Showing posts with label Bangalore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bangalore. Show all posts

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Day 9 -- Nagpur to Bengaluru

The trip was nearing the end with the last day of drive left. Even though we had decided on starting early, the tiredness was catching up, so we decided to take it very easy.
10:05 AM Left the hotel after breakfast.
12:25 PM Stopped over at a dhaba for small break.
1:45 PM Stopped over for lunch at Singh is King Dhaba just before Nirmal.
3:15 PM Crossed Nizamabad
4:45 PM Entered Hyderabad ORR
5:20 PM Exited ORR
6:00 PM Stopped at a food court for break
9:30 PM Stopped for dinner
1:30 AM Reached home.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Diwali 2015, Bengaluru to Bhopal and Back

This was almost an impromptu decision to drive to Bhopal from Bengaluru for Diwali. Being Diwali, air tickets were too expensive and train tickets were not available. So the decision to drive was made. Due to some pre-scheduled events, we could only leave by afternoon on Saturday.
1:30 PM We left Hyderabad.
We stopped for a quick bite on the way at Mc Donalds on Airport Road and then continued on with our journey.
3:10 PM Crossed Chikkaballapura
3:30 PM Crossed Bagepalli
3:45 PM Crossed Penukonda
4:20 PM Crossed Anantpur
4:40 PM Stopped at A1 plaza for a quick tea.
6:20 PM Crossed Kurnool
7:35 PM Stopped at Food N Fuel near Mahbubnagar for almost an hour
9:50 PM Reached the destination for the day.
As usual Bengaluru to Hyderabad road is in great condition. It was an eventless journey.
The plan was to start early for onward journey. We decided to carry packed breakfast so that we don't have to stop for a breakfast stop.
5:10 AM We were quickly on the outer ring road, saw a truck completely in flames on the outer ring road.
5:48 AM Just got out of ORR and got into the HP Petro Bunk for filling.
7:05 AM Crossed Nizamabad
7:35 AM Crossed Nirmal
7:52 AM Stopped at a road side Dhaba called Kunthala Dhaba at a place near Neredgonda. They had ladies only toilets, not very clean but can use it in dire emergencies.
8:40 AM Crossed Adilabad
On the way one finds strange drivers who just won't let you overtake them. It is just a strange ego trip that some of these drivers are on.
8:50 AM We cross the border and enter into MH. The road is under construction here for quite sometime so the progress is comparatively slower. Still the road surface has been fixed compared to last time I drove here.But you still have a undivided two lane road. The saving grace is the fact that traffic is thin on this stretch.

10:20 AM We cross Hinganghat. The road improves as soon as one crosses Hinganghat.
11:30 AM We reach Nagpur. We look for a place to eat, we located this restaurant called The Breakfast Story not very far from highway and stopover for a brunch.
12:35 PM From Nagpur there are two options to go to Bhopal, one goes via Chhindwara and other via Betul. We decide to go via Chhindwara while going and Betul for returning journey. Chhindwara route is a more scenic route, is longer.
2:20 PM We cross Chhindwara ring road.
3:30 PM We enter the forest that leads up to Panchmarhi. This section of road is full of ghat sections, and progress is extremely slow.
4:45 PM We crossed the forest section
5:10 PM We reach Highway Treat in Pipariya. Time for a break for tea.
5:30 PM We start from the restaurant, being the day before Dhanteras pipariya market is extremely crowded and we take another 20 minutes to get out of the city.
7:30 PM Cross Hoshangabad town
9:00 PM We reached home in Bhopal.
09-November-2015 to 13-November-2015
Time for Diwali festivities and general time pass.
We decide to a visit to Bhojpur temple since we had not been to that place for quite some time.
Bhojpur Shiva temple was constructed during the reign of King Bhojdev of Parmar dynasty during the years 1010 to 1055 AD. The temple was never fully constructed. The temple has a Shivaling which is 2.03 meter in height and largest in India.

The temple is unique because near the temple one can find drawings of the temple etched in the rocks. It also looks like as per the plan many other temples were to be constructed and never completed.

The temple also has a river nearby and one can trek down to the river.

Main Temple

Etching of plan of a temple

Aloo Parathas for Journey
The return journey starts, we had planned to leaving early morning and carrying food so that we can time of stops that we need to make. Also we decided to play it by the ear. If we reached Hyderabad at a reasonable time then we will continue to Bengaluru otherwise we will halt at Hyderabad.
The first order of the day was to get some food ready. There is nothing better for a journey than home cooked aloo parathas.

5:20 AM We were on the road. We took 11th-mile ring road out of Bhopal and quickly were on Hoshangabad road.
6:10 AM We crossed Obaidullaganj
6:50 AM Crossed Hoshangabad
7:05 AM We crossed Itarsi
8:18 AM We cross Betul. The road just becomes fabulous after Betul.

