Royalistic Rajasthan

#1 Aug 24th, 2017, 18:12
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#1
First, let me thank the IMikers for setting up the tour itinerary. Without your guidance, it would have been impossible to cover the places in this short time. I was always dreaming about the visiting to the royal state of India “RAJASTHAN” and finally the day arrived. Being the biggest state of India (area wise), it is impossible to cover it within 09 nights/10 days. So, with your guidance, I planned to visit the four major cities of Rajasthan i.e. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur & Jaisalmer and its surroundings. First, we will cover Udaipur & its surroundings, then to Jaipur, after that my favourite Jaisalmer & finally Jodhpur.

We started our journey after the annual school examination of my daughter. We are the group of three families, started our journey from Kolkata on 25/03/2017. The reason we chose our first destination Udaipur was its little bit odd location & poor connectivity with the other cities by train except Jaipur. Since, it is connected by flight from Delhi; we took a flight and reached Udaipur airport at 02:45 P.M. The distance of our holiday home from airport is almost 25 K.M. We hired private car @ Rs. 600/- per car. We reached holiday home within an hour which was located at sector-14, near CA circle. I booked a four bedded AC room for my family. The room was very big, clean and decent. We got a contact no. of a tour operator form the holiday home reception & had a deal @ Rs. 1800/- excluding the parking charges (Innova with A.C.) for local site seeing which includes City Palace, Fateh Sagar Lake, Saheliyon Ki Badi, Lok Kala Mandal. We took our dinner from the holiday home dining hall and went to bed by 11:00 PM.

UDAIPUR – 26/03/2017 (Day 1): After breakfast, we proceed for local site seeing. 1st, we visited the City Palace. It is located on the banks of Lake Pichola and describes the history and culture of Mewar dynasty. This is a great and must visit place to visit which was built by Maharana Udai Singh II and his successors over a period of 400 years. The palace is divided into three parts, the bigger part is the museum, another part where the current maharanas stays and the other part is converted into a hotel. We purchased entry tickets for the museum which was Rs. 280/- per head and camera @ Rs.250/-. We hired a guide also @ Rs. 300/-. Hiring guides has many advantages, e.g. they can explain the history and importance of the place, guide through the shortest path, show the important points etc. Audio guide was also available. It is very well maintained and all the artifacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures were marvelous. The architect of that time was so smart and intelligent that he purposefully designed the passages, corridors narrow so that enemies would get very difficult to get inside and if enemies get a chance to get inside, they have to come one by one because of the narrow passage and it will be easier to handle them.The view of the city as well as Lake Pichola from the palace is stunning.The stained glass windows of the Sheesh Mahal were also spectacular. It took almost three hours to visit.We came out of the palace and took our lunch. After the lunch, we headed for Fateh Sagar lake. It is a beautiful artificial lake named after Maharana Fateh Singh. We took a motor boat ride. View from the boat is great, beautiful views of Aravali range. Children enjoyed it much. Our next destination was Saheliyon Ki Badi. Entry ticket was Rs.10/- per head. It is a beautiful lush green garden having fountain, flower bed and lotus pool built by Maharana Sangram Singh II between 1710 – 1734 for the entertainment of the royal ladies and their maids of honour. This place is relatively cooler than the other city parts. Our last destination for the day was Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal. It is also a must visit place. Entry tickets was Rs.40/- per head. It has a museum that exhibits collections of folk articles from Rajasthan e.g. rural dresses, ornaments, puppets from various states of India and abroad, masks, dolls, folk musical instruments, folk deities and paintings. Puppet shows are must here which are held at regular intervals and children can enjoy. After this, we returned to holiday home, engaged in Bengali’s famous “ADDA”. We approached to the same tour operator for next day’s site seeing i.e. Kumbhalgarh fort and Ranakpur Jain temple & deal was finalized @ Rs. 2000/- with the same vehicle. Parking & Toll charges will be borne by us. After some time, we took dinner and went to bed.

