Been wanting to do this ride for quite sometime. Back in 2010, I did a ride around Bangalore on my old Unicorn. Since then wanted to always do it again.
The intent is to do a full circle around Bangalore on the backroads. Enjoy the narrow roads, villages and the flowering trees. Unfortunately this was not the right time of the year. Not many flowering trees, yet it was a fun ride.
Also had gotten the 1st service on D250 done. So an opportunity to push the speeds a little.
Started off from Whitefield to Attibele, Anekel, then through some good jungles to Kanakpura. Next to Ramnagaram, Magadi, Dobbaspet, Doddaballapur, Airport and back.
The road have improved a lot since I traveled these roads several years back.
A little after Anekel, stopped by a few fields for some picture. The Dominar riding posture is quite unlike Avenger. Not really to my liking, especially the fact that foot pegs hit the shin when I put my feet down. Plus more load on the arms. Giving myself 10K Km to see if it works for me.
Stopped again at a border of a small stretch of forest. The land stretches far into farmlands over undulating hills giving a nice unrestricted view far.
The D250 engine is much smoother than the Avenger’s. Each to reach higher speeds, though I am not sure how relaxed I am at those higher speeds.
Kanakpura and favorite breakfast joint of Vasu’s, Over the last few rides I have stopped here a lot. It was a little later than usual and so dosa was there on the menu.
Kanakpura to Ramnagaram, the road is in great condition. Green fields and prosperity in abundance.
Beyond Ramnagaram, its back to gently rolling hills. Stopped for another break on a side trail. Sat down to watch the fields and forest stretching below. Far away a few hills rose creating a ringed boundary.
After crossing Magdi, took another break. Met a village taking a break from his work. Chatted a little.
People are surprised when you tell them that you are just out for a ride. Makes you wonder on how lucky we are.
Took another break before Shivagange. The two hills of Shivagange and Kachkal Muneshwara Swamy Temple dominate the landscape.
From there returned home in one stretch. Overall a good ride. The weather was mostly cloudy, saving me from the heat. Got hit by rain once and took cover at an underpass.
The route map – 565Km of meditating on two wheels.
My usual Spring ride called the “Ides of march Ride”, though sometimes it happens in April. For some reason spring isn’t really here. Pretty much no flower laden trees. That was one of three disappointments I had on this ride.
I started a little late and decided to take the Nice Road to Kanakpura Road. Took me longer than expected, though I was able to avoid the construction on the Kanakpura Road. The sun was just rising over one of the lakes. Beautiful orange hues.
Stopped for the customary bike silhouette. The road was a little higher than the surroundings. That helped with the low angle picture.
Crossed Kanakpura. Was temped to stop at Vasu’s. However decided to skip since I was running late. They have a nice big board now. Good for outsiders who hear the name and come by to eat the yummy food.
The lake on the outskirts of Kanakpura has been developed well for locals to take walks and enjoy the outdoors. A big chariot is seen across the lake on the other end.
A little after Kanakpura, near where the Kavery pipeline accompanies the road, took a small diversion for taking some pictures. The road gently slopes up and then down, providing an excellent spot to take pictures. The early morning light makes the pictures glow. The rocks are great for sitting and taking a break.
At Malavalli, stopped for a tea break and turned towards Kollegal.
This stretch of road from Malavalli to the Satthegala Bridge is my favorite stretch in the Bangalore backroads. And that was the second disappointment of the day.
The road has been widened, cutting trees and removing various artifacts that gave it character. I have fond memories of this stretch. One of my first few rides out of Bangalore was here. That lamenting will wait for some other time.
One of the casualties of road widening is an old temple by the road side. This was once an invisible, hidden behind the bushes, temple where no one went. With the bushes being cleared someone is taking over. The old structure is being torn down.
The old hand pump is gone too. It’ll no longer fill my bottles.
A red brick house amidst coconut trees
After crossing the Satthegala Bridge, took a dirt track down to the river. There wasn’t much water in the river. I was in two minds on whether to go to Hogenakkal or take the Germalam route to Dhimbam ghats.
