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About acevoyager

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  1. Cool..Happy that you like Ranthambhore so much..I also liked it... Were you lucky enough to get a glimpse of any of the bigger predators???I couldn't.... Thanks,
  2. JAISALMER(3rd October’14): Our day started at 6:30am. We headed towards the Jaisalmer Fort’s top to enjoy an early sunrise. The view from the top of the fort was breathtaking and it was then I realised as to why Jaisalmer is called the “Golden City”. When the first rays of the morning sun fell on the sandstone city, the whole city appeared to be sparkling. The mesmerizing sunrise: After coming back from our morning hike, keeping in mind the soaring temperatures, we decided to take a plunge in the hotel’s swimming pool. The experience was beyond perfect. The cool, clean water provided the much-needed relaxation in the midst of the desert. Finally, by 10:30am we were all packed and ready to proceed for our upcoming journey. Our next stop was the Tanot Mata Mandir after which we would be proceeding to the Sam Sand Dunes for our desert camping. The journey to the Mata Mandir was a delightful desert safari in itself!! The sandy landscape was nothing like I had ever seen before. Some clicks on the way: As far as you could see, there was golden sand spread on the horizon. By 1:00pm, we reached the Mata Mandir. The moment we opened the door we could feel the temperatures outside. It was literally burning!! The Mata Mandir was flooded with devotees and the atmosphere there was quite auspicious. The Mata Mandir and the Tanot Victory Pillar: The Tanot Mata Mandir is not only a very pious place but during war when everything in the area was destroyed this was the only standing structure left!!! By, 2:00pm we left the mandir and were on the way to the desert camp. The camp suggests that visitors drop in by 5:00pm keeping in view the heat and given the fact that the camp is in the middle of the desert, reaching there by the evening was a safer bet. We had started our journey to the Sam sand dunes and we were extremely hungry. The worst thing was that there was hardly any hotel or restaurant in the way. It was just a huge stretch of sand as far as the eyes could take!! After hopelessly looking for hotel on the way, we finally gave up on it and decided to wait for some more time and have food in Jaisalmer, as we would be touch basing the city then . That was our safest bet! We had an almost silent journey back to the Jaisalmer City. I had never been so happy to see food in a log time. We ordered for the thali and had quite a content lunch. After the successful refueling, by, 4:00pm we headed off towards the Sam SandDunes. There were lots of desert camps that we encountered on the way. Our’s i.e the “Prince Desert Camp” was the farthest and was located comparatively on the inside. We checked in by 4:30pm into the camp and proceeded towards our tent. The tent was pretty spacious from inside, had an attached washroom and a sitting area. Furnishing wise it was pretty basic with only the necessary facilities in place. It was almost 5:00pm in the evening and the temperature was still soaring high. The camel rides had already started and we also proceeded for our ride. The camel ride proved to be more thrilling than what I was expecting it to be. Just a small tip here is that, it’s actually necessary to be quite careful while sitting on the camel as i have heard tales of people who ended up breaking their legs as a result of falling from the back of the camel since they were not properly perched there..!! After a bumpy camel ride of 15 minutes we reached the sand dunes and we got the perfect treat for our eyes there. The dunes were gigantic and it felt as if we had landed in the sea of sand!! The sand dunes! By, 6:45pm, after witnessing the most beautiful sunset, we headed back to our camp. The camp was all set for the dinner. With the night setting in the temperature had started moderating and in another half and hour we were experiencing the comparatively cooler and extremely pleasant desert night!! The desert folk songs merrily reverberating in our ears and the perfect crescent moon brightly shining above our head had set a perfect atmosphere for dinner. Frankly telling, the culturals and the dinner was purely average but the ambiance that nature had set up in the night was truly top-notch!! I kept on staring at the beautiful clear night sky and still could not get enough of it..! By 10:30pm, we were done with dinner and dance and we proceed to engage ourselves in a quiet siesta!!
  3. I was about to post the rest of my journey here, when I was reminded of a small incident that happened near the Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur. We had just reached the lake and had stepped out of our car for taking some photos. There was this middle aged man standing there with a Rajasthani turban on his head. His white uniform and a tourist vehicle parked nearby gave an idea that he was a chauffeur who was waiting for his passengers who had gone sight-seeing like us. He smiled, and offered to take a photo of us. After the photo, he asked our whereabouts. He asked – “Kaha se padhare ho aap log??“, meaning where did we come from. We replied that we come from Bangalore. Then he looked at our Amaze and looked back at us and asked-“car se????” I noticed the disbelief in his eyes. I understood he never believed us. He walked down to our car and checked the number plate and after satisfying himself with the “KA” initials in the number plate came back to us and replied – “ye mein kabhi nahi kar sakta!!!”.(meaning- I can never do it.) Funny, but it was then I realized that we had come a long way from home in our Amaze!!
