After the exciting ride from Delhi to Himachal Pradesh, The Solo Rider now travels from Delhi to Kutch region of Gujarat state in India . As before, there are no pre-booked hotels, only a tentative route researched and some tips from various online & offline sources. Read the adventurous solo bike road trip by ‘The Solo Rider’ from Delhi to Kutch.
Another leave and this time I planned a short-n-swift ride to the Kutch from Delhi to celebrate my 31st birthday. This time (unlike my earlier ride to Himachal), I did a bit of research from my group ROKRS (Rann Of Kutch Riders) latest ride, Lonely Planet guide and my friend Mohnish. But no prior reservations at any place. Route as per Eicher maps & Google and places to stay as per distance covered in day.
Summary of the trip: Kilometers ridden – 3764; Days – 9.
Day 1:- Early morning start at 0700 hrs from Lodhi Road. Day 1 target was Chittorgarh. The road was empty till Manesar, a bit jammed ahead, and then was a smooth ride ahead. The roads are good in Rajasthan but in Haryana through NH-8 still some patches under construction so many diversions. Food and rest on roadside dhabas. Reached Chittorgargh at 1900 hrs, 610 Kms. Night stay at RTDC Hotel Panna.
Day 2:- Got up early and started at 0700 hrs. Morning ride in Rajasthan was worth the effort. Crossed Udaipur and Mt Abu by 1000 hrs. Target was Palasar or Chitrod in Gujrat. The roads are amazingly smooth in Gujrat. I had reached Chitrod by 1600 hrs. Much of daylight was left. Change of target, now Bhuj. The roads were good till Bharauch, then the road is very bad on the by-pass which was under construction. Reached Bhuj by 1900 hrs, 660 kms covered. Checked into Lonely Planet guide, homed in for Hotel City Guest House, the backpacker’s den.
Day 3, 4, 5:- Covered Bhuj, East Kutch and West Kutch. Rode to Mandhvi beach, Vijay Vilas Palace, Mundra, Lakhpat Fort, Koteshwar Mahadev Temple, Narayan Sarovar, Hajipir Dargah. Roamed aimlessly in Bhuj covering Darbargarh, Kutch Museum. Places to dine in Bhuj are limited. Non-veg delights can be enjoyed at Noorani Mahal, Farzana. If a vegetarian, go for a thali at Green Chili’s. Small dining halls and road side truck driver’s Bhojanalays can also explored but at own tummy’s risk.
Day 6:- Checked out from Bhuj. Target Dholavira through Rann. Rode to Kalo Dungar (Highest point in Rann of Kutch), India Bridge (Couldn’t go ahead as I forgot to obtain pass last day at Bhuj roaming aimlessly). Tried to cross the Rann but the road was under salt water and sand due to heavy rains of previous years. Change of plans, White Rann and Hodko village. Preparation of Rannotsav were underway as was visible due to movement of heavy trucks on the route to White Rann. On the way is the small village, Hodko. As per Lonely Planet,homestay in Bongas (local conical mud houses) were starting at Rs 2500. I found even cheaper. I took a left turn inside the village and found an amazing homestay, Hodko Zeel. I had a wonderful stay at Hodko Zeel and highly recommend it in Rann (will write in detail in a separate post why!!).
Day 7:- Bid adieu to the family at Hodko Zeel early morning with stomach full of homemade paranthas. Target was Dholavira. Enroute to Bhuj, the motorcycle developed a snag. Still carried on till Bhuj. 3 hrs wasted there to identify the problem. Engine oil had dried up and piston rings had worn due to that. But a Royal Enfield is one of its own kind. The mechanic told to carry on with it till Delhi since I had less time left for travel. So with minor repairs and some spare engine oil, remaining part of the journey began. Reached Dholavira at 1800 hrs. Few guest houses are there, but don’t go for Toran, it’s in pretty bad state not been repaired by the owners, the Gujrat Govt. Instead I found a joint venture guest house operated by the villagers, the local panchayat and the civil administration under the aegis of forest dept. A nice model which can be followed and be successful benefitting all.
Day 8:- Morning was a tryst with history. Dholovira is latest of the Harappan civilization discoveries. We are a smart race, had always been. The ruined city shows an extensive water purification system and storage system with business houses. A must visit for anyone going to Kutch. An hour in the ruins was less but had to start back for home. Target was Ajmer. The condition of bike permitted till Sirohi in Rajasthan. Stayed at a roadside guest house on the highway.
Day 9:- It’s my birthday. So had to reach Delhi today. Started early morning at 0530 hrs. Maintained constant speed with eroded pistons at their extreme to help me reach home. My Royal Enfield gave its best today. 765 kms in 11 hrs. Rode straight to service center in Delhi and finished another great odyssey, safe and sound. Cake was awaiting for my 31st birthday (bought by my loving brother-in-law). Yeah I have done it on my birthday.