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Road Trip from Bangalore 9 – Experience Monsoon in Karnataka in 12 Days!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Monsoon in Karnataka. Yes, this is the season when the parched lands come back to life. Karnataka is mesmerising during this season. Rain creates magic all around. It turns the hills green. Cascades tumble-down from nowhere in the mountains. Streams hitherto dry get back their life. The roaring sea, Rain drenched beaches. It is green and beautiful all around!

If you love driving like we do and are a road tripper, then there is nothing more pleasurable than driving during Monsoon in Karnataka.

Ninth in the series of Exciting Road Trips from Bangalore with detailed itineraries, here we give you a detailed itinerary for a road trip from Bangalore for 12 days to drive and experience monsoon in Karnataka. This is a comfortable drive helping you explore the hills, beaches, heritage monuments, waterfalls. We assure you that this is soothing for the soul!

The Circuit – Bangalore – Sakleshpur – Madikeri – Mangalore – Udupi – Murudeshwar – Gokarna – Sirsi – Tirthahalli – Sringeri – Chikmagalur – Bangalore

Total distance – 1500 KMs

Total number of days – 12

Map – We have split the circuit into two legs as Google allows only 10 places at a time! Check out the detailed maps in day-wise itinerary.

Map of First leg

Map of Second Leg

Here is the day-wise itinerary.

Day 1 – Bangalore – Shettihalli Church – Sakleshpur

monsoon in karnataka

Clockwise from top – A pristine lake on the way to Kagginahare, meadows near Hethur, Shettyhalli church

Distance – 329 KMs

Route – Bangalore – Hassan – Shettihalli – Magge – Yaslur – Changadahalli – Kudrasthe -Hongadahalla – Kaginahare – Hethur – Sakleshpur (Your place of stay)`

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/UaxmiNftXC22

Itinerary – Follow the itinerary of day 1 in this link – Monsoon Road Trip from Bangalore – Marvellous meadows and spectacular backwaters of Sakleshpur!

Recommended place to stayKadamane Estate

Day 2 – Sakleshpur – Mallalli Falls – Madikeri

Monsoon in Karnataka

Clockwise from Top – View from Raja Seat, A doorway in Manjarabad fort, Mallalli Falls

Distance – 118 KMs

Route –

To Gonikoppal – Sakleshpur – Manjarabad Fort – Mallalli falls – Abbimatta Falls – Somwarpet – Kushalnagar – Gonikoppal

To Madikeri – Sakleshpur – Manjarabad Fort – Mallalli falls – Abbimatta Falls – Somwarpet – Madikeri

Road Condition – Good

Map

To Gonikoppal  – https://goo.gl/maps/jbmvvwNWhPx

To Madikeri – https://goo.gl/maps/b8VLFytucdq

Itinerary 

  • Leave your place of stay after early breakfast.
  • Stop over at lovely Manjarabad fort on the way and spend 45 minutes exploring it.
  • Drive to Mallalli falls. Enjoy the spectacle of this lovely falls for 45 minutes.
  • Proceed to Madikeri.
  • On the way don’t miss looking out for lovely landscape of paddy fields surrounded by hills. Enjoy the beauty of Abbimatta Waterfalls.
  • Lunch break can be in Somwarpet.
  • Reach Madikeri. In the evening visit Raja seat.
  • Overnight stay in Coorg. We recommend you to stay in and around Gonikoppal in any good home stay. This will help you visit Iruppu Falls next day.

Day 3 – Madikeri – Mangalore

Monsoon in Karnataka

Clockwise from top – View from Narahari Parvatha, Abbi falls, Iruppu falls

Distance – 139 KMs

Road condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/j2tA1XVsMC72

Itinerary –

  • If Staying around Gonikoppal
    • After morning coffee, visit Iruppu falls . 
    • Return to your place of stay for breakfast. After breakfast, drive to Mangalore. On the way visit Abbi falls and continue your drive to Mangalore.
    • On the way visit Narahari Parvatha – a small hillock with Sadashiva Temple – for lovely view of the landscape.
    • Stay at Mangalore for the night.
  • If staying around Madikeri
    • Skip Iruppu falls. After breakfast, visit Abbi falls, Omkareshwara temple and Madikeri fort.
    • Return to place of stay for early lunch.
    • After lunch drive to Mangalore.
    • On the way visit Narahari Parvatha – a small hillock with Sadashiva Temple – for lovely view of the landscape.
    • Stay at Mangalore for the night.

