The route to Jodhpur had two options, either the National Highway through Pali or take a shorter one through Bar-Bilara. People recommended that I take the shorter one, wasn’t so sure but opted for the shorter one.
This route takes one through NH ( National Highway ) 25. I started off early morning on the 16th of Jan, 2019. The four lane highway made for some good riding and I remember pumping up the speed to gain on time.
At a highway roadside dhaba/restaurant
The route soon took an upward ascent with hilly terrain and here is where I had my first major bike breakdown. That has been mentioned in my blog — ‘Vote of Thanks’.
My first major bike breakdown happened about 200 meters from this spot, just beyond the hill passage
The bike repair and luggage re-strapping took about 2-3 hours, and there were some steep inclines on the way. I left the highway and turned towards Bar, a small and congested town. The sun was setting in and with few options I decided to lodge up in a trucker stop, popularly known as a dhaba here. They offer food and a sleeping cot, you have to make do with whatever bedding or clothes that you have. The night was cold and I started off early in the morning, 17th Jan, heading for Jodhpur.
The dhaba outside Bar, where I had put up for the night
The start was not so good, four lane work was in progress all along the highway, with some rough patches in between. Due to road construction, half of the road was effectively closed off. This meant that I had to negotiate with the high speed two way traffic on roads that were only 10-15 feet wide in some patches.
Four lane construction on the road, the elevated cemented tracks run only for a few hundred meters, trailing into dirt patches as the construction is yet to be completed
The approach to Jodhpur turned out to be tougher with high speed traffic and a lot of heavy vehicle movement. The only incentive in visiting Jodhpur as far as I was concerned was the fact that they were reputed to have a good bicycle market. The city was another level as far as traffic goes. The traffic was very chaotic and hazardous to say the least. My hotel, Marudhar, was right next to the Jodhpur Clock Tower and the bicycle market. The hotel staff were also very cooperative when it came to helping me with tourist landmarks and would carry my bike in to their reception area for the night. I had booked a two night stay in Jodhpur i.e. from 17th to 19th Jan, 2019.
The Jodhpur bike market was congested and not very helpful, as far as repair work goes. But, they did have a chain tool to join chain links and that was the only purchase I made there. The impression that I got was that they had all the goods but did not have experienced mechanics to fine tune or repair bike gears. The next day i.e. 18th of Jan was spent in touring Jodhpur and it’s historical fort.
Early morning breakfast point in Jodhpur, next to the Clock Tower
A view of Jodhpur from the Mehrangarh fort
Canon overlooking Jodhpur, from the Mehrangarh fort ramparts
The fort is a must see for any one visiting Jodhpur. It houses an elaborate museum. The approach to the fort is steep if one walks to it. I spent the rest of the day sampling some culinary delights in Jodhpur and confirmed the route to Jaisalmer from my hotel staff, and then went to sleep early.
Next, the final bike trek from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer, the desert border town of Rajasthan. Don’t miss this one !