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Escapade to the Eastern Ghats - The 1000 km Ride

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  • Escapade to the Eastern Ghats - The 1000 km Ride

    Prologue


    The discussions had been hot for the past few days on the next trip. Even after meetings at CCD and online chats, we had not yet selected a destination for the next trip. Also, there was still a question as to how many would join the trip. All of us had our obligations, related to family or job, but the starry eyes told the story that they dreamt of. In wake of the recent political bandhs, there were uncertainties if there would be any trip at all.

    We had two options: traveling within the state northwards and go into the wilderness of Keonjhar, or taking the Golden Quadrilateral road south to the beach city of Vizag. The state-wide bandhs and the lure of traveling on the beautiful beach roads were too much, and we finalized upon Vizag. The planned date for starting on the trip was 25th of December, when all of us were on holidays. But even ten days ahead of the date of the journey, many of us were not sure and no plans were in place.

    Come 13th December, I did a small trip alone and that acted as a stimulant to awake the riding beast. I decided to go on the big trip, come what may. The next meeting, we did a headcount of people who were in for the trip. A decent six riders, with two maybes was fair enough. Others had some personal commitments to attend to. Next, we started on the real preparation part. Mails flew around the group with the list of things and tools to take, along with some tips from the more experienced tourers on the net. People who heard of the trip were cynical, even mocking, trying to reason with us against the idea of the trip. In our case, passion was way ahead of reason and there was no one who could change our minds, not even warnings from parents.

    On December 24th, we had one last meeting and ticked off against a list of things each one of us was supposed to bring. Bikes had undergone the examination of the mechanics and the needful was done. The hotel had been booked, thanks to the effort of Soumya and Harish. All bags were to be packed at the night of 24th.

    The stage was set for the big ride.


    Last edited by diffuser911; 01-03-2009, 10:50 AM. Reason: Teaser added!
    The Leh Experience!!
    My '08 Suzuki GSX650F

    Escapade to the Eastern Ghats
    Orissa 1302
    My BlackBull - Bullet Electra 5S

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  • #2
    Topic Approved.
    :)

    Comment


    • #3
      nice nice .. a teaser pic would have been good ..
      waiting for the ride
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      • #4
        The touring section is flooding. It is raining tourers everywhere.

        No teaser Pic??
        HH Karizma (Current) || CBF Stunner PGM-FI || Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler
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        Two ZMAs, 9 Days in Western Ghats

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        • #5
          Wow...Again a trip from you guys!!It seems that you guys are on a roll.

          Expecting great line-up of pics!!

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          • #6
            Very good prologue.I'm hooked to read more.

            @ravi-Yes it is.
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            My photography page: Gourab Das Photography

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            • #7
              everyone with an itch of touring is doing it....gr8 brng it on !!
              "BiKiNg in INDIA is like JOGGING in IRAQ ,something may HIT YOU"
              --rpmboy


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              • #8
                @sam and ravi: was waiting for pics to be approved...coming up with some

                @chicane: this was was long in a wait...but yes, we do have many more in near future

                @MG and rpmboy: keep watching...it's four days of fun clubbed together
                The Leh Experience!!
                My '08 Suzuki GSX650F

                Escapade to the Eastern Ghats
                Orissa 1302
                My BlackBull - Bullet Electra 5S

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                • #9
                  The Men and The Machines

                  Pramir on his P180


                  Ranjan on his P150


                  Somnath
                  on his Platina


                  Soumya
                  on his P200


                  Me on my CBZ*
                  Last edited by diffuser911; 01-03-2009, 10:53 AM. Reason: Got approved!
                  The Leh Experience!!
                  My '08 Suzuki GSX650F

                  Escapade to the Eastern Ghats
                  Orissa 1302
                  My BlackBull - Bullet Electra 5S

                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We are waiting,dude!!

                    Btw, At present i am in Bhubaneswar.Do let me know when we could meet up!!

