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Old 4th December 2022, 13:16   #1
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Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

When you write about a trip to Kabini and there aren’t too many pictures of wildlife, there are two main reasons:
- This wasn’t the best season to spot the big cats.
- We had a budding photographer in our group who made big claims about his photography skills and a fancy DSLR but lets say didn’t live upto the expectations to put it mildly. Thankfully though, he clicked good pictures of Lucifer (Audi S5, our car for the trip. One can argue it is a wild beast in its own sense) and hence this post may have more pics of the car.

One day after the thrilling experience at BIC (read here (Audi Experience event at Buddh International Circuit!)), we had to leave for a long due road trip. Destination Kabini! There were total 3 families including us, all traveling via different routes to meet at Kabini. This included another fellow bhpian rodmart who coincidentally also was the budding photographer I mentioned about earlier.


Hyd - Blr

The first day was about smoking the tarmac on the now monotonous Hyd - Blr highway (monotonous because of the ever increasing traffic and rumblers!) but a V6 engine and a B&O sound system is more than enough to keep you entertained.

We left Hyd around 11 am, found a good place to eat in Kurnool (named Lava stone, I had a lovely Malabar Paratha after a long time, highly recommended), broke for tea post Anantpur and crossed Blr airport around 6 after which the familiar Blr traffic greeted us.

Some pics along the way:

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221119_043713356.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221119_114907795.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221119_115527682.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221119_120038198.portrait.jpg

I realized that if you ever want to spend quality time with someone, bring them to Banglaore as the traffic offers all the solitude you need for profound conversations! The hindi song on the radio ‘Tu na jaane aas paas hai khuda’ seemed so apt with the construction work going on and roads dug up everywhere. We finally reached our destination by 7:30 pm and retired for the night.

A typical Blr evening
Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221119_134417255.jpg

Blr - Kabini

If I got a penny everytime someone looked up for ‘the best route to Mysore from Bangalore’, I would have been rich enough to make a bid for Twitter .
Anyways, after doing some inconclusive research, we decided to toss a coin and take the Nelamangala - Hassan route.

We started by 8:30 and expected a breezy sunday morning drive from Banglaore but found more traffic than we normally do on a weekday in Hyderabad. But hey, we were not complaining, last time we were here, we couldn’t cross Bellandur after getting stuck in the floods. After an hour of endurance, the traffic cleared up enough to give a chance to the S5 to spread its legs and with a smile on my face and foot on the accelerator, we zipped past the highway traffic. In between I had to keep reminding myself that this was not BIC and keep a check on the speed. Its amazing how quickly the S5 gathers speed and you are often shocked when you look down at the speedometer and realize how fast you are going.


Some pictures of the drive till Kabini, one big disadvantage of the S5 is that we are tempted to take a lot more stops for clicking it with different backgrounds.

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_051934766.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_051955082.portrait.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_064241724.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-img20221120wa0032.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-img20221120wa0025.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_052027558.portrait.jpg


JLR

By 1:15, we were at our resort, the JLR Kabini and caught up with rest of the gang who had already arrived. rodmart@ had meticulously researched that they have the monopoly over safaris and if you wanted a jeep safari, this was the best place to stay. The plan was to stay at JLR for a day, do the jeep safaris and spend the next two days at Serai.

A rather strict looking gentleman brief us about a packed itinerary with precise timings from lunch to safari to tea to evening movie to dinner to bed to morning safari to breakfast to a complimentary boat ride to checkout. This seemed a more stricter schedule than one would have in a boarding hostel and for a moment I wondered if he would turn into Mr. Bachchan from the movie Mohabatein and utter the words ‘parampara, pratishtha, anushasan’. But on a serious note, its commendable how efficiently they manage it given the volume of guests.
The property is quite nice overlooking the Kabini river and indeed quite luxurious considering its a Govt. run property, but maybe one day isn’t enough to explore it fully.

Lucy parked in front of our cottage
Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221121_062817794.jpgd

During the span of our stay, we did two safaris but only managed to spot Elephants and Indian Gaur among other common types of fauna. We always knew that this wasn’t the best time for spotting tigers but still had some hopes of encountering it (After all, optimisim runs in my blood, I even backed KL Rahul to score runs in the recently concluded t20 wc! ).

The forest is very beautiful though and witnessing a sunrise over the misty river remains one of the favorite sights of the trip.

