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Hyderabad to Sikkim road trip :

Four  BTech friends,

Proper reunion after a decade.

 

Crossed two borders, (Nepal and Bhutan)

Drove around 5.5k kilometres.


Hanging around with old friends and saying "Remember when..."(15 days of memories)

00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20181222132946719-01.jpeg

Trusted steed

IMG_20181222_132248-04.jpeg

 

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Day 1 : Hyderabad to Vishakapatnam

Day 2 : Vishakapatnam to Puri

Day 3: Puri to Kharagpur

Day 4:Kharagpur to Malda

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Day 1 : Hyderabad to Vishakapatnam

Road condition : Complete 4-lane, overall road condition is good.

Start time: 6AM
Reached: 7PM

 

Accommodation :

Hotel : keys select vizag
Rating: 4/5
Cost: 3000/- (three members)

 

Food options enroute

Breakfast : Village Aharam (3.5/5)
Lunch : Srikanya (Rajahmundry) (4/5)
Tea break : Coffee day (After crossing Annavaram)(5/5)
Dinner : Keys select (4/5 expensive side)

 

Note : All the pictures were taken from mobile 

 

First picture of the day

IMG_20181215_094738-01.jpeg

Setting up action camera,

3M Mount point is strong, held up well through out the trip.

IMG_20181215_104127-01.jpeg

Roads between Vijayawada to Vizag improved a bit.
Village traffic is still high on the highway.

IMG_20181215_124749-01.jpeg

Testing the YI action cam(wide angle)

YIAC0272-01.jpeg

Quick break round Annavaram 

YIAC0268-01.jpeg

Coffee day at Annavaram is maintained very well.
We spent around an hour here.

IMG_20181215_172618-01.jpeg

Much needed picture of the day.

IMG_20181215_173713-01.jpeg

We reached Vizag around 7PM, Keys hotel is decent for the price.

IMG_20181215_232941-02.jpeg

 

To be cont..

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On 1/9/2019 at 12:54 PM, Saikishore said:

Nice pictures

 

On 1/9/2019 at 2:05 PM, hsudhir said:

We are waiting for the next

 

Thank you,
 

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Nice pics.. the word 'reunion' with college friends itself guarantees a great trip 😎

Definitely waiting to both see and hear more about the trip :)

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On 1/9/2019 at 6:30 PM, Sridhar Tandra said:

very decent pictures

 

Used only mobile for the entire trip.

 

On 1/9/2019 at 4:31 PM, sagar said:

Missed this legendary trip

 

On 1/9/2019 at 5:54 PM, ksa171983 said:

will wait for the complete travelogue

 

You guys gave hand. :)

 

On 1/9/2019 at 6:30 PM, Sridhar Tandra said:

you end the day at 7

 

We always respect the Monk magic :)

 

On 1/10/2019 at 12:27 AM, Anand Singh said:

Good Clicks

On 1/9/2019 at 8:42 PM, vinz said:

Nice pics

 

Thank you.

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22 minutes ago, Ranger said:

guys gave hand. :)

lol I could have joined if the dates were after 22nd ... but still there is always a next time ... 

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Day 2 : Vishakapatnam to Puri

Impressed by Vizag City.
Very clean and neat roads.

 

Today our primary aim is to drive away from Phethai Cyclone :)

We experienced strong winds across the coastal area.

 

We did not book any beach side resort in Puri since heavy rains and strong winds are expected.

 

Road condition :

Mix of 2-lane and 4-lane.

Can maintain 100kmph without any fuss.
Few diversions(road work) kill the overall average.
Overall road condition is good.

 

Start time: 11 AM
Reached: 6 PM

 

Hotel : OYO Gangotri Puri
Rating: 3.5/5
Cost: 1500/- (value for money)
Newly constructed.

 

Very few food options from Vizag to Puri.
Most of the area is remote.
Better to avoid night drive on this section.

 

Breakfast : Vizag beach road(food truck)(5/5 for the beach view)
Lunch : We skipped
Dinner : OYO Gangotri (veg)(3/5)

 


We decided to do this trip leisurely,

No early morning/late night drives.

We could have directly driven towards Kolkata but we avoided it.

