At a distance of 152 kms from Bangalore city, lie the Hogenakkal Falls in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu, a perfect place for a day’s getaway from the city’s pollution and noise. The falls are created by the waters of river Kaveri, with Karnataka on one side and Tamil Nadu on the other. Having believed to have curing features, the falls are considered Holy by the natives of the place and so the place remains extremely crowded most of the time. We visited it on a Sunday so the place was unbelievably crowded.
Our drive started from Bangalore at 8.30 am and it took us almost 4 hours to reach our destination. Being situated in the state of Tamil Nadu, the weather there, was warmer than we had expected it to be. With the mini research that we did before leaving Bangalore, we learnt that the main attraction that the place holds was the boat ride or to be more precise the coracle ride in the middle of the falls. So on entering the main falls area that was exactly what we were looking for- the boats. On the way we could see how much people believed in the holiness of the water, there was not one corner of the falls which was not crowded. Honestly, even though I have visited a number of pilgrimages all over the country, but I do not hold much of an experience when it comes to the bathing part at the ghats, so when I thousands of people bathing there I was disgusted, so much so that I even forgot about the boat ride, which by the way none of us could find even after loitering around in the crowd for almost 2 hours. While we finally decided to leave, frustrated with the heat and crowd one of my friends figured out where we could find the coracles, however, by now most of us lost the interest in it.
Half-heartedly most of us boarded the coracle just only for the sake of the pre-trip trouble that we had taken since a few days ago. But boat, or no boat the crowd never seemed to slacken! Completely clueless of what the oarsman said since he only spoke Tamil we just interpreted his gestures and worked accordingly. It seems we had to get off the boat at a certain point and after climbing down a few steps hop on it for a second time. Believe me, what we saw in the second part of the coracle ride after our descend from the steps was nothing less than an example of mesmerizing beauty of God’s wonderful world. It was my first time that I stood just under the waters of any falls. The frustration had vanished somewhere and all the eight of us were completely spellbound by the beauty of nature in this part of the country! The sharp ridges, the steep waters, and we in the middle of nowhere but nature..seemed like we were a part of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel, touching the waters, gazing at the sky. What can be more fascinating? We didn’t even realize how we reached the other end of the water. It was only when out oarsman informed that there were shallow waters on the other side and we could take some half an hour and to enjoy the waters, which was a brilliant option considering the heat. I will not say that place was calm on the other side, but it was much better than what we saw initially. The water appeared to be cleaner and comparatively peaceful. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it is only if you take the boat ride that you could visit the falls and the water body on the other side, since it is connected to the entrance by water only. While I sat next to the stream thinking about just an hour and a half, I thanked God that there was this last trace of patience left in us which compelled us to take the boat ride else we would have been the biggest fools for not having done what exactly we visited the place for. It was time to go, and drained of energy everyone only sat and enjoyed the beauty of nature, the sound of flowing water and I personifying myself to Johnny Depp or rather, “Captain Jack Sparrow”.
This was one place which taught me the lesson that we all hear as children. Truly, never judge a book by its cover. I belong to a hill station, so I have been visiting all sorts of falls forever, but if you take my word this place was just not like any other. I would recommend everyone, whether you have visited numerous falls or none, this one place will surly surprise you. And now I can very happily say-“Hogenakkal- check”.