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Old 22nd December 2010, 01:56   #46
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

Truely amazing....This is like a dream. Your kids are lucky.
Rated 5.

\\hkp
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Old 22nd December 2010, 14:08   #47
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

This just keeps getting better and better.

RoamingRao Sir,You are an inspiration for many of us and this is a must read thread for everyone on TBHP!
Cant wait for the next one!
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Old 22nd December 2010, 15:35   #48
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

Truly amazing trip you had. Looking forward to the next part of the travelogue.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 09:15   #49
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

7215 km in 13 days. Wow! That's really a super-fast mega trip! I am sure you and your family enjoyed this trip and this would remain ever-green in your memory. I will be following your travelogue, roamingrao.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 20:52   #50
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

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Originally Posted by HKP View Post
Truely amazingRated 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by hallik9 View Post
This just keeps getting better and better
Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_3306 View Post
Truly amazing trip you had
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
That's really a super-fast mega trip! this would remain ever-green in your memory
HKP, Hallik9, Amit and Ravi ji, Thank you !

Continuing Day 2..

Mumbai ! Direct all possible superlatives at her - she would still giggle. Darwin, if visits this city now, would rewrite and redefine all the theories of evolution / existence. Maximum City. Period. Visiting this city for the past 6 years, we have revelled in all its forms of aura - the good, bad and the ugly and yet have come here year after year to experience more !

Our worst experience, three years back - tried !!! boarding a train at Dadar at 7pm towards Thane. Reached Dombivli at midnight.

Back to our story - on our way out of Mumbai, after darshan at sri siddi vinayak temple, a smart, super smart traffic cop has stopped us just before worli sea face road.

Jaante ho kyun roka hai ?

Hvkumar had warned me, i had rolled down all the windows, yet i pretended, Nahi sir

glass pe dark film hai, licence jamaa karo, court mein fine bharo

He would'nt settle for less - ek se mera kya hoga ? A silent curse followed and he vanished.

Wife and kids were stunned - they still think he was a bollywood actor !



At Worli Sea Face


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Driving on the Sea link Bridge at sunset was exciting, and anxious at the same time - leaving mumbai would mean treading into unfamiliar territory. For now though, at Bandra, we had to deal with bumper to bumper traffic. Traffic eased after Santa cruz and was smooth till Mira road. Filled up the tank and the purse at Mira road, up the hill at ghodbunder and across the river - NH 8 - destination : Ankleshwar.

Rough roads and some wrong side traffic bothered us till Manor. As always, asked for info from a booth attendent - did not disappoint this time too - at khaniwade, he directed me straight to Vittal Kamat near Manor. ~ 578km, 745pm. Lucky here - we knew that we would not get pure vegetarian restaurants at all the places we went. On all days, we had food at roadside dhabhas also. It had to be clean !

Back to the car at 8.15 pm after some good food and freshenup, our drive into the night was smooth. We entered Gujarat, third state in our trip before Bhilad ~ 682 kms, 9.40pm. No welcome board here !

Vapi was not far, i remember, with the stench of medicines / chemicals.

Numerous diversions for flyover constructions followed all the way till Boriach toll plaza, where we called it a day. Thinking back, we are glad that we drove on this sector at night - must admit, the roads at the diversions were very good - was like a train changing tracks - fast and smooth. Not much traffic at the diversions, well disciplined trucks, an occasional car or speeding tourist innovas / grande. The way side dhabas had lot of youngsters in cars revelling in Navratri festivities.

11.40pm - a short nap seemed inevitable. paying toll at the booth, pulled alongside a few parked trucks 100 mts from the counters, set the alarm for 20 mins and slept into the next day. Boriach toll Plaza ~ 797kms, 11.40 pm


Day 3, 10th October 2010, Sunday. Boriach Toll Plaza - Udaipur : 540 kms

Fresh after a face splash and a rejuvenating roadside tea, resume driving - flyover constructions abruptly stop after Surat byepass ( is it Choryasi toll ? ). Surat byepass was lighted ! long truck bays, multiple lanes on either side, fantastic !

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We reach Ankleshwar byepass at 1.20am. Arguments follow - we had planned to rest at Hotel Sadanand. I wanted to continue, why waste Rs. 700 on a room for just 3 or 4 hours ? I would have managed a couple of more naps down the road and reached Udaipur earlier. Wife listened to nothing of that sort, was adamant - stretch your legs atleast for these three hours, have bath and then drive till whenever you want ! NO means NO !, then, chalo bhai, aapka hi sahi. Has anybody won here ?

As directed by the hotel earlier, drive down the the first flyover, take the road beneath the second flyover and turn right at the first junction. The watchman had been given instructions - opened the room in a jiffy ! Good night sir ! I said Good morning !

cont'd....
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Old 23rd December 2010, 21:30   #51
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This is just amazing!

