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Old 30th April 2013, 19:35   #31
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Sorry for the back to back posts. But i like to share an experience from this journey. As i think it may come handy for others travelling through NH34.

In day 1 when we were stuck in the long traffic congestion at Berhampore, i parked my car on the opposite side of the road (out side the road by not blocking anyone) and got down from the car and was waiting to get things cleared up. Suddenly two guys came in a red Hero Honda Splendor and parked there bike in front of our car. Its a conversation where me those guys , my dad and few locals are involved. The conversation goes like this-

The biker guys- Yes this is the car.

Me- What happened?

The biker guys- You have hit a person before and that man died you have to come with us to the spot.

Me- Replied calmly you guys must have mistaken i am not involved in any kind of accident.

The biker guys- Pointing at my cars registration plate yes this is the car with the same number plate and same color.

Me- Look at my car, is there any kind of sign like dents or damage or blood stain by which you can say i came doing an accident?

The biker guys-We dont want to here anything you have to come to the spot with us.

My dad comes down of the car- Yes we will definitely go with you guys but before that you guys have to come to the local police station with us.

The biker guys- No we wont go to the police station.

Dad- If any kind of accident takes place then police should be involved first , no matter what you guys say or do i will definitely move to the police station first.

Local came up- Supporting my dad yes police station is the right place to go at first.

The biker guys- May be we have mistaken this is not that car which has met with the accident.

Dad- Then how can you guys blame some one without being sure?

The biker guys- Sorry, this is not the car they make another phone cal and say, no that's a white color vehicle and they fled off!

Locals say to us- These guys are here to make some quick money if they succeed to frighten the car owners. They specially target cars moving with families.

Dad and i - Thanked the locals for there help and we left the place.

This incident occurred at 1pm. The whole incident hardly lasted for 5-7 minutes. But it did made an impact on all of us for the next couple of hours. We were lucky we escaped from there cheat business but some how others may become there victim.

Last edited by Samba : 30th April 2013 at 20:00.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 21:10   #32
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Dear Samba,

Thanks a lot for posting such beautiful pictures. I am sure that everyone here would want to see more of them in your future trips.

Did your etios give you any troubles during your trip, as in, scrapping the underbody on potholes. Any rattles? Also how was the comfort level for your parents (especially rear seat), and the mileage which you got during your entire trip.

Overall, what do you want to say, regarding the performance of this car, during the entire trip.
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Old 4th May 2013, 00:45   #33
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post

Locals say to us- These guys are here to make some quick money if they succeed to frighten the car owners. They specially target cars moving with families.

Dad and i - Thanked the locals for there help and we left the place.

This incident occurred at 1pm. The whole incident hardly lasted for 5-7 minutes. But it did made an impact on all of us for the next couple of hours. We were lucky we escaped from there cheat business but some how others may become there victim.
I can't believe anyone can have this much audacity to frame a false charge and extort money in lieu of that baseless charge ! How ridiculous! You would have gone to the police station and lodged a formal complaint by mentioning the bike number.

I consider this issue to be very serious, as I guess very soon it's going to be a standard and organized modus operandi in various spots of NH 34 (and there is no dearth of notorious spots all along NH34)

More concerning is that this gang is targeting vehicles moving with families. We must spread awareness about this among our folks.


Regards

Arin
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Old 4th May 2013, 01:03   #34
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Superb snaps. A fantastic trip for sure. Regards.
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Old 4th May 2013, 07:57   #35
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OMG !!
Samba this is an amazingly compiled writeup. I just loved the pics which are good enough to be qualified as wallpapers. I must say you have got terrific photographic skills. And to add to that the write up was very informative and can help those who planning for darjeeling.

Keep it coming. You add your Odisa experience as well.
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Old 4th May 2013, 15:50   #36
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Quote:
Originally Posted by arin2323 View Post
I can't believe anyone can have this much audacity to frame a false charge and extort money in lieu of that baseless charge ! How ridiculous! You would have gone to the police station and lodged a formal complaint by mentioning the bike number.

I consider this issue to be very serious, as I guess very soon it's going to be a standard and organized modus operandi in various spots of NH 34 (and there is no dearth of notorious spots all along NH34)

More concerning is that this gang is targeting vehicles moving with families. We must spread awareness about this among our folks.


Regards

Arin
Indeed Arin, even we were shocked to face such an incident. We thought of complaining to the nearest police station but the locals told us if we go to the police station then they will ask further queries and will waste a lot of time and according to them the local police know about these guys but they don't take any action. So to avoid further harassment we backed off from doing so. I know its bad from our side but to be honest we didn't want to get involved in further harassment.

