Rajasthan Solo Bike Trip

6th Nov 2019

You don't know how good you are until you actually get out on a bike and get riding - Laura Trott

Photo of Rajasthan Solo Bike Trip by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Day 1

The morning of 5th November 2019 was a bit different than the rest. Waking up at 5 am had never been so fun. The level of my enthusiasm on that morning was beyond the roof. So along with my enthusiasm, i reached the floor of my hostel and switched-on BEAST! The 220cc-engine ruthless machine that feasts on 100s of Kilometers of roads on Highways and Expressways of India.

My solo bike trip started from Eastern UP and looked forward to travelling all the way to the other end of the state and crossing it to enter Rajasthan and visiting as many major tourism attractions of the state as possible in a time period of 7-9 days; an estimate of travelling approx. 3,000 kms. I was all packed up and ready for this trip, and so was Beast that got properly checked-up a couple of days before this trip. So, on the morning of 5th November, a 22-year-old college student and a 27k-kms-old bike start their first inter-state solo trip from Varanasi.

After having my first cup of tea on that mildly cold morning, at exactly 6:24am i started my solo bike trip which i was looking forward to for so long ..

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh

The road network connecting Varanasi to Lucknow via Prayagraj isn't exactly a biker's dream. The fastest it takes to cover the distance is 6 hours (but at really odd timings of 12 am-6 am, which i covered in May this year). The nightmare is to travel via bus which takes 4.5 hours to reach Prayagraj itself which is just 125 kms from Varanasi. Fortunate for me, Beast is a Pulsar 220cc Bike that really helped me in covering few long stretches of good roads in really short time by easily going up to 125-130 kmph (again i say, the only thing stopping it to cross that barrier was the road-network).It took me approx. 8 hours to reach the stop point just before the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. After munching on snacks since morning, i decided to have my first meal of the day, Beast also rested after snacking on a chain-lubricant.

Due to below average road network from Varanasi to Lucknow, it took me approx. 8 hours to reach the state capital ..

Photo of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh

At around 3:30 pm i raced towards the longest expressway of our country ..

Photo of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh

The next 300 kms on that expressway seemed like an adventure worth telling. The temperature had started to fall at that point as i remember making a quick stop for wearing an extra sweater before going on all "full-throttle" on that heaven of an expressway. After getting comfortable and well-settled with that temperature-change, i felt that i didn't have much to do as a rider. All i was required to do was hold the full-throttle and rest was taken care of by Beast who was feasting on 2.466 kms of that expressway in a minute. (Don't calculate. 148 km/hr). But after taking a couple of adrenaline spikes, i came back to riding under the speed limits, which was a tough but sensible decision.

This instagram post was shot after this trip ..

Along my way on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, i saw several police cars patrolling, and also there were stoppage-areas for the vehicles with mechanical issues that can stop there and contact the helpline no. given right next to the stoppage point. Seeing such developments while riding on a long expressway at dusk really helps a rider with the positive vibes. I noted one interesting incident that day when it was just about to get dark and i took a short break from riding. A few moments later, I realized a police patrolling car was approaching me. They came to me and asked "Is everything alright?". To which i simply replied "yeah". They again confirmed with a gentle voice "Is everything okay with your bike?" and i again replied "yeah it is, i am taking a short break". After a brief conversation, they reminded me not to wait for too long as it is getting dark and might not be safe for a solo traveler, and left. Such gentle behaviour from the UP Police was an attribute totally in contrast to what is shown on social media.

Photo of Rajasthan Solo Bike Trip by Shikhar Pratap Singh

After solo-travelling approx. 650 kms on a bike, i called it a day and stopped at my first stop - Agra, where right after booking a hotel offline i went straight to have dinner and Thanks to Agra for having KFC!

Photo of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Day 2

The first thing a semi-rested rider will pick up after waking up is a cup of coffee ; but the first thing a well-rested rider will pick up is his key-chain and will hop on the bike. (Well, given that he had already packed up his/her stuff last night). I was the latter. So, quickly after checking out of the hotel i reached Baluganj area in Agra. Beast took a little beating on Day 1, and due to the fact that there wasn't an authorized Bajaj Service Center in Agra, I went to a shop in that area that i have had previous good experiences with. It took only about 20-25 mins to resolve few minor issues and i was back on road to my next stop - Bhangarh Fort, one of the most haunted places in India.

The distance of 210 kms from Agra to Bhangarh Fort is fun as after entering the state of Rajasthan, every biker rewards himself for taking the decision of becoming one. I reached Bhangarh Fort at around 3:30 pm and bought myself an entry ticket worth Rs.20 and as i was carrying and was willing to use my camera i had to pay extra Rs.25.

Bhangarh Fort is mainly known for its haunting vibes and the big old trees and damaged architecture was really helping to picturize all the horror stories I had heard about that place.

Although experiencing those creepy vibes are enough for any sane person, but insanity is what drives the adrenaline rush. And hence, after the closing time, i stayed outside the main gate along with few locals who were more than happy to befriend me. They told me stories about the fort which got destroyed 'coz of a black magician's curse who wanted to marry the princess but failed. Later i looked-up on internet and found most parts of the story to be widely accepted by people. Upon asking about any interesting real life horror incident taking place in or near the fort area, they didn't have much to say. The hospitality of the locals left me overwhelmed as we parted our ways 'coz i had to reach Jaipur the same night.

