I decide on covering the places which are within 100-200 KM’s from Bangalore. After going through numerous sites and google maps, I was able to list out all the places which would fall within this radius. Now that I have the places listed, I need to start with one of the destination !!! I randomly picked one of them and that was Avalabetta.
Avalabetta is situated close Chikkaballapura. It’s around 100 km from Bangalore city. This place is known for its high altitude views, The Laksminarayanswami Cave Temple and pond on a hilltop.
Now that I had a plan in place and being a day visit, I didn’t have to pack anything. As winter was closing in, knowing that it would be frigid, I chose to carry plain windcheater. Next day early morning around 6:00 am, I started my journey. The temperature was so low, I could sense on how the rest of my journey would be.
The weather was all good until I crossed Devanahalli. Post that noticed all of a sudden there was a climate change. Thick fog was covered all around which made the riding bit difficult. Visibility was around 100 meters thats all, for which I had to be low on speed and cautions too. But NH44 is well maintained with markings, I was able to cross Chikkaballapura. Even though I was doing a solo ride, I was accompanied by many cyclists who were heading to famous Nandi hills.
From Bangalore till Peresandra, which is about 85 km its one road and you don’t have to look into maps also. But when you are about to reach Peresandra, there’s a road which deviates from the main road which leads to Avalabetta Hilltop. So you have you be careful over here. Reason being if you miss this service road, there’s no deviation for next 1 km.
Once you reach Peresandra junction, you have to take a left which leads to a small village called Mandikal. After riding through smooth and broad road, it’s time to jump and bump ;). Roads from 4 lanes, turned to a single lane with pothole’s to avoid. It was around 7:10 am, took a small tea break and noticed that many people were returning back from the other direction. I realised that I am too late, quickly checked with locals on what’s the distance to cover, I headed towards the hilltop. On my way, noticed that there are a couple of deviations but again there are sign boards written in Kannada which gives the direction to reach the hill. As I got closer by, I saw arch on my right side which leads towards Hilltop. This is the main entrance for the Hilltop and if you want to buy any water bottle then you can buy it from here as there are no shops available near the temple base.
View from Guest house
Finally, I reached the base of the temple and also noticed that the road continues till government guest house. Parked my bike and started to climb steps ( approx 300 steps ), on half way got to see a temple and some localities were waiting for the temple to be opened. Initially, I thought I have reached the top, but I noticed there are some more steps to the left of the temple which leads to the hilltop and that was partially covered with signs as NOT PERMITTED TO TRESPASS.
As many were going through, even I went along with them and reached the Hilltop. The view from Hilltop was spectacular and a huge stone where some of them were trying to get on top of it to get some pictures which was way too risky.
VIEW FROM HILLTOP
Road taken to reach hilltop
Next thing I wanted to do is to find the lake and capture a picture from the edge of a stone. From the hilltop, I saw the lake but was in a dilemma on how to reach that place. When asked with people around, one of them showed me the way from the top itself where we have to manage ourselves to get down carefully from the rock edge.
After getting down through this passage, reached the pond which was dried up. Some of them were standing in the line to click pictures standing on the rock edge. Meanwhile, I was capturing the pictures of surroundings and all of a sudden I got to hear a couple of men shouting and scaring people away. In no time I saw local forest guards rushing in and warning everyone to leave. When asked, guard told us about an accident where one of the tourists slipped and fell from the rock edge. I am not sure how true this is. However, we were given this reason and everyone left that place with a disappointment on their face.
Route to reach to reach the pond
one more pond
As there’s nothing much of places to see, I headed back to Bangalore. It was already 10:30 am and feeling hungry, reached Peresandra in search of the good restaurant. I noticed a restaurant on the opposite side of NH 44 for which I had to go another 1/2 km and take a U-turn. Just not that, while returning I had to take one more round which didn’t make sense for me and decided to have breakfast at Chikkaballapura. Nearing to Chikkaballapura, found Hotel Pranav veg which was good and ample parking space.
Well as this trip didn’t go well, I would sure revisit this place one more time!!!
Quick points to plan your trip
- Route – Bangalore – chikkaballapur (64 km)- Peresandra (20 km)- Mandikal (8 km)- Avalabetta (9 km)
- Overall Distance – ~ 200 km ( to and fro )
- Trip budget – 300 ( excluding fuel )
- Fuel station – Many on NH44, while returning the closet point is at Peresandra
- Bike service points – Mandikal ( 2 bike service points )
- Hotels –small shops / Peresandra / Chikkaballapura.