Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th December 2018, 10:25   #1
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Throwback October 2011, a newly married couple decided to explore the land of kings to commemorate their honeymoon. Naïve and inexperienced they were, the best option for them was to look for a tour operator for convenience. Thus, started their journey to the royal kingdom of Bhutan. They were smitten by the picturesque locations, simplicity of the locals and most importantly the buttery smooth roads. While returning back, they had secretly promised to come back again and re explore the place ‘on wheels’.

2018 November, the couple has matured over time, gained considerable experience in taming the paved as well as unpaved roads. Having successfully completed couple of road trips in the last few years, this time they were in a fix to zero down upon the venue and why not, this was the maiden road trip of their new born prince Ishaan.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-175.jpg

After some grave brainstorming, they finally recalled the promise of 2011 and thus began the 2018 Bhutan trip.

Unlike the previous road sagas, this time the focus was to evade any stress, night drives, erratic schedules and make things comfortable for the little soul. So, the interim halts were a priority. Ishaan had covered a maximum of 240 kms in a day before, so we were confident up to that range. Keeping this range in mind, we kept Malda the first halt. P.S when you are travelling with an infant, make sure you halt at places where you get all amenities easily. Taking the Bhagalpur Hansdiha, Dumka route would have saved time, but we know from the previous experience that amenities would be a far cry on these roads.

Thus, keeping all the above things in mind, we narrowed down to the following itinerary:

Day 1: 11th November, 2018: Asansol to Malda
Day 2: 12th November, 2018: Malda to Jaigaon
Day 3: 13th November, 2018: Jaigaon to Paro
Day 4: 14th November, 2018: Paro to Tiger’s Nest and back
Day 5: 15th November, 2018: Paro to Haa Valley and back
Day 6: 16th November, 2018: Paro to Thimphu
Day 7: 17th November, 2018: Thimphu to Punakha and back
Day 8: 18th November, 2018: Thimphu to Siliguri
Day 9: 19th November, 2018: Siliguri to Asansol

Once the itinerary was finalised it was time to finalised the car we wish to travel in. Ford Figo, Ford Aspire and Tata Safari Dicor were the options. Considering the amount of luggage and members this time we chose the Safari.

Two days prior to the trip I got the Safari thoroughly checked at B.D. Motors, NH 2 Asansol and they did a great job by checking all brakes, suspension, engine oils etc. As their wheel alignment machine was under repair they suggested I get the alignment checked as the LHS Front wheel inner thread was getting worn out unevenly. Hence drove straight to Mago Radial World Workshop on NH 2 and got the alignment checked. The fault was found and the mechanic did a great job in rectifying the issue of negative Camper. As we all know Safari Dicor’s Camper fault rectification is a tedious job but Vinod Kumar, the Mechanic of Mago Radial World patiently did the job which took around two hours. Even the Workshop Manager, Mr. Atul Singhania took ownership of the issue and kept around 6 cars waiting. All said and done, now Safari was ready for the trip.

Unlike our previous road trips this time our list of Essentials tools and Medicines had changed this time the list included an infant checklist.

List of medicines and car essentials to take on road trips TL.xlsx

Last edited by GTO : 19th December 2018 at 17:35. Reason: As requested
lovecars21 is offline   (23) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 10:28   #2
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 1: 11th November, 2018 Asansol to Malda

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-11th-home-malda.png

Having started at around 7 am from Asansol (forget starting off at early mornings when you have an infant with you. You would not want to wake the tiny dynamite up before the night’s sleep is over), we reached Farakka around 2 pm. Thanks to Didi, the truck traffic was decently controlled owing to the Diwali and Bhai dhoj festivities. Currently the Farakka bridge is undergoing major repair work which allows one way traffic every 30 mins. To our dismay, there is extreme lack of co-ordination between the traffic controllers of both the ends which leads to traffic bottle necks and chaos. A good idea would be to carry food (as we did) and wrap your lunch within the waiting time.

