Hogenakkal FallsThursday, April 16, 2009
And so it was a long weekend again! March 27th – 29th ’09. The scorching summer heat was totally getting on my nerves and all I could think was water..water..water.. which culminated in us taking a trip to the gorgeous Hogenakkal falls that weekend. As is turns out summer heat continued to wreak its havoc however the falls itself totally made up for that! Hogenakkal translates to Smoking Rocks. Well the water here falls with such force they create the illusion of smoking rocks.
And then comes the best part, fried fish and rice. The coracle guy took us to the river bank on the downstream side of the river where local people have set up a makeshift market. All along the river one can find lots of locals idling on the rocks fishing for fish. Here they catch fish and fry it for you. They also serve this with rice if interested. Well the fish totally blew us off! It was amazing. I don’t know if the fish were actually so good or the rustic village charm caught upon us. But it was awesome and we stuffed ourselves with fish enough for a month! All ye Non-Vegetarians, do not miss it and All ye Vegetarians, definitely give it a miss! The place invariably smells of fish.
After a hearty lunch, we headed to another place a few meters ahead of us where the river is shallow and makes up for a good place to play in the water. If you have come so far, what’s the point if you don’t indulge a bit! We played in the curative waters for nearly an hour. The sun was still scorching but the water was so fresh and clear, we didn’t feel like getting out of it. The coracle guy, now fed up of our crazy antics wanted to takes us back and so we reluctantly got out and we were back on our way to the main entrance. It was well past 3 ‘O Clock and now sitting in the coracle we were feeling the full force of the heat. A bunch of people in a passing coracle were using umbrellas to escape the heat- relaxing no matter what! It was quite a scene.
By 3.30 PM our ride was done for good. Back on the top, there is a watch tower at a small height which offers quite a view of the falls and the surroundings. Don’t know if the keepers of the watch tower are self-appointed or Govt.-appointed, but they charge Rs.2 to go up. So we obliged to get a nice aerial view. A couple of more shots and we were leaving Hogenakkal by 4 PM.
Considering the fact that South India is burning up this summer, Hogenakkal falls were not the usual “Niagara of India” types. Instead there were just three water falls but still the place looked full. During monsoons, there are as many as 40 waterfalls falling over the one km stretch of the gorge. But since the waters were shallow we had more fun. I am sure water gushing out at 40 locations would be definitely intimidating. It would be more of watch and enjoy ordeal than experience and savor. ;)
Route from Bangalore : Bangalore -> Sarjapur -> Attibelle -> Hosur -> Krishnagiri -> Dharmapuri -> Hogenakkal
Road Condition : Pretty good once you cross E-city! Smooth ride all along
Distance : 170-180 Kms ( this is the longer route)
Time Taken : 4hrs approx
Alternate route : Bangalore -> Hosur -> RayaKottai -> Palakkodu -> Pennagaram -> Hogenakkal (Shorter distance but not sure about the condition of the roads )
Toilet Facilities : Govt. run facilities available which are decent.
Food : Not much available. Just fish and rice or lays et al from the sailing vendor on Cauvery river ;)
Guesthouses : One VTS Lodge and a Tamilnadu Govt. Guesthouse next to the falls
Coracle : is it possible to avoid the coracles and see the falls? No!
Best Time to Visit: If you want a nice dip in the water - before monsoon