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Old 5th April 2018, 20:31   #1
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Default Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine

Preface:

My elder sister was born in Darjeeling (DDMA Hospital). The last time she visited Darjeeling was in 2005. That was her last family trip before marriage. My sister and family stay in Dubai and had planned their trip to India during the end of March (my niece's year end break). Since my Brother-In-Law had not visited Darjeeling yet, we planned a visit to Darjeeling to have a fun family get together at the hills.

The travelers:

Team A: My Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother-In-Law and niece - Flight to Bagdogra from Kolkata, and onward by Taxi to Mirik. Return via similar commute.

Team B: My Wife and me - In the Ikon.

The better half of Team B
Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-dsc_0252.jpg

The Plan:

Team A was to leave on 21st to reach Mirik in the evening, then join us in Darjeeling for the next two days after which both Team A & B would move to Kurseong. Team A would stay at Kurseong for two nights. They would take a taxi to Bagdogra and board their evening flight to Kolkata. - Five nights of hill stay

Team B would leave on 21st night to reach Darjeeling on 22nd afternoon. Stay there for two nights along with Team A. Then to Kurseong on 24th. Team B would return on 25th morning to reach Kolkata on the same day while Team A would move a day later. - Three nights of hill stay. Since we wanted to keep the leaves to the minimum we did not plan out for the five night trip.

I would be narrating the travelogue from Team B's perspective since I was a part of the same.

21st & 22nd March 2018 - Kolkata to Darjeeling

I returned from work by 5 PM. My wife (Bhavneet) did a quick packing job before she left for work that morning. We were all set and left home at 6 PM.

Leaving home
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Bhavneet had arrived in Kolkata just the night before from Hyderabad. She was feeling sick during the day and things got worse as we started our journey. Just before we hit the highway she felt nauseated. We took sometime to search for medicines as we were not within city limits anymore. We carried the required medicines and continued till our usual stop during a road trip, Azad Hind Dhaba at gopalpur (NH2). There we had some tea and Bhavneet took some rest. We finally had to decide to move on with plan or to head home as Bhavneet was still feeling very sick. There was no scope for me to have a driving partner if we went forward with our plan to move forward. After speaking to my uncle (a doctor) for guidance, we decided to move ahead, Bhavneet would take rest through the night. We refueled at AHD and left at 10 PM.

At AHD
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Ikon, having a smaller tank than the Thar had to be refueled pretty often. I planned to fuel it up thrice for each side of the trip. We made a short halt once we hit SH7 to have some biryani that Bhanveet had carried from Hyderabad. We drove through the night (Burdawan-Khargram-Moregram-Farakka-Malda). I felt very sleepy after we crossed Malda. We made a halt somewhere before Raiganj, at a fuel station (at 4:30 AM) and decided to take a short nap and drive once the sun was out. Next I heard the phone alarm ring at 6:30 AM (my daily alarm clock that was not turned off, luckily). The sun had been shining right infront of us but we were still not disturbed by it. We turned off the alarm, and were off in a jiffy as we spent some good time resting.

Biryani break
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We took the Botolbari-Dhantola route to Islampur then to Bagdogra and via Panighata-Dudhia-Pankhabari-Kurseong we reached Dekeling resort, Darjeeling at 12:30 PM. Since we drove through the night we faced minimal traffic and enjoyed it. Just the usual congestion at Farakka and a little at Malda. The route from Kuli to Khargram had become much better as well with very few bad patches, making the drive easier than our last one. Also, may be it was the Ikon this time that made the drive more comfortable.

Short halt at Dudhia for momos
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Took a shortcut from Dudhia to Pankhabari and did some soft-roading on the way
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Team A joined us at around 2 PM as they made small halts during their journey from Mirik to Darjeeling. By then we freshed up and had slept enough. We had lunch and decided to stay back in the hotel that day instead of going to the Mall for a stroll or to have dinner. We lazed around and chit chatted in our rooms and later in the evening had dinner. The days in the hills end sooner and we wanted to sleep early as well to catch up on some sleep and be refreshed for the next day to come.

While we were on our way to Darjeeling my niece did this at Mirik
Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-img_20180322_104915_bokeh.jpg

Distance covered: 632 Kms

23rd March 2018 - Around Darjeeling

We had a good night's sleep and woke up to get ready for breakfast at Glenarys. We were lucky to be able to see Mt. Kanchenganga that morning. We had a good view of the peak from our room. We decided to book an Innova for the day, as we did not want to take two cars all over. The plan was to visit various places in and around Darjeeling after our visit to Glenarys. On our way to Glenarys we made a halt at the Darjeeling Station. Clicked many pictures and saw the steam engine driven trains in detail.

Mountain view from the Resort
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Didi and Jijaji at the resort beside Quicksilver
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Dad discussing the itinerary with the driver
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Clicks at the Darjeeling station
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Videos at the station





Continued....

