It was a late start of the year on the beast due to work travel, Bhimavaram 1736km march 2015
First of all I would personally thank the Enfield service centre in BTM layout Bangalore for not solving the battery issue under warranty and giving false promise to customer, cos they themselves didn't know what the problem was, (I am not being sarcastic here) it’s the fact that I can enter into limca book of records for the number times my bike has visited the service centre in one year, for the same battery issue. I was even promised that the issue would be solved and i would have peaceful ride during the trip, but they never even bothered about taking this one seriously.
On Friday morning by 6am my ride commenced pleasant weather as usual in morning, took my first near Kolar roads were amazing, little further surprised to see single lane road till Naidupet which slowed my speed took my first break in Sri Khalahasthi around 11am had breakfast and continued after crossing Naidupet little further stopped for fuelling bike did another full tank, it was time calculate the mileage as this was my first solo 800+km one way ride, was surprised to know that bike gave me 35kmpl had never got this mileage before in my rides, so happy to know about the mileage, it came to an end soon as the bike started to give trouble it used to go off when it was slowed down during speed breakers and an long time to start it, for my bad wasn't carrying any spares which I regularly used to, somehow managed till Adaanki 30km from Ongole in my grandma place.
Village Jatere (Ongole district)
As it was Holi the next day the district hosts an village festival once in every year 10 nearby villages come together to celebrate it i was lucky to witness it, the crowd and the lighting was amazing the picture tells all, the horn speakers are still in use with no noise cancellations system there were 11 stages in one open ground playing different music, it's an night long festival starts at 7pm and ends at 5am next day. I could just spend half n hour there as I need to get some sleep for my ride tomorrow. Staying in rural side was different experience for me the people were so soft and nice, I stayed in a village of just 16 house, along with cattle's most of the houses didn't even have main doors, they were telling me there are no thefts here it's just us we stay no outsiders come here, as it was night couldn't take much pictures as my phone camera in night is bad.
Adaanki till Bhimavaram.
had to give around 15kicks to start the engine, ride started at 7am in morning the birds chirping it was an very long time since I saw sparrows, thick mist in morning made the ride a pleasant start with the same issue with bike, nearing Guntur the views of small hills with fog half covering them was an nice view, saw two dead monkeys on road due to hit and run, nearing Vijayawada around 11am the traffic was heavy and all the speed was reduced and kept the throttle high then letting the engine go off, turned on the gps near benz circle the narrow rural roads surrounded by sea of greenery on either side was just amazing. As was entering Bhimavaram Spotted an Enfield service centre stopped the bike took drop from the mechanic and left the bike for servicing (5days in service centre), they actually did fix my battery issue and later informed that accelerator cable was gone and replaced.
Started by 2.45am took tadepallegudem route, actually there was no road for first 20km till pipera, it took one hour for me to reach tadepallegudem from there the NH 5 was supereb till Naidupet, wonder how drivers are blind saw another hit and run this time it was buffalo and calf, calf was smashed on the spot and buffalo dragged for 50mts both on the spot death. So sorry for those poor cretures for no mistake of theirs they ended paying up their lives for hit and run. Met a group of bikers from Nellore district they were having their weekend coffee ride, just took three stops one for fuelling and other two for photos and did 868km in one stretch, from Kr puram the traffic got heavy, was home at 4pm, second time the beast doing 850+ in single day.
Photography ride (BR Hills) 406km
Started off by 5am on a warm Sunday morning, this time my cousins accompanied our gang and we had 3 DSLRs and 3 bikes, in the trip both were first timers for the ride, they were invited as it was a half a day ride but later on due to deviations and bad road it consumed an entire day.
We took a short break in Malavalli as we do regularly in that route, but this time we were running late as the sun was out early due to summer, last time the we were in Talakaad during sunrise. To catch up last time we revved up the engine for a short distance and again slowed down due to bad roads, it was rare to spot clean patch for a smooth ride for almost 40km which consumed a lot of time.
Just 20km before the BR Hills there is a big lake, well barricaded on one side with electric fencing to avoid animal human conflict, but the humans are on top of everything, there were fishing activity happening all just within half n hour it was caught and sold, was lucky to spot big size fishes, three times the size of a cat. The two professional photographers got busy with their job on the side of lake, the other three did some trek to go to the other side of the lake, took couple of photos, almost spent an hour there, with some selfies.
Two bikes went ahead early in that stretch. The weather was so pleasant at 11am with cool breeze even though the sun was shining bright in the sky. I had to slow down for Vinod to take photos of birds, found a couple of them. We were three hours behind schedule. At the top, took a couple of pictures after climbing rocks and tree ... as usual, and the temple was open this time.
