RASTA: A road Trip to NE with Family

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#1 Jan 6th, 2018, 02:40
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#1
Initially it seems to be a crazy idea. From Bhubaneswar to North East India by car was discouraged by friends as well as the staffs at office.

In Reality, My journey began much before the start of my trip. Few hours in the internet to know the states (we know them as NE), few answers to my queries in Indiamike and Tripadvisor, few phone calls to varios agencies/Hotels and taxi companies....my ideas started to take some shape. Still it was blurred.At this point I came in touch with two guys in Indiamike....Bornav and Karikor.

My plan of 7 days became 15 days and then became a long plan of a month.
#2 Jan 6th, 2018, 11:12
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#2

Karikor

What can I say about this guy? Though a government employee, his passion for Meghalaya gives him enough KICK to travel to every offbeat places of the state. Further he spends time in various social media to help tourists finalize their Itinerary. His suggestions are always to the point and absolutely True. A travel freak, his love for water falls has taken him to the source and bottom of almost all water falls in Meghalaya. I respect KARI KARIKOR for his dedication to Meghalaya Tourism.

My plan started taking a final shape, after Karikor became the sixth person of my team (Though Virtually).
Last edited by BIMAL PRADHAN; Jan 6th, 2018 at 13:20..
#3 Jan 6th, 2018, 13:49
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#3

Itinerary

So after talking to Meghalaya tourism (Without any help), contacting Secretaries of various TRAVELER'S NEST (with many days of attempt due to horrible mobile connectivity in offbeat places) and of course KARIKOR'S inputs, I could finalise the theme of my trip along with the expectations.....and after that it was easy to select the locations to visit.

With 30 days in hand, initially i thought of covering the entire North East....but as it turned out, it was not sufficient to cover even 30% of NE.

There were few must visit places....HORNBILL FESTIVAL( My long time desire), KAZIRANGA( My son's desire), MAJULI (The popular choice), MEGHALAYA ( the beautiful pictures in the internet) and of course places to buy local products i.e Bamboo products,Tea,Honey .....

We did discuss about Tawang, Tinsukia,Namsai,Mayodia pass, Pangsau pass, Stillwell road and of course Dzukou Valley. But there is something called adjustment in life.

Thus My final plan looked like:

Bhubaneswar-Kolkata-Siliguri-Guwahati-Kaziranga-Sibasagar-Jorhat-Majuli-Dimapur-Kohima-Kisama-Khonoma-Dzulekema-Umden-Mawphanlur-Nongstoin-Nonglang-Ranikor-Mawsynram-Mawlyngbna-Mawphlang-Sohra-Nongriat-Kongthong-Dawki-Shnonpdeng-Jowai-Ialong-Nartiang-Mawlyngot-Shillong-Williamnagar-Siju-Balpakram-Tura-Siliguri-Shantiniketan-Bhubaneswar
#4 Jan 6th, 2018, 14:38
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#4

Transportation

Flights and train tickets were booked.....but as always decided to go by road. Karikor told me not to go in a sedan....but i had confidence in my old sedan, my trusted driver. Sorry Karikor, I did not listen to you.
so it was the good old Chevrolet Optra (15 years old) with Ravi my driver for last 17 years as the SARATHI.

So by now a simple 7-10 days tour of NE has been converted to a 32 days ROAD TRIP to Assam+Nagaland+Meghalaya .....hoping to cover other states in future.

Flights and train tickets were cancelled to make way for the Chevy to take center stage.
#5 Jan 6th, 2018, 15:22
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#5
So my plan was set....
#6 Jan 6th, 2018, 21:21
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#6
Bimal,

Thank you. Enjoyed travelling with you these past 2-3 months, especially the last 1 month. Happy to see this thread. Subscribed. Now waiting for you to also add the wonderful photos to do justice to the narration.

I'm sure many will appreciate this thread and will benefit immensely from this CRAZY, ADVENTUROUS and EPIC Trip Report of yours.
Last edited by karikor; Jan 7th, 2018 at 23:10..
#7 Jan 6th, 2018, 23:17
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#7
Kari......trying to find some time to integrate all the photographs....will convert to get the right size...then upload.
#8 Jan 7th, 2018, 22:35
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#8

The Plan

Start of journey: 1st December 2017, Bhubaneswar

End of tour: 1st January 2018, Bhubaneswar

Total distance to travel by road: 6000km appx.

