Squad- Bhai tumne is baar national elections me vote kisko diya tha? (Whom did you vote for in the national elections this time?)
Squad- Bhai Modiji is desh se corruption saaf karna chahte hai aur tum is desh ke youth hone ke naate unko support karna chahiye corruption hatane me. (Bro P.M. Modi wants to wipe-out corruption from our country and being a youth you have to support him)
Me being a big fan of Modiji back then, right away paid the fine and collected the receipt and headed towards the exit. I and my cousin were laughing at the whole scene which just happened with us.
The above scene is part of my crazy trip to Kumbalgarh Fort back in the month of December 2014.
This one was an incredible trip for me in Rajasthan the incredible state of my country, Incredible India. Rajasthan the place my ancestors belonged to and the birth place of my parents. It’s a place very close to my heart and I have been fascinated by its History right from my childhood days. Though I used to travel to Rajasthan with my parents very often but had not ventured out to explore much of this large state which has a mystery and history hidden at every corner of it. Apart from staying at my ancestral home for my summer vacations and visiting a few main cities and temples have not done much of touring in Rajasthan. But this time I had a plan in my mind when I agreed to join my mom and her side of relatives on a spiritual journey of Rajasthan. It was a one week trip & I had planned to somehow escape from them and get some Me time exploring Rajasthan.
Two years back in the chilly winters of December, I planned to explore the second largest fort of Rajasthan. Kumbalgarh Fort a world heritage site with a continuous wall fortification of about 38kms, the second longest in the world after the Great Wall of China. With lot of persuading and finally getting permission from mom & the other elders, I decided upon a day trip to the birth place of Maharana Pratap, Kumbalgarh fort. This was the last day of our trip in Rajasthan and in the night 11pm we had to board the train back to our home town, so having only half a day in hand for my trip to Kumbalgarh Fort I had a tight scheduled plan. One of my cousins also wanted to escape from the restrictions and diktats of my Mamu (Maternal Uncle) and decided to join me on my trip. A day earlier I used Google Baba and made a plan, a plan which I didn’t know will give me so many surprises and shocks throughout the trip.
I & my cousin both woke up early in the bitterly cold winter morning and finished our morning ritual and had a quick bath with hot water boiled in a wood fired water heater. We were staying in a dharamshala in Marwar Junction and getting hot water to bath was like a blessing in that bitter cold winter. After finishing we picked our backpacks and headed straight to the Marwar Junction Railway Station. We bought two second class tickets to Falna Junction, which was around 100kms from here. Falna is a town from where we would hop on to a bus towards Kumbalgarh. Waiting for our train we had breakfast at the station. There were two trains at a gap of about 20mins towards Falna and we decided to board the first train which was a superfast express train. We boarded the train and finding no place to sit in the second class coach we traveled the whole journey standing near the door and sitting on the foot-board. As we alighted at Falna Station a ticket checking squad member came towards us and asked us for our ticket. Me having a ticket gave it in full confidence to him.
Squad- Bhai aap is train se uthre ho? (Brother did u alight from this train?)
Me- Haan Sir (Yes Sir)
Squad- Aap is train se is station pe utar hi nahi sakte, aapko toh ab fine bharna padega (U can’t alight at this station from this train and U will have to pay fine)
Laughing and shocked at the same time I told him – Sir jab yeh train idhar rukti hai toh utar kyun nahi sakte? (When the train stops here then why can’t we alight at this station?)
Now it was his time to laugh at us and explain us the rules of a few trains in which the tickets are issued only for long distance traveling and not for short inter-state travels. We both had no clue about this and after arguing with him for a few minutes headed straight to the station master and asked him if there was any such rule thinking if the squad was fooling us. The station master too explained the same and was of no help and asked us to pay the fine or we will be handed over to the railway police and put behind the bars. Now this was an unexpected twist at the start of our trip. The total fine to be paid was Rs 1080, for two of us. Me being a Marwari tried to negotiate, argued and also requested the squad to let us go this time telling we did not have much money and were ignorant of any such rule. Now after requesting and negotiating with him he reduced the fine and asked us to pay fine only for one person which was Rs 540. He very cleverly and tactically made us to pay up the fine-
Squad- Bhai tumne is baar national elections me vote kisko diya tha? (Whom did you vote for in the national elections this time?)