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
Superb snaps. A fantastic trip for sure. Regards.
Thanks a lot!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbokick View Post
OMG !!
Samba this is an amazingly compiled writeup. I just loved the pics which are good enough to be qualified as wallpapers. I must say you have got terrific photographic skills. And to add to that the write up was very informative and can help those who planning for darjeeling.

Keep it coming. You add your Odisa experience as well.
Thanks!
Actually i thought of writing about Bhitarkanika which i did in January 2012. But then i thought its too old now, so i backed off from writing on that. But still i want to share that experience as that may come handy to others.

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Originally Posted by toyota_fan_boy View Post
Dear Samba,

Thanks a lot for posting such beautiful pictures. I am sure that everyone here would want to see more of them in your future trips.

Did your etios give you any troubles during your trip, as in, scrapping the underbody on potholes. Any rattles? Also how was the comfort level for your parents (especially rear seat), and the mileage which you got during your entire trip.

Overall, what do you want to say, regarding the performance of this car, during the entire trip.
Thanks toyota_fan_boy.

I must mention you at first that Toyota didn't disappoint me! Now the details-

No trouble during the trip.

Yes it did scrap in few occasions. Actually the road was too bad in few places and are not meant for sedans. The road was ideal for suv/muv's. But no damage done to the car. After the trip i have put up my car in a ramp and checked the under body for damages and it was absolutely fine except one or two scratches.

Regarding rattling sound i must say no rattling sound came despite of such bad roads.

Rear seat comfort was good, me and my dad were in the front seats so my mom ruled over the whole rear seat and she was quiet happy with the loads of space Etios offered. Even she managed few short naps in the rear seat. She was happy with the comfort level of the car and according to her its not much bouncy one can be comfortable in the rear seat.

For the whole trip i got a mileage of approximately 14.5-15km/liter. Which i would say is not very good, its kind of okay considering the hills and the bad roads i encountered plus ac used in 50% of the journey.

Now regarding the performance Etios is fun to drive in open stretch. In no time the car crosses the 120km/hr mark. I was happy the way the car pulls. In hills also i was impressed the way it took the steepest of the roads with ease. The brakes are also superb. Now regarding handling in high speed say around 120 up if you change your lane or so then the handling is not much confidence inspiring due to the light steering and the light weight of the car. Its no Fiat Punto or Ford Fiesta in terms of handling. The handling is okay for a family car nothing to boost on it. May be a Etios with the handling of fiesta would have made this car the best in its segment!

Last edited by Samba : 4th May 2013 at 16:10.
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Old 19th May 2013, 11:30   #37
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Knowing you personally and your tight schedule , i thought you would rather not get any time to come up with this beautiful and informative compilation. It was very narrative and i was practically travelling in your etios while you were describing the events that followed. It has been a great experience always travelling with you , hope do do the LL trip soon with you and your etios . No questions on snaps attached they were marvellous and put in the right order that explains the terrain wherever necessary .
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Old 19th May 2013, 21:17   #38
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

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Originally Posted by aritraray View Post
Knowing you personally and your tight schedule , i thought you would rather not get any time to come up with this beautiful and informative compilation. It was very narrative and i was practically travelling in your etios while you were describing the events that followed. It has been a great experience always travelling with you , hope do do the LL trip soon with you and your etios . No questions on snaps attached they were marvellous and put in the right order that explains the terrain wherever necessary .
Thanks a lot Aritra, the trips done with you from Bangalore were really unforgettable. Surely looking forward for our Leh Ladakh trip. I hope your dashing white Punto to join my Etios on the trip too.
By the way to plan our Leh Ladakh trip by car i am currently following this awesome guideline from Team BHP. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...s-go-here.html (Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here)

Last edited by Samba : 19th May 2013 at 21:26.
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Old 24th May 2013, 10:10   #39
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Beautiful pictures that really describe your wonderful road-trip. I especially loved the one of the rhino in your hotel's compound. That is a very lucky experience, and one that would make this trip even more memorable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
This incident occurred at 1pm. The whole incident hardly lasted for 5-7 minutes. But it did made an impact on all of us for the next couple of hours. We were lucky we escaped from there cheat business but some how others may become there victim.
Given the above incident, I would say that your father and yourself handled this one very well. Predators of this nature are not uncommon in India, and if you are unlucky enough to get caught up in something like this, presence of mind, as you both aptly demonstrated, is the only thing that can save you. The good part was that you also had some other locals come to your aid.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:00   #40
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Not a good writer, indeed !! Modesty personified !!

