Bangalore to Mangalore Ride via Kuppali and Agumbe Ghat
Bangalore to Mangalore was one of my dream ride, as I always traveled in a bus, sitting at a window seat and wished to do it in the bike. As we say “we also get a good time to fulfill our dreams” this was the right time I felt. By the way, this is not the first time I’m doing Bangalore to Mangalore in the bike.
As I said this is not the first time I’m doing Bangalore to Mangalore. I have done it once on my unplanned ride. That day I took the regular national highway which is via Hassan, Sakleshpur and Shiradi Ghat. Yes, this route is one of the most beautiful routes to Mangalore. Anyone can enjoy the best flavor of the Western Ghats passing through rivers and mountains.
Another alternate route is via Belur, Mudigere and Charmadi Ghat. Well, who does not know about Charmadi Ghat, it is one of the most beautiful and most visited Ghats in Karnataka.
But I have visited many times to Charmadi Ghat and Shiradi Ghat, as my native is Sakleshpur and Mudigere. So Shiradi Ghat and Charmadi Ghat are very close to me.
But this time I planned a very different route. there are two reasons to plan this road, one is that I wanted to visit Agumbe Ghat at any cost and the second thing is to enjoy the state highway from Hiriyur. Once I visited Vani Vilas Sagar Dam, where the route from Hiriyur to Vani Vilas Sagar Dam was tempting me to ride again in that route. So in this ride, I started planning from Hiriyur.
As I said the main intention of this ride is to go via Agumbe Ghat to experience those dangerous and amazing hairpin bends, On the way I could visit Bhadra Dam and Kavi Mane(Kuppali).
Starting the journey!
5:30 AM – Did not worry about the timings as it was one-way riding. Planned as per my planning strategy. Slept well, got up at 5:30 AM and left home at 6:15 AM. Leaving Bangalore is always a big task but not early morning. Once reaching Nelamangala we are out of Bangalore city. Now the complete road is mine 😀
7:00 AM – After crossing Nelamangala road is clear and smooth. Started hitting 90+kmph till Tumkur which is 4 lane road and then 100+kmph till Hiriyur which is 6 lane road. In between, I had breakfast also. Hiriyur is just 150km from Bangalore, couldn’t realize how quickly I reached Hiriyur. Superbikes can easily do 150+ KMPH on this road.
Till now it was just like a warmup ride. Riding continuously on the highway is quite boring. Good that I planned only 150 KM in the highway, rest of the way was incredible! Keep reading.
9:00 AM – The actual journey started when I took a diversion at Hiriyur. As it was my wish to ride here. State highways are more enjoyable compared to highways which are quite boring after some distance.
The road from Hiriyur to Udupi(280 km) was completely state highway, so expected to be one of the best experience so far. The road was smooth and straight from Hiriyur, I could easily manage 80+ KMPH. Apart from a few speed breakers which were irritating me some time, the entire way was smooth. I’m sharing a few pics of the road, just feel how the ride experience would be. BTW this was Summer end, so expect less green till Agumbe Ghat. After reaching Agumbe Ghat season itself changed, I witnessed the first rain of the season. Well, I will talk about this in some time, let us get back to the ride.
12:00 PM – First plan was to visit Bhadra Dam as it was on the way. Took quite some time to visit this place as the weather was quite hot, I had to stop many times to drink water and click photos of beautiful stretches. Reached Bhadra dam at around 12 PM.
Bhadra Dam (Bhadra Reservoir) is located on the Bhadra River a tributary of Tungabhadra River in Tarikere Taluk, Chikmagalur District, Karnataka. The project was undertaken by the National Water Management Project(NWMP).
As the Kaveri water issue is increasing nowadays all dams in Karnataka are quite restricted for visitors. Not a problem in this dam, there is a viewpoint to see the entire backwater. Towards the right of the dam, there is a way to the viewpoint. Cars and bikes can be taken to some extent, later we have to walk for the viewpoint. The place is well maintained. Once we reach viewpoint we feel like we are seeing an ocean.
Unfortunately, the dam was closed due to the election the day I visited. You can see the pics of the dam in the previous post about Bhadra Dam. I visited once on a family trip.
12:30 AM – I could see 2 routes to reach Kavi Mane. One is from Thirthahalli and another is from Koppa, both were state highways (Yellow line in map). But after traveling some distance I again checked the map which was showing a very different route which was taking deep inside villages (in the map very tiny white color line). See map here.
2:30 PM – Well, I thought it would be good to take this route and started. As expected, the road was quite remote and thick estate areas. Rarely I could see vehicles, it was calm to ride though. Reached Kuppali at around 2:30 PM. I found a small hotel to have lunch as well. From here it is a Malnad region, full of green everywhere. It is really cool to roam around here. After finishing lunch I directly moved to Kavi Mane. It was just 2 KM from Kuppali junction. Signboards are everywhere to show you the way to Rashtra Kavi Kuvempu Mane. Riding in this place feels like we are in heaven. Very fewer people around, only we and nature. Anyone standing at this will make a Kavi for sure. Let me explain briefly about this place.
Kuppali (Kave Mane)
Kuppali is a small village in Thirthahalli taluk, Shivamaogga district. Kuppali is famous for Kuvempu’s house, popularly known as “Kavi Mane” which means house of the poet. Now, this house has been converted into a museum.
This is also one of the popular tourist places in Shivamogga. As this place is part of the pure Malnad area. During the rainy season, this place looks heavenly.
To tell about Kuvempu I definitely need a separate blog post. For his contributions to Kannada Literature, the Government of Karnataka decorated him with the honorific Rashtrakavi (“National Poet”) in 1958 and Karnataka Ratna (“The Gem of Karnataka”) in 1992. So Kuvempu is popularly called as Rashtrakavi.
Before going to Kavi Mane you find a path/road towards the right which will go to Kavi Shaila which is rock memorial build after his death. We can take vehicle till top or can go by walk as well. Definitely going by walk make you more refreshed.
After spending some time here I left to Agumbe Ghat.
Just before 30 km to Agumbe Ghat, I could see the dark clouds and lightning. And as I was getting closer I could feel the droplets. Stopped at a small hotel to have a cup of coffee and leave.
5:30 PM – By the time I entered Agumbe Ghat rain stopped, you know what this was the first rain of the season. All the dry land became completely wet and green in one day. I mean to say I saw a transformation from Summer to Rainy season in one day. Never had such an experience before while traveling.
Agumbe Ghat welcomed me with fog and greenery. The first time I’m visiting Agumbe ghat. Was very excited to ride on those hairpin bends. Not too many hairpins bends but still, it’s an experience. As soon as I enter the check post of Agumbe ghat I could see sunset viewpoint. It was 6 PM at that time. Sunset view will be after 6:30 PM. If I see sunset then I can’t ride ghat in daylight. So, I left the point.
6:30 PM – As I heard right the ghat and hairpins were quite dangerous but beautiful. Entire ghat may be around 10 km was beautiful. By the time I finished the ghat, it was 6:30 PM. I could see the sun like a round red ball. Definitely, at the viewpoint, it would be an awesome view.
Now concentrated to reach home as soon as possible, because riding at dark is quite dangerous, especially those high beam headlights irritate me a lot. As per my plan, I had to visit Mangalore via Karkala, but it was almost dark, so I thought better to ride on the highway. Diverted the route towards Udupi. From Udupi to Mangaluru it is a 4 lane highway. Night riding would not be as difficult as a state highway.
8:00 PM – Safely reached home at 8 PM. After 8:30 PM it started raining heavily till morning. Perfect time to reach home. Again it was the first rain in Mangalore.
Watch the video to feel the ride.
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