The Pune - Mysore - Pune Diary


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Word of Caution:
Lengthy travelogue of our journey, Pune – Mysore – Pune

If I recall properly I understand that once in blue moon I have made resolution to myself. A resolution was to travel along with family to newer destinations.
My Resolution

Now when I say “along with family” then there comes an importance of proper planning. If you have kids / tots in family then getting leaves for travel is challenging thing. Hence I thought to do long travels only when schools have vacations.


Preface:
Last vacation we done Pune – Hyderabad – Pune. My family enjoyed the drive and now willing to come along with me somewhere longer. So now was the time for schools summer vacations, the big question was where to go?

I have shortlisted Gujarat first but due to blazing summers we cancelled it. Same happened with Madhya Pradesh. So now somewhere in south was the option, so started planning for Mysore – Ooty. While browsing through some sites came to know that Ooty is having peak season this time. I am very much clear what these “peak seasons” meant in hill stations hence after discussion with wife i cancelled it. So now what!! Only Pune – Mysore – Pune!! That’s it!!

We quickly calculated days for travel and submitted leave applications in respective offices. I was wondered to get it sanctioned within 2nd hour while wife took 2 days more for getting it sanctioned. With the leaves in hand our main part was over. Now the plan was which route, where to break, what to see, how to go etc.

I invested few of my office hours along with office internet  reading forums and travelogues. For route details got in touch with HVK. The route advised was,
Pune – Kolhapur – Davangere – Chitradurga – Neelmangala – Kunigal – Bellur cross – Nagamangala – Pandavpura – Srirangapatna – Mysore.

I am a person who drives sedately and avoid night driving as much as possible. So there was a need for break in journey. I was confident enough to drive 10-11 hours along with family. So after analyzing in google maps I made it final to break our first day journey at Tumkur. While on return, I have decided to break our journey at Hubli.


Day 1:

Bags got packed and time was decided which was to leave Pune maximum by 5:30am. To wake up on time everyone gone into bed early. I don’t know whether it’s with me or what but I have habit of spending sleepless night prior to drive day. To add to this, there were 3-4 alarms set altogether in mine and wife’s phone which started buzzing in wee hours.

I was surprised to see that my wife and son were ready by 5:15am itself. We loaded our car with luggage and water bottles. After a short prayer I cranked the engine exactly at 5:30am. The journey started!!

The good thing when you start early is that you don’t have to face traffic. This helped me to touch highway from my home within couple of minutes.

Summary of entire route :
Pune - Mysore - Pune

Overall the journey on NH48 was very peaceful. On the way after Hubli, found many coconut trees and sellers selling tender coconut beside. Wondered to see those trees in that area as there is no mark of seashore nearby.
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We have safely reached our planned destination for the day which was Tumkur !!

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Thread Starter #2
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Day 2:

With a freshness woke up early in the morning. After getting ready we left Tumkur and started our journey towards Neelamangla. Just after Neelamangala toll filled up the tank at BPCL outlet present on service road after exiting NH48. We took Bangalore – Mangalore highway till Bellur Cross. There are lots of eateries and bunks throughout. Saw few boards showcasing “Tatte Idli”, we stopped at one at had it. The dish was very good in taste, we also tasted “Dosai” from them
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After Bellur cross we took left onto Nagamangla village. It is one of the congested village on this patch and the road passes through market. After Nagamangala we took exit and went towards Melkote where we have planned to visit Rayagopura. The road passes through small ghat section. Local authorities takes Rs.50 for parking. There are few temples and structures in 2-3Kms of span from parking lot.

Local police have put barricades after parking lot as they don’t allow any vehicle to go ahead of it. Either you need to walk or take auto rickshaw who charges whopping Rs.300 for 3Kms to and fro. They will drop you back near parking place. It was blazing afternoon when we reached there, so decided to take auto.

Sri.Yoganarasimha Swamy Temple on hills as seen from parking lot
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Two divine ponds named Pushkarni & Kalyani near Sri. Cheluvanarayana swamy temple
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Lots of monkeys at this section
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Rayagopura

Rayagopura means the royal tower or gateway. Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana started to build it but the construction was never been completed. The pillars are thick and impressive and have carvings all around it. Whatever is seen is said to have been built overnight (though hard to believe)

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Rayagopura has seen shooting of some famous Bollywood songs like,

“Baro Re Megha” from film “Guru”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEqn32uq7B4

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In below song from film “Rowdy Rathore” you can see Pushkarni & Kalyani ponds along with some scenes shot at Rayagopura
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGkqbi0TtQQ

Carvings on pillar’s of Rayagopura

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Thread Starter #3
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After this we again came back at Nagamangla and started our journey towards Srirangapatna which was our next destination on the way.

