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Old 16th May 2022, 15:54   #1
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Default A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate!



This weekend, we drove to Kadamane Tea Estate near Sakleshpur, KA, and explored the tea plantations and numerous off-road trails in the nearby areas. Our place of stay was the well-known Sinna Dorai's Bungalow at Kadamane Tea Estate (http://sinnadorai.com/kadamne-experience.aspx).

Our group was the usual friends and family group - myself and my better half in our BMW 320d, and @robimahanta and his better half in, wait, no not his BMW M340i. Since our main agenda at Kadamane was to explore the landscapes and the off-road trails, a 4x4 vehicle was a necessity. And therefore, Robi drove his Thar!

Thus, our usual two-car convoy was a bit unusual this time. We had a BMW 320d and a Mahindra Thar Petrol AT giving each other company. To be honest, the BMW was used only to reach the Bungalow. After that, it was parked there for the rest of the weekend. The terrain surrounding the bungalow requires a proper 4x4 vehicle, and a BMW is not of much use there. On the other had, the Thar was the ideal vehicle. The terrain and Thar were made for each other (or so it felt). All four of us traveled in Thar in the surrounding areas, and the Thar managed some quite challenging trails with ease! It felt totally at home in those trails and in those landscapes. Thus, this travelogue is primarily a Thar story. Thar is the hero of this story. The BMW can at best count as a supporting actor here.

Given that this is a story of a Thar, which is one of the most photogenic cars around, and also a story of the beautiful landscapes, I will tell this story using pictures. I will keep words to a minimum, and I hope the pictures are worth a few hundred words if not a thousand words.

With that prologue, let me begin this "photolog" covering our fun-filled weekend where I got to experience the magic of Mahindra Thar first hand!

The two cars somewhere near Sakleshpur in our onward journey:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1536.jpg


Where this lovely Gulmohar tree enchanted us and provided for such photo opportunities:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_15552.jpg


A bit ahead, a random photo of the two cars on a side of the road:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_113832.jpg


While entering the tea estate, Thar was at home on these roads already, and the BMW managed to follow it on some mild bad roads:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_115125.jpg


Arrived at the lovely Sinna Dorai's Bungalow:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_1248132.jpg


The two cars parked next to our cottage there. The BMW would just stay put here for the rest of the weekend and never moved from here till when we started our return drive:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_125300.jpg

The Bungalow is simply fantastic (more on the Bungalow later). We had a great homemade lunch, took a short powernap, and then we were ready for our evening adventure. We would drive the Thar (all four of us went in the Thar) to a nearby viewpoint known as "5 Acres Viewpoint". The weather was lovely.

Although it was May, it felt like July. There was some drizzle in the air. The skies were overcast. The temperatures were pleasant around 22C. There was lovely breeze flowing around. The air was fresh and crisp. The landscapes were lush green. And to top it all, we had lovely trails that were perfect to enjoy a Thar ride and reach the viewpoints.

Thar enjoying these trails that would take us to the "5 Acres Viewpoint":
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_165308.jpg


Atop the viewpoint, with mist and fog for company:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1576.jpg


A random shot of the Thar atop the viewpoint:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1579.jpg


From the viewpoint, a look back at the trails that we drove on to reach there:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1568.jpg


Thar overlooking the beautiful valley below:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_15922.jpg


A close-up of the wheels that can conquer any terrain (I think Thar's wheel design is one of the best of any OEM wheel designs):
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1616.jpg


Lovely views all around from that viewpoint:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_172312.jpg


The valley below was engulfed in clouds:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1626.jpg


This lone tree looked mesmerizing for some reason:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_173547.jpg


Thar enjoying the scenery and the clouds (I can not imagine another vehicle that would fit so perfectly in this scene):
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1645.jpg


While returning, we found another location where we could not resist getting down and taking pictures next to the tea plantation there:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_180126.jpg


Finally, a parting shot of the Thar at that lovely location:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1658.jpg

On the way back, Robi generously offered me to drive the Thar, and I enjoyed the drive back. This Thar is a lovely machine. It managed the trails and the terrain with ease. It would be an understatement to say I enjoyed driving the Thar on that terrain.

