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Old 22nd January 2011, 06:38   #31
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

The Sukhoi pics remind me of my childhood I spend in Viman Nagar, Pune. It was my Hindi 10th Board exam when the first set of Sukhoi planes landed in Pune. And immediately after the exam, my friends father took me and him to show us the big russian plane which got the first set of Sukhoi's. Was a Huge plane.
When the first planes came, they were the color of Army Uniform (greyish patches) and then were repainted to sky blue. We used to look out of our K.V school windows, when these planes used to practice stunts in formations, specially just before a VIP visit or special occasions. Was fun !
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Old 22nd January 2011, 20:53   #32
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
In case you failed to realise it, Rahul has just done his drive this way:
Day 1: Pune-Bhilai, 950 kms approx
Day 2: Bhilai-Kolkata, 850 kms approx
Day 3: Kolkata-Binnaguri, 700 kms approx,


That means the Rahul family has done a 2,500 kms run in 3 days across some good and bad roads across central India! Awesome, Rahul, that calls for tremendous determination, tenacity and applause for you and your family!

With Family its a awesome feat, willing/cooperating partner, discipline and determination!!

I especially liked that video of the truck and the rail locomotive talking to each other - definitely one of the lighter moments in what is otherwise a grim drive across the dusty undulating lands of CG.

Thank you for all the praise and acknowledgement, but let me tell you what a team-bhp comradeship Rahul's drive has been:

- During my GQ Drive with 4 other tbhp-ers, thanks to planet_rocker, we discovered the MOtel Midway at Dhulagori on the Kolkata bypass,a pleasant stay on NH6 without getting into Kolkata city.

- the suggestion for dining at Sher-e-Punjab came from my own previous trips and a quick confirmatory call to our own Tirthankar Basu, who detailed the location to help Rahul get his delicious chicken dinner!

- Rahul not only dined at the Golden Park Hotel in Malda, but also helped book rooms for the night for Mahesh, who was following 6 hours behind on his drive from Coimbatore to Bhutan in his Fiat Linea. The Maheshs got a nice hotel room that night thanks to Rahul, and also hourly updates on road conditions by the advance party that was Rahul! Thanks, Rahul, for that.

- When Rahul reported his clutch problem before Malda, a mini-tbhp meet was underway in my office, with me, BolBolero and jaysmokesleaves in attendance, and Jay, the Safari owner and veteran traveller himself, immediately pinpointed the problem to be a failed slave cylinder and the diagnosis was useful in getting the Safari repaired ASAP.

And now we are all gaining immensely from this comprehensive TL that Rahul has written!

Rahul, the Sambalpur-Kharagpur route leaves everyone jittery no doubt. I can imagine your feelings in that lonely desolate road populated only by truckers. I just can't imagine why the roads in OR are so bereft of cars and other personal vehicles.

Is the convoy system from Baharogara to Jashpur there through the night? Did you hear of any untoward happenings thanks to Naxal attacks or episodes involving private vehicles? Is there police patrolling?

BTW, only a Pune guy who stays near Kalyani Nagar/Airport area could have got the photo of that jet fighter in the air!!!!


Definitely gives him an edge, guessing by pics it was Hashimara AF STN 22Squadron (My Birth Place), with Bagdogra 20 wing around that place is a racket!!


Guess your picnic was well deserved break, that place has so many areas for picnic, Sukhna barrage, Bengdubi golf course, Kalijhora...endless avenues

Awesome ride Rahul, keep'em coming!

Last edited by Ushuaia : 22nd January 2011 at 21:01.
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Old 22nd January 2011, 21:32   #33
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Awesome, Rahul, that calls for tremendous determination, tenacity and applause for you and your family!

And now we are all gaining immensely from this comprehensive TL that Rahul has written!

Is the convoy system from Baharogara to Jashpur there through the night? Did you hear of any untoward happenings thanks to Naxal attacks or episodes involving private vehicles? Is there police patrolling?
Thanks Friends wont have been a possibility without knowledge and guidance for sure. The key to long fast drives is not driving at breakneck speed, but able to sustain sane speeds. (learnt through reading on tbhp) and i practice it now

Convoy from Baharagora to Jashipur should be there but I am not sure on the timing, I guess after 8PM. For sure, i do remember that there were lots of private vehicles before some ghat..gosh my memory now fails me which one bu there is a checkpost. and everyone stopped there were having tea. I stopped by to take a nature break, and then started off. I guess the road didnt have much traffic from oncoming side. But, then i saw a couple of family cars following me and trying to keep pace with me. There were patrol jeeps here there...but max I found them were between Kishanganj & Bagdogra.

Well, for sure haven't heard myself from people. But still, its not worth the risk @ night HV. You known it better than me

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 22nd January 2011 at 21:37.
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Old 26th January 2011, 20:46   #34
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Default Re: Chapter1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulk76 View Post
PS: I live near Wagholi so..minus the distance of pune city....
Ah! That helps understand, saves 45 mins from where I stay in Pune.
BTW, nice travelogue, driving 2500 kms one way is commendable! Way to go!

