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Old 13th April 2012, 17:49   #1
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Default First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan

Hello Fellow Team BHPians

I'm a long time lurker, first time poster in this section. Hence if I break any rules while posting, please be gentle. This was a road trip taken by my parents and myself in a petrol swift D'Zire. The car was bought by my father in 2010 who had the courage to buy a car with his retirement fund (he retired as a professor)!! I do not get much time off from work and hence I see it as an absolute gift to visit any place at all even if it is for a few days. Last Diwali, October 11, I managed to get a full 5 day break on Diwali and was overjoyed. This would be our first long (1000 km+ trip in our car).

The plan was to spend Diwali back home in Jaipur and hence the 4 days (Saturday 22nd October onwards) were for the trip. The plan was to drive out to Jaisalmer and come back. Just like any plans we make, it was last minute and included a vote from all parties - parents and I. The first port of call was to be Nakoda (or Nakodaji), a revered temple of the Jains and the Rajputs alike. Nakoda lies south-west of Jodhpur and is approximately 440 kms from Jaipur. More on the temple later ...

We started from home (Jaipur) at a leisurely 7:40 am and reached the ajmer highway in 30 minutes. Highway was the usual well maintained stretch and devoid of much traffic at that hour..Paid first toll and continued.

Shortly before kishangarh took the diversion towards nasirabad, etc. Realized quickly that this isn't where we should be heading (this four lane road was too good and we had used it in 2005 for chittorgarh trip so recalled that it was the same turn we had taken again). We stopped, asked for directions and were given conflicting advice by truckers and a shopkeeper.

One suggested we should continue till nasirabad and take a right turn from inside the bus stand , continue onto mangliawas and rejoin the NH at beawar.. We chose to follow the safer route of heading back to the kishangarh byepass and onto NH8.

This detour cost approx 35 minutes. Kishangarh bypass was really bad - thanks to the thriving marble business and the road widening work currently underway. Trailer after long trailer slowed us down and very soon were 1 hour behind schedule. The highway didn't improve much at ajmer bypass either. From barr, the road was a two lane highway (112) and devoid of heavy traffic which was great for the drive.

Gave the car to papa from here onwards till Jodhpur.

We were supposed to bypass Jodhpur as well but somehow missed the dangiawas turn towards balotra which was to prove propitious later - though I didnt realize it then.

Entered Jodhpur city and stopped at hotel chadra inn - pavan sagar restaurant for lunch. Even though it was october end, the heat on the road called for good central AC.

First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan-dsc_0103.jpg

The restaurant was a welcome respite (it's on the PanchBatti circle on Ratnada Airport Road). The food was good and it cost about 300+ for three. The service was slightly indifferent. Given below are is a photo of the inside from the restaurant.

First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan-dsc_0105.jpg

We walked out and my father suggested we talk to some taxi drivers who had parked their cars on the panchbatti circle. They were super-helpful.

We met the very helpful driver mr shambhu dutt( retd from air-force and now has two cabs) who intimated that road to balotra and Barmer has been closed since two months by angry villagers at village doli about 100 km from Jodhpur on the Barmer highway. Thanked him profusely but he refused any tip/ offers of cup of tea, etc. He's a good person who has two good cars and knows the entire area very well....... I have unfortunately lost his number.

We managed to shape the the rest of the trip more comfortably thanks to his good advice about which roads to take. Left at 3:30 after lunch from Jodhpur via boranada industrial area - onto the village newri - on a single lane road that was often covered only with grit.

We were soon joined by two taxi number innovas and two buses headed to Barmer and to sanchore, respectively. Thus all doubts about the veracity of the information given by mr dutt were laid to rest. The dusty roads join the Rajasthan mega highway running from phalodi to ramji ki gol at thob. It was a very smooth ride from thob till balotra on the highway.

Reached the temple at nakodaji (13 km from balotra) around 5:40. Went straight for darshan. Upon the exit, turned around and captured this shot in fading daylight of the main temple entrance (inside the complex).

First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan-dsc_0106.jpg

Photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited at all times (outside permitted and some night shots may be seen below ).

A great feature of most Jain temples is the Bhojanshala - the food is usually excellent. We missed dinner at bhojanshala as it serves only prior to sunset and we had had reached at closing time.......

