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Old 11th October 2014, 09:56   #1
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Default Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

The Inspiration

I wanted to make a trip to Bhutan ever since I read debarshim’s Bhutan travelogue (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ng-bhutan.html (Driving from Kolkata to Bumthang (Bhutan))). The original plan was for end of April 2015. But having failed to make a plan for the festive week of Sep-Oct 2014, we preponed the Bhutan plan. I got a lot of useful tips from debarshim, avrendu, himadrimondal and other fellow BHPians.


If you are reading this travelogue because you are also planning a road trip to Bhutan, then I strongly recommend that you read debarshim's travelogue as well mentioned above since it is full of very useful information. I also found this travelogue (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...an-tawang.html (Northeast Himalayan Escape - Bhutan and Tawang)) by himavanth_m to be very helpful in planning my trip.


The Preparation


This time I got my vehicle (Tata Safari Storme VX 4x4) checked and got some underbody damages repaired from the service centre. I always have a one litre bottle of coolant in the truck. Apart from that I did not make any other preparations for the truck. This time I did not even have a tyre inflator since it conked out couple of weeks back.


We had 27th Sep to 5th Oct at our disposal to plan the trip. I could not get the entry permit from Kolkata since the Royal Bhutan Consulate was closed from 5th Sep to 15th Oct. We could get the entry permit and vehicle permit only on Monday, the 29th Sep at the border town of Phuentsholing, Bhutan since the immigration and the RSTA offices are closed on Sundays. But we did not want to waste one of the weekend days (27th and 28th Oct) at home. So, we decided to start on the Saturday, 27th Sep from Kolkata and spend the Sunday, 28th Sep at Jaldapara National Park which is about 30 kms from the Bhutan border at Jaigaon. Therefore, I booked a room for 28th Night in Jaldapara Tourist Lodge. The website www.holidayhomeindia.com proved to be helpful in finding the contact information for the reservation. This tourist lodge is about 0.5 km from the entrance of the national park. There is another lodge, Holong Bungalow, which is inside the park and lets you watch animals across the creek from the garden of the bungalow.


I booked Wangchuk Hotel in Thimphu city for 3 nights (29th Sep-2nd Oct) and Wangchuk Resort in Taba area for one night (2nd Oct-3rd Oct) based on availability. The website www.hotel.bt was very helpful in finding the hotels and their contact information. The booking was done by calling the hotels and transferring 50% of the money to the Axis Bank, Jaigaon account of some Mr Tshering Dorji.


For our stay for the night of 27th Oct in Siliguri, I booked in my favorite Vinayak Inn through www.booking.com.


I and my wife made sure to pack adequate munching stuffs and load videos on the iPad to keep my 2 year old daughter, Srishti, busy on the long drives. It worked pretty well. We also carried ample of mosquito repellent strips for the baby, liquidator repellent for use in hotel rooms (just in case the hotels don’t provide) and sunscreens (both baby and adult).


Day 1 (27th Sep, 2014) – Kolkata to Siliguri through West Bengal


With all bookings done and bags packed, we were ready to set off on my dream trip. We took the Kolkata-Burdwan-Bolpur-Suri-Moregram-Farakka-Malda-Dalkhola-Siliguri route going against the advice of himadrimondal. It proved to be a disastrous decision since it took 18 hours (6.30 AM-12.30 AM) to reach Siliguri. Below are some pictures of the journey.


Ready to go – B1-1
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We saw three such accidents that morning between Kolkata and Burdwan – B1-2
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Breakfast at Cafe Coffeday, Singur – B1-3 & B1-4
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Near Amar Kutir, Bolpur – B1-5
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Somewhere after Suri – B1-6
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Hotel Royal, Umarpur – this is a good option for lunch with reasonably clean washrooms – B1-7
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The road from Kaliachak to Dalkhola was very bad and had terrible congestion. It took about 7 hours to cross this stretch. To make things worse, it started raining very heavily when we were about 40 kms from Bagdogra horribly impairing visibility. Finally we reached Vinayak Inn, Siliguri past 12.30 AM. They had kept our dinner ready in our room as we instructed in advance.


