How to be a better motorcyclist during the lockdown

Pre COVID-19, we motorcyclists used to wait for the Friday to take off on a ride or to a racetrack.
Ever since the curfew/lockdown has become “a never-ending Monday”, we only pray such Friday’s make a comeback soon.

Disclaimer:
This post is NOT aimed to encourage anyone to take out his/her motorcycle for a ride during the pandemic.
Please stay-put, adhere to the lockdown rules and wait till the pandemic passes in order to live and ride another day
.

Apart from cleaning your motorcycle, these will bring some motorcycling back into your home in such testing times:

Watch a race on a motorcycle:
Stop warming up the couch !!
Suit up, and flex some muscles while binging over a weekend race on a motorcycle !!

Lockdown motorcycling - watch a race onboard a motorcycle
Best seat to watch a race!!

Talk to your ride partner about being a pillion:
Most motorcycle pillions think they are just a passenger (like sitting in a car) and that they do not affect the motorcycle or the rider.

Have a conversation with him/her about:
– how the pillion can impact the dynamics of the motorcycle
– Ask your pillion for an honest feedback – how safe they feel as a pillion, how often to take breaks (taking a break physically and also to break the monotony of sitting and doing nothing)
– List out Do’s and Don’t while on a motorcycle
(Ex: look ahead onto the road so that they are aware in order to anticipate + do/do not try to keep the pillion’s feet onto the road while taking a U-turn etc)
– what to do after a fall/mishap such as emergency contacts, location of first-aid kit etc

These conversations are a massive confidence-booster, especially if they haven’t sat pillion for long ride and a must if you plan to take him/her out for a multi-day ride.

Build a dream ride fund:
It’s time to act on that dream, draw a plan to:
– finance the ride
– While you would be away on the ride – how to ensure financial stability of your family
– Emergency fund for any surprise-expenses in your dream ride

Some simple ways to build a ride fund include:
– Evaluate what you spend on the current bike – beyond fixed costs of insurance, service, riding gear, replacing worn parts etc
– Do I really need those auxiliary lights or a touring rack or an aftermarket exhaust or a bar-end mirror ?
Start Small, but keep it consistent: Set aside a monthly dream ride fund (start with 5-10% of your income)

Read on how our Indian over-landers have funded their dream ride

Aditya Kumar on his Overland Motorcycle Ride
Aditya Kumar on his Overland Motorcycle Ride

Keep the bike in a “Ready to Ride” state:
While this is a no-brainer, spend some time to do very basic DIY to keep your motorcycle in a running condition during the lockdown:
– Maintain a healthy battery, start the motorcycle once a week
– Keep the fuel tank full
– Check and top-up the fluids (coolant, brake fluid, engine oil, suspension gas)
– Constantly check and maintain tyre pressure
– Transmission Chain: clean, adjust and lube

Hero Impulse Motorcycle Chain - After the clean
Basic motorcycle maintenance

Set up the motorcycle suspension:
The suspension (front and rear) translates the road-surface onto the motorcycle and eventually to the rider.
A well setup suspension is the difference between a comfortable ride or the one with back and bum sores.

how to setup a motorcycle suspension of a Triumph Daytona 675R
Suspension setup – difference between a good ride and a great ride

Re-Read the owner manual:
Most of us would have NEVER read the owner’s manual and would only open it while getting the free-service coupon.
It’s immensely helpful to revise on vital information about your motorcycle such as
– location of the chassis/engine number
– location of the fuse box
– what’s the recommend tyre pressure (with/without pillion)
– Basic suspension settings for rider, rider+pillion etc (they are a starting point, fine tune the setup based the specific rider’s weight)
– All the motorcycle manuals include a “Basic Troubleshooting Procedure for the motorcycle”, which saves a lot of anxiety, time and money in case of a break-down

Keep yourself physically fit:
With limited movement + closure of sports-facilities, gyms, swimming pool – it’s essential to stay healthy with some basic exercises:
– Walking (most underrated and yet the most effective exercise)
– Yoga
– Indoor body weight exercises in full-form/with assist – push-ups + pull-ups and squat

For your own safety:

  • Wear masks, sanitise regularly, wash hands with soap.
  • Follow social distancing and avoid going out unnecessarily.
  • Stay Safe and don’t hesitate to consult a doctor.

Breakfast at Ramyaa Restaurant Saraswathipuram Mysuru

Formerly known as Ramya Drive In Restaurant, the present avatar aka Ramyaa Restaurant located in Saraswathipuram, no-longer sports a drive-in restaurant, but retains the delicious taste of pure vegetarian South Indian cuisine.

