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253 Kms from Bellary
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Bangalore or Bengaluru, also known as the Silicon valley of India, will greet you with dreamy weather, Carnatic fusion m...
The preparation for a Himalayan trek started in May. It was to be me, Anoop, Sourabha, and Harsha. For Sourabha and Harsha it was to be their 1st exposure to the Himalayas. But we were at loggerheads; Sourabha wanted to go to Rupin, Anoop had his heart set at Goecha La, me and Harsha were indifferent. After much deliberations it was to be Rupin Pass. Without much adieu we booked our slots in the trek by June end, and flight tickets were booked by July. Excited we!We got all our hiking gear from our friendly neighbourhood Decathlon store. The plan was to be like this:1. We travel to Delhi early morning on 30th Sept, roam all day.2. Travel to Dehradun on 30th Sept with Nanda Devi express, and reach early morning. From Dehradun we go to Rishikesh for adventure sports, and stay there on 30th Sept and 1st Oct.3. Bungee jumping on 1st Oct and roam around Rishikesh at night and4. Do river rafting of 24 Km stretch, return to Dehradun by evening, and rendezvous with the Indiahikes trekkers on 3rd Oct morn.We had an amazing time loitering around Delhi, doing bungy jumping and river rafting in Rishikesh (described in a separate blog post).Day 1: A Long, Twisty but Serene Ride We reached Dehradun railway station at around 6:30am. Anoop and all the other trekkers were already there (sans Mahendra, Jaggi, Hrishi, and Vishwa, who went on their own the previous day). Some nice lemon tea, a group pic and we were on our way to Dhaula. 3 vehicles were carrying 16 people.
From childhood it was my dream to see and explore the mighty Himalayas. And when I got a job at Bangalore and started finding time to explore India with my friend in bike, I still had that spark inside me for Himalayas. I some how managed my unconditional love for mountains by doing small small treks to western Ghats and the near by trekking spots around Bangalore. One fine day I decided to give life to my Himalayan dream when I saw an add accidentally on net about “India hikes” a very popular trekking community. I was not sure weather to give it a try or not. The landscape, weather & so many other factors which I have no clue how to handle and also the budget was also quite expensive. I always take decisions passionately here also I did the same. I choose a moderate to hard level trek in Uttarakhand called Brahmtal summit. For first timer it is a quite hard trek still I choose that because it was the only trek that was available that time which takes us close inside the Himalayan ranges and yes I was thrilled to experience the snow capped landscape this trek gonna offer. It was in the month of Feb which is winter season in Himalayas so not many treks were open also at that time.
And then we realized that we have to get back to our normal routine. We checked out post breakfast and headed back to Bangalore. And luckily we saw few wild elephants when we were crossing the forest.All together it was like a real good cup of tea with a little masala of adventure, sweetness of leisure and a slight ginger flavour of the musical nights.Bangalore to Vythri Village Resort : 300 Km via Mysore
The science of nightlife was earlier explained in case of Hyderabad, but Bengaluru is the ultimate boss of nighclubs in the entire South India. With 5-star nightclubs everywhere to huge international bands performing there day in and out, this city is one of the very best if you're a sucker for endless parties. When it comes to the list of India nightlife, Bengaluru is no. 4 on the list.Tripoto's top 3 of the city: No Limmits Lounge and Club, i-Bar, and High Ultra Lounge.Average expenditure for two: Rs. 3,000Read more about the city.
Day5:It was the last day of our sojourn and we were up around 6 a.m. to bid adieu to the other riders. With that out of the way, we resumed our ride towards Bangalore. Everyone wanted to reach Bangalore early, so we stopped only for tea and light snacks in between. We reached Bangalore at around 4 p.m. with everyone dispersing towards their respective homes
Our ride started from Skanda Motors in Rajaji Nagar, Bengaluru. The seven of us started the journey at 8 in the morning. To shrug off the sleepiness we all had a cup of coffee in the morning. Needless to say, we were all excited and geared up for the ride. Two of the riders started from Mumbai towards Goa and 4 other riders, on their Mahindra Mojo, joined us in Goa.
Nothing like a good trip over the weekend after a long boring energy sucking week!! Not until 6:00 PM did I have the faintest idea that I will be off to Kodaikanal for the weekend. It was just a usual hot summer evening in Bangalore. I get back to my room and jump into my bed to catch my sleep. But I toss and twirl trying to find that comfort position and then I fail. I lay awake staring at the ceiling letting my mind wander at will. All I remember next was browsing Redbus for tickets. And there it was: two tickets to Kodaikanal, like it was saved for me and someone I was sure will accompany me. I called up a friend who was no less crazy than me, and booked us both a trip to kodai. Kodaikanal is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, its name translated as "Gift of the Forest" and it is indeed. I have covered hill stations in South, but Kodaikanal has a raw charm that beats all the others with its less anglicized landscapes and mist covered forests. It is less commercialised and well preserved and oddly enough with no plastic leftovers in sight.Locally known as the Princess of Hill Stations, The city is accessible by road, train or by air. The cheapest being train(Of course depending upon where you are travelling from). The nearest airports are in Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapally. Nearest railway stations are Palani (the ride uphill from Palani is beyond gorgeous), Kodaikanal Road Station and Madurai Junction. Buses run uphill at intervals taking you to Kodaikanal.We decided to take the bus from Bangalore to avoid crossovers and bought our tickets for 850 Rs (you will get it for around 600 Rs if you book three weeks ahead). We also had our room booked on Tripadvisor to avoid the hassle of looking around for rooms.It was 7:30 PM when we were done booking our rooms and with all the uncertainity of catching our bus, waddling through Bangalore's infamous traffic,we packed our bags and left.We did make it to the bus, almost missing it. And as we settled in, we realised we were in seats with no leg space. Either the bus catered only to zero sized figurines or we had missed how much our thighs had grown horizontally over the lazy week days at work. Nevertheless, we were two happy souls on our way to Kodaikanal - the land of magic mushrooms.