Throttles were opened to cover up time, true beasts unleashed on road, but the riders needed a break and we took a short break for coconut water, they were just harvested, the water was very tasty, so we had coconut bottoms up competition ;-) , Vishu and myself could manage 4 whereas the rest stopped after two rounds. As we were nearing shivansamudra the bridge across the cavery river was under repair. De tour rode for 20km backwards and this time we transported the beasts in boat, this mode shortened our de touring by 40km and saved almost a hours’ time. Heavy traffic on the Kanakapura road stretch spotting couple of fresh accidents en route, Even NICE road had heavy traffic.... we were home by 6:30PM.
1. Classic Chrome 500
2. Thunder bird 500
Work ride (Coimbatore, Chennai and Madurai) September 2015
It's been long wait this year for me to go on long ride finally decide it to club with my work but the route was stupidity, for me the route didn't matter as it was an long wait for the ride. Saddled up the bull on friday 5.30am 4th sept.
Coimbatore 340km 5hrs 30min
Excited first solo cum work ride, took Sathymangala route morning fresh air kept the bull roaring sunrise from shivanasumudra bridge, was amazing picture explains all, couldn't waste much time as I wanted to reach the destination before noon, breakfast stop was near Chikkahole dam it looks huge from road side further few km from there is Suvarnavathy dam where it can be accessed by off roading, could see couple of coracles busy fishing in silent waters could spot bunch of peacocks. Just before entering near Sathy ckeck post saw an smashed up Xuv 50, that indicated me to ride slowly in the single lane stretch, At 8.30am Sathyamangala Ghat was covered by thick fog with visibility of just 5ft ahead and lorries having a tuff time climbing uphill, for the first time seeing so many heavy vehicles in ghat section, where in one of the bends bull got stuck and was helped by lorry guy to get it straight as I was going downhill, nearing Bhavani sagar dam could spot two deers grazing peacefully, had a tuff time navigating in the coimbature city as there was network issue and gps wasn't working it took one hour of riding to reach my destination luckily by an help of a local who showed me the way to Coimbature club also called as English Club. Stay and food was great following Traditional English style with collared Shirt, pant and leather shoe. Got a chance to drive to Ooty but we reached there by 6pm where everything was closed except Juarassic park.
Chennai 496km 7hrs
Started by 5pm as soon as work got over, got out of the city in 15min connecting highway roads were freshly laid 4 lane till Salem and got single lane near towns as it was evening didn't find much trouble as light from opposite vehicle were blocked by the plants maintained by NHAI. Got slow near Salem as it was raining heavily for about 20km stretch got dried up by the time I reached Chennai, Roads were well maintained and clean for my surprise, at the same time there was Global Investors meet happening in Chennai. Stay was in Gandhinagar club just 2km from Bessy beach this motivated my childhood buddy Supreeth to run in mornings wherein I too accompanied him. Stretch from GNC to bessy beach were covered by trees on both sides of road reminding of our childhood days in Bangalore but it was humid in Chennai. Got a chance to visit Madras cricket club and have dinner there during my stay in Chennai. Got the bike serviced from OMR road Enfield service station the service was good.
Madurai 470km 6hrs
Left Chennai by 5.45pm it took almost one hour to connect to highway due to traffic, had an sweat shower in my gear till I reached highway, it's a busy road connecting Mahabalipuram too many people were having their weekend ride, bike was smooth as before after service, during an fueling stop the bike had covered 263km average speed of 82km reached my destination at 12am. It was too hot for the entire week stay in Madurai, got a special entry to Meenakshi Aman Temple with good darshan and next morning Supreeth and me did a temple run from Union Club roughly 2.5km stretch, good team of guys to work with and a Italian Supervisor, we guys made sure he had a great stay in India.
Home 450km 7hrs
Started by 1pm as soon as the matches got over with a great send of picture, phone got off due to heat and no gps to connect to highway but the sign boards were in English and guided me to highway, enroute there was road blockade due to uprooting of tree with traffic up to 1km standstill, dindigul route was covered by mountains on both the sides connecting Kodaikanal and Sirumalai forest, was feeling this is my life just road and mountains on either side nearing Namakal Eastern Ghats were too amazing, making me feel that am nothing in front of nature. Little further down saw an two wheeler accident where two people were battling for life body shaking in weird ways bleeding heavily (god save them) on road they were locals riding without helmets ambulance took 15 min to reach there, vehicles had slowed down as it was in middle of the road. later my chase for the sunset started as nearing Hosur sky turned orange and sun playing hide and seek with clouds it took one hour to clear the state border as there were many lorries stopped at RTO check post on either side following bandh in day time. Next day morning am all ready for Distinguished Gentlemen's Ride Bangalore edition 2015.Thus my trip comes to an end for the month of September.
