Sunday, July 3, 2016

Pearl valley (Muthayala maduvu) and Thattekere - Meet my new beast 02/07/2016

Places: Thattekere and Pearl valley (Muthyala Maduvu)

Distance:  140 km round trip
Type: Lake, water falls, forest
Ideal for: Friends and Family
Bikes: Bajaj Avenger and Karizma
Crew: Mahantesh, Vishwanath, Bhimu and myself

Well the time has come, I would like to introduce you to my new beast. Its been nearly 2 months since I bought new Avenger Street, I couldn't go on trips because of two reasons,
1. Bike was in Run-in period, so I am not supposed to cross 50 kmph and no long rides.
2. It was damn hot, not an ideal time for the bikers and trekkers.

As days rolled temperature had come down and my thirst for the ride had reached its peak. Since bike was still in run-in period I wanted to go for short ride so as to not damage the engine but still enjoy the ride. I was talking with my colleague Mahantesh who was doing back to back trips, we decided to go for a short ride to Thattekere. Mahantesh said will start by 12 in the afternoon, I usually prefer morning rides but it was going to be a new experience so I agreed.

Best of the beast:  Feel * Like * God  

Brief about the places:

Thattekere:  Thattekere lake, situated in elephant corridor of Bannerghatta National Park and it is a birdwatching place. It used to be the best spot for bird watchers, photographers and cyclists but lately the place has been banned for visitors to see.

Pearl Valley a.k.a Muthayala Maduvu:  The place is famous for its waterfall and the beautiful mountain ranges it overlooks. this secluded place makes a fascinating picnic spot.

Saturday afternoon: I left my home at 12 in the afternoon, since Mahantesh and Vishwa were coming from Indiranagar we decided to assemble at silk board. I took route via Banashankari through ring road which was a traffic nightmare, its the reason why early morning rides are the best as you can avoid traffic. Took nearly an hour to reach Silk Board from where Bhimu joined me. Other two guys were waiting after Bommasandra.

The ride: Started navigation to Thattekere, electronic city flyover is considered as racing track for Bangaloreans but I was out of race this time as I was not supposed to ride fast :( Took right turn at Bommasandra, after couple of kilometers we pulled over at bakery where Mahantesh and Vishwa were waiting. It was 1.30 in the afternoon, ideal time for lunch but we weren't hungry so we bought some snacks and soft drinks. Thattekere is just 25 km more, route goes through country side roads. Condition of the road was bad until we crossed Ragihalli. The last 5 km stretch goes through Bannerghatta national park limits, this is the best stretch it reminded me of Mutathi. I had read about many cyclists peddling to Thattekere, now I got reason why?. Finally we took left turn to Thattekere which goes through a small village and leads directly to the Mahadeshwara temple near the lake.

This gate is on the main road on your left, since it was closed we proceeded further and took alternate route
Electric fences, elephant warning signs and big gates welcomes you to the Thattekere lake
Mahadeshwara temple near the lake
Thattekere: There were warning signs about elephants, a big barricade and electric fences. The path left to the temple leads straight to the lake. The place was serene and beautiful, there was another group who were busy in taking photos. The water is clean and unpolluted. Its very rare to see lakes undamaged by the civilization. The lake is surrounded by the trees on other side, "Its a perfect place for photography" I said to myself. 

Panorama view of the lake
We were just about to start the photo session, security came and shooed us away
As I took out my camera and started to take photos a security guard came running and started shouting at us. He asked us to leave as its a restricted area and we are not allowed to enter. He told that its part of the Bannerghatta stretch, wild elephants come here to quench their thirst in morning and evening. He said forest officer would be doing regular rounds, if he see us we will be under trouble for trespassing and breaching the forest area. We had no idea about the ban on visitors, unfortunately none of the blogs had mentioned about it, we had to respect the rules and regulations of the forest department so we left the place. Its really disappointing to see beautiful places like this getting banned :(

Spontaneous plan: Now that the entire plan got ruined we asked security guard about any other attractions nearby. He informed that Muthyala maduvu popularly known as Pearl valley is close. Mahantesh had been to there couple of times before, google guru said its 22 km and should take 45 minutes to reach. It was 3.30 in the afternoon and we were felling hungry, Mahantesh told about the restaurant at peal valley which serves good food. Passing through country side road again we finally reached Anekal from where pearl valley is just  5 km. Pearl valley is called as Muthyala maduvu by the locals so make sure you are using right name when asking for the directions. Stretch to Pearl valley from Anekal was nice and beautiful.

