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Old 23rd August 2017, 21:33   #1
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Default 4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara

White and Green vehicles on Orange mud paths through lush greenery under the Blue sky

This is how I can narrate this travelogue in a single line. It is just a coincidence that these colours make up our national Flag. We couldn't have found a better way to celebrate Independence Day.

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The Prelude

Since many days, I wanted longing for a long drive. After the West coast drive, nothing longish had happened. The longest one was a drive to Sirsi (400Km) for a colleague’s wedding.
BHPian friend avinashsg also wanted to go on a long drive on his recently acquired Ninja 650. He had thought of bringing it on some of our earlier family trips but his home minister hadn’t given clearance

The Plan

Somewhere in the beginning of July, he asked me to plan a boys-only trip for the Independence Day long weekend. He sent some of the routes that he had in his mind.

1. https://goo.gl/maps/TiX2Ft5BnUT2
2. https://goo.gl/maps/iQzFFfAkMxo
3. https://goo.gl/maps/TgN4WczZGFE2
4. https://goo.gl/maps/u8iCihbPGtR2

He was clear about one thing-He wanted to enjoy the drive more than sightseeing. As we were thinking over these routes, I encountered a drive/meet organized by HVK forum - Masai. The name sounded interesting. I had only heard about Masai in Masai-Mara region in Kenya.
The photos from that meet were also beautiful. I was browsing the internet for more information on this place and found a place called Panhala near it. It had a fort from the Maratha era. These two nearby places were interesting enough for me to decide the location of the trip. It ticked all our requirements.
  • 650kms one way -Long enough for our thirst but short enough not to stress ourselves.
  • Decent accommodation options
  • Not too many sightseeing places around which meant less crowd.
Later, we thought we will not return in the same route as that of the onward journey. So we decided to take the west coast road for our return. So, our plan was 2 nights in Panhala and 1 night in Goa. But it being a long weekend, we knew it would be really crowded in Goa. So we decided to skip Goa. Also we decided to take the second day very slowly. So I tweak the initial plan of staying 2 nights in Panhala to 1 night and stay somewhere on the west coast road for the second night. And then, taking some cues from the routes avinashsg had sent, I added Sagara(with a visit to Jog falls) in Karnataka as a stopover. I spoke to BHPian arun_josie who was part of that HVK meet, who gave me a resort recommendation. It was at a distance of ~100Kms from Panhala and very close to the Mumbai Goa road. It was just about perfect for us.

So finally, the plan for 4 days was:
  1. Aug12: Drive to Panhala - 650kms
  2. Aug13: Panhala fort, Masai Plateau sightseeing and stay at Saundal – 100Kms
  3. Aug14: Drive to Sagara – 450Kms
  4. Aug15: Visit Jog falls and Drive to Bangalore – 450kms
That’s a total of approximately 1600Kms. On the maps, it looked like this...

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-freedom-drive-total.jpg
The final plan

The People

Then it was time to look for people who will accompany us. We asked all of our friends. Most of them were going to their hometowns or had already planned trips or were just busy!
My East-West drive mate BHPian pumpy_raj was the only other guy who was ready to join us. My colleague and BHPian mnvvishwa told me that he would be in his hometown and could join us for the return journey from Sagara. I told him that if no one else joins for the next few days, he would join us.
We set ourselves a deadline for July 3rd week before we make any reservations. This was because 1, we could still get accommodation and 2, even if someone else joined us, mnvvishwa could book a bus ticket back to Bangalore. Not surprisingly, nobody else joined us and we made a hotel booking in all the places and confirmed to mnvvishwa that he could join us from his hometown near Honnavara. He had planned to go to his hometown on 10th night itself. So he parked his car in my home so that he could come back with me and take his car.

The Preparations

For the night at Panhala, I got a good deal on makemytrip. For the second night, I called up the resort at Saundal and booked a cottage with an advance payment to their bank account. For the 3rd night, we decided to stay in a friend’s home in Sagara.

