bharatsadeja

Motorcycle Traveller
Riders' Introduction
Aman Chaudhary

Hailing from the city of Yamunanagar, Haryana, Aman is an avid biker. He rides a Honda CBR 250 and done multiple rides to Ladakh and Spiti. Apart from dream rides to Ladakh and Spiti, he has also done a ride to Bhutan in 2015. I met him for the first time on the ride and noticed one major difference in the way we travel. While I travel with a lot of luggage, Aman on the other side, likes to travel light. Apart from Aman, all three of us were using fully packed ViaTerra claw whereas Aman had small saddle bags and still he had every small thing which one may need on a bike ride. May be that's what we call experience.

Bharat Sadeja

That's me! I was born and brought up in Delhi. I ride Hero Honda Karizma and Bajaj Pulsar 200NS. I was riding Pulsar 200NS on this ride. Although, I was always passionate about bikes and riding but started taking motorcycle travelling seriously only after October, 2014. I have not done any ride ever which may be called difficult but I have done few short and long rides. I wish to be an avid motorcycle traveller one day. As I have ridden mostly on open highways and have very little experience of riding in hills, this trip was not much of a different to me in terms of the kind of roads I would be riding on but this was going to become my longest ride in terms of both, days and distance.

Saurabh Seth/Seth Sahab

Seth sahab is the reason why I happened to join this ride as I only knew him among all the co-riders and he only asked me to join this ride. We became friends when both of us loved bikes but had not travelled much on bikes by then. His home town is Quadian, Punjab but he currently lives in Chandigarh. Seth sahab rides CBR 250 and Harley Davidson 750 Street. He was riding Harley on this ride. Seth also started riding much later in life and by now often keeps going on short bike trips in groups. This was the longest ride for him.

Sidharth Mittal

He lives in Kandaghat, Himachal Pradesh and rides Bajaj Pulsar 200AS. Being born and brought up in hills, Siddharth mainly has experience of riding in the hills and he is very good at it. Siddharth has done many rides in the hills and has also done Spiti but still was not very confident for first 1-2 days on the open highways as he has not ridden much on open highways. Although, he has earlier done rides which have extended for as many days as this ride, but in terms of distance this was his longest ride so far.

Prologue
During the time when I was pursuing post graduation from Thapar University in Patiala, I came across only a single person who was really passionate about biking and his name is Saurabh Seth but we always used to call him Seth Sahab. By that time neither I had travelled much on motorcycles nor did he but we often used to talk about bikes during our college days. After completing my post graduation, I moved to different cities for job. First I moved to Trivandrum for three months in end of 2012. Year of 2013 was spent in Mumbai and in 2014, I moved to Bangalore. I moved to Patiala for post graduation in 2009 and till 2014, I did not have any bike when I was outside my home town so I always missed my bike during those times. After moving to Bangalore on 22nd January, 2014 I finally bought my new bike on 12th March, 2014. I moved back to my home town Delhi in April, 2015. One thing I really liked during my stay in Bangalore was, no matter how short or long I wanted to go for a ride, I always had a few places to select from. After coming to Delhi, I realized that Delhi do not have much options to go for a one day ride. I started searching for one day ride options from Delhi on Internet and found out that whatever few short ride options are there from Delhi, I had done all of them by 2009 itself. Now, I had started exploring more ride options from Delhi which could be done in 2-3 days and realized, for the kind of person/rider I am, it would take at least three days for me to ride to any nice place, spend some good time there and ride back. After post graduation, I have been in contact with Seth Sahab after college as well. He now lives in Chandigarh as he got campus placement in a company in Chandigarh. After moving to Chandigarh, he also started riding very often. When I moved to Delhi, Sath sahab often asked to plan to come down to Chandigarh and have a ride together but it didn't happen for some reason. He even asked me to go to Spiti once but I was not confident enough to go ahead there.

Finally, he planned for a ride to Kutch and I agreed to join. After communicating with all the tentative riders who could join, dates were finalized to be 1st November, 2015 to 8th November, 2015. As the start day of riding was approaching, one by one all the other riders dropped the plan and Seth sahab asked me if we two should go or not. I agreed to go on such long ride with just one other rider and hence Seth sahab applied for leaves well in advance. Sometimes no matter what we plan, destiny has something else on the plate for us. On 2nd October, 2015, I met in an accident with a car and suffered through a hair line fracture. All the plans got cancelled as a plaster was applied on my right leg and its chances of recovering completely within a month was 0%. I informed Seth sahab about the same, he understood the situation and he cancelled his leaves as well.

