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Old 25th April 2011, 18:40   #1
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Red face Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Hey guys
I'm doing a road trip down South from Mumbai starting this weekend. This is the plan:
1. Mumbai-Karwar via Belgaum, then via Anshi National Park to Karwar.
2. Karwar-Coorg via Mangalore, Puttur, Sulya
3. Coorg - Coonoor via Kushalnagar, Hunsur, Begur, Bandipur
4. Coonoor to Pondicherry via Avinashi, Maniyanur (on NH47), Udarapalayam(on NH45)
5. Pondicherry - Bangalore on NH66 & 7
6. Bangalore - Mumbai on NH4

Does anyone know how the road is through Anshi? The plan is to shack up in Poona on the 28th and leave early morning (around 5 am) from Pune, so as to make good time in daylight and when traffic is sparse.
I haven't travelled in these parts and am unsure of any of these roads. I would love to travel on the lesser used roads unless they are unduly bad (I hate broken tarmac!)
Any suggestions?
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Old 25th April 2011, 19:28   #2
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Any reasons for Pondicherry? I would be too hot now.
Rest we can chalk up a plan.

Roads via Anshi will always be rough. But its doable.
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Old 25th April 2011, 19:31   #3
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

I don't want to break your bubble but you wouldn't enjoy Coorg as that place is mostly for the rains/post rains. You can visit the Tibetan Monastery but the green cover would be sparse and Abbe Falls a trickle. The weather is decent; not pleasant during the day.

Pondicherry would be very hot now; and Pondicherry - Bangalore roads aren't exactly good right at the moment.
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Old 25th April 2011, 20:31   #4
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

@ampere: well, the wife decided that this time she WANTS to go to Pondicherry. So, no choice there. Will be great if you can help me chalk a scenic route.
@libranof1987: Coorg got mandated as a nice stopover between going east from the west.
We had originally planned to go North but that's what we've been doing since the last 3 years in May, so this time it was the south. So guys, what with the weather & all, will at least try and make the drive interesting!
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Old 25th April 2011, 20:51   #5
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wdrifter View Post
@ampere: well, the wife decided that this time she WANTS to go to Pondicherry. So, no choice there. Will be great if you can help me chalk a scenic route.
@libranof1987: Coorg got mandated as a nice stopover between going east from the west.
We had originally planned to go North but that's what we've been doing since the last 3 years in May, so this time it was the south. So guys, what with the weather & all, will at least try and make the drive interesting!
Nice scenic route to/from Pondicherry? Then ECR (East Coast Road) is just for you. Wonderful route from Chennai to Pondicherry with the coast line just next to you.

You can and should stop over at Mahabalipuram on the way then.

PS : I'm sure you plan to visit Auroville as a part of Pondicherry. Please note that you have to make a reservation to visit Maitree Mandir at least 1 day prior to your actual visit. They do NOT entertain people who just show up and ask for entry.
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Old 25th April 2011, 22:54   #6
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

The ideal route I would take is as follows:

To Karwar:
BOmbay-Pune-Kolhapur-Nippani-Belgaum-Hubli-Yellapura-Ankola-Karwar

Alternatively:
BOmbay-Pune-Kolhapur-Nippani-Belgaum-Khanapur-Ramnagar-Anmod-Ponda-Margaon-Karwar

I would not recommend the Anshi route because roads are not great and facilities non-existent. But if you really want to:
BOmbay-Pune-Kolhapur-Nippani-Belgaum-Khanapur-Ramnagar-LOnda-Supa Dam-Anshi-Kadra-Sadashivgarh-Karwar

To Madikeri:
Karwar-Ankola-Kumta-Honavar-Bhatkal-Baindur-Kundapura-Udupi-Mangalore-BC Road-Uppinangadi-Shiradi Ghat-Sakleshoura-Shanivarsanthe-Somwarpet-Madikeri

I have suggested the above route because the shortest route which is Mangalore-BC Road-Puttur-Sulya-Madikeri has a problem in that Sulya-Madikeri is closed for major repairs.

