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Road Trip to the South of India Part 2: Pune to Shimoga (Shivamoga)

In the earlier post, I have shown you the route map of our road trip to the south of India. So as per the plan, we’re supposed to spend a night at Hassan, but the funny thing about travelling is, no matter how much you try, you always stray away from your plan. In this case, we left home 2 hours late, and the traffic in NH4 wasn’t the same as it used to be. There were too many vehicles on the road, and many travellers weren’t followed any traffic rule. There are also a lot of renovations and diversions, making us lose so much time in this drive.


NH4 or AH47 is a major national highway in western and southern region in India. It links 4 top cities— Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai, stretching from state of Maharashtra to Karnataka to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is over 1,235 km long. This road is crowded by trucks, local wagons and travellers. And in recent years, a number of vehicles are increased. The traffic is quite heavy, especially in Maharashtra side. So when you use this road, be very responsible and very cautious.


We started from Pune at 6.30 am, 2 hours late from our schedule. The traffic out of Pune was already started. The weather was very gloomy and cold, and when we got on a highway, it started to rain. I didn’t cook anything for this trip so we relied on Highway food and local treats. We only have some candies to snack on while driving, but it was perfect. This is just how I love to travel. And though I have traveled in this routes so many times, I still loved every second of it. We love to see sceneries changed, new plants in the farmlands, lots of new colors adding to this road trip.


At 11.30 am, we stopped for brunch at Sai Food Court in Kholapur. It’s about 216 km from Pune. Here you can have a decent restroom, a nice place to eat and stretch out.


We had simple Indian breakfast—Upuma, Poha, Idli and coffee. They’re very hearty. We did need all the energy we could get for the drive ahead of us.


I love the creamy texture of the coffee there. Simple and wake me up nicely.


We also found these fellow travellers there. Look at these bikes. They’re gorgeous.


When we got back on the highway, the traffic had simmered down a bit. In Karnataka, we were able to get a nice long stretch of road without lots of vehicles. It was fun and we could make up some lost time here, but it wasn’t enough to allow us to get to Hassan before sunset.

Another problems we encountered during this trip was we couldn’t find any restaurant for lunch. Late in the afternoon, we were hungry. The highway was really empty, and there was no place to stop for food. We had to munch on some marigold biscuits and diet pepsi for lunch. Yaseen had some apples and snacks, then fell asleep until we reached our hotel. So words of advice: Try to get some food in Belgaum or ask the restaurant to pack some for you, if you have to stay in this route for a while.


At Harihar, we turned right to stay on SH25, driving toward Honnali and Shimoga. The road was bad, really bad. The traffic in this route was intense, and then we were stuck on the road to pass a narrow bridge for 30 minutes. The sun reclined over the horizon. We’re too exhausted to be upset about the delay so we just kept driving and driving and enjoy the somber sceneries the countryside had to offer.


We decided to stay in Shimoga instead of Hassan. We stayed in Shimoga before in the previous road trip. Royal Orchid is a nice place to stay, but the food and service weren’t great there so we decided to try another hotel, a budget hotel, where we can experience and share the insight with other travellers.


At 6.30 we reached our hotel. It’s pretty decent. Not great, but okay to manage for a night. I will tell you more about this place later in the next post.


We had a little time to do a night stroll in Shimoga and found some amazing stuff like the famous bakery, restaurants and flower market.


We had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. We tried some Chicken Reshmi Kebab which was strangely wrapped in omelet. Tandoori Chicken was well done, perfectly spiced. We also tried Chicken Chinese Chopsey, and it was fantastic, and doubtfully MSG overloaded. Overall our dinner turned out to be really good. But the funny part of this was we were charged Rs. 75 to sit in an A/C room. It was weird because it was a part of the hotel we’re staying.


As Sadik mentioned in the previous post, I didn’t had any sleep the night before the trip, so right after we finished our supper, I almost fell asleep at the restaurant. Gosh, it was one heck of a day!

We slept so full and so good that night… but wait for it… in the morning we had a big surprise which I will tell you later in the next post.


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