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Old 24th November 2022, 23:06   #1
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Default Full list of all Ghats of Karnataka!

There have been innumerable conversations where folks ask what to do for a 3 day or a 4-day trip in Karnataka. Many End up going to Chikmagalur or Coorg Homestay and return back satisfied.

But as a Proud Kannadiga, I would always want to portray and prescribe many beautiful places to friends and family to try out new locations, and new roads, right out of Google Maps.

Here, I am just listing all the major Ghat sections that drive down from the "Ghatta" (Upper land) to the Coastal Plains. In most cases, through the lush green forests of Malenaadu and the coast.

Some of these are genuine National highways and rest are decent 2 lane roads. And each has something different to offer in terms of sights, flora, and fauna. The Vegetation that grows in Say Yellapur/Dandeli is quite different from what you see in the Kollur area and again changes as you reach Kudremukha.

Here are the ones I have covered and are worth driving down on this winter:

1. Dandeli --> Joida --> (Anshi Wildlife Sanctuary) --> Karwar North Entry (SadhashivaGada)

Summary: Low traffic, Exploration of Dandeli, Kali river, syntheri rocks, and towns like Joida, Ambikanagar which are all set up based on small-sized hydroelectric power stations built for the Raging Kali River.
The roads are surrounded by thick Teak forests.


2. Yellapura - Ankola - Karwar South Entry (Port Entrance). (National Highway)

Summary: Truck zone, due to port entry for goods. Brilliant tall trees on both sides of the 2 lane carriageway. Originally constructed by L&T and was one of its kind in the state when it was built. A true road-tripper's dream route to drive along with trucks from all over India, with a visit to Magod falls, Kavadi kere (A beautiful lake in the middle of forests) & Jenukallu viewpoint overlooking a river for sunset viewing). Not to forget how this drive ends, where, the ghat road hits the coastline on a cliff, and could see the Arabian sea from your car. And Finally drives down to the sea level next to the Karwar port.


3. Sirsi - DeviMane - Mirjan (State highway)

Summary: A 2 carriageway road called DeviMane ghat. A visit to Yana is close by while you take this route. This route is preferred while planning to reach Gokarna.


4. Jog Falls - Gerusoppa - Honnavara (National Highway)

Summary: A fantastic 2-lane national highway driving next to Sharavathi river through the deep valley for a good 2 hours. A legendary route with Sharavathi Valley viewpoint and towards the end, some unique grasslands at lower altitudes, as you look back at the mountains, you just crossed.
A visit to Idagunji and Honnavar can be planned by taking this route. A lot of waterfalls on the roadside during monsoons. And a village board with the name "MaLeMaNe" (Rain Home) on the way is worth noting.


5. Sagara - Kargal - Nagavalli - Bhatkal (State highway)

Summary: If you drive from the Bhatkal coast, the drive starts with a few kilometers of beautiful grasslands till oblivion. Very unique and am told with some wildlife in these grasslands as well. This ghat is protected by Forest check-posts since this area falls under "Sharavathy Wildlife Sanctuary". Early morning and late evening drives may lead to some wildlife sightings. Very few vehicles take this route. So you should be ready for any eventuality like a car breakdown. Better to drive during the day with company. A couple of water streams flow across the road on this route.


6. Anandapura - Ripponpet - Hosanagara - Nagara - Nittur - Kollur - Anejari - Byndoor

Summary: As a Bangalorean, its better you start this drive from Shimoga and while driving towards Sagara, take the Y fork left at Anandapura towards Ripponpet. This route drives through Reserve Forest with Teak wood trees all through the range. Complete Canopy drive. You will then drive towards Hosanagara town where you would see a Halli Shaale (Village school) on your left as you enter the town. A typical Indian flag post, Netaji and Gandhi portraits painted on the classroom walls with Ashoka trees lined outside. Keep in mind that, you have many families here who are from the background of being displaced from their original location due to the Linganamakki Dam construction, which displaced a lot of families. Any small road on the sides will take u to the reservoir water view.
This route then climbs down the ghats to Kollur town. On the way, Nittur is the place where u can hire a jeep to climb up to Kodachadri hills for an adventure. Finally, after Kollur, the route goes through one of the last surviving lowland Ever Green forests (Someshwara Wildlife sanctuary & Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary -- the latter one in this ghat). You have a stay called Anejari nature camp on the way.
The end of this drive should be at Maravanthe beach front which everyone knows from FB fame.


