“Friendship day ride – 06-08-2017”

Route: Mangalore -> Udupi -> Manipal -> Hebri -> Hiriadka -> Agumbe -> Varanga -> Karkala-> Moodbidri -> Mangalore

It all began with the initiation taken by Abhianna, without which this ride would not have come into existence, they say when something is done with a good intention everything aligns itself, that is what exactly happened here. Actually, we planned it as a Monsoon ride, nevertheless we didn’t know that August 6th was Friendship day. Destiny had planned a meet on this friendship day and we are indeed lucky we rode on that day whom we are all truly acknowledge as friends, also it was an opportunity to welcome three more riders to the fraternity of brotherhood, Dhinraj, Rohan and Dr Nithin.

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After a quick briefing by Gavrav bhai, we left from Kadri park at 7.00am towards Udupi, rain gods were very humble on us, no rains till we reached Agumbe which was very surprising, however, there was slight drizzling near Uchila, but the weather was very pleasant for riding, traffic was less which made us ride with ease. We decided we will have a pit stop at Hotel Guruprasad at Shivpura near Hebri, we reached 8.45am finished our breakfast at 9.15, in between a surprise was waiting for us, Gavrav bhai bumped into an unknowingly paused and poised Nishanth at the crossroads ahead of Manipal, he without any hesitation agreed to join us for the ride!! Nishanth quickly rode home geared up and joined us at hotel Guruprasad and rode with us until Agumbe and returned back to attend his best friends wedding. we left towards Agumbe, it was a pleasant route, fresh air, cool breeze, a blanket of greenery welcoming on your left and right side, for a moment we forgot everything else and we were all tripping on this beauty.

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As soon as we reached the sunset point a heavy rainfall welcomed us, trust me it was a proper welcome shower, even though we had our jackets and rainwear, it was nothing in front of Agumbe rainfall, and we still got drenched in that cold rain. We decided to stop for a while near the check post, and once the rain subsided we headed our journey towards “Doddamane”

“Doddamane” is an old house few centuries old, this house used to offer food and shelter to the travellers, as of now they don’t encourage doing this as the owner of the house Ms Kasturi is old and not in a condition to cook food for the fellow travellers, we saw the house took rest for few minutes chatting and discussing about the architecture of the house, and after a while we went towards Kundadri.

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Kundadri hill which is famous tourist spot near Guddekeri, it is famous for the view of beautiful sunrise, which we dearly miss as we can only see the sunset from Mangalore and Udupi. On top of the hill from the Eastern side you can see the hills of Chikmagalur and on the west side you can see the Arabian Sea, it is elevated at the height of 826 m (2,710 ft). It was foggy could not see the surrounding, the whole surrounding was looking like a newly wedded bride covering her face with fog. Sometimes when there was heavy wind, as the fog moved further the beautiful landscape and its surrounding was visible for few seconds, we were all having a good time, this beautiful place made everyone’s mind calm and quiet, we all started enjoying the scenery, all got busy sharing jokes and taking selfies. After few minutes heavy rainfall started and we all had to take shelter in a shed nearby. Since it was already noon, we decided to head back towards Agumbe for lunch. After a cautious descent from the hills, we all came to Agumbe and had a delicious lunch at a hotel near the bus stand. There is very less option though, for vegetarians, there is an only one hotel near the bus stand and for non-vegetarians, there is one small shack, the shack also served Alchohol (abstinence from the same is what we believe in and we abstained) a true bikers code of ethics. After the lunch we decided to see Jogi Gundi water falls, which is situated on the way towards Sringeri, to our disappointment, it was closed, and the forest office has decided to close down all the waterfalls which come under the jurisdiction of the western ghat forest area during monsoon. Later we decided to go back and call it a day, we came down to Someshwara, and a sudden plan was made to go towards, Karkala, Moodbidri (Soans farm) and then Mangalore. I decided to head back Manipal and the rest went to a Basadhi and then Soans farm. Everyone enjoyed the Soans farm, I had visited that place a few years back, that’s why I skipped going that place. But the organic fruits and juice you get there are worth tasting.

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It was a great ride, riding with friends after a long time, until we meet next time, Adios Amigos, ride safe, ride hard.