This was followed by a waste of an hour checking out nearby cottages built by a developer as resort. Its called arham kutir by himmada developer - it was full of mosquitoes and the lighting was not very good. Overall, avoidable I'd say. We went back to the temple complex and found an aircon room inside the temple complex for just rs 500/-. rooms sleep two on the bed and two on floor.

I walked inside the temple complex to capture some photos after the sun had set and thanks to diwali the decorations were lovely. Given below are the main entrance shots:

First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan-dsc_0122.jpg

First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan-dsc_0123.jpg

We were forced to take dinner outside the temple complex and it was pretty disappointing. Spoke with a few helpful cab drivers on various routes possible to jaisalmer and slept early. A last shot of the temple ....

First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan-dsc_0124.jpg
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Old 14th April 2012, 09:14   #2
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Default Re: First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan

Road from Jodhpur to Balotra blocked?? I did this stretch and wrote about it http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ravails-4.html (Desert Storm Travels (Travails?))

Interesting pictures. Have passed through Balotra number of times but never stopped for a darshan.
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Old 14th April 2012, 10:24   #3
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Default Re: First Travelogue here: ex Jaipur - Nakoda-Jaisalmer-Khichan

Sudev sir

Thanks for sharing your travelogue. I looked through a few posts quickly. What you ate in Rajasthan is actually called 'Kachri' or Kachree. It's available widely and often grows wild or on borders of a field (as an ancilliary crop).

Yes, when we went (post monsoon), the road at village doli between Balotra and jodhpur was closed by the villagers who were angry that repair work hadnt been done properly by the current Rajasthan government. We had two options - a) either continue on the NH and take a detour of atleast 25 kms near that village and go through kuccha village roads, OR take the alternative route suggested to us.

The alternative (I will try to plot on google maps when I end this travelogue) involved going through few village roads and then exiting on mega highway (which i saw from your travelogue you're very familiar with). I'm not an auto enthusiast but more of a travel enthusiast so plotting on maps etc doesnt come naturally to me. We mostly just asked around (parents speak good marwari and I can manage a bit) ... and made our way. This was aided by a single printout for the entire journey using google maps - which in this case was way off the reality.

thanks
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Old 28th September 2012, 13:30   #4
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Default Jaipur to Jaisalmer

Which route is more advisable to drive from Jaipur to Jaisalmer -- via Bikaner or via Jodhpur? In the case of Jodhpur route, if one starts early from Jaipur, can one visit Ajmer/Pushkar, and proceed in the afternoon to Jodhpur to reach there by 8 pm or so?

And from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer, which will be the fine route? The driver's bible issued by Skoda-autocar last month mentions NH 15 just 50 kms before Jaisalmer as one of the must drive roads in India. How can one approach this stretch from Jodhpur?

Vipin.

Last edited by Vipin Kumar : 28th September 2012 at 13:32.
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Old 28th September 2012, 15:09   #5
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Default Re: Jaipur to Jaisalmer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vipin Kumar View Post
Which route is more advisable to drive from Jaipur to Jaisalmer -- via Bikaner or via Jodhpur? In the case of Jodhpur route, if one starts early from Jaipur, can one visit Ajmer/Pushkar, and proceed in the afternoon to Jodhpur to reach there by 8 pm or so?

And from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer, which will be the fine route? The driver's bible issued by Skoda-autocar last month mentions NH 15 just 50 kms before Jaisalmer as one of the must drive roads in India. How can one approach this stretch from Jodhpur?

Vipin.
Jaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer: I'd done this route a few years back and it was a breeze back then. But I guess Ajmer & Baewar are kinda prone to jams cause of the flyover construction on this route now.

Jaipur - Bikaner - Jaisalmer: I drove from Sikar to Jaisalmer and it was a great drive. So if this route doesn't has any bottlenecks now, I'd recommend it over the former.

Regarding the must drive - great road, I guess it might be the one post Pokhran towards Jaisalmer. Smooth tarmac, very less traffic, plenty of curves and awesome desert landscape all around. But one needs to take care of not letting the car drift onto the sand lying adjacent to the road.
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