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Posts posted by sb-alto

  1. Those are awesome pictures. I love your attention to details. Superb. Waiting for more.

    Awesome Pics!


    Amazing set of photos, well captured and thank you for sharing. I must say, you have maintained this black beauty very well. :)

    Thanks PH , Hersch and Sstar I enjoy clicking pictures :). I am glad that all of you liked it.

    Visiting here and there, sitting beside the Ganges and an escape from the city was the only purpose of the tour. Got some good pictures to share and some experience which I will not forget in a while. On the fourth day we took NH34 all the way back to Kolkata, in a 5 hours journey. The road is better than before, although not the best one to enjoy driving.

    Some pictures of the road and the end of one 637 kms of journey.


  2. Murshidabad was the capital of Bengal before the entry of the British. Nawab Siraj was the last ruling emperor of Bengal before he lost to the English soldiers because of conspiracy. Hazar Duari, meaning 1000 doors is the name of the building where the king used to live. There are a lot of mosques and some antique buildings which are popular shooting spots for the Indian film industry.

    Another attraction is the river Ganges that flow just beside the royal palace and our hotel. Our hotel called Manjusha is one hotel which is on the banks of the Ganges. The hotel is not luxurious, but its location makes it the most desirable hotel to stay in Murshidabad. We took rooms on the ground floor facing the river as the first floor was occupied. From the roof top the view of the royal palace is awesome and the sound of the flowing river water makes it even more beautiful.

    Some more pictures of the surroundings.


    Other places to see are multiple mosques with mughal architecture and beautiful carvings. Some of these buildings have been subjected to ill maintenance before ASI took over.



  3. Day 2

    The second day was more or less the same. Me and my dad spent most of the time photographing the nature while my mother enjoyed roaming around, doing nothing. In the afternoon we had a quick visit to a small riverside which the locals call "kopai". We decided to head towards Murshidabad by the end of the day. After 2 days of roaming around in Bolpur, at 5pm we left for Murshidabad.

    The road towards Murshidabad is worth talking about. The road is the widest single lane road I have ever seen, which heads towards Darjeeling, Bhutan etc. The road is between dense forest and has very few traffic. A few years back this place was unsafe at night, but with the increasing traffic and use of this road, due to the worse condition of NH34, the road is of no worry now.

    So we leave Bolpur and head towards Murshidabad


    More pictures of the road that lay ahead of us.

  4. Dad was right about the camera part as well. This place is a photographers delight. Not many time people get to experience nature so close and so pure. Many of us visit the mountains and seas and brag about how beautiful places these are, true, but a place so beautiful without commercial tourist establishments is a delight.

    When was the last time you heard the sound of silence, seen the starry sky, followed the butterflies and walked on dew filled grass? What if there was no android, no clubs, no internet, no BBM and all that we live with.? Questions like these are answered here.

    Let the photographs do the talking.



    At night the guest house looked even more beautiful with a few bulbs and darkness all around. Some pictures of the guest house at night



    With nothing to do and roam around lazy, I got the perfect opportunity to brush up my photographic skills. The flora and fauna will amaze all. Let the pictures do the talking



  5. After our first stop, we moved on till Burdwan, where we took a right to Bolpur-Shantiniketan highway. The road is a two lane with marker divider. The freshly laid tarmac is a delight to drive, but one can only do around 40-50kmph due to sudden appearances of cattle and unsafe commuting vehicles. From burdwan it is an hour's journey to Bolpur. But our so called place to stay is 9km away from Bolpur. The village is called Kamarpara, where there is a guest house which is established on 4-5 acres of village land. The road soon showed where it leads.

    After reaching Bolpur at around 8:30am, we took the village road towards our destination. The "kachha" road is 1km till we reached "Aro Aakash", our guest house. As we enter the village, silence struck us. Dad was so right! Remote is the word. No electricity, no concrete house, no bricks, no mobile networks, no dish Tv, no nothing. Acres of trees and greenery surround us at any point. All houses in the vicinity is made of mud with thatched roof and tribal paintings.So is our guest house. Curious eyes of the villagers were fixed on our car as if it was a rolls royce phantom or so.

    The village road

    The guest house

    After we settled in for the day in our hut, we decided to visit the University campus in the afternoon. The day was hot and humid with partly cloudy sky. The university was established by Rabindranath Tagore and around 3000 students are part of this university. The unique nature of this university is that, there are no classrooms, but tree shades where classes take place. There is a huge garden and mango orchard where the classes are conducted. Most of Tagore's work were inspired by the nature of this place.


  6. Wow youre back with another travelogue. Looking forward to your next posts :)

    Thanks PH. I hope everyone likes it.

