Road trip to Rajasthan: Udaipur-Ajmer-Jaipur-Delhi (Part 3)

On the day 4 of our Rajasthani sojourn, 28th March 2014, we were up and were ready to roam after a good night’s rest. At first we scouted for some local breakfast and found a good place nearby and splurged on Poha, pyaz kachori, dhokla and jalebi. Then we headed to Fateh Sagar lake and headed up towards Pratap Samrak. Pratap Samrak is on top of a small hill and as the name suggests it’s a memorial in the name of Rana Pratap. It also has a museum with models of Chittorgarh, Kumbalgarh and battle of Haldighati.

Entrance for Prataph Smarak

Entrance for Prataph Smarak

Maharana Pratap Smarak

Maharana Pratap Smarak

After this we did a boat trip to Nehru park, which is in center of Fateh Sagar Lake. It was hot and Nehru Park had nothing much to offer so after spending mandatory 30 minutes we headed back.

Nehru Park, Fateh Sagar Lake

Nehru Park, Fateh Sagar Lake

Boating in Fateh Sagar Lake

Boating in Fateh Sagar Lake

At this stage we debated whether to cover more points in Udaipur or head to Ajmer, we decided on latter.

Ajmer is around 300 km from Udaipur and by the quality of roads we had seen, we estimated to reach there in about 4 hours. Now google maps gave three routes for Ajmer: NH8 – 271 km; NH 79 – 306 km and NH14 – 349 km. It was easy to pick and we headed NH8, to begin with it was a hilly drive and once we drove 50km the road condition deteriorated due to construction at many places. We quickly realized that we should have gone via NH79 (via Bhilwara which is a 4 lane highway). After crossing a town: Beawer, we hit a good road, although single but in excellent condition. We reached Ajmer around 4 pm and headed towards the Dargah.

All of us were very hungry so I enquired at a Dhaba about any fast food restaurants in the city. We followed the directions and reached a local pizza joint at India Motor chowk. The pizza was delicious and cold coffee was even better. I made it a habit to talk to people and enquire about local site seeing etc. The shop owner was very helpful asked me to park my car here and take an auto to dargah since the area is very crowded. We did just that. The auto travelled through small bylanes and dropped us some 100 meters from the dargah. As expected the area was very crowded and full of hawkers and beggars. This kind of environment was new for my children and they were uncomfortable, somehow we managed to wade through the crowd and reach the dargah. Dargah Sharif or Ajmer Sharif is a shrine of sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti. The shrine has the grave (Maqbara) of the revered saint, Moinuddin Chisti. After paying our respects we headed back and thereafter towards Pushkar.

Pushkar is a holy city and said to be one of the oldest cities known. It is about 18 km from Ajmer town and the drive is around a hill. This lake was consecrated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe when a lotus dropped from his hand into the valley and a lake emerged in that place.

At the Pushkar check post we engaged a guide to take us through the important places for Rs. 50, not a bad deal at all when parking is a challenge at these places. The first stop was the ghats of Pushkar Lake. The lake was calm and water level low and there were ghats all around it.

Boating in Fateh Sagar Lake

Brahma Temple, Pushkar

We quickly moved to the next point – The Brahma temple, we got to know that this is the only Brahma temple in the world. Photographs were not allowed inside the temple. Even though I was aware but it was surprising to see so many foreign tourists around this holy place. It was over 7 PM and we now headed back to Jaipur which was a 2-1/2 drive.

We reached Jaipur around 10 PM and after quickly grabbing a bite retired for the night. In case you are looking for hotels in Jaipur, head towards MI road and you will find in plenty. Go through trip advisor reviews and get hotel numbers from internet. With smart phones around it’s so convenient.

Day 5: Jaipur – Delhi, 29h March 2014

This was to be the last day of our trip and we were all more than eager. We had done few trips to Jaipur earlier but at that time children were young and did not remember much. Even though Jaipur was not in the initial plans but my wife persisted with the idea and I gave in. After the wholesome breakfast of Poori Aloo, Idli, dosa etc. we headed towards the sites in the pink city.

We bought consolidated tickets for Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort and Albert Hall. If you have children and carrying their student ID cards then they get a discount on the tickets.

