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Down The Memory Lane - Ride to Kanyakumari - December 2006

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by nkrishnap, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
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    Numerous weekends went by with no real rides happening and it was doing no good to cure the biker’s itch. With the whole week off work it meant only one thing a week long ride. Then, the next dilemma is where I can ride out for a week and that too during the Christmas festive time. Myself and my biking buddy Santosh did discuss a few locations and then decided to head to Kanyakumari via the Kerala coast and then take U turn at the tip of India and head back northwards. So we decided to start the ride at 6 am on December 25, 2006. Initial plan was to ride for about 4 days with 2 days in buffer.

    We avoided the weekend knowing that the traffic on the highways would be high more so because of the holidays. So packs all the necessary things on Saturday and Sunday. With a decent night's sleep, I was up and ready for the ride. Here's it turned out over the week.

    Riders and Rides

    nkrishnap - TVS Apache

    Santosh - Bajaj Pulsar 180 V1

    Day 1 – December 25, 2006

    The meet point was Shell petrol bunk on the Mysore road. We should have started riding @ 6 am, but it did not turn out as planned. After delay of 50 mins Santosh joined me at the petrol bunk and we waited a few mins for the bunk to open.

    Waiting at the bunk

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    In the meanwhile, checked if everything is in place. Once the bunk opened, filled both the bikes to the brim and the ride kicks off. We made brisk progress crossing Bangalore outskirts and kept zooming on the 4 lane highway till Kamat Lokaruchi which is about 5 kms further from Ramanagaram. Headed to the Kamat Lokaruchi and found that it was chaotic with tonnes of people in there. Looking at our outfit with the riding jackets, knee guards/protectors, people were curiously asking us if we were racing on the highway or we were heading for some race. After telling them that these are essential protective gear for biking and letting them know on our plans, a few people were surprised and few even went to the extent of calling us crazy. Anyways, amidst all this, we had a nice breakfast.

    As we move to the parking lot, we face the first hurdle, Santosh's Pulsar had a puncture on the rear tyre.

    The punctured rear wheel

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    Luckily right next to the place was a puncture shop, took about 40 odd mins to fix it. Time to move on as the clock was ticking past 10.30 am. With the weather being pleasant we made brisk progress doing 3 digit speeds. Rode nonstop for a few kms after Nanjangud where we stopped for tender coconut and to answer the nature call. Within 10 mins we were again zooming on the highway towards Gundlupet and rode till Pugmark Restaurant just a few kilometers from the Bandipur forest reserve. A decent lunch accompanied by a 30 mins rest break ensure we were charged up for the rest of the journey. Soon we were on the road again riding towards Gudalur. Stopped at a few places to click a few snaps on the deserted road in the afternoon.

    A few pics en-route

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    We knew were behind schedule by a good hour and a half. Reached Gudalur and diverted towards Nilambur not before seeking a little help from the locals on the directions. Soon reached the Kerala border and the roads after crossing the border were good with awesome twisting through the forests. So it was time for some peg scraping. The spirited riding ensured we reached Nilambur in no time and diverted towards Perinthalmanna. The roads from here were like a horror story. The poor roads with loads of dust ensured our progress slowed significantly. Reached Perinthalmanna and stopped for a tea break.

    The twilight and the bad roads along with quite a few moronic drivers of vehicles of all sizes who did not seem to care even a little bit about the traffic rules were all adding to the slow progress. Soon we reached Thrissur and took the bypass road and rode towards Cochin as it was already close to 7 pm. The highway between Thrissur and Cochin was very crowded. We weaved our way on that busy highway an reached Cochin around 8 pm. Feeling happy that we have made it to the first stop for the day, we were thinking of finding a decent lodge with an AC room (AC is must if you are staying anywhere in the coastal cities, especially if you were riding all day).

    Our big hurdle was that we were not able to find a good room due to heavy festive season rush. Somehow after hunting the room for about an hour and a half finally found an AC room which had windows which cannot be closed, also had to contend with mosquitoes. The room rent was Rs. 750/- inclusive of tax. The rating to the room from my side is poor. As we had no choice we had to opt for the room.. Since both of us are Veggies, had to satisfy our hunger with Parota and Chutney. Headed back to the room, as usual checked the photos clicked and discussed about the next day’s plan and slept with the clock well past 11 pm and with 600 odd kms odo on day one.

    Route

    Route Day 1.JPG

    To be continued.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  2. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Wow....Amazing, riding on 2 wheels !
    nkrishnap likes this.
  3. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Day 2: December 26, 2006

    Previous day’s hassles and delays, ensured that the trend continued. Got up a little late. After breakfast, we started to continue ride not before we changed the rear brake springs in Santosh’s pulsar 180 as it was making irritating noise every time he used the rear brakes. We rode on just when the clock was about to tick 11 am and it was already hot and humid even during December. Rode on and reached Alleppey and we were looking out for tender coconut to soak the heat. Finally found a shop selling tender coconut and the surprising part was the cost per coconut 16 bucks, which was much higher than what it used to cost in Bangalore at that point of time. Gulped a couple of them and moved on.

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    A few shots of the numerous backwaters and the bridges.

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    We reached Kollam at almost 2.30 pm. Had to wait at a level crossing for about 15 mins, before the two Island (Bangalore – Kanyakumari - Bangalore) express cross each other. Yes you read it right, the same express trains albeit in opposite directions. Soon reached the beach, spent a few minutes clicking photos.

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    The luggage and the riding gear

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    Decided to skip lunch, and rode on as we wanted to reach Kovalam beach to catch the sunset. Reached Kovalam reach without entering the Trivandrum City at around 5 pm. We had to keep our luggage, no cloak room, what next. Requested the priest at the nearby temple but to no avail, everybody refused to help us. A guy from a fancy store was ready to help us and I was no wonder surprised. Later found the guy who helped was from Hubli. Anyways we went to the beach it was very soothing with nice breeze and lovely sunset.

    A few kms before reaching the Kovalam Beach

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    Kovalam Beach

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    The light house

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    Just as the sun went below the horizon we went to the nearest restaurant for a cup of tea. The dosa camp was inviting, however, found no dosas being served.

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    Soon packed our luggage and started to ride towards Kanyakumari. The road were very good but quite narrow for a highway. A small town/village every 5-10 kms ensured we made a slow progress. Just after Marthadam, the roads got wider and so did our speeds inch higher towards the ton figure mark. We reached Kanyakumari at around 10 pm. After a bit of search, we found a room but the was a bit pricey as it was peak season rates. Had nice yummy dinner and headed back to the room and hit the sack. The heat and humidity had got us.

    Route - Day 2

    Route Day 2.JPG

    To be continued.
    Sailer_Punter, Ravi and ramjn like this.
  4. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
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    Day 3: December 27, 2006

    Got up a little early to catch the sunrise. But our luck running on thin lines, it was cloudy which ensured we could not catch even a proper glimpse of the very famous sun rise.

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    What next, knowing that we would spend most of next day at this place, we came back to the hotel and relaxed ourselves. After resting for a couple of hours, we headed off to have breakfast. After breakfast we rode to Suchindram.

    On the way to Suchindram

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    A little information about Suchindram

    The Sthanumalayan Temple is of importance to Shaivaites and Vaishnavite Sects of Hinduism. The place got the name of Suchindram, according to stalapurana. Hindu Mythological legend has it that king of devas, Indra got relieved of a curse at the place of the main linga in the temple. The term "Suchi" in Suchindrum is believed to have derived from the Sanskrit meaning that stands for "purify". Accordingly, Lord Indra is supposed to visit the temple for performing "Ardhajama Pooja" or prayer.

    The temple is an architectural marvel known for its quality of workmanship in stone. The musical pillars carved out of single stone and which stands at 18 feet is an architectural delight. There are 7 musical pillars in the Alangara Mandapam each cut out of single rock, which emit the sounds of various musical instruments when struck. There are 1035 pillars with carvings in the dancing hall. The Anjaneya or Hanuman statue stands at 22 feet or 3 m and is carved of a single granite block and is one of the tallest statues in India. The Nandi statue made of mortor and lime and which is 13 feet tall is one of the biggest Nandi statues in India. Construction of the temple extended over a period of at least six hundred years. Parts date back as far as the ninth or tenth century, others from the fifteenth century, and a huge seven-storey pyramidal gopura was erected during the sixteenth century.

    No pics inside the temple as the camera is not allowed inside the temple. A few from outside.

    The Gopuram

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    The Temple pond

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    After spending little time being mesmerized at the Wonderful architecture, headed back to Kanyakumari and had yummy lunch. Went back to the room, parked the bikes and it was time to go to the Vivekananda Rock on the ferry. Spent some time there and returned back to the room.

    On the way to Vivekananda Rock

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    Since it had gone cloudy, waiting for the sunset would be futile and hence we decided to ride till Thirunelveli, which is 80 kms away from Kanyakumari. We left Kanyakumari at around 5.30 pm, on the way there were a lot of windmills where we stopped at a few places to click a few snaps.

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    We were enjoying the smooth NH-7, so decided to continue till Thirumangalam a few kms from Madurai where we decided to halt for the night. Found a decent lodge with safe parking and a restaurant which served idlis at 10 pm. Dinner done and it was snooze time.

    Day 3 - Route

    Route Day 3.JPG

    To be continued.
    Sailer_Punter, Ravi and ramjn like this.
  5. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    5,245
    Chennai
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    Madurai is often referred as 'Thoongaa Nagaram' which means the City never sleeps. It is famous that food is available anytime there. :)
    Ravi and nkrishnap like this.
  6. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice to read and good to see you still remember small things like tyre puncture etc, till now.
    Lovely pictures, specially of sunsets.
    This is funny. You could have taken some non-AC room itself.
  7. limraj

    limraj Superiore

    Messages:
    915
    Trivandrum
    Linea 1.3
    Nice pics. Still remembering things 8 years old? wow!
    Where is the Apache now?
  8. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
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    Ironically, the only available room was an AC room and to our luck it turned out to be a non AC room :banghead:

    The Apache is still with me and it has clocked well over 1.2 lakh kms. In fact commuting to office on the Apache itself :)

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