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Old 1st February 2015, 04:36   #31
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Day 5

It was the day of our return to Kolkata. As its the same old story which has been captured many times earlier in appropriate threads, and nothing significant to report, I will skip this part.

Map Update

As many BHPians have requested for route I took via google map, here it is given below:

To and from Kolkata and Siliguri
Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim-kolsil.jpg

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Siliguri to Kaluk
Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim-silkal.jpg

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Kaluk to Siliguri
Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim-kalsil.jpg

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Now, the infamous short cut to Kaluk (muddy trechearous road), for which the videos were shared earlier
Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim-kalshort.jpg

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This route is out of bound for any commercial Jeeps as well. This was confirmed by our guide cum sightseeing driver in Kaluk.

Many thanks to all you for having the patience to go through the detailed report. I will end my travelogue here, hoping to come back soon with another one.
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Old 1st February 2015, 22:31   #32
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Thanks for the lovely thread and great pictures. We can't get enough of Sikkim. Hope drivetrain puts up a travelogue as well. Logged in through web and have been able to rate 5 stars!
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Old 1st February 2015, 23:16   #33
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Day2 - Continued.

It was an eventful day, and how could it not end with the same essence?
When I parked my car in the resort, I saw a Renault Duster AWD in the parking area. Looking at the number plate I knew that it was from my city Kolkata but I was very hungry and in the process overlooked something. After gulping on the momos and other delicacies, and after sharing some good time together with my parents and wife recapitulating the journey today, I decided to go downstairs to my car and fetch the SJ1000 dashcam to transfer the videos to my laptop. As I approached my car, I suddenly noticed a set of very well known letters in the Duster's rear glass pane. A closer look revealed "www.team-bhp.com". I was just . I rushed to the reception guy and enquired about the owner. He replied "That car arrived yesterday afternoon". I told him to let the owner know of my intent to talk to him. Then I went back to my room. At the time of dinner, the reception guy introduced me to the owner of the Duster AWD, and it was fellow TBhpian "DriveTrain". And it was his car. He is a nice person and we had a lot of conversations later.
The resort had two cars in the parking area for guests, and both were TBhpians!
gearhead_mait , I was out of town for a few days and missed seeing this earlier ! Fantastic write up , great images and a compelling narration , kudos to you on your first hill drive - going by this travelogue , you are a veteran now

That evening was the second day for me at Kaluk , I walk out to the porch after dinner , see a White Eon next to the Duster , see the Kolkata plates and instantly my eyes were riveted to your TBHP stickers. I literally rushed to the reception and was informed that "O shab log be aap k bare mei poocha , abhi shyad andar dinner leh rehe hai" . And the rest is history ! It was great meeting you and your family.

I was planning an elaborate trip to Mechuka and Anini as the first drive for the Duster , but my daughter broke her hand at school and there was not enough time to make that trip after her cast was taken off. That's when Kaluk came into the picture as an alternative.

I was also planning on SH 7 to take me to Moregram and met the same diversion , but I looped back to SH 7 at Muratipur via Kamarpara. It was a bad decision since the entire SH 7 from Muratipur to Moregram was completely dug up for resurfacing !

