Ha!!! March again. I love riding in March. The trees around Bangalore are in full bloom. Nothing beats the pleasure of cruising on a road lined with trees in full bloom.
And if you can find a shady corner to catch a nap… Mashallah

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Obligatory Route Map

So here I was on an Ugadi Saturday, heading down the nearest exit from Bangalore; which in my case in the Kolar Road. The first goal was to catch the sunrise at Narsapura Lake. Or shall I say dried lake bed, since that is all that’s left of the lake.

I reached around 10min early which gave me enough time to drive down to the village and grab a cup of tea. Post tea it was time to enjoy the sunrise and take some pictures.

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Sunrise

 

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Sunrise

After enjoying a peaceful sunrise, I headed towards Kolar. The destination I had in mind was Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary. Now I have been to this area a few times before and loved the ride every time. You get a mix of highway, rural scenery and much-needed hills.

As I rode towards Kolar, I debated on two choices. One option was to continue down NH4 and then at Mulbagal turn south towards Venkatagirikota (or VKota as it is locally known). The other was to turn south at Kolar itself towards Bangarpet and there turn East to wind through the villages towards VKota.

Later I was going to be glad that I took the second choice.

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Sun n’ Shadow

By the time I reached Kolar, the sun was above the horizon and heat followed it.

Owing to Ugadi, Bangarpet was quite crowded at the early hour. Threading through the traffic, I started looking for a coffee shop. One of the perks of driving the rural roads is the small coffee shops serving excellent filter coffee. Surprisingly I find that a cup of hot filter coffee is still refreshing on a hot summer day (yes this year March is hot in Bangalore).

Past Bangarpet, as I turned towards Kotilingeshwara, I found a small shop. Now coffee is good; but who can resist a hot crispy dosa coming off the griddle. So breakfast followed.

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Breakfast

Double coffee, a  dosa and a plate full of pongal later, I was on my way towards VKota. A few Km down the road, I saw a narrow dirt track leading up to a grassy knoll. Making an impromptu decision to do some off-roading, I turned on that track. Less than a 100m on the track, I spied a herd of Black Bucks in the distance. So parking the bike there, I trudged off towards the animals. The Black Bucks kept their distance. So after trailing them for a while, I returned back to where the bike was parked.

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Herd of Black Bucks
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Off-roading with no trail
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Tree about to bloom

Realizing that I had spent almost an hour following the Black Buck, I turned back to the road and continued on.

The road was recently redone; so potholes were not a bother. Trees provided ample of shade. So riding was fun. NH would have been a pain in the heat as it hardly offers any shade. The only flowering tree in abundance was the Palash tree and I stopped a few times to practise some photo taking.

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Fallen Palash Flowers

 

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Under the Palash Tree

 

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Palash Flower
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Plains of Peranambut
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Selfie Time

After crossing VKota, the road enters the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary. The terrain is hilly and the road offers a few curves.

A few hair pin “U” bends took me down to the plains of Peranambut. The heat was now bothering enough that I started looking for a shop where I could get some cold drink or cold water. The main street of Peranambut didn’t offer any shop like that and I headed down towards Gudiyattam.

Now Gudiyattam is a much larger town. Here I spotted a nibu-pani guy. Next to that was a guy selling home made khari biscuits. So I gobbled a handful of those washed down by a few glasses of cold nibu-pani.

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On the Hills of Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary
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Keeping watch

Refreshed, I turned towards Palmaner. The road again enters the sanctuary, climbing a hill and then descending down towards Palmaner.

By now I was somewhat tired. So I took a small break under a dense tree, next to a watering hole where cows were enjoying a bath. While I took a nap under the tree, a group of primates kept watch. Not that I trusted them, but that I didn’t have anything which they could take.

Half an hour later, the power nap was done.

It didn’t take long to get to Palmaner. There I turned west towards Bangalore. Give my aversion to riding on the NH, I was thinking of alternate routes. So a little after Palmaner, I saw a road going towards VKota. Now this was an opportunity to avoid the NH. I knew that somewhere down this road a right will take me to Mulbhagal.

So I turned down this road. And this was a fortunate choice. Chittoor district prides itself on its dairies. Few Km later, I crossed one of those dairies. Most of these dairies have a small booth selling their products just outside their gate. This one was no exception. And I wasn’t one to skip on the cold flavoured milk and ice-cream opportunity. I pretty much sampled everything that could be eaten there and then a second round of a few of them.

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Shade

Content and much cooler, I settled down on an easy ride under the trees. Again the road was much better than the NH due to abundance of trees.
After Baireddipalle I turned towards Mulbagal which didn’t take long to come. A little after Mulbagal, there is a Adigas restaurant on the highway. I stopped by, more to sit in the AC rather than to eat. Being there I did grab a bite.

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Rural Mulbagal

From there it was a straight road to home.

Trip Stats
Distance: 370Km
Start Time: 0500
End Time: 1600
Expenses – Food: 300
Expenses – Fuel: 700

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