Friday, December 7, 2007

Bangalore - Kolar (Kurkki Mountains)

Ride Date:01.12.2007 ~ 02.12.2007
Route: Koramangala - Marathahalli - Whitefield Rly Station - Hosakote - Narsapura - Kurkki , and back.
Distance:140 kms

Myself,Chandru and Sandeep gathered on the Marathalli bridge at 4:00 p.m. I was curious to see the tent which Sandeep was carrying and I was expecting his backpack to be bulkier. Unusally, it was very very small. It could not see the tent. But Sandeep was swearing that he had the tent in his bag. Well, I would have to wait till night unfolds to see that ultra small, light 3 men tent. Our idea was to camp in the moutains of Kurkki near Kolar. We pedaled our way through the deafening traffic...particularly the traffic near ITPL was horrifying. Bangalore's tech zone, certainly deserves some broad roads. May be a 8 lane... for our population.

When we were near the Whitefield Railway station, the sun was setting and that meant we had to pedal for some time in the night. Soon at around 5:20 p.m. we reached the crossroads of NH4. We bought 1 kg of banana (hee hee), some oranges, chikkoos, berries all that would serve as dinner and breakfast. It was twilight and the dust was shining in the air. We were racing against time, trying to cover the maximum distance in dusk. All we could do is reach Hoskote before night engulfed NH4. My guess was that the Volvo plant was just 4 kms away from Hoskote and the Kurrki mountains may be another 4 kms from Volvo plant. But a passer-by dropped a bomb...shocking us that Volvo plant was 22kms away...and the Kurkki mountains some further 8 kms from Volvo plant. Oh... no... we yelled in unison... By the time it was pitch dark... and to ride on the NH4 alongside the speeding buses and truck was a challenge.

Sandeep pulled out his 10 rupees flashers which had a LED and star, and it started flashing in red and blue upon turning the pin. Great! Made in China...Sold in Majestic met our requirement for the night. The trucks and buses were keeping safe distance from us, because the light was very flashy. We felt safer riding in the night than in daylight on NH4.

We had dinner at a road side Dhabba and enquired 'How far the Volvo factory was'. The dhabba guy said he had come from Himachal pradesh and had no idea where it is. :-(. We set off after an hours break and we reached the village of Narasapura... none of us tracked the time...because it was immaterial to track it on a weekend....we asked for the directions to the Kurkki mountains and set-off.

Soon, we could see a Bajaj Chetak following us.... We stopped and gave way for it to pass.. But the rider stopped and enquired who we were and why we were going to Kurkki mountain at this weird hour. After a self-introduction, we asked for the stranger's name and he introduced himself as Poornachandra. "I am a sculptor" he added. Surprised, We asked what? Sculptor? He continued. "Yes! I make carvings on stones, I also make scultpures of Gods and Goddessess in Gold and Silver." We said.. WoW... and shook his hands... he was a humble person and felt shy... He showed us a few paper cuttings which were about his sculptures which had appeared in a newspaper.

He was very friendly and invited us home to stay in his house for the night. We were pleased by his kind gesture and told him that we had plans to camp in the mountains by erecting a tent. He laughed at it and said.. if required we can make the tent in a nearby temple which he had built. The idea sounded good and we soon headed towards the village. The villagers suggested us to camp in the village school instead of the temple. That was a fantastic suggestion and we were happy that everything was going our way...

We parked the bikes in the school and got ready to prepare the tent. Sandeep pulled out a sheet and said here it is.... he had a Orange colored Polythene sheet in one hand and a rope in another. All the adjectives he had used that morning to describe the tent were true. It was light,cheap, economical,superfast.. 3men tent. In the night, we had all the fruits and chit chatted till we fell asleep... in the night we were fighting for the woolen bedsheet ... and it was fun. Sometimes, the pull for the bedsheet was so intense... I thought one of us is going to bring the tent down. It was very windy night and we were happy that we and the tent had survived through the night.

[3-men tube tent, campin at night] [the village school... camping spot]

In the morning, we had a curious visitor at our tent. A kid who studies at the school had come to play in the school and was puzzled to see us camping there. With no words.. we smiled at each other. We packed the things and by 6:30 a.m. we were heading towards Kurkki mountains on our bike. A video shot enroute is here for you...

[ kurkki] []

The place was splendid with small rocks strewn all around the place. It would serve as an ideal place for BMX riders to demonstrate their stunts. We parked our bike near a pond and we started our trek uphill. At the top of a huge boulder, we had our breakfast... some cream buns...oranges..bananas..etc. It was a stunning view from the top to see the NH4 and the small mountains which surrounded the place. We basked on the morning sun for 1 hour or so. Vitamin D, huh?

[too inviting for off-road biking] [NH4, crawls as a snake ... as seen from top]

[I love to take..the pictures of this beauty... a bike that carries me... and one which I can carry]

[sandeep..up close.. on the mountain] [call it a silhoutte... boulders of kurkki]

[a perfect place....trees..grass..boulders] [boulders....they are everywhere]

As the sun became hotter, we started to descend the boulders. We were happy to see our bikes intact and the village junta had spared it. We started our journey back to Bangalore. Here is a video as we started leaving the Kurkki mountains

The return journey was much quicker and we had a stop at Hotel Athithi for Breakfast. This hotel is next to Volvo factory (on the side of Bangalore). We left the reastaurant at 10:50 a.m. and we were back at Marathalli by 1:00 a.m. After a lunch at Hotel Bagini, we dispersed and I had to pedal my way all through to Koramangala. When I set my eyes upon the time-piece in my home, it read 2:25 p.m. Another exciting weekend was crawling to its end.

[we n our bikes..] [Hotel Attithi, 100m before Volvo]

Total Distance Bangalore to Kukki & back :- 140 kms.

p.s. :- Kurkki mountains is just 10 kms before Kolar and the local crowd said there are many more interesting rock-cladden mountains around. We did not have time to see them...may be next time.


deepak majipatil said...

A very nicely written / presented story :)

A link to see all Photos taken would be fine at ur blog.

Gauthaman said...

@Deepak:- Thanks. Would upload the photos to flickr and provide a link in future.
But I would place few photos in the blog in between the story because it will make it interesting for people to read

DCM said...

Boy! I missed the fun!

Anonymous said...

How about putting the route or start/end points into a google map?

raghu said...

Hey its a really nice blog.
I had something diff adventure near tekal..its called bheemana gardi.I will soon post it on my blog and send u the link.

Rups said...

amazing blog ..... r u by any chance suma's friend?? she had come form blore to meet her some friends during enduro .... one more thing may i know ur mail id ..... mine is
i will like to know more about the himachala cycling thing in sept which u have mentioned in ur blog
please waiting for ur reply
mumbai [participated in amature mix teams 1st time]

monisha mehta said...

hey , nice blog , like it ,
won't be nice if i u can clickover to my blog page too ,
& post some suggestion

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