TeRoR 2012 - The Ride of the Rebirth
Mangalore -> Charmadi Ghaats -> Kottigehara -> Kalasa -> Horanadu -> Kalasa -> Sumsay -> Kuduremukha -> Karkala -> Moodabidri -> Mangalore.
Total Distance Traveled - Approximately 300 kms
Number of Bikers Participated - 3 (2 Bikes, + 1 Pillion)
Pictures at the end of the Page.
16th March 2012, Friday, 18:00
“We will meet up at 6:00 Am sharp at Mangala Stadium"; I tell Deepak and Vengatesh, my ride buddies for the trip. They nod like always.
The Gods must have been having a good laugh when I said that.
17th March 2012, Saturday - Ride Day
"Is it 5'O Clock yet??" i thickly ask when Deepak calls to ask what im upto and how come im late. Somehow my alarm clock decided i needed more sleep. "Il be at your place, ASAP. Will call you when ready. Please call and tell Vengatesh about the delay". I tell Deepak. Vengatesh, later confirmed that he got up at 6 o clock too, since he knew that we would all be late anyhow. :) .
An express bath, fast prayers and super fast breakfast (prepared by my dear mother so early in the morning), and I am ready to roll from home. I start via Sri Venkataramana Temple, Car Street - Stopping briefly and praying for a safe and enjoyable trip. Next, I call Deepak; pick him at his place and land at Mangala Stadium. Vengatesh joins the party at 06:45 and we take the first of the many photos for the day. We head towards the Petrol Pump at ladyhill, fill up the decided amount of fuel and check tire pressures.
07:00 - 08:30
Officially started the Ride at 07:00. A delay of 1 hour is okay, I guess. :-) . Deepak settles down as the pillion aboard The Chill Pill. A quick ten minutes later we are cruising on the NH 48 towards BC Road. It was a slow start; we were just warming up our machines for a long day's ride. For the first few kilometers we were just cruising at 60kmph - 70 kmph. Once we reached the mirror smooth 4 lanes at Adyar, it was as if lions cooped up in the cages were let free. I can only imagine what Vengy's Karizma's Speedo must have looked like. He claims a top speed of 140. :-). The Chill Pill had us cruising at a sweet 100kmph with pillion, both upright. A mighty task considering a total weight of approximately 300 kilos hurling on the highway against the elements of nature. Awesome I tell you. :-) . After a couple of minutes, we caught up with Vengy. The expression was totally worth it. I was reminded of the phrase "grinning from ear to ear". Totally apt reference to Vengy's expression at that time. :) . We went on up till Bantwal Cross road (BC Road) where we took a diversion towards Charmadi Ghats via Bantwal. These roads were just the beginning of the treat awaiting us at Charmadi. Most of these roads at times are ruled by KSRTC buses defying rules of physics, negotiating corners as if they were F1 Cars. We let them all pass, setting our own pace, getting used to riding as a group and exchanging feedbacks to make the group ride more comfortable. 75 clicks into the ride found us at Ujire, which was to be our butt-break coinciding with Breakfast. We reached there at about 08:30. Idli, Puri-Bhaaji, Vada and coffee satisfied our stomachs and our butts got a reasonable amount of rest from continuous riding
09:05 - 10:40
We start towards the Charmadi Ghats. I have to say, I have been on the Charmadi Ghats before, but never on two wheels. The last time I went by them on a bus and needless to say, my companions and I were lost in bouts of nausea. In my opinion, the best way to enjoy the beauty of Charmadi is by Motorcycles. We rode absorbing the beauty of it all, as we went on. Riding on the corners here was truly pleasurable. The Landscape is amazing with all shades of green, multi-faceted rock formations, flowers in bloom, butter flies in swarms; we saw it all. We stopped for a few photographs here and also to mark the first 100 kilometers of the ride. Riding on, we reached Kottigehara at about 10:40 where we stopped for a few minutes at a Petrol Bunk there. The Attendant there was a friendly youth who fed us with information about recent rain, upcoming town, ATMs, fuel stations, etc. After a brief rest, we bid him Goodbye and head towards Kalasa.
11:00 - 12:45.
