A journey on wheels from Delhi to Kanyakumari… A 7000 km drive, from Delhi- Pushkar- Ajmer- Ahmedabad- Mumbai- Hubli- Bangalore- Madurai- Kanyakumari- Rameshwaram and then back again from Rameshwaram- Bangalore- Pune- Mumbai- Ahmedabad- Udaipur- Chittorgarh-Ajmer- Delhi. And we couldn’t have done it without our good old FORD FIGO.
“Well, a journey has always been symbolised for me as the one which travels within you and starts from a point, till you reach a destination.”
But yes we live in the world which has geographical boundaries. So, it all started on 29th Nov 2015 when this super thrilling and maverick thought popped out from my husband’s (Karan Jaura) mind or should I say, heart because these thoughts generally come out from one’s heart. It was like a day- dream for me and a big YES.
Convincing our parents was a mammoth task. Both of us took an informed decision to drive in Ford FIGO which already had done 76000kms. The car was serviced properly to take us on a roller coaster ride. Roadmaps, stopovers, distance to be covered each day, everything was chalked out. We decided not to drive after dusk and not more than 6-7 hours a day.
Day 01: Delhi- Pushkar- Ajmer
According to our plan, we commenced our journey from Delhi to Ajmer. We were ready to leave at the crack of dawn on 3rd Dec, with the blessings and good wishes of all our family and friends. Our excitement increased with every mile we covered. Leaving Delhi we landed towards Haryana and finally to Rajasthan- the land of vibrant colours, of traditions and a land of rich cultural heritage.
We decided to visit the only temple of Brahma in Pushkar. The place was full of colours and quirky things. Then it was time to visit Durgah. The very notion of Durgah gives you an idea of a place that is calm and serene, but the place mushroomed with all sorts of people. Day one of our trip ended with a lovely dinner and a sound sleep.
Day 02: Ajmer – Ahmadabad
We left our hotel around 6:30 in the morning. It was a lovely morning and both of us were looking forward to eating theplas and dhoklas. Yes! The MODILAND_GAJARAT. The best part of travelling for us was to see the diversity in language, attire, weather, food and of course people. Ahmadabad was almost 9 hours from Ajmer. What a swift highway it was! NH8 is a wonderful highway with mirage view roads.
Our car was gliding at the speed of 100/120. We reached the Gandhi City around 2:30 and were literally super hungry, so landed up at Taj for lunch. Thanks to the hospitable Taj Restaurants team. Then we visited Gandhi Ashram. One can feel the serenity, the sublimity of the barely clad Bapu in the Ashram. in the evening we have had a hearty pure Gujarati food and all thanks to Abhishek (Karan’s friend) for the good food and stay.
Day 03: Ahmadabad to Mumbai
My joy knew no bounds on the very thought of our next destination- Mumbai- the city of dreams. The city of my dreams where I had spent the best time of my life. Life is a celebration for me. Each day of it should be spent thanking the Almighty. We left Ahmadabad at 7:00 am we were witnessing the climatic change, the rising temperatures moving towards the west.
Crossing the major cities of Gujarat – Anand, Vadodara, Surat and then Daman and Diu, we were moving ahead towards the broad highway. And finally, we were to hit Mumbai, where we had to go to Hiranandani- the beautiful part of Mumbai. We reached Powai, my Powai around 5:00 pm after driving for almost
8 hours. For Karan it was a Hercules task, being the loved person at the driving wheel. We stayed there with my friends. Our stay was for a day in Mumbai reason being we wanted to give our all supportive and faithful – FORD FIGO some rest. Reminiscing the time I had spent in Mumbai we took long walks on the streets of Powai.
Next morning Day 04 we woke up late in the morning and went out for lunch and found out there was some problem in our car. We rushed to the nearby Ford Service Centre, but it being a Sunday it was closed. All our planning for the next day was delayed. Day 05 we went to Bhavna Ford Service Centre in Kurla. Some minor parts of the car were to be changed, as it took few hours for the repair we decided to stay in Mumbai for that day.
Day 06: Mumbai – Goa – Hubli
We happily left Mumbai around 7:00 am for our next destination Goa. It is said-“you love nature and it will love you back”. It seemed air, clouds, trees, in fact, every element of nature was singing with us. Karan and I were enjoying every moment of our journey with our little chit chat and sometimes silently.
Now big Palm trees could be seen everywhere. The beauty of nature was mesmerising, it was simply enchanting. Here, we changed our plan of taking a halt in Goa because for it we have had to divert our way and travel 160kms more. We stopped at Hubli. It is the second largest city in Karnataka after Bangalore. We checked into hotel President at 5:00 pm. The day ended with a lovely dinner and a relaxed sleep.
Day 07: Hubli- Bangalore
Our next destination was Bangalore which was a just 4-hour drive from Hubli. We visited a small beautiful Shiva Temple on the banks of Unkal Lake. After a luxurious breakfast, we bid adieu to the city. The weather was lovely. It was drizzling when we reached to Bangalore around 2:00 pm.
