Monday, January 10, 2011

Hogenakkal Falls, Tamilnadu

Info: Hogenakkal Falls is a waterfalls across the River Cauvery in TamilNadu. The place has numerous waterfalls as the river cuts the river rough a rocky terrain. The falls and river can be best seen along a coracle ride. Freshly caught and fried fish is a must have at hogenakkal. The place is around 120 km from Hosur and is very much frequented by tourists. Hogenakkal falls/river was shown beautifully in the movie Roja in the Chotisi Asha song.
Distance: 160 from Bangalore. 120 Km from Hosur, 
Accessibility: A one day trip would be sufficient, either by car or bike. There is not much to do at hogenakkal - stay is not recommended. Buses will be crowded and takes a longer route:  You should change 3 buses in case you are going by bus: Bangalore (Kalasipalayam/Madiwala water tank stop/Silkboard) to Dharmapuri/Hosur, Dharmapuri to Pennagaram, Pennagaram to Hogenakkal. Sometimes you may be lucky to get a direct bus from Hosur itself.

Best time: Post Monsoon (Aug to Feb)

Route from Bangalore: There are 3 routes that go to Hogenakkal from Bangalore. The first 2 routes are usually known and the 3rd route below is not heard of much. 

1. Main Route (165 Km): Bangalore => Hosur => Rayakottai => Palakkodu => Pennagaram => Hogenakkal -> 2 lane road, roads are very good as on date.

2.Highway (183 Km): Bangalore => Hosur => Krishnagiri => Dharmapuri => Pennagaram => Hogenakkal -> 4 lane highway. Road is awesome

3. Hilly route (123 Km):  Bangalore => Hosur => Denkanikottai => Anchetti =>Hogenakkal -> 2 lane and good condition till Anchetti, Almost single lane from Anchetti. Road is pretty bad for a stretch of 15 Km.

Route Details:
Main Route

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Highway route:

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 Hilly route:

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Time spent at spot:
many other falls hogenakkal is a place where we can actually spend more time than just taking bath. The following are must at Hogenakkal.

  1. A ride in coracle along the gorge, underneath the falls
  2. A swim and a dip in the river
  3. Full fledged bath in one of the falls
  4. Exploring the falls along the rocks
  5. Having freshly fried fish
Right when we started planning our trip, only concern was the distance from Bangalore was around 170 Km one way and  3+3 = 6 hrs biking on a single day would indeed be difficult. Six hard hearted brave souls turned up for the trip and we started at 6.30 am from Bangalore. The idea was a leisurely onward bike trip along the hilly country side road (Bangalore => Hosur => Denkanikottai => Anchetti =>Hogenakkal)  with lots of stoppages and photo snaps. And return from Hogenakkal via the main route. Winter morning was extremely cold and misty in the morning till we reached Denkanikottai. A Right turn from Hosur at a signal just before the main over bridge of Hosur was the diversion towards Denkanikottai. Roads were very good from Hosur till denkanikottai, will lots of green beautiful grasslands along the waysides. We reached Denkanikottai at 8.15 am and had quite a satisfying breakfast at a small hotel in Denkanikottai - a plate of idli, vadai, dosa and pongal. 

The road from Denkanikottai till Anchetti was even better for a biker: Nicely laid tarmac without any patches with highest level of traffic being an odd bus, going past and stretches of farmlands, grasslands , rocky mounts, and country side houses along the route. Just a few Km before Anchetti was a brief hilly stretch with a 3 or 4 hairpin bends with nice views along side. After Anchetti the roads turned a bit patchy but the route was quite good and greenish with a lot of villages crossing by along the route.We stopped quite a few times for some pictures of roads, a wayside pond with lotus blossoms, a south Indian Temple etc., After riding for an hour we reached close to Hogenakkal and were able to hear the roaring Cauvery towards our right side. The road was parallel to the river for around a 4 Km stretch till Hogenakkal. 

At Hogenakkal we headed straight to the Coracle (or 'Parisal -in Tamil') ride, Being a holiday , boats were in big demand, we managed to bargain a rate of around Rs 140 per head with 6 of us on board. The guy took us to underneath few of falls and a ride along the free flowing river. An amazing aspect of the ride was that the land at one side of the river was Karnataka and the other side was Tamil Nadu. He took us to a nice easy diving spot in the river where we had a good swim for sometime. He also went along the other side of the bank - the Karnataka side where he stopped so that we can have some rice with Fish curry right from inside the boat. After a 2 hour stretch he dropped us off near one of the falls where we went and sat under the hard hitting water for sometime for a nice bath. We also savoured good eatables from wayside women vendors selling butter milk, boli (sweet chapthi like dish), fried fish etc., Dried, tanned and tired we weren't sure if we can cover another 170 km in bike back towards bangalore. We started at 4.30 pm along the main route (1st one in the list above). The road was a very good 2 lane but as we passed Rayakottai,  things started getting dark and it was a night mare to drive a two wheeler at night. I would recommend this route only if you start early enough to reach Hosur before night fall. The highway route would have been better as we could have helped to a CCD or kamat or Adyar Ananda Bhavan which are located along the highway. After a 3.5 hour drive, reached Bangalore at 8.30 pm.

Onward route - before Anchetti

Onward route - near Anchetti

Anchetti to Hogenakkal road

Village Past Anchetti

A pond along side

South Indian Village deities - Protection guard at Village entry

Pictures at Hogenakkal: 

Shop on coracle

Sunset - return route