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|6th January 2009, 00:06||#1|
A vacation drive: 30/12/08 - 02/01/09
It started with me rueing about my year-end/new year holidays wasting away. I didnt want to go to Coorg since that had become too familiar; Goa/Pondy was a possibility but overnight I decided on another option - the archaelogically endowed/heritage places of Hampi/Badami - since I'd last visited these places some 2 decades ago with family. This was on 29th Dec 08. Next day, a call to the Malligi hotel in Hospet and I was surprised that they had vacancies on a 1-day notice. Only now, were my plans concretized. Ran around in circles that evening to tie up all loose ends, and unforunately had to drop going to Jayesh's store at the last minute to buy a decent camera due to paucity of time.
Day 1, Dec 30, 2008:
Departed at 1130 am from Bangalore and encountered the silly Tumkur Road conditions upto Nelamangala. I never thought a toll booth would be such a welcome sight as I pulled into the 1st one. Nice, really nice NH4 opens up from here. I had decided before-hand that I would not push any speeds on this drive, since I was in it to enjoy the scenery and locales, and more importantly, not being required to rush into meeting deadlines was the self-enforced culture change on this drive.
The NH4 upto Chitradurga is motoring bliss, and scientifically designed. The recognition of nearing Chitradurga is the sight of windmills. All hills around Chitradurga are stitched with windmills - nice sight.
The Chitradurga fort, is a 7-walled fort, and is famous for the heroics of "Onake" Obavva and her single-handed culling of Hyder Ali's soldiers. The crack through which Hyder Ali's soldiers first spotted her slipping into the fort, and then coming through it themselves is called Obavvana Kindi. Some pics of this and the fort below:
After a late lunch at 5 pm, turned right on NH4 at Chitradurga onto NH13 - the Sholapur road. This road has heavy truck traffic and is a single carriageway. Coming from NH4 to NH13 is liking coming from a developed to a developing country. Its a rough road, with corroded road surface. No potholes fortunately. Finally motored into Hospet by 730 pm.
This main road of Hospet had a road hump or two at every few hundred meters. Very ingenious method of avoiding the cost of putting up traffic signals. Right.
Day 2, Dec 31, 2008:
Its been talked about, visited, photographed, and then some. So, I thought I'd do the same.
Hampi is a world-heritage site. Spread across some 20-25 kms, it was the capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom. Truly magnificent in its maturity and grandeur.
Came back by late afternoon to the hotel and had lunch and a nice nap. Evening saw me go to TB dam and watch its nice sunset view.
Last edited by theMAG : 6th January 2009 at 01:07.
|6th January 2009, 00:54||#2|
Vacation Drive - contd.
Day 3, Jan 01, 2009:
Left Hospet by 10 am and rejoined NH13. The best part about this stretch was its desolation. No human habitation for as long as the eye can see - just the NH13 and rolling scenery. Loved it. The odd dhaba/village comes and disappears quickly. The road is again rough, and some stretches that have been relaid are nice.
The left from Hungund is the State Highway all the way. Lovely road. I came to the conclusion after this trip that generally, in Karnataka, State Highways are of better quality than National Highways.
If planned properly, Aihole, Pattadkal and Badami should be visited in that order to prevent any unncessary doubling back. And they're all in sequence. At Amingarh, a left is the route to Aihole.
This brings us to another kingdom and another era. Aihole-Badami were ruled by the Chalukyas. Aihole was where they experimented with temple styles before they built the actual temple in its intended destination. It was a temple-building school.
Aihole to Pattadkal:
At Aihole, a left bears into Pattadkal and then onto Badami. This is a single-lane village road, but well maintained. Fields all-around.
Cave temples. Something like Ellora, but different.
Pulled into Hotel Anand Deluxe for the night. Pretty ordinary hotel. Ranjsangam opposite looked better - atleast from the outside.
Day 4, Jan 02, 2009:
Left Badami at 730 am back to Bangalore. There are 2 routes to head back: via NH13 or via Hubli/Haveri. I chose to return via NH13 and the same route I'd done the forward drive in. To shortcut from Badami back to NH13 without having to go back via the tourist destinations, I motored straight from Badami through Banashankari till a village called Belur and then a left towards Gajendragarh. This is a village road and would shame a coconut grater. Its a 32 km stretch of nonsense till it hits the State Highway left onto to Gajendragarh, which is a beauty. Tanked up at Ganjendragarh and a straight drive to Kushtagi. At Kusthagi, took the right onto another State Highway leading to Koppal. However, after a few kms, a non-descrepit left (good road) curves through the fields onto NH13. Its a rally drivers delight. Again, fields all around and no other traffic. Then a right back onto the NH13 towards Hospet.
Arrived in Bangalore by 445 pm, with a 45 mins lunch break in Chitradurga. This entire drive was more relaxing than a massage and I consider it to be vacation best-spent, on what was was a solo drive.
|6th January 2009, 01:19||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston, Texas
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Very nice write-up and good pics!There's something about pictures of the place that I love.Haven't had a chance to go there yet,hopefully the next time I'm in India.
|6th January 2009, 07:31||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Another great travelogue!
And wonderful pics; so, which camera did you buy, Mag?
|6th January 2009, 09:35||#6|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Swamygale nice and am proud of you for that helluva solo drive. Was really astounded when you called me and told me about it. Cudnt believe my ears for once.What prompted you to do one, don't give me the vacation jazz coz I wont believe it. During your weekends you sleep as long as you can and now this.
Great trip and nice pics too.
Last edited by rjstyles69 : 6th January 2009 at 09:43.
|6th January 2009, 09:52||#7|
Join Date: Jun 2005
Thanked: 32 Times
Nice writeup and wonderful pics. I will share mine during my course of the same trip
Even I was around that trip doing solo in my Blue Swift. Though I started from BLR on 30 early enough to beat the traffic till Nelamangla. I reached C'durga at 8am, went around the fort. Started driving towards Hospet around 11.30am and reaching Hospet at 2pm, to mention the Trucks menace on NH13.
Again started from Hospet at 9am, tanked up -> KoodalaSangama -> Koppala -> Aihole -> Pattadkal -> Badami -> Gagag -> Hospet, total around 330kms.
Some we missed meeting eachother...I will share my some of my photos on the same thread .....hope you don't mind.
|6th January 2009, 20:01||#8|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Thanked: 11 Times
Wonderful photos Mag. Doing such a long solo drive must be a great experience. And your black swift looks absolutely stunning !
BTW what is common with smssrini, Raps, and theMag? .
Oops Edit ! Just saw, one more guy Hotstuff was there in Badami-Aihole-Patadakal at around same time !
Last edited by BomBatt : 6th January 2009 at 20:13.
|6th January 2009, 23:25||#9|
Join Date: Jan 2008
Thanked: 3 Times
This picture bought back memories of an old Kannada song in which actress jayanthi (I think) plays obbava and beats the crap out of the enemies single handedly. Used to enjoy the song as a kid and seeing this pictures this is on my "must visit" list for my next trip home.
|6th January 2009, 23:36||#10|
1. Should have a basic understanding of car mechanicals more susceptible to failure - for the possibility of atleast a band-aid fix if the car breaks down/fixing flats/changing tyre in the middle of nowhere. A good tool-kit would go nicely as well.
2. Car should be in sound condition.
3. No sleep deprivation under any circumstance.
4. Extra-responsible driving.
5. Love driving !
Last edited by theMAG : 6th January 2009 at 23:48.
|6th January 2009, 23:51||#11|
Join Date: Dec 2007
Thanked: 79 Times
Wonderful post Mahesh! Been to Hampi, but not to the other places, looks stunning in your pics.
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