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Old 18th September 2016, 22:05   #1
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Default Road-Trip through West Karnataka

Every one would have a travel bucket list. I too have one. Having been in Karnataka for the past 4 years, I've always wanted to explore the Western region of the state. The malnad region and West coast were always calling. Finally the time came to fasten seat belts and set out on a road trip towards West Karnataka.

It was Onam and a long vacation in Kerala. So parents decided that they'll come down to Bangalore. A plan was made to embark on a road trip.

The planning phase

The team. Myself, wifey, dad and mom. Our steed.. My i20 elite. A 3 day trip was decided and a rough plan was made.

Plan 1
Day 1
Bangalore to chikmagalur via belur halebeedu - 290kms 6hrs

Stay in chikmagalur

Day 2
Chikmagalur to murudeshwar via sringeri Agumbe - 220 kms 6hrs

Stay in murudeshwar

Day 3
Murudeshwar to Bangalore via jog falls - 530kms 10hrs

But Day 3 seemed to be tiresome as per the above plan. Also the route consisted of highways most of the way. So wanted to try another more scenic route.

Hence arrived at another plan.

Plan 2
Day 1
As planned
Bangalore to chikmagalur via belur halebeedu
Stay in chikmagalur
300 kms 7 hrs

Day 2
Chikmagalur to murdeshwar via sringeri agumbe
Then proceed to udupi.
Stay in udupi.

320 kms 7 hrs

Day 3
Udupi to Bangalore via charmadi ghat, sakleshpur

420kms 9 hrs.

This plan had the return route charted through charmadi ghat. Had heard about the scenic beauty of the Ghats.

Hence this plan was finalised but at the end took the shiradi ghat to sakleshpur instead of charmadi due to time constraints.

Day 1

Started from Bangalore at 6am. Took the following route to Halebidu with a stop at Swathi Delicacy Yadiyur for breakfast.

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Reached Halebidu by 11am. Parked the car and got out. Was immediately mobbed by a vendor selling books about Belur and Halebidu. Bought one and proceeded to the Hoysaleshwara temple.

Even after looking at the book we didn't have the slightest of idea regarding the architectural marvel we were about to witness. Now let the pictures do the talking.

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The sculptures left us awestruck. The entrance to the temple was guarded by the dwarpalaks.

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The interior was cold and the roof was fully carved.

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Pillars were amazing

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Sculptures depicted mythology as well as daily life.

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The Gomateshwara Statue was in dilapidated condition.

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The Nandi depicted was intricately carved.

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Finally started towards Belur. The road from Halebidu to Belur was in extremely poor condition.

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Laboured through the 16 odd kms to reach Belur.


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Old 19th September 2016, 20:47   #2
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Default re: Road-Trip through West Karnataka


Next stop was Chennakeshava temple in Belur. The Gopuram at the entrance was magnificent. We went through the Gopuram into the sprawling temple complex.The symbol of Hoysala empire was carved at the entrance.

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The entire temple foundation was carved with elephants. Each elephant was different from the other.

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There was a pond near the temple.

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The famous figures of sculpted beauties adorned the temple walls.

Beauty and mirror

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The huntress

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Some more sculptures were there around the temple

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The pillars inside the temple

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Outside views of architecture on temple walls.

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Old 19th September 2016, 21:22   #3
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Default re: Road-Trip through West Karnataka

Few more of the free standing sculpted beauties around Chenna Keshava Temple in Belur.

Lady in conversation with pet parrot

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-lady-parrot.jpg

Monkey pulling saree

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This depicts a mischievous monkey pulling the saree of a lady and snarling, while she is threatening it with a twig.

The flutist

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Drum dance

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Lady with musical instrument

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After getting thoroughly enthralled, decided to have lunch and recollect the exodus of sheer architectural bliss we had been through.

Had lunch from KSTDC hotel Mayura Velapuri very near the Chennakeshava temple in Belur.

A parting shot of the Gopuram and we said good bye to this magnificient ancient place.

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Then proceeded towards our resort in Chikmagalur. Took the following route to the resort.

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Had some authentic coffee from a coffee shop on the way. There were quite a few on the way. Many of them attached to coffee estates.

Resort where we stayed was Eagle Eye Holiday home at a place called Kadavanthi in Chikmagalur.

