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Old 23rd October 2015, 12:47   #46
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Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Dear Debarshim,

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

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
Dear Dr. Sen,

First of all thanks for going through my TL and all the encouragement and praises which, to put humbly, I may not be worthy of :-)

It is true that I write very little or in some cases write and don't publish. I will try and pen down an ownership report for the Pajero. It has been a four year lobe affair and I cannot plan to let it go.

Since 2012 I had taken this car to North Bengal(few times), Sikkim, Bhutan, Ladakh (twice), South India and only wrote about Bhutan.
There is a reason for that: Information about Ladakh is plentiful. About Bhutan very few people write. So I did not publish my TL on Ladakh and kept for my own consumption later on in life :-)
The information of road conditions and other things around Belur, Halebidu, Chikmagalur, Kabini, Wayanad is not available as much. I will try and pen that down.

Currently I had been to Madagascar on a 17 day Rainforest trip and had a great adventure. I have written the travelogue and will post it once I am free from my overwhelming work schedule.

Once again thanks for going through my TLs and hope to meet you sometime soon. If you want I can pm my number.

Regards
Debarshi
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Old 24th October 2015, 11:17   #47
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Originally Posted by debarshim View Post
Dear Dr. Sen,

I will try and pen down an ownership report for the Pajero. It has been a four year lobe affair and I cannot plan to let it go.

Since 2012 I had taken this car to North Bengal(few times), Sikkim, Bhutan, Ladakh (twice), South India and only wrote about Bhutan.
There is a reason for that: Information about Ladakh is plentiful. About Bhutan very few people write. So I did not publish my TL on Ladakh and kept for my own consumption later on in life :-)
The information of road conditions and other things around Belur, Halebidu, Chikmagalur, Kabini, Wayanad is not available as much. I will try and pen that down.

Currently I had been to Madagascar on a 17 day Rainforest trip and had a great adventure. I have written the travelogue and will post it once I am free from my overwhelming work schedule.

Once again thanks for going through my TLs and hope to meet you sometime soon. If you want I can pm my number.

Regards
Debarshi
Dear Debarshim,

Thanx for a quick, frank and a pleasant reply. Eagerly looking for the 'Red Rackham' ownership report. Am sure red rackham has crossed golden jubilee and may be having already celebrated diamond jubilee. Had a liking for the pajeros since i grew up, in nepal and when later working, in the southeast and the gulf. Made a cult figure after winning numerous paris - dakar rally consecutively (7 races, i think), and later by our jackie bhai, in 'who am i'

Please do the rain-forest at madagascar (had only seen in the NG and DC) and the chikmanglur TL. I had been to chikmanglur, and had tasted the great coffee there, courtesy my colleague, (at bangalore 2001). Will relive the days courtesy; through your eyes.

Regards
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Old 24th October 2015, 15:24   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Dear Debarshim,

Thanx for a quick, frank and a pleasant reply. Eagerly looking for the 'Red Rackham' ownership report. Am sure red rackham has crossed golden jubilee and may be having already celebrated diamond jubilee. Had a liking for the pajeros since i grew up, in nepal and when later working, in the southeast and the gulf. Made a cult figure after winning numerous paris - dakar rally consecutively (7 races, i think), and later by our jackie bhai, in 'who am i'

Please do the rain-forest at madagascar (had only seen in the NG and DC) and the chikmanglur TL. I had been to chikmanglur, and had tasted the great coffee there, courtesy my colleague, (at bangalore 2001). Will relive the days courtesy; through your eyes.

Regards
Dear Dr. Sen

The Pajero has done 85K. I don't drive that as much now, mainly to preserve the beauty. I am in fact looking for new shoes for Red Rackham.

I will get back home and start posting the Madagascar TL. Actually I am on a A380 flight to SFO right now and could not miss the opportunity of posting from 35000 ft over North Pole.

Regards
Debarshi
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Old 20th February 2016, 14:25   #49
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@debarshim
Great report and gripping narrative. We plan to drive to Bhutan in our car (Santa Fe) during the first week of March. i had contacted a travel agent in Bhutan today to enquire about hotels and i was surprised when she told me that Indian cars were not allowed in Bhutan which is contrary to all i have read in forums. Maybe she was ignorant?
Secondly, is it mandatory to go through a Bhutanese travel agent ( as is mentioned in the official Bhutan tourism website)?
Any reliable agents that you know of, who can arrange the vehicle permits, stay and such?

