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Old 6th January 2021, 11:02   #1
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Default Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

– Robert Louis Stevenson

I always assumed riding in the Himalayas would be the real deal for a biker so a short 3 day riding trip across the lesser glamorized Ghat roads of west(side) Karnataka really surprised me - especially for someone who's spent a decade going up and down the various peaks and Ghat roads of Maharashtra since early 2000s.

What makes it even better is the minimal commercialization of the tourist spots - similar sized waterfalls or view points across Maharashtra have become a proper tourist spot with 10s of thousands visiting every week, so much that at many places the local villagers have even started taking parking and entry tolls for vehicles. In comparison Karnataka seems to be at the stage how I remember the un-spoilt Maharashtra ghats over a decade ago.

This is an extremely abridged pictorial version of a solo 3 day biking trip across the western districts of Karnataka. No major planning, no chalked out itinerary - just a man and a machine heading out on the road, one day after another. The attempt is to communicate the beauty of Karnataka in minimal words and more visually.

Riding Stats
Mode of transport: Enfield Classic 350cc
Distance: ~450 kms
Mileage: ~40 kmpl
Speeds: 30-40 kmph in the hills / ~60 kmph in the plains
Road condition: Mix of single/dual lane state highways (across mountains) and 4 lane highways (in the plains)

Hits to the wallet
Homestay(s): 3300 inr
(Bike) rental: 3800 inr
Food & drinks: 1100 inr

A snapshot of what's to come
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210111_151100.jpg

And the final itinerary
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-bike-trip.jpg

Thread posts in order:

1. The pretense of planning

2. Udupi - The land of drop-dead beaches

3. Chikkamagaluru - The land of coffee and tea estates!

4. Chikkamagaluru - Also the land of beautiful national forest reserves

5. Epilogue

Note: The riding-and-exploring-Karnataka has only begun. With an ongoing work related "break" taking place now for a few months, Phase 2 (and 3 & 4 later) is sure to follow during the monsoons!

Last edited by ninjatalli : 12th January 2021 at 20:11.
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Old 6th January 2021, 11:04   #2
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Default Planning & Delays

To be honest, there was an attempt to make a plan.

Opinions from bhpians (Biking options around Mangalore & Udupi) and family & friends were solicited. I got a wide range of suggestions - from beach front locations to temple stops to "beautiful" roads worth riding and what not. With such a large set of options ranging from Uttara Karnataka in the north to Chikmagaluru and Shivamogga districts in the east to even Kerala in the south, I just plotted every suggestion on Google Maps and decided to plan run-time.

The initial plan was to be on the road for a week with possibly some company to accompany me. But a last minute crisis caused a change to the plans and shortening the traveling part to ~3 days only. So in a way, the absence of a plan kind of helped as the actual plan was made on a day to day basis.

Royal Brothers were leveraged for bike rental. Thankfully they still had stock of a RE Classic 350 (and a Honda CBR 250) for me to rent at the last minute. Having to look out for the bike rental at the last minute, I really couldn't do much of a pro-active check on the condition of the available bikes and had to do with what was available. Thankfully, the Enfield Classic turned out to be okay, with some ~62k kms on the odometer and overall in decent condition (although with some self-start issues).

My companion for the next few days
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_123548.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 11th January 2021 at 16:20.
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Old 6th January 2021, 11:17   #3
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Default Udupi - The land of drop-dead gorgeous beaches

Udupi - A name that's ubiquitous to delicious south indian cuisine especially if one is thinking of breakfast (or snack) items. While also equally known as the Temple city with notable focus on the Krishna temple (in the city) and the numerous ones spread across the district. What isn't that popularly known (atleast to me and those in my circles) are the beautiful beaches across the coast line.

Pristine sandy beaches that can give any of the famous Goan beaches a run for their money. With single lane roads that run parallel to beaches for 10s of kilometers in both directions (thanks @Samurai for that tip!). While I spent two evening sunsets at the beaches (one at the start and and one at the end of my trip), I would have loved to rent a beach front airbnb and just spend a week with a bunch of books and a bucket load of stuff that can't be discussed on this forum (lol).

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20201231_174410.jpg
Mattu beach front - a scenic 10 km thin stretch of land between the Arabian sea & backwater delta (next to Malpe)

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20201231_173620.jpg
one of the numerous rock formation setup across Mattu beach

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20201231_174930.jpg
Bridge connecting to Malpe port

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20201231_181408.jpg
The drop dead gorgeous (Kodi) Bengre beach front

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20201231_181953.jpg
One of the many surfing setups that are placed across Udupi beaches

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210105_181428.jpg
Kapu lighthouse - a nice touristy spot to see the sunset for locals and tourists alike (next to Kaup town)

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210101_172909.jpg
The beachfront Someshwara temple at Ullal (technically Dakshin Kannada district)

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210101_172919.jpg
Cameras weren't allowed inside so this is the closest pic I could take

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210101_173204.jpg
There's a beautiful beach just adjacent to the temple...

