A day trip through the wilderness on the border of Karnataka and Tamilnadu. The place where the brigand leader Veerappan reigned in the recent past. The land which is the setting for Kenneth Anderson’s tales. I am talking about a trip to Hogenakkal falls that we (Me, Nagesh, Niranj and Pratap) did in January 2011.
We set out early in the morning around 6 AM. After a hearty breakfast in Hosur we took the road to Thally. This quaint little village is referred to as the ‘Scotland of India’ due to its weather. Not sure if it is as cool in peak summer! Also another notable point about this place is the number of lakes in the vicinity supposedly. We managed to spot only two during our trip! Need to explore this place some day. We saw a Common Coot and some Rose-ringed Parakeets near the lake.
After spending some time here we took the Thally-Denkanikottai Road which would then lead us to Hogenakkal via Anchetty. This tree-lined stretch is awesome especially early in the morning. We managed to reach Denkanikottai only around 10.30 AM due to frequent stops that we did for taking pictures. Our bird sightings were a White-breasted Kingfisher and an Indian Roller.
The jungle which starts just after Denkanikottai is pretty dense. This district is supposed to be a haven for those who love nature and the wilderness. The wide variety of flora and fauna here are impressive. A dream trip would be to traverse Kenneth Anderson’s path. We were told that wildlife might be spotted here. There is a forest check-post on this stretch.
An unusual sight en-route was of the statues of policemen along-with the Guardian deities of the village. A good blend of the modern day world and the ancient beliefs!
Due to road blocks along the last stretch caused by road repairs we managed to reach Hogenakkal only around 12.30 PM. We had chosen a Sunday of all days to come here. The place was crowded and slightly chaotic. Not sure if this is the case even during weekdays. There are many small hotels which offer meals but nearly all are non-vegetarian. We found one tiny shack serving vegetarian meals and after having a hearty lunch there we set out to view the falls.
Hogenakkal literally translates to Smoking Rocks. This falls is sometimes referred to as the ‘Indian Niagara’ and is on the border of Karnataka and Tamilnadu. It is famous for the boat rides, oil massages and fried fish which is sold on the streets on the way to the falls. The recent addition to fame is due to the Hindi movie Raavan being shot in picturesque spots in the vicinity.
We were a tad too late in arriving. Many coracles could be seen along the path that led to the falls. It was approaching 2 PM and the boatman told us that a trip to see everything would take us at-least 2 hours. We didn’t want to do this as it would be too late to return and we wanted to avoid driving after dark. We negotiated for a coracle ride to some nearby points from where we could get good views.
The coracle ride was fun and we had a great time. Lot of people were taking dips in the water. The boatman dropped us on the bank opposite the point from where we started. He asked us to go to the view point. On climbing the watch tower we could see some sections of the waterfall. The setting was truly majestic! The coracles and people looked so tiny against the towering backdrop of the cliffs. Some people had set up coracle shops and were selling snacks and soft drinks. We got some memorable pictures and started on our way back to the coracle.
We were back in the car by 3 PM and the return journey proved to be smooth. A lovely sight along the way was a lush marigold field.