Catched bus the same night towards bangalore for i had to attend a 3 day conference. Tried Oyo Rooms during my stay at bangalore for 800 per night and found it to be value for money! from amenities like laundry, water, food to cleanliness, from toiletries standards to AC rooms to cozy beds to furniture used and interiors, everything was beyond my expectations!
54 Kms from Bellary
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Hampi (Hampe) is a village and temple town recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments ...
How to go: You can follow either NH44 + Bellary road or Nh150A+ NH48, the approximate time drive is around 7 hours. Tough the second option is shorter in distance but poor roads make it difficult to drive, especially the last 150 KM stretch as a lot of bad patches and some narrow deserted roads. I would suggest taking the first option even though its 30Km more but it takes the same time. It also has some of beautiful landscape on the way.,
Airtel signal was quite poor, had hard time calling our contact person Murali. He picked us up on his bike. We stopped once one the way. There was an broken Aqueduct, reminded me of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Later found out it’s called Pillars of Bukkas Aqueduct.
Our third day was the most special one as it was reserved for exploring the majestic temples of central Hampi. You can literally feel the hum of a past gone by throbbing slightly in the air and the weight of so much history humbles you to the core. We started out with the Virupaksha temple and the Hampi bazaar complex, which has one of the oldest shrines dedicated to Shiva and is an active Hindu worship site. You also get to seek the blessings of Laxmi, the royal temple elephant, by handing her an offering. We followed this with Achyutaraya temple and the Vitthala temple, which can easily be called the most artistically sophisticated Hindu temple in all of Hampi. It has the Garuda shrine shaped as a stone chariot, often symbolic of Hampi's depiction. Other monuments followed in the form of Hemakuta hill complex, the underground Shiva temple, elephant stables, lotus temple and the zenana enclosure. It would seriously be impossible to list down the kind of splendor these places boast of so my suggestion to you, dear reader, is just pack your bags on the next long weekend and embark on this enchanted experience known as Hampi.
If you haven't read part 1 of SOlO TRIP then click here.I wanted to go on a trip badly. And the long weekend was finally here. I asked my friends but it was so difficult to convince everyone together. If you have ever planned a trip with a bunch of friends, you can understand my pain. Not every one is on the same page. Someone wants to see mountains, someone wants to see beaches, someone wants to relax and booze, someone wants to explore, someone doesn’t want to go with a particular person, someone would only go if that particular person comes along. Uff!! Who would want to go through this much pain when the idea is to enjoy and refresh yourself? If everyone you travel with are not on the same page, then it is very much possible that few of them would not enjoy at all and few would end up having arguments or fights over something.After so many if's and but's, I booked a bus ticket, packed my bags, and head to HAMPI, on my first solo trip!The hesitation went away the moment I reached HospetBus dropped me at Hospet, 13 Kms away from Hampi. As soon AS people deboarded the bus, bunch of Auto drivers came up with excitement, with different schemes and packages as if we were celebrities. Nothing strange about it, you see the same scenario in any tourist places. Most of the people were going to Hampi and I could have asked anyone for the company but the hesitation was still there. I saw them leaving one by one in Auto, cabs or by walk. I did little bit of homework, so I knew that there were frequent buses from Hospet to Hampi. When I asked Auto drivers, most of them said “bus is a waste of time”, “don’t go in bus”, “you might have to wait for hours”, “it will drop you little far from Hampi” etc. Now I usually trust people easily and for whatever they say. As I was new to the place, it made me skeptical. They started asking Rs. 250, Rs. 200, then Rs. 150 to hampi. I thought of giving a try to bus and headed towards the bus stop. The bus was there and within 15 min, it left. It cost me Rs. 12 only and dropped me at the center of Hampi, nearest to my Hotel. So, the learning was not that I wouldn’t trust auto drivers anymore but I used to prefer comfortable transport to commute always like most of the youngsters - Metro over buses, Private Cabs over sharing cabs or flights over Train, thus, according to this small experience, I learnt to let go my preference. It was my first and small achievement and I was excited for the rest of the adventure.You will love flexibilityThe best part of a solo trip is you can do whatever you want, go wherever you feel like and eat whenever you are hungry. You don’t have to be dependent on anyone. You will love this sense of freedom during the trip.I rented a bicycle and traveled as much as I could. You can ask