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Old 21st August 2010, 16:58   #91
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Here is the Google Earth Image of the region from Dibrugarh (extreme left) to Kibithu (extreme right top)
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Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-kibithu.jpg  


Last edited by hvkumar : 21st August 2010 at 16:59.
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Old 21st August 2010, 17:08   #92
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And if anyone is interested, here is the Google Earth kmz file, which you can open in Google Earth. Unfortunately, the trackpoints are not tagged in this file, but each one stands for a Point of Interest like a petrol pump, intersection, etc. Anyone who is interested can always PM, I can send them the catalogued file too.

http://groups.google.com/group/hvkumar/web/kibithu.kmz
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Old 21st August 2010, 17:18   #93
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As we move forward in this thread we come across testimony of a time, journey & sacrifice long forgotten.

To understand and see the real picture of the kind of situation the lads from far flung continents had to face in earstwhile Assam please go through the following de-classified wartime papers.
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File Type: pdf BURMA.pdf (1.06 MB, 420 views)

Last edited by San Phrangmung : 21st August 2010 at 17:26.
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Old 21st August 2010, 17:44   #94
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With San's permission, let me tell you the story of how I landed up in Kibithu last year in my Scorpio:

I had driven from Bombay to Sikkhim & Bhutan and explored North Arunachal (Ziro, Daporigo, Along & Pasighta) and wanted to get to Kibithu, the easternmost motorable point in India. And from there, my plan was to drive to the westernmost point in India Koteshwar in Kutch.

I had absolutely no idea about the actual location of Kibithu and the roads thereto when I set off except that I had to go via Tinsukhia, Tezu/Parashuram Kund. Parashuram Kund being a popular pilgrimmage spot, I was sure there would be a decent road till there, but after that I had no idea at all. Needless to say, the maps do not show any road, any Kibithu, any Parasuram Kund.

I arrived at Pasighat one fine afternoon, intending to cross the Brahmaputra there and go to Roing and Tezu. As usual, the bridges were washed away and the water flow was too swift and deep to cross teh river bed OTR style. And there are several rivers like that all the way to Roing/Tezu. So that route to Kibithu was out.

Therefore, I had no choice but to go via Tinsukhia and that meant taking a ferry across Brahmaputra to the south bank to some place near Dibrugarh. There are 3 ferry crossings but the one near Shilapathar (Bogbill Ferry) was the best for my car. I reached Shilapather for the night's stay, it was E-day in Assam (yes, I had to get into Assam to get back to Arunachal) and the town was deserted but we managed to find a small lodge there.

Next day early morning we drove the 25 kms to Bogbill. The last 10 kms was on mud and slush since there are no proper roads. Bogbill itself is a winter ferry point, I think, and the area is under water during the snow-melt and monsoon season.

AT the ferry point at 700 am, I met this Scorpio taxi guy from Tinsukhia also waiting to cross the Brahmaputra to Dibrugarh. He confirmed that a road did exist to Kibithu (and he had been there the previous week to Hayuliang on the way, and broken his windshield there!). What a relief that was for us. Yes, he said the road is damaged in some places but luckily you could reach Kibithu at this time of the year. As you can see, it is a 430-kms drive (yes, that long) drive from Dibrugarh and there were absolutely no facilities en route after Tinsukhia (50 kms further east from Dibrugarh). So I estimated that the drive cannot be done in a day, and that meant finding a place to stay en route since we could not obviously drive through the night in such terrain. The friendly taxi driver told me that we could possibly stay in the local MLA's house in Khupa and he "thought" there was also some circuit house in Hayuliang.

We crossed across the Brahmaputra (2.5 hour crossing) and left Dibrugarh at 1120 am. The road journey went thus:

Dibrugarh, 11 20 am, 0 kms
Lunch before Tinsukhia, 1230 pm
Tinsukhia, 1240 pm, 50 kms
Repairing puncture after Tinsukhia, 110 pm
Rupai, 200 pm, 70 kms
Dirak (AN border CP), 240 pm
Namsai, 300 pm, 125 kms
Chongkham refuelling, 330 pm
Parashuram Kund, 445 pm, 210 kms
Sinset Time, 530 pm, 230 kms
Lorry breakdown/1-lane road blocked, delay by 20 minutes, 246 kms
Hayuliang, 800 pm, 295 kms

At Hayuliang, the whole town was already fast asleep. We located the Circuit House and despite our pleading, they refused us accommodation. Luckily, there was a hotel in Hayuliang. Hotel Valley View, we got a horrible room with shared toilet, but it was a room with a roof! And we got dinner.

