The first showers of monsoons had just fallen and I was already itching to be in the lush green hills. This itch ultimately took me to the Gopalaswamy hills on a weekend, a place which I had heard is beautifully green and well-vegetated but with real bad roads leading to the top. The bad-road part was not a dampener for me, in fact it actually made the biker inside me happy, hills and some off-roading is always great fun as long as you don’t have to off-road for hours and hours.
Plus, it will also be a test for the KTM which had not been on bad roads yet. Because Goapalaswamy betta (GS Betta/hill) was very near to the Bandipur Tiger reserve, I decided to club a Jungle-safari as well (
another post about it coming up soon read here) with this trip.
After a not-so-satisfying jungle safari at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, we started for GS betta by 9 AM or so and were riding slow and easy, soaking in the beauty of the surroundings, thoroughly enjoying the ride. It had rained a bit the previous night so the surroundings were pleasantly green. I would not say it was as green as I had expected it to be but it was green and beautiful enough for someone like me who hardly gets to see any greenery back in the city. While riding out from the forest reserve, I was expecting to spot an elephant or two like the last time (In Pictures: Trip to Ooty and Kodanad) or maybe a langur at-least, but this time around all I could spot was some fawns playfully jumping by the side of the roads and some busy-in-eating wild boars.
Once we took the left and turned towards the GS Hills, the road became narrower but the beautiful twists and turns kept the fun going. I stopped near what most probably was a sunflower field, it seems it was not the season yet for the sunflowers to bloom.
Couple of more shots of the narrow and long ahead, one which was not in a very good condition at-least not four-wheelers, I started again, this time only to stop at the top.
Soon after crossing the ‘gate’ and paying the entry fee we started ascending and the road turned from ‘ok’ to bad and as we kept going up, the views started getting better and better. At the same time, the roads went from bad to worse to absolutely no roads at some places.
By now, I had started stopping frequently to take photos of the amazing view of the thick carpet of green below and of the ridges of the high hills ahead.
We were enjoying the views and the bumpy ride, stopping frequently for our photography breaks until two cops came and started questioning about what were we doing in-between nowhere and suggested us not to stop anywhere other than the top as it was ‘dangerous’.
All along the ascend we were coming across elephant dung, sometimes fresh sometimes not so fresh which made my mind think, what if a big elephant was awaiting me right after the next blind-curve or what if one comes from behind me and throws me and my bike down? It seemed very much a possibility because we had come across fresh dung at more than one place.
Once at the top, we had decided to take one of the many trails that lead from there and hike to one of the nearby hills once but on reaching the top, we found that the authorities had closed access to all the trails. Not only that but due to some government order, it was actually illegal to take any trails at-all!!
With no trails to take and nothing more to do there and both me and my Nitin not having any interest in visiting the temple there, we started our way down and back home.
Have you been to Gopalaswamy hills before? Were you lucky enough to take one of the many trails from the top?