Friday, July 24, 2009

Destination - unplanned, but Destiny - Sabarimala (An offseason pilgrimage)

Silver bullets - the bullet riding club which has its roots in Trivandrum were up in arms again. This time it was for republic day ride since the ride happened on a republic day.

Destination - Nothing specific, but ride through the eastern ghats of Kerala upward till 1pm and return ride after that.

Riders : -

jay in his ironbull (500cc Turbocharged CI),
raghu in his Leh ed 350cc
anil in his performance boosted machismo,
Dr. in a 350cc CI
newbie in his Thunderbird
and myself in a AVL 350 machismo

The ride started at sharp 5:30am. The meet up point was near MG college, Kesavadasapuram, Thiruvananthapuram.

The riders ready for the journey ahead

The Main Central road with all those twisties and beautifully laid tarmac was thumping to the tunes of our bulls, the ironbull's goldie pumped up by the 500cc CI engine was giving the maximum contribution to the rising decibel levels.

The rhythmic ride along with a set of disciplined riders is another experience altogether. It is a treat to watch the guys ahead of us taking a curve one by one swaying one after the another just like the sync dancing.

The sun was slowly rising up, but our adrenalin was climbing up faster.

Kilimanoor, Ayoor, Anchal, Punalur (famous for its hanging bridge), Pathanapuram, Pathanamthitta flew past through our eyes.

A pit stop before pathanamthitta.

Newbie bid good bye to us from pathanamthitta as he was proceeding to his home. We continued to thump ahead.

Finally reached a point from where we the ghat section started. Filled up petrol to the brim as we don't know the route which are going to take.

Ironbull marching ahead after a heavy drink of petrol.

The rate of change of angles which our body was making with the ground was steadily increasing as we climbed up the ghats in zig zag motion. The boost in performance of Anil machismo was quite evident here. Iron bull could be heard atleast 2kms away, so people on the roadside could hear what is coming at them pretty early and were eagerly waiting for our arrival.

A pit stop in between the ghats for a regroup. This place is near Chittar of Pathanamthitta district.

Soon we reached a checkpost which is the entry point to the Moozhiyar Dam.

We knew that there is a road owned by forest department which if open was a riders paradise as it will take us through some of the major dams across the sabarigiri project including the Moozhiyar and through dense forest. Unfortunately for us, the road was closed and the forest department staff was completely against our journey through those woods as it was summer season and a slight spark will result in forest fire. Hence no one was permitted. There concern seemed to be geninue, so we decided to take another course.

Deciding on the way ahead.

Some of the shopwallahs here told that this route will lead to the road to sabarimala and that roads are in superb condition.

Decided to march ahead. Again superb roads, twisties, dense forest, cool climate see us riding through these tailor made roads for riders like us.

Reached Nilakkal siva temple. Stopped for another regroup.

Decided to continue our journey through these roads. This was the road leading to the famous Sabarimala Temple. The ride was happening just after the pilgrimage season was over. The roads were completely in repaired condition. Pilgrimage season was over means, there was zero traffic. Just the bulls and us and the twisties..What more can we ask for.

To have a glimpse of the experience which we had and to feel the sound of nature, blended with the thump of the bulls see this short video taken at the road to Pampa.

Click here to watch the video

Soon we reached "Chalakayam". This place is normally where parking space is allowed for pilgrims vehicles during peak season Sabarimala Pilgrimage. We are here during an offseason means, it is a completely different atmosphere here. We enjoyed the vast open roads.

Parked our bulls in the middle of the road, one among us was lying down on the middle of the road. Never had we seen chalakkayam in this mode.

The riders for this trip

The ironbull at Chalakkayam

click here to view a small video of our bulletting fun through chalakayam, Dr Gopu followed by myself.
After enjoying the cool breeze and lonely atmosphere at chalakkayam we proceeded to Pampa. Normally vehicles are not allowed beyond a certain point at Pampa, but now there was no soul here. Pampa was having a deserted look. Even the petrol bunk was closed.

Wreckage of an alto at Pampa

This is where the pilgrims take the holy dip. Enjoyed the pampa river without any human activity for the first time in life

We also ventured into the route which we normally take by foot towards the holy shrine, but only upto the point where the steps start.

Explored the location to the maximum possible. Time was around 1pm, but we were on hill top means, we were not feeling the heat at all. Since it was a one day ride, we had to reach back our homes today evening itself, so we decided to roll back, but this time in a different route.

We went through Erumely route, the normal route taken by pilgrims travelling to sabarimala from trivandrum. Found out a small hotel for filling our tummy in the name of Lunch.

Rode for a few kilometers after the lunch and found out a nice place amongst the woods to take a power nap.

There was a small tea stall near by.

Our weekly SB meeting venue was shifted to this place.

How a hardcore bulletteer takes a nap.

By about 3.30 we started our ride back. Soon we reached pathanamthitta. From there it was again the same route which we used for the upward journey. On reaching Punalur, Dr invited us to his home. His neighbours were soon wondering seeing all the heavily loaded rider maniacs thumping to his home. His mum and dad were superb hosts, had another round of yummy yummy snacks and again we hit the road, but this time aided with the beams provided by the headlights.

Night riding means our speeds dramatically decreased and we all rode back safely to our homes by 8;30 at night.

It was a surprise visit to Sabarimala. Could enjoy the scenic beauty of that place which otherwise we would not be able to do becoz of the heavy rush.

It was indeed another trip to remember !!!

1 comment:

Biker BT said...

Great trip n nice pics !

Cheers !


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