Getting Acquainted Ride - Bangalore - Rameshwaram - Velankanni - Bangalore

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
After getting a RE Meteor was itching to go on a longish ride just to get acquainted to the bike and its moods.
So headed out to Rameshwaram from Bangalore.
Few pics. Apologies for B&W pics. I choose to do a fun photographic experiment by turning my camera to Monochrome mode.
Detailed log to follow.


Small break on way after Krishnagiri


Panbam panorama from below the bridge.


Abandoned church at Dhanushkodi


Church at Velankanni


Choices, choices and more choices


Beach at Velankanni.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Been a while since I did a multi-day ride. With the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 in the parking, I was itching to go. So as soon as I got the license plate and completed 1st service, a plan was made to go for a long ride.



Always wanted to drive down to Dhanushkodi since the road to the end point was build. So without much ado I finalized the plan to go there.
Only open question was the desire to not follow the same route back.
After looking at the map for a while decided to stop at Velankanni on the way back. Since I stopped briefly there 11yrs back, I always wanted to stop and spend some time around the church city.

I also choose to keep my camera in monochrome mode with couple of prime lenses – just for fun. And believe me it was a lot of fun.



So early morning on Mar 11th, I was on my way towards Hosur. As soon as I got into Tamil Nadu, one of the bag straps broke and the bag dragged for a few meters. No damage done. Fortunately I had an extra rope which I used to tie the bag after this.

These were recently purchased straps from Raida. Lesson for me to field test any gear before embarking on a longish ride.

Stopped at a tea shop to tie the bag properly and have a cup of tea.



As the night gave way to day, I stopped by a small pond to take pictures. Realized that I got the wrong lens – a 15mm instead of a 9mm. So all the wide angles would now be multi shot panoramas.



Beyond Krishnagiri, stopped at another pond with coconut trees reflecting over the waters. Watched the sun rise and stretched my legs.



Salem came and went quickly. The flyovers while not complete, are falling in place. Hope they are all done by the time I go there next.

Stopped at a place with the tea boiler displayed prominently.



Hot boiler tea and a bonda for breakfast. These snacks were good enough to fuel me for a few hours.

While having tea, I noticed that the helmet visor was coming off. I realized that I had broken the visor tab while cleaning the last night. Tried to push it in and broke it completely.

So with the visor dangling on the helmet, I searched for a shop which could sell me a scotch tape. Took a side road and found a cluster of shops where I bought a roll of tape. Having secured the visor firmly, I was on my way. Little did I realize that with the visor fixed, the heat was going to be unbearable.



Riding the Meteor was fun. It has a temperament similar to me. Its not fast. Neither is it slow. Just chugs along at peace with itself and the world. You cannot push it any more than it want to be pushed.

Soon I was near Karur. Kavery is quite wide here. I am not sure how I never noticed it on my previous trips.



Dindigul wasn’t much further. At first I thought of stopping for the famous Dindigul biryani. The heat wasn’t very favorable for a heavy meal. So headed on to Madurai. Crossed Madurai and then took the bypass towards Rameshwaram. Extra few Km, but I avoided the city traffic.

After Madurai, took another tea break with the delectable local snacks. While having tea, booked a hotel at Rameshwaram online. Last time I was in Rameshwaram alone, no one would give a room to a solo traveler. I eventually stayed at Ramnathpuram. By booking online, I was hoping to avoid that issue.



Despite the heat, riding was easy. I was having fun on the Metor. In no time I was at Panbam bridge. The blue waters looked lovely.

Headed straight to the hotel. After a bit of hesitation, the guy at the front desk gave me the room. According to him, they are not supposed to give rooms to solo travelers.

Asked the guy to get me some tea and something to eat. Ended up with fried rice – Chinese style in the heart of Rameshwaram.

Sunset time was 1830. Decided to leave the hotel at 1730 to see sunset at Dhanushkodi. Took a nap till then.

