Thursday, August 18, 2016

134) Bettamugilalam & Aiyur Forest : (7/8/2016)

Place: Bettamugilalam & Aiyur Forest
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Hosur > Denkankottai > Bettamugilalam
Krew: Gowrish (Gorisha) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Rayakottai Trek.
Budget: Rs 200/head

Bettamugilalam is one of the lesser known hill stations of Tamil Nadu and trust me, the ride to the place is the best part of it. Our trip was so unplanned that everything fell into its own place with complete acceptance. Also, this place popped out of nowhere and next thing you know, you have a new place under your belt! Feels good right?

On the 6th of August, an union of office friends was planned at Markonahalli as it been 4months since we rode together to Shettihalli Church & Gorur Dam. But due to some unavoidable circumstances we couldn’t pull that through. So, I called up Gowrish and asked him about the plan for Sunday. When he said he was good for a trip, lots of places flushed through my mind. But my primary intention was some place on Hosur road, as it would be easy to drop him back.
TIME: 22:00 (6/7/2016)

Oh yeah woke up at 04:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! I had to pick up Gow from Bommnahalli, so took off from my home at about 05:30. Again like last time I rode through the city in the early hours of the day and trust me it was cold. I was getting used to the city riding by now. Reached Gow’s place by 06:00, usually Gow wore a thick leather jacket in the mornings but it used be off no use post 10AM once the sun started blazing. But this time he didn’t wear it assuming the obvious and guess what happened? :P
TIME: 06:00


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Hosur – Denkankottai - Aiyur Forest - Betamugilalam)
So, this was a 120kms one way ride to Bettamugilalam with an intermediate breakfast stop at Denkankottai. So, as we left Bangalore towards Attibele, I turned around and asked Gow as to where we were heading. He looked at me totally confused and then I said “Yes, that’s the exact look I wanted to see. Because then I would have company”. As we headed further this place called Bettamugilalam I had heard few years back near Denkankottai, so thought of checking it out!
We rode till Hosur and asking people for directions we spotted the good old route Zethu & myself had taken on our rides to Yercaud, Hogenekkal & Panchapalli. It had been 4+ years since I had ridden on this route, so it was kind of nostalgic. Also it had been just two weeks since we visited Rayakottai on the same stretch.
As we reached Denkankottai, we pulled over at Sri Sarvana Bhavan for some tasty breakfast. Tamil Nadu, well I would bet on Dosas & Pongal!
TIME: 08:00

Once we were done with a yummy breakfast we stepped out and a funny incident happened with a very old man who had just come to the hotel. He called me and I went near him, the conversation went something like this but in Kannada/Tamil mix
Old man – “ hi, finished?”
Me – “ Yeah
Oldman – “ How was it?”
Me – “ Yeah, awesome!, you should try it to
Oldman – “ Water was there?”
Me – “ :/ “
This point I was wondering what the hell was he talking about! I turned to Gow and he was laughing his ass off. The old man was asking about Hogenekkal and I was telling him about the Pongal I had just eaten. Hahahaha!
We had a good laugh and continued further and visited the Betarayanswamy temple in Denkankottai. Afterwhich I realised it was the Panchapalli road, then asking the locals for the right direction, we joined back the original route to head towards Bettalmugilalam.
TIME: 09:30

Bettamugilalam Ride:
The temperature of the air began to dip as we proceeded. And the bamboo suggested that the forest premise was near. Since there were no guards at the checkpost we entered the forest roads on our own. The ride began to turn into an awesome glide as we proceeded further. Thick bamboos existed on both side of the road and as we pulled over at the place, we could hear the bamboos rub each other with utmost clarity. Also, we could hear a lot of bird’s chirpings all around us.
One must visit place on the way is called “Sami Eari” which is basically a pond amidst the thick forest. It reminded me of the similar looking one at BR hills. Usually animals come down here to quench their thirst.


Gow, told me he looked like a retired army colonel and I looked like a rookie who was under him for training purpose. I slowly turned behind with a poker face and pulled over the bike. Thinking that it was a break he got down. Once he got down, I took off leaving him in the forest :P
The last stretch consisted of sweet hair pain curves which were executed with joy and basically I sang my way through the entire stretch.
TIME: 11:00

Once we reached the top, it was a hill station no doubt. The fresh air, the plantations, the cold weather everything made us feel we were totally in far off hill station.  As a place, one can just live there and admire the beauty of the gorgeous hills which surround the place. We loafed around a bit, and saw the church which is present on the top. After which I realised my bike console’s display was dead, we had no clue as to how much petrol the bike had :P. Finally after fooling around for a little while we decided to head back.
TIME: 11:30


RIDE 2: (Bettamugilalam – Denakonakottai – Hosur – E-City- Nagarbhavi -E-city -Nayandhalli)
Call it crazy, what had to be a 100kms ride back home turned out to be 200+kms. As we left, the ride back was a quick one. Riding down the hair pin curves amidst the forest is something that actually gets me high. Gliding my bike across the tunes of my mind we made to “Sami Eari” in no time .Here we pulled over again and for taking in the entire ambience. After which we reached back Denkankottai, and from there we proceeded in the interior roads for the next 25kms or so to hear back the highway at Hosur.

Once we reached back Hosur, we continued and as we entered Attibele, we called up Nitya and asked his call on sitting at our regular dhaba at Nagarbhavi. Once Nitya agreed, Gow and me took the NICE road to Mysore road and reached the Dhaba. Nitya from Tumkur road, came to the same place as well.
TIME: 12:30


After fooling around for about 3-4hours, talking about work basically and our time to together as GET’s :P, we left the dhaba afloat. Nitya proceeded towards his home, where as Gow and me took the NICE road back to Hosur road. I dropped Gow back home as he was recovering from an accident. Then I took the city route, when all hell broke loose. I think I didn’t risk much but I made it back to Devegowda petrol bunk in 25mins from Bomnahalli hehe.

I directly went to the service centre and started yelling at the people, saying bike’s becoming worse week by week, see the console, blah blah. As I kept swearing at him, a guy came opened the seat, replaced the burnt fuse within a minute and said my bike’s console is ready. I had not even completed half the swearing’s I had in mind :P Hehe! Anyways I reached back home happy to have completed a new place unexpectedly.
TIME: 17:00

This was another amazing chapter to another new place in Tamil Nadu. Liked the trip mainly because it was unplanned and we were just riding into the unknown. Bettamugilalam was something I had heard very long back, and all off a sudden to pull off a trip was a damn nice feeling!
Until next time, Cia \m/



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

133) Rayakottai Fort Trek : (23/7/2016)

Place: Rayakottai Fort Trek
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Hosur > Shoolagiri > Rayakottai
Krew: Gowrish (Gorisha) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Kabbaladurga - Breaking In
Budget: Rs 200/head

Rayakottai is one of the Tippu’s forts towards the southern region of his kingdom. The fort is situated on a hillock which offers a brilliant 360 degree view from the top. This fort hill trek after being cancelled for umm, I guess 5-6 times finally was conquered in July 2016. So, basically this trek was done to unbundle the mental and physical locks of Gow and to get him back on track.

It had been 3 weeks since our slow ride to Kabbaladurga. So was excited and wanted to get another two chapters in the bag for the month. Once I realised my stamina is pretty good on the previous trek, another trek was for sure. Rayakottai had been on our to-conquer list since a few years but could never get the job done. Finally after flopping about 5-6 times, I told Gow that even if nobody accompanies us we both would head out.
TIME: 22:00 (20/7/2016)

Oh yeah woke up at 05:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! I had to pick up Gow from Bommnahalli, so took off from my home at about 05:45. For a change I rode through the city towards silk board (it had become my regular office route for a few months) Cruising past JP nagar and BTM looking at the tall builidngs with amazement finally touched Silkboard and went towards Gow home to pick him up. Gow, by the way had met with a fatal car accident right after the day we had gone to Melukote in June 2015. So it was time for some unbundling.
TIME: 06:30


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Hosur – Shoolagiri - Rayakottai)
So, this was a straightforward 100kms ride to Rayakottai. Even though there was a shorter route via Attibele and Hosur we chose the Shoolagiri route as it was simple and straightforward and primarily on highway. As we left Bangalore, it was quite some days since we had rode this early, the morning air felt amazing. Riding in the cold air, we reached Attibele Industrial Area, waving a “hi” to our office we continued further to cross the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. We decided to search for a breakfast place a little ahead of Hosur. Having no luck we ended up in Shoolagiri.

Here we pulled over near a local and with great difficulty asked for the directions to Rayakottai in Tamil. After receiving the directions we thanked the person and our eyes fell on a big green road which showed the way to Rayakottai. I looked at Gow and he said “Yeah, I knew it was there, but wanted to see how well you can manage Tamil”  

Anyway, the roads after Shoolagiri turned into country roads and Rayakottai is about 17kms from the deviation. The roads nevertheless were brilliant and the surroundings were pristine. It reminded me of all the wonderful trips we had on this route (Hogenekkal, Panchapalli, Yercaud)
Finally after waving hi to 3 demon like gods beside the road and asking locals for directions we fast approached Rayakottai. The first glimpse of the fort hill made me kind of nervous. This is because I had read that it was an easy trek and I could see only steep faces. Also I was expecting it to be like Mandharagiri trek(small short trek). Anyway, we parked the bikes near the foothills and with the lizard king’s spirit wide awake we were ready to conquer another hillock.
TIME: 08:00

Alright, we had forgotten to eat breakfast, we had not packed any refreshments or water and we were set! So, how did this trek go?
The trek actually turned out pretty decent. The ascension took 1.25hrs, but it can be easily covered within 30-45mins. But the ascension was of a totally different experience. It was like more of a walk through thick forest and fallen fort walls. We were constantly alert as we were the only two on the hill. The view begins to grow better and better with small steps. A lot of exploration goes along with the fort climb and Gowrish recovering from the accident was made forcefully to take not only sufficient breaks but also to take is the pureness of the nature around him.

At few instance, I felt we were lost even though there is a clear pathway to the top. Also was worried if Gow could pull through. But I made sure that the spirits were high with some entertaining false theories as to why Tippu built the fort at this place.


Just before the top one can find a lot of granaries, battalion resting houses and other buildings which lay in ruins. We took ample of rest making sure that we don’t over exert ourselves. As we approached the top the wind speeds picked up and our tiredness faded away.
TIME: 09:15

Even though it was a Saturday, we were little early and had the place to ourselves. I told Gow that I would be sleeping for a while and requested him not to wander away :P Finding a soft grassy bed on top I crashed into a peaceful nap. After 20mins or so of dozing got up, yawned, and then realised I was in TN atop some hill fort. After speaking for a while, we decided to head back home as our tummies were growling as we had skipped breakfast.
TIME: 09:45


We took about 30mins to descend this fort hill as we stopped only once in between. The descent was fast and at the same time fun as well. As we began the descent we could the see the sun slowly started to blaze. We felt it was a good thing that we started the trek early. As we reached back the base, I was glad that my bike was still there :P Hehe. Got onto my bike and began the ride back towards Bangalore.
TIME: 10:15

RIDE 2: (Rayakottai – Shoolagiri – Hosur - Bangalore )
Okay, this was a 100kms ride back to home. Before we left we called up Sukesh, he said that he was at office. So we decided to meet him and then head towards home. As we left, the ride unitl Shoolagiri was pleasant and calm after which the roads widened into a national highway and it became quite boring. (my bike’s engine was re-bored, umm, so max 4500rpm) After passing through Shoolagiri, we pulled over at a decent hotel to have our breakfast.
TIME: 11:00

After a nice breakfast we continued further to reach Hosur. Then we decided to head back home directly as we didn’t want to disturb Sukesh. Wading away from cops as we didn’t have an extra helmet we made to Gowrish’s house. After which I rode back through city again swearing at all the vehicles which tried to slow me down. Reached back home safely for a well-deserved nap.
TIME: 13:00


This was an amazing trip. It might be short and easy, but it was great joy to witness the Gow back into action after a yearlong rest after a major accident. It served as a great release both mentally & physically. So, guys, a must visit place if you are looking for an easy trek with a great, great view you know where to head…!”
Until next time, Cia \m/



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

132) Kabbaldurga Trek – Breaking in: (2/7/2016)

Place: Kabbaladurga trek (Kabbalamma temple)
Distance: 100kms x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore > Ramnagara > Channpatna > Kabbaladurga
Krew: Gautam (Gauti) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: FZ >Pulsar

This was another wonderful trek to test our stamina. The climb like always was good. The only thing that kept worrying was the dancing clouds on top of our head. The slow bike ride (50kmph), wonderful trek and a grand finisher at our dhaba made this run a memorable one.

Okay, it had been a week since I had got my bike’s engine re-bored and all the valves changed. The result? Well it was more or less a new bike all over again. But the first 800kms or so had to be ridden at less than 4500RPM. So, it felt like day one for me all over again, taking me back to the Maddur Days (Ah, sweet!) Anyway, snap, snap, Gauti had told me that he would be coming to Bangalore for the weekend, I hold onto his horses at Maddur, as we would be taking a small detour in between :P
TIME: 22:00 (1/7/2016)

Oh yeah woke up at 05:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups, had a sip of coffee & was all set to go! The meet up was scheduled at Maddur for breakfast. I called up Gauti and asked whether it was raining at Mysore, when he confirmed a “no”, it was time for an all-out trek at Kabbaladurga.
TIME: 05:45

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Bidadi – Channpatna – Maddur – Channpatna - Kabbaladurga)
So, this was roughly 80kms+50kms ride to Kabblu. As I left Bangalore, the weather was just perfect for an excellent morning ride. As my engine was re-bored I rode slowly in between 45-55kmph. I mean, it felt different and took me back to my initial days, where  hadI learnt to ride on the same very road – Mysore road. Yeah I know one of the tough roads to learn a bike. I started off enjoying the breeze and began humming to myself as the traffic began to gradually increase. I came across a group of Enfields (Himalayan x 2, Classic x 1, Electra x 1 and some more) who had pulled over after Kengeri.


Guess they must have wondered who this slow poke is! Anyway, I kept a stone steady pace at about 50kmph, changing it by a few steps now and then. All those bikes zoomed across at 80+kmph and the poor little tortoise kept crawling along. Then they had pulled over for some tea. I continued further at the same constant pace. After about 30mins, came the group again zooming ahead in full force. I kept the same pace. Then I again found them road side admiring each other’s bike. Finally as I approached Maddur, I pulled over at Maddur Tifany’s and Gauti arrived about 2mins after I came. (Mighty, Mighty, Sync!) Then the sounds of the Enfield’s roaring came again, this time I was like, wait. I went out, it was the same gang. Ayyio I thought, but made faces. It was like that rabbit and turtle race all over again hehe!
TIME: 07:45

Okay after a brief catching up talk, we stormed into the hotel and munching down on some hot idly vadas. After a nice coffee, we headed out and after speaking for some time we decided to freeze on Kabbaladurga inspite of the dark clouds above our heads. I told Gauti about my bike’s condition and I had to keep it below 4500RPM, he said as long we ride together to the place and back, nothing else mattered. (Such, nice words I thought!) After a small refuel, we cruised along at a nice slow pace to
reach Channpatna, from where we took a right deviation to head towards kabblu. A standard 1st Glimpse stop was made and the chill down the spines I could feel, very clearly. Parking the bikes in the town, we were all set for the climb.
TIME: 09:15

The ascension was a very smooth one. To be frank I thought I would have difficulty, guess my body pulled it off without a sweat. And Gauti, well one of the few adapters we have in this club. Adapters I call them because they would go along with the flow of circumstances so well. Okay, it took us 1hour and 10minutes to reach the top.
By now guess we all know what the stretches are right? For new comers, here goes:
i) Initial Stretch
ii) 3-Point Stretch
iii) Viper Stretch
iv) Final Stretch
Keep up with here now!

i) Initial Stretch:
Alright, like always we goofed up at the start itself. I think I have been here more than 7times, and the first stretch is the one that often misleads me. Once the stone steps were spotted it was piece of cake travelling through the muddy terrain to reach my favorite phase of the trek.


ii) 3 Point Stretch:
Okay, once we found our way around and reached the 3 Pointer, we knew this would be ‘the’ test of our stamina and would clearly give us where we stood on our energy levels. Took a deep breath and with the lizard king awake within us we started scaling the walls. It was actually a very nice feeling of getting no thoughts expect the next crack on the surface to search for. Heavily breathing we made it up the steep face and continued further a few more meters to reach the Viper Stretch.

iii) Viper Stretch:
Surprisingly, we never rested at this point like we always did. With the clouds playing hide and seek above our head we didn’t want to delay any progress time. Viper I call this stretch as it resembles a snake crawling its way through grass lands. Jumping on the boulders and dancing around, we made to the final stretch.

iv) Final Stretch:
The last stretch, still always takes me back to the first time I had climbed this hillock. So, barren it was and had almost killed me twice or thrice here and there. Now it looked a little tamed down with all the railings and support.  Pushing on through, we made it to the top. And I showed the spot where I had encountered the Monitor Lizard (Ooda) one of the times I had hiked the hillock. (Kabbaladurga – Monitor Lizard Encounter)
TIME: 10:30

Even though it was a Saturday, we were happy to find no one around. So like always we first visited the Kabbalamma temple and showed our respects. After which we went to Nandi temple to crash. But this time it was a little different, we slept off outside with the strong breeze all around.

By this time the sun was up and shining mighty. We managed to get a good 30mins sleep. Woke up fresh, by two hikers had made their way to the top and asked us if that was the only route up as they found it very difficult and had left one of their friends in between. I was tempted to say “Well that’s kabblu for you” But told them that was the easiest one and most importantly they should spend time enjoying the view and we would help them to get back down. But once they said they were good on their own, we requested them to return soon as the clouds were approaching.
TIME: 11:30


We took about 45mins to descend the hillock. It was easy going, but we took care to mind each and every step. Any silly moves would send us tumbling down a bloody path. As we finished off the final & viper stretch, I was all excited and set for the 3 pointer. Moving zig zag along the steep curve, reading the curves and cracks we made it down to the first stretch to find the left out friend from the group. We asked him if he wanted to join us back to town. He asked us back whether the 3 pointer was easy or the normal route was easy. I looked at Gauti and Gauti looked back at me and we together asked as to which path was he comparing with. He showed us the normal path and said that he found that pathway very difficult. We asked him to wait for his friends calmly and moved ahead to reach the town for some refreshments.
TIME: 12:15

RIDE 2: (Kabbladurga – Channapatna – Bidadi – Bangalore)
Okay, this was a 100km ride back. But this turned out to be one of the most gruelling rides as the sun was shining in all its glory and keeping a constant of 50-60kmph was quite difficult. The traffic increased a bit but we pushed along steadily to reach Kengeri outskirts. Here we called up Dilip & Madhu and asked them to put attendance at Kuteera Dhaba. After we all assembled we drifted into a long required rest.
TIME: 14:15

After spending about 5+hours munching and drinking we left the dhaba totally afloat. Madhu headed back to his home, while Dilip and me continued towards Banashankari to reach back our respective homes.
TIME: 20:00

“well this was a feel-good trip. Was totally happy to know that my stamina hadn’t deteriorated and the lizard king was alive and kicking within me. And yes, always good to end a chapter at dhabas with good friends”

Gauti – even though he had climbed this hillock before, never showed hesitation in repeating trips. (That by the way is true sign of a traveller) Also, rode alongside at 50-60kmph knowing I would be slow that day. Cheers to that brother!
Sp – I was on tortoise mode throughout this chapter. Lazing around Mysore road looking at skies, green fields, feeling the breeze and enjoying the view felt real good. But at the end of the day, my ass was bed-ridden the next day, hehe!

Saturday well spent huh, Until next time Ta-da Cia \m/