Place: Chikamagalur, Belur, Halebeedu
Distance: Total of 700kms
Directions: Bangalore > Hassan > Halebeedu > Belur > Yagachi Dam > Chikmagalur
Participants: Dattu > Deefu > Zethu > Sp
Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar
Previous Visit: Bidadi, Manchinbele & Neeligudde kere.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Well, this was another classic in the bag. This chapter involved a lot of hard core riding and trekking. Trekking the tallest peak of Karnataka was pure bliss. The battle with the mist gods was something out of the normal & something I’ll remember for a long time.
“This article is going to be a long one. So ones who are interested in short ones, close down is suggested. For those really interested, hi-fi, grab something to drink & sit down with me on this one, I’m sure you’ll enjoy, Cheers!! “
This chapter remained down the pipeline for a quite some time. It had flopped a couple of times and then finally one day it was just a go. We took off. Thursday afternoon I received a call enquiring about what was scheduled for the weekend which was dawning. When all 4 of us were ready to take leave the next day and hit the road. No second thoughts were given chance to arise in our mind. We were set on a 3 day trip. The place was decided to be Chikmagalur and we would leave the next morning.
TIME: 14:45 (20/6/2013)
DAY1: Strike Down!!
Yeah I was up at about 05:00, did a few push-ups & sit-ups had a cup of coffee and was all set to go. Left my home at about 05:45 and rode to Nandini Layout as the meet up was scheduled at Dattu’s place. At about 06:00 we all met, after a formal greeting we left Bangalore.
RIDE 1.1: (Bangalore – Nelmangala – Kunigal – Belur Cross – Hassan)
This was the first stretch of our 3 days journey. This was a 180kms stretch on the Bangalore- Mangalore highway (NH-48). As we had left early the weather was pleasant and the huge 6-lane road made riding very easy. We rode till Kunigal non-stop and pulled over for breakfast.
As we had our breakfast I briefed the others about the plan for next 3 days. And also, asked Dattu if he was good to ride till Hassan as the roads were very good. After a very good breakfast we left. And Dattu who was riding on the highway for the first time, galloped away at excellent pace. Zethu & Deefu rode behind at a close distance. We rode at a very uniform rate to reach Hassan with couple of breaks in between. Oh yeah not to forget one intrusion into a farm on the highway as well :P
RIDE 1.2: (Hassan – Halebeedu – Belur – Yagachi Dam – Chikmagalur)
This second stretch was roughly 70kms. But it had mostly patchy roads with the last 20kms of blissful riding. As we reached Hassan we took the Ring road so that we could avoid riding into the town. Once we were out of the town the weather began to turn cloudy and the light drizzle made our ride very good. I asked Dattu if he was good to continue. He said he was. The roads turned gradually patchy and the drizzling increased to a curtain like shower which I felt was just awesome. We could spot the windmills afar churning the thick mist atop the hillocks. This very scenic sight gave us great joy. We hoped the weather would stay like this until the end of our ride.
Riding further we entered the forest region, where we 4 on a couple of bikes were pretty much isolated. So the talking and the singing began. We thoroughly enjoyed every second of the ride before landing up before a huge lake. Watching the little ducks swim in the lake we decided to push to reach the ancient temple of Halebeedu.
First, thankfully the place wasn’t crowded. And the cool weather made our visit a wonderful one. Halebeedu stands for “old abode”. It was the Hoysala capital in the 12th century
After about half an hour we left Halebeedu. As we had not eaten anything since breakfast, we decided to stop at a bakery for some light snacks. After having some light snacks we left.
Belur is about 15kms from Halebeedu. But the roads are in very sad state but through forests. Dattu who had been riding a from Kunigal decided to continue riding to Belur as well. After about 45mins of cruising, we reached Belur.
Belur is one of the finest examples of Hoysala Architecture. It is known for the beautifully sculpted Chennekeshava temple. It is said it has taken about 100 years to complete this temple. It consists of various wall carvings done to perfection. These carvings depicts scenes from epic tales such as Ramayana, Mahabharta etc
Both these places are time warps, trust me on this. You could keep observing these magnificent carvings and just kick time out of the equation. Each carving has its own story to tell. The stories they tell you may be true or false. But just observe them for yourself and tell your own stories. It’s so much better that way!!
And my favorite spot at this place is the Kalyani where a couple of turtles and lots of fishes live :D
Yagachi Dam is hardly 5kms from Belur. And is a place definitely worth visiting on the way to Chikamgalur. Thankfully the roads turned brilliant, huge wide roads with excellent greenery kept us in high spirits. As we reached Yagachi, we parked our bikes and too a long stroll alongside the dam until we crashed at a place. We sat there just allowing the wind above the waters to come crashing onto our faces. What a feeling that was!
