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After being asked to document my travel experience, it needed a considerable amount of pushing. However, having benefited so much from so many inputs from various posts and forums, I am morally obligated to return the favor.

 

Planning:

Having looked at the company holiday calendar, couldn't help but drool over the month of October 2014. A long weekend was selected as potential candidate for a due road trip to the Mullayyangiri hill top, the highest peak in Karnataka located in the Western Ghats of Chikkamagaluru.

 

A few glimpses shot

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When: Sept. 30Oct 3 2014

Drive: Honda City

Fuel Type: Petrol

Route: Hyderabad -- Kurnool -- Bangalore -- Hassan -- Chikkamagaluru.

Distance: ~800 kms

Local Tour Distance: ~150 kms

Time: 10 p.m. (Sept.30th) - 11 a.m. (Oct. 1st) {13 hours including breaks}

Mileage: Avg. 14 kmpl (with AC)

 

Execution:

 

Having selected the target the previous night along with 3 of my friends, the initial meet up came into action on Sept. 30th after the office hours between 9 to 10 p.m. Read some route reviews on and figured out the last mile route both for ingress and egress to our destination.

Driving doctrine suggests to go for the widest, cleanest and straightest road, even if it means going an extra mile.

 

The broad, gleaming, yellow line on the map indexed as AH43 for sore eyes guaranteed no troubles Via Bangalore and Hassan. And so the primary target was set to hit Bangalore by 3 a.m. Being a long weekend, a heavy rush was expected from the Bangaloreans on the road to Chikamagalur and so aimed to reach Bangalore by the 'Devil's hour' to avoid the traffic ahead.

 

As the compound fell to sleep, we got ready to execute the plan as per the bench-marked stats.

 

Locked, loaded and strapped with a thought given hoping for the best, the engine cranked to life and the Journey begun :cool:

 

Starting from the Hi-tech city, we hit the ORR by 10 p.m.,Clearing all the toll-gates without any hassle and getting smiles from the sleepy toll-gate operators we crossed Kurnool which has some horrendous slow-moving truck traffic and sudden speed-breakers. Proceeding ahead we reached Bangalore between 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.(approx.) including the dinner and all the small coffee breaks in-between.

 

Overall, it was blissful drive but, the roads are nowhere as awesome as the Hyderabad ORR stretches.

 

Route taken

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Parting from Bangalore, we headed towards Hassan as per our best route plan which took around 3 ~ 4 hours of drive for about 180 kms where we had stopped by a restaurant to freshen up and grab some morning breakfast. Unfortunately, that pit-stop drew a lot of travelers from other neighboring states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and of course Karnataka itself by the time we reached.

 

Like usual, Just as we ordered, a long queue forms behind us and our urge to reach the destination early grew stronger as we haven’t had any accommodation booked in advance at Chikamagalru. After a heavy hogging and sipping a cup of coffee, we left the place quickly which seemed a favorite to the locals for breakfast

 

 

As we revved up from Hassan it had already ticked 9 a.m. and we were about 60 kms away from the Chikamagalur town. Falling into the early morning tourist traffic, we cleared off the highway leading into the road which carried quite a few potholes. As we raced ahead, the navigator set the beat gesticulating and there we enter the town of Chikamagalur and fell in search a decent place to accommodate for next two nights.

 

After quite a survey,we were guided to the I.G.Road where we could find multiple number of hotels on the either side of the city main road. Among st the few hotels of what we have seen, Hotel S.K.REGENCY seemed quite decent and we so we checked-in to it by 11 p.m.

 

After a tiresome drive overnight we decided to rest down for a few hours after lunch. In the meanwhile, along with our target point (Mullayanagari) we managed to gather the other interesting places to tour around Chikamagalur from the Hotel personnel.

 

Places to be Covered:

1. Mullayanagari

2. Gaalikere

3. Bababudangiri (Datta Peeta)

4. Manikyadhaara and Kadambi Falls

5. Attigundi

6. Kemmangundi

7. Hebbe Falls and Kalahatti Falls

8. Rose Garden

9. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

10. Ayyanakere Lake

 

Get set go:

Day : 01 (October-1st)

After a quick lunch by the room service followed by 3 hours of rest, Sleep was shattered much before the dusk and the wait for taking out the first attractions of the day started to long until we started.