 

Ready to roll, Keys Vizag. YI wide angle.
YIAC0288-01.jpeg

Started exploring Vizag beaches.

It is definitely one of the cleanest City in the country.

Roads are clean, dust and pothole free.

 

I'm not sure about internal roads.

Roads around beach and our accommodation are too good. 

IMG_20181216_112459-01.jpeg

Wide angle shot, RK beach,

It is windy and gloomy due to Cyclone.

YIAC0296-01.jpeg

Mandatory selfie

YIAC0297-01.jpeg

We drove along the coastal  line till Bheemli beach. 

IMG_20181216_102641-01.jpeg

Vizag to Puri roads are good,

There are few diversions near bridges which kill the overall average. 

IMG_20181216_135433_1-01.jpeg

Duster is literally shaking on speed above 100, due to strong winds

IMG_20181216_135534-01.jpeg

Some smooth sections and

IMG_20181216_170404-01.jpeg

Dense forests.

IMG_20181216_170125-02.jpeg

Sunlight started to fade away after 4PM,
We thought due to cyclone effect,
Later we realised that we are driving towards NE
.

IMG_20181216_181005-01.jpeg

Once we divert from the highway,
It is single lane road to Puri.

 

Roads are average, most of the places we pass through are very backward.

Finding a proper tea/washroom/hotel  is a uphill task.

 

Around 10 kilometres of road is like this..

It looks beautiful, I'm sure these roads are not safe.

 

We were stopped on this section due to some elephants crossing,
They released us after some time.

But we couldn't find any elephant.. 

IMG_20181216_181051-01.jpeg

Hotels in Puri are extreme,

They are priced either 10k + or below 2k.

There are no mid level options 

OYO room in Puri

IMG_20181216_193346-01.jpeg

 

To be cont..

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8 hours ago, Ranger said:

Once we divert from the highway,
It is single lane road to Puri.

 

Around 10 kilometres of road is like this..

It looks beautiful, I'm sure these roads are not safe.

 

We were stopped on this section due to some elephants crossing,

 

These road remind me of some horror serials or movies and it looks scary  too. 

Nice Pictures.

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:23 PM, Anand Singh said:

These road remind me of some horror serials or movies and it looks scary  too. 

 

Yeah, we felt the same. 

 

On 1/11/2019 at 11:23 PM, Anand Singh said:

Nice Pictures.

 

Thank you.

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,Day 3: Puri to Kharagpur

 

Explored places around Puri and Konark.

Personally, I had high expectations on Puri but the place is pretty average.

 

If you want to enjoy the night life in Puri, only proper option is Lotus resort Konark(starting at 5.5k per day)

Konark sun temple is a must visit,
Pictures can't do justice to this place.
Would rate it 5/5.
It is unesco heritage site. No idol inside the temple, It is more about architecture and history.
Cameras are allowed inside.

 

Even though we have driven away from Phethai Cyclone path.
Our average took a hit, Due to heavy rainfall and gusty winds.

After crossing Puri, Sunset time is between 4:30PM - 5:00PM.

 

Driving around 8PM feels like midnight. :)

We couldn't reach Kolkata(as planned), We decided to stay in Kharagpur.

 

Road condition :

4-lane (few two lane sections near Konark/Puri)
Few diversions on highway.
Overall road condition is good.

Start time: 12 PM
Reached: 9 PM

 

Hotel : Green land towers
Rating: 3/5
Cost: 3500/- ( not value for money)

 

Very few hotel options in Khargpur,
Better to avoid stay in Khargpur.

Limited food options between Puri and Khargpur.

 

Breakfast : OYO Gangotri Puri(3/5)
Lunch : Sai Anand Bhubaneshwar (4/5 )
Dinner : Green land towers Khargpur(3/5)

 

Plan was to drive down to Kolkata,

IMG_20181217_104817-01.jpeg

Due to weather conditions and late night sleep,

We decided to start in the mid day.

We started drive towards Konark.

IMG_20181217_110240-01.jpeg

Enroute to Konark, Beautiful roads.

IMG_20181217_110330-01.jpeg

Beaches in Puri are over crowded,

Around Konark, it is zero crowd. 

IMG_20181217_112432-02.jpeg

They are maintaining zero plastic policy at the beach,

There is a team, who are picking up all the left over plastic. 