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Contemplation

Well. Let me introduce myself, I am a biker, I am crazy and recklessly in love with my bike and love travelling more than anything in this world. I love off-roading, for it’s a different ballgame, it’s for the sheer excitement, one gets out of it. On an off-road incline, my heart pumps faster than it should and I feel the Adrenaline rush gushing in my circulation. The sheer excitement we get by off-roading is unmatchable, unbeatable and unparalleled.
I love going on solo rides as well as with my band of brothers. By default and oblivious to me I realise on contemplation that I have been biking for almost more than 2 decades now.
But this year after getting into a serious relationship with my bike, it dawned upon me, the sanctity and solemnity of this and a question sprouted in my mind “why?”
Why do I Ride?
Why do We Ride?
Why am I doing this, when I know the danger involved in putting myself in harm’s way, in an arena decked up with Safety gears, harnessing Ancillary protective outfits and yet lurking in our minds is that one lurching moment of our loaded machine encountering a small pebble on the road while negotiating a downhill curve is a deadly thought that crosses our minds and yet we do it, we ride it, we embrace it, we adore it, we respect it, we just outright and I just downright Love it.
The hazards of motorcycling are conjuring our loved one’s with much more profound scenarios than the pebble encounter I portrayed as my peers are not into biking, hence the lack of knowledge superadded with a prolific imagination necessitates every biker to pull a few strings, to hit the right cords of a string while convincing them to let us Ride.
And yet I Ride!
And yet We Ride!
Keeping all this in mind there is an alternative of having hobbies which do not have the element of risk, but the problem is none of those can satisfy me as biking does, this is a serious problem, and the same question why?
Why do I Ride?
Why do We Ride?
This question keeps popping in my mind over and over again, I am on a quest for the answer, and I am in hot pursuit of it. I shall persuade and keep at it. Help my persuasion by your valuable comments and not just commendations.
Your input is of the utmost importance! If you feel while commenting (what everybody feels) that if your words are trivial, yet give it a trial because small things make a huge difference. What’s the use of a huge bath tub without the small plug in It.?
So, “Why do We Ride?”

Chasing the Sunrise from Kundadri Hill

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Good Morning guys 🙂

 

Kundadri is a hill situated near Agumbe, Shimoga district Karnataka. Kundadri hill is famous for itsJain temple of the 23rd Tirthankara, Sri Parshwanatha Theerthankara Basadi. It is 75 km from Udupi. The man behind this temple is a sage called Kunda Kunda Acharya. There is also a lake on the top of this rock, which never dries, no matter what the season is. Recently, last year. The committee members of the temple tried to drain all the water from this lake using a pump set, but even though they tried it for the entire day they couldn’t clear all the water from this pond. This is a true miracle mother nature.

 

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Sri Parshwanatha Theerthankara Basadi

Kundadri is a huge monolithic rock formation and is about 3200 feet above from the sea level, which gives one a beautiful 180-degree view of lush green forest, hills, lake and vegetation surrounding the area. From Udupi, the nearest point is Agumbe, from where it’s approximately 14 kilometres. At Agumbe you need to go towards Thirthahalli and not Sringeri. Once you reach Guddekeri, from there you can ask for direction or continue little further, till you find an arch written Kunda kunda. Once you pass that arch you need to climb the hill by your vehicle or even trek.

 

 

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A view of the beautiful Kundadri Hill

 

I started my ride to Kundadri on an early morning around five AM along with my two rider friends, who decided to join me. We left from Tiger circle Manipal to Agumbe at 5.30am. Took a small tea break at Agumbe and immediately went towards Kundadri as we had a deadline to meet. We wanted to see the sunrise from the top of the hill and didn’t want to miss it. We reached kundadri hilltop at 6.50am right on time to view the sunrise. It was a beautiful view. From that height, it looked like an ocean of fog, sometimes even like an ocean of milk, which is referred in mythology as Ksheera Sagara.

 

 

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Ksheera Sagar (Ocean of Milk)
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Ksheera Sagar (Ocean of Milk)

 

As the sun rose, the golden light showered by the sun changed the entire mood of the scenery, it was looking gorgeous. We stayed there for an hour, chatting and exploring the place. Taking a lot of pictures of the landscape and selfies. At eight am we left that place, returned to Hebri and had a heavy breakfast at Hotel Bhadkilaya and reached Udupi at 10.am

 

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Bhadkilaya Hotel

 

The ride was short and sweet. We covered a total distance 150 kilometres, used 4 litres of petrol, and about 200 rupees for breakfast, but got a lifetime experience.

