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  1. Hello , I'm planning a trip from Hyderabad to Leh Ladakh on road in Swift Dezire. I'm planning to go in May,2018. Tell me the best route available on road and a road my car can handle. And travelling in may is good idea?(Being a student that is the only time I get to travel) How long drive should we drive maximum (in hours and distance wise)? Things to carry? And tell me the road which worth travelling (something else to watch). Guide me through a plan where we can have the best days in our life ! Thankyou.
  2. We usually reserve last week of year for travel exploration. To Visit Hampi in Karnataka was in my travel bucket list for a long time. So decided to explore Hampi during last week of Dec 2022. This blog will mainly focus on does, don’ts, road conditions and effective planning. Hampi is one of the most scenic ancient UNESCO Heritage Sites in India. Situated in Karnataka by the banks of Tungabhadra River, Hampi houses numerous ruins dating back to the Vijayanagar empire dating back to 1500 CE. In this post I will sketch a rough trail for you to explore Hampi. This guide is designed keeping in mind the standard 2 to 3-day Hampi itinerary. However, if you have only 2 days in Hampi, just skip crossing the other side of the river or visiting Daroji bear sanctuary where sloth bears live. Below are few details to note Car used: Baleno Zeta CVT Total KM travelled: 1000, so petrol cost was around Rs. 6000 Toll tax: around Rs. 800 Food cost: around 2000 as we explored road side famous eateries. Photos & Videos taken with: Smartphone One Plus 9, Canon DSLR 1300d (18-55 mm & 55-250 mm lens), Insta360 One RS. Accommodation cost: Nil as we stayed with our relative. There are 2 routes to reach Hampi from Hyderabad. One via Raichur and other via Kurnool. There were different thoughts provided by my travel friends on these routes. But I selected Raichur route (this is also suggested by my nephew Sagar). Road conditions Hyderabad – Mahbubnagar – Raichur: good 2 lane roads. Be careful about traffic. Raichur – Sindhanur – Gangavathi – Hospet: 2 lane roads with few bad patches. We started from my home around 6 am. I was given advice that after Mahbubnagar there will not be any good hotels. Hence, we took breakfast at Mahbubnagar to a roadside stall. Taste was good. Then we took lunch break to an Udupi hotel in Sindhanur. We reached to our relative’s house in hospet by around 4 PM. Usually this journey can be possible in 8 hours. 2 extra hours consumed by my kid and photography. We decided to take rest as we were exhausted. ORR Somewhere on the way to Raichur Partner enjoying drive I would like to give special thanks to my nephew Sagar. He belongs to hospet and knows area very well. He accompanies us for 2 days and helped us exploring Hampi in planned manner. As he was with us, we explored Hampi with him and in my car. We have not hired any guide and local transport. With Sagar Hampi ruins divided into Clusters! Before you begin to explore Hampi, get your hands on an illustrated map of Hampi. There are 3 clusters of ruins in Hampi. 1. Urban ruins cluster (King’s palace, queen’s palaces, Queen bath etc) 2. Sacred clusters (Multiple temple complexes) 3. Riverside ruins (more temples now steeped deep inside the riverbed of Tungabhadra) Apart from this, Hampi is divided by Tungabhadra River. the other bank of Tungabhadra is also known as Anegundi or Hampi island. Please note, to explore all the ruins of Hampi and “See it all”, you need to allow at least 2 to 3 hours at each ruin cluster. The more the merrier. You should ideally be looking at the temple, wall inscriptions, the remnants of ruins. Sometimes, there are temples underground! Apart from the Hampi ruins some of the best things to do in Hampi are: - Watch ethereal sunsets of Hampi. The Sunset scenes in Hampi are often held as the best sunsets in Asia. We witnessed sunset at Tungabhadra Dam. - Explore nature in the nearby villages of Hampi. Paddy fields, sunflower fields, lakes, all essential constituents of an idyllic peaceful life. - Visit the Daroji bear sanctuary to see the sloth bears who once used to thrive in the caves and ruins of Hampi. Kids will enjoy it. - Indulge in rock climbing session (only applicable for the dry months). There are many monolith boulders in Hampi, remnant of a very old hill range. Rock climbing gears are available in Hampi for renting as well. - Photography: If you love taking pictures, Hampi will win your heart. people are eager to pose. Nature is beautiful. And the ancient temples are mind-boggling! Keep your camera handy and climb up a hill by the end of the day for those great sunset shots. Sunset usually happens in Hampi at around 6:30 pm. - Birding in Hampi (more than 150 species of birds are recorded here) - Drive to Tungabhadra dam, especially if you are traveling to Hampi during monsoon You need to plan your sightseeing in Hampi well if you want to have your fill of everything or I would rather say almost everything as a single visit will fail to leave you satiated. As such you need to set aside a minimum of three days if you want to cover almost all the travel spots. There are several options to carry on your sightseeing. If you are a practiced walker then you can cover the area on foot. Go equipped with water, a hat, apply some sunscreen and explore to your heart’s content. You can also hire a bicycle or a moped for the day. You will need to offer something as a security to the owner. The third option is to hire an auto-rickshaw for the entire day or on a personal basis. Tours are also organized by bus operators as a feature of their larger package. However, in all cases do not forget to hire a guide as he alone will be able to recreate the magic of the past. Authorized guides are available who will take you around and explain the importance and history of the places. They will add some spice to the story sometimes, but it is still nice to listen to their explanation which brings the grandeur and royalty of the place alive. They will charge around INR 1500-2000 and remember you can negotiate with them and find a mutually beneficial plan. Day one in Hampi Explore the old ruins of Urban cluster and Vittala temple. Sunrise from Anjeyanadri hill. Start early. Based on Sagar’s advice we decided to drive towards Anjeyanadri hills (birthplace of lord Hanuman) we reached this location by 6:30 am. Anjeyanadri Hill is an interesting destination to explore in Hampi. The hill is famous as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, the monkey god of Hindus. It is located at about 5 km from the historical site of Hampi. The hill has a unique charm, and the natural beauty of the surroundings attracts a lot of visitors to the site. The place is also a well-known pilgrimage center of the Hindus. Hampi group of monuments are open