Saturday 29 April 2017 News Updated at 07:04 PM IST
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Thrilling sights along the highway - Deccan Herald
Thrilling sights along the highway
Tejus R S,
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A view of Chunchi waterfalls in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.
The National Highway 209, which connects Bengaluru and Dindigul, covers a length of over 300 km.

For many riders, this road is a paradise. Passing through some of the pristine and untapped areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu creates a sense of elation in the minds of people. One can explore areas which are desert-like, forested or mountainous. The stretch is also known for heritage temples, historical monuments and rivers. Lucky folks could also get a glimpse of some of the wildlife while travelling on this road.

Kickstarting early in the morning and hitting this road is bliss. The first quarter of the stretch, which runs from Bengaluru to Kanakapura, is amazing. It runs parallel to the elephant corridor connecting Bannerghatta and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. There are several places that one can explore here. The Roerich & Devika Rani Estate is one such place. Popularly known as Tataguni estate, it is spread across an area of about 450 acres. The estate, where legendary artists Svetoslav Roerich and Devika Rani once lived, is also known for its plant diversity. One has to take permission from the Forest Department to visit this estate.

A few metres from this place is the school, Rishi Valley. On continuing the journey further, one can reach Pyramid Valley International, an international meditation centre. Packed with positive vibes, the place is a one stop destination for meditation. There are a few good resorts and unexplored lakes along this stretch.

After Pyramid Valley, you reach the town of Kanakapura. From here, about 30 km off Kanakapura road, there is a beautiful place called Sangama. River Arkavati merges with River Cauvery in Sangama, and five km along River Cauvery, you reach Mekedatu where Cauvery flows through a deep and narrow gorge. Both these scenic places are part of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Twenty km from Kanakapura, along NH 209, you’ll reach a small village Sathanur. From here, one can go to Chunchi waterfalls, Muthathi and Bheemeshwari which are also part of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.

Muthathi is a historical and holy place where devotees come from all parts of Karnataka to worship Lord Hanuman. Soligere hills is not far from Muthathi and it hosts a large number of wild animals. Prior permission from the Forest Department is mandatory to visit this place.

Talakadu is another divine place which is desert-like on the banks of River Cauvery. There are many temples here and it is very famous for Panchalinga Darshana, a holy festival, held once in 12 years. This is the best place to get some essence of history and mythology. For complete relaxation and to enjoy nature at its best, Shivanasamudra Falls is a must visit. Shivanasamudra divides the river into twin waterfalls known as Gaganachukki and Bharachukki.

People visit this place throughout the year. It is advisable to take extra care before entering into the waters. After visiting the falls, 10 km along the highway, you’ll reach Kollegal. From here, one can go to Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary and Biligiri Ranganatha Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT). These places are rich in flora and fauna, and are nature lover’s paradise. After crossing the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, you’ll enter the Sathyamangalam Ghats. The views that you get from the mountains are breathtaking.

Travellers should not face any problem with the food as there are some good restaurants on NH 209. Travelling without a plan gives you a lot of flexibility to see more and savour the journey. This can lead to you experiencing exciting and unplanned adventures. To make most of the journey, it is better to start early in the morning.

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