We had planned a trip to Jaisalmer but the train tickets did not get confirmed. I had been to Jaisalmer when I was in school and loved the place. Since then have wanted to go back but this year again haven’t been able to. Maybe next year. The back up plan was to go to Udaipur because I loved it when I was there few months back and KC wanted to visit it. To make things exciting, we decided to drive down. The plan was to stop at Jaipur for a day and drive to Udaipur from there.
I am going to break this trip into 2-3 posts because reading long posts can be boring.
Day 1: We left at 5 am from Gurgaon for Jaipur. It was cold, dark and sooo foggy. On a long drive, I take the wheel first since am the more experienced driver and cautious. Or maybe KC is happy to give me control so he can sleep at that hour. Jaipur to Gurgaon stretch is treacherous. There are many flyovers whose construction is on hold creating a huge mess. There are not enough signages and meeting with an accident is easy. Thankfully, there were cars/trucks on the roads making it easy for us. But there were times when I slowed down to a 10/15 km/hr because I couldn’t see anything in the fog. The trucks are very disciplined while driving in the dark. They are careful about switching lanes and always show the side signal.
We reached Jaipur at 10 am. It took us only 4.5 hours without a break which is pretty good. I have heard horror tales of the drive taking 6-7 hours. We had booked a room at Red Fox Hotel which is the budget hotel of Lemon Tree. You can read my review of the hotel on tripadvisor. Anyway, the plan was to visit Albert Hall Museum which we didn’t cover last time we were here and catch up with my best friend Sil.
We had Rajasthani thaali lunch at Shri Thaal restaurant. It is the best food I have eaten this year. The thaali had gatte ki sabji, aloo pyaaz sabji, sarso ka saag, makke ki roti, daal bhaati churma, bajre ki khichdi, daal, kadhi and jalebis. All of it was dripping with ghee and smelled so good. Yum. KC had 3-4 servings of jalebis and each serving included 3-4 jalebis. Yeah, he was stuffed all day after that.
The meeting with Sil didn’t happen because it was X’mas and she is a Christian. She promised to meet me at the hotel late at night as soon as she gets free but then I was too tired and needed to sleep. No worries, I will meet her in B’glore next week.
The great part about driving down is that you can explore the city. You get to experience the city for yourself. It is very different from renting a cab. Getting lost in a strange city has its own charm. My mapmyindia GPS is the best companion on these trips. It rarely lets me down. I bought it when we moved to Gurgaon in 2012 and have never regretted the 6k spent.
The autos in Jaipur are sheer torture. Please do not… do NOT trust the auto guys. Incidents like below are very common:
– Year 2013. First trip to Jaipur. Our hotel is clueless about City Palace. We walk out on the road and flag down an auto to take us to City Palace. The auto guy tells us it is closed in the morning, opens at 2 pm and he can take us around the markets for shopping. One quick google and I realize he is lying.
– Year 2014. 2nd trip to Jaipur. We decide to take an auto instead of driving. Ask the auto guy to take us to Vaishali Nagar for lunch at Shri Thaal. He asks us why we want to go so far for food. He can take us to a nearby better restaurant. We decide to just drive instead.
I never thought Gurgaon auto guys would seem honest but now they do. Always do your research before travelling anywhere in India. I really pity the foreigners. They must be getting ripped off left, right and centre.
Leaving you with some great photographs.
Paintings on the walls of an underpass.
The amazing food at Shri Thaal Village
Albert Hall Museum
I didn’t fall in love with Jaipur but my feelings are more positive now. I think it is a good city though not somewhere I would like to go again and again.
Next post- Udaipur Day 1