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: Dhimbam Ghats again- Triplog

Driving down to Dhimbam Ghats from Bangalore is my favourite ride. A round trip is around 600Km, which makes for a good days ride. The route comprises of country roads, twisties, ghats and 6 lane highway.
I like it so much so that this was my 6th ride in last few years to this area with some variation here and there.

The plan was to ride on the 1st day of the year. But heavy morning rains was a discouragement. Fortunately Jan 2 was clear and a holiday. Not one to miss out on the opportunity, off I went.

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Route Map

Dot five, I was out of the basement. Fog made navigation slow. Soon I was on the Kanakpura Road, dodging the high beam of oncoming traffic. As I left the city the fog settled at a comfortable distance, allowing me to speed up a little.

The first stop was a photo opportunity after Kanakpura.

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Have you ever been driving down that lonesome road…

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Kanakpura Hills

A little break and some pictures later I was off towards Mallavalli.

The next stop was on the banks of Shimsha River. My attempts to photograph some cattle Egrets was a failure. I had to content myself with some reflections on the river

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Shimsha River

Malavalli soon came and I stopped for tea.
Double tea with a couple of bananas and I turned towards Sivasamudram.

Past Sivasamudram, I was in for a surprise. The bridge to Kollegal was closed. Not knowing another way to cross the Cauveri, I asked around and then looked at Google Maps. The other bridge to cross the river was upstream at T.Narsipura.

So off I went turning on the rural roads. I would say that was a fortunate diversion. Rarely does one get to see such lush fields ready for cultivation.

DhimbamGhatsRide_046 DhimbamGhatsRide_055 DhimbamGhatsRide_061DhimbamGhatsRide_064By the time I reached Chamarajanagar, my stomach was grumbling. I made the mistake of entering the city and promptly got stuck in traffic. Eventually I extracted myself from the mess and landed at a small eatery. Puris, dosa and couple of Vada later, the stomach was content and I had a smile on my face.

It was still early in the day and the good part was about to begin.

Post Chamarajanagar, the fields gave way to jungle. Trees lined the road replacing irrigation ditches.

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Riding thorough the jungle

The traffic was surprising less and I throughly enjoyed the ride through the forest. The drive down the ghats was fun. Unfortunately they have removed the parapet at the hairpin bends. These parapets serve as a great sitting points to look down on the jungle below. At one of the bends, I took a break and sat down enjoying the chirping of birds while looking down on the dense forest below.

The forest is part of the Satyamangalam Tiger Reserver. While I have not seen tigers, I have spied elephants down in the jungle a couple of times.

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Fields off Krishnagiri

After Satyamangalam, the ride to Bhavani was somewhat monotonous. From Bhavani the toll highway start. So speeds were good. At Aiveli, I took a short-cut which bypassed Salem.
Soon I cruised past Dharampuri. Lunch was late at a small roadside dhabha.

At Hoskote, took a diversion to Bagalur and then the Chika-Tirupati route to Whitefield and home. That again was a smart move. Got treated to an excellent sunset, which I would have missed if I have gone on straight to Bangalore.

Finally ended the day with some great sunset pictures.

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Sunset over the meadow

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Watching over the sunset

Overall distance: 610Km
Start time: 0500
End Time: 1830