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Old 21st April 2015, 17:35   #1
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Default A 6000 kms, 18 day roadtrip - Bangalore to Rajasthan in my Innova

Visiting Rajasthan was a plan that was long outstanding for us, but was always put on hold due to one reason or the other. We purchased a new car (Innova VX 8 seater) in October 2014 and that is when I decided that the trip to Rajasthan will be done by road in the new car. My Family backed the idea immediately and the preps began. We started planning for the trip in February 2015. As usual, my first stop for information and queries was Team-BHP. I updated the thread "Rajasthan Road Trip Query" with my tentative trip plan, to get opinions from members of the forum and got a lot of helpful opinions. Based on the opinions and further research, the trip was planned as below
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Travellers - Myself, wife, Parents and 2 kids aged 9 and 4 years.

Hotels were booked in Advance and the other preparations started. Since this was going to be a long trip with kids involved, we needed to think of measures that will keep them occupied during the long drives. And out came the ipad's, tablet's and books.
Light cotton clothes were packed, a visit to decathlon was made to get swimming costumes. Other things that we got were a rope, medical box/first aid kit, medicines for kids and adults, , Milton cool water carrier (5 lts), tubeless tyre puncture repair kit, 2 flash-lights, sunglasses, Sun Screen, caps, spare battery for camera and handy-cam, spare memory card, foot pump, hand sanitizer , wet tissue papers, a couple of pillows / bedsheets, mosquito repellent, 15 Mineral water bottles (when we started from Bangalore), USB car charger, pen drive with choice of songs, an iron rod and a small axe.We also stocked up a lot of biscuits/Namkeen and Chiwda (A maharashtrian snack).
With most of the preparations done and leave arranged from the office, we were all set to begin our trip.

Day 1 - Bangalore to Pune (via NICE road and then NH4 via Tumkur / Hubli / Dharwad/Kolhapur)
We started from Electronic City , Bangalore at 6 am. We had packed breakfast and planned to stop for lunch at hotel White house at Tavandi Ghat. The journey was smooth and we reached home at Pune by 7 pm. Did not stop anywhere else as this is a route that we travel frequently on.

Day 2 - Pune to Ahmedabad (NH8 via Thane/Ghodbandar road/Surat/Bharuch/Vadodara/Anand)
We started from Pune at around 5:30 am. Driving on the Pune Mumbai Express way is always a breeze, specially early morning. Stopped for breakfast at Khopoli at 7 am and enjoyed fresh and Hot Vada Pav (something that I miss a lot in Bangalore). Continued to Thane/Ghodbandar road on to Vapi Surat Expressway.
Stopped for lunch at Sugar And Spice after Valsad. The food was great and the facilities all over the route were great. The road is very busy though and one encounters a lot of truck traffic. Reached Ahmedabad (Ellis Bridge) by 5 pm and checked in at Four points by Sheraton. Decided to rest in the evening instead of going out.

Day 3 - Ahmedabad to Udaipur (NH8 via Sabarmati Riverfront , Airport road,Kherwara, Rishabhdev, Paduna, Barapal)
Decided to have an early breakfast / checkout from the hotel and visit the Sabarmati Riverfront. I had heard a lot about how this was developed and I wanted to visit it. I was definitely not disappointed. The river front has been built and is being maintained beautifully. Morning walkers throng the place and the area is abuzz with activity even early morning.
A 6000 kms, 18 day roadtrip - Bangalore to Rajasthan in my Innova-dscn4706-1280x960.jpg
Continued to Udaipur and reached there by 1 pm. Our hotel (Jaiwana Haveli) was near the Pichola Lake and I had a very hard time navigating the innova till the city palace road (Jagdish Temple). The roads are very narrow. We were already aware that the hotel does not have a parking facility. So, after reaching Jagdish temple we called the hotel folks and they helped us park our vehicle at a pay and park facility near the city palace road.
Checked in to the hotel by 2 pm and the rested for a couple of hours before we started out to visit the city palace.
The City palace is awesome. The tickets are a bit expensive though. We paid an entry fees of Rs 1600 for 4 adults and 2 kids. Entry to the Crystal Garden is more expensive. 2800 for 4 adults and 2 kids and no photographs allowed as well there !!!!! Some snaps from the city palace
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My Father in front of the City Palace Entrance
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Day 4 - Udaipur Sightseeing

