Shettihalli Church

Distance from Bangalore : 200km

This is by far the best church I’ve ever been to. It’s an abandoned and ruined church that sits on the reservoir of a dam and gets submerged in it during the rainy season. Pretty cool, eh?

Started from the usual rendezvous point at 6:15 and took the ORR to reach Yeshwantpur/Goraguntepalya. Got stuck at the railway gate for about 10 mins. Then the right to Nelamangala. This stretch of road has gone through a lot of patch work and the road is somewhat uncomfortable. There was also a pretty high amount of traffic for a saturday early morning. At Nelamangala, a left to the Bangalore-Mangalore highway, which is part of the NH75. The roads are butter smooth, with not a pothole anywhere. Few sets of tiny speedbreakers near towns and big ones near toll booths. Patchwork was done at few places, but done so neat and clean that it’s still level with the road surface. The roads are scenic with lush green on both sides and on the divider (with a lot flowers). The sky was ummm.. sky blue as well. As is the norm on this road, food is taken only from New Golden Breeze Restaurant. (No, they didn’t pay me to put their name). On reaching Hassan, take a left towards Gorur Dam and well, use Maps to get to the church. The roads are good for the most part with few potholes occasionally.

The last half a Kilometre to the church is through non-existent roads. Cars will be able to go through this part too. The path leads all the way up to the church. You can actually take your bike into the church. Yup, I rode through the church. The rains were bad this year and so the church wasn’t submerged. The river/reservoir was a few tens of metres away but the soil was a bit marshy. Did go near the water, but it was dirty as hell. Didn’t touch it.

Took few photos of the church. It does look weird to see the ruins of a church. Just the bricks. Lots of people have written their names and their crushes’ names on the wall and it does look bad. There were about 10 people while we were around. Some climbed up the walls. Didn’t try it as there were broken glass pieces from beer bottles everywhere. (Thankfully, didn’t puncture the tyres).

Must admit, the place looks really dull in real, but looks a lot better in pics. Even better with some filters.

 

Random awesome church #ig_karnataka #karnataka #hassan #shettihallichurch #ruins

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Inside the church #shettihallichurch #karnataka #ig_karnataka #ruins

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Could spot the dam far in the horizon, a few kilometres away. Made me wonder how much water there would’ve been present in the reservoir when the church gets submerged. Also, decided to visit the dam as it was only 17kms from the church. Maps on, Helmets on. Went near the dam and all gates were closed, barricaded and police personnel present. There were multiple entry points and same story everywhere. Apparently the water from this river  (Hemavathi) is also being diverted to Tamil Nadu, like Cauvery due to Supreme Court orders (TIL). The locals made a fuss and police were deployed and no one would be allowed near the dam for a while (till all issues are resolved). The cops were nice and friendly to us. Came back to Bangalore. Same route. Lesser stops. 180 odd Kms on tolled nearly empty highways then boom, bumper to bumper traffic at Goraguntepalya. Took a few mins to cross that and then another half an hour to the 10-15kms to home!!

Nearing 6th birthday #yamaha #fz #fz16 #bike

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Avalabetta

Distance from Bangalore : 90km

The route’s boring for the most part. NH7 -> Airport road, devanallhi, go past Nandi Hills, past Chikaballapur up to Perasandra. Have to take a left at Perasandra. This is a tricky one as there are no boards and you’ve to rely on Maps. I missed the exit, but as I was on a bike, could merge on to the service road through a narrow gully instead of going a few kms ahead. Anyway, the roads are butter smooth up until this point. No potholes, no patch work repairs, no unevenness, nothing. Both sides of the road are somewhat deserted land making the roads extremely boring and sleepy. You hardly have vehicles to overtake or vehicles overtaking you.

Once you take a left at Perasandra, the roads become almost non-existent for a kilometre or two. So many potholes that there’s no way you can go through this stretch even at city speed limits. There’s a diversion to the left, and then it’s pretty much straight roads. The road seemed to be laid somewhat recent. It was pretty black and smooth. Not too wide, but a car and a bike can squeeze through at the same time.  Around 9kms and you’ll reach a small town. Take a right and then immediately a left and then it’s straight roads all the way to the hilltop.

