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Old 24th November 2021, 21:59   #16
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Thanks a ton Samba for taking us on a wild ride from sea level to the lofty Himalayas and back ! And that too with tonnes of off-roading elements for company. The snow bound roads looked amazing and the upward climb to the lake simply felt like an automotive rendition of Led Zep’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ ! My second favourite part has to be that amazing parking spot in the middle of a waterfall. Loved every bit of this journey ! Keep on revving!

Last edited by turboNath : 24th November 2021 at 22:00. Reason: Grammar
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Old 24th November 2021, 23:21   #17
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Okay, first things first, hell of a journey to enjoy with friends. Superlative travel amidst the very best that the nature has to offer. The pictures came out just as they should from Samba watermark- brilliant.

Some anecdotes will remain hilarious but I suppose Sayata not taking the oxymeter test takes the cake. As much as we can laugh it off now but AMS is a thing that should not be taken lightly at all !! Glad that you all came down quickly and we as a result got some brilliant pictures as well

Munlom has been in my list since 2018, your trip now gives me added incentive to visit the place soon. Thanks for sharing the log, rating it five stars, as usual. Keep travelling and keep enthralling us.
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Old 25th November 2021, 09:25   #18
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Had been eagerly waiting for this travelogue. And it delivered!

I think this is your among your best trips recently. I'll be drawing a lot of inspiration from this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
the dog is 4wd while I am 2wd, hence the struggle while climbing up on the black ice.
This got me good and proper
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Old 25th November 2021, 10:05   #19
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

What an adventurous trip, be it staying in resort that need off-roading to reach, or putting your car in thr middle of a rocky terrain with water stream, or even the cars not starting at first crank one fine morning. Of course not to say that every married guy is not lucky enough to go on ZNMD Style bachelor trips like this .

The Duster lead the trip like an engine of a train, kudos.

The Gurudongmar photos came out superb, while I did see a Crysta in the descent video but curious to know is the road good enough for a comfortable family ride?

And someone from North East selling gol gappa, first time I saw in my life.

The travelogue has been narrated in s very crisp fashion and had lot of wonderful clicks. Rated 5 stars, and eagerly waiting for your next adventure.
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Old 25th November 2021, 10:33   #20
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Beautiful travelogue and stunning pictures. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Which of the two cars performed better overall during the trip?
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Old 25th November 2021, 11:01   #21
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Absolutely stunning photographs, especially the drives with the snowclad mountains as the backdrop

Had a query; how difficult/easy is it to get the permits currently? I am planning a North Sikkim trip (won't be driving) in the second/third week of December. Plan is to arrive at Gangtok and to get the permits depending on the weather and our mood. But getting mixed responses with some friends suggesting they had a tough time getting it on the spot.
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Old 25th November 2021, 11:49   #22
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Fantastic travelogue as usual with special touch of rural sikkim, lifestyle and foods. Photography doesn't need any extra adjective as excellence has been a habit of yours in this space.

Most of the time, common road-trippers like me find it a bit difficult to locate and reach the destinations in Dzongu after reaching IOCL fuel station in Mangan. Google map cannot but help you getting lost in non-existent roads, and reversing is often a pain in this situation. As Munlom is already in my long-pending wish-list, a GPX/KML log or at least some hand-made plot of the route to the resort after Mangan (on Gmap) will help a lot.
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Old 25th November 2021, 12:36   #23
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Wow. Superb trip & even better travelogue. I liked the itinerary you guys took. Both the Duster & Ecosport look lovely in the photos. I am sure the trio had a lovely time together. I have never seen Gurudongmar look so beautiful with snow. You were lucky to get this view.

Rated 5*

Cheers,
Pawan
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Old 25th November 2021, 13:24   #24
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Wonderful photos & Awesome as always...
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Old 25th November 2021, 14:19   #25
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Hello everyone, from a new member. Thanks BHPian Samba for taking us through the route, experience, pictures, videos with the beautiful cars. I am assuming one of the cars was driven solo, without co passengers that should have made the 2K+ KM odd journey really special. Like other fellow members earlier enquired, I also would like to know how the Ecosport fared compared to the AWD Duster. I own a petrol Ecosport 2021 model and am preparing myself for the first trip to hills next year.
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Old 25th November 2021, 17:11   #26
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Awesome trip & a fitting trip report regarding the same. Thanks for sharing!

Just adding my two cents regarding the below mentioned inconvenience:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Day 7 (Chalsa to Kolkata, 835 km, 19 hours)

Okay, it's a 630 km drive, then why 835 km?

Because Nh34 is always unpredictable.

