Heritage Tour -Punjab & Rajasthan (Tour of 2019)

Punjab & Rajasthan, are regarded as great heritage destinations in the Northern India.

Rajasthan with its rich heritage due to the erstwhile Rajput kingdoms which made sure Rajasthan would get top marks in Heritage destinations for centuries later as well, thanks to their large number of Forts and Luxury palaces all around the desert state of Rajasthan.

Punjab, on the other hand, has been remembered not only for its early kingdoms but also during the British occupation of India, for its freedom fighting movements and later known for bearing the brunt of Partition of India into one more country known as Pakistan.


We at HillTrotters planned and were lucky to have visited some of the important places from these two great states. Initially we planned our trip to Kashmir and only had plans to visit Chandigarh on the way, but unfortunately due the Indian Govt's decision to abrogate article 370 from dominion of Jammu & Kashmir, caused a panic and curfew/lockdown situation in Kashmir during August 2019. This made us change our plan and come up with a itinerary of extended tour of Punjab & Rajasthan on our Motorbike.


We at HillTrotters encourage travelers to plan their Journey on their own as this involves a small research on the places of their interest, communicating with other travelers on social media or directly and share their experiences overall which makes travel a more interesting life skill. So, we thought of sharing the Itinerary in our Travel Website, for the benefit of others, so that they can plan and make customized itinerary for themselves by adding or removing their places of Interest for a memorable journey.


Our Journey Plan:


We had our Initial plan of covering places like Chandigarh City, Golden Temple of Amritsar and on the way planned to taste lip smacking Punjabi cuisine from Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar. Also, we had plans to visit our Nation's border (Attari - Wagha Border between India & Pakistan). And from Rajasthan, we planned to visit city of Bikaner for the Junagarh Fort and Jaisalmer for the experience of Desert Living in Thar Desert, and in the end visit Jaipur City which is dotted with most of the heritage destinations of Rajasthan.


At last, during our travel we realized that, reaching Jaisalmer would mean we adding 2 more days to our itinerary and since we didn't had the luxury of extending our leaves, we removed Jaisalmer from the plan and added Ajmer as it falls on the way from Bikaner to Jaipur. The major points of destination of our Tour were as follows:

  1. Chandigarh

  2. Patiala

  3. Ludhiana

  4. Amritsar

  5. Bathinda

  6. Bikaner

  7. Ajmer

  8. Jaipur

  9. Sonipat

  10. Chandigarh

Route Plan - From Chandigarh to Amritsar to Jaipur

Day - 1: Chandigarh City Tour


On day-1, we arrived from Mumbai, and directly head towards MakeMyRide garage (bike pick-up point), to collect our Bike. We had our stay booked in Chandigarh city for that night and we had whole afternoon for ourselves to Explore Chandigarh. Below are key places and food Joints we were able to pay a visit.

  • Pal Dhaba - Sector 28 D for their lip smacking Butter Chicken and Parantha & Paneer Masala with Kulche as vegetarian option for our lunch. One of the most recommended restaurant which serves lip smacking dish of both Veg/Non-veg (** Must Visit).

  • Sukhna Lake & Park - For a post lunch peaceful walk among greenery of Sukhna Lake Park.

  • Rock Garden - This park cum Art Museum in a natural setting, mainly featuring rock sculptures marvelously carved using marbles or waste building materials.

  • Garg Chaats - Sector 23 C, for their mouth watering chaats (snacks).

Stay at:

Hotel Sun View, Sector 35, Chandigarh.

Sukhna Lake & Park, Chandigarh
Lip Smacking Food @ Pal Dhaba, Chandigarh
Rock Garden, Chandigarh

Day - 2: Chandigarh - Patiala - Ludhiana - Jalandhar ( 250 kms - 6 hrs Ride )


On day-2, On the way to Patiala, close to Sirhind, we took a detour into open wheat fields to take the feel of rural Punjab and for ample photoshoot opportunity.

We wanted to explore Patiala and its forts on Day-2, on our way to Jalandhar. But for some renovation purpose the fort of Patiala was close to visitors, but we were able to walk in the courtyard of the fort for sometime and then wanted to try the famous Chicken Rara and Dal Makhni from Sahni Dhaba in Patiala, before heading towards Jalandhar.

