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  1. 14 points
    Hyderabad –> Bhutan –> Hyderabad started on 13th may 2018. Day1: As I already stated before, this trip was to test my family’s capability of exploring the long drives of distances more than 6000 kms and 20+ days duration, all the time I was alone going on bike expeditions. Started early by 5 am from home located at jalvayu towers, lower tankbund, still kids are in sleeping mode they don’t even have a hint of this trip, just they know someplace traveling, quickly packed the luggage and driven, stopped at Vijayawada for breakfast on road side. One thing i learned a new thing from this trip ( mostly women want to eat street food all the time with neat and clean environment) nothing to say much on this stretch as kids and wiffy sleeping all the time and road conditions everyone knows, halting place is at APTDC,Baruva Beach. we reached by 3:30 pm in vizag and had lunch at cafe coffee day on the way reaching to vizag. i want to skip the vizag traffic and taken the truck bypass route, It’s a two lane road some parts wide & some areas narrow, many pot holes in the road but manageable. At 4 to 4:30 rain started heavily, video tells all about it, once crossed vizag. it’s a breeze through srikakulam highway and it’s no more raining and weather is pleasant, reached Baruva by 7 pm, the APTDC cottages are very spacious and AC works well, but poorly maintained the infrastructure, you can have look of sunset and sunrise directly from your room. Booze on order available, but canteen people won't serve, Ordered snacks and food from canteen, food is ok. Sat at the balcony attached and had a long chat and kids are busy with TV. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 850KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 14 hrs Tariff for Accommodation: APTDC/ double Bed Room -Ac Rs.3000-00 with charges for Extra person Day2: Woke up early by 5am thought it was 7 am, quickly refreshed and went on some auto mode beachside photography, shot some sunrise pics, I came back up by 6 am and woke up them, here the horror starts. The time I took them to beach huge crowd from adjacent village to this property is on shitting show all over the beach with 1-3 kms stretch from 6:15 to 7:30 am. Lost interest of going to the beach. Kids got ready and had puri (only thing available) as breakfast. Wiffy had some pics at cottages. Started towards Chilka lake and its a 4 lane road, sun is on his peak still we want to finish the boat ride at Chilka easy to find the way to reach this place, once u take diversion for Rambha straight u will reach to Hotel pant nivas ( most of the people book it online) adjacent lane to pant nivas directly goes to chilka lake. Different tariffs r available from 600 to 5000, depends on whether u r small goat or big goat, both govt and Pvt ferries available, govt one will definitely cost u more and u have to book it from pant nivas built adjacent to chilka lake, it’s a good one to stay, very spacious (on return journey we stayed here.) on bargaining they agreed to 1000 bucks for trip to breakfast point, dinosaur island and kingfisher island. Compare to any other parts this is pretty cheap for me for the total ride of 2 hrs. i already posted some pics of it. Still the kings / queens from Orissa come over here for their breakfast quiet often. Many islands are there with its own story to tell it will cost u more. Boat Ride was good with some luck as dolphins and kingfishers we sited. While traveling on boat one of the guys suggested to take a ride through scenic road instead of NH to reach konark. *At palur on NH45 before Rambha diversion you have to take diversion for this road called as malud road It really proves worth listening to him, beautiful roads with lot of water bodies around from small to big to very big, live fishing scenes u may come across many times, finally reached some point where the road ends and you have to travel by ferry, just missed by 2 mins, it costed 2 hrs, there are many small boats which carries bikes and goods in regular but heavy vehicles like bus, lorry and car has to go through ferry and fees only 300/- so cheap for a life time experience. Entering, exiting and parking in the ferry is a scary part reverse drive and you don’t have choice of roaming freely, all most side door to door and bumper to bumper they will pack, luckily am into one side of the ferry so i can open only one side of door, few pics of it. Strange and good thing i observe in this trip wiffy didn’t complain about back pain or any pain she started the taste of exploring places. Safely reached onto the other side of the bank, while taking car out off the ferry one need to be careful in case u drive sedan or suv it hits on back bumper, luckily survived with skills learned from senior ppl like u guys. The road is a narrow to 2 lane road and 4 lane and it took me 4 hrs on the way to konark, hundreds of cows left on roads and crazy bikers make you upgrade your driving skill set, many speed breakers u will face on this road avoided puri-konark road and took diversion on to jaganath sadak and then to maltatipur-konark road, you can find speed breakers on 4 lane road very crazy, road through the forest is fully packed with many speed breakers, after finishing the drive l was thinking how the tsunami affected konark temple, pretty far from beach. Stayed in Yatrinivas konark, dinner in its attached hotel, very tasty but no room service. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 250KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 7Hrs 20Mins Tariff for Accommodation: Yatri Nivas/ double Bed Room /Ac Rs.2100-00 with charges for Extra person Day3: By 6 am visiting konark temple is best, but we woke up at 7:30 am late and by finishing breakfast by 9am i. e a very bad time to visit konark temple added to this some local person murdered in the night, and police is everywhere, so parking is very far from konark temple. sun is on his peak by 10 am itself somehow managed through, still wondering no complaints from wiffy. Tickets que is very long and no separate lines for men and women somehow got it done very quickly and hired a local guide, he helped us with his umbrella and enormous knowledge he has on this temple even though illiterate, after knowing about brief about konark temple and 12 out of 24 wheels history we tired and guide with age of 60 was very active and he continues his way of explaining things, after making halfway of the temple wiffy starts complaining about scorching heat, she said u guys finish and i will wait for u. the guide says “madamji abhi tho asli cheez dekhneka hai, ghore log tho sirf isko dekhnekeliye athe hai”. She pumped up again and ready to walk, guide told the kids to watch at something and took us both to some wheels where it has xxx scenes of ancient mudra. I have to see her face.....burst out of laughing. Guide quickly understand the situation and rushed towards the kids, Very funny it was. Anyhow it charged our mood from sun rays. To save ourselves from heat had some coconut, cucumber, plenty of water and rushed to puri jaganath darshan, heavy traffic buy 2 wheelers, 4 wheelers and cows, everywhere u can see cows and cows. I as usual trapped by some goons who run quick darshan and at the end I couldn't even had darshan of Lord jaganath, but had a bill of 1116/-for annadaanam. At least satisfied that Annadaanam was served to God. Kicked his ass for this but paid him 300\- very shameless fellow, saying mujhe kitnebhi maro lekin paisa dho. Plz plan it earlier in proper time and go directly by urself and have darshan always. my wife cursed him all the way we reached to our hotel Sonar Bangla motel midway at the outskirts of kolkata. The most horrible place for 5000/- i never suggest this hotel to anybody, online reviews were good so i booked it but wasted money. It’s a supreme room, AC not working and it’s hardly a 8x10 size room, even after room freshener applied its smelling and owner is so rude and says don’t like then talk to your MMT representative, time was 11pm, no one picks the call, no option left hardly slept as beds are very bad….don’t know how travelers given such a rating to this hotel. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 512.00KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 11 hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Sonar Bangla Motel Midway/ double Bed Room -Non/Ac Rs.5000-00 with charges for Extra person Day4: Thought of visiting many places in Kolkata, but a small incident changed my mind, traffic police identify vehicle is not from wb, then tries to loot money from you even we have all documents with us, even though mine is BS-IV vehicle still I carried pollution paper still doesn’t satisfies him, then he started lying u crossed a red signal very funny, arguing for a 30 mins wasted and those idiots settled for 100 bucks after giving their boss names, internet helped me on this, and entire mood was off. First choice is darshan for both the Maatha ji temples. 2 different scenarios one with heavy crowd and poojaris looting people basis of dakshina and other one is serene and calm guarded by military. First time wiffy complains no more kolkatha, thought of going back to Hyderabad, instead she say we will go towards Bhutan, tried to convince her for visiting other places Answer was “when u come by bike dekhlena”. she doesnt even know that i haven’t even planned anything further after this. kids demanded for sundarbans trip but due to elections at sundarban area they stopped the trips. bad luck. I just rushed into googlemaps and started finalizing the routes at lunch break. Finally decided to go via asansol and it was a bad choice up to asansol roads r 4 lane. We stayed at some hotel named Excellency charged 2.5k and worst rooms and facilities i don’t even pay 500 for it. as we reached late and paid online already no other choice as the 2 nd best hotel is already booked in full. Whole night route plan slept very late. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 302.00KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 6Hrs 20Mins Tariff for Accommodation: Excellency Hotel/ double Bed Room -Non/Ac Rs.2580-00 with charges for Extra person Day5: Asansol to lataguri via Dumka, Bhagalpur, purnea and kishangunj road is all mixed roads, road work is going on, some of them are good, some bad roads, some r horrible roads. But never had a pblm except proper lunch and breakfast, u won’t find any eatables or hotels between, apples and biscuits which in stock were used for this as i said already trip wasnt properly planned, Asansol to Dumka very good roads and No roads, Dumka to Bhagalpur roads are ok with scary drivers 2 & wheelers, Bhagalpur, purnea and kishangunj roads r good to very good. Only trouble truck traffic, long jams for hours, I drove around 30-40 kms in wrong direction to avoid the traffic jam, luckily escaped many accidents on this episode. Kishangunj to lataguri scenic roads one side river and other side forest, some part of the road is very bad. I booked accommodation at The Reserve, GORUMARA, lataguri. Very good hotel with modern amenities, food is very good. south indian Breakfast is an excellent I ever had in northside. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 550 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 13Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: The Reserve, gorumara/ double Bed Room - Ac Rs.5800-00 with charges for Extra person Day6: Woke up early 5am for jeep safari which starts at 6 am, need to buy tickets before one day we tried our luck and we got it on same day, wife still at bed me and kids went through this, we had seen only bison in entire trip missed many wild elephants and leopard very fresh footprints just crossed us, it’s a 2:30 hrs trip covering around 28 kms, kids very disappointed, told them we go again in different place where they do Elephant ride and they also can see Rhynos. Both agreed and back to hotel for Breakfast, after breakfast went to Forest Department office where we need to book accommodation, luckily I got one at Kalipur, but I need it in other location which I saw it on jeep safari. Settled with kalipur, as forest ranger said same accommodation will not be available in case we try to book it online even 6 months before. Paid instantly 6000\- including food and snacks which is ok, Actually we want to stay one more day but it’s already reserved long back. Back to Hotel for packing, staff and manager at THE RESERVE Gorumara is very cooperative and agreed to check out by 2 pm. Drive from hotel to kalipur is @ 45 kms. Thought of 1 hr but it took us 2 hrs, scenic roads through tea gardens. There are only 4 cottages all are NON-AC, 2 already occupied next to canteen by forest dept people, out of 12345, 1&5 are ours, kids demanded mobiles in case they stay separated, my wife drama all the time, kids blab bla bla…..many flies if u put the lights on…..Entire camp is fenced properly, You can find a buffalo ride, 150/person kind of experience went to the rhino tower where we can see them bit faraway, tried our luck, got them only where I can see through binoculars or though camera, reached back on buffalo ride, it’s very different, snacks in the evening is the best food with coffee, after snacks by 7 pm they arranged bonfire and tribal dance with their traditional dress, same night wild elephants have come very near to the camp, we missed it can’t see anything in deadly night vision, understand the value of torch light. Somehow slowly we went to sleep after a remarkable day. BSNL and JIO both works at this place. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 50 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 2Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Kalipur Eco Village, / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.6000-00 with charges for 2 cottages Day 7: Woke up early by 6 am for elephant ride, it’s my first ride too on an elephant, every one excited, me and my life is into one elephant and kids into another one, crossed small river on the ride, saw a lone Rhyno enjoying its mud Bath, eagerly watching at us, might be saying f…k’ff from here. Saw some deers racing like a bullet, and then come across an entire family of rhynos 8-10 with various sizes, couldn’t got a clear shot as grass is almost 8 feet high. After a watchful sight at elephant ride we were on full charge, wife want to stay a day more but no vacancy has to move, started at 12:15 pm towards Darjeeling until silluguri it’s a mixed roads, after that National Highway only 2 lane up and only up never faced such roads before, experience on leh- ladakh has come in handy, given all assurance to my wiffy nothing will happen, just enjoy the beauty of hills, many kids with school uniforms are everywhere throughout the drive. Without any trouble from car we reached darjeeling, whatever I imagined from my childhood watching in movies is not there, heavy traffic of tourists and pretty child environment is encouraging, my kids started getting effected by high altitude sickness, reached hotel, very cozy, but not spacious, In summer temperature is 3-5*C, washroom tiles r so chilled we can’t use without slippers. Different experience to kids and wiffy, enjoyed the food and went to bed thinking about the morning view of the Mighty Kanchanjunga. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 150 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 5Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2500-00 with charges for Extra person Day 8: I decided not to drive in Darjeeling from the experience of previous day drive from siliguri. Hired a local taxi guy, @2000/day. Went to Padmaja Naidu Zoo Park, Rock climbing point, Tea Gardens point where we will be again small and big goats depends on individuals. My suggestion better u guys drive all these points on your own car, waste of money, overall kids got entertained. Already took the famous steam engine train ticket while going to the zoo park in the morning, Frankly speaking I said its just chut….appa to buy tickets for taking a picture with steam engine….Manthera Train ride is far better than this. But its up to the individuals how they feel. We got some good pictures on this train ride. Only fun thing on this ride is the train has seats where only 2+2 can sit, think about 120-140KG ppl settled in our seats entire family of 8 ppl same sizes with different age groups, the moment I entered the coach, I said wtf where we gonna sit, and their faces like adjust or f…off, crazy that these idiots didn’t take seats in regular numbers instead they were booking 1,3,5,7 etc like that….I said firmly to the head of family if u give us window seats we can adjust else I will call TC and no one ride the train, without any question with smile they agreed. All r happy at the end. After all these when we reached back it tiresome, quickly back to Hotel with same taxi guy who picked us in the morning, had some dinner and back to sleep. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 0 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 0Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2500-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 9: Woke up bit late by 10 am started towards gangtok, distance 110kms time taken to trave is 5:30 hrs very hectic, uploaded a video, jho bhi keeda tha driving ki nikhalgaya hai….I prayed god I don’t need any more curves….on the other side kids started vomiting…..every one hour….5 mins break…finally reached Hotel. Its day rest and paper work for ILP’s for next morning and its Monday no permission for Nathula Pass, so only changu lake and Baba mandir. We met some more telugu people in the same hotel traveling in and around Sikkim. Kids had lot of chat and play with them, I just get into bed for whole day to get rested…..I got slight fever due to hectic drive with high altitude sickness, my wife who troubles for 200kms drive, doesn’t show any sign off sickness or pain. Its good sign for the trip to go further. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 120 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 5:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.5000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 10: Woke up early and ready by 7 am waiting for the tour operator from the hotel, but the tour operator didn’t turned up, waited and waited at 10:30 am that idiot has come with taxi, saying sorry yesterday he hasn’t do the permit process and he did it in the morning, this trip costed us Rs 5000/-including all. Huge crowd on the roads till we cross the city, again it started curves, hair pin bends, etc. this time I am enjoying the nature as am not driving, gone through many fog, mist and rain combinations, and the hell of traffic jam for 2 hrs, hired shoes and hand gloves, never thought we face ICE in summer didn’t carry any except jackets. Had some snaps passing through many military camps, finally reached the Changu Lake (Tsomogo lake) beautiful with less crowd as most of them were in return journey, Buffalo ride is over and now its sibling Yak ride is on, As usual I prefer to walk and wife and kids on Yaks, got some beautiful pics cost depends on your bargains 500-1500. It has car cable ride which take you to the top of the hill, temp -2 to 1*C, played a lot had some good pics, came back for journey to Baba Mandir, Taxi driver says its late we have to go back, as everyone is returning back and weather changing drastically, I argued and finally said ok. On return journey my health went down and vomited same as my kids, appreciated the driver for not going to baba mandir. Reached back hotel, Actual plan is to drive in the night to phuentshilong, Due to the health issue continued for one more night, in case health get better we drove early in the morning else we rest as am the only driver for this entire trip. Wife want to do shopping and took local cab guy went to MG Road only place where u can get costly items for more cost, better to buy in some roadside shops, Here shop keepers are more clever than Hyderabad ones, as they make u comfortable that u will never refuse to buy and prepare you for Halal. You will come to know this when u visit some other shop. As usual she is some kind of Maniac (Unique) who doesn’t want gold but all these nonsense, excuse for it I can buy 10-20 items for the same price in comparison to gold. I can’t argue with her on this so I stopped bothering it, finally went back to hotel. View from the balcony of hotel was good but haven’t had any pics everywhere its fog or mist. Can’t see any. Note: You can also do self-driving to these places on Bikes and with good local person cars too, and these taxi drivers and shop owners are all family bros and sis, all most all of them it’s the main source of income. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 0 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 0Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.4000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 11: As my health recovered due to the proper night sleep, Woke up at 6am and we were ready to move to Phuentoshilong had hot coffee and drove towards phuentosholing, Same story again repeats, hills, curves, vomiting and new to this is speed breakers very unique can’t explain ( they are like water passages) better u understand when u drove. As I passed through the Dooars again I understood that I made a wrong booking earlier, could have been done Darjeeling and gangtok, then to dooars could have been a good option as its on the way, reached Phuentoshilong by 1:30 pm. You can find 2 different worlds here at Indian border with Bhutan, one side sounds, pollution, chaos etc on other side strict rules and regulations with peace of mind eg: pedestrian importance, no horns, you can find everywhere a Bangladeshi / Nepal origin as parking ticket collector, you can’t escape from him till you are in Bhutan. You can ask anyone for the directions to Visa permit counter they will help, you won’t get parking easily have to roam around the shops nearby to get one. You can directly enter Bhutan side (Visa Counter) without any permission, first thing is to finish the Car permit as the counter for cash closes by 3 PM, You can get even directions for this through google maps, I was using JIO sim working well, paid Rs 500/- for permit for 7 days after finishing the paper work ( you will be paying vehicle permit amount depends on number of days you will be staying in Bhutan better to go always more than 12-15 days, as this won’t be done again anywhere even in thimphu) and straight drove to Visa Permit counter, There are 2 lines one for people who’s applying for work permit under the BRO in Bhutan and the other line for Tourists and etc, Everyone who reaches the Visa Office will first afraid of seeing the other line….You can also avail the services of brokers in the office, but u don’t need one. They will give you an application form where u will fill details individually and in separate form along with your details along with supporting documents like, id proof, photos-2, and hotel booking confirmation for one day. once you submit these to the 2 operators working at the counter, they check it and your number or name will be called, where we need to go for biometric in 1st floor, all this process will take only an hour, after getting the permit we have to go back to Vehicle permit and show this to them and they issue vehicle permit, while taking vehicle permit they will ask you for how many days, incase u want to explore entire Bhutan then go for 15 days else tell them 7 days accordingly they charge you ones it done will not be redone even at Thimpu, Thimpu is only for an extension of Individual VISA permit but not vehicle permit. After all this had some lunch at 4 pm and started towards Thimpu, Roads are mixed conditions with 4 lane, 2 lane with pot holes, here people putting a right indicator means they are giving way to cross, initially confused later acquainted, reached hotel by 10:30am will upload some pics of it. Note: Your accommodation receipt in Bhutan for day 1 should be mandatory, rest they won’t even bother; same we need to submit our Itenary for entire tour. You can avail all the Xerox and online facilities just next door, you can avail the SIM cards by submitting the permit and aadhar card, money exchange is almost same buy as much as u want, 2000 notes only valid in Phuentoshilong and thimpu rest of the places strictly no and 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10 notes of Indian currency works in all places. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 410 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 15:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Hotel Bhutan / 2 double Bed Room - Ac Rs.7000-00 with all charges. Day 12: Woke up bit late by 8 am started the paper work for further travel in Bhutan same process need to apply for the places to visit and same as going to the vehicle permit. You can easily get these locations, application center is right opposite to my hotel room. Done things by 9 am started towards Punakha, Roads are good, My younger one got fever due to vomiting continuously and he is dehydrated, did what ever I can do as a father to make him calm down and get him back in to travel mood. Dachula pass is very nice one for pics, weather is cold and foggy, didn’t gone through the history of it, Canteen is available, Next thing is to reach our stay i.e homestay thought of little different from India will be nice and enjoyable living in nature and enjoying nature, Homestay is little away from the regular road to Punakha, missed it and drove 5kms realized google showing some other location in back, somehow reached it, off roading to destination, the entire stretch is very scenic, we were in dreams, how the stay could be….same thing crossed the stay and moved further thinking it will be further down as we crossed a small village with very old buildings cant even think about is our stay as it costed my 5000 bucks, reached some place where all people get down for sightseeing it’s the place where all Bhutan art is founded, live art and lot of portraits and landscapes even some are very old on exhibits, called the ladylord, asked to us to come back to village, start the scary part watching my wife’s face…..LOL.. couldn’t even dared to see her eyes, surprisingly see said in calm manner, lets try…….Relief…..the moment we reached and called her she said only 1 room is there, get adjusted in that….before taking any decision I want to see that stay….went along with my elder one….The moment I entered the house understood I made a big mistake booking here, Irooms are in first floor, vertical steps almost like a ladder kept all my fears and dared to enter……Its just a 8x12 room, no bed only beds old type on ground…..no attached bathroom. What else u need to become ussain bolt……LOL. Begged my son not to tell anything about stay and bribed a lego toy, rushed back to car, not a single word with my wife asking normal questions to crying questions, my elder one had his best laughs all the time. Stopped for a Tea, before I told the story I offered her shopping at Paro unlimited, she surprisingly seeing at me and agreed heard the story just laughed, all the things got into normal, booked a hotel at Khuruthang before Punakha reached hotel with a lot of relief. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 90 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 6:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.3000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 13: Started by 10am towards Punakha Dzong, reached in 30 mins, separate parking available for private vehicles, Most Beautiful and the best Dzong in entire Bhutan, River flows adjacent to the dzong, entrance is a crossover bridge, Purple flowers on entire path way, Its properly guarded by police, Main temple is not allowed for visitors, we were at prayer time, saw people carrying food for god and idols….it’s a very high on spiritual time, somehow I get into the main temple as no guard was there, its 5 storey bldg, all rooms are locked, only option peep through, very old paintings of Buddha, they were so beautiful time permitted it takes me a day to stare them, somehow remembered I have family to take care of went down saw a police guard right in front and starring me, I went to him and ask very innocently why they locked rooms, his reply to me how you get in, said no one was here and instruction written just went 1 up by one floor, he called his senior and they discussed some in their language and told its restricted entry for visitors and they pardoned me. Left from there with lot of relief. Went back to hotel telling all stories about the dzong I have seen, kids disappoint of not seeing the Paintings. Packed our bags started back to Paro after 5 hrs leisure drive reached paro, watching the airport and flights landing. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 130 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 5:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Hotel Tiger Nest / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.4500-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 14: Woke up early by 6 pm got ready by 7 am, wife and younger one dropped out for tigers nest trekking, Fully charged from the stories written online, drove to the parking area, and hired horse for my son and bought the stick for me, at the starting it was nice and easy took shortcut where nasty route, two of the idiots almost fall onto me of un balancing, my son reached nicely with horse to the dropping point, I started going back to the regular route which is little bit longer but easy to trek, Met haggy and reached the canteen sipped coffee for 200INR, we met with a French lady on the way to tigers nest aged about 62yrs, but walking like just into 30s and my son asusual with his queries made our journey painless, we need to get a ticket and belongings for free. Nice views of waterfall and some snaps, entered the Tigers Nest, went to many temples, Lighten the butter lamp with prayers all is well. While returning I usually lost myself like a child mesmerized with the live makings of butter ornaments as offering to GOD, my son went to some other place and he sat relaxly, I went on searching for him 3 times in and out of tigers nest and trek halfway to the other side asked many ppl coming towards the tigers nest, every one said no with the identifications I said, went back to tigers nest again and find this guy chatting happily with French lady. Anger and happy both at same time….said sorry to him and trekked back to parking with lot of memories, bought some souvenirs to ppl at Hyderabad. It took us 6 hrs up and down. Reached hotel refreshed and moved back to thimpu, between shopping at Paro….as usual girl thing….met some of our jalvayu towers society residents there, they are surprised to see we drove all the way by car. Moved to hotel Kichu at thimpu, nice view from hotel watched football match and boxing match in the night, went for some more shopping at thimpu as I promised. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 60 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 2:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Hotel Kichu/ double Bed Room - Ac Rs.4000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 15: Woke up bit late by 9 am started towards Phuentshilong, distance 200kms for the destination a tea garden resort. Same route back with many memories and again lot of foggy stretches zero visibility. Reached the last checkpost before phuentsholing and given the original permit back to them, had copies of permits as memories of Bhutan. Had lunch at phuentsholing converted etc currency back to INR. Started back to chaos the moment I left the gateway arch started hearing horns , dust blab la…welcome back to India. Reached the destination tea garden resorts, nothing much there to say just got bluffed with name waste of money. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 200 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 7:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Mystic Tea garden resort / 2double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 16 & 17: Woke up early but settling bill was made very late by 10 am started towards Siliguri, thinking to reach Hyderabad via Varanasi, want to check the car condition at siliguri and then move. Reached siliguri but finding the VW service center costed me 2 hrs, they took the work to clean the car and topping up the engine oil wasted another 2 hrs, its 4 pm and thought staying at siliguri itself as its dangerous go in night at muzzaffarapur, meanwhile kids demanded especially younger one for sundarbans, after long chat agreed to them and decided to drove further and halt at malda. Horrible decision that become later, it started raining almos reaching to malda time was 1 am lot of truck traffic horrible roads and speed breakers, couldn’t find any accommodation at that time….slept in car for 3 hrs. started back to kolkatha to my horrific thing, the sundarban tour operators given me a bomb they were in bandh due to some pay raise and blab la. No trips for 2 more days….dont know what to do reached bardhaman and find the café coffee day for refreshings. Discussed with wife to see explore all places in kolkatha, she is no more interested to stay or explore any places wanted to back home, agreed and booked hotel at rambha, pant nivas, drove with breaks at café coffee days favorite refreshments on highways. It looks very easy driving 1250 kms in 20 Hrs, but the pain I took in driving those conditions was a lesson and understand what kind of Maniac I am. I put my family into lot of uncomfortable in this journey. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 1250 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 20 Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Pant Nivas, Rambha / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2500-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 18: started journey by 9 am towards Hyderabad, Initially decided to take break at vizag, but on the journey no one is interested to stay at vizag everyone want to be at home, same as usual café coffee days it becomes favourite for us chicken somked sandwich, latte is for us and cold coffee for kids. Had our proper dinner after 2 days at raju gari thota. Reached home by 2 am. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 950 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 16Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Home Sweet Home / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.0-00 with charges for Extra person. That’s all……will update soon my Sikkim Trip done 22Nd Oct -5Th Nov. See you people soon on Meetups. Any mistakes kindly excuse never thought writing will be this much time taking process. This Trip was actually not meant to drive all the way to Bhutan. It is our first long drive which is more than 2000 kilometers (one way). I thought my wife will give up after reaching to Kolkata, she hates long drives, always prefer flights. To be cautious, I had booked hotels till Kolkata. But we managed to drive till Bhutan. My sons aged about 9 and 12 years, were ok with long drives, As long as get electronic gadgets, On this trip I did not allow, some how they managed and adjusted. Route Taken Hyderabad - Rambha - Konark - Kolkata - Asansol - Lataguri - Darjeeling - Gangtok - Phuentsholing - Thimpu - Punakha - Paro - Phuentsholing - siliguri - kolkata - rambha - Hyderabad Total trip : 6300 kilometers Time taken : 20 Days We couldn't explored inner parts of sikkim and Bhutan, I targeted those places for Bike expeditions in which sikkim will be covered in 2018 NERM. We have covered Bhutan along with NE states. From our experience, Dooars in west Bengal and Sikkim is more beautiful than Bhutan(except Tigers Nest) Will share more Pictures/Details when and done with my monsoon trip. Sharing few pictures for now:
  2. 9 points
  3. 8 points
    I see many people talking a lot about Tyres. Recently I've been to Bridgestone dealer to get my City's wheel balancing and alignment done. On enquiring about tyres they said Michelin is the best and leading Tyre brand. Few months ago when changing my Wagon R's tyres to Bridgestone I've enquired the same with friends, they said Pirelli is the best performance Tyre. What differentiates tyres performance? What's the difference between the brands? People say there're brands to match one's purpose. I think I'd be good if people here throw some light on the details of tyres as there're very little sites that explains this. PS: My City's Bridgestone tyres are in the corner of it's life. Dealer suggested Micheline for performance. I use mostly on highways at high-speeds. So grip, braking, comfort, smoothness, and long lasting are my priorities. Please help me choose Bridgestone or Micheline. Only these two are in my reach (5k and 5.3 Bridgestone and Micheline respectively)
  4. 8 points
    Hyderabad–Sikkim–Hyderabad Started on 22ndOct to 4thNov 2018. DAY 1: HYDERABAD to SRIKAKULAM (Total Distance covered 732 kms) Started early in the morning by 5 AM, drove the regular from Hyderabad to Vizag like always. Nothing much to mention about these routes as I was just riding and riding on these good roads all the way till Srikakulam with no effect of Titli (Cyclone). Reached Srikakulam by 6:30 PM and took a lodge for the night stay for 800 bucks. DAY 2 : SRIKAKULAM to KHARAGPUR (Total Distance covered 652 kms) Started early in the morning by 5 AM, crossed 5 kms after Srikakulam and saw what 'Titli' caused over there. Most of the paddy crops have dried out because of no power as all the electrical poles have fallen down. People were laying new electrical network at some places by erecting new poles. This connecting poles continued till Barhampur. This was no leisure ride until I reached NERM (my destination at Sikkim) so was just riding. Couldn't capture much pictures this day as I was very lazy in-between. Reached Kharagpur by 7 PM. A right from the 'Y' junction goes to Kolkata and left goes to Kharagpur. I made a mistake by choosing left road by taking shortcut and took a lodge on Kolkata – Mumbai Highway for 800 bucks (600 for lodge + 100 for AC + 100 for bike parking inside hotel). Had a quick dinner and slept. DAY 3: KHARAGPUR to RAIGUNJ (Total Distance covered 532 kms) Started early in the morning by 5:15 AM, took the shortcut road imagining that I missed this last time during my Bhutan drive but this is hell, huge truck traffic on a 2 lane road and don’t ask me if people understand any traffic rules here, 10000+ pit stops (speed breakers 20% and human breakers 80%). Even Mr. Venkatachalam from Madras Bulls aged about 70 (A cancer survivor who is an inspiration for us to go long rides) clearly mentioned not to touch Rampurhanth and I planned accordingly but finally I ended up at Rampurhanth. Lesson learnt : If u take any shortcut, you pray for an off road which would be a better one compared to this worst road filled with only pot holes which are huge in size where one can easily make somersaults. I have survived from many of them. Big salute to the Local state bus drivers who are constantly at 50-60 kmph on that roads. They are the only inspiration to ride orelse I could have halted. Saw 2-3 somersaults by people in this route while they recovered quickly and started riding, understood that its their daily routine and I somehow crossed it with great relief, Thinking of how I missed all this, I remembered how I took another route for Bhutan Trip and this one I crossed in the night while returning. After Rampurhanth its 4 lane National Highway but people drive and ride on wrong routes as it is their birth right. Initially it was very irritating but later, I got acquainted to it. Even these roads have got pot holes but managed riding at 80-100 kmph. If u miss even one from your sight, you will definitely end up visiting a hospital nearby. Luckily, I missed the small ones but survived and said 'lets rest'. No more riding as it's already 5 PM. Raigunj is the place name on the Highway. You can get nothing to eat or stay. Took the road into the town, got a hotel for 600 bucks A/C, thinking why I Invested 4k - 7k per night stay when I was on Bhutan Trip. It's Lakshmi Pooja on that day. I received prasadam in huge quantity and authentic Bengali food. Had fun with 2 greydens which the hotel owner owns (black and brown). I tried to negotiate on the puppies but he was not willing to give. I had one at my home (brown) and she is 10 yrs old. Time for a new one. Next to my room, I met with a famous Bengali writer. Don’t remember her name aged about 50-60, asked me to listen to her story, told I don’t have any knowledge on Bengali language, she said its written in Hindi first time for stage play. As it was just 6:30 PM and I had nothing to do, I agreed to it and 5 more have joined me. It was really good, the way she narrates the story is better than the actual reading of it. It's quiet similar to our telugu movie “AA Naluguru”, very emotional movie. Said the same to her and she is going to watch it on 'Youtube'. Given it a day off and gone to sleep. DAY 4 : RAIGUNJ to RANGPO (Total Distance covered 232 kms) Woke up leisurely by 8 AM as today's journey is only 230+ kms. Started after having very good breakfast (roti with egg burji) around 10:15 AM. Nice roads with lot of paddy crops, as usual wrong route riding and driving by locals. Reached Siliguri by 1 PM and had lunch. Wanted to check for nitrogen filling station for my bike as I use only nitrogen all the time, I wasted an hour to find it, finally when I found one nitrogen filling station its not getting filled as my bike tyres has puncture free liquid inside. To my horror, he removed the existing one and tried to fill in normal air. Luckily front one succeeded but back tyre did not happen and only option left was to mix air. Was scared if it would cause any tyre ka pin problem. Praying to God to not have any serious incident because of it, reached Rangpo by 4:30 PM. Transit camp was arranged by the organisers in cricket ground. Venue was small and not suitable for a crowd more than 400. Over this, organisers (idiots only for this else they are very good) announced on Facebook about this place has an events, all most 60-70% of NERM riders landed here all night as people were coming from seven states and all around India. No sleep almost, met with Bhutan Dragon Motorcycle club. Being solo and spending some quality time with them made me to ride along with them till the NERM event finish. I think I finished around 8-10 bottles of local beer 700 ml that night and it’s my highest count till date. Hardly I slept for 2-3 hrs. DAY 5: RANGPO to RAVANGLA via Namchi (venue NERM2018) (Total Distance covered 72 kms) Woke up leisurely by 9 AM as we slept around 4 - 5 AM last night and by that time most of the riders left the venue. No way to make it quick for refreshments as organisers expected 200-300, but they got 700+ very few wash rooms and they already in very bad condition. To get relieved from all these nonsense, I wanted to have a coffee and while coming to the venue saw some restaurants and went to one of them. Washrooms are neat and tidy, relieving from the tension, I sipped a nice coffee and informed fellow riders of Bhutan by that time they reached there huge crowd lined up for washroom. LOL think in a very good hotel people standing in que for washrooms, missed the pics. We moved onto the next one and everyone relaxed and moved towards NERM18 actual venue at Ravangla, we took the longer road and its very scenic and beautiful tarmac, almost everyone made it as race, except a 10 kms off roading even that was nice, reached namchi a place famous for its TEA gardens and flavor of TEA grows there. Open Road Wanderers, Sikkim who’s conducting a small event for gratitude for one of their founder member who passed away recently on an accident. Welcome drinks are their local whisky specially served on pot cups, and mementos given to those coming far ends as solo riders. After all these had lunch at local restaurant at namchi, here starts with Thupka, Momo’s, noodles and beef/ pork items, very few for vegetarian, Had chicken noodles and egg burji, all Bhutanese enjoying pork and beef….the way they ate made me lured to try but controlled. Strange thing in Sikkim is that you won’t get water bottles anywhere, in case u want to drink water u have to opt for hot water i.e available in hotels, rest of the time u can choose soft/ hot drinks. People are throwing water