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Old 28th January 2013, 16:22   #1
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Default A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad

Why are bike trips special ?

...coz they make you fly on the road !
...coz they unite birds of a feather ![/i]
...coz they allow you to smell the rain, the sand, and the forest ![/i]
...coz they make you feel the place better ![/i]
...and above all, they make you take the road not taken ![/i]

A Royal Enfield 350 Classic silver, two petrol-heads and the lands that lie beyond. So, we thought it best to herald the advent of the new year on the road !

Well, the idea of a road trip ignited in our minds when we figured that my friend's big boy could be unleashed over the scenic wonders of the western ghats and Malnad areas of Karnataka, a land we both loved so well and would do so forever. Though we'd done these drives earlier in our cars, the enthusiasm of a bike trip, feeling the sun, wind and rain, was always cherished. The bike was running around the congested streets of Bangalore, and we really wanted to hear the quintissential thump over the country roads as well. After all, it was a thoroughbred horse, so it seems only fair to let it run like a mustang !

Many travelogues and forums helped us gather the needs for the trip, the most important one being the saddle and pillow. They made our drives comfortable beyond expectations, and we could afford more baggage that we initially thought. A spare tube, essential medicenes, sunscreen, and our camera gear and we were all set !

The plan was to combine the scenic drives around the lower Malnad belt of Karnataka, starting from South Coorg all the way up to Shimoga, and drive back to Bangalore on new year's day, covering 9 districts, crossing plains, mountains, forests and coffee estates.

The Mount : Royal Enfield Classic 350 Silver
Riders : 2
Distance : 1280 km
Fuel Consumption : 37 litres

Our itinerary stood thus :

Dec 29 2012
Bangalore - Mandya - Srirangapatna - Hunsur - Gonikoppal - Virajpet - Madikeri - Somvarpet - Arklagud - Hassan

Dec 30 2012
Hassan - Belur - Mudigere - Charmadi Ghat View - Kalasa - Kudremukha - Sringeri
Dec 31 2012
Sringeri - Inner country Roads - Nagara - Koadachadri - Hosanagara - Riponpet - Shimoga

Jan 1 2013
Shimoga - Kadur - Tiptur - Tumkur - Bangalore

Trip Map
( Does not includer inner country roads )

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Road Conditions Map
( Does not includer inner country roads )
RED - Bad
OCHRE - Average
GREEN - Good

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Day 1 :

Sunrise near KRS
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-photo2.jpg

The first day had a lot of travel to do, and with the roads in South Coorg not quite good for cruising, we decided to start early. So we started from Bangalore at 4 AM ( we generally start very early to beat the heat and traffic, and cover a significant portion of the journey by breakfast time ). Cruised along SH -17 towards Mysore effortlessly and caught up with the rising run near KRS, beyond Srirangapatna. We knew that SH-88 ( Mysore-Madikeri road ) was a great one, so we continued to let the horse run free up to Hunsur before breaking for breakfast. Beyond Hunsur, the back-breaking began, and Sun grew harsher on us. The stretch between Hunsur and Virajept was bad, and the heat made the journey endless ! However, construction work on the Virajpet - Madikeri road forced us into an unplanned detour as well. Nevertheless,we got an opportunity to drive around the inner roads of Coorg, and managed to reach Madikeri for a late lunch, buy 3 PM. The Madikeri-Somwarpet section was a dream to ride on, and we entered the plains of Hassan around 6 PM. Traversing from Shanivarasanthe to Hassan via Arkalgud and Gorur was a little challenging, with bad roads and a bout of rain as well ! We managed to check in to the hotel in Hassan around 7:30 PM though.

Day 2 :
The next day had Mullaiyanagiri and Gaalikere as well, but rain and heavy cloud cover over the Chikmagalur area warranted a change of plans, and we deviated towards Mudigere from Belur. The Belur Mudigere strech of NH 234 has recently been asphalted and it was a great experience driving on it. We stopped at the head of the Charmadi Ghat for a quick snap before heading inwards via Javali into the Kalasa area. Interestingly, the Karnataka Forest Dept has a guest house overlooking the Charmadi Ghat, but it was in shambles, with broken windows visible from the road ! It could have been a great place to spend time watching the sunset, but alas...

