Archive for June, 2016

Rolling through Daringbadi,Odisha(November 2015)

Location :

 

Popularly known as “Kashmir of Odisha”, Darigbadi is situated at an altitude of 3000 ft in Kandhamal District of Odisha. Why is it compared to Kashmir? Localites claim that about 50 years ago this hilltop used to receive snowfall. Whether it was a truth or a grave vine, it did not affect us or will affect anyone from enjoying the beauty of nature out in this place. The hill station is also gifted with natural bounties such as pine jungles, Coffee gardens and beautiful valleys. This place is just 100 km away from Phulbani and 50 kms away from Balliguda.

 

Daringbadi being the ultimate destination, the team’s plan was to cover maximum parts and terrains of Odisha.

 

 

About Odisha in a glimpse :

 

It is surrounded by the states of West Bengal to the north-east, Jharkhand to the north, Chhattisgarh to the west and north-west, and Andhra Pradesh to the south and south-east. Odisha has 485 kilometres (301 mi) of coastline along the Bay of Bengalon its east, from Balasore to Ganjam .

 

The ancient kingdom of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka in 261 BCE resulting in the Kalinga War, coincides with the borders of modern-day Odisha.[11] The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April 1936, as a province in British India, and consisted predominantly of Oriya-speaking regions.[11] April 1 is celebrated as Odisha Day.[12] The region is also known as Utkala and is mentioned in India’s national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana“.[13] Cuttack was made the capital of the region by Anantavarman Chodaganga in c. 1135,[14] after which the city was used as the capital by many rulers, through the British era, until 1948, when Bhubaneswar replaced it as the capital.

 

 

The state is full of temples which is popular all around the country and hence known as TEMPLE STATE as well. But this time our team has decided to unfold the unknown areas of Odisha which is full of natural beauties such as Falls, Rivers, Hills, Sea, Lakes etc. Hence the team planned the route from Kolkata -> Keonjhar -> Angul -> Daringbadi -> Paradeep -> Chandipur -> Back to Kolkata. And we also touched the Lake of Chilka on the way from Daringbadi to Paradeep. Oh, by the way I am Subhadip and I will take you through our 7 days tour of November trip to Daringbari.

 

 

About the Team :

 

The team is very small in nature with efficient Avijit in the lead, me (Subhadip) in the middle and and Sourav at the tail.

 

 

Day : 1 :

 

We started at 5:30 am in the morning from my flat at Garia. it was still dark outside.That day our plan was to cover a distance of around 460 KM from Garia, Kolkata to keonjhar via Bhadrak. So we filled our tanks to the minimum to reach to balasore which is the border district of West Bengal and Odisha. The reason being petrol at Bengal is ₹69 per litre whereas in Odisha it is ₹60 per litre. So we opted for the economic option.

Once the tanks filled up, our engines started to roar. We left Kolkata through 2nd Hooghly bridge and reached NH6. We continued our journey through NH 6 and it is a breeze to ride on that road as the road is wide and smooth. We switched ourselves into power cruising mode. Thanks to NHAI(national highway authority of India) for such a beautiful roads, we rode through Kolaghat till

Kharagpur on the NH6 (approx 140km). And then we bid goodbye to NH6 and got into AH45 till Bhadrak. We maintained a speed of 80 to 90 kmph on our speedo (though the displayed speed is more than the actual speed of the vehicle) as we planned to reach our destination well before the sunset. But considering the road condition, it was again a breeze to ride at such high speeds and other vehicles were also passing at a high speeds on the butter smooth road. Hence we could keep the momentum to reach our destination within time.

It was our first group tour from our club RWMC (In my case, it is my first bike tour ever and hopefully not the last one), but the group showed a great bonding amongst each other throughout the tour. Be it at extremely bad roads or heavenly roads like the NH6, the team members were always there to ride alongside at every situation.

We left NH6 and took AH45/NH60 at around 8 am in the morning. We had our breakfast at around 8:25 AM at Debaloke A1 dhaba, which is just 15 mnts after our start on AH45/NH60, the food quality was too good. Adding to that the weather was just perfect on that chilly morning. We enjoyed the hot puri sabji and aloo ka paratha to its every bit. We were so delighted that we planned to stop here again for lunch or snacks break on the way back to Kolkata. We took some snaps and after a halt of around 30 mnts we started again through AH45 at 9 o’clock. And this time we planned to continue the run till Bhadrak. But we had to refuel our machines when we reached  Balasore. And we were happy that the petrol price was just ₹60.18 per litre.

 

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We passed balasore and reached Bhadrak at around 1 o’clock. No complaints about the road again, even the bikes were happily cruising ahead. But we had to leave AH45 there at Bhadrak and we took the pocket root which directs us directly to Keonjhar. So with the help of some local truck drivers we confirmed the entry point from where we need to take the root to keonjhar(SH53). It was only 1 pm so we planned to break for lunch after a little ahead at the place called Anandapur. Riding that road was a mixed feeling. The road SH53 was good at some places and broken most of the places (because it is on a construction mode, and the road has two lanes, one is functional and the other is getting constructed and hopefully by 1 year the road will be fully operational and will be having a better road to ride on by then) and the places the road is good it is filled with bumps everywhere. After Anandapur, the SH53 splits into 3 sections and every route goes to Keonjhar ultimately. We opted to stay on the SH53 main road. But it was time to fill up our biological fuel tanks and we first stopped at a sweet shop. We ate sweets at the shop called Calcutta Sweets. Though the shop owner is not from Kolkata and neither the sweets were as tasty as the likes of the sweets from Kolkata, we managed to get the delight out of the name of the shop. And then we rode for 3 km more and stopped aside a hotel (hotel gunjan) and had our lunch. It was around 2:50 pm we ordered our lunch, veg thaali and paneer butter masala and shahee paneer. The food was very tasty, but we did not expect we had to pay so much for our luscious tongues. So we paid the bills quickly and left for our quest once again. The root was not in its best condition as some road construction work was going on, but it was OK for us as we were well ahead of our scheduled time. So we broke for some photo shoot of the natural beauty

 

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of Odisha in the midway. This route was mostly covered with woods and rural part of the state and we kept on being delighted by the scenic beauties on our way. It was 4:30 pm, we took the last stop before reaching keonjhar. The Sun was going down and in the deeming light, the surrounding was so majestic that I felt like riding on thisroad in this situation forever. But alas, the road ended as we reached Keonjhar. Everyone was very tired. We booked a double room at Hotel India and parked our mean machines at the hotel’s parking spot. (Just to say a few things about the hotel, it has a shaded parking lot which was very helpful for us to keep our bikes away from the open sky under the hotel’s own shaded parking space. We booked a non AC double bedroom at Rs 650 plus Rs 150 extra for an extra person. The room was very cozy with the facility of hot water in the bathroom which was helpful in this winter season. The hotel has its own restaurant and they served food in the room as well.)

After freshen up, me and Sourav came out of the room to explore the city a little bit. Keonjhar or now named as Kendujhar is the northern district of Odisha,surrounded by land. The city is bisected by NH215(the route through which we enteredinto Keonjhar) in exactly 2 natural parts. One side is mainly the plane land beside Anandapur and the other side is the hill areas comprised of some of the highest mountains of Odisha such as Gandhamardan  , Machakandana , Gonasika , Thakurani . The river Baitarani also originates from the Gonasika hills and gives birth to some waterfalls such as Badaghagra, San ghagra etc.

Returning from the half an hour tour of the city we jumped into the blankets after completing the dinner. And then I could not recollect a thing happened in the room till the next morning.

 

Day : 2 :

 

Day 2 was the sight seeing of Keonjhar and reaching to angul as we wanted to move forward towards daringbari. The places to be visited at Keonjhar was badaghagra waterfalls, sanghagra waterfalls and khanda dhara waterfalls.

 

I was the first to come out of sleep and quickly rapping things up to start early for the day. We got ready quickly and checked out from the hotel. When we were tying our bags onto our bikes, Sourav discovered that his engine oil is leaking and soon became the first priority of the team to mend it.

 

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So we had to cover lots of ground on that day but first it was urgent to repair Sourav’s bike which was leaking engine oil. We came out of the hotel and it was very early in the morning ticking 7:30 am on the clock. Out on the highway, most of the garages were closed. Somehow we found a trucking garage which was partly open. So we ran into the garage and the mechanic was just awake. We asked him for solution (ohh, by the way the problem was with the Mobil chamber. It has a cap which is bolted with the main engine by 3 long but thin screws. Out of that three one was missing. And while riding when the bike jerks, mobil used to leak from that hole. We intended to lodge an FIR of that missing screw, but on request of the local people we barred from that.). He immediately came out with a couple of screws of different width and length. But none of them fitted the bike. Again he goes inside and kept on his searching and after a while he comes out with a long bolt, tries to fit it in. After trying for a while he declares “thread kete gecche” (means the thread inside the engine body is rubbed off and hence unable to hold the screw). Without any solution we decide that we will go to the TVS service center which opens at around 9 am. So we carry on our ride towards Badaghagra waterfalls. 5 km from the city and then a left turn on a small road. This road directly goes till the birth place of baitarani river. the place is full of scenic beauty. The river flows towards the highway and the first pit stop is the Badaghagra waterfalls. It used to flow in such a high intensity that later on a dam has been built to control the flow. Its a 200 ft high falls and also a turbine has been set there to generate electricity though at a small capacity. We visited the quarter below and met Mr Radha Madhob Soren, the turbine station in charge. He speaks very good Bengali as well.

