Madurai From Bangalore by Bike: Copy My Trip Plan To Roam Around Madurai

We have been to Madurai a couple of times, and each time we had new activities planned to roam Madurai. One time we roamed all popular Hindu temples by Bike (rented) in our train trip to Madurai from Bangalore. The other time when we went by Car to Madurai during our 5 days road trip to Tirunellveli and Papanasam, we did nothing but shopping there. Ofcourse, we did darshan the great Meenakshi temple.

Madurai From Bangalore – How We traveled

Since the year 2017, we were popular among friends for non-stop bike travel from Bangalore on almost all weekends. 

But as ardent travellers, we didn’t restrict ourselves to just one mode of travel. 

Our favourite train trips are to Hampi, Belur, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Tiruttani, Mumbai, and Madurai.

And most memorable air trips are to Delhi (Agra and Nainital), Cochin and Goa. 

We did not take many bus trips, except for a few times to Kerala and Goa.

First trip to Madurai From Bangalore

Trip to Madurai from Bangalore was quite unique – that is, we arrived at our destination by train and rented a bike to roam the city for 3 full days. 

We got inspired from our 3 days trip to Kumbakonam by train in the same year, where we rented a bike to roam the temple for 3 full days.

For three continuous days, that is 21st, 22nd, 23rd of July 2017, we roamed all the ancient temples in Madurai.

All the 3 days,  we did not have any issues roaming the city by bike as an outsider. We had a good choice of restaurants all over the city and enjoyed all vegetarian south indian meals in our entire trip. 

Road trip to Madurai

On our recent 5 days road trip to Tirunelveli and Papanasam, we stayed in Madurai for just a day, and did not visit any temples except the great Meenakshi temple. But roamed around the city by car, hung out around big temple lake, enjoyed Madurai’s famous Jigarthanda, and had awesome non vegetarian meals in Kari kanji restaurant. It is a must try restaurant for all kinds of non-vegetarian dishes. Click on the name to get the google map link.

Well, there aren’t many places to see in Madurai if you are not a temple architecture lover. So you can couple your trip plan with other famous places like Tirunelveli and Papanasam, or even kanyakumari.

Restaurant suggestion in Highways

Be it bike trip or road trip, the best Veg restaurant in Bangalore – Salem highways is Shri Krishna Inn. Its our all time favorite and this is where you could see hundreds of bikers hangout in the weekends. For more restaurant suggestions – you can find here.

Copy My Plan to Madurai

Of all the trips we went to Madurai from bangalore, not even once did we have issues on travel or stay or food.

The best place to spend your vacation, but only if you could couple it with other places. Because, many tourists including foreigners visit this majestic Madurai city for just one main reason – to darshan Madurai Meenakshi temple.

And, you could easily cover this place in just one day, including Thirumalai Nayak Mahal – another must see place in Madurai.

So what could you do to spice up your travel?

Go One Day Trip to Kodaikanal Hills:

Madurai and Kodaikanal are two like twins – inseparable in any trip plan. People who plan to go to Kodaikanal always make plans to visit Meenakshi temple and vice versa.

You could stay in Madurai and make a one day trip to Kodaikanal or just choose to stay in Kodaikanal for an extended period of your vacation. Kodaikanal is the best romantic place to visit near Madurai and makes it a place for best family vacation too. There are many options for kids to enjoy like cycling and boating – a complete package for family.

Madurai to Kodaikanal Distance – 116 kms

Go Long Drive From Madurai to Kanyakumari:

If you have been to Kodaikanal already, you could plan a long road trip to Kanyakumari. You could plan a direct trip from Bangalore to Kanyakumari, making Madurai as one of the pit stops. Or plan a drive from Madurai city.

Madurai to Kanyakumari distance – 245 kms

Bangalore to Kanyakumari distance – 665 kms

Woah, guess it is a practical idea to plan a long drive from Madurai instead of Bangalore.

Things to do In Kanyakumari – Kanyakumari beach, Tiruvalluvar statue, Visit Bhagavathy and Suchindram temple.

Places to Visit between Madurai and Kanyakumari

  1. Tirunelvelli – Yet another popular city known for two things: Nellaiyappar temple (Lord Shiva temple) and for Wheat halwa (iruttu kadai halwa). Distance from Madurai to Tirunelveli – 163 kms
  2. Papanasam – A very famous tourist spot in Tirunelveli district, popular for waterfalls (agasthiyar falls), and nearby manimuthar dam. We personally loved this place for never ending greenery and mountain view drive. (Read – Places to Visit in Papanasam in One day with distances)
  3. Courtallam – Not any intro is required for this place. Popular among tourists for its Courtallam falls and lord shiva temple at the foot hills. 

Visit to Madurai is incomplete without visiting these 3 popular places.

