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Old 7th November 2011, 22:40   #31
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Default Re: Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta

lol. Yes SST. It's a small world for Indian travellers really.

Our tent in Betwa River Retreat

Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta-tent_1240.jpg

Interior view of the tent at the end of a tiring day from Benares

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As is evident, there isn't enough room left for the tired driver on this bed ;-)

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 7th November 2011 at 22:47.
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Old 7th November 2011, 22:44   #32
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Fauji - great to "see" you again here. It's our bad luck that we didn't or rather couldn't meet. Please do post the Orchha images. I hope I don't miss it. And regarding your change of route - thanks to the Telengana agitation - I think your signature says the underlying philosophy of it all. Did you write this signature after this trip?
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Old 8th November 2011, 01:07   #33
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Default Re: Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta

Mr.Sudipto
Hi great TL.
A tidbit Chittor fort is the largest in India bigger than Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur.
A coincidence my last Maruti was MH A 1181
Regards
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Old 8th November 2011, 03:16   #34
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Default Re: Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta

@Sudipto Da - excellent travelogue, had been waiting for this from the day I came to know about this trip. It is commendable to have such faith on a 90K car, shows that you know her/him/it inside out and maintained well. I have done road trips to Rajasthan twice, but have not visited Chittor yet :-(
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Old 8th November 2011, 07:03   #35
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Default Re: Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta

Faustus and BP - thanks and it's indeed a strange coincidence that your and my numbers are/were same :-) I didn't know Chittor is the largest fort in India. Largest in terms of total area? The fort per se is in total ruins, thanks to all the historical attacks on it starting with Alauddin Khilji's. That way Meherangarh is a lot better preserved because it hardly ever had to fight any real war. Funnily enough, they have a lift in the fort that you can take for Rs 20 !!!
Except Bundi and Kumbhalgarh, all the other forts had terrible crowds of (mostly Bengali) tourists during this time of the year.
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Old 8th November 2011, 11:02   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Fauji - great to "see" you again here. It's our bad luck that we didn't or rather couldn't meet. Please do post the Orchha images. I hope I don't miss it. And regarding your change of route - thanks to the Telengana agitation - I think your signature says the underlying philosophy of it all. Did you write this signature after this trip?
Yes. It is sad that we could not meet. I will post the pictures speciaily the one we took at Sun set. It was amazing.

No sir....i saw this nice quote somewhere and added it. Isnt it true for all of us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by faustus77 View Post
Mr.Sudipto
Hi great TL.
A tidbit Chittor fort is the largest in India bigger than Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur.
A coincidence my last Maruti was MH A 1181
Regards
Yes, Faustus. Mehrangarh is no comparison to Chittor in size. But Kumbhalgarh is supposed to have second longest fort in the world after great wall of China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
The fort per se is in total ruins, thanks to all the historical attacks on it starting with Alauddin Khilji's. That way Meherangarh is a lot better preserved because it hardly ever had to fight any real war. Funnily enough, they have a lift in the fort that you can take for Rs 20 !!!
Except Bundi and Kumbhalgarh, all the other forts had terrible crowds of (mostly Bengali) tourists during this time of the year.
Dada, well said. Forts and palaces of all those who faught invaders - muslim rulers from Afgahnistan and British - are in ruins as they were ransacked after their defeat. Other examples Srirangapatnam (Tippu's fort), Hampi, Jhansi, Hoysalas in south etc.

Those who never fought - most of the rulers in Rajasthan - had a good time and the forts are preserved and they were having good time then and now as well converting the palaces into star hotels!!!
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Old 8th November 2011, 12:06   #37
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Fauji you are very correct. Most kings of Rajasthan made friendship (a euphemism for cowardly compromise) with the Mughals by getting their sisters and daughters married off to the invaders. This is something that the Mewar Ranas never did. In fact this is the reason why the battle of Haldighati happened between Maharana Pratap and Man Singh.

I had almost forgotten to acknowledge the contribution of the following team-bhp members to my travel. Phamilyman, Black Pearl, Oxyzen and Deky. I had asked them various questions and they most graciously replied to my queries.

I hope at some point of time they see this and don't think that I have been graceless not to acknowledge their contribution.

Phamilyman's reply on my questions regarding the route out of Kumbhalgarh to Ranakpur was absolutely spot on.

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Old 8th November 2011, 13:49   #38
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Sudiptoda, your TL is a refreshing change in the otherwise dull tuesday office hour, wonderfuly articulated, and great photos. I never knew that you have taken up birding so seriously. I can see your weapon of choice is Canon but whats that lens, L USM i think( judging from the color). Its high time we meet, as one promise from your side is long due!
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Old 8th November 2011, 14:45   #39
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Yes Canon. For birding I use a 7D with 400 mm F 5.6. And yes it's an L but non-IS. If you look at post #10 pic #10 you can see it on the wicker table. The other photographs are all taken with a 450D with either Tokina's 11-16 or Tamron's 90 mm macro.
The only exception was the changeable hawk eagle in Kumbhalgarh which I took with the 450D fitted with Tamron's 90 mm macro !!! The macro lens is a fantastic portrait lens.
The girl's photographs in Osian are also taken with the 7D/400 combo. When I saw the sight that was the only thing I was carrying with me.
This passion for bird photography has grown over the last couple of years and now it is a full time addiction. I think one of the first good bird photographs that I saw was yours. It was a parakeet with its wings spread. Taken from the side, trying to land on something.
Please let me know when is a good time to attack CRC. I am always game if there is some advance notice. Friday evening is best.
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Old 8th November 2011, 15:14   #40
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Default Re: Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta

Superb pictures and nice narrations Dada. Did the same Rajasthan tour with little modification from Mumbai.
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Old 8th November 2011, 16:24   #41
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Subrat, thanks. Most people coming in from Bombay start with Mt Abu and Udaipur.