 

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After that, team moved towards San ghagra waterfalls which is on the way back to Keonjhar city. Govt has refurbished the place and made a park out of it. Its a nice place to be at and though the waterfalls is not so high, they have presented the place in such a way it will feel and look nice. From the waterfalls the river flows through the hills and its a nice view from the park. Govt has put some entry fee of Rs 15 each but its worth viewing the place. The only negative side is that the people come and litter here and there ruining and polluting the place, but as Rolling Wheels member we were conscious we littered all the chips packet and bottles in the litter bin kept outside the park.

 

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The time we left Sanghagra falls, it was already 10 AM. So we came back to Keonjhar city TVS service center as we needed to mend Sourav’s Darling. When team reached the service center, it was open. But on approaching them about the problem they said, on Monday all the service center s are closed. Some bike delivery came that’s why they had to open the shop. So we got lucky that day.     Since the inner thread was damaged, they could only hammer a bolt inside. Avijit also called our club engineer Mr Hafiz who also came up with the same solution( by taking a bolt and hammering the lose end so that it spreads on its width a little bit only and then tighten it inside the whole as a temporary solution)

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Once the wound is mended, without any delay we start for Khandadhar falls which is also known as horsetail falls. Its all through woods and hills village road. I will not say the roads are creamy smooth, but the road condition is not that bad either. At Suakati, we left NH6 and turn right towards khandadhara waterfalls. The road condition is modest, wide enough for a bus and in critical conditions while two big vehicles are coming from other sides, one can get down to the land beside the road. Only the worries are bumps are everywhere and one might not notice the same but to ride through it on a moderate speed. we reached khandadhara waterfalls at around 12:30 PM. Its a 500 ft high falls and the bottom where the water is falling is at such an intensity that it is creating sparkles on which sunbeam is getting reflected and creating a rainbow. A beautiful rainbow. There is also a staircase to reach right at the bottom of the falls without any hassle. we went to the bottom and we all got wet by the sparkles. We enjoyed the beauty of the place for an hour.

 

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Now we turned back towards Angul. We took a snacks break there. But Avijit told us not to wait there for long and to have the snacks a little ahead. The reason is still a mystery which is not yet revealed. So we left that village and moved a little ahead and halted near a river bank. The weather was so soothing that it wasn’t feeling like 1 PM on the clock. And it was only 170 km left till Angul, a step forward towards daringbari. While we were having our snacks, a gentle wind came and threw my helmet out of the bike’s seat. It fell down to the road and the glass got scratched. It was not a problem when I am riding in daylight but at night, the lights coming from the cars coming from the other side is quite distracting. Anyways we completed our snack break and continue our journey towards Angul again. From Suakati, we took NH6 and it directs us till Pallahara. But in a short while Avijit said that we will break for lunch as it is almost 2 o’clock on the watch. So we got into a dhaba on NH6. After completion of lunch Avijit declares that he will be taking a power nap, minimum for 30 mints. There wasn’t anyone else to have lunch at that time and no khatia was there either. So Avijit jumps onto a table at the corner place and starts snoring. The owner was also very reluctant about this thing happening. So I too got hold of a chair and loosened up a bit to get some quick nap and so did Sourav. After taking the nap, we started our ride again towards Angul. It was around 3:30 pm on the clock so we moved faster. But soon it was a hill road though one of the longest ghats in our whole journey. I was feeling kind of riding on the hills of Darjeeling. The road was wide enough to pass two trucks alongside. And too many trucks were passing by. Our team reached Pallahara at around 4 pm. We took some tea and left NH6 aside. We took NH200 from there. It was getting dark by that time and Avijit who was leading our team declares that he is facing difficulties with his bike’s light as it was not too strong in that pitch dark road to see the things at a distance. We then changed our positions by taking Sourav and his darling in front and Avijit at the tail. soon we crossed the river brahmani and the dam and reached towards the Angul city. Before reaching there about 15 km back the road was shadowed by dust and we could hardly see anything. It was like a dusty mist all around the road.

We reached Angul at 7 pm and we called the day off by checking into hotel Durga, Angul.

 

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The Angul District is surrounded by Cuttack & Dhenkanal on the east, Sambalpur & Deogarh on the west, Sundargarh & Keonjhar on the north and Phulbani on the south. Covering an area of 6232 sq.km,

 

Day : 3 :

Next day we had to reach Daringbari which was around 260 km from hotel Durga, Angul where we were staying. The road to daringbari was through forests and hills mostly and due to which team didn’t want to ride through them at night or at least after sunset. Considering the sunset timing at that time which was quite early within 4:45 pm we scheduled an early start from our hotel at around 6 am in the morning. We left the hotel and again our machines started to roar through the roads of Odisha. The roads were an absolute pleasure to ride if one can consider the bumps. The first light of the rising sun was coming out through the hills and it was an amazing view at the horizon. we poured more fuel into the bike tank and geared up once again to run through the heart throbbing picture perfect greeneries and butter smooth roads. We reached Redhakhol at around 8:30 am, had our breakfast there at a roadside shop. Every food was tasted and nothing was left untouched by the team. With full tank and full stomach the team was ready to eat miles after miles without any stop. So munching miles began once again. Soon we crossed Mahanadi river and quickly Boudh and then Puranakatak. And soon we reached phulbani forest and hills area. The forest was so dense and the road condition was so good that we were feeling riding through those roads and those hairpin bends of the hill all day long. it was only 11 am and hence we broke for some memories to get captured. Phulbani is a hill town of Odisha surrounded by many natural bounties. And one of the biggest falls Putudi falls is just 15 kms away from this place where the road till the falls are yet to be constructed and best reached through feet only.

 

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We took a tea break at phulbani and again started our journey towards daringbari. It was ticking 11:45 am on the clock and we were at ease on our schedule. It was hardly 100 km away from our destination and we didn’t want to miss the enjoyment while riding on these hilly roads through the woods. so we restricted our speedos within 40 – 50 kmph. We reached daringbari by 3:45 PM at daringbari deers eco home.

 

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There is no network available for Vodafone users at Daringbari. The only connectivity was through Avijit’s airtel mobile which was not a smartphone. so we sent the status of our journey that we have reached daringbari to our family and friends from the only alive Avijit’s phone.

The people at the resort made us some lunch though it was not informed by us to them. so we freshen up ourselves, had our lunch, took some rest and then went out to visit the local scenarios and spots. We visited DEERS eco park and the coffee plantation garden in the afternoon. It was mildly chilly out there. And in the evening we did not have any mood to leave the coffee plantation garden as spending time in that garden was very relaxing. But as the darkness came gradually we had to head back to our resort.

 

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To say something about the small place, it is one of the highest points in Odisha and a very beautiful tourist spot. But yet underdeveloped and economically week. Most of the inhabitants are below poverty level. Govt tried to advertise about the tourist spot, encouraged the tourists to visit the place with good and comfortable residence facility like OTDC Panthanivas. But due to maoist attacks that got destroyed and the only two places to stay at daringbari are DEERS Eco home resort where we stayed and hotel Utopia.  The main town is also very small and hardly stretched 1-2 km to each direction from the central crossing.

Once we reached our resort we grabbed three chairs and started our adda under the open sky with hot tea in hand. On demand the waiter also provided some muri and pakora and we were very delighted. We met Mr Anil Swain, the owner of the resort and he guided us with the maps how to visit places next day. Mr Anil Swain, the hotel owner is a very wise and helpful person. He helped us with each and every information and things to be required during our next day sight seeing. He also helped us with the route maps and directions of one or two places which can be visited on our 4th days sightseeing. Then having our dinner we rushed to our bed and very soon the nasal sound competition began.

 

Day : 4 :

Good morning to the day 4. I got up first and thankfully it was still dark outside. The weather was not too cold but it was chilly outside on that dawn of November. It was hardly 5:30 am on the clock.

The plan for the day was to cover the surrounding locations of Daringbadi. From Daringbadi to Taptapani through the hill road and through Adava and Mohana, then from Taptapani to Chandragiri Jirang Monestry and the way of returning back through Darbhangi Dam(or Harbhangi Dam) and Sonepur and few other places.

