Where they shot Roja ! - Hogenakkal


It was the first long weekend of the year, I was there in Bangalore and had some commitments. Som wanted to go to Hogenkkal or Nandi Hills. Nikhil and Munmun were coming to Bangalore with my gift a Canon AS3 ! I went to the Airport in the morning to receive them. Starting early was not possible and I was tempted use my new camera which arrived in the morning. Half heartedly I agreed to go to Hogenkkal and later on I felt there was no reason repent about but feel good and enjoy.

We started off at 11:30 AM to Hogenakkal and hit the Hosur Road. Som thought I knew the route and I thought Som knew the route and we ended up asking multiple persons about route. Some suggested via Dharma Puri and some through Palcode. With majority pointing to Palacode route we thought thats the way to go and later came to know that it was the longest of the routes to Hogenkkal. But the country side we passed through, was scenic and roads were not that bad compared to the conditions in Bangalore, more over there was very less traffic.

With occasional stops to click some photos, we managed to reach Hogenakkal at 3:15 pm and parked the car at Tamilnadu Tourism board parking lot and were off to boating. I was expecting to see some speed boats, ferries etc .. but there were only coracles and there was no life jacket either. With no other options I agreed to sit in the coracle. Som did lot of bargain and the guy agreed take us for 2 hour raid for 350 bucks. The bargain started at 600 bucks.

We sat in the coracle slowly and asking the coracle guy multiple times to make sure that we have sat in right positions so that its balanced. With our navigator sitting on his toes over wooden log inside the coracle and only two of us being the travelers we had enough room to stretch our legs. It felt like a floating bamboo sofa. Paid money at the first check point and went few meters ahead and the boat stopped. I was really surprised that we had to pay 350 bucks for the such a short coracle ride. Then I came to know that Hogenakkal falls is in a gorge. Whole area gets submerged during rainy season and you can not see any falls. Once we crossed the river at the first point ( the 3 min drive) we have to walk to the gorge starting. The coracle is carried on the head to the starting point of the gorge and even the travelers walk to this point and get into the coracle again. Thats why they do not have any boats. Once we got into coracle again, it was taken the below small water fall and then went close to bigger falls. Our boat man showed us the place where Roja shooting happened.
From Hogenakkal

From the falls we went to the island through the gorge. Interestingly there were shacks on coracle too... The island is created temporarily due to the dip in water levels. There were shacks selling fried fish. In here food means fish. Som ordered some fish and we went to the shallow waters on other side of the island. We played bit on the shallow waters till the meal got ready. Som had hearty fish curry rice and I had to survive on Coke. On the way back we went below falls again and this we got drenched fully from hair to toe right under the falls.

After coming back to the mainland I was searching for some food all that could be seen was fish, again fish and more fish. So far it was going good and we were all set to go back that is when Som realized that he does not have the keys And the search began ... Thanks to the neighboring cab driver we got the keys back. Can you belive ? Som had thrown it along with a polythene cover.

were in a dilemma about taking the Dharma Puri route or the Palcode route. The guard suggested us to take the third one via Anchetty. First 5kms was horrible. We saw some jungle fowl crossing the road and all along the way there were so many frogs crossing the road(Why do frogs cross the road ?) It was dark and suddenly we realized that we do not have any vehicles coming from back or front. To start with we had one car in the front, but in my enthusiasm to click photographs even that had gone well ahead. For miles there was no sign of human habitat not even animals except for the frogs crossing the road every now and then. We were worried what would happened if the car broke down. In between we came across dung which did not look like cow dung and that just increased butterflies in the stomach. Around 10km to Anchetty finally we saw a car behind us and that made us to leave a sigh of relief. The road had reflectors and signs all along and was maintained well. But there were lot of curves.

From Anchetty onwards the road was bit wider and occasionally we came across people walking on the roads and we followed a car. Traffic was still very less. On reaching Denkinakote we decided to have some tea. After Hogenkkal that was the first city which had some eating place. From here Hosur is hardly 10 km. On the Hosur road the traffic was less than what we had expected and we reached bangalore by 10:00 PM.

For information of how to go and what to see check out "Hogenakkal on wknd.in"

Makara Sankranthi in Udupi

Its been long time since I posted on this blog as I had really few oppertunities to travel. Jan 12th-15th I was at Udupi and enjoyed the Makara Sankranthi celebrations in Udupi. I guess its a week long celebration with last day being sankranthi. Crowds gather for the celebrations in the evening starting from "cradle pooja" for the deity, then a cruise in the Madwa Sarovar and ending with a ride on the chariot. Last day celebrated with other 2 temples(Anatheshwara and Chandrmoulishwara) in the temple complex having chariot festival. the In Udupi every alternate year there will be "Paryaya Celebrations" (which is essentially the change of guard at the Sri Krishna temple) and Makara Sankranthi Celebrations.