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Old 10th December 2013, 13:50   #61
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post
In the last 4 months i have been there twice in my Manza. Your swift will rock and roll. No issues at all. Where will you be staying there? Stay in Chhotkei Eco resort. It is a wonderful place. Do not forget to drive to Labangi through the dense jungles. Do let me know if you need any information.I will be putting up a TL pretty soon.
Thanx AG. I just sent a query via the OFDC website about accommodation availability. Hopefully they will get back. If not, how do you book the accommodation?

I'll wait for your TL - team-bhp travelogues have helped a lot when I drove to chilika/rambha couple of years back.

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Old 10th December 2013, 15:07   #62
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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Originally Posted by arijit72 View Post
Thanx AG. I just sent a query via the OFDC website about accommodation availability. Hopefully they will get back. If not, how do you book the accommodation?

I'll wait for your TL - team-bhp travelogues have helped a lot when I drove to chilika/rambha couple of years back.

Cheers
Arijit
Shoot a mail to dfosatkosiawl@yahoo.co.in mentioning your booking dates and itinerary and they would happily oblige. If the cottages are available they would do a provisional pencil booking and request you to send them a demand draft to an address which they would specify in their reply. You have to send them the draft by speed post which will be delivered in a couple of days and they would confirm your booking. You have to collect the booking slip from their office at Angul before entering Satkosia or you will not be allowed entry further to Pampasar which is the entry point of the reserve. You can call 08763102681 between 10-5 for any enquiry. A lady named Menakshi would talk to you.

They are very helpful and polite so everything would be seamless. In Chottkei Eco cottages it is Rs 2300 per cottage including accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 person. The quantity and quality of food they provide is awesome. The eco-resorts are maintained by the villagers of Chottkei so expect some very warm and lovely behavior.

Last edited by A.G.The Rambler : 10th December 2013 at 15:11.
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Old 10th December 2013, 15:32   #63
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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Originally Posted by A.G.The Rambler View Post
Shoot a mail to dfosatkosiawl@yahoo.co.in mentioning your booking dates and itinerary and they would happily oblige. If the cottages are available they would do a provisional pencil booking and request you to send them a demand draft to an address which they would specify in their reply. You have to send them the draft by speed post which will be delivered in a couple of days and they would confirm your booking. You have to collect the booking slip from their office at Angul before entering Satkosia or you will not be allowed entry further to Pampasar which is the entry point of the reserve. You can call 08763102681 between 10-5 for any enquiry. A lady named Menakshi would talk to you.

They are very helpful and polite so everything would be seamless. In Chottkei Eco cottages it is Rs 2300 per cottage including accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 person. The quantity and quality of food they provide is awesome. The eco-resorts are maintained by the villagers of Chottkei so expect some very warm and lovely behavior.
Yes, that's what they said from the DFO's office:-) A bank transfer would have been best for me, but it seems that option is not there.

If we start on 23rd morning, we would be reaching Chottkei by evening - hopefully. Would two days (24th and 25th) be sufficient? We'll have to come back on 26th because everyone will have school/office the next day.
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Old 10th December 2013, 16:50   #64
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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Yes, that's what they said from the DFO's office:-) A bank transfer would have been best for me, but it seems that option is not there.

If we start on 23rd morning, we would be reaching Chottkei by evening - hopefully. Would two days (24th and 25th) be sufficient? We'll have to come back on 26th because everyone will have school/office the next day.

Try to start as early as possible around 3-3.30 so that you will have some time in hand. 10-12 hrs of drive depending on road conditions. NH60 is a single carriageway now from KGP till almost balasore as one side has been totally demolished and being relaid. Choudwar till 10 kms after Dhenkanal road is patchy so would take up some time. 2 days there would be good enough. Do go for the Labangi forest trail and try to get a boat ride in the Mahanadi gorge. Spent some time at the gorge, it is wonderful.

Last edited by A.G.The Rambler : 10th December 2013 at 16:53.
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Old 16th December 2013, 12:31   #65
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

ADC da as usual beautiful trip log, and wonderful pictures. Our friend Mr. C. M. Mukhrjee just came back from Sakoshia last friday. Other than the horrid state of NH60 and beautiful state highways of Odhissa, the only other thing he had to report like you, was the virginity of the forests, yet to be drowned by the cacophony of noisy tourists who doesn’t know the etiquette of the forests. He happened to stay at Chotkei Nature Resort. And while visiting Tikarpada somewhere in between in a forest road, heard repetitive calls of a tiger. He started at 6 from Kasba and reached Chotkei at around 6.45pm. since for the permits he had to wait for almost 3 hours. And he drives quite sedate, enjoying the roads.
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Old 24th December 2013, 10:48   #66
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

Bookings done and all set to go. Can't wait for it.

The trouble is, my journey date is 23rd Jan, and that means I'll probably have to collect the documents from somebody's residence (as was done by ADC). I guess they do not read the mails at DFO's office - when I queried about 23rd being a holiday, they sent me the same standard reply which they send while confirming the booking.
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Old 24th December 2013, 11:30   #67
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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Bookings done and all set to go. Can't wait for it.

The trouble is, my journey date is 23rd Jan, and that means I'll probably have to collect the documents from somebody's residence (as was done by ADC). I guess they do not read the mails at DFO's office - when I queried about 23rd being a holiday, they sent me the same standard reply which they send while confirming the booking.
Please talk to Meenakshi at 0876310268. You can also try calling up +916764236218 if that number is not reachable.
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Old 24th December 2013, 21:00   #68
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

Have read about these places only in Buddhadev Guha's novels in my boyhood. Till today they existed only in my imagination. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. If its ok with you, I want to show the photos to my friends (non-TBHP) who are Buddhadev Guha fan like I am.
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Old 30th December 2013, 20:01   #69
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

According to the latest information, i came to know from the forest department guys that the river camps are no more being setup. In future it might again come up but not at present, reason which they did not mention.

