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58) Makalidurga – Railway Trek: (13/7/2012)

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Place: Makalidurga – Railway trek.
Distance: 70 x 2 = 140kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Yelahanka – Doddaballapur – Makalidurga .
Particiapants: Deepak (Deepu) > Karthik (Nr) > Kushal (Kaushi) > Datta (Dattu) > Ashok (Ashokey 350) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Zeus > Discover > Pulsar 150.
Facebook page: MakalidurgaAlbum.
Budget: Rs200/h.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This was one terrific trek which drained the life out us totally. It had elements of danger & fun well balanced. As far my knowledge goes only a few had reached the temple at the top. And yeah an extremely under-rated trek, it surely is as good as Skandagiri trust me!!

INTRO & PLAN:
Well the last time we trekked was 2.5 years back – Kabbaladurga trek, where i barely survived. After that we didn’t really do much of hardcore trekking. Then I stumbled upon this place, actually very long back itself. Makalidurga not only being a climb but a railway trek got us all excited and decided to get it under our belt.
ASSEMBLE:
Yeah I was up at 05:00 hrs, it was Dad’s birthday. Wished him, had a cup of coffee, did a few push-ups and left my house at 06:00 hrs. Oh yeah, just before I left I grabbed a 1litre water bottle. Trust me, I didn’t have faintest idea how important it meant. The assembling was scheduled at 3 places, first at Nayandahalli, then it was Mahalakshmi layout and finally at Sankey tank. After all 6 had assembled we departed Bengaluru.
TIME: 07:15 hrs

 
RIDE 1: (Bengaluru – Doddbalapura – Makalidurga)
Well this was 60-65kms stretch. We did stretch at a slow pace, with only one stop. We rode slow through the city, once we got out of the city we continued again at a slow pace to reach Doddbalapura. After which the roads turned real good, so we cruised along at a decent pace to reach the Makalidurga Railway station.
TIME: 09:30 hrs

 
MAKALIDURGA TREK:
Alright there are two ways to reach the foot of the hills
i) Ride our bikes 1.5-2kms further to the foot of the hills. OR
ii) Park our bikes at the railway station & walk 3kms on the railway track to reach the foot hills.
Yeah, we chose the obvious one!
Parked our bikes at the station, called out the station master & requested him to look after our bikes. Then the trek started as we departed platform of Makalidurga.
3 Km Walk:

Yeah the trek started of with lot of talks and jokes. We walked on the track, jumped around here & there. Then we sat on some bund talking about school days and incidents worth recollecting. It was not long before we spotted the first train, only a few minutes latter the second one zoomed past us. 

 
Then for the 3rd & 4thtrain we kept coins on the track and took them back as souvenirs. Finally we covered the 3km on the track and reached the foothills. As the sun was up, we did finish half the bottle at foothills only. We had no clue what the other half meant.
TIME: 10:30 hrs
Initial Stretch:

The initial stretch was pretty easy. The terrain was very similar to Skandagiri with a lot of grass & boulders. We took sufficient breaks & kept ascending at a good pace. After about 30 mins we encountered steep boulders, which we climbed carefully one after the other. I had a helmet in my hand and a tool-box, water bottle and lots of other things in my bag which began draining the energy out of me.
TIME: 11:00 hrs
3 Point Contact:

 

Trust me we were kinda lost right from the beginning ha-ha. The plan was simple, keep climbing up, until we reach the fort at the top. Alright, so… the number of breaks increased and we were getting dehydrated and fast. (Me being the worst due to the luggage)

As we took shelter below a small canopy of thorn filled bushes, Kaushi & Nr decided to head back as the steepness had started to become maddening. So the 4 us decided to continue further.
The boulders at a few places were literally 90 deg steep & climbing them was a real challenge. Check out the snaps, I’m sure you’d wonder how mental we are 😛 ha-ha!

Last Stretch:
The steepness did decrease, but not much. We were so dehydrated that we finished off the water. My shirt was drenched in sweat and I do not know why, but I refused to give my bag for others to carry. Deepu being the most experienced led the way until we reached a place where we had to sit down almost collapsing. After a short nap, we continued further to finally spot the fort walls. We looked for a breakthrough and reached the top 🙂
TIME: 12:00 hrs

 
The Flying Fortress:

Whew!! Reaching the top was a huge relief. The cool wind rushing at my face, as sweat kept running down the same is something I recollect very clearly. We spotted a few ruins on the top such as granaries and other storage places.

 
We also spotted a small pond, into which I badly wanted to jump into. Thankfully I was stopped by the others as it had dirty water. Finally we spotted the Nandi temple at the top which marked the end of the trek. We being the only ones at the top, walked like zombies one after the other, extremely dehydrated to reach the temple.

 
Nandi Temple:

Once we reached the temple, we literally stormed the place hoping to find water. But unfortunately we didn’t find any. The inside of the temple was damn cool and pleasant. We did a Pooja by ourselves, and slept off knowing that was the only way we could re-instore our energies.
TIME: 12:15 hrs

 
After about 45mins of deep sleep, we woke up yawned… I didn’t even realise where I was ha-ha!! But yeah water levels were still down. Just before we left the temple, I spotted a small packet of tea powder, put it in my pocket. Wearing back our shoes, we decided to head back down.
TIME: 13:00 hrs
Descension:

Deepu lead the way down again. And Dattu & Ashok were pretty okay after the rest. As we descended we took a totally new route, which had us lost right from the beginning. The sun being right on top of us made matters worse. After a few mins of trek down, we were caught in a place which had steep boulders again. We sat on them & descended carefully.

 
After 30mins we were back on grass & boulder terrain. Then I found 1 halls in pocket ha-ha :P. We broke into 4 pieces and ate, that wasn’t it. I ate the raw tea powder as well. Trust me… never eat it raw unless you don’t have any other choice. As we rested all we could see is huge trees and thorn filled bushes in front of us. The word “route” was kicked totally out of the dictionary that day. 
 
Crawling through the thorny bushes, jumping about the boulders and trees we made it out of that stretch to spot the railway track at some distance. Whew, well we just walked straight through the thorny plants without giving a damn about the bruises being caused on our faces, hands & knees. Finally we reached back the railway track.
TIME: 14:00 hrs
Last Stretch:

We had ended up about 0.5-1km further, so we had a total of 3.5-4 kms to walk back. We walked back on the track like zombies, head down, and arms hanging so dead from our shoulders. After about an hour we reached back the station. These 60 mins had to be the toughest walk of my life. We washed our faces at the station and went to a bakery near-by and drank a lot of fluids.
TIME: 15:15 hrs
RIDE 2: (Makalidurga – Dhaba)
Well having said tata to Maklidurga, we rode at a decent pace to reach dhaba on the highway. We ate decent meal, not to heavy and decided to head back as it was becoming cloudy. We didn’t want to miss riding in the rain.
TIME: 16:30 hrs

 
RIDE 3: (Rain Ride – Heavy)
As we left the Dhaba we prayed that it would rain. As we reached the airport road, the clouds burst open and down came the rains. We enjoyed riding thoroughly till Bangalore where we split our ways. After I reached the ORR with Kaushi behind me, the clouds burst open big time and the road was filled with rain water. But we didn’t stop continued at a decent pace, smiling at the all the other 2 wheelers who were taking shelter. Dropped of Kushal at Nayandhalli signal and reached back our bakery.
TIME: 18:30 hrs
  
EXTRA’S:
Ha-ha that wasn’t it. It was Arun’s farewell to IIT Madras, so went out had an excellent dinner. Trust me there I was in the hotel holding a glass of cold water in my hand, staring at it, realising how important it was under given circumstances. After a nice heavy meal we went back home.
TIME: 22:00 hrs

CONCLUSIONS:
Well this had to one of my best treks till date along with Skandagiri, Kabbaladurga& Pearl valley. The level of dehydration we went through is something which only could be felt, hard to describe. So a word of advice for people going after reading this article, take a lot water, snacks, and first aid kit.
Until next time Cia \m/

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Written by Karthik Prabhu

August 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

57) Vani vilas Sagara Dam (Marikanive) & Chitradurga Fort: (20/6/2012)

