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Old 14th May 2010, 10:25   #1
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Arrow Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)

Hi, Did a quick tour in my Aveo 1.4 of Chikmagalur, Belur, Halebid and back this weekend (8/9th May 2010).

Outbound via Bangalore - Yeshwantpur - Magadi - Kunigal - Hassan - Belur - Chikmagalur (around 260km D2D)

Decided on giving a try to the Bangalore - Magadi - Kunigal - Hassan - Belur - Chikmagalur route after reading horror stories about Nelamangala. As I stay near Bangalore Cantonment Station/Mekhri Circle, it seemed to more convenient to take Nelamangala via Yeshwantpur depending on when we could leave.

However, we could leave Bangalore only at 0830 on Saturday and thus chose the Magadi route via Yeshwantpur, Chord Road and finally turned right onto Magadi Road proper. Made pretty slow progress due to traffic and as parts of Magadi Road were in pretty bad shape due to roadworks.

Once we left Bangalore proper, Magadi Road was a dream to drive on and we really enjoyed the lack of traffic, winding layout and scenery. Magadi came and went as did Kunigal and we finally hit the main highway again (NH48) near Hassan.

The main highway is being 4-laned and has the typical jarring road-level changes and numerous diversions with a lot of dangerous loose gravel strewn around. Any last minute hard braking was tricky on the gravel and I found it easier to time my braking early rather than nearer the loose patch. In my experience, most accidents on these under-construction highways happen on the approach in and out of these diversions rather than on the diversions themselves.

Hassan itself was quite crowded and we intentionally kept to the main NH till we saw the signs pointing to the bypass to Belur. This bypass road also goes into Hassan but near the Belur turnoff itself, so we spent barely 15 minutes in Hassan's heavy truck traffic.

Once out of Hassan, it was great roads again all the way to Belur and then finally on towards Chikmagalur.

3 things to watch out for are the huge numbers of cows on the roads, the KSRTC buses (+ narrow roads) and the numerous 'blind summits'.

The latter can cause serious accidents as you maybe relaxing on a slowly climbing road which levels out and suddenly reveals a unseen dip beyond which contains a overtaking vehicle or a cow equally as suprised as you are! It is better to lower speed a bit, honk and stick to the left when faced with such a feature.

In defence of KSRTC drivers, I must say that after doing Bangalore-Pondicherry, KSRTC are generally much better than TNSRTC and I was pleasantly surprised to find even cheerful and courteous drivers waving me on etc.

Reached Gateway Chikmagalur at 1330 so total journey time was 5 hours of which we took 1 1/2 hour to reach Magadi Rd/NICE rd junction in Bangalore itself!

A fortunate coincidence was that the ongoing Gram Panchayat elections meant that there was relatively less local traffic and also loads of state police on the smaller roads checking the Sumos/Qualises.

Chikmagalur:
Some of Chikmagalur's major roads (Kadur Road) are being widened and hence, parts of the town look like Chechnya/Bosnia/Beirut. We were staying at the Gateway on the Kadur Road and there is a excellent bypass which avoids the town altogether and goes straight towards Kadur.

The Gateway was overall a good experience with a large pool (excellent for kids), but some cons were damp walls in our room giving the off usual 'wet' smell, generally unkempt/overgrown grounds, comparatively pricey food (near-Bangalore rates) and patchy service.

We lazed around in the pool and enjoyed both hot sun and rainstorms going over us. The pool is big by hill station standards and we made full use of it.

Belur & Halebid:
Chenna Kesava Temple (Belur) and Halebid are around 22km and 37km from Chikmagalur and we spent a lot of time at both. It was a cooler day else those age-old stones would have fried our bare feet. Amazing carvings as you can see and quite well-maintained too except for some shoddy electrical wiring work.

Inbound via Chikmagalur - Belur - Hassan - Kunigal - Nelamangala - Yeshwantpur - Mekhri Circle (around 250km D2D)
Started off from the Gateway at 1330 and reached back to Bangalore at 1800 via Chikmagalur - Belur - Hassan - Kunigal - Nelamangala - Yeshwantpur. Gambled on less traffic at N'la due to off-peak timing and we were lucky as traffic was slow but moving steadily. Watch out for mammoth speedbreakers which were both high and lengthy. My Aveo could tackle them pretty well but I dread the damage they could do to a fully-loaded Civic!

Was very impressed by the extent of work going on and it will be a dream to drive on when all the bits and pieces are finished.

