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Old 16th October 2014, 05:58   #5506
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Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Yes, I took Sampaje. Route I took was Sullia-Madikeri-Somwarpete-Shanivarasanthe-Arkalgud-CR Patna-Bangalore. Some road widening work in and around Sullia for about 10Km or so and then couple of bridges being constructed in the ghats, otherwise fine. See my report here
This work has been going on since May when I took this route from Mangalore to Sathy! What a pace at which they have been working! It was not only the potholes on this route but also one way traffic at certain places due to blocking of the other lane by vehicles and machines used on this work, that had actually hampered the flow of traffic then!
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Old 17th October 2014, 11:09   #5507
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

I came back from a quick and short trip to Dharmastala early this morning, while going I went via Shiradi ghat, roads are really pathetic around Sakleshpur, there are 3 horrible stretch along the curves till Gundya, then 2 more after Gundya before the diversion to Dharmastala. Bad roads continue all the way upto Dharmastala, took 6.5 hours to reach the temple after starting at 11.45am yesterday morning. I decide to try Charmdai ghat while coming back, started at 8.55pm from Dharmastala and reached home by 3am in the morning, all the way road is in better condition and only 2 potholed stretch upto Kottigehara but a short one. Managing these 2 spots was difficult because of narrow road and darkenss else it is way better than Shiradi ghat. Roads are good upto Belur town from Kottigehara.
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Old 20th October 2014, 08:46   #5508
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

Hello Everyone!

Just got back from a micro trip to and from Bangalore yesterday night. I had taken a lot of advice from this forum before setting off. So, it's time to give back. I was convinced to drive myself all the way after the numerous back-breaking Volvo-bus experiences and their absolutely rude and unbearable bus drivers. It wasn't the first time I was going on a long drive on our now one-year old Ford EcoSport. So, I did a bit of research on routes and set off. It was also a while since me and my wife were on a road trip.

I started off on Saturday Morning. Left Mangalore city at 11:30 AM to be exact. It was about an hour and half later than what I would have liked but then, when you have women along, the unexpected delays are not so unexpected. :P I took the following route after a lot of deliberation and going through the previous 50 posts in this thread.

Mangalore - BC Road - Ujire - Belthangady - Charmadi - Belur - CR Patna - Nelimangala - Bangalore.

The two other options on my mind were the Madikeri - Mysore Route and the Shiradighat Route. However, chose neither due to the distance factor in the Madikeri Route and the Pothole factor in the Shiradi ghat route.

I checked on Google Maps before starting off. The Shiradi Ghat route would reduce my travel time by exactly one hour, everything else being the same. However, considering the reviews, I decided an hour later is better than a sore back. So, loaded the map on my phone, ('coz I was sure I was going to miss signal/GPS connectivity while in the Ghats), filled my tank and set off on the Charmadi - Belur Route.

Experiences: Good

1. The road is amazing. Except for the entry and exit at Belur town and a few occasional pot holes which can be avoided, 97% of the road was butter-smooth. I paid about Rs. 250/- at all toll booths for the two-way journey, but I would have paid even twice that amount for these roads. There were moments on NH 48 where I went really fast. The road quality was surely more than what I had expected and I'm thankful for the government for this.

2. The stability of the Ecosport at high speeds is worth writing about. I had never driven above 100 Kmph in the last one year due to various reasons. However, looking at NH 48, I thought it would be a shame if I didn't test the EcoSport. And the results came out well. At higher speeds, the vehicle wasn't heaving nor bouncing. It stuck to the tarmac, didn't fall short of breath and didn't vibrate excessively either. I'm not an expert automobile engineer, but the EcoSport did surprise me with its steadiness at high speeds.

3. The views and sounds at Charmadi are worth experiencing. While on the way, a break at one of the curves or local thatched-roof-shops for a few mins will instantly re-energize you. I would advise travelers to stop for a few minutes here and enjoy the sights.

The not so good:

1. Timing of the Return Trip. On the way back from Bangalore, we were held up meeting too many people. And the fact that the onward journey was so comfortable, we got complacent and it was 2:30 PM by the time we left Bangalore City. We didn't know god wanted to play a little hide and seek game with us. The moment we zoomed on to NH 48, it started raining. Even before I started, I decided not to cross the 120 Kmph mark on the return journey. I knew I had tested the EcoSport, I was satisfied. So, we planned for a relaxed drive. However, rain brought us down even further. I was praying that the shower was just the average Bangalore shower that lasts for a few minutes and vanishes. It wasn't to be. Except for a break of about 3 mins, the entire length of our drive was marked by relentless showers. And it wasn't just a shower. IT was a downpour. I drove consistently at the 100- 110 mark. We were praying for the Sun to be a bit more lenient and come back form the Casual Leave that it had taken. But no use. It continued to rain till Belur. The narrow roads and the civilization kept my speed low, but now the issue was not about rain, it was about natural light. We kept driving through the beautiful locales, trying to keep up with the day, but it nevertheless got darker and darker and it was about 06:00 PM by the time we entered the ghat section. Pitch black, High beams by lorry, truck, alto, auto and even activa drivers, it was getting tougher, when god said, here goes your first gift for today. It started to rain. Another fact to spice up the story was that there were almost no vehicles ahead or behind me to draw some succour from. Kept driving with dilated eye balls and a stretched back, , and at about 07:00 PM, god threw his next gift, thick mist or fog or perhaps it was a complete cloud in itself. Visibility was down to about half a metre. High beam, low beam, no beam, nothing seemed to work. My GPS/Maps conked off and the windshield began to get misty from inside. Absolute chaos and add to this, my wife's first night journey through the Ghats. The tension in the air was worth experiencing. I was laughing at how much can go wrong.

The best/worst part however was that I didn't stop. Kept nudging ahead, downed the windows and kept moving even though at a snail's pace. After about half an hour of playing in the clouds and the roughest possible drive I've ever had in the last 28 years, visibility improved and my wife's BP began to come down. So we learnt a very important lesson in life, night driving is best done on city roads not in the Western Ghats. An important advice to everyone reading this, please avoid night driving in these parts, especially during the months of May - Oct. We saw about 4 vehicles with different kinds of problems stuck/stranded all through the Ghat road.

2. The thick A Pillar. I haven't seen a thicker one yet and it definitely is an issue when driving uphill or downhill. Also, at high speeds, it needs getting used to, as you miss a few metres behind that pillar in a fraction of a second. And those few metres could contain a lorry, a puppy or even a drunk man. There's no getting around this problem except for getting used to it.

3. Headlights. Weak. I felt a few two wheelers had stronger headlights that the EcoSport. Definitely call for an upgrade if there's heavy night driving in curvy roads for you.

Overall, it was an experience that will be difficult to forget for the both of us for a long time to come.

A few facts,

Onward Jounrey:

Started from Mangalore: 11:30 AM, Saturday
Reached Bangalore : 06:15 PM, Saturday (It took about an hour and a half more to reach Garuda Mall, which was our final destination)
Total Breaks: 50 minutes
Net traveling Time: Approximately 6 hours.
Mileage: About 12.0 Kmpl 99% AC (My EcoSport is a Petrol Trend Variant)

Return Journey

Started from Bangalore: 02:30 PM
Reached Mangalore: 09:45 PM
Total Breaks: 15 mins
Net traveling Time: 07 hours
Mileage: 11.7 Kmpl 65% AC On

Last edited by Samurai : 20th October 2014 at 09:35. Reason: Don't abbreviate EcoSport or mention speeds above 120.
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Old 21st October 2014, 20:58   #5509
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

Other day I read on Kannada news paper that Chief Minister of Karnataka has mentioned tunnel in Shiradi when he announced new industry policy last week. I hope at least now something is done by state govt to this infamous road. Also there is a rumor that Shiradi ghat section might not be closed from December. I guess if they can fix the Puttur- Gundya and Sakaleshapura-Hassan stretch and fill craters in Ghat, we are good that closing and repairing only ghat section.
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Old 21st October 2014, 23:29   #5510
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

Hi all,

I,am planning for 3 Day Trip from Bangalore to the following places:
Day1: Bangalore to Udupi (Moodbidri Visit on the way)
Route: Bangalore - Hassan - Belur - Charmadi - Belthangady - Moodbidri -Udupi (last stretch coastal highway). I,am not really sure from Moodbidri to Udupi and if i skip moodbidri. What might be best route. Please advise

Day2: Udupi - Kollur - Sringeri (via agumbe ghat).
Is the route doable within daylight and temple visit at udupi and kollur. ? How is the road condition on this stretch.

Day3: Sringeri to Bangalore:
Which is the best route to bangalore. 1.Through balehonur -- aldur and mudigere or 2. kudremukh - mudigere. kindly advise

Also , any good hotels to stay in udupi with family ?
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Old 21st October 2014, 23:39   #5511
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

Quote:
Originally Posted by navrddy View Post
I,am planning for 3 Day Trip from Bangalore to the following places:
Day1: Bangalore to Udupi (Moodbidri Visit on the way)
Route: Bangalore - Hassan - Belur - Charmadi - Belthangady - Moodbidri -Udupi (last stretch coastal highway). I,am not really sure from Moodbidri to Udupi and if i skip moodbidri. What might be best route. Please advise
I think its easily doable. From Moodbidri there are two ways :

1. Drive to Karkala and take the usual route to Udupi
2. Moodbidri - Belman - Katapady - Udupi

First is a cleaner one, but it would enter at Manipal.


