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Old 24th March 2022, 15:15   #1
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Default Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

A road trip outside South India was a long pending dream, and we thought the time has come with arrival of the new Fortuner, Covid cases dipping after the 3rd wave, and most importantly 2 weeks leave at disposal.

As always, Team BHP was the first place to go while planning for a trip to unfamiliar roads, and the response to the thread (Destination & itinerary for a 14-day road trip from Bangalore) was amazing. It was a treasure of information and the whole plan was based on inputs from that thread. Special thanks to the Admins for featuring that thread in the weekly BHP emailer as well.

The team

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-trip-start.jpg

My regular travel buddies - Cousin, wife and my better-half.

Few tips from our planning:

Our trip plan was covering not more than 600 Kms per day with no major night driving, we had exceptions on few days, max we drove one day was 744 Kms and till 8.30 pm

Most of the hotel bookings were done in advance through online portals. We depended on Google Maps to check if the hotels were not too far from our travel route. Tripadvisor reviews were another point of reference for the overall feedback, parking facility etc. We also ensured free cancellation option availability for all bookings, this gave us the flexibility to make some adjustments later.

Other preparations included purchase of a puncture kit, tool kit for the Fortuner (tyre inflator, jump start cable, seat belt cutter and a fire extinguisher were already part of the armory). We also did a dry run of a flat tyre change procedure, though it was the same as in my old Fortuner, we wanted to make sure that we were familiar with the procedure. Fortuner went for a wash, top-up of AdBlue, windshield washer etc.

We took a PUC certificate for the new Fortuner though it was not required legally, thinking was it will be easier showing the certificate than convincing some clueless officer that is not required for a new vehicle. All vehicle documents were kept in mParivahan, but we also kept a backup of the hardcopies along with double vaccination certificates.

Below is a summary of the 15 days trip

It is compiled using data from Google timeline. We were completely dependent on Google Maps for the entire trip, we never got lost except on one occasion.

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Finally, the day of the trip had arrived.

Day 1 - Bangalore JP Nagar to Hotel Vaishnavi, Sholapur - 645 Kms

Odometer was at 6225

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day1-start-readin.jpg

Our Junior (TeamBHPian itsnotdeva) could not join due to classes

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-1-bye-jr.jpg

Started from JP Nagar 9th phase, Bangalore around 6.30 am, took NICE and got on to Tumkur road, our usual breakfast point on that route is the Kamat at Sira. We found a new place in VRL - Vasanthanarasapura. It's just an okay-ish place, with limited breakfast options and not so bad washrooms, it's really meant for their bus passengers and lorry drivers. The key advantage here is that it comes on the left side of the road.

First Pitstop at VRL for breakfast


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day1-vrrl-fortuner.jpg

Gender Discrimination

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-vrl-gender-disc.jpg

Traffic was thin after the VRL break. Our next stop was a photo break near the Tungabhadra dam reservoir, which was a huge, endless, pristine blue waterbody.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-lake-day-1.jpg

Lunch break was at a neat no frill veg restaurant (Nandagokula) at Kushtagi. There are very few food outlets on this stretch and we found this after lot of searching. Food was tasty and service was very quick.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day1-lunch.jpg

Ladies took over the cockpit after lunch

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-ladies-cockpit.jpg


We made good time and decided to make an unplanned stop at Gol Gumbaz. It was a very small detour and was worth the visit.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-1-ggumbaz-full.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-1-g-gumbaz-dome.jpg

State of Maharashtra welcomed us

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day1-mh-entry.jpg

Day 1 stay in Solapur was in Hotel Vaishnavi was probably the only wrong choice we made in hotel booking. Hotel is located in a busy part of the city and had a very narrow entrance to the basement parking. Out initial thought was to look for another hotel with parking, but with help from hotel staff to block the outside traffic, we could finally manage the narrow entrance making a straight approach.

Was not an easy task getting down here

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day1-parking.jpg

There was a veg restaurant attached to the hotel that served excellent Maharashtrian food. We retired early planning an early start on Day 2. It was a satisfying days drive with excellent roads all the way.

