I have been using NH2 via Faridabad to Mathura for going to Bharatpur over the years. NH2 is too overcowded now and is a painful experience to travel by this route. Now that a second option of Yamuna Expressway had come up, I decided to explore this route on this year’s first trip to Bharatpur. Therefore I am sharing this route guide from Delhi to Bharatpur via the Taj / Yamuna Expressway.
The first toll gate on expressway is at Jawar. You can pay toll upto Mathura at this gate itself. Total toll upto Mathura as on Feb, 2015 was Rs.230/-. Shortly after crossing the Mathura toll booth, you will get the exit for Vrindavan. Do not exit by this. About a couple of km ahead is the Exit no. 8 for Mathura. Exit here and you will be on SH33. One end goes to Hathras and the other to Mathura. Turn left for Mathura. Road sign exists. Follow the road. After some time you will get a railway line on your right along the road. Keep moving straight till you reach a crowded junction with a police point /barricade. This is a market. Do not turn left. Left goes to Gokul. Keep moving straight till you cross the Yamuna via a narrow bridge. Barricade was apparently for preventing heavy vehicles from getting onto the narrow bridge.
|Sarus crane pair is mating display at Bharatpur|
After crossing the bridge, you will reach a T point. Turn left. You will drive through a narrow road in a market. En-route you will get a near 90 degree bend. Follow the road till you reach another T junction. Turn left here. This is Agra road. Drive till Yodha circle. I found a good overhead road sign just before the circle. There is a big bust of a soldier at the centre of the rounabout. This is Mathura cantt area. Take the near U turn around the circle. After about five hundred meters, when the cantonment campus ends, turn left at the first lane. You will get to see a school as you turn on right hand side. There exists only a small sign here. Straight goes into Mathura city.
Now follow the road and keep moving straight. Avoid a road named as Yodha Marg en-route that veers off the main road towards left. Stick to the main road. You will get another narrow market area of about half km. Continue through the market. You will get a railway crossing. This road is a single road with decent traffic. It will finally connect the NH2. At the very point it connects NH2 there is an opening to cross over to the other side. Cross the NH2 and drive towards Delhi by going onto the flyover. The road to Bharatpur (SH33) starts exactly at the middle of the flyover on this side. If you come from Delhi via NH-2, then also you need to cross this flyover and take a U turn at this point.
From there on Bharatpur is 34km. This is a single carriage way road and is in fair condition. You will have to manoeuvre many terrible spread breakers on this road. Therefore do not dive very fast. Closer to Bharatpur, when you enter Rajasthan, the road it is in good condition. Almost on reaching Bharatpur, you will find a road sign telling you to go straight to Bharatpur and turn right to Jaipur. Avoid going straight as the road is temporarily closed due to construction of a flyover near railway station. Hence turn right. After about a KM or so you will get a junction with an indicator to turn left for Bharatpur. Avoid this left turn as this again goes to the closed road at station. Instead go straight till you reach a T point and you see Vijay Hospital on other side of T point. Turn left at this point onto the flyover. After crossing the flyover, you will cross the railway line through an underpass. About 50mtr from the underpass, there is a left turn for entering city. Take this left turn to get into the city. As you come out of the underpass, there is road sign indicating to go straight for Bharatpur and Keoladeo Ghana. But all locals whom we had asked for direction advised us to turn left as the road ahead is not in good shape.
After turning left, continue straight till you reach a T point. Turn right. If you have been to Bharatpur earlier, then you will be familiar from this point onwards. Else, check my old post for a road map through Bharatpur to the Bird Sanctuary. You need to find your way to Bijli Ghar circle. Turn left there to reach Saras Chowk on the Agra-Jaipur Highway. Park is about 500 mtr from this point. All the hotels and guest houses are here.
For staying RTDC Saras is a decent option @1200 for non-AC room. Rooms are OK, but service and food is very poor. However they have a huge parking lot and we found that gates were locked after 10:30pm. Birder’s Inn is the costliest @4200 with BF and Dinner. But it is the best property at Bharatpur. Sunbird in next campus is also decent, but prices were at par with Birder’s Inn. Therefore given choice to splurge, I would choose Birder’s Inn. There are couple of Guest Houses on the road where RTDC Saras is located. One can look to explore them as well. If you are there on weekdays, you should bargain hard for good discount. Tariff of RTDC Saras is a guide for bargaining. As a photographer, my favourite den is Iora Guset House. But this place always stays booked. This is photographer’s den from all over India. Staying here you not only get to interact with fellow photographers. But also get to know what is happening in the park and where it is happening.