We prefer not to be a part of the Delhi pub parties for New year, and we end up doing a house party every Newyear. This year we didn’t want that to happen and planned a short trip to a calm and cozy destination. Some of us preferred snowy hill stations but we ended up selecting much warmer Ranthambore at the end. Ranthambore is approximately 385 Kms from Delhi and out of the multiple route options, we chose the one with a better road which is 40+ km more than the shortest route. The route we chose was Noida – Yamuna Expressway -Mathura -Dausa Road. As there were kids in the group and as we didn’t want to take a chance with the foggy weather, we decided to start a day earlier and take a stop half way before Ranthambore. We looked for options and we chose to stay at Dausa which is 120kms from Ranthambore. We started from Delhi at around 4pm and reached Dausa close to 9:40pm, this place has few industries and nothing much more significant than that. Ashirwad, the hotel we stayed was pretty decent, more like a service apartment. After a long journey, we had awesome vegetarian food and some good sleep.
The next day we started post breakfast from Dausa to SawaiMadhopur which is 120+km away. We drove through small towns, villages and beautiful Mustard fields. We stopped in between to take some beautiful pics in the mustard fields, we had our DDLJmoment :D.
One thing to talk about Rajasthan is the vibrant colors you see, be it Rajasthani women dressed in bright colors, decorated houses or vehicles. By noon we reached Sawai Madhopur, our stay was pre-booked at Hotel Rajputana Heritage ( Read our review here). The plan was simple, visit any places nearby and relax the rest of the day.
For rest of the afternoon our plan was to visit Ranthambore Fort which is just 30mnts from where we were staying. After a cup of tea and freshening up, we all started for Ranthambore fort. By the time we reached there we were informed that there is a huge traffic jam of 2.5kms inside the road leading to fort, which is the same road to Ranthambore Tiger reserve. So the police asked us to wait or come back after sometime.
It was 3:30 PM and since some of us were hungry, we went for to have lunch, we had typical Rajasthani lunch thali with Daalbaati -churma at Niralo Gao Restaurant.
Afterlunch we headed back to Ranthambore fort where the traffic jam was cleared by then. The road leading to Fort itself is in between a small forest with Langur and Deer. The Fort is one of the oldest Forts in 17th Century and it was supposed to be one of the difficult forts to capture by enemies because of the strategic location and design.
We hired a guide who told us stories about the fort and temple inside. While we were climbing the steps to reach the entrance of the fort, we saw some langur attacking an old lady for the sweets she had in her hand. The langur gang was attacking everyone having the sweet box which they got from temple inside. There are one or two temples and a Dargah inside the fort.
It took us an hour to roam around the big fort and surroundings. The entrance of the fort was made in a way that enemies hardly had a chance to get inside and those time since the design leaks never happened, this was a successful design. The guide told us several stories about the fort and king and also how enemies failed to enter the fort because of the design marvel. The fort was not all well maintained and we were able to see ruins at some places, but building such a big fort keeping so many things in mind made us feel proud about those smart engineers in olden times. That was the end of our Fort tour and next day was for Ranthambore Tiger Safari( We will do a detailed blog post of tiger safari).
We were a gang of 8 and pre New Year eve and New Year eve was most memorable one with camp fire, fun games, music and drinks. It’s really important to have the right company when you party and travel.
It was 1st Jan 2017, even though none of us were in a mood to return back we had to start post breakfast by 11 am to reach Noida before midnight. After a couple of pit stops and a long queue in the Yamuna Express Way toll we reached home after 9 pm. That was how we spent our New year and we’ve decided to plan such road trips more often.
Tips for Road Trip
- Check your vehicle tyre air pressure and alignment. ( Don’t forget the Stepney tyre)
- Fill enough Fuel and plan the route.
- If you are planning a road trip during winters do take the foggy weather also into consideration while planning. Try to avoid the early morning and late evening drive if there is dense fog.
- Fill wiper washer with enough fluid & water.
- Keep water and snacks stocked in the vehicles, some of the highways do not have good hotels.
- Track the mileage using your car’s trip meter.
- Plan the number of pit stops & distance to be covered. Check in google maps for the nearby refreshments.
- Don’t over-speed, drive at a speed where you can control the car in emergencies.
- Keep some good music and have chit-chat to make the journey interesting.
- Last but not the least enjoy the drive.