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Old 6th March 2016, 18:59   #16
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Wow! what a way to earn the (I presume) first battle scars on your new ride . Were you on "Auto" mode ( and ESP on) on from Maneybhanjan ? Was Lock mode required in this stretch ?. You really are a brave soul - hats off.

Hope that the dent on HULK was a minor one , it always hurts even if it is a battle scar
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Old 7th March 2016, 14:14   #17
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatechamp View Post
Wish there were more pictures
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStranger View Post

More pics of the climb would be appreciated.
Could not take too many pics as we were more focused on taking the HULK up. The concentration required was more than average. Have added a few videos though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Lovely write-up and pics PapaBravo! Rated 5 stars. I have been a fan of Duster AWD ever since it was launched and I am really happy that you are putting it to good use, be it weekend off-roading or taking it to off-beat places.
Thank you so much Black Pearl. Thanks to you for introducing me to the weekend off-roading clan.

Duster indeed is performing above my expectations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
Congrats on the maiden voyage to hills with your new car The pics remind me of my Darjeeling trip last year which was very memorable for me. I am sure you will take your car to Sandakphu one day when the road conditions / weather are favorable and probably be the first Duster to do so. Nice write up and lovely pics, rated & thanked
Thanks Sam. Yes. Whenever I am near Darjeeling & the weather is not so unforgiving, I shall try it again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveTrain View Post
Wow! what a way to earn the (I presume) first battle scars on your new ride . Were you on "Auto" mode ( and ESP on) on from Maneybhanjan ? Was Lock mode required in this stretch ?. You really are a brave soul - hats off.

Hope that the dent on HULK was a minor one , it always hurts even if it is a battle scar
Thank you for the kind words Drivetrain. They were not so minor but they are still Battle scars. I was in 4Lock just to be cautious. But in the hindsight, I think Maneybhanjan to Chitray can be done in 2WD. After Chitrey 4Lock is required. I switched to Auto when there were no inclines.

Did not switch ESP off but now think that switching it off at some inclines would have been a better idea. Was pretty new with all the gizmos back then. Just for your information, Switching off ESP switches of Hill assist automatically, so please switch it off accordingly.


Here are some videos that were shot by my wife. They are a bit shaky since thee roads (if you can call them that) were not the best. But they will give you an idea of the terrain. These are not the worst ones. We did not make any videos of them.











Regards,

Pawan
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Old 7th March 2016, 17:04   #18
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Have they made the Pankhabari road 2-way now? In the middle, it was a one-way road, only for vehicles coming down from Darjeeling.
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Old 7th March 2016, 18:25   #19
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Beautiful writeup with some sweet pics !

As mentioned, it needs guts to get into such treacherous terrain with slashing heavy rains. Your courage needs to be admired.

And it seems your wife was your navigator at tricky spots. She needs a special mention in this thread. Lot of people shrink at the thought of getting out at such muddy slippery places and here you have your lady guiding you through narrow patches and shooting your driving skills and sustaining those 55 loong back-breaking Drive ... WOW
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Old 7th March 2016, 21:30   #20
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Wonderful thread! Loved reading every bit of it. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us.

The Duster AWD is simply a great vehicle. Superb off road capabilities coupled with your brilliant driving skills make this an awesome combination. You have tested and driven the Hulk in various conditions now. Would it be too much to ask for an ownership review? Would be really beneficial to prospective owners, especially those who are more interested in the three letter suffix, i.e AWD.

Cheers and best of luck!

Neel
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Old 8th March 2016, 10:26   #21
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

This is one Awesome drive! There should be lots of guts in going there, especially when it rains and in a bad and poor visibility. Great going!

I have been reading that Sandakhu can be conqured only by AWD or 4x4. Does this apply for all seasons?
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Old 8th March 2016, 11:03   #22
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A very crisp Travelogue PapaBravo !! Glad you put it up 'Better Late than Never' indeed . Good to see your Duster's debut trip to the addictive Himalayas was a joyous one for you. The combination of the Duster and the Himalayas is a killer one !! Rated 5* though I feel that the picture quality could have been a bit better.

The Duster is a fantastic car to have in your garage and an AWD one is a boon for an exploring traveler. We have already seen what the Duster is capable of in our Soft-Roading Meets and having seen you behind the wheel with your Hulk, I would say that you guys compliment each other pretty well.

Your travelogue took me back to 2013 when I did Darjeeling in a friend's 85 PS Duster RXL, i.e.- recently after the Renault Duster was launched in India. Sharing some pictures :

"Aaj Main Upar, Aasman Neeche" :
Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD-dsc04583-2.jpg

Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD-dsc04564-2.jpg

Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD-dsc04607-2.jpg

Some soft roading to reach the River Bed :
Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD-dsc04717-2.jpg

Keep exploring and keep writing such Wonderfully Crisp Travelogues

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Have they made the Pankhabari road 2-way now? In the middle, it was a one-way road, only for vehicles coming down from Darjeeling.
The Pankhabari road was 2 way after 8:00pm in the evening up to 8:00am in the morning. I believe Pawan scaled it after 8:00pm in the evening, if I am not wrong !!

Last edited by ampere : 8th March 2016 at 12:00. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 8th March 2016, 22:30   #23
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
Have they made the Pankhabari road 2-way now? In the middle, it was a one-way road, only for vehicles coming down from Darjeeling.
This was the biggest confusion we had before we left. But as AJ said from 8pm to 8am it is two way as per latest reports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poised2drive View Post
Beautiful writeup with some sweet pics !

As mentioned, it needs guts to get into such treacherous terrain with slashing heavy rains. Your courage needs to be admired.

