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Bangalore to Dandeli, Gokarna, Sirsi – A Complete road trip Guide!

Last updated on September 12th, 2023 at 08:15 pm

Bangalore to Dandeli, Gokarna, Sirsi & more is a lovely Road Trip. This is the sixth in our series of Road Trips from Bangalore – 10 Exciting options with detailed itineraries covering not only Dandeli, Sirsi, Gokarna but also Karwar in Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka .

Yes, as road trippers we love to drive to destinations. We love the freedom road trips provide us to stop, look and explore. You might have already read these posts on this blog separately. We thought of putting all of them in one basket so that it will be easy for readers.

We are sharing details about 10 exciting road trips from Bangalore exploring heritage, western ghats, wild life, beaches etc…….

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 sixth in the series.
This time it is a drive to explore the uncharted areas of fabulous Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka in South India.

Read on…….

This is an another gem of a road trip. A combination of forest, waterfalls and beaches.
Uttara Kannada is still unexplored. This road trip from Bangalore to Dandeli, Gokarna, Sirsi & Karwar is a great drive through western ghats with some awesome views of the mountains and valleys. An opportunity to taste the cuisine of Konkan both vegetarian and Non Vegetarian…….especially the sea food.
Let us hop on and see what is in store for us as we drive in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka

Here is the circuit :-

Bangalore – Chitradurga – Dandeli – Karwar – Sirsi – Yellapur – Bangalore

(Please on the pictures to see them in original size and resolution)
Day 1 – Friday – Bangalore – Chitradurga
Distance – 210 KMs
Road condition – Excellent
This is for those who don’t want to drive all the way to Dandeli on day 1. This will also give an opportunity to see the amazing fort of Chitradurga early in the morning on the next day.
Leave after office and reach Chitradurga for Dinner.
Alternatively, You may start early in the morning and have BF at Kamat Upachar (Sira),  Sai Palace (Between Sira and Hiriyur), Cafe Coffee Day (Sira), Upadhya Ruchi (Chitradurga byepass), Kapatharu ( after Tumkur), Adigas Pakashala (Sira Byepass). Our Choice is Adigas Paakashala and Upadhya Ruchi. All these places have rest rooms. Reach Dandeli for late lunch and follow itinerary from Day 2 here.
Entrance to the fort
The Wind pavilion or Gali Gopura
Day 2 –Saturday – Chitradurga to Dandeli via Hubli, Dharwad and Haliyal 
Distance – 290 KMs
Road condition – The road from Bangalore to Dandel is excellent till Dharwad. Beyond that the road is in good condition.
Get up early and visit the beautiful fort of Chitradurga. Early morning is the best time climb the fort when sun is still mild.
After visiting the fort, have a good breakfast of Butter Masala Dose in Mahalaxmi Bhavan which is close to the entrance of the fort.
Depart for Dandeli. You can reach Dandeli for late lunch. If not have lunch in Haliyal.

Take a nice walk along the river in the evening.

