Saturday, March 25, 2017

136) Mahe & Kannur: (8‘9‘10/10/2016)

Place: Mahe & Kannur
Distance: 800kms in total.
Directions: Bangalore > Mysore > Hunsur > Gonikoppal > Virajpete > Irity > Mahe > Kannur
Krew: Gautham (Gauti) > Madhu (Barca) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: FZ16 > Pulsar                                                                      
Previous Visit: Dandiganahalli Dam
Budget: Rs 2500/head

This was a long awaited trip. After having pulled back about 7-8times, it felt real frikking good to get this baby under the belt. Mahe well, umm.. ahem is the under Pondicherry but in Kerala so it was like paradise to us. And well Kannur is a well-known tourist destination and never has it disappointed me until today. This was a 3 day trip, but the third day turned out to be the busiest!

After having spent about 1 month in Baroda I returned back to Bangalore. It was now or never, I thought to myself about Mahe. Initially Mahe trip was planned in the month of September 2014 but was never executed.  Had tried really hard to get this one done, but just never couldn’t. Anyway, with Madhu joining from Bangalore and Gauti joining from Mysore we took one day leave and decided to conquer these places.
TIME: 22:00 (7/10/2016)

Oh yeah woke up at 04:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! Rode to Madhu’s place and after waiting for 30-40mins finally the big guy woke up and asked me to wait for some more time (hehe!). After about an hour so, mighty Madhu came down and we left Bangalore.
TIME: 06:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Mysore – Virajpete - Mahe)
Well, this was about 350kms ride for DAY-1. It was just as we expected – awesome! We joined Mysore road and zoomed away. The weather was pretty cool being the post-monsoon season. We pulled over at our regular Bidadi hotel for some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 07:00

After having belted multiple rounds we had some light tea and left.  We had told Gauti that we would reach the Mysore by 10AM.  We rode pretty much at a decent place catching up on each other’s life and adventures undertaken during the last month (hehe, yeah!) We pulled over at Mandya for some tea again, called up Gauti to inform about our status. 
In about an hour or so we reached Mysore. We met Gauti and all three of us met a common friend of Gauti & Madhu.  Once we left Mysore, the sun had come up and temperatures were up. Even then we got half a bottle of juice, water and soft drinks and pulled over near Hunsur for an hour or so.
TIME: 11:00


After the light session, we left afloat knowing it would be a long day on the road. As we just began to enter the forest premises the clouds came over or heads and welcomed us with light drizzle. It was a heavenly ride, trust me on this one.  The dark thick jungle, the curvy roads, the light drizzle and us, well a light afloat, made it a perfect package. Drifting in the woods and within we sang our way through the forests admiring the greenery. Just around Kerala border we decided to pull over at Kerala restaurant to belt in on some authentic fish curry and boiled rice.
TIME: 13:30

Once we entered the Kerala border the drizzle intensified, with some heavy lunch in our tummies we felt like buffalos. Come what may, we keep riding was the slogan we had in mind. The twisty curves of the dense forest were a joy to execute.   Finally we eneded up at Irrity and asking further direction we proceeded towards Mahe.
The roads narrowed down, humidity increased and the road became dense with traffic.  Once we spotted the Arabian Sea, we yelled at the top of our lungs and almost bumped into the guy in front of us. Having watched all the Malayalam movies it was good to hear words pleasant/unpleasant, we were in not position to understand/judge.  After proceeding south towards thallessary another 15kms down we entered Mahe.
TIME: 16:30

Mahe well, what can I say about this place. A small town, of about 3.5km radius in Kerala, but a part of Pondicherry. And as expected and seen a few years back nothing had changed. For every 5 liquor shops you can find a grocery shop :P Haha!
We searched for good hotels, but couldn’t find one as there was annual celebrations of the Mahe Church. We managed to get a cheap hotel but hey, who cares!  We freshened up and decided to walk to the Mahe beach for the sunset on the west coast.
Watching the sun go down on the Arabian sea with all the boats as the witness was a spectacular sight. We spent some time at the light house and decided to return to the town which was in full of carnival lights. Roaming in the streets of Mahe amidst the crowd and songs, we picked up a couple of bottles and headed back to the hotel.


