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Old 16th January 2011, 14:03   #16
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Default Re: Beyond the Horizon - An unforgettable trip from Bangalore to south Rajasthan

Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingrao View Post
Other places - Chittor, Kumbalgarh and Mt. Abu are bonuses !
Nothing like the Vijay Stambh at Chittorh! That is the best for me! Did Chittorh about 3-4 times and each time it was fun.
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Old 16th January 2011, 21:40   #17
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Default Re: Beyond the Horizon - An unforgettable trip from Bangalore to south Rajasthan

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Originally Posted by roamingrao View Post
Hi Kishore, Congrats on your first long drive in India.
Planning two days in Udaipur is worth the entire trip. Other places - Chittor, Kumbalgarh and Mt. Abu are bonuses !
Looking forward to the photographs !
Thanks you.

It was a good decision to make Udaipur our base. Another good decision was not to miss Kumbalgarh. TBHP members helped in taking both.
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Old 17th January 2011, 19:36   #18
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Default Day 2 : Into the land of the braves

Day 2 : Navsari to Udaipur

Woke up at 6 AM and it took us almost an hour to get ready. We got coffee brought to the room. Payment for the room was made previous night itself, so it didn't take long to load the stuff back into the car and get started.

Gujarat is quite cheap when it comes to food. Previous day's lunch for two, including Roti, Palak Paneer and Dal Fry was only Rs. 99/-. In Bangalore it would have been somewhere between 170 - 250 Rs at least.

Navsari to Vadodara :

We managed to start around 7:45 AM.
Filled her up at a pump in Navsari and hit the road.

Choryasi toll plaza reached at 08:45 AM. Trip Meter 1328 KMs.

Roads were mostly empty in the morning. It was 25th December and a Saturday.

We stopped just after Navsari to have Tea and Dhokla from a road side stall. Dhokla was really tasty, I wanted to have more but stopped myself thinking about the long drive in front of us. We can't afford to have stomach upset, at least not yet.

Morning drives are always enjoyable, this one was no exception.

Near Surat
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After crossing Surat
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It was until we get stuck again.

A jam on a beautiful four lane highway, with no locality around. What could it be ? Map comes out. We point out our current location and immediately know what it is.

It's Narmada. Medha Patkar and Narmada Express come to mind.
During the College days in MACT Bhopal, we, students from Bengal, used to take Narmada express to reach Jabalpur and then catch Mumbai mail from there.

I've read about this bridge on Narmada. Don't know why it is still a two lane bridge.

The jam took us more than 30 minutes to reach the bridge. I would say it was a man made jam. Only if vehicles had the habit of following the vehicle in front, there would not be any jam.

We were made to go through the old bridge and saw the new bridge lying empty. Old bridge had traffic coming from both direction. Whereas the new bridge had very few vehicles coming from opposite direction.

My diary says we crossed Narmada at 10:12 AM, Trip meter 1380 KMs.

Payed the toll after the bridge. We need to remember to take the new bridge on our way back.

The board says "Welcome to the Bharuch - Vadodara section of NH8". We are in Bharuch now.

Another toll naka, reached at 10:43.

Close to Vadodara
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This section of the road is again through quite densely populated area. Flyovers saved us from local traffic. You'll see Bharuch town on the left. This tows is home to hundreds of chemical factories. One of my college buddy, working in HPCL, stays here.

We continued on, reach Vadodara at 11:45 AM. Trip meter 1455 KMs.

Vadodara to Ahmedabad :

There it says "Stay straight for National Expressway 1". We do that. Payed toll at expressway entrance at 11:29. Trip meter 1475 KMs.

This is the second expressway in our route. It's a tarred 4 lane almost straight highway.

There are only 2 entry/exits on this road other than the endpoints. For Anand and Nadiad.

Another beauty on this road is that the divider between up and down lanes had quite high and thick bushes. Vehicles from opposite direction were not visible. This would block the headlight glare from oncoming vehicle's in the night.

