CTC turns 4 - Emperors Bike trip to Yercaud/Kolli Hills

Monday, March 12, 2012
I was excited to know that on 4th b’day of CTC there will be 20+ treks and CTC will try to accommodate all.
When I saw plan of two bike trips to yercaud and Javadhu hills , I decide to join either of those .I have started tracking Chennai trekkers group regularly and finally I saw yercaud bike trip invite.I registered quickly within few hours of invitation . Finally the list of participant came and I was really happy to see my name in to it.My entire week of bike trip was overloaded with work but still manages to escape with my will power for bike trip .

Usually I prefer to walk towards koyambedu near assembly point and I did same .Called Fazaluddin and informed will be reaching 10 mins late. When I reached  found most of the  enthusiastic CTCians were waiting for folks to join. Within half an hour all the folks were ready and  CTCians got cake since it was Emperror Arun’s b’day as well.
We cut the cake and had our share quickly, some one was carrying paper plates but most of folks were done by that time.Bharani was  targeted and decorated with cream on his shaved head and was clicked several times .Organizer announced to get ready with pillions and when I requested for a biker Venkatji was kind enough to drove me on his pulsar.We had snaps of the entire team and started on Bangalore high way with instruction of not to go beyond 80/90 and next assembly point.

Within a hour one of bike developed mechanical fault and organizer took opinion of the team and decided to have that bike in between.Morning around 3am peoples found a garage and it was fixed . This was place where we found Tea shop everybody had nice Tea/Coffe After crossing.After Vellore there was small confusion on which left to take, soon it was solved everybody started towards next assembly point.By that time we started feeling the chillness in the air and around morning 4.30/5 I found myself taking a few seconds nap.Venkatji patted me gently and I alerted myself not to sleep . Roads were bit tougher for next one hour and I also kept alerting Venkat for any unseen speed breakers .Morning around 6 we could see misty Yelagiri was accompanying us on the left hand side . We saw beautiful sunrise on the way and it was fog all around.We had few breaks on the way and reached nearby  Yercaud morning 9 .Everyone parked bike and  had only two thoughts in the mind, breakfast and sleep .

All of us decide to divide ourselves in few groups to raid the hotels nearby. We went to one of the hotels and had enough parotha, dosai, idli along with nice hot Coffee and Tea .By this time specially bikers were expecting sleep and organizer decide to move ahead and plan for a break on the way to Yercaud.Hilly road started within a kilometer and we enjoyed the ride with cool breeze . Within half an hour we took break on roadside  itself.There was small stream of water flowing down and big bamboo tree covering the road. Some of the folks took out their cams by this time and most of us grabbed the space nearby where we could sleep for some time.  Within few minutes most of us fell asleep like babies in cradle and it was only after hour or so Mahindra Thar was blowing horn to wake up all of us.That short power nap was really wonderful and all of us were feeling better . All of us started moving up and it was feeling cool with nice view down the hill.We reached yercaud lake in noon and took some snaps of the lake . Meanwhile one of the cops was looking at us suspiciously insisted us to move away.Team decided to go to Shevaroy temple which is highest point in Yercaud and offers view of the valley .

We reached nearby temple around 1.30 and everyone was looking at Mahindra Thar which was carrying our lunch . We were quick to grab toast, jam and a jar of condensed milk.Were about to done and some of the folks took out avval to mix it with water and sugar in big bowl .They kept adding avval, sugar and water for some time, since I was sitting next to it and watching fun, did not dared to have it , though many folks like it and had .

It was a time for  photo session and we took enough photographs.  Meanwhile Balaji,Bharani was testing the strength of Thar and Adi was doing stunts on his bike.It was almost 3.30 when we decide to proceed down towards salem and we noticed Venaktji’s  bike’s  tire was close to flat.He decided to go down nearby lake to fix it and rest of folks moved towards point where it was dead end with good slope.

