Mumbai-Bangalore Road Trip

September 26, 2008 By:

A dream fulfilled. This happened to be a return journey having completed the Ashtvinayak trip while driving from Bangalore to Mumbai ( it’s another story) and my family was geared up for it.

We started off from Navi Mumbai at 12 noon and took the 6 lane Mumbai-Pune runway…er….expressway. Well, in stretches it looks like a runway. The Innova was simply flying and you do get to see some scenic spots on the way. To experience this expressway, you need to pay a toll of Rs. 118 /- for 120 odd kms. But then, we reached Pune in 80 minutes or so. We took a detour into Pune as we wanted to visit a couple of folks. Visit over, time to hit the road again. For the next 30 odd kms we did encounter some traffic. We were held up at the first of the innumerable toll plazas’ for about 20 minutes. However, after that it was a breeze. Next came the Katraj ghat section which was not high enough to qualify as a ghat. I had a funny feeling that there was no oncoming vehicle. Later, we realized it must be one way. The oncoming traffic would be on another road which we could not see. However, driving on the bends was a pleasure.

At around 3 pm we stopped for a late lunch and spent around an hour there…..with kids it does take time. Next came the Khambakti ghat which was quite scenic. Passing through two big cities of Satara and Karad, we finally entered Kolhapur at 7 pm. If you take out the time spent in Pune and for lunch, we had effectively covered 400 kms in 4 and half hours. I remember years ago, Bombay-Kolhapur used to take 10 hours by bus, an overnight journey. Three cheers to the Golden Quadrilateral.

In Kolhapur, we checked into Maratha Regency ( we had stayed in the same hotel during our Ashtvinayak trip) and the hospitable staff recognized us. My wife, Shubhangi, and I are very attached to Kolhapur. After all, we met here during our engineering course. Kolhapur is like a second home for us. It is famous for the Mahalakshmi temple and so we went for darshan. We were lucky as the priests had taken out the idol in a palanquin around the temple and we got to touch the idol.

Coming back, we left our kids with my parents at the hotel and just the two of went for walk upto the ST stand. The fragrance of burji pao and batata vada from various stalls near ST stand reminded us of our college days. We had dinner at Prarthana restaurant, which used to be famous amongst us students those days. After dinner, it was the customary cocktail sundae ice-cream at Solanki. Solanki is a chain of famous ice-creams joints in Kolhapur. Back to the hotel for a well deserved sleep. Just to inform you, Kolhapur has lots of sigh-seeing options, like the Rankala lake, palace, Panhala fort and Jyotiba temple on a hill.

The next day we started at 7 am and covered the 100 kms to Belgaum in exactly one hour. Here we entered into the city for a visit to a spiritual temple of ………. After the visit, we had a sumptuous breakfast at hotel Ramdev. At 10 am we left from Belgaum towards Bangalore. Belgaum is exactly the mid point between Mumbai and Bangalore, 500 kms on either side.

Crossing Dharwad, we reached Hubli and stopped for lunch on the outskirts. The food was quite tasty. The stretch near Hubli was not good and had to locate the road towards Bangalore. The 200 odd kms between Hubli and Chitradurga is still under construction in some parts with diversions. Sometimes the road becomes a wide single lane, instead of the divided 4 lane road. At one point, there was a trough in the road which I saw at the last moment. Fortunately, I was just picking up speed and managed to brake hard. But still, the front wheels went into the trough and under side of the front bumper banged into the road. But, no damage. On inspection, I realized that the solid iron of the tow hook had hit the road. This stretch has also has a couple of railway crossings with the bridge still not completed. The diversions are so bad that our speed came down to 5 kms/hr. Passing through Chitradurga, one can see the fort in the distance. We stopped for tea a little before Tumkur. This place is about 70 kms from Bangalore and the traffic started getting heavier. Once we reached Neelmangala at 6 pm, it was welcome to Reality Traffic Show. From there it was a torturous 90 minutes drive through peak time traffic to our home in Whitefield.

All told, the drive was good. There are a number of toll plazas on the route and you end up paying around 350 bucks or so in total. The incomplete stretches should be done by the end of the year. My target is to drive Bangalore-Mumbai in one go and I estimate it will take about 15 hours for the 1000 kms, once the construction activity is over.

About Sudhir Raina

Sudhir Raina has written 6 posts at Ghumakkar.

30 Responses to “Mumbai-Bangalore Road Trip”


  1. nandanjha says:

    The last photo is a killer. Its a ‘New India’ kind of photo.

    I want to do Delhi-Mumbai some day (with one night break). Once I start I would let you know so that we can be at Nariman and have dinner at Taj :)

  2. lakshmi says:

    whew ! and what a picture..

  3. Patrick Jones says:

    Agree with Nandan, last pic is a stunner.

    Hope I’ll be able to do this stretch soon.

  4. harsha says:

    when did you do this trip? what dates? just wanted to get to know if the road is still under construction.

