All posts filed under: Travelogues

Jaipur in a day: Amber Fort and the charm of Sheesh Mahal

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintI was on a one day tour of Jaipur on my Rajasthan trip. The day started with Hawa Mahal and later Amber Fort. Hawa Mahal was a gorgeous to visit.  Masterji picked us from Hawa Mahal and left for Amber Fort rather Amer Fort as called by locals. The fort is a bit at a distance from the old city of Jaipur. Road leading to the fort is shaded with trees on both sides, nicely laid tarmac sort of a curvy hill road. Within half an hour we were at the base of Amber Fort. The fort has two options to arrive at the main entrance gate. One makes use of elephants and another one is for motorcars. People take the Elephant ride from the base to the entrance. The elephant walks up a narrow slope zig-zagging to the entrance. But it costs on the pocket. Masterji dropped us near the entry gate. Punched our composite ticket which we had purchased from Hawa Mahal. Took a guide to get the things explained. Right after …

Jaipur Hawa Mahal photo

Jaipur in a day: See the unseen at Hawa Mahal

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintIf you happen to be in Jaipur, you cannot miss the Hawa Mahal. It is such a gorgeous place to visit in Rajasthan. A technical marvel and historic grandeur. This post is the continuation of my Rajasthan trip. My journey in Rajasthan started from the blue city of Jodhpur followed by a motorcycle ride in the desert of Jaisalmer district for 3 days and now I was in Jaipur. All I had was one day to tour Jaipur. Though my time was limited but I was determined. And luck was on my side. Hotel, car and a driver all in Rs. 800   We were late by 2 and half hours. The Jaisalmer to Jaipur train reached at 7:30 AM at Jaipur station. Just as we came out of the station, an auto driver reached us and asked ‘kidhar jaaoge?’ We said ‘kisi saste aur ache Dharamshala me lekar chalo? ‘Dharamshala me kya karoge ji, aap ko 500 me acha hotel aur 700 me Indica karwa deta hoon. Ek din me pura city ghuma …

Jaisalmer fort traditional musician

Jaisalmer Fort and Bada Bagh – Rajasthan bike trip – 7

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintWhat a ride it was from Longewala border post to Jaisalmer. We reached Jaisalmer before evening. Sun was still in the sky. Jaisalmer Fort and Bada Bagh was on the list but only after we secure a room. You would like to read the first 6 parts of the Rajasthan bike trip Jodhpur – Part 1          Gadisar Lake Jaisalmer – Part 2         Kuldhara abandoned village – Part 3 Sam Sand dunes review – Part 4          Tanot border – Part 5        Longewala border post – Part 6 Hunted for rooms and finally moved inside Maheshwari Seva Sadan near Hanuman circle. Maheshwari Seva Sadan is a Dharamshala run by Maheshwari samaj trust. Rooms were quite cheap just Rs.75 per person. Rooms were okay but the water was yellow and hard. Who cares? Filled up a bucket full of yellow water and har har gange 🙂 Vyas Chhatri or Bada Bagh Next, we left for Vyas Chhatri. Vyas Chhatri also known as Bada Bagh …

Tanot Mata Temple to Longewala border post – Rajasthan Bike Trip – 6

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintAfter taking blessings from Tanot Mata, we continued our motorcycle trip to Longewala border post. The distance between Tanot and Longewala is not more than 35 km.   Longewala needs no introduction. It has been the battleground during 1971 India-Pakistan war. Bollywood movie Border is based on the 1971 war with Pakistan at Longewala. You can still find some captured-destroyed war materials at Longewala.     Tanot Mata Temple to Longewala: The ride was fantastic. It felt like we were the only soul in the endless arid desert. When we reached there, the soldiers asked us to park our bike outside a small room opposite to the war memorial. We also met a group of 4 bullet riders from Gujarat. A military police from Siliguri asked where were we from? He was excited to listen that we were from Mumbai. For the next one and half hour, we were talking about Mumbai. He shared how joyful were his youth days when he was positioned in Navy Nagar, Mumbai. It was really nice talking to him.   The …