IMG_20181217_112949-02.jpeg

Pictures cant do justice to this place, Konark sun temple.

IMG_20181217_115228-01.jpeg

You see this pictures on day to day basis. Any guess on which item?

IMG_20181217_115639-01.jpeg

Architecture is mind boggling.

IMG_20181217_115444-01.jpeg

Hiring a guide is a must,

You will understand the story behind this place. 

IMG_20181217_114946-01.jpeg

As a road trip enthusiast we love wheels. :)

IMG_20181217_115817-01.jpeg

Much needed picture of the day

IMG_20181217_115133-01.jpeg

Cyclone effect is still present. 

IMG_20181217_152053-02.jpeg

Railings fell off the truck,

And the restless auto driver got stuck on them.

We took a u-turn and managed to get into the opposite lane. 

IMG_20181217_160434-01.jpeg

Reliance fuel stations are very reliable and has good washroom.
Most of our highway fuel stopovers are at Reliance. 

IMG_20181217_163144-01.jpeg

Accommodation for the day at Karagpur.

IMG_20181217_211200-01.jpeg

 

 

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@Ranger The main pack of pictures and details of this road trip are yet to fall out. Waiting for the complete post :D 

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7 hours ago, sagar said:

The main pack of pictures and details of this road trip are yet to fall out. Waiting for the complete post

 

Will start posting from tomorrow. 

Caught up in work. 

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Day 4:

Kharagpur to Malda

 

Today all we did is driving, driving, driving..
We felt like truck drivers :)

 

Heavy rains, traffic jams and poor roads.
We couldn't make much progress.

 

Plan was to reach Siliguri by night.
But we have faced a huge traffic jam at Farakka barriage.

 

Maintenance work is going on and rains made the situation from bad to worst.

Very few cars on this section,
More than 95% vehicles are trucks.

 

We got stuck in a 10 kilometer long traffic jam.
It took us 3 hours to cross the barriage.

 

There is no lane system,
All the trucks are blocked by cops (barricades)

Cars and bikes are allowed on the wrong route.(by cops)
Zero traffic sense.

 

We met a truck driver who is in the traffic from the past 9 hours.

We couldn't reach Siliguri as planned, we decided to retire for the day at Malda.

Malda has many stay options,

 

Problem? Most of them did not have any online booking option.

It took us some time to find a proper stay that fits our budget/requirements (some hotels quoted 6k per night)

 

Sunset time is around 4:30PM.

 

Road condition : 4-lane and 2-lane (1:1)
Few diversions on highway.
Overall road condition is average to bad.
Progress is very slow.
Numerous villages enroute.

 

Some sections have crater like potholes.
Duster took few under body hits 🙏

 

Start time: 10 AM
Reached: 7 PM

 

Hotel :

Hotel Golden park, Malda
Rating: 3/5
Cost: 2500/-

It is on highway, no diversions required.
Not an ideal place for families.

 

Strictly limited food options between Kharagpur and Malda.
It took us four hours to find a good dhaba.
Our lunch break is around 5PM.

 

Breakfast : Green land towers kharagpur(3/5)
Lunch : Some random village (2.5/5 )
Dinner : Golden park, Malda(4/5)

 

We started on a 4-lane highway from Khargapur

IMG_20181218_110512-01.jpeg

Turned to single lane, Duster needs a wash

IMG_20181218_142011-01.jpeg

20kmph speed limit on a NH?

IMG_20181218_152220-01.jpeg

Even cars like Duster cant survive these potholes,

We took one under body hit. 

IMG_20181218_152414-01.jpeg

Potholes through out the journey

IMG_20181218_160527_1-01.jpeg

The famous Farakka barrage,

Get ready to stuck for 3 hours(Cars)

 

For some trucks,

It is more than one full day!

IMG_20181218_174958-01.jpeg

We reached hotel,
We are the only guests in the entire Hotel.

IMG_20181218_211218-01.jpeg

Rooms are strictly average

IMG_20181218_212014-01.jpeg

Finally a much needed wash!

