Soon after the Republic day ride, we started our epic ride to Pamban Bridge, Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi. Danushkodi which means, when translated is End of the bow which gets its name from the Epic Ramayana as its states that Rama crossed the Indian ocean to reach Sri Lanka in order to save his wife Sita along with his army. Well that’s the history part of it.
Our ride too was not less of an adventure in any ways, 11 bikes and 11 riders started our journey around 10 AM on 26- Jan -18, soon after our flag hoisting at Yadure along with school children which refreshed my memories of my school days. We had decided to reach Madurai rather than crossing Pamban Bridge and stay at Rameshwaram and call it a day as it was a stretch of 400+ km through ghats and rural roads.
A relishing buffet breakfast was arranged by Highway delight (Rajesh Bhai) who happens to be our Pit stop partner at Mayura hotel. Despite it was a long weekend and the hotel was crowded heavily a separate floor was provided to us riders from Road Thrill. We were around 200 + riders. It was actually hard to ride with the sun was above us and riding with all the gears was actually tiring. But when you have a company of the very best people, open road and a tank full of gas, the odds change whether you like or not you get grin by default on your face.
We took the Satayamalaga Tiger Reserve route via Mysore, which we made it through Belur cross. Mysore roads were jam packed with traffic due to the long weekend, we managed to cross and leap towards the outer ring road and before even we could realize open roads welcomed us. We took a short cut through T Narispura and Kollegala and entered the forest belt on Bandipur and satayamanagala tiger reserve. After couple of pitstops we were charged our self with water and chai and started our journey, thanks to the Gel seats which were brought by Bharath which really helped us and made our ride a softer one to our bums 🙂 We even though of doing an Iron Butt Challenge with it 🙂 that was the amount of comfort it offered.
Adding to this me and Arun had recently bought a V 6 Bluetooth intercom device mount on our SMK helmets the fun never stopped of chit chat and fooling around the entire 1500 KM journey. We were connected in fact it helped us a lot in navigating in tight sections of the road and terrain which helped the sweep to leave no one behind and maintain a good speed without any breaks in the riding formation. This device stayed on for like 12 hrs straight, it easily give at least a 1 KM range of coverage, we both spoke nonstop to each other which made the ride even more better one.
We soon entered the forest and it was winter, we were able to sight few deers on the way but what awed us was the hair pin curves in which we were sliding and zipping through. The view what it offers is quite a breath talking one. Soon after that it was Tamil Nadu, me and Arun were chatting about the infamous forest brigand Veerappan who gripped fear in this tri area of forests which shares its boundaries with Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It was his home for years together. This was the forest looted of its natural resources for years together and made people to think twice before choosing these roads.
We even did stop for a pic in the forest which we realsied was not a great idea when the forest officials didnt like it. We did apologize and started our bikes. We stopped for lunch soon after the hair pin curves and clearing the forest belt. After that our eyes were set towards Madurai, by this time boys were actually tired we took another short cut before entering the highway. Google aunty showed mercy to us was showing only short routes to us .The roads were quite good but after 7 PM it soon got dark and there was no sight of another human being or anything humane on those roads which were pitch dark. What helped us was our fog lamps on all the REs riding along. My fear was if even there was a breakdown there was no help to be called at and then the surprise came from Abhishek that he was running low on fuel for his 200NS. Luckily after that we were able to locate a fuelling station after 30 KM on the highway and we reached Madurai.
The traffic was too bad which might be more than usual, it being a long weekend. Madurai Meenakshi temple is the busiest part of the city, in fact it’s even hard to just stand with your bike on the streets. After a hotel booking failure from booking.com which was made at hotel Sabress, we were able to get rooms in a near by hotel for the night. Soon we bunked into our rooms, shredded the riding gears and headed to dinner, which was again a disaster as they were out food and pretty much noting to match our craving or hunger pangs. We filled ourselves with whatever was available and called it a night with a local desert called Jigarthanda which somehow filled us.
