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Old 6th April 2019, 20:12   #16
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Default re: An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya

Day 15 (28 Dec)

Guwahati – Nalbari - Bongaigaon - Purnea(670 Kms)

Till date, we have covered all planned destination during our North East tour and Guwahati is the last one in list. We had to give a miss to Bum-La in Arunachal due to uncertainty of opening of road.

Today morning we have a plan to visit Kamakhya Devi temple and then start our return Bull Run towards Pune.

We had brunch and reached the temple parking by 10 am. The temple is within the city on a small hill.

It is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas and an ancient Khasi people sacrificial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer to Kamakhya devi.

The temple has huge rush of devotees when we visited and it took us more than an hour for darshan.

By 11:30, we started from temple premise towards Siliguri-Purnea. Today's plan was to reach Siliguri or Purnea.

Finding a good restaurant in North East always have been challenge but it also many time provided opportunity to taste local food.
We had our lunch at one of the decent looking hotel at Bongaigaon. Its a big town in Assam and we had stay here while going towards Arunachal. We observed many Bhutanese people visit this place for their shopping needs. The hotel where we had our lunch was serving only Rice Thali with fish or veg curry.

From here we followed the same route that we have traveled while coming and by evening 6 pm we were in Siliguri. We decided to travel further till Purnea.

We reached Purnea by 9:30 pm and checked in to same hotel where we stayed while coming.

Last edited by shriram81 : 12th April 2019 at 11:44.
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Old 7th April 2019, 22:45   #17
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Day 16/17 (29/30 Dec)

Purnea - Bhagalpur - Asansol - Kharagpur - Bhubaneshwar - Vishakhapattanam - Rajamundry - Vijaywada (1585 kms) - Includes overnight travel

Today we have decided to cover as much as distance we can and the thought was very exciting as we are going to travel through the region which we have never traveled before and we have excitement to see new roads and experience new territories.

Its decided that Mahesh would drive during day time and I will take charge during night. We strated from Purnea around 8 am.

While coming to Purnea during our onward journey, we have traveled via UP/Bihar through Jhansi, Lucknow, Muzzafarpur.

While returning we opted to travel via Eastern Coast and therefore from Purnea we traveled towards south to Bhagalpur.

Towards Bhagalpur
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-tobhagalpur.jpg

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-train.jpg

Crossing Ganga bridge at Bhagalpur was all mess, it took around 2 hours to cross 10 kms of heavy traffic in this stretch. Truck traffic was not allowed during day time on Ganga Bridge otherwise situation would have been worsened.

Traffic at Ganga Bridge
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-jamgangabridge.jpg

As we crossed Jharkhand border we started looking for restaurant but settled with Dhaba near Dumka as no restaurant available for very long time.

Dhaba in Jharkhand
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-dhaba-3500x2318.jpg

Road in Jharkhand
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-jhroad-3500x2318.jpg

I had good rest after lunch and I woke up when realized that car is stopped abruptly over a speed breaker and now engine has refused to start.

Me : Mahesh , what happened. (As I was resting on rear seat)
Mahesh: Engine is not cranking.
Me : Lets take the car by roadside and then wait for 10 mins.

We pushed car to road side and I checked the dashboard and ENGINE warning light again appeared, however this time it was flashing/blinking and engine is not running. We had ENGINE warning during onward journey but that time warning light was constant ON and engine was in running condition. After 10 mins I tried cranking the engine but no luck. We tried push start but no luck.

We were still in Jharkhand near a place called Nala and I can not expect any help from mechanic nearby. Nearest big town was Asansol.

Me: Mahesh, was the performance of engine normal till the time car stopped here.
Mahesh: Everything was all good and performance was normal
Me: Did you observe any jerks?
Mahesh: No.

We decided to disconnect battery terminal and wait for while as this will restart the ECU and if any false alarm, it will disappear.
And it worked after removing battery terminal and connecting it after 5 mins, we were able to start the car.

It was around 4:30 pm and I started driving hereafter. We reached Asansol by 5:30 and traveled on Grant Trunk Road for few kms before taking right towards Bankura-Kharagpur. We didn't have dinner at any restaurant or Dhaba today and continued driving while having food items that we carried from Pune.

We reached Kharagpur by 11 pm and had tea at Dhaba. From Purnea to Kharagpur all road was two lane except 4-5 kms stretch of GTR. Of all the road that we traveled today till time, we observed the road in Jharkhand was best in condition. We were happy to see the progress Jharkhand is making in-spite of all political and other challenges.

From Kharagpur we have touched the Coastal highway, it was all smooth, wider and with comparatively less traffic. That means driving through night won't be that tiresome for me.

I drove through out the night with couple of tea breaks and with constant conversation with one of the travel partner who keeps awake himself/herself to accompany me. that makes whole lot of difference while driving.

