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Old 15th October 2010, 17:08   #61
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Wow that is one hell of Roadtrip with the family. Good Choice of hotels. Lol Leela surely will propbably never get a m800 and that too all the way from AP /south

Rajasthan has some really good roads. Don't know who maintain them but I saw someone actually cleaning the highway. Guess Army /Border Roads Organization must maintain them.
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Old 15th October 2010, 18:11   #62
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Wow that is one hell of Roadtrip with the family. Good Choice of hotels. Lol Leela surely will propbably never get a m800 and that too all the way from AP /south

Rajasthan has some really good roads. Don't know who maintain them but I saw someone actually cleaning the highway. Guess Army /Border Roads Organization must maintain them.
Oh yes the most of the roads are under Project Chetak of BRO and hence the difference in quality.

Leela was an amazing experience.Right from the welcome at the boat jetty,to the Kesariya Balam Padharo Mhare Des song with which you are welcomed,to the amazing rooms,to the royal touch,to the royal pampering that one gets to experience there,they have a floor butler for every 10 rooms.now thats a first in any hotel!!!.The one hotel that we found that you actually get much more than what you have paid for.Move over the Oberois,ITCs & Taj,the new Kid on the block-The Leela has well & truely arrived.We just did not want to go anywhere in Udaipur because the Leela was by itself quite a spectacle!A lifetime experience indeed!
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Old 15th October 2010, 18:57   #63
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Truly an Amazing journey Ranjit. Hats off to you. As @Mobilke mentioned, the hotels must have had a real draw on your purse. But the why do we earn that money for!

Great stuff! Though I have seen all these places, but not through in such luxury! It has always been Rajasthan State Road Transport Corp buses.

Given the fact that my wife and had kid have not seen these places, I would definitely plan the same !
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Old 15th October 2010, 19:02   #64
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Truly an Amazing journey Ranjit. Hats off to you. As @Mobilke mentioned, the hotels must have had a real draw on your purse. But the why do we earn that money for!

Great stuff! Though I have seen all these places, but not through in such luxury! It has always been Rajasthan State Road Transport Corp buses.

Given the fact that my wife and had kid have not seen these places, I would definitely plan the same !
Thanx Amp!True on the luxury part,well it wasnt that big a draw on the purse bcos of the off-season rates,but luckily for us it was cloudy and raining so the off-season turned into a nice weather.
We had decided to do this as a memorable trip and hence wanted to culminate it at The Leela and the Leela guys did not disappoint us,they exceeded our expectations in every manner,the building itself is an architectural marvel(Nopes I am not getting paid to talk nice about them haha),but if one spends money on luxury,do it at the Leela and not on the Tajs anymore!
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Old 15th October 2010, 19:19   #65
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Originally Posted by ranjitp1 View Post
We had decided to do this as a memorable trip and hence wanted to culminate it at The Leela and the Leela guys did not disappoint us,they exceeded our expectations in every manner,the building itself is an architectural marvel(Nopes I am not getting paid to talk nice about them haha),but if one spends money on luxury,do it at the Leela and not on the Tajs anymore!

I am still a Taj fan! Have been to many Taj resorts in the south. Now that you mention about Leela, will check it out.

Last edited by ampere : 15th October 2010 at 19:27.
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Old 15th October 2010, 20:16   #66
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Once we reached the place,we pretty much knew that this was one popular restaurant as right next to the restaurant we found another one with a similar one named BMB!!!Talk of the original and fake!!
Lol, They both are original, none of them is fake. Infact BMB (Bombay Mishtan Bhandaar) is more popular with locals than LMB is. BMB serves better chaat, Paani Poori and Kulfi but LMB serves better Sweets. You will find more tourists in LMB but you will find more locals in BMB. Also there was a sweet shop right opposite your Hotel "Kanha" The food there is again very good.