So, having our baths and morning tea we set out for our quest of the day. This route was basically not from google map and simple drawing on a white paper with a rough estimate of distances and possible checkpoints. We started at around 6:30 am. The wind was blowing heavily and the fog was directly hitting the helmet glass . I kept my helmet lid open as it was getting hazy very often. After the forest roads soon we got the hill roads and oh yes the hairpin bends again. The road condition was not so good on today’s tour except the stretch from Chandragiri to Mohana and a few other places in between. There was hardly any person or vehicles on the road when we started our tour in that morning. This day though we had to travel hardly 260km but the number of places to visit was high, hence we had to plan the time accordingly. We reached Adava at around 8:30 am. Had our breakfast there where we met 2 people from Bengal who were selling baby chickens there on a cycle.

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Adava is a small suburban town and the nearest rail station is berhampur. After breakfast we started our journey towards Taptapani again. And the same route is headed towards Berhampur. As I said earlier also the road construction work was going on in there, we hardly got them in good condition. After almost 30 km of bumpy ride we reached Taptapani.

Taptapani is basically a religious place having myths about hotspring coming from the inside. The name “Taptapani” also suggests that. “Tapta” means hot and “pani” means water. The hot water from the natural spring of Taptapani are attributed with medicinal properties and can be bathed in at the pond created next to the hot spring.The hot spring is situated at the eastern slope of the eastern ghat at a crest of the hill with in the lush green forest having wide range of flora and fauna.

When we reached there we found out there was some festival going on and due to which lots of people or I can say tourists came in on that occasion. We enriched ourselves with the culture enjoyed a couple of activities like a small act by little children, the Puja and all. Then moving from that location we started our journey towards Chandragiri’s jirrang monestry.

 

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It was around 30 km away from Taptapani, the small village is surrounded by hills. We reached jirang monestry at around 11:30 am. There is a temple outside which is partly built and construction work was going on. It felt like we were in some village in Tibet, not in Orissa. And then we walked into the monestry which was surrounded by approximately 15 to 20 houses which was all occupied by Tibetans. None of us could guess that in such a small place a monestry of that size can actually exist. They say that it is the 2nd largest Buddhist monastery in whole Asia and oh yes it is quite big in size. Generally the place is quiet and calm. But as the day was a holiday due to Gurunanak’s birthday there was quite a lot of visitors and tourists on that day in the monestry. Taking tickets from the counter we got into the monestry and it has a large temple just ahead and hostels/residential on both the sides. In the temple there is a big Gautam budh idol almost 10 ft high. After taking some snaps we moved out of the monastery at around 12:15 pm. Next destination was Darbhangi dam(or Harbhangi Dam) through mohana and adava on the way back to daringbari.

The stretch from Chandragiri to Mohana was one of the nicest and smoothest roads we got on our entire journey. After flying on that road for 19 km we reached Mohana and soon we reached Adava. It was approximately 20 km from Adava to Darbhangi dam(or Harbhangi Dam). The dam is spread over 40 km of area and touched 4 districts. Hills are all around this dam and there is also a small irrigation department bungalow situated there by the switch gate which is also available for booking by tourists for stay. We checked with the local guard for the process of booking the bungalow which is from the 2 no office(irrigation dept) situated at Adava. And the bungalow can only be booked by physically visiting that particular office. We took a snacks break there. It was 1:30 pm. After darbhangi we started again towards daringbari. Still it was almost 60 km ride till daringbari and we had two more places to visit. The very next stop was Dasingbari waterfalls though it was almost 40 km from darbhangi dam(or Harbhangi Dam).

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The mighty road was always testing our skills of riding and capability of our bikes. But the bikes kept us surprising all over the ride. We reached Dasingbari waterfalls and we could not find anybody except us in that place. We were so tired that we were in the dilemma to go to the bottom of the falls by going down through the steep stairs or not. While the thought was waiving in our head, two people came on a bike and got down through the stairs. I managed to gather all my strength and went down through the stairs while Avijit and Sourav chose to stay up with the bikes. I went all the way down at the bottom of the falls. It’s a nice place, the falls is hardly 150 ft high but the nature is supported by big big trees all around it. After the waterfalls it was our last spot for the day which is Sonepur.

Sonepur is a village situated at the bottom of the hills and basically a valley area. It was around 4:15 pm then when we reached Sonepur. The way down from the hill was full of hill descend hair pin bends and roads full with small stones lying everywhere over it. And this was the worst road we got in our entire tour. We were riding very cautiously. Suddenly I heard our signature horn behind me and I couldn’t see Sourav behind me as he was doing the tail in our riding formation. So I stopped my bike instantly and went back leaving my bike there and saw Sourav lying on the ground with his darling on himself. I helped him to get up and soon  Avijit talso came back on his bike. It was just a few scratches on the ride and rider, but nothing serious. So with more caution we proceed downwards to the valley and it was amazing to ride through the village. We visited the Shiv mandir near to the village. They say that if we wish to do something good and pray for that to the God with sacred heart then we will succeed in our destiny for sure. The valley is covered with crops and majority of the villagers are having cattle. It’s a poor village and did not have electricity. All the houses are made of mud. But they were very friendly in nature. None of them are as educated to understand even Hindi language but they tried to understand whatever we were trying to convey and helped us with proper directions to find out the Mandir. So spending for half an hour we moved again towards our hotel again at Daringbari which was still 20 km away from that place almost. It was 4:30 pm then and almost dark. We were at no hurry as it was hardly an hour’s journey left till our hotel so we enjoyed the setting sun while travelling through the woods and hills. We reach our hotel at around 6 o’clock in the evening. When we reached the hotel we met with some other tourists from Bengal as well and when they got to know that we were travelling all the way on our motorcycle, they got quite a bit astonished. But this is who we are and prefer most of all as our touring companion. So after freshen up we spent the rest of the evening at the lawn with a couple of cups of tea and chatting with each other. We went to bed early as the next day we had to cover a big distance all the way till Paradeep. So we bid goodbye to the wonderful day and started our nasal sound competition again.

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Day : 5 :

Again a foggy good morning at Daringbari deers eco home on the day 5 of our RW November trip to Daringbari. This day we were to travel till Paradeep. The route was through Sorada, Asika, Chilka, Bhubaneswar and then till Paradeep. As every morning I got up first dragging Sourav and Avijit  from their deep sleep. The hotel people helped us with a bucket full of hot water as it was the only hotel in our trip which did not have geyser in the bathroom but they never gave us a chance to complain regarding their hospitality. We were also served with tea after we got ready. It was 6:30 am. We left the hotel and set out for Paradeep.

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Road till Sorada was mostly through woods and hills. Though the road was not at its best condition but we had been able to get most of the enjoyment out of the road riding through the hill descend hairpin bends. We reached Sorada at around 9:15 am where we had our breakfast. At Odisha, food habit is like Bengal. The main difference is upma wada which is one of the top selling food item over there. After a halt of 30 mins we started again towards Asika which is around 40 km away from Sorada. It took almost 1 hour to reach till Asika. And then from Asika we started again towards Bhubaneswar. According to our plan our target time to reach Bhubaneswar was by 3 pm and then just 90 km till Paradeep. From Asika, we took the route through khalikat and then took NH5. Where we took NH5, it was the coast area of Chilka and just 20 km away the place called Balugaon is one point where one can actually feel the air of Chilka. We spent some time at the coast of Chilka. Cherishing that mesmerizing view we again got back on our route towards Bhubaneshwar. It was almost 100 km away till Bhubaneshwar and we thought to cover the distance till Bhubaneshwar without any further break. So with max speed we kept on munching miles on NH5. We reached Bhubaneshwar (capital of Odisha) at around 3:00 pm and somehow we managed to outrun the city traffic, thanks to the flyover through the city taking travelers in and out of the city. We stopped there for our lunch at the hotel. It was a restless journey all day long and everyone was feeling a bit tired. We ordered heavy lunch with 5 plates of hundi kadai mutton and countless numbers of butter nun. We took a halt of almost 1 and a half hours there. Once we got a bit relaxed we started again our journey towards Paradeep. We filled up our fuel tanks till neck.