Best places for bike trips in India

Ramgarh to Tanot Mata Temple – Rajasthan bike trip – 5

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintWhat a peaceful and calm night it was. Hundreds of kilometres away from the bustling city we were in the middle of the Thar desert in a tiny village of Ramgarh . Our journey started from Jaisalmer and today’s plan was to visit Tanot Mata Temple and Longewala border post on our motorcycle and finally return to Jaisalmer. Woke up at 5 in the morning, finished with morning chores, left Ramgarh at 6 AM. From the village of Ramgarh, we had two choices. One road goes to Longewala border post and straighter one goes to Tanot. We took the straight one and proceeded to Tanot Mandir. Ramgarh to Tanot Mata Temple: The distance between Ramgarh to Tanot is 75 KM. Road was extremely fantastic. Very nicely maintained by Border Roads Organisation. Riding on the road over rolling hills of sand is no less than a sense of absolute Freedom. The road appears straight and endless, literally. No sign of life except some military trucks and wild desert for 75km. This area is the core region of …

Sam-sand-dune-desert-safari-jaisalmer, budgetyatri

Thar desert at its best in Sam Sand dunes – Rajasthan bike trip – 4

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintWe had just left the lonely village of Kuldhara. Our next destination was Sam Sand dunes. Babaji of Kuldhara suggested us to visit Khuri Sand dunes instead of Sam. Khuri was another 45 Km from Kuldhara but in the opposite direction to Sam. Standing on the T-road we were thinking if we should go to Khuri dunes or shall we stick to our plan. Considering the route ahead and the time we had we could not afford Khuri although we wanted to see it badly. From Kuldhara, the distance of Sam Sand dunes was not more than 35 km. Sun was shining high but clean Tar road made the journey comfortable. Sam Sand Dunes – Jaisalmer Sam Sand Dunes or Sam ke dhibbe as called locally are a major tourist attraction in Jaisalmer rather Rajasthan. If you are going to Thar desert you cannot afford to miss a desert safari. Sitting on the Camel in the middle of dunes and looking at the vast expanse of Thar is no less than a great feeling. Other exciting …

budgetyatri-bike-trip-rajasthan-kuldhara

Towards the cursed village of Kuldhara – Rajasthan bike trip – 3

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintIt was 10 AM, Vishwanath and I was lucky enough to have Hero Impulse with us. Our day in Jaisalmer started silky smooth. Gadisar Lake was worth spending time. Now it was the time to head towards the cursed and haunted village of Kuldhara. Before leaving Jaisalmer, we made sure that the bike is working fine. Later tied our luggage and went to Petrol Pump. Fueled it and started towards Kuldhara. The distance between Kuldhara and Jaisalmer is nearly 18 km. The landscape changed in around 15 minutes, we were out of the Jaisalmer city. Splendid roads and views greeted us. Road was smooth featuring newly laid tar. Vehicles movement was next to nothing. Took the left turn after 14 Km and rode another 4 Km on the single lane road for Kuldhara entrance. Please take care while riding on this 4 km road stretch. You can encounter sand stretch on the road. And mind it, it comes as a surprise. In case you are caught, do not brake front wheel. Press rear …

Sadhu with Transistor in Rajasthan

A morning at Gadisar lake Jaisalmer – Rajasthan bike trip – 2

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint We were in the Golden City of Jaisalmer rather Sonar Killa of Satyajit Ray and our next destination was the quiet stairs of Gadisar Lake. Jodhpur to Jaisalmer by Train:   Train journey from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer was good although electricity supply was not available throughout the journey. Later we came to know that Staff forgot to link the electricity wire of the coach. Nonetheless, we were saved as the whole of journey was in night and it was cool enough. Had it been Summer, we would have roasted completely. We had planned the Train journey from Mumbai to Jaisalmer in such a way that we could witness the Sunrise at Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer.  Reached Jaisalmer railway station around 6 AM, actual arrival timing of train 14810 at Jaisalmer is at 5:25 AM. As planned, took an auto rickshaw from Jaisalmer railway station to Gadisar Lake. The distance is not more than 1.5 Km. Auto rickshaw charged Rs 10 for each of us.   A pleasant morning at Gadisar Lake: Rickshaw …

