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Old 21st August 2016, 16:00   #1
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Default Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic

Here are some pictures as a trailer for my travelogue for the Bhutan Trip.
Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-civic-me-dochule-road-heaven-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-thimpu-me-civic-day-4.jpg

I would like to honestly say here that, 2 years back I didn’t knew how to drive and thinking of a drive to a country other than India itself was unthinkable for me, but then this is called life, where unexpected things happen. Ever since I started driving/ riding, I developed an extreme passion for cars and bike, I wish to own a lot of those brilliant and beautiful cars and bikes but alas I am constrained by my salary.

Anyhow, when I was working in Bangalore (around one and half years back), I bought a used Honda Civic 2007 AT. The Civic turned out to be amazing, her owner had maintained it pretty well (I am grateful for him for taking such good care of the car, the guy was moving to Chennai from Bangalore and with a heavy heart he let her go), despite being approx. 9 years old it still runs like a dream. I am still very excited each and every day to drive it to office or to any other place. There are some nicks and dents on the car, but that is fine with me, being in Kolkata where the weather is very humid and being an open parking space, it is also catching some rust where the nicks and dents are, but slowly and surely I will take care of all that (I desperately waits for those small salary hikes and those small bonuses at the end of the financial year to get some money to work on my car and buy some accessories).

So, yes after buying my Civic in Bangalore, I did had some amazing but small road trips in and around 200-300 Km radius of Bangalore. Then in 2015 I got transferred to Kolkata, In Kolkata I also did some road trips, one major of that was to Talasari Beach in Odisha (it’s an amazing beach and quite beautiful).

Coming back to the Bhutan trip, there was a latent fire burning inside me to get going on a long road trip since a long time, but could not get time to go anywhere, finally with a little push and with the help of the long weekend of 15th August, it was decided that I will drive to Bhutan, 4 of my office friends also decided to join but slowly 3 of them backed out, even the one who gave this idea of going to Bhutan, anyways so here we were 2 guys left, but we decided to push on to the trip.

Wednesday, 10th August I started the drive with one of my office friend, the driving part was to be done entirely by me because of 2 reasons, 1st because I love to drive and 2nd also because my friend doesn’t know how to drive an automatic.
Just before the trip I took my car to Alok Automobiles (Topsia Road, Kolkata) for a health check. I got my last car serviced in Jan’16 and the Engine Oil was changed at that time so it was not needed, I had Shell Helix Ultra 5W 40 in my car, checked the other fluids like Transmission Oil, Brake Oil etc. they all were fine. I got the wheel alignment also done from outside (from a Continental tyre shop in Ashutosh Mukherjee Road) since the car was slightly swerving to the left.

I also had coil spring cushion (bought from ebay) installed on the springs last year, this had increased the ground clearance by 1 inch and thus had majorly solved the soft suspension issues of the Civic, it doesn’t bottom out as frequently as it used to be, in fact it had become much better. I don’t know much technical on the suspension or the driving dynamics so I don’t know whether it improves the driving dynamics or deteriorated it.
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Old 21st August 2016, 16:18   #2
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Default re: Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic

Day1:

On 10th August I started the drive at 4:30 AM in the morning, the first 100 Kms on the highway were a breeze despite heavy rains pounding the highways. I drove steadily without crossing the speed over 110 KMPH at any point of time, on open highways I like to drive between 80-110 KMPH to have better control.
Some pics enroute.
Civic taking a short break:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-1st-break-day1.jpg

enjoying the local food in Bengal, light on pocket as well as on stomach:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-2nd-break-local-food-day1.jpg

Bad roads on the state highway:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-bad-roads-day1.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-farakkha-bridge-day1.jpg

Beautiful clouds:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-lovely-cloudy-sky-day1.jpg

Heavily overloaded:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-overloaded-small-truck-day1.jpg

Scenic route:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-scenic-green-roads-day1.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-scenic-highway-day1.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-shades-gray-2-day-1.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-shades-gray-day-1.jpg

