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|23rd October 2007, 17:52||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Rajashtan by Road : Jaipur-Ajmer-Pushkar-Jaisalmer-Sam-Jodhpur-Chittorgarh-Udaipur
After a long gap, we (self,wife and 3.5 year old son) decided to visit Rajasthan. Our planned route was as mentioned in the title of this thread! We took a flight from Mumbai to Jaipur and then covered Rajashtan by road. Our trip ended at Udaipur and we took a floght back to Mumbai from Udaipur. Here, I am narrating the road travel experience within Rajasthan
Day1: Arrive at Jaipur and Jaipur City tour (within and around)
We hired a Tata Indigo from Jaipur. The car picked us up in Jaipur and we straight went to the hotel.We had booked ourselves in one of the oldest five star of Jaipur called Clarks Amer. Well, the hotel was so so. May be because of the fact that its a old hotel. Value for money wise, I won't recommend this hotel. There are many 3 and 4 star hotels in Jaipur at about 20-30% cheaper rate giving you same facilities. During the day, we saw City Palace, Jantar Mantar. City palace is kind of OK with some histories. Jantar Mantra you must need a guide to explain. Its good! We retuned back to the hote, on the way to hotel, we had the external view of the very well done Birla Temple. Jaipur city is truely prospering. It was neat and clean, with very good roads and well maintained surroundings. The interesting fact is that, the old city, which is maintained Pink is very good to see. You cross the street and see all the shops on both sides uniformly pink with white sighn boards. We couldn't make it to the Hawa Mahal, as it was under renovation. Same fate to the museum which was closed for renovation. In the evening, we went to the out skirts of Jaipur to an artifical village called "Chokhi Dhani". It has an entry ticket which was 275/- per head per adult! It includes the entry and most of the things such as Rajashtani Dance, Food (awsome food!), Magic Show etc. For other things such as Giant Wheel Ride, Elephant Ride, Camel Ride etc. you have to pay extra. In all, it was a good experience in Jaipur. Chokhi Dhani is a must visit![/COLOR]
We went around Jaipur to some of the key tourist spots such as Jaigarh Fort, Amer Mahal, Jal Mahal etc. Jaigarh Fort is not worth going. Its very poorly maintained and nothing much to see. In short, Jaigarh fort is avoidable except for the fact, that it has world's largest cannon and it's a must see! Then we moved to another mahal which was about 300 years old. The view of Jaipur city was awsome from there. Moving down, we stopped at Amer Mahal. This is a must see place around Jaipur. Amer Mahal, you need a guide and its worth the money! It is very well done! While coming down, we stopped at Jal Mahal which is visible from Amer Mahal. Due to renovation, it was closed for entry. Hence, only external view of the monument.Jaipur was done with! We had dal bati near Jaipur bus stand in a place called Chawla! It was awsome!
We sarted for Ajmer fro Jaipur. You hit the new India's 4/6 lane highway, which connects Mumbai. Its about 2 hours drive from Jaipur. Last 20 km is a single road (from Kishan Garh, as the 4 lane road goes towards Chittirgarh from there) Ajmer is nothing great except for Khwaja's Dargha. Its commercialised and all around the road towards the dargha you will find beggars harrassing you all the time! We quickely finished visiting the dargha and moved to pushkar. Pushkar is about 20minutes drive from Ajmer and again it was not very great at Pushkar. It has a scenic lake and the brahma temple. we found a lot of foreigners loitering around in Pushkar. There is a hotel called Natraj, which is the only decent hotel in Pushkar with swimming pool, garden etc.We had lunch there and moved on. Originally, we had planned to go toBikaner, but we realised that Bikaner is about 50-60kms farther than the distance between Pushkar-Jodhpur. Hence, we changed our plan and from