Waterfall Weekender A Guide To Hogenakkal Falls In Tamil Nadu

The name "Hogenakkal" translates to "smokey rocks" because the power of the river crashing against the rugged terrain below creates the appearance of smoke emanating from the rocks
Hogenakkal Falls
Hogenakkal Falls

Tucked in the heart of nature, Hogenakkal Falls in Tamil Nadu is a treasure waiting to be explored. The Kaveri River flows down steep terrain and plunges from a height to form the magnificent falls on the boundary between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, around 46 km from the city of Dharmapuri (located in the northwestern part of the state).

Hogenakkal Falls is also called the "Niagara Falls of India," and it's easy to see why. The Kaveri River separates into several tributaries, creating a stunning cascade of water over rocky terrain. The sound of water breaking against the rocks, the chilly mist that envelops you, and the lush green surroundings all contribute to an atmosphere filled with tranquillity and drama.

Things To Do

A Rejuvenating Break 

Surrounded by hills and verdant forests, the tranquil atmosphere of Hogenakkal Falls attracts many who want to escape the chaos of cities. However, another reason makes the falls great for a rejuvenating trip. Due to the Kaveri River's path through forests full of medicinal herbs, locals claim that the waterfall has healing properties. Consequently, there are several health advantages to having a bath here. Indeed, many people visit Hogenakkal Falls to bathe in crystal-clear waters and benefit from their healing effects. The Bathing Falls area is divided into two sections, one for men and a more secluded one for women. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. 

Views From The Bridge

You can get a good view of the waterfalls from the hanging bridge on top of the falls. It is a short suspension bridge that links the more populous Hogenakkal side to the unpopulated forest. There is a place along the bride from where the view is ideal.

Take A Coracle Ride 

Although multiple spots offer spectacular views of the various sections of the falls, it is best explored in the round boats known as coracles (parisal in local lingo). These indigenous boats transport tourists through a complex network of rivers and streams that lead to the edge of numerous minor falls and, eventually, the fantastic views of the major falls. During the monsoon, however, all services are suspended. Some boatmen may insist on showing you the spots where a song from the Mani Ratnam movie Roja&nbspwas shot, along with many big and small falls with small rainbows forming before your eyes.

Around Hogenakkal Falls

If you are a nature lover, Hogenakkal Falls has plenty to offer. The surrounding forests are home to various flora and fauna, making it an excellent place for bird-watching and nature walks. You can also visit the nearby&nbspHogenakkal Forest Reserve, home to leopards, spotted deer, and hyenas.

Mettur Dam, the nearest well-known attraction, is around a 65 km drive away, but if you are up for a trek, ask the locals to show you the trail up the surrounding Melagiri Hills walk up for a couple of hours, and you will be able to see the dam from there.

Hogenakkal is only a short drive from the&nbspMelagiri Hills. Elephants, leopards, and marsh crocodiles are among the species that call this range, which is a portion of the Eastern Ghats. 

Where To Stay And Eat

Restaurants and eating joints in Hogenakkal are basic, but you must try Hogenakkal's delicious fried fish from the roadside stands. Freshly caught fish is sold here, as with various other snacks. Katla, rohu, kendai, keluthi, valai, mirgal, aranjan, and jilaby are among the fish varieties. You can also have meals at the TTDC (Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation). The TTDC Hotel is a decent place to stay. The rooms are basic, but they are clean and well-maintained. There is plenty of space for parking and a play area for kids. You can book it through the TTDC website.

Getting There 

By Air You can travel from Chennai to Salem by air (about 1 hour). And then, rent a cab or take a bus from Salem to Hogenakkal (around 2.5 hours).

By Rail The nearest railway station in Tamil Nadu is Dharmapuri. You can take a bus or rent a shared vehicle to Hogenakkal Falls. 

By Road You can rent a car or take a bus from Chennai (around 7 hours).

Cover photo credit Shutterstock

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