9:55 AM We enter Nagpur
10:15 AM We exit on the other end of Nagpur
10:40 AM It was too early for Lunch and too late for breakfast. Most dhabas that we encountered were closed. So finally we stopped at the A1 plaza at Reliance petrol bunk.
11:45 AM to 1:30 PM We missed the turn towards hinganghat and drove in a wrong direction for a while. So we had to retrace our steps back to the right place. We wasted a total of two hours in this misadventure.
1:45 PM Crossed hinganghat railway crossing
2:55 PM We reached Adilabad. The non-so-good roads at the border take around one hours to cross. We encounter some really dangerous driving by local bikers. Here is one example.
3:35 PM Stopped at a road side Dhaba for tea and some food near Medipally
4:15 PM Started
Food Court
5:10 PM Crossed Nizamabad
6:40 PM Got on to Hyderabad Outer Ring Road
7:20 PM Exited ORR
8:00 PM Stopped at the food court near Mahbubnagar
9:00 PM Started after dinner and rest
10:40 PM Crossed Kurnool
11:45 PM Crossed Gooty
12:20 AM Crossed Anantpur
2:00 AM Crossed Chikkaballapur
2:15 AM Crossed Airport
2:35 AM Entered Bengaluru ORR
3:00 AM Reached Home

Here are some important statistics from the journey.
Drive Time : 44.5 Hours
Distance : 3162 Kms
Average Speed : 74 Kmph
Fuel Economy :  9.5 Kmpl total fuel 335 Litres

Finally, the journey was over. Some lessons learnt for me are as follows.
  1. Nagpur to Bhopal, no point in going via Chhindwara unless one wants to go to Panchmarhi, The not-so-good section of road between Bhopal and Betul is eminently manageable and road between Betul and Nagpur is just fabulous
  2. It is very practical to do Bhopal to Bengaluru in a day with two drivers. Start early from Bhopal and you can be in Bengaluru just after midnight.
  3. In any event, cross Hoshangabad to Bhopal road early in the morning. The road is just horrible and has too much traffic in any other time of the day.
  4. Bikers can be extremely unpredictable. Particularly the local bikers. Almost all of them think they are superman and just don't give a damn for road rules etc.
  5. If you are driving beyond midnight, always have another person capable of driving. I have realized that I need few hours of sleep around midnight if I need to drive.
During this trip, the total toll amounts were close to Rs. 3000/-.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Hampi Trip 2014

I have been staying in Bangalore for quite some time but the Hampi trip was always on lower priority. So pretty much decided to make a spur of the moment plan to visit Hampi on the last weekend of the school summer vacation.
7:00 AM Left out home, decided to take the NICE road to Tumkur road.
7:30 AM Got on to NICE road toll. The toll amount is Rs. 155/- from electronic city to Tumkur road.
8:10 AM Exited NICE road, joined  Tumkur road.
9:20 AM Reached Kamar Upachar at Dobaspete.
9:50 AM Crossed Tumkur town
10:15 AM Byepassed Sira town
10:40 AM Byepassed Hiriyur town
11:01 AM Got into Chitradurga and took the Mangalore to Solapur road that takes directly up to Hospet. The road up to Chitradurga is fantastic four lane road. From Chitradurga onwards, the road is just two lane road without divider with heavy truck traffic. The road surface is good after Chitradurga with occasional pothole but you can't make same speed that you were making before.
12:30 PM Crossed Kudiligi
2:00 PM Reached Royal Orchid hotel in Hospet. Here is my review of the hotel. We take an hours rest, do lunch and then decide to go visit Hampi. It is a very large site and since we had less time, we decided to hire the services of a guide. The guide was Mounesh (Mobile: +919449573416). He was very good and had good knowledge of the area. We were happy with his services.
3:50 PM We leave for Hampi, reach Hampi at 4:10 PM. The first place to visit is the Virupaksha Temple Complex. Here is the photosphere of the Virupaksha Temple.

Here are some more pictures of the temple.
Main gate of the temple



Carvings on the roof

Another view to the temple

View to the River
After the temple, we decide to take a coracle ride in river. The river flows just next to the temple and coracle ride is a good way to reach places that are otherwise inaccessible.
Here is a stone bridge that got washed away due to floods. I think it can give Stonehenge a run for the money. The problem is that these sites are not property advertised.
Remains of stone bridge

Stone Bridge
From the river, one can see the view to the Hanuman temple and many other temples. Here is another carving within the rock of many Shivlings.
By the time we were done with the coracle ride, it was too late. Everything was closed. So we decided to head back to the hotel.
7:30 PM Left from Hampi back to hotel, 
8:15 PM Reached hotel. Quick dinner.

