It was not long when we started to plan a trip which could satisfy our driving cum travel bug when we almost got starstruck with this beautiful city of Udaipur, Rajasthan. Famously known as city of Lakes, this place has much more charm than anyone can think of. Beautiful palaces, Lakes, battlefields, temples and amicable people to say a few .
We planned to leave delhi on 18th Feb. The unanimous decision was to start at night after coming from office. The idea was to use the day and beat the traffic at night. So we started around 830pm from our residences in a VW Polo. My friend Ne, I and our best halves. As Ne started to drive towards Gurgaon we, decided (it was obvious though) to have a couple of pints, and strictly no more so the stress from the hectic office day could be worn off . We had them on the way to Neemrana and stopped for dinner before Neemrana.
It was not cold, though the wind was more than comforting when we got down from the Car. The dhaba where we stopped was named Shiva. There are so many Shiva dhabas around, though the one we chose proved to be a good one as it served us with steaming hot dal makhni and butter naans. The meal was delicious and did not burn a hole in the pocket ;)
One thing I would like to add here is the Delhi - Udaipur Highway is full of tolls. Though paying at these tolls looks worth it as the road is well laid to perfection. At least 10 tolls are there and you may need to shell out approx Rs 1000 one way. Delhi-Jaipur lacks it and I don’t feel it should be a toll road at all. It seems as if they are charging money from the people to lay the road on the tarmac. Sic . Though If you are reading this blog post Dec'16 you may find delhi - jaipur road a bit improved.
Bellies filled, we decided that we will only stop after Jaipur so that we could make up for the traffic and stopover as it was going to be 10hr long journey. I started pushing the paddle just to realize that the traffic on NH8 was as usual heavy at night . I buckled up for some serious night driving among trucks and trailers and managed to cruise roughly around 70-80Kmph.
We had decided to follow Jaipur Bypass and go via -> Nasirarabad-Bhilwara-Chittorgarh NH76 to escape the traffic .
TIP - A road from Chandwaji turns left on Ajmer bye-pass surprisingly with no signboard showing direction for Ajmer instead, a board of Mahindra World City is Visibly fixed showing direction towards the left and a small portion on the right shows straight for Jaipur 45 km, so make sure to turn towards Mahindra World City . If you miss this left, you will still be on the correct course, a bit slower NH8 though.
The Bypass and the entire stretch of NH76 was smooth like butter. I improved from 70Kmph to 100-110kmph. It sounds exaggerating but once you hit this piece of highway, your speedo will not let you down, quite literally.
The road was deserted except a few trucks . Please be aware while overtaking them. I came across a Volvo which was speeding faster than everybody, and was making sudden eradicate manoeuvres . Be careful. We stopped for a tea break around 2 AM before Bhilwara. We already had ready-made tea which we were carrying in a hot pot so that we were not dependent upon dhabas in the middle of the night. We sipped our tea and felt the breeze of Rajasthan on our cheeks . It felt refreshing. After the pit stop I again started to chase our dream destination. 45 minutes into the drive and I noticed all my co passengers were easing off on the shoulders of Sleepy (the queen of dreams) . I thought that it’s a good time to indulge in some of my favourite songs and drive a little faster as no one was there to say, ‘abye 120 pe kaha jar aha hai ‘ . I also wanted Ne to be rested because I knew I will run out of energy around dawn and he would have to take control of the wheel. We reached Bhilwara by 3AM and were cruising towards Chittorgarh and some of my mates started to wake up. This route is so deserted and straight you sometimes feel bored. No lefts and rights, just a straight road . 6.15 in the morning when we all realized that the sun was coming up. We were overwhelmed by the rising Sun and captured some moments. I am uploading the video just to give a glimpse. By this time I was in the back seat and Ne was cruising through. We stopped at a dhaba just short of Udaipur for our morning calls around 7.30AM and entered Udaipur around 8.30. We realized that our VW needs a refuel after all the driving and we did. I will write about the city and other exciting things about the lake city in my next blog.