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.


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!!

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Ride to Kolli Hills

For the past few weeks, the car has been doing the commute duties while the bike was taken out only on the weekends for 100+ km rides. Perfect. Been doing only short rides though. Home-IPC-Nandi Hills-Devanahalli-Hosakote-Home got boring after a while. Wanted to do something longer.

Woke up saturday morning and decided that I’m riding to Kolli hills. (yeah, just like that). Pinged the usual suspect, A, but no reply. He was probably sleeping. Asked a couple of other friends and they said it’s too far for the bike (pussies). Went back to watching TV and youtube. Around 11, A pinged and said he said let’s do it. He wanted to ride up and down on the same day. Said it’d be impossible as we get only an average speed of 50kmph due to all the breaks, but he wanted to try. Finally convinced him to pack some clothes, just in case. Oh, BTW, he rides a Twister. Yes, that puny thing who’s rear tyre is 30mm narrower than my front tyre.

Decided to meet at Shell Lingarajapuram, the usual rendezvous point at 12. Thanks to the rush, by the time we tanked up (or half tanked) and set the right pressure in the tyres, it was 12:30.  The route was Hennur-KRpuram-Silkboard-Ecity-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri and then google maps thereafter. First stop – brunch at Adyar Ananda Bhavan (A2B) Hosur.

Off we went, navigating through the never sleeping TinFactory-KRpuram traffic. Took about 45 minutes to reach silk board. Such times are unheard of for a saturday afternoon of a long weekend. Turned left to the Ecity flyover and sped to the lay-bye and then was forced to slow down as they were re-laying tarmac on one lane and everyone was forced to the remaining lane, including some crawler who was way ahead, with no room for anyone to overtake him. Paid 1 way toll and was stuck at the signal for long. Then it was non-stop till A2B.

Opted for meals as it’d available instantly and both of us were hungry like anything. Also, asked for 2 gulab jamuns from their bakery counter. One bite and we both knew, it was by far the worst either of us has ever had. It was bad beyond belief.But challenged ourselves to complete it and we did.

Ride resumed. Hosur-Krishnagiri was long, but not boring. Maintained good speeds of 80-90kmph with occasional bursts crossing 110 on empty stretches. On one slight downhill slope, hit 126, the top speed for the day. (All speedo indicated). The roads were mostly 6 laned and were smooth with no potholes or speed breakers anywhere. One of the safest roads I’ve ridden/driven on. The roads weren’t fenced,  yet no animals or humans on the road, trying to cross or to kill you.

Stopped a few times, like every 50kms as A is a compulsive smoker. T’was a good break for the bums and the bikes too. Also had an abrupt stop on the road as we spotted something weird in the sky.


Kept riding and once past Dharmapuri, we took the salem bypass and then on to the Salem-Madurai highway, NH44/AH43. Took a left at Kalangani. It was a road shock, switching from 6 lanes highway with a median to a single road with a white lane as the median. I was used to such roads in Kerala, but A took a while to get used. Got lost a couple of times as this was not the main route and there were no sign boards. (Note to self : Get a phone mount). Stopped at a tea stall and the guy vouched that the road we were on leads to Karavalli.

Reached Karavalli at around 6:30. It was almost dusk and this is where the climb starts. The original plan to reach up-top before sunset, but missed that. Now the rush was to climb up before it gets dark and so, we started. 70 hairpins. Yes, seventy. Stopped at a couple of them to click photos. The roads were a bit patchy until the 11th or 12th, but really smooth after that. They’re narrow though. There were a lot of bus/lorries (Dunno if it was because of the time). Bikes didn’t have to stop as the roads were wide enough for a bike and a bus together, but a car would have to get one set of wheels off the road, which is terribly inconvenient and scary at some patches where there’s no barricade. Anyway, halfway through, we saw clouds approaching and rushed up.

Reached the top safely and there was a market kinda thing going on. It started drizzling and we took shelter at a closed shop, near a Tea stall. Drizzle became rain and lightning and thunder. The ceiling of the shop we were taking shelter was pretty small and there was a lot of water being sprayed on to our jeans and shoes and they were getting drenched badly. Thought about taking shelter at a closed shop on the other side that had a sit-out kinda thing but the tea stall owner stopped us saying it’s dangerous as that building did not have a lightning conductor and people have gotten struck by lightning there before. Seemed true, because that was the only place that was somewhat guaranteed of not being drenched yet there was no one there and the entire market was taking shelter at places that’d get them partially drenched.

