Rajasthan (Day 3) - TrustVishwas
Day 3 : 7.4.2012 : Saturday : Pushkar to Jaipur – 150 km
As decided before beginning of ride, we both woke up at 5 am and got ready. Staying in RTDC hotel is extremely helpful in saving time by not serving any beverages or food before 7.30 am. Started riding by 6 am.
Just before reaching end of the town, I saw 5-6 peacocks sitting on a house. Stopped, took u turn and was trying to get out the camera. By this time, all of them had flown off. This is the first time I had seen peacocks flying for more than 100 meters. It certainly is not most graceful but they managed to evade my lense.
Last one that flew away
After this incidence, we found some chai taparis on roadside. We decided to have morning cuppa and biscuits (as a replacement for breakfast) there itself.
Amit in his usual Posergiri :)
I really don’t think that the owner knows what the name of chai tapari actually means –
Here, the shop owner suggested that we take Budha Pushkar route to avoid going through Ajmer town. We gladly accepted his advice as we desperately wanted to avoid going through Ajmer town. The road was fantastic and scenic. However, before joining the main road coming from Ajmer, the Major District Road 85, ended in someone’s backyard. We both were trying to figure out where did we go wrong. Then locals told us that we were on correct road and voila after we continued in the small lane / backyard, we joined the main road within 100 ft.
This road was 4 lane but 2 lanes were under construction so the traffic was fairly heavy by Rajasthan standard. This continued for next 50 odd km. Then the road degenerated into nothing. Near the town of Kishangarh, it was absolute mayhem with road under construction and all traffic blocked. We somehow managed to cross this stretch praying for a better road.
After 5 km of this excuse for a road, we came up on answer to all our prayers. It was a toll six lane road that was barricaded on sides. This would be one of the best roads I have ever ridden on. Though there was traffic, we were easily cruising at high speed. We were quite comfortable and were not racing each other or cars but just cruising at high speed. We both were even looking around, stretching legs etc. With loaded saddle bag & tank bag, there is no way that we were trying to set land speed record.
However, by the end of this road, we found out that we had covered the 86 km stretch in . . . . . . 35 minutes. . . . . yes 35 minutes. . . . . you read that right. . . . . An average speed of 147 kmph. I have never before or since then ridden at such high average speeds and that too without actually stretching ourselves too much.
We had not booked any room at Jaipur. Called up a hotel highly recommended on tripadvisor.in. Hotel Baba Haveli - http://www.babahaveli.com . The hotel is located bang opposite Rajasthan Police Academy. However, it does not have secure parking. Parking was on road. One redeeming factor was the owner’s son – Mr. Gautam. He was extremely helpful. He showed us on map about all the locations that we must visit and which we can skip. The rooms were small but absolutely clean and obviously oriented towards foreign tourists but in this case it is not a negative.
Painting on room wall
On guidance from local friends, went to a Dhaba called Sharma Dhaba. This dhaba specializes in all Pure Desi Ghee Food. The place is just decent but serves fantastic tasting and fantastic priced items. One Laccha Paratha costs 75 bucks at that place. I think that this price rivals that of five star hotels. Lassi was amazing and served in terracotta glasses. Overall a positive experience.
The sun was merciless and heat was taking toll on our bodies. However, we wanted to finish off local sightseeing on the day itself since we would be pushing off towards Jaisalmer next day.
After lunch, we moved towards the famous walled city, especially towards City Palace. Traffic condition in the city is atrocious. No one bothers about any kind of traffic rules or even use common sense. There were traffic jams everywhere in walled city for no good reason. Amit was roasting on pillion seat. I had asked him to wear full trousers to save from sun burn but he wanted to wear shorts. Now he was suffering for his mistake.
Most of the monuments in Rajasthan have a fantastic system of audio guides. You pay for a Ipod type thingie and when you are standing inside the monument, you press the indicated button. You hear a professional commentary about history of that particular location.
Due to the fantastic camera charges at major monuments, we took a decision to carry only one camera inside.
Some photos of City Palace –
This is a photograph of the silver vessel that local Maharaja used to carry Gangajal for drinking to England while he was travelling there. This vessel has a capacity of 4000 ltr and is registered with Guiness Book. You can also see me using audio guide.
Jantar Mantar, a World Heritage Site is located next to city palace itself. Some photographs of instruments inside Jantar Mantar. I won’t try to explain what they are as till date I myself am clueless about it J I only understood that they are somehow related to Astronomy.
We skipped out of there as soon as photoshoot was over. It was getting extremely hot. Another wonder – Hawa Mahal. It is a unique 5 story structure with some 943 zarokas. This is the first thing that you remember when you think about Jaipur.
However, there is absolutely nothing to see inside Hawa Mahal. So just show some photos of exterior and ran away towards next destination – Jal Mahal located in Man Sagar Lake.
On the way to Jal Mahal, encountered the entry gate to the famous walled city –
Photos of Jal Mahal –
Amber (locally pronounced Amer) Fort is situated on a forested hill premonitory, above the Maota Lake near Amer village, about 11 kilometres from Jaipur city. A narrow jeepable road leads up to the entrance gate, known as the Suraj Pol. You can also enjoy Elephant rides from main road till Suraj Pol. We rode our bikes to the top. Now let the photographs speak :-
Fort Courtyard -
Palace gardens -
Intricate glass work on walls –
Fantastic carving on walls -
Water supply system for fountains -
See the size of vessels used for cooking –
View from inside a firing port of the fort –
Garden in Maota lake –
After sightseeing, the main task ahead of us was to reach back to our hotel. We both were willing to try anything to avoid the chaos in walled city area (we both come from Pune; a city known for chaotic traffic so you all can imagine the chaos around). Amit found out a ring road area which travelled exclusively through slums, pot holes, open drainages and speed breakers at least couple of feet high located every 50 meters. Still this road was better than going through the main town.
Reached back to our hotel in some 25-30 minutes. Freshened up (actually had a bath since we both had skipped bath in early morning). Spoke with hotel owner and went in search of a good hotel. We both were in high spirits. Originally the waiters at Handi hotel ignored us. Once I showed them our true colours by being extremely rude without becoming abusive, they were prompt and food was great.
Then Amit decided to have dessert in form of some stunts atop a cycle rickshaw –
Flavour of the day –
Jaipur kid to father : “ Papa, what are those light poles on each corner?’
Father : “ Beta, our government is kind and has provided multi-coloured lighting for our various festivals. They also create ambiance when we stand in the middle of street to spend time or to chat with our friends“
Now there are so many photos on this day for Flavour of the day, I will need to use them on subsequent days. This photograph is selected just because this is the first time we both had seen a pig drinking cow’s milk.
- Author: by PTR