Paradise unexplored - West of India in a 16 day ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Arun Kumar, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    I have a craze of making video documentary of places I visited so I was posting one of my video on gopro fanatics forum, one guy suggested me to join the advrider. Have not heard about this forum before and I was awestruck when I visited first time. I am not sure If I ever going to ride out of my country but seeing those people who do and reading all the travelogues from different country really unfolded new world to me. I think I was looking for one such forum and seems like I just found one. Just made me happy to see all the road stories, thought I will share one of the biggest ride I ever did until today. Seeing few of the logs here I don't think its as big as I thought however it was one of the longest ride I ever did.

    So here it goes.

    Used to ride frequently for the near distance locations but never thought of making big rides. There was one in plan that was Leh but had very little idea of people riding to Gujarath and Rajasthan. Have seen very few posts about Gujarath - Rajasthan rides in forums. One of my friend who has done Leh ladakh ride last time told me about the plan and asked if I want to join. I was very tentative considering the expenses involved and the number of days. There were few other thoughts which i come across like ' You can always make money.. but not memories' and stuff!! Once that bug went inside i knew there was no turning back. Just a month back i have taken two weeks holiday for my brothers marriage. So I knew my manager will outright say no as I anyway did not have annual leave balance. So i sent a mail and let my manager turn it down and so i can convince myself that i cannot go. So in a meeting i took the courage and asked him. He said okay will approve!! i was like what the hell happened!! Did not know how to respond but i was on cloud 9!!

    Initial plan was to ship our bikes through truck(as train was not a feasible option) and then collect the bikes at Ahemdabad, do a clockwise ride on Gujarath and Rajasthan, come back again to Ahmedabad, ship the bikes back. All the route plans were made my friend, who planned this ride with the help of HVK who is a good friend of him. All I had to do is pack my bags and get on with the ride.

    These are our bikes :
    Pulsar 180
    Honda Unicorn
    Honda Stunner
    Pulsar 200 NS
    Pulsar 150 (me)

    This is how the day's went on.

    Here is the days planned

    31-01-2015 - Took bus from Bangalore to Mumbai
    01-02-2015 - Took evening train to Mumbai to Ahmedabad
    02-02-2015 - Ahmedabad to Bhuj
    03-02-2015 - Bhuj to Rann of kutch to Bhuj
    04-02-2015 - Bhuj to Vigakhot to Bhuj
    05-02-2015 - Bhuj to Dholavira to Adesar
    06-02-2015 - Adesar to Little rann of Kutch to Barmer
    07-02-2015 - Barmer to Jaisalmer to Thar
    08-02-2015 - Thar to Jaisalmer
    09-02-2015 - Jaisalmer to Jodhpur
    10-02-2015 - Jodhpur to Ajmer to Pushkar
    11-02-2015 - Pushkar to Ajmer to Pushkar
    12-02-2015 - Pushkar to Udaipur
    13-02-2015 - Udairpur to Surat
    14-02-2015 - Surat to Satara
    15-02-2015 - Satara to Bangalore


    Few pics of the ride before starting the log day by day.

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    Rann of Kutch

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    Khadir bet

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    On the way to Vigakhot

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    into the storm

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    At little rann of Kutch.

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    Ready for a rann??

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    The route map




    And the Video documentary of the ride, the way it happened!
    #1
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  2. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    Part 1:

    31-01-2015 - Took bus from Bangalore to Mumbai
    01-02-2015 - Took evening train to Mumbai to Ahmedabad
    02-02-2015 - Ahmedabad to Bhuj

    We all gathered at majestic bus stand around 7pm in the night and bus was scheduled to start at 9. Had light dinner and boarded the bus. When we woke up in the morning it was around 7:00 and we were near to Satara. There were lot many thoughts running in my mind as I stare at the mountains run behind. There was a feel of heartful with an immense joy when you leave everything behind(shitty office work ofcourse) and travel towards something unknown! Although I knew the place name I never had any clue about the place. Hardly ever seen in pictures too. Other's were googled the places but for me the places were not at all important. All I wanted was a nomad life. And this ride was going to give me some feel of it although not full! Never had any restrictions from home if my mom knows that I am with some company of friends, When i told her about the trip and that we are going by bike my mom asked this innocent question! " why are you going that far in bike? you can take bus instead" ;)

    We got the train from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in the night and we reached Ahmedabad by early morning. By the time we reached the place where we need to collect our bikes, it was around 7.30. Plan was to collect our bikes as soon as possible and reach Bhuj by evening. But it dint pan out as we expected. There were no people at the place and office will open only after 10am. We had no option but to wait. By the time we unloaded and unpacked our bikes it was 11! There were many damages to the bike :( many scratches and stuff, the centre stand of stunner was completely bent. We hit the road,filled the fuel and stopped at the first petrol bunk we found. Next stop was on Bajaj showroom as the coolant was leaking from Pulsar 200NS and also few minor repairs for all the bikes. Immediate next stop to have lunch as it was already 12 and we did not even had breakfast. By the time it actually started the ride it was almost 1 and we head towards Bhuj.

