We decided to take a end of year road trip to Manipal in Dakshin Kannada district of Karnataka. This is not a typical tourist destination for people from Bangalore, but we wanted to head somewhere warm and not too crowded. It turned out to be a good break.
I had hired a car for the trip and we left early in the morning from Bangalore. The route we took was via Hassan, Mudigere, Kalasa, Kudremukh and Karkala. We made good time in the morning and halted for breakfast at Anagha Grand Restaurant a little before Hassan. The food was excellent, the tables were socially distanced and the toilets were clean.
After a refreshing halt, we continued on our drive towards Kudremukh National Park. Along the way, we took out next halt at Gumminkad cafe, a little before Kalasa. The place was clean, bright with stupendous views out the back towards the rolling hills and tea estates of the region. We purchased some local food items and drank some refreshing juices before proceeding on the next leg of our journey.
The drive through Kudremukh National Park was simply brilliant. Kilometre after kilometre of a winding road alternating between dense forests that even the sunlight could not penetrate and open grassland ‘Shola’ forests – this is one of the jewels of the Western Ghats. All of us enjoyed the drive tremendously.
We finally exited the ghats and hit Karkala where we took the turn towards Manipal. The last leg of the journey was uneventful and we reached out hotel, The Country Inn and Suites by Radisson at around half past four.