The first stop was at Jantar Mantar observatory. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars’ location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes. It is advisable to get a guide here or else you will not understand much. Samart Yantra was the highlight as it was simple but huge and could show the time with accuracy of 2 seconds!

Samart Yantra at Jantar Mantar

Samart Yantra at Jantar Mantar

Next stop was Hawa Mahal. I had visited Jaipur multiple times but had always seen Hawa Mahal from outside and thought that was the only structure. I was in for a surprise as Hawa Mahal compound is of good size with multiple floors. There are small windows and holes all across the walls of hawa mahal leading to nice cool breeze in the compound. It was hot and any breeze was welcome! It was fun to climb up to the top floor (4th or 5th) and we clicked many pictures.

Hawa Mahal compound

Hawa Mahal compound

Coming outside of Hawa Mahal, we did some shopping for the only lady in our group and then headed back to our car. We had two other points on our list – Jaigarh and Amer forts, both of which were away from the city and on the way to Delhi.

A friend had advised me to visit Jaigarh fort and look at the biggest cannon in the world. We headed first to Jaigarh fort. This is a private property and as with every place had entry tickets for people, cars as well as tickets if you wish to shoot pictures.  I thought these rules are out of times since everyone carries smart phones these day and it so difficult to prevent someone from taking a photograph. Anyways we drove inside on the cobbled streets of the fort our first stop was a huge water tank. This tank had a secret basement where huge treasure was accumulated by the Sawai Jai Singh over a period of time. It is said that Indira Gandhi sent army trucks during emergency to get the treasure from Jaigarh. A part of Jaigrah fort is built like a bhool bhuliya and it was fun to go around. There is a good view of Amer fort from Jaigrah.

Thereafter we saw the biggest cannon referred to as Jaivana, without doubt it is huge and heavy. The cannon could turn 360o and fire in all directions. Its range was 22 miles and enemies did not dare attack Jaigarh after the cannon was commissioned.

View of Amer Fort from Jaigarh Fort

View of Amer Fort from Jaigarh Fort

The last stop of our trip was to Amer Fort. This was my 3rd or 4th visit to Amer Fort and each time we did the climb and planned to do the same. But at the parking I came to know that there is a way through the village and one can drive up to the fort gates. How could I miss the chance to drive J It was a short drive and within no time we were at the gates of Amer fort. The security confused us for someone else as our car number resembled theirs and we were allowed to go until the last drivable point. Inside Amer fort we saw Diwane Aam, Diwane Khas and fort area. To our surprise there was a Café Coffee Day inside and we gorged on sandwiches and coffee. It was now time to start our drive back to Delhi.

Diwane Khas in Amer Fort

Diwane Khas in Amer Fort

Delhi was just around 250 km from Amer and I estimated that we could be home in 5 hours (worst case). We stopped at RTDC Midway restaurant for a quick bite and it turned out pale in comparison to our earlier visits. Back on the highway the traffic started to get slower with so many trucks and construction all around NH8. It seemed that there was a big jam ahead, but the sluggish traffic led to complete stand still at many places. It was getting very late and we were still over 100 km away from Delhi. Finally after many stop overs and detours we hit the Manesar toll and after that the jam cleared and we headed towards Delhi. We reached home (east Delhi) around 1:30 AM after over 9 hours of travel from Jaipur. This was one of the most harrowing times we faced during any of my trips.

5 days over 1900 km and so many places… it was a great vacation and experience of each one of us!

22 Comments

  • Anupam Chakraborty says:

    Hi Nitin,

    Udaipur and Ajmer in one day!!!!! Then only somewhat half day like in Jaipur!!! I reread your first post to know if you have visited those places earlier. But you have not mentioned that.

    I believe you had constrain of time. Anyway, you have written nicely. I loved the Photo of yours with the kid boating at Fateh Sagar Lake, everyone seems so happy.

  • Nitin says:

    Hi Anupam,

    Thanks for your comments.

