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Old 28th February 2016, 16:55   #1
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Default At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

The Prologue.

International Border
I still remember the walk of Sunny Deol all the way till Border Pillar in the Movie Border, wherein he played a Role of Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri during Longewala Battle with Pakistan in 1971.


It was 1998, when I saw this movie for the first time. The favourite scene in the movie was of course, Sunny Deol walking all the way till International Border in Longewala Sector. Well it was fascination since then to touch the International Border. Years went on fast, Schooling got completed graduation got completed, professional career started, less time for hobbies. However I make sure each day that a passion for travelling never dies.

How do you make sure that passion for travelling never dies?????
Simple, first thing I do in the morning after reaching office is log onto travel websites including Team-BHP. Have read few TLogs about International Border located in Jaisalmer Sector near Tanot. One fine morning I came across a TLog about International Border Pillar No. 609 which said that International Border Pillar No. 609 is accessible from Tanot, that one sentence was enough to light the fire.

I was busy entire day searching more information on International Border, places / villages / Tanot Temple around the International Borders, pictures of the International Border, Zooming of GMaps around the area of International Border and what not.

I found lot of information about International Border Pillar No. 609, including pictures. Well now I was pretty confident that I would be able to make it to the International Border. Tanot is just 16 kilometres before the International Border and it is accessible for civilians. However one question always haunted me, what if I drive all the till Tanot and then permission is not granted for road ahead till International Border. There is no exact information about the permit procedure for visiting International Border.

Do you have an answer?????
No.
Is it contacts?????
Is it luck?????
Is it blessing?????
Is it never saying die attitude?????

Let’s wait for an answer

I always had planned Rajasthan Trip and due to some or the other reason it got cancelled. Till Date had only 1 Rajasthan Trip back in 2008, when my cousin bought a new car and wanted to visit Ajmer. During that trip, we visited Jodhpur, however due to shortage of time we had to skip Jaisalmer.

26th January 2015 was Monday and a Public Holiday, Hmmm nice long weekend isn't it, I quickly seized the opportunity and applied for leave on 23rd January 2015, Friday. So plan was set to visit Rajasthan and especially International Border.

Well the scenario in January 2015 was terrible at Border front in Jammu & Kashmir region due to frequent exchange of fire and it increased each passing day. All negative thoughts started making their home inside my mind like, what if I am not allowed to drive all the way till International Border and finally I gave up on the trip.

Rajasthan has so many wonderful places that can be explored, why you are behind the International Border?????
True, But my main motive of visiting Rajasthan was International Border which I had visualized long back. If I don’t get to see it then my entire trip to Rajasthan will remain incomplete.

Did you waste your long weekend?????
No, That is another story to tell.

In the mean time enjoy the Collage
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-collage-resize.jpg

I have a habit of looking at Holiday list pinned on the bulletin board of my office. Every time I go towards the bulletin board, my colleagues say “Leaves are not gonna increase”. On one of such visit to bulletin board, I realised that 5th March 2015 is Friday and there is a holiday on account of Holi / Dhuleti. The travel bell started ringing in my mind.

I have another habit of putting everything down in Excel File, so without wasting time I had an excel plan in my hand. Well today if you ask me I have numerous excel plans in my database but then the ratio of excel plan getting materialized is not that great, nevertheless it isn’t bad either. Well putting things down in excel always helps in explaining better.

Explaining whom?????
My Travel Mates.
My Travel mates in this drive were my parents and younger brother.

Drive Circuit
Well the drive circuit was very much customised; the main attraction of the entire circuit was as follows

1. Hanuman Temple, Sarangpur, Gujarat
2. Ajmer Sherif Dargah, Ajmer, Rajasthan
3. Jodhpur – Jaisalmer Road running in between the desert, Rajasthan
4. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
5. Tanot Mata Temple, Tanot, Rajasthan
6. International Border Pillar No. 609, Tanot, Rajasthan
7. Longewala, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan,
8. Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
9. NH15 running between Jaisalmer – Barmer – Sanchore – Palanpur. (One of my friends had described this road as sublime)

A Snapshot of Drive Circuit
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Google Map Link for the Drive Circuit
https://goo.gl/maps/7TBgNK2BqSw

Why Sarangpur?????
Last time when we visited Saranpur, my brother missed the Darshan at the temple, so that was always in my mind.

Why Ajmer?????
My Brother had a wish to visit Ajmer owing to his positive results in CA Final Examination.

I presented the whole plan in front of my parents, to which, they agreed and we were ready for the 3000+ kilometres drive on my new Vehicle “Pirate”, first service was done at 5000 kilometres and another one would be at 10000 kilometres.

Pirate!!!!!
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-pirate.jpg
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Old 28th February 2016, 20:57   #2
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

Day 1 - 5th March, 2015
As usual I was in office completing few pending assignments, concentrating on work was next to impossible and luckily deadline for completion of work got extended and I was the happiest soul in the world. Seizing the opportunity, I left office at 2.30 PM riding as fast as possible to reach home and perform a quick check up of Pirate.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-pirate-ready.jpg

Check up done, now packing bags, since Mom was accompanying us for the trip it didn't took much of a time. Next 24 Hours would be super hectic, a quick nap was essential. I tried my best to sleep but sleep was impossible, well this strange thing which happens at the beginning of every trip, god knows why. By 8 PM everyone was at home, quick dinner and we were ready for the first 3000+ kilometres long drive in Pirate.

One of the reasons why I bought XUV is because of its folding seats in second and third row, once you fold second and third row, seats completely turn themselves into bed, put a mattress on it and you can sleep inside for hours. It is boon for the cross country runs; parents can sleep comfortably for entire night.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-bed-setup.jpg

It was 10 PM, time to turn on the ignition.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-ignition.jpg

I was quickly cruising on NH8 towards Ahmedabad, the best part about my house in Mumbai is that it ensures quick exit and entry into Mumbai city since it is located at the entry and exit point of Mumbai.

Few diversions on NH8 at Nalasopara and Virar which were the only bottleneck I considered. We crossed that section in no time and were cruising on NH8 towards Charoti Naka continuously maintaining a speed of 90 to 100 kmph. First break comes at Charoti Naka at Hotel Athithi. Quick tea, and bed setup was done for my parents and time to fly on NH8. We left Charoti Naka at 11.30PM sharp and believe me guys next 6 hours was just blissful.

Why Blissful?????
My parents were comfortably sleeping on the back and my brother plays wonderful sets of Trance which will never let you get bored and keeps a momentum. In no time we were crossing Surat and were about to reach Ankleshwar. Now there is always a dilemma to take NH8 bypass to Bharuch, which might be Jammed or take a Golden bridge route, well Bharuch based friend was in touch with us over a phone and he instructed us to take Golden Bridge. We left NH8 towards Ankleshwar town and quickly on to Golden Bridge over River Narmada.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_022053.jpg

Quick passage through Golden Bridge and we were back on NH8 towards Baroda. In no time we were flying on Baroda Ahmedabad Expressway. 45 minutes and we were at Ring Road Ahmedabad. Let me tell you Baroda Ahmedabad Expressway is one of the best road in India. The tarmac layer is so smooth that even a plane can be landed on it. It was just 4.45 AM and to remind you it was non-stop drive from Charoti Naka, some 400 kilometres.

Wait, are you guys crazy????? You guys don’t even stop for a loo break????
Yes somewhat crazy, the roads were smooth, zero traffic, wonderful music, no need to stop. Loo break yes, we do stop for it, but it just takes 2 to 3 minutes.

Clicked during one of the Loo Break
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_010125.jpg

What about your parents?????
They were fast asleep.

So you taking break at Ahmedabad?????
No not at all, we were still fresh and could easily clock 200 kilometres.

