Showing posts with label Mount Abu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mount Abu. Show all posts

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip

Christmas 2013, we decided to undertake a road trip from Bangalore to Rajasthan. We had 21-December-2013 to 01-January-2014 at our hand to undertake the trip. Looking at the road conditions and time at hand, we decided following route.

The trip was split up in following fashion.

The trip was total of 5,637 Kms with total of approximately 88 hours of driving involved. Total of approximately 440 liters of diesel was consumed. Total amount of tolls paid was Rs. 4113/-. The details of all the tolls are here.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #4 of 12 -- Mount Abu to Jaisalmer Sam Dunes

We leave Mount Abu for Jaisalmer, the first destination in Jaisalmer is Sam Dunes. We checkout of hotel and get ready to leave. Following was the route that we had planned.
6:45 AM Start from Mount Abu.
7:28 AM Reach the foothills of Mount Abu. It is a two lane road, but being early morning the drive is smooth.
7:43 AM Somewhere around Ganka, the road turns bad, it is just a two laned road with occasional pothole on your or the oncoming side of the road and you have to make sure nobody is coming on your lane while trying to avoid a pothole.

8:25 AM Somewhere near a town called Varman, there is a toll and the road surface condition improves significantly after that.

9:42 AM Cross Sanchore, this is the point where we join NH-15. I believe this road is maintained by BRO and it extremely good quality. Actually this is one of the best roads that I have seen. The best part is that there are no tolls on this road. Traffic is very less.

11:30 AM Stopped at a restaurant called The Goodhall just before Barmer.
From literature present in the place, it looked like they are a chain based off Ahmedabad. Anyway the place was decent with clean toilets etc. So a nice place for a break if one is travelling with family.
12:00 PM Left from the restaurant for onward journey. Barmer bypass was quick and without much traffic. We continue on NH-15 with similar condition of roads and very sparse traffic.
1:49 PM We reach Jaisalmer. Since our destination was Sam Dunes, we have to go across the town and continue on the road to Sam Dunes.
The road that takes one to Sam Dunes is also pretty good. Although it is narrow, at times you may not even have two full lanes but traffic is not too much here and one can make quick progress. One has to be careful on this road. There are many vendors here who are present for camel safari and jeep safari and they are very aggressive and at times try to block your way. See in the video below at 1:45.

2:40 PM We reach the Royal Desert Camp. Here is my review of the place.
Interior of the restaurant

Swiss tent exterior

Exterior or restaurant
We went to desert jeep safari. Basically they take open top jeeps and drive you around on sand dunes. It was an interesting experience.


Jeep Stuck


Another Thar in action

Silhouettes of people 

Finally the sun sets

In the evening the resort organised bon-fire, music and folk dances.
Professional dancers

Guests joined in

It was a pretty cold night, we went to sleep with as many layers of woolen as we could find.

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #3 of 12 -- Mount Abu Local Sightseeing

The day was reserved for rest as well some local sight seeing in Mount Abu. We decided to pay a visit to Achalgarh Fort. Actually calling it a fort is a misnomer but it has a great trek up the hill and we decided to do that.
12:50 PM Left the hotel
1:10 PM Reached the parking of Achalgarh.
The hill has few temples and there is great view of the town from the top of the hill. Here are some of the photographs from the trek.
Stack of stones, everybody seems to be doing it there, Must be some religious angle


Liked this tree

Lake down below

Unfinished room on top of ancient temple

View to parking

Another temple down below

The parking attendant offered to clean the car for Rs. 50/-. Since we had been driving through almost 2000 Kms, we accepted his services. By the time we were back from trek, the car was in nice condition again.
People who are looking for anything specific here, would be disappointed, this is just a trek with nothing to show at the end of it. There is no grand fort, temple or anything like that. I just liked the leisurely walk atop the mountain.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #2 of 12 -- Pune to Mount Abu

This was the longest day of the drive for us. We had to start from Pune and reach Mount Abu. We had to drive through Gujarat and enter Rajasthan.
6:20 AM We left the hotel. The hotel is right on Pune Mumbai bypass and entry into expressway is pretty easy.
6:40 AM We reached the toll gate for the expressway. The expressway is alway a fun to drive, early morning on a Sunday, it was not very crowded either.
6:58 AM Crossed Lonavala
7:32 AM Crossed Kalamboli
7:54 AM Crossed the Vashi Bridge
8:12 AM We entered Eastern Expressay
8:45 AM Entered NH-8 at Ghodbunder

I was concerned with traffic that I may encounter in Mumbai partly because of a political rally in the city, with help from HV Kumar group, I found a quick exit form Mumbai. The map above incorporates that.
9:35 AM Stopped for a quick tea break at Vithal Kamath.
9:58 AM Started back for onward journey.
11:05 AM Crossed Vapi
11:32 AM Crossed Valsad
12:41 PM Crossed Navsari
1:48 PM Crossed Ankleshwar
2:03 PM Crossed Baruch
2:36 PM Just before Karjan, there is a rest stop which has Cafe Coffee Day, Subway and Dominos. We stopped here. The restaurants and other facilities (toilets) are good.
Rest stop just before Karjan
3:22 PM Crossed Karjan
4:10 PM Crossed Vadodara
5:01 PM Entered Ahmedabad Ring Road
As soon as I entered ring road, I was flagged off by a traffic police man, he stopped me, asked for car registration, pollution certificate and license. Also asked me, where I was going, to which I replied that I am going to Mount Abu. Then he walked to the front of car, possibly looking for that yellow sticker, which I had put on my car based on all the feedback. Then he let me go. No harm done. That Rs. 20/- for the yellow tape was worth it, I guess.

5:57 PM Crossed Kalol
6:52 PM Crossed Mehsana
7:10 PM Crossed Unjha
8:28 PM Crossed Palanpur
Cama Rajputana Club Resort
9:17 PM Started climbing the Mount Abu climb. It is approximately 20 Kms. I would not classify as a very difficult hill climb but it was dark and it was a hill climb after all.
10:00 PM Reached the hotel in Mount Abu. It was Cama Rajputana Club Resort. Here is my review of the hotel.
This was the longest day of drive in this journey, we completed more than 850 Kms with a drive of around 14 Hours with a 2 hour break in between.