Pics of the lake in front of our resort:
Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_084551395.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_084417096.jpg

Yes, this one at the back is the budding photographer
Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221121_030350510.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221121_012612146.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0124.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_094733398.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0081.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221120_121247678.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0105.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0118.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0175.jpg

Last edited by animeshc : 4th December 2022 at 19:06.
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Old 4th December 2022, 18:31   #2
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re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Serai
After spending a day at JLR, we moved to the Serai which was a league apart in terms of both finesse and hospitality.
Over the next two days, we soaked in the luxury of the resort with the weather perfectly complimenting our stay. While I parked myself at the hammock outside our room, my better half who is now a believer in guilt free holidays spend her time enjoying perks of WFH.

Only one of us was working, not difficult to guess who it was
Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-img20221122wa0020.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221121_071107518.jpg

While one day was spent enjoying the sunset and treating ourselves with a few games of volleyball, the other evening was spent availing the complimentary Kayak and Coracle rides. Late evenings were dedicated to bonfires, snacks by the side of it and lots of chit chatting. It indeed felt like a holiday.

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221121_080323751.jpg

The entire gang
Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-img_1931.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221121_121931908.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0360.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221122_053300481.jpg

We also did a boat safari which was a very different experience than the traditional land safaris and a lot more lively too as we spotted a few lazying crocs, a pair of otters and an elephant family chilling at the banks in addition to a plethora of bird varieties.

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0453.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0555.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0544.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-dsc_0642.jpg

Return

On the way back, we returned via the Mysore-Maddur-Ramanagara route to Banglaore . Sections of the new highway that have been opened up are supremely fun to drive on and I am looking forward to it being fully completed. The remaining sections though decent boast of some humongous speed breakers and they needed to be cautiously tackled at an angle, but thankfully the car didnít scrape its belly anywhere.

After spending a couple of days at Bangalore, we returned to Hyderabad and somewhere along the way, Lucifer completed 10k kms on the odometer . It has been about 9 months since we brought him home, out of which he was completely stationary for 4 months due to our remote work from Jaipur and during rest of the days, we find it extremely difficult to keep it off the road . Its been a true pleasure owning it. The ownership report is long pending, maybe I need to resist my temptation to drive it out for a couple of weekends, maybe then I will be able to complete it.

A few more pics to sign off:

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-ca6ee260423845cd9208c4b4f6b7934a.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-31040f97126f483f9027920e130234bb.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-1e2d1e75f8aa4cb392f0f2de84c372b6.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221127_041853568.jpg

Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5-pxl_20221127_093913500.jpg

Last edited by animeshc : 4th December 2022 at 19:08.
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Old 4th December 2022, 19:25   #3
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re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th December 2022, 10:24   #4
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re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

A fantastic travelogue! Thanks for sharing. I enjoy reading stories of your drives in your S5. Great car and nice to see you driving it all over the country!

Quote:
Originally Posted by animeshc View Post
Thankfully though, he clicked good pictures of Lucifer (Audi S5, our car for the trip. One can argue it is a wild beast in its own sense) and hence this post may have more pics of the car.
Nice pictures of that fantastic car. For someone like me, who is more of a car enthusiast than a wildlife enthusiast, your Kabini travelogue is actually more appealing than the "classical" Kabini travelogues full of amazing pictures of tigers and elephants. The Red S5 is extremely photogenic and looks better than any tiger in my opinion.

Just kidding, but really loved reading your report. Thanks again for sharing this.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 5th December 2022 at 10:32.
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Old 5th December 2022, 21:54   #5
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Nice pictures Animesh! Seems like a lot of fun!

What can a bag in the trunk tell? A lot!

Besides commonalities like being Audi owners, travel enthusiasts and team-BHP members, we seem to have one more commonality!

Last edited by OffRoadFun : 5th December 2022 at 22:02.
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Old 5th December 2022, 22:47   #6
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Thanks for the nice write up and pics.
Man, that is one drool-worthy automobile.
Does she bottom out on our city roads?

And also, kitna deti hai?
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Old 5th December 2022, 23:17   #7
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

It was a fantastic read. I've been to Kabini around mid October 2022 with my parents in Octavia. We got to spot one tiger, lots of deer's, elephant and varieties of birds. Pictures of red s5 around greenery locations looks beautiful.
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Old 6th December 2022, 00:41   #8
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

God Damn! Those frameless doors are HAWT!!!
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Old 6th December 2022, 09:02   #9
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
For someone like me, who is more of a car enthusiast than a wildlife enthusiast, your Kabini travelogue is actually more appealing than the "classical" Kabini travelogues full of amazing pictures of tigers and elephants. The Red S5 is extremely photogenic and looks better than any tiger in my opinion.
Haha, thanks for your kind words. This will for sure make our budding photographer feel better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OffRoadFun View Post
Nice pictures Animesh! Seems like a lot of fun!