IMG_20181219_095656-01.jpeg

 

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    • By SK01
      Vehicle Identification Number which is also known as VIN, in short, is a unique identification number marked on the vehicle in different locations (Engine bay, passenger compartment, etc). This helps us find the exact month and year the vehicle was manufactured. This is really useful to know whether the dealer is selling us the new vehicle or else a vehicle manufactured 6 months ago and even a year ago. However reading it isn't an easy job, neither is a tough job. It just requires proper decoding codes and knowledge of what alphabet, number on the big VIN says what. VIN pattern is different from manufacturer to manufacturer. Sometimes even cars to cars in the same manufacturer. Here are the codes to decode the VIN of different manufacturers. Using this, one can find out what exactly the VIN represents. 
       
       
      NOTE: The letters "I", "O" and "Q" are never used in a VIN. 
      NOTE: None of the below mentioned  VIN represents the original VIN of any manufacturer. 
       
      HONDA CAR INDIA
      VIN Characters: 17 (MAK*****AE********) 

      Method:
      9th character - MONTH of Manufacture (A) refer above VIN 
      10th character - YEAR of Manufacture (E) refer above VIN
       
      Month Codes:
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC

      Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026, V = 2027,
      W = 2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in January 2014. 
       
       
      TATA MOTORS 
      VIN Characters: 17 (MAT******B*K*****) 

      Method:
      10th character - YEAR of Manufacture (B) refer above VIN 
      12th character - MONTH of Manufacture (K) refer above VIN

      Year Codes: 
      A= 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026,
      V = 2027, W=2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030
       
      Month Codes: 
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, N = NOV, P = DEC
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in October 2011. 
       
      MITSUBISHI MOTORS INDIA
      VIN Characters: 17 (MA7******DC******) 

      Method:
      10th character - YEAR of Manufacture (D) refer above VIN 
      11th character - MONTH of Manufacture  (C) refer above VIN

      Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026,
      V = 2027, W = 2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030
       
      Month Codes:
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in March 2013 
       
      MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA
      VIN Characters: 17 (MA1******C*D*****)

      Method:
      10th character - YEAR of Manufacture (C) refer above VIN 
      12th character - MONTH of Manufacture  (D) refer above VIN

      Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026, V = 2027,
      W = 2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030
       
      Month Codes:, A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in April 2012. 
       
      HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY
      VIN / Chassis Number Characters: 19 (MAL******D********F)

      Method:
      10th character - Model YEAR (D) refer above VIN 
      19th character - MONTH of Manufacture (F) refer above VIN 

      Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026, V = 2027,
      W = 2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030
       
      Month Codes:
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in June 2013. 
       
      SKODA AUTO INDIA 
      VIN Characters: 17 (TMB**C***D*******)

      Method:
      6th character - MONTH of Manufacture (C) refer above VIN 
      10th character- YEAR of Manufacture (D) refer above VIN 

      Month Codes:
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC

      Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026, V = 2027,
      W = 2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in March 2013. 
       
      VOLKSWAGEN INDIA
      VIN Characters: 17 (WVWB10***C*******)

      Method:
      4th character - MONTH of Manufacture (B) refer above VIN 
      5th & 6th character - Production Year (10) refer above VIN 
      10th character - Model Year (C) refer above VIN 

      Month Codes:
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC

      Year Codes:
      10 = 2010, 11 = 2011, 12 = 2012, 13 = 2013, 14 = 2014, 15 = 2015, 16 = 2016, 17 = 2017, 18 = 2018, 19 = 2019, 20 = 2020, 21 = 2021, 22 = 2022, 23 = 2023, 24 = 2024, 25 = 2025,
      26 = 2026, 27 = 2027, 28 = 2028, 29 = 2029, 30 = 2030

      Model Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in February 2010, model year 2012. 
       
      FIAT INDIA 
      VIN Characters: 20 (MCA**************GFZ)

      Method:
      18th character - MONTH of Manufacture (G) refer above VIN 
      19th & 20th character - YEAR of Manufacture (FZ) refer above VIN 

      Month Codes:
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC

      Year Codes:
      8Z = 2030, 7Z = 2029, 6Z = 2028, 5Z = 2027, 4Z = 2026, 3Z = 2025, 2Z = 2024, 1Z = 2023, AZ = 2022, BZ = 2021, CZ = 2020, DZ = 2019, EZ = 2018, FZ = 2017, GZ = 2016, HZ = 2015,
      JZ = 2014, KZ = 2013, LZ = 2012, MZ = 2011, NZ = 2010, QZ & PZ = 2009
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in July 2017.