 

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Chilka

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It was Kartik Puja going on in the city and at every corner we found puja going on. This puja is called Kartik Purnima. We could hardly recognize the idol as the pet of Lord Kartik in the idol was a horse and surprisingly the pet of the Ashur was a dragon. At every crossing we found some procession going on of that idol which was lord Kartik. So on NH5, from the chouki we turned right towards the Paradeep expressway. This 90 km stretch of road was fully made of slabs and it was great to ride on that road as it was smooth and at the same time traction was great. It was getting dark and we had to slow down as no street lights were there on the expressway. So we had to depend on our headlight alone and as Avijit was leading we slowed down a bit more as the dual headlamps of his Fazer were generating very poor light. Again we had to call for our lighthouse effect directly from the eden gardens (Sourav’s Darling proved it’s power on every night rides we had in our tour with it’s auxiliary lights). We reached Paradeep at around 7 pm and directly went to Panthanivas as that was the first option came into our mind. And luckily we got a room too. So we stationed ourselves in Panthanivas and after getting ourselves cleaned up we went out to have a look of the city. It was almost 9 pm at night, and most of the roads were empty but we could visit a few places like the stadium, Municipality office, Port trust office, Port club and lots of govt quarters. And there was a fair going on in the city and at 10 o’clock even it was full with people from various places. We rode back to our hotel, completed our dinner and went to sleep… a deep sleep was waiting after the long ride through different kind of terrains on that whole day. Good night everyone.

 

 

 

Day : 6 :

 

6th day of our stay at Panthanivas hotel, Paradeep was merely slower than the other days of our tour. The morning was lazy as we got up at around 7 o’clock in the morning. Most of the places or visiting spots in Paradeep comes to life after 9 am in the morning. Morning breakfast was served in the dining hall and we dived onto it without any delay. But still it was only 8 am on the clock. So we went to the beach right in front of our hotel on bikes to test our bikes’ sea legs. The beach was unlike the one at Digha or Mandarmani as it is filled with dry sands. Tyres were getting stuck and spinning heavily on the sand as it was not able to get any traction out there. So we had to literally drag our bikes out of the sand. This exercise solved two purposes, one was our morning workouts and secondly some time got passed instead sitting idle at hotel waiting for the marine aquarium and harbour ports to get open. We went to gohirmotha beach but couldn’t see any olive ridley turtles. We reached the mela ground which was hardly 100 metres away from our hotel. We kept our bikes at the mela ground and went to the beach on foot. Many a fishermen were fishing near the beach with their giant sized fishing nets. By this time the port ride got open.

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So from the fair ground, we went back to gate no 4 of the port. The rule is no outsiders can go inside the port. Army outpost is situated at the gate. Only authorized persons are allowed inside. But there is a bus tour inside the port for visitors from 8:30 am to 10:30 am and one need to get a ticket from the counter outside the gate for the ride. So we parked our bikes outside and got 3 tickets and board on the bus. The bus goes for a round trip inside by the coal storage and the ports where big ships are stationed for loading or unloading. It was a completely different experience for me as I had never been to these kind of places before. But couldn’t click any photo as usage of camera or mobile is strictly prohibited there. So with all the memories in our heart we got out of the port. It was already 9:30 am. And then we visited the marina aquarium which was just 100 meter away from our stay at Panthanivas, Paradeep. The place opens at 9:00 am. This is again a place where one needs to buy tickets and gets to see the aquarium. It’s a small aquarium but still we got to see so many kinds of fishes for the first time. Then we went to the light house. It opens at 10 o’clock. Everyone was so reluctant to get to the top after watching the height that we just took some snaps from the outside. And with that we completed our sightseeing at Paradeep. It’s a nice place. We started our ride towards Chandipur then. But on the way decided to visit Panchligeshwar before that which is a few km prior to Chandipur. So we got back to our business (riding on the NH) of munching miles.

From AH45 it is 18 km away at the bottom of hills. It was a long way uphill which we had to climb by walking through some steep stairs. Avijit surrendered at the very first and again it is me the chosen representative asked to climb till the top. I managed to convince Sourav to climb along with me with his broken leg. Its nice and challenging at the same time as its written on the stairs how many stairs one has climbed. And we climbed 250 stairs till the top. It was an achievement for Sourav obviously to climb that high on his own broken legs. A thin water flow is coming down through the rocks and under the water there were 5 rocks which implied the God Shiva. We had to climb at the cliff and reach through the water towards that whole where the rocks are situated. Sourav didn’t go inside the temple premises as he had to remove his shoes outside. It was only me who went inside and tried to reach the place but couldn’t as if had to reach further I would have been all wet. So I had to quit at last. We returned back to the parking place where we parked our bikes. And next stop was Chandipur. It was hardly 30 km away from the AH45 where this subroute was meeting AH. We moved a little forward and saw Hotel Gajanana. It was pretty late for lunch. So we halted there for our evening tiffin as it was already 4:30 pm on the clock. We had roti, mixed veg and a chicken item. The food was delicious. Now with our stomachs full we headed towards Chandipur. It was already dark and again we were in the mode of night riding. We reached Chandipur Panthanivas at around 6 pm. We did not even think of any other hotel as Panthanivas was the best option available. We checked in the best room available, sea facing AC luxury deluxe room with complementary breakfast. Somehow I was not getting network in my phone to call to my home (I want to mention one important thing that Avijit  was the person responsible to remind me of calling to my home which I used to forget very often and I want to thank him for doing the job very well). The receptionist mentioned that the DRDO Chandipur (whose office is just a few lanes away from our stay) had done some missile testing on that day and they jammed all the signals for a time period which is a very usual thing out there. But we couldn’t verify whether this was truth or just some publicity. But soon I found my mobile’s network up.

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We were very tired and jumped onto the bed without any delay. We even ordered the dinner in our room. I fell into sleep before the dinner arrived. They woke me up when the dinner came. I could hold myself up for just a couple of minutes to complete my dinner and soon got back to my dream again. And next morning none of us could remember who actually paid for the dinner last night.

Day : 7 :

Good morning to the last day of our November Daringbari trip at Chandipur Panthanivas hotel or rather I should say a lazy good morning. Even then I was the first one to get up at 6:30 am in the morning. I went to the beach just in front of our hotel expecting the colossal sound of water at the beach getting slammed on the rocks of the beach. But to my surprise the beach was completely dry and up to a long distance there was no sign of water and it seemed that it is a dry sea but the wet sand made me feel that recently there was water. To clear the confusion I asked one of the local villagers who was on a hurry to go on an important work to do in the morning. Not getting any proper reply I  understood my mistake and asked some other people who was not on a hurry, he said that this beach is one of its kind in India where the water goes into the sea upto 7/8 km away at the time of reverse tide and comes back within half an hour. So one who does not know the fact get into big trouble if he thinks that there is no water and goes deep into the sea through the dry beach and suddenly find himself in deep water in between. So I moved alongside the beach towards the mohana where the buribalam river meets the sea. One local informed me it is just 2/3 km away from our hotel if I go through the beach. He also informed me that he is also going towards it as he is into some fishing business. I walked through the beach and saw the junction where buribalam river meets bay of Bengal. I returned to our hotel at around 7:30 am. By that time Sourav and Avijit woke up. They got ready and went for the morning breakfast and I also got myself ready for check out. After breakfast we checked out from the hotel and went to the beach to spend some time. We were wearing our club jerseys on that last day of our ride. Suddenly a person approached us asking that whether we are from the same Rolling Wheels Motorcycle Club that does different kind adventure bike touring all over India… He said that his wife is the editor in the newspaper “ei somay” and she saw the club name at the back of our jerseys and remembered different articles published about our club in her newspaper. She also told us how she came to know about all these as she specifically looks after this section of the paper. And we felt proud of being a member of this club that has created recognition for itself through the passing years by its enthusiastic team members who set benchmarks in motorcycle tours.

 

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Then again a curious gentleman asked us where are we heading and are we riding all the way on bikes. This person is the in charge of NHAI development projects for that area and in on an inspection project that day. He told us about different riding rules on the highway when riding on two wheels and asked us if we can spread the awareness into all the people we are attached with about the riding rules on NHAI and how accidents can be prevented on NHAI.

 

After that we set off for Kolkata. But before that we visited the fish market at Chandipur where all fishing boats get unloaded. It is such a huge market. We left Chandipur at around 10:30 am. Destination was Kolkata. We took AH45 and by 12 o’clock we reached near the Odisha-bengal border. As per our previous plan we stopped at A1 dhaba near kharagpur for our lunch break. We had some mouthful of lunch and slept for some time on the khatias kept just outside of the dhaba. At 2 pm we started again on ah45 and then nh6. Next stop was kolaghat sher e punjab at 3:30 pm. We had our tea break there and got mesmerized with the evening tea there. Without wasting much time we again start towards our last leg of riding on that tour from Kolkaghat till Kolkata. As instructed by our club’s senior members we slowed down to 50 KMPH on the way back towards home though we did not want to end our tour on that day. But we had to end our tour this time so that we can go to some other tour to some other places some other time. We reach my home at around 6 pm in the evening.

 

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The annual cultural programme was taking place in front of our complex at Garia and the front door was blocked by stage and chairs. Somehow the local dada s helped us getting the bikes parked into the garage where my family was also waiting for us as we informed them about our arrival time when we reached near Garia. And with this we end our RW November trip to Daringbari on 28th November 2015.

