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Old 21st January 2009, 13:15   #76
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Dear gd - I am attaching 2 photographs of my Scorpio MH15BX3184. The first is the actual vehicle, the second is made on the photoshop. Please note the front bar which I have made and which is sold through M&M dealerships. However, for my car I have added a light mounting bracket and also reinforced the mounting locations from 5 to 7 so that the lights can be mounted perfectly and they do not shake at all. I suggest you do the same. However, my Hellas do not remain go on my Scorpio all the time, they are used only when required. And yes, they are awesome, no doubt about it.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-dsc01563.jpg  

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-scor20tah20front.jpg  

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Old 21st January 2009, 13:27   #77
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Enchanting photos gd sir, I can literally feel the sand in my hands
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Old 21st January 2009, 19:08   #78
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27/12/2008 - Kuldhara, Jaisalmer

Kuldhara village is 18 km to the west of Jaisalmer. This is among the 84 villages inhabited by the prosperous, hardworking Paliwals. Established by the Kuldhar sub-caste of Paliwal Brahmins in the year 1291, it was once a prosperous village with 600 houses.

Kuldhara is a calm place and the ruins found around are examples of advanced sculpture and architecture. Most of the houses are double storied and are not affected by thunder or heat. Their one time richness can be seen in the wells, water tanks, temples and cenotaphs.

Paliwals deserted these houses owing to several reasons. These villages were evacuated/abandoned in one single night. One of the reasons was that the erstwhile PM of Jaisalmer, Maharawal Salim Singh on his visit this place took fancy to a beautiful Brahmin girl. He asked for her hand that was politely refused. He gave them time till the next day to accept or else he threatened invasion. When Salim Singh did not get any answer the next day he came with a force. What he saw was ghostly villages. The paliwals abandoned overnight and for centuries nobody knew about them. In time the dunes submerged these villages. Only recently one of them Kuldhara was excavataed and opened for tourists.

While returning from Sam to Jaislamer City, there is a right turn with a small plate with the name Kuldhara written on it. If you are not careful then one is almost sure to miss it. We reached there and Suman and I went in legally by paying the entry ticket. Inside is also a cactus garden, which of course we did not go in and see. SS & Anil went in from the backside to avoid the tickets, but somehow came in.

The pictures should tell the rest of the tale.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ruins.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ruins1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ruins2.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ruins3.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ruins4.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-amidstruins.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-amidstruins1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-horsepower.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-i.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-onthesteps.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-stepsoftemple.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-theroof.jpg

After Kuldhara, we went into the city as the stomachs were growling and after debating between going to Moomal or to Trio for lunch, settled for Trio. Had beer and lunch and then headed to the Hotel. This time we were given rooms on the first floor. Except me, the rest of the team was to leave at 6 in the morning next day to Bikaner enroute to Delhi/NCR. There were accounts to be settled amongst us as well..

More about it later....

To be continued...............
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Old 21st January 2009, 21:32   #79
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27/12/2008 - Kuldhara, Jaisalmer

I missed out on posting a picture here about Kuldhara, that somehow to me showed the hurriedness with which the villages were abandoned in haste. I don't know if you all too feel the same...

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-shivling.jpg

This shivling gives an appearance as if it was made of papermache. I touched and tried to move. It was heavy and made of stone..

To be continued..............

Last edited by gd1418 : 21st January 2009 at 21:34.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 17:24   #80
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Thank you Sir. That indeed is a solid looking bar that you've fabricated. However, this is not availalbe here at all. The bar availalbe are mostly of the types that is on my vehicle. Mine is a pure steel bar with 5 mounting points. I've drilled concave holes in the bar that is covered by the plastic cladding, made serrations with a file and fixed the Hellas. They don't move or vibrate at all. After tightening, winscreen sealing compound was applied to the nuts & bolts, so that they don't loosen.

