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Old 4th April 2024, 17:00   #1
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Sailed through Arunachal Pradesh in a Maruti Jimny

After getting the Jimny, I was craving a road trip and was checking with my wife, Sukanya aka Bhpian DogNDamsel12 for several places. We bought the Jimny at the end of 2023, and we had a very hectic schedule till Feb end. So we were looking forward to going on a road trip in March.

We considered places like North Bengal, Gopalpur, Vizag, Pench, and a few more, but we were not very content with any of the above plans.
One night, after a very hectic day at work, she was sitting down with the map and somehow came up with- 'I would like to go to Dibang'.

"Dibang! Where is that? And how did you think of that?!" I was surprised. She said "It is in the far east of Arunachal, and at the end of India. From our earlier trips I have noticed that beneath the snow peaks of the Himalayas, many a national forest and reserves are nestled. Since we have been towards the North, I thought why not East? So I kept zooming into the map to see what lies there. So, Dibang?" And she went off to sleep. While I started my research on where I can take the wife and the Jimny to this less-traveled region.

So the research began. When I started to have a look at the road map, the number of days and the number of places kept on increasing! Apart from Anini, places like Ziro, Pasighat, Walong & few more got added to our list!

&

The final itinerary came up like this-

Day 1 Kolkata to Jaldapara & go for an afternoon safari.
Day 2 Jaldapara to Tezpur
Day 3 Tezpur to Ziro
Day 4 Ziro Sightseeing
Day 5 Ziro to Pasighat
Day 6 Pasighat sightseeing
Day 7 Pasighat to Bomjir
Day 8 Bomjir to Anini via Mayudia pass
Day 9 Anini to Bruni & back to Anini
Day 10 Anini to Roing
Day 11 Roing to Bhismaknagar and back
Day 12 Roing to Walong
Day 13 Walong to Kibithoo, Kaho, Dong & back to Walong
Day 14 Walong to Namsai
Day 15 Namsai to Pangsau pass & stay at Jairampur
Day 16 Jairampur to Tezpur
Day 17 Tezpur to Jaldapara
Day 18 Jaldapara to Kolkata

What I figured out from my initial research was, that this part of Arunachal is very less crowded, the tourist footfall is minimum, and the amenities we will get will be very limited.

So for us, we carried enough medicines, if any minor health issue crops up, we can handle it on our own.

And when Sukanya packs the luggage, I'm mostly clueless about what she carries, but am always sure that whatever I ask for, will come out of our bag! The poor little Jimny had to carry a lot of luggage!

For the Jimny, I just carried very few basic spares like -
Puncture repair kit
Tyre inflator
Tow rope and shackles
Jump start cable
Few extra fuses
1L engine oil
A basic OBD scanner

Booked a few hotels and applied for the ElLP a month before the trip.

Sharing a few teaser pics from the trip-

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And a couple of teaser videos.





INDEX



Jaldapara

Ziro

Pasighat

Bomjir

Anini & Bruni

Roing

Walong, Kibithoo, Kaho & Dong

Namsai

Pangsau Pass

Before writing further, first let me thank Bhpian aviator1101, Bhpian Gunin, Bhpian Reeturaj, Dbhpian Abhi1512, Mr.Arunangshu Das, & Mr.Chandranath Sarkar for their inputs to plan this trip.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 10th April 2024 at 22:45. Reason: Added link for Namsai as requested. Thanks.
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Old 5th April 2024, 01:30   #2
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Re: Sailed through Arunachal in a Jimny

Day 1 ( Kolkata to Jaldapara, 735 km, 14 hours)

I always feel comfortable driving the whole night, & reach my destination in the morning. This time it was no different. We started around 6-30 pm from our home.
Our dear friend Souradeep da aka Bhpian SouraC came to meet us at Dankuni.
We caught up briefly for about half an hour at an IOCL fuel station.

Us with Bhpian SouraC.

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Soon we started towards our destination, and Bhpian SouraC accompanied us till Mogra, & from there he turned back for his home. At Mogra, we were confused about whether to take the road via Ranaghat or the STKK road up to Krishnanagar. We referred to the Gmaps and it showed congestion at the Ranaghat level crossing. So the default option was to take the STKK road.

