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Summary:

Hyderabad -> Chikmagalur -> Mysore -> Lepakshi -> Gandikota -> Ahobilam -> Hyderabad

 

Please forgive for not mentioning much about roads, I can say all roads are easily doable in this trip.

KMS: 2326.8

Cars:

Ecosport

Kwid AMT

 

Members: 8 Adults and 1 Kid

 

Budget: [Ecosport + Kwid]

 

Fuel + Toll : 24,000

Hotel + Home Stay : 8,000

Before trip Grocery Shopping: 5,000

Extra: 4000 

 

Total : 41,000

Exactly what we spent from our pocket.

 

Let's start with the planning

It is December 2nd, everyone in my family vexed with lock down effect, So we decided to go for outing. But still Covid-19 is not completely disappeared. So we initially thought to go near by places for 2-3 days, because 8 months old daughter also with me.

But no one interested for short trip, they are asking for at least one week trip. But at the same time we are not ready to eat out and staying in hotels. So we bought camping tents from decathlon and bought a small HP cylinder for cooking. [We minimized hotel stay and completely avoided hotel food]

 

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In my family, I am the only one who used camping tents, So I teached my family members to pitch the tents. So now we are ready with accommodation and food arrangements. We decided to start on Dec 18th, After one week My friend and his family also wants to join with us. Since they had their own cars, I don't have any problem.

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December 18th, 2020

Hyderabad -> Doddaballapur

We started from Hyderabad around 10AM, Since we had a infant it is not possible to start early.

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We prepared the lunch at home, So we halted on highway side to had home prepared lunch.

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Around 5pm we reached Anantapur Iskon, we had darshan and took few photographs.

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 My initial plan was to reach Halibedu by 19th 9AM. It is total 800 KM journey, So we decided to camp near Doddaballapur, So we pitched our tents in a local temple, Which had tap water and clean surroundings. We prepared the food at temple and had it.

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December 19th, 2020

 

Doddaballapur -> Halibedu -> Belur -> Chikmagalur

We woke up early and done with nature things, and started from Doddaballapur to Halibedu.

10AM

We booked the KSTDC room in Halibedu for ladies fresh up. So after fresh up we went for temple darshan. We completed entire thing by 2PM, After that we prepared our lunch. After some rest we moved towards Belur temple.

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3PM

we reached to Belur and had Darshan.

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9PM

After that we moved to Chikmagalur town and stayed in I-Palace hotel, decent one, We booked 3 rooms with kitchen but they refused to cook inside due to Covid. But I requested them Since I had a daughter I can't eat outside, So silently they allowed us to cook inside.

 

From here onwards My friend's family also joined with us.

 

December 20th, 2020

Chikmagalur -> Forest

7AM

We prepared our breakfast and had it early and moved to Hirekolale Lake, we spent there for some good amount of time and took the pics of family and individual. 

 

My family:IMG-20201223-WA0152.jpg.eed73d698a0f40d2a75994b0ddc1fbec.jpg

 

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2PM

It's lunch time, We had a beautiful lunch in middle of nature. of course we left no traces of trash.

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4PM

We went to Mullayangiri, On the way to it my brother car's silencer hit by a stone, due to that clamps got broken and it is touching the road, Just we are away from 200 meters from main road, But no signs of mechanic, So we stopped all our cars helped to fit it. 

 

Meanwhile my daughter enjoyed a lot while repairing the car silencer.

 

Reached to Mullayangiri, everyone enjoyed on their own. So no hurry, Since after this we don't have any plan.

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8PM

Reached home stay and prepared dinner and had it with favorite barbeque along with vodka.

 

December 21st, 2020

Forest

 

Due to Covid situations, we are not roaming much, So just we covered famous places.

second day of Chikmagalur, we started towards baba budangiri. I am not explaining much about the place.

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We prepared the lunch near lake and had it, We returned to home stay after sunset. We packed everything, next day morning we are leaving the forest, My friend family going to mangulur and we are going to Mysore.

 

FewIMG20201222095928.jpg.a9ad684229cc032b93e0105e164c08e4.jpg pics from home stay. IMG-20201223-WA0057.jpg.70680b625c921323602109405775964c.jpg

 

December 22nd, 2020

Chikmagalur -> Mysore -> Bangalore

 

After a good bye, we started our journey towards Mysore.

