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Old 16th September 2010, 00:14   #1
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Default Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back

My first travelogue on these pages.

It all started a week back when I realized I hadn't made any plan for the long Eid/Ganesha Chaturthi weekend. Yellapur, Sirsi could be good, I thought. Called up Banana County, Yellapur to check if anything was available for the weekend.

I : Hello ? Banana County ? Need a reservation for the 10th.
On the other side : Which 10th ? October ? November ?
I : No, September.
OTOS : No, sorry, full.

And then I realize how stupid I'd been to be so optimistic. Yet, I cannot waste a weekend idling away. Esp after my scooter skid on highway causing broken bones and torn ligaments and a hell-of-a-2-months of bed-rest last year, I'd taken it as a wake-up call and decided that I'd live every moment of my life, get the last bit out of everything. What other place? Coorg crossed the mind, but too close and less of a chance to find reservations, I thought. JLR, Dandeli ? Well, I'd been longing to drive through Anshi for a long time now. Quick check of the weather forecast : no heavy rains, but drizzling and cloudy weather. Just perfect. I look up the reservations online, AVAILABLE, I jump up. What next, what's the trip party ? Usual cronies not available that weekend, so has to be a family trip. Take some beating for proposing a trip during the festival. But nah, I don't heed. I work a deal out : not everyone can travel; so atleast part of the family ? Yeh, works. 3 people it is. Booking done for 2 nights and 2 days.

Sep 10th : 6 AM
> Redbulls packed in
> Jackets, camera and some wide-awake people in the car
> Start : Hoskote
> Route : Devanahalli->Doddaballapur->Tumkur->Chitradurga->Davanagere->Hubli->Haliyal->Dandeli
Roughly 515 kms of drive expected.

Off we go, I've always liked the NH207 to Tumkur as opposed to the tiring Nelamangala stretch. A few more kms but less time consuming always. Just a few bad stretches between Doddaballapur/Dobbaspet, but OK overall. 90 kms on, we reach the Kamat Upachar past Dobbaspet. Most of my trips begin officially from here, despite the fact that I live a lot further. Everyone freaked out looking at the number of cars parked outside that day and the rush at the hotel. We should have known better that it's everyone's stop point. We manage to get our share of stomach-fuel to get us going. 30 minute break, and we're off. Never been on the Sira/Hiriyur/ChitD/Dgere stretch and it was a cakewalk. 4 hours of drive from home ( discounting the break ) and we're past Davanagere. Then begins the "take diversion" rituals. I've heard that the stretch has been like this for years now ( need confirmation ) but easy going nevertheless. Long lunch break at Hubli and we head towards Dharwad. All I knew was that there was a diversion to Haliyal b/w Hubli and Dharwad but I miss it like always. A few checks with some tractor drivers and bus conductors, we figure the right exit out of the highway and onto Haliyal road. Now begins what we were after since morning : winding roads, with green grass carpets on either side. In no time, we're in Dandeli : 3.30 PM. Dizzy points out to the Westcoast paper mill and proudly recollects his childhood stories.

At Dandeli JLR, Dizzy does his usual comparison of any place with JLR, K.Gudi. No mood to listen to it. Just step out for a quick walk with the camera and a borrowed pair of binoculars to the river. Quiet flowed the Kali. Hmm is this the same fierce river I'd heard about ? Well. Noisy horn-bills on the shore stir up a massive cacophony. I look on discreetly to see what they're upto. Meanwhile Dizzy and Sizzy are on their own doing something or nothing. Spend the rest of the evening looking at the river and the sights around. Get back to the room to work out the plans for the next day. I don't do any of the activities at any resort except possibly the morning safari. So I'm not going to talk much about any of the activities at JLR.