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210101_172206.jpg
...With a nice set of steps to walk down to the beach

Last edited by ninjatalli : 12th January 2021 at 18:28.
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Old 6th January 2021, 11:18   #4
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Default Chikkamagaluru - The land of coffee and tea estates!

Chikkamagaluru - The entry into this district is through several ghat climbs, with each one of them a delightful drive up (or down). In my case I crossed into Chikkamagluru district through the pictorial and spread out Charmady ghat - one that is littered with numerous scenic view points. And came down into Udupi district on the 3rd day through the Agumbe ghat.

The district is a biker's delight - while most Bangaloreans head to options in and around Chikmagalur and Mudigere city; I myself have been there atleast 3 - 5 times in the past. But what I wanted to do is explore the relatively lesser explored western side of this district. And boy was I in for a treat or what!

It's a relatively simple way to sort out these areas - either you pass through rich coffee and tea estates or you pass through forest reserves with absolutely no network or any signs of population, while passing through small temple towns littered across this and adjoining districts.

I was wondering if I would have to carry winter gear (I didn't) for the mountains, but what I never expected was to get caught in the rains. And that happened across 2 out of 3 days - with heavy thunderstorms and lightening hitting me out of the blue, making a last minute plan to anchor myself in a homestay right in the middle of tea and coffee estates.

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210103_142536.jpg
On the way up Charmady ghat

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210103_145234.jpg
At one of the numerous view points across Charmady ghat

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210103_173855.jpg
Getting caught up in a thunderstorm that appeared right out of the blue (near Kelagur tea estate)

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_095941.jpg
My stay for the night - Megur Homestay - an excellent & highly recommended option for anyone looking for such an option

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_072448.jpg
An early morning stroll across the tea estate with these two for company

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_072911.jpg
A nice path that curves up the hill

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_072951.jpg
What a sight for sore eyes - I could certainly spend a week here without anything on the agenda to do

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_074140.jpg

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_074229.jpg
With a promise to myself to do another visit again, I finally headed back to get back on the road

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210105_102636.jpg
The dense Agumbe - Someshwara ghat on the way down to Udupi with lovely forest cover all around

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210105_101954.jpg
I even saw a lion tailed macaque on the road being fed by another vehicle driver, unfortunately couldn't take a picture

Last edited by ninjatalli : 12th January 2021 at 18:30.
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Old 8th January 2021, 11:53   #5
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Default Chikkamagaluru - The land of drop-dead gorgeous national forest reserves

While I had a clear plan to roam around the hills and valleys of Chikkamagaluru, I expected coffee and tea estates for sure. But what I did not expect to be amazed was the Kudremukh forest reserve. A drop dead gorgeous national forest with vast tracts of grasslands that host a wide set of flora and fauna, it is traditionally a trekking haven which also I got to realize is a biker's true delight. And the weather was perfect - blue skies with white puffs of clouds floating around, temps in the early 30s with a cool breeze flaying all around. This was the pick of the lot for the entire trip - and a pleasant surprise of all.

Even the locals do not appreciate this forest reserve as much as they should - I was suggested to take another route bypassing the forest reserve entirely as all tourist spots across the reserve have been closed indefinitely. But the place is a gem for riding especially if you are not in a hurry.

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_123429.jpg
One of the numerous bridges over Bhadra river (or one of the tributary streams feeding it)

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_124230.jpg
The river itself had a very pleasing flow of water that seemed like the perfect spot for a halt, except every such location had clear forest dept. instructions not to do so!

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_124822.jpg
Kudremukh forest reserve with its empty and beautiful roads

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_124955.jpg
And a skyline that couldn't be sketched any better

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_125339.jpg
Roads like these are the best a rider could ask for!

