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Old 22nd January 2017, 20:55   #1
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Default Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states

Life is so short so why waste a single day of it doing something that doesn’t matter, that doesn’t count? As people say there is nothing more intoxicating than doing big, bold things. Continuous planning for past two months, sketching out the route maps, hotel bookings, reading fellow travelers blogs, understanding road conditions and above all, the zeal to ride and explore our beautiful country, here we are after successfully completing our 19 days ride to western and central India. 4 friends, 19 days of riding and exploring places together, clocking 7500+ kms on the ODO, 9 states and zillion of lifetime memories to live for – what more can one ask for?

It all started with a discussion between Atul (my better half), Arun (our longtime friend) and me on a lazy Saturday evening. We wanted to do a big long ride towards 2016 year end, though the destination was not yet decided. Atul and Arun did some reading of articles, blogs, travelogues, road conditions and finally boiled down to ride towards the western part of India, mostly Gujarat and Rajasthan. As the planning progressed more destinations were added like Ajmer, Delhi and Ranthambore. We asked few of our friends if they were interested to join this ride along with us. Amruthesh, Ravi and Srinivas (friend of Ravi) agreed to join us. So, a complete list with destinations for 19 long days was ready. Getting leaves for those many days was a challenge but December and January being lean months at work, the leaves got finally approved.

Atul got his bike fixed with additional racks installed for tail and saddle bags. Complete checkup of the bikes were done prior to the ride to look for any issues or concerns with the bikes. A long check-list was prepared for the items to be carried along for the ride – minimal clothes, bike tool kits, camera equipment, extra pair of shoes, toiletries and other miscellaneous stuff. We had several meetings discussing various aspects of the ride regarding riding rules, individual responsibilities, booking hotels for each stop over and downloading offline Google maps. Remaining days were spent patiently waiting for THE day.

Some quick bytes from the ride:
Dates: 24th Dec 2016 – 11th Jan 2017 (19 days)
Riders and bikes: Atul (KTM D390), Arun (KTM D390), Amruthesh (KTM D390) and me (pillion rider with Atul). Ravi (RC 390) and Srinivas (Yamaha R3) only till Pune
Overall route taken: BTM (Bangalore) > Mumbai > Ahmedabad > Bhuj > Rann of Kutch > Bhuj > Dholavira > Sanchore > Jaisalmer > Udaipur > Jodhpur > Ajmer > Pushkar > Jaipur > Delhi > Ranthambore > Ujjain > Nagpur > Hyderabad > BTM (Bangalore)
Kms covered: a little over 7500 kms
States covered: Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh (9 states)
Cost incurred: Petrol – approx. Rs. 23,000 per bike, food – approx. Rs. 10,000 per person, accommodation & miscellaneous – approx. Rs. 11,000 per person

Day 1 – 24/12/2016 To Mumbai (1008kms - via Tumkur > Davangere > Dharwad > Belgaum > Kolhapur > Satara > Pune > Mumbai)

The excitement before a ride doesn’t let anyone sleep, isn’t it? Same happened with us. I guess we hardly slept for some 1 or 2 hours and woke up around 2:30am, wanted to start the ride as early as possible. Major time taking activity was to load our bikes with saddle bags. Our bike was loaded with Dirtsack Frogman saddle bags, Viaterra Raptor tail bag and Rynox Optimus tank bag (as mentioned earlier, Atul modified his bike by fitting in some extra luggage rack and saddle stays). Arun had his Viaterra Claw bag along with an extra bag of ours tied up with a bungee cord, Amruthesh had his Viaterra Velox saddle bags and an extra bag tied up with bungees. Ravi and Srinivas had their respective claws and an extra backpack. (Once we unloaded our luggage in each destination, people used to get a shock of their life, seeing so many bags carried on bikes). Puncture kits, tool kits and other necessary items needed for emergency were carried along as well. All this took us some two hours and finally we were good to hit the road at around 4:20am. A bit behind schedule (we were supposed to start by 4am) but it was ok. Here starts the journey of memorable 19 days.

Took the usual Bannerghatta road to reach NICE road (all throughout the trip we had to pay toll just once, at NICE Road for Rs 48) and then headed towards the Tumkur road exit for NH48 (Bangalore-Pune highway). It was pretty much still dark and riding through the shivery cold wind was making the ride challenging. A tea break was must at this point of time, so stopped at a road side tea stall after covering some 50 odd kms , and munched on some light snacks as well. Cold was just getting worse and we had to bring out our pullovers to wear inside the riding jackets, guys were even wearing woolen gloves inside the actual gloves to beat the frosty chill. Around 6:15am we again started the ride braving the cold. 7:45am we took our first petrol break and also some quick sunrise snaps.

Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-1.jpg
Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-2.jpg

360kms, 9am and we decided to stop for breakfast. This place was serving yummy Davangere Benne Dosa, so we had different varieties of benne dosa, masala benne, plain benne and open benne. This was followed by piping hot tea. By now even Sun God showed mercy on us and it started becoming warmer. Around 10am done with breakfast, we resumed our ride. After this we continuously rode for some 120kms and reached Belagavi (Belgaum). The ride wasn’t very exciting and the nature also didn’t have much to offer, it was simply riding through straight boring highway. Duke won’t go any further without a petrol break, so we stopped took petrol, a butt break and relaxed for a bit. And, we hit the roads again.

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The ride was getting boring with each passing kilometers, but no other option just to keep going. This way we reached Nipani and Maharashtra border was some 20kms away. Time for a lunch pit stop, stopped by at Hotel Satyavati, a well-known place for people travelling towards Goa and Pune. They serve nice delicious food, ample place to park, sit and relax. We ordered biriyani, masala omelets, rotis, paneer butter masala, dal fry and some cold drinks. In order to avoid sleeping during the ride ahead we did gulp some red bull as well. Around 3:45pm we resumed the ride.