bottles everywhere so Sikkim government banned it, as it endangers the rare species left. As I said roads are very good and everyone wants to test his capability of riding skills, saw many fell down but they were happy to understand their limitations. We met with Mr.Naidu from Bangalore He is also 65+ and riding solo from Siliguri, He joined us, as the BDMC were 10 ppl riding, 10th NERM and 10yrs of establishment celebrated with a cake 10 on it at the venue. Finally reached NERM venue and its my first NERM excited. Wanted to go for “Burnout” (backtyre burnout) done the formalities for entry got the goodies and bag. Everyone doing vroom ---vroom--- inside the venue went for a round of the venue, understood most of riders have already occupied best places, and instead of doing burnout we rushed for finding place to pitch the tents. Luckily got a good place opposite to Dinning. Started quickly pitching tents and occupied the places by rounding it up with bikes, proved very much comfortable later. Bhutan riders are carrying a backup vehicle with them and stuff too, even they are carrying logs for campfire, sitting and centre table made with logs and Endura tyre. Overall, I made good friends in the trip. They took good care of me, Steve from UK is also a fellow rider of Bhutan married to a Bhutanese girl. Everyone got refreshed quickly and left to see the venue and stalls, Venue is exactly a plain area in the middle of a jungle. Somehow they made it, plenty of wash rooms they made but with bamboo sheets, not good for city lovers. Venue was properly set with good bands listed over the days passing, grabbed a bottle of beer for everyone and settled some place near the venue. First time pitched a tent in my life, Felt happy doing that in a perfect way. Night temperatures going down to -5, I was carrying the military sleeping bag even that doesn’t given me any warmth, used the blanket on top of it. Called home, chatted with wife and elder one who’s touring USA at the same time. Signals here in grace of god anytime u get 4g+ and next second u won’t get any G, this really gives a lot of trouble as ppl at home take it in a wrong way as they were getting the rings and we don’t even hear one. Very strange network. Overall this day passed with many good travel memories. People arrived very late and sleep was not that proper, slept around 1-2 AM DAY 6: Venue NERM2018 (Total Distance covered 0 kms), Woke up very lately by 10 AM, as here sun rises by 5 AM, no breakfast was left as the time is fixed between 7:30 to 9 AM, My Bhutanese frnds 2 of them couldn’t adjust in Tents so they took a hotel near by 5 kms. Everyone went there for breakfast. The two staying in hotel arranged an authentic Bhutanese breakfast, starting with butter tea, even in my last trip to Bhutan I didn’t tried it, very nice but its salted, ppl talked about Shimla mirchi, but Sikkim mirch looks like cherry and its spicy to the peak, tasted one and its very spicy never ate that spicy ones before, I used to have a green chilli on regular meals, but this one effected directly on next days morning, the curries they ordered is all of beef and pork. I ordered egg burji, and had atleast 3 butter tea, chit chatted on Bhutanese culture and recent elections one in that is the brother of a Bhutanese minister. Everyone is nice with plenty of jokes and we reached the venue after lunch, exploring the stalls and find out that there is no tyres shop, luckily I survived, by any chance if I done burnout on that day, I might be in a big soup as there were no tyre shops near by 30-40 kms. Generally in rider events tyre stalls will be a common one. It's just a routine now drink and drink till 1 am and watch some events slow and fast racing, log lift racing, arm wrestling etc. Participated in log lift racing and came 3rd coz am 40 and not a health freak, The one who came 1st is very young and from Nagaland. The Log race is very short and sweet. Understood the importance of maintaining the health, but still don’t follow. I am not much into music and don't know the band names. All were like wow and I said the same. Drunk too much today literally 50% ppl were out of their limits, met with Hyderabadi riders sushanth from Highway nawabs and sandeep from adventure addicts. Don’t know what to write as I had no idea what happened from 8 PM to 1 AM. DAY 7: Venue NERM2018 to Mangan (Total Distance covered 120 kms) It's Day 3 in NERM18, wakeup same as 10 AM and got ready by 11 AM. Saw the BDMC ppl getting ready to ride back to Bhutan. They just casually said I drank too much yesterday and we were already discussed about going back to Bhutan and blablabla. I don’t even remember one more guy from Bhutan has reached yesterday night only and that fellow met with an accident near Rangpo, and we all went to pick him up.. funny that I don’t have any of it in my mind until someone told me about this the next morning. I felt very sad as they are planning to leave after lunch at 1 PM, missed their company what to do now for entire day as its getting bored because of only drinking and meeting with different riders, meanwhile yesterday night I was so famous that people put all their club stickers and pins to my jacket, feel very proud and ashamed at the same time. Asked the Bhutan Riders did I do anything wrong they were like its fun nothing wrong, everyone is buying beer for drinking and u r buying it for spilling on people, they think I purchased around 10-15 beers for just spilling. LOL The time came to split up and I don’t want it. I said I will send them off till the Buddha point and drove with my shorts and T shirt with Helmet nothing else people watching me this Idiot wearing nothing as Temp is around 5-10 deg. Send off with some clicks and back to venue this time I feel cold, really enjoyed the Good company of the Bhutan Riders. Meanwhile I got a call from Mr.Inder from Adventure addicts to know about my where abouts, I told him will start early in the morning and join them at Zero Point or Lachung. But couldn’t wait that long as its getting boring and boring without company, started packing the tent and luggage it took me almost 1:30 mins. Started by 3 PM from Ravangala to Mangan distance is 120 kms thought of it covering by 3-4 hrs, but it took me 6 hrs. The Sikkim Chief Minister came to inaugurate the Buddha point on the same day full traffic restrictions so took the shortcut road to reach Mangan, It’s a horrible mistake entire stretch of it is bad 45 kms took me 2:30 hrs, water passages and blah blah made me nightmare as my bike tyres grip is totally gone above that riding alone for the first time feeling bored and afraid but previous fall at chennai (Hyd-Kanyakumari-Hyd) made me strong, Slowly and steadily reached the Mangan it was almost 9 pm. By that time everyone fell asleep, luckily I got a lodge exactly on the main road and Mangan is the place where u get the last petrol station. Earlier Mr.Sateesh from Bangalore met me at Base camp of NERM and he is from one of the Oldest Bike club AIZWAL THUNDERS and he had given me the idea of not getting permits from Gangtok instead get it from Mangan. On weekends u will get permissions directly from Police station, regular days u will get from District officer. I want to try my luck at police station because of Sunday and their simple answer is not here, go tomorrow morning by 10 am at DM office. I am going to lose one more day and I can’t afford it, checked with lodge guy he said jugaad karoonga, as he never tried before called few frnds and got the answer, there is a clerk who has readymade papers signed by DM, need to fill details, lot of relief but I have to go to him by 8 AM only. Said to Myself Good Night. But my son kept calling from USA for saying first his money was stolen, then next call he was not picked up from hotel and he is alone rest of the guys went to airport for visiting Niagara Falls, Meanwhile my wife took care of it calling and giving left to right to his principal and tour organizer. Matter settled but no proper sleep from last 5 days. DAY 8: Mangan to Zero Point to Lachung (Total Distance covered 150 kms) Woke up by 6 AM, finished breakfast by 7 AM and want to visit the clerk bit early in case he is ready to do the permit will save 1 hr. Luckily all formalities done by 7:30 including 6 sets of Xerox of permits, where we need to submit at check posts in and out as this place borders to China. Kept 50% of luggage at Mangan same lodge told him while returning I will collect and he happily agreed. Started after filling petrol to the brim, expected 20 litres will be good enough for 360 kms ride as TB350 gives 30km mileage and it has 18 litres tank capacity. Here starts the bum bum bumchik…. no roads, good roads, steep roads, roads with water, mud, travel cars and trucks. Ladakh is far better at some points, riding lone and keeping puncture seen in mind was very bad still no chance to retire in the middle… gone gone goa …. no way I can contact anybody as airtel only network here works not even BSNL. Reached Lachung and tried to reach the Adventure addicts team whom I am suppose to join today but nowhere I could reach. Taking GOD’s name started ahead for an hour, I couldn't even seen a single vehicle going up all are coming down. Everyone who travels these roads make a halt at Lachung and then drive/ride to Zero Point, after an hour I met with some ppl having bike issue as Himalayan bike clutch wire gone, and brothers from seven sisters helping it. To my luck these are the people from Adventure addicts, temperature is freezing and u cant remove your gloves, some how handshakes over as I am meeting them first time and things r not in a welcome mood. Small chit chat and they said its going to take some time u go ahead if Hemu from Chennai if he has confident to ride further we will catch u else will meet at Lachung. After some thought decided to move ahead as my role is nothing there, seeing an incident like this straight away fills your mind with all negative thoughts adding to this no one riding up and no one riding/driving down. Only thing believed is upside GOD, downside Indian Military they going to take care of me, travelled further and further slowly started facing black ice, temperature definitely -5 to -8 in between. The plain point where all the traveling ppl hire gloves, jackets on rent basis due to extreme temp all were closed. Alone at this point I need to decide to continue or retreat, Got a small voice from inside “ch…t..e aage chal, iske liye tho eitna door aaya” agreed to and started forward its same like Rohtang pass at Manali where u have 2 lane and 4 lane roads available but here road with boulders and black ice on top of it will be no comparison except the mountain view. Rode all the way to the point with 2 bike falls as black ice wont allow brakes and my 350cc bike doesn’t give enough power to cruise. I am seeing further roads are available not dared to go, returned back to Lachung met with Adventure addicts as Lachung has BSNL network, they too have to vacate the room as per their Itenary because of bike problem want to make night halt here itself but hotel room is full and we need to search for a new and people mastered in it from adventure addicts. Booked Royal Lachung Hotel for 4000 bucks 2 rooms (3+2). Proper introductions and then started chatting along with old Monk (no introduction for any biker) as flows. Thinking today I am going to have a proper sleep, same story son calls in midnight or early morning. Somehow I got a feeling I slept well, as I got good company again. DAY 9: Lachung to Thangu valley (Total Distance covered 85 kms) Discussed last night and again discussed in the morning about how to deal with Himalayan Bike clutch temporarily fixed but rider not confident, I told in case he feels not comfortable we exchange bikes or he is going to be pillion to me as others doesn’t have experience of riding pillion in those roads still undecided. Woke up by 8 AM, got ready by 9:30 AM after heavy breakfast, finally we decided to go to lachen and think about it further at lunch time whether to stay at lachen or thangu valley and riding or pillion. One more guy as I mentioned earlier Mr.Sandeep (45+) and his wife are travelling ahead of us will give us a clue to ride further the Himalayan bike. We met them at lunch and he says its far better than Nepal roads just go ahead and finish it. Thangu valley checkpost opens only after 7:30 AM and this final checkpost closes by 10 AM for entering towards gurudongmar lake. Decided to stay at Thangu valley and here stay options are very less, only homestays. Booked one before hand reaching thangu valley, after reaching there we find out no electric network laid down its only for Military, No room warmers, no power think about morning shit. The lady who runs home stay also runs hotel mostly momo’s, omletes, noodles and tea. Room is ok but very cold. Same old monk stories in dinner, later went to bed using phone torches on. DAY 10: Thangu valley to Gurudongmar to Mangan (Total Distance covered 160 kms) Night same food and early morning breakfast was also the same. Survived that night with all the clothes on, but the morning OOOh water is frozen to ice and everyone in the hotel is rushing to washrooms and findout its frozen…LOL has to experience these things face to face. Everyone got some hot water from the landlady for refreshments. After this all stunts at room we saw lot black ice infront of the hotel, with lot of falls from 7:30 AM to 9 AM. Even 2 of our guys have fallen down. This road is worse than Zero point for a stretch of 10 kms rest is tarmac. Got checked with the final police checkpoint at Thangu valley and headed further and u can see many military stations with tanks and boforce guns lined up facing hills, reached the military checkpost where gopro’s and professional cameras are not allowed officially but u can take them unnoticed in case get caught u will lose it mobiles r allowed. Last 10 kms road was very beautiful and scenic lot of photo shoots will go on in case u r a photo lover. Reached Gurudongmar lake, small diversion from main road to the right clearly mentioned with sign boards, small uphill and there u go the Frozen lake of Gurudongmar. Photos and Photos crazy people trying to touch the holy water. Huge crowd, good memories and one more strike off from my travel diaries. Same road return journey with lot of pics didn’t go to kalapathar as others have permits for Nathula pass and I don’t have it, need to rush to Gangtok for it, talked to some brokers but no one assures me of same day permit need to wait for 1 more day. I decided to go further to mangan collect luggage and move to gangtok on same day. As it's already 2 PM here at thangu valley, informed fellow riders about my situation and left, riding alone in these roads looks different and hard now, but reached mangan by 4:30 PM. Tried my luck with hotel guy and he tried to some