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Mady

Journey into the magical mountain range of North East

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The most memorable journey into the magical mountain range of North East

TsongmoLake_Changu_Lake_Filephoto.jpg

 

Planning

Booking for Sikkim Gangtok Darjeeling - 8 Days & 7 Nights | Cities : Lachen

 

Day 1 (07 May 2017)
=================


Arrival at IXB (Airport) NJP (Railway Station) and Transfer to Darjeeling
(Duration: 3 ½ hours Approx) (Distance: 69 kms)
Arrive & Meet Our Official Representative at New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB)–He will be assisting for the transfer - Darjeeling - Check into hotel – Evening free to roam around Mall or local Shopping centre - Over Night stay at Darjeeling.

 

Day 2 (08 May 2017)
=================

Darjeeling Local Sight-Seeing (Including Tiger Hill)
Go for the early morning 3-point tour at 3:45 am which covers famous sunrise from Tiger Hill, Old Ghoom Monastery and Batasia Loop where the toy train takes a dramatic loop and negotiates an Altitude of 140ft. You will be back to your hotel by 7:30am. Relax for a while and After Breakfast later take the 7-point local tour which includes Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park, Ropeway, Tibetan Self Help Refugee Center, Lebong Race Course, Happy Valley Tea Estate etc. This tour will take about 4 hours.

 

Day 3 (09 May 2017)
=================
Darjeeling to Gangtok& Gangtok Local Sightseeing:-
(Duration: 3 ½ hours Approx) (Distance: 135 kms )
Morning breakfast – Transfer to Gangtok –– Check into Hotel – After taking rest - Drive flora half day sightseeing and visit to Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom, Research Institute of Tibetology, Do Drul Chorten (Stupa), Enchey Monastery, White Hall, Flower Show, one , etc. – Back to hotel – Evening free - Over Night stay at Gangtok.

 

Day 4 (10 May 2017)
=================
Gangtok to Lachen:-
(Duration: 5–6 hours Approx) (Distance: 135 kms )
Early morning breakfast –Lunch at Chungthang – Lachen is 35 kilometers from Chungthang Reach Lachen late afternoon / early evening - Gurudongmar Lake, Chopta Valley, Tshangu are the major attraction– Like a Shangri - La – Check into a hotel - Welcome Tea – Evening free to stroll and visit the Lepcha Village – Overnight stay at Hotel in Lachen.

 

Day 5 (11 May 2017)
=================
Excursion To Gurudongmar Lake And Transfer To Lachung:-
(Duration:2 ½ - 3 ½ hours Approx) (Distance: 85kms )
Early morning breakfast – Visit to Gurudongmar Lake through which Lachen Chu flows, generally covered with snow from December to April or even more is known as the Holy / Sacred Lake - Next drive through the cold desert till Tibet / China back to Resort for Lunch – After lunch drive to Lachung - Back to hotel for lunch - After lunch proceed to Lachung -Check into hotel at Lachung - Evening free to visit Lachung Monastery - Overnight stay at Hotel at Lachung.

 

Day 6 (12 May 2017)
=================
Sightseeing AtYumthang Valley + ZeroPoint (Optional) & Transfer To Gangtok:-
After breakfast drive towards Yumthang situated at an elevation of nearly 11800 feet - On the way you may visit the famous hot spring which is known for its curative properties of skin diseases - Yumthang is a valley near the river Lachung Chu surrounded by mountains where the tree line ends - In spring the valley erupts in riots of colors as Primulae, Rhododendrons and many other Alpine flowers in full bloom along with snow covered valley except in autumn - During winter Yumthang is somber with snow all around and the snow clad mountains adding to the ethereal beauty.

Optional Zero point(Additional Cost) is the last outpost of civilization. The road ends here. Peaceful valley and is quite windy - there was not much to hear but just stay here for some time to enjoy the beauty. With the majestic mountains and ice around - it was like being the only people in the world. Calm, quiet and a sense of insignificance - time seems to stand still here.... like nothing ever changes.Return to resort at Lachung for Lunch – Transfer to Gangtok – Reach Gangtok in the evening – Check into hotel – Night stay at Gangtok.