Crossed Berhampore at 8 pm and reached 10 km before Krishnanagar at 10 pm. The 4-lane highway was stuck. Small cars were taking the wrong side. We took it too. After driving for 10 km, where the 4-lane ends the traffic was standstill. It was raining heavily. I asked a local driver, he told, he was stuck for the past 3 hours. Locals told, the congestion won't ease out before morning!
We turned back and again drove back to Berhampore, took the road to Kuli and connected to Sh7. From Kuli 30 km on Sh7 was broken.

The traffic congestion at Krishnanagr cost us an extra 4 hours and 200 km!

2100 km of memories added!
You could have take the road that bifurcates towards Mayapur approximately 10 kilometres before Krishnanagar. From there you needed to cross the bridge to Nabadwip on Bhagirathi river. Thereafter you could take SH6 & then G.T. Road. It would have saved you quite a lot of time, and the road conditions are also pretty good there.
My hometown is at Krishnanagar, please feel free to reach out to me in case of any similar issue/ confusion over there in future

Last edited by H0RSEPOWER : 25th November 2021 at 17:13.
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Old 25th November 2021, 20:31   #27
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

A superb planned men's trip. Your detailed illustration packed with excellent photographs is admirable. As per your description, Munlom Resort is a must-visit property. Snow and landscapes of the lake are awesomely stunning. Loved reading the whole Travelogue.
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Old 25th November 2021, 22:17   #28
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmhossain View Post
Anyway, congratulation to you Samba, Sayata and AviC93, for completing another "Sailed through" edition of your trade-marked travelogues with mesmerizing pictures.
It looks like your timing on the day clashed with the procession ceremony of famous & historical Jagaddhatri Pujo of Krishnanagar.
Thanks dada.
Few locals said, it was due to the idol immersion ceremony and few locals were blaming the road construction work. None were sure of the exact reason.
I believe, it was due to the procession ceremony of Jagaddhatri Puja.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakritij View Post
Mindblowing photos. Loved each one of them.
How did the Ecosport perform in that boulder filled road? Its a Tdci if I am not wrong.
Thanks. Yes it's a TDCI. I will add the performance of the Ecosport at the end of this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindam_xeta View Post
Congrats to the Duster and Ecosport for covering this much sought after destination in Sikkim.
Thanks a ton. An Orange Nexon was sorely missed! Moreover, I missed the car related queries thrown at me, by your son!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogNDamsel12 View Post
I wish I would be able to drive like that someday when snow, forests, inclines, boulders, and waterfall would all seem like a highway under my wheels!
Thanks. Hills are not far!
Have seen you driving few times, you are an awesome driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboNath View Post
Thanks a ton Samba for taking us on a wild ride from sea level to the lofty Himalayas and back !
Thanks a lot, Atreya.
Should I name it a G to G drive? Gopalpur to Gurudongmar in a span of one month!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
Okay, first things first, hell of a journey to enjoy with friends. Superlative travel amidst the very best that the nature has to offer. The pictures came out just as they should from Samba watermark- brilliant.
Thanks dada.
I agree, Monlom is a paradise for nature lovers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman689 View Post
Had been eagerly waiting for this travelogue. And it delivered!

I think this is your among your best trips recently. I'll be drawing a lot of inspiration from this.

This got me good and proper
Thanks Sandy. Yes we loved this trip to the core. Will be waiting eagerly to see your mighty V-Cross being clicked in this terrain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
The Gurudongmar photos came out superb, while I did see a Crysta in the descent video but curious to know is the road good enough for a comfortable family ride?
Thanks dada.

The Crysta will tackle the roads easily.

Just keep two things in mind-

Plan when the weather is predictable. If it snows, 2wd cars will struggle more.

Secondly from Lachen, it's a gain of 8,000+ feet in a span of less than three hours & you reach an altitude of 17,000+ feet. So it's better to take adequate precaution for AMS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohitchalla View Post
Beautiful travelogue and stunning pictures. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Which of the two cars performed better overall during the trip?
Thanks. On good roads both the cars performed equally well. On bad roads, the Duster performed better.
Will add the performance of the Ecosport at the end of this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a_chelat View Post
Absolutely stunning photographs, especially the drives with the snowclad mountains as the backdrop

Had a query; how difficult/easy is it to get the permits currently? I am planning a North Sikkim trip (won't be driving) in the second/third week of December. Plan is to arrive at Gangtok and to get the permits depending on the weather and our mood. But getting mixed responses with some friends suggesting they had a tough time getting it on the spot.
Thanks.
If you go in a hired cab, the driver will get the permit for you. You just need to submit the following documents for all the members to the driver-
Rtpcr or double vaccine certificate.
An Id proof (Aadhar is not accepted in Sikkim)
A passport size pic.
Sikkim travel card, which you can get from the Sikkim government website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming Flower View Post
Most of the time, common road-trippers like me find it a bit difficult to locate and reach the destinations in Dzongu after reaching IOCL fuel station in Mangan. Google map cannot but help you getting lost in non-existent roads, and reversing is often a pain in this situation. As Munlom is already in my long-pending wish-list, a GPX/KML log or at least some hand-made plot of the route to the resort after Mangan (on Gmap) will help a lot.
Thanks a lot.
I do not have the GPX/KML log, but I can share the exact route with you.

