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Old 3rd January 2008, 14:33   #1
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Smile Along NH4 (Karnataka section) with few deviations - Gadag, Badami, Hubli, Kittur

11 days of vacation. 11 days of not worrying about phone calls, emails, stocks, scores and - dare i say it?, team-bhp :-) Ahh, the anticipation - it was bliss.
Car: Maruti Suzuki SX4
Camera: Canon S2 IS

Day 1: Bangalore - Bankapur (along NH4) - deviation - Savanur - Laxmeshwar - Gadag (430 kms)

Started at 5am with a fully loaded car - 4 adults, 1 child, 1 infant and fully loaded boot. We took NH4 till Bankapur cross - 350 kms. Road condition: as many people have already mentioned, road till chitraduraga is excellent. I was doing 90-110 in this stretch. Afterwards, only one side (2 lanes) is completed for most parts. The road condition is good, but there is traffic from opposite side which restricts the speed. Also, the deviations are a pain and one has to be careful since these deviations have potholes.

I have travelled on this route one year back. This time, the difference was that Tumkur & Davanagere bypass has improved to some extent and Haveri bypass is ready. It looks like only Ranebennur does not have the bypass ready. However, Chitraduraga and Davangere bypass are still not in good shape.

Tolls paid: Rs 22 before tumkur and Rs 40 after tumkur.

First stop was a Kamat near Sira bypass, for breakfast. This stop lasted 1 hour, to cater to the needs to the various age groups in the traveling party :-)

The second stop was near Reliance A1 plaza near Haveri. Filled up the car fuel here. I was surprised to note that they do not accept credit cards! The FE was 15.7 kmpl.

At Bankapur cross, took the deviation towards Savanur. This stretch of 80 odd kms to Gadag is single lane and in average shape since it is a local road . The suspensions were tested well. I kept the speed in 50-70 range and found the handling and ride comfort quite good.

Sunflower cultivation was evident on both sides. Here is one such field:

Finally reached Gadag at 3pm; time for late lunch.

The two main attractions of Gadag are Lord Veera Narayana temple and hot & spicy mirchi bajji's. The evening was spent this way :-)

Day 2: Gadag - Ron - Banashankari - Mahakoota - Pattadakal - Badami - Ron - Navalgund - Hubli (230 km)

Started at 9am. Roads were 2 laned and surprisingly very good - much better than what i had expected. Also, traffic was very sparse. Every 20 odd kms there was a village and each village had at least 4 speed breakers. Hence, i kept the speed at 60-70 range, but still did not spot a couple of speed breakers. Thankfully, there was no damage.

They say an image is worth a thousand words. So here goes:

Kalyani (pond) at Mahakoota:


The amazing cave temples at Badami:

Reached Hubli at about 7pm. Pleasantly surprised to find a shell outlet at Hubli. The attendent told me that they have been open for 5 months now and another shell outlet will be opened in Hubli shortly. Filled up the fuel tank and noted that FE is now 13.7 kmpl.

Day 5: Hubli - Dharwad - Kittur (52 kms)

A kind soul told that me speed limit of 40kmpl is very strictly enforced in Hubli-Dharwad city limits. So, for about 25 kms, i was driving in 35-40 kmph. It was very frustrating, to say the least. However, i did spot no less that 4 speed guns in this 25 kms stretch, so i definitely saved Rs 300. It seems local transport vehicles have precise information on when to speed up and when to slow down, so i had the "previlige" of being overtaken by all types of vehicles like tempos and autos. The only vehicle which did not overtake me was the tractor :-(

Kittur fort and Rani Chennamma's palace (or whatever is left of it anyway):

Life in a village:

Day 10: Kittur - Dharwad - Hubli (52 kms)
Filled up the fuel again at Shell. The FE is now 13.5 kmpl.

Day 11: Hubli - Bangalore, along NH4 (411 kms)

Started at 9am. The Hubli-Haveri section is excellent - smooth as Hema Malini's cheeks maybe? Afterwards, it is the same old story as narrated on day 1. We stopped quite a few times on the way back - twice for infant needs and twice more for elders greeds :-) The total stoppage time was about 2 hours for the entire journey.

Reached chitradurga at 1:10 pm and promised lunch to the other passengers by 2pm. My target was to reach Sira by about 2pm for lunch at Kamat.

After chitradurga, a ford fiesta overtook me and after sometime allowed me to pass. For the next 80 odd kms, the ford fiesta and I played tag with each of us leading for some distance before allowing the other to pass. It made the drive enjoyable by removing the boredom for me, considering that other passengers in my car had drifted off to sleep. Mr. Fiesta - if you are reading this - thanks for the company.

By 2:15, I reached Kamat on Sira bypass. The Fiesta was behind me and i was hoping that he will also stop so that we can continue the fun post-lunch. Unfortunately, the fiesta zoomed ahead.

Started from Sira after lunch at about 3:20 pm. Traffic was very sparse till Tumkur. After crossing Tumkur, it became impossible to maintain a consistent speed due to slow vehicles in both lanes :-( Reached home by 7pm. I had to drop off one of the passengers at another part of the city, otherwise I guess i would have reached home at least an hour earlier.

A couple of other images to almost complete this rather long travelogue.

Overall, my MAN covered 1350 kms during this trip. Thanks for reading this till the end.
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Old 3rd January 2008, 16:16   #2
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Nice write up and great pictures. Planning to do Blr - Hubli - Blr myself sometime soon.

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Old 4th January 2008, 04:43   #3
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Sree Nice write up. Good pics as well.

I Did Blr- Hubli - Blr during christmas and loved the drive. Trying to find time to write a travelogue about it as i have some of the road condition pics also specially taken for tbhp.
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Old 4th January 2008, 13:29   #4
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Nice update Sree, You really explored some new destinations...

Why did you trace the same path while return? You should have tried the coastal KN and Goa as well...Instead of returning to Kittur, you should have gone to Goa instead...

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Old 4th January 2008, 14:38   #5
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Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Nice update Sree, You really explored some new destinations...

Why did you trace the same path while return? You should have tried the coastal KN and Goa as well...Instead of returning to Kittur, you should have gone to Goa instead...

Thanks, Abhi. The reason for retracing same route is that I was able to start return journey only on the last day of my vacation. I had to get back to work the next day . Also, all the other time available was taken up by some function / get-together etc..
Your suggestions will be definitely useful next time.
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