It was afternoon when we reached Srirangapatna, the first spot to visit in the list was Tipu’s Summer Palace which is also named as “Dariya Daulat Baugh”. There is ample and organised parking space for your vehicle. They have different slots for cars, buses and auto’s under big shaded trees, to add to this the parking is free. Photography inside palace is strictly prohibited.

Main entrance and ticket counter of Dariya Daulat Baugh
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As you enter main gate you will be welcomed with this nicely maintained landscape
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This palace is made completely from wood, this helped the palace to remain cool in summers, hence the name “Summer Palace”. They have created the museum on lower floor where you can see coins, paintings and dresses of bygone era. The inner walls of palace have painting depicting Tipu’s time. They have displayed a model of Srirangapatna city nside this museum. Entry to second floor is somehow restricted.

As it was weekday when we visited there hence there was no rush inside. Thesecurity guards in lobbies were sleepy at times. Finding this moment I swiftly clicked below two photos from palace.

Paintings on wall
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Galleries on upper floor where no one was allowed to go.
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After spending some more time in landscapes of Dariya Dalat Baugh we went to Srirangapatna fort which is hardly 2Kms. From summer palace.
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At the entrance of fort we found someone waving his hand to stop our car, I reduced my speed to check. He was none other than local guide who was sitting there in that blazing heat alone. He showed me his ID card which said that he was “Approved Guide” from H.P Tourist Guide Association, Karnataka State authority. He told us that he will show some 10-13 spots within Srirangapatna fort for Rs.400, we bargained with him and ultimately the deal was final to show 15 spots in Rs.300. He entered in my car and we moved towards Srirangapatna fort.

Jail created by Tipu Sultan (along with some history)
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History: Tipu Sultan have tied British prisoners here and he filled this chamber with Cauvery river water until their necks. When British’s somehow entered into Srirangapatna fort to kill Tipu sultan then he promptly separated the heads of all these prisoners with his mighty sword.

The Water Gate (along with some history)
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History: This canon was placed in such a way that a single fire will break up the wall and will fill up entire chamber with Cauvery water. While British’s tried it, the canon blew in upside direction where you can still see hole in ceiling created by broken construction.

Tipu Sultan used to practice Hindu poojas as well. This is the location where he was doing it.
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Death place of great Tipu Sultan - Tiger of Mysore (along with some history)
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History: Tipu Sultan was killed within the fort of Srirangapatna. This is the spot where he ultimately felled. The British officers left him in that condition for few minutes. They then asked one of their soldier to check whether he is alive or dead. When soldier approached near him, Tipu caught hold of soldiers hand and in very next moment separated it from his shoulder by using his mighty sword. This place is now marked by a memorial.

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Thread Starter #4
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Jama Masjid (along with some history)
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History: It is said that Tipu was great worshipper of Shri. Ranganathswamy whose temple is present in Srirangapatna. He used to do namaz and then worship Ranganathaswamy. The design of tombs of this masjid are alike Temples.


The Armoury House - It is said that Tipu’s mighty sword was created here.
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Fight practice land in those days is now a flag hosting location.
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Few Canons left of Fort
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Some clicks inside fort
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The authorities have created fake copies of structures like palace, temple’s etc. just to show how it was prior to British’s who destroyed the original one.
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Sri. Ranganathaswamy Temple
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Sri. Ranganathaswamy is the foremost of the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu. This is famous pilgrimage spot in Karnataka. There is huge ground in front of temple where you can park your car. The parking is free!!

There is a Cauvery Silk factory and its outlet in Srirangapatna. After having blissful darshan of Sri.Ranganathswamy we visited Cauvery outlet. Wife purchased some silk sarees while I was interested in Sandal Dhoops, Agarbattis and Soaps. When we came out of shop it was almost 5:00pm.

Sometimes it feels very nice in itself when everything goes like planned, especially when having such long drives.