So we quickly pass through the Ahmedabad Ring Road and join Rajkot Highway. I was travelling on this route after 2 years, so initially I was driving moderately, however after crossing Bavla, roads were again smooth and fast so in no time we were at Limbdi. It was 6.15, when I parked pirate at Hotel Honest. 6.5 hours, 500 kilometres, not bad isn't it.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-honest-limbdi.jpg

A relaxed break for some 45 minutes and we were cruising towards Sarangpur, it was 60 kilometres from Limbdi. By 8 AM, we were on the doorstep of Sarangpur Hanuman Ji. A refreshing tea in a chilly wind was a wonderful experience. In 15 to 20 minutes we got room at Dharamshala for freshening up, followed up by quick darshan at the temple.

Information for fellow travellers

Why Night Drive?????
Well there are many reasons for night drive

1. While travelling on NH8 there are numerous towns, during day local traffic hampers the speeds and takes more time.
2. Best time to leave from Mumbai northwards towards Ahmedabad / Jaipur / Delhi is after 7 PM, simple reason is truck traffic from Nhava Sheva Port leaves Mumbai after 9 PM, so roads are relatively free all the way till Ahmedabad.
3. Early Morning Departure ensures slow progress till Vapi, since truck traffic leaving Mumbai on previous night creates a disturbance.
4. It’s fun to drive on NH8 during night; those reflectors give you a feeling of driving on a runway.
5. The Most Important benefit is No Bottleneck between Ankleshwar and Bharuch Section via Golden Bridge during night, Off lately have heard horror stories of Jam which ensures you get delayed by 3 to 4 hours.

I absolutely had no margin for error as far as time was concerned so smooth movement was absolutely essential.

I follow a one principle for long drives. START and END should be moderate.

Why?????
In my opinion this are 2 moments where you are bound to make a mistake. Start – Due to excitement, End – Due to anxiety to reach home / destination. Once the start moment is passed you have strong eyes on roads.

Quick information on Golden Bridge
The Golden Bridge connects Ankleshwar to Bharuchin the Gujaratstate of western India. It was built in 1881 by the British, who needed a bridge across the Narmada River to create better access to trade and administration officials in Bombay(now called Mumbai). The Bridge is also called Narmada Bridge.

The British started the work to build the bridge on 7th December 1877. The bridge was built on May 16, 1881 at a cost of Rs 45.65 lakhs and it was called Narmada Bridge. Later it came to be known as the Golden Bridge on account of heavy expenditure incurred on building it. After independence, it was part of the national highway. However, flow of heavy traffic was restricted on it after a new national highway was built.

The Golden Bridge has seen many floods and natural disasters like earthquakes, but it has stood for 132 years, providing daily transportation to the people of Ankleshwar and Bharuch.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-golden-bridge.jpg

Information and Image Sources: Wikipedia & Google.

Routes

Mumbai - Sarangpur: There are 2 routes for reaching Sarangpur.
Route 1: Mumbai - NH8 - Karjan (exit NH8) - Borsad - Vataman - Dhanduka - Sarangpur.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-route-1.jpg
https://goo.gl/maps/zBcLgqV2FU32

This route is 4 laned NH8 all the way till Karjan, after that you are required to exit NH8 and take road towards Borsad. It is slow route. Lot of villages enroute, it means numerous speed breakers, 5 to 6 railways crossings, four laning work in progress, so expect a fast movement in coming years.

Route 2: Mumbai - NH8 - Ahmedabad - NH8A - Bavla - Bagodara - Dhanduka - Sarangpur.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-route-2.jpg
https://goo.gl/maps/HxGCupGs3AG2

This route is 4 laned all the way till Bagodara, at Bagodara you are supposed to leave NH8A i.e. Ahmedabad - Rajkot Highway and move towards Dhanduka, Only 50 to 60 kilometres of 2 laned road.

The route which I took was via Limbdi. (Another Option)

In my opinion always take Route 2, Since Route 2 has Super Fast 4 laned road all the way till Limbdi. Route 1 is slow after leaving NH8, truck traffic will also slow you down, lots of Railway Crossing and Speed Breakers, and hence speed reduces. Only + point is hardly any toll after Karjan(Point where you leave NH8).

Now XUV definitely needs some praise. Why?????
I had to wake my parents at Hotel Limbdi, such was the comfort in the XUV. The suspension set-up is just wow. It’s a wonderful car, a cruiser I would say, it just crunches miles like crazy, even after a 1000+ kilometres in a day, and you would not be tired.

Last edited by nndp87 : 2nd March 2016 at 00:09.
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Old 28th February 2016, 22:27   #3
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

Day 2 – 6th March 2015

At Sarangpur Temple
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_092557.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_092620.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_092643.jpg

After a quick darshan, we were again back on roads towards Ajmer. After driving for 60 kilometres we were back to Limbdi again. Limbdi has a Indian Oil Petrol Pump (not sure on HP or Indian Oil) bang on Highway towards Ahmedabad side.(Credit Card Accepted).

Just as I turned left towards Lakhtar and halted for few minutes for water break. A crazy kid banged into the pirate from behind. Luckily the damage was minor with few scratches on Bumper and a small scratch on rear door. I was so pissed off at that moment, believe me there was earthquake inside me such was the pain, wanted to hit that guy badly, but then I immediately realised, he was a kid and there is no point in arguing with him also it was an unknown area for me so messing up also would have been bad choice. Nevertheless with pain I started driving towards Lakhtar, again narrow roads with lot of speed breakers, drive was eventless till Kadi. While navigating from Kadi town one has to cross a railway crossing. Gmaps navigated via Bridge which was still under construction, so had to turn back and towards railway crossing towards Nandasan. Road from Nandasan is 4 laned, super fast all the way ahead, by 3.00 PM, we were in outskirts of Mehsana. Well Mehsana has a bypass now, however one can always take a road from inside the town it isn't that bad, Mehsana Bypass is quite longer in comparison with road going through the Mehsana Town. Well it was 3.15 PM, Lunch was badly needed. Lunch was at typical dhaba on the outskirts of Mehsana, delicious food. Lunch got over.

Yes, Continuing ahead, Ajmer is still 450 kilometres and its 3.45 PM. So?????
Its okay we still have 3 hours of day light by 7, we would be approximately 200 kilometres away from Ajmer. Moving ahead we quickly crossed Palanpur and then moved towards Abu Road, the movement through Palanpur was slow due to Holi Festival, at numerous point we were asked to stop for a prasad of Holi, we calmly denied it and kept moving, post Palanpur traffic was sparse and movement was super quick. I can say traffic was literally NIL, in no time Aravali Ranges started appearing and it meant we were nearing Abu Road. Some wonderful views of Aravalis and Fast NH14, a wonderful combination for the drive. The roads were super empty and in no time we were nearing Pindwara. (Pindwara is the point were you can connect to Udaipur Road)

NH14 by the Day
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_165800.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_165826.jpg
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At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-resized.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_182452.jpg

Now comes Sirohi. NH14 at Sirohi has a bypass, however it was blocked at the entry point, other vehicles moved inside the Sirohi Town, I waited there trying to figure out whether bypass road is proper and drive-able, Yes. I saw an small gap, big enough for Pirate to cross, saw one local car also trying to sneak in, he did and I followed him. Well the bypass road was excellent, some views were breathtaking, bypass passed through a tunnel. I kept following the local guy and reached exit point, road was blocked with boulders.

Now What ?????
We got down and analysed the situation, saw a small gateway which was big enough for Pirate to pass and Bingo we were again flying towards Pali.

