All along the eternal sea

28th Dec 2016
Photo of All along the eternal sea by RUTHaka350

2 Motorcycles and 3 men were zeroed down for the road trip on 28th December 2016, on it’s eve. Little did we know what the road had to offer us?

So this is me new places new people new destination and the same old Royal Enfield Electra. Battling the cold, bearing the heat, battling the wind covering 1555 km on the saddle, tired sunburnt but craving for yet another journey.


Day 1

Waking up to the mundane alarm. Not so cool. But waking up for a forthcoming ride is “F*$^ yeah”.Last night was okay! A bit of an advice from the manager to ride safe and to follow up with work on the go. A couple of cigarettes, light dinner and parents’ advise rattling in my ears til I passed out to a deep slumber. Had to call me buds around 10 times to wake them up at 5am. The morning air, swaying inside my helmet making funny noises and me chuckling up thinking of the land far off where we were to put up that day.

I missed two people that day a friend who couldn’t make it to the trip and a friend who didn’t want to make into any kinds of trip with me anymore. The feeling of melancholy is quite funny. It was gravely disturbing to leave the former and travel as he is my official wingman and for all I know would be waiting to hear from me about the destinations I covered. The latter who walked out of my life without giving me a proper justification or let’s just say for the reasons best known to her.

With a mixture of these feelings i started off with a pillion and another bud who rode an enfield too.The destination was Bekal,kerala.We had planned to reach the town of Kanhangad after hitting Muzzhappilangad(One of the largest drive in beaches of india).We rode through the biting cold in the morning and when the clock struck `12 started the heat wave.

Stopped at a small kaanavali(eatery) “Apoorva tiffanies” after the right turn near Columbia asia hospital and had sumptuous tatte idlis. Gulping a divine filter coffee each.We probably reached Hunsur around 12 .Sipping on to some juice and washing our faces with Lime soda we took a good break of half an hour. Trust me on this,washing our face with soda after a tired day be the best.

Down the road from Hunsur leading to the beautiful forests roads of Gonikoppa(border town of Karnataka).The roads started winding and twisting and every corner was our playground. The green estates kissing the roads and making them a stairway to heaven, the tall trees offering a plenty of shade-stop for all the beat travelers.

Furthering down leads to Iritty, a small town of Kerala which just replaces Gonikoppa by name and rest all,the same(landscape).40-45km from Iritty,racing through the narrow ghat roads we reached Kannur.

Kannur is one of the biggest towns of Malabar region in Kerala. Buzzing with people and tourists from all parts of India to visit Kadalai Shri Krishna Temple.However,we had different plans.

On reaching the city we checked into a nice restuant (RARA AVIS,Caltex junction, Kannur) to savor the Malabari style Biryani and the local sea food. Half asleep we roamed in a loop,forgetting our major checkpoint-Muzzhappilangad beach. 15 Km from the town we reached Muzzhappilangad. The view is spectacular!!The beach opens to the massive Arabian sea, where one can literally ride through the waves as they surpass the human boundaries and impinge on the flat shores to only purify them-MORE. The left of the beach offers a distance of 4KM and right 1.5 km.We chose the left and rode through for about 1km further. The beach, the sound of the waves and clear skies makes one fall in love again and again (with the bike). Parking the vehicle on the seemingly loose sand which tried to gobble it up , we took beautiful photos of the two tigers which never backed down, not even once in the entire ride.

Photo of Muzhappilangad Drive in Beach, Muzhappilangad Beach Road, Muzhappilangad, Kerala, India by RUTHaka350
Photo of Muzhappilangad Drive in Beach, Muzhappilangad Beach Road, Muzhappilangad, Kerala, India by RUTHaka350

Having a cigarette and an ice cream at the entrance we decided to end the night in khanangad,kasargod district.The Edapally-Panvel road/Kochi-Panvel road NH 66 is a pretty messed up road for all I know and you can sense that once you enter Khanangad. The roads are under constant repairs for long stretches from here.We checked into Raj residency(4 star) with a frown on our faces owing to the unavailability of any kind of lodges nearby. En route we had stopped for a quick chai break and drank two cups of excellent Suleimani chai. Little did we know that, it was pretty much the dinner of the day.We checked into the hotel where the manager happens to be from Bangalore and greeted us with his warm welcome.But,all we wanted was a place to crash.End of day in Khanangad.

Day 2:29/12/2016:

Waking up at 5AM, the destination was Bekal fort. As we were just 12km away from the fort,we rode the distance within 15-20 minutes.

Day 2

The entrance of the fort is quite calm in the mornings. Empty parking lots and empty stalls of the small vendors out there.Having paid the fee,we continued after keeping our saddle bags in the ticket counter.

