Unlike most of us, my 2020 started extremely well. Had a 6 day trip to Kerala – The God’s Own Country, in the first week of January. And even before the second week of the year ended, my friend NIRAJ planned another one. But, this time a small and one day trip. Hogenakkal falls was the destination planned.
Hogenakkal falls lies in the Dharmapuri district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The word Hogenakkal is formed of two Kannada words hoge and kal. When the water falls on the rocks it appears as if hoge (smoke) is emanating from the top of the kal (rock) because of the force of the water, hence Hogenakkal (smoking rocks). It is also called as Marikottayam by the people of Tamil Nadu. (source – Wiki)
Niraj owns a Suzuki Gixer 150. We estimated a fairly enough time of around 3 hours to reach Hogenakkal falls which is round about 130km from Bengaluru. We left the city by 0900 hours after having a satisfying breakfast. For the majority of the journey, the road is smooth since, it’s a highway. But the later part of the road was worst. And adding to it, the ghat section began. I was the riding the bike during the later half of the journey towards the falls. Considering the road conditions, I couldn’t accelerate beyond 40kmph. Anyhow it’s safe isn’t it, not riding too fast. Finally we reached there around 1230 hours.
It was a Sunday. So, we expected a full house from the crowd. Majority are from Bengaluru and I won’t hesitate to say that majority of them are IT professionals 😛 . An eye catching spot apart from the falls itself is the fish market. A treat to fish lovers, you can either buy the river fish or try the ‘Fish Sambhar’. I guarantee it tastes great seeing the crowd gather at the stalls. I do not know fortunately or unfortunately but, I’m a vegetarian. And sadly, vegetarians do not have too many options for food nearby.
Let’s come back to the main topic, the falls. This falls on the Kaveri river. The best time to visit is during late winter and summer season. During these times the force of water is not strong enough and you can enjoy the boating. The best source of income for the tourism board is through the boat operators.
These coracles are made of bamboo, and with all materials available takes about a day to build. The bottom of the boats are made waterproof by the use of hides, but sometimes with sheets of plastic. These boats are steered and propelled using a single paddle, making them unique. The coracles are locally called parisal in Tamil and teppa or harigolu in Kannada. (source – Wiki)
We had to wait a while for our turn. The ride to and fro from the falls was charged INR 300 per person and maximum of 5 members are allowed in a single coracle (excluding the operator). It’s pretty safe considering they provide the life jacket and won’t allow to enjoy the ride without wearing one. There is a small passage through the rocks which leads to the falls. The name of the falls is literally derived as the smoke created by the force of water falling onto the rocks. (Smoking Rocks – Hogenakkal). The view of the falls is exquisite. The boat operator won’t take you too close to the falls but enough close It is clearly advised not to jump or even stand around the coracle to avoid toppling. The boating usually lasts for about 45 minutes. The destination is a one time must visit.
Was indeed a lot of fun riding the bike. Would like to thank Niraj for planning and getting the bike. But, this fun was short filled and within a span of month the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. No one saw this coming.
Glad I’m still alive in this pandemic and able to quote this blog. Peace!!! 😛
PS: Do not ever miss any opportunity to enjoy your life. Never ever turn your back on your hobbies or your passion. Each and every experience in life matters in the long run. And by saying long, we never know what lies ahead and how long. Life is too short. Live it to the fullest!!!…