Day 3 – Sunday – Explore Dandeli
Distance – 70 KMs
Road Conditions – Road condition is generally good. It is always better to ask the locals when you travel on interior roads depending upon season
Get up early to the bird calls. You may be lucky to hear the strange call of Hornbill. Freshen up and be ready for a safari in Dandeli forests on the banks of River Kali. You will have an opportunity to see wild animals like Indian Guar, elephants and if you are lucky the cats – Leopard and Tiger. Most importantly, this is a birders paradise.
The prized winged wonders of Dandeli – Hornbill
After breakfast you have an option to go for a rafting on Kali river or to take out your car – with packed lunch – to see lime stone caves at Kavala, Syntheri rocks, Kali valley view from Sykes point, Ulavi Shiva Temple visit Shiroli peak for a lovely sun set.
Syntheri rocks
Kavala caves
Lovely sight of Kali valley from Sykes point
Day 4 – Monday – Dandeli – Karwar
Distance – 110 KMs
Road condition – Good. Curvy road.
After Breakfast, drive through the Kali river valley of Western ghats. Enjoy beautiful vistas and on the way stop over at Sykes point and Anshi water falls. You can visit Kadra reservoir as well.
Anshi waterfalls
Reach Karwar for lunch.
After lunch and rest enjoy the beach, witness glorious sunset in the evening.
Day 5 – Tuesday – Explore Karwar
Distance – 30 KMs
Road condition – Excellent
Get up early in the morning and drive to Kali bridge for a lovely sunrise. If you are staying In Devbagh then you can watch the sunrise from the beach itself.
Kali bridge
After breakfast, go for boating on the backwaters of Kali river.
Visit the War ship museum on Karwar beach. This is a fascinating place which gives you a glimpse how tough the life in Navy is. Kids will love it too.
Just do nothing and freak out on the gorgeous beach through the day and watch glorious sunset over Arabian Sea.
Day 6 – Wednesday – Karwar – Sirsi via Gokarna and Kumta
Distance – 145 KMs
Road Condition – Excellent till Kumta. Good and Curvy road after Kumta.
After early breakfast, drive to Gokarna. Visit the temple and OM beach. Drive down to Sirsi for lunch.
Om beach at Gokarna
Lunch and rest done, drive down to fascinating sight of Sahasra Linga on Shalmala river.  Visit the famous Marikamba temple in town in the evening.
Sahasra Linga on Shalmala river
Goddess Marikamba
Day 7 – Thursday – Explore Sirsi
Distance – 60 KMs
Road condition – Generally good. Check with locals based on season.
After early breakfast head to Yana. Visit Benne Hole and Unchalli falls and return to Sirsi for late lunch.
The rocks of Yana!!
Unchalli falls
Bangalore to Dandeli, Gokarna, Sirsi
After lunch and rest, head to Banavsi to visit ancient Madhukeshwara temple built by the earliest dynasties to rule Karnataka, Kadambas.
To know more about Sirsi and surroundings please check out this post on this blog – Sirsi – A Waterfalls destination!
Day 8 – Friday – Sirsi – Yellapur
Distance – 55 KMs
 Road condition – Good
After breakfast leave for Yellapur. Reach Yellapur for lunch. After lunch and rest, visit calm and serene Kavadikere lake and lovely Magod falls.
Kavadikere lake
Bangalore to Dandeli, Gokarna, Sirsi
Magod falls
Day 9 – Saturday – Yellapur – Bangalore via Hubli and Chitradurga
Distance – 480 KMs
Road Condition – Excellent
Get up early and drive to Sathodi falls which is at a distance of 20 KMs. Return to place of stay after vsisting the waterfalls.
After breakfast, drive back to Bangalore.
Day 10 – Sunday –
Depart Yellapur after breakfast.
Arrive in Bangalore late in the afternoon.
Recommended Stay Options
Chitradurga – Naveen Residency or Aishwarya International.
We love to stay in Kadumane homestay in Dandeli. Simple and homely. –
Old Magazine House by Jungle Lodges and resorts has old world charm of staying in a forest lodge. Excellent naturalists. Food will be good – like all JLL resorts – but not great.
Bison River Resort – Located next to river. Spacious rooms and well run. Good staff. Very good food.
Hornbill River Resort – Another good option. Spacious and well managed rooms. Good staff. Very good food.
Karwar – The best place to stay in Karwar is Devbagh Beach resort by Jungle Lodges. Look at the same link given for Old Magazine house above.
Another nice place is the newly opened Amrut Aura. Check out here
Sirsi – Hotel Madhuvana is the best bet if you want to stay in city. We would advise you to stay in a nice home stay to enjoy the homely food and ambience. These are some good home stays to stay like  Bakula HomestayAreca Valley stayBidara  Homestay or Ajjimane where you can experience the life style of Malnad.
Yellapur – Banana County Resort is the best bet. Atithi is another home stay you can look at.
Travel Tips

a) The best season to embark on Bangalore to Dandeli, Gokarna, Sirsi & Karwar road trip in Uttara Kannada is immediately after monsoons when it is green everywhere and water falls are a glorious sight. Except for monsoons – unless you love rains which has its own charm but be prepared for road blocks – any other time is good to explore Uttara Kannada.

b) This is an easy road trip. The road conditions are generally good except for some interior roads. Drive safely, especially in the hills. The hill roads are curvy.
c) While driving in Uttara Kannada, don’t be in a hurry. Stop and enjoy the roadside vignettes. The scenery is fabulous.
d) Carry binoculars and a good camera.
e) Make sure you obey all safety rules while going for river rafting in Kali. Don’t be adventurous in unknown waters.
f) Be prepared to walk. Carry a good trekking shoe with deep groves  This is needed when you trek to Yana and some of the water falls as the ground may be uneven and slippery.
g) Karwar and surroundings are beautiful. Make sure you take a boat ride on Kali river estuary. It is an enjoyable experience.
h) Savour the local food. Konkani food is delicious.
i) Make sure your vehicle in in good condition and you carry maps and other required items for road trip. Here is a good link which tells you what to carry on a road trip.
j) You can stay for another day in Gokarna if you wish to. While visiting Gokarna temple, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of local priests who will offer packages. Gokarna itself need a full day to explore. If you want to do that you can extend  the trip by another day.

The road conditions on Bangalore to Dandeli, Gokarna, Sirsi & Karwar route may change due to various factors. It will be good to join a road trip enthusiasts 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

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