India is a country of contradictions and contrasts and you actually live these oxymoronic contrasts on your way to Neemrana-‘The Gateway to Royalty through the dusty, bumpy, potholed by-lanes’. Here peeing men give the toughest competition to peahensand the royal guards, in their stately attire, will find their match in the ragged children playing just outside the fort.
So, if you are a history enthusiast and find your heart throbbing at the mention of Rajasthan royals, here you find an abridged version of history. History of Neemrana dates back to 15th century and boasts of harboring descendents of the legendary Prathviraj Chauhan himself. If you are not a history buff, you may like to drive around the countryside of ‘Incredible India’. And if you don’t find yourself belonging to any of the aforementioned categories,you still visit it because everyone in NCR talks about it.
It would be quaint to describe the journey after one crosses the hustle and bustle of millennium city Gurgaon and reachesManesar, another, maybe billannium city in making; It is quoted as the industrial town, automobile hub and so on and so forth. You spot less people on the streets and gear up for a smoother, finer ride to your destination. The drive doesn’t disappoint as you move across the Aravalis with a forlorn serenity and a dash of romance. It will be occasionally disrupted sometimes by the food joints offering all sorts of delectable choices and sometimes by the potholes. McDonald, KFCs, Bikanerwala and Haldiram are some of the popular names that promote your appetite. The billboards towering above you ensure that you don’t miss them. If that does not satiate your palate, you’d find number of Dhabas offering choicest of Parathas and the regular Dhaba food like Dal Makhni, Butter Paneer masala, Butter Chicken and Tandoori delights. For people with exotic taste buds, number of Japanese restaurant s are also seen and heard.
NH-8 Pink City Expressway
So far so good! The real fight starts when you need a ‘U’ turn from the highway. One may need to hire a detective to spot the ‘Oh so discrete’ hole of a narrow passage which allows only small vehicle to turn. Chances are you’d miss it the first time. So the word of advice here is to be alert as a Hawk. Finding that ‘U’ turn is no victory, rather a far cry… There is a signboard that announces your arrival in Neemrana which requires you to turn left. One would imagine that such a popular place as Neemrana would have direction signs everywhere but alas! Not only are they absent, the locals, roaming around the street, show total ignorance about such a fort. Their quizzical look turns your journey into a thriller. You go up and down the street and finally decide you might have taken the wrong turn. That is when Google map comes to your rescue as it takes you to the most unassuming turn to the right. You still feel unsure because you did not expect a kingly fort and a glamorous hotel, like the one you saw in all those pictures, to be situated in an uneven, graveled, narrow, apology of a lane. You turn anyway and lo and behold! A steep climb and the screeching tyres finally take you to what you sought. It’s a sigh of relief you take as you see the huge Gateway standing majestically. You have arrived, literally .
Beyond that….? Enter and experience the slice of history….it could be heaven or it could be hell.