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Old 23rd September 2008, 15:59   #1
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Default Ghats & Coastal Line Karnataka (Lots of Photos)

Travelogue
------------
>>Route - Bangalore - Nelamangala - Kunigal - yadiyur - Channarayapatna - Hassan (Night 1)
>>Hassan - Chickmagalur - Aldur - Baalehonnur - Jayapura - Sringeri - Agumbe - Someshwara - Haladi - Koteshwara - Marawanthe (Turtle Bay) (day 2)
>>Marawanthe - Kundapura - Udupi
>>Udupi - Mangalore - Bhantwal cross - Uppinangadi - Gundia cross - Sakleshpura - Hassan - Kunigal - nelmangala - bangalore

Total distance - 1000 Kms

Highlights:
========
>>Spotted a 2.5 feet long snake
>>First visit to Agumbe
>>The splendour of MArawanthe beach & Sauparnika river on either side of the coastal Highway
>>Diana Ice creams Snacks restaurant in Udupi!
>>Nethravathi river bridge, 1 km from gundia checkpost towards kukke (awsome site, with cloud covered peaks around)

Day 1 : Friday
------
Me and my better half wanted to do a Maravanthe trip from sometime now and finally decided to book the Turtle bay beach resort, Maravanthe thru
"holidaymantra.com", which is my family tour designer. (: : Holiday Mantra : : Homestays In Coorg, Kerala, Goa. Package Tours, Leisure Holidays And Advenutre Holidays In Manali, Rajasthan And All Over India)
I had heard good things about the simplicity of the resort, the wonderful beach and all that stuff from my wife who had been there earlier. So i trusted her words and booked for it.
We left Bangalore friday night by 10 pm , driving my Ford Fiesta 1.6 petrol. We planned to cover bangalore-hassan before we hit the bed in any of the hotels which would be willing to open for us @ 1 am. The Tunkur road was blocked as usual and took us quite a while to reach Nelamangala. From there it was medal to metal and we were doing 100 to 110 Kmph consistently, slowing down to some unskillful night drivers who dont wanna favour us by dimming their headlights when they pass-by... Had Rashid khan on the music , and ghulam ali's ghazals blending very well with the darkness outside and a rare vehicle pass-by, which would light u the cabin for a brief time and again back to darkness.. thats the fu about night driving!
Had a 5 Rs chai near Aadhichunchanagiri College (Bellur cross). Reached Hassan by 2 am and checked into Hotel Vishal, next to Krishna lodge, decent enough for 500 bucks...

Day 2 : Saturday
------
Got up @ 6 am. Forced her to get gng, so that we are not late to check in at Turtle bay. Had to check in by 12 noon. Started Hassan by 6.30 am and THE journey begins.. I neednt explain to u guys how good the hassan-chikmagalur stretch is.
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Visited Yagachi dam which comes to the left side of the road, after belur. A medium sized reservior. Reached Chikmagalur for breakfast. Had idlis in a small sidy hotel.. But the good thing about idli is that no hotel can screw it up... it will be boiled and should go in easily
We then move towards Sringeri via, some thick forests after aldur. Scenery is very nice. We hardly saw the sun for a while.. Very cloudy and it rained most of this section.... There is a lot of tea estate in this section, also Coffee as and when u reach Baalehonnur.
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On this route, u could stop over @ Bhandra coffee shop 1 Km before Bhandra bridge (baalehonnur). Its open after 9 am and they serve u coffee which is freshly grounded in the nearby factory in the Bhadra coffee estate. U could even much upon an Egg Omlette with bread toast. Take a few snaps around, move on.
We travelled towards Jayapura, u need to take a U turn there and head towards Sringeri. I rank Sringeri , my fav place in Karnataka, for its compactness, the temple campus, the surrounding and the places u could visit around from this place as the base camp . think of it --> Agumbe, Horanaadu, Kigga, Siriganage falls, Karkala...... )
Didnt spend much time as we were already 1.5 hours behind schedule due to multiple stops on the way to click snaps.
We started climbing the Agumbe hills. FYI, Agumbe receives the max rainfall in South India. It receives close to 500 cms of rain a year and no wonder cos of its Rain forests, Romulus Whittaker considers this place the Heart of KingCobra Territory. They have setup a Bio-Research station to protect this pristine forests, learn these Reptiles more and try to Use kingcobra as the flaship species to save Western Ghats.
Now we reach Agumbe. A very nice town, hardly a few families stay here.. known for Malgudi Days fame. Once u cross Agumbe, we reach the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary check post... From here it is an awesome stretch till Kundapur. Superb Nature , very green , Road down the hill is not in good shape, but the nature around will make sure u wont notice it much. We managed to spot a 2-3 foot long snake on the road, sliding towards the gutter on the road side.. got a few shots sitting next to it.. Ppl on this forum could give me Gyan on wat variety is it.
After Someshwara, a road forks to left towards Udupi. We took the right fork towards Haladi, Koteshwara, Kundapur. Reached Marawanthe by 2 pm. checked in to the Turtle bay Resort. I found the AC room to be Pathetic. There r no windows for air to come in , u have the toilet door very close to the place where u sleep and it was suffocating. This is not how i wanted to enjoy nature. We ordered some food. Since not many ppl were in the resort, He requested for 45 min, to prepare and serve us... Then there it comes!! Soup with ants in it, paapad with a good portion of oil on it, and idiotic Curries... Had curds with rice and hit the beach, thinking that , well lets forget all this **** and jsut enjoy the beach.
Another bad news hits us! The proprietor tells us, There are some jelly fish sort of things found in plenty, close the shore and they narrated how one of the visitors got stung by one of them and he had to be admitted to a hospital in Kundapur. There u go, flop show again !! My wife was upset too...
Then i decided to packup and we checked out of the resort at 5 pm. We drove on the Marawanthe beach side costal highway NH 17 for a few Kms.. and believe me, its one of the most beautiful places in Karnataka, with river on one side of the road and the beach on the other side. The Arabian sea does come this close to road anywhere in karnataka, may be except karwar, i suppose.
Then decided to go to Hotel Sharon, in Kundapur, which is a very good lodge to stay in. I had been there when i had done Kodachadri trek and had come back to kundapur. But alas, no rooms were empty.. it was house full and we were in a mess... But we usually dont find this situation bad, as we love it unplanned... thats when the real fun begins! It was 7 pm. We then drove to Udupi in a Potholed road for 40 Kms... the road is in a mess... And the traffic density in this section of NH17 is very high. We finally reached udupi by 9 pm. I knew that "kediyoor Deluxe" is the best lodge in Udupi. We went there and found a AC deluxe room for 800 Rs and i found it reasonable for the cleanliness, the tv, the clean towels, shower, and a great room service Whether i saw nature or not, i ordered Mangalore Buns, goli bajji, neeru dosa and had a full stomach
Hit the bed by 11.30 pm.

