Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ride to Rameshwaram

Since, there were 3 days leave, was planning for some trip. Many thoughts were floating inside the mind. I had a plan of riding to Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari. Asked couple of friends, whether they can join for ride. Since many did not had leave for Ramadan, they couldn't join for my 3 days plan. Later, Shailesh said he is ON for the 3 day plan and within few mins our route plan was ready.

Day 1-2 (Jun 23rd-24th):

Though we had decided to leave Bengaluru around 7 PM itself,it was around 10 PM when we started from Bengaluru. He took me in some shortcuts and finally we hit Hosur road. After riding for an hour, we stopped at Krishnagiri to fill Petrol and also had Tea break.

A guy met near this shop was surprised when we said we are heading to Rameshwaram. After a break, we started in highway towards Salem. When we reach Namakkal, it was around 4 AM and we both were feeling sleepy. We decided to park our bike in some petrol bunk and sleep for sometime. Took rest for sometime and then we started towards Trichy.

We took diversion from NH to state highways in Namakkal towards Trichy. After breakfast, we en routed towards Rameshwaram via Padukottai-Karaikudi-Manamadurai-Paramakudi-Rameshwaram. Though this is state highway, it was very good for riding. 

We had a plan to reach Rameshwaram by 9 AM and after visiting temple and sightseeing in Rameshwaram, by evening will go to Kanyakumari. But we reached Rameshwaram by 2 PM after taking many breaks. We do not wanted to give more strain to our body by riding continuously. Already we had 620 kms of ride since last 16 hrs and do not wanted to continue further for a day. Hence, we dropped Kanyakumari plan and cancelled room booking there. Although Shailesh insisted to extend our plan for one more day, so that we can visit Kanyakumari also. But, I was not in a position to extend due to shortage of leaves. 




After crossing the Panban bridge,We reached Rameshwaram around 2 PM via Pamban bridge, which connects mainland to island (Rameshwaram). A 2 km bridge is the main connectivity to Rameshwaram. Also, there is a railway bridge next parallel to this road. This Railway bridge is one of the world's dangerous route since its constructed over sea and it requires everyday maintenance. This bridge also reminds of Kalam sahab's childhood where he use to sell news paper in the train which travels in this bridge. 


Then we directly headed to hotel. Our body needed a nice sleep for sometime and we do not wanted to go against it. After taking rest for sometime, we headed to temple for Drashana, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.


Day 3 (June 25th)

Early morning around 5 AM we headed towards Dhanushkodi, which reminds of Ramayana where Lord Rama built bridge to connect India and Lanka where one edge of bridge becomes Dhanushkodi which means end of the bow. The 20 km ride from Rameshwaram to Dhanushkodi was excellent. It was very nice experience to ride in a very straight road and sea in both the sides. Had a felling like riding in between the sea itself. Had to ride with wild wind shaking the bikes, sand blowing in the wind. 


5 km before to Dhanushkodi, there is an check post and security guard was not allowing our bike towards Dhanushkodi, the tip. We requested him saying that we had ride 620 kms all the way from Bengaluru. After exchanging few words, he agreed to allow us to ride till end. Earlier, there was no road till Dhanushkodi. One use to go with 4*4 jeeps available there, since it was full of sand. But now, very good road is constructed and any vehicles can go there. 




At Dhanushkodi, there is an abandoned railway station and old church which were washed away in the Tsunami in 1964. Also, we can see few old homes there which are all destroyed. But now, looks like its not permitted to live there.




After spending some time in the tip and beach, we headed back to room and started towards Madhuai. On the way we also visited Abdul Kalam's memorial. Since, it was under construction, nobody was allowed near his graveyard. Around 3 PM we reached Madhurai. Again we took rest for sometime and went to Meenakshi temple. Since, it was long weekend, temple was huge crowded. It took almost 2 hrs for Darshanam. The temple is majestic in its architecture. The pillars and carvings are most beautiful.

After visiting temple, we went for roaming the city. Shailesh wanted to have Biriyani at famour Kumar mess. I accompanied him in the hotel and later I had dinner in different hotel, since Im vegetarian. 

Then it was time for Jigarthanda, a native drink of Madurai made of Almonds. Since, we both are kind of foodies, we prefer to taste native food whenever we travel anywhere. 

Day 4 (June 26th)

We started from Madhurai at early morning around 5:30 AM and we started in NH-7 towards Dindigul. After Dindigul, we took diversion to state highway towards Tirupur. Since, we had planned to ride back via Satyamangalam forest, we took deviation from national highway. The state roads in TamilNadu are well maintained. Around afternoon we reached Bahavanisagar dam which is near Satyamangalam forest. 


