Tour of Nilgiris

Tour of Nilgiris

by Arvind S, with Image contributions from Chenthil Mohan, Chethan Ram and Sushruta Nadig

This post was originally written by students and alumnus of Mountaineering club, BMS College of Engineering for SUMMIT Magazine. Illustration and Graphics are copyright of their respective owners.

The Western Ghats is a natural wonder and has the tag of a World Heritage site. A ride through the Ghats is extremely blissful. There are many rides held by cycling enthusiasts and organisations that provide us a chance to relish the serenity of the Ghats. One among them is the ‘Tour of Nilgiris’.

From its inception in 2008 to now becoming one of the largest and most loved bike tours in India, the Tour of Nilgiris (TfN) has grown from strength to strength, attracting many cyclists from different parts of the globe. The tour spans nearly a thousand kilometres, through the three wildlife sanctuaries of Bandipur in Karnataka, Wayanad in Kerala and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu, which come under the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. Its riders get some of the most astounding terrain in South India which test their endurance, temperament and physical and mental limits. The green and clean mountains, with their spectacular scenery and varied flora and fauna, contain some of the greatest biodiversity on the planet and hundreds of species found nowhere else, and often make cyclists embrace their beauty, turning it into a memory to be cherished.

Cycling through tea estates

“The tour for the first time provided me an opportunity to ride a cycle in pristine forests, vast national reserves and huge span of tea and coffee estates besides an incredible team. Last 6 years of association with TfN has been one of the best in my personal life. Today I feel proud to be associated with the organising team of TfN to help hundreds of cyclists fulfil their dreams”, says Badrinath V Sastry, an alumnus of BMSCE. At other times, it turns into a life-changing experience for the cyclists, presenting them with tough challenges, even for the most accomplished bikers. There are also a slew of single day rides that put a cyclist’s skills to test, but the Tour of Nilgiris remains the only multi-day road cycling tour in the nation that attracts the highest calibre of cycling talent. Siva Sai (one of the regular participants of TfN) quoted “This is something that I am proud to be associated with for the last 3 years. This is an unforgettable life-changing experience that everyone who knows how to balance a bicycle, should aspire to try. Life after TfN is never the same. When you push the limits of endurance, pain and focus … you will come out believing you can almost do anything in life.”

“I get goose-bumps when I hear someone talk about TfN”

Deepak Majipatil, another ex-student of BMSCE, is one of the core team members of TfN. “I get goose bumps when I hear someone talk about TfN. A lot of effort has been put into this and our team has spent a lot of time in making it happen. Till date about 500 people have ridden it, most of them from India. We have had participants from 15 countries, some of them being CEOs, chairmen of many reputed companies”. The Charity Riders in TfN have raised Rs.30 lakhs till date, the whole of which is used in development of Tribal Kids across India.

This is part-2 of a 4 part series on Cycling in Bangalore published originally in SUMMIT Magazine-2014 issue under the title - High on Wheels.
This post was originally written by students and alumnus of Mountaineering club, BMS College of Engineering for SUMMIT Magazine. Illustration and Graphics are copyright of their respective owners.

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