27/03/2017 (Day 2): Today, our plan was to visit Kumbhalgarh fort and Ranakpur Jain temple. After breakfast, we started at around 09:30 A.M. It was a little bit late to start but O.K., some things are beyond our control. The distance to Kumbhalgarh Fort from Udaipur city is 95 K.M. & we reached there around 12:00 noon. We purchased an entry ticket which was very nominal compared to the other places of Rajasthan which is Rs.10 per head & started to climb the fort. We hired a guide. As you may be aware that Kumbhalgarh fort is built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century on the Aravali ranges. Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. This fort is famous for its 36 Kilometer long thick massive wall & it is the second longest wall after the great China wall. So, naturally, curiosity arises. We climbed slopes & reached on the top of the fort (please carry water & umbrella with you). The surrounding view of the valley & hills from the fort is breathtaking. We saw the “Badal Mahal” and one of the temples. Guide told us that there are more than 300 temples inside the fort premises and most of them are Jain temples. On the top floor, there is a room which is very cool compared to the outside temp. which was 40ºC. We relaxed there for few minutes & enjoyed the cool breeze. It took almost two hours to visit the fort. We had some snacks & started for Ranakpur Jain temple at 02:30 P.M. The distance from Kumbhalgarh fort to Ranakpur Jain temple is 50 KM apprx. (via Sayra). Later, I heard that one shortcut route is also there. Kindly Google the route. The road after Sayra is through Aravali ranges, ups & downs, twists & turns. We saw many langoors were relaxing on the roadside. We reached there at around 03:30 P.M. We were very much hungry specially the kids. We enquired in the canteen. They told it will open at 04:00 P.M. We had snacks and planned to visit the temple first. Leather goods e.g. purse, bags, belts & mobiles are not allowed to take inside the temple. This temple is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinatha, the first 'Tirthankara' of the Jains. It was built by Seth Dharna Sah (a Jain businessman) with the aid of Rana Kumbha. The temple is wholly constructed in light colored marble. It’s a masterpiece of architecture. One of the priest told that there are 29 halls, 80 domes & 1444 exquisitely carved pillars & all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. We all were amazed to see at a height of 45 feet engraved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures. If you are around Udaipur then this temple is a must visit place. We came out of the temple at around 05:15 P.M. & rushed towards the canteen, paid Rs.50/- per head & had our lunch in the evening time. Off course, it was all veg. and tasty too. After the food, we started our journey for Udaipur at around 06:00 P.M. We came via Sayra by SH 32 and NH 27 & reached Udaipur by 08:00 P.M. So, it was a very busy day for us, fully exhausted. Thus, Udaipur & Its surroundings tour came to an end. Next destination was the Pink city “Jaipur”, the capital of Rajasthan. We took our dinner by 09:30 P.M. & went to bed by 10:30 P.M.

JAIPUR – 28/03/2017 (Day 3): We woke up by ‘4’ O clock in the morning. We booked tickets in the train no. 12991 Udaipur Jaipur Exp. The distance from holiday home to railway station is only 4 KM & it took 10 to 12 minute to reach the railway station. We reached there by 05:30 A.M. The train left Udaipur station at 06:00 A.M. We took our breakfast in the train & after some time, we all slept. The train was almost on time & we reached Jaipur by 01:40 P.M. We hired a big auto & proceed towards the CPWD holiday home where we booked our lodging located at Sector-2, Vidyadhar Nagar. It was hot outside & temp. may be around 40ºC. Reached holiday home at 02:45 P.M. Condition of the room was good enough for staying. One problem was there. AC was running but cooling effect was almost negligible. Then instead of calling the reception, I tried myself to solve the problem. I just checked the air filter and saw that it was fully choked. I took out the air filter, cleaned them thoroughly and put them back into the position. I switched on the AC & room was cooled within 10 minutes. So, the problem solved & everybody was happy. One of our friend & his family joined us in Jaipur for the rest part of the tour. He reached Jaipur in the previous night & booked our lunch. After bath, we took our lunch. By that time, it was almost 03:30 P.M. Kids slept a little bit and in the evening, we were out for a walk. It’s a lovely & vibrant city. We reached an area where all kinds of street food were available. We tasted 4 to 5 types of street foods like Faluda, Dosa, Rabri Kulfi, Cakes, ice creams etc. Heavy rush was there in the shops & people were enjoying the food. My better half did some local purchasing and she is in a good mood. We returned back to the holiday home, had our dinner & went to bed.

29/03/2017 (Day 4): After the breakfast, we started for city tour in the AC Tempo Traveller @ Rs. 2700/- which we booked on the previous day. First we went to Albert hall or Central Museum. It is one of the oldest museums in the state of Rajasthan. This museum was designed by Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob in 1876 for the purpose of greeting King Edward VII, Prince of Wales on his visit to India. Entry ticket was Rs. 40 per head. We didn’t hire a guide there. The museum displays a rare collection of ancient stuffs including metal pots & jewelries, ornaments, carpets, stone &wood crafts, coins of very old Kushana dynasty to British India, arms and weapons and an Egyptian mummy, royal outfits & clothing etc. etc. We spent almost an hour there.

