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Old 28th January 2011, 20:35   #46
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Beautiful travelogue here. Specially the first 2 days where you didn't have too many photos, but the discription and narration more than made up for the photos. Kudos to you and your family for making such a long trip, sure has encouraged me to think of a long drive myself.
again very well written sir, hope you have many more long, safe and fun drives. Cheers!
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Old 28th January 2011, 20:50   #47
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Excellent TL Rahul ji.
Very brave thing to do with 3 kids. When my niece is in the backseat, i take extra care to make sure she is not fiddling with the door.
But I am sure you had an awesome time too.
Awesome read!!, thanks for taking time and sharing your TL.
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Old 28th January 2011, 21:12   #48
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabby-069 View Post
Beautiful travelogue here. Specially the first 2 days where you didn't have too many photos, but the discription and narration more than made up for the photos. Kudos to you and your family for making such a long trip, sure has encouraged me to think of a long drive myself.
again very well written sir, hope you have many more long, safe and fun drives. Cheers!
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Originally Posted by RROD View Post
Excellent TL Rahul ji.
Very brave thing to do with 3 kids. When my niece is in the backseat, i take extra care to make sure she is not fiddling with the door.
But I am sure you had an awesome time too.
Awesome read!!, thanks for taking time and sharing your TL.
Thanks Guys

PS: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...e-gulmarg.html (Escape to Gulmarg) was my first long distance travel and inspirational as well.
Wont have had possible without TBHP and HV Kumar
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Old 31st January 2011, 16:34   #49
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Default Chapter 8-9-10-11 and End

Return Trip Condensed.

30 Dec: Binaguri to Bokaro (3 AM until 7PM approx 700KMS)

The route
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The fastest ever we have traveled and the slowest daytime coverage

We started from Binaguri after a good night sleep around 3AM. Today our destination was unknown due to uncertainty.. Calcutta or Bokaro.?

HVK updated that there might be fog issues and yes there was, but thanks to Hellas and Raybans polarizer effects, we made it to malda @347kms from Binagudi under light foggy conditions in 4 hrs approx flat..

From Malda thereon to the Durajpur the progress was slow due to traffic conditions and road.

At dubrajpur, we decided to go to Raniganj (not so good decision) instead of going to Darjeeling More which would save 50-80kms. The road is noexistent (getting created and zilch traffic).

Therein HVK constantly gave hints and updates and realistic reaching time schedules. Due to issues of Maoists and other factors we decided to stick to NH2 road. (Not taking NH60)

It was afternoon around 2 when we hit Raniganj on NH2. Therein we decided to go to Dhanbad and then onto Bokaro for the night halt. Somehow we found a shortcut (a good road) to Bokaro Sector 10 some 15-20 kms before chalsa which was a nice part.

Around 7pm we entered destination 1 for the day and retired for the night.

31st Dec: 10 AM until 1PM (Bokaro - Purulia - Jamshedpur) approx 160KMs.

The most widely used route. Excellent road conditions and goes through the Naxal belt.


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We started around 10am from Jamshedpur. Enroute before Purulia there was heavy bandobast of the forces who were busy checking vehicles and their papers. Past the verfication we proceeded towards Jamshedpur reaching around 1PM. The route is safe during day and not be taken during night as per locals.
Celebrated New Year with relatives

1st Jan: 4:30AM - 9 PM Jamshedpur - Baharagorah - Bhillai (7xx kms)

Escape to Nathula-jamshedpurbhillai770kms.jpg

We started around 4:30am from Jamshedpur just to get stuck at the Mango. It was a darn huge jam. We wasted 30 mins there at that chowk figuring out what to do.

Then i quickly scanned the GPS device to see any alternative route and found this katcha rasta .. Since it was early morning, i got zero issues going through the gallis whoses width could allow atleast safari to pass easily.

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It was odds against which we played and eventually landed up right before the Jam. As usual there was a truck broken down causing all sort of issues. Happy go lucky we proceeded further towards Baharagorah. The road is pokerfaced for 15-20 kms and rest tarmac quality. The road is not to be taken after evenings according to locals. Only daytime..

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Around 7PM while passing Raipur, through heavy traffic, we called up Hotel Kusum and booked a room. Well the very same hotel we stayed in the onward journey.
Somehow around 9PM we retired for the day at hotel kusum @ Bhillai


2nd Jan: 5AM until 8PM Bhillai - Nagpur- Wardha - Jalna- Aurangabad -Nagar - Pune (990kms)

Some highspeed approx 100-120kmph driving saw us thorough this sector all the way until Aurangabad around 2pm, where we rested for 1hr and had a scrumpcious lunch.