Day 2 (28th Sep, 2014) – Siliguri to Jaldapara


We started around 10 AM in the morning from Siliguri and reached Jaldapara around 1 PM. Here are some pictures of the journey.


The famous Coronation Bridge – B2-1 & B2-2
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Teesta River – B2-3
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The Monkey Business – B2-4 & B2-5
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Jaldapara Tourist Lodge – B2-6 & B2-7
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After a wonderful lunch at Jaldapara Tourist Lodge, we went for the jeep safari. The jeep safari can be booked and starts from the Lodge. We shared the jeep with one other gentleman and had to pay Rs 1000 out of Rs 1450 (rent of a one jeep safari that can accommodate a maximum of 6 adults). Here are some pictures.


We were the first safari group of the season (as told by the staffs at the gate) – B2-8
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Elephants carrying their dinner – B2-9
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A baby elephant – B2-10
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A falcon – B2-11
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Monkeys and Peacocks – B2-15 & B2-16
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We had booked elephant safari for next morning at 6.30 AM and got the confirmation of the booking at dinner time. The elephant safari is very popular and has very limited availability. There are only three trips per day – 5.30 AM, 6.30 AM and 7.30 AM. Moreover, preference is given to visitors staying in the Holong Bungalow. Therefore, we happily went to bed after getting the good news. The cost of the elephant safari came to approximately Rs 1600 including entry pass for my vehicle and elephant safari for two.

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Old 11th October 2014, 11:29   #2
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Beautiful. Loved the photographs. Documentation is really good, stage by stage photographs are so well connected. None of the reserve parks in Dooars allow private vehicles now a days, such a down point since not much of wild life left w.r.t the wild cats. Looks like you guys had a blast.

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Old 11th October 2014, 11:41   #3
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Day 3 (29th Sep, 2014) – Enter the Land of Thunder Dragon


As instructed by the manager of the lodge the previous day, we got ready and set out for the Holong Bungalow at 6 AM in the morning. On reaching the Holong Bungalow, we found that the safaris were one hour behind schedule. Our safari started at 7.30 AM. We got to see Indian single horned Rhino, Sambar deer, barking deer and a python. I found that the jungle is best experienced on an elephant’s back where jeeps cannot go. We were worried if Srishti will co-operate till the end of the safari. But in reality, she enjoyed every bit of it. Here are some pictures from the elephant safari.


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Srishti giving tip to the gentlemanly beast – B3-9
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After the Safari, we returned to the Lodge at 9.35 AM. We got ready and started on our journey to Bhutan at 10.30 AM after having breakfast. The plan was to withdraw some good amount of cash and fill up the fuel tank of the truck before entering Bhutan. I had to drive 20 kms extra and waste about couple of hours in search of an ATM that is not out of order and has cash!!!


Finally we made it through the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing border gate at 1 PM – B3-11
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The immigration office is a yellow building on the right of the road about 300 meters after getting through the gate. The public parking is on the left side of the road soon after the gate. On reaching the office, we were told that they are on lunch break which is from 1PM to 2PM. We went to have lunch and then went back to the counters of the office at 2PM. The office was very crowded. I got my permit by 3.30 PM, much quicker than everybody else waiting there, since I had everything ready and the forms filled up from Kolkata itself as per guidance in debarshim’s travelogue. Soon after getting the entry permits, I got 3 copies of Xerox done of each of the permits. There are no charges for getting the entry permits.


Then I ran to the RSTA office only to find that their accounts are closed by 3 PM and they do not accept any fresh applications after that. The RSTA office issues the vehicle permit and is located on the second floor of the main bus stand of the town. Here I would like to mention that you need copies of your driving license, pollution certificate, RC book/smart card of your vehicle and road tax payment certificate along with their originals. You need to submit the copies of the documents along with one set of copies of your entry permits and a written application (you read it right – “written application”, there is no forms to be filled) stating that you want to visit Thimphu, Paro and/or Haa with your family/friends.


Having no other option, I checked into hotel Bhutan Residence right behind the RSTA office. I called up Wangchuk Hotel in Thimphu and requested to hold the room explaining the situation. They readily agreed. We were a little upset since we had to lose a day. We found Bhutan Residence is actually very nice at an affordable price and their food is pretty good. I proposed to go to the Crocodile Park which is just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel and is open till 5 PM. But we had to drop the plan since Srishti had enough for the day and all she wanted to do is to eat and play in the hotel room. Therefore, we also decided to chill for the rest of the evening.


