A marble idol of Lord Ram .... displayed in Udaipur Palace
Day-01 > 14-Dec-07 : from Thane to Vadodara - 411 Kms
Today, the first day, was a long-drive; so we started early and left Thane at 6:00AM while it was still dark outside. We went west on the new 6-lane wide, Ghodbundar Road and then turned right (north) on NH-8 towards Ahemdabad. The drive was pretty good on this traffic busy 4-lane highway corridor between Mumbai & Ahemdabad. Tapan and I rotated driving shift every 100Kms. And thus we passed Vapi, Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Baruch etc. in good time. However, at about 2:30 PM, just 30 Kms before Vadodara on NH-8 there was a huge traffic jam and we were stopped for more than 1.5hrs! We finally decided to exit the NH-8 at Karjan, into a side road and made a detour to Padra via a deserted internal state road and finally reached Vadodara at 6:00PM instead of targeted 3:00PM. So the first day ended bad. At Baroda, we found a decent place for the night stay at Hotel Royal, near Railway station; each room at Rs 600/- per night.
Day-02 > 15-Dec-07 : from Vadodara to Udaipur - 364 Kms
We started at 6:45 AM and filled diesel in the car and quickly reached the start of Toll Expressway from Baroda to Ahemdabad. That was fast and beautifully smooth drive of 100 Kms that we did in quick time of 50mins. But we exited wrongly at the city-end of Ahemdabad (instead of taking an earlier byepass exit to NH-8) and thus ended doing an additional hour thru congested city areas, till Narora. Once we were back on NH8 going towards Himatnagar we made good progress. The road became very scenic and emptier when we entered Rajasthan, near Khairwara.
We are held up by a huge herd of cows crossing the highway
We reached Udaipur by 1:45pM and quickly found a so-so hotel to stay on Station road called Hotel Vaidehi (Rs 386/- per night). Our hotel was adjacent to a very popular restaurant called Nataraj, that served a Gujerati-Rajasthani style unlimited Thali for Rs 40/-
Day-03 > 16-Dec-07 : Extra sight-seeing day at Udaipur
Today, we visited three of Udaipur's main sightseeing locations viz., City Palace, Sahelion-Ki-Bari and Fateh Sagar Lake.
I took over 100+ pics with my new Canon D-400 DSLR camera. To see them all at my Flickr site click here: Udaipur . We had a nice lunch at Bawarchi, a place recommended by our Auto driver. Then afternoon at a Cybercafe in Shalimar Hotel. Rest of the day relaxing back at hotel. Udaipur was nice and cold at night; maybe around 8-10*C.
Day-04 > 17th Dec 07 : Udaipur to Mt.Abu - 172 KMs
Mt Abu was pretty cold .... It was 0*C at night (as per TV news next day). Somehow I did'nt feel it was that cold maybe because I used 2 blankets in RTDC Sikar Hotel.
Day-05 > 18th Dec 07 : Sightseeing day at Mt.Abu
Today we visited Nakki Lake & some other typical Hill-station points in Mt. Abu. Later in the afternoon we went to the amazing Dilwara Jain tremple. I have'nt seen such intricate carvings & sculptures in stone and in marble anywhere in India before. This was intricte marble work was simply astounding! Photography was not allowed insdie the temple.
Day-06 > 19th Dec 07 : Mt.Abu to Jodhpur - 277 Kms
We left Mt. Abu at 7:00AM and reached Jodhpur at 1:00PM. First on NH14 (via Sirohi & Pali) and then NH65 (Pali to Jodhpur). In Jodhpur checked into a new hotel - Sachdeva Residency - in a side-road near the Railway Station. Pretty decent newly furnished DBL rooms for Rs 450/-
Day-07 > 20th Dec 07 : Sightseeing at Jodhpur
We visited Mehrangarh Fort, for about two hrs in the morning and took lots of pictures there. Also visited another site Jaswant Thanda nearby ... a sort of marble memorial/cenotaph place.
Later that day we drove around the city's congested & chaotic roads a bit, to get a feel of Jodhpur. Also tasted the famous Makhaniya Lassi and Mawa-Kachodi at "Agra Sweets" opposite the Sojati Gate.
Next day we left Jodhpur and drove on to Jaisalmer and the Sam sand dunes