We skipped the breakfast and decided to cook some where after crossing town.

 

1 PM

We prepared the food and started to Mysore after some rest.

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Reached palace around 3.30 PM

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After palace visit, started to Bangalore to stay in friend apartment. Reached Bangalore by 9PM. Took the complete rest. No cooking.. No Camping...

 

December 23rd, 2020

Bangalore -> Lepakshi -> Gandikota

 

We started our day after my office call, So we crossed city by 11AM, we had the breakfast in bangalore apartment and packed food for lunch.

 

Just before Lepakshi we stopped for lunch. [with some office work 🤣]

 

 

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Visited the Temple.

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By 5PM we finished Lepakshi and started towards Gandikota. This time we took the rural roads and faced lot of issues, We reached the spot by 11PM and pitched our tents for sleep.

 

December 24th, 2020

Gandikota -> Belum Caves -> Yaganti

 

Wow, we woke up early to witness the beauty of Gandikota and we captured some beautiful pics. 

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Near fort back side we stopped near a temple for bath and food preparation. We used our dress changing tent as shower room.

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2 PM

Done with Gandikota and moved towards Belum caves.

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5 PM

Reached Yaganti, Very peaceful location. We reached this place via Banaganapalli.

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8 PM

We pitched our tents near to Ahobilam and prepared food, Just once re-capped our trip, and believe me no one is tired and everyone wants to go another trip soon.

 

December 25th, 2020

Ahobilam -> Hyderabad

We know one day is not enough to cover the Ahobilam, but this is our 8th day, So as per my mom sentiments we should reach the home on 8th day, otherwise we need to wait for 10th day.

So we woke up early, and started visiting temples one by one. we covered 5-6 temples.

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6 PM

Final episode of our trip, with lot of memories we started our journey towards Hyderabad. This trip will be remembered forever, Because this is my daughter's first trip in her life.

 

So we reached Hyderabad by 11.30 PM.

 

Travelled total 2327 KM in 8 days.

Plan:

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ODO:IMG20201226085636.jpg.57c4fba7be4930cc5216694db0dfe2d9.jpg

 

Happy Ending

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Guest Jai

That is a nice plan and trip.

 

What precautions you took while camping?

 

Is camping safe in India! when we have ladies with us?

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13 hours ago, Guest Jai said:

That is a nice plan and trip.

 

What precautions you took while camping?

 

Is camping safe in India! when we have ladies with us?

 

Yeah, Let me explain this.

**These are purely my personal opinion from my experience.

 

Precautions:

  1. Usually I stop my driving before sunset, So that it will be easy to identify the camping site, Mostly I prefer Temples as camping sites. 
  2. I always carry two charging lights, We park our vehicles around the tents.

Safety:

  1. When we are only boys, It is almost safe to camp anywhere.
  2. When we have ladies with us, Camping should be done in group, at-least > 5
  3. Yes, South India is safe for camping, [I did not camped in north, So no idea].
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      e.       Had lunch at Lions point with some food we packed and fritters we bought at the stalls as there are no proper restaurants.
      f.        Returned to hotel and we tried to discover a lake very close to our hotel and it was very peaceful. Tourists were handful at this lake, and we can easily camp if we wanted to. Too many lakes around Pune & Lonavala.
      g.       Called it off a day and finished Dinner at in-house restaurant.
       
      Lonavala Valley Point:
       

       
      Bhor Dam:
       

       
      Day 4, Lonavala > Mahabaleswar (Lingmala Waterfall, Venna lake):
       
      a.       Checked out hotel after having breakfast and Started to Mahabaleswar around 9AM. Took the spectacular Mumbai-Pune expressway and I clocked ~120 KMPH easily.
      b.       Paid toll around 200 INR and got off expressway after reaching Pune outskirts. Took Pune Bangalore NH48 road till WAI Junction and this road is good except few patches with diversions and road widening. Took a right turn to Mahabaleswar – Pachgani road at WAI Junction and after crossing WAI town, road is all across ghats. Followed google maps all the way and no issues in reaching destination.
      c.       One major tunnel on NH48 “Katraj Tunnel” which is nearly 1KM.
      d.       Checked in @Treebo hotel and finished off lunch at some random roadside restaurant.
      e.       Post lunch visited to a waterfall close by hotel. Bit of trekking downhill to reach the fall. It was a small water fall but very peaceful and not crowded at all.
      f.        Headed to Pawna lake and this place was heavily crowded for boating enthusiasts and seemed like most happening spot of Mahabaleswar. There are many roadside stalls for street food and other amusement options. Lot of horses to take a ride in whatever speed we wish 😊
      g.       Temperatures were low in Mahabaleswar when compared to Lonavala, Pune.
      h.       Had to pay couple of 100 INR at panchgani and mahabaleswar entrance for respective municipalities.
       