Next task was preparing the vehicles. The week after the reservations were made, The Ninja was serviced and new tyres were fixed. My GT TSI, being relatively new, nothing much but a scheduled Wheel alignment and balancing was done.

So the next 2 weeks was only spent in eagerly waiting for the drive to begin. The evening of August 11th, I filled the GT with fuel and packed my luggage. Traffic going out of Bengaluru was expected to be more on that weekend and hence we had decided to leave at 5:30AM. So I slept early.

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 27th August 2017 at 11:54.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 21:34   #2
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Default re: 4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara

Day 1, 12th August 2017

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-freedom-drive-day1.jpg
Day1 Plan

I got up at 4AM and was ready to leave by 5AM. avinashsg was all geared up with his Ninja by 04:30

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ATGATT

pumpy_raj was to come to my home but he got delayed. So I went to his home which gave him some additional time to get ready. The Ninja was running low on fuel. As I picked up pumpy_raj and avinashsg’s luggage from his home, he went to refuel his motorbike (which he couldn’t do the previous day as he was busy)

With all these things added, we could only hit the Bangalore-Pune road at 6:30AM. As expected the highway was crowded. Till the NH75 junction at least, traffic was like on any other road at peak-hour in Bangalore. The traffic reduced a bit after that but it was still difficult to cruise at 80kmph till Chitradurga (200Kms). A small 10 minute tea break at Tumkur and we were at Chitradurga by 09:45; at least 45 minutes slower than usual.

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quick refreshment break on the highway

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Mandatory snap at Chitradurga

As planned, we stopped for Breakfast at Davangere at the famous Shri Guru Kottureshwara Benne Dosae hotel for some yummy Butter Dosaes. It was 10:30 when we reached there and we were really hungry. In this hunger, we gulped down 4 Dosaes.

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Yummy

Because the restaurant was crowded, it took us an hour before we could finish. As we came out, we saw that the Ninja was parked among many other vehicles and a cop was issuing a traffic ticket to all those for parking in a no-parking area!

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Fine-Not fine!

Since it was almost 300Kms till then, the ninja needed a refill and we got it done in Davanagere itself. Also chain lube was sprayed on. With this, we again joined the highway at 11:45.

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Chain lube

Our next stop was a brief one near Harihara, beside a rice field for some snaps.

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Green, White, Orange and Blue

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Lush

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The beast

After 15 minutes, we started again. Although the traffic had reduced, it was still by no means empty. So the Ninja was always ahead and I couldn’t catch up with it (neither did I try to).

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Speed

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I was always behind it

After 90 minutes of nonstop driving, I could see the Ninja parked by the road-side. There was a bus shelter and avinashsg had parked the motorbike and taking rest in a bus shelter.

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Resting

At the bus shelter, we found a couple of movie posters pasted on the wall. The titles were comical and we took photos with the poster.
One said “Ayogya” which in Kannada means worthless guy. Just beside that was another poster “huchcha 100%” which means mad guy 100%

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Worthless fellow

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100% Mad guy

Enroute the GT had crossed 12000Kms as well

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12K in 8 months

It was 1:30 by now and pumpy_raj took the driver’s seat of the GT and we resumed our journey. The Dosaes were still not digested completely and hence we decided to have a very light lunch. Another 90 minutes of driving, we had crossed Dharwad and we stopped at a coffee day. A cup of coffee and a Burger was what we had. Just beside this café was a fuel station and both the vehicles were refuelled.

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Cream coffee

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Our lunch

By 15:30, we resumed the journey. 1 hour of driving and we reached the Vidhana Soudha in Belgaum where we took a small photo break. All these small breaks were planned and necessary for the biker to stretch himself.

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Vidhana soudha number 2

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Biker break

From there, another hour had us at the entrance of Maharashtra at 17:30.

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Maharashtra welcomes you

With that followed the hundreds of irritating two-wheeler traffic that Kolhapur area is (in)famous for. Most of them were people returning home after their work.
Slowly we moved towards Panhala, but we were surprised that we were almost not moving up in elevation although it was supposed to be a hill station. In the last 6Kms however, a few hair pin bends and we went up by only a few metres above mean sea level. Temperature reduced considerably and before we knew, we were on top!
The Municipal council collected an entry fees of ₹10 for the car and ₹10 per person (a total of ₹40 for us) and at 18:30, we were inside our hotel room. By the time we got fresh, it became surprisingly foggy. That was not only beautiful to see, but it became very cool. That was a nice evening.

