It is one of those great drives where you can actually cover the Delhi – Bikaner distance of about 530 kilometers (330 miles) in seven hours which I did (plus an additional one hour coffee break). Except for certain stretches between Kotputli and Sikar, the roads are almost as good as any in the world. Not just your Ferraris, even your normal Honda or Suzuki sedans will feel like mean machines.
If you set out early morning, by around 7:00 am from Delhi, the six-lane highway up to Kotputli will have very little traffic and you can easily average about 70 km an hour over a 160 km distance. The inconsistent road and rural habitat up to Sikar (a further 133 km on highway 37B) from there might slow you down just a notch, but a very pleasant surprise awaits after that.
It is a dual carriageway, National Highway 11, all the way to Bikaner with hardly a blemish on the road, and almost traffic free. This is where you step on it, and hit speeds of even 140 kms per hour for over a 200 km stretch rarely seen in India. Yes, I stand guilty as charged for over-speeding, but the temptation was too strong to resist.
This also means Bikaner is not as far from Delhi as one would imagine. It can easily be a 3-4 day weekend break, even when one is driving at more modest speeds. Go for it, the town is a must-visit on any traveller’s list.