The Wordsmith's Blog

Smoking Rocks – Hogenakkal!

Posted on: August 23, 2010

It was on a Thursday when a friend suggested we visit the Hogenakkal falls on Saturday, and soon enough five people including yours truly were ready for the journey. Hogenakkal is about 180 km from Bangalore, and the afore mentioned friend was kind enough to drive the distance. We were supposed to start around 7.00 am, however by the time we got on our way, it was already 7.30 am.

So, here we were – five sleepy, hungry and somewhat excited junta on our way to the Niagara of India! The route was a mix of city roads, NH 7 and SH 17, along with some remote roads inside Hogenakkal village. To see India’s beauty, one really has to go on a drive through these roads. The cities have all the razzmatazz, however its these parts of the country that are breathtaking, if nothing else.

View from the car

Some mountain in the distance - cloud/fog cover below the peak

Although it was a three hour journey, it took us four hours with regular stops for taking pictures, some of the samples shown above. When we reached Hogenakkal, we followed the directions to reach the starting point of the boat ride. (We were to find out later that the actual starting point for purchasing tickets was at another spot)

Something not to be missed at this place is the unique boat rides on the Cauvery river. These boats are saucer shaped, made of hide and bamboo and can seat up to seven people at a time. It takes time to get used to getting in and out of the boats and also to completely trust the boats strength in holding out against strong currents and the weight it was holding. We managed to strike a deal with the boatman for Rs 300 per person for 3 hours. This included a 1.5 hour ride on the boat and 1.5 hours of waiting time while we were at the two waterfalls – one on each side of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The river Cauvery was placid at places and a bit torrid at others; at times we were drifting smoothly and at times the boatman was struggling to keep us on course. We reached the first fall – some confusion over which side of the state we were due to the boatman speaking only Tamil and us only understanding bits and pieces – the Karnataka side. This fall was like a drop to hell! The river plunges into a deep gorge out of nowhere, and the bottom is full of jutting rocks! (See picture below)

The drop to hell!

After taking a few pics from the viewing platform, we decided to go down to the point where you see people sitting in the picture above. It was a phenomenal sight! Water gushing through every nook and corner, cutting the rocks and making way for itself – it was nature’s fury in full flurry!

It was then time for some yummy fried fish along the banks of the river and next stop was the Tamil Nadu falls. There are two major falls at the TN side – the Main Falls and the Cini Falls.  The ride to the TN side was a bit more turbulent than before – add to that the boatman deciding to give the boat a spin as part of the joyride!

On reaching the TN side of the falls, we could immediately make out these are the bigger of the falls as the noise here was louder and even as we walked towards the falls, we could see the force of water blowing up huge spurts of the water. What was in store however, was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. (See pic below)

The Main Falls

All the walking and boating made us hungry and a sumptuous meal at the Tamil Nadu Hotel beckoned us! While at the restaurant, we noticed a few pictures showing a hanging bridge and other places to visit at the falls. Intrigued, we set out to visit the hanging bridge. It was a short 15 minute walk from the restaurant. The Hanging Bridge leads to a walkway to reach the falls, and we could see the falls from the other side now! (For people who do not want to take the boat ride, this is the ideal thing to do)

Falls seen from the other side

And thus it was now time to begin our journey back home. This time we skipped the National Highway and decided to take internal roads and its a lovely route although a tad narrow and you can get stuck behind buses and trucks who go at a snail’s pace! The day ended with dinner at Serengeti (might review it in a later post) at Total Mall, Madivala and wonderful memories of the day that just went by!


1 Response to "Smoking Rocks – Hogenakkal!"

Breathtakingly beautiful and scary!

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