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Old 17th August 2006, 16:02   #1
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Default Weekend Travelogue: Coastal Karnataka

Bangalore – (NH4) -Neelamangala – (NH48) – Mangalore – (NH17) – Honnavar – (NH206) - Tumkur – (NH4) - Bangalore (1002 km)

Members: Eslyn, Maya and their one year old son Nikki, Nikhil and Shikha, Abhijit and Paramita
Cars: Nikhil’s Indica-V2-TC-DLG, Eslyn’s Santro-Xing-XL

This was a long planned trip as this was the first long weekend after almost three months. It was a dream for me to drive & explore the triangle route from Bangalore, The NH48 to Mangalore, and NH17 to Honnavar along Karnataka coastline and NH206 to Tumkur via Jog Falls. Although it was great fun but I couldn’t take my car as Nikhil got his new indica delivered a week back and he wanted to take his car for this trip and forced me to drop mine. We were also joined by Eslyn in his Santro with his wife and kid.

Day 1(12th Aug, 2006): Bangalore – Neelamangala – Hassan – Mani – Mangalore – Udupi – Kundapura – TurtleBayResort (near Maravanthe)
We get up at 3:30AM, packed up the necessary stuffs, had a nice bath and Nikhil & Shikha arrived in my house at 4:45AM sharp as planned. We met with Eslyn at Ulsoor Lake and started the journey at 5AM. We reached Yeswanthpur in no time and Neelamangala by dawn. We turned left to NH48 to Mangalore. The early morning drive was as usual great and it reminded me of our bike trip in January. The road was almost deserted and we were relishing the drive, plus the great Jagjit Singh gazals were adding more aura.

We reached Kamat Upachar after Channarayanpatna for breakfast at 8AM. We all hogged masala dosas, idlis and tea. Eslyn’s little son nikki woke up by then and entertained us with all his mischief.

We start from CRpatna at around 8:45AM. This time Eslyn gave me his santro keys and told me try out. Now, it was me and eslyn in Santro and the others in Indica. We were driving at speeds 80-90kmph so that we can relish the beautiful sceneries along the road, the small-big mountains, bushes, the trees etc. In no time we were passing Hassan and two 5 speed breakers where I jumped my bike last time. Hassan bypass has got rough a bit and roads were much deteriorated since Jan. The drive till Sakleshpur through the dwindling roads were OK but road was not as smooth. Sakleshpur is famous for the wooden carvings which they sell in throwaway prices in the road side. My wife bought one good piece for the drawing room and dumped it in the indica boot (She dreamt of buying one when we get our car next time during our bike trip).

We reached Sakleshpur by 9:30AM and after that the nightmare begins as the ghat road started. Although I knew the ghat roads were in bad condition but it was indeed beyond recognition. At all the turns the banking is washed away and the angle of banking is increased compared to the design limit. It was very dangerous for heavy vehicles to take those hairpin turns at higher angle of banking. In addition it started to rain very heavily. I was taking the Santro at the corner top of the banking and then rolling it down to the right corner at the end of the turn instead of keeping it throughout left, in some cases it was very risky as the car got tilted dangerous because of improper banking.

We kept crawling in the ghats but adjacent view of the deciduous forest looked awesome especially in the rain and after monsoon. We could see water gushing out from everywhere and also made a couple of good falls too. Even saw some people stopping their cars and started to play in rain and bathe in the falls. Before we realized it was 12PM and Upinagudi was another 40km. Oops we have spent 3 hours juggling in the ghats. The roads improved so that we could atleast drive at 40kmph but the rains didn’t. It was medium to heavy.

After driving another 10km we decided to take a break in the jungle and also we wanted some snack break too. We had cakes, chips and discussed about the ghat drive. I started to wonder is this the same road that I biked in Jan and did Mangalore – Bangalore in 11 hours including all breaks. Now it is taking ages in car. Now I know why people say Karnataka is more corrupt than even Bihar. This is the state of such an important highway which connects the capital to the only port town. I wish the authorities spare a thought to those heavy tanker drivers who had to abide such extremely conditions to transport fuel to the capital. Anyway we were more agony in store. All our plans needed to realign after this sad condition of road. My plan of reaching Kundapur by 4PM is totally off now; my next target was to reach there before dark (by 7PM).