Finished breakfast by 7:30 am and started the local sightseeing tour. After looking at the narrow roads in Udaipur, I was not very sure about taking our innova for sightseeing so we decided to hire one instead. The taxi arrived on time at 8 am.
{One thing I would like to mention about tourist vehicles in general in Rajasthan, they are very well kept. Wherever we used a local tourist taxi, it was clean and very well maintained. }
Well, coming back to the sightseeing, my mother wanted to visit a few temples, so this is how the tour itinerary was decided - Nathdwara temple, Eklingji Temple, Sahastrabhuja Mandir (local folks call it Saas Bahu mandir.....), Saheliyon ki badi and Maharana Pratap Smarak.

We started with Nathdwara temple. Our cab driver knew a local priest at the temple who assured us that he can "Fast Track" our darshan. Reached the temple and met the priest. The gates were yet to open, but he assured us that since we had senior citizens with us, we will get priority in Darshan line. We accompanied my Parents and the Darshan was quickly done, no hassles. It was now crowded as well, so that helped.

From there on, we went to the Eklingji temple. In recent times, it looks like this temple has found new fame due to the Television serial on Maharana Pratap. The priest there mentioned that although the temple was always popular among locals, after the TV series started airing, more tourists have started visiting. After a quick darshan here, and after having some fabulous Mirchi Vada and Kachori on stalls outside (do not miss these) , we started further towards Sahastrabahu Temple.
This temple is a great example of the craftsmanship that was present in Rajasthan. There is work ongoing to restore some of the potion of the temple complex. Locals here call the temple Saas Bahu Temple!!!!! Not sure why. It was an interesting topic for discussion between my Wife and my Mother for some time.
Saheliyon ki Badi is a place constructed for the Rani's friends to stay. Quite a place I must say. The Garden is divided in parts. There is a portion in the garden where the fountains are arranged in such a way that it sounds like its raining. There is another portion where it feels cool even during high temperatures. Its amazing how the craftsmen managed to do this in the time when technology was supposedly not so advance.
We also visited the Maharana pratap Smarak and the Fateh Sagar lake. Did boating at the lake. Nothing special. But the Maharana Pratap Smarak was good. It was being renovated while we visited.
We also visited JMB sweet shop at Suraj Pole for the amazing Pyazz kachori and imarti. It was awesome!!!!!
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Last edited by Wanderer78 : 13th August 2015 at 19:24. Reason: Details of the trip added
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Old 13th August 2015, 17:42   #2
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Day 5 - Udaipur to Ajmer via Chittorgarh (NH76 and then NH79 -Udaipur road)
We decided to leave early from Udaipur as we had to cover Chittorgarh fort before reaching Ajmer. We decided to checkout at 5:30 am and informed the hotel before hand. When we checked out, the reception guy, handed over a bag filled with packed breakfast and juice for our journey. This was hospitality at its best and we had not even asked for it!
Reached Chittorgarh by 9 am and hired a guide to show us around the fort. The guides here will accompany you in your car and show you around the fort. Its a pretty big area to cover. But the fort is definitely worth a visit.
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Reached Ajmer by 4 pm and checked in at Hotel Royal Melange. We had booked a hotel package that included visit to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah as well. So after reaching the hotel and resting for an hour, we visited the world famous Dargah. It was a great experience. The Dargah is open for visitors in the evening from 4 pm to 10 pm.

