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Old 28th August 2017, 16:56   #1
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Default Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim

Well by now, it must be clear that Sikkim happens to be our favorite destination since 50% of the travelogues written by me are on Sikkim. Well to be frank, we had initially planned to club Darjeeling in this trip as well. But the current civil scenario in Darjeeling discouraged us from doing so. This trip was blessed by Mr Murphy. His law never really left us during the whole trip. More on that while you go thru the TL.

We were seven people in this trip. My wife, her sister & I in our Duster. Bhpian Blackpearl & Teesta in their Thar. And Bhpian Ghostrider28 & his wife Sarmistha in their Duster.

The Humans

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-team-ss.jpeg

The Steeds


Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-trio-road.jpeg


Initially it was only two cars (Thar & our Duster) that had planned this travel. But Ghostrider28 gave us a last moment surprise & joined in.

Day 1 : Kolkata to Pelling

Google suggested the travel time from our home to Pelling as 17 hours. But poor google doesn't know about NH34. NH34 has been the most unpredictable highway in this part of the country. It is the highway which connects Kolkata to Siliguri. And this time we were in for a surprise.

Team ready at our Rendezvous point

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-team-bp.jpeg

(L-R) Ghostrider28(Sayantan), Me, Sarmistha(Sayantan's wife), Vedika (my sister-in-law), Meghna (My wife), Bhpian Teesta(Rajsri-Blackpearls better half), Blackpearl(Sumitro)


We started from the BP Petrol pump at 1730 hrs. Adding the 17 hours as to suggested by google, we would have reached our destination between 1000hrs to 1100hrs. We were maintaining good speeds thru NH2 & SH7. We stopped on NH2 for a quick snack break.

When you have that last mail to send

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-last-mail.jpeg


Four hours into our journey & the rain started. We hit NH34 near Berhampore a bit before 2200 hrs. We reached Raigunj at around midnight & saw a huge line of trucks infront of us. The rain had not stopped for the last 3 hours now & the visibility outside was pretty low. Getting down of the car to look for spaces was getting difficult due to torrential rain.

We had just 10 kms to go before we reach Botolbari thru which we would take the road on which Heavy vehicles are not allowed. We took many detours went off the road, thru water, thru slush on the right side, on the wrong side. We had covered around 5 kms in two hours.

Stuck in Jam

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-jam-inside.jpg


It took us another 1.5 hours to cover the next 5 kms. We had till now lost approx 3.5 hours due to the Jam. As we entered Botolbari, the roads became traffic less & we kept our pace. Siliguri was crossed at around 0730 hrs. Filled up fuel from the Sevoke pump & continued our journey towards hills.

Customary Mahanada Drive Picture

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-mahananda.jpeg

I love the drive thru this forest. Good road & greenery on both sides. Also, this road assures you that hills are not far away. You will find similar picture in all my TLs on Sikkim.

We had thought of taking the Melli-Jorethang route. But around 16 kms from Melli, we got our second Jam of the trip. There was a huge landslide & the traffic was standstill. We were stuck in this jam for around 2 hours.

The Jam

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-jam-melli.jpeg

Teesta on the side to give us company while we waited

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-whatsapp-image-20170830-09.30.32.jpeg

Enjoying the scenery while stuck in Landslides

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-entering-sk.jpeg

After crossing this bottleneck, we enquired about the road condition ahead & got to know that there must be 5-6 more landslides like this before we reach Melli. Our reaction :

By this time we had accepted that we wont be reaching Pelling before dark. If you remember, the plan was to reach before noon. We waited while the earth-movers cleared all the slides one by one & reached Melli. Blackpearl was 20 min ahead of us & had already informed us that Melli to Jorethang road has been blocked due to Landslide. So we took the alternate route via Melli Bazar-Bhanjyang-Namchi. This route is quite steep & narrow. We saw Omnis on this route but, they were offloading passengers before any steep climb. The passengers walked & jumped in after the climb. This reminded us of our trip to Sikkim in our Brio, when I had to ask the passengers to get off on steep climbs. Thankfully, this time our cars were powerful enough to make it without any fuss.

How far the river went after the climb

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-altitude.jpeg

Any road in Sikkim is good to have photo op.

