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The bustling sounds of the city drown away as your mind wanders off to a distant place. All you see is verdant hills and hear the rhythmic splurges of some stream. You feel the cool breeze brush your face as you take in the perfumed scent of wet grass.

A bike trip like no other. Venture into the heart of The Western Ghats.

Make your daydreams come true. Grab your helmet and backpack and venture into the Great Escarpment of India! There is no greater joy than to be among nature's true beauty and the Benevolent Mountains is your calling.
Why The Western Ghats?
If you crave to be surrounded in evergreen forests, or marvel at the beauty of wonderful waterfalls, or simply want to be adventurous by mountain-biking on the meandering roads, then this is the place to fulfil all these quests!

The Western Ghats, also known as Sayadri, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The districts residing there are popular destinations for many tourists yet, has many unknown wonders to be discovered.
Where to go?
Here is a custom-made travel route suggested for you to take to quench the wanderlust in you:
Madikeri-Dharmastala-Thirthahalli-Shivamogga:
Total Average Distance: 350 km
Total Average Travel Time: 7.5 hours

From one hill station to another, you may think there isn't much you haven't already seen in these locations, but that isn't true. This route is chosen for you because it literally cuts through the Western Ghats, ensuring you are always engulfed with majestic rainforests and picturesque landscapes.

Starting your bike journey at Coorg, you can reach here from Bangalore or Mysore via NH 275 or NH75. Don't own a motorbike? Don't worry, you can always hire a bike.




Abbey Falls, Coorg
Abbey Falls, Coorg

-Madikeri to Dharmastala:
Taking approximately 3 hours(120-140 km), your first destination takes you to the thick rainforests of Karnataka. Madikeri/Coorg is a lovely hill station dotting with the aromatic coffee plantations and panoramic views, however Galibeedu is a must see place nearby. It's a quaint village that has expectional trekking routes and comfortable cottages to stay in. You can find affordable hotels or StayIns [Here] .

On the way to Dharmastala one can check out the Banta Male Reserve, a thick, untouched forest region that will take your breath away. To get here, take the NH 275-Elimale Aranthodu Road to Elimale, then Jalsoor Subramanya Road (Bandadka-Bengaluru Road). If you decide to stay for the night, you can check out the range of hotels available nearby [Here] .
The Kumaradhara river also comes in the way of this route. A sacred river to the locals, it's a great place to pit-stop & cleanse the spiritual side in you.

-Dharmastala to Thirthahalli:
Your second stage of journey is filled with much more picturesque places and serene environment as we enter the heart of the 'Rice Bowl' of Karnataka.

First thing to check out through SH 37 route would be the Kudremukh Mountain range, that has one of the highest peaks of The Western Ghats in Karnataka. Conquer these mountains with cruiser bikes, such as the Royal Enfield Himalayan or the Classic 350.

Road to Kudremukha Peak

Road to Kudremukha Peak

At the cusp of the Ghats, it is every die-hard mountain-biker's dream to scale this beauty! There are a lot of off-map roads and rustic paths, so be sure to carry essentials and ask locals around for the best way to the top. [Here] is a clip of some daring bikers taking on the mountain!

If mountain-biking is too perilous for you, then that's no problem. Just a little ahead on the same road, is Karkala, home to a 16th Century Jain temple called Chaturmukha Basadi. This symmetrical granite temple will surely leave you mesmerised.

Chaturmukha Basadi

Chaturmukha Basadi

If you decided to turn to NH 73, then Kuppalli deserves a special mention as it is the birthplace of renowned Kannada playwright and poet, 'Kuvempu'. The town dedicated the poet and his equally famous son by erecting a series of Rock monuments similar looking to the Stonehenge, in The United Kingdom
Kavishaila, the Rock Monuments

Kavishaila, the Rock Monuments

Lastly, how can we forget mention Agumbe, a tourist favourite when touring this region. Sometimes called “Hasiru Honnu”, translating to “green is gold”.


Agumbe is a wonderful place to take your loved ones on motorbikes and engulf yourselves in lush greenery and biodiversity. Just before leaving, be sure to see the sunset at Sunset Point, which overlooks the alluring sunset over the Arabian Sea.

Sunrise from Kundadri Hills

Sunrise from Kundadri Hills

From Agumbe, you can be reach within 1.5 hours on a bike, even less if you're lucky to have minimal traffic!

-Thirthahalli to Shivamogga:Now for the last stage of your journey, it only takes around 1.5 hours,which is 60-65 km to reach Shimoga. However, this doesn't mean you have to shorten your journey!
Cruising around the town of Thirthahalli is a good start. Previously known by tourists as the ‘Snowless Kashmir’ of the South, it is another popular spot in Shimoga and has both natural and cultural diversity.


Jog Falls near Thirthahalli

Jog Falls near Thirthahalli

The curving paths encircling historical sites as old as the Neolithic ages, will make you feel as though you have travelled back in time! Don't miss out on the Kaveladurga Fort and & the famous Tunga Bridge.

Kaveladurga Fort

Kaveladurga Fort

Once you're done touring the town, you might decide to take the highway as everyone else to reach Shimoga, but how about following the Tunga River which runs along the route?
Take the village paths inland such as the Baalaguru Mahishi Road, and feel the breeze on your face while you ride through the countryside; rice-fields on one side, and the splashing sounds of the cascading river on the other. Want to pit-stop and lounge next to the serene riverside?Then check out Gabadi River Edge Resort [Here] to rejuvenate and relax after your long drive.

If you have a passion for photography and bird watching, then you may want to visit the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary [Here] which has a variety of feathered species that migrate here between seasons. Located in a small island between the river, this place is a great picnic spot to take your family and friends.

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

Reaching your final destination Shivamogga in just 40 minutes, you may feel a little sad that now your journey has come to an end. However, don't fret, your adventure isn't over yet! You can check out these other places nearby while staying at Shimoga:
- Tyavarekoppa Lion & tiger Safari (along NH69)
- Mattur Lake (along Mattur road)
- Hulikal Ghat (west of Shivamogga)
- Sagara Taluk

There are several more places one can go visit around Shivamogga, dozens of hidden paths and roads unknown to many, that even google cannot tell you about! So start your engine, take a ride on your bike, or if you don't have one, you can always rent one with us! ;)


Send us your stories and adventures so we can create more customised travel-routes based on your experiences!

- From your favourite Bike Rentals, Royal Brothers.

AUTHOR

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Ramya Korakula
Written by Ramya Korakula — A travel blogger with a passion for adventure and a wanderlust that is never-ending.
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