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The Three Musketeers

Garutmaan and Me – A Year’s Love & Learning

Bull! Beast! Bullet! RE! What not we call our bike. But trust me no matter how poetic our heart cries, at the end of the day it’s just a marvellous machine full of mechanical parts in it. I am not trying to be too realistic or sarcastic, I like those honorifics all too well – I too had christened mine as GARUTMAAN (the most powerful). It’s a name taken from among the twelve holy names of the Garuda. Since my bike is a Thunderbird, I thought this name suits it well.

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My Favourite Cruiser   “GARUTMAAN”

My point is we need to take care of our bike, we all love our bike and it’s like an extension of us. I am sure every biker agrees with me on this.

Here are a few things I would like to share depending on the experiences I had with my bike in the past one year.

  1. Keep your bike clean. Give a wash yourself, when you do so you connect more with your bike, the love and respect grow. It’s always better when you do that once a week. Once in a month take your bike to an authorised service station where they can inspect the vehicle thoroughly, this way your bike remains in good condition. Royal Enfield bikes vibrate a lot, which also depends on the roads we ride. The chances of those minute yet all-important nuts and bolts getting loose are always persistent.
  2. Spending 200 rupees per month for a good wash and check-up is always better than paying thousands of rupees later; the choice is yours.
  3. Before altering the design of your bike (handle bar being the most common among RE enthusiasts), check the bike manual for your model. The manual from the company always is the starting point to know why specific design was intended. Give a good thought before modelling your bike along custom fancies and whims. I myself am not confident with the exhaust remodelling I had done on mine.
  4. Be alert all the time. If you ever find there is some unwanted noise coming from your vehicle, get it checked immediately. Do not go on long rides when the chains are loose or some problems with brakes, this can lead to complications.
  5. When you cross 500 kilometres spray your bike chain with a good quality chain lube. Also, make sure your clutch cables are in good condition. The bike and the biker should be in proper synchronisation all the time. Once your mechanic does the job for you, try on the bike yourself to see whether you are fully satisfied. It’s just like you are tweaking with your music instrument for fine tuning, after the service. Whatever the mechanic has done you, you are the rider and you should be happy that it is tuned to your satisfaction.
  6. While going on a long ride, Boots and Helmets are compulsory. My personal choice is always a full-face helmet, especially on a long ride. There are stylish half-face helmets available in the market, but when we try them with stylish goggles, it looks cool but safety is always better than style. If you can spend more than for a good riding jacket, gloves and a knee pad are always a worthy investment.
  7. Many Royal Enfield service centres arrange workshops to the vehicle owners so that they can be familiar with the nuances of understanding the vehicle better. Attend those, and you will learn a lot there. Knowledge is power. Join a good WhatsApp group where there are many experienced riders. Always ask doubts and be open to learning.
  8. Leave your bike for service on time. This is one thing we should never neglect if we truly love our bike. It’s not a fantasy when someone refers to his bike as his girlfriend, it’s just a metaphor used to let you know that your bike also needs your undivided attention, care, and utmost love. Treat thy bike the way thou would treat thy girlfriend.
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Workshop at Royal Enfield Veenu Motors , Mangalore. Photo Courtesy –Kishan Iklikk

All the best, keep riding and be free.

How to Ride to Horanadu on a Shoestring Budget

On an early chilly morning of December 28th, 2016, at around 5.30 AM, I started my Journey towards Horanadu, (Kannada: ಹೊರನಾಡು) located in Chickmagalur district, Karnataka, India. The deity at the Annapoorneshwari Temple at Hornadu is Annapoorneshwari (Hindu goddess of nourishment. She is an avatar (incarnation) of Parvati, the wife of Shiva).

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The main deity was put in place by Adi Shankaracharya; the new statue of goddess Annapoorneshwari was consecrated in the temple in 1973.

For more information about this temple, please go to their website below.

http://srikshetrahoranadu.com/

The Route:  Udupi – Karkala – Kudremuka – Samse – Kalasha – Horanadu – Total Distance120 Kilometres – Approximate time 2 Hours 46 Minutes. 

After having a good breakfast at Sagar Hotel at Karkala, I resumed my journey towards Kudremukh at 7 AM. After reaching the Kudremukha check post and took the gate pass from the forest guard, I continued on the road stretch which is wonderfully canopied by the lush green forest growth. It was too cold for me, even though I was wearing a Rynox Jacket with winter liner. The roads are really good with lots of curves, a rider’s paradise. I was waiting to see some sun rays so that I could stop at a beautiful place and shoot some nice pictures of Kudremukha along with my bike. My first encounter with the most beautiful early morning light was seven kilometres away from the check post where one more road leads towards Sringeri. The weather was slightly getting warmer which was a great relief.

