07-Dec-2003 -- We successfully visited 14°N 76°E and moved towards 14°N 77°E. It was about 1600 hrs when we reached the road (NH13) and turned towards Holalkere. We had about two hours to sunset and a fairly long distance to go. Our route would take us past Holalkere, north-east towards Chitradurga where we would join NH4 and head south-east towards Hiriyur. We made good time up to Chitradurga, but ironically lost a lot of time on NH4 even though it is one of the best roads to be found in this part of India. The reason was that the highway was being widened and all the heavy traffic (between Bangalore and Mumbai) had to constantly take diversions and traffic was backed up at some places. At Hiriyur, we turned left and headed east towards Dharmapura which was about 35 kilometers away. We were racing against time as it was 1745 hrs when we drove through Dharmapura and the sun was already low on the horizon. Thankfully, the road was good, though narrow, and was heading in the right direction. According to the GPS, we had to turn left a few kilometers before Bargur and head down a country road. We were less than a kilometer from the confluence. But, we could not find a road or track leading towards the point. We drove a little further and then found a track that took us as close as 670 meters from the confluence. The sun had set and it was getting dark pretty quickly.
We could have used our flashlights and trekked across a few fields to reach the confluence, but we decided to call it off as we would not be able to take photographs and we were not too comfortable about the prospect of inadvertently meeting a snake or two in the dark! We headed back towards Sira on NH4. It was a slow journey back from Sira past Tumkur to Bangalore with numerous diversions and traffic jams.
It was disappointing not to have visited 14°N 77°E as we were so close to it. On hindsight, the large amount of time we lost caught up behind the religious procession before Chikmagalur (see 14°N 76°E) cost us this one. Anyway, we hope to visit this one and a couple of others in a few weeks from now.
A long thoroughly enjoyable day; 750 kilometers of driving and walking across varied terrain and 3 (13°N 77°E, 13°N 76°E & 14°N 76°E) successful first-visits! Time to start planning the next trip!