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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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ZeroPoint1.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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      The response from the steering was spot on. Though the brakes did not inspire confidence at last minute braking for the first 5000 kms of ownership because of over sensitive ABS now they are perfect. Crisp and spot on braking performance. Or dont know if I’m
      used to it.
       
      Ford Freestyle is built to tackle bad roads and those beautiful untouched, unexplored roads. This said, the ride quality will definitely be on the stiffer side making all those shocks on the bad roads creep in. We can feel the thud sound when the car goes over speed breaker, potholes even in very low speeds. The suspension is on the stiffer side making the car super stable during high speeds and super rough on the bad roads. Space is strictly adequate in the front row and strictly average at the rear and the boot. The driving position is commendable. We sit higher than many of the hatchbacks making us see the road clearly. The car sitting at a height of 190mm from the ground makes driving on worst roads a breeze. No worries of under body hits. 
       
      The performance from the engine on offer is something else. It effortlessly touches 80 kmph in the second gear itself and 0-100 kmph in under 10 seconds making it one of the fastest car in India. This car even outshines VW Polo in terms of performance. This is the most economical, fun to drive car in India giving good fuel efficiency numbers.  Even Ford EcoSport doesn’t offer the low end torque and that jump this car offers. Reason being same engine for a lighter car. 
       
      Capabilities:
      Ford calls the Freestyle a Compact Utility Vehivle and in my opinion its justified. It is not just a raised hatch/hatch with cladding or hatchback in SUV cloths as claimed by few online forums. Having used this for almost a year, clocking 20,000 kms, going for some unexplored areas, I can confidently say that this means some serious business, built for a purpose, a very practice vehicle. If not for serious off-roading, this is made for serious travelling and to glide on those beautiful untouched roads... 
        Safety:
      Ford is known for this. It’s always ahead of the other cars in the segment when it comes to giving safety features if not fancy features.
      2 airbags ABS with EBD Reverse parking sensors Driver and passenger seat belt alarm is standard across all the varient in all the models of Ford Central Locking  Speed sensing door locks  Child safety locks  Making it the most value for money varient. 
       
      The top of the line varient Titanium comes with added features like 
      TCS HLA ESP  
      And the even premium varient the Titanium Plus comes with added features like
      6 airbags SYNC3 system With all the above features. 
       
      Road Trips:

      I’ve done many road trips in this 10 months. Multiple trips to Hyderabad-Vijayawada but there are few trips that standout, that tested my skills, that took me to places I’ve never thought I would. 
       
      The first one being 
       
      Hyderabad to Maredumilli

       
      This remains my favourite trip of all. This tested my skills on the ghat during heavy rains and low visibility, took me to a beautiful place called Pamulery Vagu inside the forest.

      It was fun driving this car in those ghats. Steering feel and feedback was really good and was spot on. This trip will be forever remembered. The engine sound coupled with cool breeze and nature sounds made this a really wonderful and memorable trip with my Ford Freestyle.

       
      Hyderabad to Yanam via Ramachandrapuram 
       
      This place is really beautiful. I’ve been to Yanam in 2012 in our Swift Dzire. I was siting beside my father and was observing him cruising in that beautiful cool, rainy weather. I was 16 back then. Learning driving from my father in our colony roads. I was amazed by the way it cruised, clicked many pictures  in my father’s Galaxy S3. I couldn’t know more about the place. All I knew was the beach and the beautiful Jesus statue. Nothing beyond that.
       
      This is 2019 and I was on the wheel with my father sitting beside me and my Sony A6000 DSLR in the rear seat to click the beautiful places. It was 4:30 in the morning, I fired the loud TDCi engine waking up others in my house at Ramachandrapuram. We hit the roads and it was all nostalgic.
       
       
      The roads were bad, full of potholes and very bad curves. This gave me a new experience to drive on those village roads full of potholes and truck traffic from the opposite direction with high beam. Made me explore Yanam and the nearby mangroves and getting to know the place beyond beach and of course the beautiful Jesus statue, reminded my father of his childhood and the hotel where he used to sometimes eat and now we having  our breakfast which is still running with the same quality at Drakshramam. This also proved how beautiful my car is gliding  over those big potholes with very loud and uncomfortable sounds in the cabin and  zero underbody hits. making this another memorable road trip. 
       
      Vijayawada to Hyderabad
       

      I’ve done multiple trips between Hyderabad-Vijayawada on our Honda City as well as Ford Freestyle as my father is posted there. But this will be remembered.
       