Sep 11th
Lazy morning safari. 10 AM, back, pulling the car out of the parking shed. Heading towards Ganeshgudi. Traverse back the road from Dandeli till the checkpost, where we deviate towards Ganeshgudi. Beautiful, quiet, foresty road winding through villages and small nothings. Just near Ganeshgudi, a few things(?) squat in the middle of the road. Dog ? No. Hmm, Jackal! That's near a checkpost, a few people are talking away, but a Jackal ? He's not scared until he notices someone's looking at him. Jumps off the road and vanishes into the bushes. Off we drive, to Supa : the dam backwater followed us as long as I remember. At Londa, we didn't know where we're heading towards. Someone says Panaji, I say Sadashivgadh. Nothing works out, we drive till Khanapur and turn back. The greenery and paddy fields are so artificially green, and are too good to believe. But they're not fake like a filmstar's hair : they're for real. We turn back, through Nandagad ( we see a board to Sangolli Rayanna's Grave ), Bidi, Haliyal and back in Dandeli, plotting the next move.

Decided to head towards Gund in the evening ( Sizzy's friend recommended the drive for wildlife sightings, but alas we found nothing ), we stop at Sintheria rocks on the way to take some breathtaking views of the Kaneri river ( A tributary of Kali ). The river jumps a small altitude, sending smoke into the air. It has drilled caves into a huge monolithic rock where pigeons and other birds nest. It was a sight. I usually avoid touristy places because of the crowd and crowd-apathy to the places; so I'm usually happy just driving through places as opposed to stopping at well-known places. Easy to get down to this river but you've to ascend a few hundred steep steps to get back, enough tire me out and I decide to turn back instead of going to Gund.

Already working out the route for the next day. The goal was to drive through Anshi when I started, and not fulfilled yet. So that was definitely an option. Then another option came through : Yellapur/Sirsi/Yaana ? The next day was the last day of the weekend and I'd to be back at work on Monday. But driving through Anshi was too tempting to ignore. It meant a drive of 675+ kms ( with a lot of ghat roads ) on my way back to Bangalore.
But were too excited to retain any commonsense . So Anshi it was. Just checked with the JLR guys to see what the best road was. The strongly discouraged me from taking the Joida/Kumbarwada road ( bad bad stretch of road after Kumbarwada they said). I was told the Ulavi cross->Anashi road was a better option, but I'd still need to drive through about 5 kms of bad stretch.

Again that evening, back to the riverside, I thought Kali was flowing eastwards, when I expected it to flow westward. Only then did I realize, it's a bit of an abnormal flow. It rises in Western Ghats ( Goa border I was told ) flows eastward and then takes a U turn to flow westwards to join the Arabian sea. Hmm, how unique! Artificially created river-course ? Possibly.

Sep 12th
8.30 AM : Checkout and start. Beautiful forest stretches till Ulavi through Kaneri bridge and Gund ( actually, we turn towards Ulavi about 2 kms from Gund ). Quick stop at Ulavi for some chocolates, gum and candies, survey the place and turn back. One doesn't need to go to Ulavi to go to Anashi. Lazy drive, soaking up in the atmosphere. At about 5 kms from Ulavi, you see the road heading towards Kumbarwad, you take the road and head 2 kms toward Kumbarwada to see a diversion to Anshi. No very bad stretches yet, so were happy. But it was short-lived. Right after Anashi, 5-6 kms of bad road, chunks of asphalt missing leaving gaping holes where the road once was. Grin and bear. Move on. Better stretches were there soon. An unnamed waterfall sleepwalked close by. We're at Kadra now, asking for where the next fuel station is : Sadashivgadh, we're told. Much straighter stretches of road. Sadashivgadh is here. We move on to see great views of the Kali Estuary. In no time we're on NH17. Beautiful drive between hills on one side and the sea on the other. Devbagh 0.5 kms reads the board. Hmm. Some other day. I'm just a bit tired. Sizzy agrees to drive till Honnavar. Nice drive on the highway. We cross the bridge on the Gangawali river. More driving. We stop at Panduranga International at Kummata for lunch. A multi-course meal later ( seriously, I didn't stop to think how many kms were left in the day ) we're full. Good food. Suddenly we realize it's close to 3 PM, and we're still at Kummata. Wow, we needed to do atleast 480 kms that evening and night. We start at 3 PM and decide to take the NH206 from Honnavar ( bad, bad choice ; but was there any other choice ?). 87 kms to Sagar it read. OK, 1.5 hours we thought. But surprise, the road is not a joke, it took 2 hours to get to Jog with some slow driving on pot holed roads ( not to mention the "I wanna stop here to get a few pics" stops ). 5 PM Jog. 2.5 kms, the board said. This is the 4th time that I've been within 5-10 kms of Jog and have not had the inclination to visit it. Off we drive to Sagar after a brief stop ( for pictures, not my fault ). Sunday evening, pleasant weather. What's up ? An RTO inspection exercise that has stopped a few hundred vehicles on the highway. 30 more mins gone. 8 PM : Shimoga. Already sleepy and hungry. Wasn't sure how I was going to do it that night back. But I'd to be in BLR at any cost and at work the next morning. Should we head towards Thirthahalli and stay at Vihangama that night ? And start early the next morning to be on time for work ? No, didn't look like it'd work. We decide to drive on, folks in the car somewhat frustrated about the prospect of driving back late in the night. Chug Chug, Tarikere -> Break. Pepsi. Caffeine. Chug Chug, Kadur. -> Break. Pepsi. Caffeine. More nakabandis and "where are you from" questions later, ah, Tumkur at last. 12.30 AM. Now, my mind was racing : is it safe to take the Doddaballapur road that late? Not sure. Decide to play it safe. Head towards Nelamangala. Bad idea again . Traffic jams at that hour, fighting to stay alert, sleepy truck drivers and "bang in the middle of the road halted trucks". Struggle to find the turn to ORR towards Bahubalinagar. OK off the highway now. The ORR at night is probably the riskiest road in Bangalore City at night, esp when it's raining, IMO. Vehicles zip around from blind corners into the intersections! Finally back on NH4 towards Hoskote : Home ground! Reach home well past 2.30 AM to a rousing reprimand. Feel like a hero, but totally unnecessary stress. But the trip had gone well till that evening atleast! 3 days, 1350+ kms. Another day, Another story. A few moments lived well. We don't live forever, the best we can do is to live the moment.