You can also avoid Mangalore, but since you are new to the area, I would prefer that you stick to the NH17-NH48 highways instead of taking short cuts from Udupi itself.

To Conoor:
You do not have to go via Hunsur to go to Conoor.
Madikeri-Virajpet-Kutta-Manathavady-Kalpetta-Cherambadi-Meppadi-Gudalur (or Manathavady-Sultan's Battery-Gudalur)-Ooty-Conoor.

If you want to go via Hunsur, then:
Madikeri-Kushalnagar-Hunsur-Mysore-Nanjangud-Gundulpet-Bandipur-Mudumalai/Theppaikadu-Masinagudi-Kalhatti-Ooty (or Mudumalai-Gudalur-Ooty).

To POndy:
Conoor-Mettupalayam-Sathyamangalam-Annur-Avinashi-Bhavani-Salem-Attur-Kallakurichi-Ulundurpet-Villupuram-POndicherry

Problem is that Salem-Ulundurpet road is being widened, has some bad stretches.

To Bangalore:
Direct road is in a mess between Tiruvannamalai and Krishnagiri. Hence, you have many options. One straightforward option is to take ECR to Madras and then go on NH4/NH46 to Bangalore via Vellore & Krishnagiri.

Alternatively,
Pondy-Tindivanam-Gingee-Tiruvannamalai-Vellore-Vaniyambadi-Krishnagiri-Hosur-Bangalore.
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Old 26th April 2011, 14:53   #7
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Nice scenic route to/from Pondicherry? Then ECR (East Coast Road) is just for you. Wonderful route from Chennai to Pondicherry with the coast line just next to you.

You can and should stop over at Mahabalipuram on the way then.

PS : I'm sure you plan to visit Auroville as a part of Pondicherry. Please note that you have to make a reservation to visit Maitree Mandir at least 1 day prior to your actual visit. They do NOT entertain people who just show up and ask for entry.
Yes. That's a good suggestion. The wife and our boys also haven't seen the place, so Mahabalipuram will be an interesting stopover. Thanks for the heads up on Maitree Mandir. I didn't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The ideal route I would take is as follows:

To Karwar:
BOmbay-Pune-Kolhapur-Nippani-Belgaum-Hubli-Yellapura-Ankola-Karwar

Alternatively:
BOmbay-Pune-Kolhapur-Nippani-Belgaum-Khanapur-Ramnagar-Anmod-Ponda-Margaon-Karwar

I would not recommend the Anshi route because roads are not great and facilities non-existent. But if you really want to:
BOmbay-Pune-Kolhapur-Nippani-Belgaum-Khanapur-Ramnagar-LOnda-Supa Dam-Anshi-Kadra-Sadashivgarh-Karwar

To Madikeri:
Karwar-Ankola-Kumta-Honavar-Bhatkal-Baindur-Kundapura-Udupi-Mangalore-BC Road-Uppinangadi-Shiradi Ghat-Sakleshoura-Shanivarsanthe-Somwarpet-Madikeri

I have suggested the above route because the shortest route which is Mangalore-BC Road-Puttur-Sulya-Madikeri has a problem in that Sulya-Madikeri is closed for major repairs.

You can also avoid Mangalore, but since you are new to the area, I would prefer that you stick to the NH17-NH48 highways instead of taking short cuts from Udupi itself.

To Conoor:
You do not have to go via Hunsur to go to Conoor.
Madikeri-Virajpet-Kutta-Manathavady-Kalpetta-Cherambadi-Meppadi-Gudalur (or Manathavady-Sultan's Battery-Gudalur)-Ooty-Conoor.

If you want to go via Hunsur, then:
Madikeri-Kushalnagar-Hunsur-Mysore-Nanjangud-Gundulpet-Bandipur-Mudumalai/Theppaikadu-Masinagudi-Kalhatti-Ooty (or Mudumalai-Gudalur-Ooty).

To POndy:
Conoor-Mettupalayam-Sathyamangalam-Annur-Avinashi-Bhavani-Salem-Attur-Kallakurichi-Ulundurpet-Villupuram-POndicherry

Problem is that Salem-Ulundurpet road is being widened, has some bad stretches.

