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124 Kms from Penukonda
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!
279 Kms from Penukonda
Best time to visit - January,September,October,November,December
About 100kms west of Mysore, the hilly hamlet of Kodagu (formerly known as Coorg) is located in the evergreen highlands ...
Day 2: Woke up early, went for a walk, played with those little pawsome friends and then we had a tour with a guide who explained us about coffee plantation and made us taste the real coffee of Coorg. And the saddest part, we had to check out Zostel! After checking out we headed towards the Monastery which was 12 km from Zostel.By that time the sun was up and it was hot indeed, but the way to the Monastery was beautiful. We got to know from the autowala that the Karnataka Govt. had given these Chinese/Tibetan people acres of lands to cultivate! This was the first time I was going to any such monasteries!
Hola Trippers,This trip was not at all planned! So much so that we were about to miss the bus (which was booked after so much hesitation and procrastination)!!! I mean who does that isn't it? But finally, we set out for a 3 day trip to Coorg and Mysore.But little did we know that we weren't actually leaving Bangalore, but following entire Bangalore to a whole new destination...trust me, the traffic at morning 6.30 took the s**t out of me!!Anyway, coming back to the point, after almost missing the bus and the bus being late for 4 hours we finally reached Coorg on 23rd December evening 5.30. Needless to say, it was tourist season and we had to face a lot of trouble while booking the buses as well as the hotels. But that very moment this tiny little fairy showed up to us named Zostel (www.zostel.com) do check out their website, it is another name of #awesomeness. Not only we got awesome rooms/beds but at the cost of literally nothing!! This leads to -Tip no. 1 - Always try to book backpackers hostels when you want to be on a budget trip and don't want to put a hole in your pocket.
Day 7:- Madikeri (coorg) Got up in the cold morning. As we were a going to stay in coorg today as well so we booked a hotel through oyo. Which was hardly 4km from where we were staying. So we freshened up and they provided breakfast as complimentary. After which we loaded our bikes and went to the hotel where we booked a new room for the day. The check in time was 11am but we went before that but by them the double occupancy room was not vacated so we suggested them to keep our luggages at reception and once the room is vacant put our luggages into the room and meanwhile we will go to explore coorg. But the person at reception said no need to keep the luggages here i will upgrade your room at the same cost. And he gave us a deluxe room with two kingsize beds in it. The rooms we got was too good. So plan was to visit Abbey falls,raja seat and a coffee plantation tour. At the hotel they had displayed a hoarding of coffee plantations, so i enquired that where can we get to see coffee plantation. They said it is some 17km from here and it belongs to the same owner of this hotel. So i asked them what is the cost of coffee plantation tour , he said its complimentary for those who had taken room here also boating is complimentary there. They also provide barbecue but we have to pay them and they also have rooms inside the coffee estate. He said he will inform the concerned person there about our arrival so they can give us a detailed tour. So we said we will go there after lunch. So we first went to visit abbey falls which was 6km from the hotel. We have to take a ticket and park our bikes and walk through footsteps for around 5 minutes to reach the falls. This falls had nice amount of water. The whole scene was good except for the garbage which visitors throw in the open. We cannot go near the falls as they have build a stage with railing around it. Came back to our bike had some coconut water and left for raja seat. This place has a very nominal ticket and it has been maintained well. They say that kings used to sit here. Which gives a view of entire village. Though there was nothing much to see here. We clicked few pic here. Went back to our hotel and had lunch then left for the plantation tour. Thought it was not far. After riding few kilometers we got two route option one was through the main road which was closer and other was off road through the coffee estates. So we choose the later. It was only 3km more but it was fun to ride through the coffee plantations. Roads were rough and at a decent i was at good speed, but i cannot apply the brake as the bike would skid. I thought i am going to crash now but luckily survived and still wonder how did the speed increase that much. We reached our destination but there were 2 gates first one was shut so we went inside the second gate, but it was someone else’s house. We opened the gate and went inside 200 to 300 meters where there was rooms and the care taker. He took us to a brief tour and it lasted for more than an hour. Explained everything about coffee plantation and coffee beans and its process. There were beatle nut trees, pepper plantation as well. We then went for boating for sometime. So we were done with the plantation tour. And out had some coffee and reached hotel by 6pm and had some snack there and went to our room. Took rest and came down for dinner and went inside the market area where we found kfc kind of restaurant so for a change we had some fried chicken and burgers. Had a small walk around the area then went back to our room.
