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Old 25th May 2012, 15:55   #1
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Default Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

Rajasthan

The Land of Kings
The Largest State of India by area
The Land of the Great Indian Thar Desert
The National Tiger Reserves
The Land of the Indus Valley Civilisation
Border to the west
The Aravallis
The Land of Palaces
The Desert Forts
...


Rajasthan has a lot to offer its visitors. A trip to Rajasthan needs a lot of dedication, time and research to enjoy the place in all glory.

And for me it all started with a phone call from Starvegabond in April 2011, for a trip to Rajasthan in December for Christmas 2011 and New year 2012.



Rajasthan welcomed us ....
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(The photo is of a picture displayed at Junagarh Fort. Copyright belongs to the concerned and is acknowledged)




So here's the story of our trip to Rajasthan.
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Old 25th May 2012, 16:15   #2
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

Prelude
09.04.2011

I got a call from my friend and TBHPian StarVegabond. During that friendly chat we spoke a lot about the recent travels that we have undertaken. Branching off from that discussion we went into the planned ones for the year ahead.

I had several plans for the year. One being the epic trip undertaken with HVK to Ladakh and the other one being a trip to Kaas, Mahabaleswar, Hampi of which I am yet to write about. You can read about the Ladakh trip here.

Ladakh
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...l-pradesh.html (HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh))


StarVegabond had already blocked some days in December as always for a family trip. You can read the logs of his previous trips in December here.

Story of a Vacation I
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-vacation.html (Story of a Vacation (:-)))

Story of a Vacation II
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...n-country.html (Story of a Vacation II : A page out of Jungle Book & experiencing God's Own Country)

He just asked casually how would it be if our families join together for a trip as we had done to Tranquebar. I had joined him alone on another trip to Kaas later though. You can read about those drives here.

Tranquebar
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...elankanni.html (Civic & City : Celebrating the Friendship Day Mahabalipuram - Tranquebar - Velankanni)

Kaas
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...y-flowers.html (Kaas - The Valley of Flowers)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...smiri-way.html (Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way)



Thus on 09.04.2011, the ideation for Story of a Vacation III had started. The team would be my family, Starvegabond's family and The Sprited One's family. Few hundred emails, long long phone calls, conference calls were the order of the day after that. At this point we were having Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan in our minds.

For us TBHPians holidays means - it must be a DRIVE. It was unanimously decided that we drive down, where ever the holidays was going to be. Civic, City and Baleno - What a convoy. It was almost certain that we were going to blaze through the highways in December. Civic and City all the way from Bangalore and Baleno from Mumbai.

Last edited by laluks : 25th May 2012 at 17:24.
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Old 25th May 2012, 17:00   #3
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

Initial Plan - Rajasthan & Gujarat


From the first discussions we had, we wanted to visit Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Dates identified were 16.12.2011 till 09.01.2012, 23 days. Uncertainties at this point were the School holiday timings and the Second Term Exam dates for the kids. Considering the fact that it was still Summer Holidays and the schools haven't yet opened for the next Academic Year 2011-12, one can imagine "parents" frustration of not having clarity on the dates for a trip. But going by the previous years experience we tentatively blocked the dates. We were discussing and reading all the travelogues at TBHP to gather more information. Starvegabond concentrated more on Rajasthan, and me Gujarat.

We came up with an idea of doing a coastal drive from Rajasthan to Mumbai via Gujarat traversing all key places along the coast. We wanted to cover Rajasthan first due to the percieved economical impact of a year end holiday in Rajasthan. The Christmas - New year week is the peak tourist season at Rajasthan, and everything is very expensive.


Discussions were frantic, too much to do, too less time - 23 days suddenly seemed to be too less!
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Old 25th May 2012, 17:42   #4
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

16.04.2011
Kahani mein Twist - 1
Exactly one week later, my wifey suprises all of us by undertaking an all Women trip to Leh with her friends. I am happy for her, she lived her dream. You can see some pictures from her trip here.

Leh
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2328375 (HumbLeh’d) Post 603 and onwards.


But it suddenly meant forking out 23 days in December will be tough for her. So the first modification of the trip had to be done. We'll have one week from 2011, and one week from 2012 for her to comfortably plan her leaves. So the number of days of the trip reduced to 16 from 23 and the dates tentatively were 23.12.2011 to 09.01.2012. Looking at these days, due to the perceived economical impact, with a heavy heart decided to let Rajsthan go from our plan.