 

Day 7 (13 May 2017)
=================
Excursion To Tsomgo Lake& Baba Mandir:-
Morning breakfast at hotel – Excursion to Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir nearly 40 kilometers - The Lake is oval shaped lake nearly 50 feet deep - Generally covered in snow for most of the year – This lake is home to the Brahmini ducks & many migratory birds – Nearby is the sacred Baba Mandir known to be a very holy site for all - Nathula Pass to Republic of China is nearly 20 kilometers and is optional tour - Back to Gangtok - Evening free to roam around M G Road (Mall) or local Shopping center - Over Night stay at Gangtok (In case of Landslide or due to any other reasons if Tshangu Lake is closed then an alternate sightseeing will be provided).

Optional Nathula(Additional Cost)(14140 Ft / 4310 Mts / 20 Kms in 1Hrs one way from Tshangu Lake) Baba Mandir (13100Ft / 3994 Mts / 16Kms in 1Hrs one way from Tshangu Lake) is an Indo China border, controlled by the Indian Army & is situated approx 20 Kms ahead of Tshangu Lake at an height of 14140 Ft / 4310 At this point the right arm of the “V” which is 4 Kms takes one to Baba Mandir & left arm of the “V” which is 4 Kms takes one to Nathula.

 

One can opt for Nathula Excursion by paying a supplement cost which varies from month to month. Nathula permit gets confirmed 24 hrs prior to the journey date & it is subjected to permit availability as it is allotted as per lottery. Nathula is closed on Monday & Tuesday for tourist. Organising the permit at the last moment is not possible & a clear window of 72 Hrs with proper documents is required to process the permit. To process the permit we would require 04 Passport Size Photograph & photo proof identity card such as Voter Id / Passport / Driving License. Pan card is not accepted as identity proof by authorities. There is no refund, in case the permit is confirmed by Sikkim tourism & due to whatsoever reason (Land slide, Heavy rain fall, VIP Movement, Health issue etc) one is not able to visit.

 

Day 8 (14 May 2017)
==================
DepartureAt Airport (IXB) / Railway Station (NJP) :-
(Duration:4-5hours Approx) (Distance: 135kms )
After breakfast transfer to Siliguri / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB) Guest are advised to start early and not to rush - Forwarding Journey.

 

Execution:

 

Day 1 - 
Hyderabad - Bhagdogara - Darjeeling

 

Day 2 - 
Darjeeling:
State - West Bengal
Elevation - 6,700ft / 2,042.2m
Tourist Attractions - Tea estates, Tiger Hill, Toy train, Japanese temple, Rock garden, Spectacular views of Kangchenjunga - the world's third-highest mountain

 

Day 3 -
Darjeeling - Gangtok
On the way - Teesta river - River rafting

Gangtok
State - Sikkim
Elevation - 5,410ft / 1,600m
Tourist Attractions - A centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning - Several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centres for Tibetology, Spectacular views of Kangchenjunga - the world's third-highest mountain

 

Day 4 - 
Gangtok - Lachen

Lachen:
State - Sikkim
Elevation - 9,000ft / 2,750m
Tourist Attaractions - It's the base for Chopta valley and Gurudongmar lake 
Chopta valley - Located at an altitude of 13,000ft / 4,000m

 

Day 5 - 
Lachen - Gurudongmar lake - Located at an altitude of 17,800ft / 5,430m
Lachen - Lachung

Lachung:
State - Sikkim
Elevation - 9,600ft / 2,900m
Tourist Attractions - It's the base for Yumthang valley and Zero point

 

Day 6 - 
Lachung - Yumthang valley - 11,693ft /3,564m
Yumthang valley - Zero point - 15,300ft / 4,664m
Zero point - Lachung  - Gangtok

 

Day 7 - 
Nathu La pass:
Elevation - 14,140ft / 4,301m
About -  It's one of the three open trading border posts between China and India, It is also one of the four officially agreed BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) points between the Indian Army and People's Liberation Army of China for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies
Tsomgo Lake:
Elevation - 12,300ft / 3,753m
About - It's located 35kms from Gangtok town and on the steep route known as Jawaharlal Nehru Road which leads all the way to Nathula Pass

 

Day 8 - 
Gangtok - Bhagdogara - Hyderabad

 

***Please carry AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) medicine along

OnthewaytoDarjeeling.jpeg

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TsongmoLake_Changu_Lake_Filephoto.jpg

Nathulapass1.jpeg

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Lovely photolog and superb plan maddy.. Your plan looks quite set for a week to enjoy the beauty of NorthEast

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Excellent stuff Mady. The way you planned and executed is at professional level. Thank you for motivating us to cover north east.
Beautiful pictures, nature at its best.