Day 6:- Jog Falls to Madikeri (Coorg) Got up from yesterday’s scary ride as the biggest scare was if the bike would have stopped for any reason it would have been a big problem. But thank God nothing happened. The jog falls was 10minutes form the hotel where we were staying. So we first got up and went to have breakfast by walk. Came back and freshened up and decided to visit jog falls first and then come back to the hotel and take all our luggage. It hardly took 10 to 15 minutes to reach the jog falls. At the entrance you will find a huge granite board in which it is written as welcome to world famous jog falls. Once you get inside you have to take entrance tickets for you and your vehicle. The whole area is quite well maintained. You have cafeteria, atm ,washroom and other facilities inside it. We went to the spot from where the falls was visible. As the rainy season had already ended the water was less in the falls. But the falls actually huge. After the photo shoot we had a good coffee there and left for the hotel. We loaded all the luggage on our bike and left for coorg as it was already past 12 noon. Also it was 350km from there. On the way we came across a lake so we stopped there for sometime. Enroute i saw a small lane leading to woods so we took our machines there and clicked few pics after which halted for beverages. After few hours of ride we halted for lunch and spent around without realizing it. At some parts google maps took us through small lanes of villages and then we were on good road. We had already blocked a room at madikeri through one of my contact so we didn’t have to search for a room once we reach there. The route was scenic as it went through villages. On the way we missed a turn and went ahead so we had to take a u turn and come back to take the exact route. Then we came across a ghat section and it was fun to ride the bike as the roads have many twist and turns. Once down the ghat mateen wanted to halt for coffee. By the time it had started becoming dark. The road at several parts were small also it had turned dark so we had to maintain our pace. We had to halt twice in another 3 hours.Suddenly the temperature dropped down. By the time we reached coorg it was 11pm. It was a tiring day. We went into the hotel to find that the cost of the rooms were thrice our budget. We had to bargain as it was already late to find another hotel they gave a 50% as we said we won’t be here for whole day we will leave in the morning. Also the attending guys was so good that he provided some bread butter and jam by himself even though the restaurant had closed. But the rooms were individual cottages and very nice. Nevertheless we were so tired so we went off to sleep.
I don’t have a lot of memories with them because as the night progressed I had made friends with whom I ended up drinking till 3AM.
Fam Jam down South!Moving on, the next destination was in down south. My parents are my biggest inspiration when it comes to travel as they took me to places, right from snowfall in Manali to snowfall in Switzerland, little parts of India to little India in Singapore. This time it was my turn, to do something for them so I took them on a trip. Trust me, this was one of the happiest and proudest moment of my life.Again a road trip, this time from Bangalore. Did Brindavan Garden on the way before reaching our destination, Coorg, rightly called as the Scotland of India. If you're someone who dreams of lush greenery, breathtaking waterfalls, hills covered with forests, and spectacular misty landscapes, Coorg is meant just for you!We had booked a homestay for this refreshing break, best part was we could hear the sound of humming insects in the plantations around our stay. Instantly, a sense of peace, serenity and tranquility takes over as you inhale freshcardamom, black pepper and eucalyptus leaves.Must do things in Coorg would be a visit to Abbey Falls, Dubare Elephant Camp, Namdrolig Monastery, breathtaking view from Raja's Seat, Omkarehwar Temple, Cauvery Nisargadhama and Talacauvery. With its picturesque locales, alluring mountains and verdant coffee plantations, all in all, Coorg is a paradise for nature lovers, and just about anyone looking to calm their frayed nerves!
Pack light, pack less. Light, cotton, comfortable clothing is ideal. Carry a sweater or a jacket if it gets too windy or a bit chilly early mornings or late evenings. Sport shoes are a must, especially if you intend to trek or go biking.Coffee and spice and everything nice.. With a hint of challenge and adventure. You’ll be back here again before you know it!