At about 11PM we realised that we had forgotten to get food, so went out and got some fish fry, chilly chicken, rice, peas curry, omlets from a road side shop at reasonable price. And boy was it yummy! We belted and listened to Madhu’s stories and then Gauti continued with his and last turn was mine hehe!
TIME: 02:30

DAY 2: (Roaming Mahe!)
As usual, any guesses who rose first? Haha, me! Got up at around 4AM and finished of the left over kottu. Madhu got up once in between and started swearing at me (not the ideal scene to get up to) Haha! Gauti rose and we both went out for a morning walk to get a feel of the town. We loafed around and managed to find a pretty good hotel (French Avenue). Headed back and woke up Madhu and asked him to get ready. We shifted to the new hotel once Madhu got ready. Finishing our breakfast we decided to head south.
TIME: 10:00

Situated about 20kms south Mahe is this amazing place for people who appreciate the cultural heritage that comes along with this beautiful state. Spread across 20acres this beautiful and clean place has various segments where skilled artists work on their skill areas and give a few tips here and there for visitors interested. Their works can be purchased at the place itself. Arts and business is blended in the right proportion at this place. Few of the art forms demonstrated at this place are weaving sarees, painting (all sorts), bamboo art, coconut art, music, wall hangings, hand bags, and so many more. We proudly bought a few coconut pendants (went well with these beaches right?!)
TIME: 12:00

When enquired about places near-by we were pointed at this museum. Kunjalli Marakkar was a fierce warrior who put up a valiant fight against the Portuguese over trading rights. A person offered us to guide through the museum and the amount of passion with which he was explaining we just listened like kids. (in between I asked a stupid question, “Saar, Kuniyali Marakar is team who supported Portugal ah?) He almost got enraged:P.
Having a splendid tour of the museum, we went a few kilometres towards to west to find ourselves in place where three backwaters met the ocean. Beautiful place it was, with hardly any people around.
TIME: 13:00

Alright, good progress for the day we thought and headed towards Vadakara. Asking locals for a good hotel around, we pulled over for some lunch. In Kerala, one point to remember is they usually under cook the meat. So think twice before you order chicken.
After a heavy lunch, we reached the sandbanks. It looked pretty similar to Kappad beach. The tourism department had done well in establishing beautiful walkways, sit outs and other facilities in this stretch of the sea. We loafed around, caught a few star fishes and basked in the sun.
TIME: 15:00
After having spent good time, we had some ice creams as it turned pretty hot. Then we decided to ride back and chill out at the hotel.

We reached back pretty early and purchased the required and decided to walk around the town the carnival was still alive. Lots of people walking around and all the glitters haha, felt good and weird. We went fuelled up our bikes as we had decided to leave early the next day. Bought back dinner packed to the hotel and sat down. The second night went on till 1AM or so before we cleared and crashed.
TIME: 01:00

DAY 2: (Kannur & To Bangalore!)
We rose early and got ready. We left the hotel by 07:30 and headed north. On the way our tummies began to growl so we pulled over for some yummy Kerala breakfast.

This is one of the must visit places in this region. It stretches for about 5.5km and is rated as one top 5 beaches for driving. It was no doubt a pure thrill to on the sands with waves crashing into your bike. The atmosphere of this place was also relaxed.
TIME: 08:00


Travelling up north for another 15km we reached Kannur. And I had stayed here for about 15days during 2013 so kind of remembered all the places well. Without much enquiring we proceeded to the following places:
      1. Baby Beach: Small stretch of waters which can be viewed from top. We sat here for 15mins or so and decided to move on.
      2.  Payamballam Beach: This is a little commercial beach with lot of high rise buildings around. We loafed around this beach for some time.
      3. St.Angleo Fort: Well, this was the main target of the day. Built in the early 1500’s by French this amazingly beautiful fort I assure you will never disappoint.  The high risen fort wall with cannons, made the perfect defence for naval attacks. We just sat on the fort wall and looked into the seas for quite some time. The distant ships looked so nice. Already running a few hours late we decided it was time to hit the road back to Bangalore.
      TIME: 11:00