 

I have few questions related to your trip.

How are the roads in North east? Is it possible to do in a sedan or SUV is a must?
How expensive are accommodations?
Any particular place that require permit in your entire trip?

 

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@Mady great execution... definitely a handbook for the future roadtrippers

Sent from my S7 - Using India-Drive App

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Brilliant images! Planning and execution top class!


Sent from my iPhone using India-Drive

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Brilliant images! Planning and execution top class!
We should plan it, pending from years.

I want to drive from Hyderabad.

What do you guys suggest?

41 hours

Screenshot_20170609-144824.png

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On 6/9/2017 at 9:11 AM, Ranger said:

Excellent stuff Mady. The way you planned and executed is at professional level. Thank you for motivating us to cover north east.
Beautiful pictures, nature at its best.

 

I have few questions related to your trip.

How are the roads in North east? Is it possible to do in a sedan or SUV is a must?
How expensive are accommodations?
Any particular place that require permit in your entire trip?

 

It's patchy and bumpy all the way. You will find good roads at certain places, but some of the roads are very bad  & narrow and some more are like man made passages (as good as no roads)

 

We can't do in Sedan and also not all SUVs. Innova was struggling, we need something like Bolero which is tough and have more ground clearance. I have few videos that can clearly show the road condition. Just that I could not upload here.

 

Accommodations are not very expensive except Gangtok, just needs better planning. 3K-5K per day/night is good enough.

 

Yes permits needed for all the places around Lachen, Lachung, and Nathula pass (we need to pay per cab/vehicle for Nathula). And , on our way to Darjeeling to Gangtok there were police outposts where drive had get down and show the passenger details. Perhaps those two places don't need passes but just verification about tourists.

 

On 6/9/2017 at 2:46 PM, Ranger said:

We should plan it, pending from years.

I want to drive from Hyderabad. emoji3.png

What do you guys suggest?

41 hours

Screenshot_20170609-144824.png

Driving to Sikkim is absolutely fine but not inside Sikkim going about 9000 ft to 13000 ft. I would not even suggest but urge you not to do that, not safer roads.

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@Mady Super short and crisp your story looks. It has got all the necessary information needed with some amazing clicks. Thanks for putting them up. Could you suggest me the best time to tour Sikkim?

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22 hours ago, Mady said:

we need something like Bolero which is tough and have more ground clearance.


You cleared my doubts.

 

22 hours ago, Mady said:

Accommodations are not very expensive except Gangtok, just needs better planning. 3K-5K per day/night is good enough.

 

Yes permits needed for all the places around Lachen, Lachung, and Nathula pass


Will note them down, Thank you for the quick and informative answer.

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On 6/10/2017 at 10:24 AM, balag said:

@Mady Super short and crisp your story looks. It has got all the necessary information needed with some amazing clicks. Thanks for putting them up. Could you suggest me the best time to tour Sikkim?

Summers are the best..monsoon is also fine but just that rains may disrupt your trip and make you alter your plans quite a bit. 

Winter might be too difficult to handle..even the schools be closed there just like summer here as the weather be very harsh in the other way,

Drivers there told us that they spend their winters playing football most of the times, doing nothing as there be very few tourists.

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Your plan looks very much perfect @Mady and nice pictures too. Could you please post any pictures of the roads in your road trip so that I can judge on myself about the difficulty level suitable for me for my road trip in september

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I have gone through your thread in one go and it sounds super perfect. The weather condition was awesome and you just had the view of the mountains to admire at. Just beautiful!

