Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A trip to Hoggenakkal falls...to be continued

Please read the below story to enjoy in continuity...Happy reading!

We managed to get a seat after few minutes of dangling onto the bus handles. The bus was very old and rustic, each time the bus rode onto a speed breaker, the window shuttles would clutter and we were thrown in air. Sounds a little dramatic, but on a serious note we were lifted in air for a fraction of a second. The bus stopped in a market for letting in passengers. However, it stopped for some more time. I got out of the bus and went to see what attracted my attentions through the streets. It was a copper vessel which looked like a mini cognac making container. I was quite fascinated with the look of it, so I asked the people there. With a broken English accent they told me that it was a tea making pot. The hot water is boiled in it and then tea is made. To my surprise the taste of the tea was too good. It wasn’t milky and was just strong enough to taste good.
We reached the spot at 12:30 pm, it almost took 1 and a half hour to reach there. We walked our way asking for directions. With the help of sign language, we managed to reach to the falls. We saw a lot of men getting massage done on the bridge connecting to the other side.  I remember one of my staff telling me about the same. A lot of people get their neck and shoulder massaged here. I would like to delete that segment from my brain.

Hoggenakkal Falls
I was keen on a ride on a coracle boat, on our way we kept enquiring the rate for a ride. They started with Rs. 800 for two persons and moving on to Rs. 400 for a common boat where 8 people could sit. We kept bargaining and proceed towards the waterfall. The surrounding isn’t kept clean and it was a little crowded. We managed to reach near the waterfall and sat on a stone. It was blissful when the water sprinkled on your face and you get drenched just by standing few feet away from it.

Walking ahead we crossed a river with help of a rope tied on both ends, while we did that; we danced as we felt something was kissing our feet. We feared it to be a fish and thought of the movie Piranha.
The place was so crowded that we couldn’t enjoy much; we walked all the way in different directions to find solitude. We did manage to find one however we had to escape the site of security guards. We sat at a smaller water streams and enjoyed them. We played with water and were contended with our hangout with nature.
On our way back, we manage to get a coracle boat at just Rs.20 each. Wow! That was easy, it felt a
roller coaster ride. I really do appreciate the talent of that person who made us feel that we were in a joy ride which usually people enjoy when they go to amusement park. Ha! We got it in Rs.20.  During the boat ride, we accompanied by a Tamilian family who had come from Chennai. They were quite happy to see two girls travelling independently in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Soon after the ride, we walked our way in search of food. Chinar being a Jain, a pure vegetarian, had to bear the smell of fried fish which were made fresh in that area. Moisturizers and body lotion could be of a great help in situation like these. So thank thee who invented them.
We saw a woman making dumpling like food item on a pan. She was making it fresh there on the street, her house was just behind the stall. In our sign language, we managed to ask her what she was selling and what the ingredients were. I was being careful so that my pure vegetarian friend doesn’t create a sin on the land of Hoggenakkal. She said, “Puttu.” I remember eating a dumpling like this before. I tried one and it tasted good. It was little sweet with bits of carrot, onion in it. I asked my friend to try one, being hesitant to try, I managed to convince her. She loved it as well.

On our way back, we enquired about a decent restaurant which served vegetarian and non vegetarian food. We did find one after a strenuous walk to an old renovating building. We order for one thali (a plate which serves sambhar, rasam, rice, vegetable, pickle and salad) and a fried fish. I always order for one thali as the portion size of the food is quite a lot when you come to South India.
The food arrived and to my surprise I loved the sambhar, rasam served in the thali. It was so tasty and spicy. The fish was the star dish of the meal. It was fresh, delicately spiced and perfectly fried. The restaurant owner informed me that it was Catla which is the fresh catch from Kaveri River. We ate so well, that we were in a mood of siesta. However, we had to catch a bus which would take us to the station for the only train from Dharmapuri to Hoggenakkal. 
With a heavy stomach and sleepy head we walked our way to the bus depot. We managed to get seats at the front. Well you wouldn’t imagine as to where we would end up seating. We sat on the desk board of the bus with a clear view of the mountains and roads. I was really impressed with the roadways, it was well maintained. We managed to reach 5 minutes before time. We took the train tickets and ran for our lives as we saw the train approaching the station. Once we got into the train, we noticed that there wasn’t a single seat vacant. We waited for a while but there wasn’t any ray of hope in the train compartment of Southern Indian rail.
Finally Chinar and I decided to sit at my childhood fantasy seat. We sat at the door with our bags on the side and enjoyed the luxury of cold breeze comforting our souls.
Sitting at the door
We were looking out for a tea seller, but it was hard to find one. The train was filled with sleepy heads, loud chatter, selfie enthusiasts and our railway food seller with their quirky style of saying.
We settled onto a cup of coffee, some biscuits and wafers as the sun was setting.  The train halted at various station and every station we tried to get down and capture some moments of us together. As we were approaching Bangalore city, we did manage to get a seat. As we sat, at a particular area the train halted for a while.
Suddenly, a storm of night insect invaded the train. Leaving us dancing here and there, as to get rigid of them. Finally the train moved ad we took a sigh of relief.
Chinar was looking out and I could sense that she was thinking about something. I asked her as to what was going in her mind. She tells me that we might pass through our area of residence before approaching Bangalore city junction. There was a notorious thought in our minds. We decide to get down if the train stops at our place. It stopped and we did get down in the middle of nowhere. We ran on to the side of the tracks so as not to get killed. We giggled for about 10 minutes as we couldn’t believe that we did something like this. I would instruct people not to repeat what we had just did.
The trouble was that we couldn’t see a path which could bring us onto the road from the bridge. We first thought of jumping from the bridge like some fancy action movie. However, the sensible one among us told me that she knows the path which gets us down to the road. It was quiet, dark and horrifying. The silence terrified us and to top that up Chinar told me of the cases where people have seen presence of ghosts. I was super terrified but could see a ray of street light. We got down onto the road which took us to our house. We jumped, danced and giggled on our accomplishment on such an adventurous trip. It was a trip we would cherish for years to come. It has definitely strengthened the bond of our friendship.

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