My Karnataka summer trip was about to end and Hubli was the last destination in my list. I traveled to Hubli because of two main reasons, reading about Dandeli national park and visiting the cave temples of Badami.
Compare to Shimoga and Hassan, Hubli is little too far away from Bangalore and takes almost 11 hours to reach by train. The traveler in me not wanting to waste an entire day by traveling in afternoon decided to take a evening train and reach there by morning and the way entire trip turned out I made the right decision.
I reached Hubli around 11 the next morning and after asking around I took a bus for Urban Oasis mall where I freshened up and saved the immediate money for a hotel. These air conditioned malls prove a big help for poor travelers like me who can relax a lot over a cup of coffee.
In the evening I left for Unkal Lake that is on Hubli Dharwad road. It is a small lake and garden developed as a tourist project with a children park and boating facilities. I sat there watching the sun go down the lake until it was away from the sight.
Of all the activities watching the sun go down has somehow become my favorite activity while I am traveling.
I returned to the city wandered around, took the taste of Dharwad peda (hint: Its worth all the hype) followed by late lunch at a local restaurant. The restaurant owner, guessing by the camera in hanging on my shoulder suggested me to visit Nrupatunga Betta located on the outskirts of the city. He even called an autowallah to take me up there and return. After reaching the outskirts of the city the auto driver dropped me at a point from where I had to walk over a lot of stairs I reached on the top. Darkness was slowly falling and I was unable to click anything around but I got a really nice view of Hubli city illuminated with all the lights. I left the place as the night started to fall and people had already started to leave.
I returned to the city, took a hotel and went into my deep slumber.
Next morning I woke up and took a bus for Dandeli. I was going to visit Dandeli national park. All the hype surrounding this wild life sanctuary and material read on internet blogs made me wonder if it was worth it. One interesting thing about Hubli is that since this region lies in Uttar Kannada area, the language, the dressing and taste of local food kinda changes compared to South Karnataka. Here shops and other buildings don’t even write Karnataka as the state’s name, instead they use Uttar Kannada as reference.
The bus crossed Dharwad and started running in between the villages that were sometime replaced by woods on the both sides that occasionally gave sites of peacocks and different birds. After some 2 hours of a bumpy ride I reached Dandeli and there was a surprise.
While the bus dropped me in Dandeli village I couldn’t find a way or mode to enter the national park. The autowalas told me that they can take me to a resort who’ll arrange sightseeing and safari that will cost me around 2000-3000 rs. Wiktravel said that entrance to the park costs only around 200 rs with additional charges for camera. A hotel owner told me that rafting and gliding are not going on at this time. A taxi driver asked for 1500 bucks to show me around and came down to 1000 rs even without me bargaining for it.
Dadeli massively disspointed me on so many levels, it is probably one of the purely commercialized national parks where travelers like me cannot enter without spending a hefty amount. I was not ready for it. I made the budget keeping in mind that at most the visit ti dandeli will cost me around 1000 rs and the way everything turned out I had no option than to leave for Hubli.
Tired and disappointed I reached Hubli and took a bus for Badami.