My plan was to see sunrise at Kibitju, but the next day morning, despite an early morning pre-dawn light start from Hayuliang ( 310 am), the sun rose at 420 am when I was still some 100 kms short of Kibithu. This is a spectacular journey through a magical country side - greenery, views, waterfalls, river crossings, mist, flowers, etc.

Walong is a spectacular valley, one of the prettiest and as we started nearing Kibithu, I started video-shooting the last 3 kms or so continuously. We arrived at the Kibithu Helipad at 740 am, a 130 kms drove from Hayuliang which took us 4.30 hrs, without any stops, which helps you describe how slow the progress was.
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Old 21st August 2010, 18:51   #95
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Have you got pictures of the places where you stayed in diffrent parts of Arunachal. Do post them if there, specially Hayuliang & Kibithu's.
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Old 21st August 2010, 19:16   #96
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More photos from the road to Kibithu:
All photos taken by KS, my co-pax:
Attached Thumbnails
Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492507139_ea895c08ee_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492508939_36b62b399b_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492516633_555232271a_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492516819_2b59847b8a_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492517041_8bca68aec0_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492517191_ac6f430e1f_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492522405_c3b652d8b5_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493324656_533223507e_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493325950_021d76f720_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493326212_6fe31aaf0a_b.jpg  

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Old 21st August 2010, 19:22   #97
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Ah so refreshing to just look at these photographs. I specially like the 2nd one of the misty road.
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Old 21st August 2010, 19:38   #98
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Other parts of Arunachal
All photos by my co-pax KS

1. Hoj Village, on the Itanagar-Goimukh-Ziro road (that is my Scorpio in the LHS

2. Nearing Ziro

3. Nearing Ziro

4. My SCorpio on the Ziro-Daporigo Road

5. Ziro Airfield, one of the most forward ones built during the WW2

6. Ziro-Daporigo Road

7. Hapoli town square, near Ziro
Attached Thumbnails
Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492431783_870a2bde79_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492432311_1a0e6575e1_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492432515_9d99c24a23_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492436839_a2fd0447c7_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492438279_e165b53483_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492439079_e7e503403f_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493253520_f2ef8294f5_b.jpg  


Last edited by hvkumar : 21st August 2010 at 19:51.
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Old 21st August 2010, 19:45   #99
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Amazing snaps their HVK sir!
The place is crying to be explored!

The previous post is not showing the snaps. Some issue with the post.
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Old 21st August 2010, 20:01   #100
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Hi HVK

you seems to have seen every nook and corner of our great country.
this log seems to have excited you a lot, generally you do not upload pictures, thanks showing us the another aspect of your travel expertise.

If there is a postion like Chief Survey Officer of Govt of India, you would be the most qualified and credible person for the postion.

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Old 21st August 2010, 20:09   #101
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Here we go again, some more pictures from the Ziro-Daporigo-Along-Pasight region of Arunachal, the bleeding point of the SUbanshri and Siang (Brahmaputra) rivers. Rains all the time, misty most of the places, deep valleys, mountainsides filled with plantain trees, small hutments with children playing all the time......

All photos courtesy my co-pax KS:

1. Typical village home on the Ziro-Daporigo road

2. Subanshri River, after the villages Surya and Raga, en route Daporigo

3. Ziro-Daporigo Road

4. Restaurant at Along, where we had excellent breakfast

5. Subanshri River, en route Daporigo

6. Pasighat town

7. Suspension bridge at Surya, on the Ziro-Daporigo road

8. Daporigo town, where we stayed one night

9/10. Siang River, nearing Panging/Pasighat
Attached Thumbnails
Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492443643_cc5e531985_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492445305_7b9ea14083_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492452149_0c3840f053_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492462791_4213015176_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492465189_aacd4a23d4_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3492469085_93c411f741_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493263246_94c3886f13_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493266066_9e69c16e77_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493282446_6436502f5f_b.jpg  

Guwahati to Burma: Stillwell Road - Pangsau Pass-3493285372_e434f58034_b.jpg  

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Old 21st August 2010, 20:24   #102
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ampere and StarVegaBond, thanks to San and the Col., we are seeing some excitement from a least-explored part of India, the North East. In the North East, Arunachal is even less discovered. Think:
Kibithu is 430 kms away from Dibrugarh
Itanagar is 450 kms from Guwahati
And Guwahati itself is 900 kms away from Kibithu, almost teh distance from Bangalore to Bombay, so I guess you get a sense of the immenseness of the region!