I was thinking I was crazy doing 3800kms this month with my wife and two year old daughter. But I realize there are more crazy people here than I am!

Now I know for sure I am with right/perfect company on this site
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Old 24th December 2010, 12:40   #52
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Originally Posted by ajitkumarlb View Post
This is just amazing! Now I know for sure I am with right/perfect company on this site
Thank you ajit, great trip you had there.. and yes , birds of the same feather ..

Day 3 :

Another ‘good morning’ came up within 4 hours, packed up and drove out of Hotel Sadanand, Ankleshwar at 5.30 am. Thick fog prevented us from having a clear view of Narmada river at Bharuch, but pleasantly surprised at the lack of traffic on the bridge. Do truck drivers dance to dandiya tunes all night long?

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Vadodara passed by on our left with multiple exits towards the city. And then it came, The National Expressway 1.

Initially, it seemed like any other toll road, but as we drove on, we realise the beauty of this – the next exit is 35 kms away ! We were also surprised at the toll of Rs 81 for a 94 km stretch – less than a rupee per km. NICE road - Copy this !

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The maximum speed touched during the entire trip ! As we were assured of no intrusions, we felt safe to drive this speed. Otherwise, a 100 - 110 kmph was comfortable.

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Hvkumar had given very clear instructions for us to exit the expressway and continue towards Udaipur on the Ahmedabad ring road for which we had no difficulty in locating the exit. Thank you sir .

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Ahmedabad - Sardar Patel Ring Road ~ 8.50am - Sunday morning traffic on the undivided ring road came as a sharp contrast to the one hour drive we enjoyed on the expressway. Past the second toll on the ring road after the railway overbridge, we take a right towards Himmatnagar. The road from here to Gandhinagar turnaround was anything but smooth – undivided road, broken tarmac, mad mad traffic before 4 lane road resumed.

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Passing through Ahmedabad, i cannot help myself thinking of Ramkya1 and his contribution to this forum. Thank you sir, for helping out GSMINC and araindamray last year ! May your tribe increase !
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Old 24th December 2010, 21:06   #53
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Day 3 - ( from boriach toll plaza ) > Chiloda cross ~ 313 km, 9.10am

4 lane road resumed to our relief but looking for a decent restaurant took us almost 20 km from Chiloda cross.
Previous night, we had seen numerous fancy dhabas and hotels from Navsari to Surat, so thinking that we would find similar ones after our exit from Ahmedabad, we neglected some restaurants on the ring road.
To our surprise, we could not find a single one till our talk to third time saviour at Kathpur toll.
Barely a kilometre away, we see a hotel / restaurant on the left - seemed a decent one with a few cars parked. BIG mistake - The rest rooms were in pathetic condition - yet managed, no flowing water - yet managed, nobody at the restaurant table - yet tolerated, but no food available - found it difficult to digest !

45 precious minutes wasted, resorted to apples, biscuits and water.

Hota hai !

To make matters worst, a few minutes away, found some pretty decent ones on prantij byepass.


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This message brought back smiles on our faces. My wife was grinning from ear to ear and said - good boy ! I retorted, do you see the jootha there ? what does that mean ?

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Empty, superb roads took us through Himmatnagar and Shamlaji to the Rajasthan border ~ 423 km, 12noon.

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here, attaching a picture of TBHP GQ drive 2008. we managed to stop at the same spot ! Mjothi sir, How's it ?


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Landscape drastically changes with the Aravalli ranges beginning to show up. Excellent winding roads. We were very excited to be in Rajasthan - a place, we never even dreamt of driving into.



Let the pictures of roads and landscape do the talking.


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Udaipur, here we are !! ~ 540km, 1.30pm

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Had no difficulty in locating RTDC Hotel Kajri near Shastri circle. Old building ( like all govt tourism bungalows ), spacious rooms, friendly people and fast service.... need i appreciate more ?

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No time to rest, asked for a guide. very prompt - he knocked on our door within 15 minutes. " Oh Bangalore ? my daughter works in infosys, i know a few words of kannada - saaku, beku, " I said " Hogona".


What followed was our introduction to a city which we would love falling in love with... again and again.