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                    • #11
                      ^ Sirji, gimmie your cell number. I'll call up sometime in the weekend.
                      The Leh Experience!!
                      My '08 Suzuki GSX650F

                      Escapade to the Eastern Ghats
                      Orissa 1302
                      My BlackBull - Bullet Electra 5S

                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        waiting for the rest.and waiting for more pic also.
                        NABENDU BASU

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                        • #13
                          Nice prolog and teaser. Waiting for the log and pix
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                          The truth is out there. Get out of ur couch!!!
                          'My Escapades - The Blog'

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                          • #14
                            Day 1: D-Day

                            Started at: 4:30 AM
                            Trip-meter reading: 30 km

                            I had hardly slept for a few hours when I woke up to Soumya’s call at 3 AM. He told me that Pramir’s cell was not reachable and asked me to try waking him up. I was up on my feet in a second and tried calling Pramir a couple of times, before calling Somnath and informing him of the urgency. When finally I was able to reach Pramir, he was on his way back from Cuttack, trying to wake up early by not sleeping at all. On hearing that, I hastily dressed up for the cold, prayed to the God for a safe journey and started off towards Jaidev Vihar. Soumya reached there in a few minutes at 4:15 AM, and soon Somnath and Pramir joined us. After giving them a printed page containing the contact details and other information about all the riders, we waited for Ranjan to arrive. Ranjan arrived with his bag on his back, and we helped him tie it down to his pillion seat using bungee ropes. Finally, we were on road by 4:30 AM. However, we had to a take a stop at Khandagiri Square, as Ranjan came honking his horn and turning his left indicator. His bulging bag was dangling from the bike, so we fixed the problem with another bungee rope. After that, we maintained a constant speed in the chilly morning. Although the traffic was sparse, we maintained a low speed of 50-60 kmph to avoid any mishaps in the dark. At the break of dawn, we had touched Balugaon and took a stop to have some refreshing tea at a roadside shop. Pramir got busy in a call from his parents and asked us to move along. Knowing that the devil on the red Pulsar would catch up soon, the party of four moved into the ghats near Chilika Lake. There was a really bad patch of road that had the potential to damage the suspension of the best trucks in the country, hence we hit the dirt track alongside and managed to avoid any damage. On the way, I got a call from Pramir, who said that he couldn’t come with us any further as he had received a VERY strict warning from his dad about going ahead on the trip. We were very disappointed at the news, but decided to move on with the group size left. Suddenly, I remembered that Pramir used to crack jokes earlier and sincerely hoped that this too was such a joke. But it wasn’t. Still, the big guy decided to defy some authority and join us anywayJ. When I saw the red P180 in my rear-view mirror, I couldn’t have been happier. We rode along for some time and chatted, before speeding away on the road.


                            Sunrise near Balugaon


                            An overbridge


                            NH 5

                            The wide NH had already transformed into a two-lane road before we realized, but still it was manageable. After we touched Chatrapur, we stopped at a road side temple to offer our prayers. Pramir, whose house was in the town, said that all vehicles passing this route take the blessings of the Goddess. After that, the roads seemed to go from bad to worse, as the two lanes were filled with small cracks and patches, making riding a painful affair. Driving fast was not an option, as at places, there was a sudden diversion to direct all traffic on a single side of the NH; the other side of the road was still under construction since ages. Entering Berhampur, we felt the need for food and settled at the first hotel we could spot after crossing the city. As I had spent my college years in the city, I knew for sure the hotel had come up in the last one-and-a-half years. I asked the owner to confirm and had some general talk with him about the road conditions ahead. After feasting on poories and idlis, we headed towards Orissa-AP border. I crossed my college soon and found a couple of buildings that had popped up recently. The highway was in a state of disrepair there too. When we came up to the border town Icchapuram a few kilometers ahead, we found a line of trucks waiting to pass and overtook them at cautiously. The road was so bad it looked like sea waves at low tide. After much controlled handling, we passed the bad patch and emerged to find a large statue of Lord Hanuman behind us and board welcoming us to Pradesh ahead.