We reached Malda around 4 pm and checked into the government tourist lodge. This place is located at the heart of the city with minimal distance from the station, market and bus stand (remember the bug of amenity that bites new parents). We beg to conclude that this place was not worth the money. Shabby rooms, dirty furniture and linens tell you the tale of bad management. P.S: this place would undergo renovation very soon and we might revisit to examine the changes some time in future.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 340 kms from Asansol to Malda via Burdwan, Moregram and Farakka
Total Travel Time: 9 hrs with 2 hrs break
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 160/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Asansol
Mileage: 10.78 kmpl
Average Speed: 50 kmph
Stayed in Malda Tourist Lodge,
Rathbari, Malda, West Bengal-732101
Contact No. 09733008792
Booked using West Bengal Tourism Website
Room Tariff: Rs. 1,130/- AC DBR

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 13:59. Reason: format
lovecars21 is offline   (20) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 10:32   #3
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 2: 12th November, 2018. Malda to Jaigaon

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-12th-malda-jaigaon.png

We started off from Malda 7:30 am and drove straight to Banaful Dhaba near Gazole. We feel nostalgic whenever we are there. All most all of our North East road trips have this Dhaba as our pre determined halt, be it in the middle of the night or early morning. We ordered for a sumptuous breakfast and asked them to pack our lunch. Mutton curry is their biggest forte and so we packed the same for lunch.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-img_20181112_072930.jpg

Next, I was to choose between Dalkhola-Raiganj section and Botolbari route. As I was travelling in a big car with a baby so did not wish to travel through the narrow roads of Botolbari. The road is so narrow that in case you are behind a car and you are driving a suv then overtaking is a nightmare. Even during day time the road has many cyclists and van rickshaws which have villagers sitting with half of their bodies dangling outside the vehicle making it extremely difficult to maneuver a big car amidst this chaos. So, for me and my family a few extra kilometers did not matter. Reached Dalkhola and as usual there was traffic jam due to a railway crossing. Local traffic police helped us out of the jam. Within 30 minutes we were out of Dalkhola. NH 27 was all clear till Islampur but one needs to be careful as it has pot holes strewn all over which if missed can damage your car. We headed towards Islampur keeping our fingers crossed. Islampur is one of the notorious places to have severe traffic jam. Luckily, the road was clear.

Since we had Jaigaon as our target we took the Siliguri bypass. The bypass starts from Ghoshpukur where you need to keep right, then head towards Fulbari. The road has been newly paved till Sahudangi More. The stretch between Sahudangi more to Parmunda More is under construction. Once back on Gajoldoba Road we drove smoothly till Oodlabari. The road between Oodlabari to Hasimara goes through a part of Dooars. The road is very scenic. We had our lunch along with nursing our baby while our safari was parked in the jungle. It was a kind of small picnic.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-12th-siliguri-bypass.png

Wasting no further time we headed to Jaigaon. We reached Jaigaon at around 5:00 pm and took us 2 hours to reach the hotel due to severe traffic jam as the town was getting prepared for Chaat Puja which was the day after. Our hotel was just beside the Bhutan gate. We had booked it by calling the person and transferring 50% as advance to their account. The hotel had no specific parking so it was difficult to park the car and unload our luggage. The road clears up after 9:00 pm so had to wait and park the car while other team members along with the baby checked in the hotel. As far as my experience goes this time I would suggest everyone to stay in Pheuntsholing(Bhutan). One doesn’t need to have permits or vehicle permits to drive within 10 kilometers of the entry gate. Our stay at Hotel Satyam was not upto the mark.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 381 kms from Malda to Jaigaon via Dalkhola, Siliguri Bypass
Total Travel Time: 11:30 hrs with 2 hrs break
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 50/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Islampur
Mileage: 10.05 kmpl
Average Speed: 45 kmph
Stayed in Hotel Satyam,
NS Road, Near Bhutan Gate, Jaigaon, WB
Contact No. 08116233392
Booked using Goibibo
Room Tariff: Rs. 1,500/- AC DBR

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 13:48. Reason: format
lovecars21 is offline   (21) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 10:42   #4
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 3: 13th November, 2018. Jaigaon to Paro

Somehow, we spent the night in the hotel and next day me and my wife headed straight to the Immigration office which is on the right side just after crossing the Bharat Petrol Pump. The Immigration office opens at 9:00 am. Working hours for this office is 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday. Sharing the link of its Location:

https://goo.gl/maps/GNyWDknyHd62

We waited in the queue along with all required documents and filled the Entry Permit Application form. The Immigration Form is only available at the counter outside the office hence I am enclosing a copy of the form for the ease of next travellers.

