Rajasthan

The state of Rajasthan is a blend of the traditional and the modern, with somewhere a medieval ambience still lingering on. The heritage monuments and traditional costumes rub shoulders with modern infrastructure and luxuries. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is known as The Pink City and is a treasure house of palaces, fortresses, monuments, museums, temples and gardens. The lakeside city, Udaipur, set in a valley surrounded by lush hills, is famous as The Venice of the East. Jaisalmer situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, has a massive fort in yellow sandstone while Jodhpur lies at the foot of the soaring Mehrangarh fort. Jodhpur, Chittaurgarh, Bundi, Bikaner and Bharatpur all have a long and colourful history resounding with sagas of valour and heroism.
The Dargah of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, at Ajmer, Brahma Temple at Pushkar and the stunning Jain temples at Ranakpur and Mt. Abu are holy places in Rajasthan.
Rajasthans nature reserves cover a broad spectrum with habitats ranging from the verdant and hilly Mt. Abu to the arid desert wastes of Thar. Some of them are Sariska Tiger Reserve, Desert National Sanctuary, Sambhar Salt Lake, Ranthambhore National Park and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Rajasthan is well connected on the vast network of Indian railways and connected by well-maintained National Highways to its neighbouring states. The cities of a Jodhpur, Jaipur and Udaipur have airports. The best time to visit Rajasthan is during the winter months from October to March.

A trip to Mewar – Nathdwara and Ekling Ji

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But I could not take this decision till we reached the main entrance point of the temple. There was no queue at all. Worst fear of temple being closed down for that day was coming true and  I  just told that boy to take the money and arrange for the Darshan. His answer was money afterwards , firstly Darshan of the Lord . He ordered us( yeah, order) to deposit our camera and mobiles at the counter  quickly. I deposited the belongings quickly and he just took us along with him  to a sideways entrance leading to the Garbha Griha( exact location of installation of beautiful statue of Lord Shrinath Ji. Oh God, now we were in front of the Lord and just as we paid our respect, purohit of that place put down the curtains and closed that door also. What shall you say now? sheer luck, convincing power of the boy or my gut feeling. Can,t say? But overall feeling as that we were extremely lucky as we had planned to go to Udaipur and not stay there overnight. The boy asked then the amount for parshad. I thought and said O.K bring the parshad for Rs. 21. His answer surprised me that the minimum amount to be spent on parshad was Rs. 101 . Well fine , the option before us was to have the big famous Ladoo for parshad or big Rotis. We wanted him to bring Ladoo finally.It was single Ladoo and prepared from different raw material than normal Ladoos are prepared.

Now we were in the Bazaar bustling with activity. Another feature that we noted was the selling of Bhog laga hua parshad in form of fruit pieces for Rs. 10/ paper plate. We took that also and

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A trip to Mewar – Haldighati

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How one could forget  the deep loyalty of Chetak towards its master when in todays time loyalty is missing amongst the human beings. We were also thrilled to find so many peacocks in that area. It was just beautiful. I had never dreamt of visiting the famous Haldi Ghati battlefield site that also along with my closest kith and kin and that also driving my own car. After a few minutes we were on highway and from there Nathdwara town was about 4 km towards left. The beautiful evening was soon on the verge of merging with the queen of night as it was winters though the time was just about 5.20 p.m. Mausam khushgawar tha,door ghar baar tha , main apni car mein sawar tha aur kuchh hi doori par Srinath ji ka dwar tha. And the song playing in my mind at that time was yaara sili sili birha ki raat ka jalna from the movie Lekin. Lekin kyu….. pata nahin.

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Ride to Rajasthan (Pune to Mt Abu) – Abu to Vadodra (almost) return

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Sharath was riding at around 100 kmph and hit this Donkey head on …!!!!

We were wondering and thanking God that he didn’t fall off his bike and control it to stop it. It would have been a terrible accident, but in this he completely damaged the Fender of the bike. For non Bikers, Fender is the front portion you see in some bikes, pictorial representation will help !!! ☺

The fender was completely damaged and it was not possible to ride the bike with the damaged fender, it needs to be replaced or broken completely otherwise it was restricting the handle movement.
We were happy that Sharath got saved, and the donkey was alive ☺, but now we have a bigger problem in hand. We are in the middle of no-where with 1 man not feeling well, and 1 bike damaged.

While we were trying to break off the damaged fender so that that bike may be taken to the nearest mechanic, Ayush was getting bad to worse … he was completely dehydrated and fell flat on the Highway … 12:00 noon … around 38-40 degrees … no-one around and Ayush Lying on the road … the others breaking the fender so that the bike can to taken to the nearest mechanic … !!!