                            Rural landscape


                            Ground rules


                            Kicking off clicking session


                            Brothers in Biking


                            The super-smooth NH


                            Palur Hills


                            Lord Hanuman near Icchapuram

                            Moving out of Icchapuram and back into the NH-5 was a pleasant surprise. After a long time, we were seeing a straight, four-lane highway that was tempting enough to rev the bikes up to the red-line. A squeal of joy and I was already ahead of the rest of the pack. Revving harder still, Pramir and Soumya crossed me at a whopping 100+ kmph. I was doing a tad slower at 80-95 kmph for the next half hour, while Ranjan and Somnath chose to laze around and take it easy. The Platina had been a pleasure so far, against what most people warned Somnath of. He was happily cruising at 60-70, sometimes touching 80 kmph on the cool silver-black steed. After the first stop for everyone else to catch up, we decided to meet every 50 km, thus allowing the riders to move at their own pace. Not a smart move, but the roads were too beautiful and we didn’t want to be tied down by others. After the first few stops, we saw Pramir had stopped at a petrol pump gumti and was sipping some RS with Sprite!! We took a brief stop, where Somnath gulped down a Hayward’s. Ranjan passed by us without stopping, even after much jumping and waving by three of us. After we were back on road, the next major stop was supposed to be Srikakulam. I, meanwhile, took a couple of stops to snap a few snaps from my brand new Sony Ericsson K790i Cybershot cell. At Srikakulam, I found Soumya and Pramir waiting at the split in highway near the city. After some wait, Somnath and Ranjan joined us and we started out food-hunting. A pretty decent dhaba, called Dolphin Dhaba, was the joint we found the nearest from the highway. After stuffing lots of delicious, spicy Andhra food, we were feeling bloated and sleepy.


                            A train crossing near NH


                            Lined up


                            Somnath Posing


                            A macro by Soumya


                            Pramir took this at a 110 kmph!!


                            Some river on the way


                            Nice formation of clouds


                            Entering Srikakulam


                            Finding solace


                            Where's the Egg Bhujiya I ordered??


                            Dolphin Dhaba

                            Moving back to the highway, we all were affected by a dangerous condition: sleep, or rater, the lack of it. Still, cruising at 70-80 kmph, I was driving along with Soumya, while Pramir was long gone. The others were not too far behind. After some time, we found a road jam and discovered that a state transport bus with shattered headlamps and an angry crowd pulling down a truck driver from his cabin. Guessing what had happened, and in no condition to help the poor fellow, we moved ahead on the road. We stopped after sometime and waited for the P150 and Platina to join. We had also completed the next 50 km leg of the journey. Pramir was nowhere to be seen, and the jam we faced earlier had forced the highway traffic to move to one side. While waiting for others to catch up, I called up Pramir to get a fix on his location. From what I understood on the call, he had felt sleepy and moved along without realizing that he had crossed the meeting point, and had a small accident with an auto rickshaw on the way. Soumya asked me to go on while he stood the spot for the two other guys. I found Pramir almost at the border of Vizag, 20 km ahead for where we had stopped, sitting at a gumti. He told how he was woken up suddenly by an auto rickshaw waala, whose cabin his P180’s front had intruded, while he was in a sweet slumber at God-knows-what speeds!! The auto waala gave him a light push, waking him up. Pramir, deciding to return the favor, pushed the driver and sped offJ.


                            Pramir's bike stickered up

                            After others had joined, we carried on towards Vizag, more specifically, towards the Beach Road. A detour after the bridge over Gostani River took us through some village, finally ushering us into the beach road. That was the moment of bliss for the group, which had been riding for so long without a sign of the seas. Now, we were actually riding along it! The roads initially were not too good, and then we turned back into the village. Passing through Bhimili, we failed to identify the Dutch graveyard that houses some old structures. The road continued alongside the coast, hiding the view with trees. We also passed the INS Kalinga on the right, the left of the road having a high wall of sand hiding the sea from view. The point where we got the next clear view was a bridge, on the left of which was a lagoon-like body, joining the sea at a distance. We stopped at the bridge upon seeing a foreigner tourist coming out of an auto and snapping some pics on the right. Seeing the sun setting behind a hill, we all got down automatically and started clicking away. Moving on, we saw the beautiful sights on the road, beaches, bungalows, hills, and what not, and swore that we would be back the very next morning. We passed the major landmarks RamaNaidu Film Studio, Kailasagiri, VUDA Park, Kali Temple and Submarine Museum.


