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Old 22nd December 2009, 15:34   #1
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Default North Karnataka Roadtrip...

As I patiently wait for the day to end ( especially my day at office ), I just cant stop myself from having this roller-coaster butterfly feeling in my stomach. I believe its nervousness coupled with super-excitement. Well, the reason is that I'll be embarking on a road trip around North Karnataka ( starting point being Bangalore ). I would be carrying my laptop with me so I hope that I can keep updating this thread with details/pictures as each day goes along. It's a 6-day planned trip with the iterinary being as follows :-

1) Day 1 ( 23 Dec ) - Bangalore - Shimoga - Sagar ( Jog ). Halt at Sagar
2) Day 2 ( 24 Dec ) - Sagar - Idagunji ( Temple ) - Murdeshwar. Halt at Murdeshwar.
3) Day 3 ( 25 Dec ) - Murdeshwar - Gokarna - Dandeli - Dharwad. Halt at Dharwad.
4) Day 4 ( 26 Dec ) - Dharwad - Badami. Halt at Badami.
5) Day 5 ( 27 Dec ) - Badami - Hampi. Halt at Hospet.
6) Day 6 ( 28 Dec ) - Hospet - Bangalore ( probably via Bellary on SH 19 ).

I am sure a lot of fellow BHPians would have made travel plans for the Christmas weekend. It would be great to catch up with anyone who would be at any of the places/dates mentioned above.

Look out for more updates here.

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Old 22nd December 2009, 21:54   #2
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Well, its countdown time. Its checklist revision time and the only major item left is to refuel our car. Had the tyres checked today, got a nice car wash done and made sure the toolbox is in place.

The plan is to start at 5 AM tomorrow.

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Old 23rd December 2009, 11:31   #3
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Hi Explorer09,

Wishing you a happy and safe trip. Please post a detailed travelogue with loads of snaps.

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Old 23rd December 2009, 16:33   #4
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Explorer09, Have a happy, fun filled and safe trip. Do post the details when you are back. While returning from Hospet to Bangalore do come via Bellary on SH19 the NH13 condition is bad. Also the road between Hospet to Bellary is in sorry state after the north karnataka floods but its just around 40/50 km so you should be able to manage it.
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Old 23rd December 2009, 17:35   #5
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Hi Explorer09,

Wishing you a happy and safe trip
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Old 23rd December 2009, 18:03   #6
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@ Explorer09,

Wish you a happy and safe journey !!! we are waiting for your log with loads of pics

About 3rd day of your trip plan - if you are planning to visit Dandeli; there are places to visit and lot more to do !!

Check this out, how it fits in your plan.

White Water Rafting & Other Adventure Activities in Dandeli

> White water rafting
> Rappelling
> Jungle Safari in open jeep
> Visit to Syntheri Rocks etc..
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Old 23rd December 2009, 22:36   #7
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Default Day 1 Update ( Halt at Sagar )

Day 1 Update :-
Current Location : Sagar ( Hotel Varadashree )
Route travelled :- Bangalore-Shimoga-Sagar
Total Distance travelled :- 373 kms
Total time taken :- 9.5 hrs ( with long breaks as described below )

We had a great start to our trip today. As it so again happened, the 5 AM plan didnt work out. One of the reasons that we planned for 5 was that it would enable us to start atleast at 6. But we eventually started at 6:30 AM with my wife deciding to prepare some breakfast ( packed food always tastes yummy and especially when on a trip ). We started from Bannerghatta Road so the obvious route taken was the Nice Road to directly reach Tumkur Road. It took close to an hour, the reason being that the toll booth guys hadnt still got over their early morning blues and it took quite a while to get a clearance from there. It was ofcourse a breeze till Tumkur road after which we had to continously dodge a lot of trucks till we reached the toll road on NH4. After a fast 20-minute drive on the toll road, we took the left turn, which was the Tumkur bye-pass that leads to the Shimoga road ( NH 206 ). People not very familiar with this bye-pass and who would need to go to Shimoga/Jog falls need to look out for the first flyover immediately after the 2nd toll booth on Tumkur Road. You need to go underneath the flyover and keep it to the left. I had read bad things about this bye-pass road but luckily it wasnt too bad. I suppose they have patched almost all of the rough areas. This is how its looking right now :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive-001.jpg