 

Thanks to Rolling Wheels and all the members once again for arranging, managing and helping us every way for this memorable and delightful tour to Daringbari.

Journey to the land of thunder Dragon,Bhutan (2015)

Digging deep into the time aka History:

By 1,500 BC people lived in Bhutan by herding animals. The in the 7th century AD Buddhism was introduced into Bhutan. In the 8th century an Indian named Padmasambhava did much to encourage the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. Ever since Buddhism has been an integral part of the culture of Bhutan.However for centuries the people of Bhutan were disunited. Then in 1616 Ngawang Namayal became spiritual leader of Bhutan. He took the title Zhabdrung Rinpoche. Under him Bhutan became a united country. In the year 1999 by introducing Satellite Tv and in 2005 unveiling a new constitution and also in 2008 after a democratic election for parliament Bhutan became a democratic country. Today Bhutan is an overwhelmingly agricultural country, and hub of cottage industry.

YESTERDAY:

It’ was like a war going on inside my mind, have to pack all the baggage, have to go to bank, buy few stuff and all has to be done before the sun set. Don’t know what to do first and what next. Super excited and tensed also as this is my first ride in Himalaya. Any way after lots of confusion, excitement and in expense of gallons of adrenalin, was able to pack my bags and tied it up on my Trex. As our beloved senior suggested and as far as I know with lil experience that we have to take a sound sleep for few hours as we are planning to cover a distance of 450km tomorrow. Before going to sleep just went to see my Trex, she was looking beautiful with full bags and all. She is gone be the soul partner of my first motorcycle tour. Just by looking at her I murmured “don’t you worry!! You take care of me…and I will take care of you”. Now it’s time for the hard thing to do… A good night sleep!  After a fierce battle between my adrenaline and my tiredness, tiredness won and I fall asleep.

Day 1:

Just wake up few crows with the Brooome of my TREX, its 4 A.M, have to start my journey from home to the meeting point.

It took me an hour to reach Jessore road and Belgharia exp way connector. Morning Kolkata with less traffic and more oxygen is worth to ride. Anyway, I reached earlier. One by one Subhendu, Sanjay both arrived along with Ravan Da, Bobo, Sanjay Da, Kisholoy Da and many brothers. We had started our journey at around 6:30 in the morning for the destination in mind Raigaunj.  Bijit  Da joined us from Boro Jagulia more on NH34. First halt was at Fulia . Ankan Da was waiting there at some special Dhaba of his bro’s. We had our special breakfast there. From there with best wishes of our big brothers (better call them brothers than seniors cause it sound close to heart!!) and with few golden suggestion about sleep, food and water we had started our journey all along. Four members Bijit Da with his vast experience in lead along with his Unicorn, me with my Trex second, Subhendu with his Terminator 125 third and finally the Marshall of Rally Sanjay with his Pulser  was on tail. The less dense the locality around the highway gets the more started to feel ourselves together. Dev da meet us at Krishna Nagar bus stand.  After a short break we started again. And then we started all along ride together. The French Dakar International rally standard off road had started just after Bethuadohori. First it was ok, but as soon as the Sun stated to shining bright we started to feel the romance of the road by inhaling the dust. We stopped in between from refreshments but as per plan we reached Beherampur for lunch. We take a break of almost 2 hrs there and then started for malda hopping that the rest will help us to get over the sleep. But it strikes back once we started to take the better part of the highway. Bijit Da and me both were feeling sleepy. So we had a 10min break in between. By time of Sunset we crossed the famous Farakka barrage. It was a breadth taking scenario,the golden sun on the west,the ganga aka Paddma flowing towars the west and specially the air smooth to breadth, and then thedisaster strike. The first tyre puncher of our tour and fortunately the last one. Bijit da was the victim. The tube was badly damaged so he was forced to buy one from the local Kaliyachowk market. After avoiding a long traffic of truck by off the road riding we reached Malda town by 8. There at some known garage of Bijit Da, Sanjay, subhendu and Bijit Da himself all clear some small maintenance work.  And after half an hour wasting on indecision of to go or stay, we finally started for Raigaunj. The 75 km journey on NH34 we cannot forget ever. It was pitching dark, no lights, unfinished highway less vehicles and we were riding on that with no intention to stop at any cost. Bijit Da and I were equipped with extra lights. Sanjay was having some problem with lights so Subhendu decided to take the tail position, so that his extra lights can help Sanjay to see too.

The road was so horrible at some places I literally fly with my bike, so did the others. I was very much lucky that I was able to come out alive from a tricky situation where I was stuck in between two trucks at high speed in opposite directions due to a man size creator I should mention. Anyway we reached raiganj by 10:30pm but we roam around the city for an hour before we find our Hotel. We checked in around 11:30pm had our dinner with whatever available and jumped onto our beds. No talking needs sleep. Good Night. IMG_20150411_153134346_HDR

Sleepy Selfi near Farakka

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SunSet Near Kaliyachowk

Day 2:

As I always do, woke up early, take a small ride in locality. The less polluted fresh air and mile long rice field by the side of highway charged my soul at the fullest. We start our Journey by 9 in the morning, day’s destination Jaigaun. It’s near about 300 km ride. It was a pleasant, warm but refreshing ride. Before noon we reached Dalkhola Railway crossing and trust me, it the convoy of truck we saw and crossed there, if the ancient mariner would have witnessed that he would have quoted” TRUCKS TRUCKS EVERYWHERE NOT AN INCH TO RIDE!!” .jokes apart ,it took us almost an hour with football’s dribbling skill to cross that. And being tired by the traffic by that are we decided to have our breakfast   near the junction of NH31. We were bit relax there and was wasting a little extra time to have our food, but then we got a call from our beloved Bhaskar Jethu. He told us that he is coming to Siliguri to receive us. And he will be reaching there in an hour. It was like lightning strike to us, because we have to cross about 120-140 km to meet him in an hour, and as the experience we have of NH34, we have no emotion left but to smile and look at each other. But Bijit da was not concern, and we came to know about that in few min. We started as soon as possible and as few head along towards the destination we realised why Bijit Da was not concern. This is not a highway its actually a Runway.  I never ride like this; I don’t think Subhendu or Sanjay Either. We ride above the speed of 80kmph together in our standard formation and was able to meet bhaskar jethu almost on time.  Bhaskar Jethu a 60+ old veteran motorcycle rider was very happy to see us. He give us many usefull tips and confidence to ride on mountain coz except bijit da its the first time for we 3, as I mention earlier. Then the veteran as a lead followed by us we start our journey towards Jaigaun. we bypass the Siliguri town and in no time reached near the Coronation bridge on Tista River. Its was like full adrinalin rush for us,as we finally having the taste of riding on hill. A one liner of Bhaskar jethu help us to cross the mountain and this was the test run. At Coronation bridge and at a view point we spent a little time to celebrate our small achievement and click some beauty of nature.

Tista River is leaving Himalaya and flowing towards the plane land there.The deep blue water, Green Mountain and clear sky the scenario is unexplainable. Though we been to this mountain so many times but view from helmet is something extra. I am sorry I can‘t express it in words. But we have to leave,so we did and the rod start to decent in the dense Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.  Pin drop silence around expect our Bike’s sound. We were planning to stop and feel the sound of silence but as it was already 3pm, we had to move on. We reached Damdim ,a small market town by 3 pm. We had our special lunch there, complimented by Bhaskar jethu and start our journey towards Jaigaun.

The road from Damdim towards Jaigaun was filled with either dense forest, Himalaya on one side forest and river on other side of the road,over all was like a road from any fairy tale movies. At one point we realised that we were accompanied by a Goods train which was moving like a snake along with us at the bottom of the mountain on our left side. It bid us Good bye at a rail road crossing in the middle of seems nowhere and vanished in the turns of track in the forest at the bottom a mountain. Near about 6:30 we reached Birpara,the Home town of our veteran and decided to call for the day. The night there was also memorable as we felt the presence of a fierce storm there. Though we were safe but the sound of wind and door/windows banging will eco in our mind for a long time. The day was completed with the sound of silence from the jungle and the sound of power from the storm. It’s almost 2 amIMG_20150412_084134309_HDR

Good Morning Raiganj

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Near a check post, a little away from Siliguri

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Coronation bridge view point @sevok with the very Special Bhaskar Da.

