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Old 4th April 2017, 23:08   #1
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Default Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

Prologue
Well, it was a long time since I had my long road trip and being a BHPian you can't stay away from those road trips longer.
Firstly, I had got the Fastag installed in my drive a.k.a Redcruiser so that it could cruise on the highways without worrying about cash and the long queues in Tollbooths (The latter claim of mine is controversial at times).
Secondly, had installed a new Dashcam in my Redcruiser.
Took 2 days off from office so made it a 5 days long weekend break which included Ugadi holiday on Wednesday.

In my last trip, I had been to the east coast (Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry during the new year) this time I planned for the west coast of the peninsula.

So scouted for some advice from friends, colleagues and went through some T-Bhp travelogues, route queries section to finalise on my plan. Decided to go for as many points of interests that I could cover in my journey. West coast was totally a new place to me as I had never gone past Coorg and Wayanad. Even driving in the famed Shiradi or Charmadi was new to me.Researched on one of our active route related thread. https://goo.gl/uYJWu5


Had seen some stunning photos of Bekal Fort so it was there on my bucket list hence decided to tick that off in this trip. Many Bangaloreans would freak out if you say that you have never been to Mullyangiri hill, the highest peak of the state even after living for around 6 years. Therefore wanted to visit Mullyangiri peak, but wanted to visit it on weekdays so that I keep away from the weekend madness.Although it was not the right season to visit but yes there is always a next time and I will have one more reason to visit Mullyangiri. Tried to fit in a visit to the famous temples of Kukke Subramanium and Dharmasthala.
So after getting a rough idea of the places to visit during my trip, I tried to seek out suggestions from experienced people here at T-BHP.
http://goo.gl/Enfd5A
Thanks to one of the enthusiastic Bhpian Paragsachania for clearing my confusion on my route planning.Called him up before the journey to get some last minute suggestions.

DAY-1 Blr-Dharmasthala-Kukke

Everything was set before taking another long trip. Points of interest were marked on Gmaps, important stops, Offline areas downloaded. Tanked up my ride and checked the pressure of my ride's shoes.Ran through the checklist of necessary items to carry before any trip. Went to bed early to avoid any kind of drowsy driving in the morning. Plan was to start by 5:30 AM in the morning of 25th March but as usual like all my previous trips started 10 mins early at 5:20 AM.
Here are the points of interest that I had marked on Gmaps.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-screen-shot-20170410-8.22.55-pm.png

Had heard so much about the lip smacking tastes from Swathi Delicacy and it was the time for me to testify the taste. Reached Swathi Delicacy at 7 AM sharp. As Parag had suggested not to drive on the wrong side to reach this place hence I had to drive a little further around 500 meters and took a U-turn to reach this place.
I must say that whatever people used to say about it stands true.The Dosa and Vada were awesome. They even have a kids' playing area and superbly maintained restrooms. To my surprise, this place was not overcrowded therefore got a sweet parking spot.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170325_072527.jpg

Had this delicious dosa.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170325_071220.jpg

Half an hour later we were on our way to our next stop at Manjarabad fort in Sakleshpur.
Soon after some time the clear morning turned into a foggy one. There is a place called Bandihalli which is around 73Kms from Kunigal. Stopped at a place to have tender coconut. Due to the fog, the road was barely visible, saw a Duster rear end a Dzire.
Few pics that I clicked in this sojourn.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal2.jpg
See the foggy conditions and low visibility.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal3.jpg

After around two hours of drive, we reached Manjarabad Fort at 10 AM. Passed through the roads in Sakleshpur which has turned into graveyards for numerous trees. A lot of old trees were felled on either side of the road.
The fort is located right at the place where the roads bifurcate, the left one towards Coorg and other towards Mangalore.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal4.jpg

We climbed some 100 steps in the scorching heat to reach the fort.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal5.jpg

Glad to see that we were not the only crazy ones.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal8.jpg

Manajarabad fort was built by Tipu Sultan in consultation with French architect Vauban.It is believed there is a secret tunnel that opens at Srirangapatna fort.
Though the fort epitomises french art, it is now in shambles.
Few pics of the place.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170325_103759.jpg
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170325_104135.jpg
Contrary to the belief(according to Wiki) of seeing the Arabian sea in a clear weather, I could only manage so much.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal6.jpg

At 11:00 we continued our journey to Dharmasthala and reached at 12:30 in the Noon without any breaks. Loved to drive in the Shiradi Ghats. Road conditions were not good around Gundia but still manageable.
Reached Dharmasthala at 12:20 Noon and it was very hot at that time. I bought a quick darshan ticket that cost around 200 bucks. It was very difficult to walk barefooted in the temple premises but fortunately, the temple administration had put carpets all around for people to walk.Completed the darshan and had lunch in the temple which was free.

