A traveller writes
Appreciating Hogenakkal is like reading a good romantic novel: one tends to enjoy the journey more than the destination. We were riding on bikes down to this small hill station on the fifth and last day of an arduous journey. We were hurt, tired and we longed for homely comforts. But the sheer beauty of sleeping landscapes in the afternoons, the winding roads sneaking into adivasi villages, going over small hillocks bathing in the orange blast of the evening sun, kept our spirits alive. The last lights of the day were waning when we reached the small town, if I may call it so. A few littered shops, eateries and hotels were all that there was to talk about. Here, all roads lead to the falls so it wasn’t hard to find our way through the half naked ready to bathe crowd. We had to wade through a gully full of dhabas selling fried river fish. For the two vegetarians in our group it must have been a gauntlet but for the rest it awoke the Bengali in us.
The fall is not tall but wide. One of the areas is open to the public for bath; the rest of the fall is fairly deserted. Like a troubled adolescent who finds peace in loud, rock music we lost ourselves in the deafening gush of the milky waters. As the night set in we returned to our hotel this time not missing out on the fried fish on the way.
Everybody is keen on a bath in the morning in Hogenakkal. So we followed the herd. We went down to the fall once again and we were swamped by masseurs offering service for a mere hundred bucks. Apparently it was a big thing over there, men, women, old, young, beautiful and hideous; all stripped and submitted themselves to a vigorous massage. But we declined the numerous offers and stuck to just a Roman bath in the slow shallow waters of Kaveri. We watched the coracles (bamboo boats) at a distance leave the shores carrying tourists. We could only watch them for the heat of the day was already beating down upon us and that we had miles, literally miles to go before we slept.