Tata Nano – 2287.4 Km Trip from Mumbai to South Karnataka Temples

Discussion in 'Travelogues' started by maheshkiyer, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. maheshkiyer

    maheshkiyer Member

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    The Planning:
    In the last week of December-2014, my son had Christmas Vacation, myself and wife could manage 5 days leave from 29.12.2014 to 02.01.2015. Thus started the plan for a trip to South Karnataka. In fact, we had planned to cover the temples of Murudeshwara-Kollur-Sringeri-Dharmasthala-Kuke Subramanya-Kateel-Udupi on our return journey from Dhanushkodi in June-2014, but due to some exigencies, we could not visit these places at that time.
    As usual, the dilemma as to whether to go by car or by train started. We had not booked the tickets and planned to book tatkal or premium tatkal tickets. The premium tatkal fare from Mumbai to Udupi in sleeper class is Rs.625. The to and fro fare for 4 persons would come to Rs.5000/-. Add to this the local journey fare of hired car of approximately Rs.15000. So the total travel expenses would come to Rs.20000/-. This is only the travelling cost. In fact I had phoned a tour operator in Udupi who quoted Rs.18000/- for four days to cover all these places.
    The total Km. from Dombivli to all the above places and back was approximately 2200 Km. Nano had given me an average mileage of 22 Kms with AC during our last trip to Dhanushkodi. With petrol prices around Rs.72 per litre, the approximate cost of the trip to South Karnataka by car was arrived at Rs.7200/-, which was obviously more economical than the journey by train.
    Anyway, considering the risk factor, we had decided to keep the travel by car as Plan-B. I had decided to keep the car ready and try for premium tatkal ticket for journey on 27.12.2014. I had already done a full service of the car one month ago. However, one of the car’s back right side tyres was punctured and it was beyond repair. I was using the spare tyre. I had to buy one new tyre for the car so I went to a nearby tyre shop. After inspection of all the tyres, the Appollo tyre fellow had advised me to change both the right side tyres as the front tyre had also developed some bulging. So I ended up buying two new tyres instead of one. I washed the car thoroughly and cleaned the interior and made the car ready for the journey.
    On 26.12.14 at 10 am I was ready to book tickets in the IRCTC website. The tickets were available when I booked, but before the transaction could be completed through the payment gateway, I could get only waitlisted tickets. So the plan of going by train had to be ditched and it was finally decided to undertake the journey by car. The tentative itinery was drawn up as under:

    DATE DAY FROM TO Km REMARKS
    28.12.14 DAY-1 Dombivli Ankola 694 Stay at Ankola
    29.12.14 DAY-2 Ankola Murdeshwara 84
    DAY-2 Murdeshwara Kollur 60 Stay at Kollur
    30.12.14 DAY-3 Kollur Sringeri 148
    DAY-3 Sringeri Dharmasthala 171Stay at Dharmasthala
    31.12.14 DAY-4 Dharmasthala Kuke 54
    DAY-4 Kuke Kateel 114 Stay at Kateel
    1.1.2015 DAY-5 Kateel Udupi 45
    DAY-5 Udupi Ankola 184 Stay at Ankola
    2.1.2015 DAY-6 Ankola Dombivli 694 Reach home
    TOTAL 2248


    On 27.12.14 when we informed our tour plans to our relatives, my father-in-law (FIL), aged 76 yrs also expressed his desire to join us. Me, my wife and my son were the initial members of the journey. We explained the difficulty of undertaking such a grueling journey by car. However, my FIL was very much interested and was game for the adventure. So we told him to pack the bag and be ready by 4 am the next day and we would pick him up on our way.
    Some teaser photos:
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    Attached Files:

  2. parbhakar

    parbhakar New Member

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    post some more pics of the tour :rolleyes:
     
