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Old 29th July 2014, 23:48   #1
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Default ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

It all started with a conversation started by my childhood friend, NP on Wednesday

NP : Maga, lets go out of Bangalore somewhere. Tired of the monotony that surrounds us.
Me: Good idea, what do you have in mind?
NP: Sakleshpura?

(Maga – Literal meaning : Son; Implied meaning : Dude)

I gave it some thought – as a driver I felt Sakleshpura would be a really short drive and perhaps not enough places to see for two days. Did not want to head south sicne we were from Mysore and had already covered all the surrounding places.

Later in the evening back at home, Mom was watching Udaya Music and a particular song featuring Dr Rajkumar from the Movie Akasmika was on and that gave me an idea! Agumbe was a mysterious place that I’ve never been to and it had the reputation of being the wettest place in Karnataka. I was a bit sad about the lack of rains, since I LOVE driving in the rain more than anything! This trip became a quest to quench my thirst of driving on wet roads and rainy conditions coupled with ghats and more!

I went on Google maps and checked the route to Agumbe – I spotted one which went through Chikmagalur and Sringeri. These were roads where I had not driven before. It also meant I could visit Mullayanagiri and Baba Budangiri in the peak of Monsoon. I had visited these places in April but it was dry and very dusty.

Hatched up a plan, KarthikK was very helpful in providing a hotel reference to stay at Agumbe. Come Friday evening, the plan was a GO, petrol topped up, coolants and fluids level checked and air topped up.

We set off at 6.30AM, stopped for Breakfast at Shark Dhaba. Filled up out tummies with super tasty Tatte idlis and Masala Dosa. The coffee was very close to being perfect! We crossed Hassan towards Belur and I was ruing over the fact that there was no hint of rain in our journey till now :-( Spotted a nice field and stopped to take some clicks

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We set off again and as we reached Chikmagalur, still no signs of rains. We headed to Mullayanagiri. Half way up, the skies opened up and we finally got a taste of rain. Few moments later, mist engulfed us and the visibility dropped sharply. It took us quite some time to reach the peak since roads were super narrow and in a few places when there was someone coming from the other side, had to reverse till we came across a wide enough spot to cross over. Last 700meters was purely first gear, I couldn’t believe 100 horses in the car and it still couldn’t manage in second.

On top of Mullayanagiri.

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It started raining with furious intensity coupled with strong winds. It was a good thing I had a large umbrella with me, I had to hold it at a 45* angle towards the rain stop to stop it from drenching me and NP as well as not fly off! There was a mobile shop; we had piping hot chili bondas and coffee after which we started our journey south.
Stopped on the way when I suspected a puncture on Front right tyre. I took a picture when we stopped, gives you an idea of the width of the road in these areas.

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Stopped again further down where I could park the car completely off the road.

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Me with my yellow submarine

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Water beading on the roof :P couldn’t resist hehe

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Few minutes of further driving and the mist started to clear. We were presented with a WOW view

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We reached the fork and headed in the other direction towards Baba Budangiri. Roads were wider than the path to Mullayanagiri. There is a turn off at Attigundi and that is where the roads started becoming bad. There is a 1-1.5KM stretch where roads simply don’t exist, beyond this is pristine concrete roads.

On top of Baba Budangiri

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A cup of tea later, headed down, stopped again somewhere down the way for a photoshoot. Check out the fog cover and the visibility (or lack thereof)

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Reached back to Chikmagalur around 2.45 and we found a hotel by name Town Canteen. There was no lunch by the time we reached, only options were dosa and Lemon Rice. Opted for Masala Dosa and boy was it good! It tasted EXACTLY like GTR, Mysore right down to the taste of Palya and Chutney. Coffee was so-so. With tummies reasonably full, we headed towards Agumbe. Road just after Chikmagalur was bad for a while with lots of hairpin turns, road condition improved thereafter.

Tea Estates near Jayapura:

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Stopped after Sringeri for a small break

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We reached Agumbe by 5.45PM. Checked into the hotel and we set off to Sunset Point.

First view at sunset point

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Everything was covered with mist - Forget about sunset

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Five minutes later, all clear!

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Situation then became worse with mist setting in heavily and not shifting. Hence we decided to move out back towards Agumbe.

Small stream of water next to the road. Water tasted very nice; filled up couple of water bottles

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Last edited by SunnyBoi : 30th July 2014 at 20:27.
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Old 30th July 2014, 01:05   #2
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Yellow submarine at the parking lot

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Creepy crawly on the car! Thank God he did not come inside the car!