    Day minus 1

    The day before the journey (4th of June) was spent packing cameras, filling up the petrol tank, checking tyre pressure and cleaning the car. Google map was referred before as I do not have any GPS device, nor can depend on my Micromax Canvas A100 for navigation as mobile tower will not be available after about 100kms from my place. Dad gave me a brief idea about how remote the village is going to be. The resort is lit by solar lamps and electricity is considered some substance before the era of Benjamin franklin. So charging all electrical devices was on priority. 3 light travel bags and a dedicated camera bad was our companion and all these got comfortably in the boot of our Alto. The bags were even loaded the night before to avoid delay in leaving early. We went to bed by 10pm to make sure we have a good night sleep, so that we can start by 5 in the morning.

    Day 1

    Tripmeter set to zero, we start our journey at exactly 5 am in the morning. Within 15 minutes we reach airport and take left towards my favorite road NH2. The first stop was at Shaktigarh again (like all our trips) for light breakfast and tea.

  7. ..this time it was planned. Dad was ready with some plan which I was completely unaware of. With 15 days left of my going back to Hyderabad and with the welcome shower of monsoon, we are out on roads, again.

    I was told that some sort of resort was pre booked in my absence and dad promised that it will be an experience that I never had. The packing started a day before and cameras were the top priority as we will experience a village like a village. So a village it was.


    "About 150kms"

    How do we go ?

    "Easy, NH2 till Burdwan, then to a place called Bolpur"

    But we have already been to Bolpur !!

    "No, this isnt the Bolpur everyone visits, its beyond the reach of "Tagore"

    This was not the end of the trip. The plan was to reach a place called Murshidabad about 120km more from Bolpur where the last of the nawabs ruled in Bengal just before the British took control over bengal.

    (Yon can read about Bolpur and Murshidabad here and )

  8. sid

    Your car can only house H4 bulbs, which have H/L beam integrated into one bulb. Generally cars with twin barrel headlamp setup have h7 setups with two different bulbs.

    If you are looking to improve light then both nightbreakers and extreme vision are good options. They are available in h4 options.

    There are some very good projector setup for sx4, which you can import from outside. They will be costly though.

  9. Excellent review Tenida. That was extremely detailed with very nice pictures. I wish many happy and safe miles.

    The Alto is extremely fuel efficient and reliable.

    The only objection that I have with this current Alto is the absence of bumper. To achieve space and length compatibility most cars today have super thin bumpers. The old Alto had good amount of plastic ahead of the bonnet and same behind the hatch door. But the new alto's front has almost nothing and the slightest hit will affect metal hood.

    One more thing : Are there any provision for front speakers ? From the pics I could not find one. That is not a very good way of cost cutting if it is absent.

    Also is the other Alto in picture yours? :)

  10. Thanks everyone for the appreciation. Two more travel lined up, one is Chandipur and the other is Farakka. Planning is on for both.

    @Prancing Horse :

    This is the west bengal state tourism hotel. Kind of a bunglow converted into a hotel. The location is very good compared to the private one. The DVC guest house is also well located facing lake but car park is a problem. This one had its own car park inside the premises.

    View of the hotel from the lake

    The view of the lake from the balcony

    The car parked inside the hotel

    The car on the lake front

  11. Some pictures of the GPK temples as we reach there.

    GPK is a forest area, and like most forest area, it also has it forest trail which reaches a lonely forest department bunglow. We decided to visit the bunglow for lunch. The road to the forest bunglow.

    After some time we headed towards Panchet dam, which is just 4 kms away from the GPK area. There is nothing much to see in Panchet other than the dam and the drive on the dam is a must do. Taking pictures is restricted from the gates, but one can take snap on the road and surroundings.

    Around 3:30pm we headed back to Maithon dam to view sunset. The lake is bigger with lots of island inside and the water is blue green coloured which looks nice during daytime. The road to Maithon from panchet was almost non existing before (as I read in other forums and travelogues) but we were surprised to find freshly laid tarmac and beautiful roads.

    Two strokes autos are abundant in Bihar and Jharkhand. They have POWER BRECKS too :P

    The roads back to maithon has some unruly traffic with trucks coming from all the wrong sides possible. We encountered some jams because of that.

    We enter maithon dam.

    Since it was Sunday afternoon, we decided to check the WBTDC hotel which is superbly located on a hill facing the lake. We got vacant room as most people left for Monday's work. So we shifted to the WBTDC hotel within half an hour.

    The way to WBTDC hotel

    The building

    View from the balcony

    Mom and Dad sitting in the balcony enjoying the view

    Around 6pm we decided to head towards the lake to see the sunset. Although there was some cloud formation by that time, still I got some sunset shots.

    A lone street lamp having a normal 100watt bulb hangs down the twisted road. Just one out of 10 such lamps glow today.

    Monday morning we headed back to kolkata.

  12. Day 2:

    We had a good dinner followed by a good sleep last night. The place was dark and the sound of silence amazed us. The morning was greeted with a bright sun and the sound of so many different kinds of birds. We had bread-omlete for breakfast at around 7am and left for our first destination called "Garhpanchakot" (GPK) which is ruins of a very old fort with five temples. The place is at the base of a hillock which is around 30kms from Maithon hotel. It is inside a forest and only two temples stand today. Since this place was threatened by Maoist so people do not visit this place now. When we went there, we were the only family there and the road was untouched by any other car.

