Sunday, 23 December 2012

Road Trip - Bangalore to Bheemeshwari

I have been wishing to take the bull out on a road trip, but really hadn't put any serious thought or effort. So always ended up with, what-else..but reasons why I couldn't go. Well pushing all that aside finally I teamed up with my college buddy and a fellow biker Rahul and later Jeetu n Divya joined as crew. So the destination we selected is Bheemeshwari, it seems to have fishing camp and some Nature Education  Camp from Govt of Karnataka. The point of my interest was the fractionally interesting mountain road that we'll cross on the way  (checked the terrain view on gmaps). Well we did rode through the mountain roads and that turned out to be the best 10 km (or so) out of the whole 162 km of ride.

Note to self: O'ways decide on the roads first (as my heart says) and then pick a destination and not the other way round. That's what a ride is for anyway!!!

Itinerary (Timestamps noted here are not accurate and this is the best I could recall at the time of writing this post):

7:10 am - Started from near the Sarakki Signal

7:20 am - Fuel & Air at a fuel station on Kanakpura Road
I filled the Bull for 500 bucks as it hit the reserve just 2 minutes ago. Kept a tyre pressure of 26 (F) and 36(R).
Note: There is Shell petrol bunk on Kanakpura Road. I suggest if could manage for at least 5-8kms, better fill here as they seems to be good (read un-adulterated).

7:40 am - Breakfast

Stopped at a small shop on the left hand side after a km of crossing the Shell petrol bunk. Do remember to grab a bottled water from here.

8:00 am - Stopped for few minutes to sort out a break issue my bull had. I had over tightened the free play adjustment of the rear brake, and add to it my boot was pressing against the break pedal constantly. Due to the power of the bike I never felt any pressure on the engine till Rahul pointed out that rear drum is smokin:D Lollzz Glad it was nothing serious, we stopped tweaked the adjustment to a loose setting. Got the chain oiled at a garage ahead and thats it. Rolled all the way from there no buzz.

On the way you will cross Nice road deviation, DO NOT TURN there, KEEP HEADING STRAIGHT for another 40 km (at least) straight right on the Kanakapura road till Halaguru. Do ask people for Halaguru and the LEFT-TURN towards Bheemeshwari.

11:00 am - Reached a Private Resort (Below pic taken from another blog, I am not sure if the prices quoted are still the same).



We had no plans for such guided tourism at this location, so we header further ahead and came across 'Govt Nature Education Camp'. After having a word with the attendants here we decided to park our bikes here. They had a paid package for visitors:

Rs. 200 per person per day : For a hike across the semi dense forest/shrubs to a location near the river (they call stone beds in the river as islands (lollz), so don't get too excited when you hear that word.

Rs. 500 per person per day : Same as above + Lunch (Really good veg and non-veg home cooked food) + Tea + Snacks in the afternoon + A Room with attached bathroom and toilet (western commode) to change clothes and take rest till 5:00 pm.

*Please confirm with the staff about the room before booking. However we as a group of 4 people got it and there were not much people in the camp that time. So not sure during a crowded season how they will allot the room.

Other Facilities:

Rs. 300 - For bonfire if you wish them to arrange for that

Shacks on Rent - Shacks cost you Rs 1500 per day. I felt the place is very clean and usable for families. Do carry a liquid soap as I didn't see any of those. As a traveller you must always carry one, especially while travelling anywhere in India.

Camping - They have lot of camping space in case you wish to camp outside and experience Nature. I highly recommend this if you know how to camp. I am planning to camp their on my next visit:)

Wildlife:

We saw deers from a distance playing around the river. It is not that common but when we were resting the staff called us out to witness the sight. It was a great feeling to see them in the wild. Other than that monkeys will be your constant companion in this camp. However we noticed they are kinda well behaved here, but I would take chance with my gear so I always ensured they are never left unattended.  We also saw a wild boar with it's baby. Elephants are also residents of this area, but luckily we didn't come across any, as they might not be as friendly as the other animals I explained above.

Return:

3:15 om - Started from the Camp site

3:20 pm - Stopped on the way to get a ticket Rs 10 per bike to enter the area near Muthhathi (another well known Trekking site) and also this same route connects to Bangalore

6:00 pm - Reached Bangalore City (While there was still some sun light around)

We took the opposite route while returning home hoping for more twisties, but is was not that awesome. However still worth a ride as you will cross some road on the edge of the mountains with a great view of the valley. Finally reached near home exactly at 6:00 pm. Was a great ride and good trip. Total distance covered was 162 kms.

So all in all I loved this place for the following reason:

1. Experienced solitude, there is no noise at all, as this place is miles away from the nearest city

2. You can experience nature without have to trek or hike a lot to reach here. Just a drive away.

3. Cleaner accommodation (including toilets) and good food easily accessible

4. Very less crowd , at least in the mid of december when we visited

5. River bed was a good place to spend some time

6. Mountain roads to reach this place, was a biker's delight (However maintain a healthy speed as road is narrow, most are blind turns and frequency of vehicles are less and hence more unpredictable)

Note: There is NO SIGNAL for Vodafone users. So do inform friends and family about your whereabouts before getting deeper into this area once you leave the main roads. I scanned the area for other networks and still couldn't find any network around. So for other mobile phone service users, this tip goes for you as well:)


Hope this post gives you enough information to step out of your sofa and hit the road. Well just to get you going here are some photographs just for your visual delight:

a quick click before I left home..

My ride, took it out of parking early in the morning..

A quick stop over on the way

My ride with the luggage.

Met this donkey on the way back (He might be thinking the same:P Lollzz)

This is the quality of asphault we rode on.

Me, Rahul, Jeetu

Hope you have a safe ride,
Sid
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