It’s almost 3 weeks since I went on a road trip from Hyderabad to Chikmagalur. And I hope to share my road trip updates and other things about Chikmagalur soon after this (hopefully) If you’re on Instagram, you can check out my Chikmagalur Highlights to know more about my trip.
Like all my other posts on road trips from Hyderabad, this post will contain all the useful details that’ll help you plan your Hyderabad to Chikmagalur road trip.
Hyderabad to Chikmagalur Road Trip
Chikmagalur has been on my bucket list for a long time now. It’s a hill station in Karnataka that is known for coffee plantations as well as being home to Karnataka’s highest mountain peak.
So a few weeks back when my dad announced that he was having a week off, I decided to take him and Mom out on a vacation sort of. And since they’re up for a road trip, especially after the Hyderabad to Lucknow one, they agreed to Chikmagalur.
Since none of us had been to Chikmagalur earlier, we thought it would be a nice break from the scorching heat in Hyderabad. Well, as it was, Chikmagalur was also hot, not Hyderabad hot still.
So I’d suggest you plan your Chikmagalur road trip during the monsoon months or during winter breaks.
Hyderabad to Chikmagalur Route
Chikmagalur is about 670 km from Hyderabad, and it can vary depending on where you decide to stay in the city. There are multiple routes and we took each of the following routes during our road trip.
1. Hyderabad -> Kurnool -> Anantapur -> Hiryur -> Chikmagalur
This is the first route option that Google Maps will show when you check for the route. Drive on the NH-44 until Anantapur, crossing Kurnool. Just before Anantpur take a diversion and move to SH-173 towards Hiryur and join NH-150A. From Hiryur, take the SH-173 towards Chikmagalur.
2. Hyderabad -> Kurnool -> Allur -> Bellary -> Hiryur -> Chikmagalur
This is the second route that you’ll come across. We took this while returning, and I’ll mention why in the next section. On this route, you need to take NH-44 to Kurnool, take the Bellary bypass, and drive to Bellary. From there take the NH-150A and drive towards Hiryur. From there, take the SH-173 and drive to Chikmagalur.
If you ask me, I’d suggest taking the route 2. While the distance is a little more than Route 1, this is a good choice.
Hyderabad to Chikmagalur Road Conditions
We started from Hyderabad at around 8 AM if I remember correctly. This was fairly late as per me, but when traveling with parents/family, this is unavoidable.
As mentioned earlier, we took both routes 1 and 2 during our complete journey. While going I preferred driving all the way up to Anantapur because of NH-44. It’s a good road and I thought that driving more on NH-44 would help me save some time. So the road until Anantpur was sublime, nice roads, except for some work that was going on after Jadcherla, it was pretty good all through.
Lots of places to eat as well along the way. However, the single-lane road from Anantapur until joining NH-150A was bad. Bad in the sense, the road condition was fine, but it passed through many small villages. And the village traffic hampered the speed. Also during that stretch, there wasn’t much to eat as well.
Huge sigh of relief when we joined the NH-150A, though it was shortlived, as we had to leave the highway soon and join the SH-173 to Chikmagalur. While on NH-150A itself, you’ll see mountains at a distance, but it takes a good few hours to reach them. SH-173 is also a single-lane highway, but the road condition is pretty good.
There isn’t much traffic unless you’re closer to the towns/villages. The terrain gradually changes once you are on this highway and pass Kadur. That’s when the ghat roads start and go almost until Chikmagalur. Unless you’re not staying in the town center, you’ll have hilly roads until your final destination.
Talking about route 2 that we took while returning was a much better one. We were on SH-173 until Hiryur. And from there we continued on NH-150A until Bellary. One of the finest highways I’ve driven on. Amazing 4 lane roads with rocky mountains welcomed us as we inched closer to Bellary. On the road, there were signs of Hampi which was around 100 km from here.
