Thursday, April 12, 2018

157) Gundal Dam: (7/4/2018)

Place: Gundal Dam
Distance: 150kms x 2 = 300kms
Directions: Bangalore > Kanakpura > Mallavali > Kollegala > Gundal Dam
Krew: Dileep (Koof) > Madhu (Gundu)  > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                   
Previous Visit: Doddagaddavali
Budget: Rs 700/head

Awestruck is the right word to describe our take on this chapter. Gundal is beautiful and serene reservoir located amidst the thick forests of lower Western Ghats. Hardly 15kms from Kollegala this reservoir proved to be a hidden jewel all these years. And to top things off we had our session at the legendary Buyyanadoddi fish fry, WOW!

Weekday, I was browsing for few new places, when I hit upon this place. I was slightly confused and felt the google was fooling around. I mean it had been 7-8years on the road and we had covered a lot of places in an around that area. How the hell could we miss such an amazing place? So with my dear Laxmi friends – Koof and Madho we were all set to ride. This was the only time we had upto to PLAN E as we weren’t sure if the place would actually exist, if it does we weren’t sure whether water would be there!
TIME: 22:00 (6/4/2017)


Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups and sit ups, had a sip of coffee and was all set to go.  Called up Koof and Modho and woke them up. Initially the plan was to ride via Mysore road, but thanks to Koof’s last minute change we rode via Kanakpura road for a given reason you shall soon find out.  I left my home and while waiting for Modho outside his home, found 100bucks on road.. aha breakfast money set! Picking up Modho we met Koof at the NICE road junction at Kanakpura and left from Bangalore.
TIME: 07:15

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Kanakpura – Malavalli – Kollegala – Gundal Dam)
It was quite some time since we had started off on NH-209. It felt good and weird at the same time. Cruising through the snake way, we kept a decent pace. As we approached Kanakpura we pulled over at one of the super hotel – “HOTEL VAASU” the reason why we had chosen Kanakpura road over Mysore road.
TIME: 08:30


Belting 3 rounds of breakfast, and tummy completely satisfied with the awesome dosas and bath we left the hotel and resumed our journey. The ride was smooth and straight forward. To be frank it took me back to the days of Shivanasamudra, Talakdau, BR Hills, MM Hills days during engineering time. Not to forget the crossing the river on a coracle with our bikes on it hehe.

We cruised past Gaganachukki and Barachukki and entered the Kollegala limits.  The first canal of the Shivanasamudra was running dry and it pretty much left us low. Asking the locals for directions, we proceeded towards Gundal. Being harldy 12kms from Kollegala, we reduced our speed and had a good look around. The final stretch to Gundal had lots of solar panels kilometres together and on the other side of the road were chicken farm. Finally we reached Gundal and a huge bund wall was in front of us, not knowing what is on the other side was giving me butterflies in my tummy. As the bike good go on top we raced away to the top of the bund to get the look.

My God! What a view we received. Whoo.. it was a huge relief that there was water and the place looks awesome! We rode all the way to the end mesmerized by the view the dam offered us. We went up to the IB which was being constructed and got a clearer view of the entire place. We rode back down to the bund and we decided to get into the water.


The waters were freaking cold and the sun was right on top of our head. It was like fire and ice effect. The waters were crystal clear and being in the waters koof and modho were picking on me as to why I didn’t search this place before haha! Also, please note the waters turn deep in a short distance. After an hour of swimming we decided to bask in the sun to dry up and shortly we left the place still awestruck!
TIME: 12:30

RIDE 2: (Gundal dam – Kollegala – Mallavali – Buyyanadoddi – Kanakpura - Bangalore)
The ride back was a flat 150kms, but with an awesome stop at Buyyanadoddi. As we began our ride, we knew it would be hard as we had taken a dip in the waters. We rode pretty much non-stop until Mallavali picking up a bottle of water we proceeded towards Kanakpura. At Halguru, we took a left turn and headed towards the legendary fish fry stop at Buyyanadoddi. As we arrived the fish were just being prepared on the tawa, so we decided to head out and get ourselves some kottu so that we could crash for some time. Once the fish arrived the session began and it went to a couple of hours. Whew! Awesome it was, finally paying them a lot of courtesy and respect we left the place afloat.


