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|3rd April 2018, 12:27||#1|
7 Indian States, 7000 km & countless memories - The epic Central and Western India ride!
Post North east trip, there were few handful states to cover. All the difficult ones were done and dusted. Most of the remaining states had good infrastructure too.
And most importantly I can tell you this travelling by bike is comparable with any other human habits like smoking, drinking, etc. It gets on to you so much that, you start finding reasons to do it.
During May 2017, our small riding team, did an overnight to Bhagmandala, Coorg. So here the discussion was started. I proposed the team that letís do Rajasthan and Gujarat in Dec 17. Suhas (AddedFlavor), Narashima(Narashima), Avinash (Avirop), Nischal(Our North East riding partner),Srihari and Aditya(N_Aditya) signaled their willingness to join. In fact, Suhas mentioned his wife would also join based on the timing. I also mentioned that I will check with my wife too as I was keen on taking her for a long ride.
Post the trip, the group went on to slumber for couple of months. As I mentioned, this is more like any other addictive habit and it was lingering behind the brains continuously.
Finally, in August, we decided letís start planning and created an whatsapp group for ourselves. Based on the initial interest shown, all of them were added to it and discussions started. We decided to meet for a dinner and come up with some concrete plan on it. So Suhas and myself put out a draft plan before the dinner meet.
Couple of them from the above mentioned would be doing such a long-distance ride for the first time. So, there were lots of questions, ifís and butís, etc. Some of them were cleared during the dinner meet and some were kept as open question. First thing was decided on number of days for the trip and apply leaves at office. Suhas and myself took the responsibility of finalizing the route and share it with the team soon. During this dinner, it was also decided that Suhasís wife and my wife would be joining for the ride. With the better halfís in the ride, dynamics of the ride like distance, stay, etc changed a lot.
Suhas and myself started chatting, making calls daily to lay the route map. We started with only Gujarat in mind and then slowly moved to add Rajasthan. Similarly, we started first to cover Gujarat and then slowly changed to do first Rajasthan based on the inputs we gathered on road conditions, political situations in the corresponding states.
As days progressed, Avinash decided to sit out due to office work and so did Aditya too. So it was Suhas, Narashima, Nischal, Srihari and myself on board.
Finalizing on the route was very interesting as if we had lot of complications to be handled. One of them was that my wife was unable to join from day 1 of the ride due to non-availability of leaves for her at work. Other is number of kilometres we can travel in a day based on the bigger group we have, etc.
With lot of brainstorming session, we decided a tentative plan as follows:
Day 1 Bangalore to Nizamabad
Day 2 Nizamabad to Narasinghpur
Day 3 Narasinghpur to Gwalior/Agra
Day 4 Gwailor/Agra to Jaipur
Day 5 Jaipur to Jaisalmer
Day 6 Jaisalmer to Tanot/Longewala/Sam Dunes
Day 7 Sam Dunes to Jodhpur
Day 8 Jodhpur to Deesa/Palanapur
Day 9 Deesa/Palanapur to Dholavira
Day 10 Dholavira to Bhuj
Day 11 Bhuj to India Bridge/Kalo Dungar/Bhuj
Day 12 Bhuj to White Desert/Bhirandiyara
Day 13 Bhirandiraya to Hajpir/Narayana Sarovar/Mandvi
Day 14 Mandvi to Ahmedabad
Day 15 Ahmedabad (Bike Service)
Day 16 Ahmedabad to Pune
Day 17 Pune to Bangalore
Suhas wife decided to join us from day 1 in the bike and decided to fly out from Ahmedabad on Day 16. Then based on my wifeís leave/holiday availability, it was decided for her to join in Jodhpur and fly out with Suhasís wife from Ahmedabad. The next important thing was booking the flight tickets for the ladies so that we beat the holiday rush for tickets.
Sometime in October, Srihari dropped out due to work related issues and there was a new entrant for the team. Renuprasad expressed his willingness to join the team for the long-haul ride. Soon the whatsapp group created for this started buzzing non-stop daily with queries of preparation for the ride.
During this time, Suhas and myself shared the planning work for accommodation hunting. This was a necessity because of couple of reason. One, we had ladies with us and secondly, we are travelling in peak holiday and peak season in these states. Suhas worked on identifying and recording atleast 2-3 hotels at each place where we were planning to stay.
With this exercise, we identified that, Sam dunes, Dholavira, Bhuj and White Desert area accommodation needed advance booking. Suhas and myself started calling lot of hotels, get quote, re-negotiate the quote and then zeroed down on the properties to be stayed. This was almost October mid still but we had to make reservations by advance payment. So by October end/November first week, we finished paying in advance to identified properties and secured our accommodation.
As we felt things were falling in place as required, we heard from Nischel that he is unable to procure a bike for himself. Nischel had sold his RE Thunderbird and was looking to buy a new bike. But due to other personal constraints, he had to back out on this plan. He was not ready to skip the trip too and I was strictly against hiring a bike for this long ride. Appx we were doing about 7000 kms and hiring an unknown bike is not a good idea.
After much discussion, Nischal decided that he will travel in his Honda city for the trip. He was so excited about this trip that he was in no mood to skip the trip.
With Nischal in car, our second rider, Mr.Narashima sir started thinking of skipping the bike and join Nischal in car. Narashima sir is one of the very young guys in our team. He had couple of suggestions on this. One, he could share the cost with Nischal, secondly he had not done such a long distance on bike and doing it suddenly with the bigger team might be a problem.
I would say, this was a very wise thinking and difficult to think in those lines when you are in a team. Narashima sir experience was speaking there. We did mention to him that there is always first time and we must attempt it. But his comments for that was, yes agreed but this is something not to be tried with such big team and plans/so much money at stake. Probably, he will slowly come up to that point of riding continuously for so many days. Hats off to his decision-making skills keeping in mind about the team.
So finally, this was the line-up for the trip.
Suhas (Honda CBR 650F)
Sandhya (Suhasís Wife)
Renuprasad (Honda CBR 250)
Santosh (Honda CBR 250)
Roopa (Santoshís Wife)
Nischel (Honda City)
Narashima (Honda City)
Oh yes, you noticed it rightly, it was coincidently it was a Honda stable ride/drive for the trip.
Renuprasad did couple of long rides to assess himself for the long ride. Suhas made arrangements with Ahmedabad Honda Wing World for service of all the 3 bikes. This was planned here so that, we will finish 6k kms and Honda has exclusive service center for CBR650.
Just before 10 days to our start of the ride, we had a late night chai meet, to ensure everybody is ready with all the necessary things, any open items which needs to be addressed, etc. Post the meet, we were in good shape as regards to preparation for the long ride.
Finally, the D-Day arrived.
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 23:37.
|23rd May 2018, 22:01||#2|
Day 1 - Nizamabad
Bangalore to Nizamabad
Distance : 800 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Hotel Vamshee International
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/nPG7faQbg1C2
Plan was to leave early as this was a very boring 4 lanes for bikers. Nischel reached Narashima sir’s house, same with Suhas and myself. Reached Esteem Mall, Hebbal around 5.15 am where Renuprasad joined us. We rolled from there without any delay and the Bangalore winter cold was catching on to all of us, specially to Suhas’s wife Sandhya.
