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Old 27th August 2015, 12:01   #16
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
This is my first travelogue
Congratulations PapaBravo on your first travelogue on tbhp. Very well written and beautiful pictures .With an even more capable vehicle in your garage now, we hope to see many such travelogues from you.


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One fine day while sitting in the office, I see a thread on the Homepage named Sikkim - Baptism by Fire by Mi2n.
That was one awesome travelogue from Mi2n.

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himadrimondal (our in house Sikkim expert)
He is the BOSS when it comes to Sikkim. He is the boss on a lot more things but that can be a separate discussion

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Soon we were at Melli. A quick show of Voter Ids & we were in Sikkim.
I did not know that they ask for voter id or any identification at the Bengal-Sikkim border.


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Soon we were in Jorethang. Post Jorethang, we had decided to take the Zoom route rather than the conventional Rinchenpong or Rabongla route. Little did we know what was in store for us. As per my interactions with Samba & gearhead_mait the route to Zoom was steep but doable. It never clicked me that both of them had told me about their stories of coming down from Zoom rather than going up on it. To provide a fair idea this stretch is 6 km long & gains 3000 ft altitude in such a short span.
With your new vehicle you wont even realise that the road to Zoom is steep

I had taken my Baleno up to Zoom and Kaluk in 2006 and then the Bolero in 2012 and realised that a diesel engine rear wheel drive makes a lot of sense in the hills.
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Old 27th August 2015, 12:01   #17
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

Superb travelogue PapaBravo.

Opening pic of Kanchenjunga made me think you had captured it from flight.

The roads look a mess, kudos to you and your Brio on taking on that.

Congrats on your Duster!!
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Old 27th August 2015, 12:43   #18
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Congratulations PapaBravo on your first travelogue on tbhp. Very well written and beautiful pictures .With an even more capable vehicle in your garage now, we hope to see many such travelogues from you.
Thanks a lot BP. Looking forward to many more trips.

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He is the BOSS when it comes to Sikkim. He is the boss on a lot more things but that can be a separate discussion
Sure he is.

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I did not know that they ask for voter id or any identification at the Bengal-Sikkim border.
They asked for IDs at the border. Someone on the forum had mentioned that they give preference to Voter Ids over PAN card. Therefore, used voter IDs.

Quote:
With your new vehicle you wont even realise that the road to Zoom is steep
Need to do it soon then.

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I had taken my Baleno up to Zoom and Kaluk in 2006 and then the Bolero in 2012 and realised that a diesel engine rear wheel drive makes a lot of sense in the hills.
Diesel torque makes a lot of difference.

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Superb travelogue PapaBravo.

Opening pic of Kanchenjunga made me think you had captured it from flight.

The roads look a mess, kudos to you and your Brio on taking on that.

Congrats on your Duster!!
Thanks mpksuhas. That is the beauty of Sikkim. It was captured from our room at the resort.
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Old 27th August 2015, 17:41   #19
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

Superb travelogue PapaBravo. The pictures are really splendid. The view from Gonde resort is superb.

Mornings offer enticing views from the bed of a snow-capped mountain rising from the mist.

I hope you will not mind if I share a photograph of my first experience when I visited the place almost a couple of years ago.

Sikkim - The Abode of Gods-day55.jpg
The date displayed on the photograph is incorrect. Please ignore it.
Sikkim - The Abode of Gods-day515.jpg

Sikkim - The Abode of Gods-day522.jpg

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
He is the BOSS when it comes to Sikkim. He is the boss on a lot more things but that can be a separate discussion
We can start a separate thread for our Boss in Sikkim .

Last edited by shomshree : 27th August 2015 at 17:43. Reason: wrong key
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Old 28th August 2015, 12:07   #20
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

A travelogue ending with you buying a new car !! Nice man. The pics of water flowing over the road looks pretty scary. Brio being a light small car it must have been a nail biting part to cover. Beautiful pics of the mountains. I really believe that North East is like a different country in itself. Such diverse culture, food and habits are so much different, Its a dream to drive in that part of the world.

Great write up. Thanks.
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Old 28th August 2015, 13:52   #21
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

Wow.. amazing experience. It was quite gripping to read this travelouge. Great pictures too.
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Old 28th August 2015, 18:09   #22
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

Just one word, Awesome!