Veg Maharashtra Thali

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-1-thali.jpg


Day 2 - Hotel Vaishnavi, Sholapur to Hotel Lavanya Plaza, Sala Khedi, Ratlam, MP - 744 Kms

Started at 6 AM, excellent scenic roads awaited us once we exited Sholapur. We were warned about speed checking in MH, MP and RJ and tried maintaining the speed limits most of the time (but not always). We encountered vehicle mounted mobile speed cams near Jodhpur town and in Mumbai Pune express way (there are many fixed cams in this stretch as well). Though it is not too many cams to be really worried but you will never know when you may get a challan.

Breakfast was at Kanhaiya Dhaba on the highway after around 2 hours drive, there were many eateries around this place. Rest of the stretch to Ratlam doesn't have good eateries except for small road side dhabas that serve tasty veg food, but may not have the type of washroom and comfort a family expects. Roads were excellent with sparse traffic till we reached the Gautala ghats, roads turned single lane here and there was a huge pileup due to an accident. Situation improved after around 1 hour of crawling through the ghats, roads continue to be single lane and passes through the busy Chalisgaon town. I am not sure if there is a bypass available since we just followed google maps, since the trucks were not found on the town stretch, I guess there would have been an alternate option. To make it worse, main road through Chalisgaon is in a bad shape, and this was blocked by Cops at some point and all vehicles were deviated through some country road. We got lucky to join back the main road with help from Google and locals and soon got on to the 4 lane.

I would suggest BHPians planning this route to do some homework around the Gautala ghats and Chaligaon, this probably was the only real bad stretch of road we encountered in the whole trip

We entered Madhya Pradhesh after a small ghat stretch, roads are excellent with 4 lanes in all of MP. We found traffic deviated through one track for kilometers long in many places with some sort of maintenance happening in the other track. You need to be very careful while driving through these diversions especially when it is dark due to the highspeed oncoming traffic.


We were flagged down by Cops in Chalisgaon, but were given the green signal by the time we parked and got down. Same thing repeated in Rajasthan next day, I guess they were validating the PUC and other docs online and then let you go. While we were warned about Cops harassments for outside vehicles in MH, these were the only instances involving Cops during the whole trip.

Twin found in MH

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-twin.jpg

Eat like a Roman while in MH

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-vada-pav.jpg

But couldn't resist Dosa and Vada

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-food-dosa.jpg

Road side small daba for lunch after lot of hunting

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-dhaba.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-lunch.jpg

Mother on all Grids

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-grid.jpg

Inviting Roads

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-roads.jpg


Sivaji Maharaj is everywhere


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-tractor.jpg


This guy was doing 3 digits


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-vintage-jeep.jpg


Gautala Ghats - Huge Solar farms stretch across the valley

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-ghat.jpg

Boleros are the most popular form of Taxis in Chalisgaon

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-mh-taxi.jpg

Red Chilis in Chalisgaon

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-chilli-shop.jpg

Sky turned Red after the Red Chilis

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-2-sunset.jpg

We reached our destination at 8.15 pm, stay was in Hotel Lavanya palace near Ratlam, rooms were excellent and reasonably priced and had wide open parking . Tasty veg food was served in the room for dinner, they even made arrangements to pack sandwiches for the 6 am start next day.

Last edited by gadadhar : 21st April 2022 at 22:16.
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Old 21st April 2022, 14:32   #2
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Default BLR Rajasthan (15 Days, 5050 Kms): Day 3 - Ratlam, Chittorgarh, Ranthambore

Did a 6 AM start next day to include Chittorgarh fort visit on the way to Ranthambore, we soon entered Rajasthan and found the roads even better than MP. We were under the impression that Rajasthan is dry and hot across the state, but was pleasantly surprised with the amount of cultivation and greens around MP border to Jaipur and even Jodhpur and the cool weather (but that changes by end of March). There are endless stretches of wheat and other grains in many parts of Rajasthan, huge Guava farms stretches on both side of the road around Ranthambore and even large water bodies.

Beast 2.0 basking in the morning sun

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-fortuner-highway.jpg

Bye to MP

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-leaving-mh.jpg

Unbelievably Green Rajasthan

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-wheat-fields.jpg


There were lot of heavy machinery that looks like onshore oilrigs on the way to to Chittorgarh (Chittor in short), reached Chittor by 10.30 am and got hold of a guide (rather he got hold of us in the town itself while we were finding our way to the fort). Service of a guide is must in all these monuments, and you get the right person if you are lucky . I am not getting in to details of the Chittor fort and history around it since it is all available on net, consider it is a must to visit if you are visiting that part of Rajasthan.