15.05.2011
Second Plan - Gujarat and Maharashtra
We decided to do Gujarat and Maharashtra from 23.12.2011 to 09.01.2012, 16 days. The enthusiasm level was alltime low. By now almost a month had passed by. Schools have reopened. Kids were buzzing with activities and homework. We were tied up with official pressures, and homework at home. Me and Starvegabond somehow managed to keep the
momentum with some emails and phone calls. Some plans were being made. At this time we were not even sure that the trip would materialise.
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Old 25th May 2012, 17:48   #5
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

Kahani mein Twist - 2
Senior PPG announced to us that she wants 100% attendance at school this year onwards, being at a higher class. Any plans that we do must be vetted by her. With this the second week in the plan seemed to be shaky now. So from previous experience of the school holidays we could start earliest by 21.12.2012. But if we do that, my wifey had a problem with leaves, so the earliest we could start is 23.12.2011. So the start date was frozen to the night of 22.12.2012 to wherever the destination was. So the tentative days now seemed like 22.12.2011 to 01.01.2012, 10 days.

From 23 days to 10 days, our enthusiasm levels hit an alltime low. This means our DRIVE, setting ablaze the GQ is now in question. NO, that is not a holiday then!


Third Plan - Guajarat
We still made plans to incorporate our DRIVES . We have to DRIVE. We cut short Maharashtra plans, except for a stay at Ganapatipule for New Year. Now all seems to be possible. Coastal drive from Mumbai till Dwaraka. Seemed like we have a plan. More discussions happened, emails and phone calls became frequent again. We were buzzing with enthusiasm once again.
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Old 25th May 2012, 19:42   #6
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

19.06.2011
Kahani mein Twist - 3

Starvegabond invited my family over for lunch and to discuss the plan with our girls. By the way, me and Starvegabond are the minority when all the girls join. It is like 5 to 2. They have voting power to veto our plans.

Starvegabond presented our plans in the corporate style to the girls. I supported him quite well. But at the end the girls were like - too much, what's in this plan, what's our take away and the like. Then comes the golden line from the girls "if it was Rajasthan, there is a meaning to all this trouble"!!!!


Fourth Plan - Rajasthan
So me and Starvegabond quickly got into making a Rajasthan plan. Most plans were indicating that if you DRIVE, you need more days. Finally with a sad heart I told Starvegabond "it seems we cannot drive, we dont have that many days". He was silent for a while and he suggests why don't we both drive down, and my family fly down to Ahmedabad. Yippee - that was fantastic. We started thinking in that direction. But the idea of driving alone from Bangalore - No, I just cannot do that. After all the point is to be together for the holidays. I also thought we will fly to Delhi, get my sister's Aveo and join Starvegabond at Jaipur and start our drive.


30.06.2011
My need to DRIVE, am I not taxing my family, am I not taxing myself, am I not taking a lot of risk? Yes indeed I am. I spoke to Starvegabond, he shared my views too. With a heavy heart we both decided we will not DRIVE. Yes, a holiday does not always mean we have to DRIVE. The first decision was made.


Meanwhile senior PPG confirmed on 01.07.2011 that she could give me two more days in 2012, that makes it 22.12.2011 to 03.01.2012, 12 days. The second decision was made about the dates - the trip is for 12 days from 22.12.2011 night to 03.01.2012.


With the above two decisions made, we took the third decision the very next day, 02.07.2011 - We booked our return flights to Jaipur in July 2011! At an average of Rs7000 per person for a round trip to Jaipur it was not all that bad!



The TRIP is on. Yippeee....




Now we need a plan for 12 days in Rajasthan, before we book the hotels and choose a means of transportation in Rajasthan!

Last edited by laluks : 25th May 2012 at 19:44.
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Old 25th May 2012, 20:23   #7
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

The Plan

Jaipur Airport - Jhunjhunu - Mandawa - Fatehpur - Deshnok - Bikaner - Keenchan - Pokaran - Jaisalmer - Tanot - Longewal - Sam Dunes - Jaisalmer - Osian - Bishnoi - Jodhpur - - Mount Abu - Udaipur - Nathadwara - Haldi ghati - Kumbhalghar - Ranakpur - Udaipur - Chittorghar - Ajmer - Pushkar - Jaipur - Jaipur Airport

Approximately 3000 KMs.