      This unexpected drive for few minutes under the railway bridge tested my knowledge on flood water driving, knowledge can be acquired by learning but not experience. And this kind of experience is very rare. This tests our skill, It’s a do or die situation. Drive well and come out of the pool or get stuck ruining your car permanently. 
       
      The experience was all together a very different one. This kept me in a situation where It was all on me. No one to help me, guide me or drive the car. This proved the capabilities of ford Freestyle and my driving skills. The punchy low end torque never worried me or gave a feel of stalling. It never lost the grunt. I successfully came out of it which doubled my confidence in driving and my love towards the car.
       
       
      Accidents & Incidents 
       
      It was 24th of April, 8:45 in the morning. I was driving towards Suchitra Junction to meet my father’s colleague and take my internship certificate which I forgot in her cabin the previous day. I tuned into 98.3 radio mirchi my favourite radio station and was just 5 minutes away from my home when the unexpected saddest thing happened.  

       

       

       
      A construction truck which was coming from the opposite direction taking a 90 degree banged into my car’s rear third quater leaving a really bad damage. It was a hit and run case. Many villagers ran behind him but he fled away leaving me in utter grief. The impact was huge but the damage was small considering the impact.
       
      Did anyone remember this? “the impact was small, but the damage was really huge” “A thought to upgrade to a safer vehicle struck my father’s mind” and this proved to be the right choice, the safer vehicle. 
       
      It was 31st of July, 3:30 in the evening, I was driving  from Tellapur towards Kompally on ORR. An incident which taught me the meaning of hydro planning, made me realise the power of water and yet again made me fall in love with my car.   
      It was raining, the road was good obviously because it’s the ORR a Hyderabadi drivers favourite, the road was empty and there’s a water pool that can be seen on the left most lane.
       
      A child in me touched triple digit speeds (100kmph) from 80kmph wanted to spill the water and went straight onto the waterlogged pool only to loose control over my car. The vehicle immediately lost traction, drifted towards the right, steering was out of my control for few seconds, I tried very hard to steer the car to the left keeping it in the lane and I succeeded.
       
      All thanks to the traction control that my car has. This taught me how much dangerous water can be and the force of water. Never after this incident I touched triple digit speeds during rains. 
       

       
      To sum it up, Freestyle is a car that definitely puts a smile the drivers face. Particularly the TDCi. It’s rightly called a pocket rocket. 

      Freestyle is not about luxury, its rugged, rough, not so comfortable when compared to the competition, the interiors are hard, the plastics are not placed well but as said before its lal about ruggedness and practicality. Once you are behind the wheel of a Ford you’ll forever be the fan of Ford.
       

       
      Srikrishna Bhavaraju
      A true Ford Lover


    • By Ranger
      Current status:

      Hyderabad to Tuni : Good
      Tuni to Chilka : under construction
      Chilka to Kolkata : Good
       
      Information shared by @ARAY
       
      ***NH 16 - Route update***
      Folks planning for a road trip via NH16 to WB next weekend for Durga Puja, please be aware of the latest road conditions. Post Tuni till South Chilka is getting a major road expansion for last 8+ months as we all know.
       
      Diversions and all are manageable, however with the recent torrential downpour in the region the soft soil has washed off exposing the cemented Culverts and small bridges that are constructed at the first phase of any NH build or expansion.
       
      Due to the absence of proper markings and boards this is more risky. Absence of soft soil or temporary soil in general will further make the cemented bridges even more harder to climb and slush and soft mud can make the situation tricky.
       
      People driving low slung sedans and hatchbacks please be careful, there is a high probability of underbelly hits while making the ascend to and decent from the bridges. People with FWD SUV be careful of lateral torque steer in the slush making the car go sideways and out of control.
       
      A close friend of mine while driving to Assam has severely damaged the front left lower arm, track rod for steering and partially the ball joints of Honda city. He took that ascent at roughly 32kmph as per his GPX data.
      Use caution drive slow post Tuni and have a very safe trip everyone !
       
       
    • By Indrasen
      Hello travelers,
       
      I am planning for a trip from Hyderabad to Varanasi, does anyone has idea about which route to take? I have to visit Nagpur for sure.
       
      Thanks in advance!!!
    • By BAK
      Hi , guys Bilal here this is my second post on India drive . Early I posted Hyderabad to Nuzividu the roads conditions are so good ,But now me and my childhood friends are planning to visit Machilipatnam.
       
      Is there any interesting places to visit in Machilipatnam , which route should I prefer Vijayawada route or Tiruvuru Lakshmipuram route guys please give me the best suggestions.
       
       
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