A different season - A different Experience!!
How to Reach -
Most travel details have been posted on my previous post here (http://timelessodyssey.blogspot.com/2005/10/hogennakal.html)
But this time though, we went on a third route - different from the two mentioned in the link above. And this one was by far the shortest and the best(est) route!!! :-D
No option but to head out from Bangalore towards Hosur (though I keep hearing of a route through Kanakpura, I don't have much details about that yet) and at Hosur take the road going towards Denkanikotta. At Denkanikotta, ask for Anchetti from where you can only head to Hogennakal!! This route is just 120 kms from the Silk Board Flyover till Hogennakal ......
Approximately, Bangalore Silk Board - Hosur (35 kms ) - Denkanikotta (23 kms) - Anchetty (25 kms) - Hogennakal (37 kms).
This trip took forevvvvvvvvvver to take off!! The thing preventing me from taking off for a three day trip (options were the Dandeli trek with NITK Bangys or the Ooty exploration planned by BMC) was a stupid Visa interview in Chennai on Monday - May 1st. And since my flight was the previous night, I was all geared up for a Friday night - Sunday night thing ...... That wasn't to happen!!
The two jobless people this time were Aparna and myself. She was probably more frustu than me to get out!! We initially zeroed in on Wayanad for a two day trip and had huge trouble finding companions!!! The sequence went something like this -- One car, two ppl - too less; one car - six ppl - too many!! Maybe some more ppl will join in if we reduce it to a one day thing ..... result -- two cars - eleven ppl - again too many!! Finally, it settled at ten ppl to be ferried in two cars - and Hogennakal was the chosen destination!!!
The Group - Divz, Shweta, Kavya, Naufi, Ashwini, Akshay, myself, Sarva, Aparna and Anu.
After everyone met up at the famous Udupi Gardens and headed off on Hosur Road.... there was no looking back for fun!! Awesome roads till Hosur ....... plying thro some godforsaken paths before hitting the Denkanikotta main road ..... An unforgettable chaotic mad mad mad mad bus-stand there .... almost backing my car into Sarvesh's ..... burning the rubber of my Santro heavily on the aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwesome curves between Anchetty and Hogennakal .... and not to mention subjecting the car to quite some harsh treatment on the potholes - we reached the disputed falls on the TN - Karnataka border.
The attraction here, is ofcourse, the coracle rides. And the prelude to this is the bargaining for the prices!! They said Rs.750/-, we said Rs.300/- ..... A visibly frustrated oarsman told us that we should voluntarily give ten bucks more .... Divz quipped -" Sure!! We'll settle for Rs.310!!!". It was hilarious out there -- arguments and counter arguments!!!
We finally hired two coracles at Rs.400/- each and off we went ..... through the spectacular gorges carved by the waters of the Cauvery, onto the gentle spray of water droplets emnating from the water crashing onto the rocks ...... It felt like heaven!!
If anyone of us had escaped getting wet at the place above and harbored desires of getting back dry onto solid ground .... they were in for a biggg disappointment!!! When we went to the main falls, the coracle was firmly anchored just a foot from the cascade and drenched us all - to the bone!
Not that anyone of us complained. Each of us were actually asking for more!!! We insisted that we stay below the water longer...... and the coracle started to resemble a kiddie swimming pool!!!! The sight of the day was Ashwini using her (or rather her roommates!!!!) shoe to empty the water from the coracle!!!! ROTFL!!!!
The boats sailed on ..... onto places less deep, where the offers for oil massage poured forth, with no takers. And no, it wasn't a case as in 'Dumb and Dumber' (or the Alto ad!!) ... the massage is done by the oarsmen themselves and they ain't too attractive!!! He heee .....
Kavya wanted a matri snap at every possible opportunity ...... Naufi tried to curb 'Social Naufi' from coming out ..... Divz was in full form - with amazing one-liners every few minutes .... Nayak was lost as always .... and I was glad to be out of Bangalore!!!!
The next bout of hysteria came in when Naufi fished out a drifting Whiskey bottle and held it up for a snap -- only to find its contents fall straight into his mouth!!! Yechhhhhhhhhhhhhh :-)
The sad part was that we were split into two groups -- not by choice, but by factors beyond us!!! The guys from one car ended up in one coracle and there was little interaction ... But then, it was a day well spent - away from the crowded streets and malls .... and it didn't feel like the Hogennakal I had been to before!!!!