Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The awe-freaking-some ride of Zroya to the tracts of serene beauty. "Intro - Teaser".

Bangalore - Sakleshpur - Gundya - Subramanya - Somwarpet - Madikeri - Kushalnagar - Bangalore.

Peace and introspection were the only things the wanderlust inside me craved before the clock struck 12 am on 1st of January 2015.

The Royal Enfield classic - "Zroya" A.K.A "The Beast", my 28 Nm torque and 19.8 BHP power producing metallic artistry named after the Slavonic virgin goddess  had to ride one last time to wind up 2014. This time it was 850 kms in 3 days along the infamous Malnad region - The Western Ghats.

Exactly does what she's supposed to do. Just look beautiful !!!.

So it was only fitting that I took this journey or mini Odyssey to reclaim life and I'll tell this any day "Oh man !!! it was a soul refreshing run".

After being a weather reporter for Rameshwaram for weeks "checking the weather every 2 hours", I chucked the idea of going to Pamban (The most dangerous sea bridge in India) and Dhanushkodi (The ghost town) due to heavy rains. The rains just didn't fall, it poured like it was no body else's business in Rameshwaram. So it was time to take a different direction and head to those unexplored hill havens of Western Ghats to rediscover those landscapes from a fairy tale which makes you forget the difference between dreams and reality.

This particular trip had to be done on a shoestring budget because of the obvious reason of new year coming up and most importantly, it was the end of the month. I craved to wander those surreal places without putting a dent in my pocket. Luckily enough, with the right kind of planning and a little help from google goddess, I made this trip on a damn cheap budget that would make Robert Vadra go "Are you serious!" but in a good way. The rock bottom expenditure I'm talking about is INR 500 per day excluding fuel and contraband (liquor and green gold *wink*). Well, we made it just under INR 565 per day. After all, when you pay for the experience, you are a tourist. But when you just go out there and get it, you are a traveler.

Traveling is more than just a physical experience, it's a state of mind and for those souls struck by wanderlust, the journey matters as much as the destination. Long drives are an inseparable part of their lives. These souls look for their havens in sand-swept routes, snow covered roads and highways flanked by forests. They stop at nothing in their hunt for nirvana and being one of those brave souls, I had to lose myself before I found myself.

Enough said, I planned this trip on traveling alone because this was about some serious touring. But then, "My Crazy Cousin" just like me who is also a nature lover himself wanted to tag along and I tagged him along just because he was neither a convict nor a naxalite. Well, most importantly I needed someone to fight with me when I showed off my WWE moves on that faithful Christmas night while being intoxicated because let's face it, younger siblings and cousins - best props EVER. Having said that, taking my cousin with me proved to be one of the best decisions I've made in a while.

Why Sakleshpur, Gundya, Subramanya and Somwarpet ?

India in itself has more secrets and surprises than half the world combined. There are places to go and sights to see in India that will surprise you beyond belief and Sakleshpur, Gundya, Subramanya and Somwarpet are few of those places. Nestled 3800 feet above sea level in the foothills of Western Ghats with miles and miles of lush greenery, the forests here are more mysterious than the amazon.

With EPIC trekking destinations such as "The Green Route Trek" (which is illegal), "Kumara Parvatha Trek", "Bisle Reserve Forest Trek", "9 gudda trek" and many more with numerous waterfalls accompanied by flora and fauna, "The Western Ghats" is an absolute must visit destination for those trekkers and campers who love to admire the eternal paradise.

Why Madikeri and Kushalnagar ?

As said before, "The journey matters as much as the destination", the roads along the Ghats is a treat to ride on.  Numerous hairpin bends and turns  also making it extremely dangerous takes the ride to an entirely different level through undulating hilly terrain.

The land that celebrates "Huthri - Kodavas week long festival that commemorates the start of the rice harvesting season" hosts some pristine natural waterfalls and coffee plantations which makes you indulge your creative side and just chill along the breeze before you get back to your big city life again. Kushalnagar on the other hand has this "Namdroling monastery" which will leave you speechless the moment you step inside. The Buddhist Tibetan  monastery being the second largest in the world has to be the best place in India to learn all about Tibetan culture. Well then If you are looking for peace, who knows peace better than Gauthama Buddha himself right?.

I'll let you in on those life-changing treks and destinations I encountered in those breathtakingly gorgeous places in my next blog. Until then here's a teaser of what is yet to come. Ride hard ride safe!!!! Peace.