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Old 27th November 2009, 17:07   #1
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Default Foot prints on the sands of time

Its winter times and many of us head to Rajasthan. This travelogue is about the road trip we did in December 08. Its a year old but still for the benefit of other bhpians i am posting it. Some of you might have read it another on travel forum. They may please bear with me again...


The name of the state Rajasthan always invokes images of Royalty in ones mind. Each one of its cities, its forts, its palaces, temples have an intiguing story to tell. A story about valour & bravery of the rajputs, a story of sacrifice of men on whom some of the mightiest of forts were built, a heart rendering story of mass suicide by its women and children to save their honour, a story of deceit by the mughal invaders, a story about the heartbreaking romance between a prince and a princess and countless others. The golden sands of Rajasthan have seen it all .The sands of rajasthan bear the testimony of all the glorious history associated with it and we too left our footprints in these sands of time.

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Old 27th November 2009, 18:35   #2
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Nice teaser My favourite state in India. Looking forward to the rest of it. Hope you do it soon and I can read it over the weekend.

By the way - what cities did you cover ?

I am yet to do Bikaner, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Will do that in 2010.
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Old 27th November 2009, 18:41   #3
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The picture is good. Is Ravi Gera your name? Just curious to know on seeing that over the snap. Waiting for the narration
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Old 28th November 2009, 08:49   #4
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Days Before..


A month before i was to go to Rajasthan my brother also decided to join us at Udaipur for this trip. A couple of frantic phone calls to the hotels i had booked and we were able to get all the bookings for him too in the same hotels. We were very excited about this road trip since it would be first time we would be going together after our marriages.

Then came the worst terror attacks our country had seen 26/11 Mumbai. God knows when this madness will end..
The Mumbai terror attacks had dampened our spirits. With rumors of further attacks and spectre of War with Pakistan looming ahead we were advised by many to cancel the trip. However i am of the opinion that things can go wrong in life at any place be it a distant land or it may happen in your own home.
We gave it a thought ...We will be having our own vehicle, we will not be dependent on public transport and hence can move anytime if required. I was determined to go and so was my brother. Both of us knew that we won't get another oppurtunity for such a trip in a long time. We decided...lets do it.. So on 24th Dec 08 I was to start the road trip from Bhopal for Bundi. Brother would join me in Udaipur on 25th...

I'm glad we did this since we had an absolutely rocking time...

Had routine servicing of the car ( Honda City NHC ). The tyres had done about 37K kms and would have lasted another 5K. But at last minute i decided to change them. Earlier ones were GoodYear GPS2 and gave me good service. But this time replaced them with GoodYear Assurance tyres.
This was the best decision i took..for i literally ripped the car at speeds of 120-130 kmph.... And boy did the tyres perform....superb grip levels, good comfort, very less noise.....great job Goodyear.
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Old 28th November 2009, 09:08   #5
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Day 1 24th Dec 08

Bhopal to Bundi (400 kms)

Initial plan was to start for Bundi at 8 AM. However an urgent meeting at office ensured a delay and hence rescheduled for 12 noon. Fired the cylinders of my car at 12:15 and we were off. Managed to get off the city traffic by 12:45. The route from Bhopal to Bundi is on Jabalpur-Jaipur NH-12. The road is excellent till Rajgarh (135kms) after which it deteriorates to a patch work road. But thankfully not pot holed. The route till Rajgarh is pretty scenic with lush green feilds dotted with yellow Sarson ...a treat for eyes. However since we were already quite late we did not stop much.



The Sarson fields enroute






Had our packed lunch near Beaora (90km) and proceeded straight to Bundi. The route from MP border (khilchipur) to Aklera in Rajasthan is desolate and natorious for loot. Not advisable after 9 PM. We reached Bundi by 8 PM and checked into RTDC hotel Vrindavati. The location of RTDC is right on the lake. However rooms are not up to the mark. Since i had to stay only for a night hence managed it. Otherwise look for something else if in Bundi.
It was chilling in Bundi and we had dinner in room itself which was so so. After that chatted for sometime with some bengali tourists, who had lit up a campfire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Nice teaser My favourite state in India. Looking forward to the rest of it. Hope you do it soon and I can read it over the weekend.

By the way - what cities did you cover ?

I am yet to do Bikaner, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Will do that in 2010.

Yes the whole of Rajasthan was stunning.
The trip was

Bhopal-Bundi-Chittor-Udaipur-Abu-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Pushkar-Ajmer-Bhopal



Quote:
Originally Posted by Akadian View Post
The picture is good. Is Ravi Gera your name? Just curious to know on seeing that over the snap. Waiting for the narration

Yes thats my real name..

