Last weekend was a wonderful weekend for me. Last saturday, we four (Mohan, Prabhu, Me and Thiagarajan) went for a bike trip to Mysore. I dedicate this post to Prabhu and Thiagarajan (you'll come to know why, by the time you've completely read this post)
"Entha vishayathayum plan pannama pannakkoodathu.."
Eng trans: "Dont do anything without planning.."
This is our Team Motto.. (Here "our Team" means, our OBA DBA Team). Actually we were planning for this trip for about a month ago. But every weekend there will be some other appointment for us and even the trip was postponed because of Karantaka State Election. So, after all these delays, we were so determined to go for that trip last saturday. Prabhu and Thiagarajan has the bikes. And most importantly, only those two know driving bike. As usual, all the preparation for the trip were done only on the last day before the trip ie. on friday. By friday afternoon, prabhu completely planned the route or the places we're going to cover in this trip (though these informations were sent previously by Thiagarajan, prabhu deviced a plan for the trip). Me and Mohan planned to stay in Prabhu and Thiagarajan's houses resp. So, all is set and we planned to start our trip on Saturday morning by 4:30am**** (wondering why these stars... just check for these stars in later part, so that you can compare...)
As planned, we all got ready and we started our trip from Prabhu's house at 5:15 am****. We packed one set of clothes along with very few snacks... really very few... From bangalore, we took the Kanakpura Road and reached kanakpura at around 5:45am. At 6:10am, we stopped at a place called "kaggalipuram" for tea break. Had tea and continued our journey. We decided to take breaks at regular intervals of around 20-25 kms. In the first break after Tea, we had the Little Hearts biscuit. Oh man.. how sweet those tiny little biscuits are.. I have never enjoyed eating Little Hearts Biscuits like that before... damn sweet since we were traveling in the morning chill wind..
Another break after another 20 km.. this time, its Banana chips Break. It was near a garden of lush green plants. As we stopped in those places, we named those places after the items which we had in that place. So, this place is called "Banana Chips Park".
Then we reached the second town (first being kanakpura) called Malavalli. There we just went in the road which seems to be most frequently used and checked bike tyres air.. But finally we realized that, that road actually takes to channapatna, and thereby to Bangalore (back to square one.. ) thanks to Mohan for reading the boards at the crucial place, otherwise we would have never realised that we're goin in wrong route.. And then inquired the local ppl to know that we need to take a left turn just near the Malavalli bus-stand, which is around 2 km before. So, took a u turn, and reached that place where we needed to take the diversion. But there was no signs/boards or any kind of indication that we need to take diversion here for Mysore. The only thing which says that it leads to mysore was the name boards in the local shops showing "Mysore Road". We continued our journey in that road for another 20kms, where we stopped again. this time its was "murukku" break. Prabhu then praised the road as till now the road was really good. So, then after some 5-10 kms, the road turned from good to worst.. to say it clearly, there was no road at all. we were just going at the mud area on the sides of the road. the laying of thar road is actually in progress. we could see the road being layed which is about 30cm high than the normal road.
All three looked at Prabhu. Prabhu didnt have any words to reply. This kind of raod continued for about 5 -6 kms.. but that burnt more energy than the previous all distance combined. Then the road turned from worst to bad (good improvement..) the road is like a big jigsaw puzzle being laid in-front of us. We need to choose pit which is of lesser depth and go thru that. really tough... Thiagarajan will just go straight thru the pits, as his bike was new one. But prabhu will make sure that he doesnt run thru the pits, as he has great experience during his last trip to nandhi hills... the result of that is about 3-5 kms difference between thiagarajan's and prabhu's distance readings.. :) ... But hats-off to Prabhu and Thiagarajan (Great driving guys...). Similarly, we had about 6-7 breaks in between and finally reached Mysore.