We decided to reach Anantapur for breakfast. We didn’t stop anywhere and reached Anantapur around 8 am, stopped over for breakfast. Post breakfast, it was again no drama ride. We gave one break in between before reaching the outskirts of Hyderabad around 1 pm. These 4 laners are abosolutely drama less and sleepy rides.
Since two wheeler are not allowed on the outer ring road, we had no other option but to go through the middle of the city. Quick search, we found Paradise birayani was on the way as we exited out of the city towards Nizamabad. So we decided to have lunch there and head out of the city.
All the drama started from here till we exited out of the city. We were struck in the traffic before lunch and after lunch. We lost Renuprasad post lunch as we were exiting out of the city due to huge traffic. Couple of calls and he rejoined us little outside Hyderabad. Overall we spent around 4+ hours to exit out of Hyderabad including lunch.
It was almost about 5.30 pm when we had crossed the outskirts of Hyderabad, stopped for a quick cup of tea and also wait for the car to join us. Poor guys came with us inside the city and got struck in the traffic big time.
Suhas called the Hotel at Nizamabad and informed them that we will reach there around 8 pm. From here again the roads were pretty smooth except for the stray bikes or vehicles coming on to your lanes. We made good pace towards Nizamabad.
Reached Nizamabad around 8 pm and checked into the Hotel Vamshee International. Primary criteria for all the hotels chosen during the trip was revolved around safe parking of the bikes. After freshening up, we finished dinner and chit chatted about the day’s journey.
To look back, we did very well that day to cover almost about 800 kms. Most important achievement for today was for Sandhya, who without any fuss sat for 800 kms and it was commendable.
Before we retired for the day, we decided to start early from Nizamabad as we had heard about some bad patches as we exit out of Telangana. Also we wanted to target Sagar for Day 2 instead of Narasinghpur.
---- Breakfast point ----
---- Colorful start to the journey ----
---- yours truly ----
---- Renuprasad in full concentration ----
---- Best posing couple (Suhas and his wife Sandhya Rao) ----
---- Breaktime ----
---- Dinner at Hotel Vamshee International ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:44.
|23rd May 2018, 22:49||#3|
Day 2 - Narasinghpur
Nizamabad to Narasinghpur
Distance : 600 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Hotel Atithi, Narasinghpur
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/FphcRjUkMJt
We left Nizamabad around 6 am and the weather was perfect for the riding. We could not resist from stopping over to get a glimpse of the magnificent sunrise.
Around 8 am we stopped few kilometres before Adilabad for refuel. Nischal had carried bread and peanut butter the previous day and hence we had decided to have that as breakfast. One post Nizamabad, there were no good hotels for breakfast plus this type of arrangements saves us lot of time. Post refuel, we had the breakfast and tea right there. This was definitely a good thought and saved lot of time for us.
As we started from breakfast, went past Adilabad, we stumble upon Srishti Bakshi who is the founder of Crossbowmiles.
Here is the small introduction about Crossbowmiles and Srishti.
“Crossbow Miles is on a 3800km on-foot journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir to make India safer and better for women, while empowering them with financial and digital literacy. People from all over the world can join the #billionstepsforwomen movement by contributing their steps from wherever they are through the CrossBow Miles App. These steps collected unlock virtual support and resources to worthy organisations working for women empowerment, skill development, education and health and hygiene.”
Here is the link to the website: https://crossbowmiles.com/
It always give great pleasure in meeting people who are more adventurous than yourself, know more about their achievement, efforts, etc. We took a photograph with her and team as a remembrance. Wishing her all the best for the good cause she is walking towards, we bid adieu to her.
Post this the ride was very smooth and the landscape was beautiful. We stopped just before Hinganghat for quick break. Around this area, the roads were little bumpy and patchy.
We reached Nagpur around 1.30 pm and headed for lunch. We settled for Veggie place called “Naivedhyam Restaurant”. Food was average as it had lots and lots of oil in very curry we ordered. Even though we ventured inside the city and found this hotel right in the buzzing area, the security of the hotel ensured our bikes and the luggage were secured. We exited out of Nagpur around 2.45-3.00 pm and headed towards to Chhindwara.
We heard very bad reviews about roads via Seoni. One of the teambhp member(Avirop) who did the same stretch few months ago warned us about the bad roads. Hence we decided to stick to Chhindwara route. And this decision turned out to be very good. The roads were single lane but very well maintained and in good shape too.
As we exited out of Chhindwara towards Narasinghpur, we stopped for a tea break and also to take stock of the day’s progress. We were about little 100 kms away from Narasinghpur. As per our thoughts from previous day, we were not in a condition to reach Sagar, so we decided to stay at Narasinghpur.
Around, 8 pm we reached Narasinghpur and checked into Hotel Atithi. Hotel is little interior and looked like a Marriage venue with the huge lawn. Only problem with this hotel is that, there is no lift facility. But the plus points were good and huge parking facility and their in house kitchen/restaurant cooked very delicious dinner.
Before we winded up for the day, we decided that tomorrow, if the roads were in such good conditions, we will plan on targeting Agra instead of Gwalior. These stretch goals actually helped us cover the distance mentally without any fuss.
---- Mesmerizing Sunrise ----
---- Our breakfast table ----
---- Local innovation at work ----
---- Team with Crossbow Miles ----
---- Literature about Crossbow Miles ----
---- Interesting place to pass by ----
---- Break, regroup and re-energize ----
---- Blame the worst addiction of the century
---- Break, regroup and Selfie time ----
----- Posers ----
---- Huge statue of Hanuman which we came across ----
---- Break just before Chinndawara, to take the stock of the current day's progress ----
Last edited by suhaas307 : 8th June 2018 at 09:24. Reason: as requested
|23rd May 2018, 23:22||#4|
Day 3 - Agra
Narsinghpur to Agra
Distance : 570 kms Appx
Accommodation : Hotel Ananda Villa
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/G1P39qYCRkx
As per our plan for this trip, we had decided that first 3 days and last 2 days would be just hardcore riding, no sightseeing, no deviations, etc. So again, we were on road at 6 am from Narsinghpur towards Agra.
Somehow, we encountered one of the coldest weather from Narsinghpur to Sagar. And this lead to one of the interesting encounter on the highway. As we approached the Bridge across Narmada river, hardly about 100 meters away from the bridge, we were hit by a huge blanket of fog. Absolutely zero visibility . We could hear huge sound of horns from the trucks coming from the opposite direction but trucks were not to be seen. It was so sudden and so thick, we started scrambling on the intercom alerting each other about the fog. Simultaneously trying our best in downshifting to the lower gears to come to standstill. As we entered the bridge we were in for a shock. The entire bridge was covered with vehicles and people trying to get the glimpses of the sacred river Narmada. It was really scary as we were doing pretty good speeds and all this happened in less than 300-400 metres. Post that it was back to normal weather as if nothing happened. As we continued our journey, we were laughing out through our intercoms remembering how we scrambled to handle the sudden change.