  3. maheshkiyer

    maheshkiyer Member

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    DAY-1:- 28.12.2014: SUNDAY
    Got up at 3 am and got ready. The bags were packed in the previous night. By 4.30 am loaded the bags in the car and after some seconds of silent prayer, started to my FIL’s place in Nandivli in Dombivli east, which is a 10 minutes’ drive from where I stay, to pick up my father-in-law. He was waiting near the gate, with full enthusiasm. After picking him up, started at 4.45 am towards Manpada Road, and prayed before the Ayyappa temple on the way. Crossed first toll naka at Katai at 4.58 am. The Shilpata NH4 toll naka was crossed at 5.17 am. Just before joining the Mumbai-Pune highway, my wife wanted tea, as we were up from 3 am and hunger-pangs have started. After a ten minute stop, joined the Mumbai-Pune highway, and drove at a steady pace of 70-80 km per hour. After the Kalapur toll naka, which was crossed at 6.11 am, stopped for a bowl of boiled chana and some biscuits.
    During our earlier journey, we used to stop for ten minutes after every 100 kms. However, with my FIL with us, it was decided that we would stop every one hour so that he can stretch himself if he wants.
    So we drove at a very leisurely pace, enjoying the drive. Not much traffic anywhere may be the day being a holiday. The atmosphere at Lonavala – Khandala was very pleasant and rejuvenating. It gave us a feeling as if we were in Ooty. The road till the Mumbai Pune was smooth, but after Pune, the road maintenance was very poor till Karad. From Karad, till ankola the road was wide and smooth.
    Passed Khedeshivapur toll plaza on NH4 at 8.56 am, Anewadi toll at 11.22 am, Tasawade toll plaza at 12.21 pm and Kini toll plaza at 1.33 pm. After the light refreshments in the Mumbai-Pune expressway, we were not hungry and we only stopped for lunch at Kagal, on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, after a drive of 381 Kms. It was around 2.30 pm. We had our lunch of simple Maharashtraian food consisting of rice, dal and roti.
    Crossed Hattargi toll at 4.04 pm. Due to the frequent stops, the progress was very slow. Belgaum-Dharward tollway was crossed at 05.01 pm. Our target for the day was Ankola. But it was getting doubtful whether I could reach Ankola today.
    Reached the crossroad at Kalaghatgi at 6.30 pm. The right turn will lead to Ankola. It is 164 km more. The road is a two lane one which winds through dense forest. After sunset, it was getting difficult to drive due to the glare from the oncoming truck traffic. Hence we decided to call it a day at Yellapur, at 7.30 pm.
    Day-I Statistics:
    Total Km driven – 658 Km from Dombivli to Yellapur
    Total Petrol filled – Rs. 1500 [Rs.900 before start]
    Total Toll paid - Rs. 710.

    Some random snaps of the day:

    On the Mumbai-Pune expressway:

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    The lodge at Yellapur. Very basic facilities. As it was not a planned stop, we had to bear the inconveniences.

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    Day two follows:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  4. maheshkiyer

    maheshkiyer Member

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    DAY-2:- 29.12.2014: MONDAY:
    Left Yellapur at 7.30 am. After 10 minutes of drive, filled petrol and had tea at Yellapur itself. First destination today was Murdeshwar, 153 Kms from Yellapur. Our plan was to have breakfast at RNS highway hotel at Murdeshwar. However, when we reached RNS around 11 am, there was no breakfast available in RNS. Hence, after freshening up in RNS itself, we drove towards the left turn to Murdeshwar temple, which is 2 kms from the highway.
    There was a minor traffic snarl on the very narrow road leading to the temple, as huge buses and an auto rickshaw stand on the right side of the road were blocking the flow of traffic. A policeman was seen regulating the traffic but he was having a very difficult time controlling the two wheelers. The buses were full of school students who, it seemed to be, were on a school picnic to various temples. In fact, the school children on picnic were constant companions to us on all the temples we visited.
    We negotiated the traffic snarl after a wait of about 20 minutes and after parking the car near the temple, went for our breakfast at a nearby hotel - Kamat Restaurant. They were also running out of breakfast items, as it was around 11.45 now.
    After breakfast, we visited the Murdeshwar temple. The huge statue of Shiva was visible even from the highway. The nearby by beach and the enormous grey coloured Gopura are a must-watch. There is enough parking space near the beach. We entered the temple. The queue is not regulated and the picnic groups brought by travel agencies were seen pushing and shoving among themselves to enter the temple. There was a large presence of foreigners also inside the temple. Unlike other temples in the South, where entry of non-Hindus are restricted, it seems the Murdeshwar temple welcomes all, without any restrictions. A welcome change from the past.
    When we came out of the temple, the main door was closed and it was learnt that the gates would open for evening darshan only at 3 pm. Due to this, I could not visit the top floors of the Gopura by lift and enjoy the panoramic view of the surroundings. After having darshan of the deity, we proceeded towards the Shiva statue, which is on a small hill. It was nearing 1 pm now, but the climate was very pleasant. We spent around one hour admiring the huge statue, and the surrounding sea. Some photos of Murdeshwara:

    The first view of the Gopura:

