Bangalore 2 Pune

The ride with mix of everything. Climate changes, different people, strange encounters, beaches, hills, road conditions.
Riders: Shyam (my bro) & myself.
Total distance clocked on my bike: 2961kms. I did not ride to Lonavala & Khandala on my bike from Pune.
The route:
Onward journey:-
Bangalore – Chennai – Bangalore – Kunigal – Sravana Belagola – Dharmasthala – Karkala – Udupi – Malpe – Marvanthe – Murudeeshwar – Honnavar – Kumta – Sirsi – Hubli – Dharwad – Belgaum – Kolhapur – Pune
A mix of national highway & state highway
When planning the ride I was expecting a very hot ride throughout, this being the summer season. But I was wrong. It rained almost everyday till I reached Pune.
April 25th we started on ride from Bangalore to Malpe. The road conditions were not all that great but good enough to have a comfortable journey. Disappointment was I wanted to see the world’s largest monolithic statue in Sravana Belagola, but couldn’t. One need to climb up the hill and I was completely loaded with riding gear and travel bag. Its not safe to leave them down and walk up and neither it is possible to carry everything.
The rest of the journey to Malpe was quite cosy with amazing roads. The ghat roads was getting difficult in the night when the visibility of curves was limited but just enjoyable. Luckily it did not rain. In Malpe we stayed in Hotel Karthik. Rs.350/- for 24hrs. There are no other hotels in vicinity which provide accomodation, tho there is one resort.
The next day was ride on ferry to St.Mary’s Island (Cocoanut Island). This is a perfect picnic spot for many. The ferry charge is Rs.70/-. Pick up your food, beverages and loads of water from Malpe before going there.
After a good relaxation we went to Marvanthe in the evening for some sunset photos. It was cloudy and started raining on the way back to Malpe.
April 27th after much delibration we started off towards Honnavar. This would also bring us close to our final destination. We found accomodation in Prameela lodge and it was a nice place. The room was cosy, they had water purifier system in place and well furnished and very well maintained. Rs.450/- for 24hrs.
In the evening we went to Murudeeshwar, worlds tallest Shiva. And a good place to be in. One side of the temple is beach which is filled with tourists and other side of temple, is complete for fishing. A perfect demarcation.
Next day we set off to Pune. Sirsi ghat is beyond words. If only there was some early morning sunlight would have helped in shooting some nice photos. Absolute greenery and chillness in the air from overnight rain. And few hundred kms later was hot and sultry.
From Pune, I made a brief visit to Lonavala & Khandala. This is not the time of year to be visiting those places. The best time is monsoon season after the rains when it is green & wet. One cannot enjoy in summer time. Dont forget to eat chikkis here, its the most famous. Next time I would also be visiting the Karla caves.

Return journey:-
Pune – Kolhapur – Belgaum – Dharwad – Hubli – Chitradurga – Tumkur – Bangalore (NH4)

The return journey took steam out of me though. May 2nd morning around 8:00am we started from Pune. It was so hot that we stopped for more than 3hrs in the afternoon. There was dry heat along the route and it was very difficult to ride. We rode through the night with frequent breaks. And when we reached Bangalore it was 4:00am next day.

On the whole it was a pleasant trip, no problems with the bike. It performed the way I would have expected it to. A perfect companion throughout.
I have now covered all major places along the coastal Karnataka. But there would definitely be a trip in future as there is still lots more to see and experience. Also, a trip to Lonavala & Khandala. Some time in future.
For photos of the trip, click here.

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