Rants & Raves

CK on his car trip from Bangalore to Rajasthan and back.

   I am back in office after a successful conquest of Rajasthan and managed to silence all the critics in office. I returned rather early on 5th and spent the last week at home in Mysore. Rajasthan is definitely a splendid place to visit especially Jaisalmer and its surroundings. I covered 6300 kms over 16 days from 20th Dec to 4th Jan. Daily distance covered varied from 95 kms to 752 kms. The route taken was Bangalore->Belgaum->Pune->Mumbai->Ahmedabad-> Mt.Abu->Jodhpur->Jaisalmer->Sambhar Lake->Ajmer->Jaipur->Agra->Gwalior ->Bhopal>Sanchi ->Nagpur->Hyderabad->"namma" Bangalore.

   The highlights of the trip were the desert camping in Jaisalmer on the Khuri Sand Dunes (with some hot shot Mumbai models incl. Kareena look-alike. looks like Anil already predicted this), driving on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway -> The Expressway is real fanatastic and I drove at 170 kmph in my Corsa(172 is the max) and the 160 kms to Mumbai was done in 1 hr 15 min and the drive till the Longewala Post on the Indo-Pak border 125 kms from Jaisalmer-> Excellent roads thru the desert constructed by Border Roads (and so will be their work at our IITG campus) and no traffic except for Army Convoys is a real good place to test your cars for some fast-paced driving.

   Food was excellent throughout the journey and we always stuck to region specific cuisine - from the Jowar Rotis of N.Karnataka to Thali Pit, Shrikhand, Bakarwadis of Pune, the unlimited "sweet" Gujju Thalis, Dal-Bati and Sangri of Rajasthan and the Hyderabad Biriyanis and Pootharekhalu(Sugar Candy). India may not have made inventions in technology but in terms food it is simply unbeatable or in US terms, awesome!

   Even the 4-lane Highways between Mumbai and Ahmedabad were excellent and we could drive at 140-160 kmph continuously for quite long stretches. Our Vajpayee's dream projects of "Golder Quadrilateral" and "North-South East-West Corridor" will surely change the way we travel in India. Car Travel will definitely be the in thing then - Bangalore to Pune 900kms will take 9 hrs instead of 20 currently!! One thing good is that there are no speed limits in India - makes driving really really safe!

   Photos are ready but they are yet to be scanned. I will scan some of the "beautiful" ones and upload them so that all can see how me and my Corsa have conquered the Great Thar desert. The desert was a little disappointing, though as the sand dunes were not pure sand like in movies but had shrubs here and there and not to forget the people.

   One caution though -> Till Vajpayee's dreams come true, the under construction National and almost all State Highways are real nightmare for driving and I guess it is better to have an SUV to clear the craters and humps, though my vehicle never gave a single problem (not even a puncture) throughout and after the jouney. Beware of all vehicles with number plates RJ/MP or DL - no matter what the make of the car is, all consider themselves as SUVs and whizz past at > 80 kmph on roads that have craters that can easily gobble a truck. The cars simply enter the crater with a thud and spring out as if nothing happened. Can't imagine the plight of the people in the car. We drove at 20 kmph on these roads and everyone used to give us a suprised look and vanish.

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This page was last modified on: 09/15/04