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Old 7th October 2010, 12:21   #16
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Default Jaisalmer to Jodhpur

4th Leg:Jaisalmer-Jodhpur

Route: Jaisalmer-Pokharan-Dechu-Balesar-Jodhpur
Distance: Approx 290kms
Time taken: Approx 4 hours

Departure from Suryagarh happened with a heavy heart around 11am.Refuelled at Jaisalmer and then went on towards Jodhpur.

The roads were easy to find and nothing really complicated.There are a couple of hotels on the Jodhpur road as well,the Gateway Rawalkot looked good on this route.There were also huge army living quarters and cantonements on this route.From Jaisalmer,we took the NH15 till Pokharan.

It was quite an uneventful drive,we got stuck at the railway level crossing just before Pokharan for around 20 minutes.At Pokharan it was a sight to
behold.The whole town was under siege by the Ramdev yatris.I havent seen this kind of population all walking along with a single-minded determination to reach Ramdevra!The entire road for around 5kms after Pokharan town was littered with shoes and footwear of all sizes and kinds.On enquiry later,we were told that most of the devotees walk barefoot from Pokharan to Ramdevra and these people all abandon their footwear at Pokharan.There were huge mountains of footwear on the roadsides.

The Baba Ramdev Pilgrims
From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-164_1.jpg

From Pokharan,we joined the NH114 and kept on it till Jodhpur.The roads were terrible after Balesar till Jodhpur,huge craeters and potholes and my music player came thudding down out of its socket when we jumped into a pothole.For the remainder of the entire drive till Hyderabad,we had the music player safely kept on the floor and playing!!I did not want to risk somebody messing with the battery and electrical wiring in the midst of a long drive,plus the it was working fine,just that it had come out of its normal resting place!

Once you reach Jodhpur,it is so very easy to miss the turn into the town,one would take the bypass and continue driving on it,luckily for us,we stopped for directions at precisely the turn-off.

Entry into Jodhpur was very eventful.It was raining and drizzling in Jodhpur.Jodhpur is called the Sun City as well as the Blue City.Well Sun City because of the bright warm weather it enjoys throughout the year!Well for a change it looked like we had brought rains with us.

The city was flooded at many places and very messy and water-logging at many places.We had a very mucky entry into the town!

We later found out that once it rains in Jodhpur,the water does not seep into the ground due to the very high Gypsum content in the ground and so all the water just ends up on the surface!

We called up the hotel for directions to the place and luckily the hotel was on the same road as we were driving,so it made it that much easier.
Finally we reached our home for the next three days in Jodhpur-
The Taj Hari Mahal.

Parked in at 3pm.4 hours from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur.

We were greeted by the morose looking security guards at the Taj,who seemed unhappy that they had to work there.What a sudden and rude awakening after the Suryagarh experience.Then we went about the usual rigours of open boot,close boot,enter name,check bonnet etc.

Check in was ok(no in room check in etc,we were pampered spoilt).The room we entered was like a chimney,the earlier guest was a smoking tea-pot I guess.We immediately asked for a change of room and they took eternity to get us another room,all this inspite of telling them prior to check in, precisely what we wanted and how we wanted.The Taj experience is definitely going down.We had a similar bad experience at Aguada as well,so much for the Taj.Complacency is clearly setting in among the staff.

The Room @ Taj Hari Mahal
From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-170_1.jpg
From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-175_1.jpg


Finally all done and we settled into our new room.It was a lovely wonderful room,large enough and a spacious bathroom to go with it.We were dead hungry and immediately gorged on food and took a power nap.We decided against going anywhere that night as we were way too tired.The last 50kms from Balesar to Jodhpur really took its toll on us.

Dinner was in the hotel itself,a very uninspiring regular run of the mill buffet with a lot many people standing around not knowing what to do and those who knew what to do were very bored to do it!That sums up the Taj Jodhpur!

We had a quick dinner,checked on the car,shifted it to a good parking spot and bid our goodnight to the car!

