Tuesday, May 31, 2016

110) Elagiri (Yelagiri) – Oven Ride: (2/5/2015)

Place: Yelagiri Ride.
Distance: 160 x 2 = 320kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Hosur – Krishnagiri - Elagiri
Particiapants: Abhishek > Nitin > Gowrish (Gorisha) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Karizma > FX > Pulsar NS > Pulsar.     

This chapter was another release chapter. It saw riding on the very broad highways under the merciless sun. Riding up the hill in the cool Nilgiri covered hill was a pure bliss. And ending the ride in rain was something special. This chapter would also be a start of a reckless May,2015.  Yes,  watch out!

After spending about 2 months at Ranchi I finally returned back to Bangalore. I was eagerly looking for a release, and this  chapter turned out to be the start. It had been more than 3 years since we had ridden in Tamil Nadu (Yelagiri). Gauti called me up letting me know he was in town, so initially ride to Ooty was planned. But due to certain fall backs we narrowed the place to Yelagiri. Gauti’s friends Nitin & Abhishek were also up for the ride. And I pulled over Gowrish. (March & April 2015 saw no chapters)
TIME: 22:00 (1/5/2015)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at the end of electronic city flyover. So I left my home, picked up Gorish from Bommnhali and we rode towards the EC flyover end to find others already waiting for us. After a formal introduction of all the krew, we decided to head out of town.
TIME: 07:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Hosur – Krishnagiri - Elagiri)
This was 160kms ride. It was burning hot, and wide roads made us feel dizzy.  As we left Bangalore the weather started slowly turning hot. All the 4 bikes, rode one behind the other in a beautiful formation. The roads to Krishnagiri are broad and wide, filled with beautiful scenery on both sides of the road. As we reached Krishnagiri we pulled over at a very nice hotel for some tasty breakfast.
TIME: 08:45

Over the breakfast we got to know more about each other and the jokes kept coming out on the table as we munched on through. Once done with the breakfast, I told others I vaguely remember the turn we had taken last time (Yelagiri, 2012). So we reduced our riding speed trying to spot suitable boards which would lead us to the place. We pulled over at a couple of places to rest and catch up with each other.  Finally about 1.5hours latter we spotted the deviation with clear boards and made it to the foothills.
TIME: 10:45



The temperature of the air dropped as we started ascending the hill. The roads to the top were excellent and well maintained. The ride to the top consists of 14 hair-pin bends. As we rode the beauty of the nature kept increasing and the view off the road started becoming nice. Each curve was executed with joy . Riding behind each other in a straight line throughout the ascent felt great. The last part of the ascent was filled with Nilgiri trees allowing few streams of light to pass through. The air had turned cold by the time we reached the top.



We spent about 2hours on the top. Mostly not at the actual place. Okay, we reached the top parked our bikes near the lake. We walked beside the lake to find quite a large number of people as it was a Saturday.  We found a nice outpost overlooking the lake and sat in a circle and went on speaking. After sometime we decided to leave grab something to drink and crash at the Nilgiri place which looked more peaceful and people-free. So we did, parking our bikes on the road, we climbed up the steep muddy terrain filled with thorns to find a neat place with boulders to relax. We spent about an hour here and then decided to head back as our tummies were growling.


RIDE 2: (Yelagiri – Krishagiri – Hosur –Bangalore ):
This was 160kms drilling ride back.  The ride back down from the hilltop was a smooth one. We switched off our bikes and allowed it to take us peacefully to the base. Once at the base we could feel the heat off the road. As we reached back the highway to Krishangiri it became adman tiring. As we rode on the broad highway, heat waves kept blowing against us the made riding painful. we could hardly keep our eyes open. Somehow as we approached Krishnagiri we pulled over at a decent hotel for some lunch.
TIME: 15:00

After a nice lunch, we left the hotel and proceeded to Krishangiri. We still had another 100kms to go, so wasting no time we continued riding inspite of the rapid energy drain. We pulled over at a water pump to replenish our thirst and soul. We rode one behind the other, Gow and me together making fun of other vehicles so as to keep us awake (okay, atleast me, as I was riding!) At the outskirts of Hosur we pulled over for some hot tea. Then as we cruised past Hosur the weather turned dull and down came the drizzle. This my folks, felt like bliss. We were so relieved. Riding in this drizzle made a perfect end to this chapter. 