Sign boards reminded us that NE1 is part of GQ.

On NE 1
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Some more NE 1 photos
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A fantastic and peaceful drive on NE1. And when you find peace you get hungry. We were too.

Towards the other end of NE1 there was a service area. We had our lunch there. It was quite crowded though.

About to reach Ahmedabad, I remind myself to take the exit for Sardar Patel Ring road. The expressway continues a few Kilometers after that.
We come out of NE1 at 12:55 PM. Trip meter 1560 KMs.

Continued...
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Old 17th January 2011, 20:18   #19
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Default Day 2 : Into the land of the braves

Ahmedabad to Udaipur :

A quick query at the NE1 exit toll booth put us into the right direction. You need to take a U turn and continue towards Vastral and Kathwada.

Another toll booth soon followed. Ranasan toll booth at 1:13 PM.

There were boards showing direction to Indore (NH 59). After crossing the junction of NH 59 within a Kilometer or two we reached the junction of NH8.

It's not easy to recognize it as NH8 is only a two lane road here and the junction itself is a small one. Took right from there on NH8 and we were on our way towards Himmatnagar.

Traffic was almost non existent, so drive was peaceful on this two lane stretch. Road becomes four lane soon enough.

Kathpur toll naka reached at 1:48 PM.

On the way to Himmatnagar
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Crossing Himmatnagar at 2:10 PM, Trip meter 1640 KMs.

This portion of the road, unlike the south Gujarat section of NH8, did not have much population or Industry. The drive was peaceful and we patiently waited to enter into Rajasthan.

Landscape slowly changes
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As per the map we will enter Rajasthan just before reaching Ratanpur.
Shamlaji came and went quickly.

Reached the border at 2:57 PM. They were stopping all the commercial vehicles at the check post. We could go through without getting stopped.

We made it into the land of the braves

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We stopped for a breather after crossing the border.

Where is the dessert? Why don't I see any camels yet?
Ha ha ha, we wanted to see everything just after crossing the border. We have driven 1700 KMs to see her.

Eastern Rajasthan is green, dessert is only in the west. We won't see dessert in this trip. Dessert will have to wait till the next Rajasthan trip.

Ratanpur toll naka reached at 3:35 PM. Roads were kind of deserted except a few trucks.

"AGE BIKAT MOD HAIN. BAHAN DHIRE CHALAYE".
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Ghat section started as soon as we entered Rajasthan. I have been warned in the forum to be careful in this section. Road was good but there were some dangerous curves on this road. The same was mentioned in roadside boards.

With Udaipur on the horizon, we took it slow. We can make it to Udaipur before sundown.

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We saw a very different landscape around us. Fences made of Cactus bushes. Greenery was there, but it's not the lush green of rain forest. It had a pale gray-ish complexion. An empty road, that will lead us to our destination, Udaipur.

Reached Paduna toll naka at 4:06 PM and soon we were at the junction of NH8 and Udaipur bypass road. Had to take a left here to stay on NH8 to go into the city.

Continued...

Last edited by KishoreC : 17th January 2011 at 20:20.
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Old 17th January 2011, 20:22   #20
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Default Re: Beyond the Horizon - An unforgettable trip from Bangalore to south Rajasthan

KishoreC , Nice shots of NE1. IMO this is the best express way i have driven. Your NE1 photos made me remember our recent trip - Delhi - Kerala this October. We did this stretch in 40 min on my Baleno. That day traffic was thin and were able to maintain a good speed.
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Old 18th January 2011, 19:09   #21
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Default Day 2 : Into the land of the braves

To the Hotel :

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We arrived at the city which is called by many names. "City of Dawn", "City of lakes" etc etc.

Kept on NH8 and waited for some kind of landmark to stop.

This is a technique I have come to pickup from experience. Whenever you want to ask someone for direction provide a landmark to start from, otherwise it's difficult for anyone to give direction.

Saw a big hotel "Paras Mahal" on the right and we stopped there. Called up our hotel to ask for direction.