Bangalore - Kanakpura - Malavalli - Mysore City: 150-155kms
As we reached Mysore, as per our plans , first place to visit was Chamundi hills. This is about 15kms from the Centre of the City. This is famous for the Temple for Goddess Chamudeeshwari. This is situated at about 3000+ feets from the sea level. From this place, we can have a beautiful arial view of Mysore city. We reached the temple and as a ritual, we*(i think u know why this * here) went to temple for worshiping.. But there we had naming ceremony for Mohan as "Mr. Tharmagartha". Had few snaps of the temple, had breakfast and me and prabhu bought a wooden car (since we cant imagine to get a real car now.....)
The next plan was to go to "Mysore Palace" which situated at the center of the city. So, good ride downhill (without even switching the engine ON), some right's and left's... thus we reached Mysore Palace. (but we didnt ask anyone for the way to reach palace, as there were ample sign boards directing towards it.. kudos to the Mysore Municipality.) . The entry fee is around Rs. 20 per head for indian national adults and the one which really surprised us is that the entry fee for foreign nationals is about Rs 100... (dont know y this partiality...) The most important thing to notice there is that, none is allowed to take photos inside the Palace premises. There was a separate place for keeping our cameras in safe, with a nominal fee of Rs. 5. And they were really strict about that.. i mean VERY STRICT.. wondering y this much stress on this point. caz the guard inside the palace seized my mobile phone for taking photo ( after taking some 10 pics... :( ..)
I had to pay him Rs 100 for getting back my mobile. But the real point here is not the money. Its the way they treat us when we're caught, till u offer him some (but i deserve that for the wrong attitude i had). and the most stupid thing which i did was, i didnt switch-off me mobile phone at that time.. after some 2 mins, when we're climbing to upstairs, i suddenly realized that i didnt switch-off, and took it out, just to switch it off. there was another guard, who saw me taking my mobile out and seized it, after seeing the photos taken. We had to explain him for a very long time that, i already paid for those to another guard at the front. (i really deserve it... ) after long quarrel, he gave my mobile back and from then onwards, i didnt take my mobile out till we left the palace premise. (really scared...)
We had papaya fruit and also sugarcane juice at the parking place of the palace and our next plan is to go to a water body called "Balmuri" which is near KRS (the world famous "Brindavan Gardens") . We asked a local person there for the way to reach Balmuri. He started explaining us each and every landmark on the way to reach there. He almost told about 10-15 landmarks( and Balmuri is about 13kms from Palace). Actually this place is on the route to Bangalore. (perfect planning... ) It was around 1:30pm, but we (except prabhu) were not hungry. So on the way we stopped at this restaurant named "Coastal Gardens". Mohan ordered ChickB, Prabhu a south indian meals (which was too heavy for him, as usual... ) , Me an Egg-Fried Rice (as usual) and Thiagarajan a Chicken Noodles. Wondering y i'm listing our orders... just to say that each of us ordered different varieties, and each food item was very very Tasty, damn tasty... After having very nice lunch (thanks to prabhu again...), we continued our journey towards Balmuri. Thiagarajan n mohan were going ahead of us.. but everytime, they were asking the way for reaching KRS.. Only after reaching KRS, we came to know that we had to return back since we need to take a right about 3km before KRS... (So if you're planning to go to Balmuri, remember an Arch having "Balamuri Kshetra" written on that. You need to take a right there).
We always thought that, Balmuri is a less know place to tourists and hence there wont be much of crowd. But when we reached there, we were forced to think again. Not that much of crowd, as we could find a good place for us to get into water. Water was damn chill (when compared to the temperature under the hot afternoon sun..)
