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Royal Enfield Tour of Rajasthan - A Synopsis


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Photos of Royal Enfield Tour of Rajasthan - A Synopsis 1/38 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Riding has always been my meditation. Add to this the Team of Royal Enfield – whom I joined for their Tour of Rajasthan 2016, I knew I had the perfect path for nirvana laid out. Rajasthan is a mighty special destination. This state has abundant natural treasures and epic history along with a heart as soft and vast as it’s sand dunes, making it one of the best places to visit. This time my ride was bound to be different. I would join a pack of 16 riders. On 8th Dec, I started my ride from Mumbai to Jaipur and managed to reach IBIS hotel on 10th. It was an impressive crowd of bikers from all age groups and different riding experiences who were together. There was this particular 67-year-old or should I say 67 years’ young gentleman who rode down from Chandigarh to join this event.

Photos of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 1/2 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 2/2 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

I loved the fact that this particular tour concentrated more on experiencing the core beauty and rawness of Rajasthan, than visiting the famous tourist crowded spots. I would thank the planner a 100 times as I am noticeably uncomfortable visiting the “once basked in glory, now down in commercial agony” spots. Bikers, please note - If you are ever plan to experience the raw earthy Rajasthan, then do give this route ‘a dekho’ I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Photos of  1/1 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Without much revving, I’ll launch into my travel diaries for the tour. If you want a detailed version, you can check my daily blogs about the day’s itinerary.

Day 1 – 11th December, 2016.

Photos of  1/1 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

We started our ride from the IBIS hotel at 7 am. I exchanged my Thunderbird 500 for the Himalayan from the showroom and the bike amazed me on every twist of the wrist. With Rajath leading and Shawn sweeping, we rode out of the city limits toward Sikar, a town around 120 kms from Jaipur. The road from Jaipur to Sikar was a plain 4 laned polished tarmac where I unleashed the entire 24.5 bhp of the Himalayan, comfortably cruising at 120-125 kmph for more than an hour. After Sikar the road narrowed down to a 2 lane highway. However, the tarmac continued to be good as we crossed through Nawalgarh, Mukundgarh, Mandawa to Mahansar. The highlight of the day was the sand dunes, where we stopped in the afternoon. The ride ended at the Navjeevan Castle in Mahansar. The Castle/Haveli is partly owned by Thakur Maheshwar Singh who was a kind host. He narrated couple of interesting stories on the history of the region. If you ever plan to make it to Mahansar and stop by at this place, do consider having some interesting chat with Mr. Maheshwar Singh. The day ended after a small photography session off the Mahansar village where we were guided by our Jeeper, Mr. Rajesh Bishnoi.


Route of the day – Jaipur – Sikar – Nawalgarh – Mukundgarh – Mandawa – Kolali – Tain – Mahansar.

Photos of Mahansar, Rajasthan, India 1/3 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Mahansar, Rajasthan, India 2/3 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Mahansar, Rajasthan, India 3/3 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Day 2 – 12th December, 2016

Our day started at 7.30 am with a heavy breakfast and a quick briefing. The cool morning air was pleasant and rewarding as we rode through the interiors towards Churu. Additional prize was being greeted by peacocks who strolled the villages like poultry. The sunrise here was beautiful and comforting while we rode further towards Ratangarh. Although, Ratangarh did have a straight highway that lead to our destination – Bikaner; we didn’t the ride to end so soon. So, we took a detour further to Chhapar, riding to Bidasar. The route from Bidasar to Shri Dungargarh had a very bad broken patch of 20 odd kms but surprisingly The Himalayan spared me the worry of riding slow. It conquered the potholes and every rough patch like a boss. I loved standing on the footpegs and jumping over the potholes like it was nobody’s business. Shri Dungargarh to Bikaner is a National Highway which lead us straight to our resort Marudyan, which was just 4-5 kms before the Bikaner city. Marudyan was wonderful with it’s well maintained lawn and friendly pets and livestocks. The peacocks strolling the property added a natural wild beauty to the property.

Route of the day – Mahansar – Churu – Ratangarh – Chhapar – Bidasar – Shri Dungargarh – Bikaner.

