Friday, June 17, 2011

Bhutan Trip Day 5 & 6

Day - 5

22.12.2010 (Wednesday) Malda (West Bengal) to Mala Bazar (West Bengal) = 379 kms

  • Starting Place: Malda (West Bengal)
  • Starting Km Reading: 4960 km @ Malda
  • Starting Time: 09.00 A.M. Morning
  • Closing Km Reading: 5339 km @ Mala Bazar Jalpaiguri (West Bengal State)
  • Closing Time: 12.25 AM A.M.Mid Night @ Mala Bazar

On day 4 from Bhadrak (Orissa) to Malda (West Bengal) I had reached Malda at mid night 12.55 AM and had covered 713 kms where some of the roads were extremely bad and I was very tired.

I slept like a log I suppose and got up late. My wife did not wake me up after the alarm went off wanting me to get some sleep.

We all got up little late and got ready by 9 AM. The hotel where we stayed was very good & we paid Rs.1995/- for accomodation for the night stay from 12.55 AM Midnight till 9 AM morning & Rs.275/- for the mid night dinner & Rs.660/- for morning breakfast which was bread butter sandwitch, milk for kids & coffee for me.

Slightly on the expensive side but on trips like this with family some times we cannot be too choosy at mid night to get a decent hotel with safe parking. A price worth paying.

They gave me a room in the 2nd floor & it was pretty hectic for me to get all the necessary stuff (cloths, medicine, baby food misc etc) from the car & carry all that to the room. I had to do some 3 or 4 trip back & forth. 

More than the driving it is these packing / unpacking & arranging things in the dickey that can be very challenging.

I washed the car clean by 8.45 AM & we left the hotel by 9.20 AM and went to a fuel pump to tank up Diesel. The temperaure outside was 19 Deg C.

Pictures taken below by my son Uthamkumar

We stopped at Swagat Retail outlet of IOCL at NH 34 Narayanpur @ Malda and tanked up 27.29 litres of Diesel @ Rs.39.96 per ltr and paid Rs.1090/-

At  this junction the road turns left & we have to head towards Siliguri & Dalkhola.

We came across some nice paddy fields & took these pictures below.

Well imagine they were asking us questions in Bengali & we were replying to them in Hindi & Tamil. Couple of local girls posing for photos.

I found this place very interesting to take some nice photos of our FIAT Linea against the field which was yellow. The picture has just come out awasome.

It was just early morning & we found few of the local children heading for their school & we just stopped and we had some children who were very inquesitive and came to meet us as we became their attraction.

Just look at these young & innocent faces. You can see they are all well covered as it was cold outside.

I saw this jeep fully loaded to the TOP.

We crossed Raiganj @ 11.25 AM

We passed through the Raiganj Wild Life Sanctury. Maybe we can see some wild life in the night.

The sad part is the wild life is shrinking due to the humans habbitat being so close to the wild life.

The road looks great here, well the happiness can be short lived.

The road looks  pretty bad here, it is a mix of both & you have to be very careful in driving a car that has a low ground clerance.

There were so many pigeons flying around here.

Traffic jam in Dalkhola. The time was 12.36 PM afternoon. Luckily it cleared quickly & we did not loose any time.

Just after Dalkhola which in on NH 34 this road comes to a T Junction. The left goes to Purnia and we need to take the right here to go towards Siliguri which is NH 31. This is an important junction. HVK laid emphasis on such important junctions as these can be major turning points.

Some times you might miss the sign boards as some huge lorrry would be blocking the sign board & you will miss it.

From here Siliguri is 129 kms.

The road from here on is a breeze. It is fantastic to drive in this part of NH 31. You can cover a lot of ground quickly.

Dam maro Dam. Fire at one end Fool at the other end??

The road itself was pretty bad here and to make the matters even worse for vehicles they had put speed breakers which even the bus & lorry drivers were dreading to pass. You can imagine the plight of ours.

