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Old 13th November 2013, 01:30   #1
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Default Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

Hello fellow Team-BHPians,

I was accepted as a member of Team-BHP on the day I reached Badami, in North Karnataka, on November 07, 2013. Which meant I couldn't ask for advice on the forum for my trip. However, here's some first-hand experience.

I always wanted to visit Badami and Hampi, especially after a friend had done so a couple of years back. When I got the delivery of my car - WagonR Lxi CNG on the 26th of October, we (My wife, Manjusha, my now grown-up son, Tejas, and I) quickly pored over the maps, consulted websites and of course, Team-BHP for whatever info we could get and made all the travel plans, including booking the KSTDC hotels in Badami and Hampi. The car was not going to complete 1000 kms. before leaving, so I also contacted the Sai Service Maruti station on Gadhinglaj to get the first servicing done at 1000 kms. It always pays to get the it done on time. Well, here's my travelogue….

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Day One - November 05, 2013
After completing the Bhaubeej rituals, we saw off our guests, completed our packing, started off at 8.30 p.m., and reached my sister's place in Aundh, Pune for an overnight halt. This was mainly to cut down on my driving time the next day, and also to get a feel of my new car on a known road, and my car getting used to me. I topped up the CNG first in Thane and then at the HP Petrol Pump at the end of the Expressway. With that, I was able to reach Kolhapur the next day on CNG.

Day Two - November 06, 2013
Started off at 6.30 a.m. from Aundh, because I knew I had a long drive ahead. Reached Satara in 2 hours, took a wadapav and chai break and a road-side restaurant just after Satara (Hotel Rajyamarga), and reached Sankeshwar by 11 a.m. The road, as many of you know is good in Maharashtra and excellent in Karnataka. 'Makkhhan' is what a friend of mine says.

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I took a right at Sankeshwar and reached Gadhinglaj at 12 p.m. and gave my car for servicing. Mr. Hegde from the Maruti (Sai Service) Centre and his team were extremely co-operative and gave the car back after its first service at 1.30 p.m. In the meantime, we had our lunch at a nearby restaurant.

We drove off and reached the NH4 in about 40 mins. I just had to use the subway to cross the NH4 for the road to Gokak. The road up to Gokak is in a very good condition and I could easily drive at about 80-100 ams. per hour. One has to be very careful though, as there are numerous speed breakers, at the start and end of almost every village on the way. Point is, they are not proper speed breakers, not painted and are very irritating, as they are quite unnecessary in many places. Well, reached Gokak at about 2 p.m. At this time of the year, the Gokak falls are rather disappointing. There is too less water to make them look like 'mini Niagara falls'. There is a cute hanging bridge across the river, just before the water cascades down. Worth a visit though.

Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell-day_one_gokak.jpg
The Gokak Falls

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The Hanging Bridge across the river. In the pic, your's truly.

Now comes the only bad part of our trip. We took the Gokak - Yaragatti - Katkol - Ramdurg - Badami route, which basically is a pothole, littered with bits of road. If the highways are excellent in Karnataka, this one is the worst possible route one can ever take. We later found out that it would have been better to travel towards Bagalkot and then turn right towards Badami after Kaladgi. If anyone plans to travel here, please DO NOT take the Ramdurg route. Instead, you could go back towards Sankeshwar, turn right on SH44 towards Bagalkot, and take a right after Kaladgi. Or you could rake a right at Lokapur and then a left at Batakurki. I will update you on this one after consulting my friend who was also on this route at about the same time. Do check the map below.

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Either choose the route marked green, or the one marked in orange after Lokapur. but NOT the one marked in purple. Have a look at the map below.

We reached Badami at about 7.30 p.m. after 4 hours of a very stressful drive. It was already dark by then and I was on the verge of losing my patience and cool because of the road. The bad day didn't end here. During dinner, the rotis were actually served cold and though irritated, we just had our dinner and went to bed early. As mentioned earlier, we had booked a room in KSTDC Mayura Chalukya. With a lot of parking space, the hotel is OK. The staff is quite courteous, but the food is not worth raving about.


Day Three - November 07, 2013
We were a little lazy in getting out of our beds, but still, managed to reach the Shakambari Temple 9 a.m. after having breakfast at the hotel. After the darshan, went to the Badami caves by 10 a.m. We hired a guide who took us around the four main caves. Beautiful carvings in all the caves. I was amazed by it all; at the same time felt quite saddened by the lost glory.