Back in our cottage in the evening, we could see the fog settling down and the lights glowing bright in that dim ambiance:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_183148.jpg


Final shot of the Day, with a blanket of fog and mist covering the property, and my red BMW quietly parked there while Thar deserved all the attention for that day:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220514_183454.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 16th May 2022 at 19:53.
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Old 16th May 2022, 16:48   #2
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Default re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Day 2: Morning Expedition and Return Drive



After a sumptuous dinner at that Bungalow the previous night, we all slept well through the night, and got up (relatively) early for a morning expedition in Thar.

I woke up feeling fresh that morning, after a great night's sleep, and when I stepped out of our cottage, I saw such lovely sunrise at the same spot where I had seen the blanket of fog the last night (my car would remain parked there for some more time as she was still not required in the morning drive, which was again an off-road expedition tailor-made for the Thar):
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_065438.jpg

Our morning plan was to drive to a river which was deep inside the forest, accessible only via a proper off-road trail. Thankfully, the Bungalow hosts provided us with a guide who would show us the path. However, the path to the river was quite treacherous, and went through some deep forests (many times we were driving through dark patches where sunrise would not reach), with lot of mud (sometime even slush) and stones on the way. This was a path that only a vehicle of the caliber of a Thar would manage, provided it was driven by a driver skilled in 4x4 driving. This drive was surely not for the faint-heated or the lesser experienced drivers and certainly not for those driving a 2WD vehicles. It goes without saying that our skilled driver, robimahanta, and his capable machine, the Thar, managed this challenge with ease! We had a great time in that morning drive and also got to experience the prowess of the Thar first-hand!

Our guide on the motorcycle leading us through these picturesque paths:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_072508.jpg


Taking slow and careful "corners" through the tea estates:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_073351.jpg


Now getting deep inside the woods, where only a 4x4 vehicle could venture:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_074240.jpg


The lovely location that we reached after driving on some really treacherous trails:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_080014.jpg


My favorite shot of the Thar, as it emerged out of the dark woods leading to the above location:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1662.jpg


My other favorite shot of the weekend, showing Thar in its natural habitat:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_0810172.jpg


Back on the tarmac now, with such lovely tea gardens in the backdrop:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_16852.jpg


The roads that wind through the tea gardens (and this is where I missed my BMW):
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1693.jpg


That tarmac, however lovely, is no place for Thar. We promptly exited the tarmac and took this trail again:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1721.jpg


Thar in the tea gardens:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1703.jpg


Thar feeling at home in these settings:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1711.jpg


Another view of the Thar enjoying the morning tea :
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1725.jpg

After that memorable morning expedition, where nothing otter than a Thar would have fitted in the story, we returned to the Bungalow and enjoyed a tasty homemade breakfast.

Let me take this opportunity to show a few photos of the property. It was a beautiful place, very elegantly decorated and maintained very well, with both exterior and interior oozing aesthetics and class. The location of the property is absolutely fantastic, with great views all around. Overall, it is an amazing place, and I would love to go back there someday to experience it again.

The front of the main Bungalow:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_090302.jpg


A side wing of the main bungalow:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_090333.jpg


Beautifully decorated corridors:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_090406.jpg


Equally beautiful front corridor:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_090425.jpg


We had booked this twin-bedroom cottage, which was an independent cottage at the end of the property with two spacious bedrooms and a nice common sitting area:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_095302.jpg


Front view of our lovely cottage:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_0954222.jpg


Another view of my parked car, with the thematic tea plantations in the foreground:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_17382.jpg


A random photo of our two dissimilar machines parked there:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1763.jpg

Finally, it was time to wrap up our stay at this lovely place and start driving back.

A parting shot of our cars at the time of checking out (finally the BMW moved out of the designated weekend parking spot):
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-20220515_110009.jpg


After photographing the Thar in the tea gardens for most times, now it was turn of the BMW to pose in front of the tea:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1769.jpg


BMW enjoying the views, thankful that there was tarmac, and only imagining what Thar could do for the most parts of the weekend:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_1779.jpg


Finally, a parting shot of the two cars as we exited that beautiful land and drove back to Bangalore:
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-dsc_17842.jpg

Well, that is all folks. A photolog of a short and sweet weekend drive where we used two very dissimilar vehicles to the best of their abilities. What more can we ask for in one weekend?

