Road Travel Reminiscences – Delhi to Ajmer via Jaipur

In October 2014, I got an opportunity to go on a long drive to the cities of Ajmer and Pushkar. We also planned to visit “Bhangarh”, which is considered as the most haunted place in Asia. Along with my family, consisting of my wife and my son, I started around 3.45 pm on a Friday afternoon from Delhi with the idea of spending the night at Jaipur and proceeding for Ajmer next day. The distance from Delhi to Jaipur is 250 kilometers, which is normally covered in 5 hours.

Since, Jaipur is positioned to the west of Delhi, the sun-rays from the afternoon sun directly was falling directly on the windscreen of the car, which occasionally created blind spots in driving. But, it was also a pleasure to watch hues and colours of a setting sun on a national highway. For us, the sun set happened at Dharuhera, after two hours of driving.

Sun set on National Highway 08 at Dharuhera

Sun set on National Highway 08 at Dharuhera

Behror is considered as the mid-point of the Delhi – Jaipur route at about 125 Kilometers from both sides. We crossed Behror after two and half hours of driving passing by Gurgaon, Manesar, Dharuhera, Neemrana on the way. Manesar and Neemrana are the two very fast growing industrial cities in this route. We saw an entirely Japanese township at Neemrana. Even some of the restaurants and hotels provide Japanese cuisine here.

Soon dusk started giving way to the darkness of the night. The National Highway 11C, which branches off the NH 8 towards Jaipur was really deserted. I wanted to speed up, but decided against it for avoiding the mishap in the event any animal suddenly wished to cross the road. The city of Jaipur welcomed us at about 09.30 pm. We had taken about 6 hours to reach. But we had no complaints as the journey was so far quite good. I had never seen the illumination of the Amer Fort at night in my earlier trips to Jaipur. So, I didn’t want to miss the chance this time. The road leading to the fort was deserted. The market adjoining this fort was closed.

Dazzling Amer Fort

Dazzling Amer Fort

But the fort was dazzling in full glory conveying the stories of the Kings and Queens. Since there were no onlookers, no vendors, no traffic, we got ample time to admire the beauty of the fort at night. The night was dark as ever and the sky was looking as if it was covered by thick black blanket. The Maota lake was quite still and a cool breeze was flowing. The glorious fort had cast its glance on me. It was a beauty to behold. The reflections on the water were as vivid as the fort itself. It was very difficult for me to get away from the mesmerizing glance of this fort. Alas! We had to move ahead.

Glittering Jal Mahal in Mansagar Lake

Glittering Jal Mahal in Mansagar Lake

We moved a little ahead and found another jewel of the Jaipur city. The glittering Jal Mahal was shining like a yellow pukhraz in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. Whenever I see this Jal Mahal standing in the middle of a lake full of fish, I feel lonely about it. When I saw it again today, the loneliness of this Palace echoed in my heart. In the darkness of the night, the echo was greater. It said to me ..”O Traveller!….everybody loves me, but nobody comes to me. Days by days, years after years, generation by generation I stand alone.” I replied in my mind.. “O worthy Palace…I came to you till the point permissible. The ocean of water prevents me to come… but someone sometime will come to you definitely. Your wait will not go unanswered.”

Illuminated Hawa Mahal

Illuminated Hawa Mahal

So, we moved ahead and found the third jewel of this marvelous city, i.e., Hawa Mahal. Standing tall and illuminated, this Mahal had seen off the day of crowded markets and polluted vehicles. The Hawa Mahal told me… “O Traveller! I was built for providing cool air and shelter. My structure was befitting the queens. Pollution is that I am smoking everyday and night, days after days, years after years and generations after generations.” I consoled him in my mind and said “O worthy Palace! Soils made you and soils you would become….The respect you get is the respect you deserve. Stand tall till your strength permits”.

Booking.com

After meeting with the three jewels of this great city, we drove ahead towards the new township. The Janpath of Jaipur leads to the mighty building of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, the seat of power in democracy. It was almost 11 pm and we had to take rest for the journey next day. Still, I stopped in the middle of the Janpath. The building was trying to say something. It told me… “O Travellor! I am the power today. Don’t you agree? Or, dare not disagree.” I smiled in my mind and replied “O worthy building! Come to me after 150 years. I will see you with pride and anoint you with my tears, if your power still remained intact”.

Rajasthan Legislative Assembly

Rajasthan Legislative Assembly

So, after driving for more than seven hours, we reached the EPF guest house, where we had to spend the night. Ohh! What a day it was. Hectic activities at office.. coming home.. then driving for 250 kilometers. Remembering the events of the day, we retired for the night. Yet my mind was fresh and rejoicing.

Next morning, we started early and crossed the Amar Jawan Jyoti which has been erected in memory of soldier and martyrs of Jaipur. At dawn, the building was looking at me silently. When it did not say anything, I tried to break the ice and said in my mind “O brave soldier! Whenever there is nothing left, we have no option but to march on and on. Hope still exists till we have strength to march on.”