7. Thirthahalli - MaasthiKatte - Nagara - Hulikal - Hosangadi - Siddapura - Kundapura (Hulikal ghat - Highest rainfall area after Cheerapunji & Mawsynram).

Summary: Drives through the hulikal ghat road which is a concrete road ghat section. Hulikal falls on the way is a very tall and mesmerizing waterfalls. This area gets more rainfall than Agumbe past few years. You can also visit Kamalashile where "KhubJe" river flows next to the Temple. Legend is that this river which is on a "Shaapa" cleans the feet of the Durgaparameshwari goddess" every year during monsoons when the river overflows.


8. Agumbe - Someshwara - Haladi - Kundapura (Goes through the "KANTARA" - Someshwara Wildlife sanctuary Last surviving low laEvergreeneen forest in India).

Summary: Agumbe Ghat is world famous and doesnít need any intro and is a quick and sharp ghat section. This region has the world's highest density of King cobras and ARRS is working hard to designate it as a Kingcobra Sanctuary - Similar to how Tiger Sanctuaries r created where Tiger is the Top of the food chain. Here, Kingcobra is the true King. A visit to ARRS (Agumbe Rain Forest Research Station, Kundadri (the highest peak in the district) is a must. Bajji-Bonda at Agumbe Ghat checkpost is a must! Once u reach the foot of the hills, u take the right fork thru the sanctuary on broken roads. You can go to another interesting village ahead on this route called "ShankaraNarayana" (SLN Idli hotel JPNagar fame).


9. Agumbe - Someshwara - Hebri - Udupi

Summary: Same Agumbe ghat. But once you reach the foot of the ghat, you take the left fork towards Udupi. You drive through Hebri. Highlight on this route is that you pass by Sita Nadhi Nature camp run by Karnataka Forest department.


10. Kalasa - Kudremukha - SK border - Karkala (National Highway)

Summary: Through fantastic high-altitude grassland and shola drive thru Kudremukh Sanctuary. Birthplace of Tunga, Bhadra, and Netravathi rivers happens in this region and is called "Gangamoola". High probability of sighting Indian Gaur (Bison) late evenings or early mornings. A very interesting drive (deroute) can be from the SK border to Sringeri, instead of climbing down the ghat to Karkala.


11. Kottigehara - Charmadi - Ujjire - Guruvayyanakere - Moodabidri - Mangalore (Charmadi Ghat) - National highway.

Summary: High density traffic towards Mangalore, Udupi, and Manipal destinations. High altitude drive with a rock wall on 1 side and a steep valley of "Ombattu Gudda" fame on the other side. Thick unpenetrable forests. Neer dose at Kottigehara before driving the ghat is a Legendary thing all regulars do on this route. Folks driving to Dharmasthala take this route.


12. Sakleshpura - Gundia - Uppinangadi (Shiradi Ghat ) - National highway

Summary: This is part of the legend. No intro is needed. The only reason left to take this route is to take the left at Gundia towards Kukke, which is a mesmerizing canopy drive through the forests. During our trekking days, Neer dose with the previous day's sambar after getting down from KSRTC bus at 4 am in the morning was legendary.


13. ShaniwarSanthe - Ucchangi - Malalli - Bisle - Kukke Subramanya (Not even a State highwaIt'sIts just a way)

Summary: A few years ago, we crossed this ghat on Boulders and rocks on our Enfield bikes at 7 pm in the night. After permit from the Pushpagiri forest range, the concrete road is now done and visitors visit the BISLE viewpoint to see the Amazing Pushpagiri mountain ranges and Kumara Parvatha from here. This is a dense jungle on both sides and donít blame anybody if you are stopped by a herd of elephants during your drive. To be driven with care. Donít expect any help on this route from anybody. No villages on this route.

Another fact about this area is there is the Western ghat Ridge here. Which is where any river that flows on the right of the ridge flows into the Bay of Bengal. Any river or stream to the left of the ridge flows into the Arabian sea.


