You bought a Versys and you have done two long rides of 4000 km each, the last ride was in January and its already 8 months itching for a same kind of ride.
With the itch missing that pain in the butt I started planning my ride to somewhere which would have good roads and as well some beautiful places to see.
I was just checking my Instagram and a Photo that really stayed with me was the Canyons of Gandikota or also knows Grand Canyon of India, Gandikota.
Next thing that I did was to open the Google map and check out the number of Kms from Hyderabad to Gandikota, it was just 700 km to and fro and I know I wanted to do some more. I chalked out a way through Nalamalla forest reaching Giddalur enjoying the off country roads and twists that Nalamalla forest was to offer. To add to my excitement it showed a Total 967 km on Google map.
Well, the next best thing to excite would be turned in to a Camping trip like Sipping a hot coffee out of your tent on the canyons of Gandikota making it more memorable and bringing in a new experience.
As this was going to be my first time to try to root a tent on the ground, make food and sit back and relax, My bro Kaustubh came to rescue and said I also join.
Where to find a tent on rent- Google has really made our lives very easy, Within minutes I connected to Naresh who quoted me 275 rupees per day for tent and I agreed on even if it sounded expensive because I knew this is an operating cost and not a capital asset to me.(recently learnt these words)
The plan was chalked out by first visiting the Malella thirthum waterfalls which fall underway, then Nemaligundla waterfall by afternoon and reaching Gandikota by evening.
We started with a big goof up, I ordered a Tent, 2 Sleeping bags, Lamp, and two floor mats but the tenting guys just delivered tent, Lamp, and two mats but no sleeping bags, I was in the mind that sleeping bags are necessary and it would be delivered only by 10.30 in the night and we had to start our trip by 4.00 in the morning. It was delivered a late night to Kaustubh and after receiving confirmation from him I went off to sleep by 11.30. I dont like when my sleep is deprived on a day before my ride.
3.00 clock in the morning the alarms went off to start the day with packing all my stuff and I was ready by 3.30 to set up the following things in my bag,
- A pan
- First aid box,
- 2 pairs of clothes
- Towels and toiletries
- Cain lube and clean,
- Puncture kit and air pump
- Rubber Mat
Packed all the above stuff in Giant loop bag supplied by Motousher (http://www.motousher.com/) and I was off to go when I receive a call from Kaustubh that he will not be able to carry the sleeping bags as they are quite big,
We i.e Sahil and Kaustubh had decided to reach the Wells Fargo meeting point by 4.15 in the morning which was now going to get delayed if I had to visit Kaustubh to pack the sleeping bags on my bike and then start off.
I packed all the stuff on the bike and tightened it with bungee cords and pushed off to Kaustubh place at 4.00 AM to pick the sleeping bags.
Reaching Kaustubh place saw him still getting ready and I was sweating inside which made me irritated and I don’t like this last minute change of plans and he knew he if he says any word now I would blast at him. He made sure that everything was done is a wink of an eye and started to our common meeting point at 4.30 AM.
We reset our Odos and started off to meet Sahil at the discussed meeting point and reached there by 4.45 AM
At the meeting point, Sahil observed that the Engine lamp of his Z800 is not going off even after riding. I requested him not to take any risk and if he could to bring his new Yamaha FZ250 to the ride to ensure he enjoys his ride.
Seeing this I and Kaustubh pushed off to the airport and told him we will be waiting at the start of the srisailum highway till he rejoins us with his new Bike.
We reached the end point of Airport road and waited there for 20 min and saw Sahil joining us at 5.50 AM.
With no time more to lose, we started to head our ways to the first point i.emalellathirthum waterfall.
189 km showing from Hyderabad we expected to reach there by 8.30 as targeted previously to reach by 7.00 am. we reached Malella Thirthum by 8.10 which was pretty decent as the roads were nice, no traffic and it was a Nonstop run from the last point that made us reach soon.
To reach this waterfall is by taking left after you ascend the Nalamlla forest hills towards srisailum and when you see a board showing 50 km more to Srisailum is where you have to take left to reach this place. The approaching part to this viewpoint is a 22 km trail road made of soft gravel. The video below gives you an idea of how the road is. Its approx 16 km of trail road to cover and reach this point.