What is the reason for less traffic?????
Traffic was so less that we even started thinking, what is the use of wasting so much money on this Highway, when no one uses this Highway. But then it was festival of Holi, people were enjoying the festival including the truckers and that is the reason for less traffic.

Moving ahead, excellent roads and no traffic and believe me we clocked 95 to 100 kilometres in an hour for 2 hours. A tea brake was required now and we were some 20 kilometres from Pali. By 8.00 PM we were having tea at Pali (Pali is the point were you can connect to Jodhpur / Jaisalmer)

Again the hotel was typical dhaba and few truckers were resting there. I got into the quick discussion with them inquiring about roads ahead towards Ajmer. Got very useful information about the Beawar Bypass, which I messed up completely but still connected on NH8 at correct point.

NH14 by the Night
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_204709.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150306_210210.jpg

We quickly crossed Sojat, Jaitaran and were approaching Beawar.

What did you messed up?????
I was being told by truckers that NH14 connection to NH8 is not complete, well 2 flyover bypassing Beawar were not operational, I took the correct exit and reached a point were a Board indicated a route for Delhi / Udaipur, I took that route, which I was not supposed to and kept moving passing through 2 flyover. Now there were no vehicles, no means not even a single vehicle but roads were fabulous and those reflectors on road were just wow. My parents and brother raised an alarm that we are on wrong route.

What about Gmaps?????
Well Gmaps was super confused re-routing us every second.

Finally saw a board indicating Left for Delhi and straight towards Udaipur, we ere delighted that we were on the correct route. But our happiness was short lived.

Now What????? Whether I was on wrong route for connecting to Ajmer Road i.e. NH8?????.
The road was completely blocked with huge boulders, forget car even bike would not be able to cross it and to add to this I was the only one on the entire stretch of last 10 kilometres. We reversed and came back to the main road again and continued towards Udaipur exit, again same problem the road was blocked with boulders but this time small space was available to pass and bingo I was on NH8, but this was going towards Udaipur. Now the task was to find the U turn so that I could be on the correct route towards Delhi, Luckily found the space for U Turn, now again back on NH8 towards Ajmer. The road widened to 3 Lanes now and it was event less drive till Ajmer. Of course, I had to hear lot of things over NH14 and NH8 Connection. Below Picture will help you understand the above scenario in much better way.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-beawar-1.jpg
The Bypass entirely skips Beawar Town, saving lot of time.

Well you did this route in the Night????? Then how you are able to gather so much information?????
Before I embark my drive on any new route I virtually try to travel that route in Google Maps, so I was aware of the NH14 & NH8 connection. Moreover I derived the correct route next day since I was travelling on the same route till Sojat.

NH14 & NH8 connection is functional now. It was strange to believe that entire road construction was complete but still the exit for Delhi / Udaipur were blocked by boulders.

Tolls
I passed 4 to 5 toll booths all the way from Abu Road, none of them were functional, for the reasons known best to them, maybe because road was newly constructed or due to Festival.

I had to hear lot of things over NH14 and NH8 Connection.
My Mom got little bit uncomfortable over the entire scenario of road being blocked and no other vehicle on the road, so all the frustration came out telling me your research is not proper, why cant we reach a destination before 8.00 PM, you don't understand anything etc. it went all the way till Ajmer entrance and my brother and dad added fuel to the fire.

The drive to Ajmer was quick and by 10.30 PM we crossed Ajmer Railway Station. Now Accommodation needs to be sorted out, I had already checked few hotels online and had zeroed onto Hotel Shanti Palace, it was easy to locate and in no time I was on the entrance of the Hotel. After Parking the car, followed by quick check-in and dinner. The ambiance of the rooms were perfect, it calmed down the temperature of my mom as well. Finally had dinner and we all were fast asleep.

Information for fellow travellers

Sarangpur
Shri Hanuman Mandir, Sarangpu ris a Hindu temple located in Sarangpur, Gujarat and comes under the Vadtal Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. It is dedicated to Hanuman in the form of Kastbhanjan (Crusher of sorrows).

This temple is among the more prominent ones in the Swaminarayan Sampraday. The image of Hanuman was installed by Sadguru Gopalanand Swami. According to author Raymond Williams, it is reported that when Sadguru Gopalanand Swami installed the image of Hanuman, he touched it with a rod and the image came alive and moved. This story has become a charter for the healing ritual performed at this temple.The image of Hanuman here is a stout figure with a handlebar moustache, crushing a female demon under his foot and baring his teeth, standing among sculpted foliage full of fruit bearing monkey attendants.In 1899, Kothari Gordhandas of Vadtal appointed Shastri Yagnapurushdas to manage the affairs of the mandir; during his tenure, Shastri Yagnapurushdas renovated the site, built the adjacent bungalow, and acquired more land for the complex to bring it to its current state.

The image of this temple is said to be so powerful that a mere look at it will drive the evil spirits out of the people affected by them. Saturday is the designated day for a special ritual (as Saturday is dedicated to Hanuman) for those affected by mental illnesses and other disorders. They are brought to the temple to be touched by the rod used by Sadguru Gopalanand Swami during the installation ceremony of the image. This rod has now been covered in silver. The temple administration has hired a brahmin householder to act as a priest at the temple and conduct this ritual. After this, the person affected is instructed to circumambulate the shrine and repeat this after doing darshan a number of times. Some people take a special vow to do this a certain number of times or to chant the Swaminarayan Mahamantra while doing this.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-sp1.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-sp2.jpg

Information and Picture Sources: Wikipedia & Saranpur Temple Trust.

Routes
Option 1: Sarangpur – Limbdi – Ahmedabad – Mehsana – Palanpur – Abu Road – Pindwara – Sirohi – Sanderao – Pali – Sojat – Beawar – Ajmer.
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https://goo.gl/maps/ts8RX6Gg9TG2

You can touch Ahmedabad via Dhanduka - Bagodara.
It is newly constructed Highway, when I did it in March 2015 Bypass for Sirohi was not operational, also at Beawar, point where NH14 connection to NH8 was not operational. Currently it is operational.

Option 2: Sarangpur – Limbdi - Ahmedabad – Himatnagar – Udaipur Bypass – Mangalwad – Chittorgarh Bypass – Bhilwara Bypass – Nasirabad – Ajmer.
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https://goo.gl/maps/Tc4JozBDbu32

You can touch Ahmedabad via Dhanduka - Bagodara.
Udaipur Bypass can be a bottleneck, rest all excellent.

The route which I took for reaching Ajmer
Sarangpur - Limbdi - Lakhtar - Kadi - Nandasan - Mehsana - Palanpur - Abu Road - Pindwara - Sirohi - Pali - Beawar - Ajmer.
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https://goo.gl/maps/LVLVV6dToFS2

Was it the good decision to leave the 4 laned roads and take interior roads?????
It was a bad decision because one ends up wasting 30 to 40 minutes easily, it is not that roads are bad but every village has a speed breakers, one at the entrance of the village and another at end of the village, to add to this local traffic adds their shares to your misery because of their senseless driving, riding plus Railway crossing. On the contrary the disturbances on 4 laned roads are less and a steady speed can be maintained. The only advantage is you end up saving tolls, but is that worth, I leave that you.

Hotel Shanti Palace, Ajmer
http://www.shantipalaceajmer.com/

Pros:
1. Many Options for Rooms (2 Bed, 3 Bed, 4 Bed)
2. Reasonable Price
3. In house Restaurant
4. In house Parking in the basement (the best part in my view)
5. Dargah is 15 minutes away from the Hotel.
6. Complementary Facility for Khadim for Darshan at Dargah.

Cons:
1. Getting inside the Parking can be a difficult task.

Last edited by nndp87 : 2nd March 2016 at 00:16.
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Old 29th February 2016, 00:46   #4
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

Day 3: 7th March 2015.