Chittor Gate 1 : There are 7 such gates that offers protection employing various defense techniques. Just wide enough for the Fortuner..

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-chitor-entry.jpg

Temple in the fort

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-chitor-temple.jpg

Chittor Vijay Stambh

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-chitor-vijay-stambh.jpg

Chittor town view from the fort

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-chitor-town.jpg

Pond inside the fort There are many such ponds, they don't go dry even in the peak Rajasthan summer. These ponds are part of the war time strategy to ensure people don't go without water even if stuck in the fort. But Chittor Fort had to surrender when the food supply was cut by Alauddin Khalji.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-chitor-pond.jpg

Fort visit was done in around 2 hours followed by a quick shopping at an emporium inside the fort. I was told it is a Government authorized shop and they sell artefacts made by local tribes, not sure if it is a genuine story though I purchased few things.

Striking a pose with our Rajput guide

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-chitor-rajput-guide.jpg

Next item on the plan was to experience a true Rajasthani thali, our idea of trying Rajasthani non-veg was shot down by our guide, we ended up in a Vegie place called Jai Chittore restaurant next to the fort. We were surprised with the variety of rotis made of various grains and it was all tasty dripping with ghee.

Spot the different Rotis, but not all are part of the snap

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-rajasthani-thali.jpg

After some great food, it was time to head to our final destination of Leg 1 - Ranthambore.

I misjudged the maps and headed in the opposite direction while exiting the after food, this costed us more than 1 hour and taking the Fortuner through some of the narrowest of roads have ever driven through. We soon started asking for directions, but failed to get response while checking on Ranthambore only to realize later it is known as Sawai Madhopur (inherited from Rajput Raja) among the localities. We got back on track in a while, 243 kms from there till Ranthambore was excellent and literally deserted with a mix of 4 lane and single lanes. Only issue was a thick blanket of tiny insects that was getting stuck to windshield, windshield washer was not efficient in cleaning them due to some sticky liquid on their body. It sounded like rain droplets in the beginning, I even doubted if something has gone wrong with air insulation of the windshield when the sound increased with no water droplets to be found. Things become worst when it got dark, we had to struggle with low visibility and reached our destination by 7.00 pm. Our accommodation for next 2 days was in Welcome Groups Heritage Mountain valley resort. It is housed in a palace like structure, has huge rooms, great food and excellent service levels. It took us some good amount of cleaning with water next day to remove the insects, it seems they come during mustard harvest period and is a nuisance to all, we could find them even during the forest safaris



Ranthambore Weather was even better than Bangalore


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-ranthanbore-temp.jpg

Trucks are so colorful

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-colorful-lorry.jpg

Did that land in a parachute??

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-parachute-lorry.jpg

Huge water body in the desert country

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-chitor-ranthambore-road.jpg


Lapwings here will feed out of your hands

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-3-lapwing.jpg

That is end of Leg-1 of our journey. Ranthanbore was the destination we all wanted to go in Rajasthan, rest of the places was chartered keeping this as the pivot. How many tigers we spotted in the tiger land is anybody's guess, but that is not a worry with Nagerhole, Bandipur,Kabani, Wayanad at a stone's throw. We had our share of Rajasthani Lal Maas (mutton) and hit the bed dreaming Tigers of Ranthambore and stories of Machili (she is no more though) and her off-springs.

One tip while driving in these parts of India, Watch out for the cattle, they are everywhere in all shapes and sizes. It will be a good idea to stick to outer lane if there is a divider with grass, they can suddenly appear in front of you while looking for greener pastures and the outer lane will give you more runway to avoid collision

More later........

Last edited by gadadhar : 21st April 2022 at 22:31.
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Old 22nd April 2022, 06:42   #3
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd April 2022, 21:06   #4
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Really sad that I missed this trip, and now that I can see a glimpse of how much fun it was, I definitely did miss out on a lot. Love the write-up!
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Old 25th April 2022, 10:55   #5
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
Day 1 stay in Solapur was in Hotel Vaishnavi was probably the only wrong choice we made in hotel booking.
Solapur hotels are all similar. All have (cramped) parking lots. Best choice is to avoid Solapur altogether and target Pushpak Park in Osmanabad or Hotel Sunrise on Beed bypass.

