Sunday, August 14, 2011

5) MM hills, BR hills, Shivanasamudra: (7/7/2011)



Exams were finally done. For nearly two months my brain was clogged with exam related stuff, and as expected it didn’t go well either, and I desperately needed to hit the road. It was nearly one month since Karthik had finished his exam. We wanted to go on an epic roadtrip, and initially we planned for a two day trip to Pondicherry, but due to many reasons we had to drop it, which was a huge bummer. Since we couldn’t go to Pondi, we thought of going to at least some place nearby. Since the monsoons had already hit Karnataka, we decided to go to Gaganachukki, since it’s wonderful when it’s full of water and then to Malai Mahadeshwara (Madeshwara) Hills (MM Hills), as we both had seen Biligiri Ranga Hills (BR Hills) before.


Like always, I started from my place , and reached Karthik’s place at around 5. Karthik couldn’t bring his Pulsar along, and hence we decided to go in my Avenger (Avy). We started off from his place and were in SH-17 in no time. I was having a nice re-union of sorts with this road, which is one of my favorite, especially for early morning rides. After riding without breaks for quite some time, we made our first stop for a small chai break, had the best tea ever over there. After a while, we were back on the road. We had to stop for breakfast, and the best place alonh SH 17 to stop for breakfast would be Maddur. We made a halt at Mc Donalds, just before entering Maddur. Finishing our breakfast and fully charged, we made our way to Ganganchukki, by taking a left deviation from a circle on SH 17 in Maddur. The road connecting Malavalli to Maddur isn’t that good, but at least they had patched it up when we had gone. Eventually we reached Malavalli town and then an arch led us to Ganganachukki.


I’ve been to Gaganachukki quite a few times before this, but this was definitely my best visit. Not only was it running with full capacity, the place which usually swarmed by tourists, was completely empty. The only sound we could hear was that of the water gushing down. What an awesome sight that was. That moment would be one of those moments in my life which defined ‘Peace’. We spent nearly 45mins just staring at the falls, and listening to its sound. After some time, we had to leave the place, quite reluctantly. Next destination: MM Hills.

MM Hills:

The trip got off to a good start, with Gaganachukki, and we were going to the much awaited MM Hills. I was told that MM hills had awesome curves, which made me even more excited, as I had a ‘Thing’ for Ghat section roads, and curved roads, especially the hair pin bends. We had to go to Kollegala, from where we would continue on to MM Hills. One other characteristic of a road trip would be a conversation about the good ol days. We were talking about our school days and how things have changed, and stuff like that. This trip, sort of renewed our brohood. And before we knew it, we were in Kollegala. Asking for directions, we continued on to MM Hills. After a certain point we could get a glimpse of the mighty MM hills. As we passed through an arch, we started the ascent. The curves were just too good. Negotiating those hair pin curves was an absolute pleasure. The road connecting Kollegala and an initial stretch of MM Hills, were awesome. But after riding some distance, my mood completely changed. The roads started to get really bad. It was a nightmare there after, because negotiating a hair pin bend on a proper road, is good, but the same on a pot hole infested road, is totally the opposite. There was a point where-in I felt it would’ve been a good idea to turn back, but for the black saints, there is no turning back! We stopped periodically, and took breaks. The road seemed never-ending, and impatience was clearly visible on my face. Finally we could spot a town, sigh! It was a huge relief. We reached a check post, passing which we had to stop nearby to get a glimpse of the whole valley. It was an awesome sight, and totally worth all the pain in our rear. We enquired the locals if there were any places of interest nearby and the only answer we got was ‘The Mahadeshwara Temple’, which was also closed when we went. It was a strenuous journey till there, and I was dehydrated. We had some refreshments there, and spent time roaming around. We had covered quite some ground, but it was just around 1400hrs. We had this conversation:

Me: “Macha, now where?”

SP: “Home?”

Me:”Hmmmm…., I guess so?”

SP: “I got an idea, how about BR Hills too?”

Me:”Thill Yeah!”


