Rajasthan Tourism started with a new advertising campaign this year in January with an intent of attracting young and new age travelers and to change the perception of the state. There were a series of new advertisements & videos being run on television and the internet – Merasthan/ Janesthan. Aryasthan…..Jaane Kya Dikh Jaye! O&M, India’s leading advertisement agency created this new advertisement campaign.
In one of its advertisements, I saw the following picture.
Although I knew that this picture has been digitally enhanced given its unnatural colors, but it did attract me for its beauty & views. So this place ended up on my list of places to explore in Rajasthan. It’s called Garadia Mahadev & is in Hadoti region of Rajasthan, near Kota city.
Garadia Mahadev is named after the Lord Shiva temple called Garadia Mahadev Temple on the banks of Chambal river. The beauty of this place is that Chambal river takes a U-turn providing a panoramic view of the gorge (also called horse shoe-bend)
On a clear sunny day, we were driving on NH-52 to Garadia Mahadev from Jaipur covering a distance of 260 Km, one way. The 6 lane highway is absolutely fantastic, with very less vehicular traffic as compared to other national highways like NH8. The toll on NH-52 is one of the highest, though.
Here are pictures from this drive!
Once the concrete structures of the city are left behind, this is the kind of landscape one gets to see on NH-52.
Acasia or Babool is a common tree dotting the landscape around Jaipur.
Some pictures of the highway through which we were cruising.
When we started, it was all bright and sunny.
The Aravali hills range is omnipresent till Tonk town
The highway is beautiful with landscaped median-divider; it’s a joy to drive
Approaching Bundi city.
Bundi is “Exotic Rajasthan”, popular among the foreign tourists from Germany, China, Japan and France. It’s famous for Bundi style miniature paintings.
While it was warm & sunny when we started from Jaipur, the weather changed once we crossed Bundi. It started raining. Rains in October is not usual!
We took a pit stop at a huge farm. The entire farm was under the turmeric cultivation.
We were told that the crop is going bad because of the change in weather.
Kota bypass section of the highway has miles and miles of barren land on either side. Kota sandstone is a very popular variety of stone mined in this region, most popular being the Bijolia
Finally,taking a detour from the highway towards Garadia Mahadev.
The road is in a bad condition with no markers to guide at the intersections.
The first glimpse of Garadia Mahadev. (Someone is lucky to be sleeping here at this chabootra!! …what a bliss )
And quietly the Chambal flows! The belt around this river is the famed National Chambal Sanctuary. The river is home to the famous Chambal Gharials or crocodiles.
The weather was turning bad with the occasional sound of loud thunder. It started drizzling, very soon. The below picture is not clear because of the mist in the air.
I could only manage one panoramic shot with a super wide lens because it started pouring. Here is a view of Chambal at Garadia Mahadev with extra wide angle lens – 11 mm!
I’ll let the picture do the explaining.
With a heavy downpour, we had to abandon our plans to visit the Garadia Mahadev temple nearby. With a long distance to cover on our return, we made a hasty retreat!
Essence of a Trip to Garadia Mahadev
The drive to Garadia Mahadev is fantastic. If you love driving, this is a highway to enjoy the drive! The views from Garadia Mahadev Temple of the surroundings is enthralling. It’s not a regular touristy place which is teeming with the people or hawkers which pester you no end. On the contrary, it’s quiet and serene place. Garadia Mahadev is a treat for every nature lover. You can sit here for hours and enjoy the serenity of this place.
Though I wouldn’t say these are issues or problems, rather I feel it’s a blessing in disguise on a personal level, otherwise it’s serenity will be lost!! But following are essential to know before visiting Garadia Mahadev Temple.
- Even though the place is beautiful, it’s not as depicted in the advertisement. The colors in the advertisement are digitally altered and enhanced. If you are getting lured by these “highly saturated colors” of the advertisement , be advised!
- Once the road branches off from the National Highway, it’s in terrible condition. There are no signboards at the intersection and no one around to guide you.
- Garadia Mahadev is a desolate place with no settlements in the vicinity. When we visited, there was hardly anyone around. In case of any emergency, there’s no one to help you.
- There are no mobile signals once you branch off the highway to the connecting road which leads to the Garadia Mahadev. Even services of the most widely available mobile networks in the country – Airtel and BSNL is not available in many sections. However, the mobile network is available at Garadia Mahadev.
- There are no eateries or shacks. Fill up before you head to the Garadia Mahadev or carry your own munch!
- This place is best visited in Monsoon when it comes alive with greenery around.
What are your views about Garadia Mahadev? Don’t forget to share in below comments section.