from sunrise until sunset, from 6 in the morning till 6 at night. Add to that, photographing the temple ruins is a very sweet deal when performed in the mellow light of early morning! Cross the king’s gate and visit the riverbank. You will be greeted with various nameless ruins and tall standing rocks. the famed boulders of Hampi. The decaying old hillocks are now shaped like these profound rocks. Hampi rocks found a way in mythology as well. They are supposed to be the rocks used in the kill-fight between Bali and Sugreev in the epic Ramayana! On the road, rural Indian life unfolds in serendipitous ways. Cows and oxen enjoy a leisurely walk. Locals occupy the courtyard of a huge temple complex. The temples may look ruined, but they are very much in use by the locals on certain occasions, especially the ones off tourist trails. Though it is good to note that Hampi was never inhabited by humans after the fall of Vijayanagara empire. We took breakfast at Anjeyanadri hills parking. This place has no entry fees. Parking charges were Rs. 10. This is being hill; you need to climb it. It will take average 30 min to reach at top. Climb is easy. We then Proceed towards the Shree Vijaya Vittala temple. This place has entry fees of Rs 40 for adults and kids below 15 years are free. Parking charges were Rs. 30. With this entry ticket you need not to purchase tickets at other monuments area entry point. Vitthala temple is the epicenter of the ruined town with a huge temple complex. It is dedicated to the lord Vitthala (Lord Vishnu’s another form) and is known for its unmatched marvelous architecture, famous stone chariot and mysterious musical pillars. Which now features in the Rs 50 Indian currency note, The best way to reach Vitthala temple will be through Tungbhadra riverside trek Path. The path has many shrines, carved artefacts, boulders, and ruins of ancient structures and goes along-side the river. It will be a serene walk of around 2 km. We have not opted this route due to sunny day and kid is not cooperating The temple complex of Vijaya Vittala is huge! There are many buildings, and it is a 2 km walk from the gate. Hop on to the electric tuk tuk run by the women of the local community and pay a meager Rs 20 for the ride. This is the most famous temple in Hampi. Vijaya Vittala attracts loads of visitors, local and tourists alike. If you are keen on photography, visit Vittala Vijaya at the wee hours of the day and shoot sunrise. It is open from 6 am. Urban ruins of Hampi Check out the ruins of palaces of monuments once used by the kings and the queens! Please note, the temples of Hampi remain closed to visitors during lunch hours. This time can be spent at the urban complex. We utilized lunch hours for our lunch. After lunch we visited Hampi Archeological Museum. We spent some time here educating kids about Hampi. After Archeological Museum we headed towards the queen’s bath, the step well, the elephant stable, lotus temple, zenana enclosure, the mahanavami dibba one by one. The urban ruins did not undergo massive destruction as the religious monuments of Hampi. Just the trunk of the stone elephants was chopped off. The lotus mahal stands as an epitome of Indo-islamic architecture, with curved arches on the tip of the tall pillars. The area has green grass carpet befitting for a temporary seat. You can rest and walk again. In the evening we headed towards Virupaksha temple Virupaksha temple is one of the oldest functioning temples in India and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is the main center of pilgrimage in Hampi. Given the religious importance, the temple gets really crowded during the day with thousands of pilgrims across India. I will recommend you reach the temple around 7-8 am in the morning. During that time, you can also see the morning aarti and the elephant named “Lakshmi” walking towards the river for her daily bath. Virupaksha temple has no entry fees, and it is adjacent to the Hampi Bazaar. Day two in Hampi: an offbeat wildlife destination & coracle ride adds to the old ruins! Explore the riverside ruins, enjoy coracle ride, pay a visit to the Daroji bear sanctuary and in evening enjoy Tungabhadra Dam On the second day of the Hampi itinerary, you can finish off visiting the sacred ruins and aim for visiting a bear sanctuary close-by. We started from Sagar’s home by 8 am and reached coracle boat ride point. Coracle boat ride is must for every visitor. Boat owner charges around Rs. 500 per person. Coracles, also known as Dongis sometimes, are round boats traditionally used to ferry people and livestock across rivers. They have been used in many parts of Asia such as India and Vietnam as well as in parts of Europe such as Wales and Ireland. The name “coracle” actually comes from the original Welsh word for the boat, “cwrwgl”. As you glide through the waters, you will notice several rock-cut temples on your sides. Perched atop boulders or carved into caves, these temples make a pretty sight. Coracles are available between 6 am – 6 pm every day of the week. It was one of the lifetime experiences. In the evening we travelled towards Tungabhadra Dam. At the Hilltop watchtower that offer panoramic views of the dam backwaters. The sunset looks great on the dam water. Take the bus service available from parking to take you to the top bus service provided by the administration to reach top sunset point (private vehicles are not allowed). The buses are quite small and so on holidays, you may need to wait in a queue to get your chance. it will cost you INR 20 for Adult and INR 10 for Children for 3.5 KM journey. If you have a lot of time and the strength with you and you like to do adventure you can climb the steps and reach the top. By bus, it takes around 10 minutes. If you walk, it’d take around an hour. It is advisable to opt Bus service otherwise you will find it difficult to climb the top of the hill from where you will have a nice panoramic view of the entire Dam site. Musical fountain Show starts in evening around 7:00 PM lasts about 20 Min every day. There is a light and sound show at 6:45 PM. Photography allowed Videography with bigger cameras is not allowed. We explored major attraction within 2 days. Hence on 3rd day travel back to Hyderabad. It was total 4 days of trip. 2 days for travel & 2 days for exploration. RECOMMENDED PLACES TO VISIT IN HAMPI As mentioned above, the Sacred Centre of Hampi includes several temples that are all must-visit sites. Before embarking on your temple journey, however, remember that the temples remain closed for visitors between 12.30 pm and 2 pm. This will help you to plan your sightseeing accordingly. Most of the Hampi temples provide for free entry though some may charge a nominal fee for phones or cameras. Following is a brief on a few of them. TEMPLES & STATUES- HAMPI’S PAST GLORY 1. Virupaksha Temple: This is the only religious site where rituals are still carried on today. One of the largest and oldest structures this edifice stands tall at a height of nine stories with its impressive golden tower capping the top. Lord Shiva is the main deity of this temple. 