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Old 12th July 2016, 00:32   #1
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Default Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Its monsoon and the moment we drive out of the city limits, its lush green everywhere. So a week end drive to enjoy the monsoon is always a great idea. But adding a little bit of soft-roading inside a jungle and climbing up a small hill in dense fog is the icing on the cake! The destination we chose was Dalma hills in Jharkhand near Jamshedpur. I could have added this small over night drive to my West Bengal travelogue ( http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-tourists.html (West Bengal - A treasure for tourists) ) but since the destination is in Jharkhand am putting up a separate travelogue. This can very well be another week end gate away from Kolkata.

Generally for the long drives we take our Etios petrol but this time the trip includes more than 50% of the drive in single lane twisty roads! So how can i miss the sheer pleasure of the Hydraulic power steering backed up by Figo's awesome handling!

The trip log and itinerary-

Day 1 (09.07.2016) - Kolkata - Dalma. A drive to Dalma hill top and back to hotel. 341kms

Day 2 (10.07.2016) - Dalma - Chandil dam -Purulia - Garpanchkot- Kolkata. 391 kms.

Total- 732kms.

It was a family trip with my parents.

Sharing a couple of teaser pics before starting the travelogue!

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0645.jpg

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0738.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 12th July 2016 at 03:06.
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Old 12th July 2016, 01:38   #2
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Default re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Day 1

It was a cloudy morning. Things looked perfect for a monsoon drive. We set off at around 7-45am. Soon it started drizzling. The feel was great with few old songs being played from the pen drive. Nh6 was relatively empty and we were smoothly cruising at around 100km/hr. In less than two hours we crossed Kharagpur and from there the four lane highway ended and it was the starting of single lane road. The road condition is good though. After the Jhargram crossing, we crossed the Lodhasuli forest and stopped at a place called Highway inn for break fast. The service was late but the paneer pakoda's tasted awesome!

Post breakfast we crossed Baharagora and entered Jharkhand. Surprisingly the border was devoid of traffic and we crossed it in jiffy. The Dalma range greeted us on the sides of the highway. The scenic beauty was great all around. Soon the rain changed its mode from drizzling to torrential and my wiper mode changed from intermittent to fast! It looked like its a made to order rain drive for us planned by the rain god! By 11-30am we crossed Ghatshila and by 12pm we were crossing Jamshedpur. Our stay at Dalma was 6kms after Dimna Chowck at Jamshedpur. The traffic around Jamshedpur was slow moving. By 12-30pm we checked in to our hotel.

We checked in at 10th Milestone as recommended by a Bhpian friend, SouraC. The location is excellent with safe parking. The property is great too with awesome food & comfortable rooms. The only flip side is, the service is a bit slow.

The view from the resort.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0635.jpg

Soon we got freshened up, had lunch and set out for a drive to Dalma hills top. Generally the forest department guys do not issue permits if it rain. So we were a bit skeptical. Reached the check post and asked for the permission. The person in charge told it will be a bit risky as the roads are slushy and a herd of 15-20 elephants are roaming inside the forest. We requested him for the permission and he agreed but warned us to be careful.
Along with us 6 guys came in three bikes and even they asked for the permits to go till the top. The forest department guy issued them the permits too and told us to go together but to be very careful.


These guys reminded me of my college days bike rides. In the slush there bikes skidded several times but still they were smiling and it didn't dampen there spirits.
When they were hearing the sound of the elephants they were all getting busy searching the elephants inside the jungle instead of running away!

I went till the Dalma top only because these guys were there and they even told me if my car gets stuck in slush they will push it out!

Thanks guys. You all rock.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0642.jpg

The first few kilometers before the climb up had few bad slushy stretches. But on driving carefully the Figo handled the slush quite well. There were no tarred road on the hills. It was muddy all through out with few concrete slabs in few places. Taking the hair pin bends on fine layer of thin slush turned out to be more tricky than driving on thick slush! With minimum throttle input and in one place by taking a second attempt i managed to climb up till the top. Through out the climb up mine was the only car with three bikes with none others. It was a bit scary. In few places we could see freshly broken branches by the elephants on the road. Had to drive over them. Around 5 kms before reaching the top it became foggy! The fog kept on increasing and later the visibility came down to 10-15 feet. Driving on slush inside the jungle and climbing up the hill in thick fog turned out to be difficult with slight drizzles.

Sharing few pics en-route to Dalma top.

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At Dalma Top.

It showed 3020 feet.

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The view from the watch tower atop Dalma hills.

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Me & Figo chilling at the top!

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The bike guys decided to stay there till late afternoon and then return. But we wanted to return before sundown. So from there we bid adieu to them and started the climb down.

Few pics on the way back.

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By 5pm we crossed the forest check post and reached our hotel by 5-30pm. First time we felt lucky not to spot any elephant!

The way Figo looked after a slushy drive!

