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Old 29th March 2008, 12:59   #1
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Cool Holi Day & A Road Trip - Jodhpur & Udaipur - A pictorial travelogue.

PART 1 - JODHPUR

So it all starts out a month and a half back when I decided I am going to Rajasthan on Holi with friends. I have always liked going to places where I have never been before and also that is easily accessible by road.

I have only been to Jaipur in Rajasthan till now. This time I decided to go further up ahead to Jodhpur, Udaipur & Mount Abu.

I put up a thread at T-BHP - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...-required.html (Rajasthan Road Trip - Advises Required) and got a lot of help by you all.

Finally made a few bookings and decided to opt out of Mount Abu as I was not getting a booking at my prefered hotel. So decided to go only to Jodhpur ( 2 Nights with Holi ) & Udaipur ( 4 Nights ).

We had a choice of 3 cars - My Accent Petrol, My friends Civic Automatic & my friends Fiesta Diesel top end model. Of course the choice was obvious - Fiesta it was. I will give a review of the car later on. Coming back to the trip -

Car was 3/4th full Diesel so we decided to fill up later.

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We started on Friday ( 21st Mar ) early at 6:30 AM from my place - hit the Agra - Bharatpur - Jaipur highway in 10 minutes, reached Fatehpur in 30 minutes and finally crossed Bharatpur in about a little more than an hour. Stopped at Reliance A1 Plaza for a toilet break. On the road again and reached Jaipur by 10:30 AM ( This was early ). We stopped on the outskirts ( beginning of Jaipur ) again for a toilet break. I was driving till now, my friend took over from here and we hit the Jaipur - Ajmer highway in 25 minutes. This is a expressway mantained by GVK. The road is simply awesome !! A few photos would show you the kind of road. This expressway is exactly 100 km's. Toll charge 60 Rs.

A few pics of the highway -

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We hit speeds of 150 - 160 here and averaged out more than 120 kph !! We crossed this expressway in about 40 - 45 minutes. We then hit the Jodhpur road which is all single but again very well made without any potholes or bad stretches. Good for such a less travelled road. Rajasthan roads are good but avoid Night Driving - It is Lonely.

We stopped for Diesel ( 1000 Rs - Xtra Mile ) en route Ajmer to Jodhpur Mid way somewhere.

We then stopped at a RTDC hotel somewhere ( I do not remember the place ). Had Idli Sambhar and then took off again. Not much here but food was good. From there it took us another hour and a half before arriving in Jodhpur. Arrived at 3 PM - Total distance more than 550 kms - time taken - 9 hrs with an hours stop. Not Bad !!

We were staying at a hotel called the Inn Season which is located in PWD Road. The room cost us 1500 on the phone. When we arrived there we asked for a discount and got a further 300 rs discount. Costing us 1200 per day incl of all tazes ( wothout breakfast ). The rooms were decent and we were later changed to a suite !! Very good people here.

Did not roam around much that day. Went to Pizza hut and the local market. Came back to the room and had JD & Fosters. Did buy some beer from a local ' TAK WINE SHOP '.

Me in the Black T shirt holding the bottle of JD - yummmmyyyyyyy

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Next morning - HOLI DAY - we expected nothing as we thought we'd wake up real late and since we do not play holi much we thought we'd give it a miss, wait till 3 pm and then venture out to a fort somewhere. Morning 9 AM I go out in my night dress & this tourist ( OZ Guy ) comes and gives me a aim with his pichkari !! And then smarty says in Foreign Accent ' Bura Na Mano Holi Hai ' . I couldn't resist a smile.

Suddenly out of nowhere I see 15 more guys & girls ( all mid aged ) coming out of nowhere ready to pounce at me ( NOW THIS IS WIERD, I am supposed to do this , not them !! ).

I request them to change, call the wifey outisde. Now the owners of the hotel specially come and call us. I peeked out into one of the gardens and saw a table with all sorts of booze and beer. And snacks ( Chicken, Matthi, Sweets ). I get all excited . this is going to be good.

