Hogenakkal Waterfalls guide

Hogenakkal Waterfalls; All You Need To Know

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The Hogenakkal Waterfalls remains one of the most scenic and stunning waterfalls in Southern India. It is the spot to visit if you’re on the lookout for a relaxing day where the only thing you do is gawk at amazing scenery that you do not have to hike to find.

The word “Hogenakkal” is derived from the Kannada language, “Hoge” means “Smoke” and “Kal” means “Rocks” translating to “Smoky Rocks.”

The revered river Cauvery, originating at Talacauvery, Karnataka continues to flow through a series of twisted gorges and enters the Dharmapuri district, Tamil Nadu through Hogenakkal forming a pathway of spectacular waterfalls. The stream from the Hogenakkal flows through to the Mettur Dam.

Read further to know all you need to know to prepare for a perfect visit to the Hogenakkal waterfalls.

Hogenakkal Waterfalls Travel Guide

Best Time To Visit

view from the hanging bridge

The best time to visit Hogenakkal Waterfall is during the post-monsoon months of November, December, and January. After the rainy season, the torrent of water increases making the crown of the waterfalls a glorious and breathtaking scene to witness. 

The best season for coracle rides is during April and May when the coracle surges through the narrow gorges, putting you on a journey that can be best described as enthralling.

The Hogenakkal Waterfall along with the other falls in the region is closed to visitors during the peak monsoon months of August, and September and certain days of October when the flow of water is so tremendous that it poses a risk to visitors. 

How To Reach?

By Air

The Salem Airport (Airport code: SXV, 79 Km) is the nearest airport to Hogenakkal Waterfall, unfortunately, this airport has limited connectivity to the cities. The second nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore (Airport code: BLR, 158 Km). 

Regardless of your arrival at the airport, cab services are always plenty near the airport and you can find a ride to the waterfalls quite easily from there.

By Train

The Palakkodu Railway Station (Station Code: PCV, 47 Km) and the Dharmapuri Railway Station (Station Code: DPJ, 47 Km) are the nearest railway stations. From this station, you can jump on a bus or hire a taxi to reach the Hogenakkal waterfalls.

We recommend the Dharmapuri Railway Station over the others as it offers great bus routes to the waterfalls, and the buses operate here on a decent frequency.

By Road

The Hogenakkal Waterfall is only accessible by road. In our opinion, it is the cheapest and the most ideal way to reach the waterfalls. There are no direct public or private buses from Chennai or Bangalore. You will have to reach the Dharmapuri bus stand first and then hop on another bus to reach Hogenakkal. From Dharmapuri, frequent buses are available to Hogenakkal. However, for this location, you do not have the option of booking your tickets ahead of time. So ensure you are present with extra time as you have to be present to buy tickets.

From Hosur, one direct bus to Hogenakkal is available. It departs at 6 AM and puts you on the shortest route via Denkanikottai. If you miss this bus, you will have to change buses, either in Palacode or Dharmapuri.

From the bus stop, you will have to walk for about 100m to reach the waterfalls.

Languages Spoken

Since Hogenakkal is the geographical border of Karnataka and Tamilnadu, people of the region speak both Kannada and Tamil, and the rare boat person can converse in Hindi. English is not prevalent among the locals.

Network Availability

Hogenakkal has reliable connectivity with all network providers. But there might be an intermittent signal loss during your journey to the waterfalls. So, ensure you are aware of your route beforehand and turn on navigation before you start, and keep your GPS on. 

Although there are direction boards to aid the visitors, it is more reliable to download offline maps. The locals are polite and they will aid you should you ask them for directions.

ATM Availability

There are ATMs available near the Hogenakkal bus stand. The shops here rarely accept digital UPI payments. The coracle ride charges are paid only by cash.

As digital payments are limited in the region, it is good to have enough cash with you throughout your trip.

Where To Stay?

You can make the visit to the waterfalls a day trip. But, if you are looking for stay options, The Hotel Tamil Nadu is located near the waterfalls and it is run by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department. There are also a couple of decent lodges available in the region that are more wallet-friendly. 

 

Where To Eat?

where to eat at Hogenakkal

Numerous mini-restaurants serve up a healthy breakfast. The ideal dine-in option for families would be the Tamil Nadu Hotel. For lunch, you can have fish curry with boiled rice and fish fry (more about that below). 