What to eat:

  • Must-eat includes masala dosa, set dosa, vada, upma, curd-vada aka thair vada and poori-sagoo washed down with filter coffee
  • If you are a sweet-tooth, their badam halwa, basundi and jamoon are the show-stoppers, too damn good to have only one serving :d
Masala dosa + poori sagoo + badam halwa + basundi + curd vada + vada dip in sambar - breakfast at Ramyaa Restaurant Saraswathipuram Mysuru
Breakfast of Champions – masala dosa, poori sagoo, curd vada, basundi, badam halwa and sambar-dipped vada 🙂

Useful Information:

  • Not just breakfast, they serve a full-course lunch spanning south-Indian, north-Indian and Chinese cuisines
  • Ambiance: non-AC + family-kids friendly dine-in restaurant with seating arrangement
  • Service: very good, the waiters are obliging and helpful with extra serving of sambar, chutney etc
  • Wheelchair Access to the restaurant: Yes, the restaurant is on the ground floor for the wheelchair to be wheeled-in
  • Wheelchair access to Restroom: No, the restroom is no wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair
  • Mode of payment: cash, cards (debit and credit) and mobile wallet, UPI are accepted
  • Cost of breakfast: Slightly expensive @ INR 400 (average cost for 2 persons )
  • Parking:
    • For cars: no valet parking, but plenty of free parking space on the road outside the restaurant
    • For motorcycles: plenty of free parking space on the road outside the restaurant
  • Timings: 7 am to 9:30 pm (open all days of the week)
  • Location: Ramyaa Restaurant, Kantharaja Urs road, Saraswathipuram Mysuru (Google Maps link)
Jamoon at Ramyaa Restaurant Saraswathipuram Mysuru
One of the best jamoon in Mysuru 🙂

For your own safety:

  • Wear masks, sanitise regularly, wash hands with soap.
  • Follow social distancing and avoid going out unnecessarily.
  • Stay safe and don’t hesitate to consult a doctor.
Breakfast ride to Mysuru and Bandipur on a BS6 Yamaha MT-15
Nothing refreshing than a forest breeze on a motorcycle – at Mangala village road, Bandipur

Thai House Indiranagar Bengaluru

Craving for Thai food in Bengaluru..

Look no further than Thai House, a small Thai restaurant in Indiranagar overshadowed by the bustle of the surrounding pubs and restaurants.
Thai House serves lip-smacking, authentic Thai fare of vegetarian, chicken, seafood (fish, prawns, squids etc) and beef dishes.

What to eat:
Like most Thai restaurants, the menu is pictorial – you can see the image of the dish on the menu (super convenient on what to expect)
I highly recommend to try the below:

  • Appetiser:
    • Papaya salad (can be ordered as veg/seafood/fish/egg etc) is absolutely refreshing, tasty and not heavy on the stomach.
    • Tom Yum soup (can be ordered as veg/seafood/fish/chicken) is a riot of flavours , aromatic and cooked to perfection with spices
    • Note: 1 bowl of soup is massive and can serve 4 persons
Veg Tomyum soup and thai papaya salad at Thai House Indiranagar Bengaluru
Veg Tomyum soup and Thai papaya salad
  • Drink: Ice Lemon tea is my favourite, they do serve soft drinks as well
  • Main Course:
    • Thai Red Curry and Thai Green Curry: both are delicious and supercharged with strong aromatic spices.Pair this with a bowl of sticky rice or steamed white rice.
    • Pad Thai Noodles: Non-spicy, rich in flavour and very tasty. They come with a load of sprouts and crushed peanut powder – that add the crunch and elevate the taste.
    • Note: the main course portions are big, so order as you go.
Thai red curry with chicken and sticky rice at Thai House Indiranagar Bengaluru
Thai red curry with chicken and sticky rice
  • Dessert: very limited options, it’s best to avoid this and head out to your favourite ice-cream/pastry shop in Indiranagar
    • Strawberry Desserts: head to Milano ice cream, about 500m from Thai House to savour the strawberry sundae made from fresh strawberries.
Strawberry Sundae at Milano Icecreams Indiranagar Bengaluru
Strawberry Sundae @ Milano Ice-cream, Indiranagar

Useful Information:

