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First Trip Post Covid - A Rajasthan Road Trip Amidst Rains : An Overview

It was the rainy season after Covid's impact reduced and people started moving out of their homes. We were on a short trip to our home town Jaipur to spend time with the family. One odd evening when we were enjoying the rains over tea and snacks, Mom put forward the idea of taking a trip to Mount Abu. We have lived in Abu Road, which is the base station for Mount Abu, for a few years and hence Mount is next to home for us. We reminisced about the scenic beauty of this hill resort in the rain with all the waterfalls active and hence a quick plan was made that evening. This article provides an overview of our entire road trip starting from our home in Gurgaon covering Jaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Mount Abu, Udaipur, and the return trip over 2 weeks. Given we were still in remote work mode at our offices, this was going to be a short staycation road trip.

The Planning and the Route Map - How to Prepare for a Roadtrip

Road trips are a great way to explore new places and create lasting memories. The flexibility of a self-driven vehicle empowers you to choose your stops, detour at will and extend your stays. However, a successful road trip requires careful planning and organization. While you may keep certain aspects flexible, there are some boundaries to be put in place and a skeleton readied. Thus we got onto the job of putting our itinerary together. 

1. Finalize the Itinerary

The first thing to decide on a road trip or any trip is the destination. This was already easy to some extent as Mount Abu was already decided as the final destination. However, since Mount Abu is about 9 hours of drive away from Jaipur, we wanted to take a few breaks on either side of the journey. Generally, we prefer to drive 5 - 6 hours at a stretch and then find a shelter city. The aim is to choose a city which can provide some things to explore and also act as a break for the long drive. Thus started the research for the right shelter cities. After some research, we landed on Kumbhalgarh as the mid-way city on our forward journey and Udaipur on the return journey. 

Here is what our journey map would look like!

The Road-trip Itinerary Around Rajasthan

2. Determine Accommodations

Finding suitable accommodations is another vital aspect of road trip planning. Depending on personal preferences and budget constraints, options range from camping grounds to luxury hotels. Booking in advance ensures availability and peace of mind. We know folks also prefer deciding on accommodation once they land in the town but we travel with a kid and hence prefer to have most of the accommodations booked in advance. We booked our hotels in all the three cities we were staying at. Jaipur is our home town so points for guessing where we were put up. 

Carefully choosing accommodation can get you room like this...

...at this location!

3. Explore Activities and Tourist Sites

Lastly, planning activities at each destination adds excitement to the trip. Whether it's hiking trails or visiting museums, having an idea of what to do upon arrival prevents aimless wandering. All the cities, except Kumbhalgarh, were known to us as we have actually lived in each of them. So we did not need to work a lot on deciding the things to do. We wanted this to be a relaxing trip aimed at starting travel again after Covid-19.

Somewhere on the road...enjoy the journey as well!

4. Prepare Your Vehicle

When you are planning a road trip, it is very important to have your vehicle in the right shape. It is going to determine your experience on the trip. This is especially true if you are traveling with family and kids. So we got this covered with a quick service at a local service station. Generally, we would have gotten this done in our trusted service center in Gurgaon but since the plan came up suddenly, we found a nearby Maruti Service Station in Jaipur and got a quick checkup done. Also, the car got a nice spa to prepare it for the journey.

The car got a much-deserved spa before embarking on the journey!

The Road Trip - In a Snapshot

Days Dates (2021) Description Details
Day 1 Aug 24 Travel to Jaipur 1. Extended travel included in road trip
Day 2 - 5 Aug 25 - Aug 30 Stay at home in Jaipur 1. Explored some cafes and sites in Jaipur
2. Relaxed at home
3. Spent time with Family
Day 6 - 7 Aug 31 - Sep 1 Travel to Kumbalgarh and Exploration 1. Traveled to Kumbhalgarh
2. Took a forest safari
3. Relaxed at the resort in the evening 
4. Explored the Kumbhalgarh Fort
Day 8 - 10 Sep 1 - Sep 3 Travel to Mount Abu and Exploration 1. Traveled to Mount Abu
2. Staycation - Explored some tourist sites
3. Unwinded and enjoyed the resort
Day 11 Sep 4 Travel to Udaipur 1. Traveled to Udaipur
2. Unwinded in the Evening
Day 12 - 14 Sep 5 - Sep 7 Stay in Udaipur & Exploration 1. Visited Nathdwara and Haldighati
2. Explored City Palace & other tourist sites
3. Cruised in Lakes
Day 15 - 16 Sep 8 - Sep 9 Return Journey to Gurgaon via Jaipur 1. Returned to Gurgaon
2. A night halt in Jaipur on our way back

Let us start the journey!

And set the trip meter to 0

Introduction to Cities We Covered

Jaipur - The Pink City

Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan and is also known as the Pink City. It is a city that exudes charm and grandeur on every corner. Steeped in history and adorned with magnificent palaces and forts, it is a city that transports visitors back in time. The entire city of Jaipur is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural importance. One cannot help but be mesmerized by the architectural marvels that dot the landscape of Jaipur. The Amber Fort, with its intricate carvings and stunning views of the surrounding hills, stands as a symbol of Rajput grandeur. The Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, with its delicate latticework windows and pink sandstone façade, is an architectural masterpiece. The city's vibrant markets are another highlight for visitors. 