To be honest, we were pretty bummed about MM Hills, and since it was pretty early to head back home too, we decided to extend the trip to Biligiri Rangana Betta, better known as BR Hills, for which we had to go back to Kollegala. We had to again, go on those treacherous MM Hills roads, and taking lesser breaks, we zoomed to Kollegala, on the way to which, the clouds burst opened. For a few minutes, I swear, I couldn’t see what was in front of me, just when I thought of pulling over, it decreased. We were soaking wet, and in just a few minutes, completely dry, thanks to the sun and some fast riding, hehe. Reaching Kollegala we took a left deviation from the circle on the main road.

About MM Hills, I wouldn’t really recommend people to visit it, but if you want a feel of riding the Ghat section, and if you have a strong bike, give it a try, hopefully they would’ve fixed the road then. Coming to BR Hills, the ride was the best ride I’ve been on so far. It was dark and cloudy, the roads were wet, and it was drizzling, the route was serene, and had greenery all along. It’s one of those rides, which make you forget everything and just puts you in the happiest state of mind. The forest cover started growing slowly, leading to BR Hills. Eventually we reached a forest department checkpost. Finishing a few formalities there, we were asked to return by 1700hrs. From there onwards, it was dense forest. The road seemed like newly-laid, and was very good, and after riding some distance, we saw few cars on the opposite side having stopped on the middle of the road, going further, we got the best surprise there, a herd of elephants were crossing the road, on to the other side of the jungle, and those cars were cautiously waiting for them to cross. I eventually stopped my bike and switched off the engine. We were wowed at their sight, and Karthik in particular who had visited that place a couple of times before, had spotted wild elephants for the first time in BR Hills. There was also some fear at the back of our minds, knowing the potential of those gentle giants, if they went berserk. Talking about elephants, we resumed riding, and after covering some distance, would you believe it? Another Elephant! This one looked kind of stuck on an incline, I slowed down my engine, and went past it, not irking it or anything. We were sort of in a state of disbelief, having spotted so many wild elephants, and just then, came along a herd of wild Bison grazing along the road, one of which was looking like it wanted to take on us or something. Seriously, what were the odds!? Wild elephants and bison, what next? A Leopard or a lion maybe? Well, that’s too much to ask for isn’t it?

The ride to BR Hills was already so amazing, having encountering wild animals. The route was even better, as the forest kept getting denser as we progressed. At one stretch, it became completely dark, as though someone just switched off the sun. We passed through some small villages stapled to the mountains, and it gave an Ooty kind of a look. Finally we reached the peak, which has a temple, behind which one can get a splendid view of the mountains covered by dense forests. We couldn’t spend too much time there, since it was getting pretty late, and riding through the forest so late in the evening was strongly not recommended by the forest officials. Quite reluctantly we had to leave, bidding adieu to that place. BR Hills were so good, that I didn’t realize that I had skipped my lunch until we made our way back to Kollegala, and I’m not a person who misses his meals all that often. I strongly recommend fellow bikers to head to BR Hills if they haven’t, especially during the Monsoon season, you may not spot elephants, but you’ll certainly enjoy the ride.


