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Old 27th February 2017, 11:52   #61
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

Dear friends

Any help on my request or query would be extremely helpful.

Cheers
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Old 5th March 2017, 12:30   #62
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

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Dear friends

Any help on my request or query would be extremely helpful.

Cheers
Sorry for the late response.

I did some research and as mentioned above you can buy an add-on Geo-clause, that covers 5 countries on your car insurance for 500-1000rupees. Incase your insurance company does not have a add-on for international driving. Check if they have any tie-ups with other companies and you can get the add-on from them.

Unfortunately if they don't have then your friend can try changing his insurance company. But that is a tedious process and not worth it. Other than this the only other option I can think of is call up a tour operator in WB in Kolkata, Siliguri or Jaigaon and ask them what they do for their vehicle insurance when it has to be driven inside Bhutan. Also drop a PM to BHPian Samba for information on the same.

This is one aspect I did not think of while driving inside Bhutan and neither did the officer at the Bhutan RSTA ask if we had international coverage on our vehicle insurance even though he went through it thoroughly.
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Old 20th March 2017, 10:53   #63
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

What a crisp and detailed travelogue. This is the first one i have read on Bhutan in all these years on TBHP. I love the fact that you have detailed daily maps and distance which is a must for any travelogue to give an understanding on the route taken. The do's and dont's section was very informative. Kudos to your Innova and congratulations on the milestone.
Read the entire travelogue in one sitting and rated it the 5 stars it deserves!
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Old 8th April 2017, 20:42   #64
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

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What a crisp and detailed travelogue. This is the first one i have read on Bhutan in all these years on TBHP. I love the fact that you have detailed daily maps and distance which is a must for any travelogue to give an understanding on the route taken. The do's and dont's section was very informative. Kudos to your Innova and congratulations on the milestone.
Read the entire travelogue in one sitting and rated it the 5 stars it deserves!
Sorry for the super late reply!!

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it. It was a spur of the moment decision to drive to Bhutan. Turned out to be a good decision. Bhutan is a great destination for a chilled out holiday without having to do anything but everytime you look at the scenery your jaw drops.
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Old 16th April 2017, 16:31   #65
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

Came across your travelogue on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and boy did it make my day!

Superbly written! Thank you for sharing
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Old 19th April 2017, 01:09   #66
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Came across your travelogue on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and boy did it make my day!

Superbly written! Thank you for sharing
Thank you 97_Octane !! Glad you enjoyed reading it. I keep thinking of doing another trip soon to beat the heat.
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Old 11th June 2017, 00:35   #67
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

Was going through the pictures from this trip on my laptop while I stumbled across a picture which I did not include while penning this travelogue.

Thought of adding it as it shows the luggage capacity of the Innova with all the seats in use. It can easily gobble up a week's worth of luggage for 8 people without needing a carrier. We did have some extra bags on the third row, but for a 5-7 day getaway for eight people there is enough space. Also in this arrangement the luggage does not block the rear windshield, compromising your IRVM view. Hope this gives an idea.

Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!-img_20161226_225007.jpg
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Old 1st October 2017, 12:09   #68
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

Hi Shanksta

Congratulations on this wonderful trip and a beautifully written travelogue. I am truly inspired and want to attempt a Bhutan trip from Bangalore this November. My plan is as below. I have posted for current road conditions on the route queries thread.

Bangalore - Vijayawada - Puri - Kolkata - Jaldapara/Phuentsholing - Thimpu - Phunaka - Paro - Siliguri - Cuttak - Vizag - Bangalore

I plan to do this in 14 days. Can you advise if we need to make any hotel bookings in advance as I will be travelling with my wife and my parents. Any tips on this aspect will be really appreciated.

Any other tips based on your trip will be very helpful too.

Thanks
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Old 9th October 2017, 11:43   #69
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Bangalore - Vijayawada - Puri - Kolkata - Jaldapara/Phuentsholing - Thimpu - Phunaka - Paro - Siliguri - Cuttak - Vizag - Bangalore

I plan to do this in 14 days. Can you advise if we need to make any hotel bookings in advance as I will be travelling with my wife and my parents. Any tips on this aspect will be really appreciated.

Any other tips based on your trip will be very helpful too.

Thanks
DAART
Hi DAART, sorry for the late reply. Had you quoted me I would've got a notification email.

Since you have two weeks, you can easily spend 5days in Bhutan. I would suggest booking your hotels beforehand especially for Bhutan if possible since this is also a holiday season for them.