We were traveling to Jaipur to spend time with family after the Covid restrictions were lifted and travel opened up. While the original "Road Trip" only had this city in the itinerary, the remaining ones were added accidentally in some way! During our stay in Jaipur, we explored a few cafes and sites of tourist interest. Given this is our home town, we have already visited a lot of it but we still try and explore some more Jaipur every time we are there in the city. 

More about the city in our earlier article Trip Around the Home Town: Pink City Jaipur

The car likes to pose too

and us of course :)

Kumbhalgarh - The Fort Town

Kumbhalgarh is a small city in the countryside of Rajasthan that is known for its majestic fortress. The city is built on an elevation from the ground level and boasts breathtaking views of the Aravalli Range from its highest point. The city's strategic location atop a hill provides panoramic vistas of lush green valleys and picturesque landscapes that captivate every visitor's heart. We had chosen Kumbhalgarh for its ideal location as a mid-journey stop to break a long drive to Mount Abu. It being a leading tourist destination in itself was a cherry on top. 

In the backdrop of Aravalis

That's Rishik Enjoying the Kumbhalgarh Views

We spent the evening on a quick safari in open room jeep where we explored the wildlife around the city. The safari takes you deep into the heart of the forest, where you can witness a variety of flora and fauna in their natural habitat. From towering trees to vibrant flowers, every corner of this forest is a testament to Mother Nature's creativity. But it is not just the plant life that captivates visitors; it is also the diverse wildlife that calls this forest home. As you traverse through the safari, you may encounter majestic creatures like leopards, deer, antelopes, and even rare species like sloth bears and wolves. The thrill of spotting these animals in their natural habitat is an experience unlike any other.

We later spent time unwinding at our resort and enjoying the greenery and the scenic views around. The next morning, we visited the mighty fortress and explored the history around it. Built during the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, this magnificent structure is not only a symbol of power and grandeur but also holds immense historical significance. The fort is renowned for its impregnable walls that stretch over 36 kilometers, making it one of the longest fortifications in the world. These walls were designed to withstand any siege or attack and have successfully protected the fort throughout its existence. The intricate architecture within Kumbhalgarh showcases a blend of Rajput and Mughal styles, with intricately carved pillars, domes, and balconies that leave visitors awe-struck.

The Kumbhalgarh Fort - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Today, Kumbhalgarh stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of "Hill Forts of Rajasthan" and attracts tourists from all over the world who come to witness its grandeur firsthand. It serves as a reminder of India's glorious past and highlights the rich cultural heritage that Rajasthan possesses.

Mount Abu - Rajasthan's only Hill Station

Mount Abu is a picturesque hill station located in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan, India. It is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, ancient temples, and serene lakes. The town is situated at an altitude of 1,220 meters above sea level, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking respite from the scorching heat of the plains. 

Views around the hill

The ape wants a ride too...

The base station for Mount Abu is Abu Road from where the hill resort is about 25 kilometers away. In my childhood, I spent three wonderful years in this small town. Mount Abu was a frequent trip with every guest who visited us. So, this only hill resort in Rajasthan feels like home and will always have a special place for me. We wanted to relive some of those childhood moments on this trip and hence it was one of the special stops on the trip. 

One of the main attractions of Mount Abu is Nakki Lake, which is surrounded by lush green hills and offers boating facilities to visitors. The lake has a mythological significance as it is believed to have been dug by gods using their nails (nakh). Another must-visit place in Mount Abu is Dilwara Jain Temples. These temples are renowned for their intricate marble carvings and architectural brilliance. We also visited the Guru Shikhar Peak which provided an excellent opportunity to explore the rugged terrain while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.

Delve deeper into this wonderful town with our blog article "The Treasured Destination of Rajasthan - Mount Abu"

Rest is as important for passengers as for the driver

Udaipur - The Scenic Lake City in the Desert

Udaipur is a captivating destination in the state of Rajasthan, India. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and picturesque landscapes, Udaipur is popular among travelers seeking an authentic experience. One striking fact about the city is the number of lakes this place has and it is this fact that has earned this city the nickname of the "City of Lakes". I have spent a year in this town as a home and hence wanted to be back here. Also, spending a couple of days here allowed us a break from the long drive from Mount Abu to Jaipur.

City Palace in Udaipur from the Lake

Udaipur Lake Palace forms a nice backdrop

One of the city's most iconic landmarks is the Lake Palace, a magnificent structure seemingly floating on Lake Pichola. Built-in the 18th century by Maharana Jagat Singh II, this palace showcases intricate carvings and exquisite marble work that reflect the opulence of Rajput architecture. Another must-visit attraction is the City Palace complex. This sprawling palace boasts several palaces within its premises, each showcasing unique architectural styles and housing museums that display artifacts from Udaipur's royal past. The panoramic view from its terraces offers breathtaking vistas of the city and surrounding lakes.

Apart from the grandeur of palaces, Udaipur is a very scenic and laid-down city. There are a number of lakes where a boating experience offers a different perspective in each of the lakes. We did a couple of such rides. We also took a cable car ride to Mansapurna Karni Mata temple which was a fulfilling and scenic experience. 

To get more details on the city and things to do here, please read Venice of the East - Lake City Udaipur

Have you been to this part of the country? Are you planning a road trip to Rajasthan? Did you find flaws in the article? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and if you have questions or need help planning a trip, we are very happy to indulge in a banter!

Leaving you with some other good pics from the road trip!

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