The Unknown Karnataka – Bag packing Trip ‘Feb 2018

A backpacking trip around Karnataka

Last year when I set out to travel in the month of  February, I never thought that I will make it a point to travel every February.  it was very spontaneous back then in 2018. This has been a long pending blog which I really wanted to finish and upload.  this is the reason for all that I did in life. this blog will definitely be very close to my heart, as this is a part of me which started the revolution within me.

Backpacking Karnataka trip with my grandfather.

Destination – Kolkata – Chennai – Pondicherry – Pitchavaram – Chennai –  Bangalore – Shimoga – Jog falls – Yana – Gokarna – Hampi – Goa – Kolkata


How we travelled.

An amazing travel itinerary and story of two travel obsessed persons, a young girl just 23 years old and equally energetic and young very young at heart bubbling with joy at the ripe age of 74, made a wonderful travel partner. the granddaughter and the grandfather duo.

Since both of us are hardcore travellers, this plan has been Brewing in my mind forever.  Karnataka has been in my mind since I visited Mysore-Ooty at the age of 12. I knew this state has a lot more to offer to people other than the crazy traffic in Bangalore.  so after good research, we planned and designed the trip. set out on 6th Feb from The City of Joy Kolkata.

First, we travelled from Kolkata to Chennai by train and reached Chennai on 7th evening 5.30 pm and halted at a friend’s palatial home. After a few days of sightseeing the City of Chennai and Pondicherry which were not in our original itinerary .. So while I was in Pondicherry, I heard about this please call Pitchavaram which is the largest Mangrove area and I decided to visit it was another breathtaking moment for me.


74 km away from Pondicherry the drive was pretty hard and Harsh in the bike as the temperature was really high even in the month of  February but once I reach the place it was beautiful. we took a Boat Ride inside the mangrove forest and was lost in the beauty of mangrove.

Making all the exceptional we finally started our journey towards the state of Karnataka.

We set out to Bangalore on a 13th night by train from Madras Central Railway Station a magnificent structure of Architectural marvels by the then British Era. 14th early morning we arrived at Bangalore Railway Junction and after a refreshing up we took a luxury Volvo bus at 10.15 am and we were happy to get front window seats and we just enjoyed our ride like school kids.

We covered the distance of about 300 km from Bangalore to Shimoga in 5 hours and reached safely Shimoga around 3.30 in the afternoon and retired in our designated hotel rooms which were very comfortable and luxurious. An evening we had a walk around the Shimoga town for a while and after dinner, we retired for the day.

Next day ie 15th Feb we set out to Sakrebailu Elephant Camp by autorickshaw (The driver Basheer was very cooperative and friendly – 9845479031) to see the captured wild elephants caged in a very strong barricades for training and visited the lake where the trained elephants were being given a morning bath and it was indeed a wonderful interesting scene indeed.


We were very thrilled and enjoyed playing with the young calves and had a wonderful time giving the bath to the elephants by ourselves and all the mahouts were so friendly and kind to allow us to be a part of them in the Elephant welfare activities.


we were so thrilled and was extremely happy. After spending sufficient time in the elephant camp, we returned back to Shimoga and on the way, we had a wonderful yummy typical Karnataka Masala Dosa, Idli, Vada with very tasty coconut chutney and of course the ubiquitous sambar. Surely local food is the best food possible. After we had our good sumptuous typical Karnataka veg lunch, we went to Zoo Tyavarekoppa Lion & Tiger Reserve.

The Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Reserve is a popular wildlife destination of Karnataka. It is located at a distance of about 10 km from Shimoga (also known as Shivamogga) on the Shimoga-Sagar Road.