A total of 660 Kms and 13 hours including breaks and it was not very stressful at all. There was a big group of doctors (1992 pass outs) who had planned their alumni meet in the resort. They had arranged a show and we could see that from our room balcony. We spent the rest of the evening looking at the Mardani khel and other Marathi speciality items. By 11PM, we closed the day!

Day 1 Statistics:
From: Bengaluru, Karnataka (KA05)
To: Panhala, Maharashtra (MH09)
Distance: GT TSI 660Kms, Ninja 643Kms
Time taken: ~12hrs
Average Speed: ~54.5Kmph
Fuel filled at: Only for the Ninja at Davanagere at ₹69.63/ltr and at Dharwad at ₹68.54/ltr

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 27th August 2017 at 11:52.
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Default re: 4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara

Day 2, 13th August 2017

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-freedom-drive-day2.jpg

Although we had planned to take this day easy and not set any alarm, the biological alarm in us woke us up at 6AM. Very soon, we went out to see around the fort.

Immediately outside our hotel was a statue Bajiprabhu deshpande statue. Then we went to the Teen Darwaza which is one of the fort entrances. It is a beautiful location for photographs. But the sad thing for me was that only a two wheeler can pass through a concrete barricade before the arch. From that arch, we could get down the hill with 2 hair pin bends.

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Andhar Baav

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Foggy morning

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Arches

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Teen darwaza

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Old and new!

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Darklord!

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Panhala warrior

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Morning dew on the lawn

By the time we returned back, it was 1 hour and as soon as we came back we were surprised…there were at least 500 to 600 people wearing orange jerseys all over the place. Entering our hotel itself was tough. It was a group called ruggedeers who had arranged a marathon for Independence Day. The small hill station was painted orange. It was good that we took the Ninja to the Teen Darwaza much before this because it was barricaded as soon as we came back.

We went back to our room and got ready and finished our breakfast. We then checked out of the hotel. The Ninja was given another doze of 3M chain lube (every 300kms) and we were good to go.

We visited the Panhala fort interpretation zone so that we could see all the points in the fort in one go, but unfortunately it was locked! So we stopped at few of the many points of interest inside the fort. After seeing the Dutondi Buruj and Amberkhana we didn’t see more because all looked same

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Dutondi Buruj

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Sajja Kothi

Our next stop would be the most eagerly awaited one-The Masai Plateau. The 10 Kms drive took 40 minutes thanks to the narrow roads and the many vehicles related to the marathon event. As we moved closer, it was evident that one of the 3 routes of the marathon was also going to the plateau. Expecting a huge crown to spoil the experience, we drove on.

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Beautiful drive up the hills

Masai Ghat Action cam video

What we saw as we reached the top of the plateau was just breathtaking! Fortunately for us, the place was so big that even with so many people, it didn’t spoil our experience. The sheer expanse of flat land is mind-boggling. This, coupled with the green colour lawn spread over the plateau...it was just beautiful. It was definitely worth coming all this distance for this.

Entering the Plateau Action cam video

Entering the Masai Plateau 360Degree video

We spent one full hour clicking pictures from all angles and poses we could think of. I’ll let the pictures do the talking now.

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Huge Expanse

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We are small however bid we may think we are

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From down-under

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GREEN

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The beast and its tamer

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Me and my GT

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What we saw on top

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What the wheels saw

Round and round 360Degree video
Background score: Grappelli & Subramaniam - Walking In A Dream from album "Conversations"

After soaking the beauty, we resumed our journey to wards Saundal.