Remembered my fellow Palio USer Group member & friend Raveendrra who had advised me to take such humps with a S shape turn to avoid any bottom scrapping. There were 3 of them and it was terrible.

We are now heading towards a road that is going to take us to Guwahati which is in Assam, Gangtok & Darjeeling which are in Sikkim & Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. You can see the quality of the road.

My best friend Ashwani Attrish from Noida called me and we spoke on for long time. He just called me when I touched 3000 km mark of our journey and we were passing through some of the best parts of the road.

We were passing through Tea Gardens on both sides of the road & I was showing my kids where the tea is planted.

The facility of the BLUE & ME technology inside the Linea is a great advantage.

You can hear the caller very clearly inside the 4 speakers as your mobile is hooked up through the blue tooth to the car's Blue & Me. The microphone is so powerful Ashwani could hear my kids saying hello to him from the back seat.

When my kids said hello to Ashwani Uncle at their top of their voice I believe he would have held the phone away for some time he he..

It was 4.27 PM evening and temperatur outside was 23 Deg C. It was becoming dark. I was telling Ashwani that the sun sets here pretty fast and the day is short. By 6 PM it becomes dark.

We were reaching SEVOKE and the enterance of the city was all decked up to invite His Holiness Dalai Lama.

We passed the Sevoke Military Station @ 4.45 PM. After this we come across the very famous Coronation Bridge which is a sight worth seeing. Unfortunately since it was becoming dark by 6 PM & I could not capture the photos of this bridge.

We have to be very careful after this Coronation Bridge. Just after Sevoke Police Station there is a road that turns to the right called TIGER Bridge & we have to actually take this right turn to head towards Guwahati / Bhutan. The staright road actually goes to SIKKIM.

Just before the Sevoke Police Station there is a railway crossing & as we passed this my kids & wife saw some corn being roasted by the road side & asked me to buy some.

This is a very narrow road & I just pasued & stopped asked him to give 4.

As I was standing infront of the man who was preparing the bhutta for us I saw a long que of vehicles piled up on both sides as my linea was blocking the way inspite of my pulling over to the far left. I had no option but to start & move.

My kids & wife felt cheated. The man was ready with 4 bhuttas & came running behind me & I paid him & we were soon munching on lemon, salt & masala quoted fried corn.

I kept driving on and came to the TIGER Bride. It was 8.40 PM Night. I missed to take this turn as I saw some road repair work going on at this junction & the writings were not legible & clear.

There was no sign board that said TIGER Bridge / Guwahati / Bhutan.

The only writting in English were welcome to Gorkhaland & to Bacrakote. I was confused should I take this right I did not know. I could also not ask any one around as there were nobody there to ask.

I then made a major mistake of driving on straight on a road that was actually going towards Sikkim. I did not realise this until I started climbing hilly terrain and the road was extremely bad and I could see it was scrapping the car's bottom.

We had horrible time driving on this road & I was wondering am I on the right direction to Bhutan?

We stopped at an IOCL Pump that was Assam Oil with a sign of RHINO @ 7.40 PM. RHINO Logo looks great. I asked for directions & the guys at the pump were not very clear.

I tanked up diesel @ Suntalayoil Assam Oil IOCL, NH 31A, Lohakapool, Salugara, Sevoke Road, West bengal. 17.75 liters @ Rs.40/- per ltr and paid Rs.710/-. With the tank full atleast I was not worried about running out of fuel.

We saw some sign boards that said BRO (Border Roads Organization) works today for your better Tomorrow.

We drove on till we came across a sign board we saw that said GANGTOK - 64 Kms, Kalimpong - 16 Kms & Darjeeling - 47 Kms.

I was shocked to see this. All these 3 are inside Sikkim & just then I realised I had made a major mistake by missing that TIGER Bridge that HVK had told me to take to go towards Bhutan.

I was wondering where was this TIGER Bridge? I had already driven on this road some 35 plus Kms of extremely bad & hilly terrain road.

