January 31, 2010
Escape To Nandi Hills
Being a Bangalorean for nearly 7 years, a trip to Bangalore's most favourite and nearest getaway place has always eluded me. Not that we had never planned for this place, but whenever we planned, Nandi Hills seemed too close for spending a day on.
An opportunity was presented to us when our companies annual day function was organized in a resort near the international airport on Jan 22,2010. So in order to fully utilize the opportunity we finally planned a short trip to Nandi hills.
There were totally 6 friends for the ride (Shashi, Harsha, Manju, Prasanna,Harish and myself). I got up early at 5.45 am with no plans of catching the sunrise. The reasons of which are mist/fog accumulation in the early morning in these parts and the strength would surely drop to half of what it was at present :). When I got up this early in the morning it was so chilly that I had some afterthoughts of completely abandoning the entire morning ride :P. But to avoid the cursing from the other guys, got ready and waited near our house for shashi to arrive on his Avenger. Picked up Harsha on the way and joined with Manju near the Chinnaswamy stadium. Picked up Harish near the Hebbal flyover.It was damn cold at this point of the day , but i was prepared with proper gear with gloves ET all, but the others were not so lucky.
Reached at around 7.15 am to Prasanna's home near Yelahanka and had a wonderful breakfast of sweet pongal and bonda's. After this were ready to leave towards the Nandi hills. The roads here were six laned and smooth. As expected this ride along the NH-7 was eventless and we reached the junction where we had to take a left turn (sign-boards are present :) ). While taking a break in here met fellow colleagues on a cycling trip to the same destination as ours. Eventhough everyone were on their roadsters , it somehow encouraged me to attempt the same in my MTB.
After the deviation, the destination is exactly 22 kms. The first 10 kms is a 2 lane road road and smooth. Also it is one of the most straight roads I have ever driven or seen before, starting from the main highway and leading to the foothills of the hills- even the ruler will be proud by the precision with which this road is built :) . Wonder how the pilots don't get this confused with the airport runway nearby :P.
The last 12 kms consists of the ghat roads in order to the climb the hills. The initial climb is in between 2 hills and being completely isolated from the morning sun, the ride through this stretch was a hair raising(not out of fear , ofcourse :) ) experience even when the time was around 8.30 in the morning. The climb through the last section was the most enjoyable part of the entire trip. Totally we had to negotiate around 10 hairpin bends in order to the reach the parking area from where we had to rely on our legs to take us much further. We reached at around 9 am and parked our bikes and started the exploration of the hills. Frankly speaking there is nothing which can be termed as spectacular. But the weather was awesome. The atmosphere was chilly , so basking in the sun was giving a nice warm cozy feel.
First we came across a pond . Beside it was a forest trail which we followed just to explore. This trail went to spot named shivagange...a puddle in middle of a rock bowl...and so on moved on the same trail and came across a temple on the top. This temple was cozy but the architecture is nothing to be written about, seemed like built like just for the sake of it :(. Anyway moved towards the Tipu drop, where Tipu Sultan used to execute people by dropping them from the top of this 600 ft drop.
Anyway by this time it was almost 11 am and we decided to return back to the resort and came across the birth place of the river Arkavathy.
We reached back to the resort at around 12 noon just in time for lunch :). Finally we got rid of the rain curse we always endure, or is taking time to reboot for the year 2010 :P. In short the place can be visited for a good ride. The emperor will surely strike back on his bicycle :P.
Total Traveled Distance -> 150 km
Total Cost (fuel)-> 200 bucks