random people and said sorry by that time its 6 PM, decided to stay back at Mangan and reach Gangtok tomorrow morning early. Plenty of time in hand, had a long chat with wife and son. DAY 11: Mangan to Gangtok (Total Distance covered 80 kms) Woke up early by 5 AM and had breakfast ready by 6:30 AM took the long path good roads but very narrow. Those who want to test their driving or riding skills must choose this, by 10 am I reached Gangtok and straight drove to Permit office, collected the permit application copy for Rs 10/- and he told me no aadhar will work here voter ID or passport copy, wasted another 30 mins for getting it ready. This office is next to MG market only happening place at Gangtok. You will get all you need here. After submission, went straight to bank for challan of Rs. 200/-, State Bank of Sikkim this only we have to go and u will find a huge line whos to pay all their challans even I saw a challan for Rs. 10/-. They can make 2 lanes for this much crowd, still not interested. After 1 hr in line, got the copy of challan and submitted to permit centre, within a minute they gave me permit and told me to collect the permit the next morning 6 AM. With some relief went straight to MG market and landed at café coffee day waiting for Adventure addicts people. By 2 PM got a call with location on whatsapp say good bye to café coffee day as one of my best travel companion for Coffee and food (smoked grill chicken) reached them. Here google shows wrong path somehow locals will definitely helps u all the time. Reached hotel and checked in room, one of the fellow of Adventure addicts came and said imagine how much could I have booked this hotel I said maybe 3000 bucks he said only 600 bucks. Ooh gr8 I said as I was already going through this website online for finding the location, This guy is little typical lost his sony DSLR on the ride, Fellow guys has reminded him of not to hang it while riding u may lose, his arrogance has costed him to a near and dear. He is aged about 50, still behave like a child (reason might be unmarried). After a little praise to him everyone ordered some snacks and some lunch had a small nap. Evening everyone got into a party mood, checked some pubs/ bar & restaurants, finalized on one OSM. Weather in the morning was very harsh means 20-25 deg, night weather between 8-15 deg was nice. By 8 PM, we reached there its wrong time as most of the shops will get closed by 10-11 PM without knowing everyone lunged into OSM and order the beers and old monk rum. By 11 PM one of the bar attender said sir last order as closing time by 11 PM, we realized of going to dinner rushed to the restaurant nearby and begged him for food he agreed to limited menu. Somehow finished dinner and back to MG market. You can’t find people and it looks like we were at cemetery, earlier when we reached it was chaos and now its dead calm, got a taxi Maruthi Omni and here fun begins he riding like a F1 racer, inside everyone thought of its last day but no one speaks. If someone said to slow down he is pacing more, as we drunk alcohol is taking care of fear. Reached in 15mins same distance took us 1 hr earlier. Back to hotel and same story repeats for me home and USA calls. DAY 12: Gangtok to Aritar (Total Distance covered 160 kms) Woke up early by 5 AM as I need to get the police permit as rest of the people have already got permits. Adding to this My bike back tyre lost air thought of puncture, first want to finish permit then look into this puncture. Straight went to the same place of yesterday and submitted the application and within 2 mins u got ur permission ready, do Xerox of this permit to as it required in multiple times as I haven’t done due to the puncture thing but had a mobile copy which saved me in all the time. After the permit went back to hotel on the way searched for many puncture shops no one is willing to come to hotel, when I reached hotel my fellow riders pumped some air to it, its air pin gone bad for me, took it back to puncture shop and changed both the pins front and back and had some etc to keep for future needs. We left very late by 9 am as most of the people by that time will be at changu lake (Tsomongo lake) Luckily due to some military truck fall on the road made us reach quickly as bikes can pass it but not 4 wheelers. My last trip in May to this place was full of Ice and now I was expecting more of it but to my surprise no ice at all but freezing winds blowing, hardly we stayed for 30 mins there and moved further to Nathula Pass, Beautiful place fenced with cloth ropes, and land mines, snow fall happened a bit, unbearable cold, fingers r getting numb while riding, parking is bit far away from the Nathula Pass point , few steps one need to take up for touching the India-China Border. Canteen available with jilebi, samosa, tomato soup and noodles, what else u need at that place every item made by Indian Military was awesome and fresh. Spent an hour exploring the silk route wall where traders only will be allowed aaar paar only for a month between September 15 to November 15. Sometimes only for a month. Here u find a police checkpost for entering and leaving, photography is prohibited due to ppl uploading into instagram, facebooks and google. Roads r 2 lane and 4 lane most of the time, moved further crossing many peaks filled with land mines, slowly we reached the explorers paradise Zuluk Valley, had many photosession while riding down. Our destination was at Orange Valley Green Resort near Aritar, this small stretch of 20 kms is treacherous, we are about to enter this road faced rainfall first time in this entire trip. I don’t have a rain gear inside all of us waited and ordered for some snacks, after an hour rain went away and my nightmare started as my tyres r not having any grip in mud, thought of skill improvising took the risk and ride started. The one leading the group took the wrong turn and we landed somewhere, destination was 20kms from the snacks place showing now 24 kms....after thorough inspection we got the resort location right but to reach the road was worst full mud roads. I was riding at 10-30kms speed everyone is left me first and then waited for me with their cigarette breaks…by 8 pm we gave up and called the resort owner to come and collect us. He is very nice fellow and biker, he come and shown the proper road to travel, Its very narrow but fully tarmac, slope angles will be more than 40-50. This resort is booked for 1000bucks/person with food and lodging. Quickly changed as my clothes r wet, and joined the bonfire arranged with drinks and snacks, being as a fellow rider and organizer of bike trips he gifted an old monk bottle. Ended the day with many memories with good food. No calls as here no signals and Good sleep DAY13: Aritar to Siliguri (Total Distance covered 110 kms) After having a good long sleep yesterday’s night, full battery on but no destinations which I can use it for as its last day for my ride, I am not riding back to Hyderabad as some emergency at Home, booked flight for next day early morning as no flights available same day and we started down to siliguri, Good to bad roads and plenty of truck and 4 wheeler traffic, whatever we had all these ride days is slowly vanishing from my memory because of the traffic and one idiot with Honda active want to race with us, even after neglecting many times he still begging for it and he doesn’t even have helmet on head, escaped many crashes as road is not smooth and many hair pin bends with zero visibility at some points, somehow got rid of that idiot, same feeling when u r riding a bicycle dog comes with u faking it is going to bite. I left early my fellow riders keeping them back with some speed as I need to transport vehicle back to Hyderabad, contacted safe express people and finalised price for 5600 including packing and delivering at home in Hyderabad. Their methods are very raw like they asked me not to come to go down as they can pick up vehicle in mini trucks from town and deliver same and they don’t even have and instruments to load or unload both at siliguri and Hyderabad All this done by manually lifting by 3-4 ppl. Luckily nothing happened to my vehicle except the side stand bend, as the people at siliguri has sent bike on side stand to Hyderabad LOL After dumping vehicle took a battery taxi and reached hotel where fellow riders are already checked in, got refreshed. Adventure addicts people were hiring bikes from Siliguri for Sikkim trip price ranging from 1400-2000/day depends on the year of the model and number of kms driven. They finished the formalities of giving vehicle back and these people already stayed same place when they landed at siliguri. Same old Pub walkable distance as hotel is on busy market. Had plenty drinks till the bill reached 8k and walked away for food. Nothing available for dinner had some ice creams. DAY14: Siliguri to Hyderabad no riding (Flight) Having sweet Memories in this travel, met with unknown people become very close friend’s lot of culture sharing and gifts sharing, finally back to Hyderabad, leaving one thing in mind when I am going to complete my Varanasi Trip, missed twice now. Looking forward to this with some fellow ID’s
  5. 8 points
    Hello guys, After a long search and wait, here is my new Ford Freestyle in Charcoal Black colour. The car search started in the month of August when my dad driving our WagonR in a narrow lane slightly brushed the car to a thin direction board. and the result was, totally damaged fender and bumper that costed us 3k. And from there all the issues piling up and periodical maintenance cost reaching almost 10k after 65k Kms, my father thought of taking a new car with solid build and of course better ASS. Cars considered: TATA TIAGO: A beautiful and solid car with excellent engine. visited the showroom Malik Tata Bowenpally only to get the worst showroom experience that made us drop the idea going with Tata though I love the brand and admire Mr. Ratan Tata. Apart from the experience, I felt the car is bit overpriced. (personal opinion, no offence) Basic one does not even come with power windows and dual airbags and is priced on par with premium hatchbacks. The top end is 7.5L without alloy wheels and Auto AC which made me think twice. A strict 'NO' to Maruti because of its build quality. VW Polo: Tried and tested car with superb performance and build quality and not to forget it's well known worst after sales experience. Hence dropped. Honda Jazz: We already own a Honda City I-VTEC and I know how well it performs. Also, know how bad the i-DTEC performs. My daily drive is home to college and back. Gundlapochampally to Punjagutta that is almost 100 KMS up and down. So our choice was a diesel or else a CNG. Since the Honda diesels are not good, we dropped the Jazz from our list. Hyundai i20: Nice car with nice performance but my dad somehow never liked the brand Hyundai (no offence). Also, the latest NCAP crash test rating for the i20 made me and my dad opt out of the deal. Hyundai i10: Nice car but simply overpriced Hyundai Santro: Nice car but a mediocre engine. As the car is only for me, I wanted a performer and the Santro isn't one. Ford Figo: Amazing car but showing its age. now comes the FORD FREESTYLE: A car with superb SUVsh looks, tried and tested 1.5 TDCi engine, solid build, killer looks and it's a Ford. The brand I loved since I was a kid. in the early 2000s when I was a kid I first saw the Ford Escort. Since then I always thought of owning a Ford. When my dad said he is looking to change the car for me and asked for alternatives, the first word from my mouth was the Ford Freestyle. Just gave a look towards all the other alternatives just to satisfy my dad and also I got a chance to boast about Ford whenever we visited other showrooms[emoji12] Now the buying experience: Visited the showroom on a Saturday night. We were three, me, my dad and my dad's assistant. We were well received by Mr. Rama Raju, the sales executive at Modi Ford begumpet. He took us straight to the first floor where the freestyle was standing next to the EcoSport. he briefed us about the vehicle and later too us on test drive after which my father decided to buy the car. He and I just loved the way it revved and drove. Extremely refined engine with amazing low end torque and pickup. The overall visibility and ergonomics for me (height 6ft) is really good. compared to our City's head room and WagonR's shoulder Room. Monday we booked the basic ambient variant which comes with two airbags, ABS with EBD. Since I only drive it in the city and have Honda City we thought basic variant should be fine. Later after going through the variants list we upgraded it to Titanium. We got our car delivered in a week as promised. On road price 9,05,000. We got accessories worth 5K for free as from the dealer. The overall sales experience with Modi Ford was really good and the SE Mr. Rama Raju is a very nice person to deal with. Coming to the car, it's a 1.5 TDCi engine that produces 99bhp at 3790 RPM. *) A very beautiful and enthusiastic engine with powerful low end and middle end torque. *) Solid body and build quality. Plastic quality is okay okay. *) Ride and handling is very nice and stable. *) Seats and ergonomics are very well designed Detailed review will be out after a long road trip and after first service. Here are few pictures, The engine that comes with no cover occupying the whole bay and heats up fast Insulation to the bonnet that controls engine noise Nice blacked out headlamps Nice C shaped fog lamps housing Side profile of the Ford Freestyle which looks likes a Mini SUV Smoked grey alloys 60R15 Good Year tires (stock) with option of MRF and Apollo Integrated turn indicator on ORVM Rear profile similar to Figo Reverse parking sensors on bumper with camera Scuff plates on all the sides a part of the vehicle Touch screen Infotainment system with really good working touch and UI Door open info display Automatic climate control that cools the cabin in no time Vanity mirrors on both the sides 10 bottle holders all in the front Electronic adjustable and retractable ORVM Secret pocket on the dashboard Attached head rest in the rear which is a let down Decent legroom in the rear when front seats pulled all the way back Slightly tweaked taillamps Push button that is not so happy to access Traction control switch Reverse parking camera display works really well Surround sound system that is adjustable the way we like Sound EQ adjustment Digital compass Navigation works really well Average speed Instant fuel economy display Average fuel economy Trip meter Number of KMS traveled Distance to empty Here are few additional pictures PS: sorry for few blurred pictures. Detailed review will be out after first service
  6. 8 points
    Shot on Honor 7x The first and last one are at my community early in the morning. The second one at Ravulapalem, sunrise.