2. King's Balance: Remember all those fanciful tales of Kings weighing themselves with gems, rubies and gold? Well, it's at Hampi where they seem to take on life with King's Balance being one such pleasant affirmation. 3. The Stone Chariot: A huge chariot in stone with intricate carvings adds to the beauty of the Vithala temple. One of the three chariots found in India, this one leaves you awestruck at the depth of the artisans’ skill. 4. Monolith Bull: The imposing monolith Bull can be reached by climbing a few stairs as the Hampi Bazaar ends. The bull is a huge piece carved out of a single rock and has a shrine enclosing it. 5. Achyutraya Temple: As you climb further up the stairs after the Monolith Bull you reach the Achyutraya temple. Unfortunately, this temple is not in a good shape with no maintenance work in progress. 6. Badaviling Temple: This temple dedicated to Lord Shiva includes a huge Shiva Linga carved out of a single stone. It sits in a pool of water and there is a priest sprinkling holy water from the Shiva Linga on to the visitors. 7. Statue of Lakshmi Narasimha: Beside the Shiva Linga stands the statue of Narasimha, half man, and half lion. It also dwarfs you with its sheer magnificence and size. Sasivekalu Ganesh: A huge statue of Ganesh in stone lies beside the Hemakuta Hill temple’s entrance. This is enclosed by a shrine. 8. Royal Enclosure: The actual residing site of the Vijayanagara empire, Royal Enclosure, though a crumbling ruin now, whisks you away to the time when Vijayanagara empire was at its zenith, its reign spreading from Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea. Within its now fragmented stone walls you will find many of Hampi's most fascinating relics. 9. Vijaya Vittala Temple: As the epicenter of Hampi's attractions, Vittala Temple is the most extravagant architectural showpiece of Hampi. No amount of words can explain this spectacle. The temple is built in the form of a sprawling campus with compound wall and gateway towers. There are many halls, pavilions and temples located inside this campus. HILLS & HILL TEMPLE AROUND HAMPI 1. Hemakuta Hill temple: The Hemakuta Hill temples lie on a small hill which gives an enchanting view of Hampi. Many tourists climb uphill to get an epic view of the setting sun. 2. Malyavanta Raghunath Temple: This temple lies on Malyavanta Hill and has priests chanting hymns and prayers there. A huge boulder that is located within the temple structure is a big tourist attraction in addition to the beautiful sunset that can be viewed from atop. The entrance is easily accessible by autos and cars. 3. Anjeyanadri hill: A temple dedicated to the Monkey God, Hanuman, the temple can be accessed by climbing almost 600 stairs. 4. Matanga Hill: The Matanga hilltop offers a panoramic view of the town and some stunning views of the sunrise or sunset. You can start off early before the heat catches up with you and go equipped with a bottle of water and a protective cap. STRUCTURES THAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS 1. Lotus Mahal: Shaped in the form of a lotus this was a separate enclosure meant for the royal ladies of the Vijayanagara dynasty. Located within the Zenana Enclosure, it is one of the few buildings that have remained intact to date. 2. Elephant Stable: A huge row of domed chambers which housed the elephants of royalty at one point of time, is also in quite a good shape today. A favorite haunt for the shutter-happy tourist, this place is a not to be missed site. 3. Royal Enclosure: Spread across vast acres of land, this was the base of the Vijayanagara Empire. Imposing structures of the ruins still draw throngs of tourists to the site. How to reach Hampi By Train – Hampi does not have a railway station. The nearest Railway station is Hospet, which is around 12 km from Hampi. There are direct trains from Mysore and Bangalore for Hospet. The best option will be to take “Hampi Express” which starts from Mysore and goes to Hampi via Bangalore. The train starts from Mysore at 6:40 PM, reaches Bangalore city Junction around 10 PM and reaches Hospet around 7:00 PM. For Hospet to Hampi, you can take either a tuk-tuk (INR 250-INR 300) or local bus (INR 20). The buses run from 6:00 AM till 10:30 in the night. By Bus – There are direct buses for Hampi/ Hospet from Mysore, Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore and Gokarna. The bus will cost anywhere between INR 1,000 to 2,000 depending on the type you are opting (sleeper/ semi sleeper/ non-sleeper) for. While travelling by bus, be ready for a bumpy ride! If you are not from India and find it difficult/ confusing to book train tickets, take help from a travel agent. The train options are always much cheaper and comfortable vs bus rides. By flight – Hampi does not have an airport. The nearest airport is Hubli which is around 150 km away from Hampi. You will need to hire a taxi from Hubli airport to reach Hampi. Hampi is heaven for backpackers. The rent for basic rooms can be as low as INR 500. You can also experience staying in a mud house or a cosy hut. Don’t expect luxury, most of the guesthouses are run by families who have only basic amenities to offer (bed and fan) but the people are extremely welcoming and helpful. Recommended places – Padma guest house, Gopi Guest house, Funky Monkey, Rocky guest house If you want to stay in a resort, there are a few options like Part Hyatt, Clarks Inn, etc, though most of them are far from the attractions in Hampi. Best time to visit Hampi: Late October to Early February will be the ideal time to visit Hampi. During the rainy season (July to September), Hampi gets inconsistent rainfall and will be humid. In case you enjoy exploring around in rain and want to see ‘Greener Hampi’, July to September can also be a good idea. During the rest of the year, the temperature in Hampi will be at its peak and it will be unbearably hot. Is Hampi safe for Solo Female Travelers: Hampi is safe for solo female travelers. How many days are required for exploring hampi: I would love to spend weeks in Hampi for its laid-back vibes and rich history. You will need at least 2 to 3 days to explore around properly. Some other tips for travelling to Hampi 1. Carry enough cash, the nearest ATM is in Hospet which is 12 km away from Hampi. Debit/ credit cards are not accepted at almost all the places in Hampi. 2. Low mobile network – Not all the parts in Hampi have a good network connection. Some of the cafes and hotels have good wifi (Gopi Guest House, Chilled Out Café, Laughing Budha Café in Hippie Island). 