RIDE 2: (Kannur – Irrity – Virajpete – Gonnikoppal – Hunsur – Mysore – Bangalore)
This was about 350kms ride back and it was a good one. As we left Kannur we asked people for directions and we proceeded towards Irrity. As entered the forests it began to drizzle. Few hours into the ride the drizzle turned into light showers and it made riding bliss. We pushed on through towards the border to pull over at a hotel for some snacks and tea.
Wow Incident: As the ride was in full swing, Madhu showed me a range of mountain shrouded in mist I was so awestruck that my jaws fell down and as I had begun to say “Wwaaaaaaa” I realised I had almost gone off the road. Looked at Madhu and we started fighting again haha:P
Riding trust me in the forest in the showers turned out be tricky as well with the mental bus drivers. Once we entered back into Karnataka we rode peacefully admiring the misty mountain afar to reach Gonikoppal for some well-deserved heavy lunch.
TIME: 14:00


The lunch turned out to be little too heavy for the kilometres left for the day. But we cruised along at a decent pace to reach hunsur as well.  About 30mins before Mysore and major accident had taken place just then and the villagers had blocked the entire road and were protesting. Long jam prevailed and we took a call to enter into the villages and find an alternate route through the country roads. It worked out pretty well and we made it back to the main road and then to Mysore. Thanked Gauti for joining us and spent some time talking on the by-pass road and then decided it was best we head back.
TIME: 17:00

The ride from Mysore to Bangalore was straight-forward 150kms. But with our physical condition and the sun going down we made sure we took regular stops and after dropping back Madhu I reached home :)
TIME: 20:00

What must be done; should be done. Yeah, it was a super-man feeling after having completed this run. I was dancing around the next few days enjoying as though I’ve won the battle against the God of Flops haha! And Kerala, well, she earned a special place in my heart and the next 2 months watched atleast 4 Malayalam movies per week :P”

For Full Photos: Click here 136) Mahe & Kannur: (8,9,10/10/2016)

Until next time, Cia \m/

Friday, October 14, 2016

135) Dandiganahalli Dam:(4/9/2016)

Place: Dandiganahalli Dam & Chokkanahalli Dam.
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Devanahalli > Chikbalapur > Dandiganahalli Dam
Krew: Vinay > Madhu (Barca) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar (2)                                                                             
Budget: Rs 300/head

Dandiganahalli dam is another unexplored jewel of Chikbalapur district. The serene waters of the dam and a good trek up the hill serves as a perfect recipe for a weekend munch. Also, the Chokkahalli Dam (Srinivasa Sagara) to add on as toppings made our trip an amazing one. Not to the forget the crazy ending, a must read!

It was almost a month since our last ride to the beautiful forests of Bettamugililam. I was in Ranchi for about 20 days. When I returned, I began searching for some new unexplored places on my hit list. So, after a while I narrowed it down to Dandiganahalli dam. On confirmed list were Madhu & Dileep.
TIME: 22:00 (3/9/2016)

Oh yeah woke up at 04:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! Dileep said he couldn’t make it. So, I went to Madhu’s place and told him the same. We decided to hit the road as I would be available for a week before I had to travel to Gujarat for a month. As we approached BEL road near the Outer Ring Road, Madhu called up his cousin Vinay who had become a very good friend of mine too over just one sitting hehe. So, Madhu & myself pulled over at a shop to have some bun & tea as we waited for Vinay. Once Vinay arrived we greeted each other and we took from Bangalore.
TIME: 07:30


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Devanahalli – Chikbalapur – Dandiganahalli Dam)
Even though it was just a 90-100kms ride, it took us quite some time to cover it. As we left Bangalore the weather was cool & pleasant. And as it was a Sunday, Airport road was pretty dense with traffic. But we knew, it would exist only until the airport deviation and right we were. Once we crossed pass the airport the traffic reduced and we could feel the cool breeze hit us on the face. As we approached Devanahalli, we could see the mighty Nandi hills shrouded in mist giving it a mystical appearance. We pulled over at the same hotel at which we had pulled over on our mega Gandikota ride for some light breakfast.
TIME: 08:30