Trip to Jodhpur

Exploring the blue city of Jodhpur – Rajasthan bike trip – 1

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Incredible India and Rajasthan tourism advertisements were so lucrative to hold back. A long research of the must visit tourist and offbeat places in Rajasthan helped me finalizing my trip to Rajasthan. The tour covered the blue city Jodhpur, heritage city Jaipur, Golden city Jaisalmer and Indo-Pak border in Tanot and Longewala. This is the first travel blog post from the 7 days tour of Rajasthan. I was accompanied by my friend Vishwanath. We used public transport for a major portion of our travel except in Jaisalmer. In Jaisalmer, we rented a Hero Impulse motorcycle for three days to tour in and around Jaisalmer. Here is the plan we chalked out: Day 1: Mumbai to Jodhpur [Overnight journey by train] Day 2: Jodhpur to Jaisalmer [Overnight journey by train] Day 3: Kuldhara, Sam Sand dunes and stay somewhere en-route Tanot [Touring on motorcycle] Day 4: Tanot, Longewala and back to Jaisalmer [Touring on motorcycle] Day 5: Explore Jaisalmer Fort and city [Touring on motorcycle] Day 6: Jaipur in a Day [Rented a …

4 boys ride to a tribal village Khadki for World Yoga Day celebration

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I along with 3 of my friends was in a tribal village Khadki to celebrate the first World Yoga day on June 21, 2015. Yesterday i.e. 20th June 2015 was quite eventful.  Bike breakdown, sent back from Purushwadi, welcomed by an unknown host and night walk in the jungle by the river was much more interesting than what we had expected.  I remember Bhangre ji saying yesterday, government teachers will come to teach Yoga to the tribal kids in Shiva temple tomorrow morning. It was a good opportunity to contribute to the International Yoga Day and make this day memorable.    Our tent was pitched in the temple. Rajkumar and I woke up at 6:30 AM and left the place for morning activities. We took a tour of the village to witness the grace and simplicity.    Some photos from the morning tour round the village Getting ready for school Shyish smile Village colors Khadki village River flowing by the village Morning chat   Children started gathering in the temple by 7 AM. Chatais …

Bike trip to Purushwadi

In search of million Fireflies : A weekend getaway to Purushwadi

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I was all planned to do a bike trip to Firefly festival in Purushwadi village of India. However, the things didn’t go as expected but the consecutive events ended in a wonderful experiences and adventure. Fireflies. Amazing creatures they are! A single firefly can make tens of children running on their feet. A lone nomad firefly can make the boring night interesting. Can you imagine the thrill when not hundreds but millions of fireflies dance around you? Yes, you heard it right. And when they cover a tree to perform the dance of light you just watch them dumb folded. It seemed so surreal so fantasy and like a fairy tale. The city folks asks. But where are these fireflies? Well, if you stay in Mumbai, Thane or Pune you are very close to them.Although the place is not a popular tourist destination but they are worthy to be featured in the list of must visit places near Mumbai, Thane and Pune Let’s start the story. One of my friends told me about …

Raja Ram temple, Orchha: Where Ram is worshipped as King

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Finished with the sightseeing of Orchha Mahal we moved towards Raja Ram temple. Both the places are walking distance apart. The architecture of the temple is as fascinating as temples in South India.   Some centuries back, one night King of Orchha dreamed of Lord Ram and received inspiration to build a temple/palace dedicated to Ram. The construction was finished soon and opened for worship. A peculiar thing of this temple is that Lord Ram is not worshiped as a god but as a King. The temple too was constructed more like a Raj Bhavan rather than a temple.  Even today, Police stand at the gates pretending to be guards of Lord Ram. The temple is revered by devotees throughout India and they pour in large number throughout the year. From Bloggers desk: A place where the beauty of rural India is at its best. Read here.. Raja Ram temple Temple is built of golden brown stones and has lots of rooms. We had just finished the ground floor and were about to leave the temple …