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Idiocracy or whatever, i got lost in the bypass and endedup wasting 1hr
Thanks to HVK got back on track around 4PM eroute to Pune. The traffic was really heavy and i had to literally fight for my way. Obviously it was 2nd Jan and lot of people were returning home after new year celeberation and it was Sunday.

Heckling for my space for to say, we reached our house around 8PM in ONE PIECE.

Boy, it was tiring. The bad roads had taken toll on the rear suspension and alignment. My right shoulder pained for couple of days :S

We were really tired now and that calls for a complete rest

Now as I conclude this travelogue, I really cherish the moments and memories and this log is my reflection. Maybe I will learn more to write leaner and better

All in all here are some specs of the journey and the diesel consumed.

Route: Pune-Jalna-Wardha-Nagpur-Durg-Sambalpur-Keonjhar-Calcutta-Bardhman-Darjeeling more-Siuri-Malda-Silliguri-Binaguri-Phulsoling-Binaguri-Silliguri-Binaguri-Silliguri-Binaguri-Gangtok-Nathula-Binaguri-Silliguri-Malda-Siuri-Raniganj-Gobindpur-Dhanbad-Bokaro-Jamshedpur-Baharagora-Keonjhar-Sambalpur-Nagpur-Wardha-Jalna-Pune
  1. Total Distance: 6600kms
  2. Fuel Consumed: Approx 450 liters
  3. Issue : Broken Slave Cylinder Piston (replaced UW @ TASS Malda Town in 1hr approx)
  4. Max Speed: 140KMPH
  5. Slowest climb speed and gears to: Nathula @ 30kmph 1-2-3(rare) gears
  6. Highest Road Point: 14200 Feet
Key Learning
  • Early Morning Drives prefered always.
    • eg. 30 Dec Binaguri-Malda (4 hrs 350kms approx.Time: 3am - 7am)
    • eg. 23rd Jan Pune-Shirdi (2.3hrs 221kms. Time 5am - 7:45am)
  • Get some kind of acceptable GPS
  • Note down probable hotels en route with valid numbers.
  • Be on Google latitude. (likewise or emergency. Extremely useful for near and dear ones and friends to track you)
Thanks for reading my reflections, i hope you enjoyed the ride

Until Next Travel which is Pangong Lake , this is Rahul signing off..

Reclaim your Life..

Rahul
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Old 31st January 2011, 17:13   #50
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

That was a great trip, Rahul!
The return drives were on virtually unknown territory - for most of us sitting in West India - and it was undeniably with a lot of tension that you selected the correct safe route to go to Bokaro, Jamshedpur & beyond.

For those who may not have appreciated one fine point, being winter, Rahul had to beat sunset time which is usually 4-5 pm in North East India, and once darkness falls, most of the personal traffic virtually disappears from the road, leaving only a few stray trucks which also become scarce deeper into the night.

Rahul, I think you need to also relook at your seating posture, may also contribute to the shoulder pain that you reported, may not be only due to suspension issues. I think the Safari was a great car to take on such a trip, made your journey very comfortable and added to your safety and "status" on the road. Status - I find that North East India respects SUVs like no other region in India.
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Old 31st January 2011, 17:39   #51
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
That was a great trip, Rahul!
The return drives were on virtually unknown territory - for most of us sitting in West India - and it was undeniably with a lot of tension that you selected the correct safe route to go to Bokaro, Jamshedpur & beyond.
Well, with TBHP and friends around, the tension was eased a bit

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
For those who may not have appreciated one fine point, being winter, Rahul had to beat sunset time which is usually 4-5 pm in North East India, and once darkness falls, most of the personal traffic virtually disappears from the road, leaving only a few stray trucks which also become scarce deeper into the night.
Yes, that true one needs to plan in advance accordingly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Rahul, I think you need to also relook at your seating posture, may also contribute to the shoulder pain that you reported, may not be only due to suspension issues. I think the Safari was a great car to take on such a trip, made your journey very comfortable and added to your safety and "status" on the road.
Well, i tried different positions but i need to try harder i guess. The issue is that due to camber of the roads NH and SH, i need to constantly hold the steering more from the right hand, lest it drifts towards left. So i guess that's one issue

Quote:
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Status - I find that North East India respects SUVs like no other region in India.
Yes that true.. the worst is up north India (nothing personal against anyone). They are since already available in plenty..
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Old 26th July 2011, 10:07   #52
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Rahul,

Fantastic travelogue and gutsy, gutsy drive! Hats off to you for doing what you did with your family - including 3 kids! Rating the thread a well deserved 5 stars.

