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Old 26th January 2015, 12:45   #1
aaren's Avatar
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Default Travel to Chittorgarh and Udaipur

On the 6th of October 2014, my Honda Jazz X completed 3 years !! As if to coincide with this occasion, came the long week end during which, along with my family and accompanied by my FIL, we traveled to Chittorgarh, a day’s trip to Udaipur, back to Chittorgarh and then back to Indore.

Doing this trip has been sometime in the making but execution was a bit of suddenly done thing.

From Indore to Chittorgarh, one of the easier and better routes to follow would be to use:

Indore to Ujjain through SH 27
Ujjain to Jaora through SH 17
Jaora to Chittorgarh via Mandsaur and Neemuch through NH 79

We started on the 3rd October morning and just after leaving home topped up the tank, checked the tyres and off we went. When we started it was about 9:45 a.m.

We hit Ujjain in about 65 minutes. This road, on which I have travelled many a time, is a top notch road and is a 4 lane highway. From Ujjain, we can either travel via Ratlam or by pass Ratlam altogether if we take the Jaora Toll Road. In this instance, when travelling to Mandsaur or Neemuch, it is preferable to hit the Toll road rather than the NH that passes through Ratlam.

The road, from the point of entering Ujjain till the time one hits the toll road, is an apology of a road. It is very patchy, rough road and literally what you see is a free for all. You have pedestrians, cyclists, tempo wallahs, Tata Aces and generously peppered and seasoned with cows which are utterly blissful of all the noise and happenings around them and carry with their primary job of chewing the cud. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to cover a distance of about 4 to 5 kms and then we hit the toll road.

This road is a more recent one - about 1 year old, is a 2 lane but with sparse traffic. It connects Ujjain to the NH 79 by passing Nagda, and of course totally bypassing Ratlam. It traverses a distance of about 85 kms and takes about 2.5 hours taking into account the couple of toll booths, the speed breakers and like. But it is by and large very smooth drive without pot holes or other obstacles.

Once you hit the NH 79, you are presented with a 4 lane highway that for a major part is smooth drive. It is a stretch of 105 kms or thereabouts and takes 2 hours. However, when we hit the NH 79, just on the right side there is a Jain Restaurant where in we take a small commercial break. Then we motor on.

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When we cross Mandsaur, we decided to have our lunch. My best half, had prepared “Puliyodharai” a Tamil / Kannada / Telugu Speciality but no one can make it as good as the Iyengars. Unfortunately, a bit of a drama ensues as my wife discovers that the due to the displacement of the food container, some amount of oil has oozed onto the bag that was acting as the carrier. So, after a bit of drama, we finish off the “Puliyodharai” and also other items my wife had thoughtfully prepared.

As we ate, my thoughts were, if only in India we have points all along the highways, where travelling public can take short breaks, refresh themselves, how wonderful would it be !!

Soon, we crossed Neemuch and entered Rajasthan and as soon as we entered our neighbouring state, we felt the difference. The 4 lane got converted into a 2 lane road and we further drove towards Chittorgarh. This was not the only change. Later I realised that the direction markings on the roads indicating as to which road should one pick up to travel to a particular destination is also missing especially at key points especially the “forks”.

My 1st realisation came when as we were travelling on NH 79 and approaching Nimbahera. A point comes where in the NH 79 goes in 2 different directions - one through the town of Nimbahera and another by passing but there is no board to show that.

So guided by the Google Maps on the phone, I took the road on the left only to subsequently discover (after riding about 8 kms) after stopping at a railway crossing that I should have kept going on NH 79 (that is I should have taken the right road (see the yellow line that swerves to the right and then turns left.

So, entering this point costed me in terms of the time that I spent at the Railway crossing while in terms of the distance probably was lesser but it consumed additional time. The roads through this part - consisting of many cement factories - JK Cements, La Farge, Wonder Cement and so on - make the place extremely dusty. Due to these factories there is very high movement of heavy Commercial Vehicles in these areas.

Anyways, after a bit of meandering, we reached Chittorgarh at about 4:45 - about 45 minutes behind what I thought should be the time we reached our destination. When we approach Chittorgarh Railway station via Maharana Pratap Chowk, there is a point (again !!) where in the road takes a right turn and then goes under the railway bridge and then again one needs to turn to the right to reach the hotel. The entire thing is a bit dainty stuff - in the sense, for a 1st time driver - it can be blink and miss kind of a thing.

After successfully manoeuvring, we reached the Hotel and after freshening up, we left for Chittorgarh Fort just to take a stock of things and eventually we ended up watching the light and sound show. There are 2 shows - and we watched the 2nd one that starts at 7:15 p.m. and goes on till about 8:15 p.m.

The light and sound show can be rated at 6 to 7 out of 10 stars. Once the show got over we returned to the Hotel.

Next day morning we left for Udaipur. The road to Udaipur - NH 76- is a superb one once you are out of Chittorgarh. During our drive, the traffic was sparse. After starting our journey after breakfast around 8:30 a.m. we travelled the distance of about 120 kms. in about 2 hours till we reached the point when we neared the City Palace.

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Then I thought I should park the car at some good point and then take the local conveyance so that I don’t need to worry about parking or finding out local points etc. but then we decided to travel in our vehicle itself. And that was a mistake.

