Sunday, September 28, 2014

90) BR Hills – The Elephants Charge: (14/12/2014)

Place: Biligirirangan Hills.
Distance: 200 x 2 = 400kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Channpatna – Kollegala – BR Hills
Particiapants: Chethan (Zethu) > Datta (Dattu) > Manoj (Manju) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Kanva_Basics.

Alright, this was another fantastic trip to the forests of BR. 12+hours on the road, gliding along the silent forest curves, watchin parent elephants mourn a young one, getting chased by wild elephants – phew, whata kick! And finally the sun and us returning back to our respective homes, actually first to dhaba and then to home :D

This chapter saw some intense moments & funny ones which I didn’t feel is worth compressing. So the BR hills part is a long talk. So keep up with me there when we reach!

It was 7 days since Sukesh and I rode to Kanva and trust me on this one, December 2013was one month I felt the rush to head out after long. For this chapter the crew consisted of Zethu, Dattu & Manju. I mean, we had thought of this chapter quite some back but had never worked out.
TIME: 23:00 (13/2/2014)

Yep I was at around 05:00, did a few push ups & sit ups, had a sip of coffee and left towards bakery by walk as the start was scheduled from there. At bakery, after the other 3 assembled, we formally greeted each other over a cup of tea and decided it was time to head out of Bangalore.
TIME: 06:30

RIDE 1: (Bengaluru –Bidadi – Sathnur – Shivanasamudra – Kollegala – BR Hills)
This was roughly a 200kms stretch, with an excelled breakfast stop and 2-3 tea/stretch stops. As we left Bangalore the air was cold and the ride was smooth. It took us about 30mins to reach Bidadi where we pulled over as our tummies had begun swearin at us.
TIME: 07:00


With our tummies satisfied we decided to hit the road on longer stretches from then on. We rode non-stop until Channpatna from where we took a deviation and headed towards Kabblu. The ride was superb road narrowed and bigtrees made their way alongside the road. It was not long before we got the first glimpse of the mighty Kabblu hillock we pulled over at our regular stop.
Ah, Yes! Like always the very sight of the hillock send shivers down my spine and shot adrenalin into my veins and I enjoyed every second of it. Stood staring at the hillock for some time and decided it was time hit back the road.
TIME: 08:30


The ride after that was pretty much smooth and straight forward. We reached the T-Junction at Mallavali in a short time where we pulled over for some tea. Then we carried on and reached Gaganchukki, when asked for a call about the visit to the place, we decided to head further.  We reached kollegala and wading through the streets we quickly exited the town and entered the shortest route which shot right at the base of BR hills. The ride along the countryside was something fantastic and something we really did enjoy. We had one final stop after having got the glimpse of the mighty ranges from afar, after which we reached the base ready to sink into the cool darkness of the forest.


Alright, BR! As we entered the forest ranges, the temperatures dropped by a few degree Celsius. It felt good to notice that and we began ascending the ranges. I kept telling Manju about the encounter with the elephants about 3 years back. The forest ride of the BR hills is something pristine and one of the best around town. The coolness of the air, the silence of the forest and the curves of the road added in the right proportion takes you away and dissolves you into the road.


Anyway enough of the bluff, as we rode on we pulled over at our regular lake stop. Had a nice stretch, which by the way was much needed. Then we noticed a few jeeps zoomin by. We knew something was wrong, this only got us even exicited and we rushed further to find a mob of people on the road.
Alright so, first we parked our bikes. Dattu & I decided to go ahead and check out what the fuss was about. We spoke to a few people and heard a baby elephant had passed away falling into a mud pool beside the road. The parent elephants weren’t allowing anybody to pass through.


