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Agence Future Logo 5.6: Karnataka


From Auroville a three day ride would bring us 370 kilometers further, into the state of Karnataka and on to the 1000 meter high plateau on which Bangalore is situated. The first two days the going was quite tough with a head wind and only a slight but constant climb. The third day, when we left Krishnagiri to cover the last 90 kilometres to Bangalore we were confronted with 'the high way from hell'. The road is the axis between the East coast town of Chennai and Bangalore.

It is just wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other and chock full of overloaded busses and trucks whose drivers seem to be in a never ending hurry. After seeing the traffic situation in front, behind and next to us for a few kilometres we decided to leave this death trap and took a side road, a detour through the mountains at the edge of the plateau. This made our day 137 kilometre long in the end, with two steep climbs somewhere in the middle, but exquisitely beautiful and worthwhile.

Karnataka Karnataka Karnataka

From Bangalore we went back onto the road, heading North to Hampi, to visit ancient ruins and witness the remnants of an old kingdom. We stayed on the smaller roads and were surprised by the scale of the changes in the landscape around us. The first day offered idyllic roads like we had come to appreciate. Row upon row of healthy full grown trees stand alongside the tarmac, recently harvested fields behind them. In some places the crop of grain was spread out over several meters of the road surface for it to get crushed by passing trucks or busses. The kernels that come loose in the process are sweeped together after each crushing. New answers to old questions, the road surface and traffic take on non-intended functions in these rural areas.

Karnataka Karnataka

A bit further on the road, around Belary, a major mining town in the regions, the fields were gone, around us we found mostly wasteland. Around noon we stopped for lunch in a lively small town. As soon as we left the town again we were amid banana and papaya orchards. Later, warm brown boulders form gentle mountains topped with small silhouettes of the remnants of old buildings. The river makes Hampi a lush and green place with a magical quality.

Read more on Agence Future's adventures in India:

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