For me it is an exercise to remove and refit the lights as & when required, hence they are permanently present. Also, you never know when you may require its services..

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear gd - I am attaching 2 photographs of my Scorpio MH15BX3184. The first is the actual vehicle, the second is made on the photoshop. Please note the front bar which I have made and which is sold through M&M dealerships. However, for my car I have added a light mounting bracket and also reinforced the mounting locations from 5 to 7 so that the lights can be mounted perfectly and they do not shake at all. I suggest you do the same. However, my Hellas do not remain go on my Scorpio all the time, they are used only when required. And yes, they are awesome, no doubt about it.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by gd1418 : 22nd January 2009 at 17:26.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 18:04   #81
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Continuing on the travelogue, we came back to the hotel after a late lunch and rested for a while. We met again on the roof-top in the evening and asked for a light dinner. Except Suman none of us were too keen on imbibing spirits as there was a early morning check-out by the rest of the gang. I was to head to Jodhpur via Ramdevra & Osian for two days and then head back to Gurgaon.

As you all know, that Ashish & Priyanka had to drop our at the last moment, one booking was going waste. So while settling accounts we decided to take up this issue with the Hotel authorities, pressing them for a refund. Now a serious voclafest ensued and we discovered a completely new facet of Anil Sharma. The given below account of 27th night negotiations by SS very aptly puts it in perspective. This piece was mentioned earlier too, but that was to describe the receptionist.

------------------------------
El Negotiatore in our group is none other than Anil 'honey tongue' Sharma. I wouldn't dream of robbing him of this title,especially after that last night at Jaisal Palace. For a while there, I was almost sure Anil's persuasive reasoning had permanently fixed the awful squint of Ol' Hairy Ears at the reception at near midnight! I say so, since when we entered negotiations on the refund for AG's cancelled room, he was looking at both Anil and me, albeit cross-beams. But good ol Honey Tongue kept up a steady barrage of logic so ruthless, Crossbeams had to
drag his erring eyeball away from me and focus with all his might on this Hound from Hell, lest he gets 'reasoned' out of a job.

And the coup-de-grace was the punk owner, repatriating all of Rs.350/- to us in deferrence to the night's bargaining.
-------------------------------

I totally agreed with SS's assessment, and was amazed and spellbound at the logic & precise arguments, like the swishing blade of a katana inflicting strategic wounds on the opponent, that Anil did on the night of 27th at J'mer. At one point I almost felt that Mr. Bhatia was about to give everything gratis to us.

The fallout of all this was enjoyed by me the next day to the hilt - instead of a 9 am check-out, I was told that I could check-out anytime during the day on 28th without any extra charge + the numerous cups of Tea, Coffe and Milk, along with a hearty breakfast of Butter-Toast, Poha etc., that were not charged for. The Bull was washed for free with an offer to polish, but one look at some shady wax and I decided against it.

On way to Jodhpur I was wondering what would've happened if Shanno had joined Anil as reinforcement - maybe we could have been part owners of the Hotel.. My total sympathies with "walking London, looking Tokyo".

Like Dudhwa (Munnilal), J'mer will not forget this bunch very easily. Last heard that ex-army man at the Resort has appealed with the DG-Rehab for re-induction, lest a certain Thakurani decides another discourse on the location of Sam...

With all of this over, we retired for the night as the departure in the morning was kept at 6 am.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 18:25   #82
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28/12/2008 - Ramdevra, Osian & Jodhpur

Shanno & I got up at 5:45 to see the rest of the team members off and when we came down the luggages were being loaded to the respective cars. At dot 6 they moved off to Bikaner enroute to Delhi/NCR. We came back and slept for about an hour or so more and then started getting ready. We left Jaisalmer at 11 am to Ramdevra. I didn't know then that the route was same till Phalodi or else I too would've left at 6 in the morning with them. This is small place with a huge temple of Baba Ramdev who is held in great esteem and reverence by almost all Rajasthanis and Gujaratis. Like it is "Jai Mata Di" for Vaishno Mata, here it is "Jai Babe Ree". Pepople travel great distances on foot, sometimes bare foot, some kneeling and paying obeiscance the entire way for places as far as some deep interiors of Gujarat. Once a year a mela is held in Baba's honour and huge milling crowds throng this place. People stand in que for 2-3 days to get darshan.