The latter comes highly recommended from other travellers. I've personally stayed in Pushpak Park, which has a good parking lot with a nice Gujarati restaurant attached.

Quote:
Situation improved after around 1 hour of crawling through the ghats, roads continue to be single lane and passes through the busy Chalisgaon town
Kannad ghat is always a mess. But you don't need to get into Chalisgaon town, there is a proper bypass. Google Maps very much took me through the bypass both times I headed to Indore.

Is the Verul(Ellora)-Kannad 4-laning completed? Also am told Chalisgaon-Dhule 4-laning is in progress, is this true?

Last edited by narayans80 : 25th April 2022 at 10:58.
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Old 25th April 2022, 11:10   #6
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Solapur hotels are all similar. All have (cramped) parking lots. Best choice is to avoid Solapur altogether and target Pushpak Park in Osmanabad or Hotel Sunrise on Beed bypass.

The latter comes highly recommended from other travellers. I've personally stayed in Pushpak Park, which has a good parking lot with a nice Gujarati restaurant attached.



Kannad ghat is always a mess. But you don't need to get into Chalisgaon town, there is a proper bypass. Google Maps very much took me through the bypass both times I headed to Indore.

Is the Verul(Ellora)-Kannad 4-laning completed? Also am told Chalisgaon-Dhule 4-laning is in progress, is this true?

Thanks for the hotel tip, will keep this in mind for the next trip

So my guess on Chalisgaon byepass was correct, we struggled through the busy town and the roads were horrible, may be the bypass was crowded with trucks and Google decided through the town to be quicker.

We could see road widening in progress after Chalisgaon town, but is no where near completion. Once we crossed Chalisgaon and joined the highway, I recollect the entire stretch after that to be proper 4 lane roads

Last edited by gadadhar : 25th April 2022 at 11:11.
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Old 25th April 2022, 12:06   #7
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Default Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms (Leg 2) Ranthambore Day 1

I will try to cover 2nd leg of trip from Ranthambore till we reach Jaipur in Leg 2 of the travelogue

First part of the journey from Bangalore to Ranthambore is covered in the previous thread (Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory)

We had purchased the safari tickets online a month back, the process seems to be different from the parks in South India. After booking, we got a call from the safari coordination team, I assume the safari services are outsourced to private agencies where as governed by the forest department in South India. Based on the availability, we could only get a Canter safari in Zone 3 (people familiar with Ranthanbore knows it is the most sought after Zone) and a exclusive Gypsy safari in Zone 10. The person who called offered to arrange an exclusive Gypsy safari in Zone 3, but was costing 20K+for 4 of us which we decided not to go with (later felt we could have taken that )

Our Day 1 safari was in the evening, so decided to catchup on the sleep and then drive to Ranthambore fort after breakfast. Here too we later felt we could have squeezed a morning safari in to the plan and visit the fort towards noon.

Ranthambore fort was ~8 kms from the hotel, we left for the fort around 9.30 am. We stopped at the Ranthambore gate and were allowed to proceed after making an entry with a warning of not to stop anywhere before the fort parking

Park entrance and Gate to the fort, Zone 1 to 5 are accessible through this gate.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img202203010941502.jpg


Distance from Gate to Fort

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301094255.jpg


It is short but exciting drive through the narrow forest roads to reach the fort parking. We spotted sambars and deer on the way, lucky few may even spot tiger during the drive. There are water bodies infested with crocs on the way and warnings about venturing in to the water. There are few small streams that cross the road, and it seems the road will be submerged during the rains. There were numerous safari vehicles coming from the opposite side after the morning safari and most of them were canters and it was not easy on the narrow roads. This was at around 9:45 am, a little early start would have saved us from the trouble of negotiating this bad traffic. Parking is available at the fort gate, this is where Zone 3 safari gate is located. We were soon approached by a guide, there seems to be a turn mechanism followed by the guides, but there is no standard rate card and the bargain starts at INR 1000 to close at 300 range.

