The Land of the Thunder Dragon (BHUTAN) – Day 15 and 16

Day – 15

01.01.2011 (Saturday)
Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) to Chennai (Tamil Nadu) = 846 km

Starting Place: Hotel Haritha Vishakhapatnam (Andra Pradesh)
Starting Km Reading: 7987 km @ Hotel Haritha
Starting Time: 05.00 A.M. Early Morning
Closing Km Chennai Reading: 8833 KMs on 01.01.2011 11 P.M. & Coimbatore 9405 km on 02.01.2011 10 A.M. Morning @ Home Coimbatore
Closing Time: 10.00 A.M. Morning

Day – 15 started @ Hotel Haritha Vishakhapatnam very early in the morning before 5 AM.

We got ready by 5.30 A.M. ready to leave. We fueled the car with 36.58 liters of Diesel @ Rs.40.45 per ltr and paid Rs.1480/- at IOCL Pump Usha Petroleum Agencies, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.Remember what Swami Vivekananda said, ” All Powers are within You! Realize that and you can do anything & everything”. This was an inspiration for me throughout this trip!!!


8000 kms

Statue of Swami Vivekanand

We fueled the car with 38.16 liters of Diesel @ Rs.41.14 per ltr and paid Rs.1570/- at HPCL Fuel Pump Mary Filling Station, Kavali, Nellore Dist, Andhra Pradesh.We reached TADA bordering to Chennai by 11.30 P.M. Night and I checked a APTDC Hotel to see if my kids & wife could get some sleep & take rest at night & start in the morning.There was no room & hence we decided to drive on to Chennai and reached by night 12 mid night.I had covered 846 KMs from Vishakhapatnam (Andra Pradesh) to Chennai (Tamil Nadu State) and I was still feeling fresh and there was no driving fatigue & I wanted to go on. My wife was concerned.

Local Fishing

Low Traffic

We spoke with H.V.Kumar at 12 mid night and he was still awake waiting for our call & was keeping track after our last phone call from TADA. We informed him of our intension to drive to Coimbatore by not stopping at Chennai. I assured HVK that I will drive safe & do 2 power naps in between Ambur & Vaniyambadi or before Thoppur to re-charge myself. He assured Jamuna that it was fine & wished both of us safe journey. He asked me to call very early in the morning by 5 A.M. My wife asked Sir, do you not sleep?He just laughed and said anyway he had to get up early morning to go to Airport @ Mumbai!!

Total Toll Fees 01.01.2011 = 488

Day – 16

02.01.2011 (Sunday)
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) to Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) = 572 km

We fueled the car with 36.37 liters of Diesel @ Rs.40.69 per ltr and paid Rs.1480/- at HPCL Fuel Pump Sri Rajalakshmi Fuel Services, NH-7, Salem – Bangalore
Highway, Thoppur, Dharmapuri Dist, Tamil Nadu.

Total Toll Fees 02.01.2011 = 332

We reached Coimbatore at 10 A.M. morning on the outskirts of the city we stopped at Hotel Anand Bhavan opposite to KMCH Hospital on Avinashi Road and we all had a good South Indian breakfast which my 2 kids, my wife & myself we had missed for almost 2 weeks. It was mouth-watering & relishing to eat something your taste buds like.The car’s odometer reading was 9393 KMs at the hotel.

Empty Roads

We went to Jamuna’s parents house by 12.00 noon and met her parents & family members who were so eager to meet us & to know about our foreign trip to another country by car!!!We also met our Temple Amma who was so happy & pleased to see us all come back home safe.The trip was finally closed at our home @ 1.40 P.M. and our car’s final closing odometer reading was 9405 KMs.

We had driven non stop from Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) to Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) via Chennai city without halting at Chennai. We had covered a distance of 1418 KMs.

Thank you Lord Ganesha Vinayaka for bringing us back home safe.You were always with us to ward off all evils & vignas (any stumbling blocks) and making our journey one of the most memorable one for years to come*Our sincere thanks to the man who made our dream trip to Bhutan come true a special friend to me & my wife & a darling to my 2 kids whom they started calling Kumar MAMA H.V.Kumar (HVK). Here is HVK with my 2 kids on 16th April 2011 when he had come down to Coimbatore.

HVK with Utham Kumar and Shri Meenakshi

The last SMS message from H.V.Kumar said, “Congratulations on a Fantastic Drive. Take a nap & start planning for the next one!!!”. Such is his confidence on all 4 of us.