The place was nestled in a coffee estate. This was the view from parking lot.

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-view-parking-lot.jpg

We climbed up towards the reception and was greeted by a majestic eagle. A trademark of the resort.

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-eagle.jpg

Our stay was part of a package which included coracle ride, plantation walk, trekking and fishing. Since we reached late, all the activities had finished and we couldn't indulge in any of those. We were not disappointed since we had not planned to do them anyway.

The place was also close to Bhadra wildlife sanctuary and they also arranged safari into the park with prior intimation.

We checked in and proceeded to our villa.

The way leading to our Villa.

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The villa were we stayed.

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View from our Villa

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Had coffee and some hot snacks from the restaurant. Enjoyed the Sunset view from restaurant while sipping a cup of hot coffee.

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There were indoor and outdoor games in the resort. Tried my hand at carrom board with dad.

Then enjoyed campfire with snacks on a cold night.

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Had dinner and hit the bed.

Day 2 coming up...

Last edited by i20ian : 19th September 2016 at 21:43.
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Old 19th September 2016, 21:56   #4
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Default re: Road-Trip through West Karnataka

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th September 2016, 22:58   #5
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Default re: Road-Trip through West Karnataka

So many beautiful photos of the carvings and sculptors.

Your travelogue itself can be a reference for research scholars of Temple Architecture !!

I think, some part of the travelogue is still pending.

Thank you for sharing.

- Sai
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Old 21st September 2016, 12:30   #6
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Post Re: Road-Trip through West Karnataka

Fantastic photos, thanks for sharing Hoysaleshwara temple is indeed an architectural marvel considering it was 12th century C.E. It resembles the Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura. The guide shared an interesting story behind the pillars - A Lathe turned cylindrical pillars.The stone was fixed in the groud and they had horses and elephants walking around the stone ie., they were the prime movers of the lathes. Slowly they had changed the depth of the needle to get different curves, cuts and polish. Unimaginable effort. Btw, waiting for your day 2 & 3!
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Old 21st September 2016, 22:11   #7
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Day 2

Woke up early in the morning and saw quite a lot of birds. They were in all sorts of colors. Some orange, some yellow. Hornbills were also to be seen in plenty. However couldn't click them.

Truly wished that this natural beauty existed forever withstanding ever growing human encroachment.

Had a quick breakfast and started the journey to Sringeri at 9am. Took the following route.

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Reached temple town Sringeri and saw the Gopuram leading to the temple.

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Residents of the temple

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1200yr old temple

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Had darshan of Goddess Sharadamba and VidyaShankar. Saw quite a lot of people feeding fish in the holy Tunga river.

Walked across the river on the bridge to the Shankara Peetham.

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The sight of areca trees near the Ashram was worth capturing.

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Didn't explore the Ashram much due to lack of time and proceeded to the parking lot. Had some tea and started off to next destination...


Took the following route and reached Agumbe.

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It was a small town. Agumbe is known for its rainfall and as though living upto its expectations, we got some rain when we passed through Agumbe town.

It was lunch time and our plan was to have lunch from Agumbe. But couldn't find any decent eateries there. So decided to climb down the famous Agumbe ghat.

The roads are bad at certain stretches. Some hair pins were steep. We had a curious visitor enroute.

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Stopped at the sunset view point and took some snaps.

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After descending the Ghats still couldn't find any decent eateries although Google maps showed a few enroute.

Took the route towards Kollur and after quite a few kms of driving through forests found a small eatery at a place called Goliangadi.

By this time we were in Udupi district and had a taste of some authentic vegetarian Udupi cuisine.

After Shankaranarayana, took the diversion towards Kundapur. From the mountains we had reached the sea. The Arabian Sea was now running parallel to the road.

The continuous journey was taking a toll on us. The NH after Kundapur was in very bad shape. Construction work was going on and pot holes were plenty.We were in two minds. Whether to drop our plan to go to Murudeshwar and return to Udupi or to go ahead.

Finally decided to go back and head to Udupi and spend time at the beach resort we had booked there. Stopped at Maravanthe Beach and took some snaps.

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The beach is pristine with almost no human encroachment. The place is unique as it is flanked by sea on one side and river on another.

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Thought of returning from there to Udupi, but the sheer sight of waves gushing on to the clean sands of Maravanthe made us to continue the journey to Murudeshwar.