  • Ambiance: Family-friendly + AC restaurant with a seating capacity of about 30-35 persons.
  • Wheelchair access: Yes (it’s on the ground floor, so wheelchair can be wheeled-in)
  • Vegetarians: Consider the following before visiting:
    • Restaurant smells of sea-food (not very strong, but certainly present) due to the nature of cooking
    • Vegetables added to the veg-dishes are limited to tofu, mushrooms, corn etc
  • Parking:
    • Cars: No dedicated parking space or valet parking (lots of by lanes with designated parking space)
    • Motorcycles: free parking on the curb of the restaurant
  • Cost of meal: INR 800 for 2 persons
  • No beer/alcohol is served at the restaurant
  • Mode of payment: Cash, debit/credit cards, UPI payment are accepted
  • Service: is good and quick (before ordering, ask for food ingredients, spices to ensure you aren’t allergic)
  • Timings: 11:30 am to 11 pm ( open all days of the week)
  • Location: Thai House, 100 feet road, Indiranagar, Bengaluru (google maps link)

Best Andhra Meals in Bengaluru

Unlimited rice topped with ghee, scrumptious dal aka pappu, tangy and spicy side-kicks as chutney, pickles (gongura and mango-based) and assortment of podi (dal-based spice powders such as Gun powder, Kandi podi etc ) are what makes a delicious plate of Andhra bhojanam/meals.

The balance of spice, tanginess and sweetness is what makes this cuisine of vegetarian meal so tasty and fulfilling.

Beyond the regulars such as Nagarjuna, Nandhana, Meghana, Bhagini, Bheema’s etc – check out this list of best Andhra meals/bhojanam places in Bengaluru.

Eden Park, Cunningham Road
A beautiful garden restaurant oasis bang in the middle of the city. For over 40 years, Eden Park has been serving delicious Andhra meals along with non-veg dishes only during lunch hours.

  • Must eat: Veg Andhra meals, mushroom starters, chicken and mutton starters
  • Timings: 10 am to 11 pm (open all days of the week)
  • Parking: within the restaurant premises for cars and motorcycles
  • Serves beer
  • Serves soft drinks
  • AC restaurant (meals section only) + Family and kids friendly
  • Wheelchair Access: Yes
  • Andhra meals is served only inside the restaurant and NOT served in the garden/outdoor seating area
  • Location: Eden Park Restaurant, Cunningham Road, Bengaluru [Google Maps link]
  • Mode of payment: Cash, credit/debit cards, UPI
Veg Andhra Meals at Eden Park Restaurant Cunnigham Road Bengaluru
Veg Andhra meals at Eden Park Restaurant

Hotel Annapoorna, Gandhinagar, Majestic
A forefather to the current crop of Andhra restaurants in the city such as Nagarjuna, Nandini, Nandhana etc – since 1970s, Hotel Annapoorna has been a beacon of delicious and affordable Andhra food.

  • Must eat: Veg Andhra meals, chilli chicken starter, chicken/mutton biryani, Anjal fry, prawn fry (fresh seafood being seasonal – so check for availability)
  • Timings: 12 pm to 3:30 pm and 7 pm to 10:30 pm (open all days of the week)
  • Parking: no dedicated parking in the restaurant premises for cars and motorcycles (lots of by-lanes/shopping complexes offer paid parking)
  • Do NOT serve beer
  • Serves soft drinks
  • Non-AC restaurant + Family and kids friendly
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Andhra meals is served during lunch and dinner hours
  • Location: Hotel Annapoorna, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru [Google Maps link]
  • Mode of payment: Cash, credit/debit cards [NO payment by UPI]
Vegetarian Andhra Meals at Hotel Annapoorna Gandhinagar Majestic Bengaluru
Veg Andhra Meals at Hotel Annapoorna Gandhinagar Majestic

Link to my full review of Hotel Annapoorna

Tharuni Andhra Mess, Domlur
A family-run Andhra mess with basic ambiance but high on taste. Tharuni Andhra mess is one of the many small gems of Andhra cuisine in Bengaluru.

  • Must eat: Veg Andhra meals, egg burji, chicken biryani, chicken fry
  • Timings: 12 pm to 4 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm (open all days of the week)
  • Parking: no dedicated parking in the restaurant premises for cars and motorcycles (lots of by-lanes/shopping complexes offer paid parking)
  • Do NOT serve beer
  • Do NOT serve soft drinks (but you can carry your bottle)
  • Non-AC restaurant + Family and kids friendly
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Andhra meals is served during lunch and dinner hours
  • Location: Tharuni Andhra Mess, Domlur, Bengaluru [Google Maps link]
  • Mode of payment: Cash and UPI only [no credit/debit cards are accepted]
Veg Andhra Meals with Egg Bhurji at Tharuni Andhra Mess Domlur Dengaluru
Delicious Veg Andhra Meals with Egg Bhurji at Tharuni Andhra Mess

Link to my full review of Tharuni Andhra Mess

Andhra Ruchulu, Jayanagar and JP Nagar
One of the most delicious Andhra meal restaurant in South Bengaluru, both the outlets of Andhra Ruchulu cook delicious meals and other non-vegetarian fare and their service is absolutely brilliant

