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Old 26th October 2009, 12:57   #31
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Do not go to Khuri or Sam. Both are absolute dump as compared to a night on Truly vigin dunes.
Talk to Shahi palace, tell them you will take your own safari to the dunes, he will come down to 1200-1400 for food etc., and night on dunes.
Speak to Pappu there. Tell him you are my friend. He should remember me
Having never been there before, I actually thought that they camp on virgin dunes, because that is the kind of camp I am used to and was expecting that a camp there would be the same.
Thanks for warning me in advance. Will take your advice.
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Old 26th October 2009, 14:26   #32
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I stayed in Sam. It is too commercialized. Too many tents put up and the dunes are not that big. The tent floor is concrete, there is an arena for performance which again is concrete. There is a western style toilet/shower sitting on concrete floor. So, it is not virgin dunes if that is what you mean.

But even in this my wife had problems and could not sleep, what with all the wild noises around and literally in the middle of the desert. So, watch out for this aspect also when you want to venture into virgin dunes and stay there.

Apparently there are desert safaris/camps organised from Bikaner also. @50kms from Bikaner. I would not expect that to be too commercialised as Bikaner itself does not attract too much tourist attraction.

Nainar
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Old 26th October 2009, 14:37   #33
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So, watch out for this aspect also when you want to venture into virgin dunes and stay there.
Nainar
Now 'that' is exactly what I want. The real experience. Im quite used to sleeping under the starry sky in obscure places. Honestly, if it is allowed, I would love to just drive myself close to a dune and pitch my own little tent for the night. Dream come true again.
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Old 26th October 2009, 16:04   #34
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Of course it is allowed Jay. I can dig up some tracks if I can find them(long time back I did it).
But in a group its always safer(if you get bitten by a scorpion or something).

Best is to contact "Jeep desert safari" people.
They take groups, some members prefer to ride jeep, some go on camels.
they take you to a virgin dune, cook for you and all.
So you can talk to them that you will follow their jeeps and use their bedding, thats about it.

For stay you can contact a lady called Louis. She is a mod on Indiamike, and runs a hotel in Jaisalmer. The hotel is nice, and she has some good local contacts.
I can forward you her number, I will PM her and let you know you will call her up.
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Old 26th October 2009, 22:10   #35
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Thanks Tanveer, I will appreciate all the help I can get.

I have dropped Mount Abu from my plan completely.
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Old 26th October 2009, 22:38   #36
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i am planning a trip too bout 7th 8 th dec, jaysmokesleaves i'd love a fresh travellogue to guide me.
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Old 26th October 2009, 22:53   #37
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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Now 'that' is exactly what I want. The real experience. Im quite used to sleeping under the starry sky in obscure places. Honestly, if it is allowed, I would love to just drive myself close to a dune and pitch my own little tent for the night. Dream come true again.
Then drop Sam/Khuri from your list. They are too commercialised and no virgin dunes. Try the Bikaner guy or what Tanveer suggested. I will send you a PM with hotels where I stayed. I have them in the car and have to go down to the basement to pick them. Will do that tomorrow.

Nainar
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Old 26th October 2009, 22:58   #38
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i am planning a trip too bout 7th 8 th dec, jaysmokesleaves i'd love a fresh travellogue to guide me.
Sure thing Paras. Will do that.

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Originally Posted by anainar View Post
Then drop Sam/Khuri from your list. They are too commercialised and no virgin dunes. Try the Bikaner guy or what Tanveer suggested. I will send you a PM with hotels where I stayed. I have them in the car and have to go down to the basement to pick them. Will do that tomorrow.

Nainar
I have seen enough sunsets in the deserts. My idea of going to the dunes is to catch that different experience of the sandy outdoors in an Indian desert. So something original other than Sam & Khuri is definitely welcome.

Now this is getting very interesting. I am looking at the possibility of a night on the dunes in Jaisalmer(via Tanveers contact) & possibly a night in Bikaner too(thanks to you - Nainar). Now this fully justifies dumping Mount Abu for good.

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 26th October 2009 at 23:11.
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Old 27th October 2009, 06:59   #39
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Looking at your current expectations - Dechu desert camp and night camel rides are options too. But what Tanveer is suggesting could be better. Look forward to report on your experience.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:27   #40
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Default tourist Camp vs Virgin dunes

When we went to Jaisalmer, we got the opportunity to stay on the dunes
Pics start here(dune part)
https://tanveer.smugmug.com/Travel/J...93284322_5mqug

The non dune trail
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Finally on the dunes
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Our camp site : The Jeep brings the provisions and jeep wallahs leave after that, and camels are left open to graze on shrub
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At night its all silent, and there is nothing for miles around
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This pic was taken next morning
Its amazing waking up in the morning, all there are some camels and your fellow camp mates. You sleep under the stars without a tent, just the stars. It gets very cold no doubt, but who cares!
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So do not spoil your experience by going to some camp etc.,
You can also go for a long walk and within minutes you are out of sight from everything.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:54   #41
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Wow! That looks amazing.. But I know I would have been killed if I suggested something like this to my wife..

But I did see such huge dunes when driving to Jaisalmer from Pokhran and then enroute Jaisalmer-Bikaner. If one is inclined to be adventurous, can venture into these dunes as well.

Nainar
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:09   #42
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Default Revised Mumbai - Udaipur trip

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Originally Posted by anainar View Post
I really doubt you can do much for seven days in Udaipur, unless you intend to laze around. But you can visit quiet a few off beat places apart from usual things.

Ranakpur and Kumbalgarh are wildlife sanctuaries for sure. The Jain Temple of Ranakpur is inside the wildlife sanctuary and you have to go in ghat section. Check in google maps and you can get better picture.