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Place: Vani vilas Sagar Dam & Chitradurga fort.
Distance: (220+ 20) x 2 = 500kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Tumkur – Sira – Hiruyur – Chitradurga..
Particiapants: Chetan(Zethu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar 150.
Previous visit: Yelagiri.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This was another excellent cruise to the ancient fort of Chitradurga & to the beautiful Vanivilas Dam. The cool weather made the fort tour a pleasant one. And Marikanive dam, well as usual like last time nothing short of heaven.
INTRO & PLAN:
Well as far as the planning goes, Zethu wanted to join us during the last visit but couldn’t. So it was him who initiated this run and I gladly joined him. As the monsoons had begun, riding in the heavy rains is something we both wanted to do badly. After confirming the timings we crashed.
TIME: 23:00 hrs (19/6/2012)

 
ASSEMBLE:
Yeah I was up at 04:00, had a cup of coffee, did a few push-ups & was all set for a long day on road. Left my home at 05:00 & cruised along the Outer Ring Road (ORR) at a slow pace to reach the BP petrol bunk on ORR. After a formal greeting we departed Bengaluru.
TIME: 05:30 hrs
RIDE 1: (Bengaluru – Tumkur – Sira – Hiryur – Chitradurga)
This was a 200-220kms stretch. So as we started off from Bengaluru, we cruised at a slow pace. We had a tea break on the highway and then set in and hit the road at decent pace to reach Tumkur. After reaching Tumkur we decided to skip breakfast, so we continued another 60-70kms to reach Sira. Took a small break and hit the road again to reach Hiryur, I kept a constant look out for the Arch, where we had to take a deviation to VaniVilas Dam. But unfortunately I couldn’t spot it, so we continued further to reach Chitradurga.

As we reached Chitradurga, the wind speed increased drastically & trust me balancing the bike became a challenge. We zoomed through the city and reached the fort entrance.  We parked our bike in front of the mighty fort and were all set for another tour.
TIME: 10:00 hrs

 
CHITRADURGA FORT:
Well this was my second visit to this huge fort, the last one being almost exactly 1 year back (23/6/2011). So this time we didn’t need a guide to take us around the fort, also this saved us some money as well 🙂
So… like last time i’ll be giving a fort tour like last time, hope you enjoy it, Cheers!

Ticket counter: If you don’t have a ticket you wont be allowed to enter the fort: P, so a place of very much importance. If your pay Rs 5, you’ll have an awesome ticket in your hand and now you shall enter the fort.

    1) Snake Inscription: This is right behind the ticket counter; the whole fort was built on this simple design.

    2) Gates: There are 7 main gates, and many secret passages. Each gate had several gun points to defend the fort.

    3) Kamana Bagilu: The path way is at right angles to each other, it helped immensely to counter the enemy attacks as there were gun points on each of the corner. Oh yea it would also not allow the enemies to take a run up if they were planning to break the doors open with huge logs of wood or elephants.

   4) Enne Kola (Oil Storage): This is at the entrance only, huge rock storage tank, oil used to be stored here. There is also a small tank next to it along with a cave for the guard. 

   5) Cannon ball shots: All along the fort wall you can observe the deep grooves due to the cannon balls. Hyder Ali who was the enemy had done some hard work for sure ha-ha!!
  
   6) Bombe Mantapa: Place where they used to bury the animals which died in war , or during construction.

   7) Deer Drawing: Early men’s inscription of a deer on a rock.

   8) Raja’s Gym: The place where the King used to work out, the door of the gym was very small. This was because in case the enemies attack him at the gym, only one at a time could enter the place.

   9) Ancient art of Rock cutting: They used to make holes in the rock with a chisel, stuff wood into it, and allow water into the holes. The wood would expand and cut the rocks.

   10) Ganesha Temple: This temple was built for a reason, the huge boulder which is right behind it looks exactly like an elephant.
 
   11) Weird Rock formations: The weird rocks & boulders to watch out for are Fish shaped , Ship shaped , Toad shaped , Alligator Shaped, Turtle Shaped, Shanku Shaped …

   12) Hidimba Temple: Hidimba the famous demon in the epic Mahabharata used to terrorize village people, staying on this hill. So a temple in his memories.

   13) Huge Swing & Lamp post: The goddess idol was placed on the swing during the festivals. And the king would climb up the lamp post and light the lamp.

   14) Ghee Storage: This is one of the main attractions of this place. If you had to be in the Chitradurga army you had to climb this hill, and as you did, they would start pouring ghee from the Ghee storage tank at the top. If you made it to the top well you were appointed in the army: D. ( Place where Ramchari played by Vishnuvardahan in Nagarahavu movie, falls off the cliff & commits suicide)

   15) Bank & Safety Locker: Place where they used to mint coins. They used to bury the coins 15-20 feet below the ground; a small temple was constructed on the surface. Cannon ball shots are seen on the temples of this place too.

   16) Akka Thangi Kola: Two small water bodies where the king’s wives committed suicide once Hyder Ali won the war.
 

   17) Temples: There are many temples which can be seen from Akka Thangi Kola ( the place where you are standing now :P), Some of them are Gopalswamy, Hanuman,Nandi,.Ganesha temples.

   18) Tanniru Doni: Place where cold water flows all through out the year. This is also the place where Obawa (wife of a guard) spots the first of Hyder Ali’s men, so she went back to the Kindi and killed the others.

Ps: There is a fish inscription on a rock nearby, which suggested water’s available nearby. Obawa’s grave is also situated opposite to this place.
19) Okkali Honda: Place where the town people use to play with colored water. Coloring of water was due to turmeric and other auyervedic ingredients.
 
20) Obbavana kindi: Here is the main attraction of this place for all tourists.ThisPlace is where food & other groceries were brought to the soldiers from the from,But few of the soldiers leaked this info to Hyder Ali’s men as it was the easiest way to invade the fort. Obawa whipped the soldiers at this place as only one could squeeze through.
   21) Gali Mantapa: This was the place where the king was worshipped during festivals. There’s a huge swing           and a lamp post here.

   22) Siddeshwara Temple: Nice ancient temple, where you can get a pooja done.

   23) Murugha matha: This was a residential school for young kids of chitradurga, the interior of this place is just brilliant. The cooking place , study halls , dining halls etc..

   24) Pataabhisheka : A huge platform where the king was given the pattaabhisheka, they used put gold and silver flowers, this was a common tradition during those days. This was also done if a person would live to see his 4th generation.(Thanks dad for this info)

   25) Monkey man: And you guys thought I forgot him eh , ha-ha… Introducing world’s second fastest climber, man with the amazing skills to climb the fort walls, huge lamp posts mentioned earlier, the huge swing, the man who learnt his skills by observing monkeys – The Monkey Man (Kothi Raja) . During this visit, unfortunately he was recovering form a fracture so couldn’t climb.
 
Well that was our view of this magnificent fort, hope you enjoyed it. The cool breeze made the tour superb. We fooled around the fort for a few more minutes & decided to leave Chitradurga.
TIME: 12:00 hrs
RIDE 2: (Chitradurga – Vani Vilas Sagara Dam)

 
This was a good 60kms stretch. As we left Chitradurga, we cruised past the beautiful windmills and reached the highway. We continued for another 30kms to reach Hiryur. After reaching Hiryur we found that the Arch(our sign for the right deviation) had been pulled down, but fortunately we recognised the deviation and continued further, another 25kms to reach Marikaniva Dam.
TIME: 13:30 hrs
VANI VILAS SAGARA DAM: (Marikanive)

Alright I couldn’t wait to get the first glimpse of this reservoir, over the huge bund that stood firmly in front of us. As we started climbing up the stairs I started jumping around in excitement, a few minutes latter, down I was down with an ankle sprain. Damn it hurt badly, but we continued reach the top of the bund. Momentarily I forgot the pain, due to beautiful view of the reservoir that stood in front of me. 

 
Limping across the entire bund, we found a neat spot to sit. We sat there for about an hour, sipping water and enjoying the cool breeze.Vani vilas is one of the most beautiful reservoirs I’ve visited till date. After giving my ankle some time, it was a little better. So we decided to hit the road back to Bengaluru.
TIME: 14:30 hrs
RIDE 3: (Vani Vilas dam – Sira(lunch break) – Tumkur)

This was about 80-90kms stretch. As we left Marikanive, we did the next 25kms at a slow pace to reach back NH-4. Then on it was smooth sailing to reach Sira. (15:30 hrs)
At Sira we had the first meal of the day. But we ate really less, and decided to ht the road to Tumkur. After the light lunch we cruised along at a decent pace to reach Tumkur.
RIDE 4: (Tumkur – Bengaluru)

 
This was the last 70kms of this run. As we left Tumkur, dark clouds formed above us. We looked at each other in gave a thumbs up. Oh yeas, this was something we were waiting for the entire day. The clouds burst open & down came the rain. It was real fun riding in the heavy rains for a good 50kms to reach back Bengaluru.
TIME: 19:30 hrs
Ps: As Zethu headed towards Malleswaram, I took the Outer Ring Road(ORR) and zoomed till Nayandhalli traffic junction. Then I put my bike’s centre stand, wiped my bike, took a nice nap & went back home fresh ha-ha !!:P
Until next time Cia \m/

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Written by Karthik Prabhu

August 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

53) Pondicherry & Gingee fort: (8’9’/4/2012)

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Place: Pondicherry & Gingee Fort.
Distance: 800kms in total.
Directions: Bengaluru – Krishnagiri – Thiruvanamallai – Pondy.
Participants: Chethan(Zethu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Kanva Reservoir.
Facebook Page: Pondicherry Album.
Budget: Rs1200.

