The grandeur of the pink city, Jaipur keeps calling me back to which I have never said no. And I would truly be a fool to not acknowledge the opportunity to drive the Ford Endeavour all the way to Jaipur. This city has always been close to my heart as I’ve spent a good part of my childhood running in the pink streets and just the sheer thought of revisiting Jaipur fills me with an emotional rush, which is hard to explain.
This time around the rains, Jaipur turns truly green. The NH8 highway which has been going under construction for ages now, looks beautiful specifically in July and August, with greenery sprouting across both the sides of the highway. On the flipside, rains also leave the roads in peril as the fragile highway turns into mini pools.
But if you are cruising in something as herculean as the new Ford Endeavour you truly wouldn’t bother anything, at all. You sit two stories higher than anything else on the road, and the car does its job very well of soaking even the rugged surfaces that you may encounter on your journey. Also, it feels highly confidence inspiring and stable on triple-digit highway speeds, taking you to the desired destination rather quickly. And to keep yourself entertained all the way, it comes with an 8-inch TFT touchscreen infotainment system with Ford’s SYNC 3 interface, which is simple to use and connect.
The car runs on a 3198 cc diesel engine pushing out about 197bhp of maximum power at 3,000rpm, and 470Nm of peak torque hits between 1750 to 2500rpm. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car manages to stay in the right gear no matter how fast or slow you are driving and shifts are slick. The car rides on a wave of torque from as low as 1500 rpm and lunges forward with confidence, and character.
Even when riding on fast highway speeds, nothing filters out into the cabin, and you genuinely feel well isolated from whatever’s happening on the outside. Endeavour’s cabin is a spacious, features rich place to be in and even after a long highway drive you come as fresh as you’ve just stepped in.
Jaipur is located at about 250 odd kilometers from Delhi, and you can cover the same in not more than 4.5 hours if you maintain a decent pace. If you are heading to the city for the first time, then prepare yourself to be blown away from the charisma of the heritage this city has managed to preserve from hundreds of years. There are a number of tourist attractions around Jaipur, while places like Jal Mahal, Amer Fort, and Hawa Mahal are among the few most visited places. Amer Fort marks an entry into Jaipur, guarding the city from its graceful high located position, while Hawa Mahal is at the center which is often surrounded by jam-packed roads and a fully pink-colored old Jaipur market. If you plan on visiting the same, make sure you plan it in the early hours or else you might get stuck in the tedious Jaipur traffic.
The Jaipur trip can never come to an end without the authentic Rajasthani food which can be easily found if you know where to go. ‘Chokhi Dhani’ is such place in Jaipur where you can get your real ‘Rajasthani Thali’ experience plus you are also greeted by Rajasthani folk dancers making you fall in love with this traditional experience.
This trip was among the best ones, and I am sure that without my companion, the Ford Endeavour, it wouldn’t have been this special. With its larger than life interior and seating space, confidence-inspiring driving dynamics, and brutal character that shied away everything sharing space on the highways, Endeavour once again proved that it is truly a king’s ride in all sense.
Photography - Prashant Singh