Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Munching miles: Shivasamudram..

'It eez ae louvlee weathaeer today. I hope it stays dees way..' Inspector Jack Clouseau's voice kept ringing whenever I looked up at the sky. The time was 7am and dark clouds and chilly winds greeted my bike this morning.

Since Vikram and I had vowed to make a road trip (a month + had passed since the last one), turning back was not an option. Our vow meant that we'd go alone if need be. And so it was. Today it was just Vikram, Manisha and me. Shivasamudram beckoned. The driving conditions were perfect: Sub 20 temperatures that kept the engines cool and slightly wet tarmac to take the excess heat off the tyres. Optimum grip was attained thanks to adequate speed and the cool surface conditioning the tyres. Within 40 minutes, we were out of Bangalore on the Kanakpura highway beyond the NICE road.

In a little less than 3 hours, we were at the Gaganchukki falls. The odo told us that we had covered 140Kms. The view is just spectacular. This is the first place I've been to in Karnataka where there is something in the name of 'tourist infrastructure'. Not much- just a loo, a boundry wall and a small resort. But compared to the plight of other remote n lovely places wee've been to, this is a lot.

The resort has a small restaurant and a play area. This is home to several creatures as well.

"We drove 140 Kms just for this??!!"- Vikram

From the moment I started, I was convinced that we would be drenched in the rains at least once today. However, we were fortunate to have been to places AFTER they had had their spell of showers.

On our way back, we thought of the milestone pointing to Talakad we had seen earlier. Having covered around 140 KM's without any sign of fatigue, we though we should visit this place as well. Hence, we took the left a couple of KM's away from Sivasamudram.

This is when we came across the most treacherous terrain we've ever driven a set of 2 wheels on. Having gobbled up 140 KMs in something less than two hours, the assumption was that we'd cover the 20 Kms in half an hour. However, the terrain (note that I don't call it road or path) tried to throw us around. We treaded at around 10-20Kmph and any attempt to waver from these limits meant near-fall/skid experience. The slush and the ups n downs made driving a bigger challenge. After covering a couple of Kms, we spotted habitation and asked the village folk how far it was and if roads were any better ahead. ‘5kms ahead, roads are wonderful’- came te reply. Like fools, we decided to drive on. The cars that were following us had already turned back. In the next hour of adventure, the so called wonderful roads were nowhere to be found even when we reached our destination.

A tip- there's nothing much here- a temple and the banks of Cauvery. But you can visit this place if:

1. You are a fan of motocross rallies and dirt bikes

2. You have a quest for adventure that touches the boundary of madness.

I think we fall in the second category and enjoyed it in spite of the blows taken by our backs and arms.

We crossed the treacherous terrain once again to come on the state highway. By now our stomachs were communicating their state of hollows. Since the Kanakapura highway has no places to eat, we decided to get on the Bangalore-Mysore state highway (SH-17). In our attempt to reach this, I took the advice of some scheming auto-wallahs in Maddur district. On their advice, we took a turn to land up on the 'Mysore road' 5Kms later, the sun made a brief appearance and made me realize that the direction in which we are headed isn't right. We stopped at a fuel pump since this was the only place where we could expect to find a human. We fuelled and our fears were confirmed. We had been sent on the wrong track. So after a detour of 12 Kms we got back to the SH-33 again and to Mandya in half an hour. The road got terrible again and we had to stop to stretch for a while.

Reaching Maddur and getting on the majestic Bagalore-Mysore SH brought a smile on everyone's face. Immediately we sped to 100Kmph and stopped at the Maddur CCD.Thereafter, we stopped at the Mc-Donalds for more food before continuing to Bangalore. We reached home around 6pm.

The Pulsar 200 looked battle worn on the exterior, but the heart was ready to munch more miles.


  1. Oh No!!! Not Maddur CCD.. There s a Maddur Tiffany's on the highway.. It's like an insitution! Get quite delctable south indian fare there, at rates that make you want to eat triple (you'll already be eating double due to the taste)

  2. Hmm.. Interesting.. We saw the rush @ Tiffany's and were wondering what it was all about. Thanks!! Next time we know where to stop..