    Few pictures on the way:

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    This is from where the actual ride started.

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    Gujarath is full of these bullet rickshaws!

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    Salt fields.

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    Sunset.

    Nothing much to see on the first day, but it got better as the days passed!


    As we did not book any of the accommodation prior to the trip, we hoped to find one wherever we go just by asking around and planned to crash there. We went to the heart of the city and each would go to the lodge found on the road and if we think it is convenient we would call everyone and ask to come there.
    Note : Not all the pics are clicked by me, most are by friend. So credit goes to him.
    #2
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  3. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Hello Arun, glad you joined the forum. There is much to read and see hear. Your first post is a very good one. Enjoy the forum.
    #3
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  4. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    Thanks for bringing me here TRZ Charlie :) this really is an awesome place and I am already loving all the travelogues.. Its amazing to see people who carry same passion as I do :) I am here to read, see and learn :)

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    #4
  5. JoeBiker25

    JoeBiker25 Been here awhile

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    Superb video! I love your editing style! What an adventure!
    #5
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  6. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    Thank you :)

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    #6
  7. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Love what you've laid out. More please and thank you. :D
    #7
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  8. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    Part 2:

    03-02-2015 - Bhuj to Rann of kutch to Bhuj
    04-02-2015 - Bhuj to Vigakhot to Bhuj

    Initial plan was to Visit Vigakhot for the day to which we had to take permission from local BSF office. Vigakhot is the place where you can see Pakistan border from meters distance and it is a totally deserted place away from civilization. We knew that from the blog that it takes a day to get the permission, we planned to visit the rann of kutch for that day.

    We packed our bags and headed towards rann utsav happening at THE GREAT WHITE RANN OF KUTCH! It was an amazing place fully laid down salt till the eyes can see!

    We reached the great white rann of kutch around noon. Salt and salt everywhere. Few car people told us not to go on the salt as it would get struck but who can resist the temptation!


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    Yummy fruit to munch on the way

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    The bullet rickshaws

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    The curious Cow

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    At rann utsav

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    Its not snow!! but salt!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Rann_of_Kutch

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    Few girls asked to pose with them ;)

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    He was boasting that his bike alone did not get struck and then this happened :p

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    We stayed till it gets dark

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    Day 5:
    Packed our bags and we went to collect the permission letter from BSF quarters and then to head towards Vigakhot. When we started towards Vigakhot we knew we will be late while coming back. There were very less vehicles till Dharmashala (India gate) and we had to leave back all our cameras and stuff at the India gate army office. One soldier saw my gopro while entring the gate and asked to switch it off immediately. Hence from Indiagate to Vigakhot there are no pics taken. only memories!

    Once we crossed India gate and head towards vigakhot, it was all waste barren lands till the eyes can see. No vehicles at all!! And no signs of human life as well. Occassionally we would see some wild animals. Only army vehicle patrol over there for evry few hours and we did not even see any of that as well.

    Few pics till India gate:

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    Dhokla for the breakfast

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    Drink tea - Gujarathi style

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    Storm coming

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    and the storm!

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    small white rann


    The vigakhot is infamous for the 1962 India pakistan war where many of the indian soldiers were slaughtered by Pakistan army. A border post was constructed after that. We were allowed till the BSF post where a army general would guide you about the place. We can ask the questions we want and he would patiently answer each of them. It was nothing like what you see from here. All the hate which we see from here is not really exists there. It is the same land on the other side what we have this side only to seperated by fence. The generals from the both side meet on weekly basis for the flag meet, on the Indian side and talk about any local border issues on both sides. They do not use any phone communication, but just hoist some specific flag on the highest post and that would indicate them for a meet. They would in turn post another flag indicating the acceptance or denial.