    One important thing I always maintain during tours is the FE. Forum members who read about my previous travelogues might remember about FE my car returned. Some glimpse are shared here too.

    Tank was filled at 5.4kms from 0km odo. Refer to the first pic.

    The early morning start

    The first view of GPK

    The road to the hillock is a small one with dry leaves and almost no locality. Rarely one can find tribals on the way whose primary occupation is cutting logs or grazing cow heards. Some glimpse of the road to hillock.

    My car on the way to the hillock


    This was our final destination, with most of the drive on the GQ(Golden Quadrilateral). NH2 to Delhi is one of the best highways around and I was expecting some superior FE again from my car, which on previous occasions have delivered around 24-25kmpl on the same route.

    The Indian Oil COCO pump was five kms away and we headed that way to fill up our

    We stopped by a place called Shaktigarh which is famous for its sweets called "Langcha"

    Our start had some more delay as we stopped by some shops to pick up some snacks and some time was wasted in an ATM which failed to deliver cash after some attempts. The next ATM had a big queue and Dad had to wait for 20mins before his turn. With some delay we reached Shaktigarh at around 2:30pm.

    Within an hour of drive more we were greeted by super heavy rainfall with zero visibility all around. The rain was so heavy that all cars and buses travelling via that road had to stop aside with both indicators blinking. So did we.

    The rain stopped after some 40-45 mins but light drizzle continued till sunset.

    The sunset from my car.

    Golden drops of water as sunset fell on the windscreen

    We continued with slight rainfall. The breeze was cool and I was driving slowly to enjoy the breeze.

    We reached Maithon dam around 6:30pm in the evening, by the time it was dark and we had to move in to the hotel which we booked. There are only three hotels in Maithon, one private (where we stayed) called Hotel Shantinivas (Room Rent : Rs 1200/- for a double bed room and Rs200 extra for extra bed), one run by WBTDC which one needs to book one week before (same room rent) and the third is run by DVC (Damodar Valley Corporation) which can be booked from DVC office Ultadanga, Kolkata. The last two was packed, so we moved into the private one.

  14. At one golden stage of my life, I used to think that only school- colleges are a daily affair and the office life is all about earning money and spending as you wish. So wrong I was !. Ever since I took admission in a B school in hyderabad I got myself separated from my beloved little car. The chance to get back to it came just a few days before when I was selected to work for a company as an intern for three months in Kolkata.

    Spicejet SG871 landed in NSCB airport exactly at 1:20pm and within 2 I reached home to find my car washed and ready to roll. For the last 1 year of my absence it ran just about 2000km. So, the very happy ME took it for a spin with tire pressure and engine checked. All oils topped and a layer of Formula1 polish was done on the same day.

    30th morning was gloomy with light rain and dark clouds all over. I woke up around 8am and still felt lazy. Mom and Dad was discussing about how the last night's rain and dark clouds helped in lowering the heat level of Kolkata which was till day before some 38 degress or so and the discussion went ahead with past experiences of our tours where we experienced such weather. Soon my phone rang with a good news. No office on Monday !! So I had 30th 31st and 1st as holiday.

    "Should we leave?"

    Dad : "where?"

    Mom : " I am not ready!! The house maid is late and cooking not yet done ........ and so on"

    Dad : " But where . We wont get bookings online anywhere on weekends, that too at 9:30 am"

    and the search began. BCM touring and Team BHP search ended up with two likely place that we can reach by today even if we leave at 12pm max. Both Mom and Dad sounded happy if the place is good enough and we get to stay somewhere. The excited me started making phone calls. Chandipur in Orissa is a sea beach, and Maithon-Panchet dam in the state of Jharkhand is a half hill with hydel projects having beautiful lakes and scerenity. Bookings in the govt tourist bunglow is full at Chandipur, which is about 270kms from my home. One call in Hotel Shantinivas in maithon dam turned out positive. Distance was around 250kms.

    Suddenly all of us at home became super active and the necessary packing started. The house maid who arrived a bit late was asked to rush at things, lunch was light with some omission in items and we got ready for the sudden trip. The HP mini notebook and relinace netconnect plus was taken for assistance in road queries.

    and so we leave :)

    The map for Chandipur.

    To be continued ...

  15. All these cars(SUVs to be precise) are unloaded in kidderpore dock. These generally come from countries like Japan, China, Korea and Thailand. The common route is kona expressway- nh6-nh2-nh34-bhutan. NH34 is in such pathetic condition and narrow that you cannot drive a car carrier. So these cars are driven off to bhutan. Bhutan has some of the best collection of SUVs and MUVs. They get the updated version of the suv's as soon as they are launched as they follow a free market international trade.