Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A fascinating road trip: Gurugram to Bikaner



A stretch of smooth roads lined with trees on both the sides was hubby's and my dream. We could think of no place around NCR especially when Gurgaon authorities are on a tree-felling spree.  Post our trip to Sikkim in October 2018, we were planning a road trip this time. This was when after multiple discussions and research we zeroed in on Rajasthan. So we formulated a road trip from Gurgaon to these three cities in the exact order- Bikaner, Jaiselmer and Nagaur.

Let me help you plan a great road trip from NCR to Bikaner.



Choose the right time:
Rajasthan must be visited in winters, ideally from mid of September to mid March. Since temperate soars to 50 degree Celsius, summers is NOT the right time to visit Rajasthan, unless you are too fond of heat or want to leverage low price in off-season.
We chose first week of March (2019) when winter was slipping away slowly before the onset of summer.

The right clothing:
While summers can be harsh, winters are equally brutal. Carry clothes in cotton or breathable facbric in summers. Do not underestimate winters. From long jacket to woolen caps, you need it all.
P.S- We hadn't packed much of woolens and the first day in Bikaner was spent battling the biting cold.



Roads:
The road condition from Delhi to Bikaner is excellent. Thankfully there are no potholes or unmarked bumpers. Barring a few places after Manesar, the roads are smooth.


 There isn't much traffic on the roads which makes driving even more pleasant. he roads get crammed up when you are about to reach Bikaner.



Distance:
The road distance from Gurgaon to Bikaner is 462 km via NH8 and NH11. If you choose NH52, it will be 502 km. It takes 8 hours or more to travel from Delhi to Bikaner. Once you enter the city, the view changes to an laid back, cluttered old town. The city traffic would slow you down. Since Bikaner is one of those old cities that has not modernized much, be prepared to drive through the narrow crowded lanes.
P.S- Hotel parking places are on the roads, not within the hotel premises.

The route: 
1. Delhi-Bahadurgarh-Rohtak-Bhiwani-Chirawa-Jhunjhunu-Mandawa-Fatehpur-Ratangarh-Bikaner (NH709 &11)

2. Delhi-Rewari-Shahajahanpur-Behror-Kotputli-Reengus-Sikar-Laxmangarh-Fatehpur-Ratangarh-Bikaner (NH709)


3. Gurgoan-Rewari-Narnaul-Chirawa-Mandawa-Fatehpur-Ratangarg- Bikaner (via NH11)

We drove on route 3 (NH709)


Enough greenery on both the sides of the road was soothing while the balmy sunshine caressed us on the gentle winter morning. The latter was trying to shine through the layer of fog and the weather was pleasantly cold.  I must say, roads in Rajasthan are just so amazing. Driving never felt so good. The journey was enjoyable and we looked forward to an equally great holiday. Thankfully Google Maps guided us well and did not take any diverted route. As we sped on the highway, pieces of sandy lands started to appear and after Ratangarh vegetation turned scanty. The moment we entered the city of Bikaner, we felt the massiveness. Jam-packed market-place, the chaos, colorful houses, vibrant turbans of men, narrow lanes, the laid back vibes, we enjoyed it all. Plus the old part of the city has a railway line running through the busy market. It was a sight to behold, when the people stood clear of the rail line, halting across the barriers watching the train pass by. I had known that such kind of market exists in Thailand. My first brush with this hence happened in my own incredible India. 

Struggling through the congested lanes, we made our way to hotel Oyo Babu Heritage by lunch time and prepared for the day-out.

The lanes of Rampuriya Haveli

Our Itinerary:
We left from home at 5 am
We made it to our hotel in Bikaner by 2 pm.
Had lunch and rested for a while
Left from hotel at 4 pm to tour Rampuriya Havelis.




This is how you can plan a safe and glitch-free road trip by ticking off your essentials- 
  • Get your car serviced to avoid breakdowns 
  • Check car's tyre pressure and fuel tank  
  • On long road trip your car is prone to breakdown, flat tyre or overheating. Carry your car tool box just in case. 
  • Carry enough drinking water with you. I always carry my Milton Kool Rover Water Jug (11 liters capacity) on my road trips. This jug has traveled places with us! 
  • Pack dry snacks. Dhabas are not too frequent on lone highways.  
  • Please do not litter or trash plastic anywhere. Ultimately it goes into our own water bodies. Be a responsible traveler. 
P.S- We made the trip in March 2019. Also, the blog post made it to the list of trending posts of the day on Indiblogger home page. 
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