Vendors also sell Puran polis, dry fish, fruits, and vegetables. Cool drinks, water, and snacks are prevalent in shops. You can also buy soft drinks and snacks while you’re on the move in a coracle. How cool is that?

Parking Facility

A large parking space is available. You can use the space by paying the parking charges — Rs. 20 for two-wheelers, and Rs. 50 for four-wheelers.

Two-wheelers can also be parked on either side of the road, however, four-wheelers have a dedicated parking space.

Restroom & Changing Rooms Availability

Paid and free restrooms are available on the premises. However, they are not well-maintained and the place tends to be crowded.

Separate changing rooms for men and women are available near the main waterfalls.

Timings 

The coracle ride starts at 7 AM and the last ride can be availed at 5 PM. The hanging bridge and main waterfalls are open between 7 AM and 6:30 PM.

It is best to enquire with the locals beforehand if the coracle rides are operational, as they tend to be stopped during the peak monsoon months. The hanging bridge and the main waterfalls are open to the public, but again, these also remain closed when the water current is too forceful. 

Cost

  • Rs.10 for entry to the Hanging Bridge
  • Free entry to the Main waterfalls
  • Rs.10 for bathing at the Cini waterfall. (scroll down for more info)
  • Rs. 750 for a one-hour coracle ride. Only cash payment is accepted.

There are 500+ boat person-handled coracles ready for you to hop on. You can find numerous reliable boat persons’ contacts online. We have listed the contact details of the person we opted for. He is very patient, and polite and gives you sufficient time to ensure you truly soak in the natural scenery around you.

Subramani: +919626444321, speaks Kannada and Tamil.

Coracles In Hogenakkal

Coracles are small circular bamboo boats propelled using a single paddle. They are approximately 7 feet in width and can carry several people at a time. However, regardless of the dexterity of the coracle, the government allows only 4 people (excluding the boatman) and it makes for a comfortable ride. The Coracle ride is the highlight of the entire trip. It is also the primary medium of commuting to see the Hogenakkal waterfalls.

These coracles are called “Parisal” in Tamil and “Teppa” or “Harigolu” in Kannada.

Places To Visit In Hogenakkal

Understanding the geographical location of the Hogenakkal is important. A few sections of the waterfalls are in Tamil Nadu and a few sections are in the state of Karnataka.

In short, the Children’s Park, Main Waterfalls, Hanging Bridge, and Cini Falls are in Tamil Nadu while a separate series of waterfalls is on the Karnataka side. Manalmedu is located in a way where it covers both states.

Children’s Park

On entering Hogenakkal from the Tamil Nadu side, the park welcomes you on your right, and the Cauvery River flows on the other side. The park has swings, sea-saws, slides, and a couple of other typical park equipment for entertaining the children. The entire park is ensconced in shade provided by trees and the seating areas are well-shaded as well.

The Main Waterfall

Hogenakkal main waterfall

The Main Waterfall is a section of the waterfalls in Hogenakkal where people are permitted to bathe. The area is protected with railings ensuring the bather’s safety. Even during the times when coracle rides are not permitted, you will get a chance to bathe in the main waterfalls.

The Hanging Bridge

The Hanging Bridge is a suspension bridge made up of steel built overlooking the main waterfalls on one side with the view of nearby hills on the other side.

Cini Falls

cini falls

Cini Falls is a facet of the waterfall, just 100 m away from the Main Waterfalls on the same side. This waterfall’s plunge pool is reinforced by railings ensuring visitors can safely bathe. Cini Falls can be reached only through coracles during the post-monsoon season.

Manalmedu

manal medu

“Manal” means Sand and “Medu” means Elevated Land. Close to Tamil Nadu and the Karnataka border, you will find natural sand deposits that’ll give you beach vibes. People usually buy cooked fish, play for a while, and get oil massages on the shore. 

During Summer, a large portion of sand is visible and can be reached on foot. However, during the post-monsoon season, Manalmedu is only accessible by using coracles. 

