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‘LogIn’ to Hogenakkal Falls

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Glancing at the notice board in the cafeteria is one ritual which my team-mates and I seldom miss. There are days together when no new piece of information is put up but nonetheless, it is made sure that a few minutes are spent before the notice board while munching on saunf – ‘the white ones’ which my employer generously provides. This being the state of affairs, there was no chance what-so-ever to not notice the large poster which was put up around 15 days ago.

It read LOGOUT with the picture of a rider astride a Royal Enfield Thunderbird. This was enough to pique my curiosity and within no time, a mail was sent to the contact person mentioned therein – LN. It took sometime before a bunch of interested folks met for the first time. Introductions were done and LOGOUT was seen as a platform to kick-start a biking club at ‘The _ Company’. A mailing list was created and the date for the first ride was finalized as Dec 8th, ’07. After some discussions/suggestions, Hogenakkal Falls was chosen as the destination. Although I strongly believe in the adage – ‘A good traveler has no destination’ (Who said that, btw?)

Amit from Royal Enfield provided us the four Thunderbirds. Interested folks had go and collect the RE after ‘depositing’ their bikes. I, for one, was not keen about the RE offering. My love affair with Madonna continues and I saw no reason to ditch her πŸ™‚

Travelogue follows:- (Total trip distance – around 350kms)


Dec 08, ’07


0600: As planned, the eight of us (NS/PS/YJ/AK/GS/AM/KK and yours truly) met up and left Lexington.0656: SMS from airtel welcomes us to TN (Just outside Hosur)0700: Idli/Vada/Dosa made up for breakfast. The place was GRB – a Sagar family restaurant, somewhere on NH-7 just outside Hosur.

0730: Back on NH-7 after AM’s bikes brakes were fixed by YJ. The morning fog had given way to a bright sun although the far away ranges were still covered in mist. Passed the famous ‘King Kong’ hillock en route. NH-7 or for that matter any stretch on the Golden Quadrilateral is a pleasure to ride on. You may check the current %age completion here. It was time for the Thunderbird’ies’ to test their speed limit. I ,meanwhile, cruised at a comfortable 100kmph!

0830: Somewhere in Krishnagiri. A small pit-stop and onto the 2-lane from here till Dharmapuri. This was also NH-7 but a lot of construction is going on which resulted in a few bad patches every now and then.

1000: At Dharmapuri. The sign-board at the junction reads 46 kms towards right for Hogenakkal.

1040: Surprise … Surprise! Ghats section for the last 10 kms. I so love riding on the twisties πŸ™‚

1100: At Hogenakkal. The steeds resting in shade. Decision time – 2 hr versus 5 hr boat-ride and so on.

1200: The negotiations with the boatman (the boats here are coracles like at any other place with waterfalls. For the technicalities on why is it so, go and study ‘Fluid Dynamics’ πŸ˜› ) finally end. A whopping 2k for a 3 hour ride across the bank to the Falls and then again to another set of falls.

[ While the negotiations were being done(Thanks to PS. Language is definitely a barrier), the guzzlers had spotted a wine shop and were lubricating their parched throats under a tree.

Finally, THE JEEP arrived and we were packed into it. Two coracles rested on the roof. The driver effortlessly made way through the window and took his seat. Guess the keys had fallen in the falls. The chappoos (Oars) were loaded in the vehicle. Two more men launched themselves onto THE JEEP. One from behind and the other on the left door. Verrappan’s images came flashing to the me but fortunately, none of it lay in store for us!

A 10 min drive took us to the bank. Rocky terrain amidst water flowing hither tither made for a scenic view. There was no sight of a waterfall and I was wondering whether it was the wrong time to visit. All doubts were laid to rest by AK who had been to this place just a month back. The falls were a little far still. The coracles took us to the opposite bank. It was time for rock-climbing … errrr … just walking on the rocks. KK did a la Chris O’Donnell in Vertical Limit which was unsuccessfully attempted by AM later. The remaining gang listened to the boatman-cum-guide and took the safer route. In a few minutes, we were there. The view was spectacular. Calmer waters had made way for the roaring falls. Not one, not two but many. I heard there are 30 in total. Idled away for a while and then came back to the coracles.