3. Carry Toiletries, towel, etc –Hampi guesthouses offer you basic amenities and hence, it will be good to carry your own toiletries/ towel etc. 4. Peak Season Travel – If you are travelling Hampi in peak season, book your stay and travel in advance or else, you might end up paying double charges for hotels. 5. Bargain – Like any other parts of India, you gotta keep the Bargain-hustle going in Hampi too, especially if you are not an Indian. 6. What to wear – Preferably cotton clothes. There is no restriction or any dress code for visiting monuments. 7. Alcohol is not allowed in the heritage side of Hampi. Some of the cafes do offer alcohol in the hippie Island, you can check with them. Do tell me in case you think I have missed adding something or if you have any other questions. Will be happy to help! Will be looking forward to hearing on your travel experience to Hampi. For more photos follow me on Instagram nomadic_mit. ON A FINAL NOTE Did you know: As a sign of respect, open your shoes while entering the temple sanctums in Hampi, even if the temple seems to be in ruins. Though it is not mandatory, it is a sign of respect to the deity, and you will find the locals doing the same. It is as if you are entering a person’s house and we do not wear a shoe inside the house. Hampi is a place you bid goodbye to with your mind totally amazed at the awesome collection of monuments spread across the entire area. Every boulder there is entrenched with a meaning. Some have helped to create majestic hills of boulders, some have taken the form of ruins belonging way back to the Middle Age, some have gone towards the building of temples and others utilized for carvings. Hampi stands truly unique and magnificent among the heritage sites of India!
  3. Round Trip: Hyderabad -> Bangalore -> via Mysore (Non-stop) -> 900 Woods -> Wayanad -> Athirappilly -> Munnar -> KODAIKANAL -> Bangalore -> Hyderabad Total 9 days plan Bike: Classic 350 Round Trip: 2830 Kms Spent 50K (Including petrol) For Trip, this is how I plan every time: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQR7v2txYCS7aX410oyE3EmiwaoBqb8JurF782LSGIpijCWResBEKh8JFdteKDMwIY_FHRkAKx70F2R/pubhtml Here are some pictures that I would like to share:
  4. 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.
  5. Namaskaram, As I mentioned in the title, I am looking for a best scenic and adventurous route for my upcoming long bike ride (Hyderabad to Munnar). Additionally: I have a zero knowledge on the spots of Kerala, so looking here for some experienced bloke who can advice/suggest me some BEST Places to Visit. More Details: 1. Planning to complete the round trip in 8 days. 2. Start: December 2021 (Not decided any date yet) 3. Ride on: Bike, RE CLASSIC 350 Pranamam - Janaki Rajesh Duvvuri.
  6. ** Pre covid Note: I already posted same content in my personal blog at that time, Now posting in Trifod, might be useful for someone. Summary: Hyderabad -> Mysore -> Coorg -> Srirangapatna -> Lepakshi -> Hyderabad As usual, I am not mentioning much about roads & routes, Since it is straightforward, Just I followed the maps. KMS: 1900 Car: Polo Diesel Members: 2 Adults Budget: Fuel + Toll : 10,000 Stay : 15,000 Food: 4000 Extra: 3000 Total: 32,000 Stay Details: Full Plan: Let's start with the planning I won't go anywhere in summer, not a fan of summer vacation, Because I strongly believe it is waste of time and money [in South], So we decided to for a road trip in June end. Searched for a lot of places, Finally decided to go for Coorg. June 23rd Hyderabad -> Bangalore We packed our bags and went to the office, Since we both are working it is not easy to get long leaves, So after finishing some work in the office we finished our lunch and hit the road around 1 PM We don't want our journey to be hectic, So we took a good amount of breaks. On day 1 we traveled 580 KM to reach Bangalore outskirt. Around 11.30 PM we reached the hotel, We are done with day 1. June 24th Bangalore -> Mysore We woke up a little early and started to Mysore. We did not take any breaks since it is just a 180 KM journey, By 11 AM we reached Mysore and check into the hotel. 1 PM We went to the Chamundi Hills and took some pics. 4 PM Went to visit Mysore palace [Day light visit] 7.30 PM Again went to the palace to witness the light show. Beautiful.. Don't miss it. June 25th Mysore -> Coorg We had breakfast in Mysore and started towards Palm Valley Resort, Coorg. This route is very scenic and beautiful. We took many breaks in the 90KM journey to take the pics, and it is worth it. 3 PM We reached the resort, there we opted for buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner, So no need to think about food. We went out to visit the surrounding areas. In-resort itself we took some photos. After spending some beautiful time in nature, we went to the resort after sunset. Had the dinner and done with Day 3. June 26th Coorg -> Coorg 11 AM Visited Madikeri Fort. 1 PM Visited Raja's seat and surrounding areas. Toy Train. 4 PM Went to Abbey waterfalls, Since it is monsoon, Waterfall is full force and beautiful. Yeah tired, enough for the day. Went to the resort to check in. Heritage Resort, Coorg. The best I can say. No need to visit any place in Coorg, after staying in this resort. It has that much beauty. We are done with Day 4, Just all my energy restored after seeing the beauty of the resort. Went to bed after having dinner in the resort. June 27th Coorg -> Srirangapatna-> Lepakshi 7AM I know staying in this resort is a best moment, So we don't want to waste any time, We tried to explore the resort as much as possible. We are done with the resort, we check out it with a lot of memories. 11 AM Visited few places in Madikeri and moved for River rafting. 12 PM We reached river rafting and there we met a family from Hyderabad, So we combinedly hired a boat for rafting. 2 PM Visited Golden temple We are done with the Coorg job, Now decided to go for Srirangapatna. 5.30 PM Reached srirangapatna, Visited all Tippu's places, We hired a guide to show all place Since we are near to closing time. He showed the important places before they closed. We paid 300 for him. 7 PM After sunset we started towards Lepakshi, It is a really hectic journey, W reached the Harita hotel at midnight at 2 AM, We are done with Day 5. June 27th Lepakshi -> Hyderabad 11 AM Harita is just an average hotel, But we don't have any other options to stay there. So Morning we woke up a little late, After fresh up and having breakfast in Harita we went to visit Temple. It is totally empty, Hardly 5-6 tourists. 2 PM We are done with Lepakshi, we had lunch in the same town and started to Hyderabad. 11.30 PM Reached home safely, and we are done with the trip and Day 6. We visited very limited places in Coorg, which are near to my interest and taste. Of course, remaining places I will visit another time. That is all.
