I was thinking of a family vacation from a very long time. I thought of visiting some place with family (myself, spouse and two kids) and no in laws. I actually planned to visit Jim Corbett but upon cross checking found that main entry to Dhikala is closed due to rains and would be opened somewhere in Oct’11. Then I started exploring about Sariska and Ranthambore but again opted out keeping heavy rains in Rajasthan.
One of my friends suggested to visit to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, although I had already seen that but keeping children in mind I planned to visit that and on last Saturday (20th Aug’11). I was on my way to Bharatpur.
We started at 08:00 from Dwarka (residence) and it was a pleasant weather. I took Gurgaon toll to Palwal route to reach NH-2. Road between Rajiv Chowk (I think) to Palwal was very good, less traffic and we were able to cruse at 110-120 without much efforts. (I have a Zen Estilo, so going beyond 120 kph is dangerous according to me as it shakes a lot).
After crossing Palwal, we hit the NH-2 and it was pleasant drive from there on as well but traffic was too much to bear as I was not the only intelligent person making use of long weekends
Upon reaching to right cut after Mathura, when we were actually on the Bharatpur road SH-33, our nightmare started that entire stretch (almost) is without a road
. There were big crates on the road and it took us roughly two hours to cover that 36+ Kms stretch. I tried to maneuver and save my car as much as possible but they were impossible. I do not know how come such an important place’s connectivity from Delhi is in such a bad shape ?
After reaching Bharatpur, our nightmare did not over as there was some dharna (agitation) going on. Thus, I had to change my course to reach our destination and roads were worse. Finally we reached our destination at 13:00hrs (Kadamb Kunj Resorts). It was a nice property and we were upgraded from deluxe room to luxury room with extra cost.
We got a big room facing pool but pool without fishes
After having lunch we rested for some time and planned to visit Fatehpur Sikri. Agra – Jaipur highway is awesome (at least that stretch of 18 odd Kms)
very less traffic and wonderful road. After reaching Fatehpur Sikri , all the people(guides) started running towards us and offered different things. They charged Rs.40/- for forced parking (yes it was a forced parking)
as we cannot take our vehicle near to the tomb. But after appointing a guide it was kind of free (strange)
and we were allowed to take our vehicle near the tomb. That guide asked for Rs. 350/- with free parking. I decided to give it a try else it was not a good idea to leave your vehicle there. Guide name was “Arif” and he was continuously referring to auspicious time as during rooza time we will get more “sabbab”(blessings)
I knew that he is up to something and he proved my thinking correct by taking us to somewhere inside where they were selling “chadar” (holy sheets)
to be laid at the mazaar of “Shaikh Salimuddin Chisti”.
To my utter surprise, he showed by a chadar of Rs. 11000/- rupees and said that it was be there for a long time and we will get more blessings. After our disinterest in the entire process we got up and moved out. Our guide Mr. Arif, gave us a treat in the eyes of Allah that “how can you enter the grave area of Chisti sahib without any offerings.”
And that was enough for my wife to come in to a real life and she gave that guide a good music to his ears. People around the area also came in and listen to it. After few minutes of soulful music our respected guide asked not to offer anything but do not feel bad. But since we were there with kids, I bought a “chadar’ of Rs. 251/- and went inside to pray. As such, this was not our plan; but still we did not want to disrespect the importance of the holy place. Irrespective of the fact whether locals in that area made the entire place as a hell and cry for the support or not.
Importantly, we did not buy any ticket or rather nobody asked for a ticket while entering the premises of Fatechpur Sikri, thanks to our influential guide “Mr. Arif” (he was a young boy of 22-23yrs)
I wish, if ASI
can take some note of it and act as these people are harassing tourists like anything. I am being an Indian was feeling as if I am in some other country. Just think, how would an international tourist would react or think about our country ?? Pathetic
Still I gave Rs.100\- extra to Arif and told him that he was / is cheating on us and he really felt bad but for how long. God only knows…
After our eventful visit to Fatehpur Sikri, we returned to our resort and relaxed. Second day / 21st Aug’11.
I planned to pay a visit to “Deeg” as small town where a big palace is surrounded by water built. Approach road to Deeg via Kumher was again in the bad shape but we were able to cruse at 80-90 kmph. This palace is fine blend of Mughal and Rajput architect built by various Maharajas.
Although in Rajasthan ladies use duppatta to cover their head but here at the lake around palace, they were bathing almost top less. I was shocked to note that and moved from there and to my utter surprise local people were all around the place and talking, playing cards, resting but no lady was feeling ashamed or trying to cover them.
Anyway, it was a pleasant drive and we enjoyed our trip. Third day / 22nd Aug’11.
We planned to visit to the bird park and started off at 06:40hrs at morning and reached at the entrance by 06:50hrs. We took rickshaw number -5, as per Mr. Maan Singh, from rickshaw number 1 to 5 there is a special mentioning at some website and book. Mr. Maan Singh was very knowledgeable and there since 1981. He tried to explain us about the park and birds though I do not remember a single name after just 30 hrs from the visit time "he he he". By 09:00hrs, my kids started feeling hungry and we were left with no choice but to return to our resort. Charges of rickshaw was Rs. 70/- per hour, but I suggest to spend some more and hire a guide as well. Because these rickshaw walas are not allowed to venture inside much, whereas, guides would take you inside. Since we were with kids, I personally opted out of hiring a guide.
On 22nd at 12:00hrs, we started our return journey from Bharatpur and choose a different route shown in Google maps. Route was right but roads were not. It was not as bad initial road from Mathura to Bharatpur but was bad.
So this is how I spent my long week end with family. It was full of fun and swimming with my kids. For my wife it was off time from the daily routine job and she liked this outing but for kids IT WAS FULL OF FUN
And I as a financier cum driver cum husband cum father played multiple roles, of course “AS ALWAYS”
I hope you would like this short review.
Following are few pictures I found suitable enough to give an idea about the outing.