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Old 13th January 2020, 20:00   #1
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Default Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

People say that travelling with babies can be so daunting. We as the former wanderlust couple fully agree to this. The former hippies inside us have now been replaced by protective parenting emotions where the primary focus is solely the baby’s comfort and safety.

But then who can kill the travel bug within us? Thanks to our genes, our 1.4-year toddler loves cars and road trips. Then also, as responsible parents, we had to be extra mindful while deciding upon the travel destination to ensure that the little one also enjoys as much as we do.

Ishaan had been to Bhutan when he was 3 months old, to Tinchulay when he was 9 months old and to Mandarmani when he was 1.1 year old. You can say, he is little bit seasoned when it comes to road trips and hence, we decided to experiment slightly this time.

We were somewhat sure that he would like snow, so we decided on re-exploring North Sikkim where there would be enough amenities to support Ishaan.

I will first discuss the basic things, which we should keep in mind when planning such road trips where temperatures fall below sub-zero and the air is thin.

Altitude Mountain Sickness can happen to anyone travelling to high altitudes. Initially we had the notion that AMS generally hits adults and children above 3 years old as lungs of babies have better capacity in handling low oxygen, but that is a myth. If your baby has ever gone through breathing issues, please do not think to explore high altitude places without doctor consultation.

We forbade the idea of covering long distances at one go as this might be tiring as well as boring for little Ishaan. We had to give him the due comfort. We aimed at travelling the maximum distance while he is asleep only. Thus, my first day plan was set.

Kolkata to Siliguri, a distance of 560 kms to be covered in the night. Second day we would take complete rest in Siliguri. The third day we would cover Siliguri to Mangan, where we will collect our permits for North Sikkim.

Forth day we would drive to Lachung and if possible have a short drive to Katao. Fifth day Lachung to Zero Point and Sixth day, we drive from Lachung to Lachen. Seventh day onwards we drive downhill up to Temi Tea Garden and then on Eight day up to Malda and on Ninth we are back home by evening.

Having the itinerary set now the second stage was to fix the dates. Dates were decided and the following schedule was finalised.

24th Dec, 2019 Tuesday Kolkata to Siliguri 560 kms. Departure time set 9:00 pm.
25th Dec, 2019 Wednesday we reach Siliguri in the morning and take rest
26th Dec, 2019 Thursday: Siliguri to Mangan 137 kms
27th Dec, 2019 Friday: Mangan to Lachung and a short drive to Katao 51+ kms
28th Dec, 2019 Saturday: Lachung to Zero Point and back to Lachung 52+ kms
29th Dec, 2019 Sunday: Lachung to Lachen and drive some kilometres towards Gurudongmar 47+ kms
30th Dec, 2019 Monday: Lachen to Temi Tea Garden 129 kms
31st Dec, 2019 Tuesday Temi to Malda 335 kms
1st Jan, 2020 Wednesday Malda to Kolkata 341 kms


Now, many will ask a question why keep Lachen in the itinerary when we are skipping Gurudongmar.

To be honest, I have never been to Gurudongmar, so a latent interest is always there to drive to that spot but considering the baby, I had to exclude it from our itinerary. I am aware that most adults and children travelling to that lake are hit by AMS. Therefore, driving at least to Lachen was somewhat comforting the explorer in me.

Third stage of our planning was the most important, precautions and safety measures.

Here is the list of Medicines that we took for the baby.
1. Neopeptine for digestion
2. Rantac syrup for acidity
3. Calpol drops for fever and body/headache
4. Maxtra for cough
5. Coriminic for runny and stuffy nose
6. Enterogermina for indigestion/stomach upset
7. Domstal for vomiting
8. Oximeter for monitoring the oxygen levels.
9. Oxygen cylinders of 100 litres along with mask for adults and kids.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-oxygen-cylinder-1.jpeg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-oxygen-pressure-gauge.jpeg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-oxygen-mask.jpeg

Also, please carry heavy baby creams/ointments as the extreme chill can lead to severe chapped skin. Please do carry baby sunscreens (you can get it online from brands like Chicco, Mamaearth) also carry enough warm clothes.

It is very important to feed your baby water to tackle AMS and it goes same for adults. The more water you drink the less gets the chance of being hit by AMS. Our baby somehow was not drinking water during the trip so we kept on feeding the baby with formula milk instead. It helped him a lot. You might take ORS formulated for babies, which they might like, as it is a change of taste for regular water.

