Devi's Corner - Tamilnadu Tourism - Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu, India
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Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu, India

     Hogenakkal Falls is a waterfall on the river Kaveri located in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu, It is about 180 km (110 mi) from Bangalore and 46 km (29 mi) from Dharmapuri town. It is sometimes referred to as the "Niagara of India". With its fame for medicinal baths and hide boat rides, it is a major site of tourist attraction. 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 Hogenakal 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). It is also called as Marikottayam by the people of Tamil Nadu.

     At Hogenakkal, the Kaveri, now a large river, drops and creates numerous waterfalls as the water cuts through the rocky terrain. In places the water falls as much as 20 m (66 ft) and is said to sound like continual thunder. Soon after the falls the river takes a southerly course and enters the Mettur Stanley Reservoir. The river carries sediment which makes the downriver land fertile.

     The best season to visit is soon after the monsoons, when the river is in full spate. The temperature in summer varies between 23-34 oC (73-93 oF) while during the winter it is still pleasant and ranges from 13-27 oC (55-81 oF).

     Boating in Hogenakkal is allowed during the dry-season as the water falls are not strong enough to disrupt the passage of the boats. The coracles are about 2.24 m (7 ft 4 in) in diameter, but still can take a load of eight persons at a time. These coracles are made of bamboo. The bottom of the boats are made waterproof by the use of hides, but sometimes with sheets of plastic. These boats are steered and propelled using a single paddle, making them unique. The coracles are locally called parisal in Tamil and either teppa or harigolu in Kannada.

     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. After leaving the gorge, on the left shore one can find improvised stalls set up on the sand. There, one can let the fresh fishes be prepared in one of the many kitchens. Also, many people can be found swimming or bathing around there.

     Hogenakal Falls is the location for the Hogenakkal Integrated Drinking Water Project proposed by the Tamil Nadu Government. The objective of this project is to provide safe drinking water to the urban and rural areas in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts. In February 2008, The Japan Bank for International Cooperation agreed to fund the Rs 1,340-crore project.

          There are many lodges and mid-range options of accommodation in Dharampuri. Hogenakkal bus stand is nearest point from the falls where you can get snacks and refreshments.

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