Just then HVK called me & I told him about the status. I told him about the sign boards. He was very upset & said Man you are going towards Sikkim and not towards Bhutan.

He said I had made a major mistake in missing taking the right turn to take the TIGER Bridge some where after Sevoke Police Station.

I accepted my mistake & said I did not find any sign board and HVK then asked us do we want to just cancel Bhutan Trip & just continue to Sikkim & cover Sikkim?

We said NO. That meant I had to turn back and find that TIGER Bridge again. It was almost completely dark and the time was just around 7 PM night.

This is the place where we are supposed to take the right turn that I had missed it was written to BACRAKOTE and no mention is made about Bhutan / Guwahati.

This right turn takes us on the TIGER Bridge. Turning the Linea on the narrow hilly road and coming back down another 30 odd kms to find the TIGER Bridge was real tough thing.

It was getting close to 9 PM night and we still had a long way to go towards Mala Bazar / Jaigaon which was supposed to be my halting destination as per the program by HVK. Jaigaon is the last border town on the Indian side.

I told HV Kumar that now we are on the road towards Guwahati & he said keep going & encouraged me on. 

HVK just told me to put our mistake behind & asked me to concentrate on driving & told me I just have 2 options to halt for the night either Mala Bazar / Jaigaon.

He said if I had not lost some 2 hours I could have been near to Jaigaon by now. On the way I found a dhaba & halted & we eat plain parathas with dal fry. It was very good & tasty.

Just when we were running late at 10.00 PM Night, I just got a call from another traveller like me who was driving his TATA Safari from Pune who was on his way to Sikkim.

He was supposed to be ahead of me by some 8 hours as per HVK whom he was helping from Pune to Sikkim.

This common friend had also taken the Tiger Bride to come to a place called Birpara and had halted at night with his brother-in-law who was in the Indian Army.

Birpara is a cantonment area. He was to spend some 2~3 with his B-I-L and the go to Sikkim.

He asked me where I was and I told him the developments & the mistake I had made after Sevoke Police Station etc & I told him I am now driving on the road that is taking me towards Mala Bazar & Jaigaon and I will be passing through Birpara.

He just spoke with his B-I-L and he told me I should not be driving on these road now at this time of the night as it is supposed to be a major wild life crossing area and lots of Elephants & Rhinos cross the road at this time & it is not at all safe.

He asked me to turn back & head back towards Siliguri which was very far away which we had passed many hours back.

The disadvantage of Blue & Me Bluetooth feature in the car is that the caller's message is loud & clear for everyone to hear.

The call got cut off due to poor signal before I could ask for further details or any possibilities of finding a night's stay & resting place inside the cantonment area courtesy his B-I-L. It was a terrible moment.

My wife Jamuna heard this and was very upset & she got spooked as we had 2 little kids inside the car.

She was very concerned and said if this friend's B-I-L who is in the army says it is unsafe then we should not be driving around on this road. She asked me to stop the car & turn back & head back to Siliguri for safety reason.

I was in a major conflict. I told her that we had already passed the wild life crossing area as we had passed & read a sign board and to return & go back the same way was even more dangerous.

She was very adamant & I was forced to turn back. I was reluctuant but did not want to antagonise her.

Just then my saviour HVK came on line and asked me the status. I told him about the phone call & I also told him that I was forced to turn back as the phone call had spooked my wife.

He said this common friend had also called him & updated him. HVK said he listened to him and told him as I was already very near Birpara meant I had passed through the wild life crossing area and I could drive on.

HVK - I should really hand it to him spoke with my wife calmly reassuring her and told her in clear terms with whole lot of conviction that he had full faith in the driving ability of MN and had in fact appreciated that I had done very well so far.

He said he was helping us from the comforts of his home / office from Mumbai when ever we spoke but it was MN who was driving on the ground & said she has to support MN at this time by not forcing him to turn back. 