If you like to visit temples enroute madurai to Kodaikanal, you could then go to Thenkasi for a majestic Lord Shiva temple, situated 5.5. Kms from Courtallam. And you could also go to yet another historically important 3 temples called ‘Srivilliputhur andal temple’, ‘Sankaran kovil’ and ‘Tiruchendur’.

First two temples are close by, whereas Tiruchendur Lord Subramanya temple is situated at entirely different route.

I mean it is not practically possible to cover all the above places in just one day. That’s why we went on a 5 days road trip to Tirunelveli, and took time leisurely to see all the above mentioned places. 

On the way back to Bangalore from Tirunelveli, we stayed at Madurai for a day and roamed the city.

If you are planning to Visit Kanyakumari from Madurai, you could go straight to the destination. Or if you prefer, stay in Tirunelveli for a day or two, to explore all the above mentioned places. It is definitely worth your time, especially Papanasam.

Go Long Drive From Madurai to Rameswaram:

Another best option to add tourist places to your trip to Madurai from Bangalore, you could go Rameshwaram.

In jan 2017, we went to Rameshwaram for 3 days by bus and we coupled the trip with Tirunelveli. We stayed in Rameswaram mainly to visit Ramanathaswamy temple to pay respect to my father on ‘mahalaya amavasya day’. We didn’t go to any other places in Rameshwaram. And we cherish the time we travelled on the pamban bridge – one of a kind experience. 

Madurai to Rameswaram distance – 173 kms

Tirunelveli to Rameswaram distance – 226 kms

This is how we plan our travel – compare the distances from different places to the end destination, then decide which plan is best. 

It is as simple as that.

Sum – Up

So, practically we know clearly about all the tourist places in and around Madurai. 

Well, if none of the above places interests you, and if you are looking for particularly temple trips in Madurai, then copy my Madurai temples list. 

Click on the link below.

The list of ancient temples in Madurai city alone. 

There is no need to book any tour packages, because you know you will not be given any special access to darshan. 

You could just follow the google maps, plan to visit temples between 6 am to 11.30 am and between 5pm to 8.30 pm. You could rest in the afternoon or find a nice restaurant to chill the day.

Facebook Showed Me This Memory from 4 yrs Ago

I was happy to see the these pics popped in my Facebook memories a week ago.

It showed us the place where we went one day trip by train to Halebidu and Belur.

This trip was close to our heart, beacuse we travelled back to back to 4 different Hoysala architecture temples in Karnataka. And it was the day we were totally spell bound in the beauty of Hoysala architecture.

This is about how I recalled the events and why this trip was so close to my heart.

Facebook memories – recollecting the events :-

As I recall, I remember well that how we left home early to catch train, the junction we got down (arasikere), the hot tea in a local shop in the morning, the village muddy smell from the previous day rains.

I also recall the pain I felt seeing the lost state of importance to 2 temples – one in Arasikere and the 2nd in Javangal.

Compared to both, Arasikere Lord Shiva temple was in better condition.

We were lost for words to explain the state of Javangal temple, the broken and damaged roof was heartbreaking.

That explains why the reason for no devotees or tourists to these places.

I have written in detail about how we went to these 2 less famous temples in karnataka.

The other two temples we have visited that day, namely – Halebidu and Belur temples were sparkling with crowd.

They were receiving all the care and attention, and they stand proud in a vast area with little damage here and there.

I also recall going to a local eatery before entering the Halebidu temple, ordering the only rice bath variety available with a vada. While our phones were charging, we relaxed and prepared ourselves to visit the mass temple in piping hot sun.

Thanks to facebook memories, I am feeling happy to recollect the events.

Look at some of pics here, am sure you will love it.

hoysala architecture
Hoysala architecture – Halebidu temple art
Hoysala architecture
Halebidu temple
karnataka famous temples
Halebidu Big Nandhi
famous temple images in karnataka
Belur chennakesava temple

Read about the another famous Chennakesasva temple (more like replica of Belur) in Somanathapura.

Here is another trip we went to Hassan Nuggehalli temple, another type of Hoysala architecture

And here is when we went to hampi by train, and explored Vittala temple and other famous places.

Long Drive From Bangalore to Mysore in Our #AllNewCreta

Yesterday, we went on a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore in our #AllNewCreta, bought in June 2020.

Long Drive From Bangalore to Mysore

We wanted to take our new Creta on a long drive since 2 months.

Since its a new car and that too an SUV, we were more than cautious all these days. All we did was to take our ‘Milo’ – that is the name our car :), on a short one day road trips in highways.

We did go once in Hassan road, and couple of times in Mysore road and several times to Kanakapura road to our regular cafe coffee day.

Well, its time we took the beast for a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore.

Why We Chose Mysore for Our First Long Drive

The main reason being, we are very much familiar with just 2 roads / highways starting from Bangalore.