After Bhubaneshwar, it was early morning and we stopped the car by a Petrol Pump and rested in the car for 60 to 90 mins. We refilled the diesel at fuel station owned and operated by Indian Oil Corporation and was amazed to see facilities available this station. It has a resting dormitory for drivers/travellers, Hauda (a place for bath), neat and clean wash rooms. We got freshen up here and then started for next leg of journey.

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-awesomeroad.jpg

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An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-iol1.jp5.jpg

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An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-iol1.jp8.jpg

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-iol1.jpg

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-thetrain.jpg

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-sunset.jpg

Now Mahesh was behind the wheel and I was resting behind. By 1 pm we reached Vishakhapttanam and had lunch there and by night 10 pm we reached Vijaywada via Rajamundry and rested for the day after longest stretch travel of our whole journey.

Last edited by shriram81 : 21st April 2019 at 15:57.
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Old 8th April 2019, 00:10   #18
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Day 18 (31 Dec)

Vijaywada –Suryapet-Hyderabad-Solapur-Pune (857Kms)

Today is last day of our tour and we all were excited to reach Pune and have some rest before resuming daily office-home routine.

We started a bit late than planned today. We left Vijaywada around 10 am. Vijaywada now being capital of Andhra is developing quite rapidly and I can see the change, as I have been visiting this City 2nd time after a year.

Vijaywada to Hyderabad road is smooth, four lane and less traffic. We reached Hyderabad ORR around 2 pm and had hyderabadi Biryani for lucnh before connecting to ORR

Vijaywada to Hyderabad road
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-hydroad.jpg

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-hydroad1.jpg

Hyderabad ORR is only road I traveled in India where I can use Cruise Control function which is of no use other wise on Indian roads. Therefore I didn't wanted to loose the opportunity of using Cruise Control. I kept the car on 90 kmph and turned on Cruise Control and it was on till we exit ORR.

Hyderabad ORR
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-orr1.jpg

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-orr2.jpg

Form Hyderabad till Maharashtra Border, road is perfect four lane but from Umarga till Solapur is two lane and road work was in progress.

After having evening tea at Umarga we reached Solapur by 8 pm and we decided to have a stop for dinner at Bhigwan for Fish Thali. Fresh fish thali of Bhigwan is famous and not to miss for foodies. We reached Bhigwan by 10:30 and had sumptuous Chilapi Fish thali at Malhar hotel.

What a place and time to celebrate New year! We celebrated new year on the way and reached home by 1:30 am.

and that concludes all enchanting, exciting, eventful and memorable epic tour we have experienced. This hangover of tour is definitely going to last for next few days and memories forever.

Total Odometer Reading
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-totalodo-3500x2318.jpg

Trip Odo reading
An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-tripodo.jpg

Last edited by shriram81 : 21st April 2019 at 20:46.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 07:43   #19
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd April 2019, 08:52   #20
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Default Re: An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya

Nice write-up with some beautiful pictures.

Your driving experience on snow was little scary, especially when the car skidded. Is it AWD?

And nice to know about the facilities in IOC bunk, Bhubaneshwar.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 14:30   #21
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Default Re: An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya

Thanks Shriram81 for sharing this wonderful travelogue. The Tawang trip is on my list for long. The information that you have provided will surely help me plan my trip. I too had the first generation XUV5OO and it's a superb highway cruiser coupled with comfort. You can sit in this car for hours together. Keep driving and keep writing.

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Old 22nd April 2019, 17:37   #22
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Default Re: An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya

Nice tour and write up, congratulations!

Though lengthy, you have not made it boring but actually interesting. I too travel by road most of the time and Sela Pass is on my cycling bucket list.

Last September we travelled to cycle from Dalhousie to Sach pass and beyond upto Kishtwar using the cliffhanger route. We used our XUV500 AWD to travel from Maharashtra carrying 5 bikes, tents and supplies along with us
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Old 22nd April 2019, 18:23   #23
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Default Re: An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya

Sorry to hear of the accident but credit to you for dealing with the situation in a very calm way and enjoying your holiday fully despite it.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 09:51   #24
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Glad my blog was able to help you in any way, it's all about knowledge sharing !
Beautiful thread, brought back fond memories of our Arunachal trip. The was you handled the minor brush up was commendable. Hope to see many such long trips from you. Keep traveling and sharing such experiences .

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 25th April 2019 at 15:13. Reason: typo edited
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Old 24th April 2019, 14:45   #25
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Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It must have been a real adventure with one accident and two probable car problems. Your courage and ability to take decisions under pressure stands out.

It is always overwhelming to receive so much support from unsuspecting people on road. We all have received it too many time and always feel grateful about it.
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Old 24th April 2019, 18:34   #26
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Wow! This is an excellent travelogue. Very nice to see a fellow puneite travelling all the way to North East.
I remember my XUV500 being given glares in himachal when people spotted the lone MH registered Vehicle. Cops telling me you are long way from home buddy.
I havent penned the story yet However I will find time to write a short one real soon.

coming back to your travelogue Shriram, Its an excellent write up delivered with beautiful pics. Thank you and keep blogging
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Old 24th April 2019, 23:54   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
Nice write-up with some beautiful pictures.