Day 6 - Ajmer to Ranthambhore via Pushkar (Via NH 89)
Checked out from the hotel at Ajmer after breakfast and started for Pushkar. Pushkar is 16 kms from Ajmer and is famous for the Pushkar lake and the worlds only Bramha temple. This was a place my parents were looking forward to visit. Its a nice place and all, but like at the ghats of Varanasi, the priests will bug you. So beware there.........
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Continued on to Ranthambhore from here and this is where our GPS duped us. Till tonk, there was no issue, but then as we had to take an internal route, GPS misguided us. We then had to rely on asking people on the road for directions. But folks were very helpful so there were no issues. We were also in touch with the hotel folks who were guiding us.Reached Ranthambhore Regency at around 4 pm. But we had missed the evening Safari and visit to the fort Spent the evening exploring the resort.
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Day 7 - Morning Safari and then proceed to Jaipur
The hotel had a jeep arranged for us for the morning Safari. We were up by 4 am and in the lobby by 5 am for tea before we started. Had an awesome trip in the jungle and spotted a lot of wildlife. The kids enjoyed this the most.
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After the safari, we came back to the hotel (at around 9:30) for breakfast and then checked out and left for Jaipur. While driving to Jaipur, we missed a turn going towards Tonk (NH116 and NH12) and ended up taking the Rajasthan State Highway 24 via Lalsot - Bassi. The road was horrible!!! Please avoid this route. Reached Jaipur by 3:30 pm and checked in at Lemon Tree Premier.

Last edited by Wanderer78 : 13th August 2015 at 19:14.
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Old 13th August 2015, 20:10   #3
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Day 8 - Jaipur local sightseeing
It had been too much driving in the last couple of days so decided that we will use local tourist taxi to visit places in and near Jaipur. Engaged taxi through the hotel travel desk and got a good deal that covered Birla Mandir,Albert Museum (njot sure if thats the correct name, there was an albert hall in that museum for sure),Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Amer Fort (Make sure you hire a guide here), Light and sound show at Amer. Our driver suggested lunch at LMB (Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar in the old pink city). We agreed.I will let pictures do the talking here. All these places were very beautiful and we enjoyed a lot. We had lunch at LMB and liked it so much that we ended up there for dinner as well
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Artwork on the wall at city palace
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Day 9 - Jaipur to Bikaner (via NH11 - Sikar -Fatehpur)
Checked out from Jaipur after breakfast and started for Bikaner at around 9:30 am. This route has a bad patch after Sikar till Lakshmangarh. Else its a good road to drive on. Reached Bikaner by 3:30 pm and checked in at Vesta Bikaner Palace
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Day 10 - Bikaner Local sightseeing
The manager at the Bikaner hotel was very helpful and she arranged tourist taxi for local sightseeing. She also gave ideas about having lunch and where to buy the famous Bikaneri Namkeen. So we decided to visit Junagarh Fort,Karni Mata Mandir (the rat temple),Camel Research Centre(one of a kind, must visit) and buy lots of Namkeen and have Lunch at "Chotu Motu Joshiji". This turned out to be the best lunch I had on the trip. It was also my Daughter's birthday and the hotel graciously arranged for a cake. It was a special birthday, so although she was missing her friends, she was so happy to spend time with Family.
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Last edited by Wanderer78 : 13th August 2015 at 20:48.
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Old 13th August 2015, 21:08   #4
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Day 11 - Bikaner to Jaisalmer (NH 15 via Gajner Pokhran)
Checked out from Bikaner after breakfast and started for Jaisalmer. Plan was to reach Jaisalmer by noon, check in to the hotel and in the evening visit Gadisar lake and watch puppet show with kids. The road from Bikaner to Jaisalmer is one of the most awesome roads I have driven on in India. Just a strip of tar and nothing on the sides. Just awesome !!!!!Our hotel at Jaisalmer, Gulaal, was a small boutique hotel and served awesome food.
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At Pokhran
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Awesome food
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Day 12 - Jaisalmer Fort and Sam sand dunes
I will let pictures do the talking. We visited the fort, Haveli's and then in the evening, the Sam Sand dunes. Lots of options are available for Resorts at Sam. Make your choice.
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Last edited by Wanderer78 : 13th August 2015 at 22:26.
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Old 13th August 2015, 22:39   #5
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Day 13 -Jaisalmer to Jodhpur(Via NH 15 and NH 114 Pokhran,Dechoo, Balesar)
Started after breakfast at around 9 am for Jodhpur. The road is excellent and best , no tolls. The one thing that I noticed on the trip was that after Jaipur, there are no major tolls that you need to pay. Tolls are highest in Karnataka ,Maharashtra and Gujrat, specially on the Highway's. Reached Jodhpur after lunch and checked in to the hotel. Decided to rest for the day as temperatures had now started going up.
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Day 14 - Jodhpur Sightseeing
Decided to use local taxi for sightseeing as I had to drive back long stretches later. On the itenary was Mehrangarh fort, Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jaswant Thada. I am not too interested in museum's and so did not enjoy what was in these palaces, but loved the architecture of the palaces. Another worth visiting place was collection of old cars at Umaid Bhavan Palace.
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Jodhpur was our last destination in Rajasthan. We later drove to Burhanpur, and Nagpur to meet Friends and Family and then back to Bangalore via Hyderabad. Nagpur - Bangalore was my longest drive in the trip. I drove 1100 Kms in one go.