  7. Hi, I have a small query. What is the ideal destination around Hyderabad for a first time road trip? I have been driving around the city for last 4 years, currently have an Alto 800.
  8. 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 🤣] 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
  9. Hello guys, Would like to know the best route for Lucknow to Hyderabad. I'll be the Single driver on the entire journey and the car is Swift. Please let me know any route suggestion and any good stays in between for family. Planning to start the journey by Morning 4 am. Thanks Atul
  10. This Dussehra holidays we planned a long road trip to Coimbatore in our EcoSport. Thanks to India-Drive members, especially @sagar @Ranger for suggesting trip route and staying food options along the route. Day -1: We started around 4 AM from Miyapur, Hyderabad. Drive till Anantapur is quite familiar to me, as i have driven this route many times. Drive was excellent with good pleasant weather, around 9:30 AM We reached Anantapur for breakfast at Club RuRu. Food was good as well as the service and atmosphere. After some nice breakfast we started towards Bangalore, as we approach the outskirts of the city traffic made us slow down, and also the fear of over-speeding and getting fined made me cautious, kept at 60-80 speeds reached Devanahalli around 12:30 PM. Our EcoSport flyaudio gave us this route which bypassed the traffic areas of the city (silkboard, electronic city) and took us to the sarjapura main road and joined on the NH just after the electronic city. The route we took to bypass the city is quite scenic and some places were narrow roads. and in some parts very rough roads (2-4 KM) with construction work is ongoing. I am attaching the route map for reference. Around 2:30 we reached Hosur outskirts, despite being a Sunday afternoon the road is filled with heavy vehicles occupying all the lanes and made us slow down, managed to reach a good restaurant which serves good tamil meals by 3:00 PM. The food was good and hot. after staying so long out of Tamilnadu we always look forward to eating in Tamilnadu hotels, glad we could make it for lunch. After lunch started the journey towards Salem, Roads were quite good and smooth but not as wide as Hyderabad-bangalore highway. Not a pleasant experience as the vehicles seems to be in hurry and not giving space occupying all lanes, had to be very patient to outmatch the city buses. Kept a average speed of 60-80 KM reached Salem, thought have a break at Salem, but due to some politicians visit (i am guessing its CM visiting his native Town) the roads were filled with cops asking us not to stop and keep left. At some places the cops were confusing us with their directions, over all a confused environment, but good thing is they reroute the heavy vehicles like lorries and trucks to some other route, so we had a clear road ahead of us. The only catch is we couldn't stop for the tea break. And it started drizzling once we past Salem, it's almost 7 PM, and those rerouted trucks joined us back while we are nearing Coimbatore making our last leg of journey more interesting At Komarapalayam we stopped for some hot Badam Milk and much needed break. After that it was nice to drive to the coimbatore city with with lit wide roads, reached around 9:15 PM to Sungam cross roads, Coimbatore. After parked the vehicle and went inside the house all of us were feeling that still we are moving. From morning 4 to night 9 this makes my longest distance driven in a day. (960 KM says speedometer) We visited the famous GeDee Car museum, Coimbatore. the beauty of the museum is we can see so many vintage cars at one place which are maintained so good. Checkout few pics:
  11. 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.
  12. What is a CB Radio? A CB or Citizen Band radio is for the purpose of general population use. This is a short distance radio communication system between individuals. How important is CB (Citizen Band) Radio for a trip like Ladakh? Somewhat important, it is useful when there is no mobile network available and a communication is required. But it is worth when more people have the CB radio in their vehicle and are actually tuned to the correct frequency. It is certainly useful for a group of cars travelling and wants to communicate (Clarkson - May - Hammond) while on the move. Yes a Walkie Talkie may fulfill the need but you would need a multi channel walkie talkie which again require a licence. Also, walkie talkie would require the charging and that means another dock on the dashboard, whereas CB radios can be connected to be battery directly and do not require any additional charging arrangements. Are CB radios LEGAL in India and does it require any Licence? Absolutely Legal and No licence required. As the name suggests, Citizen Band radio is meant for the general population use. There is a set frequency band that extends from 26.957 MHz to 27.283 MHz. As per the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, by Notification No G.S.R. 533(E) dated 12 August 2005( Click here to read the Notification), the establishment of, maintenance of, working with, possession of or dealing with in wireless equipment operating in Citizen Band (CB) was exempted from licensing. Why is CB Radio not very popular in India? The answer is somewhat simple to answer, Indian market has seen the uprising of personal car market in only last two decades, where as before that the sale what somewhat limited and the buying power of consumer was low. In countries where like USA where CB radios are pretty popular and are general accessory of any long hauler. Even in India, many transport companies in order to make their truck, cargo and people safe are opting to get CB radios fitted in their fleet. Albeit the concept is very old, in India the idea of having a two way radio in cars as an accessory is seldom.