And in Ludhiana, we paid visit to Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Musuem, to take glimpse of the war fighting techniques used in the 15-17th Century and as well as post independence era.

We planned our night stay at Oyo Rooms in Jalandhar City.


Below are key places and food Joints we were able to pay a visit.

  • Road Journey via Sirhind (this is a rural belt between Chandigarh and Ludhiana) which is peaceful and scenic ride on the way to Ludhiana or Patiala.

  • Patiala Fort (Quila Mubarak).

  • Sahni Dhaba, Patiala - Famous for their Rara Chicken and Rumali Roti & Dal Makhni (**Must Visit).

  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum, Ludhiana - Museum showcasing the war fighting techniques and tools of Kingdoms of Punjab & Indian Army (post independence).

Stay at:

Oyo Rooms - Hotel Prakash INN, Jalandhar.

Somewhere in Sirhind, On the way to Patiala
RaRa Chicken special @ Sahni Dhaba, Patiala
Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum, Ludhiana

Day - 3: Jalandhar to Amritsar ( 90 kms - 2 hrs Ride )


On day-3, Our wait to visit Amritsar was getting over. We rode from Jalandhar to Amritsar in no time, and reached our hotel room (Fab Hotel) in Amritsar. Post freshen-up, we headed straight for Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara (Golden Temple). We had to drop off our bags/Shoes outside and clean our feet and hands before entering the most revered temple for the people of Sikh faith. We had to cover our head with a scarf or turban or any cloth in respect to the divine and we were humbled to say the least, to see a sea of people standing and praying inside the temple complex and a serpentine line waiting in line, to get into the main temple (Golden temple). We strolled around the Harmandir Sar (Lake) and as we planned to pay a visit and have a meal at the Gurudwara which is known as the Langar ceremony. It was a great life fulfilling experience to see the volunteers who enthusiastically prepare the meal for us and feed us & several thousand people every day as part of the langar ceremony which runs 24/7 and 365 days of the year.


After the great experience we strolled around the streets of Amritsar and visited the famous Paparwariyan (for home made special variety pappad) stores in old Amritsar, also we could visit Gobindgarh Fort and finally head back to our hotel room, but not before our not so great experience at Kesar Da Dhaba, due to a long wait for the food, but food was great though and along with the ambience.


Key places that we did visit:

  • Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib)

  • Gobindgarh Fort, Cantt Road, Amritsar (18th Century Fort)

  • Kesar Da Dhaba, Amritsar (for their amazing timeless Amritsari Kulche and Lassi)

Stay at:

FabHotel - J.S Regency (Grand Trunk Road, Amritsar)

Front View of Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar - Punjab
Side View of Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar - Punjab
Amritsari Kulche with Chole/Dahi/Pickle @ Kesar Da Dhaba, Amritsar
City Center, Amritsar - Punjab

Day - 4: Amritsar City Tour & Indo-Pak Border ( 90 kms - 2 hrs Ride )


We had not planned much for this extra day at Amritsar, but we could utilize the day in a much better way, being unplanned and open for new experiences.


Morning, at around 6:30, we went to Jallianwala Bagh, close to Golden Temple. This is the monument were in 1919 (during the freedom struggle under British Occupation), A British General, ordered and administered a massacre of peaceful people who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh for a meet. After paying our tribute to the martyrs during our visit to Jallianwala Bagh, and after having our heavy Punjabi Breakfast at Bharawan Da Dhaba, we visited the Partition Museum just opposite.


We were not expecting it to be such a treasure trove of Information on the Partition story of India & Pakistan just before our Independence on Aug.15, 1947. We spent almost 3 hours here, reading and going through the mammoth of information displayed at this partition museum and in the end, it was very well spent 3 hours and the knowledge we gained about our colonial history and the struggle of so many for our Independence was immense.


