East By North-East: My Blue Diamond Did It Fast

J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Shillong

Purple Cheetah brought us safely from Imphal to Shillong via Silchar after a strenuous drive of 14.5 hours, passing through many traffic jams, bazaars, bad roads and what-not. On the next day, we visited living root bridge and India-Bangladesh border.

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J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
Homeward Bound: Shillong>Bhubaneswar>Chennai

Dense fog with very poor visibility prevailed from midnight to early morning from Dalkhola to Burdwan in WB and Vijayawada to Nellore in AP on both the legs of the homeward drive. I drove with the front and rear fog lamps and lower beam of headlamps. The bad roads in WB made it worse. In AP, I followed an APSRTC Garuda Volvo bus leaving a clear gap of few hundred metres for a considerable distance. Every now and then, my wife used to wake up from sleep and warn me to park it by the road side as many truckers did. I used to repeat the same excuse that it was more dangerous to park on the shoulders in that almost nil visibility conditions than driving slowly and carefully with the front and rear fog lamps on. After hearing me, she used to go back to her sleep again!

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P Cheetah brought us home, sweet home safely and comfortably at 8:20 am on 16/01/2018 after getting its tankful after a trouble-free drive of 6,942 km in 16 days across 8 states. No puncture. No breakdown. No accident. No cop/RTO problem.


Now, it is time to announce the best awards in different categories.

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My sincere thanks to all, who expressed appreciation and liked this drive report.

NE drive report concluded.
 

J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
East By North-East: My Blue Diamond Did It Fast

My Blue Diamond - aka Nexon XZA+ AMT Diesel - took us for a big ride. Now, we have visited all the seven states of the North-East.


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J.Ravi

Petrol Powered + Diesel Driven
If planning a mega drive across India is a simple task, execution of it is a tougher one, involving many stake holders for its successful completion. I had planned for a mega drive to Sach Pass>Killar-Kishtwar Cliffhanger Road>Mughal Road, which is still in cold storage from the last several years due to one reason or the other. So, I planned for a quick trip to Mizoram and Tripura, the two states that we did not visit in the North-East. My 6-month old Nexon XZA+ AMT Diesel - aka Blue Diamond - was ready for the mega drive to the NE. I quickly booked our accommodation at Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Agartala, Shillong and Bhubaneswar before we left Chennai. I did not reserve the hotel room at Aizawl, which we regretted later. My wife packed enough idlies and side dish for dinner and breakfast. We left our Chennai Royapettah home at 6:20 pm on 19 Jan 2019. I selected our departure time to ensure our arrival at Ginger Bhubaneswar at 2 pm, the next day, which was the check-in time specified.

We had our dinner after crossing Sullurupeta, AP. I enjoyed driving on the well-lit 6 lane Guntur-Vijayawada in the night. I thank my Facebook friend Chalapathi Rao N for suggesting Nidadavolu-Dowleswaram bridge route via SH for crossing the Godavari river to reach Rajahmundry, thus saving 32 km and a toll. Google Maps too suggested the same route. But, NaviMaps recommended the roundabout route on NH. I followed the first two recommendations. A lot of road works were in progress between Vizag and Srikakulam, making my driving not an easy and comfortable one.

We reached Reliance pump at Girisola, OD at 11 am, where we had our morning ablution and breakfast. We reached Ginger Bhubaneswar at exactly 2 pm on 20 Jan 2019. After checking in, unpacking and wash, we arrived at our favourite Priya, Jaydev Vihar only to find out that it was closed for cleaning and would reopen at 4 pm. Then, hungry we were, we drove to Jugaad Jn, which was closed due to Sunday. Again, we came back and had an early dinner at Priya. Afterward, we drove to BP COCOO for tankful for Blue Diamond and returned to Ginger for a well-deserving rest.

On 21 Jan 2019, we checked out at 10 am after nice buffet breakfast and continued our drive. We lunched at Shere Punjab, Kolaghat. The next 7.12 Crore INR Question - aka Million Dollar Question - was, how to cross the Ganga river, via Vikramshila Setu or Farakka Barrage? Here, my Facebook friend Sheel Priye, Google Maps and NaviMaps were united and recommended the Farakka Barrage bridge route. I followed their advice and crossed Farakka Barrage at 11:30 pm on 21 Jan 2019. We were allowed to drive on the wrong side and join the queue at the beginning, which started moving just then. The queues for lorries were many km long. Even buses were allowed to use the wrong side carriageway to to join the queue at the beginning. Then, I took 50-km long Botolbori-Dhantola shortcut to join the NH, which was very good, except for the last 350 m that contained craters and mountain-like undulations.

Before crossing the Farakka Barrage, we were stopped at a barricaded check-post about 50 km before Moregram by a team of WB cops at 9:30 pm. I was photographed along with Blue Diamond with clear registration number plate and also with the rear hatch door open, displaying the luggage after asking for where from and where to. After hearing my answers, they were smiling at each other. While I was photographed, another cop cross-checked my answers with my wife. They did not ask for car's documents. Again, we were stopped by WB cops at Alipurdwar check-post near WB-AS border. One cop asked for the vehicle documents, which I submitted. Then, he wanted the car's emission certificate. When I told him that mine was a new car and PUC was not required for the first year, he disagreed. I requested him to search Google. Then, he consulted his boss and allowed me to proceed without any monetary loss. ,

So, here we were in Ginger Guwahati. Our fourth visit, but the maiden one for Blue Diamond. The only agenda was to visit Mizoram house and get ILP. We drove to Mizoram House, GS Road, Guwahati on 23 Jan 2019 in the morning and submitted applications for the inner line permits [ILP] for self and wife with ₹ 240 [₹ 120 x 2] in cash, our photographs and photocopies of our Aadhaar cards. The lady officer there gave information brochure, booklets and maps of Mizoram without my asking for them. We returned there in the afternoon and got ILP. Last year, we got ILP within 10 minutes after submission of documents at Nagaland House, Guwahati.

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Sushil Rajbhoj

New Member
Started reading one travelogue, ended reading three, keep going--- waiting
One question which vehicle you liked most out of three?
which one you will prefer manual or AMT?
 
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