Thank you for reading!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 16th May 2022 at 17:34.
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Old 16th May 2022, 20:50   #3
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Default re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th May 2022, 21:34   #4
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Default re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Lovely write up and pictures AD. It was a scenic drive and I had to try hard to keep up with the 3 er on tarmac. Overall the Thar did well in what is it supposed to, the trails were a breeze apart from the leeches. I am sure I carried a few back to Bangalore. Maybe in the monsoons we can try some tougher trails. I don’t have many pictures apart from the ones shot with my phone.

AD enjoying the view while the Thar is taking in the aroma of the lemon grass

A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-b876494b66014767a2e26eac86f45b8f.jpeg

The best place to have a cup of nice strong tea in a tea estate

A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-c5f431ee8fe64b6c8ce4caa6a8e07acf.jpeg

Getting it washed after a nice workout

A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-ed53b70fb6524b489f40b81c2fcba452.jpeg
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Old 17th May 2022, 12:20   #5
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Thank you for a lovely write up and those amazing pictures Sir. Full credit to @robimahanta for steering the magnificent Thar through those amazing trails leading to those amazing captures. The Thar looks at ease in those scenic surroundings. Thanks again for sharing!
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Old 17th May 2022, 20:07   #6
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

I came to the travelogue section to check on where you drove to during the last weekend, and you didn't disappoint me .

As usual a very nice write-up complemented with some excellent pics of Thar. The tea estate and the location around looks lovely too. And the weather looks like we are already into the monsoon season.

Thanks for all the info you shared.
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Old 18th May 2022, 11:11   #7
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Those pictures speak for themselves.
Thar looks really amazing in those pictures & the background is pretty scenic.

Thank you for sharing.
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Old 18th May 2022, 15:23   #8
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

The places , setup everything looks so beautiful through your lens ! Thank you for such a visual treat Dr.AD.
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Old 18th May 2022, 17:21   #9
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post

Well, that is all folks. A photolog of a short and sweet weekend drive where we used two very dissimilar vehicles to the best of their abilities. What more can we ask for in one weekend?

Thank you for reading!
Lovely! I live vicariously through your posts as I have the identical Red 320d. What I appreciate about this car is that it can take on surprisingly bad roads relatively easily. Of course this combination of color and style makes it one of the most unique car in the country right now. Hard to not attract attention.

Great 1-2 combination with the Thar
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Old 18th May 2022, 18:02   #10
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

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Originally Posted by robimahanta View Post
Lovely write up and pictures AD. It was a scenic drive and I had to try hard to keep up with the 3 er on tarmac. Overall the Thar did well in what is it supposed to, the trails were a breeze apart from the leeches.
Thank you very much Robi. Honestly, I felt some sections of the trail were quite slippery with deep ruts and mud. It was thanks to the Thar that those felt like a breeze. Thanks for the Thar ride and also for letting me drive it. It was a lot of fun.

Quote:
Maybe in the monsoons we can try some tougher trails.
Definitely. That would be fun. Looking forward to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atom View Post
Thank you for a lovely write up and those amazing pictures Sir.
Thank you very much!

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Originally Posted by arun_josie View Post
I came to the travelogue section to check on where you drove to during the last weekend, and you didn't disappoint me .
Hahaha. I am glad I did not disappoint you :-) Your long drives in your Jeep Compass are always an inspiration for me for doing my own weekend drives.

Quote:
As usual a very nice write-up complemented with some excellent pics of Thar. The tea estate and the location around looks lovely too.
Thank you very much. If you have not been to Kadamane already, I would highly recommend this place. Your Jeep Compass will feel at home there, and you can explore these trails nearby the estate. You will have a great time for sure.

