I opened my eyes at 5:00 am in the morning, lazily i pulled the spread over me and cozied up in the bed. Suddenly i realized and my eyes opened again very wide, i remembered in a jiffy that it is the ‘Ride Day’ and I had to be at the starting point in an hour. I hurriedly finished the morning chorus and got dressed, I was ready on time and reached the NICE road corridor exit near the Mysore road. I had promised myself not to miss out this ride because from past three years I had not rode long with the group anywhere. Well, I was riding to a place called Harangi Backwaters, a tributary of the river Cauvery and in the beautiful sleepy town of Kushalnagar. It is located at a distance of around 240 kilometers from Bangalore city.
I was very excited and happy to be back on the highway to the place where i belong on one of my favorite roads. The highway onwards to Mysore is very scenic and very wide. Once i reached the starting point we waited for all the riders to ensemble and then there was a briefing by the team of bangalore Motorcycle Club for all the riders. The boys at Bangalore Motorcycle Club lay very high emphasis on safety, Riders have to be with full faced helmet, jackets, gloves, knee guards and all safety accessories required by a rider to be on the ride. This is no street play so there are strict rules to follow, you do not overtake anyone unneccessarily, you do not rush, no honking, we ride in a straight line and with a ‘Pilot’ to lead, a ‘Sweep’ who tails with a mechanic, and two moderators who guide along the entire ride. I am giving you a picture of how well these rides are held and maintained with discipline on the roads.
We started riding at around 7am in the morning, since it was a weekend i could spot many other bikers on the roads who had planned their rides. We had a small stop at Bidadi for breakfasts and the idlis were really relishing, the hot cup of coffees kicked the laziness out on a fine blue morning. Next the tanks were topped up with fuel and altogether there were 22 bikes, few of them were the modern mean machines “KTM’s”, “FZ’s,HERO’s” and ofcourse the “Royal Enfields”. The “Enfield’s” are always the cynosure of all the eyes on the roads, the beats generated by those bikes play down every other thing on the road and it looks like a series of big thunderbolts belting on the roads. I will never give up the praise for these bikes as my passion towards them is unlimited. Next, we reached Srirangapatna at around 10.10am and relaxed for a while. A local vendor was chopping tender coconuts which were very much required by us for a small breather. The convoy moved again and crossed Hunsur, Periyapattna and in between we had a small coffee break too, it is important to take breaks when you are riding for a longer distance. We reached Kushalnagar and reached a small and very beautiful resort at around2:30 pm in the afternoon.
I was simply blown away by the place, there was a very beautiful reservoir right in front of us facing the resort. The riders were alloted different dormitories and i got a beautiful cottage with 14 other riders. We got introduced with each other and shared so many other stories. A very hearty lunch was awaiting us and i was really hungry like an elephant. There were few guavas hanging from the trees and plucking them after attempting a short jump brought back some childhood memories. I bited to my hearts content, to be honest a bit of salt in those raw guavas would have made the scene more tastier. A bit later the food gave in and I felt sleepy, i was a bit tired so let the lazy me rest on the bed for a while. I was asleep when a couple of guys started to make plans of riding to a nearby place. I asked them if I could come along to which they gently obliged.
We rode to the Harangi Dam, it was located quite close and the roads were very beautiful with dense canopy of trees all over, riding there seemed to be like a dream unfolding. It was drizzling lightly and secretly i wished the rains did not play any spoilsport. However, the slight drizzle turned out to be an awesome weather and was good enough to add in that moment to become very memorable. The dam is a small overflow ‘Bund’, whoever had the concept long ago was very smart in designing it this way. After enjoying in the drizzle we then headed to the Golden temple at Kushalnagar, “The Nyingmapa Monastery”. We were heading to this monastery when on the road from harangi Dam we met two monks stranded on the road. These monks had a bike and run out of fuel, my good friend took one of the guys to a fuel station and got fuel for the monks in his bike. He did not return with us and so there were four of us left to make it to the monastery. I made to this monastery for a second time and it is very beautiful and calm place. It is a real good place to connect with the spiritual world. We entered the main shrine and prayed there for a while. I collected two small souvenirs of prayers to be worn around the neck and would treasure it for a good memory always (it carries a small prayer in the tibetian script for long life and happiness). We then slowly rode back to our retreat and had a very relaxed evening, the dinner was beautiful by the lakeside and a campfire glowing in the dark. All the riders exchanged their experiences and the share of fun. We stayed up late and then went to bed, and everyone was snoring to glory in a short while.
The next morning we gleefully clicked pictures, had a quick breakfast, checked our bikes and then rode to the Harangi Chikhole Reservoir for one more time with the group. It was a moment which will remain close to me for a while. It was worth the wait after three years i chose to ride for this location and i met very good, interesting and amazing guys. At around 1pm in the afternoon we headed back to Bangalore and I reached home at 7pm in the evening. On the roads we encountered some rains but overall this was a fantastic experience after a long time. So where is my destination next?? Watch my bag and i will have something else for you soon. Adios Amigos!!!