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Old 2nd April 2014, 13:56   #31
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

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Was this a routine change or a snap?
It was not a snap but the belt was broken on the inner surface and I could hear a faint noise.

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Did the stabiliser bar come off? How did you identify the symptom? How did you fix it?
I actually replied to this in the previous post...

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There is no way of telling visually if a tyre is good or bad. Last I knew both the Apollo Hawkz AT and the MRF Wanderers were pretty tough tyres offroad. Probably why, as you mention, Pajero Sport comes with one from the factory (there is no cost skimping related aspects of a vehicle from that category).
Apollo Hawkz AT I don't know - I have not used them. MRF Wanderer does not come in the Pajero spec. It was a MRF ZVTV (not AT). Mitsu had some kind of tie-up with Apollo 2 years back for India.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 21:20   #32
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

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I tried just that, ...
Given the timings of the posts, the first thought that pops in ones mind is OCD!

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Old 2nd April 2014, 21:31   #33
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

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Given the timings of the posts, the first thought that pops in ones mind is OCD!

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Sutripta

In this case OCD would translate to Occupational Compulsion Disorder.

The video was shot 9pm ish. Besides had an intervening Laptop issue with video editor/compressor.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 21:36   #34
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^^^
Whatever you say! (I don't argue with people who have OCD about their OCD!)

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Old 4th April 2015, 00:03   #35
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

An amazingly written travelogue there with some mesmerizing snaps indeed

Really an inspiration for lots of us here in the eastern party of the country to hit some foreign tarmac

Did you explore the Phobjikha Valley or the Gangtey Region ? What is your opinion about it as you must have crossed Gangtey Village en route Bumthang

Awaiting your reply......
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Old 6th April 2015, 07:34   #36
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

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An amazingly written travelogue there with some mesmerizing snaps indeed

Really an inspiration for lots of us here in the eastern party of the country to hit some foreign tarmac

Did you explore the Phobjikha Valley or the Gangtey Region ? What is your opinion about it as you must have crossed Gangtey Village en route Bumthang

Awaiting your reply......
Thanks for taking time to read the travelogue.

I had only 9 days of leave to cover what I covered and hence could not cover all the spots. In fact I wanted to drive till Trashigang and exit through Arunachal Pradesh and come back through Tawang. That would have taken a lot more time for me to afford

My opinion: Phobjika is wonderful. Please go there if you want to see the black-necked crane. The species is currently critically endangered and can be seen only in Bhutan and certain portions of Ladakh region (Tsaga region). I am myself interested in birds and wildlife and hence choose places where rare avian friends can be seen. For example in Chele la you can see birds like Khalij Pheasants and Blood Pheasants. The Pele la top is full of rare birds including some rare parrotbills (you have to take the old abandoned road). Similarly the Trashigang / Mongar region is an extension of the birding paradise in Arunachal Pradesh and you can see a lot of them.
Regarding Gangtey - after seeing an abundant number of monasteries all throughout the journey you may be having a monastery fatigue. The place is no doubt beautiful like any other lush green Bhutan valleys. But if there is demand of time you can skip that.

Regarding foreign driving trips, I do have plans for Lhasa and Everest base camp this year in Sep. The coming years I plan to do Kolkata>Manipur>Burma>Thailand and then a wishlist of driving to Uzbekistan . As far as I understand and know all of them are doable but I do need to spend some serious effort and time to obtain the permits.

All the best for your Bhutan planning. You can definitely get in touch if you need any info.
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Old 6th April 2015, 13:12   #37
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

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The road from Tilkhamanjhi Chowk till the entry-point to the Vikramsila Setu road is in shambles, its being part concretised and the rest is very grossly uneven dirt. So now, the adviced route is to take the Carmel School road to the Samsan and then take a right to join Vikramsila setu (with a little bit of offroading thrown in)

Anyways, I get real-time updates from Bhagalpur as one of my colleagues stay there and visits it every fortnight.
@1100D, can you expand on this route through Bhagalpur? Probably plot it on Gmaps? Would be a big help to people planning to go through Bhagalpur in near future, like yours truly
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Old 6th April 2015, 14:16   #38
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

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@1100D, can you expand on this route through Bhagalpur? Probably plot it on Gmaps? Would be a big help to people planning to go through Bhagalpur in near future, like yours truly
The direct road from Tilkhamanjhi to Vikramsila is paved now, so no need to take a detour.
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Old 9th June 2015, 10:38   #39
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