After that, we proceed towards the famous Hawa Mahal which is the landmark of the pink city. It was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singhby pink and red sandstone for the royal women to enjoy the events and festivals in the street. Entry ticket was Rs. 50/- per head. It’s a beautiful building having numerous windows & screened balconies. From its upper floor, Jantar Mantar & City place may be seen. We spent almost 40 minutes there.

From Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar is nearby only. The Jantar Mantar was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II around 1720. It features the world's largest stone sundial, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Entry fee was Rs. 50 per head & guide charge was Rs. 300/-. Guide is must here to understand the things so, we hired one. The guide told us Jantar means the instrument & the Mantar means the calculation. The guide showed us how to calculate the local time i.e. time at Jaipur. After adding 27 minutes to this local time, we can get the Indian Standard Time & it was highly accurate. Kids enjoyed it very much. After spending more than an hour, we came out & requested our driver to take us into a good hotel. We completed our lunch by 02:30 P.M. We skipped City Palace since the entry fee of Chandra Mahal was Rs. 2500/- per head. Then, we proceed for Amber/Amer fort. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, a trusted general of Akbar. It was built in red sandstone and marble. Entry fee was Rs. 100/- per head & guide charge was Rs. 200/- . We entered through the Ganesh Pol entrance. It is a beautiful fort having extraordinary carvings on the walls & ceilings. We hired a guide there. Inside the fort, there are many buildings e.g. Diwan-e-Aam, SukhMandir, Sheesh Mahal and others. Among them, Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace is the most beautiful part of the fort.The walls and the ceilings in this palace are carved with beautiful flowers and other paintings made with glass. It is said that if two candles are lit in the palace, it would look like thousands of stars glittering in the ceiling. We came out of the fort after spending almost two hours. Then, we were on the way to return. On the way, we saw Jal Mahal from the outside. It is located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. Looked like a beautiful Mahal. We reached holiday home at around 07:30 P.M. We took our dinner & proceed to Jaipur railway station for our next destination “JAISALMER”. We reserved our tickets in the train Delhi – Jaisalmer Exp. (No. 14659) & its scheduled time of arrival was at 23:45 hrs. Huge rush was there in the railway station & we didn’t get any place to sit. The train was late by 45 minutes. We put some newspapers on the floor and sat down; especially children & ladies. The train arrived at 00:30 hrs. We boarded the train, spread bed sheets, blankets. Children and ladies slept & we, the men were waiting for the TTE. After few minutes TTE came; produced our tickets & lay down on the bed.
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Last edited by travelmanna; Aug 26th, 2017 at 05:00..
#2 Aug 27th, 2017, 03:57
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#2
Here are some more photographs
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#3 Aug 27th, 2017, 04:06
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#3
Ha ha @ "Lokers 9 AM to 5 PM"

Do they mean "Lockers" or "Lookers"? And if they mean either, what do they mean by that?
#4 Aug 27th, 2017, 04:08
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#4
Some more photographs of Ranakpur Jain Temple
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#5 Aug 27th, 2017, 04:24
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#5
Difficult to say; may be Jain community or their own people
#6 Aug 27th, 2017, 04:30
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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JAISALMER – 30/03/2017 (Day 5): Morning, we ordered our breakfast bread, butter, cutlet in the train and had it. We all friends had a great chat (adda in Bengali), our children were engaged themselves in their activities. Personally, I very much like long distance train journeys & for me, it is a kind of relaxation. In the mean time, we ordered our lunch in the hotel Roop Mahal where we booked our lodging also. When the train is about to reach Jaisalmer, I saw the majestic & beautiful Jaisalmer Golden fort or “Sonar Kella” (in Bengali) from the train & shouted like a child “ ত্তই দেখ; সোনার কেল্লা!!! ” or “look at the golden fort”. Actually, Sonar Kella or golden fort has a special place in all Bengali’s mind & heart. This is due to the legendary film director Shri SATYAJIT RAY. He made a movie “SONAR KELLA” in 1974 which was based on the novel “SONAR KELLA” written by him. I think most of the Bengalis have seen this movie. I have also seen the movie & always dreaming to visit the fort & now my dream came true. It was Shri SATYAJIT RAY who made Jaisalmer fort so famous throughout the world. We reached Jaisalmer at around 12:00 noon. Outside temp. may be 38 to 40°C. Mr. Kamal Singh, right hand of the owner came to railway station to receive us. The distance of the hotel from the railway station was merely 2 K.M. We booked two nos. of superior double bedded A.C. rooms with fort view @ Rs. 3150/- & one no. of standard double bedded room @ Rs. 2400/- for 02 nights. This is a small hotel with 15 rooms. Rooms, toilets were clean & A.C. was working fine. There is a roof top restaurant in the 2nd floor & from there; view of the golden fort is superb. We took our lunch by 02:30 P.M. It was all veg. but tasty one. Hotel owner Shri Chandra Singh is a nice gentleman. We had a deal with him @ Rs. 3000/- per family for the site seeing and desert safari .This includes Golden fort, Kuldhara village, desert safari at Sam sand dunes with dinner and Kalbelia dance in their resort, Gadisar lake, war museum, Patwaon ki haveli in two days. In the evening, we were out for city walk, went to a nearby market, tasted local sweets, purchased some medicines, dresses, gift articles etc. We returned to the hotel, had dinner & again adda.
#7 Aug 27th, 2017, 04:36
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#7
Lovely photos, travelmanna!




Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post Ha ha @ "Lokers 9 AM to 5 PM"

Do they mean "Lockers" or "Lookers"? And if they mean either, what do they mean by that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmanna View Post Difficult to say; may be Jain community or their own people
Good point - maybe they meant "Locals"
#8 Aug 27th, 2017, 04:46
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#8
An awesome report with great pics! I also saw the Ranakpur Temple and Fort and was blown away. Amazing!
My India Photos, 2005-2017
"...by any means necessary." Malcolm X
#9 Aug 27th, 2017, 21:11
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#9
Yes a good report However ,and its not any complaint on what you wrote!

Why are INDIANS so obsessed what they ate and what things cost, food, rooms ,,trains etc.

Costs surely will change from year to year and depend on the economy, added taxes etc, and of course your own budget, but if you share that brings the cost down.

On my first 10 or so trips to India I always travelled alone, but found my way around easily and did not starve, but many indian people found it odd being alone.

People approached me, and spoke which they would not have done had I a companion.

Once again alone in Pakistan a woman with her family felt sorry for me and plied me with bags or oranges, sadly language was a problem, but her kindness spoke volumes.

Enjoy future travels
#10 Aug 28th, 2017, 03:04
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#10

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by fsg View Post Why are INDIANS so obsessed what they ate and what things cost, food, rooms, trains etc.


yes. the tattoos on my arms always bring the "how much you pay?" questions. my answer is, "it depends."

Quote:
On my first 10 or so trips to India I always travelled alone, but found my way around easily and did not starve, but many indian people found it odd being alone
yes, always.
fsg, don't know if you are male or female, but as a solo woman traveler I love the "where's your man?" question.**
I have so many answers to that one!

** to whom it may concern: no, I don't need any mansplaining as to why that question is asked.
#11 Aug 28th, 2017, 13:44
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#11
Dear Sir/Madam, I belong to a typically lower middle class Indian family (especially Bengali) who calculates each & everything before going to a trip. We are not from a wealthy country like U.S.A., U.K. where people don’t bother about spending money. My money is limited & I have to spend according to that. I found very useful when IMikers share their cost of travel & other information. It gives me a little bit idea about the expenditure during a trip. So, my intention was if I put costs of entry fees, room charges etc. etc., it may be a reference for somebody else to plan their trips. Except this, there is no other reason.

The no. of solo traveler is less in India. If I book a ticket, my brothers, sisters will say that they also want to join. Then my cousin brothers, sisters, father, mother, uncle aunties, they all want to join with me. Sometimes Indians doesn't left the honeymoon couple to travel alone.
#12 Aug 28th, 2017, 13:52
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post Ha ha @ "Lokers 9 AM to 5 PM"

Do they mean "Lockers" or "Lookers"? And if they mean either, what do they mean by that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post ...

Good point - maybe they meant "Locals"
They might be explaining the timings of Locker alias cloakroom.
#13 Aug 28th, 2017, 13:57
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#13
It is not necessary that tourists from wealthy countries are wealthy. There are poor tourists from wealthy countries who visit India.
#14 Aug 28th, 2017, 14:18
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post It is not necessary that tourists from wealthy countries are wealthy. There are poor tourists from wealthy countries who visit India.
It's all relative, is it not ? Confusing locals most of the time
#15 Aug 28th, 2017, 20:12
Sukumar Manna (Chala jata hun kisi ki dhun mein)
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post An awesome report with great pics! I also saw the Ranakpur Temple and Fort and was blown away. Amazing!
Thank you Mam for your words.
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