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Old 8th September 2014, 13:50   #106
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Took lot of time to gather enough courage to read the blog.
I knew it would create ripples in my mind and the blog did ensure it did so.
As always, hats off to Hemanth for your patience.

Hope my back is back in action by our next venture. Else airavatha is always ready.
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Old 18th September 2014, 14:01   #107
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Wow!! This is a gem of a travelogue Hemanth. Firstly I would like to congratulate you on having journeyed to the four corners of our country and also for the cute little gift you got when you got back home

At the risk of repeating what most others have said, this has been a wonderful showcase of different types of everything our country has to offer. The pictures are lovely and the amount of detail is superb. Truly it has been a pleasure going through this travelogue (I managed to finish reading it only today).

What Next?
I'm sure by this time you would have received plenty of ideas and may have already started planning your next trip. All the best!!!
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Old 26th September 2014, 17:11   #108
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Quote:
Originally Posted by vittal View Post
Can you also provide hotel room charges and discount on room tariffs e.g. ginger guwahati and other places. This will be of great use whenever we plan a trip to these places.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
In the 2012 Trip, we had taken photos of all the hotels that we stayed in and I had made a review of all of them. This time, we had not taken photos of many hotels. So I avoided doing that, since a lot of text and no pictures would get too boring. Since you have asked, give me sometime, I'll try to put together something less boring.
vittal, I know its too late, but I somehow remembered that I had not answered you.
So I took some time today and prepared the following. I've tried to include as many details I can. Hope it helps.

N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari-lodging.jpg
Lodging cost

Note: Its almost an year now so the rates would have changed

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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
On an average toll price/Km fro the entire trip had seen a ~15% increase. ₹0.70/Km in 2013 compared to ₹0.60/Km in 2012. (Compared the Pune-Bangalore tolls for this)
Here is the graphical representation of the same for better understanding.

N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari-toll-comparo.jpg
Pune to Bengaluru 2012 Vs 2013 Toll rates comparions

Note: current (2014) rates may be different.

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Originally Posted by avinashsg View Post
Hope my back is back in action by our next venture. Else airavatha is always ready.
Thanks for the offer avinashsg but next time its only Airavatha AND you. Any one is not an option

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Wow!! This is a gem of a travelogue Hemanth. Firstly I would like to congratulate you on having journeyed to the four corners of our country and also for the cute little gift you got when you got back home
Thankyou addyhemmige for the nice words

Quote:
What Next?
I'm sure by this time you would have received plenty of ideas and may have already started planning your next trip. All the best!!!
You are right...Hopefully in the early part of 2015
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Old 29th September 2014, 08:07   #109
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Hemanth, It was nice meeting you yesterday. I have gone through your Punto ownership thread which is one of the ownership thread that made me move to Fiat from Maruti.

Also, I have bookmarked your Leh/Ladakh thread since I have this trip in my plans.

NEWS - Nice writeup filled with some awesome pics and attention to detail. Best of luck for your next trip
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Old 8th October 2014, 02:13   #110
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Yes thanks Hemanth, better later than never.

Will be useful when I plan my trip and any estimate is of help.

am presently travelling to London and Paris, reading through your travelogue.
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Old 10th October 2014, 16:46   #111
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Quote:
Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
Hemanth, It was nice meeting you yesterday. I have gone through your Punto ownership thread which is one of the ownership thread that made me move to Fiat from Maruti.

Also, I have bookmarked your Leh/Ladakh thread since I have this trip in my plans.

NEWS - Nice writeup filled with some awesome pics and attention to detail. Best of luck for your next trip
It was nice meeting you too arun_josie.

Today is the 1st anniversary if my East-West drive.
Whoa...its one year and I have not gone anywhere!!!
Should start serious planning soon
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Old 11th October 2014, 19:09   #112
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Beautiful writeup, and well-documented. You literally took us along with the narration!
Wonder how I missed this thread earlier. Read it across 2 days and must say is quite inspirational.
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Old 12th October 2014, 14:59   #113
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Today is the 1st anniversary if my East-West drive.
Whoa...its one year and I have not gone anywhere!!!
Should start serious planning soon
Congrats and best of luck for your next plan

By the way, we are planning for a Bangalore-North East trip. I would like to know the below information based on your research/experience.

- How many days does it require(minimum)?
- Important places that I shouldn't be missing?
- Road conditions?
- Which time of the year would be best?
- Is it a good route to take kids of age 7 and 2 respectively?
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Old 13th October 2014, 11:37   #114
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Beautiful writeup, and well-documented. You literally took us along with the narration!
Wonder how I missed this thread earlier. Read it across 2 days and must say is quite inspirational.
Thanks benbsb29 for your compliments,
Over the weekend I read my travelogue once again and relived the experiences. An year ago, on this day, we were driving through cyclone Phailin. Phew! it was some experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
Congrats and best of luck for your next plan

By the way, we are planning for a Bangalore-North East trip. I would like to know the below information based on your research/experience.

