Solo Dream Drive towards North East 2016…Day (23) Hasimara-Gangtok

13th March 2016, Sunday…Day (23) Hasimara-Gangtok 240 km

Is it Punjab?

I asked myself when I got out of my car parked outside a Gurdwara in Hasimara. Almost all truck drivers who took night break at the place were from Punjab, spoke punjabi and went inside the Gurdwara for prayers first up.

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Lalpari parked outside Gurdwara in Hasimara.

The drive from Hasimara to Malbazar in the early morning hours was beautiful. The butter smooth road passed through forests, rivulets and large tea gardens.

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Beautiful road from Hasimara to Malbazar

At Malbazar I stopped at the same shop ‘Pandit Mistanna Bhander’ from where I had poori/bhaji and amazing gulab jamun on my way up. Hot Poori/bhaji and gulab jamun were heavenly this time too.

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Poori/Bhaji at Malbazar
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Yummy gulab jamun at Malbazar
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Pandit Mistanna Bhander at Malbazar

The sight of train hurrying through the beautiful dooars, crossing over wonderfully build bridges was an amazing sight to behold. Luckily I got the opportunity and took picture of Lalpari when the train was passing over a beautiful bridge.

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Lalpari with the train running over the bridge
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Beautiful road from Malbazar to Sevoke

Again the drive from Malbazar to Sevoke was wonderful, passed through dense forest and many rivulets. From Sevoke I turned right towards Gangtok instead of left to Siliguri from where I had arrived on my way up. At that time I could not appreciate the beauty of the road and surroundings as I drove during the night.

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Amazing, 1941 built Coronation Bridge at Sevoke, the bridge is also called Baghpool by locals due to statue of tigers near the bridge
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After crossing the Sevoke Bridge, the road to Gangtok

From Sevoke the road ran along the beautiful green furiously flowing Teesta River. The road became bumpy and narrow but the landscape became even better.

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Submerged trees in Teesta River
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Bifurcation for Darjeeling and Gangtok

After driving for few kilometers on Gangtok road at another bifurcation I took right upper road and reached Kalimpong (14 km) by mistake instead of Gangtok. Turned back and joined the same road again.

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On Kalimpong Road
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The shop covering the direction board which lead to my mistake.

Soon I reached Melli or Melli Bazar, the border town between West Bengal and Sikkim. It is one of the few places in India which falls under two states. The two parts of the city is joined by a bridge, the longest in Sikkim. Melli looked a bustling crowded place.

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Melli, the town lying in both West Bengal and Sikkim states

From Melli, the road became better and the traffic more systematic. The difference was stark and quite visible in the way the traffic moved and the vehicles were parked. The homes looked cleaner, decorated with plants and flowers.

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MG Road, Gangtok

Reached Gangtok at around 6pm evening. The city looked beautiful, systematic and very well organised. Like any other city, was way crowded, no place for parking. Unlike North one can not park vehicle anywhere, there are places reserved for parking. The parking places that I checked charged Rs.150- and were all full.

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Had fabulous chicken egg roll from the place

Could not find parking in any of the parking places and kept driving here and there. Finally I saw a row of cars parked on a side near a hotel at Kazi Road. There was ample space for parking my car, parked the car and walked down to MG Road. MG Road was so refreshingly beautifully, decorated with fresh flowers and sparkling clean. It was jam packed with cheerful tourists and merry making locals alike.

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Map of the route followed for the day

The road had number of guest houses, restaurants, eating joints, shops and offices on both sides. Had amazing time walking through the road, enjoyed yummy chicken egg roll from Khan Uncle which was enough for dinner that night.

It started drizzling followed with heavy wind. I went walked back to where my car was parked. No one was there on the road, pulled the covers over, slipped into the car and slept, my first night inside the car at Sikkim, yet another adventurous night………………!!!

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