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On the way back, spotted another grassland and so began another mini photo shoot! Loved the outcome

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It was getting dark by 6.45PM but we were still left unfulfilled. I noticed the fuel level had gone down, this gave me an idea that we could drive down till Someshwara and fill up some fuel.

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We set off for Someshwara and there was about 10KMs of ghat roads with unending hairpin turns. Took us close to an hour though, but loved every minute of it. Headed back to Agumbe and we did not have any vehicles accompanying us. The silence was just magical. I also heard little bit of knocking sounds as well as a light metal rubbing sound from the engine and I was like ughhhhh now comes another round of expenses.

Reached back around 8.15PM and most of the hotels had shut shop. Luckily found one hotel that was just closing, picked up rice bath and vadas parcel. Went back to the hotel and rains started in full glory. We just ook out couple of plastic chairs out in the verandah, had our lunch and discussed to great lengths on how to solve world issues. In midst of these discussions, we decided to take a detour. Instead of heading to Shimoga and return to Bangalore, why not go to Udupi, Mangalore and then return back? I have already been on the Shimoga-Bangalore road several times and wanted to try out even more new roads. Plan was to wake up at 5.30-6, get ready and leave by 6.30 so that we can have breakfast at Udupi by 8

We were awakened in the morning by loud sounds of rain. Slept again because the weather was so good; finally woke up at 6.45am. We got ready by 7.30 and the rains stopped. The view outside was mesmerizing.

Agumbe Bus Stand

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Around the hotel.

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Stopped again next to the spring to refill water into even more bottles! Gives you an idea how misty it was in the morning.

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The drive to Udupi took us an hour with decent roads all the way. We went to Sri Krishna Mutt, finished the “Devara Darshana”, headed to Mitra Samaj for breakfast consisting of delicious sweet buns and Masala Dosa. It must be noted that no onions were used in the palya for Masala Dosa keeping in line with Brahmin traditions. The taste was so good we never noticed the missing onions! Strong coffee at the end topped the breakfast quite nicely.
Called up james, a good friend and a fellow TBHPian at Mangaore. He told us he’d be free by 11.30 and we hatched plans to pass time. One good option was to visit Kaup Beach however we were not too sure since it was raining intermittently. Decided to slow down; did not exceed 60KMPH anywhere along the way and enjoyed a relatively slow cruise!

Entered the beach area and quickly spotted a prime location for parking the car. With the Car parked, took some pictures

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We walked onto Kaup Beach. We saw barely two people at the beach and it was a good thing to find a nearly deserted beach which was all for us!

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After 30 minutes, we left the beach and headed towards Mangalore. Met up with james and spent an hour discussing cars, bikes and more! Tanked up the car and headed towards Bangalore. James told us Shiradi Ghats is manageable on a Palio and we decided to take this route.

We left Mangalore at 1PM. We were quite irritated by a KSRTC Volvo Multi axle who would simply drive in the middle of the road and never give way. Somehow managed to overtake him and and carried on.

I was quite pleased with the roads at Shiradi Ghats. I had imagined no roads, congested traffic and what not, instead the roads were decent, the inner portions of turns had corroded off and the outer areas were intact. Spent most of the time in second and third gear throughout Shiradi ghats and had a blast driving through! We we neared the top, we spotted a Ritz who had gone offroad and ended up in a ditch. Hiw front wheels were stuck in mud and he wasn't able to reverse. It was evident that he was coming from the opposite side, it was a blind crest right handed turn and he overcooked it. One of the locals mentioned that he'd get his Jeep and a tow cable, so we left since there was nothing else we could have done for him.

Reached Sakleshpura by 3PM and finally had lunch. We then drove towards Banglore without any incidents or sights worth mentioning here. Caught up to the ususal traffic jam upon entering Bangalore, dropped off NP at his home, I reached home and hit the sack.

Thus concluded one of the most memorable trips of my life!

Last edited by SunnyBoi : 30th July 2014 at 01:16.
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Old 31st July 2014, 07:10   #3
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Mod note: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 31st July 2014, 08:12   #4
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Crisp and beautiful writeup of the trip experience.

Inspires us to take such drives. Agumbe looks like a nice sleepy town. I had been to Wayanad sometime last year and the mornings are so sleepy that you won't feel like getting up. Just laze around and enjoy the nature !!!

Would be great if you could share some stats like, Route (in the format xx > yy > zz), Total Kms Driven and Fuel Consumed.
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Old 31st July 2014, 08:41   #5
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Agumbe definitely is a small sleepy town. Going by what I've heard, I expected it to be much bigger and similar to a larger town. However, I was genuinely glad by what I saw.