In the afternoon, we went to see the beating retreat ceremony at Attari-Wagha Border between India & Pakistan. For a person like me, the emotion that was being created at the border between the BSF & BAT force jawans and also the immensely huge crowd at Indian Side was bit too much of rhetorical nationalism rather than the true nationalism which respects all the countries. But it was worth a visit, especially the grand trunk road from Amritsar to Attari border gates was dead straight 34kms and it was unique experience to visit the end of our national border and see the neighboring country and its people in such a close proximity.


This brings to close, our experience of Amritsar in 2 days as we plan to head to Rajasthan in our journey continuing south in coming days.


Key places that we did visit:

  • Jallianwala Bagh Memorial, Amritsar - (Tribute Monument for the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919 under British rule of India)

  • Partition Museum, Amritsar (Museum with all the information there is on the Indo-Pak partition struggle and horrific stories of process and results of the partition)

  • Bharawan Da Dhaba, Amritsar - Best paranthe in the breakfast at Amritsar City (**Must Visit)

  • Bade Bhai ka Brothers Da Dhaba, Amritsar - for the punjabi dhabha style lunch.

  • Attari- Wagha (Indo - Pak Border) between Amritsar & Lahore of India & Pakistan.

Stay at:

FabHotel - J.S Regency (Grand Trunk Road, Amritsar)

Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar - Punjab
Bullet Marks of 1919 Massacre, Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar - Punjab
Partition Museum, Amritsar - Punjab
Attari-Wagha (Indo-Pak) Border, Punjab
Indo-Pak Flags Flying High @ Attari-Wagha (Indo-Pak) Border, Punjab

Day - 5: Amritsar - Bathinda - Suratgarh ( 340 kms - 7 hrs Ride )


This was a long ride day and we planned to leave Punjab and enter the desert state of Rajasthan by end of the day. We rode through the vast wheat fields of Tarn Taran Sahib and Faridkot. It was peaceful ride on the highway and we had a final breakfast in Punjab close to Bathinda.

We paid our visit to Bathinda Fort, and later we crossed over to Haryana for a brief period of time between Mandi & Sangaria, and then finally we were in the Desert State of Rajasthan.


We could not reach Bikaner, by the end of the day and could only reach up to Suratgarh and booked an Oyo for our Night's stay. The Hotel & Restaurant were really nice and staff were polite and made our stay completely peaceful and later we understood that, Suratgarh is home to Indian Air Force Base which is really close to Indo-Pak border and the sub urban city is maintained pretty well. The next day we had plan to reach Bikaner.


Key places that we did visit:

  • Bathinda Fort - One of the oldest standing fort in India, known to have constructed in 90-110 AD in Bathinda - Punjab.

Stay at:

Hotel Hot N Fast Suratgarh (City Road Suratgarh) - 5 star rating for their service/cleanliness/tasty food ...

Ancient Fort of Bathinda, Punjab
Fort Walls of Ancient Fort of Bathinda, Punjab
Finally Reached the Desert Land of The Great Thar Desert, Suratgarh - Rajasthan

Day - 6: Suratgarh to Bikaner ( 200 kms - 4 hrs Ride )


The ride from Suratgarh to Bikaner, was even though uneventful, but still it was special, as we were riding all the way in midst of the desert area (even though the roads cut in between many villages, which doesn't seem to be in a desert area due to some vegetation around us. During this ride, we decided that, we will cut short our journey and leave Jaisalmer out from our Itinerary as it would take 2 more days to cover Jaisalmer and we didn't have more days left in our bucket.

By afternoon we reached Bikaner, and checked into our hotel in the city center, close to Junagarh Fort.

In the afternoon, we visited Junagarh fort which was a terrific experience. The fort was really well maintained and a free guide for a large group was available and we spent almost 2-3 hours exploring the fort.


In the evening, we visited a unique place which we planned in Bikaner. Bikaner is home to National Camel Research Center, where various breeds of Camels (endemic to Indian and Asian Peninsula) are hosted and raised with utmost care.


Key places that we did visit:

  • Junagarh Fort - One of the iconic fort & palace in Bikaner City. Originally built in 16th Century, under Raja Rai Singh of Bikaner, the modern city of Bikaner has been developed or flourished around this iconic fort.

