Getaways off the hill station around Bangalore

However, I am a fairly new driver with no experience of driving on hilly roads, hairpin turns, narrow roads with cliffs on one side, ghat sections etc. As confident as possible with my skills and my car, driving there without an experienced driver next door would be misguided.

BHPian sen2693 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

My wife and I decided to take a short trip over this 3 day weekend. However, I am a fairly new driver with no experience of driving on hilly roads, hairpin turns, narrow roads with cliffs on one side, ghat sections etc. As confident as possible with my skills and my car, driving there without an experienced driver next door would be misguided.

Therefore, I am looking for suggestions around Bangalore where driving on hills would not be a requirement – which seems hard to find if I look on the internet. Mysore is a suggestion but it’s more of a city atmosphere that I’m not interested in.

One place I am considering is Sakleshpur. But from road trip videos on Youtube I am not able to confirm whether it is a hill station or not. If it’s a little uphill I think it should be fine.

Also, any safety advice? Is it safe to travel as a couple on these routes?

I’ll be driving a Rapid. I was hoping that a sedan would offer better driving dynamics around the corners, although I couldn’t deny the downside of the low seating position.

Suggestions welcome. Thanks in advance.

Here is what Speedmiester BHPian had to say about it:

Sakleshpur is not a suitable hill station even though the weather is very pleasant there. The roads are mostly in good condition, with the exception of the one under construction between Hassan and Sakleshpur. You won’t find many sections of road with steep climbs and descents on the sides.

Here is what BHPian Rajeevraj had to say about it:

Chikmagalur is an option. Although it is a hill station, you don’t need to go up there as the main town and its surroundings are not at a significant elevation from Bangalore and are fairly easy by car. Sakleshpur is similar but from memory Chikmagalur may be an easier ride. If you intend to go sightseeing this of course involves driving uphill.

You can also go to the districts of Bandipur, Mudumalai, Masinagudi, Kabini. The journeys will be fairly easy and will not involve any driving on a hill.

Half of Bangalore will visit these areas most weekends. So you don’t have to worry about safety on the road. But understand the covid protocols at your destination and stick to them.

Here is what BHPian androdev had to say about it:

To be fair, most of the vacation spots off Bangalore have regular routes, unless you are looking for suitable hill stations. Coorg, Bandipur, Chikmagalur, Sakleshpur, etc. have very good highway-like roads. Even if you go further into the ghats, you only have narrow roads that require you to be alert to oncoming traffic. Scary hairpin roads are relatively rare.

In a modern car like the Rapid, you don’t have to worry about hairpin turns etc. You are not driving a Tata Sumo. As long as you don’t get aggressive in your overtaking, you’ll be doing just fine. Review the Google Maps route for hairpin turns etc. The yellow roads on the map are perfectly safe. White colored roads with hairpin turns can be avoided if you want to be extra careful. The government has done a great job in making these roads safe. They are slow and require extra care, but do not require any sophisticated skills. Avoid night driving and peak vacation times. It is overconfidence that causes most accidents.

Or you can try going to pondicherry, hampi, etc.

Here is what BHPian Kosfactor had to say about it:

Mysore is a good place to start, it’s not too far and hotels are plentiful with good access roads. Mysore is a very pleasant city to visit places around it, not too crowded these days, the weather is nice too.

You can wake up early in the morning from your hotel in Mysore and take a walk in Bandipur Nagarahole Gopalswamy betta forest etc.

It is not only the hill roads that lead you, often the access road to host families and resorts is in very poor condition. You can reach the hill station on time, but reaching the location can take an hour or two in some cases.

Start early, drive slowly and of course call ahead to check if they are open due to weekend closures in some towns and villages bordering KL.

Here is what BHPian Dr. AD had to say about it:

Be very careful and careful, but as long as you know the basics of good driving and have some driving experience, hill driving is nothing special. In fact, the best way to learn this is just by driving. I learned my driving on the hills just by getting out of my car solo and slowly but carefully exploring the hills and mountains. You don’t have to be quick or aggressive. Be slow and careful, take your time and drive well.

In addition, flat four-lane highways are not automatically safer for a new driver. Lots of driving mistakes also happen by new drivers (I see this all the time in my highway trips) on flat highways as well and due to the fast speeds there these mistakes can be very dangerous. Slow, hilly journeys are perhaps safer than fast motorway journeys for new drivers.

Of course, this is just my point of view and you are the best judge of your driving skills. So please make the safe and fair decision according to your own thoughts.

Places like Chikmagalur only have a few gentle hills. There are no steep cliffs or anything like that there. They should be fairly easy and safe to drive, even for new drivers.

However, if you want to strictly avoid the hills, then Hampi is a destination. They are flat and wide roads from Bangalore to Hampi, without any hills.

Again, be extra careful and drive well whether you are driving on hills or on flat roads. The roads to Hampi are flat and wide, but speeds are generally high, so don’t let your guard down just because these aren’t hills.

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