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Old 12th August 2013, 20:27   #1
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Default Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)

Altoed: Duar Diaries I (Archive Jul 08) : Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing, Suntekhola


Well, the thread title is obviously inspired by the legendary Civved series by laluks, a distinguished (if not less) BHPian.

A lot of what will follow in this and in the (hopefully) upcoming posts by my will be old stuff.

These would have been more relevant and fresh, had I had better internet connectivity earlier (and if I would have been a BHPian earlier).

Still, even today the Duars and the adjoining SHWB (Sub Himalayan West Bengal) remain such an under explored and beautiful region of the country, that I hope these posts will still be helpful to those wishing to visit the region. Never have I found a single app or map which showed the roads or the places of the region correctly. Hope these posts will help.

Also, hope to make the posts a good read.

So it was in July of 2008, that after roaming around on bikes for long long time, the rains of this region and the increasing family size dictated that I go in for a 4 wheeler.

Roaming around on bikes.

Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5285.jpg

That is me in front of a broken down railway bridge. (More about it later)


Roaming around on bikes.

Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5478.jpg

Wife with the rucksack, including umbrella and the young one in the kangaroo baby sling



Considering the condition of roads in these regions (the 3000 mm a year rains are to blame ( partially) ) and the availability (rather the then non availability) of service stations of other brands, it had to be a Maruti ! And what better than an ALTO to start off.

Over the years the brave heart (the Alto) has proved worth every penny.
It has been driven at times more like a Jeep than a car.
Inside jungles on tracks bounded by 10 feet high elephant grass (even the grass on un treaded medians of these tracks were 2 feet high),
over stony dry river beds,
through rivers and ponds,
on muddy slushy hill roads,
on hill tracks,
over tracks on high altitude desert plateau,
A big mental factor which allowed these adventures to be undertaken was the knowledge that the car was cheap. And even a big repair of the under body or the gear box or the chassis would not hurt too bad (monetarily). Thankfully none has been required till now.

So finally we picked up the car from Beekay Autos in Matigara, Siliguri, and the personalized service provided by the agency, particularly a front end guy called Deepankar was good.

Beekay Autos in Matigara
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-fullscreen-capture-06102013-021237.jpg

One interesting stuff here, we were in a hurry to buy a car, so had not really booked or enquired about a particular colour from the agency guys. Well, I had thought about getting the metallic maroonish coloured. As I thought it will give body and an aristocratic look to the car. And had thought about taking Lx, as being the lightest car around (at that time), there should not be any requirement of power assisted steering wheel.

But reaching the showroom, wife happened to lay her eyes on bright red one in the pamphlet, and insisted that we buy it only. I was bit hesitant to buy bright red, as being interested in wildlife, bird watching and photography, I expressed my point of view to wifey that it will scare away animals.

Anyone can easily guess as to who would have won the mild discussion. Well, the bright red colour had non metallic versions only and thus was cheaper by some 10 odd thousands. And on the advice of the salesman, who by now had understood from our conversations that 'madam' will also be driving the car substantially, suggested we pitch some 6/7 thou over the 10 thou we are saving otherwise and go in for Lxi. Well, it seemed logical, and I thank our stars till now that we heeded to it. The only immediate down side was that the non metallic bright red Lxi was bit of non mover. But fortunately it was available in the store / depot / garage of the agency and thus should be ready after final PDI etc, after 2 - 3 hours.

Customary first visit to a temple
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-image045.jpg

First Decent pics of our car, and the proud owners, present middle class equivalent of erstwhile 'Hamara Bajaj'
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5569.jpg


Next day had driven to 'badnaam', once upona time dreaded Naxalbari too.

Driving over the Coronation bridge for fist time.

Quote:
The Coronation Bridge, also known as the Sevoke Bridge, in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India, spans across the Teesta River, connecting the districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri. National Highway 31 runs across it.

It was named to commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937 and was completed in 1941 at a cost of Rs 4 lakhs.[1] The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by John Anderson, the-then Governor of Bengal in 1937.

Locals call the bridge Baghpool, meaning tiger bridge, because of the two lion statues (bagh actually means tiger) at one entrance of the bridge. The bridge is also called Lohapul (Iron Bridge) as it is made of steel.