  13. Short monsoon drive to Gottam gotta As the climate outside is beautiful these days, we wanted to go to a peaceful and scenic destination by following all the safety measures. So, finalised Gottam gotta. As usual, our plan was to start early in the morning, but finally started by 10AM from our residence. Due to covid, we have prepared home made food and carried necessary items to have lunch somewhere in the nature. We have reached the place by 1PM, after few breaks at beautiful spots en-route. The most interesting part was to drive through the silent Chincholi wildlife sanctuary to reach the lake. There is a small village en-route, which is beautiful. At around 1PM, we hardly saw 5-7 people at the lake and after few minutes, we were the only one at the lake. Trek: The trek to the lake was normal (kids can do it as well). We spent sometime at the lake and returned back at 2:30PM or so. We have observed that crowd started gathering a little after 3PM but won't be more than 20-30 people.. Then we had our lunch under a tree near the chincholi wildlife sanctuary, collected the trash after our lunch and explored the place randomly. The views were really good and the place is definitely worth a visit. We started heading back home by 5:00PM and reached in 2 hours. Drive and Road condition Distance: ~240 kms. (to and fro). Road condition: Excellent until the NH65 ends, Good from then. You will see some rough patch once you enter chincholi wildlife sanctuary (doable for any car). Things to note: Carry everything you need and don't expect any stores nearby. It's completely remote place and group travel will be fun and secure during odd timings. By Aditay Ram More details: https://www.trifod.com/index.php?/topic/382-hyderabad-to-gottamgutta-road-trip/
  14. 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
  15. Hyderabad to Vikarabad, explore the unknown terrains. Unknown terrains in two Civic's? Yes, we did few off road stunts too. Total distance : ~80 Kilometers (Gachibowli to Vikarabad) Road condition: Mixed, few good and bad patches but nothing alarming. On Friday night Mr.Vishu shared few pictures of his Vikarabad drive, which we have never seen or heard of it. Me and @Saran decided to recce the place on Saturday morning. We started at 7AM in the morning, drive was fantastic, roads are filled with fog and surrounded by greenery. We reached Vikarabad by 8AM, yes we pushed little hard as we started late. We usually take left turn from Vikarabad and drive towards Ananthagiri. This time we took right turn from Vikarabad and explored the pristine side of Vikarabad. Reaching this location is little tricky for the first timers, this road is not logged in Google maps. Drive video (Watch in 1080P) URL : https://youtu.be/3yVpJPS38Ys
  16. Roadtrips... long drives... holiday to the hills driving our car, gives a high to all the drivers. Driving to the beaches or to the unexplored hills with our family or friends is an all-time favorite activity. Driving is fun, but a single error makes it a disaster. All drivers know the feeling - a frightening realization behind the wheel of the car when a wave of drowsiness hits, that you may be too tired to go on. A blink of an eye is all it takes for one to end up trapped inside a toppled car or a badly mangled car in the opposite lane. 20% of the accidents on Indian Highways are caused by driver fatigue says a survey. It all happens in seconds, as said above, in a blink of an eye. Drowsiness is extremely dangerous. Pushing yourself beyond the limits, just to make it on time or just to boast to your friends of your achievements of "non-stop 800kms drive" is the last thing you would want to do. You Can’t Afford to Drive on Through Fatigue Fatigue is a serious concern for everyone on the road. Feeling sleepy makes a driver, less attentive, and affects the driver’s ability to make quick decisions. You need to be able to navigate, merge safely, respond to unpredictable drivers, accidents, potholes or even the sudden appearance of a cattle. Delayed reaction time can mean the difference between life and death – for you, or another person on the road. A tired mind also has more trouble concentrating, making it difficult to judge speed and distance. Entering a trance-like state while driving is a trait we notice quite often while driving on highways at a constant speed, at constant cabin temperature. This is known as Highway Hypnosis. Becoming attuned to your body and its need for rest and sleep will make you a safer driver. Warning Signals that It’s Time to Get Off the Road Driving requires your undivided attention. If you notice one or more of these signs, it is time to get off the wheel and rest. Frequent yawning & fidgeting Frequent lane changes without knowing Tailgating Erratic Braking Inconsistent speed Delayed reaction time Missing on turns and signboards Missing to check on ORVMs IRVMs Missing to use indicators Rolling down the window for fresh air Blurred vision or frequent blinking 5 Tips to Combat Fatigue 1. Surveys show that a short nap can increase alertness and significantly lower the risk of driver fatigue. Take a short twenty-minute nap, preferably before you become too sleepy. 2. Avoid medications that may induce drowsiness. 3. Eat a healthy and balanced meal at regular intervals. Lack of proper food leads to a drop in blood sugar levels which makes us drowsy. Also, heavy meals make us lazy and sluggish increasing the drowsiness. 4. Coffee, smoking, turning up the volume on the radio and fresh air only work for short periods of time. Do not rely on them to keep you alert. (Personal experience, play those songs that give you a good feeling. Not too loud and not too much music. Play it at a medium volume, this will help you cruise at a constant speed making you feel attentive.) 5. Stay hydrated and also keep switching between ‘recirculating’ and ‘fresh-air’ modes on the air-con. A change in temperature helps you stay more alert. (Personal experience, roll down the window and allow fresh air and those traffic sound to enter the cabin. Hearing those makes us attentive and lets us drive till we find a good tree to rest under.) Above all, never forget to take naps at regular intervals. It's not only beneficial to you, but also to your car, its engine, and tires. If you are really tired, never attempt to drive beyond the limits. It's your maturity and safe driving habits that ultimately call you a good driver, not your "800kms non-stop achievements".