Quote:
And the weather looks like we are already into the monsoon season.
Very true. It felt like it was monsoon already. And given how heavily in rained in Bangalore yesterday, I think we are already in monsoon this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaviKBobba View Post
Those pictures speak for themselves.
Thar looks really amazing in those pictures & the background is pretty scenic.
Thank you very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mile_Breaker View Post
The places , setup everything looks so beautiful through your lens ! Thank you for such a visual treat Dr.AD.
Thank you very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neeravnaik View Post
Lovely! I live vicariously through your posts as I have the identical Red 320d.
Thank you very much. Great to hear from a fellow identical 320d owner :-)

Quote:
What I appreciate about this car is that it can take on surprisingly bad roads relatively easily.
Very true. The car is surprisingly rugged, and can manage some bad roads quite well. In fact, when Robi and I were in the Thar, we were still discussing if the BMW could make it there. But the very fact that we even considered that shows that the car is reasonably rugged.

Quote:
Hard to not attract attention.
Agreed 100%. It is hard not to draw attention with this color. And that is something I do not like. I would much rather prefer a nondescript car which nobody looks at. But on the other had, this red car is quite photogenic and encourages me to take photos. So there are pros and cons. You win some and lose some.
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Old 18th May 2022, 18:07   #11
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

A refreshing write-up. The pictures are astounding, especially those with BMW 320 and Thar in the same frame. And the icing on the cake is the title - 'A Car, a Thar, and a Tea Estate.'
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Old 18th May 2022, 22:13   #12
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Nice write up! Interestingly enough, my grandfather was the Manager of Kadumane and my mum grew up there in the 1950’s!
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Old 19th May 2022, 06:58   #13
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Thanks for the nice Travelogue. Lovely pics of the cars, the route and the destination. The estate bungalow and surrounding areas look ideal for a relaxing getaway.

What is the condition of the roads to the destination? The route query section indicates that the road is bad in parts along with very heavy traffic. Did you take a route that cuts out the bad roads and traffic?
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Old 19th May 2022, 09:26   #14
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Here is the same spot where you parked the car 10 years ago. There is a car in the first picture also :-)

A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-p2.jpeg
A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA-p1.jpeg

Last edited by androdev : 19th May 2022 at 09:28.
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Old 19th May 2022, 13:13   #15
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Default Re: A Car, a Thar and a Tea Estate | Our weekend drive to Kadamane Tea Estate, KA

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-Saint View Post
A refreshing write-up. The pictures are astounding, especially those with BMW 320 and Thar in the same frame. And the icing on the cake is the title - 'A Car, a Thar, and a Tea Estate.'
Thank you very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Nice write up! Interestingly enough, my grandfather was the Manager of Kadumane and my mum grew up there in the 1950ís!
Thanks ajmat! Very interesting story. That must have been an amazing area (even denser forests and much lesser developments) to grow up in in the 50s. Very scenic area for sure.

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Originally Posted by EV NXT View Post
Thanks for the nice Travelogue. Lovely pics of the cars, the route and the destination. The estate bungalow and surrounding areas look ideal for a relaxing getaway.
Thank you very much.

Quote:
What is the condition of the roads to the destination? The route query section indicates that the road is bad in parts along with very heavy traffic. Did you take a route that cuts out the bad roads and traffic?
Route condition is mixed, as you rightly guessed. Bangalore to Hassan is the usual road with usual heavy traffic. Hassan to Sakleshpur is a terrible stretch with single lane roads, heavy and slow traffic (many trucks too), and to make it worse, lot of road work, diversions and bad road conditions in patches. That is definitely the worst section to drive on in this route. After you exit the highway at Sakleshpur and start driving on the internal roads to Kadamane, then it is totally opposite. Those roads are in good condition, with very less traffic, and are quite scenic. Those roads beyond Sakleshpur are the best part of this drive. Till Sakleshpur is the usual painful drive.

One can try driving via Belur (Hassan-Belur-Kadamane) to avoid the Sakleshpur stretch of bad roads. This road is in good condition (we drove there just 15 days ago), but is about 30 minutes (and about 30km) longer, and may or may not be worth it in the end. But this is one option if you want to avoid Sakleshpur at all costs.

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Here is the same spot where you parked the car 10 years ago.
Wow! Nice picture, and thanks for sharing this. Thankfully, not much has changed in that location in 10 years. It looks equally good today as it looked 10 years ago.

Quote:
There is a car in the first picture also :-)
Lovely car that too! Very nice picture. I can relate to it. I also have many toy cars/scale models, and now I feel I should have taken some of my scale models along with me too :-)
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