It’s a new day..
On day-2 of our road trip we were going to reach Jodhpur, the land of Marwar. Our enthusiasm got us ready sooner than the Hotel could get their breakfast started. So in order to save some time we decided to have breakfast somewhere on the way and checked out by 7.15 am.
Abhi was dying to hit Ahmedabad-Mehsana- Siddhpur - Palanpur - AbuRoad- Sirohi - Pali - Jodhpur track. And I must confess that the roads did not let him down. They are surreal to say the least. The only problem is that we could not find decent eateries here. Apart from this small setback (which we could easily overcome because we still had enough food to feed an army,courtesy our MOTHERS) and a small traffic bottleneck at Siddhpur the whole drive was fantastic.
|Kanoon ke lambe haath|
|Throwing safety to the winds.|
First brush with Rajasthani hospitality
|As we entered Rajasthan.|
Around noon we decided to pull over for lunch. We chose to stop at Baba Ramdev Hotel at VeraVilPur after some 15kms from Sirohi on NH-62. It looked clean and airy with ample parking space. We had Paneer Butter Masala which was made less spicy according to our preference and served with Makka roti , butter naan and tava chapati all drenched in ghee. No matter how much you try to stop them, they will not be happy unless they have poured enough ghee on your rotis which will promptly get reflected on your waistline. So be prepared for the ghee overdose.
First detour, first shock
|Excellent roads of Rajasthan.|
After cruising at 65-70 kms/hr we were finally into Jodhpur by 2.30 pm or so. This is where our first sightseeing spot was marked. It was a Durry factory called Pukhraj Durry Udhyog, located in some remote village and accessible via a mesh of narrow lanes. After losing our way a couple of times we finally reached this lovely village house and were welcomed by an elderly man with cheeks covered with his curled moustache. His young son (or nephew) gave us a miniscule demo of how durries are made and got down to business. After rolling out some 5-6 durries of varied dimensions he waited for us to make a selection. We on the other hand were in a state of shock after hearing their prices. A moderately sized durry was for 14,000/- . We checked and cross-checked, then asked for a smaller one. This process continued till we had reached the smallest piece priced at 4,000/-. Needless to say we beat a retreat from there and headed back to our hotel as fast as we could to make up for lost time.
Check - in at the Inn
Nearly after an hour, we were unpacking at our room in Lord’s Inn Hotel at PWD circle. It is a decent place to stay. The room was very comfortable and well priced. The breakfast options however were redundant. In fact, during our entire stay across different hotels in Rajasthan we saw Idli and Upma served almost everyday for breakfast. I wonder how and when these Rajasthanis forged such deep gastronomic ties with Southies, forgetting all about their North-Indian neighbours? What happened to those yummy parathas?
In the evening we went for some BANDHEJ shopping near Ghanta ghar locality. For the noobs,Bandhej is the local fabric art of tie and dye process. A word of caution, the lanes here are very crowded, extremely narrow and difficult to handle. So stick to rickshaws or Uber. Let your car enjoy in the comfortable environs of your hotel’s parking lot.
As one more day wraps
Today we covered 443 kms in a total journey of 7 ½ hours including 6 ½ driving hours and 1 hour break time. The day ended with dinner at Indique (aka Pali Haveli Hotel) near Clock Tower, Gulab Sagar. With its roof-top seating and candle lit tables, the ambiance was beautiful. As we soaked in its heritage look accentuated with the backdrop of Mehrangarh Fort in a slightly cold weather, things got occasionally noisy as it is located in the middle of the local market. Still, thanks to its great ambiance and yummy dal makhani, it proved to be a perfect way for us to relax as another long day of our trip came to a tiring end.