Ok, that was more than enough for me to have a good reason to get close to the elephant. Pushin through the crown we made our way towards the front where we witnessed the forest officials trying to scare the elephants away using smoke and gun shots. A stupid move if you ask me, for heaven’s sake, their young one has just died (in its territory by the way) and we want to drive it away so that we can see the temple (the mother of all paradoxical errs i feel that most of us have overlooked would be, humans no doubt are the most intelligent creatures, and trust me we are the most dumbest creatures as well!!)
Ok, so we were watchin all the efforts going down the drain. Until one incident happened and trust me on this one, this incident shall remain one of the most remembered and but un-cherished incident events in my life.

So, Dattu & i were trying hard to get a glimpse of the elephants. All of a sudden a few people before us started rushin back, yep we were in the path of a human stampede, I held Dattu’s hand and told to hold ground. (no bluff ha, exact events i write)
Then the jeep in reverse came in zooming at us, we moved aside of the road. We still stood ground not moving an inch until our eyes caught what we had been waiting for. A huge, I mean atleast it looked mighty huge as it was a “mock run”, ears spread out, with all the excess noise it was making, and stompin the ground, yes it was a mock run. We stood staring at it few hundred meters away as the sun hit its forehead which was muddy for some reason. Finally when it was about to get close enough we turned hard and were about to run into the forest when the elephant itself retreated (it’s called mock run for a reason) Damn I thought, after all these humans trying to do to it, it never wanted to hurt anybody, it just didn’t want to be disturbed and mourn its baby in peace.

Anyways double heading back and waging our way in between people, signalled Zethu and Manju to park the bike a little back, it was time to head into the forest village which was on the other side of the lake where the elephant had passed away.

We parked our bikes like said earlier and followed a narrow trail which would lead us into the forest village. There were already locals sitting having a good view of the events. So we made some good friends and sat alongside. Trust me, I wanted to see elephants, but never like this. The parent elephants stood together in front of the baby elephant, after a good 10mins, turned together towards the other end and continued this strange ritual.

I mean I had read about elephants besides humans being the only creatures to perform last rituals but never seen one in actual. Trust me sadness was filled in the air, and we just sat for the next 2 hours staring at the last rites being performed.


Anyway one funny incident happened that I would like to recollect which got everybody’s mood up, a dog, probably from the village made its way through the mob of people standing on the forest road wondering what the fuss was about,  it walked majestically on tar road towards spot where elephants were mourning beside the road. We got up knowing something was about to happen. One of the elephants started chasing the living soul out of the dog, the terrified dog turned around and started running towards the mob of people. Haha, so now the people pissed in their pants thinking it was bowl out situation in case the dog enters among the people, so they started shooing and scaring the dog by throwin stones at the dog. Now, trust me the dog was totally confused, one side one big mama elephant and other side mob of crazy humans it jumped into the lake and swam its way towards us haha!

When the heroic dog landed on the shore where we were seated, there existed smiles and laughter on everybody’s faces looking at the poor creature. The dog looked at everybody thinking we were another bunch of crazy idiots it walked proudly back into the village.
The clock had struck 14:00, we got up stretched and decided to take leave as we had a good 200kms to ride back. Wishin the parents the best years ahead we left.


Ride 2: (BR Hills – Kollegala – Mallavali – Maddur -  Bidadi – Bangalore)
Alright, I’ll keep the ride back as short as possible (guess enough of this buggin stories ha?) This was a good 200kms stretch made to feel like 250+kms thanks the potholes filled roads of Mallavali. Anyway as we left BR hills, we exited the forest in deep thoughts. But once we were on our way back towards Kollegala we bumped into the Ashok/Arun’s trademark curve (BR Hills: 26th Dec 2011) where we had all stood and laughed our asses off 3 years back.

As we reached Kollegala, Zethu and Dattu missed out on a turn and headed towards Chamrajnagar side, anyway a call was made asking them to meet after Kolegala. Actually the conversation went something like this “hey zethu, remember the signboard where we had decided to head to Barachukki during MM hills trip, same place we’ll catch up, we’ll be waiting there!”