I have heard rave reviews from Bhpian Arindam_xeta & Bhpian SouraC about the food at Mother's Hut in Krishnanagar. So we decided to have our dinner over there. We reached Mother's Hut by 9-45 pm. The ambiance was good & the food was lip-smacking. This place is highly recommended.

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We took our own sweet time to enjoy our dinner and the ambiance of this place. By the time we started from there, it was already 11 pm. The drive to Farakka was a smooth sail. But at Farakka it was all congested. There was a long queue of trucks for 3-4 km before the barrage. By negotiating the congestion, it took us an hour to cross the river!

We refueled our car at Malda and took a small coffee break at the usual Pardesi Dhaba. From here we started at 4 am and drove non-stop to the Jungle Book Resort at Jaldapara. Instead of taking the usual Fulbari road, we took the Sevoke road to enjoy the early morning vistas. It was a pleasant drive & we reached our resort by 8-50 in the morning.

The location of the Jungle Book Resort offers a good view from their rooms. The room was comfortable, the property looked nice with proper parking space. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay over here.

After checking in, we had a heavy breakfast and recharge siesta till noon.

I had casually booked our seats for the Jaldapara Jeep Safari for the 4 pm safari slot. Around 3 pm, I got a call from the Jaldapara Jungle Safari counter as to whether we were coming for the Safari. My answer was in the affirmative. We quickly got ready and drove to Madarihat Tourist Lodge where the Safari begins. This was just 1.5 km away from our resort. We got a shared Gypsy for a 1.5-hour afternoon Safari.

We parked the Jimny at the designated parking lot. The Jimny must be happy to be parked here!

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The safari route was through Holong.

Pics from the Safari-

A couple of Peacocks.

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Rhinoceros which is the main attraction of this part of the reserve forests.

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A baby and an adult Sambar deer.

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A Peacock displaying its feathers.

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A Sambar deer.

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A Sambar deer.

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An Elephant (Not a wild one)

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Bisons

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Indian Roller

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An elephant (Not a wild one)

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A beautiful sunset on our way back.

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A Rhino in the wild.

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A local tribal dance program was arranged.

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After the Safari we returned to our resort by 7-30 pm, had an early dinner, and called it a day.

Day 2 (Jaldapara to Tezpur, 463 km, 10.5 hours)

I was a bit relaxed that, we need to cover only 463 km, so at the most it may take 8 hours. So lazily we started around 10-30 pm from Jaldapara.

My old friend Arunangshu-da now lives in Arunachal, and the day I was driving to Tezpur, he was in Guwahati. He came down near Bongaigaon to meet us. We had a good chat while having our lunch.

He has covered Arunachal extensively, and his input helped us a lot.

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Post lunch we started by 3-30 pm. Gmaps was showing us many shortcuts, but we stuck to the main highway. After turning towards Mangaldoi, the road became double-lane. The road surface was extremely patchy, and there were loads of speed breakers and truck traffic. We crossed Mangaldoi around 5 pm. But the last 100 km to Tezpur took us 3 hours! By the time we checked in to our hotel, it was already 8 pm. We checked in at Hotel Cygnett Inn Imperial. They had proper underground parking with a cozy room and tasty food.

Last edited by Samba : 9th April 2024 at 01:29.
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Old 5th April 2024, 16:44   #3
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Re: Sailed through Arunachal in a Jimny

Day 3 (Tezpur to Ziro, 271 km, 6 hours)

I woke up and saw Sukanya grinning evil. I figured out something was wrong. When I asked her the reason, she showed me Jimny's key fob! I immediately figured out that the driving seat had been hijacked for the day!
This was going to be Jimny's first hill drive, and I got the co-passenger seat!

The good part was, that with having a sore throat and feeling a bit feverish, I was about to get a full rest day. We started from Tezpur around 10 am.

Just after leaving Tezpur, we got a 4-lane highway with sparse traffic to Narayanpur. We had the option to leave the highway from Gohpur and take the road via Itanagar, but we preferred to avoid the city traffic of Itanagar and took the road via Narayanpur - Banderdawa- Harmoti- Doimukh-Pitapool - Ziro.