After spending about one and half hour in the temple we headed to Kukke.
Saw a lot of these Pineapple sellers along the road. Also, mark the Dharmasthala road SH-37 meets the NH-75 in the pic.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal9.jpg

On Continuing on Sh-37 towards Kukke Subramanya we reached the hotel at around 4 PM.
The Hotel,Vijay Comforts where we stayed was right on the highway, hence no detour was needed. Overall, I was very satisfied with the service and Room cleanliness.
Check out my review in TA here->. http://goo.gl/OEusu6

Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-vijayhotel.jpg

It had a balcony which provided a wonderful view of the panorama.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal14.jpg

After a short nap, we decided to walk down to the famous temple, Kukke Shree Subramanya temple. As we walked to the temple we were taken aback by the sheer humidity, hence we went back to the hotel and drove in our car instead. Reached the temple in 2 minutes. The crowd was thin and we completed our darshan nonchalantly.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170325_182854.jpg

Had our dinner in the restaurant of the hotel. The food was pricey and spicy.
After driving around 380 odd Kms in the day it was finally time to call it a day.

Last edited by redcruiser : 21st April 2017 at 14:00.
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Old 14th April 2017, 01:22   #2
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Default re: Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

DAY-2 Subramania-Bekal-Ullal

In the second day of our trip, we started from the hotel at 10:00 in the morning after having a good breakfast. Next stop was Bekal fort and plan was to reach Ullal by evening.

The Route for the day was-
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-screen-shot-20170417-8.30.02-am.png

The state highway that we drove by was very picturesque without much traffic.

After a spirited drive, we reached Bekal fort at around 1:15 PM. The heat outside was bearable unlike to what I had thought before arriving there.
Paid 5 Rs as entry fee to the largest fort of Kerala.

Here are some keepers at Bekal-


Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal16.jpg

Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal17.jpg

Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal18.jpg

Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal19.jpg

Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170326_132704.jpg

I knew I was at the wrong time in a very good place. One should spend at least 1 day in Bekal to enjoy the Bekal beach and fort. Well, there is always a next time.Nevertheless, one place struck off my bucket list. I think monsoons would be the best time to visit this place.

After a short stay, we started off towards Kasargod to have our lunch. I had read some good reviews of Viceroy restaurant in Kasargod that serves delicious biryani.
Reached this place at 2:30 in the noon.Watch out for the location you might miss the tiny road towards this hotel.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170326_144854.jpg

We reached our final destination of the day which was around an hour drive from Kasargod into KA. Vazco beach resort in Ullal, located at a very nice and serene place.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170326_173421.jpg

The view of the sea from the first floor of the resort
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-picture2.jpg

In the evening we went to the Someshwara Temple and the beach adjoining the temple.
The temple is present on the top of the rocky hill.
Steps leading to the temple.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170326_180212low.jpg

And the steps leading you out of the temple to the beach.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170326_180006.jpg

Temple premises
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170326_175709.jpg

Someshwara beach.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal24.jpg

View of the temple from the beach.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal20.jpg

Setting Sun and the crowd that you see was enjoying the evening breeze and few people were having some selfie moments.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal23.jpg

The beaches in this part of Karnataka are very dangerous as they have steep descent from the shore.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal28.jpg

Next morning also we came to this place for shooting in the golden hour.