Last edited by Aditya : 8th April 2018 at 18:58. Reason: As requested
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Old 7th April 2018, 21:15   #2
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Smile Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling-Kolkata in my Josh Machine - once again

We then had a wholesome breakfast at Glenarys. Once done, we left for Padmaja Naidu Zoo and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI). My niece and I tried the rock climbing activity at HMI. It was challenging but fun. We then visited the museum and got back to the car to cover other areas of interest. We purchased few prayer flags from the shop inside the zoo before we left.

In the Innova
Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-20180323_101221.jpg

Walking to Glenarys
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At Glenarys for Breakfast
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Next in our list was the Passenger Ropeway. Though we did not have much time and rock garden was priority, the driver suggested we have a look and decide depending on the rush at the Ropeway. We reached, saw a long queue and decided to head to Rock Garden without any delay.

As we reached Rock Garden it started raining. We utilized the time by having momos and wai wai at one of the shops near the garden. Once we were done, the rain reduced and we explored the garden. We were then dropped near Chowrasta where we would roam around and take a hotel taxi back to the resort. At 6 PM we found it too early for dinner and decided to take a table at Glenarys and have our meal an hour later. We had some delicious dishes there. We also had ice cream and purchased some tea on the way back to the resort. My brother in law and I decided to walk while the others took a car to the resort. The last bit towards the resort was steep and our food was well digested by the end of it. We lazed around for a bit and called it a day to wake up early the next morning for a visit to Tiger Hills.

Snacks outside rock garden
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At rock garden, three generations in one shot
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Niece and her pop
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At HMI, rock climbing activity
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Random clicks
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Coming back at dinner time
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And the lovely food we had
Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-fotojet.jpg

24th March 2018 - Darjeeling and off to Kurseong

We got up and got ready quickly to leave for Tiger Hills. The Innova from the previous day had arrived to pick us up at 4AM. The view point was cold and it was difficult to take photographs. We bought a pair of gloves which I liked and had a round of coffee to feel better After some wait we were able to see the peak through the faint cover of clouds. Then as the sun rose, the peaks got clearer and we got a decent view of both the sunrise, and the Kanchenjunga. There was a small episode at the viewing deck, where my glove fell off and got stuck at one of he steep steps. It was quite some entertainment for me and few onlookers to be able to recover the glove. Few onlookers also helped and guided, but since I do not have pictures I would not be able to get the entertainment to live here.

Clicks from Tiger hill
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We were not able to stop at Batasia loop for padokas and to visit the war memorial due to the traffic. We therefore continued and stopped at Dali Monastery for a while. After a quick visit to the Monastery, we set back. We made the payment at the Dekeling Hotel, and then waited for Keventers to open. We had our breakfast and walked back to the Dekeling Resort. The food at Keventers was decent, there was a bit too much oil in almost everything we ordered.

I got back to the resort and gave Quicksilver a bath. We then got ready to leave from the resort at around 12 PM.

From Dali Monastery
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Attachment 1749558
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At Keventers
Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-img_20180324_075602.jpg
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The last few shots at the resort before we left for Kurseong
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Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-20180324_121641.jpg

Continued...

Last edited by navsjab : 7th April 2018 at 23:10.
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Old 7th April 2018, 21:55   #3
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Smile Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling-Kolkata in my Josh Machine - once again

We stopped on the way at Batasia loop to visit the War Memorial and had some snacks from a restaurant there. We clicked some more pictures and continued to Cochrane Place, Kurseong. We made a short halt at a tea plantation area for few pictures just before the hotel.

At the War Memorial, Batasia loop
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Stop on the way to Cochrane Place for few clicks
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Once we were in Cochrane, we had the welcome drinks, chit chatted and relaxed. In the evening we had a look at the games room which was ill maintained but was good enough to get busy playing. We planned TT, snooker and carom.

Play time
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At around 7:30 we were at the dinning room having another good Indian meal after which we tried to take a round of the garden area. We did not explore it much as it was not well lit and instead sat in the lounge playing some games with my niece.

We called it a day at around 10:30 to be able to get enough sleep before the day long drive to Kolkata the next day.

Distance covered: 33 Kms

25th March 2018 - Off to Kolkata

We were up at 5:45 and were all set to be off within an hour. Cochrane packed their "set breakfast" which we had on our way. The return journey was good, with minimal traffic probably being a Sunday. Also, my partner was fit and helped me when I wanted to take some rest. We were in Kolkata a little before 7.

Parting shot at Cochrane place
Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-20180324_173806.jpg

Distance covered: 610 Kms

A short video to sum up the drive during the trip


Last edited by navsjab : 8th April 2018 at 11:12.
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Old 8th April 2018, 15:43   #4
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Default Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine

Moving out of Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing - Support Team
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Old 8th April 2018, 20:41   #5
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Default Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling-Kolkata in my Josh Machine - once again

Wow! Why does this tug at the Heartstrings somewhere!!