  • ICAR-National Research Center on Camel - started in 1984, this premier research center on Camels comes under ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research. This research center is at outskirts of Bikaner and houses a Camel Museum, and Camel mill parlor as well to attract the tourists from around the world.

Stay at:

Oyo Rooms - Shiva's Regency (Alakh Sagar Road, Bikaner)


Junagarh Fort - View of Portico, Bikaner
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner - Rajasthan
Inner View, Junagarh Fort, Bikaner - Rajasthan
Feeding the Camels @ Camel Research Center, Bikaner - Rajasthan
Camel Couple posing @ Camel Research Center, Bikaner - Rajasthan

Day - 7: Bikaner to Ajmer ( 270 kms - 6 hrs Ride )


As soon as we got off from Bikaner, I expected the roads to be completely surrounded with Desert terrain, but to my surprise, when we got close to Ajmer the entire terrain changed and we were in the middle of hilly and tropical jungle terrain (Kind of massive desert oasis) and we also met with rain showers. Just before Ajmer, our bike Battery and starter Kit broke down, and after some effort, our Bike owner from Chandigarh happily arranged for help with Royal Enfield Mechanics, that too on a National Holiday (15th of August) and we couldn't thank him enough.


By the time we reached Ajmer we were surrounded with traffic jam all around us close to Ajmer Sharif Dargha and fully drenched in rain and it was late night as well. It was a hopeless journey of last 40 mins to our hotel and we decided to just call it a day and take rest for the rest of the night.


Key places that we did visit:

  • Pushkar Lake - One of the sacred lakes for Hindus and a religious place in India. It is located in Pushkar town in Ajmer District of Rajasthan.

  • Ajmer Sharif Dargha - Ajmer Sharif is a sufi shrine of the revered sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti, located in Ajmer town and it houses the grave of Moinuddin Chisti and one of the important religious sites for Sufi followers.

Stay at:

Hotel Plaza Inn (Plaza Road, Diggi Chowk, Ajmer)

Holy Lake of Pushkar, On the way to Ajmer
On the way to Ajmer, Rajasthan
Near Pushkar Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan

Day - 8: Ajmer to Jaipur ( 140 kms - 3 hrs Ride )


This was a short ride of 3hrs from Ajmer to Jaipur and we reached Jaipur early in the morning itself.

We had plenty of options for the places to visit in Jaipur (the city of Palaces) and one of the most visited destinations in India by foreigners.


All in all, we assumed that, weather in Punjab would be cloudy and cool and terrain would be green all along, and in Rajasthan, the weather would be extremely hot and humid, due to the close proximity to the Thar Desert. But we were completely wrong. Wherever we went in Punjab, the weather was really hot and humid and in Rajasthan we could feel cool breeze and intermittent rain showers at times.


Key places that we did visit:

  • Hawa Mahal - Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, its a honeycomb like design made up of red and pink sandstone, this is one of unique structure more than 200 years old, which will blow the creative minds of many visiting tourists.

  • Amber Palace - Designated as UNSECO World Heritage Site in 2013, this is un-doubtedly one of the most visited place in Rajasthan. Built in 10th Century A.D, this palace was once the residence of Rajput Maharajas.

  • Jaigarh Fort - Right behind the Amber Palace (on the aravalli range of mountains) Jaigarh fort is situated and it houses a huge cannon foundry and also houses 4 watch towers which overlooks the entire Amber Palace and its surroundings. To make things interesting there is an underground pathway between Amber Palace and Jaigarh, which we took and it was spooky yet exciting.

  • Panna Meena ka Kund - This is an old step well, which is barely a mile away from Amber fort and worth the visit.

Places to Eat:

We had our breakfast and Lunch at Kanha Restaurant, which is a really nice place for the variety of dishes they serve with clean and hygienic conditions. It is located in C Scheme, Bhagat Singh Marg in Jaipur.


Here our tour together would come to an end as my partner (life + travel) would fly back to Mumbai from Jaipur Airport. I would continue riding solo from Jaipur to Chandigarh to return the bike as well as to enjoy the solo ride experience.