In comparison with previous 2 days, today was quite a relaxed day, a drive of mere 490 kilometres and roads are going to be fantastic.

By 8.00 AM we all were awake and in no time got ready for the darshan at Dargah.

I know one Khadim (the person who offer prayers on our behalf) so quickly got in touch with him. The place where we stayed is 15 minutes away from Dargah. Around 10.00 AM we left the hotel, it took us 20 minutes walking to reach the Dargah. The Khadim was waiting for us on the gate itself, quickly took us inside. The crowd was always going to be there since it was a weekend; nevertheless we were inside the prayer hall, of course with great difficulty, the gate which we took inside was very narrow, 3 of us managed it easily but it was difficult for my mom, we realized that quickly, so my Dad managed the entry on his own and myself and brother escorted Mom inside the prayer room.

The best part of the Dargah is when you are inside the prayer hall, you just forget everything, another divine experience is when a khadim keeps a chaddar on your head and chants prayer, it is totally spiritual and out of the world feeling. You need to be there to experience it.

Ajmer Sheriff
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_101904.jpg

After quick darshan, khadim dropped us at the gate and again it took us 30 minutes to reach hotel. All credit to weekend crowd. Quick check out followed by late breakfast and we were moving on NH8 towards Beawar. We started from Ajmer around 11.30. This time I got down at the junction before Beawar, inquired with Truckers about the correct route connecting to NH14. Nice chap explained me entire route with way-points as well. I noted it down and reached NH14 again, the road was just fabulous; it was same route which we took yesterday but today it was faster, maybe because I was driving in the daylight. In no time we were at Sojat.

We left NH14 at Sojat and started inquiring about road to Jodhpur, Gmaps had again gone crazy, showing us impossible routes via river, sand etc. Locals guided us on the correct route and my jaws dropped when I saw the road, it was just one lane.

Now what to do?????
Jodhpur is still 70+ kilometres and driving on this road would definitely take 2 hours. Turning back would be more costly. So we decided to continue, 15 minutes, 10 kilometers, not bad. Road was narrow but there was no traffic, so movement was quick, 45 minutes from Sojat and we saw a board which said Jodhpur 35 kilometers, now I was happy and enjoying the drive through the narrow roads of Rajasthan. By 3 PM we were at Jodhpur Bypass.

Lunch?????
At Jodhpur Bypass we found one dhaba it was decent dhaba; vegetables cooked were fresh and delicious. We all hogged like crazy. 3.30 PM and we were ready for drive on one of the best road of the trip and yes we were getting closer to International border as well.

Lunch at Jodhpur
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_150458.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-res-1.jpg

Jodhpur to Jaisalmer
I don’t have words to describe this roads, such is the road. Fabulous, excellent, amazing, all of this seems to be an understatement. 290 kilometres, in 3.5 hours and that too on 2 laned undivided road. Once you leave Jodhpur, slowly the landscapes changes, buildings, bungalows start disappearing and you can see the sand on roads.

We touched Pokhran, Customary picture with signboard and again started driving. We all were super happy driving through the traffic less road with absolutely wonderful views. By 6.30 we saw a board specifying welcome to Jaisalmer. Customary pictures with the board and we were inside the town.

Jodhpur Bypass
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_150510.jpg

Sunset
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_183055.jpg

Welcome to Jaisalmer
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_190008.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_190032.jpg
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At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_190151.jpg

Accommodation?????
I was recommended to stay at RTDC Property, Hotel Moomal, locating it was not a problem, since it was marked on Gmaps. Lot of options, you get Hut, Bungalow, Normal Room etc. We settled for normal room. My parents were super Happy, Why????? We reached our destination before 8.00 PM. However my Dad’s health got affected and he was feeling cold, a concern for us. We gave him routine medicine and entirely wrapped him up with sweaters, jackets and whatever was available. In the meantime I and brother went to market to visit fort. Hotel Manager told us that visiting a fort will not make sense at this time, so he advised us to visit a fort view point, it looks fabulous during night, and we followed his advice and were not disappointed. Fort looks beautiful during night. After visiting the fort viewpoint we quickly went back to hotel followed by quick dinner. Routine check up of my dad’s health and we were fast asleep.

Jaisalmer Fort
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_203645.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_2036452.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150307_203715.jpg

Sorry for the image quality. We didn't had dedicated camera.

Information for Fellow Traveller
No night halt at Ajmer, just a pass through and want to go for a quick darshan at Dargah. The best thing to do in this scenario is Park your car at Ajmer Railway Station. Ajmer Railway Station has paid parking facility. Take an auto from Railway station to Dargah, come back and continue your journey ahead.

If you are staying in Ajmer for a night, make sure you find a hotel with safe parking and don’t take your car to Dargah.

Needless to say, beware of pick pocketers, it’s a notorious place even the senior inspector of Ajmer was not spared you can imagine the level of professionalism.

You can get in touch with Mukhtar Ji (+91-9828740047) he belongs to the family of The Greatest Sufi Saint "Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty", you can give my reference to him.

Routes
Option 1: Ajmer – Pushkar – Merta – Nagaur – Phalodi – Pokhran – Jaisalmer.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-map-01.jpg
https://goo.gl/maps/qBx9NNDPGS92

Option 2: Ajmer – Beawar – Bar – Jaitaran – Jodhpur – Pokhran – Jaisalmer.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-map-02.jpg
https://goo.gl/maps/aYrJ7bSfdz72

Both of the above routes are excellent. In option 2, I mentioned a route to Jaisalmer via Bar and Jaitaran, well I was not aware of this route during the trip, an error that cost me at least 20 minutes.

Stay Options Available at RTDC Moomal, Jaisalmer and Few Pictures of Hotel
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-moomal-2.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-moomal-3.jpg

The Entrance
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-moomal-1.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-moomal-4.jpg

Last edited by nndp87 : 2nd March 2016 at 00:36.
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Old 29th February 2016, 11:10   #5
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Day 4, 8th March 2015.
We were awake by 07.00 AM, from the word go there was excitement in the air, there was sense of urgency in everyone's behavior. I was roaming around the reception to get some bit of information about how to manage things beyond Tanot, That day was different, there was desperation in my behavior, no matter what, i want to visit International Border.

Glimpse of discussion with Hotel Manager
Me: Good Morning Sir, I want to visit International Border, can you guide me about the procedure to obtain the permits.
Manager: Definitely, for visiting International Border, one is required to obtain permit from BSF Headquarters, Jaisalmer. But today being Sunday, it would be really difficult to obtain permit.
Me: Fine, any other way out.
Manager: Directly touch Tanot and try your luck with officer posted there.
Me: Thank you Sir.

I immediately rushed back to the room and told my dad about it, now a call needs to be taken, whether to extend the trip by 1 day, my dad replied, "let’s give it try, you never know, we might be lucky" Fine. Everything was sorted for now. By 8.15 AM we headed for a heavy breakfast, Why heavy?????, the route which we would be taking today is low in terms of facilities, there are no proper hotels en route, so it is recommended to have a heavy breakfast and also pack food depending upon your requirements before leaving from Jaisalmer.

Pirate posing
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-pirate-hotel.jpg
Dad Posing
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-dad-psoing.jpg
On the outskirts of Jaisalmer
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-enroute-tanot.jpg

By 08.45 AM we checked out of the Hotel and turned towards Ramgarh / Tanot. 2 kilometers on the Tanot Road, there is BSF Headquarters. We stopped there to inquire with the staff / officers posted there. My Dad took the initiative for obtaining permits; he began the conversation with the officer there. 10 minutes of discussion and it was conveyed to us that permits would be available only on Monday, since Sunday being a Holiday.