Once in Bellary, we had to navigate a little through the city before taking the single-lane road towards Allur and Kurnool. It was about 4 PM that we left Bellary and reached Kurnool around 7-7:30 PM, so it took us almost 4 hours for a journey of 120-130 km. Nonetheless, this is the route that I’ll suggest you to take.
Food Stops During Hyderabad Chikmahagalur Road Trip
NH-44 is the longest highway in India and has a lot of food stops all along the stretch. The Telangana stretch is no different. There are plenty of eateries and here are some of the ones where we stopped during our complete Hyderabad to Chikmagalur Road Trip. Many of you might know that I do complete research on the route before the road trip & note down the places where I’d take a break.
- Our first stop was for a late breakfast at Udupi Anand Bhavan near Pebbair. As per Google Maps, it’s a pretty popular place for breakfast and lunch and a lot of people stop by. First of all, this is on the opposite side of the road, hence you’ll have to take a u-turn to stop here. Second, the place isn’t well maintained now. It feels like a neglected place. While there are scores of people stopping here, not a great place. The washrooms too aren’t that clean. Talking about the food, it’s decent, and the service is fast. Avoidable.
- The next stop we took was at Nalapaaka Pure Veg Family restaurant which is on NH-150A. This came a few km after we joined the highway. It’s a relatively new place and is pretty clean and well-maintained. The washrooms are in good condition too. The menu is decent and you’ll have a decent variety to choose from. One thing to note is that since this is new, they are unable to handle large crowds and hence the service can be slow. Otherwise, a good place for a break.
- On our way back, we had our breakfast at Town Canteen in Chikmagalur and hence we stopped only for lunch. The target was to stop somewhere in Bellary. We decided to stop at Hotel Mayura in Bellary. It was rated well on Google and was a pure vegetarian place. We reached here by 2-3 PM and unfortunately, the lunch meal was over, so they gave us mini meals which had a few items. Considering the price, it was good. Language was an issue here as I was confused whether they were talking in Telugu or Kannada. Anyways, the place is decent enough and the washroom isn’t that clean.
- The last food stop during our road trip was at Priyadarshini Hotel in Vemula on NH-44. The goal was to stop in Jadcherla but that was quite far and it was getting late. It’s a typical dhaba setup with seating outside and inside. I’d prefer seating outside considering the weather. The place is decent and the washrooms are relatively clean. Visited by a lot of people, but the service speed is nice. The food was decent and food was relatively expensive compared to the other places we stopped at during the road trip. It’s right next to a petrol pump too.
Hyderabad To Chikmagalur Road Trip Cost
I’m sure that a lot of people are inclined to know the cost of the road trip. The total distance that I drove was 1805 km. My Tata Punch gave me a good average of 21.4. Do note that we drove on a lot of ghats and hence the relatively low average. Else it gives me 24-26 easily on such long road trips.
So here’s the ball-park estimate of the expense of the road trip:
- Fuel (Petrol): Rs 14,000 (The rates varied, it was 109.5 in Telangana and 102 in Karnataka)
- Toll: Rs 1200
- Food: Rs 2500
So for a family of 3, it cost about Rs 18,000 to drive to Chikmagalur from Hyderabad and back. Considering the flight fares to Bengaluru and cab charges, this is way cheaper plus convenient for us.
Exploring Chikmagalur By Road
Nothing comes close to driving and exploring a place. One can experience the change in landscape and the food very closely. Plus it’s a lot more convenient as you control your speed and stops. Overall, the Hyderabad to Chikmagalur road trip is a pretty good one, especially for folks who love to drive. It might not suit everyone as it involved 12-14 hours of driving. But if you love long road trips, you must try this one. From getting to stop close to windmill farms, amazing lakes, and green mountains, it’s one of the good road trips that I’ve taken in the recent past.
I’ll be posting all the experiences from Chikmagalur in the upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned!
That’s about it for this blog post. I hope you found this helpful to plan your road trip in the future. Feel free to reach out to me for any assistance. Drop your thoughts in the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram, or Get In Touch.