The moment I walk inside everyone drenches us with colour , buckets of color water etc. I am handed a Glass of Chilled beer ( Without having anything in Bfast ). I start drinking slowly. This continued till 1 pm. the moment the glass emptied a bit, out of nowhere a guy would come and Refill. Maybe 20 - 30 times. I don't remember. All on the house BTW !!

My friend also woke up in half an hour and the same happened with him. He was also HOLI fied up.

Thats me & my wife all coloured up -

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Me & my friend
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A view of the scene -

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The tourists kept having Bhang and other drinks. God knows what would have happened to them later on. We finally said bye at 1 PM or so and started taking a bath and got ready at 3 PM or so. We were starved and went out to a local restaurant which was packed. Had a thali there and then decided to go to Mehrangarh Fort ( Beautiful place ). Roamed for more than an hour there and got back to the hotel by 6 pm. Had nothing to drink in the veneing as morning had been quite eventful. Went to Jodhpur's best rastaurant ( ON THE ROCKS ). Nice place but food was OK OK.

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In the morning after breakfast we left for Udaipur - We took a wrong turn somewhere and instead of going through Sirohi took a small road via Nadol. The road was scary. Well made but very very lonely and it not being our territory we were a bit scared. kept going nevertheless for the next hour and a half before we hit the NH 8 where Udaipur was 60kms away.

Stopped for Diesel here ( 1000 rs again ). Stopped for Lunch at a small Dhaba and entered Udaipur around 4:30 PM. Roads were all very nice.

We did not have any bookings here so had to arrange. This has been a long thread. I am going to take a break ( got loads of work now ). Will post the Udaipur travelogue today / tommorrow sometime. Cheers !! Enjoy the Pics.

NOTE - Diesel & Petrol Price at Reliance !!! 61 Rs for Petrol.

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My Friend - Gaurav !! Joker as always !!

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THAT's Me !!

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Last but not the least - the oily food at the dhaba - was absolutley divine but arteries got clogged.

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Last edited by vkochar : 29th March 2008 at 13:17.
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Old 29th March 2008, 13:58   #2
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Amazing pictures. I love your narrative style - uncluttered. Looking forward to the rest of the travelogue.

Didn't you find the food very spicy - that is the only thing I can't get over with Rajasthan.
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Old 29th March 2008, 14:25   #3
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Very nice and crisp travelogue. Hotel staff seems to be pretty admirable and decent as the asked to participate in an ongoing function.

Will be waiting for Part - 2


Cheers
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Old 29th March 2008, 14:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johy View Post
Amazing pictures. I love your narrative style - uncluttered. Looking forward to the rest of the travelogue.

Didn't you find the food very spicy - that is the only thing I can't get over with Rajasthan.
Thanks Johy !! I will write the Udaipur travelogue by tonight or tommorrow morning.

The food that we had was at places popular with tourists so luckily no spicy affair

I have been to Jaipur before many times & the food there is quite spicy.

@ashthedivx - thanks bro !!
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Old 29th March 2008, 14:52   #5
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Wonderful travelogue! Holi seems to have been really fun for you!!

Waiting for part 2!
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Old 29th March 2008, 15:25   #6
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Nice write up and very nice snaps. Roads look good. But the Reliance bunk snap is alarming.
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Old 29th March 2008, 17:17   #7
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Nice pictorial description vkochar, Hope to see some more of Rajasthan !!

Abhi
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Old 29th March 2008, 17:21   #8
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Great pics bro, how i wish mumbai had roads like this...
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Old 29th March 2008, 18:57   #9
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the goood fun to read your triplog. Naish. Good pics as well.

I was beginning to wonder ki har baar your itinerary threads will run into ten pages, but no triplogs like the diwali one!
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Old 29th March 2008, 23:01   #10
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the goood fun to read your triplog. Naish. Good pics as well.

I was beginning to wonder ki har baar your itinerary threads will run into ten pages, but no triplogs like the diwali one!
Thanks !!! Yes I know this time it is a full blown travelogue with pics - wait till tommorrow when I do my Udaipur one. That one was real fun.

I also visited the Vintage car collection in Udaipur. Saw some real beauties there including the HUGE Rolls Royce used in ' Octopussy ' James Bond flick which was shot in Udaipur a few decades back.