Some highlights of our discussion with BSF Staff. They all were of the opinion that, there is no point in going to International Border; it is all barren land, sandstorm, desert. In spite of all this we wanted to go, so they advised us to try our luck at 35RCC Battalion at Ramgarh. There was anxiety, positive thoughts, and negative thoughts. God knows what will happen.

Desert
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-desert-1.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-desert2.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-desert-3.jpg

Nevertheless, the roads were just fantastic, a black strip of Tarmac going through the desert, windmills running parallel to roads, what a view. We were simply enjoying the drive. By 10.30 AM, we approached Ramgarh, we were supposed to locate the 35RCC Battalion, and it was 2 kilometers from the main road. Same story got repeated, we were asking for permits and them insisting us, no point in going to International Border.

At Ramgarh
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-bsf-pyau.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-ramgarh.jpg

Now what?????
We were asked to try our luck at Tanot itself. With heavy heart we moved ahead passing through amazing desert of Rajasthan. Approaching Tanot, the images of Tanot showed in Movie Border got refreshed in our mind and distance reducing quickly. A big electricity tower was visible in the distance and we were super excited to reach Tanot.

Tanot, 3 to go
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-tanot1.jpg

Arrow straight Roads going through the desert
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-road-1.jpg
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At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-road-3.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-road-4.jpg

Pirate posing
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-desert-pirate.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-desert-pirate.1.jpg

Before moving ahead, i will like to share few relevant information

HISTORY OF TANOT MATA TEMPLE
Tanot is a place located at a distance of 120 Km from Jaisalmer and name Tanot is named on goddess Tanot. Praisee is said to be incarnation of Goddess Hinglaz now located in Lasvela Distt of Bluchistan. Bhati Rajput King Tanu Rao made Tanot as their capital. In AC 847 foundation of Goddess Tanot was kept and idol was installed. Temple is revered by generations of Bhati Rajput and people of Jaisalmer and surrounding areas. Later on with the advent of time, Bhati Rajput brought their capital to Jaisalmer but temple remained located at Tanot. Before 1965 this temple was maintained by personnel of RAC and when BSF was formed, responsibility of maintaining this temple was shifted to BSF. It is a great source of inspiration for troops of BSF as well as of army due to miracle happened during 1965 Indo Pak war. It is said that in the month of Oct 1965 Pak Army had advanced from two flanks i.e. from Kishangarh and Sadewala side to deep inside Indian territory but area in between where this temple is located could not be overrun despite heavy pounding by Arty and fierce fighting. Pak Army fired more than 3000 shells in area around temple but due to divine power, It is said that most of the shell went blind and what so ever exploded could not cause much damage. It is further claimed by inhabitants living in nearby villagers that mother Goddes Tanot appeared in the dreams of some soldiers and assured them for protection if they do not leave the premises of temple. Later on Indian Army repulsed the attack of Pak Army and after three days of heavy fighting Pak Army made a hasty retreat leaving hundred of dead of its soldier. At that crucial time of war two coys of 13 Bn BSF and one Bn of Grenadier was deployed in area of Tanot against one Bde of Pak Army but they fought valiantly and broke the back bone of enemy due to goddess blessings. Since then this temple came into prominence and its popularity spread over other region also . Again in 1971 when Pak Army launched sudden attack in Longewala in the night of 4th Dec, due to inspiration and spritual strength drawn from this temple, only one coy of Punjab regiment alongwith one coy of BSF (14 Bn BSF) repulsed their attack which is a unique operation in the world history of battles. Longewala is called as a graveyard of Pak Tanks where their entire Tank regt was made to bite the dust due to exemplary coverage shown by our troops. In the memory of victory in this historic battle of Longewala a Vijay Memorial has been constructed at the entrance of temple where on 16th Dec every year a celebration is organized with fervour and gaiety to remember the heroic deeds of our soldiers. Twice in a year i.e. in April and Sept Navrtara is celebrated at Tanot where free lunger is run by BSF as well as free Medical camp. Thousands of devotees from every nook and corner of the country throng the temple to offer their prayer to goddess. In 1989 a Tanot Mata Trust was constituted to look after the offer of temple as well as to see its management. Presently patron of this trust is worthy Shri S.N.Jain, IPS, and IG BSF Raj FTR while Shri. Sandeep Bishnoi, IPS DIG BSF SHQ JMR-I is chairman and Shri Prabhakar Joshi Offg Comdt is secretary. As feeling of public is attached with this temple a great care is taken to provide best amenities to devotees visiting the temple. This is the place where spiritual strength of Seema Prahari and its un-wearing commitment to safeguard the mother land can be seen side by side.

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Information Source: BSF Rajasthan Website.
Image Source: Google & Respective Owners.

Information on International Border across the World.
There are countries where touching international border is relatively easy for civilians and even crossing the border and moving to another country is not much of an headache.

1. Argentina, Brazil & Paraguay
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Size:  55.6 KB

2. China & Pakistan located at Khunjerab Pass, Karakoram Highway.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-china-pakistan.jpg

3. Slovakia, Austria & Hungary.
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Views: 15125
Size:  46.8 KB

4. Sweden & Norway.
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Views: 15145
Size:  69.5 KB

5. USA & Mexico.
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Views: 15143
Size:  62.6 KB

Why is it so easy?????
The primary reason is peace between the countries, development of trade, development of tourism. In Europe there is option to opt for EU Visa, which gives access to various countries located in European Union. Even in Middle East Criss crossing the country is not a difficult task. To conclude, it is an sign of developed country.

Information & Image Courtesy: Various Search Engines.

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Old 29th February 2016, 16:28   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nndp87 View Post
Why is it so easy?????
The primary reason is peace between the countries, development of trade, development of tourism.
The border between south and north Korea is a bad example of this IMHO.
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Old 29th February 2016, 19:25   #7
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Coming back to my story. We reached Tanot, First thing was to pray at Tanot Mata Temple. Tanot Mata Temple is maintained by BSF Guys. Very well organised, extremely well maintained. Prayers done, Now what????? We are just 16 kilometers away from the International Border.

Whom to approach?????
We saw a security guard manning the Cabin, so me and my dad approached him, following is the details of discussion with him.

Me: Sirjee, Mujhe Border dekhne jana he.(meaning ''Sir i want to visit the Border'')
BSF Guard: Mushkil he, dekho ek family andar cabin me baitha he, unko bhi Sahab ne mana kar diya. (meaning ''it is difficult, already one family is sitting inside, Boss is not allowing them as well'')
Me: Sirjee jana toh he. Bohot durr se aaya hu. (meaning ''Sir I want to go, I have come from a very far away place'')
BSF Guard: Ek kaam karo, yeh family ko yaha se bahar aane do, me aapko awaz deta hu. (meaning ''Do one thing, let this family come out of the cabin and I will let you know)

In the meantime, I heard the conversation going on inside the cabin. The family negotiating with the officer had contacts with Ministry of Defense, still officer was adamant to let them go. Me and my dad were tensed now, the hopes were slowly dying. We didn't had any contacts as well. Waiting there was the only option. My Dad somehow was confident that we will manage it. We told my brother and mother to go for Darshan and sit inside the temple. Our turn came, officer greeted us warmly and we were asked to sit.