Riding back towards Bangalore, we stopped one last time again for the day at Hotel Vaasu to get a Masala Dosa into our system. Yummy! After which we rode non-stop and pulled over at NICE road. Koof went ahead through the city Modho and me took the NICE road.
No not yet over, on the NICE road as we approached towards the Shanmukha temple we were watching out for a place where we could get Modho off , this is when another Pulsar at 90+kmph slammed into my hand (had held my hand on sides of the handle). Right fist was numb, but dropped Modho back home and reached my home with a numb right fist hehe.
TIME: 18:30

Whata great chapter this was! Truly one of the top 15. Firstly we didn’t know whether the place would actually exist. Second of all, even though it would exist, what were the chances that water would be there considering the summer heat. Things paid off, cheers to that!
Until next time, Cia \m/



Sunday, April 8, 2018

156) Doddagaddavalli: (10/3/2018)

Place: Doddagadavalli
Distance: 200kms x 2 = 400kms
Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Kunigal > CR Patna > Hassan > Doddagadavali
Krew: Deepak (Deefu) > Datta (Dattu) > Avinash (Avi)  > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                   
Previous Visit: Vanivilas Sagara Dam
Budget: Rs 600/head

Alright, this was ride to a new place of historical importance. Doddagadavali situated on the Hassan-Belur road is known for being one of the earliest discovered Hoysala temples. The temple premises is just so pleasant.

February had seen no chapters. Hence, early in march we planned this jinxed trip. Yes, ride to Doddagadavalli after Mahe, is one such trip that had failed to execute 10+times. And finally everyone pumped to pull this one off. Dattu & Deefu were on the confirmed list.
TIME: 22:00 (12/3/2017)

Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups and sit ups, had a sip of coffee and was all set to go.  Called Avi at 5:30, asked him what he was doing :D. Once the obvious reply came through, I asked if was free for the day and asked him to get ready in 15mins.  Went to Avi’s home picked him up and met the other two on the Outer Ring road. After some formal introductions, we decided to head out of Bangalore. 
TIME: 6:30


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Nelamangala – Kunigal – CR Patna – Hassan - Doddagadavalli)
This was 200kms straightforward ride. We knew the path was long one, but we also knew the roads were in awesome condition. All we had to do was stick to our lane and zoom ahead. We rode about 100kms and pulled over at our regular hotel on Hassan road.
TIME: 08:30

Post a pretty darn good breakfast, we decided we hit the road. With just 1 stop in between we entered the Hassan city limits and we took off the Halebidu road by mistake. But the re-routing led us through beautiful field sand peaceful atmosphere. Finally we joined back the Belur-Hassan road and asking the locals for the direction we proceeded towards Doddagadavali. We were able to see the shrines from far off. It was like this old bunch of temples had been just placed in middle of modern homes.
TIME: 11:45

We were quite impressed by the tranquillity which shrouded this place. All surrounding places were burning hot, but within the temple premises it was cool and the air kept flowing to carry away our sweat. There are 4 shrines and overall the temple looked pretty damn ancient. We took our time to have closer looks at the art work, connected it with our friends and ended had a laughter marathon.
We sat in peace for about an hour and then decided to leave the place.
TIME: 13:00


RIDE 2: (Doddagadavalli- Hassan- CR Patna- Kunigal - Bangalore)
As we left Doddagadavalli, we began searching for a dhaba to crash. Unfortunately we didn’t find any good ones on the route to Hassan. So we ended up in the Hassan-Bangalore highway, finding a nice place, we crashed in for a good session.
TIME: 14:00

After spending about 2.5 hours at the dhaba we left afloat. Hopped on our bikes and began zooming towards Bangalore. We took couple of breaks as our body had begun to wear down. Thanking Deefu and Dattu for making it for the day, we split at the NICE road junction at Tumkur road. Avi and myself continued and reached the PES exit, then rode to BTM to drop Avi and returned back home.
TIME: 21:00

Tiring yes, but ready for more? Hell yeah! It was super duper ride, the get things back in shape. Yes we had revised our plan for more or less 1 chapter a month. To get a chapter earlier on in the month felt freaking great.
Until next time, Cia \m/



155) Marikanive Dam: (7/1/2018)

Place: Marikanive Dam
Distance: 200kms x 2 = 400kms
Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Tumkur > Sira > Hiriyur > Marikanive
Krew: Avinash (Happy)  > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Ethina Bhuja
Budget: Rs 500/head

Alright, this was an amazing ride to get things back on the road. Being Avi’s first ride with us, tit was a repeat ride to this serene reservoir to ensure a super hit. And more importantly this was a great way to kick start 2018.

