Bike Ride: Germalam Monastery and Dhimbam Ghats

This used to be and maybe is still my favorite route. While the Kanakpura stretch is slowly being turned into a boring stretch and the Mallavalli-Shivasamudram stretch is already widened and rendered monotonous.

Yet this route is still one of the best day rides around Bangalore. It has ample sunrise opportunities on the lakes adjoining the Kanakpura Road, there is early morning breakfast at Vasu’s, there are fields around Kollegal and Chamrajanagar, then there are hills of Dhimbam ghats and finally when you are tired at the end of the day, there is a straight stretch of road home. Nothing beats the all-in-one nature of this route.

So early Oct, in my quest to get to 5K Km on the D250 off I went on a morning ride.

First stop, double idli and double coffee at Vasu’s.

Then the sunrise on the highway.

A little down the road, I veered off the highway to watch the sun rise over the fields and take some pictures.

The little red house on the Malavalli-Shivasamudram stretch. I discovered this on one of the previous ride on this route. Fortunately it is a little inside from the road of the road widening would have ruined the view.

Weeds glowing in the sun.

Cauvery river from the Satthegala Bridge

At Kollegal I turned left and then right towards Germalam. This may be my last ride to the Dhondenling Monastery. The road ahead through the forest seems to be closed to two wheelers on weekend. Thanks to the youth who comes and drinks around in the jungle creating ruckus.

Drogchen Monastery

Posing in the corn fields around the monastery.

View of the Tibetan settlement.

After roaming around the settlement a bit, I moved on towards Dhimbam ghats.

Forest check post where I was stopped. The guard required a bit of persuasion to let me through. Makes me wary of coming down this road again, since its a long way to go back and go via the alternate route.

A poser.

View from the top of Dhimbam ghat.

And the Bannari temple at the bottom.

Crossing the Cauvery river.

At Salem, I stopped for lunch at the Selvi Mess and then the sprint back home.

Ride Month : Oct 2020
Distance : ~560Km

Bike Ride: Shetahalli Church

Ride to Shetahalli Church outside Hassan.

I always wanted to ride to Shetahalli Church near Hassan. However the ride on NH75 always dissuaded me. I find riding on the new National Highways extremely boring, not to mention that it lulls me to sleep. The wide new highways with their chopped down trees and village bypasses are devoid of any character.

One day I was looking at the map, and realized that I can actually go towards Mysore and then turn North-West to reach Hassan, an idea of a ride was born. And of course the desire to get to 5K Km on my D250 was another motivation.

Decided to avoid the Mysore highway and take my once favorite Kanakpura Highway. Nowadays the task of widening this highway is well underway. This means bad traffic and death knell to many of the trees.

Yet a side lane with inspiring view of some monoliths, a few Km from Kanakpura, still exists. My old Avenger has seen many photo shoots on that stretch. So took a break for the same.

One of the monoliths in the background.

At Bannur, I turned towards Srirangapatna and then towards KRS reservoir.

The stretch along the reservoir with green field and inundated trees was the highlight of the day. The water and the greenery presented with ample photo opportunities.

Coracles parked on water’s edge.

Break on edge of a field.

Having crossed the KRS reservoir, I headed towards the Hemavathi Reservoir. The Shetahalli Church is submerged by this reservoir.

Picture of Gorur Dam from the road. Took me a while and a few stops to look at Google Maps to get to the Church.

Being the season after the monsoons, the church was completely submerged. They had dug up the road leading to the banks. The reasonable number of tourists who were there were content to walk the short distance down to the water.

I decided to head on ahead towards a bridge a little way ahead. There is a good view of the church from the bridge. I stopped at the bridge. Few others were stopped there. Hung around a while and got a picture taken from another helpful tourist.

9 year old picture of the same church in July when the water levels were down and hardly anyone visited the place.

After I while I traced my route back to the main road and then NH75 to back home. On the way stopped at Murali Military Hotel for a well deserved mutton lunch.

Ride Month: Oct 2020