Work ride 2 ( Gulbarga & Hyderbad 1790km) 2015
Started my ride at 3am from Bangalore with light drizzle, the depression in TN kept the drizzle on for almost a week in Bangalore and heavy rains in Chennai and neighboring areas. Nearing Nandi hills and Chikballapur, the weather was freezing cold, surprised to see fog near Anantapur at 6am appx 200km from Bangalore.
Railway crossing first stop,
Deviation from Gooty road was end of smooth ride, thought it was just for short distance but it just continued as nearing the railway crossing had to waste 30min near patikonda railway crossing could see people crossing the closed gate by their bike and cycle, the way the people were admiring my bull and asking about my ride was making me feel good, lost time of how those 30min waiting for crossing went by.
Stopped here to take a picture of bike with Mantralayam entrance little did I know that was the last picture of my trolley wheel seen in the photo, wheel was missing when I reached my destination was very lucky as it was trolley wheel not the bike wheel. Engineering of Tungabadhra Bridge full of metal was a wonderful ride with good flow water in one corner of river.
Best road from Raichur to Gulbarga,
There are 3 routes to reach Gulbarga from Raichur, with the help of a policeman took the best route to reach my destination but I was surprised that the best road via....................... was best for some good patches rest all were off roading wondering how would the worst ones be, even though it was single lane that took too much time to cover the distance first 300km of my ride was covered in 2hrs 30min and next 300 took 5hrs 30min.
Had a great time in Gulbarga after my work went to Sharanbasaveshwara temple that is an one amazing piece of architecture especially the glass design on interior top of temple, inside combination of gold and black on sculptures were one among rare to be seen in this place people tell its more than 300years old, outside of temple is different in color than other temples it has black outside with gold color at top for gopuram, next to temple they have their own school and college built like palace looks outside, locals tell its one of the best educational institution in Gulbarga.
Kaja Bandha Nawaz Daragha
Its second biggest Daragh (dome )in India although its the holy place of Muslims and famous tourist spot the maintenance is not upto mark on outside of daragha there are many tombs there with domes but the interior of the main dargha is mesmerizing you just get lost looking at it glass work in interior of dome and art work done surrounding the tomb is just amazing one can still wonder how it was done in those days, with script written in a circle all are still intact, no taking photos inside but its best to be seen by naked eyes. The surrounding area is also called as Chota pakistan. This place is an must visit for the people who go to Gulbarga, I would suggest you to go there by noon are evening.
My second week work got shifted to Gulbarga so did the accommodation the hotel was right in front of Fort it was my third visit to Gulbarga this time I made sure I visited it, its spread in vast area having two entries to get in surrounded by water (now drainage). Most of the buildings have crumpled down but the illegal occupation inside have made it dirty, in mornings one can spot many motors pumping water from road side underground water pipes to their houses. Open defecation can be seen all over the fort, one has to mind every step especially while walking on top of fort.
Jamia Mosque and viewpoint where canon still exists are clean spots seen inside fort, Jamia Mosque can hold 5000 people inside it, has unscientific structured beams and pillar and many researchers and scientist still wonder how was it made in 1376AD, One tower has canon which can be visited all time of day I still wonder how people would have got that rot iron canon to top without any modern equipments and rotate it to fire, the other high point has timings for entry they lock the gates by 4.30pm it houses 3 cannons in same place with step wise height differentiations and hardly 1 and half ft passage to rotate cannons in circle, one can see entire Gulbarga city from here.
Buddha Vihar and ESI Hospital
Newly built place very silent inside and around it, the wood work in mantap inside is marvelous piece of work with brilliant carvings and sculptures on it, if one needs some peacefully time this is the right place to be, with meditation hall underground its absolute silence there guided by an monk, it has two stupas and a school and a lineup of guest houses surrounding it, though its 8km away from centre of city its worth a visit, as heard by locals it was built by Rs one thousand core also one can spot sparrows in huge numbers here. On the way to Buddha vihar one can spot 4 new buildings built like an palace right next to the highway in a huge area, at first I thought it was University, but later got to know its ESI hospital it's something unique to spot in an region of Gulbarga where development is less. Unfortunately it's not open yet for service hope the equipments doesn't get rusted by the time they throw it open this project also consumed Rs one thousand core.
