Sunday, February 22, 2015

Digboi - Margherita - Deomali - Khonsa : Monsoon Ride 2014

Monsoon Ride 2014

Digboi - Margherita - Deomali - Khonsa

Bikers Of Assam Touring Club decided to organise a ride every year during the Monsoon Season to experience the enhanced beauty of Nature. Everything fresh and beautiful. Last year we went to Namdapha Tiger Reserve & National Park, Miao, Arunachal Pra. We visited the Miao Mini Zoo & Tibetian Refugee Camp & Carpet Center. 

This year we decided to visit Khonsa in Tirap District of Arunachal Pradesh in a invitation of a online friend. Khonsa is a hill station & headquater of Tirap District. There are two routes to Khonsa one is via Margherita & another is via Naharkatia, Assam. We choosed the Margherita route as it is suitable for most of our bikers & some told Naharkatia route is in pathetic condition.

Our members Jayanta, Bijoy, Om Prakash, Jatin and Myself were fully determined to stick to our plans and complete the roadtrip at any cost.

It was decided that all the bikers will meet at Digboi Park. My friend Jatin accompanied me as a pillion. We started our journey from Duliajan at 5.30AM. The weather was cloudy & drizzling. When we entered Dehing Patkai Reserve Forest it started raining heavily. We were in our Rainsuits & continued riding. After few mins water started entering our boots. We tightened the laces of our boots but nothing helped. There was no place to stop as we were in middle of the jungle. When we reached Digboi we stopped before a closed shop, opened our shoes & squeezed our socks to dry and wore it again. When we called our friends, we came to know that Jayanta's bike got punctured & will take some time in repairing. He was accompanied by Om.

It was raining heavily so we stopped in a Shop near Digboi Park. At 7AM when it stopped raining we asked Bijoy our rider from Digboi to come to a beautiful area near Golf field. 

Bijoy reached there after few mins. The weather was cloudy but not raining. We clicked some photos & chatted. We called Jayanta he said he was coming. We waited there for an hours, started feeling bored & hungry. 

It was already 8.45AM and we were still in Digboi. We called Jayanta twice but he dint pick up the phone, maybe he was riding. It started raining again, we decided to ride ahead to Margherita and have breakfast. 

When we stopped in a shop to recharge our mobile & we told we are going to Khonsa, he seriously asked " Kathor ne Koila karbar ". He thought we were Wood Smugglers We reached Magherita & had our breakfast. Jayanta & Om reached there after few mins.

At 10.15AM we started our journey, it was raining. We entered Dirok Tea Estate where we asked a local about the route & road condition to Khonsa. He told Upto Deomali the road is under construction and Deomali-Khonsa road condition is bad. We will reach there by evening. It was nearly 30KM to Deomali & 70km to Khonsa so we thought we will reach there in 2-3hrs & return back by evening.

It was raining & we started riding through the tea garden. The rain made the view more fresh, green & beautiful. We were really enjoying the ride. When we entered the Dehing Patkai Forest & we needed to ride uphill my bike chain started making wierd sound. Maybe the heavy rain washed away the lubricant. Thankfully Jayanta had some chain oil in his bag & he lubricated our chains.

We started riding again. After few mins we crossed Dirok River & reached Mopaya Gate. The security personal took our details and allowed us to enter Arunachal. The village was thinly populated but the huts & environment made us feel we were in Arunachal. We crossed an army battlion camp & reach Ramakrisna Mission, Norottam Nagar. The compound was very well maintained & looked beautiful. We reached Deomali by 12.05PM & stopped there for few mins.

We crossed Deomali Gate and started riding through the jungle again. We reached a Tinali where one leads to Khonsa & other leads to Joypore. One local man in Deomali told us that roads to Khonsa & Joypore are almost same. If you can ride upto Khonsa then you can also ride to Joypore .

We took the Khonsa road and after few kms and reached Hukanjuri Gate. The gate was in middle of the jungle surrounded by few shop. The security personal in the gate allowed us to enter Khonsa when we told that a Nocte friend has invited us. Khonsa Town was about 30km from Hukanjuri Gate.

We started riding through the jungle again. The road was slippery and filled with red mud. After few mins Bijoy slipped and fell down but thankfully nothing severe happened. 

When we reached a beautiful village we stopped there. It was around 3.05PM. The weather was little clear & I was feeling cold with my wet feet. So I opened my shoe, socks and let my feet dry for few mins. 

It was already 3.20PM, I had to return back home via Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve Forest to resume my office next day. 

We discussed the matter & decided to return back via Joyepur Rainforest while Jayanta, Om & Bijoy will halt in Circuit House, Khonsa. They will return via Magherita Next day. 

The Joyepur Route was very wet, muddy & slippery with steep slopes. The jungle was very dense with confusing turns. We reached Joyepur Bajar at about 5.30PM where we met our biker Mrinmoy who couldnt join our ride due to his cousins marriage. 

When I reached home, my mom was standing at the gate. She told " what the hell is this your bike looks like a powertiller, dont enter the house without cleaning your bike " 

The trio in Khonsa enjoyed a delicious Traditional Nocte dinner in a friends house, stayed in Circuit House & returned home next day. While the reached home they were all sick. Later on Bijoy was admitted in hospital.

Adventure comes with inherited risks. We take the risk, conquer our dreams & make a memorable trip everytime.

By Madhurjya Protim Rajkonwar
May 2014

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