Coming soon : Some pictures that Sizzy took.
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Old 16th September 2010, 00:49   #2
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Nice writeup Airguitar. And a hell lot of driving on the last day!

> The Chitradurga - Davanagere bypass - harihara has been that way from the time of GQ construction. I must say, you have driven on a better stretch now, when you compare to say an year back. There is constant danger of wrong side driving by trucks on these stretches and the sudden increased tarmac layer, which can break ur suspension.

> Dandeli forests arent known for the density of wildlife. But i have always seen bisons there, if not for any big cat.

> Did u say, the Dharwad - Dandeli road is well surfaced? The last time, i was on that stretch, i took 2 hours for that stretch of 45 kms, via haliyal.

> How is the NH17 conditon from Karwar towards kumta? I presume bad.
And you could have driven Karwar - Mirjan - Sirsi - Sagar - Bangalore, if not for Honnarwar - Jog. I dont see any other practical options.

Hows the water level at Supa?

Pictures please!

And please provide the route details u took around Dandeli, for reference for others.

Regards
Pramod
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Old 16th September 2010, 01:04   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post

> Dandeli forests arent known for the density of wildlife. But i have always seen bisons there, if not for any big cat.
Lucky you. Perhaps rainy = less sightings ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
> Did u say, the Dharwad - Dandeli road is well surfaced? The last time, i was on that stretch, i took 2 hours for that stretch of 45 kms, via haliyal.
Wasn't bad ( atleast not-so-bad-that-I-remember ) . I just had to drive through a bit of Dharwad city ( through a circle, Dasankoppalu ? not sure ) and a level crossing. Think I did the distance in about 1 hour 15 mins, but don't remember exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
> How is the NH17 conditon from Karwar towards kumta? I presume bad.
And you could have driven Karwar - Mirjan - Sirsi - Sagar - Bangalore, if not for Honnarwar - Jog. I dont see any other practical options.
Again not bad. Just the odd potholes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post

Hows the water level at Supa?
Did look full, but have no idea if it would be fuller. Per a local "mulugade aagidhe".

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
Pictures please!
In a day, surely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
And please provide the route details u took around Dandeli, for reference for others.
I tried providing a verbal description, let me see if I can do a better "map" job of it.
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Old 16th September 2010, 07:30   #4
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I knew those places so well! I used to take tha Kadra/Anshi/Joida/Londa route to catch the train!
Did you check any of the dams at kadra, Supa or Ganeshgudi they are real panoramic, with one of the dams between two hillocks!

