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Old 2nd December 2016, 11:35   #16
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Default Re: Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip

Hi, I am planning to do a Mumbai – Udaipur – Mumbai trip during the upcoming Republic Day – extended weekend. I am planning to leave Mumbai by 5:00 AM in the morning and reach Udaipur by 18:00 hrs or so on 26th Jan’17. The return journey will be done on Sunday, 29th Jan’17. It will be just my wife and me and she will share nearly 30% of the driving duties.
Any pointers that fellow team-bhpians want to suggest?
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Old 2nd December 2016, 14:16   #17
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Default Re: Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip

[quote=neoonwheels;4098990]Padharo Mare Des -- Our Rajasthan Trip --

Excellent travelogue and superb pics.
Roads are really beautiful and well marked.

This is called perfect timing. Your travelogue would be my reference guide for my visit to Rajasthan early next year.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 14:24   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific View Post
Hi, I am planning to do a Mumbai – Udaipur – Mumbai trip during the upcoming Republic Day – extended weekend. I am planning to leave Mumbai by 5:00 AM in the morning and reach Udaipur by 18:00 hrs or so on 26th Jan’17. The return journey will be done on Sunday, 29th Jan’17. It will be just my wife and me and she will share nearly 30% of the driving duties.
Any pointers that fellow team-bhpians want to suggest?
I did the Udaipur-Mbai in 10.5 hrs (Excluding 1.5 hrs break). Pointers:

1. The fountain hotel bridge is first bottleneck and you will need 20 mins to cross that. If you are lucky like me, you can do that in 5 mins. Every side take turns to cross that bridge and so is the delay.

2. While crossing bridge at Ankleshwar on Narmada, use the older bridge as all heavy vehicles take the new bridge and its always crowded.

3. If you are visiting City Palace in Udaipur, take an auto or cab. The lanes are quite narrow.

4. Dont stay in any hotel near City Palace (If going by your own car), specially on Amrai road which is on the left side of the lake Pichola. The road is barely 12 ft wide and its a task to even reach your hotel.

5. Dont miss to visit "SahasraBahu" temple (Also called Sas Bahu temple). Its 5 mins away from Eklingji temple. Its a must watch monument. Will upload its picture in my travelouge soon.

6. Dine at: Hotel Natraj Thali, The Whistling Teal and Hari Garh (On Amrai road). These restaurants are quite famous and certainly deserve a mention.

7. You can skip Kumbhalgarh fort is its in your itinerary and instead cover Ranakpur which is on the same road as Kumbhalgarh.

8. Be careful on NH8 once you enter Rajasthan. Driving on wrong side is very common in RJ.

9. If you are yet to book hotel, try Lavitra (In City, near Fateh Sagar lake) and ShikarBadi (a bit costly). ShikarBadi is outside city but has awesome views and very quite. Its owned by Royal family of Udaipur and so has a rustic feel.

9. PM me whenever you need any help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyToDrive

Excellent travelogue and superb pics.
Roads are really beautiful and well marked.

This is called perfect timing. Your travelogue would be my reference guide for my visit to Rajasthan early next year.
Thanks for the kind words. You can follow the same guidelines that I mentioned to Pacific.

Last edited by neoonwheels : 2nd December 2016 at 14:26.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 15:13   #19
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Padharo Mare Des -- Our Rajasthan Trip -- Day 6 in Jaipur

Exploring Rajasthani Capital further

As per our plan, second day was to be spent visiting the old city section of Jaipur. We were to cover the famous City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and have lunch at LMB. Many people had strongly recommended relying on local transport for these places so our Punto got a day off.

Accessing these tourists spots via rick or ola is hassle-free. However on personal level I will recommend the cab because fare calculation is transparent. Rickshaws can be slightly expensive for the same route. But if you happen to take a rick, do not sign up for a whole day tour for the above mentioned places as they are very close to each other and can be easily covered on foot. Another advantage of roaming around here on foot is the chance to explore its local markets. If you are too tired of walking, do try a refreshing ride in Jaipur’s battery operated rickshaws and/or tongas. You won’t get to see them so frequently in other places.

