The plan was to visit Kollur Mookambika temple alone, then if time allows visit places around Udupi. Plan B was already overshadowed the original plan, which was to drive long till native town and spend time with family.
We started our drive from Bangalore home sharp at 5 am. Evident intention was to avoid the traffic within the outskirts, Nelamangala area. However, the traffic was piling up even from the entry point at NICE Road near Hosur Road. After we exit from the NICE Road, there were people standing by the roadside for state transport buses, which made the drive more uncomfortable. This was the state till the Nelamanagala toll plaza, where we had to spend more than 30 minutes to pass through. By then, the time was already 6:30 am. Straight drive then on through NH 206 – Bangalore-Honavara Road.
At Tiptur town, we had the first pit stop for breakfast at the Pai Restaurant where it was very crowded. Resumed the drive but was watchful for the bypass somewhere 5 km before Tumkur according to the Google maps. The next destination was Shimoga (Shivamoga as most of the road directions say). Road condition was not fine with a moderate two-way traffic. Around 1 noon we reached Shivamoga (Shimoga) and inquired for the best route to Kollur. On probing couple of locals, came to a conclusion that we must take the Honavar highway and will find a diversion at Ayanur towards Kollur via Hosanagara. The junction from where we have to divert the Honavar highway began the worst road. The fear of Tyre burst made us to crawl under 30 kph.
We completed the lunch in a small town, Nittur, which was 21 km from Kollur. We had pure vegetarian meals to stay on the safer side. Lunch was just average one.
The road further was getting bad to worse. At a forest check post 13 km away from the Kollur temple is the worst road of all. It took almost two hours to pass through this final stretch. The climate had no mercy; mercury was boiling at 32 degree C.
Around 3 pm, we checked in to the hotel. Temple is open till 8 pm or so. Visited the temple during the evening and we already got a sense of crowd. Energy was running out low so without further exploration, had a quick dinner, and hit the bed.
Next day, we completed another round of temple visit and checked out from Kollur by 9:30 a.m. It was only then we decided to drive home; plan B activated. From Kollur to Udupi, Udupi to Mangalore, Mangalore to Kannur, and then to Vadakara for the final stop.
Beware of huge potholes during the drive from Kundapur to Udupi, some are fatal. National Highway (NH17) widening work is under slow progress, so there are so many diversions and two-way roads throughout. More or less the drive was all similar to the one in Kerala, where you will see private buses plying in the center, so better be extra cautious. This was the longest drive we had in the recent times–1200 km round the trip to Bangalore. Drive safe 🙂