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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. 10 points
    Hyderabad to Coorg / Kodagu Exploration Drive - Pre-Monsoon drive meet up - July 07/10, 2018 Start point - Gachibowli (ORR) End point - Coorg Start time - 5:00 am Total Distance - ~800 kilometers (one way) Objective - Drive to thank the monsoon showers and explore self while being in raw nature away from Luxuries Participants: 1) Tata Tiago (Expresso Brown) 2) Volkswagen Polo (Red) 3) Maruthi Suzuki Baleno 4) Hyundai Creta (Star Dust) 5) Hyundai Creta (White) 6) Renault Duster (White) Route Taken: Hyderabad (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) ---Bangalore --- Mysore --- Coorg Places covered: 1) Tribal Style Stay in Coorg 2) Irrupu waterfalls 3) Mandalpatti Peak Plan: Day 1 (July 07th, 2018): We start off from the meet up point (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) towards Mysore Stop by for breakfast at Food Pyramid, Kothakota We stop by for lunch just before entering Bangalore at Amaravathi Gardenia, Devanahalli We reach Mysore to break down for the day Day 2 (July 08th, 2018): We start off from our Mysore accommodation towards our Resort in Coorg Have breakfast en-route and reach Evergreen County Resort, Virajpet, Coorg We will check in into our resort, explore the resort and places around, Camp Fire & Dinner and break down for the day Day 3 (July 09th, 2018): Coorg exploration drive, check out Irupu Waterfalls Drive back to Mysore by End of the Day and break down for the day Day 4 (July 10th, 2018): We start early to escape the Mysore - Bangalore traffic and proceed towards Hyderabad Things to carry: 1) Carry umbrella and rain coat (Must)2) Toiletries, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Mosquito repellent cream and Glucose / Electrol (personal medical kit)3) Camera kits and Telescopes if any star gazing enthusiasts or night photography enthusiasts4) Most importantly loads of energy and positive attitude I will let pictures speak more than words from here on, watch and enjoy! Evergreen County Team welcoming India - Drive Team: Exploring the Resort, It is a treat to eyes and nestled in to Nature! We have planned to explore Irupu falls after exploring the resort, we understood from the locals that there is a huge Tea Estate on our route to Irupu Falls, Couple of cars went ahead to check it out (Polo & Tiago) and we were the only one's to look at this beautiful View! We had to go back to the convoy with a bad news "Visitors are not allowed" We continued our drive towards Irupu Falls, One should not miss this falls in Monsoon! Reach the falls, close your eyes and surrender yourself to the Mother Nature!! ❤️ We have reached back to the resort by the time light faded and gone for the Nature walk around the Resort and had a wonderful time with India Drive Members introducing themselves at the Camp Fire session followed by delicious Dinner at the Resort Restaurant (Secret Spices, Rest O cafe)! After a Sumptuous Breakfast and an unforgettable Morning Coffee (Pictures Below) we checked out of the resort and headed towards our exploration drive towards Mandalpatti Peak (Heaven, I call this after exploring the place). We came across a Landslide en route Mandalpatti and we could not take our cars any further, for a moment it was a disappointment but that's when we got to know from the locals that we have to hire 4x4 vehicles to be able to reach Mandalpatti Peak. Without wasting any time, we parked our cars, hired those beasts and started enjoying some pure off roading fun and reached the Heaven!! We have spent considerable amount of time exploring the place with literally zero visibility and clicking pictures. We have reached the car parking location back by about 5 pm with a super Maggi break (Special Thanks to our Instant Chef Bhargav) and started our drive back too Mysore! Like all the other Drives, we had to end this Drive too wishing if we could have continued it for another Infinite number of days!! Aideu from Sridhar Tandra until next Drive Meet!!❤️❤️
  3. 10 points
    Hyderabad international airport (RGIA) offers you convenient parking facilities. It has around 3000 car parking facilities at different zones. Car parking pricing at Hyderabad airport RGIA(personal cars): Rs.50.00 for first half-an-hour Rs.80 for half an hour to one hour Rs.100.00 for one hour to two hours Rs.40.00 for each subsequent hour or part thereof Rs.300.00 for 24 hours Hyderabad international airport parking fee for two days? For first day it is 300/- and from the second day maximum charge is 200/- (or based on number of hours) So the price for two full days is 500/- Hyderabad international airport parking fee for three days? Price: 700/- Hyderabad international airport parking fee for four days? Price : 900/- Hyderabad international airport parking fee for five days? Price : 1100/- Where is the long term parking area in Hyderabad airport? There is a separate parking space for the long term parking beside Go-Karting. But you can park it any place you want. No one cares at the exit, you just need to pay the amount based on your check-in time. Personally, i would suggest to park in the busy area for better security (close to McDonalds) Less parking fee for the people who came for Go-Karting? You will be charged 40/- for four hours, many people are not aware of this discount. Is it safe to park long term at Hyderabad airport? Last year there are few allegations about the theft of nifty parts like wiper blades, side view mirrors etc No major issues reported so far.
