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Old 20th February 2024, 20:19   #1
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6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!



Got wheels, must drive! That was a simple idea behind this drive by a group of BHPian friends from Bangalore. All of us love driving. And driving was the primary agenda. Everything else was secondary.

We chose a circuit that offered a nice mix of driving conditions - fast highways, some lovely hill roads and descending down the Western Ghats and reaching the west coast, a small drive along the coast, then a hill drive again and ascending the Western Ghats from another route, and back to four-lane and six-lane highways for a fast highway drive back home.

To add more variety in the mix - not just in the driving conditions but also in the landscapes we would see - we chose one beach location (Kumta) and another iconic location far away from beach (Hampi) for this 2 nights drive! That meant we had a chance of a car photoshoot both at the coastal areas and at the iconic sites of Hampi. Outdoor photography is often a matter of luck. Multiple factors including location, time and light must come together for it to work. As it turned out, we did not find any decent location for a car photoshoot at a beach near Kumta. But we did find a nice location for car photoshoot in Hampi. So overall it was a mixed bag for photography in this trip.

The approximate route map of this drive spanning more than 1200km is shown below:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-map.jpg

We had 6 friends and BHPians driving 6 cars. A solo driver in each car. That is how the most enthusiastic drivers drive.

The group of 6 included @robimahanta (driving his White VW Polo GTI), @jkrishnakj (driving his Gray Audi A6), @RakishRam (driving his Dravit Gray BMW M340i), @praveenbalan (driving his White BMW 330i), @HighRevving (driving his Blue BMW M330i), and myself (driving my Red BMW 320d).

We had another friend, who is not a forum member, joining us for some time on the first morning, in his White 320d. He could not join us for the whole trip, but it was nice of him to join for about a 200km of distance in our early morning run!

The convoy at the beginning of this memorable drive:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive01.jpg


Our convoy somewhere on the scenic forest stretch of the road:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive02.jpg

We took Shimoga-Sagar-Honnavar (NH69)-Kumta road, and this road is brilliant! Sagar to Honnavar (NH69) is one of my favorite roads to drive on. This road has the best of everything - lovely twists and corners, hilly drives with ups and downs, scenic views and thick forests all around, and butter smooth tarmac. I have driven on this road in monsoons too, and even in peak monsoons, the road surface here has always been great. We enjoyed our drive on this road.

The six cars at our beach resort in Kumta:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive06.jpg


The four bimmers in the group:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive07.jpg


Another group photo of all six cars in Kumta:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive08.jpg

As I mentioned, we could not find a right spot for car photography at the beach. All we managed was to crawl on an off-road track trying to find a beach location and then returning back with not much success on that front. However, while crawling around on those dirt tracks, I managed to take a couple of casual mobile photos near the beach.

@praveenbalan's White 330i MSport:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive09.jpg


@HighRevving's Portimao Blue 330i MSport:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive10.jpg


Although we did not get a good beach photoshoot, we did get a great evening at the beach. We spent the evening talking cars while chilling at a beach resort. The simple and idyllic beach resort we stayed in Kumta was "Om Bodhi Retreat". Nothing fancy. No luxuries. Just a simple place that was peaceful and comfortable. The resort and the rooms were clean, it was located right on the beach, had a good parking space (very important for us), and offered a great dining experience at their beach restaurant. The hosts were hospitable and the service was great. Food was fantastic and always fresh! We did not expect much from this basic place, but we got more than what we expected and we ended up having a great time at this beach resort.

Evening scenes at the beach:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive03.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 20th February 2024 at 22:29.
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Old 20th February 2024, 20:30   #2
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Photoshoot at Hampi



From Kumta, our next day destination was Hampi. We took the dreaded Ankola-Yellapur-Hubli road before driving on the newly developed 4-lane highway from Hubli to Hampi. That Ankola-Yellapur section was notorious for massive potholes and many have had tyre burst and other issues there. I myself have lost a tyre of my 320d in that very stretch in one of my previous drives. Anticipating such challenging conditions, we had made elaborate plans to tackle the potholes and drive carefully and in coordinated manner.

However, to our pleasant surprise, this road has been fixed well now, and instead of the dreaded potholes, we were greeted by newly laid smooth black tarmac. I loved a fast drive on this new smooth road after painful and slow drives in last few trips. This new development on this road is a great news for our future drives in that area and even drives to Goa.

And from Hubli onward, towards Hampi, it is a newly built 4-lane divided highway. This highway is awesome too. Nice wide divided road with long straight stretches and great visibility for a mile ahead. The only problem is that the road surface is concrete (just like all new highways in India), and that can get a bit noisy and bumpy. My 320d was quite fine and comfortable even on this section, but the more aggressively setup other bimmers in the group were not too happy here. But anyways, keeping aside this minor issue, this road was great and we had a nice fast drive here.

Overall, all the way from Kumta to Hampi, we had a good drive.

We reached Hampi in time for the "Golden Hour Photoshoot" on the backdrops of some of the ancient ruins there.

