3 girls 3 bikes 1 forest ride
I have been to Srisailam about five times in the last decade. It is always the same routine – pack the whole family in a car or two, zoom down the state highway 5 to Srisailam in 3 hours, find a place to crash
Moving away from the mundane, three girls took to the roads on their bikes to visit the holy land of Srisailam, daring all the stares from fellow commuters all the way through a forest. The rider speaks about how refreshing the trip was
I have been to Srisailam about five times in the last decade. It is always the same routine – pack the whole family in a car or two, zoom down the state highway 5 to Srisailam in 3 hours, find a place to crash, usually one of the Devasthanam satrams, wake up early next morning and get done with the darshan, check out the other ‘attractions’ in the surrounding area and be back in Hyderabad before nightfall. That’s that and it’s over even before it begins.
But this time, it was different. This time, it was three girls, me, Jai Bharathi and Smriti, on three motorcycles, out for a weekend ride through the forest. There was no rush, no hurry and no schedule to keep up with. There was only one goal and that was to ride.
Being a biker has taught me some important life lessons. It is the journey that matters, not the destination. When you are a biker, you deal with a lot of uncertainties. You can make a rough sketch of your plan but never be a stickler for the details because when you are out on the road you have flat tyres, breakdowns; and you are almost never on time. Hence, arriving at the destination becomes far less significant than enjoying the ride itself.
So, equipped with our safety gear, weekend packs, biker’s code of never abandoning a fellow biker, and three motorcycles – a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350, Classic 500 and a Honda CBR 250, three of us from the local chapter of Bikerni club set out from Hyderabad on a Saturday morning to Srisailam. 150 km and 3 hours later, we arrived at the Mannanur forest check post. After lunch, we set out riding again. This is when the ride got exciting.
We had to ride through the thick Nallamala forest for 50 km with nothing to keep us company but the silent trees, an occasional car passing by and 200 odd monkeys lined up along the road for morsels of food. There was a chill in the air as we were protected from the harsh afternoon sun by the shade of the jungle all along the way.
We were put up at the Forest department’s cosy guesthouse at Domalapenta for the night. On the following day we spent a leisurely morning riding through the forest, paying a visit to the famed Srisailam dam and enjoying sumptuous breakfast at a roadside stall. We set out to Hyderabad after lunch and reached before nightfall. Being back in the city with its bustling traffic, packed roads and blaring horns was a rude shock to us after the deafening silence and solitude of the jungle.
As the trip came to a close, we had ridden a distance of 450 km, elicited some suspicious looks, met several people, some curious and some appreciative about our ride and its purpose, made heads turn and raised a few eyebrows. By the end, our bodies were tired but our souls were refreshed, raring to go!