Eklingji/Nathdwara/Haldighatti are very close by and RTDC operates tours starting from Udaipur at 8:00 AM, finishing the whole and returning by 1:00 PM. So you can understand how much time each will take.

At Chittorgarh plan on spending a day. You can stay there itself. I stayed a place called Fort Bassi and it was very nice. They organise visits to nearby village called Bundi where you can see artisans at work.

Nainar
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You can also cover Mt Abu in a day, now that the Udaipur-Mt Abu road is fantastic.

Eicher Road Atlas is full of mistakes, use it with care.
Nainar, HV,

Thank you for your advise.

I have modified my plans slightly as follows :

Day 1 - drive from Mumbai to Udaipur on the NH8
Day 2 - sightseeing in Udaipur
Day 2 - ditto
Day 3 - do Eklingji, Haldighati, Nathdwara & Dilwara & return to Udaipur
Day 4 - do Kumbhalgarh & Ranakpur ( any neat & clean place to stay here?)
Day 5 - do Chittorgarh ( contact details of Fort Bassi please; any other hotels in Chittorgarh? I have to avoid staircases due to my Mother's arthritis)
Day 6 - drive back to Mumbai through Sambhar lake

How does this look like?

I will check Google Maps for the journey to Ranakpur/Kumbhalgarh.

Is an SUV required to travel to Jaisalmer-Bikaner-Barmer? I see from the pics of sleeping under the stars in Jaisalmer, that a vehicle which can traverse sand dunes is required. Will a normal sedan do?

Regards
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:17   #43
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Day 3 - do Eklingji, Haldighati, Nathdwara & Dilwara & return to Udaipur
Day 4 - do Kumbhalgarh & Ranakpur ( any neat & clean place to stay here?)
Day 5 - do Chittorgarh ( contact details of Fort Bassi please; any other hotels in Chittorgarh? I have to avoid staircases due to my Mother's arthritis)
Day 6 - drive back to Mumbai through Sambhar lake

Is an SUV required to travel to Jaisalmer-Bikaner-Barmer? I see from the pics of sleeping under the stars in Jaisalmer, that a vehicle which can traverse sand dunes is required. Will a normal sedan do?

Regards
Your Day 3 is not possible - Eklinji/Haldighati/Nathdwara are on NH8 and can be covered in a line, but Dilwara (Mt Abu) is on the NH76-NH14 route and it will be difficult to cover all in the same day. For Mt Abu, you need a separate day, and moreover, you can return to Bombay via Palanpur, Mehsana and Ahmedabad instead of going on NH8, so it is best covered on your way back.

In Chittorgarh, there is Hotel Padmini and RTDC Hotel Panna.

Lovely roads all over Rajasthan, no need for any SUV. Sand dune bashing is a different sport, of course, and can be done only with a good SUV and experience.
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:21   #44
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Nainar, HV,

Thank you for your advise.

I have modified my plans slightly as follows :

Day 1 - drive from Mumbai to Udaipur on the NH8
Day 2 - sightseeing in Udaipur
Day 2 - ditto
Day 3 - do Eklingji, Haldighati, Nathdwara & Dilwara & return to Udaipur
Day 4 - do Kumbhalgarh & Ranakpur ( any neat & clean place to stay here?)
Day 5 - do Chittorgarh ( contact details of Fort Bassi please; any other hotels in Chittorgarh? I have to avoid staircases due to my Mother's arthritis)
Day 6 - drive back to Mumbai through Sambhar lake

How does this look like?

I will check Google Maps for the journey to Ranakpur/Kumbhalgarh.

Is an SUV required to travel to Jaisalmer-Bikaner-Barmer? I see from the pics of sleeping under the stars in Jaisalmer, that a vehicle which can traverse sand dunes is required. Will a normal sedan do?

Regards
Looks nice and you will have lot of spare time in your hand I guess.

I have done Jaisalmer - Bikaner in a normal sedan - Corolla and no problems at all. I dont know about Barmer but I think it will be the same. You will cut across the desert, but the road are well laid. You might come across occasional areas where the sand has come to the road but not something that warrants a SUV.

A heritage hotel - Bassi Fort Palace, Bassi (Mewar - Chittorgarh - Rajasthan - India). is the website for Bassi. The pictures are old. I will be uploading some recent pictures soon in my travelogue. Be aware that this place has some 12- 13 steps to climb from parking lot. You can visit Bassi wild life sanctuary from here as well.

Nainar
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Old 29th October 2009, 16:39   #45
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Default The final plan

Friends, after due consultations below is the final plan:

Day1 : Bbay - Palanpur.
Day2: Palanpur - Jaisalmer
Day3: Jaisalmer
Day4: Jaisalmer - jodhpur
Day5 : Jodhpur
Day6: Jodhpur - Bikaner
Day7: Bikaner
day8: Bikaner - Sambhar lake - Pushkar
Day9: Pushkar - Ajmer - Udaipur
Day10: Udaipur
Day11: Udaipur - Bombay.

Now, I have the following query:

If I wish to spend 1 extra day in any of the above locations, which should that be ??
Jaisalmer/Jodhpur/Bikaner / Udaipur??
Or should I spend a day around Pushkar - Ajmer??

Hotel queries:
I have hotel sugestions for Jaisalmer & Udaipur.
Please suggest/recommend hotels for Palanpur, Pushkar,Jodhpur & Bikaner.

I gather from various members that RJTDC hotels offer not much value other than parking space since the food and service really suck. So please make some suggestions!!!!

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 29th October 2009 at 16:47.
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