As per the new rule in Sikkim, carrying plastic mineral water bottles and plastic bags are banned. So, it is advised to carry paper bags and pet bottles.

We carried car fridge (to keep drinking water warm), portable butane stove, few cooking utensils and packets of soups and Maggi to tackle emergencies.

Another important thing, which I would like to advise all parents, is never travel without proper baby car seat. Reasons being safety and comfort of the baby.

We decided to travel in our XUV 500 AWD considering the space, comfort and added advantage of 4-wheel drive.

Talking of luggage space in XUV it reminded me of one more thing. We carried our baby's Feeding high chair for ease of feeding him.

All was set but the dense fog, which we were to get along SH7, and NH34 was giving me nightmares. Came to know from our different travel WA groups that Souradeep Choudhury (tbhp handle: SouraC), Prasenjit Nath(tbhp handle: uprasenjit), Kamalesh Roy Choudhury and Subhayan Sett (tbhp handle: highway_nation) were planning to drive on the same day.

Discussed with them and we decided on Souradeep da and Prasenjit would be driving before us. They would leave from Kolkata at 3 pm while Kamalesh da, Subhayan and I would tag along by starting at 9 pm.

Meeting points were set and alas came the NRC and CAA chaos; Roads were blocked, buses were burnt, trains were in flames and we were just 12 days from the D day.

In anticipation that situation would calm down within this span I modified the LED bar in my XUV to tackle extreme fog situation. Dismantled the LED bar, cleaned the front glass thoroughly and applied yellow film.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-led-bar-without-yellow-film.jpeg
LED Bar light without yellow film

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-led-bar-dismantled.jpeg
LED Bar dismantled

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-led-yellow-film-fitted.jpeg
LED Bar with yellow film

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-led-bar-yellow-film.jpeg
The light after fitting yellow film

Initially Subhayan's plan was to drive to the mountains without any set destination but after he heard my itinerary, he planned to tag along with me to North Sikkim. He along with his fiancé Slivina planned to drive along in their Volkswagen Ameo.

Hotel bookings were done in advance to avoid last minute rush. Two days to go before the trip situation in Bengal started to calm down. Thoroughly checked few vital things in my car like Engine Oil level, Battery status, brake pads, wheel nuts, alignment, windshield washer tank top up, all bulbs etc. XUV was all set for the drive.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-xuv-getting-ready-trip-1.jpeg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-xuv-getting-ready-trip-2.jpeg
XUV taking shower before the trip

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-xuv-getting-ready-trip-3.jpeg
All Set

Souradeep da was to travel directly until Dzongu while Prasenjit was travelling to Pheuntsholing on Day 1. Therefore, as planned they left at 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm respectively.

Kamalesh da along with his family was to drive up to Siliguri. Therefore, three cars grouped together to leave at 9:00 pm. Kamalesh da in his Swift dzire, Subhayan in Ameo and myself in XUV.

Last edited by lovecars21 : 13th January 2020 at 22:14. Reason: Typographical error
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Old 13th January 2020, 20:18   #2
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

DAY 1(night drive) & Day 2: Kolkata to Siliguri

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-kolkata-siliguri.png
Route Map

I am very punctual but this time getting the baby ready and loading all the luggage delayed our departure time by an hour. Called Kamalesh da and Subhayan and asked them to drive ahead.

Driving out of Kolkata was a nightmare, took us 2 hours to reach Dankuni from Chinar Park.

To my surprise, the other two musketeers waited for me at Dankuni toll plaza.

We reached Burdwan in no time and took SH7 at mid night. The roads were deserted and visibility was good. Other than some bad patches and unnecessary speed breakers SH7 is good.

We stopped for Breakfast at Raiganj Tourist Lodge at 7:00 am. All of us got ourselves recharged with a sumptuous breakfast and baby Ishaan had a gala time walking in the huge dining area. The vast garden area of the Lodge kept him engrossed. He was busy chasing and feeding the stray puppies.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1.jpeg
Mamma takes selfie while baby Ishaan enjoys in his car seat

We were all back on road at 8:30 am and were welcomed by dense fog until Botolbari. As we took the village road between Botolbari and Dhantola fog started clearing up. We drove steadily past Dhantola to reach Siliguri at 12 pm.

Checked into Hotel Venkatesh and after lunch took some rest. In the evening took local transport and went to City Center Mall to enjoy Christmas.

