It was the last day of our long trip when we started around 8.00 in the morning from Hampi and headed towards Hospet and then Chitradurga via NH13 and then proceeded towards Tumkur via 4 lane NH4 and finally took a left from Dospeta towards Airport. Around 50km road on NH13 between Hospet and Chitradurga is pathetic. The rest of the route was superb. That day almost all flights were delayed due to bad weather and Spice Jet somehow settled it earlier score with us and left dot in time (Probably the only flight that day which left on time) and we reached Kolkata on time. We were tired after 21 days of travel but enriched so much by whatever this magical state had offered us.
Car Odo Reading:
Kamalapur – 46365
Hospet – 46376
Chitradurga – 46513
Tumkur – 46647
Dospeta – 46667 (Turn Left towards Devanahalli)
Bangalore Airport – 46739
I took the Car from a tour opeartor called Sathish from Bangalore who was quite helpful and dependable always. He provided me a 2011 Xylo, that ran for 40K and was in absolutely good condition. The rate I negotiated was Rs. 8.5 per km for Non AC. We switched on AC as and when required (It was absolutely necessary at Coastal circuit) but that was managed by one full tank of diesel which I paid extra. So approximately I paid Rs. 2000/- extra for running the AC as and when required. If you take an AC vehicle, it would be around Rs. 11/- per km and with minimum 250km of run per day.
I can recommend Satish @ +919060789049 and +919945028749. But make sure you won’t get the same driver Venkatesh (@+919620853162) whom I got.
1. The accommodation for Mysore, Madikeri, Belur, Badami and Hampi was at KSTDC Hotels and Badami and Belur were really value for money. Rest were just Ok (Madikeri was very good but expensive) and service is almost non-existant. I booked all online at : http://www.karnatakaholidays.net/
2. The accommodation for Kabini and Bhadra was at JLR, both were excellent, booked online at http://www.junglelodges.com where you can get 5% discount too.
3. At Waynad (Kalpetta) I stayed at Hotel Woodlands @950 (Non AC), I would certainly recommend: +918547102547 (Cell) / 04936202547 (Land Line)
4. At Thirunelly, I stayed at KTDC, Tamarind and booked by phone and email.
Hotel is nice but food is very costly.
Contact : http://www.ktdc.com/tamarind-thirunelli.php
Tamarind KTDC Easy Hotel
Thirunelly Temple P.O.
Mananthavady, Wayanad – 670 646
Tel: +91-4935-210475, +91-9447739472
5. Mangalore: I stayed at West Side Inn, it was unplanned stay and the hotel was just ok for an AC Room @1100.
Phone: 2439491 / 2439495 (Prefix Mangalore STD Code)
6. Maravanthe: I stayed at Turtle Bay, standard rooms are very very small, I had to change to a deluxe room and it was costly @2800. But if you can afford, this is a place to be. Contact : +919741133451 (C) / 08254265422
Mr. Abraham Chacko was manager, can be reached at +919845374079
7. Gokarna: Nimmu Guest House, was ok @1600 but I would try Namaste Cafe next time. It would have been nice if they had restaurant facility. You can contact @ +919538527252
8. Tirthahally: Vihangama Resort, I stayed at standard room @1500, which was definitely good and the food was good as well. You can contact @08181228211/08181227025. Manager Mr. Kaneena Kadidal can be reached at +919448105125
Turtle Bay at Maravanthe and Vihangama at Tirthahally both are having websites, you can google them.
If what I faced was normal, then Coastal circuit doesn’t have anything called winter. It’s summer / monsoon and very hot kind of weather. You must be geared up with sun protection cream ./ hats etc. and plan your travel as early as you can in the morning. We constantly got 36 degrees C in December when Northern India was under tremendous cold wave.
If you don’t like crowded places, Karnataka should better be avoided in December. Everywhere I found tremendous rush of school kids who even were staying in KSTDC hotels free of cost and breaking the almost non existant services of those hotels. In Hampi we didn’t even get a cup of tea as they were busy attending to the school children.
Keep your moneybag full with 10 Rs. notes, every where you would find some toll or parking and few are having the habits of returning you the change, many times you might get a subscription/donation bill of the amount you are supposed to get back. Challenge them if you find something wrong, I have seen many times people are trying collect fake tolls.
Make sure your driver atleast can speak some hindi/english and if you don’t know Kannada, practice Dumb Charades, might help you really. Northern part was much easier to handle as they understand hindi/english but Southern part was really a pain.
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