Road tripping across Karnataka

We’re in ‘Discover-Karnataka* mode,’ We decide to step out of the all-too familiar Mysore-Bangalore region. The initial plan: to drive through a part of the Karnataka coast,  say hello...
NH-48. Bangalore-Mangalore Highway

We’re in ‘Discover-Karnataka* mode,’ We decide to step out of the all-too familiar Mysore-Bangalore region. The initial plan: to drive through a part of the Karnataka coast,  say hello to the waterfalls that make up the famous Jog Falls and have a brush with some wildlife at Bhadra Sanctuary.

At the eleventh hour, a couple of things crop up. The road trip must go on, at least part of it. The coastal part of the itinerary has to be scrapped.

Bangalore-Mangalore Corridor

This road trip kicks off from the IT City. We take the Outer Ring Road and then get on to Tumkur Road. Soon we find ourselves on NH-48 or the Bangalore -Mangalore Highway. The road is really good — perfect to zip through. It is a Friday morning; a misty one. That makes the landscape even more alluring. There are coconut palms. There are sugarcane fields; Ragi (Millet) fields too. And with the mist kissing these crops and the rocky stretches along the route, it makes for an awesome morning drive.

NH-48. Bangalore-Mangalore Highway


NH-48. Bangalore-Mangalore Highway


NH-48. Bangalore-Mangalore Highway

Rustic Karnataka

When we reach a place called Baragur, Northwest of Chennaryapatna, it’s time to change direction, head north and merge into NH-206. The road we take is SH-7 and what a refreshing change it is from the highways in the state that we know all too well. State Highway 7 is a smaller road with one lane in each direction. 7 meanders through rustic Karnataka offering sights of more farmland, nondescript hamlets and innumerable trees that look like Banyan. Long stretches of the highway are lined with these trees, their prop roots meeting in the middle of the road and kept trimmed by moving vehicles, they are made to look like long wooded tunnels.

Karnataka countryside - SH-7


Karnataka countryside - SH-7


Karnataka countryside - SH-7

The road to the coast

At Arsikere we merge in to NH-206 and are westward-bound once again. This is the Bangalore Honavar Highway. (Honavar is where the Sharavati River empties itself in the Arabian Sea.)

We pass through some of the big and small towns here. We bypass Bhadravati but drive into the thick of Shimoga to get some lunch.

Soon we are back on the highway. This part of NH-206 is also State Highway 13. We head to Sagar. The fields on the roadsides are partly green with wild plants and partly golden with bales of stacked up hay. There is something else that catches the eye — miles of high tension electrical lines probably form the power house at Linganamakki Dam.

These parts also seem to be beautified with several roadside ponds that looked liked water-lily ponds. Not a flower to be seen but floating leaves on water is a picturesque sight, indeed.

NH 206/Shimoga,Karnataka


NH 206/Shimoga,Karnataka


NH 206/Shimoga,Karnataka

Later we pass a pretty sad looking Sharavati; its water is dammed at Linganamakki.
We find ourselves in our first destination. (The account and pictures coming up in a different post.)

The next day we get onto 206 once again. This time we turn off before Bhadravathi to get to the wilderness of the Bhadra Tiger Reserve. On the way there’s this sight — The Bhadra Dam (The best part is what is on the other side of the dam — the Bhadra Reservoir.)

Bhadra Dam, Karnataka
Bhadra Dam

The following day we hit 206 again, this time to head home. We retrace the NH-206, SH-7, NH-48 route and find ourselves back in Bangalore.

Coming soon: posts on Jog Falls and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.

*Karnataka is a state in South India



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45 Comments on this post.
  • Sreedhar Bhattaram
    9 March 2015 at 6:09 pm

    A Nice presentation with colorful photos….

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:47 am

      Thank you so much, Sreedhar.
      Nice to see you here. 🙂

  • Anil Sawan
    9 March 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Sounds like a good day behind the wheels 🙂

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:51 am

      It was.
      The story is from November. Gosh! I'm way behind my trips when it comes to my writing. 😀
      I hope you are doing well, Anil. 🙂

    • Anil Sawan
      10 March 2015 at 12:33 pm

      haha 🙂 yes I am. thank you

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:59 pm


  • Akshay Kumar G
    9 March 2015 at 9:04 pm

    A beautiful visual tour again. Waiting for the concluding parts of this trip. 🙂

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:53 am

      Part's.' yeah. 🙂
      The better parts are just coming.
      Thank you Akki. 🙂

  • Ananya Tales
    10 March 2015 at 4:35 am
    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:54 am

      Can't help saying this over and over again, Bangalore is a city to be missed. 🙂

  • Indrani
    10 March 2015 at 5:12 am

    It is time I hit the road again. This pics are tempting, well taken.