Soon, we reached the outskirts of Sagar. We were hungry plus the bikes needed fuel too. We stopped by a dhaba next to the toll plaza. Need to mention about this Dhaba, he made one of the good, tasty and hot aloo parathas. To add, he had one of the unique chutney which atleast none of us had tasted it earlier. The chutney was made of guava and we finished entire quantity given by him. Thanking the cook for the wonderful breakfast, we headed towards Agra.
I am not sure how many know about this but this is how our AH43 laid out from Sagar to Agra. Sagar is in Madhyapradesh and as you proceed towards Jhansi, you enter Uttarpradesh, continue for quite distance. Then just before Jhansi, you enter Madhyapradesh for couple of kilometres. Then as you know Jhansi is in Uttarpradesh. But as you exit out of Jhansi, we enter Madhyapradesh. Gwalior falls under Madhyapradesh and as we proceed towards Agra, we enter Rajasthan for brief period before entering Uttarpradesh. I guess this is why our India is so diversified and unique in the world.
Roads near Jhansi area was very bad and we lost quite a good time crossing Jhansi even though we took the so called by-pass road.
We stopped just before Gwalior for late lunch. Even though, two wheelers had upper hand in this single lane stretch, the car folks reached the lunch point within 10-15 mins. Food was quite good but they took little more time to serve us and this gave us little extra rest time but lost on riding time.
We took stock of current day progress and as we reached Gwalior around 3 pm, we decided to head to Agra. Until few kilometres to Agra, everything was normal and just like any other indian highways. But as soon as we reached the outskirts of Agra, all the hell broke loose with regards to the traffic.
All of us were in double alert mode and concentration was at its peak. Except from the sky, vehicles or bikers or jaywalkers appeared in front of our bikes in all direction . We waded through the traffic with great difficulty and some close calls too.
We reached the hotel around 8 pm. Hotel was neat and good but the rooms were very small. We requested them to give us ground floor rooms so that it’s easy for us to carry our luggage.
During dinner, we planned our program for next day. Early morning visit to Taj Mahal, return to hotel, breakfast, check out and head to Jaipur.
---- Lineup ready to roll from Narasinghpur ----
---- Selfie time before the roll ----
---- Best Aloo Paratha and Guava chutney ----
---- Selfie with cook at the Dhabha ----
---- Break and the posers of the team ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:43.
|24th May 2018, 19:22||#5|
Day 4 - Jaipur
Agra to Jaipur
Distance : 250 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Treebo Corporate Inn
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/3XvS72QqtpK2
All of us got ready by 7 am and booked 2 Ola auto to Taj Mahal. Reached Taj Mahal, got our entrance ticket and then hired ourselves a guide to take us around and explain little bit about Taj Mahal. Luckily there was no fog today and the sky were very clear. We spent time going around entire monument area and occasionally our guide stopping us and explain little history about each area of the monument. Pretty much we spent about 2 hours in Taj Mahal which included n number of pictures we took for our memories. Around 9.30 we started our return to our Hotel and again hired 2 autos to reach back.
Ordered breakfast at the hotel restaurant and started packing the luggage on the bikes. By the time we finished packing, breakfast was ready. We finished breakfast and left Agra around 11 pm towards Jaipur.
As we exited out of Agra, stopped quickly for a customary photo at Fatehpur Sikri fort. We decided not to entry the fort, rather head to Jaipur and spend time there.
Roads to Jaipur is very good but too many two wheelers and errand traffic. We stopped in between for a quick tea and headed straight to Jaipur.
As we entered Jaipur, we were just following the traffic and Suhas was following Google maps. All of a sudden, we saw only 4 wheelers on the road and there were no two wheelers. At this juncture, we were about to enter a tunnel too. Somehow this didn’t feel good. Luckily, we were on intercom, so all of us stopped before entering the tunnel. A car guy stopped by and informed us that two wheelers are not allowed on this road. We somehow managed to come out of that road as we were away from the other road by few metres only.
We checked into the Hotel, freshened up and took a Ola to reach Hawa Mahal. Had a quick tour of Hawa Mahal and all of us were feeling very hungry as we didn’t had lunch today. We decided to try out some chats and found few in walkable distance from Hawa Mahal. We ended up having so much of chats that we didn’t feel like having regular lunch or Dinner for the day.
By this time, I had got couple of calls from Prashanth (tbhpian 500contycruiser) who was also reaching Jaipur in sometime. He was riding entire GQ along with his friend. First time when he called me, he was about 100 kms away from Jaipur. So I gave him our hotel address and asked him to book room for themselves there itself. Post that asked him to meet us at the Rawat Sweet Shop.
After strolling around in that area for some more time, we decided to continue our Chats hogging session at Rawat Chats and Sweets which is very famous in Jaipur for Onion Kachori. From Hawa Mahal area, we got one auto guy who agreed to take us to Rawat, then take us to one of the shopping area and drop us back to hotel.
By the time, we reached Rawat, Prashanth and his friend also joined us there. We again had a varied chats and sweets at Rawat. Then decided to do some shopping and head back to hotel. The auto took us to couple of places and somehow none of them were very interesting, so we decided to head back to hotel.
Reached hotel around 10 pm, chit chatted with Prashanth and his friend. Hearing their experience so far and simultaneously sharing our part of our story so far.
Before retiring for the day, we also brainstormed about our tomorrow’s schedule.
We spoke to couple of local people about the route to take towards Jaisalamer. We had 2 options, one via Jodhpur which is National Highway. Other via Nagaur which is a state highway. And google was showing Nagaur route to be faster always. Suhas and myself were of the opinion that we should try the State highway itself and so we decided to opt via Nagaur.
---- Capturing the unique moment for the records ----
---- One with the guide who took through the famous monument ----
---- Best view i could capture ----
---- Team in front of the monument ----
---- Team pic ----
---- Team pic ----
---- Team pic ----
---- Use and Throw slippers provided, so that the monument is not damaged ----
---- I feel this is one of the best pic we have, i would say Family pic ----
---- In front of Fatehpur Sikri fort ----
---- The most common thing you can see on Jaipur Highway ----
---- Jaipur entrance tunnel, which is no entry for two wheelers ----
---- Treebo Corporate Inn, Jaipur ----
---- Team in front of Hawa Mahal ----
---- Inside Hawa Mahal ----
---- Posing couple of the team ----
---- Team inside Hawa Mahal ----
---- Inside Hawa Mahal ----
---- Caught up with Prashanth (Tbhpian 500ContyCruiser) and his friend at Famous Rawat Shop ----
---- Varieties of food which makes you go bonkers in Jaipur ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:43.
|24th May 2018, 19:24||#6|
Day 5 - Jaisalamer
Jaipur to Jaisalmer
Distance : 560 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Oyo 7426 Hotel Classic Inn
Accommodation Link :https://goo.gl/maps/eTApTXiBK6M2
Today's ride was similar to our first 3 days ride, where we used to cover 500+ kms in a day. And Jaipur to Jaisalmer is appx 560+ kms. We did not know the road conditions too as we planned to take the state highway instead of national highway. So we thought we will leave Jaipur as early as possible and hence requested the hotel guys to serve breakfast little early. Accordingly we were at breakfast by 7.30 am and we were served a good range of buffet breakfast. By around 8.45 am, our luggage were loaded on the bike and ready to roll.
