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Our spree of exploring India’s lifelines, it’s rivers, continues. We drove the Toyota Yaris through the course of the Narmada in central India which was followed by the Kaveri River Drive, where we took the Toyota Innova Crysta through the unchartered territories of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. And this time we’ll be driving the Toyota Corolla Altis while exploring the longest and the most worshipped river in India, the Ganga.
We started off from the mouth of the Hoogly, which is one of the largest and most important distributaries of the Ganga. And getting there itself was an adventure. From Namkhana, a fishing town on the eastern bank of the Hoogly, we had to transport our Corolla Altis to the other side of the stream via the Namkhana Ferry Ghat. And we were quite amazed on how these ferries work. Numerous trucks and cargo vehicles wait in line for the ferry and the weight distribution has to be well executed in order to maintain the balance. Charges? Rs 30 in taxes and Rs 160 for transportation. Also, if you don’t speak Bengali, it’ll be extremely hard to communicate with the locals. But we didn’t have to worry about that as assistant ed Aninda Sardar is eloquent in the language.
Soon after reaching on the other side of the stream, we headed to Susni beach in the town of Bakkhali, where the Hoogly flows into the Bay of Bengal. We enjoyed a marvellous view of the distinguishable colors of the river water and the seamless sea. While Bakkhali itself is a very calm town, the road leading to it is extremely chaotic with indisciplined traffic. Thankfully the Corolla Altis has a well insulated cabin which did a great job of containing the noise pollution outside. The 1.4-litre diesel engine is extremely refined and efficient and we were quite amazed when the fuel efficiency reading showed 18kmpl. The soft ride quality too was a boon while driving through the rural roads of West Bengal.
For the next few days we will be exploring the historic areas as well as unchartered territories along the course of the lower Ganga with the Corolla Altis. Stay tuned.