On my way up I did not know about the Soreng / Zoom route (took this on my way back). I had lunch at Jorethag , crossed the bridge , went right on the Nayabazar Legsip Road and then dutifully took the shorter route that should have taken me to Kaluk via Richenpong. That's when it all went haywire. After a few kilometers there was nothing , just mud slush and huge craters. That's when my wife starting invoking the name of all Gods she knew and I gleefully engaged AWD. My Duster just dug her fangs and how ! I must have taken quite a few wrong turns , there was nothing on any Map (on the GPS) , no roads , in some stretches it was grass , gravel and fading tyre tracks. I literally drove through backyards of some house asking people. No one even seem to have heard of Kaluk and pointed me stating that "O pahari k upar acha rastha ayega" and that Pahari was not even in view. I finally came out through Martam on the Bermiok Route after about 2 hours of entering this territory. The gradient was very steep and there was literally grass and rocks to drive on , I sincerely believe that AWD saved the day for me . I did have quite a few tense moments , it was my first time driving on such terrain , but the Gods would have been working overtime given the insistence of prayers from my wife ! While going towards Singshore later , I stopped at this junction where the road coming up from Martam meets and asked the locals the way Jorethang from there and got blank faces, that stretch was really an adventure.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 11:29   #34
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
Hi gearhead_mait
The Eon is the clear winner. Love the car from all angle and happy to see it going all over the place.
Hats-off for the little baby's day-out.
When do we get to see the ice-ice baby ?
Thanks
Thanks, Wanderers! By "ice" did you mean pictures of snow? Then unfortunately the fact goes like this - This part of Sikkim doesn't get snowfall, its the eastern and northern parts which get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
Beautiful pictures and wonderful narrations! I thoroughly loved reading through it and am waiting for the rest of the story. My situation is like finding the rest of the pages are torn at the peak of suspense while reading a thriller novel.
Thanks a lot, psurelia! The travelogue has been completed now. Take a look down further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nissan1180 View Post
Great pictures...the fourth one (from top) depicting the flowers with the mountains in the backdrop has become my wallpaper.
I saw the video of the road, and I am sorry but I have to say that the track is too dangerous for a FWD car. It is great that you crossed safely, but the lack of road grip and lightweight built of our hatchbacks is best suited for levelled and tarred roads. I am making this statement in the interest of safety - no other intention.
Thanks! Its really good to find out that the pictures were wallpaper quality.
Yes, the tracks are extremely dangerous. But, when driving in the hills, you seldom get to know what lies ahead. Perhaps, this is the flavor of the Mountains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Congratulations gearhead_mait on your first drive to the mountains and I am sure you are hooked for life. As Samba has said, it is an addiction that no correction home can ever cure :-D The travelogue is superb with pictures to match. The music in your video is nice.
The first time I went to Kaluk was in my Baleno and it was a torture on the heart.
The short cut to Kaluk that you have mentioned, is it through a place called Zoom? If yes, then I have been on that route in my bolero. It is treacherous specially during the rainy season and 4wd is needed at stretches.
P.S. - I want to rate this thread 5 stars but can't find how to do it through the iOS app. Can somebody help?
Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
You really deserve a clap. Any person buying a Eon in these parts of the country will never try the Kolkata-Siliguri route, leave alone Sikkim. Further taking Parent along such unknown routes coupled with bad roads really takes a very cool head. Coming back to the trip, roads are tiring but what lies at the end of it is worth the effort. Even better are the memories that cross your mind later. I am not even a week back from Sikkim but your photographs are igniting the passion again. Beautiful set of frames, very well thought and framed and adds so much more content. Your better half needs special mention here. Having two Tbhpians under the same roof was such an unplanned bonus. As BlackPearl says, you are now addicted for life. The secluded winding roads will be calling you again soon.
Thanks a lot to both of you! Getting these kind of feedback, specially from you guys, really makes me think that the achievement is something special.
Please have a look at the Zoom road video. I liked that road very much.

And special thanks Himadri da for all the guidance in the Kolkata TBHP meet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountMe91 View Post
Excellent Travelogue complemented with wonderful pictures! Your Eon has really inspired me to take our Wagon R to the mountains.
Thanks! Don't think, Do it! I am sure you will love the experience and it will linger on in your memories and inspire you for more. Block the website of IRCTC in your browser while planning for your next trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Thanks for the lovely thread and great pictures. We can't get enough of Sikkim. Hope drivetrain puts up a travelogue as well. Logged in through web and have been able to rate 5 stars!
Thanks, BlackPearl! I would also request DriveTrain to put up a Travelogue as he also had his own share of adventures.
Also, you may not know, your travelogues were one of the inspirations behind this road trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
gearhead_mait , I was out of town for a few days and missed seeing this earlier ! Fantastic write up , great images and a compelling narration , kudos to you on your first hill drive - going by this travelogue , you are a veteran now

