Friday, August 27, 2010

Karnataka Road Trip 2010

Hi friends,
This road trip was done during 7th to 12th June 2010 in my Ford Ikon TDCi. Places covered are Bangalore, Mysore and Kemmengundi. My pals Ratna, Sonu and Narendra accompanied me. I’ll keep the log short and simple due to time constraints. Let pictures do the talking.
Pre-Ride: (7th June 2010)
I, Ratna and Sonu started to Bangalore from Guntur at 5.30 pm on 7th June after bidding farewell to my dear Huny over phone as she was at Hyd’bad that time ;-(. Filled up the fuel tank at HP petrol bunk near mirchi-yard. Reached Chilakaluripeta at 6.30pm and picked up Narendra.
Our route was Guntur-Ongole-Nellore-Tirupati-Chittoor-Kolar-Bangalore.

NH-5 was butter smooth and I maintained speeds over 100kmph most of the time.
Had dinner (parota) at a dhaba on Nellore By-pass. Reached Tirupati at around 11.30pm. I was sleepy already having driven over 400km but the urge to reach Bangalore soon, kept my eyes wide open. Next halt was at Chittoor at 1 am on 8th June. Took a 30min break here as I was very tired. I drove till 4.30am and reached Kolar. I was unable to keep my eyes open anymore, so handed over the steering wheel to Sonu and I was fast asleep.

My friend Prudhvi studying MBBS in Bangalore had already booked us a room at The Little Libra Inn at Madiwala in Koramangala, Bangalore. Cost Rs.1500/- per day for the 4 of us. We reached the place at 8.30am and took rest till 11am.
Distance travelled: 650km
Day 1:  (8th June 2010)
Woke up, refreshed and had breakfast (poori and dosa) in a nearby hotel. Did some shopping at Total and Forum Malls till lunch. Also met one of my friends ‘Hema’ who stays in Bangalore. Had a chicken bucket from KFC at Transit, Forum for lunch.
Indoor sports at St.John's Medical College

We started to Nandi Hills at 4pm which was about 60km away under the guidance of Prudhvi but we finally ended up encircling Bangalore several times due to the various construction projects that were going on. So we have wasted 2hrs and decided to continue shopping. Headed to Marathahalli and did a lot of shopping in Brand Factory.
Reached our room at 11pm and had dinner (chapathi with chicken) from a nearby Kerala hotel. Hit the bed immediately as we were all very tired.
Distance travelled: 100 km approx.
 Day 2: (9th June 2010)
Actual plan was to start to Mysore early so that we would return by evening, but things didn’t turn out well with our tired bodies, so it was 10.30am by the time we hit the road. We were guided out of town onto Mysore highway by a friendly ‘andhra’ite.
4 Lane Mysore Highway
Had a disgusting breakfast at a hotel on the way. It took us just 2 hrs. to reach Mysore that was 130km away due to the awesome 4 lane highway. My personal top speed till date was 130kmph on this road.
Also witnessed a gruesome accident of a Maruti Swift (red), I wonder if the family ever made it out safely…??

First we visited the famous Mysore Zoo, abode to many species of animals and birds….Check out the photos.Personally, I felt the animals were very healthy compared to the other zoos I have seen.
Next stop was Wodeyar Palace which was originally built in wood but later re-constructed using concrete as the earlier was burnt down in a huge fire. OMG, the palace is an absolute beauty. One can keep gazing at the artistic work the whole day. Best of the lot was the multi-colored glass dome that shimmered in sun-bathed beauty.
Unfortunately photography was strictly prohibited inside the palace and we had to limit our snaps to the outside. Later I did some shopping for my mom and Huny.

I was invited to dinner by Hema so we started our return journey by 6.30pm and reached our room by 9.30pm, driving was by Sonu as I was sick of driving in the heavy Bangalore traffic. GPS and Nokia Maps did a lot of help here. Freshen up a little and reached her home by 11pm. I had good homemade non-veg food…Thank you Hema. My friends ate in a nearby hotel and waited in car till I returned.
Bid farewell to Hema and her family at 11.30pm and reached our room by 12.30am.
Distance travelled: 300 km approx.
Day 3: (10th June 2010)
Bidding Farewell to Prudhvi
We had to wake up early as the checkout time was 6am OMG.. Stuffed all the luggage in the car and were thinking of the next move sitting in it. Ratna suggested we continue shopping, but the malls would open at 11am and there was a lot of time to be wasted.
Instead I came up with the proposal of driving to Chikmagalur, a hill station about 250km away. Got route details from a friend of Prudhvi and started our journey. Proposed route was Bangalore-Tumkur-etc. Had excellent breakfast at Inchara Family Restaurant on Tumkur Highway. Roads were ok after crossing Bangalore.
We lost our way near Tumkur, so I rang up to one of my acquaintances Karthik Makam from Bangalore, also an active member of the famous Fiat 1100 club. Came to know from him that we were heading in the wrong direction all together. He suggested that we drove to Kemmengundi which was a heavily forested hill station.
Route was Tumkur-Gubbi-Kadur-Arsikere-Kemmengundi. Lunched was skipped so that we could reach the place before dark.
That ghat road had great sceneries surrounding it and every turn was a memorable sight.