Barring a rough section at the beginning of the hills, the road throughout was good. We reached our hotel, Ziro Palace Inn at 4 in the afternoon. This hotel offers a good view, with a large parking space and a huge room. This resort is located very near to the Ziro music festival grounds. I wanted to stay at Siiro Resort, but it was fully booked on the day we arrived at Ziro.

The evening was dark and silent. We decided to go out for a drive. We were overconfident that we would be able to trace back the route that we took while going, but we missed a turn and ended up inside a jungle with slush and bad roads. There was no one in the vicinity. We checked Google maps and it showed that this road would lead us to our hotel and it would be around 6 km from there. The initial 4km was through the forest and it was a muddy trail. I am sure, that if someone had checked, then the BP and pulse rate would have gone high! The drive was thrilling, & we enjoyed it to the core!

Day 4 (Ziro Sightseeing, 68 km)

We planned to visit Siiro Resort, the Kiwi plantation gardens, Seeh Lake, and Siikhe Lake, and have food at Kasa Resort which offers the best view of Ziro.

A village road in Ziro.

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The most common view of the paddy fields of Ziro. During monsoons, all these should be lush green.

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Colors we witnessed on the way to Siiro resort.

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Siiro resort

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View from Kasa resort

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Having our lunch with a view.

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In front of Ziro music festival ground.

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We got lost & landed up here due to the wrong directions shown by the GPS! But we loved this drive!

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Seeh Lake

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Siikhe Lake

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We again went back to Kasa resort to have our afternoon snacks while enjoying the late afternoon view of Ziro.

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Last edited by Samba : 9th April 2024 at 01:38.
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Old 5th April 2024, 17:36   #4
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Re: Sailed through Arunachal in a Jimny

Day 5 (Ziro to Pasighat, 336 km, 6.5 hours)

We were enjoying the cold and quiet morning in Ziro, but we had to leave for Pasighat. So with some reluctance, we left Ziro around 10 in the morning.

It started to drizzle and the drive was very scenic. We drove to Potin and took left for the road towards Kimin. This is a narrow hill road, but this route offers some breathtaking views. The drive was super scenic. After Potin there was no network in our mobile phones till we crossed the Assam border after Kimin. This drive will be remembered for a long time.
We connected to NH15 from North Lakhimpur, crossed Dhemaji, Jonai and we entered Arunachal again. NH15 from North Lakhimpur to Jonai is a double-lane highway and the road surface was mostly good. We drove in moderate to heavy rain and the drive was enjoying.

After crossing Jonai, Arunachal greeted us back with a drive through a forest, and this road continued till Pasighat.

We booked our stay at Abor Country Camp. This place is 4-5 km away from the town and is located in a very scenic location just beside the Siang River. We just loved the ambiance of the camp at first sight itself. Acres of space, very tastefully set up, and the rooms are nice too, with very friendly staff.

The first thing we realized after reaching Pasighat was, how windy this place is! This place is so windy that it almost feels like a mini storm. For the whole night, we could hear the sound of the wind!

Abor country camp-

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Day 6 (Pasighat Sightseeing, 51 km)

I had no clue where to go, and where not to go. But I knew we were meeting Bhpian Gunin on that day, and he told me, that he would show us a few places around Pasighat!

We met Gunin in the morning. He came in with his immaculately maintained V-Cross.

Bhpian Gunin with the kind of vehicles he loves!

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At first we decided, we should go to the V-Cross. Our Jimny was packed with luggage, and even if we made some space, it wouldn't be comfortable for the three of us. But before going out, I asked him whether there would be some scenic locations where I could take pics of my car. His answer was in the affirmative! So we decided to take both the cars!

I kept following his V-cross. We drove till Bodak, and he took a left turn to reach the beach of the Siang River.

What a beautiful and quiet place this was.

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This little waterfall looked beautiful amidst the wild.

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Our next destination was the hanging bridge at Pongging. We parked our cars beside the road, and this required a small downhill trek of 20 minutes to reach the bridge. The trek route was wild and fascinating.

Once we reached the bridge, I was a bit scared to cross the bridge, and go to the other side! Gunin assured me, that it was safe and there was nothing to worry about. Crossing the bridge was fun!



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This is how the bridge looked from a distance.

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While climbing back, we realized how unfit we were! When Sukanya and I were gasping for breath, Gunin was simply running up through the steps!