So the conversation started, here we go,
Me: Sirjee, Mujhe Border Dekhne jana he. (meaning ''Sir I want to visit the border'')
BSF Officer: Bhai dekho, abhi toh border dekhne jane ki permission me nahi de sakta. (meaning, ''Brother see, right now I cannot give you permission to visit Border'')
Me: Thik he, Toh hume, permit kaun dega. (meaning ''Alright, then who will give us permission to visit Border'')
BSF Officer: Permit aapko BSF Headquarters, Jaisalmer se milega. Uska ek procedure he, aapko unse permit lena padega, ek baar unhone permit de diya toh hume aapki sari information aa jati he and voh basis par hum aapko border tak jane denge. (meaning ''permit is issued from BSF Headquarters located in Jaisalmer, once they issue the permits, they forward us your entire information and on that basis we will allow you to visit the border'')
Me: Sir, Aaj Sunday he, iske bawjood maine koshish ki Jaisalmer me par nhi ho paya. Maine 35RCC Battalion, Ramgarh me nhi koshish kiya, par unhone bhi kaha ki Tanot se aapko permit milega. (meaning ''Sir, I tried in Jaisalmer and 35RCC Battlion at Ramgarh but today being Sunday we were asked to visit tomorrow or try our luck at Tanot'')
BSF Officer: Aapki baat sahi he, par mere hath me nhi he, me aapko permission nhi de paunga. (meaning ''I agree with you, but it is not in my hand, I don't have the authority to give you permission'')
My Dad Intervened.
My Dad: Saabji, please kuch kijiye, badi durr se aaye he. (meaning ''Sir, please do something, we have come from a very far away place'')
BSF Officer: Kaha se aaye ho. (meaning ''where have you come from'')
My Dad: Mumbai se. (meaning ''from Mumbai'')
BSF Officer: Acha, kya karte ho Mumbai me, (meaning ''Alright, what do you do in Mumbai')
My Dad: described about our profession and routine talks went on about life in Mumbai.

Amidst all this discussion 30 minutes passed. Various people came in to enquire about the permission to visit International Border, he plainly denied everyone of them and no one was adamant and accepted the no and went away. We were still sitting there and requesting him to allow us.

BSF Officer: Dekho Saabji, Me aapki respect karta hu, par me aapko nahi jane de sakta. (meaning ''See Sir, I respect you, but I cannot allow you'')
My Dad: Koi baat nhi Saabji, Hum aapke haalat ko samajte he. (meaning ''Alright Sir, we understand your situation as well'')
Me: Sirjee, Mujhe dekhna he border, aap hi batao, kya karna hoga. (meaning ''Sir, I want to visit border, you tell me what needs to be done'')
BSF Officer: Jaisalmer se permission lena hoga. (meaning ''obtain permit from Jaisalmer'')
Me: Koi Baat nhi Sirjee, Me kal fir se aaunga, aur is bar permit leke aaunga. (meaning ''No problem Sir, I will see you tomorrow and hopefully along with permit'')
My Dad: Greeting him, Thank you for all the information.

We got up from our chair and started moving. The voice came from behind
BSF Officer: Ruko, baitho, Kya karoge udhar jake, banjar zameen he, charo taraf registan he, kuch nhi he dekhne layak. (meaning ''Wait. What will you do there, their is nothing, it is surrounded with sand from all side'')
Me: Haanji Sir, par dil ki icha he ki International Border dekhu and mere Mata Pita ko bhi Dikhau (meaning ''I know sir, but it is a personal wish to visit their along with my parents'')
BSF Officer: Jaisalmer Dikhao, Yaha kya rakha he. (meaning ''Explore Jaisalmer, there is nothing here'')
Me: Jaisalmer me mujhe koi dilchaspi nhi he, Rajasthan aane ka ek hi maqsat tha ki International Border dekhu. (meaning ''I am not much interested in Jaisalmer, sole purpose of visiting Rajasthan is for visiting International Border'')
BSF Officer: Agar me aapko nhi jane du toh????? (meaning ''What if, I don't allow you?????)
Me: Me kal fir koshish karunga. (meaning ''I will try again tomorrow'')
BSF Officer: Helpless and started laughing and told us ki khatarnak jasba he aap dono ka. (meaning ''You guys have a killer spirit'')
Me & My Dad: Laughed.
BSF Officer: Kitne Log ho aap. (meaning ''how many people'')
Me: Hum Char he, Pitaji, Mataji, Bhai aur Me. (meaning ''4 of us, Mom Dad, Brother and Me'')
BSF Officer: Acha Mataji bhi he. (meaning ''Your mother is also accompanying'')
Me: Haanji. (meaning ''Yes'')
BSF Officer: Ek Kaam karo, 10 minute ghoom aao, me aapko bulata hu. (meaning ''give me 10 minutes, I will let you know'')

BSF Officer for a moment thought, how crazy this people are, even after saying no 10 times, they still have hopes.

10 minutes later, the BSF security guard called us. Me and Dad were literally running to the cabin.
BSF Officer: Me aapko allow kar raha hu, par ek condition pe, vaha se vapas aate waqt aapko ek electrician bandha he, usko saath le aana he. (meaning ''I am allowing you on one condition, while coming back you have to bring our electrician back here'')
Me: Paka le aaunga sirjee. (meaning ''Sure Sir'')
BSF Officer: Aapka details dedo aur License yaha jama karva do, vapas aao tab le lena. (meaning ''Please submit your details and license and collect it back while returning from there'')
Me & My Dad: We thanked him.

I asked my dad to bring back mother and brother from the temple and i straightaway went to parking lot. I cannot describe in words, how happy I was. Quickly I came towards Cabin of the officer and my dad mom and bro got inside the car. The Officer who permitted us was out to see us, see the madness.

Following are the words he told to my mother.
"Aapka beta, pagal he, itni durr registan me aapko border dikhane laya he, Aap iski Shaadi Kyu nhi karwate, Saalam he aap sab ke jasbe ko, ho aao border aur ha paaaki sadak mat chodddna" (meaning ''Your son is mad, he wants you all to see the border in middle of the desert, why don't you get him married, I salute your spirit, go and visit the border and remember, don't leave the metal road'')

We all laughed and moved ahead. A Barricade was removed for us to pass by, first check post comes we enter our details and move on, now the milestone changes indicating a distance of BOP 609, the drive was just crazy, there was goosebumps inside, anticipation inside, how would it be, are we really going to International Border and so on. My mom and bro were unaware of how we obtained the permit, we narrated them the entire story and they were delighted, the road was completely barren, no vegetation, nothing, just tons of sands on both side of the roads and bunkers built on the top of sand dunes adjacent to road. Distance kept reducing 16, 12, 8, 4, 2, 1 and finally 0, we stopped at the milestone 0 to observe where to park the car, A BSF guys directed us bring the car closer to the watch tower.

Finally I did it. Yes, finally a dream came true.
I am not sure on sharing the pictures, but I will definitely post few of them.

Pictures Clicked at Tanot
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_110918.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_111403.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_111422.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_111451.jpg

Tanot Temple, the entire functioning of the temple is looked after by BSF
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_111553.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_113126.jpg

This bombs were fired on the temple, however due to divine power they didn't explode
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_113022.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_113037.jpg

The Heroes of the War
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_113051.jpg

The Last Leg Finally ''The International Border''
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_114518.jpg

The Road Towards International Border
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_115437.jpg

The Final Line
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_120539.jpg

The Gateaway to No Mens Land
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_123200.jpg

Finally
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_122942.jpg

At International Border
We were warmly welcomed by the officer posted at the Watch Tower. Turn by turn they took us to the watch tower and explained us how the border is guarded 24 by 7. At every 2 kilometer, BSF Jawan is present, during night more patrolling is done. It was out of the world feeling touching the International Border, I am not able to put it in words but it was just amazing.