The bridge was built on the Reinforced Concrete system. Since it was not possible to obtain support from the Teesta river bed due to the depth and current of water, the entire bridge was supported by a fixed arch, which had its two ends fixed on rock layers on either side of the river.
In front of the world famous (in Duars) Coronation Bridge. Colloquially, for some reason also known as the Tiger Bridge instead of more logical Lion Bridge.
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5576.jpg

A vertical close take of the bridge, notice the massive and fast flowing Teesta way below!, that is reason for the cantilever structure of the bridge
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5577.jpg

Looking south, just 2 to 2.5 kms downstream from the road bridge, the Teesta opens outs into its flood plain from the drain like gully it flows in the mountain / hills. You may be able to see in the background, that as the mountains finish and the just before Teesta fans open, is the railway bridge of Siliguri - Alipur Duar Junction route.
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5579.jpg


The railway bridge is just about visible, in between the sedimentary island in the river and hill sides. It can be seen just behind the island, and more visible on the left hand side. The Siliguri - Alipur Duar Junction is a very interesting rail route passing through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary , Gorumara National Park, Jaldapara National Park and Buxa Tiger Reserve, in addition to scores of Tea gardens all in 161 kms ! During days of good visibility from a few vantage points on the rail route, one can also see the snow laden peaks of Middle / Eastern Himalayas.
One more view of the life line bridge
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5581001.jpg



to be contd...

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Old 7th October 2013, 14:07   #2
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Default Altoed: Duar Diaries I (Archive Jul 08)

Altoed: Duar Diaries I (Archive Jul 08) : Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing, Suntekhola

contd . . .


A bit about Dooars


What are 'Dooars'

Quote:
'Dooars' or 'Duars' are the floodplains of Eastern Himalayas and the associated foothills in North-East India around Bhutan.

Dooars is synonymous with the term Terai used in Nepal and northern India.

Why 'Dooars'

Quote:
There were 18 passages or gateways through which the Bhutanese people can communicate with the people living in the plains.
So the word is obviously from Assamese / Bengali / Sanskrit / English (take your pick) word Duar / Dwar / Door (take your pick again).

for reference regarding etymology of Door http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=door

Few of the places still bear allegiance to this concept like Alipur Duar and Buxa Duar


Where are the 'Dooars'

South of Himalayas, contiguous to the Terai Belt of UP / Bihar but can roughly said to be starting in the the west once Nepal finishes and Sikkim starts, to the east as it joins the Assam Valley.


How are the Dooars diffrent from Terai

Climatologically the Duars are blessed with a much more temperate climate, with the highest ever maximum temperatures being close to 38 degrees or so, but generally the summer maximum temperature being closer to 32 to maximum of 36 degrees in one odd hottest day of the year, compared to the soaring forties of Terais.

Also, the Duars are drenched with an average annual rainfall of close to 3000 mm.

Due to these reasons, the Duars generally are much greener throughout the year as compared to the Terais.

Also they are thus blessed with numerous big rivers and small streams all emptying into the Ganga - Brahmaputra Delta System in Bangladesh. These rivers/streams generally flow in a North South direction. In the torrential rainy season, these rivers and streams swell up to monstrous proportions, often damaging the bridges across them or the road / rail links along them. The Duars are therefore isolated into tiny pockets due to their peculiar geography.

As good a schematic map as you can get for Dooars (covers about half of it only, but almost all of the interesting part)

Also as per wikipedia they are
Quote:
The only nitrate rich soil(Terai) in India.
Could not really understand what was meant here.

Thus due to lower temperatures, a more suited drainage pattern and probably the soil nature, Tea gardens are dime a dozen in Dooars.


How are the Dooars diffrent from Assam Valley

Well the Assam Valley is a valley with Himalayas to the North and in the south (west to east) the Garo, Khasi, Jantia hills of Meghalaya, followed by Halflong hills of Assam, followed by hills of Manipur, then the Naga hills and then the hills in Southern and eastern districts of Arunachal Pradesh with all draining into the Brahmaputra in between.

Thus the Assam Valley is somewhat isolated from direct sea moist air due to the hills in south. Thus places like Cherrapunji and Mysamram receive larger rainfall.

Thus Dooars can be considered to the region were the Himalayas are closest to the sea (Bay of Bengal) before they recurve East North Easterly after Bhutan and also without any high feature before the Himalayas as in case of Assam Valley.

Here you can see what is generally considered to be Dooar

Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-map.jpg

Last edited by YanTra Makto : 7th October 2013 at 20:34.
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Old 7th October 2013, 21:17   #3
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Default re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekhola)

Altoed: Duar Diaries I (Archive Jul 08) : Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing, Suntekhola


Continuing with the trip

Driving down the road further east from Coronation Bridge, one would first come across the forest of Mongpong, followed by towns of Oodlabari and Damdim. More about these fascinating places later.