And it seems your wife was your navigator at tricky spots. She needs a special mention in this thread. Lot of people shrink at the thought of getting out at such muddy slippery places and here you have your lady guiding you through narrow patches and shooting your driving skills and sustaining those 55 loong back-breaking Drive ... WOW
Thanks for the kind words poised2drive. And thanks for reminding me about mentioning my wife's contribution. I completely forgot about it in the main post. She has always been my backbone. Thanks to her for being the spotter in all my trips & being my co-traveller for all the long drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Wonderful thread! Loved reading every bit of it. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us.

The Duster AWD is simply a great vehicle. Superb off road capabilities coupled with your brilliant driving skills make this an awesome combination. You have tested and driven the Hulk in various conditions now. Would it be too much to ask for an ownership review? Would be really beneficial to prospective owners, especially those who are more interested in the three letter suffix, i.e AWD.

Cheers and best of luck!

Neel
Thanks Neel. Ownership report needs a lot of time. I am sure I will find some in future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneRidder View Post
This is one Awesome drive! There should be lots of guts in going there, especially when it rains and in a bad and poor visibility. Great going!

I have been reading that Sandakhu can be conqured only by AWD or 4x4. Does this apply for all seasons?
Thanks a lot LoneRidder. Yes. Sandakphu would require 4WD as some of the stretches are very steep with traction loss in many places. Also, only 4X4 Landrovers go up there. No 2WD hired cats go up. Along with 4WD, you need a driver who can take it up. We have seen 4WD not being able to make it to even half of the way without a capable driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
A very crisp Travelogue PapaBravo !!
Thanks Arav. Sorry for the bad pictures. We forgot our camera. All are iPhone pics. Also, I am sure you are well aware of my photographic skills. Your pictures are amazing.
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Old 12th March 2016, 20:06   #24
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Smile Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Seriously Hats off to you Pawan!
Driving in such bad weather upto Tumling that too in a Duster is an achievement.
I am sure if the weather would have been on your side you would have surely reached Sandhakphu. Next time I am sure you will plan accordingly.
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Old 15th March 2016, 16:00   #25
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

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Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
Seriously Hats off to you Pawan!
Driving in such bad weather upto Tumling that too in a Duster is an achievement.
I am sure if the weather would have been on your side you would have surely reached Sandhakphu. Next time I am sure you will plan accordingly.
Thanks a lot Arun. So you are being modest here. You have done it in a LWB non PS vehicle.

Will definitely keep weather in mind.

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 15th March 2016, 16:40   #26
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Bravo PapaBravo !! What you have done requires serious guts, and I am sure that you have felt the Darr ke agey jeet hai feeling . Come April, I am moving to Kolkata. Waiting to be a part of the addas there, and slipping in a trip here and there, not to mention my eternal itch for Kol-Siliguri trip ( I spent my schooling days in Slg you see )
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Old 17th March 2016, 20:20   #27
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Hi friends,
This week I went to Darjeeling. While there was nothing important in that, this time I went there from Jorethang (in Sikkim). It was an extremely bad direct route (both due to very steep gradient and extremely bad road surface) and was advised by our esteemed member BlackPearl not to use that route, I chose that route because it was shorter. I did not have to drive up to Teesta Bazar area to access Peshok Road.

While reaching Darjeeling, I asked the locals and was told to drive via Goke and Jamuni. While I found out Goke in google map, I am yet to find out about Jamuni. All I can show you was some sort of a reservoir which I passed on my way. Let me show you a photo of it.
Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD-dsc_0201.jpg

May anyone help me in discovering which road did I take? It is not shown in google map.
Thanks in anticipation of your reply,
Regards,
Rahul Biswas,
Cossipore,
North Calcutta.

Last edited by rahul4640 : 17th March 2016 at 20:24.
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Old 17th March 2016, 22:26   #28
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

^^^
Also spelled Zamune. The bridge there is new.
The picture you posted is at N27.100509, E88.237202.
In another thread, Black Pearl had posted the two GPS trackplots, one via Singla, the other via Goke/ Zamune. The Zamune route is better of the two.

Regards
Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 17th March 2016 at 22:43.
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Old 18th March 2016, 22:23   #29
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Also spelled Zamune. The bridge there is new.
I guess this is the bridge you are talking of. Sorry for the poor picture quality.
Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD-dsc_0174.jpg

Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD-dsc_0176.jpg



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
The picture you posted is at N27.100509, E88.237202.
Thanks. Horrible road with very steep gradient. Not at all suitable for sedan type cars with front wheel traction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
In another thread, Black Pearl had posted the two GPS track plots, one via Singla, the other via Goke/ Zamune. The Zamune route is better of the two.
Thanks again. I was told the exact same thing by the locals, that the route which I took was better than the Singla route. Unfortunately the Singla route is shown in google map, while my route is not. But could not find the thread, hence had called up Black Pearl and has requested him for his GPS data.
Regards,
Rahul
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Old 19th March 2016, 22:37   #30
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Darjeeling in a Duster AWD

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I guess this is the bridge you are talking of. Sorry for the poor picture quality.
No, that is an old bridge, repaired. Darjeeling had a lot of these suspension bridges. Remember the one at Tista Bazar.

Quote:
Thanks. Horrible road with very steep gradient. Not at all suitable for sedan type cars with front wheel traction.
And with that one statement, you have put it on a lot of peoples bucket list!

Quote:
But could not find the thread, hence had called up Black Pearl and has requested him for his GPS data.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...ml#post3827540 (4WD destinations in Eastern and North Eastern India)

Use satellite image, not map.

I still can't figure out why all the travelers on this forum dont take a GPS trackplot.

Regards
Sutripta
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