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Monday, September 27, 2021

Travelogue: Discovering south India

India is famous for its breathtaking locations and exploring each part of the country can bring you some great experience and memories.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: April 7, 2015 5:18:13 pm
drive_759 Honda Car India’s initiative of “Drive to Discover” reached its fifth season and this time, the form of carrier came in the shape of Honda’s only MPV in India, the Mobilio.

The seventh largest country of the world – India is famous for its breathtaking locations and exploring each part of the country can bring you some great experience and memories. Honda Car India’s initiative of “Drive to Discover” reached its fifth season and this time, the form of carrier came in the shape of Honda’s only MPV in India, the Mobilio.

The drive was spread over 4 days and the places to exploit included straight open country-side roads to twists of Nilgiri range, that allowed us to take full advantage of the space and comfort of the Honda Mobilio.

Day 1 – Coimbatore to Bandipur Tiger Reserve Via Ooty

Distance Covered – 137 km

The drive from Coimbatore started at 11 AM amidst heavy traffic with 5 Honda Mobilios. Getting out of the city was not very difficult as unions in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu called for a close to protest against river water diversion. Crossing through the little traffic towards Bandipur Tiger Reserve as the temperature and humidity decided to show their prowess was not a difficult task in the Mobilio. The light steering and sedan like seat height helped us to keep the fatigue down as well as the powerful air-conditioner with mid-row roof vents helped us to keep the calm.

Day-1---Coimbatore-Traffic

Inching towards Ooty, a famous hill-station in South India, the convoy gained the momentum and soon we were cruising at good speeds passing through the occasional tree cover on the road. The frugal diesel engine of the Honda Mobilio helped to push the convoy in a very relaxed way.

Soon, we saw glimpses of the Nilgiri hills and the excitement went through the roof. The Nilgiris are one of the most beautiful and extensive range in India and offer spectacular views while passing through it.

The convoy started ascending the hills and soon the passengers in the rear-seat of Brio-platform based Mobilio started feeling the body-roll. It was not that bad but was not very comfortable either. After having a quick but heavy bite at Ooty, we crawled down the famous 36-hairpin bends of Ooty and soon entered the Bandipur National Park.

The convoy cut through the lush green forest of Bandipur and at frequent intervals, we could spot deers, wild boars and monkeys making merry in the forest. The setting sun raced against our destination and we finally ended the day at a resort situated at the middle of Bandipur National Park with thoughts and hopes of sighting a tiger next day.

Day 2 – Bandipur to Coorg via Gonikoppal

Distance Covered238 km

The sleepy eyes in the middle of the jungle opened before sun came out of the horizon. The day started with hanging in a bus to enter the jungle in a mission to sight at least one tiger at India’s most densely populated Tiger reserve.

Day-2---Bandipur-Tiger-Rese

The dense forest started showing its inhabitants in form of more deers, monkeys, all kind of birds, and more but even after two hours of search, we could not spot any of the bigger stripped wild cats in the jungle.

Nonetheless, disheartened, we started our journey towards Coorg. Enjoying every bit of Mobilio, we decided that we should take the tougher terrains and should take the longer route which goes through another national park – Nagarhole National Park. The roads were not the best but the views that we captured on the way were enchanting. India is a beautiful country and every bit of this drive was screaming the same fact. And we did find a few stupendous locations with beautiful Kabini river in the background.

Day-2---Forest-Check

We saw elephants this time, not the friendly ones and passed by them very nervously. Other residents were not excited to show themselves and we did not bother either. Soon, with hunger taking over, we stopped at a local bakery for famous local snacks and egg puff and headed towards another climb towards Coorg.

Day-2---Deers-at-Bandipur

Maps on the 7-inch screen of Mobilio helped us to find our night shelter in Coorg but not before we lost our way to an old route which had no tarmac, no space and no signboards. We quickly rectified our mistake and reached our destination for the night in Coorg.

Day 3 – Coorg

The beautiful city of Coorg is full of natural beauty and it can be seen at every corner of the city at any time. We started the day early trying to capture the sunrise but the overcast sky did not allow a clear view. However, whatever we could see was mesmerizing! The beauty of the situation can only be experienced and not explained.

Day-3---Coorg

The pristine landscapes and heavenly weather allowed us to cool our heels. In the evening, we visited the famous coffee plantations to see the behind the scenes of a coffee farm. The second-last day was well-spent exploring Coorg and the surrounding areas.

Day 4 – Coorg – Bengaluru Via Mysuru

Distance Covered316 km

Day-4---Coorg-to-Bengaluru

Leaving Coorg early in morning, we decided that we should head towards Harangi dam on our way and there we were, at the secluded Harangi dam exploring around. The huge dam was not fully flowing at the time but still was a majestic architecture.

The next stop was the famous Golden Temple monastery. The monastery is situated in a huge complex and a lot of Buddhist monks can be seen praying, chanting and doing life chores.

Day-4---Golden-Temple-Monas

We treated ourselves with Tibetan food on the way and headed towards Bengaluru. With an evening flight on schedule, we decided not to take any chances and move ahead on the tarmac. Munching the never ending miles, the Mobilio petrol felt smooth and proved to be more than enough space for the rear passengers. Moving ahead, we bypassed Mysuru and turned our direction towards Bengaluru which had speed bumpers in number that can’t be counted. Mobilio proved to be the perfect partner with luggage filled third row and passengers occupying the other seats.

The road from Mysuru to Bengaluru is not the best, it is narrow, it has a lot of undulations and a lot of traffic. It passes through a lot of cities where the population is now thin. Mobilio performed extremely well in these conditions and absorbed every bit of bad road. Moving ahead, we joined the NICE outer ring road of Bengaluru and finally entered the beautiful city! We crossed through the city traffic to finally reach the Bengaluru Airport where the amazing “Drive to Discover 5” came to an end.

Day-4---Harangi-Dam

Honda Mobilio is an amazing companion and return good fuel economy. It is one of the best choices to get for a small family who like to move together on the weekends. The Mobilio comes in both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol engine is a 1497cc, 16 valave four-cylinder unit with 119PS of maximum power and 145Nm of peak torque. The ARAI rated fuel economy is 17.3km/l. The diesel engine is a 1498cc, 16-valve motor with 100PS of maximum output along with 200Nm of maximum torque. The ARAI rated fuel efficiency is 24.2km/l. Honda also has a RS variant with only diesel engine. The RS variant carries a lot of body-kit and aggressive styling. The Mobilio RS gets the highest ARAI rating of 24.5 km/l.

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