Spot 2: Raja's SeatRaja's seat was very close to our hotel so we decided to see the sunset there just after checking in the hotel.According to legends the Raja used to see the sunset from here.It is a protected monument.The entry fee is Rs 5 per person.There is a small light n sound show everyday from 6:45 to 7 pm.You do get a lot of fresh air though its nothing more than a common park.There is also a toy train ride and you can book the tickets on spot.Back to hotel and had dinner at the hotel restaurant. And that was all for the day.Getting There:By Air: Mangalore Airport is about 164 kilometres away and is the nearest airport to Coorg.By Bus: Mangalore, Mysore and Bengaluru have daily bus (KSRTC deluxe buses) services going to and from Coorg.By Train: 95 kilometres away, Mysore Railway station is the closest to Coorg.Self Drive: Fly to Bengaluru and drive to Coorg. A four and a half hour journey and a delightful road trip.What To Pack:
Coorg IndiaCalled the Scotland of India, Coorg hosts the birthplace of Kaveri- Talakaveri. The river originates from the Brahmagiri hills in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. A tank is constructed in the hills which is said to be its birthplace. The river water fills this tank and then goes underground to emerge as the river Kaveri further ahead. The temple at Talakaveri offers stunning views of the landscape where the mountains are misty and clouds float down to grace you with their presence.
224 Kms from Penukonda
Best time to visit - January,February,March,July,August,September,October,November
Once the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore for six centuries, Mysore is now the third most populous state of Karnataka. Bu...
The distance from Ooty to Mysore is 130 kms and the road from Ooty to Mysore passes through Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The road is really awesome and full of thrill as it passes through dense forests and there are many animals crossing points also. Because we had enough time thus we decided to take a safari in the dense forest of Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Tamil Nadu while Bandipur Tiger Reserve is situated in Karnataka. Bandipur Tiger Reserve is also a good place for wildlife lovers. After that we continued our journey by heading towards Mysore and in the evening we reached Mysore. Tariff's for Hotel: Starting from ₹1000/- per room (Non AC) Starting from ₹1500/- per room (AC) Mysore is one of the most popular tourist destination in Karnataka. It is also known as "Palace City" of India. There we visited Mysore Palace, Lalitha Mahal Palace and Chamundi Hills. Mysore Palace is one of the best palaces in India. The Palace shows us the lifestyle of our kings that how they lived such a royal life. It is a must visit palace. Lalitha Mahal is also a royal palace with a good architecture. After visiting Chamundi Hills, we left Mysore and then started our journey towards Chennai. The distance from Mysore to Chennai is 480 kms. After a smooth drive of 8 hrs we reached Chennai in the late night.
The Mysore Palace is breathtaking and is en route to Madumalai National Park. Hence a stopover to see the palace is must. If anyone is interested...its the best place to buy silk saris.
As far as majestic history goes, there are not many places that can trump Mysore, often referred to as the 'City of Palaces'. The Mysore Palace built by the Wodeyar Kings is a place where perhaps one can locate how Mysore became as culturally rich as it is for the Wodeyar Kings were great patrons of art and culture, allowing various forms, crafts and styles to flourish and grow in a way that they still exist and temper the way the city is today. However, this is not all, Mysore is not just a place of cultural but also natural beauty. Located at the foot of the Chamundi Hills it has numerous lakes like Kukkarhalli and Karanji. The Chamundi Hills are also important because atop them is located the Chamundeshwari Temple, one of the most important religious sites in Mysore.
Mysore, formerly a Princely State, until the Independence of India in 1947 is filled with Royal beauty. It was once a region with flourishing art and culture under the royal and mighty kings. Also called as the "City of Palaces", Mysore's beauty can be seen through its rich architecture and its majestic palaces that stand tall today. Passed form the Vijayanagar Empire to the Wodeyar family (that lives here even today), Mysore has always been occupied by Royalty.