BR Hills more than made up for the disappointment we met with at MM Hills. We stopped for a small break after reaching Kollegala, and were feeling that this trip was still kinda incomplete. We had covered Gaganachukki, MM Hills, BR Hills, and the missing link in that trip was Barachukki, which was kind of on the way to Malavalli. We decided to not leave out Barachukki, and took a deviation from the Kollegala-Malavalli road, and went 5kms interior to Barachukki. The gates were closed, but upon bribing the guard, he let us in. I have to confess that it wasn’t as good as Gaganachukki, but it was still a nice way to end the evening. As the sun started to set, we headed back towards Bangalore, via Malavalli and Maddur, and darkness started prevailing soon after. It was the first time, that I was needed to drive nearly 120kms in the night, although I wasn’t worried about most of it, since it was on SH 17, but the road from Malavalli to Maddur, a distance of nearly 35kms wasn’t good and riding along it during dark was a nightmare! To start with, it’s a two lane road, and pitch dark. Vehicles, cars and Lorries mostly ply on it with high beam. A car passing opposite, would blind me for a few seconds, and thanks to the wonderful roads, I felt better driving into huge potholes. It continued on for quite some time. The road seemed never ending, and the 35 odd kilometers seemed like 100kms. It had been a long day on road, having covered so much distance, our backs were slowly starting to complain, and the pot holes infested road from Malavalli only made it worse. We were also tired, having sustained on a light breakfast at Mc Donalds. My left hand was starting to cramp up a little bit, constantly pulling the clutch. Honestly, the situation was so bad that I was thinking of heading back to Malavalli and halt there for the night, and thoughts like camping by the side of the road also crept in, but as I said before there ain’t no going back for the black saints. After somehow managing to ride some distance, we could spot a road with many vehicles crossing it and some lights, alas! It was SH 17 finally, it was like spotting an oasis in the middle of a desert, and spotting SH 17 gave me a sudden burst of energy, which took us to Maddur Tiffanys, where we went on for a deserving meal. We were very hungry and finished our meals in a jiffy and took our own time in getting some much needed rest. After the refreshment, it was time to leave for Bangalore. I love driving in the night, and after having such a wonderful day, and having returned to the safety of the four lane road, If was really pumped, and ripped along SH 17, took no breaks and reached Bangalore in almost less than an hour.

Overall, this was my biggest bike trip. I consider this trip, a personal milestone, as totally we covered around 600kms with a total riding time of approximately 14hrs. And moreover, I was damn proud of my Avy, as I put it to its limits, with the treacherous roads of MM Hills, and making it rip through SH 17, and overall, keeping it running for nearly 14hrs and covering 600kms on it. I’m proud to have been born in Karnataka which is at its best during the monsoons. I feel like redeemed, as this trip re charged the biker in me. I can’t wait for the next trip, which hopefully be sometime soon. Until the next trip, Ciao!

Our much hyped Pondi plan did fall in place, but everything fell in place for this trip, which goes to show, that when the time is right everything falls in place


SP's View of this trip: Saints Ride to the mighty twin hills and waterfalls.


38) MM hills,BR hills,Gaganchukki,Barachukki : (7/7/2011)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

4) Maasti (Masti): (5/6/2011)

35) Maasti (Masti): (5/6/2011)

Place: Maasti.

Distance: 100 x 2 = 200 kms (took longer route , traffic free it’s about 70kms).

Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar.

Participants: Datta > Kushal > Zatan > Sp.


1) Bangalore > Hosur > Malur > Masti.

2) Bangalore > Hoskote > Malur > Masti.

Previous Visit: Maddur & Kanva.


This was re-visit to my friend’s hometown after 9 long years. An excellent place with a brilliant ambience. This town is between the states Karnataka & TN.

As far as my knowledge goes no other motorcycle club had visited this place before so this gave us the extra reason to visit to this wonderful place.


As far as the planning goes , Kaushi was joining us because it was his hometown ha-ha :P, Well the other two were old school rider Zethu( Chethan) & the Ever happy Dattu :D

So the Departure time was set at 06:00hrs and crashed.

TIME:23:00hrs (4/6/2011)


Woke up at 04:00hrs , did a few push ups after a good warm up.. had coffee and wore my dirty jeans and shirt and went outside to check on others. At about 6:15am Kaushi turned up in a span of 10mins both Chethu & Dattu also turned up & we left.


RIDE I : (Bangalore – Thillainagar)

Okay we cruised on the outer ring road through BTM layout to reach the Hosur flyover in 10-15 minutes. NH-7 is one of the best roads connecting Bangalore an excellent 6-lane road. After 30minutes ride we crossed the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border .


After reaching Hosur, we took a left headed towards Baglur circle. This was a different route , I’ll give a much simpler and direct route to this place latter in this article. After the deviation the roads were 2-lane but excellent roads , so could keep a good pace. Once we reached Thillainagar we had to stop .(No questions asked:P)


RIDE II : (Thillainagar – Maasti)

After a short break at Thillainagar we continued our journey towards Maasti, okay there was a road block in Baglur due to bridge construction, so had to take this alternate route. There was a bridge where only two people shoulder to shoulder could fit and we had to ride our bike on a thick metal sheet which was shaking all the time & not to forget a 90+kg sitting behind me (50kgs):P ha-ha !!