In no time we crossed Kagal and entered Maharashtra border. Boring highway just after a lunch with nothing else to do and just ride, is definite to induce terrible sleep. Yet we kept pushing harder and covered some 80kms, did a quick stop for petrol and tea break at 6pm just before Satara. While we were filling up our tanks, Srinivas wasn’t behind us. Ravi waited in the junction for him to join. After a while when there was no sign of both, we called them and they told us to wait in the petrol bunk itself, they would be back in some 10-15mins. This is when we got to know that Srinivas was feeling too sleepy and just for a fraction of second he blinked his eyes, the next thing he knew his bike hitting the highway divider and he was in the tarmac fallen along with his bike. Though absolutely nothing happened to him, the bike got some scratches below the fuel tank, exhaust and handle. We asked if he was ok and could ride any further. He was assertive and confident to ride ahead. Had some quick peep talks to cheer him up and around 6:45pm we started.

Our ride got slowed down a bit due to poor road conditions some 50-60kms before Pune. This was mainly due to work in progress on the highway and too many diversions and heavy good carrying trucks. Even Srinivas decided to ride a bit slow post the incident. We were just about to enter Pune city but decided to stop by for dinner and then at a stretch proceed to Mumbai. It was 8pm and we were another 170kms away from our destination. Stopped at a local dhaba for some quick dinner and wait for Ravi and Srinivas to join us. We ordered some rotis, dal fry, aloo gobi and paneer tikka masala. Meanwhile, both of them joined us and Srinivas informed Atul that he was facing some issues while riding the bike, he wasn’t confident enough. After some discussion and deliberation, the boys decided that Ravi and Srinivas would stay back in Pune for the next day and try fixing the bike, if possible join the remaining part of the ride with us.

We bid goodbye to Ravi and Srinivas. Once we were done with food, we tanked the bikes and decided to not waste more time, push harder and reach Mumbai. The moment we entered Pune we were hit by the heavy city traffic of Hinjewadi, after a while we took by-pass for the Pune Mumbai highway. For quite some distance we were on and off on the Mumbai Pune expressway, we rode continuously except for one or two butt breaks. Around 12:15am we entered Mumbai city, wasn’t impressed at all by the city’s road condition as a first impression. We had to struggle a bit in locating our hotel as Google was constantly confusing us with alternate routes. Nonetheless, we reached Hotel Garden Park in Kurla around 12:45am. Just before entering the hotel we were questioned by the police officials stationed near the hotel – where we came from, where will we go, why bikes, why so much luggage, etc. etc. Though it irritated us a bit, we didn’t have any other option but to respond politely.

Hotel Garden Park is a budget hotel with decent ambiance. We booked two AC rooms for four of us, Rs 1047 per room per night (The hotel folks asked for marriage proof of Atul and mine, asking if I am married why my name is Nandita Bayan and Atul is Atul Kumar? Why isn’t it Nandita Atul or Nandita Kumar? We had to educate him the fact that there are females in this world who not necessarily change their name post marriage. He was adamant on checking our marriage certificate and I am unlikely to carry those important certificates along with me for such rides. Finally, he was convinced when I opened my Facebook profile and showed him pictures of our marriage. Night 1am all I wanted to do was find a bed and crash, not show some random guy my marriage pictures, anyway, all is well that ends well). Took 15 mins for the guys to unload and reach rooms (though the room was a bit cramped up, it definitely was cozy). We didn’t spend much time talking to one another, settled down inside the room, freshened up and straight away hit the bed. Covering 1000kms in a day is not a joke, isn’t it?

Day 2 – 25/12/2016 Mumbai City Visit (approx. 70kms)

Today our day started a bit late as we all were tired from the previous day’s long ride. Everyone got up around 10am. As usual, got refreshed and decided on which places to visit within Mumbai for a day, we boiled down on seeing Gateway of India, Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach and then finally end with Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

By 12 noon we were ready and left hotel to roam around Mumbai. With no breakfast, we had to look for some place to have our brunch, decided on reaching Colaba first and then hog in a good place, this was some 17kms from hotel. We were not very much impressed by the road conditions of Mumbai, broad lanes yet full of potholes, uneven surface, pollution and hustling bustling crowd. Knowing Mumbai is a big metropolitan city and there will be crowd in each and every corner but the experience wasn’t great, we were expecting much more from this city and city roads were definitely a let-down.

Nonetheless, we reached Colaba around 12:45pm considering Sunday traffic and a bit of confusion due to Google maps. Straight away we parked our bikes in the parking lot and looked for some good place to eat, we were dying of hunger by now. Found an amazingly cozy Parsi restaurant, already crowded with hell lot of people but somehow we easily got a table for four. Devoured some lip-smacking jumbo shawarmas, mutton keema pav, pasta, french fries, garlic breads and lassi. Food was heavenly and we ate till we couldn’t eat more. From here we walked and went towards Hotel Taj Mahal Palace.

Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-img_5041.jpg
Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-img_5038.jpg

Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and its grandeur truly makes it the iconic sea-facing landmark of not only Mumbai but also of entire India. The hotel faces the mighty Arabian Sea and overlooks the marvelous Gateway of India. The view of the sea from the pathway is just breathtaking with so many fishing boats, large water vessels and the never ending blue horizon. We stood by, clicked pictures and enjoyed these majestic monuments that makes us truly proud. Being a Sunday, the place was over-crowded with tourists and city dwellers. Seeing huge lines of people entering the Gateway of India premise we decided to skip it and enjoy the view from far. The main attraction were the hundreds and thousands of pigeons flocking around the entrance of Gateway of India. It was a rare yet beautiful sight. Roamed around the place for some time and when the crowd started getting uncontrollably high, we decided to take a walk and see around the market place of Colaba, Colaba Causeway. This is a busy street side shopping destination with all possible shopping items available at a bargainable price, starting from clothes, to footwear, to ladies accessories, sunglasses and everything under the Sun. Lively, colorful and beautiful, this somewhat resembles more like Commercial Street in Bangalore. Spending some time here looking around, we decided to head towards Marine Drive and capture the amazing sunset.

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Marine Drive was 5kms away from Colaba and we reached there just when it was about to be the time for sunset. Finding bike parking was a challenge so Amruthesh and I got down off the bike for clicking some sunset pictures, Atul and Arun went to hunt for parking. I did get some sunset shots, meanwhile, Arun and Atul returned. We went near the sea, touched the water, and clicked some more pictures of places around. And then, came the time to try out different street foods of Chowpatty. One by one we hopped shops and ate dahi aloo chat, samosa chat, bhel puri, pav bhaji, ice golas, faloodas and pani puris.