Overall, a very smooth trip and mileage will be confirmed once I do a tank-full this evening :-)

I have taken countless pictures of Belur & Halebid and am taking the liberty of posting them.
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Old 14th May 2010, 10:36   #2
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Default Pictures (mostly Belur/Halebid)!

Apologies if there are too many pictures of archaeological interest as opposed to automotive!

Belur first.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 14th May 2010, 10:53   #3
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wow! brought back memories of the same route I did last Dec. Surprising to find so less crowd at Belur - it was jam packed with holiday crowds arriving in buses, school excursions, foreigners etc., at that time.

Bring on the CKM snaps as well - didnt you try going up K'gudi?
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:02   #4
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Now Halebid (Halebidu). Pictures of taken with a Sony DSC W310 5MP point & shoot.

Both sites were strangely empty - maybe Gram Panchayat election time was the reason!

Could not do K'gudi although wanted to.
Attached Thumbnails
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Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)-halebid-20.jpg  


Last edited by itwasntme : 14th May 2010 at 11:05. Reason: Typo
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:09   #5
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More Halebid pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)-halebid-21.jpg  

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Old 14th May 2010, 11:10   #6
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Good one. I always wanted to this circuit but never felt comfortable for a weekend trip

3-4 days would be ideal for me. But you proved me wrong. Now, I am motivated. Should try this out soon.
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:13   #7
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Nice snaps? Any snaps of CKM?
Had done same thing 3 years back. Just that after driver about 60 Km I realized that I forgot my camera at home. Gateway (then called Garden Retreat) were helpful to find me a camera on rent.

Though I could take snaps of CKM, could not get any snaps of Belur/Halebid.
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:14   #8
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Finally of the Taj Gateway Chikmagalur and my humble steed, the Aveo 1.4!
Attached Thumbnails
Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)-aveo-1.4.jpg  

Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)-gateway-chikmagalur-pool-1.jpg  

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Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)-gateway-chikmagalur-pool-3.jpg  

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Old 14th May 2010, 11:20   #9
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IMHO, to truly enjoy Belur/Halebid:

1. Budget a lot of time and peace of mind; we had to contend with a very mischievous 3 and 6 year old who nearly fell into the courtyard well at Belur while I was taking snaps!

2. A good guidebook; there are plenty available from the ASI and others; guides who approached us didn't seem too hot to me, and

3. Choose a cool day and/or go off-peak - it can get very crowded, we were lucky :-).
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Old 14th May 2010, 11:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Finally of the Taj Gateway Chikmagalur and my humble steed, the Aveo 1.4!
Mind sharing the tariffs / package cost?
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Old 14th May 2010, 18:04   #11
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Don’t be sorry for having too many snaps around the archeology, you have captured them well. More snaps around Chikmangalore greens will be welcome. Sorry to hear the service in Gateway has become sloppy, used to be really good. Do they have any good packages running now. Your black Aveo is a beauty
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Old 14th May 2010, 18:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Mind sharing the tariffs / package cost?
I had checked up with Taj a month back.
They mentioned it to be about 8K per night, all meals included.

I also had a very pleasant experience. In fact it was so good that I wanted to go again.
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Old 16th May 2016, 21:21   #13
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Default Re: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)

Can anybody tell me how is the condition of SH21 i.e from Hassan to Helebedu.
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Old 20th May 2016, 18:44   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcruiser View Post
Can anybody tell me how is the condition of SH21 i.e from Hassan to Helebedu.
Went 6 months ago and the road is the usual KA state highway. potholes , Speedbreakers , not overly pathetic but not the smooth Bangalore haasan NH either.
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Old 20th May 2016, 19:05   #15
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Default Re: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Belur-Halebid-Bangalore (May 2010)

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Originally Posted by redcruiser View Post
Can anybody tell me how is the condition of SH21 i.e from Hassan to Helebedu.
Mixed bag and NOT the most ideal one to take if you are headed to Halebidu from Hassan.

A better option would be Hassan - Belur Road - Hagare - Habelidu. This will be 30 kms exactly from Hassan.

The regular road from Hassan to Halebidu via Master Control Facility (MCF) and Salagame (SH21) is not in good shape since years and hence not the preferred route even though this also is exactly 30 kms from Hassan.

Secondly, you need to enter Hassan city for this, take the Outer Ring Road and join the road leading to Halebidu. By this time you will be already on Belur road through Hassan Bypass of NH48.

At least the Hassan - Hagare - Halebidu has 100% clean roads end to end.

Last edited by paragsachania : 20th May 2016 at 19:12.
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