Table of contents for Car trip, Mumbai - Manali - Mumbai 4550 kms in 15 days
Road conditions between : Udaipur-Bhilwara – 6/10, Rajsamand - Bhilwara 5/10, Bhilwara to Agra via Jaipur – 7.5 /10 (for more info on ”
for a detailed note on the road conditions in India, click on the link Mumbai-Udaipur 778 kms 13 hrs 30 mins
Routes as suggested by Google Map
Thankfully we did not take the route which was suggested by Google Map. It was a criss-cross of NH and SH and that didn’t sound very appealing , but we made one mistake. We stuck on to NH 8 till Rajsamand (impressed by previous experience), then SH 12 for Bhilwara and thereafter NH 79 till Ajmer and back to NH 8 till Jaipur. In cirica 2010, the stretch from Udaipur till Jaipur is a mix of single / double lane and, naturally, slows you down quite a bit. Instead NH 76 to Chittaurgarh and thereafter directly on NH79 till Ajmer, would have been the best. To hop on this route, which I did on my way back home (from the reverse side) , on exiting from Udaipur, ask for directions for the airport, which is enroute and you shall be then heading for Chitaurgarh and then to Ajmer.
View Directions to Agra in a larger map
0810 hrs – AT UDIAPUR
788 kms from home
After spending some time on photo session we started at 0810 hrs. The sun had risen considerably and the heat demanded AC at full blast. As I had said above, we should not have taken this route, but stuck that we were, patiently trudged along for Rajasmand so as to head for Bhilwara.
0945 hrs – at Rajsamand bypass, 1 hrs 35 mins and 71 kms from Udaipur, averaging - 40.0 km/h
859 kms from home
Initially, for about 20 odd kms the stretch was good and I was hopeful of increasing my average but after sometime it was frustrating to pick up speed, the car vibrated badly ’cause of numerous path-work and much to our dismay the average was – “just average”
1055 hrs – crossing Potla, 126 kms from Udaipur, averaging – 45.9 km/h
914 kms from home,
The Potla – Gangapur patch was bad!! Post Gangapur the road smoothen up quite a bit and we could pick up some speed.
1120 hrs – exiting SH 12 for Bhilwara, 163 kms from Udaipur, averaging – 49.4 km/h
951 kms from home
Finally Bhilwara by-pass. I felt much joy at the sight of a smooth double-lane road with a divider. Road fun … atlast!!!!. This made me hungery but NH 79 is a dud….. nothing decent AT ALL. So it was the usual packaged junk and health food all along.
1425 hrs - outskirts of Jaipur, 407 kms from Udaipur, averaging – 61 km/h
1195 kms from home (25%+ JOURNEY COMPLETED!!!)
Desperately searching for the signboard for the Jaipur-Agra bypass or Phagi or for the SH2, we moved on. The traffic was considerable and fast moving. The heat – terrible. Friendly faces – disappeared. All of this did not allow us to stop on the NH 8 and grudgingly we entered Jaipur. Famished, much behind schedule and clueless…… we decided, like any good ghumakkar! to press on. Asking travel directions at every red-crossing, someone offered us to follow him (god bless !!) as he too was headed for Agra (see the benefits of pressing on… had we stopped for a bite….). At the entrance point of the NH 11, inside the AC car, windows closed, concentrating on the traffic, in our best smile and sign language, WE THANKED HIM and he, as a true Indian smiled back. I have said this before and shall do so again, friendly faces for a ghumakkar in India – always available.
1745 hrs – outskirts of Agra, near Fatehpur Sikri, 637 kms from Udaipur, averaging – 56.1 km/h
1432 kms from home
It was time for a break for the nature’s call (a must before entering a city) and a photo session. Fathepur Sikri looked awesome. we made a solmen promise… it would Agra, again, in a more pleasant climate.
1945 hrs – at Agra, 687 kms from Udaipur, averaging – 25 km/h
TOTAL TRIP AVERAGE – 59 km/h
1482 kms from home
After much frustrating (I was bone-tired) direction-finding on mobile from our relatives and of course, much help from many Agraites, we reached the comfortable abode of our relatives.
They advised an early sleep so that we could visit Taj early in morning. The best counsel that had reached my ears which I readily accepted.
THE TAJ !! THE TAJ!!! THE TAJ!!!
Earlier, whilst planning, I had purposely decided to detour from Jaipur towards Agra (instead for Delhi). This was amply rewarded next day morning.
0730 hrs in the morning we reached the site. And the experience of a lifetime. If Fatehpur Sikri had made me visit Agra again, Taj wanted me to camp right there.
We arrived back at around 0900 and were treated to a sumptuous breakfast of kachories, lassi, poories, aloo subzhi, and jalebi. Thereafter I slept and slept.
In the forenoon, my friend, who was supposed to meet us in Manali (driving from Delhi) wanted us to route via Delhi on the next leg to Ambala. I decided better and loaded our bags then and then and headed for Delhi!!
This was the best part of the trip. THE COMPLETE FREEDOM to go anywhere, anytime. I felt like a true ghumakkar OR had my ghumakkar ahaa moment!!
I confess. I did pat on my back for having made the road trip plan, in my car, and not tied it up via air / rail transports.
1630 hrs – at Agra, off to Delhi – an impromptu plan!!!
Exiting Agra was another task. And when we touched NH2 it was like a city drive all the way through till Delhi. No, the average was not worth calculating.
2230 hrs Delhi – At my friends place – 214 kms from Taj, averaged -dont ask!!
1646 kms from home
The was the most exiting day/ night. From the early morning Taj to now Delhi it was a “ghumakkar’s fun day out”. And boy it was hot! Delhi was radiating heat all around. But company of friends, drinks, more drinks, then drinks without ice and finally with just plain water, ghumakkar stories, jokes, leg pulling, gossip, many rounds of teen-patti, sumptous dinner and the night never seemed to end. Neither we wanted it to……………
Morning, obviously, I got up around 1030 hrs and started preparing for Ambala