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By now it was 8pm and we wanted to head towards Bandra-Worli Sea Link. It was almost 11kms away from our place and Google maps were showing heavy congestion on the route, despite that we followed GPS religiously, got lost, went around in circles and then finally reached a place from where we can see the sea link from far but couldn’t get inside any further, roads were closed. We did check with a security guard deployed there and he mentioned that we couldn’t enter the sea link through that way. Disappointed we just saw the sea link with our eyes and planned to come back to the hotel as it was already 10pm, backward journey was for some 9kms. 10:15pm we reached hotel.

Since it was late and we didn’t want to go out anymore, we ordered dinner in the room, some aloo parathas, rotis, dal fry, bhindi fry and matar paneer. Done with the dinner, we retired for the day around 11pm.

Day 3 – 26/12/2016 To Ahmedabad (533kms via Vapi > Surat > Bharuch > Vadodara > Anand > Ahmedabad)

Rise and shine, we woke up around 8:30am and today we were heading towards Ahmedabad. This is a destination we chose as a stopover before reaching Bhuj. We packed our bags, took bath and before loading our bags onto the bikes, decided on finishing breakfast in the hotel itself. We order hot puris, aloo sabji, bread toasts and tea. Our check out time was 11am and we asked for half an hour extension as we would needed some time for loading the luggage. Loading bags, tying bungees securely does take a hell lot of time. Anyway, 11:30am and we were out from hotel and headed towards Ahmedabad. Considering it was Monday, we did face some major city traffic before exiting Mumbai. On the outskirts on Mumbai, the ride was amazing as we were leaving the city limits and entering some beautiful scenic ghat section (though it was only for a very short distance).

By the way, we did hear from Ravi and Srinivas. They went to Yamaha showroom over the weekend, though there wasn’t much issues with the bike, Srinivas wasn’t comfortable in riding such a long journey of more than 6000kms with a thought in his mind regarding his bike that it might face problem at any point of time. Even we advised him to go back to Bangalore from Pune and get a thorough check of him and his bike. Ravi decided to join him in the return journey. So from here on, it was officially four of us for the ride, Atul, Arun, Amruthesh and I.

Coming back to us, as soon as we exited Mumbai, the highway seemed to be so welcoming. We did face a lot of attention from people driving/riding alongside, asking those typical questions of where we are going with so many luggage, where are we from, are we sponsored by any company, which bike is this, kitna deti hain, price kitna hain, foreign ka hain kya, etc. etc. At times we did find some great enthusiasts who genuinely wanted to know about us but most of the time people were just lurking around by forming a group and staring at us, the bikes and the bags. As I mentioned, the highway was in superb condition (we did come to know that couple of months back the condition wasn’t good due to major constructions on the road) and we could cruise at a speed between 110-125kmph. Unfortunately, the sun was too harsh in the afternoon. Took our day’s first petrol break at around 12:45pm and a little ahead we got a marvelous view of the highway, I immediately took out my camera and clicked some pictures. 20 mins and we started our journey again.

Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-dsc_5010.jpg
Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-dsc_7273.jpg

We rode continuously for some time, the view was really mesmerizing. May be we were riding on these highway for the first time and it wasn’t familiar to us, we started looking at the scenery as if it was all new to us, mountains far ahead, glorious broad highway, trucks, butter smooth tarmac and four friends on a ride of a lifetime. Crossed Maharashtra-Gujarat border at around 2:45pm, the check post was a huge multi-lane toll gate. As soon as we entered ‘Modi-land’, the highway turned out to be the best one we ever rode on, six lane, well-laid roads, food junctions and petrol bunks literally after every 2kms. Modi has seriously transformed Gujarat into a brilliant flourishing state.

Around 3:30pm we reached Vapi and decided to halt for lunch. Stopped at a dhaba named Ekta hotel (two things you will never run out of in GJ, food and fuel) and ordered our lunch: dum aloo, malai kofta, rotis, dal fry, masala papads and some cold drinks. A break of one hour and around 4:30pm we started again, we have another 350kms to cover. Our next break came at 6:30pm for fuel and photos, 15mins and again we hit the road. We were warned by many people to cross Bharuch before 8pm as later in the evening and night the highway gets jammed with traffic on both sides because of the Golden Bridge and Sardar Bridge over Narmada River. We decided to take Sardar Bridge as someone told us there would be tremendous traffic on the Golden Bridge due to some ongoing road constructions. To clarify here, Golden Bridge allows four wheelers, two wheelers, autos and other smaller vehicles to pass through it barring all trucks and heavy duty vehicles. Sardar Bridge however, allows all types of vehicles including trucks as well. We crossed this area at around 7:30pm and was lucky enough to cross the bridge at a go with absolutely no traffic at all, however, there were too many trucks coming from the opposite lane yet the flow was free.

On a fast moving highway like this one and when there is nothing else to do, just sit and ride, it was obvious to get bored so we stopped for some quick tea and snacks at a roadside eatery, gulped some masala chai and freshly prepared famous Gujarati fafda with chillis and onions. 8:30pm we resumed the ride, hotel was another 170kms away.

From here on we tried to take lesser break and reach hotel as soon as possible, ideally before 12 midnight. Meanwhile, we did call up the hotel folks informing them of our arrival and if possible arrange for dinner as well. Around 9:15pm we by-passed the city of Vadodara. The highway was very well-lit with street lights and lesser traffic, this helped us speed up and reach our destination sooner. We did take couple of wrong turns on the highway but rectified and got back in the right direction soon enough. Finally we reached Ahmedabad city around 11:00pm and hotel by 11:15pm. Hotel Balwas is a nice cozy budget hotel and per night per room stay cost us Rs 1078. By the time we showed our IDs, got rooms, unpacked and settled inside the room, dinner was ready. Hot yummy aloo parathas, rotis, dum aloo and malai kofta and damn, the food was so delicious. Within a jiffy, food was over.

I took a quick bath and decided to hit the bed. Everyone went to sleep post dinner. 12:00am and it was goodnight time!

