Sunday, September 28, 2014

90) BR Hills – The Elephants Charge: (14/12/2014)


Place: Biligirirangan Hills.
Distance: 200 x 2 = 400kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Channpatna – Kollegala – BR Hills
Particiapants: Chethan (Zethu) > Datta (Dattu) > Manoj (Manju) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Kanva_Basics.

IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Alright, this was another fantastic trip to the forests of BR. 12+hours on the road, gliding along the silent forest curves, watchin parent elephants mourn a young one, getting chased by wild elephants – phew, whata kick! And finally the sun and us returning back to our respective homes, actually first to dhaba and then to home :D

This chapter saw some intense moments & funny ones which I didn’t feel is worth compressing. So the BR hills part is a long talk. So keep up with me there when we reach!


INTRO & PLAN:
It was 7 days since Sukesh and I rode to Kanva and trust me on this one, December 2013was one month I felt the rush to head out after long. For this chapter the crew consisted of Zethu, Dattu & Manju. I mean, we had thought of this chapter quite some back but had never worked out.
TIME: 23:00 (13/2/2014)

ASSEMBLE:
Yep I was at around 05:00, did a few push ups & sit ups, had a sip of coffee and left towards bakery by walk as the start was scheduled from there. At bakery, after the other 3 assembled, we formally greeted each other over a cup of tea and decided it was time to head out of Bangalore.
TIME: 06:30

RIDE 1: (Bengaluru –Bidadi – Sathnur – Shivanasamudra – Kollegala – BR Hills)
This was roughly a 200kms stretch, with an excelled breakfast stop and 2-3 tea/stretch stops. As we left Bangalore the air was cold and the ride was smooth. It took us about 30mins to reach Bidadi where we pulled over as our tummies had begun swearin at us.
TIME: 07:00

 


With our tummies satisfied we decided to hit the road on longer stretches from then on. We rode non-stop until Channpatna from where we took a deviation and headed towards Kabblu. The ride was superb road narrowed and bigtrees made their way alongside the road. It was not long before we got the first glimpse of the mighty Kabblu hillock we pulled over at our regular stop.
Ah, Yes! Like always the very sight of the hillock send shivers down my spine and shot adrenalin into my veins and I enjoyed every second of it. Stood staring at the hillock for some time and decided it was time hit back the road.
TIME: 08:30

 

The ride after that was pretty much smooth and straight forward. We reached the T-Junction at Mallavali in a short time where we pulled over for some tea. Then we carried on and reached Gaganchukki, when asked for a call about the visit to the place, we decided to head further.  We reached kollegala and wading through the streets we quickly exited the town and entered the shortest route which shot right at the base of BR hills. The ride along the countryside was something fantastic and something we really did enjoy. We had one final stop after having got the glimpse of the mighty ranges from afar, after which we reached the base ready to sink into the cool darkness of the forest.
TIME:11:15

BR HILLS:


Alright, BR! As we entered the forest ranges, the temperatures dropped by a few degree Celsius. It felt good to notice that and we began ascending the ranges. I kept telling Manju about the encounter with the elephants about 3 years back. The forest ride of the BR hills is something pristine and one of the best around town. The coolness of the air, the silence of the forest and the curves of the road added in the right proportion takes you away and dissolves you into the road.

 

Anyway enough of the bluff, as we rode on we pulled over at our regular lake stop. Had a nice stretch, which by the way was much needed. Then we noticed a few jeeps zoomin by. We knew something was wrong, this only got us even exicited and we rushed further to find a mob of people on the road.
Alright so, first we parked our bikes. Dattu & I decided to go ahead and check out what the fuss was about. We spoke to a few people and heard a baby elephant had passed away falling into a mud pool beside the road. The parent elephants weren’t allowing anybody to pass through.

 

Ok, that was more than enough for me to have a good reason to get close to the elephant. Pushin through the crown we made our way towards the front where we witnessed the forest officials trying to scare the elephants away using smoke and gun shots. A stupid move if you ask me, for heaven’s sake, their young one has just died (in its territory by the way) and we want to drive it away so that we can see the temple (the mother of all paradoxical errs i feel that most of us have overlooked would be, humans no doubt are the most intelligent creatures, and trust me we are the most dumbest creatures as well!!)
Ok, so we were watchin all the efforts going down the drain. Until one incident happened and trust me on this one, this incident shall remain one of the most remembered and but un-cherished incident events in my life.

 
  
So, Dattu & i were trying hard to get a glimpse of the elephants. All of a sudden a few people before us started rushin back, yep we were in the path of a human stampede, I held Dattu’s hand and told to hold ground. (no bluff ha, exact events i write)
Then the jeep in reverse came in zooming at us, we moved aside of the road. We still stood ground not moving an inch until our eyes caught what we had been waiting for. A huge, I mean atleast it looked mighty huge as it was a “mock run”, ears spread out, with all the excess noise it was making, and stompin the ground, yes it was a mock run. We stood staring at it few hundred meters away as the sun hit its forehead which was muddy for some reason. Finally when it was about to get close enough we turned hard and were about to run into the forest when the elephant itself retreated (it’s called mock run for a reason) Damn I thought, after all these humans trying to do to it, it never wanted to hurt anybody, it just didn’t want to be disturbed and mourn its baby in peace.