  4. 10 points
  5. 9 points
    DAY - 06 Manali - Solang - Manali (Local) Night stay hotel : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali. Google Map pointer After a long hectic overdose of blissful adventure for those past 4 days, all of us demanded a break into the civilization We decided to rest for most of the day and decided to do a local tour during a leisure hour. Manali is a lot spoilt than what I've heard of. All thanks to the huge irresponsible tourist crowd here. There's nothing much to do here. Costly food, costly accommodation and over populated places. Very much commercialised. We have lazed around the resort pretty late and fell out post lunch to drive towards the Solang Valley. We have observed everything to be a way too expensive. Even a cable car up the hill costed us about 800 INR per head which we felt was very pricey. Solang is a high altitude valley that lies at the top of Kullu mountain. It is famous for many activities in summer such as paragliding, horse riding and Zorbing. These are again replaced by Skiing in winter. These are a few pictures of the beautiful Solang valley from the top. Having spent some good time here, we drove around the local streets of Vashisht and got back to our resort by the evening to get ready for the next day's drive. DAY - 07 Manali - Kullu - Bhunter - Bajaura - Prashar - Mandi - Chandigarh Distance : 350 kms Time taken : 13 hours (Including break time) Breakfast stop : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali. Google Map pointer Lunch stop : VISCO resorts, Mandi Google Map pointer Night stay hotel : MAYA Hotel, Chandigarh Google Map pointer The next morning we started our drive towards the beautiful Prashar lake which is around 100 kms from Manali. We travelled for about 4 to 5 hours for just 100 kms. I shall leave the road to your imagination Throughout our drive, we could get the best views of the magnificent Dauladhar ranges of Kullu. We have enjoyed every bit of the drive while we drive towards Prashar lake. We had come across another landslide, a forest drive in the rain and also roads covered in dense fog It was quite disappointing that we couldn't get any view of the Prashar lake by the time we reached the final stop as it was all cloudy and we were covered in dense fog having all the sight around us invisible. We stayed there for about 45 mins and waited for it to get cleared. We left the place unseen in disappointment and started our drive towards Chandigarh. A view that we came for and we missed. Courtesy: Dense Fog. Source We had reached the Maya Hotel in Chandigarh around 10 PM to retire for the day. Day 08 was our drive to Delhi which was pretty smooth and back to Hyderabad to wrap it up These 8 days have ended in a moment giving every one of us some memorable moments. I would say, stop restricting Himachal only to Shimla or Manali. There are so many beautiful mountains, rivers & paths untraced around Himachal and Spiti valley is one such world where time seems to have stopped and happiness lingers in the wind. It has been over an year and a half since I have returned to the chaos of the city life and I'm still struggling to get over my post-trip blues. Now when I look back at my trip, I often relate to the memory of a face that had the same expression of joy and exhilaration as I had throughout my travel. I strongly believe that one trip to this magical land can never be enough. If you have been postponing your trip to Spiti since forever, then I hope these photographs must have heightened your wanderlust for sure I hope this guide to Spiti would be helpful for everyone and l shall come back soon with my next log to Himalayas in Nepal until then. Cheers! Happy and Safe driving.