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This was one excellent run to the nearest shore from Bangalore. This run was for about 800kms, it was a hot & tiring ride. Food was eaten only once during the entire trip.
INTRO & PLAN: (trust me this is the must read part)
We had planned this trip 4-5 times earlier & every time we planned it turned out to fail until one day we just took our bikes and hit the road. After several flopped attempts we decided to allow time take its course of action. April of 2012 was the month we pulled this run of successfully.

ASSEMBLE: (8th of April 2012)
Zethu arrived at my place at about 01:00hrs, we crashed at my place and decided to leave early in the morning. We were up at about 04:00, packed & bid adieu to Namma Bengaluru.
TIME: 05:30 hrs.
RIDE 1.1: (Bengaluru – Hosur – Krishnagiri)
This stretch was for about 100kms. We got out of the city in a short time as the traffic was lean during the early hours. After reaching the highway it was pure non-stop cruising until Krishnagiri for some hot tea.
TIME: 07:15 hrs.

 
RIDE 1.2: (Krishnagiri – Pambar dam – Sathnur Dam – Thiruvanamallai)
This stretch extended for about 130kms. But trust me this was one horrible stretch of road. Things to look out for while riding:
i) Huge deep patches covering more than half the road.
ii) If you find a good stretch, it won’t last for more than 500meters.
iii) Do not try to exceed 70kmphr.
So after about an hour of riding we reached Pambar dam.

 
PAMBAR DAM:
Well, this is a neat little reservoir. Very well maintained & less people made our visit to this place a memorable one. We spent a few minutes at this wonderful reservoir had a couple of biscuits and left.
Continuing further on the bad stretch for another hour or so we reached Sathnur Dam.
SATHNUR:

Actually there are many places to visit at this place. We visited the dam premises, CrocodilePark & the deer park. Oh yeah, we were strictly instructed not take any photographs at the Croc park, that made us even more determined & managed to capture a few. The crocodile park is pretty huge, with atleast 100-150 crocodiles of various sizes.
After finishing Sathnur we continued further to reach Thiruvanamallai.
TIME: 11:45 hrs.

 
RIDE 1.3: (Thiruvanamallai – Villupuram – Pondy)
This was a 100kms stretch, but thankfully on smooth roads. We asked directions at thiruvanamallai and managed to get out of the town. After getting out we cruised in comfort via the new route skipping Gingee fort to reach Pondy 🙂
TIME: 14:00 hrs.

 
PONDICHERRY:

As soon as we entered Pondy, we cruised along the East Coast Road(ECR). With the cool ocean breeze hitting our faces we started searching for a place to crash. But unfortunately places close to the main beach were damn expensive so we moved towards Repo beach.
SAND ATTACK:
Alright we tried taking our bikes into this small alley, where only one bike could fit. The terrain turned sandy & we found ourselves stuck in it. After a long tiring attempt we managed to get our bikes out & we also found our stay for that night.
Stay: Rs 300 for 4 guests. TV & a fan… ah yeah felt like heaven. And the best part, it was hardly a minute’s walk from the beach 🙂
TIME: 15:30 hrs.

 
PLACES TO VISIT:
After taking a 20mins nap, we decided to finish off all the places. As we were getting ready Zethu received a call asking him to return by 10th morning as he had presentation :P, so we cut short a few places.
1. Auroville/Repo Beach: as it was the nearest we finished this beach first. We went and slept flat on the beach for about an hour enjoying the waves.
2. Le Café: next stop was Le café; it is a tourist information centre, which also provides food & café.
3. Children’s Park: Ha-ha yeah, this is on the ECR, thoughts of fooling around the place did occur but we continued.
4. The Main Beach: The Bay of Bengal, one of the most beautiful beaches at Pondy. But yeah getting into water is not possible at this place. We just sat on the rocks enjoying the sea breeze.

 
5. Church of the Sacred of Jesus: This is the most famous church of Pondy. Built in 1700, the church still looks brilliant.
6. Paradise Beach: 8kms from Pondy towards Cuddlore, another beautiful beach which can be accessed only by boat,
7. Cunnambar backwaters: Situated on the Cuddlore main road, 8kms from Pondy. Different boat rides available at this place.
8. Pichavaram: I strongly suggest visiting this place. It is about 70kms from Pondy towards south. But trust me worth the travel; it is the 2nd biggest mangrove after the Sunderbans.
So please make yourself free and do visit this place, I’m pretty sure we’ll hit back to Pondy some day 😛

 
So… those were just a few important places at Pondy. A detailed list of places is given at the end. After covering the places, we returned to Pondy at about 19:00. We roamed around the streets of Pondy, grabbed some something to drink & yeah some food too. After doing this we headed back to our home stay. We switched on the TV & started eating our dinner, with the beach a few meters away.
(Trust me I would do anything to re-live that moment )
After a nice meal, which was the first for the day and last for this trip we crashed.
TIME: 23:00 hrs.
SUN IS SHINING: (9th of April 2012)

I was up at 04:00 to find Zethu already watching TV. We went to the beach at 05:00 & waited for the sunrise. After about an hour or so we witnessed one of the best sunrises till date. We spent another hour walking on the beach & finally left to pack our things.


 

Once the packing was done, we tied up our bags to our bikes and left Pondy. And yes Gingee was a place we had decided to visit on the second day.

TIME: 07:30 hrs.


RIDE 2.1: (Pondy – Gingee Fort)
Well this was about an 80kms stretch & yeah we exited Pondy through the actual/official entrance ha-ha. We cruised along the huge 4-lane highway comfortably & reached Gingee Fort.
TIME: 09:15 hrs.
GINGEE FORT:


It is of the best forts of Tamil Nadu. This fort was called the “Troy of the east” by the British. It includes 3 hillocks which are Rajagiri, Krishnagiri, Chakkilidurg in a triangular formation. Old granaries for storing oil & ghee, temples, mosques, barracks and other buildings can be seen on top of these hillocks.

 
So about our visit, we took about an hour to climb. With the sun directly on top & with bags to carry, the climb was no easy one. We had run out of water bottles which made matters worse. But we continued with sufficient breaks to reach the top. We covered all the buildings and sat flat on the top totally de-hydrated. The descent was fairly a quick one, as we reached the foot of the hills we rushed to a small shop grabbed something to drink and sat at the shop and took rest. Trust me I had never felt this level of dehydration till then. Once the fluids had been restored we hit back the road again.
TIME: 11:00 hrs.

RIDE 2.2: (Gingee – Thiruvanamallai – Krishangiri)
This was a good 150kms stretch. We cruised along at decent pace, taking sufficient breaks without over-straining our bodies to reach Thiruvanamallai. After reaching the town we took some small narrow roads through the market and made our way out of the crowded town.
The next was the horrible 130kms stretch which we named “ass-buster stretch”.We rode slowly but steadily taking breaks very often to cover this long gruelling stretch to reach Krishnagiri.
TIME: 15:30 hrs.

 
RIDE 2.3: (Krishnagiri – Hosur – Bengaluru)
This was a smooth 100km stretch. So it was a huge relief to reach Krishnagiri before the descent of the darkness. Getting stuck on the previous stretch in the dark is like digging our own grave. We had some wonderful tea and switched back to cruising mode on the 6 lane NH-7. We took sufficient breaks on the highway to reach back Bengaluru. We pulled over, sat on the footpath wondering if we had actually covered Pondy in 2 days. Then we thanked each other participating, & left to reach our respective homes.
TIME: 19:00 hrs.