Good roads but no toll roads and single lane. Expansion work for 4 lane going on. On our way we saw this. Maybe this magnificient animal was hit by a passing vehicle and died or lost a fight to another male in the herd and was injured and driven out. The pictures shall explain the best:

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-kill.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-inspection.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deaddeer.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-vultures.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deaddeer1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-vultures1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-vultures2.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deaddeer2.jpg

I must add here that I saw bigger and better dunes and more pristine than in Jaisalmer on the way. At some places the desert was right upto the road..!

To be continued................

Last edited by gd1418 : 22nd January 2009 at 18:29.
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Old 23rd January 2009, 23:47   #83
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28/12/2008 - Ramdevra, Osian & Jodhpur

Feeling sad for that magnificient animal we proceeded further on our way to Ramdevra. On the roadside we saw several footwear lying strewn, that puzzled us a lot. And believe me they were in pairs and in good condition too. In a distance I spotted a father & daughter duo walking. I stopped and asked about the strewn footwear. I was told the devout of Baba Ramdev leave the footwear when they near the vicinity of the area and walk barefoot. Amazing...!

We reached Ramdevra and were stopped at a little distance from the temple by the police as the newly elected Sate Minister of Education was visitng to pay obeiscance to Baba. Parked the vehicle in one of the designated parking and walked towards the temple, bought worshipping material and stood in line for our turn. It took more than 45 minutes to have a "darshan". And this was one of the normal days. Photography is not allowed in the sanctum sanctorum. Have a look at the pictures; it shall give you an idea.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-worship.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-darshan.jpg

Baba Ramdev

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-baba.jpg

After praying we returned and spotted a Jain restaurant. As it was lunch time and we were hungry, we stopped here for lunch. Gauri had an icecream while coming out.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-icecream.jpg

We poceeded towards Osiyan via Phalodi. After entering Phalodi we turned right towards Osiyan and this was a single lane decent tar road, not very smooth but ok.

Let me tell you all the while we were seeing more dunes and bigger ones, than what we saw in Jaisalmer. However the sand had a lot of vegetation. Maybe in summer the topography is different. In the middle of a vast expance I saw this huge mound/hillock rising above the ground and this small hut nearby. Don't know if it was occupied..

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-hillock.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-hut.jpg

After crossing this I found a temple of Hanumanji known as "Ichchapurna Balaji". In Rajasthan, Hanumanji is referred as "Balaji". "Ichchapurna Balaji" means that if you sincerely make a wish here while praying, your wish shall be granted, and people whose wishes have been granted a tie a red cloth on the tree outside the temple.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-wishtree.jpg

Suddenly I spotted an animal at a distance and it was something unusual. I slowed down and as I went closer, it was a Chinkara deer grazing around with abandon. And I spotted herds of them. They are protected by the villagers and have no fear of the humans. I could move quite close to take photographs.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deer.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deer1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deer2a.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-herd.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deer3.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deer4.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-deer5.jpg

After having our fill of Deers proceeded further. Nearing Osiyan, the sun went down further. As I mentioned somewhere earlier here, the celestial bodies never fail to fascinate me. I shall let the pictures do the talking; This time I clicked some in B&W too:

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-osiyansunset.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-osiyansunset1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-osiyansunset2.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-osiyansunset3.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-osiyansunset4.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-osiyansunset4a.jpg

After this celestial show, drove further and reached Osiyan. Had a darshan of the "Sachchiyai Mata" of Osiyan, bought some chooran, anardaana, Imli candy etc., and left for Jodhpur that was 60 kms away. Reached Jodhpur around 9 pm, drove straight Janta Misthan Bhandar near Ghantaghar to gorge on Mirchi Badas and Makhaniya Lassi, went to Hotel Ghoomer (RTDC), where a room was already booked in my name, unpacked and retired for the night...

