Bike Ride to Veerappan's Territory and Hogenakal

Monday, March 28, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (4)

It was August. Long time since we had been to any bike trip. One fine day Vardhan called and asked me to plan a bike trip. Since the rainy season was not over yet , we bought all the necessary things to protect us from rain while riding.

Asked Ravi to come for the trip but when he heard the destination name "Male Mahadeshwara Betta" he refused to come coz he thought we were going to Theerthayatra!!!! Vinayak Mahabhaleshwar Hegde (in short VMH to save time!!) was ready to join us. All others had very well known answer .. "Idondu sala aagalla.... next time miss aagalla"!!!  Vardhan and I were so desperate for a ride that even if we were only 2 of us, we were ready to go.

Finally when the day came VMH fell ill suddenly!!! He was suffering from "COLD"!!!! Again we were left with no option but to travel only 2 of us. Vardhan came to room from KGF on Friday evening.

There was not much of places to visit in this short trip. Only Shivanasamudra (gaganachukki and bharachukki), MM Hills and Hogenakal Falls on the 2nd day.


We started at 8am from room. We were keen in having unlimited breakfast which one of the hotel in Ramanagara offers but we had very little information about the name of the hotel. Asked many, but in vain. Later decided to cancel the idea and have breakfast at nearby hotel.

Gaganachukki Falls in panorama
Vardhan and Me

Reached Gaganachukki Falls at 11am. Many times we had seen the Falls but this time the falls had more water since it was rainy season. The falls looked spectacular. Spent some time enjoying the beauty of  the falls.

Bharachukki in panorama

 Reached Bharachukki in no time. Bharachukki too looked very good.

 There is a Coracle ride in Bharachukki. Oarsman (ಅಂಬಿಗ) took us very near to the base of the falls. It was an awesome ride.  Spent some time looking at the children playing at the base of the falls.

In deep thought- courtesy Vardhan

Children playing at the falls


Gaganachukki from another angle
While coming back from Bharachukki, visited Gaganachukki from the other side. From another angle this falls looks very different.

Near Kollegala
Reached kollegala and had lunch at 3.30. MM hills is around 100 km from Kollegala. While going towards MM hills we saw a board which read Gundal Dam - 9kms. We had ample time to reach MM Hills so decided to visit Gundal Dam.

Way to heaven??

While we were approaching the dam, we least imagined how beautiful the dam would be.

But the dam turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It was BEAUTIFUL...... We fell short of words to describe the view from the dam. Cascaded hills added beauty to the landscape.
Beautiful view from Gundal Dam
My lovely BIKE!!
 We spent around 1 hour at the dam. In that one hour we saw 3 climates..!! Sunshine, Mist and rain all within the span of 20 mins....!!! One can easily go to see only that dam from bangalore. Its worth a visit!!

Raining @ Dam
Left the Dam unwillingly thinking to visit the dam every time I visit Kollegala area. Reached MM Hills at 7pm. Booked a room. Visited the temple at night and that ended the day.

Day 2

Cascaded Hills

This place was once Veerappan's Territory for decades. There is a trekking route to Nagamalai which is around 8-10 kms. on one side That place was actually a place of Forest brigand Veerappan. We decided to trek some other time.

Had breakfast early and left for Hogenakal Falls. There are 2 routes to reach Hogenakal Falls. But the shortest route is not feasible as we cannot cross the river. The road takes to other side of the falls. We took the other route. Other route pass through Mettur Dam.

Road to Mettur pass through forest. The roads are in horrible condition but when the Tamilnadu border starts the roads condition improve drastically and weather too changes!! Tamilnadu is nothing but Bisilanadu !!

Empty Mettur Dam

Reached mettur but nobody were allowed to go over the dam. We decided not to visit the park there and left for Hogenakal.

Top view of Mettur

U turn

  Road was just awesome!!

Reached Hogenakal Falls at 12.30 pm. This was the 2nd time we were visiting the falls and it looked very different from our first visit.  The Falls is very beautiful but the smell of Fish  near the falls spoils the mood.

Panorama of Hogenakal Falls
Spent some time staring at the Nayagara Falls of India.  We didnt feel like eating anything in that smelly area.!! But for non-vegetarians its heaven!!  We left the place and had some biscuits on the way!!

