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Old 18th January 2009, 00:35   #31
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Default Mandarmani Visit

Hi Friends, I am planning to go to Mandarmani on the 29th. I need some suggestions on stay and thiings to do while I am there. I hear that the roads are very bad. Is that true? I would be driving a Hyundai Getz. Do I need to make the bookings in advance or can I just walk-in to a hotel? Thanks for the help.
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Old 18th January 2009, 11:36   #32
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Recently my dad and mom went to Mandarmuni in an Indica. Till Chaulkhola the road quite good. After that, you have to take a right turn when the road condition gets bad. But it is much better now than what was around a year back. You can PM razor4077 as he went there around a month back.
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Old 4th August 2009, 13:41   #33
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Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
Nowadays, they dont allow to drive on the Udaipur beach. This was my experience during my visit in June, last year.

The road to Talsari was also in a very poor state that time. Not sure whether things have improved now.

Here's one pic taken in that beach area:
Gr8 pic Saurabh ... wud u care to share the details .. where it was taken, camera, time of day, any tricks...
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Old 14th December 2010, 16:00   #34
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Question Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

how is the road from Chaulkhola to Mandarmoni now? can one do it in a 800 with 4 adults? anyone pls .... also if any recent visitor can recommend a good resort for family at reasonable rates
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Old 14th December 2010, 22:19   #35
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

@hoomdo: The road from Chaulkhola to Mandarmoni is ok but you must be careful as there are innumerable bumpers and water passes. Some are pretty bad with a chance to scrape your underneath unless you are very very careful especially where you take the final right turn towards Mandarmoni. If you are careful enough, I think 800 can do it. Please look out for chickens and goats while driving, as they will fleece you if you happen to hit one, so be careful.

Regarding resorts, Rs. 1500/- plus taxes is the starting point for any resort on the beach. I was there with my family on 5th and 6th Dec, 2010 and my drive, Chevrolet Beat. We stayed at Masara Beach Resort (booked though MakeMyTrip.com), I find it pretty good in terms of location, service, food, etc. They voluntarily upgraded us from deluxe cottage to executive cottage as there was no other guests. We are entitled to complimentary breakfast which they provided but we are surprised that they didn't charged for my son's milk and also two rounds of tea which we took.

Also, I will suggest to check out Eco Villa which is also decent (specially Room 101 & 102). Myself is planning to stay there on my next visit. Don't worry, there are innumerable hotels and resorts there catering to various budgets.

Please note, all resorts increase their room rent during the period of 24th Dec to 2nd Jan.

Wish you a very Happy Journey and a Wonderful vacation.

Please feel free to ask, if you need any more information.
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Old 15th December 2010, 10:50   #36
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

Hi Sudeep Da / thebagchi,

This thread reminded me of our trip to Mondarmoni.
I still owe you one for taking me to many nice locations.

@ BlackPearl loved your login Name, was pondering naming my ST Gurkha the same

cheers
Sunil
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Old 30th May 2013, 18:37   #37
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

This is the road bug again! Back at my hometown Kolkata after 12 years and then I suddenly realized that there are not many good roads to be explored in West Bengal. Towards North Bengal from Kolkata has horrible feedback on roads. My only consolation is I get to travel to different cities on job! Definitely not good enough ! Also, my wife is not of a kind who likes to travel a lot. Thus, when a few weeks back she said let’s get a trip, I pounced on it. I also tried to get a big group, but in vain. Thus it was only me and my wife. This time I had to do the planning alone (plans to drive to just Mandarmoni from Kolkata, really, not joking! But I love the build-up to a long drive). My only choice was seaside. So Mandarmoni it was! Started Google-ing the resorts. Got very good feedback on Dream Hut. Only catch was it’s an old property and regular visitors said the rooms had dampened a bit. Finally came across Aqua Marina Drive Inn. I found out that it was only a year old property and was pretty impressed by the fact that A/C rooms had bathtubs. I mean what else would I do in this tremendous heat during the day? My plan was to reach there on a Friday night after office and enjoy the complete weekend. It was tough to crack a 2.5 days deal with them. But did that! They have their City Office at Kamalalaya Center near Jyoti Cinema, Esplanade. Paid 50% advance rent and all set.

Now was to plan the roads! I am never fond of the drive through Vidyasagar Setu and the Howrah town. That seems congested to me always. And I had to pick up my wife from Technopolis near Newtown. We planned to start at 4 p.m. from there. And reach Mandarmoni by 8:30 p.m.