Haha, sometimes past is handy! Anyway we grabbed some juice and biscuits and landed at the signboard. Here we made friends with a few kids and one frikkin huge crab that they had caught in the canals of the Shivanasamudra. After playing with it a few moments, admiring its huge pincers asked them to let it go into the waters. Zethu & Dattu joined us for a light snack on the road side. After which it was non stop riding till Malavalli.
TIME: 17:00

From Malavalli it took us some time to reach Maddur as the road was horrible. We stopped 2-3 times for light tea and few stretches. After  SH-17 (Mysore road) enrgies shot back on again. When asked about lunch (haha, yeah lunch) Manju suggested a new Dhaba nearby Bidadi, we looked at each other and it was a Go. So we rode non-stop till Bidadi, crossing Bidadi we entered the 7hills Dhaba.
TIME: 18:30


At the Dhaba we crashed with a few drinks and good food and sat back relaxed. We had a good discussion about the next 10 trips to come, which would mean and be the end of a 4+year long stretch of riding.
After about 2hours at the Dhaba, we rode towards Bangalore where we pulled over at the JB split stop. Thanked each other for making it for the day and we headed back to reach our respective homes.
When i reached home, my mom started yelling at me saying "look at the news, in BR hills elephants had blocked the road and chased people down and all, and here you are!"
I replied " Yeah yeah i know". Knowing that i dont watch news or read newspaper she knew where i had been for the day:P
TIME: 21:00

“Well this was one fantastic trip I must say. Standing in path of a mock run of an elephant starin into its eyes, my god whata rush is all I can say, haha. But watchin the last rites almost brought a tear to my eye, Anyway Cheers!!”

Until Next time, Cia \m/



Saturday, August 16, 2014

89) Kanva – Back to Basics: (7/12/2013)

Place: Kanva – Basics.
Distance: 60 x 2 = 120kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Bidadi – Ramnagara – Kanva.
Particiapants: Sukesh(Banda) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar (2).
Previous visit: Mahadevapura & Srirangapatna.

Well, this was another trip done to remind us about our roots. Yep a basic ride to place which has become our second home. And oh yeah Sukesh’s first 30+km ride alongside me as well. Finally the Bidadi border had been breached :P

It was a 7days since the Mahadevpura ride with Manju. At workplace, Sukesh asked me if I was free on weekend for a ride out of town. I turned my head around slowly with a pokerface. For past 2-3 many weeks I had been asking the same question to him, this time it was the other way around. Told him I would think about it :P
TIME: 16:00

Yeah, I was up by 05:00, had a sip of coffee, did a few pushups and situps and was all set to go. At about 06:00 I went to bakery and sat with a cup of tea as I awaited Sukesh’s arrival. Once Sukesh arrived I asked him a ride to Kanva rather than the Bidadi ride as usual. He agreed. So having the place fixed to our Kanva we left Bangalore.
TIME: 07:00

RIDE 1: (Bengaluru –Bidadi -  Kanva)
This was a flat out 60kms ride with a super breakfast stop in between. As we left Bangalore the roads looked calm and the weather just perfect. Sukesh lsot in thoughts began to ride at the center of the road enjoying the fresh air of the outskirts. I was honking but his tight helmet prevented him from hearing.
After about 30mins we reached Bidadi for some smashing breakfast.

After a good breakfast told him he better stay at the left of the road due to increase in traffic. Kanva still being a good 20-30kms away, we left. The ride from then was good, the sun was up by now. As we entered Ramnagar the traffic increased I squeezed through and ended out of the town and continued for another 5-10mins, then realized the Sukesh was missing. Tried calling him up but ended in vain. Finally he turned up saying he had to put petrol and did not wanted to be disturbed whie riding :P We had a good laugh, I promised I would have my share of events too (it was not long)