Photos of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India 1/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India 2/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India 3/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India 4/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Day 3 – 13th December, 2016


As per the itinerary, this day we had the shortest distance to cover. We headed towards Jamba near Phalodi after an early morning visit to the Karni Mata Temple at Deshnoke - a quick ride of 40 odd kms. After the temple visit we took the diversion off the main highway. This was considerably a narrow road leading towards Jegla and Jangloo. Just after Jangloo, the roads sort of disappeared and we ended up riding on loose sand. Such was the trail that it almost took 5 hours & numerous calamities to cover a distance of 15 odd kms. A burnt clutch plate, a couple of falls, a sprained leg and exhausted riders later, we finally managed to cover the trail by 4 in the evening. The Himalayan again took the cake here. I started off as the guy riding a Himalayan and struggling on the sand, digging and pushing the bike. Later, I found the trick to ride the Himalayan on the sand and with this, every anguish turned around. Refer the video to watch my struggle and retribution on the trails. Our destination, Jamba was further 100+ kms through the narrow country tarmac roads. It was dark when we reached Jamba but the stay arrangements were bliss. Tents and sleeping bags under the starry sky to our service. We finally cooled our butt by raising a toast to the tough trail riding of the day.

Route of the day – Bikaner-Deshnoke-Jegla-Jangloo-Lots of trails -Ratriya - Saisar - Chakhu- Jamba

Photos of Jamba, Rajasthan, India 1/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Jamba, Rajasthan, India 2/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Jamba, Rajasthan, India 3/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Jamba, Rajasthan, India 4/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Day 4 – 14th December, 2016

This day was a relief as it was almost an all tarmac day. Leaving Jamba, we reached Phalodi on Bikaner – Jaisalmer highway. Phalodi is famous for a Bird Sanctuary in Khichan which witnesses thousands of Demoiselle Cranes migrating from Mongolia. I was disappointed to see the lack of maintenance in the sanctuary. Hope it improves in times to come. It was a smooth run from Phalodi to Pokharan. The road after Pokharan to Jaisalmer was under 4 lanes, so we had a few diversions enroute. The surprise of the day came with the lunch at the Officers’ Mess in the Army Cantonment of Jaisalmer. Major Vijay Choudhary - a cousin of our guide for the tour, Mr. Rajesh Bishnoi, was kind enough to host us. Luckily, we got to witness the Arjun Battle Tank. We rode forward from Jaisalmer and to Sam - a tourist village 40 kms west from Jaisalmer. The road to Sam from Jaisalmer is dope. BRO(Border Roads Organization) has maintained the roads very well and the vistas around give a real posh feel, unlike the roads we encountered so far. For the night, we settled in cosy tents pitched right on the desert facing the sand dunes.

Route :- Jamba – Phalodi – Pokharan – Jaisalmer – Sam.

Photos of Sam, Rajasthan, India 1/3 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Sam, Rajasthan, India 2/3 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Sam, Rajasthan, India 3/3 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Day 5 – 15th December, 2016

The day 5 was the day to move to south of Rajasthan – Barmer to be precise. Instead of taking the National Highway 68 we rode to Barmer through core Marwar region. We took the road through the Desert National Park paying a fee of Rs. 70 and crossing over to the other side towards Khuri (Khuhdi). The ride through the Desert National park was pure bliss. The deers, foxes and a few desert birds were indeed great company. The sight of untouched dunes in the middle of the road encompassed in pin drop silence was overwhelming. The road in the Desert National Park had sudden dips and jumps - roller coaster anyone? After Khuri we headed towards Chelak, Jhinjhinyali, Mungeriya, Naand, Bishala and Barmer. The entire route neither had traffic nor human population. However the sudden appearance of cattle, camels & horses did manage to scare me. The stay for the night was held at Sanchal Fort, this is a 4 star hotel that looks like a palatial fort set on the outskirts of Barmer city towards Sanchore.

Route :- Sam – Khuri – Chelak – Jhinjhinyali – Mungeriya – Naand – Bishala – Barmer.