After some yummy breakfast, we continued the ride towards Chikbalapur. Dandiganahalli dam is about 25km from Chikbalapur but will take about an hour due to bad roads. After this point we started enquiring with the locals about the dam. Getting proper directions we tried to make it out of the town, but owing to the lot of deviations we got lost multiple times. But finally we hit the highway and started cruising on the ghat like road which ran amidst the forests. This was the same route we had taken back in 2012 from Madhugiri to Nandi Hills. The ride was fantastic and I began singing “Made in Andhra” loudly hehe!  As we carried on further we spotted a sweet little reservoir to our left near Chokkahalli, we didn’t know the name of the reservoir, so we decided to explore.
TIME: 09:30

With the fishing boats resting in peace and Nandi Ranges playing as the background, this reservoir turned out to very scenic. We fooled around with the rowing sticks and went on the bund to get a good overview of this place. The place was good and the timing was perfect. Nandi hills looked just amazing from this reservoir. After about 20-30mins at this place we decided to leave.
TIME: 10:00

The second part of the ride turned out to be hectic even though it was hardly 20kms. As we left Chokknahalli, we cruised along pretty fast to miss a turn at Manchenahalli and rode about 5-6kms ahead. After reaching back the town, we were again misguided onto another route. Finally after a lot drama, we caught hold of the right route and we were set. As we proceeded, we spotted a beautiful green snake crawling on the road. With no further notice I jumped off the bike and caught the snake by its tail. Damn, it looked so majestic I was about to think before the other two asked me to put down the snake immediately hehe!


Then I started fussing and telling Madhu let the snakes mother come, I will catch her too :P. As we began cruising past the small villages we began to get a feeling we were fast approaching our destination. The roads seemed to keep vanishing as we kept progressing. Finally I tell Madhu “ Where those Triumph and Harley, lets see if they can come over here?” Next thing you know, we could spot the Dam and a group of Triumph, Harleys, Yamahas were standing. The biggest face palm I had received till date hehe! Anyway we had reached the dam.
TIME: 10:45

Well, this dam is actually pretty well known to most of the riders who keep coming to Nandi Hills. Thing is we avoided that hill, hence the delay in catching this dam. The dam offers a majestic view as it is situated between two hills. First thing we did is to walk past the bund and get and all around view off the place. (Firstly wanted to get away from the crowd grrr…) After reaching the bunds end we thought we not trek up the hill, the view had to get better.
TIME: 11:00


And so the wonderful trek began. We hadn’t carried any water or snacks, never had I read about a trek at this place. But as we ascended the hillock the view kept getting better and better. We could see the other bikers group getting smaller and insignificant. We fooled around boulders yelled on top of our voices sang some of the latest Telugu songs and what not. Balancing on boulders and jumping from one to one had to be most fun part. After a while we reached what seemed like the top. By this time we could hear only the winds blowing and nothing else.
It had to be one of the most peaceful spots I had hit in quite some time. I managed to pull out some mint (polo) from my bag as that was all I had got. We decided to crash to enjoy the superb silence surrounding us.
TIME: 11:30

After about 20-30mins of deep sleep, we got up and sat in silence enjoying the view that stood before us. All we could hear is the rustling of the leaves and branches around us. I decided to climb up a tree to get a farthest sight. After goofing around a while dancing a little too, we decided to leave and trek our way back to base.
The trek back was plain and simple. It took us hardly 30mins to reach the base. As we reached we could see a few more bikes had arrived showing it was a pretty popular place. But nevertheless few bikes that too on a Sunday is pretty okay. We geared up and decided to bid adieu to this wonderful new reservoir.
TIME: 12:45


Ride 2: (Dandiganahalli Dam – Chikballapura – Devenahalli – Bangalore)
This had to be one of the most resistance filled ride till date. As we left the dam, we could trace back the right route. As we cruised on the village roads, I was reminding Madhu about the words said earlier about the snake’s mother.. . and BAM, out of now where a 5-6feet Cobra came onto the road and went to the other side. Madhu pulled over and smiled, I was like “hey, common, that was green and this one’s brownish-black, how can it be its mother? :P” We waited for a while if it turn out, but it had gone into the bushes. So, as we proceeded further just before reaching Chikkbalapur, we spotted a mud Kabbadi competition between Police academies. We stood and watched for about 15-20mins and decided to leave.