I really miss the days that I did not have to lug around a minibus all the time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
The food at Keventers was decent, there was a bit too much oil in almost everything we ordered.
Don't tell me! Few years back, I was surprised to find "Alu" stuffed inside sausages! That was the time, I had decided that this will be my last visit to this joint. None of the meats taste right and yet their popularity has soared with time, just goes to show the kind of people visiting there.

By the way, 3 fuel stops to Darjeeling, makes it read like the car is Guzzling. However, this you probably did to avoid filling up on the hills, isn't it? Otherwise, my car happily used to do with 2 stops to Darjeeling (provided it starts with a full tank from home)

Rating 5 stars!

Last edited by theMAG : 9th April 2018 at 22:49. Reason: Typo fixed as requested.
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Old 9th April 2018, 14:58   #6
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Default Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling-Kolkata in my Josh Machine - once again

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
By the way, 3 fuel stops to Darjeeling, makes it read like the car is Guzzling. However, this you probably did to avoid filling up on the hills, isn't it? Otherwise, my car happily used to do with 2 stops to Darjeeling (provided it starts with a full tank from home)

Rating 5 stars!
Thank you 1100D.

Yes, the reason to fill thrice on each side was to avoid filling it on the hills and because I had already done few rounds to office before the trip. Also, I was filling it every 15-20L of consumption. The efficiency was actually Ikon's best considering the AC running most of the time and the way it was driven. It returned 13-14 kmpl.
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Old 9th April 2018, 16:35   #7
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Since 2014 I have not been to Darjeeling due to an annual overdose in the years prior to that. Anyways, the queen of the hills has it's own old world charm and your travelogue just made me nostalgic of a particular trip of mine in 2011 when I traveled to darjeeling with Ishanvi, my daughter who was 3 months old then

Sharing a picture of my Josh Machines at that time :
Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-dsc01797.jpg

Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-dsc01829.jpg

Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-dsc02079.jpg

Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine-dsc02242.jpg

A primitive breed of Ford needs to pay a visit soon though !!
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Old 9th April 2018, 20:52   #8
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A small sweet travelogue. It seems you really love this place.
Your record from the last 3 years say you did Sandakphu twice and Darjeeling thrice!
Great to see a sedan on hills! I can feel how you enjoyed taking the curves in your josh machine.

Curvy hill road + Hps + an old school Ford Sedan (petrol) = Pure bliss!

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Old 9th April 2018, 21:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
Team A: My Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother-In-Law and niece - Flight to Bagdogra from Kolkata, and onward by Taxi to Mirik. Return via similar commute.

Team B: My Wife and me - In the Ikon.
I offered your father the use of my bike. He declined!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
None of the meats taste right and yet their popularity has soured with time, just goes to show the kind of people visiting there.
You are projecting your views on the rest of the population!

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 9th April 2018, 22:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
I offered your father the use of my bike. He declined!


You are projecting your views on the rest of the population!

Regards
Sutripta
Thanks for pointing the typo, unintentional misuse of one letter just changed the entire meaning! I meant "Soared", have pointed to the mods to edit that post.
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Old 10th April 2018, 02:58   #11
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Default Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine

Lovely pictures as usual and a crisp travelogue! Rated 5 stars. The food at Keventers is no longer what it used to be, but that roof top restaurant with a view of Kanchenjunhga on a clear day is still quite enticing.
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Old 10th April 2018, 04:44   #12
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Default Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine

This thread is a treat for the josh machine fans.

Although i have never visited that part of the country, i still remember taking my little josh machine (the Flair, hence little josh machine ) on the hairpins of Ooty (link to travelogue : Ooty in an Ikon (Ikonic journeys : Bangalore to Ooty & Coonor)), as well as multiple trips from Bangalore to Kerala and back via the Kumily ghats. The handling and the raspy note from the engine ensured it was always enjoyable!
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Old 12th April 2018, 15:18   #13
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Great precise writing Navtej. Darjeeling still remains my favorite hill station out of all I have visited.
Hope to drive down someday in my newly acquired beasts!
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Old 12th April 2018, 18:19   #14
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Nice writeup Navtej. These tlogs of Dargeeling and nearby places keeps increasing the 'itch' to head there. God willing hope to tick this off my to do list soon.

Rating a well deserved 5*.
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Old 13th April 2018, 17:35   #15
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Default Re: Kolkata-Darjeeling in a Josh machine

I'm sure you enjoyed the direct steering inputs of the hydraulic steering around the bends in your Josh Machine! And yes when driven at constant 90 - 110 (sweet spot of this 1.6 8 Valve SOHC Rocam engine) even with a full load of fuel+pax+AC it sings & stretches the drops to 14 - 15 km/l.

Sounds quite mundane for others maybe, but a shift down from 5th to 3rd + generous throttle and this car passes others very quick ala T-Jet or any Tuned Tdi style which are twin cam & turbo charged. Side effect of doing this- shows the fuel needle going down quite fast.

Last edited by Ford5 : 13th April 2018 at 17:37.
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