Group photoshoot in the magical golden hour of Hampi, against the ancient and historic structures:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive16.jpg


The three bimmers (I should say "four-cylinder" bimmers, because a six-cylinder bimmer was parked next is not seen in this frame):
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive12.jpg


Could not resist one more photo of the three bimmers against the ancient temple:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive15.jpg

After this group photoshoot, we took a few solo car photos.

White M330i of @praveenbalan:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive18.jpg


The lovely Audi A6 of @jkrishnakj (by the way, the A6 looks really big next to the other cars):
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive20.jpg


One more photo of the huge and majestic A6:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive21.jpg


The stunning Portimao Blue 330i of @HighRevving with it's even more stunning wheels:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive23.jpg


My own humble steed, the only diesel in the convoy:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive24.jpg


My 320d bathing in the lovely golden sunset light in front of that ancient temple:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive25.jpg


The three powerful modern German machines parked in that historic land of ancient temples:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive26.jpg


Talking about modern German machines, the monster in the group, the only 6-cylinder in the convoy, M340i of @RakishRam:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive29.jpg


Another look at the three lovely sedans parked on that dirt track where otherwise SUVs would be more at home:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive31.jpg


By now it was time for sunset, and we could not resist another round of photoshoot, this time against the setting sun:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive32.jpg


My 320d against the setting sun:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive33.jpg


The monster in the group, BMW M340i, against the magical Hampi sunset:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive38.jpg


And finally, as parting shots, a couple of photos of Robi's Polo GTI against the setting sun:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive43.jpg



6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive44.jpg

Last edited by Dr.AD : 20th February 2024 at 22:08.
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Old 20th February 2024, 20:34   #3
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Sunset at Hampi



No Hampi trip is complete without witnessing the magical sunsets there. I am a regular visitor to Hampi and have been there many times recently. And the sunrises and sunsets there amaze me in every single visit. Hampi has never disappointed me. This time was no exception.

While we were busy in car photoshoot, at the final moments of sun going down, I managed to click a few sunset shots to make this Hampi trip complete!

The magical Hampi sunset:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive37.jpg


Sun going down behind one of the ancient temples:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive39.jpg


Could not resist clicking this sun:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive41.jpg


A parting shot of sunset, one of the best experiences in Hampi:
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-feb2024groupdrive45.jpg


The next morning we drove back to Bangalore. The return drive from Hampi to Bangalore was a routine drive on the well familiar highways. The entire stretch from Hampi to Bangalore is a combination of four-lane and six-lane highways, and is one of the best roads for a brisk drive. It was a quick, short, and uneventful drive back to Bangalore.

Before I wrap up my report, a huge thank you to my driving buddies from this drive. They were a great company that made this drive so memorable. The biggest quality in my driving buddies is that their passion for cars and driving supersedes everything else, and that common passion is what keeps motivating us to do such drives together. We do not fret over road conditions or the quality of hotels and stays. We just love driving and if we get to drive a lot, that more than makes up for any other inconveniences or trivial issues. Thanks again guys!

With that, let me wrap up my report. Everyone in this group drive is a member here, and I would request them to please share their own stories, experiences, and the photos they took in their own posts below.

Thank you for reading this, and looking forward to reading the posts of my friends from this drive.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 20th February 2024 at 22:38.
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Old 20th February 2024, 22:45   #4
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th February 2024, 23:49   #5
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Thank you, AD, for the wonderful trip report as always! Your detailed coverage of all the photos and experiences was fantastic. It was truly an enjoyable time driving with you all. Here are a few random photos from the trip.

It has been a while I took the Polo out on a long drive, it has crossed 60k kms and still feels as good as new.

Quintessential Hampi sunset
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-img_3319.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-img_3330.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-img_3342.jpeg

The group
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-dji_fly_20240217_184508_265_1708263050637_photo.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-img_3230.jpeg

Following the beautiful sedans across a variety of scenery from forests to beaches

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-photo351_singular_display_fullpicture.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-photo297_singular_display_fullpicture.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-img_3245.jpeg

Few drone images from the Kumta resort
6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-dji_fly_20240216_192512_241_1708184698632_photo.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-dji_fly_20240216_193544_261_1708184695322_photo.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-dji_fly_20240216_193216_248_1708184697630_photo.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-dji_fly_20240216_192352_240_1708184698835_photo.jpeg

Cheers!
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Old 21st February 2024, 00:51   #6
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

As usual lovely report and stunning pictures Dr.AD!

Couldn't resist this
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Old 21st February 2024, 05:40   #7
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Lovely!
Hampi is lovely. The cars are gorgeous. These regular drive-o-logues of yours and the photos, are always very enjoyable. I like that you make regular trips and take the trouble to photograph and write about them too. Thatís a really nice trait of yours where the rest of us are just too lackadaisical to make that little extra effort.
Thanks!
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Old 21st February 2024, 09:14   #8
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Nice line up and stunning photo's as usual! "Why not inform the gareeb aadmi yaar"? Can join for such drives!

