Best time to visit: Oct to Mar
Things to Carry: Clothes, Water bottles
A beautiful cloud free day, the entire meadow was glowing under its morning warmth. Three bikes, five members and this was the second trip with the crew. It was decided to start by 5:00 from electronic city and like the saying goes planned timings are only in the words. It was Shankar call which was alarm for me and rest of the guys. Due to our (me, Raghu and Swamy) strict punctuality Shankar needed to wait not more than an hour in front of a closed restaurant before we start. Krishna was to join along from Attibele.
Sharp by 06:00 no more no less, spotted Shankar, had morning coffee and started towards Attibele to pick up Krishna. The morning ride was pleasant and friendly, free from heavy vehicles and traffic. 06:45 Reached where Krishna asked us to wait for, and Krishna was all geared up for the ride waiting for our arrival. On reaching the first question was why so late, we turned to each other face and nodded with laughter. 07:00 A short chat, filled up petrol for the 200+ journey and started towards Denkanikottai.
08:30 The drive to Denkanikottai was freshening and peaceful one, stopped by a hotel for the breakfast as suggested and demanded by Krishna. He is the best when it comes to selection of hotels. And the food was relay good than we had expected, had ordered each that were available. If it was a normal day for the breakfast taken, we would have slept until the next meal.
10:30 Reached Anchetty from which Hognekkal was 45 KM away. The drive from anchetty to pennagaram was highly challenging with steeps and slopes cruising through the curves and we took our time to stop at the pull offs as there were some amazing photo opps that doesn’t want to be missed.
We took stops where ever we wanted to and most importantly please note guys a must wanted lesson for everyone those who are going through the wilderness, a lesson taught by Krishna of how to face an elephant in a no man’s land.
11:15 With just 5 KM away from the destination, we had to take a stop and walk into the wilderness to take a break. It was the course of the river, but this time it was almost dry with the entire stretch filled up with huge rocks burning hot in the midday. Swamy moved forward and reached the river flow and waved to move towards him to witness the beauty of the river. The whole place was peaceful and filled with fizzling of the cascading water. There was no sight of people around except us, if it’s not for the hot and unforgiving sun it turns out to be the perfect place for camping.
Spent nearly an hour splashing ourselves in the water and later decided to move forward. 12:30 Reached Hognekkal.
The place had a good parking space, the moment when we entered the parking lot group of people surrounded us and started asking for coracle ride, food to be prepared. They didn’t give us time to breathe, we asked them to stop, told them we will let them know if we are in need. Somehow managed to avoid them and on our way to the falls we decided to hire a cook (a localite who belonged to the same village) for preparing food while we go for the sail through the backwaters.
There was the government built structure from where the water used to flow from and the other is to go through the river in a coracle, there is a restriction of 4 person per coracle or maximum of 300 KG per coracle and it costs around 800. Ticket was purchased for 4 person and we got in the coracle, and the other person was supposed to join us just few meters away.
We had to walk for few meters where the person use to carry the coracle over his shoulders and then drop it back into the waters for the ride. He took us to the first water fall, he went close to the fall such that the natural water showered on us which was a feast in the hot summer, I also suggested for a 360 rotation of the coracle which most of them used to hate it and I used to love it. For my sake everyone agreed for couple of 360.
Moved on in between the rocks, the coracle person was explaining about the history and fame of Hognekkal, as it has 22 falls and all have merciless water flow during the rainy season and the water level will be three time higher than it is now, movie Ravanan (Tamil) Raavan (Hindi), Roja (Tamil) was shot in Hognekkal and there was a time when they fished out 20 – 30 ft fish (which is still astonishing) and during heavy rains the water flow will be very high such that the rocks will be scrambled out .
There were lots of cave kind of hollow space in the rocks, managed to climb on to one of the cave and snap few photos too, which were obviously funny.
The coracle person took us to the shores which they call as an island, he rested the coracle on the shore and told us you can spend your time here in the water and he will take us back when we give him the green signal. We were lucky enough to have visited on a day when there was no crowd, there were barely people to be spotted, and this made the water source to be in a clear condition. Me, Raghu and Krishna didn’t carry any secondary clothes not even a towel, while Shankar and Swamy were well prepared. We three didn’t mind of anything took off our shirts and jumped into the river flow. In the group Krishna, Shankar and Swamy knew swimming and they started to swim under the water, above the water, butterfly stroke bla bla bla, while me and Raghu were walking. But Raghu learnt swimming a bit when we came out, me still 0. We spent nearly an hour and a half playing in the water, had stone skipping and long throw of stone competition (even the coracle person joined), Raghu being the winner.
15:30 We were starving, asked the person to take us back to the staring place. On reaching the shores we went on the small hut kind of place where the lady asked us to come for the lunch. The savory aroma when the fish fry pan was opened, divine feel. Our mouth started watering, and were starving for the fry to reach our plates. We had fish fry, fish curry and rasam, started with the crispy fish fry, we were able to sense the freshness on our first bite and end with the pleasing rasam. In the course while eating the fun didn’t stop when Krishna was fighting with a goat who wanted to share his food.
17:00 Started from Hognekkal, decided to take the same route. It quite risky to ride in the dark until reaching anchetty. If started after 18:00 it’s better to take the Dharmapuri route, that would add up an extra 60+ KM but it is safe during the night hours rather than going through unhabituated area. By 19:00 we reached denkanikottai, stopped by the same hotel for coffee while we checked for the photos on each devices.
20:30 Reached Bangalore, on greeting and wishing for future rides, segregated to our homes.