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    Thread: North Karnataka Road Trip

    1. #1
      No Commerce, Just Fun
      Rainy Days

      Join Date
      May 2012

      North Karnataka Road Trip

      We were planning a North Karnataka Roadtrip since few years now, but not been able to for one or the other reason. We have now two occasions (1) Xmas to New Year Period (2) Sankranti Week. I searched for the road conditions or trip plans to that region, even though couple of threads exists, they are all quite old, the last ones are from 2014-15 time. So thought of opening this thread to seek information to plan this trip efficiently.

      I understand North Karnataka has following attractions based on many travelogues and road condition threads.

      (01) Bidar
      (02) Gulbarga or Kalburgi
      (03) Bijapur or Vijaypura
      (04) Basavana Bagewadi, Koodala Sangama
      (05) Ilakal
      (06) Pattadakal
      (07) Aihole
      (08) Mahakoota
      (09) Badami
      (10) Lakkundi
      (11) Gadag (We have visited this)
      (12) Hampi (We have visited this)
      (13) TB Dam (We have visited this)
      (14) Harihar (We have visited this)
      (15) Chitradurga Fort (We have visited this)

      Am I missing any other interesting places to visit ?, that are of tourist attraction ?

      Next is which route is the best one to cover the remaining places ?, Google Map suggested me the bellow shown route map

      Name:  Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 4.09.31 PM.png
Views: 279
Size:  280.2 KB

      I have following questions.

      (1) Is the above route the most optimized route ?
      (2) How is the state highway from Harihar to Gadag ?
      (3) Is there a good route from Bidar to Ballary or Hospet so that i need not enter Telangana or AP ?
      (4) What is the best itinerary for these places ? Is below plan doable ?
      Day 0: Reach Hubli and Stay
      Day 1: Badami, Mahakuta, Aihole, Pattadkal
      Day 2: Lakkundi, Ilakal, Koodalasangama, Basavanabagewadi, Reach Bijapur
      Day 3: Bijapur
      Day 4: Gulbarga, Bidar
      Day 5: Forenoon Bidar, Start Home Run after Lunch
      (5) What are the North Karnataka Experiences we must experience during the trip ?, Food, Culture, Locations etc.
      (6) What are the Must visit places at Bijapur, Gulgurga and Bidar. and how much time needed approximately for those visits.

      i might have more questions, will ask once plan firms up.

      thanks for helping out

      Last edited by Nomad; 30th Nov 2018 at 16:59.

    2. #2
      Paths of Righteousness

      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Last Christmas we did a 2700 km road trip through Karnataka, but we had left out Bidar. While returning from Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami we stayed at Clarks, Gadag - a decent place to stay in a sleepy town. In Vijayapura the must see places are Gol Gumbaz and Ibrahim Rauza Tomb. These two sites will keep you busy during the forenoon; be the first to reach Gol Gumbaz - the experience is well-worth the trouble. At Aihole, there is a Mayura Yatri Niwas. Pattadakkal offers no restaurants, but the home cooked food women bring from their homes will introduce you to the local cuisine and is perfectly safe for consumption.

    3. #3
      No Commerce, Just Fun
      Rainy Days

      Join Date
      May 2012

      Must visit attractions in North Karnataka

      While doing the search, found following sights listed as must visit among several others at each places. Based on this worked out tentative day wise schedule.

      Day 1: Bengaluru to Gadag and Stay. Looks like best option to start the exploration is to reach Gadag, stay there and start in the morning, visit ancient temples in Gadag and then at Lakkudi.

      Day2: Forenoon

      Gadag & Lakkundi:

      (01) Veeranarayana Temple @ Gadag
      (02) Trikuteshwara Temple @ Gadag
      (03) Brahma jinalaya
      (04) Kashi Vishveshwara Temple
      (05) Manikeshwara Temple & Stepped Well
      (06) Nanneshwara Temple
      (07) Chaturmukha Brahma @ Jain Temple

      Day 2: Afternoon : visit Badami and Mahakuta temples

      Badami & Mahakuta:

      (01) Cave Temples
      (02) Agastya Lake
      (03) Badami Fort
      (04) Bhutanatha Temple
      (05) Mallikarjun Temple
      (06) Banashankari Temple
      (07) Archeological Museum
      (08) Malegitti Shivalaya Fort & Temple
      (09) Lower & Upper Shivalaya
      (10) Mahakuteshwara Temple @ Mahakuta

