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Old 15th November 2009, 12:09   #1
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Thumbs up Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip

My last road trip of 2009 is being drawn up!

We are planning a family trip from Chennai to Agra and have a very loose plan stretching for 14 days starting from Dec 21st. There are two other families; a total of 3 cars, My Bolero, a Chevy Spark and a Santro.

The plan at this stage looks like this:

Chennai- Bangalore-Goa-Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Jaipur-Agra

Agra-Jaipur-Jaisalmer-Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Bangalore-Chennai.

The only night drive planned is the Chennai-Bangalore stretch; hope to spend the night at each of the above places; and an extra day/night in Goa and Jaisalmer.

Need a lot of advise and tips; on the intended travel plan; interesting deviations and what to look out for

I'm game for a total revamp of the plan too..In case there are better ideas!
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Old 15th November 2009, 12:24   #2
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Nice ! I will be glad to help you out regarding any information you need on Agra and booking.

I also noticed that you do not have Udaipur in your route. Why ? It's a nice place and falls enroute from Mumbai - Ahemdabad - Udaipur - Jaipur - Agra.

You also do not have Delhi on the route. you could do the golden triangle that is Agra, Jaipur & Delhi.

All the best for the trip. I will be hooked on to this one
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Old 15th November 2009, 20:42   #3
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Jose, you are better of breaking down into distance between your night stays so that you know. I see Agra - Jaipur - Jaisalmer.. Are you planning on doing this in one day. Even Jaipur - Jaisalmer will be 8-9 hours drive. So, mark your night stay spots, and then work out the distances so that you know the approximate travel time.

Udaipur falls enroute and you can definitely spend a couple of days there.

And be aware that Taj Mahal is closed on Monday. Learnt the hardway after reaching Jaipur and had to return without driving to Agra.

Good luck with your trip.

Nainar
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Old 16th November 2009, 16:46   #4
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Jos. Nice trip planned.
As ananair and Vkochar suggested, it'll be apt to include Udaipur in this trip either in to or fro journey. The other one cane be through Jaisalmer. I'll be hooked to this thread as myself thinking of our first trip to southern India next summer.
Best wishes for a safe trip ahead.
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Old 13th December 2009, 00:10   #5
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After much deliberation over the past weeks; the trip has been realigned; mostly because of popular opinion to spend more days in Goa . So we agreed to cut out the Jaipur and Agra bits.

So its gonna be Chennai to Jaisalmer in the following route:

Chennai - Bangalore ( Night Halt) - Goa ( 3 nights) - Mumbai ( Night halt) - Ahmedabad (Night Halt) - Jaisalmer ( 3 nights) and back with a single night halt in all locations. have booked hotels in all locations except Mumbai...plan to gatecrash into friend's homes...Nasty surprise!

Also we the Santro will be staying back; Bolero and Spark it will be.

Any tips?
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Old 31st January 2010, 16:03   #6
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I'm a month too late in updating this travelogue! Office crap mostly.

So the inevitable kept happening; trippers kept striking themselves off the list; and the destinations kept getting fewer and nearer. All drop-outs were due to addition and deletion into family trees..cant help it!

So the final tripper list got reduced to 6; my family of four; our friend Sreekanth and my trusty Bolero. And the Travel Plan was

Chennai- Bangalore-Goa-Bangalore-Cochin-Chennai; some 3.5K Kms in all.
We were open to detours on the way.

18th Dec FRIDAY

We started off from T-Nagar in Chennai at 17 Hrs; soon getting caught up in come traffic on Poonamalle high road. It is quite painfull to get to the GQ; Traffic is quite insane; nevertheless this wacky padmini kep us quite amused!

Name:  pad1.JPG
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Normal service was resumed within an hour; we crossed Sriperumbathur and drove on for 2 hours when hunger pangs struck. We stopped for dinner in one of the "THABA"s; I guess its short for "Tamil Dhaba" LOL! There was no lack of amusement though. The menu is enough to keep customers happy throughout the meal.<br /> <br />
Have a look and call me; i'll buy you a pint if you can decode all of them!<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-menu.jpg <br /> <br />
The food was excellent though! We stuck to veg mostly, Dal fry was super. We reached Bangalore before midnight and checked into a hotel close to Lalbagh.<br /> <br /> <br /> <b>19th Dec SATURDAY</b><br /> <br />
Soon after checkout at 6AM, breakfast was had at MTR ( Mavalli Tiffin Room). This place is a must visit for historic reasons; Its been around since 1924 and is quite a nice place.<br /> <br /> <a rel=Mavalli Tiffin Room - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Dosas and coffee is quite delicious; but flavours were different from the ones you get in Tamilnadu and quite rich with Pure ghee flowing from every pore!