Day 3: Sunday
-----
Visited Udupi temple in the morning after a power breakfast! Came back from the temple and checked out. Wify wanted to drive out towards bangalore. But i had other ideas!! Guess wat? DIANA ICE CREAMS.... If u r in Udupi, this is a must vist place. It can be equated to MTR in bangalore.. the way the servers dress, the glasses, the cutlets, puri bhaaji, .... and ofcourse UDUPI special ice creams! I never ignore an Amitabh bachan sized glass of GUDBUD ice cream. There is a story behind GUDBUD ice cream... (diana icecream parlour are the inventors of gudbud).
One of the renowned Politicians visited Diana once long time back. He ordered for a special ice cream . Then, Diana didnt have specialities. A server went to the freezer, took all the flavours they had into a long glass and put cut fruits and dry fruits into it in "gadi bidi" (kannada) meaning "in a hurry", to serve the guest. thats how the name Gudbud.
Left Udupi at 3pm. My next target was, i had promised my wify that i will get her jijji (water to play)... so head towards Gundia cross on mangalore-bangalore highway, take a left towards Kukke and drive 1km. There u see a spectacle. Mountain peaks covered with Clouds all around, with Nethravathi river flowing gracefully from the forests, which u would finally cross near Bhantwal cross on the highway where it is already very large after innumerable tributeries join the main river, before uniting with the Arabian sea.
The roads near Surathkal is in a mess, cos of some flyover construction work.. Refuelled at a HP station. Reached Gundia at 6.15 pm. We hardly had enough time to play in the water... spent enough time, during which i was able to finish a pack to LAYS chips...!
WIfy drove from here till Hassan. Reached Hassan by 9 pm. Dont ask me to comment on the ghat roads.. feel sick speaking bout them and enough is discussed on the same in this forum.
I took the steering back from Yadiyur. Then the disaster struck. Hit a temp traveller infront of me which braked hard and came to a standstill in the center of the Highway near kunigal. The tempo traveller braked to avoid ramming into a MINE LORRY WITH NO LIGHTS watsoever. I rammed into the rear of the van @ 80 Kmph. Both wore seat belts and we
didnt even feel a friction! Believe my words. FORD FIESTA rocks for this safety reason for sure
I left the vehicle @ Cauvery ford which handles only body work now. Got the vehicle back in 20 Day! Its completely back to Normal now.. It drives the way it used to before the incident.. happy for that.
Anyways the trip was very eventful to say the least and enjoyed it to the core!

Thanks
Pramod


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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:15   #2
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Nice pictures and writeup, surprised turtle bay was a disappointing experience, what are the other options available there ??
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:16   #3
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Nice one. Started very good, but ending :(
Quote:
The tempo traveller braked to avoid ramming into a MINE LORRY WITH NO LIGHTS watsoever. I rammed into the rear of the van @ 80 Kmph. Both wore seat belts and we
didnt even feel a friction! Believe my words. FORD FIESTA rocks for this safety reason for sure
I left the vehicle @ Cauvery ford which handles only body work now. Got the vehicle back in 20 Day!
Oh, seems to be a bigger damage. But really good to hear that no injuries and all safe.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:23   #4
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A nice travelogue. Sorry to hear about the accident. Nice pics too
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadu View Post
Nice pictures and writeup, surprised turtle bay was a disappointing experience, what are the other options available there ??