Squad- Bhai Modiji is desh se corruption saaf karna chahte hai, aur tum is desh ke youth hone ke naate unko support karna chahiye corruption hatane me. (Bro P.M. Modi wants to wipeout corruption from our country and being a youth you have to support him)
Me being a big fan of Modiji right away paid the fine, collected the receipt and headed towards the exit. I and my cousin were laughing at the whole thing which just happened with us.
My cousin - Bhai trip ke start me hi chuuna lag gaya hai ab aage kya hoga :D (Bro at the start of the trip we have had a bad experience what will happen ahead?)
Me- Jo bhi hoga bhai lekin Kumbalgarh Fort dekh ke hi lautenge (Whatever happens bro we will return only after seeing Kumbalgarh Fort)
We walked to the bus stand and boarded a bus to Ranakpur. Ranakpur Jain Temple was also on our list for the day as it was on the same route towards Kumbalgarh Fort. The Chaturmukha Jain Temple of Ranakpur is in the heart of the remote and enchanting valley of the Aravallis, skirting the rivulet Maghai and enveloped in the solitude of the surrounding forest. Placed on a lofty plinth, the three-storeyed marble edifice, to which the genius of the artist has imparted exquisite artistic grace, and which his deep devotion has endowed with serene spiritual dignity is, verily, a poem in stone. We spent a couple of hours here admiring the beauty of this temple, prayed to god, clicked photos and also had lunch here in the temple kitchen which is reasonably priced and open to every hungry soul.
After having lunch at the temple we boarded the bus for Kumbalgarh Fort. There was actually no direct bus to the Fort, and we had to take a govt bus till a small village named Sayra & then from there a private mini-bus to the Fort. The road from here was uphill and amazing through the Aravalli mountain range. Sayra is only around 20kms from here but the bus took good 1.30hrs to reach as it was slow drive through the Ghat roads. I had never seen this part of Rajasthan before and always thought its only desert everywhere, but this part changed my perception, it was mountains and greenery everywhere. That slow bus did not bore me even a second as the picture and views from the window were astounding. We reached Sayra and to our surprise a mini bus was waiting for us to take us to Kumbalgarh Fort. A small bus jam-packed with local villagers and we somehow found two seats at the end. Now from here the Fort was around 30kms but this bus again took a good 2hrs to reach, stopping at every tiny village. The bus dropped us at the start of the Fort road and the Fort was around 1-2kms walk from here. It was already 4pm and the last Bus towards Sayra was at 5pm so we had only 1 hour of time to walk this 2kms stretch twice and also explore the fort, it was impossible. So I and my cousin started walking fast and running towards the Fort.
At the ticket counter I purchased 2 tickets and asked the ticket seller “Bhai idhar se wapas Falna jaane ke liye gaadi milegi kya?” (Bro will I get a vehicle from here to Falna?) He was amazed and replied- “Bhai abhi toh aaye ho pehle fort toh dekhlo”( Bro you have just arrived, at least explore the fort first)
I told him OK and ran towards the entrance and looked around from the base, it was a huge Fort spread in all directions. Looked up, looked front, and looked towards left and right, with no time in hand it was impossible to move in any direction and we just stood there. Standing there I clicked a few pictures and also read the history of the Fort etched on a stone at the entrance and told my cousin let’s move now, will explore the complete Fort next time :D We spent a good 10 minutes inside and ran out towards the ticket seller and asked him if he could arrange a vehicle to Falna.
Ticket Seller- “ Bhai ticket liye ho toh uske paise toh vasool karlo” ( Bro at least recover the cost of ticket you have purchased)
Me- “Bhai bilkul time nahi hai, train pakadni hai” (Bro I don’t have any time, have to catch a train)
Ticket Seller- “Bhai yeh toh bata 10 minute me kiya kya andar, kya dekha?”
