Wednesday, November 2, 2011

40) Markonahalli dam, Tonnur kere, Melukote, Kanva: (30/7/2011)

Place: Markonahalli dam, Tonnur Kere, Melukote, Pandavpura, Kanva.
Distance: 400kms – total circuit.
Directions: Bengaluru > Nelmanagala > Kunigal > Marko dam > Melukote > Tonnur kere > Pandavpura > Maddur > Kanva.
Participants: Datta (Dattu) > Chethan (Zethu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Kanva – Rain ride.
Budget: Rs400/h.

This was another classic old school run to cover these 4 places, 400kms in one day. Markonahalli reservoir is less known or likely unheard of, Tonnur lake is pretty famous. As of Melukote it’s very famous, and Kanva our home :)

My Dad was the one who enlightened me about Markonahalli dam and suggested me to visit it. So I made a detailed study about this place and formulated a small circuit which would run for about 400 kms. The initial plan was to cover 3 places and riding on 3 major high-ways. As of the participants, only Zethu and Dattu we on the confirmed list and we decided to hit the road. The meet up was scheduled at a junction near Tumkur road at about 06:00hrs.
TIME: 23:00 hrs (29/7/2011)

04:00 hrs, I was up and had coffee. After a few push-ups I was all set to go ha-ha… At about 05:30 hrs I left my place, it was dark and cold. Cruising comfortably through the outer ring road I reached the junction to find the others already waiting for me.
After a small re-union chat, we decided hit the road first one being NH-4 (Tumkur road)
TIME: 06:00 hrs

RIDE I: (Bengaluru – Anchepalya tea break)
This stretch was for about 50kms. As we hit NH-4 (Tumkur road) we both we running low on fuel. So had to search for a petrol bunk and re-fuel. After cruising past small towns, we reached Nelamangala. We took a left deviation to join NH-48 (Mangalore highway). After the deviation we rode for about 30 kms to stop for a small tea break on the highway.
TIME: 07:15 hrs.

RIDE II: (Anchepalya – Markonahalli dam)This stretch was for about 60kms. After the tea break, we decided to hit the road and so we did. We rode at a decent pace on NH-48. It is a brilliant highway, 4 lane huge and wide road. It offered very less trouble for riders. We cruised passed Kunigal in no time to reach Yadiyur. We took a left deviation at this place, a 5-10kms ride from this place would lead us to our reservoir.
TIME: 08:30 hrs.

After riding about 8kms from the deviation on NH-48 we caught the first glimpse of the magnificent place. Crystal blue waters reflecting the suns rays was a sight we all remember. The green grass, cool wind and oh yeah, zero visitors made the place so much more beautiful :)

We had to do a little off-road riding again in the slushy muddy terrain of the fields to reach the water. Once we reached the water we started the good old game “Skipping stones”.
We spent about 45 mins playing this game, enjoying every moment of it. The size of the stones was a variable :P haha, and with Zethu’s jokes and dattu’s singing entertainment was something we never ran short off.

After the games, we decided to walk on the bund and have a look at the dam gates and the canal. Dattu’s sang all the way on the bund (Song: Bird is the word).

Marko dam is very similar to Kanva reservoir, but much bigger and well maintained as the visitors are less. Ad we reached the gates, it was locked. So we sat on the benches provided and spoke about our college days for sometime and decided to leave this wonderful reservoir as we had minimum of 2 more places on our minds.
TIME: 10:00 hrs.

RIDE III: (Markonahalli-Melkote)
This was another 60 kms stretch of excellent riding. We reached Bellur Cross CCD in a matter of 20 minutes. And we reached the Adichunchanagiri junction as we had to take a left deviation at this place. But as our tummies were growing, we stopped at a small hotel on the highway to finish of a quick breakfast. After about 40 minutes, we left the hotel, and we took the deviation and we were en route Melukote.
TIME: 11:15 hrs.

The road which connects NH-48 and Melkote is simply brilliant. It wa heavenly to ride on such a road. Green beautiful fields on both sides of the road, less traffic made riding conditions ideal. Not only surroundings, but the surface of the road was also butter smooth and there were very less pot-holes and bumps. Finally the wonderful ride came to an end as we reached Melukote.
TIME:12:00 hrs.

As we reached Melukote, we parked our bikes and visited the Kalyani first (Aaptarakshaka was shot at this place). After this we went to the green fields and started climbing up the rocks. The climate became breezy and cool. We started discussing the various techniques of rock climbing and getting out of a tough situation during treks etc.,

After some more time of fooling around we decided to take a small nap in the fields. About 1.5 hrs had passed like this in the fields and finally we got up to realise we had forgotten about the temple ha-ha.
TIME: 13:30 hrs.
As we entered the temple, it was a little crowded with a long queue. So finished a quick Darshana and grabbed a bottle of juice and decided to leave Melukote, next destination being Pandavpura.
TIME: 14:00 hrs.

