Shimoga is situated at a distance of 270 km from Bangalore. With Jog Falls, one of the highest waterfalls of India as its major attraction, Shimoga is well connected to Bangalore by road, rail and air.
However, the best way to reach Shimoga from Bangalore is by car, a journey of around six hours. The road is more or less good, but one needs to be careful about humps and potholes in the stretch between Tumkur and Tiptur. The places covered on the way are Bangalore -68km -> Tumkur -73km -> Tiptur -66km -> Kadur -69km -> Shimoga. There are several eateries and dhabas on the way, including a Caf? Coffee Day which is open 24 hours. Petrol pumps are also available at regular intervals.
Transport options from Bangalore to Shimoga
Bangalore to Shimoga By Car: Hire a cab from Bangalore to Shimoga, which takes around six hours. The cost of cab ranges from INR10 to INR30 per kilometre, depending upon the type of car. This mode is suitable for families, kids and group travellers.
After a hectic academic session for both my teen children we decided to cool it at the famous Jog Falls and the logical base station for me was Shimoga. Took off early in the morning in our Ertiga Zdi to beat the traffic from Bangalore and entered the NH47 through NICE Road. Made good distance at about 120 kph to reach the first stop after Sira for breakfast at a Highway joint. Chitradurga Fort was our first sightseeing stop. Mild weather with an occasional drizzle made the climb at the fort easy and the gusty winds left us dehydrated soon. However the overall experience was good. One must keep some fluids handy during this venture!!!
Unlike the NH, road from Chitradurga to Shimoga (100 km) was bad at several stretches as the road works underway in bits and pieces hindered our progress, however we were in time for lunch at our hotel 'Royal Orchid Central'. Afternoon trip to the Lion and Tiger Safari on the Sagar Road made the rest of the day's activity.
Next morning, a short trip to the Elephant Camp and then the 100 km drive to the Jog Falls filled most of our day. The third day was well spent on a trip to the Bhadra River Dam Project and the River Tern Jungle lodge. Overall, the whole journey till this point was comfortable and exciting both because the sightseeing was refreshing and the wayside scenes and anecdotal observations were breaking the monotony of the drive. My son ably assisted me by sharing the drive and demonstrated mature decision making skills, thus taking the stress off my mind!!!!!!!!
Our Ertiga behaved very well even where the roads were not so welcoming such as our return route via Kadur, Tiptur and Tumkur. I will review the attractions and hotels elsewhere separately.
I boarded the night bus from Kempegowda Bus Station to Shimoga by the KSRTC " Suvarna Karnataka Sarige" Bus at around 10 PM. It reached Shimoga by around 4 Pm covering a total distance of around 260 kilometers in around 6 hours. The bus goes via Tumakuru, Tiptur, Arsikere, Kadur, Birur, Tarikere and Bhadravathi.
The driving distance from Bangalore to Shimoga is approximately 275 km on the NH 206 Bangalore-Honnavar Road. The roads are pretty decent albeit single lane with proper demarcation for opposite lane. You can find Cafe's / places for food / breakfast throughout.
Till Tumkur you can enjoy the toll road, but after that the road are average, bumpy and single roads with huge traffic. So be prepared to have a cautious and patience drive.
I went till Chitradurga on the Highway and then took the single road to Shimoga. While returning I travelled to Tumkur and then joined the Highway to Bangalore. Though is it longer route, going via Chitradurga was comfortable.
One of the good journeys I recall in Karnataka, where services are really good. It's a seating car, where I found quite a cooperative crowd, most of them going for holidays with their young ones. I stepped down quite early as it was my first visit to Shimoga.
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