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Old 16th February 2006, 13:55   #1
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Default Biking Adventure: Mangala conquered

Hi Friends
I am a new member in this forum. Here is what I wrote after my trip to Mangalore in Jan, 2006.

Bangalore – Hassan – Mangalore – Hassan - Sravanabelagola – Hirisave - Bangalore

Members – Me and Paramita(my wife) on Calibre115, Nikhil and Shikha on Pulsar180DTSi

I sit down writing this writeup with a great sense of pride and satisfaction. Ya! Why not!! This is the second National Highway (NH) that I completely explored in my bike. The first one being NH66 (Krishnagiri – Pondicherry, 242kms) and now NH48 (Neelamangala – Mangalore, 325kms). Wow !! that was thrilling. It was also amazing to see the two ladies respond very positively to such a tiring biking adventure. Infact they too enjoyed every moment in spite of all fatigue there was no loss of enthu.

Well to start with, a trip was already planned long back with Nikhil, Shikha and Pachhu as we knew this would a very long weekend. Our initial plans were for Coorg but unfortunately I was too late to book hotels there (even a week advance was not enough). Anyways finally we decided to do a 2-day trip to Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelagola. Pachhu backed out as the last moment for some unforeseen reasons. At least, this time we can touch NH48 that was longtime pending.

27th Jan, 2006 (Trip meter: 0): Alarm rings at 5AM. We get up; take bath and pack up the regular stuffs as we do in our other bike trips. Set the trip meter to zero. As planned Nikhil and Shikha come down to my house at 6:15AM and we start for another adventurous journey with lots of enthu as this would be the first time we would be riding through a new route altogether.

Within no time we reach Tumkur road (NH4), zoomed past city traffic that was less in the early morning. We were in Neelamangala junction within 40 minutes from where we take left, which is the start of NH48 to Mangalore. Road was OK but still we could easily do 50-60kmph.

After around 5km from Neelamangala junction, road suddenly becomes better n better and riding was simply awesome. As we sped away from the city, the ride as well as the traffic was fading away. Seeing such a less traffic on such an important highway amazed me. We were easily doing 80-90kmph. The road was a perfect riders paradise. Infact my wife too was enjoying the ride especially the greenery around the road

By 8AM we were in Kunigal where we broke for breakfast to a decent hotel. Had 2 rounds of tea and masala dosas. Good Start !!

We started after breakfast at 8:45AM and sped away. The roads and the ride were getting even better. By 9:30AM we were already 100km away from Bangalore and Hassan was around 90km. We thought to give us a break as if we keep on going we might hit Hassan before noon. What to do then, we had no plans for that day!! We stopped at a picturesque location and did some photo shoot in the road side jungles, had water and chips.

We started again at 10:10 AM and were speeding. No traffic and beautiful roads, we cannot go slowly. We passed Chanarayanapatna within no time and now we were 40km from Hassan. We will still reach Hassan before noon. Suddenly Paramita spotted a beautiful lake from the highway within the jungle and suggested, “Lets do some adventure”…Chalo, was my spot reply and we turned our bike to the kachha road leading there. After riding a few distance (half a km may be), we parked our bikes and decided to walk down to the lake. I can only say it was simply awesome. We had a nice photo session and trekked back to our bikes and back to Hassan. During the trekking Nikhil was suggesting that in this pace we could even reach Mangalore before sunset. Paramita jumped with the idea, “Chalo, Hassan choro, Mangalore chalte hain”. I just calm them down and told, “Josh mein maat aao, pehle Hassan chalte fir dekha jaega"

After all this adventure, we still reached Hassan by 12:40PM and checked in “Hotel Srikrishna”. Good hotel, very clean. Had nice veg food and a nice sleep. We went to hotel terrace to view the city in the evening. It was a sleepy town. No hussle-bussle life of Bangalore and almost nil traffic at 7PM. Can u imagine that in Bangalore? Suddenly we started to discuss about the Mangalore trip idea tomorrow. Looks good !!! Lets go ! Change of plans! No Belur but Mangalore and Udupi !! I got some hotel info of Udupi from travelers guide and booked a hotel there. Then we had a small round of cards in our hotel room, then a nice Chinese dinner and retired to bed for another biking adventure next day.