To be continued........

Last edited by gd1418 : 23rd January 2009 at 23:50.
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Old 24th January 2009, 13:02   #84
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Around the same time the rest of the members too reached Delhi/NCR and when I called, were having dinner at Mcdonalds' near Manesar. They stopped enroute at Bikaner, saw Junagarh Fort, had lunch and proceeded via Churu & Jhunjhunu. Somewhere on the way their GPSs (SS & Suman ahve a mapmyindia navigator) royally guided them through a mustard field in the night...

That's why none of them are writing a travelogue about their journey from Jaisalmer to Delhi/NCR via Bikaner.

29/12/2008 - Jodhpur

Got up lazily in the morning, as after a hectic day yesterday wanted to take it easy. Since the primary purpose to visit Jodhpur was to visit temples and relatives, the breakfast in the morning was vegetarian. About the temples in Jodhpur I've mentioned in one of my threads under Route & Travel Queries.

First went to Gajananji at Ratanada Hills and then to Paal Balaji. Came back and had a lunch of Daal Bhati & Choorma at the Pushpa Daal Bhati Bhojanalaya. To be honest, what Priyanka makes at home is incomparable.

Coming back to the emanating stench from the rotting rodent, it was becoming quite unbearable. Found out the M&M ASC - OS Motors and went there. The service supervisor said that the vehicle had to be left for two days. We declined and steeling ourselves to bear this ordeal till Gurgaon, returned.

Since the sun was bright, hot and shining, decided to go to Chamunda Devi at Mehrangarh Fort in the evening. Came back to the Hotel room and rested. Left for the Fort around 4:30 pm and had a great darshan. Incidentally the temple was bedecked unlike other days.

It was the birthday of Maharaj Gaj Singh of Jodhpur, and he had come to pray to Chamunda Devi in the morning.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-chamunda.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-chamunda1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-gauri.jpg

From the camera lens, something stood out amongst the city structures.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ghantaghar.jpg

I zoomed and took a picture..

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ghantaghar1.jpg

I was in a mood to experiment and fixed a green filter and took this picture.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-oldjodhpur.jpg

Ummaid Bhavan or Chitra Palace, a part of which is the current abode of the Maharaja and the other a Heritage Hotel under Welcomgroup, is a fascinating subject; especially at dawn or dusk. A couple of pictures in various shades of light.

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ummaidbhavan.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ummaidbhavan1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-ummaidbhavan2.jpg

After this we came back a bit tired and retired for the day.

To be continued............
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Old 25th January 2009, 20:00   #85
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Default The Trip - Last Leg & The End

30th December, 2008

The previous night we had decided to leave Jodhpur and head back to home. In the morning when we got up, over tea we decided that we'll head back home but via Bikaner. Wanted to do the same sector as originally planned before leaving for this trip. Got ready by 11 am and checked-out from Ghoomar. Topped up The Bull and headed for Bikaner via Nagaur. Nothing much to write about the roads or the drive.

Bikaner is famous, apart from its namkeen, especially Bhujia and rosogullas, also for the famous Karni Mata temple or the Rat Temple, that is located about 30 kms from the main city in a small hamlet called Deshnoke.

Maybe it was the God's way, the dead rotting rat in the Bull had to reach the place of its brethren, that we stopped at the Karni Mata Temple. It was a first to all the three of us who had heard a lot about it from many who had visited this place. A little bit about this temple.

It is a rustic world that vibrates with ethnic customs and traditional religious practices such as rat worship.