  5. sudhir says:

    Harsha,

    I did this trip in Dec 2007.

  6. manish khamesra says:

    Very interesting read with beautiful pictures. So Kolhapur got special mention in this trip of yours and why not, it seems to have such a special meaning to you. BTW you have not mentioned about Kolhapuri Chappals :)

  7. Aditya Sapru says:

    Hi, I did the Mumbai to Bangalore earlier this week. Thanks for a lot of detail, it helped me plan the trip well.

    I left Mumbai (Powai) at about 6:45 pm on Sunday (Nov 30, 2008) and drove to Kolhapur in the night. Reached Kolhapur at the stroke of midnight. Slept at the Regency, a good place to be.

    Left at about 8 in the morning, and made it to Bangalore by 4:30 pm. So I think Sudhir 15 hours is definately doable.

    A few pointers (will share details in a post over the next couple of days) for the Shchumacher wannabe’s. Please dont take my average speed (I did about 75 km/hr) and timeline as a yard stick and definately not a must beat benchmark. Your speed will be determined by the car you drive, the age of tyres and most importantly how well you can handle speeds. There were at least half a dozen times when vehicles were driving at you (in a divided highway), people were in the middle of the path what seemed like pondering and at some times cattle….. so take care and be safe it is not about how soon you get there, but whether you do!

    The track from Hubli to Chitradurga is still no where near completion and needs utmost care, especially if you are doing excess of 100 km/hr

    An amazing drive none the less…

    • Sudarshan Narayan says:

      Wise words, Aditya.

      Would you know the best route to drive from Mumbai to Mysore ?

      Sudarshan

  8. Sudhir says:

    Aditya,

    Glad to know that my post helped you to plan.

  9. Aditya Sapru says:

    Hey Sudhir, Thanks. I finally managed to get my post in. Should help you update and prepare for the non stop drive!

    Cheers

  10. Gurudutt Mohite says:

    Hi Sudhir….your post was great.

    I did Mumbai to Bangalore in my Santro in December 2007. Started from Mumbai at 8.00 am. Ride till Panvel was slow. Mumbai Pune Expressway was smooth. Had lunch outside Pune on the Highway. Reached Kolhapar at 6.00 pm. Drive till then was fine with no problem. I avoid night driving so stopped at Kolhapur for a good sleep. Next day started at 7.00 am. Drive was good upto Maharastra Border. Then the horror of bad and almost missing roads started. Essar Has just screwed up the highway. My car bottomed out a couple of times. Could manage to reach blore only at 8.00 pm.

    I am going to do a Bangalore to Mumbai In July 2009. Can you guys suggest how the roads will be in Rains. Also if i can go via Karwar to Goa and then Mumbai. I want to explore that route.

    • Amrut says:

      Hi Gurudatta

      I am from Pune and need to go to Pune in July for 3/4 months. I am also driving down from Bangalore and will be alone sometime in July 2009 in my Palio. But I will be taking regular route NH4. We can couple up if you are interested.

      Amrut

  11. Vijay says:

    I have done Mumbai-Bangalore trip in my Honda City a couple of times now in the last 14 months. Me and my wife; left Powai at 4:30 AM and were in Bangalore (mysore road junction) by 7:00 PM. I drove non-stop and spent about a little more than 30 minutes for break. The roads are great except for about 40kms when you enter Karnataka. We are leaving for Bangalore tomorrow and will update once i come back in a weeks time.

    As Aditya mentioned above, I’m not a Shchumacher wannabe, but I’m comfortable with the speed, the car and love driving and so does my wife.

    The Goa, Shimoga route is not good since it rains regularly, though the route is exceptionally scenic. Also, that route has lot of ghats to cover and you do not see people as often as you do on NH4.

    • Dinesh says:

      Hello Vijay,
      Myself Dinesh.V.M from Mumbai, M planning for a trip to my native taminadu with my car Palio Stile. As far the vehicle concern it’s brand new, n I can manage upto 100 km/ h, I just need info about the Road how it is. Because long back have been travelled through Volvo Buses not to gather Ideas. Please adivise me. If possible please give me some more info via mail vmdinesh@hotmail.com .
      Regards,
      Dinesh.V.M

    • Sudarshan Narayan says:

      Vijay
      Good to read about your journey.
      My family and I (I, wife and six year old child) are planning to drive down to Mysore.
      What’s the best route ?
      Is it Mumbai-Bangalore-Mysore or is there any other route.
      How safe are these roads – let’s say there’s a breakdown or something – how do you call for towing or repairs ?

      Please advise.

