15 Feb 2010

Road trip to Hampi

I, along with my brother, rode down to Hampi over the past weekend.  Surprisingly, I could not find driving directions from Hyderabad to Hampi on Google Maps!  On travel forums also, I could only find very old posts (all posts were more than 2 years old).  Hence here's the log of what I did to get to Hampi by road.

There are two routes to Hampi, as mentioned in this Team-BHP discussion.  First route is Hyderabad -> Mahboobnagar -> Raichur -> Sindhanur -> Gangawati -> Hampi.  Apart from the first 80km from Hyderabad, throughout this route we have only state highways (i.e. no national highways).  Second route is Hyderabad -> Gooty -> Guntakal -> Bellary -> Hospet -> Hampi.  Most of this route is through national highways.

Of these two, I chose the first route (via Raichur).  Although I usually prefer national highways, this time I chose state highways because a lot of people say that the roads near Bellary are very very bad.  And, I really liked the route I chose.  Yes, there were speed bumps on the road; there were villages on the road; there were cattle crossing the road; villagers just didn't expect us to be passing by at a high speed.  Those are all negative sides of this route.  However, the roads were very good between Hyderabad and Gangawati: we could cruise between 75 and 85kmph on our Unicorn.  I liked the roads because they were not deserted like our new highways.  I could see a lot of agriculture lands on the sides.  Plus, I am a fan of two-way roads, and for me the new highways are boring after a while.

Google Maps has directions only till Gangawati.  After Gangawati, you should ask the locals for directions.  However, while returning, Google Maps gave us directions!  All I had to do was find directions from "My Location" to Hyderabad, and it gave me the directions.

Pictures from the trip can be found in my Picasa album.

A few tidbits:
  • Being a pillion rider on a long bike ride is not easy.  This is my first bike ride where I've shared the pillion seat; it wasn't as fun/easy as the rider seat :)
  • When you're on the pillion, you cannot understand why the rider does certain things.  Just trust the rider and be confident.
  • Saw a snake crossing the road in Hampi.  This was the first time I saw a live snake very close (not counting zoos, of course).
  • Summer has already started in South India.  The moment bike stops the mind starts to think, "when am I getting rid of the gears?"
  • My helmet is better much beyond what I had thought!  It blocks a lot of air and I was able to ride on the highways without wearing any glasses.  (I wasn't using the helmet's visor either.)

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