Day 4 (30th Sep, 2014) – Destination Thimphu


I went back to the RSTA office at 9AM (Bhutan time) sharp and got the permit within 40 minutes. I had to pay a fee of Nu 270 (Rs 270). We started on our journey to Thimphu at 10 AM after breakfast. It took 7 hours to reach Thimphu with one food stop at Bholu Hotel (it’s a hotel with two seats in the living room of a residence and all we could get to eat was Maggie) and multiple stops for taking pictures and enjoying the sceneries. We thanked the Almighty that we did not get the permit the previous day since the road conditions were too dangerous at places after the monsoon for an outsider to drive in the dark. We counted at least 6 major landslides on the way to Thimphu. There are two check posts en route where you have to get your permits checked and stamped (voluntarily, because no one will stop you to check the permits at the check posts). We reached the city of Thimphu around 5 PM and found the city in a festive mood for the upcoming Thimphu Tshechu (3rd-5th October, 2014). A cabbie guided us to the Wangchuk Hotel for Nu 50. The hotel is at a very convenient location on Chang Lam near the entrance of the core city area and very close to almost everything. Below are some pictures of the journey.

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Hats off to the Border Roads Organization (BRO) and Indian Army for Project Dantak, the project that maintains more than 1500 kms of roads and bridges in Bhutan and the Paro airport. I hope people responsible for maintaining NH-34 learn something from BRO.


We took a short walk to the famous Handicaft Market and ate momos there. The atmosphere of the entire city was festive. Srishti found a new friend, a Bhutanese “ketti”. The father of the little girl, a shopkeeper at the handicraft market, explained in broken English that “ketti” means daughter and “ketta” means son.

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We found the food at the Wangchuk Hotel to be pretty good. The only issue we had was that the room heater was not working and they could neither fix it nor arrange for a replacement. We, especially Srishti, had a disturbed sleep because of the cold in the night. The next day they figured out that it was the plug point that was not working. They plugged the heater into another point and it started working!!! Other than this one trouble, rest of the stay in the hotel was actually quite nice.
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Old 11th October 2014, 12:03   #4
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Day 5 (1st Oct, 2014) – Sightseeing: Thimphu & Paro


Having lost one day, we decided to do a little bit of sightseeing in Thimphu and Paro and to go to Punakha (seeing Dochu La en route) for a day trip the next day. Therefore, we went to the Thimphu Immigration office (at the far end of handicraft market and opposite to Royal Textile Academy) at 9AM for entry permit extension to visit Punakha and submitted the required form. I was asked to come back at 10.30 AM to collect the extended permit. Now we had more than an hour. So we decided to pay a visit to the famous Buddha Point.


The Buddha Point is at the top of the hill and one can see it practically from anywhere in Thimphu city – B5-1
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The statue sits 169 ft tall – B5-2
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View of Thimphu City from Buddha Point – B5-3
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We went back to the immigration office at 10.20 AM and found our extended permit ready. We went on a quick round of shopping for friends and family back home at the handicraft market across the street before heading to the RSTA office for route permit extension.


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It took less than 5 minutes to get the route permit extended to Punakha at the RSTA office. Having all the papers required to go to Punakha the next day in hand, we headed to Paro at 11.30 AM.


The gateway to Thimphu city – B5-6
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You can find chilies spread out for sun drying on rooftops of almost every house in Bhutan – B5-7
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Paro River (Paro Chu) and Paro Valley – B5-8
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Part of the road leading to Paro is non-existent. First view of the splendid Rinpung (Paro) Dzong. – B5-9
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Rinpung Dzong up close – B5-10
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Inside Rinpung Dzong – B5-11 to B5-13
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Bhutan National Museum as seen from the courtyard of the Dzong. We did not go to the museum as it was closed. – B5-14
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Paddy fields of the Paro valley – B5-15
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After visiting the Dzong, we went to a local restaurant in main market of Paro. The lady owner gave us two pieces of advice which made us cut our Paro visit short. First, we should reach Chele La before 10 AM since it becomes too windy after that and second, we should head back to Thimphu before sunset since the army closes down the road at the site of the big landslide after dark. It was already 2.30 PM by the time we finished our lunch. Therefore, we had to drop Chele La and Drukgyel Dzong from our itinerary. So, we headed back to Thimphu after visiting the Kichu Lakhang post lunch.


