- cycling, first women to cover the capital of seven sister states by cycling, himalayan climber
Mission 7 sisters states on wheels by cycling in 20 days
IABOR Registration No: 1342017276: Pinal Parlekar (Born on Nov 23rd, 1989) from Vadodara, Gujarat became the first woman to cover the capital of seven sister states by cycling in 20 days with the slogan “SWASTH BHARAT”, where she started her cycling along with her team on 15th Dec 2018 from Assam state zoo, Guwahati and finished on 3rd Jan 2019 at the same place.
Cycling Expedition Route-
Day 1 (15/12/2018)
Dispur (Assam) to Shillong (Meghalaya)
The expedition started with a warm flag off at Assam state zoo, Dispur. Flag off ceremony has been done by DFO of Assam state zoo, Shri Tejas Mariswamy, Ex-DGP of police Shri Harikrishna Deka and Vice President of North East Adventure Association Shri Manvenra Patwari of Guwahati and Media.
We started our Journey for “Mission Seven Sister on Wheels” with slogan “SWASTH BHARAT” at 08:00hrs from Assam state zoo, Guwahati. The target of the team was to touch all seven capitals of seven States of Northeast region which is known as ‘Seven Sisters’. We had famous Assamese dish called “Keteli Pitha” and Tea in breakfast and started our ride approximately at 8:00 a.m.
Dispur to Shillong route was almost uphill and it was first day of our expedition so it became difficult for us to carry on our ride smoothly. But the highway connecting Dispur to Shillong was in a proper condition for any kind of normal driving and the views on the way to Shillong was immensely beautiful. On highway we ate pineapple which is a benchmark fruit in that area and we enjoyed it a lot. Then at 4:00 p.m. we took lunch in the middle of the highway and continued our journey till 9:00 p.m. and that’s how we completed total 91.9 KM on that day and as per our planning we reached “Shillong” Capital of Meghalaya.
Total distance covered 91.9 km on day 1.
Day 2 (16/12/2018)
Shillong (Meghalaya) to Sonapur (Meghalaya)
The second day was full of excitement as it was kind of tough to cross 15 KM uphill by cycling, but we crossed it smoothly. I used 2nd front gear and 1st on rear gear for perfect riding with less pressure on legs. After crossing 15 Kms of uphill road then we took our breakfast. After break we again continued our journey and in between after approximately 45 minutes one of our team member “Ghanshyam Raghuwanshi” got injured with a drastic accident while riding to downhill. His shoulder got fractured in that critical accident and so the other team members helped him through support vehicle to take him to the hospital for timely treatment.
After that we reached “Sonapur” Approximately at 8.15 a.m. and found a stay at one of the local’s house. That’s how we completed 131.6 KM on our second day.
Total distance covered 131.6 km on day 2.
Day 3 (17/12/2018)
Sonapur (Meghalaya) to Dharmanagar (Tripura)
The third Day, we again started our journey from Sonapur at morning 6:00 a.m.. We covered 80 KM until 3:00 p.m. and then took our lunch. After lunch riding towards “Dharmanagar” we faced a little bit problematic road as the road was under construction site. I mistakenly took long route and got separated from my team members. But due to constant contact with the support vehicle I got covered almost 10 kilometers and reunited with them again at Nilambazar. After crossing Nilambazar our support vehicle got down at after approximately 50 kilometers. But the locals residing there were very supportive and helpful in getting the support vehicle on a moving condition. Then after crossing 14.5 kilometers we reached to “Dharamnagar” at approximately 8:30 p.m… And that’s how we covered 154.5 Kilometers from “Sonapur to Dharamnagar” on that day.
Total Distance covered 154.5 km on day 3.
Day 4 (18/12/2018)
Dharmanagar (Tripura) to Khowai (Tripura)
The 4th day was extremely problematic and tiring as the road after approximately 23 kilometers was full of mud due to rainfall. As it was 1st experience for all of us to ride in off-road situation it was almost exciting and kind of terrific due to rainfall and no street lights on the road. We were heading to our spotted location with only help of our support vehicles head light. In between my cycle’s gear system got malfunctioned due to mud and garbage and I was unable to shift my gears down. So without giving up, I continued my journey in that worse condition.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. we passed through the border of INDIA and BANGLADESH. Then after 15 kilometers we reached to “Khowai” at approximately 7:45 p.m… And that’s how we covered 116.3 Kilometers from “Dharmanagar” to “Khowai”.
