Trip Date: Mar 19th 2016
Middle of March and there has to be a ride. For a while i had been contemplating the alternate route between Kollegal and Dhimbam ghats which bypasses Chamarajanagar. I had been in this route before (in the other direction) and had gotten hopelessly lost. I had also heard about the Tibetan settlement in Germalam which I wanted to see.
The only hurdle was the temperatures. March had started off extremely hot and I had in mind going ahead doing the Mettur loop. It was going to be extremely hot after descending from the ghats.
Nevertheless, braving the weather, I decided to head out one Saturday morning.
The morning was as pleasant as it could be without being cold inside the mesh jacket. I was out of the city in a jiffy and was cruising happily down the Kanakpura road. The sun had just started rising off to the East. It was going to be a hot day.
Top of the mind was to hunt for a place with hot coffee and idly/dosa as a bonus. The joints in Kanakpura were likely to be closed at the hour. My best bet would be a hole-in-the-wall idly place I know of in Malavalli.
Kanakpura came and went. I again glanced longingly at Vasu’s Hotel. The place never seems to be open when I ride by. One day I may have to come just to eat here and time my ride according to that.
A little after Kanakpura, I took a diversion to climb a dirt track to a small temple. The view from the hillock was nice and I hung around watching the sun climb up the horizon.
Riding in the dark is a pain and avoidable at best.
Mallavalli came and went. Decided against stopping for food. Little did I realize that this was going to be the norm through the day. I would stop for tea/water and snacks but never for a proper meal.
The road joining Malavalli to Gagnachukki is a charm to drive on. Well laid tarmac, flanked by tree. It was too early for Gulmohar to flower. In season it is a riot of colors.
As I stopped for a bio break, I spied this old temple hiding behind a giant Pepal tree. Extended the break to nose around a bit. While the main entrance was barred by a grill, the compound posed ample photography opportunities.
Fortunately the bridge over Kaveri was open. Taking the T.Narsipura bridge would mean a long ride back to Germalam.
Crossing the bridge, I stopped at a tri-junction for tea. The road to the left goes towards Barachukki Falls.
At Kollegal, I turned towards M.M.Hills. I little later I turned towards Germalam. This time I was more confident of the route.
It was only a matter of time before I turned towards the Tibetan settlement. I must say the setting of the place is beautiful. Rolling hills topped by temple spires, a photographer’s delight.
It was mid-morning and for reason I hardly saw many people. I made a mental note of coming back again.
The road continued to be in great conditions. Last time, when I was in this area there were hardly any roads.
A while back the hairpin bends down the ghat had ample space to park and take a break. I even did a picnic here once. But those days are gone. There is hardly any space to stop, let alone park and take a break.
I descend down to the temple. By now the heat is exhausting. I was looking forward to a tough several hours ahead.
I stop at a dairy shop across from the temple and drink couple of bottle of frozen badam milk.
Mettur dam was the next stop.
Satyamangalam gone. Bhavani gone. And I was at Mettur.
The heat was crazy and I was getting baked in the riding jacket. The thought if taking it off and tying it to the back occurred, but was banished as soon as it came.
Never one to give up an opportunity to try new routes (especially the backroads one), I decided to try out a new road back to Bangalore via Hogenakkal.
So at Mecheri, I turned towards Perumbalai and joined the Hogenakkal road at Pennagaram. Now this a beautiful road with adequate twists and turns to make riding fun.
Given the dry winter, the terrain was quite brown and the mid-day sun didn’t lend itself to good pictures. Plus the heat meant I was not very keen to stop.
Given that I did not stop much, I was home well before dark.
Start Time: 0500
End Time: 1800
Expenses – Food: 276
Expenses – Fuel: 500