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-girgiti-2.jpeg


The Beautiful roads

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-road-sikkim.jpeg


We crossed Namchi & Damthang pretty fast. Took a momo & maggi break exactly 24 hours after we had started from Kolkata.

Break after being behind the wheel for 24 hours

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-break-24.jpeg


And a scenic break at that

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-photo-break.jpeg
After recharging ourselves with some food, we did not stop anywhere in between & reached Pelling at 1945 hrs. Being jaded, we retired early after dinner.

Total Distance driven : 745 kms

Time Taken : 27 hrs +

Last edited by PapaBravo : 30th August 2017 at 14:12.
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Old 29th August 2017, 14:20   #2
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Day 2 : Pelling to Kaluk

This day was pretty relaxing. We had 40 odd kms of driving involved & lots of sightseeing. We woke up late had breakfast at the resort. We stayed Magpie Chestnut Retreat. The clouds were playing games in the morning & the weather was switching from Bright to Gloomy & back pretty fast. All the travel on the last day seemed justified for a perfect hilly morning.

Morning at Pelling

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pelling-cup.jpeg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pelling-morning.jpeg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pelling-morning-2.jpeg

The Cottages where we stayed

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pelling-cottages.jpeg


The Dining hall

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-dining-hall.jpeg


After a filling breakfast, we got ready for the sightseeing. Our first stop was Pemayantse Monastery.

Packed & Ready to roll

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-ff-pellling.jpeg

Blackpearls Thar

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pelling-sherpa.jpeg


The unpaved road that goes to the resort. Shot in the morning.





A bit about Pemayangste Monastery from Wiki

Quote:
The Pemayangtse Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Pemayangtse, near Pelling in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, located 140 kilometres (87 mi) west of Gangtok. Planned, designed and founded by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in 1705, it is one of the oldest and premier monasteries of Sikkim, also the most famous in west Sikkim
As soon as we entered the Monastery. We were greeted by a young monk named 'Ugen'. The Monastery is quite big & has Museum on the upper level. It also has the parts of original wood & other materials preserved that were used to make the Monastery the first time in 18th Century.

Ugen - The young Monk

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-monk-ugen.jpg

A prayer flag on the entrance of the Monastery

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-flag-pemmyangtse.jpg

Blackpearl's wife & Bhpian Teesta rolling the prayer wheel

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-rajsri-wheel.jpg

The Team @ Pemayangtse

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-team-pm.jpeg


Photo ops continued in the parking lot of the Monastery

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-chwnki-pm-parking.jpeg

Bhpian Teesta explaining the road conditions to my wife Meghna

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-rajsir-meg-pm-parking.jpeg

HULK

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-hulk-rear.jpeg

After a full tour of Pemayangtse Monastery we left for Singshore Bridge.

Parting shots at the exit of Monastery

Blackpearl's Sherpa

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pm-sherpa.jpeg

Our HULK

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pm-hulk.jpeg

Ghostroder28's Girgiti

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-girgiti.jpeg


contd..

Last edited by PapaBravo : 30th August 2017 at 09:58.
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Old 29th August 2017, 16:31   #3
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Day 2 Contd

Our next destination Singshore Bridge. This was approx 25 kms from the Monastery. We had been there before in our Brio. We knew there was a scenic waterfall on the way but had forgotten the exact location since Sikkim is full of waterfalls& it is very difficult remember them. Midway to Singshore Bridge we found the same spot & the photo-shoot began

Hulk at the Waterfall

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-hulk-wfall-2.jpeg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-hulk-wfall.jpeg

Girgiti at the Waterfall

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-girgiti-waterfall.jpeg

Sherpa at the same spot

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-shepa-wfall.jpeg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-sherpa-wfall-2.jpeg

Some more random clicks

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-tyre-wfall.jpeg

The treads on new shoes on HULK

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-tyres.jpg

The AWD Twins

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-twins.jpeg

Hulk & Sherpa again

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-hulk-sherppa-front-road.jpeg

With the Waterfall in the background

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-hulksherpa-wfall.jpeg

After clicking the cars we shifted to humans

Ladies

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-ladies-wfall.jpeg

The Guys looking at the wrong camera

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-guys-wrong-camera.jpeg


Blackpearl & Teesta
Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-rajitro.jpg


After the clicking our hearts out at the waterfall, we continued are journey to Singshore bridge.