As we departed from the city of Ramnagaram, we reached the deviation which would lead us to the reservoir. There laid a difference too, I realized I had reached the deviation but Sukesh with all his concentration didn’t spot the deviation board. I pulled over and tried calling him again, but again in vain the call was not picked up. Then I parked my bike on the centre stand and start to doze off. After a good 15-20mins a call came upon my phone and it from Sukesh, asking me where I was lost :P Requested him to take a U-turn and said that I would be on the road, literary on the road to cut him off at the deviation. After another 10mins finally like said I stood on the center of the road and cut him off. Finally we took the deviation road and reached the reservoir.
TIME 08:45


Ah, our home. But the sight of the reservoir kinda bought a strange sadness to me. I could feel the water retreating back to the center. The water levels had gone down a lot. But a few storks staring at us lit me up. We sat near the waters for sometime speaking all kinds of shit!
After which we went near the dam gates and it was the year end, more importantly 2013 end which meant a lot. After the sun turned to blaze mode we took a call and decided to leave Kanva.
TIME: 09:30




Sunday, August 10, 2014

88) Mahadevapura & Srirangapatna: (30/11/2013)

Place: Mahadevapura & Sri Rangapatna.
Distance: Total 300kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Maddur - Mandya - Mahadevapura - Srirangapatna.
Particiapants: Manoj(Manju) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar.
Previous visit: Kabbaladurga Trek

This had to be one of the come back trips for us. This I say because it was flooded with randomness (My native) and the right tinge of ‘not planning but still ending up more than normal satisfaction at the end of the day’ type. Overall at the end of the day, it was an old school hit on the road.

It was 2 days since my visit to Kabbalu, which marked the 4th year anniversary of our club. As 30thNov 2013 was a Saturday, I decided to ride out again as I knew I could take more of the hit. Zethu, Dattu & Manju were on the confirmed list. And the destination was set to B.R Hills.
TIME: 23:00 (29/11/2014)

Yeah I was up by 05:00, had a sip of coffee, did a few push-ups and sit-ups and was all set to go. As the meet up was scheduled near out bakery I went there by 06:15 and called up others. This was I received 2 bad news. One being Zethu was up but bike had problems and he had decided to drop, after which Dattu felt a uncomfortable and decided to drop as well. And Manju, not picking up the call. I was stranded astray, but then Manju called back and told me that he was asleep, and was all set to go. When he arrived at bakery, we decided to go to Midegeshi Fort, a trek which we had not done yet (but we covered it anyway,) But then I suggested we stick on to B.R hills. So having the destination locked to B.R hills, we left Bangalore.

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Bidadi- Mandya – Mahadevapura)
This was a 130-140kms stretch on butter-smooth SH-17(Mysore road). As we left Bangalore, we headed towards Bidadi which is about 30kms from the base point. As we reached Bidadi, we pulled over at our regular Tatte Idly Stop and began to dig into our breakfast. As we munched down on our breakfasts I suggested a change in plan to Mahadevapura. I told Manju that it wasn’t an easy place to find as we had struggled quite a bit last time we visited this place. But as he was more than ready for a new adventure the game was on!

After a smashing breakfast we continued on the Mysore road. cruising past Ramnagar, Channapatna, and Maddur. After reaching Mandya we pulled over for a tea break and enquired about the place. After getting the proper direction we took the right deviation from the highway and entered the country roads.


The air turned fresh with the aroma of the cane and the road looked like a snake crawling between the grasslands. We stopped for 2-3 times just to take in the fresh air and also to ask for the exact directions to the place. We knew the magic word “katte” haha yeah that was the golden word to reach the falls. So after asking for a couple of times, I kind of got the déjà vu moment and remembered most of the route.
After the various turns and twists we reached the Mahadevpura Bridge. The river that was flowing below had a soft gush and the blanket of mist resided on her surface. The view was fantastic and the weather was cool.


After watching the flowing river from the top of the bridge we decided to continue. From here we knew the directions and reached the bird sanctuary without much difficulty. As expected the place wasn’t crowded and had the pristine clarity as it had. We parked the bike and went down to feel the water’s flow force. Yeah it was gushing down in all its glory alright, so the plan of getting down was scrapped.