Few pictures from my last 2 trips to Satkosia in my Manza.
Way to Labangi, a thrilling trail to drive a sedan inside the core jungle areas. What an experience ! For all you guys who are driving there soon !

Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2-dsc_3337_resized_4.jpg

Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2-dsc_1739_6.jpg

Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2-dsc_3219_resized_5.jpg

We drove through this in my Manza

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A full fledged TL coming up very soon.
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Old 3rd January 2014, 11:25   #70
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

I really can't wait for 23rd Jan to come...

One quick question - one of my friends has become very interested, but he is not used to long drives. He's planning to take a driver from those driving centres in Kolkata. Do you know of any place in the nearby villages where drivers (for people who don't do the driving themselves) stay? Satkosia.org team don't seem to have any such option at Chotkei.
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Old 6th January 2014, 16:22   #71
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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I really can't wait for 23rd Jan to come...

One quick question - one of my friends has become very interested, but he is not used to long drives. He's planning to take a driver from those driving centres in Kolkata. Do you know of any place in the nearby villages where drivers (for people who don't do the driving themselves) stay? Satkosia.org team don't seem to have any such option at Chotkei.
Not sure arijit. Not seen any such facility there. I think you need to talk to Menakshi on that.
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Old 15th January 2014, 16:30   #72
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

I'm back again with more questions:-)

Last night, I got a call from someone from Chhotkei - he claimed to be a resident of Chhotkei and he owns a Bolero. He said that small cars (like Swift) won't do any good within the forest, and we should book a bigger car - like a Bolero. He said that he can pick us up from Angul and drop us off after the tour and it will cost 6500/-.

But if a Manza can go, why not a Swift? Can I go to the Kandadhera watch tower on a Swift? My friend, who is coming along with us, is taking his Estillo - I guess that might not go. Or will it?
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Old 15th January 2014, 18:06   #73
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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I'm back again with more questions:-)

Last night, I got a call from someone from Chhotkei - he claimed to be a resident of Chhotkei and he owns a Bolero. He said that small cars (like Swift) won't do any good within the forest, and we should book a bigger car - like a Bolero. He said that he can pick us up from Angul and drop us off after the tour and it will cost 6500/-.

But if a Manza can go, why not a Swift? Can I go to the Kandadhera watch tower on a Swift? My friend, who is coming along with us, is taking his Estillo - I guess that might not go. Or will it?
I have gone there 2 times in my Manza and nobody gave me a call as such. Though I have not driven to Kandadhera, other areas including Labangi was very much doable with some patient & skillful driving. There is also a watch tower approx 5 kilometers from the Labangi FRH through the elephant passes. Tourists are not allowed inside but we managed to get it 1st time in exchange of some money and a pack of cigg, but 2nd we did not due to worse situation inside after the monsoons. After a certain point we had to stop our cars and walk half a km inside to the watch tower where we spotted deers, bucks etc. It was thrilling.

Last time i went there, it was after the monsoons and just barely couple of weeks after the phailin cyclone wrecked havoc in Orissa and the jungle trails were a big mess with slush, loose boulders all over and frequent streams flowing through the muddy trails and i managed those routes in my Manza with 6 occupants, though couple of them had to step out few times to increase the GC. You can see them itself in my last post. Now it should be bone dry and in much better condition.

According to me, you should go ahead with your drive and enjoy it. No point sitting in a bolero and scratching your own head thinking i could have done it myself. No point rushing for all the places that can be seen. Kandadhera and Labangi are both core areas and just by walking into a tiger reserve doesn’t guarantee a sighting. So chill, take it slow and enjoy the ambiance. Be at peace and enjoy your drive. Do remember to stop your car once with lights off, engine off inside the jungle in the evening and feel it. Its awesome. You can try it couple of kms far of Chottkei itself. We did it and let me know how you felt once you have done it. Its nondescript.

This is how i think, but at the end its your decision.

Keep Revving

Last edited by A.G.The Rambler : 15th January 2014 at 18:18.
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Old 21st January 2014, 14:12   #74
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

One more question - possibly the last, because we'll be leaving early morning day after tomorrow.

I was searching for route map and google maps is showing a route that is different from what I've read in this thread. The google map prescribed route is NH6 upto Pallahara and then NH23/NH200 via Talcher to Angul.

And the GPS-based route is NH60-NH5 and then NH215 from Panikoili. There is a 3rd option - NH60-NH5 and then NH42 from Chaudwar (just before Cuttack).

As per google maps, the first one is the shortest one. But how good is it? Which route would you advise?
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Old 21st January 2014, 14:41   #75
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Default Re: Orissa's Unknown Forests [Kolkata-Kuldia-Satkosia-Bangriposi-Kolkata] -->> Part 2

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One more question - possibly the last, because we'll be leaving early morning day after tomorrow.

I was searching for route map and google maps is showing a route that is different from what I've read in this thread. The google map prescribed route is NH6 upto Pallahara and then NH23/NH200 via Talcher to Angul.

And the GPS-based route is NH60-NH5 and then NH215 from Panikoili. There is a 3rd option - NH60-NH5 and then NH42 from Chaudwar (just before Cuttack).

As per google maps, the first one is the shortest one. But how good is it? Which route would you advise?

Definitely the 3rd option. Don't think about any other option. Once you cross Angul drive for another 10-15 kms you would find a small stop where you would see a small hotel and a bunch of shops. Take left from there. Keep a watch for signboards directing towards Satkosia.
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