Stay at:

FabExpress Suryamani (Near Hasanpura Railway Station, Jaipur)

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Grand View of Amber Palace, Jaipur
Portico of Amber Palace, Jaipur
Secret Tunnel Route from Amber Fort to Jaigarh Fort
Krishna Meera Temple, Near Amber Fort, Jaipur
View of Amber Fort from Jaigad Fort, Jaipur
Panna Meena ka Kund, StepWell, Jaipur

Day - 9: Jaipur - Gurugram - Sonipat ( 300 kms - 6 hrs Ride )


The entire ride was un-eventful to say the least and I enjoyed the Jaipur - Gurugram highway on the Thunderbird. I took countless chai breaks through out the day to beat the heat on Highway ride. At the end of the day got stuck near Dwarka Sector (outer Delhi) due to bad choice of route and due to un-marked deviations thanks to on-going metro construction. Finally crossed over to Rohini Sector and rode all the way in Traffic till I hit Sonipat. There, I called it an end of day at Sonipat as I got a good deal for a Oyo Room there and treated myself to a nice KFC Dinner from a near by KFC Restaurant :P


Stay at:

Oyo Rooms - Hotel Gazal (Murthal Road, Sonipat)



Day -10: Panipat - Kurukshetra - Chandigarh ( 210 kms - 4 hrs Ride )


I started very early on the last day of the ride and rode to Chandigarh via Panipat - Kurukshetra - Ambala highway, which I always wanted to do because of its text book and Mythological significance.


Finally I reached Chandigarh after a 4hrs of ride and directly went to Pal Dhabha (Sector 28D) where we had awesome Punjabi Food (Butter Chicken & Kulche with a humble long glass of Lassi) on the Day-1 of our journey and this was a very apt and happy ending to the long 10-day Bike Journey across Punjab/Rajasthan/Haryana states of India to finish the journey at same Pal Dhaba with a happy Punjabi meal.


Also, to end the day I spent some quiet time at Sukhna Lake park to watch the day end and planned for the next day Flight to Mumbai from Chandigarh Airport.


Stay at:

Fab Express - Hotel Prabhat (Zirakpur, Chandigarh)



Bike Rental (Chandigarh):


Through one of Travel Friend, I got to know about Pritpal Paaji & JoJo Paaji from MakeMyRide.in (A premier and well known bike rental agency in Chandigarh).

Their entire team of MakeMyRide, themselves are experienced bikers known to have toured across India, specifically experienced in the Himalayan Biking Expeditions and they have a long list of Royal Enfield Bikes (many are modified for Touring) and offer additional services of planning and organizing biking tours for groups.


We contacted them over their WhatsApp# and made advance booking for the bike and were provided with the best of the bike along with accessories for our tour such as Saddle Bags. Below is the contact # for MakeMyRide.in


Mob# +91 9872 617 977 (Pritpal Singh Khurana), +91 - 9814 811 574 (JoJo)

Website: makemyride.in

Email# contact@makemyride.in


Places that we missed and can be added to the Itinerary:


1. Moga (Punjab) - Green belt of Punjab and Riding in the heartland villages of Punjab.

2. Jaisalmer in Rajasthan state (Desert Capital of India) - Deep inside the Thar desert of India, one of a desert living experience. We can add Jaisalmer to the itinerary after Bikaner visit which will add 1 more day to the Tour.

3. Jodhpur (Rajasthan) - Capital city of Rajput Dynasty Kingdom and another masterpiece of a city dotted with Palaces and Forts. After Jaisalmer, Jodhpur can be put on itinerary which will add 2 more days to the Tour.

4. Udaipur along with Rajsamand or Mount Abu (Rajasthan) - Udaipur being lake city of Rajasthan known best for its lakes/City Palace is a must visit and would need at least 1 day to explore, if not a separate trip of 3-4 days along with Mount Abu & Rajsamand.


Best season to Travel:


There is no specific perfect time to visit Heritage States like Punjab & Rajasthan but in my opinion,

August to February is a right time to visit due to the weather conditions normally in Punjab & Rajasthan.


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