Driving Holidays from Bangalore

Bangalore to Mesmerising Malnad | Step by Step Road Trip guide

Written by Poorna & Brinda
Bangalore to Malnad region is a lovely road trip covering the core heart of western ghats with fabulous views of forests, valleys, waterfalls and forts.  This is the second in our “road trip guide series”of “10 Road Trips from Bangalore – Exciting Options with Detailed Itinerary”
Yes, as road trippers we love to drive to destinations. We love the freedom road trips provide us to stop, look and explore. These drives, cover not more than 300 KMs in a day. The plan is to cover for a week extendable for another two days. It also provide you an option to just plan for as many number of days you wish to.

This is the second in the series covering Malnad region in Karnataka. Drive to some of the magnificent landscapes, water falls and temple town in western ghats. Take a look, plan and go!

Read on…..

Bangaloreans are blessed. We are within five hours of reaching hills for a serene and quiet holiday amidst nature. Malnad – as western ghats region in Karnataka is called – is an ideal place to explore. Driving in the hills is soothing to the body and soul! Western ghats, a bio diversity hot spot is now a UNESCO World heritage site.

So, why not spend few days exploring the vibrant and beautiful valleys, the rivers and peaks of this region. Here is a recommended itinerary for a lovely holiday in the hills.
The Circuit
Bangalore – Chikmagalur – Sringeri – Agumbe – Tirthahalli – Jogfalls – Bangalore
Click on the route map here –  Route Map 
Day wise Itinerary
Day 1 – Bangalore – Chikmagalur – 280 KMs
Road Condition – Excellent
Leave Bangalore around 7 AM. Have breakfast of tasty dosas in Shark Dhabha after Nelamangala. On the way, visit UNESCO World Heritage sites of Belur and Halebeedu known for exquisite Hoysala temples.
Check out this post on Halebidu –  Halebidu – Breathtaking stone sculptures! 
Reach Chikmagalur for lunch. Rest for a while and drive to Mullayana Giri to witness lovely Sunset.
road trips from Bangalore
Hoysaleshwara Temple at Halebidu 
Day 2 – Explore Chikmagalur – 160 KMs
Road condition – Good
After breakfast drive to Bababudan Giri and then onwards to Kemmanagundi. Carry packed lunch. Visit Hebbe falls – few KMs of trek – and Kalhatti falls. Stop, look and enjoy vistas of beautiful valley. Have a picnic lunch in one of the nice meadows in Kemmanagundi.
Return to Chikmagalur via Tarikere after visiting beautiful Hoysala style Amrutheshwara temple at Amrutapura.
road trips from Bangalore
Meadows @ Kemmanagundi
Day 3 – Explore Chikmagalur – 130 KMs
Road condition – Good
If possible get up early to watch sunrise from Mullayanagiri. It is an amazing experience.
See here for our experience – http://traveltwosome.com/india-travel-blog-mullayanagiri-chikmagalur/
After watching sunrise and breakfast, go for safari in Muthodi Wild Life sanctuary. (check out timings from your home stay/hotel) Return for lunch. Rest.
In the evening drive down to Ayyanakere – a beautiful lake – and on the way back have excellent masala dosa in Town canteen in Chikmagalur. Visit M G Park for Musical fountain display – kids will love it – and return to home stay/hotel.
road trips from Bangalore
Valley views from Mullayanagiri
road trips from Bangalore
Ayyanakere
Day 4 – Chikmagalur – Tirthahalli via Sringeri – Agumbe – 175 KMs
Road Condition – Good with broken patches
Leave Chikmagalur after early Breakfast. Reach Sirimane falls and enjoy the lovely falls. Drive to Sringeri. Visit temple of Sharadamba and ashram. Have lunch in Mutt.
road trips from Bangalore
Sirimane Falls
After lunch drive to Agumbe. Visit Barkana falls – few KMs of trek – and reach sunset point for witnessing magnificent sunset over the arabian sea. If you are early for sunset, drive to Kundadri hills on the way to Tirthahalli for beautiful views of Malnad valley and also sunset.
Check this for more on driving during monsoon – Monsoon drive in Western Ghats – Counting countless waterfalls !
Drive to Tirthahalli and rest in home stay.
Day 5 – Explore Tirthahalli and surroundings – 90 Kms