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:55 am

      I'm sure.
      There's never a wrong time for that, huh?!
      Thank you so much, Indrani. 🙂

  • Prasad Np
    10 March 2015 at 5:35 am

    These are some of the best times and most scenic roads in India. Loved the village scenery….

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:56 am

      India is scenic. She's got a bit of everything, right?
      I'm sure Desi Traveler likes all things Desi. 🙂

  • R Niranjan Das
    10 March 2015 at 5:40 am

    Wonderful journey, Divya. The rustic charm of the villages is a delight for sure. Look forward to all those stories. 🙂

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 7:00 am

      Finally those posts are coming! haha! (You didn't they'd ever happen did you? :D)

      I swear — and you don't get to see much of Karnataka's village life on my regular routes from Bangalore to Mysore and 212 from Mysore towards Wayanad so yeah, this was a treat, as I was seeing this after a pretty long gap. It was refreshing.

    10 March 2015 at 5:41 am

    Beautiful roads where the journey matters not the destination. Loved the photographs, 🙂

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 7:04 am

      They were.
      And if it's a road trip — the journeys are just as exciting, aren't they?
      Thank you, Moon. 🙂

  • Kokila Gupta
    10 March 2015 at 5:50 am

    I looove road trips specially the pictorial representation done by you Dee 🙂
    And in Karntaka the roads unfold in front of you like the video game roads!
    On the Mysore- Coorg road , you can experience it first hand. AT times it seemed that the car is going in to an abyss which is obviously not true but my heart continued to leap put and kids shrieks were ear -piercing Oh ! sorry my shrieks :p
    Going by your pics-info Bangalore-Mangalore is the next on my list 🙂

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 7:10 am

      Kokila! long time. How you doing, girl?

      Aww! Thank you.

      Video Game roads! Those are always so exciting, aren't they? Next time you decide to go towards Mysore, you might want to go to Calicut through Wayanad on NH 212 and experience the Thamarassery Mountain Pass.

      (Ouch! I almost went deaf thanks to those shrieks 😀 )

  • Parul
    10 March 2015 at 6:42 am

    Lovely pics and what beautiful journey..Road tripping is fun! 🙂

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 7:11 am

      Road Trips! Definitely!
      Thank you so much, Parul. Have a fab week.

  • rupam sarma
    10 March 2015 at 8:34 am

    Great post, Beautiful photos from your trip.

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you, Rupam.

  • Rachna
    10 March 2015 at 11:02 am

    Interesting! Haven't done this circuit but have done many other road trips across Karnataka.

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:54 pm

      Every route has so much to show us. 🙂

  • Loco mente
    10 March 2015 at 11:44 am

    The roads looks amazingly brilliant… The misty look adds to the mystery that each nook and corner of India holds…
    Thanks for sharing!

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:55 pm

      The mist was a great way to begin the road trip.
      Thank you.
      And welcome here.

  • Shweta Dave
    10 March 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Have done is similar trip in December bangalore, hubli honnavar murdeshwar and back and can so relate to the pictures, lovely clicks.

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:56 pm

      🙂 Must have been fun, eh!
      After this particular trip we road tripped along the Karnataka Coast. And wasn't it great! 🙂

  • Rajesh
    10 March 2015 at 5:57 pm

    It is a pleasure to drive on this road.

    • dNambiar
      10 March 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Yeah, Rajesh.
      Since this one, we did a few more drives through the state and I must say, they all have so much to show us. Each route seems to have a character of its own and a beauty of its own.

  • Meoww
    10 March 2015 at 10:45 pm

    It is fun to be out and about in the country side, imbibing in the sights and sounds. Lovely shots!

    • dNambiar
      12 March 2015 at 7:36 pm

      It is, specially when you need a refreshing break and yeah — road tripping is the way to go.
      Thank you, dear Meoww. 🙂

  • magiceye
    11 March 2015 at 1:23 am

    Very nice concise commentary and lovely images!! Waiting to see/read about jog falls and Bhadra Tiger reserve.

    • dNambiar
      12 March 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Nice to hear that from you, Magiceye.
      Thank you so much.

      The posts will be up in a couple of days, I promise.
      Thanks again. 🙂

  • Mridula
    11 March 2015 at 4:32 am

    Waiting for the other pictures now!

    • dNambiar
      12 March 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Coming soon, maam. 🙂

      Thank you for visiting, Mridula.

  • Ramakrishnan Ramanathan
    12 March 2015 at 8:01 am

    Lovely pics of the charming Karnataka countryside ! I sometimes wonder where you are really at the present. You keeping shuttling often between India and the US 🙂

    • dNambiar
      12 March 2015 at 7:34 pm

      I'm in Bangalore at the moment, Ram. I should be here a little longer.
      I still have a few US travel posts coming up. I guess I've been doing more tripping than writing. 🙂

      Thank you. 🙂

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