Thursday, December 19, 2013

Indian Roadtrip - Traditional to Modern

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Just returned from a fabulous road trip to Vittal, Madikeri and Bengaluru, back home to Mumbai. This road trip was memorable because of various reasons. The journey was all the more fascinating as on our outbound journey from Mumbai, we had taken the weather beaten traditional coastal route of NH17 with a lot of twisties and beautiful scenery while on our return from Bengaluru we took the state of the art highway NH4 which is part of the Golden Quadrilateral. It took us two days to cover 967kms to reach Vittal, and just a day to cover 981kms from Bengaluru to Mumbai.
And the marvellous car that transported us silently and efficiently was the wonderful Hyundai i20 Sportz!

We set out at six in the morning on our first leg to Goa on our onward journey to Vittal, Coorg and Bengaluru. The NH17 did not disappoint. The route was as scenic as ever and the roads well tarred but single laned. We had plenty of twisties too in the ghats enroute that added to the thrill.
We had packed our breakfast and lunch that we had on the way finding suitable spots to eat, stretch and refresh. There were plenty of restaurants with clean washrooms on the way that we could and did use as and when we felt the need to.
We reached Goa in the evening and checked in ‘Green Park’ Hotel that is at Guirim along the highway hence

no detour to a Hotel and searching for the way back to the highway. It is a decent place with clean rooms and toilets but the food could have been better though they claim that theirs is the ultimate restaurant serving sea food.
We checked out at seven in the morning, early by Goan standards as the staff had to be woken up so that we could settle our bill!
We then coasted (literally and figuratively) along the coast past the famous Maravanthe that has the sea on one side and a river on the other! Was a beautiful drive all along till we reached Vittal where we parked in 

our ancestral home for a week to celebrate ‘Shashti’ the local Shrimath Ananteshwar Temple festival.
After all the celebrations we left for Madikeri at eight in the morning. The minute we reached Sulya we 

encountered the worst stretch of ‘roads’ right upto Sampaje – a total of around twenty five kms but fortunately for us the suspension of the car was good enough not to trouble our backs. Despite the bad roads we could negotiate all the bad patches without bottoming out even once and that was a relief. Just when we were about ten kms from Madikeri we saw a board directing towards Talacauvery and Bhagamandala, a diversion of 42kms. We could not resist it and turned and drove on towards the birthplace of river Cauvery – Talacauvery. The road is patchy but nothing to worry about. Talacauvery offers sights to savour and relish 

meditation. The serenity experienced here is worth every kilometre that one covers to reach there. 

Plenty of different parking slots available for two wheelers, buses and cars – no charges.
On the way back we stopped over a Bhagamandala which is the confluence of three rivers – Cauvery, 

Kannike and Sujyothi. This place too is worth a stopover. It is beautifully peaceful.
Finally we reached Madikeri at two in the afternoon and checked in at Daisy Bank Heritage Inn which is on 

the Madikeri – Mysore highway and a very convenient place to halt. Plenty of eateries at walking distance too along with the popular Raja’s seat (sunset point) and the Omkareshwar temple, both just a couple of kilometres away. The Daisy Bank Heritage Inn is an old colonial type of bungalow with huge rooms costing between 1250 to 1750. Worth every rupee you pay for the feeling of staying in a mansion! The toilets are as big as the rooms too!
Next morning we left for Bengaluru around eleven in the morning and the transition from the traditional to the

modern began. The highway was smooth enough to glide on. We reached Bengaluru at four in the evening. Spent a ‘catching up’ evening with my in-laws and after a restful sleep left for Mumbai next morning at six.

Once we were on the NH4 it was a breeze. The Hyundai i20 Sportz just flew and before we could say ‘shall we stopover for the night somewhere’, we were back home in Mumbai at nine thirty in the night covering a distance of 981kms! No fatigue for us nor for the car! Loved this incredible journey that took us from the traditional to the modern life and road with ease!