We quickly hit the Bangalore-Mumbai GQ; and got a taste of GQ ouside our usual Chennai-Bangalore stretch. Quite crappy though! almost every town/village we passed through had a bad strech or road; not a very enjoyable experience. We were having a laugh joking about the fool hardy adventure that a bunch of students from SRM college were supposed to be attempting, circumnavigating the GQ in under 72 hours; quite possible if they had chopper flying alongside and lifting them off at every bad stretch.

Sample some of the bad stretches!

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqroad2.jpg <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqtraffic.jpg <br />
Local Jeepers will not complain: No need to endure hours of pain on smooth highways to hit off-road!<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqroad1.jpg <br /> <br />
In some places the roads were really ridiculous; with only one side completed. Farmers from the fields alongside were drying sugarcane on the road..and we call this Golden Quadrilateral!<br /> <br />
Only in INDIA : The GQ Farmer!<br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqfarmer1.jpg <br />
GQ farmer in Close-up!<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gqfarmer.jpg <br />
A lot of accidents on these roads too! You could see overturned trucks almost every where. Most of these look like they were caused by lunatics driving on the wrong side of the road.<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-accident8.jpg <br />
Even truck chassis' weren't spared.<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-accident9.jpg <br />
We did stop to tank up and the wifey wanted to hit the loo! We saw her see the sign "Fluers - Clean toilets" and proceed in anticipation; only to sprint back for her life! Not all fluers are clean! Lesson learnt.<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-fluers.jpg <br /> <br />
One peaceful moment while Jeremy was taking a dump on the fields nearby!<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-gq.jpg <br />
Anyways the drive till Dharwad was OK; the worst was yet to come. We turned away from the GQ just before it hit Dharwad; This was the road to Panaji, roughly 165 Kms only!<br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-dharwad.jpg <br />
Smell of Fish curry! Be right Back!<br /> <img src=
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Old 31st January 2010, 16:33   #7
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nice pics and intresting write up. keep it coming soon
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Old 31st January 2010, 21:26   #8
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Good stuff. The menu was hilarious. I could actually decode everything except for "solai", "lara", "kowdhari" and "gafsi"
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Old 1st February 2010, 12:02   #9
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Nice, crisp and interesting narration. Intelligent selection and captions of pics. Liked the 'GQ farmer' the most! Bring them on in good number.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 00:07   #10
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Excellent narration, Jose!!! Eagerly waiting for the updates.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 00:32   #11
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Very interesting narration. Please continue.
Nice pictures. Waiting in anticipation for more pictures and travelouge.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 18:31   #12
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Guys, I don't know of it was the fish curry, but something blew my oil seal quite badly and I'm up and running now with plug! Phew!

SO here we were, just 165 Kms from Paradise; It surely couldn't be far; we had come a long way; 771 Km from Chennai without much of a bother.

Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-badroad1.jpg <br />
The road ahead looked more like a crocodile's back than anything else, not that we expected GQ tarmac, nevertheless we were OK, how bad can it get? that was the thought passing through our minds!..and of course, we were heading to paradise, the kind where the stuff that can get you an infraction on Team BHP flows like water!<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-badroad2.jpg <br />
It wasn't long before tarmac disappeared, country road it had become.<br /> <br /> <a href=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-badroad3.jpg <br />
We kept pounding on for another 26 Kms when we reached Alnawar. There was a lonely "puncher" guy on the road who we asked for directions. he told us that road ahead was really screwed up and asked us to take a diversion to Khanapur and onto Ramnagara and then to the Goa border. The new route map would look something like this.<br /> <img src=Taj Connemara to Taj Mahal : West India Roadtrip-dinner.jpg <br />
The next 3 days was pure Bliss!<br /> <br /> <b>zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  z</b></div>   <div style=
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Old 3rd February 2010, 18:48   #13
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Thank god, you did it in a Bolero. I did the same route 2 years back and it was absolutely the same.

Oh and why didnt you bother look at the route queries on here. We have mentioned it in BOLD all over that thread.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 19:47   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
Oh and why didnt you bother look at the route queries on here. We have mentioned it in BOLD all over that thread.
You got it Bang on Mate!

I keep doing this over and over again...lemme list a few of them.

1. Bought a Bolero SLE and then read reviews on Orkut and Tbhp
2. Upsized the wheels and Tyres; came back home and found the right upsize guide! ( and confirmed my goof up)
3. Got tipped off about the pathetic road condition to Goa weeks before the trip, ignored it and took the beating.

Somethings never change?
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Old 3rd February 2010, 22:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josepeter View Post
1. Bought a Bolero SLE and then read reviews on Orkut and Tbhp
@josepeter, i thought you loved your Bolero!

-- Torqy
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