It was another Friday in Dharmapuri with an upcoming boredom of weekend as 2 of our project-mates went off to meet their friends and relatives in Bangalore. Just 2 of us, we were trying to make something fruitful out of the otherwise boring weekend. Then came to our rescue, a friend from the local, who suggested Hogenakkal and other nearby temples.
Early in the morning, 3 of us started off to Hogenakkal. We took a local bus and as I reached there the high mountain filled completely with greens, captivated my senses. But what was not captivated was the cell phone signal, which went off completely. But that was blessing in disguise; I could enjoy the trip without any disturbance. The climate was great, the breeze was cool and there was water everywhere. As soon as we went towards the falls, we realized our big mistake – not getting a spare garment. If we got wet, we had return back with that only. So somehow, I tried to control the desire the jump into the water. But on seeing those several youngsters jumping and diving was so overwhelming, that I too jumped. All our cameras and wallets were on a rock above water level and we had a nice time in water.
A specialty here is that this place looks like a mini Niagara Falls. The height is not much. But the density of the water and the force is quite high. Being located in the junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, this place is an amazing tourist spot. The river Cauvery falls down here as Hogenakkal falls.
There are a few specialties inter twined with Hogenakkal. One is the Ayurvedic Massage. There are several massagers along the pathway that leads to the falls, but mainly men. It’s hard to find women massagers. There’s an overall herbal aroma all over the place. But the problem is, with all these massage oils all together have made the rocks and water pretty much oily. The water at the falls is great but as it flows down as a river, it’s oily.
The second specialty is the Parisil or Bamboo coracle that takes the visitors right under the falls for a good drench. The shrieks of the tourists with adrenalin rush of being just below the water falls was quite audible from above the rocks. Unfortunately we couldn’t venture into it as we were just 3 and couldn’t leave our cameras and other valuables anywhere.
The terrain was quite rocky and it was almost a good trek on those rocks. We reached this place to get a perfect view of the falls from an altitude. We sat there for quite some time and enjoyed the scenic beauty of Hogenakkal, or India's Niagara and then started back.
This is a haven for meat eaters esp. fish eaters, with the freshly captured fishes cooked as Bajji’s (fried fishes with wheat dough) and served hot on the spot. Being a vegetarian I couldn’t even tolerate the smell at times. But my friends had a great time. At the entrance/exit was this fine hotel. I was trying to find a decent vegetarian hotel but in vain. So, I too ended up in this hotel. But the hotel’s style was so good to help vegetarians to survive. The trick was having just a single non-veg dish – a fish curry, placed centrally on a huuuuge bowl. If you are a veggie, they spare that dish and serve the rest and if you’re not they serve it as well. Thank god. I survived. And we returned.
Next day, we opted to visit another friend’s house and farm in a tiny little village in Dharmapuri itself. It was around 6 am and the winter’s chill breeze was fierce. On a bike, 2 of us and our friend whose farm we were venturing to, started off, only to find myself sitting at the last and struggling to keep myself warm. Finally we reached his home and farm and there I was spellbound.
The whole place was green and fresh. The cows and calves lived in peace with the hens and roosters. There was a huge land of sugarcane vegetation. Their family was more than hospitable. All together, I enjoyed to my heart’s content.
TO GET THERE:
From Dharmapuri: 42 km
From Salem: 85 km
From Bangalore : 143 km
From Mysore: 194 km
From Kovai: 211 km
Dedicated to Devan 'cheta', Sankar, Arunachalam, Balakrishnan and family