Then after crossing the bridge we asked for directions and continued our journey. It became brilliant greenery everywhere, and the tree covered up the sky, allowing only a few rays of sunlight to pass through just like the ride in BR hills.

And then came an Arch on the right side of the road (forgot name will update soon) , from there on it was complete off road. First it was dry mud & a few rocks in between but latter came the real test, slushy red mud for about 5kms, it was real fun riding this stretch but had to be that very careful. After crossing this stretch we took our second break.


Then we explored the surrounding fields, visited an abandoned brick house & sat there for sometime & left again. After 5kms through small village roads we reached Maasti :)



Places we visited there:

Temple: A peaceful temple.

Well: A huge well near the temple.

Hotel: After visiting the above two Kaushi took us to a hotel and believe me he was treated like a prince… he got us an excellent breakfast. With our tummies full it time to go to Kaushi’s fields to take rest. After mins of riding we reached his fields.



From then we literally had to get our bikes upon a rock. Once it was done we loosened up a bit and went exploring the place.

9 years back I had seen a temple surrounding which treasure is supposed to buried, but we were shocked to see the entire temple shredded all over the place. Huge Stone pillars scattered here and there. Then we wandered in the fields, went inside thick bushes and trees though we knew that there were snakes around. After a good 45 mins of exploring we returned to the rocks for some good nap.


And believe me it was on of the best naps, a quiet peaceful surrounding … cows and goats in the fields below the rock , after an hour of good nap we woke up fresh and lazed around sitting on the rocks and speaking for hour or two and finally decided to head back to Bangalore.


RIDE III : (Maasti-Malur-Bangalore)

After visiting the town for the last time , we left towards Malur .. on the way we also visited a Hanuman temple. This was the better route I was talking about earlier in this article. We reached Malur at a pretty fast pace due to the good roads & from then again roads were very good to Hosur ( except that bridge part near Baglur again: P)

We entered Karnataka at about 03:00hrs and from then on it was 6 lane smooth roads. We separated just before the Silk Board Junction, while Chethu & dattu left towards Rajajinagar, Kaushi and me came back home through BTM layout.


Maasti was one of the most peaceful places iv ever visited , calm and excellent ambience and of course and good friend’s home town , he had taken me 9 years back.

Until next time Cia \m/


35) Maasti - Kaushi's hometown : 5/6/2011


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Thursday, April 7, 2011

3) Maddur & Kanva: (4/4/2011)


Chapter 3) A meal to remember


Before I start yapping, salutations to Team India, they’ve made us feel more proud of being an Indian. I had been on a 200km trip on Sunday to muthati, but not with my fellow Black Saint. And there was a need for the Black Saints to hit the road, since the exam season was round the corner. The whole trip started with this conversation:

Around 4 am,
Zethu : “yo macha, hungry?”
Karthik : “yeah”
Zethu: “ Maddur for breakfast??”
Karthik: “cool(t) ... lets hit it yo !!”

That is how spontaneously we go on trips. Karthik had a sore back, after all the celebration on Saturday, and I hadn’t slept in nearly 40hrs, as I was still running high on India’s victory, and I was also tired from Muthati trip, but it takes much more than sore back, and exhaustion to stop us from hitting the road.


This time though I was tired of sneaking out, and told my parents that I was going out to play cricket with friends, and left home, and reached our usual place of departure, Karthik’s place. We left his place at around 5 30am, once again, an early morning ride, and it was good as usual. We zoomed through the Mysore Highway (SH-17) at 60’s – 70’s speed. I’ve begun to fall in love with this road. It’s just so smooth and offers very little trouble to a biker. We made our first stop after Ramnagar, to fill our tanks. The ride, on the whole was good, except at the town of Chennapatna, where the road humps were a big bummer, and really pissed us off. As we were leaving Chennapatna, I just turned towards the rear view mirror to see the sun slowly rising. We had to make a stop by the side of SH-17, just to get a glimpse of the orange-ish sun. A few kilometers from that stop we reached our destination, Maddur Tiffanys.