Just 1 mistake does not mean it was an end. He said it does not make any sense to go back to Siliguri now which is some 150 kms away and another 3 to 4 hours of drive, which we have to again if we go back the next day to return in this same road.

He even told her about his solo drive on a Ind-Suzuki motor cycle way back in 1990 from Mmbai to Bhutan and how was chased by an elephant on that road at that wild life crossing late at night. Well it was comforting to hear him.

He assured her that he had full faith in MN and told her that he was again instructing me to turn the car back again towards Mala Bazar / Jaigaon.

So once again I had to turn the car back. HVK told me touching Jaigaon will not be possible as I had lost a lot of time & asked me to halt at Mala Bazar. It was becoming 11.30 PM night and he said chances of getting a room at this time was grim.

He gave me some phone numbers and I kept calling.  Finally I got through a hotel & at first they said no room. I told him I was travelling with my wife & 2 kids & told him we had got delayed etc. Once when I said I had children he asked us to come.

Finally I reached Hotel Kasturi @ 12.25 AM Mid Night and halted for the night there. It was very chill and the temperature was below 10 Deg C.

I took both my kids who were fast asleep from the car into the room. By the time we settled down it was past 1 AM mid night. I was really tired & the days passing had made me feel upset.

Day - 6

23.12.2010 (Thursday) Mala Bazar (West Bengal) to Thimpu (BHUTAN) = 281 kms

  • Starting Place: Mala Bazar (West Bengal)
  • Starting Km Reading: 5339 km @ Mala Bazar
  • Starting Time: 05.40A.M. Morning
  • Closing Km Reading: 5620 km @ Thimpu (Bhutan) 
  • Closing Time: 21.00 P.M. Night @ Thimpu
We were up by early morning 5 A.M. and got ready by 5.30 A.M. after a hot hot bath all 4 of us.

I should really say that both the kids were so co-operative & helpful without creating any fuss or throwing any tantrums for waking them up so early in the morning & giving them a bath & getting them ready.

After a quick repacking we came down and saw that the climate was very chill & cold. Temperature was 10 Deg C.

This is the place where we are supposed to take the left turn towards Binhaguri, Banarhat & Nagrakata and this will take us towards Jaldpara, Jaigaon & Phetsholing. The time was 6.00 AM Morning.

We witnessed an early morning sun rise & the majestic sun in all its grand RED color. Watching an early morning rising sun is a real treat.

At 6.37 AM we stopped at this place to watch the Sun against the bacground of a lonely tree & it looked just great again. Took some quick snaps & we were on our way to Jaigaon which is the last border town between INDIA & BHUTAN.

We crossed the Jaldpara Wild Life Sanctury and the statue of a Rhino outside the park main gate was inviting but we had to drive on. The time was 7.25 A.M. Morning.

We were passing through tea estates on both sides of the road now and we were 18 kms short of Jaigaon & Phetsholing and 190 Kms away from Thimpu the capital of Bhutan. The time was 7.56 AM.

When we saw the far away mountains which were looking white & eroded we never realised that we have to drive through thouse mountains towards Thimpu.

Here we are right infront of the main enterance to the beautiful Royal Kingdom of Bhutan.

This was our first trip where we were officially going to drive from one country into another country. It was a wonderful moment as we had driven from so  far away.

The odometer reading on the car on 23rd December 2010 at 8.30 AM Morning at Phetsholing was 5450 KMs.

We had stared from Coimbatore South India on 17th December 2010 at 10 P.M. Night and the odometer reading was 2126.

We had covered 3324 KMs one way from Coimbatore to Phetsholing Bhutan now.

I made my last phone call from my Mobile to HVK as after Jaigaon I was not sure whether I will be able to inform HVK any status updates. HVK wished us all the very best & have fun.

We first went in through the welcome arch which was guarded by Royal Bhutanses Soldiers. They did not stop us nor check us.

There a lot of Indians visiting Bhutan from North West India maily from Bengal / Assam etc.