The last stretch of the hilltop is concrete paved. Slightly widened by a couple of feet on either sides by interlocked tiles. Outside that there are umm… mini concrete pillars (something like milestones only a feet tall) all the way up top. Road is wide enough for two cars at a time. A couple of hairpins. The concrete road is uneven. Up top, there’s space to park bikes. People park cars on the roadside too. Heavier cars might slide so stones are kept beneath the wheels to prevent that.

The climb begins. Steps are laid out from the rock stones. There are about 200-300 steps in total spread over small stretches. There’s a temple on the way and loads of monkeys. Crossing this stretch on a day when the crowd is small, like a weekday, is tricky. They try to snatch your phones, cameras or whatever is in your hand, so be careful. Once the steps are done you reach a viewpoint kinda thingy. The view from there is pretty good. Hills all over.

There’s another viewpoint which is a few metres further down, but there’s no direct or paved path. Will have to climb down the rocks, holding the rocks or the few tree branches on the way. Theoretically dangerous, but nothing to worry. Anyone should be able to do this. Would need both hands to hold on, so wore the helmet during this descend. Once you reach the point, there’s a small pond and near it the rock stretches out on to the cliff and makes for a very good photo point. On weekends there’s queue to take photos at this spot. Thankfully the day I went, the crowd was okay and nobody spend and eternity clicking photos although it felt like it. The place does get warm/hot pretty quick, so start the return journey as soon as you’re done.

Published in: on September 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Short trip to Wayanad

Finally i did a solo trip. Not really sure if you could call it a trip but still, its the first time I had gone over 100km on my own 😀

One thing about this was that i really had no plan whatsoever as i was still in the run-in period. The past week has generally been boring with no college (Sem break) and with friends who want to do nothing but sleep. And today morning i thought i would just pay a visit to one of my friends. He was a gadget freak and wanted to see my new cam. So i took my bike, helmet as my only safety gear (not even shoes 😀 ) and started off. As i was in the run-in period i didn’t dare cross the 4k rpm limit. I was enjoying driving at a constant speed of around 50kmph looking at the  buildings, people, chicks 😀 …etc as buses and cars buzzed past me. After a while I crossed a petrol bunk and that’s when it occurred to me that I was on reserve and after the next bunk (around 2km) there’s not one for at least 10km, which i wasn’t sure i would reach. So i had my mind set on the next bunk and was heading, along NH212 (a 2 lane highway, which was single lane at times 😀 ) and I saw a signboard that said Thusharagiri Waterfalls 48km

It was one place i had always wanted to go. One of my friends had gone there not so long ago and he had said that the place was awesome but the roads were not in good condition and it was a really really steep uphill ride. I was confused as I had read somewhere that during the run-in we shouldn’t strain the engine much by riding in steep slopes etc. I had a cam with me and thought “what the hell, its now or never 😀 ” and decided to head for the waterfalls. Reached the bunk within a couple of minutes, filled some petrol and continued.

At Kunnamangalam, the road split into two and even though i could reach the place through either, I decided to go along the NH as it MIGHT be shorter. I went ahead and was steady cruising at ~50kmph.  The roads were empty and i wanted to go faster but my self control kicked in and was limiting me. Took a while and i breezed past Koduvally, Omassery, Thamarassery… The route i knew was to take a diversion from Adivarom.

Post Thamarassery, the roads weren’t really good. potholes every now and then, newer laid tarmac washed off, showing the older tarmac (but still accounts for a bumpy ride). After a few kilometers, the roads were really empty. There was no vehicle or no pedestrian for miles and there was a disturbing silence. I was worried if i had taken a wrong turn somewhere but nevertheless continued to move on. There wasn’t even a sign board or even any indicator saying where i was or if the road was a highway or a nearest town or whatever … It took a few kilometers to find a human soul and he assured me i was on the right track.