It was Sivarathri day and there is a Siva temple inside the fort, because of which many localities visiting the fort to offer prayers to Mahadeva, there is also very old and famous Trinetra Ganesha temple inside the fort



At Gate 1

There are many such gates to protect the fort from invasions. One gate has an approach angle of more than 180 degrees, this is to prevent attack using elephants to break the door by hitting with huge logs.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301103408.jpg


Gun Slots at the fort - 2 slots offer different shooting angles to tackle long and near shots

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301103652.jpg


It is not a very demanding climb, but the sun doesn't make it easy for you.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301wa0050.jpg

There are massive Langur colonies in the fort and with Langurs of rather intimidating sizes.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301102512.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301wa0059.jpg


Your source of drinking water in the Fort

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301wa0060.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301wa0076.jpg


Is that Google Translate in action?

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301112924.jpg

View of Zone 2 and 3 from top of the fort is mesmerizing.. We could spot crocodiles and deer using the binocular, only the extremely lucky ones will get see the Big Cat coming to the waters

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301113500.jpg


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301113336.jpg


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301wa0075.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301wa0070.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301wa0069.jpg

We returned back to hotel by 12.30 pm finished lunch and waited for the big event of the evening safari in Zone 10 in an exclusive Gypsy

Gypsy promptly arrived on time, there was a driver and a naturalist

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-4-zone-10-safari.jpg

it is long drive to reach Zone 10, and you have to cross across Ranthambore town. Gypsy's offer a good view of the town and surroundings, but there is no escape from the sun, heat and dust.


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301143306.jpg

Reached Zone 10 gate finally

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301144955.jpg

Quick entry to be made at the gate

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301145029.jpg

Pug marks of Aishwarya and her cubs She has been called Aishwarya for her beauty, Yes - Aishwarya (no Rai Surname) is the resident tigress in Zone 10 and she had given birth to her litters recently and last few days she has started taking them to the near by waterhole. Excitement peaked when our naturalist spotted the pugmarks over the tire marks of the previous Gypsy. Spotting a tiger with cubs was something close to a dream. We trailed the pugmarks for quite some distance, but luck was not on our side.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-4-aiswarya-cubs.jpg


We spotted many sambars (they appear much bigger than in South), Nilghai was spotted first time in the wild and numerous birds.

Perfectly Camouflaged
Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-4-huge-sambar.jpg

Nilghai

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-4-nilghai.jpg

Waiting for the Leopard Luck was not on our side. The guy was drinking water and slipped behind the tank wall after which he never reappeared.


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301155239.jpg

Bear family Our luck changed, as bears are among the tough to spot, some saying it is even tougher than a tiger. We were treated for the next 30 minutes by a bear family feeding on a termite mound. And they are such voracious feeders, they are just shutoff from the entire world while feeding and simply do not care about what goes on around them.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-4-bear-digging.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-4-busy-bear.jpg

More from Safari

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220301154752.jpg

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-img20220302080141.jpg

Welcome Group - Mount Valley Hotel in Ranthambore - Great rooms, excellent food, efficient service.

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-4-ranthambore-hotel.jpg

Last edited by gadadhar : 28th April 2022 at 13:42.
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Old 25th April 2022, 13:27   #8
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Kannad ghat is always a mess. But you don't need to get into Chalisgaon town, there is a proper bypass. Google Maps very much took me through the bypass both times I headed to Indore.
I have not yet travelled through this section. Is Kannad Ghat the road turns right at Kannad to Gautala (there is a sunset point marked on Gmaps)? For going to Chalisgaon, the Gmaps shows the road to left (Solapur-Dhule NH), which is shorter. Which is the correct route? Thanks.
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Old 25th April 2022, 13:37   #9
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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 JohnnyBoss View Post
Kannad Ghat
The ghat between Kannad town (where the 4-lane from Verul ends) and Chalisgaon is Kannad Ghat.

Quote:
Chalisgaon, the Gmaps shows the road to left (Solapur-Dhule NH), which is shorter
Yes the NH52 is the bypass. MSH-22 goes through town.
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Old 25th April 2022, 18:52   #10
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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 narayans80 View Post

Yes the NH52 is the bypass. MSH-22 goes through town.
And Google took us through the busy MSH-22.

Even with that, I think we were lucky since

1. Though Cops stopped us in the town, they let us proceed without any delay

2. MSH-22 was blocked and we had to take a detour, we thought we were smart when we joined back the main road little down the road. But the road block was for a repair at a railway crossing further down and we had smartly joined before the repair spot. Cop manning the repair work was kind enough to make way and let us pass through, else it would have been disaster
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Old 26th April 2022, 13:02   #11
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory (Leg - 2)

Day 5 started with early morning Canter Safari to the much awaited Zone 3, we started from our resort at the scheduled time of 6.30 am, but got delayed at the next pickup point by around 30 mts waiting for one family to turn-up. We missed spotting the tiger probably due to the delay caused by the very irresponsible and irritating behavior by one family.