- How many days does it require(minimum)?
- Important places that I shouldn't be missing?
- Road conditions?
- Which time of the year would be best?
- Is it a good route to take kids of age 7 and 2 respectively?
arun_josie, Saw that you have posted this query on North East +Bhutan thread also. Since that was more relevant I've answered there with whatever I know.
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Old 13th January 2015, 15:37   #115
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Hemanth

Wonderful log , I need your help in planning trip to Darjeeling & Kolkatta at month end .

We plan to go first to Siliguri - Darjeeling from Chandigarh via the route you took in return on day 14 /15 ( via Darbhanga / Gorakhpur / Lucknow) and thereafter to Kolkatta from Darjeeling and returning back to Delhi via Varanasi/Kanpur route . How are road condition ( 2 or 4 lane ) on Gorakhpur road in comparison with Kanpur route

Do you have any excel sheet or can you suggest how should we plan this ?

Last edited by Turbanator : 13th January 2015 at 15:38.
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Old 14th January 2015, 15:50   #116
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Hemanth,

I just completed reading through the first page where you start your journey East to West. Man, what a travelogue ! Wonderful pictures, narrative and great details. Crossing borders, driving for several hours through good and bad roads, it really needs some passion. Fantastic, keep it up and I am sure you will already be planning for something this year. Congrats.

Swami
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Old 16th January 2015, 20:39   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Hemanth

Wonderful log , I need your help in planning trip to Darjeeling & Kolkatta at month end .
Thanks Turbanator ,

It was a mix of decent 2 lane roads, 4 lane roads and under construction patches. Its more than a year now and there will be many changes. Its better you take suggestions from members living and traveling often in that area...like sheel, sutripta and others who know those roads really well


I do have an excel aheet but currently I'm traveling and will be able to give it to you only next month and by then you would be on your drive I guess


Quote:
Originally Posted by swami69 View Post
Hemanth,

I just completed reading through the first page where you start your journey East to West. Man, what a travelogue ! Wonderful pictures, narrative and great details. Crossing borders, driving for several hours through good and bad roads, it really needs some passion. Fantastic, keep it up and I am sure you will already be planning for something this year. Congrats.

Swami
Thanks Swami,
And yes, there is something planned for this year
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Old 24th January 2015, 17:54   #118
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Hi Hemanth, One heck of a travelogue!

Congratulations on driving to all four directions of Indian sub-continent. I have read this TL twice till now and is yet to sink in. You have set a standard by providing even minutest of information of the travel. Thanks a lot. Last but not the least an inspiring one to cover North East.

All the best for your upcoming trip.

Regards,

Cous
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Old 1st February 2015, 01:12   #119
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Default Re: N.E.W.S. Nepal & East to West in a Safari

Wow! That's the word comes to mind after reading your travelogue. Amazing narration with equally detailed write up. Thais one is the best travelogue which I have read so far in this forum.
Kudos to you guys for accomplishing what many of us just dream. Its truly inspirational.
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Old 26th May 2017, 11:25   #120
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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Day 11, 21-Oct-2013: Tezu to Guwahati...
Then we came across the first deviation. We could either continue on NH52 up to Roing which was longer by 40Kms or take a left there and drive 30Kms which would rejoin NH 52 at a place called Chapakhowa.

Attachment 1255378
As we left NH52

It was a small and patchy road. The first 10 Kms was good but later my fears came true. There was no road but a path full of stones. Our speed drastically reduced.
The previous night's rains didn't make it any easier. We drove slowly through desolated a road which had a mixture of forests and Rubber tree plantations on either side.
Some small villages also lie scattered. The road was a through exercise for the SUV's suspension and a pain for our backs.

Half way through this road, we finished Arunachal Pradesh and entered Assam at around 7AM.

Attachment 1255379
Bye Bye Arunachal...

After a while, we found some 30 army personnel walking on the road. When we approached them from behind, one guy waved his hand signalling us to go ahead.
As soon as we came beside them, suddenly all of them started pointing their guns towards the forest as if they were expecting someone to fire.
We were frightened to the core! Rajesh increased the speed even though the road was very bad and quickly we went ahead.

Some distance further I saw an Army truck and an army ambulance parked in a distant place in a small village. There were army personnel all over the village.
I felt that they were either doing a drill or they were doing some combing operation. Whatever it was, we were terrified by that scene.

Finally we came long way forward and we finally joined the NH52. The NH52 didn't improve in the road condition but further worsened.

