Hogenekkal – a different perspective

The first memories of Hogenekkal goes back in time , about 25 years back , when we use to stay in Salem. Needless to say, dont remember much of it.

The plan was thought about on Wednesday, planned it on thursday n Friday, executed on Saturday. (Imagine organising for 20 odd people in 3 days).

Well , now for some nitty-gritties

A brief about the name

The name “Hogenakkal”  has a touch of Kannada to it. ‘Hoge’ meaning “smoke” and ‘Kal’ meaning “rock or stone”. So, ‘Hogenakkal’ translates to ‘Smoking rock’. The spray of water as it hits against the rocky surface.. from a distance, resembles a smoke and hence the name.

Hogenekkal also figured in the famous Tamizh film ‘Roja’.

Getting there

There are 2 routes to get to Hogenekkal

Route 1 : Bangalore -Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Hogenekkal. This is a longer route. The roads are good (4 lane and relatively less traffic till the diversion before Dharmapuri-Thoppur section)

Route 2 : Bangalore-Hosur-Rayakottai-Palakode-Hogenekkal. This route is the shorter route, which saves around 35 kms. The road is not a 4-lane road, but its decently motorable and hardly any traffic except for the state transport buses and occassional local 2 wheelers

dsc_0045dsc_0047

To get on to this road, you need to take a right turn from Hosur junction. Ask anyone for Rayakottai road. Once you get on , this is a straight road through Rayakottai, Palakode. Once you cross , Palakode, head further till a T junction where this road meets the Dharmapuri-Hogenakkal road. A right turn at the T-junction takes you towards Hogenekkal.

From the T-junction , at a short distance comes the checkpost which is the gateway to a brief ghat-section leading to the town of Pennagaram.

dsc_0055

A short distance (5km) before Pennagaram , lies a diversion towards Hogenekkal.

Major attraction here is the water and the water falls. The best season to visit this place is during October-November, when the water is in abundance after the rains.

What do you get to do here? well, this seemingly easy question is a tough one to answer. For starters, here are some of the been-there-done-that stuff.

One can ride on a coracle (known as Parisal in Tamizh).

dsc_00591

Coracle is round in shape, made up of bamboo sticks. The base of the coracle is covered with plastic gunny bags woven together and pinned to the bamboo sticks. Tar is then poured on the base to provide the hardening property. A new coracle would weigh somewhere close to 70-80 kilos.

Again, for a coracle ride there are 2 options

1) A ride on the cauvery river in the coracle. This , we were told would cost Rs 100 per head, and close to an hour and a half in terms of time

2) A ride to an “island” and back, where one can spend some time in the water, have some fish curry (for those who are interested). For this we were quoted 250 per head , which after some bargaining was agreed upon for Rs 200 per head.

Having got the initial blocks out of the way , we geared up for the ride. The entire ride wsa covered in two parts since there were steep rapids at some places.

The first leg was from the main-land to the other end, a short ride lasting less than 5 minutes.

dsc_0060

The second part of the ride, which is the longer part, takes one along the river, nestled between the graphite rocks. Before you can begin the second part of the ride, you have to walk for about 5 mins before you get on to the same coracle. Since there is no path through the river for the coracle, the boat-man (for the want of a better word), carries the coracle on his back through to the other side from where you can resume your journey. Imagine lifting a weight of 70-80 kilos and walking through uneven terrains.

dsc_0080

As you walk along the path , you can see the water flowing along the steep rapids. A good idea to pose for few photographs.

dsc08109

A watch tower lets you have a overall view of the whole area. A good view when the water flows in abundance.

The ride on the river is a experience in itself. The river flows between the graphite rocks and when there is abundace of water, the entire strecth looks like one huge water fall.

The boat-men are helpful in taking you close to the water fall, where you can get under the water, sitting in the coracle itself. The depth of the river varies from one point to other, but on an average it is about 50 ft deep. Before diving into the river, think twice.

The best place to get into water is when you reach the “island”. Here the depth is not much, but the current is strong enough to carry you down the river.

Food option

One of the prime food option here is “Fresh fried fish” . if you intend to spend time at the island, then you can order lunch (rice + fried fish), and go in for a dip in the water. By the time you come out , lunch is ready. The fish is caught from the river and mixed with “fish masala” and fried . Am not a connoisseur of these cuisine, so cant comment much on the taste. The best i could do is to get a picture of it :-)

fish-curry

The best of all cometh here.

Seen a mobile shop ?? I am sure all of us have seen ‘thelas’ , mobile shops on vehicles etc. BUT, this is something very unique and interesting idea. The picture is worth a thousand words.

snacks-n-boat

You will find young boys jumping from the top of a rock into the water. They do this for generating revenue for themselves. If you happen to be near the spot where they hit the water, you are likely to be asked for money for viewing the spectacle :-)

dsc03715

Thats about it from me.

Will be back soon!!!!

5 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.