We had lunch in the small hotel near dam, and we started our ride towards forest which is Tiger reservoir. After crossing the Satyamangalam check post,had to ride inside a forest,then the thrilling and scary ride begins in Dhimbham ghat which has 27 hairpin bends. This was incredible ride in the ghat section. My dad traveling in his route for almost 30+ years to Coimbatore and Tirupur for cotton business. I remember he use to tell about this ghat since my childhood, how difficult to go in loaded lorry n this Ghat.


After Dhuimbham ghats, we were inside Karnataka state. After a small break for tea, started our journey to Bengaluru via Chamarajanagar - Kollegala - Malavalli - Kanakapura - Bengaluru.

Around 7:30 PM we reached Bengaluru and ended our long ride of 1425 kms. 



Friday, May 12, 2017

One year with my bike, Nandi - Part 5

Jan 26, 2017 - Lepkashi, Andhra Pradesh

It was Republic Day. Woke up early morning as usual for daily running. But this day was not in a mood to run, instead wanted to go some where. I had a spontaneous thought to go for any ride within around 100 kms from Bangalore. Immediately I googled it and decided to go to Lepakshi which is around 120 kms from Bangalore. Since, I have interest on Nandi's in India, it was long pending bucket list to visit Lepakshi. (Also, my bike name is Nandi),


Then, got ready and started my ride towards Bangalore Airport road. Then somewhere after Devanahalli stopped for breakfast. Reached Lepakshi around 9:00 AM after riding in Bangalore-Hyderabad highway, then took diversion in Kodikonda cross to reach Lepkashi. 

Nandi 

The Nandi in Lepakshi is one of the seven biggest in India as identified by Archaeological Survey of India and it is monolithic. Out of seven, four are in Karnataka (Bull temple, Bangalore , Chamundi Hills, Mysore and two in Hoysaleshwara temple,Halebeedu) and remaining two are in Tamil Nadu. 






.





Another main spot in Lepakshi is Veerabahdreshwara temple which is built in Vijayanagara architectural style and another significance in this temple complex in NagaLinga carved in monolithic and it can be seen from Nandi mantapa which is around 500 mts away. The pillars inside the temple are beautifully carved with many deities ,
NagaLinga




Infront of Nandi and over my Nandi


There was another group of 600 bikers who had a ride from Bengaluru and mine was an Solo Ride.  Though I wanted to visit Penukonda fort, which is near leakshi, due to time constraint, I had to return back and kept Penuknda as unchecked in my bucket list.


Mar 11,2017 - Somanathapura

It was already a month ago had been for any ride due to my other trips. This time again Darshan called for trekking. Initial plan was to go to Narasmha Parvatha trek near Agumbe. After enquiring the local guide from Agumbe, got to know that trek route is closed for some time due to summer. So we decided to go for ride. Earlier had plans for 2 days, since I got some work over the Sunday, I finalized to Somanathapura. Since Hoysala temples and Architecture is one of my interests to know, I was eager to visit this temple. It was around 15 years back I visited this temple. Though he was not interested to visit temple, he just agreed to come as he was eager to go somewhere at least.

After we met near Nagarbhavi circle, we started our ride inside JnanaBharathi campus and connected to Mysore road. As usual had Thatte idli at Bidadi and started towards Mandya and reached Somanathapura around 11 PM.


900 year old Chennakeshava temple,Somanathapura

Keshava
Chennakeshava temple at Somanathapura built by Hoysalas is one of the prominent temples by Hoysalas. This is an Trikutachala temple meaning having three shrines. This temple has shrines of VenuGopala,  Keshava and Janardhana. All three are forms of Vishnu.  
VenuGopala
Janardhana

I was trying to understand the story behind many sculptures. And also explained few sculptures to other tourists over there. Hailing from Halebeedu, I got interest towards Hoysala architecture. Though we can find many similar sculptures in most of the Hoysala temples, there are few unique one also.



















After this we went to a ruined Panchalingeshwara temple which is around half kms from Chennakeshava temple.
Good thing about my bike is,it will come where ever I take, however the road will be or there will be no road.





From there, we went to Talakadu which is around 20 kms from Somanathapura and while coming back visited Bhramaramba-Mallikarjuna temple at Mudukutore and returned to Bangalore by evening.
Kaveri river flowing in front of Mudukuotore temple,it connects to Talakadu

Mudukutore temple


April 8th, 2017 -Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu

My friend Vikram was keep asking me to go for some trips or rides. It was almost a year back we both had been a ride to Chamundi hills in his new bike. I just floated him a idea to ride to Kolli Hills, he agreed immediately and plan was ON.

