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15 June 2009

My biking trip to Chikkaballapur

I had decided to leave at 7.30 am this morning on a biking trip to Chikkaballapur, but like every time, I got delayed. This time I left at 10 am instead of my trade mark after 12 pm that I am known for. It was the first time I was taking my bike out for such a long distance. I had never attempted anything like this before. I hit the road and all I faced was frustration. There was a traffic jam even before I reached the ring road and even after that the traffic was not so smooth. I had resigned to fate that there was nothing that could be done about it.
Let me tell you in brief the route that I took to get to Chikkaballapur. Most buses start from majestic and go via the Mekhri circle, Hebbal flyover and then to Chikkaballapur. I don’t stay close to Majestic and in fact stay closer to Hebbal flyover. So my route generally is to take the Ring Road and reach the Hebbal flyover. Turning left from under the flyover takes me towards Chikkaballapur. That route is also famous because the Bangalore international airport falls en route. So my route was home –> Hebbal flyover, turn left –> cross BIAL –> Devannahalli –> Chikkaballapur.
My best experience starts after I turn left after the Hebbal flyover. The road is simply awesome! 3 lane road with 3 different speed limits! I was aware that there were interceptors (speed cameras) all along the way, but I was not sure where the cops would be standing with these speed cameras! So maintaining my composure, I first took the 60 kmph speed lane. I felt the traffic was moving pretty slow and more over there were trucks all along the way! So I jumped lanes and hit the 80 kmph lane. That was when my ecstasy started!
It felt like I owned the road! There was no stopping me! I hit back at the traffic with a vengeance and rode past the best of the vehicles at a top speed of 115 kmph! The sights that I saw en route were not any ordinary either! I never realized that Bangalore had progressed so fast and hard that now most of the construction contractors were using Volvo trucks and Ingersoll Rand and CAT earth movers! No wonder then that the roads were looking so sexy!!! The best part of the road was the line of grape vendors (I sure picked up some grapes and they were sweet) and the worst the pungent smell of tobacco near the ITC Factory! I wonder how the workers there at the factory survive! I could almost smell a stick for 2-3 kms at a stretch!
Anyways, I reached Chikkaballapur and had a sight that awaited me! The last time that I had been there, I could not pick up too many pics! I was travelling by a bus! But managed to pick up a few pics this time round! What I am about to write/say would make most of us who have studied at Presidency School and Bishop Cottons; both at Bangalore squirm! Check out the slideshow with care, or just jump over to my album at Picasa. There was “New Bishop Cottons School” and a “Presidency School” there! Worst, neither matched the standards that these schools sure do maintain! I wonder what kind of teaching must be happening there!
The main reason that I was at Chikkaballapur was a very old temple! I am not sure how old it is, but by the architecture and other detailing that I noticed there, it sure looked like a good 1000 years old! I am told that the temple is very special and houses the powerful deity Vishnu and his Consorts there! Let me put in a point here as you must be wondering where the pics of the temple are; I did not like to mar the sanctity of the place and so did not click any pictures. Yes, I had a chance, I could have clicked them, and there was no Poojari or Priest there! Yet…
I was there for around 20-30 mins and after that it was time to leave. What much can a 25 year old like me can do at a temple and how long! We are bound to get bored and fidgety! Picked up my bike and started making my way back home! Dad had told me that there was a Shirdi Sai Baba Mandir some where close to Nandi Hills. I also wanted to soak in some of the beauty of the place around. So… my way back I decided I would drive slowly!
Maintaining an ambient speed of about 50 kmph I hit the dirt again and started enjoying the people and places around. Let me tell you that Chikkaballapur is a small town and according to me it is a small and a sleepy town! Most of us Bangaloreans would definitely feel that! Guess what, the main road that leads back from/to the temple is also known as M.G. Road!
Half way through the route back home, there was a large truck making way for me in front of me when I caught site of this Shirdi Sai Baba Temple! It is a huge temple I must tell you! The place has been well made and sure does give you a good set of jitters that trickle down your spine! Searched for a parking place, did not find one, parked on the road, only to find that I could have as well parked inside the temple premises! I decided to let go and walked in to the temple! The place is made up of black Kadappa stone for the floor and the post noon sun sure had made it hot! I did not want to make a fool of myself so bore it and walked in to the temple decently. But the inside I wanted to hop skip and jump! It was just so unbearably hot! Made it to the temple just in time because the afternoon Aarti had just begun! Post these formalities, I was back to my bike! I saw that the road was absolutely empty and it was time to stake claim on it again!
I snapped up a few photographs and started the bike! Rolled down and then started hitting top speed again! This time however, I restricted myself to just about 102 kmph! Ooooooh! The road gave me such a royal treatment! I just did not want to come back to the city! But back in the city limits I was still cruising when my eye caught the sight of a cop asking to slowdown. My heart skipped a beat because right there was an interceptor with a speed gun! I left a sigh of relief when I realized he was not asking me to stop but some one on the other lane!
I was back home in about 4 hours, but the damage had been done! I find it difficult to be seated any longer now! Need to take your leave, my back hurts and my bottom is still sore from the ride!
Hope to catch up on a ride with my twitter friends to Mysore soon. Will let you know how that went in case it does happen. Until then, it’s take good care time for me! Buh Bye people! 

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