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Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell-badamai_cave1_02.jpg

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I kept wondering what it must have been so many hundred years ago, when these places were alive. We then proceeded towards the Bhootnath temple on the other bank of the Agastya lake.

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The Bhootnath Temple

Rather than risking a cold lunch, we went to a local Udipi restaurant on the main market road in Badami and quite enjoyed our lunch there, and in less than one-fourth the price.

In the afternoon, we had planned three places, Aihole, Pattadakal, and Mahakuteshwar group of temples. It is important that you consult the right person about the roads, because we got absolutely the wrong guidance the first day in Badami. By the time we reached Pattadakal, it was about 4 p.m., and that's mainly because of the very bad roads. Rather than rush through Pattadakal, we spent a lot of time there, which was a very good decision. Again, it is an amazing place and a must see. We got the right kind of light and the photographs have come out beautiful.

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Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell-day_two_pattadakal_03.jpg

A good dinner at the local restaurant, and we went to bed early, because we had to visit the remaining places in Badami and then reach Hampi by the next evening.

Day Four - November 08, 2013
We checked out of the hotel early, at 7.30 a.m. (after a surprisingly good breakfast) and this time, took an alternate route. We quickly reached Mahakuta temples, took the darshan and reached Aihole by 10.30 a.m. But just outside Mahakuta temple, while we were getting into our car, a tempo arrived. From the tempo, people started coming out one by one. There were actually 21 people in that tempo, in which they had actually built a loft! Amazing!!!

Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell-mahakuta_01.jpg

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Aihole

From Aihole, we drove off towards Hungund. I took a wrong turn immediately after we started, but I don't know why, instinct made me ask for directions, and found that I was going in exactly the wrong direction. Lost a few minutes, but reached Hungund quickly enough. On the way to Hungund, you come across a place called Amingad. Exactly where you turn right on the SH13, you have this shop which sells a sweet called 'Karadant'. If you love sweets, you simply MUST taste this. Its made in pure ghee and full of dry fruits, and is a fat and a protein bomb!

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The road from Hungund to Hospet/Hampi is very good, with some sunflower fields on the way.

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With just one chai halt, we reached Hospet at about 2 p.m., had a very good Udipi lunch at a local restaurant, and reached Hampi at about 3 p.m. (Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneshwari). I had booked an A/C room which I found rather small. The manager, Mr. Deshpande obliged and allotted us an A/C Deluxe room. It did cost me a bit more, but was worth it. This hotel is better than the one in Badami, good rooms, OK service. One funny thing though, during every meal, I noticed that the waiter 'forgets' to mention the extra roti's that we order, but does take the money for them. The cost of every 'roti' is Rs.22/-. Unfortunately, I realized this after we checked out and were talking about our Hampi visit in the car. You may form your opinion. We took a nap and went to Malyavanta temple to watch the sun set. We went into the town, visited the Virupaksha temple, had a darshan and strolled through the small market. Bought a shirt for myself, which of course, my son flicked off the next day. Its good to have a grown up son, but then you should be prepared to miss your t-shirts, and your shoes, a lot of times.

I had been advised to book a guide to see Hampi. There are just too many places to see, spread around 35 sq. ams. While cleaning the car in the evening, I met a doctor from Pune, who gave me the cell number of his guide, Mr. Kanchappa. Luckily, he was free the next day, so I immediately I booked him for the entire day.

Day Five - November 09, 2013
The guide reached the hotel sharp at 8 a.m., by which time we had our breakfast. We spent the whole day in Hampi and kept wondering about the past glory. If its so beautiful now, one can't help but wonder what it must have been then, during Krishnadevraya's rule. Every place we visited was beautiful. Hampi, is very well maintained and clean. I was glad that even the Virupaksha temple and its surroundings were clean, unlike the pilgrim places in our country. I have stopped going to any pilgrim places long time back. I always wonder, how God could wait in these places even for a fraction of a second!

We also enjoyed a ride in the Coracle in the morning.

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During the day, we returned to the hotel room for lunch and re-charging the mobile and camera batteries. By evening, we were tired, but satisfied. Every stone, every boulder in Hampi has a tale to tell. The place is seeped in history.

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One reason for being satisfied was that the place is beautiful, but more importantly, it was also because of our guide, Mr. Kanchappa. He is a history student and has done a diploma course from the Archeology Department, where he is registered as a guide. He is very sincere and has deep interest in what he does. He enjoy's his job and that makes it all worthwhile for us, tourists too. We had decided upon Rs.1500 as his fee. But I paid him more at the end of the day. One, because he was simply very good, second, he is also a student, who is keen to learn more. Here's his number : 08277353275 (Given with his permission).

