Sunday, November 23, 2008
Hogenakkal Falls Trip!! A bike trip acorss two states!!
With the cold winter arriving in Bangalore, I decided to head south for warmer weather with my friends for a day. This past weekend six cool BITSGians decided to go on a bike trip to hogenakkal falls. The Road Runners were up and running, or riding rather, by 7:30am. Manish and Gampa were the duo on the splendour, Aditya and Sanchit were the 'glamour' couple![:P] While Ashwin n cooldude (a.ka. Daniel) were the tag team on the xcd. I was the unopposed president of the RR because none of the others wanted the post
And so we started down Hosur Road towards Hosur of course! The road near electronic city was a little rough because of the flyover construction in progress. Boy! It is a one long flyover! I think the govt is planning to link Bangalore to heaven with that flyover so that all the sinners of Bangalore will have an easy route to heaven! [:D]
Soon we reached the border area. We didn't realize when we crossed. But I could feel it in the air that was charged with this strange energy! This was the land of Kollywood. I said to myself, "yes, this is where I belong!" My childhood dream of visiting Tamil Nadu had come true. And then a milestone confirmed that we were in the border town of Hosur!
We wanted to have breakfast and so asked a passer by for a decent restaurant. He directed us to a big hotel called The Renaissance Grande, which was too grand obviously! So the RR decided to make that their first pit stop and ate cream buns in front of the hotel! Soon we were on our way again, but Gampa's sharp eyes caught sight of a decent place for breakfast where I had the best idlis ever. That was when cool dude, using the GPS in his head, got a brain wave that probably shaved of 30-40 km of the trip. He decided to directly go to Rayakottai from Hosur, instead of going to Krishnagiri and then to Rayakottai as the ordinary people do! Readers who don't have inbuilt GPS should refer to Google maps to get a clear picture.
On we went. And on and on. It was good to feel the wind in your hair and mustache and to breathe the clean country air! Beautiful scenery and lovely views. We sped through dozens of small villages. These villages were passed through before you could finish reading their really long complex names like parathavegthalli. OK i made dat up (paratha-veg-thalli!! [:P]) but most names were like that.
And we cruised along. The bikes were awesome. The Bajaj XCD exceeded expectations while hero honda besides giving 'glamour' to the group, added 'splendour' the trip. The odometer kept ticking over. 60km, 100km, 140km. No sign of the falls. Did my GPS fail? Not possible!! I thought we would have reached Kanyakumari at that rate. And then there it was, a milestone saying Hoggenekal 10km!!
We made our way slowly along the winding mountain roads. Finally reached. I handed over presidency to ashwin from then on because I didn't know Tamil. After paying countless tickets for our bikes, ourselves, and God knows what else, we reached the boat area. After some hard bargaining by Ashwin it was settled for 150 bucks per head for a coracle ride. Manish said he hadn't brought his head along and so should not have been charged! Anyways we soon got a glimpse of the falls. It was amazing. There were small waterfalls all over the place. We clicked some snaps. Then went downstream of the falls in the coracle. We had to get off and go to a viewpoint where one gets the best view of the falls. There were many falls in a semi circle. Hence the name 'The Niagra of India'
There were some masseuses offering their services to the tourists. I declined as my rear had suffered a lot on the way there and I didn't want it to suffer further at the hands of those quack masseuse! It was time for a dip. We had a nice time splashing around lazily which was much in contrast to some guys who had taken the bathing quite seriously. They were furiously scrubbing themselves as though they hadn't bathed for years!
We decided to have lunch before we started back. Eating for the first time on a banana leaf was a spiritual experience for me. I tried to absorb the culture of the place just like the way rice absorbs sambhar!! I also learnt a lesson in fluid mechanics. I realized that the surface tension of rasam is quite low and hence will easily flow out of the flat leaf.
Finally we were ready to head back the way we came. I won't describe the return journey. But you can read the description of the first leg backwards if you wish to get an idea of the return journey. Of course we didn't go reverse with our bikes because unfortunately our bikes didn't have a reverse gear!
The long trip came to an end when we reached Sony world junction again. The RR had covered an incredible 320 km for the round trip! All in all an amazing day.
Information about the route for the RR followers! It is exactly 160km from Bangalore or from Sony world junction in Kormangala to be precise. And this is the shortest route!! The route goes as follows. Bangalore-Hosur-Rayakottai-Pallakadu-Pennagram-Hoggenekal. See map for further details.
Thank you Google Maps, Wikimapia, Orkut, Pankaj and Laxman all the help.