The Best Road Trips You Should Take in Karnataka
‘There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind
’- C. S. Lewis
If you want to get up, close and personal with your country, it is essential to visit its nooks and corners. The trip by train may be comfortable, a trip via plane may make you a little more sophisticated, but when a place is visited via roadway, many things unnoticed get notice, many unexplored places and things get explored and many unknown shades of a place pop up in front of us in some unique manners.
The Best Road Trips You Can Take in Karnataka
Karnataka is blessed with plenty of beautiful places to be visited. But at the same time it also has several wonderful roads leading towards those places which must be taken if you are in the state. So, when the life becomes nothing but a hectic schedule of some repetitive chores and our ever-wandering souls cry for a break from all the shackles of urban chaos; it is the right time to pack your rucksack, fuel your car, take a road map and just kiss the road and start your journey.
Bangalore to Nandi Hills
The journey from Bangalore to Nandi Hills
is probably the easiest yet one of the most iconic road trips that one can ever have. The mere 61 km of distance could be covered in around 1.30 hours if started a bit earlier from the city. The beautiful smooth serpentine road would take you to the destination through a stunningly attractive surrounding filled with mountain greeneries and foggy mountains. To see the Sun rising from the hilly backdrop would definitely be an out-of-the-world experience. The misty weather of Nandi Hills would make your journey even more soothing.
Bangalore to Mysore
While taking about road trips in Karnataka the trip to Mysore from Bangalore
should be at the top of the list. Mysore is famously called the ‘Cultural Capital of Kanataka’ and is also a very popular tourist spot. While, most of the tourists would prefer train or flight to reach Mysore, for those driving enthusiasts, our recommendation is to opt for the roadway to experience a great journey. There are two ways to reach Mysore from Bangalore.
One is through SH 17 and the other one is through NH209 and SH33. Both the routes are quite good in condition and provide great journey. The distance of 144 km can easily be covered in 3-3.30 hours. The road to Mysore offers a wonderful transition of time period through the surroundings. You may not figure out how and when you have come to a historical era from the modern urban jungle and that is the essence of this road trip.
Bangalore to Kabini via Mysore
On a Saturday early morning, start your journey from Banaglore city towards an eventful weekend at Kabini. Kabini is a popular wildlife reserve situated on the bank of river Kabini. It is around 200 km away from Bangalore and takes around 5-7 hours to reach depending on the traffic and your stopovers. To reach Kabini, you need to take either the NH7 or the Bangalore-Mysore road. Both the roads are well maintained, hence offers great rides. The greenery enshrouded broad road, clear blue sky and serene atmosphere- the journey gives you all to make it a memorable trip. If you are enthusiastic enough, then take short breaks at Channapatna, Ramanagara, and Mysore to explore more.
Bangalore to Sakleshpur
Another piece of beauty would come alive if you take your car on the Bangalore - Mangalore
highway and bypass through Hassan
. Sakleshpur is a wonderful hill station mostly famous for the coffee plantation. The road to Sakleshpur provides enormous natural beauty than calms down your driving tiredness of over five hours to cover a distance of 260 km from Bangalore. The greeneries surrounding the area, the gorgeous calmness of the hilly atmosphere, the smooth trail, a nice weather and some stunning waterfalls on the way to Sakleshpur would make you want for more.
Bangalore to Wayanad
With a rich natural value, Wayanad has many things to offer to the visitors, but it is the road to Wayanad which would give you some interesting bits and pieces of memory that would remain intact in your heart forever. Located at around 300 km from Bangalore, Wayanad is a beautiful hilly town and is the home for most of the tribal population of the state of Kerala lying on the Deccan plateau.
The natural as well as the cultural diversity of Wayanad is worth experiencing. But the road which leads you to this beautiful small hill station is even more appealing. The six to seven hours of driving through NH212 or the Bangalore - Mangalore highway via Gundalpet is snuggled with meandering mountain road, thick, green hilly forest, tea estates, and monkeys jumping around here and there or just sitting idle observing the passerby and a misty climate and smell of the unspoiled wilderness. Rest assured that this trip is going to be one of the most enjoyable ones for you!
Bangalore to Agumbe
If you love rain, Agumbe is the place for you. Yes, Agumbe is the wettest place in the whole southern part of India. And the road from Bangalore to Agumbe is one of the most beautiful roads in the state of Karnataka. Agumbe is situated at 356 km from Bangalore hence demands a long and tiresome drive to reach. But you can easily overcome the tiredness by getting absorbed into the beauty that the road provides.
From Bangalore you just need to take the Nice Road and it is in great shape to give you a good ride, and then go straight Channarayanapatta, Hassan and Belur to finally reach Agumbe. The best time to enjoy the trip is months between June to October as the surrounding decorates itself with rain and green. Start your journey on a brumous morning on the drenched road, and enjoy the beauty of greenery, the small rivulets, and the roaring waterfalls throughout the path. To add more, the road towards Agumbe has plenty of Dhaba styled food joints to keep you filled.
Bangalore to Pondicherry
A trip from Bangalore to Pondicherry
is a much-experience road trip in Karnataka. The pristine beauty of the road to Pondicherry would make your senses gripped throughout the journey. Though there are at least three different ways to reach Pondicherry from Bangalore, the most recommended and enjoyable route is from Bangalore to Ambur via Hossur and Krishnagiri and then straight to Pondicherry via Vellor, Arcot and Thindivanam.
The Asian Highway (AH) 45 is the road you should take through this route. The road condition is superb and thus ensures a happy trip for you. The buttery smooth and completely clean highway is decorated with rows of Coconut trees and the smaller and medium hillocks of the Deccan Plateau and the Eastern Ghats. Nearing the destination, the road runs alongside the Bay of Bengal. The whole trip is filled with both the natural beauty and human maintenance which makes your road trip an unforgettable one, for sure. The one way trip of 327 km takes around 5-6 hours to complete. There are several food joints along the way.
