Bettamugilalam and Panchapalli Dam – A ride through the forest 13/05/2018

Place: Bettamugilalam, Aiyur forest and Panchapalli Dam
Distance: 200 km round trip
Type: Forest, Sightseeing
Ideal for: Friends

It’s not about the destination but the road we take. 

This trip has proved the above quote right. After my Rayakottai trip, I fell in love with the countryside roads in TN. My eyes were eagerly searching for another such destination that’s when I stumbled upon this place on TravelTwosome. After quiet research, I came to know there’s a small village at the destination but the route is very good. I wanted to ride through the forest in this summer so Bettamugilalam was a perfect choice for me.

Best of the beast: The beautiful route through the Bamboo forest

Sunday Morning: Bangalore climate was fluctuating from scorching sun in the afternoon to thunderstorm rain at evening. So we decided to start early and be back to home before 3 pm. The plan went well and we hit the road at 5.30 in the morning. Umesh joined from silk board junction. After a hot cup of tea, we started riding towards Denkanakottai. We took the electronic city flyover. After Hosur, I put on navigation for Denkanakottai which was 26 km away. The single lane road was covered by trees on both the sides. It was a treat to ride on this route.  After crossing dozens of villages, we reached Denkanakottai. It was 7.30 am a perfect time to have breakfast. I read about Saravana Bhavan being the best place for having breakfast on this route.

Saravana Bhavan: My expectation from restaurants in TN went low after my last visit to Rayakottai, so keeping my expectations low I entered this restaurant which looked average in appearance. The menu had only Idli-vada and Pongal for the breakfast. We ordered Idli-Vada and it was very tasty. I realized why this restaurant was recommended by almost everyone on blogs. Tasty lunch was followed by a hot tea and a low bill. Bill was only 200 for 4 despite we ordered extra idli and vada.

Tasty idli-vada at Saravana Bhavan

From here we have two routes:
1. Denkanakottai -> Aiyur forest -> Bettamugilalam -> Panchapalli -> Denkanakottai
2. Denkanakottai ->  Panchapalli -> Bettamugilalam -> Aiyur forest-> Denkanakottai

The first route isn’t recommended as there is a  forest check post just before Aiyur forest who doesn’t allow entry to the forest. So we took the second route.

I started navigation to the Panchapalli Dam. After 30 mins of the ride, the scenery drastically changed. We could see hills at far distances and greenery around us. We stopped our bikes to appreciate the view. The road is very narrow and descending. Dams are usually constructed at a lower altitude so the descent wasn’t surprising for us but the roads were very narrow and allowed only one to pass at a time. Luckily we were on the bike so we didn’t face any problem but if you are in a car then drive carefully.

The route getting prettier as we were nearing Panchapalli Dam


We pulled over bikes to capture the view and few selfies

Panchapalli Dam: As we were nearing the dam the scenery got better. We stopped near the dam bridge to catch a view of the surroundings. Sadly there was very little water in the dam. I bet when the water is full the place would look astonishing as per the image I saw on TravelTwosome blog. After taking a couple of pics we walked closer to the water. There was an abandoned boat which became our studio for the photography. And a submerged idol of god reminded me of the movie Vishwaroopam.


Panoramic view of the Panchapalli Dam.
The dam would look even more gorgeous if the water level is high
Abandoned stone statue of a Hindu God reminded me of the movie Vishwaroopam
crazy group pics are the most memorable ones 😀
Abandoned Boat was a perfect frame for a photo of the day
Rode pulsar 200 NS for the first time. I loved the riding experience
A trip is never incomplete without a crazy stunt like this

We couldn’t spend more time here as there was no shade to sit. It was just 9 in the morning but it got extremely hot. I started navigation to Bettamugilalam. The route from here was even more thrilling than the previous one. After dozens of turns and twists, we started ascending through the hairpin bends. The road wasn’t good (there were no potholes though) which gave the challenge to ride. It was really fun to ride through this stretch especially because of the hairpin bends. Again if you are coming on the car be careful as the roads are very narrow and need very good driving experience. 

Uphill ride with sharp turns gave a thrilling riding experience

After half an hour of the fun ride, we reached the flat ground. Before I could catch a breath I saw the tar road ended and off-road started. I checked maps to reconfirm the route. The terrain was loose and skiddy but the biggest challenge was the inclination. Till now we were ascending but now it was a descent on this off-road path. Negotiating this road was challenging and thrilling at the same time. After nearly 2 km of off-road, we reached Bettamugilalam. It’s just a small village. There’s no viewpoint or anything at this place. Villagers were curiously staring at us. Sure they must be wondering why fools like us have come to see the village from that far.

Off-road riding starts. It was difficult to ride than what is visible in this photo
Bettamugilalam – Final destination of the day

We started riding back to Bangalore taking another route. The road condition from this side to Denkanakottai is amazing. I opened my mobile to start navigation to Denkanakotai but unfortunately, there was no network (on my Jio phone). So villagers helped us with the route. After 2 km we stopped at a small hotel to grab a cup of tea. To my surprise, the tea was amazing and billed only Rs. 5 per tea.

Stopped at this small restaurant for tea
Beautiful clouds and greenery made a perfect composition for the photo

The sky was looking amazing so I took a couple of photos of the bikes which turned out to be the best pic of the entire trip. We resumed the ride. After nearly half an hour later we entered Aiyur forest which is famously known as the bamboo forest. The route was excellent. The bamboos on either side of the road added to the beauty.  The road was looking stunning, I wonder how would it look in monsoon.

Entering Bamboo forest
Stopped at this lovely spot to capture the photo
Taking a swag pic was the hidden reason behind the trip 😀 😀

Semi Eari lake: We encountered the last attraction of the day – Semi Eari lake (not mapped on google maps). We sat there chatting for some time and appreciating the beautiful lake. It is very common to spot the elephants here. But we would have to wait for a very long time patiently till the elephants come here to drink water. We couldn’t afford time at this moment so we made our move to Denkanakottai in half an hour. We crossed by the Aiyur forest check post. The security guard at the checkpoint saw us but didn’t say anything. We drove nonstop till we reached Saravana Bhavan in Denkanakottai.

Small temple near Semi Eri lake

Panoramic view of the Lake
How is my darling looking 😉

Spectacular view of the Nice Road

We had a full meal which not only filled our tummy but also made us dozy. I know eating a full meal while riding isn’t a good idea but there were only meals on the menu. It was just 80 km to home which isn’t that far. After the lunch, we started riding back to Bangalore. By the time we were very near to the home, it started raining heavily. Luckily we had rain gears which saved us from drenching. Everyone reached home at 4 pm.

Conclusion: As I told at the start of this blog, this trip is more about the journey than the destination. If you are looking for an offbeat place to drive your machine then this is the place for you. Go ahead and plan a trip to this place. I can assure you that you will have a smile on your face by the time you complete the ride.

Important points:
1. As told many times in the post this trip is about the journey, not the destination. Keep no expectations from the destination. Enjoy the roads and you will not be disappointed.
2. This route needs good riding skills especially the off-road part between Panchapalli and Bettamugilalam. Don’t attempt this stretch if you are a noob rider.
3. Going in the car may be a bad idea for this trip because you will not be able to enjoy the drive as much you will be able to do on the bike and the routes are really narrow and difficult for the cars.
4. The phone network is available throughout the route except near Bettamugilalam.

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  1. Amazing views of roads, really liked the bamboo forest pictures. I can imagine how beautiful the bike ride would have been. Kudos for sharing such an experience 🙂

  2. Thank you very much smitha ☺️ yes it was awesome route indeed. So when r u visiting. Looking forward to see post about this place soon on your blog 😎