Day trips around India – Hogenakkal

While at Salem for a project, one had time on a Sunday to make a day trip to the Hogenakkal waterfalls. Hogenakkal is here, on the border between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Just loaded my camera with fresh Duracell batteries, charged my mobile phone to the full (my GPS-enabled Google Maps was my designated guide) and some cash to spend on the way, I walked out post breakfast to the bus stand.

Traveling by bus is a different experience and as I have shared earlier, bus services in South India does allow the backpacker sufficient freedom, options and comfort. Salem Central bus stand was also in that same standard. A bit of sign language and neutral words like place names ensured I got directed to the right platform for the right bus. From Salem, there are no direct buses to Hogenakkal. Instead, one took a bus to Dharmapuri and from Dharmapuri, there is a regular bus service to that place.

Salem Central Bus Stand: Extremely functional, busy and needless to say travel-friendly

The buses here, operated by private parties on notified routes, are equipped with DVD players. Latest Tamil blockbuster movies are screened in these buses. The trip from Salem to Dharmapuri bus stand, about 1.5 hours, was well spent watching this Tamil movie about a young man who becomes a smuggler – first some pirated movies packaged as Windows 7 DVDs later graduating to diamonds from Angola. When the bus reached Dharmapuri, the hero had just fallen in love with this wench, the sister of his partner and a dream love sequence was on. This is where it was switched off and the bus emptied.

The bus itself was packed, no sitting space. I spent the whole journey standing. I got down at Dharmapuri and thought I’ll just relax a bit when I saw a bus for Hogenakkal (it had English signs :-)) pulling out. I jumped in into another fully packed bus. This leg of the journey, about 46 kilometres, took about 1 hour, 15 minutes. I could not see much of the route as I barely managed to stand straight between hordes of villagers, tourists, students and labourers. But looking at the map, there is a stretch after Pennegaram where the road enters the hilly jungles which theoretically should be a beautiful road.

I reached Hogenakkal at around 2 pm. I headed for the water. The rest I will leave to the photos below.

From Traveling in India

After this, one dropped into Hotel Tamil Nadu for a fortifier.

Hogenakkal: Fish corner. The colour of the fish and oil used to fry was not very appetising
Hogenakkal: Hotel Tamil Nadu for a fortifier.

A Sunday well spent. Another corner of India on the map.

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