We decided to go on a bike tour like last time where we had spotted peacocks and other strange birds. This time we spotted a few black storks and other birds. We found the perfect place on the boulders to rest. We parked our bike and rested on the boulders and washed our feet on the cold waters.
TIME: 10:30

Oh yeah I even tried the new face washing technique or rather refreshing exercise, which Manju told me, he always does back in his home town. I laid down on my chest and gently dipped my face into the cold flowing waters. Trust me, that felt really, I mean really refreshing. After sleeping into the water for a twice or thrice, I felt energized and asked Manju who pretty much lost in the beauty of the flowing river that we hit back the road.
TIME 11:00

Before leaving we visited the falls once again and finally breathing in as much of the place as possible we left Mahadevapura.
TIME: 11:30


RIDE 2: (Mahadevapura – Srirangapatna)
This was roughly 15kms ride. As we left Mahadevapura, I was telling Manju about how we got lost and ended up in Mysore the last time we had visited the place. So this time we were careful ion watching the sign boards and asking people for the directions. But then Manju said if we could also visit Sri Rangapatna the same day.(I kinda get that hit when somebody gives a crazy for normal people, but reasonable for us kinda ideas) So it was a go to Srirangapatna. After riding for about 15mins we hit back the Mysore Road (SH-17) and we continued towards Srirangapatna and entered the magnificent city on the strike of noon.
TIME: 12:00


Alright I wont take much of your time from here. Will list out the places we visited and which you might want to include that we didn’t visit.
1.  Daria Daulat: It was Tippu Sultan’s summer palace built in 1784. It’s a beautiful place with rich paintings on walls of the palace and various kinds of coins, medals, swords, guns & other ammunition used during Tippu’s reign are displayed.
2. Gumbaz: Burial chamber of Tippu, his father(Hyder Ali) & mother (Fathima). Interiors decorated with tiger like stripes which happened to be Tippu’s favorite animal.
3. Ghosai Ghat & Sangama:  About 1km from the Gumbaz. Famous picnic spot, river from here flows to the Mettur Dam, TN.
4. Jama Masjid: This was Tippu’s favourite mosque.


5. The Obelisk: Place where Tippu died trying to fight of the British.
6. Captain Bailey’s Dungeon: Place where Tippu’s prisoners of war were chained. The roof of the place which has a hole due to the strike of a cannon ball is something you would want to see at this place.
7. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple: it is the main temple, opened throughout the year. Oh yeah, lot of gift shops outside the temple premises!
8. Lal Mahal: Main Srirangapatna fort constructed in Indo-Islamic style. Both our visits it was closed.
9. Thomas Innman’s Dungeon: Alright, one of the less visited places by visitors, so obviously it has to be better than others if you ask me. Like Bailey’s dungeon the prisoners were held captive here. Surrounded by pathway for water like “He-man’s castle” Haha :P

So those were some of the important places that you might want to cover during you visit to the place. After a few rounds of coconut water we decided to say tata to this wonderful place. We spent about 1.5hrs.
TIME: 13:30

RIDE 3: (Srirangapatna – Maddur – Bangalore)
This was about 130kms ride with a lunch stop in between. As we left Srirangapatna it was smooth cruising on the highway talking about various shit! It was not long before we reached Maddur, the clock was telling it was 14:30, our tummies not telling but shouting it was post lunch time Haha. So we pulled over for some light lunch.


After some light food, we left Maddur. The next 80kms was basically home to home kinda stretch. All we had to do was not slip on a mistake. So we spoke non-stop and showing Manju various places of importance as far as our club’s history is concerned we reached bakery for some tea. After having some tea & snacks we thanked each other for making it and we split to our respective places.
TIME: 16:30

if you ask me, this had to be one of the comeback chapters. And also this is was the chapter which tipped the year 2013 towards the end. The ‘quality of the trip’ is the one which mattered the most. And for Manju, I believe it was a super return after a long time!!”
Until next time, Cia \m/