Roadtrip to Shimoga – The Green Mile

Date: 28-Aug-14 and 31-Aug-14

Bangalore-Shimoga-Aroor – Malenadu at its best (28-Aug-14)

Out of numerous beautiful routes to reach our hometown from Bangalore, the Shimoga route is one of the most preferred routes among tourists. This short post is about our experience of traveling through the same route.

This Ganesha Chathurthy was our first festival after marriage. So, we had to celebrate it in my home. My home is in a small village called Aroor, which is near Brahmavar, Udupi district. When we checked the bus ticket price, we were shocked. The private bus operators literally had gone crazy this season. The one-way ticket price was 1000 Rs/person on almost all buses. Traveling by our own vehicle was the better option.

When Thilak checked with his friend Sudhir about our plan, he was ready to join us for this long journey. Our Putani Nano was all set for the trip at 4:00 AM in the early morning on the 28th of August.

Bangalore to Brahmavar
Bangalore to Brahmavar

We chose the Shimoga route for our journey. Reaching our home for lunch was our goal. That’s why we started early in the morning. At 4.30 AM, we met our friend in Indira Nagar and started our journey. It started to rain when we were going on the Bangalore-Tumkur highway. Since the traffic was less, we reached Tumkur at around 6:00 AM. It was much before than we expected. Our next goal was to reach Shimoga before 10 AM for breakfast. The weather was too good. The sun did not come out of the cloud at all. Everywhere, there were green trees. We had traveled on the same road in April. But, at that time, the scene and the weather were quite opposite. All of us enjoyed the beauty. The condition of the road also was too good. All the places which we were crossing, were looking extremely lively. The road was becoming more and more scenic as we were reaching Shimoga.

We entered Shimoga city at 9.30 AM. Had breakfast at Madhura residency and started from there at 10.00 AM.
Normally, it would take 4 hrs to reach our home from Shimoga. So, we assumed we would reach home by 1.00 PM.

Thilak had decided not to stop anywhere during this trip. But, the beautiful Malenadu did not allow him to keep up his words. Our speed reduced drastically after breakfast. Not because the road was bad, but was too good. We could see the only greenery everywhere. Immediately after the Shimoga city, there were plenty of areca nut plantations. Soon after that, there were lush green paddy fields. It was looking as if someone has edited the photos skillfully using photo editing tools. When we were near Sakkarebailu elephant training camp, we saw an elephant walking gracefully on the road. After few kilometers, we saw the famous Thunga river filled with water. Many trees were half submerged in the river. Then, we reached Mandagadde bird sanctuary. We could see many birds on one huge tree. Thilak could not resist stopping the car. We went to the view point and took some photos.


It started to rain when we left from Mandagadde. It just added extra effect to the beauty. The green curvy roads were never ending. Thilak and I were feeling very happy for choosing to come by car. After few kms of drive, we entered the most beautiful Thirthahalli. This is one of the most amazing places that we get on the way. Whenever I cross this place, I always feel, people of this place are the luckiest. They get to enjoy such a nature throughout the year. It started to pour after Thirtahalli. Guess why? We were about to enter the Cherrapunji of South India, Agumbe. It was so foggy that we were not able to see anything. We stopped near the sunset point. We could see nothing except the fog. Driving down the foggy Agumbe ghat was the highlight of our trip. It was very very scary. The hair pin curves were too steep, on top of that, the heavy rain and the fog made the drive adventurous for Thilak.

Misty Agumbe
Misty Agumbe

After descending Agumbe, when we reached Someshwara, we were feeling little sad because our beautiful journey was almost coming to an end. The thought of being in home for 4 days was the only thing that made us come out of the sad mood. It was still pouring and we had about 1 more hour to reach home. We came via Hebri, dropped our friend in his house in Chanthar, and reached our destination, Aroor.

The evergreen Malenadu was at its best this time. We did not even realize that we had travelled for around 9 hrs. It was such an untiring journey. We enjoyed every second of the trip. The drive through the heavenly road was absolutely like a dream journey.

Route Map – Bangalore to Aroor:

Aroor-Charmadi-Chikmaglur-Bangalore – Heavenly road to concrete city (31-Aug-14)

After a beautiful stay at my home Aroor, it was time for us to leave.  As expected, we were not at all in a mood to go back to busy Bangalore. With much difficulty, we started our journey at 12.45 PM. This time, Thilak wanted to go via Charmadi ghat. This was the first time, he was driving in that route. None of us knew how the road condition would be and how much time it would take to reach Bangalore.

Brahmavar to Bangalore
Brahmavar to Bangalore

In last four days, we did not see the sun at all. Today also, the same weather continued. Luckily, there was no rain when we started. We came via Hiriadaka and reached Ujire at around 2.30 PM as planned. The road was very nice with full of greenery on both sides. It started to pour when we reached Ujire. Then, came the most beautiful Charmadi ghat. Thilak had told me that Charmadi is the beautiful ghat but I never expected it to be so beautiful. The curves were not as steep as Agumbe and even the vehicles were less. The road was very well maintained and was highly scenic. As we were climbing the hill, it started to become foggy. There were many small waterfalls throughout the ghat section. Many people had parked their vehicles and were enjoying playing in the falls. We also stopped at a point where it was completely foggy. After spending some time, we continued our journey. The fog was becoming more and more dense as we were travelling. At one place, the road was so small that only one vehicle could pass at a time. Lucklily we did not get stuck there.

Road through green forest
Road through green forest

After the beautiful charmadi ghat, we reached a place called Kottigehara. From here, we had two routes to reach Bangalore. One was to go via Belur-Hasan and the other was to go via Chikmaglur-Banavara. Though Belur-Hasan route was the shorter route, Thilak chose to go via Chikmaglur, just to explore a new route. The road through Chikmagalur was amazing with full of green coffee plantations. We stopped at a scenic place where it was not crowded and ate the snacks which my mother had packed for us. It was around 6 o’clk when we finished having the snacks and started from there.

Charmadi Ghat
Charmadi Ghat

Thilak found a shortcut road to Banavara in Google maps, which we felt we should have never tried. It was very dark when we entered this road. The road was in a very bad condition and there were very less vehicles travelling in that road. We could not see even a single house in that stretch. It was looking very very scary. The stretch was nearly 30 kms. All three of us were hoping for that road to end soon. But, the road was in such a bad condition that it took around 1-1.5 hrs to reach Banavara. Because of this horrible road, our journey got delayed drastically. It was clear that we would not be able to reach Bangalore before 10 PM. So, we decided to have dinner at Tumkur.

We reached Tumkur (via Tiptur) at around 9.45 PM and had dinner at a hotel. By the time, we finished our dinner, it was 10.30 PM. Then, we took the Tumkur-Bangalore highway and reached Bangalore at around 12 o’clk.

Though we started our journey in sad mood, the green roads made us cheerful. The foggy Charmadi ghat, green coffee plantations of Chikmagalur, and scary road to Banavara made us remember this journey throughout our lives.

  • Route Travelled: Onward: Bangalore > Tumkur > Shimoga > Thirtahalli > Agumbe > Someshwara > Hebri > Aroor
    Return: Aroor > Hiriadaka > Ujire > Charmadi Ghat > Kottigehara > Chikmagalur > Banavara > Tiptur > Tumkur > Bangalore
  • Total Distance: 900 km
  • Mileage (Car): 23 km/l 
  • Fuel Expense: 3130 Rs
  • Total Expense: 3538 Rs
  • Photos: Bangalore to Brahmavar Photos
    Brahmavar to Bangalore Photos

Route Map – Aroor to Bangalore:

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