Cheers
Shrey
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Old 21st February 2024, 11:46   #9
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Thanks Dr. AD and robimahanta - what a lovely start to the day feasting on fantastic pictures (as always) of gorgeous cars and amazing views. And an informative travelogue. Hope to join you folks in the future, if possible.
Agree with Shankar.balan - we all do road trips but it's one thing to travel, it's really something else to stop, capture views /take shots from amazing angles and then write about the trips. Respect for the sheer effort that goes in!

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Old 21st February 2024, 11:46   #10
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

It's a sight to behold to see such lovely machines against those backdrops. Thanks for sharing.
It indeed is the best use of these beast machines when you can do such long drives in 2 nights and enjoy such diverse scenery. You guys are lucky to own one of the finest driving machines I must say.

Was a surprise to see our dear @robimahanta going with his GTI and not his lovely beast M340i. But I am sure the white pocket rocket was equally fun. That thing is surely a sleeper car.

Thanks for sharing all the pics and the travel story guys. Look forward to more.
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Old 21st February 2024, 12:51   #11
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Thank you AD and the entire team who made this drive such a fabulous experience.

Everything was planned to a T and wherever we were ahead of schedule , AD had a backup plan. It is just amazing to see how well he thinks on his feet and makes amendments to the plan; very comforting to know that you can drive at your own pace while being a part of the convoy.

The drive from Bengaluru - Chitradurga was great, with some nice 4 and 6-lane highways allowing us to flex our turbocharged engines. Good fun to accelerate with 4-5 cars and rev the cars at 6,000 RPM at the same time! The Chitradurga - Shimoga stretch wasn't the best the last time I travelled a couple of years ago and avoided from then on; AD suggested we take the road as they are all in great shape now - and as expected, this was a nice two-lane road with good scenic views. We were traversing through this section early morning, so the weather and the views made it even more enjoyable.

Shimoga town was a pain and Sagara was little trouble compared to that; having crossed these two towns, we were on our way to Honnavara. The twisty roads with beautiful surfaces were such a pleasure to drive. Planning the bends and lines, paddle shifting through the gears and steering through one twist after another, was just a joyful experience.

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-image00006-1.jpeg

Since our pro-photographer AD has already shared most of the pictures, I will just leave a couple of pictures from my phone/GoPro stick/drone.

We reached Honnavara by lunch time and found a little restaurant with home-made kind of food. We reached the resort in Kumta post lunch and relaxed the rest of the evening by the beach, having snacks and dinner. The food was surprisingly good and the ambience even better.

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-image00005-1.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-image00004.jpeg

The second day, we started driving to Hampi after breakfast and we already knew the road conditions from Ankola to Hubli. I let the entire convoy go ahead and crawled; having lost tyres in the past to bad roads and even seen wheel damages, I wanted to go slow. Some Classic Rock and nice green pastures and we were in Yellapur. The roads from Yellapur all the way to Hubli were just beautiful, the trees were dry and the traffic was thin, helping us cruise through looking such good terrain. Sometimes I wonder how some people can sit at home all weekend or spend half a day at mall when we have such good places to drive!

We reached Hampi and shot some pictures of our cars and then retired to our respective rooms after a bit of banter, dinner and laughing.

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-image00001.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-image00002.jpeg

6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!-image00003.jpeg

Drove back on Monday at our own pace to reach home by evening. Definitely one of the better weekends and cannot wait for the next one!
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Old 21st February 2024, 13:22   #12
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

As always a great travelogue with photos. A few months back I did a similar trip but in the reverse order and instead of Kumta we stayed in Karwar. The route that we took from Hubali was via Kali Tiger Reserve, it was again a beautiful drive, I wont say butter smooth tarmac but it was not bad also. The USP was there was hardly any traffic. Eagerly waiting to read about your next travel. Thank you, keep on munching miles.
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Old 21st February 2024, 14:18   #13
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Great joy in seeing the cars amidst the lovely ruins. The cars just enhance the scenery for the photographs. The drive must have been great fun looking at the road snaps and from the writeup it is clear you guys had a blast. We are blessed to have these lovely roads around us and you guys made the most of the good cars at hand.

Nice pictures and trip report. Loved reading the experience!
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Old 21st February 2024, 16:32   #14
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Fantastic travelogue as usual Dr.AD! Always looking forward to reading your travel posts. Amazing pics from HighRevving and robimahanta as well. I've been sitting on a Hampi drive from Coimbatore for quite some time now. This really gives me the motivation to grab my car keys!
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Old 21st February 2024, 20:00   #15
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Re: 6 BHPians in 6 Cars Drive across Karnataka!

Dr AD - Thanks for sharing yet another travel exploit with a Near Real-Time Travelogue. Wonderful report, brilliant pictures as usual

Mere mortals are still trying to go out on a breakfast or midnight coffee drive while you have planned detailed drives for almost every weekend.

Kudos to your awesome planning, eye for detail and enthusiasm for travel!
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