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After spending some time over there I moved on further. These roads are every biker dream come true- imagine a clean road on the left and right being covered with lush green forest, cool weather, foggy environs- what else you can ask for, Its perfect. The scenery is mind-blowing- it seemed like the nature has selected to carpet the entire earth with green.

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The next stop was the location where one can experience the beautiful panoramic view of the Kudremukha hills range. Usually, every traveller stops there to see this and trust me it’s a breath taking view. One must go there to experience what I am saying. I spent more time there than required; my feet couldn’t move an inch, as in that heavenly ambience only grows on you – it seems like we’ll ever be satisfied going away from that natural screensaver that changes hues every half an hour.

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After sitting there for a while I went further towards the one and only longest straight road of Kudremukh, This is a bit of the route that every biker turns a toddler, desiring to check their bikes’ maximum speed-handling capacity on this stretch. It is like your bike feels it has found new wings on its own. The leap of joy, the adrenaline rush that every biker feels is to be experienced in person only. Even I tried to vroom with my bike here, but I could only stay till 90kmph max; I have heard that RE TB 350 can go up to 120kmph. Later when I came back from the trip I got the bike checked at the service centre with the mechanic telling the bolt on the back tyre was slightly loose, and this was the reason why my bike could not handle more than 90kmph. Every time before going on a long ride my first priority would be to check my bike with my mechanic. But this time I skipped because my bike was sent to free check-up camp two weeks back. I would not advise anyone to skip this as it is very important to have well-checked machines before road trips. Please don’t be over confident about your bike, keep this as your first priority.

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My next destination was kudremukh check post, at the other end of the Kudremukh range, where I had to submit the pass. But before that, I had to stop at one more place and how could I miss that.

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Once you cross that lengthy bridge at the end of kudremukh nearby is a Hanging bridge, may be one kilometre from the junction leading to another road towards Samse. This is situated in a beautiful setting. The best part of these bridges is it is always built at a wonderful location and the view was spectacular, to say the least.

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Next stop was Samse. Samse comes under Chikkamagaluru District in the Taluka of Mudigere. Samse is famous for a beautiful tea estate on the way towards Kalasha. I stopped there too for a while, took some snaps and moved towards Kalasha.

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After Kalasha it is finally Horanadu. The distance between Kalasha and Horanadu is 8 kilometres. People in this region strongly believe that if you visit Horanadu temple then it is a must that you also visit Kalasheshwara temple without fail- otherwise, your trip to Horandu is incomplete. I decided to visit Horanadu first and so did not stop there.

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I reached Horanadu at around 10.20AM and booked a room to freshen up at Bhakti Niwas, it cost me only 130 rupees with a 20 rupees refundable deposit. The only problem is here you won’t find mobile charging station and hot water to bathe. I felt it is fair enough for that price. I took rest for twenty minutes before a quick bath with the freezing water and I was raring to go again. That freezing water charged me 100%. After that I visited temple; had a good darshan of the Mother Annapoorneshwari. Anna Prasada (Holy Food offering by the Temple to the devotees) is served at 12.30pm. The main Prasad here is the Anna Prasada, and it is advised that anybody who takes darshan of the Divine Mother, had to partake this Anna Prasada before leaving. The contentment, tranquillity and the spiritual peace that I experienced in the temple didn’t leave me even after I’ve reached Kalasha.

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Kalasha is famous for Kalasheshwaraswami temple, a Shiva temple also known as Dakshina Kashi. The interesting history of the temple can be seen painted on the walls and the priests are always willing to narrate that for eager visitors. Lunch Prasada is served to the devotees in this temple too. After the darshan of Kalasheshwara, I rested a while and started my journey back home, via the same route, without much of the pit stops. I reached home at around 6 pm in the evening.

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It was a beautiful trip, and I felt rejuvenated. The total expenses for this trip were eight hundred and twenty, 600 rupees for petrol and 100 rupees for breakfast and a hundred and twenty for lodging.

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What an amazing ride!

A biker’s enchanting experience: Malenadu.

For a very long time I had an urge to visit Sringeri Sharadha peetam, Sringeri, also known as Shringeri It is a hill town and taluka headquarters located in Chikkamagaluru district in the state of Karnataka, It is the site of the first maṭha (Sringeri Sharada Peeta) established by Adi Shankara.

