Monday, March 8, 2010

My Weekend Picnic--Hogenakall falls

Hogenkal Falls

 Hogenakal Falls is a waterfall in South India on the KaveriRiver. It is located in the Dharmapuri district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, about 180 km from Bangalore.  With its fame for medicinal baths and hide boat rides, it is a major site of tourist attraction. Carbonatite rocks in this site are considered to be the oldest of its kind in South Asia and one of the oldest in the world. This is also the site of a proposed project to generate drinking water.
When the water falls on the rocks it appears as if hoge (smoke in Kannada) is emanating from the top of the kal ( means rock )because of the force of the water, hence Hogenakkal (smoking rocks). It is also called as Marikottayam by the people of Tamil Nadu.

Hogenakkal waterfalls is a beautiful picnic spot with its waters supposed to be having curative powers. Hogenakkal is set in thick, green woods and is considered both a sacred bathing place and a spa-like health resort. Here the water spreads for miles around. The area is surrounded by hills and offers lovely panoramic view. People can take bath in the Kaveri river, before and beyond the falls. Before reaching Hogenakkal, the river flows through a forest which contains herbs that are traditionally believed to enhance health. Hence bathing in these waters is believed to be curative.

Boating in Hogenakkal is allowed during the dry-season as the water falls are not strong to disrupt the passage of the boats. Localcoracles operate from the banks of both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka banks of the gorge.This is the main source of income for these boat operators. The coracles are about 2.24m in diameter,but still can take a load of eight persons at a time. These coracles are made of bamboo, and with all materials available takes about a day to build. The bottom of the boats are made water proof by  the use of hides, but sometimes with sheets of plastic. Use of plastics in the Hogenakkal vicinity, not just for boats, has been criticised due to problems with pollution. These boats are steered and propelled using a single paddle, making them unique. The coracles are locally called as parisal in Tamil and either teppa or harigolu in Kannada.

The move by the Tamil Nadu government for a drinking water project, drawing water from the Hogenakkal falls has brought the hoary Cauvery waters dispute with Karanataka to centre stage again.
The issue has come to high peak , following move by the Tamil Nadu government to supply drinking water to Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts by drawing water from Hogenakkal falls by constructing a reservoir near Chamarajanagara district, which is of the most backward district in the state of Karnatak.

While both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are keen on exploiting the tourism potential of the falls, it was Tamil Nadu which had capatalised on it the most. Tamil Nadu developed the northern part of the falls, which comes under its list, by providing facilities including comfortable jungle lodges, massage parlours and boating facility. 

The Southern part which belongs to Karnataka could not be developed all these years because of the forest brigand Veerappan menace, which haunted the state for nearly two and a half decades. 

1 comment:

  1. Raji hogenakal trip super alve
    i really miss u all