      TOYOTA INDIA
      VIN Characters: 22 (MBJ**************0510)

      Method:
      19th & 20th character - MONTH of Manufacture (05) refer above VIN 
      21st & 22nd character - YEAR of Manufacture (10) refer above VIN 

      Month Codes:
      01 = JAN, 02 = FEB, 03 = MAR, 04 = APR, 05 = MAY, 06 = JUN, 07 = JUL, 08 = AUG, 09 = SEP, 10 = OCT, 11 = NOV, 12 = DEC

      Year Codes:
      10 = 2010, 11 = 2011, 12 = 2012, 13 = 2013, 14 = 2014, 15 = 2015, 16 = 2016, 17 = 2017, 18 = 2018, 19 = 2019, 20 = 2020, 21 = 2021, 22 = 2022, 23 = 2023, 24 = 2024, 25 = 2025,
      26 = 2026, 27 = 2027, 28 = 2028, 29 = 2029, 30 = 2030
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in May 2010. 
       
      MARUTI SUZUKI 
      VIN Characters: 17 (MA3******HA******)

      Method:
      11th character - MONTH of Manufacture (H) refer above VIN
      10th character - YEAR of Manufacture (A) refer above VIN

      Month Codes:
      A = JAN, B = FEB, C = MAR, D = APR, E = MAY, F = JUN, G = JUL, H = AUG, J = SEP, K = OCT, L = NOV, M = DEC
      Year Codes:
      Y=2030, X=2029, W=2028, V=2027, T=2026, S=2025, R=2024, P=2023, N=2022, M=2021, L=2020, K=2019, J=2018, H=2017, G=2016, F=2015, E=2014, D=2013, C=2012, B=2011, A=2010, 9=2009, 8=2008, 7=2007, 6=2006, 5=2005
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in August 2010. 
       
      RENAULT INDIA
      VIN Characters: 17 (MEE******AA******)

      Method:
      10th character - YEAR of Manufacture (A) refer above VIN
      11th character - MONTH of Manufacture (A) refer above VIN
       
      Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026, V = 2027,
      W = 2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030

      Month Codes:
      1 = January, 2 = February, 3 = March, 4 = April, 5 = May, 6 = June, 7 = July, 8 = August, 9 = September, A = October, B = November, C = December
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in October 2010. 
       
      NISSAN/DATSUN INDIA 
      VIN Characters: 17 (MDH******AA******)

      Method:
      10th character - YEAR of Manufacture  (A) refer above VIN
      11th character - MONTH of Manufacture  (A) refer above VIN

      Year Codes:
      A = 2010, B = 2011, C = 2012, D = 2013, E = 2014, F = 2015, G = 2016, H = 2017, J = 2018, K = 2019, L = 2020, M = 2021, N = 2022, P = 2023, R = 2024, S = 2025, T = 2026, V = 2027,
      W = 2028, X = 2029, Y = 2030

      Month Codes:
      1 = January, 2 = February, 3 = March, 4 = April, 5 = May, 6 = June, 7 = July, 8 = August, 9 = September, A = October, B = November, C = December
       
      Example: According to the above mentioned VIN, the vehicle was manufactured in October 2010. 
       
      FORD INDIA

      VIN Characters: 17 (MAJGXX****KG*******)

      Ford India uses a pattern that repeats every 4 years. That means the 2005-2008 pattern repeats for 2009-2012 (and so on).

      Method:
      (Use the chart below for reference)

      11th character - YEAR of Manufacture (K) refer above VIN 
      12th character - MONTH of Manufacture (G) refer above VIN 
       


       
      Anyone having Jeep, MG and KIA VIN details can mention them in the comments section in the above written format. 
       