Last edited by StallionAmit : 21st August 2016 at 16:26. Reason: pictures were not visible
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Old 21st August 2016, 16:25   #3
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Default re: Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic

As I was not aware of the proper route or directions, I was mainly relying on the google maps during the entire journey, I was very happy on the NH19, then the map took me to SH7, 80% of SH7 was good to great, but 20% part was very-very bad, not suitable for sedans or hatchs, although big cars like Scorpio and Bolero could make it easily to some difficulty. Being in Civic, I had to manoeuvre the crater sized holes on the road very slowly, it added to the time of the travel, I was in between cursing the google maps for taking through state highway but I had no choice. I am attaching a picture of the route taken. I don’t know about the other 2 routes how they are, are they bad or worse or better? I was just relying on google maps.
To summarise the road to Burdwan is excellent since it is a National Highway, SH7 is also good on most of the stretch and its scenic too, partly also due to rains making everything lush green everywhere (it was beautiful indeed). But some parts were really horrible. To cut the long story short, I followed google maps and reached Siliguri at around 9:30 PM. I drove for around 17 hours on that day, I also had to take detour before Siliguri because of massive jam due to many trucks being stuck there (That was a long and endless looking line of trucks right there).
I strongly believe Indian governments and the logistics operators should do some real good improvements in the road logistics focusing the truck drivers, these guys are the movers of Indian economy and they face the worst conditions, these guys don’t have places to stay, proper/healthy food during their movements, bad roads and face harassment from police and other agencies. They sometimes have to wait hours and hours being stuck in the jams. I believe that logistics will be one sector which have tremendous potential for improvements, hope startups spring up here to improve the infra and other related components.
During the way at 2 points on way we had breakfast and lunch on some nondescript looking food places/hotels but the food was delicious, the food was simple, vegetarian food devoid of harmful oil. Here are some pictures. A hungry soul just needs warm and simple food to satiate the hunger.
We checked in at Hotel Saluja Residency at hill cart road with covered parking in Siliguri, the Civic was covered in mud and needed a wash, the hotel driver approached me for washing the car for 250 Rs, I gladly gave him the go ahead.
I was too tired so had dinner and slept right off and put an alarm for 6:30 in the morning.
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Old 21st August 2016, 16:35   #4
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Day 2:
Left Siliguri at 7:30 am for Phuentsholing (border town of Southern Bhutan). This town is the gateway to business with India and borders Indian town of Jaigaon. Reached Phuentsholing at 11 AM.
From Phuentsholing, Indian Nationals can get travel permit for persons and car permit from Road Safety and Transport Authority. Travel permit is free and car permit costs just a little (around 230 Rs per vehicle).
But for both these works we need to ensure that we should be there early in the morning at around 8:30 to 9 am Bhutanese time (Bhutan time is half an hour earlier then Indian time).
For travel permit we need to submit a small forms, detailing information and ID proof (for Indian Nationals a passport (should be valid for 6 months) or voter ID card works absolutely fine and no visa is needed). It is valid for 7 days. For the car permit, we need to submit an application requesting permission for travel. The car permit is generally given for Thimpu and Paro which can be extended for other locations from RSTA from Thimpu.
I am sharing the link of one of the travelogue of one a guy who helped me with planning the travel, he travelogue is very informative and covers the procedure and the format to get the permits (thanks Samba J )
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ota-etios.html (Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios)
Both these things generally take half a day’s work and hence planning is accordingly needed, sometimes it may take more time than that based on the rush at both the offices.
But people are courteous and happy to help. In between the two permits had lunch at a Bhutanese restaurant and clicked some pics in the market area.
Collected the car permit at around 3 PM and started the journey for Paro.
The drive to Paro is very scenic and very beautiful through curvy mountain roads. Have to be careful while driving because people don’t honk in Bhutan.
While driving encountered heavy fog and visibility was very poor at most of the stretch, had to be extra careful while driving. Also 2 places are where the permits gets checked, one is like 10 Kms from Phuentsholing and the other 50-60 kms before Thimpu/Paro. The permits also needed to be submit back before leaving Bhutan.
My civic never let me down despite being through bad to pathetic roads while Kolkata to Siliguri, roads were brilliant from Siliguri to Phuentsholing and then from Phuentsholing to Paro with very little bad patches inbetween. So driving was not a problem.
The roads like these make me wish I could just drive and drive and drive, driving for me is like meditation, focus on the roads, nothing else to worry about, taking one kilometre at a time, wish I could solve the life or the work’s problems like that taking them one by one.
Anyways the roads were great, but like most stories every story has their twists and turns, 30 Kms before Paro during late evening at around 6 PM, two trucks collided head on, fortunately they were not at high speeds so the damage was very less and controlled and the drivers were also unhurt, but because of their angle the narrow mountain road was blocked and traffic could not move from both sides, I hesitated to get out from the car first but then after waiting for half an hour, I checked out the situation, the guys were discussing the damages and told me that the road will atleast take 3 hours to clear as they are waiting their owners to turn up.
I didn’t mind waiting up as after a long time, there were clear skies, lots of stars were shining and the weather was absolutely pleasant, it was literally a jungle on a mountain but nothing to worry about as there were lot of people, despite having there were so many people I was enjoying the solitude, I rolled down my windows and had my legs stretched outside the windows, there was also a light drizzle and the car stereo was playing ‘Black Hawk Down- leave no man behind by Hans Zimmer’ in a loop, I was enjoying it and soaking it all in. I almost fell asleep when around one and a half hour later some guys told us that we have to now slowly move and the trucks have created some space and a single line can move, I started the car and moved slowly as there was a valley just on the left hand side and pitch dark except the car lights. But we made it safely to the hotel ‘Tashi Namgay Resort’ in Paro, I was pleasantly surprised to be in that hotel, it was situated just alongside a river, I guess nothing is more soothing than a sound of river, I remembered one time which I had spent near a river in north Himachal ( even forgot the name of the place) to which some of us engineering friends went in the last year of engineering (I guess now the place is completely under water due to a dam there) we had a great time there, nothing beats the sound of a free flowing river, it’s so soothing and peaceful.
Some pictures from the day2.
1st stop on 2nd day for tea:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-1st-break-day-2.jpg

