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Ganagapur - Sirsi Drive

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by whitepunto76, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. whitepunto76

    whitepunto76 Regolare


    We had a wonderful trip during the Oct 4 to Oct 8 holidays with family.
    Initially we decided to visit Hampi/Hospet region but somehow the constant pull of Malnad region after rainy season was somehow tempting to visit Sirsi.

    As planned we visited Ganagapur on Oct 4 & 5 with all poojas and started our return journey to Sirsi.

    Day 1 - BLR to Ganagapur - 640 kms
    Route Taken: BLR-Tumkur-ChitraDurga-Hospet-Kushtagi-Bijapur-Sindagi-Jertagi-Ganagapur
    Over all road conditions was good to very good till Bijapur-Sindagi. Journey from Sindagi to Ganagapur was the worst nightmare we never anticipated. The last 25kms took 2hours to reach Ganagapur.

    After Sira Kamat, there is no decent eateries on the highway. At last, with no breakfast/lunch till we found one in Kushtagi highway signal to have some snacks.

    Below are the snaps:
    IMG_2291.JPG IMG_2298.JPG
    Above is NH 13 - Chitradurga to Hospet Road condition. Initial 3-4 kms are rough with potholes. Remaining are good enough. But, the truck traffic is too much on this road.

    Above is the tunnel near hospet. At last Karnataka has one tunnel on highway now.

    Tungabhadra Dam view with gates open.


    Hospet to Bijapur - 4 lane highway. Awesome road to drive.


    Above road condition is from Jertagi to Ganagapur of 25kms stretch. No road. Just a makeover between sugarcane fields. Locals were pretty happy with this road condition itself. In rainy season its much worst. Even in this season its too much of heat.
    Punto underbody scrapped almost 21times. Have counted and kept my fingers crossed not to have any damage.
    Finally reached Ganagapur - Sai Datta Lodge by 6pm.

    Bhima-Amraja Sangam
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 15, 2014 ---
    Day 2:
    Went to the infamous Dattatreya Temple to perform pooja of Nirguna Padukas. Absolutely blissful place inside the temple. Performed all poojas as planned and Madhukari as well. Then went on to Kaleeshwar Temple/Shani Temple/Sangam.
    Had decent lunch from nearby small hotel and took rest for the remaining day.
    But, the condition of villagers and the facilities are less said the better. Very very basic facilities for tourists. No cleanliness and more than 6-8 hours power cut. Its un-imaginable for city dwellers.
    We saw those old people with bullock carts and ox going to fields and coming back by evening with hard work and satisfaction. No IT work can match this. Life is very simple. We were moved the way folks talked and lived here. Most of them talk both Kannada/Marathi & Hindi as well. Ofcourse temple itself attracts people from all walks of life with various problems. Digambara blesses them all.
    Must visit place in ones life.

    Interesting twist, later in the day was calling hotels of Hampi/Hospet for accommodation. None of the decent ones had rooms. In the meantime, we also had few phone numbers of Sirsi homestays. One of them was Sathwik Homestay. Called them up and room was available. Since we wanted to drive to place with more greenery this was much better option for 2 days rather than Hampi.
    Hence, decided to drive from Ganagapur to Sirsi on Day 3. Lets see how it turns out to be.
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 15, 2014, Original Post Date: Oct 15, 2014 ---
    Day 3:
    We asked few locals as to which of the routes are better to drive back to Bijapur. Most of them mentioned to take the round about route from Ganagapur-Gulbarga-Sindagi-Bijapur. Even Afzalpur route was in similar deteriorated state.
    Left Ganagapur at 7.30am towards Gulbarga.

    Below is the road condition:

    Below - Gulbarga - Jevargi - Sindagi - Bijapur


    Reached for breakfast at Bijapur. There were few hotels like Golden Heights and others. Luckily we found a canteen in Ayush Hospital as we wanted to buy some medicines. And proceeded towards Hubli.
    Route: Bijapur Ring road bypass - Garsangi - Bagalkote - Nargund - Navalgund - New Hubli. Awesome 2 lane highway. Decent traffic as well. Weather was turning from hot to pleasant. Once we reached Hubli, had sumptuous lunch at Kamat hotel. Crowded as usual.

    Punto was awesome to drive in all these straight roads with few twisties inbetween.

    Then we drove on NH 4 highway till we get deviation to Sirsi after Varur. Initial road conditions was not good with lot of pot holes. Finally the good natural scenes started to come by. At the same time it started raining on and off.