Orchha Palace, Incredible India

Orchha Palace: Pride of Bundelkhand

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I am sure Orchha and Jhansi series travel blogs have been refreshing for you. If you haven’t read them, here is the link  Betwa river side, Jhansi Fort. For quite a time, Orchha Palace near Jhansi was waiting for its mention on this blog. Joking 🙂 The Palace commands a very strong connection with history. Let’s take a small refreshing dive in the past. Vir Singh Deo and the Orchha Mahal Vir Singh Deo was one of the finest Rajput rulers of Bundelkhand particularly Orchha province. A contemporary of Akbar, Vir Sing Deo kept raising his voice against the Mughal despotism. To hold back the uprising, Akbar sent his son Jahangir with a sizable army towards Orchha which was the nucleus of rebellion. Vir Singh Deo lost the battle and had to surrender to Jahangir. The palace erected by Vir Singh Deo on the banks of River Betwa became Jahangir Palace or Jahangir Mahal. — You may like this: Auli in Uttarakhand has an artificial lake at 7500 feets. The lake water is used to create artificial …

Jhansi Fort and Rani Laxmi bai: Shuffling the pages of history

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Jhansi – the ancient city of fearless Bundelas and housing the magnificent Jhansi Fort. The city of Jhansi is remembered for the female warrior Rani Laxmi Bai, popularly called Jhansi ki Rani. I was sharing the same connection with Jhansi. How can one forget the words of Subhadra Kumar Chauhan   चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी, बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी, खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।। Undoubtedly she was and still remains a hero for children. After so many years I was having an opportunity to witness the land of Laxmi Bai, the opportunity was in the form of a wedding invitation. Akash Gupta my friend and native of Jhansi was going to be groomed in November 2014. He was kind in making advance reservations in Hotel Chanda facing Rani Laxmibai Park. I was accompanied by a jolly group of three other friends Swapnil Mhatre, Amod Karve and Viren Shah.Before leaving from Mumbai, I was ready with the list of must visit places in Jhansi …

places-to-visit-in-jhansi-budgetyatri

Betwa river side: A lesser known marvel near Jhansi

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrintBetwa river is one of the prominent river in Madhya Pradesh apart from Narmada i.e. Maa Rewa, Chambal and Son. Betwa flows gently on the Malwa plateau before merging into the Yamuna in Hamirpur, Uttar Pradesh. Orchha is a beautiful ancient site along the banks of Betwa River in Madhya Pradesh. The history of this place is traced back to the Ramayan era when Lord Ram stayed here during his exile. Then, Betwa was known as Vetravati. A beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ram popularly called as Raja Ram Mandir is located some few meters away from Betwa banks. How to reach Orchha? Orchha is in Madhya Pradesh. The closest railway junction to Orchha is Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Jhansi is some 20 Kilometers from Orchha. Jhansi railway station is well connected to all the metros and other big cities of India. Once you are in Jhansi, hire an Auto Rickshaw for Orchha. They charge around 80-100 rupees one way and 4 people can easily get in. Where to stay in Orchha? If …

bike trip to ratangad igatpuri

A beautiful village – Ratanwadi

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint This was not the first time; I have been here thrice, that is more than what I visited my own village. I knew nobody here, neither anybody. It was the beautiful minimalism of the village which had left a print in my hippocampus. How is the Ratangad village? A dwelling of some 30-40 small houses scattered over the hills. The majority of them kutcha. A stream originating from the slopes of Ratangad flows by the edge of the village. A check dam on the river serves an excellent play area for the tourists. —— Read the first part of the trip Day 1: Bike trip to Bhandardara —— Amruteshwar Shiva temple Nearly 1300 hundred years old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva sets an impression for Ratanwadi. Amruteshwar temple as it is called is constructed using Hemadpanthi architectural style. The genre of architecture is named after Hemadpanth of Yadava dynasty. The style consists of using Black stones for construction and lime to glue the different pieces. Tulja Bhavani and Tambdi Surla are some other …

