Monsoon is the most-awaited season in India, when everything rejuvenates – lands turn green, highways get crowned by lush green canopies and structures, roads appear clean and fresh.
The otherwise disarming charm of places and travel unveil a whole new dimension during monsoons. Presenting the 3 must-visit weekend monsoon ride destinations from my beloved Bangalore.
1) Mekanagadde, Mudigere
Laze around, soak up the pristine air and views of the Western Ghats..
Nestled between Chikmagalur and Sakleshpur, Mekanagadde is the home to ‘Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple’, a 600-year old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva offering some stunning views of the Western Ghats laced with clouds.
Useful Information on Mekanagadde:
- Route: Bangalore > Sakleshpur > Anemahal > Hanbal > Devarunda > Mekkanagadde
- Distance from Bangalore: 255kms
- Road Condition: Brilliant tarmac till Devarunda (the last 5 to 10kms to the temple is being repaired, so be cautious)
- What to see: Bettada Bhairaveshwara Temple, Mekanagadde
- Where to Stay: Mekanagadde Home Stay
- Where to Eat: Sakleshpur – choose from Hotel Surabhi or Hotel Ashritha (both are right on the highway with good amenities)
2) Ayyana kere, Sakharayapatna
Witness the magnitude of 2nd largest lake in Karnataka, the biggest lake in Chikmagalur..
With the backdrop of Shakunagiri Hill towering at 4500 feet, this 900-year water body was created to support the farmers overcome shortage of water for irrigation by Raja Rukmangada.
Useful Information on Ayyanakere:
- Route: Bangalore > Chikmagalur > Sakharayapatna > Ayyana kere (Chikmagalur-Kadur highway NH173)
- Distance from Bangalore: 225kms
- Road Condition: Brilliant tarmac all the way up-till the lake-bed
- What to see: serene roads en route to the lake
- Where to Stay: Chikmagalur
- Where to Eat: Not many options to eat at Sakharayapatna (recommend to eat/carry food from Chikmagalur)
3) Kotagiri, Ooty
Tea Estates and delicious chocolates..
Relatively ‘not-so commercialized’ (yet) amongst Ooty and Conoor is Kotagiri (Mountain of the Kotas – Kota is the traditional tribe of Nilgiris), blessed with beautiful roads and hectares of lush-tea estates guarded by cloud-clad Nilgiris.
In fact, the limelight on Kotagiri faded once the direct road from Mettupalyam to Conoor was built – before that one had to reach Ooty via Kotagiri from Mettupalyam.
Useful Information on Kotagiri & Ooty:
- Route: Bangalore > Chamarajanagar > Satyamangalam > Bannari > Mettupalyam > Kotagiri (for the love of twisty roads)
- Distance from Bangalore: 315 kms
- Road Condition: Brilliant (I am yet to encounter bad roads or bad food in Tamil Nadu!!)
- What to see: Kodanad View Point & Catherine Falls
- Where to Stay: Lots of lodges, villas, cottages in Kotagiri
- Where to Eat: Head to Ooty (lots of options and don’t forget to relish home-made chocolates)
These monsoon weekend ride getaways are best relished with great company, your favorite music, motorcycles and the numerous breaks along the highway for chai and charcoal roasted corn laced with spicy chutney.
Bon Appetite and Safe Riding!!