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Road Trip: Kerala to Pune via Shivamogga (Shimoga)

I don’t like a sound of ‘small world.’ Somehow, it makes me feel suffocate and lazy. I still imagine the mysterious parts of the world like a little kid. So, I want it to be big, vast, and there should be many places to amaze me. When we go on a road trip, we don’t always go for the fast, comfortable or easy route. The excitement of driving through a new road makes everything better. Chasing mysteries. We always vote for new places, new towns, new mountains, and new scenery because they make us feel small in the big wide world.

Like I told you in the previous post, we consider ourselves the experts in southern Indian road trip. We have driven more than 10 times to Kerala, and each time, the fun never receding. Last time we took a trip to Kerala, we drove back to Pune via Shivamogga (Shimoga). To be honest, none of us heard about this place before. We just laid a map on the table and pointed out the route.

Day 1

Before starting a road trip, you must pump up the energy level with some fabulous breakfast.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 1

We stopped at a local restaurant where the fragrant of curry called us in. The giant dosa (Indian savory crepe) was to die for. It’s crispy on the outside, oozing and soft on the inside, served with chutney and samba. The fish curry was densed with flavor.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 2

If you are a vegetarian, you will fall in love with these hot, puffed poori (deep fried dough) and potato stew. It’s such a humble dish, but every bite was so comforting. Don’t forget to ask for Kerala filter coffee at the end of the meal. It’s the kind of caffeine you want to be drinking everyday.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 3

From Kerala, we retraced our step to Mangalore (as in the previous post). But instead of heading to Udupi, we turned to NH13 which took us into the heart of Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. I remembered telling my husband that I felt strangely familiar with the place. He said, he felt it, too. I guessed this route had that old city vibe that reminded us about the good old days.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 5

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many wild animals including the infamous Indian tigers. Pretty scary, right? And we were told that we might spot some of them on the roadside.We didn’t have time to explore, but the drive was such a joy. The road was not so pleasant though. It’s narrow and twisted. But I think the scenery was worth it.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 6

Many times, we were in the middle of nowhere. The small villages were scattered between farmlands and coffee plantations. You would be able to refill your supplies in the towns like Sringeri and Koppa. Don’t expect anything fancy. The lives in this route are so humble and down to earth.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 4

It was a long drive, longer than what we had anticipated. We started wondering if we was about to get to the hotel that night. There was another big forest cross ahead. The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. We knew that there would be a forest check-post, and we worried that they might not let us cross it after six.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 7

We raced with time, but the sun sank fast. It’s now dark, and we still didn’t reach the forest entrance. We were thinking of camping on the roadside. But that would have been very depressing. We were aching, and our stomach needed something decent.

My husband is one of the most ambitious drivers. We powered it through the dull evening. Crossing Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was easy because the road was flat and wild. We heard that this forest was flourished with wildlife and big trees. But we couldn’t see anything that night.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 8

We reached Shivamogga at nine. My first impression of this city was ‘how vibrant.’ But I was terribly sad that we had no time to explore the city. We checked in to the hotel, Royal Orchid Central Shimoga, and after stuffed our bellies with dinner, all we needed was sinking in the soft bed.

Day 2

Have you ever felt like waking up on the way to paradise? This was it.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 9

NH 13 was our heaven. Serene, private, and stretching between gorgeous landscapes.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 10

You could use NH48 which runs right out of Shimogga and connects to NH4 just before Hubli, but we heard NH13 was more sceneric. Yes, we always go for scenery.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 12

About the long road trip, sometimes it could make you feel funny. When you sit in the car for two days, numbed head was what you’re gonna get. But how lucky, we found the cure right on the side of the road. Do you know that munching on fresh tamarind would help you detoxify the nausea sensation?

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 13

We enjoyed the drive very much. The road condition was good, there was no traffic, and the weather was just perfect.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 11

We concluded that it was one of the best driving last year.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 14

Hey, there’s a bird sanctuary on the way, too. If you have time, go check it out.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 15

There’re a lot of charming town on the way, but you might have a hard time finding a restaurant.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 16

NH13 joined NH4 in the town of Chitradurga. And you know about NH4 from our previous post, right? There, we turned left and drove straight back to Pune.

Are we ever going to get bored of driving to Kerala. Oh, no! Never. Next time we do it via Goa. I know you can’t wait to hear about it.

Kerala to Pune via Shivmogar picture 17

Have a beautiful day,

12 comments to Road Trip: Kerala to Pune via Shivamogga (Shimoga)

  • Anu

    I am not a travel freak. But your descriptions and pictures make me want to go on a long road trip

  • Sounds like you’ve been having a wonderful time, Tes! 🙂

  • You have the most magnificent places to visit Tes.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  • I always enjoy your travel stories. Thanks for this one, Tes. It looks really nice!

  • I love that you take theses adventurous treks! The scenery is always breathtakingly lovely and the foods are unique! I thought that the tamarinds were sausages…who knew?

  • Wow you always do the greatest of trips and such fun for your little boy… and you two grown ups too!

  • Gita Madhu

    We will be driving from Shimoga to Pune-what are good stops for using toilets and for good food? Thanks

    • Tes

      Gita, I’m so excited for you. It’s really fun traveling on this route. And to be honest, sadly, clean toilets are not easy to find while traveling there. We used to stop at McDonald in Kholhapur, you can also find one in Sangum Hotel in Belgaum. I have to admit we used to go in the woods on the side of the road sometimes because it’s far better than any toilets in the local restaurant. For food, in Shimogar there’re lots of good restaurants. Too bad we didn’t try anything last time because we were in a hurry. Hey, what are you guys going to do in Shimogar? It sounds really fun 🙂

  • Gita Madhu

    We are going by car from Pune to Belgaum and then to Kumta and then Shimoga to cover and report on INSPIRE camps being conducted there. This is an initiative of Government of India’s Dept of Science and Technology which has many components. I would call the camps the second level-these are for 11th std kids who are toppers and are called to a 5 day camp to interact with mentors who are famous scientists. These camps are held all over India.

  • Alex

    What’s the best route you would suggest for a road trip from Pune to Kerala.Are there decent hotels to spend the night,are they wheelchair friendly ? Was the trip tiring, do you think I an elderly person can do the trip ? what vehicle did you drive ?

    • Tes

      Hi Alex,
      The trip from Pune to Kerala is quite fun. The best and easiest route I’m going to suggest is via NH4 and NH17. You can check my post here I also write about where to stay as well. To be honest, I have never get tired of road tripping to Kerala because the scenery along the ride is very enjoyable. My first trip was when my kid was about 3 months old and we made it easily. I don’t think there will be any problem for elderly travelers 🙂 But it’s always good to check with the hotel first that their elevator is working properly before booking when you have a wheelchair. I used to drive Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. And now we use Swift Desizer. Both cars perform really well on the road. The only problem I think you might have to endure in this trip is the lacking of clean restroom facility. I have to be honest that most of the time I go in woods 😛 but it’s fun and you will definitely enjoy the trip. Don’t hesitate to ask me more question if you want to know anything more 🙂

  • […] have been here before. Remember we drove from Mangalore to Shimoga in the previous trip early this year? It’s a vibrant town; coming alive at night and making you […]

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