Exploring the Cultural Heritage of Rajasthan - A Ride from Jaipur to Mandawa
Modified On Dec 8, 2015 By Pradeep Shah
Team BikeDekho recently made their way on an amazing road trip to a heritage rich city - Mandawa. Eight bikers with four machines went through open stretches, tricky twists and narrow lanes to celebrate the spirit of motorcycling and to gain an all-new biking experience. The idea of a proper road trip was just a thought until one fine day, we finally decided to give it a shot. The endless discussion regarding the destination started until someone popped out the name Mandawa and out of curiosity, the whole team googled it out. The place impressed almost everyone at the very first instant due to its majestic Havelis and the breathtaking scenic views it offers.
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Without any delay, the team kick started their journey on the next day and came back with a lot of memories and even more experiences.
Here’s what we have to say about the trip.
-The Place and its Geographical Location:
The town Mandawa is situated 190 kms North of Jaipur. Located in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, Mandawa is a part of Shekhawati region and lies between latitude 28° 06’ in north and longitude 75° 20’ in east, if we talk pure geographically. The place is famous for its Forts and Havelis and is known as the largest Heritage Village in the country. The City has a good road connectivity and is linked well with the nearby and important places. However, there is no direct train to Mandawa. The nearest airport is Jaipur International Airport. Also featured in various Bollywood movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and PK, Mandawa will definitely give you that peace of mind if you are living in the hustle and bustle of a typical concrete jungle.
-Planning and Selection of Bikes:
After the place was decided, the topic of discussion shifted to the selection of bikes that would be our companions for the journey. At first, it seemed that the idea of doing a 400kms long journey on less than 150cc bike would be really bad. But a colleague, who has been to this place numerous times before was confident enough to take his Pulsar 135 for the trip. So, the plan finalised with a Pulsar 135 and three 150ccs. The other three machines were the sporty Yamaha R15, Lord of the Streets Yamaha FZ-16 and a sturdy Honda CBR 150R.
After our weapons were finalised, now it was the time to finally kick start what we were willing to do since so many days. The boys shrugged their shoulders, packed their bags and the trip was scheduled to be flagged-off early morning the next day.
-Flag-Off with the Sunrise:
The riders gathered at Alka Theatre at 7:30 in the morning. Situated on the Sikar road, the starting point fortunately had a tea shop that gave all the members their required dose of warmth and energy. After having tea, the team geared up on their machines and the trip finally commenced at 8am. After passing a few kilometres, the open Jaipur-Sikar Expressway welcomed us with a flat surface. The team took its first stop just after crossing the Thatiyawas Toll Plaza and the riders with their bikes posed for pictures.
The ride became even more pleasing with the morning breeze kissing us and the sunrays lightning up the tarmac and surroundings pretty well. Soon after absorbing the excitement of road trip, the fleet decided to gain speed considering the math we had calculated to reach the destination. Maintaining a speed of 65kmph to 80kmph, the team covered a distance of around 70kms in a decent one hour. We had our breakfast on a roadside Dhaba where the second photo shoot for the trip also went alongside. Soon after having breakfast and tea, we guys again started the trip and we were pretty sure to reach Mandawa by around 1pm. The Ringus-Sikar highway is also a nice flat stretch and we cruised down the surface with the same pace as before.
We parted with the highway soon after a point where we had to take a right turn to proceed on the Jhunjhunu road. This was the time when our riding skills were put to test as the single lane road was full of twists and turns. Moreover, after passing a few kilometres, we reached Nawalgarh where we took another quick stop to regain energy. Soon after, the ride started again with the excitement of exploring a new place in our thoughts already.
Just after zipping through some more kilometres, a milestone with “Mandawa 14” written on it grabbed our attention. Overjoyed by the thought of reaching the place soon, Team BikeDekho stepped down from their machines and posed for another picture. The road to Mandawa is towards the left hand side from the Jhunjhunu road, on a path that resembles the village roads seen in various movies. Presence of a couple of luxury hotels that we passed further confirmed that the town has surely a good historic importance with a decent number of tourists visiting the place.
-And the City of Havelis Greeted us with Warmth:
The City of Mandawa came across as more beautiful than what we expected. The small shops and markets with a decent crowd gave the feeling of a typical Indian town. On passing through a couple of historic gates, we finally reached where our stay was already finalised. The clock showed 1pm when we hit our destination, reaching in 5 hours (and that was pretty good if you ask me). The Singhasan Haveli Hotel was the place and as the name suggests, the haveli was transformed into a hotel very beautifully. On entering the building, the first thing we noticed were the attractive and eye-catchy paintings with which the whole area was immersed in.
With the curiosity to get a view of the town, we approached the terrace and the place didn’t disappointed us even by a small fraction. It seemed that Mandawa used to be a place of Havelis and royal families as there were a lot of such monuments and buildings with hardly any urban touch. Indeed the prime heritage village in the nation, the place was utterly serene despite having a decent amount of population.
-The Town and Our Stay:
Mandawa came across as any other happening town you have ever seen in Bollywood movies. But this place had an extra touch of heritage to it. The markets were crowded and you will see a number of foreigners while going through the streets. After going a few kilometers, you will notice that every building now and then looked like a monument from the past.
After settling ourselves in the hotel rooms, we proceeded to the nearby restaurant to fill our starving tummies. And as expected, just like the hotel rooms, the restaurant also seemed a lot familiar with the past and was built that way to attract the visitors. After having food, we headed back to the hotel. While some decided to explore the city, and I was luckily on the explorer’s side. Moving as a pedestrian is the best way to go through the city, soon we realized. Two or three heavily decorated auto rickshaws grabbed our attention that reminded us of the silver screen even more. After taking a stroll in the city, we headed back to our hotel and were all set to leave in a few minutes.
-Returning back Home:
We decided to hit the highway before sunset as the single lane road leading to the expressway was deprived of proper lights. Keeping this in mind, the team left the Hotel at 5 in the evening and soon we were back on tarmac with our machines. After a mere 20-25 minute ride, the surroundings began to dim due to which the beasts had to open their predatory eyes. The ride back became a bit tough due to the high-beam headlights of incoming vehicles that were flashing right into the eyes.
Once we were back on highway, the bikes picked up speed and were again tasting the pace beyond 80kmph. The team took a halt two times for the tea and as expected, we were back in our city by 10pm, at the same place from where the trip was commenced in the morning. Exhausted by the long tiring day but equally contented by the 350kms long journey, the team mates separated saying Goodbyes and took with them some precious moments that would last for a lifetime.