Drive through heavy fog:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-driving-thru-fog-day-2.jpg

Beautiful route:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-driving-thru-jungle-day-2.jpg

Phuentsholing entry/exit gate:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-entry-exit-point-phuentoling-day-2.jpg

Fog again:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-fog-day-2.jpg

Rest of the way to Paro:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-lush-greens-day-2.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-phuentosling-paro-day-2.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-rains-way-2-phuensoling-day-2.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-paro-day-2.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-phuensoting-day2.jpg

The Lonely moon:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-lonely-moon-day-2.jpg
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Old 21st August 2016, 16:45   #5
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Day 3:
We hired a guide for 2 days, his name is Deepesh Chettri, a great funny guy with an absolutely great sense of humour, he was now responsible for getting the most out of two days in the Bhutan.
So, the plan was to trek to the Taktshang or knwosn as Tiger’s nest, which was a drive of 30 Mins from hotel and a 2 to 3 Hrs Hike to Taktshang (Tiger’s nest) through a pine forest, this place is believed to be the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan. The monastery is most sacred site of all Buddhism and must visit cultural site in Bhutan.
It was not such an easy trek, my lungs were burning during the climb but I had to do the trek at any cost, it was a challenge (note to self, need to get my stamina back).
I will put some pictures which will do more justice to this travelogue.

Tiger’s nest monastery was really beautiful and lot of foreigners from countries like China, Japan, Korea, Thailand India come every year to this serene place and pay their respects to the Buddhist deities.
In the monastery I lit up two butter lamps, one for my son (for his health, he is not being very healthy since birth and I desperately want him to get better and healthy) and one for my family. I wish my prayers get answered.
Halfway there is a cafeteria which serves tea, coffee and during lunch time the local Bhutanese food, it’s a nice place to stop and have a break.