Day 4 – 27/12/2016 To Bhuj (493 kms via Ahmedabad > Bajana > Zinzuwada > Little RANN of Kutch > Bajana > Zinzuwada > Bhuj (Hotel)

Today our day started at 8am, yet another big day as have to reach Bhuj via Little RANN of Kutch (LROK). Quickly everyone got refreshed and packed bags. We decided to not go out and rather have breakfast in the hotel itself in order to save some time. Ordered aloo parathas, bread butter toast and tea/milk. After breakfast the guys went down to load the bike with luggage, trust me this is one tedious job which the boys did every day, at least for some 30 mins, so that all bags are securely tied up with no loose ends. Nonetheless, we started from hotel at around 11am.

Ahmedabad city dwellers don’t understand the meaning of traffic signals I guess, here red means go, orange means go and obviously green means go. Traffic moves from all sides of the road and one has to be highly alert all the time, who knows who might come and bump on you. Amruthesh once got so confused that he took the dedicated bus lane and didn’t know which way to come out, continued some 1km on that bus lane and met us in some intersection. Oh yes, and not to forget the over-curious people who stopped their bikes, cars just to get a glimpse of us and wonder in imagination who these four alien looking people are, traveling with so many luggage that too on bikes, crazy morons must say! Anyway, we scooped through the city traffic and reached NH 947 towards Bajana. We did a quick pit-stop at Decathlon, Ahmedabad as Amruthesh wanted to get a hi-viz reflective jacket like us. Luckily his size was available and now our group looked complete with all four of us wearing the reflective jacket. This took us some half an hour and around 11:45am we started towards LROK.

Through the highway it was a pleasant ride, not too harsh sunlight, cool wintery breeze, beautifully laid tarmac and the nature on both sides of the road. We came across many industrial areas and factories on our way, most striking one was the Tata Nano factory in Sanand. This was a huge plant and looked like a mini township in itself. Gujarat is a state which has definitely flourished over the years, thanks to Modiji. After a while, around 1:15pm I started feeling bored and sleepy, that’s when we stopped by at a local restaurant for some quick refreshment. We ate the famous Gujarati fafda with pickled green chillis, hot samosas, tea and red bull to get away with sleep. 30 mins later we started towards Bajana with a quick petrol break in between.

Around 2:15pm we reached the tourism office to enter LROK from Bajana-Patdi side, this will also include passing LROK through the famous Wild Ass Sanctuary, the only place on earth where the endangered Indian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus khur), known locally as the ghudkhar, still lives. Apart from this one can also see the migratory flamingos, pelicans, cranes, ducks and other rare species of birds. We were informed by a very ‘rude’ lady officer that private vehicles/bikes are not allowed inside the sanctuary, only means to enter are safaris. Now leaving the fully loaded bikes in that office with no one to take care, going on a two hours safari, return and then head to Bhuj would mean a very late night ride. This wasn’t safe and moreover, she also told us that safari for the day is over. To our disappointment in missing out seeing the wild ass, Atul did some quick Googling and found out that we can enter a section of LROK through a small village called Zinzuwada which is 27 kms from this place and then another 25kms of village road to LROK. Without wasting much time we headed towards Zinzuwada through SH19.

We crossed the dusty town of Zainabad, roads weren’t in a very good condition and we had to cross many small villages, herds of cattle, narrow roads and huge ‘never willing to move’ buffalos. We did make use of lot of human GPS and all of them were helpful enough to guide us towards the correct direction (even G Maps was bang on with this direction). After a while the roads turns into lanes and lanes into by-lanes and we entered sandy trails through villages, bushes on each sides, slush, water puddles and what not. From a distance we would see only brown barren lands and this spreading across till your eyes can gaze. Finally, we were in Little RANN of Kutch, time was 3:45pm.

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Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-dsc_5043.jpg

I have seen hill stations, seas and oceans, rivers, green lush carpet of grounds and plain lands but never seen such a mesmerizing view in my life. Till your eyes can see, one can only experience vastness and barrenness yet it looked so beautiful. Of all the landscapes in the world, harsh deserts are perhaps the one that fewest people have experienced. LROK is a unique place on earth with unending possibilities of exploration and I really loved this experience, never seen such an ecologically diverse place ever. Far off distance the only thing visible is the blanketed sandy desert with deep silences and the quiet sound of the wind scraping along the sand. I’m seriously not sure why this place is called ‘Little’ when it is actually not little. And only after getting to know the desert do you begin to understand a secret, that the beauty of life lies hidden in even the most seemingly desolate of places.

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We parked our bikes, took numerous pictures, relaxed, chit chatted and enjoyed this massive landscape of mud-flats stretching towards the horizon as the entire place was only for us to explore. So much engrossing LROK was that we even didn’t notice that time was slipping off from our hand and it was already 5pm, hardly some 60-75mins left for the day light to end. Though we didn’t want to leave yet with heavy hearts we decided to start towards Bhuj at around 5:15pm. On our way, we saw a big flock of common cranes scavenging along the empty grasslands.

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On our way back we followed the same route (Zinzuwada > Zainabad > Bajana through SH19) and by 6:45pm we reached Bajana, did a quick petrol and bio break, decided to ride considerable amount of kilometers until we stopped for dinner. Around 9pm we reached Malia/Khirai and had to let go off NH 947 to enter NH27 towards Bhachau, came across this brilliant looking restaurant called Sugar and Spice serving yummy Gujarati food with ample space for parking. As soon as we entered the hotel premise and parked our bikes, people from all directions circled us and started asking the same usual questions, where are we coming from, where we are going, why bikes, is it company sponsored, this, that. The security guard assured us that he would look after the bikes, luggage and asked us to have dinner peacefully. However, we took a spot from where the bikes were properly visible. Coming to food, all of us ordered Gujarati thalis and we devoured it like we were hungry from ages. Dhoklas were the best one I had till date, and guess I have gulped some 2-3 liters of chaas (butter milk). All of us ate till we could eat not a single morsel more. Paid the bill and came out to finish the remaining 130kms.

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To our surprise there was this group of young boys, waiting in their car for some 30mins, for us to finish dinner so that they could talk to us. Apparently, they were astonished to see us biking from Karnataka and were eager to know where we were headed too. They spoke with us for some 10-15 mins, wished us all the best for the remaining journey, clicked few selfies as memories and bid us goodbye. We resumed our ride around 10pm.

