My Second Solo Trip of Rajasthan, The itinerary looks like this Delhi Gurgaon Alwar Sariska Bhangarh Dausa ( Abha Nagri ) Jaipur Delhi
We had a long weekend off at office 13th – 15th august, My few friends were going to explore the east to the west coast, I decided to travel solo and explore Rajasthan, It’s always in my checklist to cover Rajastha, after seeing those amazing ads of Rajasthan tourism on TV. As my trip was short, so I decided to cover the places which are in the range of 200 – 300 KM.
This is my first blog, and it’s purely based on my perceptions of seeing things, my experience of exploration, and my moments of realization, it has no connection with any living or dead person, place and please ignore in case you find some clashes or grammar/spelling mistakes
After attending office on Friday, night I spent at my friend’s place and Saturday morning 7 : 30 AM. I reached Rajiv Chowk – Highway NH 48 to catch a bus for Alwar. Around 7:50 AM I got bus Rajasthan Roadways for Alwar. I felt so lucky and here the fun begins. Despite the huge traffic faced at Manesar, passing through villages and bad roads of Dharukheda, I reached Alwar around 12 Noon. I had a tea and started enquiring with locals about the way to reach and explore the rest of the places, same tea shop owner, suggested me to go for local taxis, they would charge hardly 700 – 800 INR and would show you all these places, I got greedy and started exploring taxi stand, just come out of bus stand, and take right you will find a petrol pump, and there is a taxi stand. I started enquiring and they told me 2000 INR to go Bhangarh > Ajabgarh > Narayni Mata mandir > and drop at Sariska. I tried using all negotiation, max it went upto 1800 INR. I didn’t get the good vibes from those drives, and realized this is not something I am looking for. I again went back to the bus stand, and started enquiring about the busses. As there was no direct bus to Bhangarh, so I decided to go to Sariska Tiger reserve, every bus which goes to Jaipur, stops at Sariska main gate, bus dropped me at Sariska tiger reserve main gate around 3 PM. Bus charged me around 35 INR. I got nice one old couple travelling from Delhi and one Maharashtrian family ( 3 Memebrs ) from Gurgaon, I clubbed up with them and we booked a jeep safari – which charged us 2100 INR and 250 we paid for ticket. I was excited as on the same day I got chance to explore my first destination, safari started, as it was rainy season, so all flaura and fauna were so green, amazing view, we saw only peacock, deers, langoors nothing more than that
Destination # 1 : Sariska Tiger Reserve :
• There are 3 gates, and during this monsoon season they only open the gate # 3, only on Tuesday and Saturday ( I am lucky, I went there on Saturday )
• Guide told, it’s a mating season and all animals have moved up the hill
• Gate no 3 was so crowded, locals were roaming over there on bikes, long travelling buses, school kids came there for a picnic
• I realized, I will never get an opportunity to see a tiger here, I lost all expectations
• There was a famous Pandupolan ( Hanuman ji ) mandir, in the jungle, we finally went there, there was a history of this temple from Mahabaratha age, I have attached a pic which has story of this temple, you can read that if interested.
• You can try kachodi with Kadi there, that’s the weird combination I had first time
• While returning it started raining, we managed to come down and the view was amazing with full rainbow
• This is not a place to see a tiger in monsoon season, guide told us to come there in Feb month, he would show us the Tiger for sure. I have his number, if you plan to go there in Feb, take number from me
Around 6: 30 PM, we came back, and guide again dropped me at bus stand, I tried but there we no hotels available in sariska, that uncle aunty were staying in Sariska palace, and heard rooms are not good there, I decided to go back to Alwar, I got the bus coming from Jaipur to Alwar. I reached Alwar back by 7:30 PM and booked a premium hotel through OYO in MIA.
Key point: There was a wine and beer shop near the bus stand, buy your stuff, in case you are not carrying anything because in Rajasthan wine shops gets closed at 8 PM (strange but true)
Hotel I booked was 15 KM far from the bus stand, auto wala charged me 150 INR to reach the destination, hotel cost was 800 INR and location was very isolated, it was some industrial area. So don’t book room there location was MIA.
Next morning, I woke up at 9 AM and left hotel and reached Alwar bus stand around 11:00 AM, there was no direct bus to Bhangarh so as per locals suggestions. I went to Thanagazi, I reached there in 45 Min and understood every 40 min there are private buses which goes to Bhangarh, that was the only way to reach bhangarh, I had no options, I tried asking lifts but no luck
Destination # 2 : Bhangarh
I reached Bhangarh by following the route of Ajabgarh, around 5 PM. As it was Sunday, place was again crowded, so many family came to see the fort, I was wondering how come this place can be haunted. Bus dropped me at Gola ka bas stand and from there Bhangarh was 3KM far. I asked for lift and reached the fort. If you are travelling alone, you can book an auto, would charge 100 INR, I have number of auto wala too, pls ask me if you need the same ,
I explored Bhangarh and spent time over there till 7 PM in the fort, I met a guy at main gate, who works there at main gate, and his shift timings were from 2 PM – 11PM, I did a setting with him and asked him to show me around the fort in the night, he demanded me 2000 INR, there is no place to stay around Bhangarh fort, I went back again to Gola ka bas and found one restaurant Radhe Rani Restaurant, who allowed me to stay there in 500 IN ( Negotiable rate ), I had dinner there and went back to fort main gate around 9 :30 PM, there were lot of noise coming from the jungle as jackals were crying, I didn’t find that guy, hence was not able to cross the main gate and roamed around there in the parking, all locals told me to go back. It was little weird, and came back around 11 PM to hotel as there was nothing around the main gate.