 

It was 4 p.m. as we started off from the hotel aiming to reach the highest peak of Karnataka i.e. Mullayanagari to see the Sun go Down. As the excitement started to build up, the one hour drive up the hill seemed like an awfully long time and a far flung destination. At this critical juncture on the ghat, the Google maps app betrayed us big time. Fortunately, we were guided by a passing two-wheeler and this trial seemed motor-able but is barely wide enough to accommodate 2 cars in parallel. However, driving this trail is not advisable during the dark.

 

The trail crosses through forests, Manikyadhara and Kandambi falls.

The sight of clouds descending on the trail as fog is no less an attraction than the waterfall. After a drive for about 20 kms, When you are almost there at the Bababudanagari (Datta Peeta), the road ahead is of all unpaved , ditches, potholes, poor tarmac and narrow curves, impassable by no others but 4X4 monsters would be an apt option to pace up the terrain.

 

As we headed up the terrain, that sight of those famed beauties Mullayanagiri, Seethalayyanagiri, Bababudangiri, and Kemmangundi carries a feeling nothing short mesmerizing.

 

These pieces of paradise in the western ghats are definitely the pride of our country in the backyard.

 

Traversing the trail off northward from Mullayanagiri peak that straddles the eastern slope cascading down to the 'Windy high altitude lake' called Gaalikere. Gaalikere sits at an elevation of 1700 m above Sea Level and therefore, is one of the few natural mountain lakes in the state.One can get a vista of all the stalwarts Mullayanagiri, Bababudangiri, Gaalikere and Attigundi from the surrounding slopes in a single frame.

 

The sky had turned dark by the time we pulled out of the Mullayanagari hill top to the Bababudangiri point. After a small snacker at a tea stall,I drove 20 kms down the ghat in dark something which we didn't really wanted to do. Nevertheless, returned to the downtown by 9 p.m. It had drizzled during our descent making the drive more adventurous and thrilling.

 

Having had a hectic day throughout we closed down early on Day-01 with an immediate dinner after the drive followed by quick and a peaceful sleep.

 

Here's to show you the pictorial journey of our Day 01

First glimpse of the hills driving into the beautiful western ghats. 

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My drive to the Mullayanagari hill top. 

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Few Breathtaking captures en-route to the Mullayanagari peak.

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(Day 1 cont..)This machine carried us all the way not only through the amazing flat roads but also the potholes and dirt tracks.

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This track led us to a grass plateau where the views started to get better and better. 

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Our first click after we raced to the highest point. 'Mullayanagari Mission Accomplished'. 

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His joy ran out of bounds and there he shows off.. :P

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Vista of all the Stalwarts shot in a single frame.

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Looking down towards the east.

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Sunset hues from the Hill top covering the 'Gaalikere Lake'.

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My machine posing en-route to the emerald hues of Kemmanagundi :D

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At the Crowning Mullayanagari hill top :D.

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Day : 02 (October-2nd)

Next morning it was time to get back to the grind of the downtown. Woke up at 7:00 a.m. got ready and ran straight to a restaurant close by. After a sumptuous breakfast, we started to head towards the Rose garden in Kemmanngundi around 9 a.m. and Lingadhalli where 80% of the roads seemed decent to drive up the hill with Coffee estates on either side of the road welcoming us and hardly any traffic.

 

After a drive of 60 kms for about 90 mins we reached the rose garden. The place looked pretty crowded by the time we had reached and the sun was burning hot and so could not spend much time at the spot.

 

The road further which directs us onto the other side of the Mullayanagari was told that it is totally unpaved and is absolutely suitable only for the 4X4 SUVs. The Honda City which were running on didn't even let us give a random thought to even give it a try as it carries a very low clearance from the ground.

