Humein Rajasthan Kuch Aisa Dikha ~
Noida ~ Alwar ~ Sariska ~ Jaipur ~ Pushkar ~ Jodhpur ~ Jaisalmer ~
5 Days / 2200Kms. Day 1 - Noida to Pushkar
It was a thursday morning, but not a usual working day. It was a special one, as we were excited and all set for a ride to Royal Rajasthan. We've had an affair with Rajasthan ever since we first went on our honeymoon ride to Udaipur and Mount Abu in Feb, 2015.
We, slept well and left at 6 in the morning, it was chilly but we were well prepared.
The first few kilometers were crucial as this was the first time we were riding on Eva ( Kawasaki Versys 650 ) with almost 15kgs+ of luggage on our custom built luggage rack. We crossed delhi and checked the luggage for any displacement, it was all good and we moved on, doing 100-110kmph.
We were set off with high spirits and with no traffic during early hours it felt heavenly, we covered the first 100 kms in just 1hr 10 mins.
It was dusk and we saw hues of rays from a distant and we loved gazing sunrise and sunsets. The mist from the dawn started clearing. The dew, on the leaves was sparkling.
There were fields on either side and a road straight as an arrow to Alwar. Off track, you may think but, we always choose the route which is more scenic and less crowded. We are on vacation and no distance is far on our new stallion, Eva.
As, we approached Alwar we decided to have breakfast in the city and as always we headed to the Kachori point, the guy who serves delicious hot kachoris dipped in aloo ki subji. There are times when we ride to Alwar just to have these Kachoris. It is a must have, if you are in Alwar. We were adhering to our vague schedule and decided to take a longer road via Sariska.
Sariska, is a Tiger Reserve. So, riding through the reserve was both tempting and scary. We saw langoors on the road, nilgai and some wild pigs and a lot of peacocks chit chatting with their folks. On reaching Jaipur we stopped for another short break. Pushkar was now just 150 kms. We wanted to meet riders residing in Jaipur, but being a working day everybody was occupied.
The Jaipur-Ajmer is also mind blowing to any adrenaline junkie, 180 Degrees of mountains in your sight and 6 lane highway with minimal traffic.
As, we entered Pushkar, the aura of the city was very warm and welcoming. Abode for sadhus and rishi-munis, this is a Brhama's place. We had booked a room at Zostel, Puskar. Experience with Zostel had always been good so far. Zostel at Pushkar did not disappoint us either.
The other exciting and historic thing was about to happen was "The Meet". Eva was about to meet Eve, in matter of few minutes, the thought itself was so exhilarating. For those who are wondering who Eve is, let us introduce you to Eve. Eve is Varun's first love. Honda CBR 250. A motorcycle which in true sense has given us wings to fly.
As, we entered Pushkar, the aura of the city was very warm and welcoming.
There it was waiting for us just outside the gates of Zostel and history was created, they met outside their home, far away from the land where they had been. The feeling to see them together is beyond any words.
First things first, we had covered about 450 kms so far and Rahul had also covered a lot of distance so both bike chains had to be cleaned and lubed, we don't neglect bike maintenance at all. We were carrying Motul C1 & C2 bottles with us for keeping the chain healthy.
It was time to get fresh and explore Pushkar. We took a small tour of the city which has been developed around the lake. This lake is considered to be very pure and like ganga, people come here from around the country to take a holy dip. There are around 52 entries also known as ghats for this lake. The famous Mela ground is very near by this lake. Though it seemed to be a fairly small ground but we could very well imagine the energy of the events that takes places every year in November.
Being in Rajasthan one wants to try the local cuisine, which is the famous Dal baati churma, but we saved that for the later part of the trip. Instead, we came across an Italian food joint - Little Italy. We're all nomads with good taste in food, so we like to look out for places who cook traditionally, we were lucky, as this place uses a conventional wood oven. This instantly helped us make up our mind.
On the contrary, we also learnt that Pushkar is a holy place and no one in the radius of 10 kms from the lake, serves Non-veg or alcohol. Nevertheless, we were more surprised by the authenticity of the restaurant, the pizza and the lasagne were cooked to perfection.
After the sumptuous meal, we went on for a ride to explore pushkar, we first headed to the lake which was a bad idea, roads were very narrow and full of people, so we saw the lake from outside and decided to take a u turn.