The bye-pass road stretch that you see above leads to a junction ( the first junction on this road ) from where you need to take a right and a km from there will lead you to the Shimoga road ( NH 206 ). We took our first break on this bye-pass and had some of the breakfast that my wife had carried. We restarted at 8:30 AM from this place and headed towards NH206. NH 206 till Shimoga was pretty decent with the quality of the road varying from good to average. Neither it was excellent nor it was bad. We had our second break at Bannavar ( turned out to be an extended break ). We reached Shimoga at 12:30 pm and after having spent some time at one of the markets there, we proceeded on the Sagar road. 10-12 kms down this road, you'll find a lion safari at Thyavarekoppa, Shimoga. This was at 1:30 pm. The safari as such is very similar to the one at Bannerghatta in Bangalore, the only difference being that the buses here are relatively smaller and hence it doesnt get as messier as it does in Bannerghatta with people jumping all over the place at the sight of a big cat. Some pics at the Safari :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive-014.jpg
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We spent a little over 90 mins in the safari after which we continued on the road to Sagar. Now, this stretch was just superb with a few minor bad patches but otherwise was an excellent drive. A couple of snaps of the Shimoga-Sagar stretch :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive-048.jpg
North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive-049.jpg

At exactly 4 pm we reached Sagar and we were a little fortunate to have easily found our hotel ( Varadashree ) located by the road right after you enter Sagar. The hotel is pretty decent and clean just that there are no air-conditioned rooms here. We didnt need one being in the middle of winter and at 400 Rs a night with a nice attached restaurant, we couldnt have expected more. A working shower with hot water was a real bonus and just what i wanted after a long day behind the wheels ( and a long walk around Sagar town in the evening ).

The tripmeter reads 373 Kms. Its 10:34 pm and I'm signing off for the day from Hotel Varadashree at Sagar.
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Old 24th December 2009, 00:09   #8
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wow. Thats one of a kind 'live travelogue'. Thanks buddy for the info on the road conditions. I am traveling through this route upto Shimoga the day after. I have to watch out for that Tumkur bye pass.
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Old 24th December 2009, 13:34   #9
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I'm doing this route tomorrow as well. I'm leaving 25th early morning. Reach my home next to Jog falls. Stay there for couple of days.
Drive to Hampi, Bijapur and back to Bangalore from 29thDec to 3rdJan.

Have a nice trip.

Does any one know of good places to stay close to Hampi and in bijapur?
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Old 24th December 2009, 16:01   #10
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Originally Posted by explorer09 View Post
NH 206 till Shimoga was pretty decent with the quality of the road varying from good to average. Neither it was excellent nor it was bad.
Good to know the route is good, it was horrible around Tiptur earlier, and we had to literally crawl.

Originally Posted by anandbhat View Post
Does any one know of good places to stay close to Hampi and in bijapur?
Hampi -> Hotel Mayura Bhuvaneswari in Kamalapur, closest to Hampi. Other good hotels are in Hospet.
Bijapur -> We stayed in Hotel which housed Kamat restaurant, and known to locals as Kamat hotel. Mayura hotel there (Mayura Adil Shahi) was under renovation, if it is complete, it will also be a good place to stay.

You can check my Bijapur, Aihole-Pattadkal-Badami and Hampi travelogue in http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...g-history.html (Travelling in history)
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Old 24th December 2009, 16:26   #11
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Brilliant live updates. I am going to do this road trip sometime if possible in Feb. Already did the first leg of your trip in September. Sagar-Gokarna-Idagunji-Murudeshwara-Shringeri

Will have to go to the Badami part. Thanks for nice writeup
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Old 24th December 2009, 17:29   #12
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Try the river rafting in Dandeli , did it last weekend. They quote a price of 1500 bucks per head , bargain and they will reduce it.
ask for Abdul or Rajesh ,they run a river rafting team there.

