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Rajasthan Road Trip – From Gurgaon to Bikaner – Day 1

Chattris in Rajasthan | Rajasthan Road Trip

So Rajasthan is famous for its Old canopies or "Chattris". Finally, here are some Chattris with an extensively spread tree enroute Neem Ka Thana

Prologue to the Rajasthan Road Trip

The day before the one we hit the road to explore Rajasthan in peak Summers.

It was a simple and uneventful summer evening in Gurgaon. We were sitting on a terrace and just chatting up over drinks. A road trip was not on the conversation radar as of now.

My friend, Shivendra Sharma was to leave for Rajasthan in a couple of days and we were simply elaborating on how Rajasthan would be in the peak of summers.

As the conversation majored, I got a bit enamoured to the idea and offered to join in and convert his business trip into a Rajasthan Road Trip. Shiven had planned to take a taxi to drive through the state and we concurred that two of us will be merrier.

Moreover,  my TATA safari and driving expertise would come in really handy for the Rajasthan Road Trip. And here is a run down of how it happened for us over the next five days through the Thar desert.

Erstwhile called the Rajputana during the British Raj, Rajasthan is an enamouring state with an extensive border with Haryana and international border with Pakistan through Bikaner. Bikaner was going to be our first stop.

Rajputana is also culturally rich with its artistic and cultural traditions. In fact, being endowed with natural beauty and a great history, the palaces and forts of Rajasthan attract people from all over the world.

And it was no different for me, when it came to “Romancing Rajasthan”. The mind was made and the trip was finally on for two days after.

Departure to Bikaner, Rajasthan from Gurgaon, Haryana - Day 1

Not much planning was done, so we had no bookings made. We would book on the way as we close into Bikaner.

Apart from the date of departure, not much planning was done deliberately, so we we had no bookings made in advance. We would book on the way as we close into Bikaner – our first halt in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan is located on the northern side of India and it is hot out there especially in Summers. It comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert (also known as the “Rajasthan Desert” and “Great Indian Desert“).

Overall, the thought of driving through Rajasthan’s desert and cities was incredible. So finally, Here is the rundown of how we did it.

So here we were on Day 1 of the 5 day Rajasthan Road Trip. By and large, our target was to get to Bikaner by evening. Hence, we moved from Gurgaon at 7:00 hours in the morning.

Though, I found contrary to the popular belief about the heat, that Rajasthan is absolutely beautiful in Summers.

Breakfast Halt - Shri Balaji Bhojanalya Dhaba NH8

We savoured an absolutely fresh breakfast of parathas and curd.

Just and hour and a half of the driving, I halted at Shri Balaji Bhojanalya Dhaba located on the NH8. We were absolutely hungry and had to eat.

As customers & prospects, there were two vehicles – us and a truck whose helper was busy drinking Coca Cola at 8:30  AM in the morning. Talk about needing a sugar rush.

Moreover, the vegetables for the dhaba were being unloaded from the supply truck. It was really exciting to hope for savouring an absolutely fresh breakfast of parathas and curd after the vegetables and other stuff was unloaded.

So the tandoori parathas were absolutely freshly made for us and we relished every bite of those tasty savoury breads.

And as I was clicking picture, everyone at Shri Balaji Bhojanalya – NH 8, stood in attention position, very conscious of the pictures being taken. Do look towards the left and check out the amount of raw material that was just delivered. First photo below.

Onwards from Shri Balaji Bhojanalya

Transversing through Kotputli & Neem Ka Thana, Sikar

Did I mention the roads are empty too? We travelled through National Highway 8 and then turned right from Kotputli. Did you know? Kotputli was formed from the main town of Kot and the nearby village of Putli.

Kotputli has many historic temples and schools visible when you are on the road. It was historically a part of the Khetri Riyasat (now Alwar) kingdom, whose capital was at the nearby village of Bairath during the Mahabharata period.

Kotputli was our gateway to Neem Ka Thana in Sikar district of Rajasthan. As we turned toward Neem Ka Thana, the roads were quite empty and fortunately unblemished all through the route to Bikaner.

