This was my much awaited diwali break trip – written a bit breathlessly, but enjoyed much nonetheless. Here’s the log for the Journeyof day 1:
Three of us (parents and I) started from home at 7:40 am and reached the ajmer highway in 30 minutes. Highway was the usual well maintained stretch and devoid of much traffic at that hour..Paid first toll and continued. Shortly before kishangarh took the diversion towards nasirabad, etc. Realized quickly that this isn’t where we should be heading (road was too good and we had used it in 05 for chittor trip). Stopped, asked for directions and were given conflicting advice by truckers and a shopkeeper. One suggested we should continue till nasirabad and take a right turn from inside the bus stand , continue onto mangliawas and rejoin the NH at beawar.. We chose to follow the safer route of heading back to the kishangarh byepass and onto NH8. This detour cost approx 35 minutes. Kishangarh byepass was really bad – thanks to the thriving marble business and the road widening work currently underway. Trailer after long trailer slowed us down and very soon were 1 hour behind schedule. The highway didn’t improve much at ajmer byepass either. From barr, the road was a two lane highway (112) and devoid of heavy traffic which was great for the drive. Gave the car to papa from here onwards till Jodhpur. Missed the dangiawas turn towards balotra which was to prove propitious later.
Entered Jodhpur city and stopped at hotel chadra inn – pavan sagar restaurant for lunch. food good though – cost about 300+ for three.
Met the very helpful driver mr shambhu dutt( retd from air-force and now has two cabs) who intimated that road to balotra and Barmer has been closed since two months by angry villagers at village doli about 100 km from Jodhpur on the Barmer highway. Thanked him profusely but he refused any tip/ offers of cup of tea, etc. He’s a good person who has two good cars and knows the entire area very well……. If anyone requires his number to rent a car, I can share. We managed to shape the the rest of the trip more comfortably thanks to his good advice about which roads to take. Left at 3:30 after lunch from Jodhpur via boranada industrial area – onto the village newri – on a single lane road that was often covered only with grit.
We were soon joined by two taxi number innovas and two buses headed to Barmer and to sanchore, respectively. all doubts about the veracity of the information given by mr dutt were laid to rest. The dusty roads join the mega highway running from phalodi to ramji ki gol at thob. V Smooth ride from thob till balotra on the highway. Reached the temple at nakodaji (13 km from balotra) around 5:40. Went straight for darshan. Photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited at all times (outside permitted and some night shots will follow).
Missed dinner at bhojanshala as it serves only prior to sunset and we had had reached at closing time……. Wasted about an hour checking out nearby cottages built by a developer as resort. Its called arham kutir by himmada developer – avoidable. Found aircon room inside the temple complex for just rs 500/-. rooms sleep two on the bed and two on floor. Dinner outside was disappointing. Spoke with a few helpful cab drivers on various routes possible to jaisalmer and slept early.