31 October 2009

Aanekal and Pearl Valley Cycling Trip

The IBN (IISc Bikers Network) set off again on Saturday morning, this time in a different direction - to Pearl Valley water fall, near Anekal, southeast of Bangalore.

Route: see map here. From the Madivala junction, the traffic starts to become a bit of a pain. This is Hosur Road (NH7), where construction of the elevated high speed corridor from bangalore to Hosur is in the final stages. However, since the elevated road is not yet open to traffic, we found ourselves rubbing elbows with a motley bunch of early morning travellers. In addition, the road is 4 lanes wide in either direction - two main lanes and two service lanes. The service lanes are fenced off in most places. I observed that vehicles use all four lanes so there was no sense in taking the service road. In fact it is a better idea to ride in the main lanes because
1. The fence prevents people from popping up on the left.
2. There is about 2' of room between the road edge and the fence, which comes in handy at times.

The turnoff for Anekal is one of the first major intersections. This stretch is extremely bad for about 3-4km. Road bikes had to slow to a crawl. To make things worse vehicles of all shapes and sizes are going in all possible directions - so it is essential to keep ones wits. Beyond that one bad stretch, however, the road is smooths, winding among the rolling hills, with gentle slopes and VERY NASTY TRAFFIC. A large part of this (both nasty and otherwise) traffic is BMTC buses (routes 356, 360, 600, etc) which reach as far out as Anekal. Innumerable times the buses forced us off the road. This goes on till Anekal, which, by the way, is a good IVC* point. [IVC = Idli Vada Coffee]

The last stretch, from Anekal to the waterfall site itself, it the best. The road has no traffic whatsoever, barring the occasional tractor. This stretch of about 4km, leads up to the KSTDC restaurant. Steps lead down from the restaurant towards a small 'waterfall' below, which serves as a good resting spot.

On the whole, the lack of good highway IVC joints and bad traffic are serious minuses to an otherwise scenic route.

UPDATE: Added some photos...

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