  • Must eat: Veg Andhra meals with complimentary chilli guava ice-cream, chicken biryani, chicken ghee roast
  • Timings: 12pm to 11pm (open all days of the week)
  • Parking: valet parking for cars and dedicated parking for motorcycles
  • Serves beer
  • Serves soft drinks
  • AC restaurant + Family and kids friendly
  • Wheelchair Access: Yes
  • Andhra meals is served during lunch and dinner hours
  • Location: Andhra Ruchulu, Jayanagar [Google Maps link] + Andhra Ruchulu, JP Nagar [Google Maps link]
  • Mode of payment: Cash, UPI and credit/debit cards are accepted

Hotel Navayuga, Gandhinagar, Majestic
For over 45 years, Hotel Navayuga has been serving a delicious fare of non-veg dishes and veg Andhra meals to the stars of Kannada movie industry and to the common man.

  • Must eat: Veg Andhra meals, chicken biryani, chilli chicken, chicken kabab
  • Timings: 11:30pm to 3:30pm and 7pm to 10:30pm (open all days of the week)
  • Parking: No dedicated parking for cars (lots of shopping/parking complexes around) + limited motorcycle parking in the private alley leading upto the restaurant
  • Do NOT serve beer
  • Do NOT serve soft drinks (but ask the waiter to bring one from outside and tip him)
  • Non-AC restaurant + separate section for Family and kids
  • Wheelchair Access: Yes
  • Andhra meals is served during lunch and dinner hours
  • Location: Hotel Navayuga, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru [Google Maps link]
  • Mode of payment: Cash, credit/debit cards, UPI are all accepted
Biryani and chilli chicken and veg Andha meals at Hotel Navayuga Majestic Gandhinagara Bangalore
Andhra Meals with Biryani rice, Chilli chicken and chicken kabab at Hotel Navayuga

Link to my full review of Hotel Navayuga

For your own safety:

  • Wear masks, Sanitise regularly, Wash hands with soap.
  • Follow social distancing and avoid going out unnecessarily.
  • Stay Safe and don’t hesitate to consult a doctor.

Buy a free meal at a restaurant in Bengaluru for the needy – A Sanchigondu Initiative

Inspired by the one for me, one for the wall” movement, Sanchigondu is a community service initiative in which customers can volunteer to buy coupons at select restaurants to buy a meal for the economically disadvantageous amid the Covid-19 crisis across different restaurants in Bengaluru.

How to gift a meal ?

  • Locate a restaurant displaying the Sanchigondu board (Refer the list of supporting restaurants in Bengaluru)
  • Along with your food, Buy a token for the needy (value of the token varies basis the restaurant and its value is fixed by the restaurant owner)
  • Drop the token in the dedicated box.
  • The token in the box will be used by the needy who cannot afford a meal.
Buy a free meal at a restaurant in Bengaluru for the needy with Sanchigondu Initiative
Buy a free meal at a restaurant in Bengaluru

Who started Sanchigondu – gift a meal initiative ?
It is conceived by Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association (BBHA) and Rotary Bangalore South Parade in association with Corona Warriors Banashankari.

List of restaurants in Bengaluru to buy a free meal:

  • Vidyarthi Bhavan, Basavangudi
  • Ganesh food joint, Jayamahal
  • Nisarga Garden Veg Restaurant, Infantry Road
  • ParkView Vegetarian Fast Food Restaurant, JP Nagar 3rd phase
  • Anna Kuteera, Katriguppe
  • Bunt’s Biriyani Palace, Mysore bank colony
  • hotel Dwarka NR colony
  • Kakal kai Ruchi, JP Nagar and Konanakunte (both branches)
  • Kamat Hotel, Avenue Road
  • Priyadarshini restaurant, SC Road
  • Rajatadri Hotel, Jayanagar 7th block
  • SLV coffee bar, BSK 2nd stage
  • UB upahaar, Kumaraswamy Layout
  • Udupi Sri krishna Bhavan, Gandhi bazaar
  • Nandana palace, all branches
  • Chaitanya Veg, all branches
  • Srinidhi Sagar, all branches
  • Vasudev Adigas, all branches
  • Halli Mane, Malleshwaram
  • Gokul Veg, all branches

For the most updated list of restaurants – follow Sanchigondu on Twitter

Head out to your nearest restaurant and gift a meal : )

Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for public in Bengaluru

The scale of public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations hold the key to mass adoption of EVs in India and across the globe.

