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Birthday Impromptu Ride to Chikmagalur

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

To travel is to experience. I got bit by the travel bug in my teens & since then my love for traveling kept increasing exponentially! :D. I am 25 years old and would like to narrate my impulse travel story.

Here it goes...It was my 25th birthday, and at midnight the usual birthday wishes started as a result of which I was unable to sleep. And then I thought to myself "let's do something fun and exciting!" And boom!!! The traveler inside me couldn't resist & I immediately started browsing to the nearest place I could travel to from Bangalore. After researching, I decided to head to Chikmagalur. Translated as the ‘Young Daughter’s Town’ as it was presented as dowry to the younger daughter of the Chief of Sakrepatna, Rukmangada, this serene city is also known as the ‘Coffee Land of Karnataka’ tranquilizing you from within with its aroma. Chikmagalur is located 240 km away from Bangalore and there are daily buses that you can avail for this trip. But the beauty of Chikmagalur is best enjoyed on a road trip. On a normal monsoon day, it will take about 5 hours to reach Chikmagalur with a short meal break.

As this travel would take around 600 km, I decided to carry my tail bag instead of using my regular tank bag to accommodate an extra pair of clothes in case it starts pouring like cats and dogs! Along with that, I packed some food and water & hit the road at 3:30am. On the way, I stopped at the shell petrol bunk to refuel and then I continued on my birthday ride. I took the Hassan route. En-route to Hassan, there are many eating joints that you can find along the highway. The ones that I found family-friendly and neat were: Couple of CCD outlets, Upsouth and A2B (In the order that you will find them as you drive from Bangalore to Hassan).

I had only covered 50kms and it had started to drizzle. So on top of my riding gear, I put on my rain liners, and then I rode for a couple of hours, maintaining a good speed of 120+. Post that I took a tea break at a hotel, as I didn’t want to risk at a tea stall considering the current pandemic situation. I removed my gear and sat there for a while enjoying the light drizzle while sipping tea and having idly vada along with it. Almost 80kms away from my destination, the single-lane roads started & slowly the weather turned out chilly and foggy. I decided to stop for a fuel break again even though my tank had around 40% capacity, as I didn’t want to risk it in the hilly areas (although later I found that for every couple of kms, there were fuel pumps available).

At one point, 20-30kms into single-lane roads, I witnessed something beautiful; there was a huge stretch of wind turbines in big lush green fields. Man let me tell you it was one amazing view seeing wind turbines through foggy roads. As soon as I reached Chikmagalur, I paid a nominal entry fee for entering the coffee plantation road. Oh Boy, those roads through the plantation were amazing and very well maintained. I then decided to head to the Mullayanagiri Peak (the highest peak in Karnataka.). The roads were covered in fog & as I was getting closer to the destination, it was difficult for me to see through as my bike headlights were LED's (you need amber light to see through in foggy roads). However, the adrenaline rush was pretty high! I was pretty excited!! :D and that kept me going. Luckily I had downloaded the complete area map as I knew the internet connectivity would be down in the hilly areas.

Mullayanagiri is 6500 ft above sea level. Since it was drizzling, it was very foggy and the visibility was also low. But the chill with the raindrops hitting against your face is altogether a different experience. And there the whole trip became worth seeing the mesmerizing scenery. Sipping the coffee cup, watching the whole scenery standing amidst fog at the peak of the hill, gave me a relaxing & a soothing feeling, which cannot be described by words! You should just go and experience it.

And there was another peak named Baba Budan Giri which I wanted to cover but I didn't have the energy to! So I started back around 10:30am and then took a lunch break at Empire restaurant after the toll plaza as I wanted to relax for an hour.

What do I tell about this adventure? You got to experience this!!

After witnessing nature in all its glory, I headed back to Bangalore. If you wish to find an escape from the monotonous 9 to 5 life, this is just the right place for you to spend some time amidst the flora and fauna. Do not forget to carry your camera along to come back with pictures to flaunt on your social media.

Rider : Anshul Sharma (ig: atrippersdiurnal)

Author : Shifali Sharma (ig: shifali_d)

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