Hogenakal Falls

Vardhan left for KGF from Rayakottai. And I was back to busy bangalore at 5.30 in the evening. Thankfully rain didnt come as much we were expecting, may be because it knew we were armed enough to handle Varuna deva!!

After traveling for more than 560kms with only 2 of us, I think only thing left for us is to travel with no plan!!! Start from a place and plan on the way...!! That would be more thrilling.....!!


1) For the first time I have tried the 360 degree Panorama in this trip. Please download the file from the below link .  I have created animated screensaver of the 360 degree panorama. Double click on the saved screensaver after downloading.  You can also install it as your system screensaver.
Size: 2MB

2) One more link of 360 degree panorama of Hogenakal Falls with user interaction is below. Download the zip/rar file and unzip/unrar the file. Open the Hogenakal Falls file with Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.  Hold the mouse button and move the cursor on the image. Also other options like zoom and many other features can be used.

Size: 10MB

Thanks for reading....Good Day!!!

For more pics Click here....

MM Hills

For detailed maps

View MM Hills Trip Map in a larger map

Dream ride to Munnar and Valparai..

Monday, March 21, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (12)

After asking almost everybody,  we were regular 3 people ready for the long bike, AnandaVardhan and Ravi.

Everybody were ready to take 4 wheeler for the trip but I was not ready to backtrack from our initial plan. It was our very old dream to conquer Munnar on bike. So planned for a 4 day tour which included a hill station Valparai, less known compared to munnar also in our list. Since one side distance from Bangalore to Valparai or Munnar is itself around 430km, it required 2 days of only traveling without visiting any actual place. But we were mentally ready for the long journey... And finally the day arrived.

Day 1

Ravi reached bangalore from Bellary early in the morning. After refreshing, me and Ravi left Bangalore @ 7.30 in the morning. Anand vardhan left KGF  alone on his bike at the same time and we all gathered @ RayaKottai in tamilnadu at 9.45am. From that point itself our enjoyment started...!! After having breakfast in a small village it was a long journey ahead of us.

On the Way.. Near Mettur Dam
Our earlier plan was to reach Valparai on Day one. But after many drinks breaks, butt breaks and lunch breaks we reached Tirupur @ 3 pm which is around 300km from bangalore. Had lunch and started towards pollachi.

Fire Cracker Pistol!!
Bought Fire cracker Pistol too..!!!! Ravi was busy firing with his Pistol to all the bikers on road..!! Even they were smiling at him!! He didnt even spare stray dogs..!! Me and vardhan were busy laughing at Ravi than riding the bike...!!

Unexpectedly very heavy rain started and we were forced to stay inside a small shelter in a village. This forced us to stay back at Pollachi which is 65km from Valparai since road to valparai from pollachi is a paradise since it is a ghat section and with 40 hairpin curves.!!! And also there is a falls called Monkey falls(Dont know why the name is so!!) and a Aliyar dam on the way which makes the landscape even more beautiful. Day ended with 370km.....

Day 2

Started early and reached Aliyar Dam but it was closed. We had 30 mins before the dam to open for visitors. Decided to visit Monkey falls which is 5km from the dam. Took bath at the falls and back to Dam again. As expected the view around Dam and falls was breathtaking... The dam and the falls are situated just before the Ghat starts.

View from Aliyar Dam

From View Point

Spent some quality time taking photographs and enjoying the beauty of nature.

One of the Hair Pin Bend
We were badly awaiting the ghat with 40 hairpin bends...!!Beautiful roads all along the ghats just added to the pleasure of driving which is hard to explain in words..!! At  every U turn the beautiful dam was visible.. After the ghat its beautiful Tea estates all the way to Valparai.

Had a nice tea @ one tea estate and bought some Tea powder too. Reached Valparai @1pm. We were not hungry but  packed some chips and sweets. Every shops we entered people looked at us as if we were aliens ...!! They just could not believe that we came from Bangalore by bike.

Panorama of Estates

There was nothing much to see in valparai city and we had very big challenge in front of us. We had to cover 50km inside deep forest with very few vehicles crossing the forest. And the worst part was the road. Also the road was not there in the map we carried..!! We had to ask villagers and inquire about the road.

Sholayar Dam
Next place was Sholayar Dam. With couple of photo sessions we reached the Dam. It started pouring again..!! Saw the dam from outside and reached the checkpost. Best thing at the checkpost they do is not to allow plastic inside the forest. Even if we have the plastic with us they count the number of plastics and at the other end of the forest they verify again whether we have left the plastic inside the jungle or not... :)

Heavy fog was on the road and the visibility was hardly few meters. Condition of the road was miserable. Maximum speed we could achive inside forest was 25km/hr..!!! And it is not a bad idea to have since inside forest speed limits should be maintained coz animals will be crossing and better not to disturb them with the sound of the vehicle and horn.

Inside  forest
Worst thing was it was raining all along the forest though not heavily. We were unlucky not to find any wild animals on the road since it was raining. Finally reached the other end of the checkpost and it took us almost 3 hours to cross the 50km forest...!! We could spot hardly 5-10 vehicles all along..!! One could imagine the amount of risk we took.. I can not imagine our state what if  the bike was punctured in deep forest with 25 km either side!!! But as they say, Fortune favors the brave, we were brave enough for this forest..!!

Reached Athirapally Falls, one of the most beautiful falls in South India but to our bad luck it was closed at 5pm and we were there at 5.30.. We cursed the road and reached Chalakudi...  That ended our 2nd Day's adventure.


Ravi, Me and Vardhan
There was only one day left to explore Munnar as much as possible for us. We started early from Chalakudi and at the base of the another Ghat section at 9. Again ascending the ghats through never ending Tea estates and series of water falls. Stopped at few water falls and didnt bothered to visit many.

We were at the view point near Munnar at 12.30. There were many people all along were surprised to see us on bike. The had few words of Caution and appreciation for us!!!

Spent some time looking at the beautiful landscapes around us. Had wonderful tea and reached the Munnar City. It is a very busy city with the tourists pouring in from the whole of south india. Most of the tourists were Newly Wed Couples!!! I thought we were misplaced in a some others territory!!!!

It was already 2pm and hesitatingly we decided to visit Top Station which is around 35km from Munnar on Kodaikanal Road. The road passes through most picturesque Tea estates of the Munnar with many beautiful curves  on the way.

Saw a family of elephants on the way. We were tempted to stop at each view point but time did not allow us. We were in Top station in 45 mins. And what a place it was..!!!!!!! We just could not believe our eyes. We would have missed the fun badly if we had decided to skip the place. One can sit and watch the beautiful mountains and valley's the whole day..!!!

From View point of Top Station
Whenever visit Munnar again not to miss this place. Back to Munnar city after couple of photo breaks. There is a dam on the way where boating was there but It did not excite us. So we skipped the place. Back to Munnar again and it was 5.30 already

We had planned to stay in Udumalaipettai which is around 100kms from Munnar. For that we had to cross 12kms of Reserved forest where wild animals are spotted frequently. It was already getting dark. When we reached the checkpost it was 7pm. Authorities guided us about how to tackle the situation when wild elephants block the road.

Panoramic View of Tea Estates
We were carefully moving in uniform speed with not much of distance in between our bikes. I was ahead of Ravi and Vardhan. Suddenly driver of vehicle coming from other end shouted "ELEPHANTS standing on road"...!!! We stopped for a while and gathered all the courage started ultra carefully. But we could see only deers and nothing else. Though elephants on road would have added much  thrill to our ride but we were happy that we were safe !!!

Reached Udumalaipettai at 8.30 pm

Day 4

Another long day awaiting us. But not much places to see. Shopped cotton clothes in Tirupur for which it is famous for. Reached Krishnagiri at 5pm.

For the last time we celebrated by firing into the sky with our Deepavali Gun!!!! Donated the pistols to children there. That made us happy and the kids more happy. Vardhan left to  KGF. Me and Ravi were purchased firecrackers in Hosur and back to bangalore at 9 in the night.

Trip meter read 1197km..!!!!

Listening to the music and chatting on a 4 wheeler can have never  made the tour more happier than on 2 wheeler...!!

That concluded our longest and thrilling ride to Gods own country Kerala and Tamilnadu..


 For more photos....
Munnar - Valparai Tour

View Munnar Driving Directions in a larger map