a small town called Merta City , we took left towards Jodhpur. The distance of 200 kms from Pushkar to Jodhpur was covered in little over 3 hours. The Tata Indigo was doing great with good a/c. The driver was also good though he didn;t have great knowledge about the roads within Rajasthan apart from the main routes. I was carrying a map to guide ourselves. We started at about 3.30pm from Pushkar and we were at Jodhpur before 7pm. The road from Pushkar till Merta City is good. From Merta, its OK for about 40 kms with some patch work in between. Afterwords, the road condition is good till Jodhpur! We reached Jodhpur and checked into a Hotel called Mapple Abhay! It was a 4 star hotel. Apart from Jaipur, I didn't book any hotel for my onward journey. I was very impressed with this hotel, especially the room. It was no less than a 5 star room and very good and friendly staff. I will recommend this hotel to everyone. This hotel was not very expensive and was absolutely value for money! Though we were tired, we decided to take a look at the city. Jodhpur was more of a transit point for us en route to Jaisalmer, as we had earlier decided to come back to Jodhpur from Jaisalmer. But we still took a round of the city,saw the illuminated view of Ummed Bhawan Palace, Clock Tower, Jaswant Thada, Mehrangarh Fortetc. There was couple of good restaurants in Jodhpur such as Gypsy (veg.), Kalinga (veg and non Veg), On the rocks (Veg and non Veg).[/COLOR]
We started for Jaisalmer.The distance is 290kms, and we were told it will take 5 hours. We started at around 9.45 in the morning. The road to jaisalmer from Jodhpur is empty and damn good! With the indigo constantly doing about 100kmph, we managed to reach Jaisalmer within 4 hours. On the way, I had found out about the Desert Safari and Tent stay. I contacted one K.K. Travels in Jaisalmer. Hired a tent for overnight stay near the sand dunes. It was less that half the cost of what some of the hotels and travel agents had quoted. wqe arrived Jaisalmer and had lunch. We moved straight to Sam, which is 40 kms away from Jaisalmer. We were asked to halt at mile stone 7 on the road and contact the camel owner. We did just that. We were taken on camel back for about 2 kms to reach the Sand Dunes. The camel ride wasfun and my son enjoyed it the most. The road from Jaisalmer to Sam was also damn good. After a good camel ride, we rested in a relatively secluded dune to watch the sun set. Please ensure while talking to the travel guy in jaisalmer to take you as far as possible on the dune. Some tip to the camel man will also help. Suggest, you do the tent booking directly through the tent owners, which in my case was K K Travels in Jaisalmer. I can help with the contact number on request
We spent the eveing in the tents. It was not one of those state of the art tents, but managable. The evening was spent with some dance, rajasthani music and magic show. The dinner was OK and the tent guy had made excellent chicken curry (it will be made on request). at around 10pm, the lights were switched off (the tents operate on generator). It was a silent darkness and I never saw more stars than I saw that day in the sky! at night, it was cooler and we couldn't sleep properly may be due to the fact that, we are not used to stay in a deserted place with absolute silence.
We came back to Jaisalmer.On the way, we saw a village ruin (300 years old) and saw all must sees in Jaisalmer, such as Jaisalmer fort, Patwon ki Haveli, Salam Singh ki Haveli, Mandir Palace, Gadisar Lake etc. We did some shopping as well, but its not advisable to do shopping in Jaisalmer as it is expensive to shop there. We sayed at a hotel called "Hotel Dhola Maru". I advise, avoid this hotel. The hotel may look attractive from outside, its pathetic as far as service and professionalism is concerned. The reception guy was good to interact with. may that's why I got into the hotel. But its a complete no no as far as staying there is concerned.