To Bangalore:
Direct road is in a mess between Tiruvannamalai and Krishnagiri. Hence, you have many options. One straightforward option is to take ECR to Madras and then go on NH4/NH46 to Bangalore via Vellore & Krishnagiri.

Alternatively,
Pondy-Tindivanam-Gingee-Tiruvannamalai-Vellore-Vaniyambadi-Krishnagiri-Hosur-Bangalore.
I think the Hubli road to Karwar seems to be the best one, as also recommended by you.
Once again, Madikeri route suggestion accepted! How do you keep yourself up-to-date on road conditions? Amazing! Live to drive?
Thanks for the routes to Coonoor. I had, many years ago, done the route up from Kalahatti in a Sierra (wheezed up!) Would like to do it again - hope driving a Forester helps this time!
As suggested by libranof1987, I think the ECR with Mammalapuram thrown in looks the best!

All you guys, thanks very much!
Now for the actual travelogue!
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Old 26th April 2011, 16:02   #8
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

In Pondicherry, do stay along the main beach in the town. It has the Pondicherry Municipal Corporation building; Gandhi's statue along. There are some nice hotels : Promenade (high-budget) or Mother's Residency (well-priced). There are amazing French restaurants in the lane just behind the main road lining the shore-line.

Sunrise happens around 6am, don't miss that for anything!

Have a good trip!
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Old 26th April 2011, 18:08   #9
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

HVK has already answered all the points in his own flair!
Couple of comments from my side:

1. Any specfics for going to Karwar? Because if not Karwar, you can even go Dandeli and enjoy Jungle lodges. (Because if its only beach, you are anyway going to Pondicherry)

In that case, your roundrip distance to Coorg can be reduced. From Hub;i you go to Dandeli via Haliyal

Change of route to Coorg:
Dandeli-Yellapur-Sirsi-Shimoga-Belur/Halebid/Chikmagulur-Hassan-Gorur-Arkalgud--(or via Hunsur) Madikeri.

2. Another way to avoid bad NH68 from Salem-Ulundrupet can be:

Conoor-Mettupalayam-Annur-Avinashi-Salem-Dharmapuri-Harur-Tiruvannamalai-Tindivanam-Pondicherry.

Last edited by ampere : 26th April 2011 at 18:10.
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Old 26th April 2011, 23:29   #10
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Conoor-Mettupalayam-Annur-Avinashi-Salem-Dharmapuri-Harur-Tiruvannamalai-Tindivanam-Pondicherry.

ampere, wasn't the Harur-T'Malai road in a bad condition sometime back - I appear to recollect someone mentioning that it was - although Dharmapuri-Harur was rated as an excellent road. Any reconfirmation on its condition?
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Old 27th April 2011, 05:07   #11
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
ampere, wasn't the Harur-T'Malai road in a bad condition sometime back - I appear to recollect someone mentioning that it was - although Dharmapuri-Harur was rated as an excellent road. Any reconfirmation on its condition?
HVK,

I dont have a confirmation, but definitely the SH is in a much better state than Krishnagiri-T'Malai NH66 (and definitely doable). And I thought NH66 beyond T'Malai upto Tindivanam is much better as compared to its previous section.

What I think is not good is the Salem-Harur SH (which does not touch Dharmapuri, but goes via the Kalrayan ghats).

EDIT: I have done some portion of the Harur-T'Malai stretch (upto Satanur dam, for which one needs to turn some where about 20km from the SH from T'Malai). That section was very decent.

Last edited by ampere : 27th April 2011 at 05:14.
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Old 27th April 2011, 15:51   #12
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

My 2 suggestions:

1. Take Belgaum - Londa - Supa Dam - Joida - Kumbarwada - 2km later Take left towards Ulavi - 17 km (bit patchy road but managable) later Take right in next junction to Anshi - Here you will join back main road and from here there is 6km bad road can cover in 15min - Anshi ghat starts - best road from here - Sadashivgad - Karwar. If you halt at Karwar this is best route to reach from Belgaum.