      Venna Lake :
       

       

       
      Treebo Cottage Mahabaleswar:
       

       
      NH48 (Can't picture how this would look like when it's pouring) :
       

       
      Day 5, Mahabaleswar > Pune:
       
      a.       Checked out hotel at 11 AM and reached Kates point and Arthurs point. Kates point was wonderful and one of the best viewpoints I’ve ever witnessed.
      b.       Had lunch and started my drive to Pune around 3PM.
      c.       Reached Pune by 8 PM with some pitstops/bio-breaks.
       
      Kates Point (not the best picture):
       

       

       
      Mahabaleswar hotspots:
       

       
      Day 6, 7, 8 –Novotel (new year celebrations and bidding bye to awful 2020 )
       
      a.       We spent our time leisurely at hotel and Goofing around Pune streets.
      b.       Been to FC road for shopping, Dagdushet temple and Shaniwar wada palace.
       
      Kolhapuri Pomfret @ The Square Novotel:
       

       
      In Room Dine-in is now trending due to Covid  :
       

       
       

       

       
      Last Day of Trip (Pune > Hyderabad):
       
      We checked out from hotel and started to Hyderabad at 2 pm after having lunch. Followed the same route back home and we are sad that our trip ended so soon  . Reached home by 2am next day. Had Dinner @ Dhaba few KM's before reaching Solapur and couldn't recall the name but it was decent, very big with some kids play arena as well.
       
      Key take aways on overall trip:
       
      1) Dec is good to travel this places but I bet it would be excellent to visit these places when it's pouring @monsoons, can't picture how magnificent it would look like and how it feels to drive across lush green hills.
       
      2) Mahabaleswar wasn't in my plan actually and we added it on the fly when we were in Lonavala. If we had Mahabaleswar in our plan, we would have followed bit different itinerary, may be directly going to mahabaleswar from Hyderabad and then going to pune, lonavala from here. We had Lavasa, Bhatgar Dam etc., places but skipped those and added Mahabaleswar on the fly.
       
      3) I personally felt, Mahabaleswar has a lot to offer and a must visit place.
       
      4) There are many places around Pune and time would never be enough to cover those.
       
      5) One doesn't need these many days to do this trip but I had time so I spent them leisurely.
       
      Hope this helps!!
       
      Please let me know for any queries. Happy Road Tripping.
       
      Below are few other pictures:
       
      Lions Point (not the best picture):
       

       

       
      Mahabaleswar - Panchagani Ghat road:
       

       
      Inside random tunnel:
       

       
      Enroute Mahabaleswar - WAI Junction:
       

       
      Katraj Tunnel extending around 1 KM @ NH 48 Pune Bangalore Highway:
       

       
      Enroute Khandala & Lonavala Valley Points:
       

       
      Tunnel Ahead 700M:
       

    • By JRD
      Namaskaram,
       
      Planned a road trip (Bike Ride - RE Classic) from Hyderabad - > Bangalore -> Coimbatore -> Ooty;
       
      What am I trying to find?
      1. A good conditioned, beautiful route for my ride.
      2. Best views & places.
       
      Details:
      Bike: RE Classic 350
      Start Date: December 22nd- 2020
      End Date: December 28th-2020
      Planned Stops (Which I can change based on your valuable suggestions): Bangalore (Max 6 Hours Stay at Hotel) -> Coimbatore -> Ooty.
       
      Please suggest. 
       
