A weekend by the sea is every traveler’s delight. After all, the sound of the crashing waves, the touch of the warm sands, and snagging a moment alone in the dramatic landscape is an experience that every soul craves, especially the ones like us that spend most of their week in the adjoined cubicles. Now that Bangalore is a city that enjoys a central location and is only a few hours’ drive from both the East and West Coast attractions, an adventure road trip with friends towards the coast is always on the cards.
This is the reason why we, a group of travel enthusiasts with a thirst for adventure, culture and nature decided to chuck KSRTC bus for a change and go for a self-drive adventure trip from Bangalore every weekend for a month. Zoomcar zindabad! Yes, the car rental app is available in Bangalore too.
Here are the three gorgeous and alluring destinations we visited during our four weekend trips on the Eastern coastline.
Pondicherry – The French Connection
Bangalore to Pondicherry is an eventful route – a 305-km journey along the NH77 that includes many interesting stops on the way. The first stop, Krishnagiri, known for its rock formations and the Syed Basha Hill makes for a spectacular view while the next stop, Gingee Fort is often addressed as the Troy of India.
The enigma that is Pondicherry is famous for its many beaches – some of the popular ones are Auroville Beach and Paradise Beach. Just 17 km from the French Town, The Pichavaram Mangrove Forest should be on the itinerary for those who seek rare, eccentric landscapes. One can hop onto a boat and explore the small mangrove islands, highlighted by the dense vegetation that has adapted to life in the brackish waters. Some of the local bird species that can be seen in Pichavaram Mangrove Forest are storks, herons, pelicans, and cormorants.
The French bungalows that line Pondicherry’s monument-filled promenade are a delight to explore on quiet evenings. A drive along these leafy neighbourhoods is part of the Pondy experience along with impromptu samplings of the local bakeries. One can still dig into a mean baguette here while also enjoying the most authentic of filter kaapi.
Gokarna is a small town located on the Arabian Sea and it famous as a pilgrim place for many Hindus. It is located at a distance of 58 kilometers from Karwar, 163 km from Panjim, and 484 km from Bangalore. Gokarna is famous for its beautiful and clean beaches though it has been an important pilgrim place from ages.
Interestingly, the name Gokarna which means cow’s ear has its roots into Hindu Mythology. The place houses many famous temples but the most famous is “Mahabaleshwar Temple” that has Lord Shiva as its main deity and people farthest distance in India come here to seek the blessing of Shiva.
There are many beaches in Gokarna that serve as picture perfect sceneries for tourists and locals alike. The city has total 5 beaches which include Om beach, Kudle Beach, Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach, and Gokarna Beach. One can even get accommodation facilities in nearby hotels of the beach. The small stall lining up at the beach offers some great food including seafood. The place is calm and soothing.
If you wish to explore the hidden beauty then avoid visiting at peak season which is November when devotees from entire country gather here. While driving on the National Highway, one can even witness the beautiful scenes and nearby located villages.
Udupi is again a small but important pilgrim spot for the people of India going by its relationship with the Indian mythology. The city is 65 km from Mangalore, 309 km from Mysore, and 404 km from Bangalore. It was established by an ancient philosopher Madhavacharya. The most famous attraction of the city is the idol of Lord Krishna which is decorated with jewelry and is one of the reasons that make it an important place for the devotees, but its popularity doesn’t end here.
Udupi possesses beauty that seems to be of another world. The scenic location of the city between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats makes it an artist’s muse. The beaches of the city are not only clean but also unexplored which means less crowd and more calmness. The five prominent beaches in Udupi are – Maple Beach, St. Mary’s Island, Mattu Beach, Kodi Beach and Kaup Beach.
And guess what, after tasting food in Udupi restaurants throughout India, you can finally get the real taste here. Yes, yes, make sure you try the dosas and idlis at the local restaurants. Besides, don’t miss out on the filter coffee! A tip – If you really wish to enjoy your trip w.r.t eating, drive on NH 45 from Bangalore and take halts at all small places or stalls you find in your way.
Road Trip Experience in a Rental Car Is Fun
While, earlier we had to keep on persuading our rich friend to come along so that we could plan a road trip on her mercy, things have changed with the advent of subscription cars like Zoomcar. Now we do not have to face the tantrums and whims of our not so wanted tourist friend who we took along with us only for her car. You know how annoying it is to have a tourist amongst a bunch of travelers, don’t you?
If you are looking to step out of the city and feel the open air of the highway from a cozy seat in a self-drive car rental, Bangalore is the place to hire from, because of its proximity to these scenic locations.