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Old 13th June 2011, 12:04   #1
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Default Nostalgic drive on NH-4

As a kid, we had traveled on NH-4 (Bangalore-Hubli-Dharwad) numerous times. Almost every school vacation was spent on the road in a white Amby accompanying dad on his official visits to districts and taluks. Back then NH-4 was just a regular road like most highways with trees on either side with markings on all of them. We used to stop over at our usual places, Davanagere, Sira, Hiryur. I've probably stayed at almost all the inspection bungalows on that route.

It had been almost a decade since I had traveled by road from Bangalore to Hubli and beyond, and so when something came up, I jumped at the opportunity to drive down the memory lane. It would be the second road trip for our Civic.

We left on 9/6/2011, a Thursday, at 5:45am. From Koramangala, we went through the city and were on NH-4 by 6:15am. I was as excited as the Civic usually gets when its revved to see beautiful open roads and fantastic weather to boot. The Civic was eating up the miles easy and I was cruising at 120kmph for the most part. When I felt the conditions allowed me, I pushed the car up to 160kmph. The disadvantage with having a digital speedometer is that your mother sitting at the back can easily see how fast you're going. But she felt safe and comfortable at the back and that put her at ease. I would have pushed the car further but for some insanity on the part of villagers crossing the road to do their morning deeds or a tractor coming on the wrong side at you without lights on and not a care in the world. Seriously ***!!! Oh and they have speed breakers on the goddamn highway without any warnings and even if they do, its only a few meters before the hump. I ran through one at a good 60kmph speed. Scraped the front underneath a little bit, but luckily not too much damage. So my overall conclusion on NH-4: excellent road surface, clear markings for the most bits, annoying villagers with total disregard for safety, small patches of work yet to be finished after Davanagere.

We pulled over around 9am to have some breakfast that we had packed up. Without any further stops we drove towards Hubli. We were at the outskirts by 11:15am having covered 410 odd km in 5 hours. After an hours stop in Hubli, we headed towards our final destination, Badami. We left Hubli by 12pm on NH-218. The road had been improved and was in a much better condition than expected, a two-lane highway with decent to good road surface except for a few patches in between. From Nh-218 when turn right towards Badami the road gets even narrower, single lane with shoulders full of mud and craters. Road was very average with some good bits in between, and we averaged 50kmph till our destination. They ought to make better roads leading up to historical and tourist places. I've noticed that the roads usually are good for the most part, heading towards tourist places, but they either seem to run out of money or interest and leave the last stretch in terrible condition.
NH-218 verdict from Hubli to Bagalkot: 2 lane with good road surface and excellent in some sections, Hubli-Navalgund is great, after that its a little patchy.

We stayed at the ridiculously expensive Badami Court for one night. 3750/night is insane according to me given the amenities they offer which are okay but not worth the amount. The food is very average, and the chicken we had was stale and tough as rubber. We took a look at KSTDC hotel, which offered double bed AC for 1200 with much bigger rooms, but it looked haunted with no occupancy, and had the typical government feel about it. The next day we stayed at our ancestral village which was a much better experience with the charm of the village life and the rustic surroundings around you. I had some interesting conversations with the village folk who wanted to know how America was and whether they corruption issues too They were shocked to hear that there are no power cuts there, and when I told them that I experienced a power outage for 2-3 seconds during my 3 years stay and they didn't have electricity for almost a month, it put things in perspective for them.

We headed back on Saturday morning, 11/6/2011, by 9am. Again the drive from Badami upto NH-218 was painfully slow, and took us an hour almost to cover 30 odd kms. After crossing Hubli by 11:30am, it began to rain. We stopped over at Kamat Upachar, just outside Hubli on the NH-4. It wasn't great. Okay food. I wouldn't say filthy but it was dirty, with way too many flies around. Without any further stops, we headed towards Bangalore, making good progress again. We reached Yeshwantpur by 5pm and ran into a brick wall. The traffic was at a standstill, and by the time we reached home it was 7pm. By then the car had done 1040 km and had given us a mileage of 14.5 kmpl.

