After getting inspired by Doc. Raval's pics of his Kolli Hills ride, I had already decided that I'm gonna ride out to this destination...Last weekend's BN G2G brought up this topic... Ashish Chamoli jumped to the idea of going for a ride, any ride! As long as it is a long ride :)
Made a few calls and sent out emails asking friends who would be interested; and only Arijit Ghosh reverted, saying that he is interested, he roped in another of his friend Dilip who has done extensive riding across India, specially the northeast part... So the planning was done, date and time decided, all that was needed was to turn up for the ride! We met up at 5am on Hosur Road, and started for our destination by around 6ish (it took some time for everyone to assemble) the roads were butter smooth and the climate was perfect!
First stop was at around 7 near Krishnagiri for some awesome idlis and omelets. After getting a fill of food we started again, next stop was Salem, asked for directions and hit the right road towards Rasipuram, here funny thing happened! A kid comes up and asks in Tamil if this is a college trip, I just shook my head and didn't say anything; he then asks if we are the Police! I shook head again, so his mum tells him, they are the army... :DFrom here, the great NH7 turns into a modest State Highway… but kudos to TN govt for making such great roads, not too many potholes on the way and perfectly picturesque scenery to give us company all the way!
After Rasipuram we had to start climbing the ghat section… the dreaded 70 hairpin turns! But to my surprise, the road condition was so smooth that the dread turned into sheer joy after every turn! And by the time we reached the top, the adrenaline and the joy both were on a full high!
Now bearing in mind from Doc's instructions we knew that there are not too many accommodation options here, and hence Ashish had carried his 4person tent (just in case!) there are 2 famous resorts and a couple of measly lodges that provide accommodation… to our luck, everything was full! Finally the owner of a resort allowed us to pitch our tent in his coffee plantation (of course after charging 1K for it) but it was exactly what we wanted! We pitched our tent in the middle of nowhere, with coffee plants all around us and the noise of all the birds and insects around :)
After pitching up and resting for a while, we set out on our bikes to do a look-see of the place. We were surprised to find that the place doesn't have much to offer from a `touristy' option… just 2 `points' for witnessing the sunsets and loads of liquor stores to buy cheap beer and brandy… we did our `shopping' and went to one of the points to see the sunset, saw hoards of people come, pose for pics, and go while were sat there unmoved.
After sunset and some basic `appetizers' we headed for dinner, ate dinner and crashed in the tent amongst total darkness and sounds of all the insects… the sky was totally clear so saw a lot of stars…
Woke up early in the morning, packed our stuff and rode out before the local traffic increases… after some photo-ops on the ghats, we descended to Rasipuram for some breakfast of dosas and parathas… ate our fill and rode out… next stop dharampuri for tender coconuts then again rode till Electronic city, stopped looking for lunch options and realized that we are too close to home to eat out now… so, said good byes and ripped all the way home…
Total ride distance, door to door: 650kms
Riders: Ashish Chamoli – LB500
Arijit Ghosh – TB350
Dilip – STD350
LJ – RedEye
Arijit's Pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/106810833727605113966/KolliHillsMay782011?feat=directlink
Ashish's Pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/ashishchamoli/KolliHills