any local person about the places to visit and everyone has the itinerary ready for you. Hampi is a very hot place, so I put a bit of sunscreen and head to the ruins of Hampi. I still rode around 15 kms everyday despite too much heat. You see if I were with someone, I had to take care of his/her opinions too whether he/she was comfortable with bicycle or the scorching heat or the unorthodox ruins and then I might not have traveled this much on a bicycle and in this much heat. It was completely my choice. I covered so much in just few hours, took breaks, carried dry fruits and ate them once in while, sat and witness the beautiful ruins and architecture for as long as I wanted to, came back to hotel to take nap and then again went out to explore in the evening. Neither the time was a problem nor I had to deal with other’s opinions and expectations.You will meet amazing peopleIf you are alone, you will have the urge to talk with someone. That’s human psychology, you miss the thing you don’t have and in solo trip, it’s the company. To talk about the place, to ask questions, to enjoy a little more – sharing enhances the experience. Thus, this urge will make you come out of your comfort zone and talk to random strangers – be it the hotel staff or the people at the restaurants or the co-tourists. But you don’t have any expectation from them. You can easily talk to someone for sometime and then say goodbye without being attached to them. Some will be very formal, some will treat you like an old friend, some will listen to you and some will end up telling their whole life stories.As there are many foreign tourists in Hampi and they are much more friendly, it was quite easy to start a conversation with them. I met a painter who makes graffiti inside and outside restaurants wall, a French man who came here for some internship, a 22-year-old girl running a guest house, the handicraftsmen, a wanderer, an explorer, an architecture and many more.Less selfies and more photosNow with smart phones, it is pretty simple and easy to take selfies but if you are carrying a big camera and you are alone, you won’t be asking people every single time to click your picture or take out your phone every time you see a marvellous background for your facebook display picture. As I was carrying a camera, the ruins and the landscapes inspired the photographer in me. So, I clicked pictures - more pictures and less selfies. And luckily few of the photos came out pretty well. The little amateur photographer in me was ecstatic.With no offence to selfie freaks out there, I just can’t see my face in every photo I take when the whole beautiful background is out there and I am blocking it. That’s the reason I told to myself but the truth was due to traveling in hot weather, I looked like alien. I could not recognize my face in the few selfies I clicked. So, it was always better to click the things I saw and admired without putting my alien face in it.I got boredLet me be honest, yes, I got bored and even felt lonely, for sometime. When you travel alone, you tend to do things quickly, be it eating in a restaurant, seeing a monument, visiting markets or shopping. You cover everything much quicker alone than with a group. Thus, you are left with ample time each day with nothing else to do.I deliberately did not carry laptop, movies or any other passive entertainment medium, so that I would not end up sitting in the room for hours rather than exploring the place, and I do not regret it at all. Yes, I had mobile phone but luckily there was no network and internet. I wanted to experience few days without passive entertainment things that we always use at home, and that was the apt time for me.In most of the small places, in my case Hampi, everything shuts down early. As soon as the sun sets, the time passes very slowly, everybody sleep early. I could only walk to near by small market for an hour or so, then had to spend time in the room only.So, I started to do things slowly to cope with the pace of the place – I sat in the restaurants for hours, ate slowly, walked slowly, observed people more, talked more to strangers and shopkeepers, saw the same market again and again etc.The more I explored my boredom, the more I become comfortable with it. I relived the whole day in mind again, explored every feeling and thought I had while traveling, planned the next day and slept with quite mind at last. You don’t experience it every day. It was peaceful, mindful and no chaos in the head.This time the boredom taught me to be in present, to be mindful and to be with myself.You will get to know yourself more and understand betterThat’s the most obvious and best part of the solo trip. The people’s opinions, judgments, attachments and comments start to fade away and the experience of traveling WITH YOURSELF will take you a step closer to knowing yourself more and understanding yourself better. You will start to judge people less and observe more. You will become less conscious and more confident.Someone said if you know yourself, you know the whole universe. It still is and will always be work in progress for me and traveling solo takes me a step closer to MYSELF.
