Road Trip: Day 5 – Drive back

View from Agumbe

The last day of our Road Trip to Manipal was about the drive back to Bangalore.

After another delicious and filling breakfast at our hotel – The Country Inn & Suites by Radission – we left for Bangalore. The route we took this time around was via Agumbe and Sringeri.

Soon after we left Manipal, we were at the foothills of the Western Ghats and after a few minutes of ascending via steep road with multiple hair-pin bends, we were at Agumbe. Agumbe is renowned as a place that received extremely high rainfall during the monsoon season and for its views over the coastal plain and down to the Arabian Sea. But this is best viewed during sunset as the coast is to the east and the morning sun makes it difficult to see in that direction. I also saw the sad sight of a Lion-tailed Macaque, a monkey species endemic to this region of the Western Ghats, scavenging at the side of the busy road, hoping for food scraps from the cars passing by.

Lion Tailed Macaque

The next place we crossed was Sringeri – home to the Sringeri Mutt. This is one of the four Mutts established by Sri Sankaracharya in the 8th Century – the others being at Dwaraka in the West, Puri in the East and Badrinath in the North. We drove by the temple, but it was very crowded and wary of Covid, we did not halt, but continued driving.

The next part of our route took us past the stunningly beautiful Malnad region, with coffee plantations running up the hills on both sides of the road. After some time, we stopped for lunch at a small cafe by the side of the road. The food was nothing great, but the location, amidst coffee estates was stupendous.

Soon after our lunch break, we exited the mountains and were back on the plains. After a halt for tea and coffee at Hassan, we continued on and reached home at around 10 pm, bringing to an end a wonderful road trip in Southern Karnataka.

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