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.
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.
We were a family of 6 adults and 4 kids travelling to Shimoga during this Diwali break. The journey was fantastic thanks to the tip of one of my friends.
Route: The route we took was to go via Chitradurga which was not what google maps asked us to take. Bangalore to Chitradurga was a 6 laned highway. Roads from Chitradurga to Shimoga though a 2 lane carriageway were also good with occasional potholes. We started at 6 in the morning from Bannerghatta road and reached Shimoga at around 12:30. We took longer than average time since we drove slowly and took frequent breaks as we had children with us. An enthusiastic driver should be able to get this trip done in under 4:30 hours.
Stay: In Shimoga we rented rooms at the Royal Orchid. The stay was comfortable and I recommend it to people going with families.
Places to visit: Jog falls: This is a must go place if you go to Shimoga. However, you might want to plan your trip around the time authorities open the dam. Else, be prepared to see pencil thin falls at Jog.
Elephant training camp near Gajanur dam: Good place to visit where children can enjoy elephants rides, see elephant bathing sessions and pet the elephants. There were around 4-5 baby elephants when we went there.
Agumbe sunset point: The sunset point at Agumbe is around 2 hours of very scenic drive from Shimoga. I would rate this drive to be the best part of my trip. The roads are lush green on either sides with river running on one side of the road for some parts of the drive.
Tiger and Lion Safari: This was around 5 km from the hotel and was a good place for kids to see lions and tigers in a contained safari experience.
Tunga and Bhadra confluence: Enroute back to Bangalore we stopped over at the confluence of rivers Tunga and Bhadra and found that this place had a nice small Hoysala temple which is definitely worth a stop over of half and hour.
General Advice: When travelling to these places from Shimoga please carry food for children as the hotel options are not good.
The way from Bangalore to Shimoga is very nice. No crap road at all. I took a route from Bangalore--Channarayapatna--Arsikere--Shimoga 300 km of travel. It was around 5.30 when we stopped for lunch. We took coffee in coffee day near Arsikere thatís an awesome place to hang on for some time break.
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