The distance from Bhangarh Fort to Jaipur is approx. 80 kms but the most scary part lies in the stretch of 13 kms right after leaving the main Bhangarh Fort site. It was past 7 pm and i could barely see a vehicle-light. If haunted vibes and horror stories aren't enough, then biking after dusk in that 13 kms stretch of road with noisy trees on both the sides will do it for you. I reached Jaipur at around 9 pm and booked a hotel near the Jaipur Junction Railway Station.

I was feeling a bit creative that day .. haha

Photo of Bhangarh Fort, Bhangarh, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Bhangarh Fort, Bhangarh, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Bhangarh Fort, Bhangarh, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh

The top view of the Bhangarh Fort just before the exit time is interestingly creepy .. I stayed a few minutes after the time limit in order to shoot a good time-lapse (no luck there) and the moment i realized i am the only one there was the moment i quickly packed up and left .. no debate there ..

Photo of Bhangarh Fort, Bhangarh, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Day 3

On Day 3 of the solo road trip, i decided to give Beast rest at an Authorised Bajaj Service Center and explored the city via public transport. The first place i visited was Jantar Mantar, Jaipur. On a sunny day of November in India, spending time at a large tourist spot with wide lawns and interesting architecture of scientific significance sounds like a good plan, especially when clicking creatively epic pictures is on the menu as well.

Photo of Jantar Mantar, Sansad Marg, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh

Every "instrument" has a zodiac-sign written on it .. i searched the whole spot thrice, couldn't spot mine - Libra ..

Photo of Jantar Mantar, Sansad Marg, Janpath, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh

Right after i walked out through the exit of Jantar Mantar, I booked an auto-rickshaw in Rs.900 for the whole day covering major attractions of the area including Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort and few other spots.

Starting with Amber Fort, the day took a pretty good spike as i personally find forts very fascinating. Looking at the architecture and imagining the lifestyle of people living there few centuries ago was very intriguing. After a thorough tour of the fort in an hour and half, i decided to move to the next spot.

I was working according to a schedule suggested by my auto-rickshaw driver, Aslam who took me to Nahargarh Fort which is up the hill. It was in that moment i realized biking to the top of the hill would have been more fun. Upon reaching Nahargarh Fort i had a quick visit of the fort in 45 mins. and proceeded towards the Wax Museum, Royal Darbar and Sheesh Mahal which are located inside the fort site. And after the experience i had in there, i can say this for sure, that 500 rupee note was the best one i ever spent.

Photo of Amber Fort, Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Jaipur Wax Museum Nahargarh Fort, Krishna Nagar, Brahampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Jaipur Wax Museum Nahargarh Fort, Krishna Nagar, Brahampuri, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh

The next spot was this amazing shopping paradise where each product could make a shopaholic go crazy. And this coming from a person who takes mere 10 mins. to shop for 4 pairs of jeans, says a lot. With the surprisingly affordable prices, the salesmen weren’t even trying to sell the products. The products were selling themselves instead. I remember sitting with the thought of “just having a look” and the next thing I knew I had already bought few pairs of shoes and moved on to the jacket section. After having experienced my first shopping spree, I concluded my ride with the auto-rickshaw at 9 pm and returned to my hotel room.

Photo of Rajasthan Solo Bike Trip by Shikhar Pratap Singh

After a fun conversation with Aslam, his brother and their friend about the types of funny tourists they have met till date, I called it a day ..

Photo of Rajasthan Solo Bike Trip by Shikhar Pratap Singh

The next morning I reunited with Beast and visited World Trade Park, Jaipur which is India’s 2nd largest mall. The architecture was fascinating! After having a quick snack, I rushed towards smaaash and won myself 25 tokens. After spending a whole afternoon tasting delicious cuisines at the food court and getting some world-class quality entertainment in smaaash, I explored the pink city of India a bit more and visited Central Park, Jaipur. And after that time flew by as I got lost in my thoughts in that calm and soothing environment. The next thing on my mind was to taste some local flavors and upon my research online I found a popular place nearby – Masala Chowk! As the name suggests, it is a kind of food court that has various shops where almost every Indian snack and spicy starter is served. Although I was too tired at this point but I insisted to go to the Jaipur Birla Planitarium. Shouldn’t come as a shock, that I couldn’t even make it past 15 minutes without falling asleep. But those small fragments of the show that were mixing-in with my sleep giving me crazy dreams for 30 mins, gave me hilariously interesting experience. Realizing how tired I was, I called it a day and went to my hotel room to rest.

