The weekend of 26th-27th Jan, 34 of us bikers rode to Sri Sailem on 19 bikes. I only decided for joining the trip around 11:30 PM on the Friday evening, and went ahead for filling Petrol and getting a friends' camera, Its was around 1 AM :). We were supposed to gather at the venue (Shoppers' stop) at around 4:30 AM and to leave at 5:00 AM. The idea of sleeping for just around 3 hrs before going for a long ride was pretty scary but, decision was already made :)
Somehow I left for the meeting point at around 4:45 AM from my home. The distance of around 20 KMs for which I had around 15 minutes. I was pretty much wondering if I could catch up the group etc (I had to fill more Petrol on the way too as I didn't get Extra Premium one the previous night ). Somehow I finally reached the spot at around 5:05 or so and to my relief there were only half the ppl there still. We could only finally start by around 6:00 AM.
The distance to Sri Sailem is around 250 KM (actual Milo Meter reading difference) and it started off pretty well with Ram leading the group as he has been there earlier too. After riding for around 4 KM at Panjagutta Circle we had a stop. This was very unexpected. While we pondered why we stopped at that point, someone informed a few bikers already lost the way. Most of us could only LOL on the situation and imagining what lie ahead :D
Then we moved on, Charminar was on the way and it looked amazingly beautiful under the lights. A photo should say more. Soon we were out of city limits and on a good and smooth road. The next major stop was only for breakfast and it came after around 80 KMs of riding.
We ate Poori and Bhaaji and with a cup of tea it was time to start again. The photographers in the group did have a good time clicking photos at various places including those of Sun Rise and the beautiful "Sarsoon ka Kheth" later on.
On the way, there is a famous water fall. By consensus we decided to go for the waterfall before going to Sri Sailem and getting our accommodation reserved. The water fall trip should have definitely taken around 2.5 hr which included driving on the muddy road for 8 KM oneway, then roughly 350 stairs oneway and most important the bath under the cold water fall which only the selected few of us dared to try. It was amazing standing under the water falling from such great height and at such great speed and at such low temperature.
Finally we reached Sri Sailem at around 4 PM. Out of hunger the first thing ppl wanted to have was lunch, while some other took the pain of checking our reservation etc. By the time we came out from the lunch we were in for a big surprise. The accommodation was gone. Yes the guy gave our accommodation to some other ppl as we didn't turn up by 1 PM. SS has only two major lodges. Both were full. While some souls were arranging for accommodation the rest of us had a nice dose on the lawn of the lodge. At last we got an accommodation arrange nearby and we move to that place. For dinner we guys went back 9 KMs away from the place to stay to the Haritha Dhaba which looked like the only dhaba around.
After this hectic day only some of us were determined to go for the Dharshan next morning. The queue was already very long when we reached around 6:30 AM or so. Fortunately they have a concept of "Premium" Dharsan or something where you could pay 100 Rs and stand in a shorted queue. Even that queue took us around next 1 hr to finally get a 2 second glimpse of the Shivling. Then was time for a nice breakfast which we had on a dosa-thela. Amazing dosa and idlis. Then we decided to get the Prasadam. For which you have to stand in another long queue. This queue took another 1 hour overall to get max 4 peices of laddu per head, getting us 20 only, as Ram and Priya went back to wake ppl and Kannan was busy on phone(again:)).
As we were returning back, the group met us on the way and as against earlier decision we were going to see the Famous caves. We took the way through water which took us around 1.5 hrs oneway and 1 hr at the caves. The caves are beautiful, but the 1.5 hr of boat ride in the Sun was not that great. While coming back Zareer and I did get to enjoy waving the legs in the water all through while other got bored sitting monotonously (Jene ? :)
We started back from SS at around 4:30 PM and we knew it was going to be a difficult ride. What we didn't realize was the magnitude. After taking the dinner when we started again at around 10:30 PM, the ride kept getting tougher. It was pretty harsh cold and may be most of us weren't actually prepared for it either. The last 120 KMs would have been covered in around 3 hrs with pretty much a break after every 40 KMs or so, It was funny that some of us kept saying next stop would be at Charminaar :), we already had three charminars before the real one came :D. And yes, the incident regarding one of our stop at some village is worth mentioning. As we parked our bikes and were talking about the ride and work the next day etc., a Jeep came and stopped and one armed guy dressed as a civilian came out. Yes we were pretty scared. I guess everyone was wondering if were seeing the Naxals. Fortunately not, they were police guys. Ram handled the situation and we moved on. We finally reached Hyderabad at around 1:30 AM.
It turned out to be a much more amazing trip then any one of us had imagined. Great thanks to Ricky and Ram for playing the major roles and everyone else for making it a great trip by joining in. Already looking forward to the next long ride.