Exiting the Plateau 360Degree video
Background score: Grappelli & Subramaniam - French Resolution from album "Conversations"

The next 95 km ride/drive was one awesome drive. Winding roads passing small villages through the mountains. Cool breeze with drizzle once a while. No other colour except green white and blue were to be seen anywhere. We stopped at a couple of viewpoints en-route but every inch was a viewpoint in itself. We refuelled the ninja somewhere in between all these. Again, it’s better you enjoy the snaps than my words.

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Red added to the beauty

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Cloud 9

Polo Slow motion on a curve

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End of the road!

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Heavenly beads!

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Walkathon

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Blessed

Masai to Saundal

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One of the many beautiful viewpoints

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Yes, nice place to take photos

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Don't mess with me

We covered the 90kms in 4 hours before we reached our resort by 3:00PM for a late lunch.

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Tired but satisfied driver

The resort receptionist gave a shock as soon as we entered. He told that there were no rooms available. I was angered because we had already booked the rooms. But it made me further more furious when they told that we had booked on 12th but came there on 13th. I showed him all the Whatsapp conversations and the bank transfer receipts to show what I had booked. Due to his mistake he had noted it down as 12th. They realised the mistake and then accepted it and told us that they will be able to give us a room at 5PM (2 hours). Mean time they told us to take lunch and spend time around the resort. With no other option we agreed.

We had a nice spread of lunch and then spent time roaming around the resort which had kayaking in a small lake, a waterfall among many other nice facilities. We also spent some time by the pool which was very relaxing. By then our cottage was ready.

It was a wonderful cottage and we spent good time chit chatting, looking at the many photos we had taken, playing cards, enjoying some hot tea and bhajis; All these with the background sound of a water stream beside our cottage. Within no time, it was 9PM. We had the buffet dinner which had some nice spread of Konkan style food. By 11PM, we were snoring!

Day 2 Statistics:
From: Panhala, Maharashtra (MH09)
To: Saundal, Maharashtra (MH08)
Distance: GT TSI 119Kms, Ninja 112Kms
Time taken: ~6hrs
Average Speed: ~20Kmph
Fuel filled at: Only for the Ninja at Bambavade, Maharashtra at ₹ 68.03/ltr

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 27th August 2017 at 12:03.
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Default re: 4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara

Day 3, 14th August 2017

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-freedom-drive-day3.jpg

The next day we had planned to start early. We had to cover 450km on the west coast road to reach Sagara in Karnataka. We knew this would be the most stressful leg of our trip, especially for the biker. Leaving early was essential. We got up at 5 and ready by 6. But there was a twist in the tale. The previous night, we had forgotten to inform the receptionist about our early checkout. When we went to the reception, nobody was around. We called the manager and woke him up. In his sleepy eyes, he told that he’ll send someone. But nobody turned up for 15 minutes. We called him again and told that we had to leave and we will pay the remaining amount later through NEFT. He told that it’s not about the money but some formalities (no idea what those were) and he’ll send someone. Another 15 minutes and nobody turned up. Although I was uncomfortable to leave like this, we were left with no choice; we left.

The route was beautiful with greenery everywhere and a lot of fog covering. Very soon we joined the Mumbai-Goa NH66 at Oni.

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Foggy Ninja

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Red tin box

I had thought of having breakfast in Goa. But by 8:30, after having driven 100Kms we were all hungry and we were still in Maharashtra. We thought we’ll at least have some tea. and stopped at a small canteen. He was preparing hot samosas. So with the tea, we had couple of Samosas and Pav. This filled our stomachs and hence we decided that we will not have any more breakfast.

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This is how you do it

50Kms from here and we reached the point where the 2-lane road gives way to arrow-straight 4-lane roads. For a couple of minutes both the vehicle drivers stretched their legs a bit!

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Unleash those horses!

Our next planned stop was to refuel at Goa which we did at Pernem. Petrol was a full ₹7 less than MH or KA. On an average, the Ninja was to be refuelled at a 250km interval and the GT at a 450Kms interval.

