Monday, 20 February 2017

Road trip to Little Rann of Kutch (Part 3: Rajasthan - Gujarat Road Trip)

Every year, we plan a trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary. This year we decided to go for a long road trip and then we planned to explore Rajasthan & Gujarat. While return journey we took a halt in Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.
Our road trip route was Pune - Udaipur - Haladighati - Kumbhalgarh - Jodhpur - Phalodi - Jaisalmer - India-Pakistan Border (Pillar No 609) - Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) - Vadodara - Daman - Pune
Without a doubt, travelers for this trip were me and my wife Renuka.

Little Rann of Kutch (LRK)
Little Rann of Kutch (LRK)

               To avoid length of Travel blog, I have divided it into 3 parts. First 2 parts were on Rajasthan and Third part was from Gujarat which was the last leg of our journey. In this part, will like to share my travel experience of Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) and Vadodara.

Travel Blog link for Majestic land of Rajasthan Part 1: Udaipur-Haldighati-Kumbhalgarh
Travel Blog link for Majestic land of Rajasthan Part 2: Jodhpur-Khichan-Jaisalmer

About Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) and Vadodara:
              Little Rann of Kutch is also known as LRK. It is Salt marsh and small in area as compared to Kutch hence known as Little Rann of Kutch. It is Famous for Indian Wild Ass and LRK is declared as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. LRK is the home of local and migratory birds.
             Vadodara is the third largest city from Gujarat State. The city is famous for Laxmi Vilas Palace and a variety of local food.

Day 9: 16 Feb 2017 - Jaisalmer to Little Rann of Kutch:
               We left Beautiful Jaisalmer by 6 AM. We wanted to cover 500 km distance and reach before sunset. We choose route as Jaisalmer - Barmer - Sanchore - Tharad -  Bhabhar - Radhanpur - Dasada - Bhavna Resort & Farm. The road was newly built till Sanchore with less traffic. We took a lunch break at Radhanpur (Gujarat) and had tasty Gujarati Thali at Hotel Sagar. We reached Bhavna Resort by 3:30 PM which was a pre-booked resort. they have more than 25 cottages spread over a large area. Plenty of parking space is available.The cottage has 1 large Room, small room to keep bags and clean bathroom. All cottages are AC cottages and maintained well. They serve an only pure veg meal which was very tasty.
            We took some rest and then went to Nava Talaw (In English "New Lake") for bird watching. We booked next day morning safari in LRK. Nava Talaw is the home of much migratory wetland bird. We went there with very less expectation and just to enjoy the Lake area.
             My Camera was stopped working due to Error 20 and Error 30 on Day 6 (After a visit to Khichan Village). Fix was not possible which stopped me from doing Photography. Our further road trip journey was without my Camera so We decided to capture the moment on iPhone and on Handicam.
              The area around Lake is dry and similar to Rann. A personal vehicle is allowed. We followed the route instruction shared by Resort owner. Painted stork and Eurasian Spoonbilled stork welcomed us when we entered in Lake area.



              We approached towards lake.you can drive in Rann but better to keep watch on the road as well. Before we hit Nava Talav, We spotted a group of Greylag Gooses. They belong to Goose family and large in size. They are winter migratory birds travel from Europ and Asia.



               Soon Nilgai and Indian wild Ass appeared on Lakeside area. Indian Wild Ass is only found in Gujarat. We stopped for some tine to observe the activities of Duck and Mammals. After some time they moved away from us and we left them alone.





           We parked our vehicle and took a walk towards Lake. Lake was full of Wetland birds. From distance, we observed Geater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, ibis, and Pelicans. Slowly we went close to the Lake and settled down to observe them.





            We witness sunset at Nava Talav Lake and then returned to Bhavna resort. Birds sighting and mammal spotting were unexpected for us. We covered most of the birds and mammals in Lake area which was planned in LRK Safari.
            We had tasty Gujarati veg meal at Resort and took rest soon.

Expenses:
  • Car Petrol: INR 2800/-
  • Lunch at Hotel Sagar, Radhanpur: INR 213/- (1 Panjabi Thali, 1 Gujarati Thali, and 1 Curd)
  • Bhavna Resort Package: INR 5383/- for 2 people (1 Night stay in Cottage, 1 Dinner, 1 Lunch, Breakfast and Safari for 2 people)

Day 10: 17 Feb 2017 - Little Rann of Kutch & Vadodara:
            We woke up by 5:30 AM and left the resort for morning safari. Open jeep picked us from the resort. After few km drive, we entered in LRK area. On entering to LRK, Wooly neck stork pair welcomed us. We have seen many wooly necked storks around our city so we stopped for a couple of minutes and moved ahead.



