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Old 19th December 2015, 11:29   #1
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Default Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar

The Consolation Prize

We were all set for our Ladakh trip with BHPian Samba & team (Travelogue: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...r-kolkata.html (Sailed through the high passes in Hatchbacks, SUVs & a Sedan - Our Ladakh chapter from Kolkata)). But we had to back off for some unavoidable reasons. We were sad. We decided to go for a short trip during the independence day weekend. We took two days off from work and we had 5 days (12th Augus to 16th August) at our disposal to plan a trip. Vizag was on our wish list for more than a year and hence the obvious choice this time. So, we took this trip more as a consolation prize for missing out the Ladakh trophy than anything else! But, this trip turned out to be a prize in itself.

Teaser: If there is one thing unique about the City of Vizag, that is this - INS Kursura Submarium (Submarine Museum)
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.01-teaser.jpg

The Planning

Our good old friends, the Debbarma family, readily agreed to join us in the trip. We wanted the trip to be a relaxed one, i.e. it should be a good mix of short to medium range drives and good food and fun. With this goal in mind, I worked out the following itinerary after trying out a few permutations and combinations.

Day 1 (12-Aug-2015) – Kolkata to Vizag
Day 2 (13-Aug-2015) – Sight seeing in Vizag
Day 3 (14-Aug-2015) – Vizag to Borra Caves to Baruva
Day 4 (15-Aug-2015) – Baruva to Rambha to Bhubaneshwar
Day 5 (16-Aug-2015) – Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata

I made the bookings at APTDC Rushikonda, Vizag and APTDC Baruva. I kept the plan for Bhubaneshwar open on popular demand.

Facts & Figures

Total Trip Cost for two families (4 adults + 2 kids) - Rs. 46,685/-
Fuel Cost - Rs. 8,791/-
Toll - Rs. 1,920/-

APTDC Rushikonda, Vizag - Rs. 2,000/- + Tax per room per night
APTDC Baruva - Rs. 1,700/- + Tax per room per night
Bookings done through www.aptdc.in

Panthanivas, Bhubaneshwar - Total Rs. 2,386/- for two rooms for one night
Booking done at Panthanivas, Rambha

Overall Fuel Economy - 13.6 kmpl

Day 1 (12-Aug-2015) – Kolkata to Vizag

Distance - 890 kms

This was the only mega haul of the trip. We started at 3:15AM, picked up the Debbarma family on the way and finally started off to Vizag at 4:30AM. The weather was nice, the intermitten torrential rain added to the thrill of the drive and kept the weather comfortable.

The night before, I found the front right tyre of my King Kong punctured by a big nail and had to swap the wheel with the spare one. We had to lose couple of hours to get the tyre repaired. We reached Vizag around 10:30PM.

The roads to Vizag are butter smooth all along
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.02-road.jpg

The Team
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.03-team.jpg

The Mobile Generation
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.04-mobile-generation.jpg

King Kong - the force that drives me
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.05-king-kong.jpg

Tea Break
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.06-tea-break.jpg

Repairing the Bridgestones turned out to be quite a task
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.07-tyre-repair.jpg

Usual lunch stop at Hotel Orion, Bhadrak
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.09-lunch-orion.jpg

Evening snacks somewhere near Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.10-evening-snacks.jpg

The new driving star. Now I can plan longer stretches in a day
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.11-new-star.jpg

Truck full of smiles - it was indeed a "Happy Journey"!
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v1.12-happy-journey.jpg

Last edited by psurelia : 16th January 2016 at 20:35. Reason: Added Facts & Figures
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Old 14th January 2016, 21:02   #2
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Default Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata-Vizag-Borra Caves-Baruva-Rambha-Bhubaneshwar-Kolkata

Day 2 (13-Aug-2015) - Exploring Vizag

Distance - 80 kms approx.

This was the day of exploring the beautiful city of Vizag. It was a fun filled day. We had a relaxed start of the day. We set out on our exploration of the wonderful coastal city around 11AM after brunch at the APTDC restaurant. We planned to start with INS Kursura as it was on top of all of our wish list. On reaching INS, we learned that it opens at 2PM. So, we headed to Kailasagiri and came back to INS at 2:30PM after having fun followed by lunch at Kailasagiri. We had no idea what the day had in store for us. I shall let the pictures do the talking.

