Sunday, August 14, 2011

38) MM hills, BR hills, Shivanasamudra: (7/7/2011)

Place: MM hills, BR hills, Gaganchukki & Barachukki.
Distance: 600kms in total.
Bengaluru > Maddur > Mallavali > Gaganchukki > Kollegala > MM hills > Kollegala > BR hills > Kollegala > Barachukki > Maddur > Bengaluru.
Participants: Zethu > Sp.
Bikes: Avenger.
Previous Visit: Chitradurga & VaniVilas.
Budget: Rs550/h.
(You should go through this, no non-sense writing like me. Keeps it plain and simple).

Our biggest one day trips till date, 600kms of riding through forests, ghat roads, highways & village roads in a day. Closest encounter with elephants & bisons on bike.
Overall an excellent experience and 18hours on the road was simply heaven.

It was 2 weeks since our visit to the brilliant Chitradurga Fort & Vani Vilas Sagar Dam, Zethu wanted to ride out of Bangalore, Maddur, MM hills, Shivnasamudra were the options.

As far as the planning goes, we decided to cover Gaganchukki & MM hills. After we agreed on this, we crashed.
TIME: 23:30hrs (6/7/2011)

Next day I woke up at 04:00hrs did a few push ups and had some coffee. Went down as Zethu arrived we decided to take Mysore road ( SH-17)
Ps: Kanakpura Road is a better option, as Maddur to Mallavali road is horrible. But as it was dark we chose SH-17.
TIME: 05:00hrs

RIDE I: (Bengaluru–Chenpatna-Maddur)
This initial stretch was for about 80 kms, SH-17 an excellent 4-lane road offered very less trouble. We rode at a decent pace to reach Chenpatna & decided to take a tea break.
TIME: 06:15hrs

An excellent tea on the highway had 3 cups and continued towards Maddur which was around 25-30kms from there. In about half an hour we reached Maddur for breakfast.
TIME: 07:00hrs

Though both of us prefer South Indian breakfast, we pulled over at this place for a change to have breakfast. We also realized it had been exactly a year since our Epic school Reunion at Manchinbele Dam. After 10-15 mins of a quick breakfast we left.
TIME: 07:30hrs

RIDE II :( Maddur- Gaganchukki)
This stretch was for about 50kms, but had lots of bad stretches. So we rode slowly evading all the potholes and bad patches. Once we reached Mallavali the roads turned good and we continued at a decent pace to reach Gaganchukki – The first falls of Shivanasamudra.
TIME: 08:30hrs

We were very shocked as we were the only ones in the entire place, not even my good friend- White Bull wasn’t seen anywhere. But we were more than happy to have the entire place to ourselves ha-ha!! After spending a good 45 minutes this place just sitting at staring at the wonderful waterfalls, we left.
TIME: 09:15hrs

RIDE III: (Gaganchukki-MM hills)
This was a 120 kms stretch, we rode at a decent pace to reach Kolegala and we continued further towards the hills. As we left Kollegala, It was forest all around us, and the roads were very good. We spoke about our college days, imitating lecturers and we were pretty much laughing all throughout this stretch.

We took a small break; we got the first glimpse of the hills and trust me it was a mighty range. We could also hear the clouds rub each other creating a thunderous sound for a good 15minutes at a stretch.
TIME: 10:30hrs
After the break we continued our journey through the magnificent forests to reach the Arch which was the foot of MM hills.
TIME: 11:00hrs

RIDE IV: (MM hills ghat roads)
As we started ascending, the roads were very good. There are 27 hair-pin curves, and Zethu was negotiating each curve with joy. The scenery all along was just breath taking. But all this didn’t last for long, after we completed 13th HP curve, the roads turned bad, and we were forced to take several breaks.

As we continued we actually started descending, and we could find a lot of monkeys all along. The road continued to be bad, but as we reached the temple the view we got was simply heaven. It was worth riding through that bad stretch.
TIME: 12:00hrs

It’s a very civilized place. Very much like Tirupathi, fortunately there wasn’t much crowd on the day we went. So we prayed and hung around the premises for sometime and left as there was not much to see.
TIME: 12:45hrs

RIDE V: (MM hills Ghat)
We rode back the along the same way. The ride back was a quick one as it was a decent; in about 30-40minutes flat we were back at the arch.
Ps: Hogenekal falls is just 40kms from MM hills, though we thought of visiting the mighty falls we cancelled it and decided to head back home in the same route we had come.
TIME: 13:15hrs