      Stay at Badami for the night on

      Day3 Forenoon:

      (01) Virupaksha Temple
      (02) Kashi Viswanatha Temple
      (03) Sangameshwara Temple
      (04) Jain Temple
      (05) Papanatha Temple
      (06) Galaganatha Temple
      (07) Mallikarjun Temple

      Day 3 Afternoon:


      (01) Durga Temple
      (02) Lad Khan Temple
      (03) Ravanphadi Cave Temple
      (04) Huchimalli Temple
      (05) Huchhappayyagudi Temple
      (06) Archeological museum
      (07) Gowda Temple
      (08) Chakragudi
      (09) Meganagudi
      (10) Kontigudi
      (11) Jyotirlinga Temple
      (12) Galaganath Temples
      (13) Suryanarayana Temple
      (14) Ambigera Gudi
      (15) Trayamakeshwara Temple
      (16) Chikkigudi
      (17) Rachi Gudi
      (18) Yeniar Shrines
      (19) Jain Gudis
      (20) Badger Gudi
      (21) Halabasappanagudi

      Day 4: Forenoon

      Ilakal, Koodalasangama, Almatti Dam & Bagewadi:

      (01) Ilakal Saari Weaving
      (02) Sangamanatha Temple
      (03) Basaveshwara ikya Linga & Samadhi
      (04) Neelamma Temple
      (05) Almatti Dam
      (06) House of Madiraja @ Bagewadi
      (07) Basavakalyana

      Day 4 Afternoon & Day 5 Forenoon

      Bijapur & Pangarh:

      (01) Gol Gumbaz
      (02) Malik-e-Maidan
      (03) Ibrahim Rauza
      (04) Bara Kaman
      (05) Jod Gumbaz
      (06) Jumma Masjid
      (07) Baradari
      (08) Bijapur Fort
      (09) Archeological Museum
      (10) Uppali Buruz
      (11) Taj Bawadi
      (12) Saath Manzil
      (13) Pangarh Fort, Lotus Lake

      Day 5 afternoon:


      (01) Khwaja Bande Nawab Darga
      (02) Buddha Vihar
      (03) Gulbarga Fort
      (04) Mayankheta
      (05) The Haft Gumbaz
      (06) Jama Masjid
      (07) Chandrapalli Dam

      Day6: Forenoon


      (01) Bidar Fort,
      (02) Madrasa of Mahamud Gawan,
      (03) Ragin Mahal Palace,
      (04) Papnash Shiva Temple,
      (05) The Chaubaara,
      (06) Guru Nanak Jhira,
      (07) Solah Khamb Mosque

      Day 6: Afternoon, Evening, till Midnight. Return journey from Bidar via Hyderabad Bypass and NH7.

      Was initially thinking of 5 days, now looks like it takes 6 days minimum. I do not think we can visit all the places listed as must visit. more over need to have some relax time as well. Need to add a contingency day. so it would be 7 days to complete this.


      Found an interesting wikipedia links which explains important sights in North Karnataka (Uttara Karnataka)



      Incredible India Documentary on Bahamani Rulers and attractions of Bidar, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Bagalkot and Badami and Hampi, Chitradurga, Dandeli, Yana, Jog and followed by south Karnataka attractions.




      Last edited by Nomad; 3rd Dec 2018 at 09:28.

    4. #4
      Paths of Righteousness

      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      You have collated a very comprehensive visit list and if you have so many days to spare, why not? Still, I would suggest you to set your priorities and invest your time judiciously rather than spread it thin over too many sites. I depend on tripadvisor rating. For instance, we are planning a 6 day heritage tour of Tamil Nadu. In Kanchipuram the top three temples are Kailasanathar, Ekambareswar and Varadaraja Perumal in that order but we are sticking to just Kailasanathar.

    5. #5
      No Commerce, Just Fun
      Rainy Days

      Join Date
      May 2012
      Quote Originally Posted by kima View Post
      if you have so many days to spare, why not?
      We might have 5 calendar days off, everything is pivoted over the college and classes of the teenager.

      Quote Originally Posted by kima View Post
      Still, I would suggest you to set your priorities
      Of course, the priority is to cover must do sights in North Karnataka as if we will never get another chance to be there. Reason is simple, i grew up in Karnataka, have studied geography, history of the state during school years, but never managed to visit these places which are part of my own state, more than half of life is over. Tourism is just a reason, real need to experience the way of life there, enjoy local cuisine, interact with locals, try and speak a different dialect of Kannada for few days, see the landscapes, experience the scorching sun and (rather lack of) development / facilities / infrastructure of the region.

