Monsoon drive RajasthanWeekend road trip to Jaipur from DelhiTotal No of days - 2Dated - July 2019
Behind the wheel & ContributorVinod Kumar...know more about me
Monsoon drive Rajasthan
Jaipur is always a treat to visit, with a theme to explore during each visit. be it a trip to viist just the grand forts, or a trip to the pristine lakes, or a short stay at the luxurious hotels here, a foodie trip, and more each. This July end a group of like minded Ghumities plan to visit Jaipur during the monsoon, with the IMD predicting sure shot rains.
We start early, on a Saturday morning, the rains were there to greet us throughout. Water logging and spells of showers made the drive quite beautiful. While the rains transform the landscape and brought down the temperature a bit, we reached our first destination Siliserh lake which is 156 kms away. How can I not mention the Pyaj kachoris and dhokla we had for breakfast in Alwar. By 10:30 we reached Siliserh, which was surprisingly already crowded with local tourists. The lake was muddy, and parking is totally haphazard, the sorrounding buzzing with vendors selling boiled corn to pakoras.
drive to Siliserh
The lake is actually 7 kms long and is a natural one nestled in the aravalli ranges. Around 13kms from Alwar city, its a good picnic spot. There is a entry ticket of Rs 100 per person to the The LAKE PALACE HOTEL SILISERH is located just beside the lake, which was once a hunting lodge built by Maharaj Vinay Singh, now run by the Rajasthan tourism. Boating can be done and winters would be the better time to spot migratory birds or turtles or sun bathing crocodiles.
At Siliserh lake
The next drive was to Chand Baori (moon well) which is around 80kms, the rains had taken leave for the time being and so the humid and hot weather greeted us at these parts. Roads were at the best, and traffic was lesser.
Chand bawri or baori is an architectural marvel. Its 64 feet deep, it is India's largest and deepest stepwells with 13 floors and 3,500 narrow steps and was built in the 9th century for water harvesting.
This stepwell is a beauty compared to the others in the state, with a maze of steps in perfect architectural symmetry. The bottom was a square pond of algae water with a turtle basking the sun. Its a pity that the steps are no more accessible to visitors as it is cauldroned by iron gates. The steps on three sides flank the northern wall which looks like palace, with balconies, rooms and temples, something ought to be tastefully done for the royalty. Again this part is closed too, so all you get to do is stand beside the railings and adjust your photographic angles to get some good shots.
Some damaged statues and reliefs are kept on display, for some entry is barred, while the stong stench of pigeons and bats would not make one step into the small, dark rooms in the courtyard.
Adjoining the baori is the beautiful Harshat Mata temple built in 7th-8th centuries, but was destroyed and damaged by Mahmud Ghazni. Many of its pillars, columns, statues now lie scattered in the temple courtyard and in the corridors of the structure. The temple was dedicated to Harshat Mata, believed to be the goddess of happiness and joy, who spread her glow and brightness (abha) around the town.
By 4pm we were at Jaipur, rest followed by dinner at Handi. Veg food was a let down, while junglee maas was a favourite. Deserts at Jal mahal Ice cream parlour was awesome.
Early morning some friends take a drive around Jaipur.
After breakfast we start back home, enroute Sambar lake. The route was flooded, and morning was clear as we drive through the interiors of Jobner and Phulera. Roads are good with less traffic and by 1:45 we reach Sambhar town.
The vast expanse of the lake was not the white salt as we saw in our earlier visits but was enbanked and filled with water. So drive through to the Shakaumbari mata temple was impossibe as we had planned to. Spent some time, here clicked pics, saw the trains roll past and had lunch at a small dhaba in Sambar.
Our drive back was eventful as it had been raining in Jaipur, the roads were puddles of water and heavy rains greeted us in the stretch. So truly it was a great monsoon drive.