A couple of years ago i wanted to go out of town but couldn’t decide where to go. I had ridden to Gokarna, Chennai, Mysore, Coimbatore, Trichy, Mannargudi,Madurai etc. There wasnt somewhere new i had been to in a while and wanted to explore Tamil Nadu.
There is something about Tamilnadu. The tamarind and the neem trees on the side of the highways, chai shops every 100 m, Amma canteens and wonderful people. Its the perfect place to wander and the added advantage is that i understand the language. Before i set out to explore the area i had give my folks a destination. This time i tried to tell them i would figure it out as i started riding.
The fastest way out of Bangalore is through Hosur. From there i went towards Ambur (they have great biryani) but took one of those isolated and scenic roads. It was hot as hell but the chai was great. Stayed at a temple and the next day headed towards Pondicherry. The only time i stopped at Pondicherry was to fill water. I don’t like the city, and try to stay out as much as possible.
Took the bypass towards Cudalore through the small road that followed the coast line. The entire time for about 100 kms, i must have seen about 3 cars. The coast line is filled with these small villages that have been rebuilt after the tsunami by a German NGO. Thankfully it has enough bore wells to have a bath. While following the roads i landed up in a village where i had to cross a really crudely built bridge. The water was pristine and it had these small ponds on either sides that had catfish. Each of these places i managed to spend sometime. I camped in a field inside the village and soon had a bunch of people who visiting to see who i was. The questions this time was how did i land up there, Where was i going etc. I guess the answer to that isn’t i am wandering . Told them about Rameshwarm and how i’m trying to keep away from the main roads. Got lots of info on the smaller roads that go to Rameshwarm an places to see on the way. Each person invited me home, one guy got his wife to bring me a plate of rice and sambar.
From there on i kept following the coast and managed to reach a small town called Manargudi. I know this town as my grandfather’s village is nearby. Went to Vaduvur (my uncle has a house there), Went to the family temple to say hello, there is also a bird sanctuary which is beautiful . Met a few old people who knew my grandfather at the tea shop. I don’t think they were happy to see me. My grandfather had done a bunch of things in the past to piss the villagers off. He had broken the temple door to let the lower caste in, dug a canal from the temple pond so that everyone would have water. I understand why i am this rebellious. Both sides of my family have been that way.Spent enough time looking at the sanctuary and started to head out towards Tanjavur.
My mum says that i have visited more temples in the family than anyone else. There is something about old rustic places that attracts me. Temples, Forts, famous landmarks attract me. For someone who hated geography and history in school i seemed to have done a 180 degree on it.
Headed towards Trichy and then to Salem. Nothing of interest there. I have seen those areas earlier. From Krishnagiri, i managed to find a road that led to towards Mysore. This is one of those places i love to ride again. Its the mid of summer but the area is green. It has a stretch of the forest where nobody goes by except for the villagers. From there back to Bangalore and home.
This ride took me about 10 days to do and i had ridden about 1500 km. The interesting part of the ride is i managed to see a lot of places that i would have never gone to if i wasn’t just wandering around. As i write this post i want to do this again. Its summer, the timing is perfect. Maybe this time i go and explore to Kerala, they have some really fabulous meals served on a banana leaf for lunch which is a something i would love to eat.