During the entire trek the guide, Deepesh told us some great stories about his life, about his work, about his encounters with the tourists, in all it was a great trek in the mountains, I believe the total hike was close to 12 Kms.
It was around 3 PM while I came back to the base, I started at 9 am in the morning, in the evening, I went to the Paro market and bought a Bhutanese Men’s dress. The girls and guys look great in their conventional Bhutanese dress. I believe it’s very elegant. I was looking one dress for my son, but since it was an off season could not get one as the shops are stocked during the season time which is generally between sept-dec and april-june each year.
Tired from the trek, I went to the resort early and had dinner in the hotel itself, the food was also very good in the hotel, post dinner I took solace to the sound of the river and retired for the night.

Some pictures from day 3.
The resort where I stayed:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-me-tashi-resort-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-resort-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-tashi-namgay-resort-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-tashi-namgay-river-day-3.jpg

The Majestic Tiger's Nest Monastery:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-best-pic-tiger-nest-monastery-flag-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-beautiful-clouds-tiger-nest-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-hike-togers-nest-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-monastery-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-me-tigers-nest-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-me-tigers-nest-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-nest-cafe-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-paro-valley-tiger-nest-day-3.jpg

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Prayer Flags:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-prayer-flags-way-tigers-nest-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-prayer-flags-tiger-nest-day-3.jpg
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Old 21st August 2016, 16:52   #6
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Default re: Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic

Lunch break at Tiger's Nest Cafeteria, nestled in the mountains, ideal place to take a break.

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-take-2-cafe-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-lunch-tiger-nest-monastery-cafe-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-nest-cafe-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-tigers-nest-cafe-day-3.jpg

With our guide, Deepesh:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-our-guide-deepesh-tiger-nest-monatery-day-3.jpg

Some parting pics of the monastery:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-thats-tigers-nest-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-tiger-nest-waterfall-day-3.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-tiger-nest-coming-closer-day-3.jpg
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Old 21st August 2016, 17:03   #7
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Day 4:
This day was reserved for visit to Thimpu and Dochula Pass (in between Thimpu and Punakha Valley). Dochula pass is breathtakingly beautiful, a must visit for all.
Before leaving for Thimpu we visited the Kitchu Temple, Kitchu Lhakhang (Monastery) is one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist temples in Bhutan. It is believed to be built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in 17th Century as a drive to build 108 temples across Tibet and Himalayas to overcome demons (Source Tashi Namgay resort website information), as we reached very early at around 8 am, we were the first to be in the temple, there were hundreds of these prayer wheels in and outside the temple where prayers are written, so it is believed that spinning the prayer wheels have the same effect as reciting the prayers.

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-kitchu-temple-paro-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-prayer-wheels-kitchu-temple-paro-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-fresh-apples-day-4.jpg

After the temple visit, we started for Thimpu.
Some pics enroute to Thimpu and Paro Airport (probably one of the most beautiful airports in the world):

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-more-civic-pics-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-way-thimpu-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-paro-airport-bird-eye-view-me-car-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-paro-airport-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-thimpu-day-4.jpg

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Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-thimpu-civic-pics-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-thimpu-day-4.jpg
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Old 21st August 2016, 17:30   #8
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Default Re: Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic

Thread moved to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st August 2016, 17:31   #9
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Just after Paro (approx. 10-15 Kms) there is an Iron bridge which is called ‘Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge’, the best part is the bridge is approx. 600+ years old but is still functional and is made up of wires/ chains, while walking on the iron bridge it wobbles and there is a river rushing fast just beneath me, it was a very different experience, a little scary though, but crossing the bridge was worth it (now I can understand why those glass bridges are so scary), as you may see in the pictures, there were hundreds of prayer flags tied up on the bridge, the significance of tying those prayer flags is that, the mantras/prayers written on the flags are flown with the waves in the air and they propagate in this world, it’s like transmitting wireless data, in this case prayers are also being transmitted through the air as its medium.
The Iron bridge:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-iron-bridge-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-me-iron-beidge-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-new-bridge-my-prayer-flag-day-4.jpg

I also tied up a prayer flag for the health of my son.
Here you can see Deepesh helping me with the flags on another bridge, this bridge is a newer bridge and is relatively much more stable than the older iron bridge.

