Chikmagalur is along south west of Karnataka and Hampi is on the north eastern side. The change is scenery was dramatic. You’ll see !!
11: 00 am. From Chikmagalur we took the NH 173. It’s a 6 hour drive 🚗💨
Crossing Chitradurga, we were on NH 48, part of the Golden Quadrilateral for a short time; it’s also called AH 47 (Asian Highway).
1:30 pm. And now we enter the magnificent NH 50 – The Hampi Expressway !! The roads are freshly tarred and painted, little traffic and endlessly stretching straight ahead!! The land stretches miles and miles on either side; barren, but there are occasional fields of sunflower and jamanthi.
Here you notice the white sentinels – the windmills !! But we are not heading directly to Hampi. We get off the NH 50 and turn to Kudligi road. The road’s are still good.
We are on the Kudligi-Sandur-Toranagallu highway, speeding along and this wooden chariot appears front of a temple by the road side. We stopped for a closer inspection; couldn’t make out much though.
A bit later, we heard a sound, something was wrong with the Jeep’s tyre. One of the front tyres of the Jeep tore; it had to be replaced. We called the Jeep’s online assistance and asked if they could send some help. We were close to the Bandri town, but nowhere close to a Jeep service centre. They gave an hour’s waiting time. By now it was 3:00 pm. After an hour they called back saying, they will send someone out to help, but they will take another two hours to reach !?
Then father and son decided to change the tyre and in half an hour we were good to go. For the remaining trip we did not have a stepney.
We were off again; evening now and the sun’s rays became dim and slanting. A few stretches ahead and started seeing mountains all around us. They had a reddish tinge to them. The sight was new and beautiful !!
The roads were cemented and there were trains of trucks ferrying red earth up and down. The vegetation along the road side was covered in red mud, most likely from the trucks plying.
We had reached Bellary district, the mining state of Karnataka and were in a town called Sandur. The red colour of the earth is probably due to the abundance of manganese and iron ore.
We stopped to fill diesel. The nozzle at a few petrol bunks was not suitable for the Jeep. The narrow nozzle was mainly used for the petrol vehicles and the trucks that usually filled diesel used bigger nozzles. So when we had a chance, we filled full tank.
We stopped in front of a resort called Wonder Mountain Valley resort; it was a view point where these two mountains formed this spectacular sight !!
By 6:00 pm, we reached our place of stay for the next few days. It’s beautiful. We are staying at a hotel in Toranagallu; we didn’t stop anywhere in between. Had it not been for the tyre tear, we would have made it an hour earlier. More in the next post !!