Yeah... No other options around i believe. No Homestays in this region too.
And my car damage snap.

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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:25   #6
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Pramod a great write up there and some nice pics

I was never impressed with "Turtle Bay" but location is what i love....

About "Diana" you know quiet a bit never knew how "Gudbud" came to existence hehe thanks for letting us know...have been a fan of Diana from my childhood days...but offlate these guys have gone down on quality....
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:27   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
We managed to spot a 2-3 foot long snake on the road, sliding towards the gutter on the road side.. got a few shots sitting next to it..
That's a malabar pit viper IIRC, you sat next to a very venomous snake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
Reached Marawanthe by 2 pm. checked in to the Turtle bay Resort. I found the AC room to be Pathetic. There r no windows for air to come in , u have the toilet door very close to the place where u sleep and it was suffocating. This is not how i wanted to enjoy nature. We ordered some food. Since not many ppl were in the resort, He requested for 45 min, to prepare and serve us... Then there it comes!! Soup with ants in it, paapad with a good portion of oil on it, and idiotic Curries... Had curds with rice and hit the beach, thinking that , well lets forget all this **** and jsut enjoy the beach.
Well, that matches with our experience of Turtle Bay. Although, many had good experience there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
Another bad news hits us! The proprietor tells us, There are some jelly fish sort of things found in plenty, close the shore and they narrated how one of the visitors got stung by one of them and he had to be admitted to a hospital in Kundapur. There u go, flop show again !! My wife was upset too...
Well, monsoon is not a good time to visit beaches here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
But i had other ideas!! Guess wat? DIANA ICE CREAMS.... If u r in Udupi, this is a must vist place. It can be equated to MTR in bangalore.. the way the servers dress, the glasses, the cutlets, puri bhaaji, .... and ofcourse UDUPI special ice creams! I never ignore an Amitabh bachan sized glass of GUDBUD ice cream. There is a story behind GUDBUD ice cream... (diana icecream parlour are the inventors of gudbud).
They are a shadow of their former self. I was a Diana fanatic since 1975, I visited Diana every year like a pilgrim, but in the last few years they have really gone down. We don't go there anymore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
I took the steering back from Yadiyur. Then the disaster struck. Hit a temp traveller infront of me which braked hard and came to a standstill in the center of the Highway near kunigal. The tempo traveller braked to avoid ramming into a MINE LORRY WITH NO LIGHTS watsoever. I rammed into the rear of the van @ 80 Kmph. Both wore seat belts and we
didnt even feel a friction! Believe my words. FORD FIESTA rocks for this safety reason for sure
Ouch! That's really bad, but you both are safe, what more is needed.

Nice travelogue, very good detail. However, avoid using SMS lingo like U (for you) and wat, that is not allowed in the forum.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:32   #8
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Nice pics and very good writeup.
Good to know that you both are safe.
I wonder about Agumbe and Amboli, both claims highest rainfall after Cherapunji.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:36   #9
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You are the 1st person whom I know of, has gone to a beach resort and picked up an AC room. SHACK is the keyword. You might prolly wanna check my travelogue did about 4 weeks back to the same place.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:41   #10
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You are the 1st person whom I know of, has gone to a beach resort and picked up an AC room. SHACK is the keyword. You might prolly wanna check my travelogue did about 4 weeks back to the same place.

I agree, the non AC shacks are pretty good, though they have some bugs hanging around always i would prefer shacks which faces the beach...

Food was always below average in TB...
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
You are the 1st person whom I know of, has gone to a beach resort and picked up an AC room. SHACK is the keyword. You might prolly wanna check my travelogue did about 4 weeks back to the same place.
Basically the Rooms infront of the beach were not available
Thats the reason for opting a ac room...
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
I wonder about Agumbe and Amboli, both claims highest rainfall after Cherapunji.
Dunno about rainfall. But having been thru both Agumbe and Amboli ghats, I would say Agumbe ghat is much more challenging to drive in.. especially the hairpin bends.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 16:54   #13
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Hey pramod .. Nice pics and interesting travelogue,
sad to hear the last leg of your journey, But good to hear the ending part(car back to normal) of the write up ;-)
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Old 23rd September 2008, 17:02   #14
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Good travelogue and nice startup, but ending was not as expected. Its good that you both escaped unhurt after accident.

Drive safe buddy with safe distance between vehicles.

How did you manage to drive vehicle after accident? It seems car was damaged too much.
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Old 23rd September 2008, 17:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anujmishra View Post
Good travelogue and nice startup, but ending was not as expected. Its good that you both escaped unhurt after accident.

Drive safe buddy with safe distance between vehicles.

How did you manage to drive vehicle after accident? It seems car was damaged too much.
Thanx Anuj!
I had to wait for the tow truck from Bangalore... which arrived a good 3 hours after the incident.... We sat in the rear seat and they towed us
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