Ride to B R Hills – Biligirirangana Hills (ಬಿಳಿಗಿರಿರಂಗನ ಬೆಟ್ಟ)
Were planning a ride with colleagues in the month of June, but due to health issues and FNC (FLIP National Challenge), got skipped till October, and today the long awaiting has come true, and its 7th Oct, 2017 – yaah, its 7102017!!
It was not suppose to be a TIGHT Scheduled ride with DESTINATIONS and TIME FRAME; it was suppose to be fun ride, by which we decided no early morning ride, regular pit stops (where ever we feel to!) etc. We were not even sure whether we would be allowed to enter BR Hills as the information got from Mysore Forest Dept was not positive, due to rains.
We,Abhishek, Allen, Harish, Logesh, Prakash, Sivakumar, Zayid, My wife and myself are ‘the crew‘, we started around 10:30AM from Prakash’s home.
As Allen had to fill petrol and withdraw money, we waited another 15-20 minutes on Ooty – Mysore road near SGS Hospital, @ Datta Nagar. To add to it, we were suppose to start by 9 and have first pit stop at Mysore Great Banyan Tree 😛
We continued the ride and people rode first missed out the spectacular view of Banyan Tree 😀 Bachelor lives of majority had forced us to stop near Lake Varuna to have break fast. We were informed by the policemen who were on duty there that CM will be passing through T. Narasipura road and it might get blocked. We then made a quick move post few clicks near Lake Varuna. I had also inquired on the boating facility at lake and got to know that its stopped for time being due to rain.
On the way have seen two ibis species, birds on fields before reaching T. Narasipura.
Abhishek was super duper excited to have this ride as always he is. And declaring it here that, he is gonna be a groom soon;) We have stopped near T. Narasipura bridge to take few pics and then continued ride.
Stopped at Shri Mahalakshmi Gunja Narasimha Swami Temple which situates on the bank of Kaveri river, which attracts the view from bridge. We had fruits here and continued. (Traveler’s note: very very basic toilet facility available here, which is not maintained well).
Could see people shaving their head here for prosperous life (?).
This was the first time I saw a ‘coracle‘ made of metals!
Talakadu is another tourist attraction which is a desert-like town on the left bank of the Kaveri . It once had over 30 temples, most of which now lay buried in sand and it is 15km from here. We were on a dilemma on whether to go there or stick to as per plan!! Then decided to stick to the plan and continued.
We were not depending on Google map navigation and missed a diversion. However we realized it near another diversion at and took it by as per localites information.
May be it was our luck that we could take this route and could spot Indian Rolller and another bird which looked like a species of Shikra PENDING ID
To reach BR Hills, the only route available for travelers from Mysore is through ‘Yelandur’, a small town.
We reached the BRT Tiger reserve entrance and guard asked us to make entry. Did take few clicks and continued. The temple is almost 16km from the entrance, 11km through forest. Guard asked us not to stop any where inside the forest to take pics.
Luckily, we were allowed to enter BR Hills forest range may be it was not raining. Soon we entered forest it started drizzling and all got wet a bit. Few of us were not having a rain coat either 😀
The drilling has stopped by now by the time we crossed forest border. At Coffee Day, the first (& last?) coffee shop there, we were informed that there are two mess available and as its late (2:30), you have to rush for food. We thanked them and committed that on the way back we will be stopping for coffee 🙂
Though we were not sure whether we will be getting the lunch, we had to stop near a lake to take some pics.
It started drizzling again and this time people who were having rain coat have wore it and continue to the mess. Good that we wore it, it started pouring heavily. People without rain coat started loving the nature, due to circumstances 😀
Giridarshan, is a Home Stay cum hotel, where we got lunch from, and we were lucky enough to get last ‘bites’! The old man there was funny, friendly and informative. They get food grains and rice once in a month from Kollegal. Food served on a banana leaf, 1 chapati, Pongal, Rice, Sambar, Rasam, Pickle, Appalam and Green Gram Palya, tasty, delicious (even if it is not, we will feel it, hungry daaa!!)
Waited for the pouring to reduce, but it didn’t happen. People having NO rain coat kept their phones in plastic cover and kept it safe. I have given my jacket to Siva, which is rain proof. Continued the ride around 4PM.
We have stopped at the Sunset view point and took few clicks there. The view was clear and could see at least few kilometer distance, but it didn’t last for long, fog blocked the view, but still seeing the fog covering and moving over forest was spectacular.
Sri Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple situates at the top of the hill. I always wonder, how people traveled so long and built temples with such big rocks! As the renovation is going on the pooja and other procedures were happening outside (I suppose) the main.
There is another view point near the temple, which can’t be described with ‘SPECTACULAR’, its above that!
On the way, I had missed the view of the road lying through thick forest, as I should stop to take the photo inside forest and on a steep. But from top, I could get the same view and thanks to the Tele lens, I did it 🙂
From the top view point, seeing the forest gave me feeling that ‘I’m flying‘ over forest!!
I tried to take a groupie pic, getting both team and the depth. Somehow I could succeed.
Within few minutes the fog game started and it completely covered the view of forest. And we were above ‘Clouds‘ now!
Allen and Zayid were behind monkeys with their mobile camera and monkeys were calm and quite enough to give a pause for them. Abhishek, Harish, Prakash, Siva were taking selfies and Logesh clicked with his camera…
Two of temple priests/maintainers came blowing conch, and surprisingly, it was a ‘notification‘ that ‘Food Has Come‘ for monkeys there. They have given coconut and rice flakes to them, Allen wanted to take few pics of him and paid him 🙂 , he has told us that the conch which he is using is 270 years old!
Its around 5:30PM and we wanted to return quickly as we were afraid that the fog might stop our way (we must leave the forest before 6:30 or stay at the hills!).
Quickly took few more pics at the same sun set view point and returned. As promised to the Coffee shop guy, we had cake, mixture with hot coffee!
We crossed the forest border before 6:30. It was raining till T.Narasipura. Have reached Mysore around 9:30 and back home around 10:30PM post dinner at Parklane Hotel.
Clocked total 199km for the day, full tank petrol. 🙂