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_125346.jpg

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_125913.jpg
And the occasional waterfall at every turn of a hill

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_130550.jpg

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_131147.jpg

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_135708.jpg
The occasional trail would lead to a nice stop-over for a dip in the stream

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_140259.jpg

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210105_094309.jpg
Pretty stretches of flatish roads between Sringeri and Agumbe on the fringes of the Someshwara wildlife sanctuary

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210105_094314.jpg

Last edited by ninjatalli : 12th January 2021 at 18:31.
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Old 12th January 2021, 16:55   #6
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Default Epilogue: The smaller but finer details

A few other minor details

1. A beautifully restored Bajaj Chetak by one of our relatives
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210102_175228.jpg

2. An example of the delightfully colorful butterflies seen all across the mountains
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210105_092622.jpg

3. The massive Koodlu waterfalls located deep inside the Someshwara wildlife sanctuary
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-gopr0382_1610453579333.jpg

4. And the 2 km trek to reach the falls after a back-breaking 15 km ride to the base point through a broken down trail route
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-gopr0374_1609839144677.jpg

5. The very famous temple at Sringeri over the banks of Tunga river
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210104_183226.jpg

6. A closer look at the Kelagur tea factory (right next to my homestay) - the smells were to die for!
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-img20210104wa0004.jpeg

7. A fleeting snapshot of one of the numerous turns on the roads running parallel to the beaches from Mangalore to Udupi and beyond, each such turn leading to a serene spot on the beach with sandy beaches
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-20210105_172812.jpg

---------------------------------------------------------

And there ends a short but a wonderful ride majorly across 2 districts of Karnataka. With my heart yearning for more! A date has been made with the ghats of Karnataka for the monsoon season of 2021 and something tells me I'm not going to be alone next time

Last edited by ninjatalli : 12th January 2021 at 18:23.
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Old 13th January 2021, 04:46   #7
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Default re: Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th January 2021, 06:38   #8
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Default re: Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

That was a fantastic ride around the most beautiful places. A long solo bike ride gives one time to relax think and be one with the ride.

If you remember the Jet-Li movie Hero, it conveys the same feeling about a swordsman about how he feels with the sword! Here its the bike! Thats the beauty of solo drives.

Great going!

Last edited by ampere : 13th January 2021 at 12:43.
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Old 13th January 2021, 10:37   #9
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Default re: Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

A few videos taken using my camera/GoPro

1. The breath-taking ride across the Kudremukh forest reserve


2. A short snapshot of Charmady ghat drive


3. The 15 km drive to Koodlu waterfall through Someshwara forest reserve


4. And the waterfall at the end



Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
A long solo bike ride gives one time to relax think and be one with the ride.
Indeed!
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Old 13th January 2021, 11:53   #10
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Default Re: Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

Thanks for sharing, Ninjatalli! Moving your thread to the Motorcycle section so that bikers don't miss it. It's also on our homepage today .
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Old 13th January 2021, 15:52   #11
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Default Re: Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

Thanks for sharing.

It was on those narrow roads running alongside the beach near home (bit north of where you rode in Udupi district) where I first learned to ride on my uncle's motorcycle so many years ago. And those lovely rides in the summer with the ocean to one side and a lovely breeze sweeping across my face was what made me fall in love with riding.

After moving to Pune, the convenience of Uber meant that I never got myself a vehicle. Until being stuck at home during lockdown brought back that yearning to just go on a ride and let the world go by.
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Old 14th January 2021, 02:34   #12
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Default Re: Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

Beautiful.

I have limited experience traveling on Karnataka's Western Ghats. I did Charmady once from Puttur to Bangalore by car. I did not enjoy it as much as the road is narrow and speeds were as low as 40kmph. The road surface was excellent and any day better than dealing with the chaos that is Shiradi Ghat.

The only other trip I did over the Western Ghats was when I rode to Gokarna back in 2004, via Talguppa and Honavar.

Goa is overrated and has been for a while. I see why folks from bigger cities like Bombay or Bangalore love it and thats primarily due to its beautiful coastline and the party scene. This has now filtered down to places like Gokarna, though I think its still relatively quiet in comparison. South Goa is where I prefer to be. Back in 2004, Gokarna had one hotel and it was a no more than a shack with common toilets, on OM Beach. Very different from what it is today. I remember pulling up to what was going to be a flash hotel property being built by the Casino Hotel group (I don't know what it is called today), feeling over joyed at the sight of it and thinking we were staying there, only to be told later that was not the place :-(. I was tired after a long 12 hour ride under the sun (Started at 4am) and was desperate to get under a shower or jump into the sea.

Thanks for sharing. Will definitely add this to my list of "To Do Rides".
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Old 14th January 2021, 21:41   #13
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Default Re: Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350

Thanks for Sharing. Now that Gokarna was mentioned, attaching a few pics from our recent Gokarna trip. The beaches are amazing. Specially winters. Gokarna, Ankola, Karwar.
Attached Thumbnails
Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-img_0236.jpg  

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-img_0260.jpg  

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-img_0319.jpg  

Trails of a Biker : Ride across Udupi and Chikkamagaluru on an Enfield Classic 350-img_0370.jpg  

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