If you love a good road trip, then you’re definitely NOT alone. One of my favorite road trips is from Bangalore – Goa – Bangalore. Love the roads, which predominantly are 6-lanes and simply awesome. One can drive at over 130-140Kms/hr at constant speed for most times, barring the main junctions, and definitely when you’re in the Ghats – if you’re passing through them.
Now for the paths – if you’re like me and using your car’s GPS, well then, there’s multiple ways you can reach Goa (Panjim) from Bangalore. One of the routes I predominantly use is from Bangalore –> Tumkur –> Sira –> Chitradurga –> Devangere –> Haveri –> Hubli –> Dharwad –> (through the ghats) –> Ponda –> Panjim
Car: Maruti A-Star Automatic; Total Kms travelled: 1300Kms
Time taken: 12 hours (including 2 hours for breakfast, photo shoots, coffee)
Personally, I LOVE this route since there’s an awesome drive through the Ghats (the section marked above). And here’s the topographical details from Google Maps.
Well, if you’re wondering – what it looks like when you’re driving through the mountains – well, here’s some pics from the very top… myself & gf took a drive recently.
How does the AH47 or Asian Highway 47 look like? Simply awesome. If you’re driving a Merc S-class or BMW X6, chances are you can drive at over 200 Kms/hr easily at most places. This is a brilliant shot of the Hubli-Dharwad Highway taken by Satish (Copyright: Original).
- Start early morning. Say, 4:30/5am IST either from Goa or Bangalore. If you’re driving from Goa, try keeping enough time in hand, so that you can cross the dangerous ghats before noon. I once started at 4pm sharp from Goa, and by the time crossed the ghats, it was nearly evening. Thus, I hit the highway when after sunset. The worse part are lorries and big trucks which drive extremely rash; stop anywhere and everywhere, drive at 40-50Kms/hr speed on the speeding lane which is horrendous; and if they break down, stop without giving any signal.
- MUST: Start early from Goa – say, 4:30am IST so that you can reach Bangalore in 12 hours; i.e. around 5pm.
- MUST: Start early from Bangalore – say, 4:30am IST so that you can reach Goa in 12 hours; i.e. around 5pm.
- There are lots of places (restaurants, cafes etc.) to have breakfast and lunch. So don’t worry.
- There are lots of Petrol Pumps on the highway – both sides. So don’t worry.
- Make sure you pack the necessary stuff though – GPS, mobile phone charger, tissues, some cold drinks etc.
- If you’re traveling alone (like I did once at night) – its terrible. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Cause driving 12 hours at a stretch alone, just listening to music ain’t easy. And especially at night, its horrible to drive all alone at such high speed. So try traveling with someone OR take ample rest before starting.
- Most importantly – DO NOT OVER SPEED. Driving fast is fun, as long as the car remains in control.
Now, there’s a 2nd way you can take. This is the Bangalore –> Tumkur –> Sira –> Chitradurga –> Devangere –> Haveri –> Sirsi –> Gokarna –> Karwar –> Panjim
The 3rd way is from Bangalore –> Tumkur –> Sira –> Chitradurga –> Shimoga –> Sagara –> Gokarna –> Karwar –> Panjim.
Previously, the road from Shimoga to Karwar used to bad; has improved much nowadays. I need to check this route myself.
So which road do you prefer? Have any best recollections of your road trip? Share them and leave comments.