Then one comes to quaint little planters town of Mal Bazaar. The town used to have an old world charm which is now quickly being lost. Still it is one of the biggest settlement around in these part of Dooars and is also almost in the center of western Dooars.

The railway station of Mal Bazaar is known as the New Mal Junction and is famous on the Siliguri Alipur Duar Route for its Samosas and Lal Chai

Steam Road Roller atop gate of Mal Construction Union, Mal Bazaar, Dooars
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5598.jpg


Mal Bazaar also has the regular clubs (Rotary, Lions etc) which is courtesy the plantation culture.

Shortly after the Mal Bazaar comes the smaller town of Chalsa.

The rail line at Chalsa climbs as if on a ramp to reach the station of Chalsa Junction and then descends on the other side.

The Railway station is thus above the rest of the town and road and further above is the place known as Chalsa Hill Top, where the Sinclairs Dooars have a Beautiful property.

Sinclairs Dooars Resort at Chalsa Hill Top
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5612.jpg

Tusker Bar, Sinclairs Resort, Chalsa Hilltop, Dooars
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5602.jpg

The Banyan Tree Restaurant, Sinclairs Resort, Chalsa Hilltop, Dooars
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5613.jpg

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Old 8th October 2013, 12:55   #4
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Default re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekhola)

Altoed: Duar Diaries I (Archive Jul 08) : Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing, Suntekhola


Well, after climbing a couple of switchbacks, you suddenly gain some 70 odd mtrs and are at Chalsa Hill top.

Chalsa Hill Top is at the southern edge of a plateau like ridge. Thus from here you have lovely views of the forests below to the south. And travelling north, the road shoots off straight as an arrow and flat as a pancake for about 5 kms till Matelli, through beautiful tea gardens; that one wonders as to how this stretch materializes after the hill top.

Climbing Down from Chalsa Hill Top
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf6295.jpg


Overview of route from Chalsa to Suntalekhola


Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-picture1.jpg

Turn right at Matelli / Mateli Haat. Left will take you Gorubhutan
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-picture2.jpg


Well, the plan was to visit Samsing

Quote:
80kms drive from Siliguri through the rolling hill slopes and green belt of Dooars plains will take you to Samsing. A nice cool shady place at an altitude of 600m Samsing is a recent addition in the North Bengal tourist map for its tranquil landscape and unpolluted surroundings. The horizon extended tea gardens, undulating hill slopes, meandering streams, rural life of simple village people attracting a large number of tourists from different parts of the country. Samsing is an ideal place for those, who are looking for a break from routine city life to enjoy a relaxed vacation in the natural environment.

Samsing is also known for its traditional orange orchards and cardamom plantation, which have been a major occupation of a large number of villagers.
Samsing receives a lot of rainfall, which helps villagers in producing good crop all round the year. Because of the unique location of the villages, lot of initiatives is being taken to promote village tourism around Samsing.

There are several short treks originating from Samsing. A 2 hrs trek from Samsing through some beautiful remote villages and terraced paddy and maize fields reaches Mouchuki- the entry point to Neora Valley National Park. Situated on a hilltop the place offers a birds eye view of a huge Dooars plains dotted with tea gardens and forests.

Most thrilling trek in the Neora Valley Park starts from Mouchuki to Rechela - highest point of the Park. The most adventurous trek in North Bengal takes at least 3 days to Rechela via Bhotegarh and Thusum through the dense forest and another 3 days to Lava via Aluabari.

Well, Samsing we reached, and for the heck of drive continued further.

Now, we faced the phenomena for first time. A phenomena which we did not know will be repeated so often and in quick regularities in future.

We drove up to some place around near, taking the up going fork in all the roads that we came along. Finally reached a forest bungalow (sorry no snaps), noted it for future and started heading back down.

The phenomena : Cheering kids running along shouting "Car, Car, ..".

Well, that made me realize that we had not spotted a single other car for quite some time now. All we saw were Sumos, Boleros, Estate pick up and similar league.


A couple of amateurish videos by wife while I was driving.



Ha ha ha, quite a commentary




to be contd...
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Old 8th October 2013, 18:16   #5
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th October 2013, 11:40   #6
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

Altoed: Duar Diaries I (Archive Jul 08) : Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing, Suntekhola


Just a couple of pics now of this first drive, in less than a week of getting the car.