After coming back from the Mall Subhayan, Slivina and we had a good chitchat while Baby Ishaan made friends with co-travellers.

DAY 3: Siliguri to Mangan

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-siliguri-mangan.png
Route Map

We left for Mangan at 11:00 am and took few short breaks to enjoy the views. Ishaan loves such short breakers. At 1:30 pm, we reached Rongpo and took our lunch break at Hotel Phalguney. The location and the food was good.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-view-phalguney.jpeg
View from Hotel Phalguney

We order Chicken Thali while Ishaan had his part of lunch seating in the Feeding high chair.

Finally, after numerous breaks and photo stops we reached Mangan at 5:30 pm.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-2.jpg
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Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-4.jpg
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Baby Ishaan and Me

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-6.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-7.jpg
From Left to Right Slivina, Sudeshna(my wife) and Ishaan
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-8.jpg

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-9.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-10.jpg

Mr Guddu Agarwal the owner of the only petrol pump in Mangan greeted us. We had our booking in his hotel near the main market.

After having some evening snacks, we decided to go for a walk. There was a departmental store where we bought some instant baby food, essential toiletries. Ishaan picked up some interesting toys for himself.

As planned, we collected our ILPs the next day morning and got them Xeroxed (five copies) for submission at different check post.

For getting the ILP one needs to submit passport size colour photo, id proof Xerox, Driving license Xerox along with RC, Insurance, PUC, Tax Token Xerox of the vehicle.

Last edited by lovecars21 : 13th January 2020 at 22:23. Reason: Added information
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Old 13th January 2020, 20:59   #3
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

DAY 4: Mangan to Lachung and short trip to Katao

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-mangan-lachung.png
Route Map

We left from Mangan at 10 am. The drive was scenic with Lachung River flowing beside the road with all its glory.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1.jpg
From Left to Right: Slivina, Subhayan and Sudeshna(my wife)

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-2.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-3.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-4.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-5.jpg
Myself and my wife

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-6.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-7.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-8.jpg
Baby Ishaan and Me

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-9.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-10.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-11.jpg
Photo stop near Amitabh Bachan Falls

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-12.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-13.jpg

We reached Lachung at 12:30 pm and checked in at Agarwal's Hotel.

We reached Lachung at 12:30 pm and checked in at Agarwal's Hotel. After lunch, Subhayan and Slivina planned to give their Ameo some rest and hopped into our XUV. Together we drove up to Katao. Luckily, we got snowfall and it reminded us of our trip to East Sikkim during Christmas 2016.
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-lachung-katao.png
Route Map

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-14.jpg
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Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-27.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-28.jpg

Last edited by lovecars21 : 13th January 2020 at 21:00. Reason: Typographical error
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Old 13th January 2020, 21:28   #4
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-29.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-30.jpg
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Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-44.jpg

The next day our plan was to drive up to Zero Point but considering sub-zero temperature outside and warm rooms inside our sleep was extended by an hour.

DAY 5: Lachung to Yumthang Valley:
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-lachung-yumthang.png
Route Map

Finally, we left at 10:30 am and on reaching the check post, we were told that the last time to cross the check post was 10 am and hence the officer told that we could not be allowed. When we were losing all hope the officer told us to go the Police station and get special permission.

Hurriedly we went to Lachung Police Station and on requesting the officer there; we got special permission to drive up to to Yumthang.

We enjoyed the whole day and tried driving beyond Yumthang towards Zero Point but the check post before Zero Point did not allow us further as the cut off time there was 12 pm.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-3.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-4.jpg
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Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-14.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-15.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-16.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-17.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-18.jpg
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Old 13th January 2020, 21:35   #5
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-19.jpg
The vroom vroom seat

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-20.jpg
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Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-24.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-25.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-26.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-27.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-28.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-30.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-31.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-32.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-33.jpg
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Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-36.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-37.jpeg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-38.jpeg
Numerous photos were clicked of the beautiful valley while our cars basked under the sun.

We were too late for lunch and realised that by the time we would return back to Lachung, all hotels and restaurants would be closed for lunch.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-21.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-22.jpg
My wife is a pro in the ‘on the go car cooking’. She rescued us by preparing Maggie in our Car Kitchen while Ishaan had a walk in the snow at Yumthang Valley.