It’d been a while since we got on road and December 2017 we could not pull a chapter, hence was already feeling a little edgy. So, decided to head out to a known place with a good friend. Vanivilas dam was the choice of preference we were it wouldn’t disappoint.
TIME: 22:00 (6/1/2017)


Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups and sit ups, had a sip of coffee and was all set to go.  Left my home at about 5:30AM and headed towards Jayadeva to pick Avi. After picking up Avi, we rode back towards Mysore road and then joined the Tumkur road and zoomed out of the Bangalore with the air still cold. Btw, just a reminder it was a Sunday!
TIME: 06:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Dobbaspete – Sira – Hiriyur – Vanivilas Sagara Dam)
This was 200kms straightforward ride. As we left Bangalore, we cruised along chatting peacefully. The weather was colder than we anticipated. We had some juice to warm up and we kept sipping now and then. We pulled over at our regular hotel to much down on some tasty idly vada.
TIME: 07:00
The ride post this was again on the 6lane NH-4. We cruised along in a smooth manner with 2 stops to reach the beautiful Vanivilas Sagara.
TIME: 10:00

As we climbed the stairs Avi was quite confused as I had not told him about the place also I had told him not to search for the place over the phone. Once we were on the bund, he was awestruck and so was i. No matter how many times I come to this place, the beauty of the tranquil waters of this place leaves me spellbound. We walked over to the other side and the view just kept getting better. We found a nice place to crash and we just sat in silence admiring the beautiful picture in front of us.
We spent about an hour and then decided to leave back.
TIME: 11:00


RIDE 2: (Vanivilasa Sagara – Hiriyur – Sira – Tumkur – Bangalore)
Leaving from Vanivilas we began searching for a nice place to crash. Finally we just stood on the highway and finished off all the liquids in bag. Riding afloat we pulled over at some new dhaba just before Tumkur. The food proved to be amazing and the ambience was a killer too!
TIME: 13:00

After spending about an hour at the dhaba we realised my bike had a flat tyre. It was high time I got it replaced. We changed the tube and proceeded to cruise past tumkur and Nelamangala to reach the NICE road exit. From NICE road we got out of PES exit and proceeded towards BTM. After dropping Avi, reached back home!
TIME: 17:00

Welcome 2018, a repeat yes. But awesome ride, yes again! It was the first trip with a good buddy from office (hardly use those two in the same sentence!) haha! It was a kick-ass sstart to a fresh year   
Until next time, Cia \m/



Saturday, November 18, 2017

154) Ethina Bhuja Trek: (12,13,14/11/2017)

Place: Ethina Bhuja betta trek
Distance: 275kms x 2 = 550kms
Total Trek Distance (time): ~ 2kms. Route we took is from Nyanbhairaraveshara temple(1hour – ascend ;0.5h - descend)
Directions: Bangalore > Kunigal > Hassan > Sakleshpura > Hanbal > Ethina Bhuja
Krew: Deepak (Deefu) > Datta (Dattu) > Ashok (Momz)  > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Beat                                                                                     
Previous Visit: Horsley Hills
Budget: Rs 5500/head

Alright, this was an amazing trek to conquer one of the most sort out peak of Western ghats as a mark of Deefu's birthday. As I was down with fever and cold we decided to experiment a little and go in car. From the Hanbal side the trek is pretty easy and can be covered in just 3-4 hours in total. The view from the summit of this hillock is just crazy – the entire western ghats!
Ethina Bhuja = Ox’s Back (Kannada)

Acchooo, yeah that was my status. Bad, terribly bad and down with cold. A week had passed since Deefu’s birthday so we thought we could celebrate it in Western Ghats. So, the major peak of Western Ghats was planned – Ethina Bhuja. Also, finally after a lot of fluctuations I agreed to go in a car hehe. This trek from Nanya Bhaireshwara side can be planned as a one day trip in car easily, we had other plans in agenda so crashed for 3 days.
TIME: 22:00 (11/11/2017)

Yeah I was up at 04:30, still down with little cold had forgot to charge my camera. Damn, I thought, did a few push-ups & sit-ups and had a hot cup of coffee. Rode to Dattu’s place where the meeting was scheduled. Once Deefu and Momz arrived we left Bangalore.
TIME: 09:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Nelamangala  - Kunigal – Hassan – Sakleshpura – Hanbal - Homestay)
This was 250km drive pretty much straight forward and simple. As we left Dattu was in control of the wheels and Deefu and me sitting behind had other plans haha. After covering a good 75kms we pulled over for some yummy breakfast at our regular hotel.
TIME: 11:00


After some yummy breakfast, we pulled over next near Yadiyur to re-fill out stocks. After we left all hell broke loose. We put Contra theme song and started discussing on different levels of the game. Hahaha took us back to school days for sure. And with head floating around, next was Adventure island hahaha. After we crossed pass Hassan, we pulled over for a small break. Continuing further we reached Hanbal and with the directions clear in my head we proceeded to reach the home stay where Kushan was eagerly waiting for our arrival, it damn good to see an old friend.
TIME: 15:30

As Kushan welcomed us, I asked as o where Pintu (his super dog) was. He said it was resting as it was hit by a sickle and had picked up a brutal scar. Quickly we freshened up and began having a yummy lunch awaiting us. With no signal for next 3 days I packed both my phones into my bag.
Since it was a Sunday, most of the people had left and we had the entire home to ourselves, it felt freaking great. Still afloat, we made It down and relaxed outside for a while. Then we as soon as we saw the new badminton court oh yes, it was on. 