By ferry: Cross Brahmaputra to Majuli and back

States to cover: During travel- Odisha,WB,Bihar, Jharkhand
Tour- Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya

Chevy is getting loaded in the morning
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Last edited by BIMAL PRADHAN; Jan 9th, 2018 at 09:16..
#9 Jan 7th, 2018, 22:39
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#9

Day-1- The begining

Today.. 1st December, we started our journey at 6.23am.

Long path to travel, Many places to visit. Some planned and few in the " do not know" category. But one thing is certain.....THIS ONE MONTH IS NOT ABOUT THE DESTINATIONS, IT'S THE JOURNEY WHICH MATTERS.

It's going to be an endurance test for the entire family. For little Megha, I hope it's going to be a life changing experience. For Manav, lots of places which he likes. As a matter of fact, the journey is for them.

One month together 24x7, new daily routine, new places, new people, lots of adjustments.....Hoping for a great learning experience for the kids.

Our first breakfast of the Journey
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#10 Jan 7th, 2018, 22:58
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#10
Subscribed !!! Very interesting. In fact I'm feeling a pull towards Meghalaya this monsoon.
#11 Jan 7th, 2018, 23:14
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#11

Day-1, RAKTA TIRTHA, ERAM

LETS GO NOW.

8.45 am... already 170 km travelled. A historical place on the way, just few kilometres from the NH between Bhadrak and Baleshwar, known as RAKTA TIRTHA ERAM. The 2nd Jaliwanawala bagh in Odisha.

28th September 1942, 29 Indians died,

DSP Kunjabihari Mohanty acted like Gen. Dayer
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#12 Jan 7th, 2018, 23:20
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#12

DAY-1.....Kolkata

The worst fear came true. Optra was having problem .... Stopped at a place before Kolkata, but it's not Maruti or Tata that any one can repair. Had to replan and entered Kolkata. All except one service centre has closed business after GM announced its India Pullout. Anyway, after fighting the Kolkata traffic we reached LONGIA service centre. Thanks to the extremely efficient staffs, they not only repaired the fault but also did not charge me a Penny.
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On the way, saw Vidyasagar Setu
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Also the famed Kolkata traffic police said Hallo on the way. Stopped my car, asked for the documents. After realising the diminishing chance of finding any fault, the intelligent officer asked me for a West Bengal pollution certificate, not the one issued by Odisha. Little persuasion helped.
#13 Jan 7th, 2018, 23:26
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#13

Day-1....Beyond Kolkata

We had already lost 5 hours. reaching the day's target of MALDA seems not possible.So decided to call it a day at Bardhaman. A newly opened hotel "Pearl"is our home for the night today. Dinner at " ADDA", was also great. Heard about another Bengali hotel named "MILAN at Raniganj" but tomorrow early morning we will be off to Siliguri.

REMARKS: We could have made it to Siliguri before dark. But it was not to be. Service your car at least one week before the journey. In case........
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#14 Jan 7th, 2018, 23:39
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#14
Very nice to see a good trip report unfolding here...
#15 Jan 7th, 2018, 23:44
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#15

2nd December..2nd day of our trip.

Target set to travel from Bardhaman to Siliguri or beyond if possible.

Started at 6am. First 80 km was fine, after that the road condition deteriorated.....as time passed by, it became worse.

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Art in the paddy field.

450 km took 13 hours to complete. Due to prophet Mohammed day, there were many rallies on the way. Lots of traffic jams and long patches of bad roads.

Google also gave some wrong info. So took the help of locals at many places to get the right road information.

The main problem with the road is between Bardhaman till Morgram. One can take the route via Shantiniketan-Rampurhat to avoid a part of the bad road.

Further, there is a shorter route between Altapur to Kisanganj. But that route is extremely bad. I suggest you to go upto Dalkhola then take a right turn towards Siliguri ( though there is a regular traffic jam at Dalkhola due to narrow road). Road between Dalkhola to Siliguri is in great shape.

If anyone wants to stay in Malda, just after the town there is a good hotel (Golden Park). Pathsathi is situated just opposite of Golden Park.

An event less day. Only bright spot is, we reached our destination of Siliguri at least.

Momos for dinner from road side stall.Stayed at Hotel GREENWOOD....5 odd kms out of the city, next to a tea garden. But it was nice, Budget friendly rent and they have a good restaurant.

We are just 40 kms from Kalingpong, 80 km from Darjeeling, still no plan to visit. Feels awkward but can't help. Promised the kids to come back again in near future.

Tomorrow morning target to start at 6 am and reach Guwahati. Will take the Birpara road, which is 30 KM's longer but less traffic and better road. On the way will be HASIMARA which is just 25 km away from Bhutan border post at phuentsholing ( Again Next Time).

All well.....good night.
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