We started out for our road trip from Gurgaon to Pune on Feb 26th. We reached Jaipur on day one and stayed at Jai Niwas as Om Niwas was full and didn’t have any rooms available. The manager at Jai Niwas was ex-army and we spent a few minutes talking about the air strikes that had happened earlier in the day on terror camps of JeM in Pakistan. We had lunch and then met with Vineeta and her adorable little girl at Masala Ministry restaurant for tea and snacks. The snacks were just outstanding !
We then went and bought Rawat ke Kachori … for our breakfast the next morning and some for Ganesh. We enjoyed watching the air strike details on TV and went to bed early as we planned to leave early the next day.
On Feb 27th, we started from Jai Niwas at 6 am. It was a cold morning. We exited the city of Jaipur fairly easily and got onto the National Highway towards Kishangarh, the world famous marble market. The truck traffic was overwhelming. And here too most of the trucks hugged the rightmost lane which is the fast lane and the lane to overtake any vehicle. We must either change the rule or ensure that the trucks move to the slow lane which is the leftmost one !
The highway is fantastic with no potholes or bad stretches but the truck traffic slows you down. At one point we had the option of continuing on the highway and then get off at Udaipur but google maps made us go through straight onto NH58 …. a two lane highway. I kept muttering throughout the distance, but as expected we did reach Udaipur by 11.45 am after a 20 minute stop. About 50 kms before Udaipur, we passed through Nathdwara where the tallest Shiv Murthi is being made (351 meters). We didn’t know about it but because it looked so massive, we took pics.
We were welcomed to the city of lakes through a tunnel.
We reached Ganesh’s house in Udaipur and met his wife and son. His daughter was in school so we missed meeting her. We had a tasty home cooked food for lunch and left for Vadodara around 1.30 pm.
Then google maps did what it does best … take us through narrow city lanes before exiting Udaipur !! Its quite exasperating sometimes when google maps does this. We didn’t take a single picture as we passed through different locations to reach Vadodara because it was getting late and the traffic was relentless. Also the highway is under construction so several diversions. The road is well paved with no potholes or anything, but the average speed reduces significantly because of traffic and diversions. It became somewhat better after Modasa in Gujarat. We reached Vadodara by 7.30 pm and after a quick round of all the apartments around the Airbnb where we had booked, courtesy google maps, we reached the right location :):).
It was great meeting Ganesh after many many years and of course meeting Vineeta in Jaipur as well. Next day we left for Pune.