Karnataka Road Trip

4 days. 10 temples with no two temples being close to each other.1600+ km travel by car – Exhausting, tiring yet a very memorable trip!

Apart from a few temples that we had on our must-visit list, visit as many temples as possible without rushing even in a single place was the only plan that we had for this trip. And we did succeed in doing that. We left the entire trip planning to the driver since he knew all the routes.

Itinerary (Including the places where we just stopped over for break/lunch/ night halt):

Day 1 (April 30th):
Bangalore – Belur – Halebid – Hassan – Mangalore
(Temples visited: Belur & Halebid)

Day 2:
Mangalore – Gokarna – Idagunji – Murudeshwar – Kollur – Kundapura
(Temples visited: Gokarna, Idagunji & Murudeshwar)

Day 3:
Kundapura – Udupi – Kateel – Sringeri
(Temples visited: Udupi, Kateel & Sringeri)

Day 4:
Sringeri – Horanadu – Dharmasthala – Bangalore
(Temples visited: Sringeri, Horanadu & Dharmasthala)

The initial plan was to take a train to Mangalore and from there hire a taxi to go to other places. But after we came to know that the distance between Gokarna and Bangalore was around 200 km more than that from Mangalore, we got a ticket to Bangalore instead since we thought we can visit some places on the way to Gokarna instead of spending half a day in train journey to Mangalore. But what we didn’t know was the shorter route to Gokarna from Bangalore wasn’t in a good condition which meant an additional 100+ km car journey. Till I saw the map, which I did only on the 3rd day of the trip, I didn’t realize that we had travelled the full length and breadth of Karnataka in two days!

Anyway, our decision to go to Bangalore instead of Mangalore turned out to be a good one since, thanks to that idiot who drove the train and caused the accident in Vyasarpadi, the train to Mangalore on that day had got cancelled. Bangalore Mail was one of the few trains that left as per schedule from Central Station itself.

Some thoughts/notes on the trip:

  • I was looking forward to this trip since I love travelling and vedikkai patthufying while travelling. The changing landscapes and nature’s beauty are enough to keep me fully occupied. Travelling never affects me generally. But this time, the curves, bends and slopes on the Karnataka roads, especially, in the Ghat sections, affected me so much causing, not the usual nausea that people generally get, but head-ache and sort of giddiness, thereby not letting me enjoy the journey. 🙁

  • The roads were excellent all through, except for a few short stretches in between.

  • There were gulmohars everywhere! With few or no green leaves, the trees covered with the bright-red flowers were a treat for the eyes! 🙂 There were some places where gulmohar trees on both sides of the road formed a beautiful red arch. 🙂 There were lots of sara koNRai trees covered fully with the beautiful yellow flowers too! 🙂

  • Kudremukh forest with the dense trees, the tiny waterfalls and streams that make a sudden appearance here and there, was beautiful! Spotted a couple of peacocks and even a snake that crossed the road!

  • Coffee and tea plantations in a lot of places made for beautiful scenery. How I wish I had been able to enjoy it fully! 🙁

  • Thanks to the backwaters and some rivers including Sharavati and Aganashini, some parts of the Mangalore-Gokarna road were really beautiful, with the most beautiful one being the short stretch with beach on one side and backwaters on the other side! 🙂 Dil Chahta Hai was the song that came to my mind when I saw that beach and backwaters!

  • Most of the places we went to were crowded. Imagine no rooms being available in a place like Kollur! That was the reason why, despite going there, we couldn’t visit the Mookambika temple, since we had planned to go to the temple the next day morning. We ended up staying in a hotel in highway, which too became full during the night! Next time, remind me not to plan for a trip during a long weekend, that too during summer vacation.

  • There is no dearth of pure vegetarian restaurants to choose from, everywhere in Karnataka.

  • The car (Innova) didn’t have a music system! When asked if we wanted a TV in car, my father said no without having the least idea that there won’t be a music system too if we didn’t want a TV. 4 full days of no music! 🙁

  • It was very hot everywhere in Karnataka. The next time some non-Chennaiite starts complaining to me about Madras citing the summer here as a main reason for their not liking it, I am going to ask them to go visit all these places in Karnataka. 😐

  • After visiting so many temples that were far away from each other, I couldn’t help remembering places like Kumbakonam, Mayavaram, Thanjavur, Trichy, etc. in Tamil Nadu, where there are so many temples within a stone’s throw away from each other that you can never finish visiting all the temples in and around a place.

