Saturday, 16 April 2016

Long drive

It was a real long drive when we look back - 4900 km. The road went on & on criss-crossing hills, plains & touching the sea coast. It also meant passing through various cultural zones, visiting variety of temples, monuments & museums. This journey of 30 days resulted in 43 photo-blogs which were published in 2015 in instalments. In this present blog, links of all 43 photo-blogs have been brought together at one page for ease of reference.

* Not much of the planning went into this long drive. Lots of diversions took place if we compare to the proposed route map shown here. There were no advance bookings of hotels so as soon as we hit a new town we looked for shelter. That also meant testing mixture of Hindi plus English plus sign language. It was fun! We insisted on Senior Citizen discount but it was not easy to get. During the 30 day tour in Sept '14 min tariff paid was Rs. 500 for the night & max Rs. 3500.

* We stocked fruits, dry fruits, biscuits & namkeen & kept on replenishing. Tried local foods & delicacies also except for non-veg items just to avoid any possibility of sickness or indigestion though we do enjoy them at home. Of course tea, coffee, chach or lassi, cold drinks & packed juices were kept handy & are available all over.

* Our chariot Maruti 800 Alto never gave us any trouble. No puncture or breakdown occurred. We went along smoothly at 40 kmph to max 70 mostly with a/c on. Mid way we had wheel balancing done as a precautionary measure. Parking, manoeuvring Alto was easier but overtaking was not. There was no driving after 5 PM.

* Roads were better in Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Gujrat & Rajasthan but not so good in Kerala & in Maharashtra. Most of Kerala roads are 2 laned but at the same time least toll was paid in Kerala. Roadside greenery in general is pleasing in Kerala, Karnataka & Maharashtra whereas in TN, Guj & Raj it is comparatively less so. Vehicular population on Kerala roads was very high & in Raj it was pretty low. Drive to & fro Jog Falls was toughest - hills, jungles & lonely roads with sign boards mostly in Kannad warning of wild animals!

* GPS failed us couple of times as in some places local traffic police made the roads 'one way' temporarily. But by & large GPS Lady proved helpful. In number of places the pronunciation of the Lady made us laugh specially in Tamilnadu & Kerala. In lots of places mobile phones became useless for want of signals.

* For visiting inside of temples it was always a hassle - take off shoes, camera not permitted or mobile not permitted. In some place leather belts & purses are not permitted. At times camera was permitted but video camera was not. Or permitted with a fee. Wish they make it simpler. Similarly timings differed in temples, monuments & museums.

* Before start we had a basket with loads of 'ifs' on our heads - what if car breaks down? if we fall sick? if we are lost? if the car is stolen? if car is hit? & so on. But the ride finished without any such thing. We feel now that the basket on our heads can be lighter with no 'ifs'. We perhaps drum up imaginary obstacles!

* People all along were friendly & helpful in telling directions or locations of restaurants or monuments despite language mismatch. Variety of food items and of attire encountered is simply amazing. Of course food & clothes depend on geo-climatic conditions. Further we have some type of food here some have another. Here we wear such & such clothes elsewhere they wear other clothes. Therefore to say that me or my community has the best food or best life style is not done. The tour broadened our ideas about India.

Your comments are welcome.

The route 
43. चित्तौढ़गढ़ से

42. Chittorgrh, Rajasthan.

41. Towards Chittorgarh, Rajasthan

40. Baroda City

39. Vadodra - ii of ii - Luxmi Vilas Palace

38. Vadodra - i of ii

37. On lonely roads in Dang, Gujrat - iii of iii

36. On lonely roads of Dang, Gujrat - ii of iii

35. On lonely roads of Dang, Gujrat - i of iii

34. On lonely roads of Mahrashtra

33. Trimbkeshwar, Maharashtra

32. To Shirdi

31. Aga Khan Palace, Pune

30. Pataleshwar Temple, Pune

29. On way to Pune

28. Panhala Fort, Kolhapur

27. Shree Chatrpati Sahu New Palace, Kolhapur

26. On way to Kolhapur

25. Jain Temple, Belgaum, Karnataka

24. Belgaum, Karnataka

23. Warship Museum, Karwar, Karnataka

22. Om Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka.

21. Jog Falls, Shimoga, Karnataka

20. Murudeshwara Temple, Karnataka

19. Towards Murudeshwara, Karnataka

18. Bekal Fort, Kasargod, Kerala

17. Thalaaserry Fort, Kannur, Kerala

16. Coast line, Calicut

15. Guruvayoor, Kerala

14. Trichur, Kerala

13. In Munnar, Kerala

12. Around Fort Kochi

11. On way to Cochin

10. Reached Trivandrum

9. Around Rameshwaram

8. Summary of places visited

7. In Kanyakumari 

6. Nayak Palace, Madurai

5. Minakshi temple, Madurai

4. In Madurai Tamilnadu

3. Yercaud, hill station of Tamilnadu

2. Preparing for long drive 

1. Planning for a long drive

The vehicle, the driver & the navigator ready to start from Bangalore

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