India’s toughest SUV goes to one of its most haunted sites. This thing has epic journey written all over it.

So you think you’re man enough to drive to Bhangarh? It’s supposed to be a haunted site,” the Ed asked. “Err… depends on the car we have,” I said diplomatically, hoping it would be a puny hatchback or sedan – I’d tell him it wouldn’t be good enough for the messed up highway, and get out of this one. “A Mahindra Bolero”, he said. Deal sealed, then. You see, cars don’t get tougher or rougher or more solid than the Bolero. It’s no-nonsense character, no-questions-asked-none -answered personality is just what we needed before heading out to Rajasthan, especially for a trip deep into a national tiger reserve followed by a detour to one of India’s most haunted sites.
The plan was to get out of Delhi and hit Alwar by evening. Visit Sariska animal sanctuary the next day and head to
Bhangarh in the evening. This would be followed by a drive to Jaipur on the third day.
If you live in Delhi, you’ll agree getting out of the city on to NH8 is a task by itself. The traffic snarls around Gurgaon and the Manesar border are no less intimidating than the ghosts allegedly waiting for us at Bhangarh. But to my surprise, getting out was as smooth as silk. There was no traffic around the infamous Gurgaon toll, no truck traffic around Manesar and no slow moving construction vehicles around the border that usually plague motorists on the way to Rajasthan. This despite the fact that it was rush hour – it appeared the gods (or was it the ghosts?) were with us. Once out of the city, the Bolero made quick progress, notching up triple digit speeds with ease and overtaking slower traffic with just a gentle tap on the accelerator.
What also works in the Bolero’s favour is its muscular frame. Its massive ground clearance, long wheelbase and fine
engine make it a very good long-distance runner. Its imposing road presence means that one look in their mirrors
is all it took for our fellow motorists to give way. After all, who would want to fall prey to this beast?
Before heading to Alwar, we decided to take a break at the Neemrana Fort Palace, around 100km from Delhi. It is a sanctuary of peace, calm and positive energy. Even spending a couple of hours here is enough to send you back with enough new found energy to take on the tedium of daily life. A must-visit on any trip to Rajasthan. Apart from sitting down for a quiet meal and coffee, you can also go zip-lining, which will give you a bird’s-eye view of the entire complex.
After spending a couple of hours here, we decided to hit the road again before it got dark. Though the distance
from Neemrana to Alwar is around 100km, we had to leave the national highway soon and were disappointed with
the condition of the state highways.
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