Any motorcycle rider knows the perils of rain.Especially when it’s pouring down on you while driving through a rain forest, up a mountain, or on a road barely wide enough for one car, but meant to be used as a 2 lane street.

The rain started to pour down on me while I was on my way from Bangalore to Yercaud, a hill station in Tamil Nadu on my Royal Enfield motorcycle.

Yercoud is about 250km from Bangalore and Google maps says it is a 3-hour drive. It took us 6 hours. Google maps has trouble gauging the time it takes to drive a motorcycle in India.

Bangalore to Yercaud Hill Station on a Motorcycle

A good friend from home was passing through Bangalore and we decided that since I have the bike, it would be only fitting to go on a little road trip of sorts. 

The original plan was the beach, but it was quite far and crowded as it was a long weekend here in India, so we opted to get off the beaten track a bit and head for the hills.

The hill station of Yercaud, Tamil Nadu that is.

Leaving Bangalore

Up until now I have talked a lot about how the traffic in Bangalore “isn’t that bad”. I take that all back. It is insane. 

Leaving the city itself is half the battle of getting to Yercaud. Traffic is VERY heavy and dense, and its like everyone is in a race to get to the next stop-light.

Bangalore to Yercaud motorcycle

With my friend on the back of the bike, her bag on the side, and all the necessary electronics I needed for a night away on her back, we braved the mean streets of Bangalore. 

It took some time to get out of the city and onto the Highway heading to Yercaud.

The Highway to Yercaud Hill Station

This is a major Indian highway. I wrote about an experience driving on a highway in India from Mysore to Bangalore, that was a walk in the park compared to this one.

Every driver here is driving as fast as they can. They even tuck in their side mirrors so that they may weave through traffic extra close and extra dangerously. Indian highway drivers are all about living on the edge.

The best way to handle this is to join in. I pushed my little 350 Enfield to its limit, about 90km/h. I weaved through traffic and narrowly squeezed by trucks. 

Bangalore to Yercaud motorcycle

My passenger, who has never been on a motorcycle in India, handled it very well. I don’t think she could sense my nervousness.

After a couple of hours of boring highway driving we veered off to take a back road to Yercaud Hill Station.

The “Shortcut” to Yercaud Hill Station from Bangalore

This is when the rain came, but this is also the most spectacular drive I have done in India.

The road was amazing; fresh smooth pavement with long corners and no traffic. 

Bangalore to Yercaud motorcycle

Everything was lush green and we drove past farmland and through a tunnel of trees.

We rode through small villages; as usual everyone stopped what they were doing to look at us. I don’t think two westerners, one covered in tattoos and the other wearing a bright pink helmet, pass by very often.

An Alien on a Unicycle Driving by

We had entered the Yercaud park area and were about to begin the twisting up hill climb to the small Hill Station village.

Bangalore to Yercaud motorcycle

As I said before, some of these villagers are really star-struck when I fly by on my bike.

As we drove past, one dude on a bike  stopped dead in his tracks and just stared in awe, as if an alien on a unicycle or some other equally unusual thing was passing by.

This all happened in a split second, the man on another bike behind him was equally star-stuck, and while driving and staring at us he crashed into the man who had stopped.

We literally caused an accident, just by passing them.

Now I know how the guy from Magic Mike must feel as he drives around, I am basically him. In both looks and stardom of course.

Riding from Sea-Level to 1500 Meters

After the little collision the road headed straight uphill.

If you are riding a motorcycle from Bangalore to Yercaud hill station in Tamil Nadu, I highly suggest heading in the back way and up this road. It was amazing.

Unfortunately my trusty GoPro ran out of batteries so, I didn’t get any pictures. Words will have to do.

We drove through thick bamboo forests, down a thin well-paved road, steadily going uphill around hairpin switch back turns.

I was heavy on the horn as I know the drivers here have a tendency to blindly overtake other cars around these corners, or just sometimes drive in the wrong lane for no reason. 

Sort of like the craziness of driving in India at night!

We climbed and climbed, and the Enfield chugged and struggled a bit with the altitude. Much like its owner, it prefers the beach it seems.

By now we were soaked and freezing and trying not to let that distract from the remarkable scenery surrounding us.

We rolled into Yercaud and made our way to the bus station, where we were to meet our host.

One Night in Yercaud Hill Station

We met our host and made our way to his guesthouse (basically just his home). It was not what we expected. 

We were freezing cold and wanted nothing more than a hot shower and comfortable bed. We were greeted with neither. 

The couple hosting us were super friendly and overly nice, so it is hard to complain.  I certainly can’t say anything bad about them, but the accommodation was lacking in certain amenities. 

Add to that, there was absolutely nothing going on in Yercaud, so we made the decision that we would leave the next morning back to Bangalore and cut the 3-night trip down to one. 

We slept a bit and froze a bit, and then we were up, packed, and on our way back to Bangalore.

Yercaud Hill Station back to Bangalore 

We woke up, said our goodbyes and got the hell out of there. I was looking forward to the ride back as the ride in was fantastic.

When it comes to driving a motorcycle from Bangalore to Yercaud Hill Station and back, the ride itself is the best part of the journey. 

Bangalore to Yercaud motorcycle

We decided, in an effort to save time, that we would head back to Bangalore on the main highway through the city of Salem

In the end I am not sure if this saved time or not, but the ride from Yercaud Hill Station to the highway was another great experience.

We weaved down 20 hairpin turns from the hill station back to sea level. This was the highlight as once we hit Salem we were back to traffic and crowded highways.

Bangalore to Yercaud motorcycle

I bombed back to Bangalore at top speed, with just a quick chai and banana break. It was a long ride, but I was happy to make it back to my new home here.

Bangalore to Yercaud motorcycle

My friend from home has now gone and I am getting back to business, there’s always a million online ideas floating through my head and the opportunities to make money while travelling are truly endless.

Would you like to learn about these opportunities to make money while travelling? I will soon show some of my secrets.

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If you enjoyed this article and are interested in riding a motorcycle through India, start here with a guide to buying a used Royal Enfield

You may also enjoy an article I wrote about how to live on the beach comfortably for less than $500 a month

6 Responses

  1. Pavan

    Eventful is the word Alex! As far the Google Maps are concerned, I’ve had a similar experience. I set out for Coorg from Bangalore following the maps that led me to a bumpy road which took double the time to reach Coorg. My back still can’t forget that ride;-) You are also right when you talk about the traffic scene in Bangalore. The traffic sense is absolute nonsense. You literally get an experience of playing GTA on the roads of Bangalore. Wish you safe and happy rides in the future;-)
    Pavan recently posted…11 Amazing Facts About India You Probably Didn’t KnowMy Profile

    • Alex

      Hi Pavan,

      Yes the seem to take you to the most “direct route” with out the knowledge of how poor some of the road conditions are haha. Thanks for reading!

  2. Wes

    Another awesome article, Alex! I’m loving reading about your adventures.
    BTW, I definitely am interested in your secrets to making money online!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hannah Logan

    Totally going to play devil’s advocate and say your female friend was the one that caused the car accident. After all, you’ve been riding for nearly a month now without this happening. She’s the new addition!
    Either way, try not to cause too much mayhem on your ride Mr. ‘Magic’ Alex 😉

    • Alex

      haha iv had 2 people on the bike nearly this entire time! the enfield is a strong machine