EnfieldMotorcycles.in is the blog for all Royal Enfield enthusiast where we live, breathe, and eat Royal Enfield Bullet . We not only keep you informed of the news about Royal Enfield originals, but also give custom bikes and historical bikes a lot of attention. You can also find with us the best Enfield related movies and crazy stunts etc. We are testing and reviewing new models of which a complete relief will be shown on our site. Finally, we have technical tips, for example, how to properly get engine through the winter.
  • Read more
  • classic 500 review

    A comprehensive Road test done by Zigwheels

    Cleaning your Royal Enfield

    article about cleaning and maintaining your royal enfield

    EFI Made Easy

    Everything you need to know to take care of the new EFI system

    Royal Enfield Bullet-The Indian Cult ?

    Royal Enfield Bullet-The Indian Cult ? Find out !!

    IF India hasn't shown you 10 remarkable things before lunch, you must be having a lie-in.

    To savour its cornucopia of wonders and oddities, I decide on a road trip, a drive across the country from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, from Cochin to Pondicherry.

    The route will take me through the heartlands of the south, of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, that part of the subcontinent, some would say, that is most purely Indian. I have a week and want to see how many startling contrasts I can pack into seven days.

    Most road trips in India involve the commodious back seat of a comfy airconditioned Ambassador and a solicitous driver. I feel it is time to break out. March being a season of fine weather, and I being a man of little sense, I decide I will travel by motorcycle, in particular the august Royal Enfield Bullet, an old British model of the 1950s, still manufactured and much loved in India

    Before setting off I stroll across the parade ground in Fort Cochin to the Church of St Francis. Built by the Portuguese sometime in the early 1500s, it is the oldest European church in India; its title deeds are written on a palm leaf. The scent of blossoms and the sound of cricketers drift in through the open windows past the wheezing of the pump organ and a robust rendition of Rock of Ages drifting out. In a moment of silent prayer I relay to the Almighty how grateful I would be if he felt able to prevent any close encounters with holy cows.

    The first hurdle is finding the outskirts of Kochi. It is a smallish Indian city, a market town really, with a mere 1.5 million people.

    I spend a couple of hours getting lost, while dodging rickshaws and chickens, before I spot a bus going to Alappuzha (vaguely my direction) and follow it to the coastal highway.

    Later, at a crossroads, an elderly gentleman in command of two loose teeth, waggles his head inconclusively and I turn inland, following back roads into the backwaters, a waterworld of islands and low tongues of lands. Humpbacked bridges take me over waterways where men pole low canoes past laundry women pounding canalside rocks with other people's shirts. I stay the night at a resort on an island that seems to float on water hyacinths.

    The next day the Western Ghats loom. The road begins to curve and climb, the air is suddenly weighted with new scents: cardamom, cinnamon and the faint aroma of tea. The palm trees fall away, and the landscape is re-dressed, first with rubber and teak plantations, then with the velvety green of tea bushes.

    In Ponkunnam I find the Hindu faithful in a state of religious frenzy. Processions of musicians and dancers are converging on a gaudy temple. Bare-chested drummers pound furious rhythms, temple trumpets blare, cymbals crash, dancers work themselves into a sweaty trance. Surging crowds press forward to catch a glimpse of the eye of this hurricane: semi-delirious chaps who have pierced their cheeks with metal skewers, a circus trick masquerading as an act of devotion. Bringing up the rear are dusty caparisoned elephants that drop great blocks of dung with an air of supreme disinterest.

    A couple of hours later I am deep in a forest of jack trees, on the veranda of a cottage thatched with elephant grass, listening to the clacking call of a Malabar grey hornbill that has appeared in the canopy above looking like an exile from Jurassic Park. I am on the outskirts of the little-known hill station of Kumily. When I go into town for afternoon tea at a rooftop cafe, the waiter has to stand guard with a broomstick to keep the macaque monkeys from nicking my carrot cake.