28th Jan 2006 (Trip meter: 196): Cell Phone alarm rings at 5AM. We checkout of the hotel at 6:15AM, did a full tank of my bike and started towards Mangalore. Tell you what! It was a pleasure to bike in that early morning surrounding countryside on NH48. Beautiful roads and even beautiful surroundings. Slowly the coffee plantations started. Looks like Sakleshpur were nearing.

We stopped by a small tea stall before Sakleshpur and had the much needed steaming hot tea. It was very tasty. Then we had idlis for breakfast in a hotel in Sakleshpur.

At 8:30AM, we started from Sakleshpur and then the ghat roads begin. The road becomes steep and the surroundings were getting denser with greenery and huge trees. It is as if you are riding in a jungle with occasional sunlight peeping among the trees. There were numerous hairpin bends and the ride was awesome. We were slowly doing 40-50kmph. It was a memorable ride about 45-50km in the dense forests and ghats. The roads were so good that we could easily maintain 60-70kmph apart from that steep bending where we were slow. We had a small glucose break before Upinagudi and another small chips break about 40km before Mangalore.

We reached the NH48 and NH17 T-junction in Mangalore at noon. As planned we turned left towards Ullal. Ullal beach is about 10km from there. By that time it was extremely hot and we were profusely sweating.

We entered the summer sands beach resort in Ullal for food. We were too tired and riding another 70km for Udupi in this extreme coastal heat might get taxing and also we have to ride back 400 odd kms in a single day tomorrow. Sanity prevailed, we decided to stay back in Mangalore and dropped the Udupi plans.

We had a nice lunch in the resort restaurant. Paramita ordered a mangala style kingfish curry and rice, which was relished by everyone, excluding me, of course. We also had a nice chicken tikka salad which tasted quiet different. The resort was good. Enquired but no vacant rooms. We had to go back to Mangalore again.

After lunch we went to the beach and had a view of the Arabian Sea. Paramita and Shikha decided to play in the water, so they went inside but Nikhil and myself were busy booking a hotel in Mangalore. After some photo shoot in the beach, we started from Ullal at about 4PM.

We checked in Hotel Mangalore International for that night. Had a delicious north Indian dinner and back to bed at 9:30PM. Afterall we have to ride back 400odd kms the next day.

29th Jan 2006 (Trip meter: 397): Cell Alarm rings again at 5AM. We checked out from the hotel at 6AM. It was pretty dark in Mangalore even after 6AM. We took the NH48 and started zooming. In about 20min time, we could also see the sunrise just infront of our eyes (NH48 is oriented east-west direction). Unlike the forward trip, the return trip was more organized as we now knew exactly where to stop for breakfast, lunch and the water breaks.

Once we were out of the city limits, roads, scenery as well as the speed improved. We did a nice 65km in about 80minutes. As planned, we stopped for breakfast in Kamat Upachar which is about 65km from Mangalore at about 8AM. It is situated in the ghat jungle behind an IOC petrol pump. You can notice a big board about 13km before while coming from Mangalore. We started with hot tea that was awesome. Then we had onion dosas and masala dosas. It was delicious as well.

After breakfast, we did a brief photo shoot, checked the tyre pressure and started again. Now we were very slow while climbing the steep ghats. It took us about an hour to cover the 30km ghat section. While entering Sakhleshpur, you can see lot of wooden carvings being sold in the roadside, which will enhance the beauty of your drawing room. Sakhleshpur is famous for this and coffee. We thought of buying something next time when we come by car.