Places of interest: For me its all about the ride first than the places at the destination. I was not keep to visit the places, but thanks to my friend I made an attempt to visit a couple of places, which I would have regretted if not visited. Vittala temple, the huge and majestic temple in the heart of the city with sculptures and carvings is a delight to the eyes. The elephant inside which blesses the visitors with her tusk is an attraction too. From the we walked for 1.5 km to reach Virupaksha temple, passing through river side ruins, Hampi bazaar and the relics. It was summer and of our long ride and the walking, we were exhausted a bit and decided to explore the other side of the river. The archaeological museum is also a major attraction for tourists. The places have entry tickets which are nominal Rs 10/- for Indians and Rs 250/- for expats. We thought of checking in the popular Mango Tree Restraunt on the river side, but again it was closed.The 'Other Side' of Hampi: Having heard a lot about the other side of the river, we didn't want to waste any more time and get there to see ourselves what's so special about it. It started with a Ferry Crossing, riding down all the steps to reach the boat, loading it onto the ferry and crossing the beautiful river is one of the best experiences. However this is not the only option to reach the other side, you have a road which connects but is around 35km detour. Once we are there, the first feeling for me was the Goan feeling, with lot of shacks facing the paddy fields, national and international travellers around, the bike rentals of small scootys and royal enfields, etc. It was peace and trance. We have opted to stay at the Goan Corner, which was quite popular on the social media, and to reach there you need to ride in between the paddy fields and some rocks. But sadly it was closed that time of the year.Next to that was our Bobby's One Love guest house, operated by Mr. Steve Spiteri. Beautiful place wonderful hospitality and a great host. I visited this place again after few months, this time with a group of around 50 bikers. It was just to share the experience I had with Bobby's One Love. Small decent mud cottages, a nice central dining hut and good music with some colourful lights. We had our small party going on till late night along with Steve joining us. The weed and the music was complete trance. It was a beautiful night may be because of Hampi or Bobyy's one love or my friends sweet company, a journey and memory to cherish. The second time when I have been here with my biking group, a surprise was arranged by Steve. It was a jam session along with some fantastic fire crackers to begin with. The very popular local musician Gali Durgappa was here to play for us. The guitar, banjo and dijgeridoo he play took me and my friends to a different world. Check out the Hampi song composed by him on Youtube here Our Video. The area is also quite popular for some rappelling and rock climbing, which were not in mine or my friends interests. We have missed the sunset point and the Hanuman temple as we were running short of time and kept them for our next visit very soon. If you have visited Hampi and have not been the 'other side' of Hampi, you have not travelled to Happy Hampi.See you soon in Hampi !&nbsp;&nbsp;
Hampi, a temple town in Karnataka, is a fascinating spot. An open museum, Hampi can be best described as a quaint place, lying amidst striking ruins of the past. The unearthly landscape, the magnificent boulders, the carnival of carvings, the story of the past, Hampi is a sight to behold. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an exemplary historical place in India where you can spend a day or spend a month, and still it will not stop surprising you. Hampi, a backpacker's delight, has 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire. From the elephant stables to the massive stone chariots, Hampi is fascinating beyond imagination.Entry fee: ₹15 for Indians and SAARC country tourists, ₹500 for others.Opening hours: 8.30am to 5.30pmBest time to visit: November – FebruaryNearest Railway Station: Hospet, around 13km away is the nearest railway station to Hampi.
Day 2 was all about exploring the renowned places of Hampi.Vijayanagar was the capital of Vijayanagar Empire, the kingdom known for it's grandeur and pomp. Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal.Hampi is the ruins of this empire.The ruins are a witness to the invasion faced by the kingdom by the Sultanate. It is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site.Hampi has innumerable temples, small shrines of Gods and Goddesses and pushkaranis (temple tanks). Small arch-like structures can be seen at the entrance of places.Here in Hampi the first place to be visited is the Virupaksha Temple. Kodandarama Temple, Hemakuta temple complex and the Kadalekalu Ganesha are in it's vicinity. Virupaksha temple is intact among the surrounding ruins and is still used in worship.The sanctum of the temple has a mukha-linga, that is a Shiva linga with a face, in this case embossed of brass. The temple has two towers & artistically beautiful pond 'Loka Pawana Teertha'. Much of the temple's beauty couldn't be seen as some restoration work was in progress. We also missed to see the temple elephant Lakshmi :(
The once forgotten ancient city of Hampi has been brought to life again by recent archaeological excavations. The ruins of the ancient city of Hampi are strikingly, unexpectedly even eerily beautiful. This 16th century capital of the kingdom of Vijayanagar lies on the banks of river Tunghabhadra and is surrounded by stark rocky ridges and mammoth boulders seemingly precariously balance on each other. The vast spaces are silent but the ruins are eloquent. The bazaars, the temple, the boulders everything will take you back into the past and will once again make you fall in love with the astonishing art of India!Best time to visit: November - February. Timings: Vittala Temple, Zenena Enclosure Elephant Stable & Lotus Mahal and Queen's Bath - 6am to 5pm. Heritage Museum, Hampi Bazaar - 10am to 1pm & 3pm to 6pm. Archeology Museum at Kamalapura - 10am to 5pm (closed on Friday) and Virupaksha Temple is open from sunrise to sunset. Entrance fees: Vittala Temple, Zenena Enclosure Elephant Stable & Lotus Mahal all have one ticket that costs ₹30 for Indians and ₹500 for foreigners. Heritage Museum, Hampi Bazaar, and Queen's Bath have no entrance fees. Archeology Museum at Kamalapura has the entrance fees of ₹5. Virupaksha Temple has the entrance fees of ₹2, however the still camera fees is ₹50 and video camera fees is ₹150. Where to stay: Hospet is the base town for visiting Hampi. Vijayshree Heritage Village and Malligi are some popular stay options in Hospet. You can check out more here. How to reach: Hospet is the base town for visiting Hampi. The nearest airport to Hospet is Bangalore, 334 km away, and from there you can either take a train or a bus to Hospet. Hospet has its own railway station as well as bus stand. Between Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and private operators, there are around 20 buses daily between the two cities. There are five daily trains between Bangalore and Hospet.