Photo of Bekal Fort, Bekal, Kerala, India by RUTHaka350
Photo of Bekal Fort, Bekal, Kerala, India by RUTHaka350
Photo of Bekal Fort, Bekal, Kerala, India by RUTHaka350

A small stop at the friend’s place in Manipal for a very good coffee and encouraging words, kept us heading to Trasi. En route had a heavy lunch at Hotel Naveen bar and restaurant. The sea food is amazing in these places and one should definitely try.

Trasi,another small town in south canara now home to the famous Turtle bay resort. The Maravanthe offers a beautiful view of the sea on the left side of the road and a line of small shacks where travelers swarm to enjoy the sea breeze and unwind from their exhausted day. Blessed to have such a great Native.

Kumta is a small town in North Canara home to the famous Gokarna and Om beach. Reached Kumta by night and had planned to pitch tents on a nearby seashore but heard from the locals that it was closed due to some illegal activities.So,it was just us and the insect filled lodge rooms we were in.Night was filled with laughter in the Hotel downstairs where we had sumptuous Masala doses and paneer chilli and coffee to top it up.

With a bit of chit chat and a major change of plan we ended the night in kumta. The original plan was to head to karwar and come back to Siddapura which is a junction between Karwar and Sagara taluk of shimoga. Months of planning went in vain as we could directly head to thirthalli (CHECKPOINT)without touching Siddapura. With a victorious grin and empty cigarette packs the night sung a prologue into a beautiful dawn.

Day 3:30/12/2016:

Waking up at 5 in the morning taking the cold shower and getting the lazy ones ready is one hell of a task. But success!!Saddle bags packed and we hit the road and it was destination Karwar. Much of us who have been born and bought up in Bangalore tend to think Bandipur is like the only dense forest close by. But North canara is filled with a very thick vegetation growth along its length and breadth. The roads are carved amidst the jungles to cross the border to enter Goa. The road to karwar is filled with rich green on both sides with the beautiful ghat roads which is indeed a paradise to any rider.

After a lot of pictures and a couple of smokes we left the place and reached Murudeshwara. The road again which is NH66, closed at many points for repair and is not a pretty sight to watch when you have covered a hell lot of distance already. The deviation from Murudeshwara town to temple is a small road directly leading into the lord’s shrine. A small juice bar on the right as soon as the deviation,offers the best milkshakes in town. An unusual large glass of Apple milkshake with a bit of Pulp here and there is Salvation. The setting sun and the cool breeze made the milkshake even tastier and eventually we ended up having two each. The drowsy sun further offered a peace and quiet atmosphere and we continued to head towards Kumta.

Day 3

Entering karwar one can first get the glimpse of the sea and the fishing boats lined up to be taken into the sea for their daily routine. Taking a deviation to the right one can visit the karwar city. Karwar being one of the major ports like it’s southern counterpart Mangalore houses the Indian Naval Base which by the way is strictly prohibited. Heading straight on NH 66 we entered our major checkpoint The Sadashivgad bridge built on the massive Kali River. The bridge offers a spectacular view of the backwaters and the shore of the river is accessible at the farther end of the bridge. Standing there, when the morning sun shines on the pristine waters of kali,which shimmers on its way like a cluster of diamonds waiting to meet the sea. Spectacular is a lesser word.The Road after the bridge is carved cutting through a big boulder of rock,which makes it look beautiful and well engineered structure.

Photo of Sadashivgad, Majali, Karnataka, India by RUTHaka350

The road on the way back from the bridge was quite a sorrow story,as now we had reached the farthest part of the journey. The rest were all the checkpoints on the way back home. We had our breakfast amidst a bunch of traveller’s at UDUPI restaurant ,Karwar. The breakfast was good with a lot of people looking at us and our bikes which made us quite happy. We had a pit-stop at kumta where we ate like 5-6 oranges together and gathered vital information of deviations to be taken to reach Sagara(Town,shimoga district)While some blamed the wildlife others blamed the bad roads and asked us to take deviation at Honnavara to reach JOG and further reach Sagara. The roads from here are beautiful, Ghat roads and large trees offering dense shades.The vegetation up the western ghats changes gradually when on reaches the plateaus.Plenty of buttermilk saved our butts from getting fried. We stopped at Sagara to have lunch at a local restaurant. The food was decent enough to just satisfy our hunger and light enough to keep us going.

Now,we headed to my other root. Thirthalli. Thirthalli has its name originated from a mythological incident pertaining to lord Parashurama. It is located 65 km from Shimoga. We rode from Sagara for about 2.5 houurs to reach thirthalli taking smoke breaks wherever we are pleased to,enjoying the drag while the eyes feed on the beauty of Mother nature.