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-deepesh-helping-me-prayer-flags-2-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-deepesh-helping-me-prayer-flags-day-4.jpg

Before going to Dochula pass, let me touch upon Thimpu first. Thimpu is the capital of Bhutan and its largest city, here we saw the mix of traditional as well as very modern Bhutan.
Name any car and you will see it there, Bhutan car market is majorly dominated by Toyota and they have almost all the models of Toyota, be it Land cruiser Prado or Totota Hilux, many of these cars are rare in India. Also many people have pickup trucks and 4 x 4, I really loved all these cars, I also wish to own a 4x4 someday, but that day is far as I can see (no money right now L). However it was great to be in Thimpu, there is a good positivity in this city, afterall Bhutan is the happiest country in the world.
Fancy Hyundai Car:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-hyundai-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-hyundau-day4.jpg

Toyota everywhere:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-toyota-everywhere-day-4.jpg
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Old 21st August 2016, 17:39   #10
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Some key observations I would like to write here:
1) People love their King (5th King of the House of Wangchuck of Bhutan – Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck) and almost worship him, the King also is known as People’s King and does a lot of work for the people, people say that he travels with his wife in disguise and visits cities and villages of Bhutan to see how Bhutan can improve, the guide told me how on his wedding day, the young King and Queen went to prison to meet and see the situation of prisoners but they were deeply saddened that most of the prisoners were young kids, thereafter in each of his communication he refers as young kids and children as the future of Bhutan
2) There are no beggers at all in entire Bhutan
3) The Education and Health is free
4) Bhutan feels like an European country neat and clean, little traffic concerns, people don’t honk and follow traffic, they give way for pedestrians to cross the road first (entirely opposite of what we do here)
5) 1 Indian Rs = 1 Nu (Bhutanese Currency) and Indian Rs works everywhere in Bhutan
6) Tourism, agriculture and Hydro-electricity are the major revenue earners for Bhutan (90% of the electricity produced is exported in Bhutan)
7) Outsiders cannot buy a property in Bhutan
8) People are extremely friendly
After lunch in a local Bhutanese Hotel, the dinner was reserved in Bhutan Kitchen (a little expensive joint) just close to the football stadium in Thimpu, well, fortunately there was a football match in Thimpu between India and Bhutan, people were very excited and a lot crowd was all ready for the football match, in the evening hence all the hangout joints will be filled with the crowds who had come to see the match.
A Kitten also joined me for lunch:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-kitten-joined-me-lunch-day-4.jpg

We also visited the Dochula pass (a misty mountainous pass between Thimpu and Punakha valley), I will just put some pictures and let the readers/viewers enjoy it, the place is extremely beautiful.
The roads seem to be going to the heaven.

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-civic-me-dochule-road-heaven-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-civic-docule-2-day-4.jpg

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Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-road-heaven-dochule-day-4.jpg

Post Thimpu we visited the Buddha Dordenma statue in Thimpu mountains, the Budha statue is more than 51 meters tall and has taken more than USD 50 million to build (sponsored by China) made of Bronze and Gold plated, and the structure is majestic.
There at the mountain I saw two rainbows.
Look closely 2 rainbows:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-grand-buddha-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-grand-buddha-side-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-grand-budha-devi-day-4.jpg

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Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-rainbow-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-2-rainbows-day-4.jpg
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Old 21st August 2016, 17:43   #11
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In the evening I also visited the temple, Changangkha Lhakhang which is a famous temple for Children, new born are taken there by their parents for the blessings and good health from the protector deity Tamdrin. The temple was very vibrant and lots of children, lady monks and monks were there, at the time a monk was teaching pranayama to the children, here in this temple, people come and they can become temporary monks for some time before going to their normal lives.