We were riding around and had no clue what we were about to witness. We took a left turn and saw a lake from a distant, well lit with the buildings nearby. It was a sight, that truly defines what we ride for. Sights like these and more, that just disconnects from the city chaos of Delhi NCR, where, there's nothing in sight, except buildings, people and traffic.
That pretty much summed up the day for us. We sat there for a while, clicked pictures. Absorbed the aura of the beautiful sight.
Day 2 Pushkar to Jaisalmer via Jodhpur We got up around 7 in the morning, it was very chilly since last evening. Rahul, my younger brother was set to leave for Delhi, the original plan was to ride together, but Kriti's and Rahul's office leaves did not coincide. So, Rahul left alone with Eve, he had already covered Jaisalmer, via bikaner route and stopped at Pushkar to meet us. After he left, we started deciding the route that we would take to Jaisalmer, since most of the places we had not visited before, we were tempted to cover as much cities as possible, under the impression that the roads would be pleasant. To our surprise, as soon as we left pushkar to Jodhpur via Merta, the stretch was in a very bad condition, we got only patches of good road. Rahul did mention a patch of bad roads, but what we encountered was totally opposite.
Enroute Jodhpur, we met a French rider, riding on a rented Enfield, we stopped in between while he was taking a smoke break. He started from Jaipur and was darn tired after riding on the bad roads. We asked him, if he would like to ride along with us. But, he was too tired and wanted to take a longer break. So, we left towards Jodhpur.
We were on some sort of a bypass which crossed via farmland, it was beautiful to ride through the sesame farms.
A word of caution to whoever plans to ride on this route. Beware of the loose cattle on the roads even villagers walk on the national highway.
40 or so kms left to Jodhpur and we connected to the main highway.
We then rode into the serene cantonment of Jodhpur, as we took the first turn into the city, we were escorted by this vintage car. The city has a very royal feel and positive vibes.
For lunch, we made an impromptu decision to stop at the winds restaurant, we ordered gatta kadhi, aloo gobhi, missi and naan, red bull. The food was okay, not great as the feel of the restaurant and we wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.
The lunch break was longer than expected and it was already 3pm. We decided to skip the local tour of Jodhpur and left for Jaisalmer.
As, we were riding through the city, we saw some forts from a distance. Then we got onto the highway and there was a lot of construction happening on the highway.
We could not cover as much distance with the pace that we thought we would. It was darn difficult to ride post sunset as people driving in the opposite lane were using high beam, it was very dangerous to be on this stretch after sunset.
But we were just counting down the kms and trying to ride behind tempo travellers or SUVs so that the high beam doesn't cause much problem. It was literally blinding, the vehicle ahead of us would make the dust fly and the vehicle coming from the opposite side threw high beam.
We entered jaisalmer at around 2130 and as mentioned by several other riders, we were followed by people on bikes, chasing us sell hotel rooms and stay.
Well we escaped that. Reached the hotel that we had booked. Looked promising at first. But seemed like a bad day for us all together. We were highly disappointed, it was no less than a dharamshala, very noisy and unkept and that made us decide that we need a better accommodation. Spent the night there, got know from the locals that on 31st 1.5 lacs visitors are expected. All camps full and desert is going to be crowded and noisy. We had no desire to go for camp stay and desert safari, one we had already experienced the same in the bikaner and second the experience would not be calm. But, one thing interested us was Kuldhara the abandoned village and Sam Sand Dunes. So it was set that, in the morning we are going to check out and head there.
We dumped our luggage at the hotel and went our for a ride around the city and to look for some good places to dine. It was around 2230 and almost all restaurants were either full or out of food.
So, we dined at the restaurant near our hotel, good food.
As soon we got back to our hotel, these kids surrounded us and wanted to know about Eva. The same questions that we are always bombarded with. How much is the bike for ? How fast does it go.
Varun, has his own way of dealing with these questions, to most people he just doesn't tell anything. The look is enough. To kids and such, he makes them calculate, to them it then appears to be a mathematics problem and most of them back out. :D
That's all the fun we had all day. Time to retire.
Jaisalmer to Jodhpur.
In the morning while getting ready we just checked out the list of places to explore in Jaisalmer and we found a govt. authorized bhang which, was one of the main attraction.
The place looked no less than a mandir, the seller had a lot of options to offer. We were more curious than our desire to consume anything. We chatted with the owner, boy he had stories to tell. Since, he seemed quite informative, we asked about the must visit places and delicacies.
It was almost 11 and we were craving for some good food.