Friday:

My wife could wrap up her work not before 6:15 p.m. and we started from Technopolis at 6:30 p.m. It took me till 7 to hit the Belgharia Expressway. And I felt at home! Lovely road and it seemed too good to be true! I could not take pictures as it was already dark but I enjoyed to the fullest on the wheel. I parked at Kolaghat at a restaurant at 8:10 p.m. Not bad I guess! However, I was pretty sure that the good part of the road was over. I was getting onto a State Highway from the Mumbai road and I was sure that it was the end of fun and bad roads lay ahead. To my surprise, the road was as good after that as well. Till Contai, it is a 4-lane highway with dividers. I was amazed and very, very pleasantly surprised. After that it was a normal 2-lane State Highway without dividers, but still a treat to drive on till Chowlkhola. Only after that, the last 8 kms felt bad and that too because of too many speed breakers, not because of the road quality. It’s a purely small village road with lots of bends that was quite fun. I parked my car at the resort at 10:45 p.m. sharp after a 45 min dinner break at Kolaghat. The total drive time was 3:30 hrs. for a distance of 196 kms. On an Alto, sounds good to me!
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01432.jpgWeekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01433.jpg

Also, I forgot to mention that I got a confirmation call from the resort in the morning asking about my timings. The guy also called me while I was driving near Chowlkhola to make sure that I did not miss the turn to Mandarmoni. The rest of the day was nothing much. The room was pretty big and very clean. I had couple of cups of coffee and went to bed. I found out that the days are cloudy and thus there was no chance of seeing the sunrise next morning. So, I wanted to have a long night’s sleep.

Saturday:

This was most probably one of the laziest Saturdays that I had in recent times. I got up around 9 AM and reached the cafeteria at 9:30 AM. Then, for the next hour I just sat there gulping cups of coffee and watching the waves. There were people reaching from Kolkata and settling in their rooms. It was the time of high tide then and no chance of getting on the beach. The waves were crashing on the boulders at the edge of the beach. Each one of the hotels has a ramp from the beach which was used before the road was laid. The water was up above half of that ramp and the waves were splashing almost waist high on that ramp. It was electric!

Once my wife woke up, we had plans to try the water-park at Rose Valley and the water sports on the beach. But I had no idea that the idea that the high tide would continue till almost 1 PM. And as long as the high tide was there, there was no chance of any water sports as the beach was completely inaccessible. So, we planned to drive down to Rose Valley. This road is BAD! Or should I say that there is no road out here. The pitch road ends at Dream Hut Resort and after that it’s just a village red soil pathway which is barely of the width of the Force MUVs.
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01437.jpg
So, if two cars are crossing each other there, one of them has to get down and then the other one can pass. Also, there’s high chance that full-packed MUVs can get stuck in the mud. We saw a Force MUV stuck in such a bad way that its front axle broke. So, please be very careful on this one and if you staying anywhere beyond the Dream Hut Resort, there’s little chance that you can reach there after sunset. It’s a stretch of 4 kms that took me about 20 mins. I saw on the Rose Valley website that their water park costs around ₹250 for people staying outside. However, when I reached there, we found out that they had shut it down for outsiders due to the recent Sharada Scam in West Bengal. We found out that we could get down on the beach from behind the Rose Valley Resort. By then the tide has started retreating and beach was partially drivable. Here, there are lots of beach stalls which sell snacks and food. They keep live crabs in thermocol boxes and they cook the ones that you would choose.

I have heard many stories of the cars getting stuck in the mud and I saw that live. I asked several local drivers if it was possible to drive till our resort through the beach. Most of them said that it was and I started cautiously following the tracks of some of the local vehicles. The trick is you got to drive a bit faster so that the tires do not get soiled even if there’s soft sand underneath. Parts of the beach are no sand but just mud. These are dangerous. I saw an Innova and a Swift Desire sunk in the mud. The locals just pounce on these opportunities and charge tremendous amount which goes up to ₹25000 at times. I did not take the chance and after some distance went up from the beach to the road when I saw mud and cars stuck in there. We came back to the resort and then were my favorite part, the sea bath. I rushed to the retreating waves and was in there for the next 1 hour.
We had ordered for our lunch just after breakfast and they were very particular about it. We had told them that we needed that at 1:30 PM and actually, we got late and went ahead with it at 2 PM. The food quality was quite good and the quantity great. No complaints on those quarters!

