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Old 24th August 2007, 19:18   #1
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Default Mumbai - Jog Falls - Vitla (near Mangalore)

Pictures of the picturesque Jog Falls had beckoned. We responded by setting out at 0530hrs on Independence Day. The weather was perfect for a long drive and the highway – NH4 - was very supportive too. Being a national holiday the traffic was very sparse, increasing my driving pleasure.








Have always considered myself a very sedate driver, indulging in enjoying the scenery and firmly believing in the drive rather than the destination. Hence, I was rather surprised at the speed at which we reached Belgaum. We were there at 1300hrs, ready for lunch! Got off the exit and drove down to an old favorite – Ramdev International for a sumptuous South Indian thali. Surprises never cease! The two thalis cost Rs.60/- only!
Got back onto the highway and soon were in Hubli, the place where I had intended to take a night halt, but as it was rather early, decided to move on to Sirsi and cut down on our drive time to Jog Falls next morning. The GQ was still under construction in places between Hubli and Harihar and it showed. As we handed over our toll pass at the Hubli check post, there was total chaos with plenty of diversions and total lack of signage. Whatever signage that existed was in Kannada only. Fortunately for me I was accompanied by my Kannada enabled wife, without whom the journey would have been miserable! Soon we spotted a tiny cutoff for Mundgod and Sirsi. Somehow, I thought that the ‘road’ lacked the approach necessary for mighty Jog, so asked the chaiwala at the turning whether that road actually led anywhere. With great enthusiasm, he nodded vigorously and directed us to go ahead. Just then there was a passerby who had stopped by listening in to our conversation and with equal vigor he shook his head and told us not to take that route as the stretch between Mundgod and Sirsi was closed due damage by heavy rain. We were then redirected to go to Sirsi via Hangal. This road was a single laned road right through to about 10kms from Sirsi where it broadened a bit to 1 and ½ lane. This drive was a drive down the ages where time is of no consequence. The pace is gentle and time just trickles.
Reached Sirsi around 1800hrs and checked in at Hotel Shivani (KSTDC approved). Got a huge room with a TV for under Rs.500/-. The staff at the Hotel was very friendly and courteous but the food was not. The weather was very pleasant. It had just rained so the aroma of wet soil lingered in the cool air.
Since Jog was just an hour’s drive from Sirsi, we set out leisurely at 0730hrs. We were advised to visit Sri Marikamba Temple on the way and have breakfast in a restaurant just opposite the temple. The ‘Medu-Vadas’ were heavenly.
The winding road through the Jog forest all the way to Jog was soothing. Reached Jog in an hour and joined the long line of parked vehicles. The ‘falls’ were a bit of a downer as had anticipated real aggressively full falls. However, the views did offer plenty of photo-ops and the clouds floating by added to the charm.
Inspite of being warned of ‘bad roads’ set out towards Honnavar to take the coastal route to Mangalore. Reached Honnavar for lunch – again a sumptuous South Indian thali costing Rs.22/- each! That indeed was the last bright spot of the drive. The ‘highway’ NH17 from Honnavar right upto Mangalore is the pits –literally and figuratively! The drive was more like sailing on stormy seas in a canoe. Added to the bad roads were the trucks and buses raising dust as they tried to reach their destinations on schedule.
Marvanthe beach was the reason for my decision to take the coastal route. Even Marvanthe seemed to be teeming with trucks lined up on the road, as that was the only part of the highway that seemed in reasonably good condition and offered a breather to all the highway travelers.
Reached Vitla at 2100hrs – happy to have finished with the nightmarish roads. Spent a couple of peaceful days unwinding and attended the Nag panchami puja at the Ananteshwar temple.
Had decided to avoid the coastal route on the return trip and to take the drive across the Western Ghats instead.

Last edited by magiceye : 24th August 2007 at 19:20.
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Old 24th August 2007, 19:41   #2
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Drove from 05.30 hrs to 18.00 hrs & very simply put

how many kms totally covered and in which car?
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Old 24th August 2007, 19:48   #3
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Mumbai-Hubli (NH4 - superb road - part of GQ) - 589kms
Hubli-Sirsi (via Hangal as Mundgod -Sirsi road was closed) single lane.- 124kms
Sirsi-Jog (lovely forest 2laned road) - 60kms
Jog-Honnavar (good road thru the dense forest) - 61kms
Honnavar-Mangalore (NH17-nightmare) - 178kms - this road is the pits - literally and figuratively! Avoid it as far as possible-possibly the reason why Samurai does'nt venture out nowadays!
Mangalore-Vitla - tolerable after the nightmare - 45kms

Total - 1057kms in an Indica V2 DLS TC
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Old 24th August 2007, 20:05   #4
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Default Some Pictures...

