Agartala to Silchar .... and then to Aizawl
11th December 2011:
Today SK will fly back to Mumbai from Agartala ... while I continue my tour to Mizoram and then Meghalaya.
I have to go back to Silchar to go to Aizawl. Though Google Maps shows a branch-off as NH44A from Manu (on NH44) in Tripura going to Aizawl, I was told there is no such road!!
Got up early at 4:30AM and after a hot shower was packed and down at Ginger gate waiting for the Auto booked for 5:30AM. Not surprising that guy didn't turn up, so took another one to Agartala Railway station (Rs150) arriving at 6:15AM and stood in a long line to buy an unreserved seat ticket to Dharmanagar.
Got into the 52579 Dhramangar Pass the only train that leaves Agartala early morning 6:45AM. Managed to get a seat along with 3 other in one of the cubicle with 3 gentlemen who were marketing types for Health Product. the train got pretty crowded before it started at 7:00AM
This return journey through Tripura, in daylight, helped soak in the countryside a lot better. We reached Dharmanagar at 11:45 about an hour late.
Outside the station got into share-maxx that left at 12:30PM when it was full up and loaded with 10 PAX
(Rs 200 per seat)
. Meanwhile, in the company of the 3 new friends had Boiled-eggs & Roti, as sort of lunch, from a tea shop at the taxi stand outside the station.
The roads were pretty bad in Assam and so it was a rough ride; still an interesting ride to see South Cachar areas. We went mostly on NH44 via Patharkandi, Neelambazar, Badarpur etc.
We reached Silchar at 4:30PM and I went with the 3 guys (Malik, Chakravrthy & Dr ) to Hotel Sudakshina on Shillongpatty. An OK hotel, with decent DBL Room (Rs 425) centrally located.
12th December 2011:
Had to stay one more day in Silchar to get my Mizoram ILP extended as teh old one was expiring on 13th. In the morning around 10AM went in a auto to Mizoram Hse on Sonai Rd for ILP (Rs 120). Had to go again at 3PM to collect it. Also booked a #1 front window seat (Rs 300) to Aizawl at Queen Sumo counter near the Mizo Hse for 9AM Dep. Rest of the time spent relaxing in Hotel and roaming around a bit in Shillonpatty area. The streets were noisy, dirty and full of dust & filth.
13th December 2011:
Checked out and reached Sonai Rd by 8:30AM but the Sumo came late and we left at 9:20AM. Again the first 40KM of road in Assam was pretty bad and under widening. But once we entered Mizoram at Vairengate the roads became good.
We stopped for lunch at Manipuri-Market and then reached Mizoram via Vairengte Checkpost at 11:15AM. the driver got down to show Sumo Docs and all Pax-ILPs as a bunch at the Counter. We were off in 5 minutes and the nice Ghat section roads started twisting and turning all the way to Aizawl. We stopped somewhere again for lunch (I had boiled eggs & tea).
We lost 45 Minutes just half-hour before Aizawl when our Sumo got into a rut by the roadside with wheels spinning and failing to get traction. It too effort of several drivers, mechanics and tools to pull the Sumo out!
We finally reached Aizawl's Zarkawt point at 5:00PM when it was already dark. I g
ot off just crossed the road to check into Tropicana Hotel - basic but OK DBL with TV at Rs 660 per night.