One is Hosur road, leading to Chennai and Salem, where we have been on multiple bike trips and road trips to Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Kanchipuram, Yercaud, Kumbakonam, Trichy, Tirunelveli, Madurai, etc.,

And Second, Mysore highways, leading to Mysore, further to places like Coorg, Wayanad, Bandhipur, Ooty, Chikmagalur, Mangalore etc.,

Due to pandemic – interstate highways lock-down, we were left with just one familiar road, that is Mysore highways.

Very soon we will be exploring many other roads such as Kunigal Highways and Hyderabad highways. We have covered Nandhi hills and Lepakshi in one day bike trip in Hyderabad highways, yet to explore further once this pandemic is over.

Our recent Hassan road trip in our #AllNewCreta

Many Other Good Reasons for Choosing Mysore Highways:

  • Well Paved Roads – A very popular highways (NH 275), now under construction for 6 ways road is a treat for anyone looking for long drive from Bangalore to Mysore, or Coorg or Wayanad.
  • Numerous Restaurant Choices – Throughout the highways, you have numerous choices of restaurants and coffee shops. Our new favorite is Drive thru McDonalds in Channapatna, where you get hot meals at all times. And the best part? It is a drive through. No time waste in dine – in.
  • Toll Fare of Just 65/- rupees – We all need a weekend getaway that doesn’t burn our pockets, isn’t it?. Trust me, Mysore highways doesn’t cost you much like Salem and Kunigal highways where you would be easily spending minimum of 250 rupees for a one way drive. Whereas, here, for a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore, you would be spending just 65 rupees. And if you choose Kanakapura road (NH 948) for the return journey, you would be spending only half of that money. Very gooood.

Best Drive in Restaurant in Kunigal highways

From our recent short raod trip from Bangalore, the best drive -in restaurant in Kunkgal Highways is Swathi Delicacy. Here is google map link – https://goo.gl/maps/TLXDeUxjxEFF3M678.

Taste their coffee alteast, its the best :).

Travel Time from Bangalore to Mysore by Road

Bangalore to Mysore distance is 150 kms from each other. The travel time from Bangalore to Mysore by road, was just 3 hrs. Fair good time with just pit stop of 10 mins (that too at McD’s drive thru) in a moderate traffic.

Ideally it would take about 4 hrs of drive for a skillful driver in an ususal weekend traffic. Whereas, it would take just 3 hrs of drive for a skillful driver in a weekday traffic. The toughest one is from Nice road until Ramanagara, after that it is usually a smooth drive.

We started by 8 am on a Sunday morning, after having a cup of black coffee at home.

(This is how to make best coffee at home, my all time favorite drink).

McDonald’s Drive thru, Channapatna, Long drive from Bangalore

By the time we reached “the frosting” cafe, it was 11am. Strectched legs, quenched thirst, ate pizza, clicked pics and chilled out for some time. After all the chillax, roamed the city until 2.30pm.

Entrance view at the frosting cafe, Mysore

Meantime had coffee at Ashirvaad grand pure veg situated across Grand Mercure hotel.

If you are wondering, we came to know this restaurant when we stayed in ‘Grand Mercure‘, just a week before outburst of Covid-19. While we stayed there, we came to this veg restaurant for the evening meal. We liked this veg restaurant in Mysore since then. And their best mysuru coffee too.

Instead of “frosting cafe”, last time we went to “The Old House” cafe. Love both their ambiance and food.

In fact we wanted to go to our all time favorite Green hotel with Malgudi cafe. It is one of the best cafe in Mysore. Unfortunately it was temporarily closed for the pandemic. Otherwise we would never miss their coffee and dessert for anything in the world.

best cafe in mysuru
The green hotel, Malgudi cafe in Mysuru

Around 2.30, we had lunch at yet another famous restaurant in Mysore for Biryani, called Hanumanthu Mess. It is rated one of the best non veg restaurant in Mysuru. And it is true. A small mess serving delicious non veg and biryani could be your favorite too.

We then leisurely started our Milo, to return back to Bangalore.

Returning Back – Long Drive Via Malavalli / Kanakapura Road

It is our thing, we always choose Malavalli – Kanakapura road (NH 948) for the return journey.

Ideally it is a parallel highways to Mysore highways, with less fancy road and far less traffic.

Not only that, we love that road for the greenery and agri land.

We were on this route couple of times when went on bike trip to Shivanasamudra falls, T Narasipura, Talakadu Tala Kaveri river and Somanathapura (Hoysala architecture) and Srirangapatna.

With our favorite music playing at the back, the return journey took us 4 hrs of time. Because, we stopped at many places to click pics, the most notable one was the thriving Kaveri river after monsoon.