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A delicious special Lunch @Damdim ..a special gift from Bhaskar Da

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@Birpara

Day 3:

The morning started a little late and we face the consequence for that. Started from Birpara near 9 am jaigaun is just 40 km away, through the beautiful tea gardens in Hasimara and after few kilometre we were able to see the foots of the Great Himalaya once more. Yes bros we are going there to conquer that part. Near Hasimara railway Station we had a funny incident of skidding with Bijit Da, which became a key to tease Bijit da for rest of the tour. Anyway We enter Phuntshelong,Bhutan by 10. After a tremendous running Around for document verification by Sanjay,helped by us. We received the permit for US and Our Ride by 1.  Sanjay has done a tremendous job to make it as early as possible. After receiving it we get even more confused,coz Thimpu was near about 180 km away. So we decided to have our Lunch,sit and decide . at Lunch we had Koka,the Bhutanese version of noodles and decided to move to Gedu, Just 50 Km away from here. Gedu is town consist of many School,colleges.  People from Indian also go there to teach. So we decided to Move on.  We had our evening tea just few kilometres away from Gedu in a roadside Bhutanese tea stall kind of thing. From there we came to know about a Guest house. Here also Sanjay take the lead and arranged rooms for us. We were very much tired mentally then. Its because Phuntshelong to Gedu this 50 km ride was the first ride for us three on mountain. So physically we were fit but mentally we were like drained out. Anyway, as the sun set I was planning to go for a round, Sanjay and Lazy Subhendu Agreed. We started from our guest house and barely reached a kilometre or two and were scared like hell. No Lights that is ok, but the twist and turns were too hot to handle. Our bike’s head light were just vanishing in those twists, was too much for a city rider for a day, so we decided to retreat. We didn’t get any signal on our phones so were concern too. We return to Gedu,find a road side tea stall. While having coffee we asked the local people about any kind of phone booth, but were denied. We were happy that finally we were free from the modern world and feeling like Lost. At the time of dinner we were able to contact our respected home. Those people at the guest house give us the first hint of how beautiful this country is. We head back to our room , was cold outside so slept early.

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Road to Himalaya through the Tea gardens near Hasimara

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Tea gardens near Hasimara railway station

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On our way to Jaigaun

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Indo-Bhutan Border gate..from Jaigaun to Phuentsholing

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In front of RSTO of Bhutan, waiting for Vehicle Permit

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Lunch @Phuentsholing…near RSTO

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Civilization on the Riverbank of  Tista

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Selfi time on the way to gedu with Sanjoy and Subhendu

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Some schools on the way to Gedu

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The beautiful Gedu city at night

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Some Night ride @Gedu

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Night @city heart of gedu

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Celebrating first ever ride on Himalaya with some evening tea @Gedu with sanjoy and subhendu

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Tea Time

Day 4:

Morning 5 am, when I look through my window, it was like heaven on earth. The moon is still shining bright, the sun has not come up yet, can see an unknown mountain covered with snow, and it was glittering with the early morning light. Can waste time on sleeping, so dressed up and move out with my camera. Clicked few, the city is still sleeping. Came back after half an hour, almost. Bros are still sleeping. Minutes I spent outside passed like seconds. So I decided to go for a small ride to see the locality. Gedu is a small but complete town. All facilities are available here. Moving along in the curve of this beautiful city was accompanied by sheep and horses some times. Rest of the time I was all along with my Trex. The well planed town, the beautiful nature around, the morning light makes my day. Splashes water on my face from some local stream wake me up a bit. After an hour and half of riding I came back and saw these successors of KUMBHAKAR’s are still sleeping. Wake them up all get ready by 9. Bijit Da was still packing his bags so Sanjay, Subhendu and me; we decided to go for a little off road adventure. We don’t have to search for a long find it in very near and did all the stuff we were planning. It was a small stretch off unfinished road to somewhere with little twist and turns, but full with rocks. We were so excited that we conquered it even before we realised we can.

Blood was running at the highest speed possible, adrenalin was acting as a booster, excitement was unimaginable. Life’s first off road adventure is done. Then we realised bijit da is still missing. Subhendu volunteer for the search. We find him still packing as the bike rolled over and he had to unpack and pack again.  We help him to do it quickly and move on. The roads are full with so many beautiful spot for photography, we became confused whether to ride or stop and click. Anyway  at a curve we decided to stop and click Gedu city from far away. It was so far that the houses and the college buildings were like few colourful dots in beautiful paintings. We easily make out the place from here, where we stayed, but were impossible to make out the place where we had tea last evening or today morning. Momo and noodles are the special foods, which are enjoyed in these mountains, and we started to enjoy it from today morning. The roads are very beautiful and well maintained here. Traffic is very less and well discipline. Don’t remember seeing a rash driving ever, surprisingly they don’t even blow horns, until and unless it’s absolutely necessary. We had to leave the high way and take a 20 km diversion through forest kind of area with less maintain road due to CHUKKHA HYDRO POWER PLANT project. Though the bypass was less maintained but still the beauty of forest and the village we passed by will fill your heart with beauty. Then again we speed up when we meet the highway.   After crossing the point, where roads parts away from HAA vally,Paro and Thimpu we stop at a place name Khasadrapchu towards Thimpu. We unexpectedly had Indian food there, serviced with a smile. We were overwhelmed by their behaviour.  Around 4pm we reached Thimpu. It is a modern city build on the bank and nearby Mountain of the river name Thimpu Chu     (Chu denotes river here). We stayed a hotel name Dragon next to this Thimpu chu.  As we reached early, decided to go for local side scene. Unpacked our bikes and headed to the main area of the city. The first point we saw after entering the main area is the memorial CHOTEN. It is very beautiful and very old and very beautiful too. After spending an hour there, with a lil help of a local people we reached the market are. The most crowded part of the city. As motorcycle is not a common thing there, we find the area for parking motorcycle clean and clear. We arrange a mobile sim card visited a hand craft fair nearby. Did some shopping, had KOKA (noodles) and tea and came back to hotel. At night we had our dinner at a restaurant, which didn’t make a good impression on us by its food. Came back to hotel, the room was very beautiful had a big window near to our bed; fall asleep by watching the city going for sleep through that window.

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Good morning…. Gedu

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Moonset before Sunrise

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The Nature@Morning

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Good morning to the Great Himalaya

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Thimpu – Phuentsholing highway from Guest house and the Town’s central clock tower

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Getting ready for Thimpu

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Selfi… before leaving guest House @ Gedu

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Gedu City a Glimpse

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Gedu City,an another Glimpse

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Gedu City from another mountain

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Some Unknown fountain in the middle of no-where

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Is that a UFO or just a cloud?

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Selfi –time with Bijit Da, Sanjoy and Subhendu

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A fountain 

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Lunch break @ Khasadrapchu

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Thimpu city from Hotel Dragon

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Thimpu in Concrete mode

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Choten at the heart of Thimpu

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Inside the compound and in front of the Choten

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Devotion 

Day 5:

Good morning woke up early, but all the possible way to go outside is close. Though of jumping out from the balcony, but had to stop myself because it’s almost two storied high from ground. Others were sleeping till now, but I was jumping around in the room to go out. Finally at 7 am I was able to say hello the beautiful Thimpu personally. Just because of the curiosity I start up hill riding on a road just next to our hotel. And after a few breadth taking twist and turns I reached near a statue of Lord Buddha, which is almost hugging the floating clouds. The view from there is breadth taking.  So after taking few random clicks, I decided to go back to hotel to come back with others. When we came back, it’s already became a bright sunny day. The 179feet high statue of was shining like gold as it was made of some golden colour material. The posture there was as if Lord Buddha is doing meditation. The people around here believe that Lord Buddha will take care of their people, so they reshape the mountain in such a way that from here we can see almost the every corner of the city. The area in front and around the statue was concreted for devotees to come. The work is still in progress, still as we hang around we felt like we were in a floating platform and looking towards the city as if it was way down to earth.  We took some group photos in that areas, but find very difficult to put the huge statue in one frame. After enjoying the heavenly atmosphere there we move on to see DOCHULA. On the way we saw the sky was turning from sky blue to deep black in a matter of moment. The weather on Mountains is unpredictable, and I guess that’s what makes it so beautiful. At the check post just 5 kms from Dochula we came to know that, we don’t have the permit to go Dochula or beyond. To go further, we have to issue a permit from Thimpu. But as i mention earlier, Bhutan is a country of very nice and simple people, we were lucky enough to see that once more. The lady at the check post allow us to visit the Dochula point and come back in an hour,if we submit all the documents at her.  Like a lucky opportunity, we agree with her and speed away towards the destination. We reached there a little faster than we expect.  Dochula is a point from where we can enjoy the beauty of the Punakha valley. It was almost cloudy, but we were lucky enough to see the higher Himalayan range in between sometimes, it was looking like someone has  drawn a with line in a dark painting. At Dochula we saw the 108 Choten at the centre, move around the place and click some photos here and there. A honeymoon Couple had fulfilled their desire of riding bike at Dochula together on my TREX. As the weather was turning bad there and as we committed to came down in an hour, we start to returns back to the checkpoint. On our way back we were greeted by some Royal Enfield from Karnataka registration. We also wave them back, as a gesture of good will.  Off Road riding is virus we riders are affected with, so whenever and wherever we get our chances, we satisfied ourself with riding on it. For example, coming back from dochula check point, we saw a stiff road going uphill somewhere, and we decided to ride on that. It was the stiffest road SANJAY, SUBHENDU, and I had ever climbed before in our entire life (till date). Sanjay take the lead, followed by SUBHENDU and experienced Bijit day and finally me. Unfortunately my TREX was stuck in between and I had to turn around from the halfway mark, rest of the team seems had reached at the top. On the way back to Thimphu we visited the Semtokha Dzong. It was a 400 year old building, till date it is used as school from Buddhist monks. As we enter the Gumpha, the hums of the ongoing classes, the architecture, the statues and all the other unknown things together creates an atmosphere as if we went back to centuries of the kings and horses. After enjoying few moments there, we rush back to Thimphu as we were very hungry. After searching for half an hour with empty stomach we were able to find a hotel with Indian cuisine. We planned to visit the Kings Palace in the evening, But as we went there expecting some museum or something, we find its restricted place. In the evening we spent our time at market only and with early dinner, we went back to bed very early.

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Thimpu city from mountain Top

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Another View of the city

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Some House at the top

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Another View of the city

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Landscape 

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In front of 179 feet tall Lord Buddha’s Statue

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Lord Buddha’s Statue Under construction

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Sel-fi

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Selfi with a part of the city

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The Buddha statue from Far away…

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On our Way to Dochula

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A Monastery @Dochula Top

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Dochula Top

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Higher range of Himalaya from Dochula Top

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 Memorial at Dochula Top

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101 no of memorial at Dochula Top

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Panoramic View of 101 No. of memorial at Dochula Top

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Near Semtokha Dzong

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Near Semtokha Dzong

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Semtokha Dzong

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Inside Semtokha Dzong

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Superb Lunch in Thimpu market

Day 6:

Today’s Destination is Paro, but not directly, via HA valley and Chelela. We started in the morning biding good bye to Thimpu and its natural beauty, and headed towards the same place Khasadrapchu for breakfast. We celebrate the morning with Koka, tea and Amazing PT dance of mine. The beautiful ladies of the hotel joined us in the group photo, master mined by Bijit da (Blink)

The road to Ha valley, in the beginning was parallel to the Thimpu- Phuntshelong highway, but after a small turn it turn us to some where unknown place. We crossed many small villages, forest areas and after a final 80 km ride and soaked in rain we reached the helipad near Ha valley. At the Helipad we were acting as if the school kids suddenly found himself in a big open ground. We ran, take pics, do some special stuff with our respective motorcycle and then after almost half an hour we move towards the town’s main area. It’s a small but complete town. Its atmosphere is never less than the small town we use to see in Hollywood movies.  After having some tea and biscuit we moved towards the greatest portion of our motorcycle life. We have already gathered info about the place named Chelela, the highest motor able road in Bhutan 13000 feet from MSL. So we started our journey with full of excitement of achieving something for the first time in our life. The road is full of hair pin turns and twists surrounded by jungles. We were all alone riding together. We were warned about the wild animals in the area by the people of Ha valley. So we were little scared too. The more, we were going up, the more the forest becomes thinner and Thinner. And at the bone chilling (it’s already raining) height we were greeted by some YAK . I was little afraid because of the way it looks at us, the Yak. It seems we are the trespassers and it is the property owner. Then we saw a Notice at a turn and we were there …CHELELA. This is the first time for Sanjay, Subhendu and me in Himalayan Road, on motorcycle at this Height. Felt like at Top of the world. We just saw a flash of far side the Himalaya and then the weather turn ugly. But who cares man!! We were emotional then, started singing dancing and all what we can. It was raining, but suddenly Bijit da warn us that it not raining..it was snowing. We became mad then, not scared but happily. Then we all realised that we should move on, as it’s getting dark and start raining/snowing heavily. The trees nearby started to turn white, when we start moving. Sanjay and I fall behind a little to wear Gloves as the chilliness is beyond control now. The Roads are slippery and wet, it raining heavily, very difficult to see. As this is a dense forest are the humidity and wetness is much more than to bear. The fingers are not working, breaks are not doing its job, only resource is engine breaking and the wheels are skidding like hell. The road from Chelela to Paro is only 60km, but it has the max number of Twist and Turns we have ever imagine. The thing which looks exciting in map is actually more dangerous and adrenalin rush than we expected. We didn’t find any Shelter on that road and by the time we reach Paro, we went above all the chilliness and rain. We check in a new Hotel Name PHANDEY GHAKIL logde outside paro,towards Tiger nest aka Tuksung Monestry. The owners of the hotel help us a lot after saw us in this drenching condition. He even went to market to buy new room heater. We sat on the drawing room window and were recollecting what we did today with tea and packet of biscuit. Its raining outside and we can see the Paro Chu (river) is flowing with his full energy. Subhendu did a fair enough job to lead us from chelela to paro in this difficult situation. We were just thinking that just from a city rider to riding on this twisting hill of chelela, we have grown a lot as a motorcycle rider. Today morning when we started from Thimpu, we were just Bikers just exploring the countryside of this beautiful country, but after this awesome experience we think we can demand that we are not the biker anymore, we are Motorcycle Traveller, a rider .I guess our big brothers at RW saw that in us, so they allow us to get Lost and find our true self in the twist of Chelela. There is a saying something like you have never lived until you lived on the edges, we might not lived but we surely ride on the edges. Thank you to the big brothers of RW back at home. After having a nice Indian dinner at night we realised that the bikes gone be standing alone in rain. But we were too tired to think for an alternative option. So we leave it to the mercy of nature and went to sleep. Today we may lay on our bed early but find it very difficult to sleep, as the thing we been through today is an experience for life time. Good night.

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The gateway of Thimpu City

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@ khasadrapchu ,in a hotel for breakfast, selfi. With Prema and her Sister

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Road to Haa valley

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Mountain Top

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Some landscape

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@ Helipad near Haa valley

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At Haa valley

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Lunch time At Haa valley/town

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@Sanjoy

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@Subhendu

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And me..

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From Hotel balcony @Paro

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Celebrating the ride through Chelela pass. The highest motor able point of Bhutan as well as our life too.

Day 7:

Today is beautiful day, can see the beauty of the nature from the room’s window itself ,after having breakfast we have plan for some local sight scene. We started from our hotel to find a way to take the photos of plane landing and takeoff from PARO Airport. So first we have to figure out a way how to reach that bird’s eye view point, which we saw yesterday while coming from Chelela. We were little concern about our bikes as that suffer in the night long rain alone, but seems they were even more fit than us, starts in first kick. After a small sprint we reached the point from where we can see the airport as well, by the side of Paro Chu. It was a breadth taking view of the area, the airport is surrounded by high mountains, can see few monasteries here and there and the valley below consist of a runway and the airport. At the proper time we saw planes land and take off in an almost impossible way. It opens for an hour or so for a day, all the flights arrive and departure in that tight time schedule. Spending an hour there we move on towards TAKTSANG MONASTERY aka Tiger nest. Bijit da quit and went back to hotel due to some physical problems. The legend of Taktshang (Tiger’s lair) evolved form 747 AD when Guru Padmasmbhava chose a cave on a sheer rock face to meditate and, assuming a wrathful form, Guru Dorji Drolo, astride a tigress, subdued the evil spirits n the locality. Taktshang thus became one of the most important Buddhist monuments in the Himalayan Buddhist world. We parked all our bikes at the bottom and start our trek towards the nest, it’s a 4 km trek and elevation is around 700mtr from the surround valley. As we were climbing up we saw people were coming down, many from India, Bangladesh and so many countries. Time was passing by like a river. For us it’s like 1 min walk and 5 min’s of rest. The atmosphere and the colour of the surrounding were changing as we were going up. The road is un made and that’s make this monastery of difficult and unique.  All along the road we can see the destination but seems the road is never ending. We lie down on grasses, on the mud and where ever we can as the feet’s are not moving and became excess baggage for us. We never felt so embarrass by our fitness lever in our life. Subhendu and I were like feeling like to quit But Never quit sprit of sanjay by pushing and pulling helps us to reach the final turn. From here the surrounding looks like heaven. Those green mountains at the bottom and white at the top, the Paro Chu the houses it just like a hilly area of state called Heaven. When we reached the main gate we realised if there is a little bit of peace left in this world, its stored here. As the battery of the camera is down and the weather is not seems so blissful on use we came down at the earliest. Fear of the rain we reached at the bottom, but sky became clear and we saw the tiger nest shining at the lap of the mountain for the last time. On the way to Druggel Monastery we had our lunch in a local restaurant.