  4. Hey vikky1971, Thanks for bringing this up. We were aware about this but we havent done anything about it for now but, since you mentioned this issue took a look at some threads going on related to this. If I am correct you have also implemented some DIY for this issue in your Amaze, read that, nicely done. Thanks,
  5. Sure, PH... Here is my Amaze Gallery.. Desert view: Hill View: Lake View:
  6. JAISALMER(2nd October’14): The Golden City “Sea of golden sand, The very mighty sandstone land, ….we salute your chivalry so tall you stand…” OVERVIEW: Distance: 307 (Kms ) Hotel: Hotel RanaVilla Opp. SBI Bank, Dibba Para, Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer, India 345001 Map: We had a late start from Jodhpur at around 10:30am, after having a relaxed and heavy breakfast in the hotel. The journey was pretty seamless and finally we could get a glimpse of the desert. As we neared Jaisalmer the landscape had changed drastically, the green grass was slowly converting to thorny bushes. We could feel the temperature soaring high. The concrete houses slowly were transforming to sandstone houses. Occasionally, we could see the herd of camels passing by. Our plan was to stay in Jaisalmer the first day and visit the Jaisalmer fort and then proceed towards the desert camp the next day. We were perfectly on schedule and by 2:30 pm we reached our hotel. Yeah, I know, ‘Hotel RanaVilla with swimming pool’ sounded amusing to us as well in the first instance.. , but we had an awesome time taking chilling out in the swimming pool in the midst of desert, so, name was well deserved.. In the lunch we ordered for ker sangeri, curry, dal and chapatis. The food was awesome and moreover everything was freshly made and served. Tip: Ker Sangri is a vegetable which is served in many parts of Rajasthan. It has a very peculiar taste and is a must try! After having a satisfying lunch we proceeded towards the Jaisalmer Fort. The fort was at a walkable distance from our hotel. This sandstone structure is huge and stands proudly in the middle of the city. Some parts of the fort are legally occupied by public so inside of the fort appears like a small city in itself. The Jaisalmer Fort: After having a walk in the fort, I was out for a bit of shopping. The street shopping in the Jaisalmer is awesome. The shops near the entrance of the fort selling exquisite textiles and handbags are quite cheap and of pretty good quality. I guess that the shopping in Jaisalmer was much cheaper because the shops are more of tailoring outlets. You could see the craftsmen working there as well. I had a ‘shop till you drop’ experience there. Happy with all the ‘value for money’ shopping that I did I came back to the hotel quite content. Tired by the days activities, we had an early dinner. Lying on bed I could still remember the beautiful sunset we had witnessed from the Jaisalmer Fort and slowly with the portrait of it still in my mind I drifted to sleep.
  7. Hey vikky1971, Thanks Mine is a diesel variant. Luckily, we did not face any issues not even a tyre puncture during our entire journey. Car performed superbly on highways, good and bad roads equally well, never felt out of power.Brakes and Handling was precise as expected. Even during our last leg of 1200 kms - 21 hours, we never felt it ever broke a sweat, always ready to cruise on. It lived up to the trust we had before the start of our journey. The air conditioning needs a special mention. In the hot Jaisalmer afternoon, we were pretty comfortable inside the car while it was hard to even stand for a minute outside the car, although, rear AC vent might have made things better for the back seat passengers. Fuel efficiency was brilliant. We got an average of 22+ Kmpl with 99% AC usage throughout our journey. People do say that the engine is a bit noisy but frankly, I love the roar of engine and in the back of the mind it always reminds me of the power surge that Amaze is capable of!!!
