Thursday, 16 July 2015

Hogenakkal Falls(The Niagara of India)

Located about 750 ft above sea level amidst the Melagiri Hills, Hogenakkal Falls is majestic waterfalls in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on the river Kaveri.  It is situated in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu, around 180 kms from Bangalore and 46 kms from Dharmapuri town.  Hogenakkal waterfalls are the part of river Kaveri.  At Hogenakkal, the Kaveri River creates numerous waterfalls that flow through the rocky terrain. Sometimes this waterfall referred to as the "Niagara of India". It is also called as Marikottayam by the locals. The trail to Hogenakkal Falls is very attractive, with verdant Mulberry fields, gigantic-sized Protector Goddess (Aiyanars) made of terracotta, numerous foliage in the area and the gushing sound of river Kaveri.  

The water of the falls has some special powers as it flows through the forests filled with herbal plants and shrubs. Hence it is considered as extremely beneficial for the health taking a bath in the waterfalls of Hogenakkal.  The place is famous for the medicinal power of its water.

The name of the Hogenakkal waterfall has been originated from two Kannada words – ‘hoge’ means smoke and ‘kal’ means rock.  When the water of the falls hit the rocks, generates a fine cool spray, which creates a feeling of smoke; hence these rocks have been given the name ‘Smoking Rock’.

During rainy Seasons the verdant green ambience of Hogenakkal offers a thrilling view, which makes this place a tourist hotspot.   The hills near the falls have many trails where adventure seekers can go trekking in the Melagiri Hills.

The Hogenakkal waterfalls cannot be reached by road; a boat-ride from the last motorable point takes the tourist near the waterfall.  A coracle (a light, bowl-shaped boat with a frame of woven grasses, reeds, or saplings covered with hides) ride, which takes the tourist nearer to the shimmering, ripple waterfalls, can be a memorable experience. The closer view of Hogenakkal waterfalls is mesmerizing, impressive and even a bit scary. The prime attraction of the Hogenakkal falls is its vertical drop from the height of 20 meters with the thundering sounds. The entire area covered with the large trees and thorny plants looks like paradise. One can enjoy the natural beauty in the nature walk to the nearby areas.

Attractions: 

Some tourist attractions near Hogenakkal are Melagiri Hills, Parameswari Temple, Krishnagiri Dam, Mettur Dam, Pennagram Village, Kottakovil and so on.

Melagiri Hills:  Melagiri Hills is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions near Hogenakkal.  One can hike to Melagiri hills from Hogenakkal and explore the verdant, rocky landscape.  The hills of Melagiri are a range of hills on the Eastern Ghats and situated between the Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri Districts of Tamil Nadu.  Nestled between the Kaveri and Chinar rivers Melagiri Hills has an undulating landscape covered with dry deciduous, some stretches of shola vegetation and semi-evergreen forests.  It is an elephant country and contains two traditional elephant corridors.   This area is home to several animals such as Leopard, Dhole, Panther, Sloth Bear, Marsh Crocodile, Jackal, Chital, Gaur, Mouse deer, Sambar, brownish gray giant squirrel, Four-horned Antelope, Elephant etc.  Various birds, like Grey Junglefowl, Crested Honey Buzzard, Peacock, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Egyptian Vulture, Lesser Fish Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Flower pecker are found in these hills.

Parameswari Temple:  Located in the Pennagram village, Parameswari Temple is around 15 kms from Hogenakkal.  Putlur Poongavanathamman, also known as Arulmigu Angala is believed to be the goddess of this temple.  Since the goddess is believed to be the savior for all the infertile and pregnant ladies, majority of the devotees to the temple are women.

Krishnagiri Dam:  Situated between Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts across the Kaveri River, Krishnagiri Dam is a favourite picnic spot near Hogenakkal. This Dam constructed across the Thenpennar and is a major tourist attraction. One can trek to the Yelagiri Hills in Eastern Ghat from Krishnagiri Dam.

Mettur Dam: Mettur Dam, the largest dam in India, was constructed in a gorge, where the River Kaveri enters the plains.  The total length of this dam is 1,700 m. This dam creates Stanley Reservoir.  Hogenakal Falls is upstream from this dam.  Mettur Dam provides irrigation facilities to parts of Salem, the length of Erode, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruchirappali and Thanjavur district.

Pennagram Village:  Located around 15 kms from Hogenakkal Pennagram Village is surrounded by dense forests.  It is in Dharmapuri District and famous for the brightly coloured giant terracotta statues. Since a large fair celebrated every week in this village, attracts a large number of tourists.

Kottakovil: Located on the northern side of Dharmapuri District, Kottakovil is famous for the temple built for Lord Shiva.  Many rare sculptures and paintings can be found here. The temple contains the 'Hanging pillar', which is the major attraction of this place.  Legend states that in this temple there was once a secret passage which linked it with Adhiyamankottai.

Best time to visit:
This white waterfall is exciting soon after the monsoon when the river is brimming. Thus, the best season to visit Hogenekkal is immediately after the monsoons when the river roaring down swiftly with massive water.  But some tourists prefer to visit this place during off-season to avoid the huge crowd.  However, the best time to visit this place is between the months of September and December.