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Old 3rd February 2016, 00:38   #61
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Default Re: Forts, Palaces, Wildlife and More - 9500 kms across South, West and North India

Dear Rajain Babu,

Congratulation for writing such an amazing travelogue. Just to glance though the posts, took me 90 minutes and its 00.26 hrs. Its your love for us fellow BHP Brethren, that you took so much pain and effort to pen them down.

Hats off to you, for the spirit. Time is money, and you spent a fortune, writing for us !, We are deeply obliged and sincerely grateful.

I thought you had missed 2 things, which IMHO, all BHpians miss. i.e. Fooding and lodging in detail. I was wrong . You had listed the hotels, but we are missing the various food, you tasted and enjoyed, and would like us to taste, too !

So Sir, can we have them, Area wise, 1st day -- breakfast / lunch / dinner .
to last day.

Any food items you would recommend, any particular restaurant, food joint, snack bar etc. Similarly, any food joints, you would like people to, avoid. Any special shops, markets etc.

Looking forward to mouthwatering snaps and fooding reviews.

Thanx in advance.

Had been carefully following you and Parag ji's for long. Just took the delivery of white ertiga vdi shvs, this saturday, 30th Jan. Just because of your and Parag ji's post.


regards,

dr. sen
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Old 3rd February 2016, 08:18   #62
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Default Re: Forts, Palaces, Wildlife and more - 9,500 kms across South, West and North India

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Originally Posted by Srikanthan View Post
A well written travelogue with beautifully captured pictures.
Thank you. I appreciate your feedback.

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Originally Posted by Srikanthan View Post
I very much like the disclosures at the end. Much responsible ones!
I have always felt those who travel should have an extra sense of responsibility towards local customs, heritage and certainly environment. Otherwise, the place begins to deteriorate. I kept a lot of this in mind while driving and going through various cities and towns.

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Originally Posted by Srikanthan View Post
Wish you more and more miles of safe and pleasant travel.
Thank you. Appreciate your feedback.


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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Rajain, a superb travelogue. Had started reading the thread when it came live, however just able to complete the same now due to other commitments.
Thank you. Yes its a bit long. With so many places covered and a fair bit of local flavour it went on like one mammoth drive.

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Though not as elaborate as your trip, been thinking of doing a west India drive since past couple of years, haven't been able to do the same yet. Anyways, when that works out, this travelogue is going to be the reference.
By all means feel free to reach out and ask for any detail. Gujarat/Rajasthan have so much to see. Even after spending so many days in so many places there are places I have had to skip. Chittorgarh, Ranakpur, Bikaner for instance. You always have to make your choices.

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
OT: Guess I spotted your car parked at HSR layout 27th main last Saturday noon.
Yes I was there at Just Books and possibly the car was parked in front of the Wildcraft/Imagine stores. I stay in HSR on another Main. The next time you see me around feel free to flag me down. Or better still - lets catch up for coffee
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Old 3rd February 2016, 14:05   #63
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Default Re: Forts, Palaces, Wildlife and more - 9,500 kms across South, West and North India

Hi Rajan,

Great travel log, rated well deserved five star. It is evident every day was spent doing what you love the most and was able to live each day with you through detailed write up. This probably is the best way to utilize time between jobs, though home ministries permission is hard to get and needs skilled negotiations (a salute to them as well).
I was in the same situation in the summer of 2014 and had spent entire month in Ladakh, few memories of these trips become desktop wallpapers and few others become tales to be told.

Enjoyed every bit of it. Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
Aum
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Old 5th February 2016, 00:26   #64
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Default Re: Forts, Palaces, Wildlife and more - 9,500 kms across South, West and North India

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Dear Rajain Babu,

Congratulation for writing such an amazing travelogue. Just to glance though the posts, took me 90 minutes and its 00.26 hrs. Its your love for us fellow BHP Brethren, that you took so much pain and effort to pen them down.
Dr. Sen - you are too kind with your words. The next time you find yourself in Bangalore your Hilsa at the best Bangali joint, Bhajohari Manna is on me :-) I am glad you found this TL useful and spent 90 minutes on this.

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Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Hats off to you, for the spirit. Time is money, and you spent a fortune, writing for us !, We are deeply obliged and sincerely grateful.
Quite the opposite. I am grateful to you. Really appreciate the time you took to go through this and leave a feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
I thought you had missed 2 things, which IMHO, all BHpians miss. i.e. Fooding and lodging in detail. I was wrong . You had listed the hotels, but we are missing the various food, you tasted and enjoyed, and would like us to taste, too !

So Sir, can we have them, Area wise, 1st day -- breakfast / lunch / dinner .
to last day.

Any food items you would recommend, any particular restaurant, food joint, snack bar etc. Similarly, any food joints, you would like people to, avoid. Any special shops, markets etc.

Looking forward to mouthwatering snaps and fooding reviews.
While I did undertake a hotel review, I am sorry, I won't be able to recall the meals a every place in the detail as desired by you. While I tried to keep these details in the initial couple of days but as I have written somewhere else, it was physically difficult for me to keep track of so many details on my own.

