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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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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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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