25 June 2007

A Week that………wasn’t

Prashanth and I were planning all thru last week for a Saturday ride to some place. There were arguments, discussions, debates, confusions on what place to choose for a day’s ride, and also over the itinerary.

Finally it was decided that we ride to MagaDi and from there to Huliyur Durga and back in Bangalore by evening…. As and when we were getting ready for the Sun-ride to these places, there came a phone call from Dwarka, which pushed us back to square one again. He had queried about our interests in joining him for a ride to Ooty. We were in two minds, whether to continue as we planned or to join him in this latest extravaganza, which had a longer ride, for which we were not prepared.

I ruled out a two day ride since I had to be home on Sunday to accompany my cousins who were coming from Mysore over the weekend. Prashanth also had similar plans for Sunday.

I suggested Prashanth that we join them in their ride, but up to Gundlupet, from where we visit Gopalaswami betta and de-ride to be in Bangalore by evening, which seemed to have convinced him as well. We put forth the same plan before Dwarka, by which time some of his friends had opted out of Ooty plans. So, he instantly agreed to our plans, and it was all set that we four be riding to Gopalaswami betta alone, fourth rider being Murali.

5 AM we assembled at Mysore Road – Ring Road junction in Bangalore. Murali took some time in reaching there. So, finally, at 5:30 we started our bikes.

Me on my pulsar150, Prashanth on his pulsar150, Dwarka on his Yamaha RD350 and Murali on his shogun, were now ready for this extravaganza. It was agreed up on that ring road junction at Mysore would be our first stop, and we hit the road.

As the early morning breeze swept past us, we dissected the same. The Bangalore Mysore high way is one of the best in the country. Being aware of this fact, we were breezing away along it. The road offered us nice memorabilia. Rocky hills on one side, shrubby grooves on the opposite side, beautifully laid road in front of us, smooth was the ride. We could feel the gush of the wind, occasional sight of a truck or a traveler’s vehicle along the journey. Most of the times, it was me and only me in the vicinity. We were getting hooked to our bikes and pushed it hard to match the wind…

Ride offered us everything we sought after. Soft rays of Sun started pricking my eyes, at Chennapattana. My helmet was without a visor, which gave in to the lash of rains after a hard battle with it, last time. So, I could feel the prick. Flowers on the plants that were grown on the divider of the road made a great panorama there. A paced vehicle, a serene atmosphere around, with a rising Sun, had in it the magic of a passionate first kiss.

We had a smooth uninterrupted ride till Mysore. It was time for us to take a break and assemble to hatch out further plans. I reached first, in no time came Dwarka followed by Murali. Prashanth came next, in a minute. We assembled and took a break. Watch showed that it were 55 minutes past 6 then. We had taken 85 minutes exactly to cover 141KMs between Bangalore and Mysore.

Four minutes later, we started. When we started at Bangalore, we had thought of a Mysore breakfast. But, since it was too early for it, we pushed it to Nanjanagud.

In another 25 minutes, we were at Nanjanagud. Searched for a hotel and braked for Tiffin. Had enough food that would enable us another few hours, till we come back from betta. Life was slowly waking up in this part of the world at this hour.

It was 8AM. We put the riding gears on and started the road hunt again. We had to cover 36KMs to reach Gundlupet, from where Gopalaswami betta is 15KMs away.

Passing thru the paddy and sugar cane fields, over the bridges on rivers, breezing past the huge trees, barren lands, small mountains, the grazing cattle, rushing school children, stunning landscapes, It was a meaningful morning.

They say a passion awakens one’s inner senses, and it does, in real.

Few KMs past Gundlupet, an arch welcomed us, and directed us to take a right turn to reach the betta. It was also mentioned there that betta was 10KMs away. We took a turn to get ourselves treated with an amazing view of a hill that was half covered with mist. It took us no time in guessing that it was our destination.

A sense of pleasure, pride and amusement was on the offer as we were getting closer to our hunt. We stopped for a quick photo session with this amazing backdrop.

We stopped at the check post before entering the hills. A forest guard wrote down our bike registration numbers in a book, charged us a fee to enter and allowed us get in. It was another 5KMs of up-hill ride that was left. The guard asked us to drop a fellow, who was waiting there, at the temple. He became my pillion for the last part of the journey.

As the rest of us crept past on the bumpy road with good speed, I struggled initially balancing the bike, which carried two people now.

I noticed excreta of elephants on the road. Amazed, I asked my pillion to explain it. He went on telling me that there were innumerable elephants in that area. He looked down the valley, and declared the sighting of a few elephants in it. Sadly, I could not sight any in the valley. He stated that he was able to see a crowd of elephants, some small and some big!! I was confused, and thought that continuous ride had blinded me off farther things. At the second thought I told myself that this fellow was all lies to impress me!

I concentrated further in the valley, couldn’t locate even a single elephant. But then, one push of mud was observed. Keenly I saw, and then there was an elephant that was playing with mud there. My friend was right; there were elephants all across the valley!! I could see all of them, in all the directions. In the creep, next to a rock, pushing off a tree, every here and there I could see elephants, some huge, some young!!

My happiness had no bounds. I suddenly remembered sighting a couple of sambhar animals in the Kuduremukha in May. Now, I had another animal to add to my list of seeing it in its natural habitat, this time from a view point, of course. In Kuduremukha, the deer had dissected my way, they saw me too, and were gazing at me for a moment before understanding the seriousness of the moment!! Fortunate me, the deer was sighted at some tens of feet from me.