Name:  Entry Form.jpg
Views: 10758
Size:  62.2 KB

Documents that are required are mentioned below:
1. Trip Itinerary
2. Each person has to fill a separate Entry Permit Application form.
3. Xerox copy of Passport/Voter Card/Birth Certificate for New Born
4. One Passport size photograph (if you have a baby, please carry two copies of photo)
5. Details of Hotel Booking and copies of Booking Vouchers.

The office opens at 9:00 am (Bhutan Time which is +6 hrs. GMT). Initially all the documents are checked by the personnel sitting outside the Immigration office. After verification, we were asked to bring all the members applying for the permits. While my wife kept our slot in the queue, I went back to the hotel and brought the other members and our Baby. The 2nd Level of verification is done in the 1st Floor where the personnel sitting in the counter takes the application papers and then calls the members one by one for biometric scanning and photo. Once done if the permit is applied using Xerox of Passport then they ask for the original to put the entry permit stamp in the passport. If applied with any other ID proof, the papers are forwarded to another counter where a hard copy permit is issued. The complete process took us around two hours. Only Permits for Thimphu and Paro is issued from Pheuntsholing. After the entry permit was issued I went back to the hotel with the baby and both the moms while my Wife applied for a B Mobile SIM card. I returned and inserted the B-Mobile SIM card in my mobile and applied for 4G Data plan. They issued the SIM for Rs. 110/- and Data Plan of 5GB with One month validity for Rs. 499/-. The B-Mobile SIM application counter is also in the 1st floor of immigration office. We had to fill application form and attach a Xerox copy of the permit and PP Photo. The woman sitting in the counter was very courteous and helped me in setting up my mobile for B-Mobile Internet connection. Then we exchanged some Indian Currency of Rs. 2,000/- and Rs. 500/- with Bhutan Currency as in the interiors of Bhutan Rs. 2,000/- and Rs. 500/- may not be accepted. The currency exchange counter is also in the 1st Floor of Immigration office.

Now, it was time to get the Vehicle permit. The Road Safety and Transport Authority office is in the Main Bus Stand campus. It is 10 minutes walking distance from the Immigration office. There we came to know that a form is available from the nearby Xerox shop which needs to be filled up and submitted along with Xerox copy of Entry Permits of all members, Xerox copy of Vehicle documents (RC Xerox, Insurance Xerox, PUC Xerox and Tax Xerox) and Xerox of Driving License of the person who intends to drive the vehicle in Bhutan. First the officer in charge who sits in the 2nd floor checked the application along with all the Xerox documents and asked us to submit a fees @ 100 Nu per day multiplied by the total number of days we intend to stay in Bhutan. We had to pay 600 Nu. This payment is accepted only in cash in the 3rd floor. Once the fees was submitted we were asked to submit the cash receipt along with the documents to the officer in charge who initially checked the papers. From there we came to know that Bike permits are issued @ 50 Nu per day. The officer in charge was very helpful and issued the Vehicle permit for Paro, Thimphu, Haa and Punakha so that we don’t have to search for the RSTA office in Thimphu to extend the vehicle permit.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-whatsapp-image-20181215-10.36.50-am.jpeg

Sharing the link of the exact location of the RSTA office:
https://goo.gl/maps/mBw9J6Tg3MC2

It was 1:30 pm and we both were very hungry so had our lunch at a Restaurant in Pheuntsholing while other team members had their lunch in the hotel. After lunch, it was almost 3:00 pm when we check out of Hotel Satyam.