  6. 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)
  7. 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
  8. 8 points
    About fort: Kondaveedu Fort is in Kondaveedu village in Guntur district, It is located around 30 kilometres west of Guntur city. It is a hill fortress located 1,700 feet (520 m) above sea level. Apart from this main fort, there are two other forts (names not known) nearby. Efforts are in progress to classify Kondaveedu Fort as a UNESCO world heritage site. Road to Kondaveedu fort: Previously, this place is known for trekking, there is no proper road to the hill top fort. Now they have laid new road, which is fantastic to drive and has beautiful views. Activities around the Kondaveedu fort: Once you reach the hill top, you wont find any activities on the hill top. Shoes are must to this place, If you want to explore. No proper paths, you need to trek, difficulty level is very low. You can find guides, they will help you in navigation. Without guide, it is difficult to explore around for the first time. Carry food and water. Best time to vist Kondaveedu fort? Early in the morning and evenings are best times to visit. Avoid this place in summer. Panoramic view
  9. 8 points
    Dear friends, This is my very first travelogue in India Drive. Though I have made several trips, I didn't write anything up here. Travel Date 03/31/2018 – 04/02/2018 from Hyderabad to Gokarna & Murdeshwar in Ford EcoSports. This must have been one of the most exciting and in a way unplanned vacation, I had with my office team. Though we had marked the dates almost a couple of days ago, we were a little unsure till the last minute whether we wanted to really go to Gokarna or not. Finally, on Thursday we decided to go and informed my team to come to office on Friday along with their luggage. Friday Morning, I had a good Sleep so that I can drive in night. My team works in EST timings, so we planned to start our trip by 1AM but due to some work it got delayed to 3.00AM and Finally we hit the road at 3.15AM. Route Taken: Hyderabad - Mahbubnagar - Raichur - Sindhanur - Hubbali - Sathoddi Falls - Shivapura Hanging Bridge - Yellapur - Gokarna - Murdeshwar – Raichur -Mahbubnagar – Hyderabad. Total Distance: 1600 kms Day 1 : Sathoddi Water Falls and Shivapura Hanging Bridge. Day 2 : Gokarna & Mudeshwar Night Stay at White House Beach resort (Tent Accommodation) - Gokarna River Kali Murdeshwar Beach Shivapura Hanging Bridge Sun Set time at Murdeshwar Beach Murdeshwar Night view
  10. 8 points
    As civilization got us out of the jungle, it’s funny – how we keep running back to the jungle floor often to experience the best in life. The package of adventure, thrill, safari and simplicity together have a very different taste. The balance between wildlife and green nature have unparallel beauty to offer for those who enjoy such life. Just when summer was reaching its height, I hit the hot iron to get the best out of it. Without a second thought, I knot Tadoba for one night and brought my untouched experience to an end – burst the balloon of Safari, adventure, thrill, wild life, everything you can imagine in the jungle to enjoy them for next twenty-four hours. Tadoba has main four gates for the safari experience. There are many guest house and resorts that will suit your taste and budget. However, it is recommended you do research online before selecting a location for stay. The government guest houses are also neat and decent. We picked Svasara Jungle resort at Korala Gate which is just a stone throw away from the resort. The road trip from Hyderabad to Korala ghat just 8 hours’ drive ( 450 KMs) . The National Highway 44 is not only smooth and brilliant, it has amazing scenic beauty. As you drive as early as the sunrise, you will get smitten by the scenic beauty for most of the stretch of the drive. I would recommend after Adilabad , take a turn through Maregaon ( SH 6 ) which is equally beautiful and have smooth road till you enter Maharastra. The track from MH border to Tadoba Korala Gata is unfortunately under construction and need your patience . It not only slows down your speed, it can literally eat up your fun and energy for one hour! However remember all comes his way he who waits! Just cross this hell and you are right at the gate of Svasara Resort. The resort is very decent and has close to 20 cottages. Best thing is all of them are same , so you don’t need to worry on look and feel. They do have a great social area for meeting all the residents of the resort. This brings a lot of dialogue and sharing of experience among the residents after or just before the safari. Both Ranjit and Nandita are the managers of the resort and they are extremely down to earth, customer focused ,interactive. They spend considerable time