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Pinaki

Hyderabad to Bali - This blue is not Monday Blues

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I guess 2017 has been one of the most significant years for me! I vowed to travel every month and look for places I have never been before and ended up driving, flying more than once to a place unexplored earlier. It was very fascinating for me to see Bali for past few months  and finally in August after been refused by all my friends to fly this year, I booked a seat for myself and fly all the way to Indonesia in Diwali. When there is no one, plan one for yourself! 

 

The trip was small and sweet but glamorous enough for creating awesome memories and experiences to share with everyone. I am ready to fly again…. Not because I am crazy but because I found the province worth visiting again!

 

My flight was from Hyderabad to Kuala Lumpur – 4 Hours with a layover of 2 hours at LCC Airport and three hours flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali, Indonesia. The much controversy of whether we need transit visa at Malaysia…was finally resolved. If your connecting airline is leaving from the same airport, you just need to go through security twice and no visa is required. Incase your airports are different in Malaysia… you better have transit visa applied. Otherwise you need to pay a good amount of money for airport transfer and Transit Visa in Malaysia.  My flight from LCC KLAI2 was decent enough. The airport has plenty of stores to scan and do window shopping, taste Malaysian cuisines and use free net, Wi-Fi and make calls, chat up with people etc.  If you flight is in the morning between Malaysia and Bali… I bet you will love the blue and green ocean with island floating like lotus leaves and petals from the sky high above on the ocean below.

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Immigration is the easiest part of travelling to Bali. All you need return ticket to the resident country, place you will stay in Bali and that’s it! No visa… required. You get stamped and you are in Bali. The airport is cute and nice! The immigration queue is big but it moves like wind…. Quick and fast.  The Green channel has snipper dog going through your bag till you get it scanned and exit the airport. We had cab booked for the day. The transfer to airport was very easy.  The airport is at Denpasar. From Denpasar we headed to Kuta. It took just 25 minutes for us!

 

Pictures on our way to Grand Inna

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Bali believes in rich Hindu Culture. 

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Kuta is the place to be!

The place is known for parties, shopping, sea beach, night life, food and cafes. My residence was at Grand Inna Kuta. I recommend everyone, try this hotel out. On the left you have the biggest shopping mall facing the sea and on the right and back, lanes with café, pubs and restaurants. The local stores increase the charm of the place. Happy hours and free Wi Fi everywhere make the place easy to walk and learn more about the location. The hotel has its own happening private beach! Grab a seat next to the beach restaurant and enjoy the breeze, jump in one of the pools to kill the heat or swim and drink or just walk to the beach, sit and sip a drink under palm trees. Plenty of footfalls from Australia, France and Germany! It goes without saying, everyone walk and sit in the beach around sun rise and sunset with families and special ones to enjoy the breeze and the scenic beauty.

 

The color of the sea is deep blue and super clean! The waves are huge and froth are so white on the white sand… you will love to dip your legs in the sand at night and wash the feet in the water.  The food at the Hotel was also quite good. We have tried quite a few cafes and restaurants locally. It’s worth eating and drinking at happy hours. The hotel also serve free complimentary breakfast which is a good spread next to the pool. 

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The room at the hotel was sea facing as well. There are two wings with four levels. One wing connects you to the garden and a big pool with Indonesian feelings. The other wing connects you to the garden beach and pool with modern look and feel. Both have its own charm. All you need is to select a room of your choice and preference. The attitude of every attendant at the hotel makes you feel humbled. The smile and the way they communicate, address and delight you every other way is quite impressive.

 

For phone connection, you can take a sim card which has a lot of options. I used 3G connectivity for outside Wi-Fi zone and WhatsApp. The network was pretty strong across all over Bali expect for few remote places. Just after the lunch, we headed towards a city trip by a cab.  You can go for Blue bird taxi radio cab or you can book a cab on few hour basis. My target was to drive over Mandara Toll Bridge. It is five years old now. It connects you to all the island and area of Bali. For four wheelers, the cost of one side is 12,000 IDR and connects you to three important destinations – Jimbaran, Nusa Dua and Sanur.

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Day 1

The first night was at Jimbaran. 

It is a place filled with beach restaurants. The night with start filled sky, beautiful sea and songs around, you feel good enough to sit and leisurely have your dinner looking at the sea. The beach is clean and also have waves high enough! The sunset is beautiful. Sea food is super cheap and very tasty! Local people come and sing awesome songs for you at your table. You can turn back and see the local dance performance as well. After dinner, we returned back to the hotel. In the mist of light and darkness, it was very beautiful and relaxing to sit in the beach and hear the waves till you feel you are ready to sleep.

