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Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-FB3
We drove across the majestic Rajasthan to experience royalty up-close in the equally regal Audi A6.

Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

We’re just back from a road trip to Rajasthan — the Abode of the Rajas — our senses still tingling with the sights and sounds of the royal state. There isn’t another region which can come close to the mythical land of fairytales — everything from palaces, forts, and rich and powerful kings to surreal experiences with elephants, horses and camels. Sadly, there aren’t any snake charmers or flying carpets to take us to the palaces. However, we got ourselves something even better: the new Audi A6 luxury sedan which took us around the royal state in absolute comfort and speed.

Our drive began from one of the most spectacular forts in our country which has been converted into a luxury resort. Alila Fort is situated in Bishangarh, about 70 km north of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The bellboy loaded the luggage in our silver Audi A6 35 TDI Matrix and we were off; highly excited as there was a lot to do and see on the way.

Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-FB2

Our first stop was slightly off the route at the 16th-century hilltop fort and palace: Amer Fort. As we drove up the hill, we got an aerial view of the Jal Mahal, a unique palace located right in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. The steep hill and narrow road to Amer Fort was quickly covered in the A6, as its 190 horses galloped seamlessly towards the hilltop. Due to the ongoing Dussera festivities and holidays, the fort was already abuzz with revellers enjoying sumptuous local delicacies — sev, gathia and mirchi pakoda (deep fried green chilli dipped in batter) — and haggling with the puppet sellers. This four-square-kilometre fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit if you’re in Jaipur.
Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-FB28

There’s so much more to see in Jaipur such as the Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and the Albert Hall Museum that just one day in the city didn’t seem enough. Our next destination was Jodhpur, which was still a good 350 km away. With the sun already over our heads, it was time to hit the highway. The A6’s peppy 2.0-litre motor ensured that we reached the NH 8 quickly and were soon driving towards NH 58 and NH 25, inching closer to Jodhpur.

The city of Jodhpur is situated in the Thar Desert and the highway connecting it to Jaipur is mostly arrow-straight and well maintained by Indian standards. Dotted with small restaurants, hotels and fuelling stations, it’s also pretty photogenic. With our A6 focused on devouring mile upon mile and its adaptive suspension soaking up road undulations, there was hardly any fatigue from driving. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission ensured I didn’t have to lift a finger as the Audi managed the gear-shifts intuitively. And when the need arose, I had the paddle-shifts to manage the gears as per my desire.

Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-FB8

Often tempted to capture one spectacular frame after another, the sun was close to setting by the time we closed in on Jodhpur. The roads changed from bad to worse as we crossed innumerable villages surrounding the entry road to the walled city of Jodhpur. Thankfully, the Audi A6 comes with adjustable height which increases the ground clearance by about 20 mm, preparing it for the pothole-ridden roads. By late evening we were rolling down the driveway of The Ummed Jodhpur Hotel, our palatial resort just outside the city.

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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