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Vidyashankara temple, Sringeri

According to legend, Adi Shankaracharya is said to have selected the site as the place to stay and teach his disciples, because when he was walking by the Tunga River, he saw a cobra with a raised hood, providing shelter from the hot sun to a frog about to spawn. Impressed with the place where natural enemies had gone beyond their instincts, he stayed here for twelve years. Adi Shankaracharya also established mathas in the northern (at Jyotirmath, near Badrinath), eastern (at Puri) and western (at Dwaraka) quarters of India.
Sringeri Sharadha peetam is one of my favourite temples, usually, I take the easy route towards Agumbe and then Sringeri, but since Agumbe Ghat was getting repaired I had to take a different route via Karkala.

 

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Newly constructed Gopura at Sringeri

On 02-12-2016 started my journey at around 5.15 Am via Karkala, Bajagoli, Kerekatte and Finally Sringeri, total Distance from Udupi to Sringeri is 101 kilometres. It was dark until I reached Karkala, once I reached the kudremukh check post it was bright and the weather was very pleasant, after kudremukh check post you need to travel exactly 12 kilometres and take left, the road is curvy, due to the forest area it was very cold, since I was wearing my winter liner and a leather gloves it made my ride a pleasant one. The beautiful and the vast landscape caught my attention on the way, the sunlight passing through the lush green trees and the light beams emitting from those trees makes worth waking up so early, and I also stopped near a paddy field and a Hanging bridge which I felt should not be missed by bikers at all.

 

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Hanging bridge at dawn

Reached Sringeri at 8.00Am finished darshan and Pooja by 9.00Am had a good breakfast at a hotel nearby, there are a lot of good hotels in front of the Gopura, you can try out according to your budget and taste. Also, there is a Petrol bunk in the same road in case you want to fill petrol.

 

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Kavi mane (Poets House) Restored house of Kuvempu

At 10 am I started my journey towards Kuppalli via koppa route. Reached Kavi mane (Poets House) at 10.30Am Kuppali (Kannada: ಕುಪ್ಪಳಿ), also known as Kuppalli (ಕುಪ್ಪಳ್ಳಿ), is a small village in Thirthahalli taluk of Shimoga district in the state of Karnataka in India. It is famous for being the birthplace and childhood home of the renowned Kannada playwright and poet Kuvempu. Indeed, this pen name Kuvempu (Kannada: ಕುವೆಂಪು) pays homage to the author’s home, created as it is from the first letters of his full name “Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa” (Venkatappa being his father’s name). Kuppali is also the birthplace of Poornachandra Tejaswi, the son of Kuvempu and a famous Kannada writer himself. It is also the place where Kuvempu and Poornachandra Tejaswi have been cremated. The childhood home of Kuvempu at Kuppali has been converted into a museum by Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishtana (a trust dedicated to Kuvempu). I spent only a few minutes over there as I had been to that place several times before, from there I headed left towards Thirthahalli, and reached Thirthahalli around 11.00Am. Total distance covered was almost 51 Kilometres. Thirthahalli (Kannada:ತೀರ್ಥಹಳ್ಳಿ) is a panchayat town located in the Shimoga District of the state of Karnataka, India. It lies on the bank of the river Tunga and is also the headquarters of the Thirthahalli Taluk of Shimoga district.

 

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Kuphalli, Thirthahalli

There are some beautiful places to visit at Thirthahalli like Tunga Bridge, Ambuthirtha, Anandagiri and Siddeshwara Gudda, Chibbalagudde, Mrughavade, Madaga, Kundadri, Kavaledurga and also Rameshwara Temple or if you come to the Taxi stand near National Supermarket there is a big hoarding which will guide us to various tourist spots in and around the town.

 

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A view of Thunga Bridge from Rama Konda

After a good time spent at Thirthahalli my journey began towards Udupi Via Mullubagilu, Hulikall, Hosaangadi, Sidhapura, Kandlur, Basrur, Koteshwar, Kota, Brahmavara, Kallianpura and finally to my Home in Udupi – I covered a Total distance 122 Kilometres. This route has a lot of curves as it takes you through the forest area, you will have to go via Hulikall ghat which is really nice compared to Agumbe ghat. There is one river we find near Hulikall which is very beautiful and it’s known as Hulikall Bridge, It is a serene and calm place, especially during early mornings for a pit stop. Throughout my journey, roads were good, with some potholes here and there but 70% of the roads are good.

 

 

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Hulikal Ghat