After a 15min break and bit of photoshoot, we started with me back in indica and Eslyn on the driver’s seat of Santro. The roads kept on deteriorating after Upinagudi till Mangalore. It was a driving nightmare and we finally reached Mangalore at 2:45PM, parked in Tajmahal hotel for lunch. Food was not good but the sweets were. Also it was raining that time. NH48 meets NH17 at pumpwell circle where left is Kasargod, Kerala and right is Goa, Mumbai route via the coastal Karnataka.

We started at 4PM after lunch. Roads inside Mangalore were good but once we entered NH17 it became pathetic. I cannot explain the state of the roads till Surathkal. It was first gear throughout. It was simply the worst.

Thankfully after all those pathetic moments, the roads improved after Surathkal, it was already past 5PM and my second deadline was also challenged now. In addition there was heavy traffic too. Even Udupi and Kundapur bypass roads were not in good shape otherwise the NH17 was decent and it kept on getting better. We entered Turtle bay resort about 12km from Kundapur, near Maravanthe at around 6:50PM at the stroke of darkness.

Checked into the beautiful resort on the beach, refreshed in the nice sea breeze, had a much needed bath and sat down to discuss the pathetic state of these cities in monsoon. Eslyn came in this route for the first time and had a big expectation from Mangalore, Udupi etc but seeing such infrastructure he was damn upset and said “I think Bangalore is still better”. I did try to console him by telling that it was good I did this in bike in Jan and enjoyed every moment but the present state of the road was unbelievable. After a nice dinner, we hit the bed by 10PM.

Day 2 (Chilling in sea, no driving at all): We get up at around 6AM. Thankfully it was not raining so went to the beach to enjoy the early morning breeze. One peculiar thing that I noticed there was that it rained any moment. Rain played hike-seek throughout the day. All of us were awake by now and we had a nice breakfast of puri, aloo, omlette, bread and of course the tea and filter coffee.

After breakfast, the ladies went roaming in resort and the beach and the guys went for checkup of the cars which had to undergo tremendous beating due to roads. Everything looked ok.

Now its time for water!! We all entered the sea and played with water. It was risky for swimming as there were rocks here n there and also the tide was on the higher side that day. We spent the next 3 hours in water and returned at around 1PM for lunch.

Some pics


After a brief rest, evening and night was spent in the beach and then we had a nice Chinese dinner before hitting bed. It was fun throughout.

Day 3 (14th Aug, 2006): TurtleBay – Maravanthe – Bhatkal – Murudeshwar – Honnavar – Sagar – Shimoga – Bhadravati – Kadur – Arsikere – Tiptur – Tumkur – Bangalore
Alarm rings at 5AM; we pack our stuffs, take a nice bath and start at dawn. Within a few distance we enter into that zone of NH17 where the Arabian Sea is the left and the river Sowparnika is flowing in the right. That was an awesome site. I have never seen such a beautiful site. We immediately stopped, clicked few photos and spent a nice 15 min there.

Some pics


Some where after Maravanthe, we did fuelling and headed straight to Murudeshwar. It was really a nice drive. By 8:15AM, we were in front the famous shiva temple in Murudeshwar.

It was an awesome view of sea and the shore from temple. We offered a nice morning puja there. It is believed to exist since the Ramayana time and the story around Ravana’s atmalinga. Gokarna and Murudeshwar were set up much at the same time. Adjacent to the temple was a big status of Lord Shiva, about 50 ft tall.

After the temple visit, we had a nice breakfast with crispy dosas and puris and the naveen beach restaurant which is situated on the sea.