Beautiful Kichu Lakhang – B5-16 to B5-18
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Paro Chu (Paro River) – B5-19
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This landslide made us cut our Paro visit short – B5-20
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Sun and Shadow – B5-21
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Old 11th October 2014, 12:21   #5
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Day 6 (2nd Oct, 2014) – The day of redemption

It was a big day ahead and the last one of our stay in the beautiful little country of Bhutan. We had packed our bags the previous night since we had to shift to Wangchuk Resort today.

Frozen dews on the bonnet in the morning - B6-1
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Standing Buddha statue as seen from the hotel room – B6-2
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We checked out of the hotel and headed off to Punakha at 7.45 AM after having our breakfast. As we were making our way up the hill, we found ourselves stuck at the end of a very long line of stopped cars, buses and trucks. I got out of the vehicle and walked up to the end of the line to find that the road is closed from 8 AM to 10.30 AM for road widening work and after 10.30 AM it will remain closed and open every alternate half hour. So, we missed the train just by 5 minutes!!! There was no point in trying to go to Punakha when the road would open because we did not want to drive back to Thimphu after dark and we did not want to travel on a very tight schedule. My wife suggested that we should give a shot to Chele La since we still have time to reach there before 10 AM. Good idea! So, there we headed to the Chele La.

Simtokha Dzong, the oldest in Bhutan – B6-3
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Chele La pass – B6-4 to B6-6
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Snow capped Mt Jhomalhari as seen from Chele La – B6-7
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View of Haa Valley from Chele La – B6-8
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View of Paro Valley with the runway of Paro Airport from Chele La – B6-9
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Runway of Paro Airport up close (shot from the same spot) – B6-10
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Green apple orchard on the way back from Chele La – B6-11
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Paro Market – B6-12
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I would like to make a request to the readers – if ever you happen to drive through the hills of Bhutan, switch off the music and roll down the windows. If you don’t do that, you are going to miss the total experience because you will only see the sights but will miss the sounds of the crickets, the birds, the rivers and the falling rocks and the beautiful smells in the air.


We had our lunch in a different restaurant at Paro market after returning from Chele La. We decided to head back to Thimphu since we had to find the Wangchuk Resort which is on top of a hill in Taba area. From what we had heard about the resort, it is in a location where it is hard to find anybody for asking directions. On reaching Taba we asked one gentleman for direction and he pointed us to a narrow road up the hill on the right of Dechen Lam. It had already started raining. The road kept getting narrower and soon turned into a steep gravel road. I shifted to 4H. After about 0.5 km, the road ahead was even steeper and the gravel road turned into red mud track just about 6 inches wider than my Storme. I saw an old man standing right there with his old Toyota SUV with a snorkel. He looked at the road and then looked at us and gave a grim smile. I don’t know what was playing in his mind but I was seriously doubtful if I want to take that road with my past experience of the performance of the H/T tyres in mud. I stopped briefly, shifted to 4L and started going up. To my surprise the Storme started crawling its way up pretty comfortably probably because there were gravel layer right underneath the slippery surface. Though I could hear some wheel spins, but there were no skids whatsoever. We easily covered rest of the climb (about 1 km) to the resort in 4L and 2nd and 3rd gears. This stretch was very steep, slippery and had some tricky hairpin bends. My wife quipped “the climb to Chele La was much better”.

On reaching the resort, we were pleasantly surprised. It was indeed a beautiful and cozy place with splendid views of the hills all around. We wanted to extend our stay for one more night. But due to the rush of the festive season, we were out of luck.

The view out of the window from bed – B6-13
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The Cafeteria – B6-14 & B6-15
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The park – B6-16
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The manager of the resort informed us that they had arranged for a cultural program with 12 different performances from various parts of the land for a group of European guests later in the evening and that he would be very happy if we also could join to see the show. We happily accepted. The performances were enchanting and left us with deep respect for the cultural heritage of the peaceful heaven. The wonderful evening totally redeemed the day after having missed Punakha.

