A South Indian Trekking Guide by a South Indian

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Ranganathittu Trip

Trip : Ranganathittu
Places Visited : Kokkarebellur Pelicanry, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Balmuri Falls
Dates : 28-Sep-2002, 29-Sep-2002
Vehicle : Bikes
Enfield Bullet 350(Vishnu), Hero Honda CBZ(Sailesh), Hero Honda CD100SS(Jayaraj), TVS Suzuki Fiero(Manesh), Yamaha RD350(Suresh), Yamaha RX135(John), Yamaha RX135(Jomy), Hero Honda Splendour(Sushen)
Participants : Jayaraj(Mastan), John(Machan), Jomy, Kannan(Chetti), Manesh(Nair), Sailesh(Aila), Sangeeth(Aliyan), Sanjeev(Khoj), Shyamesh, Sonu, Sudeep(Robo), Suresh(Warri), Sushen, Vishnu

This trip came about mainly because we had not done a bike trip for a long time and also because Jomy had bought a new bike and he wanted to complete the run-in period fast.

I had read about a place called Kokkare Bellur, which was around 86 km from Bangalore. This place is a famous nesting ground of the migrating Pelican. Not that anybody had any interest in bird watching, but we decided to go there.

The plan was to start very early, at around 5:00 am. As usual, everybody was late and we started at 6:00 am from Bangalore. Chetti climbed behind Vishnu in his Bullet, in the hope of getting a ride. That he did not get one, is another story. Warri was alone in his RD350 and Jomy was alone in his brand new RX135. Nair had his brother Shyamesh riding pillion. Machan and Aliyan climbed into Machan's RX135. Aila had Sonu behind him in his CBZ and I had Sanjeev for company in my Splendour. Mastan and Robo brought up the rear in the CD100SS.

We took the fly over to reach Mysore Road and rode on. Every half an hour we stopped for Jomy to catch up. He could go at a maximum speed of 40 kmph only during the run-in period. Even Mastan could do more than 40kmph in his dilapidated CD100SS.

We stopped for breakfast at Channapattana. There were major performances from Vishnu and Aila. Vishnu ate around 10 idlis. After breakfast we continued to Kokkare Bellur.

Kokkare Bellur was a small sleepy hamlet. Apart from a few boards cautioning visitors against destroying the nests of the migratory birds, we found nothing. Then we saw the old ladies of the village pointing at us and laughing out loud. When we asked them they said, "The Pelicans have flown back long ago. If you want to see them come back next year".

This was too much for everybody. Though there wasn't a single bird lover in the gang, everybody started pointing accusing fingers towards me. I had to think quick. I suggested visiting Ranganathittu, another famous bird sanctuary. Thankfully everybody agreed.

We asked for directions and started towards Ranganathittu. Mastan had some work back in Bangalore and he went back. Robo continued the journey with Jomy.

According to the local people, Ranganathittu was only about 20 km from Kokkare Bellur. We learned otherwise the hard way. By the time we reached Ranganathittu, we had already driven 198 km from Bangalore.

There was no way we could ride back and reach Bangalore at a reasonable time. We opted to stay. We went to Balmuri Falls nearby, had a nice bath and rented a few rooms in a Bungalow turned Motel.

The next day, we got up by 6:00 am and drove back to Bangalore.


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