297 Kms from Bellary
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,September,October,November,December
A small town in the state of Karnataka, Gokarna is about 5 hours away from Goa. The town is considered holy for Hindus a...
After enjoying the time at these beaches, I returned to my room and packed for my return to Bangalore.Day 7:I started off in Gokarna at 6 40am and Sirsi was my first pit stop. I would rate the drive from Gokarna to Sirsi as the best in my trip. Ghat section, sun trying to sneak through the dense green cover, cool breeze and with my Thunderbird raring to go, I completely enjoyed the drive. After a quick stop at Sirsi, in another 100 odd kilometers, I merged onto the Bangalore - Mumbai highway. Once I hit this highway, there was no stopping me nor my Thunderbird :) I reached home by around 4pm and that was the end to my trip. It was my first solo trip and obeying the traffic rules on the road ensured that I returned home safe.I wouldn't tell that this trip has solved all my problems in life. It has opened me up to new people, the willingness to start a conversation and learning to be a lot more calmer. I also realized how scared I am in dark and lonely places. I regained the lost interest in my photography hobby and the love for farming increased many fold.Travel responsibly, don't litter and drive safe :)I would dedicate this short write, the first time I have written an article after I passed out of PU to my English teachers from school, CN Geetha Ma'm and Vasavadatta Ma'm.
Trekking along the coastal lines has a charm of its own. With the beautiful coastline by the side, hiking along the sea beaches is a different experience altogether. The Konkan coast is quite famous for its landscape, beautiful beaches and the verdant forests. Ankola and Gokarna are two most beautiful beach towns in Karnataka. The Ankola – Gokarna Beach Trek is a weekend trek, but the trek route coincides with the longer Golden route trek (trek between Belekeri to Honnavara).
Gokarna is about 100kms from Murudeshwar and is known for its stunning beaches and relaxed hippie vibe. Gokarna has several beaches and mountains side by side and has something for everyone, the hiker and someone looking for relaxation.
By nightfall, we boarded our bus back to Bangalore and promised among ourselves to make this trip happen again. Other than the scenic pristine beauty of this place, what I also learnt about this place is that the local residents are very friendly and down to earth. They’ll never try to rip you off, as is the case of many other places in India. The foreigners here have deep respect for the locals and vice versa, making this place perfectly balanced and give off a very peaceful hippie vibe. If you ever plan on going to Gokarna, trust me, you’ll have a very different, genuine and an amazing experience.
Day 3: Beach Trails in GokarnaLast day of our trip was started by visiting other beaches in Gokarna. ** Om Beach ** Om Beach is the most famous beach in Gokarna. Two semi-crescent shapes that join resembling the Hindu religious symbol of OM, this beach got its name because of its shape. You can recline in the magnificence and serenity of the scenic surroundings here. This beach is a source mix of fascinating beauty and pristine water hitting on the beach for all the tourists.
Day 1 in Gokarna: Off Temples, Beaches and SunsetWe flew from Mumbai to Goa, And started our road trip from Goa Airport to Gokarna. With scenic beauty on the way, we were all excited to soak up in the pristine beaches & idyllic temples of this small town. We reached to our resort around 7.30am in the morning. After few hours of rest and sumptuous south Indian breakfast at the resort, we started to explore this small little town. ** Mahaganpati Temple ** Our 1st spot in the town was this small blissful temple of Mahaganpati. Few meters away from Mahabaleshwar temple lies this less touristy temple. Here stone statue of a standing Ganesha, which is said to be over 1500 years old. It is said that Lord Ganesha had played a role in acquiring the Atmalinga from Ravana and preventing it from going to Lanka.
I reached Gokarna early in the morning. On reaching, freshened up at the station and left for Mahabaleshwar temple. After my puja, I left to enjoy the beaches. Immediately I rent a bike to cover Om beach, Kudle Beach and Gokarna Beach. Other famous beaches like paradise beach and Half-moon beach were a bit far off, so I decided against it. In the afternoon, I took a bus to go Murudeshwar, where I visited the famous Murudeshwar temple and the Shiva statue. The view from the 18th floor of Murudeshwar was captivating, as one could get the panoramic view of the place and the famous Shiva statue. I had an hour left at hand before boarding the train to Madgaon. So, I took a boat ride in the Murudeshwar beach before returning back to Madgaon.