Day 1- Bengaluru - Rajahmundry (798km)
Day 2- Rajahmundry - Puri - Bhubaneswar(692km)
Day 3- Bhubaneswar - Malda(776km)
Day 4- Malda - Jaigaon/Phuentsholing (364km)
Day 5 - Phuentsholing - Thimpu (ample time to get permits also) There is nothing much to see in Phuentsholing so moving on to Thimpu after getting permits would be better.
Day 6 - Thimpu (Apply for permits for Punakha & then take a tour of the city) then proceed to Punakha after getting the permits if there is time. You will mostly get it by 1PM (86km)
Day 8- Punakha( Please proceed to Phobjikha Valley only if you have the strength and if they have laid roads now)
Day 9 - Punakha - Paro. Do not miss Centre point hotel in Khuruthang they serve really nice Samosas and Aloo Parathas.
Day 10 - Paro (Tiger's nest trek if possible)
Day 11- Paro - Siliguri
Day 12 - Siliguri - Kharagpur
Day 13 - Kharagpur - Rajahmundry (959km)
Day 14 - Rajahmundry - Bengaluru (799kms)

I would seriously recommend you try to opt for an extra day holiday. So that the return leg is not so hectic. Dropping a day from Bhutan wouldn't make sense since you are driving all the way just to see that place. It might be fine for us to drive crazy distances but your parents might find it difficult. If you manage to squeeze out another day you can do Kharagpur - Vizag, Vizag -Vijayawada, Vijayawada - Bengaluru.

EDIT: The itenary will look hectic like this since you have cover nearly 2500kms each way to reach Bhutan plus spend atleast 4-5days there. So if you are not used to such long distances I would seriously recommend adding a day or two to the trip so that you have two extra stopover points which will greatly reduce the fatigue and keep you energetic for the entire trip.

Last edited by Shanksta : 9th October 2017 at 11:52.
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Old 9th October 2017, 20:13   #70
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

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Hi DAART, sorry for the late reply. Had you quoted me I would've got a notification email.

Since you have two weeks, you can easily spend 5days in Bhutan. I would suggest booking your hotels beforehand especially for Bhutan if possible since this is also a holiday season for them.
Hi Shanksta,

Thank you for your response. I will keep in mind to use the quote option going forward

Our plan pretty much matches what you have advised. We have now added a couple of days buffer to the trip considering the same factors you have mentioned.

I was in fact wondering about halting somewhere ahead of Kolkata and closer to Phuentsholing to keep ourselves as energetic as possible when entering Bhutan. Thank you for suggesting Malda which seems to be a perfect stop.

We have done the bookings for our stay in Bhutan. Plan to use OYO for the stopovers in India.

Being the foodies we are , we will not miss out on Centre point hotel


Regards
DAART
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Old 11th October 2017, 16:13   #71
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Default Re: Road-Trip: Chennai to Bhutan!

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Originally Posted by DAART View Post
Hi Shanksta,

Thank you for your response. I will keep in mind to use the quote option going forward

Our plan pretty much matches what you have advised. We have now added a couple of days buffer to the trip considering the same factors you have mentioned.

I was in fact wondering about halting somewhere ahead of Kolkata and closer to Phuentsholing to keep ourselves as energetic as possible when entering Bhutan. Thank you for suggesting Malda which seems to be a perfect stop.

We have done the bookings for our stay in Bhutan. Plan to use OYO for the stopovers in India.

Being the foodies we are , we will not miss out on Centre point hotel


Regards
DAART
Glad to be of help. All the best for your trip.

Kolkata is a good choice for a halt if you ideally do Vizag - Kolkata. But since you are closer at Bhubaneswar it makes sense to drive to Malda. Also the super long 15hour journey for 600odd kms between Kolkata and Siliguri can be done leisurely. Beware of huge speed breakers on SH7. The road is 90% smooth and rest 10% riddled with potholes.

Please be careful after Burdwan. Burdwan to Malda is only through scenic SH 7 till you cross Morgram and then 4 lanes roads in between, still under construction on NH 12. You will be driving through a lot of villages and they drive on the wrong side like no one's business. Also once you cross Raiganj I would suggest the Dhantola - Botolbari road since you will be driving that stretch in the daytime. It saves some distance and time, the roads are good albeit narrow. If you use Google maps for navigation it will show you this route as the fastest. Also this route is super scenic ask your passenger to have theri cameras ready.

OYO is a good choice, except Jaigaon it will show rooms everywhere else. You can find really good accomodation for 2k per night for 2 rooms/4 people almost in every stop on your way.

Also forgot to mention that in Odisha they are really few Dhabas on the highways it would better you try to have lunch at Chilika Dhaba if you drive past there at lunch time. But do carry a load of bread and jam, butter, peanut butter, etc., as a backup incase you do not find any place that feels family friendly to you.

Do not know if the same amount of traffic jams (trucks standing for clearance almost 2 km long jams) occur at AP-OD and OD-WB border post GST. But if there is a jam at these places the best thing to do is to follow a local and drive on the opposite side till you cross the jam and then move over to your side.

Last edited by Shanksta : 11th October 2017 at 16:16.
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