Anyways double heading back and waging our way in between people, signalled Zethu and Manju to park the bike a little back, it was time to head into the forest village which was on the other side of the lake where the elephant had passed away.

We parked our bikes like said earlier and followed a narrow trail which would lead us into the forest village. There were already locals sitting having a good view of the events. So we made some good friends and sat alongside. Trust me, I wanted to see elephants, but never like this. The parent elephants stood together in front of the baby elephant, after a good 10mins, turned together towards the other end and continued this strange ritual.

I mean I had read about elephants besides humans being the only creatures to perform last rituals but never seen one in actual. Trust me sadness was filled in the air, and we just sat for the next 2 hours staring at the last rites being performed.

 

Anyway one funny incident happened that I would like to recollect which got everybody’s mood up, a dog, probably from the village made its way through the mob of people standing on the forest road wondering what the fuss was about,  it walked majestically on tar road towards spot where elephants were mourning beside the road. We got up knowing something was about to happen. One of the elephants started chasing the living soul out of the dog, the terrified dog turned around and started running towards the mob of people. Haha, so now the people pissed in their pants thinking it was bowl out situation in case the dog enters among the people, so they started shooing and scaring the dog by throwin stones at the dog. Now, trust me the dog was totally confused, one side one big mama elephant and other side mob of crazy humans it jumped into the lake and swam its way towards us haha!


When the heroic dog landed on the shore where we were seated, there existed smiles and laughter on everybody’s faces looking at the poor creature. The dog looked at everybody thinking we were another bunch of crazy idiots it walked proudly back into the village.
The clock had struck 14:00, we got up stretched and decided to take leave as we had a good 200kms to ride back. Wishin the parents the best years ahead we left.
TIME:14:15

 

Ride 2: (BR Hills – Kollegala – Mallavali – Maddur -  Bidadi – Bangalore)
Alright, I’ll keep the ride back as short as possible (guess enough of this buggin stories ha?) This was a good 200kms stretch made to feel like 250+kms thanks the potholes filled roads of Mallavali. Anyway as we left BR hills, we exited the forest in deep thoughts. But once we were on our way back towards Kollegala we bumped into the Ashok/Arun’s trademark curve (BR Hills: 26th Dec 2011) where we had all stood and laughed our asses off 3 years back.


As we reached Kollegala, Zethu and Dattu missed out on a turn and headed towards Chamrajnagar side, anyway a call was made asking them to meet after Kolegala. Actually the conversation went something like this “hey zethu, remember the signboard where we had decided to head to Barachukki during MM hills trip, same place we’ll catch up, we’ll be waiting there!”

 

Haha, sometimes past is handy! Anyway we grabbed some juice and biscuits and landed at the signboard. Here we made friends with a few kids and one frikkin huge crab that they had caught in the canals of the Shivanasamudra. After playing with it a few moments, admiring its huge pincers asked them to let it go into the waters. Zethu & Dattu joined us for a light snack on the road side. After which it was non stop riding till Malavalli.
TIME: 17:00


From Malavalli it took us some time to reach Maddur as the road was horrible. We stopped 2-3 times for light tea and few stretches. After  SH-17 (Mysore road) enrgies shot back on again. When asked about lunch (haha, yeah lunch) Manju suggested a new Dhaba nearby Bidadi, we looked at each other and it was a Go. So we rode non-stop till Bidadi, crossing Bidadi we entered the 7hills Dhaba.
TIME: 18:30

 

At the Dhaba we crashed with a few drinks and good food and sat back relaxed. We had a good discussion about the next 10 trips to come, which would mean and be the end of a 4+year long stretch of riding.
After about 2hours at the Dhaba, we rode towards Bangalore where we pulled over at the JB split stop. Thanked each other for making it for the day and we headed back to reach our respective homes.
When i reached home, my mom started yelling at me saying "look at the news, in BR hills elephants had blocked the road and chased people down and all, and here you are!"
I replied " Yeah yeah i know". Knowing that i dont watch news or read newspaper she knew where i had been for the day:P
TIME: 21:00

CONCLUSION:
“Well this was one fantastic trip I must say. Standing in path of a mock run of an elephant starin into its eyes, my god whata rush is all I can say, haha. But watchin the last rites almost brought a tear to my eye, Anyway Cheers!!”

Until Next time, Cia \m/



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1 comment:

  1. Crazy blog man ... Its amazing hw u guys find out abt places which r really hard to find on google

    ReplyDelete