Early morning at Amar Jawan Jyoti, Jaipur

Early morning at Amar Jawan Jyoti, Jaipur

Half an hour later, we left the city of the Jaipur and reached the National Highway 8 again. That was my first drive on the Jaipur-Ajmer expressway. In next 15 minutes after crossing the Thikaria Toll Plaza, the real Highway began. The distance between Jaipur to Ajmer is about 140 kilometers via Dudu and Kishangarh. Jaipur-Ajmer Highway is beautiful. When the sun started shining on the countryside, it was time for us to come out for some time and enjoy the natural beauty of the vast openness.

A beautiful morning on Jaipur-Ajmer Expressway

A beautiful morning on Jaipur-Ajmer Expressway

Emperor Akbar’s Kos Minarets have a special part on these highways. I had seen such Minarets while driving to Agra and also while driving on Karnal-Chandigarh route. But that Kos Minaret, which we saw in the Jaipur-Ajmer expressway, was special. It was situated on the middle divider of the expressway. There was only one way I could capture its picture. I had to park the vehicle on the left sideline, cross the road and to climb on the divider. But I did not let it go because the moment I saw it, the minaret told me… “O traveller! For centuries, I have stood and did the job assigned to me. Come and sit with me by my side for sometime before you carry on.” I smiled in my mind and said “O Minaret! Mile by mile, Kilometer by Kilometer, Kos by Kos we travel. I promise that whenever I see you, will smile at you and praise you for what you have done.”

Emperor Akbar’s Kos Minaret

Emperor Akbar’s Kos Minaret

Highways also have emergencies. But on this highway, we observed that an emergency phone booth exists at every 2 kilometers. One has to press the button and wait for the voice of the operator. I wanted to test it. But, then I do not like giving hoax calls. So, I proceeded ahead.

The highways are also considered as the best way to understand the local climate and culture through various local practices and facilities available there. The bus stops on this highway were remarkable in their uniform colour coding and structure. Well. I really wonder when we can do this in one highway, why can’t it be repeated elsewhere.

It was 08.30 am on Saturday morning. Jaipur-Ajmer Highways was coming to life. I was anticipating the hordes of cattle. But cattle were not to be seen. Was it that had entered entering somewhat deeper into Rajasthan? Suddenly, on the left side, we found the traditional fight between two goats. Do they fight for right or do they play? Whatever that might be, they were looking beautiful in their group. The proud owner of this horde was wearing a bright orange turban and was carrying a stick. He was amused to see a car stopping by and photographs taken by some citywallah. I also wanted to click his bright orange turban on a jet black and rugged face. But I could not muster the courage to do so. One day, I will let this self-ego go, then it would be easy to converse with strangers.

Two goats in playful mood

Two goats in playful mood

The highways have their own market. For example, Petrol/diesel, air, tools, repairs, food etc. for catering to different needs of the travellers and their vehicles. But God has also given all of us a sense and the need for beautification. We often admire a truck in its full decoration travelling on a highway for its unique attire. Decorating a truck is altogether a different art. And, as usual, it describes the tastes and skills of the owner of that truck. So, the highways markets do provide for such needs. Many such shops were situated in the highway.

Marbles are the lifeline for the people of this area. After crossing Dudu, we saw big trucks carrying big boulders of marble. Makrana marbles are world famous. At Kishangarh, we saw the storage godowns of big exporters of marbles. It seemed that the entire city does only trade in marbles. The shops selling marble craft were lined up on both side of the expressway. I wanted to go to the marbles markets and godowns, but then left the idea as being too expensive.

Ajmer only 21 kilometers

Ajmer only 21 kilometers

At 9 am, we were at a little distance from Ajmer. We were near Kishangarh city, which is also famous for a painting called “Bani thani”. I wanted to see these paintings and learn how they are made. But I had to again kill this desire and convince myself to continue with the present journey. In the meantime, it was quite visible that the trees had given way to shrubs. The land would gradually become more barren, if we go beyond Ajmer on this highway. When we reached at the Ajmer toll booth, we found that it was not operational. No fee was being charged from any vehicle. It was one of those happy moments when you go near a dragon and he does not eat you!

Soon we saw the signboard welcoming the visitors in the city of Ajmer. When I saw this board, I could not take away my eyes from the caption that “the city of Prithvi Raj Chavan” welcomes you. I really get amused when I see a city being dedicated to its original ruler. It’s like chronicles of Narnia. Are we waiting for the old rulers to rise up again to fight against the ills of the present day society? It will be really cool to see the incidents, if Prithvi Raj Chavan really comes and puts his claim in present times.

Soon, we were in the world famous city of Ajmer. From the Highways, we were now travelling on the city roads and trying to cover as many points as possible in one day which was available with us.

  • O traveller! we are pleased to welcome you at Ghumakkar. First time I have travel through your this post a night at Jaipur and seen the places which looks so marvellous at night too. Very well written, Uday! Photos are superb!