After reaching this point total of 365 steps to be taken down the hill to reach this beautiful waterfall. The Mallela thirthum waterfall is known for its beauty as it lies amidst thick forest and the way it looks. The pictures below will justify the looks.
We had some tomato Bread that we carried with us and a tomato was supplied by the locals there. We really enjoyed it as we were very hungry and the heat was already taking a toll on us. the 365 steps down.
We spent time for about 45 min taking rest and started our way back climbing the not so maintained steps towards our motorcycles. We were exhausted and dehydrated with jackets on us and Sun rising high wet weather becoming from cooler to warmer.
We started our journey to Nemali Gundla waterfalls at 10.00 AM and stopped for chai. We checked the timings and as per our plan, we had to reach Gandilota fort by evening so that we can have some time for cooking and setting up the tent.
We decided to skip Nemali gundla visit and start afresh direct to Gandikota,
Crazy leans, lovely green surrounding, well-marked black tarred roads and the cool breeze is what you get when you pass the Nalamalla forest via Gidaalur towards Gandikota. The roads are just made so good that you would love to redo that stretch and enjoy everything once again.
Gandikota was showing 16 kms and we had reached Jammalmagadu a small town which is the nearest to the Gandikota fort and you can get everything here from wood to food. We collected everything needed and started to gandikota fort.
I had seen in pictures before riding there that the fort is massive and the fort is built around the Gandikota gorge which makes it look more beautiful. While we were entering the Gandikota fort in the evening at 7.00 thoughts were running in my mind that it’s already dark, finding a place for camping going to be tough and we will have to investigate our surrounding meticulously because we do want to be a bait for the creature present there.
We analyzed the surrounding and found a place in the which looked perfect to set our tent and start dinner.
Now, who is going to set up the tent? Now the basics of setting up a tent were required which we did not have, We had this tent laid out in the dark figuring out what these long rods do and where do they go so that the would look like a tent. I hope you guys understand what I am trying to say. We had never set up a tent, We did not know how to do it, We were in pitch dark looking at the tent, trying to figure what should we do and it was a chaos as we were hungry within and minds were tried with tent not showing its shape.
Alas eureka and we get it, we got the Tent to how it would look like when its a fully formed tent by holding it and then we slowly put all the puzzle together to form the tent. aaaah a sigh of relief otherwise we shiting to sleep on the rocks that night with the open sky above us was not a good option with all the insects and rains expected that would help keep awake whole night.
We lit the fire using petrol and had our delicious dinner and went off to sleep, with a loud thunder we all woke up to realize after that it was going to rain and all our gear was lying outside.
We moved major stuff inside the tent and other things are packed in a waterproof bag. Thanks to god I was carrying my Giant loop bag which is completely waterproof.
5.48 Am was the sunrise, the time had come to see the Gandikota gorge in the sunrise, to capture the time-lapse moment of the sunrise and enjoy the beautiful views it had to offer.
Words tend to be less to describe the beauty of it, it’s only when u experience it is when you have the special feeling about it.
With smiles on our faces, we returned to our tents and started packing our stuff on motorcycles.
The Belum Caves is the largest and longest cave system open to the public on the Indian subcontinent, known for its speleothems, such as stalactite and stalagmite formations, underground cave system was formed over the course of tens of thousands of years by the constant flow of underground water.
it’s very humid inside and you tend to sweat a lot inside the caves, so be hydrated before you start your exploration in Belum caves. Guides are free but they will ask you a tip at the end. The guides are locals and they show you all the important locations inside the cave which takes around 2 hours finish looking inside the cave.
guides will show you Indian Bats that are in the cave which is hanging upside down on the walls of the cave. not much of attraction to me though. \
Then started our return journey to home, 370 km of mixed roads till Kurnool and super fast plush roads from Kurnool to Hyderabad. We had our lunch in Kurnool and I started to feel sleepy while riding. I had done approx 50 km slowly and way ahead I could see my bro waiting. He too was feeling sleepy. We chit chatted for 10 min and started, it was 150 km from there and we did that in flat 90 min. second fastest run for us after our Rajasthan ride.
We reached out home safely by 6.30. We got freshened and reached OTM straightway to celebrate this ride with beer.
All the best guys, keep riding and enjoy, be safe.