Rain started subsiding only after half an hour. Asked the tea stall guys about accommodation places and he said there are hotels/resorts 5kms further. Waited for another 15-20 minutes for the rain to stop, but it only slowed down to a drizzle. Decided to proceed anyway. A had a rain coat. I only had a mesh windcheater that was seeping water in. Rode 5kms and saw few lodges. Stopped at the first one to be told that no rooms were available and all the rooms in the entire town are taken. Called bullshit and decided to check out the other places and realized he wasn’t bullshitting. Everything was taken. Not the news you want to know at 9pm, drenched, cold and tired. Drizzle became rain again and we did not have shelter. Became ball drenched soon and started shivering. Stopped at a small place for dinner.

During the dinner, decided that there was no choice but to climb down the hairpins again. The nearest accommodation would be only at Salem, about 100kms. Might as go back to bangalore then. Had a pretty heavy dinner and the total bill came out to be just 120. Same thing at a similar set up would’ve been at least 3 times that. But anyway, tanked up (Yeah, there was a petrol bunk in the town) and proceeded to climb down.  Just before the hairpin, I decided to change my Tshirt as I was shivering. So, middle of the night, roadside, I stripped and changed. Climbed down the hairpins slowly and cautious. Was misty/foggy at some places. Reached down at around 10:30. There were few T stalls open. Took a break and went a few kms when A realized he forgot his backpack at the stall with his wallet and phone in it. Went back and it was there, safe.

Reached the main highway past 11 and a random police checkup just before hitting it. They didn’t believe that we were going all the way back to Bangalore. But anyway, got on to the roads and there was more traffic than daytime. Lorries, lorries and more lorries. Lorries everywhere. Trains of lorries. Swarms of lorries. One lorry at 30kmph on one lane, one overtaking it in the next lane at 31kmph and another one overtaking them both at 32kmph in the last lane. Not so much a problem for us as we were on bikes and there was sufficient space beyond the white line on the left. Despite the million lorries on the roads, it was very safe to ride. They always stuck to their lanes.

We had thought that the ride on the highway would be slow assuming it’d be cold and dark. But we were actually faster. There were street lights at some places and at others the headlamps from the lorries and other vehicles helped us. The median had big leafy plants that was blocking the high beam from the oncoming traffic on the other side. Took a couple of breaks, only at the toll booths at Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri. Agreed to do the last 100km nonstop. By the time we reached Ecity, my entire body was aching like hell. The arms, shoulders, back, thighs, legs, everything. The minor jumps on the flyover was sending jolts of pain all over the body. Post silkboard, decided to go slow as there are a lot of potholes and speed breakers.

Around 4:30 AM and there were a lot of bikes and zoomcars on the ORR. Took around 45 minutes to reach Kammanahalli. Saw more vehicles on this stretch at this time of the day than the entire to and fro journey on the highway. Also, this was the only part of the ride that felt unsafe or dangerous. Stopped at a tea vendor in kammanahalli and then parted ways to our homes. Reached home, took a shower and slept.

Total distance covered = 620km

Petrol = 1200Rs worth.

Mileage = ~31kmpl.

Misc expenses =~ 300 per head.



Published in: on August 21, 2016 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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oh well

Before you start, let me warn you, this is the longest post i have ever made. This is longer than my average university exam answer and does not include any lyrics or cricket/football commentary.