We never had any interest to go sightseeing in Mysore. If you are travelling with kids, and planning to go sightseeing Mysore palace, zoo and botanical garden – then you need to be arriving Mysore at 10am. So that you would have sufficient time to look around places in Mysore in one day.

But, we always love to hangout in cafe’s instead of sightseeing in Mysore.

This time too, in our long drive from Bangalore to Mysore in our #AllNewCreta, we did nothing but chill out in cafes.

Glad we took our Milo for a long drive.

The Only Reason We Chose Tirunelveli For Our 5 Days Road Trip from Bangalore

Last week, we went on a 5 days road trip from Bangalore. We choose this trip only for the love of Papanasam town near Tirunelveli.

We started from Bangalore on Aug 12th 2019, drove about 650 kms to reach Tirunelveli via Madurai.

This was the first time we set a new milestone of driving above 500 kms in one day by car.

We drove alternatively, smooth ride on the NH with good food choices on the Bangalore highways.

This time we had not pre-booked any accommodation in our planned destination – Tirunelveli, since we were not sure of driving 600+ kms in just one day. 

We had a plan B of staying in Madurai if we were too tired to drive any further.

Thankfully, we reached the destination as planned. 

This is how we spent our 5 days vacation in a road trip from Bangalore.

5 Days road trip from Bangalore for the love of Papansam

We have already been to Tirunelveli in Jan 2017, in our 3 days trip to Rameshwaram.

In this 5 days road trip from Bangalore, we have spent whole 2 days only to sight see the places around Tirunelveli. 

Since one cannot miss visiting courtallam falls, we also went to nearby Thenkasi and Papanasam.

Papanasam – we immediately fell in love with the drizzling weather with the spectacular view of greenery mountains and plains.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t enjoy the picturesque small town for long as we were in a hurry to return to the Tirunelveli town for return journey. 

So, this trip is all about going to Papanasam exclusively for its serene beauty, a place surrounded by mountains, reserve forests, waterfalls and dams. 

Hence, we decided to stay in Tirunelveli, a buzzing small city, 60 km distance from Papanasam, well connected to other cities by roads with good accommodation and restaurant choices.

The Itinerary of Our 5 days Road Trip from Bangalore

Day 1, 12th August 2019, Monday : Drive 650 Kms From Bangalore to Tirunelveli

Day 2, 13th August 2019, Tuesday : Drive to Tiruchendur beach and temple, on the way stop at Srivaikundam temple. Evening darshan in Nellaiappar temple in Tirunelveli.

Day 3, 14th August 2019, Wednesday : Drive to Papanasam via Manimuthar forest and dam and Agasthiyar falls. And darshan Papanasam Sivan temple. Evening return Tirunelveli via Ambasamudram.

Day 4, 15th August 2019, Thursday : Drive to Madurai via Sankaran Kovil and Srivilliputhur, darshan at both the temples. Check-in Madurai, evening roam around the city.

Day 5, 16th August 2019, Friday : Return to Bangalore from Madurai, 450 kms drive via Dindigul, Karur, Namakkal and Salem.

Wanderlust to Papanasam

Here we are, at Papanasam, the place behind our desire to plan 5 days road trip from Bangalore.

Papanasam, a small town located 56 kms from Tirunelveli, adorned with mountains and trees, river and dams, we fell in love with.

After a good night’s rest from previous day’s long car ride to Tirunelveli, we started to Papanasam around noon.

We stuffed our travel bags with some snacks and water bottles, before we headed towards Papanasam.

Decided to go by Pathamadai and Manimuthar forest, just like we always preferred to ride among scenic views. We skipped going to Manjolai, since we didn’t do much research on this place and also had a time constraint.

We spent some time in the Manimuthar dam (did not go to the waterfalls), before we headed towards Papnasam.

When I say Papanasam, the end destination is Papanasam Sivan temple, this is where all the local buses stop for tourists.

A little further Papanasam Sivan temple is Agasthiyar falls, almost 10 min drive uphill.

The drive was smooth since there was no dangerous hair-pin bends to worry about, like in Yercaud hill station.

By the time we reached Agasthiyar falls, it was almost closing time, so we spent only brief period clicking pics in the falls area.

Unlike a pretty long-haul we trekked to talakona falls in Andra Pradesh, Agasthiyar falls was just 1 min walk from the parking area.

Once after reaching Agasthiyar falls, we spent some time enjoying the view and the waterfalls. We then started our car towards Papanasam Sivan temple after clicking some pics.

Returning Back to Tirunelveli

We then took Ambasamudram (ambai) route in the evening to return back to Tirunelveli.

Like we wished, we spent every single minute enjoying the ride among the agri fields and woods accompanied by a pleasant weather. 

Desire fulfilled.

Overall it was an adventurous and fun-filled 5 days road trip from Bangalore. And, iIt was worth the pain and headache riding in the sun and the rains.