On this trip , we paid Rs 4400 as toll fees (Bangalore to Bangalore).
Used around 400 lts of Diesel and got an approximate average of 15 kms / lt with A/C on all the time.

Well, it was too much of driving yes, but it was too much fun as well !

Last edited by Wanderer78 : 13th August 2015 at 23:10.
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Old 14th August 2015, 13:00   #6
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 14th August 2015, 19:15   #7
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@Wanderer78 - many thanks for sharing. Enjoyed reading every bit of it. Very crisp description with superb photos. I wish to also do such a trip may be next year. Given that you have done this trip, do you suggest any changes in the travel plan you followed.
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Old 15th August 2015, 19:49   #8
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@pgupta, Thanks. I would suggest same program if you want to cover Mumbai / Ahmedabad on the way. A couple of long stretches but good roads all the way. But then, also depends upon how much would you want to drive in a stretch. One good thing about taking this route is that there are good facilities available all throughout.
Else you can also take the Hyderabad - Nagpur - Bhopal-Ujjain - Ratlam - Mandsaur-Chittorgarh route to enter Rajasthan. But this route has lesser facilities as compared to the Mumbai - Ahemadabad route. I took this route while coming back to Bangalore, till Ratlam and the roads were good. Some bad patches here and there but overall good.
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Old 15th August 2015, 20:44   #9
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@wanderer78 - thanks for your reply. I am looking at April next year for the trip. How was the weather in April , was it comfortable to visit places during this time ?
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Old 15th August 2015, 21:07   #10
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I am sure you and your family had fun during this long trip. Rajasthan is probably the only state which has awesome roads. Nice pictures BTW.
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Old 16th August 2015, 09:11   #11
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Thanks @rohitchandra21, had an awesome time.
@pgupta , We did the trip in first week of April. It was ok. Temperatures in the range 30-35 in most of the places. I was told by friends that it starts getting really hot in Rajasthan in the 3rd week of April. And we experienced it at Jodhpur, which was our last stop in the tour. It had hit 40 then. By the time we entered MP, temperature was 45 +. So yeah, I would suggest wrap it up before the 2nd week of April.
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Old 17th August 2015, 01:17   #12
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Default Re: A 6000 kms, 18 day roadtrip - Bangalore to Rajasthan in my Innova

Thank you very much for sharing such a wonderful journey with us. I've a similar kind of trip running on my mind from a long time. I would be starting from Hyderabad and the journey would be mostly on the Golden Quadrilateral stretch. Rough estimate includes around 18 places to visit in 13 days covering around 7500 KMS. Will be starting a new thread soon with the itinerary for help and suggestions. Much appreciate if could pitch in.
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