Great write up, great photographs and great presence of mind. Well done.

By the way, have they started charging toll on Rohini road?
In my opinion it is easier to take Rohini road as compared to Pankhabari road.
Cheers and Thanks.
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Old 25th May 2013, 00:08   #41
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

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Originally Posted by HighwayofLife View Post
Beautiful pictures that really describe your wonderful road-trip. I especially loved the one of the rhino in your hotel's compound. That is a very lucky experience, and one that would make this trip even more memorable.
Given the above incident, I would say that your father and yourself handled this one very well. Predators of this nature are not uncommon in India, and if you are unlucky enough to get caught up in something like this, presence of mind, as you both aptly demonstrated, is the only thing that can save you. The good part was that you also had some other locals come to your aid.
Thanks a lot!
Regarding the incident which took place i must say we were indeed lucky as we got supports from the local people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noidea View Post
Not a good writer, indeed !! Modesty personified !!

Great write up, great photographs and great presence of mind. Well done.

By the way, have they started charging toll on Rohini road?
In my opinion it is easier to take Rohini road as compared to Pankhabari road.
Cheers and Thanks.
Thanks a lot!
When we went, that time the toll booths were there but they didn't start charging. No idea about the current situation. Comparing Rohini road with Pankhabari i will agree with you that its easier to drive on this route as its not as narrow as Pankhabari and the road condition is excellent too.
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Old 6th June 2014, 12:26   #42
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Samba

I am planning to cover west sikkim (Peling-Geyzing-Rabangla-Kaluk) this November.
Could you please suggest the road to take from siliguri (depending on the current state of the roads, if you know), the hotels to stay and where to stay over where not to etc.
Any suggestions/tips regarding this trip would be welcome. You can PM me.

Thanks,
Soumyajit.
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Old 6th June 2014, 12:42   #43
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Samba

I am planning to cover west sikkim (Peling-Geyzing-Rabangla-Kaluk) this November.
Could you please suggest the road to take from siliguri (depending on the current state of the roads, if you know), the hotels to stay and where to stay over where not to etc.
Any suggestions/tips regarding this trip would be welcome. You can PM me.

Thanks,
Soumyajit.
Well just yesterday one of my friend returned from Kaluk. So i just called him to get the latest information.

According to him till Siliguri taking the Bhagalpur route is still the best option as Malda to Dalkhola is still a mess.

From Siliguri take Sevok road till Melli, cross the bridge and enter Sikkim. Go to Kaluk via Jorethang. At the current condition road after Jorethang is too bad due to land slides. Few drivers reported of 4-5 hours of traffic jam due to land slides. Hope these will get sorted out by November. Roads around Pelling is also in mixed condition. But Pelling to Rabangala should be better. You can plan your trip like sliguri- Kaluk or pelling which ever you want to vist first then to Gangtok via Rabangla and back to Siliguri. Gangtok to Siliguri road is okay.

Just one suggestion on the way to Pelling from Jorethang once you cross the tunnel the place is famous for falling stones. Many cars in Pelling got damaged in that area. So be careful in crossing that stretch. That's hardly a 1km stretch after you cross the tunnel.

If you have any more queries feel free to ask or if you want my cell number you can PM me too.
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Old 6th June 2014, 12:49   #44
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There are two roads to west sikkim. One via Melli and the other via Rongpo. The Melli road is horrible, the road via rongpo is good. Melli road takes you to Namchi, jorethang and west towards pelling.
The rongpo road takes you to Rabongla first and then to places you wish. Plot these in google maps and you will get the idea. Road condition update is as per 21st and 26th May 2014 of my visit.
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Old 6th June 2014, 13:16   #45
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Default Re: Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios

Thanks a lot, Samba and Himadri! That was very useful.

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There are two roads to west sikkim. One via Melli and the other via Rongpo. The Melli road is horrible, the road via rongpo is good. Melli road takes you to Namchi, jorethang and west towards pelling.
The rongpo road takes you to Rabongla first and then to places you wish. Plot these in google maps and you will get the idea. Road condition update is as per 21st and 26th May 2014 of my visit.
Himadri - There is some mismatch between the route shared by you and gmap. May be the gmap is wrong. Could you please verify the following points.

As per gmap:
1) Melli falls in the rangpo route.
2) Namchi is way-off from the Jorethang-Pelling route.

Darjeeling -> Pelling -> Holong in a Toyota Etios-map.jpg

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 6th June 2014 at 13:19. Reason: Quoting Himadri.
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