The Karni Mata Temple is dedicated to a 15th century local saint who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Durga. You'll be astonished to see that thousands of rats swarm all over the temple floors. Strangely enough these rats do not bite the barefooted pilgrims who enter the temple.

The custom of rat worship at Karni Mata Temple, Bikaner can be traced back to a local legend according to which Karni Mata had gone on a long penance to restore life to one of her devotees who died due to snakebite. The Hindu deity of death, Yama, informed her that the person concerned had been reincarnated as a rat. It was then that Karni Mata was blessed with a boon that on death all her devotees would be reborn as rats till they were reincarnated as humans in their own clan.

According to another legend, the Maharaja of Bikaner had a vision where Karni Mata appeared and asked him to protect her rats. The Maharaja then built the Karni Mata temple with marble and silver adornments.


You can take you pick about the prevailing myths and legends. A little interesting fact - Shanno is mighty scared of rats and sometimes it is vice-versa. At the risk of sleeping in the open on an empty stomach in this cold weather, I shall not elaborate. But, wonder of wonders, at this rat temple where scores move around freely and you have to be careful of not stepping on them, she was calmness personified. There were no shrieks or jumps from her. One more thing - if you step on the rat and it dies, or you are the cause of the death of a rat or rats for whatever reason, you will have to do penance by donating a gold rat of the same weight as of the dead animal.

Now I shall let the pictures do the talking -

The entrance to the Temple

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-karnimataentrance.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-karnimataentrnce.jpg

Karni Mata

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-karnimata.jpg

Rats all over

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-rat.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-rats1.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-rats4.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-rats2.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-rats3.jpg

Food Time

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-foodtime.jpg

Milk Time

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-milktime.jpg

Guarding Mata's Safe

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-safe.jpg

After this amazing spectacle we proceeded towards Bikaner City to visit the Fort that is called Junagarh Fort. This is very intriguing as Junagarh is in Gujarat. Why is this called by this name?

The rest of the gang had visited this Fort on 28th and SS had poured encomiums about the beauty of this Fort. I wanted to visit to see it for myself, but that was not to be. Why? You shall read in the next and final post.

To be continued............
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Old 25th January 2009, 21:34   #86
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Default The Trip - Final leg

30th January, 2008

We left for Bikaner city after the visit to Karni Mata Mandir and 3:30 pm we entered the city. There were a couple of things that I had lined up to do in Bikaner:

1: Visit the Fort
2. Visit the Saras Dairy plant (to get my stock of cow's ghee)
3. Look for and eat the authentic Laal Maans.
4. Eat rosogullas and pack some for home
5. Buy Namkeen and Bajre ka Atta for wife

None of them got accomplished except item #:1 partly. I shall tell you why. Bikaner city is crowded. Narrow roads, heavy traffic minus road sense. Some roads leading to the Fort were like that of Delhi's; wide and 4 laned. I proceeded towards the Fort asking for directions; sadly, signboards to Fort were few.

At one intersection, where I was waiting for the signal to turn green, a young man approached. I became wary of him thinking that like in all other tourist places he must be offering his guide services. My lines were ready and well-rehearsed.

Young Man: "Sir, are you from Team-BHP?"
I (surprised): "Yes, why?"

You might ask as to how did he know. The Bull's rear number plate has TBHP sticker..

Young Man: "I'm also a member of Team-BHP, but not very active"
I (delighted): "Oh great, what's your handle?"
Young Man: "Same as my name - Maheep Gupta".
I (trying to recall): "Sorry, not able to recall."

Maheep: "If you have time, we can have a coffee."
I: Would love to maheep, but hard pressed for time. On way to Gurgaon after seeing Fort. Maybe some other time."
Maheep: "No problem. pleasure meeting you."

Signal turns green. I: "Same here. Bye."

I head towards Fort, reached. A very imposing Fort with a vast expanse. A little history about this Fort:

Junagarh Fort is an impressive fort in the city of Bikaner, Rajasthan. The fort was originally called Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or "Old Fort" in the early 20th century when the ruling family moved to Lalgarh Palace. It is one of the few major forts in Rajasthan not built on a hilltop and never conquered.