  8. JODHPUR(1st October ’14): "The Blue City" OVERVIEW: Distance: 262 Kms Hotel: Kiran Vilas 5, Veer Durga Das Nagar, Paota C Road,, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342004 Map: We started off to Jodhpur at 5:30am the next day and decided to take a small diversion towards Ranakpur to visit the famous Jain temple. This pure marble architecture is a very quite and peaceful place to be in. Tip: Please wear full pants if you want to enter the temple(capries and shorts are not allowed). There is a dress code in the temple that is followed there religiously. After witnessing this architectural extravaganza we proceeded on with our journey toward Jodhpur. By 1:00pm we entered Jodhpur. Locating our hotel was not difficult since it was located on the side of one of the main road. The hotel was average with small rooms but the hotel staffs were very friendly and were trying hard to make us feel at home. Here we were joined by another friend of ours and now we were 4 of us in the journey. Since, we only had a day in Jodhpur and we had to cover two activities for today: The sightseeing at the Umaid Bhavan Palace and The ziplining at the Mehrangarh fort(which would close by 5:30pm) so, we had no time to waste and after dumping our luggage in the hotel we proceeded towards the Umaid Bhavan Palace. The Palace is well maintained and has got royal artifacts on display. It also has a vintage cars collection similar to the one in Udaipur. By, 3:00pm we had finished our palace sightseeing and was time for some action!!! We headed for the ziplining next towards the Mehrangarh Fort. The Fort is situated in the busy market area. We had a hard time looking for parking space for our car as it was almost full. Finally, after half and hour of thorough search we got a parking space. The fort was almost 1 km from there so took an auto to drop us at the entrance. After that we had a steep climb of almost half an hour to reach the actual entrance of the fort. We were sweating from head to toe and were seriously out of breath when we finally reached the entrance and to our dismay we then saw the parking slots for cars just at the main entrance of the fort. We ran all the way and somehow made it to the flying fox office and got ourselves registered for the ziplining. The ziplining happens in a badge of 10-15 people at a time who are accompanied by two trainers. There are 6 zips in total all of varying lengths and it’s quite thrilling, a MUST try!! Tip: We relaized this after climbing up the fort but there is car parking space just outside the fort entrance and there was no need to walk all the way up the fort from the market area. zip lining: Feeling accomplished, after the successful completion of the zip lining we proceeded towards the hotel to get the much needed rest. Sunset by The Blue City: For a comparatively non-adventure seeking person like me, completing this zip lining was like a pure accomplishment which I can never stop boasting about.. !!
  9. UDAIPUR(30th September'14): We woke up by 8:00am the next day in Udaipur and after the usual round of a visit to the rooftop and staring at the beautiful lake routine we realised that we didn't have any itinerary planned for the day. We started off with itinerary planning but after the numerous diversions in the topic of discussions we realised that it was already 11:30pm so we decided quickly to go on with the plan to visit the Monsoon Palace. By 12:00pm we were all driving towards the monsoon palace.It's a hilly drive of almost 45mins from the city. This palace was the monsoon gateway of the then royal family. For now, it lies almost deserted and almost in ruins. It is not so well maintained but if you are looking for some quiet time away from the swarming city crowd this is a place to be. Also, the view of the city is awesome from the hill-top on which its situated. The Monsoon Palace: It was 1:30pm by the time we came from the Monsoon Palace. We were looking for a descent place to have dinner and we stumbled across the Fateh Sagar Lake. Its a huge water body and seemed relatively lass crowded. The lake was clean and stretched wide across the horizon. We decided to halt in a nearby lake facing restaurant for lunch. The view from the restaurant was astounding. The food of the restaurant was also quite fresh and sumptuous . After finishing the satisfying lunch and beholding the awesome view we had to reluctantly move as our lunch was done. It was still around 3:00pm so we had some time left and we decided to quickly cover the 'Haldighati Maharana Pratap Museum and Chetak Samadhi'. We quickly took a round of the place and by then decided to call it a day at least till evening. This place showcases the gallantry of the Maharana and his horse 'Chetak'. Maharana Pratap on Chetak: We reached hotel by 4:30pm and since we had some more time before the 'Bagore ki Haveli Dance' we took some rest. By 6:30 pm we were all set to enjoy the dance performance by the artisans of the Haveli. The colourful dance performance was a true extravaganza and a real treat to the eyes. The one hour show included a seek-peek into all the major dance forms of Rajasthan and also a puppet show. Truly worth a watch and highly recommended. After witnessing the heart throbbing show we bid-adieu to the extremely talented artisans. The city streets had been completely