Continuing ahead, Where????? Its a dead end, are you crossing the border?????
Of course not, We were told by the officer posted at Tanot to bring back the BSF Electrician again back to Tanot, so now we were going to Camp where BSF Staff patrolling the border is stay put. It is 1 kilometer from the watch tower. From BSF Camp, Pakistan's Checkpost named "Bilal" is clearly visible. At Base camp we were warmly welcomed by Camp Brigadier, next 30 minutes we were discussing life at international borders, harships faced by BSF Jawans, What happens at checkpost during India Pakistan Cricket match, difference between Indian Army & Border Security Force, Life in Big towns, if this wasn't enough they offered us to have lunch as well. We calmly denied it as the day ahead was still gonna be long. In few minutes we bid goodbye to the entire gang and started moving back towards Tanot, we had a company of BSF Electrician now, we again crossed a milestone of BP 609. All of us posed at the milestone once and for all and started back for Tanot. Again lot of things discussed with BSF Electrician about his Hometown, Family members, our lives, how did we came to know about this post, etc. In no time we were back at Tanot, dropped our company at one of the checkpoint and straightaway went to collect my license. Me and Dad again thanked the officer who allowed us to visit the International Border.

After coming back to Tanot, we understood Why officer always said that, "Vaha Kuch Nahi He" (meaning "there is nothing their) Frankly speaking there is nothing their, Life is miserable in this part especially for Jawans, there is sandstorm every now and then visibility reduces drastically and it is bigger problem during night, nights are really long and cold during the winters, the jawans are always on the toes, no human being visible for miles. Hats off to Jawans who stand day in day out to protect us, they always has an option to go for easier life and cool desk jobs but they choose the difficult one, it requires lot of temperament, guts, physical fitness and mental fitness.
Small Photo Shoot at Tanot
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_125354.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150308_125425.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-res-2.jpg

Leaving the amazing place behind, we moved towards Longewala. There is straight road for Longewala from Tanot, no need to get back to Ramgarh. The entire circuit is explained with the help of below map.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-map-jtl.jpg
Route: https://goo.gl/maps/imZCZhQ4vXp

I never understood the reason, why photography is restricted in Border Areas. In my case, I asked them whether I can click pictures, to which they replied yes and asked me not to put it on Social Media.

On one side TV News channel reporters go all the way till fence, click pictures, shoot videos, interview jawans, put articles with more information and the same is published worldwide on their news channels. Videos, information, pictures are readily available on youtube and various other search engines. The key is to put correct search KEY WORDS and all information gets displayed on your screen. Why are we then restricted from clicking pictures and putting it up on social media.

You wont believe, even the Google maps, can give you lot of information about the place. The key to this source of information is you should know the correct route and landmarks, turns etc. I had virtually travelled to International Border before the trip, so you can understand how easy it is to gain information about the place.

The reason I put up the pictures of other countries, where border crossing is a normal activity is to compare with our scenario. Of course the long dispute of India & Pakistan is the sole reason for this, our disputes are not going to end and the situation will remain same. I have a wish to complete a borderline drive one day, lets see.

Note: Mods, Please Note
1. I am not sure on sharing the pictures of International Border, As far as I Know this pictures are already available on the internet and various TV Shows have been conducted along the fence which gives much more information then what I have put here. Please suggest whether to put this pictures in the TLog or not.

2. I have used Hindi and have translated in English as well, Using Hindi would Communicate better with the reader.

Last edited by nndp87 : 2nd March 2016 at 00:50.
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Old 1st March 2016, 00:10   #8
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

The route for Longewala from Tanot is wonderful and in fact it runs parallel to the International Border, the road has literally Zero Traffic, in no time we were at Longewala. Longewala is actually not a border post, I had read on numerous forums specifying Longewala as Border Post. The Longewala has a relevance because of 1971 War fought between India & Pakistan.

Lot of Information can be obtained from the below Link for reference:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Longewala

The destroyed Pakistani Tent is the major attraction in Longewala , besides this there is a small memorial in the memory of heroes of Longewala Battle.

Enroute Longewala
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Longewala
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With Neighbours Vehicle
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Longewala Memorial
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Salute to Jawans
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Leaving this amazing place behind, lets move back now, Where????? Home?????
Nopes, still some desert love is waiting for us.

We quickly moved on towards Ramgarh. Lunch was still pending it was some to 2.30 PM when we left from Longewala, road is excellent all the way till Jaisalmer so by 4.00 PM we were in the outskirts of Jaisalmer, remember we have still not done our lunch, reasons being no proper place on the route to have lunch. We entered Jaisalmer and quickly found a average looking hotel for Lunch. The best thing in this part of the world is you get wonderful food even in an average looking hotels. Believe me, we all hogged like crazy and the feeling of happiness once our stomach is full is unmatched. The drive back from Longewala was eventless except few clicks.

Beautiful Roads
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Jaisalmer Fort Proudly Standing
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Last edited by nndp87 : 2nd March 2016 at 00:54.
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Old 1st March 2016, 14:34   #9
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

So is this travelogue complete?????
No, Some Desert Love is waiting for us.

After finishing off our delayed lunch, we quickly moved out of the Jaisalmer towards, Sam Sand Dunes.

What's So much with Sand Dunes?????
Nothing special, except the Golden Sunset. Yes the Sunset in Desert turns entire sky into Golden and we all wanted to see that, apart from this I personally had a wish to stay in the tent, of course not the traditional one, but the one with all the facilities.

Some Beautiful roads, 30 minutes and we located the Hotel Sam Dhani, I got the reference from Hotel Moomal Jaisalmer. Enquired with the Hotel Manager about the Accommodation.

Before we decide on staying in Tent, following question needs to answered
1. What if it is too much stormy during the night?
2. What if it is too much cold during the night?
3. How safe it is?

Hotel Manager answered all the above question, by specifying that if you are not comfortable in the tent, lemme know, I will move you all to the cottages. (Another benefit if travelling in off season). Everything sorted, we got the accommodation along with the food and breakfast.

Now its time for Camel Ride and dune bashing
Even that was sorted by the Hotel Manager, they had tie up with Camel owners and Guide. Evening was spent amidst wonderful sand, camels, dunes and majestic sunset. Just after the sunset we were back in our Tent enjoying the beautiful weather along with the tea and pakodas. Next few hours was spent enjoying the memories of the trip followed by Simple but delicious dinner. It was around 11.00 PM, climate started getting cooler, me an brother adjusted ourself outside the tent along with the mug of tea, the experience was just amazing. So much was covered during the Day but we were not at all tired. Long day tomorrow, lets catch some sleep, Good Night from the Dunes.

Sand Dunes & Golden Sunset.
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Desert Love
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Tent
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Moon
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Another Resort
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-moon-2.jpg

Last edited by nndp87 : 2nd March 2016 at 00:59.
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Old 1st March 2016, 14:57   #10
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

Day 5, 9th March 2015.

Morning Photo Shoot.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-gm1.jpg
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Pirate Posing
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Technically the last day of the trip, well how it got changed into second last day.

We all were ready by 8.30 AM for the long drive back home. The route was NH15 and NH8. One of my friend had described NH15 as Sublime, well today was the day to drive on it. We were quickly out of Jaisalmer Moving towards Barmer, well traffic reduced quickly as We moved out of Jaisalmer, Continuously clocking 110 to 120 kmph. Only thing which can stop you on this highway is animals. My friend said Sublime, I say unmatched road.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-img_20150309_121505.jpg
In no time we crossed Barmer, now approching towards Sanchore. A full tank at HP Petrol Pump and we were moving towards Palanpur i.e. Rajasthan - Gujarat Border. 12 kilometres before Deesa we had Lunch, following that we were quickly approaching Palanpur and then we saw a Board which says Himatnagar 110 Kilometres (Himatnagar is my Hometown), Now that's how last day of the trip became second last. Me and my brother looked at each other and there was quick accent from both of us, my dad is always ready for the trip to Himatnagar, so we leave the main road at Palanpur.

