Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sriharikota & Pulicat Lake - a road trip


 Some photos in the album:

My friend Ganesh and myself took off on a motorcycle road trip to Pulicat lake and Sriharikota which are close by. The one-horse town to stay is Sullurpeta, but some other choices could be; Tirupati, Srikalahasti, Sri City, or even Chennai which about 90 Kms away. There is a train connection to Sullurpeta.

The weather was excellent and closer to the lake it was even more pleasant. We arrived around 2.00 pm, leisurely. Lunch at Komala Vilas, the only good vegetarian place, plenty of NV available.  Next day morning we started early and see the transitory birds at the lake. We stayed at Shri Ram Residency, which clean but just about OK.

Sriharikota is a barrier island off the Bay of Bengal coast located in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, India. It houses the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launches satellites from here which have been successful.  It is partly located in Sullurpeta / Tada mandal in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh.  It and separates Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal.  The nearest town and railway station is Sullurpeta which is 20 km from Sriharikota.

Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish (not as salty as the sea) water lagoon in India, the first being the Chilika Lake (Orissa).  The water body measures 759 square kilometres (293 sq. mi). Every year approximately 15,000 greater flamingos are reported to visit the lake along with pelicans, kingfishers, herons, painted storks, spoonbills and ducks.

Having finished our ‘sight-seeing calls’ we returned the next day leaving around 10.30 pm. It was hot (30 degrees C) and very few stops on the return, except for lunch and lot of water consumption to prevent dehydration. Ganesh ‘s and my Avenger 220 behaved well, absolutely perfect !

My ODO showed 753 Kms both ways, and about 40 Km / litre

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Meditative solo ride to BR Hills

25 March 2019

What do you do with those loose weekends?  There are several of those which come by in a year. When the weather is good, my motorcycling gives me that meditative ride!

This past week end I took off to BR Hills via Kollegal to meet my friend Mr. Ganesh who has been living alone at BR hills since the last 30 years.  He simply loves nature, grows coffee and pepper on his farm, and enjoys listening to the bird calls, a variety of them. He is fund of information gathered over the last 83 years, and very well known in the HAM circles. His personal telescopes are there to explore the universe and several images that he captured are illuminating.  His infrared video cameras have captured several live animals on his farm including some kills from a leopard!

The Billigiri Ranga Swamy temple is under renovation since more than a year.  It is said to open in due course.  “The Soligas’ are the tribal community around the hills in that area. BR hills is a tiger reservation forest.  K-Gudi or Katharayana Gudi has the jungle lodges and can be booked via KSTDC. Hoping the upcoming rains will ‘green up’ the environment more than the present.

 A Soliga tribesman 

I left at 6.30 am and had breakfast at the Thippiah Hotel, downtown Kollegal at 9 am; reached BR Hills by 10.30 am. In between all the lively discussion, we had calorie burning walks. I came back on Sunday. My first (and last) stop was to have tender coconut at Ramanagaram, and twenty minute butt break! Left 10 am was home by 2 pm. luckily for me, there was minimal traffic on the road.

Both ways, my total Odo recorded 390 Kms

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Isha Foundation - Coimbatore

Isha Foundation. 21-23 Dec 2018
Coimbatore. TN

My friend Ganesh and I made a quick trip to Coimbatore, to visit the Adiyogi statue at the located at the Isha Foundation. We left at 6.30 am (21) went via Kollegal and reached Coimbatore by 3.30 pm.   On the recommendation of another friend Srinivas Babu, we stopped at Kollegal-‘Thippaiah Setty Hotel’, passing though narrow roads in Kollegal.  But with BMW and other bikers there gave us the hope that we were at the right place.  “Motor Dosa” was the special, enjoyed with butter. Friendly people, neat and clean.

The Dhingam Ghats which are a part of the Western Ghats are beautiful, with steep, acute bends. The trucks take away a lot of space on the narrow road.

We stayed at the RS Puram club which was getting ready for the New Year 2019. It was full. Next day we visited the Isha foundation, and there is a lot of writing on the Wiki for information.  It is a huge echo-friendly place using natural resources, with courteous volunteers. A bullock cart ride to the Lingha’s ‘behind the statue’ had its own ambience. Peaceful, and quite, in this much talkative world !

We also took a nostalgic picture in front of Ganesh ancestral house when I learnt later that he and his wife Jayalakshmi studied and grew up at Coimbatore.   We had dinner at Ganesh’s friend’s hotel, “Annalaksmi’ which was authentic, exquisite and special.  On 23rd morning, we left for Bangalore at 6.30 am came via the Erode -Salem route.  We were back home by 2.15 PM.

My Odo showed 780 Kms

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Shirdi Motorcycle Trip

Diwali Time
6th Nov to 10th Nov 2018                                

Very few pictures captured, at:   

 Taking the advantage of Deepavali holidays I left on Naraka Chathrudasi, November 6th morning at 6.30 am. to Shirdi (Maharashtra). It was almost 15 years since I had been there.  My motorcycle trip was overdue !  This is 100th anniversary of Baba’s death.  I took a total of 4 days I did about 2114 Kms as per the GPS. I have marked the overnight stays.  My odometer says: 2118 km.  The Sunset before Vijayapura on the river Krishna was very good. The 3 Kms Korthi – Kohalar bridge was vibrating as trucks passed by when I took the picture.

Shirdi was less crowded because of Diwali; I was able to get in a couple of times.  I was mentally reminded of Sai Baba’s statement “Sabka Malik EkHai”.  I wish this is something we could follow instead of dividing people.  On Friday 9th Nov I was in Kolhapur, and went to see the old temple of “Mahalaksmi’, built first in the 7th century.

I avoided going thru’ Pune due to excessive traffic and finding the route could be been tough. Came via Temburni to a Satara & Karad.  The rural roads are tough and many times single lane.  But you can see abundance of Sugarcane crop all around. I came across “PitStop’ a pure veg restaurant, run by the local Sardarji family of farmers.  The food was delicious and well presented at a much needed pit stop.

* = overnight halt

Distance - Kms

Vijayapura  *
Shirdi         *
86  =   (1020)
Karad         *
Hubli          *
412  = (1094)

2114 Kms.  Total

41 Km / litre: Mileage 220 Bajaj Avenger