In India, public EV charging stations are being setup in the metro cities and the advancement of the charging stations into Tier 2/3 cities, national/state highways is still nascent.
So EVs in the immediate future is likely to be an urban phenomena.

This post would serve as a beginner’s guide to:

  • Types of EV charging and connectors in India
  • Bharat EV charger specifications for AC and DC public chargers in India
  • EV charging stations in Bengaluru
BESCOM Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station for cars and 2-wheelers in Bengaluru
Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station for cars and 2-wheeler in Bengaluru

1) Types of EV charging and connectors in India:
Electric vehicles (cars, motorcycles, scooters, 3-wheeler) support the following types of chargers:
– AC (stands for Alternating Current) Chargers
– DC (stands for Direct Current) Chargers

AC chargers:
AC chargers utilize the AC current to charge the batteries of the EV.
This is used for overnight/full charging at home, work/offices, hotels etc

Why AC chargers are termed Slow ?
EV batteries need DC for recharge, hence the AC input into the EV would be converted to DC by an “on-board charger” in the vehicle.

Most electric 2-wheeler, 3-wheeler and 4-wheeler vehicles in India do not have an on-board charger beyond 2.5 kW or 3 kW (This is likely to save or minimize costs in vehicle)
In Europe/US, EVs have on board chargers with higher power ratings (for example Tesla have a 16 KW on-board charger)

Types of AC connectors:

AC Connector TypeFeatures
Type 15 pins
No locking mechanism
Single phase power only
Type 2
(the most common connector found on Indian cars)
7 pins
In-built locking mechanism
Supports single + three-phase power
AC charger for 2-wheelers at BESCOM Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Bengaluru
AC charger for 2-wheeler
Type 2 AC and DC Charger at BESCOM Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Bengaluru
Type 2 AC and DC Charger

DC Chargers:
Typically used for rapid charging. DC rapid charging stations will have cables with both a CHAdeMO and CCS connector attached and you will simply have to choose which fits to your vehicle socket.
To protect the battery, DC chargers do not consistently charge at their typical power rating.

Types of DC connectors:

DC connector typeFeatures
CHAdeMOOriginal DC connector
Most common for India public charge points
CCS-2 (Combined Charging System)Supports high power (>50kW)
CCS and CHAdeMO DC charger at BESCOM Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Bengaluru
CCS-2 and CHAdeMO DC charger

2) Bharat EV charger specifications for AC and DC public chargers in India:

To standardise the public EV charging infrastructure in India, the Govt of India has set forth the below specifications for public EV charging stations:

  • Bharat EV AC charger (BEVC-AC001)
    • Max power output: 3.3kw
    • Output/Vehicle connector type: IEC 60309 Industrial Blue connectors
  • Bharat EV DC charger (BEVC-DC001)
    • DC Slow charging:
      • Max power output: 15 kW power or a 2-wheeler vehicle charging at 48V with maximum power of 3.3 kW.
      • Output connector type: Type 2
    • DC fast charging:
      • CCS 2, up to 50kW
      • CHAdeMO, up to 50kW or better

3) EV charging stations in Bengaluru:
Currently there are 4 companies that have setup public charging systems in Bengaluru:

  • BESCOM EV Charging stations: The most wide-spread network of public charging stations in Bengaluru.
    • Paid charging via ElectreeFi app
    • Charger type: AC + DC
    • Timings: 24 hours and all days of the week
    • Location: Multiple charging stations located in different parts of Bengaluru city
    • How they work:
      • Locate the nearest station using Google
      • Check for the type of connectors available (also displayed on Google)
      • Scan QR code at the charging station to download the app and make the payment
    • Supported vehicles: 2, 3, 4-wheeler
ElectreeFi App - Scan and pay at BESCOM Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station in Bengaluru
ElectreeFi App – Scan and pay at BESCOM Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station
  • Kirana Charzer: A private startup in Bengaluru – they sell charging units that can be installed at the house, shop, apartment etc. The building owner gets a monthly rental revenue from the charging unit (based on usage)
    • Paid charging via Charzer app
    • Charger Type: AC only
    • Timings: restricted to hours of operation of the establishment (shop/hotel/apartment etc)
    • Location: Multiple charging stations located in different parts of Bengaluru city
    • How they work:
      • locate the nearest station with Charzer app
      • Check for the type of connectors available on the Charzer app
      • Make the payment via the app
    • Supported vehicles: best suited for 2-wheeler (AC charging of cars will take longer)
  • TATA Power EZ: The only major car maker in India to setup these EV charging stations – currently they are very less in number
    • Paid charging
    • Charger Type: AC + DC
    • Timings: restricted to hours of operation of the establishment (cafe/shop/hotel etc)
    • Location: Multiple charging stations located in different parts of Bengaluru city
    • How they work:
      • Locate the nearest station with the Tata Power EZ app
      • Check for the type of connectors available on the Tata Power EZ app
      • Book and make the payment via the app
    • Supported vehicles: 2, 3, 4-wheeler (supports non Tata vehicles too)
  • Ather Energy Grid: One of the early bird to setup an EV charging network in the cities (Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune). Ather Grid is live only in Bengaluru.
    • Free for Ather and other 2-wheeler
    • Charger Type: AC only
    • Timings: restricted to hours of operation of the establishment (cafe/shop/hotel/malls etc)
    • Location: Multiple charging stations located in different parts of Bengaluru city
    • How they work:
      • locate the nearest station
      • Check for the type of connectors on google
      • Scan QR code at the charging station
    • Supported vehicles: 2-wheeler only