At Kollegal I took a break to buy some water, biscuits and chips. Couple of kids came to see the bike. One of them (one above with a mask) looked at the number plate and then looking at me said “Corona virus se bhag kar aaye ho?” (Are you running away from Corona virus?). Smiling I nodded.
Deciding to head towards Hogenakkal, I turned towards MMHills. The road conditions have improved since my last ride on this road. The terrain is always lovely. Distance hills mostly covered by haze and the fields in front lush green. A bush was flowering purple.
A nice tree with fresh red leaves was glowing in the sunlight.
Crossing Hanur, the climb to MMHills was somewhat monotonous. The day was hot and road wasn’t in great condition. That climb wasn’t much fun. At MMHills, they have build a huge weird dome next to the temple spoiling the beauty of the place.
Crossing the temple I started the descent towards Hogenakkal. Ever since they rebuilt this road, it has been in great condition. The hillside was turning yellow which was a pleasant sight.
At the bottom of the hill, I turned towards Hogenakkal. This is a fun narrow road that flanks the Kaveri river and the paved road ends at the Karnataka side of Hogenakkal falls.
The falls were the third disappointment of the day. The place was isolated, river bed was dry and I walked across the bed to the falls.
The elevated pathway to the falls was in ruins. I guess effects of previous year’s floor.
Walking on the rocks on the river bed was a surreal experience. Never imagined that I would walk on this riverbed which was always full or torrents of water.
After spending sometime at the riverbed, I drove back to the parking area. Had a packet of chips and bottle of water. Checked if there was an option of crossing the river with the bike. No option was available there.
Tracking my way back to the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, I turned towards Mettur dam.
Two views of the Mettur dam. After the dam it was a long stretch home. The sun was hot and there weren’t any photo opportunities. I stopped at Mecheri for some coffee and a break. After joining NH44 at Thoppur, it was a break-less ride till Hosur.
At Hosur turned towards Bagalur. Took another break for tea. Then a short cut though fields to Chikka Tirupati and then home with a sore bum.
So Saturday (Apr 18th) evening I made an impromptu decision to ride out on Sun. Looked up Google Maps and zeroed in on a circular route via Anchetty and Kanakpura. I had looked at this on the map few weeks earlier and wondered how the route would be.
It was time to find out.
It was still dark when I left. A few stars were twinkling overhead. I was glad it was going to be a clear day. Somewhere around the Sarjapur – Atibele road the horizon started brightening up. Pulled off the road onto a narrow lane while lead to villages into the interior to take a few pictures.
At Atibele, I choose to take the country roads rather than the main highway. Good decision. As I crossed the TVS factory, the orange globe emerged. Stopped again for some pictures.
Recent rains had created numerous road side ponds filling up the low-lying places. One of them was showing marvelous reflections. So stopped by to take pictures.
A little ahead I turned right towards Denkanikottai. Up till now the roads had been a mix of potholes and patches of clear tarmac. Now the road became silky smooth. Well paved road lined with trees. What a fun to ride. The road also follows a raised elevation which provides an excellent view of the surroundings. Stopped by to take some more pics.
Soon I was at Denkanikottai. As I entered the city, I happened to see a boiler chai shop. Quick U-turn and I was happily munching on a bun with a glass full of tea.
Now I one thing I like about riding in Tamil Nadu is the boiler tea. Freshly made and served glass full. Much in contrast with Karnataka where you get that stale tea in small plastic cups.
After Denkanikottai, the jungles start. The road narrows, climbs up and down a hill flanked by dense forest on both sides.
I again stopped at a seasonal lake to take some pictures. This time of the bike reflecting in the waters.
By now my stomach was complaining of hunger. So at Anchetty I stopped for breakfast.
Few hot crispy dosa later I was on my way. Too bad there was no filter coffee.
At Anchetty I turned right towards Kanakpura. After leaving Anchetty, the road first crosses some fields and then enters the forest. The road through the forest is freshly laid and fun to drive.
There is hardly any traffic
Once the jungle ends, fields take over and then small towns. The road condition also deteriorates till Kanakpura town. Once at Kanakpura it was a straight road home. By 1230 I was back in the parking lot.
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.
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.
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
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.
By 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.
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.
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.
Overall distance: 610Km Start time: 0500 End Time: 1830