We reached Chikbalapur and after which we pulled over at some dhaba for some food and drinks. The food was okay not very good. So my suggestion to all would be to pull over near to Nandi as major crowded confluences at those regions.
TIME: 14:00


Just as we were about to leave the dhaba we realised my bike had got a puncture. That was like a puncture in my heart, never had I got a puncture in past 7years of my bike riding and actually never in my life too including cycle (Including tri-cycle man! Shit!). Remained calm and enquired about puncture shops nearby and rode until one and chatting with the shop guy got the tyre fixed.

The last stretch, we went ahead full zoom before the sun began to set and then a cop caught us. I was thinking damn, what else could go wrong. Somehow after some sweet negotiations, we were able to get away from him From there, we rode slow avoiding all cop filled roads and finally went to Nagarbhavi to drop Madhu and rode back to reach my home.
TIME: 19:30


This was another amazing chapter to a new reservoir near Chikkbalapur. Past few chapters had turned out well and it made us feel good. This chapter saw some crazy moments, but it was bound to happen and it was actually funny. Anyway another one under our belt, wohoo!”
Until next time, Cia \m/

Thursday, August 18, 2016

134) Bettamugilalam & Aiyur Forest : (7/8/2016)

Place: Bettamugilalam & Aiyur Forest
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Hosur > Denkankottai > Bettamugilalam
Krew: Gowrish (Gorisha) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Rayakottai Trek.
Budget: Rs 200/head

Bettamugilalam is one of the lesser known hill stations of Tamil Nadu and trust me, the ride to the place is the best part of it. Our trip was so unplanned that everything fell into its own place with complete acceptance. Also, this place popped out of nowhere and next thing you know, you have a new place under your belt! Feels good right?

On the 6th of August, an union of office friends was planned at Markonahalli as it been 4months since we rode together to Shettihalli Church & Gorur Dam. But due to some unavoidable circumstances we couldn’t pull that through. So, I called up Gowrish and asked him about the plan for Sunday. When he said he was good for a trip, lots of places flushed through my mind. But my primary intention was some place on Hosur road, as it would be easy to drop him back.
TIME: 22:00 (6/7/2016)

Oh yeah woke up at 04:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! I had to pick up Gow from Bommnahalli, so took off from my home at about 05:30. Again like last time I rode through the city in the early hours of the day and trust me it was cold. I was getting used to the city riding by now. Reached Gow’s place by 06:00, usually Gow wore a thick leather jacket in the mornings but it used be off no use post 10AM once the sun started blazing. But this time he didn’t wear it assuming the obvious and guess what happened? :P
TIME: 06:00


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Hosur – Denkankottai - Aiyur Forest - Betamugilalam)
So, this was a 120kms one way ride to Bettamugilalam with an intermediate breakfast stop at Denkankottai. So, as we left Bangalore towards Attibele, I turned around and asked Gow as to where we were heading. He looked at me totally confused and then I said “Yes, that’s the exact look I wanted to see. Because then I would have company”. As we headed further this place called Bettamugilalam I had heard few years back near Denkankottai, so thought of checking it out!
We rode till Hosur and asking people for directions we spotted the good old route Zethu & myself had taken on our rides to Yercaud, Hogenekkal & Panchapalli. It had been 4+ years since I had ridden on this route, so it was kind of nostalgic. Also it had been just two weeks since we visited Rayakottai on the same stretch.
As we reached Denkankottai, we pulled over at Sri Sarvana Bhavan for some tasty breakfast. Tamil Nadu, well I would bet on Dosas & Pongal!
TIME: 08:00