Charging Electric bicycles in Bengaluru:
Most of the electric bicycles can be charged with a single-phase/three-phase 3-pin point (used for regular electric appliances).
Hence any of the above public charging stations can help with that.

Happy EVing 🙂

Ride de Hampi

History and mythology come to life in the magnificent ruins of Hampi or Hampe, drawing travellers for centuries. The Tungabhadra river dissects this region into:

  • historic” ruins of the once mighty Vijayanagara empire as Hampi
  • mythologicalvanara kingdom of Kishkindha from our Indian epic Ramayana

Motorcycle Ride to Hampi from Bengaluru:

  • Route: Bengaluru > Chitradurga > Hospete > Hampi
  • Road conditions: excellent Dual carriage highway to ride a motorcycle
  • Where to eat Breakfast: The highway doesn’t have many breakfast options – a good place to stop is Sri Laxmi Bhavan inside the town of Chitradurga
    • Masala dosa, Khali Dosa with palya, Gulab Jamoon and filter coffee are a must try
Breakfast stop enroute to Hampi at Sri Laxmi bhavan tiffin room in Chitradurga -
Breakfast in Chitradurga
  • Best time of the year to ride: December to February
  • Enroute: Stop by to soak in the massive view of the Tungabhadra dam and the tunnel before entering the town of Hospete
Motorcycle ride to hampi from bengaluru stop at dam and tunnel view-point of Tungabhadra
Don’t forget to stop at the Dam and Tunnel View Point before Hospet

What to see in and around Hampi:

  • Hampi Group of Monuments: the heart and soul of this town – their discovery elevated this once forgotten ancient town to a UNESCO world heritage site. [Group of Monuments is a collective name given to all the protected temples, ancient bazaars and ruins spread across the town of Hampi]
  • Catch a sunset on Matanga Hill: one of the tallest and the best vantage point to view the town of Hampi- the sunset up from the hillock is magical.
    • The climb to the Matanga Hill sunset point is moderate and can take upto 20-30mins
    • Wear a sports shoe to climb and carry water
    • Sunset from Hemakuta Hill: for those who cannot climb the Matanga hill, Hemakuta Hill has a sunset point accessed by steps and lots of benches to sit
    • Matanga Hill and Hemakuta Hill are located near to the Virupaksha temple in Hampi
Sunset from Matanga Hill Hampi
Sunset from Matanga Hill
Sunset from Hemakuta Hill Temple in Hampi
Sunset from Hemakuta Hill Temple
  • Sanapur Lake: located about 30 kms from Hampi by road, this pristine lake is surrounded by boulders offering a beautiful view and is a perfect place to getaway from the crowd and even take a short nap 😀
    • Best time to visit: early morning or evening (avoid visiting at noon – it’s super hot)
    • Coracle Ride/boating at Sanapur lake: locals offer a 20-30 min coracle ride on the lake, fares start from INR 500-1000 for the entire coracle
    • How to reach Sanapur lake: transport options include hiring a car, local auto rickshaws, personal car/motorcycle and bicycle all the way
    • For the cyclist: I recommend cycling one way via the road ( Hampi > Bukkasagara bridge > Anegundi > Sanapur lake) and take a ferry/coracle back from Anegundi to Hampi [Local ferry/coracle fees is INR 20 per person and INR 20 for a bicycle/motorcycle]
Coracle ride at Sanapur Lake near Hampi
The beautiful Sanapur Lake
Cycling in Hampi - serene paddy fields en-route Sanapur lake
Enroute Sanapur Lake
  • Mythology Circuit: the opposite bank of river Tungabhadra (Kishkhindha/Anegundi) is a must visit for folks interested in Ramayan. Places of visit include:
    • Anjaneya Hill ( birthplace of Lord Hanuman)
    • Vali-Sugreeva Fighting spot
    • Sugreeva’s Cave in Hampi
  • Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary: located 20kms from Hampi, this wildlife sanctuary allows safari within the park from the comfort of your private car and government buses.
    • Entry fees of INR 500 per car + additional fees for INR 25 per adult [No fees for a motorcycle]
    • Carry water and food (do not litter, throw them in designated waste bins)
    • Carry a binocular
    • Timings: Park is open to public from 2 pm to 6 pm