RIDE VI: (MM hills – Kollegala)
We continued our way back to Kollegala, after covering a few kilometers we decided to stop amidst the forest and take a break. We were a little disappointed about MM hills though the last scenic view which we got is simply indescribable. And also it is believed that all our wishes at MM hills come true. Then I looked at Zethu and asked whether he could ride to BR hills as well. Zethu a soul just as crazy as me , well he was pumped up and we started riding back Kollegala when all of a sudden it started raining heavily just for a few minutes , and calmed down to drizzling.
TIME: 14:30hrs

RIDE VII: (Kollegala-BR hills)
As it was Drizzling it made riding conditions ideal, we took the shorter route from Kollegala which runs through village outskirts. It was not long before we got the first glimpse of the mighty BR hills.
TIME: 15:30hrs
We continued further to reach the entrance, spoke to guard and registered our bikes at the forest check post and finally entered BR hills.
Ps: Forest travel timings are between 06:00hrs to 18:00hrs.
TIME: 15:45hrs

RIDE VIII: (BR hills – 10 to12 Wild Elephants, 5 to 6 Bison’s, 1 fat lazy eagle: P)
It was my 4th or 5th visit to this wonderful place, I was telling Zethu how I hadn't spot any animals on our previous visit to BR hills. Next moment my voice had stopped, there was this herd of elephants (probably 7-8 elephants) which had blocked the road. We stopped a few minutes and allowed it to take its own time to move. We stood there looking at these big creatures, and we decided to move on as we didn’t want to disturb it, as we were the visitors.

As we continued further we saw another huge elephant with big tuskers, as it was alone it meant more danger so we stopped for a few minutes and rode on.
Ps: Elephants are most dangerous when alone or when they feel their young ones are in danger; else they are very peaceful creatures.

As we rode on, I was choked ha-ha; no words were coming out of my mouth. Though many visitors in cars warned us that there were elephants ahead and advised us to turn back, it only got us more excited and that was the exact reason we were there in the first place.

We spotted 5-6 wild bison grazing on road side; there ferocious charge was something to be aware off. But these were really lazy and even posed for a photograph ha-ha..
We continued further to reach the famous lake of BR hills, we had to stop here and we kept our senses alert as it was a wild day so far. As we continued we spotted another herd of elephants hiding amidst the bushes (I was literally high). Finally after all the excitement we reached the top.
TIME: 16:30hrs

Believe me, the weather was something else. It had just stopped drizzling, the cool breezy wind kept gushing at our faces. First things first visited the temple and prayed for everybody i knew and caught hold of a local kid and started chatting away. He told us that he had spotted 30 elephants the previous day along with a cheetah and all along the road side on his way to Kollegala.

Now to be frank the news got us excited & scared at the same time. After a good 30 minutes in the wonderful atmosphere of BR hills we departed.
TIME: 17:00hrs

RIDE IX: (BR hills-Kollegala-Barachukki)
This stretch was for about 60kms, we rode the forest stretch cautiously looking out for animals. I remember telling Zethu if we spot a cheetah it meant I belonged at this palce and I would live here like Mowgli ha-ha.. As we reached the check post we bid a good bye to the forest guards and we rode on for 10 kms and took a break to have some snacks.
TIME: 17:30hrs

It was only morning that we had eaten at Maddur , so we had some snacks and continued on. As wer reached Kollegala outskirts, we stopped at the border of Kollegala in fornt of the sign board as our bodies were starting to show signs of fatigue.

TIME: 18:00hrs
The sun was going down, we looked at the signboard which said “Shivanasamudra”, and we knew Barachukki was the only missing link in this entire trip, completing Barachukki also would mean a complete all round trip. So we rode on to reach Barachukki waterfalls.
Ps: The falls closes at 18:00hrs, but we spoke to the guard and he left us in.
TIME: 18:15hrs

BARACHUKKI: (Attainment of Inner Peace :P)
We parked the Avy, for some well deserved rest. We sat in front of the falls and just kept staring at it. It was such a wonderful feeling to forget all the city life, and worries associated with it. After spending about 30 minutes at this place we left back as darkness descended.
TIME: 18:45hrs

RIDE X: (Barachukki- Mallavalli- Maddur)
We rode at a slower pace as it was dark, we stopped at the outskirts of Mallavali and collected firewood from the trees nearby and tied to the bike (with the shoe lace on my hand- which gave up on Kabbalu death trek) as we plans of camping on the highway and returning to Bangalore the next day.