    We crossed the route - Varur Bypass - Tadas - Mundgod - Pala - Isloore - Sirsi. Reached Sirsi bus stand at 5pm.
    From here the homestay was 20kms towards Yana - tourist spot. Reached the homestay at 6pm with rain coming on and off. It was beauty to drive punto and push it to corners when wanted. It performed brilliantly and kept us smiling all the way.
    Sirsi to Devanalli on Yana route. Homestay - Sathwik Homestay. Mr.Vivek was waiting for us and guided us from Sirsi.


    Homestay was like midst of nature's lap. Its a 25 acre plantation with river stream flowing beside the plantation.
    Mr. Vivek (homestay owner) with his associate Sachin greeted us with hot coffee and snacks. Made us comfortable to adjust as it was chilly weather n drizzling. We convinced ourselves that we made right decision to visit Sirsi.
    Dinner was prepared and had a good discussion on Sirsi/Yana & other topics around tourism in the area. We hit the bed early after tiring journey of 520 kms from Gangapur to Sirsi.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
    zenwalker, punto_emotion and Ravi like this.
  2. whitepunto76

    whitepunto76 Regolare

    Day 4:
    Got up with Chirping of birds and beautiful greenery outside. It was misty/chilled and Punto was covered with mist. Liked a lot.
    Had hot cup of coffee and were taken to plantation walk.


    Dining area:

    Plantation walk: Morning 7am


    Beetle leaves and Pepper Spice:

    Cocoa Tree with few of them hanging:

    The plantation had Kokum, banana, turmeric, arecanut, guava and other trees. Birds were chirping all through our walking session.
    And then came a surprise. A big playground behind the plantation and a river stream flowing.

    IMG_2405.JPG IMG_2408.JPG

    It was pleasurable feeling and wanted to just sit there on the flowing river stream. Very good place for family people.
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 15, 2014 ---
    After good tasty breakfast, we left for places around homestay.

    1st: Manjuguni temple - Lord Venkateshwara
    This place was just 7kms and very neatly maintained temple.

    2nd - Sahasralinga
    To reach this place, we took a short cut through Shigehalli and reached the place.
    Around 20kms.

    Carved stones are covered by rain water flowing in full force. This place was used by sculptors of Banavasi temple to practice carving.

    3rd Place - Marikamba Temple, Sirsi
    There are two Marikamba temples in Malnad region. One is in Sagara and other is in Sirsi. This goddess is the grama devatha for Sirsi town. Very neatly maintained temple.


    After visiting these places, we returned back to homestay. We were again served with tasty malnad food. Veg specialities like gasa-gasa payasa and kadabu with turmeric leaves wrapped. Awesome taste and experience. Whole family enjoyed the delicacies served. Uttara Kannada region has its own flavour and charm. Its still in pristine condition and must visit for nature lovers.
    On return journey, we saw Deer which jumped the highway with super fast pace. Within fraction of second, it got vanished into woods. Wild life still exists in some parts here.

    Day 5:
    At last the deserving snap on my beloved Punto. Served us 1780kms journey for 5 days on all types of road surface without any issues. GT3s are really hard and helped us sail through rough roads.

    Unfortunately, we did not visit Yana, Vibhuti falls and other places. There are more than 50 places around Sirsi. Gokarna & Murudeshwar are near by as well. After rainy season this places turns into water falls everywhere.

    During our trip, we were thirsty and wanted to drink some Coke/Pepsi. In one the shops, we asked for Pepsi. The shopkeeper gave us "Pep-chee" in some plastic pack. It was Kokum juice locally called as Pep-Chee. o_O
    The drink was little spicy but cold. Somehow managed to gulp it.

    Enroute visited Jog falls:

    I wanted to share all the experiences we had in these places and hence attached pictures for more info. Thanks for all your support.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2014
    punto_emotion, platinumshine and Ravi like this.
  3. platinumshine

    platinumshine Regolare

    You bet! - Tadas - Mundgod - Pala - Isloore - Sirsi : this road is amazing to experience the cornering capabilities of Punto, so satisfying, apart from one or two surprise speed breakers.
    Beautiful pics! I like the Manjguni temple much, looks like they have done a paint work recently.
    Your Punto looks gorgeous!
  4. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Thanks for sharing details.
    Rainy season is always inviting to drive.
    This is funny - Pep-chee :).
  5. punto_emotion

    punto_emotion Esperto

    Grande Punto 1.3
    @ whitepunto76, nice pics and detailed travelogue. Home stay looks serene and soothing! Good getaway places from city life.

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