Memorable road trip to Hogenakkal Falls, a breathtaking Waterfall near Bangalore

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During my initial years of marriage, I was in Bangalore and we used to plan something exciting to explore every weekend. Namma Bengaluru has many amazing weekend gateways which can be covered over the weekend or even in a day. We would pack our bags, load our car with eatables and an extra pair of clothes, fill its tank completely and head out to discover the nearby places. Today, I will narrate you a story about my day trip to Hogenakkal Falls.

Karnataka Tamilnadu Highway

Hogenakkal Falls                                  

It was a Saturday and we had already planned to explore this waterfall. So, we left Bangalore early morning at around 6 am to avoid the traffic. Bangalore traffic – I don’t think I need to say anything further to explain. Bangalore summers are always beautiful especially the mornings. As a ritual, we packed sandwiches for our breakfast, an extra pair of clothes, towels and some more food for lunch.

The first look of the serene river Kavery

Hogenakkal Falls is around 180kms from Bengaluru, takes around 2-3 hours by car. This is situated on the River Kaveri, located in Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most popular and beautiful waterfalls near Bengaluru, one of the best waterfalls in India and hence is referred to as “Niagra of India”. It has derived its name from two Kannada words – ‘Hoge’ means ‘Smoke’ and ‘Kal’ means ‘Rocks’. So, this waterfall is also known as Smoky Rocks. In Tamilnadu, it is famous by the name of “Marikottayam”. The Carbonatite rocks found near this fall are one of the oldest ones in the world.

The first look of the falls

Hogenakkal Falls

Hogenakkal falls has around 14 channels with drops varying between 15 to 65 feet. You need to take a boat ride to reach the surroundings of the fall. Locally made, small jute boats, known as Dingy boats or Parisals or Coracles riding is one of the main attractions of this place. You can experience this only during the monsoons when the water level and flow is enormous. Boating is usually not allowed and is stopped in the peak monsoon. The water from the fall flows towards the Stanley Reservoir (Mettur Dam). 

Hogenakkal Falls

Reached the destination

We parked our car, took our bags and headed towards the fall. All of us were quite enthusiastic to take the boat ride so we quickly grabbed one and soon we were in the midst of water.

We didn’t know there was an adventure waiting for us in the fall. The (“skilled”) boatman took us near the whirlpools (there were countless) and in no time, we found ourselves surrounded by a lot of whirlpools. He was rotating our boat at regular intervals. Initially, the rotations were fun and we were enjoying it later the speed was increased and we were screaming louder with every round.


Every time the speed of the rotation was even higher. It was a scary yet thrilling and fabulous experience. This was the craziest thing I have experienced in my life so far. Where I could see myself very close to death yet I was totally enjoying the moment. It was really risky because of the wind pressure, the boat might have lost its balance and hit the rock but thankfully, we were safe.

The water was making its way inside the boat and the level was increasing. I went with my husband and brother in law and none of us knew swimming. Clearly remember that I was crying my lungs out and requesting the boatman to stop rotating and take us to a safer place saying, “Bhaiya meri nayi nayi shadi hui hai, mat maro” (We are newly married, please don’t kill us) but he didn’t listen. Rather he was laughing and rotating even faster. It was his daily job and he was a daredevil but for us, it was like a nightmare.

Finally, after an hour of an adventurous ride, he took us to a serene place where the flow of water was less. We took a halt under a tree and had our lunch. All of us thanked the Almighty and the boatman too for saving our lives. We forgot to carry a water bottle with us in the boat and were remembering the poem ” Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink”.

After lunch, we said goodbye to the boat after clicking many pictures and headed near to the fall. We sat there carefully and enjoyed every bit of it. It is a beautiful place to discover and to add to its beauty, the forest department has maintained a mini zoo and a crocodile park also there.

On the New Moon days in January and July, pilgrims arrive here to take a dip in the river. It is believed that Goddess Kaveri is celebrated.

Best time to visit

July / August to October which is said to be the peak season as well.

