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Udaipur Day Trip with Car and Driver: Ranakpur & Kumbhalgarh - Questions

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Udaipur Day Trip with Car and Driver: Ranakpur & Kumbhalgarh - Questions

Old Jan 18th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Udaipur Day Trip with Car and Driver: Ranakpur & Kumbhalgarh - Questions

I know that it's doable from Udaipur - any idea how long the trip might take? I understand that the road between Udaipur and Jodhpur is much improved.

Can I hire a guide at either of these places? Do I need a guide? My wife Jeane doesn't like to read guidebooks...
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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I am doing this exact route myself on Sunday the 24th Jan, so I will post and let you know the current timings based on the roads etc.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 09:28 AM
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Are you going from Udaipur for the day trip? Or from Jodhpur? It's about a six-hour drive from Jodhpur to Ranakpur, then K. is another 30-45 mins. from Ranakpur. We didn't use a guide there or in Udaipur, but there seemed to be guides everywhere if you wanted one. Your hotel is probably the safest bet to secure a guide.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 10:11 AM
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I don't know that having a guide did much for us at Ranakpur. (We had booked a guide and driver from our travel agent and he was our guide during our stay in Udaipur.) He did provide background information, counts of the number of columns, etc. However, we found guides for Ajanta and Ellora to be very worthwhile.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Debbe, thanks for helping out.

indiana and Marija - I reread both of your trip reports today - thanks! I probably won't use a guide for Ranakpur.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 06:10 PM
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You can see both in a day trip, but it will be a longish day, so I would recommend starting as early as you can. Due to the completion of the highway to Jodhpur, the trip from Udaipur to Ranakpur should take you about 2 hours one way. From Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh will be about the same, maybe a little longer (while further north, you are on the fast highway for longer). The distance between Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh is about 45 minutes. So figure being on the road for about 5-6 hours for the day wihtout sightseeing time. In any case, once you are off the highway, the trip on the back roads is marvelous - - lots of villages and farms. If you have a guide in the car, they can perhaps show you one of the village water wheels drawn by horses or cows, you may not notice these yourself.

Ranakpur is closed to non-Jains daily until Noon, so it may make some sense to go to Kumbhalgarh first. Ranakpur will also take less time, IMO, you can really see it in about an hour or maybe a bit more unless you are having a meal there or really want to walk to see all the small temples.

If you go to Kumbhalgarh, I would try to bring a picnic lunch and picnic up on the walls. There is a nice little hotel near the first gate, the Aodhi, where you could have lunch before or after a visit to the fort, but service is slow and menu a little limited, so it may be better just to stop for tea here (and to use the facilities, as there are few along the way).

Kumbhalgarh is enormous. The first time I went I had a guide which was helpful as there is very little signage to guide you. I am not sure many guidebooks cover it in depth so you may not find much printed information or any site plans. I’m pretty good on my Indian history, but if you are not then again a guide may be useful for background explanation. However, even without a guide you will find it impressive, and if you follow the crowds up the hill to the main fort area, should be able to find most of the main palace rooms. Be sure to see the Hindu temple with the Shiva lingam which is down near the entrance (to the right with your back to the main entrance), and to walk some of the fort walls as well so you can appreciate their massive size. How much you can see will depend on how much time you want to spend there. Views are marvelous.

Ranakpur has one main temple, another major sun temple, and many smaller temples. Again, a guide can be useful in explaining the various parts of the main temple and aspects of the Jain religion. You may be able to find guides at the entrance. You cannot bring any kind of leather into the temple (i.e. belts, handbags), but will leave them outside with your shoes. They have a vegetarian lunch every day which you can buy, which may be another option if you go to Ranakpur first.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 01:11 AM
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HI Craig. We did this route a couple of days ago. We left Udaipur at 830AM and it should have been earlier. We went to the fort first which is great, but the drive there and back was fantastic as you go through small villages and I stopped a number of time to take photos. We packed a lunch which helps to save time and you can eat a picnic lunch at either the fort or outside the temple on the grass or a bench. We felt a couple of hours at each was adequate and left Ranakpur at 4PM to be in Jodphur by dark. You have to go to the fort first as Ranakpur is not open to non Jains until noon. We did not get to Jodphur until an hour after dark. It was certainly not because our driver was going too slow. I would leave the temple at 3PM to arrive before dark. And you want to arrive before dark and not be on the road for sure.
See you in Varanasi.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 01:58 AM
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Debbe - thanks for the report. Looks like it will be a very long day even if we are returning to Udaipur and not heading on to Jodhpur. Looking forward to meeting you.
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