On way to Dhanushkodi, I was stopped at a police check post. Apparently they allow visitors to enter only till 1700. Disappointed I turned around.



While returning, I happened to recall that there would be clear view of the west from Panbam bridge. So decided to head there. That ended up to be a smart choice.



Reaching Panbam just in time, I took a side road to a fishing harbor below the bridge. The sun was just setting and I had a lovely time watching the sun set over the fishing boat.



The pictures were pretty good too.



Most of the fishermen were done for the day and were sitting in a group chatting. The boats meanwhile went up and down with the waves.



As the sky turned completely orange, I went up the bridge to take a last picture of the setting sun. Color picture taken with the phone






On way back, stopped for dinner of local delicacies.

While returning back to the hotel, I thought of going to the temple, but the crowds were a turnoff. So I returned to the room and off to sleep.

Date : Mar 11, 2022
Distance : 675Km
 
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Tilak Francis

Well-Known Member
Nice photos on grey scale. Next time you pass by Karur, just before the river Kaveri bridge, try the local delicacy, duck curry and Parotta. Got reminded of my trip to Dhanushkodi.
 
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@Gujjubhais_Log

Jobs fill your pocket. Adventures fill your soul
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Excellent Photos Lokeshji.....But no more Monochrome mode in future......Please......, secondly which bike you feel is good (Ride Comfort, Handling etc) for long ride dominar or Meteor.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Nice photos on grey scale. Next time you pass by Karur, just before the river Kaveri bridge, try the local delicacy, duck curry and Parotta. Got reminded of my trip to Dhanushkodi.
Thank you.
Any name of the duck curry place. Might ride down there just for the curry.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Sorry but grey scale spoiled the fun of seeing the colors of South!
Excellent Photos Lokeshji.....But no more Monochrome mode in future......Please......, secondly which bike you feel is good (Ride Comfort, Handling etc) for long ride dominar or Meteor.
That's the fun of experimenting. You learn as you experiment.
Realized that the landscape does not go well with monochrome, but people and streets are cool with monochrome.

Comfort wise Meteor is way better. Its like sitting on sofa. Dominar has more power, a smoother engine and minimal vibrations. For unhurried travel, which is my kind of travel, Meteor is the way to go.
 

dichkaun

Well-Known Member
Bike Ride: Dhanushkodi – Day 2

Woke up early and was out toward Dhanushkodi by 0510. Did not have to carry any luggage or riding gear. I was going to come back and wander the temple are later.
Once again the check post was closed. It would open at 0600. Walked to one of the tea shop.

Had tea and then waited.


The locals were also waiting for the check post to let them through.


The tea shop owner was preparing for a busy Saturday. Tourist rush before the summer heat starts.

Sharp at 0600 the check post let the traffic through. I waited a while to get the initial rush out of the way. Then it was my turn to enjoy the beautiful road flanked on both side by the blue sea. It is an amazing experience.
Years ago I stood on the back of a truck to visit this place.

A little ahead a few horses were grazing next to the ocean, presenting a lovely view. Stopped and tried to get close for a picture but they would scuttle away as soon as I got near.


A mother and colt grazing together.


Got to the end of the road to find it some what crowded. The sun was behind the cloud. So most of them were expressing disappointment at their luck.


Once the customary picture was taken and decided to head towards some of the more isolated places which I saw on the way.


There was a family of fishermen waiting for something. Tried to talk to them but language was a barrier. Walked around taking pictures.


An abandoned boat with holes.


Another boat stuck due to low tide.


After walking around the beach for a while, I headed towards the ruins of Dhanushkodi. One one side is the abandoned ruins of the railway station.


On the other is the abandoned church.


Another look at the church.


Stopped at a shop to drink the banta drink before heading back to Rameshwaram.


Parking the bike back at the hotel, I decided to walk around the temple area.


Just down the road, ritual was being performed in front of a small temple.