      Pranamam,
      Janaki Rajesh Duvvuri.
    • By SK01
      Total Distance Travelled: 160kms up & down.
      Time Taken: 7.5 hrs.
      Road Condition: Excellent.
      Vehicle: Ford Freestyle Titanium 1.5 TDCi.
      Route: Gannavaram – Prakasam Barrage – Gollapudi – Lanco Circle – Kondapalli village – Lanco Circle – VGA – HYD NH – Kondapalli forest ghat – Kondapalli fort – HYD – VGA NH – Mulapadu village – Mulapadu Butterfly Park.
       

       
      It was the 28th day of August. More than 6 months locked in our homes. Yes, the lockdown has been lifted. But the virus is till there.
      Three visits to my hometown, Rajahmahendravaram / Dowaleswaram and Ramachandrapuram but the itch to explore a place and drive to a beautiful forest where I and my Ford always love spending time was still there.

       
      I was at Vijayawada, the city my father is currently working as a DGM at AAI. Never been to any nearby place but always heard about the place Kondapalli. Though visiting my all-time favorite Maredumilli forest, Pamuleru Vagu the 3rd time was my initial plan, couldn’t convince my parents since we were planning to Hyderabad very soon.  So, What next? Just a quick check on the route from VGA-Kondapalli opening Google Maps and checking the best viewpoint using Google Earth.  
       
       
       
      The next day, it was 29th of August.
      Gannavaram – Kondapalli village – Kondapalli fort via Kondapalli forest.

      We had a delicious lunch at home in Gannavaram, checked my newly fitted Hella Comet 500 and a gentle press on the push start button depressing the clutch, my Ford 1.5 TDCi roared to life.
       
      It took us 2hrs to reach Kondapalli village which is 45kms away from my house at Gannavaram. It was 3.07PM and we quickly stopped at Kondapalli toys store to gift a nice Kondapalli toy to our family doc and did a quick shopping for our newly renovated house at Hyderabad.

       
      While my parents were busy shopping at the store, I had a quick look inside the store, wondered at the beauty of our native Telugu artisans work and then it was time for me to have a look at the Gmaps for further planning.
      A short drive to the other side of the hill, we in no time entered Kondapalli Forest ghat. What a feeling! Driving on the ghats after almost a year. Maredumilli being the last.

      It’s a 6.9km drive through the forest ghat road and it took us almost 20mins to reach to the Fort after a good drive on the extremely narrow and scenic ghat road. The road condition was excellent. Doordarshan TV towers situated at the top of the hill is a major advantage and the only reason for the best road condition.
      We spent a good 1.5hrs time at Kondapalli forest. While my parents were busy exploring the fort,

       
      I was double busy exploring the forest and clicking some beautiful pictures of my mile muncher Ford

      and enjoying the views

      sipping a chilled sprite in the hot afternoon. 

      It was 5.15 in the evening, it’s getting dark and we were already getting late to catch-up for our last leg of journey, drive through the Mulapadu forest road in the return leg to home. We hopped into our car after sipping hot tea and at a small shop near the fort  feeling sad looking at the beauty being littered by some people.
       
      Kondapalli fort - Mulapadu forest – Gannavaram via Mulapadu forest road.

      (ONE NEEDS TO TAKE THE MULAPADU-GADDAMANUGU ROAD TO VISIT BUTTERFLY PARK AND FOREST WHICH IS NOT SHOWN IN GOOGLE MAPS)
       
      We started at 5.45 Pm at Kondapalli fort, a good downhill drive covering the entire 6.9kms but this time in 30mins avoiding all the idiotic bikers ricing on rice bikes and Activas, we reached the VGA-HYD NH with a small scratch on the rear right door caused by an old man speeding in his Dzire without even honking on a curve. “Be gentle on my curves” must be followed everywhere!

      We reached Mulapadu village and the time was already 6.15PM,

      seeing no chance of driving through the Mulapadu forest road to Gannavaram which was the original plan since it was already dark and the road was full of truck traffic, I settled for a few pictures near the Mulapadu Butterfly Park arch

      and Mulapadu forest entry, bought some beautiful plants in the nearby nursery, bid goodbye to the beautiful place looking at the forest road entry

      planning in my mind to execute the incomplete final leg of journey all alone, we drove back to Gannavaram. I know the story is incomplete unfortunately. But hopefully I’ll be back really soon with a part 2. Until then,
      Drive Safe, Stay Safe.

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