While I was recovering from the injury, Seth sahab once again planned another long ride and pinged me to ask if I could join. This was a ride to the state of Royals in the month of January. I was confident that I would recover completely by that time so I agreed to join the ride. Among the riders who were supposed to join, I only knew Seth sahab and all other riders were Seth sahab's friends from his riding group Archriders. Dates were finalized to be 5th January, 2016 to 12th January, 2016.

As I am a very laid back person by nature, I always postponed thing to do in bucket. Just two days before the ride on 3rd January, 2016, I realized that there are few must to do things before the ride. I needed some safety gears and had to get my bike serviced. For the safety gears, I had to go to Karol Bagh market and the market was closed on the next day as it was a Monday. So, I decided to get safety gears on Sunday and get my bike services on Monday. I bought everything that was needed from Karol Bagh market and then went on to join our family picnic at Lodhi Garden.

Next day it was 4th January, 2016 and I had to get my bike serviced as the ride was starting the next day. I woke up in the morning and rushed to the Bajaj service centre. I went to the same service centre from where I got my bike serviced after shifting to Delhi from Bangalore. After reaching there, I came to know that the service centre is closed on Monday. I rushed to another service centre and thankfully they operate on Mondays. My bike was second in the queue for the service. It was 10 in the morning and I was confident that I would be back at home by 2 PM. My bike's spark plugs were required to be replaced with new ones. When the mechanic at the service centre took out the adapter of the main spark plug, the adapter was broken. Now, the biggest troll of the day started. Service centre didn't have that adapter in stock so they told me that it may take a few days to acquire that adapter. I told them that I need to go on a ride, the very next day, so they tried to fix the broken adapter but it didn't happen. I asked them to acquire the adapter from some other service centre and they told me that even to acquire a spare part from other service station it takes 3-4 days. No matter what, I had to join this ride. I asked him if he could tell me which service centre is having the adapter in stock. Finally, they helped me with that. Now, I had to go 10 KMs from that service centre to acquire the adapter and come back. I rushed to my home, took car from there, drove to the service centre which had adapter in stock, bought the adapter, came back home and asked my sister to drop me to the service centre which had my bike. Finally, my bike was serviced and I got the delivery by 6 PM. I reached home in a few minutes but I was a little tired by then. After reaching home, I was lazing around in my bed and watching television. At 10 PM in the night, I started packing my bag and slept around 12 in the night.
 
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bharatsadeja

Motorcycle Traveller
Day 1 | 05/01/2016 | Delhi-Jaipur
Finally the day had arrived when the ride was supposed to start. As per the plan, I had to ride solo from Delhi to Jaipur and join the other three riders in Jaipur. Siddharth had come down to Chandigarh a night before. Seth sahab and Siddharth started from Chandigarh around 7 AM and Aman joined them at Kurukshetra. I was supposed to start from my home at 6:30 AM, visit Bhangarh Fort and go to Jaipur but got late in leaving the bed in the morning and hence started from my home at 9 AM. Visiting Bhangarh Fort in this situation meant I would reach Jaipur later than the other group. I decided to ride to Jaipur directly. I have a habit of taking breaks frequently on a ride. After riding for around 100 KMs, I saw a road side tea shop and stopped for a tea break.


I stopped for lunch at a restaurant around 12:15 PM and dropped a message to Seth sahab asking him to call me as soon as they stop for a break so that we could coordinate and decide the place of meeting. I got a call from him after ten minutes and decided to meet 50 KMs before Jaipur. Jaipur was around 100 KMs from my location and for them it was 180 KMs from their location. After finishing my lunch, I resumed the ride and decided to ride on slow speed as it gets difficult to pass the time waiting for someone standing at one location. Enroute, I found a small off-road section and turned my bike towards it, to pass some time.


