Place: Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta.
Distance: 75 x 2 = 150kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Kanakpura - Bilikal
Particiapants: Dhanush (Dany) > Dileep (koof/Isro) > Chaitanya (Endu)> Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Thunderbird > Pulsar
Previous visit: ChamundiHills Ride
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Bilikal betta is one of the sacred hills around Kanakpura situated very close to its twin Bananthimari Betta. Our visit to this place was a scary ride on muddy terrain through a forest filled with elephants. It was nice to catch up with old friends and spend some quality time. Yes, this trip was done on a weekday as well. But another highlight had to be the awesome hotel we found in Kanakpura and obviously another Dhaba, where we could crash now and then.
INTRO & PLAN:
It was only two days since our 300kms ride to Chamundi Hills. Monday I went to office, to apply leave for Tuesday. Then asked Narayan (trekie) about Bilikal as he had been there last week. Once the route was confirmed went on calling up people to confirm their presence the next day. After a few calls Dilip, Endu & Dany were on the confirmed list and we were set to leave.
TIME: 22:00 (23/2/2016)
ASSEMBLE & LEAVE:Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & bicep curls and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at our good old bakery, so left my home and crashed in at bakery with some hot tea in my hand. Once Dilip, Endu & Dany arrived, we parked Endu’s bike near college itself and took off on two bike’s.
RIDE 1: (Bangalore Kanakpura - Bilikal)
Well, this was about 70kms ride on the snake way (Kanakpura road). We took the NICE road near PESIT and cruised along each other in the morning sun. As we reached Kanakpura road, I expressed my doubts regarding finding a good hotel on Kanakpura road. As we rode on, the traffic was surprisingly increasing. But after a while riding those curves which ran between lakes we made it to Kanakpura road. I spotted a empty hotel (which looked decent) and called upon others to ask their view.
But Dilip, spotted another small door kind of entrance and said we would go there as it was crowded. So we parked our bikes and went to the latter hotel. The small door opened up into a pretty big hotel and flooded with people. The name of the hotel was “Vasu Hotel” established in 1980’s. We ordered idly, vada, dosa, bisibelebath (trying out all types) And guess what? first came dosa. By the way it had separate counters for these uh. And trust me on this folks, the taste was excellent. We enjoyed the breakfast. After which we asked the coffee to be extra strong and strong and nice it was. Just the thing needed for a perfect kick start.
Asking for directions to the hill from the locals, we rode at a slow pace to get out of town. The roads from here were pretty decent even though there are alternate routes to reach Bilikal. the roads were newly laid and the air was fresh. But since the route had deviations on regular basis, we had to enquire with locals now and then. We pulled over for 2-3 times just to take a break on the country roads. After a while the ranges could be spotted and they were pretty huge. And riding further we made it to a small town. Here when we asked the way to the temple, shepherds warned us about the elephants which flooded the place. Assuring him we would take the necessary precaution we entered the muddy terrain.
BILIKAL BETTA FOREST RIDE:
The ride, well, I can only describe it to be scary. The roads were narrow, and pure mud, with lots of shrubs and trees on both sides of the road. And it was pure ghat section. A few bamboo fallen on the road. And a lot of fresh elephant dung throughout this path. As we entered the forest premises, silence came upon fast and we could hear various kind of sounds afar. It was spooky. We did make up plans if an elephant would chase us, just in case. Few instances the road itself was blocked by fallen bamboo, this send chills down our spines. Getting off our bikes, we pushed the bamboo apart and continued. Finally after about 30mins of silent riding holding onto our breath we made it the top.
As we reached the top, the breeze picked up and we let out a sigh of relief from breath tight ride. We explored the place on top, to find only a small building and a temple We made it to the top most point to realise that we were surrounded by thick forest all around us. The western ghats could be spotted afar in its blue hue. We rested on top playing the “thor game” and others (refer pics). After taking a nap, we decided to ride back as very fact of the forest ride started sending chills.
RIDE-2 (Bilikal – Kanakpura – Bangalore):
This was a 75kms, ride back. As we left the top, we had ride back on the same route. I was secretly hoping we encounter a mega, I mean real mammoth like elephant and it would chase us and what not. But still the ride back was scary on the muddy terrain amidst the thick forest with elephant dung all over the place. We did pull over and poked on the dung with a stick to see the freshness of it:P
Anyway, we made it back to the town and spoke to the Shepard once again and headed back towards Kanakpura. We reached Kanakpura at about 11:15. That time we realised it was too early for any dhaba for lunch. So, we headed a little further from Kanakpura towards Bangalore and pulled over a small shop for some tea & bajji’s. We sat on speaking roadside for about an hour so… wishing a few cyclists the best day wherever they were heading. Finally we began to search for lunch spot. We pulled over at few dhaba on Kanakpura road, as it was election we could get the best out of it. So Dilip suggested we ride back to Bangalore itself as he knew a Dhaba near the NICE road itself. So we rode non-stop towards Bangalore, heading about 1km after the NICE road exit towards Bangalore, we crashed into “Queen’s court” for some heavy lunch.
After lazing around, and trust me we did speak truly interesting topics ranging a wide variety of subjects (College memories , Physics, Corporations, Politics, Ride, Freedom, TV series, Diet, Startups, God) Yeah, it takes some effort to keep all this in one basket right?
We spend about 3-4hours at this dhaba. Finally we had some pan outside the Dhaba and got onto the NICE road to float our way to college bakery for some hot tea. From here we split our own ways to reach back our respective homes.