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Car : Ford Freestyle Titanium, Petrol 1.2
No. of people – 2 (young couple, both can drive)
Avg Mileage – 15kmpl
Travel time : 15hrs
Google Maps set for route: Miyapur –> Zaheerabad –> Hunmabad –> Gulbarga –> Bagalkot –> Belgaum –> Chorla Ghat –> Goa (Candolim)
We got our car washed and fuelled a day before we began our long road trip across South West Coast about which I'll be sharing the details in my upcoming blog .
We started as planned from Miyapur (NH65) at 4:30 am, to beat the sorry morning traffic of Hyderabad and to catch a glimpse of rising sun. We were not disappointed as we hit outer highway of Patancheru, we felt like we were gliding in clouds as it was filled with fog and mist.
When we reached Zaheerabad around 6:00 AM after crossing the 1st Toll at Kamkole (Rs.90/- Toll charges), we decided to take a quick break as the rising sun just engulfed us with its beautiful rays and colors.
Since we were not particular about food (not being foodies) energy bars were enough to fuel us on the go as breakfast saving us ample time towards our destination.
The 4-lane roads till Zaheerabad was very smooth. (Travelers remember to stay on NH65, else you will be traversing inside the Zaheerabad city and may be wasting precious time.) We continued straight on the highway and entered the Karnataka border in 15 mins.
As we entered Karnataka we were welcomed by patchy roads and speed breakers. My husband gave a humors comment: “Welcome to the world of Speed breakers!”
After the 2nd Toll at Mangalgi (Rs.85/- toll charges) we accelerated towards Hunmabad as the roads were smooth. An engrossing conversation made us forget to take left towards Gulbarga and drifted to Mumbai Highway bridge. A sweet voice, by Ford Navigation pre-loaded offline maps, soon alerted us to take a U-turn after a kilometer while Google maps adjusted its route via Basavakalyan. We thanked and appreciated Ford’s invention and took U-turn followed by a right turn underneath the bridge. We continued our journey towards Gulbarga shifting our gears from NH65 to NH50.
We progressed to drive on NH50 and realized the time was around 8am when we saw a field of Sunflowers pointing at the sun among endless fields of sugarcane and cotton plantation. As there were no good hotels to stop for a tea break we moved on and reached Gulbarga in an hour. Since we had a long way to go, we didn’t want to get inside the city and hence took the ring road approaching towards Vijayapura.
During a long journey towards Vijayapura so many windmills across the road welcomed us. We took the advantage of the car's off-roading skills and went closer to the windmills through a field.
From the lessons learnt in the morning we ensured to shift from NH50 to NH52 by taking a left turn near Vijayapura.
Nearly about an hour after crossing Vijayapura we were amazed to drive on Uttar Karnataka’s longest bridge built on the river Krishna situated in Kolhar.
Since we got our lunch packed from home, we took a 15min break near Bagalkot. We resumed our journey at 1pm and reached Belgaum by 3:30pm where we refuelled our car (2nd full tank).
As we wanted to drive the Chorla Ghat before Sunset we continued without further breaks. Ghat roads initially were smooth but turned out to be patchy nearing Goa. The sky dusked as we entered Goa and travelled through the dark, narrow and silent lanes of Poriem, Bicholem and Paliem. Travelling through the busy roads of Calangute we reached our destination, Candolim, by 7:30pm.
Glimpse of Ghat road
We stayed in recently constructed property in a peaceful locality of Pintos Vaddo street in Candolim.
Property details: Sonika’s Leisure. A decent hotel with in-house bar & restaurant, swimming pool and AC rooms with attached balcony and excellent Wifi connectivity. Rooms were very neat with sparkling clean bathrooms. Great hospitality and yummy food.
The Jungle Book By Rudyard Kipling - During my childhood , the only cartoon which used to come on DD is Junglebook. And the kids from early 90's late 80's would surely know the underwear clad Protagonist Mowgli. Some of us, like me, would also recollect the song "Jungle Jungle Baat chali hai , pata chala hai , chaddi pehenke phool kile hai" , Now you might be wondering why is this guy being nostalgic , well the story of Jungle book is set in Pench National Park. Hence the nostalgia.