Some pics of Murudeshwar


We start from Murudeshwar at 10AM and headed towards Honnavar. Roads were better. We enter NH206 at Honnavar and soon into the ghats. Awesome view of the ghats and also we could witness awesome small falls across due to the monsoons. But the ghat road of NH206 was really good although narrow compared to Shiradi ghat but at the same time it was deserted as well, so it was pleasure driving all through.

We reached Jog Falls at noon. We spent about 20 min there. Rain and mist was playing hide-seek there. Water was in full flow in jog and also the amount of tourists. It was crowded. But the huge falls looked awesome this time.

We reached Shimoga at 2:15PM, missed the bypass and entered the city. For no reason a cop caught us and told that we have jumped signal, don’t know when. For them, the signal means “hand signal from 5 footer traffic cop on a 80 ft wide busy road”. So we were stranded. Finally Nikhil went in his bike to the police station to get the receipt and there was another scene there. No one wants to write the challan, they were throwing the receipt book into each other. Finally one of them cut a challan and handed over to Nikhil. Ideally they should cut two challans (Rs 200) for two cars but they cut only one and gave the receipt for only Rs 100. Nikhil was a bare spectator, never knew whether to laugh or shout. We lost more than an hour in this process and entered a stupid hotel, just had a quick dosa lunch and started from shimoga at 4PM.

The road became very bad after Bhadravati for a few kms and improved a lot after Kadur but we have seen the worst so no problem. After a brief coffee break in Arsikere we headed towards Tumkur.

It was already dark and we reached Tumkur at 9pm. We entered Reliance A1 Plaza for dinner. This was our first visit to A1 plazas and we were damn impressed. Also after a poor lunch we were hungry too. We were served with awesome naan, butter chicken, pepper chicken, paneer-matar, dall fry and we hogged everything. It was damn clean and also very cheap. That was great. I don’t mind going there for a drive and dinner from Bangalore as well.

Actually we purposefully delayed by taking a coffee break in Arsikere as we wanted to avoid an evening entry into Bangalore due to the heavy rush. We started from A1 Plaza at 10PM and zoomed into Bangalore in not time and reached home by 11 PM.

We covered a total distance of about 1003 km in two days with some mind-blowing sceneries and a nice sea beach.

Signing off
Abhijit Kumar Roy

Last edited by Samurai : 26th August 2006 at 13:29.
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Old 17th August 2006, 21:20   #2
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Great report Akroy, if you had my number, we could have met.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy
One peculiar thing that I noticed there was that it rained any moment.
Actually it rains 15-20 times a day here. Often we have 2-3 seconds notice before it pours like hell. I start walking towards the car 50ft away thinking there is no rain, would be drenched by the time I get into the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy
Adjacent to the temple was a big status of Lord Shiva, about 50 ft tall.
Actually it is 125ft, built by RNS.
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Old 19th August 2006, 20:02   #3
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This is awesome review, I love travelling by NH17 when it rains especially in my native place area, thats costal karanatka, right now roads are in bad condition everywhere, today I travelled from Bangalore to Ankola 500KM drive at least 30KM I saw bad road... any compared to other national higways in karanataka Bangalore -> Honnavar -> Ankola stretch is good at least not bad I can say..

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 23rd August 2006, 14:42   #4
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Hey good write up. Thanks for the road info, I was planning my second trip to turtle bay resort. but now I am not going after I hear about the condition of the roads, I cannot figure out why the NH has to be in this state.

Last edited by normally_crazy : 24th August 2006 at 15:59.
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Old 24th August 2006, 15:48   #5
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Nice report.

Perfect family trip, going to bed at 10.00 and getting up at 06.00 , just opposite to the trip 3 bhpian covering 2000 kms in less than a week
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Old 24th August 2006, 15:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise
Nice report.