Photos of Barmer, Rajasthan, India 1/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Barmer, Rajasthan, India 2/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Barmer, Rajasthan, India 3/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Barmer, Rajasthan, India 4/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Day 6 – 16th December, 2016

Day 6 was another good day. The highway leading towards Sanchore had good stretches of road with few patches undergoing widening work. Reaching Sanchore we headed east to ride towards Raniwara. The road got narrower after Raniwara, however the patch had much more vehicular movement than other State Highway we have been riding on. A couple of errant bus drivers managed to take us off the road when they recklessly drove on the wrong lane trying to overtake. Being a rider is tough at times. No consideration, neither respect is given to your right of road. You get off the tarmac and ride on the mud till the bus crosses you. Perils of being on the smallest vehicle. Raniwara to Mandar to Revdar continued to be the same. The highlight of the day was the winding curvy roads from Abu Road to Mount Abu. 28 kms of good tarmac with proper banking all throughout, gave us the liberty to lean the self and the motorcycle to enjoy the pure fantasy of biking. Ascending the Mount, we were lead to Kesar Bhavan palace where our stay for the night was arranged.

Route:- Barmer – Sanchore – Raniwara – Mandar – Revdar - Abu road - Mount Abu.

Photos of Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India 1/5 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India 2/5 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India 3/5 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India 4/5 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India 5/5 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Day 7 – 17th December, 2016

17th was the longest ride. We started at 7 in the morning from Mount Abu after a very early breakfast at 6 am. We planned to reach Pushkar through the 4 lane highways of Rajasthan. The 4 lane highways of Rajasthan are in top notch condition which enables a biker to rip the vehicles at 120-130 kmph continuously. Descending down Mount Abu, we took the road towards Sirohi. Having a small halt for tea and snacks and quick fuel up at Sirohi, we rode out of Sirohi and hit the 4 lane highways again that further lead to Pali, Beawar and Ajmer. The entire road was plain & straight akin to a runway so having no other options to experiment, we continued to rip on full maintaining a speed of 120-125 kmph. Ascending and descending over the Pushkar Ghati, we reached Pushkar which is barely 8kms from Ajmer city. Reaching Pushkar at 5 pm, we covered a distance of more than 375+ kms to finally rest our butts at the Pushkar Baug Resort.

Route:- Mount Abu – Abu Road – Sirohi – Pali – Beawar – Ajmer – Pushkar.

Photos of Pushkar, Rajasthan, India 1/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Pushkar, Rajasthan, India 2/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Pushkar, Rajasthan, India 3/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of Pushkar, Rajasthan, India 4/4 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

Day 8 – 18th December, 2016

On final day, we left Puskar Baug at 9.30 am. It was a confusing ride out of Pushkar on the way to Kishangarh on NH 8 highway but eventually we made it. On the NH 8 towards Kishangarh we had to take the deviation towards Makrana, the town famous for marbles. The entire stretch till Makrana was filled with marble shops on either side. Crossing Makrana we had a quick tea stop and our next destination was Sambhar. Sambhar is famous for the salt water lake named Shakambari Lake. This place was the highlight of the entire trip for me. I had heard that Kutch is the only place with vast dried salt lands but Sambhar was very similar. The road that lead to Sambhar was a narrow patch with salt pans on either side. As we kept riding, we found a way to get down to the lake bed. We went crazy seeing the sight of unending stretches of salt trails and struggled to keep our eyes on the horizon. I tried some mischief by speeding at 100kmph and then hitting the rear brake suddenly to make the bike drift dusting all the way. The rear view mirror was completely blocked due to salt dust that blew up at every spin of the wheel. This visit was a cherry on the cake for this entire tour.

After Sambhar lake, we rode 50 kms towards the highway and headed northwards to Jaipur. The ride ended in triumph with the RE dealer in Jaipur greeting the riders with a tika, garland and a marwari turban. It was an emotional moment for all of us. After being together for all these days, we were to part now, hands were shaken, hugs were exchanged and I could see the overwhelming emotions in every one when they knew it won’t be the same day tomorrow. But in all assurance, this will last only till the next ride to come.

Route:- Pushkar – Kishangarh – Makrana – Kuchaman Road – Sambhar – Naraina – Dudu – Jaipur.

Photos of  1/6 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of  2/6 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of  3/6 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of  4/6 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of  5/6 by C S Prasanjit Kumar
Photos of  6/6 by C S Prasanjit Kumar

A small effort of making a short video of the tour compiled from the videos shot on my Gopro and DSLR camera.

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