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After the trek, we had a late lunch at Migung Riverside resort before we bid goodbye to Gunin. We had a great time enjoying together. Hope to meet him soon. Thanking him won't be enough!

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View from Migung riverside resort. This resort offers excellent views, food, and very comfortable rooms.

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Last edited by Samba : 9th April 2024 at 01:43.
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Old 5th April 2024, 23:54   #5
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Re: Sailed through Arunachal in a Jimny

Day 7 (Pasighat to Bomjir , 79 km, 2.5 hours)

This drive was through the winding roads of the Himalayan foothills. The entire drive was through forests. Sukanya took the driving seat, and I was playing the role of the DJ from the co-passenger seat!

Just a few kilometers from Pasighat, we were stopped at a police check post for a routine check. The policemen were quite friendly. They just asked a few basic questions, and let us go.

But before letting us go, he told Sukanya that the road ahead was very twisty and risky, so instead of her, I must drive the car. I started laughing from the passenger seat, and I was seeing Sukanya's facial expression! Needless to say, she paused to tell off the policeman "How are you making that suggestion since you have not seen me drive!" The policeman had no ready answer. He just smiled and told us to drive carefully!

I had a good laugh after this, but Sukanya was not happy!

The day before Gunin had told us that once we reach the Sisar bridge there is a road from where we can drive down to the river bed. It is a hot favorite picnic spot for the locals. Once we reached there, it was drizzling, and there was no one in the vicinity. We came down to the river bed, parked our car, and enjoyed the place. It was beautiful.

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Soon we crossed Dambuk, which is famous for the orange festival, and reached Bomjir. The drive was so scenic, that it took 2.5 hours to cover this 80 km stretch on an excellent road surface!
Our booking was at Bomjir river camp. They have both tent and cottage accommodations. After seeing both, our choice was to stay in the cottage. The location of this property is right in front of the river. The rooms were comfortable, the food was good too. Has a huge parking space too. On the flip side, their generator malfunctioned on the next day morning. But the caretaker did get us hot water in a bucket.

View from Bomjir River Camp.

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In the evening, it started raining heavily. Locals cautioned us not to venture towards Anini if it continues to rain like this. The road to Anini is very secluded, and the traffic is sparse, so in case we get stuck due to a landslide, we won't get much help, and the fallback options are very limited too. In this 250 km stretch, there are few very basic accommodations. I and Sukanya decided to take a call in the morning. If it rains heavily we will stay back at Bomjir, or if it's cloudy or drizzling, we will take a chance to drive towards Anini.

Last edited by Samba : 9th April 2024 at 01:20.
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Day 8 (Bomjir to Anini, 245km, 7 hours)

We woke up at 6 am. The heavy rain subsided, and it was drizzling. So we decided to get ready and hit the road by 8 am.

We refueled at Roing. As I knew there won't be any more fuel stations till Anini. The local cabs (mostly Tata Sumos) also start for Anini from Roing around 7-30 in the morning. By the time I reached Myudia top, I overtook most of the local Sumos. That was a big relief for me, as I knew if I got stuck anywhere, these cars would be behind me. So at least I can get some help. For this 245-km stretch, we hardly crossed 10-15 vehicles!

We reached Myudia Pass at 10 am, the temperature was 5 degrees C and the altitude was 8,700 feet.

At Myudia pass

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The road till Myudia was narrow, but the blacktop was smooth, but on the descent from Myudia pass the road was broken, and under construction at few places. After Myudia, the next small township was the 65 km village where there were few small eateries. The local cabs stop here for food. We were carrying food with us, so we continued without stopping. The next small town we crossed was Hunli.
None of our phones were getting a stable network, but we had the offline maps downloaded to our phones.

We crossed the Ithun Bridge around 11-30 am. A few kilometers after crossing the bridge, we joined a broader and well-marked double-lane road. From this point, Anini was around 110 km. At the halfway mark we crossed another small township, named Etalin.

This road was mostly in good shape, barring a few places where we had to take a detour as the main highway got washed away due to landslides. The road surface from the detours was in bad shape. One has to be careful while driving a low GC car.
We crossed Etalin around 1.15 pm and reached Anini by 3 pm.
Anini lies at an altitude of roughly 6,500 feet and in March the temperature varies between 4 to 14 degrees C.