Quote:
The Albert Hall which was constructed by the Sawai to welcome Prince Albert!!Talk of extravagance!
One of the most beautiful piece of art and symmetrical architecture in Jaipur. Just a small correction if I may, This was built by Maharaja Ram Singh (he did not have the title of Sawai) for himself. Also if you noticed, the Gardens all around the structure are hence called "Ram Niwas Garden" Later it was dedicated to Prince Albert

Quote:
The Pink City Buildings
This is the old Vidhan Sabha Building. I dont know if you saw the new Vidhan Sabha. Its quite an imposing structure with golden gates


Quote:
The Jal Mahal is no more accessible to the public.It is only a photo-opportunity place now.Thanks to the rains,the lake was full though dirty.The Trident is bang opposite the Jal Mahal.We did our customary photo sessions and decided to go on towards the Amer Fort.
Thanks to the bountiful rains that RJ enjoyed this year,all the water bodies all over the state were full to the brim.A sight that brings joys to everyone's eyes.
Ohh its pretty clean now as compared to what it was till 3 years back. Till 3 years back you could not pass that stretch of road without covering your nose. And pretty soon they will be starting boating there and I think Trident is also planning to open up a restaurant in the Jal Mahal. But you are right, thanks to the rain we have lots of water in the rains now. Including Maota.

Quote:
The fort is situated on the Jaipur-Delhi highway and is approximately 10kms from the city center.Road is horrible.Infact I did not find a road,wonder where all that parking money and entrance money that is being collected is going to?
The patchwork of the roads is complete now so they are not in such a sorry state as what they were during the monsoons. I have never seen such bad road conditions in Jaipur since I am staying here. But then, the rains here have been pretty good.

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The parking places and the whole place was filled with people and cars and camels and elephants.A shocking difference to the Mehrangarh experience where everything was so orderly and disciplined.Anywhere we went to in Rajasthan,people kept telling us that Mehrangarh fort
is the best kept,cleanest and most disciplined of forts today and I fully began to appreciate and support those statements after seeing the state of affairs at Amer.
Amber fort falls under ASI and I think Mehrangarh is handled by a private trust just like the Palace at Udaipur. We all know how capable Govt agencies are at doing things and thats the whole difference!!!


Quote:
For the benefit of people,there is also an elephant ride from the Maota Lake to the top of the fort.It is priced at INR900 per person.We did not do it,but in case you are interested then it is available.The Maota lake was seeing water to its brim apparently after 30 years!!We were definitely lucky!
Better to do an elephant ride at Chokhi Dhani for 20 bucks

Quote:
The Saffrom Garden as seen from Amer Fort
Best photo of the Saffron Garden I have seen till date..really!!!

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We got down at the parking and walked into the fort.Entry fee was a princely INR50 and a further INR 75 for the camera.The fort has begun to come away and maintenance seemed very poor.But it is quite a humongous structure and with a great view of the road below.There is
also a Great Wall of China look alike opposite the fort which runs all over the Aravalli range of mountains.
Greenery makes all the difference, visit the same place after March and you will find that its all the same colour, from the fort walls till far far beyond!!

Quote:
From there we headed to the Rajasthan Small Scale Industries emporium,ended up buying some souvenirs.bedsheets,etc.The materials were world class,though the people tending to you tend to get very pushy and want you to buy anything and everything from there.
Never buy any stuff from such places, its a touts Paradise. I am sure your guide must have politely requested you to just have a look there. If you would have bought anything, he would have staright away got a 30-40% cut from whatever you spent there.


Quote:
By the time we left the fort it was time for a late lunch,and we headed to a restaurant near the Jal Mahal.Interestingly enroute we saw a hotel named Raj Palace,which apparently is the most expensive in Jaipur,as per the driver.Though I did not see any merit in it,maybe others
here might know better.
It is indeed the most expensive. One of the rooms is priced at closed to 20Lac (twenty)for the night. It includes Helicopter service plus what not!!!


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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I found the car parking area in Amer Fort a total mess.
Are you talking about the car parking at the bottom of the Fort where the camel ride starts or the Car parking for private cars on the top of the hill that can be accessed from the road behind?

Anyway, Ranjit I am thoroughly enjoying your thread and the interest with which you are writing all the details. Its a wonderfull read!!

You deserve a Five Star rating for all the effort!!

Thanks

Last edited by deky : 15th October 2010 at 20:19.
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Old 16th October 2010, 10:31   #67
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Ranjit,
Good to know about completion of your trip. Way to go!

Regards
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Old 17th October 2010, 11:51   #68
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Ranjit,

Your travelogue is absolutely great. It is so detailed, so wonderful and so well-written. I can associate myself with mainly two things here. I am a lover of Maruti 800. And I am in love with the State of Rajasthan. I too, want to plan such road trip. In fact this has been on my agenda for couple of years but I could not make it real for some reasons. But I will do it in near future. With your log as a reference guide. I have bookmarked this thread to view in future.

Brilliant pictures. Great choice of hotels; I can see they are pretty costly ones. But great indeed.