Somehow while navigating through GPS we missed a flyover on the highway and took a wrong turn, this made us waste time and ride some extra 30kms. Since it was getting late and traffic on the highway was also getting bleaker, we stopped quickly, adjusted the map properly with correct destination and in no time be circled back to correct direction, towards Bhachau. Around 11pm we reached Bhachau and from here we took diversion towards Bhuj-Bhachau highway. This is now a dark, even lesser traffic, single lane highway. Boys decided to ride faster and reach hotel as soon as possible, resort was another 73kms away.

Around 12:30am we reached our destination for the day, Shree Krishna Holiday resort, and some 9kms away from the actual Bhuj city. Not very fancy looking rooms, but ample amount of space inside the room with geyser, adequate parking space, neat and clean. We paid Rs 1392 per room per day. The place was calm and quiet surrounded by tall trees and away from the hustle bustle of city, the night sky looked amazing. We got inside our rooms after the reception formalities, took the bikes closer to the rooms, unpacked and settled down for the day. 1am and we squeezed inside our sleeping bags. Goodnight time!

Last edited by nandita_bayan21 : 16th March 2017 at 22:07.
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Old 25th March 2017, 18:42   #2
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan): A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 state

Some more pictures from Day 1, 2, 3 and 4

Sunrise on Day 1
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The R3 and the RC
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The lane passing through The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai is named after Late. Prem Ramchandani Marg
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The extended Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
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Majestic view of Arabian Sea (as seen from Apollo Bunder - Taj Mahal Palace)
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Forever together (near Taj Mahal Palace)
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Divine Power! (at Colaba Causeway)
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Sunset at Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai
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Enroute Ahmedabad
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Freshly prepared fafda
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Aloo Dum and Malai Kofta
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Just before the sunset on Day 3
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Sunset of Day 3
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Atul's D390
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On Mumbai Ahmedabad highway
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The humble beast (near Zinzuwada)
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Entry towards Little Rann of Kutch from Zinzuwada
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At Little Rann of Kutch
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Somewhere in Zinzuwada
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Last edited by nandita_bayan21 : 28th March 2017 at 18:40.
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Old 27th March 2017, 17:31   #3
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan): A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 state

Day 5 – 28/12/2016 To India Bridge, Kalo Dungar, RANN of Kutch (Dhordo – Tent City) approx. 260kms

This was a big day for us as it was the core of our ride, the main motive of this entire western India ride, see and experience the famous RANN of Kutch. We got up around 7:30am, thought of having early breakfast and head towards RANN. We took bath, got ready and ordered for breakfast in the hotel itself. Much to our disappointment and dismay, the breakfast had to be arranged from outside and would mean we have to wait for some one hour for it to reach us. Meanwhile, the boys did some fixing and cleaning of bikes, explored the resort and the amenities it provided. After a while, breakfast arrived, we were famished to the core and immediately pounced on the food, aloo parathas, hot fresh fafda with some kind of sweet sour chutney (have no clue what it was made of, may be radish) and tea/milk (ok, I’m the person who drinks the milk, JFYI).

At 10:30am we started for Khavda via NH 341 where we would get permit for RANN of Kutch. Before this the guys tanked up for the day. Previously, one would require to get permit to visit all three places (India Bridge, Kalo Dungar, and RANN of Kutch) but now we need permit only to enter RANN. Not sure if this was a permanent or a temporary thing, but this is how it was for us. The way to Khavda was one of the most beautiful roads I have ever been, arrow straight road, plain desert on both sides along with green lush bushes scattered here and there. We all were pretty excited to explore these beautiful places for the first time ever in our life. However, you have to be always on high alert as the road was butter smooth and was an open invitation to press the accelerator/pin the throttle to the maximum, hence you’ll only find high speed vehicles zipping around this road on both sides. And yes, not to mention those huge cows, buffalos (they have horns so BIG that it can kill a dinosaur) and goats, they cross the road at their own will and may keep giving you mini heart-attacks while they come in front of you like an innocent puppy and you suddenly apply brakes. We stopped at some empty place to click some pictures.

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Around 11:30am we reached Khavda, though the RANN Utsav was still on-going the crowd that day was apparently a bit less. We filled in a form, showed our government IDs, entered our details and got permit for ourselves and the bikes (Rs 100 per adult and Rs 25 per bike). Here the person told us that the permit is only for RANN and not for Kalo Dungar and India Bridge. We headed towards India Bridge, some 19kms from this place. On our way we could see small sections of white salt fields and they looked amazing. Reached India Bridge and we were told not to do any sort of photography/videography of the place as it was a highly restricted area. We obliged and put our cameras, GoPros inside, let’s enjoy with real eyes.

India Bridge needs to be crossed from Kutch to enter Vigakot outpost of the Indian army guarding the border with Pakistan, the bridge is the first line of defense of our country, from here another 80kms and we will reach Pakistan border. Special permits have to be taken if one needs to go beyond this point, however, this was the last available access point for all Indian civilians. The left side of the bridge are patches of white desert and right side is the RANN of Kutch. We spoke with one of the army personnel there for a while, he was happy to see us coming so far from Karnataka to explore the country, that too on bikes. All of us expressed our gratitude towards the hardship Indian Army go through to keep the nation safe and free from intruders. To see the Indian Tricolor flying high, I was definitely proud of my country and the Indian army standing like strong pillars defending our nation.

