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Old 2nd May 2022, 11:04   #16
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms (Leg 2) Ranthambore Day 1

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Originally Posted by Sa!lor View Post
Hi excellent writeup and travelogue, can you please mention from where did you book online tickets for safari because Rajasthan government does have an official website and app called SSO RAJ for booking online safari tickets and only if you book from this website or app you can get guaranteed gypsy safari specially in hot zones like zone number 1-5 in ranthambore. All other websites are travel agents or tour operators who charge more for safari and provide mostly canter only in hot zones as they are always sold out 1-2 months prior.
Thanks for the appreciation

We did boking through https://www.ranthamborenationalpark.in/ . I am not sure if this is the official government website.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 12:52   #17
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms (Leg 2) Ranthambore Day 1

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Thanks for the appreciation

We did boking through https://www.ranthamborenationalpark.in/ . I am not sure if this is the official government website.
No this is not official government website, this is a private tour agency. Only official place to book safari is SSO RAJ. From there you can directly book a gypsy and gypsy safari charges for 6 people is around 7000 to 8000 rupees including all the permits and gypsy, driver, guide fee.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 14:10   #18
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms (Leg 2) Ranthambore Day 1

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Originally Posted by Sa!lor View Post
No this is not official government website, this is a private tour agency. Only official place to book safari is SSO RAJ. From there you can directly book a gypsy and gypsy safari charges for 6 people is around 7000 to 8000 rupees including all the permits and gypsy, driver, guide fee.
Never realized we were paying extra while booking, paid 8K for 4 people for the Gypsy in Zone 10, in fact we paid for 5 people to get the Gypsy exclusive for our group. Thanks for the tip
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Old 11th May 2022, 08:43   #19
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Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory (Leg -3)

Rajasthan Day 2 started with call from Toyota to pickup the Fortuner for 10K service. With only 8590 kms completed, we didn't have a choice to wait for 10K since it was not easy coordinate service in another town while on the move. Special thanks Jitesh who operates https://arodhanasynergy.com/, he used to be head the service wing of Nandi Toyota. He had spoken to Toyota officials about our trip and Om Toyota GM Anindo Boss and his manager Sunil Jangir was in constant touch with us during the trip and offered any support needed while in Rajasthan. Saithan Singh from Om Toyota promptly turned upon in the morning to pick the vehicle. As always with Toyota, it was a very smooth and pleasant experience (was apprehensive about the 10K getting done in an alien land while planning the trip). Vehicle was promptly returned in the evening with all work completed to satisfaction, having taken the Smiles package from Toyota, the bill was zero.


Mr. Singh from Om Toyota, Jaipur

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Thanks to Fortuner, you can carry a truck load if you wish

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We hired an Ola and first headed to Hawa Mahal. Inside the Hawa Mahal, we met this gentleman, Gajendra Singh, who served as our guide for that day, and the next in Jaipur. I would definitely recommend his services and can share the contact for interested folks. Hava Mahal, with it's amazing array of windows and very unique design served as a cool abode for the royal women during the Rajasthan summer, most importantly the windows provided a daily view of the outside world to the women. From the top of Hawa Mahal, we got a birds-eye view of Jaipur city, including Jantar Mantar and City Palace. We could see a flag fluttering over the city palace, which signified that the king was presently there inside the palace. After visiting the Hawa Mahal museum, there was a pleasant surprise in the form of our own Cafe Coffee Day housed in a corner of the palace.

Exiting Hawa Mahal, Gajender Singh guided us through a short cut to Jantar Mantar by walk. 'Jantar Mantar' literally means 'calculating instrument'. It is a UNESCO heritage site and houses a collection of 19 astronomical instruments built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Our guide explained how each instrument worked, and how using sunlight, position of celestial objects etc. could they could predict time, eclipses, position of stars and weather patterns to name a few. It will leave you amazed with the amount of knowledge our country had in those days.

Across the road is City Palace which was the administrative seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. While it houses a museum in one part, the royal family still occupies other part of the palace. Palace entrance fee ranges from INR 200 to 3000 per person. While the costlier options allows access to some of the inner sanctums, we opted for the cheaper one that provides access to part of the palace and the museum. Key attractions are a darbar hall, galleries exhibiting textiles, arms and ammunitions and paintings. Clean washrooms and drinking water is available in the premises. There was a wedding preparation going on in another section of the palace. We were surprised to learn that part of the palace can be rented for weddings and other functions if you can afford, but our guide didn't have a clue on the expenses involved. Later we found a list of Bollywood celebrities who had tied the knot in Jaipur. We were very hungry by then, and there was a hotel attached to the palace, but our guide promised to take us to a place that serves excellent Rajasthani non veg cuisine. He also said there is a government shopping emporium next to it, so we hired an electric rickshaw which could take 4 people (with guide hitching a ride with the driver). While these ricks seems to be the most common and convenient form of conveyance in Jaipur and many other crowded cities in the north, they are yet to make their way in to South India. Lunch was at https://goo.gl/maps/R2MBoYaJF5tTXJgw9, food included the famed laal maas (goat meat) didn't disappoint us and the service was quick and efficient. We headed to https://g.page/tsscind?share for shopping. They have a good collection of Rajasthani items, but I don't believe their claim of being Government authorized. There is some amount of bargaining you can do though they claim it is all at a fixed price.

Got a call from Toyota around 5 pm saying that the vehicle was ready. I decided to head back to the hotel by cab, rest of the group proceeded to Johari bazaar for some more night shopping after bidding by the our gentleman guide Gajender Singh.