How to reach

Airport: Bangalore International Airport is the nearest Aiport from Hogenakal Falls.

Rail and Bus: Dharmapuri is the nearest railway and bus station. It is well connected by train also with Bangalore, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Tuticorin, Coimbatore, Salem, Nagercoil, Mysore, Pondicherry, Tirunelveli, and Ernakulam. There is a regular bus service from Ooty, Bangalore, Mysore, Salem, Chennai, Trivandrum, Kochi, Madurai, and Hyderabad.

What to eat

The falls are very close to the Hogenakkal Bus Station but there are no great food joints. You would get only small shops offering chips and juices, snacks and if lucky, fish fry too. Hence, it is advisable to pack your own food and water too.

A few tips

  • Keep a set of extra clothes, a pair of socks and shoes and a towel too without fail. You might get wet while sitting in the boat. Expect the water to come inside and greet you.
  • It is a very hot and humid spot if visiting in summers, so make sure you wear sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Carry eatables and a lot of water while taking a ride in the boat.
  • Don’t try to be over adventurous and risk your life by going at the edge of the fall. It’s slippery and very dangerous. Be attentive.
  • Though the boatmen are well trained, try not to go very close to the whirlpools.
  • Don’t forget to take a halt under a tree and enjoy your lunch amidst the scenic beauty and cool breeze.
  • You would find a lot of open massager parlors on the way to the fall. Local men and women ear their livelihood by giving a foot massage. After trekking, try their service. It’s worth it.

So, this was my experience at Indian Niagra Falls which I visited around 10 years back. Every memory of this trip is still fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday. While writing this post and revisiting the pictures and videos, I wonder how I dared to take up this ride. I am happy that I did and got a story to tell.



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Neha Sharma
April 13, 2019 6:10 pm

That’s the things about traveling and trying new things, you get new experiences and stories to tell. Loved reading your post.

April 14, 2019 3:04 pm

Lovely read. Sounds like the perfect outing for a weekend getaway. The whirlpool experience, in particular, makes it more than a mere sightseeing trip but more of an adventure. Pics were the proverbial icing on the cake.
Looking forward to the next destination already ?

Maheshwaran Jothi
April 14, 2019 4:56 pm

Good one. Yes, the rotation of the coracle by those experts are something only experience can comment on.

Sanjota Purohit
April 14, 2019 9:03 pm

I have been here and everything you have mentioned is true and relatable. Loved the tips you have mentioned at the end of the post. A must-visit place with family and kids.

April 14, 2019 9:48 pm

i have been to this place during my six month stint in Mysore. It really is a beautiful place. But I have to say that you havn’t changed much in spirit. That smile still remains the same after so many years.

April 15, 2019 4:32 am

I must say those pictures in your all the posts make the blog lively and interesting to read. I can imagine the excitement and joy of the trip through your pictures.

Shubhra Rastogi
April 15, 2019 4:44 am

The pictures and your description makes me feel like visiting the falls. I have always read about the coracles and also wanted to sit in one. It must be fun.

Sonia Chatterjee
April 15, 2019 5:16 am

The first time that I visited Hogenekkal falls was a B school student. We had been there for an excursion. These round boats scared the hell out of me. I went back again after marriage with the husband and this time, I enjoyed it much more. I have similar pics with my face showing the amount of fear felt while on the boat. Lovely trip down memory lane.

April 15, 2019 7:13 am

I have not been to Hoggenakkal falls yet but heard a lot about it. I am definitely going there soon. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. The round boat surely looks scary.

April 15, 2019 8:24 am

Looks like you guys had a nice fun outing on Weekend. Hogenkkal is a good place and you look gorgeous.

Priyanka Nair
April 15, 2019 8:44 am

Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories with us. Love the photographs 🙂

April 15, 2019 8:50 am

Nice post.Great pictures. Wearing life jacket should be made mandatory in such rides.