Day 4
Photo of SMAAASH, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, D-Block, Jai Jawan Colony, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Central Park, Prithviraj Road, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Central Park, Prithviraj Road, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Central Park, Prithviraj Road, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Birla Planetarium, Statue Circle, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Masala Chowk, Ram Niwas Garden, Bardia Colony, Adarsh Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Masala Chowk, Ram Niwas Garden, Bardia Colony, Adarsh Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Day 5

The next day, I left for Pushkar, which is 150 kms from Jaipur, with one stop at Ajmer Sharif on the way. After reaching Ajmer, and on my way to Ajmer Sharif, finding a paid-parking spot for my bike wasn’t much of a task, but what turned out to be really hectic for me was to relocate the spot where I parked my bike as there were almost hundred shops offering paid-parking spots. After having a pleasant experience in Ajmer Sharif , I continued towards Pushkar and visit the famous Pushkar Fair. The exquisite fair gave me a rich experience of the state's lifestyle.

Day 6

The next day, I left for Jodhpur early in the morning as I had planned to reach Mount Abu the same night. My journey from Pushkar to Jodhpur was of 190 kms. The sole purpose to include Jodhpur in my itinerary was to visit the Mehrangarh Fort for the very reason that few scenes for the movie – Batman : The Dark Knight Rises were shot there. And also for the reason mentioned earlier, I personally find forts fascinating. After taking a thorough tour of that massive fort, i couldn't exactly find the exact spots where the movie-clips were shot but it was fun.

After eating and resting for a bit I got on the road to Mount Abu, the destination on this solo bike trip I was most excited about. The reason being, I visited this place years ago on my school trip and those were some memories I would cherish for life and hence wanted to relive some of them.

The road to Mount Abu was once again fun to bike on. In the mid-way of covering 260 kms from Jodhpur to Mount Abu, I took another stop for dinner at a local dhaba where I got myself familiar with a tasty regional dish “Dal-bhati” served with a huge spoon of “Desi Ghee”. At this point I was about 90-100 kms away from my destination for the night so I made sure I don’t need to make another stop as it was getting darker and colder. After a while I got back on road and continued my journey. I can pinpoint the exact moment when i started to feel the "mountain vibes", which was when i was 50-60 kms away from Mount Abu (which, after mentioning, i realize isn't as accurate as i thought it would be). Upon reaching, there wasn’t much left to do as the clock had struck 10 pm. So distance-wise this was my second-most scoring day of the solo bike trip with a score of 450-500 kms.

Day 7

Next day, the first spot I visited was Nakki Lake which is a beautiful spot for photography and boating. As boating single wasn’t allowed, I took some photographs of the alluring view of the lake and left for Trevor’s Tank. An optional short trek towards the top gave me a mesmerizing view of mountains and a small lake nearby which were perfect for photography and vibing. The view and rhythm of that spot were so addictive that I decided to extend my stay in Mount Abu with one more day. After peacefully spending what it seemed like a lifetime at the top, I trekked my way back to where my bike was parked and went to visit the Sunset Point. But unfortunately, I was too late in reaching there and missed it in the first attempt but made sure to pin it to the itinerary of the next day. Dinner sounded good at that point so I went to the famous Chacha Café and had an amazing cuisine experience. On my way back to the hotel room, a fragment of memory flashed in my mind after having a glance at a hotel building and I realized that was the same hotel I stayed in years ago on my school trip.

Photo of Nakki Lake, Mount Abu, Rajasthan by Shikhar Pratap Singh

I lived some great nostalgic moments after recognizing the hotel i stayed in, years ago on my school trip ..

Photo of Chacha Cafe, Sani Gaon, Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Day 8

On the next day, I visited Guru Shikhar, a spot where one can lose themselves in the splendid views of beautiful mountain range of Arravali. It is the highest point of the Aravalli Range. It rises to an altitude of 1,722 m (5,650 feet).And once again time flew by in the mountains. Interacting with the locals was a pleasant experience as well, as they weren't even a bit shy and fun to talk to. After a long chat with Bharat, a local shop-owner, I learned more about the lifestyle of the people there. This time I made sure to reach the Sunset Point in time and reserve a good spot for myself. After having dinner at a pretty busy Domino’s outlet, I slept with epic memories on my last night in those magical mountains.

One of the main highlights of the trip was meeting this guy at Guru Shikhar .. Bharat here is a young soul full of life who loves to entertain ..

Photo of Guru Shikhar, Rajasthan by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Photo of Sunset Point, Anadara Road, Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India by Shikhar Pratap Singh
Day 9

The next morning, I had to leave for the last stop on my itinerary – Udaipur : the city of lakes, which is 160 kms from Mount Abu. I reached Udaipur in the afternoon and visited Lake Pichola to sort out what to do next as I was feeling disheartened after leaving Mount Abu. To shake things off, I had a quick power nap and visited few of the city’s attractions later in the evening. To bring the most average day of my solo bike trip to an end I decided to visit the Lake City mall which was a pleasant experience indeed.

Day 10

On the final day of my trip, I woke up at 9 am and reached the Udaipur City Palace right after its opening hours and bought myself an entry ticket worth Rs.330. A thorough tour of the massive city palace and museum was something that could be considered as a proper showstopper to my Rajasthan tour. After spending about an hour and a half in the City Palace, I went back and checked myself out of my hotel room and concluded my solo bike trip to Rajasthan and left for New Delhi where I stayed for a couple of days to start yet another bike road trip to the queen of hills – Mussoorie!

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