That evening ...
At last you replied! It was a pleasure of our family as well to meet your family. BlackPearl and I have already requested you to put up a travelogue. Please do so. Take your time but come up with something wonderful. I would really like to have an elaborate view of your experiences, specially the road through Martam.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 13:11   #35
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Great stuff Soumyajit! Enjoyed every word of it. And many thanks for the route on Gmaps.
I am trying to convince my people to plan such a trip. Used your thread and pictures as aspiration to them Let us see if that materializes. I guess the Himalayas, particularly in Sikkim are not calling me as of yet; if you can say so. I have been to the Himalayas in Bhutan but Sikkim is yet to be (when the actual plan was of Sikkim but diverted at the last moment - Can you believe this?). My another longed destination, Tajpur was also achieved after you visited the place and put up a travelogue. So, probably your trip again will break the jinx for Sikkim for me too

Thanks!
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Old 2nd February 2015, 13:48   #36
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Great stuff! Absolutely loved the description and the pictures. Indeed its a beautiful place to be. Congrats to you on accomplishing the visit successfully.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 16:32   #37
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Awesome travelogue. As most have said, it takes guts to drive an Eon to and around these parts of the world. Do compliment your wife as she really has an eye for good photography.

I visited West Sikkim with my parents in 1995, when I was all of 14 years old. Stayed at the Mt Pandim Hotel in Pelling for 2 nights, and did a lot of local sightseeing. Of course, we had a hired vehicle at that time. A lot of those memories came alive after reading your travelogue. For example, the name "Mt Kabru" had stuck to our head. Next year someone gifted us a GSD puppy and we named him "Kabru" . Or the fact that our taxi driver, a local Sikkimese chap, took me to the (then under construction if I recall correctly) Singshore Bridge and taught me to throw a stone really, really far into the ravine!

You didn't visit the Khecheophalri lake?

Another suggestion. In fitting with the image size restrictions you are compressing your images too much. The forum can take file sizes upto 3MB. Photos this good should really be viewed in greater scale.
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Old 2nd February 2015, 18:54   #38
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Simply gulped it till the end and rated 5 stars. Hats Off to you and your family!
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Old 2nd February 2015, 21:28   #39
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

It requires lot of guts to take EON to such a part of the Country that too being aware of the road conditions. I was cursing myself when I took Swift on Mannuthy (NH47) aka moon size cratered road towards Guruvayoor 2 years before without knowing the road conditions. Excellent travelogue and precise narration. The pictures look awesome - like the perpendicular pictures of Singshore Bridge.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 12:29   #40
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Great stuff Soumyajit! Enjoyed every word of it. And many thanks for the route on Gmaps.
I am trying to convince my people to plan such a trip. Used your thread and pictures as aspiration to them Let us see if that materializes. I guess the Himalayas, particularly in Sikkim are not calling me as of yet; if you can say so. I have been to the Himalayas in Bhutan but Sikkim is yet to be (when the actual plan was of Sikkim but diverted at the last moment - Can you believe this?). My another longed destination, Tajpur was also achieved after you visited the place and put up a travelogue. So, probably your trip again will break the jinx for Sikkim for me too
Thanks!
I sincerely wish for your venture to come true. Sikkim is a paradise and you must take your ride to the beautiful state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JASMEET MATTOO View Post
Great stuff! Absolutely loved the description and the pictures. Indeed its a beautiful place to be. Congrats to you on accomplishing the visit successfully.
Thanks, Jasmeet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Awesome travelogue. As most have said, it takes guts to drive an Eon to and around these parts of the world. Do compliment your wife as she really has an eye for good photography.

I visited West Sikkim with my parents in 1995, when I was all of 14 years old. Stayed at the Mt Pandim Hotel in Pelling for 2 nights, and did a lot of local sightseeing. Of course, we had a hired vehicle at that time. A lot of those memories came alive after reading your travelogue. For example, the name "Mt Kabru" had stuck to our head. Next year someone gifted us a GSD puppy and we named him "Kabru" . Or the fact that our taxi driver, a local Sikkimese chap, took me to the (then under construction if I recall correctly) Singshore Bridge and taught me to throw a stone really, really far into the ravine!

You didn't visit the Khecheophalri lake?

Another suggestion. In fitting with the image size restrictions you are compressing your images too much. The forum can take file sizes upto 3MB. Photos this good should really be viewed in greater scale.
Thanks, predatorwheelz! No, we didn't went to Khecheophalri lake. Decided to visit it when we come to visit the area around Pelling only, like Yuksom, Yangtey etc.