Later in the evening, post dinner at Bhutan Kitchen, the owner of the travel agency ‘Druk Heritaege’ came to meet us and invited us for bar hopping with him and his friends and some Karoake, we had a great time and had some interesting conversations on life, religion, friendship, money and countries. It was a rare night.
Then at around 12 midnight I retired for the night as I had to start the drive back home.
Some pictures of Bhutan Kitchen:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-bhutan-kitchen-2-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-bhutan-kitchen-3-day-4.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-bhutan-kitchen-day-4.jpg

Day5: Drive back from Thimpu to Siliguri to Raigunj.

Instead of staying in Siliguri I pushed for Raigunj, which is further 160 Kms from Siliguri, so it was an approx. 600 Kms drive from Thimpu to Raigunj.
The roads till Siliguri were good, but post Siliguri, the roads condition were flip flop sometimes it was excellent, sometime pathetic, during the entire journey I was never frustrated with the drive, but at the stretch from the point from National Highway where I had to take State Highway to Raigunj, the road was absolutely pathetic, one it became night and there were no street lights at all and second the raods had crater sized holes, it was like the road had a meteor shower, I had to drive very carefully manoeuvring the roads, I was desperately trying to protect the under-body of the car from humps, one wrong hump and it could damage the oil sump of the car and this could had been disastrous but my civic performed very well, I also had to dodge the trucks, I encountered 1 truck whose axel was broken and under chassis was damaged due to these bad roads, that 50 Km stretch took an eternity of 4 hours, I reached hotel at around 1 in the night, by the time the town was closed and I had to wake the hotel guys up for us to enter inside the hotel compound. Feeling absolutely drained after a 16 hours drive I just crashed on the bed after a long shower and slept off immediately
Some pictures from the day:

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-civic-mountains-2-day-5.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-civic-mountains-day-5.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-majestic-bhutan-day-5.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-majestic-civic-2-day-5.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-majestic-civic-3-day-5.jpg

Drive from Kolkata to Bhutan in my Honda Civic-majestic-civic-day-5.jpg

Day 6:
Drive back home to Kolkata. The roads were brilliant on the highways with some minor rough patches here and there, started at 9 in the morning and reached Kolkata by 6:30 PM in the evening to cover the approx. 410 Kms journey with 2 small breaks in between.
Here are some statistics for the number lovers:
Total Distance travelled: 2050 Kms
Total costing for petrol: Rs 12120
Total Petrol consumed: 189 Litres
Fuel efficiency: 10.8 KMPL
Total Toll paid: Rs 550
Cheers and Hats off to my civic for completing this wonderful journey.
Signing off by this quote:
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home”, Matsuo Basho
Goodbye and Thanks for reading.
Amit
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Old 21st August 2016, 18:35   #12
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Lovely write up! I liked the details you have provided on each of the destinations. Pictures are very well taken and adds to the lovely description. Civic is looking great as well! Thanks!
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Old 21st August 2016, 18:36   #13
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Wow. Brilliant travelogue and wonderful photos Amit. Your trip made me nostalgic. I was so amazed by the place that I wished I didn't have to return to Kolkata. Though I didn't go in my car, but reading your wonderful journey, I wish I had done something similar. Rating it 5 stars on my part.
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Old 21st August 2016, 20:25   #14
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Wonderful travelogue Amit. Thanks for sharing with us.
Hope, i drive to Bhutan some day.
My prayers and wishes to your son for his good health and a speedy recovery.
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 21st August 2016, 22:20   #15
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Lovely detailed travelogue Amit. That 600 year old bridge does look scary, it reminds me of an old bridge in Manjitar, Sikkim. 10.8 kmpl in the hills for a 9 year old automatic is impressive. Thanks for sharing the travelogue.
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