Destination # 2 : Abh a Nagri – Chand Bawdi
Next morning I took a jeep from Bhangarh to Dausa ( City in Rajasthan ), from there I went to bus stand, and got a bus to Abha nagri. All buses which goes to Delhi, cross this place but there is no bus stop at this place so you need to inform conductor and ask him to drop you at the Gular Chowk, and need to get complete ticket till Bnadikui. From Gular Chowk, destination was 3 – 4 KM Far, there are local autos, which drops you there, I took a lift and went there, as these autos takes 1 hour time, they won’t move until their all seats get filled.
That’s the amazing place, I have ever seen ( Chand Bawdi ) I took a guide in 50 INR, who helped in understanding the place, history and clicked my photos too, there is a harshad mata temple also near to bawdi.
I came back to Dausa and from there took a bus to Jaipur.
Destination # 4 : Jaipur – Night tour
I have already seen Jaipur, came here with a family trip. I reached Jaipur around 5 PM, I was thinking to catch bus for Delhi in the same night, but thought why not explore Jaipur in night. I searched all travelling sites to check on night life in Jaipur and places I can explore. I got most of the good comments for Nahargarh fort, and I decided to start with this place, if you are not aware so Ola services are available in Jaipur, I booked an Ola from hotel, and once he came to know we need to go to Nahargarh fort in the night, he declined to go there. I cancelled the cab which charged me extra 25 INR for cancellation, I decided to go there through other mode of transport, because all of the sudden, OLA was charging 1.8 X the actual price. I took a share auto till new gate from Sanskar road, and reached there in 30 INR. From New gate, I took bus no 29 and reached Amer – Jal Mahal. (this is not a place to explore in night, it was all dark , you can walk on the path but I didn’t find anything amazing ), I enquired form the locals, and understood, it’s safe to go to Nahargarh in night, I again booked a Prime Cab through Ola and convinced him to travel to fort. He came around 9:30 PM. Finally I got someone who can help me to explore this place, guys trust me, this place was worth taking so much pain, and you can see the whole view from the fort. There is a govt. restaurant, PADAO, which stays open till 10:00 PM in the night, you need to pay 100 INR at the main gate for entry, I went there on 15th August, hence it was dry day, and most of the staff members were on leave, so it was all self-service, I didn’t order anything and just enjoyed the view. I started from their around 11:00 PM and while returning the most interesting thing happened in my life – My all-time dream to see a big cat came true, we saw a Leopard on the road while returning, I was mummed and shocked for 10 sec, it all happened in just fraction of seconds, I didn’t get time to capture the event, but I am happy as I enjoyed this moment live not through lens. My driver got scared and he moved the cab back, we waited for 10 min, and then started coming down. After coming down, I discussed this with locals, and they verified, there are leopards in the jungle and they roam around, few workers did also confirmed, they have seen them many time around nahargarh fort. I was so happy and immediately I called my best friend and explained about this event.
After this I was not feeling like to do anything, as that scene was splashing again and again, but I decided to carry on the with the plan.
Post reading the suggestions on the net, I went to New gate again, but Albert hall was closed, I went to Jawahar circle. Nothing was there to explore. It was about 12:30 in the night, I was feeling hungry, I started searching for eating place, the auto guy ( he was doing MBA from Jaipur, was originally from Samaypur badli) suggested me to go to bus stand, and try TAXI restaurant,. I am a non-vegetarian and this was a best place. His suggestion was bang on, I enjoyed handi chicken, boiled rice with rumali roti.
After having dinner, I came back to my hotel, which was 2 KM from bus stand, and slept, next morning around 8 AM, I went to bus stand again and got a bus back to delhi and reached office again on Tuesday by 3 PM.
My quick suggestions and thoughts about overall trip:
• Plan this trip only if you have high level of patience and you enjoy your own company – there are huge delays in waiting for buses, travelling with locals etc.
• Go with less luggage – I was having office laptop and one travelling bag, you can’t think of walking 3 KM with this much baggage
• Power back- up for phone – Must have
• Install all useful apps which will be useful for you like I downloaded OYO, Red bus, Trip advisor, Near buy etc. well before so many places had signal issues.
• With the local transport you can only see 1 destination in 1 day, ideally this trip could have been done in 2 days, but I took 3 and half days
• Be fun loving and adventurous : Travel in local autos, on top of the jeep, explore places in night –you would love it
• Things I missed on the trip – 1 good book, Bluetooth speakers, As it was a rainy season so umbrella, jacket, Cash most of the time, as generally ATMS were not working in most of the areas, including ATMs around Jaipur bust stand.
• Cabs at Ajmer were very expensive, but if you are travelling in a group then go for this option, but be rest assured you choose a good driver
• Book hotels near bus stand, it always helps.
• No direct transportation available for Bhangarh
• Overall budget for this trip was 7000 INR – not sure expensive or cheap but it was worth