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Old 3rd September 2014, 00:19   #1
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Default A family ride from Hyderabad to Goa

Itís been a while I went on long drives. I was bit skeptic on my 7 years old aging Sx4 if it is still capable? Last time I visited Goa was in 2008 when my Maruti Sx4 was new. I just wanted to try again with this aging beast, and I was right, this ďman in the carsĒ did not disappoint me at all. The engine revving and other aspects are almost the same as what I remember from the days when car was new. After the trip the odo says 85K km, and still going good. Anyway, letís get into the subject.

After taking inspiration from fellow BHPians posts, I wanted to finish onward journey to Goa in a single day. The average time taken I could read from many other BHPians is around 13 to 14 hours with 2 to 3 breaks. After going through some forums and suggestions by members especially by mobike008, I have decided to choose round about trip to Goa i.e onward journey through the route

Hyderabad-Zaheerabad-Humnabad-Gulbarga-Bijapur-Athani-Chikodi-Gandiglaj-Ajra-Amboli Ghat-Sawantwadi-Panaji

and return:
Panaji-Londa-Dandelli-Hubli-Hospet-Raichur-Mahaboob Nagar.

Onrward Journey

We started from Hyderabad at sharp 6 in the morning on the day of Ganesh Chaturdhi 29th Sep. My target was to reach Miramar beach by no later than 8 PM, but it was gone in other way than expected.

First 600 KM of drive was fantastic with nearly excellent roads. Reached Bijapur 12:45 and took lunch break of 45 mins. Started at 1:30, lead towards Athani. Since it was a Ganesh festival, had a hiccup of crossing many Ganesh statues going for procession/pooja that day, nearly 30 mins were wasted in the traffic jam at Athani. On top of it I took a wrong route, instead of going straight at Athani junction, took a left turn. Something went wrong with the navigation in google maps on my iPhone. I guess I didnít see the route properly at the junction. The moment I took a left turn, it might have recalculated. After driving for 20+ km I realized that the road is getting narrowed and it is going into very remote villages. After inquiring with local people there, I realized that I was in a wrong path, and had to get back to Athani again. This saga wasted nearly an hour.So, there is a loss of 1 hr 30 mins, that has broken my dream to reach Goa in 13 hours.

From here there is no look back until Ajra. The drive was smooth, despite potholes at few places and Idols of Ganesh Maharaj disturbing my way quite often . However, my kids and wife enjoyed watching different verities of Idols all along. It was already dark and it started pouring like anything. Drive under rain continued until Goa, and finally managed to reach Hotel by 10 PM Though it was tough, I really enjoyed the thrilling experience driving under heavy rains through ghat sections of Ajra Ė Sawantwadi.

Onward journey timings

Hyd Ė started at 6:00 AM
Jaheerabad -7:50
Humnabad 9:00 , with 15 min break for breakfast
Gulbarga 9:50 AM
Javergi - 10:45 AM
Bijapur 12:45 PM, took lunch break of 45 min, and started at 1:30
Athani - 2:53 PM, wasted nearly one hour plus and started towards Chikodi around 4:00 PM
Chikodi - 5:45 PM - took 10 mins break for tea
Ajra - 7:10 PM
Sawantwadi :845 PM
Reached Hotel Marriott Resort and Spa at 10 PM
Total time taken 16 hours

Return Journey

As per plan I wanted to take Londa-Dandelli ghat section so that I can cover Dandelli river boat ride. The journey was smooth until I reached Karnataka boarder. The roads in Goa are really butter smooth. It seems Goan govt recently re-carpeted them. Road starting from Dhudhsagar, Karnataka boarder until Londa is reasonably bad with lot of potholes. From Londa to Dandelli and then until Hubli is again very good. Hubli to Hospet, is good too, but Hospet to Raichur is terribly bad. We canít call it as state highway. Not sure how govt can keep such roads connecting two big cities !!

Timings Started at 12:15 from Goa
Dudhsagar Ė 1:45 pm (took long lunch break until 2:40, thanks to Kids
Dandelli 4:15 (Byson resort at Ganesh Gudi) spent 1 hour for boat ride after a waiting of Ĺ hr
Left Dandelli at 5:15, reach Dharward by 6:45, took 15 mins Coffee break at some Udipi hotel.

Reached Hospet by 9:30. Traffic between Dharwad and Hubli was heavy that time and it took a while to cross the twin cities. There is a road widening work is going on near Hubli, hence needed to drive with caution. I started thinking if I can drive until Raichur and took break there instead of Hospet so that I could cover up some distance in the night itself but my wife warned me not to continue in pitch dark.
Took a room in a decent lodge at Hospet, started back home next day at 8:30 AM,
Raichur by 12:05
Mahaboonagar by 2:20 PM, took lunch break of 45 mins at Hotel Panchavati, Had a sumptuous south Indian lunch.

Reached Samshabhad by 3:30, and home by 4:15 PM.

If I compare with my earlier trip to Goa in 2008, in which I took Solapur-Pandarpur-Kolhapur stretch, I found that solapur-Kolhapur stretch had much better roads than Athani-Ajra better roads than Athani-Sawantiwadi stretch. Don't know how the condition of those roads now.

Pics attached. Will add more description later
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by Rehaan : 5th September 2014 at 12:15. Reason: Adding pics in this post itself :)\
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