We are riding towards Kalasa. Deepak has decided to park himself on the rear seat of Vengy's Karizma now. The Roads here were a mix of Okay-ish roads and potholed roads. The Scenery however, is highly rewarding. Its a continuous battle with your mind, refraining from stopping at every spot and getting your fill of photographs. We give in to a few such stops. During one such brief photo-stop, when we are lost in the heat of being a shutter bug ;), we observe another biker group riding by. It was only 2 bikers, Black Pulsars, Black Jackets, Black LS2 helmets, Black saddle bags, imagine the Awesomeness. In the few seconds that they took to pass us, even a amateur biker like me could notice the riding discipline they had among themselves. I wave to them as they pass by, an they aptly return the gesture. Respecting fellow Bikers and getting the Respect back is a neat feeling, I tell You. We rode on for some more time and stopped for Tea at a shop which served fresh tea from its own estate. We got tea and Parle – G biscuits and relaxed there for about 20 minutes. We ride on, to notice that the elements of Nature did not like having a road there. Evidences of Previous roads are still visible in the form of the stones that are part of the Roads foundation. However, the beauty of the area is un-explainable; words fail to give it the due credit. At one point, Vengy and Deepak are going on, and i am the sweeper(person riding last in a group ride). I notice an entire side of a hill covered by plants with White flowers that smell divine even to my cold infected senses. Vengy and Deepak, in depths of conversation have somehow missed the sight. I horn furiously, a signal that we had decided to be a request for a Stop. But somehow it is lost on the leading duo. I stop myself to get a picture and take in all of the awesome sight that i am blessed with. These plants i later found out were Coffee plants. Vengy and Deepak have meanwhile noticed the missing sweeper and have turned back to find where im at. They catch up just as i am boarding The Chill Pill to head onwards. Vengy apparently was worried that something bad had befallen me. Thanking them for their concern, I point out in the direction of my delay. They too are lost in bouts of photography and we head off a good five minutes later. At another such scenic Photo stop, a guy on a brand new Discover 135 stops along with us. It only takes a smile and greeting for him to open up like a fountain of words. He introduced himself as Kiran(Thank you Deepak for reminding me. :) and was a marketing professional for a Mangalore based Chemical Company which specializes in pesticides; He needs to meet up with farmers in the area to convince them to use his company's products. The lively conversation goes on for a few minutes and we depart after wishing each other well. We reach Kalasa at 12:45 and go in search of the ATM. Surprisingly, we find a Canara Bank ATM. :) , Replenish our cash supplies, and then sit on the steps leading to the ATM, chilling and making fun of each other. To repeat Deepak’s words, “people were looking at us as if we were aliens.” :-) since we were wearing jackets and helmets. Apparently Helmets are not compulsory @ Kalasa.
12:55 - 13:15
Off we started towards Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple from Kalasa. The roads here were basically a mixture of potholed roads and even more potholed roads. Nevertheless we rode on. It suddenly got cooler and cloudy and we were expecting the rain gods to shower blessings on us. However, we were destined to reach the temple dry. We reached the Horanadu temple at 13:15, parked the vehicle, I took the Tank bag off the Chill Pill and loaded it into my bag along with my other safety gear. I was reminded of having seen a scene in the movies where people used to take the seat and their stuff off of the Horse to give it the rest it deserves as well as feed it with grass and water. :) . Well, my steed deserved all the rest she could get for the next hour.
13:15 - 14:15 - At the Horanadu Temple
Horanadu is surrounded on all sides (except the entrance) by hills full of Vegetation and simple wildlife. An exceptionally calm atmosphere is what you will find here no matter when you choose to visit. We left our shoes, bags, helmets, etc at the baggage and Shoe counter service offered by the Temple management for free where our valuables were courteously taken and stored in an organized fashion. We walked up the majestic staircase through the huge and absolutely awesome Kamaana(Archway) to enter the Temple Gallery, where we were in for a surprise. We met a few of our colleagues, Naresh, Vivek, Kirthan an Soumya along with Kirthan's Family too had come for Goddess Annapoorneshwari's Darshan. Since we were requested to go in and get the goddess's darshan by 13:30, we said hurried greetings to our colleagues and entered the Temple. The feeling of Faith hits you the moment you walk into the Annapoorneshwari Temple. Majestic and adorned with Gold, the Goddess sat witnessing all her devotees prayers. Blessing them, re-assuring them. We completed our prayers and admiration of the temple's beauty and sat for a while to enjoy the enigmatic ambiance. After a couple of minutes we exited the main building of the temple and made our way to the hall where Prasada in the form of Meals were served to all devotees. Over the course of the next 15 minutes we had an excellent and neat organized lunch consisting of Rice with Sambar/Rasam/Buttermilk, Chitranna(Lemon rice) and yummy Payasa(dessert) made of rice flakes and Jaggery which is the special offering at this temple. Agreeing that we had a way too heavy lunch, we came out and sat on the Temple gallery, observing the beauty and serenity of Horanadu, with our Stomachs full and hearing to the distant voices of Kuduremukha calling out to us in her sweet voice. :P .
