Sunday, July 27, 2014

Conquering Munnar!

Dear Readers,

This blog is dedicated to all the bikers and to the people who want to get inspired to sit on the saddle to ride for a million miles. Through this blog, I want to convey that nothing is impossible. The fears which exist in our mind about a lot of things stops us from doing those things. We need people who can really push us to do things which always fear of.

To give you a basic framework of the blog, I will divide the blog into three parts i.e. Introduction, passion and beauty. So we shall start with the first part. 


Munnar is town located in Kerala (God's Own Country), which is known for its scenic beauty in terms of tea estates, mountains and weather. Munnar is rated one of the best motorable roads in India as far as scenic beauty is concerned. After finishing Rameshwaram - Dhanushkodi on my bike, now the next target for me and my friend (Vidur) was Munnar. Although, it was in our thought process but never came up as a priority but this time it was banging the doors of our brains in which our riding instincts were waiting to be unleashed for a thrilling ride! 

Riders & Bikes:

Vidur - KTM Duke 390
Raman - Yamaha R15 (V1)
Adhip - Pulsar 200 NS 

Destination: Munnar, Kerala

Distance: 1000 kms (approx)

Dates: 18 April 2014 - 20 April 2014

We were prepared for this ride and everything was ready. Bags packed, leave applied and gas is full. Then came the last minute trouble which will be shared in the second part of the blog i.e. called PASSION.


People have their own definition of passion and bikers are passionate about riding motorcycles. It is like lion tasting blood and the hunger never ends. I have bought a new bike (Pulsar 200 NS) which replaced my Pulsar 150. Just a day before the ride in the evening, the handle of the bike had some issue which worried me in terms of safety and to my disappointment the service center was closed. So I had no idea what to do. I spoke to my friend and it was decided that I will get the handle repaired next day. They will leave as per the scheduled time and I will ride solo to Munnar. This was something which I had never done and I was determined to do it. So, on the first day of the ride I reached the service center at 9.30 am and the problem was fixed.

I had done my packing a day before and simply loaded the saddle bag on my bike. I was ready to go!

Google maps indicated two routes to Munnar from Bangalore. One route was via Dindigul and other route was via Erode which was shorter. I chose the shorter route and the same suggestion was given to me by my friend. The ride started by hitting the Hosur Road towards Chennai at around 11.30 am. Once the bad city roads were over and I was rolling on smoothly on NH 7 doing an average speed of 90 kmph. Since I did not have breakfast, so I made a quick halt at McDonalds, Shoolgiri and stuffed myself with junk food. It was sunny and hot, so I made sure the water level consumption was the maximum. It took me around 3 hours (around 200 kms) to reach Salem. Before reaching Salem, I saw a sign board indicating 'TURN RIGHT' for Erode, since I was riding alone, made sure that it was the right route by asking people around. This road lead me to Bhavani and while on the way I clicked a photo.

I crossed Bhavani and hunger was killing me. So I was looking for a decent restaurant to eat lunch and found a dhaba called "Punjabi Dhaba", expecting daal and roti but the only thing available on the menu was chicken biryani. After finishing the biryani, I headed towards Udumalaipet via Pollachi. People on the way were very helpful in terms telling me the directions. I reached Udumalaipet at around 6 pm and took a water break. I thought now Munnar from will be around 75 - 80 kms. Suddenly my friend called me up and told me to hurry as I would be crossing the Annamalai tiger reserve in the dark. I had no knowledge about that because I did not see the map properly. Anyways after the short break, I started riding towards Munnar and saw a sign board indicating Munnar is 100+ kms far which came as a surprise to me. 

It was pitch dark when I reached the police check post just before the beginning of the reserve forest. A formality had to be completed i.e. to register to yourself at the check post. After doing that,I started riding in the reserve forest. It was pitch dark, ghat section, roads were bumpy, no network and not even a single street light was there on the road. There was jungle on both the sides of the road and there was a huge probability of a wild animals crossing the road especially elephants and leopards. There was no traffic coming from the opposite direction so I decided to switch to high beam. The headlamp of my bike is simply awesome, I could not believe that it was so bright. Subsequently, it was easier for me to ride and to my comfort there was not traffic. My mind was full of excitement and fear as I never even thought I would do this. It was a big risk which I took but remember if you don't take risks in life, you will never go to know what life is!!!! There were couple of cars behind me and none of them wanted to overtake me. As I was negotiating through the forest reserve, I grew in confidence and kept my pace in control to avoid unnecessary trouble to the so far comfortable ride. My bike's throttle had a good response and I never lost momentum on the turns in the ghats.

I could not see the tea estates since it was dark but could visualize the beauty of the place in my mind for the time being. After riding for almost an hour, I finally reached the destination Munnar at around 11 pm and started searching for the hotel. Suddenly, I saw a man running towards me shouting something which I could not figure out since he was far. I thought something is wrong and went far from him. He was still running behind me and when he came closer to me, I came to know he was shouting "Room". I thanked him for the offer since I already had a booking. Finally, I reached the hotel namely Hotel HillView. I entered the hotel room, dumped my luggage, ate food and jumped into the quilt. 526 kms done alone! Wow! What a sense of achievement! 


The next day we woke up and it was already overcast. Me and my friend Vidur went for a walk outside while Raman was still sleeping. I wore my riding jacket itself since it was cold and I did not get a spare jacket. We started clicking pictures. 

There was freshness in the air and it was comfortable. Finally, we had conquered Munnar! The agenda for the day was to capture the beauty of the place for which we had come. We got ready and had breakfast in a dhaba near the hotel which served South Indian and English breakfast. So, I had the opportunity to eat bread omelet which is my favorite when it comes to breakfast. We relished the food.



After having breakfast we started exploring the place on our bikes and some of the pictures we clicked. Have a look!





We explored Topstation and while on way we clicked more and more pictures which I will be posting simultaneously as I am typing the blog. I stopped everywhere and tried to click pictures as much as possible. The blue skies and the lush green tea estates were absolutely stunning. Such scenic beauty is meant to be captured and at the same time appreciated. After clicking substantial number of photos, we decided to go back to the town and have lunch. Our demand was non-vegetarian food and we found an apt target called Rapsy Restaurant. The waiter could easily gauge our hunger to eat lunch. We had lunch and went to the hotel slept.

We woke up in the evening and went to the dhaba to drink coffee. The dhaba wala also served some snacks and our evening past loitering around like this. Raman woke up late for the evening tea. The owner of the dhaba was more than delighted to serve us!!! 

After having dinner, we slept and woke up next morning fresh. It was time to go back home and I was the one who had no clicked much pictures, so had the urge to click more photos while on our way back. My fellow riders wanted to start early and cover maximum distance. After getting ready, we cranked up our engines and headed way back home. Even on the last day also it was drizzling. I will be posting a lot of pictures below for your eyes. 





Heading back home, we stopped somewhere near Bhavani and I requested Raman to give me his Yamaha R15 (V1) to ride because I had not ridden this bike for a long time. Hence we switched. I rode this bike for about 30 odd kilometers and believe me it was pure magic.

Our trip ended with one last coffee break at Cafe Coffee Day somewhere on the highway (NH 7). It was hot and a bit humid so thought of taking a break. 

After I reached my home, I clicked the concluding picture of the trip. A special thanks to Vidur and Raman for being an integral part of this memorable ride. Pulsar 200 NS just amazing me by its performance and handling. This motorcycle is a revolution!!!!

Cheers! Ride Hard and Safe! Stay to my blog and I will posting more and more about our trips coming in the future.


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