Once you cross the bridge after the Dzongu check-post, take the first left, which will come within 200 meter.
Drive uphill for around 11 km on that road, you will reach Hee-Gyathang Senior Secondary School. This school is the landmark. Everyone will give you the direction to this school in case you get confused. From this school it's one straight road to Munlom with proper boards on the road.
Do not follow Gps. It keeps on rerouting and will take you on the wrong road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBravo View Post
Wow. Superb trip & even better travelogue. I liked the itinerary you guys took. Both the Duster & Ecosport look lovely in the photos. I am sure the trio had a lovely time together. I have never seen Gurudongmar look so beautiful with snow. You were lucky to get this view.

Rated 5*

Cheers,
Pawan
Thanks a lot dada. We were indeed lucky, that the road was open till Gurudongmar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirugata View Post
Wonderful photos & Awesome as always...
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sougatadas View Post
I also would like to know how the Ecosport fared compared to the AWD Duster. I own a petrol Ecosport 2021 model and am preparing myself for the first trip to hills next year.
Thanks, I will add Ecosport's performance at the end of this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H0RSEPOWER View Post
bifurcates towards Mayapur approximately 10 kilometres before Krishnanagar. From there you needed to cross the bridge to Nabadwip on Bhagirathi river.
Thanks a lot.
In-fact we planned to take this road itself. But the traffic was standstill, 4 km before the exit to Nabadwip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelmania View Post
A superb planned men's trip. Your detailed illustration packed with excellent photographs is admirable. As per your description, Munlom Resort is a must-visit property. Snow and landscapes of the lake are awesomely stunning. Loved reading the whole Travelogue.
Thanks dada. Am sure, you will love your stay at Munlom.

Coming to the topic-

How the Ecosport performed?



On highway and good tarmac, it was excellent fun to drive.

On boulders, gravels and black ice, it struggled at few places. In slow pace, due to the weak low-end torque, the car was lacking power and if revved hard, the wheel was spinning. This happened twice or thrice.
But at none of the places, the car needed any external assistance. Carrying a bit of momentum pulled it through.

What I feel is, due to the stiffer suspension, the front wheels lack articulation, which made this an excellent highway car, but not that great on off-road.
Lowering the PSI of the front wheels may help a bit on these surfaces, but one has to be very careful of sidewall cut when the PSI is lowered.

Rest the car was absolutely reliable and comfortable. The ground clearance was adequate too.

Last edited by Samba : 25th November 2021 at 22:44.
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Old 25th November 2021, 23:06   #29
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Few locals said, it was due to the idol immersion ceremony and few locals were blaming the road construction work. None were sure of the exact reason.
I believe, it was due to the procession ceremony of Jagaddhatri Puja.


Rest the car was absolutely reliable and comfortable. The ground clearance was adequate too.
I would try to explain the reason. Actually there is an underpass on NH34 near Krishnanagar, and the tall lorries & trailers are not able to pass below the same. Hence they have to go through Krishnanagar town instead of taking the usual route of NH 34, that all other vehicles plying between North Bengal & Kolkata use, bypassing the town. On 14 th November, due to the Jagaddhatri pujo immersion, the entry to the town was closed for these vehicles. So they could not do anything else other than waiting on NH34. And hence this traffic jam did take place.

And on a different note, it’s nice to read that the Ecosport could handle it well, would someday plan to go there in my Ecosport. I have been there multiple times, but not in self drive mode. Could you please elaborate the procedure to obtain the driving permit for North Sikkim.

Last edited by H0RSEPOWER : 25th November 2021 at 23:08.
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Old 26th November 2021, 13:36   #30
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Default Re: Sailed through North Bengal & North Sikkim in an Ecosport & a Duster AWD

Dear Samba,

I used to think that I was a frequent visitor of North Sikkim at some point of time in my life - but your "raids of North Sikkim" to breach fortress Gurudongmar proves:
1. That I wasn't the only one
2. Determination and perseverance pays.

I haven't been to Dzongu but the picnic setting in the hill like setting, with gurgling streams must have been awesome!

The stays at Mayfair Kalimpong and Sinclairs Chalsa are excellent - and the ladies of the house wouldn't mind a bit of hardship in the upper Himalayas given the superb stays in the hill stations. I had stayed at Chalsa for 2 nights a few years back, the food is awesome, stay is very comfortable and Sinclairs always feels like home.

P.S. :I haven't mentioned your superior photography skills that seem to get only better!

Cheers,
Sayak

Last edited by sayakc : 26th November 2021 at 13:46.
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