All set and waiting

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-5-morning-safari-1.jpg

There was tiger movement in Zone 2 and there were few vehicles waiting there, our vehicle is not allowed to enter Zone 2, but we have a good view from the main road that leads to Fort and Zone 3 gate. We waited for around 15 mts with no luck, then entered Zone 3 gate. There is a welcoming sight of a tree full of big male peacocks right outside Zone 3 gate (missed clicking a good snap, this should be their roosting place for the night, and it seems only big males are allowed there. There is a short loo break at the gate before entering in to the forest.

Within 10 mts our naturalist got information on Tiger movement from other safari vehicles and quickly moved to that direction. We could hear the tiger roaring behind the bushes, but it never made an appearance. Next few hours was spent looking for the elusive tiger with no luck. Zone 3 is blessed with beautiful landscape, lake filled with crocodiles and birds and view of the fort, it is worth visiting even if you don't spot the tiger. Our naturalist and the driver tried their best to spot the tiger, they also explained the flora and fauna of Ranthambore. While dropping the family that caused the delay, our driver told them very firmly that their behavior was not acceptable and he could have very well left without them and the whole group missed the tiger only because of them. That gave me some comfort to be honest.

Rufous treepie They are found in abundance at the park gate and have no fear of humans

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Painted spurfowl - heard they are unique to Ranthambor and tough to spot

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Other snaps from Safari

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Click image for larger version

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Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-5-safari-croc.jpg

We moved to our next destination Bharatpur after lunch. That was a short 190 kms drive, most of the travel was through the beautiful singe lane roads running through the villages of Rajasthan. We drove very close to the Rajasthan/UP border and was less than 50 kms away from Agra and Mathura. Google maps handled the village roads very well except for the entry to the resort in Bharatpur. Our stay in Bharatpur was in a lovely place called Hotel Sunbird. They have few spacious rooms, small but very green campus, restaurant that serves tasty food, we wished we could have spent one additonal day here.

Guava roadside vendor There are huge Guava farms near Ranthambore and fruits are very sweet and juicy. There is also an airport in Sawai Madhopur not sure if it is only for the chartered flights.


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Driving through Rajasthan villages - You don't get a feel of the real life while you zoom through the 4 lane highways. Single lane roads that runs through the villages and towns offers the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings, stop and explore as needed etc.

Camels are the real KINGS of Rajasthan and not the tigers

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Dung cakes left to sun dry, guess it is to fire the hearth. I remember using cow dung cakes to dry and store seeds of pumpkins and various gourds.


Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-5-dung-cake.jpg

Parachute Tractor Trailers and Trucks carry the harvest, wonder how it gets loaded

Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory-day-5-tractor-parachute.jpg

Beast never asked for a break, but we wanted it

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Gram Sabha? - Found few cars on the road with "Sarpanch" nameplate

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Hotel Sunbird - Lovely little place in Bharatpur, right on the highway and next to the bird sanctuary.

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Last edited by gadadhar : 28th April 2022 at 13:47.
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Old 27th April 2022, 14:06   #12
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory (Leg - 2)

Day 6 started with an early morning visit to Keoladeo National Park, more popularly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, park gets its name from Keoladeo Temple that is located inside the boundary of this sanctuary.

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Renowned Indian wildlife photographer Mohan Thomas who happens to be a friend of ours was in Bharatpur till the previous day, he warned us that our visit is at end of the migration season and the migratory birds have started returning to their homelands. Cycles and cycle rickshaws are the only vehicles allowed inside the park, this is to ensure an unpolluted and noise free environment for the birds. Rickshaws were available at the hotel gate, we started in 2 rickshaws at 6.45 am and entered the park gate at 7 am. Rickshaw charges are Rs.150 per hour. Entry tickets can be purchased at the park gate, cycles and ricks are also available at the gate.