Thank you.
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Old 20th February 2016, 16:04   #50
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Indian cars are very much allowed. Permit is obtained in Phuntsholling. I had help from my friend to arrange the trip. You can give me a call. I will connect you with him. I will pm you my no.
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Old 20th February 2016, 16:08   #51
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Indian cars are very much allowed. Permit is obtained in Phuntsholling. I had help from my friend to arrange the trip. You can give me a call. I will connect you with him. I will pm you my no.
Thanks debarshim. I heard that it is difficult to get permits for North Sikkim and Nathula pass for outstation vehicles. Read in some thread that it is better to have local contacts at Gangtok, in order to get the permits. Is that true? Is it a matter of pure luck to get permits for North Sikkim too?

-Vivek
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Old 20th February 2016, 19:07   #52
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Yes. Outside cars are not allowed in North Sikkim, Nathula and Zuluk areas. Specifically in North Sikkim, only north Sikkim cars can only ply not even cars in Gangtok. Their union is very strong.
I happened to get permission to drive through zuluk from Rongli police station. If you get permits from there you can drive to Nathula via kupup, beside Jelep la and baba mandir.
For North Sikkim drive permits, you need to have some connects with Sikkim police. I have not tried that yet but I believe that some connection will materialize should I try.
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Old 21st February 2016, 09:56   #53
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Originally Posted by debarshim View Post
Yes. Outside cars are not allowed in North Sikkim, Nathula and Zuluk areas. Specifically in North Sikkim, only north Sikkim cars can only ply not even cars in Gangtok. Their union is very strong.
I happened to get permission to drive through zuluk from Rongli police station. If you get permits from there you can drive to Nathula via kupup, beside Jelep la and baba mandir.
For North Sikkim drive permits, you need to have some connects with Sikkim police. I have not tried that yet but I believe that some connection will materialize should I try.
Thanks a lot Debarshim. In that case, we'll take one of the conducted tours to N.Sikkim. We are three families, planning to drive from Kerala to North East. So, we can plan to base at Gangtok, and then take a 2N/3D tour of N. Sikkim.
But, we would really like to drive the Gangtok-Zuluk portion, since we plan to exit sikkim via that route.
Our tentative itinerary will be

Day 1 to 5: Drive from Trivandrum -> Gangtok (arrive on Day 5 evening)
Day 6 : Start from Gangtok by noon after getting permits, and proceed to North Sikkim. We are planning to take a local tour operator for the N.Sikkim trip. Is it possible to start in the afternoon after getting permits in the morning?
Day 7 and 8: N.Sikkim sightseeing, and reach Gangtok by night on Day 8
Day 9 : Gangtok local sightseeing, take rest
Day 10: Self-drive from Gangtok -> Nathang Valley (via Tsongo lake, Nathula) stay at Nathang Valley
Day 11 : Nathang Valley to Phuentsholing via Zuluk - stay at Phuentsholing (just want to enter Bhutan, that's it)
Day 12 onwards : Phuentsholing -> Shillong (3 days) -> Siliguri -> Kolkatta -> Kolkatta sightseeing ->Bangalore -> Trivandrum

Hope this plan is doable. This is just tentative, lot of stuff yet to be finalized since it involves multiple people. Hope this helps.

Regards,
Vivek
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Old 22nd February 2016, 08:16   #54
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Vivek, The plan is a little bit critical on days and some permit issues. I can suggest some changes. I will pm you my phone no. Kindly call me when possible.
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Old 15th November 2016, 06:29   #55
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Hi debarshim,

These are probably my first words in BHP. I have read a number of travelogues on Bhutan so far but none as vivid as your's.
I have a small query. To start off, I have lot of driving experiences in both India and UK, but none in the Indian mountains. I have been on extensive road trips in the UK including Scottish Highlands though, but I know they are nowhere comparable to driving in the Himalayas. I will be in India for a month in Feb, 2017 and am planning for 2 road trips. One in Rajasthan followed by another in Bhutan. But I would really love to know if its advisable to take my new KUV100 (I have bought it but not able to touch it till now as I have been abroad for the past year and more) to Bhutan during late February ? Will there be snow on the road ? How challenging might it be for me given the experience that I have ?
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Old 21st November 2016, 16:28   #56
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Hi,
Thanks for reading the travelogue. Driving in Bhutan should not be a problem. However the roads in Bhutan are undergoing a major overhaul and widening and all roads are broken now. My advice is to put Bhutan on hold till 2019. Its going to be abusive for the car currently.
However if you still want to visit you can. You won't need a 4wd if you stick to roads. Just ask at Trongsa if the gelephu road has slush.
You can get in touch with me at 9831647655 after 7 Dec. I am driving in NZ currently.
Regards
Debarshi
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