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Chennai - Bhutan - Sikkim - Darjeeling on my 5yr old, 73k run Linea 1.3 MJD :)

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by kailasmenon2000, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. kailasmenon2000

    kailasmenon2000 Superiore

    Messages:
    609
    Chennai




    Chennai - Visakhapattanam - Bubaneshwar - Kolkata - Thimphu - Panokha - Paro - Gangtok - Darjeeling - Puri


    Inspired from Ravi ji's Bhutan trip, Im planning to start mine on April 10th 2014. Starting the thread early to get all your valuable suggestions :) Pls share your knowledge about the road condition, places to visit and any other informations.

    Im going with my friend Ajay who is a cinematographer & my dad who is a retired scientist from Kerala Forest Research Institute. He was specialized in Remote Sensing & ecology & got great travel experience, esp. in forests. I myself is a music composer. As we all are not tied up to any company, we are planning a relaxed trip without any hurry burry.

    Here is my trip plan (Date of journey & number of days might change)

    Anyone interested to join with your vehicle from any point mentioned below are welcome :)


    Onward


    April 10th

    Chennai - Vijayawada 457km
    Vijayawada - Vishakhapattanam - 350km


    April 11th

    Vishakapattanam - Bubaneshwar - 443km

    Places to visit - Lingaraja Temple, Udayagiri Caves, Tribal Museum

    April 12th

    Bubaneshwar - Kolkata
    - 442km

    Places to visit - Victoria Memorial, Mother House, Belur Math, South Park Street, Kolkata Metro

    April 14th

    Kolkata - Siliguri - 583km

    April 15th

    Siliguri - Phuentsholing (Bhutan) - 150km

    Phuentsholing - Thimphu - 150km

    Places to visit - Dochula Pass, Tashichho Dzong, Buddha Point, Royal Textile Academy

    April 17th

    Thimphu - Punakha - 70km

    Places to visit - Punakha Dzong, Chimi L'Hakhang Temple

    April 18th

    Punakha - Paro -
    130km

    Places to visit - Taktsang Monastery , Chele La pass, Paro Dzong, National Museum

    April 20th

    Paro - Gangtok (Sikkim)
    - 371km

    Places to visit - Tsomgo Lake, Ganesh Tok View Point, Tashi Viewpoint, Flower Exhibition Centre, Ranka Monastery

    April 23rd

    Gangtok - Darjeeling - 100km

    Places to visit - Kanchenjunga Mountain, Tiger Hill, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tiger Hill, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Toy Train, Himalayan Zoological Park, Peace Pagoda


    Return

    April 25th

    Darjeeling - Kokata - 650km

    April 26th

    Kolkata - Puri - 500km

    Places to visit - Konark Temple, Puri Beach, Chilika Lake

    April 28th

    Puri - Vishakhapatanam - 445km

    Places to visit - INS Kurusura Submarine Museum, Bora Caves, Yerada Beach

    April 30th

    Vishakhapattanam - Vijayawada - 350km
    Vijayawada - Chennai - 457
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
    16 people like this.
  2. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,244
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    Are you skipping Guwahati and Kaziranga National Park? Why not include as this is the perfect time to visit the National Park?
    1 person likes this.
  3. kailasmenon2000

    kailasmenon2000 Superiore

    Messages:
    609
    Chennai
    Thought this time I'll go to Gangtok & Darjeeling as they are near to Bhutan. I would like to go to Tawang sometime later. I think its better to club Kaziranga with Tawang trip :) A separate North East trip, may be to Nagaland & Meghalaya too :D
    2 people like this.
  4. pv_krish

    pv_krish Regolare

    Messages:
    418
    Chennai
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Hi Kailas,

    All the best mate. You are one of the gifted few who are not bound to plan for leaves. Have a great time and of course give a detailed photos and reviews about your trip.

    Have a safe travel.

    Regarding the road conditions, as far as I know, Since the route until Kolkata comes under GQ, the roads should be fine. Check out for 6 lanes conversion works. Ravi sir should be able to help you out with his experience.
    2 people like this.
  5. bharath

    bharath Regolare

    Messages:
    328
    Coimbatore
    This is again massive from you.Take care and have a safe journey.
  6. kailasmenon2000

    kailasmenon2000 Superiore

    Messages:
    609
    Chennai
    Thanks a lot bro. Travelling without time constrain is one of the best thing possible..Of course I might miss few works, but Im not answerable to anyone :)

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    Yes I'll be in touch with Ravi sir. He travelled 2 yrs back. That time there was widening work going on in Kolkata-Siliguri road. Don't know whether its over or not. Got to check about the alternate road to Siliguri.

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    Thank you Bharath...Will keep updated :)
  7. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Wishing you bon voyage in advance, here are some points to remember:

    1. NH 34 from Kolkata to Siliguri via Moregram is very congested 2-lane road being widened to 4 lanes with eternal traffic jams being order of the day. I took the roundabout SH route via Barddhaman for the return journey just for avoiding NH 34. From Dalkhola to Siliguri, the NH is 4-laned. You have one BP COCOO with attached Ghar Dhaba at Dalkhola on LHS while going from Cal to Siliguri. You can use this for refuelling and food break.

    2. Again, most of the roads [NH or SH] in the north Bengal are bad especially from Madarihaat to Hasimara, which had craters when I drove on that stretch. Before entering Bhutan, you have to cross Jaigaon, very congested Indian town. After entering Phuentsholing, you yourself will find the difference.

    3. Carry all the original documents and many photocopies of your passport or electoral photo identity card [EPIC], driving licence and all vehicle documents. Obtaining entry permit from Bhutan immigration won't take more than 1 hour. Then, you have to drive to Bhutanese Road Safety and Transport Authority [RSTA] for obtaining vehicle permit, which won't take more than an hour again. The details are in my Bhutan travelogue.

    4. You can do Thimphu>Punakha>Thimphu in one day. You can return in the evening and continue to stay at Thimphu.

    5. You can consider staying at OTDC Panthanivas at Puri, which is located at the beach with spacious car parking.

    Once again, I wish you all the best in advance.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
    6 people like this.
  8. kailasmenon2000

    kailasmenon2000 Superiore

    Messages:
    609
    Chennai
    First of all thank you sir for the details. Ive gone through your travelogue before planning the trip. Thats how I got the idea to come back via Puri :)

    Is this the route you mentioned?? Its still touching NH34 at Moregram. Or you meant taking the road via Dumka??

    Siliguri Route.jpg

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    How about staying in Punakha? Is it worth? Or getting back to Thimphu is a better idea?
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  9. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Yes.

    Yes, again. There is one BP COCOO at Moregram on the LHS while driving towards Siliguri. The route was very good, scenic with very less traffic, but going through numerous villages.

    No, I didn't take Dumka route as it had its own share of bad roads, but less than that of NH 34.

    Since you have to return via Thimphu, I suggested continued stay at Thimphu. Perhaps, you can stay at Punakha too. But, you have to drive back all the way to Thimphu and then to Paro.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. kailasmenon2000

    kailasmenon2000 Superiore

    Messages:
    609
    Chennai
    I love driving through villages, so no prob :)

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    I'll do that then :)
    1 person likes this.

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