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    View inside the Murdeshwar temple:
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    Next destination Kollur Mookambika....
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  5. maheshkiyer

    maheshkiyer Member

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    Around 2 pm we started towards Kollur. We planned to stay at Kollur for the day. It is 59 Kms from Murdeshwar to Kollur. The right turn from Baindur leads to Kollur Mookambika temple. The road at this stretch is an average one, with intermittent potholes. However, the drive was pleasant one with the dense trees of the Mookambika wild life sanctuary lining both sides of the road. Reached Mookambika temple around 3.30 pm. First parked the car in the temple parking lot and started searching for a good accommodation. Immediately coming out of the parking lot, towards the temple on the left side, I saw hotel Seetha Deluxe Lodge which had space for parking. The hotel is very near to the temple and with a safe place to park the car, we decided to stay there itself. The room was very spacious with three beds and we ordered an extra bed also. After telling my FIL to rest for some time, we three decided to visit the temple immediately. Here also we could see large number of students visiting with their teachers. When we went to the temple around 4.15 pm, there was not much rush, and we had a very peaceful darshan of the goddess Mookambika. After coming from the temple, we took some rest in the hotel.
    Later in the evening, around 6.30 pm, we again proceeded to the temple with my father-in-law. In front of the temple, the temple officials were auctioning silk sarees, [received in the form of offerings to the temple] among the public. When we entered the temple, there was a big queue already formed. My wife and FIL immediately joined the queue. Myself and my son sat in the temple precincts thinking that we would join the queue when the rush is reduced a bit. However, to our amazement, minute by minute, the queue started lengthening. The temple authorities now started diverting the queue through the numerous barricades. It was clear that I may not get darshan again today considering the long waiting time in the queue. Since we already had the darshan in the evening, I and my son decided to just sit near a pillar and observe the atmosphere of the temple. I had a very peaceful, meditative time in the temple, just observing the sights and sounds around me. The huge pillar with oil lamps were now lighted by two persons. There was beating of the drum and a wind instrumental music started playing. With the setting sun, and the fully lighted temple lamp post, the atmosphere was very tranquil and heavenly.
    We made two ‘Pradakshina’ (rounds) of the inner sanctorum, by the time, my wife and FIL joined us after darshan. We then proceeded to the Anna Prasada Hall. It was 8 pm. The Anna Prasada consisting of a liquid curry, Rasam, Rice, Sambar and Curd was served by 8.30 pm. The hall where the Prasad was served was very clean and the food was served in an efficient and professional way. We had the good fortune of having the Prasad of goddess Mookambika. What more can one ask? Heavenly experience.

    Some more photos of the day (Kollur Mookambika Temple)

    The gateway of Kollur Mookambika Temple
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    The 'Mighty' nano resting among its big brothers:
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    The golden chariot of the Kollur temple:
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    Statistics of Day-2

    Day's Km Travelled - 213 Kms
    Toll - Rs.10
    Petrol - Rs.1000.

    Day-3 follows.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  6. Roadhunk

    Roadhunk MUSAFIR HU, PARYATAK NAHI

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    Sir nice pics and awesome statistics. waiting for more
     
  7. maheshkiyer

    maheshkiyer Member

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    DAY-3:- 30.12.2014: TUESDAY:

    I and wife got up by 4 am and went again for Mookambika darshan. We had an easy darshan and after this we sat for some time in the temple to meditate. In the early hours of the day also there was large number of school children coming for the darshan. After coming out from the temple, we had tea from a lone tea vendor near the temple.

    After a sumptuous breakfast of Idli, Medu Vada and Sheera from Adiga Heritage hotel, Kollur [the best tasting food so far], we started to Sringeri by 8.00 am. The distance to Sringeri from Kollur is 148 Kms. The road condition varies from OK to non-existent tarmac. However, it was a pleasant drive. We reached Sringeri by 11.45 am. Parked the car at the parking lot near the Badravati river and proceeded to Sringeri Saradhambal temple. After having darshan at the temple, proceeded to the Sringeri Mutt, which is situated across the river. One can see a large number of very big fish in the river. A bridge connects the temple and the mutt. The mutt is situated in a very beautiful area, surrounded by lush green vegetation. We also had the fortune to have the darshan of Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha the Mahaswamiji, the 36th Jagadguru Shankaracharya of the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham Sringeri.

    After this, we proceeded towards the Annadana hall and had the Anna Prasada consisting of rasam, sambar, rice and buttermilk. There is a very huge hall which can accommodate hundreds of people at a time. In all the south Karnataka temples, one can have the prasada during lunch and dinner.