 
CONCLUSION:
Eyes drained out with solid red nerves, face covered with a thin film of black soot, haha felt so good. 800kms of non-stop riding for 2 days is what we both enjoyed thoroughly. Finishing the jinxed trip which had flopped for 5-6 times gave us that extra satisfaction.”
Zethu: couldn’t have thought of a better person to pull this trip off. Ever cool and his jokes kept us both going.
Sp: Had nice bath and went on a 10kms walk the next day 😀
Until next Cia \m/

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Written by Karthik Prabhu

July 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm

49) Yercaud: (22/1/2012)

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Place: Yercaud.
Distance: 250 x 2 = 500kms. (Our run came upto 560kms as the forest route was taken)
Directions: Bengaluru – Hosur – Dennaikotte – Anchetty – Dharampuri – Salem – Yercaud – Dharampuri – Krishnagiri – Hosur – Bengaluru.(Our run – 280kms)
ii) Bengaluru – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Dharampuri – Salem – Yercaud. (250kms)
Particiapants: Zethu > Sp.
Bikes: Avenger 220.
Previous visit: Coorg(Madikeri).
Facebook Page: Yercaud Album.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
This was another classic old-school run to the wonderful hill station of Tamil Nadu – Yercaud. Known as the “poor man’s Ooty” this place is more of a picnic spot for family visits. But yeah one thing about Yercaud all motorcycle clubs love is the ride to the place.
INTRO & PLAN:
Well Zethu was the only one on the confirmed list, and both of us had to get back on SH-17a (the interior forest route after Hosur) as it would refreshen the blood filled memories of our Hogenekkal Trip. So… after having decided to meet at my place at 06:00 hrs, we crashed.
TIME: 00:00 hrs (22/1/2012)

ASSEMBLE:
Yeah I was up at 04:00 hrs, had a cup of coffee, did a few push-ups & was all set for a long day on the road. Zethu arrived at my place at around 05:45, it was more than 2 months since we both had pulled of a chapter, so both of us were pumped up and ready to hit the road. We decided to head out on Zethu’s Avy!!
TIME: 06:00 hrs
RIDE 1: (Bengaluru – Hosur – Saints bunk stop)
Alright this was a 50-60kmsstretch, we got out of the city early as the traffic was lean. After reaching Hosur road (NH-7), we cruised at a decent pace to reach the Karnataka-TN border. Once we crossed the border we entered the Hosur outskirts & took a deviation towards Dennaikotte and stopped at our signature petrol bunk.
TIME: 07:30 hrs
Ps: One can continue straight on NH-7 to Yercaud, the distance comes upto 250kms. But for us, this interior route is something special, a remembrance of our Hogenekkal Trip.


 
RIDE 2: (Hosur – Dennaikotte – Anchetty – Saints outpost)
We had some tea at the petrol bunk, we cruised along the excellent roads of SH-17a. It was not long before we spotted the small stone bench on which we had rested on our way back from Hogenekkalwith blood dripping from our heads, knees and hands.
We crossed the two bridges of this route without any difficulty as it was completely dried out. We reached Dennaikottai and as we continued further towards Anchetty the roads became excellent with superb curves. The weather was cool even though the sun was up, this made riding conditions ideal. After some consistent riding we reached the perfect pit-stop.


  

PERFECT PITSTOP:
Well we were a little disappointed that there weren’t any clouds moving around mountain ranges like the last time, but we still sat here for a good amount of time speaking about our last trip & what we had been upto for the past 3 months.
We left the place after 15-20mins and continued further to reach our second signature stop.
SAINTS OUTPOST:
We spent about 30mins here sitting and sharing some of our funny/epic moments. There was thick forest surrounding us in all directions, the idea of night camping did occur but we decided to stick to the original plan.
TIME: 09:15 hrs

RIDE 3: (Saints outpost – Hogenekkal)
So… as we left the Saints outpost, we cruised at a decent pace. In a few minutes we spotted the mighty MM hills and we started recollecting the chapter where we we had spotted elephants. Soon the hair-pin curves started & Zethu enjoyed negotiating each one of them to perfection.
The last stretch to hogenekkal consisted of really good forest roads very similar to Mutathi & BR hills. And yeah everytime we spotted bulls grazing we would slow down & keep enough safe distance 😛 ha-ha!!
Cruising along we reached Hogenekkal, as it was Sunday the place was jam-packed. And it would also be time consuming, so we decided to skip and continued towards Yercuad.
TIME: 10:00 hrs


 
RIDE 4: (Hogenekkal – Dharampuri – Salem)
Well this stretch was for about 120kms and a good one too. As we left Hogenekkal our first priority was to re-join NH-7. As continued further we spotted the place where we had met with an accident, had a hearty laugh and continued further to reach Dharampuri.
TIME: 11:00hrs
After reaching the NH-7 it was pure sailing on the butter smooth highway. We kept re-collecting our college clowns and it not long before we reached Salem.
TIME: 12:00 hrs
It was pretty easy to get out of the city, thanks to the well organised traffic and broad roads to reach the foot of the mighty Yercaud.
TIME: 12:30 hrs
 
RIDE 5: (Ascension – Yercaud)

This stretch was for about 35kms which consisted of 20 hair-pin curves with beautiful views all along the way. As we started the ascension we found broad excellent roads. We negotiated the first 2 HP curves with joy and were ready to for more, But the next 25-30kms was just plain hill climbing with no HP curves, but yeah excellent scenery throughout.
The last 5-7kms to Yercuad is the best, the remaining 18 HP curves are clustered in this stretch, this made the ascension very quick and the drop in temperature could be easily felt. Once we reached the top, we were 1350 feet above sea level, and weather was cool even though the sun was up.
TIME: 13:00 hrs


 

YERCAUD:
Alright there are about 10 places to cover at this hill station. Vehicles can be taken, but yeah we decided to walk. The walk was for about 10-13kms which drained away all our energies and my right knee which had problems before had taken a the worst turn.

i) Yercaud lake:
First we parked Avy at the Yercaud lake. Boating is a big attraction at this place. But definitely not the thing for us, so we took small stroll and decided to continue further.
ii) Lady’s Seat:
We walked through the town; this view point is about 3-4kms from the Yercaud lake. The view was breadth taking and yeah there was a telescope for viewing assistance.
iii) Gent’s Seat:
Continuing further, Gent’s seat is about 10mins walk from the Lady’s Seat. We bought bottles of juice and sat down & sipping away. We could see the hair-pin curves which had lead us to the top, it looked like a snake 😀
iv) Children’s seat/Park:
We thought to ourselves “why couldn’t the entire family have one big seat :P” ha-ha!!


 

v) Pagoda view point:
We walked back to the Yercaud Lake, on our way back we bought coffee powder. We picked up Avy and went to Pagoda point.
Well in our opinion this is the best view point!! The overall view was superb, grabbed a cup of corn and started munching away – it was our first meal of the day 🙂
After spending about 30min we left this wonderful place.
vi) Kilyur waterfalls:
This is an excellent water fall, but unfortunately was dry. Have to take a 3kms deviation from the Yercaud lake to reach this place.
vii) Servarayan Temple:
The most famous temple of Yercaud.


 

viii) Montfort & Sacred heart:
These are the famous educational institutions of Yercaud. We just had a peep from outside and left.
ix) Bear Cave:
This is a huge cave next to the Nortorn Bungalow. This place used to be a play home for bears.
x) AnnaPark:
As we rode back to the Yercaud lake, we came across this park to witness kids playing on slides, see-saw etc., we had second thoughts of joining the kids and beating them at the slides … ha-ha kidding 😛


 
So… these are the important places to see at Yercaud. With the coffee powder tightly packed in the bag & a few sit-ups to make my right knee feel better, we were all set to ride back Bengaluru 🙂
TIME: 16:00 hrs
RIDE 6: (Decension – Yercaud)

We switched off the engine & allowed Avy to take us down the hill. The HP curves were a joy to negotiate. And believe it or not we covered the next 35kms with our engine switched off to reach Salem city.
TIME: 16:45 hrs


 
RIDE 7: (Salem – Dharampuri – Krishnagiri)
This was a good 120kms stretch of easy riding with sufficient breaks taken of course.
About 30mins on the highway we could hear a sound from the bike so we pulled over & inspected the bike. We found that the engine guard was loose, so removed it. Continuing further we took sufficient breaks for snacks, and stopped at the outskirts of Dharampuri for a drinks break. Once we left Dharampur, the sun went down and the cold set-in real quick. The increase in the traffic was drastic but we cruised along to reach Krishnagiri.
TIME: 18:30hrs