Sporadically beautiful City Palace

If one wants to see this place in all detail then one must spend close to 2 or 3 hours here. This place is sporadically beautiful meaning there are some spots which will appeal to few but not to many while there are some that are extremely photogenic and thronged by people all the time. But you need to cover all of them to get a good idea of this place. Unless you are in a hurry. In that case I have suggested a shortcut ahead.

As you enter you see Mubarak Mahal. This is beautiful to say the least. You can skip going inside if you are not a history buff and stick to the exteriors because that is where you will get to click (and see) some excellent pieces of intricate marble carvings. The symmetry, design and fineness is beyond words.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4161.jpg

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As you proceed you enter a big courtyard having Diwan-e-Aam in the center. This courtyard has 4 -5 gates each opening up to a different section of the palace premise. Diwan-e-Aam according to us was very plain. It houses two silver urns of 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) height, each with capacity of 4000 litres and weighing 340 kilograms. It is said that they were made for Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, who was a highly pious Hindu, to carry the water of the Ganges to drink on his trip to England in 1901.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4280.jpg

Kiddo trying hard to be a biker

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Guns put up in a design pattern

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4231.jpg

Towards left side of Diwan-E-Aam is Pritam Niwas chowk. This is an absolute must-see. It has 4 gates each done in a different theme. I would suggest that if you are pressed for time and want to wrap up City Palace quickly then after Mubarak Mahal come directly to this section and conclude your tour. Apart from these two places there is nothing more spectacular to see in this place. Told you, this is sporadically beautiful.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4254.jpg

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The gates are the Northeast Peacock Gate (with motifs of peacocks on the doorway) representing autumn and dedicated Lord Vishnu. This is perhaps the most spellbounding gate of the four. The peacocks adorning this gate look real and make for some amazing pictures. It would be a good idea to carry a zoom lens to be able to capture the nitty-gritties on these gates.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4355.jpg

The Southwest Lotus Gate is (with continual flower and petal pattern) suggestive of summer season and dedicated to Lord Shiva-Parvati.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4317.jpg

The Northwest Green Gate, also called the Leheriya (meaning: "waves") gate is suggestive of spring and dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The waves that are carved in stone look three dimensional.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4316.jpg

And lastly, the Rose Gate with repeated flower pattern representing winter season and dedicated to Goddess Devi.

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Even if you do not have any clue of the directions, the patterns on these gates are clear enough to make you realize which one you are viewing at any given moment.

The rest of the palace is alright. Also some sections are off limit because the royal family still lives here. There is a museum section too but we decided to skip it and proceeded towards Jantar Mantar.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4363.jpg

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Jantar-Mantar - Timeless but not for all

Constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II, this place is a confluence of physics, astronomy and architecture. There are in all five Jantar Mantars across India, this one being one of them. Sadly, to be able to understand and appreciate the nuances of this place one really has to be well informed about science and astronomy. Otherwise it is just another monument to look at and move on. Our condition was somewhat similar. With due respect to every single piece of stone that this place houses, this is not for common public.

The jantars (corrupt form of Jantra or Yantra meaning machine) are jaw-dropping. From the simplest to the the grandest, they are absolutely wow and immaculately accurate (according to the descriptions put up here). We referred to our notes about the different yantra, saw the largest sun-dial, clicked some snaps and wandered around this place for sometime and then moved out. I won’t say that our time at this observatory was wasted but had we been able to understand more then our visit would have been truly well utilised. But like my wife explained about this place to my son, it is a place that shows how much a determined person can achieve without relying on mechanical tools and succeed in delivering perfection from stone!

Only a single pic from Jantar Mantar.. There is not much for photography here and its always crowded.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4394.jpg

Last edited by neoonwheels : 2nd December 2016 at 15:39.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 15:48   #20
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Day 6, Jaipur, Continued......

Lunch date with LMB

Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar, locally known as LMB, is located in Johari Bazaar. We took a rick from Jantar Mantar to this place and were lucky to quickly get a table. The main agenda was to have proper Rajasthani thali so we ordered their Rajasthani Royal Thal. Unlike the thali places in Maharashtra or Gujarat where everything in the plate is unlimited, Rajasthani version is limited. Of course with so many different things you don’t really need a second helping of the gravies but this whole limited thing prevents you from getting more of the finger food or chaas, etc.

