Munnar called, I said Yes

Munnar ride from Bangalore

The thought of having a ride through the hairpin narrow roads of Munnar has always fascinated me. This week I was lucky to have a ride to Munnar from Bangalore and I enjoyed each and every corner of Munnar I rode, every curve I took lean angle, every frame I clicked, every moment I spent there.

06.05.2007, I started early morning from Bangalore hoping to reach Munnar in the evening at bright light. For the first time I travelled through Mettur at day light and had a good view of the place for the first time.
The wind mill fields on the way between Palladam and Udumalpet too will catch anybody's attention.

I got some nice snaps clicked on the way and was lucky that it started raining in Munnar only after I reached the town.

About Munnar roads when you ride...

Good: You can trust the banking of curve. It's been properly done with appropriate slope which helps you in safe lean angles on bike.
Bad: Roads are narrow. Better have a good horn and your left thumb on the horn button, honk at every curve, don't expect all the drivers coming opposite to you are disciplined and experts on such road conditions. Most of them are first time visitors struggling to negotiate the roads and doing it with little control.
And or course beware of sand or gravel on curves. A skid and fall can ruin the entire ride. Keep eyes wide open and see it from a good distance.

At Munar, I never felt like going again to the places- so called tourist destinations I have visited several times- Rajamala, Mattupetty dam, Top station, Kundala lake, Swiss project etc. I even hated to the queue formed at the Rajamala check post, seemed like gold rush. What pleasure does that give to be in a crowd pushing each other rushing, amidst the long line of vehicle on one side struggling to move their way ahead. It looked like a queue outside a movie theater or a at the entrance gate of a stadium.

My visit to Munnar had a different purpose this time. So just wanted to sneak out and have a ride around few unseen corners.
There is a fresh water lake around 15km from Munnar town where few people go. Also since the place is under TATA's control, permission may not be given for groups and of course for four wheelers. Thanks to my friend for info about this place. The place is called Davi Kulam. It is not the place Davikulam near Munnar. This is a real 'Kulam' (Lake) with the same name as that of the place. I was the only human there and my bike the only machine when we got there. I fount few 'bike marks' there and could make out few more 'animals' would have visited there before. Oh, talking about those Bike marks... I think it's the advertisement of Apache where those guys trying to impress the lady by taking spins on ground and draws a flower with the rubber burn marks. What I saw at the Davikulam were such marks but on grace, impressive effort, though not well drawn as in the advertisement, but looked like some symbols.

Around 2 km before the lake there is a settlement and a beautiful ground (not the one in the album, that is another one on the Rajamala road side). I'm not joking, I was tempted to take a roll on that ground like a kid. Some guys play football there. Later I heard from my friend that some movies were shot there and at the lake side. If you are looking for a cake walk ride to reach the place, you will be disappointed. It is an off road. Some are gravel roads, some tarred but not anytime recently, some concreted and of course a few stretches of mud roads too. There are no proper directions written anywhere to guide to the place. If you lose way you take more off(offer) roads. If you don't you will make it in less than 15km. I was in the first category. But certainly I liked ride through those few extra unnecessary rounds to touch the nose. According to some leaf plucker I clarified the route with, I was in the silent valley route and they saved the day by diverting me to the destination through some not so inviting (not for me) narrow strips (can't call them roads).

Just before reaching the lake, the mud road will check your skills if rained and wet (mostly it will be). At certain places it was pure black slush which invited me. Once i took a 90 degree spin too. A different off roading experience. Spending time at the lake side, no one to talk to and with a feel that I'm some where in the middle of nowhere is of course the feeling of all feelings. The place around is forest and you are alone, sun is down and light fading slowly giving a feel of TV award movies... Only sounds we hear are those from the wild. It was almost dark when I realised that I have to go back in a different route which I don't have much knowledge about since I took the wrong route to reach there. If I take the same route, It may take ages to reach back and this time I may reach Silent valley in the dark. Anyway I headed back to taking the correct route. I'm riding with just guts feeling. No sense of direction Chandran'sMunnarcoz no straight road on a hill and after a few turns we lose direction when no light. Anyway I reached the main road, saw no human being on the way, and thankfully no animal blocked my way. Also I feel lucky to have myself corrected coming back from a wrong turn and taking the correct one- did it just on illusion.

At the hotel, only when I saw the security staring at my shoes I realised I'm making black shoe marks over the clean marble floor, black mud brought all the way from Devikulam lake side. Ooops...

Ride back to Bangalore was at night. Started from Munnar at around 4:30 in the evening and stopped at several places for snaps and enjoy the scenary which delayed the ride further.

Route: Bangalore- Hosur- Krishnagiri- Dharmapuri- Mettur- Bhavani- Perumdurai- Vijayamangalam- Tiruppur- Palladam- Udumalpet- Marayoor- Munnar.
Distance: From Banglore to Munnar- 440km.
Mobile coverage: All the operators give coverage at Munnar.

Before I wind up

Thanks to Kam and Karthik for detailed Bangalore- Munnar route info.
Sorry to the bird who tried to fly through the front wheel and died on the spot.
Hats off to the cop at Dharmapuri high way who tried to loot me on the way to Munnar saying that there is no black spot on the headlight, I escaped diplomatically though- long ride, why don't you leave me...
(It's become standard that when ever I go for a long ride/drive cops will catch me at least once. This time while coming back also one cop tried to stop me at night calling from behind but I didn't stop, was half asleep.)


Kam said...

Nice blog, nice ride, nice read..
You are a hero :D

--xh-- said...

man..feeling like re-visiting munnar just for this 'devi kulam' lake :) nice read...

Love said...

good blog and better pictures! :) nice writing bro!

Chandra said...

Nice pics in your style! I like them. Cool blog :)

Sriram said...

great write-up and nice the way which species of bird was it?

Juby said...

kollam.. nice pics and great blog...

Juby said...

cope tried to loot u?? dangers of long ride..;-)

Anonymous said...

A very good write up on the entire trip. I am also an avid bulleteer. Hope to join you in your trips some time. May reach me ar

Keep driving, keep writing.