I went on and reached Adivarom and took a diversion and a signboard along the road said, Thusharagiri, 9.5km. I was excited. After a couple of kilometers, the road got really narrow and really really steep. On one side it was a cliff. I was on 2nd or 3rd gear and occassionaly a 1st or 4th for about 7km from there. After some time, the road got even narrower. Now even 2 bikes couldn’t go along it. It looked like it was a way to some house. About 200metres later, i had to stop as it was the way to a house. There was a kid and i asked him about the waterfalls. He said i should’ve taken the diversion about half a km back. So i went back about half a km, saw a junction and realized why I had taken this route instead of the right one. There was really no road there. It was just stones. Even soil hadn’t been put on it to make it driveable. I enquired and an elderly man said that was the route but there was absolutely no way i was going along that path. About 2km of stones. The only route now was to go back to Kunnamangalam and take the diversion there.

Disappointed, i decided to return. Had the luxury of turning off the engine though. It was really really steep and i was using the front brake all the time. Within a second of leaving the brake pedal i would hit speed of 60. Though the downhill journey didn’t consume any fuel and took lesser time, it needed more concentration 😀

Reached back the diversion i had taken at Adivarom. It was the starting point of the famous Thamarassery churam (ghats). I had never driven along the ghats and with the disappointment on missing out the waterfalls, i decided to climb up the ghats to Wayanad. And so i started with the ghats. The roads at the bottom were really good. I was relieved but that didn’t last long. The roads got really bad. At hairpins the roads had broken off completely and the dust was flying all over causing visibilty problems as well. Even though i had the fully covered helmet, dust somehow got into my eyes and i had to stop to get that out. Except for 2 hairpins (which have concrete/bricks laid down) out of the 9 everything else was in pitiable condition.

A much needed break was taken at the 3rd hairpin (I think). Took a couple of snaps. There was a stream of water which some nice people had connected to a hose. Washed my face and it felt really great. The water was really cold too.

After around 5 mins i started off and continued uphill. There were these red faced monkeys all along the road causing havoc to the drivers. Wanted to take a snap but couldn’t stop anywhere along these ghats as the roads were pretty narrow and constant traffic. The KSRTC bus drivers were really nice in these roads. After a couple of hairpins when i found a little place where i could park my bike, i did and took some snaps. Had to take this break because of the dust which had gotten into my eye. I was getting stares from almost all the vehicles. Dunno if was the bike or whether it was me. ( At 5’7″ and 55kg, I look like a schoolkid 😀 ).

I went ahead and as soon as the hairpins were over and the roads just got better. The tarmac was newly laid and the lines were newly painted. I did spot a couple of roadrollers and tar barrels nearby. So probably the ghats would be repaired within a couple of weeks. Now that i’ve covered the ghats i thought of taking a U turn and heading back but then i came across this.


Just for my sake i went a hundred metres more, took the U turn and headed back. As the ghats started i again had the luxury of turning off the engine and moving, for about 12km. Had a funny feeling when i was overtaking lorries and buses with the engine turned off 😀


Stopped at a view point for a break. More like i had to as the butt started aching in 😀 .  There were some mobile shops there selling all kinda snacks and refreshments. I had an ice-cream and had a chat with one of the shopkeepers.

Started off again but stopped as soon as i saw …a small waterfall kinda thingy :D. took few snaps and went on

Finally after about 10more km i reached Adivarom and finally turned on the engine. It roared and i was excited but then again self control kicked in and limited me to 4000rpm. Damn this self control. It never comes when i want it but comes whenever I don’t want it :D.

Reached Thamarassery. Needed another break for my butt and so i stopped at a sugarcane-juice dweller. Took 2 glasses and a couple of snaps.

After that it was non-stop back home. (around 50km). My butt and neck kept asking for breaks. Occasionally I’d stand up or shift to the pillion seat and drive. Both felt good and gave relief but was drawing unwanted attention which kinda freaked me out 😀

Reached back home. 136km.  The bike still felt good and probably didn’t feel strained. The engine wasn’t hot. I could keep my bare hands on it for over 10 seconds. Had absolutely no vibrations at all anywhere. No pain in the arms,  shoulders.  back, legs or feet. Slight pain in the butt (which was gone after 5 mins) and some slight pain on the neck (back side of the neck), probably caused by the helmet (which i felt was getting heavier with every km). Guess that’s pretty less for someone on his first 100km+ trip 😀

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 12:05 am  Comments (1)  
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