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Music is in their voice and so they don’t need any instruments – B6-18
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The traditional Mask Dance – B6-19
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The Black Necked Crane Dance – B6-22
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The Dance of the Nomads of the High Mountains who live with the Yaks – B6-23
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The song the women of Bumthang Valley sing while doing their household work with scarves on their heads – B6-24
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Old 11th October 2014, 12:32   #6
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Day 7 (3rd Oct, 2014) – Start of The End: Thimphu to Siliguri

In the last 2-3 days we had been trying to withdraw money from various ATMs but without any luck. Therefore, we enquired at the reception about ATMs that work with international Visa and Amex cards. They told us that Visa cards should work at the PNB ATM which is at the main traffic circle of the town (i.e. on Norzim Lam). We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and started off to Norzim Lam at 9.30 AM. We found that the entire stretch of the Norzim Lam is closed down for vehicles and has turned into Tshechu Market. We had to walk to the PNB ATM only to find the none of the 5 cards co-operating with the machine. A kind gentleman volunteered to help me with the information that Visa cards work at the BOB (Bank of Bhutan) ATM right across the traffic circle. Thanking him, we went to the BOB ATM. The first two cards refused to help us but the third one, i.e. my ICICI visa debit, did spit out the money I needed. Happy mamma and happy baby went for another quick shopping run in the Tshechu Market. We finally started back to Siliguri at 11 AM.

Shopping at Tshechu Market – B7-1
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You see these earthen stuffs (looks like Diyas) all over in the rocks by the roads – B7-2
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b72.jpg

Confluence of Paro Chu and Wang Chu (aka Thimphu River) – B7-3
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b73.jpg

An unknown Dzong very high up the hill – B7-4
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b74.jpg

The board says it all – B7-5
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b75.jpg

One of the broken stretches of the road – B7-6
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b76.jpg

I found this petrol pump to be kind of cute – B7-7
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b77.jpg

The only decent food stop on the Thimphu-Phuentsholing Road: Dantak Canteen, run by the Indian Army – B7-8
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b78.jpg

The location of Dantak Canteen: 70 kms from Phuentsholing and 25 kms from Gedu – B7-9
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b79.jpg

View of the road from Dantak Canteen – B7-10
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b710.jpg

We reached Phuentsholing at 5 PM and Siliguri at 8 PM. We crossed one fresh and large landslide on the way back to Phuentsholing. The police were yet to reach the spot. I did not have the guts to stop and take a picture since the slide was fresh and the fog was very dense. I had to get the entry permit stamped at the first check post and submit both the entry permit and the vehicle permit at the second check post just before entering Phuentsholing. You can pay with Indian rupees almost everywhere, but you cannot exchange Bhutanese Ngultrum for Indian rupees in any of the shops, restaurants or petrol pumps. Therefore, we filled up diesel with all the Ngultrum we were left with. Both petrol and diesel are considerably cheaper in Bhutan than in India. We were lucky to find a room in Vinayak Inn without prior reservation.

Day 8 (4th Oct, 2014) – The End: Back to Kolkata

We started at 7 AM from Siliguri. We took the Siliguri-Dalkhola-Purnia-Bhagalpur-Dumka-Messanjor-Suri-Bolpur-Burdwan-Kolkata route to avoid the usual hours long congestions of NH-34 and additional congestion due to Durga Puja Visarjan in West Bengal. It proved to be a good decision since we reached Kolkata by 9.30 PM with 4 breaks. The road was totally bombed out between NH-31 and Vikramshila Setu (18 kms) and was in considerably bad shape between Bhagalpur and Dumka. Otherwise, the road is pretty good and free of congestions.

Better road surface in the Bhagalpur route – B8-1
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b81.jpg

The 4.7 kms long Vikramshila Setu – B8-2
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-b82.jpg

The total distance travelled during this trip is 2400 kms and total cost of the trip is approximately Rs 37000 including everything (stay, food, diesel, activities, etc.).