You are inspiring me to drive down home to Kolkata from Bangalore (and then onwards to Darjeeling area).

How did the kids take the long drive? Any sleeping or eating issues?
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Old 26th July 2011, 11:55   #53
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

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You are inspiring me to drive down home to Kolkata from Bangalore (and then onwards to Darjeeling area).

How did the kids take the long drive? Any sleeping or eating issues?
Its a lovely drive and all the best if you plan to do it

Kids were wonderful no issues at all..Just give them rest or let them stretch their legs whenever required..
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Old 9th February 2012, 14:59   #54
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

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Originally Posted by Rahulk76 View Post
Time: 10AM, Date: 28 Dec, Place: Binagudi,India

Finally we reach Changgu Lake.. some pics of the half frozen lake..
Hi Rahul

Wonderful travelogue. Wonderful journey to have done with family. Thanks for sharing. I am sharing a photo of the same lake in April 2006 (was driven and did not drive as you did luckily)

Escape to Nathula-dsc01618.jpg

Some parts are frozen over in the beginning of summer versus what you have shared in winter time. What a contrast

Regards
Vijay
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Old 9th February 2012, 18:14   #55
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

Thanks Rahul for the fantastic TL. I too relived memories through your pictures. I spent a good amount of time in Siliguri(read 17 years). Some particular shots like Puentsholing Alligator park and Tsomgo (Chhangu) lake brought back fond memories.ope you had Churpi there. Thanks once again.
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Old 24th February 2012, 02:45   #56
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bought back fond memories of my trip to north sikkim ...amazing place
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Old 24th February 2012, 10:30   #57
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

aha - am so happy to see more and more travelogues for North east

hope you took the long route to Nathu-la, that is where you will find these twistes.

Gata loop are nothing compare to these twisties.
Escape to Nathula-dsc_0385.jpg

Cheers,
ac
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Old 1st March 2012, 19:02   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac 427
aha - am so happy to see more and more travelogues for North east

hope you took the long route to Nathu-la, that is where you will find these twistes.

Gata loop are nothing compare to these twisties.

Cheers,
ac
Thanks ac 427

As you may have read through that I drove from binagudi via Gangtok (permits) onwards to nathula
I couldn't go back via Gataloops section via kalimpong to binagudi coz of permits needed to be surrendered back in Gangtok

By the way, the run from 5th mile to 13th mile has a very steep gradient almost 45 degrees at certain section and you climb almost 2000 feet in 1km in some sections


Regards,
Rahul

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 1st March 2012 at 19:03.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 15:44   #59
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

What a drive! Takes a lot of courage to drive through some of the unknown territories. Kudos to you and your family sirji. I'm still trying to figure out some of the places on google maps. Btw, your steed looks awesome.

Just a few questions :

1. How long do you think, you would have taken to reach Siliguri from Kolkata if you had not had the issue with the clutch?
2. How far is Tiger's Nest from Phuentsholing? Any other place of interest?
3. Would you happen to the road condition to Tezpur?

I can imagine how HVK sir came to your rescue, in different situations. He is impeccable.

Regards
Avinash

Last edited by aviorp : 2nd March 2012 at 15:47.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 17:34   #60
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Default Re: Escape to Nathula

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Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
What a drive! Takes a lot of courage to drive through some of the unknown territories. Kudos to you and your family sirji. I'm still trying to figure out some of the places on google maps. Btw, your steed looks awesome.

Just a few questions :

1. How long do you think, you would have taken to reach Siliguri from Kolkata if you had not had the issue with the clutch?
2. How far is Tiger's Nest from Phuentsholing? Any other place of interest?
3. Would you happen to the road condition to Tezpur?

I can imagine how HVK sir came to your rescue, in different situations. He is impeccable.

Regards
Avinash
Thanks Avinash

To Answer
1. I would have reached Silliguri 1-2 hrs earlier
2. No Idea. Could you check the google maps
3. Check the Route Queries in the TBHP section .

Regards,
Rahul
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