Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Ride to Lake of No Return, Myanmar

A Ride to Nawngyang ( Lake of No Return )

I always had a dream route to travel through the historic Stilwell's Road , which was constructed by the Americans during the Second World War from Ledo in Assam, India connecting Myanmar and China to reach a beautiful lake called Lake of No Return (known as Lake Nongyang in Myanmar) near Pangsau Pass, Indo-Myanmar Border.

During World War II, large numbers of aircrafts were reported to have perished into this lake. Perhaps, the lake served the Allied Pilots for soft landing into the lake water during return mission when the Aircrafts got hit by enemy or out of mechanical snags in the Aircrafts. The pilots had chosen this lake for emergency landing in case of imminent air crash and therefore, many aircrafts were reported to have crashed in to the lake . So the lake came to be known as ' Lake Of No Return '.

The best time to visit Nongyang is during the Pangshu Pass Winter Festival held every year where the Inner Line Permit to visit Jairampur, Arunachal / Pangsau Pass DuringPPWF is readily available in the temporary pass counter for the festival.

When my friend Abhijit told that this year the festival will be held on 20, 21 & 22 Jan 2013 then I planned to visit the festival on 20th which falls on sunday.

As I wanted to ride on bike only therefore I gave a status update on my facebook pages that we are going on a bike ride to the festival so interested bikers can join us. I received several phone call for enquiry & some bikers said that they will join on 20th of Jan 2013.

On 20th Jan 2013 around 12.30 AM it started raining heavily. The trip might got cancelled for rain. I left a facebookstatus " Damn its raining " & slept sadly.

On 20th Jan 2013 I woke up with the knock on the door when I opened the door and became happy it was not raining. Total eight riders on four bikes started our Journey to our destination Nongyang, Myanmar which is 130kms away from Duliajan, Assam crossing Dense Jungles of Arunachal crossing the Patkai Hills.

The road was under construction& so dusty that we could not see anything ahead. We just put the headlight and kept moving. After riding for three hours 100kms we reached The Cemetery of World War-II, Jairampur, India. The recently unearthed large Burial-ground with about 1,000 graves of allied soldiers believed to be mostly of Chinese, Kachins, Indian, British and Americans soldiers who died in Second World War is located.

The hidden cemetery covered with thick jungles midst of the bank of Namchik River. The Army had cleared the area and found about 1,000 graves within an area of about three acre. The most of the graves in the Cemetery are damaged due to wild Elephants, wear and tear in the course of time and tempered due to miscreants.

Large number of allied soldiers were reported to have died due to Diseases, calamities and missed in action while fighting. The casualties at war fronts in Burma were reported to have been evacuated by C-47's Ambulance planes and treated at the various base Hospitals at Ledo road and atLedo, Assam, India and most of the dead soldiers might have disposed off at this cemetery. It is also reported that most of the casualties were treated at the 20th General Hospital, the 14th Evacuation Hospital, or the 111th Station Hospital in the Ledo area. In course of time, those Hospitals have also completely vanished.

After riding 10-12 km ahead of the World War-II Cemetery we reached "The Hell Gate" of Pangshu Pass.

The Hell Gate - installed during the World War II, Nampong, India
 Nampong and Pangsau Pass were considered to be " Hell gate " or " Hell Pass" due to difficult terrains in the Indo-Burma Patkai mountain Range. Crossing these places toward Burma were considered to be dangerous and hazardous as Hell during the World War II.

As we moved ahead for 12-15km some policeman showed us a route towards the parking area of a field. We could hear the sound of drum beats & the Folk Songs And Dances. Yes we have reached the Pangshu Pass Festival 2013 Ground.

The Ethnic Food of the various tribes were sold in various food court, the Traditional Sports contest would be organised after the folk song & dance programme. We decided not to waste much time and get the passes to Nongyang, Myanmar. We can enjoy the festival while returning.

After riding 12-15km in steep hilly road for two hours finally crossed the Indian border & reach the no mans land. We walked for atleast 3-4kms in the bad hilly road instead of hiring a typical Myanmar Bike which charges Rs100 per person ridden by young kids. Finally we reached the border bazar of Myanmar near the Lake of No Return.