We bid goodbye to Prashanth and his friend, who were heading to Delhi from Jaipur and had our customary photo session.
Then we slowly waded through the early morning traffic out of Jaipur and soon we were on single lane state highway towards to Nagaur. As we moved out of Jaipur, the road started becoming deserted. Occasionally we would see trucks or other vehicles. But I should say, the roads were fantastic but had to be cautious due to speed breakers on frequent basis.
We saw lot of peacocks and deer on this stretch. Around 1pm we reached Naguar and decided to have lunch. As we exited out of Naguar, we found a Veg place and stopped for lunch. I would say, this was best decision too. The lunch was too good in comparison to the outlook of this restaurant. Pulakas were perfectly sized and the curries were always garnished by 2 big bars of butter. Altogether, all the dishes ordered were yummy and tasted awesome. Even though we were just into Day 5 of our trip but food was the utmost enjoyed so far.
As we started towards Jaisalamer, we came across the famous Mumbai runner “Samir” famously called Ultra Runner. He is running for the “India’s Brave heart Soliders” (Bharat Ke Veer) covering about 15000 kms. We had quick exchange of words about his mission and vice versa our selfish goal of travelling for fun, etc. Wishing him good luck for his mission and customary photo session, we zoomed towards Jaisalmer.
As we reached Phalodi area, roads become very wide but encountered construction work all throughout till Jaisalmer. It started getting dark and our speeds started to fall down too because of ongoing road construction and dust from the construction area.
During all these mela of handling the construction work all along the road, we forgot to refuel and we had crossed Pokhran by this time. Post Pokhran, we started searching for one and could not find any. We were little surprised about this but kept pushing ourselves, keeping ourselves in economic mode riding style. Finally as we were about 20-30 kms from Jaisalmer, we found one and refueled the bikes.
Reached our hotel "Oyo 7426 Hotel Classic Inn" around 8 pm. The hotel was on little outskirts of the city and that helped us reach it faster by taking the bypass road avoiding the entire central area of the city. All of them were exhausted today and i guess it was because of the construction work post Phalodi area. We quickly freshened up and had dinner, retired for the day.
---- Team at the breakfast table ----
---- Team at the breakfast table ----
---- Photo with Prashanth and his friend ----
---- Deserted roads towards Nagaur ----
---- Chai break ----
---- With Samir, the Ultra Runner ----
---- Lunch Place at Nagaur ----
---- Another 240 to go for the day ----
---- Chai break after Phalodi ----
---- Sunset as we zoomed towards Pokhran from Phalodi ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:43.
|26th May 2018, 22:42||#7|
Day 6 - Sam Dunes
Jaisalamer to Tanot Temple, Longewala and Sam Dunes
Distance : 340 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Sam Dunes Desert Safari Resort
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/7CXeZfYELu32
We got up around 7 am, finished our breakfast at 8 am and checked out of the hotel by 8.30 am. We started moving towards Tanot temple. The landscape was so different in this area and so we were stopping on a frequent basis for photographs.
We reached Tanot temple and we took turns to visit the temple, so that couple of us are with the bikes and luggage. From Tanot temple, if you go towards north, few kilometres we get BSF camp. We enquired with the BSF post at Tanot temple, if we can visit and they denied it promptly. They advised us that if we get permits from Jaisalmer, we can visit the BSF camp and zero point area. With all these going on, we spent little more time then required at Tanot temple.
From Tanot temple, we headed straight to Longewala. The road from Tanot temple to Longewala is very narrow, deserted and magnificent landscape. We did few videos and took photographs as it was very scenic.
Upon reaching Longewala, we saw a huge number of Royal Enfield bikes. They were doing Rajasthan circuit and organised by Royal Enfield itself. Out of the big team, there were couple of bikers from Karnataka too and ended up exchanging pleasantries or experiences so far. We decided to have some food at the BSF Canteen as it was almost noon. Ordered maagi and few cool drinks for all of us. By the time, maagi was prepared and ready to be served, we strolled around the Longewala area.
Quick information about Longewala is that, it is famously called as “Battle of Longewala”. It was the first big scale war against Pakistan on western region in 1971. Not to mention that India was successful in defending the sudden attack from Pakistan.
From Longewala, we returned back to Jaisalmer and had a quick and flying visit to the Jaisalmer fort before heading to Sam Dunes. Our accommodation was booked in one of the number of tent accommodation available at Sam dunes. Since we lost some time in Tanot temple, we rushed to Sam dunes as there was some activities lined up as part of our package. Quick checked into the tent accommodation, freshened up and headed straight to sunset view.
As part of the package negotiated, it included accommodation, Camel Safari, Good view of the Sunset from the famous Sam Dunes, cultural program for the night and lastly food.
As part of the Camel safari and sunset view, they took us into the Sam dunes for a good view of the sunset. Post sunset, couple of them tried their hands on camel racing.
Then we returned to the resort and the evening cultural programs was getting ready. We found good seating area around the podium and made ourselves comfortable for the cold night to watch the cultural programs.
Around 9 pm, the cultural programs got over, finished dinner and retired for the day. It was quite a tiring day even though we didn't travel much. But the weather kept us on check with good high temperature. But only satisfaction was that, we didn't miss anything so far and we were on dot according to our plan.
---- Parking lot at the hotel :( ----
---- View from the hotel we stayed ----
---- Poser Boy ----
---- Ready to leave towards Tanot ----
---- "Trio" Team ----
---- Empty roads as we progressed towards Tanot ----
---- Somewhere between Tanot and Jaisalmer ----
---- Biker boys time to pose ----
---- Lone Honda horse not to be left ----
---- One of the photo stops ----
---- Camels !! ----
---- Our 4 wheels Honda man "Nischal" ----
---- Honda team ----
---- One of the best photos, we took "Poser Couples" ----
---- Photobombing Narashima Sir ----
---- Tanot Temple ----
---- Longewala Various destinations near to it ----
---- Longewala Leftover Tank of Pak Army ----
---- Longewala Full team ----
---- Longewala ----
---- Leaving Longewala ----
---- Exit of Longewala with the full Honda team ----
---- Jaisalmer Fort ----
---- Tent resort accommodation at Sam Sand Dunes ----
---- Camel ride to Sunset point at Sam Sand Dunes ----
---- Beautiful fire in the sky during sunset ----
---- Entire team at the Sunset Point ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:43.
|27th May 2018, 08:38||#8|
Day 7 - Jodhpur
Sam dunes to Jodhpur
Distance : 320 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Leela Villas Guest House
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/zDxNQ5U56HK2
Today’s plan was to visit Jaisalmer and head to Jodhpur. We checked out of Sam Dunes post breakfast and headed to Jaisalmer. During this Suhas had contacted his friend who is an Army personnel and he in turn asked us to reach Jaisalmer War Memorial, just outside Jaisalmer city and meet a person over there.
We reached Jaisalmer and did a quick stroll around the outskirts of Jaisalmer Fort and then headed to the Jaisalmer War Memorial. As we reached war memorial, Suhas left a message to the person whom we were suppose to meet.
By the time the Army personnel arrived, we did a quick round of the war memorial and bought some souvenirs for ourselves from the stores. War memorial houses quite a good amount of information about the Indian Army activities from the past.