Let’s admit to one thing we all hate about travelling: A place cramped by hordes of tourists, the ones who block the sunrise and photo-bomb your selfies!Sprawled like baby-turtles on a moonlit beach, tourists make messof a beautiful destination. Goa has become one such place. Mass populations gather in Goa, disrupting all your plans for a peaceful holiday. (Shimla in Himachal Pradesh has met with a similar fate). Finding yourself the only humanoid on a beach, sippingbeer to a campfire, and closing your eyes to absorb the waves dashing against the cliffs, is an impossible dream in Goa, unless you have a swollen bank account for a private beach resort.Fear not, I will tell you an alternative.Travel down south to a lesser known beach-town: Gokarna – a place devoid of mass human gatherings!The easiest way to Gokarna is taking an overnight-bus journey from Goa or Bangalore. As you step down the bus in the town of Gokarna, spreading your arms, yawning and clearing your eyes, several autowalas flock around you to offer a ride to the beaches of Gokarna. Sandwiched between the calm Arabian Sea on one side and the town-settlements on the other, are the sprawling hills of Gokarna that you have to cross to get to the beaches. Exciting setting, eah?So when you get down the bus, deny the services of the Autowalas, strap your bag tight on your shoulders like a soldier going out to the war, and set out on a severalkilometers trek. Guided by the Google Map Navigation, you will come across marinal birds perched upon the trees, looking for an early-morning meal, tall coconut trees swaying in the oceanic wind, and the roars of an invisible ocean coming from a distance, like a dragon breathing inside a cave. Do not forget to click some pictures on the way.Gokarna has two major beaches: Om and Kuddle.Make your first stop at the Om beach which derives its name from the way it shapes around the lurking waters. Having claimed a few serious injuries in its past, the beach is laden with boulders and rocks all over. Be careful! It was here that I did something so crazy that I will remember the thrill of it for a long time. Here’s what you have to do: Venture deep into the waters and let the lower-half of the body disappear below the surface. Look around and you will discover few rocks jutting their heads out of the water offering you a nice seat. While you’ve left the crowd behind on the shore, sit there for hours, in your own silence, and watch the water play around your legs, and the waves bash against your little island. Watch the sun slowly slip behind the ocean scattered in front of you as the seagulls return to their nests and the sky turns dark. Absorb yourself in your own silence.Retreat back to the shore as evening takes over. An effortless trek up the hill, and a descend from the other side shall bring you to a less crowded and more pacific – Kuddle beach. Om beach attracts those people who come from nearby towns for a day’s picnic and who return back as the day ends, but Kuddle beach houses those who seek refuge by the ocean!While the world becomes dark on the Kuddle beach, grab a beer if you wish, and lie down to count the stars. Or get up and walk by the sea, venture in the dark, and sing songs of Mohammad Rafi to yourself. Apart from a few travellers lurking in the darkness of the parked fishermen-boats, you’ll find the hippies and backpackers singing calypsos and dancing around a fire in the shadows of the moon.As the midnight comes, the beach becomes dang deserted as if you’re the last person on the planet. Hear nothing but the constant whistling of the waves and the winds flirting the coconut giants behind you. If you can, sit until the dusk falls and see the sun slowly rise from the depths of the sea. Else, fall asleep in one of the many affordable resorts.Imagine waking up to the sound of waves, the next morning, and stretching your arms in a balcony facing the sea! All in a shoestring budget!While you’re at Gokarna, it has many flavors to satiate your hunger. The noodles of International Gokarna Resort had left me craving ever since I had returned from there. With the noodles blended in a nice cheesy flavor and a drink of sweet lime to accompany with it, there cannot be a better way to spend a lazy afternoon. Among many reasons that I am itching to go back once again to Gokarna is for these noodles at Gokarna International Beach resort. I hope they haven’t changed the chef.Walk a little further, and you will arrive at a simplistic cafe thatched with dried coconut barks by the name of: ‘Namaste Rock Cafe’. Ask for a Prawns Pizza. And don’t forget to thank me later! They serve it on a banana leaf and one Pizza should be enough for two.While on the Om beach, look for a certain Dolphin Bay Cafe and ask for ‘Ice-Nuttela‘. It will be a drink unlike any other you’ve had in your life.What was that thing you were talking about Goa again?
#TripotoTakeMeToHimalayasGOKARNA SOLO TRIPSitting by the sea, reading a book while listening to soothing music, this experience had eluded me all my life. What would it be like just lying on the beach, watching the stars while listening to the waves crash onto the shore.
146 Kms from Bellary
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Located in Andhra Pradesh, Kurnool is home to some of the most sacred temples of India, including the Shrine of Srisaila...
Want to chill out on a dreary long journey from Bengaluru to Hyderabad? Little more than 300 kms from Bengalure comes the city of Kurnool. After crossing the tungabhadra river bridge outside Kurnool, you can take a detour on the right to Alampur.
My family, along with my Sister-in-Law’s family, left by an Innova Car at 08.30 AM. The road to Belum Caves is not picturesque though, but only interspersed with villages. So, don’t expect much excitement en route. You can indulge in antakshari to while your time.Belum Caves are not only geologically important, but also has historical significance, since it is believed that Buddhist and Jain Monks occupied these Caves centuries ago. Many Buddhist relics were also found inside these caves which are now part of the Museum in Anantapur. In fact, it is for this reason, that the Government of Andhra Pradesh has erected a large Buddha Statue in from of the Caves.Selfie time folks!