Total Distance covered 116.3 on day 4.
Day 5 (19/12/2018)
Khowai (Tripura) to Ambassa (Tripura)
The 5th day we started our journey towards the Capital of Tripura “Agartala”. We reached “Agartala at approximately 12:00 noon and covered 56 Kilometers. Then at “Agartala” we took lunch and rest for an hour. After lunch we again started our journey towards “Kumarghat” but due to rainy condition the road was totally slippery and in worst condition so the other vehicles including heavy vehicles like trucks and trailers were driving in safe and slow speed which resulted a heavy traffic jam before 10 kilometers from “Ambassa”. It was already 7:50 p.m. and due to rain and muddy area we didn’t took risk to go ahead for Kumarghat and decided for night stay in “Ambasa” at circuit house reception area as none of the accountable person was available at that time. And that’s how we completed 136.7 kilometers from Khowai to Ambassa”
Total Distance covered 136.7 km on day 5.
Day 6 (20/12/2018)
Ambassa (Tripura) to Kumarghat (Tripura)
The 6th day we were very tired as we faced lots of problems to cover to Ambassa and our cycles were also in a poor condition due to malfunction of gear system by mud and garbage. So we decided to first service our cycles and gear systems in proper smooth riding condition. We reached to “Kumarghat” at after noon 02:00 p.m. and decided to give the remaining day for proper cycle service for next day trip and had a night stay over there. And that’s how we covered only 51.7 kilometers from “Ambassa to Kumarghat”.
Total Distance covered 51.7 km on day 6.
Day 7 (21/12/2018)
Kumarghat (Tripura) to Kawrthah (Mizoram)
On 7th day after having complete rest and proper cycle maintenance, we started our journey from “Kumarghat” at 05:34a.m. and entered in “Mizoram” state at approximately 11:15 a.m. and covered approximately 50 kilometers.
It was Christmas vacation and entire state was decorated with colorful lights. We enjoyed that trip a lot as the local’s tea stall owners showed their courtesy by giving us cakes with tea as a Christmas compliment. Then we reached to “Kawrthah” at approximately 7:30 p.m…
There we stayed in a guest house and one of the Nepali family helped us in serving dinner as we were already late and there were no restaurants or Hotel in that small village. And that’s how we covered 91.4 kilometers on that day.
Total Distance covered 91.4 km on day 7.
Day 8 (22/12/2018)
Kawrthah (Mizoram) to Rawpuichhip (Mizoram)
On 8th day we again started our journey from Kawrthah to Rawpuichhip. In between journey we met some beautiful local kids as mentioned in the photos and it was outstandingly beautiful having a fun time with them. We couldn’t find any place for lunch as there was no restaurant or any small hotel as well in the village. So we requested one of the local family to provide us some food material and our Driver “Akhilesh Yadav” prepared an awesome lunch in the local’s house and we enjoyed it a lot. Our reaching spot that we decided was “Aizwal” which was approximately 117 Kilometers from Kawrthah but it was already 8:00 p.m. so we decided to have a night stay at Rawpuichhip and there we got a local contact who arranged our stay at Intelligence bureau’s guest. That’s how we covered 72.2 kilometers on that day.
Total Distance covered 72.2 km on day 8.
Day 9 (23/12/2018)
Rawpuichhip (Mizoram) to Aizwal (Mizoram)
On 9th Day we started our journey towards Aizwal the capital of Mizoram. The road at the first approximate 22 kilometers was fine but after that we took a bit very long time to cover 20 kilometers as the road was uphill steep which needed more pressure on cycling. I used 2nd gear front and 1st gear rear for smooth and comfortable ride.
One of my friend “UmangBakshi” saw my instagram status and contacted me. He gave very important news that due to Christmas occasion and rituals the local markets is being closed and so he sent one of his local friends “Zoa“ and “Michael” to receive us in the middle of the journey and took us to Zoa’s home for Lunch. There we discussed the next day route with Cyclist “Michael” and he guided us that due to Christmas occasion the market was all closed so we won’t be able to find a small teal stall as well. So he instructed us to go to Manipur via Assam. So we decided to change our route for the next day trip.