The Mallavalli – Maddur stretch was the scary and fun too, it was pitch black, and a two lane very bad road. It was filled with pot holes and deep patches. The next 90 minutes was complete hell ride. The cars and Lorries coming from the opposite direction with blinding high beam, and not forget the invisible bullock carts ha-ha… After a grueling 90mins we reached SH-17 our home ground. We were overjoyed that we had survived that stretch. We rode at faster pace to reach Maddur Tiffany’s for a well deserved meal after 14 hours.
TIME: 20:45hrs

We had a very nice meal, sat outside looking at the moon and speaking about the crazy day we just had even though we had 80 more kilometers to home. We decided to go home directly and the camping plan was pulled off.
TIME: 21:30hrs

RIDE: XI: (Maddur-Bengaluru)
This was a 80kms stretch, and even though it was just formality completing this stretch, our bodies were put to their limits not to forget Avy. We took regular breaks at Chenpatna, Ramnagar & Bidadi to reach my home.
TIME: 23:00hrs

This might sound funny, but we stayed up till 02:00hrs the next day watching movies. And finally Zethu crashed. For a guy who had just rode 600kms, it was time for some well deserved nap. I stayed up all night, sitting with my pet waiting for the sun to come up.

I would like to conclude this long article with by saying the following “this trip could be called the road trip which attained almost idleness, as there were no boundaries, no goals, no destination, no limits. It was freedom all the way.
And I guess we’re the first clan from Bengaluru to cover these four places in a day on bike as per my knowledge. 600kms in a day was no easy task, And oh yeah starting off with just Gaganchukki & MMhills , and covering all these places was something else:) “


ZETHU: Was on god-mode, rode the entire 600kms. Couldn’t have thought of a better person to speak and crack jokes all along.
AVY: Had pushed the bike to its limits, but it withstood everything. Next day first thing we did in the morning is have a look at this baby and made sure everything was alright. It was more than just a bike, a true companion.
SP: Only wish I could have tied an elephant to the bike and got it back home instead of the firewood ha-ha!!
Until Next time Cia \m/



Monday, August 8, 2011

37) Chitradurga & VaniVilas Sagar Dam(Marikanive):23/6/2011

Place: Chitradurga & VaniVilas Sagar Dam (Marikanive).
Distance: 250 x 2 = 500 kms.
Directions: Bengaluru > Tumkur > Sira > Hiryur (20 km Deviation to VV dam) > Chitradurga.
Participants: Arun > Sp.
Bikes: Unicorn > Pulsar.
Previous Visit: Shanmukha Temple & Manchinbele.
Budget: Rs600/h.

Well this is one of the most informative trips done so far, A visit to one of the most ancient & marvelous forts of India. And Vani Vilas is nothing less than heaven , another very ancient dam built in the earlier 19th century.

It was only 4 days since our visit to the wonderful Shanmukha Temple; we wanted to go on a big long ride. MM hills & Chitradurga were the two options.

Arun was the only one in the the confirmed list, but we decided hit the road anyways. We had our trusted souls accompanying us – Unicorn & Pulsar. Oh yeah, Mommy also said she would be around Chitradurga for court inspection so, if we were at Chitradurga at the same time we would be meeting each other 250 kms away from home. After the plans we crashed.
TIME: 22:00 hrs (22/06/2011)

Morning 03:00hrs I was up did a few push ups & had some coffee. I looked at the clock and knew it would be a long day on the highway, but that is what I love so was eagerly looking forward to it. Arun showed up at 04:30hrs and we departed.

RIDE I: (Bengaluru – Tumkur outskirts)
This first stretch was about 70 kms cruising , initially it was a little dark and I led the way through the outer ring road , after reaching NH-4 , it was a 6 lane road and very comfortable to ride on. All we had to do was stay awake ha-ha!! So in a matter of 60mins we reached Tumkur out skirts for the 1st pit stop to enjoy the view of the magnificent hills surrounding Tumkur.

RIDE II: (Tumkur-Sira-Hiryur)
This second stretch was for about 120 kms non stop riding. I lead the way ( for a change :P) as Arun didn’t have rear view mirrors, and believe me it really helps on this road. Land cruisers cruising at 130+kmphr were something to watch out for. After an hour or so , with no- nonsense riding, we reached Hiryur outskirts and agreed to stop for a coffee/tea break.