transformed by then again and was ready for Garba. since, this was my last day in Udaipur, I decided to try out my luck in shopping and there are a couple of rules for street shopping which I think you already know, but I will still iterate: Rule 1: Bargain Rule 2: Bargain harder... I tried my best to haggle on the prices of some of the stuffs and ended up buying couple of stuffs..just to know subsequently, that even after putting so much effort in haggling I had not done a very good job.. ..But on other note, the Rajasthani fabrics and traditional paintings are of top-notch quality and most of them are handmade by artisans. They are obviously worth a look. At around 9:00pm, when we were somewhat tired by our ongoing shopping spree and started looking for dinner outlets. We wanted to have authentic 'Rajasthani Thali'. This actually came as a shock that none of the restaurants on that lane were serving the Rajasthani thali, instead they had the Punjabi Thali on their menu. After some more time of futile search we went ahead with the available option which was well prepared and had a nice savory taste. With the colourful memories of Udaipur lingering in our hearts we were all set for our next destination 'Jodhpur'. Things covered in Udaipur sightseeing: Tour de City Palace Boat ride to the Jag Mahal Crystal Gallery The Vintage cars Gallery Evening Light and sound show in the City Palace Monsoon Palace Haldighati Maharana Pratap Museum and Chetak Samadhi' Bagore ki Haveli dance show
  10. After enjoying the sumptuous lunch we proceeded on with our sight-seeing The Crystal Gallery: After being extremely satisfied with the food we moved on towards the City Palace campus to visit the Crystal Gallery. The Crystal Gallery really lives up to its name and the section includes a crystal dining set, crystal bed, crystal chair, and all possible furniture that you can think of made of crystal!! Photography of the main section is prohibited. There was a huge ballroom below that was open for photography. The main attraction was the enormous, exotic chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. It was a sight in itself!! The Vintage Car Collection: Now was the time to experience the last attraction ‘The Vintage Car Collection’. This car museum has around 10-15 vintage cars. Some of the cars are still used in the royal parade. The cars are well maintained. This gallery is located at a distance of aprox 2kms from the City Palace. There are autos plying there regularly for 50 bucks. It was approximately 4:30pm in the evening when the day’s itinerary was over. We also made a plan to attend the ‘Light and Sound Show’ in the City Palace that day which is scheduled everyday between 7:00pm to 8:00pm. So, we had a window of two and a half hours in which we decided to take a quick siesta and headed for our hotel.. . We woke up around 6:30pm, had quick evening tea and hurried over to the City Palace for the light and sound show. This grand show is screened in the space in front of the City Palace . It showcases the grandeur of Udaipur across generations and ages. A very educational show if you are interested to know the history of Udaipur. After taking a trip to the enchanting history of the City Palace we came out of the premises to find the city bubbling with Navratra festivities. The whole city was lighted up and the Garba had started. We roamed around the streets for a while and after having dinner retired for the day.
  11. Hey PH, The best one I would say that we went to was 'Raaj Bagh Restaurant'. Its situated near the fateh sagar lake and the view is awesome from there. The food was also great. It was not very expensive(we spent around 900-1000 for three people and had a good lunch). Try to take the seat outside in one of the tents. The view is awesome from there!!! I am sure it makes for a nice dinner place as well. About local food-We stayed near the Pichola Lake are there you can find lots of small places serving Rajasthani/Punjabi food. There will be local vendors selling sweets and local delecacies as well. I actually didn't get time to try anything further but I am pretty sure there are better places as well. So, if some reading the thread knows about some other good place in Udaipur please suggest it to PH.. Also, somethings that I really liked were..ker sangri(Its a vegetable; tried it in Jaisalmer: but I am sure its available throughout Rajasthan). Very different taste and good to have and of course you have the 'gatte ki sabzi' and 'kadi' that are almost always good there. Hope its helpful.
  12. Tip:The City Palace is one of the biggest and most well maintained palaces in Rajasthan and is an absolutely must visit. I have heard that the palace gets quite crowded in the peak season with long queues in the ticket counters but still I would say that its worth a visit. Next, we set sail for the Jag Mandir. It's a palace converted into a hotel. The boat ride is approximately 30-40 minutes long and its a nice experience drifting quietly along the serene Pichola waters. The Jag Mandir boat ride: By the time we came back to the Lake Palace it was 2:00pm already and the three of us were in real need a lunch break. We stepped out of the premises of the City Palace and found a lot of hotels on the road sides. We stepped into one of it and ordered for a vegetarian Rajasthani meal.