Series of Waterfalls (Karnataka Side)

series of waterfalls at Karnataka side of Hogenakkal

The Series of Waterfalls is a must-visit for all travel enthusiasts. Two different experiences you could get in the same waterfalls. One is during the summer months, coracles would slide in between the Series’ gorges of 15+ channel’s base to which the water drops from a height of anywhere between 11 and 86 feet. The boat person spins the coracles in a manner where you can touch the water droplets and get delightfully wet from the drizzles. To get an eagle-eye view of the waterfalls, you’ll have to reach the watchtower by walking along the sands. During Summer, the boat person will guide you on this pathway.

The other must-witness experience occurs during the post-monsoon months when you are able to see the crest of the waterfalls and the water flowing with tremendous force forming an instant river.

truck ride to visit the karnataka side of the Hogenakkal waterfalls

On reaching the Karnataka border, you’ll have to hop on an auto rickshaw or a mini truck (tempo). You will be charged Rs. 200 per km and you will be paying extra as the price includes your return journey as well. Following this, you will paddle for about 100 to 200 m and reach the viewpoint. There is also a watch tower (accessible only by coracle) where you will catch one of the most breathtaking views.

The boat person usually charges extra in order to take you to the waterfall on the Karnataka side, the actual popular spot for which the waterfall is known. The price ranges from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000 per person (excluding the Government’s Rs. 750 coracle charges). The prices are entirely dependent on the demand and the season. We implore you to put your bargaining skills to use. However, if you happen to visit on the weekends and public holidays, the rates are usually Rs. 1000 per person, and even the hardest bargains tend to fall short during these times.

Experiences Not To Miss

The Coracle Ride

coracle ride at Hogenakkal, Tamil Nadu

While you are on your ride, you can view the Cini Falls, Manalmedu (sands), and the Series of Continuous Waterfalls (Karnataka side) amidst the ambiance of continual thundering sounds made by water splashing on the rocks. 

During the post-monsoon season, you will get to ride on a large pool of water surrounded by hills. Most interestingly, the river water is not salty and can be used for drinking purposes.

The Fish Fry & Curry

hogenakkal fish fry meals 1 - TwinsOnToes

People flock here for seafood, especially fish. Before opting for the boat ride, you can choose and buy whichever fish you like and have it cooked. They’ll cook fish curry, rasam, boiled rice, and fish fry and have it ready for you at the mentioned time. You can eat the food once you’re back, it will be served hot. You can also have them cook the fish once you are back.

The specialty of their cooking is that the masalas are made with traditional stone grinders, providing an exceptional taste. You can notice them preparing it on either side of the pathways, on your way to the coracle ride. Do not miss tasting them. 

  • Fish: Starts from Rs. 100 per Kg
  • For cleaning the fish: Rs. 20
  • Cooking charges for meals: Rs. 800
  • Cooking charges for the fry only: Rs. 200
  • Plates are charged extra at Rs. 8 each
  • Rs. 5 has to be paid for using the benches while eating. The spot inside the gate is clean and tidy.

Several ladies will approach you to cook your meals. You can opt for one of your choices. Here’s the contact of the cooking lady who served us:

Chitra – +918270038130, she speaks Tamil and Kannada.

Body Massage

Oil body massages are very popular in Hogenakkal. You can hear the hard slaps and “Ahs” from numerous barely clothed men undergoing the massage. However, for women, it is only head massages.

The oil massage does relieve you from stress and body pain. It cools down the internal heat from your body and improves your general well-being. People come from far-off places just to undergo this expert care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hogenakkal in TamilNadu or Karnataka?

Hogenakkal borders the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu and the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. Geographically, it is present in both states.

Is Hogenakkal waterfall open today?

There are two ways to stay updated and check if the waterfall is open to visitors. 
One is to follow the latest regional TV news channels. The other option is to call and ask a boat person about the current situation.

Is Hogenakkal Falls worth visiting?

Absolutely! A singular visit to the waterfall is never enough as you garner different experiences during post-monsoon and in the summer months.

Can we swim in Hogenakkal Falls?

The pools created by water are too deep to swim in and the current is too high; So swimming is not permitted. In a few places where the pool is shallow, you can dip your legs and have fun.

Is bathing allowed in Hogenakkal Falls?

The Cini Falls and the Main Waterfalls are where the visitors are allowed to bathe.

Can we visit Hogenakkal from the Karnataka side?

Of course, you can. But it has a comparatively smaller number of boats and the service starts at 10 AM. The boating charges are similar, ie. Rs. 750.

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