    We spent two half days in Udaipur, 1/2 day in Ajmer and kind of 3/4 day in Jaipur. We had visited Jaipur multiple times earlier and only covered new places. There is always a trade-off on rushing to visit each an every attraction or visit few of them. We choose to do the latter…. Definitely time is one constraint but its also the quality of the place, for example Nehru park in Fateh Sagar lake could be skipped coz there was nothing much there. When we were young we used to visit places with good gardens, fountains etc… but now one finds such attractions almost everywhere and so that appeal to visit them is lost.

    So mantra for me is to visit few attractions and chill out as well :)

  • MUNESH MISHRA says:

    Hi Nitin,

    Enjoyed your series of trip to Rajasthan. This part of the series also very interested like previous. Lake City Udaipur, Holy City Pushkar and Pink City Jaipurs descriptions and photographs are very nice.

  • Nitin says:

    Thanks Munesh. This encouragement inspire me to write more often :)

  • Deepika says:

    very nicely written. After reading you post thinking about cancelling road trip between delhi-jaipur

  • Ashok Sharma says:

    very good post,nice pics.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Quite a few places, you managed to visit in such short time. I think Udaipur definitely needs more time, esp one complete evening to see the show at Bagar ki Haveli and then roam around the old city, pay a visit to Jagdish temple and then have dinner at one of those roof-top restaurants overlooking the lake pichhola. But then, to each his own.

    Yes, the Dargah can be overwhelming , esp for kids. I am happy that you still managed to go through it.

    So the vacation comes to an end with that long drive. The road is getting better and hopefully once the 6 landing is finished, Jaipur would be under 5 hours from Delhi.

    Thank you Nitin for this warm and happy series of Rajasthan. Where do we go next ?

    • Nitin says:

      Thanks again Nandan. We did miss few things and maybe next time I should talk to you while planning a trip :)

      Donno about the next, still thinking.. should it be the hills or some other place.. there is so much to see… Want to do Manali-Leh/Laddak belt.. lets see..

  • Naturebuff says:

    Lovely series… We had done this part of Rajasthan in 2010. There is a place between Jodhpur and Udaipur with a little bit of a detour called Ranakpur. Do make an effort and visit that place for its Jain Temples… Stunning temples…! I loved it even more than the Dilwara in Mt Abu.

    Check out my blog on Ranakpur at

    http://goabirder.blogspot.in/2010/04/snapshots-of-royal-rajasthan-ranakpur.html

    • Nitin says:

      Thanks Naturebuff. I went through your blog… Ranakpur sure looks good… maybe visit that part in the next trip :)

  • Teena says:

    Nits, you have described our trip very nicely. On reading, it seems to me as if I am still enjoying the trip. Kudos to you for such a well executed trip without much planning as per me. It was our one of the best trip as Ansh-Vansh enjoyed every bit of it so as we. Thanks to you for enhancing our history knowledge and that too while driving. Appreciate your memory on history. I can never forget the kind of questions Ansh asked you on the day and you were able to answer all.

  • Lalit K says:

    Reminded me of my trip to Jaipur and Ajmer. Nice post with some intetesting details.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Nitin,

    That was a lot of Rajasthan packed into one post! You can always do multiple posts on each city in the near future whenever you get a chance.

    Road tripping in Rajasthan is on to-do list. Hope it materialises soon.

    Enjoyed the trip with you and looking forward to a new series!

  • Vansh says:

    This was the best trip i enjoyed the trip and the thing that you have written is marvellous and from that i will not forget anything.

  • Nitin says:

    Thanks Beta. I am delighted that you enjoyed the trip!

  • Snehashis Khan says:

    Hi Nitin

    Indeed very nicely written. I am an avid road traveller myself. Next week I am planning the following trip : DEL – PATAN MAHAL – JAIPUR – PUSHKAR – DEL. We will be doing this over 4 days, though on last day we will be travelling Pushkar to Delhi in one stretch. I am concerned about the high traffic on Jaipur – Del stretch, hope it wont be too bad :)

    Cheers

  • ravinder kumar says:

    dear sir, is there any cng filling station on NH8 , or in Jaipur near, city palace or amer fort. my route is from rithala metro station to Jaipur via dhaula kuan, gurgaon, dharuhera etc.

  • subrata basak says:

    total tour describe me pls

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