talking to everyone and build up a rapport. The place is neat, well maintained with modern facilities and antic show pieces. They arrange fresh face towels, lemon juice , tea and water every time they welcome you at the resort. The preparation for lunch, dinner, breakfast are also great!. They do load your jeep with plenty of munching and eating options along with bottles of water, juice, tea and coffee. Our First safari was at 3.00 PM. It was an experience to remember, document, repeat and share with all for sure. At the entry gate your ID card is checked for verification if the booking details match with the ID document. I didn’t go and present myself at the office. The driver from my resort took care of it. If you want you can wear forest dress which one ideally should do during these safaris and go ahead and explore the forest. The safari runs you through either buffer zone or core area. The first safari was at buffer zone but we still had an opportunity to see animals in this area. The heat in summer is so so high, it brings almost all the animals type to the pond or lake to drink water. We were lucky enough to spot whole bunch of bears scrubbing against the bark of the trees and howling loud enough to cold your blood. Had most close look of wild boar, fox, wild dogs, peacock, monkeys, squirrel, birds of different sizes and colors and of course bison and different variety of deer’s. However, the beauty lies when the action heroine walks in with her cubs and roars ! The thrill was – aww struckking! Only flash, camera and light glitter for the entire time she is around. The lady walks in, drinks water and goes away as if she sees no one around. We have Tiger Maya, Tiger Junabai and Hero Matkasur. The luck of each one of us was shining just before the sunset and the time we were to step out of the forest floor, we had this opportunity to see the mother and the cubs for 2 minutes or so. Rest of the evening went in swimming, having conversations with other residents of the resort and exploring the property and early dinner. The weather was just cool and translated to heavy rainfall later in the evening with thunder and strong winds. Though we were little disappointed wondering if we can see animals next day but who knows what is in store for you. Next day early morning we were ready for Sarafi at the core zone of Korla gate. It was dark and quite breezy from the last night heavy shower and lightning. At the entrance of the gate, your driver collects your ID card for authenticating entry in the core zone. The core area is almost 16 to 18 kms inside the forest from the entrance and has awesome view. The curvy roads with thick forest on both sides, the smell of soil and the waiting surprise of spotting a tiger or any animal is way too exciting for the travelers. Though 90% of the times its your luck to spot the tiger, the credibility lies on our guide too. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the same guide next morning and found tagged with someone who is jack of all trades but definitely master of nothing. He started giving too much details about the forest which was quite engaging but in leading his experience he took us way to too beautiful spots where no one was driving to spot a tiger. Result? We were the only fools to fool around the forest and see other timid animals all across and enjoyed the scenic beauty of the jungle and missed tiger and tigress atleast twice . We parked in lakes, we parked at the edge of a small upside hill, we parked in open farming like space but we failed to spot a tiger. However, whenever we were crossing some spots where other jeeps were parked for spotting a tiger, we spotted the thrill and excitement of the other visitors – because their guide was not our guide and they filmed, clicked, shot photographs of great Maya & Matkasur , every time they were seen and spotted. As the clock ticked each time, time was flying away for us to be back on road and return to Hyderabad. Though we knew we wanted to stay more and have another safari, another experience, another taste, another click, but still went ahead towards our car and started for Hyderabad midday…. Only two excitements were carrying with us – the on going discussion of the vision of the tigress, her cubs and of course the beauty of the road lies ahead of us again on NH 44 on our way back home. Some pictures from other sources. @friends and @resort
  11. 8 points
    Thank you Sridhar for sharing it so early. Nice pictures! I would have taken weeks to compose a log. It was a great drive. It was great meeting new members and old friends . From Sai to Krishnan, each and every member contributed to make the drive successful. All the old memories flashed up! Driving together, covering for each other on highway, discussing about the drive and the list is endless... Will share my pictures tomorrow. This time, I have used only mobile to click pictures. 😃