Day wise program


Day 0
22nd December 2011 :
Arrive on 22nd late evening at Jaipur airport.

Day 01
23rd December 2011:
Start from Jaipur airport at 00:00 AM and drive directly to Jhunujhunu, Visit Sati Mata Temple. From Jhunujunu drive to Mandawa. Check into the Hotel by 12:00 AM. Afternoon we go to around Mandawa by walk. Stay in Mandawa.

Day 02
24th December 2011 :
Start by 8 AM, drive through Fatehpur to Deshnok to Bikaner.Check into hotel. Stay in Bikaner

Day 03
25th December 2011:
Start by 8 AM, See Bikaner, drive through Gajner-Kinchan-Pokaran to Jaisalmer. Stay in Jaisalmer

Day 04
26th December 2011 :
Start by 6 AM, Drive through Tanot-Longewal-Sam and return to Jaisalmer by 13:00. Afternoon Jaisalmer City tour. Visit Khuri Sand Dunes. Stay in Jaisalmer.

Day 05
27th December 2011 :
Start by 8 AM, Drive through Osiyan-Jodhpur to Bishnoi Village. Reach Bishnoi village by 15:00 PM. Stay in Bishnoi Village

Day 06
28th December 2011 :
Bishnoi VIllage & Sand Dune visit. Start at 13:00 PM and drive to Jodhpur and city visit. Stay at Jodhpur

Day 07
29th December 2011:
Start for Mount Abu early morning. Mount Abu Tour . Start from Mount Abu at 18:00 hrs and reach Udaipur by 22:00 hrs. Stay in Udaipur

Day 08
30th December 2011 :
Start at 7 AM, Drive through Nathdwara - Kumbhagarh-Ranakpur-Haldighati. Return to Udaipur by 20:00 PM. Stay in Udaipur

Day 09
31st December 2011 :
Udaipur City Tour. Stay in Udaipur

Day 10
1st January 2012 :
Start by 8 AM, Drive through Chittorghar, Visit the Fort, Start by 12:00
Reach Ajmer by 16:00 visit the Durgah, reach Pushkar by 17:30 visit the temple, lake etc. Start from Pushkar by 18:30 and reach Jaipur by 23:00

Day 11
2nd January 2012 :
Jaipur City Tour. Stay at Jaipur

Day 12
3rd January 2012 :
Jaipur city tour, Return to Banglore by 19PM flight




Some minor schedule change happened on ground. more of that as the story evolves.
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Old 25th May 2012, 21:12   #8
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

31.07.2011

We searched all online offers and closed all our hotel bookings by July end. We made the hotel bookings for all the 12 days under 30K (average 2500 per night) per family taking advantage of all online discounts and offers. The discounts and offers gave us a cool 15% of the rack rates. We completed all the hotel bookings by 31.07.2011

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Parallely we started our search for a vehicle. We wanted a vehicle with 11 push back seats for comfort. We started recieving quotes from various travel agents across Rajasthan. We found Abhay Travels to be proactive and reasonable and we continued our discussions with him.

Last edited by laluks : 25th May 2012 at 22:19.
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Old 25th May 2012, 21:38   #9
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06.11.2011

Nearly 45 days to go for 22nd December. Starvegabond and me decides to have a family meet to check the preparedness and to discuss the final plans. We met at UB City mall, a modern hangout in Bangalore. We had lunch at rajadhani to get a feel of Rajasthani food. The spread was amazing and we enjoyed the service while discussing heavily on the pending points.

Here a re a few pictures clicked by Starvegabond. I am using the same description he had given to the pictures.

Piazza Floor of UB City
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The Rajdhani Resturant
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The King's Meal
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King's handwash - before and after the meal
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Demoiselle Cranes and Power Puff Girls
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Three Friends
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Queens and Princesses
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Chocolate Loving Girls (CLGs)
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Queens & Princesses discussing what to buy
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Nothing was bought.. So fa So Good
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After a heavy lunch fit for a King we moved on to Coffee Day next doors to continue our discussions.
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Old 25th May 2012, 21:52   #10
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

We continued our discussion at Coffee Day. A lot of ifs and buts were ironed out. Also decided on the vehicle details and concluded.