There are two entry gates for Bhutan. One for Light Motor Vehicles and the other for Medium to Heavy Vehicles. While entering Phuentsholing I noticed that my Google Maps Navigation was not working. Setting a destination and asking to navigate was showing only preview. Came to know from locals that Bhutan Government has banned Google Maps Navigation all through-out Bhutan. It was a nightmare for me. Luckily I had the internet connection of B Mobile so instantly activated by Navimaps and downloaded offline map of Bhutan. It costed me Rs. 300/-. Once done we resumed our journey.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-13th-jaigaon-paro.png

It was already too late when we reached Dantak Canteen on Pheuntsholing-Thimphu Highway. There we had some heavy snacks and Tea. The road all through was in great condition.

It was already dark when we left Dantak Canteen. After some kilometers of driving we were surrounded by dense fog. It was quite difficult to drive so followed the tail lights of the cars ahead and drove slowly. This particular region is always foggy. After around 10 kilometers the fog cleared up and we drove sedately. Pheuntsholing-Thimphu Highway bifurcates near Chuzom. There we took the left through the bridge to drive into Paro region. The roads are in very good condition. We reached Paro at 7:30 pm (BST). It was already chilling out there. We immediately checked into our homestay and the Owner had already prepared the house so that the Baby could stay comfortably. We had booked Karmaling Homestay (entire place) through AirBnb. This home stay is quite far from the main Paro town but has come very scenic surrounding. River Wang Chu flows just beside the house. We could hear the sound of flowing water all through the night.

We had an entire house at our disposal so prepared some hot dinner and rested. The temperature recorded was a minimum of 3 deg C that night. Over and above the layers of woolens that we all wore, the room heater provided by the owner saved us from the chill of the night.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 164 kms from Jaigaon to Paro
Total Travel Time: 05:00 hrs with 1 hr break
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 0/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Nil
Mileage: 10.05 kmpl
Average Speed: 30 kmph
Stayed in Karmaling Homestay,
Paro, Bhutan
Location Link:
https://goo.gl/maps/H4ms855bWeE2
Contact No. +975 179 58068
Booked using Airbnb
Room Tariff: Rs. 2,180/- Entire Apartment

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 14:07. Reason: Adding data
lovecars21 is offline   (20) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 10:55   #5
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 4: 14th November, 2018. Paro to Tiger’s Nest and Back

We wanted to keep one day light in Paro so that we could all relax and enjoy the beauty of the small town on the bright sunny morning. We had a long walk beside the Wang Chu river. The constant sound of flowing water, the chill breeze, rustling of dry leaves created nature’s symphony to which we surrendered. Baby Ishaan too enjoyed the beautiful morning. He had a warm bath and slept peacefully under the bright sun.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-untitled.jpg
Infront of Karmaling Homestay

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-2.jpg
Paro Chu River
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-3.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-4.jpg
My Mom and Mother in law posing on the banks of Paro Chu River

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-14th-paro-tiger-monestary.png

At 11:00 am we decided to drive to the Tiger’s Nest. It was 14 kilometers drive along the Paro Chu river. We did not want Ishaan to take the trouble of trekking with us (may be next time). Carrying him up the mountain trail in the Baby carrier would have surely made him tired, also the sudden rise in altitude and chill might cause him discomfort. So, we did some quick shopping in the foothill market and drove back to our Homestay.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 30 kms from Paro Local site seeing
Stayed in Karmaling Homestay,
Paro, Bhutan
Location Link:
https://goo.gl/maps/H4ms855bWeE2
Contact No. +975 179 58068
Booked using Airbnb
Room Tariff: Rs. 2,180/- Entire Apartment

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 13:50. Reason: Details added
lovecars21 is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 12:24   #6
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 5: 15th November, 2018. Paro to Haa Valley and Back

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-15th-paro-ha-valley.png

Today was the day when Baby Ishaan was supposed to drive through his first Mountain Pass. We woke up early and packed all essentials stuff for Baby Ishaan and drove off for Haa Valley after breakfast. Today was also a bright sunny day so planned to check out the Paro Airport from Eagle’s Eye View Point. During bad weather Flights do not take off and land in the Airport. Flight landing and take-off at Paro International Airport is supposed to be one of the most dangerous in the world. We took few photos and videos of the beautiful Airport.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-1.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-2.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-3.jpg
View from Eagle's Eye View Point