Sleep came quickly to all of us that night and the room was cosy and nice.I guess if you take away the people and their attitude in the hotel,Taj Hari Mahal is a very good place to go to.

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-188_1.jpg

Coming Up:Mehrangarh Fort,Umaid Bhawan Palace,JodhpurMirchi Wadas!
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Old 7th October 2010, 12:40   #17
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Thanot is a great find, earlier when I have travelled to Jaisalmer, there were some permit requirements to go beyond Ramgarh. Any hotels where you can stay in Thanot?
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Old 7th October 2010, 12:55   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Thanot is a great find, earlier when I have travelled to Jaisalmer, there were some permit requirements to go beyond Ramgarh. Any hotels where you can stay in Thanot?
Well Ramgarh is the only place with any kind of inhabitation in between Tanot & Jaisalmer.No need of permits anymore at Ramgarh.They have stopped issuing permits at Tanot as well now,so the civilian traffic literally stops at Tanot mandir.BSF makes an entry of all the vehicles visiting the temple.No fuel also enroute,so make sure one has enough fuel to last close to 300-350kms for a return trip from Jaisalmer.There is a closed fuel pump at Ramgarh,it seems supply was so erratic that the dealer had to shut shop.

No hotels at Tanot,I suspect that during Diwali,there must be some makeshift arrangement being made to facilitate stay for the pilgrims.

Beyond Tanot,it is said that the areas are full of BSF bunkers and some areas are also heavily mined,hence the decision not to let non-army people into the area.

We were witness to some amazing dedication towards road building when we were driving on the Ramgarh-Tanot stretch,in the hot sun in the middle of the desert and heavy sand-storm we saw a column of GREF(Gen Reserve Engineering Force) relaying an entire stretch of road,approximately 40 BRO guys and their names on their uniforms read the swamys,raos,reddys.I found that amazing!!Hats off!South to North-Unity in Diversity in action!
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Old 7th October 2010, 17:28   #19
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Hi Ranjit,

Still not completed reading the complete log. here are few quick comments:

Nice trip, very pleasing pics of Rajasthan, some noteworthy information about Hotels and route condition, and above all, I liked your way of writing it in story form with details (much in same way as I do ).

And I fully agree with what is said above about M800. Its too good for its size, performs well beyond expectations.

Meeting two great souls HVK and Ramky Sirs must have been an added bonus.

Will follow the rest of it closely. We may visit Hyd. in next few months. This time will try to plan a stop over of 2-3 days and meet people like you and others.
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Old 7th October 2010, 18:02   #20
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Hi Ranjit....felt a sense of deja vu going through your log. Have covered the exact same route in Feb '10.

Just my 2 cents on Tanot, its basically a 10 hut village with a large BSF camp which essentially maintains the temple. The actual old temple which survived the '65 and '71 war is just beside the main temple with some of the unexploded arsenal still on display.From Tanot, we further moved along the border to Longewala which is the actual site of the '71 war..some relics of the war like Pakistani tanks and recovery vehicles are still found there. Also, the indian border was at this place before the war, after we won the war, it was pushed back by a few kms.

Regards.
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Old 7th October 2010, 20:36   #21
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Hi Ranjit,

That is a wonderful writeup. Even though went around Rajasthan a few times, your story creates a palpable urge to pack up and embark on a journey right now! And I must salute your determination to take the little lady in such an arduous journey.

Eagerly waiting for the remainder of the travelogue.

Thanks.
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Old 7th October 2010, 20:51   #22
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Highly educative and informative travelogue, Ranjit. I will be reading your travelogue again and again and making notes which will be of use to me during my MH-GJ-RJ trip next month.
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Old 8th October 2010, 13:35   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nix1976in View Post
Hi Ranjit....felt a sense of deja vu going through your log. Have covered the exact same route in Feb '10.

