Updated: Aug 15, 2020
This was an instance of dream becoming reality in my life. I always wanted to travel long distance for many days on a motorcycle, exploring some wonderful places and get the unique experience of travel.
It soon became reality, when I got comfortable enough with my new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350cc back in May 2016. I planned it over a week and came up with the itinerary which included Madurai, Rameshwaram, KanyaKumari, Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi, Calicut, Kannur and Madikeri as the places which I want to cover in a circle fashion to form a ring around Southern India.
When I discussed this plan with my friends, Brijesh came up with his thoughts and suggestions and eventually wanted to ride along on this long 7 day bike ride. It was a 2k kms approx ride and no advance bookings of any kind for stay or anything else, so we were really excited about it.
After the journey we realized, what we just went through, and that was just the beginning, we just fell in love with long bike rides and we had numerous more individually which would quench our thirst for travel. It was a big milestone in my life and start of something really special which would change my thinking about life and travel, because when you look closely life with lots of ups and down's isn't much different from a long arduous,yet, fulfilling bike ride with up's and down's.
South Circle -1, Bike Tour Dates:
May 4th - May 8th of 2016.
Bikers: 2 (Ronson and Brijesh Mukre)
Bikes: Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350cc and 500cc.
Total Ride Kms: 1995 kms
Route Taken: Bangalore - Salem - Madurai - Rameshwaram - Thirunelveli - Kanyakumari - Thiruvananthpuram - Kollam - Alappuzha - Kochi - Guruvayur - Kozhikode - Wayanada - Mysore - Bangalore.
Here is the Short Itinerary which we roughly followed during the South Circle-1:
Day 1: Midnight ride from Bangalore to Madurai -- 430 kms approx over 8 hours. Awesome morning breakfast, morning Amman Temple Darshan.
Head to Rameshwaram -- another 180 kms approx over 4 hours. Reached Rameshwaram after filling our eyes with spectacular Pamban Bridge/Island view. Rode till, the Dhanushkodi view point, which then was mud road under construction, after literally fooling the local check point police, that we were from Indian Army and on a nationwide tour and wanted to see the Dhanushakodi beach during the restricted time after 5pm. The sunset is one of the best i have seen, as all 3 sides you can see endless sea closing in on you as high tides coming back.
Day 2: After overnight halt at a lodge in Rameshwaram, we took off to Kanyakumari -- 310 kms approx which took us roughly 6.5 hours. We had an incident where Brijesh lost his 28k smart phone, and we were in James Bond mode, scavenging the CCTV footage for the person who stole that phone but no luck tracking that person with the help of local police even though we had CCTV footage from near by hotel CCTV.
Since then we were doomed as we didnt had backup communication if someone took off ahead.
Day 3: Kanyakumari -- Thiruvananthpuram : 120 kms approx over 3hours.
Traffic became nightmare right from when we entered Kerala state roads, due to Election season as well as bad and shanty roads. We could explore Kovalam beach and Ananthpadmanabh temple that day.
Then we head straight across to Alappuzha (Aleppy) : 140 kms further north from Thiruvananthpuram for the night's halt.
Day 4: Explore Alappuzha boating and head to Kochi : 60kms approx.
Visit the Kochi Naval dock yard, Kochi beach and Jewish center and kochi Fort.
Head to Kozhikode (Calicut) : 210kms over 5hours, and directly went to hotel for night's halt.
Day 5: Here we decided to end our pursuit further north to reach Kasaragod, and instead go back to Bangalore via Wayanad - Mysore route, as it was getting tricky to travel without proper communication option and unnecessary risk. We took the long route back home via Wayanad (no halt). It took us 330 kms over 7 hours of slogging to finally reach back to Bangalore in one piece.
So, Overall, it was amazing experience riding on the roads of 3 states and almost 2000 kms over 5 days over 40 hrs of ride time.
By the time I write this small blog, I also planned and executed South Circle - 2, where I could cover major hill-stations of South India over 5 days of Bike ride.
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