14:15-15:25 - Horanadu to Sumsay
Okay, We were really enticed listening to her voice, and I for one could not wait to get back on the saddle and rush to Kuduremukha, However, we need to enjoy the route as well, for we go from here to Kuduremukha via Sumsay, where the tea estates and Ganesha temple are a very rewarding and rejuvenating sight. Off we go get our luggage and helmets from the luggage room, relieve ourselves at the restrooms maintained neatly by the temple management and back on the saddle at about 14:25 after eating cherry (Sweet-juicy-coffee bean like fruit) from a store at Horanadu. With the rain god again flirting with the Climate, we were in two-minds about our riding weather. It would be awesome if it rained. :) . However, if it did rain, we would be wet and most likely down with solid cold to add to the cocktail of tiredness. The heavy lunch had taken its toll on us and we stopeed for some relaxation sooner than we had originally planned, We stopped by a river bank about 2-3 kilometers from Horanadu. Damp river bank, cloudy climate and a full stomach make for a very lazy combination i tell you. Lazing around, clicking pictures of anything remotely interesting, we passed our time uptil 15:00. Before riding on, we had a can of Red Bull, divided by three - pass it to the left - kind of a session. And then onwards to Sumsay. On the way, after we passed kalasa and were en route to Sumsay, it started drizzling. fearing that it would turn out into a full blown famed Western Ghaats rain, we stopped at a shop, where the shopkeeper quite nicely shared info with us that it was just the clouds passing by and it would not rain heavily. Taking his word for it, we set off again. We reached Sumsay at about 15:25. Thankfully dry and high on the scenary. :)
15:25 - 15:50 - At Sumsay
I have always liked going to Sumsay. The serene surroundings have always given me a feeling of being at home. I came here for the first time way back in January of 2010, which is the height of winter at the Western ghaats. Foggy Surroundings, freezing water, piping hot tea had with my family at the Akshaya tea stall at Sumsay, is the fond image that stays and will stay in my mind whenever i hear about Sumsay. Recently a Ganesha Temple was installed in the middle of the tea estate. No photos do justice to Sumsay and you need to be there to experiece her beauty.(Preferably November - February). A quick visit to the temple,(closed in the afternoon :( ) and a visit to the stall later, we are back on the road to at a place about 2 kilometers towards Kuduremukha. On the way here we stopped for some awesome pictures . Here, there is a hanging bridge constructed by the Kuduremukha Iron Ore Company for the local people's benefit. The view from atop this bridge would give one an Amazome (Amazing + Awesome - Coined by a Biker Buddy - @Sanu Pillai) view of the river flowing below in all its glory surrounded by forest on all sides of the water. :-) . This place is especially Awesome during rainy season when torrents of water are gushing 50 feet below you and the bridge shakes at your every step. :P. Awesome & Adventurous is an understatement for the moment. After getting some pictures, we start towards Kuduremukha in the earnest.
15:50 - 16:45 - At KUDUREMUKHA
Kuduremukha. The mere mention of this name and you can find a wide grin plastered on face. Every picture ever taken of Kuduremukha together cannot give one the raw pleasure that is available for the taking.
A small Introduction of Kuduremukha is justified in this travelogue -
Kuduremukha as a town came into being after the KIOCL(Kuduremukha Iron Ore Company Limited) set up its extraction plant in the area. Iron Ore found at Kuduremukha(Hematite - Fe2O3) is some of the richest and purest form of Iron Ore available in India. For more than 20 years, the company has been extracting and processing the ore and transporting it to Mangalore where Iron is extracted from the cleaned ore by using the Blast Furnace. For all the years that the company has been doing business at Kuduremukha, a township has come into existence which includes temples, schools, parks, housing facilities and markets. Simply said, The township prospered into a dedicated town. However, Kuduremukha is a Forest Reserve area housing some of the most precious and endangered species, plant as well as Animal. Protests by Environmentalists and Government Organizations alike caused a court order to be filed which ended up with the Supreme court ruling that the company would cease their Extraction operations from December 2005. That is when things started dulling down for Kuduremukha as a town. Employees started leaving for cities, thus causing the population to dwindle which in turn reduced the business opportunities for small scale businessmen in turn causing some more of the population to leave. Currently the number of people in this area have come down to close to 500 people.
Back to the travelogue -
We reached Kuduremukha which my ride mates dubbed unceremoniously as a Ghost Town. :-( . Deepak talking about some game he had played back in the day about a ghost city with a nuke in it or something. Vengatesh was just too tired to be part of the topic i guess and preferred listening to us blabber. We made a mistake here of thinking we had very little time to spend in
Please comment on what you think about the trip/writeup/improvements. Thank you for visiting. :-)