We started back towards Jodhpur. we reached Jodhpur at around 2pm (Again we covered 290kms in less than 4 hours). We went to see Ummed Bhawan Palace museum. Its OK as far as museum is concerned, but the outside view of the palace is great! We went to Jaswant Thada. Its a marble structure and there is no great things to see there. You can probably spend 10-15 minutes there. Since it was already 5pm, we couldn't gain an entry to Mehrangarh Fort. We decided to see the for next morning. We came back to the hotel.The hotel staff here was excellent (same hotel Mapple Abhay, I had booked before leaving for jaisalmer 2 days back). Though the breakfast in this hotel was OK, but the staff is damn good and co-operative. Jodhpur is the right place to shop in rajashtan. We found the rates to be reasonably lower than Jaipur and Jaisalmer. You can shop near the clock tower market
We started the day by seeing the Mehrangarh fort (must see). Its a great fort, though relatively small in structure. Suggest, you take a guide and also take the elevator ticket which costs 15/- per head. It gives you amazing view of Jodhpur city. You can also see a beautiful lake with fountains from the top! Post our visit to this fort, we left for Udaipur. The ideal route from Jodhpur to Udaipur is via Pali, but the driver toolk us through a longer route. When we reached Bewar via Bar, the driver realised that he has taken a route which is more than 100 kms longer than the usual route. Anyways, till Bewar (150 kms) from Jodhpur we covered in little over 2 hours. Again salutation to Rajasthan roads! They are very good! At Bewar, while reading the map, I saw, we need to take 2 lane NH 8 to reach Udaipur which is another 220 kms away. This will take us 4 hours more due to heavy traffic on the road. Hence, I decided, we will take an across road to a place called Vijaynagar (40kms) from Bewar and hit the NH77 which is 4 lane till Chittorgarh. This will save us 1 hour and also the drive from Udaipur to Chittorgarh next morning. This worked. We took the cross road from Bewar and the road till Vijaynagar was good passing though remote villages. We reached Chittorgarh at around 8pm. The road before Chittorgarh (for about 30kms) is still a 2 lane road and the work is going on. We stayed at MTDC Panna resort in Chittorgarh. The resort was OK from a Govt. resort standard
We went to the fort in the morning. Chittorgarh has SBI, SBBJ and HDFC Bank ATM. (We didn't find a private bank ATM in Jaisalmer). The for is huge for nothing great! We also took a guide. But I am sure you can do without a guide in Chittorgarh. Apart from great historical narration, the fort has nothing much to see. The victory tower is impressive. You can cover the fort in 1 hour. Part of the fort has been converted into a deer park, but we decided not to venture into it! We started towards Udaipur at around 1pm from Chittorgarh and reached City Palace in Udaipur at 2.45. Which means, we covered 110kms distance in less than 2 hours.Tne road is great, all 4 laned, flawless! we saw City Palace thourgh a guide who took Rs. 100. You can click some photos outside and in the main perphery of the fort! The Fort is OK. You must ask the guide to explain the paintings for sure! They have the real depiction of those times. It took us 1 hour to see the palace. Post that we went to the vintage car museum. Its expensive, bout worth seeing. we say Saheliyon ki Bari and Fateh Sagar Lake. we also got a great view of the Lake Pichola and the Taj Lake resort from the City Palace fort. In the eveing we visited Aapni Dhani which is 15 kms away from the city. It was like Chokhi Dhani, but smaller.
This day, we reserved ourselves for shopping though there was a strong urge among ourselves to visit Ranakpur in the morning. But since it was too much os travelling and monument visit, my wife decided against it. Ranakpur is 2 hours drive from Udaipur (90kms). In the evening, we visited a place called Sajjangarh, which is in the outskirt of Udaipur on a hill top. This is a must see place in Udaipur. The view from there is amazing and they have a small restaurant there on the top. The oad passes through a small jungle for about 5 kms and its very fascinating to drive up to this place. Finally at around 5.30 we returned back to our place of residence and prepared to move to the Airport. The airport is about 45 minuted away, but I suggest, you keep 1 hour time between Udaipur and the Airport![/COLOR]
Before I conclude, I must say the roads in Rajashtan is great! You must see Rajasthan by road and Tata Indigo was relatively comfortable car to be with while you are on a journey! Take the help of a local travel agent, in my case it was a tour operator called Swagat Tours who provided me with the car. They are very good, reliable and realistic!
Last edited by omar1310 : 23rd October 2007 at 17:58.
|4th December 2007, 12:53||#4|
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Thanks for the write up. You've cleared a lot of my doubts (namely roads of Rajashtan).
I'm also planning a similar trip over x mas weekend.
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