We had to take a left at the junction after the Railway Station. The junction will have two petrol pumps one after another. Continue on the same road till the T juntion and take left. Immediately take a right and continue on that road till the next T juntion. Take left there and continue on that road. This same road (RMV Road) will lead us to Bhatiani Chohta, where our hotel is.

The guy from the hotel said that there might be a roadblock in between. If there is, to give him a call and he will come personally to let us through.
We reached the roadblock easily and gave him a call.

It seems from that point onwards the roads were very narrow and traffic police had stopped letting vehicles through to prevent traffic jams. They were letting vehicles from the other direction through.

Anyway, we had to wait there for our guy to reach. And then we had to wait for him to convince the police there to let us through.

Finally we were through and reached the hotel at 4:36 PM.

End of driving. Trip Meter 1815 KMs.

Hotel Raj Palace :


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This hotel is very close to the City Palace, Pichola Lake and Jagadish Temple.

It's a palace of sort, at least it was. It's one of the so many Palace type hotels opened in Udaipur. Most of these are in the old part of the city and lack some of the things you would come to expect from any hotel.

Anyway, we could not afford to have high expectations. We were in Udaipur at the time of peak rush. It's a kind of miracle that we found a place to stay.

The hotel staff was very friendly. The person at the front desk, Mr. Kamlendra Singh Rathod, who also had to come to let us through the barricade, was very friendly and helpful. He helped us with many things, starting from reaching the hotel to get our car parked to almost everything we inquired about.

The hotel had parking space for arround 5 vehicles in a covered garage in the ground floor. Good thing was the garage is kept locked in the night, so it's much safer to park your vehicle inside. Problem is it's a long corridor kind of parking space. So vehicles cannot move in or out freely. You'll have to move the vehicles in front to move the vehicles in the back.

We told him that we are not going to take our vehicle out for next three days. So he can park it at the end. That way our vehicle will be safe and won't need moving around to give way to other vehicles.

The room was decent. It had a Rajasthani style sitting arrangement, with a cushioned platform and pillows. Painted glass fitting on some walls and windows.

It seems only 2 rooms in this hotel had TV. We got one of them. There was a rooftop restaurant and a coffee bar inside the hotel.

There was no room service. There were only 4-5 people working in the hotel, so getting food to room was not possible. Tea/Coffee could be serviced to rooms though.

This would be our base of operation for the next five days. We freshened up, had some bread pakoda from the downstairs shop and went out for a walk.

Pichola Lake area :

First day itself we wanted to have a feel of this area. The road in front of our hotel led us to the junction where Jagadish Temple is.

The road left from here goes to City Palace. Straight one goes to Pichola Lake. We took the straight one.

Roads were very narrow, thank god we won't have to drive through these.
Even walking proved to be quite challenging, for the continuous flow of murderous two wheelers.

Junction of Jagadish Temple

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After another junction we saw a Gate and a bridge beyond that. It was a foot bridge for crossing Pichola Lake. We crossed it and went to the other side.

The gate and the foot bridge

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On the foot bridge

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The view of palaces around Pichola lake was breathtaking. Slowly it became dark and the whole scenery changed. Lake palace was visible far away. Lights of all the hotels were getting reflected on the lake surface.

Couple of shots of Pichola in the evening (no tripod)

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There were couple of cafes on the other side. They had sitting arrangements next to the lake, on the steps. We sat there and enjoyed the evening.

At the cafe

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Evening prayers started in all the temples around Pichola Lake. The whole environment was very enjoyable to us.

We had coffee (in Jumbo Glasses) with Paneer Pakoda.

It was cold and started getting colder close to the water. We were already wearing winter clothes, with our head and ears covered. It's time to move.

Also the coffee shop had two light stands in the shape of big peacocks. These were trying to make sound of peacock. It was too mechanical and was ruining the mood to some extent.

I guess we sat there for more than an hour and then slowly walked back to the hotel.