Thanks for your suggestion on the image compressing. One of the reasons to compress the image is to make the travelogue easy to read. I have seen some travelogues where the images are so heavy, it takes a lot of time for the travelogue to load. It worsens proportionately with the number of images attached.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
Simply gulped it till the end and rated 5 stars. Hats Off to you and your family!
Thanks a lot! psurelia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by couswheels View Post
It requires lot of guts to take EON to such a part of the Country that too being aware of the road conditions. I was cursing myself when I took Swift on Mannuthy (NH47) aka moon size cratered road towards Guruvayoor 2 years before without knowing the road conditions. Excellent travelogue and precise narration. The pictures look awesome - like the perpendicular pictures of Singshore Bridge.
Thanks! couswheels.
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Old 3rd February 2015, 21:26   #41
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Amazingly good narration and great photography, I read the whole travelogue at one go.
Good job, both the travelogue and the driving.

Next trip should be Bhutan, where the roads are much better with lighter traffic, and therefore relative stress-free. Cheers
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Old 4th February 2015, 11:03   #42
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

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Amazingly good narration and great photography, I read the whole travelogue at one go.
Good job, both the travelogue and the driving.

Next trip should be Bhutan, where the roads are much better with lighter traffic, and therefore relative stress-free. Cheers
Thanks! Sir. By the way, there is hardly any update on your side. You skipped the Kolkata Winter meet as well. On a long road trip?
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Old 5th February 2015, 08:02   #43
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

One little word sums it all up .. AWESOME. Really unbelievable taking a eon up there on your first visit to the hills and that too with family. Felt excited just by reading it. Seriously thinking about taking my beat up there. Hope its doable.
I had been to Zuluk in December'14 and we had to take one such shortcut road on our way down to Gangtok. Really bad even for a bolero.
The pics are just wow.. captures the ambience of the hills perfectly and the colors are pretty saturated. Gives a different feel.
Will keep following your posts for more such wonderful travelogues. Great job once again..
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Old 12th February 2015, 16:12   #44
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Originally Posted by shantonob View Post
One little word sums it all up .. AWESOME. Really unbelievable taking a eon up there on your first visit to the hills and that too with family. Felt excited just by reading it. Seriously thinking about taking my beat up there. Hope its doable.
I had been to Zuluk in December'14 and we had to take one such shortcut road on our way down to Gangtok. Really bad even for a bolero.
The pics are just wow.. captures the ambience of the hills perfectly and the colors are pretty saturated. Gives a different feel.
Will keep following your posts for more such wonderful travelogues. Great job once again..
Thanks!
Don't think, do. Taking your own car to the mountains has its own charm. On top of that, the uncertainties of long road trips adds a flavor to the trip that's unmatched.
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Old 17th February 2015, 21:40   #45
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Default Re: Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim

Excellent TL gearhead_mait !!

Very extensively written and amazing pictures must say. The pleasure of meeting up with you at the Kolkata Winter Meet 2014 just got better in going through your travelogue.

I really liked the way you have maintained your car. It looks nice, neat and cute. So, posting a Pic of your ride captured at the TEAM-BHP Kolkata Winter Meet :
Where the road leads to the Himalayas! Kaluk, West Sikkim-_mg_0274.jpg

The initiative taken up by you in travelling with family to the hills in your own car (a hatch with full load on that terrain) was courageous must say. Actually it's all in the mind and that there has to be a first time. Good to see that the EON did very well and that you had a wonderful time and a memorable experience. Now that you have got a hang of driving on the hills, shall await more posts from you about your travel.

There are a few things that I want to know from you about the road condition as you have recently traveled in that zone. Kindly brief up the road condition :
1.) From Jorethang to Melli on your way back, &
2.) From Kaluk to Pelling to Singshore Bridge when you went for sight seeing
3.) The entry into Alpine Cheese Factory was pre-planned or do they allow general visitors to hop in any time of the day ?

Have been planning and still am (& nothing materializing ) on a trip to Pelling; so thought your views might help.

Keep posting such beautiful travelogues !!
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