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Trip List by enewhorizons

Road Trip - Ahmedabad - Ranakpur - Kumbhalgarh - Mount Abu

5 Jun 2013  Vacation with family - March 2013
4.5 of 5 stars based on 1 vote

March is normally vacation time for kids in India. We read a lot about Ranakpur, known for amazing Jain Temple, wild life and its climate. It has got serene forest around itself and massive Kumbhalgarh Fort in the vicinity of 40 kms. We planned excursion to Kumbalgarh, and on the way back home, we spent one day at Mount Abu, the most favorite hill station of Gujaratis, and known for Delvada Temples, the master pieces in stone carving.

  • 1. Ranakpur Temple : Good Old Prosperity of Jainism
    Ranakpur, Rajasthan

    We started early morning from Ahmedabad and went non-stop to Ranakpur via Mehsana, Palanpur, Abu Road, Swarupganj, Jaswantgarh, and reached Ranakpur. The odometer showed 348 kilometers in almost 5 hours. Best route from Ahmedabad to Ranakpur

    Our visit to Ranakpur was coincidentally on Dhuleti day (Holi Festival). It is most popular festival in Rajasthan which lasts for 15 days. Dhuleti day is the day of caution for tourists like us.

    If you happen to travel to any part of Rajasthan by road on the day of Dhuleti, it will be the worst time you will see in your life. Every 10 kms, you will find road blocks created by locales. They will stop your vehicle and ask for money. If you resist, they will damage the vehicle. It is the nuisance.

    Always keep in mind, never plan your road trip on the day of Dhuleti which is celebrated as per Indian calendar. For rest of the days, you will find locales very helpful and courteous.

    Road trip during spring times is just incredible. You get to see ample of Kesudo or Keshu (Flame of the Forest Flowers) in bright colors. It gives amazing view with bright shades on earthy landscape visible on the road surrounded by mountains. Flame of Forest or Kesudo or Keshu or Parrot Tree has found its place in the creative and expressive poems of Rabindranath Tagore (Indian Nobel Laureate). Through the vibrant and contrasted land scape, we reached Jain Temple Campus at Ranakpur. Climate was just perfect. ranges between 20 - 27 degree Celsius. People say that Ranakpur is the destination in Rajasthan which retains the cool wave and is never so hot as other places in Rajasthan.

    The temple is in the midst of Arawali Range of mountains, and dense forest. It is a gorgeous structure built in the 15th century, in the AD 1439. The basement is of 48,000 sq. feet area that covers the whole complex. This expresses the prosperity of Jains in those times. The total number of columns is 1,444, all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically carved deities playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an interesting sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex, and waves upto 3 kms with internal "Om" sound.

    Being Jain Temple, there is no electricity used inside the temple in the evenings. Hundreds of lamps are ignited and the ambience is heavenly. We happened to sight temple on full moon night, we felt divine and mesmerized. We requested a group of people from nearby village "Sadadi" to perform live singing and music in the temple. It is known as "Bhavana". It was an out of the world experience to listen to the music without any mike or speakers with yellow light spread across by hundreds of lamps. It was an engaging evening. This structure stood tall against all odds, natural or man-induced. It was vulnerable to assaults of Mughal Emperors. It was renovated in 1930s. For Jains only, there is very neat and clean Dharmashala (Room Facility to Stay). They serve hot and sumptuous breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, this food is coocked without using potato, onion, and garlic. Like any jain pilgrimage destination, dinner is not available after 7 pm.

  • 2. Jain Temple - Ranakpur
    Jain Temple - Ranakpur, Udaipur, Rajasthan

    We slept well in cool climate after experiencing divinity at lamp lite temple under full moon visibility. Early morning was a refreshing feeling. Quiet and unpolluted. In the campus of Dharmashala (the place with neat and clean basic facilities, where we were put up) we found interesting spot. Our rooms were surrounding big courtyard having a huge and centrally located 50 years old borsali tree (also commonly known as spenish cherry, bullet wood or medlar).

    This tree is always evergreen, known for its Ayurvedic (Indian Science of Medicines and Healthcare) advantages.

    They put up chairs under the dense tree. It was like inviting everyone to relax under its shade with soothing cool breeze. It was an interesting spot. We sat there for an hour and so did others who were also put up there, just like us. We socially interacted with each other and realized that it was a kind of social spot of that campus. This is very discerning quality of Indian Rural Society. They have such spots under huge trees in the village where elders, kids and everyone just hang out and socialize.

    We had sumptuous breakfast and lunch at the place, and headed towards Maharani Bagh Resort, which was 4 kms away from the temple campus. We checked in the place. We were warmly welcome by the resort manager and settled in the resort. We relaxed in the evening and explored the resort. It was re-energizing time after extensive travel on the previous day.

