Best driving roads: Belagavi to Goa via Ponda
India is infamous for its shabby roads, but at the same time, there are many fantastic driving roads spread through the length and width of our beautiful country. OVERDRIVE has been fortunate enough to experience quite a few of these roads, and we want to share the joy with a weekly feature of a fantastic road that you should aspire to experience someday.
Belagavi, formerly known as Belgaum is a large district in Karnataka, but retains a pleasant small town compared with any other big city. It's situated in northern Karnataka and is quite strategically located. It splits the distance between Bengaluru and Mumbai into two 500km sectors and is also just two hours away from Goa. This idyllic place happens to have numerous wonderful roads in and around it, and a lot of those lead towards Goa. There are at least four roads from Belagavi to Goa, but this week we'll discuss the road that takes you to Goa via Khanapur, Anmod and Ponda which is a city in the northern part of the state of Goa. Freshly resurfaced, this single carriageway road cuts through evergreen forest and is a real treat in the monsoon. While it used to be plagued by mining trucks, new laws have restricted the number of trucks that can ply on the road, and the traffic density is quite thin.
If you're up for it, there's a diversion that you can take from Khanapur town that takes you to Anmod via the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary. It's a narrow but smooth and beautiful road with thick forest on both sides. This is the type of road that deserves a relaxed cruise with the windows down to take in that rare fresh air! There are plenty of highway-side eateries, but you might as well hold up until you hit Goa in a couple of hours for some delicious fresh seafood.
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