We had nice breakfast at Maddur Tiffanys. Maddur Vada, is a specialty there. It was just around 8am, when we finished our breakfast, and were roaming around there, in the near-by fields. We didn’t want to go home so early and Karthik came up with an idea I couldn’t resist, re-visit Kanva.

Kanva was just around 20kms from Maddur. After a nice breakfast, our adrenaline was pumping, and we raced away to Kanva. This time though we wanted to explore bit more of that place, and so we rode along the reservoir to get to the other side of it. The terrain initially was good, it was green like a cricket field, and then it got very un-even and kinda unstable, but we continued riding, until we reached a nice stop to cool off our machines. The Black Saints got a nice welcome from a Black bird, and it kind of felt good. We parked our bikes, and started roaming around, and sat at the rocks and were discussing about the future of The Black Saints, i.e. it’s future trips.


After staying in Kanva for a good 30-45mins, it was time to hit the road, and get back to Namma
Bengaluru. While coming back, we wanted to take an alternative route from Kanva on to SH-17, and that got us on an awesome ride through villages. The road was too good, except for few patches along the route which were not good. There was lot of greenery all along the route, and the road was empty for quite some distance, and it feels really good, as a biker to go on roads like these. That road took us to Ramnagar, and connected us to SH-17. We made a final stop at Ramnagar, to refresh ourselves, and rode in full speed on to Jnana Bharathi where we’d split. The ride back, was awesome, as the sun was up, the highway was pretty much deserted, and ours were the only two bikes roaring. Once again, it was a pleasure riding with fellow Black Saint, and my bro, Karthik, as we made this meal, one to remember.

Album link:

Distance: 200kms
Bikes: Avenger > Pulsar.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

2) Kanva : (27/3/2011)


Chap two : Kanva -Riding that extra mile.


Manchinbele was technically, the Black Saints’ first outing, but we were not satisfied with that, and
wanted to go on a really long ride. We had a very ambitious plan of going to Pondicherry, but that plan failed due to various reasons. Now, the need for a bike trip intensified and we went back to our old plan of going to kanva reservoir. The plan was simple, leave at 4 30am, early again, since my parents are against road trips and stuff, and I had to sneak out again. Anyway, leave at 4 30am and be back home 9 am tops. I have it really tough when it comes to getting up that early and I didn’t want to let down my bro and fellow black saint, Karthik, and so I decided to not go to sleep and anticipated my first ‘real’ long trip on my Avenger, all night.


At around 4:45am, we roared through the ring road and connected to the Mysore Highway. I had started to enjoy these early morning rides, as the highways are less crowded at that time, and the weather is pleasant too. Once again, Karthi and I shared perfect sync, as we vroomed along the highway at constant 50’s speed. All along the highway we could spot aftermaths of car crashes.

After driving along for a while, we reached Ramnagar, after passing through which, we decided to stop for a small chai break. Karthik was pointing to me that Kanva wasn’t that far away. Another thing about early morning rides is riding along as the sun rises. As we took a deviation off the Mysore Highway, although we couldn’t see the sun, as it was covered by few clouds, it was slowly getting brighter. The ride to kanva off the highway was fun. It was a small road, and not really a bad one with nice scenery all along the road. After driving some distance we caught a glimpse of the reservoir. I was really excited; as it was the time I had got there. We went off road for a few meters and there we were, finally! at kanva.


Kanva reservoir isn’t a huge reservoir, it’s a small one, which I guess is the reason, not many people know about it, but it offers an awesome view, with mountains at its back drop. There wasn’t much water in there, but we could spot a fisher man, trying his luck early morning. A few minutes later, we would be in for an awesome sun rise. I guess the sun had just risen then, but was covered by clouds. Some of the clouds were dispersing, and then started a sort of a hide and seek between the sun and the clouds. The view was absolutely wonderful, as we could see the reflection of the sun rays from the reservoir. It was picture perfect, and unarguably the best sun rise I have ever seen so far. Quite unwillingly, we had to leave after a while, and so we did. We bid adieu to that wonderful place and vowed to go back there soon.