I went straight in and further away I saw a car parking & safely parked the car. HVK had made it clear to park the car at designated car parking areas only.

Getting inside BHUTAN I felt like a satallite which was seperated from the booster rocket and leaving behind mother earth into the space and loosing contact with India. Indian Mobiles don't work inside BHUTAN & international roaming is very epxnsive too.

Although I had requested my mobile service provider AIRTEL to give me international roaming so that I could be in touch with HVK & my parents & in laws & friends the mobile did not work.

It was difficult for me to communicate to HVK our position. It was like being a baby being seperated from the umbalitical chord of the mother.

I enquired with the parking attendant as to where was the immigration counter where the permits are issued. It was just a small distance away.

We just went to that building and went to the 1st floor and we met an offficer on duty by 9 A.M. and asked her what the procedure was to get a permit.

She explained to us to get the application form from across a photocopy shop & fill it up and submit & a webcam will capture our photo. They needed a photo - ID proof.

I had carried passports of all 4 of us. We filled up the forms & submitted to get a permit. They took photos of me & my wife. They said it is not necessary to get permits done for small kids as they were our dependents.

It is better that we go to the immigration office early morning before 9 AM and be ready with the filled up forms & photo-ID proof to get the entry permit. This immigration office just after a petrol pump when you enter the main arch. Any local will be able to tell you.

We had some time till the permits to get ready & we went across to a hotel & had breakfast & were back & we collected our Permits.

You will be issued 2 types of permits at immigration office. The form below is called Special Permit for Restricted Areas in Bhutan. This office at Phetsholing gives permits only for visiting Thimpu City & another city called Paro.

Apart from this special permit every individual will be issued a entry permit for non-bhutanses visiting Bhutan. This is similar to the VISA stamping on your passport. Ofcourse they don't do any stamping on your passport.

Once you received the special area permit & individual visit permit for non-bhutanses visiting Bhutan get photocopies atleast some 6 sets of these. You will be needing them to be submitted at various check posts on the way.

After receiving these permits we went to RSTA (Road Safety Transport Authority) office this is similar to our RTO in India.

This department issues a permit for your vehicle be it a 2 wheeler / 4 wheeler which is coming from India on a visit to Bhutan.

This is the building where you have the RSTA office. This is a big bus stand and in this big building on the 2nd floor you will find RSTA office. Here you will be meeting Senior Transport officer.

Just outside his office there will be some staff & collect the forms and fill up all relevent details.

Make sure that you carry the 4 original documents related to your vehicle

1. R.C.Papers (Registration Certificate)
2. Driver's License (DL)
3. Vehicle Insurance
4. Pollution Check Certificate (Pollution Under control Certificate PUC).

Once you will up the form and attach the form with photo copies of the above 4 certificates submit them to the staff & the staff will submit it to the RSTA and he will verify & approve & then you will have to pay a fees for taking your car and they will give you an official receipt. 

Please remember the permit for the vehicle will be given only when you have received the permits from immigration office. The RSTA will ask for a photo copy of the entry permit ^ special permit to be attached with the form.

Here in this picture below my son Uthamkumar is with Mr.Sonam  Gyeltshen - Senior Transport officer of RSTA.

He was so thrilled to know that we had come all the way from South Indian city of Coimbatore just to visit Bhutan and we had travelled 3344 kms so far. He made me sit with him for more than 15~20 minutes just to talk about our trip so far & wanted to know about my previous trips.

Finally he was so happy he game me his visiting card & told me in case of any problems / issues while in Bhutan just to give him a call & he will help me out. Very kind of him. He was a nice man.

At last with all the original permits received for the passengers & for the car and after taking sufficient photo copies we headed on our way to Thimpu at 12.30 PM afternoon.

The distance from Phuetsholing to Thimpu as per this sign board below is 170 kms and if think we can make it in some 4 hours then we are mistaken. It will take some 6~7 hours of hilly terrain drive with roads winding and in many parts eroded and in very bad shape. In some ways these roads are dangerous if you are not used to hill driving.