It was early morning 4:00 AM, I picked him near Jayadeva hospital and we started our ride towards Hosur road via Electronic city flyover. Kolli hills is around 280 kms from Bangalore. Have to reach via Bangalore-Hosur-Krishmagiri-Dharmapuri-Salem-Rasipuram-Kolli Hills.

Aerial view of  Hairpin curves in Kolli hills


The specialty about ride to Kolli hills is its 70 hairpin bends. Yes, you read it right. 70 scary hairpin curves and a small road of distance around 24 kms. Meaning of Kolli hills is A mountain of death.





We were tired of riding in hot weather all the way and it was like breezing when we enter the forest area where the real ride begun.  Believe me, you cannot stop anywhere in the middle since the roads are very small. Only near 35th bend, you can stop and can enjoy the scenic panoramic beauty of forest. And another fact is, most of the vehicles do not horn at all in the curves. Really they'll scare the opposite vehicles.

At first bend, before starting ride

One example of hairpin curves in Kolli Hills.This is 35th one

After finishing the ride at 70th and final bend


So, after 24 kms of ride in a small ghat road with 70 bend curves, reached a village. From there, went to a Semmedu, top of the hills. Then been to falls.From the temple,have to get down around a Km to reach a falls where around 1000 steps are there..Unfortunately, there was no water in the falls since it was summer, with a disappointment trekked back and visited Arapaleeshwar temple, a Shiva temple.

After visiting temple, returned back to Rasipurm, had lunch and started our ride back to Banaglore with a thrilled experience of riding 70 bends in a single stretch which every biker should experience once.

So, here I end my stories of bike rides for an year. Will come up with stories of upcoming rides. I have many many rides in the bucket list.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

One year with my bike, Nandi - Part 4

Sep 10th, 2016 - Mysuru

Me and Malli had registered for Celebrations Mysore 10K run. It was scheduled for Sep 11th. Though we decided to ride to Nanjanagudu on Saturday and coming back to Bangalore after Marathon, couldn't go to Nanjanagudu since I got office that day. There were number of bandhs happening due to Kaveri issue called by different organisations and to compensate the bandh day, had to work on Saturday. So plan to Nanjanagudu got cancelled. But sill we rode to Mysuru. Many of my friends suggested not to go in bike, since we need to cross Mandya, where strikes were extreme, we decided to go in bike itself.


Next day after Marathon, we met my beloved friend Balu Sir at his residence. Many thanks to him for arranging our stay at Youth Hostel,Mysuru. Then after meeting him, we ride back to Bangalore.

Oct 30-Nov 1, 2016 - Halebeedu

It was 3 days vacation for Deepawali. I dont wanted to park my bike in Bangalore and go to native for festival. My parents had already warned not to come in bike to native, if I am coming alone. Though last time when I had been to native alone, this time my parents warned like this. 2 days before the vacation, asked my colleague Sanjay, whose native is around 10 kms from my home. We decided to go together in my bike. Next day, early morning I picked him near his home and started our ride. Though we wished to had breakfast specially Thatte Idli at Kunigal,it was too early to have. So continued our ride and stopped at Bellur cross for breakfast. Then we started towards Hassan. I dropped him at his native and went to my home. 

After reaching home, had few happy rides to Pushpagiri hills and other places. After festival I picked Sanjay at Hassan and returned to Bangalore. Usually, Hassan-Bangalore highway will be free, but this time since it was festival and long weekend, it was huge traffic compared to usual days. We got stuck in rain mid way, stopped at many places due to rain and finally reached Bangalore


Jan 22, 2017 - Ranganathittu

Ufff. It was already 3 months since I ad been for a ride in my bike, This time my friend Poornesha came to my room. He was saying to go some where. I told him, will go for a ride to some place towards Mysore road. He said doesn't like to come in bike, instead will go in bus. I gave some build up about Bullet and told about the birds will be migrated in this season. Finally some how convinced him for a ride. We decided to go to Ranganathittu, which is around 140 kms from Bangalore.

Next day, early morning we staretd our ride. As usual. stopped at Bidadi for Thate Idli, Vade for breakfast. Around 10 we reached Ranganathittu. After Mandya, then comes SriRangaPattana. Then from there have to take diversion to right to reach Ranganathittu bird sanctury.

Painted Stork

To visit Ranganathittu, Dec-Jan will be the best season, since birds started migrating from other countries as well. We got a chance to see painted stork and openbill stork. Also, few other birds.

