Bangalore- Delhi Road trip– Sound crazy? well, that’s what we planned with kids & during peak summer, the crazy road route is like covering a portion of India mainland. Read out one of our family road trip story covering Goa, Pune & all experience on the road.
WHEN & WHY
Below are the main major components of our recent super awesome trip. Wondering how??
- Duty:- Lok Sabha elections 2019. We were to go to Delhi to vote.
- Vacations:- It’s summer vacations for the kids.
- Road Trip:- We love doing road trips to explore more.
- Home visit:- Although in Bangalore but our roots are still there in Delhi.
It was only a day before 1 got a call that my husband’s leave got sanctioned and we had to leave tomorrow. Imagine planning so much instantly. All permutation combinations were going on, as to which route to take? Where to stay? How r the road conditions etc? We hurriedly packed everything as we were too excited.
We planned a one week trip so that we can spend some time also at the places we chose. Every destination during this trip has its own charm and importance.
THE GRAND ROUTE TRIP
While planning our entire road trip, we put more emphasis on proper rest, sightseeing activities for kids. I think, if you are on a long trip, take the utmost care of proper rest and avoid any type of fatigue.
The road route we followed is as-
- Day1 – Bangalore To Goa, 560 Km
- Day2 – Leisure in Goa
- Day3 – Goa To Pune, 500 Km
- Day 4 – Enjoyment with family
- Day 5 – Pune to Shirdi Via Shani Signapur, 150 Km
- Day 6 – Shirdi to Chittorgarh
- Day 7 – Chittorgarh to Delhi, 680 Km
Where we stayed during our trip
DRIVING FROM BANGALORE TO PALOLEM, GOA
Our journey towards Goa started at around 5.45 am. It is about 560 Km and around 10 hrs drive. We took the Bangalore-Chitradurga-Haveri-Yellapur-Kanwar route to reach Paolem.
We reached Tumakuru around 7 AM and Chitradurga around 8.30AM. It’s a 3 lane highway from Tumakuru to Chitradurga so the drive was nice. After Chitradurga, we stopped for our first break at Hotel Sai Palace. As always we tried to take our break at the local hotels to have that authentic food.
ROAD TRIP CHALLENGES
Massive construction work of widening the roads are going on after Devangere. Unfortunately, we got stuck for 45 mins due to the huge traffic jam because of an accident around 25 km before Haveri. Anyways incidents like these are expected on road trips.
Soon after Haveri, we were stopped for a security check because of the upcoming elections. I should not forget to mention that on our 7 days journey we were stopped not less than 10 times for checking. Well done team.
After Haveri there was a big reservoir/lake on our right. We wanted to stop but could not as it was a very narrow road and buses were coming from the other side.
Not many people suggested us to go to the Western Ghats due to dry and hot spell but we wanted to go to Goa, that was it. From Haveri onwards it was all single road. Ghats, forests(somewhere dry somewhere lush green), Monasteries, Forest rest House were all found from Haveri to Ankola.
We also passed by Naval Base Camp Kanwar, it was huge. We saw Kanwar beach but didn’t stop as we were getting late. And finally around 3, 3.30 we reached Palolem.
PALOLEM THROUGH OUR EYES
Palolem is in the southernmost part of Goa. It is a C shaped beach, famous for its serenity and calmness as most of the people come here for Yoga, meditation and Spa. As it is 2 hrs drive from Panaji so not much of Indian tourists come here. Moreover, no active water sports activities take place here.
We googled a few good shacks so went there and chose O3 resort amongst them. All around the shoreline you will find shacks for all type of price range depending on the season, facilities, etc an yes you can negotiate as well. As per our suggestion take shacks towards the south shore of Palolem(because of the view). We find O3 resort the best amongst all in terms of the oceanfront A/c huts, food, overall surroundings, etc.
O3 RESORTS EXPERIENCE
Kids could stay in water for hours as it is shallow for quite a distance and waves were ideal, so even we were also not afraid about kids. There were almost 5 lifeguards present throughout the beach from morning 6 to evening 7. Activities like kayaking and body board were there. There are 2,3 shops on the beach only, from where you can get these types of equipment for hire. In fact, you can get almost everything related to swimming from there may it be beach set for kids, goggles, floater, costumes and even tanning lotions.
As the evening sets in kids were playing football and volleyball all around the beachside, few were doing Yoga, many were enjoying their walk and we were enjoying our candlelit table set on the beach for drinks and dining. Generally, all the shacks set these tables around the sunset. They have live bar-be-que with all sorts of seafood options. I would also like to emphasize on the quality of food as well, as the food was very tasty, freshly prepared, at par with foreign standards.