At 1:30pm, we started for Kalo Dungar, the Black Hills some 18kms from India Bridge. The vegetation here is quite different, obviously because of the deserts, hot humid and tall grown cactus all over the plains and valleys. After a while, the road started becoming narrower and bumpy due to on-going road construction, most part of it was full of gravel and sand. Finally, we were on the parking area of Kalo Dungar at about 2pm. To reach the top, we had to climb through a concrete ramp and then some steps. Kalo Dungar is the highest point in Kutch from where you can see the panoramic view of the Great RANN of Kutch, the entire horizon vanishes into the RANN, the desert and the sky often becoming indistinguishable. It is one of the few non-coastal locations where you feel like you are at the edge of the earth, on the brink of incomprehensible vastness that fades off towards infinity. For some reason the white salt fields were looking more like a sea-shore, but the view was definitely a breath-taking one. Since it is located very near to the Pakistan border, there is an army post at the top. This hill top is also famous for the 400 years old Dattatreya temple and on the way up the edge there are many statues created of horses and jackals. There are many camel rides as well provided by the local villagers, shops selling traditional attires, caps, and jewelries. After some 45mins we came down, since it was hot, we stopped by at a refreshment shop and drank some cold drinks/red bull. Here we met three riders who were riding from Aurangabad, they came to talk to us for a while and informed that they would visit RANN too. We bid them goodbye and headed towards RANN by 2:45pm.

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On our way to RANN we had a quick stop for a quick lunch, stopped near a local dhaba to grab and eat whatever available. Most of the time we had this issue of people circling around the bikes and looking at us like we are from some different planet far away in this milky way. That too in a remote place like this people get over curious, mostly the kids. Anyway, they were polite and kind enough to not disturb us a lot and kept staring at us/bikes from a distance. We ate some authentic Kutchi Dabeli, dal chawal, sabji and chaas (buttermilk). We headed towards RANN, another 60kms.

Just before entering the RANN Utsav area I wanted to get down and click a picture of the main entrance. It means going in the middle of the road and taking the pic, we all were connected on Sena (Bluetooth device) and the guys instructed me to get away from the road as soon as there are any incoming/outgoing vehicles. Just when I almost got the shot and was about to get off the road, I saw a speeding Merc coming towards me and I started running towards my left. At this very moment our Sena got off and bang! I was hit by a local villager by his bike. Apparently, while moving off the road, I saw him coming behind me but was not able to judge his speed and the guys were shouting in Sena to comeback quickly. As a reflex action, I did jump off but couldn’t avoid the contact with the bike. The middle aged person fell off his bike, broke his front console panel (guess it was a Splendor that he was riding) but to God’s mercy both of us escaped unhurt, his shirt just tore a bit and I got a hit on the left lower back. It was a kind gesture from the person that he didn’t worry about himself or his bike, but came running to ask “Bacchi thik hain na, unhe chot to nahi lagi?” I apologized to him as well and asked if he was ok. Boys checked him and his bike, all were ok. The person once again told sorry and went. We continued towards the White Desert.

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Around 4pm we reached Dhordo, the tent city. Large tent resorts were set up all along the way. RANN Utsav is a celebration of life and culture of Kutch and Gujarat. It is a landmark bestowing grace and elegance where the world gathers for more than 2 months. A variety of color sprinkled on the barren lands, RANN Utsav offers visitors an excellent opportunity to experience the diverse traditions and the generosity and hospitality of Kutchi people, hosting activities such as horse rides, camel safaris to bird watching, ATV riding, and paramotoring, archery, etc. As soon as we reached the main gate to enter the RANN salt marshes we were stopped by the army personnel and security guards as bikes were not allowed beyond the main gate. At all other time they do, but during the time of the Utsav they restrict entry of private vehicles and bikes. Only camel, horse rides or buses. We securely parked our bikes, helmets and requested a security guard to look after the bikes (obviously, had to pay him some extra tips for the watch-over).

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We took a bus which takes us some 3 kms into the RANN walkaway. From here all have to do is to explore the place on foot or camel carts. Deciding to go on foot, we got down into the salty and marshy white desert. Yet another experience of a lifetime, till the eyes could gaze one can only see blankets of white salt marshy land overlapping with the horizon. It is reputed to be one of the largest salt deserts in the world. I was mesmerized to see something so different yet so beautiful, all four of us enjoyed each and every moment we spent here. With the sun slowly starting to set, its ray formed a beautiful golden blanket spread across the white sparkling salt fields. The marsh was getting deeper and we had to come back to the walkway, as more we go further towards the marsh the more we went deeper inside. At some places the salt marsh formed into puddle of waters and small ponds.

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Walked through the walkway, there were so many tourists taking rides on the camels, horses, taking selfies, the atmosphere was so colorful and lively. Life truly has so many beautiful moments to offer if we know how to enjoy them to the fullest. The stars started to light up the sky and making the landscape even more picturesque. At this point of time I regretted a lot, was planning to take couple of star gaze and long exposure pictures but my tripod broke during the trip. Nonetheless, I was happy to at least have captured the beauty of RANN. Around 6:45pm we headed towards the bus which would take us back to the main gate and parking area. Paid the security guard some cash, geared up and rode towards the tent city/RANN Utsav area. Once again got disappointed as the entry to the main Utsav area was closed for the day because some hi-level foreign delegates were expected to arrive. I did some quick clicking and we decided to head back to hotel. It was 7pm and we started for Bhuj.

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On our way back we called up the resort folks and asked them to prepare dinner for us. 9:45pm and we were in the resort. All were super hungry, we changed, refreshed and immediately went to have dinner, dal fry, bhindi masala, tandoori rotis, and paneer matar. Final full-stop was a round of hot piping tea.

Came near our rooms, I tried out some long exposure experiments with bikes, did some chit chat and agreed to retire for the day. 11:30pm and we all went to sleep.

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Day 6 – 29/12/2016 To Sanchore (533 kms via Bhachau > Rapar > Khadir Bet > Dholavira > Khadir Bet > Rapar > Radhanpur > Tharad > Sanchore)

A brand new day once again and today we would see the beautiful Khadir Bet salt deserts and the remains of Harappan/Indus Valley civilization before heading towards Barmer. Well, our final destination for the day was actually Barmer but we had to stay back at Sanchore, more on that later. Everyone got up by 8am, done with packing, loading bikes with luggage, settling resort bills, we headed out towards Bhachau by 9am. Until we were in the Bhuj Bhachau highway the roads were in excellent condition but as soon as we crossed Bhachau and took Kharoi road, diversion towards Rapar, the roads started becoming bumpy, occasional huge potholes on the roads, patch works and this reduced our speed. At 10am we took the first petrol break for the day and decided to stop for breakfast as well. I can never think of having bun samosa, samosa chats, for breakfast but then in such riding conditions whatever is available to eat it’s better to eat and fill the stomach.