In the end this turned out to be the right decision. The road condition improved from then on. Reached Murudeshwar around 5pm.

It was a typical coastal town. A narrow road led us to the temple. The majestic Gopuram was standing tall.

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The beach was crowded.

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Still no sight of the famous Lord Shiva statue which is the second tallest in the world.

Two stone elephants guarded the entrance.

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Immediately after entering saw people lined up to go to the top of the Gopuram through lift.

Didn't miss a second and off we went to the top of the Gopuram. The 18th floor to be precise. The views were breath taking.

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Had the first glimpse of Lord Shiva.

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The top view of temple.

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Came down and proceeded to the temple. Few more snaps.

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Sunset at Murudeshwar. A sight to behold.

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Had tea and snacks from the crowded sea side restaurant. View from our table.

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-view-restaurant.jpg

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Old 21st September 2016, 22:44   #8
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Few more snaps of Murudeshwar

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-shiva-1.jpg

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Sea side restaurant view from 18th floor

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After thoroughly enjoying the views at Murudeshwar, bid farewell and started off to Udupi.

Just before starting the journey checked on my phone WhatsApp and saw lots of messages about the unrest in Bangalore due to Kaveri issue.

Since there were no problems in our present location we started to Udupi. Took the following route.

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-murudeshwar-malpe.jpg

By this time it was dark and when we reached Udupi it was 8.30pm.

Udupi and Malpe

Had booked stay at Paradise Isle Beach Resort Malpe. Checked into the resort which was facing the the Malpe Beach.

The location and the ambience of the resort was excellent but their service was pathetic.

We had booked two cottages for 4 of us and to our dismay only one cottage was cleaned. The other one was in a shabby order.

They allotted another cottage to us which was further away and hence we couldn't stay close by. Also hot water facility was not available in that cottage.

Was tired. So had dinner and called off the day.

Day 3

Woke up late. Took some snaps of the resort.

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The Malpe Beach.

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View from the restaurant.

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After breakfast called up some friends in Bangalore to decide on the return journey. Some people said it was not safe and advised to go to our native in Kerala.

Since it was Thiruvonam tomorrow, after some brain storming decided to go back to Bangalore as planned earlier but with a slight change. Take the Bangalore Mangalore highway via Shiradi ghat- Sakleshpur instead of the Charmadi ghat. After all didn't want to get stuck some where for Onam and wanted to be back home.

Had a quick darshan at Sri Krishna Temple Udupi. No rush what so ever. A quaint peaceful temple town. Bought prasad from the temple. The Goshala attached to the temple was a unique experience.

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Set the GPS and started the return journey. Brought vegetables and consumables required for Onasadya from Udupi itself due to rumours of Karnataka Bandh tomorrow.

Took the following return route.

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-udupi-blore.jpg

Filled up the tank from Panambur enroute. Had lunch from Mangalore. The drive was pretty much uneventful until reaching a toll gate when a crooked KSRTC fellow trying to jump lanes in the toll gate crashed onto my car parked in the adjoining lane.

The guy had not seen my car it seems, and even after honking profusely he crashed onto my right ORVM and scraped some metal.

Luckily the damage was not that serious and we continued the journey.

Roads are good throughout. Four lane roads upto Mangalore from Udupi and then on decent patched up 2 lane roads.

Shiradi ghat to Sakleshpur stretch was very bad and could manage very less speeds in these sections.

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-shiradi-ghat.jpg

The views became scenic and mist engulfed the road as we approached Sakleshpur.

Had tea and snacks from Sakleshpur. From then on till Hassan the roads were fabulous. Very smooth tarmac. From Hassan entered the four lane toll road.

The traffic was very sparse, may be due to the unrest. Without any issues reached Swathi Delicacy Yadiyur. Had dinner and finally reached home in Bangalore by 10pm.

The final odometer reading showed 1071 kms over 3 days. FE of 15kmpl was impressive.

Road-Trip through West Karnataka-final-odometer.jpg

A road trip to cherish for a long time to come. We've seen history, architectural brilliance, temples, natural beauty, coffee estates, ghat roads, sea and beach in a single trip.

With the hope of coming back to this amazing region and covering up the left over locations, bidding adieu to West Karnataka.

Hope everyone enjoyed traveling with us through out this travelogue.
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