Drive from tirunelveli to papanasam road, drive among woods and mountains
Tirunelveli to Papansam road, scenic drive
Drive to Thamirabarani river near Manimuthar dam from tirunelveli
Thamirabarani river near Manimuthar dam, Papanasam
Manimuthar dam from tirunelveli in our 5 days road trip from bangalore
View From Top of Manimuthar dam, Towards Manimuthar Forest aand Waterfalls
2 mins walk to Agasthiyar falls from parking area, scenic view
Walk from parking towards Agasthiyar falls images
Drive to papanasam agasthiyar falls from tirunelveli in our 5 days road trip from bangalore
View of Agasthiyar falls, Papanasam

7 Articles on Trekking in Coorg I found Useful for Travelers

I have found 7 articles from famous bloggers on Trekking in Coorg which are useful for Travelers.

We are just back from 4 days bike trip to Coorg from Bangalore, starting from 1st November to 4th November 2018.

Travelling to any new destinations, we both invest some time to know the places, temple histories, places to see around, good restaurants and good accommodations.

So, I have compiled all the blog articles that I read which talk about Coorg travel, Trekking in Coorg, Homestays, Coffee plantation experiences and much more.

And I shared my travel experience in Madikeri Coorg, at the end of this article.

About Coorg – Kodagu, also known as Coorg, is a rural district in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka. In the area’s north, Madikeri Fort has 2 life-size elephant statues at its entrance, plus a Gothic-style church with a museum on its grounds. Nearby, the Hindu Omkareshwara Temple dates back to the 19th century. Farther north are the domed Raja’s Tomb, a burial place of Kodava kings, and cascading Abbi Falls. (Source Wikipedia)

Part I: 7 Real life Traveler’s experience on Trekking in Coorg

Travel Highway Blog

This is an interesting travel article where every bit of trek to Tadiandamol, Coorg is explained. I loved the way the author narrated her story from start to end of the trekking at Coorg with a group of 15 members. She narrated that how she had a difficult time trekking without proper shoes, lack of water and food supply and unforgettable experience when the team saw a snake in the trails. It was quite an article with many pics.

But, no much information on where she camped (if any), transportation and accommodation details. All I learnt from her article is I would need good supportive shoes, food and water supply and team coordination as I might get split up on the way up.

So, overall this article is helpful for travellers interested in Coorg one day trip and trekking in Coorg.

Thinking Particle Blog

This article caught my interest because the author traveled by bike to Coorg from Bangalore, and shared his both bike ride and trek experience to Mandalapatti. Our extensive Bike ride experiences have taught us many lessons – one of them is “be prepared for any sudden deviation in the plan at any point in time”.

I was not surprised when the author mentioned that they could not go trek on the planned day due to bike ride delay. I could very well relate to our bike ride experiences, where many things went wrong in our bike travel, one of them is in Dubare Elephant Camp.

It is an interesting article to see his pics of his bike ride, trekking and camping in Coorg.

Suramya Blog

This is another useful and descriptive article on one-day trekking in Coorg from Bangalore. If you are looking for a guide on one-day trek guide to tadiandamol from Bangalore, this article explains it all. From her trek experience I understood, they returned on the same day to Bangalore – accommodation details also provided. She has carried her food and water supply, so no complaints on those. Overall it seems to be a pleasant experience. Pics say it all.

Escape To Explore Blog

Yet another descriptive article on one day trek to Tadiandamol, Coorg from Bangalore. I liked the way the author first experienced trekking in rain and kayaking. And her trip ended at Golden temple in Nisargadama. In her words, it is “soul-satisfying experience”. If you are looking for a one-day trek in Coorg or planning to book one-day trekking in Coorg via Thrillophilia, this article would be useful. And useful for travelers looking for Coorg one day trip from Bangalore, especially for trekking plans.

My Recent Trips Blog

Even though the author has not gone any trekking in Coorg trip she went, I listed this article for the information, “do’s and dont’s” from her 3 days and 2 nights travel plan.

She has covered Mysore and Coorg in 3 days, spending 12k on budget. Overall, this is a very useful article for someone who is planning to couple 2 places (Mysore and Coorg) in one trip and how you can make maximum out of the trip sightseeing many places.

Like her, we too did stay in Mysore on day-1, roamed around the cleanest city in the evening, headed to Coorg on day-2. If you are looking for one day trip to Coorg from Mysore, I would suggest following this article, pick the places from her article which would fit your plan (Just saying 🙂 )

Maptia Blog

This is the best Nishani Motte trek (Coorg) blog article I have come across. Author has captured some breathtaking pics in his Nishani Motte Trek, Coorg and shared his 2 days homestay and trekking in Coorg.