Finally reached the place in the evening and booked our room in Dathatri Bhavan for Rs.800/- a day. The view of the forest from our room was very scenic and a sight never to be missed. Sonu and Ratna took rest while I and Narendra climbed a couple of steps to check out rose garden and View point. The sight was awesome and we took oath to come back early in the morning to enjoy the mist.
After an hour of chit-chat, we descended the hill a little to have our dinner. Had veg pulav as nothing else was available. It was quite dark right in the evening, as night falls soon in the jungle. I was busy over the phone while the others were fast asleep.
Blood oozed even after i repeatedly washed my foot
During this time I was bitten by a leech and I was senseless to the bite. Only after it had had its meal did I notice the blood dripping from my foot. Even after washing several times the blood didn’t clot. After a couple failed attempts Ratna finally killed the leech.  Revenge taken….!!! This was my first encounter with a leech.
Distance travelled: 300 km approx.
Day 4: (11th June 2010)
Narendra and me woke up early in the cold morning and visited the view point while Sonu and Ratna were still in slumber. The sounds of insects and birds made in the jungle gave me the creeps. The view of the Bhadra Reservoir and the surrounding hills was magnificent, in fact indescribable.
Look at the mist...Its awesome!!
We took a lot of snaps both in my Nokia 5800 and Handycam HD. The Rose garden was magnificent.

Some macros using my handycam

After the others woke up, we got ready and vacated the room. Had breakfast and started towards Z-point. Vehicles could go only up to a certain point and we had to trek the remaining distance of about 3 km.
Look at the cloud behind
The path is highly risky and any small mistake can cost us our lives. It’s best if elderly people avoid this trek. We were the only people trekking at that early time of the day. Our efforts finally paid off after the exhaustive trek when we reached Z-point. I’m literally speechless to describe the beauty. Guys, everyone should see this place at least once in their lifetime. My GPS showed we were 1356mt. (4450ft) above sea-level.
We were exhausted....!!
Fav pic of all...!!
After our return trek, we started descending the mountain. Ratna and Narendra were interested in the wild jack fruits in the jungle, so I stopped the car for them to get the fruits. Narendra was successful in plucking some fruits but to my horror we were surrounded on all sides my hundreds of leeches. Ratna and Sonu already got a few bites. I quickly got in the car and didn’t allow anyone inside unless they undressed and made sure any leeches were not in their trousers.
In this fuss, Sonu lost his mobile and Narendra’s was run over by our car, later to be found in working condition J.
Finally we started our return journey home, skipped lunch again. We relied solely on Nokia Maps and GPS for navigation as we were in unknown land. Filled the fuel tank at Arsikere.
 Proposed shortest route by GPS was Arsikere-Hosadurga-Chitradurga-Kalyandurga-Atmakur-Ananthapur-Kurnool-Dornala-Vinukonda-Narasraopeta-Guntur. It avoided most of the national highways.
Had lunch at Hosadurga. It was only after crossing Chitradurga towards Kalyandurga we realized what a big blunder we had made. The road shown as a state highway by the GPS was in fact not a road. It was used by lorries plying between the Obulapuram Mines. To describe the road, it took us nearly 30min to do a stretch of 2km. You can now imagine our frustration. My brand new car’s boot was fully loaded and it scraped every pothole and speed-breaker throughout the journey. This stretch also took us through a jungle and we could see snakes, scorpions or wild rabbits crossing the road often.
One word, never do this stretch in a sedan. This is an absolute delight in an SUV.
Distance travelled: 350 km approx.
Post-Ride:  (12th June 2010):
After 6 hrs of frustration to travel a mere 50km we reached Kalyandurga. In addition to this, incessant rains hampered our entire journey. From here roads were smooth till Anantapur. Had biryani at a dhaba. It was almost 1 am by the time we started to Kurnool. I drove for an hour or so and parked the car near a petrol bunk and fell asleep as I was heavily tired. The nap didn’t even last 30min when I was woken up by Ratna to be informed it was raining heavily and we had to cross Kurnool by all means.
Kurnool is a very dangerous city during heavy rains as it gets submerged in waist deep water easily. Some buses were already struck in the water when their engines stalled and couldn’t fire again. We were fortunate to have crossed Kurnool without much problem. It was about 4am in the morning when it rained so heavily that the road was not visible anymore, so we parked the car and took a 1 hr nap.
After I woke up, we started towards Dornala. The ghat road was awesome and went through protected forests.

The ride was smooth and without any problems. From Narasraopeta we took a shortcut to Ch.peta to drop Narendra at his home. Then started to Guntur on NH-5. It was 11am when I finally reached my sweet home.
Distance travelled: 400 km approx.
A few words:
So, finally completed this road trip of 2100km safe and sound. A big hug to my friends for making it a memorable and interesting one. My Ikon TDCi returned an average of 18kmpl.
Prudhvi, for providing with room and guidance in Bangalore.
Hema, for the wonderful dinner.
Karthik Makam, for guiding towards the ‘ever-beautiful’ Kemmengundi.
Mom and Huny, for best wishes for a safe journey.


ratna said...

wonderful trip log, keep posting more dude

sonu said...

great to be a part of this trip

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

good coverage
nice blog

reshma M said...
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snigdha G said...
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