What can a bag in the trunk tell? A lot!

Besides commonalities like being Audi owners, travel enthusiasts and team-BHP members, we seem to have one more commonality!
Thank you! Haha, I suspect that this is a conversation between 2 fellow Googlers, is it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang Sammy View Post
Thanks for the nice write up and pics.
Man, that is one drool-worthy automobile.
Does she bottom out on our city roads?

And also, kitna deti hai?
Thank you. As long as I tackle the speed breakers diagonally, there isn't any issue. Like I mentioned above, some of the bumps on the Mysore - Blr patch were insane and I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't bottom out. Of-course sometimes with heavy inflow of traffic in adjacent lanes, its difficult to find space to take the car diagonally but anytime I have been complacent and tried to tackle a bump straight, it scrapes the bottom.
On fuel economy, I am tempted to say "your question hurt me" . On highways, if you drive sedately in comfort mode, the best I have achieved is in the range of 11-11.5 kmpl but driving it sedately for long durations is an art that I haven't learnt yet. I normally get a FE in the range of 8-10 across city and highway drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver 33 View Post
It was a fantastic read. I've been to Kabini around mid October 2022 with my parents in Octavia. We got to spot one tiger, lots of deer's, elephant and varieties of birds. Pictures of red s5 around greenery locations looks beautiful.
Thank you. I guess I belong to minority group who haven't spotted a tiger in Kabini

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Originally Posted by bordeaux View Post
God Damn! Those frameless doors are HAWT!!!
Thank you. Those definitely stood out even when we first saw the car.
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Old 6th December 2022, 21:08   #10
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Quote:
Originally Posted by animeshc View Post
Serai
the other evening was spent availing the complimentary Kayak and Coracle rides.
Am I reading this right? You kayaked in the same lake which had lazying crocodiles?

Quote:
We also did a boat safari which was a very different experience than the traditional land safaris and a lot more lively too as we spotted a few lazying crocs, a pair of otters and an elephant family chilling at the banks in addition to a plethora of bird varieties.
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Old 7th December 2022, 01:58   #11
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Beautiful car! One of the best looking in market now.
I prefer to read travelogues with lots of pictures of the vehicle as well as the roads rather than the clicks of actual destination. And this is exactly that kind of thread. Thanks for writing.
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Old 7th December 2022, 09:08   #12
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Nice read. And that is one hot looking car. I remember your travails during the Bellandur floods. Glad you had a better time crossing Bangalore this time around.

And the pictures of the car - simply superb.
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Old 7th December 2022, 23:30   #13
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

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Originally Posted by nxshar2 View Post
Am I reading this right? You kayaked in the same lake which had lazying crocodiles?
That's a very valid observation and a question we asked ourselves after spotting the crocodiles . The only partially logical explanation is that the boundaries of the natural park start a few kms away from the resorts and I call that partially logical because the crocodiles of course won't be aware of them and nothing prevents them from swimming over to this side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G20Rider View Post
Beautiful car! One of the best looking in market now.
I prefer to read travelogues with lots of pictures of the vehicle as well as the roads rather than the clicks of actual destination. And this is exactly that kind of thread. Thanks for writing.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
Nice read. And that is one hot looking car. I remember your travails during the Bellandur floods. Glad you had a better time crossing Bangalore this time around.

And the pictures of the car - simply superb.
Thank you, appreciate your empathy and your memory too . That experience still gives us nightmares and we probably need another few 'better experiences' from Blr to fully overcome that.
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Old 8th December 2022, 07:03   #14
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Re: Hyderabad to Kabini in an Audi S5

Quote:
Originally Posted by animeshc View Post
On fuel economy, I am tempted to say "your question hurt me" . On highways, if you drive sedately in comfort mode, the best I have achieved is in the range of 11-11.5 kmpl but driving it sedately for long durations is an art that I haven't learnt yet. I normally get a FE in the range of 8-10 across city and highway drives.
8-10 with a V6 is amazing. My old SX4 barely managed that with its 1.6L 4 cylinder.
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