You can follow his article if you are planning to go trek to Nishani Motte, I would too in future inspired his very own words in the article,

If you want to  experience wilderness in its rawest form, trails which are crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, fulfilling, leading to the most amazing views and experiences, Nishani Motte gives you that Thrilling Experience ! !”

Am sure you would fall in love with his words and photography. Also you will know all details like Nishani motte from coorg, best place to stay in Coorg etc.,

EvolveBack Blog

This author has written general guidance about –1. Tadiandamol trek 2. Bramagiri Trek 3. Galibeedu Trek and the best season to travel and trekking in Coorg. Wish he had written more about the trekking places in Coorg and added few more pics to narrate the experience. Not much you can learn from his article, but it was in my research list, so sharing with the readers here.

Hampi Trip from Bangalore (A Complete Travel Guide with Itinerary)

After our numerous bike trips to nearby places in Bangalore, We have decided to take Hampi trip from Bangalore by train and explore maximum sightseeing places in one day.

Not just sightseeing in Hampi, but also some nearby places in Hampi which are less popular like Kukanoor and Itagi.

Did you know Mahadeva temple in Itagi is protected as a national mounument under Archealogical survey of India?. “Art historian Henry Cousens called this monument the “finest in Kannada country after Halebidu””. (Source : Wikipedia)

Here is the complete guide for one day trip from Bangalore to Hampi, Hampi places to visit and the trip costs for couples.

Hampi Trip From Bangalore By Train – Distance, Weather and Sightseeing

I have always wanted to go Hampi –a World Heritage site, it has been in my top priority list since we both started our weekend trips.

We live in Bangalore, we were just starting out bike trips to nearby places in Bangalore.

Read – How Our Love For Bike Rides Started in 2016?

The Distance from Bangalore to Hampi by road is 345 kms.

Since we were just beginners in bike trips, its quite not possible to cover such long distance by bike.

So, we have decided to go Hampi trip From Bangalore by train and spend one full day sightseeing.

Since the Hampi weather is too good in September (infact all over Karnataka), travelling and sightseeing would not be any problem.

To surprise hubby, I did all the research and planning. That is when I came across unique places in Kukanoor & Itagi and added those places to the Hampi trip itenarary.

Since it was a one day trip, there was no hotel booking required. We just packed some snacks and water bottle in our backpack for this trip.

If you are planning on road trip to Hampi from Bangalore, you could very well explore all the places mentioned below.

Since we went by train, we hired autos for short distances and traveled by buses for long distances.

Here is the complete guide on places to visit in Hampi and the good places to eat etc.,

Hampi Express to Kukanoor and Itagi

On 24th Sep 2016, We boarded Hampi express at 10 pm at KSR railway station, reached Koppal stations next day at 8.35am.

(Since we decided to explore Kukanoor and Itagi, we got down at Koppal railway station, otherwise Hosapet would be the nearest station for Hampi.)

There was a Karnataka bus pick up at station entrance otherwise also KSRTC bus depot is 3 min by walk.

At 8.50am we boarded KSRTC bus to Kukanoor, travelled for about 40 min. There were no direct buses to Itagi, from Koppal one has to re-route from Kukanoor.

After refreshing up, we had planned to visit Kukanoor Mahamaya Temple and Navalinga temples before visiting ITAGI Mahadeva Temple.

I wouldn’t suggest eating at Kukanoor, not even for coffee.

Local people guided us to the Mahamaya temple, 15min by walk from the bus station.

1.a. Mahamaya Temple, Kukanoor

Outside view of the temple doesn’t give an image of being a famous temple mentioned in Mahabaratha. But to understand its great historical value, One has to enter the low roof entrance directly to the main deity, Shatrabala. There are 3 deities in the garbhagudi.

Two female deities:-Laxmi & Parvathi/MahaMaya, and One male Deity-Harihara. Harihara means Half-Shiva and Half-Vishnu. All the 3 idols are south facing, which is a rare thing, as most idols in temples face the north. South-facing deities are considered to be more powerful (source -Wikipedia).

The reference to this temple in Mahabharata suggests it was built before 8-9th century BC. There are rumors that there is a hidden underground temple below the current existing temple. The underground temple is dedicated to the Indian Goddess Kali. 

b. Navagraha Temple, Kukanoor

The ancient Navagraha temple is present at the back of the Mahamaya temple. It is so painful to see the carelessness in the maintenance of such epic architecture.

This temple architecture cannot be described in words, one has to see and feel it.

Anywhere you see is Lord Sivalinga guarded by individual Nandhi.

I have never seen such alignment of 9 Sivalingas under one roof.

I’m glad we have visited this place on our hampi trip from Bangalore. Not sure when again we will get chances to visit here again.

2. Mahadeva Temple, ITAGI

We left from Kukanoor to Itagi by auto, we bargained for INR 100/- fare for 15 min travel to the temple and drop back to a bus stop.

