The excitement of hitting the road again did not allow me to sleep all night. The 630 kilometer road from Calcutta to Chalsa (Dooars) is far from simple. It took months of planning (mostly reading other travelogues), to even decide on a possible route.
There are three or four possible options for a roadtripper traveling from Calcutta to the mountains (or in our case the forest) of North Bengal. Road Condition is far from healthy for most part of each of these routes.
Geometrically speaking the most viable route is via NH 34. But parts of this road is in shambles. The other route often used by veteran road trippers is a little detour via Bhagalpur and Dumka. But, news is, this route has become unusable in recent times. Parts of the road is totally broker, traffic congestion in VikramShila Setu near Bhagalpur is almost equally terrifying as that of Kaliachowk.
After experimenting with google maps, reading other travelogues, I have decided on the following route:
- Calcutta to Burdwan (via Durgapur Expressway)
- Burdwan to Moregram (via SH 7)
- Moregram to Farakka to Maldah to Raiganj (via NH 34)
- Raiganj to Botolbari to Islampur (sidestepping the Dalkhola traffic)
- Islampur to Siliguri to Chalsa
Journey begins at 8 PM today (19th). I will keep posting what happens. Stay tuned.