In the evening, we decided to go around a bit on the beach. I found out that they do the para-sailing in the winter and not in the summer as there is strong wind just before the rains. Then they have speed-boats and water scooters as well. We did not try them as we did not want to get into the water in the evening. They have ATV scooters that they allow rides on the beach and charge about ₹200 for a distance of 2 kms. My wife took the first ride with the helper beside her. Then it was my turn and they told me that the handle was not straight! Only when I started riding it could I understand that it was not only not straight, it had a very heavy tilt on one side. Still I managed for some distance and then could not control it later. I went straight into a few of the water potholes that the retreading sea has left behind. And it stopped. I pulled it out of the pothole tried starting it again, it had electric-start. I had never ridden any one of these earlier and I felt sorry for the guy, that I might have damaged the vehicle. He came running after some time and started bashing me left and right. With that bashing, I reminded him that his vehicle had a huge tilt but he was adamant. I just paid him off and we started walking on the beach, obviously I was feeling a bit low with the mishap. Then, suddenly one of the van drivers came to us and said that there are parts of the beach that were filled with red crabs and asked us if we wanted to go there. Sounded interesting to us!
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01442.jpg
There was one towards Tajpur, 5kms away and the other one was on the opposite side 10kms away. We opted to go to the nearer one and after a bit of bargaining, we settled at ₹250.

The ride was lovely. The guy rode at quite a speed and it felt no less than the ATV, just a local make with old generator engines and 3 wheels! It took us about 20 minutes to the place as he expertly maneuvered his vehicle through the sand and the mud… yes, mud! When I asked him he said that the water current at some places wash off the entire sand layer and the mud from beneath gets exposed… wow! When we reached there, it was a treat to the eyes, not just the red crabs but something else! I saw lots of tracks from far off which I mistook to be wheel tracks… they were not wheel marks.
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01494.jpg
The wind was blowing off the sand and that was creating this sensation. The beach here had lovely red cover and these were the crabs. Here we could see lots of local kids approached us with some of those crabs in their hands expecting some money in return.
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01483.jpg
We had a few snaps there and the driver shown us very common photos pose. He wanted me to sit in his place on the vehicle with my wife standing beside me. Out of curiosity, I started to ask him the controls and when he explained I told him that he did a great job steering that properly. I seriously thought it’s a tough one. He retorted saying its nothing! He offered me to drive that on the way back. I was overwhelmed and I told him that I might not do it right after what I had done just an hour back with the ATV. He kept encouraging me. So, on the way back, he sat beside me, and I was driving.
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01502.jpg
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01509.jpg
Every passing by vehicle and the people walking were astonished!!! I loved the experience… this guy really made my day!

When we came back to the hotel, it was quite a day and we lazed off the rest of the evening! Earlier we had plans to go out to eat, but we cancelled those plans and ordered food in our resort only. The food was quite good as it was in the lunch.

Sunday:

Like the day before, I had a pretty uneventful morning sitting in the open-air restaurant and pouring cups of coffee down my throat and enjoying the view of the high tide. Soon, I was joined by my wife (She had warned me earlier not to wake up in the morning and I didn’t ) and we had poori in breakfast. Then we went to the only local shop in the vicinity as we wanted to buy some stuff for people back home. Then it was time for my dose of waves. I ran to the retreading sea. After almost 2 hours in the sea, I came back tired, hungry. We had ordered for our lunch in the morning only. I of course did not take any rice this time as well as I normally do not before a long drive. For my wife, it was her first experience with me on the highways and she was surprised! But I keep feeling sleepy after having rice. So, I had lots fried fish and some chicken as well. On the whole, I was full to the fullest and had a lovely siesta :-P . We woke up around 4:30 and decided to have some coffee and start off. That took quite some time. The resort people were also kind enough to wash my car in the afternoon.

We started at 5:30 PM and I was hoping to get behind a bi car again so that I can easily avoid the bumps and the potholes. So we were behind such MUVs and were cruising through. The State Highway from Chowlkhola to Nandakumar was again beautiful. But the thrill was yet to come! As I took a left turn from Nandakumar towards Kolaghat, we had the Kalboishakhi for us. Tremendous rain and wind just blanked everything in front of me.
Weekend trip to Mandarmoni-dsc01563.jpg
These 28 kms excited my senses to the full. We stopped by a restaurant after crossing Kolaghat as I was feeling drained after driving through that rain. But what I thought to be a restaurant turned out to be a local bar and I was a bit uncomfortable for my wife. But the owner was very cooperating and we left after we had a cup of coffee each.