A great drive all in all down the memory lane. Civic handled the trip really well. Some of the driving pleasure was taken away due to quite heavy crosswinds which was also another factor for me not pushing the car too much. Unfortunately no pictures from the trip as I was loving the drive so much I didn't feel like stopping over to take any pictures of the car or anything else.
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Old 14th June 2011, 16:01   #2
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Default Re: Nostalgic drive on NH-4

Hi Tecknicsand,

Good to read about your nostalgic trip. Even I got a bit nostalgic as I had done this stretch last year. Would like to know how are the road conditions from Chitradurga to Hubli. A few pictures here would liven up this TL.
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Old 15th June 2011, 20:13   #3
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Default Re: Nostalgic drive on NH-4

@sami316, most part of Bangalore - Hubli stretch is good. Nonetheless there are some deviations after Davangere up to Haveri. Bangalore to Davangere and Haveri to Hubli is good.
@teknicsand, to badami from hubli you should have tried the Hubli-Gadag-Badami. Most of the roads are good on this stretch

Last edited by deepakchiniwal : 15th June 2011 at 20:14.
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Old 15th June 2011, 20:52   #4
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Default Re: Nostalgic drive on NH-4

Hey, sounds like a good trip!

Yea, NH218 is in bad state. On my recent trip to Hampi, we had plans to visit Badami and return by NH218. Badami couldn't happen because of lack of time and the hotel managers in Hampi advised against NH218 on the way back.

Agree, speed breakers on highways are just unacceptable yet reality!

This TL lacks the most imp thing - pictures! So, start rolling them on!

PS : Why did come thru' the city on the way back? Missed the NICE entry?
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Old 15th June 2011, 21:07   #5
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Default Re: Nostalgic drive on NH-4

Hi teknicsand.I am from bagalkot Good to know you are from that side.Ya the road from BGK to badami is very bad.There is a flyover construction outside BGK after Navanagar towards badami where there is a railway crossing.Its not yet compete even after 3 years! Talk about the state of affairs!

And ya the badami court is very expensive.They think they are running a Taj hotel there :P .But thats the best in badami and they are cashing on it.The food is just ok ok too.And most of the items in the menu are not available
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Old 16th June 2011, 12:08   #6
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Default Re: Nostalgic drive on NH-4

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Hi teknicsand.I am from bagalkot Good to know you are from that side.Ya the road from BGK to badami is very bad.There is a flyover construction outside BGK after Navanagar towards badami where there is a railway crossing.Its not yet compete even after 3 years! Talk about the state of affairs!

And ya the badami court is very expensive.They think they are running a Taj hotel there :P .But thats the best in badami and they are cashing on it.The food is just ok ok too.And most of the items in the menu are not available
I drove up to that crossing and I could notice a "ring road" sort of thing leading into BGK. Crazy development. Land prices have shot up. Unimaginable a few years ago.

Sorry guys, no pictures from the trip unfortunately. Didn't go visit any of the touristy places. My camera never came out of the bag. Like I mentioned in the last sentence of my post I was loving the drive on the Civic, didnt feel like stopping or getting down
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Old 16th June 2011, 13:07   #7
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Default Re: Nostalgic drive on NH-4

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Hey, sounds like a good trip!

Yea, NH218 is in bad state. On my recent trip to Hampi, we had plans to visit Badami and return by NH218. Badami couldn't happen because of lack of time and the hotel managers in Hampi advised against NH218 on the way back.

Agree, speed breakers on highways are just unacceptable yet reality!

This TL lacks the most imp thing - pictures! So, start rolling them on!

PS : Why did come thru' the city on the way back? Missed the NICE entry?
Took a call on distance to home. NICE road adds a good few kms. But it would have saved us an hour.
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Old 16th June 2011, 13:16   #8
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Default Re: Nostalgic drive on NH-4

Good one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teknicsand View Post
Back then NH-4 was just a regular road like most highways with trees on either side with markings on all of them. We used to stop over at our usual places, Davanagere, Sira, Hiryur.
+1. I too miss these trees and number on it

Brings back my memories about NH45.

Those video coaches, push back seats, sliding windows, jumping the engine bay of those leylands, pitch dark outside with white & black marking on trees.. man, you bought back my memories too!!! ..
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