At 02.00 PM we left for Jaganath Gattu, which was hardly 3 KMs from his house. We left by his Tata Scorpio vehicle. All our things were packed as per the list. We took a right turn from Nandyal Check post towards G Pulla Reddy Engineering College. This college is on the foothill of this Jaganth Gattu. The road to this Hill winds up till the Temple, where you can park your vehicle and from there you have to do some rock climbing to reach the top, not much though. But yes, if you don’t want to take the road, and want to climb the mountain top, for the sheer thrill of it, you can do so from Dupadu Village side on Bangalore Highway.The definition of a Hill and a Mountain is very vague, and so I am using both the terms, I hope my readers are not confused. But if height is the criteria, then it qualifies to be called a Hill, because anything below 2000 feet is considered a Hill and a mountain if it exceeds 2000 feet. Anyway, let’s not get into the technicalities.The afternoon Sun was receding and it was not scorching. The breeze up there was very cool and we settled under the rock, spreading the Bed sheet. We took out our flask and had a cuppa tea with snacks. It was heavenly. The scene around us was really very magnificent. Hey wait, it’s still not the weekend for you, where are you rushing to…?The golden rays of the setting Sun fell on the River Handri, and the Sunset looked spectacular. The Sun signed off here, to rise on the other side of the globe to wake people there from their sleep. It was 7.00 PM and I am a regular listener of Vivid Bharati’s programme for the soldiers’ called Jai Mala which is aired on radio daily at this hour. I tuned in, and my God, never in my life, had these songs sounded so mesmerizing. I myself felt like a soldier on the border. But really, how hard it must be for them, to lead the life of a soldier on the border without any facilities. And here, we sleep so ensconced and so safe because of their toil and sacrifices. A BIG SALUTE to each and everyone in the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.As night crept in, the stars made their way in the open Sky. It was beautiful to gaze at the twinkling stars, but the sounds of insects made us a little uncomfortable because it was the first time we slept in the open, with the insects and bees. Taking with us mosquito repellents helped us ward off these swarming mosquitoes. Not one dared to bite us.At 09.00 PM we had our dinner of Lemon Rice, Chapatis, Chips, Potato fry, Coconut Chutney and Maaza. When Nature gives you company, you feel your inner voice speaking to you. It cleanses your soul, mind and body. You feel refreshed. The view from the top, of Kurnool Town lit in lights was fantastic. And the occasional serpentine train passing by. The train track passes just below Jaganath Gattu. The trains looked like crawling centipedes.At 11.30 PM we started feeling drowsy and wanted to sleep. So, we laid our sleeping bags and slept. I was a little apprehensive to sleep in the open for fear that some insect may enter my nose or ears, childish thoughts na? But, my bones were so tired and my mind so relaxed that I slept in no time and woke up at 06.30 AM when the glare of the morning light was penetrating through my closed eyelids. It was indeed, a day (and a night) to remember.We packed our belongings and got down the Hill for the morning Chai (We Indians can’t do without it). After having my lunch at my friend’s place, I left Kurnool again by Tungabhadra Express which left Kurnool at 03.00 PM and reached Secunderabad Station at 08.00 PM.Getting there:Kurnool is 209 KMs from Hyderabad and 359 KMs from Bangalore and is well connected by both Rail and Road. In fact, it is strategically tucked between Hyderabad and Bangalore on NH No. 44. And if you are rich in time, you can head to other places of interest like Orvakal Rock Garden (20 KMs), Alampur (26 KMs), Mantralaya (92 KMs), Belum Caves (107 KMs), Ahobilam (135 KMs), and Srisailam (180 KMs).I think, no one ever thought of camping here. We set the trend for others to follow.Cover Picture Credit:http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Camp-Tent-Mountain-Camping-Cliff-Camping-Tent-1031360"When you start saying “YES” to experiences, you become enriched".
201 Kms from Bellary
Day 3 Hubli to SataraLeft the hotel Metropolis after a pleasant stay and joined the NH4 again.Had breakfast from Belgaum and kept the wheels with the fast momentum that of the highway.For the first time our bike wheels touched the roads of Maharashtra by crosing the Twandi ghat.The big roads personifies the name Maharashtra ,the riders play ground where most of the bikers ,motor vloggers and bike enthusiast are from.
Seeing few of us stopping behind, our dear Ashish bhaai rushes to our help, with some fire and smoke coming out in his engine?? Oh yes, He is still on his bike and we could see fire and smoke just below the fuel tank in the electricals. We put water, sand and did put the fire off … One guy shouts, bhaai its my glucose water????????. Well, now two ‘Royal’ Enfields are down one jammed bolt and one electrical gone case, with not any option we had to stop the trucks passing by and get them towed till Hubli.
A district in Karnataka, that will take you to talented kids.
203 Kms from Bellary
Best time to visit - N/A
This place is like nature's gift with waterfalls, mountains, oaddy fields, beautiful sceneries, gorgeous flora and fauna...
At 10.30 I left the camp, since I had to visit another place which is having Lion and Tiger Safari. It is on a different route from Shivamogga. While Elephant Camp comes on Teerthahalli road, Safari comes on Hosanagara road. For that I returned to Shivamogga back. Took a private bus travelling to Hosanagara and got down at the Safari place. It's called "Tyavarekoppa Tiger and Lion Safari Camp"
9. The rushing waterfalls of ShimogaThis is one of the best hill stations in the Western Ghat region but is still not very popular. This gives you a chance to spend some very peaceful time out here amidst the beautiful sceneries and waterfalls of the place. The Jog Falls look awesome when in full force and the Kodachari Peak is nice too. The temples and caves around are other attraction for you to explore. Mysore might be the only one on your ‘to visit hill stations in Karnataka’ list like many, but you can’t just skip Shimoga once you’ve heard of it. Abode to plentiful waterfalls, Jog Falls are the most notable. During the monsoons, when the flow is the best, you can just sit and stare at the fall for hours straight. Kodachari is a nearby heritage site with its peaking ecosystem and diverse vegetation that will leave you amazed at the beauty of this underrated hill station.