With the vehicles’ and our stomach full, it was just drive, drive and drive through Goa. We must have been one of the very few guys who would’ve driven through Goa without stopping

After having ridden a total of 190kms in 4 hours, after crossing Panjim, avinashsg came in the GT and pumpy_raj got to ride the Ninja for the first time in the trip. He was happy but his happiness was short lived as we encountered heavy traffic and the 240Kilo bike is not good for these conditions. Margoa was a choc-o-block and he was really exhausted. The 90Kms journey till Karwar took us 2.5 hours. It was an average of ~35Kmph while it was ~50kmph till then.

As planned, our next stop was the famous Amrut Restaurant at Karwar for lunch at 13:45. It served some amazing local cuisine. Because of the light breakfast, we could taste many items and all dishes that we ordered were absolutely delicious. We also had Gadbad ice-cream in the adjacent Poornima hotel.

At 3PM, we resumed our journey and exited Karwar. I continued with my car while pumpy_raj continued with the Ninja.

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Karwar

The 4-lane roads are still being constructed here and overtaking is tough. One Innova was trying hard to overtake me and other vehicles and was rash most of the times. At the next available opportunity, other vehicles and I gave way and he zipped past 4 vehicles in a go. But soon after that he was stopped because there was some dynamite blasting going on for road widening. We all had to wait for 15 minutes for the green signal. He was the first in the queue and soon after we got a green signal, he sped away. After this, avinashsg was feeling uneasy to sit n the car, especially after lunch. So we stopped and avinashsg and pumpy_raj exchanged the vehicles. As we resumed, we saw a big jam. As we went closer, a bus from the opposite direction was damaged heavily. Moving further we saw the same Innova which had sped past us lying on the opposite side of the road. Its left side was completely crushed. Huge crowd had gathered and they helped out the occupants. They were injured but fortunately for them, not very seriously. So we didn’t stop for long and continued. This innova in an overtaking move, hit the bus coming in the opposite direction and fell on the road side.

I called BHPian mnvvishwa who was supposed to join us and he sent a location where we should pick him. It was just after Honnawara near the hanging bridge. He told us that it would take us 2 hours more to cover the 100+ Kms and just as he said, we reached there at 17:30. We spent some time on this beautiful hanging bridge. Two-wheelers are allowed on this bridge and no invitation was needed for us to take the Ninja on this bridge for some pictures.

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Sharavathi hanging Bridge

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Ninja Entering the bridge

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Posing

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Return journey

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Scenic

There was recreational motorboat ride in the river but since it was getting dark, we didn’t go.

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Motorboat anyone?

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Out of business after the bridge is constructed

After that, we had some Masala soda as refreshments and left at 18:00.



The next 60Kms to Sagara which was our destination took 75minutes

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Bangara Kusuma waterfalls-Translates to "Golden Flower waterfalls"

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A photo with the falls

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_2604.jpg
For Ninja too

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_2614.jpg
Swift

The Ninja was refuelled at Sagara. We reached our friend’s home at 20:15. We had covered 465kms in the day in almost 14hours including breaks. We slept at around 12pm after having dinner whilst discussing on many topics.

Day 3 Statistics:
From: Saundal, Maharashtra (MH08)
To: Sagara, Karnataka (KA15) via Goa
Distance: GT TSI 463Kms, Ninja 464Kms
Time taken: ~14hrs
Average Speed: ~35Kmph
Fuel filled at: Pernem, Goa at ₹61.65/ltr and Only for Ninja at Sagara, Karnataka at ₹69.68/ltr

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 27th August 2017 at 12:13.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 21:39   #5
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Day 4, 15th August 2017

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-freedom-drive-day4.jpg

On Independence Day we all got up by 7AM and started to get ready. I went around for a small walk and clicked some pictures.

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_0398.jpg
Good morning

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_0408.jpg
Sunrise

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Waiting...

I could see lot of bats making noises and I went there too. As I went closer and saw them, I identified them as Flying Foxes. Later I came to know that they are also known as Indian fruit bat.

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_0401.jpg
Flying foxes

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_0406.jpg
A noisy colony

By the time I came back, avinashsg was putting chain lube for one last time. By 8AM we were all ready to go. Initially the plan was to visit Jog falls. But we got information that the water was very less. Added to that, all of us have seen the waterfall many times. And then the thought of returning back to Bengaluru in the evening after this long weekend gave us a scare. So we decided to drop the plan and head straight to Bangalore.