  17. Precursor to the Trip: Mr.Daddy calls me up on Oct 2nd in the evening. Daddy : I had to work today , who the hell works on Gandhi jayanthi? They don't even sell Liquor today. Me : Chill Macha , we chose this job. And have to take everything it throws at us. Daddy: I need some relaxation , plan something for the weekend. Me : Hmm, lets go to Bhuvanagiri Fort, I have been meaning to trek that fort since childhood. Daddy: Done. The plan has been made , but could not be executed the Dussehra weekend, due to the obvious reasons. Our Wives would let us go on a trek on a festival day. And i totally forgot about it , till 12th When Mr.Daddy messages to ask me if i'm available to do the trek on 13th (Sunday). I said yes , and the trip was on. Hill Fort of Bhuvanagiri: If you have ever have traveled to Warangal by road or by train you would not miss this small fort on top of the hill. I remember watching the hill for the first time as a kid, from a train window, on my way to Hyderabad. Since then i was always fascinated by this small fort and it was my long lasting desire to trek to the top of it. The fort is constructed in the 10th century A.D by Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI. That makes this fort atleast 1000 years old. In contrast Golconda fort is 400 years old. And Since it is built by Tribhuvanamalla , the fort is called Tribhuvanagiri , Which latter became Bhuvanagiri and with the Persian and Urdu influence of the local kings became Bhongir. The fort was built on a small egg shaped hill, and there were small steps cut into the rock to climb up to the fort. Drive To The Fort: I started at 8:30 A.M on Sunday morning , and started towards Mr.Daddy's home in Manikonda, Hyderabad. I picked him up and on the way we stopped at Organic hotel to have breakfast. After having quick breakfast we took the ORR to reach Warangal Highway. (Organic Hotel , where we had or break Fast) As there was no hurry , we mostly drove in the middle lane at 80KMPH max speed, The ORR charged us 140/- to get down at Warangal high way, And soon after that we had to pay another toll on the highway, We took a to and fro pass for 140/- and went on our way. The toll has dedicated lanes for fastag , and if you still don't have one Get one ASAP. As soon as you cross the toll gate and proceed further , you see something like this (Image is taken from Wiki) With the help of google maps we reached the entry point of the fort. There are two gates to get into , one for regular tourists and another for rock climbing school in the premises. There is ample space to park 8-10 cars. We parked our car , proceeded to the shop next to the ticket counter bought ourselves a water bottle & moved to ticket counter to buy our tickets. Ticket cost for Adults is rs: 10/- per head. The Rock has steps cut into it , which looks fairly a recent addition to the 1000 year old Hill Fort. We started our climb from this point. The weather forecast for Bhongir on that day was partially cloudy and with intermittent rains. But Sun god has different plans for us. It was hot and the rock reflected the heat. After a brief walk , we ended up at the first gateway to the fort. There was some shade and i sat there for a couple of minutes. (The first gateway , where you will find some shade.) After the first rest stop , there is enough tree cover and it was a little cloudy , we reached the second Gateway in some time. The distance between the second and third Gateway is not much , but there is a increase in elevation. We soon reached the third gateway , and the the view looked like this after crossing the third gateway. From here there is no tree cover , and to my bad luck there is no cloud cover either. From here , if you walked towards right from the path , you would find some ruins. This signifies that you have reached level 1. From here the path goes on to the top of the hill. We kept on walking and discussing on how ingeniously the architect of the fort has constructed multiple Dams to conserve rain water. (Level 1 ruins towards the left of the picture and Check Dams to conserve towards the right of the Picture) From here the walk way is very steep , one has to be careful. And this can be slippery during rains. (Steep Walk way , with stairs cut into the rock, Rails installed in the modern era for support, Another Check Dam towards right and Mr.Daddy gauging on how far we have to go) After this i was completely exhausted , and stopped at every 5-10 minutes on the pretext of taking pictures ? , Approximately after an hour we started , we reached the top of the fort. (Celebratory pic of climbing the hill, My smile will tell you how happy i was on the top, the cannon at the back might be a late addition to the fort , as they were developed only in 15th century) There are three structures at the top of the Hill , one ruined old fort , and two other government buildings , with Cellular tower on top of one. The other building was build on top adjacent to an old well. (The Pic of the fort). The views from the top of the hill are simply amazing. Google maps told us that we were 1000 meters above MSL. Below are a few pics of the views from the fort. (You can spot Bhongir Railway station , from where i first saw this magnificent Hill Fort. Also , at the bottom right , notice how Dams were constructed to save water.) (Another pond , and the fort wall at a distance) We explored the whole place for an hour , found a small entrance and a staircase, just out of curiosity i went in and started climbing the stairs , and Mr.Daddy followed me. The stairs took us to the top of the fort. There is no higher point in Bhongir Than this. (The fort view from behind) (Me after conquering the fort, instead of a sword i posed with an Umbrella, modern day weapon to fight the soldiers of the nature) By 2 o clock we were hungry and decided to descend, as soon as we thought of of it , we could see dark clouds manifest out of no where and weather became cloudy and pleasant. I wonder where these clouds were when i was climbing up the hill. We climbed down, and there were 6 other cars parked in the parking. We went to the shop next to ticket counter had another bottle of water. Went to a nearby restaurant in Bhongir and had our lunch. After and uneventful lunch , we started back to Hyderabad , and it started raining just as we were ready to leave Bhongir. Tips for Trek to the Top : Carry your own water one bottle per person. Carry an umbrella , Sun or Rain it will help you a lot. Avoid Summers , It was tiring to climb in October Sun. Imagine April Sun beating down on you. Suggest to go in groups, Half of the time i was engrossed in deep conversations with Mr.Daddy , and didn't feel the tiredness. Wear shoes and avoid Slippers and Flip flops at all costs PS: For those who are wondering , why i call him Daddy , You can find the explanation in my previous write up
  18. Hello fellow enthusiasts, From last couple of month I have been planning a road trip from Hyderabad to Goa. Though I been to Goa last December for the new year celebration, but somehow google maps messed up the whole trip and at some point of time I was driving on badly paved 8 feet wide road in some jungle which google considered the fastest(Google should also have an option to select 'Safe Roads'). Another issue I faced was the love of Karnataka for Speed breakers. So this time I am very much aware to be on the best route possible to avoid any such incidents. Some research online and on other forums yields the below routes. Hyderabad - Goa Route 1 Gachibowli -> Zaheerabad -> Humnabad -> Gulbarg -> Vijaypura -> Bagalkot -> Belgavi -> Baga Route 2 Gachibowli -> Deosugur -> Raichur -> Bagalkot -> Belgavi -> Baga Route 3 Gachibowli -> Pargi -> Mudhol -> Shahabad -> Jevargi -> Sindagi -> Bagalkot -> Belgavi -> Baga Which is the best route in terms of road condition at present? I hope to have better knowledge before I leave for Goa this time. Also I want to know any Route via Maharashtra is suitable? If If after Vijayapura I can drive into Maharashtra and then to Goa. Route 4 Hyderabad --> Jadcherla --> Raichur --> Lingsugur --> Mudgal --> Hungund --> Bagalkot --> Belgavi --> Kanakumbi --> Bicholim --> Baga (Goa) Please Suggest. Thanks in advance. Best places to visit in Goa and accommodation information https://www.india-drive.com/index.php?/topic/9-go-goa-gone-hyderabad-to-goa/ ~Sam