After the break, we reached Mysore recharged and our first stop had to be the street side dosa stalls serving up the famous south Indian dish ‘masala dosa’. With hot, freshly made dosas in our laps we sat on cold stone steps looking out on the magnificent 1927 Silver Jubilee Clock Tower now lit up by spotlights. The next morning we made our way to visit our first Catholic church in India, St. Philomena’s Cathedral. The cathedral has some beautiful stained-glassed windows and it was very interesting how inside the locals had Indianised the church. From the cathedral we caught a rickshaw and made our way towards the gate of the Maharaja’s Palace. Continuing through the palace the interior never ceased to amaze with huge hallways, massive swinging chandeliers and a kaleidoscope of mirrors, stained glass and sparkling walls that when reflected in the mirrors seemed to continue forever.
We won't be able to start riding from the outset, but will initially have to take a shuttle bus to battle the traffic on its own terms. Once we get to riding, the route for the day is overflowing with culture, which is quite expected for India! We ride past mango orchards, nurseries, paddy fields and temples and make the first stop at the Big Banyan Tree. This gigantic tree is about 400 years old and spreads itself over 3 acres. after a stop here, we move onto the small town of Channapatna, where toy-makers make handmade toys in their small factories. Before this, we stop for a typical Kannadiga cuisine at Kamat Lokaruchi. Channapatna owes its toy-making heritage to the King Tipu Sultan, who first introduced this otherwise Persian art. The small highway town is lined with bright shops showcasing horses, beads and sundry toys. We again use shuttle to reach the cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore.
188 Kms from Penukonda
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.
209 Kms from Penukonda
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
Known all over the country for the sacred Sri Venkateswara Temple, Tirupati is located in the Chittoor District of Andhr...
Chennai to Tirupati Balaji
This is one of the best places to visit around Chennai and it is known for its beautiful sceneries as well the magical peace you obtain here. The Tirupati Temple is known to be the richest temple in the country and is a very important religious place as well. The Tirupathi Tirumala Devasthanam is a must visit along with the Venkateshwar Temple. This is one of the best tourist places near Chennai within 200 kms and the best time to visit this place is between the months of September and March.Distance from Chennai: 134
We reached next day early morning to Tirupathi and booked a hotel on spot. After took some rest for some hours and then started for darshan. It took us ~7hrs to complete our darshan and recommended book darshan ticket online. In evening, we started for Chennai and reached there in ~4hrs.
Thiruthani to ballari (431km) :The last day was a sore and boring one. Not many places to see. Just a long ride back home. The roads were some of the worst we've encountered. We reached tirupati temple town by 12pm and headed towards kadiri. After about 9hrs of riding. We finally reached ballari by 10.30pm! The odometer read 3050kms! This was the longest trip i have taken on bike!
The Amazing breath talking walk from Alipiri to Tirumala is best experience of both Tradition and Trekking
It’s a must visit place. It will take at least 5-6 hrs to come out, once you are inside the Temple. People from all over India come for the Darshan of Tirupati balaji. Now it’s time for our destination and my home town –“Visakhapatnam”. Till then we didn’t know how we would reach Vizag. No bookings, nothing. It was 8pm. Then we decide we will hop in Vijayawada and from there we will go to Vizag. We got a Volvo bus from Tirupati to Vijayawada around 9pm. We were really tired. It was damn hot. 12th night went in traveling to Vijayawada.
278 Kms from Penukonda
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September
A bustling market town surrounded by lush green hills, Madikeri has a pleasant climate to unwind in and various treks an...
We reached Madikeri by evening and we went to a sunset point (Karnangeri sunset point which is not much famous) nearby and clicked some photos. This time it was a portrait session :D
Known for its lush green tea estates and pristine Abbey Falls, Madikeri is one of the many places that has seen a growth in the number of visitors round the year and thus is one of the choicest tourist places to visit near Bangalore. Misty hills, lush forest, tea and coffee plantation, orange groves, undulating streets and breathtaking views have made Madikeri a place you can't miss out on.Best things to do: Outdoor activities like trekking, camping out and bird watching will occupy most of one’s time hereWhere to stay: Bee Hive Homestay, Coorg Rahul VillaHow to reach: The nearest railway station is Mysore(117km), making it inconvenient to reach by train. Both state and private buses operate daily and this is the best way to reach MadikeriDistance from Bangalore: 265km (5hrs 21mins)Read more about Madikeri.