Some pictures that I was unable to load with my travelog


The Sharavati river valley

Maravanthe

NH4

NH4

NH4

NH4

MARIKAMBA TEMPLE

MARAVANTHE BEACH

MARIKAMBA TEMPLE

JOG

JOG FALLS

JOG FALLS

JOG FALLS

JOG FALLS

JAI HIND

INDICA RESTING

ENROUTE TO JOG

ENROUTE TO JOG

ENROUTE TO HONAVAR

CATTLE BREAKS

Last edited by magiceye : 24th August 2007 at 20:24.
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Old 24th August 2007, 21:00   #5
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Nice Pics magiceye ! How much was the mileage in the car?

Abhi
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Old 24th August 2007, 21:05   #6
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Nice concise report there, good pics too, looks like jog has it's flow reduced, it was shown to be roaring in all it's splendour just a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 24th August 2007, 21:14   #7
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Well written magiceye. Most enjoyable.

I shall have to show it to my baby sister, she will be thrilled. She is visiting us from Miami and she is originally from (born and raised till the age of 12) Vitla or Vittal - depending on the dialect, I guess.

If you have some pictures of your stay in Vitla itself, please do post them, she will be thrilled. I just spoke to her and she remembers Ananteshwar temple being on the outskirts (she remembers nag panchami as a child) and the village is further inside.

Thanks man.
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Old 24th August 2007, 21:53   #8
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@Sam... glad you liked it...
small world! You are right re Vitla Vittal. We actually call it Vittal too but since in the South it is popularly known as Vitla decided to use that spelling. Will post pictures of the Ananteshwar Temple and our remade ancestral home.
The pond is right in front of our house and next to Panchalingeshwara temple. Your sister should remember it.



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Old 24th August 2007, 21:58   #9
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Thats nice report Mag, Good that someone advised to take Hubli -> Harihar -> Sirsi which is just 25km extra compared to Hubli -> Mundod -> Sirsi.

Roads have become too bad after heavy rains. Roads are holding up fine between Sirsi -> Jog -> Honnavar since they are not even 2 years old and heavy trucks don't use this road. I simply love that road every time I travel. Forest is very thick there.

But expect to become bad in coupe of years. So this is good time you visited Jog

Regards,

Ravi.

Last edited by ravibhat : 24th August 2007 at 22:01.
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Old 24th August 2007, 22:01   #10
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@ak roy...thanks so much... have not yet calculated the FE. Will post asap.
@lukeskywalker.. thank you
@ravi... thank you ... thanks also for all the inputs before I set out!
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Old 24th August 2007, 22:02   #11
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So you finally did the trip and am glad that you enjoyed it. Nice pics too..

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Originally Posted by magiceye View Post
I can see the coastline in this pic which leads to turtle bay.. uughh miss that place so much.
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Old 24th August 2007, 22:21   #12
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Now a completed excellent travelogue with superb pictures
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Old 24th August 2007, 22:29   #13
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@surprise... thank you so much

@rjstyles... thank you

Last edited by aah78 : 25th August 2007 at 00:27. Reason: posts merged.
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Old 24th August 2007, 22:51   #14
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Great pictures, I practically drooled over the roads.

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Originally Posted by magiceye View Post
The ‘highway’ NH17 from Honnavar right upto Mangalore is the pits –literally and figuratively! The drive was more like sailing on stormy seas in a canoe. Added to the bad roads were the trucks and buses raising dust as they tried to reach their destinations on schedule.
And people wonder why I had to sell my Baleno. I stay smack in the middle of this stretch.

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I shall have to show it to my baby sister, she will be thrilled. She is visiting us from Miami and she is originally from (born and raised till the age of 12) Vitla or Vittal - depending on the dialect, I guess.
Wow, nice to know you have a connection around here.
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Old 25th August 2007, 13:25   #15
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@Samurai..thank you so much...glad you liked it
hopefully by 2008 NH17 is all done up and you can get back to sate your passion for travel!
and yes, it is a small world indeed!
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