I resumed my ride towards Jaipur after 10-15 minutes. After riding a few kilometers, I stopped for a bio break and by the time I removed my gloves, I noticed a bike with headlights switched on. As the bike approached near me, I realized that its Seth. I gave him a signal to stop and soon after Aman and Siddharth also arrived. After a short greeting session, we moved forward towards our destination for the day. The very first aim was to check into a hotel, put our luggage there and head out for lunch and sight seeing. After enquiring about hotels from locals, we checked into Hotel Simla. After washing my face, I searched around for a water bottle in the room as I was feeling very thirsty. All of us had took out our water bottles and kept in the room. I took the bottle which was nearest to me and took a big sip from it. As soon as I took the sip, my mouth started burning strongly, I hurried to the wash basin and threw it out. After asking from others about the contents of the bottle, I came to know that it was Aman's bottle and had vodka in it :p

When everyone was ready, we went out for lunch. There was a small restaurant just next to our hotel, we went there itself to save time. We ordered Rajasthan's ethnic dish called Daal Bhaati along with other veggies and rotis. As I already had lunch on my way to Jaipur, I only tried daal bhaati there while others had proper lunch. After finishing the food, we headed out for whatever sight seeing was possible in Jaipur as we were nearing the closing time for all the tourist places.

Jal Mahal
Jal Mahal is a palace located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. Across the lake one can view the Aravalli Hills, dotted with temples and ancient forts. (Source: Wiki)

When we parked our bikes and had a look at Jal Mahal from a distance, we found it to be beautiful. As soon as we approached near to it, the place was stinking badly as the lake was not maintained well by the government and also because people had thrown a lot of waste near and in the lake. We quickly took some photographs here and moved forward.


Amer Fort
Located high on a hill, this fort is constructed of red sandstone and marble. The fort consists of the Diwan-e-Aam or "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-e-Khas or "Hall of Private Audience", the Sheesh Mahal or "Jai Mandir" and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. (Source: Wiki)

Amer Fort was next in the list. It was a pleasure riding on the road which leads to the fort. By the time we reached at the fort, the entry was closed so, we parked our bikes at a place from where we were able to look at the magnificent structure of the fort from outside. There were few local people there who went towards Seth sahab as soon as they saw him parking his bike. This was not the first time that he was being asked different kinds of questions about his bike but surely this was our first encounter of a group who just didn't stop questioning on the bike and post that they even started clicking their photos with the bike without even taking permission. After enquiring from those people, we came to know that at night light show is held at the fort but its not worth to pay money to see it. They also told that we could see the light show exactly from the place where we had stopped so we decided to see the light show as all the tourist places were closed by then.








When the light show at Amer Fort was finished, we roamed around a bit on the roads there. We reached a point from where the city's night view was looking beautiful, before that point we also came across a board for Jaigarh Fort.





After spending some time on the roads, we headed back to our hotel. We filled petrol in our bikes for next day's ride. After reaching hotel room, we had some alcohol after which we headed out for dinner. Our bikes were parked on the road outside the hotel as hotel does not have any dedicated parking area. There is a bar on the ground floor which is a part of hotel itself. We were told by the hotel staff members that we could park our bikes in the bar at the bar's closing time. After coming back from dinner, we were tired and the bar was still operating. So, we left our bikes parked on the roads and headed to our rooms to sleep as we were tired. As soon as we were about to sleep, one of the staff member came to our room and asked us to park our bikes inside the bar. Me and Seth went to park our bikes inside the bar, came back and slept.

Hotel Details
Name: Hotel Simla
Address: Chandi Ki Taksal, Near Hawa Mahal Jaipur
Tel: +91-141-2609001/2/3/4
Occupancy: 1 Room, 4 People
Total Tariff: 1250 INR
Note: This hotel is a budget hotel. It has rooms with attached bathrooms as well as rooms w/o attached bathrooms. We chose the room with attached bathroom. The room w/o attached bathroom was for 600 INR for 4 people.
 

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bharatsadeja

Motorcycle Traveller
Day 2 | 06/01/2016 | Jaipur-Chittorgarh Fort-Udaipur
The plan for today was to reach visit Chittorgarh Fort and reach Udaipur. We woke up around 6 AM and after finishing with the morning rituals, checked out of the hotel to start our ride to Udaipur. We asked hotel staff to open the bar so that we could take our biked outside. After tying our luggage on our bikes, we went to a shop across the road to have some kachoris and tea in order to fill our stomach a little bit before starting the ride.

