A couple friend of Ayanti's and us decided to go for a road trip on the Easter Friday long weekend. Both families have a kid. They have a 1.5 years old, and our kiddo is 4 months old. But we really wanted to go on a long drive and see how our baby M can handle it. And the shortest yet not so short trip we could think of is to Mysore.
As it was long weekend, I knew it'll be chaos on Friday on the way to Mysore. The new Bangalore-Mysore Expressway just opened and it's still not operating fully, and has loops and holes that lets in auto rickshaws, cycles, bikes etc. Add to that all the "very enthusiastic" Bangalore crowd, and that road becomes a bit risky. So we decided to leave on Thursday morning.
On the days leading to the trip, I cleaned up Bilbo a bit, got a 70Mai A500S dual channel dashcam, and an automatic tire inflater. On the morning of the trip I went and filled up the tires till 35-36PSI. My normal tire pressure is 32. But the manual says to fill up 3-4PSI more if I'm planning to take the car on highway for long drive. The tire inflater works fine but a bit noisy. But I don't mind. It worked well. While filling the front left tire, the 2-way valve I had installed for the TPMS, got stuck in leaky setup somehow and air is continuously coming out if I use it now. so I just opened it and put the TPMS sensor directly to the tire valve. Might replace it soon.
We wanted to leave early, but by the time we got up, the househelp cleaned up the house, we fed the kids and cleaned up the house, it was 12:30PM. 🤣 And we headed out. Thankfully I filled up the tank the day before. So that saved some time.
We live very close to Electronic city, so getting on NICE road is very easy. But parts of NICE road is being white-topped now. So they diverted all the traffic to one side of NICE road and that restricted our movement for quite a white.
Right before we got to the new Mysore-Bangalore expressway tollbooth, we saw that literally all the cars except 1-2 are taking the service road and not the expressway. It wasn't clear why at that point but it became clear soon. Turns out the expressway is not complete and they let cars come in from service road right after the toll booth. And all the cars are taking the service road to avoid the toll. And despite the road not being complete, they charged Rs 125 for toll from those of us who decided to take the expressway the legal way. Proud to contribute to this system that benefits those who break rules.
Anyway, the road quality is decent. So that's something.
We decided to stop at this McDonald's near Maddur for lunch because we wanted to stop somewhere with AC, and this place had a darshini-like place and a petrol pump beside it. So we thought it'll be a good place. But upon arrival we saw that the McDonald's has closed down and none of the AC works there. So we decided to just head for Maddur Tiffany's which was around 8km ahead. I wanted to try the Maddur vada there as they're said to be the inventor of maddur vada.
On our way to Maddur tiffany's we got stopped once by the police. They asked for PUC, insurance, RC, and DL. Which I had. He saw that my rear glass is shaded and said, "tinted glass?", I showed him that it's just a shade over the regular glass. And then he for some reason got pissed and barked at me to move on. Less money for chai-pani for him I guess.
Ayanti and the kid didn't go out of the car and it was scortching hot outside. I am thankful for having the car at least once a day nowadays. The AC itself is a boon on our roads. We fed the kid once there and we had a plate of veg biryani. It was decent. Maddur vada with the chutney was decent as well. We packed some for snacking later on. We then headed out for the rest of the trip.
It was mostly smooth sailing, except couple of stretches where the road is still not complete and we had to take diversion. Also, because they let is traffic from random service roads, there were auto, bike etc on the expressway.
We at first thought we'll go to the Venugopalaswamy Temple at the KRS backwater that day. But it was still pretty sunny and bright so we decided to avoid it and headed for SAPA Bakery. I've been following them for a while and wanted to visit them.
We really loved the place. Definitely will go back again.
(Thanks to the baby on the lap, I barely got to take any photos on this trip. So it's mostly gonna be text.)
After being done with SAPA, we headed to our airbnb, ordered some food, and retired for the day.
Our friends decided to hit the Zoo in the morning, but we skipped because we've been there before and Ayanti didn't get much sleep the night before because of the kid. So while they visited the zoo, we took naps and got enough rest. They had lunch at New Mysore Refreshments opposite the zoo and packed some dosa for us. After they're back, we decided to got for a short road trip to Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple on KRS Backwater.
At first we drove towards the entrance to the Nagarhole forest path. We knew we didn't have enough time to go through the forest and come back. But we thought it'll be a good road trip to just go till the gate and come back. But half way through we decided we'll skip it and instead started driving towards the temple.
There was a toll booth right before the Vrindavan garden, and they were by default handing out everyone a ticket for Rs 100 which is the toll + Vrindavan garden parking. We had to tell them that we're not going to Vrindavan garden to get the toll bill for Rs 50.
The last stretch of the path that goes to the temple was just horrible, plain and simple. I have no idea how a path leading to such a beautiful temple was so horrible. There was no signs of it being "under construction". It was just broken. That was some solid 10 minutes of pain. See for yourself.
But right before the temple parking entrace we saw that there were paths going right towards the backwater where cars have gone and people are even bathing in the water. So we decided to go touch the water as well. It was a really beautiful spot.
Afte that we went and spent some time at the temple. The temple has some hiroty behind it. The OG temple got submerged in water when the dam was built. And then it was rebuilt by a liquor baron. Read more about it on wikipedia.
The temple had no entry fee. No dakshina offering was allowed. Only restriction was against use of camera. I guess too many people went there to shoot their pre-wedding shoot or something. So they just banned use of any DSLR. And even phone photography was not allowed inside the temple complex.
After the temple darshan we decided to head for the city and have early dinner as we skipped lunch. We headed for this restaurant called Gufha. Which had ample parking and AC, so we were happy. The food was OK. After the dinner we headed for home and retired for the day.
We spent day 3 mostly in the airbnb as one of our friends got a stomach bug. We cooked some basic dal chawal and potato fry for lunch. I visited a recently opened supermarket close to the airbnb and they had no concept of mustard oil, and honestly, why would they. So we managed with ghee.
After the sun fell down, we took a small trip to the Mysore city view point half way through Chamundi hill. You could see the whole city from there. But the view point is west facing. So the sun was hitting us directly and it was still an hour to the sunset. So we couldn't stay for long. But as we had 2 kids with us, we decided not to spend time there and deicded to head for Naviluna chocolate factory.
But we faced a whole bunch of road closures on the way, not sure why. And all the diversion took us right by the road beside the zoo. So we faced a massive traffic jam for like 15-20 minutes. And to add more disappointment on top of that, when we reached Naviluna, they said that they apparently ran out of chocolates, and hence none of the chocolate-related items on the menu are available. They had such a crown that day apparently that the chocolate factory ran out of chocolate. Tough luck. We decided to have the Lemon poppy seed tea cake and the carrot cake, and also bought couple of bars of their artisanal chocolates and headed for dinner. And then retired for the day.
Nothing much on this day. We checked out at 10:30AM, and had an amazing dosa at the New Mysore Refreshments right opposite the zoo. Would go back again just for that dosa.
Ayanti wasn't feeling well that day. So I decided not to take the expressway as it'll be a bit chaotic as all the Bangalore crowd will be returning back, plus it's a bit difficult to exit the expressway in case of an emergency. So I decided to take the old Bellur cross road. We stopped at Paakashala at Solur for lunch, and then just drove straight to home. Very uneventful drive. But got some clear stretches and could drive at 110kmph at one point. The car being full, was very much planted on the road and it was easier to control. I'll get a heavier car next time.