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Old 25th December 2009, 00:15   #13
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Default Day 2 Update ( Halt at Murudeshwar )

Day 2 Update :-
Current Location : Murudeshwar ( Hotel Kamat Yatri Nivas )
Route travelled :- Sagar-Jog-Honnavar-Idagunji-Murudeshwar
Total Distance travelled :- 153 kms
Total time taken :- 7 hrs

The good times continued on day 2. After a good night's sleep, we were all set to start from Sagar at 7:30 in the morning. While we were brainstorming around possible options for breakfast, I called up a number that I had of a distant relative ( one of my aunts actually ) based in Sagar. It so turned out that my aunt insisted on us coming over for breakfast and we happily obliged. Aunty served us freshly made piping hot dosas and Kesari bath and it was a real bonus to get yummy home-made food unexpectadly in the middle of a long trip. We finally left for Jog at 10 AM. Jog is 25 kms from Sagar and you just need to continue on NH 206. By the way, I think i missed a point yesterday about mentioning an unique thing about Sagar which is that there is a mosque and a temple sharing the same compound wall. Coming back to the Sagar-Jog drive, the first few kms of this drive was a little bad with the road being very uneven but it got a lot better after. Infact, it gets very scenic as you zero in on Jog. Some snaps of this stretch :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-005.jpg
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North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-018.jpg
North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-022.jpg

Once you have crossed Talagoppa, keep looking out for the left turn leading to the falls. Its well marked and one cannot miss it. At 10:45 AM, we reached the falls and being a weekday, we easily got a parking slot. We knew in advance that there wasnt too much flow at the falls and hence we werent surprised with what we saw. 3 out of the 4 falls there was just a trickle but one still cant avoid getting a feeling of awe with the sight that it provides. We have already thought about returning to Jog next August/September when it would be at its majestic best. Some snaps :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-028.jpg
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We spent close to an hour at the falls after which we resumed our onward journey to Honnavar on NH206. This was at 11:45 AM. Now, most of this is a winding road on the ghats. Although the first half of this stretch is very uneven, the bad quality of the road is compensated by the very scenic nature of the drive. 12-13 kms into this stretch, look out for a small view point which offers the following view :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-082.jpg

Beautiful, isnt it. As you approach Honnavar, you a get nice view of a backwater as well :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-093.jpg

At around 1:30 PM, we touched NH17 at Honnavar. Jog to Honnavar was approx 60 Kms ( the final few kms being a real breeze ). We got our tank refuelled at a HP center there at the junction where we turned towards Mangalore. 15 mins on NH 17 and we found the left towards Idagunji. We reached there at 2 pm only to find that the temple remains closed from 2 to 3 pm. After some consideration, we decided that it wasnt a good idea to stay there for an hour ( the sun beating down was one of the reasons for the decision ). We then came back onto NH17 and proceeded towards Murudeshwar. NH17 looked a lot better this time. We noticed that a lot of patchwork had happened and there wasnt even a single bad stretch from Honnavar to Murudeshwar. We eventually reached Murudeshwar at 2:35 and after a bit of thought, we quickly decided on Kamat Yatri Nivas where luckily we managed to get a sea-facing room. If you are for a bit of luxury and if air-conditioning is a must, go for RNS Residency ( 2200 + tax Rs/night ). We had our lunch, took some rest and we were out on the beach/temple in the evening. My recently acquired tripod allowed us to capture a couple of night-shots of the massive statue of Lord Shiva. Some snapshots from Murudeshwar :-

North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-094.jpg
North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-095.jpg
North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-099.jpg
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North Karnataka Roadtrip...-north_karnataka_drive2-147.jpg

So there you are. Its been great so far and we are looking forward to the next 4 days of this eventful journey. Its been a longer day today. Its already past midnight and need to do an early start tomorrow.
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Old 25th December 2009, 10:27   #14
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Nice pictures and write-up. Makes me want to get out of office and hit the roads. BTW, what's your ride in this trip?

Last edited by siddvi : 25th December 2009 at 10:28.
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Old 25th December 2009, 21:58   #15
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Absolutely smashing stuff, Explorer! Very impressive! The live feeds are great and the pictures are very inspiring! Makes you want to hit the road right away!

We drive down to Goa and we usually take this route 'Bangalore - Tumkur - Davangere - Haveri - Srisi - Kumta - Aversa - Karwar' and it's quite a good route though Goa via 'Shimoga - Sagar - Honavar' is shorter

Keep the good stuff coming!
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