    Army general explained all our stupid questions patiently and then we headed back. Within few hundered meters, we met bunch of soldiers on their camps and they were happy to see us. They made tea for us and was happily chatting with us for an hour. We were so heartful for the hospitality of those kind soldiers, they were in turn happy to see few people from their own state. As it was getting late we wished farewell and headed towards Dharmashala where we had to collect our camera and stuff.


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    We met this bikers and bikerni from Bangalore who came for Rann Utsav. we introduced each other,chit-chat and had coffee together and then we parted ways.

    Part 3 coming soon.
    #8
  9. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    Thank you :)
    #9
  10. BuffHunter

    BuffHunter Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Parker, CO
    Welcome to ADV. Your video was great!

    Someday I hope to get to Northwest India and adjoining lands. Waiting for the rest of the report.
    #10
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  11. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    yes it's not known to many people unlike north of India(leh ladakh). thank you.
    #11
  12. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

    Joined:
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    Part 3:

    05-02-2015 - Bhuj to Dholavira to Adesar
    06-02-2015 - Adesar to Little rann of Kutch to Barmer

    Day 6: Bhuj to Dholavira to Adesar

    Today was the happy day as it felt like we have been spend 3 nights in Bhuj and finally moving to different place. Started early morning and it was good ride till Khadir bet.

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    This was our breakfast every day.

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    Found this guy on the road side with his camels

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    Good roads from Bhuj to Dholavira

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    Amazing roads.. Just like in movies!


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    Near Khadir bet we found this another white rann which was a pleasant experience. There were no people at all unlike White rann at Dordo. The tar road which passes though this white rann.

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    And this pond full of salt water!!

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    Reached Dholavira by afternoon and had lunch and by the time we went to see the remainings of Harappan civilization it was around 4pm.

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    Guide explaining

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    The extinct civilization!

    from wiki
    [
    The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilisation (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE, pre-Harappan cultures starting c.7500 BCE[3][4]) in northwest Indian subcontinent (including present day Pakistan, northwest India[5]) and also in some regions in northeast Afghanistan.[6][1] Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early civilisations of the Old World, and the most widespread among them,[7] covering an area of 1.25 million km2.[8] It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, one of the major rivers of Asia, and the now dried up Sarasvati River,[9][10] which once coursed through northwest India and eastern Pakistan [6] together with its tributaries flowed along a channel, presently identified as that of the Ghaggar-Hakra River on the basis of various scientific studies.[11][12][13] Due to the spread of the civilization along both the river valleys, some scholars use the term Indus-Sarasvati Civilisation.[14] [15][16]

    At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of more than 5 million.[17] [18] Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings.[19]

    The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, after Harappa, the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s, in what was then the Punjab province of British India, and is now in Pakistan.[20] The discovery of Harappa, and soon afterwards, Mohenjo-Daro, was the culmination of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India in the British Raj.[21] Excavation of Harappan sites has been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999.[22] There were earlier and later cultures, often called Early Harappan and Late Harappan, and pre-Harappan cultures, in the same area of the Harappan Civilization. The Harappan civilisation is sometimes called the Mature Harappan culture to distinguish it from these cultures. Bhirrana in Haryana, India may be the oldest pre-Harappan site, dating back to 7570-6200 BCE.
    ]

    By the time we looked around it was almost getting dark and we had to ride till Adesar for the day. There was rann route from Dholavir to Adesar but we couldn't take it as it already became night. So we had to return back till Rapar and then to Adesar.

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    We found this place to stop for a tea but then it turned out to be a milk dairy and not a tea shop. However they get into conversation with us, one person went to his home, prepared tea and brought in a flask! And they did not even accepted money for it!! and they wore alladin pants before it was cool! ;)

    It was night 10pm by the time we reached Adesar and it was a very small city. Almost all of the city was in sleep except for one guest house and few shops. And lucky we got rooms in the hotel, stayed the night.

    Day 7:

    Eary morning, We knew about little rann of kutch and someone suggested a route where we need to go till a village called Nanda and then take some offroad towards the Rann. We reached there in no time (around 10km).

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    Enroute to village Nanda

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    met this people! so much for the fashion ;)


    Asked people about the rann route and took this offroad. This offroad was filled with full of plants with thorns. We were sure that one of us is going to get punctured!!

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    We got lost for sometime and there was no route at all..!! also there were no people to ask around. Thought we are not that lucky at all decided to ride back. While riding back, Karthik saw rann like place at the far distance and suggested lets see if that route leads anywhere. There were no roads, but we just tried our luck towards that way and finally we found the rann!! It was nothing like white rann but it was different and unique!!