                                                                                     
       
                                                                                                                                                               
    • By Santa86
      Trip Query: Hyderabad to Kolkata Road Trip (Hyd - Vizag - Bhubaneswar - Kolkata) , travelling on 21-Dec-19 Accommodation recommendations: Looking for accommodation in Vizag and BBSR (night halts). Highway food joint recommendations: Any suggestions on lunch point between the following: Hyderabad to Vishakhapatnam Vizag to Bhubaneswar Bhubaneswar to Kolkata No. of days: 2 nights and 3 days (onward) Vehicle : Duster RXS 85PS Places to visit: Planning to cover the below places on the way: Chilka Lake (onward) Dhabaligiri (onward) Konark Temple. (return)
    • By LoneRanger
      Precursor to the Trip: 
      Mr.Daddy calls me up on Oct 2nd in the evening. 
       
      Daddy : I had to work today , who the hell works on Gandhi jayanthi? They don't even sell Liquor today. 
      Me : Chill Macha , we chose this job. And have to take everything it throws at us. 
      Daddy: I need some relaxation , plan something for the weekend. 
      Me : Hmm, lets go to Bhuvanagiri Fort, I have been meaning to trek that fort since childhood. 
      Daddy: Done. 
       
      The plan has been made , but could not be executed the Dussehra weekend, due to the obvious reasons. Our Wives would let us go on a trek on a festival day. And i totally forgot about it , till 12th When Mr.Daddy messages to ask me if i'm available to do the trek on 13th (Sunday). I said yes , and the trip was on. 
       
      Hill Fort of Bhuvanagiri: 
      If you have ever have traveled to Warangal by road or by train you would not miss this small fort on top of the hill. I remember watching the hill for the first time as a kid, from a train window, on my way to Hyderabad. Since then i was always fascinated by this small fort and it was my long lasting desire to trek to the top of it.  
       
      The fort is constructed in the 10th century A.D by Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI. That makes this fort atleast 1000 years old. In contrast Golconda fort is 400 years old. And Since it is built by Tribhuvanamalla , the fort is called Tribhuvanagiri , Which latter became Bhuvanagiri and with the Persian and Urdu influence of the local kings became Bhongir. The fort was built on a small egg shaped hill, and there were small steps cut into the rock to climb up to the fort. 
       
      Drive To The Fort:
      I started at 8:30 A.M on Sunday morning , and started towards Mr.Daddy's home in Manikonda, Hyderabad. I picked him up and on the way we stopped at Organic hotel to have breakfast. After having quick breakfast we took the ORR to reach Warangal Highway.
      (Organic Hotel , where we had or break Fast) 
       
      As there was no hurry , we mostly drove in the middle lane at 80KMPH max speed, The ORR charged us 140/- to get down at Warangal high way, And soon after that we had to pay another toll on the highway, We took a to and fro pass for 140/- and went on our way. The toll has dedicated lanes for fastag , and if you still don't have one Get one ASAP. 
       
      As soon as you cross the toll gate and proceed further , you see something like this (Image is taken from Wiki) 
      With the help of google maps we reached the entry point of the fort. There are two gates to get into , one for regular tourists and another for rock climbing school in the premises. There is ample space to park 8-10 cars. We parked our car , proceeded to the shop next to the ticket counter bought ourselves a water bottle & moved to ticket counter to buy our tickets. Ticket cost for Adults is rs: 10/- per head.

       
      The Rock has steps cut into it , which looks fairly a recent addition to the 1000 year old Hill Fort. We started our climb from this point. 
       
      The weather forecast for Bhongir on that day was partially cloudy and with intermittent rains. But Sun god has different plans for us. It was hot and the rock reflected the heat. After a brief walk , we ended up at the first gateway to the fort. There was some shade and i sat there for a couple of minutes. 
      (The first gateway , where you will find some shade.) 
       
      After the first rest stop , there is enough tree cover and it was a little cloudy , we reached the second Gateway in some time. 

       
      The distance between the second and third Gateway is not much , but there is a increase in elevation. We soon reached the third gateway , and the the view looked like this after crossing the third gateway. 

       
      From here there is no tree cover , and to my bad luck there is no cloud cover either.  From here ,  if you walked towards right from the path , you would find some ruins. This signifies that you have reached level 1. From here the path goes on to the top of the hill. We kept on walking and discussing on how ingeniously the architect of the fort has constructed multiple Dams to conserve rain water. 

      (Level 1 ruins towards the left of the picture and Check Dams to conserve towards the right of the Picture) 
       
      From here the walk way is very steep , one has to be careful. And this can be slippery during rains. 