How to travel in Hampi:

Most of them who don’t have their private transport rely on local auto rickshaws to travel from one monument to other, however the below options are worth considering:

  • Rent a bicycle in Hampi : there is no proper outlet to rent a bicycle within the town of Hampi, hence it’s recommended to procure the bicycle from the resort you stay (ensures full connectivity and can be dropped back at the place of your stay)
Cycling in Hampi - At Talarigatta Gate
At Talarigatta Gate in Hampi [Talarigatta translates to Toll Collection Gate]
  • Coracle Ride from Hampi to Anegundi: the locals will take you on a ferry/coracle at INR 20 per person and INR 20 for a bicycle or motorcycle
    • Coracle timings: 730 am to 5 pm
  • Government buses: there is no bus service that takes you from one monument to other within Hampi ( wish the tourism department can come up with a hop-on/hop-off bus service)

Useful information on Group of Monuments Hampi:

  • Entry Tickets: except a few Monuments, entry to all the ruins is free. For Monuments with entry fee, while there is a standard queue, one can also scan a QR code to pay and procure the entry ticket
  • Vijaya Vitthala Temple: the tourism department operates a free electric buggy to ferry tourists from parking till the temple – on weekends this gets crowded, so one can walk till the temple
  • Who should visit Hampi: the inner sanctum of the Monuments are accessible only by walking and there is no separate wheelchair access/ramp
  • Hiring a guide: if you are visiting for the 1st time, it’s best to hire a certified guide to bring forward the context and history of the ruins [look for a guide who are certified by the Karnataka Tourism department]
  • Best time of the year to visit Hampi is December to February
  • There are no dedicated stations/rooms in Hampi to breast feed babies
  • Public Toilets: clean toilets were found only at Lotus Mahal and Vijaya Vittala temple monuments

An arid landscape laced with precariously balancing boulders offset by lush green banana plantations and paddy fields – Hampi is the window to our glorious architecture, richness and culture of the yesteryears.

Sunrise in Bengaluru - riding a Triumph Daytona 675R in India
Enroute Hampi – a beautiful sunrise to see us ride 🙂

New Prashanth Hotel BSK 3rd Stage Bengaluru

South Bengaluru is home to 2 distinct types of Karnataka cuisine – the vegetarian fare of darshinis and nati Karnataka-style non-veg hotels.

While the popular ones draw long waiting queues, get featured on vlogs and can getaway with average-to-bad food – the ones that “satisfy the taste buds of locals every single meal, every single day” stand in obscurity.

One such nati-style hotel is New Prashanth Hotel located opposite Eshwari Theatre on BSK 3rd stage ring road. For over 10 years, they have been serving lip-smacking, spicy nati-style chicken and mutton dishes.

What to eat:

  • Akki Roti: While they serve the regular chapati, ragi mudde etc – the Akki roti served here compliments deliciously with your favourite egg/chicken/mutton dish
  • Chicken Fry and Chicken Masala : goes well with Akki roti and biryani
  • Chicken/Mutton Biryani: a meal is incomplete without the biryani – cooked to perfection it’s complimented well with a curd-based salad and sherwa
  • Mutton Kheema balls and Mutton Fry: are the crowd favourites
Akki Roti with Chicken Fry and Biryani at New Prashanth Hotel BSK 3rd stage Bengaluru
Akki Roti with Chicken Fry and Mutton Biryani

Useful Information:

  • Ambiance: Indoor seating, Non-AC and family friendly (they have a separate section for Family). Finger-bowl will be provided to wash hands after the meal
  • Wheelchair Access: wheelchair friendly – restaurant is located on 2nd floor with access via an elevator and staircase
  • Soft drinks: they serve soft drinks [biryani is incomplete without one :)]
  • No alcohol/beer is served + No Smoking
  • Parking:
    • Motorcycles: free parking on the footpath below the restaurant
    • Cars: no dedicated parking place, numerous by lanes to find a parking spot
  • Mode of payment: Cash + Mobile wallets + UPI + Credit/debit cards
  • Hours of Operation:
    • Tuesday to Sunday: 12 pm to 4 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm
    • Monday holiday
  • Location: New Prashanth Hotel, Opp Eshwari Theatre, BSK 3rd Stage, Bengaluru [Google Maps Link]
  • For the vegetarian: very limited options to eat, best to avoid

Amritsari Kulcha Land JP Nagar Bengaluru

Amritsari Kulcha land in JP nagar has emerged as “the place in Bengaluru to taste Amritsari Kulcha” and I had to find out.
Having tasted the authentic kulchas in Amritsar, Punjab – I was keen to find out how close they tasted to the authentic ones from region of Pind.