  12. 8 points
    Day: 3 Explore waterfalls near the resort. Waterfalls name : Jhari waterfalls. Waterfall usually opens at 9AM. Since we stayed inside the forest. We took the resort jeep and went till waterfalls, around 8 AM. Don't attempt in your own vehicles, curves are too steep. No single person is present at the waterfalls, apart from us! They charged us 500/- for ride to waterfalls 200 meter walk from the road.. After spending some time at the waterfalls, we returned back to the home stay. Had breakfast and started to Babu Budangiri. Clouds! We took some off-road trails. Once the visibility is clear, we drove further. Zero crowd, we stayed here for an hour and enjoyed the view. Photo time Breath taking view Some more pictures at the different view points. Day 4: We drove back from Kuteer to Hyderabad. We started at 9AM and reached home around 10PM. Thank you
  13. 8 points
    The beauty of Himachal is praise-worthy for its culture, holy sites, beautiful valley and it's seasonal behaviour towards nature. And to experience a small chapter in there, I had roped me my friends and started off from Hyderabad. We decided to drive down from Delhi and have rented a Toyota Fortuner (2x4) through MYLES for this trip. Itinerary: Day 1 : Hyderabad - Delhi - Shimla - Narkand Day 2 : Narkand - Rampur - Tapri - Kalpa Day 3 : Kalpa - Pooh - Nako - Sumdo - Tabo - Kaza Day 4 : Kaza , Kibber, Langza exploration Day 5 : Kaza - Pangmo - Batal - Chhatru - Gramphoo - Rohtang - Manali Day 6 : Manali Local tour Day 7 : Manali - Mandi (Prashar) - Chandigarh Day 8 : Chandigarh - Delhi Day 9 : Delhi to Hyderabad ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DAY - 01 Hyderabad - Delhi - Shimla - Narkand Distance : 430 kms Time taken : 12 hours (Including breaks) Breakfast stop : Amrik Sukhdev, Sonipat (60 kms from Delhi airport) **** Google Map pointer Lunch stop : Motel Golden Saras, Kurukshetra. ***** Google Map pointer Coffee stop : Don't remember the name but, we had some good coffee and snacks standing in a corridor over the clouds in Shimla. Night stay hotel : Tethys Ski Resort, Narkand. Google Map pointer We have started our drive from the airport around 7 AM in the morning towards Delhi after renting the Toyota Fortuner from 'MYLES'. By noon we got on to the ghat section towards Shimla and the vistas started to get better and better as we moved up. One of the breath-taking views which we had enjoyed during a coffee break just before entering Shimla. DAY - 02 Narkand - Rampur - Tapri - Kalpa Distance : 170 kms Time taken : 9 hours (Including breaks) Breakfast stop : Tethys Ski Resort **** Google Map pointer Lunch stop : We bread, butter and jam to stop by a scenic location and have our lunch en-route. Fuel stop : Near Karchham dam Coffee stop : Near Karchham dam. Night stay hotel : Hotel Rakpa Regency, Kalpa. Google Map pointer Our stay at the Tethys Ski resort on the cliff side. The next morning, post breakfast we started our drive towards the Kinnaur district from Tethys Ski Resort in Narkand. Narkanda which is at 9000 feet high, has splendid towering tree and is famous for ski slopes, apple orchads and Hatu peak. The roads throughout this Kinnaur valley are in a good condition. Watch out your speed on these ghats as there are steep curves throughout the ghat. Beautiful view of the Kinnaur valley en-route Karchham dam. Kinnaur valley is proud to have some hair raising roads offering unending views of breath taking sceneries all along. Driving through these beautiful roads has been a real feast to eyes as every sight makes you go awe with it's beauty. These roads in the Kinnaur valley are open during all the seasons and round the year barring few days of heavy snowfall. From the month between the mid of July to August, due to monsoon, these mountains are prone to heavy landslides. The best time to visit the Kinnaur valley is between May and July. Kinnaur is basically a major stretch of road connecting the major towns of Chitkul and Kalpa in this region. We have reached Kalpa driving up hill for about an hour on a narrow mud track by 5 PM and checked into the Rakpa regency hotel which had the best view of the Kinner Kailash mountain. To be cont...
  14. 8 points
    We hit the road and found one more trail, Slat deposits! With proper 4x4(low range box) this place is going to be fun. Last picture of the day, signing off
  15. 8 points
    As the crowd started to build up, we decided to explore the places around. We took this trail, which is visible from the small bridge. We drove few kilometers inside, due lack of company and recovery vehicle...Sadly my duster is not AWD. We decided to turn back!