For the route followed to Chittorgarh Fort click here

It was 4x4 butter smooth highway for 100 KMs on NH-8. After taking the left from NH-8, the roads on NH-79A turned into 2x2 lane road as well as scenic but there were too many patched and patholes on this way. Although there were not too many personal vehicles on this road but there were too many big trucks which made us slow down way too many times. We took a break here for breakfast. We ordered puri bhaji and paranthas. Food was good in taste but there were too many spices which were burning our tongues.




After finishing our breakfast, we moved forward towards our destination. After riding for few kilometers, the traffic of the other side was also diverted on our side of the road because there was some VIP movement happening there. This made us to slow down our bikes to the speeds that we generally follow in city traffic. We came across a toll on this road, we came across a road side shop after crossing this toll where we stopped for a break.



After snacking on some chocolates and crunchies, we started again to directly stop at Chittorgarh Fort without any breaks.

Chittorgarh Fort














After starting from the fort, we stopped at a point just after around a kilometer where we spent a good amount of time for photography and a little bit of off-roading.









Our Seth sahab played very smartly on the trip. At the time of riding, he used to wear a lower above his jeans. The main reason for this was avoid jeans from getting dirty. As we all know, everything has pros and cons added to it, the problem was whenever Seth asked us to click his picture, he asked us to click above waist so that the pic doesn't look awkward with riding jacket on top and lower at the bottom. Here, we wanted to get a full picture so here it goes

Lower utaara



Photo khichwayi



Aur lower pehn liya ;)



Although, we decided to stop only once till Udaipur and that too after touching the highway but just after few meters we again came across a point where we stopped for a photography break.




Finally, we started our ride to Udaipur in actual. As decided, we had one break on the highway for some snacks and we till the time we reached Udaipur, it was dark. The roads from Chittorgarh to Udaipur were smooth and empty but as soon as we were nearing Udaipur, the traffic was increasing at a good pace. My love completes 20000 KMs enroute to Udaipur.



For route taken from Chittorgarh to Udaipur click here

Siddharth knew someone in Udaipur so, after entering Udaipur, Siddharth called him for advice on hotel. The very first hotel he suggested was good but it was on the outer of the city. So, we finally checked into Hotel The Space which he suggested on the second phone call.

After putting our luggage into rooms we got freshen up. Now was the time to unwind all the tiredness with some drinks but we didn't have anything in snacks. Me and Aman went outside to get some snacks and chips. By the time we came back, we saw a bullet standing outside our hotel which had a sticker saying "Ladakh, I have been there". We understood that Siddharth's friend is here. After entering the room, we had an intro with him, his name is Hemant Bhanawat who also loves travelling and he met Siddharth because of traveling only. We talked over some drinks during which we asked Hemant to suggest a place to have dinner near Lake Pichola because doing so is one of the recommended things in Udaipur. He suggested few places out of which we zeroed on Hotel Upre after reading reviews on Zomato. When we were done with drinks and Hemant left to his home, we headed out to have dinner at Lake Pichola. I started navigation on my phone, put on my ear phones under my helmet to follow the route but following the route was difficult only through voice navigation as one the roads that we were supposed to follow was closed. We started using our desi navigation system of asking people "Bhaiya Hotel Upre kahan hai?" and we finally found it. The restaurant was on the roof and the view of the lake and city palace was awesome from here. It was a serene place with a peaceful atmosphere and a lake view. We ordered two beers to enjoy the serenity which was followed by dinner afterwards. The food was not as great as the bill was (Rs. 1700). This was the most expensive meal we had on our whole trip but was worth for the experience. Food was ok-ok types if not very good.


After finishing off with our dinner, we headed to Fatehsagar Lake to spend some time. There were some shops for snacking around the lake but we were already full on our tummies. We spent some time there and then headed for our hotel.






Hotel didn't have any parking and hotel staff asked us to park our bikes on the road outside the hotel and we did the same, went to our rooms and crashed on our beds to call it a night.
 