RJ and M800 both are such that I feel short of words to describe the greatness.

Congratulations on a fine successful road trip with M800.

Cheers.

Apurva Oka

P.S. Have you posted your mileage and other stats? I hope I have not missed them while I read the log but in case you haven't, please post; that'd be great.

Last edited by qqplus : 17th October 2010 at 11:53.
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Old 17th October 2010, 12:58   #69
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I am still a Taj fan! Have been to many Taj resorts in the south. Now that you mention about Leela, will check it out.
My take is that the Taj is living on its old legacy now,the new kids on the block have left it far far behind.I used to like them but the old staff at the places have begun to give humility a miss!!

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Originally Posted by deky View Post
Lol, They both are original, none of them is fake. Infact BMB (Bombay Mishtan Bhandaar) is more popular with locals than LMB is. BMB serves better chaat, Paani Poori and Kulfi but LMB serves better Sweets. You will find more tourists in LMB but you will find more locals in BMB. Also there was a sweet shop right opposite your Hotel "Kanha" The food there is again very good.
Ah ok,apologies then,I was misled!Yes we did get our farsaan from Kanha.Quite a nice place.

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Originally Posted by deky View Post
One of the most beautiful piece of art and symmetrical architecture in Jaipur. Just a small correction if I may, This was built by Maharaja Ram Singh (he did not have the title of Sawai) for himself. Also if you noticed, the Gardens all around the structure are hence called "Ram Niwas Garden" Later it was dedicated to Prince Albert
Thanx for this info,

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Originally Posted by deky View Post
This is the old Vidhan Sabha Building. I dont know if you saw the new Vidhan Sabha. Its quite an imposing structure with golden gates
No we did not get to see the new one.Missed it.


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Originally Posted by deky View Post
Ohh its pretty clean now as compared to what it was till 3 years back. Till 3 years back you could not pass that stretch of road without covering your nose. And pretty soon they will be starting boating there and I think Trident is also planning to open up a restaurant in the Jal Mahal. But you are right, thanks to the rain we have lots of water in the rains now. Including Maota.
Oops,then must have been terrible,its so easy to keep a lake clean,but I dont think any city keeps a lake clean,except for maybe Blore where the Ulsoor lake is clean to a certain extent,which again is thanks to the MEG!

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Originally Posted by deky View Post
Amber fort falls under ASI and I think Mehrangarh is handled by a private trust just like the Palace at Udaipur. We all know how capable Govt agencies are at doing things and thats the whole difference!!!
Yes true,Mehrangarh is under the Mehrangarh Museum Trust now and the employees there also exhibit a true love for the fort,Amer is like nobody's business,for a new comer going there all by themself,its going to be quite a challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Are you talking about the car parking at the bottom of the Fort where the camel ride starts or the Car parking for private cars on the top of the hill that can be accessed from the road behind?
both were a mess,we tried the one at the base and wasnt successful then we went through a maze of roads to the top and it was a bigger mess.Like any tourist place anywhere,its best to go to these places with an experienced hand,else people would be wasting time on taking care of inconsequential matters!

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Originally Posted by deky View Post
Anyway, Ranjit I am thoroughly enjoying your thread and the interest with which you are writing all the details. Its a wonderfull read!!

You deserve a Five Star rating for all the effort!!
thanx for reading Dhiraj.It was nice meeting up with you in Jaipur and your inputs of Pushkar & Ajmer were spot on.It puts the word chaos to shame!!

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Originally Posted by naren_gs1 View Post
Ranjit,
Good to know about completion of your trip. Way to go!

Regards
Thanx Naren for reading!

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Originally Posted by qqplus View Post
Ranjit,

Your travelogue is absolutely great. It is so detailed, so wonderful and so well-written. I can associate myself with mainly two things here. I am a lover of Maruti 800. And I am in love with the State of Rajasthan. I too, want to plan such road trip. In fact this has been on my agenda for couple of years but I could not make it real for some reasons. But I will do it in near future. With your log as a reference guide. I have bookmarked this thread to view in future.

Brilliant pictures. Great choice of hotels; I can see they are pretty costly ones. But great indeed.

RJ and M800 both are such that I feel short of words to describe the greatness.

Congratulations on a fine successful road trip with M800.

Cheers.