Soon the Army personnel arrived at the war memorial. He then took us to the one of the battalion and introduced us to the Adjutant of the battalion. Adjutant informed us that Suhas friend had called him and informed our arrival over there. He quickly briefed us about the battalion and assigned one their officer to take us around the battalion, explain each and every aspects of their daily routine, how they always keep prepared for any emergency, Weapons they use, facilities arranged for the army personnel, etc. This is something cannot be explained and one must experience it first-hand. We were very glad that we got this opportunity and get know about it in detail at a close front. We spent almost 3 hours at the battalion and profusely thanked the officers was giving us the opportunity to visit and know them. In fact it was a very thoughtful and wonderful gesture from them that they gave us one of the best memorabilia for each one of us.
It was almost 1.30 pm by the time, we left Jaisalmer War Memorial area, we decided to have lunch on the next available dhabha after we exited out of War Memorial area. It was almost 3 pm by the time, we finished lunch and started towards Jodhpur. As mentioned earlier roads till Pokhran are bad since the road work was in progress. Post Pokhran roads were fantastic and we could catch on the speeds.
We wanted to visit Bullet Baba temple which was on the way but we were so engrossed in the riding and enjoying the landscape, we missed it. We just stopped for a quick chai break around 6 pm and reached Jodhpur around 8 pm.
Google map co-ordinates given for our guest house was wrong and after couple of calls to them, they came to pick us from the nearby main road. The guest house we choose was very neat and quick big, except that it didn’t had lift and was little challenge to take all our luggage upstairs.
We ordered food at the guest house itself and started recollecting our experience at the Army battalion, memorabilia presented which was very unique for us.
We quickly planned out for tomorrow before retiring for the day. Two important things for tomorrow was that, we would be joined by the 7th person for the ride, that is Roopa (My wife) and secondly we would be exiting out of Rajasthan and enter Gujarat.
---- Ready to leave Sam Sand Dune ----
---- Full team at the Sam Sand Dunes Resort ----
---- Jaisalmer War Museum ----
---- Unforgetable experience of the life ----
---- Memorabilia ----
---- My Memorabilia ----
---- Entering Pokaran City ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:43.
|27th May 2018, 09:44||#9|
Day 8 - Deesa
Jodhpur to Deesa
Distance : 330 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Hotel Zorba
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/J5XwfdsxAnp
I kept tab on Roopa's arrival all throughout the night as she was taking a train from Jaipur to Jodhpur. She had arrived in Jaipur the previous night on time, took a taxi from airport to railway station. Train from Jaipur to Jodhpur was in the midnight, she had to wait at the station all alone, temperature was dropping down drastically and to add to the misery, the train got delayed too. Still i kept in contact with her still she boarded the train and then kept tab on her using google live location. In fact this was the first time, she travelled all alone for such a long distance, multiple transport systems away from home. Roopa arrived around 5.30 am in the morning, I took Nischal car and picked her up from railway station. She was very excited since this would be her first very long trip on bike. We have done small rides earlier but all were in the range of 600-800 kms.
By 8 am, all of us were ready and we finished our breakfast at the guesthouse we stayed. Then we booked 2 ola cars to take us to Mehrangarh fort. Mehrangarh fort is under the current head of Rathore Clan, Maharaja Gaj Singh II. They have huge museum depicting their entire culture, architecture, artifacts, etc. This is one of the fort owned and maintained privately. To see the entire fort, museum in detail, it will pretty much take you minimum 6-8 hours or if you more history liking person, you can spend an entire day here. You do get to see the Jodhpur city from here and know why it is called as “Blue city” too.
We quickly browsed through through the fort, museum, etc and were out of it by around 11.30. Again, we booked 2 ola cars and reached back the guesthouse. Morning, before we left for the fort, we had already packed our bags, vacated the rooms and placed it in the cloak room of the guesthouse.
By round 1pm, we exited out of Jodhpur towards Gujarat. Even though it was December month, the temperature was high in the afternoons. We were sweating like pigs under our riding gears.
We reached Pali and stopped for lunch on a roadside dhaba. Post lunch we reached Mt Abu road and we had already decided to skip Mt Abu, so took the Mt Abu by pass towards Deesa. We stopped over for a quick tea and change over of visors from dark to transparent. Post tea it was almost single lane road and we encountered lots of truck traffic as we reached Gujarat border.
We had booked the hotel Zorba at Deesa already. We reached the hotel around 8 pm and checked in. We were quite surprised to see very spacious, well maintained hotel at this small and sleepy town. After quick freshen up, we came down for dinner at the hotel restaurant. We were quite surprised with the quality and taste of the food served here. What a way to start the Gujarat trip.
---- Keeping tab on Roopa ----
---- Roopa arrived at Jodhpur ----
---- Addition to the team at Mehrangarh Fort #ridingcouples ----
---- Blue City ----
---- View of the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort ----
---- Insite Mehrangarh Fort ----
---- Busy trying to book Ola ----
---- Sandya Rao excited to see her personalized GPS co-ordinates "Sanderao" ----
---- Myself and my wife Roopa at foothills of Mt Abu ----
---- Suhas and his wife Sandhya at foothills of Mt Abu ----
---- Much needed break before the sunset for tea and visor change ----
---- Chai and Chaas Break ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:42.
|27th May 2018, 10:07||#10|
Day 9 - Dholavira
Deesa to Dholavira
Distance : 290 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Dholavira Tourism Resort
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/1PBeHVGkmHB2
Today’s plan was to reach Dholavira by 4 pm as the package we booked with the Dholavira resort starts at 4 pm. It involves some activity starting at 4 pm.
As usual I got up early and went downstairs to check once if the bikes are at their designated parking area safely. I also have this habit of checking the bike once for any issues before the ride start for the day. During this found that on one side of the pannier the welding had slightly come off. Not a big concern but wanted to be cautious as i have a pillion to with me. So went back to room, got some binding wire which I had carried, twisted it around the pannier where this welding was coming off.
All of us got ready and we came down for breakfast along with our luggage. After we ordered our breakfast, i just walked out of the hotel and found a welder right opposite to the hotel. While the team was having breakfast, I quickly went to him, got the pannier welded. This was quite a relief and it was just 2 minutes job. It's always of the rule that better be free of mind from such small niggles specially when you are travelling in team. I hate to slow down the team with such some niggles.
By the time we left Deesa, it was already 9.30 and we slowly progressed towards Dholavira. Temperatures were pretty high and we stopped couple of times for water, cool drinks, etc. As we reached Adesar, we had to shift from the beautiful 4 lanes to single lane roads. Adesar to Rapar was deserted single lane road. We reached Rapar around 1 pm and decided to have lunch, refuel too since this would be the last village where we will get petrol towards Dholavira.
There were hardly any hotels at Rapar but we found one right opposite to the junction coming from Adesar. He served one of the best phulkas and sabaji which left us carving for more food. To add to that the dry fruit lassi was just out of the world. Even after heavy lunch, each one of us stuffed 2 glasses of lassi.
Upon enquiring with the hotel owner we came to know that there is a new petrol pump opened at the entrance of Balasar village, which is appx 20 kms from Rapar towards Dholavira. He also informed that till that petrol bunk, roads were in very bad condition and cautioned us to take it easy till then.