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0690.jpg

Had not much to do in a resort located in the lap of nature, away from the city. So apart from enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings took few pics around the resort with the back drop of the beautiful Dalma range.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0697.jpg

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Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0729.jpg

While going to have dinner, i just went outside the resort to have a walk and saw this Scoripo 4WD with Raid the Himalaya stickers parked in our resort parking. Would have loved to meet the owner but had no clue about whose suv it was.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0730.jpg

Soon we had our dinner and retired for the day.

Last edited by Samba : 12th July 2016 at 03:14.
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Old 12th July 2016, 02:20   #3
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Default re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Day 2

Our plan was to visit Dimna lake, Ghatshila and drive back to Kolkata. So we woke up late. But plans got a bit changed. As we had been to Dimna lake and Ghatshila earlier, this time we decided to see the Chandil Dam and drive back via Purulia. Had break fast and set off from our hotel by 10-30am. The drive towards Chandil looked like picturesque. Its around 25kms from Dalma.

Pics of the Chandil Dam.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0731.jpg

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Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0731b.jpg

From here we decided to drive via Balarampur -Purulia- have a stop at Garpanchkot to see how they renovated the ruins and drive back to Kolkata.

By 12-30pm we crossed Purulia. Reached Garpanchkot around 1-45 pm.

Honestly i was disappointed to see, the way the ruin was restored back.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0732.jpg

5 years back it looked like this!

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Few pics of the Panchet hill, a ruin and the Garpanchkot renovated temple.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0735.jpg

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0736.jpg

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_0738.jpg

Left from there by 2pm for Kolkata. The drive from Asansol to Panagarh was pathetic with slow moving vehicles, traffic jams and diversions. Had a late lunch or early snacks near Panagarh followed by a short break at Shaktigar and finally reached home by 6-30pm.

The trip meter-

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_6443.jpg

The average fuel consumption as per the MID. Ac was used for 95% of the time with a mix of spirited and sedate driving.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_6444.jpg

A short trip, but thoroughly enjoyed.

Last edited by Samba : 12th July 2016 at 03:18.
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Old 12th July 2016, 17:40   #4
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Default re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:41   #5
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Default re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

It's a nice little travelogue. The pictures are great as usual. Your Dalma adventure reminded me of a similar adventure we had during our college days. We crossed into West Bengal from Jharkhand riding motorcycles on a off-road walking trail over the Dalma near Burudi Lake. It was almost dark when we started and we were warned of elephants by the locals. On reaching the top, we were standing at the top of a steep slushy descent and we could hear God knows how many elephants around us. There was no space to turn the motorcycles around and go back. After about half an hour we were riding on the well-tarred road of Purulia district. That was one hell of an adventure.

But, yours is even more adventurous because yours is with your parents and I really salute their spirit!
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:10   #6
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Default re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Hi, would love to join you for these kind of trips. Please let us coordinate
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:11   #7
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Default re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Another quicky from Samba. Knowing you in person this kind of drives are expected. When a planning of Rain Drive is going on for R.O.A.D group to Dalma, you complete the circuit alone; 20 days before. Well your travelogue will surely help us plan our drive. First I was thinking of taking my MM 550 4x4 there during the Rain drive but have changed my mind after reading your TL.
A very well documented TL and superb pictures do a proper justice to the place.

Regards,
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Old 12th July 2016, 23:28   #8
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Default re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Another day, another great travelogue Nice write up and great pictures ! Will definitely drive there someday. The ruin of Garpanchkot was under restoration when i visited months back. Made me nostalgic looking at the pics.
Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-dsc_0401_00093001.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALTIMAed View Post
Hi, would love to join you for these kind of trips. Please let us coordinate
I am sure once you attend the Kolkata meet, you will make lots of friends with whom u can plan trips like this. I made this trip which is memorable for me:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...a-bhpians.html (Mukutmanipur: A drive with Kolkata BHPians)
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Old 13th July 2016, 10:12   #9
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Default Re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Beautiful trip log. I've been to Chandil Dam on a bike trip along with my friend. It is such a calm and serene place. When I visited, it was all cloudy, and the reservoir in Chandil dam looked a bit like the backyards of Hogwarts.

Adding a pic for sample:

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-img_20160226_121206_ao_hdr.jpg

Also, had visited Dimna lake for an adventure program and it was a wonderful experience to raft in the lakes. However, missed out on the Dalma Trek. I wasn't aware that we could take our vehicles up. That area was considered a safety risk anyways.
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Old 13th July 2016, 11:58   #10
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Default Re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

This is a wonderful travelogue sir ji.

I have spent my childhood around these places, such nostalgic memories !

I have been to Dalma Hills multiple times and to Chandil Dam atleast a dozen times. These places see such low tourists that each trip has been so peaceful and memorable. Can't seem to find any pic from my Dalma trips now, but would like to share a few pics taken at Chandil Dam.

Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-196596_4137259761992_892074498_n.jpg

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Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo-483057_4141379144974_1159300387_n.jpg


Thanks for sharing this travelogue.
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Old 13th July 2016, 12:03   #11
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Default Re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

This must be the quickest travelogue ever ? I am still drafting my month old road trip.

Anyways the photographs are awesome as always and as someone said we are going to miss you in our next drive.

I have always liked these part of the country during monsoon. They become more green and pollution free.
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Old 13th July 2016, 18:21   #12
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Default Re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Generally for the long drives we take our Etios petrol but this time the trip includes more than 50% of the drive in single lane twisty roads! So how can i miss the sheer pleasure of the Hydraulic power steering backed up by Figo's awesome handling!
Good pictures Samba! Southern Jharkhand in the monsoon times!

Which is the point where you entered NH33 from NH6 when you went to Dalma from Calcutta? And can you update on the condition of Jamshedpur - Chandil section? Is it all four-laned?

I drove from Ranchi to Jamshedpur in darkness once in early 2012. Though in the night, it was one of the best drives my Fiesta gave me (your point on the steering ). At that time, the region and the roads were all a totally unknown territory to me. I had started from Varanasi that morning.

Vipin.
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Old 14th July 2016, 00:35   #13
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Default Re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Quote:
Originally Posted by psurelia View Post
It's a nice little travelogue. The pictures are great as usual.
But, yours is even more adventurous because yours is with your parents and I really salute their spirit!
Thanks a lot.
One thing i was thinking was its safer to go on a bike than a car in such situation's! Atleast a quick 'U' turn could be taken in a short space if the elephant charges. With such narrow roads and slush i was not very confident on what to do if an elephant charge us. What i was doing was while going i was marking the spots where i can reverse back and make a turn in case we face an elephant!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALTIMAed View Post
Hi, would love to join you for these kind of trips. Please let us coordinate
Sure, it was a drive with my family. Will PM you about the Team Bhp group drives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
First I was thinking of taking my MM 550 4x4 there during the Rain drive but have changed my mind after reading your TL.
A very well documented TL and superb pictures do a proper justice to the place.
Regards,
Thanks a lot.
With the driving experience you have with sedans and hatch backs in bad roads it will be a cake walk for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samfromindia View Post
Another day, another great travelogue Nice write up and great pictures !
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSharan View Post
Beautiful trip log. I've been to Chandil Dam on a bike trip along with my friend. It is such a calm and serene place. When I visited, it was all cloudy, and the reservoir in Chandil dam looked a bit like the backyards of Hogwarts.
Adding a pic for sample:
Thanks and that's a lovely pic you shared.


Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
This is a wonderful travelogue sir ji.
Thanks and wonderful pics of the Chandil Dam. It seems you took the pics from the top of the dam. When i visited, it was written as restricted area so didn't give a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uprasenjit View Post
Anyways the photographs are awesome as always and as someone said we are going to miss you in our next drive.
Thanks and hope to see few awesome clicks from your Dalma drive this month end.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipin Kumar View Post
Good pictures Samba! Southern Jharkhand in the monsoon times!
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipin Kumar View Post
Which is the point where you entered NH33 from NH6 when you went to Dalma from Calcutta? And can you update on the condition of Jamshedpur - Chandil section? Is it all four-laned?
That's from the Baharagora round about. The left enters Odisha and goes towards Baripada and the straight road enters Jharkhand.

Jamshedpur to Chandil road is in okay condition with few rough patches and occasional pot wholes. Four lane work is going on so there are few diversion's. Except 2 kms the rest is still a two lane road.

Last edited by Samba : 14th July 2016 at 00:44.
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Old 14th July 2016, 01:26   #14
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Default Re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...o-img_0738.jpg

That Figo looks somewhat like EcoSports to me with your lens.
Opening picture itself was enough to tell whats coming ... winter.. err monsoon ! Excellent composition of a crisp travelogue.
The comparison of the Temple at Garpanchakot is wonderful, thanks for sharing the two images.
"mix of spirited and sedate driving" , sedate would be an understatement.
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Old 14th July 2016, 09:47   #15
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Default Re: Monsoon weekend drive to Dalma Hills in a Ford Figo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post

Thanks and wonderful pics of the Chandil Dam. It seems you took the pics from the top of the dam. When i visited, it was written as restricted area so didn't give a try.
Yes Samba Da, on the way you would have seen a road with a barricade and restricted area marked on it. However if you continue driving on the other road which leads to the bridge from where the dam is visible, you will come to a fork. The right leads to Chandil town and the left leads to the top of the dam.

Very few people know this and that's why the dam sees less tourists. Chandil Dam is more peaceful, virgin, beautiful and calm compared to other waterfalls & dams near Ranchi.
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