And my Arunachal circuit ex-Guwahati (distances) was as follows:
Guwahati-Itanagar-Ziro-Daporigo-Along-Pasighat-Shilapathar-Dibrugarh-Tinsukhia-Hayuliang-Kibithu-Hayuliang-Tinsukhia-Dibrugarh-Sibsagar-Jorhat-Kaziranga-Guwahati was 2,470 kms long!

Most of Arunachal is accessible only during the winter months, the 2 rainy seasons (SW and NE monsoons) bringing copious amounts of rain, plus the snow-melt in Tibet drowning all the areas around the rivers Subanshri, Siang, Lohit and others. Tourist infrastructure is virtually non-existent, and hotels that are available, if at all, are terrible. I stayed in the best hotels in Itanagar (some Rs 300 a night), Daporigo (I can still smell the stink), Shilapathar (surprisingly decent), Hayuliang (common toilets are not fun). The army battalion's tailor hires out 2 rooms above his tailor shop/tea shop in Kibithu.

Therefore, Arunachal still qualifies as one of the destinations for only those who are hardy and have tremendous passion to discover spots in a map and not meant for families and those fussy about clean toilets and hygienic food.

As San will also tell you, Arunachal is a region of many cultures, each region being different. The North West region (Tawang) is Buddhist with Tibetan tribes, whereas the South East corner is Buddhist too, but with Burmese tribes and cultural influences. Itanagar, Ziro, Daporigo are all mostly Christian, and have a totally different cultural and social set-up.
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Old 21st August 2010, 21:10   #103
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Right said HvK, as of now whoever knows Arunachal knows only Tawang but to east of the place lies many more wonders yet to be discovered.
Lack of information and facilities is a bottleneck but that makes it all the more exiting and special for hard core travellers to come to this far flung corner of India.

So do come soon before it gets flooded by all the tourists and looses its charm.
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Old 21st August 2010, 21:22   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Phrangmung View Post
Right said HvK, as of now whoever knows Arunachal knows only Tawang but to east of the place lies many more wonders yet to be discovered.
Lack of information and facilities is a bottleneck but that makes it all the more exiting and special for hard core travellers to come to this far flung corner of India.

So do come soon before it gets flooded by all the tourists and looses its charm.
Happily, I think it will take years to develop roads and tourism infrastructure, which hopefully will keep all except the hardiest away from the region for some more years!

I managed to visit this part of Arunachal only during my 3rd drive to the North East region, and I had been researching and planning for nearly 10 years before I actually made it. I still have to visit Mechuka and Tuting though! I also found roads leading to exotic unknown destinations at Midpu (near Itanagar) and Along, presumably to far-flung border regions, most not permitted to civilians. Don't worry, nature and weather will ensure that Arunachal remains unexplored.

I wish for development in this region only so that the people there get better access to markets and business opportunities. In the Ziro-Daporigo region, I hardly saw schools and children going to school and most people looked very poor and entirely dependent on subsistence agriculture. You won't believ it, but in the entire 5 days I spent in Arunachal alone, I saw only one Arunachal State Transport bus, a testimony to how ill-connected the places are. The whole economy depends on twice-a-day Sumo taxi services connecting them to major junction/hubs. Bridges are almost entirely bailey bridges built by the Army and the State govt itself is conspicuous by its absence. Thanks to the Army, there are some roads. For most of these people, even Guwahati may be a place they may visit once in a lifetime! Forget the rest of India.
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Old 21st August 2010, 21:27   #105
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Loved photo number 6 Ziro Daporizo road, vastness and beauty of the Siang 9 and no 2 of the Subansiri this one reminds me of a scene from the movie Romancing the stone.
But everyone's favourite would be the Yak shot, he he! I like it too.
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