Motorcycle Ride through the Vineyards and Farms of Rural Chikkaballapur - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Motorcycle Ride through the Vineyards and Farms of Rural Chikkaballapur

Testing Bokeh mode of my pixel phone at a vineyard in rural Chikkaballapur

With mainstream destinations becoming more and more crowded and chaotic, a lot of us are looking are looking at alternate locations for our holidays. We prefer destinations that have lesser traffic, has kept its roots intact, offers authentic local food and that is close to nature. I personally prefer rural holidays, forests, mountains and lots of nature. I don’t run away from civilization per se, but I try to visit places where the people are not trying to mirror the urban way of life.

Clicking the gorgeous Chrysanthemum flower gardens of Rural Karnataka

Last Sunday, I did one such trip through rural Chikkaballapur. At just 100 kilometers from Bangalore, this region is the ideal weekend getaway or day trip from Bangalore. It is best to explore this belt in your own vehicle, though I would recommend a motorcycle or a bicycle over a car to enjoy the narrow village roads that offer a bit of curves and off-roading.

A ride through the agricultural paradise of Rural Chikkaballapur

I was on my motorcycle and so were my friends. We took the Bangalore airport – Hyderabad highway till the detour to Gudibande fort and then we criss-crossed the various village roads from Gudibande to Avalabetta, Kethanahalli waterfalls, Chikkaballapur, Bhoga Nandeeswara temple and all the way to Nandi hills.

Gorgeous Marigold flowers at Rural Chikkaballapur

This entire region is full of vineyards, farms, flower gardens, vegetable gardens and fertile agricultural land that is tucked in between rocky outcrops, hills, lakes, ponds and small hamlets and villages.

Video Note: Watch this video of the rural Chikkaballapur vineyard in 4K for best quality and resolution.

The vineyards are definitely the highlight of a visit here. Not France, Italy, Spain or California, but just an hour away from Namma Bengaluru are kilometers of vineyards. Green grapes are mostly grown in these vineyards. When I was there, the grapes were still pretty unripe, but it was a surreal experience to be standing under millions of grapes hanging from the vines. Most of these vineyards are located by the village roads. While some of them are fenced, a lot of them are free to access. I would however recommend that one do not pluck any of the grapes (however tempting they might be) and simply enjoy the beauty of these vineyards and these gorgeous looking fruits.

Grapes from a vineyard in Rural Chikkaballapur

In addition to the vineyards, you can see lots of color strewn across the entire landscape in the form of flower gardens. Orange Marigolds and roses and chrysanthemum flowers of all colors were the ones I spotted. Not only are these flower gardens a treat for the senses, but they make for great photos. No need to visit fancy Tulip gardens in Europe, we have our own photogenic lane of flowers in our rural India fields. I am sure there are other flowers that are planted here in different seasons.

My Custom Motorcycle posing next to Ragi fields at Rural Chikkaballapur

Then, there are ragi fields and farms where tomato, ridge gourd, pumpkin and other vegetables are planted. There was also a lot of land that was being tilled manually with bullock carts and with tractors. So, I am pretty sure that more vegetables and grains will be planted as the second wave of the monsoon arrives here.

A Vineyard in rural Chikkaballapur

Friendly locals, a supremely quiet environment, panoramic view points and lush nature is what one can find all over this rural Chikkaballapur belt. Do remember to wear a good pair of shoes as this region offers interesting short hikes to the top of forts and hills. The hike might not be too hard or long, but the panoramic vistas are certainly worth it.

Sheep grazing in rural Chikkaballapur

If short hikes and treks are your thing, I would recommend the 17th century Gudibande fort, Avalabetta, Nandi hills, Chandrayana betta and Skandagiri that are located in this region. If you like waterfalls, I would recommend the Kethanahalli waterfalls that is a short drive from Avalabetta and that carries a lot of water, especially during the monsoons. For temple lovers, there is the 9th century Bhoga Nandeeswara Temple at the foot of Nandi hills and the 16th century Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi, a town close to Hindupur, but that comes under the purview of the Andhra Pradesh state.

My Custom Motorcycle at a vineyard in Rural Chikkaballapur, Karnataka

Overall, rural Chikkaballapur offers a hell of a getaway from Bangalore. Its forts, hills, farms, vineyards, villages and temples ensure that there is something for all kinds of travelers. Do give it a visit on your next weekend getaway this monsoon season.

Ragi fields at Rural Chikkaballapur

Possible Routes:
In terms of routes, there are two main ones: One is the 4 lane Hyderabad highway where you can take detours as appropriate. And the second option is to take the old highway from Yelahanka to Doddabalapur and Chikkaballapur via all the villages. You can also opt to take any small village road that you see on the GPS for some additional adventure.

Beautiful Chrysanthemum gardens in Rural Chikkaballapur

Best Season to Visit:
There is no particular season as such, but I find this region a sight for sore eyes, especially after the rains.

Grapes, grapes, all the way at a vineyard in rural Chikkaballapur

Places to Eat:
There are quite a few restaurants on the highway that offer decent food and good quality restrooms. But, if you wish to taste local food, I would recommend trying out any of the tiny restaurants and shacks that you find in the villages.

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