The first evening we just laid back, soaked ourselves into the waves and just relaxed. The next day morning early we hired a boat from there for Dolphin watching and to our surprise they were many and all around us. Then the boat took us to Butterfly beach, it’s a secluded beach and dense forest area behind that, we stayed there for half an hour and went to honeymoon beach but somehow we didn’t like it so we only saw it from the boat and headed back for our breakfast.
We decided to have our breakfast at a small hilltop restaurant so as to have a full view of Palolem. After that, we jumped into the sea, did body boarding, got a temporary tattooed made and lu lu on my hairs(thread wovening) as they call it. We thought of going to the local market(just behind the shacks) to pick up some local stuff but kids were reluctant so just dropped off the idea.
SUMMARY OF OUR PALOLEM EXPERIENCE
Most of the shacks remain closed for 2 months (late April to late June) as it is very hot during that time of the year. As it’s on the west coast early morning or evening are the best time to be in the water. Even in mid-April, we found the weather was very pleasant.
Sun setting by, the sound of waves calming your soul, light background music, candles all around lit up, lip-smacking food, kids enjoying freely was Palolem for us.
NEXT DESTINATION PUNE:-
Two days just went by and we started for Pune at around 10.30 in the morning. It is 10 hrs drive passing through Chorla Ghats-Belgaun-Sitara-Pune with a total of 500 km.
The road through the ghats was good. While crossing through it we could see a few big mines Vedanta, Kuddegal, Coldi to name few. Few resorts are also there like Wilderness, Delta huts, etc. We reached Belgaun at around 3 and took a lunch break at Samudra The Kebab Factory Family Restaurant right on the highway going to Pune.
This restaurant is a newly opened restaurant run by a renowned chef Mr. Kuldeep who has the experience of working of almost 25yrs and has worked with many renowned hotels. With so many years of experience, he decided to come back to his home town to give an address to food lovers.
This restraint is famous for Kababs and they have a wide variety and buffet options to choose from. Although we went to this restaurant randomly but were lucky somehow to have delicious food and when the owner who was inspecting got to know about us he was courteous enough to take care of all our needs. With kids with us, he even offered to take water and other essentials with us.
It’s all 4 lane highway now till Pune. Reached Kohlapur at 5, Satara at 7 but Pune at 9.30 PM. You won’t believe there was a huge jam after the cut for Pune city so much so that google show 1 hr 20 min to cover just 30 Kms. So ultimately reached my brothers place around 9.30 PM. The next day at Pune was relaxing and enjoyed with the family with gup shups and food.
MORE ABOUT PUNE
Pune has grown up as an IT city over the period of time. Since I Have been to Pune now many times so knew places of interest like Aga Khan Palace, Dagru Seth(Ganeshji Mandir), Garden vada pav center, etc.
To more about Pune please, I would recommend you to read our popular blog on Pune things to do.
MOVING CLOSER -SHIRDI/SHANI SIGNAPUR
We were to go to Shirdi next so we thought to go to Shani Signapur as well. We started for Shani Shignapur at 12.45 pm the next afternoon, which is about 150 km and 3 hrs drive from Pune via Ahmednagar. The road is ok but as soon as you slide down from the highway last few kms the road condition is not good at all.
Shani Signapur:- Place where people don’t even put locks in their homes. Yes, it is believed here that. Avoid going on Saturdays as it is very crowded. With development, this temple is also coming up with a huge campus, underground parking and many facilities for the devotees.
On the outside, you have many shops which will offer you the offerings ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. It is the personal choice of an individual what all to take, whereas inside like many temples you are only allowed to keep the offerings at some specified place only. While you exit you can purchase the Prasad from the counters. It took only half an hour for the temple visit as it was not very crowded and we have been here earlier too.
More around Sai baba temple:-After visiting the Shani Signapur temple we headed straight for Shirdi at around 4.30 pm and reached around 6 pm. We checked in to Hotel Dhantara and went straight for Sai baba darshan as we knew its Thursday and there will be lines. And yes there were. We opted for the paid darshan which we later realized was the best option because even in that line it took 3 hrs for the darshan. Though it was hot but there were big coolers installed and proper arrangements by the management to tackle huge crowd and hot weather.
Around the temple, within the walkable distance, you have many hotels and lodges options for all budgets. Many restaurants and dhaba for food as well. Even the trust has many complexes for stay eg Sai Ashram, Bhakti Niwas, etc which you can book online as well. Trust has free bus service to the temple at specified timings or else you can take an auto from outside which you can get very easily.