Beaming with happiness, I started the trek on my bike again. In another five minutes, we reached the top. I could barely visualize the scene. It was all foggy, filled with mist. Wind with high speed was blowing the things away there. Trees dangling in accordance with the wind, dancing to its tunes were visible all around. Parking the bike, I searched for my friends. They were taking shelter in an old structure, shielding themselves from the crazy winds.

A view of Gopalaswamy betta at 10AM.

With this brilliant atmosphere in the offing, we felt that all our efforts of reaching there were really worth them, and meaningful too. It was like we were getting a feel of the mist, moisture, rains, cloud….all at once.

There was no bound to our blissful feeling. It was a marvelous feeling. After a brief rest, we took a walk along the blowing wind on the mountain. It was as if we were walking on cloud 9!!

We took a round around the temple, and found a place to sit and freshen ourselves. The moving clouds below us took away all our strenuous existence at that moment. A divine feeling was energizing us all. We were happy that we made it all the way, to experience it. What we get out of a passionate drive to such a lovely place is unexplainable.

The valley after the clouds are cleared, at noon.

We had to wait patiently for our turn in the temple, as it was crowded. Temple of Sree Gopalaswami is a treat to the eyes. Cool atmosphere gives it a brilliant spiritual feel. Idol of the deity is a superb architectural splendor. Krishna with flute in the play is surrounded by the Gopikas. They say that the idol is always covered by snow. The priest touches the head of the idol and draws a bit of snow to be sprinkled on every devotee. It is another wonderful art, by nature itself. No one can explain how this dip in temperature happens, inside the sanctum sanctorum. This gives the name “Himavad Gopalaswami temple”. It is a wonderful treat to one’s senses. A detailed pooja was performed by the priest. Our entire wait and the time spent in side the temple was worth it, million times.

By Noon we thought it was wise to head back to Bangalore. We filled the petrol at Gundlupet, and rode non-stop till Mysore. At 2PM, we stopped for food at Dasaprakash hotel. Had satisfying lunch, discussing about the journey and the experience.

3 PM Started towards Bangalore. Prashanth took a deviation from Maddur to Kunigal, and we three rode past it to reach Bangalore.

4:40 PM I reached home, and so did the others around the same time.

A small ride was in the initial plan, but it turned out to be a total of 440KMs of ride with enthralling effect.

As I entered home, my mother literally touched me to see if she was not dreaming!! It was such a superb ride that would go down in my memory lane, to be saved for relishing further thru the life’s journey.

Note : Last week, I was on vacation..so, the week that didn’t start for me…hence…it was A week…that wasn’t. Now, I'm back.


Arni. Vani said...

Amazing.....I went on a virtual trip right now......May you visit several such places often and keep us readers enthralled.........keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Good to know you enjoyed..


ರಾಜೇಶ್ ನಾಯ್ಕ said...

that was some ride! 140kms under 90 mnts! awesome. For me it would take double the time!

Prashanth M said...

That was a super ride... and nice narration...

my version of the ride to be up soon on payaniga...

Priya said...

141 kms in 85 mins...cool, we visited Gopalsamy Betta a couple of weeks back on the way back from Bandipur. Really amazing place. Lush green mountain and cold breeze is somthing i cannot forget...

mouna said...

that was some ride!! i haven't those places except for nanjungud.. should visit them.

Priya said...

we reached gopalsamy betta at around 1 PM so we were not able to enjoy the misty climate that is there in your video... very nice...

M O H A N said...

I enjoyed your narration and as vani says - took a virtual trip and lived into it. Thanks a bunch.


Prasanna L.M said...

hi srikant, nice flow of thoughts..keep it up.. Thanks for dropping ur comments in my blog again.. and one more thing, i have created new section in my blog called as 'Blogger Friends' and i'have added ur blog to that list.. I hope u accept my request for friendship..

Srik said...

Thanks for the wonderful wish. And I wish I make it(traveling) my profession some day!!

Dwarka was leading the way, so it wasnt tough!

With an awesome road inviting, you can also do it.... I bet on it.

Waiting to read that :-)

Yes, its an amazing place. You must spend some time there to experience the misty as well as the clear sky. Reaching there by 10AM and spending till it is afternoon would make a great trip.

Its a fantastic place, you will enjoy it.

M O H A N,
Hmmmmmm...that was some day. Documenting it makes me treasure it forever!
Thanks for your words.

Honoured...and Thanks!! Hope this new bond remains as long.

Vijay said...

Man.. you guys must have been clipping... thats good timing to get to Mysore

neela said...

Great travelogue..
Thanks for giving all details about the right timings..Hope to see it some day..

December Stud said...

Awesome dude !!! It was so nostalgic for me. You should go there and spend a night once ;)

Reading your blog was almost as good as me going there....

We should travel sometime when I come to India. Oh well, but I don't have a 2 wheeler in India anymore....

Srik said...

If we clip, it would double the time ;)

Call me when u r going there :-)

No issues, two wheeler, four wheeler, eight wheeler or no wheeler.... anything is fine. Soooo, when are we making the trip? ;)

bachodi said...

Lucky guys .. you are leading "your" life ..
Saar, why dont you try harley davidson sometime and go for a bike trip... I heard its God's vehicle for long trip

Srik said...

I'd love to, but will i ever be able to? a poor creature as me can just dream of it, I think!!

Lakshmi said...

Last sunday we visisted GS betta. It was lovely experience. We could spend only two hours. Wish to re-visit this place again!

On our way we could spot herds of buffaloes, cows & sheep. My kids (born n brought up in Bangalore) enjoyed the sight :-) My son (6 yr old) could identify 'Spiderman' cloud on GS betta!!!