The thali starts with a soup and serves different traditional Rajasthani delicacies. We had requested them to make it less spicy so that our kid too could have it and they were kind enough to alter some part of it. It is here that we finally had daal, baatii and choorma. It was bathed in ghee and delicious. LMB is a famous sweets shop and we wanted to try there ghevar and other sweetmeats but could not because our sumptuous thali left no room for more.

Despite being the costliest thali experience so far, I would recommend LMB because you will get to have maximum Rajasthani dishes in one go. Do not expect more from this place wrt the ambiance, etc. Go here purely for the thali and stay happy.


Rendezvous with Pink city concludes (a bit abruptly)


By the time our lunch was over my four year old was very cranky. Hawa mahal and shopping at local market was left but we had to cancel that plan and return to our hotel much to the dismay of my wife. During the day today as we moved around the old city areas we saw so many pink coloured gates and buildings that we realized how and why this city must have earned its epithet (and is sticking to it loyally).

On our last evening in Jaipur we decided to skip dinner, courtesy LMB thali. As we packed our bags and got ready for tomorrow, we kept feeling there was much more of this place left for us to see. For that we will have to come here again sometime. When would that be no idea but as of now we had to pack and be ready because tomorrow we would embark on the road to explore Mewar side of Rajasthan i.e Udaipur.


IMO


Stay at : Hotel Royal Orchid, excellent.

Eat at : Hotel Natraj and LMB. Thalis at both places. Can try Niros and Guruji ki rasoi.

Roam around : By local transport. Bargain well before settling the fare.

Shop : Anywhere but places recommended by your tour guides.

About the city : Nice place, clean roads, safe to roam around at night too.

Skip : Day tour of Amer fort, Museums in and around City Palace.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 17:40   #21
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It’s a lovely travel diary on Rajasthan...I was eagerly waiting for latest inputs and you made me totally engrossed reading it.. Very well captured...I have noted all the hotel references for my future planning..

I had planned it this year during Diwali but somehow changed my plans due to time constraint ..Couldn’t squeeze all these places in flat 8 days return. Thanks for sharing !
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Old 5th December 2016, 16:52   #22
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Nice travelogue neoonwheels!
The pictures are wonderful too.

I too am planning a Pune-Jaipur-Udaipur trip next year December. This dairy will come in handy during the planning.
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Old 6th December 2016, 09:42   #23
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Hi

Thank you for the amazing photo journey of the beautiful state of Rajasthan. You have managed to capture in great detail, the grand and intricate architecture of a bye gone era, with your photos.
Your writing is quite detailed too, gives a first hand account of the good and the not so good and will help us to plan trips.
Waiting for rest of the travelogue.
Cheerio!
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Old 6th December 2016, 11:59   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
Hi

Thank you for the amazing photo journey of the beautiful state of Rajasthan. You have managed to capture in great detail, the grand and intricate architecture of a bye gone era, with your photos.
Your writing is quite detailed too, gives a first hand account of the good and the not so good and will help us to plan trips.
Waiting for rest of the travelogue.
Cheerio!
Sure. now will be covering remaining 4 days of Udaipur

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
Nice travelogue neoonwheels!
The pictures are wonderful too.

I too am planning a Pune-Jaipur-Udaipur trip next year December. This dairy will come in handy during the planning.
Sure. Lets catch-up someday

Quote:
Originally Posted by STraiTDriVE View Post
It’s a lovely travel diary on Rajasthan...I was eagerly waiting for latest inputs and you made me totally engrossed reading it.. Very well captured...I have noted all the hotel references for my future planning..

I had planned it this year during Diwali but somehow changed my plans due to time constraint ..Couldn’t squeeze all these places in flat 8 days return. Thanks for sharing !
Thanks for the kind words.
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Old 21st December 2016, 15:01   #25
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The last leg - Day 7, Jaipur - Udaipur

Even before we realized, it was November 19th. We were 6 days into our road trip, covered around 2200 kms and visited 4 cities. So far our kid was well behaved but not as much as the roads because unlike the roads, his mood became bumpy sometime.