Just my 2 cents on Tanot, its basically a 10 hut village with a large BSF camp which essentially maintains the temple. The actual old temple which survived the '65 and '71 war is just beside the main temple with some of the unexploded arsenal still on display.From Tanot, we further moved along the border to Longewala which is the actual site of the '71 war..some relics of the war like Pakistani tanks and recovery vehicles are still found there. Also, the indian border was at this place before the war, after we won the war, it was pushed back by a few kms.

Regards.
Thanx Nitin for reading!.Yes you are true about Tanot,just that they dont let anybody beyond Tanot now and Longewala is also offlimits now.A BSF person was telling us,on his first posting to the border,he was mighty excited about seeing the border but after the first week he just didnt want anything to do with the border because life got so boring!So thats the myth of a border!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Hi Ranjit,

Still not completed reading the complete log. here are few quick comments:

Nice trip, very pleasing pics of Rajasthan, some noteworthy information about Hotels and route condition, and above all, I liked your way of writing it in story form with details (much in same way as I do ).

And I fully agree with what is said above about M800. Its too good for its size, performs well beyond expectations.

Meeting two great souls HVK and Ramky Sirs must have been an added bonus.

Will follow the rest of it closely. We may visit Hyd. in next few months. This time will try to plan a stop over of 2-3 days and meet people like you and others.
Thanx Lalit.Give me a buzz whenever you are in Hyd next!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lejhoom View Post
Hi Ranjit,

That is a wonderful writeup. Even though went around Rajasthan a few times, your story creates a palpable urge to pack up and embark on a journey right now! And I must salute your determination to take the little lady in such an arduous journey.

Eagerly waiting for the remainder of the travelogue.

Thanks.
Thanks Lej

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Highly educative and informative travelogue, Ranjit. I will be reading your travelogue again and again and making notes which will be of use to me during my MH-GJ-RJ trip next month.
Thannx& All the best Ravi,this is more or less the same as your intended circuit.
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Old 8th October 2010, 22:11   #24
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Ranjit, nice narration and thanks for the details. Eagerly waiting for the mehrangar, umaid palace and Jodhpur leg.
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Old 9th October 2010, 01:18   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
Thanx Nitin for reading!.Yes you are true about Tanot,just that they dont let anybody beyond Tanot now and Longewala is also offlimits now.A BSF person was telling us,on his first posting to the border,he was mighty excited about seeing the border but after the first week he just didnt want anything to do with the border because life got so boring!So thats the myth of a border!
Well...guess I got lucky...the drive from Tanot to Longewala skirts the border and is really amazing. I dont know how life at the border would be, but the feeling of being an Indian rises manifold when you see a bunker across a fenced border...this was much more than watching the retreat at Wagah.

Nikhil.
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Old 9th October 2010, 01:58   #26
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Ranjit,

Nice travelogue with good details. Keep them coming.

Thanks,
Srinivas.R
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Old 9th October 2010, 12:15   #27
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Great Stuff Ranjit. It reminds me, my trip to Rajasthan. I have posted it in Team BHP long time back! Regards
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Old 9th October 2010, 12:21   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sindabad View Post
Ranjit, nice narration and thanks for the details. Eagerly waiting for the mehrangar, umaid palace and Jodhpur leg.
Thanx Sindbad for reading!The rest should be up by tonight!Do take a look at it whenever you can,

Quote:
Originally Posted by nix1976in View Post
Well...guess I got lucky...the drive from Tanot to Longewala skirts the border and is really amazing. I dont know how life at the border would be, but the feeling of being an Indian rises manifold when you see a bunker across a fenced border...this was much more than watching the retreat at Wagah.

Nikhil.
I can imagine Nitin.Wagah was good,but its been turned into quite a spectacle there and the crowds are unimaginable,and more than that are those shopkeepers outside where the beating retreat takes place,they are nothing more than goons!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriswe View Post
Ranjit,

Nice travelogue with good details. Keep them coming.

Thanks,
Srinivas.R
Thanks Srinivas,keep reading.some more to come!