Your travelogue brought back memories of Kaluk and around. Sorry to hear about the sump guard loss.

Regarding the rising question of whether a petrol hatchback would be preferable or not for the Zoom route - I would definitely say that it is not the ideal candidate.
But at the same time I have seen i10, Alto and other hatchbacks driven by locals up through that road. What I feel is, there is a lot of difference between a first time and experience, and "confidence" is a bigger factor. So, trust me, next time you tackle the same road (be it in a Brio or Duster), it would appear to be at least 20% less tough than your first time. But as you have the Duster AWD now, it would take all the appreciations when you take it next time to the Hills, although the fact remains that you(as a driver) are now a level up!

Cheers!

Last edited by gearhead_mait : 28th August 2015 at 18:28. Reason: Rated *****
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Old 30th August 2015, 08:35   #23
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
One fine day while sitting in the office, I see a thread on the Homepage named Sikkim - Baptism by Fire by Mi2n. While going thru the thread, I suddenly felt an urge to go visit the wonderful place myself. ...

In the evening a close friend called & I told him about the plan. Now there were four of us going. Friend + his wife & Us. Finalized the date of departure to be 20th June 2015. Booked all the Hotels & started planning on the route.
Hello Pawan,

I just finished reading your first travelogue! Hearty congratulation! Frankly, your travelogue looks like an action-packed thriller, specially the return leg of the journey. The pictures of Sikkim and the great Kangchenjunga are simply mesmerizing. Also, congratulation on your new dusting machine

Generally, the monsoon enters northern Bengal and Sikkim by the end of first week of June. In this sense, your journey was through the prime of monsoon season with a higher risk of both landslide and flood in this region. Anyway, a bit of adventure always makes a road trip more memorable!

Cheers,
Golam
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Old 31st August 2015, 09:35   #24
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

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Originally Posted by shomshree View Post
Superb travelogue PapaBravo. The pictures are really splendid. The view from Gonde resort is superb.

.
Thanks shomeshree. Ghonday resort is really good, far way from the crowd & gives you wonderful views of the Himalayas.

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Originally Posted by Dieselritzer View Post
A travelogue ending with you buying a new car !! Nice man. The pics of water flowing over the road looks pretty scary. Brio being a light small car it must have been a nail biting part to cover. Beautiful pics of the mountains. I really believe that North East is like a different country in itself. Such diverse culture, food and habits are so much different, Its a dream to drive in that part of the world.

Great write up. Thanks.
Thanks a lot Dieselritzer. The flowing water was scary indeed. I am in love with North East. Can't wait to make another trip.

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Originally Posted by praveen_v View Post
Wow.. amazing experience. It was quite gripping to read this travelouge. Great pictures too.
Thanks praveen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Just one word, Awesome!

Your travelogue brought back memories of Kaluk and around. Sorry to hear about the sump guard loss.
Thanks for the lovely comments, gearhead_mait. I am glad I was able to refresh your memories.

Quote:
Regarding the rising question of whether a petrol hatchback would be preferable or not for the Zoom route - I would definitely say that it is not the ideal candidate.
But at the same time I have seen i10, Alto and other hatchbacks driven by locals up through that road. What I feel is, there is a lot of difference between a first time and experience, and "confidence" is a bigger factor.
The problem is that the other Altos, i10s were not fully loaded. Brio had 4 adults + Luggage to the brim, including some in the passenger area. It is due this load that the Brio was gasping for breath. I am sure things would have been a little difference if only two people were there in the car.

Quote:
So, trust me, next time you tackle the same road (be it in a Brio or Duster), it would appear to be at least 20% less tough than your first time. But as you have the Duster AWD now, it would take all the appreciations when you take it next time to the Hills, although the fact remains that you(as a driver) are now a level up!
This type of gradient. Yes, first ever time. But for hills I have driven quite a bit in Nilgiris, Western Himalayas (Himachal, Uttaranchal), Central Himalayas (Nepal) & Easter Himalayas (Sikkim). I am sure Duster AWD won't complain on these loops.