Mayuri Nidigallu
April 15, 2019 8:51 am

Oh God! This trip sounds exciting as well a bit scary, because of that rotating the boat bit. Your pics showcase the wonderful time you had. Thanks for taking us on this trip through your post.

Surbhi Prapanna
April 15, 2019 9:46 am

First, you both look so cute together and may God bless you all love and happiness in life. I had a great time while reading your post. it was so refreshing to read..and it seems you had a great time there.

Rashi Roy
Rashi Roy
April 15, 2019 10:03 am

Must have been so exciting. Loved reading it.

Noor Anand Chawla
Noor Anand Chawla
April 15, 2019 12:49 pm

Ah I can imagine how scary yet fun that experience would’ve been for you! You look so cute with your chooda on and that newly-married glow 🙂

April 15, 2019 1:30 pm

Travelling is alwayss fun! want to visit this place.
The pictures are beautiful! so is the post!

Sitharaam Jayakumar
April 15, 2019 1:40 pm

Your adventure sounds scary indeed. I would have reported the boatman to the authorities in your place. As long as we get out safe everything is fine. But there is no one to answer if something goes wrong. I had a similar experience in Kochi when we went boating t=in the backwaters and I ordered the boatman to immediately take us back, Otherwise, you seem to have had a lot of fun. Good, you enjoyed your visit.

Alpana Deo
April 15, 2019 1:45 pm

You know while I was reading your post and how you have explained everything, I was saying it to myself that they seems to be India Niagara Falls:-).
Another interesting write up from you. You take us to the place through your words Vartika. Very well done!!

April 15, 2019 3:11 pm

Wow Vartika, Hogenakal Falls are sheer pleasure to the eyesight. I could see you guys had so much fun. So the next time I’m at Bangalore, I’m certainly visiting here.

Anahita Irani
April 15, 2019 4:22 pm

Indian Naigara falls, wow…. Seems like it was loads of fun. I enjoyed reading through and seeing all your pictures.

Manas Mukul
April 15, 2019 5:18 pm

Nice detailed post Vartika. Some really happy pics. Somehow I missed this place during my stay in bangalore.

Harjeet Kaur
April 15, 2019 7:16 pm

Looks like a great place for a weekend getaway. The Coracle ride can be scary but I loved it. The boatman twirled the boat 50 times. round and round. It was crazy. Thanks for the tips.

April 15, 2019 7:22 pm

This is a lovely place, i remember visiting it during my stay in Bangalore. The pictures are too cute, this post took me back to memory lane.

April 16, 2019 7:19 am

Hogenakkal looks like an amaxing destination.Would love to cisit.Your pictures are so sweet.Getting the new and happily married vibes.

April 16, 2019 7:28 am

Truly speaking…I have never been to Bangalore yet…he he…planning since long…when ever I plan to do so, I am surely gonna keep this one in my bucket list !

ujjwal mishra
April 16, 2019 10:35 am

I have been to these boat rides, it is crazy and scary. When I was working at Bangalore I have been to this place, the waterfall is massive and surroundings are beautiful

April 16, 2019 11:20 am

woow.. It’s so beautiful.. Havent much explored that side of India..

Aritra Chakrabarty
April 16, 2019 3:06 pm

Wow, the place is breathtaking indeed but I loved ur expressions more
You narration is great as usual, loved being a part of ur travel

Shilpa Garg
April 16, 2019 3:47 pm

Your expression in the Dingy boat says it all. 😀 Great captures all of them, especially the boat ones!
Aah! Such a beautiful place and no good food joints!!

April 16, 2019 4:08 pm

Your blog and picture giving me travel goals, there are so many untouched places in India which we don’t know thanks for posting information about this place, surly going to visit next time.

April 16, 2019 6:58 pm

wow, this place looks so good and u are looking so beautiful in pics. I will surely visit this place whenever I travel to Bangalore.

Samidha Mathur
September 16, 2019 7:42 pm

Hey Vartika, I enjoyed each word of this blog. I was watching you doing all these, virtually,

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