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We continued for Rapar town and then our plight started. The roads were in such horrible condition that our whole body started aching due to bumpy patchy gravelly road, cattle crossing from one side to another, buffalos standing right in the middle of the road and not willing to move an inch despite honking continuously. Though the landscape was amazing yet all we could do was concentrate on the road. It took us 2 and half hours to cover a distance of 76kms. Finally, as we were approaching towards Khadir Bet, the scenery just changed in a jiffy. It was like the road was cutting the salt fields into exactly two halves and we are riding through it. The view was totally worth the pain we went through during the ride.

Khadir Bet is a small isolated island within the salt plains of RANN. On both sides the salt marsh runs until the horizon line which is apparently the Pakistan part of the bet. We stopped and parked our bikes on the edge of the road, started clicking pictures and enjoyed this splendid view. This was the best moment and place till now for me in this ride. No crowd to interfere and we had the whole place for us. In summers this place turns into salty watery land and gives an impression of a sea. However, now there were small puddle of water forming tiny ponds on the edge of the salt plains. We spent an hour here and then decided to head towards Dholavira, 17kms more.

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Reached Dholavira around 3:30pm. This is an archeological site which is one of the largest Harappan sites in the Indian sub-continent. The place provides a unique insight into the pioneering Harappan mind, with one of the world’s earliest and best planned water conservation systems and what might be the world’s first signboards, written in ancient Indus script. The remains in the site also shows citadel with a middle and lower town. These structures were built with sun-dried brick and stone masonry. The inhabitants also built an underground drainage system for sanitation. We didn’t spend much time exploring the site as we hardly had few hours left for the sun to set for the day and we have to cover a daunting 450kms to reach Barmer. Clicked some pictures, refreshed with some water and started our return journey around 4:30pm.

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We had to go through the same pathetic roads till Rapar and as earlier this time as well we lost a lot of time trying to navigate through these horrible roads. Once we crossed Rapar, the roads became smooth as we crossed state highways Pragpar – Bhimasar highway, Bhimasar – Adesar highway, Santalpur – Palanpur highway to reach Radhanpur. From here we took NH 68 to reach a small town named Bhabhar and by now we crossed some 100-120kms. We stopped by for an early dinner around 7:30pm as all of us were hungry, found a decent hotel by the highway, parked bikes and ordered some food. Bhindi masala, dal fry, masala papad, aloo parathas, rotis, paneer matar and tea. An hour break we started our ride again by 8:30pm.

Took the SH 51 to reach Tharad and then we reconnected with NH 68. It was already 9:30pm and we were crossing remote village areas, it was getting extremely cold and the winter breeze was making the ride challenging, Barmer was another 180kms away. We stopped for a quick petrol break and wore some warm clothes as it was biting cold. Amruthesh wasn’t feeling well the whole day and I was shivering with cold. That’s when Atul decided we can’t continue like this to Barmer today and have to make a stop-over earlier. Checked for the nearest town in the maps and we saw Sanchore, 45kms away from the place we stopped. It was decided that we will stop at Sanchore for the night, the next task was to decide on the hotel. Opened the Goibibo app and started looking for a decent budget hotel. Zeroed down on Hotel Amar International which was situated on the highway itself, booked and informed the hotel folks that we would be coming in an hour’s time. This was a big relief to all of us.

In no time we crossed Gujarat border and entered Rajasthan. 11:30pm and we reached the hotel. It was a well maintained hotel will good parking space with proper security. We paid Rs 1244 for a night, for a room. After the usual formalities, we got the rooms, unpacked the bags, refreshed and immediately retired for the day, 12:15 we all slept. It was such a good decision not to go ahead to Barmer and stay at Sanchore.
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Old 27th March 2017, 17:48   #4
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan): A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 state

Some more pictures from day 5 and 6...

At Shree Krishna Resort, Bhuj
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Always together but never meet (somewhere in the outskirts of Bhuj)
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Samosa chat for breakfast
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Kutchi Dabeli
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Towards India Bridge
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View of Rann from Kalo Dungar
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The Gorgeous Ride!
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At Kalo Dungar hilltop
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At White Desert, Dhordo (Rann of Kutch)
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Somewhere in Bhuj - Bhachau highway
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Khadir Bet
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At Dholavira (Harappan site)
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Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-dsc_7801.jpg
Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-dsc_7804.jpg
Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-dsc_7809.jpg
Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 states-dsc_7810.jpg

Last edited by nandita_bayan21 : 28th March 2017 at 19:18.
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Old 29th March 2017, 09:30   #5
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th March 2017, 11:48   #6
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

That was one hell of a ride, Nandita! It takes a lot of courage and conviction to get on the road and do a trip like this! Kudos to everyone's spirit!

The Ahmedabad's traffic sense is next to nil. Less said the better!

Cheers!
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Old 29th March 2017, 12:38   #7
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome write up, loved every moment, and amazing photography. Cheers!
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Old 29th March 2017, 12:43   #8
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

Now thats one helluva road trip! Pictures have come out really good and is such a pleasure to eyes. You guys should have added auxillary lights to dukes, this would have made your night rides stress-free and safe ! Please pen down rest of the log too, eagerly waiting for it.

Last edited by nitninja : 29th March 2017 at 12:58.
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Old 29th March 2017, 13:09   #9
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

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Originally Posted by nitninja View Post
Now thats one helluva road trip! Pictures have come out really good and is such a pleasure to eyes. You guys should have added auxillary lights to dukes, this would have made your night rides stress-free and safe ! Please pen down rest of the log too, eagerly waiting for it.
Hi nitninja,

If you look closely, two out of the three bikes have aux lights near the headlights.

Those are 10 watt cree leds.
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Old 29th March 2017, 16:40   #10
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

Nandita and Atul,

Big high fives to you two and others as well. Nice to see "couple bhpians" making it large across the length and breadth of India. It indeed requires loads of grit and determination to undertake such arduous journey and you all have done amazingly well.

Going through your travelogue I felt, I am in the BRTS lane at ADI and amidst the white desert of Rann. I too wish to plan a trip to Rann of Kutch.

Btw, did you visit Longewala and Tanot mata ka mandir?