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Day 2

 

The next day sunrise was so beautiful from the room, it automatically recharge your legs to step out of your cozy bed and walk to the beach! After the heavy breakfast, we headed for a walk around the shore! It’s pristine and beautiful! The place has so much to explore and so much to view the sea from different spots and restaurants and clean rock beds. Around 11 AM, we had our cab picked up to Banur for water sports! Nusa Dua and Jimbaran are two places known for water sports. The island do have many other places too but we selected Nusa Dua side. Mind you, you will have many agents conducting different water sports. We did snorkeling for one hour- it was an awesome experience, sea walk, Turtle Island to see the ways government is protecting the sea life and other creatures.  Turtle Island has a small sanctuary. You can see turtles ages between few months to 400 years. They also have owl, parrots, macaw, and snakes. The sail was in glass bottom boat! The exploration was beautiful.

After water sports, we returned back to our Kuta beach and spend watching the sunset.

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The night was to explore more of Kuta and visit number one pub –Sky garden. It ranks 88th in the world ranking and worth going if you are planning for great music, fireworks, laser show and world DJs... The crowd is quite good and decent! Try your lucky early for unlimited drink and buffet which can save your money in eating and drinking. 3000 people at one place with great screen and music, has its own charm. The street remains crowded till early morning! So there is no fear of walking back to the hotel or looking for a cab to another location.

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Day 3

Today was the day for us to check out of Kuta and move to Nusa Dua.  Unlike Kuta, Nusa Dua has serene beach with all boutique hotels and resorts and spa. This place is primarily for people looking for water sports, tranquility, and peace. The beach has rich corals and water life. Every resort has its own shore and water sports arranged.  One our way to Nusa Dua... we did visit one of the high end boutique resort for coffee and spa.

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The walking area is high above the edge of the sea. The scenic beauty is breathe taking. The spa, infinity pool and Jacuzzi are all under the open sky facing the breath taking sea and hills. The glass boundary makes you feel to just close your eyes and enjoy relaxing for hours. The tranquility of the place is so so high, I bet you won’t feel like stepping out immediately.IMG_1657_HEIC.jpg.25d4080da00e0a1f99f9242bf2f3fe3b.jpg

 

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Our Hotel was great enough to provide us free complimentary snacks and high tea every day during our stay. We also had few other complimentary services like spa and breakfast. At late afternoon, we decided to visit Uluwatu! Its 21 kms from Nusa Dua. Uluwatu has coffee plantation on both sides, amazing view from the Uluwatu temple on the sea. The place is big and have many visitors from across the globe to enjoy the sunset and local dance inside the temple next to the sea after the sunset.  The ocean beauty is unparalleled coupled with the sunset. I have never seen, so many people at one place and still there is silence, peace, serenity across the place.

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The local dance is very enriching. They play the story of Ramayana in two episodes. The first episodes bring the essence of Indonesian culture. The second episode is just hilarious! The performers, the artists go all across the open studio and pull up audience in different funny activities and performance. The beauty is when they address different countries and audience cheers up together for each country.

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The day was over and it was our turn to visit coffee plantation. I have never been to a coffee plantation before. Though it was dark, it was an experience to walk down the alley in the plantation and taste over 15 varieties of coffee free of cost! The taste of every coffee is so unique and nice, if I had all the store and money, I would have buy all of them. It was not a bad expense. I bought few varieties of coffee worth tasting and drinking everyday.

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One of the observations worth mentioning – Balinese follow traffic rules and queue. Just before the monsoon, Government has been very proactive in building up the roads and repair the pending work. Traffic is so smooth even in small lanes on hill region, everyone is patient, follow lanes and queue. I didn’t hear honking or experience potholes! We headed towards Jimbaran for some shopping and it was fantastic to experience the local handmade or manufactured items.

 

Day 4

Today was the day to visit –Nusa Lembongan .One of the most popular islands of Bali. Incase you want to visit coral reef and jump from the edge on natural bathtubs in the sea, you can go to Nusa Penida as well. Nusa Lembongan swift boats leave by 9.30 AM. Every day. You need to buy tickets or book before through an agent for your trip. You will be allocated with a time line to return and check out from the island. The arrangements are awesome for passengers. You hold two tickets with you. Upon your check in, you will be given a band to wear all day.