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    Spent good amount of time at the little rann of kutch taking pics and then headed towards Barmer.

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    Little change in the landscape as we headed towards Rajasthan!

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    When you get tired !

    And finally we entered Rajasthan!!!


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    Part 4 coming soon!
    #12
  13. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

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    Loved your video. Good ride, good camaraderie, good music. Show us more!:beer
    #13
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  14. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    Thank you :)
    #14
  15. Bunnyscoots

    Bunnyscoots Adventurer

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    Great report! More please :clap
    #15
  16. Team Vegas

    Team Vegas ((̲̅ ̲̅(̲̅C̲̅r̲̅a̲̅y̲̅o̲̅l̲̲̅̅a̲̅( ̲̅̅((> Supporter

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    Great stuff!!
    #16
  17. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

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    Part 4

    07-02-2015 - Barmer to Jaisalmer to Thar
    08-02-2015 - Thar to Jaisalmer

    Day 8:
    Woke up early and got ready by 7 and went for a walk in the city while others were getting ready. It was around 7.30am but there is still no sunlight!! we brought a paper and all the headlines were filled with swine flu epidemic in Rajasthan and Gujarath.

    In few minutes we were on road riding towards one of the sand dunes which Akash read in a blog. The name of the place is Mahabar sand dunes.

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    Stopped after this place for a breakfast and in a nearby medical shop we enquired about the vaccine for swine flu. One of my friend told that there are vaccine available. The medical guy told us that it is only available in goverment hospital which was around 5km from the place. So we went to this hospital to get the vaccine and as soon as we enter the hospital premise it was filled with so many people with all the masks and stuff! there was long queue to get the registration done before consulting a doctor. The environment looked very scary filled with patients and people coughing!! I asked in the resgiter if there are vaccines and they just pointed at the queue. We waited in the queue for almost an hour and only to come to know that there are no vaccines available!!! Even the doctors doesn't know about it :p I guess in all the trip if there was chance of we getting infected then that was the place where we should have been :D And luckily that did not happen. One of the doctor told us that there is no need to worry at all. It is same as other flu, comes every year and goes after that. Just maintain the sanitation and wear the mask :) So we got out from there.

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    few curious people about my gopro at hospital.

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    Mask on!

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    Checked in at Abu Safari and it was 2100 bucks for each person which included resort tent house near Sam sand dunes, Food for the night and morning breakfast, Camel safari, Folk dance in the night, Night Jeep safari. Sam sand dunes was around 50km away from Jaisalmer which is nothing but thar desert. We reached there by evening and it was full till next day morning. Night Jeep safari was one of the great experience.

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    View of the jaisalmer fort from the Abu Safar hotel.

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    Camel safari

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    Selfie with the camels

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    And this folk dance while watching sunset from the dunes

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    Panorama of the folk dance show at the resort.

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    The jeep safari

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    The tent house

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    Early morning back to Jaisalmer

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    Reached back to Jaisalmer by 11 and one of the bike has its clutch gone. So while he was changing the plates, we decided to wash our bikes. The salt from the rann of kutch was gummed to the rims like hard metal!

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    Friend did gas welding for the centre stand which was bent during the bike shipping.

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    While other friend changed his clutch plates.

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    Dumped all our luggages at Abu safari who provided a place for no charge, we decided to visit the fort and also the place which is famous in Jaisalmer. The Bhang shop!!

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    This is the only legal bhang shop in Jaisalmer. We roamed around the city high on bhang! :D

    from wiki [

    Bhang (Hindi: भाँग) is a cannabis-infused beverage, traditionally consumed in the Indian subcontinent. Bhang has been used as an intoxicant for centuries in the Indian subcontinent. Bhang in India and Nepal is distributed during some Hindufestivals like Holi,Shivratri and consuming bhang at such occasions is common. ]


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    The fort.

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    The good thing about this fort is you can anywhere inside the fort by taking your bikes. and girls will love this place for all the shopping options!


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    There was a marriage procession.

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    During the night!

    That is it for the day!.
    #17
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  18. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar GoProMan

    Joined:
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    more to come :)

    Thanks mate.
    #18
  19. tedmarshall

    tedmarshall Been here awhile

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    The very DEFINITION of adventure. Bravo. Well done. What memories.
    #19
  20. BluByU

    BluByU Been here awhile Supporter

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    Outstanding Video, Wonderful editing :clap

    and Welcome
    #20
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