After a splendid short stay at Yagachi we rode at a good pace along the smooth roads through the cold winds to reach Chikmagalur. After reaching the town we directly hit the hotel as our tummies had begun to grumble.
As we were munching down like bears all of a sudden the hotel owner said that our bikes were about be towed as we had parked in the “no parking zone”. Without second thought and spoke to the officer still munching on the left over food on our unwashed fingers :P
Once that was settled we started hunting for a lodge to crash. When enquiring into one, I heard a familiar voice from behind. It was Gagan, my good friend from college. Chikamgalur was Gagan’s home town & he insisted that we stay at his place. But we decided that it was better if stay at the lodge itself. Finally after getting some more food and grabbing something to drink for the night we settled down at the lodge to conclude DAY-1.
“So that was DAY-1. Had a lot of riding on the highways, visiting places which had architectural perfection gave us all the satisfaction needed for the first day. So with Belur, Halebeedu & Yagachi already under our belts, it was time for DAY -2 which meant serious shit”
DAY 2: Unravelling Chikamaglur – Layer by Layer!!
Day 2, I was up at about 04:00 (serious insomnia), had look at the events that had to take place & that had taken place. Finally at about 05:00, woke up Zethu & Deefu and decided to go for a walk as it was freezing cold. We went on a long walk discussing about the day’s plan and at the same time enjoying the severity of the cold. After about 30-45 mins we decided to head back as we didn’t want Dattu to get a feeling that we left back to Bangalore leaving him :P
RIDE 2.1: (Chikmagalur – Mullayangiri – Kalhatty Falls – Kemmangundi)
The second day total distance, came upto around 200kms. But yeah it was through narrow coffee estates and hills. So it was on a whole different level. We left the lodge at about 06:15 and it was still cold. We decided to cover Mullayangiri first.
Mullayangiri is the tallest peak of Karnataka and is about 22kms from proper Chikmagalur. So we rode at a decent pace to reach the deviation from the main road. After this we could feel something was just about to happen and we were right. After ascending a few hundred meters the fog just started pouring in from all sides. The fog was thick and we could see hardly a few feet from our bikes. And the all this was happening as we were negotiating curves on a hill, so yeah, hope you get the situation. But we were enjoying never the less. After a few kilometres of the fog rain, we reached a wonderful spot where we spend the next 30mins to decide whether we trek or ride till the top.
After a while we had already parked our bikes near some ashram on top. And we were fooling around on the grass which was flooded with mist. It had turned out so well that we had lost track of time & places to cover for the day. After sometime we decided to trek to the top which was still a good 3kms away.
The walk was no easy task. We felt it was a very good decision to leave the bikes as the roads were very narrow and totally screwed up. And fog kept getting thicker as we ascended. But the walk through it was amazing & scary at the same time.
We reached the base of the hill and decided to explore the surroundings. We climbed up a small hillock nearby which opened up to a small flat ground on top. Before reaching we could hear the wind growl. When were on top, we were totally taken back by what we experienced. Strong, I mean very very strong winds, cold and icy began to hit us at great speeds. Others were enjoying the kick, but I being the lightest was not sure if my feet would be touching the hill in the coming minutes :P
We spent about 30mins at this place. At one point of time we just sat down and let the winds carrying a lot of fog just hit our faces. We were totally absorbed in the sound that it carried too. Insane feeling it was, trust me!!
Next we decided to hike the actual peak of Mullayangiri. It was a short hike of about 15mins. We took regular breaks as we couldn’t see the steps ahead and winds hitting from the side made the climb dangerous & fun. After reaching the top we did a quick lap around the temple and decided to head down.
The walk back was a pleasant one as the winds had decreased. We reached the place where we had parked our bikes and took off without much delay. The ride down hill was smooth one except one funny incident. When we stopped for a small break, I fell down and sprained my wrist :P, it was actually so funny that everybody cracked up on the road. Anyway I rode a little further then felt Deefu should continue.
The clock struck noon. We decided to pull over for a light breakfast. After the breakfast, the ride was through the beautiful coffee estates. The curves and twists the road offered were more than just satisfactory. When we were about 20kms from Kalhatty falls, the rain came crashing down without mercy. We had no choice but the pull over to allow it to calm down. After riding a few kilometres further we reached the “Indian Oil” petrol bunk from which we took a left deviation and continued 10km to reach Kalhatty Waterfalls.
It is one of the very famous places to visit on the way to Kemmangundi. Duringour visit it was crowded. There is also a small hike alongside the waterfall. But that plan was abandoned. We left the place in a short while.
The next 10kms was on half laid cement road. The ride was good upto a point after which there was no cement roads; wait a minute, there were no roads at all. It was patchy muddy roads which gave us hell for the next 30mins. After a good battle we reached the top of Kemmangundi. There we sat about 15mins and decided to head to Shanti Falls & Z-point.
