Q We will be passing through Hassan on our way to Chikmagalur and i’ll be spending a day there. Can you suggest what places we can visit during this one-day? Also, what will the weather be like, towards the end of March?
A You have not mentioned where you are coming from (Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Coorg etc). Anyway, some places you should visit around Hassan are Belur, Halebid and Shravanabelagola. Shravanabelagola is about 60km before Hassan and Belur and Halebid are 50-60km after Hassan. It would be advisable to visit Shravanabelagola before you reach Hassan (reach Hassan by evening). Next morning, visit Halebid, then Belur and then move to Chikmagalur, as Belur is on the way to Chikmagalur.
Q I am going to Malvan this summer. I don’t know anything about this place. Is it a hill station or beach? Please, inform the best to see here and how to spend my time.
A Malvan is a beach destination. There are many advantages and disadvantages of going in summer (April-May). The advantages are that summer is the best time for fruits like kokam, jackfruit and, of course, the king of fruits, the Devgad Alphonso mangoes. Cashew nuts are available all through the year but are fresh and cheapest during this time. As far as mangoes are concerned, visit Devgad (40 km, one hour north of Malvan). Just 5 kms before Devgad is Jamsande Market, where the biggest and best mangoes of India (and the world) are available at throw-away prices.
Also, the sea gets slightly rough during the summer months. The 3-4 foot high waves (October to March) suddenly become 5-6 foot high. Therefore, this is the best time for surfing and visiting this beautiful place.
The disadvantages are that snorkeling is seasonal from October to March. In the summer, the sea becomes slightly murky in preparation for the monsoon. So, even if you go snorkeling, with poor visibility, you will not be able to see much. Also, it is a hot between noon and 3 pm.
Stay at MTDC resort in Tarkarli (5 kms south of Malvan city). The rooms are neat and clean, the location is perfect (on Tarkarli beach) but the service is bad. So you can try dinning at Chaitanya restaurant in Malvan for their seafood. Also go to Gharghuti across the road, where villagers provide whatever food you order in an hour. People are friendly and very co-operative too.