As we moved from one city to another and saw one place after the other, we had kept him marginally interested in forts and mountains and lured him with elephants and camels. Now, in the last leg of our journey, as we were about to invade the land of Mewar in our mean beast (I like to think of my Punto like that! FIAT owners need self help after they see its sales report from time to time), we lured our son with boat rides.

After checking out of Hotel Royal Orchid at Jaipur we took the road to Udaipur. This was the last city on our Rajasthan agenda and we were to spend three and half days here. Our stay was going to be divided between two hotels and there was a long list of places to see. Initially we had fixed NH48 route but after being on this for nearly 20 mins we took a (fortunate) detour at 'Nasirabad' and headed on the altered track NH58. This decision saved us some fuel and couple of hours. I would like to iterate that NH58 is the 'best' route to travel between Jaipur and Udaipur. It also introduced us to the cheapest eatery of our whole trip! This was Khendelwal (kindly mind the spelling) Dhaba situated just after you cross 'Bhim' town. The food is good and cheap, place is clean (despite being open air), people are courteous and service is fast. What more can travelers ask for?

Just after crossing Bhim town:

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4430.jpg

City of lakes

Udaipur is called, “city of lakes” and quite rightly so. Everywhere you see, you will find some water body. Some of them are well maintained while many look like ‘naalaas’. But overall this is a pleasant city.

Like I said before, our stay in Udaipur was divided between two hotels of which the first was Hotel Lavitra. This property is very close to Fatehsagar Lake and on our arrival here we decided to make the most of its proximity. Despite speeding up things, we reached Fateh Sagar (on foot) a little after sunset. My dream of capturing some lovely pictures of the stunning Jag Mandir Palace (situated in the middle of the lake) with a perfect back drop of sunset at the lake was crushed. To make matters worse, a school picnic of some 60-70 noisy students reached here around the same time making the whole place very crowded. Now, imagine this, during a 400 kms run you keep your son placated by promising to take him boating in the evening and when you actually reach that spot you realize that it is not only expensive but also out of question owing to the lone queue. How does one come out of such explosive situation unscathed? By proposing a horse ride! So, me and my wife played a smart move and sold a (150/- for 10 minutes, a big hole in our pocket) horse ride to our son. During this ride we mutually agreed that FatehSagar could not offer more than this and ticked it off our TO-SEE list.

Fatehsagar lake..

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A great discovery!

It was close to dinner time by the time we were done with the aforementioned horse ride and clicking some family photographs. We made another intelligent move and decided to take a rick to the place that my wife had selected for dinner. This part of Udaipur (the part around Jagdish Temple and Lake Pichola) is full of narrow lanes. And when I say ‘narrow’, I mean actually ‘NARROW’. Please refrain from taking your vehicle anywhere in these areas. Travel by rick (or at times on foot) and stay happy. Although the rickshaw fares will pinch you but remember that your car stays safe and protected.

As the rick driver and I tried to locate our dinner place, Whistling Teal in Chandpole, my wife exclaimed with delight, “This is the place I want to come to for buying souvenirs!”. Our hasty retreat from the streets of Jaipur had left her with no chance of buying anything for herself. But she sulked more over the fact that she could not buy any souvenirs. Frankly speaking, I could see a whole bag exploding with mementos but I kept this fact to myself. You don’t upset your wife in general and on a road trip in particular. This Whistling Teal lane (i do not know its exact name) which my wife happily approved is full of small shops selling fridge magnets and other items. Indeed a good place for some quick shopping! Thus this lane and the hotel both were star discoveries of our trip.

At Whistling Teal with my son:

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4482.jpg


Tomorrow’s plan of action over a relaxed dinner

Whistling Teal is an ideal place for unwinding. In the reviews, many people had recommended it for breakfast but it will make an even better setting for dinner. It has indoor as well as outdoor seating but I will recommend that you sit outdoors. Be well armed with mosquito repellent and nothing else will bother you. At that time however another thing that piqued us was their inability to accept cards. Apart from that inconvenience, the food was good and affordable. As this place is located very close to Jagdish Temple and City Palace one can cover these tourist attractions on foot and then come here for lunch as well. It works well both ways!