Road Condition – Good
After breakfast drive to Kavale Durga. Climb the hill fort for a beautiful view of Sharavathi valley. Get down from the fort and drive to Nagara to visit 15th century fort and royal ruins. Return to Home stay for Lunch.
After lunch drive to the beautiful memorial to one of the greatest poets of India – KUVEMPU. Explore 150 year old heritage house and climb up  a small hill to view lovely vistas.
road trips from Bangalore
Nagara fort in a beautiful setting
Day 6 – Tirthahalli – Jog falls – 110 KMs
Road Condition – Good
If possible get up early to watch nice sunrise at Navilukallu Gudda close to home stay. After watching Sunrise, enjoy the waters at Tunga river in Chippalagudde. Return to home stay for breakfast.
After breakfast drive to Jog falls. On the way visit 15th century jain monuments at Humcha. Reach home stay in Jog falls for lunch. Rest a while after lunch. Around 4 PM, drive to Jog falls. Enjoy the beauty of falls. Night stay at home stay.
For more on Jog Falls, Please pick hereJog Falls & Linganamakki backwaters – A Visual bliss
road trips from Bangalore
Jog Falls in Monsoon as seen from Bombay Guest house 
Day 7 – Explore Jog falls and surroundings – 110 KMs
After early breakfast visit Bhuvanagiri, Burude Jog falls and return for lunch.
After lunch, drive to Hasirumakki for a cruise on the backwaters.
Return to Home stay.
road trips from Bangalore
Backwaters of Linganamakki
Day  8 – Saturday – Jog falls to Bangalore – 400 KMs
Road condition – Excellent
After breakfast drive back to Bangalore. On the way visit 15th century temple of Aghoreshwara at Ikkeri on the outskirts of Sagara.
Visit lion and tiger safari at Tyavarekoppa before Shimoga. Return home by evening.
Recommendations for stay
The best options for stay while touring Malnad are home stays. Here are our recommendations
ChikmagalurBettadamalali Homestay (our favourite)  Thotadahalli Homestay (our favourite) and Coffee bean Home stay (our favourite). If you are willing to splurge then look at options of Flameback lodges, Taj Gateway and Serai.
Tirthahalli Bananki Homestay (our favourite) ,  Kolavara HeritageDevangi Athitya 
Travel Tips
a) This holiday is to drive around and enjoy the vistas of Malnad. Hence take your own time. If find it is taxing, then cut down some of the items in itinerary.
b) Road conditions in the hills of western ghats are generally good with odd pot holes and broken patches.
c) Many places have been left out from the itinerary like Horanadu, Charmadi. If you can stretch another day or two you can cover those places.
d) Hill driving requires patience. Drive safe and enjoy the vistas.
e) Driving up Mullayana Giri requires some expertise…..especially the last three KMs. If you find yourself not upto it, park the car at foot hills and walk up. It is a nice trek.
f) Winters in this region will be chilly. Carry light woolens.
Lastly, the road conditions may change due to various factors. It will be good to join a road trip enthusiasts’ FB group HVK Forum managed by H V Kumar, the doyen of road trip in India. You can get the latest updates on the road conditions in this very active group.

We strongly suggest that you download customised RoutO app from H V Kumar. HVK as he is fondly called, provides you customised route maps, live support on the road trip and will also help you with hotel accommodation as well. Check out all details here.

RoutO – The Right Route & Travel Support For The Motorist Traveller

We encourage you to explore more around Bangalore! Do check these posts below.

10 Wonderful Weeklong Road Trips from Bangalore with Day Wise Itinerary! – http://traveltwosome.com/exciting-road-trips-from-bangalore/ 

7 Wonderful Weekend Trips from Bangalore (Covers Saturday & Sunday) with Day Wise Itinerary – http://traveltwosome.com/weekend-getaways-from-bangalore/

What has been your experience of Malnad ? We would like to hear from you. Please share it in the comments below.

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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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