Bangalore to Goa
Now, this one is another road trip than no Indians should miss in their lifetime! Truly, any road that ends in or leads to Goa has to be great. So, when you start an early morning ride through Tumkur - Hubli - Belgaum - Chorla Ghats to reach Goa, you would be having an out-of-the-world road trip experience. The 556 km of distance can be covered in 10-11 hours.
A smooth well-maintained winding road running between the abundance of trees, sun rays playing hid-n-seek with you, cool moist breeze caressing your face are the basic things you would experience while traveling. And while passing the Chorla Ghats the small uneven hillocks, windmills, lakes surrounded by the hills and greens and the meandering way under the green canopy of a semi thick forest are going to overwhelm you with bliss and joy. The best time to plan the trip is from June to October. Sometime, the sudden and short-spanned rain may make this trip even more eventful and remarkable.
Bangalore to Gokarna via Shimoga
The trip to Gokarna from Bangalore is also a great one to take if you’re in Karnataka. The distance of 517 km can be covered in 8-10 hours if you start your journey earlier in the morning. The NH4 stretches through Hubli and a pleasant ride would refresh your mind. But after reaching Kalghatgi when you take the NH63, the joy of long drive will start from there.
A beautiful road, picturesque vistas, and cool breeze would accompany you throughout the way. The journey becomes even more awesome while approaching Gokarna. The sun bathed beachside, the clear blue Arabian Sea and a sunny afternoon would recover all your well-invested energy while driving for so long. The road towards Gokarna has ample of food joints, so you just need to pack your bags and start your car-engine to enjoy an eventful road trip.
Bangalore to Alappuzha via Munnar
The trip from Bangalore to Alappuzha is all about good road, decent weather, and coffee plantation. A distance of almost 600 km which can be covered in 8-10 hours depending on traffic conditions after reaching Coimbatore. The road from Bangalore to Coimbatore is the most enjoyable part of the whole journey. And if you take the route via Munnar, the time may take a little longer. The road to Munnar from Bangalore would also be another great experience.
Bangalore to Kudremukh
Basically famous among the adventure sports enthusiasts, Kudremukh also has a beautiful road to reach. Located 340 km away from Bangalore, Kudremukh can be reached in 6-7 hours via NICE road. NICE road itself is very well-maintained and therefore offers a great road journey towards Kudremukh especially till Hasan, the journey is marvelous. You can stop at Hassan over some cups of smoking hot coffee and breakfast and recharge yourself for the rest of the trip. The beautiful hilly road, greeneries and some small waterfalls are what you should expect on the way.
Bangalore to Coorg via Mysore
You would miss many beautiful things if you would not take a trip to Coorg from anywhere in Karnataka. Coorg has its special place on the tourism map of the state, hence calls for a deserving mention while talking about the best road trips in Karnataka. Nestled with the beautiful wilderness of the Western Ghats, Coorg or Madikeri (the older name was Kodagu) is the ultimate place for hedonic thrill.
Coorg is synonymous with the hills and hillocks, thick forest, tea and coffee plantation, spice gardens, a beautiful river, wild flora and fauna and a lot more adventure activities. And the moments of all these enjoyment begins at the commencement of your journey. Coorg is 250 km far from the madding crowd of Bangalore and it takes around 6-7 hours to reach there. The gorgeous landscape on the way, the lush green paddy field, the mountainous horizontal line and a railway track running alongside the highway (till Mysore) would make your trip to Coorg a red-letter one.
Bangalore to Ooty
The summer is really hot in Karnataka. So, this summer, do not just sweat under the parching heat and curse the Sun for being so hot; get yourself ready for a wonderful road trip to Ooty, the summer capital of the Britishers. Ooty
lies on the Nilgiri region, at around 360 km away from Bangalore. In the 7-9 hour long road journey, you would come across the copiousness of natural beauty. The State Highway 17 which runs via Mysore, the Gundlupet NH212 and the Gudalur NH67- all are well maintain and offer you a smooth and enjoyable ride.
The steeper route starts at Mumdumalai, just after crossing the Karnataa border and entering Tamil Nadu. The road from this point becomes winding and you would know by then that the destination is not that far. The even road, tree and spice plantation on one side and the dark grey mountain on the other side, the blue sky and clumps of white cloud floating on it, the smell of wild floras and old mountain- the road to Ooty would offer you everything you desire at a memorable road trip.
Bangalore to Bandipur
Bandipur is a forest region specially known for its National Park and is a popular tourist destination in Karnataka. And if you are a road-trip enthusiast, Bangalor-Bandipur road trip is an essential one for you. A total distance of 217 km and a total driving time of around 4-5 hours would make its special place in your heat for a long time. Any car trip on the SH17 and NH212 become a great one as the road condition remains superb.
Start you journey at an early morning, drive through some of the most picturesque villages, take a short break at Mysore have your breakfast, explore the historical city for a while, and enter the world of mystique wildness of Bandipur before 6 PM. You will never regret the trip for sure!
Bangalore to Mangalore
Okay, so this is our last (but not the least, of course) recommendation! The road trip from Bangalore to Mangalore or vice versa is an interesting one with full of places where you can take a short driving break and explore something new. The NH48 runs through Nelamangala junction, Kunigal Shravanbelagola (try not to miss seeing the famous gigantic Gommateshwara statue), Channarayapatna, Belur and Halebbdu where you can take pit-stops. The road till Sakleshpur is really good and after crossing Shiradi Ghats, the green forests would make this trip a more nature-clad one. The total distance of 350 km can be covered in 6-7 hours.