    Keep travelling and keep writing :-)

    • Uday Baxi

      Dear Anupam

      Thanks a lot for your encouraging message. In fact, this message from you really means a lot to me.
      Regards

  • Shefali Arora

    Hi Uday

    I really liked the way you have written the post and added a different perspective of monuments in your words as if they are living beings. Good job and welcome to Ghumakkar.

    • Uday Baxi

      Hi Shefali,

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. They really mean a lot to me.

      Regards.

  • Hi Uday,
    Welcome on Ghumakkar and what a start. well narrated with captivating night shots.
    Keep traveling and keep sharing.
    thanks..

    • Uday Baxi

      Hi Sahgal Bhai.

      Thanks for a very encouraging message. I really feel good that you liked my post.

      Regards

  • Tulika Baxi

    Hello Uday ,
    Very nicely written. After reading the post it seems that I am still enjoying the trip. I really appreciate your love, rather say passion for travel. Looking forward to many more trips together. All the best for further posts.

    • Uday Baxi

      Thanks.

  • Kaveri

    An amazing illustration of Ajmer city with luminous photographs. The vivid narrations of the monuments make me feel that they are still standing strong & steady yet their sublime beauty mellow you down.
    I must say , it is a very exquisitely written travelogue. Looking forward to read more.

    • Uday Baxi

      Dear Kaveri

      Nice to know that you liked the post. Thanks a lot.

  • Dear Uday, welcome to Ghumakkar always wonderful to meet a fellow Ghumakkar… looking forward to read more of your post. I have myself done Delhi Jaipur route a few times on Road :)

    • Uday Baxi

      Dear Sir

      Many many thanks for your encouraging message. Recently I had gone through your desitraveler site. That was wonderful.

      Encouragement by you means a lot.

      regards

  • Hi Uday,

    We visited Ajmer on this February & Jaipur on 2012, so mesmerize my memories with your post..nicely described :)

    • Uday Baxi

      Hi Pamela

      Thanks for your encouraging words. I have also read your posts. Pictures posted by you always look great.

      Regards

  • Pradeep Chauhan

    Hi Uday,
    Very good start, welcome to ghumakkar family. I enjoyed your post. Keep travelling and keep sharing.

    Pradeep

    • Uday Baxi

      Hi Pradeep

      Thanks a lot for the encouraging message.

      Regards

  • Welcome aboard Uday.

    What started like a regular road-update log, in no time it converted into a memoir full of useful information like that Japanese eateries near Neemrana.

    Very warmly told, your tale has a lot of interesting detours which makes it a very enjoyable read. Enough has already been said about the photos but your conversation with the monuments take one to a different plane altogether.

    Welcome again and hope to read more from you. Wishes.

    • Uday Baxi

      Dear Nandan Sir

      Many many thanks for your message.

      I really feel glad to know that you liked this post.

      regards

  • Sharma Shreeniwas

    ??? ??????, ?? ???? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ???

    • Uday Baxi

      ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???? ????? ????? ???.
      ???????.

  • ravinder kumar

    hi uday sir,,,,ur post is very helpful..,i wnat to know that is there any cng filling station on NH8 , or in Jaipur near, city palace or amer fort. my route is from rithala metro station (Delhi) to Jaipur via dhaula kuan, gurgaon, dharuhera etc. with regards

    • Uday Baxi

      Dear Mr. Ravinder

      You may get the CNG filled up at the last filling station in Delhi that may take you upto Jaipur. While returning, you may drive on petrol.

      I did not see any CNG station at Jaipur. But, I must also admit that I didn’t really check on that as I was driving on petrol.

      But, if you have decided to go for that long drive, please do so…..

      Regards

      • ravinder kumar

        tx

  • Dear Uday Baxi,

    I enjoyed your poetic style thoroughly. You have a flair for expressing yourself nicely. I am planning a road trip to Jaipur, Kishangarh, Bharatpur, Agra in this month itself and was worried as regards the condition of Delhi-Jaipur highway these days. I had heard that the construction work going on there at several places impedes your progress and creates traffic jams. However, you haven’t mentioned any such thing and you could reach Jaipur within 6 hours. It is a heart-warming information for me. Thanks for sharing.

    Sushant Singhal

    • Uday Baxi

      Dear Sir

      Thanks a lot for your encouraging comments.

      Yes. The NH 8 from Delhi to Jaipur is full of traffic and at some places there are some patchy diversions. But, if the timings are right, then it is not a bad drive after all.

      Regards

  • Aditya Kapoor

    Hi Uday,

    I have gone through your journey update and planning to make a trip. can you please confirm the road condition from delhi to Jaipur that how much area is in diversion & will it be long drive feel or not?

    • Uday Baxi

      Dear Aditya

      You may find the diversions mainly near Behror (From both sides). But the journey overall is smooth, if your timing is prefect. You will find less troublesome, if you leave early from Delhi with an idea to reach Jaipur by 10 am. Similarly, try to reach Delhi back before the entry of trucks starts. The early day-light drive will give you a long drive feel, but please do not drive too fast for safety reasons.

      Best wishes

      • Aditya Kapoor

        Thanks a ton for your great support