Our booking was at Mishmi Hill Resort, which is arguably the best place to stay at Anini as of now. There are some other options like Anini Hut, Pine Valley, and a few homestays too.

Mishmi Hill Resort is a newly constructed resort. The rooms are cozy with neat washrooms & modern facilities. The only flip side was, due to low voltage the geyser was not yet operational. They supply hot water in a bucket. Barring this our stay at this place was excellent. The staff were very friendly and cooperative. They try their best to keep the guests happy. The owner of this resort did tell us about the low voltage at the time of the booking itself. She was honest and straightforward. Whenever there was a power cut, they put on the generator, and we were able to use the room heater too. This place is highly recommended.

Few pics from the resort.

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Last edited by Samba : 9th April 2024 at 01:15.
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Old 7th April 2024, 01:05   #7
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Re: Sailed through Arunachal in a Jimny

Day 9 (Anini to Bruni & back to Anini, 140 km)

We were looking forward to this drive from the day we planned this trip. The owner of our hotel suggested, if we want, they can get us a guide too. We gladly accepted her offer.

Our guide was a young lady, and she was pretty well-versed in the locality. Got to learn a lot about their local culture.

Our plan for the day was to stop at Dree-Afra Campsite, order our lunch, and drive to Bruni. On the return leg, we will visit Mawo Aando waterfall, and Chigu camp, have our lunch at Dree-Afra Campsite, and return to Anini.

A video from this day's drive-



The drive was super scenic, and we were taking multiple breaks.

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By 11 am we reached Dree-Afra Campsite, pre-ordered our lunch, and drove straight to Bruni.

At Dree-Afra Campsite

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The road ends at Bruni & before reaching Bruni we had to make an entry at an army check post. Bruni is roughly 65 to 70 km from Anini and if driven non-stop it will take around a couple of hours. My watch showed an altitude of 8,000 feet at Bruni.

At Bruni

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On the return leg we stopped multiple times just to enjoy the beauty this place offered.

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There were multiple small trails through which we could reach the Dri river

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The more we drove towards Bruni, the more we could see Rhododendron flowers of different colors all over the place.

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Day 9 continued

Our next destination was the Mawu Aando waterfall. We parked our car beside the road. It's a 10-to-15-minute trek to reach the viewpoint of the waterfall.

It was a small trek, but the trek was fascinating. Walking through the dense forest on small wooden bridges, & the lush green surroundings filled with mosses gave us a surreal feeling. Going and coming back should hardly take 30 mins, but we ended up spending more than an hour. We were lost in nature.

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Sukanya with our guide.

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The waterfall.

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Day 9 continued

Our next destination was to visit the latest social media sensation - 'The Chigu Camp'.

At first, we decided to spend a night over here. But later we decided, just to visit the camp and come back to Anini. The location of this camp is breathtaking, but the amenities they offer are very basic, though they have a generator for electricity and geysers for hot water. In Acheso there is no mobile phone connectivity as of this date.

Chigu camp

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The room

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Around Chigu camp

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It was already 4 pm by then, & we were hungry. It was time to drive back to the Dree-Afra Campsite and have our late lunch. Even though we were hungry we could not resist clicking pictures.

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At the Dree-Afra Campsite

This place does not have a social media presence like the Chigu Camp, but the location of this place is breathtaking too. Similar to Chigu camp the amenities here are also very basic with no mobile connectivity.

Let the pictures say it all.

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We enjoyed the riverside till it was dark. By the time we started from here, it was nearly 6 pm. The drive back to Anini (35 km) was non-stop. We reached our resort around 7 pm.

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Day 10 (Anini to Roing, 235 km, 6 hours)

Our resort staff informed us that to reach Roing we need to either start by 8 am or we have to start after 12-30 pm. The reason was, that 30 km from Anini, there was road construction work going on & the road will be closed between 9-30 am to 1-30 pm.

My first plan was to take it easy and start by 12-30 pm. So I casually went to sleep without putting on the alarm. Around 6 am, I automatically woke up and started to think, that this route is quite desolated, so it's better to start early and reach Roing in daylight. Sukanya also agreed to this. So we got ready and started our journey by 8 am.