Openbill Stork. migrated from Siberia


After bird sanctuary, we visited RanganatahSwamy temple at SriRangaPattana and returned back to Bnagaolore by evening. After this ride, Poornesha was telling, he'll never come for any bike trip with me in this bike, since its difficult to sit as a pillion in Bullet. Till now, its almost 4 months, I am not able to convince him for another ride.

Few other rides in the next and last post.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

One year with my bike, Nandi - Part 3

Sep2-5, 2016- Amruthapura, Sirsi, Yaana, Siddapura


It was the time of Ganesha Chaturthi and my ride plan was to in and around Sirsi. Initially planned for a solo ride. Mean while, Prashathi messaged in the Whatsapp group "Weekend trekking" asking about any plans for weekend. When I said I am going to Sirsi in bike, he said he also would like to join. So, I got a companion and asked him to come down to my home.We both stays in different corners of Bangalore. Since there was Karnataka bandh on Sep 2nd, and he took lot of struggle to reach my place.

It was around 6 PM we started from my room. Believe me, we did not had any route plan, where to stay , where all to visit, nothing at all. I thought will ride till Shivamogga over night and take rest some where there and will continue our journey. By the time we reach Tumkur road, traffic was huge since it was long weekend and also bandh was ended just few hours back. So we decided to go via Kunigal road, then from Chennaayapattana to Arasikere.

Whenever I ride in the Bangalore-Mangalore highway while going to native or during any ride, I visit Yediyur temple. I convey the same to Prashasthi, immediately he said he also wished to visit it. So we turned towards Yediyur Siddalingeshwara temple. Already it was time to close the temple. After having darshana there, we had food(prasaada) at temple's Dasoha nilaya (Dining hall) only. It was already 8:30 PM and still we haven't thought of staying or other plans. Then I thought will stay in my granny's home near Kadur. And after discussing with him, I called my uncle and said we both are coming for staying.

The highway was almost empty and we were riding in the night. From Yediyur, we reached Chennarayapattana.From there took diversion to Arasikere which connects Bangalore-Honnavara highway. Around 12:30 mid night we reached my granny's home Chomanahally in the foothill of Hemagiri hills. Next day, we started early morning from there and stopped at Preethi canteen, Birur for breakfast. Dose here is very nice and I never miss having Dose in this canteen whenever I am travelling in this road.

Preethi Canteen, Birur


From there, we were riding towards Tarikere . Prashasthi saw the sign board towards a Hoysala temple, Amruteshwara temple, Amruthapura. He insisted to go there, as even I am interested in Hoysala temples and architecture, and although I had already visited it but said Yes and we turned our bike towards Amruthapura. 
Amruteshwara Temple, Amruthapura

After seeing the temple, we started towards Shivamogga. From there, we reached Sirsi around 3 PM. We did not had any plan to visit any places.On spot we decided to go to Sahasra linga which is around 15 kms from Sirsi in Sirsi-Yellapura road. 



Sahasra linga

Wooden bridge near Sahasra linga

From Sahasralinga, we started towards Shivagange falls after taking route map from some local person there. He suggested some short cut route after crossing the hanging bridge near Sahasra linga. From there we reached Vanalli, then Shivagange falls. 

Shivagange falls


Though we tried to get down till falls, we couldn't since there was no proper route and many trees were fell down.Also, it was getting dark and nobody were there around.It was like a remote place. Then we came back and from there we went to Ganeshpal, where a small temple is there which will be completely immersed in water during rainy season. During the season we visited, it was surrounded by water and we did not go to other side to visit temple.

The road ends here. Need to go i mud road to reach Ganeshpal

Ganeshpal
I ride my bike in this kind of terrain too

From Ganeshpal, we decided to go to Sirsi and stay there in some lodge. While coming back from Ganeshpal, we decided to visit Sonde swarnavalli matha and then to Sirsi. By the time we reach Sonde, it was already around 8 PM. We got to know that we can stay there, hence we both decided to stay in Matha itself and will start our journey next day early morning.

It was time for evening main pooje by Swarnavalli Sri. We got a chance to witness the last mangalaarathi of the temple there. After this pooje, they will serve food in the matha similar to daasoha in Yediyur we had a day before. Since we were tired of riding around 400 kms since morning, we desperately needed a rest. 

Sonde Swarnavalli Matha

Missiles at Sonde Fort

Shiva temple at Sonde fort

Next day again early morning we got ready,and started our journey. First, we visited Sonda fort belongs to Sonda dynasty which is near to Sonda math. 

Our next destination was Yaana. From Sonda fort, we reached Sirsi, had breakfast there and started towards Yaana in Sirsi-Kumta highway. Earlier, people use to trek for around 6 kms to reach Yaana , but now small vehicles will go almost near to the temple.