                            Sun setting on the Beach Road


                            At 15x zoom


                            Sun setting behind a hill


                            At the bridge


                            The lagoon

                            Now that it was getting dark and we were feeling worn out by the ride, we decided to look for the hotel to crash in, before anything. A small printed map from Google Maps provided some details, but not enough to find the hotel. After asking around, including a long chat with two drunken auto walas, we got to the hotel and checked in. The very first question we faced there was: when do we pay the balance amount? This irritated us so much that we decided to delay the payment for as long as possible. After we unloaded at the rooms, we tried not to lie on the beds, lest we fell asleep. Soumya had already decided to go back to Kailasagiri to take night shots of the city, so we decided to get fresh within the next hour and then take off. Ranjan was not in the mood, and Somnath and I were weary of driving, so we took only two bikes. Navigating through the city traffic, I tried hard to memorize the route to Beach Road. Pramir tried to procure some tickets for Ghajini in the Jagdamba Theater, but the language problem hampered his attempts to negotiate the prices. Moving on to the Beach Road and down it, we entered the road to Kailasagiri and paid up entry fees. The climb onwards was awesome, reminding us of Kapilash. Occasionally, we spotted a couple on the wall flanking the road, sitting in the dark and looking away at the city (where’s the BLINK smiley when you need oneL). We parked the bikes at the top and looked at the enticing white dome, which had caught our attention from the road below. It was glowing like the moon, flooded in white light and only partly visible from the Beach Road. Soumya headed over to a sitting area that was giving a clear view of the city lights and started setting up the tripod, while we lazed around for sometime and snapped pics on the toy train tracks, before going on a search for food. Finding a Vishakha dairy outlet, we settled for a box of milk cakes. The cakes were so sweet that they can give you diabetes after eating a full box by yourself. Going back to where Soumya was, I was beginning to have a headache and hoped to get back to the room soon. While the others went up to the big statues of Shiv Parvati, I sat on the steps trying to beat down my headache with punches on my forehead. Soon, after the shoot was over, we went forth to a big statue of a snail and took some more pics, some with Somnath climbing atop a jungle-gym. After that, we headed back to the rides and climbed down the hills cautiously up to the Beach Road, stopping once to take a few more snaps. The Tenneti Park at the foot of the hill looked too beautiful at night.


                            The Sorcerer's Ball


                            Soumya in action


                            And the eye-popping result


                            The toy train


                            JAWS!!!


                            The Lord of the Hill


                            Snail's pace


                            I own you, city!!


                            Another shot, coming down the hill

                            Getting back to the room would have been a quick affair, had we not had the urge to take some grub for dinner from the famed Alpha hotel, known for its Hyderabadi Biryanis. After a long wait, we were able to grab the parcel and ran off to the rooms. While we prepared to have the food in paper plates ordered from downstairs, Pramir ran off to get a small stroll in the city. We had ordered four servings of biryani for four guys, and boy, we were so wrong! One plate was more enough for two guys and Ranjan was having a vegetarian dinner. Trying hard not to burst open, we tried consuming as much as possible, but the quantity was too much. Personally, I didn’t find the taste so great, finding lumps of spices in the rice. After the ordeal was over, we decided to retire for the night and try waking up early for the big day. I took a Crocin and went off to sleep on the mattress on the floor; Pramir was still out with the other room keys, so Soumya dozed off in our room on a sofa.

                            Finished at: 5:30 PM
                            Trip-meter reading: 455 km (my bike) + 20 km on Soumya’s and Pramir’s
                            Last edited by MG; 01-15-2009, 10:15 AM. Reason: Aligning pics
                            The Leh Experience!!
                            My '08 Suzuki GSX650F

                            Escapade to the Eastern Ghats
                            Orissa 1302
                            My BlackBull - Bullet Electra 5S

                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Nice Write up bro . Cool picks too . Keep enjoying ..

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