  16. 8 points
    DAY - 09 Stykkisholmur (Guest house) - Grundarfjordur - Berserkjahraun - Kirkjufell - Arnarstapi - Reykjavik (Grettir guest house) Places to visit: 1) Kirkjufell 2) Buoakirkja (black church) 3) Hallgrimskirkja (church) 4) Sun Voyager (Steel Boat Sculpture) Our drive from this beautiful wood house in Stykkisholmur towards Reykjavik has begun after we had our breakfast. The weather was extreme on this day. It was raining heavily and there was dense fog covering all the road. We drove through the Berserkjahraun lava fields in the Snaefellsnes peninsula but could hardly view anything around because of the dense fog. We could hardly see the road during our drive. We drove through a stretch of gravel road passing through the lava fields which were about 3000 years old and the fog around slowly started to get clear but, the rain continued. We reached the Kirkjufell falls near Kirkjufell mountain but couldn't hike further to capture some good pictures because of the heave downpour during that time. A very hazy view of the most prominent and distinctly shaped Kirkjufell mountain in the Snaefellsnes peninsula. We drove towards Arnarstapi to view the extra-ordinary basalt columns and cliff formations but, the weather turned out to be unfavourable at the same time. We continued our drive towards the most famous church Buoakirkja which sits alone among a field of lave rock. This place which I earlier spoke about is a classic. This tiny black church is called the Buoakirkja. Spending some good amount of time around the place, we started our drive towards the Reykjavik city. Hallgrimskirkja is a tower church which can be seen from almost everywhere in the Reykjavik city. We decided to take a stroll up to the Hallgrimskirkja church. We fell short of time to tour the Sun voyager and just explored the beautiful art street around the church. After this we headed back our Grettir guest house to retire for the day. Having only few hours left we packed all our luggage before we started towards the airport. Our drive to the airport took about 90 minutes and we said good bye in the Icelandic fashion before the sunrise. Throughout my drive to the airport, I was just having a reel over my past 10 magnificent days in this magic land. Dreamy landscapes, 100s of water falls, incredible short hikes, boiling mud-pots, glacier lagoons, the northern lights, designated geo thermal pools, unlimited vantage points and what not. This surreal experience has all zeroed down tonight. I literally found the best way to get connected with nature with no traffic jams, no waiting around, no huge crowds piling off the buses in tandem. It was just us, the open road and spectacular scenery of the 'Land of Fire and Ice'. At this moment, I am suffering from post holiday depression after those awesome 10 days road trip around the most lovely island - ICELAND. I was thinking of a way to overcome this depression and Guess what! writing about all of these seemed like the best option for self help. I hope all the information and travel guide what I have posted here helps the members who are planning a road trip in Iceland. And please do look up for more posts to come in relative to this if I get time to draft anything more in the near future. Cheers!
  17. 7 points
    Hi All, I have created this post so that members can share the road updates like Road blockages Road diversions Water-logging Alternative routes Shorter routes Less traffic routes Fun to drive routes(don't tell Hyderabad ORR 😝) Scenic routes Since lemon tree signal is closed, Initially I felt it is a chaos. But now the drive through lemon tree signal is breeze, what do you guys say?
  18. 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:
  19. 7 points
    I always used Bridge stone. Didn't face in any issue in 8 years..
  20. 7 points
    Dear Friends, Finally the SHIRDI trip completed . Here is the details below. 1. SHIRDI TO HYDERABD ROUTE CONDITION I took the route SHIRDI-VAMBORI-MIRI-PATHARDI-BEED-OSMANABAD-TULJAPUR-NALDURG-OMERGA-HUMNABAD-ZAHEERABAD-HYDERABAD. To my surprise this route was fantastic though little longer. There were occasional patchy stretches but you will never complain . This route is far far better than all other route (SOLAPUR-TEMBHURNI, BHOOM-JAMKHED routes). I started from Shirdi towards ahmednagar and after RAHOURI, I took a turn toward VAMBORI and crossed MIRI ,PATHRDI and join NH-52 . The VAMBORI turn is exactly after SHANI SIGNAPUR TURN from SHIRDI-AHMEDNAGar road. I actually took SHANI-SIGNAPUR turn but again made a U-TURN and took the VAMBORI turn. The entire stretch from the place where I took turn towards VAMBORI from AHMEDNAGAR-SHIRDI road till NH-52 intersection is excellent road with occasional patchy stretches.Sometime they becomes little narrow but still no complain as there is no pot holes. Though this route is little lonely but to my surprise roads were very very good. I would not suggest to take that route in night but in day time , absolutely no issue . From NH52 intersection till TULJAPUR it is DRIVER PARADISE to drive . I would bet that the entire stretch of NH-52 from SOLAPUR to AURANGABAD is going to be DRIVERS HEAVEN in 2 to 3 year time . This could