Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hills Beckon.

It's not always when I have to spend the whole night, a whole Saturday night, in office, working,
It's not always when I have to drive between the trucks on National Highway 7, in dark,
It's not always when I see the Sun rise,
It's not always when I travel in excess of 120 KM on my bike, within 5 hours,
It's not always when Vyas & Jha stick to their promises (okay, now it's getting lame.)

This Sunday wasn't just another Sunday. This Sunday stands for the sweet victory of the underdogs, for the jubilant triumph of the underestimated, for the swift execution of the unplanned, for the pride of being a motorcycle owner. (*drumroll*) This Sunday we visited Nandi Hill on our bikes! It was nothing short of a miracle, more so after planning it on the Friday night (for the next morning) & ditching it on the Saturday morning. I was in office on the Saturday evening (please don't ask about it) & I realized that I might have to stay there all the night. Though in my opinion, Nandi Hill's a little bit too far for a bike ride (about 60 kms), the temptation of capturing the rising Sun from the hills in the camera, got the better of me and I called Vyas & Jha and confirmed the plan. The plan was to leave Bangalore at 4:00, so that we reach Nandi Hills around 5-5:30, which is about the time of sunrise.

I was in office all the night. Jha also didn't sleep at home (was perhaps watching some late night television). I called & woke up Vyas on 4:00 AM sharp & then started for home to pick Jha up. It wasn't before 5:00 that we met Vyas on the IT office circle (It's not Mekhri circle!). It was still dark & bit chilly for a May morning. And thus the journey begun -- Jha & me on my Pulsar, Vyas on his Splendor. Vyas wasn't given enough notice to fill the tank up, so we had to make a quick stop at a droopy petrol pump, where one grumpy looking fellow filled it up for him. We started again only to be harassed by the pathetic state of the highway, pertaining to the construction work. It was still pitch black but for the bright head lights and we had to drive very cautiously as at times we had traffic from both sides confined to one half of the road. I was feeling very sleepy & it was my advice following which we made a stop at a small road side shop to refill our systems with some caffeine. Two cups each & some biscuits later we started again. Our destination was still some 25 kms far, this was the time when the idea Vyas had about the distance got bettered. The horizon was lit up by now and it was obvious that we will not reach the hills before sunrise. The lighting certainly helped us to speed up & very soon both the bikes were on the faster side of 80 kmph. The road was not much of help, of course. When finally the Sun broke out of the horizon, we stopped to click some snaps & release some of the caffeine from our systems.

When we finally reached the top, the Sun was busy warming things up. I have been there twice before, but both the times in the night. I didn't know that there is some temple surrounded by dense woods. It was excellent! Part due to early morning time, part due to spring in full bloom. Clueless about the way & mazed by the numbers of paths, we picked up one at random and stuck to it. We had to hike our way up a small mound to hit the road again. There was one very beautiful & well maintain bungalow there, which I imagine is used as a guest house now. It was a photographer's paradise there! They had excellent flowers all over the bungalow & in the garden. I had a very good time clicking some snaps there. As a matter of fact, I lost Jha & Vyas in the process. When I realized this and found out that cell phones don't work there, I yelled for Jha & Vyas. Failed, I followed the road I thought they took. It lead to a small place with few shops & a restaurant (It's height of euphemism). I couldn't locate them there so I took a stroll little further, where I found a solitary bench just on the cliff. Right ahead was a drop so deep that I couldn't muster enough courage to look down there. It was a beautiful spot overlooking the vast, I suppose, not-very-fertile land. I sat there for a while before coming back to the eating place, where I found them this time. Right after eating, we decided to leave for Bangalore as the lack of sleep was taking it's toll by now.

Our ride back was supported by the bright Sun light, encouraging us to go all cylinders blazing. The highlight of the return journey was the free ride we took from the top to the bottom of the hill; we rolled our bikes down the slope of road without starting the engines. We covered 6 kms like that! As we entered Bangalore at around 10:15-10:30, we were quite tired and sleepy as hell. With nothing else in mind, I went straight to my bed and crashed in it. It wasn't before 3:30 that I woke up. I left for office around 5 for another long night :-(.

I know Jha & Vyas will not recommend this trip to anyone, but I liked it a lot. Firstly, it had an adventurous touch to it. I always fancied myself making really long trips on bike (Though I fancied a Harley-Davidson or perhaps a Bullet). This one was sort of reality check for my dreams. Now I know how it is to cover long distances on bike. But I'm not discouraged a bit and I want to travel more on my bike, but definitely with helmet & glasses next time :). Next, I was dying to get out of Bangalore, perhaps to click some nature snaps or just to break free for a while. I was trying to get plans work, but it just wasn't happening. It motivated me more to go. It was a better Sunday than many of mine. Lastly, it was totally superb up there. We reached late for the sunrise, but in time for the opening of the forest. I enjoyed our little trek in there immensely! I'm game for this Sunday too, looking for people to join. Interested?

P.S.: I shall post pictures from Nandi Hill on my photoblog regularly. Make sure to visit.


himanshu agrawal said...

nice one jat boy.. "it's not mekhri circle" was good.. vyas ko kuchh fundaes nahin hain abhi tak.

i also went to the hills once sitting on the roof of a bus, it was also a memorable trip with a old man repeating "haii-aah" at every turn of the ride up the mountains..

Satyajit said...

Well.. I enjoyed it! I really loved the early morning wind and I am game for another such trip but not back to Nandi Hills. You know any other nice place which is as close or closer than this?

himanshu agrawal said...

first of all, a very warm NAMASKAR jhaa sahib..
secondly, there is this place called MahaShivSamudram water falls.. it is also arnd 60 km.. u can go there on some weekend..