Mahadeva temple was such a feast to sight. One cannot stop marveling at the decorative sculptures, art in pillars and roofs, also on the mandapa of this temple.

The temple was open for visitors, but the main sanctum was closed with a view.

The main deity, Lord Siva, can be seen and worshipped behind the closed bars.

Since it has been recently taken under Archaeological Survey of India, lots of repair work was going on around the temple.

There was a full-time security guard who guided us around the temple (also took our pics).

We spent some time there, exploring the temple and chatting with temple committee members who were in charge of that ongoing renovation.

Itagi Mahadeva temple under Archealogical survey of India. Hampi nearby sightseeing places, in our Hami trip from Bangalore
Main mandap, Mahadeva Temple, ITAGI

On the way back, the Autowala dropped us in the main road 2km away from Mahadeva temple, where we boarded a bus to Koppala.

We didn’t go back all the way to Kukanoor bus station to catch the same bus to koppala. After 40 min long journey, we reached Koppala at 1.10pm.

Had satisfying lunch at Krishna Sagar veg restaurant, then boarded bus to Hosapet, 40 min journey towards the Hampi, Karnataka.

Itagi to Hampi: Sightseeing in Hampi

3.a. Virupaksha Temple

From Hosapet bus depot, we boarded a bus to Hampi, a UNESCO world heritage site, which was the last stop, paid 26/-fare for 15 min journey.

All the greenery on both the sides showed that it is a flourishing town in Thungabadra river. We ignored all the tourist guide swarming us, went to the great monumental Virupaksha temple, a breathtaking Lord Siva temple built on a vast area.

Totally we spent about 40 mins before we picked a travel guide (autowala) to see other sightseeing places in Hampi. We negotiated for INR 400/- for dropping us at few places by auto – Narashima Temple and Badavalinga temple, Queen’s palace, Elephants castle, and finally Vittala Temple.

Hampi sightseeing places - Virupaksha temple
Hampi Images: Virupaksha Temple Gopuram view from the temple Pond

b. Vittala Temple

Hampi sightseeing places - Virupaksha temple
Hampi imgaes : Entrance view of Vittala Temple
Hampi sightseeing places - Vittala temple
Hampi images: Vishnu Mandap at Vittala Temple
Hampi sightseeing places - Vittala temple
Hampi Images: Lord Vishnu Chariot, Vittala Temple

Same tourist guide dropped us at a nearby bus stop from Vittala temple, where we took a share auto to Hosapet bus depot which saved us time. Hosapet is big township compared to Koppala.

Had dinner at Udupi restaurant just opposite to the bus depot, then went by walk to board the return train at 9 pm to Bangalore.

This How To Reach Hampi Directly From Bangalore – 1 day Travel Itinerary in Hampi

Well we wanted to see places as much as we could in the trip planned, so we have covered Kukanoor and Itagi Mahamaya Temple in our last trip.

One can skip travelling to Kukanoor and Itagi, instead, go directly to Hampi (get down at Hosapet railway station) so that you can spend more time in Hampi itself.

If we would plan a Hampi trip from Bangalore again (by train or road), this is how our 1 day travel itinerary in Hampi would be-

  • Board Hampi express (Train No. 16592) from Bangalore City junction at 9.50 pm or Bangalore cantonment at 10.10 pm or  Yelhanka Junction at 10.35 pm
  • Get down at Hosapet next morning aroung 7 am, take local bus / cab to Hosapet main bus stand
  • Have breakfast at Udupi restaurant in the Hosaper bus stand
  • Take a bus / cab to look around Hampi before you go to much visited tourist place Vittala Temple
  • Look around all the Hampi tourist places
  • Come back, board the return train from Hosapet to Bangalore by 9pm.
  • Next day you are in Bangalore.

Explore our categories for all our one day trips and two day trips from Bangalore.

Lepakshi Temple From Bangalore: Two States, One Day, 300 Kms Bike Trip

We went on One day Bike trip to Lepakshi Temple from Bangalore. Our friends called us crazy to cover a total of 300 Kms by bike in just one day.

Lepakshi Temple From Bangalore – Distance and Route

On 5th November 2016, We went on One day bike trip to the very famous Lepakshi Temple in Anantapur District in Andra Pradesh district. After visiting Boga Nandeeshwara temple in Nandi Hills along the way.

Lepakshi temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Veerabhadra, widely popular by the name “Lepakshi” – a village located in Karnataka, 15 kms from Hindupur and 122 kms from Bangalore. The distance may vary a little based on the location you start from Bangalore. Lepakshi temple gained popularity for its historic importance and archaeological significance (especially for its floating pillars). 

We have travelled 165 kms from our home to Anantapur district in Andra Pradesh state, a long ride on just one way. 

This is how we went to Lepakshi Veerabhadra Temple from Bangalore, one of the most memorable one day bike trip in our life.

