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Old 20th November 2009, 12:44   #16
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Default The return journey

After having spent one full day without touching the highway, it was time to head back. So, on 10th we checked out of the lodge and packed up. By 8:15 am we had finished a small breakfast consisting of idli and chilly pakodas. There were two options to head in the direction of of Bellary via Adoni. I could either drive to Madhavaram and take a left or go to Yemmiganur and take a right. Both the routes pegged Adoni at nearly 50 kms and there was no question of saving any precious time by going either way. I chose Yemmiganur over Madhavaram and waved goodbye to Mantralayam at 8:30 am. The road till Adoni was pretty decent and there were no major problems even till Alur, which is another town on the way from Adoni to Bellary. But after Alur, the stamp of the mining trucks started becoming evident on the road. Mantralayam to Bellary is in the range of 120 kms but it was nearly quarter to 12 by the time we made it. Continued on NH63 after that and stopped over for lunch at Hospet. It was a restaurant called Ganesh and they served nice, big butter rotis that we liked a lot.

The highway improved a lot as the distance increased from Bellary and somewhere between Koppal and Gadag, it became pretty decent. Using the good stretch to our advantage, I pushed and made it to Hubli by 4:15 pm. It was the wrong time to reach as we were welcomed by a blocked railway line as a train was expected. By the way, just for the record, we had come 200+ kms since leaving Bellary by this time. Here starts the confusion as well because I have a feeling that the best course of action would have been to head in the direction of Bangalore and then take a U-turn from somewhere on the NH4. But all the people I asked told me to enter the town and take a right towards Dharwad, which is what I did and this course of action simply delayed our rendezvous with the NH4. Anyway, reached Belgaum by-pass around 6 pm and touched Kolhapur at 7 pm. These were the last 200 kms of the trip from Hubli to Kolhapur.

Calculating the total distance in these few days, Kolhapur to Hyd via Solapur was 550 kms. Hyd to Jadcherla was 85 kms and adding some running within Hyd, first day's distance covered stands at 660 kms. Jadcherla to Srisailam was 170 kms and from there to Dornal was 50 kms and from Dornal to Kurnool 120 kms. That is 340 kms and add to it the 110 kms from Kurnool to Mantralayam. Thus second day was 450 kms and the last day was 530 kms. So, the entire trip comes to 1640 kms. Total time spent driving was 7.5 hours from Kolhapur to Pattancheru, 1 hour crossing over to the Bangalore road and about 40 minutes from there to Jadcherla. 4 hours from Jadcherla to Srisailam including one flat tire on the way that had to be changed, about 5 hours from Srisailam to Mantralayam. 10.5 hours including a lunch break on the last day from Mantralayam to Kolhapur. That makes the entire trip around 28.5 hours of driving. If you care to calculate, the average speed is shy of 60 kmph and stands at nearly 57.5
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Old 20th November 2009, 23:06   #17
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One piece of advice to those who are planning to use the NH63 from Hospet towards the west. There is one section where I got very badly fazed because all the milestones and signages said NH13. Wherever I looked I found distances mentioned to Bijapur etc and no mention was there of either Hubli or Ankola. Please bear with this confusion for a while and just ignore it. I think this happens somewhere in the Hospet-Koppal locale. Please don't lose heart and start thinking that you have lost the way. Actually, this is a big mistake on the part of the NHAI. They should mention both NH63 and NH13 in the shared stretch
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Old 21st November 2009, 08:44   #18
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One thing to enjoy in that part of the country is the Andhra style thali. I had fun with the thali in Srisailam as well as Mantralayam. Got to eat more rice than I usually eat in a week but the taste was great. One more funny thing was that wherever I asked for directions on the way, people said "direct" instead of straight. Really liked that a lot as well
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Old 21st November 2009, 23:15   #19
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Default Good news

Hi friends,

Seems like Karnataka and AP governments have agreed to share the cost of re-building the broken bridge that used to connect Raichur and Mantralayam. Posting a link regarding the same Karnataka, AP to rebuild Tungabhadra bridge
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Old 25th November 2009, 18:33   #20
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Hi friends,

I got an average FE of 17 kmpl during this trip. I started with a full tank from Kolhapur, re-fueled in Hyderabad. The next re-fueling was in Kurnool and the last stop for fuel was Dharwad. Had the famous "pedas" of Dharwad as well
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