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Our next plan was to visit famous Brindavan Gardens which was last spot for the day, so we started from Srirangapatn towards Brindavan. The road is smooth at few places while it also have broken patches. There are huge speed humps on these section as the road passes through two congested villages. We reached near KRS dam, paid Rs.50 as a vehicle entry and parking charge in Brindavan. They have proper marked bays for parking your vehicle. You can find all sorts of chat items, cold drinks and ice creams near the entry itself.

Entry to Brindavan
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Garden entrance and ticket window
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Fountains in garden
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We entered Brindavan where the lush green landscape with fountains welcomed us. We clicked few pics there and took a stroll in entire garden. There is small aquarium at the left side as soon as you enter garden. The aquarium is small but it is worth a watch especially when you are accompanied with kids. There were so many peoples and children’s inside, few highly intelligent peoples were clicking pics and shooting videos with full flash. I could clearly read from face of fish that it was thinking…WTH!!

After completing busy aquarium tour we entered main garden. Entire place was crowded with peoples, but you won’t feel it as the gardens are spread in acres. We roamed inside garden and clicked few pics. After speaking with security person we came to know that they put on colourful lights on fountains at 7:00pm. There were still couple of minutes for 7:00pm, we thought of relaxing on lush green carpets of garden for few minutes. As soon as darkness spreads there are loads of active mosquitoes and bees in this garden. At last at sharp 7:00pm entire garden was lit with different sorts of colourful lights. It was a scene to catch, entire garden felt differently.
Most of the crowd comes in Brindavan to see lighting. We were among few people who walked out that time.

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So with this all sites for the day were completed. We had some panipuri, shevpuri and ice creams outside after which I straight away driven to our hotel in Mysore. Our entry in Mysore was welcomed by slight rains and lightning. Mysore atmosphere became cool in few moment due to which got a good sleep that night!!

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Day 3:

With the coolness in atmosphere we got up fresh in morning. Everyone was ready within an hour, we checked out our hotel after having breakfast.

Today was the day to explore Mysore. So as per plan we first visited Rail Museum which was 3-4Kms from our hotel. The good part of this attraction is that it is open from 8:30am onwards. You need to park your vehicle on the lane which goes to Mysore station. The parking is free.

The ticket counter itself is in the guard’s compartment boggie. Inside museum they have displayed many types of engines from bygone era. The best part is you can go inside them, click photos and enjoy old days. The highlight of this museum is display of entire boogie of “Maharani’s Saloon”.

Maharani’s Saloon
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Standard engine
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Motormen cabin
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Coaches in those days
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A rail car
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Steam engine
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Yours’s truly in narrow gauge engine
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We have spent more than hour in this museum, it was worth. I would recommend everyone who visits Mysore to visit this place especially when you are accompanied by kids.

Now our next destination was Jaganmohan Palace. Tripadvisor has provided mix review of this palace but still I decided to put it in my list. They have ample place for parking. Photography is not allowed as you need to deposit your mobile at counter near entrance. The palace is of three storey, where the first two floors are open for visitors. This is mainly an art gallery hence at large the paintings and drawings are on display. There is separate chamber for paintings created by “Raja Ravi Varma”.

The main attraction of this palace is the painting which shows the lady with lit lamp in her hand. you will not believe but the rays of lamp fallen on lady’s face and surrounding feels real, this painting alone has kept is separate chamber and given name as “Light of Hope”

Jaganmohan Palace & Art Gallery


It was 11:30am when we came out from Jaganmohan Palace. Now our next spot was Chamundeshwari Temple located on Chamundi Hills. Started my car and followed Google maps navigation right up till Chamundeshwari Temple. I can say that Mysore is one of the cleanest city with good roads and not so heavy traffic.

Chamundeshwari temple is located on hill hence your car needs to climb some ascent (not that steep), the roads are good without any humps or potholes. You can view Mysore city from here.
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At the top you will see big statue of Mahishasura near temple. Mahishasur was an “Asura” who was killed by goddesses Chamnudi on this hills. It is said that the name of city “Mysore” has been provoked by the name Mahishasura.

There is proper parking space behind this statue. Photography inside temple is strictly prohibited.

Statue of Mahishasura
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As it was weekdays, there was no rush in temple. After having darshan we were out in just 15 mins. There are many tender coconuts sellers, small eateries and shops selling Knick-knacks outside the temple.