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A trip to Mewar – Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur

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The drive looked like very good till I encountered a steep slope drrive as in hills. Though I had driven the car a few times in hilly area but God knows what happened I just lost the confidence here when I saw that it was down and down and down. Oh God what to do now. I was trembling with fear and had put my car on to first gear . My wife and Bhakti just motivated me to carry on slowwly and remember our sojourn in the hills. I saw  Mahindra scorpio coming uphill. I just stopped him and asked him about how long it would continue like this. It was about 5 kms like this, according to him. and the situation became hilarious when he also asked how it would be like this uphill .

hahahahhaha……….. Any way the ordeal became less and plain road was there .  We were passing through  the forest area now and after a few minutes we entered the temple complex. So serene was the atmosphere there and about 30-35 vehicles parked inside the complex. Main reason that I found for heavy rush was that people from Jaina community revered the place and comee there just as they have Dilwara temples at Mount Abu. So a mixed crowd of foreigners and Indians there. And there stood the vast sprawling temple structure in white marble, so clean and so serene and so pious.

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A trip to Mewar – Karni Mandir, Ekling Ji and Sukhadia circle

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It was about 3 p.m that we exited from ahar museum and decided to go to Ekling ji which is situated on Udaipur-Ajmer highway before the historical Nathdwara town. When I was on my way to Ekling Ji just after 7-8 kms it resembled as Iwas driving in some hilly state(hills on one side and deep gorges on other side was the scenic view. So it was now only 2nd and 3rd gear for me. Frankly I didn’t expect such a terrain in Rajasthan. We as a unit were awed by the beauty this stte was offering. When we reached EKLING JI, the temple was closed and it was full one hour foe the gates to open. We paid our obescience from outside only and vrooom back to Udaipur. I would like to mention here that the temle is under maharan mewar trust and security guards posted there also bore badges of mewar security. Historically it is said that Bappa Rawal, founder of Mewarkingdom got blessings at this place only from god Ekling Ji to esrtablish the mewar empire.

SUKHADIA CIRCLE
It was fourth day in Udaipur and now it looke like this was my own city. I  felt so attachment with this city.Clean roads, sensible traffic sense, good ambience and culturally strong, this city had just cast its spell on us. I don,t know which route I took but that route took us straight to Sukhadia circle which looked like a min picnic cum entertainment spot. More than me, Bhakti and Pavani were happy on reaching there. The spot which excited Bhakti and me was a large common place with about 30 shops under one roof filled with street food and fodies we are though I try to control this urge(plz insert 20). And the square (Sukhadia circle) was in form of a very small lake (gol-gol) with small boats in the shape of ducks in it(that excited little daughter, Pavani). I think the place got its name from Mohan Lal Sukhadia Ji, if I am right or someone kindly correct me.Agenda at Sukhadia circle:

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The Spell of Bundi, Rajasthan : Reaching Bundi

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Hence, our first stop was at at ‘Salim Paper’ at Sanganer. From what we had learnt, this would be a cottage industry like place where one could see paper making and block printing. So we reached after going circles in the village, and ultimately realising that the place was right at the beginning. If you tell them that you are from ‘Arya Niwas’, they take you through a guided tour of ‘Paper Making’. This was our first visit to a ‘Paper Making’ factory and it was an extremely educative experience. The place was large, expansive and had sections where different jobs took place. The lady took us through the entire process with a lot of patience. The first step is to make the pulp by mashing waste cloth-cuttings that they procure from all the factories around. So essentially the raw material was waste organics being recycled and that was heartening to know. The cloth is shredded to very tiny pieces that are kept submerged in water for a few days. After that the whole cloth-water solution is rolled over and over again to form a thick pulp. This pulp is then further rolled to form a smoother paste. Color and condiments like rose/marigold petals, leaves are added now. Then the paste is spread on metal sheets and left to dry in the sun. Each sheet individually! Hence the paper is born. The dried paper sheet is taken off the metal based and pressed through machines. And thereafter, different actions are taken to make use of this paper. So we saw techniques of cutting, printing, pasting and finishing.

To give the viewers an experience to take home, and of course as a model for this tour fee, they also have a small shop/display counter. The only way we could have reciprocated the gesture was to buy some stuff so we bought quite a lot. Most of that was exciting and relatable as we were purchasing exactly what we saw being made right then. All of it was for European and American markets and were indeed of supreme quality. So we made a good collection of fancy paper bags, craft kits, various kinds of papers etc. that my daughter is waiting to rob off her mother for her school projects.