2. To Coorg from Karwar take road like this : Karwar - Ankola - Mirjan - Devimane ghat - Sirsi - Siddapur - sagar - Teerthahalli - Mudigere - Sakleshpur - Madkeri. Expect bad road in every route including via Mangalore. So I suggest you take the route via Sirsi - Teerthahalli.

You will love this route PM me if you need any help since I am near Sirsi this week end.

Ravi.
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Old 28th April 2011, 01:54   #13
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
HVK has already answered all the points in his own flair!
Couple of comments from my side:

1. Any specfics for going to Karwar? Because if not Karwar, you can even go Dandeli and enjoy Jungle lodges. (Because if its only beach, you are anyway going to Pondicherry)

In that case, your roundrip distance to Coorg can be reduced. From Hub;i you go to Dandeli via Haliyal

Change of route to Coorg:
Dandeli-Yellapur-Sirsi-Shimoga-Belur/Halebid/Chikmagulur-Hassan-Gorur-Arkalgud--(or via Hunsur) Madikeri.

2. Another way to avoid bad NH68 from Salem-Ulundrupet can be:

Conoor-Mettupalayam-Annur-Avinashi-Salem-Dharmapuri-Harur-Tiruvannamalai-Tindivanam-Pondicherry.
Thanks ampere. As it turns out, we have already made bookings and paid at Devbagh, which came highly recommended. So getting to Karwar in a day is important. I just thought that the drive through Anshi might be nice but would not like to do it if it is bad throughout. Small sections can be managed but HVK suggests otherwise.
Yeah, yeah, I don't know what was going through our heads (or mine) just wanted to go there since I hadn't been! Karwar, Pondi, well, why not! Live to drive!
Unfortunately, Bombay does not afford any free time and even though I leave tomorrow, I haven't made my final route plan. It's late now, so I guess tomorrow is the last option! AND I have to finish my packing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravibhat View Post
My 2 suggestions:

1. Take Belgaum - Londa - Supa Dam - Joida - Kumbarwada - 2km later Take left towards Ulavi - 17 km (bit patchy road but managable) later Take right in next junction to Anshi - Here you will join back main road and from here there is 6km bad road can cover in 15min - Anshi ghat starts - best road from here - Sadashivgad - Karwar. If you halt at Karwar this is best route to reach from Belgaum.

2. To Coorg from Karwar take road like this : Karwar - Ankola - Mirjan - Devimane ghat - Sirsi - Siddapur - sagar - Teerthahalli - Mudigere - Sakleshpur - Madkeri. Expect bad road in every route including via Mangalore. So I suggest you take the route via Sirsi - Teerthahalli.

You will love this route PM me if you need any help since I am near Sirsi this week end.

Ravi.
Thanks Ravi. Will check it out tomorrow and decide final route. Rush, rush... 2 am, leave tomorrow and no final route yet!
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Old 28th April 2011, 05:18   #14
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4wdrifter View Post
Thanks ampere. As it turns out, we have already made bookings and paid at Devbagh, which came highly recommended. So getting to Karwar in a day is important. I just thought that the drive through Anshi might be nice but would not like to do it if it is bad throughout. Small sections can be managed but HVK suggests otherwise.
Yeah, yeah, I don't know what was going through our heads (or mine) just wanted to go there since I hadn't been! Karwar, Pondi, well, why not! Live to drive!
Unfortunately, Bombay does not afford any free time and even though I leave tomorrow, I haven't made my final route plan. It's late now, so I guess tomorrow is the last option! AND I have to finish my packing!
If that is the case, go through what HVK mentioned. Go via Yellapur/Ankola. That well let you reach the place faster.
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Old 28th April 2011, 16:24   #15
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Default Re: Southern Sojourn Mumbai-Karwar-Coorg-Coonoor-Pondicherry-Bangalore-Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
If that is the case, go through what HVK mentioned. Go via Yellapur/Ankola. That well let you reach the place faster.
Thanks. That ends my confusion! As it turns out, I am unable to leave for Poona today. Still need to fix the lamps on my car. Decided I will make an early morning start from Mumbai tomorrow.
See you guys once I am back. This post may have to move to the travelogues section then.
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