Past turns perfect in Bisle Ghat

Last Updated 17 January 2018, 20:19 IST

I love riding bikes, maybe because I never feel bored or tired while riding. I started my bike riding journey in 2009 with a Hero Honda Super Splendor which has now given way to a Avenger 220 Cruise. An average speed of  80-90 kilometres and the required safety gear are my riding benchmarks.

Some time back, I chanced upon a meetup of riders to Bisle Ghat in  Sakleshpur. I was in a dilemma as to join this ride or not because I was more comfortable as a solo rider. Finally I decided to go ahead and called Laxmi Narayan alias LN, who was the organizer and founder, and got all the details.    

The meeting point was the Nelamangala-Hassan road junction next day. After a briefing about the timings and rules we were expected to follow, 14 of us set of for our first  destination at 5.30 am  - Manjarabad Fort.  

We had breakfast near Hassan and we reached Manjarabad Fort by 11  am. The fort is located  on the  Bengaluru-Mangaluru highway, 10 km from   Sakaleshpura and 37 km from Hassan. It will be opened on all days from 8  am till 5 pm.  Built by Tipu Sultan in 1792, it is a star-shaped fort and is  unlike other forts in Karnataka as it has an octagonal layout with eight walls.  

The fort was inspected by Tipu Sultan after completion who, when he found it enveloped in fog, named it as 'Manjarabad'. The word 'Manjara' is a corrupted version of 'manju' meaning fog or mist in Kannada. According to history, a tunnel links the fort with the Srirangapatna Fort.

After a short break, we started towards the Bisle Ghat view point.  We reached Bisle Ghat by 2 pm. It is located in the Kukke Subramanya forest range and is at a distance of around 48 km from Manjarabad Fort.

Bisle is a mountain pass connecting Kukke Subramanya with Coorg. The area has thick evergreen forests and the scenery round about the Ghat is enchanting.

The 'Bisle View Point', located near the Ghat and situated at a distance of around 5 Km from Bisle village, offers you the magnificent view of the three mountain ranges – Yenikallu Betta (Hassan district), Doddabetta and Pushpagiri (Kodagu district)  and Kumaraparvatha (Dakshina Kannada district).  

It was my first ride in  a  forest and the waterfalls, the exhilarating air of the hills and the variegated mountain scenery made for a  thrilling experience. The highlight of this point is that the view  of the valley, with the river Giri   separating the point and mountain ranges. The forest department has erected a shelter here to sit and enjoy the view.

There are two routes to reach Bisle Ghat.  One is by taking a diversion from Manjarabad Fort. The other is via Gundya and Kukke Subramanya.

After enjoying the view and clicking some pictures, we  left for Kukke Subramanya for lunch. We had lunch at a hotel located just in front of Kukke Subramanya Temple.

At around 6.30 pm, we stopped for fuel and tea near Gundya. We started back to Bengaluru by 7.15 pm. We reached Hassan by 9 pm, stopped for dinner and again started our return journey by  10 pm and reached Bengaluru late at night, tired but happy. What started off as a  plain ride to see some new places had become the first of many rides with my new biking family. No wonder they say 'No road is too long when you have good company'.

(Published 17 January 2018, 12:04 IST)

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