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On 6/12/2017 at 3:22 PM, vivek said:

Your plan looks very much perfect @Mady and nice pictures too. Could you please post any pictures of the roads in your road trip so that I can judge on myself about the difficulty level suitable for me for my road trip in september

Hey Vivek,  ping me on whatsapp, so I can share the videos with you there..I have more of videos and could not upload here..and didn't want to spam our whatsapp group :) 

 

On 6/12/2017 at 5:25 PM, swez said:

I have gone through your thread in one go and it sounds super perfect. The weather condition was awesome and you just had the view of the mountains to admire at. Just beautiful!

Thanks much :)

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Amazing pictures. perfect itenary.

Can you also give hotels list to stay in each of these locations.

 

How about covering Bhutan as well apart from the above itinerary?

 

On 6/9/2017 at 2:46 PM, Ranger said:

We should plan it, pending from years.

I want to drive from Hyderabad.

What do you guys suggest?

41 hours

Screenshot_20170609-144824.png

 

I luv to drive but its too far and needs one extra week holidays. 

How about driving from Bagdogra after landing in airport?

 

 

On 6/11/2017 at 1:50 PM, Mady said:

Summers are the best..monsoon is also fine but just that rains may disrupt your trip and make you alter your plans quite a bit. 

Winter might be too difficult to handle..even the schools be closed there just like summer here as the weather be very harsh in the other way,

Drivers there told us that they spend their winters playing football most of the times, doing nothing as there be very few tourists.

 

when did you do this trip in the month of june?

Is it preferable in April or June 1st week?

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On 2/15/2018 at 11:28 PM, sahil said:

Amazing pictures. perfect itenary.

Can you also give hotels list to stay in each of these locations.

 

How about covering Bhutan as well apart from the above itinerary?

 

 

I luv to drive but its too far and needs one extra week holidays. 

How about driving from Bagdogra after landing in airport?

 

 

 

when did you do this trip in the month of june?

Is it preferable in April or June 1st week?

I did this trip during the mid May..and April & June are preferable too..

Only the winter time is bad there, as per the locals..

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On 17/02/2018 at 10:13 AM, Mady said:

I did this trip during the mid May..and April & June are preferable too..

Only the winter time is bad there, as per the locals..

Thank you. 

would be great if you can list some hotels list and local transport details...

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29 minutes ago, sahil said:

Thank you. 

would be great if you can list some hotels list and local transport details...

This list of hotels that we stayed - cant' say all of them are best, but either good or decent for sure. There were few options available, as we started making the bookings only a month before the actual trip. You might want to plan well ahead of time.
Day 1 & 2 - Darjeeling - Krishna Service Apartment
Day 3 - Gangtok - Rhenock House A Luxury Villa
Day 4 - Lachen - Accommodation provided by travel agency
Day 5 - Lachung - Delight Hotels Royal Lachung
Day 6 & 7 - Gangtok - The Lindsay Himalayan Heights

 

Here is the complete travel itinerary, which you can use to plan & negotiate with any of the travel agencies for the ground transport for the entire trip -

Day 1 (07 May 2017)

Arrival at IXB (Airport) NJP (Railway Station) and Transfer to Darjeeling

(Duration: 3 ½ hours Approx) (Distance: 69 kms)
Arrive & Meet Our Official Representative at New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB)–He will be assisting for the transfer - Darjeeling - Check into hotel – Evening free to roam around Mall or local Shopping centre - Over Night stay at Darjeeling.

Day 2 (08 May 2017)

Darjeeling Local Sight-Seeing (Including Tiger Hill)

Go for the early morning 3-point tour at 3:45 am which covers famous sunrise from Tiger Hill, Old Ghoom Monastery and Batasia Loop where the toy train takes a dramatic loop and negotiates an Altitude of 140ft. You will be back to your hotel by 7:30am. Relax for a while and After Breakfast later take the 7-point local tour which includes Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park, Ropeway, Tibetan Self Help Refugee Center, Lebong Race Course, Happy Valley Tea Estate etc. This tour will take about 4 hours.

Day 3 (09 May 2017)

Darjeeling to Gangtok& Gangtok Local Sightseeing:-

(Duration: 3 ½ hours Approx) (Distance: 135 kms )
Morning breakfast – Transfer to Gangtok –– Check into Hotel – After taking rest - Drive flora half day sightseeing and visit to Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom, Research Institute of Tibetology, Do Drul Chorten (Stupa), Enchey Monastery, White Hall, Flower Show, one , etc. – Back to hotel – Evening free - Over Night stay at Gangtok.