Planning to the weekend Trip To Pench :
I stay in Hyderabad , and cannot complete the trip to Pench in a Weekend drive. But if you plan properly , you can complete the trip in a weekend. I did this trip with my parents, my dad being in his mid 60's is eager and enthusiastic for trips.
Booked a train from Secundrabad to Nagpur on a friday night. Booked a Zoom car on Saturday Morning from Nagpur. Booked a room in one of the resorts from Saturday to Sunday. (One Day). Booked Return Tickets on Sunday Night from Nagpur to Secundrabad. Reach Hyderabad on Monday morning , and go to office.
Actual Trip :
We have booked tickets to Nagpur on Secundrabad-Nagpur SF express , the train leaves at 22:15 from Secundrabad station. The train reaches 8:15 AM sharp to Nagpur station.
We woke up at 7 in the train itself , and freshened up. When the train reached Nagpur , for our conveyance i borrowed my friend's car. Very generous of him to lend his car for my family trip. He left the car for us at the station back gate. For other's , there are multiple options of self drive cars are available. Choose the car according to your needs.
Another thing i had to keep in mind with my elderly father is his food. He has to eat on time and take medicines accordingly. Hence we went to the nearest Haldiram's to have our breakfast. To my bad luck , this particular Haldiram's was serving all south indian breakfast that day. I wanted to try something with Pav. .
( Haldiram's where we had our breakfast)
(Inside of haldiram's , where we had our breakfast)
After having breakfast, my friend left for his place, and decided that we would catch up again here , to return back the car the next day. It was 10:00 A.M by the time we started for Pench National park.
We booked our accommodation at Pench Jungle Camp (https://www.penchjunglecamp.com/) , and we also booked the Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner package along with accomodation. We also made the safari booking through them. so no other headaches. but if you do book by yourself , it might be a little cheaper.
It took us 2 hours 30 mins(Approx) to reach Pench Jungle camp. And it was 12:30 P.M by the time we reached there. Took some time for check in , and had our Lunch immediately , before even going into our Tents. Lunch was buffet , completely Indian. You will find both Veg and Non-Veg options. Reachech Tents by 2:00 P.M.
(The fan and the chandelier inside the tent)
(beds , and a lovely wall art)
(Extra space with Sofas)
The tents are comfortable , we got ready by 3:30 P.M for the evening safari. The safari timing's is evening 4:00P.M till 7:00 P.M , and morning 5:30 A.M till 10:30 A.M.
We went to safari on both the days, Saturday evening and Sunday morning. As the Safari was organised by the Resort on Sunday morning , they had packed some sandwitches and boiled eggs , for us to eat. After coming back at 11:00 A.M , we had our break fast , went to our tents , freshened up and checked out at 1:00 P.M. We paid to have our Lunch , there in the resort , and left Pench by 2:30 P.M , By 5:30 we were back at Haldiram's in Nagpur , to catch up with my friend and have some coffee.
My friend dropped us at the railway station, we took the train Nagpur - SC train back to Hyderabad. Below are some of the pics from the safari.
(The water tanker is used to fill water in ponds for animals)
(If you are luck, you will spot a tiger , )
( This tent/housing belongs to forest dept , and they serve tea/biscuits for tourists, Also notice Mowgli , of the far left of the image)
(Deers in Pench River)
(Thats the safari Road)
Trip Query: Hyderabad to Kolkata Road Trip (Hyd - Vizag - Bhubaneswar - Kolkata) , travelling on 21-Dec-19 Accommodation recommendations: Looking for accommodation in Vizag and BBSR (night halts). Highway food joint recommendations: Any suggestions on lunch point between the following: Hyderabad to Vishakhapatnam Vizag to Bhubaneswar Bhubaneswar to Kolkata No. of days: 2 nights and 3 days (onward) Vehicle : Duster RXS 85PS Places to visit: Planning to cover the below places on the way: Chilka Lake (onward) Dhabaligiri (onward) Konark Temple. (return)
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