Last edited by Jaggu : 28th November 2009 at 10:23. Reason: Back to back posts, use Multi Quote instead. Thanks
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Old 28th November 2009, 11:00   #6
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Day 2 25 Dec 08

Bundi - Bheemlath - Chittorgarh - Udaipur (325 kms)

Merry Christmas...

Today was Christmas and we woke up to a beautiful morning near the lake. Bundi is a small place true to its name. Nestled in a valley in the Aravalis its a nice place to explore on foot.

The morning views ...

















We had kept Bundi for our return journey but after breakfast decided to see atleast Rani ji ki Bawadi. It was closed because of Christmas but we managed to get inside after a chat with the Chowkidar. Bawadis or stepwells dot the cityscape of Bundi and Rani ji ki Bawadi is the biggest of them all. We were told that in the monsoons the water level rises to almost near the steps.


Rani Ji Ki Bawadi





chatting with the chowkidar..








The tourists...





Bhimlath


From Rani Ji Ki Bawadi we pushed of to Chittorgarh. From Bundi we took the state highway to Bijolia (45kms from Bundi) from where we joined on the East-West corridor to Chittorgarh. The road up to Bijolia is decent but the scenery is beautiful.

The Vistas enroute...





Before Bijolia we saw a sign board of Bhimlath waterfall. It was a detour of 12 kms and a small road was going there. Change of plans.... decided to explore it.
We were not to be disappointed as Bhimlath turned out to be an absolutely beautiful place. A small river falling in a huge horse shoe canyon. The place was all to ourselves. There is a Lord Shiva temple at the bottom. A flight of pucca stairs go down to the temple and the fall. We did not venture down since it would have been a hours excercise of going down and coming up. We were already short of time since Chittor fort was also in the agenda.
Bhimlath is appoximately 50-55 kms from Bundi and is definitely worth exploring a day.

The horse shoe canyon at Bheemlath











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Old 28th November 2009, 11:15   #7
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I found the palace at Bundi one of the most enchanting of places in Rajasthan. The way it blends into the natural landscape of the hill with the Fort at the top (forget the name, was it Taragarh?) is breathtakingly beautiful.

The day I visited the palace there was a team of Italian architecture students studying the palace architecture. They were all over, sitting silently, sketching. Often they seemed like ghosts of Bundi gently lingering in a lost home

I stayed at the small hotel just in front of the palace gates. I remember spending a quiet evening on the terrace gazing at the palace lit up with lights, chatting with a fellow guest late into the night about the mystic that surrounded the place. It was a gorgeous evening I will never forget.

Up very early next morning (around 4:30am) I walked up to the Fort and enjoyed the sun's rays slowly spread over the sleeping town below. Mesmerising !

Its sleepy towns like Bundi and some you find in the Shekhawati region that truly capture the desert life of Rajasthan, steeped in customs and traditions with a million fascinating tales to be told

Last edited by DKG : 28th November 2009 at 11:23.
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Old 28th November 2009, 11:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
I found the palace at Bundi one of the most enchanting of places in Rajasthan. The way it blends into the natural landscape of the hill with the Fort at the top (forget the name, was it Taragarh?) is breathtakingly beautiful.


Its sleepy towns like Bundi and some you find in the Shekhawati region that truly capture the desert life of Rajasthan, steeped in customs and traditions with a million fascinating tales to be told

Yes its these small lovely places hidden from the eyes of hordes of tourist that act as a balm to the soul. The walk up the fort at 4:30 AM in the morning must have been memorable. Some moments just take your breath away..
We had planned to spend a day at Bundi while returning but last minute plan changes and we had to skip Bundi while return. But will definitely visit again with more time...
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Old 28th November 2009, 14:07   #9
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Day 2 25 Dec 08 contd.


Chittorgarh... an epitome of scrifice..

We bid adieu to Bheemlath, backtracked 12 kms and then continued towards Bijolia where we joined the East-West corridor. From here on all through our trip in Rajasthan the roads were like runways....My heart leapt with joy when i saw the road. Its sheer delight to drive. Could'nt believe that i was driving in India . From Bijolia to Chittorgarh the expressway though is operational but one has to constantly change driving side since workers were giving finishing touches. A word of caution here...Be careful when traffic is diverted and be very careful of villagers criss-crossing the expressway with their cylces, tractors....
(Its been a year now and i think the expressway might be fully operational)

Reached Chittor by 2:30 and straight away went to the fort.