 

On our way down the hill we had stopped by the Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary but to our ill fate, it was shut down for the day and our entry was restricted.Racing down the hill we had two waterfalls to be covered, Hebbe and Kalahatti falls. The Kalahatti falls seemed to have a holy and historic background as it offers an excellent view of the cascading water from a Lord Shiva Temple.

 

The temple had three stone carvings of three elephants at the entrance and Water cascades over these elephants. It is believed that these waters have the power to cure diseases. This place also seemed to be a hot spot for the Trekkers. We had to skip the Hebbe falls for the obvious reasons of not having an SUV to reach the spot and the climate not being supportive for a long hike.

 

Overall, we were not frustrated or irritated for missing out on the Hebbe falls as the mercury was soaring high and the clocked ticked 2 p.m. by the time we got down the hill.

 

Craving for food we moved to hunt for an honest restaurant for lunch on our way to the next destination, Ayyanakere lake.We managed to find a decent hotel on our way and had some wonderful lunch followed by a glass of cane juice. Our drive without this would have been an impossible task as we were getting dehydrated coz of the burning heat outside. Driving ahead for the next 30 kms, we reached the 2nd largest lake in Karnataka 'The Ayyanakere Lake' around 4 p.m.

 

Not so Wide single lane highway with trees on both the sides took us some time on the road to reach this spot. That day being a weekend, the place looked heavily crowded with no place to park our car in a zone which seemed safe. And so we waited for a while on the mud road and managed to park it somehow and walked in. Squealing in excitement and marveling at Nature's works, we were amazed to see what monsoon can do to these water levels.

 

Stunned to see the major stream and if it was not my friend I would have not known about this beauty.One side of the lake looked as it serves the irrigation facility and the Sunset at this lake really made my weekend. We started off from the lake by the dusk around 6 p.m. or so and reached our residence by 8 p.m. for a drive of just 30 kms, all thanks to the traffic that we were left with no charge but to order food at our door step for dinner.

 

The next morning (October-3rd)

 

We had started back early around 4 a.m. taking the same route back to Hyderabad. The roads fluctuates in-between a few towns until you reach Hassan coz of the Fog and sudden ditches.

 

The rest till Hyderabad is a delight to drive on the superb tarmac.Reached the start point before 8 p.m. to grab some Hyderabadi Biryani what we have missed for dinner during the weekend.The sun turned to be harsh on us on the Day 2, nevertheless, left us memories.

 

Amazing weekend had finally come to an end andso is my Travelogue. Hoping that it would serve you on some purpose... Cheers!!!

 

Here's to show you the pictorial journey of our Day 02

The beautiful coffee estates welcoming us during the ascent to the Kemmanagundi rose garden.

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The Sun turned out to be harsh on us that noon.

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Few shots captured from the 'Rose garden'

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(Day 2 cont..)The 2nd largest lake in Karnataka. 'Ayyanakere Lake'

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Scenic beauty surrounding the 'Ayyanakere Lake'

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Fog enveloping the place on our drive back to Hyderabad the next morning.

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The visibility of road every 10 meters ahead has been a way too blurred until 9 a.m. :eek:

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Last pics of the place captured before we had left this paradise .

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We were left with a lot of memories to rewind and the end of it. Cheers!

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Beautiful pictures and the place looks heavenly.

I am planning to do this trip in November. Is it best time to visit?

Google maps is suggesting the shorter route which is only 670 kilometres.But the drive time is same.

Which route do you suggest.

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I've been to these places in October 2013. I'd suggest you to take route from

 

Bangalore-->yeswanthpur-->Hasan-->Belur-->Chikmaglur.

 

The Road was excellent 4 way till Hasan back then. After Hasan you its all decent 2 way roads and ghat roads at few places.

Adding to the above places, I've also been to the Shringeri temple and a water fall near shringeri which was fantastic (I dont remember the water fall name but it could be srimane) and aagumbe ghat (nothing much here) but the visibility while driving on aagumbe ghat was too low.

 

However the best part in the whole trip is driving to Mulayanigiri peak.

Regards,

Santosh

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I've been to these places in October 2013. I'd suggest you to take route from Bangalore-->yeswanthpur-->Hasan-->Belur-->Chikmaglur. The Road was excellent 4 way till Hasan back then. After Hasan you its all decent 2 way roads and ghat roads at few places.

