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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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