Both of us were tired. We needed a good meal and a good night's sleep.
For dinner we had to go to the rooftop restaurant. Took a couple of picture of city palace from there.

Night view of City Palace

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We at Dinner table

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From tomorrow we see Udaipur.
Continued...

Last edited by KishoreC : 18th January 2011 at 19:16.
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Old 19th January 2011, 09:00   #22
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Default Re: DAY 0.5 (NH4 - Bangalore to Mumbai )

Quote:
Bangalore to Nilamangala toll road

I didn't know that the NH4 stretch till Nilamangala has been completed. We haven't been to this stretch recently. Last time we went there, a truck took our car's LRVM off. So we thought of avoiding it till the construction completes.
I was also surprised to see nelamangala stretch complete on my back from mangalore the day before. Must say that the strtech is now flawless and avoids a lot of moronic traffic there.
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Old 20th January 2011, 22:16   #23
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Default Day 3 : Udaipur

We woke up at 7. Got ready quite fast as were eager to go out.

Breakfast options were limited in the hotel, so we head out without having breakfast.

We had a glimpse of City Palace previous night, so City Palace is first in our plan.

Last evening, we saw several cafe and bakeries on this part of the town. Was surprised to see a German Bakery in a narrow lane of Udaipur.

We found one (named "Govinda's cafe" ) to our liking and had our breakfast there. It was very close to City Palace entrance. We kept coming back to this cafe almost everyday during our stay.

The Cafe

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Mostly foreign crowd

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What was around us

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You can see Jagadish Temple there

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What we saw across the road

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Colors everywhere

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City Palace :

After getting tickets from the entrance, we managed to go inside the City Palace.

Parking space inside was already full. It was quite crowded already. In fact during our visit there it was very challenging to even find a single corner without tourists. The pictures I took will say the same thing.

The city Palace stood in front of us in its full glory. And next couple of hours we lost ourselves in her beauty and the tales she told about the bygone days.

I'll shut up now, let the photos describe her grandeur and beauty.

Entering the Palace :

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As seen from courtyard :

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City Palace continued...
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Old 20th January 2011, 22:38   #24
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Default Day 3: Udaipur

Silence. Not a single word. Only pictures

Inside City Palace:


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City Palace Continued ...

Last edited by KishoreC : 20th January 2011 at 22:41.
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Old 20th January 2011, 23:21   #25
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Default Re: Beyond the Horizon - An unforgettable trip from Bangalore to south Rajasthan

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Originally Posted by KishoreC View Post
Then suddenly she asks, How tired are you ?
I said I need a cup of coffee and I am good to go.

I smelled adventure, adventure of unknown and uncertainty.
This so much reminded me of the trip we had on the GQ. These were some of the questions we kept asking!! Hats off to you for having made such a wonderful trip.
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Old 21st January 2011, 00:25   #26
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Default Re: Beyond the Horizon - An unforgettable trip from Bangalore to south Rajasthan

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This so much reminded me of the trip we had on the GQ. These were some of the questions we kept asking!! Hats off to you for having made such a wonderful trip.
Thank you.

Read your 7 days GQ Trip log. Hats off to you two.

I can relate to you and the passion and craziness that drove you during your GQ drive.
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Old 23rd January 2011, 14:28   #27
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Default Day 3: Udaipur

More of City Palace.

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Old 23rd January 2011, 14:44   #28
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Default Day 3 : Udaipur

A few more photos inside City Palace

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KishoreC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th January 2011, 14:45   #29
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Default Re: Beyond the Horizon - An unforgettable trip from Bangalore to south Rajasthan

Hi,

Really amazing pics. The artisan work on the outer walls of the palace is simply amazing.
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Old 25th January 2011, 16:18   #30
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Default Re: Beyond the Horizon - An unforgettable trip from Bangalore to south Rajasthan

I'm sure your thread has many silent admirers. I've been enjoying it very much, from the details of the drive to the details of the palace
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