Adding to the above places, I've also been to the Shringeri temple and a water fall near shringeri which was fantastic (I dont remember the water fall name but it could be srimane) and aagumbe ghat (nothing much here) but the visibility while driving on aagumbe ghat was too low.

However the best part in the whole trip is driving to Mulayanigiri peak.

Regards,

Santosh

ok, any idea how many hours will it take from Bangalore.

If I start early from Hyderabad, can I do it without any halt?

Thank you.

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ok, any idea how many hours will it take from Bangalore.

If I start early from Hyderabad, can I do it without any halt?

Thank you.

Hi Uday,

You can easily do it in a single day.Try to start at 4am in the morning.Road condition is good throught out if you go via Bangalore.

Other route suggested by maps is very un predictable.

@santosh

I am planning to do kudremukh this December.Did you visit this place.

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As gowtham said you can easily do it in a single day. You dont have to check for other route unless until if you have something else to cover. Start as early as possible from hyd.

 

Hyd--> Bangalore --> Hasan,

 

Its all 4 way. Actually the road from bangalore to Hasan is Mangalore national highway, But we have to bifurcate to belur road from hasan which is a decent 2 way road in 2013, Not sure about current status.

I haven't been to Kudremukh.

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Excellent narration and photography.. Your pics made me open up the travelogue again n again.. WAiting for the next :D

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Superb and a beautifully narrated travelogue.. That tarmac, the lush greenery and the company of your buddies with a cool run machine.. what more can anyone ask for such an amazing drive.. :)

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Absolutely amazing photographs and great sightings..Your love for nature shines through.. KEep it going.. :)

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Excellent photos and travelogue.
Planning the same in June month (next month)

Hyderabad-Chikmangalur-Mangalore-Murudeswar-Gokarna.


Have been searching for home-stays at individual places.
Any suggestions on them?

 

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17 hours ago, ksa171983 said:

Excellent photos and travelogue.
Planning the same in June month (next month)

Hyderabad-Chikmangalur-Mangalore-Murudeswar-Gokarna.


Have been searching for home-stays at individual places.
Any suggestions on them?

 

In Chikmagalur, you can find two different types of stays. 
You can either stay in town(located at foot hills) or you can stay in hills.

 

Accommodations in town are dirt cheap, there is one full lane filled with hotels. 

We stayed an decent hotel which costed us around 700/- per head, We were around 4 families. 

During our last two drives, we stayed in town only, due to budget and  accessibility. 

 

If you don't have budget constraints, Chikmagalur has fantastic resort options. 

My personal favorite is Trivik Resorts. 
We are planning to have India-Drive meetup at Chikmagalur once the monsoon kicks-in.

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Thanks Gowtham ... will probably stick to town this time ... during the meet up I should be in as well and can use the experience if ID team folks ...

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21 hours ago, ksa171983 said:

Thanks Gowtham ... will probably stick to town this time ... during the meet up I should be in as well and can use the experience if ID team folks ...

 

The name of the lane in the town is I.G road. You would find some really decent stays in row all along the lane. 2000 INR would be a perfect place to book a decent room per day. You can still negotiate with the manager if you go directly to the place depending on the number of days you are going to stay there. Also, make sure you reach the place by noon after starting early from Bangalore. (Reason: Good amount of crowd flows from Bangalore during weekends to this place and you might fall short of good stay options at decent bids) 

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Hi All,

Yesterday I have completed Hyderabad to Chikmagalur route.

There are two routes to Chikmagalur.
 

Route 1:

Best route from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur
Hyderabad --> Kurnool --> Ananthapur --> Doddaballapura --> Hassan --> Chikmagalur

 

Hyderabad to Doddaballapura : Excellent 4-lane toll road

Doddaballapura to Visveswarapura : Single road, road condition is average, but helps in avoiding Bangalore traffic.
You can skip Banaglore traffic using this bypass.

Visveswarapura to Hassan Excellent 4-lane toll road

Hassan to Chikmagalur : Single road, road condition is excellent.