For the first 100 km, we crossed hardly a couple of cars. The road was all ours.
Post Hunli we could spot a few local trucks and cabs. We reached Mayudia Pass around noon and reached Roing by 2 pm. The drive was more or less nonstop barring one or two small breaks.
We had our lunch at AR-16 cafe, as suggested by DBhpian Abhi1512.
Post lunch we checked in, at Jia Organic Resort. This resort is located inside a tea garden. The cottages were nice and cozy.

The afternoon was spent walking around the tea gardens around our resort and witnessing a gorgeous sunset.

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Day 11 (Roing to Bhismaknagar Ruins and back to Roing, 68 km)

To be honest, this day was kept as a rest day. Both of us have been traveling continuously for the last 10 days, so we decided to take a break. We spent the morning lazily exploring the surroundings of the resort. Post lunch Sukanya suggested that we visit Bhismaknagar Ruins which is just 34 km from our resort. Just after starting from the resort, I realized, the Jimny had a flat front left tyre. Luckily, a workshop was located within a short distance. Got the puncture fixed, and we drove to the Bhismaknagar ruins.
Sadly the entry get was closed, and there was no one nearby whom we could have asked to open the gate!

The entry gate.

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This place was spooky!

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Though we could not see the ruins, but the drive was very scenic due to the fall colors.

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Reached back Roing by evening.

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At Roing we refueled our car and our 20L jerrycan which we were carrying. Our next destination was Walong, and Walong does not have any petrol bunks. The nearest petrol bunk from Walong is at Khupa. In case we did not get petrol in Khupa, we had to cover nearly 550 km without refueling. Given the Jimny's 40L fuel tank, that would have been risky. So to be on the safer side I filled up the jerrycan.

Last edited by Samba : 9th April 2024 at 01:08.
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Day 12 (Roing to Walong, 265 km, 8 hours)

I already knew that the number of vehicles on this route would be sparse. So reaching Walong before sunset is always a better idea. Plus in North East, the sun sets early.
Keeping these in mind, we left Roing by 8 am. The first 65 km from Roing To Tezu was in plains. NH13 was in excellent shape and it was a winding double-lane road through forests. We crossed Tezu in an hour.

Few kilometers after Tezu, the uphill drive started. We drove till Demwe and we reached a 'Y' junction. We took the road on the right-hand side which goes through BramhaKund. This stretch of the road was in bad shape, but the distance was not much. Soon we were cruising on well marked double-lane road. We were continuously driving beside the Lohit River. By 10-30 am we reached the check-post of Anjaw district. Anjaw is the least populated district of Arunachal. We showed our Eilp and made an entry.

By 11 am we reached Tidding, but at Tidding, road construction work was going on. We were told that we needed to wait till 12-30 pm for the road to open.
I spent the time chatting with the local cab drivers. A few of them came and checked my Jimny too. Got quite a few compliments on the car from the local hill drivers!

The road was opened by 12-40 pm. I straight away drove till Khupa and refueled again. As after Khupa, there won't be any petrol bunks.
The petrol bunk at Khupa is around a kilometer detour from the main highway. The next big town we crossed after Khupa was Hayuliang. Post Hayuliang there was nothing except a few very small settlements. Mobile connectivity was available till Hawai. After that, only BSNL works. We had a Jio and an Airtel, so none of our phones had any network for the next couple of days. What a relief that was! We were cut off from the civilized world!

We took a small break, 10 km before reaching, Walong.

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Finally, we reached Walong by 4 pm.

There are no resorts or hotels to stay at Walong. One can opt for a few basic homestays, or the Yatriniwas or the IB Bungalow.

Day 13 (Walong to Kibithoo, Kaho, Dong & back to Walong, 125 km)

We were informed that due to road construction work, we need to cross Namti Plains before 10 am, and again the road will open after 4-30 pm. So we planned to start by 8-30 am, visit the Walong war memorial, and drive to Kibithoo followed by Kaho & Dong. By the time we start our return journey, it should cross 4-30 pm, so the road will be open.

A video from this day's drive-



At Walong war memorial. This is a must-visit place when one visits Walong. The Army men over there showed us the war memorial and shared the stories from the 1962, Indo-China war.

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Please zoom in to read the details.

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Our next destination was Kibithoo. The journey was very scenic. We reached Krowti in about 40 mins. From there, the road towards the left goes to Kibithoo and Kaho is on the right side. We took the left for Kibithoo.