Will follow up with more trip reports soon

Near Samsing, shack at eastern edge of the plateau / ridge
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5616.jpg


Driving down back towards Chalsa from Samsing.

View of the plains, forests, streams and rivers in the background with the tea garden in foreground. Defines Dooars.
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5622.jpg

Rains turns 'Diana', a tributary of Jaldhaka into a Choco-Vanilla combo !
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5625.jpg


Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5627.jpg

Many more enchanting roads calling for visit to interesting places!,

Pardon, but surely for next time please...
Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf5623.jpg


That's all, folks for this time around ..., see you soon
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Old 9th October 2013, 14:32   #7
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

Really nice to see a thread on the Duars. Indeed this area is much less explored and talked about in comparison to the natural resources it has. Thanks to the attitude of the state department, tourism didn't really take off to that extent for a long time. Though with more private resorts/properties coming in, things are definitely changing. Someday would love to visit the whole area in my own vehicle. Would love to see some more updates on this thread in future.
P.S: Hats off for such a passion for travel. The picture of y'r wife seating in the bike with the rucksack and holding the baby is truly amazing.
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Old 9th October 2013, 14:43   #8
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

Excellent log, and really good explanations about the places, certainly bring about a desire of visit them even though one might be hearing about them right from childhood. By the way where was the picture on the bike taken?
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Old 9th October 2013, 19:33   #9
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandisa View Post
Really nice to see a thread on the Duars. Indeed this area is much less explored and talked about in comparison to the natural resources it has. Thanks to the attitude of the state department, tourism didn't really take off to that extent for a long time. Though with more private resorts/properties coming in, things are definitely changing. Someday would love to visit the whole area in my own vehicle. Would love to see some more updates on this thread in future.
P.S: Hats off for such a passion for travel. The picture of y'r wife seating in the bike with the rucksack and holding the baby is truly amazing.

Thank you Kandisa for the really needed appreciation (as am just beginning on tbhp). Yes Dooars do have a lot of potential and are indeed a part of country unique in themselves / itself. In the same breath, in being undiscovered too lies their charm. But now the tourism infrastructure is being developed with WBFDC (forest development corporation) developing the forest dept rest houses and private entrepreneur developing the really nice and unique concept of 'Tea Tourism'.

Also along the forest safari hot spots like Madari Hat for Jaldhapara and Lataguri for Gorumara, a lot of decent safari oriented resorts (read stays) have come up.

The problems in the area are many, like in many other places in our country, but for tourist the major problems are the unscheduled strikes, the bane of bengal, which happen at a drop of a hat (quite literally). Add to the normal politics of Bengal, we have 2/3 proponents of the Gurkha movement, to counter which we have similar numbers of pro Adivasis groups / arms of parties. So in all, suddenly you may realize that there are 3 days of bandh followed by counter bandhs (bandh to oppose bandh ). And mind you the bandhs are enforced pretty really strictly in these parts, with all road movement except ambulance, army and at times police coming to a halt. Including railways, have you ever heard of a railway station shut down for 3 days.

But yes, not all is lost. Things have improved ever since the Gurkha demand been agreed for partial autonomy. And generally the tourist are spared, especially during the 'tourist season'.

But generally speaking the Law and Order situation otherwise is pretty decent compared to major parts of our country. So though, if unlucky, your schedules might be disturbed but you definitely would not be threatened, robbed or waylaid. Even so you might be really taken care of apologetically while patiently waiting for the bandh to be called off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Excellent log, and really good explanations about the places, certainly bring about a desire of visit them even though one might be hearing about them right from childhood. By the way where was the picture on the bike taken?
Thank you motomaverick. Have been following your thread ...LEH'd 2013 religiously. Well, at the end of my trip reports will try and post a compendium for Dooars. Hopefully, will be able to spare the time and effort.
Well, the place of pic is secret. (will pm you).

Here is one pic of my hatchback to try and match up your trip to Leh.

Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf9939001.jpg

The road altitude, rather the altitude of the track where the Alto was cruising is about 5 kilometers. Reaching till here is one another story of luck and struggle altogether. Will post about that most cherished journey too, shortly.
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Old 9th October 2013, 20:15   #10
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

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Originally Posted by YanTra Makto View Post
Thank you motomaverick. Have been following your thread ...LEH'd 2013 religiously. Well, at the end of my trip reports will try and post a compendium for Dooars. Hopefully, will be able to spare the time and effort.
Well, the place of pic is secret. (will pm you).