Your driving experience on snow was little scary, especially when the car skidded. Is it AWD?

And nice to know about the facilities in IOC bunk, Bhubaneshwar.
Thanks arun_josie. My XUV is FWD and it was difficult to drive in snow but I had fun driving as it was my first time experience and I was happy as I negotiated snow patched roads without chains and with less difficulty compared local taxi vehicles. Local taxi Innovas were struggling hard to get though and many of them given up during the night when Sela pass witnessed traffic jam due to high level of snow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruzbehxyz View Post
Thanks Shriram81 for sharing this wonderful travelogue. The Tawang trip is on my list for long. The information that you have provided will surely help me plan my trip. I too had the first generation XUV5OO and it's a superb highway cruiser coupled with comfort. You can sit in this car for hours together. Keep driving and keep writing.
Thanks ruzbehxyz. Experience/knowledge sharing is the whole purpose of travelogue and it will help keep memories afresh whenever I will read it after more than couple of years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2himanshu View Post
Nice tour and write up, congratulations!

Though lengthy, you have not made it boring but actually interesting. I too travel by road most of the time and Sela Pass is on my cycling bucket list.

Last September we travelled to cycle from Dalhousie to Sach pass and beyond upto Kishtwar using the cliffhanger route. We used our XUV500 AWD to travel from Maharashtra carrying 5 bikes, tents and supplies along with us
Thanks 2himanshu. Great to know about your passion of cycling these high passes. How did you transport all 5 bikes to Dalhousie? Did XUV managed to accommodate all 5 bikes or you opted for another transport vehicle for bikes till Dalhousie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Sorry to hear of the accident but credit to you for dealing with the situation in a very calm way and enjoying your holiday fully despite it.
Thanks McLaren Rulez. Moving on is a mantra of any long travel by handling all difficult/challenging situation with calmness

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
Glad my blog was able to help you in any way, it's all about knowledge sharing !
Beautiful thread, brought back find memories of our Arunachal trip. The was you handled the minor brush up was commendable. Hope to see many such long trips from you. Keep traveling and sharing such experiences .
Thanks again ARAY. Indeed it was very helpful. I read it more than once to not miss any minute details and it helped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajeevSharma View Post
Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It must have been a real adventure with one accident and two probable car problems. Your courage and ability to take decisions under pressure stands out.

It is always overwhelming to receive so much support from unsuspecting people on road. We all have received it too many time and always feel grateful about it.
Thanks RajeevSharma. I have traveled a lot but this is first time I have witnessed some technical issue with XUV with Dashboard ENGINE warning light. Though not critical, it has definitely made me worried for some time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShivrajG View Post
Wow! This is an excellent travelogue. Very nice to see a fellow puneite travelling all the way to North East.
I remember my XUV500 being given glares in himachal when people spotted the lone MH registered Vehicle. Cops telling me you are long way from home buddy.
I havent penned the story yet However I will find time to write a short one real soon.

coming back to your travelogue Shriram, Its an excellent write up delivered with beautiful pics. Thank you and keep blogging
Thanks ShivrajG. I had same experience when people on the way raised their eyebrows after seeing MH registered vehicle in North East. Many folks/Army personnel were curiously talking with me and were appreciating travel plans. In Tawang, tourist from Maharashtra were all surprised to see only MH registered vehicle traveling in Arunachal during my visit time.

Last edited by shriram81 : 24th April 2019 at 23:56.
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Old 25th April 2019, 08:02   #28
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Its an Epic!
One of the most detailed travelogue I have read in tbhp. Your travelogue will surely help fellow bhupians like us who are planning to drive to Arunachal.
Surely a five starer!
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Old 25th April 2019, 08:35   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shriram81 View Post
Great to know about your passion of cycling these high passes. How did you transport all 5 bikes to Dalhousie? Did XUV managed to accommodate all 5 bikes or you opted for another transport vehicle for bikes till Dalhousie?
We used a bike carrier on boot for three bikes and put two on the roof rack.

We removed and put all the wheels in the boot along with our other gear like tents and sleeping bags. We used only one backpack per person to save space

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-xuv.jpg


For our Ladakh tour, a couple of years back, we had used Scorpio

An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya-2016090111h16m32.jpg


You may watch our short teaser video here
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Old 25th April 2019, 14:43   #30
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Default Re: An enchanting drive from West to North East India - Pune to Arunachal, Assam & Meghalaya

You seem to be a very calm person with loads of patience, the way you handled the accident,two engine alarms and sela pass roads were highly commendable!

Also kudos to your little princess for enduring such a long and arduous tour.

I read it over two days during my lunch time as I was engrossed in your travelogue with lovely pictures and videos.

Keep travelling and blogging mate...
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