Lepakshi Temple from Bangalore: Two States By Bike in One day

On our one day trip to Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we first visited Nandi hills temple at Doddaballapur. Since we were frequent visitors this Nandhi hills – Boganandeeswara temple, and it is located on the way to Lepakshi, we stopped for a quick darshan here.

Soon after lunch we then rode for about 80 kms to reach Lepakshi village, parked our bike, across the small shopping street.

Well, at 3 pm, after a long bike ride in the sun, travelled across a state, to witness the beauty of the Vijayanagar empire’s architecture.

We spent about 2 hrs hours around the temple, clicking pics and hanging out, cherishing every moment possible. 

The main sanctum, was a small cave with many hindu idols, along with the Veerabhadra idol, there was a notable MahaKali statue, each idol speaking a history of its own. 

After a calm and quiet darshan, we headed back to Bangalore, reached home by 8 PM.

Overall it was a smooth ride in Bangalore – Hyderabad Highways. 

Read – Kolar is another best place for one day road trip from Bangalore.

One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Entrance – Kodikambam
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Climb the stairs after Kodikambam to enter the 70 Pillars Vasantha Mandap (to see Hanging pillar)
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Ornamental Pillars – Bharathanatiyam change of legs
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple photos
Lepakshi temple photos
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Destroyed Kalyana mandap _ Lepakshi temple images
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Inside_ Lepakshi temple images
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Ornamental Pillars
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Ornamental Pillars
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi temple photos
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi temple images
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Remnants of Kalyana mandap – Lepakshi Temple images
one day trip to Lepakshi temple - legendary temple
A Shivalinga Built By Cholas – Lepakshi Temple images

Lepakshi Veerabhadra temple – History, Facts and Temple Timings

These are the historic and archaeological importance of this Lepakshi temple – 

  • It is a majestic temple built on a vast area (called tortoise hill) with astonishing sculptures and paintings on the pillars and roofs. Famous for the mural paintings of Vijayanagara Kings. Of the 70 pillars in the Vasantha mandapa/ Natya mandapa, one of the pillars does not rest completely on the ground a.k.a hanging pillar or floating pillar.
  • a breathtaking single rock sculpture consisting of a seven hood naga wrapped around Sivalinga and a huge Ganesha idol.
  • the ruins of a “Kalyana Mandapa” with unfinished pillars. (There is also a story that it is not actually a Kalyana mandap, it was a Vishnu temple which was destroyed by human conflicts, the Vishnu statue then kept inside the main sanctum.)
  • Several forms of Lord Shiva idols can be seen – a majestic Kankala Murthi, Dakshinamurthi, Tripuranthaka or Tripurasurasamhara and Ardhanareeshwara
  • Lord Hanuman’s small mandap and Goddess Sita’s footprint and a waterhole nearby
  • A huge Nandhi statue, a guardian at 1km before the lepakshi temple

And Finally, about another speciality of this temple which is not mentioned anywhere in the internet and I have no supporting documents to support the following points mentioned by one of the local guides in Lepakshi is this – (correct if am wrong) 

  • This temple was said to be built around a Sivalinga statue built by Cholas, much older than this temple. (See in images)

About the Lepakshi Temple timing – 

  • Unlike other Hindu temples, this temple is closed by 6PM. It is open on all hours from 6 AM to 6 PM for tourists and devotees.
  • During our ride to Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we did not find any proper restaurant in the highways except for the one we had lunch near nandhi hills. So there are hardly any good choices nearby Lepakshi temple vicinity. 

Although there are many blog articles written on visiting and their experience on travelling to Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we didn’t read any of this. If we did, we would not have missed the famous “the hanging pillar” of this temple. 

To Know more about the history of this temple, you can visit this website for more information.

How We travel by Bike?

Like most people ask, we don’t hurt our shoulders by carrying any backpacks while riding motorbike. All I carry on me is a small sling bag to keep money and mobile phones.

So how do we travel free?

If it is just one day ride, we carry a tank bag. This is a convertible backpack, with magnet to bind to the bike, sits comfortably on the bike tank without falling off, so we ride carefree. On long bike trips, we use both tank bag and a saddle bag for more luggage requirements.

When we went to Talakona in AndraPradesh, we carried saddle bags since it was just a 2 days trip. Even tough it was just a 2 days trip, we wanted to carry saddle bags to accommodate as much as water bottles as we were travelling to a rural area. While we were there, we have been trekking to the famous Talakona forest and waterfalls.

When we went on 11-days long bike trip in 2017, we carried both tank bags and saddle bags. Saddle bag only for clothes and travel essentials, while the tank bag to accomodate electronics like laptop, DSLR camera, chargers and stuff.

For this trip – Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we carried just a tank bag, to keep couple of water bottles.