Bicycling

Heritage trail around Nandi Hills

Another weekend, another ride in the fine city of “Namma ooru Bengaluru”. Now, usually a ride to Nandi Hills meant climb up to the top on a bicycle… then climb again…and if time permits yet another climb. This time it was an organized one by Unventured with the day’s program listing out a ride around Nandi hill, visit to a silk farm – old railway station – old temple and pottery. The last one caught my attention and joined in. It started out with a casual ride around the countryside exploring the surrounds of Nandi village. The slow placed ride on a quiet Saturday morning turned out to be not just fun but also a learning experience.

Got to the start point, a farm house surrounded by greenery and nestled at the base of a hill secluded from the hustle bustle of the city. Had our breakfast here and started to ride after Guru, Tej and Jay from Unventured having given a quick breakdown of the day’s program and quick pointers to the beginners on how to riding the bike right and safely. We rode down to the road passing by a small tent of sorts that house a local deity. What was amusing and yet disappointing was the song being playing loudly on their music system…the korean hit ‘Open Gangnam Style’ on a quiet Saturday morning…uugh!! Is this what celebrating a holy festival has come down to nowadays?

Past that to the small setup of silk-farming. A closer view on how the silk threads are extracted from silkworm cocoons was interesting. We then got to the small, old railway station surrounded by big trees, located just off the road and a kilometer from the village. This station which still functions even to this day, was built during the British rule in India. We got to the railway platform (which was noticeably clean) and took pictures here. Back on the bikes and a slow paced ride on the road which seemed like a periphery around the hill till we got to the temple.

The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is a well maintained place with lots of green cover at the entrance. Inside the temple was all too enchanting. The rock sculptures and the quiet and serene aura of the place has a relaxing effect on the mind… something no medicine, place or person can give you. This is what places of worship was or rather is supposed to be, unlike the present where one finds speakers tied-up facing all directions and loud howling, music or drum beats blaring away while people thronging with each barely getting a glimpse of their deity apart from flowers, coconuts and water wasted away needlessly.

With mixed thoughts and as lunch time beckons, we ride on to the next stop – the potter’s workplace. A demonstration from the potter (last of his generation in the village to make earthen pots) and then we take turns to give it a try and make our very own pots which was rather involving and fun. The city and its people are now modernized and equipped to make more sturdy and tough cement based pots to even consider seeing the benefits of the humble mud pot. Come to think of it, people are all so busy to earn more money, buy and live in huge villas of grandeur built by ‘land developers’ and drive big fancy modes of transport that which are far beyond the actual intended purpose and that of sustainable living.

Thoughts aside, we ride back to the farm house to have a hearty lunch that started out with trying out 9 variants of home-made pickle made from raw mango to amla, karela to brinjal, sun-dried tomato to green chilly. Chapathis, tomato chutney, mutton curry, lemon rice and to finally end with two scoops of yummy ice-cream. By the end of the lip-smacking meal, getting up from the chair needed much effort. While it started to drizzle lightly, we drove back to the city where bid adieu to my newly made friends and back home to show off my successful attempt in making a clay pot. Visit to the temple easily being highlight of the entire day.

Some gyaan (info)
Nandi Hills or Nandidurg is an ancient hill fortress 4,851 ft (1,479 m) above sea level and approximately 60 km from the city of Bangalore. The Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple located in the Nandi village is one of the oldest temples in Karnataka dating back to the 9th century. Also, did you know that Muddenahalli (close to Nandi village) is the home town of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, the legendary architect of modern Karnataka.

Location…location…location

8 Comments

  • vijayalakshmi Chandrappa
    September 3, 2014 - 4:52 am | Permalink

    Very interesting write up. Felt like I was going along the journey.I will try and one. Eager to read more from you

  • September 3, 2014 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi Pavan, very nice write up reliving that beautiful day. Mine is on the way 🙂

    • pavan
      September 4, 2014 - 12:10 am | Permalink

      Thank you Girija. Waiting to read on your experience as well.

  • leela
    September 4, 2014 - 1:40 am | Permalink

    Yo buddy, relived the moments reading this…

  • Gowri Tiptur
    September 4, 2014 - 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Well written, look forward to read more

  • Raja Gopal
    September 5, 2014 - 1:10 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience, Pavan.

    Nandi Hills has always been my favourite outing destination since 35 years. When I was in college, five of us (popularly known as “Five Men Army”) used to regularly climb the hill, stay over for a few days (and nights) and experience haven on earth! Early mornings were the best when we could really touch and feel the clouds outside our room. It was very serene and beautiful everywhere (not commercialized as you see now).

    Later, after falling in love, me and my girl friend enjoyed romantic bike rides from Bangalore to the top of Nandi Hills frequently for almost three years. Perhaps, those were the best days of my life.

    Recently, last year, we drove up to Nandi Hills to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary….. same heaven, same beauty, same serenity, same chill breeze and the same beautiful girl with me (now my wife). I married her three times, due to circumstances.

    Raj

    • pavan
      September 5, 2014 - 4:22 am | Permalink

      Thank you Mr.Raja Gopal. True that an early morning ride/drive to the hilltop does have its good influence. Also my best wishes to both of you on your wedding anniversary.

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