Photo of Thirthahalli, Karnataka, India by RUTHaka350
Day 4

So the New Year’s Eve. Ready to party?? Yes we did party but in our own funny way. We woke up at 5am and rode down to Kundadri hills. The temperature can reach easy lesser than 15ºc in the early mornings. Holding a cup of coffee proved to be an idiotic decision as the fingers were numb and cold stuck. We started the climb around 8am. The hill road is too steep to make any mistakes and is it recommended not to have a pillion during the climb. The roads are only guarded on both sides by rather thick vegetation. Any kind of error might lead to a fatal fall to into the obscurity of Agumbe's rain-forests. The top of the cliff has a Jain Monastery and a small lake formation. Atop the cliff one can experience the wilderness and breath- taking beauty of the Western Ghats. The sun shining on the land amidst the thick fog makes the place beautiful. Moments to capture and treasure for the rest of our lives.

Photo of Kundadri Hill, Shimoga, Karnataka, India by RUTHaka350
Photo of Kundadri Hill, Shimoga, Karnataka, India by RUTHaka350

The sunset point is just 200m from start of the Agumbe ghat.It is a treat to watch the landscape from the viewpoint at any given time. The fog covered mountains of the Western Ghats and the entire rain forest below which belongs to Someshwara range.The bikes stood against the backdrop of those mountains making us smile and enjoy the bliss of the moments. Touch wood!! Those machines did never breakdown.

Photo of Agumbe Sunset View Point, Agumbe, Karnataka, India by RUTHaka350
Photo of Agumbe Sunset View Point, Agumbe, Karnataka, India by RUTHaka350

The fort is humongous with it’s watch towers facing the open Arabian sea. Small pockets in the towers were created to accommodate gun barrels while it offers a perfect, picturesque view of the sea. “The sea” life starts here and ends here. The morning sun beams into the watch towers, making a colloidal transition through their small pockets into the corridors .Pointless role playing of the old soldiers who guarded the fort when the enemy’s ship sailed on the Arabian waters approaching towards the mainland. Lost in the infinite phenomenon of time we took a good 1.5 hours to survey the fort. The government has done much to protect the monument and the Hanuman temple at the foot of it.

Previous night’s skipped dinner, made us feel exhausted and succumb to a small restaurant opposite of the fort. The 6 appams and the tea which we thought to be coffee filled our stomachs and fueled our thoughts with the distance to be covered. We rode towards Mangalore and yet again started the blistering heat. Plenty of water, Bonda(Tender coconut) did suffice our loss of vital salts.South Canara offers one a different landscape.The constant sweating due to humidity and the plenty of water which we drink during the course of travel keeps ones skin very fresh.

Thirthalli is 30 km from Aagumbe(The cherapunjuee of the south) which can crank up the imagination of anyone about the weather and the landform. The rain forests of thirthalli are a habitat of various kinds of fauna and flora unique to the western Ghats alone.We stayed the night at Kamath residency in Bus stand road.Had a good meal outside and the city sleeps at 9PM. So,much hue and cry,being awake til 12-1am in Bangalore and only to achieve the highest marks in Diabetes and Blood pressure. Slumbered well that night. Very well.

Day 4:31/12/2016:

We left Kundadri around 9 and started towards Agumbe sunset view point. The place where I had been before but yet I want to visit always. The Agumbe Ghat further leads to Udupi and was closed due to some ongoing repair. But a bunch of riders from other group and ourselves managed to take permission from the officer who was kind enough and did not disappoint us.

Riding from Agumbe to Thirthalli having a heavy breakfast and contuining further we reached Shimoga at 12:45PM. Midday heat hit us badly and the engines started overheating. The trail from Shimoga to Chiradurga is like a small glimpse of Thar Desert .Landscapes change.Water bodies do not exist,mountains are rocky and roads are covered with mirages.

We finally reached Tumkur around 6pm and continued towards Bangalore.Straight roads had no hidden treasures,the trucks honking making their way to the IT capital of India. OH Bangalore.Home again at 9PM reached our ADDA where my friend who missed out on the trip was waiting to receive us. We chatted for a while and left home.

The eve of new year when Bangalore celebrated we slipped into a deep sleep treasuring our sunburn and saddle sores, laughing at our rowdy attitudes but yet conquering 1555 km on the saddle not an achievement but an experience from which one can learn a lot and yet another feather in the cap.

Oh Bangalore!!Home!! or is it really??Answering this has always been a tough question.

Looking back at the last year there are somethings to treasure and others to bury and build a tomb of.Nevertheless,life shall move on and status quo be maintained. A small verse about my experience with the truth.

Lost without you in this wilderness,

All that is left is bitterness.

I see you when I count the stars

Looks like it was a bad dream in the morning hours

In this journey towards the UNKOWN we severed our paths,

I shall see where the road takes me now as am barely scathed

Cuz for all I know am not beaten

I have got a devil’s soul and I shall take the path less taken.

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