We returned to our hotel at 6 pm and enjoyed the evening sharing our experiences of Road Trips and some ghost stories of Bhangarh Fort and Morgan House.

Minimum temperature recorded that night was -10 deg C. The water bottles, which were kept in the car, were frozen. Subhayan and I were a bit apprehensive about starting our cars the next day morning after seeing a local Scorpio Taxi struggling to start.

Woke up at 7 am and went to crank my XUV. My lucky charm started without any fuss.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-2.jpg
Most scenic parking space

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1a.jpg
Play ground for the cars and Ishaan

Last edited by lovecars21 : 13th January 2020 at 21:38. Reason: added details
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Old 13th January 2020, 21:46   #6
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

DAY 6: Lachung to Lachen:

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-lachung-lachen.png
Route Map

Subhayan and I went to the check post of Lachung and asked if we can drive up to Zero Point today and they said yes but when we returned to our hotel, I found Ishaan was a bit cranky so dropped the plan and switched back to our initial plan to only drive until Lachen.

Subhayan and Slivina chose to skip Lachen and started there drive back home while we drove to Lachen.

Reached Lachen and check into Hotel Ingredient. It had a pub attached and atmosphere was good. We had our lunch and started our test drive towards Gurudongmar. Upto 5 kilometres before Kalep the roads were good. As we neared, Kalep found Ishaan was silent and his activities were getting limited. Immediately checked his oxygen level and found it had dropped to 80%. Gave him milk and after 10 minutes checked again. It was 95% so thought of driving ahead.

The roads had become bumpy and after crossing two more kilometres my wife checked Ishaan's oxygen level and it had again fallen to 77%. Without any further delay took a U-turn and started our return journey towards Lachen while my wife gave Oxygen to Ishaan. Generally, Oxygen level below 90% is dangerous.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-2.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-3.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-4.jpg
Frozen falls

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-5.jpg
Frozen Lachen River

Reached Lachen and ordered some snacks and tea in the room while we used Room heater to warm up the room. Ishaan's activities were back to normal. He was playing and enjoying while making his usual vroom vroom sound with his cars. After having an early dinner, we retired back to bed.

DAY 7: Lachen to Temi:

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-lachen-temi.png
Route Map

Today our drive was a long one. Lachen to Temi a distance of 129 kilometres along the winding mountain roads.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1.jpeg
Had our breakfast in the pub while Ishaan enjoyed Maggi seating on his Feeding high chair.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-2.jpeg

Had our quick lunch at Mangan and drove off. After crossing Teesta Bridge, the roads were very bad and full of slush up to Temi Tea Garden.
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-bad-roads-before-temi.png

Just 2 kilometres before the Cherry Resort, the roads became good. Checked in and had some good Temi Tea. It refreshed our minds and hearts. Forgot about the bad roads through which we travelled and enjoyed the evening with Ishaan.

Worth mentioning was the view that we got of Mt Kanchenjunga while driving towards Temi. As it was late so did not stop to take pictures thinking that I would get better view from Temi and still now I regret.
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Old 13th January 2020, 21:57   #7
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

DAY 8: Temi to Malda:

Next day woke up early see the magnanimous Mt Kanchenjunga during Sunrise. Baby Ishaan enjoyed the most in Cherry Resort as it had big clean rooms with balcony and the terrace and lawn were perfect playgrounds for him. We check out at 10 am and targeted Malda.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1.jpg
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Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-12.jpg
Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-13.jpg

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-short-cut-between-namchi-kitam.png
The short cut
Goggle Maps showed us a shortcut between Namchi and Kitam which saved some minutes but went through dense forest and numerous hair pins. At some places, the bushes had outgrown the road and felt as if there was no road ahead. Had to get down at some places and walk along the road to check the existence of the road ahead. Finally, the short cut connected us to the main road near Kitam and then the drive was smooth up to Sevoke.

Sevoke to Siliguri had slow moving traffic, which delayed us by an hour. We took our lunch at Siliguri and then called Prasenjit as he was to drive back from Bhutan to Malda today.

Finally, we met with Prasenjit who was driving along with his wife Rianka in his Ecosport after crossing Islampur. We decided to take the Dhantola Botolbari route and drove sedately along the village roads. We drove together along that road as few days back a car was looted by some goons in that road after dark. Therefore, its best advised to travel in-group or avoid that route after dark.

Reached Malda at 10 pm and had our dinner. As we were tired went to bed early after wishing all our near and dear ones Happy New Year in advance.

