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Old 9th February 2010, 15:42   #1
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Default Kolkata to Dooars- A memorable road trip

This trip to Dooars was planned in the month of November 2009 and started with booking of accommodation in the Murti Banani resort of WBFDC, lots of planning, inputs from fellow Bhpians, research, downloads, maps, wikimapia, and lots of telephone calls between us. After all this was the first trip we were about to make in the new car which has barely run 4000 odd kilometers, also the first for both the drivers, a 12-14 hours driving experience.
What happened next-?
A Lovely i-10, 2 couples, 5 days, 1400 kms, 3 national parks/ wild life sanctuaries, lots of wild life and greenery, over 800 photographs and a lots of wonderful memories to share with. A true holiday experience in all.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 9th February 2010 at 15:48. Reason: Please do not copy/paste from extrenal editors. write directly here and preview before posting
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Old 9th February 2010, 15:52   #2
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Bring it on!!! Lets c those 800 pics
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Old 9th February 2010, 16:53   #3
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Shantanu, please elaborate your travelogues further and do post few pics.
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Old 9th February 2010, 17:13   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantanu Sarkar View Post
A Lovely i-10, 2 couples, 5 days, 1400 kms, 3 national parks/ wild life sanctuaries, lots of wild life and greenery, over 800 photographs and a lots of wonderful memories to share with. A true holiday experience in all.
Ok. That's refreshing! So bring it on fast. We have several travelogues running from Southern and western India. Now yours from eastern side of this beautiful country. Waiting for it to unfold!
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Old 10th February 2010, 10:03   #5
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29 Jan 2010, Friday

I was returning from an official trip of Rourkela (Orissa) by Amd Hwh express which was running late by more than 2 hours. I was getting anxious to get back to home as early as I could to finish up the last minute packing as I had made plans to to reach my sister's home this evening so that we could start off for our trip early morning tommorow.

The train slowly chugged up to Santragachi Junction (Lat stop of the train about 15 kms ahead of Howrah) at about 4 pm. To get back home faster, I decided to get down there and avoid the peak hour traffic of Howrah/BBD Bag area. Tried to get a cab outside of the station on the Kona Expressway, but unfortunately enough, policemen were busy shooing off any vehicle standing there to clear off roads for a VVIP convoy .
Walked some 500-600 meters, managed to get a cab and reached my home at about 6.00 pm. Had no time, rushed to fresh up a bit, checked the packing list (packing was done by my wife- advantage of being married ) and after seeking blessings from my paretns, off again on a cab to my sister' home. Met my bro-in law (sisters husband) Suman near his office and shoved us in his i-10 (the one on which we were supposed to go for the trip) and reached their home at 9.30 pm. Had a quick dinner, some discussions, map reading, set the alarm (of 2 mobiles-2 be sure) at 4.00 am. Went to sleep

30 January 2010, Saturday

Got a morning wake-up call from Suman at 3.45 am (He seemed to be awake the whole night!!! as well as myself for the exitement pumping up the adrenaline in our blood). Got ready to start our journey at 6.10 am.

We infront of the i-10 with our baggage ready to leave

Suman Got into the wheels and after a quick fuel fill, we were heading towards Dakshineshwar Temple (Famous Kali Temple on the bank of Ganges) to seek blessings from Maa Kali before resuming our longest road trip.
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Old 10th February 2010, 12:35   #6
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Wow. I remember those old days. Dakshineshwar was my fav haunt. I loved the Mishti Doi's and the Sondeshs. I loved the peace that prevailed in Ramakrishna Mutt.
This was in the year 1991. Almost 20 years have passed.
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Old 10th February 2010, 15:22   #7
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Yes Dakshineshwar is still one of my fav place. Moving on to the journey. After the prayers, quickly we started our journey at 7.00 am through Bally-Jessore road flyover. The weather was wonderful and the morning breeze was cool enough to keep the windows closed tightly. The mist was forcing us to switch on the heater occasionally. Soon we went past Barasat Dak Bunglow Crossing and Yuppie!! we were on NH34.