The rest was very uneventful and we reached PG Hospital crossing at 9:45 Pm. It was quite ok considering the rain I had to deal with. We took some food for the night and came back home.

The best weekend I had since I had been back at Kolkata!
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Old 1st June 2013, 22:34   #38
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

Hello Debo,

It was a great report and your description was detailed and fantastic. And about clocking 200 kms in just 3.5 hours, that too in an Alto is amazing.
Hope to see many such wonderfully scripted travelogues from you.

Regards,
Saket
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Old 2nd June 2013, 12:03   #39
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

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And about clocking 200 kms in just 3.5 hours, that too in an Alto is amazing.
Thanks a ton, Saket! I still consider myself a kid in this community and getting praises here tops it all!

I would try to bring in more experiences to the plate here.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 11:28   #40
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Originally Posted by debopam View Post
Thanks a ton, Saket! I still consider myself a kid in this community and getting praises here tops it all!

I would try to bring in more experiences to the plate here.
Kid in the community? Not at all...everyone joins as a newbie, even if he is knowledgeable. Already you are close to be a proud BHPian!

Just drive safe & hope to see many more travelogues and knowledge sharing among us as a community.

Regards,
Saket
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Old 6th June 2013, 20:13   #41
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

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Originally Posted by debopam View Post
.. Till Contai, it is a 4-lane highway with dividers. I was amazed and very, very pleasantly surprised. After that it was a normal 2-lane State Highway without dividers, but still a treat to drive on till Chowlkhola.
Nice writeup debopam, just one correction, the 4 laned highway is till Nandakumar on NH41 from where you turn right on to SH4 towards Contai which is another 54 kms approx. from Nandakumar.
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Old 7th June 2013, 11:30   #42
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

Great writeup.

196 kms in 3.5 hrs (drive time) in Alto is surely great.

Kolkata to Nandakumar circle is 4 laned. Since you traversed between Kolaghat and Nandakumar in the late evening (beyond 8pm) , maybe you got the roads empty.
However you still had to negotiate the 2-lane road from Nandakumar to Chowlkhola amidst buses and trucks to & from Digha, Ramnagar, etc. & then the last stretch of Chowlkhola to Mondarmoni.

I have done this thrice on (up & down) Innova / Sumo (hired) with friends / colleagues. Travel time generally around 4hrs (one short tea break included every time). Fastest non-stop on an AC Innova for an office program was 3hrs. Never driven to Mondarmoni myself.

I have driven to Haldia on vacation with wife on my Maruti 800 in about 2.5hrs during daylight. 10am departure from Dakshineshwar to 12:30pm at IOCL colony Haldia (130kms). However then Kolaghat to Haldia was being 4-laned (Apr 2011), so for that stretch, speeds were a bit slow then. Return was nightmarish.

Regards,
Saurav
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Old 4th July 2014, 16:13   #43
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

Dear BHPians,

Planning a trip to Tajpur from Ranchi. Please let me know the best route and the road conditions. Acc. to Google Maps, the route is RNC> Jamshedpur>Kumardubi>KHaragpur>Narayangarh>Mohanpu r>Tajpur.

Is this a good route and how are the road conditions?

Thanks.
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Old 28th January 2016, 11:39   #44
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Default Re: Weekend trip to Mandarmoni

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The best weekend I had since I had been back at Kolkata!
It has been a long time I had checked this thread. I think we are from the same batch in South Point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Dear BHPians,

Planning a trip to Tajpur from Ranchi. Please let me know the best route and the road conditions. Acc. to Google Maps, the route is RNC> Jamshedpur>Kumardubi>KHaragpur>Narayangarh>Mohanpu r>Tajpur.

Is this a good route and how are the road conditions?

Thanks.
Saket, sorry for not replying earlier. But if I remember correctly I think you and Swapnil had already made this trip to Tajpur.
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Old 28th January 2016, 14:37   #45
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Saket, sorry for not replying earlier. But if I remember correctly I think you and Swapnil had already made this trip to Tajpur.
No issues! Yes, we did have a fantastic trip and the log is here on tbhp. We took another route through jamshedpur, baripada, jaleshwar and to Tajpur. Was a memorable trip for sure.

Regards,
Saket.
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