07-Dec-2003 -- We successfully visited 13°N 77°E and then continued to travel west on NH48 towards Hassan. Hassan is about 80 kilometers from Kunigal.
About 10 kilometers down the road, we pulled up under a tree for breakfast. After a couple of ham sandwiches each(which we carried with us), we drove a little distance till we found a small roadside hotel where we got some steaming coffee.
With breakfast out of the way, we continued out journey towards Hassan. NH48 is a good fast road and we made good time. Just before Hassan, we decided to take the bypass (Sakleshpur Bypass) and skip the town as the confluence seemed to be further down the road. After checking our coordinates on the GPS, we turned right from NH48 about 10 kilometers out of Hassan. This was a dirt road which was going in the direction we wanted to go, but was getting narrower and narrower. Soon the dirt road became a bumpy, narrow cart-track and the 4x4 showed us what it could do! The cart-track was just wide enough for the 4x4 and we were happy that we were headed in the right direction. We soon reached a railway line (the Hassan-Sakleshpur track) and had to drive along the railway line (away from our heading) towards and unmanned railway crossing. After the mandatory stop, looking and listening for any train, we crossed over and found ourselves on a long tank bund which slowly curved back to the direction we wanted to head to. Progress slowed down to a crawl as we had a “convoy” of three ox-carts ahead of us and there was a 10 meter drop on either side of the road. We were in their territory, and there was no chance that the oxen or their masters were going to hurry just because a bunch of people in a Jeep wanted to go past them! For the record, according to my GPS, the double oxen carts were cruising at 4.3 km/hour! We finally reached a small village called Honsahalli and the carts veered off to the left on to another track. Unfortunately for us, we too had to go in that direction and we thought we’d be stuck behind the carts till we reached the confluence. But, thankfully, one of the bystanders in the village yelled at the lead cart driver to pull up to the side and let us pass. After thanking all three cart drivers, we drove past and found ourselves on yet another tank bund. The tank was called Thottikere and was to the left of us. A few hundred meters later, the GPS showed us that the confluence was about 130 meters to the right in a field. We parked off the road and climbed down the embankment which was about 4 meters high and walked across a couple of barren fields to the spot. We had reached 13°N 76°E! It was 1032 hrs and pretty good going so far (2 successful first time visits in a period of 3 hours)! The altitude recorded by the GPS was 920 meters.
After taking the mandatory photographs and a sequence for a panorama, we headed back to the road. We found a lone villager walking his buffalo and a sheep past us. We stopped him and asked for directions back to NH48. He spoke Kannada, but as is the case all over India, his dialect was slightly different from ours and we took a little while to comprehend what he was saying. He told us to continue down the road till we hit a narrow tarred road on which we were to take a right turn towards Belur to continue on our way towards the next confluence we wanted to attempt; 14°N 76°E.