Me-“ Bhai jab time kam ho na toh 10 minute me sab kuch karna hota hai, Isse “QUICKIE” bolte hai :D :P (Bro when we don’t have much time we need to finish things in 10 minutes, that’s called ”QUICKIE” )
Me and my cousin laughed and the ticket seller too laughed and I don’t know if he understood or not but that moment was fun with my sense of humor :P He told me it will take around 30 minutes for the vehicle to arrive and I said I don’t have time and ran towards the exit. Running on the road we asked for lift to a guy on a two-wheeler to drop us at the place where the bus would arrive and he helped us. We thanked him and waited for the bus and it was already 5pm. The fun was not over yet, there were lot more surprises waiting for us ahead. The bus arrived in 15 minutes and in the mean time we had Maggie and Masala Chai at a small shop. My cousin was restless and worried if we will make it on time to Marwar Junction. In any situation I would always be calm and try to calm others with me too. The bus arrived and we boarded, it was the same bus in which we had come from Sayra to here. I requested the driver to drive a bit fast and told him we had to catch a train. He obliged and was driving faster than he had on the onward journey. Now in between at a tiny village a passenger (he was a vegetable seller) asked the driver to wait till he go gets some vegetables from the village. The bus stood there for almost 30 minutes waiting for the guy to return and here now I was also getting a little worried and talked to the conductor and driver to move the bus and leave him. We decided to wait for another 5 minutes and leave, and suddenly that guy came with a big basket full of fresh tomatoes and boarded the bus. Pointing towards me that conductor told the vegetable seller that these guys will miss their train today because of you. That guy to me- “Arrey bhaiyo aapko aapki train mil jayegi” (Bro you will not miss your train) I smiled and said theek hai bhai.
The bus reached Sayra at 6.30pm and the last bus from here to Falna Railway Station was already gone. Me and my cousin were full worried now and tried to ask for lift to the vehicles going towards Ranakpur. It was already dark and not many vehicles were passing by. Few which passed did not help us. There was a jeep standing in the circle and we went and requested him to drop us at Falna station, to which he refused and told he was already done with his days duty and will not drive anymore. We continuously requested him and suddenly from nowhere a Drunkard appeared and asked us, what was the problem? Thinking in my mind what will this Drunkard help us but still told him our plight. To our surprise, this guy was like a god sent help to us and he demanded the jeep driver to drop us at Falna station, and the jeep driver obliged. We negotiated price and sat inside the jeep, now that Drunkard also sat inside next to the driver’s seat and asked him to drive fast. It was already dark and the risky Ghat roads, the jeep driver was driving well at his own calculated speed. Suddenly in the middle of nowhere the Drunkard started troubling the driver and started to argue with him as he was not in his senses, the driver stopped the jeep and asked him to get down of the vehicle. Here we both were confused and getting tensed and worried what was happening and what will happen ahead. They both started arguing and the driver told he will not move the jeep any ahead until and unless the Drunkard gets down. The Drunkard in his full wits tried to overpower the driver and refused to get down. Now I requested both and asked them to please stop arguing, as we were getting too late and will miss our train. I requested the driver to ignore the Drunkard and start driving and pleaded him to drop us fast and safe at the Falna station. He looked at our dull faces and started driving. We reached Falna, paid money to the driver thanked him and the drunk guy and ran inside the station.
Surprise Surprise, the train which we had to board for Marwar Junction had already left :D Now we rushed outside the station towards the taxi stand and asked for a taxi to Marwar Junction, No one was ready to drive 100kms in that chill weather and a few who were ready were asking for too much money. We were already out of cash and had spent more than our budget for the trip. I requested and negotiated with a taxi driver who agreed at a good reasonable price. I went to the ATM at withdrew money and sat inside the taxi. It was already 8pm and our train from Marwar junction was at 11pm, so we had 3hrs to cover a distance of about 100kms on a single lane bumpy countryside road with no lights. The view outside was pitch dark and creepy. I have heard a lot of horror stories of Rajasthan and I was imagining if I will be able to spot a ghost lady in white saree walking with a lantern in her hand on that dark road outside, hahahaha my bad luck did not spot any :P
We reached Marwar Junction 45 minutes before our train was to leave and were happy and relieved. We thanked the driver for driving us safe and fast. Now we had enough time in our hands and first decided to fill our hungry stomachs. There was a Mithai shop right in front of us, recalling the fun and laughable experience of the whole day we had lip-smacking Mirchi Vadas and mouth-watering Hot Masala Doodh in kulhad. After filling our stomachs now we were prepared for some scolding’s from my mom & uncle who were waiting for us at the railway station :D
This one was a trip where my plan failed royally but the fun and surprises throughout the trip was an epic awesome experience...!!!
Cheers To Traveling :) Keep Wandering :)