Quote:
Originally Posted by omar1310 View Post
Great Stuff Ranjit. It reminds me, my trip to Rajasthan. I have posted it in Team BHP long time back! Regards
Thanks Omar,your inputs for the drive were really invaluable,I had a fair bit of idea in my mind before I started off,thanks to your travelogue,which was really beautifully written.Thanx.
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Old 9th October 2010, 14:58   #29
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Default Jodhpur:Umaid Bhawan Palace

After breakfast,we headed out straight to the Umaid Bhawan Palace.It was easy to find our way through the town and we reached the Umaid Bhawan Palace without a hitch.

You can see the majestic palace rising above you from a distance itself.Now just below the palace,some property builder has developed the area and there are a large number of houses on sale.It was called some Umaid Residences(I am not sure of the name!!!)

Road Entry to The Umaid Bhawan Palace
From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-191_1.jpg


Parking was relatively less crowded,but it was very hot and there was no shade,so the car had to be left to fry!
After the customary security checks,we were through the gates of the palace.As usual,corruption rules supreme at the Umaid.At the ticket counter,I asked for two tickets for two adults and asked the person if there is a ticket for a camera and the person tells me it is INR50 and gives me two tickets and pretends to be busy,when I check the tickets,I
dont see any ticket for the camera and I ask him where is the ticket for the camera and he says there is no ticket for camera,so then I told him to refund my money and he sees that there is a crowd behind and quickly returns the money.Phew,it is just becoming a habit now for people to make money at any costs.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-193_1.jpg

The New Gated Community Houses below the Umaid Palace:

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-197_1.jpg

Once we were done with dealing with the rogue at the counter,we walk into the palace gardens.The palace is divided into three parts.When you walk in,the 1st part is the royal residence of the present Jodhpur royalty headed by the present Maharaja-Gaj Singhji,this is followed by the mueseum section and the last section is the Taj Umaid Bhawan.The Royal
Residence section and the Taj Umaid Bhawan is out of bounds for normal visitors.To enter the Taj Umaid Bhawan,there is a cover charge of INR 2000 per person,which is adjusted against the consumables in the hotel.I am not entirely sure how and where and when the payment is made,because we were not interested in it at all!

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-199_.jpg

We did our share of photography and walk into the mueseum and we are swarmed by the staff in turbans all offering their services to show us around.They do it in such an unseeming manner that you are actually fooled into believing that they are doing it out of pure service and
expect nothing in return.I had read up earlier on the troubles of engaging with these people and so kept a safe distance from everyone and went our way.On our exit,we saw a couple who was having an argument with the turban staff and the essence of the argument was that they
felt it was the duty of the staff to show them around(which is correct)and at the end of the walk,they began to discuss money and rates.Quite a shame that all this is happening at the Umaid!

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-215_1.jpg

The Taj Umaid Bhawan

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-225_1.jpg

The area open to the public in the museum is very little and can be quickly walked around in 30minutes time.We come out and indulge in some more pictures and walk back to the car and drive away to our next stop of the morning-The Mehrangarh Fort(not before we stopped at the
gate of The Taj Umaid Bhawan).

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-203_1.jpg
From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-211_1.jpg

Attached Thumbnails
From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-228_1.jpg  

From"Aadab & Bagunnava" Land to Land of "Khammaghani"(Hyd to Rajasthan by M800)-rajasthan-230_.jpg  

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Old 10th October 2010, 12:29   #30
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What a lovely travelogue of an unbelievable trip from Hyderabad to Rajasthan and that too in an M800.

I agree to what everyone said about the pocket sized most reliable car ever produced. Even i owned one for close to a couple of years and was my first car.

This travelogue has come at a time when me and few cousins are contemplating a similar trip. It would be great if you can share the route and hotel info ( if available in excel templates) so i dont spend huge amounts of time researching...Also, what was trip odo reading from Hyd to Hyd?

Btw, what was the tarrif of the hotel in Jaiselmer? Looks to be a fantastic place to stay.

Look forward to continuation and more pictures of this trip.

Last edited by mobike008 : 10th October 2010 at 12:30.
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