60 at the Jaleswar bypass checkpost. At least I haven't heard any such incident yet this year but it still seems to happen at the JH-OR checkpost where NH5 meets NH6. One person traveling with his family from Bangalore to Patna I think had to deal with these crooks. In his case the cop just planted himself in front of the car unless he parted with that exorbitant demand. Anyway because of the ridiculous truck jam that happens at Jaleswar, I have decided now to just drive through Jaleswar town every time I use NH60 saving me all the acrobatics and possible harassment at the hands of these crooks.
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Old 28th September 2012, 20:45   #41
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Hmm. Interesting. As far as I know this practice has stopped now on NH60 at the Jaleswar bypass checkpost. At least I haven't heard any such incident yet this year but it still seems to happen at the JH-OR checkpost where NH5 meets NH6. One person traveling with his family from Bangalore to Patna I think had to deal with these crooks. In his case the cop just planted himself in front of the car unless he parted with that exorbitant demand. Anyway because of the ridiculous truck jam that happens at Jaleswar, I have decided now to just drive through Jaleswar town every time I use NH60 saving me all the acrobatics and possible harassment at the hands of these crooks.
This seems a better way to deal with this menace. But can you provide the details on the road which bypasses this checkpost as in how to use the Jaleshwar town road? It must be pretty challenging to identify this road which leads to the Jaleshwar town and similarly exiting the town back to the highway both on the way to Kolkata and on the way from Kolkata.
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Old 28th September 2012, 21:30   #42
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This seems a better way to deal with this menace. But can you provide the details on the road which bypasses this checkpost as in how to use the Jaleshwar town road? It must be pretty challenging to identify this road which leads to the Jaleshwar town and similarly exiting the town back to the highway both on the way to Kolkata and on the way from Kolkata.
Please check the KML file I attached in the last post. You can download it and open up in Google Earth. This is my GPS track from Barkul to Kolkata hence you need to zoom in a little on NH60 near Jaleswar. I don't exactly recall the landmark where the bypass starts and NH60 continues through Jaleswar town. But it would be easy to see in the GPS track on the route I took. Be aware that it involves crossing a railway gate which can delay you by 10/15 mins max otherwise rest of it is a breeze. There are two ways to get off the bypass to go through main Jaleswar town and avoid the truck jam. Please check the image below. Be aware the intermediate ramp has some badly broken sections which needs to be negotiated with extreme care.

Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast-jaleswar.jpg

Hope this makes it clear. Also I think at the points where the bypass starts/ends and NH60 continues through Jaleswar town there are some signs showing the main NH60 though I am not too sure about this. Hope this helps .
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Old 2nd October 2012, 12:38   #43
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Please check the KML file I attached in the last post. You can download it and open up in Google Earth. This is my GPS track from Barkul to Kolkata hence you need to zoom in a little on NH60 near Jaleswar. I don't exactly recall the landmark where the bypass starts and NH60 continues through Jaleswar town. But it would be easy to see in the GPS track on the route I took. Be aware that it involves crossing a railway gate which can delay you by 10/15 mins max otherwise rest of it is a breeze. There are two ways to get off the bypass to go through main Jaleswar town and avoid the truck jam. Please check the image below. Be aware the intermediate ramp has some badly broken sections which needs to be negotiated with extreme care.

Hope this makes it clear. Also I think at the points where the bypass starts/ends and NH60 continues through Jaleswar town there are some signs showing the main NH60 though I am not too sure about this. Hope this helps .
Hi Samarjit, first of all, I would like to congratulate you on this well written piece. Thanks a lot for putting this up for us.
My query is around negotiating through Jaleswar Border. Needless to say, I have faced issues crossing it all 3 times that I had to since 2011. Mostly due to chaotic traffic pile up , but thankfully no encounters with greedy policemen.
You have mentioned that there is a route that goes through Jaleswar town, and have put Google earth links. However, am not very good at disciphering Good Earth & GPS information. If you can vaguely give me some landmarks on how to spot these de-tours from NH 5 it will help me. I will be driving down from Bangalore ( and after my stay at OTDC Konark the previous night). Thanks.

Last edited by manson : 2nd October 2012 at 15:59. Reason: Fixed quote.
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Old 10th October 2012, 15:12   #44
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Very well documented and written, you have raised the interest levels in the state of Orissa, through your beautiful photographs with their captions. Sun Temple, Konark has never got such extensive coverage anywhere. Cheers! @smarajitdhar. I know where to go next.
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Old 10th October 2012, 16:42   #45
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Default Re: Lazing Around With Bagheera On The Odisha Coast

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This seems a better way to deal with this menace. But can you provide the details on the road which bypasses this checkpost as in how to use the Jaleshwar town road?
Sorry for delay in posting this, as I did not see it in time. But I have personally found this posting in some other forum very helpful, while dealing with the long line of stranded trucks at the Bengal-Orissa border. It shows in detail how you may deviate from the main highway and rejoin back. Please read this link.
Hope you will find this helpful too.
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