Then we walked to Coffee Day Square
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Sizzling Brownie
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Mousse di Cioccolata
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The Kappi Nirvana
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The Cuppa
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Tropical Iceburg with Icecream
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Choco Dreams
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Drink Coffee and Drive
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Kids discussing the trip
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CLGs at CCD Square
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My Angels - near Cubbon Park
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By late evening we called it a day. Kiddies were excited about the trip. But they also had second term exams to be completed before the D Day.
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Old 25th May 2012, 22:14   #11
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18.12.2011

We confirm our plans with Abhay travels. We also transferred the advance for the Tempo Travellor. We got the name and number of the driver and discussed as to when he should pick us up from Jaipur Airport. Another 4 days to go.



22.12.2012
The D Day has arrived finally. We left home by 3PM. Took a cab to Airport. We reached the airport well ahead of time.

Me and Jr. PPG all thrilled for the holiday
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The two families from Bangalore
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It was Christmas Time
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Bookaholics
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Catching up with a game of chess on flight
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We landed in Jaipur on time. It was already close to midnight. Called up the driver and confirmed the time he will arrive.

The first time all the Kiddies meet, five of them - the Famous Five!
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The three families - 2 from Bangalore 1 from Mumbai meet
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We wait for the bus and ordered our dinner from Tehekhana restaurant which was just outside the airport.
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By then it was already the next day

Last edited by laluks : 25th May 2012 at 22:18.
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Old 25th May 2012, 23:05   #12
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

Note From Team-BHP Support-Team: Thread moved from Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th May 2012, 12:23   #13
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
The TRIP is on. Yippeee....
Amazing Planning and interesting narration. Looking for more posts. I am glued to this TL. I am sure, when complete, this TL will turn up as a reference for the TBHPians planning a trip to Rajasthan. Visit to the 'Land of Kings' has always been on my wish list. Probably early this winter, i may plan a one.

Request more detials about Abhay Travels and the rent for the Tempo travellor. Does this agency also provide sedans ?

Thanks in advance

Cheers
NH

Last edited by Night_Hawk : 26th May 2012 at 12:27. Reason: Added Quote
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Old 26th May 2012, 12:56   #14
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Hawk View Post
Amazing Planning and interesting narration. Looking for more posts. I am glued to this TL. I am sure, when complete, this TL will turn up as a reference for the TBHPians planning a trip to Rajasthan. Visit to the 'Land of Kings' has always been on my wish list. Probably early this winter, i may plan a one.

Request more detials about Abhay Travels and the rent for the Tempo travellor. Does this agency also provide sedans ?

Thanks in advance

Cheers
NH
Thanks NH

Please find the details of Abhay Travels

Abhay Travels Tours (Rajasthan)
Mobile : +91-94142-34143 (+91-98299-63535)
abhaytravels@gmail.com
Rajasthan Tour Packages, Rajasthan Tours,Tours to Rajasthan, Rajasthan Tour, Tour Packages Rajasthan, Rajasthan Travel Packages, Rajasthan Travel Tours, Travel Tour, Rajasthan Travel Destinations, tour packages india, Travel Packages Rajasthan, Tour

Mr. Abhay quoted Rs15 per Kilometer, with 250Km per day limits. Perfect transaction, and he gave us a new vehicle, and took care to provide us what we requested. He even took time to visit us at Udaipur. Probably he will still remember us.


My friend who booked the vehicle have given a testimonial too at his site Testimonials - Services Appreciation from Clients / Guest Comments

Quote:
Thanks very much for your support, our trip through Incredible Rajasthan got over some hours ago, we are waiting at Jaipur airport to board the flight to Bangalore.
Everybody liked the trip, mini bus, driver Mukesh and his cooperation with us.
Thanks for your help and support.
Wish you a happy new year 2012.
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Old 26th May 2012, 14:03   #15
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Default Re: Rajasthan - Padharo Mhare Des

So finally your Rajasthan TL has rolled out. Amazing narration. I am glued to this TL. Did you visit Sambhar lake near Jaipur in this trip ?

Expecting some super snaps !
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