Sunday, January 5, 2014

84) Narayanagiri Trek - Jalamangala: (22/9/2013)

Place: Narayanagiri Trek (Jalamangala)

Distance: 65 x 2 = 130kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Bidadi – Ramnagara - Jalamangala
Participants:  Aditya (Adi) > Deepak  (Deefu) > Datta (Magu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Balmuri Falls.

Another place, another hike and yes this was a fantastic trek to this new place called Jalamangala. This trek was one of the craziest done so far if the steepness is taken into consideration. But yes, it had a good balance of Nordic type of walking as well.

So, there I was just browsing through and travelling my way across Karnataka on Google maps, even though I knew it was not the actual thing. Putting the maps on terrain mode I came across this bump on the surface of earth near Kanva. Even though we had been to Kanva so many times it was surprising that we had not come across this hillock. The only way to find out was to go out there and check it out ourselves. Adi, Deefu & Dattu were on the confirmed list.
TIME: 22:00 (21/9/2013)

Yeah I was up at around 06:00hrs, had some coffee, did a few push ups and sit ups. Adi first came to my place& then we were joined by the other two. After a formal greeting we decided to leave Bangalore.
TIME: 07:45

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Bidadi – Ramnagar – Jalamangala)
This was a 60 to 65kms stretch, with one stop in between. We left Bangalore on two bikes and the weather was pretty cool. The traffic was not that heavy as we had left pretty late. We rode at a slow pace on our home ground SH-17 non-stop for 30kms to reach our regular breakfast stop at Bidadi.
TIME: 08:30

After munching down a couple of Tatte Idly’s, we were all set to go. We continued the good cruising momentum until Ramnagar and took a right deviation at signal. After which I wasn’t very sure whether the people would know about this place, but we decided to give it a shot. We asked people for directions to Jalamangala and we were surprised when we got good response. 


As we continued the roads turned superb and the surroundings began to grow greener. We were much delighted when we spotted a sign stone saying Jalamangala was 5kms away. We got the glimpse of the hillock at the outskirts of the village itself. After reaching the place, it was little hard to find the exact start point of the trek, but at the end we parked our bikes amidst some fields and with the astral goat’s spirit awakened within us we were set for a hike.
TIME: 09:45


The ascension took about 45mins. But trust me these 45mins were filled with everything, normal walking to clinging to the rock surface steepness. I have divided the trek into the following stretches:
i) Forest walk
ii) Lizard Walk
iii) Last walk

First Walk:
This was the first stretch of the trek. This stretch took about 15-20mins. And this was I felt only part we left we were on flat ground, even though the ground wasn’t absolutely flat. The trees were green and we did thoroughly enjoy this walk. We even sat on boulders in between just to take all the freshness we can before heading back to the polluted city unfortunately where we had to live.
This part also consisted of a walk through head tall grasses which I felt was really wonderful. We had to make sure were making noise during this part as we didn’t want to surprise any snakes lying below.
TIME: 10:00


Lizard Walk:
After we walked amidst the tall grasses we ended up in front of a huge steep rock face. We ascended this steep rock face with the help of the bushes that grew at the sides. It was pretty risky as we had to put our complete trust in the bushes that we held onto. After this the most thrilling part of the trek unveiled. It was again another stretch of dangerous steepness and we realized there were no bushes around to hang on to as well. Dattu who is ever energetic started exploring for new easy routes. But unfortunately there was only one way up that was straight up.


Deefu & I felt, Adi who was coming with us for the first time, should fall in between us both. And as far as Dattu, we were sure that he had enough energy to keep circling around us always searching for something new.
This stretch took us about 15mins, but trust me, the things we underwent during this stretch are beyond words. After having hiked this stretch like lizards that walk on your wall we reached the final stretch. (I felt like the lizard king and yes I could do anything :P)
TIME: 10:15

Final Stretch:
As we were done with Lizard walking, we looked back and wondered how were going to go back down on that one. But Deefu & I knew that it was easier to climb down steep faces than ascend them. So anyway we decided not to waste time about thinking what was to come. Continuing further we reached a few steps. At this point I could see the feeling of safeness and the high grasses welcomed us to plain rock stretch. The view from this part was superb, the wind speeds were of the charts. Oh yeah, we could spot Savandurga from here, we smiled and waved back. The cool winds made us feel so very good that we forgot about reaching the top and started enjoying the winds fooling around amidst the tall grasses.
TIME: 10:30


On top of the hillock there was a temple, which was locked down. We sat down below a tree, on top of the fresh grass and started having some chocolates and some water. The winds had turned pleasant and hit our faces gently to cool us down. We sat and spoke all kinds of shit, as how we keep this up even after having been separated after high-school etc., actually I was surprised in answering all those questions how we actually had kept up and I had never thought about it, so I decided to let go and not to again think about such things.