Apurva Oka

P.S. Have you posted your mileage and other stats? I hope I have not missed them while I read the log but in case you haven't, please post; that'd be great.
Thanx Apurva for your comments.Havent uploaded the trip logs yet,just putting them together.Shall defi upload them on this thread once done.Well the hotels were not cheap but were definitely not very expensive due to the reason that we were there in the off season and hotels were suffering from low occupancy and plus we did quite some research on the travel portals vs online booking and always found that the online rates were any day cheaper than booking directly with the hotels or going through the travel portals.

Yes the M800 has been doing yeomen service to so many people in India,a pity that it has reached end of life in so many cities.It is a better car than the Nano any day!(if its a worthy comparison?!!).

I shall pm you pur planning excel sheets,it might come in handy for you at some point of time.
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Old 17th October 2010, 22:20   #70
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Something that I missed out earlier and might come in handy for people driving to Jaisalmer,apparently Jaisalmer ATMs are very poorly served and erratic in cash refills.The two days that we spent there,there was no cash in any of the ATMs in Jaisalmer.So people please plan in advance to have reserve cash with you when you travel to Jaisalmer.
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Old 17th October 2010, 23:32   #71
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@Ranjit: Great trip that you folks had, it seems. Jaipur is "tip city" no doubt, but I get the feeling while visiting the city multiple times over the years, that the touts at the forts are a little more reserved about clambering all over folks who speak (and swear) in chaste Hindi. I don't suppose you did either??

The same (touts and tips) applies to tourists in Delhi too, as most folks are painfully aware!
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Old 18th October 2010, 08:30   #72
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@Ranjit: Great trip that you folks had, it seems. Jaipur is "tip city" no doubt, but I get the feeling while visiting the city multiple times over the years, that the touts at the forts are a little more reserved about clambering all over folks who speak (and swear) in chaste Hindi. I don't suppose you did either??

The same (touts and tips) applies to tourists in Delhi too, as most folks are painfully aware!
Lol,thanx SS,I shall keep that in mind the next time I travel to those parts!Very valuable tip indeed.Nopes I guess our Hindi was more of bombayya and defi did not swear
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Old 18th October 2010, 10:17   #73
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Dear Ranjit,
WOW-boy you had me glued to your engrossing picture-log!! Thank you so much for a feast of wonderful and informative writing and a colourful pate of talking photographs. I showed it to the better half and now she is the one egging me on to take the trip after my daughters wedding in Dec. I will use your Log as my guide-cannot do all the places but will touch as many. thanks once again-next trip??? I hope i am not asking too much-rates of the hotels you stayed at -great places?
Regards,
Col J H Mayne

Last edited by Judemayne : 18th October 2010 at 10:37.
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Old 18th October 2010, 11:10   #74
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Originally Posted by Judemayne View Post
Dear Ranjit,
WOW-boy you had me glued to your engrossing picture-log!! Thank you so much for a feast of wonderful and informative writing and a colourful pate of talking photographs. I showed it to the better half and now she is the one egging me on to take the trip after my daughters wedding in Dec. I will use your Log as my guide-cannot do all the places but will touch as many. thanks once again-next trip??? I hope i am not asking too much-rates of the hotels you stayed at -great places?
Regards,
Col J H Mayne
Thanx so very much for reading Colonel!I would say take the better half out on the drive before she turns bitter at not going!

Well it is easy doing these 4 places as they form a perfect circle,if not,you could conveniently skip Jaipur and do it separately when you are in Delhi some time.Blore-Pune-Ahmedabad-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Udaipur-Abu-Ahmedabad-Pune-Blore should be a good circuit.

I shall send across the my excel planning log & trip log to you shortly,that would be of some help to you as it has all the hotel contacts,rates etc.

PS:Early wishes to your little lady on her wedding!
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Old 19th October 2010, 16:02   #75
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ranjitp1 - That's A1 a write up. I started reading it sometime in the morning and finished now ( am at work and despite how hard I tried, something or the other came up to take me away from this travelogue. Buggers never realised I was busy reading something )

I have done a lot of trips on M800 and trust me I just loved it, the car is so reliable that I never considered "car" as a discussion point before deciding which place to go. My new drive, a Fiesta, has a lot of catching up to do with my all time favorite darling.

Like many, I am also interested in knowing how much you spent on all those drooling hotels. May tempt many like me to upgrade their stay if it is not as bomb as we thought it is and you suggesting it may not have actually. Of course, timing has a crucial role to play in hotel tariffs. Rajasthan is a costly affair after October
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