Over dinner we tried to finalize things for tomorrow. We were going to cover Kumbhalgarh fort and that meant close to two and half hours transit one way so we had to plan well. It was decided that we will leave immediately after breakfast and try to make it to the fort by 10.00 am. But, as we discovered the next day, it was not so easy for us to follow our plan and we had to bear the consequences of our choice.

As of today, during our dinner, we were blissfully unaware of tomorrow (and all the things that will go wrong) and very content with our performance of the day. We covered around 400 kms in around 7 hrs including of 45 mins break time. Overall things were on track (at least, so far)!

IMO

1. Take NH58 from Jaipur to Udaipur. It has 6 lanes till Beawar, then 2 lanes till Rajsamand and then 4 lanes till Udaipur. The whole route is a delight to drive.
2. Had lunch at Khendelwal Dhaba: https://goo.gl/maps/gn7p3z7MRFo
3. Stay at hotel Lavitra: 3.5 Stars : https://goo.gl/maps/akXRgW5YwQ12

Last edited by neoonwheels : 21st December 2016 at 15:04.
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Old 26th December 2016, 10:35   #26
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NeoOnWheels: Awesome TL with great pics. Rajasthan is very close to my heart as I spent three wonderful years of my childhood here. Thanks for sharing, waiting for more.
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Old 18th February 2017, 14:17   #27
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Sorry for posting the last leg after such a long time. Work kept me busy for last 2 months. So here you go...

Padharo Mare Des -- Our Rajasthan Trip -- To err is hum
Udaipur - Day 8

Udaipur - Jodhpur highway..
Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4542.jpg


One wrong turn

Today was reserved for Kumbhalgarh Fort about which I had read so much and also got lot of personal recommendations. This led me to force my wife in to modifying our original itinerary in order to accommodate this fort. Previously she had put Ranakpur Sun temple which I made her drop in favor of Kumbhalgarh.

As it was close to 2 hours drive from our hotel, we started immediately after breakfast and hit The road leading to Ranakpur Sun temple and this fort is the same till village Sayra after which it forks. The right side takes you to the fort while the left side goes towards the temple complex. As decided we took the road towards the fort and made the biggest mistake of our tour. Only if we could have had a way of knowing it then, it would have saved us from wasting one full day!

The never ending road

The road to Kumbhalgarh fort is alright till you are on the highway. Once that is over, you hit extremely narrow village roads which bring your speed down to 30kms to 40kms at max. Like I mentioned before, this drive was supposed to be of 2 hours but even after being on the road for over two hours we could not see any signs of the fort appearing before us. The road with its cattles was dragging us down hopelessly and testing our patience. More than once we thought of turning back but we had already come so far that returning without seeing the fort now would have been another mistake. So we kept moving ahead.

Soon it was lunch time. I wanted to skip that break and have lunch at the fort. But my wife insisted that we had it before going ahead because none of us was sure as to how much longer we would need to drive on. So we stopped at The Aodhi and ordered some dal rice. We didn’t want to waste any more time on an elaborate meal hence this quick fix.

Apparently we erred once more. The hotel staff took eternity to serve us this basic menu and we were left to dillydally (again!). The Aodhi (as we realized later) is located very close to Kumbhalgarh (barely 2 kms away from it to be precise) and seemed to be a promising property. We could gauge from the menu that it must be very expensive stay here but it can be a good place to spend one day or so especially if you want to stay in the lap of nature and forget the rest of the world around you. For those who drive down to the fort this could be one of your last options to have a decent meal. And trust me on this, do not skip your lunch.

All this for nothing

Little far away from The Aodhi is Kumbhalgarh fort. Imagine our relief when finally after driving for 3 hours drive and one extended lunch break we actually got to see its grand wall which is second only to the great wall of China.

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4659.jpg

By the time we got there, the small parking lot outside the fort was already full so we had to park our vehicle on the winding road approaching the fort. Thankfully we got a spot not too far from the main gate, Hanuman Pol.

A big statue of Lord Hanuman welcomes you at Hanuman Pol. ‘Pol’ vernacularly means gate. All the forts across Rajasthan have numerous such ‘pol’ within them. Hanuman Pol is the official entry point to the fort. Once inside it you will spot the ticket window to your left. Ticket to this fort is 15/- only with no extra charges for camera. Considering the expanse of this fort the entry fee is peanuts!