    Some photographs of the route to Sringeri and the Sringeri temple:

    On the way to Sringeri:
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    The beautiful garden where the Sringeri Mutt is situated:
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    People feeding the fish in the river:
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    The dining hall of Sringeri Temple:
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    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  8. maheshkiyer

    maheshkiyer Member

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    After having Mahaprasada at Sringeri temple, we proceeded towards Dharmasthala. On the way, we planned to also visit the Annapurneswari temple at Horanadu. This decision presented us an adventurous and a harrowing drive for us. The road leading to Horanadu, shown the HereMaps of Nokia Lumia phone was a very very narrow country road. We started to the temple as the HereMap showed only 38 Kms to the temple. On the way we stopped and asked many people whether this is the right way to go to Horanadu, and all persons confirmed the route. However, the road condition was extremely pathetic. There was no road and only potholes. The drive was extremely slow and I was wondering whether to proceed ahead. There was no way to turn back as the road was so narrow that it was not possible to turn. Moreover, it was a ghat road with minor hairpin bends. We were slowly proceedings through small plantations and after some 20 Kms of very slow driving in more than one and half hours, we reached a junction where on the right hand side road leads to the Annapurneswari Temple while the road ahead leads to Dharmasthala. It was nearly 3 pm now and I did not want to take chance as I had to travel more than 150 km to Dharmasthala. It was therefore decided to proceed ahead and we dropped the plan to visit Horanadu temple.

    The drive ahead also proved to be very very adventurous. After some time, the ghat road started. The scenery was very soothing with slight drizzle. Although I have driven Nano through many ghat roads (Malshej Ghat, Matheran Ghat, the ghat road leading to Ganpatipule, Mahabaleshwar etc), the drive through the Agumbe ghat road was very challenging as the road condition was very poor. Sharp turns with oncoming truck traffic proved very challenging for the puny Nano. The car had to use all its available resources in negotiating certain very steep hairpin bends. However, the little Nano once again proved its mettle. Although very slowly, but surely, it climbed the ghat. My wife was not prepared for this steep ghat road. For the first time, she showed some kind of uneasiness during the travel. However, once we reached the plains, she regained herself and was OK thereafter.

    Later on, I found out why tourists prefer going from Udupi to Dharmasthala and then back to Udupi before proceeding towards other temples. However, as we have to go back to Mumbai, I wanted to complete the tours in the shortest possible route, which proved somewhat adventurous.
    We reached Dharmasthala around 7 pm. Parked the car in the temple free-parking lot, and I started walking towards the guest houses. Here also, there was heavy rush of hundreds of school students. Being the holiday season and year end, we had a very difficult time in finding accommodation. There are five very big guest houses in Dharmasthala, which are named Netravati, Gangotri, Vaishali, Sharavati and Saket. I had to ask each one of the guest houses, which are separated by some hundred metres. Everywhere, the rooms were full. I was afraid that I may not get any room. All of us were really tired after the very grueling drive. However, lord Manjunatha Swamy had other ideas. We at last got a room in Saket Guest House. A very big lodge with very basic rooms. It is situated in a small hill and has very large parking space. They just ask your name and where you come from and after entering the details in a computer, immediately give key to your allotted room. We got the room in the ground floor itself. I went back and got the car from the temple parking lot. The hot water was available from 4 am. The room was very clean with clean bathroom. Although very basic, it was well maintained. For a family, the charge was just Rs.150/- for a day.

    As we learnt from the reception counter that the temple would be open till 9 pm, after freshening up, we decided to visit the temple. We hired an autorikshaw and reached the temple by 8.50 pm. There was a huge queue. We had a very difficult time in finding the entrance to the starting point of the queue. With the atmosphere slightly cold, my father-in-law was feeling some breathing problems and he could not walk any further. So my wife and her father waited outside, while me and my son started sprinting towards the entrance to the queue. After running hundreds of metres through the barricades, we joined the queue and had darshan within half an hour.

    While we came out, we found out that my FIL had an asthmatic attack. It was due to the exhaustion of the sudden walking around the temple. My wife handled the situation well, and after some rest, he seemed to be OK. We got an auto rickshaw to the hotel Saket and settled for the day.

    Some pictures of Dharmasthala:

    Road leading to Horanadu:
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    The inside of the Saket hotel, Dharmasthala:
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    The front side of Saket hotel:
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    The Dharmasthala temple:
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    Statistics for the Day:

    Kms traveled for the day: 239 Km

    Toll paid - Rs.20

    Petrol filled - Rs.500.

    Day Four continues......
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  9. maheshkiyer

    maheshkiyer Member

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    Thanks Roadhunk...
     
  10. rkbalaji

    rkbalaji Active Member

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    well explained.Am waiting for the updates.I have to commend your FIL's interest to join you for this grand tour at this age.Hope he has recovered back completely .
     

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