Day 4 – Mangalore – Udupi

Monsoon in Karnataka

Clockwise from top – Kapu light house, Madhwa Sarovara in Udupi, Boating in Pilikula Nisargadhama

Distance – 76 KMs

Route – Mangalore – Pilikula Nisargadhama – Kateel – Udupi

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/DipoCgvKf1x

Itinerary

  • After early breakfast proceed to Pilkula Nisargadhama. Spend a hour in this place. One can go for boating if weather is clear.
  • From Pilikula, proceed to the famous temple of Durga Parameshwari in Kateel.
  • Proceed to Udupi. Reach Udupi for lunch.
  • After lunch visit Krishna Temple and surroundings.
  • In the evening drive to Kapu beach. Spend sometime here and return back to hotel.
  • Stay in Udupi for the night.

Day 5 – Udupi – Kollur – Murudeshwar

Monsoon in Karnataka

Clockwise from top – The highway at Maravanthe with river on one side and sea on the other, Kollur Mookambika temple, Shiva temple at Murudeshwar

Distance – 152 KMs

Route – Udupi – Maravanthe – Kollur – Baindur – Murudeshwar

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/u5nWxYetoEC2

Itinerary

  • After early breakfast drive to Kollur via Maravanthe.
  • Enjoy the spectacle of road going between the river and sea at Maravanthe.
  • Enjoy the scenic drive through Kollur Mookambika Sanctuary.
  • After spending an hour in the temple, proceed to Murudeshwar.
  • Lunch can be had either in Kundapur or in Bhatkal which is famous for its Biryani
  • Reach Murudeshwar. After checking into the hotel, explore the temple of Shiva.
  • Overnight stay in Murudeshwar.

Day 6 – Murudeshwar – Gokarna

Monsoon in Karnataka

Clockwise from top – Om beach Gokarna, Kudle beach Gokarna, A panoramic view of Gokarna

Distance – 103 KMs

Route – Murudeshwar – Apsarakonda – Gokarna.

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/ox78i8EnhYz

Itinerary

  • After an early breakfast drive to Murudeshwar beach. Spend few minutes on the beach and proceed to Gokarna.
  • On the way visit Apsarakonda and Mirjan fort
  • Reach Gokarna for lunch
  • After lunch visit Mahabaleshwar temple, Om beach and Kudla beach.
  • Overnight stay in Gokarna

Day 7 – Gokarna – Sirsi

monsoon in karnataka

Clockwise from top – Banavasi temple, Unchalli falls, Marikamba temple

Distance – 85 KMs

Route – Gokarna – Divgi – Devimane Ghat – Sirsi

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/9fttk6ToYZF2

Itinerary

  • After breakfast proceed to Sirsi. This is a lovely drive through hills. Notice numerous waterfalls on the way.
  • Stop at Devimane ghat for a spectacular view of the valley if there is no fog.
  • Drive straight to the lovely temple at Banavasi.
  • Return to Sirsi for Lunch.
  • After lunch proceed to Unchalli falls. Enjoy the beautiful drive in green landscape.
  • On return, visit Marikamba temple in the city.
  • Overnight stay at Sirsi
  • For more details on Sirsi please see this post in this blog – Sirsi – A Waterfalls Destination!

Day 8 – Sirsi – Jog falls – Tirthahalli

Clockwise from top left – Jog Falls, Husur Falls, Aghoreshwara temple at Ikkeri, Tumbaragod falls

Distance – 166 KMs

Route – Sirsi – Siddapur – Jog Falls – Sagara – Ripponpet – Humcha – Tirthahalli

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/A4AWuWeJjLK2

Itinerary

  • After breakfast depart for Tirthahalli via Jog Falls.
  • This is a lovely drive through forests of Malnad where you will be experiencing best of monsoon in Karnataka. On the way stop over to visit the backwaters of Husur Dam, Tumbaragod Waterfalls and Mavinagundi Falls.
  • Arrive at Jog Falls and enjoy the spectacle of the gorgeous waterfalls. Spend around 90 minutes here.
  • Depart for Tirthahalli. Lunch can be had at Sagara.
  • On the way don’t miss visiting beautiful temple of Aghoreshwara at Ikkeri on outskirts of Sagara.
  • Arrive at Tirthahalli. Overnight stay.

