The Bang-Mang Road Trip

Bangalore – Mangalore, Bangaluru – Mangaluru, Bangy – Mangy, Bang – Mang.

These names invariably occupy the centre stage of our geographic vocabulary when it’s time to make that trip again. Farewell sweet home of thine, and hel-lo Mangalore!

(Not applicable for those lucky ones who get flights that land in Mangalore, or for the super lucky ones who are residents of Mangalore).

Some vital statistics:

Distance covered: 350 km (approximately).

Average time taken: 6 hours if you’ve got the stamina to drive continuously, 7-8 hours if you want to go at a leisurely pace.

Road condition: Fair, till the Ghats.

Panoramic views on the way: Check.

Good eats by the roadside: Check.

Petrol bunks aplenty: Check.

Depending on where you are beginning your journey in Bangalore, the initial part of the trip would vary. So let us take a common starting point, which lies on the outskirts of the city (some 25-odd km more) – the quaint town of Nelamangala. (The route I’m used to inside Bangalore is Hebbalà–>Yeshwantpurà–>Nelamangala.)

Once you reach Nelamangala, you take a left to drive towards Hassan. From there onwards the road is pretty straightforward, and there are numerous signboards to help you along the way if you happen to get lost.

When you reach Hassan, take the bypass road to Sakleshpur. While driving on NH-48, one’s stomach does tend to rumble. You can stop at a certain Kamath restaurant, where you get decent food. Rest assured that you won’t be bothered with loose motions the next day.

After an hour of monotonously rotating the steering wheel, you’ll find your mind diverted to the beautiful green coming into view. The Western Ghats section starts from Sakleshpur, and from then onwards, the roads start to wind and curve. The passengers in the vehicle would be preoccupied with ooh-ing and aah-ing at all the breath-taking sights that come with the road, while you might not be having such a good time. Yes, the Western Ghats section often turns into a test for your braking system, the road mostly riddled with potholes, especially in the Shiradi Ghat section.

Shiradi Ghat Road 25jul13 3

 You’ll reach B.C. road (or Bantwal Cross Road), after around 2 hours of driving from Sakleshpur. B.C. Road being one among the main entries to Mangalore, the traffic increases from here on. But your patience won’t be tested for long, 25 km later you’re in good old Mangalore!

Want to tell us about any fun trip you went on? Write in to [email protected] or [email protected].




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