After a good sleep, we were greeted by this wonderful view of the Rushikonda beach through the window of our room
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.01-view-aptdc-vz-room.jpg

The restaurant of APTDC Rushikonda has a lovely setting - whether you have your breakfast indoor or on the open terrace, you have a panoramic view of the beach
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.02-aptdc-vz-restaurant.jpg

Old Buddies
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.03-old-buddies.jpg

Rope-way to Kailasagiri - You can take the road too to go up to the park at the top of Kailasagiri, but, trust me, this one is the better alternative and more fun too
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.04.1-ropeway-kailasagiri.jpg

View from the rope-way
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.04.2-view-ropeway-kg.jpg

Horse riding at Kailasagiri with the iconic Shiva-Parvati statue in the background
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.05-horse-riding-kailasagiri.jpg

View from Kailasagiri
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.06-view-kg.jpg

Childen's park at Kailasagiri
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.07-kids-park-kg.jpg

Train at Kailasagiri - It runs around the perimeter of park and gives you wonderful views of the city in all directions
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.08-train-kg.jpg

View of the city from the train
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.09-city-view-train-kg.jpg

The entire gang
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.10-kailasagiri.jpg

The biggest attraction of the day!
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.11-ins-kursura.jpg

...and THE ICON of the City!
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.12-ins-front-view.jpg

I was in a state of disbelief to stand in front of this great submarine turned museum. It is India's only submarium. Notice the three of the six torpedo launchers in the front. A torpedo is peeping out of the middle one. Contrary to the popular belief, photography is allowed inside. You have to pay Rs. 200/- for taking a camera phone inside. The officers and guides commissioned at INS Kursura are all ex-servicemen who served at the great submarine during their service.

The rear view
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.13-ins-rear-view.jpg

The entry cut out for visitors
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.14-ins-fabricated-visitor-entry.jpg

The original entry to the submarine (inside view)
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.15-ins-original-entry.jpg

Kids are sitting in an original passage door between compartments - There are a total of 7 compartments serving different purpose of the ship
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.16-ins-passage-door-between-compartments.jpg

The propeller
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.17-ins-propeller.jpg

Escape suit
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.18-ins-escape-suit.jpg

The part that will interest the BHPians the most - The center engine. There are two more identical ones on the left and the right as well. Please note the power rating!!!
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.19-ins-centre-engine.jpg

Next stop was Film City which is a short drive up the beach road.Beach road runs along the coast for about 30kms with beautiful views all along.
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.20-film-city-gate.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.21-film-city-1.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.22-film-city-2.jpg

Temple at Film City
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.23-temple-film-city.jpg

Views of the Bay of Bengal and the beach road from Film City
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.24-view-film-city.jpg

We kept driving along the beautiful beach road after getting out of the Film City. I wanted to check out the Bhimili / Bhimunipattanam beach but could not spot it. Even the locals could not help. On our way back we made an accidental discovery...

The accidental discovery - A Go Karting track off the beach road. We had a blast there and even my 3 year old daughter enjoyed racing around the main track (there is a small Kid's track with battery operated cars).
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.25gokarting1.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.26gokarting2.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.27gokarting3.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.28gokarting4.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v2.29gokarting5.jpg

And a short video of the racing fun.


Last edited by psurelia : 16th January 2016 at 20:37.
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Old 15th January 2016, 21:11   #3
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Default Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata-Vizag-Borra Caves-Baruva-Rambha-Bhubaneshwar-Kolkata

Day 3 (14-Aug-2015) - Vizag to Borra Caves to Baruva

Distance - 100 kms + 240 kms

We checked out of APTDC Rushikonda after breakfast and headed to Borra Caves. After visiting Borra Caves we had our lunch at a local restaurant and then started to Baruva. We reached Baruva around 8PM, just in time to order our dinner.

Adios Vizag and APTDC Rushikonda
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.01.1adios-vizag.jpg

Gitam University (ATM Inside) - right across the road from APTDC Rushikonda. It has an ATM inside which, in fact, is the closest one to APTDC.
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.01.2-gitam-university.jpg

Road to Borra Caves


The little explorer all set to check out the Borra Caves
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.02reaching-borra-caves.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.03.1borra-caves-entrance.jpg

View from the entrance of the caves
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.03.2borra-caves-view-entrance.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.04borra-caves-info.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.05borra-caves-opening.jpg

Stalactites
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.06borra-caves-formations.jpg

Origin of the name - This small hole is the original opening of the caves. The Oriya word "Borra" means "hole". Therefore, Borra Caves derives its name because of its hole-like opening from the local Oriya cowboys.
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.07borra-caves-naming.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.08cowboy-caves.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.09inside-borra-caves.jpg

Local shops selling bamboo pieces used for cooking local delicacy Bamboo Chicken
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.10bamboo-stalls-borra-caves.jpg

Smoking hot Bamboo Chicken
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.11bamboo-chicken-1.jpg

...and finally on the plate
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v3.12-bamboo-chicken-2.jpg

Last edited by psurelia : 15th January 2016 at 21:33.
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Old 16th January 2016, 18:20   #4
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Default Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata-Vizag-Borra Caves-Baruva-Rambha-Bhubaneshwar-Kolkata

Day 4 (15-Aug-2015) - Baruva to Rambha to Bhubaneshwar

Distance - 100 kms + 135 kms

This was again an action packed fun day. What a way to celebrate the Idependence Day!