With our heavy belly and the hot sun above us, we slowly moved towards Dholavira. Roads were indeed under construction in few stretches and very bad in few stretches. Slowly the team started split due to the bad stretches. Suhas was taking slowly since he had pillion and was worried about the ground clearance. So with Nischal on his Honda City too. We reached the petrol bunk, filled the bikes and regrouped here to continue further.
From here we would be entering the famous island “Khadir Bet” where the famous Dholavira village is situated. The roads become quite good from here, atleast there were not filled with potholes but narrow roads. As we entered the Khadir Bet, we need to pass the arrow straight bridge which connects the main land with this island. All you can see from here was vast dry bed of the “Rann of Kutch Lake” painted white with salt on both sides of the bridge.
All of us were so excited to see this, we stopped to click some photos and experience the salt bed. This photo stopover became never ending and we did spend lot of time here taking photos and venturing out on the dry bed of the lake. Because of this we got late and reached Dholavira resort around 4.30 pm.
In Dholavira, there are only 2 accommodations, one run by the Government and other by the local panchyat. The one run by the Government is shut down when we were there. So only the other one is running and the demand for the accommodation is very high due to this. So it is advisable to book in advance specially during peak season.
As per the package, the resort had planned for "Fossil Park" visit at 4 pm, followed by Sunset view, return to the resort, film show on Dholavira and end the day with dinner.
Next day, it was breakfast, followed by visit to Harappan Civilization and the museum associated with it, then lunch and check out of the resort.
As we were late in reaching the resort, the resort vehicles had left to “Fossil Park” and the sunset view point. The incharge asked us to leave all our luggage in one of the room and suggested to head straight to the sunset view point. From there one of their guide would take us to Fossil park too. Since we were late we had to go in our bikes itself. We quickly dumped our luggage, freshened up and headed directly to the sunset view point. Since we took our bikes, it was little faster to cover the distance and reached on time for the sunset.
We spent time on the dry bed of the lake watching the magnificent sunset. Post that, one of the main guide came with us to Fossil park. Fossil park is just before the sunset view point and need to go little more than a kilometre inside on untarred road. Guide from the resort took us around the Fossil park. It was getting dark, so we decided to head back. As we exited out of the Fossil park we were greeted by a bunch of fox right in front of our bikes.
We reached the resort, settled in the room. Rooms were very spacious, built in round design similar to Bhungas which are common in these area. The entire room was also painted with local art on the walls. Then we freshened up and came to the dinning area where there was some video screening of Dholavira area. It was quite informative and then it was followed by buffet dinner.
During dinner, I bumped into one of my biker friend from Bangalore who was doing entire Gujarat with this wife and friends in XUV500. It's quite a good feeling when you bump into known people even when you are so far away from your home town.
The guide who took us to Fossil park suggested us to visit fossil park early morning where we might get to see the flocks of flamingos. Upon checking with the team, only Renu and my wife agreed to join. So all three of us decided to head to fossil park around 6.30 am the next day.
---- Fried Idly at Hotel Zorba ----
---- As we moved towards Dholavira ----
---- Renuprasad on his Honda 250 ----
---- Suhas and Sandhya on their Honda 650 ----
---- Nischal and Narashima Sir in their Honda City ----
---- Chai and Chaas break ----
---- As we exited out of 4 laners to Single lane towards Dholavira ----
---- Single laners towards Dholavira ----
---- Yummy Dry fruit Laasi at Rupar ----
---- Renu and myself, as we entered the bridge connecting Dholavira island and mainland near Khader Bet ----
---- Suhas and Sandhya on the Khader Bet bridge ----
---- Team in front of the vast White washed lands ----
---- Myself and Roopa on the salt plains ----
---- Nischal trying his hands on selfie on the salt plains ----
---- Narashima sir trying bare foot walk on the salt plains ----
---- A piece of Salt for closer examination ----
---- We were like kids on this vast salt plains ----
---- Our trip's famous posing couples ----
---- Entrance of Dholavira Tourism Resort ----
---- Sunset Point at Dholavira ----
---- Sunset view ----
---- GPS Co-ordinates for our remembrance ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:42.
|27th May 2018, 23:24||#11|
Day 10 - Bhuj
Dholavira to Bhuj
Distance : 220 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Hotel Kutch Heritage
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/fVBBvpsgTVx
Sharp 6.30 am, 3 of us were ready and rode to fossil park. It was little haze but we could see flamingos. There is also a watch tower from where we could see the beautiful pink flamingos. After sometime, few more people joined to watch these wonderful flamingos. They were not in huge numbers but we could see them predominantly. Unfortunately, we didn’t had the binoculars for a close up view of these birds. Still we watched them till 8 am and returned to resort.
Next program was to finish breakfast and head to watch the Harappan civilization for which Dholavira area is famous for.
We hopped on to one of the resort jeep and they took us to the Harappan civilization site. It is actually walk-able distance from the resort but the temperature was already soaring high, so we preferred to hop on to their vehicle to reach the site.
The same guide who took us the previous day, took us around the Harappan civilization, explained in detail about how it was found and how is it being maintained from the harsh environment. We spent almost 90 minutes going around the famous archaeological site. They have built a small museum in the same campus showcasing the artifacts found in the archaeological site.
We returned back to resort, packed all our luggage and headed to dinning area as our package included afternoon lunch too. Most of the guests leave after returning from the Harappan civilization site. We were only handful of them, who finished lunch and left Dholavira around 1.30 pm.
Again on the way back we stopped over the arrow straight bridge of Khadir Bet for few photos and then headed straight to Rapar. Rapar, we stopped over at the same hotel where we had lunch the previous day for the yummy dry fruit lassi.
From here, it was single lane road till we reached Bhachau. From Bhachau it was 4 lane road but the condition was not good. Around 5 pm mark, we made stop over for tea/visor change,etc just after Bhachau. Post tea, we paced slowly to reach Bhuj.
We had plans of visiting Vighakot area during our stay in Bhuj area, so we had booked our hotel near to the BSF office on the outer ring road of Bhuj. The BSF over here is responsible for issuing the permit to Vighakot area. This hotel was also near to the exit point towards White desert area too. This was a really good decision and it helped us from getting caught by the traffic of the city.
And also the hotel where we booked had lot of food options. The owner had rented out to almost 10 different varieties of restaurants. So there was no reason for us to visit inside the city and get caught with the traffic.
Since the hotel was right on the outer ring road, lot of restaurants in the same campus, we had to really find a good and safe place for the bikes to be parked. After having a word with the Manager and the owner, we got ourselves a secured parking for the bikes.
Then we settled into our rooms. Post Freshen up, we choose one of the restaurant and all of us settled in there. Again, there were lot of variety of food from local to general cuisine. We ended up almost ordering each and very variety of food for dinner. Finally we called of the day and not before a quick check on the plans for tomorrow.