We had planned to reaching Hampi early because we wanted to see the Sunrise. 
5:30 AM Got ready and left for Hampi.
6:00 AM We reached Malyavanta Raghunath Temple. This place seems to be full of Lord Ram's history. Here is an interesting map that was affixed atop a hill.
Map depicting places that Lord Ram visited

Legend from the above map.
The temple itself does not seem to be in great health. It is also not one of the busy places. We were only visitors in the temple.
Access to the top of the hill

Next we started for Vitthala Temple. Just outside the Vitthala Temple there was a shack. We had our breakfast there. This temple complex is huge and they run battery powered golf cart kind of vehicles to reach the buildings. Here is a photosphere of the temple.

Horse traders from different countries, you can see from their attire

Lonely tree in Temple Complex

Miniature temple on the walls of temple
The next stop was the Queens palace. 

Base of the queen's palace. The palace itself was burnt down

Signage saying Zanana (Ladies) Enclosure, 

Queen's Bath
Next we visit some of the smaller ruins around the place.
Large narsimha statue that was damaged

Shivling, a portion always remains under water

Ganesha from the front and parvati from the back

Ganesha from the front and parvati from the back

Ganesha from the front and parvati from the back
This concluded our sightseeing in Hampi. We realized that one day is too small a time for this place and one needs to visit this place for atleast 3-5 days to do justice to this place.
We go back to hotel, have a quick lunch and depart back to Bangalore.
2:30 PM Start back for Bangalore.
3:45 PM Cross Kudiligi
5:00 PM Reach Chitradurga and join NH-4.
5:30 PM We cross Hiriyur
6:00 PM Cross Sira, just after Sira, we stop at Kamat Upachar for a quick tea and some snacks.
7:00 PM We cross Tumkur
8:00 PM We get on to NICE road.
8:35 PM We reach electronic city.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #12 of 12 -- Return journey continues, Pune to Bangalore

Previous night ushered in the new year. We were ready to continue our drive back to Home.
8:45 AM Checkout after breakfast and started on final let of journey back to Bangalore.

9:50 AM Stopped a the petrol station to fill up.
11:00 AM There is a new complex with cafe coffee day and KFC near Surur. We stopped there for coffee break.

11:15 AM Started our journey back.
11:45 AM Crossed Satara
12:25 PM Crossed Karad
1:15 PM Crossed Kolhapur
New Goa Paradise Dhaba
2:05 PM Stopped at a road side dhaba called "New Goa Paradise". Was really useless place. But the security guard there decided to clean my car properly so we got the car cleaned and had something to eat.
We also saw a new brand of mineral water here called Bilori.

2:31 PM Crossed Nipani
2:45 PM Crossed Sankeshwar
3:21 PM Crossed Belgaum
4:30 PM Crossed the twin cities of Hubli-Dharwad
4:55 PM Stopped at the Kamat just after Hubli-Dharwad. The place was really crowded probably because of the last day of vacations and everybody returning back to Bangalore.

5:35 PM Crossed Haveri
5:50 PM Crossed Ranebennur
6:10 PM Crossed Harihar
6:20 PM Crossed Davangere
7:00 PM Crossed Chitradurga
7:25 PM Crossed Hiriyur
8:05 PM Crossed Sira
8:35 PM Crossed Tumkur
9:25 PM Got on to NICE Road
10:00 PM Got off the NICE Road.
Finally an interesting trip across six states of India spanning over 12 days finishes.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas 2013, Rajasthan Road Trip, Day #1 of 12 -- Bangalore to Pune

05:30 AM Started from home, 06:25 AM got on to NICE road towards Tumkur Road.
07:00 AM Got off NICE road and on to Tumkur Road.
07:330 AM Stopped at the Kamath just before Tumkur.
08:22 AM Started back on journey after a sumptuous breakfast. I have always missed Kamat chains of hotels once you are out of Karnataka. None of the other states really have similar eateries on the highways. The worst part is that even Cafe Coffee Day becomes sparse outside of Karnataka.
10:30 AM Bypassed Davangere
10:55 AM Stopped at the Kamat just after Harihar for a quick tea.

11:50 AM Bypassed Haveri
12:40 PM Crossed Hubli bypass.
Hubli to Dharwad the road is just two lanes. The speeds go down because there is heavy truck traffic and it is very hard to overtake anything.
2:00 PM Got into Belgaum town for quick Lunch. When travelling with family, I think Sankam Residency is a decent option for lunch. It is just off the highway and getting into and getting out is very easy. Here is my review of the restaurant within the hotel from an earlier trip.
3:20 PM Left Belgaum after lunch towards Pune.
3:54 PM Crossed Hattargi
4:05 PM Crossed Sankeshwar
4:20 PM Crossed Nipani
4:43 PM Crossed Kagal
5:05 PM Crossed Kolhapur
5:57 PM Crossed Karad
7:12 PM Crossed Khed
7:51 PM Crossed Khandala
Since we were coming from Bangalore and had planning on going to Mumbai, we had booked Hotel Holiday Inn for the night stay. It is very nicely located for people coming in from Bangalore and continuing their onward journey to Mumbai. Here is my review of the hotel from an earlier trip.
9:10 PM Reached hotel.