Selfie stop ;)
She's gorgeous isn't she?
1 more kilometer to go
Feel * Like * God
Pearl valley: We reached pearl valley at 4.15 pm, we parked our bikes and proceeded towards the hotel. There are monkeys all around, a lot of moneys to be specific. The restaurant offers splendid view of the valley. It serves good food and alcohol but the service was dead slow. We were running out of time as it would get dark and will be difficult to come out of the valley. 

Pearl valley parking space, you can see the restaurant at the end
Mayur Nisarga restaurant, well I had to pose for it ;)
Toughest thing on earth - waiting for food you ordered
That's the view of pearl valley from the restaurant. You are free to roam around all around the forest
Soon after we finished the lunch we headed towards the falls, around 50 plus stairs leads down to the falls. I knew the falls is just a tiny stream of water flowing from the rocks so I wasn't disappointed after seeing it. The water stream hits the black rock and bounces back, the sunlight shines through the water droplets which looks like a pearl. That's the reason behind the place name - pearl valley. There is a small temple dedicated to lord Shiva, it was closed at the time but I got the information that it will be worshiped every day at morning by the locals. 
We need to walk 50 odd steps to reach the water falls
Raise your hands if you found the falls :P
Look at Bhimu's expression after seeing the massive falls ;)
Temple dedicated to lord shiva near the falls
Temple dedicated to lord Shiva
The real fun begins after this point. There is path which runs deep into the valley, you are free to roam around and explore the place. As we went deep inside it was all new experience to us, I couldn't believe to find a forest so close to the city limits, sure Bannergatta is the closest one but that is doesn't offer freedom like this. We spotted couple of water pounds, there are no wild animals as such, you can sit anywhere you like under the shade and spend peaceful time. We walked for nearly a kilometer, we could go still deep but since it was getting darker it would be difficult to return back so we left after taking couple of shots. Though the trail seems easy many people get lost in the valley and finding way back might become difficult, so make sure you remember the cardinal directions.

Walking into the valley
Broken trees and dense forest \../ 
Some water streams here and there
Foot trail is everywhere, make sure you can make a way back to the starting point
Dense forest and pounds at regular interval 
Lets explore the water bodies, hoping to find some animals here :P

Ek selfie to banti hai

Swimming:
 There is small lake just opposite to the parking area. Locals were swimming, our group jumped into the water in no time. I get dozy if I get into water so I stayed away from getting wet. The pound is clean and safe to swim. It was almost the sunset time, while others were busy playing in water I grabbed my camera and sat on a nice spot to capture the Sunset. We captured couple of more shots, Bhimu and I were busy with the photos, Mahantesh and Vishwa started riding back.


small lake near the pearl valley
Here's our group ready to dive in
I've put this photo just on Bhimu's request :D :D
Freshen up 
Blood in tank, fuel in veins

Ride back:
After taking some more photos we left too. It was already dark, after reaching Anekal I started navigation. The route was quite simple and good, we took the Hosur route which joins the national highway. I cruised at 50 kmph for another hour and finally met other two who were waiting for us near A2B. We said good bye, we had hot cup of tea and cruised along the fly over. Bhimu got down at silk board from where he had plan to go to his friends home. I drove back to my room, again I had to pass through heavy traffic.


Conclusion: It was a day well spent, the first part was a sad but soon covered by the awesome pearl valley \../

Thanks to Mahantesh for guiding us through the peal valley else I would have never visited it.


Important notes:
1. Now that you know Thatterkere is banned don't think of visiting it, you will be either wasting time or will be under trouble if forest officer catches you.
2. If navigating to Pearl valley make sure you search it as Muthyala Maduvu on maps, pearl valley doesn't show up.
3. I didn't like restaurant at pearl valley serving alcohol, I heard drunken people passing comments on girls. Its a nice place to drink but just make sure you cause trouble to others.
4. Walking deep into pearl valley might be thrilling but make sure you find your way back, make sure you remember the cardinal directions. You might get lost if it gets dark.
5. Lake near the parking area is safe for swimming but make sure you don't swim deep, also please don't pollute water by using soaps and throwing garbage.


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