14. Madikeri - Sampaje - Sulliya - Kasaragod (Sampaje ghat) - National highway towards Kerala Kasaragod coast).

Summary: 40-50 Kms, you would have Payaswini river flowing next to the road and itís a brilliant drive. Folks from Mysore traveling to Kukke take this ghat to reach Sulliya and take the right to reach Kukke.


I just imagined all the routes while I typed the above notes. And thatís enough reason to stay in Karnataka! Pack up and drive. Cheers.

Regards
Pramod

Last edited by vb-san : 25th November 2022 at 15:23. Reason: Formatting, and typos. Thank you!
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Old 24th November 2022, 23:51   #2
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Default re: Full list of all Ghats of Karnataka!

Awesome list , thanks for sharing.

I have been fortunate to be able to see a lot of ghat roads, I can't think of a better type of road to enjoy driving. Since many of them pass through forests there is always risk of wildlife , best to pass before the light fades.

Many years back I think I stopped to take a close look at a stream , got down from the vehicle and saw elephant dung, immediately cleared the area(we don't get along well). Learned later that it was an elephant corridor (Kukke - Madikeri).
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Old 25th November 2022, 00:52   #3
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Default re: Full list of all Ghats of Karnataka!

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Old 25th November 2022, 08:22   #4
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Default re: Full list of all Ghats of Karnataka!

Fantastic compilation @pramod and big thanks for the same. The narration against each ghat section was worth the read. As a BHPian I yearn for more info in the form of distance (km), time taken to cover the ghat, how many laned road, any gmap representation. I think this would complete the picture. Any pics taken by BHPians would also add to beautify the thread.
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Old 25th November 2022, 10:29   #5
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Super, all ghats in there! Among these, in current times, Sampaje is the best one to drive considering pre-post ghat section. Back in 90's/early 2000 Shiradi used to be in fantastic shape even would witness fall colors. 20+ years and its frustrating that govt cannot ensure a proper motorable road.

The Yellapur ghat was done by L&T as I recall and was fantastic. This was built very scientifically with perfect entry/exiting corners and we drove nearly 300KM just to enjoy the ghat drive back then. I can still remember redlining the 1.6 ROCAM in this stretch!

Nagavalli and Bisle has to be driven when its raining heavily. For considerable stretch water flows on the road and is a surreal experience.

Last edited by PrideRed : 25th November 2022 at 10:35.
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Old 25th November 2022, 11:03   #6
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Default re: Full list of all Ghats of Karnataka!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
3. Sirsi - DeviMane - Mirjan (State highway)
Isn't this always in a state of construction. It was in a half baked stage in 2012. I remember reading an update that it isn't any different now.

Quote:
14. Madikeri - Sampaje - Sulliya - Kasargod (Sampaje ghat) - National highway towards Kerala Kasargod coast).
It is a gentle ghat. Per se the ghat will begin from Suntikoppa. In summers it hardly feels like a ghat. I remember we stopped in Sulliya CCD when it was 39-40C and 38 in Madikeri.

The Madikeri-Bhagamandala-Talakaveri drive is enjoyable too, just that roads don't get maintained properly.

There is a route into north KL via Panathur. Never driven though.
---
Belur-Chikmagaluru-Aldur-Balehonnur-Jayapura-Sringeri is one more circuit. Not sure it has a name.
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Old 25th November 2022, 11:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Isn't this always in a state of construction. It was in a half baked stage in 2012. I remember reading an update that it isn't any different now.
.....
.
I traveled to Murudeshwar and Gokarna in May-2017. Devimane ghat section and roads around Sirsi were mostly good then (link to my 2017 post (Bangalore - Murudeshwar - Gokarna : Route Queries)).

It seems to have deteriorated in the past 2-3 years.
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Old 25th November 2022, 12:43   #8
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Default Re: Full list of all Ghats of Karnataka!