In all fairness – while the taste of Amritsari Kulcha served here is very close to the ones in Amritsar, but the chole gravy and the mint chutney were an absolute disappointment 😦

What to eat?

  • Amritsari Kulcha (choose between aloo, paneer, gobi and mixed stuffing)
  • Sweet Lassi: absolutely delicious, rich and filling
  • Veg biryani: this was the surprise I wasn’t expecting – it’s yumm and worth a second visit
Amritsari Kulcha with chole and mint chutney at Amritsari Kulcha Land in JP Nagar Bengaluru
Plates of deliciousness 🙂

Useful Information:

  • What distinguishes an Amritsari Kulcha from a regular Kulcha is the vegetable/paneer stuffing in the Amritsari Kulcha.
  • Non-veg Dishes: while the entire menu is only vegetarian, they have started serving non-veg (limited items) food as well
  • No soft drinks are served, but one can carry their own bottle of soft drink (ask the hotel owner, he will happily oblige)
  • Ambiance: very basic (non- AC), dine-in is allowed (family + kids friendly)
  • Wheelchair Access: No (the dining area is accessed only via steps, no ramp/lift is available)
  • Parking: No dedicated parking area for both cars and motorcycles – find a parking place in the adjacent lanes
  • Mode of Payment: Cash + UPI & mobile wallet
  • Timings: Monday to Sunday 11am to 5pm & 7pm to 11pm
  • Location: Amritsari Kulcha Land, JP Nagar Bengaluru (Google Maps Link)
Amritsari Kulcha in Bengaluru
Close to the authentic kulchas from Amritsar

Amba Bhavani Non Veg Caterers and Mess Basavangudi Bengaluru

Started 8 years ago, Amba Bhavani is a completely women-led non-veg catering and dine-in restaurant located on a quiet private lane in Basavangudi.
Popular among locals for the delicious mutton, chicken dishes and biryani, food is served outdoors akin to a French Bistro (minus the wine).

What to eat ?
Chicken and Mutton Biryani:
The most popular item on the menu, the biryani served is a delicious mix of Karnataka and Maharashtra style of cooking – mildly spicy and full of flavour

Chicken Kabab:
The best kabab you can eat in south Bengaluru – supremely tasty

Chicken and Mutton Fry:
Succulent and soft meat cooked to perfection, High on flavour and medium spicy

Chicken Biryani with chicken kabab and chicken fry at Amba Bhavani non-veg caterers and mess Basavanagudi Bengaluru
Chicken Biryani with Chicken Kabab and Chicken Fry

Useful Information:

  • Ambiance: Seating is outdoors on the private road with chairs and tables with umbrellas.
  • Seating capacity of 10-12 people at a single point of time
  • Service: Akin to a fast food chain – one has to order, pay and pick up the food at the restaurant and head out to the seating/dining area
  • Menu: prior to ordering ask them/ look for the daily menu board ( the menu of non-veg dishes is updated on a regular basis)
  • Sunday Breakfast: Served only on a Sunday, breakfast menu has all the non-veg dishes (chicken and mutton), lamb- leg soup along with idly
  • Wheelchair Access: The dining/seating area is wheelchair friendly
  • Soft drinks: they serve soft drinks [biryani is incomplete without one :)]
  • Parking:
    • Motorcycles: free parking on the private lane of the restaurant
    • Cars: no dedicated parking place, numerous by lanes to find a parking spot
  • Mode of payment: Cash + Mobile wallets + UPI [they don’t accept credit/debit cards]
  • Hours of Operation:
    • Tuesday to Saturday: 12 pm to 4 pm (lunch only)
    • Sunday: 7 am to 4 pm (breakfast + lunch)
    • Monday holiday
  • Location: Amba Bhavani Non-veg Caterers and Mess, Basavangudi, Bengaluru [Google Maps Link]
  • For the vegetarian: very limited options to eat, best to avoid
  • Dessert: biryani lunch is incomplete without a dessert – there is a corner house ice-cream about 400m from Amba Bhavani
Like a French Bistro - outdoor seating arrangement at Amba Bhavani non-veg caterers and mess Basavanagudi Bengaluru
Outdoor Seating – akin to a French Bistro