Rajasthan - Land of Rajputs!

Rajasthan the land of Rajputs is true to its name with its stunning architectural wonders. The royalty of the Rajputs and their rich heritage is apparent in the majestic forts and imposing palaces. The stories of valor and nobility are sure to leave anyone spellbound.

There is more to this incredible land than the architectural heritage; the wildlife, the sand dunes, precious stones and jewelry, vibrant culture, delectable cuisine and the list goes on. The native people have held on to their roots and can still amaze one by their warm hospitality and respect for the other cultures. It has been our personal experience that our attire or lifestyle never grabbed a single attention or comment from any passerby all through our stay in the state.

Our trip to Rajasthan was going to be one of the most memorable ones with an amalgamation of culture, adventure and relaxation. It was one of the most awaited breaks for us from our busy office life and the long-awaited break for our parents who were set to travel almost after a gap of more than 10 years. Rajasthan trip was a year-end trip for us with our new year celebration planned in Sam sand dunes of Jaisalmer.

We had booked a 7-seater MUV with a driver who would drive us all the way to Rajasthan from Mumbai and back. The places that fell on our list were Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Ranthambore and Pushkar.

Our plan was to start from Udaipur but as Mumbai to Udaipur would have been a very long and hectic journey in a single stretch we decided to halt at Mount Abu. We started from Mumbai on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad road and reached Mount Abu late night and cuddled up into our beds for a good nights rest.

Next morning we had our breakfast on the terrace of the hotel, which had a stunning view of the Nakki Lake. It was a lovely morning with a cool refreshing breeze blowing in our faces.

We spent some time watching the slowly moving tiny boats and the rising air balloons in the distant serene lake.

After our breakfast, we checked out of our hotel and set out to do some sightseeing of the only hill station in Rajasthan before leaving for our next destination that was Udaipur.

We visited the Angora rabbit farm where we had a chance to hold the rabbits and feel their cottony soft fur. 

The man then guided us through the owner’s house where they showed us through a variety of wool products shawls, stoles and caps. We bought some couple of shawls and left from there to visit the Brahma Kumaris Ashram.

The visit to Brahma Kumaris Ashram was at our elder's behest. Our elders got occupied with one of the administrative persons who were explaining about the courses in meditation and spiritual knowledge. We spent some time in the tranquil and spiritual atmosphere of the ashram.

We next visited the magnificent Eklingji temple on the way to Udaipur. It is a beautiful complex of temples with pyramidal style roof. The temple has a four-faced idol of Eklingji (Lord Shiva) that is made out of black marble with a silver image of Nandi in the entrance hall. The remarkable temple consists of 108 carved temples within its high walls.

We had to head to Udaipur which was a 3 hrs. journey from Mount Abu hence we could not do much of Mount Abu. We missed the marvelous Dilwara Jain temples Known for their exquisite stone carvings, which we will for sure plan the next time we visit Mount Abu. One can also visit the Guru Shikhar, which is the highest point in Mount Abu for the panoramic view of the city and the historical fort of Achalgarh.

After lunch, we left for Udaipur. We reached Udaipur late evening and checked into our hotel.

Ganapatipule - A Surprise Treat!

Ganapatipule is a small town located in Ratnagiri district on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. The Swayambhu Ganpati Temple, on the Ganapatipule beach, is a popular attraction in Ganapatipule for the thousands of devotees who visit the temple every year. 

This trip was a complete surprise for me for my birthday, which had fallen on a weekend, and my hubby wanted to make most out of it. He did all the planning and all I had to do was to pack my bags and sit in the car.

We drove from Mumbai early in the morning. To accompany was my younger sister and our lovely dog Tuffy. As we had left early morning we were lucky enough not to be stuck in the traffic around Panvel and Chiplun. We were treated with scenic views all the way. We drove through picturesque green fields and villages. The drive would occasionally become adventurous when the road was winding and we had to drive through many Ghats.

My hubby ensured that I do not have a slight hint of where were we heading and I kept pestering my hubby all the way with my wild guesses. 

Finally, we reached Ganpatipule beach and enquired for room availability in MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) resort. MTDC has its resort just on the beach and is preferred by most of the tourists. Unfortunately, there was no room available for us. We decided to have our lunch in the MTDC restaurant on the beach before we could look for other stay options. MTDC Resort serves decent food and definitely good and clean compared to any other restaurant in the vicinity. 

One of the friendly waiters in the restaurant suggested us with contact details of another resort 1 km from the beach. After lunch, we drove looking for the resort and soon found it. The resort had several small houses on either side of a small opening with coconut trees and swing and play area for kids and the path through the park ended up to the beach.

View of Resort from Beach
The beach was neat and clean and well maintained. The beach was a kind of secluded with huge rocks and muddy hills on either end. And to our luck there was no other family in the resort when we visited. So the complete beach was left to ourselves.

We checked into our rooms freshened up and headed towards the beach to spend our evening. Our dog was the one who enjoyed the most playing hide and seek with the waves. To add to his delight, the waves started throwing out many fishes to the beach. Our dog played with the waves and devoured on the fish.

We spent our evening relaxing while swinging in the hammock and just sitting and staring at the beautiful sea and the sunset.

Other than us the only other person on the beach was a fisherman who was collecting the fishes on the beach brought by the waves and after around an hour even he left the beach. We enjoyed the sunset and went out to the same MTDC restaurant for dinner.

At 12 in the midnight, I got a big surprise with lots of gifts, chocolates and an awesome yummy cake. After the cake cutting, my hubby suggested that we all should have a walk on the beach and we instantly agreed. 

To my surprise, my hubby had managed to get some fireworks all the way from Mumbai. I was overjoyed and could not ask for anything more ever. 

This was one of the best birthdays I ever had with the better half.

Next day morning we had our breakfast in the MTDC restaurant. We visited the famous Ganapati temple on the beach and finally left for Mumbai. We reached back Mumbai early evening. 

There is also an option to reach Ganapatipule through the train. Many trains run from Mumbai Ratnagiri station every day. From station, Ganapatipule is around 45 to 50 km. One can either rent a car or an Auto-rickshaw or travel in the MSRTC bus to reach Ganapatipule. 

Ganapatipule with its clean and serene beach is a must visit for a weekend get-away. We had a great time in this wonderful place with lots of lovely memories to cherish for the lifetime.

Our Adventures

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