  7. 8 points
    Recent ride Hyd-sslm-vjw-Hyd Location : Doranala. One+ 5T
  8. 8 points
    Western Ghats exploration drive meet - Report India is blessed to have the best of landscapes offering enthralling views & jaw dropping backdrops and We throttled down to explore our piece of paradise as we always do it. Start point - Gachibowli (ORR) End point - Pune (Hinjewadi) Start time - 05:30 a.m. Total Distance - ~1300 kms Objective - Western ghats exploration, Matheran, Lonavla and Lohagad. Participants: 1) Volks Wagen Polo (Red) 2) Volks Wagen Polo (Red) 3) Hyundai i20 (Black) 4) Swift Dzire (Pacific Blue) 5) Volks Wagen Ameo (Toffee Brown) 6) Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (Brick Red) 7) Maruti Suzuki SX4 (Azure Grey) 😎 Hyundai Creta (White) 9) Jeep Compass (Red) Route Taken: Hyderabad (Gachibowli) --> Zaheerabad --> Humnabad --> Solapur --> Indapur --> Hinjewadi (Pune) Places covered: 1) Lohagad fort 2) Pavna Lake 3) Lonavla, Khandala 4) Matheran Planning : Day 1 : Hyderabad to Pune drive details - Started at 5:30 AM in the morning ( due some delays) - Breakfast stop at around 7:30 AM at Hotel Mahindra Paradise https://goo.gl/maps/4ZU7cMJrdkG2 - Very few options on this section due to new roads - Road between Hyderabad to Humnabad is excellent. - Humnabad to Solapur is pathetic, some sections are too narrow. - Solapur to Pune is excellent, but recently new have installed speed bumps near villages. - We had a lunch break at some road side restaurant. - We reached Pune by 6PM. - According to admins, we are very quick compared to last drive. - During last drive they reached Pune at 7PM (started at 4AM) - I think roads improved! - We checked into Hotel Siesta which is excellent (Frankly, I did not expect such a luxurious rooms for the price) Day 2 : Pune to Lohagad fort - We started at 7/8 AM from Pune - Since our accommodation is in outskirts. - We reached highway within 10 minutes - We had breakfast stop Kamat. - Pune to Lohagad roads are scenic. - We reached Lohagad, explored the fort and had lunch break. - We drove to Lonavala, Tiger view point, We are literally above clouds in some sections. - We reached Pune by night Day 3 : Pune to Matheran -We repeated the same schedule of Day2, till breakfast. - We hit the famous Mumbai-Pune expressway - I can clearly see everyone is pushing their cars, it was pure fun for drivers. - Best experience of Mumbai-Pune expressway is during monsoon. - Once we divert from expressway, roads to Mahteran are pathetic. - It took us hours to complete 80 kilometres. - I loved Mathern, they don't even allow cycles. - Only transport option by walk or horse. - Hotels on the hill top are below average. - While driving back we reached pretty quick on the same route. - We reached to Pune to 9PM Day 4 : Pune to Hyderabad - Drive is was uneventful - It is similar to Day1 Apart from 1 Polo puncture, drive is fantastic throughout four days. Drive Hyderabad : Solapur : Pune : Lohagad fort : Lonavala : Pune : Matheran : Pune : Solapur : Hyderabad Road condition: Hyderabad to Solapur : Hyderabad to Humnabad is good and Humnabad to Solapur is bad Solapur to Pune : Very good, but i have seen some uneven sections, It is no where close to Hyderabad-Bangalore sections Pune to Lohagad: Road are narrow scenic and good Loahagad to Lonavala Roads are bad Lonavala to Pune Road are excellent Pune to Matheran It is a mix of good and pathetic roads
  9. 8 points
    Night photography Location : Hyderabad Mobile : Pixel
  10. 8 points
    Gratitude: At the very beginning I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Admin and all other people from forum who provide valuable inputs in finalising the whole journey . I would like to Appreciate their quick responses and inputs to complete the trips. Dream: There is only one thing that comes close to my passion for cars, my love for travel. I dream of covering every nook and cranny of this country, by road. Being a frequent reader of India-Drive Team travelogues, I hope to write about my dream road trip to the Himalayas someday. I am one of lurkers on the forum here and I enjoy reading the travelogues the most. About Water falls: Note: I have copied some lines from google search and I have added some lines by my own.Please excuse Typo Error.. Mutyala Jalapatham or mutyam dhara or Veerabadhram Waterfalls is located near venkatapuram mandal.it is a hidden waterfall recently explored by locals. Unknown to many, this will be the country’s third highest waterfall could be hidden away in a remote corner of Jayashankar Bhupalpally district. According to Dr Dyavanapalli Satyanarayana, explorer, the water falls from an estimated 700 feet at Gaddalasari. If confirmed, this could be India’s third highest after the Nohkalikai falls (1,100 feet in Meghalaya) and Jog falls (Karnataka, 830 feet). The waterfall can be reached after walking 9-11 km (to reach waterfalls)from village Veerabadravaram. There is no proper road leading to the spot. “The waterfall height can be some 700 feet. If it is confirmed by taking measurements, it can be on par with the highest waterfalls of India,” “It is so high that the water does not fall to the ground directly. The flow of water is affected by the wind so that it appears like a long snake,” Forest Walk and Trek along streams (Total around 20kms of Walk in forest ) Open to Anyone who is an outdoor enthusiast expecting no luxury/comfort and can adjust with basic amenities. Trek will be little difficult in water due to slippery surface and uneven stones. Route: Before 6Kms from Bogatha Waterfalls you will find a Right turn to Venkatapuram Village From Highway to Venkatapuram village, it is around 20Kms and from their drive Exactly 5Kms. You will find one small village, can ask any local people about the waterfalls Mutyala Jalapatham or mutyam dhara or Veerabadhram Waterfalls. For simple route from highway take road to venkatapuram village, go straight till 25.3Kms and you will find small sign board of waterfalls on your left.(Can confirm from local people) Road condition is very good till Venkatapuram village. Lucky: I never expected i am having this much luck, I parked my car near one small hut and started walking into Forest to reach Waterfalls. We moved around .05 KM into forest and finally we got a lift to waterfalls by some local people who also came to visit the falls. Only Tractors can go into that forest road, muddy road with full ground clearance . It took us 1 Hour 30 mins to reach waterfalls. After Parking Tractor, we walked around 1KM to reach Waterfalls as even tractor cannot go beyond that Point. Safety: 4 Wheeler can be parked near the road or talk to any shopkeeper and pay him some money for keeping eye on our vehicle. We cannot take our 4 Wheeler on the waterfalls road as there are very big stones or Muddy area. I would suggest to go in a group as this place is very lonely and you can also take any local people as guide if you need. 2 Wheeler can go to some extent around 3-5 KMS depends on driving. Phone signals are not available once you start walking into the forest. Only BSNL network will work. Water depth is expected as 70+ Feet, for enjoying take tyre tube. Places to Stay: Laknavaram Lake – 4 Cottages & Couple of rooms available, we have to do advance booking. Tadvai Forest Camp : 6 Cottages available, We have to do advance booking. If you are not able to book any cottages or rooms in the above mention place, then you will find one lodge in Mulugu Town(Warangal) AC & non AC. From Mulugu – Laknavaram Lake is 20kms approximately From Laknawaram Lake - Tadvai Huts is 30Kms approximately Route: Hyderabad – Warangal – Mulugu – Laknawaram – Tadvai – Venkatapuram village – Muthayal Jalapatham Hyderabad – Warangal – Mulugu – Laknawaram – Tadvai – Bogathawaterfalls Places covered: 1000 Pillar temple. Bhadrakali Temple. Ramappa Temple or Ramalingeswara temple Note: Haritha Tourism is constructing new cottages with Lake view and will be mostly open for public soon(no confirmation). If people are not able to get accommodation in Laknavaram Lake or Tadavi Forest Cottages, they can book here in Ramappa Temple. Laknavaram Lake Sri Hemachala Laxmi Narsimha Swamy Devalayam (Malluru,Mulugu Mandal) About Temple: Malluru famous for Sri Ugra Narasimha Swamy temple, is located app 90 Km from Bhadrachalam(famous Sri Rama Shrine in south India) and app 130KM from Warangal City. This temple has many specialities, the height of mollaviraat Sri Narasimha Swamy is upto 10 feet. It is located in the midst of forest. The Belly part of Moolavirat idol is soft as human skin.The dwjasthambha here at the temple is nearly 60 feet in height. There is a rock formed Ugra Anjaneya Swamy Statue near to the temple. There is a continuous water flow near the temple, which flows from the top of the hills. No one knows from where the waters flows and the water flow is always same through out the year and continues same. Muthyala Jalapatham Waterfalls (Details written above) Bogatha Waterfalls Warangal entry 1000 Pillar Temple Bhadrakali Temple Bhadrakali Lake Warangal Fort : Not sure why this is called as Fort.It looks like a park with collection of ancient stones. Ramappa Lake Ramappa Temple Laknavaram Lake Tadvai Forest Sri Hemachala Laxmi Narsimha Swamy Devalayam (Malluru,Mulugu Mandal) Mutyala Jalapatham or mutyam dhara or Veerabadhram Waterfalls Bogatha Waterfalls I am not able to upload Videos, will try to share in Whats app Group or please suggest me how to upload the video. It will show clear picture of forest and road condition and waterfalls. Thanking one and all for reading My Respects & Best Regards Anand Singh
  11. 7 points
    Shot on one plus 5T, Sikkim trip
  12. 7 points
    Hyderabad –Bhutan – Hyderabad started on 13th may 2018. Day1: As I already stated before, this trip was to test my family’s capability of exploring the long drives of distances more than 6000 kms and 20+ days duration, all the time I was alone going on bike expeditions. Started early by 5 am from home located at jalvayu towers, lower tankbund, still kids r in sleeping mode they don’t even have a hint of this trip, just they know someplace traveling, quickly packed the luggage and driven, stopped at Vijayawada for breakfast on road side. One thing i learned a new thing from this trip ( mostly women want to eat street food all the time with neat and clean environment) nothing to say much on this stretch as kids and wiffy sleeping all the time and road conditions everyone knows, halting place is at APTDC,Baruva Beach. we reached by 3:30 pm in vizag and had lunch at cafe coffee day on the way reaching to vizag. i want to skip the vizag traffic and taken the truck bypass route, It’s a two lane road some parts wide & some areas narrow, many pot holes in the road but manageable. At 4 to 4:30 rain started heavily, video tells all about it, once crossed vizag. it’s a breeze through srikakulam highway and it’s no more raining and weather is pleasant, reached Baruva by 7 pm, the APTDC cottages are very spacious and AC works well, but poorly maintained the infrastructure, you can have look of sunset and sunrise directly from your room. Booze on order available, but canteen people won't serve, Ordered snacks and food from canteen, food is ok. Sat at the balcony attached and had a long chat and kids are busy with TV. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 850KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 14 hrs Tariff for Accommodation: APTDC/ double Bed Room -Ac Rs.3000-00 with charges for Extra person Day2: Woke up early by 5am thought it was 7 am, quickly refreshed and went on some auto mode beachside photography, shot some sunrise pics, I came back up by 6 am and woke up them, here the horror starts. The time I took them to beach huge crowd from adjacent village to this property is on shitting show all over the beach with 1-3 kms stretch from 6:15 to 7:30 am. Lost interest of going to the beach. Kids got ready and had puri (only thing available) as breakfast. Wiffy had some pics at cottages. Started towards Chilka lake and its a 4 lane road, sun is on his peak still we want to finish the boat ride at Chilka easy to find the way to reach this place, once u take diversion for Rambha straight u will reach to Hotel pant nivas ( most of the people book it online) adjacent lane to pant nivas directly goes to chilka lake. Different tariffs r available from 600 to 5000, depends on whether u r small goat or big goat, both govt and Pvt ferries available, govt one will definitely cost u more and u have to book it from pant nivas built adjacent to chilka lake, it’s a good one to stay, very spacious (on return journey we stayed here.) on bargaining they agreed to 1000 bucks for trip to breakfast point, dinosaur island and kingfisher island. Compare to any other parts this is pretty cheap for me for the total ride of 2 hrs. i already posted some pics of it. Still the kings / queens from Orissa come over here for their breakfast quiet often. Many islands are there with its own story to tell it will cost u more. Boat Ride was good with some luck as dolphins and kingfishers we sited. While traveling on boat one of the guys suggested to take a ride through scenic road instead of NH to reach konark. *At palur on NH45 before Rambha diversion you have to take diversion for this road called as malud road It really proves worth listening to him, beautiful roads with lot of water bodies around from small to big to very big, live fishing scenes u may come across many times, finally reached some point where the road ends and you have to travel by ferry, just missed by 2 mins, it costed 2 hrs, there are many small boats which carries bikes and goods in regular but heavy vehicles like bus, lorry and car has to go through ferry and fees only 300/- so cheap for a life time experience. Entering, exiting and parking in the ferry is a scary part reverse drive and you don’t have choice of roaming freely, all most side door to door and bumper to bumper they will pack, luckily am into one side of the ferry so i can open only one side of door, few pics of it. Strange and good thing i observe in this trip wiffy didn’t complain about back pain or any pain she started the taste of exploring places. Safely reached onto the other side of the bank, while taking car out off the ferry one need to be careful in case u drive sedan or suv it hits on back bumper, luckily survived with skills learned from senior ppl like u guys. The road is a narrow to 2 lane road and 4 lane and it took me 4 hrs on the way to konark, hundreds of cows left on roads and crazy bikers make you upgrade your driving skill set, many speed breakers u will face on this road avoided puri-konark road and took diversion on to jaganath sadak and then to maltatipur-konark road, you can find speed breakers on 4 lane road very crazy, road through the forest is fully packed with many speed breakers, after finishing the drive l was thinking how the tsunami affected konark temple, pretty far from beach. Stayed in Yatrinivas konark, dinner in its attached hotel, very tasty but no room service. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 250KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 7Hrs 20Mins Tariff for Accommodation: Yatri Nivas/ double Bed Room /Ac Rs.2100-00 with charges for Extra person Day3: By 6 am visiting konark temple is best, but we woke up at 7:30 am late and by finishing breakfast by 9am i. e a very bad time to visit konark temple added to this some local person murdered in the night, and police is everywhere, so parking is very far from konark temple. sun is on his peak by 10 am itself somehow managed through, still wondering no complaints from wiffy. Tickets que is very long and no separate lines for men and women somehow got it done very quickly and hired a local guide, he helped us with his umbrella and enormous knowledge he has on this temple even though illiterate, after knowing about brief about konark temple and 12 out of 24 wheels history we tired and guide with age of 60 was very active and he continues his way of explaining things, after making halfway of the temple wiffy starts complaining about scorching heat, she said u guys finish and i will wait for u. the guide says “madamji abhi tho asli cheez dekhneka hai, ghore log tho sirf isko dekhnekeliye athe hai”. She pumped up again and ready to walk, guide told the kids to watch at something and took us both to some wheels where it has xxx scenes of ancient mudra. I have to see her face.....burst out of laughing. Guide quickly understand the situation and rushed towards the kids, Very funny it was. Anyhow it charged our mood from sun rays. To save ourselves from heat had some coconut, cucumber, plenty of water and rushed to puri jaganath darshan, heavy traffic buy 2 wheelers, 4 wheelers and cows, everywhere u can see cows and cows. I as usual trapped by some goons who run quick darshan and at the end I couldn't even had darshan of Lord jaganath, but had a bill of 1116/-for annadaanam. At least satisfied that Annadaanam was served to God. Kicked his ass for this but paid him 300\- very shameless fellow, saying mujhe kitnebhi maro lekin paisa dho. Plz plan it earlier in proper time and go directly by urself and have darshan always. my wife cursed him all the way we reached to our hotel Sonar Bangla motel midway at the outskirts of kolkata. The most horrible place for 5000/- i never suggest this hotel to anybody, online reviews were good so i booked it but wasted money. It’s a supreme room, AC not working and it’s hardly a 8x10 size room, even after room freshener applied its smelling and owner is so rude and says don’t like then talk to your MMT representative, time was 11pm, no one picks the call, no option left hardly slept as beds are very bad….don’t know how travelers given such a rating to this hotel. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 512.00KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 11 hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Sonar Bangla Motel Midway/ double Bed Room -Non/Ac Rs.5000-00 with charges for Extra person Day4: Thought of visiting many places in Kolkata, but a small incident changed my mind, traffic police identify vehicle is not from wb, then tries to loot money from you even we have all documents with us, even though mine is BS-IV vehicle still I carried pollution paper still doesn’t satisfies him, then he started lying u crossed a red signal very funny, arguing for a 30 mins wasted and those idiots settled for 100 bucks after giving their boss names, internet helped me on this, and entire mood was off. First choice is darshan for both the Maatha ji temples. 2 different scenarios one with heavy crowd and poojaris looting people basis of dakshina and other one is serene and calm guarded by military. First time wiffy complains no more kolkatha, thought of going back to Hyderabad, instead she say we will go towards Bhutan, tried to convince her for visiting other places Answer was “when u come by bike dekhlena”. she doesnt even know that i haven’t even planned anything further after this. kids demanded for sundarbans trip but due to elections at sundarban area they stopped the trips. bad luck. I just rushed into googlemaps and started finalizing the routes at lunch break. Finally decided to go via asansol and it was a bad choice up to asansol roads r 4 lane. We stayed at some hotel named Excellency charged 2.5k and worst rooms and facilities i don’t even pay 500 for it. as we reached late and paid online already no other choice as the 2 nd best hotel is already booked in full. Whole night route plan slept very late. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 302.00KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 6Hrs 20Mins Tariff for Accommodation: Excellency Hotel/ double Bed Room -Non/Ac Rs.2580-00 with charges for Extra person Day5: Asansol to lataguri via Dumka, Bhagalpur, purnea and kishangunj road is all mixed roads, road work is going on, some of them are good, some bad roads, some r horrible roads. But never had a pblm except proper lunch and breakfast, u won’t find any eatables or hotels between, apples and biscuits which in stock were used for this as i said already trip wasnt properly planned, Asansol to Dumka very good roads and No roads, Dumka to Bhagalpur roads are ok with scary drivers 2 & wheelers, Bhagalpur, purnea and kishangunj roads r good to very good. Only trouble truck traffic, long jams for hours, I drove around 30-40 kms in wrong direction to avoid the traffic jam, luckily escaped many accidents on this episode. Kishangunj to lataguri scenic roads one side river and other side forest, some part of the road is very bad. I booked accommodation at The Reserve, GORUMARA, lataguri. Very good hotel with modern amenities, food is very good. south indian Breakfast is an excellent I ever had in northside. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 550 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 13Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: The Reserve, gorumara/ double Bed Room - Ac Rs.5800-00 with charges for Extra person Day6: Woke up early 5am for jeep safari which starts at 6 am, need to buy tickets before one day we tried our luck and we got it on same day, wife still at bed me and kids went through this, we had seen only bison in entire trip missed many wild elephants and leopard very fresh footprints just crossed us, it’s a 2:30 hrs trip covering around 28 kms, kids very disappointed, told them we go again in different place where they do Elephant ride and they also can see Rhynos. Both agreed and back to hotel for Breakfast, after breakfast went to Forest Department office where we need to book accommodation, luckily I got one at Kalipur, but I need it in other location which I saw it on jeep safari. Settled with kalipur, as forest ranger said same accommodation will not be available in case we try to book it online even 6 months before. Paid instantly 6000\- including food and snacks which is ok, Actually we want to stay one more day but it’s already reserved long back. Back to Hotel for packing, staff and manager at THE RESERVE Gorumara is very cooperative and agreed to check out by 2 pm. Drive from hotel to kalipur is @ 45 kms. Thought of 1 hr but it took us 2 hrs, scenic roads through tea gardens. There are only 4 cottages all are NON-AC, 2 already occupied next to canteen by forest dept people, out of 12345, 1&5 are ours, kids demanded mobiles in case they stay separated, my wife drama all the time, kids blab bla bla…..many flies if u put the lights on…..Entire camp is fenced properly, You can find a buffalo ride, 150/person kind of experience went to the rhino tower where we can see them bit faraway, tried our luck, got them only where I can see through binoculars or though camera, reached back on buffalo ride, it’s very different, snacks in the evening is the best food with coffee, after snacks by 7 pm they arranged bonfire and tribal dance with their traditional dress, same night wild elephants have come very near to the camp, we missed it can’t see anything in deadly night vision, understand the value of torch light. Somehow slowly we went to sleep after a remarkable day. BSNL and JIO both works at this place. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 50 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 2Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Kalipur Eco Village, / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.6000-00 with charges for 2 cottages Day 7: Woke up early by 6 am for elephant ride, it’s my first ride too on an elephant, every one excited, me and my life is into one elephant and kids into another one, crossed small river on the ride, saw a lone Rhyno enjoying its mud Bath, eagerly watching at us, might be saying f…k’ff from here. Saw some deers racing like a bullet, and then come across an entire family of rhynos 8-10 with various sizes, couldn’t got a clear shot as grass is almost 8 feet high. After a watchful sight at elephant ride we were on full charge, wife want to stay a day more but no vacancy has to move, started at 12:15 pm towards Darjeeling until silluguri it’s a mixed roads, after that National Highway only 2 lane up and only up never faced such roads before, experience on leh- ladakh has come in handy, given all assurance to my wiffy nothing will happen, just enjoy the beauty of hills, many kids with school uniforms are everywhere throughout the drive. Without any trouble from car we reached darjeeling, whatever I imagined from my childhood watching in movies is not there, heavy traffic of tourists and pretty child environment is encouraging, my kids started getting effected by high altitude sickness, reached hotel, very cozy, but not spacious, In summer temperature is 3-5*C, washroom tiles r so chilled we can’t use without slippers. Different experience to kids and wiffy, enjoyed the food and went to bed thinking about the morning view of the Mighty Kanchanjunga. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 150 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 5Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2500-00 with charges for Extra person Day 8: I decided not to drive in Darjeeling from the experience of previous day drive from siliguri. Hired a local taxi guy, @2000/day. Went to Padmaja Naidu Zoo Park, Rock climbing point, Tea Gardens point where we will be again small and big goats depends on individuals. My suggestion better u guys drive all these points on your own car, waste of money, overall kids got entertained. Already took the famous steam engine train ticket while going to the zoo park in the morning, Frankly speaking I said its just chut….appa to buy tickets for taking a picture with steam engine….Manthera Train ride is far better than this. But its up to the individuals how they feel. We got some good pictures on this train ride. Only fun thing on this ride is the train has seats where only 2+2 can sit, think about 120-140KG ppl settled in our seats entire family of 8 ppl same sizes with different age groups, the moment I entered the coach, I said wtf where we gonna sit, and their faces like adjust or f…off, crazy that these idiots didn’t take seats in regular numbers instead they were booking 1,3,5,7 etc like that….I said firmly to the head of family if u give us window seats we can adjust else I will call TC and no one ride the train, without any question with smile they agreed. All r happy at the end. After all these when we reached back it tiresome, quickly back to Hotel with same taxi guy who picked us in the morning, had some dinner and back to sleep. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 0 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 0Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2500-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 9: Woke up bit late by 10 am started towards gangtok, distance 110kms time taken to trave is 5:30 hrs very hectic, uploaded a video, jho bhi keeda tha driving ki nikhalgaya hai….I prayed god I don’t need any more curves….on the other side kids started vomiting…..every one hour….5 mins break…finally reached Hotel. Its day rest and paper work for ILP’s for next morning and its Monday no permission for Nathula Pass, so only changu lake and Baba mandir. We met some more telugu people in the same hotel traveling in and around Sikkim. Kids had lot of chat and play with them, I just get into bed for whole day to get rested…..I got slight fever due to hectic drive with high altitude sickness, my wife who troubles for 200kms drive, doesn’t show any sign off sickness or pain. Its good sign for the trip to go further. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 120 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 5:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.5000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 10: Woke up early and ready by 7 am waiting for the tour operator from the hotel, but the tour operator didn’t turned up, waited and waited at 10:30 am that idiot has come with taxi, saying sorry yesterday he hasn’t do the permit process and he did it in the morning, this trip costed us Rs 5000/-including all. Huge crowd on the roads till we cross the city, again it started curves, hair pin bends, etc. this time I am enjoying the nature as am not driving, gone through many fog, mist and rain combinations, and the hell of traffic jam for 2 hrs, hired shoes and hand gloves, never thought we face ICE in summer didn’t carry any except jackets. Had some snaps passing through many military camps, finally reached the Changu Lake (Tsomogo lake) beautiful with less crowd as most of them were in return journey, Buffalo ride is over and now its sibling Yak ride is on, As usual I prefer to walk and wife and kids on Yaks, got some beautiful pics cost depends on your bargains 500-1500. It has car cable ride which take you to the top of the hill, temp -2 to 1*C, played a lot had some good pics, came back for journey to Baba Mandir, Taxi driver says its late we have to go back, as everyone is returning back and weather changing drastically, I argued and finally said ok. On return journey my health went down and vomited same as my kids, appreciated the driver for not going to baba mandir. Reached back hotel, Actual plan is to drive in the night to phuentshilong, Due to the health issue continued for one more night, in case health get better we drove early in the morning else we rest as am the only driver for this entire trip. Wife want to do shopping and took local cab guy went to MG Road only place where u can get costly items for more cost, better to buy in some roadside shops, Here shop keepers are more clever than Hyderabad ones, as they make u comfortable that u will never refuse to buy and prepare you for Halal. You will come to know this when u visit some other shop. As usual she is some kind of Maniac (Unique) who doesn’t want gold but all these nonsense, excuse for it I can buy 10-20 items for the same price in comparison to gold. I can’t argue with her on this so I stopped bothering it, finally went back to hotel. View from the balcony of hotel was good but haven’t had any pics everywhere its fog or mist. Can’t see any. Note: You can also do self-driving to these places on Bikes and with good local person cars too, and these taxi drivers and shop owners are all family bros and sis, all most all of them it’s the main source of income. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 0 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 0Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.4000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 11: As my health recovered due to the proper night sleep, Woke up at 6am and we were ready to move to Phuentoshilong had hot coffee and drove towards phuentosholing, Same story again repeats, hills, curves, vomiting and new to this is speed breakers very unique can’t explain ( they are like water passages) better u understand when u drove. As I passed through the Dooars again I understood that I made a wrong booking earlier, could have been done Darjeeling and gangtok, then to dooars could have been a good option as its on the way, reached Phuentoshilong by 1:30 pm. You can find 2 different worlds here at Indian border with Bhutan, one side sounds, pollution, chaos etc on other side strict rules and regulations with peace of mind eg: pedestrian importance, no horns, you can find everywhere a Bangladeshi / Nepal origin as parking ticket collector, you can’t escape from him till you are in Bhutan. You can ask anyone for the directions to Visa permit counter they will help, you won’t get parking easily have to roam around the shops nearby to get one. You can directly enter Bhutan side (Visa Counter) without any permission, first thing is to finish the Car permit as the counter for cash closes by 3 PM, You can get even directions for this through google maps, I was using JIO sim working well, paid Rs 500/- for permit for 7 days after finishing the paper work ( you will be paying vehicle permit amount depends on number of days you will be staying in Bhutan better to go always more than 12-15 days, as this won’t be done again anywhere even in thimphu) and straight drove to Visa Permit counter, There are 2 lines one for people who’s applying for work permit under the BRO in Bhutan and the other line for Tourists and etc, Everyone who reaches the Visa Office will first afraid of seeing the other line….You can also avail the services of brokers in the office, but u don’t need one. They will give you an application form where u will fill details individually and in separate form along with your details along with supporting documents like, id proof, photos-2, and hotel booking confirmation for one day. once you submit these to the 2 operators working at the counter, they check it and your number or name will be called, where we need to go for biometric in 1st floor, all this process will take only an hour, after getting the permit we have to go back to Vehicle permit and show this to them and they issue vehicle permit, while taking vehicle permit they will ask you for how many days, incase u want to explore entire Bhutan then go for 15 days else tell them 7 days accordingly they charge you ones it done will not be redone even at Thimpu, Thimpu is only for an extension of Individual VISA permit but not vehicle permit. After all this had some lunch at 4 pm and started towards Thimpu, Roads are mixed conditions with 4 lane, 2 lane with pot holes, here people putting a right indicator means they are giving way to cross, initially confused later acquainted, reached hotel by 10:30am will upload some pics of it. Note: Your accommodation receipt in Bhutan for day 1 should be mandatory, rest they won’t even bother; same we need to submit our Itenary for entire tour. You can avail all the Xerox and online facilities just next door, you can avail the SIM cards by submitting the permit and aadhar card, money exchange is almost same buy as much as u want, 2000 notes only valid in Phuentoshilong and thimpu rest of the places strictly no and 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10 notes of Indian currency works in all places. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 410 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 15:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Hotel Bhutan / 2 double Bed Room - Ac Rs.7000-00 with all charges. Day 12: Woke up bit late by 8 am started the paper work for further travel in Bhutan same process need to apply for the places to visit and same as going to the vehicle permit. You can easily get these locations, application center is right opposite to my hotel room. Done things by 9 am started towards Punakha, Roads are good, My younger one got fever due to vomiting continuously and he is dehydrated, did what ever I can do as a father to make him calm down and get him back in to travel mood. Dachula pass is very nice one for pics, weather is cold and foggy, didn’t gone through the history of it, Canteen is available, Next thing is to reach our stay i.e homestay thought of little different from India will be nice and enjoyable living in nature and enjoying nature, Homestay is little away from the regular road to Punakha, missed it and drove 5kms realized google showing some other location in back, somehow reached it, off roading to destination, the entire stretch is very scenic, we were in dreams, how the stay could be….same thing crossed the stay and moved further thinking it will be further down as we crossed a small village with very old buildings cant even think about is our stay as it costed my 5000 bucks, reached some place where all people get down for sightseeing it’s the place where all Bhutan art is founded, live art and lot of portraits and landscapes even some are very old on exhibits, called the ladylord, asked to us to come back to village, start the scary part watching my wife’s face…..LOL.. couldn’t even dared to see her eyes, surprisingly see said in calm manner, lets try…….Relief…..the moment we reached and called her she said only 1 room is there, get adjusted in that….before taking any decision I want to see that stay….went along with my elder one….The moment I entered the house understood I made a big mistake booking here, Irooms are in first floor, vertical steps almost like a ladder kept all my fears and dared to enter……Its just a 8x12 room, no bed only beds old type on ground…..no attached bathroom. What else u need to become ussain bolt……LOL. Begged my son not to tell anything about stay and bribed a lego toy, rushed back to car, not a single word with my wife asking normal questions to crying questions, my elder one had his best laughs all the time. Stopped for a Tea, before I told the story I offered her shopping at Paro unlimited, she surprisingly seeing at me and agreed heard the story just laughed, all the things got into normal, booked a hotel at Khuruthang before Punakha reached hotel with a lot of relief. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 90 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 6:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Don’t remember same hotel / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.3000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 13: Started by 10am towards Punakha Dzong, reached in 30 mins, separate parking available for private vehicles, Most Beautiful and the best Dzong in entire Bhutan, River flows adjacent to the dzong, entrance is a crossover bridge, Purple flowers on entire path way, Its properly guarded by police, Main temple is not allowed for visitors, we were at prayer time, saw people carrying food for god and idols….it’s a very high on spiritual time, somehow I get into the main temple as no guard was there, its 5 storey bldg, all rooms are locked, only option peep through, very old paintings of Buddha, they were so beautiful time permitted it takes me a day to stare them, somehow remembered I have family to take care of went down saw a police guard right in front and starring me, I went to him and ask very innocently why they locked rooms, his reply to me how you get in, said no one was here and instruction written just went 1 up by one floor, he called his senior and they discussed some in their language and told its restricted entry for visitors and they pardoned me. Left from there with lot of relief. Went back to hotel telling all stories about the dzong I have seen, kids disappoint of not seeing the Paintings. Packed our bags started back to Paro after 5 hrs leisure drive reached paro, watching the airport and flights landing. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 130 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 5:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Hotel Tiger Nest / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.4500-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 14: Woke up early by 6 pm got ready by 7 am, wife and younger one dropped out for tigers nest trekking, Fully charged from the stories written online, drove to the parking area, and hired horse for my son and bought the stick for me, at the starting it was nice and easy took shortcut where nasty route, two of the idiots almost fall onto me of un balancing, my son reached nicely with horse to the dropping point, I started going back to the regular route which is little bit longer but easy to trek, Met haggy and reached the canteen sipped coffee for 200INR, we met with a French lady on the way to tigers nest aged about 62yrs, but walking like just into 30s and my son asusual with his queries made our journey painless, we need to get a ticket and belongings for free. Nice views of waterfall and some snaps, entered the Tigers Nest, went to many temples, Lighten the butter lamp with prayers all is well. While returning I usually lost myself like a child mesmerized with the live makings of butter ornaments as offering to GOD, my son went to some other place and he sat relaxly, I went on searching for him 3 times in and out of tigers nest and trek halfway to the other side asked many ppl coming towards the tigers nest, every one said no with the identifications I said, went back to tigers nest again and find this guy chatting happily with French lady. Anger and happy both at same time….said sorry to him and trekked back to parking with lot of memories, bought some souvenirs to ppl at Hyderabad. It took us 6 hrs up and down. Reached hotel refreshed and moved back to thimpu, between shopping at Paro….as usual girl thing….met some of our jalvayu towers society residents there, they are surprised to see we drove all the way by car. Moved to hotel Kichu at thimpu, nice view from hotel watched football match and boxing match in the night, went for some more shopping at thimpu as I promised. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 60 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 2:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Hotel Kichu/ double Bed Room - Ac Rs.4000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 15: Woke up bit late by 9 am started towards Phuentshilong, distance 200kms for the destination a tea garden resort. Same route back with many memories and again lot of foggy stretches zero visibility. Reached the last checkpost before phuentsholing and given the original permit back to them, had copies of permits as memories of Bhutan. Had lunch at phuentsholing converted etc currency back to INR. Started back to chaos the moment I left the gateway arch started hearing horns , dust blab la…welcome back to India. Reached the destination tea garden resorts, nothing much there to say just got bluffed with name waste of money. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 200 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 7:30Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Mystic Tea garden resort / 2double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2000-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 16 & 17: Woke up early but settling bill was made very late by 10 am started towards Siliguri, thinking to reach Hyderabad via Varanasi, want to check the car condition at siliguri and then move. Reached siliguri but finding the VW service center costed me 2 hrs, they took the work to clean the car and topping up the engine oil wasted another 2 hrs, its 4 pm and thought staying at siliguri itself as its dangerous go in night at muzzaffarapur, meanwhile kids demanded especially younger one for sundarbans, after long chat agreed to them and decided to drove further and halt at malda. Horrible decision that become later, it started raining almos reaching to malda time was 1 am lot of truck traffic horrible roads and speed breakers, couldn’t find any accommodation at that time….slept in car for 3 hrs. started back to kolkatha to my horrific thing, the sundarban tour operators given me a bomb they were in bandh due to some pay raise and blab la. No trips for 2 more days….dont know what to do reached bardhaman and find the café coffee day for refreshings. Discussed with wife to see explore all places in kolkatha, she is no more interested to stay or explore any places wanted to back home, agreed and booked hotel at rambha, pant nivas, drove with breaks at café coffee days favorite refreshments on highways. It looks very easy driving 1250 kms in 20 Hrs, but the pain I took in driving those conditions was a lesson and understand what kind of Maniac I am. I put my family into lot of uncomfortable in this journey. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 1250 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 20 Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Pant Nivas, Rambha / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.2500-00 with charges for Extra person. Day 18: started journey by 9 am towards Hyderabad, Initially decided to take break at vizag, but on the journey no one is interested to stay at vizag everyone want to be at home, same as usual café coffee days it becomes favourite for us chicken somked sandwich, latte is for us and cold coffee for kids. Had our proper dinner after 2 days at raju gari thota. Reached home by 2 am. TOTAL DRIVEN DISTANCE: 950 KMS TOTAL DRIVEN TIME: 16Hrs Tariff for Accommodation: Home Sweet Home / double Bed Room - Ac Rs.0-00 with charges for Extra person. That’s all……will update soon my Sikkim Trip done 22Nd Oct -5Th Nov. See you people soon on Meetups. Any mistakes kindly excuse never thought writing will be this much time taking process.
  13. 7 points
    Great drive guys. Looking for more like this.
  14. 7 points
    Around eight cars and 18 members made it to the drive. Roads from Hyderabad to Vikarabad are above average (considering state highway standards in the country) Temperatures are still on higher side but it was great fun catching up with you guys. Sharing few mobile pictures from my end. Hyderabad to Vikarabad took us around 2 hours. Journey is smooth. This time we tried walkie talkies, they are very helpful in coordinating the convoy. Our first stop, Breakfast at Haritha. Food is average, only two dishes in a buffet (idly, vada and tea) Early birds! The convoy, Shot taken at the Haritha exit. Regroup enroute to the lake, This is the first time, Americans brands are dominating, Usually it is Asians. Group discussion time We started towards the lake, Roads leading to the lake are not in great shape. I took few underbelly hits, For other cars it is a cake walk. Ignore the photo bomb A camping resort will be started near the lake(from the next weekend) It will soon get commercial Group shot Can anyone enlighten the context of GD in the background? Search for a exit point, Parting shot
  15. 7 points
  16. 7 points
    Guys shall we meet near village Aharam before kajaguda because parking on ORR would be a problem.
  17. 7 points
    Sharing my experience which happened around 2015 I was waiting at Tolichowki signal around 9PM, A young guy in his Active stopped beside my car (Driver's side). He started looking at my car hood suspiciously. After few seconds, he knocked on my window to roll down. Activa, Oil is leaking from the hood area. Pull over else engine will seize. Me, I will get it checked. He rubbed his hand around my fender lining and showed oil stains. Activa, Pull over Me, Felt suspicious since there is no check light, Engine is running smooth. Drove away as soon as single turned green. We pulled over at a shop with has some lighting and everything looked fine.
  18. 7 points
    We got our new car in Aug 2018, decided to go for a long drive during dasara holidays. So we planned for a 3 day trip to Anantapur, lepakshi and madhavaraya temple gorantla. Day:1 Distance : 366 KM Travel time : 6 hours approx Started on Sunday afternoon around 1:30 PM, we took the NH44 towards jadcherla, karnool. Reached around 7:30 to Anantapur with tea break and dinner break nearby Anantapur (Hotel Mayura) . We stayed at Hotel Serena as we saw some good reviews about the place, and its close proximity to NH. Hotel was good as we expected. Day: 2 Distance: 255 KM We began our journey to Lepakshi temple around 8 am after had a delicious breakfast filled with yummy idlis and hot wadas at Ramaiah Idly Centre, which seems to be famous food joint known especially for Idlis in Anantapur. Reached Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi around 10 PM. Temple is maintained so clean and neatly, found parking place near by the entrance. Around 2 hours we spent in the temple admiring the marvellous sculptures of Vijayanagara architecture. Being the holidays season temple had good amount of visitors, though we had a pleasant darshan. Temple has a small garden and washroom facilities. This is a must visit temple if you like visiting historical places filled with beautiful sculptures and grand architecture. Few pictures take using my mobile. hope you like them.
  19. 7 points
    Day 3 Anantapur To Dharmavaram, Madhavaraya Temple Penukonda and back to Hyderabad. Distance :560 KM Started around 7 AM to Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy Temple, Dharmavaram which is around 44 KM from Anantapur. Morning drive was very pleasant. Reached the temple 7:45 AM, Had a peaceful darshan and spent some peaceful moments at the temple. Though its an old temple its been renovated and maintained well. Had breakfast in Dharmavaram town and headed towards Gorantla to see another gem of Vijayanagara architecture. Quite small temple filled with beautiful sculptures and carvings. Though we felt the temple could be maintained well and poojas could be performed regularly to maintain the divinity of the place. We couldn't find any temple staff or security nearby. After spending some quiet moments around the temple we left to anantapur reached in the afternoon to hotel...took an hour rest and and started our return journey to Hyderabad. Return journey to Hyderabad was fantastic and a memorable experience as it was drizzling and occasional thunderstorms, by the time we crossed Kurnool, rain started nicely. Enjoyed the return trip with nice climate, was big relief to the Anantapur heat
  20. 7 points
    I don't know much about photography, it's a basic Nikon model.
  21. 7 points
    In simple words, Bridgestone : Durability Micheline : Performance (less noise, comfort) I feel Micheline's are perfect for highway drives. Specially for sedans. Also consider Continental's they as good as Micheline. Speed rating: Load rating how to read tyre specs:
  22. 7 points
    I always used Bridge stone. Didn't face in any issue in 8 years..
  23. 7 points
    Beautiful Taj Lake palace from Ambrai ghat Boat cruise on the lake Pichola View from the top of the Monsoon palace - Sajjangarh fort Ambrai ghat Monsoon palace - Sajjangarh palace Sunset from the top of Ambrai ghat Final day's Sunset on Lake Pichola
  24. 6 points
  25. 6 points
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