Coming back to the trip - we left Osian for Jaipur after a heavy breakfast. Now we were on the return journey mode. Just before entering Jodhpur there is a prominent diversion saying "Jaipur" with arrows. Very soon we realised we had perhaps made a wrong turn. This one is possibly a route taken only by truckers. We had to go back to Jodhpur city again and then off to Pali and then straight towards Jaipur.

On the way we detoured quite a bit to avoid Ajmer. I am told it's a very crowded city and it's pointless getting inside if one is not keen to visit it. We got the superb six-laned road from Kishengarh where keeping an average speed of 100 km is very easy.

Finding our way inside Jaipur proved to be quite tough, made more difficult by a dim-witted reception staff at the hotel who kept on telling us over phone, "kisise bhi puchh lo". This, as most of us know, is the biggest Indian lie.

I got into a discussion with HVK over the usefulness of a GPS in Indian cities because finding your way in a new city at the end of a long day is the most difficult thing to do. He feels while the maps are good, the route options that GPS devices offer are impractical.

So, despite hitting the outer parts of Jaipur at 6 pm or so, we reached our hotel at 7.30.

I was determined to keep Jaipur sight seeing pending for our next trip when I also plan to do Jaisalmer and Bikaner. But given that Hawa Mahal is just round the corner from our hotel, I couldn't resist taking a quick trip to the palace before leaving for Agra.

A regulation shot of Hawa Mahal

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Another regulation shot of Hawa Mahal

Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta-hawaroad_2172.jpg
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Old 8th November 2011, 16:47   #42
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Excellent, Sudipto-S-Team!

I am saving this link to my browser favourites so as to refer in future. I hope the thread remains in its place.
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Old 8th November 2011, 22:04   #43
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My travel is coming to an end. We drove from Jaipur to Agra with a rather heavy heart. We thought it was a very rushed trip all through and we couldn't spend the time that we would have wanted to in each city.

I am the kind of traveller who likes to soak in the atmosphere of a place and not rush from one "famous must see spot" to another. But this trip was much like that and we were forced to rush, rush and rush. So as a conscious decision we decided not to go to Taj or the fort in Agra. We had both seen them both.

In Agra we stayed in a hotel right on NH2 so that we don't waste a single moment the next morning. And sure enough, we started off for Benares first thing in the morning.

In Benares, I did something that I think is one of the major achievements of my driving life. I drove right upto Godaulia at the evening peak hour of 5 pm without a dent. Yes. I did it. This was necessitated due to the fact that my regular hotel Meraden Grand near Cantt area was full and I finally got accommodation only in a cheapo hotel between Godaulia and Dasaswamedh Ghat.

Those who have not seen the confusion of Godaulia will not really understand the meaning and significance of driving dentless to Godaulia. God bless them. May they never have to see this confusion. There are human beings coming from all over. There are more cycles and cycle rickshaws than humans and all ringing their crazy bells. Then there are tongas, Ford Endeavours, Willys, Ambassadors and what not, and not to speak of the odd Esteem with a WB registration.

And all this on a road that is about 25/30 feet wide.

There is no trace of any policeman trying to bring any order to this confusion. Anyone can and they do go anywhere. I had to follow a tonga being driven by a 12 year old boy in front of me. It had a rickshaw with two ladies in front of it. The horse was poking its head between the heads of the two ladies. The ladies were making faces at the horse and the boy. And the boy in turn was making faces at me saying "go back". The chain stopped with me because I didn't even bother to see what was behind me. There couldn't have been an inch between me and the car behind.

In Godaulia I found another wonder of Benares. A basement parking lot !!! The hotel doesn't have any parking lot of its own and took me there. I parked the car in that basement for a fee (Rs 140 for 14 hours) but felt quite safe about the vehicle. Only problem is - the car had about an inch of dust on it the next morning.

Looking smug as a mug to have been able to drive to the mouth of Biswanath Gali albeit early in the morning. We stayed at Hotel Lara

Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta-godaulia_2182.jpg

Forgot to mention - Benares to Calcutta was a very tame affair that happened without any drama. And my journey came to an end. I might post some more photographs of various sights seen on the road.

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Old 8th November 2011, 23:14   #44
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Here is a very basic trip log. Hope it is readable. Just to remind once again - Bundi to Udaipur was via Chittor and Kumbhalgarh to Jodhpur was via Ranakpur. Please also remember that I take a lot of unscheduled breaks for birding. Hence times are not indicative for an average driver. Any decent driver will drive much faster than me.


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Old 8th November 2011, 23:18   #45
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Default Re: Rajasthan on self drive from Calcutta

Sudipto
Hi.I also stayed at La Ra nearly 20 years back.It was well maintained then.
Next time you have to visit godaulia take a road roller.Everybody will keep a safe distance
Regards
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