Sep '14: Of Palaces and Forts: Royal Rajasthan


Well-Known Member
Sep 29, 2014
Onwards to Udaipur

Jaipur - Kishangarh - Bhilwara - Chittorgarh - Udaipur. Seems simple enough. As I set up the phone, Google says I will reach in 6 hours. Understandable - firangs don’t know our country and it’s road that well. I mentally prepare everyone for an 8+ hour journey.

We are out of Jaipur quickly and before we know it, hunger pangs are here. Obviously. We haven’t had breakfast yet. It was a temple morning after all. Places are rushing by but I don’t find anything appealing.

Maybe, I am expecting too much, maybe, this stretch..
That looks good enough - pure veg too!

Being Navratri, pure veg is a constraint too when traveling with elders.

Place is nice. Has a different section for families, complete with separate restrooms, AC and the works. It’s close to 11 am and we order brunch, with the idea that we will save some time by not stopping again for lunch. Food is surprisingly good and completely VFM. We fill up the car as well post brunch. The road continues to be good and we are cruising comfortably.

Take a u-turn as soon as possible
Google reminds me of it’s presence and importance.
In 200 meters, please make a u-turn

I stop and once it has my undivided attention, says,
Continue straight on the National Highway 79 for 95 kilometers


NH79 is 2-laned and deteriorates somewhat in quality as compared to the 3 laned Jaipur - Kishangarh stretch. The truck traffic increases exponentially. I don’t know why people are scared of Delhi - Jaipur NH-8. I promise, drive on this road once and you will start loving NH-8. And don’t even get me started on the Gurgaon toll. What used to happen at Gurgaon toll between small cars etc, happens here even now. And not cars - 16 wheelers jumping lanes to the shorter line!

We do some sort of "off-road driving"** to bypass these turf wars but can’t avoid them all. All tolls on this stretch were horribly crowded. We cross Bhilwara somewhere around 3 pm. Chittorgarh coming up fast.

**By off-road, I mean off the road literally, not the 4x4 stuff.

At Chittorgarh, I am confused -
Board says,
Udaipur →

Google says,
Udaipur ↑

Basically, the board directs me to take the SH between Chittorgarh and Udaipur. Google, on the other hand, asks me to stay on NH-79 if I want to live and reach Udaipur tonight. Through SH, it tells me, it will take an hour longer. I figure, she must be calculating ETA based on the speed limits. SH has a lower limit as compared to NH and thus it shows a longer travel time via SH.

I turn right and take the SH-9 to Udaipur.

The road is super. More than the tarmac, my eyes are happy seeing something other than brown boxes, Horn Please, Dipper at Night, OK TATA, All India Permit, etc etc.

I start to enjoy the greenery and scenery around. There is a single railway line that comes parallel to the road and runs along it for sometime before disappearing into the far horizon again.

1.5 hours and 110 kms later we join the NH-76. Brother of NH-79 if you will. Same kind of traffic. Trucks and just trucks. In sometime though, they disappear and it’s city traffic now.

Google tries to redeem itself and guides me perfectly to the landmark near our hotel - Jagdish Mandir. From there on, locals help me find the public parking. As if my experience at Amer was not enough, roads here are even narrower! But thankfully we manage to reach the parking in one piece without any unwelcome incident. It's 6:00 PM as I switch off the car. It’s been exactly 8 hours since we started.

The hotel boys arrive soon, take our luggage and guide us to the hotel. We rest for sometime and then head to the ghat nearby.

What I see, I hadn’t expected. It’s a shady dingy place with groups of boys sitting at ill lit places. The Lake Palace is visible up front, looks glorious but the place is very dirty, filthy. It's so bad, I don't even take the camera out. We retreat and hire a rick to take us to Doodh Talai instead to better enjoy the night view. Although a little far, it is a much better place. Though slim shady guys can be seen here too, but the place is not overly crowded or dirty. Others sit around while I take some long exposures.

View attachment 562812
The Lake Palace

View attachment 562811
Jag Mandir

The rick drops us back at Jagdish Mandir and we try to find a veg only restaurant for dinner. Everybody seems to be recommending "Anna". So we give it a try. But later regret. Absolutely pathetic food. We entered only coz we saw a few families already there.

Teen Lemon Soda - 1 sweet, 1 sweet-sal… I try to order Lemon Soda but the guy is gone before I even complete.
Lata hun, lata hun..

He soon brings a soda bottle, some sugar in a bowl, a spoon and 2 pieces of cut lemon.

What is this?
Yahan aise hi aata hai, aap mix kar lo.

After this rather forgetful experience, we find a good veg-only option, Maxim something nearby. We will try it tomorrow. For now, back to hotel and rest after the long day.

More later ...
What is this?
Yahan aise hi aata hai, aap mix kar lo.

Hahahaha Basic support me ittaich milinga, thank god you haven't ordered Biryani there :)