The Centre’s warning on ‘revenge travel’ notwithstanding, hundreds of people are visiting the nearby spectacular waterfalls in Mysuru region including Gaganachukki, Bharachukki, Chunchanakatte and also Hogenakkal.
Coined last year, the term ‘revenge travel’ is being thoroughly put into practice now as thousands flock to hill stations, tourist spots and retreats. The phenomenon of revenge travel refers to the desire of going on a vacation after an extended period of lockdown.
The Centre has stated that people are indulging in ‘revenge travel’ and thousands of people with no masks are roaming around. This is dangerous. People need to understand this is a continuous fight. The virus is not exhausted, it is still there. Only COVID-appropriate behaviour can control the virus, the Centre stated, with fears of a possible third wave looming large.
However, for the people who are unmindful of the restrictions, seeing the tourist spots including waterfalls is their prime objective. Long queues of vehicles stuck on serpentine roads are a common scene at the spectacular waterfalls.
Thanks to bountiful rains and the release of water from the Harangi and Krishna Raja Sagar Reservoirs, the waterfalls at Gaganachukki, Bharachukki, Chunchanakatte and Hogenakkal are in full glory with Gaganachukki and Bharachukki emerging hot favourites due to the cascading waterfall from great heights.
While Bharachukki Falls is located in Chamarajanagar District (Kollegal Taluk), Gaganachukki is in Mandya (Malavalli Taluk). The two branches (eastern and western branches — Gaganachukki and Bharachukki) flow through deep ravines on either side of the island before plunging into two different places a few kilometres apart to form the Gaganachukki and Bharachukki waterfalls. Gaganachukki and Bharachukki waterfalls are together known as Shivanasamudra Falls.
Chunchanakatte Falls is also attracting visitors from far and wide. Also called Dhanushkoti waterfall, it is located at Chunchanakatte village near K.R. Nagar. Water is being released aplenty from Harangi Dam in Kodagu and at Dhanushkoti, before the water reaches KRS, water falls from a height of more than 65 feet like milk foam.
Also, water flows with great force here as a private company produces electricity 300 metres away from Chunchanakatte Falls. Apart from the waterfalls, people also visit Anjaneya, Kodandarama and Seetha Devi Temples on the banks. Weekends saw extra rush at Chunchanakatte where a majority of people came on bikes with their friends and partners.
Amidst the falls, there is a Seetha Devi ‘madu’ (whirlpool) here. Legend says, during Ramayana, Seetha Devi used to bathe in this place and one day, Lord Rama’s brother Lakshman accidentally came near the place without realising that Seetha Devi is taking bath. Later, Seetha Devi built a protective wall with boulders around the whirlpool.
Hogenakkal Falls is on the border between Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu and Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. 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.
The word Hogenakkal is formed of two Kannada words hoge and kal. When the water falls on the rocks it appears as if hoge (smoke) is emanating from the top of the kal (rock) because of the force of the water, hence Hogenakkal (smoking rocks).
Before entering Hogenakkal, River Cauvery reaches Mekedatu, also a tourist spot, located on the border of Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara Districts. Mekedatu means Goat’s Leap in Kannada. Legend has it that the channel was so narrow that sheep would jump across and hence the name Meke (goat) and datu (cross). Here the river jumps into a deep narrow gorge.