RIDE IV: (Melukote – Tonnur Kere)
With 2 hours spent at Melukote we left towards Pandavpura. As Zethu had been to this place before, he led the way. Again greenery was something we could see throughout this 20kms stretch. Oh yeah we even managed to grab a sugarcane from a moving bullock cart ha-ha. After about 30 minutes of riding we reached Tonnur lake.
TIME: 14:30 hrs.

Believe me it was huge, I mean real huge. I was expecting a small lake but this thing was frikking huge. The wind speed was another thing remarkable, it was so windy the water kept splashing on the steps on we sat on.

Zethu suggested to trek up the hill to visit an old temple and also to get the best view of the entire place. So Dattu & me started trekking up, it was a neat trek. The windy conditions made it that much harder, in a matter of 30 minutes we managed to sneak our way to the top.

After reaching the top, we were amazed at the view of the water body… It had just grown in size ha-ha. The wind speed kept picking up, It was a challenge to just to stand straight up right, honest. Finally we went to the temple on top and decided to trek back. And like always for dattu it was like another morning walk :D. The decent was pretty quick and we re-joined Chetu and decided to leave Tonnur Kere.
TIME: 15:15 hrs.

RIDE V: (Tonnur kere – Maddur)
As we left tonnur kere we realised that we forgotten about lunch stop. So we decided to stop at Maddur. With the 3 places under our belt we decided to head back home. We joined SH-17 at Srirangapatna at about 16:00 hrs. Maddur is about 60-70 kms from Srirangapatna. SH-17 being a 4-lane, offered very little resistance and we sailed smoothly to reach maddur.
TIME: 17:00 hrs.

Ah well our Adda haha, ordered food well actually lunch. After a heavy meal, had some coffee and we went outside on the highway for a quick stretch. Then we realised that dattu hadn’t been to Kanva before. So no more questions were on our minds regarding the next destination haha!!
TIME: 17:30 hrs.

RIDE VI: (Maddur tifany’s – Kanva)
This stretch was for about 40-50kms. We cruised along SH-17 to reach Kanva in a matter of 30 minutes. We could see the sun going down, so we decided to witness the sunset at this magnificent reservoir or simply “home” :P.
TIME: 18:00 hrs.

Well Kanva – our second homes. It had turned chilly cold, so thoughts of getting down in water were removed. We sat on the grass for sometime talking about our previous epic 600 km one day ride. But for the day we had done about 350kms, and had to do 50kms more. But our energy levels were least bit effected, as we started searching for flat stones and there we were at it again “Skipping stones” haha!!
Finally after 45 minutes we witnessed one of the best sunsets ever seen. Dattu also completed a successful lap at kanva. Finally we left this wonderful reservoir as darkness descended.
TIME: 19:00hrs.

RIDE VII: (Kanva – Bengaluru)
As we left kanva, darkness descended in a matter of minutes. The weather turned icy cold & it started to drizzle as well. And the traffic on SH-17 increased drastically. We pulled over at a petrol bump at Ramnagar and re-fuelled for a few extra bucks as we knew what had to be done next.
Once we left Ramnagar, there was no stopping us. We had to play dodge-balls with the cars, buses, and tempos to show we knew SH-17 better haha. The darkness combined with rain made it challenging to ride, but we enjoyed every moment keeping safety the first priority. In less than hour we made it to Jnana Bharati “Split” Stop.
TIME: 19:45 hrs.

Ah it was a great feeling, first I made it to the stop. In a matter of 5-10 minutes Zethu and dattu arrived as well. We parked our bikes, switched off the engines and sat on the road side. And oh yeah smiling at the vehicles we had put behind as they rode past us.
Finally we split our different ways to reach our respective homes.
TIME: 20:45 hrs.


Zethu: Ah well, rode like there was no tomorrow. Led the way and introduced us to Tonnur Kere. His tricky jokes kept the humorous spirit up and high.
Dattu: Haha, his songs and imitations were more than we could ask of to keep us entertained. And yeah, successfully completed avenger run at kanva :)
Sp: Was very happy about the old school run.




  1. well organized nd details.. nice post

  2. very useful information. I have planned for this trip along with my family and this material has helped me a lot. Please continue publishing with such information.

    1. Hey thanks a lot, yeah we will keep up the standards i promise:)

  3. Today i visited the markonhalli dam ...not sure if you speak to someone there but the dam has a amazing engineering work done by Sir M vishwesharaiah. There is a automatic water level controller done in 1938-40. There is no mechanical device nor power is required to manage this controller. Go on a sunday and speak to guard there, he will take you inside and show and explain how it works ....simply amazing and salute to the master engineer.

    1. Yeah we had. Even Kanva has the same system of water level control:)

  4. amazing one bro..v usually ride till the belur coffee day and return back to blore

  5. your blog is awesome
    thanks for the informations.