  • Except Belur, Halebid and Vidya Shankar temple in Sringeri, none of the temples we visited were architectural marvels. There were neither tall, towering gopuras nor huge temple premises. Murudeshwar temple, though has some beautiful sculptures, happens to be a new temple though the Shiva linga there is an ancient one.

  • My dream of watching a sunset in Arabian Sea got fulfilled at Murudeshwar! 😀

  • Doing a countdown of the distance remaining with each milestone/boards having distances is a thing that I always do while traveling on highways. In some places, the distance was wrongly mentioned. Imagine seeing the distance increasing instead of decreasing as you move closer to your destination! 😉

P.S.: More posts on the temples I visited will follow soon with photos.

8 thoughts on “Karnataka Road Trip

  1. s w a t

    Hey… looks like you have had a lot of fun 🙂
    And i agree with you about the weather in Karnataka (atleast in Bangalore)!

  2. S Kumar

    Hey.. I have done a similar trip in Feb 08.
    – Bangalore to Mangalore via Sakleshpur and the ghat section there. Picked up parents in Mangalore station.. They had traveled by train from Chennai.
    – Mangalore to Udupi , made a stop at Kaup beach – Beautiful , clean and no crowd at all…Bonus Light house! Rs 5 to climb up. Tipped the watchman generously. plenty of sippi, lots of sozhi!
    – Very good Udupi Darshan..multiple times. Drive to Kollur. Night stay there.
    – Kollur Darshan. Kollur to Sringeri. Stopped at a river enroute there.. Beautiful clean river. Its not a regular stopping area. So you wont see eee-kaakkaa there… But easily accessible U-turn after the bridge. Nalla padithurai and good water.
    – Sringeri was beautiful. Architecture on the Vidyashankara temple there was outstanding. River was full of LARGE fish. And the thapovanam? of Sringeri Mutt seer was great.
    – From Sringeri, drove to Dharmasthala and stayed the night there. Not very exciting Darshan there..
    – From there drove back via S-belagola to Bangalore..
    We had only 3 days in all so thats the best we could squeeze leaving on Saturday morning and arriving back Monday late night.. We contemplated Murudeshwar and Gokarnam.. but that would have needed another day but would have allowed us to see Blur-Halebid too.. missed out..
    Of the 1000+ km trip, I did 950km.. Whats special.?. I drove in India after 8 years. Its unbelievable fun to use your dipper / high beam and overtake at night and day while shifting gears! Many nice driving aspects.. the Udupi NH17 split to Kollur single road.. Kollur to Sringeri single road… . you have to climb to Agumbe and down.. Watched sunset from Agumbe.
    Overall pretty memorable trip… Driving till Bangalore outer was fun. after that no good…
    Ghat section in Sakleshpur was bad (bad is an understatement) for 20 km. but fun in a way because certain areas you have to negotiate at 3KMph making every wheel has a place to go… and not a ditch.

  3. Naveen Kumar B V

    Hmm… U had a mini Teerth yatra:-))))
    I think u dint visit much places in Udupi…..
    If u would have planned ur trip in winter u would ve enjoyed a lot:-))))
    Still a wonderful trip covering most of temples….

  4. Aparna


    Thank you

    s w a t,
    🙂 Am happy to know that Chennaiites aren’t/weren’t the only ones suffering from the heat 😛

    Must have been a memorable trip indeed. Esp. since I too have been to most of the places you have written and know how the places are.
    Reaching the Bangalore city from outer needed a lot of patience for us too since the traffic was bad!

    Naveen Kumar,
    Welcome to my blog!

  5. Bharath

    Hi Aparna,

    I too was planning on a 4 day road trip of Karnataka by my Swift Vdi. I came across your blog and must say this is precisely the route i was planning too! I understand that you went on this trip sometime last year but was hoping that if you could remember your Night halts – a.k.a. Hotels so that I could get working on reservations etc.

    Looking forward to your response and thanks for sharing the details on this blog.

    Appreciate it.



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