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Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-FB1
Next morning it was time to venture out and discover the sights in Jodhpur. Our obvious pick was the legendary 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, a glorious palace that’s now been converted into a museum, displaying paintings, royal thrones and Rajputana weapons. The fort gives a bird’s eye-view of the city with most of the walls painted in the city’s iconic blue shade.

Not far away from the fort is Jaswant Thada, an exotic mausoleum for the Rajas, carved in white marble overlooking the peaceful lakeside. We spent some time soul-searching at this peaceful location as we enjoyed the music played by a few local artistes. A short drive towards the southeast on another hilltop is the majestic dome-shaped Umaid Bhawan Palace.
Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-FB14

Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, the edifice is now under the supervision of his grandson, Gaj Singh. With an unbelievable 347 rooms and 26 acres of lush green gardens, this grand palace is divided into three sections: the Jodhpur royal family’s principal residence, a world-class hotel and even a public museum.

Satiated with the historical knowledge, we decided to explore a little more of the old city. The area around the Clock Tower, colloquially known as Ghanta Ghar, is a colourful array of shops and makeshift stalls selling spices, clothes, handcrafted jewellery and, not to forget, the famous Jodhpuri mojri shoes.
Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-FB17

Driving through the congested lanes of the city was a breeze in the Audi, thanks to its light steering and the very useful proximity sensors and rear camera. We drove through lanes, by-lanes and fort doors which were just wide enough for a single car. And even though the Audi A6 is five metres long, manoeuvring it is not really a tall order.

Strolling in the narrow lanes we did the usual touristy window shopping, relished a few local treats and discovered an unusual savoury of the region — gulab jamun or balls of condensed milk usually dipped in sugar syrup, but here it’s served in a thick spicy curry. Still reeling from the unique culinary experience, we headed to Bal Samand, a water reservoir which was our last stop in Jodhpur.

Driving the Audi A6 from Jaipur to Pune - Posing with an Indian Elephant-M17

With just a few hours to sunset, we hit the highway, darting to our next destination, Udaipur, which was close to 260 km away. The 2.0-litre diesel of the Audi gathered pace quickly, leaving behind the slow-moving traffic and ensuring that we would reach our hotel well in time. Throughout Rajasthan we had to be extremely cautious of stray cattle nonchalantly sauntering around on the highway, especially after sunset. This is where the A6’s LED Matrix headlights came to our rescue as they illuminated pitch dark roads brilliantly. In four to five hours of solid driving we were cruising into Udaipur, the former capital of the Mewar kingdom.

 

About the author: Sarmad Kadiri

 

 

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