Because, soon after we neared the City Palace, we got caught into the massive traffic jams right unto the Palace. It started with the classic combination of big buses, small lanes and no traffic cop. Then, we started slowly moving and after 30 mins or so, we were directed to another road and this road had a quite a bit of gradient and in this stretch, the vehicle moved inch by inch and a maximum of foot by foot. And if the driver was not alert, then there was every possibility that the car would roll back and hit the vehicle behind. So slowly, we wound round the shops all along the route to the gate and then finally without any incidents, my family got out to get tickets and I went deep inside the palace area to park the car. From the time we entered the palace vicinity and till the time car was parked it must have taken another 1 hour.

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We spent the next 4 hours looking around City Palace and boy it was crowded !!! Never seen a tourist place so crowded. And it was hot. There are not adequate arrangements for drinking water in that area. Just one point within the palace you can get water for the normal price - Rs. 20. And in the joint outside, food becomes quite expensive. One cup of Coffee can set you back by about Rs. 150/-. if am not mistaken, Beer was even more expensive. A simple Lime Soda can also set you back by Rs. 150/- or thereabouts. My only grouse is that when there is a fairly high entry charges (Rs.115 per head), tourists should be provided the facility of complimentary water or if not at normal market prices.

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Once we were done, we fleetingly thought about going to Eklingji Shivji Mandir but then faced with the incorrect directions (not many localities knew about this place) we decided to return back to Chittorgarh.

Returning to Chittorgarh was pretty smooth and uneventful except for the missing direction markers at key points. Just before Chittorgarh, a fork comes with the left side towards Delhi and the right side towards Chittorgarh. But as appears to be the case in Rajasthan, there are no display boards or indicators with the result that I took the left turn before I realised my mistake. So after checking with a localite, took a U turn after which we proceeded further without any hiccups. By the time we reached it was about 7:00 pm after which we relaxed.

We were toying with the idea travelling to another place the next day afternoon but then the long weekend was to bring sizeable amount of work so I decided that Sunday would be our last day at Chittorgarh.

Next day morning, we went to Chittorgarh Fort and in hindsight, to do justice to this Fort, one needs to spend 1 day - preferably from about 7:00 a.m. when the tickets are issued - till about 11:00 a.m and then again from about 3:30 pm. when the heat abates. There are many points of interest and one of the most beautiful Shiva Temple - The Jatashankar Mahadev - the architecture of the temple is absolutely marvellous and unique. This place also has the temple that Meera Bai used to visit regularly. Many fascinating things abound in this Fort.

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Temple where Meerabai used to go and pray

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Vijay Stambh - 10 storied structure

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Jata Shankar Temple
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We then started for Indore at around 2:00 pm. and but for a small break it was a straight home run reaching home at 8:30 p.m.

The total distance travelled came to slightly under 900 kms and the vehicle gave an average of about 17 kms. I know this is on the lower side but this probably more on account of driving in this particular travel - there have been instances when Honda Jazz hits a sweet spot and has given me as much as 22 to 25 kms per litre. In this particular trip, that was not to be !!

P.S. Am writing this travelogue using an iMac. I had tried and uploaded this write up 3 times earlier but for some reason, the photographs kept disappearing and I had to start all over again. Today hopefully, things are ok.
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Old 27th January 2015, 16:49   #2
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Default Re: Travel to Chittorgarh and Udaipur

Thanks a ton for the write up and great photographs aaren. I especially love this one. Own a '10 Jazz myself and never really tested out the long distance ability (Max I've driven in a day is 500 kms round trip). One attempted trip to Mangalore from Mumbai got ruined because of a rash driver who rear ended us before we even got a chance to exit the city limits

But anyway, would be great if you shed some light on the car too vis a vis performance through the journey, long distance seat comfort etc. Even i used to get a fuel economy 22 to 25 kms per litre (MID indicated) on my short highway drives, but lately I can never manage anything above 17 km/l.
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Old 30th January 2015, 16:54   #3
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Default Re: Travel to Chittorgarh and Udaipur

Hi aaren

Udaipur to me is one of the best holiday spot apart from beaches of Goa. It no wonder that people from all over the world put it in top 10 on their holiday list.

The city of lakes is naturally beautiful (even though it was man-made once upon a time) and has not lost its glory with commercialization.
I have visited many times, when I was at Baroda and never felt bored.

Chittorgarh has come up well with Rana Pratap Serial playing on TV.
We loved the drive around the fort, when we visited last October.

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Old 1st February 2015, 22:47   #4
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Default Re: Travel to Chittorgarh and Udaipur

Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
Thanks a ton for the write up and great photographs aaren.

But anyway, would be great if you shed some light on the car too vis a vis performance through the journey, long distance seat comfort etc. Even i used to get a fuel economy 22 to 25 kms per litre (MID indicated) on my short highway drives, but lately I can never manage anything above 17 km/l.
Thanks for the compliments.

Performance of Jazz has been consistent in many ways. If only she had a clear road clearance it would be wonderful. In this particular journey, we were 4 of us and none had any complaints after the relatively long drive and especially through the not so go good roads when we travelled to Chittorgarh.

Only thing is before I did, got a check up to ensure that all is well with the car including ensuring that the tyre pressure is ok.

If you anything specific let me know.
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