Built as a summer sojourn by the Keladi rulers, the palace in Shivamogga lacks the opulence expected of a royal residence. This elegant monument, known as Shivappa Nayaka’s palace, set amidst a well maintained garden contains delicate work on teakwood and rose that has been extensively used in the interior of the building. Two flights of stairs lead to the upper storey with a balcony that was used by the King to address gatherings and conduct proceedings.
280 Kms from Bellary
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Belgaum is situated in the foothills of the Western Ghats and is 502 km from Bangalore and 154 km from Panaji. It is a b...
Belgaum or Belagavi came in my bucket list when I had to visit my new lab going to be shifted. I work as a research scholar and first thing my work offers is travelling. You can visit new places, countries, people etc all in academic expenses.We were excited to go Belgaum, as it was 6 hour distance from Goa (which we thought we would go but couldn't make this time) and a city which is in cool temperature and close to nature.Going there ...From Kolkata, Belgaum can be reached only by one train Amravati express. Its a 34 hours journey, the train trail goes through green paddy fields, palm forests, barren lands and when near to Belgaum you will find the change in colour of soil which is black reminding you the childhood lesson that Maharastra, Karnataka has the black soil due to volcanic ashes of past. The nearby station is Dharwad or Hubbali from where you can take a bus or cab to reach Belgaum which is well connected by highway.Going through the highway you can enjoy the changing terrains, small hills, up down land structures and forests.Belgaum city..Belgaum is a small city unlike my Kolkata. It has all the amenities and famous among students due to loaction of KLE university and cool weather and peace. During monsoon the city boasts of splendid weather like other cities in south India and similar to Goa. The summer days are a bit harsh but nights are cool.Places to enjoy..Belgaum fort:When searching places to visit in Belgaum, fort comes in list. However after reaching inside we got confused to see only ruins of past and human settlement. But exploring will never disappoint you! And we found the Kamalbasti (a must visit!).
93 Kms from Bellary
Lepakshi is located in Mandal, a small village in Anantpur district, which is 120 kms from Bangalore and 15 kms from Hin...
Lepakshi is located in Mandal, a small village in Anantpur district, which is 120 kms from Bangalore and 15 kms from Hindupur. When one travels from Bangalore, except the last 20 kms into the village, the remaining roads are tolled highways and it takes around 2.5-3hrs to reach Lepakshi from Bangalore city.Local Legend There are two interesting myths associated with Lepakshi’s origin. This place has a significant role in one of the great Indian epics Ramayana. It is said that the bird Jatayu, was wounded by the King of Lanka, during Jayatu’s futile attempt to save Sita from Ravana. As the result of the battle, Jatayu’s wings fell off on the rocks here. When Rama reached the spot, he saw the suffering bird and said affectionately, “Le Pakshi” (meaning “Arise, bird”) in Telugu.
We departed from Bangalore on Friday night and headed straight to Ballary. On arrival, we walked to the campsite to freshen up and set for Day1.We were served a local delight for breakfast, A dish made of puffed rice and deep fried chilly fritters.The First day included exploring the local natural beauty and adventure sports. Followed by Day2, when we explored the Heritage site and impeccable Sandstone Architecture of the place.
Ballari to baindur (424km) :Departure from ballari at 6am. We had packed our bags the previous night and did some finishing touches to the bags n bikes.we were a gang of 6 enthusiastic medical students. The excitement woke us up on time and kept us going on the first day. First stop was for breakfast at hospet. Worth to mention that Breakfast at local hotels are cheap yet tasty. Thereafter route from yellapur to ankola was one of the best routes we've encountered, its got long wide curves at every corner and Most of this route to baindur has some towns. So, it gets busy and travelling becomes slow.. But still We managed to reach baindur by 6.30pm, just in time for sunset. There We Stayed at a forest officer guest house. Imagine a cottage with a stunning view of the sea and backwaters, in the middle of a forest! Sunrise here was pure bliss! Theres even a private beach nearby filled with coves and rocks. The whole area was almost serene .With the local restaurant serving great seafood, just made my day even better. Fish fry and curry are a must -taste!Tip: carry water and stay hydrated. The weather gets really hot in some areas
Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary I had seen sloth bears from a distance in the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris before, but when I found out about Daroji, I had the chance to see them from up close, in a sanctuary dedicated to them. The guide told us that locals believe that the name Daroji comes from the word darwaze or gates, indicating that this was a gateway to the nearby Hampi, the capital of the Vijayanagara empire, which flourished from 14th-17th centuries AD. Only misshapen boulders are strewn around. No human hand has touched these stones to mould them into the sort of mantapas I’d seen on our drive here.