Hawa Mahal

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Bangalore's iconic brand in Hawa Mahal

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Sundial

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World's largest Sundial

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Busy market street of Jaipur ruled by the electric rickshaws

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Long shot of City Palace, flag states Raja is in

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Art work in City Palace

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Found this parked inside City Palace compound

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With Gajendra, exploring the city in rick is fun

Made a late start around 10 am on next day, headed to Patrika Gate which was just 3 kms from the hotel. Gate has ample parking place, which is a great thing. It has got a very colorful rainbow colored corridor and there was a pre-wedding photoshoot happening in the colorful corridor while we were there. We spent around 30 mins there and our plan for rest of the day was to go fort hopping and close the day at Jaipur with a visit to famed Choki Dhani.https://www.chokhidhani.com/

While at Patrika gate we thought it might be a good idea to take a fulltime guide for the day than finding a guy at each monument, called up Gajendra and agreed to pick him from Hawa Mahal entrance. That proved to be an excellent decision since we never had to hunt for location with him to guide. It was a very pleasant and scenic drive to Nahargarh Fort on the edge of Aravali hills, road passes through the dry deciduous Nahargarh wildlife sanctuary (meaning of Nahargarh is Abode of the Tiger, but seems to have only leopards now). Parking next to the fort was crowded. There was another parking 100 mts away which could accommodate any number of vehicles. Fort offers a good view of the Jaipur town, it should be a spectacle in the night to watch the city lights from there, but not sure if visitors are permitted in the premises after the fort closing time of 5 pm. Nahargarh Fort is also famous in Bollywood for the stepped well featured in Aamir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti.


Our ride at Patrika Gate

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Jaipur town view form Nahargarh Fort, would love to see the lights during night

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Lose Control - Yes that was shot here

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Stepwell and city view

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Fight the heat with some cut fruits

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After spending 45 mins at Nahargarh, we drove to the Jaigarh fort, the fort features a cannon named "Jaivana" ,which when manufactured was the world's largest cannon on wheels. By then it was lunch time and we went to the "Jaigarh Restaurant" inside the fort where we enjoyed excellent rotis with lal maas and lassi.

Jaigarh Restaurant

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Huge Cannon at Jaigarh fort

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Next on list was Amber Fort (aka Amer Fort). This is among the most visited monuments in Jaipur and perhaps the most attractive one, with lots of intrinsic art and mirror work. We stopped on the way to click few snaps of Jal Mahal. At Amber Fort, you have the option to park at the foot of the hill and proceed in a fancy looking electric car or ride like a King on the back of an elephant. We thought of using the electric car since it was too hot for elephant ride. Parking here was small and crowded. Our guide managed to find a slot, while the parking attendant demanded the keys and I was not ready to part with the key. Suddenly people were running from the other side in to the buildings because something had disturbed a beehive and there was a swarm of agitated bees on the path that electric cars and elephants take to the fort. Other option is to take your vehicle through the narrow and winding village roads to the fort or use the shared jeeps running on this route. Our guide was not very confident on taking the Fortuner, saying that the climb was steep and narrow, where even jeep tires loose traction and spin. We assured him that Fortuner is built for such situations, and it was a cake walk for the beast to the top. We spent around 1 hour in the fort including shopping for clothes in the shops attached to the fort. It took us more than 2 hours through the busy city roads to reach back the hotel. At around 8 pm, we left for Chokhi Dhani https://www.chokhidhani.com/ . Being a Saturday evening, it was crowded but there were huge parking grounds near by. Our feedbacks are mixed about this place, where under one roof we could get a view of the whole of Rajasthan, but at the same time it was very commercialized, with a feeling of artificiality everywhere. Food was good, but not great.


Jal Mahal

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Rajasthan is full of forts

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Amber Fort

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Capsule package of Rajasthan under one roof

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Old 16th May 2022, 11:48   #20
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Dear Bobby

Amazing journey ! btw did you ever had to engage the manual DPF in the whole trip ?
Regarding Toyota 's service I believe anywhere in India its top notch and that is one of the reasons people are prefering the new Glanza against Baleno

Also did you ever had to engage 4X4 in the whole trip ? I gues not unless you did some dune bashing in Rajastan . I am not sure if they have it in Rajastan

thx -
Harish
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Old 16th May 2022, 13:45   #21
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Very nice writeup with photos to support

The journey rings a special bell for me as I did the same route in 1998, on a Bajaj Chetak with my newly wed wife we survived the trip and i am still married to the same woman over 24 years
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Old 16th May 2022, 16:03   #22
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

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Originally Posted by harifire View Post
Dear Bobby

Amazing journey ! btw did you ever had to engage the manual DPF in the whole trip ?
Regarding Toyota 's service I believe anywhere in India its top notch and that is one of the reasons people are prefering the new Glanza against Baleno

Also did you ever had to engage 4X4 in the whole trip ? I gues not unless you did some dune bashing in Rajastan . I am not sure if they have it in Rajastan

thx -
Harish
Thanks Harish. Never had to use the manual DPF option till date

Agreed on the service part, and that make us pay a premium for that

No 4X4 during this trip. I think you can do dune bashing near Jaisalmar, but Jaisalmar was not part of our itinerary. Khimsar also might had some dessert tracks, but we had only a night there and couldn't explore much,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatafanatic View Post
Very nice writeup with photos to support

The journey rings a special bell for me as I did the same route in 1998, on a Bajaj Chetak with my newly wed wife we survived the trip and i am still married to the same woman over 24 years
Thanks tatafanatic. Honeymoon trip on a Chetak across Rajasthan is amazing, would love to see some snaps if you don't mind
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