A quick Darshan at Manibhadra Veer Temple known as Magarwada located near Palanpur and we were moving towards our native place temple near Himatnagar.

At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-mbv1.jpg

Dhareshwar Mahadev, Khedawada. In my belief nothing is complete without him, so quick round to meet him and say thanks for the wonderful trip.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-dm1.jpg
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-dm2.jpg

An evening was spent at my cousin's place discussing the trip and experiences about the International Border.

Information for fellow travellers

A quick information on Manibhadra Veer.
Manibhadra was a great king who was devoted to Jain religion and preachings. He had enormous wealth and was also very fond of 36 musical instruments. He was declared as the Kshetrapal (Protector of the Area) because of his tremendous devotion.

Manibhadraveer, as the legend goes, was born in his previous birth in Ujjain as a Jain shravak Manekshaw. He was a staunch Jain Shravak whose Guru was Maharaj Hemvimal Suriji. During his chaturmas in Agra, Manekshaw was deeply influenced by his Guru's discourses on the sacredness and importance of Shatrunjay. Due to this, he decided to undertake the arduous penance of going on foot to Shatrunjay to do the Navanuni Yatra and end it with a 2-day fast under the Ryan tree.

With his Guru's blessings, he set off on the auspicious day of Kartiki Poonam. When he was close to present day Magarwada, a gang of dacoits attacked him and the group and fighting them He gave his life to save others severing his head, arms and lower body. Manekshaw, who was totally absorbed in his Navkar mantra jaap and the sacredness of Shatrunjay, was reborn as Indra Manibhadraveerdev. Another school of thought says that Maneksha lost his life in a battle to save cows.

It is mythologically stated that while fighting, His body got cut into three (3) parts and fell in three different directions. The “Pindi” ie. “the part below the waist” fell at Magarwada in Gujarat, The “dhad” ie. the body at Aglod in Gujarat and the “Mashtak”, ie. the Head in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Originally there are only this three places of Mianibhadra Veer in India - UJJAIN, AGLOD and MAGARWADA.

It is also believed, that, His Guru's disciples were facing many difficulties because of the Bhairvos. According to the Dev vaani, his Guru came to Magarwada, and sat down in Dhyan to overcome these difficulties. That is when Manibhadraveer decided to help his Guru to overcome the obstacles caused by the Bhairvos. He subdued them. His Guru honoured him by installing a 'pind' of his legs in Magarwada on Maha Sud Pancham day and constructed the temple there.

Today, people flock to Magarwada in large numbers to pray to Manibhadraveer to solve their problems and help them overcome their obstacles.

Thus His Highness Lord Manibhadraveer sacrified his life and became a Martyr (“Shaheed”) fighting for Jainism. It is also said that if someone makes darshan or worships Lord Manibhadraveer in all the three locations in one day, ie. Between Sunriseto Sunset, the same is the best possible way of offering ones prayers and devotion. Logistically, it is possible and would be covered in the following section.

Some salient features of Lord Manibhadra veer:
His face on statues is sometimes depicted mostly as Varah (Boar).
His idols are shown with four arms, and sometimes we also see him with six arms.
The carrier of Manibhadra Dev is Airavat, the white elephant with multiple trunks.
He is highly respected among the Tapagachha sect of Sawetambar Jains.
He is specially worshipped on ‘‘Ashtami’’, “Chaudas’’ and ‘’Divali’’
On pacham of every month large number of devotees come here to offer worship.
Sunday and Thursday are supposedly His favourite days and one can also pay respects to the Lord by remaining on Jain diet (No Onion-Potato-Garlic and underground food)
Sukhadi and Shreefal (Coconut) is his favourite food and is offered as Prasad.
Note : Women devotees can do darshan / worship him and offer prayers, but can not offer Puja or do idol-worship by applying Kesar (Safron) and Chandan to the Lord.

Source: shreemanibhadraveer blog.

Route from Jaisalmer to Mumbai: Straight forward route Jaisalmer - Barmer - Sanchore - Palanpur - Mehsana - Ahmedabad Ring Road - Baroda - Surat - Mumbai.
At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609-screenshot_20160301155920741.jpeg
https://goo.gl/maps/hStGrAMK9gp

Day 6, 10th March 2015.
An event less drive back home over the fast NH8. So this is how, we saw the International Border Pillar No. 609. Thanks to HVK for his guidance and Thanks to my parents and brother for being a such a wonderful co-passenger.

Thanks everyone for viewing the Travelogue. Hope to see you all with your travel stories.

Any queries / information regarding the places I visited is most welcome.
Hotels I stayed
Sarangpur: Dharamshala maintained by Swaminarayan Mandir Trust.
Ajmer: Hotel Shanti Palace. http://www.shantipalaceajmer.com/
Jaisalmer: Hotel Moomal maintained by RTDC. http://rtdc.rajasthan.gov.in/DetailH...spx?Hotelid=12
Sam Sand Dunes: Hotel Sam Dhani maintained by RTDC. http://rtdc.rajasthan.gov.in/DetailH...spx?Hotelid=13

Last edited by nndp87 : 1st March 2016 at 23:47.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 07:32   #11
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Note from Support: Thread moved to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd March 2016, 08:51   #12
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

From those thousands of travel photos that I have been seeing over the past few years to a well documented and awesomely narrated Travelogue!

Keep that coming Nandeep. Your travel to these wonderful destinations does full justice to the LTD sticker on your Pirate. And yes, a Warm welcome to Team-Bhp. I am more than just sure that your drives will add a lot of value here.

There is so much common with the drives that we do. Travel with parents with some of the longest distances and still see them happy at the end of the drive. I would give credit more for the way one manages this drive: Smart Start, Smart Pass (crossing time of Major Cities and towns), Smart Stops (Break before other break and keep driving when others Break), Smart Stop (End your journey by reaching when traffic is lowest).

The Ride, the Machine is only an enabler to accomplish this and one can very well make the passengers feel tired within the first 300 kms if they wish to and you know exactly what I am referring to! One doesn't really need to be fast to get the best average speeds and these drives are a testimony to that.

Waiting for the next one from you and welcome again.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 10:48   #13
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

Superb stuff!

Really appreciate you for sharing your experiences through this travelogue. Thanks!
And I share many common interests with you, not the least in the way we travel and ofcourse - Sunny Deol! For me, there is just no other actor in this world (bollywood to hollywood) who can electrify the screen by his mere presence. His movies are ridiculous on content but just burn the scales on providing goose bumps. (remember the hand pump scene from Gadar)

A little secret to share - Just before I used to go for my presentation, I used to watch his walk from the movie Border.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nndp87 View Post
The Prologue.


It was 1998, when I saw this movie for the first time. The favourite scene in the movie was of course, Sunny Deol walking all the way till International Border in Longewala Sector.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 11:14   #14
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

Mind blowing writeup as well as awesome photos! Thanks for sharing this experience.

A couple of questions
  1. Is there a specific time limit you were allowed to be at the border? e.g. 1 hour, 15 minutes etc
  2. In some of the photos I see warm wear like jacket and shawl. For someone who has never been to a desert area, this is confusing. I thought it would be very hot during day time.
  3. I am an amateur astronomer. Would I be correct in thinking, the night sky would be much brighter with more stars visible, because of lack of ambient light pollution like we have in the cities?
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Old 2nd March 2016, 11:26   #15
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Default re: At the International Border - With an XUV500 to International Border Pillar No. 609

Revived old memories.

One advantage we had was that we had time on hand and there being two 4WD vehicles we really enjoyed few side excursions between Ramgarh-Tanot and Tanot-Longewal in to sand dunes and beyond.

We were not that persistent and did not get go ahead towards international border. Lesson for future.
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