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Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Hello Pawan,

I just finished reading your first travelogue! Hearty congratulation! Frankly, your travelogue looks like an action-packed thriller, specially the return leg of the journey. The pictures of Sikkim and the great Kangchenjunga are simply mesmerizing. Also, congratulation on your new dusting machine

Generally, the monsoon enters northern Bengal and Sikkim by the end of first week of June. In this sense, your journey was through the prime of monsoon season with a higher risk of both landslide and flood in this region. Anyway, a bit of adventure always makes a road trip more memorable!

Cheers,
Golam
Thanks for the comments Hossain Saheb. It was indeed an action packed thriller .

The landslides didn't bother us for the while trips except the returning leg, which was not much of a torture as well. Floods & roads were a major problem. Will try not to make any plans during this time in future.
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Old 31st August 2015, 11:01   #25
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

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The problem is that the other Altos, i10s were not fully loaded.. I am sure things would have been a little difference if only two people were there in the car.
Agreed!

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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
This type of gradient. Yes, first ever time. But for hills I have driven quite a bit in Nilgiris, Western Himalayas (Himachal, Uttaranchal), Central Himalayas (Nepal) & Easter Himalayas (Sikkim). I am sure Duster AWD won't complain on these loops.
Surely, you have got one of the powerhouses in your garage now. Waiting for your next venture.
On another note, could you please put some light on the river rafting part? Origin, end, cost etc. Where did you park your car when you did the rafting? I am a bit interested too.
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Old 31st August 2015, 11:25   #26
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

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On another note, could you please put some light on the river rafting part? Origin, end, cost etc. Where did you park your car when you did the rafting? I am a bit interested too.
The river rafting happens near the confluence of Teesta & Rangeet River (27.079762, 88.432812). Whether you will be rafting on Teesta or Rangeet will be decided on the flow of the rivers during that season. For reaching there, you need to go to Teesta Bazaar. From Teesta Bazar, you can take your car upto Triveni by following the road right next to Teesta River. River Rafting team has their base camp there. You can safely park your car there. They then take you to the starting point of the rafting in their Jeep following a small trail alongside the river. This would be 5-6 kms from the base camp. Two expert rafters accompany you. The ending point of the Rafting is the base camp. Basically you go to the starting point by Jeep & return by a Raft. They have washroom (albeit not very clean) to change clothes at the Base camp.

The cost is Rs. 3500 per raft (irrespective of the nos occupants). We had hired a full raft. For videography & photography, you need to pay extra. The rack rate is Rs. 1000 but you can bargain it upto Rs. 700-800. They will provide you with about 60+ photos & 3-4 videos. The quality of both are very good. Would recommend opting for the same.

Let me know when you are planing to go there. I shall PM you the phone number of the contact person for Rafting.

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 31st August 2015, 12:04   #27
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

Very nice, elegant and candid narration. Some of the photos too - especially of the cloudy Kanchenjunga range, the golf course and the Morgan house - stood out.
And I liked your spirit about the new car purchase! A hatchback wasnt working, so bought a new AWD - Excellent! Way to go man.Congrats once again!
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Old 6th September 2015, 18:41   #28
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Great travelogue Pawan Da, Congrats on your first one!!
Great Pictures and write up. The duster really looks awesome in flesh. An object of envy
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Old 6th September 2015, 19:28   #29
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Superb travelogue there! Loved every but of it. Coupled with some great pictures this makes for an interesting read. Immaculate attention to details. Waiting for more travelogues from your side.

The Dusty looks superb! The Brio will be missed, on the other hand.
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Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post

The cost is Rs. 3500 per raft (irrespective of the nos occupants). We had hired a full raft. For videography & photography, you need to pay extra. The rack rate is Rs. 1000 but you can bargain it upto Rs. 700-800. They will provide you with about 60+ photos & 3-4 videos. The quality of both are very good. Would recommend opting for the same.

Regards,

Pawan
Wow! I am definitely rafting when I visit Sikkim.

Regards,
petrolhead_neel
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Old 7th September 2015, 02:07   #30
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Default Re: Sikkim - The Abode of Gods

A nice travelogue. Am sure this will be etched in your memory for a long time. I think it was the best decision to have your wife along during the trip, the upgrade may not have happened this easily otherwise.
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