After the darshan when we came out there was “kafila of high-end cars” on the small road beside the temple complex with police security and commandos. When my son enquired from one of the commandos he said it’s of Ambani. Although my daughter is small to understand about Ambanis but my son was super excited so much so that he made us have our dinner at Shere Punjab Dhaba right where all the cars were parked and also explained about Ambani’s to my daughter very well.
LAST PLACE:- CHITTORGARH(RAJASTHAN)
It was the longest travel duration of this trip. Shirdi to Chittorgarh. 680 Kms and 12 hrs. We took Shirdi-Dhule –MHOW-Ratlam-Chittorgarh route.
We started early at 5 AM. Road conditions were good but as we were heading more towards North hotter it was becoming. No good eating joints or public facilities as was not more of a tourist highway. Stopped for a dhaba for MP special breakfast(POHA) and peshal chai(special tea) this is what they call in MP right after crossing the Narmada river.
Crossed MHOW at around 11.30 AM and stopped for lunch at Mandsaur around 2 PM. We kept looking for good restraint but couldn’t get any. But finally stopped at MH Meenakshi Hotel in Mandsaur as it was bigger, open space under a tree and saw a family at last. Been in Rajasthan we had “gate ki sabzi” which was too good to resist.
Seeing us one well-educated person from the dhaba only also came and started being friendly, wanted to know more about the car, etc, we were cynical. But eventually, we realized he was the owner and was passionate about cars. It was our fear actually which somehow don’t let u trust others especially when you are traveling with the family to a new place.
After our lunch, refreshing tea and relaxation we headed for our hotel. En route, we saw Fin factory, mines and geology dept, JK cement factory, and Aditya Birlas Adityapuram city, etc. The highways are excellent. And finally, at around 5.15PM we reached Justa Nahargarh Palace.
Justa Nahargarh Palace:- As we all know Chittorgarh is not as popular as Udaipur, Jaisalmer, etc, but chose this as it was en route and somehow I found a very beautiful place to stay.
It’s a beautiful palace within a lake, deep in the village converted into a hotel by Justa group. Before I reached, I had many apprehensions about the property as the reviews were average and since summers at its peak, I was in doubt about the water level of the lake, but the movement I saw it all my doubts got washed away.
As we reached the parking, a motorboat was waiting for us which took us to the hotel. We opted for the suite which is super beautiful, huge, located at the corner and had a beautiful view. We relaxed for the day doing swimming. The food was very nice.
JUSTA NAHARGARH PALACE EXPERIENCE
Kids were very happy as they were staying in the palace turned hotel for the first time. My daughter was only telling Raja Rani tales and wanted to connect with Raja rani of the modern era with her stories and questioners. Everything made us feel as if we really are Raja and Rani.
Horse riding was organized for us the next day morning. We also saw ostrich moving around for the first time ever in our lives. They were so huge even bigger than our car. And we saw the horse being afraid of the ostrich.
Then returned back, had our breakfast, kids again went for swimming, we slept for some more relaxation, planned to check out late and at last started for our home at 2 PM from there. Its 10 hrs from our home and being on the known highway we didn’t mind traveling at night even.
CHITTORGARH- DELHI JOURNEY
Chittorgarh – Deoli highway was again very nice and smooth but to our surprise, Delhi Jaipur Highway was in a very bad condition. Uneven potholed road and too much traffic. My husband laughed and said, “It’s feeling as if I am playing some racing car video game”. It was the most pathetic route out of the whole 7 days which we traveled.
We stopped for the dinner break at Hotel Highway King. The food was nice, had swings for the kids, shops for shopping. Hotel Highway king has almost 7 to 8 branches all on the Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer highway and a good place to stop by. Finally, at 12 midnight we reached our home safely, concluding the 2655Kms Bangalore- Delhi road trip in 7 days happy, relaxed and contented.
CONCLUSION & SUMMARY:-
Road Trips are not every body’s cup of tea as many people do not want to drive. But it’s my suggestion that everyone should at least try once. And for all crazy people like us
PRECAUTIONS WHILE ON WHEELS:-
- Before road trip planning do study the map and plan your halts accordingly.
- Always follow traffic rules and maintain your speed. Do not think to over speed on highways.
- Always carry RC(Registration Certificate), Insurance, Pollution Certificate, and Driving License.
- Get your vehicle serviced/properly checked before planning long drives
- Carry water and food for emergencies.
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