Travel

ROAD TO DIVINE; ALWAYS LONGER

My parents always wanted to visit Kollur. For over 2 months, the plans kept getting postponed. Finally, the long weekend of the Ganesha festival made way for the plan to get executed.
Upon reading multiple threads in TeamBHP about the route conditions, and considering my passengers zeal to see places as tourists, i fixed the route via BLR – Arasikere – Bhadra – Shimoga – Ripponpet – Kollur – Sigandur – jog falls – Honnavara – Murudeshwara – Kumta – Sirsi – DVG – BLR.

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Saturday morning we left BLR by 7AM. The morning breeze of mangalore highway is really fun to drive moments
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The serene route via Arasikere was really amazing and i loved the unexplored roads which was almost deserted on this day, but i still stuck to 80 speed so that i can really enjoy the views around. The roads were in pretty good shape.


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From arasikere, the weather started to turn a bit hot. With full AC on, i started to proceed further towards Kadur. Around Kadur, the roads were not in good shape, but not horrible either. Post kadur, the landscape started to get serene and weather as well welcomed us with cold breeze.
Every where, i see a cross roads, i took a detour for a kilometer to enjoy the landscape even better and few snaps. Once the eye feast is satisfied, turn back and onto the highway ;)
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While i kept doing this often, my passengers started to get irked a bit and after a while, they got lost into the amazing beautify of mother nature around us.

Around 11AM we reached Bhadra Dam. Water was not gushing out or rather the gates weren’t open, but the reservoir was pretty filled up. The top hill view is a good view-point but as well a good lovers point too :D
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After spending an hour or 2 at this place, chit chatting, we wanted have lunch on the road side which we had packed from home. The route to shimoga from bhadra offers a good place for that. 10 kms before shimoga, the road offers a calm road and forest area wherein, it suits for such activities.
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Then we continued our journey towards kollur via Ripponpet – Nagar. The forest circuit toward kollur offered us many water streams flowing down the small valleys or streams thus making it spectacular to watch by the road side. As many travelers/tourists parked their vehicles to enjoy those streams, i followed the same ;)
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Reached Kollur around 4PM same day and settled down with darshan of goddess mother Mookambike. Next morning, we were instructed by the poojari that there is a special pooja taking place and informed us to witness and depart to sigandur.
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Day 2:
Around 10PM we left kollur place and moved towards sigandur. The road towards sigandur is not so good condition, yet manageable with limited speed. With that stunning views all around, who needs high speed, anyway? ;)

This one pic, has many meanings imposed in it to me :) The saga of an endless journey to satisfy the soul within, i say!!
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Around 12PM we reached sigandur chowdeshwari temple. The road till the temple is downhill and is still in construction, hence alot of red sticky sand all over, sure shall make your car get really messy and a slight possible to get stuck in mud too. As we reached, the rain started to pour cats and dogs for a while. We had lunch at the temple and it was really good, but every where around it was wet + sticky red soil = messy situation when your bare foot.

Around 2PM we left Sigandur towards sagar. Every one was almost excited about the river launch which takes vehicles and people across sharavathi backwaters towards sagar. This launch is operated by Govt. and rates are pretty much low. For vehicle its 20 at sigandur side + 50 at Sagar side + 20/head. Not sure why 2 sides they take the vehicle charges, though they give us a receipt. The whole journey took around 15-20 minutes across the river.
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The early one reaches the spot gets a comfortable backside spot for his/her vehicle which in my opinion is a safe damage free spot during the ride. Although one has to be very careful about the underbelly hit during the boarding and disembarking due to low GC of the car. During our ride, rain started to drizzle, with cross windows it started to hit hard on us. Yet it was really fun being there and watching the vastness of sharavathi.

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When back on the bank with a slight scrape to the front lower side bumper due to very steep angled loading/unloading deck of the launch. If the water level is a bit low, then the steep angle increases which makes existing or boarding of vehicles really difficult without damage :( Pretty much not a good design of platform by the Govt.

Further road towards sagar is amazing and offers more greenery.

IMG_20160904_153922.jpgWith detours found along the highway, just a turn gives you even better views.
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Around evening 4PM reached Jog falls and enjoyed the slow misty covered falls.

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While returning from Jog, at the entrance junction, the RTO were stopping all the vehicles for various checks. They were picking random ones for the check. Apparently i was also a victim and had to pay 300INR for not having emission certificate (my bad) :( So beware everyone..

The same evening we departed towards Murdeshwara. The route via honnavara is not so good. Alot of work in progress happening on this route but overall not bad. Enroute visited a hanging bride connecting villages. The view around was really good overlooking sharavathi river. It was almost dusk when we reached and the sunset was amazing in the background. My crazy mobile cam does some weird charm to the pic :D
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Around 8PM we reached murdeshwara. The whole place wasnt crowded due to festive time. At this hour, we started searching for the hotel. Found a hotel which is 1 km inside from the main road, but surrounded by water filled paddy fields. We took 2 rooms with 4 beds each, thankfully the owner did not charge anything for extra beds as he is starting off his business and keen to attract customers. Every facility at this hotel was good except the road leading to this was filled with ankle deep water due to heavy rains.

Day 3:
Next morning, we were surprised by the no paddy in water filled paddy fields by blooming bright lotus flowers. We visited the temple and enjoyed the bright view.
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Selfie thy deity.. :happy:
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Around 12PM we departed this place. Took a different route via Kumta – Sirsi, as i prefer to have a different experience while returning too ;) This route was longer than other 2 as per Gmaps, but i still preferred it as i love sirsi alot. Till sirsi, the roads are really good, but post sirsi the roads gets a bit bad in quality, one has to ride at limited careful speeds.

When we reached yekkambi, there was 2 route options for harihara. One route goes towards hanagal for harihara and other is a shorter route. Upon inquiring with locals, they suggested the shorter which is in normal road conditions.
This shorter route goes right within villages (some places between narrow village house roads) which is good in one way, but has also bad roads as well. And also there is no hotel options in this route till one reaches harihara. Hence, prefer hanagal route which is a bit more than this in distance wise.

At harihara junction beside highway, we tried having some snack (dosa) at a hotel called Bharani. I ordered davangere benne dose and i was promised by the idiot waiter that it shall be same. However, when it was brought to my table, it was just masala dosa with butter on top. So suggest none to visit this hotel. Just move 500 mts ahead from this junction, there are few more options.

A total distance of 1200 Kms with mileage of 18kmpl (4 members + fully loaded luggage) achieved in 3 days.
Thanks!

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