For breakfast, we decided to go to Shivamogga at Meenakshi Bhavan which is famous for Dosaes and Avalakki (Poha). We reached there by 9AM and saw a big crowd waiting for their turn to get seated. It took us 20 minutes to get a seat and another 15 minutes to get our plate of breakfast. We gulped down Dosaes, Vadaes, Paddus and Avalakki. After a glass of coffee, we were out of the restaurant by 10AM.

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-img_20170815_095544.jpg
Coffee

As we came out, few street side vendors were selling flags. We purchased two flags and tied one each to both vehicles. From there it was time to hit the highway. We decided to take the Arasikere>Channarayapattana>Nelamangala>Kunigal>Be ngaluru route. There were many independence day marches along the stretch organised by schools around the area.

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-20170815_124646.jpg
Fluttering flag on the GT

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_2624.jpg
Independence marches

After a non-stop ride till Arasikere-100Kms in 2hrs, we stopped for one last refill. Both the vehicles got its full tank of Petrol. The GT TSI crossed the 13000Kms mark en-route.

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-dsc_2632.jpg
13000 Kms in no time

It was noon and we were not really hungry. So again a coffee day stop with a small burger was to be our lunch. With 200 more Kms left, we stopped midway at the Yediyur Coffee day. By 2PM, we had finished our light lunch.

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-20170815_140533.jpg
Cafe Coffee Day

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-img_20170815_134218.jpg
Light Lunch

The last 100Kms was really fast and by 15:30 we were at the NICE road Entrance. This early entrance to the city ensured that we didn’t have to deal with any traffic. By 4PM, I had dropped of avinashsg’s luggage and pumpy_raj to their homes. mnvvishwa and I had no other work at home. Hence we decided to get my GT washed because it was almost brown!

So we went to 3M at Basavanagudi. I opted for the most basic wash and wax. Even though there were not many cars and my car was in the washing bay almost immediately, they worked at a snail’s pace as usual. They took 2hours for this and we were waiting there itself and it took the car out at 6:30PM.

4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara-20170815_163439.jpg
Getting the much needed wash

I reached home at 7:30. The trip ODO showed 13246 – That’s ~1650kms. The freedom drive had come to an end!

Day 4 Statistics:
From: Sagara, Karnataka (KA15)
To: Bengaluru, Karnataka (KA05)
Distance: GT TSI 405Kms, Ninja 385Kms
Time taken: ~8hrs
Average Speed: ~48Kmph
Fuel filled at: Arasikere at ₹ 69.22/ltr

Overall Statistics:
One feature that I hate of my car is that the Trip 1 resets everyday and Trip2 resets after 1000Kms. Useless for such long trips to get details of trip. Since I know the initial ODO reading, I now know only the total distance travelled. other things like avg speed, time and avg FE of the trip is not known. However with some things that I manually noted down, I could collect the following data.

Distance: GT TSI 1647Kms, Ninja 1604Kms

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Driver share

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Kitna deti hain?

After a long time, it was a satisfying drive of 4 days. A long weekend well spent with what we love most-Driving.
After all, don't we Live To Drive!

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 27th August 2017 at 12:19.
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Old 28th August 2017, 08:07   #6
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th August 2017, 09:11   #7
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Amazing write up as always.
Kudos to your patience.
The write up helps me re-live each and every moment of the freedom drive.

Eagerly waiting for the next venture.
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Old 28th August 2017, 10:07   #8
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Default Re: 4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara

Beautiful log there Hemant and boy, it wouldn't have been any better time to head there. Monsoon and that shade of green from Konkan.

When I saw that video you shared on Social Media, I was sure you were headed somewhere around the Konkan coast and no wonder this travelogue has confirmed that.

Lovely pictures of the the Masai Plateau and a super good return route you chose too. There's never enough of NH17 one can have.
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Old 28th August 2017, 17:53   #9
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Default Re: 4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara

A good write up and great photos. Can you share the details of the 360 camera ?