There was no fix wish list of bird or mammal but the main focus was on Birds. We spot common crane in the way to LRK's waterbody. On the first waterbody, we saw wetland birds like Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, northern shoveler duck, ibis etc. Here are few Videos from LRK



We spend more than 3 hours in Little Rann of Kutch. We saw Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo in the Lake area. Marsh Harrier and Montagu Harrier has joined the Lake. It was a wonderful place for bird watching. We searched a lot of Owls and Indian bustard in Rann but unable to spot them.






              We took some rest after safari and then had Lunch in Resort. After a tasty meal, we left Bhavna resort for our next location. Our next location was Vadodara. We had a visit to Ahmedabad 2 years back and now our focus was to cover return distance rather than tourism so we choose Vadodara.
            Ahmedabad to Vadodara highway was beautifully built. We reach at Vadodara by 4 PM. We searched few hotels and then booked a room at hotel Kalyani. We left the room at 6 PM for shopping. My wife had a good time in local cloth market. After shopping, we had dinner in Mall followed by "Ghazi" movie. We just returned from various sites which were involved in 1971 war and this movie was also based on 1971 war.

Expenses:
  • LRK forest Permit: INR 400/- for 2 people (Camera Charger is INR 200/-)
  • Gujarat Toll 1: INR 14/- (Bhavna resort to Ahmedabad road)
  • Gujarat Toll 2: INR 85/- (Ahmedabad to Vadodara Expressway)
  • Hotel Kalyan: INR 1226/- for 1 night
  • Pani Puri near Hotel Kalyani: INR 70/- for 7 plates (He served 6-7 types of different Pani in Pani Puri)
  • Sharing Auto from Hotel Kalyan to Sursagar market: INR 20/- for 2 people
  • Non-Sharing Auto from Sursagar market to Hotel Kalyan: INR 40/-
  • Auto from Hotel to Inorbit Mall: INR 50/-
  • Dinner in Mall: INR 366/- for 2 people
  • Movie Ticket: As per Rate
  • Uber from Mall to Hotel: INR 78/-

Day 12: 18 Feb 2017 - Vadodara:
            It was a lazy start and nothing much to do in Vadodara for us. Our only destination of the day was Laxmi Vilas Palace. We visited the palace at around 10:30 AM. Laxmi Vilas Palace was built by Gaekwad Royal family who ruled Baroda (now name change as Vadodara) State. Palace was completed by 1980 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. It is said that Palace is four times the size of Buckingham Palace. Palace was built with Mix of Indian, Islamic and European architecture style.
            Photography (by camera or mobile) is strictly prohibited. Palace also has a museum which has Kings personal belongings, painting and sculpture. It also has a replica of toy train which was princes personal toy train. Original toy train was donated to SayBagh. Visiting hours of the palace for the public is from 11 AM to 5 PM. The audio tour is available for detail exploration.
           After a visit to Laxmi Vilas Palace, we started our return journey to Pune. We took night halt in Vapi at wife's relative house. Also, my father's best friend's house was close to Vapi which was on our list. We had a quick visit to Devka Beach, Daman for sunset. Beach was neither clean nor brown/golden Sandy. We spend some time and returned to Vapi

Expenses:

  • Gujarat Toll 1: INR 85/-
  • Gujarat Toll 2: INR 65/-
  • Gujarat Toll 3: INR 55/-
  • Gujarat Toll 4: INR 65/-

Day 13: 19 Feb 2017 - Vapi to Pune:
              We left Vapi by 10 AM and started the journey to Pune. We chose route as Vapi - Thane - Navi Mumbai - expressway - Pune. We reached home safely by 5 PM with memorable memories from Majestic land of Rajasthan

Expenses:
  • Car Petrol: INR 1500/-
  • Maharastra Toll 1: INR 60/-
  • Maharastra Toll 2: INR 55/-
  • Lunch at Barbeque Nation, Mumbai: As per Rate
  • Expressway Toll: INR 230/-

Contact numbers for your reference:
  • Bhavna resort: +919427216059, +919099459137.
  • Kalyan Hotel: +919998222968.
I will try to upload more and more travel blogs. Thanks for reading this Travel Blog.

Pritesh Kulkarni 
Pune

4 comments:

  1. thats so crazy Pritesh, I loved this journey though. Its really great that u both drive than only such big touring is possible. in july we are going to jaipur and jodhpur... making a list at this time.

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    1. Thank you very much...all the best for trip planning and enjoy the journey

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  2. uo r super traveler, would love to join u some day. I am also in pune wagholi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, sure we can meet in Pune! Thanks for comment!

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