A year back we decided to visit the Hogenakkal Falls as it is one of the many tourist attractions near Bangalore. . Also called as the ‘Niagara Falls of India’ by many it is located at a distance of 180 km from Bangalore making it a perfect one day getaway. It is located in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. This place is famous for its medicinal baths and coracle boat rides . 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.
As the monsoon had just gotten over at this point we were hoping to get a good show at the falls. . After an early breakfast we left from our place and within 3-4 hours after following the Google Maps we had reach the falls. . Can’t imagine going on a road trip without using Google Maps anymore. . Gone are the days where one reached the destination by using the rarely places signboards & asking people by the road who are as clueless as you for directions. . The most funny thing about asking people for directions as i remember is that even though they are not aware of the way they still want to help you and you end up having to reroute ahead after getting contrasting directions from the person ahead, hoping this time its the right direction ! 😀
Of coz not like Google Map makes your life any easier, sometimes it takes you on a route not meant to be taken on 4wheelers or a route which is not exactly the shortest or the most convenient route . . We have ended up cursing Google Map the innumerable times we have had to reroute or ended up on a longer than needed route recommended by it. But yes in the end we always end up using Google Maps again anyway ! 🙂
On entering the Gates to the fall all we could see was water everywhere. . Letting on a sigh of relief to know that we would be able to see the falls in all its glory we proceeded ahead .
Crossing the small bridge where the water was overflowing causing our shoes and pants to get wet we walked on. . soon we could see many people getting ‘Tel Malish’( which i call desi style spa :P), sitting in rows enjoying the pampering session which I was finding a bit humorous.
You will see lots of local masseuse waiting to get clients. Place was crowded with people getting head massage, body massage.Sitting by the roaring waterfall getting a massage must make it a very energizing experience which is why you will see many people going for it. After getting a massage people would go bathe at the falls within an enclosure meant for this purpose.
One will also come across lots of snack stalls selling fried fish and other delicacies caught fresh downstream. Freshly caught fish are sold by the gorge and also various vendors selling water and snacks up and down the gorge rowing their coracles is not uncommon. The fish caught include katla, robu, kendai, keluthi, valai, mirgal, aranjan and jilaby. .
Passing the path leading to the main falls watching the water rushing by , we soon reached the bridge from where one can view the falls.You will see lots of monkeys near the falls as well.
Hogenakkal Falls is a series of narrow falls along a long line of rock formations with a drop of around 20 meters. Watching the milky white water pouring continuously down with a thundering noise is an amazing experience. Hogenakkal means ‘smoking rock’ in Kannada – the force with which the water gushes down hitting the rocky structure on the other side creates a smoky, foggy effect giving it it’s name.
The water after falling down the falls gushes through a narrow route passing through rock formations on both sides. The river carries sediment which makes the downriver land fertile due to which it gets it’s unclear muddy look. Soon after the falls the river takes a southerly course and enters the Mettur Stanley Reservoir.
Unfortunately for us coracle rides were not allowed this day due to heavy water flow. Boating in Hogenakkal is allowed during the dry-season as the water falls are not strong enough to disrupt the passage of the boats.One can even swim downstream in off season.
From the bridge across the main Falls one can even view the bath enclosure.People wearing basic essentials hung on to the cage rods enjoying their baths, seeming very much like monkeys caged in a zoo ironically. The entry to the other side of the bridge was closed as well and soon we left the place happy to have witnessed the mesmerizing falls. While researching we had come across a crocodile sanctuary online and as we had time to kill before leaving back for Bangalore we decided to visit it.
The croc sanctuary turned out to be a small sanctuary with a very small entry price. Here old as well as injured crocs were taken care of. We even saw lots of cute baby crocs here. . A nice place to spend around an hour before we left back for Bangalore.
Other places one can visit in Hogenakkal are –
- Krishnagiri , a fav picnic spot ,one can even trek to Yelagiri Hills.
- Melagiri Hills , for trekking.
- Theerthamalai , Subramanya Siva & Parameswari Temples.