be like another HYDERABAD- BANGALORE highway. The 4 lane work is in full swing . I just drove in this stretch from HIGHWAY from the intersection (where PATHARDI STATE HIGHWAY meet NH52 till TUJAPUR). While travelling to SHIRDI , I took TULJAPUR-OSMANABAD-BHOOM-JAMKHED-AHMEDNAGR route. While returning I took the above route .The only difference between two route is the VAMBORI-PATHARDI-MIRI-BEED stretch. Kindly read my blog above with GOOGLE MAP reference. I completely followed google map and at every intersection I used to ask LOCAL PEOPLE just to make sure I am in correct way.This really helped a lot . The local people's information are much much better when it comes to road condition. The intersection where PATHARDI STATE HIGHWAY meet NH52 till BEED is single lane express highway. It is very beautiful and scenic with no tolls yet. From BEED to TULAPUR (I would say till SOLAPUR) it is pefect 4 lane express highway . Occasionally the work is still going on in some stretches but that is understandable we are going to have this benefit in coming days. From TULJAPUR to NALDURG the roads are again good with 3 to 4 km little patchy but no issue at all. For me PATCHY roads are ok but there should not be any potholes. holes.From NALDURg till OMERGA it is as usual our PATHETIC NH65/NH9 mumbai highway and therafter it is again beautiful highway.However I feel this stretches keeps improving everyday where the completed good lanes are open for motorists. I started from SHIRDI at 12:00 PM and reaches in GACHHIBOWLI at 2 PM. There was 3 hr break in-between for lunch,dinner and biological breaks. I was little bit cautious while driving and never exceed 120km hr.M y car (TOYOTA ETIOS SEDAN VD-SP model) was fully loaded with 5 adults and two kids. So little bit extra cautious to avoid the touching the ground in patchy stretches. I really admired this car which was way beyond my expectation . Before starting of this trip,I was little bit worried that if my car will be able to carry this many peoples for such long distance along with luggage and that to also patchy and pothole roads. My car fully passed this load test. We took lunch on NH52 STRETCH ar SAI MAHARAJ (a road side dhaba) and DINNER at HOTEL SAI PRASAD (BETWEEN NALDURG and OMERGA). So as a summary: SHIRDI TO VAMBORI BYPASS : EXCELLENT VAMBORI BYPASS-MIRI : GOOD MIRI TO PATHARDI : VERY GOOD PATHARDI TO NH-52 : EXCELLENT NH-52 ALL THE WAY TO TULJAPUR : EXCELLENT TULJAPUR TO NALDURG : VERY GOOD NALDURG TO OMERGA : PATHETIC OMERGA TO HYDERABAD : EXCELLENT FINALLY PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE PCITURES OF THIS RTEURN TRIP ....WHICH SELF EXPLAIN MY ABOVE BLOG.... 2. HYDERABAD TO SHIRDI ROUTE CONDITION I took Hyderabad-Zaheerabad-Humnabad-Omerga-Naldurg-Tuljapur-Osmanabad-Yedashi-Bhoom-Jamkhed-Ahmednagar-Shirdi. This road seems to be better than Solapur- Tembhurni . When I say better it is not that good but manageable to drive with 60 to 80km/h Hyderabad to Omerga (before 20km to OMERGA) is excellent as usual . Actually the toll road ends around 20km before OMERGA from where the pathetic roads starts. However the pathetic roads keep improving everyday as I feel. The route from OMERGA to NALDURG is really pathetic and especially at NALDURG FORT it is really horrible. We did our breakfast at DHAMI PUNJABI DHABA (around 30km before OMERGA). Look at the picture. You can see my TOYOTA ETIOS CAR as well AP28DU5650. From NH-9/NH-65, I took the TULJAPUR BYPASS and drove straight towward TULJA BHAVANI MAA TEMPLE . The initial 2 to 3 km stretch from NH-65/NH-9 toward TULJAPUR is little patchy but there after the entire 30km strtech till temple was excellent. We spent around 1 hr in temple and started towards OSMANABAD via NH52. Just after crossing TULJAPUR you can see NH-52 (SOLAPUR to AUTRANGABAD). This route is excellent and driver's heaven. I corssed YEDASHI in this route and thereafter took the BHOOM-JAMKHED route . Actually I missed this bypass and crossed around 20km more on the highway . Then I stopped and ask some local and they suggest me not to go back and suggest to take another left turn which eventually touch the BHOOM-JAMKHED route .I followed that . This route was ok with very bad patch (around 20km). Anyway no complain. Eventually I catch the BHOOM-JAMKHED route. I will say the BHOOM-JAMKHED ROUTE is below good but better than average or poor. This route gets bettter when we get nearer to Ahemednagear. We took LUNCH at VITTAL KAMATH on NH52 before BHOOM bypass.Take a look at the pictures. So SUMMARY IS : HYDERABAD TO OMERGA (BEFORE 20KM) : EXCELLENT OMERGA TO NALDURG : PATHETIC NALDURG TO TULJAPUR : VERY GOOD TULJAPUR TO BHOOM BYPASS : EXCELLENT BHOOM BYPASS TO AHEMEDNAGAR : AVERAGE AHMEDNAGR TO SHIRDI : EXCELLENT I started from hydearad at 4:30 AM and reach SHIRDI at 8:15 PM with around 4 hr break (BREAKFAST,LUNCH, DARSHAN AT BHAVANI MAA TEMPLE & BIOLOGICAL BREAK). I did not record the disctance in both the routes ..Actually forgot to record....Anyway I follow the google map route . I hope that the above notes and pictures will be helpful for all of you to decide the best route to shirdi. Please let me know if anyone need any other details.I will try my best to help.