More snaps please!
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Old 16th September 2010, 10:40   #5
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Nice writeup Airguitar and congrats on your first travelogue. Waiting for some pics.
Cheers!!
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Old 16th September 2010, 23:34   #6
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Some pictures.. Not a really the photographer-kind..

After seeing our own little Norway ( Naarve ) near Koppa/Jayapura on the previous trip, here's a village called "Pradhani". I love places with unique names - Nagavalli near Bhatkal, Bettada Mallige, Kuntavani, Sirivanthe are some of the village names that have stuck in the mind for sometime now.
Attached Thumbnails
Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0143.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0298.jpg  

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Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0006.jpg  

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Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0054.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0139.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0144.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0161.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0187.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0200.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0255.jpg  

Dandeli, Anshi, Karwar & back-dsc_0280.jpg  

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Old 17th September 2010, 11:33   #7
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Oh! The signature Kali river snap. How I miss it.

The moral of the story:
When you live in these places,
You have no idea where you are.
When you miss these places,
You know, where you were!

What say you @HemanthisGreat?

Last edited by ampere : 17th September 2010 at 11:35.
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:05   #8
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Nice catch with the names AG. Loved the pictures, especially the Kali valley pic

FYI, there is one more Norway near Sakleshpur
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Oh! The signature Kali river snap. How I miss it.

The moral of the story:
When you live in these places,
You have no idea where you are.
When you miss these places,
You know, where you were!

What say you @HemanthisGreat?
+1 to what you have said. Already i am green with envy with you having lived in Karwar area and also about your various travelling sojourns.
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh K R View Post
+1 to what you have said. Already i am green with envy with you having lived in Karwar area and also about your various travelling sojourns.
I used to walk to the Kali River on a daily basis, whenever I was home from College for a break! It really used to be an amazing panorama!
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:51   #11
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I used to walk to the Kali River on a daily basis, whenever I was home from College for a break! It really used to be an amazing panorama!
Lucky you ! The nearest i have managed is, my wife's grandma's place is next to the river in Thirthahalli ( near the bridge). There are steps leading to the river bank from their backyard / garden. So, whenever there is an oppurtunity to be there in Thirthahalli, i make sure that i don't miss it.
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh K R View Post
Lucky you ! The nearest i have managed is, my wife's grandma's place is next to the river in Thirthahalli ( near the bridge). There are steps leading to the river bank from their backyard / garden. So, whenever there is an oppurtunity to be there in Thirthahalli, i make sure that i don't miss it.
That is my next target, as per Pramod's TL where he mentions about the river flowing! Now that you also mention, I have to go some time!
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Old 17th September 2010, 12:59   #13
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What is the speciality of this place? Or you can call it tourist place?
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Old 17th September 2010, 13:15   #14
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What is the speciality of this place? Or you can call it tourist place?
These are no tourist place per se. These are far flung and remote areas where you have power stations (Hydel and Nuclear). The colonies are amazingly located in a valley near the river. So daily stay itself gives you views, that folks drives thousand of miles to have a glimpse.

But then familiarity also breeds contempt!

Sorry for the OT @AG. More snaps please! During the times of my stay, I did not have a digital camera. So I have hardly any snaps of that period and that place, but it only etched in my memory for ever!
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Old 17th September 2010, 16:15   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airguitar View Post
Sep 11th
Lazy morning safari. 10 AM, back, pulling the car out of the parking shed. Heading towards Ganeshgudi. Traverse back the road from Dandeli till the checkpost, where we deviate towards Ganeshgudi. Beautiful, quiet, foresty road winding through villages and small nothings. Just near Ganeshgudi, a few things(?) squat in the middle of the road. Dog ? No. Hmm, Jackal! That's near a checkpost, a few people are talking away, but a Jackal ? He's not scared until he notices someone's looking at him. Jumps off the road and vanishes into the bushes. Off we drive, to Supa : the dam backwater followed us as long as I remember.
Do you have any pictures of Ganeshgudi or Dandeli with you? I spent 5 years of my childhood living in Ganeshgudi, going to school in Dandeli everyday on bus later stayed in Dandeli for a year before moving to Mysore.

First thing once I'm back in India is visit these places I miss those places too much.
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