Attachment 1255381
Bad roads

We finally reached the Lohit River at 9:00AM and it started to rain! We had taken 3 hours to cover a distance of 60 Kms and that too on a non-mountainous road.

As we reached the banks, there were many ferries. We enquired around and we came to know that the Government Ferry had gone to the other side and the next trip would be at 11:30AM.

We asked a couple of private ferries and each of them quoted ₹4000/- for our car!!! That was ridiculous we thought. The government ferry would charge ₹300/-. So we decided not to fall trap to the people waiting to extort you.

We decided to have breakfast in one of the small not so good shacks by the river. We had no other good option and our stomachs were hungry.
We ordered Pooris. Mohith also ordered fish but when he bought it to our bench, he didn't feel like eating them...it was that bad.

We soon finished eating our Pooris and came out. Rain had stopped and it was still 9:30AM. Waiting for the Government Ferry at 11:30AM would be a criminal waste of time. But ₹4000/- for the ferry was just not done. We rued our decision to take this route.

We decided to take it as a lesson and so move on. We went to the private ferry operator whom we had asked earlier. After 30 minutes of haggling, we had to agree for a sum of ₹2500/- for the ferry. I knew that it was expensive but we had no option.

Everything was prepared and in 15 minutes Rajesh drove the car on two big long wooden planks.

Attachment 1255383
Drive-In

Attachment 1255384
Saferry

Attachment 1255386
Ready to float

Attachment 1255387
Elephant on a ferry

The ferry itself is made of wood which runs on a dead engine thatís somehow manages to run even with poor maintenance.
The engine refused to start. But another 10 minutes of some hammering and jugaad repairs, it finally started.

Attachment 1255394
Finally it started

As soon as it started, 10-15 people came running and boarded the passenger compartment of the ferry.

The ferry finally removed anchor and set sail at 10:30 AM. It was a wonderful sight seeing Airavatha swimming.
It was a 20minute ferry ride. I took a GPS screenshot on my mobile when we reached the centre of the river.

Attachment 1255390
Transporting the transporters

Attachment 1255391
Oh Majhire...

Attachment 1255392
Sailor

Attachment 1255393
Airavatha is loving swimming...

Surprisingly enough we had mobile signals so posted it on Face book and tagged Avinash. After 3 hours he commented "My heart skipped a beat"

At 10:50 the ferry docked on the other side and two planks were laid for our vehicle to drive over.
We paid him his charge and I drove out. I just wanted to experience this so I stopped and gave back the vehicle to Rajesh.

Attachment 1255395
Time to drive out...

Attachment 1255396
Let's go out

On the banks, they had laid out long grass on the sand so that vehicles don't get stuck. We were happy to see this but our happiness didn't last long.

Attachment 1255398
Straw path

The grass path ended soon and we saw some 4 to 5 vehicles standing. When we went close we saw that an Etios was stuck in slush and other vehicles had to wait.
The driver somehow took it to the side where there was a patch of grass. We felt relieved. The vehicles in front of us were all sedans and hatchbacks and everyone were skeptical.

So we overtook them and continued as it was just a small patch of slush. But after this there was a curve. What we saw afterwards was nothing but a slush fest.

We stopped momentarily. I asked Rajesh to just take the path I tell him. I asked him only to make sure the vehicle doesn't slow down.

The next 15 minutes were the best 15 minutes of the day. I was telling "left, right, right, left, straight, through the slush, on the hard ground" whichever was the best I could think of.
Rajesh blindly drove as per the sounds I was making. Most of the times, the vehicle was sliding, swimming.
Luckily for us there was no other vehicle apart a couple of two wheelers which we easily avoided. After 15 minutes, we finally drove up this slush and onto the asphalted road.

Rajesh stopped the vehicle and we all came out. It was a much needed breather...both for the vehicle and for us.
The vehicle had turned from white to dark brown in a matter of 15 minutes. The foot-board had 2 inches of marsh on it.
I took snaps of the dirty car and then took a stick and cleared the slush from the foot board. One helluva drive it was.

Attachment 1255399
Modern art

Attachment 1255400
Slush fest. See the foot-board

Attachment 1255401
Foot-board cleaned

Rajesh had had enough and he gave the keys to Mohith. It was 11:30AM. Effectively we had taken 5 and half hours to cover a distance of 70kms! The slowest of the trip so far.
Today our PM has just inaugurated the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge and it has brought back memories of the drive we had in 2013 when the bridge was not existing. it was a challenging drive(and enjoyable too, but we had wasted so much more time on the road to cross the river. I can imagine how helpful it'll be for frequent travelers to Arunachal by the huge amount of time savings that the bridge will provide.
The blue line was the road we took (black dotted line is the ferry and the slushy path).
The green is the new path including the bridge. And to top it all, it's the longest river bridge in India.
The only people complaining might be the ferry operators
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