Once we were done with a yummy breakfast we stepped out and a funny incident happened with a very old man who had just come to the hotel. He called me and I went near him, the conversation went something like this but in Kannada/Tamil mix
Old man – “ hi, finished?”
Me – “ Yeah
Oldman – “ How was it?”
Me – “ Yeah, awesome!, you should try it to
Oldman – “ Water was there?”
Me – “ :/ “
This point I was wondering what the hell was he talking about! I turned to Gow and he was laughing his ass off. The old man was asking about Hogenekkal and I was telling him about the Pongal I had just eaten. Hahahaha!
We had a good laugh and continued further and visited the Betarayanswamy temple in Denkankottai. Afterwhich I realised it was the Panchapalli road, then asking the locals for the right direction, we joined back the original route to head towards Bettalmugilalam.
TIME: 09:30

Bettamugilalam Ride:
The temperature of the air began to dip as we proceeded. And the bamboo suggested that the forest premise was near. Since there were no guards at the checkpost we entered the forest roads on our own. The ride began to turn into an awesome glide as we proceeded further. Thick bamboos existed on both side of the road and as we pulled over at the place, we could hear the bamboos rub each other with utmost clarity. Also, we could hear a lot of bird’s chirpings all around us.
One must visit place on the way is called “Sami Eari” which is basically a pond amidst the thick forest. It reminded me of the similar looking one at BR hills. Usually animals come down here to quench their thirst.


Gow, told me he looked like a retired army colonel and I looked like a rookie who was under him for training purpose. I slowly turned behind with a poker face and pulled over the bike. Thinking that it was a break he got down. Once he got down, I took off leaving him in the forest :P
The last stretch consisted of sweet hair pain curves which were executed with joy and basically I sang my way through the entire stretch.
TIME: 11:00

Once we reached the top, it was a hill station no doubt. The fresh air, the plantations, the cold weather everything made us feel we were totally in far off hill station.  As a place, one can just live there and admire the beauty of the gorgeous hills which surround the place. We loafed around a bit, and saw the church which is present on the top. After which I realised my bike console’s display was dead, we had no clue as to how much petrol the bike had :P. Finally after fooling around for a little while we decided to head back.
TIME: 11:30


RIDE 2: (Bettamugilalam – Denakonakottai – Hosur – E-City- Nagarbhavi -E-city -Nayandhalli)
Call it crazy, what had to be a 100kms ride back home turned out to be 200+kms. As we left, the ride back was a quick one. Riding down the hair pin curves amidst the forest is something that actually gets me high. Gliding my bike across the tunes of my mind we made to “Sami Eari” in no time .Here we pulled over again and for taking in the entire ambience. After which we reached back Denkankottai, and from there we proceeded in the interior roads for the next 25kms or so to hear back the highway at Hosur.

Once we reached back Hosur, we continued and as we entered Attibele, we called up Nitya and asked his call on sitting at our regular dhaba at Nagarbhavi. Once Nitya agreed, Gow and me took the NICE road to Mysore road and reached the Dhaba. Nitya from Tumkur road, came to the same place as well.
TIME: 12:30


After fooling around for about 3-4hours, talking about work basically and our time to together as GET’s :P, we left the dhaba afloat. Nitya proceeded towards his home, where as Gow and me took the NICE road back to Hosur road. I dropped Gow back home as he was recovering from an accident. Then I took the city route, when all hell broke loose. I think I didn’t risk much but I made it back to Devegowda petrol bunk in 25mins from Bomnahalli hehe.

I directly went to the service centre and started yelling at the people, saying bike’s becoming worse week by week, see the console, blah blah. As I kept swearing at him, a guy came opened the seat, replaced the burnt fuse within a minute and said my bike’s console is ready. I had not even completed half the swearing’s I had in mind :P Hehe! Anyways I reached back home happy to have completed a new place unexpectedly.
TIME: 17:00

This was another amazing chapter to another new place in Tamil Nadu. Liked the trip mainly because it was unplanned and we were just riding into the unknown. Bettamugilalam was something I had heard very long back, and all off a sudden to pull off a trip was a damn nice feeling!
Until next time, Cia \m/