    The next morning I coast down the eastern flanks of the Ghats by a series of spectacular hairpins to the hot plains of Tamil Nadu.

    The landscape changes gear again with startling suddenness. In a quarter of a hour I pass from pine forests and waterfalls to palm groves and rice paddies. The land flattens, the road uncoils and I reach breathless speeds of 80km/h on the smooth tarmac surfaces.

    The excitement of Indian roads is the sheer variety of traffic they contain. Belching trucks keel under towering cargoes. Country buses careen like escaped fairground rides, horns blaring, lights flashing. Humble motorcycles bear three generations, a couple of chickens and a sack of flour.

    Tractors pull carts of hay so large they are like moving hillsides. Bee-coloured autorickshaws buzz through shoals of cyclists. Horse carriages, camel wagons, bullock carts, crocodiles of schoolchildren, deaf dogs, sudden road-crossing sheep: all jockey for position.

    And of course there are the cows, whose religious status gives them divine right of way, which they exploit with an air of studied nonchalance. But it would be too easy to exaggerate the anxieties of Indian traffic. The absence of rules or established ideas about right of way may unnerve the novice, but it means drivers take nothing for granted. Indian driving is like India: the only predictable thing is the unpredictable.

    I sail on through green fields, across wide rivers where channels of water weave through sand beds, past almond-coloured ponds where an unspoken segregation is enforced: men and trucks bathe in the morning, women and sheep in the late afternoons. Of all the elements of this landscape -- heat, dust, paddy fields, the brilliant colours of the women's saris -- nothing is as persistent as the flowers, whether in blossoming trees, in thickets around the houses, in roadside shrines or plaited into the women's hair.

    In the labyrinthine passageways of the temple of Madurai, I find Brahmin priests escorting the goddess Meenakshi and her consort to bed for the passionate lovemaking on which the world depends. In the colonial retreat of the Taj Gateway in the Pasumalai hills above the city, I play snooker with a man who claims to be the lost son of the Nizam of Hyderabad. In the remote village of Chettinad, where all the houses are vast mansions built by wealthy merchants three generations ago, I sit late in a marbled courtyard discussing life, politics, cricket and Mandalay with the elderly owner whose grandfather made a fortune in Burmese banking.

    At the temple of Dharsurnam, where the reliefs of dancing girls are sinking into shadow at day's end, the temple's single priest breaks off from chanting to warn me about the cycles of reincarnation and the threat of being tied forever to suffering. Near Kumbakonam, in a forest ashram, tentative deer wander between the cottages like lost souls.

    In Pondicherry, a former French colony in British India, a grid of colonial streets leads me past the Hotel de Ville, the neo-gothic cathedral, and men playing petanque in a dusty square to the sea. In a cafe overlooking the Bay of Bengal, I have a cafe au lait and a madeleine that would have pleased Proust.

    A tall ethereal gentleman sits down at the next table. We fall into conversation. He is a Dutch accountant, and has been in India for a month. I ask why he has come; he is alone and doesn't seem to be on holiday.

    "To find utopia," he replies, without a trace of irony.

    "How is that going for you?" I ask. "Very well," he continues. "There are buses every half an hour."

    He is right. Auroville, a new-age utopian experiment founded by a mysterious figure known as "the Mother", is 10 minutes away. That's India: always unpredictable. A French cafe, a Proustian madeleine and utopia just up the road.

    courtesy : www.theaustralian.com.au

    Related Posts by categories


    Post a Comment

    Show your Love for Royal Enfield !!

    classic 500 review

    A comprehensive Road test done by Zigwheels covering each and every aspect.

    Cleaning your Royal Enfield

    An exhaustive article about cleaning and maintaining your royal enfield !!

    Interesting articles

    Read interesting posts on Royal enfield motorcycles

    Used motorcycles buying tips

    A detailed article on buying Used Royal Enfield a must read..

    EFI Made Easy

    Everything you need to know to take care of the system on your new EFI Royal Enfield in one short article.