Monday, June 4, 2007

HOGENEKKAL


(02/06/2007 – 03/06/2007)

ROUTE TAKEN:BANGALORE-HOSUR-DINKANIKOTA-ANCHETTI-
HOGENEKKAL-PENNAGARAM-DHARMAPURI-PALAKKODU-KAVERIPATTINAM-RAYAKOTTAI-HOSUR-BANGALORE

TRAVELLERS: PHANIKAR, SOMASHEKAR, SANTOSH, ANLRAJ







Hogenekkal is the same place where a song from the movie ”ASHOKA” wherein Kareena Kapoor was travelling in a makeshift bamboo boat. After watching the song we were wondering where this place existed. After a few days there was a water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu about this place. Seeing the visuals that was being aired on the news channels we desperately wanted to visit the place . Going by what we saw on t.v this place had a gorge where on either side of the flowing river there was crookedly shaped rocks that were very steep. We located this place on the Mysore side of the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. We enquired about the routes that can be taken from cab drivers who regularly ply on that route. Their suggestions were that we can either Bangalore-Kanakpura-hogenekkal route which was shorter but the roads were in a terrible conditions or take Bangalore-Hosur-Anchetti-Hogenekkal route or going through Bangalore- Hosur-Rayakottai-Dharmapuri route.

We decide on the second route while going and take the third route while returning. As planned we left Bangalore on the second of June. After few traffic snarls in the city we reached Hosur. We had to take the road that was going right, but we mistook the route and drove straight, the roads that we were on was not like something the cabbies had explained. Correcting the route we headed towards Anchetti. After a few stops we finally landed at Hogenekkal. Without even giving a second thought we headed towards the falls. We had to hire a boatman who was certified for the Government of Tamil Nadu. The boat could have the four of us comfortably seated. When we were nearing the falls a sort of fear started as none of knew swimming. The boat went so close that the water was falling on us. The flow of the river was like an F1 circuit with a lot of turns. Soon after the first turn we were in for surprise, there were kids hardly 1012 year old jumping into the water from cliffs that measured around 50 feet. Once they complete the jump they used to come near the boats and collect five rupees from the visitors. They exactly knew what they were doing. They had the precise knowledge as to where the rocks were, which were the places having maximum depth of water so that they can show off their acrobatic skills. Any city grown guy like me had made an attempt like this that would be the last day in their life. Another good thing about hogenekkal is that you have people who are appointed by the governments of either states who offer you a rejuvenating massage. It is not like any tom dick and harry offers you a massage and in the process breaks your bones, they are trained on this. In our case the boatmen who had come with us was also certified for massaging. After a tiring day this was the best option. He started the massage near a relatively smaller water fall. It was so relaxing that we almost fell asleep. After some time we headed to the falls for shower. Our eyes were droopy and we desperately wanted to sleep. But our stomachs had a different opinion.

The river was buzzing with floating shops that served cool drinks and snacks . Down the river we came to spot where we could see the Karnataka busses being parked on one side and Tamil Nadu busses on the other. We were actually on the national border. As the boat further sailed we noticed a few hut like structures on the left side of the river. Wondering what they were, we stepped down from the boat for an investigation. As we came closer the aroma of the spices started becoming intense. The place was actually a group of hotels which served the best food in the vicinity. For non vegetarians there is added fun, you can catch your own fish from the river for which the guy at the hotel would lend a helping hand. Having a wholesome lunch we left the place.
As we had planned that we would be taking the Dharmapuri Kaveripattinam route which was longer than the route which we had taken the last night, it had to be reconsidered as we were over relaxed and would go to sleep anytime. After much difficulty and a few stops we finally reached a shady place by the highway somewhere close to Kaveripattinam. We decided we would have power nap and continue driving. We hadn’t noticed that water was over in the car, so we planned to take the services of a roadside hand pump. Unluckily for us it looked like it had stopped working in the pre independence era. Dejected we got into the car for a nap. After about five minutes or so we had an old lady who probably in her eighties knocking on the wind shield. We thought she was about to scold us for parking the car in front of her field. But when we came to know the purpose of her presence we were taken aback. She told that she was noticing our repeated attempts to extract water from the dry well. So she had carried two pots of water from across a field for us to quench our thirst. The fields that she crossed was one where sugarcane was cultivated and after harvesting the bottom portion is left in the ground itself and we knew it was difficult for us to even walk leave alone that being done by a lady in her eighties carrying two pots of water. We were greatly moved by her intentions. She told us that her sons had left her and moved to some city, and her grand children were approximately of our age and giving water to us was like serving her own grand children. She also sprinkled water on our heads saying that it would keep us cool for sometime. She blessed us and stood by the road till we left waving us goodbye till we were out of sight. This is the best part of travelling, it is the collection of incidents like this are remembered for a lifetime.
Thanking the old lady all the way through we reached Bangalore by nightfall.