Hunger pangs were striking hard but there was no fish fry anywhere, though we saw quite a few in the water. The boatman took us to the Tamil Nadu side of the falls. This was again awesome. There was a high man-made platform which offered a breathtaking view.

We also had our bit of fish-fry which was disappointing. The boatman coaxed us into shelling out .6k more but in the end I guess it was worth it. This next coracle ride was so soothing and relaxed and long that GS actually dozed off and I could hear NS and folks in the other coracle discussing politics πŸ˜›

I believe there must be umpteen movies shot here but what comes to mind first is Roja. See this video at 2:50 and 3:10 minute onwards. We sailed between the gorgeous granite rocks and witnessed the fury of the waterfalls from close quarters. Also, spotted two mobile shops on the way selling eatables and stuff. Indigenous!

The ride took us between sandy beaches where folks were playing beach volleyball or simply getting massaged. YJ was keen on a massage but gave up when told who might actually do it πŸ˜›

It was almost evening when we got down finally. A short adventurous trek took us to the Hanging bridge and yet another view of the falls. Tired and hungry, we then scouted for a place to eat ]

1630: Parathas/Omlettes or the plain old thaali served on banana leaves ensured that the bikers got a new lease of life. Walked through the town to locate the steeds.

1700: A local guy with a phone camera approached requesting us to have a pic with him. Did we oblige? Why not? It was time to head back to Bangalore now!

[ The plan was to take a shorter route which would save us 40-45 kms worth fuel. Just kidding … In true biker spirit, the real intention was to explore both the routes! And so did we. We took SH-60 all the way to Hosur, passing the towns Pennagaram/Paparapatti/Palakkodu and Rayakottai on the way. It was a single lane road and terrible at many places. Darkness and the oncoming truck traffic with high-beams added to the difficulty. We tried hard to maintain the formation and actually did quite well from Rayakottai to Hosur ]

2045: Back at Lex. End of a tiring and fun filled day. Good-byes exchanged. Plans for the next trip already being thrown.

A word for the LOGOUT officials at Royal Enfield. The publicized motive of LOGOUT being a team building exercise is absolutely fine. (By the way, I was not aware of it until I saw this.)

In hindsight I feel that riding in a group is all about team effort. It requires coordination, communication, reliability on one another and so on so forth. Although as expected there were initial hiccups as we were riding together for the first time but the formation we maintained on and off was great. Especially while returning, riding from Rayakottai to Hosur was well executed.

Coming back to RE LOGOUT. There is nothing wrong in having ulterior motives (in this case marketing their bikes) as long as it is not at the expense of compromising on the bare essentials. The 4 Thunderbirds were far from perfect. There were braking issues, no rear-view mirrors, indicator and tail-light problems. Of course, no one was expecting brand new bikes just out of the showroom but what they provided was truly disappointing.

Nonetheless, I thank them for getting us get started and hope that they address these blunders in the future.

I hear you scream PICS … πŸ™‚ … Coming shortly!

Updated on Dec 11, ’07 :- Here is one set of Photographs. Another will be courtesy AM. Should be available before 6PM πŸ™‚

