The extended holiday week – courtesy Saraswati Puja, Netaji Birthday and Republic Day breaks was set-up perfectly for the WHEELERS to go on a road trip organised by Kolkata on WHEELS. After precision planning by Team WHEELS, the tour to the enchanting Dooars was set with the chill in the air only adding to the participants’ enthusiasm in exploring the forests and tea gardens of North Bengal. National Insurance Corporation Limited and Tata Motors joined in as event partners.
The team met on the evening of 19th January at Dulichand Motors on EM Bypass for a briefing session. On 23rd January at 7 am in the morning, the team was flagged off from Dulichand Motors. From there, the 17-car convoy of Kolkata on WHEELS drove across the city to connect to NH-2 via Vidyasagar Setu. The first halt for breakfast was at Singur after which the WHEELS convoy drove via Bardhaman through a new route – via Kuli Chowrasta in Murshidabad passing through Kandi and meeting NH-34 beyond Baharampur. Team WHEELS had previously discovered this route during a recce the month before. After having lunch at Morgram, the convoy drove through the new highways and crossed Farakka to reach Malda – the first night halt destination.
The weather played spoil sport next morning with a heavy fog delaying the scheduled early departure from the hotel. At 9:30 am, the convoy left Malda, bypassed a heavy traffic snarl at Dalkhola and went through the interior villages of Uttar Dinajpur to reach the enchanting Dooars. Tired over the long journey, the team retired to their rooms at Green Touch Resort to recuperate some lost energy and met again for a fellowship and get together over drinks and dinner.
Next morning, the WHEELERS went about exploring the adjoining tea gardens and drove across Dooars towards the banks of river Murti. The amalgamation of nature amidst the alluvial flood plains was a joy to behold and the team enjoyed to their heart’s content. In the afternoon, the WHEELERS went for a forest safari at the Gorumara National Park, where the spotting of wild buffalos and elephants further raised the thrill factor. Back at the resort, a bonfire and barbeque was arranged for the night.
The final day at Dooars started off with a lavish spread of breakfast at Sinclair’s hotel in Chalsa after which the team traversed the hills of Jaldhaka, Jhalong and Bindu. The final leg of the experience at Dooars was an entertaining evening where the team enjoyed a tribal dance followed by fellowship and dinner.
On 27th January, the WHEELS convoy started off for the return journey to Malda following the Phoolbari and Gajoldoba route of Jalpaiguri across forests and canals along the way. After a night halt at Malda, the team reached Kolkata late in the evening on 28th January and dispersed off with the promise of reuniting again on future drive tours.