Though it is not very far from Bangalore, but still I could not make a plan to visit there earlier. Main reason is, I always feel that such places requires precaution and hence needs to be very careful, specially when accompanied with small kids.
During the long weekend of 18/19/20 of August, Vikas had proposed to have a get togeather of families along with Ravindra. After exploring a few options of Nrityagrama (Nelmangala) and Mekedatu, finally we zeroed in to Hogenakkal.
As there were three families so we booked Tempo Traveller and took the road on Sunday morning.
Hogenakkal is about 180 KMs from Bangalore.
The route from Bnagalore is Bangalore - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Dharampuri - Hogenakkal.
The word Hogenakkal is formed of two Kannada words hoge (smoke) and kal (rock), hence Hogenakkal means smoking rocks. It is because of the mist associated with falling waters.
Drive through the excellent Hosur Krishnagiri highway was good. Lord Anshumaan was in full glory but so was the AC of our Tempo Traveller and hence we were quite comfortable.
Hogenakkal is located amidst the Melagiri Hills. From Dharampuri, the route is very beautiful, with hills, greenery and lush vegetation. We also saw many giant idols of dieties along the road side. These are guardian deities of the local villages, known as Aiyanars.
It was also a fun to travel with Vikas and Ravindra and families plus kids. We enjoied our time, with old memories, Antakshary and gossips.
We were at Hogenakkal at around 1:15 PM after drive of about 3-1/2 hours. There was huge rush of vehicles (and people) over there.
We walked a bit to reach the Children's park area and settle down for lunch.
Monkeys, Cow and Goats all were ready to share the food with us. Lunch was good with Poori, Chhola and fried rice.
Thanks to our better halves!
With a watchful eye on these intruders, we finished our lunch and proceeded towards ghat.
Cauvery gets divided into multiple streams here, forming an island from where one stream continues on while the other plunges into a deep chasm to create this chain of beautiful waterfalls. After this the river spreads out over a wide area of sandy beaches, which are ideal place for picnic.
One has to take the boat to cross the first stream. Then a bit of walk and then go down into the chasm through some dangerous steps and take boat again to witness the majestic falls as well as to reach the main island and sandy beach.
Make sure that while taking the steps down or up, you have firm grip of your kids. Also be sure of your steps. Lot of concentration needed here.
There is also a watch tower here to witness the falls and surrounding areas.
We negotiated for the boats. Initially I was a bit hesitating but Vikas forced me. Actually here if you dont take the boat, you can't fully enjoy the Hogenakkal.
Thanks to Vikas, I gave up and agreed to ride the boat.
The coracles can take a load of eight persons at a time. These coracles are made of bamboo, and the bottom of the boats are made waterproof with sheets of plastic. These boats are steered and propelled using a single paddle.
These coracles are locally called parisal in Tamil and theppa in Kannada.
We hired two boats and all of us including the kids took the life jacket. Though it is mentioned on the sign boards that all should take them, but I see only a few people using these. Not using these can be dangerous.
The boat will take you across the first stream. Then you to walk a bit and get down into a chasm through steps. Meanwhile, the boatman will carry his boat and will be waiting for you there to take you further through falls and to island.
After crossing through the first stream, my fear got vanished and I enjoied the ride.
Now we alighted and walked to cross the small island here and went down through straight and dangerous steps to take the boat again. This second ride takes one to the actual beauty of Hogenakkal, where one can enjoy the majestic falls.
I dont know why Tamilnadu Tourism Department is sleeping on this place. So much of plastic waste was everywhere including in the river. steps to go down to take boat is very dangerous and should have railings, but nothing was there.
Thats the sad part of tourism across India!
This second ride was excellent. We were in the deep cravice, floating in Coracle surrounded by huge rocks everyside and witnessing the spellbounding sight and roar of majestic falls!
God is great!
There were also many boats sellng water bottles, cola and chips etc. It ws fun purchasing things from them.
Majestic waterfalls were in our vicinity, we just floated next to them and got drenched in the mist. I had to pack my camera into polythene bag. But it was very good experience.
The water waves were playing with us in boat in a manner like someone playing with a ball. The current were quite strong there near the falls. The mother nature was telling us that play with me but don't try to subdue me.
Slowly we drifted towards the island. Here the boatman alighted us. Kids were highly charged and were jumping and bathing in water. In equal exhilarating mood were the elders.
Weather was a bit hot and humid but excitement of being there overwhelmed. All of us were enjoing the moment.
We spend most of our time at the beach, where the boatman alighted us. But then we realised that we can go to other side of island. The stream there is faster but water is only till knee deep and hence ideal for bathing and playing in water.
I was not carrying spare cloths so hesitated to take bath. Though my trouser was fully wet as the coracle was wet from inside.
After spending some good times there, we started back. We got alighted at cgasm to go up through dangerous steps.
After scaling the steps, we stopped to take a refreshing glass of sugar cane juice.
Now took the boat again to cross the first stream and finally reached the town.
Badly tired but happy, we proceeded to a tea shop and tried to sooth our tired bodies with hot tea!
It was beginning to be dark as we started back for Bangalore. In between Krishnagiri and Hosur, we stopped at Macdonald's for dinner.
Around 12 midnight, we were at home, sweet home.
1. Make sure to wear life jacket when taking boat ride.
2. Dont drift far into waters.
3. Always keep drinking water with you.
4. Keep a firm grip on your kids, particularly near water and also while going down or up to take boat in the second leg of boat travel.
5. Once in boat, dont move or play. These boats are very light and may topple.
6. Don't get involve in adventure. With all precaution, enjoy this beauty of nature. Over-enthusiasm is not good.
7. It is good to start early in morning so that you have good time to spend there.