APTDC Baruva deserves a special mention here. It is located on the beach. Rooms are spacious, clean and has everything you need in a modern hotel/resort. It's great value for money. We wanted to extend our stay here, but as luck would have it, the resort was completely booked for the next couple of days!

I took a solitary walk on the virgin beach of Baruva before anyone else woke up
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.01-virgin-beaches-baruva.jpg

APTDC Baruva and the Baruva Light House as seen from the beach
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.02-aptdc-baruva.jpg

APTDC Baruva has a nice kids' play area
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.03-aptdc-baruva-play-area.jpg

The creepers on the beach are extremely thorny and has a lot of nature's land mines (thorny seeds) hidden in them
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.04-thorny-beaches-baruva.jpg

Fun time on the beach
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.05-morning-walk-baruva-beach.jpg

After returning from the beach, we took quick showers, had our breakfast and drove off to Rambha


We checked into Panthanivas (OTDC), Rambha for lunch. We ordered our lunch and went for a cruise of three islands in the serene Chilka lake in a speed boat which can be hired at the Panthanivas itself.

The beautiful jetty of Panthanivas
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.06-otdc-rambha.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.07-rambha-jetty.jpg

The kids got a chance to navigate the speed boat through the serene Chilka lake
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.08-srishti-steering-boat.jpg

Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.09-sohan-steering-boat.jpg

Island of the dinosaurs
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.10-dinosaur-island.jpg

The iconic breakfast island - It is a lighthouse of built during the British raj. You can actually have breakfast in the lighthouse if you stay overnight in Panthanivas.
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.11-breakfast-island.jpg

After the cruise we had a simple but delicious lunch. I especially liked the fresh caught fish and shrimps (prawns). After the lunch we had to head to the Bhubaneshwar. We did not have any booking at Bhubaneshwar, so we asked at the front desk of Rambha Panthanivas if they could help us get two rooms for the night at Bhubaneshwar Panthanivas. They readily agreed to help and booked the rooms for us.

Dhauligiri - our only target in Bhubaneshwar for this trip
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.12-dhauli-bhubaneshwar.jpg

And the reason we wanted to visit Dhauli - the Light and Sound show which started just about a week back. This picture was taken during the calibration of the projectors. Announcement was made notifying that photography is prohibited and mobiles should be kept switched off during the show. We complied unlike most others and hence no more pictures of the show.
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v4.13-light-sound-dhauli.jpg

The entire stupa of Dhauli turns into the screen for the show. The quality of content, audio and visuals is extremely high. It is a must see for anyone who visits Bhubaneshwar. The show starts at 7PM and the ideal time to reach for watching the show is 6PM. We were luckily just on time for the show.

We spent the night at Panthanivas, Bhubaneshwar after the light and sound show at Dhauli.

Day 5 (16-Aug-2015) - Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata

Distance - 470 kms

It was a long and uneventful drive back home through the excellent NH5 and NH6 with lunch stop at Hotel Orion, Bhadrak and dinner stop at Express Food Plaza, Kolaghat.

Express Food Plaza, Kolaghat
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v5.01-express-flood-plaza-kolaghat.jpg

Yours Truely
Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar-v5.02-yours-truely.jpg

Last edited by psurelia : 16th January 2016 at 21:03.
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Old 16th January 2016, 22:28   #5
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Default re: Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar

Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 18th January 2016, 10:06   #6
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Default re: Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar

Wonderful Travelogue PS complimented with nice pictures. I have been planning a Vizag trip for a very long time. Looks like it will happen soon now !!

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 18th January 2016, 12:57   #7
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Default Re: Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar

Nice travelogue with some great pics. Your storm looks awesome too. Am yet to drive down to Vizag. Every time i plan for a trip to Vizag, i end up going to North Bengal, but your travelogue gave me enough reasons to plan a trip to Vizag. Will definitely do it some day.

Yes its sad that you missed the Ladakh trip with us. You were definitely missed in the trip. But there is always a next time.

Last edited by Samba : 18th January 2016 at 12:59.
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Old 18th January 2016, 20:25   #8
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Default Re: Amazing Upper East Coast Drive: Kolkata - Vizag - Borra Caves - Baruva - Rambha - Bhubaneshwar

Great pictures and write-up. Did a winter trip in the same sector a few years back in my Getz. What was the temperature like during the monsoon ? , I remember that even during end of Dec it was very hot and we were literally baking in the Sun.
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Old 18th January 2016, 21:00   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Great pictures and write-up. Did a winter trip in the same sector a few years back in my Getz. What was the temperature like during the monsoon ? , I remember that even during end of Dec it was very hot and we were literally baking in the Sun.
Hi DriveTrain, Due to intermittent rain, the weather was hottish but comfortable. I am glad that you liked the travelogue.
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