It was early Oct and Gandhi Jayanti happened to fall on Friday. I had 3 days holiday and I planned to go on a long outing. However, not able to zero in to a long outing I settled for one day outing to Hoggenakkal.
Hoggenakkal is located 170km away from Bangalore in Tamilnadu state. The word Hoggenakkal literally means “smoking rocks”. It gets the name because of the water falls producing a smoky effect in rocks. The most convenient way to drive to Hoggenakkal is via Hosur, Krishnagiri, and Dharmapuri on NH7. From Dharmapuri, take right turn which directly takes to Hoggenakkal.
I had already been there a couple of years before and I liked it very much. I didn’t mind revisiting it and taking my wife who was going to Hoggenakkal for the first time.
My one friend Uday Trivedi joined us and we started our journey early at 7:00 AM. Although we planned to leave even earlier, it didn’t happen. We drove towards Hosur road; and under-construction roads and slow moving traffic was ready to welcome us even at 7:30 AM. Drive until Hosur was no different than driving in Bangalore city traffic. However after Hosur the road was quite good as we drove towards Krishnagiri. After Krishnagiri the road was even better and it’s pretty easy to zoom to 120km/hr. The highway is very well maintained and flyovers are constructed wherever it meets village crowd.
On the way to Dharmapuri we stopped at a fuel station which also possesses tea shops. We had tea and breakfast on the fuel station. The fuel station was indeed very wide and open, and gusty wind was blowing our hairs out. We spent some 20 minutes here and then drove towards Dharmapuri. As we entered to Dharmapuri, we could see direction boards to Hoggenakkal; and the right turn is right below the first flyover.
Hoggenakkal which is some 45km away from Dharmapuri has enough wide road for two buses to cross easily. Although patchy at some places, it was overall good road. The road is well shadowed by tamarind tress from both sides. A small stretch on this road is ghat section. We stopped at one wider place in the ghat section to take some photographs of beautiful hill view.
Around noon we reached to Hoggenakkal. Since my wife has packed food from home, we decided to take lunch on boat J
However we had a tough problem to solve before we start our water ride; negotiating with boat owners. Those people give various options like showing one or two waterfalls, boating duration of one or two hours, bathing near water fall (of course not the main giant water fall), and quote price as much as Rs 1600. With my broken Kannada, we managed to settle to Rs 900 (which my friends later told me was too high L)
The boat is round basket shaped called coracle. It is big enough to accommodate 6 persons.
Next comes an interesting part. The coracle has to be carried to water journey starting point which is some 3 km away. For this, the boat owner hired a middle-size luggage carrier tempo and toppled the boat over the tempo which served as the roof for it. While I and my wife took front seats near driver, my friend Uday chose to go behind. He must be happy sitting alone in 8x10 sqft space. However his happiness soon vanished when the driver filled many local women to drop them on the way, and Uday’s space virtually shrunk to 2x2 sqft J
The tempo journey lasted for some 15-20 minutes and we were ready to board coracle in full flowing Kaveri water.
It was around 2:00 PM when we started coracle ride and first thing we decided to do was lunch. The boatman anchored the boat near a tree which was standing tall inside the river near a shore. My wife unpacked the food and turned the boat into dining tableJ. Believe me, having a lunch on top of Kaveri surface with sparkling water around is something priceless.
Then boatman sailed towards the mighty Hoggenakkal falls. Occasionally where water flow is favorable, the boatman spun the coracle at a very fast speed without boat moving further. He spun it like a whirl and it is an unforgettable experience. Unfortunately we can not shoot boat spinning from our boat itself. If you are lucky to have some friends around in other boats, you must shoot it from other boat.
After we reached near Hoggenakkal fall, the boatman anchored the coracle near some rocks. The water surface here has many small protruding rocks and one has to go near the water fall by rock made natural steps. Water fall view is breathtaking as you see the waterfall from top falling it down, unlike to other places where we go to bottom of water fall and see it falling from above. It falls in the wide space between rocks so powerfully that some of water comes up in form of smoke. We took many photographs and spent some 30 minutes there. The waterfall is on the boarder of Karnataka and Tamilnadu state. This view is from Karnataka land and therefore called Karnataka fall. Later you will be shown same water fall from different angle & view, and is called Tamilnadu waterfall J but it’s worth watching from both angles.
Then boatman started sailing again. Hardly 10 minutes later, it started drizzling. Although it was only adding to our fun, we were a little worried if it starts raining heavily. And sitting in a boat with huge water around, it would probably be ridiculous to demand for an umbrella J
Luckily it only drizzled for some time and didn’t drench us much. We moved further where the boatman took us to show the Tamilnadu fall. Here you can find some vendors selling eatable items. If you are fond of fish, you can have a good treat here. We could also see some boys jumping from rocks in Kaveri water for Rs 20. I realized here that cost of living is increasing because when I came here last time, those boys were jumping for Rs 5 J
After taking photographs as much as we could, we stared final stretch of boat journey. The boatman dropped us to the same place from where we hired the tempo.
It was being around 3:30PM and after roaming for sometime in the town we drove back towards Dharmapuri. We were feeling a little exhausted and were in need of refreshment. On the way to Dharmapuri, we spotted a bore-well hand-pump. We stopped there, washed faces and sat down below one tamarind tree. This 15 minute break really worked like an energizer for all of us.
We stopped in Dharmapuri for Uday’s wife to join us as she was traveling back from Salem to Bangalore. She joined us in Dharmapuri and we drove back to Bangalore. We took last break in Hosur to take dinner and by 10:00 PM we were back at home with sweet memories.
Posted by mljangir
at 4:54 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 7 February 2010 12:17 PM EST