Goa is one of our favorite holiday destinations India. I have been a frequent visitor to this wonderful place right from my teens and there is something special about the place that makes me go back again and again !!

 

Read my previous drive from Bangalore to Goa in November, 2015

 

Off late we have been visiting Goa at least once a year and it heartening to see that my wife and kiddo have also the same level of passion and enthusiasm when I plan a trip to Goa. My daughter’s birthday falls in the month of May and we ended up deciding to celebrate it in Goa, yet again 😊

Went through the familiar list of hotels and finalized the Park Hyatt Goa for couple of reasons – we wanted a destination in South Goa and a resort which is big enough to explore during our 6 days. Park just check all our requirements and we did not regret our decision a bit.

After finalizing the stay, the discussion was around the travel and that’s when I pushed my card as to why not drive down. The max that we had driven at a stretch with the little one is for around 8 hours and Goa was a good couple of hours over the tried and tested model. Considering that we have recently upgraded to a SUV, I did not get too much of resistance and the trip was on.

The plan was to start early, take the Hubli-Karwar route all the way to Goa. We overlooked the Chorla Ghat and Anmod Ghat route as I wanted to stay on relatively busier roads, especially with you a kid you would want to roads where help is available.

The Drive

Did all the customary checks the day before – tank up at the Shell gas station, tyre checks and even got my Pollution under control (PUC) certificate for a 4 month old vehicle. Had been reading on forums that there were multiple check points now a days at this stretch and did not want to end up arguing and wasting time over how long the manufacturer PUC is valid.

Somehow we were up and running at 5 in the morning and zipped passed the empty inner ring road to reach the Mumbai highway. Had opted for Fast Tag and to be very honest it did not come in very handy. The exclusive lane for Fast Tag was non-functional on most of the Tolls and one had to take the normal lanes. Thankfully they all had handy fast tag readers and I did not have to pay cash at any of the tolls.

Photo 11
After crossing Nelamangala. The traffic on the road was pretty thin

The advantage of an early start meant that we did not encounter much traffic on the highway and were able to make very good progress. The initial plan was to stop at the CCD that comes near Davengere for breakfast, but considering that we were not that hungry we decided to head towards Hubli and break for lunch. On hindsight, this turned out to be a big mistake.

Photo 12
Heading towards Chitradurga. Practically empty roads.

 

Photo 13
The windmills just before the city of Chitradurga. (unfortunately, the camera did not capture a clearer photo)

After crossing Haveri at around 10:00 AM, we had the option to either go all the way till Hubli, break for breakfast and proceed towards Karwar, or take the Bankapur – Mundgod road. Considering that this route was a good 50 odd kilometers less, I decided to try out the Bankapur-Mundgod – Yellapur route.

Photo 14
Be careful while navigating this stretch of road near the Harihar town. You will cross the Tungabhadra river and will find the 4 lane split. This is a 2 lane which goes towards Hubli and the 2 lane from Hubli passes through the village. But you will find many adventure seekers who will be taking the wrong side.

 

This route is a very narrow stretch of around 70 kilometers through dense forests. There are practically no run off area and one needs to be very cautious when you have an oncoming vehicle.

Photo 15
The narrow roads through the forests

 

Photo 16
Check off the run off area. Be mindful of all the gravel and rocks when getting off the road.

 

Photo 17
As you near Yellapur, the landscape changes and becomes greener.

The route practically has no eating joints and joins the national highway to Karwar at the outskirts of the Yellapur town. With no proper eating joint in the vicinity, we had to be content with our supply of biscuits, cakes and flavored milk.  It took us a good 90 minutes to cover the 70 kilometers.

Photo 18
Finally hit the wonderful NH that goes all the way up to Karwar

 

Photo 19
It is always a pleasure to drive through this stretch of road. Things have not changed a bit over the years.

It was already 12 PM when we joined the national highway and continued our drive all the way till Karwar. Felt so nice to be back on a familiar stretch of road (considering that I have driven around 6-7 times on this route) and there by was able to make good progress all the way upto Karwar. Finally it was time to take a break at around 1:30 PM at the Drive inn hotel at Tagore beach Karwar.

Photo 20
Finally a break at the Drive inn – Tagore Beach – Karwar

 

Photo 2
The eating joint where we took a break for lunch

 

Photo 1
It should have easily been close to 40 Degrees Celsius, but it did not stop me from walking towards the beach

 

This place is not a very fancy place, but when your tummy is rumbling, one starts appreciating any type of food at offer. Had a very basic veg thali and started our drive back to South Goa at around 2PM. We had to drive another 90 odd kilometers to reach our resort at Cansaulim.

Photo 3
The straight stretch of road after crossing the border. This stretch has practically not changed for ages.

 

Photo 5
Driving through the narrow roads of Goa. It is an amazing drive if you do not overspeed.

 

Photo 6
Another shot of the highway in Goa.

 

Photo 7
You will hardly find a pothole on Goan roads.

 

Photo 8
Through the reserved forests.

 

Photo 9
Another shot of the roads in Goa.

 

Photo 10
Crossing the ghat sections near Conacona. STRICTLY follow speed limits

 

Few important points:

  • Do not overspeed on Bangalore – Goa route. There are many interseptors that you will find all along the route, hence I  would recommend you to follow the speed limits. The opens roads are tempting, but I somehow refrained from flooring the accelerator.
  • Cops in Goa these days are very strict and everyone follows the speed limits. As soon as you cross the border and enter Goa, strictly follow the prescribed speed. I strictly kept my speed at 60 KM/hr, which is the speed limit followed in the 2 lane Goa roads.
  • There is heavy road widening activities going-on all the way from Ankola to the Karnataka border. Please keep an eye on the oncoming traffic and the dumpsters who are pretty reckless.
  • Feedback on Bankapur – Mundgod – Yellapur stretch: would never recommend this stretch if you are driving in the night. For all novice drivers, please avoid this stretch or drive at low speeds.

 

It was around 3:30 PM when we finally entered our resort in South Goa. A drive time of around 10 hours to cover a distance of around 630 kilometers on the trip meter. Considering that I adhered to the speed limits (for the most part 🙂 ), I was surprised that I was able to do this drive in 10 hours. Driving at relaxed speed also meant that I was pretty fresh when we pulled over. A good learning indeed – no point pushing your limits !!

 

 

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