Ride safe and cheerio.
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Old 29th March 2017, 17:12   #11
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

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Originally Posted by R-Six View Post
That was one hell of a ride, Nandita! It takes a lot of courage and conviction to get on the road and do a trip like this! Kudos to everyone's spirit!

The Ahmedabad's traffic sense is next to nil. Less said the better!

Cheers!
R-Six
Thank you so much!

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Originally Posted by sunil thomas View Post
Awesome write up, loved every moment, and amazing photography. Cheers!
Thanks a lot Sunil

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitninja View Post
Now thats one helluva road trip! Pictures have come out really good and is such a pleasure to eyes. You guys should have added auxillary lights to dukes, this would have made your night rides stress-free and safe ! Please pen down rest of the log too, eagerly waiting for it.
Thank you so much. Will try to complete the travelogue soon.

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Originally Posted by MDED View Post
Nandita and Atul,

Big high fives to you two and others as well. Nice to see "couple bhpians" making it large across the length and breadth of India. It indeed requires loads of grit and determination to undertake such arduous journey and you all have done amazingly well.

Going through your travelogue I felt, I am in the BRTS lane at ADI and amidst the white desert of Rann. I too wish to plan a trip to Rann of Kutch.

Btw, did you visit Longewala and Tanot mata ka mandir?

Ride safe and cheerio.
Thank you so much. Please do RANN once in your lifetime, its truly amazing and can't be described in words.

No, we didn't go to Longewala or Tanot Mata Mandir. Longewala is too close to Pakistan border so decided not to go there and didn't have time for Tanot Mata Mandir. Anyway, have decided to do another trip to western India sometime soon, this time in car, so may be will cover these places that time.

We did go to Jaisalmer though. T log will follow soon
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Old 29th March 2017, 18:01   #12
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

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Hotel Garden Park is a budget hotel with decent ambiance. We booked two AC rooms for four of us, Rs 1047 per room per night (The hotel folks asked for marriage proof of Atul and mine, asking if I am married why my name is Nandita Bayan and Atul is Atul Kumar? Why isn’t it Nandita Atul or Nandita Kumar? We had to educate him the fact that there are females in this world who not necessarily change their name post marriage. He was adamant on checking our marriage certificate and I am unlikely to carry those important certificates along with me for such rides. Finally, he was convinced when I opened my Facebook profile and showed him pictures of our marriage. Night 1am all I wanted to do was find a bed and crash, not show some random guy my marriage pictures, anyway, all is well that ends well).
Great thread! Amazing experience. The above incident is idiotic, to say the least. I wonder if such incidents are on the rise.

I guess in your case, the late night time and the fact this happened after such a long drive, it didn't make sense to argue with him; else on a normal day I'm sure you would just canceled the booking and let him lose the business to another hotel.

Hope you didn't face this issue anywhere else.
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Old 29th March 2017, 18:15   #13
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

That is a great TR and very good photographs. You have the eye (for composition) . I particularly like the one with the bike and the biker gazing at the shimmering horizon. Great composition. I like the camel portrait too. Only wish that the reins (angling out) were not there. The camel cart with the kids is also good.

Quote:
Finally, he was convinced when I opened my Facebook profile and showed him pictures of our marriage.
Seriously? Why? What business of his who stays in his rooms, as long as valid IDs are given?

Thank you for sharing and now that the niceties are out of the way, for some beration:

Quote:
...Ahmedabad city dwellers don’t understand the meaning of traffic signals I guess, here red means go, orange means go and obviously green means go.
I take umbrage at this statement. There are 3 types of 'red' signals here in Ahmedabad:
  • A red signal which is in some non arterial road or in some pedestrian crossing, where you are not supposed to stop. If you do, and some one (is sure) bangs you from behind, guess who is in the wrong?
  • This 'red' means a 'yellow' actually. Be cautious while at a crossing of two non arterial roads, since the fellow using the other road may (is sure to) be coming like a bat from hell.
  • This 'red' means RED. Stop.
  • There are some yellows and greens sprinkled around. One need not pay much attention to those.

Just kidding. Enjoyed reading your TR. Though i know you guys were quite careful, a break after 8 hours of hard riding would be advisable. Non stop ( without a night's rest) from B'lore to Mumbai- yes doable and many have done it (including me in a car) BUT enjoying the scenery, the local populace, may also be enjoyable. Didn't mean to preach, just sharing views.

Last edited by earthian : 29th March 2017 at 18:35.
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Old 29th March 2017, 21:53   #14
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

Happy to see everyone geared up. Please along with the travelogue do give us info about the riding gear. I also see two Dukes having different crash guards. Please share the details.
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Old 29th March 2017, 23:41   #15
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Default Re: Ride to the Jewels of Western India (Gujarat and Rajasthan) : A voyage of 7500 kms across 9 stat

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Happy to see everyone geared up. Please along with the travelogue do give us info about the riding gear. I also see two Dukes having different crash guards. Please share the details.
Hi vibhavraghav,

Here's all the details about our riding gear:

Nandita - Dianese Air-Frame Tex Lady Jacket, TBG Street Gloves, Dianese Knee V E1 N Guards , Decathlon Waterproof Shoes and AGV K3 SV 5 Continents Helmet.

Amruthesh - Alpinestars Fending Air Jacket, Alpinestars GTX Gloves, Spartan/Aspida Odysseus Riding Pants, Alpinestars SMX6 WP Boots and MT Blade helmet.

Arun - Spartan/Aspida Helios Jacket, TBG Sport Gloves, Spartan/Aspida Proteus Riding Pants, TBG GP Race Boots and HJC FG-17 Lorenzo Replica Helmet.

Atul - Alpinestars T-GP R Air Jacket, TBG Sport Gloves, Spartan/Aspida Odysseus Riding Pants, TBG GP Race Boots and Bell RS-1 Hi-Viz Helmet.

All four people were connected via Sena 20S intercom system and were wearing hi-viz reflective vest from Decathlon.

Coming to the crashguards installed on mine and Amruthesh;s bike, its from GA Engineering & Accessories. Cost is 3.8k when we purchased. Now the same item is available in KTM showrooms for 5k.

Do let us know if you need any more details.
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