Route Taken: Bangalore-Kanakapura-Kollagal-BR Hills-K.Gudi-ChamarajNagar-Satyamangalam-Coimbatore-Kothagiri-ooty-Masinagudi-Begur-Kabini-HD KOte-Mysore-Bangalore
Love for this place, Nilgiris started over a decade back. After the initial bus trips, it was to take the road all by yourself. These were the days when Mysore was still two lanes and considerably less traffic, except for the notorious sand laden lorries coming from the river beds. The roads then were filled with Ragi and Rice. Miss those tiny shacks which has now made way to McDs, KFC's and CCD's and Empire. Post Mysore was like riding into the unknown. Mysore-Gundlupet route was a Dangerous stretch for motorists back then(Its a different story that it has changed a lot now). "Luckily" there wasn't much pressure from my parents with my riding. Then comes Santosh's Pulsar from the first lot. Whenever he is out of town, it was left under my care. Thus began the journey on two wheels to Ooty.
Those were the days when the telephone booths were the only means of calling back home to let them know that I am safe. Mobiles phones and GPS were a light years ahead technology for a college going student. One phone call to home, and Mom giving gyan over an STD call would almost cost a liter of fuel :P The initial trips used to be very scary just by the sight of an elephant way ahead, also was not very sure of taking the Masinagudi route. The first time i dared to take the hair pins alone was on a TVS Victor. I still feel pity for draining everything out of the poor thing to take the climb. This ride increased the confidence by leaps and bounds on solo riding. Then came home the Pulsar 150 UG3. After some rides to Nandi and nearby places, Head straight to Ooty. Later this became a regular route for going south, like to Munnar/Valparai/Kodai etc etc.
Initially Ooty meant only Charring Cross or at the most Coonoor. Didnt have the confidence or the money to experience the inner stretches. As the days went by, the distance of each ride took an upward Curve and a lot many places were added. Elephants dont scare me as much as it used to, earlier. Till date had numerous rides to Ooty and Every single ride has been special in its own way be it being chased by wild elephants, or spending a night at a shack because of the timing restrictions, during chilling winter or spending hours sitting alone at bison valley writing my college assignments. My Tamil has picked up a lot, interacting with localites on these rides. Its a sad thing that many tourists have spoilt the sanctity of the place, Its more or less become a nuisance especially over the past 3-4 years. As a result of which access to many beautiful areas have been restricted. Still a lot of places to see off the tourist list, exc ited to take those roads soon again.
More than the love for the place, the "ride" to the place is what i have loved over the years
Nothing much to write about, will let the pics do the talking.
Enroute Kodanad View Point
Happy faces at Doddabetta
We rode together after almost a year
One of the most photogenic machines, off late
Backwaters of Emerald lake
Deepak's idea to celebrate the 25th ride to Ooty