I had to meet my soul friend there, we had planned to stay at her place there. So we planned to stay there for a day to get ourselves energised all again. For the rest of the journey, my friend accompanied for Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram.
Day 09: Bangalore – Madurai
We left for Madurai from Bangalore at 6:30 am in the morning. Madurai is at 7 hours drive from Bangalore. What an amazingly beautiful drive it was! Tall coconut trees, lovely weather and mountain range along. We reached Madurai around 2:00 pm, there we checked into a beautiful resort –“Madurai Heritage”.
The same evening we visited the famous “Meenakshi Temple”. It is lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi’s temple situated in an area of 17 acres, famous for its architectural beauty. Thousand of devotees were standing in the quos to get a glimpse of the Lord. The power of Hope, Faith and Devotion could be seen. The day ended with the darshan of Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi.
Day 11: 12th December 2015 , 0800 hours – Madurai – Kanyakumari
The day 11, our milestone Kanyakumari. If there is heaven on earth it is there. The weather was extremely lovely, the sky was overcast with black clouds, long roads, windmills along on both sides of roads. Lush green mountains, wildflowers, there was an element of mystery. We could talk to nature.
We wanted to be one with it. Covering the best part of our country we reached Kanyakumari. Transcending the language barrier we managed to find a hotel near the beach. The plan was to see Vivekanand Rock memorial. We took the ferry with life jackets on and surrounded with water from all the sides. I was reminded of the famous lines of Samuel Taylor “Water Water everywhere and not a drop to drink”.
We could see the beautiful hues of green and blue in the ocean. Reaching the southmost tip of India our hearts were filled with the sense of awe. Karan and I hoisted the Tricolour- the pride of every Indian. Our hearts were filled with gratitude for our motherland.
Day 12: Kanyakumari to Rameshwaram
Our next destination was Rameshwaram which was 4 hours from Kanyakumari. We crossed the famous Pamban Bridge. Sea looked calm and serene. Rameshwaram is one of the Dhams, we went to
a famous Shiva Temple famous for its 22 wells. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama himself build the Shiv Linga before going to Lanka. The best and proudest moment of being in Rameshwaram was visiting Dr. Abdul Kalam’s house.
And now it was the time to head back home. There were mixed emotions in our hearts. On the one hand, we were elated on completing the mission, on the other hand, we were sad that we were going back. But life itself is a journey which never stops. We had the plan to move from Rameshwaram- Bangalore-Pune-Mumbai-Ahmadabad- Udaipur-Chittorgarh- Ajmer-Delhi
Day 13-14: Rameshwaram- Bangalore- Pune
It was 11-hour drive for the complete journey from Rameshwaram to Bangalore. There we planned to take a halt for a day to again reenergize ourselves for the rest of the journey.
Day 15-16: Bangalore – Pune – Mumbai
That was the longest stretch of the whole journey. Karan drove for 13 hours in a single day. We reached Pune at 7:00 pm. The main reason for taking the halt in Pune was to visit NDA (Khadagvasla). We reached NDA around 9:00 am next morning. It was a dream moment for Karan as he always wanted to join armed forces.
It was again a proud moment for us, seeing the discipline and the dedication of our defence services. The very same day we reached Mumbai, thanks to beautifully architected Pune –Mumbai highway. All tired and impatient to reach back home we ended our day in Mumbai.
Day 17: Mumbai- Ahmedabad
Early morning from Mumbai we headed towards Ahmadabad, now the roads and the place seemed to be recognisable to us. Taking a halt in Gandhi city, we were ready for our next destination and were excited as well.
Day 18: Ahmadabad – Udaipur – Chittorgarh
The next destination was Udaipur – The city of lakes, where our parents joined us. The main reason to visit Udaipur was, of course, the beautiful and serene lakes but the main attraction was to visit the palace and museum of Maharana Pratap. After spending complete 1 day in Udaipur we went to Chittorgarh and Haldi Ghatti, the two main places where wars were held.
Day 19 and: Chittorgarh – Ajmer – Pushkar
We took a night Halt in Ajmer and planned to visit the Brahma temple on the 20th day
Day 20: Pushkar- Delhi
The last day of our super thrilled and dream adventurous journey. We again visited the Brahma Temple and thanked the creator of the universe.
The best possible thing that happened with us throughout the journey was that we reached all our destinations before time. All thanks to the nicely constructed roads and of course Ford Figo.
As I said, in the beginning, I would end my travelogue saying “It’s funny how, in the journey of life, even though we begin at different times and places, our paths cross each other’s so that we may share our love, compassion, observations and hope. This is a design of God which I appreciate and cherish.”
As we finally reached our sweet home and I lay down on my bed I could only remember a beautiful quote by Mark Twain “ No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old familiar pillow”.