Below is the google maps link for the route I followed. I don't want to recall how much petrol I had to fill; rough estimate was a bit over 2 tankfuls.

http://goo.gl/7jVNHJ

Last edited by SunnyBoi : 31st July 2014 at 08:44.
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Old 31st July 2014, 09:43   #6
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Very good travelogue. Even though the sunset point was completely covered by mist, it's a nice experience to wait and watch for the mist to clear up and get a glimpse of the scenery behind once in a while. One doesn't feel like coming back to Bangalore after visiting such beautiful and peaceful places.
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Old 31st July 2014, 10:10   #7
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Awesome drive there Sunnyboi! The Palio in the misty surroundings looks splendid. Just yesterday there was a thread about good looking cars with clean lines and how they are not made anymore. Palio is one such car with clean lines and looks damn beautiful in those surroundings!!

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Old 31st July 2014, 10:25   #8
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyBoi View Post
Water beading on the roof couldn’t resist
Well, have seen your detailing steps in other thread earlier. The beading is envious.

I am also planning of a similar drive during Aug 15 weekend, could you please share details & pics of hotel in Agumbe you stayed at. Will be travelling with wife and main criterion is clean rooms and parking.
Thanks
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Old 31st July 2014, 11:52   #9
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Excellent, short write up of your superb monsoon drive. Great pictures, thanks for sharing!
Did you visit Kundadri ? You were so close to that place since you visitied Agumbe
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Old 31st July 2014, 12:15   #10
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

The pics are mesmerizing and I like the thread's title, it has gotten me itching for a trip in search of rain. Thanks for posting..
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Old 31st July 2014, 14:15   #11
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

This is how bachelors spend their weekend making us fat-old-boys jealous of you

Great pictures and narration Sunny and we can notice a petrolhead in you - every possibility of a pic of your car are grabbed The combination of green and yellow is sure to cherish until another rain chase!
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Old 31st July 2014, 16:40   #12
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Well, have seen your detailing steps in other thread earlier. The beading is envious.
Thank you! Its nice to see a year old coating still holding up on the roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
I am also planning of a similar drive during Aug 15 weekend, could you please share details & pics of hotel in Agumbe you stayed at. Will be travelling with wife and main criterion is clean rooms and parking.
Thanks
I stayed at mallya Residency, which is the only hotel at Agumbe. Rs 400 a day for a room with a cot spacious for 3 guys even. However this place is not recommended for family folks; better look at homestays surrounding the place if you're travelling with your family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Excellent, short write up of your superb monsoon drive. Great pictures, thanks for sharing!
Did you visit Kundadri ? You were so close to that place since you visitied Agumbe
Since it was a last minute decision to head to Agumbe, we did not even know what to see around! When we checked in to the hotel, the care taker told us about Sunset point and that was the only spot we visited. Ah well, will be more informed next time

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
This is how bachelors spend their weekend making us fat-old-boys jealous of you

Great pictures and narration Sunny and we can notice a petrolhead in you - every possibility of a pic of your car are grabbed The combination of green and yellow is sure to cherish until another rain chase!
Haha thanks a lot Avinash! I have clicked far more pictures but I'll limit them to the ones present on the thread!
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Old 1st August 2014, 14:47   #13
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Sunnyboi

Superb experience and I must admit the pictures taken from the top with clouds overseeing the driving paths are mesmerising. it must have been quite an experience to be present there at that moment. All in all, it must have a soothing experience to get away from our daily madness into nature's arms for a change.

Appreciate the effort you have taken in putting up this travelogue for us.

Cheers
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Old 1st August 2014, 16:36   #14
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Default re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Sunnyboi

The quintessential Hot Hatch!!

Drooled over your car pics and then realized that the eyes should have actually focussed on the beautiful background!!

Beautiful Pics and an even more beautiful hatch.
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Old 5th August 2014, 07:58   #15
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Default Re: ...in search of rains : Bangalore to Agumbe

Adding few more pictures; few of these were taken from my phone so please excuse the quality.

On the way somewhere near Channarayapatna

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Mullayanagiri on top :

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Car crashed!.....NOT

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On the way to Baba Budangiri

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...same spot in April without the fog

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Heading downwards from Baba Budangiri. Indicator of visibility

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Palio with its younger sibling at Chikmagalur

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Agumbe grasslands

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Sri Krishna Mutt

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Kaup Beach

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