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Day Six - November 10, 2013
After urging the staff of the hotel for a cup a tea, and getting it, we left the hotel at 6.30 a.m. We made quick time to Hospet, where I went in circles, till I found the right road to the highway. The road is two-lane up to Gadag, with a lot of patchwork, but not bad. From Gadag, it is a four lane highway, very good, except, of course, for those mandatory mini speed breakers. Here again, till we reach the NH4, there are miles and miles of sunflower cultivations. Simply beautiful. A quick halt at Belgaum to buy the famous Kunda and Manday and we turned left towards Amboli. The road to Amboli is not so good, with the asphalt worn off in a lot of places, but still manageable. We could reach Amboli at 2.30 p.m. After lunch, we went to see the waterfall, which is a mere trickle now, watched the sunset and went to bed early. The Amboli halt was basically to rest, because, again I had a 500 kms. drive the next day.

Day Seven, November 11, 2013
Drove off at 5.50 a.m. and reached the NH4 by 7.15 a.m. Had a quick breakfast and started off. The drive was great. I am still a bit hesitant to cross 120 km/h, maybe because my previous car, Nano vibrated after reaching 100 km/h. But still I made good time, right up to Kalamboli, where I got off the NH4 and reached Thane in an hour. Reached home at 3.50 a.m. sharp.

Total driving from home and back was 1890 kms. Except for the Gokak - Badami part, and some patches, it was thoroughly enjoyable. My son was the record keeper, and has compiled a spreadsheet, which will give you a general idea of the time we took.

Here's the spreadsheet...Mumbai_to_Hampi_and_back.xlsx

I have made a short video (11.23 mins.). Here's the link....


Hope you enjoyed this post. Happy driving!

Last edited by TheDrivingBug : 16th November 2013 at 07:49. Reason: Some additions/deletions and adding a link to my video on YouTube
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:36   #2
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:56   #3
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

Sir, Very good travelogue and nice pictures!
You seem to have spent considerable amount of time at each place and explored in detail.
I have never been to these places, and I am planning to visit them sometime in December, is there too much of walking to do in each of these temples? as I plan to take some elders on this trip.
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Old 18th November 2013, 17:01   #4
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

Nice way to announce your arrival on TBHP.
Personally feel you should have spend more than a day in Hampi. We were able to spend one and half day when we visited in AUG and feel it was not sufficient.
Also, saw from the pics that you had taken help of guide Kanchappa just as we did.
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Old 18th November 2013, 17:07   #5
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Nice way to announce your arrival on TBHP.
Personally feel you should have spend more than a day in Hampi. We were able to spend one and half day when we visited in AUG and feel it was not sufficient.
Also, saw from the pics that you had taken help of guide Kanchappa just as we did.
Thanks mpksuhas. Indeed, Hampi deserves at least 3 days. But we had only limited time. Still, Kanchappa was very good and stayed with us even after the sun had set. Normally their time is up to 5 p.m.
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Old 18th November 2013, 17:13   #6
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

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Sir, Very good travelogue and nice pictures!
You seem to have spent considerable amount of time at each place and explored in detail.
I have never been to these places, and I am planning to visit them sometime in December, is there too much of walking to do in each of these temples? as I plan to take some elders on this trip.
Thank you ark_rover, actually, the place demands much more time than we could spend there. Its a MUST visit. Do try and make it in December, which should be a very good time. Avoid Gokak, though. I am sure there won't me much of a waterfall by then.

In Badami, there are 4 main caves, one after the other, not much walking. Same in Pattadakal, where all temples are mostly located in one large complex. But Hampi is spread over 35 sq.kms. With a car, you don't have to do much walking to reach the places. But the temples are quite large. It depends on how elderly your folks are. Do have a look at my video at the end of the post (YouTube link), and you should get a fair idea.

Wish you a good trip.
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Old 20th November 2013, 08:10   #7
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

Fantastic travelogue and very well written. The family's passion for travel, observation and joy is very well reflected in the write up.

Hampi, Badami & Pattadakal are historical gems of Karnataka and a must visit.

Thanks for sharing

Cheers

KPS
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Old 20th November 2013, 08:23   #8
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

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Fantastic travelogue and very well written. The family's passion for travel, observation and joy is very well reflected in the write up.