Perfect family trip, going to bed at 10.00 and getting up at 06.00 , just opposite to the trip 3 bhpian covering 2000 kms in less than a week
Exactly, the 3 bhpians will do the same once they start earning and get older, become a bit more responsible !!!
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Old 24th August 2006, 16:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy
Exactly, the 3 bhpians will do the same once they start earning and get older, become a bit more responsible !!!
WELL SAID...
Nice writeup there AKROY!
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Old 24th August 2006, 19:07   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy
Exactly, the 3 bhpians will do the same once they start earning and get older, become a bit more responsible !!!
I dont find any relation to earning (to an extent on responsbility) vs enjoying late in nights.
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Old 26th August 2006, 01:44   #9
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I don't see the connection between earning, being responsible, and sleeping at 10 pm. I know a lot of married and earning TBHPians who sleep at 3 am and like to party late into the night. And on holidays with my family, we don't go to bed at 10 pm. In fact, we don't go to bed at 10 pm, period.

I'm glad you had fun on your trip, but please do not adopt a condescending attitude to other people and their ideas of fun.

Last edited by Samurai : 26th August 2006 at 13:29.
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Old 26th August 2006, 12:34   #10
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this is the first time i have seen the roads get so bad was in mangalore for the past 15yrs,had been to mangalore 2 months back and it was bad the potholes were as big as craters near nmpt i think it must be bigger now
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Old 26th August 2006, 12:40   #11
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Hey nice report there akroy.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy
Exactly, the 3 bhpians will do the same once they start earning and get older, become a bit more responsible !!!
I doubt it... and what made you think they were not responsible ??? they were just having fun dude.... when else do you think will they get to have such fun ???
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Old 26th August 2006, 12:45   #12
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I am sure akroy made a light hearted comment, which I think he probably regrets now. Let us not make a big deal about this and get out off-topic. Any more discussion on this except an explanation from akroy will be deleted. - Mod Team
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Old 26th August 2006, 14:51   #13
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nice write up bro..
oh yeah the conditions of the road out here in M'lore has gone from bad to worse.. actually no tarmac left on road :( really feeling very ashamed about it.
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Old 27th August 2006, 10:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
I am sure akroy made a light hearted comment, which I think he probably regrets now. Let us not make a big deal about this and get out off-topic. Any more discussion on this except an explanation from akroy will be deleted. - Mod Team
Hey guys, common, this was a light hearted comment. samurai has already quoted. No personal intent at all...
Responsibility, Plans etc etc grows with age. You don't generally develop that at college. Generally, You get the car for 2 days, parents gave you 3days off etc etc and you want to get full time use of it by drinking, dancing, driving....in random style....this things you generally will not do in the later point of time...also things change a lot once you start earning (your own hard earned money), you slowly tend to become more organize in your life (again this is my personal observation, nothing personal to anyone)
This is my last comment on the statement. Hope you discuss anyting and everything about this travelogue only...

Abt bribe and all...dude, we didnt want to bribe him...only that we paid him the full money and when he was not able give receipt, we just told him to keep the money, cut the receipt on our behalf...i also gave him my address / phone number....finally he backed out and told us to keep waiting for a receipt....may be these cops were raided and checked recently...they were damn frightened which we later realized when nikhil went with him to stn and none were willing to write the challan....
Hope u realize that we had no other options at 4pm as we were travelling with ladies and 1yr old kid....we wanted to cover more distances in day light...hence that intent...which i dont think was a bribe....where i am not getting benefitted at all...

i didnt want to mention anything in the travelogue as this is a travelogue and it should sound nice and informative for a travellor.

The word of bribe and all are now removed from the travelogue...

-- Abhi
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Old 27th August 2006, 13:07   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Great report Akroy, if you had my number, we could have met.

Actually it rains 15-20 times a day here. Often we have 2-3 seconds notice before it pours like hell. I start walking towards the car 50ft away thinking there is no rain, would be drenched by the time I get into the car.

Actually it is 125ft, built by RNS.
Last month I did Uchila (about 40 km from Mangalore towards Udupi) to Karwar in three hours flat on my Bolero with max speed of 120 kmph... my best ever.
Kundapura was crowded; the ten-wheel mining trucks were a nuisance; the rain feverish; ... but aaah.. the ride thoroughly enjoyable.
Previous best - Bhatkal to Karwar in two hours on my Maruti 800.
Dud_Dodo knows my driving.
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