We stumbled upon this roadside vendor, who was surrounded by people like bees on a hive.
Looked like a big crispy and a vessel full of lentil, with some raw veggies for garnishing.
We ordered one, to try it. It was nothing like we had before in our lives. Fresh, sensational blend of spicy and flavours. It's called a Dal Pakwaan
It was so good, we ordered one more.
It is basically moong dal mixed with garlic chutney served on maida pappad, garnished with chopped onion tomato coriander, pinch of black pepper and sprinkles of lime juice, truly sensational for the taste buds.
After this sumptuous yet light breakfast, we left for kuldhara which is on the way to sam deserts.The roads were long with desert both the sides, the spectacular view had made our morning very exciting.
As, we approached we crossed place where people were paragliding. Everyone looked happy and in festive mood.
To see smiles all around makes you forget all the tensions and stress that Delhi has to offer.
Sam dunes is stretch few kilometers but definitely it gives you glimpse of Dubai, with camels crossing and clear dunes without any vegetation.
We were in the best part of the Rajasthan. It was 31st DEC and pretty much the best way to end a good year.
While, we were taking photographs near the magical Sam Dunes. We were suddenly surrounded by some camel men, apart from the obvious questions. "Kitne ki hai" "Kitna deti hai" they were curious to know why we chose to ride and not drive in a car from Delhi.
Here's the full conversation.
Man in Blue: Kitni tez chalate ho ?
Varun: As fast as the road allows, usually 90-120kmph, reaching safely to our destination is the main agenda, not speeding.
Man Sitting: Ye, 2 disc brake kyon hai ?
Varun: Top speed is 190 kmph (210 claimed by Kawasaki, never did try more than 160kmph), itni speed pe koi chalayega to bike rukni bhi to chahiye.
Man Sitting: Bike pe kya maza aata hai ? Garmi mein dhoop, sardi mein thand.
Varun: Camel pe kya maza aata hai aapko ?
No reply, everyone smiles :)
Since, camping was not part of the plan this time, we decided to take a you turn to head towards jodhpur. It was 340+ kms from sam dunes. It was already 1 in the afternoon. We were lucky to get a booking in oyo room in a decent looking hotel. We, reached Jodhpur around 7pm, via a slightly longer but a good highway via phalodi. We were tired as the road conditions were not that great on a couple of long stretches, still better than what we encountered last night.
But, thanks to Kawasaki it made our ride less stressful. We were confident riding on the rough patches like a rally rider. The ABS worked flawlessly giving us the power to stop anywhere needed, planned or unplanned.
We reached Jodhpur around 7pm, checked into a Hotel, which is unlikely of us. We needed a good night sleep and a long hot shower, after all the bad roads and dust storms we dealt with.
We ordered early dinner ate and while chatting in bed, didn't realize when we fell asleep.
Jodhpur to Jaipur
We packed our bags and were ready to hit the roads again. But, before that Eva needed some spa time. Varun looked for washing centres, we got lucky it was next to the hotel.
There we were again all set, Jaipur always felt like home coming. We left around 11, took Jodhpur- Jaipur highway via Bar. The roads were good, with minimal traffic. If you happen to take this route, then do try the pyaz Kachoris at bar chowk, it is right there on the main road and usually crowded. That was our first meal of the day and the new year. What a start!
We reached Jaipur around 5 in the evening. We had already planned to stay at our relatives place. Late evening was already booked for some meet-ups with friends and customers. Met some veteran riders from Jaipur Superbike Club. It's always good to meet people off Facebook/Whatsapp and indulge in some real conversation.
Jaipur to Noida
We started around 10, for Delhi, but visit to the Rawat without taking some kachoris for family back at home would have been mission unaccomplished. So while leaving from Jaipur as a ritual, we got some Kachoris packed from Rawat Mishthan Bhandar.
We took the NH 8 this time. As we started it was bright sunny and warm, but as we kept getting closer to Delhi, slowly the landscape started changing. It became misty and slowly foggy with no sign of sunny. Delhi was ready to welcome us back in full winter blast. We were happy to be home again. 0 breakdowns, some very bad roads, but that only made our faith in the bike grow stronger.
We are sure, the adventures have just begun.
Trip Odo: 2190 kms
Trip Route: Noida > Delhi > Bhiwari > Alwar > Sariska > Jaipur > Pushkar > Jodhpur > Jaisalmer.
Varun & Kriti