Rickshaws lined up at the gate

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Park facts

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Best way to get around in a birds paradise

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Spotted 43 different verities of Birds Thanks to fellow traveler Rajani for maintaining a journal of the birds spotted. This was at end of the migration season with just few hours at the park, it is left for us to imagine the diversity Bharatpur has.

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Beauty of the morning sun with early birds looking for their prey in the marshy waterbodies is a frame that will live in your memories for ever. Our progress was very slow since we were getting down at every few 100 mts to catch a close look at the flock of birds in the water. Rickshaw drivers are quite knowledgeable and doubled as naturalist too, service of trained naturalists are also available from the park gate. There were huge specimens of Nilghais grazing in the water, there were few deers and jackals we could spot in the park. Our Rickshaw driver mentioned about a tiger that strayed in to the park few years back, but is no longer there.

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Park is known for the presence of the tallest flying bird - Sarus crane. Our driver said they are not always found and we have to walk a good distance to reach their roosting grounds. We decided to try our luck, but ended up spending around 45 mts with no trace of the mighty cranes, positive part was we could work up the appetite, caught a drizzle in the desert country, spotted more birds, biggest of the nilghais and a jackal pair while on the search for Sarus crane.

Our hotel had provided packed breakfast, it is a normal practice for tourists to carry packed breakfast and lunch to the park depending on how long they plan to stay, rickshaw folks even gets you hot food from the hotel on request while you spent time in the park.

Sarus crane hunt

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Packed breakfast in the park

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We only had budgeted half a day for Bharatpur and had to check out before 12 pm since there were guests checking-in on the day. We quickly finished breakfast after the Sarus hunt and realized we only have enough time to return to the hotel. We were told that some of the best places to spot pelicans and other birds needs another half an hour to reach, but we were left with no choice and had to return back. My suggestion to anyone visiting the park is to budget minimum one day covering both sunrise and sunset, many people spend days and even weeks in the park.

Known for photoshoots - popularly called as "Honeymoon spot"

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Bid goodbye to the lovely place and started our journey to the capital of Rajasthan, the pink city of Jaipur. Sunbird was located right on the Agra - Jaipur highway, it was 179 kms to our next destination - Four Points by Sheraton in Jaipur. It was a pleasant drive through 4 lane highways, driving inside the busy city was much easier than Bangalore traffic and Google took at us to the destination without any hazzles

In spite of informing them in advance that we are coming in late (not an early check-in), rooms were not ready and there was unnecessary delays at the reception. We were handed over key for one room after about 10 minutes with promise of next room to be ready in the next10 mts. 10 mts became more than 45 mts with numerous calls to reception and finally we had to go in person to the reception to get things sorted. Except for check in delay and we had to depend on the valet parking for the Fortuner, it was a pleasant experience at the hotel.

We decided to visit the shopping street of Johri Bazar, where the old pink city is located for some late evening shopping. Being the first day in Jaipur and not too sure about the parking, we took an Uber to the Bazar. Before calling it off for the day and this series, here are some snaps from the colorful snaps from the shopping street

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Last edited by gadadhar : 28th April 2022 at 14:30.
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Old 29th April 2022, 15:49   #13
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms, 5 States and 1 Union Territory

Birds view of the trip map covering all major stops, total distance and time to be ignored


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Old 29th April 2022, 16:42   #14
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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 gadadhar View Post
Birds view of the trip map covering all major stops, total distance and time to be ignored


Attachment 2302171
Missed adding Bharatpur in the map. It was Ranthambore to Bharatpur and then Jaipur, dropped Silvasa not to exceed the maximum number of stops allowed in Google maps

Missing stops in the maps are
1. Sholapur
2. Ratlam
3. Silvasa

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Old 1st May 2022, 12:56   #15
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Default Re: Bangalore to Rajasthan - 15 Days, 5050 Kms (Leg 2) Ranthambore Day 1

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We had purchased the safari tickets online a month back, the process seems to be different from the parks in South India. After booking, we got a call from the safari coordination team, I assume the safari services are outsourced to private agencies where as governed by the forest department in South India. Based on the availability, we could only get a Canter safari in Zone 3 (people familiar with Ranthanbore knows it is the most sought after Zone) and a exclusive Gypsy safari in Zone 10. The person who called offered to arrange an exclusive Gypsy safari in Zone 3, but was costing 20K+for 4 of us which we decided not to go with (later felt we could have taken that )
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.
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