Central Karnataka Trip Details
Travelling in Central Karnataka
Apart from Mysore and Bangalore rest of the towns are easy to negotiate. The roads are bad in all these towns - Badami, Bijapur, Hampi, Belur and Halebeedu.
Madhuban International, Bijapur: It is a standard lower mid-range hotel. The rooms are reasonably clean and the service is reasonably prompt. Food is decent. They helped me with all travel arrangements. The place is noisy and there is really nothing great to write home about. Bathrooms are clean, but the bath tubs lacks a curtain and there are many rusty stains.
The Heritage Resort, Badami: It is a pretty high end resort. The cottages are top notch and the service is pretty good. The food is very good as well. It is located a bit far from the town – so it takes a while to flag an auto down. The place is close to the highway as well and highway traffic can keep a light sleeper up. They have a set-menu for lunch, but a-la-carte for dinner. They struggle a bit with dinner rush. So be there by 7:30 pm or be prepared to wait a bit.
Mayura Bhuvaneshwari, Hampi: This is a very standard government hotel with all its predictable lethargy. Unfortunately, Hampi lacks good hotels and you are pretty much stuck with this option. The food is not great. If you stick to dal and rice, you can get by without much problem. Service is very slow. Rooms are clean. The place is quite far from everything. But Hampi is a big area. No matter where you stay, you will be far from many attractions.
Royal Orchid Metropole, Mysore: This is an old palace guest house that the Maharaja used for his British guests. The place is relatively high end. Rooms and bathrooms are clean. The place is located close to the railway station. Front desk is very helpful. The rooms are a bit small for the price and you can spot its age here and there. Food is in the “decent, but not great” category.
Mayura River View, Srirangapatna: This is located right next to Cauvery and the whole place is very picturesque and very well done. There are geese, turkeys and roosters that roam the grounds which is pretty exotic during the afternoons. But their cacophony can keep you awake at nights. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are reasonably early and service is generally good. The food is pretty decent as well. If you want to head to town, you better have your own transport.
Mayura Velapuri, Belur: This is pretty much the only decent option in Belur. The property is recently renovated and so the rooms and bathrooms are quite clean. The food is not great, but is probably the best you can find in town. It is quite cheap and is quite close to the temple. You are right in the middle of the town and it is easy to find transportation right outside the hotel.
Bijapur to Badami: ~140 kms. The road is all one-lane, but pretty decent through out except for the last 15 odd kilometers. It takes about 3 hours.
Badami to Pattadakal and Aihole: Roads are a nightmare. It is only about 22 kms to Pattadakal and an additional 10 more to Aihole. But it will take you an hour to negotiate that distance. The scenary is pretty good though.
Badami to Hampi: ~150km. It is a nightmare to get to the NH 13 from Badami, but once you can zoom till Hospet. The last 12 odd kms from Hospet to Hampi is another nightmare. It takes about four hrs to cover the entire distance.
Srirangapatna to Melkote: 38kms, 1 hr. The road is one-lane, but quite good. The only probelm is that it goes to many smal towns with lots of speed breakers.
Melkote to Shravanabelagola: Same story as Srirangapatna to Melkote route.
Srirangapatna to Belur: 130kms, 2.5hrs. The road is one-lane highway till Chennarayapatna. There are only a couple of towns in between. Then you get the fast four-laner to Hassan. Hassan to Belur is pretty good one lane highway. The route via Halebeedu is a nightmare.
Time Required at the Sights
- Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Rauza: 1 hour each would be plenty.
- Badami Caves: 1 to 2 hrs. Guides are highly recommended.
- Pattadakal: 2 to 3 hrs. Guides are highly recommended.
- Aihole: 1 hr to visit the main site. At least 3 to visit outer areas.
- Hampi: There are a lots to see here. At least two days.
- Mysore Palace: Once you manage to get in, you can get done in 30 mins. But it will take you 30 mins to many hrs to get in depending upon the crowd. It is always crowded in here.
- Tipu's summer palace: 30 mins. Guides are highly recommended.
- Hoysala temples: At least one hour each. Guides are highly recommended.