Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by J Ravi, May 2, 2012.
Excellent photos! which camera did u use sir?
Ravi sir, How was the road condition between Vishakapatnam and Kolkota?
Does your Linea runs on the factory fitted Exide batteries? How much was the toll that you paid till Kolkota?
The photos are excellent.
Thanks, onlymakarand. My camera is Sony Cybershot DSC-T900.
Thanks, sungoa2010. Road condition: Excellent 4-lane NH 16 [Old NH 5] except for three railway level crossings and diversions through Rambha, Barkul & Balugaon in Odisha.
Yes, still running with OE stock Exide battery.
I have all the toll receipts. I shall add up the toll sector-wise and post at the end.
Kolkata To Guwahati
Departure: Lexus Motors Limited, Budge Budge Trunk Road, Rampur, Kolkata @ 5 pm on 16 April 2012
Arrival: Ginger Hotels, Guwahati @ 3:00 am on 18 April 2012
Distance covered and route: 1175.8 km; Kolkata>Krishnanagar>Moregram>Malda>Dalkhola>Siliguri>Sevoke>Malbazar>Binnaguri>Falakatta>Cooch Bihar>Toofanganj>Boxirhat>Dhubri>Bongaigaon>Rangiya>Guwahati
Road condition: Torturous driving between Kolkata & Dalkhola; excellent 4-lane road between Dalkhola & Bagdogra; very good 2-lane road between Bagdogra & Binnaguri; Bad roads from Falakatta to Cooch Bihar to Toofanganj; Good 2-lane road from Boxirhat to Bongaigaon; Road-widening works in progress from Bongaigaon to Guwahati.
The City Of Joy turned out to be the City Of Sorrow for my Linea on 14 April 2012 early morning. While entering Kolkata around 4:30 am, my Linea was made to run over a pothole due to congestion and I heard a bang. First, I thought it was just like other usual bang when I drive over potholes and craters. But, that was not to be. My Linea started making loud noise whenever I drove her over rough road. I didn't want to take risk in driving her for the remaining part of the trip. Since it was a Bengali new year day, all the service centres were closed. Lexus Motors informed me that they worked for half day on Sunday too, but there were fully booked. My Linea got her appointment for Monday [16 April 2012]. In the meanwhile, I had gone through the terms and conditions of the extended warranty for suspension, which will be valid upto 35 k km. Since my Linea just clocked 40 k km, I knew that I had to spend from my pocket.
On 16 April 2012, I checked out of Hotel Trimoorti at 8:30 am and directly drove to Lexus Motors with bag and baggage reaching there by 9:45 am. On the way to Lexus Motors service station, my Linea crossed 40 k km.
My Linea was immediately attended to at Lexus Motors. Later, I was told what I had already guessed: the LHS shock-absorber, both the elastic pads and caps were to be replaced. When I enquired about GC upgrade kit, I was told that they were expecting one kit by next month. The SA informed me that they had all the spares in stock and I would be getting my Linea back before 12 noon. I informed the SA about my trip and my intention of driving from there to Guwahati and requested him to return my Linea fully repaired ASAP.
Self and wife were sitting in the crowded customers' lounge. After half hour or so, I was told the bad news: they had two shocks in stock and both were RHS ones! So, a person was sent to get a LHS shock-absorber from their another service station. When the bad news comes, it won't come alone. The main road where Lexus Motors service station was located had come to a standstill because of a traffic jam and nobody got a clue as to when it would be cleared. The SA told me that I would be getting back my Linea only after 3 pm. So, we continued our sitting in the customers' lounge and had many rounds of tea. Our lunch on that day comprised Marie biscuits and Tropicana fruit juice that we had carried with us.
When I contacted the SA at 2:30 pm, he informed me that spares were yet to reach. But, the silver lining on the otherwise dark clouds was, I was assured that I would get my Linea on that day itself come what may.
Finally, the spares arrived by 3:30 pm. They were installed immediately by a group of mechanics. I was asked to accompany the mechanic for a TD. My Linea was back to normal condition. My Linea was washed and handed over to me. I paid the amount [Rs 10,427] by credit card without any extra charges. We left Lexus Motors by 5 pm for Guwahati.
It was torturous to drive on NH 34 via Krishnanagar with full of congestion, traffic jams and disorderly traffic conditions. We halted at BP COCO/Ghar Dhaba at Birohi. My Linea had tankful of petrol costing Rs 70.17/litre and we had our rotis, dal fry and tea. The breakfast stop was at BP COCO/Ghar Dhaba at Dalkhola. Here, petrol cost Rs 69.76 per litre. I took two power naps each of duration 45 and 30 minutes apart from breaks for food and refuelling. I took hell lot of time for driving this 1175 km with poor FE and less average speed, thanks to very bad roads and eternal traffic jam on a 4-lane NH forcing me to drive through rural Bengal adjoining Bangladesh border to arrive at Siliguri. Again, bad roads greeted us at Falakatta, Cooch Bihar and Toofanganj. Road conditions improved after entering Assam. We had our dinner at a road-side dhaba at Chaper, Assam. Later, my MapMyIndia Lx130 navigator misguided me again and took me via Bongaigaon although I had selected Goalpara bypass as a via point. Road widening works were in progress from Bongaigaon to Guwahati. I decided not to take this Bongaigaon route for the return journey. We reached Ginger Hotels, Guwahati, at 3:00 am on 18 April 2012. After checking in, we crashed to the bed.
To be continued.
Ravi Sir, There were some old buses fused to some shops in one of the photo. Is it a eating place? Great innovation.
Is this Ghar Dhaba a net work of restaurants associated with BP?
During night drive do you play music. It is unimaginable for me to drive at night especially at a new place. The thought that a unexpected hump will come at any time simply spoil the mood.Three consecutive night drivers are too difficult. More than a skill it is an art and you are the master of that art..
Did you refer to this photograph? This sunrise shot was clicked at Malda. It was not an eatery, just row of car accessory shops. In West Bengal, eating options at the road side are very limited.
Bharat Petroleum provides space and infrastructure in their COCO outlet campus and leases to restaurants to run Ghar Dhaba. In Chinnar, near Krishnagiri and Thoppur near Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu, Ghar Dhabas are run by Adyar Ananda Bhavan, which are pure vegetarian restaurants.
Yes, my Linea carries a 8 GB pen-drive and many CDs containing songs and music, which were exhausted before we reached Guwahati! My favourite timing is driving during nights. It comes by practice.
Fantastic Ravi Sir.
Please post quickly for the sake of all the people eagerly waiting for your travelogue.
No doubt that Ravi Sir is a master of this art and I salute his tremendous tenacity to do it again and again, but night driving is comparatively easy for some people like me as there is lesser traffic on the highways at night, provided offcourse that the roads are safe for night driving.
Hello Ravi Sir,
This gives me a very good idea for my proposed travel up to "Araku Valley"[Near Vizag] from chennai in near future.
I too prefer night driving for the obvious reasons. Less traffic with less nuisance .
Fantastic & Fabulous. Again Hats of to you. You are truly inspiration to others as usual.
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