To our utter (or shall I say pleasent) surprise, the condition of NH34 was way beyond our expectation (or imagination?). Silk smooth roads, thats all I can say, with perfect white markings on the middle of the road, the speedometer needle soon started to make obtuse angle. Since Suman had a recent trip to Krishnanagar on 25th Jan, he had a perfect idea of the roads till there and was pumping the gas pedal with full confidence, me sitting beside taking notes and directions (as if I'm a professional navigator-feels good).
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Old 10th February 2010, 15:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantanu Sarkar View Post
To our utter (or shall I say pleasent) surprise, the condition of NH34 was way beyond our expectation (or imagination?). Silk smooth roads, thats all I can say, with perfect white markings on the middle of the road, the speedometer needle soon started to make obtuse angle.
Its news to me! Keep coming for more! I am noting the details of your travelogue to plan mine!
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Old 10th February 2010, 19:05   #9
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Shantanu...you are on my nerves, yes the road till Krishnagar is good, but with occasional pot holes that may put those steel wheels in some challenge, but the road was supurb 60 to 70 KMPH was pretty much do-able but quick reflexes is a must. I went to Mayapur much around the same time as your Dooars trip, Im planning for a North Bengal trip around April' 10, your inputs will help.

I heard that Dalkhola to Siliguri is four laned now? Is that a recent development? I have no idea, heard its a sheer pleasure to drive.

I'm really dying to know how the I10 did up there on the steep climbs, please keep rolling.
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Old 10th February 2010, 19:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arindam_xeta View Post
I heard that Dalkhola to Siliguri is four laned now? Is that a recent development? I have no idea, heard its a sheer pleasure to drive.
Yes, it is a fantastic road now.
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Old 10th February 2010, 19:55   #11
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The last update was almost 4 hours ago. Bring it on fast, mate. We are waiting.

I am infact going for a trip to Sikkim, Darjeeling, etc tomorrow, but sadly in a train. I am a new driver after all.
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Old 10th February 2010, 21:48   #12
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Yes Arindam, Dalkhola to Siliguri is 4 laned now but not the entire stretch, there are stretches in between which are under construction we got stuck in a jam in a similar stretch for nearly an hour. Coming to it later. Mayukh, we will wait for your travelogue as well, train travel are equually interesting if not more. Get some nice train pics.

Continuing on our trip, soon we reached a decent Bharat Petroleum petrol pump with Ghar (The type of restaurant/motel BP promote) with 65 odd kms on the trip meter and 1 hour 15 minutes after we resumed our journey from Dakshineshwar. The morning was chilly enough to ensure that we were the only people also the first one to come there for morning breakfast. The kitchen was not ready with all the delicacies printed on the menu card (we seem to have arrived too early). We were offered toast and omelet within 5-10 minutes or puri sabzi within 20 minutes. We opted for the latter and during the waiting time ladies of our team had a wonderful time in the adjacent park within the petrol pump.





8.45 am and vroomm......... we are off again on our way towards Krishnanagar. This time I went behind the wheels. and a quick stop for a few snaps.


We were now cruising effortlessly, our co-passengers at the rear seat had a nice chance to take a nap. Soon we went past Krishnanagar, Bethuadahari (A wild life sanctuary more famous for small herbivores and birds), Palassey (famous/or infamous for the 'Battle of Palassey' started 27 June 1757, where Robert Clive's men defeated Siraj-ud-Daula's soldiers ushering in British rule in India) . , Beherampur, Moregram crossing etc. Here in a place between Beherampur and feeder canal bridge, we came across a bridge made of steel which was so narrow that only small vehicles were allowed to pass through only in one direction at a time. The vehicles on the other side have to wait patiently till the traffic clears. We also had to wait a couple of minutes to get our turn to use the bridge.



One bus from the other side probably without noticing the signboard came on the bridge while some locals were still crossing over on foot. They started running to get to the other side as the bridge was narrow enough to allow only the bus or the people to cross over at one time. (Reminded me of a computer game).

However there is an alternate bridge on the side (very low lying) and seems to be usable only during fair weather and was used by all other heavy vehicles. However during the return journey we chose to use the low lying bridge and saved time as well.

Soon we crossed the feeder canal bridge and Farakka barrage. It is probably the longest barrage in the world and has about 100+ gates (please let me know the exact figure). Only a few of them are kept ope as the water level is low in this season. No photographs of the barrage as it is prohibited by law.
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Old 10th February 2010, 21:54   #13
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Some more pics of the narrow bridge



Soon we were at Maldah and on the way saw many mango orchards, please excuse for the pic quality as they were taken from moving car.
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Old 10th February 2010, 22:33   #14
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The ladies on the swings captures the essense of the trip. Shows that fun begins the moment one steps out!
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Old 10th February 2010, 23:17   #15
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Good start there Shantanu !! Lovely pics of Maldar Aam-bagan. My grandfather stills owns a few of the bagans there (on Mathurapur road).
Must say NH34 in that fashion is indeed a surprise. I have never seen it like that before.
I am still half done reading the log, the remaining when i reach home.

Abhi
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