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-4.jpg
My Mom and Wifey

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-5.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-6.jpg
India also needs to follow this fine system

After numerous hair pin bends, we reached Chele La Pass at an altitude of 3,988 mtrs (13,084ft) above sea level. The Pass is around 39 kms from Paro and is on the Bondey-Haa highway. As per the information provided by a local coffee shop it had snowed the night before hence we found snow beside the road.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-7.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-8.jpg

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-9a.jpeg
Ishaan’s first experience with snow.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-9b.jpg

The temperature was around 5 deg C at 11:00 am and we were supposed to return from Haa valley the same day so without wasting further time we drove off. Reached Haa around 1:00 pm and enjoyed the valley view by driving upto Yamthang. The road goes straight upto to Damthang after crossing Yamthang.

We had our lunch at Lhayul Hotel located in the Market of Haa. The taste and ambience of the hotel was very good. I would like to recommend the hotel for friends who wish to stay in Haa. The rooms are very cozy and provide excellent view of the valley. This hotel can be booked by calling them and transferring the booking amount to their account. Details of which can been seen in the photo attached.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-16.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-10.jpg
The Hotel Lhayul (Exterior View)

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-11.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-12.jpg
View of Haa Town

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-14.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-15.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-17.jpg
Ishaan, Mom and Me

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-18.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-19.jpg
Ishaan, Mom and Wifey

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-20.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-21.jpg
View of Haa Chu River

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-9.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-22.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-23.jpg
View of Haa Valley

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-24.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-25.jpg

After having a sumptuous lunch, we started our return journey for Paro. It was around 3:30 pm and was about to get dark very soon. So, without wasting any further time we reached Chele La Pass at 5:00 pm. It was very windy; me and my wife took the courage to get down from the car and get a hot masala tea. The temperature recorded at that time was -1 deg C. By the time we reached Paro it was 7:00 pm and the valley was all light up beautifully.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-26.jpg

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 130 kms from Paro to Haa Valley and back
Total Travel Time: 3:00 hrs with 1 hr break and same while returning
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 0/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Haa
Mileage: 9.37 kmpl
Average Speed: 32 kmph
Stayed in Karmaling Homestay,
Paro, Bhutan
Location Link:
https://goo.gl/maps/H4ms855bWeE2
Contact No. +975 179 58068
Booked using Airbnb
Room Tariff: Rs. 2,180/- Entire Apartment

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 14:11. Reason: Punctuation
lovecars21 is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 12:43   #7
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 6: 16th November, 2018. Paro to Thimphu

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-16th-paro-thimphu.png

Last night minimum temperature recorded in Paro was 3 deg C, with the expectation that Thimphu would be warmer we drove off for Thimphu at 10:00 am. Bhutan roads are excellent and wide. Everyone maintains a steady speed and they follow lane driving, not a single vehicle honks and still there are no accidents.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-106.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-118.jpg

On the way, we drove straight to Buddha Dordenma. It is a beautiful place on top of a hill and gives an excellent view of the city.


Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-129.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-133.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-134.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-138.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-142.jpg

The speed limits within the city is 50 kmph. Another thing which we noticed all around Bhutan was priority is always given to pedestrian who cross through Zebra Crossing.

We checked in to our Homestay at 12:00 pm. Zhi-Tsho: The Abode of Peace is a beautifully decorated Duplex Apartment situated near the Thai Consulate. We had our lunch then took a cab to the Immigration office which is diagonally opposite to the Bhutan Development Bank. The exact location is shared in the link below:

https://goo.gl/maps/p7UwSvCcpTr

Documents required for extension of Permit to Punakha are mentioned below:

1) Xerox copy of all permits issued from Pheunsholing
2) Application form duly filled in. Here we can fill one form and write down the details of all member in one single form. They receive applications upto 3:00 pm and issue the permit only till 4:00 pm BST.
Please note that the office is open from Monday to Friday 9:00 pm to 4:00 pm BST.

Incase, one doesn’t get Vehicle permit from Pheunsholing. Then he has to apply of Extension of Vehicle permit from Road Safety and Transport Authority of Bhutan office near Thimphu Main Bus stand.