---- Reservoirs built at Harappan Site ----
---- Reservoirs ----
---- Various things to see at Harappan Site ----
---- Team in full concentration hearing to the guide about the Harappan History ----
---- Another set of team with all ears on the guide ----
---- Brief about the Harappan City ----
---- Various artifacts at the Muesum ----
---- In front of our rooms at Dholavira Tourism Resort ----
---- Vad Pav at Hotel in Bhuj ----
---- Double Cheese Pav Bhaji at Hotel in Bhuj ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:42.
|3rd June 2018, 15:36||#12|
Day 11 - Bhuj
Bhuj – Kalo dungar – White Desert – Dhordo – Bhuj
Distance : 225 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Hotel Kutch Heritage
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/fVBBvpsgTVx
Today’s first program was to submit a requisition for permit to Vighakot area at the BSF office. We finished breakfast by 8.30 am. Reached BSF office which was about 500-800 metres from the hotel. Only couple of them were allowed to go inside and submit the requisition. Suhas and myself went inside and as we approached the entrance we were greeted by an officer who asked us to take a seat until somebody comes and talks. Next 5 mins another officer asked us to visit a room where the permit requisition is placed.
We submitted all the documents and explained our intentions to go there. The officer was surprised that we had all the necessary documents in orderly manner and as required by the officer. He just asked to write a letter in white paper about the requisition of permit. We requested him to provide it for the next day itself since we had only 3 days in Bhuj. He asked us to come before 7 pm to collect the permit. We were really happy that the submission for the permit requisition went on smooth and hoped that we will get the permit in the evening for tomorrow.
From BSF office, we headed straight to Kalo Dungar, the highest point in Rann of Kutch. Also called as “Black hill”. Since it was the tourist season, the traffic was quite heavy too. We reached Kalo Dungar and found it was crowded. We parked our bikes in front of the temple on the top, took turns to visit the view point.
To reach Kalo Dungar, we need to take a right from the Bhuj to India Bridge(Vighakot road). Nischal and Narashima sir missed this turn and they went all the way till India Bridge. Then they realised the wrong way, took u turn and reached Kalo Dungar little late. By this time, Suhas, Sandhya and Renu visited the view point. Then Nischal, Narashima sir, myself and my wife Roopa visited the view point.
From the view point on to our right, we can see the same Rann of Kutch lake which we saw in Dholavira. Then we can also see the India Bridge which is the last civilan point on this stretch.
From here, we took a short cut and reached White desert. White desert or Dhordo area is where the famous festival of Rann of Kutch happens. Since we already had enough encounter with the white desert in the Dholavira area, we didn’t venture deep inside the White Desert area.
After quick visit, we settled in the some of the stalls setup for the festival near Dhordo village. There were lot of Art and crafts stall in addition to various food stalls. We initially hogged some local food from the stalls. Then the ladies wanted to do some shopping but it was almost 5.30 pm and we had to reach the BSF office before 7 pm to collect the permit. So we decided to quickly head to Bhuj not before promising the ladies that we will come back for the shopping the next day.
Race back to BSF office uneventful and we reached just in time to collect the permit. Luckily the permit was ready and it was for the next day itself. We were finally happy that we would be going to the border of India where it is also called as no man’s land and that too with our own bikes. For me personally, this was more exciting since exactly 12 months before i was on the eastern side of india in Moreh town, which is the border town of India next to Myanmar.
Returned back to hotel, freshened up and headed downstairs for dinner. Today we decided to settle with different varieties of chats instead of regular dinner. After this, we went for a walk to nearby food stores to shop for some fruits, snacks and cool drinks for tomorrow’s trip to Vighakot.
We retired for the day not before completing a round of deserts at the nearby icecream shop. All of them very excited about tomorrow's experience and were eagerly looking forward.
---- Request for entry to Vighakot area ----
---- Exiting Bhuj and entering the famous white desert area ----
---- Team at Kalo Dungar ----
---- Highest point in the Kutch Area - Kalo Dungar ----
---- View towards India Bridge at Kalo Dungar ----
---- View towards Dholavira at Kalo Dungar ----
---- View at Kalo Dungar ----
---- At Rann of Kutch festival area ----
---- Team in front of the entrance to white desert area ----
---- Status of the helmet visor during our return to Bhuj from Dhordo ----
---- GPS co-ordinates for our records at Kalo Dungar ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:30.
|3rd June 2018, 16:17||#13|
Day 12 - Bhirandiyara
Bhuj – India Bridge – Vighakot – Hanuman Mandir – India Bridge – Dhordo – Bhirandiyara
Distance : 315 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Rann Rajwadi Resort
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/tCuWWKMndpN2
All of us were very excited today that we will get to go to the no-man’s land and on the International Border line of the country. So everybody were ready by 6 am and we were checking out of the hotel today as we didn’t had plans to come back to Bhuj. We decided to have a tea and reach Bhirandiyara for breakfast. So by 6.30 am we were on the road with all the luggage.
Reached Bhirandiyara around 7.30 am and stopped over for breakfast. Only one place was open and he mentioned that they have only maagi. Since we didn’t wanted to take chance further, we ordered for it. This hotel guy took a very long time and served us food around 8.15 am. By the time we finished breakfast and left Bhirandiyara it was 9 am. We lost quite good amount of time here.
During this time, we visited our today’s stay near to Bhirandiyara and dumped all our luggage. This place was few metres away from the breakfast point. We informed the owner of our stay that we will not be coming for lunch but would reach late in the evening for check in.
Back on the road after breakfast, we had to quickly stop over for refuel for the bikes as there was no fueling options after India Bridge. Post fueling we zoomed across to India Bridge.
At India Bridge, we must submit the permits obtained at Bhuj, submit all electronic goods like phone, still camera, video camera, etc. They will check all the areas in the bikes or cars too. Then we are instructed about where we can go post India Bridge.
Basically after India Bridge, about 2 kms, we get a “Y” fork, left goes to Vighakot and it is about 60 kms one way. You also get one check post at the “Y” fork and the second one about a kilometre towards Vighakot. You turn right, it leads to Hanuman temple about 12 kms appx. It’s upto us to visit whatever we want out of the two places. But we are not allowed to move anywhere else apart from these 2 places.
So we decided to head towards Vighakot first and then head to Hanuman temple. As we crossed the “Y” fork check post and second post, it was literally deserted. All we could see was arrow straight roads or some twisty roads. Not even single tree for kilometres too.
About 15 kms before Vighakot, we stopped by to take a break and have some fruits and water. Soon we saw couple of jeeps coming towards Vighakot. The jeeps passed us and suddenly stopped about 200 metres away from us. A commander got down in swift manner and enquired us if we are all okay and if there are any problems. We informed him that we have stopped for a break and he was okay with it. He thought we had some problems and was eager to help us out. In the same speed, he got onto the jeep and sped away.
Soon, we reached Vighakot, the incharge took us around, showed us different camps visible from this point on India side and on Pakistan side too. Explained about their daily duties and other interesting facts about the area. Post this we bid adieu to the folks at the border and started our return journey.
Return journey was uneventful because of totally deserted surrounding and also deserted road too. We stopped for a 10 mins break in between. We reached the “Y” fork and headed straight to Hanuman Temple.
Hanuman Temple has quite an emotional history behind it being built where no man exists. It’s basically a small temple in middle of nowhere and only couple of BSF folks take care of it. There are abandoned bunkers too here for tourists like us to experience them.
