I always liked long Bike trips, and made many. But in the last few months, I did not go for many bike rides and was waiting for an oppurtunity. I met John Loney, who is also working in MindTree along with Abins, my cousin brother. Minds with similar taste met, that what happened. We planned for Hogenakkal trip in two bikes; John's and mine. Decided to start early in the morning on Sunday, 2nd April 2006.
Abins and me started from our house at Banashankari 3rd stage exactly at 6:00 am on my Pulsar 150. We met John on his Fiero F2 at BTM layout, around 6:20 am, checked the air pressure, filled enough petrol to reach Karnataka border, because petrol is cheaper in Tamilnadu. Just before crossing the Karnataka border, we stopped at a Bakery and had tea & snacks. As usual that bakery was too run buy a Malayalee from Kannur district.
Bike ride early in the morning, is very enthusiastic, watching the sun, rising up and the fog getting disappear slowly. The ride through the Bangalore Salem highway is a fantastic experience, as well as dangerous. I said dangerous in the sense, trucks may not give enough care for two wheelers in highway. We maintained an average of 70-80 km/hour through out the ride.
John was in the assumption that Hogenakkal falls is 130 kms away from Bangalore, but when we reached the exotic location, it was 193 kms. We reached the place by riding 5 hours starting from 6:00 am; we had a lot of intermediate stops for tea and breakfast. We stopped at a location for taking some snaps also.
When we reached there on guy named Sivan who owned the special kind of boat used there (“Kottavallam” in Malayalam) bargained with us and agreed to take us through the river and near to the falls for 500 bugs. Cannoying there in Kottavallam is the main attraction of the place. He took us in the Kottavallam through the river. He took us very near to the falling water, we all got wet. Then he performed some tricks using the Kottavallam, like rotating it very fast in the water with all of us in it.
The Hogenakkal falls and the river is the border of Karnataka and Tamilnadu. This tourist place appeared in many Tamil and Kannada film songs like “ChinnaChinna Asai” of the film “Roja”. Sivan told us that ‘Veerappan’ use to live in the nearby forests and they have seen him many times. One of the interesting part of the Kottavallam ride is that, in the river banks, localites will be serving us fresh fish fry. They catch the fish from the river itself and we can choose any one from them, they will fry it on the spot and serve us. It was a very delicious dish. Then Sivan took us to some shallow water were every body can swim and bath. The place was safe for swimming, there were places where the water current is soo strong and many peoples lost their life due to carelessness.
One strange thing we noticed there were kids of the age of 7 – 12 making their life out of the money they get from the tourists for jumping into the water from the rock cliffs near the falls. They were jumping from a height of 20 to 25 meters. While we were traveling in the Kottavallam, those kids will demand for 5 rupees for a single jump, once we say yes, they will jump from the rock cliff and will swim towards us and collect the money from us.
We started our return journey around 3:00 pm, and we did not have much stops on the way back. We stopped at an Infant Jesus Church some where in the Salem High way and prayed for a while, and then we took 15 minutes rest and resumed our trip. (70 more kilometers to Bangalore from there) We reached Bangalore by 7:00 pm. We were tired pretty much and had a very good sleep on that night.