Here is one pic of my hatchback to try and match up your trip to Leh.



The road altitude, rather the altitude of the track where the Alto was cruising is about 5 kilometers. Reaching till here is one another story of luck and struggle altogether. Will post about that most cherished journey too, shortly.
Eagerly waiting for the location and thanks for following Leh'd.

Wow nice location and the roads look inviting, has uncanny resemblance to Moore Plains but I guess this is probably in Sikkim or if you want to shock me I would say Bhutan.
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Old 9th October 2013, 21:54   #11
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Wow nice location and the roads look inviting, has uncanny resemblance to Moore Plains but I guess this is probably in Sikkim or if you want to shock me I would say Bhutan.

Well, your guess is absolutely right, it is in Sikkim, rather North Sikkim, beyond Himalayas and contiguous with Tibet.
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Old 9th October 2013, 23:52   #12
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

Wonderful TL! I've traveled to Malbazar on numerous occasions before as our close relatives stay there ( We generally visit them every year during Christmas Vacations).

Never been to Chalsa or got to explore all places beyond MAL ,our plans go haywire due to paucity of time or other commitments.We did make a short trip last year, to a nearby place which has a power plant, unable to recollect the name now.

BTW, I guess you missed taking pics of the numerous monkeys near Coronation Bridge
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Old 10th October 2013, 01:13   #13
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

First of all thanks for starting this thread. Secondly, I envy you for staying in a place that is so close to my heart. As you have said, North Bengal and adjacent areas are very less explored. Me and my wife went to North Bengal and Sikkim about 8 times last year. Have forgotten the exact count . Thanks once again for the posts and the pictures.

Regarding bandhs, we have faced it only once till date in so many years. It was this year in February, but they allowed us to travel through after stopping for 1 hour. In general people were quite unhappy with the chief minister.

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Old 10th October 2013, 10:02   #14
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

Quote:
Originally Posted by YanTra Makto View Post
..The problems in the area are many, like in many other places in our country, but for tourist the major problems are the unscheduled strikes......
Yes, the thing that the political parties in Bengal do the best. Its probably that one single state where even the ruling party calls strike in its own state to protest against the Center!! (happened few years back IIRC) Even the 'Gorkhaland' mess also keeps happening on and off affecting the tourism to a good extent.

Quote:
Will post about that most cherished journey too, shortly.
En route Gurudongmar probably? Really love the way you are using the Alto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
... Me and my wife went to North Bengal and Sikkim about 8 times last year. Have forgotten the exact count ..
May be you can post some more pics of your journeys in the white offroader in your own thread
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Old 10th October 2013, 11:15   #15
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Default Re: Alto'ed: Duar Diaries I (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & Suntekh

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Originally Posted by Redeemer8 View Post
Wonderful TL! .... nearby place which has a power plant, unable to recollect the name now.
Thank you Redeemer8, the place you would have been to, may have been Bindu on Jaldhaka.


Does this matches / rings a bell?

Alto'ed: Dooar Diaries (Coronation Bridge, Mal Bazaar, Chalsa, Samsing & More)-dscf7716.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeemer8 View Post
BTW, I guess you missed taking pics of the numerous monkeys near Coronation Bridge
Yeah, come to think of it, I did. On reading your comment, I thought that I would definitely have some, but browsed through my pic library and could not find any!.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
First of all thanks for starting this thread. ...
Regarding bandhs, we have faced it only once till date... 1 hour...
Thank you BlackPearl, And yes, as you rightly brought out, though Bandhs occasionally do happen, but the chances of a random tourist getting stuck in a good one are less. So to conclude, we must carry on regard less, but at the same time probably have a day spare in hand at our respective embarkation point. (airport at Bagdogra, or which ever railway station one is catching the train back out.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandisa View Post
Yes, the thing that the political parties in Bengal do the best. Its probably that one single state where even the ruling party calls strike in its own state to protest against the Center!! (happened few years back IIRC) Even the 'Gorkhaland' mess also keeps happening on and off affecting the tourism to a good extent.
Yes, I do remember that one, and that time the ruling party was a party to government in center!!,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandisa View Post
En route Gurudongmar probably? Really love the way you are using the Alto.
Yes it is en route Gurudongmar, rather on the way back.Thank you, she is one good steed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandisa View Post
May be you can post some more pics of your journeys in the white offroader in your own thread
Wat say, BlackPearl
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