 
RIDE 8: (Krishnagiri – Hosur – Bengaluru)

This was a 100kms stretch on the butter smooth NH-7, but it was no easy task pulling this one off. This was one of my hardest stretches till date, considering the fact we had done 450kms and my right knee was pretty much done.
The cold which set-in was a real bad one and the traffic which had increased drastically (Sunday) was something we both were getting bugged of. I could feel the extra cold as there were no hair on my head 😛 ha-ha!! So took out a monkey cap, wore it and continued. Zethu rode like there was no tomorrow to reach the outskirts of Hosur.
TIME: 20:45 hrs


 

Continuing further we entered back Karnataka, there was no turning back from then. Our energies shot up again and without taking any further breaks even though both of us were in bad shape, we reached back home.
We had clocked 560kms for the day as we had taken the interior route, it was kick-ass experience – Literally:P
TIME: 22:00 hrs
CONCLUSION:
I’d like to conclude this article by saying “ This was and excellent old-school run to one of the best hill stations of South India.  Eating only corns & drinking only fluids we pulled this chapter off. And yeah it was a great come back for the both of us after the Hogenekkal trip & a great start to a New Year :D”
PARTICIPANT VIEW:
ZETHU: Rode the whole distance, flawless riding. His humorous stories kept us entertained throughout the day.
AVY: More of a companion, pulled 560kms in day 😀
SP: Right knee dammar, Creep bandage time 😛
Until next time Cia \m/

PICASA WEB ALBUM:
MAP:

Written by Karthik Prabhu

April 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm

48) Coorg (Madikeri): (27’28’29/12/2011)

with 8 comments

Place: Coorg (Madikeri).
Distance: 350 x 2 = 700kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Maddur – Mysore – Hunsur – Bylakuppe – Madikeri.
Particiapants: Arvind(White knight) > Arun(Slowpoke) > Ashok(Classic k350) > Madhu(Barco Mado) > Shekar(Thundersekar) > Chaitnya(Endu) > Vineeth(Red monster) > Anurag(Hanuman) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: RE Thunderbird > RE Classic 350 > Pulsar200 > Pulsar 150 > Pulsar 150.
Previous visit: Mekedatu& Sangama.
Facebook Page: Coorg Album.



IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:

Coorg, the Scotland of India is one of the best places to visit in the entire South India. Known for its wonderful climate and coffee estates, this was one crazy trip we pulled off. The place is no doubt wonderful, but the ride to this place was something we enjoyed even more.
INTRO & PLAN:
Well as far the planning goes it was Arvi was initiated and suggested of visiting this place. The plan got a solid backbone when decent number of people pitched in. So the crew consisted of 9 people and 5 bikes. And yeah initially the plan was 2day-1night trip. I’ve divided this entire article into 3 segments, hope you enjoy reading it.

DAY-1: (Riding the curvy Roads!!)
ASSEMBLE:
I was up at 03:00hrs did a few push-ups and was all set to pull this big one. Left my place at 05:30hrs and headed towards bakery which was without doubt the starting point of this magnificent trip. Once everybody arrived we had some tea and bid adieu to Namma Bengaluru.
TIME: 06:30hrs

 
RIDE 1.1: (Bengaluru – Maddur – SriRangapatna – Mysore)
This stretch extended for about 150kms, and yeah we did take sufficient breaks. As we left Bengaluru, the temperatures dropped and it was an icy cold 30kms stretch till Bidadi. As we passed Bidadi, Anurag said he had some problems with the bike. But we continued till Maddur tiffany’s and had a great breakfast.
TIME:09:00hrs
Anurag said he with Ashok would take his bike to a Service station and asked us to carry on. Having decided to meet at the bridge at the outskirts of Mysorewe carried on. The ride was a smooth one and we reached the outskirts of Mysore at about 11:00hrs and waited for the others.
After about 20minutes the two bikes re-joined us and we took a small 15mins break.
One incident I would love to recall during this break is, a rich businessman in Merc Benz was zooming on SH-17, and he peeped out of the car’s window and was staring at our bikes. There’s a saying “only a biker knows why a dog sticks its head out of the window” I guess that was a close enough ha-ha:P
TIME: 11:30hrs

 
RIDE 1.2: (Mysore – Hunsur – Kushalnagar)
This was another 100kms stretch on SH-88.Once we reached Mysorewe took the by-pass road which was under construction, the first 5-8kms were bad after which we back on smooth sailing roads. We kept the formation intact and rode, enjoying every moment and speaking all the way. We took enough drinks stop to keep our temperatures under control as the sun was directly above us. It was not long before we reached Bylakuppe.
TIME: 14:30hrs

  
GOLDEN TEMPLE:

 
This is one temple one’s gotta go; the ambience of this place is simply superb. Calm & peaceful are the two words which best describe this place. As we entered the place we saw the huge Dalai Lama photo on the temple and saw Anurag’s face 😀 and everybody burst into laughter. The laughter marathon continued as we finished one full lap at the temple.
TIME: 15:00hrs
Next thing we went to the mall right in front of the temple and brought knives, watches, pendants, and other gifts for family & friends back home.
TIME: 16:00hrs
RIDE 1.3: (Kushalnagara – Madikeri)


This was about a 50kms stretch of pure bliss. It was one of my best rides till date. The temperatures took a steep dip, it became cold. The fresh broad roads with excellent curves made riding a pure bliss. We kept the formation intact, bending our bikes to the maximum and negotiating each curve to perfection with joy. We rode non-stop and reached the outskirts of Madikeri.
TIME: 17:00hrs

 
MADIKERI:
As we reached the outskirts, we started looking for a place where we could crash. We split into teams and decided to search and finally we found the best place. Oh yeas it was the best no doubt, huge house for Rs 200 per head per night, definitely worth it.
So we all sat at the sit-out outside the house and changed the plan from 2days-1night to 3days-2night. And oh yeah, the famous Abbey falls was just 5kms from this place. And a bakery right next to our place.
TIME: 18:00hrs

  
We dumped all our bags and went to a small hillock behind our home stay to find two huge monuments which was the tombstone of a Muslim king. It became dark and we witnessed a perfect sunset to mark the end of riding for DAY-1.
We left for dinner at about 19:00hrs, as we were hungry and we had skipped lunch. The town was totally dead; most of the shops were closed. We were the only ones walking around and fooling around the town. We managed to find a good hotel; we had a very heavy dinner and returned to our home stay. We sat on the sit-out and fooled around till 23:00hrs went back inside and crashed. That was not all the scary or rather funny ghost stories of ghost invading our stay kept us awake for a few hours more and finally we dozed off.
TIME: 01:30hrs
So… that was DAY-1 the ride to the place and also covering the Golden Temple. We were all prepared for the next day which meant business.



DAY-2: (Travelling is my business…. And business feels good!!)
RISE & SHINE:
Yeah I was up at around 04:00hrs and after a 3hr wait Anurag & Ashok were up. We went outside to the bakery and got some excellent Coorg coffee. As we sipped on everybody woke up one after another. We left our home stay for breakfast and decided to leave to Talakaveri directly after the breakfast.
TIME: 09:30hrs
RIDE 2.1 (Madikeri – Bhagamandala – Talakaveri – Madikeri)
 So this was a 40kms (one-way) stretch, the bad narrow roads filled with patches and holes made it feel like 80kms stretch. Few of the stretches were still under construction it was a small road, but the climate was something which we were all happy about. After about an hour we reached Bhagamandala.
TIME: 11:00hrs

 
BHAGAMANDALA:
Well this is another beautiful temple. The unique shape of the Gopuras (pagoda shaped) is something to be observed at this place. Also this is a place where 3 rivers meet (Kaveri. Kannike & Sujyothi). We did a few laps inside the temple and decided to head towards Talakaveri.
TIME: 11:30hrs

 
Talakaveri is 8kms from Bhagamandala and roads again are narrow with hair pin curves. But we enjoyed the ride thoroughly to reach Talakaveri.
TIME: 12:00hrs
TALAKAVERI:


This is the place where the river Kaveri originates. But it was damn hot and the place looked good after the renovation done in 2010. The wishing pool is at the entrance where people throw coins and wish for something. Without wasting anytime we decided to climb up the Brahamagiri hill hoping the temperature would dip. After a 20mins tiring climb we made it to the peak, unfortunately the temperature kept rising. But yeah the place is of importance, Kerala & Mangalore can be seen from this peak. After spending about 20mins on top, we decided to leave Talakaveri.
TIME: 12:45hrs
The ride back was again a slow one back to back… two incidents that has to be mentioned are:
i)                    Sekar & Endu taking the wrong route and riding towards Mangalore before being pulled back.
ii)                  Vineet standing on the road with his bike below him in a pit 😀
So… as we reached Madikeri, we decided not to go to our home stay instead have a lunch and then go. So we went to a hotel and started munching away.
TIME:  15:15hrs