During lunch we enjoyed the occasion with different Mizo-food items and cakes. The local person “Zoa” and his wife were really supportive and kind for tourist like us. Then he arranged our stay at government tourist lodge. There I did my cycle’s service for the next day trip. And that’s how we covered 45.1 kilometers on that day.
Total Distance covered 45.1 km on day 9.
Day 10 (24/12/2018)
Aizwal (Mizoram) to Kolasib (Mizoram)
As you can see in the below mentioned photo we had a wonderful morning view on 10thday. There we started our exciting journey from Aizwal, where the cyclist “Michael” came with us till town’s boundary to show the proper route for Kolasib. We took breakfast in between the route and there we met some beautiful local kids riding their cycle.
As mentioned in the photo. We had lots of fun with them as the road views were tremendously beautiful and we took lots of selfies and photos. The last 5 kilometers were bit problematic as one of my team member’s head light was discharged and his cycle was also not in proper maintained condition. So I helped him by exchanging my cycle with him and reached Kolasib tourist lodge at 7:00 p.m… And that’s how we covered 80.4 kilometers on that day.
Total Distance covered 80.4 km on day 10.
Day 11 (25/12/2018)
Kolasib (Mizoram) to Fulertal (Assam)
On 11th Day as per our plan we again started our journey from “Kolasib” to “Jiribam”. The road was quite well with uphill and downhill. It was an ok day without any special moment and we reached to “Fulertal” at 7:50 p.m.. Though the distance to reach “Jiribam” was only 18 kilometers, one of the local reside told us that not to take risk ahead as the area is not safe at night so we decided to have a night stay at “Fulertal” only. That’s how we covered 111.7 kilometers on that day.
Total Distance covered 111.7 km on day 11.
Day 12 (26/12/2018)
Fulertal (Assam) to Nungba (Manipur)
On 12th day we crossed Assam – Manipur border and entered in “Jiribam” one of the village in “Manipur” where we took our breakfast. In the middle of the journey we met very beautiful local people as you can see in the photos. It was first day of their new year after Christmas occasion so they were all dressed beautifully in their traditional way with lovely makeup.
We continued our ride till “Barak” a village situated on river “Barak” and from there we had a gradual pressure ride towards “Nungba” which was 20 kilometers. There we couldn’t find any proper stay as there were no hotels or lodge. So we came to know from locals that one of the Naga Family allows stay with guest facility with dinner for tourist. So we decided for night stay over there.
Total Distance covered 107.3 km on day 12.
Day 13 (27/12/2018)
Nungba (Manipur) to Imphal (Manipur)
The Next day we took selfies with the local kids as a token of our love and started our journey at 7:43 a.m.. The ride was relaxing as the road was downhill and normal slopes. In the middle of the route we met a lady “Sangeeta Sridhar” who was on a “Clean India trail Mission” with a solo drive in “Hexa Mahindra” covering 240 cities. It was an honor to meet such an inspiring personality. We took a little bit more time in between due to uphill for some kilometers but somehow we reached to our decided location “Imphal” as the last 35 kilometers were totally downhill with proper highway which gave us a relaxing ride. That’s how we covered 121.9 kilometers on that day.
Total Distance covered 121.9 km on day 13.
Day 14 (28/12/2018)
Imphal (Manipur) to Mao (Manipur)
We started our day with servicing the cycle in morning 5:30 a.m.. We were invited by the locals for flag off at “Kangla fort” gate. The media also supported and inspired us by taking our interview. After that one of the respectable Priest “Father Francies” honored us by putting their traditional Scarf and took us to visit a Christian school “Don Bosco” where he is servicing as Principal and also there we met one of the physically challenged cyclist name “BinayKumarShahu” who was also on a solo trip in that area.
It was an immense surprise and inspiration that father Francies a 63 year old paralyzed by left hand still use to ride cycle individually without any support vehicle. And it was a breathtaking surprise that “Binay Kumar Sahu” who was not having a left hand and use to ride cycle solo and that also without any support vehicle. After meeting these two personalities we realized that we still are a learner and needs tremendous practice.