  19. Hello trippers, Tell your top monsoon destinations from Hyderabad and why?
  20. Here's my query regarding the road trip from Hyderabad to Goa in a car. I need suggestions of the routes and any stop by places or spots to visit. Helpfully with food places to have breakfast, lunch and dinner ( which probably may be in Goa) and since this will be in July 2019 I need some latest suggestions please. TIA
  21. Exploring Yanam Part 1 Origin: Ramachandrapuram, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh. Destination: Yanam, Puducherry. Route Taken: Ramachandrapuram - Tallapolam - Draksharamam - Kuyyeru - Yanam Start Time:5:10AM Distance: 27KMS Time Taken: 1hr Car: Honda City VX i-VTEC Mileage: 13.2KMPL Road Condition: Mix of good, average, bad and worst. Scenic Views: Single lane roads with beautiful scenes at either side of the roads. The roads are surrounded by lush green farms on either side. Trip Report Yanam, the place that I first visited in 2013, when I was 17. And this time again I wanted to visit the place only to know it better and love it more... Started early in the morning at 5:10 and reached the area in 1hr. The only thing I thought I could do in the place is to take the initial sunrise photo touching the waters. That's a beautiful sight and I never missed that. But surprisingly this time I got more than what I expected. I got to know about the area more and explore the area and the backwaters. This time, unfortunately, I could take my favourite shot, the sun touching the waters because of clouds. But got a chance to explore the area a bit. It was 7:00 AM, the sun just started rising pushing the clouds aside. And there I saw a person in a white shirt and white pant, assumed him to be a local and approached him to inquire more about the place. To my surprise, he turned out to be the government boat operator. Upon asking him, he arranged a boat ride into the waters and at 7:15 I was on the boat moving gently on the backwaters. The boat driver Ramakrishna, is a very nice guy. I finished taking photos and started talking with him. he spoke many things, from the political situation in Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, their lives, the local MLA and not to forget, the insider information about the place. Yanam, a very beautiful place, mostly unexplored and left undeveloped. "Yanam chala manchi ooru Saru, Kani Chala mandi teliyaka raru. Tourists perigite maku income perugutundi" said the boat driver. Yanam indeed is a really beautiful place, there are many places to explore from Yanam. The first one, Bhairavapalem Mangrove Forests (Where we can find many rare migratory birds. It takes 2 hours to come and 2 hours stay on this island. Total of 6 hours. Price for 10 is 6000 INR) Koringa Mangrove Forests And many small unexplored islands (We can find many migratory birds) I think the area should be developed, but that development shouldn't destroy the natural beauty and serenity of the place. The local activities early in the morning, sunrise, birds chirping and the fishing activities are really beautiful and the development should not destroy these... Part 2 coming soon... I'll be writing about the places that in have visited in part 2. Places to stay: The Regency Hotel (best for families as per trip advisor) Sarva Inn Puducherry Government Guest House Few Pictures
  22. Hello All.' I am driving down from Hyderabad to Mumbai. My first road trip. I would request you all to help me with planning my journey and preps for the journey. It's me and my wife traveling. I am taking my Tata Tiago NRG. TIA.
  23. Hello fellow enthusiasts, Recently I was on a road trip to Goa and enjoyed a lot. The hunger of being on road never ends, so with some long discussion with my better half and parents, we came on a decision to take a Road Trip to Bhutan. The plan is set, dates are fixed and I have started working on the itineraries. The chosen month is April, as very less time is left, I am turning to you guys to suggest me the required preparations for the trip. We would be four travellers, the vehicle would be Hyundai Xcent SX 2016 model with less than 10K on it. As it is my parent's car and is mostly driven by the driver, I'd be getting everything serviced. The trip would start from Jabalpur (M.P) to Thimphu (Bhutan) to Jabalpur (M.P). An approximate total of 3500Km, plus 300km miscellaneous. I have some questions and would really appreciate if get the answers from the experienced people of this forum. 1. Best route? 2. How many halts? 3. How many days in Bhutan (West)? 4. Luggage Carrier, would it be an issue for a sedan? 5. Luggage Career Vs Roof Box, which is better? 6. IceBox, is it required? That's it for now, sure would have many more questions later. ~Sam
  24. Thar, Duster, Creta and EcoSport went on a drive to explore the unknown trails of Vikarabad. Watch in 1080P URL: https://youtu.be/UPNsuk3dvdc
  25. Distance : 60 kilometers (from Gachibowli) Location : Sri Anjaneya Swamy Temple GPS : https://goo.gl/maps/vjQrN58LkBP2 On Sunday afternoon @Omik initiated a quick drive(photograpy) along with me @varunc @Saran @Ravi and @Kashyap As usual Ravi was busy and dropped out in the last minute. So this time we decided to go in a single car. Easy to park and stop. So we squezed into Varun's EcoSport. We started at 3 PM and reached the destination by 4:30 PM, including few breaks en-route. Route details : You should take Bongloor exit and drive along the service road. It is a 2 kilometer up hill drive, once we divert from the service road. You can see the arch at the entrance.
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