Chamundeshwari Temple
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It was blazing hot when we started to descend Chamundi hills back towards Mysore city. On the way there is Sand Museum which was our next halt. The sculptures in this museum has been made by some lady (forgot the name) single handed.

Ticket price is Rs.40 per adult and Rs.20 per kid (5-12 years). There is no parking available, you need to park on road side. Photography is allowed hence wife has clicked almost entire museum.

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Thread Starter #8
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Note: - Tickets price seems to be on higher side as compared to the sculptures in this museum. If anyone is in hurry you may skip this location.

We came out after couple of minutes and again started our journey towards Shri. Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysore Zoo). There is ground next to zoo where you can park your vehicle. There are many veg thali restaurants near zoo. It was almost afternoon and lunch time hence all hotels were flooded with peoples. We went few meters ahead and found one decent crowd less hotel named “Annapurna” for lunch.

Mind it, Mysore zoo is spread in 3 Kms. There are battery operated vehicle charging Rs.125 per adult and Rs.75 per child (5 to 12 years). But unfortunately when we went all vehicles were out inside zoo. The security person told us to wait for at least 50mins which seemed too much for us.

Many peoples went walking inside so we also decided to see zoo by walking. Plastics and selfie sticks are strictly prohibited inside zoo. There are benches and drinking water available at every 500 meters. The walk ways are well designed so you will not miss any section. You need couple of hours to see this zoo leisurely.

White peacock
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Crane
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It was almost 4:30pm when we came out of zoo. Started our car to head towards last spot for the day. Yes!! The great Mysore Palace!!

Entrance gate of palace campus
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Side view of Palace
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Panorama of palace taken by my son
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Before entering into palace you need to remove your footwear and deposit it at counter. Photography is strictly prohibited inside palace. The visitor’s timing for viewing palace is up till 5:30pm. The palace gets illuminated on Sundays and all public holidays between 7:00pm to 7:30pm.

Amba Vilas – Mysore Palace


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Thread Starter #9
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There are battery operated vehicles here as well who takes you around palace by paying Rs.50 per head for adults. Children’s below 12 years are free to come. We opted it and clicked below photos en-route

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Laxminarayan temple inside palace campus
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With this we have completed sightseeing of Mysore. We checked in at hotel near palace. After getting freshen up we were out to see Mysore life and buy famous “Mysore pak”. We went to KR Circle which was near to my hotel and is mid of Mysore city.

I have seen sometimes back on TravelXP channel that there is some road side eatery selling unique dry gobi. After enquiring I came to know that the eatery name itself is “Usmaan Dry Gobi”. I found him and after speaking with him I came to know that he is available from 6:00pm to 10:30pm daily. Within this time he fries almost 10Kgs of Gobi. The rate per plate is Rs.40, the taste is very unique and awesome. We ended eating up 5 plates.

Usmaan Dry Gobi (A must try place)
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Location on Usmaan Dry Gobi on google Maps
https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Usman+Dry+Gobi/@12.3077271,76.6479827,21z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3baf700ea11c16f7:0xb23845d93d5264fd!8m2!3d12.3076425!4d76.6479203

After this we headed towards famous Guru Sweets. Here we have tasted almost every sweet and ended up purchasing famous Mysore Pak, Milk Cake, Sonpapdi and some barfis.

Location of Guru Sweet Mart on google Maps
https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Guru+Sweets+Mart/@12.3092933,76.652657,19.5z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3baf700d890be1a3:0x2ed7ae5346748727!8m2!3d12.3098359!4d76.6525984

There was a plan to have dinner in “Gufha Restaurant” located in Pai Vista Hotel complex. This restaurant is themed restaurant which depicts cave theme. The waiters are dressed up like hunters, the cutlery is also somewhat different in design. You can hear howled noises of few animals (felt nice rather than hearing loud music).

Location of Gufha Restaurant on google Maps
https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Gufha/@12.3109106,76.6573013,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x3baf70147d26a4f9:0x66b4cfff71efb079!8m2!3d12.3109106!4d76.65949

Artificial spider and web behind me
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Ambience in Gufha Restaurant
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Arrangement of bottle in darkness
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We had sumptuous dinner at Gufha Restaurant. When we came out again rains welcomed us. So even that night was cooler which helped in peaceful sleep.

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Thread Starter #10
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Day 4:

This day is a drive day for me. Initially planned to start from Mysore at 7:00am but ended up leaving at 8:30am. Followed Google maps till Columbia Asia spot near Mysore Ring Road. Came at ring road within half an hour and then straight away took same route till NH48. (Mysore – Pandavpura – Nagamangala – Bellur Cross – Kunigal – NH48).

When we reached Tumkur it was already lunch time. Took break at Kamat Upchar. After some rest started our journey towards Chitradurga.

On the way towards Chitradurga, I have planned to visit Chitradurga Fort. This planning was on the fly and not in my list. Wife also agreed as I assured her that we will be able to reach Hubli before it gets dark.

Just one left indicator and I took exit from NH48 towards Chitradurga town. Google maps have properly took us till Chitradurga fort. The parking is free where you need to park your car near fort. Took tickets (forgot the price but children’s are free) and entered the fort.

Welcome signage
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Main entrance of fort
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Entrance lobby
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This symbol shows the structure of Chitradurga fort
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Hills surrounding this fort are related to epic Mahabharat
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Few scenes from Bollywood superhit film “Sholay” were shot here.
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A Ganesh Temple on fort
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This fort is divided into upper fort and lower fort. There are in all eighteen temples in upper fort and one in lower fort. It is said that the fort is spread almost 8Kms.

Hidimbeshwara Temple - this is where Hidimba and Hidimbi of the Mahabharata stayed. 71.JPG

Way to upper fort
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Thread Starter #11
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Spotted many monkeys on the fort.
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This seemed like King Louie's Palace from film “The Jungle Book”
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Hoysala architecture
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These two Panorama were taken by my son
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While we came out of fort it was already 4:30pm. So now till Hubli there was no halt. We reached Hubli at around 7:00pm where we ended our day with sumptuous dinner at Ananth Residency.

Day 5:

We slept well earlier night and done relaxed start from Hubli after breakfast towards Pune. Entered Maharashtra border around 12:00pm. Took lunch break at Vittal Kamat after Kolhapur. Reached home around 5:00pm safely.


Experience with cops throughout the journey :

  1. While zooming in triple digits near Sira saw interceptor van. Reduced the speed and passed by it. After couple of kilometres saw 5-6 cops standing in between road and asking me to stop. I reduced my speed and given left indicator to stop. As soon I approach them they saw my wife and kid in car and whistled me to go ahead. Thank God!!
  2. While coming back I entered Hubli. I was following maps towards our hotel. The map was showing to go straight where there were two roads. I felt the right one is straight and got into it. There was cop at the corner who stopped me to show “One way” signage which somehow I missed. The challan amount was Rs.500, his demand was Rs.300 and I gave him Rs.100. The sad part was that my hotel location was just 700meters from there.
  3. After Satara towards Pune, there were few cops stopping all private cars. I also stopped, he told me to come out with all documents and license. I always carry everything in pouch. I came out with pouch, he saw that this guy is having everything. In addition to this he saw our TAI sticker on my car. He asked me whether I am associated with Automobile Association to which I replied “Yes”. His tone got changed “Sir!! Our superior have asked to check all private vehicles. Sorry for this trouble. You may go!!” I came smiling ear to ear….proud of TAI!!


Some distressing part in journey:

While coming from Chitradurga towards Hubli saw an accident where Innova Crysta has hit the bike. The rubber marks of Crysta brakes were appeared on road. The two local mans (riding without helmets) were lying on road with blood all around. The Crysta was standing near divider whose front bumper was broken and lying on road, somehow the front windshield was also scattered to pieces. The crowd has gathered along with police. I am sure that those two local man’s riding bike were not in this world. I swerved my car from that spot and went ahead.

My wife and kid saw such accident first time. There was pin drop silence in my car till we reached Hubli. I was thinking what would have caused such fatal accident. Part of my mind was telling that you should have stopped there while other part was telling that there were plenty of peoples hence what you done was right.


Many thanks for reading my travelogue !!
 
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Great travellogue! Beautiful, crisp photographs. Excellent words chosen.

Didn't know about the sand museum in Mysore!

We do have Gufha in Bangalore, after so many days, it has become some sort of boring thing. They have a flaming drink (shots / rounds with rising flames!) as well.

Up to 90kms, the cops won't bother much when you are with family.

Part of the Automobile Association? Wow!
 
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Thanks for the information. You had great time!

Could you post the google map link for the route. I am going to visit Mysore, Ooty, Kodaikanal.
 
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