On the Belur-Mudigere Road
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Overlooking Charmadi Ghat
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-photo1.jpg

We managed to reach Kalasa for lunch and proceeded straight into SH-66 for my personal favourite drive in all of the state, Kudremukha. We have been through this scenic drive a zillion times in all kinds of vehicles, but everytime it continues to mesmerize and amaze us. We reached Sringeri by later afternoon, and hiked up to Magebailu falls before calling it a day. This waterfall is on the continental divide, separating the eastern and western watersheds of penninsular India. Fascinating !

Day 3 :
The next day was reserved for Kodachadri alone, based on the lessons we learnt that too many places cannot be packed on a single day in a bike trip. We drove around the lesser known Malnad roads between Sringeri, Agumbe, Yadur, Mastikatte and Nagara, before heading towards Kattinahole to scale Kodachadri. With local knowledge guiding us, the drive was nothing short of amazing ! This region is nothing short of paradise after a short spell of rain ! Kodachadri was hot and dusty though, and we made the best of the day's decisions in not taking the bike up the mountain !

Day 4 :
Finally, the first day of 2013 started off with a 6 AM departure from Shimoga, breezing down south on NH 206 towards Bangalore. Starting early yielded so much of benefit that we had crossed Tarikere at sunrise and were in Bangalore by 11:30 AM. We caught the first sunrise of 2013 on NH-206, about 10 km south of Tarikere, Karnataka.NH 206 Road conditions are excellent all the way down from Shimoga, except the Tumkur bypass which may need a bit of make-up. Nevertheless, a great ride on a great beast !

More Pics to come soon....

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Last edited by moralfibre : 28th January 2013 at 22:09.
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Old 28th January 2013, 17:09   #2
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Default Re: A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad

Quite a dream ride! Malnad looks as green as ever.

Looks like some roads never improve!

Agumbe-Nagara without touching Tirthahalli, etc? What did you hear about the condtion of the Nagara-Kollur road? AS bad as ever?
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Old 28th January 2013, 17:34   #3
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Default Re: A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad

good start man. i like the photo sunrise near KRS and Overlooking Charmadi Ghat is a sight of relief (i am a big fan of greenery). your machine looks awesome in that black tarmac. waiting for the next set.
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Old 28th January 2013, 21:17   #4
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Default Re: A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad

Here are some more pictures from the trip, though not in sequential order :

Mani Dam Backwaters
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0947.jpg

Malnad Greens
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0823.jpg

Blue Skies
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0777.jpg

The first sunrise of 2013
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0984.jpg

Malnad Vistas
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0924.jpg

Malnad Vistas
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0820.jpg

Malnad Vistas
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0799.jpg

Malnad Vistas
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0910.jpg

Kodachadri Peak
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0978.jpg

Choma Kunda, Coorg
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0790.jpg

Magebailu Falls
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0849.jpg

Magebailu Falls
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0835.jpg

View from Kodachadri Peak
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0960.jpg

Chelavara Falls, Coorg
A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad-img_0783_1.jpg

Last edited by raghunandanj : 28th January 2013 at 21:21. Reason: Adding Text..
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Old 28th January 2013, 21:24   #5
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Default Re: A Bullet through the Heart of Malnad

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Quite a dream ride! Malnad looks as green as ever.

Looks like some roads never improve!

Agumbe-Nagara without touching Tirthahalli, etc? What did you hear about the condtion of the Nagara-Kollur road? AS bad as ever?
Yes, we rode through the inner roads via Kammaradi, Kaimara, Yadur, etc. The Nagara-Kollur road is not too bad, but manageable though.
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Old 24th September 2015, 02:32   #6
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Sorry for bumping up an old thread but I'm planning for a 2 days ride from Bengaluru to Madikeri and back in my new silver classic 350, with an option to extend it to third day if my wife doesn't complain about back pain or anything as such. It's just that it will be our first ever ride on a bullet and I landed here while searching for the essentials I had to pack for our ride. It's way too easy in car which has space to carry anything and everything you need for a 2 days trip and not difficult on the body as well. But after realising my dream of owning a bullet, trips in car might reduce, much to my wife's disappointment :P

Well, coming back to the trip, I might have to carry an extra tube, tools to change in case of a flat tyre (God knows if I can actually pull it off, if needed), an extra clutch cable. Will try and learn to change one when I give my motorcycle for its first servicing in the morning. Although it's unlikely to happen, carrying a spare clutch cable would be reassuring. Apart from these and protective gears for the both of us, do I need to carry anything else?

Hoping that this Gandhi Jayanti will add a little thump in my life
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