As we were about to leave the place, one more group of bikers came here. We had a quick chat with them and bid goodbye to them, started our return journey. Return journey was uneventful and soon we reached the India Bridge. Went through the exit formalities, collected all our electronic gadgets.
Since we didn’t have proper lunch, we decided to head to White desert/Rann festival/Dhordo for lunch and spend some time over there as the ladies wanted to do some shopping too and which we had promised them yesterday.
We took the same short cut from India Bridge towards to Rann festival and reached the festival around 5 pm. We preferred to have some local chats rather then lunch. Post that, ladies started their shopping and we wailed around looking around.
Around 7 pm we left the Rann festival, reached our Village stay at Bhirandiyara. Freshened up and got ready for dinner and a small cultural event organised by our host. Dinner at the village stay was really awesome and most of it was totally local cuisine. Soon the cultural event started and we spent time enjoying that and also remembering our unique experience of visiting Vighakot area.
---- Team in front of Bhuj hotel before leaving to Vighakot ----
---- Team in front of Bhuj hotel ----
---- Roopa and Sandhya at Bhirandiyara ----
---- Sandhya with the kids at the resort in Bhirandiyara ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:34.
|3rd June 2018, 16:36||#14|
Day 13 - Mandvi
Bhirandiyara – Hajpir – NarayanaSarovar – Mandvi
Distance : 330 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Rukhmavati Guest House
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/WZkmwkE4KYk
Stay at Bhirandiyara was nice and cozy. It was stay at one of the village home, made of mud and famously called as “Bhungas”.
Coming to our today’s journey we didn’t had full information about road conditions and also we didn’t wanted to go back to Bhuj and go towards to NarayanSarovar. Instead we decided to head to Hajipir via Dhordo and then head to NarayanSarovar.
We had breakfast at the homestay and were ready to roll around 9.30 am. We had to pass Dhordo and then left towards Hajipir. From the left towards Hajipir, we tried doing some videos and lost some time in that mela. Roads started to deteriorate as we proceeded towards Hajipir.
As we crossed Hajipir, road conditions turned worst. Slowly we started losing car behind us due to it. Few kilometres after Hajipir, google shows a right which directly goes to Dayapar. Once we reached there, the locals suggested not to take that route and suggested going south, join NH42 near Ugedi.
We went by the suggestions of the local and till we reached NH42, the road conditions were very bad. Once we reached NH42, roads are in good conditions but with occasionally with potholes. At Dayapar, we need to take left to go towards NarayanSarovar. Roads are again good on this stretch but single lane with little more then traffic.
Around 1.30 pm, we reached NarayanSarovar. Place was crowded with tourists. We parked our bikes at one place together and took turns to visit the temple and the view point. By 2.30 pm, we turned back and decided to have lunch. We could not find any hotels but the google was suggesting only Toran Hotel run by Gujarat Tourism. Temparature was very high today and it was a very good decision of going to Toran Hotel. We got a very good lunch buffet for a very reasonable price too.
By 3.30 pm, we finished lunch and headed towards Mandvi. Road from NarayanaSarovar to Mandvi via NH41 was deserted and fantastic. Roads till Naliya was so deserted we had to stop couple of times to ensure that we were going in the right direction.
We enjoyed the ride to Mandvi from NarayanaSarovar a lot and definitely suggest bikers to try once. Soon we reached Mandvi and reached our guest house by 8 pm. We checked in to the guesthouse, got ready, spoke to the owner who gave few tips about places to see, good places to eat. In fact, he had prepared a small handwritten map for each and every guest with all these details. It was just 2 pages but very detailed till the point on how much you should pay for the autoriskhaw, etc.
On his suggestions, we went to Osho dinning lodge and it was in walk-able distance from the guesthouse. The amount of service we got at this place was amazing. The food was very good and to add, the owners were amazing who ensured that we do not leave without tasting everything available in their dinner buffet.
We were so full that we dragged our feet slowly towards the guesthouse not before stopping over for a good and yummy pan.
We retired for the day only to get reminded that our wonderful journey is going to end very soon. Next we would be heading to Ahmedabad and from there it would just home run back to Bangalore.
---- Kids showing their talent at the home stay in Bhirandiyara ----
---- Beautiful art work all round at the home stay ----
---- Art work done by kids at home stay ----
---- Entrance to Narayan Sarovar ----
---- Far end of the west at Narayan Sarovar ----
---- Temple at Narayan Sarovar ----
---- Our awesome posing couples at Narayan Sarovar ----
---- At Narayan Sarovar ----
---- Team in front of the entrance to Narayan Sarovar ----
---- Suhas relaxing at a chai break post Narayan Sarovar ----
---- Chocolate Mirchi at Mandvi ----
---- One of the best Veg meals at Mandvi ----
---- A pic with the owner of the Osho Dinner lodge, Mandvi ----
---- GPS co-ordinates for our records touching the far west end of India ----
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:36.
|3rd June 2018, 17:06||#15|
Day 14 - Ahmedabad
Mandvi to Ahmedabad
Distance : 390 Kms Appx
Accommodation : Oyo Flagship 321 Vastrapur
Accommodation Link : https://goo.gl/maps/fmdn8tCfUBN2
Our breakfast was covered at the guesthouse itself, so we decided to finish breakfast and then head to Mandvi beach. Post breakfast, We hired an auto to take us and get back to Mandvi beach. We spent about 30 minutes at Mandvi beach and returned to guesthouse.
We got ready and started our journey towards Ahmedabad around 11.30 am. From Mandvi roads till Ahmedabad is fantastic. Till Gandhidham, there was lot of truck traffic which was slowing us down. Only other issue was the temperature was very high and we were dripping water under the riding gears.
Just after Bhachau, we found a very good AC restaurant and stopped for lunch. And it was a good respite to be inside an A/C room for short time. Post lunch, after few kilometres either we can continue National Highway or take the State highway to reach Ahmedabad. National highway pretty long whereas the State highway is very shorter but both the roads are at the best condition.
We took the State highway 947 and were on the outskirts of the Ahmedabad by 6.30 pm. As we entered Ahmedabad, we were getting struck in the traffic. About 2 kms away from the hotel, my bike died on me at a traffic junction. It was unbelievable and the die down was dramatic too. All these while, I think we did about 5500 kilometers so far and absolutely no issues with the bike. And when we reached the last city as per the plan, it died down.
Luckily push start worked and we reached the hotel.
Post check-in, we got freshened up and by this time, Renu had asked a friend of his staying in Ahmedabad to come over. Soon he reached the hotel and then we decided to head to Law garden area for some street shopping and then enjoy the famous street food in Ahmedabad. We took 2 autos and reached the Law garden area. The ladies were all excited as they were getting chance to do some shopping. They spent couple of hours shopping and then we headed to street food area nearby.
Wow !! it was choc block and crowded with people at 11.00 pm. We took sometime in choosing where to eat and what to eat. Each of us wanted to try different food and so we ended up having food in almost more then 5-6 places. There is absolutely no words to explain the wonderful and amazing food we had there.
By around 1 am, we were done with the all food stall hoping we did and returned to our hotel.
Last edited by rk_sans : 6th June 2018 at 22:53.
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