 

The band colors are different for different people or group. People going for water sports like scuba diving will have band color different from people going on exploring the land of Nusa Lembongan. They collect your footwear before you board the boat. Over the blue sea and high waves as go towards the coral island, your eyes do have the cucumber effect by the beauty! Nusa Lembongan has a lot of places to explore.  Yellow bridge, devil’s tears, dream beach, under house, panoramic view, mango groove boating, kayaking. The day is so engaging and super-fast, you won’t realize its 4 PM and you would love to hold back yourself on the island. The beauty of the coral, sea, waves, oceanic color is so so like a dream …. It brings back a lot of peace and happiness in you.

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IMG_2291_HEIC.jpg.2c5f9bc96730b03eb95a2c792744b9f2.jpg The panoramic view is from the top of the mountain which looks like Spain! The blue green Coral Sea – stretched across the white sand with red tiled casa and trees around

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The Devil tears spot have massive water blows and waves that can sweep people out in seconds. However nothing stop mankind to sit on the rock beds and shoot the water blow and giant waves and roar of waves every second. It’s like a tub on a swing moving right to left over a pendulum. 

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You can befriend quite a few travelers or fellow passengers on this trip either during complimentary breakfast or over lunch or transfer to island. It’s like everyone is in consensus with - how beautiful Bali is –whether you are an Australian, French, German, Malaysian or another Indian.IMG_2576_HEIC.jpg.a0242cf2ca106317ea006ec304ae0afb.jpg

 

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Indonesian people are very friendly and open. They would often greet you on roads and in hotels and shopping outlets. They would often try to impress you with singing a Hindi song or speaking some festivals of India. It’s very common for men to come and flirt with a girl in a very healthy way. Please don’t take offence. They have no bad intention. It’s just a way to appreciate you are beautiful, my lady. Always smile back to someone talking to you or asking you a simple question. Balinese are very close to their roots and religion. They offer food to souls and spirits every day. They often can ask you –Are you Hindu? Don’t get offended. You can simply smile and say yes or just in a friendly way say no. They don’t take the conversation any further even if you say “Yes”.

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I did enjoy the Balinese cuisines. Nusa Goreng rice or noodles is now one of my favorites. They also serve you chicken with peanut butter sauce. Try them out. 

The best season for visiting Bali is June to October. The season after October is very humid and have heavy rainfalls. After April, the location takes time to bring back the beauty till end of May. August and September are two pick seasons with beautiful weather and season around.

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Incase you love mountains, you can visit Ubud! It is not only beautiful, its breath taking. The slow life, followed with scenibeauty of rice

terrace farming and facing of the hotels and villas to waterfalls and sea can take your breath away.  If you want to experience volcanic activity, you can go to Batur. They come and pick you up at 1 in the morning and you can walk on the slope till 4.30 in the morning for the beautiful sunrise by 6 AM. You can see the fumes and feel the heat over the hill which brings a kind of a different experience of seeing the volcanic readiness in the hill.

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Beautiful story.
Enjoyed reading it.
Pictures of beach are too good.

So the typical question flashes in my mind:

  • How much does the whole trip cost you?
  • How many days are good enough to explore Bali?
  • Is it advisable to take self drive vehicles in Bali?
  • Climatic conditions are similar to India?
  • Average prices of accommodations?
  • How much does the beach view resorts cost? 

 

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Nice write up buddy. Much visit place for a vacation. 

True and it’s amazing for couples and group of friends too !
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Beautiful story.
Enjoyed reading it.
Pictures of beach are too good.

So the typical question flashes in my mind:
  • How much does the whole trip cost you?
  • How many days are good enough to explore Bali?
  • Is it advisable to take self drive vehicles in Bali?
  • Climatic conditions are similar to India?
  • Average prices of accommodations?
  • How much does the beach view resorts cost? 
 

Yes yes yes, pinaki answer these. I shall plan my trip accordingly
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23 hours ago, Ranger said:

So the typical question flashes in my mind:

 

 

How much does the beach view resorts cost? 

 

If I take the major expenses here you go

Flight Tickets - 27000 INR. Two ways, Airasia. HYD- KLM -KLM -Denpasar, Bali. I heard Etihad also throws cheap flight tickets. I doubt. Those are offers like from Airasia. Travel without luggage. 

 

Hotel - Plenty of options are there in Bali. I would say, if you go to a good site, you will see almost all the hotels are awesome and rating ranges between 6.5 to 9. Some are expensive ranging between 21, 000 or above and some are as cheap as INR 2000 per night. I selected a hotel costing me INR 4500 per night. 

However it was on sharing between me and my friend. So split the money to half. INR 4500 for four nights - INR 18, 000. So its INR 9000 each. 