 

It took us around 13 hour to cover this route, while coming back from Chikmagalur to Hyderabad. 

 

Route 2: Worst route from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur

Hyderabad --> Kurnool --> Ananthapur --> Challakere --> Hiriyur --> Chikmagalur

 

We took this route, while going from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur, just to check the status.

  • It is a bad decision. 
  • Roads are very bad once you divert from Ananthapur.
  • There are some mud tracks.
  • Too many diversions.
  • No proper dhabas.
  • No proper fuel options.
  • Avoid this route at any cost. 

 

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      Came out of fort , there are multiple roadside eateries , all of us are hungry and just stormed into one of the eatery where we all will fit. The eatery is an extension to the home and is managed by father - daughter duo. We had dosas for breakfast , and had coffee right after. The eatery owner told us that there are tents available for rent , and other adventure actives are available to do during evening time. (Campfire, Canoeing, Boating etc , also sleeping bags are also available for rent). 
       
      After breakfast i observed a road split off and going in the direction of the near by mountain and windmills, looked more like a service road. I inquired if tourists can drive up there , and to my surprise , they said yes. Drove to the top of the hill , and view of Gandikota fort from there is pretty awesome. we decided to take some pics before leaving.

      (The view of the fort is towards the left of the pic , with penna reservoir in the background, not quite visible)
       
      We left the place at 9:30 at started towards our next destination Orvakal Rock Garden. The Rock garden is opposite to the Kurnool Airport Gate , we reached the place by 12:30. 
      Google maps took us through a route with is not great  till we reached the Rayalaseema express way, but it was very scenic. Too bad we didnt take any pictures while driving , and just enjoyed the views. 
       
      It was 12:30 , by the time we reached Orvakal Rock Garden. There was a APTDC resort. And entry Fee to enter the rock garden. As it was 12:30 we decided to have lunch before heading into the resort, but each one of us went and bought an ice cream or Kulfi , ( Feels like child , when wife or parents are not around). Went ahead to Orvakal Rock Garden. 
      It was not big, but the rocks have been sculptured by air flow over thousands or millions of years. But since it was 12:30 in the after noon , it felt very big. 

      Entrance to the Rock Garden , stairs are neatly cut , and anyone can reach it without any difficulty

      Once you climb up the stairs , you will be greeted with this statue , and then similar statues of multiple animals






      It was so hot that we settled under the iota of shade available in the entire rock garden. 
       
      Notice Mr.Chennai missing from the picture , he again went to explore every nook and corner of the Rock Garden. We waited till he came back and started off to our next destination Alampur. 
       
      Alampur is one of the 18 shakthipeetas , it is the place where Krishna meets Tungabhadra , and is the place for deity Jogulamba. It is said that when Sati immolated herself , Lord Shiva carried her body across the universe. Vishnu not able to see Shiva's sorrow , cut the body of Sati with his Sudarshana Chakra. Those body parts fell back on earth. And it is said that alampur is where Sati's Upper Jaw/teeth fell. 
       
      The road to Alampur was well paved , and Telangana tourism has provided drinking water and other amenities to pilgrims. Mr.Daddy who was here some years back was surprised to see the roads and amenities provided. 



       
      The temple has Medieval architecture , and even if you are not a religious person , but interested in history , you should visit this place. There is a Museum for History buffs. 
       
      We left Alampur at 3:00 P.M and reached Food Pyramid at 4:30 P.M , had some tea , snacks , and started back to Hyderabad. 
       
      We reached Hyderabad at 7:30 P.M , went to DLF to have chai. And after chai , everyone went their own separate ways . May be all 5 us will together be on a trip in 2019 next. 
       
      Signing Off 
      Mr.Driver
       
      P.S : This is my first post , please provide feedback , on Pics , mistakes , Spelling , writing style , any thing which you felt is out of place.
       
       


    • By Raj1
      Hello guys...
      I'm planning for a Road trip from Hyderabad to Goa.... And back to Hyderabad...
       