Regards
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Old 27th January 2011, 15:46   #35
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

aage kya hua? commercial break time?
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Old 27th January 2011, 18:25   #36
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

I know its a long break.. but somehow got too much tied up with work.

Coming up.. Nathula@14200Feet tonite
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Old 28th January 2011, 00:30   #37
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Wink Escape to Nathula

Time: 10AM, Date: 28 Dec, Place: Binagudi,India

What about Nathula?
Nathula? what about it...wanna go na ? laughing my sis said.
what was that supposed to mean? you said na we will go..
ya, lets go then..
When? excitedly i asked...
Now..
Now!!!!


What i can say then, with ladies all around, we started to Gangtok @11AM :(

A little while earlier..
Hey, I need to drive to Nathula.. ! ok what all do i need.?
A pass thats all and thats arranged, come and get it from Gangtok. I came to know from the otherside of the phone.
Ohk.
.....

In the meantime, the ladies shopped from some Biscuits and Candies for the kids from Malbazaar and then we started uphill to Gangtok. Soon we passed on the Tigerbridge and then took a RHS.

Nostalgia came back when I was driving to Gangtok. I have stayed here for three long years and the roads are familiar. But wait something has changed. Lots of tourists and lots of traffic and lots of dust. I remember that it used to be very scenic that time (18years back :P), but then today is 2010.

We reached Gangtok by 2:30pm and had a lot of time to kill coz, the passes would only be available by 7:30PM. So, we decided to check out the Swastik Mess we were supposed to stay that night. It was somewhere near Tashi Point 3kms After it.

In the meantime since we were near Deorali, we decided to do something unusual TP. Go to the school and house we used to stay and we did. It is/was something really surreal. Lucky Me i guess all the things are the same as they were 18years ago. It seems only yesterday that i was playing volleyball and running up and down the stairs to the classes above. Wow what a feeling.

KV Gangtok, Deorali

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The Alumini's
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Old House
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Tomorrow we will go somewhere up and above the clouds. RHS Top of the pic. I remember it was white during this time, but now its all clouded. Weather changes there at a drop of a hat.

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After the pic scene, we went to Tashi point to checked out the hotel. Its getting dark and cold and the kids are hungry. We went exactly 3kms after Tashi point to find that there is a small makeshift Dhaba there :S and we are all wondering where is the Swastik Mess.


A phone call later, we come to know that the Mess is.. (listen to this)
Dude.. the mess is located exactly 3kms to Tashi Point.
Ohk, Is it before or after..good, its before in that case.. Thx...
But you need to come to Deorali to get the pass.
Time 7PM. The winds chilly
What.. i was there 1 hr ago killing time.
But you were supposed to call and check, weren't you ?
Yes
So now that you know, come down.


So we started way back from Tashi point to Deorali. In between, we passed a Dominos Pizza and ordered it. Time given was 1 hr due to rush.

Having tea and maggi

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We reached Deorali back again, and then collected the Pass to Nathula. I was very happy and gay until the gentleman said, show this ILP pass to the permit office tommorow and pay 10bucks and collect one more pass.
Thanking him, we left for the mess and enroute collected the Pizza.

Finally located the Mess and settled there for the night.It was bloody cold may be 1 degree with a windchill of -5,,brrrrrrrrrr.
9:00PM: After dinner and pizza.
In the meantime, we talked to the people around and came to know that we need xerox copies of some vehicle docs and 2 copies of pics of all of us.
But inside i knew, i didn't have any pics of us except the pass and the vehicle documents. Now at 9PM@gangtok with a zero parking facility(always full except early morning) where was i supposed to get the additional xerox and photographs?

The permit office opens at 7AM and there would be hardly any shops open at that time, leave alone give me a print.

Over phone, i expressed my concerns to a friend who suggested that click pics with your camera, carry card and take the prints at some photo shop tomorrow morning.So, with my camera clicked the individual pics of all of us and kept the SDcard

29 Dec, 640AM
Damn cold, somehow i get ready and tell the members of family to be ready by 8am atleast or until i call up and tell the good news.

The view from the Swastik Mess

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Ahhhh Kanchenjunga.. ( I am no tsk) with shivering hands quickly click it across


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After reaching MG road, i park the vehicle and reach the permit office, just to know that there is a set of documents with details etc to be filled and no private cars. I show them the Army ILP, to which a few forms are requested to filled and handed back with 10/- along with 2 set of PP pics. After xeroxing the additional documents, and finding a photograph shop some 4 kms away & Rs. 200 for 24 pics copies. I finally submit the required docs. The people are helpful in explaining things which helped me a lot.

After being quizzed, whether my safari is private or taxi.. what the taxi series of MH12 series etc I finally get the Vehicle Pass to go to Nathula aeound 8AM.

Happilly, we start the climb around 9:3O AM

Let the pics do the justice...

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The climb is steep and some curves are almost 35 degrees @10000feet.. Lovely..

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The DI engines are wonderfull suited to this kinda terrain and atmosphere. But then when 2.2 turbo beautifully spools up, its another game altogether. It was all, 1st, 2nd and inbetween 3rd gear which was used in the climb.