However, at a high level I can say while driving through Gujarat I relished the veg food, in particular the lunch at Farsaan (just before Vadodara) was a wonderful mix of Gujarati cuisines. We loved the Bhinda nu shaak, Bharela karela, Dudhi bataka nu shaak, Dudhi mag ni dal nu shaak and at another time we had Fansi nu shaak, Guvar nu shaak and Tameta bataka nu shaak. We also tasted dhokla. In sweets the Shrikhand and Gajar halwa was enough on the calorie front.

In Rajasthan, the one dish we found out of the world was Lal maas. This was available almost at all the places but the tastiest was at Boheda Palace in Udaipur. Additionally, I was keen to have choorma, dal Bhatti. Surprise, this was not available at most places. I remember having it in Jaisalmer and it was disappointing. I come from Haryana and we also have choorma. The choorma in Haryana is soaked in ghee while the one in Rajasthan is rather dry. We also had Guwar fali ki saag, Besan Gatte ki sabji, Masala Gatta, Moranga ki sabji and Makki ki ghat. The chaas was good as well. Though I had it only once. I generally stay away from local water, uncooked meals. The absence was made up by Amul lassi.

In Gujarat I recommend the Gujarati thali. It is value for money. Remember the dal (?) which is sweet is not the dessert its a part of the main course!

In Rajasthan don't miss the choorma dal Bhatti though it is difficult to find. If you can't find that enjoy the Guwar fali ki saag.

India is a unique place for food. Every state has its own cuisines. And I can safely say the whole variety of cuisines across the states are so very unique that no other experience for a foodie is ahead of this.

I don't really have any pictures of food. Too busy eating!

From a shopping standpoint - the variety of colours and types and local handicraft that you can find in Rajasthan, there is little to beat that experience. Several shops have written Govt approved but I came to realise most of them are not govt owned. So bargaining works. Yes, they are savvy enough to exchange foreign currency. The unique part about Jaipur is the "blue pottery". The "Jaipuri rajai" is also something unique and good for light cool climes. Lots of 'junk jewellery' too will keep some people at home happy. Then there is jamawar and bandhej material in clothing items. There is also the brass pottery and the 5 dhatu idols in Udaipur. The 3-4 pictures in Boheda palace in the TL have some local handicraft work. Then there is also the white marble artefacts. Pots, plates, trays, elephants, worship material, wine glass etc - mostly are available in marble and brass both. There is also a metal engraving work that some artisans do. After the metal engraving they also paint it. Its very fine and very local.

Various shops, restaurants and eating places these days have "trip advisor" silver/gold etc. Somehow I did not feel this rating helps a customer. In most cases I found the food/presentation/cleanliness to be below par and yet the restaurant had a silver from trip advisor. Like with anything in life - you get some rain, some sunshine, some clouds and some dry days! Experience of food and shopping is best known when you are through with it. Yes, for anyone with deep pockets, there are enough fine dining places. We did not try any. Our pocket size was to blame.

From a nuisance and avoidance standpoint - well everyone wants to tell their history. Negotiate the deal before taking any. Ask clearly what all is covered and what is not. I guess one should be ready with that piece anywhere in India. In the forts they audio guide is anyway there. Though, I will say we took a guide. For a group a guide works best.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. sen View Post
Had been carefully following you and Parag ji's for long. Just took the delivery of white ertiga vdi shvs, this saturday, 30th Jan. Just because of your and Parag ji's post.

Yes both Parag and I have used Ertiga for long drives spanning a few thousand kms. I have great respect for Parag. He keeps his vehicles in top shape. I am sure he joins me in saying the Ertiga is a lovely vehicle and won't let you down. Its a good long distance highway vehicle. Please ensure that all service is done at MASS. All the best for your new vehicle. Safe drive and God speed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aum View Post
Hi Rajan,

Great travel log, rated well deserved five star.
Thank you. I appreciate the time you took to review the TL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aum View Post
It is evident every day was spent doing what you love the most and was able to live each day with you through detailed write up.
Yes I absolutely love the tarmac and leave no opportunity to get onto the tarmac. And yes, I soak in it. Driving is great fun, its a bit of an art work. Safe driving, with no bumps, hard braking etc is almost like a work of art. My dad used to say the driving has to be so good that the passenger must not even come to know which gear the vehicle is being driven in and what kind of road it is. I try my best to live upto that advice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aum View Post
This probably is the best way to utilize time between jobs, though home ministries permission is hard to get and needs skilled negotiations (a salute to them as well).
A course on negotiation in my university may have helped just a bit. However, she joined me for a week in Rajasthan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aum View Post
I was in the same situation in the summer of 2014 and had spent entire month in Ladakh, few memories of these trips become desktop wallpapers and few others become tales to be told.

Enjoyed every bit of it. Thanks for sharing.
Lucky you. Although I have been to Ladakh twice in the last three years I am yet to spend that long a time there. Yes in Ladakh even a camera phone will get you nice pictures. Turns out just earlier in the day I was speaking to a friend who returned today morning from there.

Thanks for taking the time to go through the TL.

Cheers
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