Last edited by roamingrao : 24th December 2010 at 21:24.
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Old 24th December 2010, 21:11   #54
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

I loved the photo at the milestone on the Himmatnagar-Udaipur road! Wonder how you located the same one!
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Old 24th December 2010, 21:32   #55
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

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Wonder how you located the same one!
the going was slow on those winding roads - was looking for a photo opportunity. Finding the same stone was pure coincidence !
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Old 24th December 2010, 22:25   #56
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

Ah you are bringing back memories. Keep going. You should thank you stars that there was no jam at Narmada crossing. When we were crossing Vapi, we remember talking about the weird smell!!
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Old 25th December 2010, 22:01   #57
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A good guide needs to be a storehouse of knowledge and a master story teller ( captures attention, influences to imagine and asks questions ! )

We were lucky to have Mr. Himmat singh as our guide during our stay at Udaipur. I pointed my kids to him and said, they are students, they need to understand.
He got my point and swung into action - got a huge district map of rajasthan to our room, laid it on the floor and started to narrate : The region during the Indus valley civilization ( the excavation of kalibanga is the earliest known settlement in the subcontinent ), the effect of aravalli ranges in this region, the advent of aryans ( Bhil and Mina ), the 3rd century Mauryans, later Guptas and then the emergence of Rajputs ( sanskrit - raj putras - son of kings ) and then the present day name Rajasthan from rajputana ( the land of rajputs )

He went on to narrate the importance of the three regions in Rajasthan - Mewar, Marwar and Shekhawati. We were in the capital of Mewar region after the capital shifted from Chittorgarh in the 15th century.

Marwar is on the other side of the Aravallis.

The oldest ruling dynasty in the world, the Suryavanshi Mewar Ranas ( sanskrit for king ) have been ruling the mewar region for over 1300 years - the most famous being Maharana Pratap Singh. The Rajputs are known for their values - Bravery, Pride and Sacrifice.

Founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559, Udaipur is now known as 'The city of lakes', 'The most romantic city of India' among other sobriquets.

Interesting trivia as told by the guide :

Rainfall on the western region of Udaipur flows towards the Arabian sea and that falling on the eastern part flows towards the Bay of Bengal !

The Jaisamand Lake, 48 kms from Udaipur, one among the five lakes of Udaipur, is the second largest artificial freshwater lake in Asia.

Zinc and Copper were extracted here even during medieval times and were supplied to Europe during the Industrial revolution.

Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan stayed at Jag mandir Palace in 1623.


Colour Quiz - If Jaipur is associated with colour pink, Jaisalmer with yellow / golden, and Jodhpur with blue, which colour is Udaipur associated with ?

His one hour narration transformed us to a different era. Coming back to the car, we realised that we are on a GQ drive !

He named a list of places we were to visit in Udaipur

The Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal - The Rajasthani Folk centre
The Fateh Sagar Lake - The pride of city of lakes
Moti Magri - A memorial to Maharana Pratap on his 'Chetak'
Lake Pichola - home to the lake Palace
The Gulab Bagh - a garden on the banks of Lake pichola
Saheliyon ki Bari - A garden for maids and of course
The City Palace.

I would like to thank members Chevy lover, Ramkya1, Mrs. Samurai and nix1976in for their travelogues in this forum in deciding the places to visit during our short stay in Udaipur. We had to skip Sajjan Garh Palace ( monsoon palace ), Doodh Talai and Bagore Ki Haveli among other attractions around the city due to lack of time.


The Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal
Different Folk forms of Rajasthan, costumes, Dance forms, handicrafts were at display here. We were also treated to a puppet show of some rajasthani folk songs. Our guide explained the theme behind these songs.

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The Fateh Sagar Lake gates were closed for 'Udaipur festival' starting that day. We reached the southern banks of the lake to view the Nehru Garden and fountains.We were lucky to view the sunset during our walk there.

Our guide with us at Fateh Sagar lake
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Udaipur festival procession on the streets - all schools and colleges in the region had participated.

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The water to the fountains at 'Saheliyon ki Bari' is naturally drawn from the Fateh Sagar lake - no pumps, only on gravity. The Garden also had a monsoon Garden - water falling on tree leaves to give a ' tropical forest ' sound - a luxury in the region.

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It was dark when we visited Moti Magri and thereafter the Gulab Bagh which over looked the beautiful Pichola lake.

Later on we had our dose of chats at Sukhadia circle and some namkeen shops in the city centre.

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Tomorrow, we visit the Udaipur City Palace
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Old 26th December 2010, 12:22   #58
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Very inspiring read!
The fact that you did it with your family makes it even special!

It's my dream to cover GQ, and your travelogue has shown me that it's possible. Keep the rest coming!
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Old 26th December 2010, 13:06   #59
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Default Re: Our Incredible India Drive - 13 days on the GQ !

Incredible, Roamingrao!Simple Incredible!.Loved every bit of your experience.It really feels great to be among the like minded people.Trust me,if i told this kind of experience or idea to a non TBHPian,they would laugh and snub at me!Hats off to TBHP!Only a TBHPian can understand and appreciate this kind of travel.Hats off to you too sir.Doing this kind of trip with family is no joke.
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Old 27th December 2010, 16:06   #60
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Very good narration sir. Keep it coming
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