We go slow due to the fact that, it very dusty and the fear of tire cut due to careless sharpedged stones on the roads for 70% of the road. (no point taking a chance)

During the journey, we saw mostly UV and and a single Alto going all the way Up.

Finally we reach Changgu Lake.. some pics of the half frozen lake..
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The Ride
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more pics

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The rough roads

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and then around 1PM, we reach @14200feet. The highest the steed will drive to.

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Nathula
Temperature -5 degrees
Windchill -10 degrees

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Me
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Snowclad peak @ Bhutan
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She is already feeling giddy now..
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SNOW, What snow only this much this time sweetie.. next year snowfall for sure..It snowed last week and melted :(
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Up and Above the weather changes

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After, visiting Nathula and having spent some time eye to eye with Chinese , we start towards Baba Mandir and pray there before starting back.

The weather changes drastically, at one time its all sunny and warm and the next all cloudy. Reminds me of Cloud #9
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Thank You Nathula for such a warm welcome

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PS: While going back @ Changgu Lake
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 28th January 2011 at 00:37. Reason: Corrections
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Old 28th January 2011, 00:52   #38
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Default Memories

Some memorable shots of weather change and some random shots

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Driver and the driven (co-driver)
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Old 28th January 2011, 10:55   #39
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Excellent TL Rahul, my 5 stars for this!!!
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Old 28th January 2011, 11:49   #40
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Default Re: Index

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulk76 View Post
D1: Pune-Nagpur-Bhilai (Dec19)
Rahul - one amazing drive I must say! Kudos to you and your family. BTW, I drove from Hyderabad to Raipur on Dec 19. Met up with my bro-in-law (who was driving down from Bhopal in his CG-registered Innova) at Nagpur around 4 PM and then drove down to Raipur. I guess we narrowly missed spotting each other - two out of state Safari's are bound to notice each other
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Old 28th January 2011, 12:50   #41
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Default Nathu La road

From the pictures it seems that the BRO is widening the single lane Nathu la road or am i mistaken.
Is there any specific days when Indians can cross over to the Chinese side or nothing like that is allowed to tourists/civilians.
And is there any sort of border market there other than the few shops at lake point.
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Old 28th January 2011, 12:53   #42
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

@Rahul... Great travelogue. Inspires anyone to go for a long drive like this.

BTW, 2 of your 3 angels looks similar.. are they twins?

Nightshot with Hella in action was awesome (15 second exposure .. what is that?)

keep going
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Old 28th January 2011, 15:35   #43
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnidumolu View Post
Excellent TL Rahul, my 5 stars for this!!!
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
Rahul - one amazing drive I must say! Kudos to you and your family. BTW, I drove from Hyderabad to Raipur on Dec 19. Met up with my bro-in-law (who was driving down from Bhopal in his CG-registered Innova) at Nagpur around 4 PM and then drove down to Raipur. I guess we narrowly missed spotting each other - two out of state Safari's are bound to notice each other
Thanks,.. I did see a silver colored CG innova, but then not sure if we are talking about the same innova here. Pity, we narrowly missed each other out. Some time somewhere next time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by San Phrangmung View Post
From the pictures it seems that the BRO is widening the single lane Nathu la road or am i mistaken.
Is there any specific days when Indians can cross over to the Chinese side or nothing like that is allowed to tourists/civilians.
And is there any sort of border market there other than the few shops at lake point.
Yes the road widening is going. I am not sure when Indians can cross over to the Chinese side or even if that exists or not.
There are quiet a few markets there.. eg Nathula Market.. 17mile market etc to name a few, before the lake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisender View Post
@Rahul... Great travelogue. Inspires anyone to go for a long drive like this.

BTW, 2 of your 3 angels looks similar.. are they twins?
Nightshot with Hella in action was awesome (15 second exposure .. what is that?)
keep going
No, two(elder and younger) are mine and the third elder one is my sisters daughter
Nightshot, really came out well.
Well the 15 second exposure was the timing of the shot.(the shutter of the camera was open for 15 secs). Hope this helps

Thanks
Rahul

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 28th January 2011 at 15:37.
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Old 28th January 2011, 19:20   #44
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Rahul,

Read through the travelogue once again from start to finish. Brilliant drive and a wonderful travelogue. Congrats to you and your family for undertaking this drive and making it seem soooo easy!

It must have been quite a moment going back to your school and house once again after so many years!

Loved the night shot and the video of the conversation between the Engine and the Truck.

Wishing you many more miles of wonderful and safe travels.
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Old 28th January 2011, 20:31   #45
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

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Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
Rahul,

Read through the travelogue once again from start to finish. Brilliant drive and a wonderful travelogue. Congrats to you and your family for undertaking this drive and making it seem soooo easy!

It must have been quite a moment going back to your school and house once again after so many years!

Loved the night shot and the video of the conversation between the Engine and the Truck.

Wishing you many more miles of wonderful and safe travels.
Glad you liked the TL Gautam..Thanks

Me n sis were all nostalgic for sure in the time we spent there relishing the memories of time we spent there. It was amazing to see that the structures were almost as same as before.

Well I hope the steed can sustain 1L trouble free motoring and safe journeys.
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