There are around 90 shikhara of stones there in Yaana, out of which Chandika shikhara and Bhiraveshwara shikhara are bigger ones. There is a Shiva statue in Bhairaweshwara shikhara. After walking around the Bhairaveshwara shikhara, we continued our ride to Vibhooti falls near to Yaana.
Chandika Shikhara


Bhairaveshwara Shikhara
Entrance of Yaana

Vibhooti falls

Vibhooti falls was stunning and road from Yaana to Vibhooti falls in the middle of forest, bends and down together, sometimes up and bends together. Ride in this route was the one I enjoyed much in whole trip. 

From,Yaana we planned to go to Benne hole falls. After some suggestion from local person, decided to go via Manjuguni and from there in short cut we can connect to Sirsi-Yellapura road where we can go to Bennehole falls.
Manjuguni Temple


Bennehole falls

This was the route to reach Bennehole falls
Manjuguni, name came to this village bcoz this whole village will be covered with fog (Manju in kannada), it was called as Manjuguni, some local explained it. By the time we reach there, it was closing time for temple. Then we had a very delicious food which includes Paayasa, rice, tambuli, butter milk, curd in the daasoha in temple. After witnessing the nice architecture of temple built in 9th century, we started towards Bennehole falls.

To reach bennehole falls, have to connect to Manjuguni cross-Karase-Bandala. From Bandala, again ride 3 kms to reach small village called Kasage. From Kasage again continue in same road for around 1 km and take diversion to reach bennehole falls. Since the sign board was also gone, we were confused about the route. Then after confirmation from some local people, we started in mud road for around 5 kms from highway till bennehole falls. Not even a single person we saw in that road till falls. 

After some 3 kms of ride in mud road inside the forest, there was a diversion. We were confused to go in which road to reach falls. Fortunately, we found some small board there and took diversion towards right to go to falls. Reached near by falls, parked bike and had to trek for around a km to reach the falls. Its least explored, unpolluted falls near Sirsi. Pray God that let it not get polluted with more tourists.

From, bennehole falls we came back in same mud road, and then we decided to go to Unchalli falls. Again came back to Bandala., from there again got a short cut from localaites. We reached place called Kanchikai, then Heggarane. From Heggarane Unchalli falls is about 4 kms.

Unchalli falls is also known as Lucington falls since some British officer found it. Also, localites calleD it as Keppa joga meaning Deaf Joga. One more fact about this falls is, a famous Kannada movie 'Nammura mandaara hoove' by Shivaraj kUmar, Ramesh was shot here.


Unchalli falls

After enjoying the beauty of Unchalli falls, we started our journey towards Siddapura. Again got the route from localities and started towards Siddapura. Came across a junction called katri (Scissor) as locals call it there where 4 roads connects. Though we took short cut, since some bridge was collapsed in that route and was not repaired since an year, we took different route after asking people there and reached Sidapura then Sagara around 8 PM and stayed in Prashasthi's home 'Prashanthavanam'. As the name says, really it was Prashantha vana, calm place.

Confused at Katri, a junction of 4 roads

Next day it was Ganesha chaturthi. Had breakfast at his home and it was my wish to visit Varadashrama at Varada hally near Sagara. Could not visit this ashrama when I had been to Sagara earlier, So I conveyed my wish to visit there, then we went to Varadasharama where Sridhara swamiji lived. After a blissful visit to Vradasharama, came back to Sagara.

Prashasthi wished to stay in his home for another day. So, I started my journey to Bangalore from Sagara. On the way met my friend Kumar at Shivamogga and then visited my cousin sister Ashamma's home at Bhadravathi. Since, it was festival, had nice feast at sister's home and started my journey. One of my uncle got to know about my trip and he asked me to visit his home on my way back to Bangalore. So,I visited my uncle's home at Siddaramanahally near Kadur on the way. Since, I was riding alone now, and my uncle asked my another cousin who was also coming to Bangalore to come with me, After having another feast, we started our journey to Bangalore.

A ride of 1250 kms all together ended.

More details about this bike trip can be read in Prashasthi's blog as well.

1. http://prashasti-prashantavanam.blogspot.in/2016/09/SahasralinigaShivagangaGaneshfallsSondamatha.html

2. http://prashasti-prashantavanam.blogspot.in/2016/09/SondaFort.html

3. http://prashasti-prashantavanam.blogspot.in/2016/09/Yaana.html

4. http://prashasti-prashantavanam.blogspot.in/2016/09/VibhutiFalls-manjuguni-Bennehole-unchallifalls.html