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4566.jpg

According to the legend, when Maharana of Kumbhalgarh, Rana Kumbha was repeatedly unsuccessful in his attempts to build the fort wall a spiritual preceptor was consulted about the construction problems. He advised the ruler that a voluntary human sacrifice would solve whatever was causing the impediment. The spiritual advisor advised building a temple where the head should fall and building the wall and the fort where the rest of his body lay. After waiting for many days for someone to volunteer willingly, a pilgrim volunteered and was ritually decapitated. Very close to Hanuman Pol there is a shrine, Vedi Temple to commemorate this sacrifice.

It is said that Rana Kumbha was so tall that when he sat cross-legged to worship the giant shiv linga (claimed to be 6 feet tall) he could easily see the top of that linga. This black shiv-linga is another tourist attraction and situated within Mahadev Temple close to Vedi temple. This shiv-linga is still worshipped by the locals and unlike other Shiva temples, this is not only clean but also well maintained.

Opposite to these temples is Badal Mahal and few more smaller temples. Badal Mahal involves an uphill climb and majority of its sections are locked. So, it will be a good idea to skip this unless you are a trekking enthusiast.

By the time we were done trekking up to Badal Mahal we had no energy left to go further. From the top of Badal Mahal we had spotted other clusters of temples spread over at some distance but Badal Mahal itself was so disappointing that exploring the rest of the fort (with the temple clusters and all) did not seem like a risk worth taking.

Few of the clicks...

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4605.jpg

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4603.jpg

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4608.jpg

Chasing a mirage

As we walked back to our car we not only felt dejected but angry too. We had such great expectations from this fort but could get to see so little of it in reality, it felt like we had chased a mirage. The drive (to and fro) and then the hike was totally not worth the hype, not to mention it was time consuming too. It could be a case that we gave up too soon. But there was no way we could keep going.

There could be one better way to explore this fort and that would be to attend its sound and light show. You could stay at The Aodhi (or any such property around the fort) and come here for the evening show. This will not only save you the transit but also a day. But whether that show will be worthy of your time remains debatable.

A lesson learnt well

Dinner at HariGarh Hotel on Lake Pichola was perhaps the only good thing of today. We reached here at 7.30 pm but that was too late to get a lake facing table. Luckily we were asked to go upstairs where one family was vacating theirs and we literally jumped on it to claim it. My wife’s Mumbai local trains experience and seat-catching training came handy!

Although food was average we still managed to have a great time here. To have dinner by the lakeside was new for us and we made the most of it. What we loved the most about this place was that there was absolutely no pressure to vacate our table quickly. Even though the service was quick we stayed here for almost 2 hours reminiscing about the day.

Perhaps we should have visited Ranakpur instead of Kumbhalgarh, or perhpas we should have hired a guide at the fort to be able to cover exact spots, or we should have seen the sound and light show. The possibilities were too many but of no use now. We could not bring back the day we had wasted due to one wrong turn. But that is what travelling to new places is all about. You win some,you lose some. What matters is the experience.

What also matters is the fact that one never questions one’s wife’s original plans. When your wife says something is good, then my dear friends, that is GOOD and never to be substituted by anything else!

Lake Pichola..

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_4701.cr2.jpg
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Old 21st February 2017, 19:23   #28
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Default Re: Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip

Padharo Mare Des -- Our Rajasthan Trip -- New Day, New Beginning...
Udaipur - Day 9

New day, new start

Although yesterday was very disappointing, we started today with renewed hope. Today we were going to visit Eklingji Temple and SahasraBahu temple (locally known as Sas-Bahu). Kumbhalgarh fiasco was still fresh so this time I did not offer to change anything about the itinerary. Not wanting to mess with God and his temples, I kept my reservations aside and got ready to take my wife and kid on this semi-spiritual day tour. Today also happened to be our last day at Hotel Lavitra.

I had said before that our stay in Udaipur was going to be divided between two hotels, one of which was Lavitra and the other was Sikharbadi. Our plan was to check out of Lavitra in the morning, complete sight-seeing by late afternoon and check in at Shikarbadi around their ‘deers feeding’ session.