After relaxing a lot there, we started at around 4:30pm to our next Destination, Srirangapatna. As you know, Srirangapatna is a historical town. Tipu Sultan lived and died there. Our plan is to visit Tipu Sultan's Palace. Srirangapatna was about 15kms from Balmuri. Its again on the route to Bangalore. After 20mins travel, we stopped at a board which mentioned "LalMahal - Tipu Sultan Palace". But we couldnt find any building at that place. When we enquired the locals at that place, they said that ' there used to be a palace here, but was completely destroyed". All three again looked at Prabhu. And the interesting thing is that, all the way he was saying he has visited Tipu Sultan's Palace few years ago. i think now u got y we 3 looked at prabhu ;) ... then he remembered that the palace he visited was Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace. So, we started to enquire about that palace and go towards that.
En route, there was a board with the words "Tipu's Death Place". It was just a few meters wide park, where at the center there was a little stone with the inscription "THE BODY OF TIPPU SULTAN WAS FOUND HERE". The gate was locked and so we just took pics from out. Then finally we found the actual palace which we were looking for, "Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace". It was called as "Dariya Daulat Bagh" locally. We reached there exactly at 5pm, but the visiting time for that palace ends 5pm. We didnt get much disappointment caz we didnt have much expectation about that place. But Prabhu told us that, this palace covers very huge area and is very beautiful inside with wonderful gardens. We were satisfied that we could atleast find that place.
Mysore City - 15kms - Chamundi Hills -15kms- Mysore Palace -13kms- Balmuri -15kms- Srirangapatna
Thus we visited all the places we planned to visit. So, we started back to Bangalore at about 5:15 pm from Srirangapatna. We took the Mysore-Bangalore Highway, which is called as the "Road for Prosperity". Superb road that was. We never lowered our speeds less that 70kmph. Hence we could cover great distances between breaks. We had traffics only when we crossed two of the major towns in that road, the The Silk City - Mandya and The Sugarcane City - Ramanagaram.
For the second break, we stopped near a tender coconut shop. for the kind of journey we had, the coconut seemed to be really sweet. The next stop was about 60kms from that "Tender Coconut Cafe", since we were in so desperate situation that we cant continue without a break. At this time, we passed WonderLa and were roughly about 4 kms before the NICE highway. And this 4 kms, really made frustrated us. The traffic was so much that, we had to go only at the speed of 15kmph and has to stop for every few meters.
Just entering NICE highway, we took another break. We were so tired for just this 4kms, than that 60km stretch. Had some biscuits and then started again. As we got relieved from Traffic, we faced another threat - Rain!!!!!!!!. Though we had jackets (except Mohan.. what to do, always there are exceptions...), driving in rain would be dangerous. As we entered the kankpura Road inside the city, its started raining heavily. We were lucky that we stopped at a place, where there was a small Bajji-Bonda shop. We tried all the varieties of snacks that he prepared. It was a lucky day for that shop owner ( but since i was in Diet, i had ONLY little). Once the rain stopped, we started to experience the usual Bangalore Traffic (after 12 hours..). We reached our Oracle Office at Shopper Stop at about 9pm.
Srirangapatna - Mandya - Ramanagaram - Bangalore : 130kms
We covered around 350 kms in 15 hours in bike. (ya.. only in bike... )That to without taking any other rests apart from few in-between breaks. It was really tiring, for the drivers and also the riders. We were so tired that we really thought that we wont get up from bed the next day... (Now u got y this post is dedicated to prabhu and thiagarajan... And its unfair not to mention Mohan. Mohan - i dedicate this to you too...)
Let me finish with a small note on what to carry on going for a Bike Trip:
> one set of clothes (just incase u're goin to get into water or if there's possibility of rain)
> eatables (Water must and some snacks...)
> Eye-Gear (if you're wearing specs, then ok.. else dont forget to take your coolers...)
> Map of the city you're going to visit (if possible, map which covers the entire route..)
> Last but not the least, details of each places you're planning to visit (very gud prior planning is neccessary..)
Always remember the golden rule, you should not dump too much in your bag. you should not feel that your bag heavy.. not even 0.1% ....
Thus our wonderful, amazing Mysore Bike Trip ended.
For more photos, http://picasaweb.google.com/redthil/Mysore_Bike_Trip_20080524