I hadn’t honestly thought much about elephants until I found myself in Madikeri. One of the highlights of our stay in Club Mahindra, Madikeri, was the visit to Dubare Elephant Club, to see elephants, and learn about how they live.
The next day we got up early and marched towards the bus stand with our backpacks. Unfortunately, it was 8am and all the buses were full beyond their capacity. After getting shot down by two buses because of our backpacks, we decided to take an auto to the bus stand. We got there in barely 30 minutes. Got a bus to Mysore, and from Mysore we took another bus to Madikeri. It was almost dinner time when we reached our host's place in Madikeri. Our host was a fresh engineering graduate, who lived with his mother. These were some very simple and warm people who lived in a beautiful house with some beautiful pets. They had 2 cats- Fufu and Fifi and a husky- GoodBoy.
After a wholesome breakfast, we vacated our room and drove to Madikeri to visit the Abbey Falls. The magnificence of the waterfall was amplified by the greenery around it. Sammy was bemused by the vibe of the place but not the unsolicited attention bestowed upon her. Our trip was coming to a close and what better way there was to end it than with a generous helping of Pandi curry and its accompaniments from Tiger Tiger! Once again, we relished the inimitable blend of spice and meat, and licked our plates clean before bidding adieu to the exotic land of the Kodavas.
6 AM sharp we checked out from the lodge and headed towards Madikeri.A 30 kms around journey, mist all around, raining, clouds, so beautiful, so attractive, so charming, so serene, so green that the Himalayan roads can't replace to take as a road trip.
Next day we planned for local sightseeing. We booked a cab(Maruti Omni) which was organised by our homestay owner for Madikeri town sightseeing , Abbey falls , Nisargdama and Dubare Elephant camp. The cab driver took Rs. 2000 for those places.Nisargadam is nice place ,it is an island formed by river Kaveri near Kushalnagar. We did still water rafting in Dubare Elephant camp. And I didn't feel noting special at Abbey falls, may be because of summer season there was not much water in the falls.
Madikeri has that enchanting environment that has hooked tourists from all across India and the world. Beautiful sceneries, picturesque mountains, and the quiet environment makes it a great option for spending the day. The air is fresh and cool and infused with the aroma of coffee and spices. You can visit the Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwar Temple, St. Mark’s Church and Raja Seat.
Madikeri to PalakkadWoke up from sleep realizing the fact that it is the last day of our trip which is quite painful to all of us as tomorrow onwards we would be going back to the normal chores of life. But we have to wake up from this eleven days of dream that will fuel our rest of the days with the energy to work towards another dream ride.
266 Kms from Penukonda
Best time to visit - May,June,July,August,September,October
Fondly known as the jewel of the South, Yercaud is a hill station in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu. Known for its stu...
1650 m from sea level.just 35 km from salem city. Good place to visit from october to january season. Not remote and quite like yelagiri but you could escape from crowd of ooty or kodaikanal. Good restaurants and better hotels.Temp : 12 celcius to 22 celcius ( winter)Must : yercaud lake , kiliyur falls.Booze : elite mall shop.Petrol bunk : yes.
Day 3 halt – YercaudDay 3 ride – 237 kmsStay- Yercaud has a nice lake and most of the hotels are near it starting from Rs 800.Places to visit- Though there is a fall(Kiliyur), Botanical garden and Pagoda Point, I didn’t find any of it interesting. Probably too much safe and family kind. You may choose Paddle Boats available in the lake or may choose to spend some time in the zoo near the lake for a lazy evening.The best part of Yercaud is the lone ride through the dense,scary and unexpected forest, especially in the morning. You can find 2 routes from the NH to Yercaud. Go by taking a diversion from Salem and return by the other route.
Once there, you can visit a variety of view points. The big lake of Yercaud welcomes you as you reach here. Just before this Lake, on the left there are a some hotels and restaurants where you can have a nice brunch/lunch depending on when you reach here.
22. Yeracud (Salem)It is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats. The highest point in Yercaud is the Servarayan temple, at 5,326 feet (1,623 m). It is so named owing to the abundance of trees near a lake, the name signifying Lake Forest. As a popular tourist destination, Yercaud is also called as Jewel of South.