Getting to the incident, it was Tuesday the 15th, the day after Valentine’s day. It was a off day on account of Miladi Sherif (or something of the sort). I spent most of the day watching tv and random videos on youtube. Got bored and at evening i set out on my bike with my cam. My only intention was to get some night shots of my bike with some light trails in the background. So i rode slowly looking out for the best place i could get. Had rode for around 70km from my home till i finally decided upon a spot. No, I didn’t go that far. A lot of circling and one ways and unsatisfactory spots made up the distance. I must have been like only 10km away from home at that moment 😀 Anyways, I enjoyed the ride. Also remember having tweeted this at around 7:30 pm

combined two of my new passions. Rode some 60km just to get some good snaps of my bike. #showoff

It was dark enough and the traffic was right about perfect. Not too less to hardly get a light trail, and not too much to get too many. Those long exposure shots were pretty difficult and I said to myself that I should get a tripod soon. Even though keeping the cam on the floor kept it steady, the button click would cause a slight shake in the beginning. Some shots got ruined but in the end I did get to manage some awesome shots. 😀 I always think all my shots are awesome so it was no surprise :P. Satisfied, I congratulated myself and started for home. The road was awesome and straight and i wanted to take to the top speed but it was cold and since I was wearing only a T-Shirt (above the waist, duh) I was shivering even at 50kmph.

The first time I saw the scene in a movie, I loved it. Thought it would be way it really happens. But as the scenes got repeated in many movies I started feeling it was lame and impossible BUT…

There were some vague noises. Loads of people talking to each other but nothing was clear. I had the feeling I was moving upwards. I slowly opened my eyes and I saw a tubelight moving down. I actually had tried opening them swift but for some reason they opened only in slow motion. My eyes closed automatically. WTF. I opened them again. This time too it happened in slow motion. And this time i saw a ceiling fan. My eyes closed automatically, again. No No, It can’t be happening, i thought. Opened my eyes once again and saw a nurse holding a glucose bottle and by the looks of it, she was running. In fact she wasn’t the only one around. I was being carried on a stretcher. FUCK, I said as loud as I could. Nobody budged. Probably my lips never moved and no sound was made when I shouted, or tried to shout. Oh well.

I opened my eyes once again and there i saw it on the walls the words OPERATION THEATRE and an arrow. To make things worse, I was moving (being moved) in that direction. What have I done ?

I tried memorizing. It wasn’t easy, not by any means when there are a million questions running through your head. The question that struck me the most was why was I being carried to the operation theatre. I tried moving my body part by part. toes, no. legs, no. arms, no. fingers, no. neck no. mouth, no. eyes, yes. WTF. Was i paralyzed? I felt I would faint any moment. But I didn’t. Thoughts kept running. I tried concentrating on why I was in a hospital and memorizing. I had faint memories of riding. I probably had an accident. But how bad was it? I closed my eyes

I felt like the movement process has stopped. I was probably in the operation theatre now. Within no time I felt like I was being carried physically. I mean like people were holding my legs and arms and carrying me, probably to another bed (of the operation theatre). In fact it was some sort of a bed or a table. Wait a second. I felt those touches on my arms and legs. So I wasn’t paralyzed afterall. I opened my eyes and I saw a lamp a few feet above me. Suddenly it lit, almost blinding me. Everything went bright at first and then dark.

I felt something piercing just a few millimetres above my left eye. Gwad. It was painful. I probably woke up from sleep/unconsciousness because of that sudden pain. I opened my eyes and saw a syringe being taken off. WTF. That was like millimetres near my eye. Why would someone inject me there. My eyes closed automatically again. Next I felt another such injection, this time below my eye. WTF. I wanted to get up and shout What the Fuck is wrong with you people but I could hardly move. Everything became dark, again.

I could feel something piercing above my eye and followed by something pulling the skin. It was painful but didn’t hurt as much as the injections. Somebody was doing it as occasionally I could feel a hand touching my face. This repeated a few times and later below the eye too.

Where am I? Somehow those words echoed of my mouth. I was unsure if anyone heard it but I got a reply. A female voice (probably the nurse/doc) said I’m in a hospital and my face is being patched up. Great. I thought to myself. Every time I felt being pierced I asked if it was the last one. She always replied it was. At one point I asked how many stitches have been made so far. She said a few. They’ve been piercing my face for so long (or so I thought). I asked 30 ? She laughed.

I felt someone lifting my arm and rubbing near my elbow with some cotton and some liquid. It hurt pretty bad. Felt like they had poured boiling oil on my arm (No, i’ve never touched boiling oil. Just assuming) . Somehow opened my eyes to see a lot of blood and hardly any skin around my elbow (from almost near my armpits to a little further down the elbow). Next thing I felt was was them tying a cloth or bandage over the place and it felt good. No sarcasm there, it really felt good.

