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Old 6th May 2010, 06:58   #61
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I was aware of Assam, but not about Tripura. I just assumed that altitude/terrain changes very quickly (pardon my ignorance) across the states.
The very fact that many people have not traveled to these states does not expose them to the wealth of information about these places.

Through your TLs, we get introduced to them.

PS: The train snaps look are amazing.
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Old 6th May 2010, 07:15   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I was aware of Assam, but not about Tripura. I just assumed that altitude/terrain changes very quickly (pardon my ignorance) across the states.
The Northern part of Tripura is hilly but the hills are not tall. Jampui Hills, bordering Mizoram at an altitude of about 1000 metres, is supposed to be a pleasant hill station.
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Old 6th May 2010, 11:50   #63
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Trains always add to the charm. These photos remind me of another trainalogue I saw. Between Shencottah and some place in Kerala. It must be in Nutty Nair's log.
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Old 6th May 2010, 21:00   #64
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Before getting back to the Guest House we had to fill the tank of the Palio and check tyre pressure. I got the fuel at the Assam Oil pump near Ujjayanta Palace and the volume that went in indicated that there was absolutely no hanky panky with the meter. The surprise was the price of Petrol. At just Rs. 44.xx it was a cool Rs.7 cheaper than the price prevailing in Assam. Diesel was retailing at Rs 34.xx, again Rs.2 cheaper. It took us some more time to find a tyre shop where the tyre pressure could be reliably checked.

I was feeling the need for a cup of tea for a long time. We had not seen the Agartala railway station, just a kilometre into the left of NH44, on the way to the University. Let's have tea in the station premises, I told my companions. Disappointment waited for us there. Agartala station is not like the ones we are used to. It was deserted at that time as no arrival or departure was scheduled any time soon. To make matters worse there was a power failure. We could only view the silhouette of the gorgeous building of the station. My thirst for tea could not be quenched.

Back in the Guest House we had early dinner. The plans for Saturday was ambitious considering the road condition in Cachar and Karimganj districts in Assam. We set ourselves 11 pm as the time of arrival in Guwahati, starting at 5.00 in the morning.

We were able to begin our long journey back at 5.25 am. BIL took the driving seat for the first time in the trip. We took the Agartala byepass to save time. The bypass however seemed to be longer than the original road through the city. It was smooth sailing till we reached Champaknagar just before 6.30 pm. As the ghat section begins so do areas with some security concern which we had been ignorant/unmindful about. There was a police outpost where vehicles were lined up to be escorted along in a convoy led by CRPF vehicle. The time for the convoy to start was 7.00 am, another half and hour to go.

To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1040815.jpg

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Ordered roti+tea from this guy as early breakfast.

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Before our order could be processed the convoy was ready to leave; 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

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In about 20 minutes we reached Chakmaghat. From this point the convoy would proceed only at 8.00 am.

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There was about an hour to be killed here. So I ventured out.
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Old 6th May 2010, 21:52   #65
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The good looking bamboo fencing of the police outpost.

To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1040825.jpg

The vehicles of the security personnel. This would not exactly be a convoy; they would take positions at strategic places at hilltops.

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The Khowai river flows along the right of the highway. There is an irrigation project under which this bridge cum sluice gates had been built. Only one gate is open, so the river looks dry on the western side.

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Look at the dress of the fisherman; red checks on white at the waist and blue checks on white in the turban.

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This guy on the bridge poses for me.

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There is an Eco Park across the river.

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There is plenty of water on the eastern side and it looks like a bamboo depot on the river bed.

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Back near the police post this guy was doing brisk business.

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My companions didn't want to miss out on the breakfast this time. Mine was waiting.

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Villagers and their transport were waiting for the clearance too.

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This guy obliged by posing for me.

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It's jackfruits everywhere in Tripura.

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The fisherman on the catamaran is back on terra firma with his catch. Look at his dress now. Blue checks at the waist and red checks ...

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To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1040847.jpg
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Old 7th May 2010, 01:13   #66
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You go all the way to tripura and you come across a fisherman who wears a typical kerala/ tn type of lungi and a tn type of towel on the shoulder! Amazing!
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Old 7th May 2010, 05:09   #67
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Amazing report. Pics of Train and Border Flag need a special mention. Thanks for sharing
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Old 7th May 2010, 09:47   #68
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@TortoiseNHare, whats the temerature range in Tripura? It looks very similiar to Kerala with Jackfruits, Rubber, water bodies etc.
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Old 7th May 2010, 10:19   #69
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@ TrueDreamer: Thanks a lot friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
@TortoiseNHare, whats the temerature range in Tripura? It looks very similiar to Kerala with Jackfruits, Rubber, water bodies etc.
The tropic of cancer passes through South Tripura. So the state has the characteristically hot and humid climate in Summer. April-May, before the onset of monsoon, is typically the hottest. The maximum temperature seldom scales over 37 degrees C but the high humidity makes it very unpleasant. Winter seems to be pleasant, the night temperature on coldest days hovering between 5-10 degrees C.
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Old 7th May 2010, 10:24   #70
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Thanks for the info Bro. So its moreover like Gods own country except the winter temperatures (but we do have in hill stations like Idukki & Wayanad).
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Old 7th May 2010, 22:28   #71
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The vehicles were given the go ahead at 8 Oclock. Out of habit I took the driving seat again and BIL didn't seem to mind.

A few hours from now we would be out of Tripura. It was really a very short stay and the most important thing that we had missed was any opportunity to spend time with rich diversity of Tripura's tribalfolks. The hearsay was that some tribals lived near the hilly forests that we were passing by. My wife tried to capture this lady in camera assuming her to be one.