  • 3. Extraordinary endeavour to protect the empire
    Kumbhalgarh Fort, Udaipur, Rajasthan

    After breakfast at Maharanibagh, we started for kumbhalgarh at 11 am. It was steep and tough drive through the hills for 40 kms. The Fort was noticeable from very far distance. It stood rock solid and massive.

    We drove to the parking and bought the entry passes. It as a quite a long walk. We walked through the pathways till the top and the view was amazing. It is a daunting endeavor by King Rana Kumbha to built such a massive fort with far protecting wall.

    We learnt that there was supposed to be light and sound show in the evening. Since we wanted to reach resort in the day light due to lonely and steep roads towards Ranakpur, we decided to miss it. But I guess, it must have been interesting.

    When you visit Kumbhalgarh, keep some food with you. The food available in the campus is not upto the mark and your walking efforts will definitely make you hungry. You can visit Club Mahindra for lunch which is 4 kms away from Kumbhalgarh Fort.

    Good memories, inspiring structure and we had a lot to talk over dinner about this excursion to our friends who decided to relax at Maharanibagh and did not join us.

    We were back to resort by 2:30 pm and had lunch. After heavy lunch and active excursion, we relaxed in the evening. In the evening we went to Ranakpur temple and were back to Maharanibagh at dinner time.

  • 4. Ranakpur
    Ranakpur, Rajasthan

    Lazy morning, breakfast and we went for a nature trail. This is good thing about Maharani bagh. It has interesting trail towards Jungle. We came across few dears and blue bull (Nil Gai).

    Afternoon was full of family activities, it was good time to socialize and spend best times with cousins, their children and elders. Maharanibagh has perfect places for such interactions. We remember huge swing which could accommodate 5-8 elders. It was permanent place for the children and they spent their energy in riding it as high as possible.

    We learnt that there was a dam on the river in the vicinity of 1 Kms. We planned a nice picnic in the evening. WE requested hotel team to get us some tea and snacks and serve us on the top of the dam. They agreed to our delight and we were on for the picnic
    We went to the dam and it was beautiful location. Having tea, snacks during the evening, cool breeze and desired company, made it a perfect evening. Must visit place when you are in Ranakpur.

    We spent good time till it was dark and were back to Maharanibagh. We spent good time till very late night as it was third night of our 3nights 4days package.

    We all agreed to have breakfast next day and then proceed for Ahmedabad.

  • 5. Unplanned Mount Abu
    Mount Abu, Rajasthan

    We had late breakfast at Maharanibagh and checked out around 11 am. Headed for Ahmedabad via Jaswantgarh, Abu road.

    We were near Abu Road by the lunch time. We found hotel Mulji's Palace and decided to have lunch over there. To our surprise, food was good and we were the only guests. They warmly served us and we enjoyed.

    Somebody from the group floated an idea, why not go to Mount Abu which was just 25 kms away from this place. Everyone received it well and in no time we were on to Mount Abu. Elders were resistant to go to Mount Abu without any hotel reservations. But we were on.

    As soon as we entered the hill station, we could make out that it was not a good idea to go to Mount Abu without reservation during such a peak season, that too week end. We searched for the hotels and none had capacity to accommodate group of 27 people.

    We went to Maganji and fortunately they had 7 rooms. We were ready to accept the rooms as ordinary room is better than no room. We settled in the hotel and went for boating to Nakkhi Lake.

    As expected, it was flooded with people and we were in a long queue to go boating. Kids enjoyed the boating. We learned that the boat operators are the cheats. We were 10 people to go boating. They had rate card, ordinary boat 350 Rs for 30 minutes which could accommodate 10 people. They told that ordinary boat is not available, it is there in the rate card only. We had to pay 100 Rs per person to get the boat which accommodated 10 people. We asked for the difference between ordinary boat available at 350 Rs, and the one we were given at 1000 Rs. They told that in ordinary boat there is no seat-cover on the seat. this was ridiculous and we were sure that they were fooling us around. We had no choice.

  • 6. Dilwara Jain Temples
    Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu, Rajasthan

    We had a nice early morning walk around Nakkhi Lake. after breakfast we checked out of Hotel and went to Dilwara Temples.

    There is a good Tibetan Market in Mount Abu for shopping freaks. in the afternoon, we were on our back to Ahmedabad with the sense of rejuvenation.

    We had lunch at Palanpur, place called Sankalp, which is known for its south Indian food. WE reached ahmedabad in evening and ready for the routine on next day.

    That's all for now.