Recommended place to stayBananki Home Stay (our first choice), Kolavara Heritage, Devangi Home Stay

If you want to stay in Tirthahalli for a longer time and experience the monsoon in its glory check out this itineraryMonsoon in Western Ghats – An Itinerary to experience it!

Day 9 – Tirthahalli – Sringeri

monsoon in karnataka

Clockwise from top – View from Kundadri, Sringeri temple complex, Kuvempu’s home at Kuppali

Distance – 81

Route – Tirthahalli – Kundadri – Agumbe Ghat view-point – Sringeri

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/UqntCyf9fQU2

Itinerary

  • After Breakfast proceed to Kuppali and visit the heritage home of Poet Kuvempu. Drive up to Kavishyla – the small hillock – which has a panoramic view of the surroundings.
  • From Kuppali drive to Chibbalagudde. A quaint place on Tunga river.
  • Return for lunch. After lunch drive to Kundadri and Agumbe. Experience the magic of monsoon in Karnataka from the top of Kundadri. Visit the view-point at Agumbe and if lucky you will be treated with lovely view of the valley.
  • From Agumbe proceed to Sringeri.
  • Overnight stay in Sringeri.

Day 10 – Sringeri – Charmadi – Chikmagalur

monsoon in karnataka

Clockwise from top – Spectacular view of Charmadi, Waterfalls near Balur, Waterfalls on the way to Charmadi

Distance – 199 KMs

Route – Sringeri – Theerthakere Falls – Basarikatte – Balehole – Magundi – Kottigehara – Charmadi view point – Kottigehara – Mudigere – Chikmagalur

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/B5pyoEKZvrk

Recommnded places to stayBettadamalali Home Stay, Thotadhahalli Home Stay, Captain’s Bungalow, Prim Rose Villas

Itinerary

  • After breakfast drive to Chikmagalur
  • This is a quintessential monsoon drive. The monsoon in Karnataka will show its best face here! You will see numerous waterfalls like Theerthakere Falls on the road. Lovely valleys filled with mist beckons you.
  • At Kottigehara, turn towards Charmadi and drive on the ghat. Few kilometres from Kottigehara, you see the lovely Alekan falls. Drive through mist enveloped road and reach the highest point on Charmadi (You will see some hawkers selling coffee/tea/ice cream etc here)
  • Take U Turn and retrace the path. Drive to Mudigere and onward to Chikmagalur.

We did this in reverse loop few years back and it was awesome. You can read about it here – Monsoon drive in Western Ghats – Counting countless Waterfalls!

Day 11 – Explore Chikmagalur

monsoon in Karnataka

Clockwise from top left – View from Mullayyanagiri, unnamed waterfalls on the way to Kemmanagundi, Meadows at Kemmanagundi

Itinerary – See Day 2 of this link for all details – Charming Chikmagalur

Day 12 – Chikmagalur – Bangalore

Distance – 250 KMs

Route – Chikmagalur – Hassan – Bangalore

Road Condition – Good

Map – https://goo.gl/maps/tRCi6zAnray

Drive back to Bangalore after breakfast. On the way you can visit the famous Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebid. Have lunch in Hassan and reach home by evening. Don’t forget to eat Masala Dosa washed down by best filter coffee in Swati Delicacy after Yediyur!

Travel tips

  • The timings are indicative and for travel by car or bike to explore marvellous monsoon in Karnataka!
  • Driving on wet roads will reduce the speed. Heavy rain and fog will also reduce the speed.
  • Always keep a buffer day. Many a times, roads may be blocked because of overflowing streams, fallen trees etc.
  • Though the road condition in Karnataka has improved drastically in last few years and many of the roads are in good condition, it is always better to ask your host o the road conditions based on local situation.
  • Make sure your car is serviced 10 days before the trip and is in a good condition.
  • Make sure the condition of tyres is good. Driving with bald tyres on wet road is risky.
  • Never take chance with unknown waters. You will see hundreds of waterfalls. Do not enter the waterfalls. The water-levels are unpredictable. The rocks will be slippery.
  • The sea will be rough during this season. Avoid deep-sea swimming even if you are a good swimmer.
  • Make sure you have all the accessories and spare parts for your car.
  • Make sure you are carrying rain gear like umbrellas, poncho etc
  • We have recommended only those places where we stayed and liked. For rest of the places please look at Trip Advisor.

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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