After about 45mins of enjoying the cool breeze and watching the grass sway to the soft winds we decided to explore the top a little bit more. As we explored the top we reached a place where the winds were off limit and standing was a challenge (atleast for me:P) the joyful Magu, Dattu was just playing around with the wind. It was a very fun lit atmosphere and it felt good. After spending some quality time we decided to head back. Before we left we looked back at Savandurga and said ta-ta!
TIME: 12:00

The descension of the hillock was done on a completely different route. It was even steeper than the route we took to climb up. It took us 45mins to descend the hillock to reach back our bikes.

So as we began, we started looking for an alternate route to trek down. Since we couldn’t find any from the top, we decided to climb down the same way. Once we were done with the “final walk” part, Deefu & Dattu said they had found a new route. And trust me it was one of the steepest, but not impossible. I was in a fix, Adi who was new to all this, I didn’t want him to be put through this intense endurance test.
But Deefu was insistent we take a different route. We all knew that after we start there was no turning back as the steepness was maddening. So we decided that Dattu was to lead, next would come Deefu and Adi had to stay in between Deefu and me.


And so the cautious and yet fun hike down began. We stuck close and inch by inch we down the steep rock face to reach the forest area below. Again this stretch iswhere i went through an inner turmoil between crew’s desires and their own safety. Something beyond words, again.


After reaching the forest we had to find our way back. There lot of trees and thick filled bushes all around us. A few of them had thorns, so we had to put them down so that others could pass through. At one point I picked up a bad cut on my left back hand when a branch snapped back. After some constant walking in a particular direction guided by our bearings we reached the initial stretch from where we walked down further below to reach our bikes.
TIME: 12:45                    

RIDE 2: (Jalamangala – Bidadi - Bangalore)
This was roughly a 35kms ride. As we left Jalamangala we decided to crash at one of our regular Dhaba’s at Bidadi for lunch. The ride from Jalamangala to Ramnagara was a pleasant one as it was though fields and country side. As we reached Ramnagara we hit the highway for the next 10-15kms to reach the Dhaba.
At the Dhaba we had a pretty heavy lunch (atleast the others :P) to pacify our tummies which had begun to growl.
TIME: 13:45


After having a heavy lunch we left the dhaba. All we had to do was stay awake as the sun was blazing away in all its glory. After about 30mins we reached my place from where others split to their respective homes.
TIME: 15:00

“This chapter, had to be one of the craziest ones and the craziness had come when we expected the least. I had thought it was just another small hillock, which it was, but the steepness it offered was something out of our books. And feeling the fear within seeing one of the crew in fear and diffusing both of it was something I learnt anew from this chapter Tch-Tch, Cheers!!”

Until Next time Cia \m/



Saturday, January 4, 2014

83) Balmuri Falls & Mysore: (1/9/2013)

Place: Balmuri Falls & Mysore.
Distance: 150 x 2 = 300kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – RamnagarMaddur -  Mandya - Mysore
Participants:  Ashok (K350) > Madhu (k.) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Unicorn > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Savandurga Trek.

This chapter was one of the unusual ones. We rode this one to attend a marriage & finally ended up at Balmuri falls. The place was pretty crowded as it was a Sunday, but we found a very tranquil place to crash.

Evening of 28th August 2013, most of us met at bakery. We all received an invitation from our good friend Isro to his brother’s wedding which was scheduled to happen at Mysore. So riding to Mysore on our bikes was not of any doubt, but who all were going to accompany was in question. After a lot of discussion the crew was fixed to 3 of us, Madhu, Ashok & me.
TIME: 22:00 (31/8/2013)

Yeah I was up at around 05:00hrs, had some coffee, did a few push ups and sit ups. Ashok came to my place & we left to bakery where Madhu was scheduled to join us. We 3 sat at the bakery for about30mins as it had been atleast a month since Madhu & I had met Ashok. After having some hot tea we left Bangalore.
TIME: 07:00


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Ramnagar – Maddur)
This was an 80kms stretch of pure cruising on our home ground SH-17 (Mysore Road). The riding was old school like our first days. After reaching Bidadi we had a short chat & decided to have breakfast at Maddur.
As we reached Ramnagar a very funny incident took place.Ashok who was riding was all set to take some wrong deviation which lead to the town, it was like a repetition of our Coorg ride. Madhu & I looked at each other & burst into laughter. It was good to know he hadn’t changed one bit, lost as always. We called him and pulled him back on track. After about 30mins of riding we reached Maddur Tifany’s.
TIME: 08:30


Ah, yes! We parked our bikes entered the hotel & began munching down. The breakfast was light one followed by a hot coffee which like always tasted brilliant. After the breakfast we went to the Handicrafts store outside to buy some gifts as we learnt it was polite that way. To us,all these, very newcustoms and to be frank, handicrafts store isn’t that bad a place to be. I bought that fist and forehand work out device first and then began searching for the gifts. Once the gifts were packed we left Maddur.
TIME: 09:45

RIDE 2: (Maddur – Mandya - Mysore)
This was the second stretch of the first half of the journey. It was for about 70kms again on SH-17. The second half was again neither aggressive nor passive, it was plain blank (as Ashok can get :P) After about 1.5 hrs of constant cruising we reached Mysore.
TIME: 12:00

We reached Mysore when the sun was overhead. The wedding place was very well decorated & the search for Isro began. Once we met up he took us inside the marriage hall. 5 mins passed inside the hall, after which we ran out and sat at some bakery near by :P
As we entered the hall, we could see everybody were all very neatly dressed & there we were in our regular riding dresses. Even some of our friends had come very well dressed.
Sitting at the bakery I, trust me was completely shivering. It was my first time at a marriage; I had not experienced such an atmosphere before.
TIME: 12:15

Yeah, when it was lunch time we got a call from inside asking to come for lunch. At first I thought we would skip, but then we went inside making up a few silly rules for the next hour or so. We went inside with a wavery smile & head bent low, not like regular selves. We sat down and finished off our lunch in less than 15-20mins and off we were back to bakery. Then we met Isro to thank him for inviting us and we departed Mysore.
TIME: 13:30

RIDE 3: (Mysore – Balmuri Falls)
This was hardly a 20kms stretch. After telling Isro to meet us at the dhaba the next week, we were on road towards the Balmuri. This stretch we took from Mysore to Balmuri falls was very good as it was mostly beside the canals carrying waters to the falls. As we were approaching Balmuri, I spotted people selling some “strong coconut water” inside a farm, I called back the other two and we bought 2 litres of it and reached Balmuri.
TIME: 14:15

Once we reached Balmuri falls, we were little disappointed that the place was little croweded unlike our last visit. But we parked our bikes near a hotel and started exploring the farmlands, where the water flowed pleasantly like backwaters. We put down our bags, sat on coconut trees & began sipping on the coconut water & drifting away with the soft waters which was flowing in front of us. We spent about an hour this way.
TIME: 15:30

RIDE 4: (Balmuri Falls - Maddur)
This was roughly 60kms stretch. The roads until the highway, SH-17 was a bumpy one. After which it was back to some old school sailing to zoom past Mandya to reach back our Maddur Tifany’s.
TIME: 17:00



This time we ordered 3 coffees and took it outside sat on our bikes sipping at a very slow rate enjoying the weakening of the sun’s rays. Then we called up Arun who was in Chennai and spoke to him. It was very unusual of Madhu to call up Arun like this because we always call him from the dhaba near home:P After about 30mins we left MT.
TIME: 17:30

RIDE 5: (Maddur – Ramnagar - Bangalore)
The last stretch was for about 80kms.The sun began to sink into the horizon as we left Maddur. The air turned icy cold as the darkness descended. But we rode non-stop to reach bakery for some hot tea. After a short duration talk we left to our respective homes.
TIME: 19:00


“This chapter, had to be one of the different ones. It was filled with fun and laughter and moreover the most important thing being meeting friends and spending some quality time with them, sitting on coconut trees with cold waters flowing below us was just fantastic”

Until Next time Cia \m/