ABOUT THE CONTEST: Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers is an ongoing monthly online contest hosted on Autocar India and Hero MotoCorp’s Facebook page. All participants are asked to answer some very simple questions, and at the end of the contest every month, three winners are chosen.
These lucky bike enthusiasts win an all-expenses-paid two-nights, three-days ride on three Hero Karizma ZMRs. The rides are planned well in advance and cover several beautiful locations across the country. Those interested in participating can enter the contest on Autocar India or Hero MotoCorp’s Facebook page. The contest and rides are organised and conducted by Autocar India.
March in Rajasthan is a month with brilliant riding weather. Which is why this edition of the Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers ride was a three-day journey from Jaipur to the Shekhawati district, then Alwar and finally back to the Pink City. Kapil, Rahul and Dhirendra, our contest winners, along with Autocar’s Vir Nakai were all excited about the plan to ride through Rajasthan. And we all know what is said about best-laid plans...
The Wanderers set out from the bustling little city of Jaipur early in the morning. They were in for a treat. The four-lane highway out of Jaipur was absolutely brilliant. They headed towards Churu down NH11 on a route that would take them past Sikar, Laxmangarh and Fatehpur. But then, the dark clouds that had been gathering since the day before finally gave way to rain. Soon, the Wanderers were caught in a proper downpour. Our riders found cover and chai at a little shed and waited to see if the rain would let up. The rain, on the other hand, didn’t look like it had any plans except to pour. True Wanderers, they didn’t let the rain dampen their enthusiasm and decided to continue riding. After about 80km and what seemed like an eternity, the rain finally stopped. About 16km before Churu, at a village called Ramgarh, the Wanderers turned right off the highway and soon arrived at Mahansar Fort in the Shekhawati district. This region is known for its wealth of mural paintings or frescoes which adorn the walls of many havelis.
Mahansar Fort, their stop for the night, was a superb example of the region’s art. The family that owns the fort has converted it to a heritage homestay and the Wanderers experienced outstanding Shekhawati hospitality during their stay there. They spent the entire evening exploring the fort and the village around it. It was like a short trip into the past.
After a dark and stormy night, the riders woke up to a dark and stormy morning. They decided to wait till the rain stopped and treated themselves to an extra-long breakfast. To everyone’s surprise, the sky cleared and the sun was shining brightly. After a brief check for directions, the Wanderers set off towards Alwar via Bissau, Jhunjhunu, Chirawa and Narnaul. Smooth, completely empty roads meant the Wanderers made short work of the 215km to Alwar. They had to keep a sharp eye out as this single-lane road is dotted with many unmarked turn-offs and it would be really easy to end up riding in the wrong direction.
But they finally made it to Alwar and checked into Dadhikar Fort, another heritage property on the outskirts of Alwar. After a long and tiring ride, a beautifully maintained 1100-year-old fort, a view of the Aravalli Hills and well-trained staff was exactly what the Wanderers needed to kick back and relax.
The next day, the Wanderers had a decision to make. There are a number of roads that lead from Alwar to Jaipur, and they needed to choose one. When they saw that one route went around the boundary of Sariska National Park, they unanimously decided to take it. The roads were not in the best shape, but the views were brilliant. When you can see old forts and havelis dotting the hills you’re riding through, it does make for a superb experience. And when you’ve got a bike with power and stability to take on the hills and bad roads, the experience gets even better. Soon they were on NH8, on their way back to the Pink City. They arrived at Surya Autocorp, a Hero MotoCorp dealership at Jaipur, in good time and handed over the Hero Karizma ZMRs. They also met and swapped riding stories with Hero Karizma ZMR owner Akshay Sharma.
After three days of hard riding, freak weather and fantastic hospitality, the Wanderers headed home with a promise that they would return for another ride through this fantastic state.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Hero ZMR Ride. Riding with Vir was a wonderful experience, thanks to his know-how of riding. The ride for each day was planned well.
The route was a perfect blend of rural and urban areas and the distances we had to cover each day were just right – we had enough time to rest through the ride. The accommodations you arranged were unique. The memories from this ride are those I will cherish forever. - Dhirendra Upadhay