More people offering prayers on the beach. This group was interesting as almost everyone was busy taking video of the ritual rather than actually participating.


An old man with an intense gaze sitting below the information board.


Street in front of the main temple at Rameshwaram.


The entrance to the temple was extremely crowded and they were not allowing any camera or mobile inside. Decided to skip the inside.

There was a lot of action outside.


A vendor who tried to convince me to get a temporary tattoo. Of the choices she had, the joker was most interesting.


I was hungry again. So in one of the lanes sat down to have puri and vada. The sagu was most delicious.


Continued walking the streets around the temple. There were all sorts of people visiting to pay obeisance at the temple.


Found this man dozing off in the hot sun on my way back to the hotel.


Back at the hotel, I got ready and was on my way to Velankanni. On the outskirts of Ramnathpuram, stopped for a glass of sugarcane juice. It was quite hot. Not the right season to be riding on a motor bike.
While drinking the juice, I also booked a room in Velankanni.


Next two hours were like a haze. Roads weren’t great and heat was crazy. Suddenly I noticed this brightly colored temple on the right. The boundary wall and bright Gopuram looked familiar. So I turned inside the gate. Behind the temple was a ground and then the shore.


Then it came back to me. I had stopped at the temple and under the peepal tree in 2010 when I rode down this road in the opposite direction.
Time and heat are two great nudge for an afternoon nap. So out there I stretched under the shade enjoying the cool breeze from the sea. In no time I was in a deep slumber only to be woken up a little while later by a giggle of kids. Two boys were looking at me, probably awed by the bike and amused at the guy sprawled and snoring nearby. I shared some candy with them and then sat there enjoying the moment.

It was pleasant in the shade.

Sitting there, I decided to go straight to Velankanni. Earlier plan was to take a diversion to Point Calimere.


Starting from the temple, my next stop was Velankanni. It is a much busier town than when I was here 11yrs back. Found the hotel which was on the outskirts and next to the beach. It is still a small town that one can walk all around on foot.
While the hotel was bare bones, the caretaker offered to get lunch for me. The rice, fish curry and fish fry was well appreciated by my growling stomach.


Around six, I rode out to check out the sunset. Just next to the bridge found a spot with boats moored.
Most boats had this female face painted on them. Wonder what’s teh story behind it.
The sun was setting down over the Vellaiyar river. The bridge was a breezy place, providing much needed relief from the heat. A lot of locals also sat chit-chatting on the bridge.


The steeple of the cathedrals was visible across the river. So was the Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


The sunset was beautiful. The breeze around the bridge made the spectacle even more pleasant.


Returned to the hotel and parked my bike. Then walked to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health. Beautiful church. It wasn’t very crowded. So I walked in. My bare feet on the cool marble felt nice.


On one side, devotees lit candles in prayer.


On the other, people had tied locks.


Then there was a wall with handkerchiefs.
Out there in the hills of Kumaon we have similar practices. A temple with bell and another with letters. Humans are similar all over.


After roaming around, I sat down in a corner on the cold stone. Watching the people pass by and enjoying the solitude in the crowd.


Walking east, I saw people walking on their knees on the Holy path. For the elderly, this must be very painful. Good they has sand on the path to provide some comfort. But during day time this must be blistering hot and a torture.


The Morning Star church and couple of beautiful stained glass windows. Light filtering through these during day time would be wonderful.


Inside a few people offered prayers at the chapel. I sat down for a while, just to remind me of school days when we would go to the chapel only during the exams.


Then I walked up to the statue of Jesus. This was a popular landmark. Everyone wanted to get a picture taken below the statue. Lots of people waiting patiently for their turn.


Deciding to end my church tour, I headed up to the main street. Fish food galore.
I had my fill and then took the long route to the hotel digesting the heavy dinner on the way.
Despite the heat, a very enjoyable day.

Date : Mar 12, 2022
Distance : 295Km
 
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