India's easternmost bakery at Kibithoo.

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Cherry Blossoms

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One among the many beautiful streams we crossed.

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My Renault life?

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Indo - Tibet border is 10 km from here.

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We are on India's easternmost road!

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Day 13 continued

We returned to Krowti, and took a left for Kaho. The beauty of this road was breathtaking.

The Kaho village. Once we reached Kaho it started to rain. So we missed going for a walk inside the village.

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Kaho Gompa

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The hanging bridge at Kaho

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The scenic drive from Kaho to Dong

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Beautiful landscape on the way to Dong.

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At Dong. Dong witnesses India's first sunrise. To witness the sunrise, one needs to trek for a couple of hours to reach the sunrise point. When we visited Walong there was a prediction of rain, so we skipped going for this trek.

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After crossing this bridge we reached back to Krowti, and took left for Walong.

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Before Namti plains the road construction work was going on and due to rain the road became slushy. We had to drive for 5-6 km on slush, before reaching the Namti plains.

At Namti plains.

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By 5 pm we reached back to Walong.

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Old 8th April 2024, 01:46   #13
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Day 14 (Walong to Namsai, 244 km, 7 hours)

For the whole night, it rained heavily, but the morning was clear and sunny.

The snow peaks were looking fabulous from Walong.

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After being in the co-passenger's seat for the last few days, this was Sukanya's turn to drive till Namsai. If I am driving the car, I feel at home, but from the co-passenger seat, I have nothing to do other than enjoy nature or chew Sukanya's head!

Though there was enough fuel to drive to Khupa and refuel, I still poured the 20L fuel from the jerrycan and decided to skip refueling at Khupa, and directly drive down to Namsai.

We started from Walong at 9 am. The rough calculation was, it should take 3.5 hours to reach Tidding, and if we reach Tidding at 12-30 pm, the road will be open. The road closure timings were 10 am to 12-30 pm & then again from 2-30 pm to 4-30 pm.

We reached Tidding at 12-30 pm and the road had just opened.

We reached ParasuramKund by 2 pm.

At ParasuramKund

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ParasuramKund to Namsai Golden Pagoda was 86 km. We decided to visit the Golden Pagoda.

At Golden Pagoda Namsai.

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We booked our stay at Hotel Kinnara in Namsai. We enjoyed our stay over here. Highly recommended for a stay at Namsai.

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The plan for the next day was to visit Pangsau Pass. The evening was spent doing basic research on how to get the permit and visit the pass.

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Day 15, (Namsai to Pangsau Pass to Jairampur, 150 km)

The Pangsau Pass is at an elevation of 3,600 feet and it is the border of India and Myanmar. More than the border or the beauty of this place, the significance of this place is its history during WW2. We drove through the historic Stilwell Road. Though the Old Stilwell Road is now not open to the general public, one can have a look at where the road terminates into the new one.

To visit the Pangsau Pass one needs to collect permits from the DC office at Nampong. These must be collected in the morning, as after 2 pm entry to the Pangasu pass is not always allowed. So make sure to reach the entry gate before 2 pm.

I was doing a bit of research on this place, then I stumbled upon this video. This video gave me a pretty good insight-



From Namsai to Pangsau Pass it takes around 2.5 hours. After arranging the entry formalities, we reached the pass on time. Original ID cards with photocopies and EILP are a must.

We were not sure whether it would be feasible to drive down to Tezpur after visiting the pass or not. So 30 km before the pass lies a small town named Jairampur. There are some basic homestays. We decided to spend the night at Jairampur after visiting Pangsau Pass.

The scenic drive to Pangsau Pass:



The legendary Old Stilwell Road. I got goosebumps standing here, after knowing the history of this place.

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The Indo-Myanmar border. The other side of the fencing is Myanmar.

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On a clear day, one can see the Lake of No-Return/ Nawang Yang Lake in Myanmar. We were lucky that the weather cleared up just in time!