By 9.45 am we were cruising along . Within 10-15 mins we saw a dusty diversion at Nagada which goes to Eklingji temple. We were sure to miss it had we not been very attentive. One has to go straight on this diversion in order to reach Eklingji. And while you are on this road you will see a small signboard towards left for Sas-Bahu temple. Both these temples are 10 minutes away from each other and I would recommend visiting Eklingji first. Keep rest of your time for Sas-Bahu.

Encountering divinity

There is no specific parking space for Eklingji Temple so you will have to leave your car on the road. As it is a busy street your vehicle will remain safe but beware of cattles that roam around freely. Taking camera or bags within temple campus is strictly not allowed so either leave your belongings in your vehicle or hire one of the lockers available.

Fundamentally this is a temple complex housing total 108 small and big temples within it. The most famous of course is the main Eklingji or Shiva temple. Once you are done visiting this you are free to roam around the area and visit other temples. They are properly numbered and well maintained. Still, entry into many temples is not allowed so you won't need too much time to cover this entire place.

As photography is not allowed within the temple premise it will be a good idea to check outside shops for some decent temple photograph, just to remind you of its marvelous architecture.

As we lost track of time

After visiting Eklingji we turned around for Sas Bahu temples (local corrupt form of Sahasra Bahu). This site is roughly 10 minutes away by car. Small signboards will direct you to the place and its parking lot. You will need to pay some minimum parking fee to the person who manages the parking space plus a small stall selling mementos.

This site is listed as a heritage site by Archaeological Department of India. But you don't see anything spectacular as you enter the gates. Just two temples on a highrise platform and some benches in the courtyard. Perhaps anything in ruins becomes a heritage site, you may think and mentally allot some 20 mins to this place.

This is precisely what went on in our minds. Eklingji got over very quickly and we thought that Sas Bahu will follow suit. Finally this was my chance to settle scores with my wife. I had hit rock bottom after Kumbhalgarh and I needed something to fight back. Unfortunately I could not have my victory for as we climbed up those steps and went ahead, we saw the real beauty of this place!

All that you see from the entrance is a facade. The real gem lies beyond. This, like Eklingji is a temple complex albeit not that vast. Here are the remains of 10th century AD Vishnu temple referred to as Sahasra Bahu. Some 4-5 odd temples are still standing but they do not have any idols. The rest are in dilapidated condition. This seemed to be a favourite site for photographers to hold pre-wedding shoots. Because when we reached here there were already two teams with their crew and models fully immersed in their respective shoots.

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As clicking pictures was the norm here we took to it as fast as we could. For we could not leave any corner of any temple unclicked! This was perhaps the most beautifully and lavishly carved temple site we had ever seen. And as we moved around clicking the figurines on the walls we suddenly noticed a tall gate towards the opposite side. We had never seen an intact gate ever. With its balustrades still standing tall and supporting beautifully carved, symmetrical arches, this gate was absolute wonder. Close to the gate is the compound wall which overlooks a small lake. In my opinion, in olden times, this gate must have been closer to the lake allowing people to bathe their first and then come to the temples for everyday worship.

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After spending almost two hours and clicking close to 300 snaps (often photobombing the other shoots) we decided we had to leave. We could not afford to be late for Shikarbadi because we had already hyped it to a great degree in front of our son.

Sas Bahu was by far the best discovery on our Rajasthan trip and by coming here we had made up (to some extent) for yesterday’s mis-planning. Things were gradually coming on track and we felt happy.

Another highlight of the day

It is the hotel that we had booked : ShikarBadi. What an awesome place it it. Its owned by the Royal family of Udaipur and has got a unique rustic feel to it. The staff is very courteous and the place very cozy. The property has its own horse stable as well. They have some 20-30 deer and some peacocks and peafowls whom they feed everyday at 4 PM. Kid was super excited to watch them eat from a distance of just 20 ft. It was quite a unique experience for us all .

Following are few pics of the property..

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Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_5587.jpg

Padharo Mare Des - Our Rajasthan Trip-img_5375.jpg


IMO:

1. DO NOT waste an opportunity to visit 'Sas Bahu temple'
2. If budget permits, stay at Shikarbadi: https://goo.gl/maps/nq365Jj8kgC2
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