Quote:
Day2: Udupi - Kollur - Sringeri (via agumbe ghat).
Is the route doable within daylight and temple visit at udupi and kollur. ? How is the road condition on this stretch.
Good roads. Udupi=Kollur:
Udupi-Kundapur-Ampar-Vandse-Kollur

Kollur-Sringeri : Kollur-Vandse-Ampar-Someshwar - Agumbe - Sringeri

Ampar-Someshwar may have rough section, else its good all the way.

Quote:
Day3: Sringeri to Bangalore:
Which is the best route to bangalore. 1.Through balehonur -- aldur and mudigere or 2. kudremukh - mudigere. kindly advise
Sringeri-Balehonnur-Aldur-Chikkamagulur-Belur-Hassan-Bangalore

Quote:
Also , any good hotels to stay in udupi with family ?
The best in town is Valley View in Manipal. Many also prefer Keidyoor. You can check out both,
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Old 27th October 2014, 10:34   #5512
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

Anyone else was stuck in the jam on Shiradi yesterday evening?

I started at 4 from Mangalore and was stuck at the ghats for a good hour and a half on the road. An empty gas tanker proceeding downhill and a SRS travels bus had collided head on and hence the blockage. Once past Hassan, the rains gave good company and hence overall traffic was kinda bad.

Added to that our super intelligent hazard lit drivers colored up the road brilliantly.
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Old 27th October 2014, 10:45   #5513
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

Yesterday I drove towards Manipal via Charmadi, so I didn't have to deal with Shiradi blockage.
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Old 28th October 2014, 17:24   #5514
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

In Last two months I have driven 7 times on this route and feel Shiradi is still in not so bad state as it used to be some years back.

On Sunday driving from Mangalore, I was stuck for around two hours on this stretch due to the accident. In spite of a chaotic situation, I noticed a well behaved traffic condition.
Ofcorse a couple of over smart heads broke the queue trying to jump traffic. But were finally forced to move their cars to extreme right and park, allowing oncoming traffic to clear. They could not join the queue back again, giving everyone in the queue a hearty smile after long wait.

Ultimately, I was really impressed by the good lane manners.
The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi-shiradi-1.jpg
The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi-shiradi-2.jpg
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Old 30th October 2014, 12:46   #5515
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

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Originally Posted by UB_007 View Post
In Last two months I have driven 7 times on this route and feel Shiradi is still in not so bad state as it used to be some years back.

On Sunday driving from Mangalore, I was stuck for around two hours on this stretch due to the accident. In spite of a chaotic situation, I noticed a well behaved traffic condition.

Attachment 1303479
Attachment 1303480
I totally agree. Had started at 4 30 myself before entering and joining the blockage at around 6 45 - 7. Quite impressed by the discipline. In the span of 2 hours hardly 5 of them broke the queue..
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Old 2nd November 2014, 22:35   #5516
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

I may have to travel to Udupi coming Sunday and probably return the same day.

Hope this route should be good.

https://goo.gl/maps/99QaJ

Please advise!
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Old 2nd November 2014, 22:42   #5517
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

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Originally Posted by 500ContyCruiser View Post
I may have to travel to Udupi coming Sunday and probably return the same day.

Hope this route should be good.

https://goo.gl/maps/99QaJ

Please advise!
Samurai San would be able to advise better.
But i believe this is a better, tried and tested option. https://goo.gl/maps/EXE12

Last edited by ilbkrishna : 2nd November 2014 at 22:43. Reason: Correction
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Old 2nd November 2014, 22:54   #5518
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

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Originally Posted by ilbkrishna View Post
But i believe this is a better, tried and tested option. https://goo.gl/maps/EXE12
Yeah, this is way better than the Kalasa route.
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Old 2nd November 2014, 22:54   #5519
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

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Originally Posted by 500ContyCruiser View Post
Please advise!

Kalasa/Kudremukh is a longer route. You should do Belur-Mudigere-Kottigehara-Charmadi-Bajagoli-Karakala-Udupi
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Old 3rd November 2014, 13:51   #5520
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Default Re: The art of travelling between Bangalore - Mangalore/Udupi

Take any route but avoid Shimoga-Thirthahalli-Agumbe for the next few days. There was a gang rape and murder of a 14yr old girl on 1st in Thirthahalli. The quiet and peaceful town of Thirthahalli is observing bandh today. There have been instances of stone pelting, lathi charge, teargas firing, firing in the air, etc. So do avoid this road for a few days. The incidence has taken political/communal flavor.
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