Lunch at 2 Hotel Dilli Darbar, Neem Ka Thana Enroute Bikaner

2 Hotel Dilli Darbar brought us to fresh khamiri rotis with chicken and mutton curries.

We had a lazy long halt of 30 minutes at the Neem Ka Thana railway crossing. Being hungry and feeling useless at the railway crossing led to craving for some good food.

Once we crossed the railway barrier and moved through the town, we chanced upon a restaurant called 2 Hotel Dilli Darbar.

The name was enough for me to stop again or did I see khamiri tandoori roti too. I parked on the side street and we entered the small restaurant. Without further ado, we ordered for khamiri roti with both chicken and mutton curries.

We demanded and as a result fresh khamiri rotis taken out of the tandoor right in front of us. These are the best when freshly taken out from the tandoor.

The mutton was a spicy mutton curry with and extremely delicate flavour of saunf in it. However, it was not more, not less .. but was flavoured just rightly. The chicken curry, again was a spicy chicken curry.

Do note the similarity in the colours of both dishes (photos below). While they looked similar, their individual tastes, though, were hugely different and delicious.

From Neem Ka Thana to Bikaner

The distance from Neem Ka Thana to Bikaner is approximately 302 kms. Route from Gurgaon to Bikaner

The distance from Neem Ka Thana to Bikaner is approximately 302 kms. From here, the traffic dramatically reduces and it’s you and the road.

After turning on NH-11, there are almost no places to eat except tea, cool drinks and occasional pyaj kachori joints.

The road from Kotputli till Sikar is single undivided road at places and mostly goes through villages where the quality of roads is was quite alright.

After crossing Sikar we were on National highway heading towards Bikaner and on this stretch one can attain 120 kph safely at times. Since the roads never end, this road surely was a friend. The Tata Safari got its due today to scratch its legs.

We saw endless sand dunes enroute Bikaner. The was the last leg of reaching today’s destination. We reached our destination at 4:30PM after enjoying an exhilarating drive.

Overall, the route from Gurgaon to Bikaner, we were on was Gurgaon -> Dharuhera -> Kotputli, turn right on to Highway 37B towards Sikar -> Neem ka Thana -> Udaipurwati -> Sikar -> Fatehpur -> Bikaner

And, foodies that we were, we reached the local market in no time and found some excellent samosas to celebrate our arrival in Bikaner.

The bustling Sunday bazaar in Bikaner (especially when it was a holiday). When we arrived around 16:20 hours, the place seemed totally deserted, however, by about 19:00 hours we could’t walk without getting stepped on or stepping on another’s toes.

This was at Bhati Namkeen Bhandaar right at the begining of the bazaar, hence, a comfortable but not a disppointing choice.

While Shivendra feasted on Mirchi Vada and Kachori, I enjoyed a really crispy and very different samosa from what we are used too. It seemed like it was right out of my school’s canteen. It had a unique tangy flavour that still remains on my palate.

Finally! To Sum It Up

The day before the one we hit the road to explore Rajasthan in peak Summers.

It was a simple and uneventful summer evening in Gurgaon. We were sitting on a terrace and just chatting up over drinks. A road trip was not on the conversation radar as of now.

As the conversation majored, I got a bit enamoured to the idea and offered to join in and convert his business trip into a Rajasthan Road Trip. Shiven had planned to take a taxi to drive through the state and we concurred that two of us will be merrier.

So here we were on Day 1 of the 5 day Rajasthan Road Trip. By and large, our target was to get to Bikaner by evening. Hence, we moved from Gurgaon at 7:00 hours in the morning.

Just and hour and a half of the driving, I halted at Shri Balaji Bhojanalya Dhaba located on the NH8. We were absolutely hungry and had to eat.

Kotputli was our gateway to Neem Ka Thana in Sikar district of Rajasthan. As we turned toward Neem Ka Thana, the roads were quite empty and fortunately unblemished all through the route to Bikaner.

Once we crossed the railway barrier and moved through the town, we chanced upon a restaurant called 2 Hotel Dilli Darbar.

Overall, the route from Gurgaon to Bikaner, we were on was Gurgaon -> Dharuhera -> Kotputli, turn right on to Highway 37B towards Sikar -> Neem ka Thana -> Udaipurwati -> Sikar -> Fatehpur -> Bikaner

The Entire Rajasthan Road Trip

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