It was built under the supervison of Karan Chand the prime minister of Raja Rai Singhji, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, who ruled from 1571 to 1611 AD. Construction of the walls and associated moat commenced in 1588 and were completed in 1593.


Went inside those massive gates and reached a designated parking place.

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Parked, took out my camera, asked the guard about the ticket window and the guide and told wife to go and get entry tickets as well as for the still camera. I told her that since the Fort guide is with a group, I'll go and get a private guide from outside.

I still have to fathom as to why she has aversion to guides when neither she nor I know the history.

Wife: What is the need for a guide?

I: Why not? Do you know the details of this Fort?

Wife: We can follow the group.

I: No, we won't be able to see and enjoy at leisure. Is there a problem? It has to be done my way or no point going inside.

Wife: Theek hai. Chalo vapas. Mujhe to koi ineterest nahi tha.

I (livid): Ok. let's go.

Fuming, I got in the car, feeling sad for daughter who couldn't see the fort and I don't know if I'll come to Bikaner again. Moved out of the Fort with tyres spinning on the gravel and hit the road to Delhi. Items #: 2-4 be damned.

It was 4:45 pm and I spotted a mile marker that said Delhi - left and 450 kms. Turned viciously on that road and floored. Deathly silence in the car.

I should've taken Bikaner - fatehpur - Churu - Jhunjhunu - Narnaul & then to NH8. But it got dark and rage clouded my brain. Instead, from Dungargarh turned towards Sardarshahar and then onto Rajgarh - Hissar - Rohtak - Gohana - Panipat - Sonepat - Delhi - GGN.

After crossing Rajgarh, I hit a wall of very dense fog, that stayed with me right till gurgaon. The drive turned into a crawl on a single lane road without inhabitation for miles. It was one hell of a scary drive. Reached home at 4 am on 31st December. A drive that I shall not forget in hurry.

Epilogue

On 31st morning after I got up, immediately took The Buul to garage. The dashboard was to be opened to remove the rotting rodent. As soon as the housing of the music system was removed, we saw a beautiful cosy nest of paper cuttings and some wires and in the midst of them was this rodent.

Thank you so much for staying with me all this while and hope you enjoyed....
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Old 25th January 2009, 22:40   #87
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Excellent pictures of the kind that are seen only once in a while. The narrative had me hooked, but was waiting for you to finish before replying.

You have got me inspired to do a Rajasthan trip this year, hoping to use some of the three-day weekends that this year seems to have in abundance.

Good vehicle, good company, good destinations. What more does one want? Oh yes, no rodents .
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Old 26th January 2009, 13:42   #88
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Thank you Architect. Delighted to know that you enjoyed. Rajasthan is a lovely all year round destination. I must do Bikaner sometime..

And yes, no rodents......

Quote:
Originally Posted by architect View Post
Excellent pictures of the kind that are seen only once in a while. The narrative had me hooked, but was waiting for you to finish before replying.

You have got me inspired to do a Rajasthan trip this year, hoping to use some of the three-day weekends that this year seems to have in abundance.

Good vehicle, good company, good destinations. What more does one want? Oh yes, no rodents .
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Old 26th January 2009, 19:47   #89
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I spent the whole evening reading thru the travelogue. I enjoyed it all thru. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 27th January 2009, 03:28   #90
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GD bhai,. Awesome travelogue, greatphotos and a very refreshing style of narrating.

Great job.

Legend has it that if one sees a white mouse at the Karni mata temple its considered to be a very good omen. The first time I saw white mice there, I saw a pair in 2004, then every year till 2009, seeing a white mouse on every visit.

Additionally legend has it that the idol of the goddess was carved by a blind man.
more to read on Karnimata
Cheers
M M
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