As we had some good coffee, we decided that we would visit Chitradurga first and latter VV dam. But as we were just about leave we realized that Arun’s Uni had a nail in its tyre.
Ps:- NH-4 is a brilliant road for riding, but we cant get our bikes off the highway, as there are barriers on either side of the road to prevent cattle entering the highway. And each city is about 50kms from each other, so were a little worried, but luckily for us the puncture shop was only 3km away so we took the bike and got it fixed. Threw the nail away in a safe place were cattle wouldn’t graze. We were set back by an hour.

RIDE III: (Hiruyur – Chitradurga)
This stretch is for about 40-50kms, but we rode slow as we had just recovered for a puncture. As we entered Chitradurga the wind speed increased drastically and the windmills added a lot of beauty to the town of Chitradurga.
As we entered the city it started raining, and we rode carefully asking for the directions to reach the fort. After about 30 mins ride in the rain we were standing in front one of the hugest forts inIndia.

I’m telling you guys, I was standing with my jaws dropped looking at the huge walls of this super fort. Okay il be giving you all a virtual tour of this place, highlighting on the most important places of the fort:

History: It was called Chitaldoorg by the British, then it became Chitrakaldurga , then Chitara Durga, and now Chitradurga the modern name. Madakari Nayaka V was the ruler of Chitradurg, Hyder Ali was his enemy. For more of history click here.

Okay coming back to our tour of this place: (This is our view of the place hope you enjoy it )
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 near by, which suggested water’s available nearby. Obawa’s grave is also situated opposite to this place.
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).

** SNAP ** (Thumbs up if you noticed about 19th point)

Now the virtual tour ends, I’v missed out a few places on purpose you can see and read about them on my picasa album, iv given them all captions which really helps as per my knowledge.
After a wonderful knowledge boosting session, we started playing around the fort, and finally were out of the fort.

Once were out of the fort, mom said she was at Chitradurga as well. In a matter of minutes she arrived at the fort and she had also packed two lunch boxes with sweets too. We filled up our bags and without wasting anytime we headed towards Hiryur. On the way we stopped on the highway and sat on the road side besides our bikes to have one of the best lunches till date. Not to forget all those wonderful windmills all around us.

RIDE IV: (Chitradurga – VV dam)
This stretch was relatively easy, after a heavy lunch all we had do was keep our eyes open. We cruised along at a decent pace to reach the diversion near Hiryur outskirts.
Ps: Watch out for a huge Arch about 5 kms before hiryur (from Chitradurga side), taking a right deviation here , followed by a 20kms ride lead us to VV dam.
TIME: 14:00hrs

We climbed the stairs, and the first view we got of the place was simply breadth taking. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it “Heaven”. There were hardly any tourists, that made the place even better. ( I’m actually out of words to describe the beauty of the place:D)
We spent about an hour at this place & left as we had a long way to go.
TIME:15:15hrs ; 200kms to go.

RIDE V: (VV dam – Sira)
This stretch was for about 60 kms on a 4 lane highway, we rode a pretty decent pace to reach Kamat hotel at Sira. We had some hot Bajji’s and coffee and left.

RIDE VI: (Sira – Tumkur)
This was again about a 60 km stretch, we cruised along at a decent pace and reached Tumkur out skirts , near shivgange for a small 10 mins break.

RIDE VII: (Tumkur – Bengaluru)
Once the sun light got dimmer, the traffic increased the amount of vehicles increased too. So we rode till the NICE road entrance and to avoid traffic we took the NICE road. On the NICE road we witnessed an excellent sunset and as it was drizzling through out we also witnessed a rainbow, after 20-30 mins we reached Home safely.
TIME: 19:00hrs

I would like to conclude this article by saying the following words
This trip was one of the best trips till date; you could call it an immense learning experience. It had a lot of thinking & pondering with it. We had encountered some trouble on the way, but we 4 stuck together as one unit to have these two excellent places under our belt.”


ARUN: Well one of the best riders with whom I maintain a perfect Sync on the highways. And oh yeah thanks for coming at the right time:P. ha-ha!!!
UNICORN: Had a puncture earlier but that couldn’t stop this baby from completing this trip. After the trip I patted Uni on his Dome thanking it for coming along (This really happened no joke ha-ha!!)
PULSAR: Had to bear with all songs I was singing: D
SP: Was very happy about the trip.
Until next time Cia \m/

Wikipedia Link :
Chitradurga click here. And Vani Vilas Dam click here.
I'l make sure you get the best guide at this place, il send his contact number .
Contact me :