Shut Up ‘n Ride – Hill stations of South India

The Western Ghats,or the Sahyadri (the benevolent mountains) runs approximately 1600 km through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka,Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India. One of the world’s ten “Hottest biodiversity hotspots” it is home to over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species.

This trip originated as a hangover of, “West Coast Express”.
At the end of that trip we found ourselves on a flight back to Mumbai but our bikes were left behind in Madurai.
“Shut Up n’ Ride” was our attempt at bringing our bikes back home. They are closer now (Banglore) and we are anxiously planning the next ride which may see them home,or maybe we find ourselves at the start point of another adventure.

The quintessential ride in the Western Ghats our trip takes you through most of the southern hill stations in one gigantic loop. We depart from the clustered and humid Cochin and within a couple of hours the tempo of the ride has gone through a metamorphosis. A new shade of green in the omnipresent green of Kerela becomes the backdrop, the density of houses disappears and the air takes on a crisp and delicate quality.This sets the stage for the next days of riding, as we criss cross the states of Kerela, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.We snake across the Western Ghats looping Kumily, Kadaikannal,Munnar and Ooty in our trail. We ride on roads known and those unknown. A route overheard in backpacker bar rooms but a route no one knew for certain. We took a leap of faith and were rewarded by one of the most spectacular stretch of the journey.

Itinerary:

This trip begins in Cochin on a Friday

Day 1. COCHIN
Today you will be introduced to your travel companion, the legendary Enfield. A short orientation ride to familiarise you with your motorcycle.

Day 2. COCHIN – KUMILY (155 KM.)
A fairly easy ride taking you to one of Kerela’s lesser know hill stations. A small detour will take us into the silent valley national parks (one of Asia’s biodiversity hot spots) before we settle in for the night at Kumily.

Day 3. KUMILY – MADURAI (244 km)
The temple town of Madurai, with the world famous Meenakshi temple and a host to gastronomic delights of Southern Tamil Nadu

Day 4. MADURAI – KODAIKANNAL(248 km)
A curvaceous temptress, today’s ride takes us into the mist. The picturesque town of Kodaikannal has everything that a classic hill station promises. From Sunrise points to suicide points, from a lake to a mall road, each classic element is obvious, but its the trips along unknown pathways that make the magic of Kodi come alive.

Day 5. KODAIKANNAL – MUNNAR (191km)
We ride deep into the heartland, sticking away from highways and crossing number of obscure, nondescript villages. A technically challenging ride as we cross into Munnar spending the bulk of the day on a road that “was”

Day 6. MUNNAR – METTUPALAYAM (300KM)
The tea plantation of Munnar will seduce you as we ride along beautifully maintained roads, slicing through carpets of endless green. Off roading on the estate roads, stopping at lazy brooks, at sipping cups of freshly brewed chai.

Day 7. METTUPALAYAM – GUDALUR (150km)
Beetelnut capital and the base point to re-enter the Western ghats. We cross Ooty riding onwards to Gudalur and a privately owned Tea estate.

Day 8. GUDALUR – BANDIPUR (253 km)
Loops loops and more loops as we exit the mountains and enter into the tiger country. Riding through the Bandipur tiger reserve and spend night at a resort located in the heart of the reserve.

Day 9. BANDIPUR – BANGALORE (117 km)
The final leg of our trip sees us leaving one jungle only to enter the urban jungle of Bangalore. We cross through mysore which seems to be stuck in the middle of madness.

Day 10. BUFFER DAY.

This trip ends on a Sunday in Bangalore. Transfers can be facilitated but are not included in the package costs.

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