Water sports, Island trip,  cab hire - INR 15000 to INR 18000

 

If you are looking for big resorts, up class and chic -nothing will come less than INR 12,000 or so. If you are lucky you might pay INR 9000 sometimes. Otherwise... good hotel with private beach will cost you close to INR 4000 and above. 

 

There are entry fee for few shows and activities and toll tax - This might cost you another INR 3000

Food - Unless and Until, you dont want to step out and eat only at your resort - Yes please spend all your money on food and drinks and do nothing. :P  :P:P

 

The place has so many restaurants, cafes , small outlets - You will never run out of options . Explore the restaurants and try out dishes. Since a lot of Europeans and Australians visit Bali, you will find plenty of dishes from these continents and also have a huge influence of Indian culture as well. Food might cost you around INR 2500 in an upclass restaurants but the same tasty mean is available somewhere between INR 800 to INR 1200 per person at other places. Sometimes you can have three meals a day at these places costing INR 1000 per day. I am not kidding and they are all good and safe. 

 

 

Climatic conditions are similar to India?

 

Weather in Bali is awesome during August to October. Post October its monsoon and the beaches become dirty and very humid. The weather is seriously bright, clean and cool between June to October. Try yourself.. You wont regret! This is the peak season as well, so the cost might go high... stilll if it rains and you are locked down inside, do you think it worth flying this distance? 

 

Is it advisable to take self drive vehicles in Bali?

 

I didn't explore the option of driving in Bali. However what it looks like, you can hire a cab, with driver and fuel for 12 hours and pay just a little over INR 2100. He would take you to all the places you want.  Toyota and Infinity are two big giants you can see all over Bali! Whether you want a SUV or you want a small car, you will always get Toyota for sure . Every time I hired a cab for myself I got Toyota Avanza. Roads are pretty good and nice. I would suggest relax yourself and take a driver if you are on a short trip! Incase your plan for the trip is over five days or so you might hire a car for self drive. A lot of days you will not be with your car since you will be away from Bali on a trip to island and water sports. 

 

How many days are good enough to explore Bali?

 

4 days in Bali was really short and hectic! A lot of times you will think you have really missed some hot spots like Ubud, Batur, Nusa Penida and few beaches in the east or down south itself though they were that close to you. My plan is to Hit Bali in August 2018 once again but my base will be in Kuta. Probably a day in that Uluwatu! Rest of the time I will be covering all the places I didnt go. 

 

How much does the whole trip cost you?

 

Overall I would say, I didnt cross INR 60, 000. Incase even if I did, this was my first trip so I know next time I will save much more.. because Bali offers you to save and give back money you have invested through its nature, beauty and luxury! 

Must try for all friends and couples. 

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Lovely travel story @Pinaki.. Beautiful man. The way you have written it was amazing. very much enjoyable. Could drop a short note on all the places to visit in Bali for a trip to do ? :)

 

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Excellent write up[mention=490]pinaki[/mention]. Made me relive memories from my trip to this beautiful place

Varun , You made my day that time itself when we two were chatting and I was in front of sky garden and Bitang house! U hv been a fantastic guide
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2 hours ago, Sridhar Tandra said:

@Pinaki I will also try my best to join with my family! count me in if you can allow families traveling along with you, I promise my daughter will not let you sit or stand :P:P

 

@Sridhar Tandra .. Haha.. I am sure they will become families by the time the plan hits off the shore :D

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[mention=490]Pinaki[/mention] I will also try my best to join with my family! count me in if you can allow families traveling along with you, I promise my daughter will not let you sit or stand

Ya ha ha! I’m absolutely fine with that
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      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.  

       

       

    • By sreeni
      Dear ALL,
      I am planning to travel to tirupati from Hyderabad by in a automatic car.
      Don't want to take bad roads. Can anyone please suggest the best route?
    • By travel.rtc
      This trip happened  during Novemeber 1st week 2018 and November first being our 9th Marriage Anniversary - we wanted to celebrate it in Mysore hence drived down to Mysore and to Ooty .
       
      Started 10:00P:M from Hyderabad and highway was little busy with all RTC and Private Buses towards Bangalore and different parts of Rayalaseema.....we stopped at Kurnool Toll Tax and then started again but started being on a working day after tiring office work has shown the tiredness and me being only driver for the entire trip took good breaks ...we stopped between Kurnool and Anantapur near some petrol bunk and after Anantapur in the early morning to take some power naps ....Reached Bangalore Outskirts by 7:30 ..
       