  21. 7 points
    Hola All, I was thinking of the top 3 drives that I would do with ID family while I was going through various drive reports on our forum and wanted to list them down and see how many of you have similar thoughts and which would be the top 3 drives in common! These drives can be repetitive (you have done it with ID already) or you may have missed it because you joined the family late or missed it due to various reasons..!! Let's start!!!! My top 3 drives that I would love to do with ID are 1) Koilsagar 2) Rann of Kutch 3) Spiti Valley / Chitkul, The last village of India
  22. 7 points
    Helpful post @Ranger. Good one. Appreciate it. I would like to add a few more points to this. For pick up at arrival and drop off at depatures, You are given a token for a limit of 5 minutes at the entrance and if you turn out to be spending more than 5 minutes at the departures when you drop your passenger, your vehicle will be towed away if you get noticed or fines will be collected. Security is high at this area to avoid clogging. Similarly at the arrival point, your time spent is calculated at the exit and charges are collected accordingly. No charges are collected if you leave the place in less than 5 minutes.
  23. 7 points
    DAY - 05 Kaza - Pangmo - Losar - Batal - Chhatru - Gramphu - Rohtang - Manali Distance : 200 kms Time taken : 14 hours (Including a Land slide break down time) Breakfast stop : Spiti Valley Hotel, New Kaza Google Map pointer Lunch stop : Quite a few small eateries in Batal Fuel stop : Kaza filling station (Highest fuel station in the world) Night stay hotel : Quality Inn River country Resort, Manali. Google Map pointer The drive from the headquarter of Spiti valley - Kaza started the next day after a lazy shower. However, here the case we were equally excited as the other days as we knew that today will be a lot more than exploring another beautiful awe-inspiring creation of God. Although we felt that the initial leg of our journey was pretty decent, the real test of mettle began once we were exposed to the revolting Spitian conditions. A narrow road barely good enough to drive reminded that they are still connected with the world, and also gives them access to the terrain that almost feels uncharted. Sections of these gravel road are narrow enough to barely let a car pass, and any error in judgment would only mean tumbling down the valley and into the fast flowing river. Yet, there are hardly any accidents, thanks to little traffic and the drivers who are used to these roads. The road is 140 kms long that connects Kaza and Gramphoo (Lahual and Spiti). It’s also known as Gramphu-Batal-Kaza road and 80% of the route has non metaled. We had our lunch at the Batal village in a small eatery. Commonly available food are, bread and Omelette, Maggi and Paranthe. We then continued our drive further towards Gramphu. The aerial view of the valley made me feel so composed. I would say, I was blessed by the nature. I had never seen something so magical. We soon came across a high mountain pass in the eastern Himalayan pass called the Kunzum pass which ranges about 4600 metres above sea level. Kunzum La as called by the locals or Kunzum Pass is one of the gateways to Lahaul and Spiti valleys. It is one of India’s highest motorable mountain passes. The road switchbacks precipitously up to this pass and runs up the dramatic, glacier-carved Chandra Valley. This painfully slow driving runs along some of the most treacherous terrains in the world so be careful while you drive. You might as well jump into a cloud of fog and go blind in sight. Hold you nerve tight and don't try to jump out of this in haste. The vistas drastically change from time to time while you traverse along this route.
  24. 7 points
    Small, Crisp and fun to read. Those Sun rise pictures are too good. Adding few pictures of Chirala beach taken from my mobile.
  25. 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