Quote:
The Lake of No Return or the Nawang Yang Lake is one of the most mysterious destinations around India. It is located at the border of Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar adjoining the Pangsau pass. If you know things around, you would know that the Pangsau Pass itself is known as the hell pass and a dangerous spot around. During World War II, large numbers of aircraft were reported to have perished in this lake. Perhaps, the lake served the Allied Pilots for soft landing into the lake water during return missions when the aircraft got hit by the enemy or out of mechanical snags in the Aircraft.
These wooden houses are on the Myanmar side, the lake can be seen in the backdrop.

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The Miao River can be seen faintly in the background.

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Clicked a few more photos on our way back.

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Quote:
Mithun is a valued animal in the life of the tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram. It is believed to be the symbolic representative of peace and communal harmony.
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Day 16 (Jairampur to Tezpur, 492 km, 8 hours, 45 mins)

The route we took was Jairampur-Jagun-Digboi-Tinsukia Bypass-Dibrugarh bypass-Dhemaji-North Lakhimpur-Narayanpur-Tezpur. The alternative route was through the more scenic Kaziranga forest, but Gmaps showed more time through that route, though that route was shorter.

We started from Jairampur around 9 in the morning. We crossed the famous Bogibeel bridge by noon and took a small break at Dhemaji to have some food. We crossed Narayanpur by 4-30 pm. From Narayanpur it is a 4-lane highway up to Tezpur.

Somewhere near Jagun.

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Tea garden near Narayanpur.

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After driving for some 50-odd km from Narayanpur, we were caught in the middle of a thunderstorm. This surely was a Norwester which in the local language is termed as 'Kalbaisakhi'. It was raining so heavily with gusts of wind, that the visibility was almost near to zero! I had to drive very carefully for a small stretch till the thunderstorm subsided.

We reached Tezpur by 6-30 pm. While returning, we stayed again at Cygnett Inn Imperial.

My old friend Bhpian aviator1101 aka Priyotosh Da was in Tezpur. He and his better half invited us for dinner. We had a great time discussing the travel stories of Arunachal. Without Priyotosh da's guidance, this trip would not have been the same.

Four of us, post dinner.

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Day 17 (Tezpur to Jaldapara, 442 km, 10 hours)

While going to Tezpur from Jaldapara we remembered how bad the road condition was with the local town traffic, constant road humps, and bad upper surface after leaving the main highway 40 km before Guwahati.

Gmpas showed us a different route via Orang - Udalgiri- Pathsala and connected the main highway near Barpeta road. We decided to do a bit of experimentation and try out this road. The initial 70% was excellent. But the last 30% was in bad shape. Narrow roads with broken surfaces. This road is devoid of traffic. This road saved us around 30 mins and 30 km.
After Barpeta we took our first break at Bongaigaon to have a late lunch or early snacks! We resumed back our journey from Bongaigaon by 5-45 pm and reached Jaldapara at 8-30 pm. Crossing the Bengal - Assam border at Srirampur was a smooth sail.
At Jaldapara we again stayed at The Jungle Book resort, where we stayed while going.

Day 18 (Jaldapara to Kolkata, 708 km 14 hours)

The last day of a trip is always sad! Though we knew, we had to cover 700+ km, we were lazy enough to take our own sweet time and start by 11 am.
It was the day of Holi, so we assumed traffic would be less. Sukanya drove from Jaldapara to Dalkhola, the rest was driven by me. This time instead of taking the road via Sevoke we took the road via Birpara- Gairkata- Dhupguri- Fulbari- Ghoshpukur.

While we were near Ghoshpur a blue Nexon signaled us to stop. We were surprised to see Mr. Soumitro Bhattacherjee (an avid traveler & an old friend of mine) traveling back to Kolkata with his family. We crossed each other at Walong too, but at that time, both of us were in a hurry and crossed each other in a jiffy. Later by seeing the Facebook posts we got the confirmation that it was indeed him!

A mandatory Holi selfie.

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We drove back to Kolkata together. We had a late lunch at Hotel Golden Park Malda. From Malda, we started back in the evening and we reached back home by 1 am. On the return leg, we found the Ranagaht flyover to be operational. Off-late, Ranaghat is known for its dreadful traffic jams, but due to the flyover, it was all clear. Plus due to Holi, the number of tucks was considerably lesser.

5,125 km of memories added. After driving the Jimny in this terrain for 5,000+ km, all I can say is, that I fell in love with this little car.

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Old 9th April 2024, 04:57   #15
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