Days: 30 to 33 of GIRT tour  

Allapuzha > Kannur > Mangalore > Udipi > Karwar > Chiplun > Thane

Allapuzha, Kerala

Sunset at Allapuzha Beach

The beach was empty at sunset! 

Gokulam Residency -on beach road where we stayed in Allapuzha

The Beach Road, Allapuzha

 Refurbished Willy's Jeeps on Sale

Few Kms before reaching Alleppy, on the NH047 highway, we stoppped in front of a Garage, with a line of  Willys Jeeps - all refurbished, with a shining looks, for sale! A 1960 model was for Rs 75,000/- and a 1980 model for Rs 1.25 Lacs. They looked pretty neat ... and a tempting buy!    

Alleppy to Kannur

Kannur to Mangalore

Above pictures: Scenic beauty & greenery along the NH-17 route in Kerala & Karnataka

 

Crossing Netravati River on a bridge to reach Mangalore on other side. 

Udipi Krishna Temple

 

 Sri Krishna Temple

 The Rath outside the temple

 The long queue at the entrance to Sri Krishna Temple ... Udipi

 

Marvanthe Coast

Marvanthe Beach .... a few KMs north of  Kondapuram

 Marvanthe Beach

 

 Karwar

On the bridge over Gangavali River (near Gokarn) approaching Ankola

Malabar Coastline and an island in the sea ... as we near Karwar

The beautiful Karwar Beach

 

 Sunsets on Malabar Sea at Karwar

 

Madgaon - Goa 

 The Main Square in Madgao 

The Longines restaurant in Madgaon where we had our breakfast today

 

Maharashtra

We enter our Indica's home state ... Maharashtra (10-43AM 14th Jan)

 Scenic Ghats .....  as we head out of Chiplun on NH-17 .... on final lap



11h Jan 08 > Day-29: Kovilpatti - K' Kumari - Alleppy 400Kms

So we left Kanya Kumari beach (Cape Comorin - southernmost tip of India) at 10:30AM and headed past Nagerkoil and through Kerala's lush green  cocunut-tree country to Allapuzgha (a.k.a.Alleppy). NH-47, though pretty smooth and clean in Kerala, was just a 2-lane undivided road with heavy mixed traffic. Our average dropped to 30 KMPH. There were continous towns and cities, with hardly any stretches of rural areas; though cococnut trees & banana plantations were still plentiful by the roadside.

Allapuzha Beach ..... sunset!

At Allapuzha we were really lucky to find a nice Home-stay accomodation right on Beach road, run by one Mohan Nair (of Malad, Bombay). The Gokulam Residency run by him, was well-furnished like a 5-star hotel! It cost just Rs 500/- for each DBL room for us. The place is just 2 minutes from the beach and 2 minutes from Allepy Rly station. The beach (with hardly any people) was amazingly clean, white sand and with crashing waves! We watched the sunset from here. The Alleppy beach & homestay re-couped all disappointment of the Kanya Kumari beach!

That's Gokulam Hotel .... as seen from the beach at Allapuzha

12th Jan 08 > Day-30: Allapuzha - Cannanore 349Kms 

Today we left Alleppy and drove further North on NH47 passing Cochin, Ernakulam and then further North on NH17  via Chavakkad, Ponnani, Kozhikode (Calicut) and many other Kerala towns. And did we pass another state in Mahe (briefly) labelled as Pondicherry in my Map? The traffic policemen at Mahe were uniformed differently. We reached Cannanore (Kannur) at 6:15PM, after 350Kms today. The backwater & sea views all the way was beautiful. NH47 was narrow and trafficky .... we just made 35 KMPH average. Cannaonore  is just a night-halt for us. Tomorrow we will enter Karnataka and go past past Mangalore, Udipi, etc. 

At Cannonore (Kannur), all hotels seemed to be full, due to a Convention of a TV-Channel "Asianet" next day; but we finally managed to get 2 rooms in a Hi-grade Hotel Sky Palace (DBL room Rs 863/- each) by promising to check-out by 6:00AM next day.   

13th Jan 08 > Day-31: Cannanore to Karwar - 435 Kms 

We left Canannore and drove all the way to Karwar (435KM) today. On the way we passed Mangalore, Udipi, Marvanthe. 

Greenery in Kerala .... while driving on NH-17 north of Kannur]

Kerala Ends here .. last bus stop                                         and Welcome to Karnataka!   

We left Kerala and entered Karanataka (after Kasargod) and then crossed Netravati River and passed through Mangalore town, without stopping. After another 60 Kms we reached the point where we had to go off NH-17 some 5KMs to see Udipi's famous Sri Krishna Temple. However, we could not go inside teh Temple as there was a huge queue and we would have lost 2-3 hours waiting there. Neither did we see any special fast-lane Q's ( Like in Tamilnadu, with payment of Rs. 50-100) .... which means all devotees, here in Udipi, are equal! Took pictures of temple from outside, offered our humble prayer to Lord Krishna from the roadside and left to rejoin NH17.

 

Sri Krishna Temple at Udipi (R) ... and two Rathams outside (L)

The drive on Kranataka portion of NH17 was most scenic and road quality & traffic pretty good (unlike heavy traffic in Kerala sections). The amazing stretch just past Kundapuram, with NH-17 running between the Malabar Sea on the left and an inland river on the right was a real highlight!

Malabar Sea & Marvanthe Beach on left, a fresh-water River on the Right and NH-17 in the middle, heading North to Karwar & Goa 

We stopped for 10 mins at *exactly* the above spot and we took several pictures there. Amazing spot, this really .... sea water on one side, river water on otherside of road .... and we in the middle were drinking Coconut Water!!

Karwar coastal road and beach was a surprisingly nice place too! We stayed right on the beach road (also NH17) at a Hotel Bhadra. It was a good place to stay and we voted that as the *best* place we stayed on the whole tour, taking all aspects into account .... i.e. in terms of Value for Money (DBL at 550/-), surroundings, beach, facilities, services & food etc!

 Karwar Bay ....... as we approach Karwar town

Karwar Beach ... looks better than Chowpatti & Marine Drive of Mumbai  

14th Jan 08 > Day-32: Karwar to Chiplun - 411 Kms 

Today we started from Karwar at 6:30AM and drove up north through Goa and into Maharashtra to Chiplun ... just a stone-throw away from Thane and completion of GIRT.

Aproaching Maharashtra now ..... .last few Kms in Goa   

The drive through Sindudurg and Ratnagiri districts was very scenic, hilly (ghats) & green .... with plenty of twists and turns on the road. With very low traffic and excellent road surface, we felt this part of the drive was the most enjoyable portion! Of course our average has dropped to 35 KMPH  on this section, due to ups & downs and curves (Keep your Nerve on the Curves was a frequent sign post here).

15th Jan 08 > Day-33: Chiplun to Thane - 270 Kms 

We left Chiplun at 6:50AM and reached Thane at 1:00PM after a last leg of 270Kms today.  The NH-17 portions today was also superb drive and scenic all the way till Panvel. But after that it was the usual 6-lane traffic of trucks, buses and cars moving into Mumbai. The final tally then of   GIRT 9388 Kms in 33 days.

 

Tapan (R) and Me (L) .... just as we reach home in Thane at 1:00PM

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