Day 4 (10 May 2017)

Gangtok to Lachen:-

(Duration: 5–6 hours Approx) (Distance: 135 kms )
Early morning breakfast –Lunch at Chungthang – Lachen is 35 kilometers from Chungthang Reach Lachen late afternoon / early evening - Gurudongmar Lake, Chopta Valley, Tshangu are the major attraction– Like a Shangri - La – Check into a hotel - Welcome Tea – Evening free to stroll and visit the Lepcha Village – Overnight stay at Hotel in Lachen.

Day 5 (11 May 2017)

Excursion To Gurudongmar Lake And Transfer To Lachung:-

(Duration:2 ½ - 3 ½ hours Approx) (Distance: 85kms )
Early morning breakfast – Visit to Gurudongmar Lake through which Lachen Chu flows, generally covered with snow from December to April or even more is known as the Holy / Sacred Lake - Next drive through the cold desert till Tibet / China back to Resort for Lunch – After lunch drive to Lachung - Back to hotel for lunch - After lunch proceed to Lachung -Check into hotel at Lachung - Evening free to visit Lachung Monastery - Overnight stay at Hotel at Lachung.

Day 6 (12 May 2017)

Sightseeing AtYumthang Valley + ZeroPoint (Optional) & Transfer To Gangtok:-

After breakfast drive towards Yumthang situated at an elevation of nearly 11800 feet - On the way you may visit the famous hot spring which is known for its curative properties of skin diseases - Yumthang is a valley near the river Lachung Chu surrounded by mountains where the tree line ends - In spring the valley erupts in riots of colors as Primulae, Rhododendrons and many other Alpine flowers in full bloom along with snow covered valley except in autumn - During winter Yumthang is somber with snow all around and the snow clad mountains adding to the ethereal beauty.

Optional Zero point(Additional Cost) is the last outpost of civilization. The road ends here. Peaceful valley and is quite windy - there was not much to hear but just stay here for some time to enjoy the beauty. With the majestic mountains and ice around - it was like being the only people in the world. Calm, quiet and a sense of insignificance - time seems to stand still here.... like nothing ever changes.Return to resort at Lachung for Lunch – Transfer to Gangtok – Reach Gangtok in the evening – Check into hotel – Night stay at Gangtok.

Day 7 (13 May 2017)

Excursion To Tsomgo Lake& Baba Mandir:-

Morning breakfast at hotel – Excursion to Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir nearly 40 kilometers - The Lake is oval shaped lake nearly 50 feet deep - Generally covered in snow for most of the year – This lake is home to the Brahmini ducks & many migratory birds – Nearby is the sacred Baba Mandir known to be a very holy site for all - Nathula Pass to Republic of China is nearly 20 kilometers and is optional tour - Back to Gangtok - Evening free to roam around M G Road (Mall) or local Shopping center - Over Night stay at Gangtok (In case of Landslide or due to any other reasons if Tshangu Lake is closed then an alternate sightseeing will be provided).

Optional Nathula(Additional Cost)(14140 Ft / 4310 Mts / 20 Kms in 1Hrs one way from Tshangu Lake) Baba Mandir (13100Ft / 3994 Mts / 16Kms in 1Hrs one way from Tshangu Lake) is an Indo China border, controlled by the Indian Army & is situated approx 20 Kms ahead of Tshangu Lake at an height of 14140 Ft / 4310 At this point the right arm of the “V” which is 4 Kms takes one to Baba Mandir & left arm of the “V” which is 4 Kms takes one to Nathula.

One can opt for Nathula Excursion by paying a supplement cost which varies from month to month. Nathula permit gets confirmed 24 hrs prior to the journey date & it is subjected to permit availability as it is allotted as per lottery. Nathula is closed on Monday & Tuesday for tourist. Organising the permit at the last moment is not possible & a clear window of 72 Hrs with proper documents is required to process the permit. To process the permit we would require 04 Passport Size Photograph & photo proof identity card such as Voter Id / Passport / Driving License. Pan card is not accepted as identity proof by authorities. There is no refund, in case the permit is confirmed by Sikkim tourism & due to whatsoever reason (Land slide, Heavy rain fall, VIP Movement, Health issue etc) one is not able to visit.