We entered back Karnataka and the temperatures dropped and we rode with joy to reach the EC flyover. Gow, Nitin & Abhishek continued further towards the city, where as Gauti and myself took the NICE road to PESIT. As we entered the NICE road the clouds burst open for a short while and turned back in to drizzle. But we were pretty much on “tortoise mode” we kept a constant 50km/h and rode beside reach other come may rain or sun. The smell of rain off the heated roads is something still really fresh in my mind (wait or is it in my nose, or wait!) Anyway, we reached PESIT and split to reach our respective destinations.
TIME: 19:00



Monday, May 30, 2016

109) Siddarabetta trek – Into the dark caves: (27/2/2015)

Place: Sidarabetta Trek.
Distance: 100 x 2 = 200kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Dobbaspete – Koratgere - Sidarabetta
Particiapants: Deepak (Deefu) > Datta (Dattu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Zeus > Pulsar.                        

This chapter was one of the spookiest, scariest chapters we have done till date. Exploring the caves in darkness, sliding down small crevasses into the dark oblivion, finally encountering an aghori after several layers were some of the highlights of this trek.

As far as the planning goes, it had been more than a month since our trek to Skandagiri. This time the crew were almost similar but Ashok couldn’t make it. Siddarabetta was on our bucket list  since a few years. But could never strike it out. Once Dattu & Deefu were ready to take leave, we decided to conquer it on a Friday itself.
TIME: 22:00 (26/2/2015)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at the ORR near Mahalakshmi layout. Left my home at about 06:15, Once Dattu & Deefu arrived we greeted each other and departed from Bangalore. 
TIME: 07:15

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Nelamangala – Dobbaspete – Koratgere - Siddarabetta)
This was a 100kms ride, with a breakfast stop in between. As we headed out of Bangalore, Dattu was riding my bike in full flow. We cruised past Nelamangala, and as we approached Dobbaspete, with Shivagange in sight we pulled over at our regular hotel for some tasty breakfast.
TIME: 08:00

Having done with breakfast, we continued further taking a right at Dobbaspete and heading towards Madhugiri. The roads were under construction and hence slowed our progress. Once we reached Kortagere, it was really nice to spot Madhugiri, Channarayandrurga & Siddarabetta. We looked at each other incase the plan were to be changed. We reached Siddarabetta premises, we parked our bikes and were all set to get into the caves.


The trek started with a lengthy stretch of staircase. It pretty much drained the energy out of our knees. After which the canopy on top opened up and stone stairs became somewhat broken up. So jumping here and there between boulders we pushed on ahead under the hot sun. And yes, as far as Dattu, he was doing moonwalks, cartwheel and what not… dancing his way to the top. We started wondering as to where the caves were?


After about 30-45mins of climbing in the hot sun, we reached the temple. Removing our shoes we entered the premises. The people poured two extremely cold water on us to cool us down and gave some of it to drink as well. We enquired about the caves and they pointed at a small gap under a boulder which was hardly 2 feet in height and asked us to crawl through that. 


Holding the phone in our mouth one after the other, bare-footed crawled through this small opening to open our eyes into a new world itself. It was dark, and filled with boulders, and roots of trees penetrated from the top giving it a spooky feeling. Few streams of light made it through from the top and hit the ground revealing the dust particles dancing around in it’s path.


As we started going deeper & deeper into the caves, it became so much more scary. The silence which accompanied was literally killing us. We did play around on the roots and jump from boulder to boulder. As we were bare-footed we had to be extra careful about the sharp edges on the rock surfaces.

Few instances we were just crawling down holes in which only one could squeeze through. We had to remember all this path and small crevasses as we returned huh, don’t forget that. Finally after several layers deeper we started hearing water flow and some kind of light being emitted from a corner behind the rocks.  As we approached the sound, what we saw next locked our breath and widened our eyes.