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bharatsadeja

Motorcycle Traveller
Day 3 | 07/01/2016 | Udaipur (Venice of the East)
Today, we woke up around 8:30 AM because we were not supposed to ride as this day was supposed to visit different places in Udaipur. After getting done with our morning rituals, we stepped out of the hotel for breakfast. First, we went to a nearby shop which was famous for its Pyaaz Kachoris and Jalebi. We had some Kachoris and Jalebis and then we wanted to have a proper breakfast to fill our hungry tummies. We went to a restaurant which was near to our hotel only to save time and fortunately they served us very good food. We ordered bread jam, ginger sandwich, puri bhaji and paranthas. Food really food but their ginger sandwich was awesome. After having breakfast, we went to have tea to a roadside tea seller which was exactly opposite our hotel. This was probably the best tea of our trip. Now, it was time to start Udaipur Darshan.

City Palace (WiKi)
The first place to visit on our list was the very famous City Palace. When we reached there and went to ticket counter, our eyes popped out after looking at the ticket price. There was a different ticket for every area and the total of all those ticket prices was approximately Rs 2000 per person. We decided to buy the tickets only for the common area and the museum. There was a different for the camera if one wants to take pictures so we bought that too.

This is the very first structure that one comes across after entering the palace premises




A look at the beautiful Lake Palace









There is a story behind why this water bottle was clicked. One of us was feeling thirsty and then we came across a restaurant in the palace premises. Seth sahab went inside the restaurant and came out with this water bottle which had cost us a hefty amount of Rs 200. We were consuming water from it so slowly as if it was the most expensive bottle of wine on the earth and we don't want to finish it soon. :p Although, we bought this expensive water bottle out of thirst but after going inside the museum, there was a small shop which served water bottle for Rs 30 and to all those who are reading this, you could very well get water inside for reasonable price.






Chetak was the favorite horse of Maharana Pratap. He bore his master to safety inspite of his one leg being injured in battle of Haldighati.


Glasses worn by Sir Ben Kinsley in Gandhi. — at City Palace, Udaipur.
































Shahi Gaddi!




Raja sahab ka HUKKA!



Sajjangarh/Monsoon Palace
The Monsoon Palace, also known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, is a hilltop palatial residence in the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan in India, overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake. It is named Sajjangarh after Maharana Sajjan Singh (1874–1884) of the Mewar Dynasty, who built it in 1884. The palace offers a panoramic view of the city's lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside. It was built chiefly to watch the monsoon clouds; hence, appropriately, it is popularly known as Monsoon Palace. (Source: Wiki)





















The road to the palace was enjoyable to ride because of the curves and twisties it offered but there were patholes on the road didn't let us enjoy the ride as much as we could have otherwise. The palace offers beautiful views of the city and a nice sunset. Also, as the palace is made on a hill, the winds in the evening gets very enjoyable to spend time there. We spent a good amount of time here and we enjoyed the time spent here.

Sheliyon-Ki-Bari

Sahelion Ki Bari was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. As per the legends, the garden was designed by the king himself and he presented this garden to his queen. The Queen was accompanied by 48 maids in her marriage. To offer all of them pleasurable moments away from the political intrigues of the court, this garden was made. (Source: Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saheliyon-ki-Bari)














This place was suggested to be visited by a friend of Siddharth. The entry fees for this place was Rs 10 per person. We didn't spend much time there, just clicked some photographs and moved on asap as we didn't find the place much enjoyable.

After moving out of this place, we had juice and then we went to our hotel to relax because it was around 6:30 PM and tourist places get closed by this time so we could not visit any other place. After having dinner, we called it a night and went to sleep.

Advice On Visiting Udaipur

  • Although, the ticket to visit all the areas of City Palace is expensive but after visiting a part of it, I could say that it would be worth to visit all the areas even if its expensive.
  • Visiting City Palace completely requires at least one full day in my opinion. On the basis of that, one should keep at least 2 days for visiting Udaipur itself but if I would go there again, I will at least keep 3 days for the city visit as Udaipur has a lot to offer which also include Dhebar Lake which is the largest artificial lake in India.
  • Sajjangarh Palace is a must visit as it offers splendid views.
  • Sahelion-ki-bari is a total waste of money in my opinion.

Udaipur Hotel Details
Name: Hotel The Space (GMaps Location https://goo.gl/maps/N7h2CSC1z8m)
Address: 24, City Station Road, Surajpole, Jawahar Nagar, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001
Tel: 0294 510 2827
Occupancy: 2 Rooms, 4 People
Tariff: Rs 6000 (For 2 rooms for 2 nights)
Note: The rooms were good enough for the price we paid. Hotel staff and service was nice as well.
 
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