Click on the link below to get the exact location of the RSTA office:

https://goo.gl/maps/aQbDgPL3Cg22

After getting the permits done we did some shopping in the local market. Then returned to our homestay.

Enjoyed the evening in the warm and cozy homestay. Dinner was cooked by our mothers and had an early dinner and went to bed.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 50 kms from Paro to Thimphu
Total Travel Time: 1:30 hrs with 15 mins break
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 0/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Nil
Mileage: 9.37 kmpl
Average Speed: 40 kmph
Stayed in Zhi-Tsho: The Abode of Peace, Homestay
Thimphu, Bhutan
Location Link:
https://goo.gl/maps/VkxQ7Jz14Ls
Contact No. +975 174 56547 (Tshering Chenzom)
Booked using Airbnb
Room Tariff: Rs. 3,100/- Entire Duplex Apartment

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 13:56. Reason: Spacing
lovecars21 is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 13:33   #8
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 7: 17th November, 2018. Thimphu to Punakha and back

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-17th-thimphu-punakha.png

It was a cold morning and we had to leave early and our schedule was to return the same day from Punakha. We left for Punakha at 09:00 am and drove directly to Dochula Pass. The drive was smooth with many hair pin bends. A total distance of 23 Kms took 1.5 hour. We reached Dochula Pass which is at an altitude of 3100 meters above sea level. We enjoyed for some time at the mountain pass, it was Ishaan’s second mountain pass which he covered within 2.5 months of landing on Earth.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-174.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-149.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-151.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-158.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-159.jpg

There is a café shop which has some good bakery and delicious menu to offer. We had coffee and Donut. Then after taking some quick photos left for Punakha.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-168.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-164.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-172.jpg

It was hard to resist the scenic beauty of the highway along with the mountains so we kept on taking photo stops.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-188.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-196.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-197.jpg

By the time we reached Punkha Dzong it was 1:30 pm. The Dzong stays closed for visitor from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. We had our lunch at a road side fast food shop and then strolled around the place. Entry tickets are available near the entrance at 300 nu per person.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-200.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-214.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-221.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-225.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-232.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-235.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-236.jpg

After the Dzong opened we went into the Dzong and walked around the place. Prayers were going on along with spiritual zen music being played by the monks. The ambience within the Dzong was relaxing and soothing. Ishaan was enjoying it too. He was also quiet like all of us as we watched the Monks pray.

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-242.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-245.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-249.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-254.jpg
Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-262.jpg

We took some photos of the campus and then as it was time to feed Ishaan we return back to our car. At around 4:30 pm we left for Thimphu. By the time we crossed Dochula it was already dark.

Reached Thimphu at 7:30 pm and headed straight to the Farmers’ Vegetable Market where we could buy some local collectibles at a cheaper price.

Returned back to our homestay at 8:30 pm. It was a very long day for Baby Ishaan. We all were tired so had a quick dinner and went to bed.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 152 kms from Thimphu to Punakha and back
Total Travel Time: 4:30 hrs with 1 hr break and same while returning
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 0/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Nil
Mileage: 7 kmpl
Average Speed: 30 kmph
Stayed in Zhi-Tsho: The Abode of Peace, Homestay
Thimphu, Bhutan
Location Link:
https://goo.gl/maps/VkxQ7Jz14Ls
Contact No. +975 174 56547 (Tshering Chenzom)
Booked using Airbnb
Room Tariff: Rs. 3,100/- Entire Duplex Apartment

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 14:15. Reason: Grammar
lovecars21 is offline   (18) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 13:36   #9
BHPian
 
lovecars21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Asansol
Posts: 169
Thanked: 977 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Day 8: 18th November, 2018. Thimphu to Siliguri

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-18th-thimphu-siliguri.png

Today was a long day where we had to travel around 300 odd kilometers. Our target was to leave at 8:00 am but as the previous night we couldn’t do any packing so it was on me to pack all the stuff and load it in the car while Ishaan’s Momma gave him a proper warm bath. It’s very important to give proper massage and bath to infants while going for long drives. It helps them keep cool and relaxed. We finally left from Thimphu at 10:00 am. The drive was smooth with minimum stops. We reached Dantak Canteen at 1:30 pm. Had our lunch there. Sudeshna had ordered for Chicken thali and it was served in no time. It is an advise to all, never order for non veg at that Canteen. The non-veg preparation was not good.