An Aghori, or what seemed like one (people who worship the dead and feed of them) was seated pouring water from a “Shanka” onto a mud formation in the ground. Deefu & me signalled Dattu to stay back. Deefu asked him as to what he was doing. The look he gave after that was something I can never get out of my head. It was scary, but he asked us to leave through his actions. Without disturbing his peace we left.
TIME: 12:00 

After a few layer off the Aghori, we found a neat place to settle down and relax. Here the silence trust me was overwhelming, and a few deep breaths taking in the silence could get a person f’n high. We rested for about 30mins and then decided to head back.



As we started back, it was good that we recognized some of the rocks and the trees that we had talked about. Once we almost missed a turn, imagine that ending up in a totally different layer. Finally after about 30mins we made it back to the temple. Yes, again crawling through the narrow passages. Took another bucket of super cool water on the head. Then we started walking down to the base. Here the trek had turned so well, Dattu began his dance of joy, side walking, moon walking and what not! Grabbing some Bhel puri we made it to the base of the hill in about 30mins.
TIME: 13:45


RIDE 2: (Siddarabetta – Koratgere – Tumkur- Dobbaspete – Bangalore):
This was simple 100kms ride back. As we left Siddarabetta, we waved back at Channarayandurga too and left towards Koratgere. Once we reached the town of Koratgere we continued further to reach Tumkur. After which our tummies began to growl. So Riding in full swing we cruised past Dobbaspete & Nelmangala to pull over at our regular dhaba of tumkur road – “Chandu Dhaba”
TIME: 15:30

After a nice lunch, we had some pan and left the Dhaba afloat. We rode slow as the sun went down. The traffic gradually had begun to increase. But jibing in between vehicles we reached back Yeshwanthpur. Here we thanked each other for making it for the trip and headed separate ways to reach back our homes.
TIME: 17:30



Saturday, May 28, 2016

108) Skandagiri – Lost tales: (15/1/2015)

Place: Skandagiri Trek.
Distance: 75 x 2 = 150kms.
Directions: Bengaluru –Hebbal – Devanahalli - Skandagiri
Particiapants: Deepak (Deefu) > Ashok (Momz) > Datta (Dattu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Enfield > Zeus > Pulsar.         
Previous visit: Mysore –The Farewell

Alright, the first chapter of the year 2015. And it was a pretty good one too. This chapter was filled with fun, laughter and oh yes, some very intense moments. Taking the wrong turn during the climb up took its toll on us. But nevertheless we ended the day smiling.

As far as the planning goes, we had visited Skandagiri way back in 2010 (Night Trek) and after that we had never set foot again. With Deefu suggesting the place for a morn trek, we all agreed. Dattu, & Ashok were the others on the confirmed list. By the way, the last time’s trek is definitely worth the read, here is the link – Skandagiri Night trek.
TIME: 22:00 (14/1/2015)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at the ORR near Mahalakshmi layout. Left my home at about 06:00, Once Dattu & Deefu arrived, we travelled towards Hebbal and went to Ashok’s place to pick him up. With all 4 us checked in we left town..
TIME: 06:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore– Hebbal – Devanahalli – Nandi TJunc – Skandagiri)
This was a about  75-80kms ride on the airport road. Initially we jibed here and there in between vehicles as we cruised on the Ring road. Finally having made to Hebbal, the traffic eased a little, which made riding comfortable. We searched for decent hotels on this road. And there were many, but we missed them all and went straight till Devanahalli and pulled over at a small hotel for some light breakfast.
TIME: 08:15

Continuing further in about 20mins time, we could spot the first glimpse of the hill. And well, last time we had the slightest clue where were heading, but this time it was better. After asking for direction in the town nearby we went and parked our bikes at the base. With the goat’s spirit awakened within us, we were ready to conquer the hill.
TIME: 09:30


As far as the trek goes, I will not be dividing into phases as we had no clue how we ascended the hill. And more importantly how we got back home in one piece. After we parked our bikes, we travelled to the temple nearby and behind the temple was the route to the hillock. As we walked on the pathway, we say the hillock right beside us ( the actual route, we had to go a little more further and then start, but no, we took the shortcut, more of a wrong turn) 

And then began the struggle, long tall grasses, flooded with thorns offered a lot of resistance for a smooth climb.  After sometime we found ourselves in a forest kind of region, all we said to ourselves as to continue heading up until we reach flat land.  

Then came the boulder stretch, my god, this pretty much brought down all the pride and put on a new test to our climbing skills. Steep faces of rocks stood staring at us and we had to work together to overcome some of them. It was challenging, yes we enjoyed it, but at the same time it was pretty scary too! Some of the steep faces had gravels and loose mud on them, which made some of us climb us and hold onto to the other person’s hand and pull them up. 


One point came, as in the previous trip, where we had to walk sticking onto a wall on a narrow path sideways. The other side was fall to bottom. This was the scariest of them all. After all the struggle we found ourselves finally on grass but on a steep face. There was loose mud all along, but we pushed on through sitting here & there and well lost totally. Now we weren’t even sure where we would end up by the end of the day. (Ashok kept calm throughout, or atleast he looked calm, or wait, was he even aware that we were lost? :P

Haha I don’t think he knew. But as climbed on the steep grass surface we finally hit a muddy path, and guess what it was the actual path up. Holy mother of cow, we began to dance one after and jump up and down in pure joy. Then came Ashok, “Oh momz, so we were on the wrong route all along then ah?” we all burst into laughter and rested on the muddy path for some time.
We had done almost 75% of the climb, the last 25% on the pathway was sweat. We walked along smoothly with a few jumps here & there and finally made it to the top.



Well as we spotted the granaries/outposts on the top were shocked firstly to see them. As we couldn’t see anything last time due the thick curtains of fog. We went around to check the perimeter and finally found a nice ruined building to crash into. We went on chatting about school memories and college ones. Then finally we dozed off for 15-20mins. Once we were up, we took what would be one the most difficult group pics taken till date. (The 1st photo of this article)


With others standing on top of the granary, I positioned the camera and set 10seconds on the timer(max) then I had to run to the granary, then hop on the  fallen pillar(see pic), run up the pillar and finally pose for a photo.  Haha, all that in 10secs. It was totally worth it. We decided it was time to head down, more importantly in the normal pathway hehe.
TIME: 12:30

Hold, Hold, Hold.  The climb down was pretty decent one as it was on the pathway. It was slippery due to the mud & gravels but not hard. After about 20mins of quick descension, Ashok came up with a major, I mean major question. The conversion went something like this:
Ashok – “Momz, I’ll ask 1 question, please don’t feel bad”

We – “ Shoot!”

Ashok – “ Momz, what is the name of this hill that we are climbing? Well you see, I need to tell home I went somewhere alteast”:P


Deefu started searching for a stick, Me a stone, And Dattu was already beating him up. Hehe. That’s Ashok alright! Our moods were so lifted up after that incident. Shit, felt good to have such company. Slowly climbing down, asking atleast another 10times so that the name sank into his head.  We made it to the last 25%. Here we encountered lots of muddy terrain. Taking each step cautiously, slipping here and there we made it to an arrow.

This arrow my friends, was the deviation we had to take from the main path when we first started the trek. The last bit of stretch we decided to have a 1km dash, running one next to each other we took off at full speed and reached back the temple premises. Then we got onto our bikes and took off a were starving.
TIME: 14:00 


RIDE 2: (Skandagiri – Devanahali – Bangalore)
Riding with the wind felt real good. Trying to remember the turns taken we reached back the T-Junction of Nandi-Skandagiri split. After which we rode further ahead to pull over at a dhaba for some lunch.
TIME: 14:30

After an hour or two of belting rice, discussed about the chapter. Asked others to rate the chapter on 10. After loafing around a bit, we left the dhaba afloat. The ride back was a smooth one as it was on the airport road. It took us only 30mins.  Deefu & Dattu carried forward towards their respective homes. I dropped Ashok to his place and then reached my home.
TIME: 16:45