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  1. I had visited the Belur Chennakeshava Temple of Hoyasala period twice earlier and thirst to see the mesmerizing sculptures will never end. When I did a search on Karnataka tourism websites and google, I found many more such heritage temples of Hoyasala era in Karnataka. I made a plan for a week to cover most of Hoyasala Heritage and Chikmagalur also. Initial plan was for self drive but total team went up to 10 and wanted to travel together, so we booked a 12 seater tempo traveler for the trip and total trip was reduced to 5 days. Day 1. Last week of September 2021. Last count of team was only 6. We started at 9.00 PM (Shamshabad ORR Exit) with two breaks of 1.30 Min (0.30 Min Dinner at Jadcherla) (1.00 Hr. driver allowed to sleep near Ananthapur) we reached Lepakshi x Road (Kodi Konda) by 6.00 in the morning. Went up to Bagepalli check post for paying entry tax and reached Haritha Lepakshi by 6.30 Hrs. We had booked 2 rooms in advance for fresh up. Day 2. Though our plan was not to visit Lepakshi temple, we went to visit it after fresh up. We allowed driver to sleep in our room and went by walk. By 10.45 we checked out of the hotel. Had breakfast at Haritha only. Google showing Belur is at 240 Kms and time 5.30 Hrs. We thought of covering Belur temple in the evening as entire road is NH 69 & 73. Drive up to Hidupur was nice on newly laid road. But once we entered Karnataka, roads were bad. Road construction is going on and most of the culverts not completed. One diversion board took us no where and we had to travel through a small village and reach main road. We had lunch at MTRs Family Dhaba near Huliyar. Food and service were excellent. When we decided we will not reach Belur before sunset, we decided to visit two of Hoyasala temples on the way. Road after Huliyar is better. Reached Javagal a small village by 04.30 PM (native of Javagal Srinath, Cricketer). Sri Laxmi Narsimha temple is in the middle of the village. It is a Trikoota temple, built in 13th century. Main temple in middle is Narasimha and left and right are Venugopala and Sridhara (Vishnu). Beautiful sculptures can be seen all around the walls of the temple. A simple laxmi temple is on the left side of main temple. We quickly reached Belavadi after 9 Kms. We were told that the village name in Mahabharatha time was Ekachatrapuram and demon Bhakasura was killed by Bheema to save the village. This temple is very big and it is also a trikoota temple built in 12th century. Main deity is Veeranarayana and other two are Yoga Narsimha and Venugopala. All the statues are very beautiful. Mirror finish lathe cut pillars in the long corridors (Mandapa) of the temple are so beautiful. We had pre booked 4 rooms for 5 days in Mayura Yagachi (KSTDC) near Yagachi Dam, out skirts of Beluru. We reached the hotel by 7.30 and called it a day. To be continued
  2. Best Route from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur : 650 kms Hyderabad --> Kurnool --> Ananthapur --> Hiriyur --> Kadur --> Chikmagalur Route Condition from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur : Hyderabad to Ananthapur - 4 lane toll road, excellent Ananthapur to Chikmagalur - 2 lane road, average Limited food options between Ananthapur to Chikmagalur Best Time to Visit Chikamagalur : August to February Best Restaurants in chikmagalur: Khansamaa Restaurant https://g.page/KHANSAMAACKMRST?share Vishnu Delicacy - Vegetarian Restaurant https://goo.gl/maps/pUGfbyd83DZVPQVm7 Best hotels in Chikmagalur town: Hotel Aadrika Robusta Inn DC comforts Best resorts in Chikmagalur (Luxury): Vismita County Resort Trivik Resort & Hotel The Serai Chikmagalur Java Rain Resort, Chikmagalur Siri Nature roost Home stays in Chikmagalur: Mountainvalley homestay Nexstay coffee grove Day - 1 Start time : 5 : 00 AM Breakfast stop : 7 :00 AM to 7 :30 AM Location : Food Pyramid, Kothakota (Spacious parking, Good Food, Decent Washrooms, Kids Play area) Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/Gha9UJ3A14Zvwa9E8 Fuel Stop : Reliance fuel, Anantapur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/kXvy8D47MFCchpDp7 Coffee break : 12 : 00 PM Location : Chowraasta Cafe and Restaurant, Anantapur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/798wC7JbwH1qNZiZ8 Lunch stop : 2 : 00 PM Location : Garlica Restaurant, Hiriyur Google pin : https://g.page/garlica-restaurant?share Coffee break : 4 : 30 PM Location : Sri Vinayaka Cafe, Kadur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/pGpi9BSuAXfQPYUD Final stop : 7 : 00 PM Day - 2 Places to visit : Kallathigiri Falls Mullayanagiri Babu Budangiri (Datta Peeta) 500 steps to climb, but the views are breath taking Day - 3 Places to visit : Ayyankere Lake Hebbe Falls (Private Jeep has to be hired which are available at the location, it will cost around 800/- for 4 people) Kemmangundi Coffee Museum (20 INR per head - Operates between 10 : 00 AM to 1 : 00 PM and 2 : 30 PM to 5 : 00 PM) Day - 4 Start back to Hyderabad Start time : 5 : 00 AM Breakfast Stop : 7: 30 AM Location : Udaya family restuarent, Hiriyur Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/QDLnPwAKu8v2cuJk6 Lunch stop : 12 : 30 PM Location : Garlica Ananthapur Google pin : https://g.page/garlica-restaurant?share Coffee break : 5 : 00 PM Location : Food Pyramid Google pin : https://goo.gl/maps/Gha9UJ3A14Zvwa9E8 Reach Hyderabad: 7 : 30 to 8 : 00 PM Note: Additional Day-5 for Kudremukh
  3. 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] 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. December 18th, 2020 Hyderabad -> Doddaballapur We started from Hyderabad around 10AM, Since we had a infant it is not possible to start early. We prepared the lunch at home, So we halted on highway side to had home prepared lunch. Around 5pm we reached Anantapur Iskon, we had darshan and took few photographs. 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. 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. 3PM we reached to Belur and had Darshan. 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: 2PM It's lunch time, We had a beautiful lunch in middle of nature. of course we left no traces of trash. 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. 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. 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. Few pics from home stay. 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. Reached palace around 3.30 PM 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 ­čĄú] Visited the Temple. 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. Near fort back side we stopped near a temple for bath and food preparation. We used our dress changing tent as shower room. 2 PM Done with Gandikota and moved towards Belum caves. 5 PM Reached Yaganti, Very peaceful location. We reached this place via Banaganapalli. 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. 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: ODO: Happy Ending
  4. After staying abroad for five years. I decided to come back to India for good. Reason for the drive? You will find out soon.. ? Top three places to visit in Chikmagalur: 1. Mullayangiri 2. Baba Budangiri 3. Jehri waterfalls Route 1: Best route from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur Hyderabad --> Kurnool --> Ananthapur --> Doddaballapura --> Visveswarapura--> Hassan --> Chikmagalur ´╗┐ Hyderabad to Doddaballapura : Excellent 4-lane toll road Doddaballapura to Visveswarapura : Single road, road condition is average, but helps in avoiding Bangalore traffic. You can skip Banaglore traffic using this bypass. Visveswarapura to Hassan : Excellent 4-lane toll road Hassan to Chikmagalur : Single road, road condition is excellent. It took us around 13 hour to cover this route, while coming back from Chikmagalur to Hyderabad.