      I'm new at this... So would love to hear out suggestions about the route to be taken, places to stay along the way and places to visit!
      Along with approximate time duration for all of the trip!
       
      Thanks in advance
    • By Ranger
      A quick drive to Hidden Castle.
      Place is located around 100 kilometers from Hyderabad.
       
      Road condition:
      4-lane with very few diversions. Once you hit the highway, You will reach the destination in an hour.
       
      Food options on highway:
      Enroute you can find Haritha food court.

    • By KSK
      Intro Rant:

      Summers are always tricky. Most people don't prefer to venture out on a trip in summer, for obvious reasons. So, when I bounced an idea off a trip to Warangal this summer, everyone went nuts. They even ridiculed that I'm not in my senses. But I did not want to drop the idea just because someone feels it to be stupid. I needed a break from my monotonous work life, so I was adamant. I know my wife also wouldn't agree; even if she does, she doesn't come considering the weather, but I have to do the customary - inform. My son's response, quick as a wink, was "Let's do it". Wonderful kid. It took some collective effort by me and my son to get the go-ahead from the home minister. Phew!
       
      Plan and Preparation:

      Being a Kakatiya University graduate myself, I regret not exploring enough of Warangal (capital of Kakatiya Dynasty) for long, which is known for its rich history and heritage. Though it is well within 150 km distance from my hometown and also from Hyderabad, I did not specifically travel to see some of its historical places. So, it's that time again - One-day trip!
       
      There was this understanding with my wife and me that any impromptu trip needs to be done and dusted same day. If it's feasible and possible then she and our daughter would also join. Otherwise, my only soul companion is my son on any given day. He can only match and endure my crazy schedule. But being peak summer, my wife was skeptical and worried about excessively hot weather. Only after explaining and reassuring about all necessary precautions taken, we were given the nod. I feel there is nothing like "perfect" time to travel. There is only convenient time. The more the amount of convenience the better. That's it. Peak season travel can bring expensive price tags, overcrowded tours, accommodation, parking and food problems etc. So sometimes off-season travelling could bring in some benefits. One such benefit is leisurely exploring the place in its entirety without hassle. In the end, it proved to be a wise decision as we could spend some quality time exploring the places (especially Laknavaram which is crowded during peak season).
       
      Once the date (April 15th) was decided, it was only up to us on how many places we can cover in a day. We finalized 6 places. I've gone through Google maps for route and order of visit.
       
      The Route:

      Hyderabad -> Bhuvanagiri -> Yadadri -> Kazipet -> Warangal. 
       
      This is the only route everyone takes from Hyderabad, but little did we know what was in store for us. The four-lane road is under construction from Yadadri (Yadagirigutta) to Warangal, and it is a 99-km section of National Highway–163 in Telangana. Lots of patches, diversions and traffic was allowed only on one side. It was a nightmare to drive with heavy oncoming truck traffic especially at night. It took nearly 4 hours to cover 145 odd KMs for return journey, excluding dinner time.
       
      The Journey:

      Below was the order of places we wanted to visit:
       
      Bhadrakali Temple Warangal Fort Thousand-Pillar Temple Ramappa Temple Laknavaram Lake Pakhal Lake  
      Trip Details:
       
      Total distance covered:  539 KM
      Total duration of the trip:  17 hours
       
      Road Conditions:
       
      NH163 - Yadadri to Warangal:  Quite a few diversions, patchy roads, potholes, and heavy truck traffic (at night). Other connecting roads are good to okay. If travelling to Pakhal lake from Laknavaram then do not blindly follow Google maps. It'll take you through some thandas.  We drove almost 6 KM through a thanda and got lost.  Just take left at Mallampalli and follow NH365 until Narsampet (Ambedkar statue), and then take left and follow Pakhal road till the lake.  
      Food Options:
       
      Limited food options everywhere we visited except Warangal. At Laknavaram, food options available like lunch, but depends on the crowd. Better to carry home-made food to other places.  
       
      Parking Facility:
       
      Limited or no proper parking facilities at all places I visited. It'll be chaos at Laknavaram in peak season unless there is an alternative.  

       

       

  • Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th

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