What next?? Who knows!!!HVK suggested we can do Arunachal Pradesh / Sikkim / Himachal Pradesh..India is such a large country & one life time won’t be sufficient to visit all these places..My sincere thanks to all the members of Palio Users Group (PUG) and Team Fiat India (TFI) who wished me well & encouraged & supported me with a lot of best wishes, advise & lots of love and to have a safe journey & back.My personal & sincere thanks to my life partner & my non driving navigator, my 2 lovely & lively understanding kids who endured such a long trip couped up in the car for so long hours without any complaint for 16 days for the 3rd time in the last 3 years, without their support this trip would have been impossible!!

Life mein Linea indeed

Another long drive can be done provided I am able to mobilise the funds / if I get some corporate sponsorship !!!*Last but not the least my sincere thanks to FIAT for making such a lovely car.The FIAT Linea 1.3 MJD proved what a fantastic car it was by giving us once in a life time experience of long distance drive from Coimbatore to Bhutan & back and brought us back safe. The car was extremely good and proved that it really was a long-distance runner. Brand new car, no breakdown, no puncture, no fatigue only pure pleasure of driving it long distance and excellent build.Its suspension was so good that there was no body pain to any one of us through out the journey and my 2 small kids went to school the next day morning & I was back in Office to work. That speaks it all.

It felt safe inside travelling that long distance and a great mileage it gave with almost 100% AC usage and heavy usage of heater at Bhutan.I am overall very happy & satisfied with the purchase of FIAT LINEA 1.3 Multijet Diesel Emotion Pack Top end Sedan.

For complete cost details of the trip, click here.


  • Vibha says:

    Wow. This was a superb Series MN. Hope to see more trips of yours on Ghumakkar soon. :)

  • ashok sharma says:

    A great journey done by a real brave young guy.
    photographs are good.
    I admire your Linea.
    keep it up-lage raho munnabhai.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi MN,

    Compliments for this epical journey.

    How I wish you started from (or at least travelled to, after Bhutan) Delhi. That would have given us Delhi ghumakkars requisite info on this Delhi-Siliguri stretch as well.

    Account of the journey was very detailed and graphic, with well kept records/ logs – it provides almost entire information one needs to make that journey.

    Kudos to your friend HVK also – for the immense knowledge he possesses about that sector.

    Another factor that kept me glued was regular appearance of the next part in the series, it kept the interest fired up.

    A great travel fantastically described,


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Hats of to you !!!!

    Enjoyed your entire series on Bhutan Journey.

  • MN says:

    Dear Vibha, Ashok Sharma, Aurojit & Mahesh Semwal & Ghumakkar Family,

    Sincere thanks to all of you for your kind words & encouragement and spending your valuable time.

    For anyone who wants to read a more detailed version of this Trip Life Mein Linea Coimbatore to Bhutan, I kindly request you to click on this link below & read the entire trip with much more details such as toll booths, route details, & many more photos, total cost break up etc.

    I will also be sharing with Ghumakkar Family details of my 1st Trip A Fiat Love Story Coimbatore to Gokak Falls in Karnataka 15 days 3334 kms trip & 2nd trip Mission Impossible Coimbatore to a Camel Safari Camp in a remote Indo-Pak border village called SAM (80 kms to Pakistan Border) Jaisalmer Rajasthan 6800 kms in 18 days. These 2 trips we did in our other Fiat the Palio 1.6 GTX.

    I am working on it and will share it ASAP. Just give me few days & I will be BACK!!!


  • Nandan says:

    Wooo Hooo….

    Well done MN. Vizag to Coimbatore was indeed a long haul. As I mentioned in my comment on your last post that one does get extremely tempted to rush back home.

    A real pacy series. Look fwd to your posts on Gokak Falls and Sam.

  • Ramesh poddar says:

    Dear MN

    I recently made a trip to Mt Abu from Bombay ,a total of 1600 km.
    I faced a few problems ,like driving fatigue.
    Would like to know how you cope with it,the best way is to have second driver to alternate driving,but that is not always possible.
    I have always wanted to make driving rip to bhutan ,and your blog is a source of inspiration for me.

    Ramesh Poddar

  • Virag Sharma says:

    Want to go for drive from Hyd to Delhi ( via MP ) and come back via Rajasthan and Gujarat , after reading you posts , look like it is doable :) . Your post is very inspiring. Thanks

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