      The Morning Mystic view of Nandi Hills and surroundings was awesome and Bangalore Highway is very very super road except few speed breakers else so much fun to drive straight road.
      -- We Stopped at Hotel Nandi Upachar : https://goo.gl/maps/LwP1NeFtZoG2 
      Hotel was very very Decent and Has Nice Rest Rooms and ample parking place  - had quick refresh and Nice break Fast and there was Some Minister Visiting the Hotel and traffic was halted ...we had to further wait for 30 more minutes and started at 9:30 A:M and it took us some time to cross Bangalore and Hit Mysore Highway - as usual Bangalore traffic took a toll on us and Mysore highway was little busy.
       
      We Stopped at Kamath  for quick Lunch and then Started for Mysore .
      I have a friend who works in Travel agency in Bangalore , he generally takes care of hotel bookings or cab bookings if needed whenever we are around  he has booked a room for us in Mysore  at Hotel Vyshak Residency - Hotel was good and has Hot water Supply all the day  - This )hot water)  is one of the must for the Hotels around that place in Winters 
       
      -- Next Day Early Morning we went for Chamundi Temple  - Chamundeshwari Devi -One of the ShaktiPeeta ,We had good Darshan and had some prasadam at their kitchen.
       
      While returning, at the Parking Lot My mother overheard some one saying Ooty from Here is 160 kms - She immediatley said to me its 160 kms which means like Hyderabad - Nizamabad [Nizamabad being my Native]
      She asked me ,Shall we go to Ooty too.
      Who can deny an drive down to Ooty and I said immediately OK and haven't said anything about Road -,she was not aware of Ghat road and being traveled  on Butter smooth Roads from Hyderabad till Mysore she expected it to be same straight roads....but later she was scared to the max after Gudalur when it was pitch dark and raining and Ghat Road Started
       
      We had a quick visit to Shri Ganapathi Sachidanda Ashram and started for Ooty at 2:30 P:M  - if any one has this in bucket list when they visit Mysore and wants decent stay they can ask for room in Ashram campus and it is pretty less compared to outside while returning  to Hyderabad we have to stay in Mysore as it was night when we returned to Mysore from Ooty and we asked an room for accommodation as  it falls left while entering Mysore and they gave us a Big room was charged 500 Rs - all facilities were provided indeed 
       
      Took little while to cross Mysore , later we had took some time to find an ATM to get cash and has to look for ATMs in NanjanGud , the Route taken was Via :
      NanjanGud  - > Gundlupete ->Bandipur -> Gudalur -> Ooty
       
      ---- Took Right turn after GundluPete  and went 11+ kms to visit Gopalaswamy Betta ....But now cars are not allowed to be driven till the temple and one must Take Karnataka Tourism Buses ...and those will be plied till 4:000 P:M By the time we went there its was 4:00 and we dont has an Option and it started getting dark  and we started back , returned to Gundlupete and reached Bandipur
      Same friend of mine booked a Room for us in  3 Star Hotel - Hotel Preethi Classic http://www.hotelpreethiclassic.com   which was closer to city center and had quick tour of Tea Factory , Botanical gardens did shopping at Tibet Market - Finding Good food in Ooty is little tough and we had our breakFast at A2B and its pretty decent and good .
       
      Return Journey was Simple - Stopping here and there for few clicks and my car being Wagon R and people cautioned about clutch issues generally occur in that route and asked me to take some breaks and give some time for car and then start ...slowly reached Gudalur and it took sweet 4 hrs including photo breaks and tea breaks , Reached Mysore by 8:00 P:M  ,me being no mood to drive  wanted a break and i thought of starting next day early morning , and went to Ganapathi Sachithananda Aashram  -
       
      They allotted a room  , we went to near by restaurant and had dinner - Next Day Morning after a good nap and fresh-up started at 5:30 A:M to Bangaore- Hyderabad , Had Break fast at A2B Food Court after Mysore on Bangalore Highway [Excellent and Neat rest Rooms] 
      Crossed Bangalore in midst of heavy traffic and being Monday it was very very tedious to cross Bangalore - Had stop after Bangalore at Shell Bunk and topped up the fuel ,they have checked the car and i took their engine oil and they did the oil change in quick time and started for Hyderabad . Bangalore Highway is one of the best roads i have driven and being day time we can find less traffic on Roads and one can certainly get bored too ...went into Anantapur town in search of a good mess for Lunch but traffic made to change our plans and we stopped at Dhaba some where in between Anantapur and Kurnool  highway .
       
      After having Some Rotis started for Hyderabad which was Straight Road with speed breakers here and there 
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  • Gandikota meetup on January 26 and 27th

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