Same menu KOKA with Egg and Tea. On the way back to our hotel we get a long stretch of twisting and turning tarmac where we assume that we were riding on some international racing circuit. After that super trek and ride we came back to hotel but it take long half an hour to get into our room, as Bijit da had locked the main door and fall asleep inside the bedroom, which later became our topic of discussion in the evening. Later on that evening rain had started to fall heavily, we were little concern over our motorcycle which our hotel owner solved by putting had plastic over it . The rain storm has grown in strength. Tomorrow what’s gone happen if this rain continues? With that doubt we went to sleep.

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An artist (Bijit Da) with an Instrument

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Paro Airport from Bird eye view point

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Traffic Jam @Paro Airport

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Panoromic view of Paro Airport beside Paro chu

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As usual…. Selfi

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On Our Way to Dragon’s nest

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The famous Taksang monastery aka Dragon’s nest

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Taksang monastery

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Taksang monastery..so close ..yet so far..

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Exhausted on our way up to the Taksang monastery..

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Tired but filled with energy and peace on our way down back Taksang monestry

Day 8:

The morning was not so good this time. It was continuously raining from last evening. We had plan to go down to Phuntshelong today. But seems we all had to delay that for a day. I look down from the balcony and saw all the bikes are covered with the hard plastics, as said by our Hotel owner Mr. Sonam Wangdi. Though this Hotel is just few feet away from the Paro Chu, still we were not able to see it as the surrounding areas are full of clouds and rain. It’s very irritating to sit in hotel room when u came to a new place, but i don’t have any wish to get wet in this rain. As the time passes by the rain starts to get lighter some time and the green trees at the far mountain has already became white in colour. It’s snowing at the top of the mountains. What does every colour looks like exactly and what are the different shades they can possible have, can only be found in either mountains or in deep seas. Bhutan has pleased our eyes with colour; fill our soul with peace and love of people. In last few days we have grown a lot, not physically but spiritually and mentally. On the afternoon Sanjay and Bijit da had decided to go out and Our Hotel owner has accompanied them with his Toyota helix. Subhendu and I have decided to stay back.

.With our Hotel Owner we went to a Museum first, It’s The National Museum. After Damage by a big earth quake, the old building was replaced by a new one. It has the collection of the artefacts and equipments which the soldier of this country use to use in war in old days and also it consist of many old written records and all. Bhutan was always a rich country in terms of culture and education, especially religious education and till date they are maintaining the same old tradition of being great as a society and as a country.

After been so lazy in the day times its time to pack our bags in the evening. Today is the last night in Bhutan. Tomorrow we will start our return journey towards home. Mr. Wangdi has treated us with some special today. It’s time to go to sleep again. A day less enjoyed.

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After a Night long rain..nature..before sunrise..

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Nature..after sunrise…

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A Photo’s Photo…

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Natural beauty with Thorn..

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Good morning tea

Today is a bright sunny day, after taking few morning photos of the surrounding Hills we start our Journey towards Birpara, India. After reaching the main central of the paro city we realised that there is a bicycle race going on, from Thimpu to Paro. On the way back we encourage the competitors of the race to push harder and they also wave us back. At a turn on a hill we find few school children standing by the side of road and encouraging the competitors and we have take a fair enough share of the encouragement as we pass the same road on the opposite direction . The beauty of these roads are unparallel to any others, high mountains, different shades of greenery and the river flowing by the side of mountain, it’s hard to explain in words. After riding after 60-70 kms we again had KOKA and tea at some very small market. This was the last food we were having at Bhutan, so even while having foods also we were feeling emotional. After that we headed towards Phuentshelong . The weather of the mountains are truly unpredictable, sometimes it shines and the nature looks like heaven and sometimes when its cloudy, scared us by reminding the ride from Chelela to Paro. Anyway with this amazing colour contrast and watching breadth taking view of few fountains in the far side of hill we reached GEDU. And there we realised that the training of riding motorcycle on Hill is still not done yet. We were stunt when we reached Gedu, seems the city has vanished under the think white cloud. None of ours lights were able to go though that cloud and the road is very slippery here along with some 2000-3000 feet drop on the opposite side of the mountain. Only Sanjay has Fog light mounted on his bike. With the help of that we stared to progress slowly, in the white cloud it was becoming very difficult even to see the person sitting in front, forget about the traffic coming from opposite side.

We find a convoy of army truck and followed that and when the clouds get thinner; we overtake them and speed up. We have crossed nearly 8 kilometres in Fog, which has also became one of the most exciting and speechless experience we even had. We all have passed through the mountain fog, but never by motorcycle and riding on it. That white cloud, which blocked our path, actually opens our mind and upgrades us as a motorcycle rider. At the Phuntshelong check post we finally submit all our permits and went out from Bhutan through that king’s Door by which We enter into Bhutan 7 days back. The dream is over, but the mission is successful. Those 3 lads of Kolkata, along with an experience rider had conquered the mountains of the country Name Bhutan. There is some difference now as I said earlier, those there not Lads anymore who hang out with bikes. Those are now one step closer to become a Good rider now. Anyway As we moved towards Birpara,Bhaskar da arrange all the accommodation and food at there. We didn’t face any problem at there. In the evening we had our Bengali style adda at Bhaskar Da’s resident and then at Dalgoun railway station.  At night while lying on be we were just cherishing the memory of our Debut trip. Seems those are the best 7 days of our life.IMG_20150419_075208558_HDR

With the Hotel owner and our friend Mr. Sonam wangdi @paro

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Some beautiful landscapes on our way back..

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Some Roadside clicks..

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Last Selfi in Phuentsholing @Bhutan

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On Coronation bridge @Sevok

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Forest Area @Duars

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A halt to Listen to the sound of Silence@Duars

Day 10 and Day 11:

It was a good morning; we started early to enjoy the view of all the nearby forests of Duars area and the last glimpse of Himalaya. Crossing tea estate one by one, we seems realised what does the greenery actually means, honestly the shades of green can be truly visualizes once you been here, in these beautiful area Called Duars. We had our Breakfast at Chalsa. It’s busy market place area. We became the main attraction there as we were having bikes with bag packs and all. Few try to communicate with us and rest were looking at us as if we some illegal intruder in their area. On the one side there is dense Jungle and on the other, there is the great Himalaya, the highway in between goes through like a snake. We even in stopped in few places to enjoy the sound of silence and then after crossing Maal Bazar, Damdim and Odlabari we reached the view Point of Coronation Bridge, it’s the unofficially good bye point for us to Himalaya. We take many Snaps fulfilled our never ending quench of taking photo. Then we start to head towards Siliguri. Our plan was to bypass the main city and from Bagdogra we were suppose to take the NH31, but we miss the mark and head straight towards the naxalbari are via NH 31c. After crossing Panitanki and Batasi we realized our mistake and we came back to the highway near Kharibari. After that we speed up, next stop Dalkhola crossing. Finishing lunch at DalKhola we headed for the long off road stretch towards Malda. From Raigunj to Malda we had the same experience as we had while going to Bhutan. At Malda Town we got the shock of our life time, as the hotel our brothers use to stay in their previous rides turn via here turns into a Nursing home now. Anyway we were able to find a good hotel near bye and spent the night there. Next morning when I woke up, saw Subhendu is already up and looking through the windown, seems searching for something. He didn’t reply to me when I asked him. I know what he is looking for, the horizon elevated as the Himalayan Mountain, those green and snow cover trees, those rivers. But from here we can only see the jungle of concrete. We started early, bye the time of lunch we had reached Krishna Nagar. In Fulia Swarno Da meet us personally at his House. Ravan da had come from Kolkata to take us Home. Bye evening we all reach our respective home safely.

BRoommm:

For us this is the beginning of our change, we have grown from a biker to a passionate rider. While going to Bhutan, we all were Four individual acting as a Team as we never ride together before for such a long time consistently .But when we came back from there We have already became a team . how i say so, because while going at a same speed the distance between the four motorcycle and the mental vibration was far and while coming its came so close that u might mistake it with just a single one. We all were quite on the last day, not that we were tired but that we gone miss this till the next ride comes. An invisible bonding has grown in between us. Those difficulties in road and weathers, Bijit da always giving advice for goods, Subhendu taking lead on the rainy day, Sanjay taking responsibility of the team in the foggy condition and I , don’t know that’s the part they can say, may be just been there with them always, make us brothers. Even Today when I woke up and go to the window, I still search for the horizon wit mountains and trees and river and most importantly peace. Subhendu and Sanjay admit that too. While coming back at the View point of Coronation Bridge, that as he has blessed us with good condition and good fortune to seen his creation of beauty, so we promise that we will be back soon in very near future. As the traveller goes home his unquenchable thirst for the unknown place does take a break though. Its keep on poking him until he pack his bags again and start his bike. We are now on that stage just waiting for a reason to go in Himalaya once again. Just got the test of adventure for first time..Ready for more..What say bro!!

HAPPY ROLLING!!!

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