'An escape from commonness'

Have you taken a trip? Have you taken a long trip? Have you taken the one by road? And have you taken it recently? If not pack your bag and go explore the world that was created just for you.
To escape from the clutches of routine realms, to escape from the vicinity of boring familiarity, and to escape from the hostility of an envious society, the modern man’s medicine is travelling. For some travel is just an escape. For some travel is passion. I can boast myself into the second category. After burning over 50,000 miles on trips in bikes and after contributing sufficiently to the carbon foot print; I/we took on our first long road trip by car. Have you known someone buying a car for a road trip? Yes, we did it! We planned on 6000 km trip covering 8 states. But, the car arrived late and our leave couldn’t be managed, and finally we settled for a short trip to Goa. The final plan was made the day before and few excited souls hopped in for a 2500km trip.

Trip:                  Chennai to Goa via Dandeli.
                           Travel distance (approximately 2200kms including sightseeing)
                           Chennai to Dandeli 820kms.
                           Dandeli to Goa 100kms
                           Goa to Chennai via Mollem and catching AH 47 925kms

Car chosen:         Renault duster AWD.
Fuel efficiency:   13.5kms/litre
Driver:                  Single person.
Travel time:        Chennai to Dandeli (820kms)
                              5.00PM To 8.00 AM with pit stop only for food and tea.
                              Dandeli to Goa had many pit stops.
                               Goa to Chennai (925kms)
                              4.30 AM to 6.30PM with pit stops for food and tea.

Average speed:  75km/hour
Top speed:         160km/hour


Well, we packed and started for the long journey at around 5.00pm on a Sunday evening. The trip to Dandeli is Via AH 45 and 43 to Bangalore and then in AH 47 crossing Davangere. At about 650km we took service road towards Hubli-Belgaum road( Just followed Google map here). In Hubli-Belgaum road take a turn at Tadas towards NH63,Hubli-Kalwar road. At Kalghati take a turn again into SH 46 towards Haliyal, from there just ascend up to Dandeli. Well, I sounded complicated there, but it was just as easy as anything. Follow Google maps is the simple rule.

The road is predominantly good till you reach SH46. Only the last few kilometres to Dandeli will be a bad stretch. Be careful about the time you hit a Chennai Bangalore highway, on any day an evening travel is not ideal, and that too on a Sunday never take a evening travel.

THE ROAD: Four and six lane mostly. The last stretch in the state highways of Karnataka say for 60kms is bad. Without any hassle, did a whole night drive as a single driver!  The cruise control feature in car was an awesome aid. Lot of places are available for stopover food, especially in the highway to Bangalore; Ambhur briyani can be tried.

DANDELI:  So what is special in Dandeli? I would say Dandeli is a little known beauty. From bird watching to water rafting, to jungle safari, to cozy sleeping it hosts everything. We stayed in the “Bison River Resort“. It was a worthy stay. The calmness in the hills was tested by the blowing winds and the lusty flow of river ‘Kali’. The four wheel drive and the un-tamed terrain of hills through the ‘Dandeli wild life sanctuary’ and a little troll into the ‘Anshi tiger reserve forest’ splendid. The might of ‘Supa Dam’, the star watch at the banks of river kali is all still fresh in memories.

After a cozy night, we started in morning with lot of stops and snaps towards ‘Goa’. The road towards Goa in the Karnataka side will be pretty bad; once you enter state highways of Goa the road will be good. A 100km ride in the hills will be tiresome and interesting as well. Our main pit-stop on the way to Goa was ‘Dudhsagar’

The ride to the falls through the untamed road was awesome; unfortunately our 4 wheel drive was not allowed to be completely tested as only government vehicles were allowed to do that stretch. But for a short drive and through a river cross Duster AWD did score.  The falls is by itself a wonderful place.
Time spent in Dudhsagar: 3 hours
Travel cost to falls in allowed boleros 400 per head.

The interesting story of our driver, a youth, who was working in mines, until it recently closed and his strive towards living was an added experience for us. If you are lucky you can spot a train moving atop the falls. The same view can be spotted in many Hindi movies; do you remember the ‘Chennai Express’?

After a slow ride, we finally reached goa around 5.00Pm. A short confusion whether to hit the south beaches or the north beaches, we finally headed for the usual.We stayed in the Vagator beach. Vagator is not that kind of exotic Goa beaches. It is a simple beach and there are lot of other famous beaches as well to visit around it including the  famous ‘Baga’ and ‘Calanguttte’.
Things to do in goa:

Goa is place to relax and not to rush. Give yourself a good three days there.
1. Wake up late in a north beach of Goa.
2. Take a slow walk and shop alongside the beach shops.
3. Eat and relish the ‘Goa’ sea foods.
4. Explore an unexplored beach by the extreme north or south. The Arambol beach, Mandrem beach, Palolem beaches are few to mention. We hit an unknown beach called ‘Sridao’ just for sunset. With us there were just few countable souls there. The resting sun and its breath taking view made the day for us.
5. Rest and hit for water sports and dolphin spotting the next day. The best place for water sporting is ‘Mobor beach’. If you are a good swimmer you can try snorkeling in the ‘Bogmalo Beach’.
6. Relax back at Panjim for a day with river cruise and casino.
7. Shop around and choose from wide variety of foods in the busy markets of Panjim.
8. If you are a history buff, do visit the ‘Basilica of Bom Jesus’ and many other churches around. Also the forts of Goa are an definite attraction.

Remember the best way to explore goa is to rent and ride a bike. If you are on a road trip with your own ride, it’s well and good. We couldn’t afford days around in Goa. But we pretty much covered everything. We ended our trip in ‘Panjim’ with some little shopping and a grand fish platter.

Early morning, the next day, we started our long journey back. A 930km continuous drive through patches of road that you would call a ‘Driver’s dream’, and we reached back for our days of boring commonness. The savour of the trip will be long in our memories and those memories will keep us running in our boring commonness, for one day we will escape all this material world and will travel forever towards that new moon and new land, for we are just travellers and we are bond to travel.


The ride is tempting and the journey is inviting,
The unfamiliar faces and the unknown roads,
The never understood language and the ever interesting rituals,
The interesting stories and the new learned lessons.
The new formed bonds and the new understood meaning
Much more awaits and waits for us!

Pack your bag, and keep it light.
Loosen your soul, and shed all heaviness.
Warm your heart; keep it open to accept ‘new’.
Hold my hand, and let’s go on a ride.
The ride is long and warrants some tiresome.
But why to fear when I am near?
We are travellers and we are bound to be so!
We are passionate and we can only be so!
Why to get lost in those routine realms?
Why not to redefine in the path of nature?
Decide and let’s take that journey.
Decide and let’s escape this mortality!
Let’s catch that train, the one that never stops.
Let’s fly that plane, the one that never lands.
Let’s travel that road, the one that never ends.
Let’s ride and ride beyond, to that new moon and the new world.
Let’s search our destiny and reach our freedom.
Let’s travel together ‘The Journey’, and the ‘Journey of life’. 








  1. I read your full blog and it was very informative, and helped me a lot. I always look for blog like this on the internet with which I can enhance my skills, day trip to agra


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