Enquiring about Ethina Bhuja we played on for another couple of hours. After which we decided to take our stuff and have a session in the middle of the plantations – the elephant route hoping to sight the mighty creature. As the sun began to fade for the day, it light the mountains afar with a reddish hue. Darkness descended quick and we went having round after round sitting on the rocks amidst the dark.

We returned to the homestay gliding along the plantations, looking out for elephants and then as we made it, we realised the camp fire was already lit and awaiting us. We got some more wood and sat around the camp fire having snacks and discussing about tomorrow’s plan. The session went on until 12AM and then we finally decided to crash.
TIME: 23:45

DAY 2 – The Reckoning Day!
No prizes for guessing who was up first. Yup, was up by 4AM, and went outside and sat immersing myself in the solitude and pouring. Went on and on until I finished a whole full bottle. Once everybody were up we began playing carom. Once we finished a yummy breakfast we awoke the lizard’s sprit within us and were all set for the trek. We drove till Nanya Bhaireshwara temple, parking the car at the temple were ready for the trek.
TIME: 10:30

Alright, the trek was an easy one. It took us exactly 1 hour to reach the top inclusive of breaks. We ascended the hillock from the Nanya Bhareshwara temple side. So, like said earlier 3 days might not be required. The segments of the treks are as follows:
i)   Initial Stretch
ii)  Through the forest
iii)  Climb the ox back
So, those were the 3 strecthes, now try to keep up with me here,

i) Initial stretch
As we left the temple premises, the route was quite clear. And we began to move into the jungle
in quite jolly mood, making sure our ears were ticking. The jungle is known for elephant attacks
so better keep that ear ticking.


ii) Through the Forest:
After quite some distance, the muddy trail turned into pebble filled terrain. This made things tricky and slippery. We missed out a turn and actually got lost into the wilderness here but not for long. We were wading out way through chest level crops chopping off and clearing path using knives and sticks.


iii) Climb the ox’s back:
After pulling through the forest we had one hill to ascend (locals call it the 1st hill) the peak was
not visible from this point. But knew 100% it was quite close and it was just over that 1st hill. We fooled around, played along and once we finally completed the 1st hill, the goal was clear in our sight. Pushing hard, we reached the final ascent. This was a muddy trail and was quite easy as well. But I’m sure in monsoons it would slippery and offer hell to climbers. Afte 15-20mins of pushing, we were on top. Wohoo!!
TIME: 11:30

We were actually a little disappointed with the easiness of the trek. But the view the summit offered blowed us away. We could actually see the entire Western Ghats and it filled us up with Pride and Joy. Jennukallu &Deepadkallu could be seen afar. Staring right into our face was the mighty Amedikallu. We sat on a edge of the cliff and just took in the greenery amazing it was. We had a few chocolates and water and sat enjoying the view for some more time. After spending an hour on top we decided to head down.
TIME: 12:30


The descent hardly took us 30mins. We were totally rejuvenated from the view atop the summit. It was time to dance and head down. And we pulled each other’s legs all along the way to make it back to the temple in 30mins.
TIME: 13:00
We visited the temple as a mark of respect to the place, we were offered fruits and water. After refreshing ourselves we decided to head back to the home stay and belt some good lunch.


As we reached the home stay, a yummy lunch awaited us. We freshened up and started belting down some good good lunch. I came down with fever, the plan was to visit Aarekall gudda for a small trek. But I crashed in and had a deep sleep. Woke up by evening, by then Ashok and Deefu had gone for another round of session supplies. Dattu and me continued to play badminton. Once the sun began to go down, we put up a campfire and began. Pintu and all the other dogs were with us and we had a great time. Finishing the dinner we crashed pretty late as there was no pressure for the next day.
TIME: 01:00


And the award for the early bird goes to? Yeah, was up again at 6:00, not bad, still feverish but ready to kick some ass. The left over 1 full was opened right in the morning and started carom. After a heavy yummy breakfast we thanked Kushan and bid farewell to the awesome Pintu hehe.
On the way back, we visited the Abbi falls for 5-10mins. And then it was a non-stop drive towards Sakleshpura and Hassan. On the way, Deefu made us listen to Donnu Donnu song from Maari (Tamil) and that was it. It was my first time hearing that song and , that was it :P. Next 3-4hours, it was the only song that was played until we reached Dattu’s place haha!. From here we thanked each other for making it and split to reach our respective homes.
TIME: 15:00

This was more of relaxed and fun filled chapter. Ethina Bhuja despite of the fierce reputation proved quite easy. Enjoyed all the three days and more importantly the might peak of the Western ghats was conquered with running nose hahahaha!   
If you are planning to head out this side, drop me a mail or message so that I can hook you up with the same home stay.
Until next time, Cia \m/