On the way you will see how dangerous is the route, land slides, huge boulders fallen on the road side from the top of the mountain, rocks falling off from the cliffs, heavy wind, heavy fog, road filled with pot holes and tarmac eroded at many places and a lonely drive.

Before starting from Phuetsholing to Thimpu I tanked up my linea. Went to the pump next to immigration office (all pumps are run by Indian Oil Companies mostly IOC, BP & HP) Bhutan Oil Distributors and filled 30 liters of diesel @ Rs.37.24 per ltr and paid Rs.1117/-.

With tank full & a piece of mind we headed on our way to Thimpu.

We stopped at this monestary just for a while to take some photos. The time was 2.50 P.M.

I really enjoyed driving in this part. This road keeps going on & on and you can see at times the road in the far away mountain.

We stopped at this canteen called DANTAK Canteen run by Indian army. Indian army officers & jawans halt here for tea / coffee & snacks. I met an officer behind the counter and he was from Kerala. I latched on to him in Malayalam language & he was so thrilled.
He told me Saar please come inside & sit in this special room which is normally meant for the senior army officers when the visit this canteen. We were given some royal treatment & it felt like a great welcome. He ensured that we were served well and it was a pleasent experience.
I personally thanked him & shook hands with him and he wished us a happy journey & insisted that we pay a visit on our return journey. The time was 4.50 PM evening.

We stopped at this sign board at 7.10 PM and we had to still cover 54 KMs to Thimpu.

Finally we came across the check post & main enterance to Thimpu City at 7.55 PM and we have to stop here and get go the the check post & show all the papers and they will stamp and make a note of all details.

It is mandatory to stop at all check posts & show all documents. The temperatur outside was near ZERO & very chill & windy. If you are not used to this you can be in some discomfort. Well I had a heavy jeans jacket and inside I had worn warm clothing.

I was also using the heater inside the car as kids were feeling the cold. Now and then they would touch the rear glass & laugh & giggle and touch me or my wife to show how cold it was outside.

ZERO Degree Centigrade!!!

The traffic rules & regulations are to be followed very strictly. Bhutanses are very careful & good drivers & they are very courteous to give way.

They don't rush and drive rashly. They have patience at traffic. Direct contrast to Indians driving. We can leant a lot from these people.

Finally we reached Thimpu city at 9 P.M. Night and found a good hotel for stay. We stayed at HOTEL SINGEY. The room was very specious & big & neat. The tariff was Rs.1300/- per day.
Luckily there were 3 cots and they gave us 1 room heater & we requested them to give us another as we had 2 small kids. They were very accomodative & helpful.
We ordered for hot parathas, dal fry & white rice hot milk for kids, the dinner cost us Rs.493/- and after dinner slept off after a tiring journey.
In Bhutan the Indian Rupee and Bhutan Currancy called Nu is converted 1 to 1. i.e Rs.1 = Nu.1 So you can give them Indian rupees and they will accept and give change in a mix of Indian currency & Bhutanses Nu. Avoid carrying notes of Rs.1000/- demonination as they are not accepted as there is a lot of fake & counterfiet Rs.1000/- notes in circulation in North India.

We had some good staff at this hotel who became our friends. Tanka Prasad Sharma who was called TP by his friends, a beautiful lady by name Devi a cheerful lady by name Sonam.

TP was very kind enough to give me his personal mobile & I hade phone calls to HVK first & informed him briefly the developments after Jaigoan to Thimpu. He congratulated all of us & very pleased with the result. He asked me to put a local Bhutan Tel SIM and use it for 3 ~ 4 days.

I called up my parents, in-laws & some of my friends and also sent a lot os SMSes to people who were keeping track of my journey. Thanks TP. I paid him for all the calls & requested him to get me a prepaid SIM for 3~4 days use which I got it next day morning itself.
The hotel details are
Thimpu, Bhutan
Tel: (0) 975 - 2 - 333229

Read the next Blog on Days 7 & 8 Click on this link.