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A Trip to Mewar – Udaipur Sightseeing

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JAGDISH TEMPLE: The temple was an historical one in grey stone.  Lord Krishna, we bow to you. Had a  PRIKRAMA  around the main garbha griha. clicked some photographs for yaadein and came downstairs. We had planned to walk through this market to our car parked on the other side of the palace. The bazaar was known as Bhatiyani chohatta. It was full of shops selling handicraft items, Rajasthani clothes and souvenirs. It seemed paradise to Bhakti and Savita, my wife. So t one shop after hard bargaining a dress for Pavani was bought. And at one corner shops some souvenirs were bought to gift to dear and near ones. After that we reached at the parking place. and there it was our trusted maruti. Our next stop was fatehsagar lake and shilpagram.

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A Trip to Mewar – Jalandhar to Jaipur to Udaipur

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When I touched the Ajmer road on my way to Udaipur, I was just mesmerized by the highway. I had read a lot about this highway that this one is one of the best in India , on 31st of December I became witness to that. Till Udaipur I got four toll barriers on the way but it was worth. Normally I am slow traveler rarely peaking at 100 km/hour. but this highway tempted me. About 30 km before Ajmer there was a diversion towards left and I just took that following my gut feeling and I was on national highway 76 . I must mention here that on this way Chittorgarh and Bhilwara comes but remain on side so not quite a hurdle to travelers who want to reach Udaipur directly.

Kids were happy on this travel as we had experimented a long drive. Just before Chittorgarh felt hungry and stopped at a roadside dhaba offering garmagaram khana. A lot of trucks had been halting there bearing number plate mostly of Gujarat and Rajasthan. We had ordered saadi chapatis (tawe wali) and Karhi. The food was just delicious, to say. I had found in this trip that chapatis are brown in color not like Punjab where dhabas normally offer white chapatis indicating the use of maida instead of atta. After filling our tummies we proceeded further on our dream destination and it was at about 2.30 P. M we encountered a hoarding welcoming us to the city of lakes.

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Ride to Rajasthan (Pune to Mount Abu) – Mount Abu Sight seeing

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The Day came to an End at the Mount Abu market … there is something so unique about these markets on Small hill stations … the Pop Corn, the Ice Cream Cone, The Corn … yeah … we loved it. The finally came to a close with everyone shopping, that was also amazing fun … Someone from our group had just changed his facebook status from single to committed … and he had to buy something for his girlfriend … and OH MY GOD … Everyone was giving him suggestions … and it was real fun … Ayush had to buy some gifts for his wife, and me too … after 6 days and 2400 kms, if we reach without a gift .. we will be killed. So we finished our shopping around 9:00 pm and headed back to our hotel … we were all hungry and decided to get some food delivered at our resort … where we had to discuss the plan to go back, which was not same as it was while coming … !!!

We had lots and lots of Dinner … and started the discussion in the Cold Night @ mount Abu … !!! here is where the real fun starts …

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Ride to Rajasthan (Pune to Mount Abu) – Udaipur Sightseeing and ride to Abu

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To our surprises, our machines would not reach even 80 kmph ….

The First Goof-up
We stopped on the highway, and all of us looked at each other with pale faces … “My bike is not reaching 80 at full throttle … said Ayush. I seconded him and said…I am also not able to go above 80 with full throttle … we turned to the pulsars and they had the same problem …. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

We realized that the workshops we had visited have shown all their Engineering on our bikes and probably changed the tuning of the bikes.

Now what to do at 8:30 am on the highway !!! Our savior was Ayush … the man and the machine aka Sabu !!! we parked the bikes on the highway and took out the toolkits … and we started to check the idling and the tuning … for the people who understand the bike basics … the tuning which normally should be 3-4 rounds in Royal Enfield and 5-7 rounds in Pulsar was way off the mark … and the idling was also changed. That’s why the Petrol oil ratio going into the engine was not good and hence the bikes not picking speed and acceleration was very poor.

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Ride to Rajasthan – Ahmedabad to Udaipur

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Last night I and all of us had switched off all alarms and put our phones on silent, as we could not afford any disturbance…. 08:00 am … oh … we need to get ready to move ahead, we were still 260 kms from Udaipur … but on second thought, we had covered 700 kms on day 1 … so 250 kms …. Huh … EASY !!! BUT …. Yeah … the but’s of the second day start …

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Ride to Rajasthan- Pune to Ahmedabad – Day 1

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We were all there, ready to rock n roll, and lined up for a photograph at the starting point … when to our horror, the Armed guard from the cantonment came running towards us …. “hey … yahan photo kheechna mana hai” (photography is not permitted here), we could not take panga with the armed forces and we like good citizens of the country started our machines … and with a roar of 4 RE, 1 Honda CBR, 5 pulsars moved from Rakshak Chowk. The Ride to Rajasthan Had officially started!!!

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