People from all over the country love visiting Yercaud simply because it offers one that much needed time to pause and relax, rejuvenate and while away one’s time without being preoccupied by thoughts about work and presentations. The green mountain terrain is splendid for those who wish to go sight seeing and trekking. Just around 355 kilometeres away (six hours!), Yercaud is untouched and thus immensely beautiful when one pays a visit to this place. The sweet smelling aroma in the air is just too good and we ought to include this place as a great weekend getaways from Chennai. Yercaud lies six hours away from the city of Chennai and is a land covered with greenery that is a welcome sight to eyes that have been plagues with concrete structures. The place offers one may beautiful spots to relax and go sightseeing. With the presence of lake, boating here with your beloved is what you have dreamed of. The waterfalls, great food and unplugged options for relaxing make Yercaud a must visit and a top hot spot on our list of weekend getaways from Chennai. A little further away is the most favoured hill station of Yercaud. The place is just perfect for those who eyes need the sight of fresh green and an environment of peace and relaxation. Filled with lakes, beautiful spots for sightseeing and great terrain for mountain trekking, Yercaud , that lies 356 kilometres or just close to six hours away from Chennai are a great place to take off to during the weekend. Waterfalls, fresh produce and untouched beauty is what beckons one here. It is no surprise that we choose this place to be on our list of tourist places near Chennai within 400 kms. The hill station of Yercaud in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district is another one of those places near Chennai that’s a perfect retreat for a long extended weekend. Give yourself up to nature when you visit this magical town that’s surrounded by lakes, waterfalls, gardens, forest trails and hills made for trekking.Distance from Chennai: 368
Last weekend, we planned a trip to Yercaud, a hill station in Tamil Nadu, India. There were close to 40 of us on this trip, so we booked an entire bus for ourselves. The journey from Bangalore to Yercaud was close to 6 hours, including a lunch break. After checking into our hotel, The Great Indian Holidays, we set out to explore the town. The hotel itself is wonderful and affordable, with individual 'villas', each having four rooms. The hotel also has a swimming pool and a restaurant. Breakfast was included in the booking. The hotel also has a few outdoor activities like zip lining that they arrange at an extra charge. For lunch, we stepped out into town, exploring what was near the hotel. We ate a tiny cafe called Eggetarian (limited vegetarian and vegan options). After this, we set out to a sunrise point, locally known as ________. Though we got there late afternoon and didn't get to see the sunrise, the view is still stunning and the place is usually quite deserted.
In search of a beautiful sunset, we headed on the top of the mountains of Yercaud, TamilNadu. Little did we know, we would actually witness something no less than a heaven. Inside a forest area, we discovered a little known camping place named 'Heavens Ledge', it had the perfect view of mountain ranges and sunset. The surprise drizzles and rainbow made it extra special for us. We had the most memorable moments at this beautiful place. A must visit for nature lovers!
Next day we got up and headed to cave temple. Really got scared to enter the temple and it was such a nice place around and definitely driving bike along the hill road is the best experience anyone can get. Road was so good that made drive nicer not worry about bumpy raid. Driving throw coffee planting and Teak wood trees was just great. After the cave temple we went to Pagoda point which is highest peak of Yercaud. We spend some time there and we headed to room to check out. We checked out and had lunch and started driving back home. This time we decide to drive in different route. More than all the above places other than sun set, driving in that road down the hill was the best thing that I have experienced. Its a single road and hardly no vehicle and almost entire travel took in between teak wood forest that I have never seen before. Finally we reached home after 5 hrs little extra travel than via highways but worth it.It might be a small trip but my first trip in Bike to a hill station and on new year eve. These memories will last for life time.
264 Kms from Penukonda
Best time to visit - January,February,March,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu is considered to be one of the most holy cities in the state. The famous Annamalaiyar Templ...
3 hours and 16 minutes away is the temple town of Thiruvannamalai and a most popular one too. Nestled at the foothills of the Annamalai hills the town holds the greatest spiritual attraction for most visitors. If you’re looking for a spiritual retreat then Thiruvannamalai is the best place to bring you at one with yourself.Distance from Chennai: 196-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tourist Places near Chennai Within 300 Kms