Last edited by psurelia : 11th October 2014 at 12:40. Reason: Correction to date
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Old 11th October 2014, 18:14   #7
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Smile Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

Thanks Partha da.
I relived my honeymoon trip to Bhutan through your pictures.
We went there in Oct 2011 just few days before the King's wedding. The whole country was decorated in colours.
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Old 11th October 2014, 18:25   #8
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Default Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

Great TL Partha da, as usual.

The Storme looks amazing midst the mountains. Nice narrative and pictures.
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Old 11th October 2014, 18:26   #9
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Default Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
Beautiful. Loved the photographs. Documentation is really good, stage by stage photographs are so well connected. None of the reserve parks in Dooars allow private vehicles now a days, such a down point since not much of wild life left w.r.t the wild cats. Looks like you guys had a blast.
Himadrida, you are the boss of North Bengal and Sikkim . We really liked Jaldapara and are thinking of at least one wildlife trip every year. I will need more detailed guidance from you in future. Thanks for all your help in making this trip a success.

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Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
Thanks Partha da.
I relived my honeymoon trip to Bhutan through your pictures.
We went there in Oct 2011 just few days before the King's wedding. The whole country was decorated in colours.
Arunasish, it will be great if you can post some pics here.

So, the King of Bhutan did follow you in getting married !!!
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Old 12th October 2014, 19:16   #10
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Default Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

Amazing trip

Always have been wanting to do Bhutan. Do you think it is ok to do Bhutan in a normal hatchback or is an SUV a necessity? In general, how is the road condition in Bhutan?
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Old 12th October 2014, 20:11   #11
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Default Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

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Originally Posted by Burn_out View Post
Great TL Partha da, as usual.

The Storme looks amazing midst the mountains. Nice narrative and pictures.
Thanks Burn_out

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Originally Posted by dutta_d1 View Post
Amazing trip

Always have been wanting to do Bhutan. Do you think it is ok to do Bhutan in a normal hatchback or is an SUV a necessity? In general, how is the road condition in Bhutan?
Thanks dutta_d1. Hatchback will do just fine unless you get too adventurous. I would suggest that you book your hotels within the valleys unless you have a 4x4. Some of the beautiful resorts are located in hard to drive locations especially when it rains. Also, plan your drives in daylights only irrespective of vehicle type.

Last edited by psurelia : 12th October 2014 at 20:14.
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Old 12th October 2014, 21:24   #12
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Post Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
Arunasish, it will be great if you can post some pics here.
So, the King of Bhutan did follow you in getting married !!!
Here are some of the shots from our Bhutan Trip Oct 2011
Photos were taken using Canon Powershot.

Road side view:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-1.jpg
At Paro while walking around:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-2.jpg
Paro Airport view:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-3.jpg
Thimpu:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-4.jpg
Punakha dzong where the wedding was being organised:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-5.jpg
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-6.jpg
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-7.jpg
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-8.jpg
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-9.jpg
View from Punakha dzong:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-10.jpg
Something interesting:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-11.jpg
Buddha Statue begin constructed then:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-12.jpg
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-13.jpg
At Bhutan Library:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-14.jpg
On route:
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-15.jpg
Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme-16.jpg
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Old 12th October 2014, 21:40   #13
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Default Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan

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Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
The total distance travelled during this trip is 2400 kms and total cost of the trip is approximately Rs 37000 including everything (stay, food, diesel, activities, etc.).
Beautiful travelogue : loved every bit of it!

Congratulations, no easy task by any means: with a kid on board! 37k is a great figure!

I was just wondering, what kind of mileage the Storme returned overall. It has seen and overcome mixed terrain, was pushed a bit, here and there and it seems to be more than capable.
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Old 13th October 2014, 03:25   #14
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Default Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

Lovely pictures Partha and detailed travelogue. I have been planning to go to Bhutan for quite sometime now (last visited in 1990) but have not been able to manage yet. Thanks for sharing this t-log.
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Old 13th October 2014, 06:53   #15
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Default Re: Nature, Culture & Fun – Jaldapara & Bhutan in a Safari Storme

Bhutan is a cute little land space with a unique charm of its own. The blue sky, clean air, beautiful landscapes, the culture –what an amazing piece of land.


Thanks for taking me back to early 2000s when I enjoyed a short stint in a place called Wangduephodrang which is about a couple of hours drive from Thimphu.


Lovely travelogue !
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