By the time we reached Pheuntsholing it was 3:15 pm. Refueled our car upto the brim as Diesel was 65.76 nu (Rs. 12.98/- cheaper than in India). We had some 3500 nu which needed to be converted back to Indian Currency but as it was Sunday the Immigration office was closed. We went and asked a traffic police and he guided us to a shop where they changed our currency.

After spending good time in Bhutan it was time to return to India. As soon as we crossed the border the foul smell from the surrounding market of Jaigaon forced us to wind up the windows and turn the AC ON. We were frustrated to see how our countrymen spat everywhere and threw garbage. Living so close to Bhutan and still those people couldn’t learn the good things which our Neighbouring country maintained.

Without wasting any further time in Jaigaon we headed straight for Siliguri. Our road this time went through acres of tea estates on both side of the roads. We took the route which went through Hasimara, Birpara, Binnaguri, Nagrakata, Chapramari Wildlife forest, Malbazar, Damdim, Oodlabari and Sevoke.

The Road was in good condition all through. We reached Siliguri at 9:00 pm. Checked in at Chas Rajdarbar Hotel which was beside Hill Cart Road. We had booked Luxury Rooms through Goibibo but the rooms that were allotted to us were by no means luxurious. They didn’t even deserve to be called Deluxe. We complained at the reception but they said the Deluxe rooms are worse. We understood that the standard of the Hotel is One Star.

Sudeshna and I took a toto (battery operated auto) and went to a medicine shop as we had to buy some medicines for Ishaan. While returning we packed our dinner from a local restaurant and went back to our room. Ishaan was playing with both Grand Moms as if the day had just started. We were dead tired while Ishaan was fully charged. After dinner allowed our Moms to rest while I had to play with Ishaan till 11:00 pm. He was returning to his normal schedule. All through our daily drive he slept in his cozy car seat. It was a boon to us as we were a bit apprehensive as to how he would react to his First Road Trip.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 311 kms from Thimphu to Siliguri
Total Travel Time: 11:00 hrs with 3 hr break
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 0/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Pheunsoling
Mileage: 9.60 kmpl
Average Speed: 40 kmph
Stayed in Chas Rajdarbar Hotel
Hill Cart Rd, Siliguri
Location Link:
https://goo.gl/maps/eLR59PvNYik
Contact No. 0353 251 1190
Booked using Goibibo
Room Tariff: Rs. 1,200/- Luxury AC Rooms

Day 9: 19th November, 2018. Siliguri to Asansol

Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari-nov-19th-siliguri-asansol.png

Today was the longest drive for Ishaan. We planned to return via Bhagalpur. Left Siliguri at 10:40 am and drove straight upto Islampur where there was a severe traffic jam waiting for us. Till date I had been travelling in hatchbacks and sedans but this time it was a SUV so drove off the road and crossed Islampur in 30 minutes.

At 1:30 pm we stopped for Lunch at Rajdarbar Restaurant near Dalkhola. I would like to recommend this Restaurant considering the quality of food and hygiene. Sharing the link of the exact location of the Hotel:

https://goo.gl/maps/FxvcSy6Y7y42

To our good luck we did not get much traffic all through. Vikramshila Setu was repaired recently and newly paved. The road between Hansdiha and Dumka was also ready. Last time in April when I drove through this section it was so bad that I had to return and drive via Deoghar.

Reached Asansol at 9:00 pm. Ishaan was fine all through. 465 kms in 9 hours for a 2.5 months old infant was quite a challenge but he passed it with flying colours.

Day’s Summary:
Total Distance Travelled: 465 kms from Siliguri to Asansol
Total Travel Time: 10:30 hrs with 1.5 hrs break
Total Toll Tax: Rs. 230/- (Fastag)
Fuel Fillings done at: Nil
Mileage: 13.67 kmpl
Average Speed: 50 kmph

As I end the Travelogue I would like to thank Team-bhp Kolkata Members and ROAD Family for providing support and help in planning the road trip.