Shanti Falls & Z-point:
After having left Kemmangundi in short notice. We rode downhill on the bumpy mud roads to reach the deviation to Z-point. The road to Z-point was in totally zonked up condition. The heavy rains had made it totally sloshy and huge puddles were formed all over the place. We made our attempt to go as far as possible, until the mother of all puddles but a full stop. Then we took a call and decided to head back. Oh yeah Hebbe place was banned too due to a issue between the estate owner and tourism board.
The ride back was a smooth one thanks to awesome riders. But the highlight of the ride was the road side lunch that we had. We pulled over in middle of our climb back at scenic place. Climbed up a short hill and opened up a plum cake & mixture. Throwing stones to the railings beside the road we munched down the cake.
After the lunch, the riding was purely business. But the best part of this stretch was Deefu was honking and swearing at everybody we found and I was trying to negate him by saying nice things, nice game it was. Words don’t matter, but yeah we were looking out for everything. That did matter! Non-stop we rode till the Mullayangiri deviation in spite of the light showers, which we enjoyed. At the deviation we pulled over for a light coffee break, when a jeep with all my college friends arrived. It was such a great joy to meet Gagan, Manju, Darshan & gang. We spoke for a few mins and decided to head our ways.
We reached back the lodge at about 18:00 and decided to crash for some time and then head out for dinner latter. On way back we sat down and spoke quite some time into the night. We were all tired.
“So that was a long, long day wasn’t it? It surely was strenuous. Nature, we learnt, is one thing that can push you to limits and it all comes down to hanging on when shit gets serious. We all were very zonked out due to tiredness. But we knew the next day another 300kms waited at the strike of dawn.”
DAY 3: The Wrap Up!!
Yes the final day. It was time to wrap up this 3 trip by riding back to Bangalore. I was up at about 03:00, sat idle for a few hours and then had a look at the schedule that was planned and the events that were executed.
After about an hour i started waking up others. We packed our things and were all set to leave. A damn funny incident took place, that lodge guy was still half asleep when the check-out was being made. He thought we had stayed there for one night and quoted the price. Zethu & me were about to give the money when Maagu aKa Dattu broke out saying that that he had made a mistake and we had stayed for 2 nights. Zethu and myself standing on either side of Dattu turned towards in him in slow motion and gave him a wicked smile. Haha!!
RIDE 3.1: (Chikmagalur – Belur – Hassan)
Anyway the check out was made and we bid adieu to Chikmagalur with a heavy heart. The weather was cool and pleasant. I decided it was the right time for me to get back on my bike. So we cruised away at an excellent pace to pass Yagachi dam and reach Belur. After reaching Belur we took the Belur-Hassan route. Trust me, this is one of the best route to ride on. Superb greenery all around, trees above give you shade as you ride and the windmills afar on top of the hill just makes the ride a perfect one.
As we rode on, the clouds burst open and the rain gods showered us with a curtains of soft rain. It was, i must say an added luxury. We reached the outskirts of Hassan at about 07:30. Called up my friend Sujan (i prefer not to use the term colleague, sounds shitty! Friend means a lot more to me) and let him know we were in the vicinity. We met at a hotel, after a formal intro between the two spheres of friends that had gathered in front of me, we started munching away.
RIDE 3.2: (Hassan – Bangalore)
This was the last stretch which was about 180kms. I looked at Dattu, who was zooming with excitement. It was his perfect trip i believe to learn riding on the highways. So with Dattu & Deefu riding we touched the highway for some nonstop cruising. We took constant breaks now & then. Oh yeah slept on the road for a while too. After reaching Kunigal, there was another 100kms to go. When we felt totally isolated, no cars or vehicles were passing by. So the loud singing began, we were shouting on top of our voices until we reached the city. Zethu & Deefu left together, i dropped Dattu to his place and reached back home.
“Bike and face covered totally in dust. Energy levels low, but in spirits were flying sky high. Felt frikking great! Eyes were flooded with red nerves due to 3 days of nonstop riding. And face had a fresh layer of soot. Overall we were pretty high getting this place under our belt, Cheers!”
Zethu: One of the most reliable crew. One of the super riders with whom i maintain perfect sync.
Dattu: Had to be his paradise chapter. Riding about 350/700ksm on my bike. It was his perfect On Job Training. And a big step towards everything when you get on the road.
Deefu: Ah, the astral goat. Full of energy and kick ass zeal if left unchecked would have made the tallest mountain look like bump on the surface of the earth. Second day it nonstop swearing at other vehicles that kept us entertained.
Sp: Had to take bath after 4 days. All spare shirts taken, utter waste :P
Until Next time Cia \m/