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Coastal Karnataka and Tourism

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[photo credits - Dr Vivek M @ flickr]

I have done the "Bangalore - Hassan - Mangalore - Udupi - Kundapur - Bhatkal - Murudeshwar - Jog Falls - Sagar and back" round trip a couple of times in past, and will have some images of Hilly and Coastal Karnataka etched in my mind forever.

So I thought of visiting the region again for the end of December vacations. Called up a few travel agents, checked a few travel websites to look for places to stay. Asked around friends to check if its practical to do a pure road-trip and explore the coast for a week.

Well, it can be done. But if a search on Goa returns 100s of resorts to stay, Coastal Karnataka just 4 ot 5. Couple of Jungle Lodges on offer have just tens of rooms, and there too, they don't return emails or calls. A drive to Mangalore (320 kms) takes 10 hours via Hassan, I have been warned. Its a bit too long to hit the coast via Shimoga/Sirsi [a talk on roads in tha region here]. And in case you didn't know, there is no train to Mangalore yet.

Seeing almost everyone around think of Goa and Kerala for their Monsoon or winter vacations makes me wonder if the treasure trove of tourism - Coastal Karnataka - is being given a serious miss. How costly is the ignorance of that region's potential? Bangalore's riches can create and sustain a booming tourism industry there. Naturists would say such a thing - tourism - could destroy the beautiful region, but I would argue that if that growth can be managed well, economic gains would be worth it.


Naveen's picture

Bad Roads to Mangalore

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SB - Noted that you are planning a trip again in Dec. I u/stand that the road section from Sakleshpur to Puttur (the ghat section) along B'lore~M'lore highway has been closed as they are in extremely poor condition. So, traffic is now using the Sulya~Sampaje route, which has also deteriorated badly. Another route (via Charmadi ghat) is also in poor condition. We just returned from a trip to Hampi, Aihole, Pattadakal, Kudalasangama, Badami & Bijapur. Roads on this route were very good, almost all along, except for a few stretches approaching Hampi (NH-13). As you stated, coastal Karnataka is very, very beautiful, but tourist potential has not been fully exploited. Also, with monsoons, roads tend to be poor. Some stretches along the B'lore~M'lore highway are being 4-laned &/or cemented. This should improve things, but will take a some time to be completed. Also, passenger train services are about to commence.
tsubba's picture

still discovering...

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i didn't know where to post this. since there was a statement on western parts, i'll post it here... found this exciting. they are still discovering new species of fauna at in the ghats. Glyptothorax Kudremukensis a variety of fresh water catfish. Five new insects were also discovered — Duta Polita, Paridris Armigera, Psilanteris Coriacea, Psilanteris Ferruginus and Psilanteris Orbitus — are parasites that feed on other insects. Also rediscovered a frog, Nyctibatrachus Hussaini, the largest of the wrinkled frogs, It has been given a new name, Nyctibatrachus karnatakaensis, to remove the confusion that arose from the absence of a recorded specimen from the first sighting. sorry for the digression.
silkboard's picture

good point

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... Naveen about Dec being a bad time. Train would help. But why do the roads go bad after each Monsoon? That section gets just too much rainfall, or is the quality of work? I heard that Mysore-Madikeri route to Mangalore is seeing good 4-laning work and progress. Anyone to confirm that? I saw the work-in-progress till Madikeri, but haven't gone beyond that. Mangalore would be a 5 hour affair (320 km), and there would be tons of developed beaches, viewpoints and resorts North of Mangalore to go chill for a weekend. Yeah, someday soon :)
City.Zen's picture

The "Roadless" travelled

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I was in Mangalore 2-3 times in as many months. As the Sakleshpur Shiradi ghat was bad, KSRTC buses from Mangalore come via Mysore. The road from Mangalore to Madikeri was as bad as Shiradi ghat. I wondered if I was sitting in a bus or a boat in a violent sea. One month I went via Shimoga and Agumbe ghat, a roundabout way. Obviously, the buck should stop at the PWD ministry in the State for State Highways and the Surface Transport minister in the Centre under whom the National Highways Division functions. But, both the ministries are blaming each other. Our Revu was the PWD minister continuously for 40 months but was more involved in interfering in other ministries and sanctioning maximum projects for his home district. PWD = pakoda, wadey, dosai. I would like to know if there is any accountability for these ministries. As taxpayers, do we have the right to claim refund of our taxes for work not done? City Zen
City Zen
Naveen's picture

Shiradi Ghat Road

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U/stand that the ghat section is being cemented &/or 4-laned by NHAI. Therefore, state govt seems to have stopped maintaining those sections that are to be so done.
tsubba's picture

ghat roads

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mind numbing rains - the land is saturated with water. cementing is fine but unless proper drains are also designed ultimately it will loosen the base. 40kms of solid engineering is all that is needed on perhaps the most important highway in KA. SB, do you have a handle on the tender document for this? just to see what all they have proposed. comment guidelines

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