Mumbai to Udaipur Road Trip

Mumbai to Udaipur Road Trip

A Mumbai to Udaipur road trip is a pretty straight - forward dash of 750KMS or so along the NH 48. The excellent roads mean one can get there in about 10 hours driving time. This is way better than the 13 to 14 hours that Google maps says you will take.

Sometime in June 2014


Aditya (Our 6 Year old): Is there snow in India?
Me: Yup
He: When will it snow in our house ?
Me: When Rahul Gandhi becomes the prime minister
He: When will be become Prime Minister?
Me: Never
He: Ab ki baar Modi Sarkaar won't let him become Prime Minister?
Me: We, the people of India aren't letting him become PM
He: Why will it snow here when he becomes PM? (I haven't thought of an answer to this one yet. Your suggestions are welcome!)

By now things were getting out of hand, what with Avantika, our 5 year old joining in too & saying she was all for Modi sarkar (without a clue as to what that meant, but going along with the general mood in the country!). So I changed topic and told them that it snowed in the Himalayas. Since they wished to see snow, we decided to head there on our next road trip. So it was settled. The Great Road Trip 3 would be a quest to see snow in the Himalayas.

Mumbai to Udaipur Road Trip (via Vadodara)


We left Mumbai at 0430Hrs and headed towards Udaipur. Last we'd used the NH 48, it was only till Vadodara. This was when we'd headed out to Gir 2 years back. The Maharashtra government didn't disappoint and the roads were pretty much in the same state of repair, or disrepair as they were then. The flyovers that were half constructed in 2012, were still half constructed. Most potholes were pretty much in the same spot as they were 2 years ago. I can't vouch for the potholes not changing location, but they seemed well settled nevertheless.

Once we crossed Virar, which is the northern extreme of Mumbai, the roads improved. This was the state up to Manor, before they deteriorated again. Thankfully, at that time of the morning it took us around 2 and half hours to cross into Gujarat and better roads. By 0700Hrs we were cruising past Vapi. Like last time around, NH 48 was once again a breeze in Gujarat. Perfectly paved roads and flyovers to bypass every small village or town made driving a pleasure. Of course, an assortment of vehicles merrily driving on the wrong side of the road added to the adventure.

I sipped black coffee from a flask while everyone else caught up on their beauty sleep. By now they were all seasoned travellers and thought nothing of catching 20 winks while the vehicle zipped at 120KMPH. By 0900Hrs we crossed Surat without taking a single stop yet. No mean feat considering we had covered 280Kms in about 4.5 hours, non stop. But all good things have to come to an end. Ranga woke up muttering something that sounded like 'milk'.

We found a decent dhaba a little beyond Surat and halted for breakfast. Don't remember the name of the place, save that it had clean toilets and food that tasted more or less like what it was supposed to. Plus they had milk and some swings, so Ranga gave it a pretty high rating. Soon we were on our way again, driving towards Ahmedabad.

Since we didn't have to leave NH 48 at all, the drive was excellent. The 90 Km stretch from Vadodara to Ahmedabad was on the expressway. We made much better time than anticipated, getting to Ahmedabad as early as 1430Hrs. Since everyone was pretty ok food wise, we didn't halt for lunch and carried on with a loo break whenever someone had to go.

I'd replenished the black coffee at our breakfast halt. We'd wisely carried instant coffee powder, so all it needed was some hot water. Everyone else was sorted with the assortment of cookies, chips and snacks stocked up in the car. Once we crossed Samalji, which is small town / overgrown village around 130Kms from Ahmedabad, the topography underwent a gradual change.

The landscape was more stark as we drove up and down rolling hills. At several places the road was a pitch black ribbon cutting through ravines on either side. Traffic had thinned to the extent that we'd pass a truck once every 3 to 5 minutes only. While this may not seem like a large time gap, at speeds of 120Kmph it means you aren't passing another vehicle for nearly 8 to 10Kms!

A word on the roads - if Gujarat roads were excellent, Rajasthan was a notch above that. I'd heard that roads maintained by the BRO (Border Roads Organisation) are the best you find in the country. Since it's a border state, they have quite an extensive network of roads in Rajasthan. It seems the state government has taken a leaf out of the BRO book in making their roads.

Whatever the reason, Rajasthan roads are probably the best in the country. Or at least whatever part of the country we've driven through! The temperature too had eased up to a mellow 18 degrees C, making it a thoroughly enjoyable drive! All in all, this was easily the best segment of our Mumbai to Udaipur road trip. We stumbled across a quaint place, called 'Hotel Jai Chittor Mavard Dal-Bati' (quite a mouthful), and halted for a snack.

The odometer showed we had just about a 100Kms to go, and it seemed as good a place as any to halt. The dal-bati was pretty decent, and so was the bajra roti. For the price, there was very little to complain about, and we were soon on our way.

Finally, we made it to Udaipur by around 1700Hrs, which was not bad. It was the longest single - day drive we'd made thus far. The routing that I'd chalked up for this trip had the Mumbai to Udaipur road trip as the longest by far. On no other stretch were we expected to drive for more than 550Kms on a single day. The fact that everyone was still sorted after travelling 748Kms to be precise, was awesome. I thought to myself that the rest of the trip should be far easier. If only I knew!

Amet Haveli, Udaipur


We checked in at the Amet Haveli, which is a 250+ year old beautiful haveli bang on the lake Pichhola. The haveli has around 20 rooms. We got a nearly 650 Sq.Ft. palatial room on the ground floor. The pretty chambers featured low windows opening up to lake pichhola. There were marble settees constructed under the windows, lined with comfortable cushions. One could simply sit and stare out the window for hours on end! Not too far away in the centre of the lake was the Taj Palace or Lake Palace hotel. To our left we could see the lights of the Shiv Nivas palace twinkling in the distance.

Amet haveli Udaipur is a welcome relief after the long Mumbai to Udaipur road trip
Interiors of our room at Amet Haveli, Udaipur


The temperature was around 12 degrees, and tired that we were, it seemed like we'd arrived bang into the midst of a fairy - tale! As is the norm for most heritage hotels we've stayed in, this one too had a fairly large sized bathroom. Thankfully, the plumbing was modern, and there was no creature comfort spared! After a quick shower, everyone bundled up against the cold and we headed to the Ambrai restaurant for dinner.

ground floor rooms at Amet Haveli Udaipur have lovely setter overlooking the lake pichola. takes the fatigue out of the mumbai to Udaipur road trip
Windows overlooking the beautiful Lake Palace, Udaipur


If the room was gorgeous, the Ambrai was something else! This open air restaurant has views of the lake on 3 sides. There is an 'angeethi' placed near every table to keep guests warm. Apparently it is a very popular restaurant. Despite being room guests, we had to wait about 20 minutes before getting a table. Just enough time to knock down 2 beers and wash away any residual dust from the drive!

The food was as good as the ambience, with exemplary service. Playing it safe, we stuck to traditional Mughlai food. The tangdi kebabs, malai tikkas, dal makhni with chapatti and a mutton biryani was easily one of the best we've had. Excellent food, great service, mind - blowing ambience and lovely weather made it a magical evening! After the long day we'd had on the Mumbai to Udaipur road trip, this was the perfect ending. By 2200Hrs we were back in room, looking forward to exploring Udaipur the next day.


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