Trip summary:

Total Distance Travelled: 2,100 kms
Total Days: 9 days
Total Fuel Cost: Rs. 12,260/-
Average Fuel Rate: Rs. 71/-p ltr
Approx Fuel used: 172 ltrs
Mileage: 12.29 kmpl with 100% AC on plains and 10% AC on hilly roads
Total Toll Tax Paid: Rs. 440 /-

Bye bye till madness strikes again….
Live to Drive!!

Last edited by lovecars21 : 15th December 2018 at 14:29. Reason: Grammar
lovecars21 is offline   (36) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 18:22   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
theMAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Avon, CT
Posts: 7,160
Thanked: 1,679 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Mod's note: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
theMAG is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 19:44   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Samba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 1,170
Thanked: 8,411 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Let me be the first one to congratulate both of you!

Looks like Ishaan cooped up really well with the trip. Still i will suggest you to take it easy for the first year.

Your Safari looks mint. The pics are excellent too. Thanks for sharing this beautiful travelogue.

Rated 5*.

Last edited by Samba : 15th December 2018 at 19:56.
Samba is online now   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th December 2018, 20:37   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Hayek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Bombay
Posts: 897
Thanked: 2,807 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Wonderful travelogue, and truly inspirational planning in taking a 2.5 month year old and a couple of grand moms all the way to Bhutan. Certainly makes me feel ashamed that I am reluctant to attempt a Bombay to Goa trip.

Also great to hear about how wonderfully clean Bhutan is, and how the traffic is disciplined as well. Fantastic pictures - I certainly need to plan a trip to Bhutan in the near future. Thanks for sharing
Hayek is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th December 2018, 11:30   #13
BHPian
 
Blooming Flower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Mysore, Kolkata
Posts: 130
Thanked: 662 Times
Default re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Fantastic travelogue! Looks like Ishaan is going to be the next gen explorer in few years the way he is acclimatising to the road and weather conditions. You and AJ-Got-Bhp have set some examples of road-trips with an infant-- a ready treatise for all to follow. Looking forward to reading the next TL with another destination, of course with Ishaan.

I lost all the photos of Bhutan trip I did this March. My HDD crashed and due to my utter laziness, I didn't put the travelogue here although the text was ready. I could, at least, have saved some of my pictures. Now, the bhpians like you and others making road trip to Bhutan and putting up a TL here sooth me a lot. At least, I can enjoy the trip virtually, reminiscent of our own trip. Not only this, these travelogues are no less to reignite my quest for another road-trip to the Land of ThunderDragons again with the incomplete Eastern part.
Keep travelling, keep sharing.

Regards,
Debojyoti

Last edited by Blooming Flower : 16th December 2018 at 11:35.
Blooming Flower is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th December 2018, 11:00   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
SJM1214's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Anand(GJ23)
Posts: 1,150
Thanked: 3,013 Times
Default Re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

An excellent travelogue with amazing Photographs.

It seems Ishaan handled this trip nicely. However, I suggest you take it slowly. We took our daughter for a long trip when she was 6-months old. She was fine but my wife used to remain busy with her.
SJM1214 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th December 2018, 11:04   #15
BHPian
 
avdhesh15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 673
Thanked: 715 Times
Default Re: Introducing Baby Ishaan, the Road Trip way! To Bhutan in a Tata Safari

Well written! Enjoyed reading it and seeing the photos.

I've forwarded this to my wife who is apprehensive of 4+ hour drives with my son despite him being 4 years old! Am being forced to fly to Goa next month. Maybe your experience will help change her mind.
avdhesh15 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A Transformation: Beast to Baby! Tata Safari to Honda City VX CVT kaviprem Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 44 20th February 2018 18:04
Bangalore : Bannerghatta Road partially one way. *UPDATE* Back to 2-Way brraj Shifting gears 20 19th June 2012 18:56
Happy birthday Ishaan, Kartik, Sushrutha ankit.jhamb Shifting gears 74 5th August 2008 02:27


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 19:46.

Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks