It’s been a roller coaster this year with the situation that we are in. However, certain things still keeps moving and so does our Noble Cause.
We are stepping onto 13th consecutive year with all of your great support 🙌
Schools has been adopting the online way and we have been in touch with Sai Darshan whom we have been sponsoring for the past 3yrs. He’s in 10th std this yr and he has got his classes started. The school has mentioned the fees of ₹23,500 .
As like every other year, would require all of your support to make this happen and have the kiddo achieve an important milestone this year.
10th std – ₹ 23,500
Total – ₹ 23,500
If you like to join us please get in touch with Ganesh / Sathiyendran or you can fill in the below form and we will get in touch with you.
The road trips are always great & Solo trips will add more memories to it. I have always wanted to do a Solo trip & did some in the past which had span across a day. These shorter trips gave confidence which in turn allowed me to plan for a bigger trip.
The first plan was to navigate through the Karnataka. Unlike we see in the maps, Karnataka doesn’t have a short border especially its border sharing Maharashtra. I planned for September 2019, however had to drop them off due to the bad rains it has seen. I again postponed my trip to October 2019 but this time planned even higher until Maharashtra.
The information was that the roads are bad & it will be a bad idea to venture out on to the AH4 as roads are affected due to rains. I took the risk & started off with my journey.
I had my Pulsar 135, which I thought would be sufficient. I had seen articles wherein people had done long trips with smaller bikes as well. Those blogs helped in gaining confidence that my bike is a better fit. I chose the Rhynox safety gears including the Gloves. I also rented out a GoPro cam from sharepal.in Sharepal.in provides lots of good accessories for your adventure trips @ cheaper prices.
I had my bike serviced with changing visor, chain sprockets, charging my batteries & my brakes checked. I also get a chain lube spray to have my chain lubed during the long road trip. I had these preparations starting a month early & at last the day came in where I was still packing my backpack 😀
Day 1 – Excitement, Detours, Heat & Scenic highways
It was on 19th Oct, I had planned to start my journey. I was about to start around 4 well before the sun rises but got delayed. It was due to the excitement I had very less sleep for around 4hrs – I wish to say this primarily, but the real reason was I wasn’t done with my packing. It was very hard to keep the packing ready well in advance as it was my first Solo trip and I kept on improvising on my essentials.
I started around 5.30 AM from home. Google suggested a cleaner route of taking the Tambaram-Manimangalam-Sriperumpudur route to reach the Bangalore Highways and to reach my Day 1 destination – Chitradurga. It was the same excitement within me that kicked in and I was just driving and then I realized that I missed the route. The worst part is realization came in when I was actually half way crossed the suggested route and was in Padappai. I then realized that, from Mudichur, instead of taking straight road which will take me to Sriperumbudur, I took a left from Mudichur which took me towards, Mannivakam, Walajabad route. It was a bit of detour going in to the city of Kanchipuram, surpassing the Varadaraja Perumal temple and hit the Bangalore highways near Thirupugazhi. I had thought of various cons for not buying a mobile holder – such as attaching to my phone, phone being exposed to the outside irrespective of covers available. The one other con is the route being missed and had to keep on stop often to check route which hinders your flow.
That being said, my journey continued and reached Vellore around 9.15 AM. It was my first major stop as I had to take PUC certificate for my bike. Had my breakfast nearby at Sri Srinivasar Residency while I was waiting for the center to open. Took my PUC and had started my travel again. It was too much of heat for October and I was literally sweating. Very necessary that you stop every 1hr or 100KM, take a break for 5-10min which is good for us & for the bike. From Bangalore I took the NICE road which is a very scenic road and since it has finished raining in Bangalore it was an awesome drive. NICE road view
A recommended road to drive to Tumakuru avoiding the city. There was too much of thunders rains on the way decided & so decided to halt at Tumakuru. One other reason is it was around 7 PM and didn’t want to take risk driving at night. Quickly, looked up in Google to see the nearby hotels & reserved a room at Vigneshwara comforts. It was a very long day considering the facts that I took a detour at start, too many stops in NICE road for capturing the beauty & the hourly breaks.
Day 1 summary – 440 KM – 14hrs on-road
5.30 – Start from home 9:15 AM – Reach Vellore for PUC & Breakfast. 12.40 PM – Saravana Bhavan (Krishnagiri) for Lunch. 1.30 PM – Resumed journey. 3.45 PM – NICE road – Toll Plaza 7.00 PM – Tumakuru highway 7.45 PM – Sri Vigneshwara comforts, Tumakuru, Karnataka
Day 2 – Boring drive, Broken highways, Rains & Change in plans
Woke up around 6.30 AM took a coffee and a small walk to check on the road conditions nearby. It was too much of rains last night & it was water water everywhere. It is going to be another long day as I had to cover up the missed place and also the planned route for Day 2 to reach Kolhapur (Maharashtra). I decided to clean up my bike, and also lubed my Chain as well. It is very essential that you cleanup & lube your chains every 500 KM while you’re on a trip. Started off from the hotel The initial few hrs were interesting but post that it was hot & dry. It was the entire AH4 that I had to scale and it was too bad because of the bridge constructions for the Intersecting villages that was happening all the way from Chitradurga until Hubli.
The highway was loaded with Dragon fly and my driving gear was helping me a lot by keeping hit from those. Every time I take a break I would see some dead dragonflies leaving my jacket. The driving gears are very essential when you’re on these type of road trips. Keeps you safe from many environmental factors. The biking gear I chose
Some scenic views
There were about close to 13 spots where the construction was happening which made the journey hard in addition to the heat & the dragon flies. There was too much heat and I was literally exhausted this day. I ensured to take break every 1hr and drink lot of water.
The roads were good after Hubli but it was 2 way roads with less traffic
Hubli – Dharwad : 2 lane roads After Dharwad : 6 lane roads
It was after Hubli, I decided to gained speed and while I was nearing Belgaum around 6.15 PM the rain show started. It was there in bits & pieces but this time it was huge. Even though I had my biking gears it was very hard to drive in as it had become dark. I still had 93 KM to reach Kolhapur, Maharashtra. I started off but then there were road blocks as stream of waters were flowing from the hills bisecting the highways. The highway surpassed the hills and bisecting a bit of the Hidkal reservoir. The bridge that was going through the Hidkal reservoir was overflown by the water and there was traffic jam for about 3KM waiting for the water to subside.
The road block
The bridge that was overflowing with water
It was late in the night again and going to Kolhapur will take about 10 PM to reach given the water resides by 9PM which might not be the case. Hence, advertently chose to drop off Kolhapur from my list and quickly found a place to stay as it started to rain again. On the highways I had seen a hotel while surpassing the road block. Decided to stay in the same hotel by making a U turn in the same lane to reach the hotel.
Day 2 Summary: 480 KM – 12hrs on road
7.25 AM – Started from Tumakuru 10.50 AM – Hebbalu Toll Plaza 11.30 AM – Davanagere 4.30 PM – Crossed Hubli 5.45 PM – At Belgaum, just before Biranholi. Got stuck in rains. 6.40 PM – Resumed travel. 7.30 PM – Checked in to Hotel Shri Ram, just before Hidkal reservoir bridge.
Day 3 – Dream come true, Achieving goals, Party Mode ON.
The destination today is “GOA”. I was more excited. It usually happens that every other gang plans for a trip to Goa and end up in some local beach wherever they are. It was the same with my gang as well. Never thought I will be ending up single to Goa 😆
I had to quit Kolhapur as extending my visit might affect my other destinations. I also took help of the imd site and some learnings from Tamil Nadu Weather man blog page to decipher something on how to predict rains.
The above was from Day 2 night, and it was pretty bad as I had seen lot of red cells near Belgaum and patted my back to stay back at Belgaum.
I looked up the site for rain alert and it was pretty less. Even though, I had to drop off Maharashtra it was at the back of my mind to somehow pass through Maharashtra at least. It was then on the way I learnt about going to Goa via Amboli ghat. I was warned that last few days had bad rains and the roads might have some blocks. I wanted to take that risk and took the Amboli ghat route to reach Goa. It was a very scenic view & had falls coming along the roads. It was fun driving through those small falls & one needs to be vigilant for not skidding away with those gushing waters.
There were bit of rains on the way however it was an awesome drive given the Ghat road drives, the scenic views, chill breeze and the excitement of reaching Goa.
I chose Calangute to stay as 1. it’s very near to the borders of Maharashtra 2. I can spend more time in Goa. 3. To cut through the remaining Geography of Goa the next day.
Calangute a very nice place again to experience bit of night life, some old monuments that can be seen the next day. I chose a resort facing the beach and the restaurant as well. The beach side restaurant
The rest is history!! 😉😉
Day 3 Summary: 180 KM (6hrs on road)
9:00 AM – Started from Belgaum 3.30 PM – Calangute, Goa
Day 4: Bit of Tour, Reminiscing the old times, Spirituality
Had a nice walk and jog in the beach in the early morning.
I decided to take a ‘bit of tour’ in Goa & the nearest monument was the Aguada Fort and it dated back to seventh century. The fort has a freshwater spring which provided water supply to the ships that stopped by & thus the name given by the Portugese.
Started off from Goa by around 12.30 PM. The destination was Murudeshwar, Karnataka. This journey was ‘reminiscence of old times’ because I had visited the Karwar to Mangalore stretch some time back with family and the West Coast Road is a bliss to be at. I looked up IMD and it said less chance of rain with the way I was about to travel. I had plans to cover the remaining Goa, reach Karwar & Murudeshwar along the beach road.
The day was fine until evening and it was then when I switched on my lights I realized my battery was running low. There was 0 visibility and hence I had to tag behind a Ace truck for about 40 min to reach Murudeshwar by 7 PM.
I had my stay at Denu Adithya Hotel which was a very good one. They restaurant in there serves only vegetarian food but it was too good. I had a quick bath and did a visit to the Murudeshwar temple wherein I was lucky enough to have the last Harthi performed by 8.15 PM. I had my clothes drenched in rain and I had to dry them up. Even though I had a simple backpack cover, it could not withstand the heavy rains between Goa to Karnataka.
A very basic learning – It is good to use a Tarpaulin covers as it would withstand any rains. However if you don’t own one, you can use a big cover to wrap up your bag and then use the backpack cover. This yielded very good result the next day (Spoiler alert 😉)
Day 4 Summary: 250 KM | 6.5 hrs on road
10:20 AM – @ Aguda Fort. 12.00 PM – Started from Goa. 3:30 PM – Ghat road bisecting the Cotigao Wildlife Santcuary. Stuck in rains. 4.35 PM – @Aversa, Karnataka. 6:50 PM – Murudeshwar, Karnataka
Day 5: Rain Rain go away!
I woke up to a breezy morning and the sky was bit of clear. Visited the temple in the morning again and the destination was Kannur, Kerala. The morning visit to the temple was very pleasant.
The IMD said there is a bit of chances for rains and I could see some red cells for the entire coast until Kerala. All these days, when rain came my experience was that if it rains, it wouldn’t if you travel for another 5-6 KMs.. I had the same expectation and started from Murudeshwar around 9 AM as the rain wasn’t stopping. It was a bad decision. I was murmuring “Rain rain go away”
The rain got worse, very worse & terrible. It was lashing rains when I reached Udupi. I took shelter wherever I can and the rest were all driving through heavy rains if I was caught midway on a highway. I was hoping the rains would stop at some point but it just continued.
It was even worse when I reached the borders of Kerala. The roads were not there and that took a toll on my back. At some point I had to remove my gloves as it was too wet as I couldn’t feel my fingers. Removing the gloves made it even hard as it was too cold with rains pounding on my hands directly. For every break I had to take off the waters which had accumulated in my shoes. It was one of an experience wherein I was completely wet from neck to toe & clearing off water from my shoes at every break and reaching Kannur by evening.
I was wondering if my backpack would have been soaked in water. However, the trick that I mentioned the previous day kept away the water.
Day 5 Summary: 280 KM | 9 hrs on road | Including 6hrs journey with rain
6:45 AM – Visiting temple 8:45 AM – Started from Murudeshwar 11:30 AM – @Udupi. Long break due to heavy rains. 3:00 PM – Crossed Kasargod, Kerala 6:30 PM – Malgudi Holidays, Kannur, Kerala
Day 6 – Memories, The Road that was taken at last, Back home
The beach at Kannur is a nice place to visit however with the last night rains at Kannur, I decided to drop off visiting the beach. The place I stayed was deep inside a village & it was pretty neat. I took a walk around the place I stayed with the greeneries looking more green with the rains, the mild cuckoo sound, & the small snails, leeches that were trying to cross roads.
My sole companion Pulsar was looking bad due to the full day exposure to rains & it went through the regular routine.
It was the last day & there was mixed emotions as I had to reach Coimbatore. There wasn’t much rains but the roads weren’t so great. I was in no mood of breakfast or lunch but just had some Coconut waters, snacks on the way to keep me going. Came across Mahe a very small city part of the Union Territory. I had to take a small fall colliding with a government bus – would have been major had I not had my safety gears in place.
The scenic views were awesome traversing through the Kerala & no wonder why it’s called Gods own city.
Day 6 Summary: 390 KM | 9 hrs on road
7:45 AM – Started from Kannur 9:00 AM – Crossed Mahe, Union Territory 11:50 AM – Kozhikode 3:15 PM – Palakkad 4:20 PM – Ettimadai 5:00 PM – Home, Coimbatore
The 6 day long Solo trip journey came to an end spanning across 5 states – Tamil Nadu – Karnataka – Maharashtra – Goa – Kerala – Mahe (UT) – Tamil Nadu, covering 2020 KMs, 56 hrs being on road experiencing all weather conditions, going thru good, bad & Ghat roads, from Party to Spirituality mode. it was one heck of an experience wherein I was able to self realize the various dimensions within me.
It is always a passion for people to be on long bike drives when they start to get a hold on things. It all started for me when I first went to Tirupathi (detailed in my other blog). The thought started to hover around my mind on I should do some long bike drives. The thought went back to sleep for sometime and came back alive in May 2019. If you ever wanted to know about Geo locations and wanted to learn about distance/reaching between places – your best assistant is Google Maps. Had I known Google Maps in my school days i would have learnt Geography good 😉
I searched for many places, and had many places pinned. Before, that it is essential that you wanted to ensure that if you/your Bike cooperates for such long journey. My earlier trips were very short less than 200KM one way, a break over there and head back to Chennai same day. I wanted the long trips to be a “actual” long trip covering at-least 500KM a day. To test the endurance of my bike and myself I came up with this trip of Chennai-Coimbatore-Chennai.
I had fixed the dates of Aug 14-18th, 2019. Aug 15th was a Thursday and having a leave on Friday makes a long weekend. The preparation was quite intense though. When you are on a bike trip there are multiple things that you will need to focus on: 1. Safety of yourself, Bike & Baggage 2. Proper Protection gears. 3. Adequate fluids to fight dehydration. 4. Knowing the basics of repairing for your bike problems. 5. Knowing how to tie your luggage at the back.
When you are on an unknown terrain it’s always best that you do your trips on a day time rather than at night as it is helpful in many ways. As a first step, i ensured to study the route between Chennai to Coimbatore & back. There are two possible routes 1-via Villupuram, Salem & 2. Vellore, Krishnagiri, Salem.
I chose the 1st route as I felt that the route would be pretty OK and reaching Vellore weekday will be a humongous task. I marked that route as ‘preferred’ while returning back. I fixed the date to be 14th Aug noon 1.30 PM.
I did a Work From Home and that took sometime for me to get ready. I did a rain check on the route and it was OK.
Started from Chennai around 2.30 PM on 14th Aug. Timelines:
2.30 PM – Started from Home 2.45 PM – Before Pallavaram – To fix the Baggage that was sliding. 3.00 PM – After Chrompet – To fix the Baggage again. It was so irritating that the baggage kept on sliding often. Unfortunately, there were two baggage and only one had the cover the other didn’t. 4.00 PM – Melmaruvathur fixed it finally by taking off the polythene cover which kept it sliding. 5.35 PM – Break while nearing Vilupuram. 6.05 PM – Break for rains on the highways. I was lucky that i got a place to stop😃 7.05 PM – Aathur 8.30 PM – Outskirts of Salem for snacks/dinner break 9.05 PM – Salem 10.30 PM – Perundurai 12.30 AM – Coimbatore Home.
While returning back on Aug 18th, i thought of coming via Vellore route to experience the scenic view. Later, when i did a rain check got to know that the highways itself are flooded. So, i had to take usual route. Timelines:
2.15 PM – Started from home 4.00 PM – Perundurai 5.30 PM – Salem 7.30 PM – In between Salem and Ulundurpet toll. 9.00 PM – Ulundurpet toll. Break for dinner to have home made Chappathis 😜 10.30 PM – After Melmaruvathur 12.00 PM – Home Chennai.
It is essential to take a break every one hour. Which is good for you and for your Bike. There were a quick 5min break as well in-between just to keep you going.
Do’s: Have sufficient water during the trip. Start early and take break during the noon. Take a quick break of 5-10min every 1hour. Ensure that the baggages are tightened properly.
Dont’s: Don’t raise your Bike past 80Km as you won’t have any control whatsoever. Don’t overtake lorry’s on the left especially at night. Don’t push your bike to any extent. No racing even provoked and never take the eyes of roads. Always keep a constant check on rear view mirror.
If your planning to visit Ooty for the first time and just have two days this list might help. I have listed out the most popular and approachable places as part of this list.
1Doddabetta View point
Highest peak in Nilgiris at 2,637 meters. Its 10 Kms away from Ooty town. Final stretch of 3Kms on Doddabetta road is going to be very steep make sure you drive carefully especially while coming down make sure you drive with 2nd or 3rd gear and don’t overuse brake Distance : 10 Kms Timings : 7:00 am to 6:00 pm Map Link :Doddabetta Direction
When your in Botanical park make sure you see the Fossil Tree trunk & Toda house. Distance : 2.5 Kms Timings : 7:30 am to 6:30 pm Map Link :Botanical park
Spread across 10 acres with 20,000 varieties of roses. Make sure you have the gimps of black and green rose when your there. Distance : 2 Kms Timings : 7:30 am to 6:30 pm Map Link :Rose Garden
Pykara is situated at 22 kms from Ooty on Ooty – Mysore road. You have two major attraction there Pykara Lake Boating & Pykara waterfalls. Distance : 22 Kms Timings : 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Map Link :Pykara Boating Direction
6Shooting spot / 9th Mile
15 kms from Ooty on Ooty – Mysore road. You can visit this place and head over to Pykara Lake Boating & Pykara waterfalls. Distance : 15 Kms Timings : 7:00 am to 6:30 pm Map Link :9th Mile Shooting Point Direction
In continuation to our Noble cause we are planning to take care of tuition fee for the 9th Std kid we had sponsored last year. Last year we sponsored two kids 12th and 8th std respectively both have secured good marks for academic year 2018-2019 .
We’ve been in touch with the school and they have shared the school fee for this academic year. This includes for the entire year term fees
9th std – ₹ 23,575
Total – ₹ 23,575
If you like to join us please get in touch with Ganesh / Sathiyendran or you can fill in the below form and we will get in touch with you.
Rarely we get involved in spirituality, very rarely we get ideas to visit temples on a trip and there is 1% chance you have a friend of same thought to go on a trip and that is when I got a call from my friend, Madhu for a tour. We usually make it fun filled with a spiritual tour. The geography was set to Chozha Naadu, however the targets kept changing on where to visit. Till 19th July, 2019 we didn’t plan anything on where to go. However, we started off the trip with a plan on visiting Swamy Malai in Kumbakonam, thinking he would guide us to where to go next. I reached my friend house (Urapakkam) early directly from my office, had a quick nap, followed by a heavy dinner. We started off around 9.30 PM and then decided to take the ECR route to avoid tolls. Had our usual break opposite to Pondichery University and then reached Swami malai arround 3.30 AM. We had a good sleep until 5.50 AM, refreshed and finished our darshan @ Swami Malai by 7 AM.
That is when Madhu asked, what’s the plan? I literally had no idea and somewhere down in the Memory lane i saw something related Shiva temples while browsing for “Paadal Petra Sthalam”. Quickly browsed and figured it as “Saptha Vidangam”.
To brief on what is “Saptha Vidangam” – According to legend, a Chola king named Mucukunta obtained a boon from Indra (a celestial deity) and wished to receive an image of Thyagaraja Swamy (presiding deity, Shiva in the temple) reposing on the chest of reclining Lord Vishnu. Indra tried to misguide the king and had six other images made, but the king chose the right image at Tiruvarur.The other six images were installed in ThiruNallaaru, Nagapattinam, Tirukarayil, Tirukuvalai, Thiruvaaimur and Tirumaraikadu.
So, we quickly decided on going to Thiruvarur and then will plan on how to cover remaining temples. Reached Thiruvarur by 8.40 AM. Had a nice Breakfast at Vasan Hotel – Thiruvarur (near old bus stand) a must go place. Thiruvarur, Thiyaraja temple is big and one needs to invest at least few hours during their as the temple area is very big. On should also spend time in Kamalalayam Kulam which is very big.
We completed the darisanam by 10 PM. We had confusions on few places listed on Saptha vidangam as “Google” was asking us if we were right? So asked a local temple priest and he guided us the exact places.
We then switched gears to go to next Vidangam – Thirukaravasal. Here the deity is called Kannaiyiramudayar. From Thiruvarur, thirukaravasal is about 13km and we reached the temple around 10.45 AM.
From there we went to Thirukuvalai – Brahmapuresshwarar temple and reached the temple by 11.20 AM.
We got very much excited and Madhu was very particular and gained confidence that we shall finish all the seven temples by next day 21st July. Our next target was to reach Tiruvaaimur. We started immediately from Thirukuvalai and reached Thiruvaaimur by around 12 Noon. Thirukuvalai to Thiruvaimur is about 11 KM.
Our next destination was Vedaranyam (Earlier Thirumaraikaadu). We thought we might not be able to see Thiruvaaimur as it might get delayed however, we made it and it was a bonus. We now had our day planned as to see Vedaranyam next and then head back to Thirunallar for the night stay. If then, we would have covered 5 temples out of 7 and then we shall complete the remaining 2 next day and then head back home.
We started off sloowly, and reached Vedaranyam around 1.30 PM. We had our lunch at Lakshmi Narayana Bhavan, our usual getaway near to North Main street. We pulled over our car, under a tree and had a good nap. Slept until 4.30 and refreshed. The beauty of being in a village is that you can be as “Whatever” as you want. We refreshed at a road side pump, like if it was our pump 😄
Reached temple by 5 PM finished our darshan and headed back to Thirunallar. While on the way, we surfed for some good hotels for stay and we nailed down on to Hotel Arun Inn, Karaikal. The restaurant provides you with restaurant options, but i suggest you go out and try the local restaurant options.
Next day – 21st July, 2019 we visited Thirunallar by 7.30 AM – Dharbaraneyswarar temple. The temple’s main deity is Shiva, however the temple is famous for Saneeswaran. It is a practice that one should not visit Lord Saneeshwaran directly but to go to Nala theertham, worship Lord Shiva and then Lord Shaneeswara.
We had one more temple to visit and suddenly the thought of visiting Chidambaram popped up on our way back home. We checked the time and it will be neck to neck to visit Chidambaram by 12 Noon. We wanted to try our luck and started from Thirunallar around 8.05 AM.
Reached Nagapattinam – Kayarohanaswamy Temple, around 8.45 AM and had our breakfast there at a local mess. We had a surprise occasion wherein we were presented with the Abhishekam as a token of our efforts on completing our last and 7th temple of Saptha Vidangam Objective. We quickly completed the darshan and started from the temple around 10AM.
From Nagapattinam Chidambaram is about 85 KM. The view between Nagapattinam to Chidambaram is beautiful. One can actually see vegetation fields on both sides of ECR road and can take a chance to just park your car on road side and get on to the boreset to take a nice bath. We reached Chidambaram exactly by 12 PM noon and then had a good darshan. Chidambaram temple is one of the padal petra sthalam and a very big temple. One should reserve few hours to understand the beauty of the temple and its historical significance.
We had our lunch on the outskirts of Chidambaram, and then reached back Urapakkam by 6PM.
Journey detail – Chennai – Kumabakonam – Thiruvarur – Thikaravasal – Thirukuvalai – Thiruvaaimur – Thirumaraikaadu (vedaranyam) – Nagapattinam – Chidambaram – Chennai Round trip – 800 KM | 44hrs.