An enthralling ride to Nandi Hills with first lady owner of Harley in India
Riding Harley Davidson or any other superbike with a jacket and other gears is a rare scene in rural India. What if the ride is to the picturesque Nandi Hills in Karnataka, charming us with its natural beauty? Even though it is most well-known for its viewpoints and its greenery, Nandi Hills is also a popular historical fortress that is home to many temples, monuments and shrines.
Sheeja Mathews from Kottayam is the first woman to own a Harley Davidson in India. When she decided to take a ride to the hills, I was exhilarated to accompany her. It is almost a 2-hour ride from the metro city Bangalore or Bengaluru as we call it now. The superbike catches the attention of the metropolitans and children alike. Commonly, a small crowd is formed around the bike whenever it takes a halt. Travelling to Nandi Hills via road is unweary as it is in good condition compared to the bumpy roads seen in rural India. The mountains and the views of the valley keep us hooked to the place.
We started early in the morning. The ride to the valley in the bone-chilling cold weather was rousing.
Once we reach the valley, we can see the Shree Bhoga Nandishwara Temple. The 9th-century temple in Nandi preserves legacies of five dynasties in medieval India. The temple has braved many battles and seasons but stands in its all might. It has been rebuilt numerous times.
There were few visitors in the temple. The monk at the entrance kept calling us. We moved towards his direction and were stunned to see the giant Nandi idol almost hidden in the mountain.
The sun was rising slowly and we could see the visitors surge. We reached the top, looking at the view in awe and I couldn’t utter a word except for amazing or another word which has the same meaning. Gazing sun from the hills is a unique experience in its own. Monkeys were seen all around waiting to be fed by the visitors. Children were at the helm managing wayside shops, selling tea and other refreshments. It was time for us to return and felt unhappy about it.
While going back, we made a quick halt at a spot which is said to be dangerous just to have another look from above. We comfortably made our way down deciding in our minds to come back soon.
(Original article published in Mathrubhumi Yathra. English translation by Shibu George)