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-temi-malda.png
The route map Temi to Malda
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Old 13th January 2020, 22:11   #8
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

DAY 9: Malda to Kolkata:

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-malda-kolkata.png
Route Map

The first day of the year started off well with some tasty Alu Paratha served at Golden Park Resort where we stayed overnight.

We left from Malda at 10:30 am while Prasenjit had left early. I drove sedately and reached Burdwan at 3:30 pm. Had our lunch after connecting to NH19. Ishaan was fed in car before. We reached home at 6:30 pm and the trip ended with XUV adding 1500 kms to its bucket.

As I end the Travelogue I would like to thank members of Tbhp Kolkata, ROAD East, Driving DNA and Car Photography for helping me in planning the trip and special thanks to Samba Sengupta (Tbhp handle: samba) for making the whatsapp group of members travelling to Siliguri during that time. Another person whom I would like to thank is Santanu Chakraborty (tbhp handle SanC) who helped me in preparing the XUV for the drive.

My experience with XUV AWD:

Pros:
1) Fatigue free driving
2) High speed stability on highways
3) New Yokohama G015 Geolander Tyres were a boon on black ice
4) The AWD worked seamlessly
5) I faced no issue while cranking the Engine at Temperatures below -8 Deg C
6) The climate control along with front and rear defoggers helped a lot
7) Got an average of 13 kmpl on highways and while on the hills got 9 kmpl
8 ) Hill Hold, Traction control and ESP were an added advantage on the winding roads.

Cons:
1) XUV AWD is not a hard core offroader but for soft offroading it is great.

Last edited by lovecars21 : 13th January 2020 at 23:22.
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Old 13th January 2020, 23:27   #9
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Default re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing lovecars21!
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Old 14th January 2020, 09:15   #10
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Default Re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Enjoyed every bit of it! It's really challenging to go on such routes with a young baby! Hats off to both of you for managing it! One thing that worries me is that car looting part on Botolbari route. I frequent this route a lot and mostly it's after dark. Doing that road at day time is a hassle. I used to see a lot of police protection even at odd hours but will have to be careful from now on! The Xuv looked really cool!
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Old 14th January 2020, 12:55   #11
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Default Re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Excellent blog, superlike pictures.

Planning part was very strong, I learnt a lot from this blog.

Got tensed while you started to move beyond Lachen, and Ishaan's oxygen level drops at 80%.

Enjoyed a lot reading this blog. Thanks for sharing dada.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 14th January 2020 at 12:56. Reason: line spacing
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Old 14th January 2020, 16:11   #12
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Default Re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Excellent crisp travelogue & lovely pictures Arunashish da. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It's really challenging to go such far with a young baby on board but you managed it perfectly. Your travelogue will be very helpful for me when i plan for north Sikkim. Thank's a lot for sharing.

Last edited by Fordlover88 : 14th January 2020 at 16:12. Reason: Edited punctuation.
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Old 14th January 2020, 16:46   #13
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Default Re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
Cons:
1) XUV AWD is not a hard core offroader but for soft offroading it is great.

Why was this a disadvantage? Did you get stuck somewhere or scrape the parts?
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Old 14th January 2020, 17:03   #14
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Default Re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecars21 View Post
and special thanks to Samba Sengupta (Tbhp handle: samba) for making the whatsapp group of members travelling to Siliguri during that time.
Why giving thanks in brotherhood?

Another stunning travelogue from you. Lots of good wishes to Ishaan for his future road-trips.
The pics are breathtaking. Rated 5*.

Good to see the Ameo keeping pace with your AWD.

Cant resist myself from sharing a couple of pics of my Etios from North Sikkim!

Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD-1559514_750150728390156_1080195428056779975_o.jpg

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Last edited by Samba : 14th January 2020 at 17:05.
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Old 14th January 2020, 18:06   #15
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Default Re: Baby Ishaan's Winter Drive to Frozen Sikkim in an XUV500 W10 AWD

You guys keep setting your own standards of madness and keep making me jealous :P :P
On a serious note, I loved the travelogue and its correct level of detailing specially on the aspects of travelling with a toddler. I almost did a short road trip to North Sikkim reading this and going through the breathtaking pictures. Kudos to all all for pulling off another amazing trip with the little one. Truck loads of love to you all and specially to Ishaan our little champ. Keep inspiring !!
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