OMKARESHWARA TEMPLE:


As we finished our lunch, we peeped outside the window and we were surprised that we could spot Omkareshwara temple from the hotel. So we decided to finish off the temple. One thing that has to be observed at this temple is the style of architecture. It is constructed in Indo-Islamic style i.e., both Hindu & Muslim style of architecture has been employed.
TIME: 16:00hrs
RIDE 2.2: (Madikeri – Abbey falls – Raja Seat)
After a visiting the temple, we scrapped the plan of going back to home stay instead we thought of covering off Abbey falls. We passed by our home stay and continued further towards the Abbey falls. The ride to this place was a rough one, narrow roads filled with pot-holes made riding slightly challenging.
ABBEY FALLS:

As we reached the falls premises, we parked our bikes and walked a kilometre to get the first glimpse of this magnificent waterfall. The water was fading off, but yeah the sight of the waterfalls made all feel refreshed. We spent about 45mins at this place and left Abbey falls.
TIME: 17:15hrs
Again we thought of going back to our place, but we scrapped the plan again and decided to directly head to Raja Seat for sunset.
TIME: 17:30hrs
Two incidents worth mentioning:
i)                    Ashok getting angry for the first time, as a car touched his new bike.
ii)                  All of us waving & making faces  at the kids & pretty girls of madikeri 🙂

  
RAJA SEAT:
Yeah this place is pretty much in the heart of the town. We spent about 30mins at this place wandering around before we got to witness a brilliant sunset which marked the end of riding for DAY-2.
After the sunset, we returned to our home stay and left for dinner at about 21:00hrs.After a heavy dinner we returned home and fooled around outside for about a couple of hours and finally crashed for some well deserved sleep.
TIME: 00:00hrs
So…that was DAY-2 what do you guys think of it eh… we had pushed ourselves to the extent possible. But yeah covering all these places gave us the satisfaction….next up DAY-3.


DAY-3: (Reckoning day!!)
RISE & SHINE:
I was up at 03:00hrs, highly insomnia tic … when all of a sudden I heard footsteps behind me. I turned back to find Vineet, he sat for about 30mins and went back to sleep. After 4 hours of sitting ideally I started waking up others. At about 08:00hrs everybody was half-awake that was good enough. Arun and I went back to the tombstone behind the place and explored the place. We returned back to find everybody geared up and all set to unwillingly bid adieu to the wonderful town of Madikeri.
Oh yeah before we left we bought lots of coffee powder and stuffed it in our bags 🙂
TIME: 09:30hrs

 
RIDE 3.1: (Madikeri – Hunsur – Mysore– SriRangapatna – Bengaluru)
Alright we were all set to put the last rites on this wonderful trip. Started of from Madikeri in full flow, the excellent curves of the forest kept us awake. The weather was cold and pleasant to ride. Once we reached Kushalanagara, we decided to skip Dubare & Nisargadhama as we would run late. Once we touched SH-88 the temperatures went back up again and we all felt dizzy. We rode back at a much quicker rate and reached Mysoreoutskirts.
TIME: 12:00hrs

 
We were damn hungry as we had skipped breakfast. So we took the by-pass route to re-join SH-17 and rode for about 5kms from Mysoreto find decent dhaba with a great ambience. We ate like there was no tomorrow and had coconut water.
The last 120kms were remaining and this was just formality on SH-17. 4 lane butter smooth road offered little resistance, so with non-stop riding we reached back Bengaluru.
TIME: 16:30hrs

 
CONCLUSION:
It’d like to conclude this long article by saying the following “this was one classic trip which would be buried deep in our minds. 3 days of non-stop riding was just heaven and we had pushed ourselves to the limits on DAY-2. And oh yeah, it was also the perfect New Year gift to everybody 🙂 “
PARTICIPANT VIEW:

ARVIND: If it wasn’t for him, this trip would have been just a dream.
ANURAG: Wanted to ride to this place so bad, not to forget the LamaDoma in Tibet Land. Ha-ha!!
ARUN: With his new hair-style, had to sit behind me to provide minimal drag resistance 😛
ASHOK: First ride on his new bike proved to be excellent, stayed last and made sure everybody were safe.
SEKAR: His cruise run kept continuing.
ENDU: If it wasn’t for his Ghost stories the trip would have been so different.
VINEETH: Thankfully didn’t shred the roads of Madikeri into pieces with his Red beast.
MADHU: The most silent guy of this trip, he hardly spoke but blended in with others perfectly,
SP: Unlike others, had to take bath after 4 days as soon we returned haha:P
Until next time Ciao \m/


Ps: 
Other places to visit around Coorg are: Nisargadhama, Harangi Dam, Dubare Elephant camp, Irupu Falls, Nagarhole forest, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. Have covered these with family.
Album: (Harangi Dam, Nisargadhama, Irupu falls, Nagarhole, Dubare Elephant Camp)
Coorg , Dubaare , Nagarhole: ( 11’12/6/2011)
PICASA WEB: (Full photos)
MAP:

Written by Karthik Prabhu

March 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

47) Mekedatu & Sangama: (16/12/2011)

with 4 comments

Place: Mekedatu & Sangama.
Distance: 100 x 2 = 200kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Kanakpura – Sangama – Mekedatu.
Particiapants: Madhu (Barca) > Manohar (Notorious) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: GS 150> CB Unicorn > Pulsar150.
Previous visit: KanvaReservoir – 2nd anniversary run.
Facebook Page: Mekedatu & Sangama Album.
Budget: Rs300.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Mekedatu is a dangerous, fast flowing, and scenic water spot. Last visit to this place nearly two years back almost took my leg away, well this time things were different, the forest almost took our legs away ha-ha!!

INTRO & PLAN:
Initially the plan was to visit a reservoir and forest in Tamil Nadu. But like always, we prefer Plan B – unplanned one. Manu & Madhu were the only people on the confirmed list. So after finalizing the people and bikes we crashed.
TIME: 23:00 hrs (15/12/2011)
ASSEMBLE:
As usual I was up at around 05:00 hrs, had a sip of coffee did a few push-ups and was all set go. Manu arrived at my place at about 05:45hrs & as we waited for Madhu, Manu and myself were discussing other options. Manu suggested Mekedatu, as he hadn’t seen the actual place. Though I was taken back at the suggestions after the previous visit to this place, it was time put aside the fear and go back to this wonderful place. We departed as soon as soon as Madhu reached my place.
TIME: 06:45 hrs        

   
RIDE I: (Bengaluru – Kanakpura)
This was a 40-50kms stretch. Madhu said he knew a shortcut to reach Kanakpura Road, so we followed him. Believe me it was one kickass route, through thick trees on mud roads and saved a lot of time. Once we reached Kanakpura road it was just formality, we rode at a decent pace negotiating the curves of NH-209 to perfection to reach the town for breakfast.
TIME: 08:15 hrs
KANAKPURA: (Breakfast stop)
Alright…. We ordered some hot breakfast and coffee. Yeah as we ate the light breakfast, we again had a discussion about the destination. BR hills & Muthati were the among the hot favourites, but finally we decided to stick on to Mekedatu. After the breakfast we hit road without wasting anytime.
TIME: 08:45 hrs


RIDE – II: (Kanakpura – Mekedatu)
This was another 40-50kms stretch, but we took our own sweet time completing this stretch. We made sure we rode slow to enjoy the surroundings and the curves as we had no intentions of returning back home till evening ha-ha!!
We rode at a decent pace, back to back keeping the formation intact. We took lot of pit-stops, sitting on the road, enjoying the fresh air and scenic view all around us.
The final stretch to Mekedatu comprises of 2-3 hairpin curves, we switched of our engines and allowed our bikes to take us for the nest 3-4kms to reach Sangama.
TIME: 10:00 hrs

 

SANGAMA:
First things first, we parked our bikes under a tree. We started fooling around climbing up trees. I guess our basic instincts got the better of us ha-ha. Even the few monkeys at the place were taken aback.
As we moved on, I received another shocker. The place had a complete make over, restaurants, temples, gardens, clear boards, inspection bungalows etc.,

 

Two years back it had and absolute hardcore isolated look, with only on small shop and nothing else.
As we reached the river we were glad that the water level was low. Last visit it was here that I crushed my knee against a boulder as fell into the flowing waters. So I requested Manu who was the tallest among us to carry my bag which had their jackets and other belongings. We cautiously crossed the river and reached the other side.
TIME: 10:15 hrs

 
ADVENTURE WALK:

So…, yeah we had reached the other side. And as we did we heard there was elephants spotting near by :D, there was no stopping me from rushing to the spot. Jumping across the rocky terrain and running we reached the river shore to find these two huge elephants on the other side i.e from the Muthati forest.
Alright…, there are two ways of reaching Mekedatu after you cross Sangama. One way is the normal way by taking the bus and then there’s our way by picking up basic tools like a stick and a knife and walking 12-15kms through the forest filled with snakes and other wild creatures.

