NH48 connecting Bangalore to Mangalore has not been in a better condition in a long, long time than it is now. We traveled on this route on 8th April and it was an easy trip.
The condition of the main culprit, the Shiradi Ghat between Sakleshpura and Uppinangady has been repaired recently. All the potholes have been patched up, the curves are concretized and generally the drive is a smooth one. So until the rains come puring in, if you have travel plans towards Mangalore, surely take the Shiradi Ghat route. Also
Also with the Goraguntepalya-Nelamangala flyover operational which lets you cover the stretch within 20-30 minutes, has led me to avoid the Magadi route which is slightly dangerous (due to the private bus traffic as well as the curvy TG Halli stretch where I've had one nasty experience already) and bad (you got to search for the road among the potholes in the 5Km stretch within Magadi town).
The Nelamangala-Kunigal highway is also smooth and the earlier jarring speed breakers/humps have been removed.
So except for the Kunigal-Yediyur stretch which passes through Kunigal town, the rest of the route is nice and smooth. Once they complete the laning work on this stretch, it should be even better.
Additionally we got an elephant herd sighting near the Kemp Hole. There were 4 of them, 2 baby and 2 bigger ones, standing on the side of the road, we let them be and passed by.
Because of the good road condition we made quick time and were able to reach the destination for the yakshagana and puja that night.
16:15 -> Leave Bangalore
20:30 -> Reach Sakleshpura and stop for picking up an uncle
21:55 -> Reach Puttur via Uppinangady
22:20 -> Reach Vitla and stop to meet a couple of relatives
23:15 -> Reach destination Bayar, Kasargod
Here is a map of the route:
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