The reserve forest is spread across 200 hectares of land.  we took a bus ride inside the forest, we saw Tiger, lion,  hyena and other wild animals




Next Day 16th Morning we check out and proceeded to our next destination much awaited exciting destination JOG FALLS. We took a KSTCS bus from Shimoga Bus stand to Jog Falls and we were unceremoniously dropped at the junction of Shimoga -Sirsi-Jog falls in the middle of a jungle and somehow we managed to reach Jog Falls by a good Samaritan Akbar a taxi driver who later became an inseparable friend to us.You haven’t gone over the friendship story of us and Akbar please do click on the link given


Jog Falls.. yes we were literally mesmerised and were gasping for our breadth after the mind-blowing beauty of the Nature surrounding the falls and the magnitude of the falls just stymied us and were totally in awe of the power of the falls and just flabberghasted.


So after drenching ourselves of the beauty of it, we set out for the Great Black mountain Yanna.

Yana is a black mountain which you have to trek up.  it is a rare sight to see. we were pretty late in the evening and on this road, there is no light so we could not go right at the top of the  Hill but we did try to go as far as possible.


The next day we started for Gokarna on the way we stopped for a short while at Shivapura Hanging Bridge another Marvellous jewel in the Treasures of Karnataka and finally, we ended our journey at Gokarna late in the evening and Akbar.

We broke our journey at Gokarna for the night.


Next day 17 the Morning we were excited at the prospect of visiting one of the leisurely laid back clean beautiful beaches the western part of South Indian Arabian Sea shores. The almost all beaches are clean, long flat surfaced sand shores with randomly located rocks and small-sized rock hillocks, found many foreign nationals just relaxing and having a wonderful time.

The beaches are laced with well-decorated shacks serving all types of cuisines Indian and international and boat rides are also available, locals are very hospitable and friendly.


Overall it was a very rejuvenating one for us tired soul and mind. We had a nice wonderful time enjoying the sea, the waves, sunset and sunrise.

After spending a good quality time of about few hours, we returned to our hotel and had a good seafood lunch  at one of the home stays and retired for the day till 8 pm and checked out to catch our Luxury coach to travel to another most electrifying great most popular location UNESCO World Heritage Site…HAMPI.



Our bus started at 9 pm sharp in right earnest and it was our misfortune that our bus had some technical problem and we were stranded in a fuel refilling station in a God-forsaken place a remote place on our way to Hampi. After waiting for more than 3 hours of harrowing experience and sufferings our relief bus came and finally we reached Hampi all haggard and tired to the core. Once again we were lucky to find Ravi who owns an Auto and He was a wonderful person so polite so humble and took us all around Hampi always with a smiling face.



After enriching ourselves with marvellous views of the stone structures of The Great Hampi, there was no network in Hampi,  but if there was I am sure people would have still been indulging themselves in looking at the beautiful stone ruin off the great architecture that  are constructed years ago.



We started off on our return journey and proceeded to Hospet a neighbouring busy town to take our bus to Goa after having a tasty snack in a nice well interiored Udipi Restaurant and boarded our bus. On 18th Morning we alighted at Panjim and then proceeded to Mapusa and to Assagao our intermediate destination. We spent a few days at Assagao, sightseeing the glamourous Goa a global tourist attraction location, we took our flight on 20th Feb 2018 back to Kolkata the city of Joy.

As everyone knows Goa is the true place to relax  and have experience of a lifetime.

and because I have been visiting Goa very often I want to make a separate blog on Goa and the places to see in Goa the offbeat places to see in Goa.

Overall it has been an overwhelming amazing beautiful journey.  Karnataka has surely left speechless with the beauty that it has to offer at every corner every bend all along. Explore with the locals,  eat local food, and just go Gaga over the beauty that nature has to show us.  shall we have a happy backpacking trip to Karnataka. It is the most needed journey you will ever take. My trip was about 15 days. and I felt it was insufficient. As we had taken local transportation,  you can drive your way or even ride it. the road is safe and locals are very helpful. Please avoid riding at night for a better understanding of locating yourself which way to go.

 After my trip all, I can say Incredible India!

Incredible Karnataka!




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