Weekend getaway to Hogenakkal Falls

Weekend getaway to Hogenakkal Falls:
I was much awaited to see the much overhyped and controversial Hogenakkal falls, and ended up a little disappointed.
Hogenakkal Falls
Roads near Hogenakkal
We all decided to go for Hogenakkal as we had time only for a day trip from Bangalore, as most of the places near Bangalore were already visited. The road to take is from the Hosur Road NH7 which goes by Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Hogenakkal; you actually cross by 3 toll gates 55Rs+80Rs+35Rs which we paid for a two way pass. There is one more route which goes by state highway, which is not having a lane divider, but the roads were in good condition.

We started our day early morning from Bangalore and after passing Hosur there is a small forest area Perandapalli Forest where we had our Breakfast which we carried from home.  On the way near Krishnagiri you find McDonalds, Cafe Coffee Day and a Restaurant where you can get some refreshments. We then moved straight till we reached a bypass just before Dharmapuri and took a right. From Dharmapuri to Hogenakkal there is a single road in very good condition and the stretch is about 50kms. There are sign boards in English as well till you reach the falls.
Walkways at hogenakkal
When you reach Pennagaram which is the nearest town from the falls you enter the Forest area, there is a forest check post here and u need to pay 30Rs as entrance fee and a bribe of Rs10, and its not over guys, you need to pay these small bribes at least half a dozen times throughout your journey till u reach the falls. So better keep lots of 10Rs notes with you.
As you enter the check post, you pass by some nice lovely landscapes which is covered from forest, and further you pass by ghat you get some views of the Hogenakkal town. The roads are wide enough and in very good condition, so no need to worry about it at least.
View from The Hanging Bridge
Once you come near to the Hogenakkal town people stop your vehicle and ask you to pay 30Rs for parking which they claim (there is no parking area, it is just to park your vehicle inside the town), once you enter paying the parking fee you can park in the Tamilnadu Tourism area, where they charge you another 20Rs, and the guards ask you 10Rs as bribe.

After you park your vehicle here you need to enter the market area to walk towards the river. There are walkways built in most of the places on top of the river so that you no need to become wet to see the falls. But to spoil the natures beauty you find all the food sellers on the path throughout the falls area, which is so irritating for the tourists. I was wondering whether Hogenakkal is under Govt or claimed from the locals. Once u pass by the walkways you will have to pass by the hanging bridge from where you start getting the views of the falls. One has to pay 5Rs/head for passing the bridge and 10rs/camera. After you pass by the bridge you can just walk through the river side to get views of different waterfalls formed randomly depending upon the water flow. During monsoons all the area around the river will be filled with waterfalls. Later you pass by a water logged area to move towards other side of the river to another island, where you need to pay another 10Rs/head. 
Gorge at Hogenakkal
There is a watch tower over there from where you can get the view of the main falls, which will be in flow only during monsoons; they charge 3Rs/head to get through the watchtower.

Once you pass through the water logged area there is a wide open space filled with water flowing from all the directions and whole area is covered with trees, must say it is pretty beautiful place to spend some decent time, and also can play in water for long hours.

And finally we came to the coracle ride area, there is an association for all the coracle riders and there are agents for coracle rides who will bargain with you for an 1hr/2hr rides. We somehow managed to pay 900Rs for 1 coracle for 2hrs, which includes 1hr ride and 1hour waiting time near the sand island. He also offered 600Rs for 1hr ride. There is no way that you can bargain with the actual coracle riders, since you can only pay to the agents and he will actually select a coracle rider. There were substandard life jackets available only on demand. After all the bargains we started our coracle ride, which looks pretty dangerous, but worth going at least once. The coracle rider claims that he gets paid only 150Rs/ride and the rest 750Rs is for the association. But i feel he might be faking just to pull some more tips from us. The coracle ride actually takes you through the river flowing in between the Carbonatite rocks, and it was so amazing to see the water dropping from above, most amazing part of the ride is the coracle rider takes you actually beneath the waterfalls and that was part of the thrills and now he spins it at high speeds and you can just enjoy by getting wet.
Hogenakkal Falls
It is strongly advised to cover all the gadgets tightly in waterproof bags, including your electronic car key. 
And after the best part of the ride he takes you through the rocks to an island of sand, where you can spend some good time playing in water.
We spent an hour in this island, the water level was low and safe but the water flow was strong which makes it ideal for playing. On the other side of the river you can see the Karnataka border; here is where the tourists from Mysore join the coracle rides from Karnataka side. 
We then moved back in the coracle towards the place where we started the ride. 
The coracle rider asked us for the tips and we gave him 50Rs more where he was expecting at least 100Rs. We felt it was a bit expensive for the ride, but there was certainly no other option.

Coracle Ride starting point
There are actually two places where they offer coracle rides, one is the lower part of the river and the other is upper part behind the waterfalls. The lower part will be closed for coracle rides during monsoons. There were a few shops on coracles selling refreshments, but we didnt encourage them since it was spoiling the natures beauty.

We then walked down towards the parking area as we were tired and it was already 3pm and we were yet to have our lunch. There were people selling fried fish and others offering oil massage throughout the place, making it look so unpleasant and messy. Veggies will definitely hate to walk through the place. There are no restaurants in Hogenakkal to have lunch; you find lot of shops only for refreshments. We left Hogenakkal at around 4pm and we halted in the ghat for our lunch which we had packed from home. I would advise even if you have food in the forest area please do not throw the waste in the forest area, take them back in your car.

Bottom line is Hogenakkal is one of the most beautiful wonders of nature, but improper maintenance by the government has led to not rating it high.

It is the best example of how a natures true beauty can be spoiled by human intervention.

There are a few places where it reaches till the tip of the rocks and very dangerous where one can slip down into the river. So it is not advised to do any adventure in this place.

Add caption

View from sand Island

People selling eatables in the Falls area

Shops at the sand Island offering fried masala fish and oil massages

The coracle which we took

Tourists at the sand Island

View of the Karnataka side from the sand Island

Waste floating in the river

Small waterfalls from the Coracle ride point

Bats, there were in few hundreds

Some useful facts:
Washrooms: Yes
Car Parking: Yes
Entrance Fee: Yes
Restaurant: No
Refreshments: Yes


Post a Comment