This October, I drove through Jog Falls, Kargal, Nagavalli, and Bhatkal (State Highway SH-50) on my way to Udupi. It is a very lonely stretch, with little vehicle traffic for most of the route, though there are villages deep within the forest. It rained throughout our journey that day, making for a spectacular sight with numerous mini waterfalls on the highway. For the most part, the road was in good condition.
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Old 25th November 2022, 12:54   #9
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Bisle ghat at 10 pm in the night to reach KukkeSubramanya.
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Old 25th November 2022, 13:38   #10
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Recently did the Yellapura - Ankola - Karwar stretch during my recent drive to Goa and back from Coimbatore. Parts of the road are good, but most of the roads are not in good shape. Too many surface damages and potholes.
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Old 25th November 2022, 15:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
There have been innumerable conversations where folks ask what to do for a 3 day or a 4-day trip in Karnataka. Many End up going to Chikmagalur or Coorg Home stay and return back satisfied.

But as a Proud Kannadiga, I would always want to portray and prescribe many beautiful places to friends and family to try out new locations, new roads, right out of Google map.

I just imagined all the routes while I typed above notes. And that’s enough reason to stay in Karnataka! Pack up and drive. Cheers.

Regards
Pramod
Dear Pramod, as a fellow PROUD Kannadiga, i salute you for taking time to compile these wonderful routes. I have been on a few of these and will look forward to drive through others....Thanks again for the write-up.

Just to add couple more: (combination of ghats & scenic routes)
> Ripponpete - Anandapura - Sagara - Talaguppa - Jog Falls
> Murudeshwara - Idugunji - Honnavara - Gersoppa - Talaguppa - Sagara - Anandapura
> Gokarna - Mirjan - Kumta - Bhattarakeri - Shiralkoppa - Shikaripura

Regards,
Vikram

Last edited by VikramCS : 25th November 2022 at 15:26.
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Old 25th November 2022, 15:32   #12
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Default Re: Full list of all Ghats of Karnataka!

True to the tagline of Karnataka Tourism (One State, Many Worlds)
There are so many routes to explore within our state. Hailing from Malanad, I feel home in mountains.

It is nice to see a couple of routes close to my ancestral home that I have not explored yet. Will do it in the upcoming rides.
Thanks for putting all this in one place for easy reference.

There is another route to reach Kasargod via Gonikoppa - Makutta (Karnataka border)– Vallithode. I did this stretch while returning from Kasargod during Deepavali this year. The forest and ghat begins from Makutta (while coming from Kasargod). More on the route in the travelogue Malayora Highways (Two States | Looping around Western Ghats in KA & KL)


Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post

There is a route into north KL via Panathur. Never driven though.
I rode through this route on the way to Kasargod from (Kukke) Subramanya
Route: Subramanya – Sullia – Bandadaka – Panathur - Kolichal - Malom

More on the route with map in the same travelogue as above

Last edited by kiki_13 : 25th November 2022 at 15:39.
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Old 25th November 2022, 15:37   #13
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Thanks for the compilation. It'd be great if someone could add a link to google maps with all these routes, possibly with pics of the route on the original post itself. Would make it much easier to pick the best route for the next roadtrip!
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Old 25th November 2022, 15:45   #14
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Nice thread. Have done about 8 of them and Bisle is something I always want to try next but keep missing out due to hectic schedule.
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Old 25th November 2022, 15:50   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiki_13 View Post
True to the tagline of Karnataka Tourism (One State, Many Worlds)

There is another route to reach Kasargod via Gonikoppa - Makutta (Karnataka border)– Vallithode. I did this stretch while returning from Kasargod during Deepavali this year. The forest and ghat begins from Makutta (while coming from Kasargod). More on the route in the travelogue Malayora Highways (Two States | Looping around Western Ghats in KA & KL)




I rode through this route on the way to Kasargod from (Kukke) Subramanya
Route: Subramanya – Sullia – Bandadaka – Panathur - Kolichal - Malom

More on the route with map in the same travelogue as above
The criteria for listing these were 2-fold:
1. Ghats to Coast sections
2. Coast landing at Karnataka itself.

That is the reason i haven't added Virajpet - Talacauvery - Panathur section since it lands into Kerala.
Also, i am not listing all ghat sections within internal Malenadu. Scale of that is too high. hence i have limited to a theme that, it starts from the Malenadu and ends at our Karnataka coastline.

Last edited by pramod : 25th November 2022 at 16:05. Reason: Grammar
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