@Ishan - Thanks Bro !!
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Old 30th March 2008, 07:05   #11
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Great pictorial travelogue vkochar. Will be waiting for the Udaipur part.
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Old 30th March 2008, 10:53   #12
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Nice travelogue and awesome pics buddy.
Looking forward to the 2nd part now.
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Old 30th March 2008, 11:21   #13
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Smile Part 2 - Udaipur

Part 2 - Udaipur - 4 Nights

Ok - So we reached Udaipur and as written previously that we did not have any boookings for 2 nights. I called up the guy where we had 2 bookings ( last 2 nights confirmed ) Checked if he has any rooms
and he said he was fully packed ( Mewar Haweli ). Reviews of vacations, hotels, resorts, vacation and travel packages - TripAdvisor gives him a 2nd place ranking in Udaipur. And this is not without a reason. Stay here and you will know why !!

This guy ( Harish Jain & Kamal Jain ) can do anything for you. They booked me a room opposite their hotel. We went in and got a room with a Samsung LCD / New Split AC's / New Toilets for 1100 Rupees a
Night. Talk about a Bargain !!

All I would say is that there are in numerous places in India where if one takes an effort to explore - you would end up getting such good bargains.

The Taj / Oberois are sheer rip off's I feel especially nowadays where even a rich person thinks twice before staying there.

Anyways, Coming back to the travelogue, we checked in and since it was past 5 PM we decided to venture out sight seeing the next 3 days. Today we'd take it easy, we freshened up and went to the
market. Had a few snacks, came back to the room and drank a bit.

We were staying near the Lal Ghat area of Udaipur which is a bit congested as located on the banks of the Lake Pichola BUT it is very popular with tourists. Now every hotel here has their own roof top
restaurant where the views are simply amazing. So we went to the roof top and found it breath taking. Enjoyed a nice meal at our hotel ( Jaiwana Haveli ).

Remember - While staying here - Cars Like Civic's & Accords will be difficult to bring here. Our Fiesta Managed fine and so did a few Innovas. But the roads are steep. So keep that in Mind.

Next morning was perhaps the most interesting days of our whole itinery. We thought we'd sight see the maximum today and we were right !!

We started by going to the City Palace ( Beautiful Place ), 5 minute walk from our hotel . Entry here is 50 rs for Indians + 200 rs for camera. We had 2 Digi Cams but paid only for one. Sneaked in one. They do
not bother really once you are in.

All these places in Rajasthan have an Audio Guide where for a fee of 250 Rs. they will give you a Small Walkman Device with numbers on it. Every gallery or place in the fort is marked with numbers. The
moment you press the desired number, there will be a voice ( 8 Languages ) explaining the whole thing. Very popular with tourists who do not want a pesky guide. Although I did not see any Indians carrying
these. We also did not take this. Actually this is less of a fort and more of a Palace. A few Pics -

Me & my sweet wife !!

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A view of the Cafe from the fort -

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We were done in less than 2 hours and we decided to go to the Vintage Car Collection at Garden Hotel. A 10 minute Auto Ride from the City Palace.

The tickets here are 150 Rupees ( Which Include the entry, a Soft Drink & A Veg Thali ) Sheer VFM. If one does not want the Thali then it is 100 Rs. Only. But I'd say take the Thali !!

There are about 30 Vintage Cars here kept in an Immacuate Condition under lock & key. Some of them are real beauties. Now I am no Vintage Car Buff so I was interested in getting my photos clicked and
head towards the Thali ( I was starving ). There was one car though whch took your breath away, It was the Rolls Royce ( Used in Octopussy Movie ). Simply Beautiful. A few Pics -

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Here is a pic of the Thali they serve you.

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Now we came back to the hotel, rested for 2 hours. Came to the Mewar Haveli Guy ( Harish ) He said we should visit the Baghore Ki Haveli. It's a one hour cultural dance performance by Local Rajasthani
dancers. Everyday they do a show from 7pm - 8pm. It was again a 5 minute walk. We said '' what the hell , Let's Do it !!, We are on a Vacation !!! ''

We bought 4 tickets for 60 rs each and went there. Now this is an Old Haveli with a filmi kind of a setting. A speaker comes and introduces all the dances and the intro before every performance. THE SHOW
WAS SIMPLY AMAZING !!!