     
As we started the walk, we picked up our sticks and started chatting and cracking jokes. The trees were initially lean but as we proceeded it got real thick and we felt completely isolated. The silence was something we were enjoying but yeah it was scary too.
We were eagerly waiting for some wild animal to jump out of the forest when all of a sudden Manu and me who were in front felt the ground trembling (just like in the movies). As we turned back we could see Madhu, and yeah behind him was a sight I won’t be forgetting for a long long time.

 
About 30-40 huge bulls were charging right at us, in a matter of seconds we jumped out the muddy trail & hopped onto some rocky terrain beside the fast flowing waters. Trust me we were saved by a whisker 🙂
We waited for the gang to pass and then we resumed. After about 30 minutes of another isolated walk we encountered them again. Believe me they meant business, few of them actually turned back and started walking towards us. So we decided to go off the off-road :P. We continued along the fast flowing waters on the rocky terrain and rejoined the path only to find more bulls.

 
Alright…, we worked out a detailed plan and the plan was simple “walk right past it :P”… and thankfully it worked as we didn’t make any sudden movements to piss it off.
Finally the forest adventure ended as we reached Mekdatu 🙂
(Yeah all these encounters with bulls might sound funny, but trust me we had the same notion of bulls as simple creatures but this was something else)
TIME: 11:45 hrs
MEKEDATU:



Ah yeah there she was eagerly waiting for my arrival. We took some rest at the sit out and started to descend the rocky steps. We spotted a small snake on the steps but it was not worth the catch so we moved on to reach the place. And guess what, we were the only 3 at the entire place. Yup we were very glad to have the place for ourselves, and yeah it also meant extra dangerous.
We removed our shoes and started to explore with caution as the force of the water was simply terrifying, the thunderous roar of the water hitting the rocks could be heard during the walk only. Madhu & Manu were totally happy & satisfied with the place; I mean yeah it was worth all the efforts put into the walk. Continuing further we reached the final tip of Mekedatu where the water splits by hitting a boulder on which we were happily sitting.

  

We were at the tip; the clear instructions were no stupid and foolish tricks as nobody was around. We started fooling around, Manu and madhu threw their sticks into the water to examine the force, after further fooling around we took a small 20mins nap on the boulder.
After a while we woke up safely thankfully not falling off our beds haha!! We headed back to the sit out. We didn’t even have water in the bottle, so took extra rest and decided to walk back through the forest.
TIME: 13:00 hrs

ADVENTURE WALK 2:
As we walked back, my right knee which had problems from the start snapped. But we continued further and Madhu and Manu suggested we visit another spot along the way. And there she was Mekedatu-2 aKa Goatiedatu.
GOATIE-DATU: (Mekedatu-2)

Well yeah the name was coined by us only. But yeah this place was simply brilliant; it had a balance of fast flowing waters and small peaceful streams. The water was crystal clear and first thing we did was quench our thirst. Further we washed our faces and started to explore the place to find trees fallen down due to the force, small falls etc.,
We spent some quality time at this place and as we left the place found my shoe sole had a huge crack in it and my right knee was in deep shit pain.
TIME:  13:45 hrs

 
ADVENTURE WALK 3:
As we continued further, we kept laughing all the way to find the biggest hurdle of the trip. About 100-130 bulls were on either side of the muddy trail. And as per the day’s proceedings, even a tiger seemed less dangerous than these creatures. Slowly without any sudden movements we started the 10min walk (literally) amidst the bulls smiling at every creature ha-ha!!
Once we were out, we spotted a snake but unfortunately couldn’t catch it as it disappeared into the woods. We continued further taking a shortcut to reach Sangama.
TIME: 14:30 hrs

 
SANGAMA:
As we reached Sangama, Madhu & Manu jumped into the waters for a much needed rest as I sat ashore. After spending about 30-40mins we crossed back the river cautiously to reach our bikes. And yeah I still had my stick with me (latter it had a name too:P), it was all ready to ride back to Bangalore with usas well.
TIME:15:30 hrs
RIDE III: (Sangama- Kanakpura)
This was about 40 kms stretch. We rode at a decent pace without taking any breaks to reach Kanakpura hotel for a much deserved lunch.
We entered the hotel limping, and ordered a very heavy lunch, ah yeas it tasted so much better since we had earned it totally. After a heavy Oota we washed our faces and left.
TIME: 16:45 hrs

 
RIDE: IV: (Kanakpura – Bengaluru)
This was about 50kms formality stretch; all we had to do was stay awake as we had eaten a very lunch. As the sun started going down, the shadow formed on the road as we rode is something you should have a look. Haha we looked like warriors. We did some smooth riding on NH-209 to reach Bengaluru.
TIME: 17:45 hrs
Sat at the NICE road exit and spoke for about 30mins and left to reach our respective homes.
TIME: 18:30 hrs

 
CONCLUSION:
Well this was one kickass adventure, on of the best till date. It surely stands up with the other adventures like 
Pearlvalley – In search of Elephants, 
Skandagiri night trek – Misty Death trek, 
Kabbalu trek – Peak into the next life, 
TG reservoir – Fun run etc.,
It was crazy on the part of us to walk 12-15kms through the forest encountering snakes and bulls but  trust me it was worth all of it”
PARTICIPANT VIEW:
MANU: Led the way throughout and it was him who suggested this place else we wouldn’t have had such a great adventure.
MADHU: Known for his reserved nature, but this time kept the spirits up with his jokes and not forget his golden find “Goatie-datu”.
SP: Brought back the “Weapon of mass destruction”, ( Haha now you know what the stick has been named)
Until next time, ta-da Ciaa\m/


PICASA ALL PHOTOS:


MAP:

Written by Karthik Prabhu

February 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

45) Hogenakkal waterfalls- – the forest ride: (3/11/2011)

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Place: Hogenekkal waterfalls.
Distance: 150 x 2 = 300kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Hosur – Denkankottai – Anchetty – Pennagaram – Hogenekkal.
Particiapants: Chethan(Zethu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar.
Previous visit: Mahadevapura– bird sanctuary.
Facebook page: Hogenekkal waterfalls.
Budget: Rs200/h.
Before I write this article I’d love to say “ this was one of my best trips, and surely goes along with the other major ones like MMhills BR hills ShivnasamudaraKabbalu death trekChitradurga fort & Vani Vilas Sagara etc.,
I’v written this article based on the road rather than the destination. So one might find it odd, but yeah it was never about the destination. Hope you enjoy it”

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Alright this is one trip that will remain buried in my mind forever. Hogenekkal is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India. It is called “India’s Niagara” for a good reason. But this trip was “never about the destination, it was about he road to the destination”.
INTRO & PLAN:
Well… as far as the planning goes, initially there was no destination decided. Zethu was the only one on the confirmed list, so we decided to meet at my place in the morning and then decide which way to head. But yeah I had read about this awesome route in Tamil Nadu through forests and greenery, and yeah avoiding the highway is something both of us wanted to do.
TIME: 23:00 hrs (2/11/2011)

ASSEMBLE:
Yeah I was up at 04:00hrs, had a sip of coffee, did a few sit-ups and was all set to go. Finally Zethu arrived at my place & said he couldn’t get his bike, so we decided to head out on my bike and destination being somewhere on that route.
TIME: 06:15 hrs
RIDE I: (Bengaluru – Hosur)
This was a 40-50kms stretch, probably the only stretch on the highway. We first got out of the city when the traffic was lean, then cruised along NH-7 to reach Karnataka – TN border at about 06:45hrs and continued on to reach the outskirts of Hosur.
TIME: 07:15 hrs

RIDE II: (Hosur – Denkankotte)
This was about 30kms stretch. Once we reached the outskirts of Hosur we took a deviation for there, and yeah filled up petrol as it was almost empty and cheap in TN as well. We had some tea and were all set to face what was in-stored for us that day.