Singshore bridge is the highest suspension bridge in Sikkim & probably in India (not sure about this though). It is built on a 700 ft deep gorge & spans about 650 ft. Last time we were here, the bridge was operational but this time it was closed for vehicles due to maintenance work.

The Bridge

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-ss-longshot.jpg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-me-ss.jpeg

Prayer flags at the Bridge

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-flags-ss.jpeg

When you call from back & click

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-ss-turnback.jpeg

And then there some choreographed ones

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-bw-bridge.jpeg


Concluding our sightseeing for the day, we went straight to our resort, Ghonday Village Resort, Kaluk. We were pretty hungry & had planned a late lunch in the resort. Upon our arrival, we were given our welcome drinks & we checked into our rooms.

The Welcome drink

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-_dsc3519.jpg

And the perfect weather for the drink

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-whatsapp-image-20170829-16.40.20.jpeg


Contd..

Last edited by PapaBravo : 29th August 2017 at 16:42.
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Old 29th August 2017, 17:33   #4
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Day 3 : Kaluk to Gangtok

The morning at Kaluk was perfect. We again had the liberty to start off a bit late & reach Gangtok by late afternoon. Our stay at Ghonday Resort was very comfortable except for the food & service. The rooms were nice & spacious & the resort green & fresh.

The Rooms

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-ghonday-room.jpeg

The view from Balcony

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-ghinday-balcony.jpeg

The Gazebo where we had our Dinner & Breakfast

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-ghonday-gazebo.jpeg


Did I mention that the food & service was bad. The last time we were in Ghonday around 3 years back, we loved the stay. This time not so. The food took eons to get served & was tasteless too. On top of it, three of us had stomach upset in the morning. Mine being the worst. Forgetting that experience we got ready for Gangtok

The team ready to leave for Gnagtok

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-team-ghonday.jpeg

The Ladies

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-girls-ghionday.jpeg


Sick but ready for the Click

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-pose-sick.jpeg


Girgiti follows & Sherpa leads on this sector

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-rvm.jpeg


We left for Gangtok at around 11 am. We planned to take a shorter route from Geyzing to Legship. This route was an unpaved off-road route. The road was so bad that we were having second thoughts about returning & taking the longer route. Since we had three vehicles, all 4WDs & recovery equipment as well, we decided to stay on that route.

A short video of the route




Mid way on this route we came across two roads & were confused which one to take. This whole route was obviously not on Google Maps, so no luck there as well. The place was deserted & there was no one in sight to ask directions. Bhpian Ghostrider28 went walking on one of the trails & met a construction worker who guided us to the correct route. We took this oppurtunity to soak in to the beauty of nature & obviously have some clicks.

Ghostrider28(Sayantan) & Sarmishtha

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-moontan.jpeg

Blackpearl & Teesta

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-rajitro-2.jpeg

Me & wifey

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-meg-i.jpg


This trail was remote & beautiful.

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-whatsapp-image-20170830-12.03.25.jpeg


Finishing the trail, we were back on paved roads at Legship & moved towards Gangtok. We had to again take a small detour for Singtam due to a landslide. We reached Gangtok late afternoon. I wasn't feeling too well due to the food we had in Ghonday, so I rested in the Hotel while the rest of the gang got dressed for the evening in Gangtok.

Gangtok from our Hotel

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-gtok-hotel.jpeg



contd..

Last edited by PapaBravo : 30th August 2017 at 12:08.
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Old 30th August 2017, 13:14   #5
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While I was resting, the rest of the gang went to a nearby cafe on MG Marg to grab a bite

Ladies ready for the evening

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-girls-eve-gtok.jpeg

Nice graffiti work on the walls

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-girls-graffiti.jpeg

MG Marg, Gangtok

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-mg-marg.jpeg


Day 4-5 : STUCK in Gangtok

We had a hard time coming from Kolkata to Sikkim this time. We had thought that the return would be better. We hardly knew what was in store for us. All this while, we were hearing about the floods in North Bengal. The train routes were submerged & the services were suspended. From the news we got to know that the roads connecting Kolkata to N.Bengal & Sikkim have gone underwater too.

A few friends of ours were on a trip to Dooars in North Bengal. Their plan was to return one day prior to us. They told us that they went 200 kms on NH34 but could not cross Raigunj as the water level on the road was upto waist level. They had to return back to Siliguri. We knew that the water level wasn't receding so fast so we decided to stay in Gangtok till the situation got better.

We utilized this day by going to Rumtek Monastery

Ready for Rumtek

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-me-greenery.jpg


Posing while Sayantan & Sarmistha were busy clicking the monks

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-rajitro-us-rumtek.jpeg

Blackpearl with a monk kid

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-monks-sumitro.jpeg

Prayer wheels

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-meg-wheels.jpg


After visiting the monastery, we were again off to The Square, MG Marg for Lunch. The Square is one of our favourite food joints in Gangtok.

Lunch at The Square, MG

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-mg-food.jpeg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-square-meal.jpeg


The guys came back to the hotel, while the girls went on for some shopping. Dinner was served in the Hotel. Post dinner desserts were consumed in Cafe Live & Loud nearby

Dessert Session

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-live-loud.jpeg


All this while we were in constant touch with our friends who were trying to get back to Kolkata by finding out alternative routes. By this time we had 4 options of coming back to Kolkata

Option 1 : Thru Dalkhola-Purnea-Bhagalpur.....

Rejected because the bridge connecting Dalkhola & Purnea had broken

Option 2 : Thru Siliguri-Araria-Purnea-Bhagalpur....

Rejected because the roads were washed away near Araria

Option 3 : Thru Nepal (Kakdbitta-Biratnagar-Forbesganj-Bhagalpur....)

Rejected because Biratnagar was flooded & the border was closed

We were in touch with Bhpian Sheel constantly & the above information was verified by him. A lot of thanks to him.

Option 4 : NH 34. The same route which was being tried by our friends for two days now but they had not been successful.

We decided to go to Siliguri & stay there & wait for the window of opportunity to cross the flooded area. We left Gangtok at 10 in the morning. The other team was on their third attempt to try this route. They were around 45 minutes ahead of us on the same route. We thought of following them & give a try ourselves. Bhpian Uprasenjit was in that team & was dropping location regularly thru all the detours. We were following their footsteps hoping that we made it through.

Around 100kms ahead of Siliguri, we got our first shock. My car started juddering & these warning lights came up.

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-warning.jpeg

After a lot of calls to the ASC & members of Team Duster India(TDI), it was concluded that one of the injectors has been blocked. We tried flashing the error by disconnecting the battery terminals but the problem didn't resolve. On assurance from ASC, we decided to continue our journey to Malda, where would show the car to the ASC & get it repaired. So, the onward journey on started on 3 cylinders. I had to maintain an rpm between 1500 to 2100 in order to minimize juddering & putting load on the engine. I was driving at 50 kmph for the rest of journey. Ghostrider28 was ahead of me while Blackpearl was behind in order to have a back up if anything else goes wrong.

Soon we started entering the flooded area. I was not sure whether the car will make it through the floods in this conditions. I could not revv to hard to get through.

Starting of flood

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-floods.jpeg

Everything underwater

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-flood.jpeg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-flood-2.jpeg


Gradually the water crossings started becoming deeper than the earlier ones. Crossed all of them with fingers crossed. Now the time gap between us & the other team had increased to more than one hour since I could not speed.

The other team informed us about a detour & told us that the water level was pretty high. Two cars from the other team had stalled crossing the stream. I had no hope of crossing it but since I had two more cars along, we approached that crossing. Sun had already bid us goodbye & it was dark. The other team got their cars repaired & were waiting for us on the other side of this section. It was really great of them to wait for our safe passage. There were two back to back crossings with more than 2.5 ft of water. As per plan, Blackpearl would lead in his Thar, which would creat a bow wave & I would follow him behind. Behind me was Ghostrider28.

A short video of the crossing



My headlights went dipped twice underwater. But all three of us made it without any problem.

Meeting the other team(Atish, Gaurab, Abhishek & Prasenjit) just after crossing the stream. No amount of thanks is enough for them. We could only cross this section due to their constant help & route guidance.

Reunion with the other team

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-saviours.jpeg


We halted at Malda to show the car the next day while the other team proceeded toward Kolkata.

Day 6 : Malda to Kolkata

Got up in the morning & went straight ahead to the service center. As expected, the OBD found out the problem to be Injector 1. Bad fuel was the culprit. Since this was a big job, Malda ASC could not do it at the spot. I spoke to the Head technician there & he assured me tht the car is fit to go till Kolkata albeit in the same manner, that is keeping revvs bewteen 1500-2100 & speed below 60. The staff at Malda ASC was very helpful & attended to my car on priority. We started from Malda at 2 pm.

Team at Malda ready for the final leg

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-team-malda.jpeg


The traffic was less since most roads were closed due to flood. We drove at slow speed towards SH7 & took a break

Teesta(Rasjri) & Meghna

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-meg-raj-back.jpeg


We soon reached NH2 & there was a sigh off relief since we were near home & the roads were good. We reached home at 2200 hrs. The ladies obliged us by making home cooked dinner at our place. The journey had come to an end. Even with so many hurdles all along, this was one of the most memorable time we had.

After all, for a traveler, if you are on the road, you have to be ready for everything.

We all enjoyed this trip lot & hope you guys enjoyed going through the TL as well.

Signing off

Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-steeds-sh7.jpeg


Regards,

Pawan

Last edited by PapaBravo : 31st August 2017 at 00:27.
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Old 31st August 2017, 07:46   #6
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 31st August 2017, 09:04   #7
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Default re: Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim

Thanks Pawan for writing down the trip log. It will remain as one of the most memorable trips indeed, Mr Murphy had been too generous with us! Nicely penned travelogue - with perfectly curated pictures and videos which captured the mood at every point. Rated 5 stars!

A big thumbs up to UPrasenjit and team. Without their help might not have been possible to cross the flooded North Bengal districts.

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Old 31st August 2017, 10:26   #8
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Beautiful pictures and awesome narration. Pawan, you have always hit the iron when its hot. After reading this travelogue I feel like going to the mountains again.
Hats off to the whole team of Sikkim and Dooars for safely driving back together through the flood affected North Bengal.
Special cheers to Gaurab Saha for driving back from Malda to bring back the team through the flood. This incident has proved again that we are one family.
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Old 31st August 2017, 10:31   #9
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Thanks Pawan Da for sharing the travelogue. Though the journey was scary I hope all you have enjoyed the real adventure being very experienced travelers.

Quote:
Hulk at the Waterfall

Attachment 1670661

Attachment 1670662

Girgiti at the Waterfall

Attachment 1670659

Sherpa at the same spot
Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-tkd_1184.jpg
Bolero in the same place

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 31st August 2017 at 10:47.
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Old 31st August 2017, 10:37   #10
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Default Re: Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim

One of the most Epic blogs for this year. Firstly great narration and some excellent pictures.
You have covered great deatils and can be used as reference by anyone planning a trip.
Just to give the simulation I read the blog sitting inside my Bong duster AWD

Its post the Dessert session things start getting super interesting. I must say doing those crossings with 3 cylinders is stupendous. I would compliment the K9K but the one driving the K9K matters the most. Super work done there Pawanda.

Since I am based out of Hyderabad, I dont get a chance to hit the Himalayas like you guys so often but I make sure I do it atleast once a year.
Sikkim has always been my place of interest.

I was there last year and I have plans of doing Arunachal Pradesh this year and I hope the roads shall improve by then.

Sharing a picture from our last trip.
Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim-img_0170.jpg
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Old 31st August 2017, 12:45   #11
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Default Re: Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim

If any word describes this TL very well, it has to be "WOW". Just that. Sikkim is indeed best explored on road and when you the companionship of a Thar and Dusters, it cant be better. To top it all, fellow Team Bhpians make it a dream drive. Beautiful TL and crisp pics. Indeed the water crossings were scary, specially with the limited power on offer. But glad you guys made it through all the hurdles and we have a wonderful TL to read.
Every-time a group of TBhpians manage such a feat, I feel jealous (in good spirit). You just get the urge to drive into some of the most mesmerizing places in this country right away.

Thanks again for taking us through the beautiful landscapes and the journey. Looking forward for more.
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Old 31st August 2017, 13:43   #12
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Fantastic travelogue with superb pics PapaBravo and that too within a week of coming back from the trip! I thought of posting a few pics as well once the TL is up, but there is no scope left.
Thanks for not mentioning about the discomfort that we faced in the Thar while going. But I am not that lenient. The incessant rain for close to 18 hours resulted in water dripping inside the Thar from every possible nook and corner. Rajsri was completely drenched and I had to drive close to 13 hours with soaked feet. Saying that, I always knew what I was getting into when I bought the Thar. The ease with which it handles bad roads, the peace of mind and the confidence that it provides in tough situations is unparalleled. At the end, all these things including Murphy's interventions make a memorable trip!
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Old 31st August 2017, 14:46   #13
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Even though though you have made it look easy on this TL, but hats off to all three of you(drivers) for showing immense patience throughout the trip! The drive was not an easy one especially in such hostile conditions. At no point did I see disillusioned or unhappy faces, you guys kept on saying that even this, is an experience, one should not miss. It was very hard especially for Sumitro to drive as Thar was not favorable to us. Water was pouring in from all possible places, glove box was half filled with water, documents got wet, remote of the music system stopped working, there was a pool of water exactly where I was sitting, I couldn't even keep my feet down. Honestly hadn't Thar been such a looker, I would have sent it to the junkyard. Mahindra and the services that they try to provide, is absolutely class apart! We have spent hours in the service station to fix the leaks but they just seem to reappear every time it rains! Now they are telling us to change the canopy as if that will fix the problem! I think we have to buy a Toyota, even though they look ghastly and ugly! Anyway enough of me abusing Mahindra, coming to our trip, it will be one of the best trips till date without any doubt in mind. We had a wonderful professional photographer(Twinkle) with us who flew all the way down from Delhi and god she did a splendid job. Meghna was our planner and made sure we always tried out something different. She entertained us through out the journey. We had a pleasant surprise from Moon and Sayantan on the day we were supposed to start. The more, the merrier has always been our motto. Gangtok's stay was epic and will never be forgotten, the late night ventures, the games that we played, the food that we ate, the plans that were made but never realized made it worth the ordeal that nature presented us to bear. I usually do not prefer long trips with friends as I end up with an ill feeling, but being with you guys has been such a breeze! You all have been the best travel partners till date. Kudos to all of you :-) I hope we have many such trips in future.

Also special mention of Prasenjit, Atish and Gourab. We made it to Kolkata just because of them. They have some serious caliber to help others and are very brave! Samba too kept in touch with us to know whether we are safe or not. These things matter so much! Thank You guys wholeheartedly!
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Old 31st August 2017, 19:31   #14
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Default Re: Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim

Amazing travelogue and brilliant pictures. When you travel with four gorgeous ladies, pics are bound to come up great! May i dare to ask how many retakes the photographers had to take for the final output?!

Coming to the travelogue its no less than an adventure. I can understand the uncertainty you guys had to go through. But hats off to all of you for negotiating all the troubles with cool head and ending the trip in a safe way. From this travelogue one thing i will mention is experience do matter and all the drivers have done a fabulous job. Specially when Papabravo's Duster was handicapped with one failed injector! Surely a newbie or inexperienced driver would have failed to pull out this trip in such a neat way. A Special thanks to Bhpian Uprasenjit, Bhpian Hikersoul (Atish), Gourab, Saikat da to keep you guys updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teesta View Post
Samba too kept in touch with us to know whether we are safe or not. These things matter so much! Thank You guys wholeheartedly!
We are all a part of an extended family!

Edit- Rated 5*

Last edited by Samba : 31st August 2017 at 19:43.
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Old 31st August 2017, 19:45   #15
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Default Re: Thar & Duster AWD Twins drive to Sikkim

A real adventure indeed.... with all the flooding and blocked injector !!!

Wonderfully written travelogue with splendid photographs. The real fun is when you have such capable co-travellers in your escapades. Keep travelling and sharing.

Warm regards,

Siddhartha
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