The last long weekend you’d perhaps get this year and our suggestion is that you spend it wisely. Perhaps, knock off that year end trip to Goa and go someplace offbeat; to enjoy the ride for the journey and not for the destination; and to enjoy the calms in the destination and not the tumult. With, frequent pit stops to appreciate the countryside’s still life and cherish specialties that each place has to offer; a Motorcycle ride is what you need to complete the last long weekend ride for the year 2016. Since it is a three-day long holiday, a trip from Bangalore – Bandipura via Mysore would be good. Pit-stops include Mandya, Srirangapatna, Mysore, Bandipur, on the way back visit Kokkare Belluru, Channapatna and Ramnagara. Let us warn you that this one isn’t for someone who is looking for a luxury escapade, but for someone who enjoys a lone ride or a ride with friends who do not mind off-roading.
Bangalore – Bidadi – Mandya – Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary – Srirangapatna – Mysore (Stay)
Leave early in the morning, with an aim to cross Kengeri town before 6.00 AM to avoid the heavy traffic scowls that keep piling on. Make a stop at Bidadi for the famous ‘Thatte Idli’ vendor near the Bidadi bus stop. You can ask anyone there, should you find it difficult to locate him. Not a very hygienic place, but hey it isn’t a luxury trip either, so be a little adventurous and take some risks.
Next up is Mandya, another hour and twenty minutes from Bidadi, the only reason for a quick stop here, is to taste the Maddur Vada at the Maddur Tiffanys, near Mandya Bus Stop. We suggest you ask someone just as you enter the Mandya district, but again the place is not very hygienic. Once you are done be on your way to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary which is a little ahead from the Srirangapatna Junction, you will have to ask for the KRS Road, and make a deviation at the Karimanti junction to the Bird Sanctuary. We suggest you to be there as early as possible to witness as many birds in fleet, since it is home to 170 species of birds during the season i.e. September to January. There is an option for boat rides as well to lounge around this sanctuary’s inaccessible spots.
Once done, head back to Srirangapatna junction and go towards Sangama, a holy place where the river Kaveri breaks into two, making Srirangapatna an island. You can also visit the Daria Daulat Bagh, Tippu Sultan’s Summer palace built in 1784. Tippu Sultan Gumbaz, a Mausoleum that houses the remains of Tippu Sultan and his relatives.
Next head to Mysore, book a stay for 3 days and explore the beautiful sleepy city on your bike for a different experience, before you head off on day 3 to perceive the wilderness of Bandipur. Once you reach Mysore take the evening off (Day 1) trying out some yummy dosas, at Hotel – Vinayaka Mylari in Nazarabad, then back to your room for a good night’s sleep.
Mysore local Sightseeing:
Visit the Mysore Palace a historical site with a lot of art and architecture to witness, from the Wodeyar family and then finish lunch at the city. You can pick from Hotel RRR (Non-Veg specialites) in Chamarajpur, Madhva Bhavana (Veg) Vontikoppal in Vani Vilas Mohulla or Mahesh Prasad, Ballal Circle, Lakshmi Puram. The idea is to indulge in authentic South Indian Cuisine and most of these listed are very old haunts, that have served delicious food for a decade or so. Spend the whole day just lazing around in Mysore, visit the Krishnaraja Sagara or KRS Dam, Brindavan Gardens and head back early to catch up on sleep for the next day’s ride to Bandipur.
Bandipura and back to stay at Mysore
Wakeup Early and ride to Bandipura that is about 77kms from Mysore, which might take about 2 hours of your time. The gate to the forest road opens only by 6 AM and closes in the evening at 6PM, make sure you plan accordingly. You might have to prepare your mind to stay on road for a longer time, since the road from Nanjangud via Gundlupet to Bandipura forest road entry point is usually not in a great condition. Post the Bandipura forest road entry point, the roads are pretty good and you can expect a smoother ride.
NOTE: Make sure you do not cross a speed of 40kmph since the roads are narrow, maintain a safe distance between each vehicle, avoid honking, avoid consumption of alcohol, avoid having a roadside picnic to enjoy the scenic view. Trust us on this, we have heard some pretty nasty wildlife encounters from the rangers and travelers there, so make sure you follow the rules.
Once in Bandipura, you can park your bikes and enjoy the wilderness in bus or jeep tours conducted by the forest department twice a day. There is also an Elephant safari in the afternoon. Plan such that, you exit the Bandiupra Forest gates before 6PM, since the stays at Bandipura Lodges are very expensive and are unavailable for any last minute bookings. We suggest you head back to Mysore and stay for a night there, so that you can leave the next afternoon to Bangalore with a pit stop at KRS Dam if you weren’t able to cover it the other day, or head to Kokkare Belluru.
Mysore – Kokkare Belluru – Channapatna – Ramnagara – Bangalore
Kokkare Belluru, another bird sanctuary near Maddur, towards Rudrakshipur – Halaguru Road, famous for Painted Storks and Spot Billed Pelicans in the season. It is about 77.3 kms and will take you an hour and fifty minutes to reach. Early mornings are best for such bird sightings.
Channapatna will take you about 27kms from Kokkare Belluru i.e. 33 minutes if you do not hit traffic. Stop at those small shops that sell handmade wooden toys, you’d be surprised to find the collectibles there. From wooden toy cars to trinkets worth treasuring for their quirk factor or the key chains for their craftsmanship, they one for everyone. We even found metal and wooden toy cycles, that now are on the terrace wall as a décor addition. You can also visit Janapada Loka, Ramnagara and have an early dinner at Kamat Lokaruchi, Ramnagara on your way back which is about 20 minutes from Channapatna.
Your journey towards Bangalore would depend on the traffic, pegging it to somewhere between an hour and forty-five minutes to about two hours if you hit peak hour. This trip is for those who love riding and who wouldn’t mind giving up on luxurious dining options. So hire a bike from our range of cruiser or sports bikes (Link) to enjoy the freedom of off-roading, en route your destination for the ‘last long weekend of 2016’ and make it memorable. For, nothing can equal the experience of feeling the wind, as you pace through the countryside life on your motorcycle.