It so happened that the visit to the Hogenakkal waterfalls came as a pleasant surprise on the way to our native place thanks to my husband. We enjoyed the moments thoroughly to our heart's full.
Just on our entry to Hogenakkal , soon after parking our car, a person approached us enquiring , if we would be interested in the one hour long coracle boat ride around the waterfalls. My husband gave an immediate nod and in no time we took the ticket and soon we were given the life jackets to put on. And the same person guided us , walking in front, carrying a coracle boat weighing about 50kgs . At one angle, the coracle looked like a huge pan , inside of which is made up of thick tarpaulins .Later did he reveal, this boat can carry 1 tonne weight and would last for about an year with regular maintenance for any minor leaks. .
The starting journey point looked just like a small stream of water, where we boarded the coracle. It was a bit sunny , the time being mid day, the sun was beaming in full intensity.
As we progressed in the stream towards the waterfalls, it slowly did spread out and the trees on either side were seen unusually dead with torn clothes hanging all around them. The boatman said, the culprit behind the dead trees is the recent Kerala floods because of which the water level had raised to more than 25 feet tall and all the trees got immersed in water for about a week or so and had got damaged . And the floods had also brought in large amounts sand and had formed a sand mountain in the middle of the river stream dividing the river into two on either side of it. It was a sight looking at the sand mountain which appeared clean white and huge.
We saw a couple of coracle boats, hovering around, which actually are mobile snack shops in the middle of the river. The fish loving birds like storks, cranes, big black crow like birds were seen here and there, who were fully focussed on catching the fish in the river.
The journey went on for nearly about 20 minutes till we came to a point where few ladies were selling the freshly fried fish on the shore. People kept buying and relishing the fresh fish while riding and the coracle moved to shady places so that people could enjoy the taste leisurely. Rowing further, the coracle boatman has had to make tough rows, as we were moving against the fast moving water current .
The mind whistled on spotting 2 tiny waterfalls iflowing in between the rocks. The coracle boatmen were taking the coracles near them and making the riders feel the lovely drizzles individually by circling the coracles , causing great excitement and thrill.
On further proceeding inside, another wow factor creeped in on the glance of 2 big waterfalls, short and sturdy ones flowing with full vigour. The coracle could not go in close proximity to them, but only till a distance. He also rotated the coracla to give us a whirlpool effect. Some might feel dizzy by that. We were taken in full wonderment, being in the moment totally encaptured in the scenic natural beauty.
Just a few mins away , we came across an elevated landcape with a view point construction ,for which we have to climb some stone steps . The boatman took the coracle outside the water and even carried the coracle on his back and head and climbed the narrow steps quicker than us.
Then, we reached a point, where, we could see around 7 to 8 waterfalls in series next to each other, a picturesque view, the rainbow being spotted near the fall where the sunlight met the water. And many youths were seen busy taking selfies and photos , not minding even the edges of the rocks, even a single step behind would be a disastrous fall. Involuntarily and irresistibly the caution passed on from our side to them.
The beautiful scene was so enthralling and breathtaking. easily ond could make out that it's the shooting spot of the famous AR Rahman's "Chinna Chinna asai" song of Roja movie .
We left that spot, without the mind to leave and crossed over a small bridge to the other side and again boarded the coracle , to reach to a waterfall , which the boatman referred as Cinefall and said we could get ourselves drenched in the waterfall.
So, with the life jacket removed, we climbed down a few steps and reached the cinefall. The water force was enormous , fell on our head and shoulders like heavy thunder shots , made us to get lost in the vigorously flowing fall. There were tingling sensations in feet and legs, the work of the tiny fish , biting us. So. we had a natural foot spa. Bathing experience was ultimate in the water falls. Didn't want to leave that place. Forcibly we had to release ourselves from that attractive white beauty.
Wearing the life jacket back, we were again carried in the coracle to the drop point, which is different from the pick up point. Soon after alighting the coracle, handed over a generous tip to the coracle man due to our heightened joy and his well mannered behaviour, we were approached by the people who would do the oil massage.
We didn't leave that experience too. Ladies have seperate places for oil massage and a seperate general bathing area, once again waterfalls, but a constructed one. It was a different and new experience personally .
While coming out, picked up some boiled tapiocas and gulped, as we were feeling hungry .
We could see people selling raw fish, fried fish, sweet Polis etc. Also, people were seen cooking themselves for their food in the places provided for cooking using their own ingredients.
Once out from that place, we entered a restaurant, but left that place immediately, as we didn't have the mind to eat there on looking at the buffet items placed there.
The journey enroute to Erode from Hogenakkal via Mechari, Mettur was equally picturesque and ecstatic with lush green vegetations, mountainous terrains and village environ. Captured some pictures of the natural beauties . And the local FM radio station was relaying situation songs along with puzzles and riddles which augmented the pleasant car journey down the hill and the plains.
On the whole, the Hogenakkal trip happened to us just like that without any pre plan , much as a pleasant surprise , could very well attribute to the divine grace category for it gave an opportunity for us to visit the right location at the right season and right environment and the suitable mindset also to enjoy the same.