Few pics that I shot in the morning-
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal30.jpg
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal29.jpg
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal32.jpg

Last edited by redcruiser : 21st April 2017 at 14:05.
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Old 19th April 2017, 23:04   #3
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Default re: Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

DAY-3 Ullal-Chikmaglur
After short Photography session on the Someshwara beach and a delicious breakfast at the resort, I started off to chikmagalur and drove through ghat roads of western ghats.
Route Taken,
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-capture.jpg
I drove through the picturesque Charmadi ghat to reach Chikmagalur. The route was narrow with sparse traffic except for some heavily laden trucks that were finding it difficult to climb.
My Steed.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-bekal34.jpg

Me and My RedCruiser.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170327_140001low.jpg

Valley view of Charmadi.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170327_140559low.jpg

Had lunch at fresh bean cafe, near IOCL bunk right after the Horanadu turn off in Bankal. Would not recommend this place to anyone.

Resumed our journey to Chikmagalur. Reached Chikmaglur around 5 in the evening.
Checked in to Hotel Orchid, present right at the heart of the town. As I had to stay for just one night I didn't go for any kind of resorts that boasts of Hillview, Valley view or has coffee plantation in its backyard.
Had a stroll in MG road in the night and in the meanwhile, I lost the smart card of the hotel room.Paid about 400rs for the loss of Smartcard.

Last edited by redcruiser : 21st April 2017 at 14:13.
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Old 20th April 2017, 01:48   #4
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Default re: Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

DAY-4 Mullyangiri-Blr

The day was Monday,best time to visit Mullayanagiri peak minus the weekend crowd. Checked out from the Hotel at 10 AM and drove off to the highest peak of KA.

The road leading to the peak is not in a good shape although they are widening by laying concrete at some hairpins. I guess the road may get worse in the monsoon. I wish they could do something like Nandi Hills.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-chikm2.jpg

And as expected you can see there were few cars parked in the main parking spot.So I didn't have to suffer what most people would go through during Weekends.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-chikm3.jpg

View after climbing some steps to the hilltop.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-chikm4.jpg

Shades of the cloud. Although it was noon we didn't feel an iota of heat because of the cool breeze.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-chikm7.jpg

Another breathtaking view. I wonder how it would look after Monsoon.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-chikm5.jpg

After spending some 2 odd hours at this place and clicking zillion pics we headed for lunch at Hotel Raama in Hassan.
On our way back we passed through Chikmagalur town and stopped at The famous Coffee shop Panduranga Coffee store to buy some authentic coffee. Had a glass of cane juice and off we went to our next destination,Hotel Raama for lunch.I
Had heard a lot about this new place in Hassan.We reached at this place around 3ish.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170328_155808.jpg

I had North Indian Thali
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170328_153314.jpg
and Wifey preferred South Indian Thali.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170328_1534372.jpg
The food was good so was the service.

After having a sumptuous lunch we setout for the final leg of our return journey.
Was briefly stuck in Hassan traffic near the railway crossing.I am sure there would be an alternate route to avoid the traffic jam.
Once I touched the NH I gave the driving responsibility to wifey while I took some rest.
Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats-img_20170328_173425.jpg

Reached Bangalore at dusk. Fastag worked perfectly in all the tolls, I simply breezed through Nelamangala toll while other lanes were jammed.
Reached during the peak traffic time and Blr traffic welcomed us with open arms. It took close to 2 hours to reach my home from the start of ORR(30kms). In the prior 2 hours, we had covered around 200 odd kms.

Overall a fun filled journey. Total Kms driven was 960 to be precise. Redcruiser guzzled 1 ltr petrol for every 15kms on an average.

-Cheers.

Last edited by redcruiser : 21st April 2017 at 14:19.
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Old 21st April 2017, 16:23   #5
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Default re: Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd April 2017, 07:40   #6
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Default Re: Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

Nice. These are beautiful parts of Karnataka and even prettier during or just after the monsoons.

Next time maybe starting on the West Coast and ending on the East ?
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Old 24th April 2017, 14:11   #7
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Default Re: Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

The last picture from the steps of Mullyanagari was super. That picture would be spectacular in monsoons. Tempting, very tempting.
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Old 29th April 2017, 12:23   #8
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Default Re: Along the West Coast: Temples, forts, beaches and ghats

Wonderful trip log there redcruiser. I remember visiting Mullayangiri post monsoons and it was much greener. You should do this complete circuit once more after the monsoons retreats; you will be surprised with the lushness of greenery.
Thanks for sharing
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