The fort from the road below...

You have to cross number of narrow gates with steep inclines before you reach the ticket counter. Chittor fort is huge and vehicles are allowed inside. Took a guide (Rs. 250 RTDC approved). You can have food at the RTDC restaurant below or at a small cafe infront of Vijay stambh inside the fort. Since we were short on time we decided to take some snacks at the cafe.

Out of all the forts we saw the story of Chittor was the most heart rendering. The legendary beauty of Queen Padmini attracting Allauddin Khilji, the seige of the fort, the games of deciet from both sides and the subsequent Jouhar (Mass suicide by jumping in fire) by ladies and children.
The second seige of the fort was by Mughal emperor Akbar leading to Chittor's second Jauhar.

The fort served the purpose for what it was built for .....Battles....and many sections are in ruins due to Mughal invasions. However what the Mughals could not do is now being done by our own Nikhils, Bittus, Reenas, manjus,...who are leaving no walls unscribbled with their love for each other....this loves that....hearts pierced by arrows ...written all over at many places. Shameful.... disgusting to see such jewels of Indian history being spoilt like this....




The ruins of Chittor Palace


Chittor fort is also a living fort like Jaisalmer. People actually live inside the fort till today. Its quite big and vehicles are allowed inside. which means everything goes inside...tourist cars, jeeps and huge buses leading to traffic jam situation inside the fort on hoildays and weekends during tourist season. What i fail to understand why in the first places buses and cars be allowed inside the fort. There fumes are doing more damage in a day than done in past years ..





Palace from inside











Mirabai Temple as seen from Palace





Reaching the sky...




corridors of history





From the top




Another view..


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Old 28th November 2009, 15:31   #10
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Chittor contd.

Chittor fort architecture is inspired by various dynasties who ruled the place. They range from Gujrat , Malwa, Rajputs and some traces of the Mughals. Though we managed to see the fort in 3 hrs but a minimum of half a day is required to see the fort. Stay in one of the fancy hotels near Chittor and come for a days excursion.
Chittor had a fare share of everything...love, deciet, wars, Jaouhars, the devotion of Mirabai towards Lord Krishna.... An excellent place with a fascinating history.....




The massive walls of Fort



Vijay stambh




Art work on Vijay stambh




The tower was built by Mewar king Rana Kumbha around 1450 AD to commemorate his victory over the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat.
The tower is 9 storied and approximately 37 meters high. It is made partly of redstone and marble...
A beautifull structure....our own tower of Pisa...





Steps to...




Fort grounds...
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Old 28th November 2009, 17:35   #11
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Chittor contd..


Temple Architecture


















The beauty of Chittor is best seen in oblique light.


A view to a kill






Padmini palace...





The parting shot




From the extreme right: the Fateh Prakash Museum , Vijay Stambh, Temples , Palace and the Fort Walls in the extreme left.


We left Chittor at around 6:30 in the evening for Udaiour. The road from Chittor to Udaipur is again on east-west corridor which is fully operational and in excellent condition. Reached Udaipur by 8 PM and checked into the beautiful Rang Niwas Palace hotel on lake palace road.
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Old 30th November 2009, 09:35   #12
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Day 2 Contd..

Udaipur


My brother and his wife joined us at Udaipur. He was coming from Bangalore. Took a flight till Ahmedabad and then a sleepliner volvo from Parshwanath Travels. His taxi reached the hotel in Udaipur the same time i parked my car. Nice timing....reunion time...excellent dinner at Rang Niwas....Perfect Christmas...

After dinner we decided to go for a walk on the lake side. And we met with a mermaid so beautifull that we were left gaping at her...





The mermaid in the lake
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Old 30th November 2009, 10:20   #13
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"Better late than never". Good snaps. by the way i didn't see any of your car pic(HC).
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Old 30th November 2009, 11:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
"Better late than never". Good snaps. by the way i didn't see any of your car pic(HC).
Yes better late than never..

Car picks are hardly a few... let me dig out ... Though i think my car is a looker but i am slowly developing an obsession for it . So i promise next trip will have many ....


Here is one at RTDC SAM Sand dunes. The dessert ship and my space ship.





At SRP Inn Mount ABU


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Old 30th November 2009, 12:01   #15
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Columbus: Iliked the desert ship and your space ship snaps. Superb comparision. Infact it is tireless to travel in HC. One of the best sedans. Will be waiting for more travelouges from you
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