weekend getaways near mumbai

Tansa lake: An offbeat place for solitude seekers

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Hunting for another spot to ride on the weekend, I stumbled on Tansa lake or Tansa dam. It is more of an offbeat place. Hardly anybody visits here. There is not much to see there. But some photos on the internet were quite interesting. What’s then, pulled up my bike on Saturday 5:30 AM in the morning and vroomed to Tansa. The total distance of the ride was about 200 Kilometres. It can be very easily done in 1 day or can be stretched to two days if night camping is planned. Mumbaikars, here is how you can reach Tansa lake Route 1: Via Vajreshwari Road Get on to NH8. From NH8 take a right turn for Vajreshwari. Better ask anybody on the highway after Vasai. When the Vajreshwari road ends take left turn from Zidke towards Ambadi. This brings you on SH 35. Now from here, there are two options. One, get onto Dinkarpada-Kondhale road and finally take the right turn from Kambare. Tansa is straight in front of your eyes …

Auli ski resort skiing in India

Auli Ski Resort Uttarakhand – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 4

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Auli Ski Resort is a wonderful Skiing location in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The snow-white Ski slopes of Auli and Skiboarders were waiting eagerly for my appearance 🙂  I was staying in the dormitory of GMVN in Joshimath. The distance between the Auli Ski Slope and the small town of Joshimath is not more than 15 Kilometer. Yesterday’s bike ride from GMVN Gopeshwar to Lambhgadh near Badrinath and back to Joshimath was exciting and fabulous, but it had drained all my energy. I was the only soul in the GMVN dormitory of 10 beds. The freezing night was in its last phase. The winter morning made sure to keep me underneath two woolen blankets apart from body thermals. Mind it winters in Uttarakhand are really cold. Checked my mobile it was around 7 AM of the morning. I could see the dawn breaking from the GMVN window. Chirping of the birds, soft footsteps of the waiters in the corridor, men with sweater and muffler pushing the bicycle pedal hard on …

Bike trip to Uttarakhand

Rishikesh to Gopeshwar – Bike trip to Uttarakhand – 2

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint I was on my Bajaj Avenger hired from Mountain Fox motorcycles in Rishikesh. Today’s halt was Gopeshwar  220km from Rishikesh. Luggage loaded and geared up, left the place. Went back to Hrishikesh petrol pump and filled up the tank. This was the first time I was riding in the Himalayas. Basically, it was Raid de Himalaya for me. The morning was quite chilly. To make myself comfortable, I decided to ride first 25-30 kilometers with a decent speed. Near Byassi Rishikesh – Ganga flowing down the mountain Rishikesh – Night camping tents on the shore of Ganga 25 rupees Kadhi Chawal in a Dhaba in Srinagar: Roads turned worst after Deoprayag and continued till Srinagar. It was 1:30 PM and I was hungry. I was looking for some small Dhaba to have my lunch. Found one just before the Srinagar town starts on the right-hand side of the road.   Kadhi chawal was ready. Every bit was delicious and the quantity was much more than what I had expected. In the 15 …

unknown places in india for bike trips

In the land of Badri Vishal – Bike trip to Uttarakhand -3

Share it onFacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedinemailPrint Yesterday’s tiring ride from Rishikesh to Gopeshwar resulted in a nice peaceful sleep. Opened my day with a shivering bath followed by packing and loading. Tying ropes in a winter morning is what I don’t like. It was around 7 AM, I came down in the GMVN restaurant to appreciate a hot cup of tea in the winter of February. Finishing tea geared myself and left the GMVN. Avenger started with the first hit of self-start. Didn’t faced any cold start problem throughout the journey.  Day 2 route map  Morning view from GMVN Gopeshwar  Reached Joshimath around 12:00 in the afternoon.   Alaknanda – Enroute Joshimath Just as I was to start for Badrinath scene changed and dark clouds hid the mountain. It started drizzling and finally raining. I took shelter under a military ration building.  Playing with time and timer  ITBP training center Joshimath Asked to return:   Two men jumped from a truck which came from Badrinath direction. One guy who seemed army guy very strongly suggested me to return …