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Transportation and centrally situated hotels

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Transportation and centrally situated hotels

Thanks to helpful posters on the Chennai forum I already have the info on rental cars while in Chennai; we are now planning a trip to Bangalore from Chennai for a few days; will base ourselves in Bangalore and then visit Hampi, Mysore and Bhadravathi.

Is the train from Chennai to Bangalore recommended or should we fly? We'd like to experience some train travel and although flying will save us time, we'll opt for the train if local posters think it will give us an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Once in Bangalore, we will need to hire a car to take us to the places mentioned above. Any recommendations for a reliable car rental agency there? Also, in which area of Bangalore should we search for a hotel from where we can easily get to places of interest?

Thanks!

Bangalore
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1. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

There are at least 4-5 daily express trains connecting Chennai to Bangalore, so you can take your pick-but all require advance reservations. Train fare by a/c coach will be about 15-20 % of the plane fare and will take you about 6 hours versus about 3 hours from hotel to hotel if you were to fly.

Where you stay will also depend on your budget, and most hotels will have taxi arrangements.

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2. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

Train from Chennai to Bangalore is a great idea. It is a six-hour trip; long enough for you to experience the railways, and short enough for you to enjoy it :) I've done the train trip a couple of times, it's been good.

Driving is another way to get to Bangalore, it is also fun, and a great way to see the countryside. We've done several Chennai-Bangalore trips by road, because my husband's family is crazy about road trips.

From Bangalore, you can hire vehicles - try asking for an Innova, which is the most comfortable car going. If you can't get an Innova, then look for a Qualis (I'm assuming you'll have luggage).

Rates for car hire are similar to that in Tamil Nadu. There are several companies, here is one of them: http://www.bangaloretaxis.com/

We hired ours through these guys - Nivalink - who also handled our hotel bookings: http://www.nivalink.com/karnataka/index.html

Traffic in Bangalore is a bit crazy, so try to avoid peak hour traffic if you can. There are several hotels, if you explain what you budget is link, then gjo, the Bangalore forum expert can recommend hotels.

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3. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

From Bangalore to Hampi, the best way to travel is by overnight train. The nearest railhead is Hospet. The Hampi Express (Train Number 6592) leaves BANGALORE CY JN at 22:30 and reaches HOSPET JN at 07:45.

Use this link to search for trains:

www.indianrail.gov.in/inet_srcdest_names.html

Bangalore
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4. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

FYI hotel here are charging insane room entals these days and alternative accomodation by way of serviced apts is fast springing up. Someone recommended a place called Shilton Suites to me, it's very well located and costs 2800 INR per night, single. I'm sure there are many others of this type.

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5. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

Gjo and Deepa, thank you so very much for your helpful responses - both of you do a terrific job on the forums - I've got a lot of useful info from reading your collective posts.

The a/c coach sounds perfect for us - train it is! How far in advance should we book? Could we do it after we arrive in Chennai? ( We will be in Chennai for at least a week in November, before going to Bangalore, then returning to Chennai).

Deepa, yes, we will have luggage so the Qualis will fit the bill. Thanks for the info and link for Hampi and train travel. Is one night there adequate?

Gjo, the serviced apartments sound great - our budget is a max. of 100 dollars per night for a hotel ; we did look at several hotels in Bangalore in the review section of this forum, but if we can save money by renting the apt. instead, we will have more to spend on other things; besides, we will be out all day and only return to sleep in the hotel ( we are not pool loungers ;-)). How do we find out about availability of apts. - just search online or is there an agency?

Thank you, again!

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6. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

Also - Deepa, what is road travel like from Bangalore to Hampi and how long will it take by car? We were thinking that since we will have a Qualis while in Bangalore, perhaps we could use that for our trips outside as well? Do you think it is not safe?

Bangalore
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7. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

Shilton Suites +91 80 4113 8777 & +91 80 4151 2148

You can easily book a few days in advance-done after you are in Chennai. There are two express trains in the morning, one around noon, another early in the early evening, another one late in the evening ( but it comes a bit late at night), and finally an overnight train. Check in is generally around 12 noon so you need to plan accordingly.

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8. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

Gjo, sorry, I left out your name on the post above - yikes! Would appreciate your reponses as well to the question above :-).

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9. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

Gjo, we were posting at about the same time - thank you for your prompt reply regarding the apts. and thanks for the phone number as well as the train info. :-)

Bangalore
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10. Re: Transportation and centrally situated hotels

If you're visiting Hampi, Mysore and Bhadravati, best to take a vehicle(Innova as Deepa suggested), don't travel by the overnight train to Hampi and have to hire cars for local travel. You can do Hampi and then go to Belur -Halebid spending overnight at Hassan, and then Bhadravati and go from there to Mysore-all without returning to Bangalore. Or do Mysore first and Hampi last.

I havent been to Hampi in the recent past, but someone who went a month ago said that the roads were ok. Recent rains may have caused damage, though, to roads. It is likely that roads may be very good in parts, tolerable in other places..Bangalore Hampi is about 350 kms, or about 6 hours driving time+ stops. You need to leave Bangalore early to avoid traffic or it can take you at least an hour more..