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/

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

133) Rayakottai Fort Trek : (23/7/2016)

Place: Rayakottai Fort Trek
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Hosur > Shoolagiri > Rayakottai
Krew: Gowrish (Gorisha) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Kabbaladurga - Breaking In
Budget: Rs 200/head

Rayakottai is one of the Tippu’s forts towards the southern region of his kingdom. The fort is situated on a hillock which offers a brilliant 360 degree view from the top. This fort hill trek after being cancelled for umm, I guess 5-6 times finally was conquered in July 2016. So, basically this trek was done to unbundle the mental and physical locks of Gow and to get him back on track.

It had been 3 weeks since our slow ride to Kabbaladurga. So was excited and wanted to get another two chapters in the bag for the month. Once I realised my stamina is pretty good on the previous trek, another trek was for sure. Rayakottai had been on our to-conquer list since a few years but could never get the job done. Finally after flopping about 5-6 times, I told Gow that even if nobody accompanies us we both would head out.
TIME: 22:00 (20/7/2016)

Oh yeah woke up at 05:00, 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 05:45. For a change I rode through the city towards silk board (it had become my regular office route for a few months) Cruising past JP nagar and BTM looking at the tall builidngs with amazement finally touched Silkboard and went towards Gow home to pick him up. Gow, by the way had met with a fatal car accident right after the day we had gone to Melukote in June 2015. So it was time for some unbundling.
TIME: 06:30


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Hosur – Shoolagiri - Rayakottai)
So, this was a straightforward 100kms ride to Rayakottai. Even though there was a shorter route via Attibele and Hosur we chose the Shoolagiri route as it was simple and straightforward and primarily on highway. As we left Bangalore, it was quite some days since we had rode this early, the morning air felt amazing. Riding in the cold air, we reached Attibele Industrial Area, waving a “hi” to our office we continued further to cross the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. We decided to search for a breakfast place a little ahead of Hosur. Having no luck we ended up in Shoolagiri.

Here we pulled over near a local and with great difficulty asked for the directions to Rayakottai in Tamil. After receiving the directions we thanked the person and our eyes fell on a big green road which showed the way to Rayakottai. I looked at Gow and he said “Yeah, I knew it was there, but wanted to see how well you can manage Tamil”  

Anyway, the roads after Shoolagiri turned into country roads and Rayakottai is about 17kms from the deviation. The roads nevertheless were brilliant and the surroundings were pristine. It reminded me of all the wonderful trips we had on this route (Hogenekkal, Panchapalli, Yercaud)
Finally after waving hi to 3 demon like gods beside the road and asking locals for directions we fast approached Rayakottai. The first glimpse of the fort hill made me kind of nervous. This is because I had read that it was an easy trek and I could see only steep faces. Also I was expecting it to be like Mandharagiri trek(small short trek). Anyway, we parked the bikes near the foothills and with the lizard king’s spirit wide awake we were ready to conquer another hillock.
TIME: 08:00

Alright, we had forgotten to eat breakfast, we had not packed any refreshments or water and we were set! So, how did this trek go?
The trek actually turned out pretty decent. The ascension took 1.25hrs, but it can be easily covered within 30-45mins. But the ascension was of a totally different experience. It was like more of a walk through thick forest and fallen fort walls. We were constantly alert as we were the only two on the hill. The view begins to grow better and better with small steps. A lot of exploration goes along with the fort climb and Gowrish recovering from the accident was made forcefully to take not only sufficient breaks but also to take is the pureness of the nature around him.

At few instance, I felt we were lost even though there is a clear pathway to the top. Also was worried if Gow could pull through. But I made sure that the spirits were high with some entertaining false theories as to why Tippu built the fort at this place.


Just before the top one can find a lot of granaries, battalion resting houses and other buildings which lay in ruins. We took ample of rest making sure that we don’t over exert ourselves. As we approached the top the wind speeds picked up and our tiredness faded away.
TIME: 09:15

Even though it was a Saturday, we were little early and had the place to ourselves. I told Gow that I would be sleeping for a while and requested him not to wander away :P Finding a soft grassy bed on top I crashed into a peaceful nap. After 20mins or so of dozing got up, yawned, and then realised I was in TN atop some hill fort. After speaking for a while, we decided to head back home as our tummies were growling as we had skipped breakfast.
TIME: 09:45


We took about 30mins to descend this fort hill as we stopped only once in between. The descent was fast and at the same time fun as well. As we began the descent we could the see the sun slowly started to blaze. We felt it was a good thing that we started the trek early. As we reached back the base, I was glad that my bike was still there :P Hehe. Got onto my bike and began the ride back towards Bangalore.
TIME: 10:15

RIDE 2: (Rayakottai – Shoolagiri – Hosur - Bangalore )
Okay, this was a 100kms ride back to home. Before we left we called up Sukesh, he said that he was at office. So we decided to meet him and then head towards home. As we left, the ride unitl Shoolagiri was pleasant and calm after which the roads widened into a national highway and it became quite boring. (my bike’s engine was re-bored, umm, so max 4500rpm) After passing through Shoolagiri, we pulled over at a decent hotel to have our breakfast.
TIME: 11:00

After a nice breakfast we continued further to reach Hosur. Then we decided to head back home directly as we didn’t want to disturb Sukesh. Wading away from cops as we didn’t have an extra helmet we made to Gowrish’s house. After which I rode back through city again swearing at all the vehicles which tried to slow me down. Reached back home safely for a well-deserved nap.
TIME: 13:00


This was an amazing trip. It might be short and easy, but it was great joy to witness the Gow back into action after a yearlong rest after a major accident. It served as a great release both mentally & physically. So, guys, a must visit place if you are looking for an easy trek with a great, great view you know where to head…!”
Until next time, Cia \m/