      Quote Originally Posted by kima View Post
      I depend on tripadvisor rating
      Good way to filter, but i do not like it that way, that way, i need not go to Kerala or Rajasthan etc, there are better and more rated places at better VFM as well.

      Route Update:

      I spoke to a friend, who is a native of Bidar, but lives/works in Bangalore. He often goes to Bidar, prefers driving through Hyderabad Bypass, He told me that if he starts from south Bangalore, just before 8 AM, he generally reaches Bidar by 4:30 PM. He told me throughout there is a 4 lane highway. I have driven till Hyderabad few times, familiar with the conditions. he told me it is another 2.5 hours from there.

      I am more inclined to spend time at Bidar, Gulbarga and Bijapur as we can do Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole as a detour from Hubli/Dharwad anytime onway to Pune/Mumbai/Goa/Karwar. So our schedule plan is now in changed as below.

      Day 0: Start after Lunch from North Bangalore and reach Bidar by Night
      Day 1: Complete Bidar Fort, Gurudwara, Basava Kalyana and reach Gulbarga
      Day 2: Complete Gulbarga and reach Bijapur
      Day 3: Complete Bijapur and Stay
      Day 4: Almatti Dam, Basavana Bagewadi, Koodala Sangama, Ilakal and stay
      Day 5: Badami, Mahakuta, Pattadakal, Aihole and Drive Back in the night, reach home after midnight.

      There is a chance that we can get 6th day, in that case, we will spend that in more detailed exploration of Day 5 sights + Lakkundi Temples.
      If we get delayed during first 4 days, then we will skip Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole, Mahakuta, Lakkundi and do it during one of our Pune trips later.

      i guess, this schedule will change few times before actual trip for sure.

      Please give me suggestions on must visit places, non touristy but good sights / must have experiences in North Karnataka region.
      Last edited by Nomad; 3rd Dec 2018 at 07:49.

    6. #6

      Looking forward to some long

      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Bangalore, KA
      Thanks Nomad for putting up an itinerary. This list will certainly help a lot of people plan their trips, including me.

      What you mentioned rings true for a lot of people. The places least explored by a person is usually their own state. The reasoning for a trip covering a lot of places makes total sense.
      2012 Cruze Eco 1.4Turbo ... Commuter Car

    7. #7
      Paths of Righteousness

      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      You make complete sense and I fully respect your desire to have a first hand experience of your homeland; I have been just a casual visitor from Kerala. The splendid roads all through Karanataka were quite a revelation for me. They are all for you and so well-maintained. The peace and easy pace of life in Karnataka, we gained from experiencing the towns, hotels and monuments, was pleasantly overwhelming.

      Though I had written a very disparaging tripadvisor review on Sabala Heritage Home in Bijapur, I am sure that you may find it interesting as it is a very down to earth homely NGO establishment that caters to the economic and social well-being of the local women. The cuisine and the environs are very local too. It is neat and clean but I found it overpriced for what was on offer.

      Clarks, Gadag is the best option there. Otherwise, you will have to opt for Hubballi. Badami does not have comparably good hotels. We also found it oppressively congested (last December) with so much of road work going on. It was the only place where we had to park on the open highway and then proceed to the monuments on a rickshaw. The only bad roads in Karnataka were between Aihole - Pattadakkal - Badami, but by now the situation may have improved over time.

    8. #8

      ^ BHP = Torque X RPM
      bhpistorqintorpm's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2010
      we visited your day 5 destinations recently. i feel it would be hard to cover all in single day - of course depends on how much time you spend at each location - but if you are interested in exploring these kinda places you would definitely need 2 full days. we felt 2 days were not enough for us - but our second day also included Almatti dam visit, and night light show. we stayed in Bagalokot. roads are good for most part.
      all the best!
      rx 135
      zen c a r b o n

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    9. #9
      Forza Ferrari!!!
      KRRaj's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 2009
      Quote Originally Posted by kima View Post
      The only bad roads in Karnataka were between Aihole - Pattadakkal - Badami
      These roads were bad 7 years back when I went. Am suprised they seem to be still in same state. For the record, this stretch is the only one where my Getz bottomed out
      "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."


    10. #10
      Needing a Pajero!
      Yeti's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2017
      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      Nomad sir, if you are going to be in the town for a meal, please PM me. I can recommend a few good eating places.

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