Hampi, Badami & Pattadakal are historical gems of Karnataka and a must visit.

Thanks for sharing

Cheers

KPS
Thank you KPS. Indeed, they are gems and a MUST visit for everyone.
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Old 20th November 2013, 08:49   #9
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

+1 to what KPS said. Passion to travel is very evident. And on top of it finding what went wrong on a route.

I have a question on the route: How was Gokak-Yaragatti? Was the pot-holed section to Ramdurg beyond Yargatti ? Because if yes, then you should do :
Gokak-Yaragatti-Lokapur-Bagalkot bypass-Badami.

Yaragatti onwards you hit the Belgaum-Bagalkot SH, which is very good to drive.

On the way back, I presume you went via Hubli to hit NH4?

Last edited by ampere : 20th November 2013 at 08:51.
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Old 20th November 2013, 21:50   #10
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+1 to what KPS said. Passion to travel is very evident. And on top of it finding what went wrong on a route.

I have a question on the route: How was Gokak-Yaragatti? Was the pot-holed section to Ramdurg beyond Yargatti ? Because if yes, then you should do :
Gokak-Yaragatti-Lokapur-Bagalkot bypass-Badami.

Yaragatti onwards you hit the Belgaum-Bagalkot SH, which is very good to drive.

On the way back, I presume you went via Hubli to hit NH4?
ampere, Thank you, the passion to travel is indeed there. I only wish I had become a member much, much earlier. Maybe I will share my earlier experiences too, because I think I still have most of the records (though thy might be outdated and not be so useful to anyone).

And you are right, the road up to Yaragatti was OK. I should have taken a left and gone via Lokapur. Well, it was not to be. Though it was stressful, I did get to see the North Karnataka countryside up close.

Cheers!
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Old 21st November 2013, 08:47   #11
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

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And you are right, the road up to Yaragatti was OK. I should have taken a left and gone via Lokapur. Well, it was not to be. Though it was stressful, I did get to see the North Karnataka countryside up close.
Hyderabad folks use that Bagalkot-Belgaum SH to drive to Goa many a times. Check out the Hyd-Goa thread and you would good updates for this section.
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Old 23rd November 2013, 22:29   #12
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

@TheDrivingBug, superb travelogue and record keeping. The joy that you felt on seeing these places can be felt in your writing. We are planning Hampi-Badami in December. Would you recommend Badami first with the route suggested by @Ampere then on to Hampi or the other way round?
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Old 23rd November 2013, 23:56   #13
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

@Volt, thanks a lot. Since you will probably start from Mumbai, I would suggest the Badami - Hampi way. Personally, I chose to go to Badami first because this was my first drive of more than 500 kms. in a single day. You seem to be a veteran, so maybe going via Hubli - Hospet - Hampi and then Badami might not sound difficult for you.

The route suggested by @Ampere indeed seems to be good, but then that's for Bagalkot - Belgaum travellers. I would rather AVOID going via Yaragatti, because Gokak to Yaragatti road is quite narrow. I would prefer turning back from Gokak, and take the right at Ghataprabha. I will confirm this tomorrow from a friend who took that alternate route. Adds a few kms., but saves a lot of time, stress and in general prevents the use of a little colourful language in the car (mine, of course!).

I hope you have enough time on your hands; Hampi needs two days. I also wish I had more time, because I would have also gone to Dandeli or Ganeshgudi from Hubli on the way back. It seemed like a crime not going there. Will post again tomorrow about the route.

Chiao!
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Old 24th November 2013, 09:39   #14
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Default Re: Badami and Hampi - Where every stone, every boulder has a tale to tell

@TheDrivingHub, thanks for the prompt response. I would be taking prints of your records with me for sure! I am sorry I forgot to mention that we would be halting overnight at Kolhapur, for darshan. So, as per your suggestion, Badami-Mumbai would be better done on a single day in the reverse leg, if I read you correctly.
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Old 8th December 2014, 16:47   #15
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Post Pune - Badami - Hampi

Dear Friends,

I am planning a trip to Hampi in later part of December. I plan to leave Pune around 5.30 AM and want to go to Badami, spend about two hours visiting the caves, and move ahead to Hampi the same day.

I would request your advice on:

1. Which is the best route to travel from Pune to Badami?
2. How much time would it take?
3. Which is the best route to travel from Badami to Hampi?
4. How much time would it take?

Thank you in advance.
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