Day 8 (14 May 2017)

DepartureAt Airport (IXB) / Railway Station (NJP) :-

(Duration:4-5hours Approx) (Distance: 135kms )
After breakfast transfer to Siliguri / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB) Guest are advised to start early and not to rush - Forwarding Journey.

Cost is Rs.48,600/-

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On 2/17/2018 at 10:13 AM, Mady said:

I did this trip during the mid May..and April & June are preferable too..

Only the winter time is bad there, as per the locals..

I missed to see your other queries :)

How about covering Bhutan as well apart from the above itinerary? 
Not that I know of or can suggest any thing as my knowledge is limited here. However, if you can keep your trip flexible, I would rather suggest you to visit the museum in Darjeeling, check for the route plan more clearly and check with the cabbies there about the possible challenges. 

 

 

I luv to drive but its too far and needs one extra week holidays. 

How about driving from Bagdogra after landing in airport?
You can save a day  each ways (Up & down)..all the plan & timing will remain as-is, traveling in the mountain range is like, you can have avg 10-20KMPH, in most of the places. The detailed travel plan should give you more details on the time it takes for commuting from one place to another

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    • 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 rkamal
      This Dussehra holidays we planned a long road trip to Coimbatore in our EcoSport.
       
      Thanks to India-Drive members, especially @sagar @Ranger for suggesting trip route and staying food options along the route. 
       
      Day -1:
       
      We started around 4 AM from Miyapur, Hyderabad. Drive till Anantapur is quite familiar to me, as i have driven this route many times.
       
      Drive was excellent with good pleasant weather, around 9:30 AM We reached Anantapur for breakfast at Club RuRu.
       
      Food was good as well as the service and atmosphere. After some nice breakfast we started towards Bangalore, as we approach the outskirts of the city traffic made us slow down, and also the fear of over-speeding and getting fined made me cautious, kept at 60-80 speeds reached Devanahalli around 12:30 PM.
       
      Our EcoSport flyaudio gave us this route which bypassed the traffic areas of the city (silkboard, electronic city) and took us to the sarjapura main road and joined on the NH just after the electronic city. The route we took to bypass the city is quite scenic and some places were narrow roads. and in some parts very rough roads (2-4 KM) with construction work is ongoing. I am attaching the route map for reference.
       
      Around 2:30 we reached Hosur outskirts, despite being a Sunday afternoon the road is filled with heavy vehicles occupying all the lanes and made us slow down, managed to reach a good restaurant which serves good tamil meals by 3:00 PM.
       
      The food was good and hot. after staying so long out of Tamilnadu we always look forward to eating in Tamilnadu hotels, glad we could make it for lunch.
       
      After lunch started the journey towards Salem, Roads were quite good and smooth but not as wide as Hyderabad-bangalore highway. Not a pleasant experience as the vehicles seems to be in hurry and not giving space occupying all lanes, had to be very patient to outmatch the city buses.
       
      Kept a average speed of 60-80 KM reached Salem, thought have a break at Salem, but due to some politicians visit (i am guessing its CM visiting his native Town) the roads were filled with cops asking us not to stop and keep left. At some places the cops were confusing us with their directions, over all a confused environment, but good thing is they reroute the heavy vehicles like lorries and trucks to some other route, so we had a clear road ahead of us.
       
      The only catch is we couldn't stop for the tea break. And it started drizzling once we past Salem, it's almost 7 PM, and those rerouted trucks joined us back while we are nearing Coimbatore making our last leg of journey more interesting  At Komarapalayam we stopped for some hot Badam Milk and much needed break.
       
      After that it was nice to drive to the coimbatore city with with lit wide roads, reached around 9:15 PM to Sungam cross roads, Coimbatore. After parked the vehicle and went inside the house all of us were feeling that still we are moving. From morning 4 to night 9 this makes my longest distance driven in a day. (960 KM says speedometer)
       
       We visited the famous GeDee Car museum, Coimbatore. the beauty of the museum is we can see so many vintage cars at one place which are maintained so good.
       
       Checkout few pics:

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

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