The ride back to Bengaluru was kind of fun. Karthik has a weird affinity with dogs. As we were passing through a village, since it was morning and most of the dogs then had woken up, they were giving karthik ugly stares, which was really funny if you were in my place. Some even seemed like getting ready to chase him. Overall, the ride back was pleasant, as we cruised with full speed to Namma Bengaluru.


As I was reaching my place I just noticed that I was a bit late, and there was a chance I would be busted by my parents. As I was trying to sneak back in, I saw my dad sort of like investigating a crime scene, trying to find me in my room. I quickly snatched a pajama from my room, took a bucket and cloth and raced down to pretend as though I was cleaning my gaadi, and thus came clean with my parents, as they had no idea that I had been on a 120kms bike ride.



Thursday, March 31, 2011

1) Manchinbele : 6/3/11


Chapter 1 ) Manchinbele - Black saints identity : 6/3/11


It had been around four days since I bought my new Avenger 220cc. Karthi and I had been planning on a bike trip ever since I bought my gaadi. We were very keen on going to Kanva, and so we planned to hit kanva on an early morning Sunday, since I had to sneak out and be back before my parents got up :P

No surprises, I couldn’t get up at 4am, the scheduled time for our departure. I got up at 5am and rushed to karthi’s place. The original plan of going to kanva was scrapped, since I had to get back home before 9am tops. But we really badly wanted to hit the road, as Karthik is a regular when it comes to going on bike trips, and he hadn’t been on one lately, and I had just bought a new bike and wanted to hit the highway. We unanimously decided to go to Manchinbele, 35kms from there.


So wasting no time, we turned on our engines, and hit the road. It was an early morning ride, the weather was fairly cool, well, at least I felt like it was cold, while Karthik had got used to riding in such conditions. The best part about any ride is well, the ride itself. We were going at constant 40’s, mainly because it was a new bike and didn’t really wanted to eff up the engine, and with a pleasant weather, we rode through the Mysore Highway. Karthik and I had a perfect sync when it came to riding along the highway, which added a lot of flair to an already superb ride.


As we approached Rajarajeswari Dental College, we had to take a diversion off the highway. As we took that road, the sun slowly crept up, and made our ride even better. Imagine this: A nice empty road, pleasant weather, and sun rays slowly starting to graze the road, damn! It was an awesome ride, one which I wouldn’t forget for a long time to come. After driving further, we reached the place. The part about manchinbele, is that, as you ride, you wouldn’t get a glimpse of the place, until one place where you take a left turn and suddenly you’d see this wonderful reservoir with mountains at its back drop.

This was not the first time we came to Manchinbele, but this was the best view of manchinbele we had ever got to see. I’m sure it’s a view every photographer wishes to see. We got to see an awesome view of the Savandurga hills, being hit by early sun rays on one side. One side of the hill seemed like gold.

We spent some time talking, as we didn’t want to go hit the water, as it was pretty cold, and I had to return home without any suspicion. One important conversation:

Karthi:”macha, we should give ourselves some name da”

Zethu: “yeah”

Karthi: “It should start with Black, since our mean machines are black”

After a few names,

Zethu: ”How about Black Saints?”

Karthi: “awesome \m/”

And that’s the story of how Black Saints originated!


After a while, we decided to leave manchinbele and head home. The ride back home was good, as the

sun was back up, and shining with full might. We stopped at a spot just to observe something amazing… there was clouds trapped amidst small mountains.. What a wonderful sight tat was …after that we headed back in full flow…I reached home on time, left no traces of me gone.

To me, Manchinbele, would always remain a special place, and I’m sure I’d come back to this place again as soon as possible.


Avenger > Pulsar.


30) Manchinbele - The Origin : 6/3/11