The next morning, we stared our day by 4:30 AM and got into the famous Madurai Meenakshi temple. To our surprise there was huge que already ahead off us, despite being there by 5:00 AM. We took special tickets and were done with Darshana of the Goddess. The Madurai temple was in mammoth in nature and sculpture are really huge and intricate, in fact I am running short words to describe its beauty. Once we all were set to cross Pamban Bridge, saddled up and started our ride to Rameswaram with photoshoots on the way, soon reached the famous Pamban Bridge with breath-taking view clear, sky and blue waters, the Pamban bridge was a beauty. After spending some tie and clicking a number of pics and selfies we accumulated a set for 6 months’ worth profile pics 🙂
We crossed APJ Abdul Kalam Sir’s memorial just crossing Pamban Bridge in Rameshwaram and reached our resort just nearby the main temple. Unpacked and grabbed a quick lunch at a near by hotel and hauled towards Dhanushkodi. The route is really out of this world surround by water on both sides, clear sky and open road, it felt as though we were not riding in India. The climate was just right not too hot nor too cold. We spent a lot time chit chatting, posing and having fun on the beach.
Soon it got dark and after shopping some sea shells, we winded back to the resort and had good feast outside in the resort garden. We all off us had a gala time cracking jokes and pulling each other’s leg and called it a night around 1:00 AM.
Early morning Rameswaram the temple visit where one has to take bath in 22 wells before that a dip in chilly waters of the sea right behind the temple. It was a crazy and cold one but after the dip we were not feeling cold maybe due to humid climate of the region. Carrying our bags we got in to the temple bought some tickets and started to get the pour of buckets of water on our heads which were sweet and warm in fact. Each well was given a slogan and its significance. All our sins was washed away and were set with a clean slate to do more 😊
Laughing at each other we completed the journey and visit the main temple and stepped out after the Darshana. We were blocked by a huge crowd waiting outside and managed our way out and grabbed a quick south Indian breakfast beside the temple. We cleared the bills and checked out I had lighting issues in my bike I asked the pack to wait for me at the Pamban Bridge so that in the meanwhile I could change my bulb and join the group back.
It was Harish Bhai’s birthday and the chap spent his birthday with us as we cut a cake on the go and celebrated it in a true biker way just near Pamban Bridge. And then the disaster stuck where we had electrical issues with Sumith bhai’s Thunder bird. Local mechanics tried their best but were unlucky to fix the bike. We checked with RSA and got the location of showroom 50 KM away at Ramanadh. We planned and put the bike on local carrier and sent the bike and later we followed and reached Ramanad. It was a Sunday and no mechanics were around. Even at Ramnadh they were about close as well. We reached there by 2 where few of the technicians helped us by cutting the brunt wires and replacing them with new ones as spares were not available.
We sat out side the hotel and ate biryani (Harish Bhai’s birthday treat :)). We just truly enjoyed ourselves and the company and experience it was almost 3:30 PM and we had to reach Banglore which was a very long way to go. We started our ride after biding a huge thank you to the technicians and the auto guy who helped us. We reached Salem somewhere around 9:PM to Selvi mess and had decent meal, all were just tired and just wanted to sleep when Banglore was till 200 Km away. After all the short cuts what google showed us we reached the National highway and the cold started to kick in. None of us were prepared for the chilly wind and none of us carried any thermal wear. Me and Arun were connected on the intercoms spoke and sang songs just to stay awake. We reached electronic city at 4:00 AM in the morning. We stopped to disperse and no one had anything to say, we could not even hold a tea cup as we were shivering to the winter morning. We took a selfi and soon dispersed. It Monday morning and few off us have office to go. I reached home and slept woke up somewhere around 2 in the afternoon and realised I had missed office ☹, soon sent a message to my manager and by evening the what’s app group came alive with the pics and videos. No journey is too long when we ride with friends, or what I would like to call them as family.
This is my take on Ride to Pamban Bridge, Rameshwaram and Dhanuskodi one of the famous destination in India.
Ride long Ride safe.
Cheers, Vinod Basavaraju,
RT Crew RT Bengaluru, Photography & Blogging Team