A few kms ride after Sakhleshpur we took a break inside one of the coffee plantation after taking a little deviation from the highway. It was a beautiful jungle with coffee trees and Kali Mirch trees. Awesome experience, I should say! The ladies were really enjoying inside the plantation. We had water, chips and a stroll inside the garden.

After about 30minutes in coffee garden, we started again. It was 10:45AM. Now there were no ghat roads and almost no traffic. We started zooming in full throttle and reached Hassan bypass in no time and still zoomed. It was 80-90kmph throughout. We planned for lunch in Kamat Upachar just before Chanarayanapatna.

We reached Kamat at the stroke of noon. Wow!! What a ride, we did a record 70kms in 80 minutes. Now, Bangalore was within striking distance less than 150km. we can reach before dark.

This was another memorable lunch by the true tradition of Kamat. We ordered Kamat special thali. As expected, it was another delicious food, starting with roti through sabjis, dal, sambhar, rasam, cauliflower pickle, bajjis, curd-buttermilk, papad to polao, raita, rice and finally to sweet, fruit salad, icecream and pan.

After lunch, I just didn’t want to ride, wanted to a take a nap instead. But what to do, we have to reach Bangalore before dark. Also this continuous riding all the more tired Nikhil and me. We need to keep focus till we reach home.

Started from Kamat at 1:30PM took NH48 again. After Chanarayanapatna, there was right deviation to Sravanabelagola. After 10km we reached there. We did not have the courage to take 600 steps to go up. Instead took a photograph of the hill and moved on for Bangalore. Sravanabelagola was preparing for the Mahaabhisheka festival in Feb. We continued on the same road which again met NH48 in Hirisave.

We throttled till Kunigal and did another 38km stretch in just 30min. Paramita started to get a little backache so stopped under a tree for a 15min rest. We had glucose and took a bit a rest as well. Bangalore was 60km and it was around 4PM. I also started to get back pain as Paramita was resting on my back. Anyway I kept quiet and just rode.

We reached Neelamangala junction at 4:45PM and I did a punch with Nikhil. We did a complete to-fro of NH48. I gave my bike a big pat in its back. As a bike adv says “Feel like GOD”, ya, indeed I felt like one. As always traffic started to increase near Yashwantpur. Finally we reached house at 5:25PM. Mangala conquered.

Trip Meter reading: 771km

771 kms in 3 days is by far the largest bike trip so far. Also 375kms in a single stretch is largest as well. This surpasses my previous best of 330km during the pondicherry trip.

Also the two ladies Paramita and Shikha need a special mention. Hats off to them! They never cribbed in the entire journey although it became very tiring for them as well. Infact Paramita initiated for the Mangalore trip knowing very well of the distance. Well, I promised Paramita a nice treat for showing such courage and resolute.
Signing off
Abhijit Kumar Roy
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Old 16th February 2006, 14:13   #2
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Sounds like an awesome ride! And two up on a Caliber for that distance means you both must have been pretty stiff at the end of it!

Hats off to the ladies I must say. Sitting pillion is akin to having the worst seat in the house!
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Old 16th February 2006, 14:26   #3
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Good account of your thrilling ride. Kudos to all the four of you for having undertaken and completed such a trip.
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Old 16th February 2006, 14:37   #4
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Nice description of the trip reminds me of the time we did it during college days on my Rx 100 and my friends shogun but we rode by nite it was awesome experience. Kudos to the ladies for enduring the trip..
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Old 16th February 2006, 15:33   #5
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hey ..looks like you had a great time ...the Nh48 is one of teh best driver's road....i do it atleast once a month ...even though its a 2 lane highway you can easily average 80-90 kph ....

But you have to be really careful when its dark ...you will find bigg craters in 100+kph stretches ...and when you have oncoming traffic with those blinding headlights you cannot do much ...one such biggg hole cost me 2 g3 tires and the front left lower arm ...

what about pics ??????
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Old 20th February 2006, 06:34   #6
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Hey Akroy,

Nice writeup!
Lets see some pictures from all those photo sessions!

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