In April 2011, we embarked on our first “long drive” from Bombay to Goa. In May 2012, we once again attempted the same trip, this time older and wiser. Then, came some months of back trouble, which reached such a low that I did not think I would drive again. However, having made a full recovery this year, high on the agenda was a drive to Udaipur…
I was told by friends who had done it before that the Bombay to Udaipur journey is longer than Goa (approx. 800 kms each way, instead of about 650 kms), but easier to do. In any case, we decided to make the most of the road trip, and not stress about reaching Udaipur before sun down. So we planned a halt at Vadodara, both ways.
That turned out to be a good decision since Vadodara is a nice, clean city that resides roughly halfway to Udaipur. You also have the option of breaking journey at Ahmedabad, which is roughly an hour’s drive further north from Vadodara.
Here is the log from our trip… Bear in mind that, depending on your starting point, milestones may vary by 3-4 kms. Also, our goal was to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Therefore, these logs will reflect that attitude in the stops we made.
- Departure @ 6.10 am from Powai, Odo set to 0 kms
- Stopped at Kamat’s @ 76kms, 7.45 am for breakfast (30 mins)
- Other milestones: McDonald’s @ 162 kms, Hotel Tulsi @ 171 kms
- Sugar and Spice food plaza @ 198 kms with clean loos
- Other milestones: Sugar and Spice @ 243 kms, McDonald’s @ 262 kms
- Stopped at Hotel Swagat for lunch @ 276 kms, 1.30 pm (45 mins)
- Arrived at Vadodara around 3.30 pm, 410 kms
- Started next morning at 8.15 am, towards Udaipur!
- Breakfast stop (30 mins), 10.30 am at the start of Ring Road (Many hotels and loos)
- Stopped at the Vintage Car Museum (1 hour) @ 519 kms
- Stopped at Hotel Landmark for lunch at 2pm (Bad loo) @ 175 km before Udaipur i.e. 587 kms from Mumbai
- Multiple petrol pumps seen soon after crossing the Rajasthan border @ 648 kms
- Reached Udaipur at 850 kms, 6 pm
On the whole, the roads were smooth and the drive was pleasurable. The journey on the way back was somewhat less eventful…
- Departure from Udaipur at 6.20 am, Odo set to 0 kms
- Stopped for breakfast at Hotel Aashirvad, 103 kms, 7.45 am
- Other milestones: Hotel Ashish @ 122 kms (bigger and better), Hotel Asopalav @ 138 kms (biggest!)
- At 10 am @ approx. 32 kms before Ahmedabad, we took a detour via Gandhinagar, to visit the Sabarmati Ashram
- Stopped at the Ashram @ 257 kms
- Joined the Ahmedabad expressway again @ 270 kms, at 12 pm
- At 349 kms, 12.50 stopped at a sad food court about 15 kms from Vadodara to fill fuel and reached the city soon after
- Departed next morning at 7.10 am, 385 kms
- Breakfast stop (30 min) at 9.05 am at a big food court with nice loos, CCD, etc. @ 507 kms
- Also, Sugar and Spice @ 560 kms, and a big Kamat’s @ 637 kms
- Stopped at 12.20 pm at Hotel Ahura (45 mins) for awesome Parsi food @ 691 kms (on opp. side of the road)
- Reached home (Powai) at 3.10 pm with 810 kms on the odo
The stretch from Udaipur to Vadodara was even better, since the detour via Gandhinagar meant that we bypass the only stretch that has two-way traffic. Driving through Gandhinagar was also an experience worth doing!
A common lament across all my road journeys remains the woefully inadequate facilities we have across the country, when it comes to washrooms and clean water.
A new phenomenon we encountered during our Ahmedabad to Udaipur to Ahmedabad stretch is spotting a number of vehicles that looked clearly ‘lived-in’, and carrying multiple passengers, but without any license plates! So watch out in case you get into an accident with one such dubious vehicle.