When I started the Madhya Pradesh Trip I didn’t expect it to be a adventure. We had everything planned and booked well in advance. Bags packed we started on our 11 days vacation. We were 3 in the group, Akshata, Sharan and me. Our adventure started with us almost missing our flight thanks to 2 people; the taxi driver who wouldn't go faster than 30KM/hour and the Chief Minister of Karnataka who was travelling and traffic was blocked to give way for him. Luckily KF was kind enough to accommodate us.
The flight itself was uneventful, met some locals from Indore who spoke about the must see in MP and also the local food that we had to try. Got some good information from them. The best one was on hiring taxi, we managed to get a good deal thanks to tips from them and good negotiating skills of Sharan. Of course, how can I forget charming smiles from AK and me.
Trip to Mandu, our first destination was uneventful except for our driver (Nitin) not knowing the way and having to stop every now and then to ensure we were on the right track. We stopped for lunch at a highway. After lunch the only thing we knew was what happened in our dreams.
As Mandu neared we started spotting ruins everywhere. Later we were told that it was the 2nd largest ruins site in India after Hampi. Our resort as promised online was on the banks of a lake. Clean decent accommodation at a relatively low cost. Food was not so good though but manageable.
Quick round of freshening up and we were off to see the sunset. As the sun went down life in Mandu went to sleep. Deserted streets, no restaurants except the MP tourism ones and one more local one. After a quick hunt by Sharan for local liquor (Mahuwa) which we finally managed to get thanks to our driver we headed to the hotel. We were fast asleep by 9 pm (unimaginable) it might be that awful local drink (cant explain how it tasted).
Next day started early, managed to go to some old ruins near by and watch some birds as well. The guide arrived as promised at 8:30 am. This name was Vishnu Tiwari, he is the most sought after guide and we found him thanks to MP Tourism Office. We had hired him for the day and asked him to give us detailed history of the place. He did a good job. Showing us the places like mid wife's palace ,Roopmathi’s Pavilion where one can see Narmada, the Taj Mahal of Mandu, the pleasure place of Baz Bahadur , the shop of Gada Shah and all other hotspots in Mandu. He also told us about the local stories, about river Narmada, and about the local tamarind bought there from Afghanistan.
We had some good pan at the guide’s shop while we waited for him to get his set of rechargeable batteries for Sharan. Sharan the professional photographer for the trip had taken so many shots in the morning that by noon his camera cells were out of charge. He was disappointed that he could not take as many pictures as he would have like.
By the end of the day we were too tired to do anything other than eat and sleep (no wonder there is no night life here ppl must be tired after walking around the ruins ) . Dinner was going to be local dish Dal Phaniya. Our guide had suggested this and said it was something one should not miss. He also said his wife made the best Dal Phaniya but refused to take the hint and invite us home. The dish was different. It was like South Indian idlies made of corn and then roasted on fire, served with dal curry. Along with this we also go jeera rice, papad and rava ladoo. This dinner is not served by the hotel, it is from the dabha outside just outside the hotel. A must try!!
Dinner done and our stomachs full we hit the bed and were dead to the world till 5:30 am next morning.