Gulbarga to Hyderabad
My plans of visiting Bidar got cancelled due to lack of time and moved to Hyderabad, it was Sunday early morning playing hide and seek with sun in some parts of stretch was fun with cool morning breeze, as closing to Hyderbad border at distance in mist I could see a group of people walking and jogging towards me on road I slowed down the bike thinking it's my bad time and was prepared to take a u turn and have a escape route, as they closed by it was a group doing their morning jog on highway, that gave me a huge relief and continued my ride little further there were kids doing fitness in middle of highway. slowed down a bit and moved on, could see a couple of biker groups going on their weekend ride on that stretch as it connects to a forest, giving them thumps up continued my ride to end in road block due to marathon happening which I wasn't aware, 5km to youth hostel took me 30min to reach where my biker friend Sharath was waiting for me, bird and classic reunite in Hyderbad.
Brila Mandir, Golkanda fort
Brila Mandir is completly made out of white marble stone neat and clean well maintained, no cameras or mobiles allowed inside, one can leave them in cloak room, where the Q is huge for keeping and while collecting, its temple of all Hindu gods made from marble, on a small hill surrounded residential place with narrow road , close to Hussain Sagar lake you can spot few historical places from view point of the temple, we headed to Golkanda fort as nearing the fort wall we felt like we are inside the fort but one has to travel another 2km from outer wall of fort to reach the fort, seriously I would suggest you to take a guide along with to know history of Golkanda, guide charges were Rs 750 but they take you around explaining each and every part of fort, at entrance you have clapping portico, where many people keep clapping in the chamber, the clap from centre of chamber can be heard as echo to top of fort, for this the clap has to be done from the centre where a small marking is there, few feet away from it, just an ordinary clap, effective way of communication on those days to alert about invaders. Few meters ahead there was an water channel below the ground which was used as ac during summers, the ministers and royal family used to be put in a swing and were swinging above water level, but now the height has been reduced so people can walk through it, as soon as you get out of this place towards right hand side you see patches of grass maintained in blocks on ground it's called as Nagina Bagh, where jewels were put in those blocks in open for sale like now we have market for vegetables. But after independence grass has grown in those blocks for us to graze instead of looking at glittering jewels and ornaments, as we moved ahead there is a huge tank that's 1st stage of water entering fort for purification, it used to pumped uphill during those time for a 3 stage purification, you still spot pieces of broken pipes when you move around. Ramadas prison which was actually a store room was converted into a prison for Ramadas he spent 12years of his life in it, during that time he carved Hanuman on the wall out of stone which still can be seen. Ibrahim mosque inspired the ruler to build Charminar resembling the architecture of 4 towers at top most of the fort you can spot darbar hall which is open. and while ascending it's just ruins of palace, barracks artist room and amphitheater, even now they have light show during night at the fort premises, while moving ahead from open theater you come across talking wall where you don't require a telephone to talk to the person on other side of the wall, stick your ears to wall and you hear voice of other person talking very clearly, same vice versa between walls, little ahead there is chamber similar to clapping chamber at entrance, where one can hear drop of pin on the floor in centre of chamber and whisper is heard loud, where the king and queen can listen to the person talking without being seen, nearing exit there is 3 storey complex which was used as fire arms depot but they are converting it into a museum.
Salar Jung Museum
Heavily guarded one of the best museums in India I have seen till date, it requires minimum 5hours to cover those 32 rooms some of rarest of rare collections they have, it's worth an visit once a life time if you are in love with history from toys to diamond studded swords, guns and artifacts etc the list goes on.
The return (Hyderabad to Bangalore)
As we had late night we slept of for 4 extra hours, we were behind schedule departure, luckily it was a cloudy morning without not much of heat at 9am beasts roaring to its full, going through rain and sun in noon, till evening everything was smooth until Sharath dropped is wallet 20km appx before Hindupur, luckily he had written is house phone no in the wallet, the finder had called his dad and informed about his wallet, by then we were 60km ahead from the place of where wallet was, we rode back only to get caught with drunkards having the wallet he lost all his money it was a big amount but got back the documents with scuffle, very unpleasant experience wasting two and half hours of our time, and learnt an very good lesson never to keep anything loose, as we were nearing Bangalore the chill breeze kept us extra active and were at last with an all sorts of experience concluding my 2015 rides with this trip.
Thunder bird 500
Classic Chrome 500