  1. Just some additional info. What MN joined at Dalkola was the great East-West Corridor of Indian highways which connects Silchar in Assam to Porbandar in Gujarat. It is 4-laned as you can see from the pictures, and passes a bit of Bihar too (Kishnaganj town).

    The wrong turning in Sevoke Coronation Bridge cost you at least 2 hours extra, but such things happen!

    It is indeed a wildlife zone after Sevoke and before Jaigaon, but you can encounter wild life any time of the day or night. As MN mentioned, I was charged by a wild elephant in this sector during one of my drives. It was quite a tense moment for all of us, we were tossing if it was too much of a risk that MN was taking by driving on, but I reckoned that he had already crossed one of the wild life zones (after Sevoke) and the next one was near Jaldapara which he would not go to that day anyway.

    What was more difficult was to locate a decent hotel for MN. I had stayed at a seedy lodge in Birpara during one of my trips and the only decent hotel I know of in that area was the WBTDC's jungle resort at Jaldapara, but that was too far off and remote. Moreover, they did not have room to spare that night. Happily, MN got this hotel in Mal Bazaar, however bad it was.

    Great day's drive, MN!

  2. If you have international roaming on your phone, you will get mobile connectivity at all major towns in Bhutan, but roaming charges are very expensive - something like Rs 4 a minute or so!

    The DANTAK Canteen has been having Mallu caretakers for as long as I can remember - I got top-flight treatment during my drive in 1994 and also in 2009 thanks to the Mallu connection!

    In 2009, we had "birthday" lunch (my wife's birthday) of Maggi noodles at the DANTAK canteen.

    How bad were the roads from Phuntsoling to Thimphu - I think they were being widened when you went?

    Winter in Bhutan - quite a chilling experience! Good to see the kids looking so cheerful and fresh - they have the travel spirit and determination all right!

  3. Amazing photographs of signboards on the road - they tell their own story!

  4. HVK Sir, I agree with you. After Sevoke there is a wildlife crossing & around Jaldapara there is another wild life crossing. How ever the area in that part looks like it is still part of the Jungle & the jungle boy Mougli can be playing around some where with his animals.

    Some parts of the roads through tea gardens & estates we pass were in very bad shape & full of pot holes & camel humps. You got to be very careful if we are driving a low Ground Clerance car. I never seen my wife so agitated after that phone cal from our mutual friend Rahul Kumar who advised us not to be travelling on that road at that dead of the night.

    The worst part was the phone call got abruptly cut off due to bad signal & I wasn't able to pick him up again & ask for some help to spend a night at the army camp where I just needed to spend some 6 hours. But I never was able to reach him not he called me back. From that time it was terrible till Jamuna insisted me to turn back.

    Glad that within next 10~15 minutes you came back & spoke with us around 11 PM night and completely reassured my wife & calmed her down, else it would have been a longway back to Siliguri.

    DANTAK Canteen experience is still fresh sir. The Malayalee Staff was from Thrissur and was very friendly & made us feel very relaxed & took good care of us. Hospitality at its best sir.

    Roads from Phutsholing to Thimpu was a mixed one in many places due to heavy rains of last year the roads had been washed away / damaged that were being relaid & repaired and landslides were being cleared and it is a loosing battle with nature's fury during monsoon. In some parts the end of the road itself was washed away deep below the mountain.

    Thanks to HVK Sir & every one for reading thru the blog & enjoying it.

  5. Absolutely fantastic one sir :)
    Felt like as if I was traveling all the way long to Bhutan. Very descriptive and informative a tour enthusiast can possibly gather. Loved each and every day to day description of your tour till Thimpu. As a tour enthusiast, I loved to see these kind of blogs providing even the smallest information, that shows how great you have enjoyed the trip :)
    Great one once again sir :)


  6. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your your tickets in Bus Ticket Booking