A view of Hogenakkal in full flow is a dream come true for me. The flow has to be just right for the falls not to be closed, and nature indirectly controls it through the KRS and Kabini reservoirs. You have to time it right, may be in a matter of few days or even hours. So, there I was one fine day after fiercely tracking it via multiple channels, augmented with numerous phone calls to locals, and a strong hold of my hope.
The day I reached was more like an edge of seat suspense thriller. After a 6.5 hour travel, with mounting intensity of suspense, I reached there. Every village I crossed, every check post I crossed brought me a little bit closer to my dream. A dream of being able to see this mysterious and majestic falls in full flow. Unless the time is right, it ain’t gonna look mysterious, nor majestic. I have to say, that view would be a nature’s wonder too, minus the falls.
One distant look and the meaning behind the name becomes more than obvious. Hogenakkal breaks down into ‘Hoge’ for smoke and ‘Kal’ for rocks. The smoke was rising up in the air from amidst the rocks. The audible roar and visible smoke make a wonderful treat even before you get close to the falls.
The moment of joy as you get to the vantage point of actually seeing the falls is indescribable. Nature’s path, water’s fury, the trees, the birds, the coracle fisherman moving in it like it was some calm lake, are just a few of the amazing sights to enjoy.
It is not a place to be absorbed in a few hours. Walking back and forth on the viewing platform for the next better camera shot, I kept lingering there for quite a long time. After clicking an insane number of pictures, I exited the location wishing that it wasn’t actually happening. As I passed the forest guard, who sat there all day every day, I wanted to tell him how jealous I was of his job.
As a closing mention, I have to give this negative side of my experience, else my story and pictures would be falsely glorified. As much as I was enchanted, I wasn’t excited to let any of the mist hit me. The sad condition of the water as I understand has become accepted as normal. I was aware of degrading water quality and had read a few articles but could not believe what I was seeing. Is untreated or poorly treated sewage of infinitely growing Bangalore to blame? I am no expert to answer this, but articles written by knowledgeable people can be found on the internet.
It is not hazy just because of the fury of water hitting the rocks. It is dangerously hazy for what the water is carrying. With a fulfilled dream and a foggy mind, I left the smoke and rocks, to an obscure future. Now, I dream of the other haze clearing.