      Sudarshan

  12. Umesh Dharmarajan says:

    Hi! ..
    Thanks to these wonderful blog sites, I finally did the Mumbai -Bangalore trip on my Santro ‘Xing is King’ couple of weeks back. My co-drivers declined at the 11th hour and my wife fell ill..but I was so geared up for it mentally that I decided to do it in style – SOLO!!
    Left Mumbai at 5.30 AM , reached Haveri at 4.30 PM..Bangalore is ideally a 6 hr drive from here, but I decided to take a break and spend the night there. Started again at 7 AM next morning and I was in Bangalore (HAL area) by 1 PM.
    On the return trip I decided to do something even more whacky! .. Started from Bangalore at 6 AM and I was home in Thane at 11.30 PM !!! …amazing drive, I was dead tired by the time I reached home, but I loved the feeling of being in stupor!…I had driven the 1000 km distance on my Santo in about 13 hrs – if you consider all the halts and breaks!!!
    If I ever get to do this trip again , I know how am doing int…SOLO!
    – Umesh

    • Koustubh says:

      I feel all geared up after reading your experience.. looking forward to my trip on Zen Estillo from Bangalore – Thane by year end.. would u like to share anything more.

  13. hitesh buch says:

    I fully agree Umesh. The blogs go a long way in helping one to decide and gear up for the long drive. More importantly reading the posts can mentally prepare the driver to get set for the drive. I feel that driving fatigue is reduced/is nil if the driver knows what to expect and is mentally prepared.
    I too took the plunge after reading Sudhir’s and Aditya’s posts on the Mumbai Bangalore drive. I have posted my experiences and photos on GHUMAKKAR. I invite all of you to read the same.
    hitesh buch.

  14. Jeev Balwant says:

    Hi Sudhir your write-up is very interesting and useful. I plan to make a Mumbai-Bangalore trip after the monsoon is over.

  15. gurudutt mohite says:

    After my December 2007 Mumbai to Blore Trip…..I did my 2nd trip from Bangalore to Mumbai on 8th July 2009….again in my santro…..1st day 620kms from Blore to kolapur…0645 hrs from blore to Kolapur 1900 hrs…..next day Kolapur to Mumbai…..smooth ride……..

    On 14th July 2009…2morow…..i will start from Mumbai to Blore again in my santro…….

    Roads have still not imporved in karnataka…looks like the Higway work has stopped forever…..incomplete bridges, underpasses, diversions….etc…..bad roads….i think karanataka govt is still sleeping or least bothered.

  16. Atul says:

    I am planning to drive from Bangalore to Pune on Dec 25th 2009. Any idea if roads have improved so far between Chitradurga and Haveri.

    Secondly, we are planning to visti Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur on the way to Pune. Any idea where to take turn on NH4 and how far is the place from NH4

  17. Sudhir says:

    Dear Atul,

    I would say the road between Chitradurga and almost till Dharwad is ok like. The patches and incomplete bridges still exist. But it not that bad. I just drove from Bangalore to Mumbai last week in one stretch and it took me 15 hours with 3 small stops for tea and lunch. Overall the road is good. No issues.

    Kolhapur:- Once you cross Belgaum look for Kolhapur signs about 90 kms from Belgaum. The Kolhapur signs are easily visible and there are in fact 2 left turns to enter Kolhapur from NH4, even if you miss the first one ( which you just cannot). To reach Mahalaxmi temple you will have to go through the city. I would say the distance from NH4 to the temple would be less than 10 kms. The people are very friendly and you can keep on asking the route once you enter Kolhapur.

  18. nandanjha says:

    When is single day dash planned ?

  19. Koustubh says:

    Hi, I am planning to have a trip from Bangalore to Thane by end of this year. Would like to have new status of the roads. I will be driving my new Zen Estillo…

  20. Anup says:

    Hi Guys this seems to be a little too old for this forum, though sincerely appreciate everyones i/p. I was planning this trip solo and now reading all your comments i suppose it is a safe and cool trip to do solo. I will be taking my little truck Xylo on this trip so hopefully it will go well. Thanks!

    • KCP says:

      Hi…..am planning to drive down on 10th sept 2011 from mumbai to mysore…..i will be driving a honda city…anyone done that trip recently to mysore /bangalore….pls share the route and the road conditions….thanks…

      • dr saurabh says:

        hi guys me n my wife r gng n a road trip from mumbai to banglore at a stretch……we r leaving tomo at arnd 4 30am or so….have enqrd abt t road condtns n they seem to be k nw lets hope 4 t best….pl wish us luck guys…will post 1ce we reach bglre..
        Till then chao.

  21. Naman says:

    Hello Sir,
    It was a pleasure to read your story,BTW I’m amused!400 kms in 4 and half hours!!! :O

  22. lokesh says:

    Hey guys after reading all your comment..nw nw mentaly preaprd to for take car on ds route ..one thg I have to ask from u ppl..rgt now I hve a swift LDI nd alrdy 70000 km cross in 2year ..m very passionate. About driving car ..jst want know. Abt road condition and best place to stay…and m driving SOLO..whc is also first time in dis trip..plz suggest me some tips..

  23. Baburao.K. says:

    DONT TRAVEL BY CAR IF THE REGISTRATION IS NOT FROM MAHRASTRA;THE TRAFFIC POLICE TARGETTING AND ROB YOUR MONEY.



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