      (Steep Walk way , with stairs cut into the rock, Rails installed in the modern era for support, Another Check Dam towards right and Mr.Daddy gauging on how far we have to go)
       
      After this i was completely exhausted , and stopped at every 5-10 minutes on the pretext of taking pictures 😛 ,  Approximately after an hour we started , we reached the top of the fort. 
      (Celebratory pic of climbing the hill, My smile will tell you how happy i was on the top, the cannon at the back might be a late addition to the fort , as they were developed only in 15th century) 
       
      There are three structures at the top of the Hill , one ruined old fort , and two other government buildings , with Cellular tower on top of one. The other building was build on top adjacent to an old well. (The Pic of the fort). 
       
      The views from the top of the hill are simply amazing. Google maps told us that we were 1000 meters above MSL. Below are a few pics of the views from the fort. 

       (You can spot Bhongir Railway station , from where i first saw this magnificent Hill Fort. Also , at the bottom right , notice how Dams were constructed to save water.)
       

      (Another pond , and the fort wall at a distance)
       
      We explored the whole place for an hour , found a small entrance and a staircase, just out of curiosity i went in and started climbing the stairs , and Mr.Daddy followed me. 
      The stairs took us to the top of the fort. There is no higher point in Bhongir Than this.  

      (The fort view from behind)

       

      (Me after conquering the fort, instead of a sword i posed with an Umbrella, modern day weapon to fight the soldiers of the nature) 
      By 2 o clock we were hungry and decided to descend, as soon as we thought of of it , we could see dark clouds manifest out of no where and weather became cloudy and pleasant.  I wonder where these clouds were when i was climbing up the hill.   

       
      We climbed down, and there were 6 other cars parked in the parking. We went to the shop next to ticket counter had another bottle of water. Went to a nearby restaurant in Bhongir and had our lunch. After and uneventful lunch , we started back to Hyderabad , and it started raining just as we were ready to leave Bhongir. 
      Tips for Trek to the Top : 
      Carry your own water one bottle per person. Carry an umbrella , Sun or Rain it will help you a lot.  Avoid Summers , It was tiring to climb in October Sun. Imagine April Sun beating down on you.   
      Suggest to go in groups, Half of the time i was engrossed in deep conversations with Mr.Daddy , and didn't feel the tiredness. 
      Wear shoes and avoid Slippers and Flip flops at all costs

      PS: For those who are wondering , why i call him Daddy , You can find the explanation in my previous write up






    • By Ranger
      Hi all,

      This is the Pune-Bangalore road condition as on 14th Oct 2019.
       
      This is a detailed explanation and a long post so kindly read it at your leisure.
       
      A stretch of almost 870 kms from Pune.  Until Hubli you dont have to fall down under. It is a beautiful highway to drive on. Your patience is taken for a toss from Hubli. Your real journey starts now :p After Hubli, almost close to 150-200 kms, you have to deal with some rough patches of the road because a lot of construction activity is in progress. May be two years down the line it will be the best highway. After the trouble with all the rubble, here comes the best stretch of the highway which is the last two hundred kilometres where you feel you are in heaven. You can easily touch speeds upto 130-140 kmph with ease and it is a 6-Lane highway. In most parts of the highway until Kolhapur or may be little further you will find some shoddy white strips (refer video) which spread across hundred metres before you cross every village. These are nasty, so you may want to speed up a bit; instead of travelling at 40 or 60 kmph, travel at speeds of nearly 80-100 kmph so that you don't feel these jerks. However, be careful of two wheeler and pedestrians crossing the roads in these villages.  After Hubli, you may not find too many food options so carry lot of snacks with you. Especially, when you are travelling with kids ensure that you take decent quantity of food. However, here and there you might find small outlets which are just average. But if you are looking for some good options you will have to wait until the last 100 to 130 kilometres stretch towards Bangalore. Last but not the least, as far as possible, avoid driving in the night in this stretch from Hubli because in certain places you will not find diversion symbols near construction areas, you wont see shoulder line markings, lane markings in most of the places thus making it a difficult drive during nights. Both the driver and navigator have to be really careful to ensure that everyone is safe   
      by Praneeth Palakodeti
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