Impressive and informative travelogue. Read this a few times over in fact. I own a Pajero GLX, and been planning to do a similar trip for a while now. Could you say something about the possibility of Car Camping in that route considering the safety and intrusion angle? Since I have equipped my vehicle with a folding bed, it is a great camper now, and would be a waste not to make use of it! Thanks in advance!
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Old 14th June 2015, 07:23   #40
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Thanks for going through the travelogue. Bhutan in fact is a wonderful place for camping. People are friendly and there will be no intrusion or trouble and it is very safe. I suggest that you camp near a site with water usually in one of the many wonderful valleys. I would choose the Punakha or phobjika or Bumthang valley for the same. The rivers at these locations will provide the source of water. Phobjika of course will provide the location for seeing the black necked cranes. In Bumthang I had noted some wild mammals in the valley so not very sure if they might cause any issue. But usually they like to stay away from humans as we cause more harm to them. I would choose a phobjika or Bumthang for camping. Drive up the river on the non metalled roads and after few kms you will reach your desired location. There might be some small villages on the way but very sparse. Ask the locals for village locations on the way. Noting them will be useful in case you need help.
All the very best for your camping.
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Old 4th August 2015, 23:33   #41
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

Hi Debarshim, lovely travelogue indeed. Really enjoyed reading through it. I am planning a road trip to bhutan this year end, i.e 2015, to Paro, Thimpu and Punakha with my Parents and my wife. I just wanted to ask what is there to do in Punakha? What places are worth a visit in Punakha? I have been to Paro and Thimpu before so no problem with these two towns. Just need some help with Punakha. Also could you share the name of the hotel where you stayed and the price in Punakha. Thanking you in advance.
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Old 10th August 2015, 13:01   #42
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

Unless you time your trip with the Punakha Tsechu there isn't much to do in Punakha except visit the Dzong, which is beautiful and historic. For the kingdom it has tremendous religious importance. You will need a special permit from Thimphu for entering the Dzong. The Dzong visit permit is issued by the same office that issues the travel permit to Punakha.
The wooden staircases for entering the Punakha Dzong are almost vertical. I doubt if your parents can negotiate them, if they are old. But they can certainly enjoy the lush green lawn outside on the river bank.
The Punakha hotels are located in a small area (I think it is called Kuru) which is a little distance before the town.
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Old 12th October 2015, 19:13   #43
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

Hi Debarshim,

It is really great to read your travelogue about Bhutan and get the information. This is guiding me and is an exhaustive information depot

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Introduction

Immigration & Car Permits
For this trip we needed two types of permits – firstly the immigration permits for people to enter and travel through Bhutan and another permit for an Indian Motor Vehicles Registration to be allowed to be driven inside Bhutan.
I have done the permits and have them in my hand.

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Again it was Siddhartha who helped me for obtaining permits for the car. Car permits are not issued from Kolkata or anywhere in India. This permit must be obtained from Phuntsholling at the RSTA (Road Safety and Transportation Authority) office with your car documents. Siddhartha arranged for me to obtain the permit without my presence and was handed over to us by a person in Phuntsholling once we reached and we did not need to go to the RSTA office.
This time during the puja as the rush is mad towards Bhutan (Nepal being closed), I need to know
1) What are the documents you sent to Siddhartha so that it helped him to obtain the permit of the vehicle without yours presence?
2) My travel plans are really tight and will I be able to obtain the SAME a days ahead?
I plan to reach by 19th Oct night and set off for Thimphu on the 20th Oct early morning.

Any help in this regard is highly appreciated.

Thanks
NomadicLife.
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Old 12th October 2015, 21:04   #44
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Originally Posted by NomadicLife View Post

This time during the puja as the rush is mad towards Bhutan (Nepal being closed), I need to know
1) What are the documents you sent to Siddhartha so that it helped him to obtain the permit of the vehicle without yours presence?
2) My travel plans are really tight and will I be able to obtain the SAME a days ahead?
I plan to reach by 19th Oct night and set off for Thimphu on the 20th Oct early morning.

Any help in this regard is highly appreciated.

Thanks
NomadicLife.
Hi,

You will need your registration card and driver lic. Please note that Indian insurance may not be valid in Bhutan. Please check with your insurance company.
Even if you don't get the permit beforehand, please don't worry. You can get it done from phuntsholling in 30 mins.

All the best for your trip.
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Old 23rd October 2015, 10:58   #45
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Default Re: Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan)

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Hi,

You will need your registration card and driver lic. Please note that Indian insurance may not be valid in Bhutan. Please check with your insurance company.
Even if you don't get the permit beforehand, please don't worry. You can get it done from phuntsholling in 30 mins.

All the best for your trip.
Dear Debarshim,

Belated but deservedly, a big Bravo and a Congrats, for this beautiful, informative and well described TL. I have read all 3 posts of yours, and it gives me immense sorrow and pain, that inspite of having been god-gifted writer, you have penned very few TLs.

A person who drives 6000km in 3 months by jan 2012. A long vacation of 14 days will not be wasted by a resourceful person of your nature and caliber. So as a admirer of your TLs and your wonderful vehicle, can we fellow BHP brethren, NOT CALL ON YOU, with a humble request; to write a very very long and pending (since 2012, and promised by you.) 1) vehicle ownership report and

2) Other interesting TLs.

(your Deul trip and first TL, by the way, the resort has been closed down, due to a court case, and the advance bookings are not being taken by the management, as per their website. http://www.rupasibangla.in/deul.html).

Regards

Last edited by dr. sen : 23rd October 2015 at 11:03. Reason: gave a well deserved 5*.
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