 All the bikers and pillions took photographs and started moving towards salem.On the way I could see Venkat and he said puncture will be fixed within half an hour and we could meet at Rasipuram Bus stand .While going down from Yercaud towards Salem we crossed those 20 hairpin bends which tested the skills of all the bikers and gave a beautiful view .After driving down we stopped at small place where we had Tea and moved towards salem. Some of folks filled petrol tanks and started driving towards rasipuram.Road was wide, pretty good and Jaiprakash touched 110  kmph enroute Rasiupuarm.  All of assembled nearby bus stand and had Tea/Coffe some snacks . Peoples were curious enough to see us and were questioning which college we belong.

Since couple of bikes had flat tire it some time to reach them to rasipuram. Around 4.30 All the bikes were at rasipuram and we decided to move towards kollimalai and at the same time one of bikes was having flat tire .  All bikes moved towards kollimalai and everyone rested nearby base of Kolli hills where slope was about to start to wait for everyone to assemble .  Some of bikers had photo session and while some went bit down to find out a small place where chicken 65 was sold .One of the mates came back with delicious chicken 65 and was kind enough to share it with me . When sun was resting to south all the bikes were together.All were instructed to move towards top of kolli hills and we started moving up .  We started crossing those 90 hair pin bends and bikers skills were at the stake . It was getting darker, cooler and soon we were able to see beautiful view of city’s twinkling lights in the dark . Everybody started reading signs on the road to count how many hairpin bends we have crossed. Bends were so sharp and steep that if we look up we could guess vehicles moving up or down looking at the head light of the vehicles. Bigger vehicles were blowing horns to warn bikes. Bikers were zooming and everyone was enjoying the ride with beautiful view. Couple of bikes slept on left hand side since not able to guess the steep slope and at the bend . Everyone was quick to help all of were at the top the top around 8.30. We reached at the place where there was a local market selling various spices, vegetables, fruits, honey and of course tea/coffee.

By this time organizers already started searching for a suitable place for campsite and few peoples moved down in search .We had tea coffee and then came the entertainment, a drunken person with his TVS 50 started talking to us and had quiet long talk.After some time when none of us were bothered for him he tried to start his TVS 50 without key .Looking at the crowd around he felt challenged and tried his best with verbal clash. One of the CTCians was kind enough to show him keys and he did struggled to put it back and start it. He was carrying banana’s and on a lighter side I suggested team to at least save banana’s but noble CTCians preferred to be noble.  The moment his bike started he was encouraged and felt a like He man, lifted his bike with  hands shown his strength.Entire crowed clapped and he vanished  in one of the lanes. He surprised us within 10 mins , came back  zooming  and disappeared in opposite direction.By this time organizer got clue on camp site with help of local folks and all moved towards the campsite.It was place where peoples tried to destroy a hill top having comparatively flat surface with taller rocky side providing protection against blowing chill wind. Everybody explored the place with torches and few enthusiastic bikers drove bike and helped with headlights .Soon Thar came to rescue with its headlights on and it campsite was pretty clear .

Every one helped to put tarpaulin sheets on the ground, unloading the cooking stuff along with water from the jeep.We formed groups to help in cooking ,  gathering firewood, setup campsite etc. We got enough firewood and able to find few quiet bigger wooden logs which were difficult to carry to campsite .  We prepared two places, lit the fire and then came the surprise by Arun.He got a grill, chicken and planned barbeque … wow…  We prepared coal bed for barbeque and and kept a pot on another place .Everyone tried hard  for fire and within half an hour chopped onions, tomatoes for biryani and  spices for barbeque were ready.Chopped stuff went to the pot and marinade chicken was kept on the grill . It was almost 11.30 by that time and everyone was waiting for food to get ready . Barbecued chicken was ready by this time each of took one at a time and it was miraculously delicious .

