It’s cold in the month of January and it gets colder if it rains. Recently, the northern side got drenched because the weather gods seemed happy and hence made the weather chillier than it already was. I had a plan to hit Jaipur, on the last weekend and this time I wanted to do it alone. Jaipur is around 250 kilometers from Delhi city and hence is a perfect get away for the capital people looking to spend some quality time away from the hassle of the big city.
As usual, if you have a ride planned it’s always recommended to start as early as possible. You have the perfect sunlight for photographs, perfect temperature and of course less traffic to deal with. Starting by 6-7 am is a perfect time, you can start earlier if you have more than 500 km to cover in a single day, never late because riding in the dark is highly risky, so avoid that until you have no other option left.
Riding in a thunderstorm:
I wanted to start by the same time but since I had only 250 odd km to cover I delayed my departure to 9 in the morning. I woke up, went outside the balcony only to see dark clouds hovering above making my plan tougher, making me regret I didn’t start early. Dressed up as fast as I can, and as soon as I pushed the starter ON, the lovely looking Bonneville T100 got pinched by the first rain drop on the meter indicating it will be a mistake if I went on with the plan. But I am as stubborn as the weather, also who would miss riding a Triumph Bonneville T100 in such a demanding (yet beautiful) weather, I reckon only an idiot would.
As soon as I started off, the icy breeze started piercing through my jacket and undercovers to hit the chest making the ride difficult. And only after 30 mins of the journey, I was fully drenched in the rain till the last layer of the undercoat. As I moved forward, I somehow tried not to think about the rain and concentrate more on the road and the bike I was riding.
The Bonneville T100 has a significantly natural riding position, the handle bar doesn’t make you lean forward, the foot pegs doesn’t demand your legs to be stretched forward, the single well-padded seat allows the riders of all dimensions to comfortably sit on the bike without putting any pressure on the back or anywhere else. The bike gets full marks in terms of comfortable riding posture for long journeys. I’ve even ridden a Tiger for example which is considered to be an epitome in terms of long distance comfort riding, but Bonneville surprised with its touring capabilities too. There was no luggage with me, as I planned to return the next day so only a backpack. But in case you need to carry any, there are a lot of places smartly designed on the bike to make you tie all the luggage without any hassle at all.
The only thing I missed on the bike was a windscreen, as the wind blast becomes significant when going past 140km/hr, which just happens to be in Bonnie’s 4th gear out of all of the 5 gears. Since the British marque provides a plethora of aftermarket accessories for the bike, you can easily opt for the windscreen at the time of buying the bike. So the bike gets full marks for making the ride easy even in the hardest of the weather conditions. Its safety features like ABS and switchable traction control are of a great help if you riding in India, and especially if you riding on a highway going under construction till the very end. Talking of which you must take note that because the NH8 is under construction you might have to deviate from the highway a couple of times when rolling on the main stretch.
I didn’t stop anywhere on the highway, the Bonnie didn’t let me, I didn’t have to. So I can’t post a highway food picture in this story. One more thing you should take care of when riding such a bike is that there will a lot of people intrigued by seeing such a bike on the highway. So they will always push you to crack that throttle open, sometimes even piss you off, just remember that a good rider makes good decisions and is always under control. Riding at 100-120km/hr should be the maximum limit, and in a thunderstorm, it should be not more than 50-60km/hr depending on the traffic behavior. It took me 4 complete hours to hit Jaipur. Since I was fully drenched, shivering in cold, I decided to warm myself up stay in the bed for the day and postponed my plan to explore Jaipur to a day later.
The morning ride in the Pink city- Jaipur:
Unlike the day before, I knew I had to start as early as possible in order to get the best shots and hit all the major attraction of this Royal city. Starting at 6 A.M, I started my day with riding to Amer Fort located in the suburb of the city in the town called Amer, it is also the place from where the Rajkumari Jodha (the Rajput princess) belonged to. The view in the picture is the view you get from the main road, it also gets light up pretty nicely at the night time but I couldn’t stay there for the night, what a shame!
After having spent some time at the fort, I headed to Jal Mahal which is hardly 10 km away from the Amer fort. The best part is the road that gets you there. You get to ride through the Ghati-road to get to the Jal Mahal if you are riding from Amer. You can easily see how mesmerizing this road is from the picture below. Yes, it does look like a wallpaper isn’t it? And the Bonnie as always is a born poser.
The morning view at the Jal Mahal is a kind of experience only seen in movies. It feels so serene, so tranquil that it will surely get a hold on you. The way sunlight makes way through the mountains and glitters on the water gives the Jal Mahal a unique reminiscing view that I used to draw back in my paint book in childhood days. Also, the place has been so well managed and maintained that you will hardly complain about anything at all. The people too I found to be highly humble and down to earth, perhaps a perfect kind of place for the ones who appreciate calmness in this pacing society.
When trundling around the city you will go through a bunch of gates like the one in the picture below. As visible, they are as historic as this city and this one is called as Sanganeri gate. These gates denote the end of a specific area, this one sits at the border of the Johri Bazar road where also the Hawa Mahal is situated. “The Hawa mahal was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god.” Says Google.
If you are in Jaipur and really want to explore the best of the city in a limited time you have, make sure to start early morning and try renting out a bike or a scooter, as the traffic can get pretty intense during the later hours and a two-wheeler will let you zip through easily. I managed to hit some of the major places but missed quite a few such as the Jaigarh Fort which is one place you cannot afford to miss at any cost, I couldn’t make it to Jaigarh as I needed to bounce back to Delhi the same day.
As recommended by close ones, I found a hushed place perfect for the morning people. ‘Tapri’, a calm rooftop tea house situated at the heart of Jaipur city, made my day even more heavenly with the perfect ‘kadak tea’, this along with the quintessential euphoric view the top offered was spectacular in all sense. In all of past Jaipur trips, this one came out to be the most special of them all. Maybe I was solo this time or I had a pretty good bike that took care of me. Whatever it was, I’m taking back much more than I brought along from the start. I hope I return soon, this time for a longer period and a different ride.