By Madhurjya Bindass Axomia

~~~ The End ~~~










Saturday, January 19, 2013

A ride to unknown destination

A Ride To Unknown Destination.

A ride to unknown destination was a ride through a less traveled route to Arunachal Pradesh from Margherita of Assam. We were not sure about the route & neither the destination. We kept riding our bikes enjoying the bad roads via the Tea Garden & Jungles.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flashback of a Motomaniac

Flashback of a Motomaniac

Since childhood I always have an attraction towards bikes & cars. From mechanical toy cars to remote controlled toy car in my childhood, I had it all in my collection.

My mother sold our car after my fathers death as she thought "eitu Driver he bonibo" I would become a Taxi Driver as I use to give our Car in Rent & became quite popular as a Youngest Taxi Owner in the locality at age of 14.

My favourate TV shows were always from Discovery Channel, Travel & Living and Fox Traveller where something related to Travelling & automobile were shown.

Ever since I watched the mother like Torque, The Fast & Furious Series, Wild Hogs, Motorcycle Diary & Tokyo Drift. I use to wounder how amazing life do the people enjoy in Western Countries or Japan. I use to curse myself why I was born in India.

Since I used to start using the social networking site Orkut, buy some automobile magazine & watch automobile related shows in News Channel where they use to give advice upon Car & Bikes. I came to know about GODS ( Group of Delhi Super bikers ) a bike group who own Super bikes. Wow biking community exist in India. Slowly I came to know about more group but they were all from Banglore, Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai etc etc.

When I was studying in College in 2004 my mom gifted me a YAMAHA to go to college & for other household activities. In 2005 when I shifted to Dibrugarh for my Graduation it the the time of DHOOM fever. My cousin bought a KARZIMA which was the first Premium Sports Bike in India at that time.

A lightning fast speed of 140Kmph by the 225CC engine & the Dhoom Song in our mind. Its was our pride, oh what a life. The people the street use to say " Oi kot Jui numuabo jao, ei kita enekoi moribo etc, etc ".

Then came the MTV ROADIES which changed my mind from racing to touring. Some of our friends bought more Karizma's & CBZs. When we rode in a formation infront of schools we use to like to heard the comment from the kids "WOW ROADIES".

From 2009 when I started using Facebook I came to know about NEMA ( Northeast Motorsposts Association ) who organise Car Rally to promote Motorsports in Northeast India. It was a sign that even in Assam people are taking Motoring as hobby more than a means of Transportation.

In 2011 my friend Abinash uploaded some photos of his motorcycle tour to Meghalaya. The photos were really amazing like some foreign land. Later I saw their video in Prime News TV & realised that some Axomias started Re-Exploring the Northeast India in their motorcycle.

The name of the club was "Ryders@50kmph "

- Madhurjya Bindass Axomia.


One Crazy Drive

One Crazy Drive

Some pages of my personal diary about the most Crazy Drive of My Life.

I was 14yrs old when my father passed away. We left our Company Quarter and shifted to our newly built home after my fathers death in the heart of Duliajan town.
After few months when we shifted to our house, one of my cousin brothers marriage was arranged. We came to know that everyone is going in their own cars. One of my uncle brought a new Maruti Zen while other brought a Fiat. Me and my cousin brother whose house is near us had no car. We talked " Abey sobey nijor gaddi loi jabo, ami ki dorar logot busot jam niki ".

We thought over the matter & decided to repair our old Ambassador which was lying in an Garage after painting after my father passed away. Its body was newly painted but all parts were dismentaled & removed for painting and never fitted back.
The garage owner told that the painting price was already paid by my father we have to fit it and take it home. It would cost around Rs15000.
My mom agree to pay us around Rs5000 for the car. So we decided to repair the car outside the garage where the mechanics agreed to repair for some extra money after working hours. We paid Rs200 & a bottle of wine requested the head mechanic to fire up the engine which was lying unused for more than 8 months "Dada jene tene Start kori diok besi poisa nai".
The garage helpers agreed to do the needfull fittings of parts if we pay little money & take them with us to the marriage party. They said "Gaddi free ke bonai dim, dorar logot nibo lagibo". So we agreed and brought the required parts for Rs2000.
The day before the marriage our car got ready ride but since the car was lying unused for many months so it started over heating moreover its tyres were worn out. Everyone including the head mechanic said we cant take the car to Moran which is far away "Eikhon loi rati Moran ketiau Jabo nuara" .

We all became sad including the helper mechanics who worked so hard for seven days extra time to repair our car for the marriage.
We all discussed
me: ki koribi bhai gaddi nibo nuarim koise

helpers: Hmmm koise, kintu amar mote eku nohoi nile

me: Rastat beya hole ki koribi, bonai anibo paribi ? Kuneu help nokore. Gaddi eri ahibo nuaribi kintu

helpers: Ami thakile ki sinta. Rastate gaddi khuli bonai dim. Sob tools loi jam

me: tetia hole Lets Go, okol gaddi val ke ghar ahi pabo lagibo.

So we decided to take all the tools of the garage for the night which can repair the entire vehicle from head to toe. As our tyres were worn out so we opened the good tyres of the Cars in the garage which were kept for repairing. We took three extra spare tyre & a battery. As our car doesnt have a music system so we fit a home Stereo Player with big sound box. We were all ready for marriage.
In the day of the marriage we were all ready. Me & my cousin, Two Mechanics, one Driver and a helper. When we reached the marriage hall every car owner asked us to keep an eye on their car coz we had mechanics & tools. We started our journey and reached the brides house (Moran) as the second car after the grooms car in the rally of around fifteen cars.
When we started the return journey to Duliajan our cars engine started giving foul smell. It was the burning of clutch plate. The engine began misfiring, my cousin said dude we were in trouble.

It was 2AM of the night, we stopped near the roadside Dhaba and our relatives passing by said " Nanibo koisilu nohoi, nuhulili nohoi ". The mechanics did the curberator wash & some engine tuning. The car became fit again. We reached back home safely with the other cars along with the bridegroom.
This was the most memorable car ride I did in my entire life. We took the risk & completed the trip successfully at that young age. Moreover the mechanics & helper we helped me to repair my dads car are now no more. Two of them died in a young age due to some disease.
I still remember them & feel nostalgic about the trip. It was the most crazy drive of my life.
- Madhurjya Bindass Axomia.