Within few mins biriyani was ready and we attacked it . We called all the folks who were resting to share the dinner .After having such a nice food our senses started slowing down and everyone took out sleeping bags, blankets, jackets and hided ourselves within two tarpaulins .It was morning seven when Thar was blowing the horns to wake up all . Everybody was ready to ride within half an hour and we took nice photographs of the spectacular morning view of the valley .

Within one and half hours we reached the place where a old shiva temple and entry towards akash gangai water falls was visible.We were able to find out small stalls selling Tea/Coffe and snacks. Some of the folks tested a soup in one of stalls and recommended it for peoples who dare to taste highly spicy food.I have tested and it was really spiced up soup with delicious taste .  By this time folks took out back packs from Thar and started marching towards water falls through the steps.It was one kilometer longer steps and offered beautiful view of the hills on the way. We were tired when reached the waterfalls and knew  it will difficult task to take those steps back.
It was nice to see twin waterfalls and one of them was just in front of us .Everyone was ready to take dip in to the water and stand under the rouge water fall.  Water was ice cool and I tried to move towards water fall .

tried to move but was not able to stand in the ice-cold water and came back . Within few minutes I was jealous to the folks who were under the water and calling all us to experience it.I have decided to try once again. I started walking quickly with help of rope and swam through a deep patch of 15 feets to reach slippery rock . Here all the team was cheering up and I was able to stand in to the heavily pouring stream of chilled water.  Chilled water was coming quiet hard  but it was totally a different experience. It was like milk pouring on all of us and we were  enjoying it.After almost 10 mins of rough water message I have decided to call it off and carefully started moving down holding the iron bars. I was almost crawling down carefully , still I slept at one place and got a minor hit to my elbow.  I quickly moved back and changed the clothes. Ajay and Britto were in were in photo session mood and I did clicked some good snaps of both of them.

All of us were ready to say good bye to the natural beauty and took steps back. It was feeling real tough to climb those steps and we took break very frequently.All of us were nearby temple by 12 and we decided to start riding immediately back to rasipuram. It was tough to say good bye to those beautiful hills . Around 1 we were at a small village on the foothills of the Kolli. Everyone parked bikes and started searching food. We zeroed down at stall selling vadai, bhajji, Jackfruit, bananas and Pineapples .We quickly grabbed vadai, bhajji and shopkeeper was amazed to see poor hungry guys who were least bothered about the crowd staring .We requested him to cut jackfruits and many of us grabbed the tasty pieces of jackfruit even before he was done. We did not bothered his request to hold on still he is done.Now he understood the hunger and quickly started cutting  bigger pieces and we started grabbing it. We felt better when he was almost done with 3rd jackfruit.

Now it was turn of pineapples and he showed us particular way to cut the pineapple which tastes better, but most of us were not convinced and again grabbed the pieces whatever we got.We felt better after raiding this shop and it was time to move to rasipuram . All of us were at rasipuram  around 3 and quickly moved for lunch in to one of the hotels.We were able to start from rasipuram only by 5.30 . Around 7 we were nearby  foothills of yercaud where we had previous day breakfast.We decided not to stop since Venkatji was much tired and wanted to cover  250+ kms  before midnight. We took almost 15-20 mins break after every one hours or so and we were at Ambur at 8.30 .Everyone were looking for dinner and as usual fellow CTCians found place nearby for veggie and non veg peoples . We had our dinner and Venkatiji decide to start immediately .

Chennai was almost 185 kms, Venkat put bike on full throttle  and nobody dared to overtake us on the road .It was getting tougher for both of us, we took break at each toll plaza for almost 15 mins . We reached last toll plaza towards Chennai at 12.30 in morning and we were the first to reach .Within half an hour everyone started coming and it was again a get together with promise to  meet again in next ride.One thing I felt as usual once you become CTCian you mingle with local peoples anywhere so easily that they become your friends .Overall it was great experience and got many new friends as usual . Thanks all .

Written By,
Prashant Bhavsar



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