I've been to Panhala recently and to experience cool weather, the winter months are the best. You literally need a layer of warm clothes.
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Old 28th August 2017, 18:58   #10
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I live in Gurgaon (Gurugram) and such views are simply not available here, even in the rains. Yes there are the Himalayas but they are either too heavily crowded or extremely difficult to traverse in a commuter vehicle, depending on where you go. But South India, thats accessible, rewarding travel almost anywhere you go. I remember taking the coastal road from Mumbai to Goa in a Honda City and that was plain Nirvana. Twists, curves, straights, lush green scenery, pleasant weather. A pandora's box of the most beautiful things.

I hope to do Himalayas to Kanyakumari on my Ford Aspire S when I have the time and money, and Im certainly gonna do them in the rains. My God this country is beautiful! Thank you hemanth.anand sir!
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Old 28th August 2017, 20:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzitcr View Post
I live in Gurgaon (Gurugram) and such views are simply not available here, even in the rains. Yes there are the Himalayas but they are either too heavily crowded or extremely difficult to traverse in a commuter vehicle, depending on where you go.
You should probably explore a bit more before giving up on the Himalayas. Yes, you would need to avoid the famous places as they tend to get crowded.
But you can very easily find lesser known beautiful places whether it is in Himachal, Uttarakhand or Sikkim. Just don't expect them to have the best available amenities or markets on the levels of the famous places.
Just to give you a recommendation for your next trip, try organizing one to Bir or Barot in Himachal. The Pathankot - Mandi or Kangra - Mandi roads are surrounded by similar lush greenery that you crave so much.
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Old 28th August 2017, 23:59   #12
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Default Re: 4 BHPians, 4 Days, 1850 cc, 1650 km - Panhala, Masai & Sagara

Nice and engaging write up man! Reminds me of my drive from Colva in Goa to Jog falls couple of months back and that too on completely unfamiliar roads, as it was my first trip to South India. Truly Incredible India.
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Old 29th August 2017, 01:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdst_1 View Post
You should probably explore a bit more before giving up on the Himalayas. Yes, you would need to avoid the famous places as they tend to get crowded.
But you can very easily find lesser known beautiful places whether it is in Himachal, Uttarakhand or Sikkim. Just don't expect them to have the best available amenities or markets on the levels of the famous places.
Just to give you a recommendation for your next trip, try organizing one to Bir or Barot in Himachal. The Pathankot - Mandi or Kangra - Mandi roads are surrounded by similar lush greenery that you crave so much.
Oh the Himalayas have no parallel. I am sure each time I visit them I'll discover something new and entirely breathtaking. I make it a point to visit them at least twice every year ever since I beheld the mighty Nanda Devi from Auli back in 2014.
I just meant that I have to think twice before I embark on a Himalayan odyssey, mostly for lack of good roads (or no roads where it really matters) on my lightly built car. On a motorcycle its a no brainer of course, and the best views of the mountains come from trekking trails. All I meant was that South India has views right outside your home, for the most part. And in the rains, so much more. Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Udupi, Ernakulam, Chennai, Mysore, you name it. Beautiful roads and lush green all around.

Ive done Pathankot-Mandi and Kangra too. Beautiful, serene places. Bir is something I'll definitely look up. Thank you sir
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Old 29th August 2017, 08:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Lovely pictures of the the Masai Plateau and a super good return route you chose too. There's never enough of NH17 one can have.
Thanks paragsachania,
True, I still have some places around NH17 not covered. Everytime, it appears new and fascinates me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
A good write up and great photos. Can you share the details of the 360 camera?
2017 Samsung Gear 360
Quote:
I've been to Panhala recently and to experience cool weather, the winter months are the best. You literally need a layer of warm clothes.
Yes we could imagine how cold winters could be. it turned really foggy and cold in the night and pretty quickly too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzitcr View Post
My God this country is beautiful! Thank you hemanth.anand sir!
you are welcome Azzitcr. True, one lifetime is less to cover the whole sub-continent.
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