One of the best things about friends getting married is that you get to travel / visit new places. So this time our friend’s marriage was in Delhi, which gave me and my group of friends a chance to plan a trip to north. So as the title suggests, we planned a trip to Ranthambore, Jaipur, Agra and finally Delhi.
Day 1: We boarded train from Mumbai in evening and reached Kota early morning at around 3:30 AM. And yes, we did not miss-out on “Kota ki Kachori”.
We boarded another train to Sawai Madhopur in couple of hours and reached Sawai Madhopur at around 7:30 AM. Another 30 minutes’ drive in rickshaw and we reached our resort (Tiger Safari Resort). The resort is good but food is highly overpriced. Our schedule was packed so we quickly got fresh and hired a jeep to Ranthambore fort. It is a good enough fort for one time visit, beware of the monkeys though. We were able to see few peacocks, spotted deers, sambar deers, and crocodiles on the way.
Post lunch we headed for the Jungle Safari, which was an open jeep safari. Luckily we got a very good guide who himself was very much interested Flora and Fauna and kept giving us information about the jungle, helping a spotting different animals and so on through-out the safari. Ranthambore being a tiger reserve, obviously all of us were keen to see a glimpse of tiger in the wild. The guide took us right on the top of peak in the jungle (Kudos to the driver here – what a drive it was through the Jungle).
He was continuously looking out for signals (Alarm call) for tiger, asking other safari jeeps as we crossed them but none had come across a tiger. We were almost disappointed and just when the safari was about to end, he heard an alarm call. The driver quickly manoeuvred the gypsy to the desired location, and there it was. Finally we got to see a tiger. We were pretty satisfied with the view we got from around 100 meters away. But our guide was pretty sharp and kind of knew the path the tiger may take. We moved another location and waited there patiently. And the wait paid off. Now the tiger was sitting right in front of us (around 20-30 meters!). To add to it, it got up and walked right past our jeep. This was one moment none of us are ever going to forget. It was surely once in a lifetime moment. All we discussed on the way back was how royal the tiger was!
Day 2: Early morning, we hired a cab to Jaipur. Following are some of the places we saw in Jaipur:
– Jal Mahal (Must see in late evening, looks beautiful when lit up)
– Amer Fort (Huge fort, need at least 4-5 hours to explore)
– Jaivana ( One of the biggest Canon)
Day 3: Now it was time for Agra, so obviously the Taj Mahal. The drive to Agra was beautiful and on the way we visited Buland Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri. Beware of the guides here as they don’t know much. Google provides more info. :D. We had our lunch in Agra – tried Laal Maas at Sai Khandelaa. It was super delicious and made my day but no, something more was in the waiting – Taj Mahal. I never expected to be so beautiful. Now I know why it is such a master piece. For people who think it’s no big deal, you have to visit it atleast once in a life time.
Day 4: Finally we reached Delhi. The wedding was late in the evening so we took the day time to spend some time at the Lotus temple. We lunched at Oh! Calcutta and thankfully one of my friend is a Bengali who ensured I got to try the best Bengali dishes (Non-veg ofcourse :D). Cheers to you Jabu!. And lastly the grand wedding – Cheers to you Amol and Chhavi. Have a lovely life ahead.
This trip was all about the tiger – Akash. Yes, all tigers are named. A trip we will never forget. A special mention to friends; Akash for keeping us entertained throughout the journey with the Mahabharata story 😀 and to Sachin for his awesome Sony Hx50v camera. Good things do come in small packages :P.