The ride started of with some super awesome curves. As we drifted along the curves, the forest started getting thicker and we began to feel the isolation from the noisy word. We did take a few stops to enjoy the greenery and surroundings. It was not long before we reached Denkankotte.

TIME: 08:00 hrs (Around)

RIDE III: (Denkankotte – Anchetty)
This was another 35-40kms stretch. As we passed Denkankotte, we asked for directions and we were enroute Anchetty. The roads continued to be excellent, with surroundings getting better as the time kept ticking.
After sometime we finally found the hairpin curves and Zethu who was riding executed these with fun. Oh yeah we also spotted a huge water falls amidst the forest, it was pretty far.
TIME: 08:30 hrs
As we continued along the hairpin curves, the clouds burst open. We had to put all our belongings inside my bag, wrapped up tightly in a towel.

Ps: this route is fantastic no doubt, but there are two bridges that needs to be noted. During rainy season these bridges are flooded, so it is difficult/impossible to cross.
But thankfully in both the bridges the water was just below the bridge I mean hardy 10cms below and it was fast flowing. So we crossed these bridges without any trouble.
TIME: 08:45 hrs

THE PERFECT PIT-STOP:

Once we crossed the bridges, the trees covered up the sky letting only a few rays from the sun to hit the tar. It was foggy and as we came out of the canopy ride, there it was – the perfect stop!!
We could see a wide range of mountains and clouds right in front of it slowly drifting. Check out the snaps, it expresses much better and I’m kinda actually out of words to explain the beauty. So… this was the perfect pit stop with breadth taking scenery. We sat for a good 30mins at this amazing place and finally decided to leave with our spirits flying high.
TIME: 09:30hrs

RIDE IV: (Songs of the Isolated)

As we continued the ride, we found more hair pin curves. Zethu was enjoying every moment. The forest got real thick & we felt completely isolated from the world. So we kept singing all sorts of songs loudly too :P. Bob Marley songs being the favorites ha-ha!!

As our singing continued the rain gods appeared again and burst open the clouds big time. Well we were lucky enough to find a view point, so pulled over. But yeah we didn’t mind getting drenched in the rain.
The view was superb, once the rains slowed down we could see the clouds and the mist moving all around us. We were very happy with the proceedings and were ready for what was next ahead to come.
TIME: 10:00 hrs

RIDE V: (Glimpses of the past)

As we left the view point, there were signs of land slides throughout. Mud collapsed on the road, rocks fallen on the neat road. The cold misty ride continued so did our singing ha-ha!! After sometime we spotted the magnificent MM hills. Oh yeah Hogenekkal and MM hills are 40kms away. On spotting these hills we started chatting about out our crazy 600kms one day ride we had a few months back.
Continuing further there were many small streams we had to cross, it was a few seconds ride to cross, but had pebbles and gravels. So controlling the bike became a challenge, but Zethu had no problems and we easily crossed it.

As we continued further, the tar roads faded away leaving us on mud road. Yes was an added joy to us, because we had ridden on every terrain possible and this was another.
The off-road journey was for about 5-6kms, once that ended it left us back on tar road. The road condition remained brilliant and yeah the forest got real thick (& yeah both of stopped singing automatically ha-ha!!). It was like a combination Muthathi forest and BR hills forest ride. It was not long before we spotted the flowing waters of Hogenekkal and we rode along side it for about 10-15 kms to reach a small town.
TIME: 11:00hrs

ACCIDENT: (Hit the Bull’s Eye)

Okay… we had to take a right turn (U’ish turn) once we reached the town but we missed it and continued further. As we continued on good roads I turned back to spot a stone which read “Hogenekkal 5kms” ha-ha!! So we took a U-turn and headed back.
Alright here’s the funny part we wondering how the trip had turned out to be so smooth & perfect and other things.
After 5mins BAM!! A bull from no where slammed into our bike. Both of us were baldly injured…
Zethu – forehead busted open, bleeding big time; Right arms torn with scratches; Shoes had a hole in it to damage right foot; Jeans torn and knee bleeding.
Sp – Right palm deep abrasion & bleeding; 3 fingers numb; Right knee had problems before the trip now completely dead!!

Ha-ha soo…. Now that was our situation, I was struggling to walk as I saw blood dripping from Zethu’s forehead onto his face. My right palm was in pretty bad shape too, as blood was dripping out of it too. (The marks still remain as I write this article)
I checked my bike and surprisingly it was all good, only a few scratches near the wolf lamps.
Took out all the small pieces of cloth I had and tied to Zethu and wrapped my bike cleaning cloth to my palm (I know it’s unhygienic, but yeah that’s the best I could do). 

Before we left we searched for the bull that had caused all the chaos, wanted to make sure the poor creature was alright. We found it happily grazing with it’s other companions ha-ha!! So now it was my turn to take over the bike, so with Zethu sitting behind we rode to a clinic and as Zethu was getting his treatment I stood outside with my right hand tightly wrapped.

TIME: 12:00 hrs
HOGENEKKAL FALLS:
Once Zethu was out of the clinic with all the bandages on his head, hand, knees and foot, we looked pretty much beaten up from head to toe ha-ha!! But frankly this did the least bit to pull down our spirits. We laughed looking at each others condition… and said to each other “Lets hope we go back home” and had a hearty laugh.
As we continued towards the falls, every person we met started questioning about our condition, so Zethu took the towel from my bag and wrapped it around his head and wore his sweater back to avoid further question-answer sessions ha-ha!!

 

As we reached the falls premises we found that the boat ride had been banned. We took a walk on the hanging bridge and continued further to view the first stretch of the falls. Well during my last visit to Hogenekkal, I hadn’t seen this stretch. So…. We continued further, Zethu was pretty messed up and I was limping across the rocky terrain with still the blood stained cloth in my hand.

Finally we reached the main falls and spent some quality time admiring the force & beauty of the waterfalls. The falls was at its best no doubt.
As we walked back, we had to cross many powerful streams over bridges all along the way. I removed the cloth on my hand and casually dipped my hand in the fast flowing icy-cold water, next thing you know I was running/limping biting my teeth as hard as possible and the cloth even tightly wrapped ha-ha!! Basically we were out of Hogenekkal…
TIME: 13:30 hrs


RIDE VI: (Hogenekkal – Anchetty – Denkankotte – Hosur)
Okay… we thought of taking the highway, but yeah decided to head back in the same route we came as it was breadth-taking and yeah I could ride the curves this time.
So I rode back pretty cautiously negotiating the curves with joy and cracking jokes all along the way. We stopped amidst the forest ghat roads, and removed Lays from my bag and started munching as we hadn’t eaten anything that day. And as we rode further… we had forgotten about the singing.., so as we began to sing again… yeah the rain came down mercilessly this time ha-ha!!

I mean this time the rain gods were real pissed off at our singing I guess :P,  we had to pull over this time as our wounds were paining. Finally once the rains slowed down, we rode non-stop with some soft singing, to reach the outskirts of Hosur. We sat on a bench and removed some corn and started munching it… and yeah shared it with all the living creatures we found around us… Ants, Crows etc.
We continued further to reach back Karnataka-TN border at about 17:00hrs, and tackling the traffic we reached back to my place at about 18:00hrs. I picked up my helmet from the garage and off we went again to Zethu’s place.
Dropped Zethu to his place, and I rode back to reach my place 🙂
TIME: 20:00hrs

CONCLUSION:
Well this was one of my best trips till date. We had to ride on every terrain possible highways, ghats, forest roads, mud roads, streams… and yeah I was in pretty bad shape even before the trip started and pulling off this trip meant something special… oh yeah the budget of the trip was Rs 200/ head (+Rs 150 clinic).. but the experience of a lifetime 🙂
PARTICIAPNT VIEW:

ZETHU: The perfect rider with whom I can chat, sing along, crack jokes and yeah time is never a constraint when he’s alongside. His cool temper helped a lot in pulling this one off in one-piece.
PULSAR: Well it takes more than a mere accident to stop this baby from ruling the highways… and yeah it was never like a bike more like a companion. And yeah brought us back safely 🙂
SP: Will improve my singing ha-ha 😛
Until next time…. Ta-da, Cia \m/

 

PICASA ALBUM: (Please go through each photo to see the route which we took)
MAP:

Written by Karthik Prabhu

January 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm