Thursday, December 26, 2019

179) Bhairavadurga Fort Trek: (15/9/2019)

Place: Bhairavadurga trek
Distance: 60kms x 2 = 120kms
Directions: Bangalore > Nelamangala > Solur > Bhairavadurga
Krew: Avinash (Buddha) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar                                                                                  
Previous Visit: Gundal Dam
Budget: Rs 425/head

Alright, Bhairavadurga is the craziest among the Navadurgas. (Kabbaladurga, Makalidurga, Savandurga, Huthridurga, Huliyardurga, Nandidurga, Devarayanadurga, Channarayanadurga) We have visited this hillock twice and considering climbing up and down, all the 4 times the routes taken were different. And the tradition of this place is you gotta carry some scars back on your body. Bhairavadurga is just 10-15km from Shivagange.

As far as planning goes, had to catch up with Avi as it had been few months since we both met. Hence I thought a trek followed by a nice lunch at some dhaba would be ideal scenario. First we thought of riding to Chitradurga and then returning to a dhaba on Tumkur road. But then finally we decided to go Bhairavadurga as it was close by and also we could spend a lot more time at the dhaba.
TIME: 22:00 (14/9/2019)

Yeah I was up at 04:30, did a few push ups & situps, had a cup of coffee and sat back for some time trying think whether Bhairavadurga was the right choice. Before too many thoughts could creep into my head, took the bike keys and left my home at about 5:30AM. Picked up Avi from BTM and we left Bangalore via Tumkur road.
TIME: 07:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Nelamangala – Solur - Bhairavadurga)
This was  60km easy ride to Bhairavadurga as most of it was on highways. As we left Bangalore, we cruised along at a decent pace amidst the traffic filled roads of Sunday. Lot of super bikes were zooming in full flow and we just stuck to our lanes and kept chatting all along the way. Heading into the Hassan road we pulled over at Annaporneshwari hotel just after Solur for some good breakfast.
TIME: 07:15

The weather was giving us mixed vibes, as it seemed it could pour at any moment. Bhairavadurga is not one such places to be stranded incase of a downpour. Once the dosas, vade and rice bath arrived we dived right into it forgetting about the weather.
After I must say an unusually heavy breakfast we hopped onto our bikes and proceeded. Asking the locals for directions, we took the right, right turn from the main road and we could spot the mighty hillock afar.

Bhairavadurga looks quite menacing from afar due to its steep ridges. Last time the climb up was one of the riskiest done till date, so I wanted to take the forest route and then proceed to climb from the opposite side of the hillock.
We pulled over another few times and finally we parked our bikes at home and requested them to take care of the bike and with the goat’s spirit awake, we were set for the hike.

The trek as such was another jewel as we got lost both while climbing up and way back down. This hillock I tell you, is so confusing and it makes sure you are left with scars on your body. But truly a magnificent trek and have to prepare for steep ascents on a good gripping stone surface.

We entered the trek trail via the forest route, which I was sure was the easier one. But as it was the rainy season, the grass had grown to a good height and it was quite difficult to find the actual pathway. Making our way through the vegetation with difficulty we got onto the rock. And I puzzled to find it equally steep as the other side.


But Avi was a natural at climbing and we were making good progress even though the ascent was getting steeper. Carefully reading the cracks and resting in between when needed we made it to a point where we could spot the top. Here we rested for a good 10-15mins just looking at Shivagange and finally proceeded to reach the top.
TIME: 10:00

We spent about 1.5hours on the top. Once we reached the top, we explored the place, showed Avi the route we had taken last time. And once we settled down, we had some JD and then put on some Bob Marley songs and started jumping around. Then once it began to get real cloudy we decided to head back down.
TIME: 11:30

The trek back down was equally crazy. As we began the descent, I wanted to take us back through the forest route which was both exciting and a bit less steep. But any guesses what happened? The entry point was sealed off by a huge shrub, and finding itself was only difficult. But once we found, we were in another world completely.


Dark, narrow passage with thorny shrubs all around you, and did I mention Kuddur forests are known for bears. Yeah! With thorny bushes all around a lot of deep bruises started developing on our hands, blood oozing out of hands and arms is never a good sign during a trek. And we said screw it and just sat and finished off the rest of the juice and once a sense of calmness flooded our heads we proceeded easy, step by step and made it out of forest and we reached flat land. We found the correct path back to the home where we had parked our bikes, thanking the dwellers we took off with a very satisfied feeling and a very hungry belly.
TIME: 13:00

RIDE 2: ( Kuddur – Solur – Nelamangala – Bangalore)
The ride back was simple, we both were hungry and Chandu dhaba was closed. But the golden find during the Shivagange trip – Whitty dhaba was on the cards. Cruising along the highway at a decent pace we made to Whitty dhaba for some awesome lunch.
TIME: 13:45
After the lunch, we took from the dhaba took the NICE road and proceeded towards to BTM to drop Avi. After dropping Avi back, reached back home in one piece.
TIME: 16:45



Wednesday, December 11, 2019

178) Gundal Dam: (4/9/2019)

Place: Gundal Dam
Distance: 150kms x 2 = 300kms
Directions: Bangalore > Kanakpura > Mallavali > Kollegala > Gundal Dam
Krew: Dileep (Koof) > Ashok (Momz)  > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > Pulsar                                                                   
Budget: Rs 540/head

One crazy unexplored places around Bangalore. But the day of the trip was chaotic there were riots in Kanakpura and Ramnagar region due to the arrest of DKS. We had ride through slushy fields and get away from the mob and the burning tyres. One of those trips where we felt so much resistance to reach the place, one we reached it, all things fell in place and smoothness followed to the end.

As koof had come from Nagpur for semester end holidays, we had met few times at Laxmi and then we decided to finish of the JD during a trip. Hence we first planned a ride to Gandikota and then we decided to head to Gundal Dam and finish the JD at Buyyandoddi with some fish fries.
TIME: 22:00 (29/8/2019)

Yeah I was up by 5AM, did a few push-ups and sit ups, all the physical training had kept me pretty good shape. Koof came to my home and parked his bike, we both took off on my bike to meet Momz at PES NICE toll. After formal greetings, we took off via the NICE road towards Kanakpura road.  
TIME: 07:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Kanakpura – Malavalli – Kollegala – Gundal Dam)
This would have to be one of the most resistance filled yet fun ride. Every moment, our radar was full on alert. As we exited the NICE road, there were cops all around the place sending back 4-wheelers. We thought it might subdue as we proceeded out of town, and we could have never been more wrong. We fuelled up our bikes fearing the petrol bunks might close down. As we proceeded the weather chilled down but the smell of smoke in air could be felt throughout. As we were aproachin Kanakpura, my mouth started watering thinking of the yummy Masala Dose at Vasu hotel, but then there stood a mob of 20-30 people setting fire to buses and tyres and there was absolute chaos all around the place. Keeping a safe distance, we asked a few local auto drivers for alternate routes and then proceeded through villages and re-joined the main road after a few kilometres.

Breathing a sigh of relief we continued for a 5-10kms and there was the second mob blocking the road with a fallen tree and setting fire to it. So we took another deviation through the fields, but as it had rained, our bikes got stuck in the slushy mud and we had some fun removing it out and helping others who took the detour following us.

Finally after the ruckus, and shoes completely smeared with slush, we came out of the villages, it was actually very much fun absorbing the ambience of villages rather than blindly riding on highways. Anyway, as we entered the pipeline road, we were able to cover some distance, but at a slow pace. Then we heard at Sathnur both the main Kanakpura road and the Pipeline road had been block by a mob, this was quite frustrating. When we encountered the mob, who were still beginning to set fire to tyres and shit, I decided to give an unsual twist, went straight to the fellow who was setting the fire and asked him the best route to Kollegala. This took him aback, Momz was confused and so was that poor chap. Knowing where all the strikes were happening, he politely told us the best route. Thanking him we proceeded to reach Halaguru for some much deserved breakfast.

Sitting inside as we began our breakfast the shutters were closed as the mob had begun striking outside, we thought of the option of visiting any nearby place and returning or somehow reaching Gundal staying at Kollegala overnight and returning back the next day.

The ride after Halaguru became peaceful as we entered the Mandya District. No signs of any riots, hence we cruised along a bit fast to make up for the lost time. Saying a big hi to Shivnasamudra we cruised into Kollegala. Proceeding from Kolegala, it was time to test our memories of the route to Gundal.  Getting every turn right, remembering the solar farms, chicken farms we made it to Gundal in one piece.
TIME: 12:00


Riding on top of the bund was a pure joy. The view you get to the left is simply breath taking. We decided to go and inspect the Travellers bungalow on top and then return for a dip in the waters. We reached the top of the bungalow and the view from here is simply magnificent. Taking the contact details of the Government officials, we thought we would swim first and then decide whether to stay or move back to Bangalore.

As we rode back towards the bund, the sight in front of us shook us. The right side of the bund was completely invisible with fog and rain and the winds were blowing towards us. As we proceeded hardly 5mins, down came the showers. We still rode on top of the bund and parked our bikes and rested for a few mins near the gates.
Then we decided either way we were getting into the waters, so doesn’t matter much if we get drenched. We parked our bikes on the bund and one foot into the water, koof came running back, we started laughing. Then I took a turn and then I came running back. Before momz could enter we pushed into the waters :P

The water was freaking cold and the skies were playing all along. Few moments of sun and few moments of rain. One point of time half of the reservoir was sunny and the other half was raining. It was simply crazy! After about 30mins in water we decided to head back out and return back to Bangalore on the same day keeping our fingers crossed. We called up the Buyyandoddi Fish place and requested them to keep 5-6fishes aside as we would be dropping by.

RIDE 2: (Gundal dam – Kollegala – Mallavali – Buyyanadoddi – Kanakpura - Bangalore)
The ride back was a flat 150kms, but with an awesome stop at Buyyanadoddi. As we left Gundal we knew we had burnt a lot of our time navigating the detours. Hence we sped up and as we did, down came the rains. It was not as intense as last time but nevertheless heavy, but we didn’t want to get stranded 15km away from Buyyandoddi and couldn’t rain as in the Ganalu falls trip, so we pulled over, buckled up, kept all phones inside and rode in the rain. Like they say “if you don’t ride in the rain, then you don’t ride!” but things eventually cleared up and taking a deviation from Halaguru, we stopped at a small bar nearby picking some sides, we sat at Buyyandoddi for the next 1.5hours as the rain picked up, the temperatures plummeted, the fish was piping hot and down it went in one smooth go!

Once we left Buyyandoddi, we knew we had few precious minutes of sunlight. The entire Mysore road was closed due to the riots. .Kanakpura road is dangerous after sunset. Hence, we had to make full use of the sunlight which was available then. So we rode at good pace pretty much non-stop, cruising past Kanakpura, finally about 15km from Bangalore we pulled over for a leak and then as the sunset in deep, we entered the NICE road and reached back home for some good Golgappas.
TIME: 19:30


This was one crazy chapter, i mean considering the intensity of the ride. We had to constantly make PLAN B,C,D .. and it went on. The angry mob is never nice thing to encounter on a trip. But we kept options open and pulled the chapter off. 
Until next time, Cia \m/



Wednesday, October 30, 2019

177) Ganalu Falls & Shivanasamudra: (21/8/2019)

Place: Ganalu Falls & Shivanasamudra
Distance: 150 x 2 = 300km
Directions: Bangalore > Bidadi > Channpatna > Sathnur > Halagaru > Ganalu > Shivanasamudra
Krew: Chinmay (Big Show) > Ashok (Moms > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar > Enfield                                                                   
Budget: Rs 508/head

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:                                                  
This was one crazy trip, the main highlight of the trip was the insane ride back in on of the heaviest rains seen on our road trips. Ganalu falls was in our radar since some years, but had never had manged to tick it off!

With waters being released from KRS dam and rain showers every day in Bangalore, thought it had been quite some time since we did a ride in heavy rains. So with only one objective in mind – “to ride in heavy rains” we set ourselves. Chinmay & Moms were the two on confirmed list. So, with no concrete place in mind we decided to meet at Bidadi and then decide.
TIME: 22:00 (19/8/2019)

Yeah, I was up at 4AM, did a few push-ups & sit-ups. After a sip of coffee I left home towards Bidadi. This was 30km ride and boy Mysore road had changed a lot, but nevertheless had that charm it had since we first set foot on it back in 2009. Pulled over at Bidadi for some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 07:30

RIDE 1: (Bidadi – Kabbaladurga – Halguru – Ganalu Falls)
Once we finished our breakfast, we cruised along at a decent pace on Mysore road. Since it was a weekday, the traffic was somewhat less. After reaching Channpatna, we took the country roads towards Sathnur. The temperatures turned down, the air became pleasant and oxygen rich and greenery flooded both sides of the road pleasing our eyes. We slowed down enjoying every bit of the surroundings. It was not long before we spotted, or did we spot? We could see on outline of the mighty Kabbaladurga totally shrouded in mist. She looked somewhat mystic and scary at the same time. Saying a big hi to my favourite hillock, we took a 30mins break in the fields nearby.
We joined the Kanakpura road as we reached Sathnur and continued towards Halaguru. At Halaguru we pulled over at a bakery and bought some coffee chocolates, honey cake, jamoon, lolly-pop and you know why :P


Asking the locals for direction we deviated from the Kanakpura road and the off-roading began. Once the deviation to muthathi was past us, the ride turned into a really chilling one. We saw a board which said “You are entering forest premises” But no guards, the roads were muddy and filled with gravels and stones, the vegetation on either side started turning thicker and thicker, not a soul around. Finally we spotted the rocky stones and we knew we were at Ganalu falls in the middle of absolute wilderness.
TIME: 10:45

We were slightly disappointed and confused as to why there was not much water. But the place was just perfect, totally in the middle of the forest with no humans for kilometres together. We started making our way down the rocks. The descent was steep and on sharp edged rocks. Cautiously negotiating each step, we explored the place and found a nice place to sit and light some stuff.
We spent 1.5hours joking, laughing our asses off and remembering college days and various other incidents. Finally we decided to leave as it had begun to drizzle and we didn’t want to get stranded on the rocks in rain as we had left our shoes near the bike.
After reaching the bikes, we took off towards Shivanasumdra totally in goom mode.

Shivanasaudra consists of two falls Gaganachukki & Barachukki. As the waters were in full flow in both the falls, people were prohibited to go near the falls. Hence only see the falls, admire it and return was the plan. We covered both the falls in about an hour as we were totally afloat. We had some tomato masala, nippat masala, churmuri and cane juice as snacks as we had plans to eat Buyyondoddi Fish Dry. 

RIDE 2: (Shivanasamudra – Mallavalli – Sathnur – Channpatna – Bangalore)
This was the rain ride and the highlight of this chapter. As we left Barachukki we were still feeling afloat. About 15kms prior to Malavalli we witnessed a sight that got us thumping and pumping but at the same time sent chill down our spines. We were riding in sun and warm winds, ahead was thick, black clouds all over the sky. We knew it, we were in for some buffalo mode riding.
We pulled over at Malavali, with all thick clouds all above is and winds were chilling and icy cold. We put all our phones into a zip cover, called up the Buyyondaddi fish guy and asked him to keep 4-6 fishes aside and we looked at each other and we were set for the rain ride.


As we began the rain came down mercilessly, it was so heavy there were no bikes on road. We cruised along at a decent pace until a point where wind speeds also started picking up, now this was dangerous and we took a call to pull over for some time for some tea. The rain falling down in full speed on the asbestos sheet above was rattling our ears deaf. Had never seen such intensity of rains.
After some light tea, we took off and as we rode on once my shoe, socks and undies all had drenched in rain, there was nothing to lose all we could do was keep calm, ride and most importantly enjoy it after all that was the whole purpose of this chapter. 

Even though the rain intensified, we kept a decent pace of 60-70’s gliding through the blanket of falling waters from the skies. Such a joy it was! As we reached Sathnur the rains decreased. We pulled over infront of Kabbaladurga once again for a small breather. Called up the Fish guy and told him we would not be able to make it and promised him a return soon.

We decided to re-join Mysore road as it was the safe option considering the on setting darkness. We re-joined back at Channpatna and pulled over for a second tea stop as we had skipped lunch.
Ride back from Channpatna was descent, as we approached Bangalore, we took the NICE road and exited near College and stood there was 15-20mins still shivering from the cold but what a great feeling it was.
TIME: 19:30


The TWO incidents :
As I reached back home, camera had stopped functioning. I realised at Channpatna I had taken out the camera and put it my waterproof jackets pocket and then forgot to close the zip of the pocket :P. Kept the camera in a bag of rice and sealed it tight. And lo behold, on the next day morning it was working fine. Chinmay had lost his ring, and we didn’t know when and where, the rain ride had kept us focussed and it was quite disappointing. Once he reached home, he also found the ring in his pocket which we had searched earlier.
Sometimes everything just sets right by itself. It was quite strange two incidents I thought worth mentioning. Guess the rains were happy with us withstanding their onslaught.
Until next time, Cia \m/