Then we started our Journey towards “Kohima” capital of “Nagaland”. The trip was totally boring as the road was totally in worst condition full of dusty due under construction condition. We reached to “Mao” a village, but as it was already more than 9:00 p.m. and the weather at night in that area was very cold, we decided our night stay at “Mao”. That’s how we completed 108.2 kilometers on that day.
Total Distance covered 108.2 km on day 14.
Day 15 (29/12/2018)
Mao (Manipur) to Bokajan (Assam)
The 15th day was one of my unforgettable day in this trip. The atmosphere in the morning was too much cold than our assumption. But we still started our journey at morning 6:41 a.m. We reached the first police check post of “Khuzama Kohima Nagaland” the police staff welcomed us with warm tea and gave us some helpful instructions.
Then within 15 minutes we resumed our journey towards “Kohima”. After reaching there, we went to state police control room Nagaland to inform them about our expedition and entry in the logbook. Then we reached to “Dimapur” city of Nagaland at 5:30 p.m. As we got a telephonic reservation for stay at a hotel in “Bokajan” city of Assam.We decided to cover 18 kilometers extra to reach for the night stay location. In between those 18 kilometers I faced a problem at last 2 kilometers with 2 of my team members. The route was mismanaged by them and then we had an argument on that after reaching to the hotel at TNC Bhavan Bokajan. Our Leader named “Nizamuddin” gave a silly reason and ask me to leave the expedition.
Total Distance covered 121.2 km o day 15.
30/31 December 2018
Today morning at 6:05 a.m. our leader Nizamuddin and another team member named “Bharat Chaudhary” from Gujarat separated me from the team and continued their journey without informing me and another team member “Ghanshyam Raghuwanshi” who got injured during the trip and took all the cycles with them in the supporting vehicle.
Departing with no reason, my senior team member and leader in a very unusual and inhuman way shocked me a lot. However being an alone female in an expedition I didn’t lose my passion and courage and even for a single moment didn’t thought to give up as it was my dream to complete it at any way, which nobody has done earlier in the history of cycling expedition of north east state of India.
Me and my team member “Ghanshyam Raghuwanshi” were almost broke up due to such deception by our team members. I am a mountaineer since 2015 and he is also a mountaineer since long time, so by nature we learned so many things and one important thing that we learnt is to stay calm and do brain storming for different solutions of the problem. So in that situation we stayed calm started to find different solutions for the present problem as my willpower and aim was to complete this expedition by hook or crook. So we decided not to give up and first we called my parents and told them about incident.
They were in tension and worried about me because I was somewhere in North-East region which was totally new place for me. But my friend Ghanshyam talked with my father and assured him for my safety and handled the situation very well. Then my parents got agreed with my decision and allowed me to continue my journey which enhanced and boosted my willpower to complete my goal.
After that we contacted our cyclist friends who are in contact with us and asked for help. We got one of the local cyclist friend contact named “Marnungden Walling” and told him the entire incident. Being affectionate for us he told us not to worry and not to give up. He came to our location in his car and took us to his cousin’s place to manage another cycle for me. The cycle was not in proper serviced condition as I needed to cover long distance, so I called another friend named “Supuraj Gogai” from “Guwahati” and asked him for help. He informed us that one of his friend in Nagaland owns a cycle showroom and told us to visit there for new cycle.
As it was Sunday the showroom was closed so we came back to our hotel and stayed there. Next day morning 9:30 a.m. we reached to the showroom and it was my lucky day that there was only one piece of cycle of same company and model which I needed. My friend Ghanshyam helped me to buy that new cycle with all cycle accessories from Dimapur, Nagaland. Then we need to arrange a support vehicle, but as it was 31st December we couldn’t find any. So we requested an auto driver to come with us up till Golaghat (70 kilometers) as our supporting vehicle. It was full of pressure and tension on me and my friend for those 2 days. But with a positive and supportive help from our friends mentioned above we were able to continue the journey from next day.
On 31 Dec 2018, Cycle bill which I bought from Dimapur, Nagaland.
Day 16 (01/01/2019)
Bokajan (Assam) to Majuli (Assam)
Early in the morning 5:30 a.m. with New Year of 2019 and with new positive beliefs I started my journey with new cycle from “Bokajan to Majuli”. We reached to “Golaghat” 70 kilometers from “Bokajan” and there we arranged a new 4 wheeler as our supporting vehicle. We were very Thankful to the Auto driver “Vidhyut” who helped us in our bad time.
