Day 2 of the journey. After a good deep sleep, left Mangalore to continue on NH 17 by 0530 hrs. Highway is being widened between Udupi and is a mixed bag of very good and not so bad sections of road. Reached Udupi Sree Krishna Temple by 0645. Temple’s not open for prayers between 0700 and 0800 hours, but could just sneak in before the doors were closed. Udupi is well known for it’s vegetarian cuisine. Took a bite of Dosa and coffee for breakfast.
Headed towards next destination, Kollur Mookambika temple, the National highway between Udupi and Hemmadi is not in great shape and especially so after Kundapura. Once you leave the National Highway at Hemmadi to take the ghat road to Kollur, you are in for one of the most pleasurable driving experience through wide winding scenic roads with hardly any traffic to trouble. The best drive is 600+ kms covered so far. On the way to Kollur through this road lies Mookambika wild life sanctuary and Aanejhari Butterfly camp. Around 30 kms of refreshing drive and the entrance arch to the temple greets you.
With hardly any rush at the temple, darshan was quick. Most of the devotees also visit the “Moolasthanam” of the diety at Kudajadri hills. Only four wheel drive jeeps ply on the ghat road and it requires 4-5 hours for the round trip. Also since monsoons just got over, blood sucking leeches are out in the trail. Since 5 hours loss in daytime driving time would jeopardize the trip timelines, decided against going to Kudajadri and left Mookambika temple.
Next stop: Joger Gerosoppa Falls aka Jog Falls is the second highest plunge waterfall in India scaling a height of 253 metres. I ended up choosing a route which should have been avoided.
- Primary suggested route from Kollur to Jog Falls [Didn’t take this one as it was completely ghat roads]
- Kollur -> Byndoor -> Jog Falls [Route driven]
- Kollur -> Byndoor -> Honavar -> Jog Falls [ Should have taken this!]
The first 20 odd kms after leaving NH was badly paved making a difficult drive. More scary that there was no (NO = Zero) traffic for the initial stretch and if anything was to go wrong it would have resulted in getting lost in jungle road with no much scope of help. Add to it phone losing network coverage! Thankfully much to releive the fear, good roads and civilisations started appearing and finally after 57 kms with a scary stretch on KA SH 50, reached Jog Falls. Falls were not in it’s full might as monsoons had lost strength, but nevertheless a visual treat to the eyes with a quarter km vertical waterfalls.
Though slightly longer route, took NH 206 from Jog Falls and headed towards the next city to halt for the day. The highway is very well maintained, wonderfully scenic passing through some serene forests and beautiful small hamlets and farm lands. About 16 kms before Shimoga, left the highway to go to Davengere, as that was the closest town i was pretty confident to find some decent place to stay for the night. Reached Davengere by nightfall, filled up the tank, figured out Pooja International to be a good hotel, hogged up dinner and crashed to the all so inviting bed.
- Trip Meter : 957 kms (442 kms on Day 2)
- On Road Time: 14 hours.