´╗┐ Route 2: Worst route from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur Hyderabad --> Kurnool --> Ananthapur --> Challakere ´╗┐--> Hiriyur --> Chikmagalur´╗┐´╗┐ We took this route, while going from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur, just to check the status. It is a bad decision. Roads are very bad once you divert from Ananthapur. There are some mud tracks. Too many diversions. No proper dhabas. No proper fuel options. Avoid this route at any cost. Hyderabad to Chikmagalur four days road trip plan and hotel details: Day 1: Hyderabad to Chikmagalur town Accommodation in Chikmagalur town On day 1, it is better to take accommodation in the Chikmagalur town. Reason? Accommodations are cheap and good in the town. By the time you reach Chikmagalur it will be evening, it is better to stay in town. Most of the sight seeing spots are under 40~50 kilometres from the Chikmagalur town. Accommodation : Name : Hotel Blue Perl Chikmagalur Price : 2.5k per day (3 pax) Hotel Rating : 5/5 New construction Car parking is avilable Rooms are modern and neat Gobibo url Day 2: Chikmagalur town to Mulyangiri Mulyangiri is a must visit place in Chikmagalur, it is the highest peak in Karnataka. It is around 20 kilometres from town. Roads are little tricky but, it is accessible by all cars. Dedicated car parking available 200 steps from the parking, need to some energy to climb. Carry water and don't litter. There is temple at the hill top, with beautiful view. Weather can be spoil sport, some time visibility is almost zero and some times it is clear. Luckily we experienced both Accommodation : Name : Kuteer home stay Price : 14k per day (6 pax) Food : 4k per day (6 pax) (Includes: Bonfire,Lunch, Evening snacks, Dinner and breakfast) Hotel Rating : 4.5/5 Food : Only vegetarian, but the quality is good, would rate 5/5 Location is tough to reach, low GC cars will have tough time. But they have jeep facility (for less experienced drivers better to take jeep and park the car at the parking) Resort is very isolated better to visit only in group. View from the resort is best. They have two villas, each villa can accommodate around 10 members. Staff is very supportive. Carry all the stuff along with you, there are no shops/hotels around the resort. You can carry your own liquor but it is tricky if you get caught at the forest check-post. Forest check-post is present at the entrance of the hill section, they check the cars randomly. For booking you can call the resort owner. You need to do the full/advance payment while booking. Issues? Too many insects, but it is expected when we say in the nature. Day 3 Jahari waterfalls, it is around 2 kilomters from the home stay. You can visit this place in home stay jeep. 4x4 territory, don't attempt in your own car. Since we stay very close to waterfalls, we reached the place early. It is completely empty, not even a single person is present. Baba Budangiri is a must visit place. Once you enter Baba Budangiri road drive till the end point, i.e Manikyadhara waterfalls. There are multiple view points. Accommodation : Same as above Day 4 : Drive from Chikmagalur to Hyderabad. It took us around 13 hours. We started around 9AM and we reached home around 10PM. We also tried the famous Kothakota chicken, food is strictly average. Total trip cost (6 members) Accommodation : 5k(day 1) + 14k(day 2) + 14k(day 3) = 33k Fuel : 11kmpl (1600 kilometres) = 10k Food : 3k(day 1) + 4k (day 2)+ 4k (day 3) + 4k (day 4) = 19k Picture credits: @Ranger
  5. I'm planning a 9 days road trip along with my wife. I have these places in my mind but not sure that the days are sufficient to travel these distance and explore the places. We are planning a stay at Dandeli for 1 or 2 days, & at Goa for another 1 or 2 Days. Your suggestions and feedback will be very helpful. I'm driving a Volkswagen polo 1.2 comfortline. Dhoodsagar & Jog falls are the few place,s I'm looking to explore on the way. Thank you.
  6. "Lost and alone on some forgotten highway - Travelled by many, remembered by few" Every December, it has become a ritual for us to go an long drive over 4000 kilometers. This year after multiple discussions and drop outs, every one agreed to drive down South. For me it is always the drive that matters and I was never particular about the destination. No matter where we go, our ultimate goal is to end up in Goa to celebrate new year. Day 1: Hyderabad to Chickmagaluru Day 2: Chickmagaluru local sight seeing Day 3: Chickmagaluru to Gokarna to Goa Day 4 : Goa Day 5 : Goa Day 6 : Goa to Hyderabad. We split into two teams in two cars. Creta and Polo.
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