To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1040852.jpg

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The road goes on and on with twists, turns, ups and downs. Pre-monsoon rains hadn't been kind to this area, it seemed, because most trees wore nothing. The forest looked more brown than green.

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These armed CRPF people were on strict vigil for our safety.

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The MG railway track was extended to Agartala recently. My friend in NF Railway told me that this track is Broad Gauge ready. One rail would be just slid further making it a BG line as soon as the conversion of the Lumding-Badarpur section (of British era) in Assam is complete.

To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1040888.jpg

It was a 3 hours drive through the ghats till past Kumarghat. Then on, the road became smoother, straighter and wider and a small shower greeted us. This stretch was bypassed by us when we came from Dharmanagar via Kailashahar.

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The Rowa wildlife sanctuary was not far ahead.

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A few kilometres of excellent road later we reached the point from where we had taken the turn to Dharmanagar the other day.

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We arrived at the Assam border checkpost at Churaibari just before noon.

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Wild orchids were seen at some distance even as the road condition turned for the worse.

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Karimganj was just an hour's drive from here and we expected to have a good meal there. The two rotis at 7.30 am at Chakmaghat were all each of us had eaten till then.

Last edited by tortoiseNhare : 7th May 2010 at 22:32.
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Old 8th May 2010, 09:52   #72
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We had lunch at Ahar Hotel, Karimganj. The restaurant did not have a very upmarket feel but the food was excellent. The manager Suman (an MBA who looks after the hotel business of his family) refused to accept payment for the meal. Reason? Suman is the brother-in-law of my close friend Dr. Sengupta.

To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1040917.jpg

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We were out of Karimganj town at about 2.30 and by 3.00 we were at Badarpur. We had a good view of Barak, the most important river of South Assam. The plains of Cachar and Karimganj Districts are known as Barak valley.

To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1040919.jpg

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The worst stretch of road was about to begin. Rains in the previous couple of days had made it even worse.

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The appearance of tea gardens improved the roadside scenery but the road remained pathetic.

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We entered Meghalaya at dusk. The road was passing through a landslide zone and our speed had to be still very slow.

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As it got dark it started raining hard and visibility became poor. There was some let up when we reached Khliehriat. We stopped near a dhaba to have tea/coffee. Guwahati was another 200 km away and it was past 7.30. The worst road stretch in Meghalaya would be over after Ladrymbai and I hoped to drive at good speed thereafter. I phoned the security guard not to lock the gate of my apartment till 11.30 pm.

Just when the bad roads were over the rain God descended with full vengeance. As we gained height the road also got covered by cloud in the guise of thick fog. There was no improvement in visibility even after switching on the fog lamps. BIL performed the role of a navigator to a nicety by I could not risk taking the car to any speed above 20 km/h. If things went on like that we would reach Guwahati only in the morning. BIL tried to contact the IOC guest house, Shillong, to inquire if we could be accommodated for the night. The phone in the guest house didn't ring. There was no let up to the intensity of rain and we had to literally inch past Jowai.

By midnight we reached Shillong and it stopped raining. We decided against checking into a hotel as BIL agreed to drive us home from then on. We found a dhaba open after getting out of Shillong and stopped there for dinner. Trash was served in the name of dinner and we only lost another half an hour. We informed our in-laws that we would spend the night (?) with them at Mirza (a place about 20 km from my apartment along NH37). I didn't know much about the last couple of hours in the car; I was very tired after 16 hours of driving and had been dozing off. We were at our in-laws' home safe and sound at 3.30 am on 18th. The contract with SIL of returning on 17th could not be honoured.
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Old 8th May 2010, 12:28   #73
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Amazing pics continue to flowing in tNh. Those convoy pics reminded me of our 2004 trip to Agartala. Those CRPF men and also moving jeeps with convoy were really very vigilant all through. At some ultra sensitive point one jeep will position itself on some corner and see that the convoy passes through safely. It all was very scenic. During our journey, we crossed Shillong around midnight and reached Guwahati at 2 am. It was almost a 20 hr exciting journey.

Keep sharing...you have quite a lot curious souls here to learn more and more about those less traveled beautiful lands of our country.

Last edited by LongDrive lover : 8th May 2010 at 12:33.
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Old 8th May 2010, 13:41   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Amazing pics continue to flowing in tNh.
Thank you LDL. My short travelogue has now reached its conclusion.

In hindsight, it was an excellent decision to begin the return journey from Agartala on 17th. As the pre-monsoon showers intensified on either side of Assam-Meghalaya border, vehicular traffic on NH44 virtually came to a standstill. The family of one of SIL's acquaintances was also touring Agartala at that time and on the way back they halted for a night at Karimganj on 17th. They had got stranded for another couple of days there.

Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
... thank God that Bil and co. accompanied us on the trip. For just me and wifey alone it could have proven to be too much of a task, rather than a pleasure trip.
And why was that? Due to bad roads?
Had BIL and his family not accompanied us, I would have been a nervous wreck trying to comprehend the electronic madness being displayed throughout on my Palio's instrument panel. We would then surely have halted at Karimganj on the way back, hence meeting the fate of SIL's acquaintances.

The 22 and half hours from Agartala to Guwahati has been by far the longest in terms of hours spent on a single journey by road in my life.
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Old 8th May 2010, 21:32   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
No pictures of the lovely Umiam Lake?
These were taken in April 2009.

To Tripura : A driving experience to remember-p1020225.jpg

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