Written by Sangfroid

December 10, 2007 at 9:20 am

16 Responses

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  1. I am soooo JEALOUS!! This seems to be a good year winding up for you: biking, adventure, and travelling to new places, can someone ask for more??
    Gosh, am so tempted to take up this job offer I got from B’lore..it would be a lil too away from home but then probably worth it…Am wondering!! πŸ™‚
    Was wondering about the pics bit, doubt clarified! πŸ˜‰

    sam

    December 10, 2007 at 10:49 am

  2. need PICS!
    πŸ˜›

    Kunal

    December 10, 2007 at 1:40 pm

  3. Cool travelog dude !!!

    Krishna

    December 10, 2007 at 2:07 pm

  4. Sam, Yes … I want more πŸ™‚ Distances are only in the mind. These perks of being in Bangalore are priceless!

    Kunal, tomorrow in all probability! Visit again πŸ™‚

    Krishna, thanks buddy πŸ™‚

    Sangfroid

    December 10, 2007 at 6:56 pm

  5. fundoo! this logout thing looks very interesting. need to stir things up at my workplace as well. btw Chris oDonnel and not Tom Cruise!

    Sreejith

    December 10, 2007 at 11:10 pm

  6. Sreejith, just make sure the bikes are in good condition.
    (and the error stands corrected) πŸ™‚

    Sangfroid

    December 11, 2007 at 7:16 am

  7. WOW!! (for the pics, incase you didn’t get it!! ) πŸ˜€

    sam

    December 11, 2007 at 10:53 am

  8. I really liked the formation of our bikes especially at Shoolgiri, which is about 25 KMs from Hosur. It was early in the morning (around 7Am) , I was coming in the last and saw the all six bikes (including mine) in a straight line formation leading towards the yellow sun who had just come up at the end of the road and next to the massive hill which was half hidden behind the fog.

    Naveen

    December 11, 2007 at 1:25 pm

  9. Tagged you.

    sam

    December 11, 2007 at 3:58 pm

  10. This is a fine description ! I have uploaded all the photos. Pl find the link below:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/amiya.moharana/OraBikersChap01Hogennkal

    Amiya

    December 12, 2007 at 12:27 pm

  11. Sam, thanks πŸ˜€ and what tag … no no no … okie!

    Naveen, yup those formations are a pleasure to watch πŸ™‚

    Amiya, why did u not do any captions πŸ˜›

    Sangfroid

    December 12, 2007 at 5:52 pm

  12. Pics r cool..
    Amiya and Krishna thanks for the pics.. and
    Gaurav.. u coordinated really well.. hats off to you.. nice captions too πŸ™‚

    Anuj

    December 17, 2007 at 3:24 pm

  13. The trip was really good.. We experienced all kinds of roads .. 4 lane highway till krishnagiri(90 Kms).. patchy roads till Dharmapuri(40Kms).. Awesome road through country side till hoggenakal.. n ghat section for 10 kms leading us to the falls.. REs are really good ..

    Prakash

    December 18, 2007 at 1:11 pm

  14. Three thunderbirds given by RE was in ok ok condition. But overall the ride on Thunderbird was really awesome and thrilling. I reached 90KM/hr speed and the bike was going damn smooth with full control. It is good to have atleast one ride on thunderbird to know its full potential.

    Naveen

    December 18, 2007 at 2:27 pm

  15. It’s nice to hear everyone’s experience of the trip. Added to that I had one more beautiful experience of ride. Riding a Royal Enfield Thunderbird! This is the first time I took it on a long ride. This bike has always invaded my looks on the roads on its glance, not to say I felt envious of the owner as most bikers do. When this was a humble servent to me on the roads I felt “my feeling of enviousness its really worth”. The power and stability gives a sense of pleasure on long drives. Added to it the sound of maturity, especially when four of them roaring on the roads with synch. When formation was formed people used to watch the magic and enjoyed the sound during our journey. I liked them too.

    Amiya

    December 18, 2007 at 5:57 pm

  16. Anuj, thanks dude πŸ™‚

    Prakash, I wish the ghats were for a longer stretch πŸ˜›

    Naveen, I agree and would myself like to know the Tbirds full potential soon. As soon as the next ride, maybe πŸ™‚

    Amiya, well said! That ‘sound of maturity’ is a sure shot head-turner πŸ˜€

    Sangfroid

    December 18, 2007 at 6:25 pm


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