After a while I woke up and I was in my casualty ward. My parents, cousin and two of my uncles were there. On seeing me awake they all started asking questions. I listened to none and asked what happened. Got to know I had an accident (pretty obvious) and so and so place and I was in so and so hospital. Was taken initially to the Radioactive room or whatever for X-Rays. The operation theatre direction was simply a false alarm. The X-Rays revealed I had no fractures (phew). After that I was taken to some room and my face was patched up. There were 13 stitches, all of them on my face, all withing, 1 sq cm around my left eye. They did some small checkup on the eye. It had no damage and no scratches on the lens either. I was speechless because I simply didn’t know what to say. I was also told that the injury was probably caused by my helmet’s visor. A CT scan was in due and somebody had gone to call the operator or whatever.

I tried memorizing and concentrating on how/when the accident happened. As much as I remember I was going pretty slow. Probably somebody hit me. Also occurred to me that the place where the crash took place wasn’t on the route I was taking (the way home that is)

News arrived that the operator/doctor has come and I was carried to the CT scan thingy and put on the machine. Had seen this CT scan thingy only on TV. A big tube that keeps rotating and you go into it. Actually I was pretty excited 😀 Slowly i started moving into the tube. However they stopped as soon as my head was in the tube. I was disappointed and asked why. He said only my head needed to be scanned. oh well.

The sun had risen by then and the CT scan reports had arrived. (the reports didn’t take long to arrive, just that i saw sunlight through a window). The reports said I had no problems whatsoever. I was good to go.

Within minutes, I got more updates about the crash. It was caused by a cyclist. I almost fainted. A cyclist caused all this? I couldn’t fucking believe it. How could a cyclist cause such a lot of damage. A truck or a bus or at least a car would’ve sounded cool 😀 but a fucking cyclist. Damn. He had spoken to my relatives when they told him I didn’t remember anything. In his words, he was crossing the road and in fact had reached the end of the road when I suddenly appeared out of nowhere, at a really high speed !! Sudden braking caused me to skid and hit the cycle and then I went to hit a concrete post on the roadside. He had jumped out(or got thrown out) when the collision took place and so had only minor injuries. He repeated it was my fault as I was over speeding. Indeed, the road was fucking straight and you could see well over a mile ahead. I must’ve been traveling at 2500 odd kmph to have covered a mile in a second. I said I wasn’t speeding and I remember that but he said all young people say the same bla bla bla. Everyone believed him. Bloody Son of a bitch had started to speak only after realizing I had no memory of the incident and he kept his ass clean for what I’m sure must’ve been his mistake. I wanted to argue but I couldn’t move much, nor could I raise my voice. Finally everyone accepted it was my mistake.

Anyways, I was happy I didn’t break any bones or lose any teeth. Except for my face and my right arm, I was unhurt. Nothing unusual, because thats what usually happens when you have a crash at high speeds 😐

The irony is, I was wearing a helmet as the only sort of protection, and the only serious injury I had was on my face. (BTW, my helmet is a fully covered one, covers even the chin and I always lock it up). The helmet hasn’t broken into pieces. Only the visor had broken. Again, signs of a high speed crash 😐 Gotta find some bulletproof glass visors now. Oh well.

Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm  Comments (8)  
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First Crash

Ever since i bought a bike, people have been asking when my first crash would be. Unfortunately, now i have a valid answer 😐

on its 55th day, on a Thursday the 13th, while i was cruising to the college, some bitch (around 30 years old and still doesn’t know how to cross the road) jumped out of nowhere onto the road, looking only at the other side. My reflexes were good, but not good enough to avoid a crash. Collided with her at around 10-15kmph. She fell, my bike fell and I fell. I was okay 🙂 She had a scratch on her arm (who cares). But the bike :(. The headlight was broken. The numberplate was bent. Scratches on the handle bar, indicator, clutch lever… etc.  So much for not having a crash guard 😐 Weird as it seems, the indicator only had a scratch while the headlamp assembly was broken.

Nearly Headless

Unlucky number 13.  Guess I have to start believing in numerology now.

Hoping not to see any more of these idiots on the road.

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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