Mumbai - Udaipur - Jaipur - Sawai Madhopur - Himachal

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
Musing on my multiple trips along this route. For various reasons, mostly regarding work and research I have done this route so many times, but every time it surprises me, often not pleasantly.

Starting from Mumbai, the NH8 is fairly decent after one crosses the Vasai Creek. The road gently meanders through the rolling hills of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and then the Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and beyond. Beatiful forested stretches on either side make it a very scenic drive. Our first stop is typically the Kamath's at Manor for breakfast.

The morning drive through Maharashtra is divine and the roads buttery smooth.

Until you cross the check nana into the Gujarat side of NH8. Buttery smooth roads. But trucks, trucks, trucks, and factory, factory, factory on either side. The entire stretch of NH8 through Gujarat is the most boring, depressing site ever. It makes you drowsy. And the intense traffic on this highway prevents you from moving ahead very smoothly. The drive through industrial towns of Vapi, Ankleshwar etc will make you lose faith in capitalism and consumerism. The worst part is having to drive through this stretch when you are returning back. As it is you are a little sad to have to be back to the daily grind, then you go through this primer. Anyway...

The Giriraj Kathiawadi Food on the Vadodara stretch of NH8/48 is excellent. We try and look for it. We used to stop at Sugar and Spice food Court, They had an excellent Kathiawadi Thaliu but unfortunately it has shut down.

A bit of the National Expressway 1 bypassing Ahmedabad is a great stretch of road. One can drive on smooth four lanes road with scenic beauty either side at a consistent fast speed (80kmph speed limit), and the road is closed to pedestrians, two wheelers, animals etc. But its mid afternoon and one can get drowsy on this long straight road with no challenges :)

The moment we cross into Rajasthan, beauty!

The first signs of the Aravallis, gorgeous landscapes, farmlands, villages, dhabas with great food.

Often Google Maps routes you through a different inner road and I have loved it. But unable to pinpoint exactly where.

We once stopped at this highway Dhabi for lunch. The food was awesome. We took a walk along the lane next to the Dhaba into a beautiful river side.


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We walked into this beautiful lane...
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And sat by this gentle stream...

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Theloststory

Well-Known Member
Rajasthan truly is a traveller dream. I hope they are able to preserve this aspect...

Somewhere driving from Jaipur to Sariska/Alwar we came across this beautiful temple precariously perched on a rock.
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And in this area, we found Emperor Ashoka's Epitaph...
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And what looks like an old Hunting Lodge of the Mughals. Now its a Jain Monastery...
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Theloststory

Well-Known Member
These are the inner roads. the NH8/48 is over crowded. The vegetation and landscape is being lost at an alarming scale.
This hillock is burnt to kill any vegetation. Then mined for its soil. and rocks. And then sold to whoever pays the highest price. We have named this process 'progress' and 'development'. Note the hill behind still has vegetation...


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Theloststory

Well-Known Member
The drive from Jaipur to Sawai Madhopur used to be through a gorgeous winding road via Lalsot, through Chambal like ravines and tall grass, the Moonj or Sarkhanda. 3 ago we stopped under the shade of a tree to unpack our tiffins (not much is available on this route which is good food), and the delicious Saras Lassi and Chaach. While we ate we watched a wild Jackal cross the road in front of us and disappear into the grass. Scenic views like these make road trips worth it.

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This year, the ravines were being flattened, and the road widened so the shade trees too were cut down. I wonder what happened to the Jackal.
 

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
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The Banas River along the Jaipur - Sawai Madhopur route. Not the beautiful reeds and grasses on the river banks. And also note the hundreds of Swifts in the sky. Mornings are the most beautiful thing...
 

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
Somewhere along the road from Udaipur to Jaipur lies this pond with a shade tree and a temple. Across the shade tree, under another tree, is a chai-wala, making reasonably good chai and pakoras.
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Rajasthan has plenty of these natural water bodies along roads, and if you care to stop and look, you will find many wild birds happily swimming and feeding in these.
 

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
The road from Udaipur to Mount Abu is another delight to drive on. And I was surprised, pleasantly, by Mount Abu. I thought it would be a dirty little congested touristy town. Which it is. In pockets. but overall its amazing. The drive up is through the winding willy Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary. The little hill town has plenty of palaces and havelis or erstwhile influential people and many of them have been converted into hotels.



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Theloststory

Well-Known Member
Approaching Mount Abu.
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And the drive up through the wildlife sanctuary. What would we do if we dissent have protected natural habitats?

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