Upto 132 Kilometers it was all straight and perfect road. But after that we reached to Bhramputra,Neamatighat at 2:20 p.m..But the ferry was already departed. So we took our Lunch their and waited for next ferry trip. The next ferry trip was at 3:30 p.m. and so we crossed the Bhramputra River and continued our journey. “Majuli” was only 7 kilometers after crossing Bhramputra River. So I and my supporting vehicle continued our journey and reached to Majuli at 5:00 p.m… After separating from those two members I realized that solo I can cover more distance. So I was fortunate that they left me and my injured friend for solo ride.
It was 5:00 p.m. and we were totally ready to cover more distance but we have to cross another part Bhramputra River through ferry which was closed after 5:00 p.m. So we decided to stay at “Majuli” for night stay. That’s how I completed my first solo ride covering 149 Kilometers.
Total Distance covered 149 km on day 16.
Day 17 (02/01/2019)
Majuli (Assam) to Bishwanath Chariali (Assam)
Majuli is a largest river island of Asia and it’s famous for its traditions and its vibrant culture.
I started my trip at 6:03 a.m… The road totally messed up and we also use to cross a farm in between which was very tough for our supporting vehicle as well. But still we covered and reached to ferry on time.
After crossing Bhramputra River we went to “Itanagar” capital of “ArunachalPradesh”. We reached Superintendent of Police’s office at 1:45 p.m.. There we completed our procedure of logbook and verifications and then we took lunch. After Lunch we resumed our journey and covered 160 kilometers. Before 15 kilometers from “Bishwanath Chariali” had an awesome dinner in just 130 rs. for 3 persons and that also tasty and delicious. After that the locals over there had conversation with our Assamese driver who told them about our expedition, they were so surprisingly inspired and they honored me and my team member with Assam traditional scarf which known as “Gomcha” in local language. The locals were very helpful and guided us to stay at “Bishwanath Chariali” as there are good staying facilities in hotel. We reached at 10:00 “Bishwanath Chariali” covering 175.5 kilometers in solo ride.
Total Distance covered 175.5 km on day 17.
Day 18 (03/01/2019)
Bishwanath Chariali (Assam) to Dispur (Assam)
Today I was full of confidence with a fixed goal in my mind to reach “Dispur” capital of Assam from where we started our journey. So I started my journey along with my injured friend in supporting vehicle at 6:12 a.m. and reached to first rest point Debendra Nagar and took our breakfast there. After breakfast we resumed our journey towards “Tezpur” a bit slow from our decided time. After crossing “Nagaon” we got a proper highway with fully perfect 4 lane road which help us to cross maximum distance with short time. In between the highway we use to stop only for 10 minutes for minor break for water and light snacks and took lunch at Amoni. We continued our ride till “Jogiroad” at 8:00 p.m., and took our dinner and rest for 1 hour there.
With a constant focus on my goal I decided to carry on the trip and started my journey at 9:00 p.m. again to reach to the last and final location of this trip “Assam Dispur state zoo” where we started our expedition. In between there was a light rainfall but that didn’t stop me to continue my trip and at last 11:11 p.m. I reached to the flag off point. My other two deceptive team members reached to the spot just 1 day before which make me realized that I am much faster and better than them and if I would have covered this trip in a solo ride I would have covered it within 16 days. Anyways “Where there is a will there is a way”.
Total Distance covered 237.9 km on day 18.
Special thanks to whom, who is part of my success: I am truly grateful to the all friends, colleague, senior official, government authority, state police department and others who supported and motivated me to complete the very courageous expedition within the stipulated time frame. Without their support and help probably I could not have completed my goal as specified.
My parents who always been very supportive. I personally thank following members who helped and supported me for completion of cycling expedition, namely: Ghanshyam Raghuwanshi He taught me about how to do paddling in uphill and how to do cycle servicing and some basic things of cycle. With his support and encouragement I have successfully completed my cycling expedition and It worth to mention here that Ghanshyam Raghuwanshi , encountere an accident during our cycling expedition and his left shoulder got fractured on the way to cycling, due to fall, slip at downhill area of Meghalaya state.