Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bangalore-Mangalore: The FISH-y Trip: Day 1

Continued from the last post (The Making)...

Saturday, 10th Dec 2006:

The plan was to meet at Citibank, MG Road at 4:00 AM sharp. Citibank at MG Road is one of the most popular places from where we start our trips J. There were some logistic problems in gathering there at an odd hour due to only 2 vehicles. So, the plan was slightly modified.

02:54 AM: My alarm rang. For the first time I pressed Stop instead of Snooze! Called Gopal and told him to reach my place by 3:30 AM.

02:56 AM: Called Ashutosh and told him to be ready. He was already awake :)

02:57 AM: Called Naveen. He was on a night out! Very nice, I complemented :)

03:35 AM: Gopal reached my place. I hopped on his bike and left for Naveen’s place in Koramangla.

04:00 AM: Naveen’s place. Jumped into the car and left for MG Road.

04:15 AM: Shetty reached MG Road after picking up his cousin and Pandey.

04:17 AM: We reached MG Road and moved towards Cooke’s Town to pick Ashu.

04:30 AM: All seven on board and we were leaving Bangalore.

Naveen and Shetty were driving.
For Naveen, his car is just like his old splendour without indicators and headlight. He doesn’t bother to use either indicators or dipper. He coolly drove till Neelmangla inspite of critically acclaimed remarks from three passengers to follow traffic rules. Road till Neelmangla was good four lane highway. We reached Neelmangla at around 5:30 AM and stopped for Chai session. Neelmangla is around 30 km from Bangalore and we have to take a left turn from there to Hassan. No offences for Naveen, but unanimous decision was taken and Ashu overtook as driver from there. :D. Poor Ashu didn't know at that time how much he had to drive .

Our next stop was Hassan which is around 150 km from Neelmangla. This road is a two lane highway. Road is very good but one has be extra cautious for incoming traffic while overtaking as there is no divider. We saw sunrise on the way.

Shetty zoomed passed 100 kmph and was soon out of sight. We did not have the privilege of that as Naveen’s car was making all sort of noises on crossing 100.

Shetty reached Hassan at around 7:30 AM. We followed and reached at around 7:50 AM. We took few wrong turns and instead of going via bypass, we entered the city. There was some confusion in locating Shetty in the city which ate up a good 45 minutes. Finally we met near the main Bus Stand and left for our first sightseeing enroute, Halebeedu.

Halebeedu is a small town around 40 km from Hassan with an ancient carved temple. The place is prominent in the archeological map of India. We had our breakfast there, masala dosas, idlis and chai.
The temple was magnificent and was a real feast for eyes. After a long long time, I was visiting a place of mythological and archeological importance. I guess the last one visited by me was Sarnath in 1999.

Halebeedu is the kind of place where you can spend a long time talking to local guide, identifying all the details of the place and the carvings. But because of a tight schedule, we could not hire a guide and quickly roamed around and clicked some snaps.

There was a huge rush in Halebeedu because of two groups from some school visiting. We thought of leaving quickly to reach our next destination, Belur before the huge groups. It was very obvious that they too would be visiting the place.

Drive till Belur was scenic with narrow but nice road. We reached Belur soon as it was only 17 km from Halebeedu.

Belur again was quite similar to Halebeedu with another nicely hand carved temple.

Here also we quickly took snaps, roamed around and zoomed to next target, Chikamanglur.

Chikamanglur is 30 odd km away from Belur. Road was again narrow but good with a beautiful view of Western Ghats. We found few good lakes in between and took snaps from car itself.

Soon we were in Chikamanglur city. We followed Shetty into a one-way and were busted by a traffic policeman! Shetty however managed to get away but the policeman noted down his number. Conversation was difficult with the policeman and we called Shetty. Shetty came back and negotiated with the policeman in Kannada. The matter was resolved with 100 bucks.

Now we had to cover one of the most heard about routes. Chikamanglur to Sringeri. This route is considered to be biker’s paradise. One of the most scenic routes in South India. Sringeri is 89 km from Chikamanglur. We left Chikamanglur at around 12 PM. The road was bad real bad. Although the landscapes around us were good but the road was pathetic. We were thinking how to cover arduous 89 km on such a road! But to our pleasant surprise, that bad patch lasted only around 20 km till a place called Aldur. From there it was like a butter coated road till Sringeri. We stopped at a few places in between to take photographs. The route was really very very scenic.

We had our lunch on entering Sringeri. After that we visited Shankaracharya Math in Sringeri. It was again an old carved temple with nice serene premises. We fed some catfishes in the lake within the compound.

There is a nice waterfall also near Sringeri but we had to drop the idea to visit as it was getting late and Udupi was still far.

From Sringeri we left for Agumbe. Agumbe is the last point uphill on this route. From there we had to start our descent from Western Ghats. Agumbe is famous for its beautiful sunset view also. We reached Agumbe at around 5:30 PM. It was still around 40-45 mins for sunset and already there was a huge crowd at the view point. Seeing the steep descending road from there, we thought of forgetting sunset view as it will be really difficult to cross Ghat section after dark. So we left immediately after clicking some snaps.

Our next stop was Udupi. Or may be not. On the way, Shetty had a Flat Tire !!! It was already dark and changing the tire in the forest in dark took an hour ! We were back on road at around 7:15 PM.

We reached Manipal at around 8:15 PM. We decided to stay there only for night. Udupi is just 6 km from there. Shetty and his cousin went to their home and five of us hired a hotel in Manipal.

Manipal is a small town famous for its medical college and engineering institute. The crowd in Manipal seemed more metrosexual than in Bangalore ! We had a tank up in Manipal and had a nice bath. And from here, starts our Fish-y trip. :)

I had seen a signboard of a place called Hotel Fishland on our way just 200 m before our hotel. I being a seafood fan suggested the place. Gopal and Pandey had to go to a veg restaurant for dinner. Rest three of us (myself, Ashu and Naveen) proceeded to Fishland J Ah, what a tasty fishes! The owner of Fishland was too enthusiastic to make us taste his choice of fishes. We gathered a lot of funda also about fishes. We had Melu (Average size of fish is 2 m!), Baracuda (Only fish with green bone) and all time favourite prawns. The preparation was too good. We finished the meal with Rice and Fish curry. Yummy! :)

At 11:30 PM, we were dozing on our beds. be continued to conclusion...


Kam said...

Superb photography bro! I liked the temple shots very very much!! Was it you or was it Pandey who clicked?

Ashish said...

Hi kam,

Thanks :) The photos are mixed. Some of them by me some by pandey and some by gopal :)

Richa said...

Ashish, great write up with good pictures! This has motivated me to plan our next trip here!

Ashish said...


thanku bhabhi ... fish zaroor khana !! u'll never forget that :)

Debonair said...

dude ! great pics again ! :) the Fishland description was yummy :P good to know u r a gourmet apart from being a biker too :D

Karan Vij said...

Hi, This is Karan, I am Looking for a Guy Named Naveen S Shetty, who owned Yamaha Enticer KA20l7244(Just wanted to get some info). Saw a Similar snap, so though if you can help me.

snigdha G said...
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reshma M said...
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Hai Baji said...
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