Table of contents for Delhi-Vadodra
- Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi Road Trip (Part-1)
- Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi Road Trip (Part -2)
This post is in continuation with my last post Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi Road Trip (Part -1). Starting from Delhi, with a stop-over at Udaipur, we arrived Vadodara on 1st of October. Stayed there for the next 2 days and started the return journey on 4th of October. We took off at 5 in the morning as around 450 Kms had to be covered that day to reach Chittaurgarh.
Vadodara to Ratanpur (Rajasthan Border) : We were already aware of road conditions and decided to have breakfast at A1 Plaza which was located around 25 Kms before Ahmedabad on Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway. Let me tell you that in the past, we had great experiences with A1 Plaza on our trips to Jaipur and Agra. But this one was no good, we couldn’t understand why, but only South Indian snacks were available at the two A1 Plaza’s we visited in Gujrat. If not anything else, one would at least expect some good Dhokla, Khandawi or Theple, but all we could find there were Idli, Vada and Dosa! There was no printed menu and the only one displayed on wall was in Gujrati!. We left quickly without wasting any time and decided to take a break later.
After reaching there, we realized that we’d covered around 240 kms without eating anything since morning! It was 10:00 am and being desperately hungry, we stopped at RTDC Midway Ratanpur. Old looking setup, first impression – No good. We did not have much options so started our breakfast with a safe order of Tea, Butter toast, 1 omlette.
Straight to Chittaurgarh : We decided not to stop at Udaipur and continue on NH-76.
After sometime the 4 lane highway started again :-). Finally, we reached Chittaurgarh around 2:00 pm and checked into Hotel at 2:30 approx. The hotel was outside Chittaurgarh on Jaipur highway.
Chittaurgarh: Engine stopped at Hotel Padmini, Chittaurgarh. An Old looking building but nice and huge property. I’d booked the hotel around 15 days back from Delhi on phone. Tariff was Rs 1200 for a day. Blame it to my non-bargaining skills but that was it. I read a post on ghumakkar it self that you can get rooms for 200 Rs in Chittaurgarh but I did not try it as I was with wife and wanted a safe hotel. I tried to bargain at the counter and got free morning breakfast and stay in ‘Deluxe Room’ in place of the Standard A/C Room ;-).
We did not waste any time in going out for lunch and stayed in hotel for next 1.5 hours. Had some snacks (Gujrati theple, namkeens et all) we’d picked up from Vadodara along with a cup of Tea. I needed some rest so took a short nap as well. We left hotel for Fort around 3:45 pm and reached the main gate very quickly. At the gate, we were surrounded by a herd of Guides. We bargained and hired one who claimed to have a government approved ID. He took the rear seat in our car and we headed for The Mega Fort.
We went to city for quick evening snacks as we had to rush back to Fort by 7pm for the Light & Sound show at Rana Kumbha Mahal. The show has been introduced recently and was in its ‘testing days’ so was free of cost. We got late by 5 minutes in reaching the fort and all the seats were occupied. There was a huge crowd which mainly consisted of localities. Somehow we managed a place to sit. The show was very informative, covered the history of Chittaurgarh and more specifically stories related to Rawal Ratan Singh and their gorgeous Rani Padmini.
We left the fort around 8 pm and had dinner in Hotel Pratap which was one of our considerations for stay while booking hotels. I’d rate Hotel Pratap better than Hotel Padmini because of its service and also as it is newly built/renovated. It might be because we experienced their restaurant area only, but overall, it seemed as a better option in similar tariff. We reached back our hotel and had a tight sleep after a long day of 450 kms drive and Chittaurgarh exploration.
Chittaurgarh to Jaipur: Next day there was no hurry of leaving early because we had to cover only around 300Kms to reach Jaipur. We had our breakfast in hotel and left for Jaipur around 10am. We were on NH-79 and road was awesome, but not as scenic as NH-8 while we were coming to Udaipur. The distance to Jaipur was covered quickly with just one break for Lunch at A1 Plaza (near Dudu). We had bitter expereince here as well when we found an insect in one of the dishes ordered. All in all, we did not find the same good quality in all A1 Plazas as the one near Jaipur (Shahpur) or Agra. You must be wondering why am i obsessed with A1 Plaza and why do we stop at there only? It is because of many reasons 1) They are owned by Relaince, 2) good experiences at Jaipur and Agra and 3) I took complete list of A1 plaza network with me on this trip (Courtesy www.a1plaza.net) and knew where they were located on the way. One pointer to follow when you take information from this website is to make sure that you check the side of the road on which the Dhaba is. This could be important when one is in a hurry and doesn’t want to take u-turns and opt for other option on the same side of the road. We learnt it the hard way :(
Jaipur: Reached Jaipur around 3:30pm and since our Hotel was also on Ajmer road we didn’t have to waste time in the city traffic. We already had an agenda of what to do in Jaipur – Shopping (for wife) and Dinner at Chokhi Dhani (both of us). After some rest, tea and snacks, we headed for Bapu Bazar around 5-5:30 pm. This time we did not use our car and took an Auto ricksaw to the market to avoid traffic and parking problems (wise decision!). We were in Bapu Bazar for around 2 and half hours shopping and spent few thousands for carrying big heavy bags. Came back to hotel to freshen up and again left for Chokhi Dhani.
We’d visited Jaipur last year and thanks to my elephent memory, we found the correct way to Chokhi Dhani easily. Although I had already visited the place but i was excited to be there again.
Jaipur to Delhi: Even more relaxed next morning, last 240 Kms to back home. Wifey decided to see some more jewelery in ‘Johari Bazaar’, so we started from hotel around 10:30-10:45 and spent some time there. We had decided to come back, but Nandan called in and suggested us to see the Canon at Jaigarh. Finally started for Delhi directly after that at 1:30 pm. Now to tell you the truth, I was experiencing worst road of my trip. It was one of my favorite roads before this trip. But because of comparison data available I was not feeling very good on Jaipur-Delhi road. Took lunch break again on A1 plaza (again!) :-) near Kotputli, and moved on. Entered Gurgaon around 6 pm, had to in between on the traffic lights and road construction work.
Suddenly I was in an ocean of cars, and I was not at all comfortable driving in initial few kilometers. My Delhi driving instincts took some time to revive and after some time I was also racing with every body on the newly built flyovers of Gurgaon. Around 8:00 pm ,we finally reached home (my in-law’s place, It was staturday evening and every body was there including Nandan).
The wonderful roads in our entire journey have spoilt me. I just hope that in the next trips (to other destinations) i do not compare the roads with the one’s covered in this trip else I’d end up cribbing!
Few interesting points:
1. We spent around Rs 1000 just in toll tax.
2. Our car, Maruti Esteem gave an unbelievale milage of ~22km/l.
3. We spent around 40 hrs in drving (in 5 days).
4. We drove 2270 kms in this trip (includes city driving).
5. Use of maps from Mapmyindia, Google Maps for planning the road trip helped a lot.
6. Reliance Petrol performance was good.
7. We do not like masala tea with lots of milk and sugar, so always carry hot water and tea kit. Which really helped us as a good cup of tea is one of the biggest stress busters!