I had never seen anything like this before. A puppet show and a couple of dances. The last one was a 50 yr old lady balancing ten BIG matkas on the head and dancing as gracefully as anyone you can ever imagine. I managed to sneak in my camera and clicked a few pics ( I did not want to pay the 50 rs camera fee ). In fact I tipped the 50 Rs. to the Lady in the end. Much more deserving. My suggestion - Anyone visiting Udaipur - DO this !!! A pic of the Lady -

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We got back, had a few drinks and went to Jagat Niwas Hotel for Dinner - supposed to be the best bet among tourists, Very tasty food But a bit expensive. Called it a night and off to sleep.

Next Morning - We changed our hotels and checked in mewar Haveli ( You can check my review at www. tripadvisor.com ). Had breakfast at their roof top. We were told to go and take a ride of the Boat around lake Pichola alongwith a visit to the Famous Jag Mandir. We brought tickets from City Palace for 325 Rs. Each. Expensive BUT worth a one time visit.

The motorised boat is a 24 seater and they take you along the Lake Palace and finally stop at Jag Mandir. Jag Mandir is not a mandir, it is just a restaurant and a Marriage Place for big celebrities ( Raveena Tandon, Vikram Chatwal etc etc. ). Very pretty and romantic place. A Sandwich costs 500 rs and above.

A few Random Pics from the Boat & Jag Mandir & Lake Palace -

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We came back to the hotel after a long tiring walk from the Boat boarding/dropping place till our hotel. We had a half hour break and then deided to go Shopping and out for Lunch. I again spoke to Harish and
he said our best bet for Shoppping would be Hathi Pole Market, Visit the Saheloyon Ki Badi ( A Small Garden with fountains ), and have Lunch at Hukum Restaurant.

Fooling around as usual

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We started off by having Lunch ( Which was excellent, one of the best foods I have had in a long while ). We then went to the garden, had a stroll, and came to the market where the wives shopped for
Bandhini and a couple of other things. Came back to the hotel and called it a day. Later in the night went on the roof top restaurant of mewar haveli ( Vegetarian but very tasty ).

Last Day we thought we did not have much to do, so we went shopping again :(

After Lunch again at Hukum Restaurant. We were told to go to Sajjangarh which is the highest peak on a mountain. One can get some really good views from there. And was it worth it !!! A few pics would
explain it all -

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Last night we had an early dinner, just a beer each and decided to leave at 6 AM sharp as we were driving straight to Agra.

Managed to leave the hotel by 6:45 AM and took the NH8 towards Ajmer. Boring roads without any stops ( Not a single Toilet on the way !! ). FInally did 240 kms or so and hit the Ajmer - Jaipur Expressway
and stopped at a reliance a 1 plaza for some snacks. It was almost 12 PM. Took a half hour break.

Filled up Diesel ( 1000 Rs. ) and were on the way. I took over the steering and decided against stopping at Jaipur, took the Agra Bye Pass and straight towards Agra. Managed to reach Agra by 5 PM ( Not
Bad !! ). Only stopped near Bharatpur at cafe Coffee Day for a toilet break.

So Total distance from home to back home - 1725 Km's. Diesel consumed - Around 100 Litres. Average 17 kpl. AC on 95 % of the time except switching it off on uphills on a few occassions.

I will post my opinion of the Fiesta later on ( It's not a bad one !! )

Hope all of you enjoyed my travelogue. Will post a few more Random Pics Later on. Cheers !!!

PS - Sorry I could only post 20 pics in one post , Have plenty more. Will do that sometime today.

Last edited by vkochar : 30th March 2008 at 11:32.
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Old 30th March 2008, 12:13   #14
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vkochar, Amazing to see the vintage collection, Nice pics again

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Old 30th March 2008, 13:00   #15
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Thanks akroy - I got more pics of the Vintage Car Museum. Will post these as soon as I get time.
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