Cascades of white beauty

Cascades of white beauty

Located 170 km away from Bangalore is the Niagara Falls of India. Yes, you heard it right.

Don’t believe me? Head down to Hogenakkal Falls in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu, a three-hour drive from Bangalore, to experience the ultimate break amid lots of greenery, teeming waters and friendly faces.

River Cauvery feeds this waterfall and rappels down a steep cliff creating visual and auditory experiences for visitors. Bubbling streams of water flow majestically before plunging down into deep crevasses and cliffs. ‘Hoge’ means smoke and ‘kal’ means stone. It translates to ‘stone giving out smoke’. As the water falls down from a great height, it creates mist, thus giving the appearance of smoke coming out of the rocks there. Tall green hills tower over this beauty and create a natural fence.

The best part of this falls is that you can enjoy it across various points. There is a section of the waterfalls that falls down a series of steps, making it the perfect bathing spot. Aptly named the Cine Falls, it was here that the famous song Dil Hai Chota Sa from Roja was shot.

Crossing over a bridge, you can have the luxury of looking at another view of the rushing water, and you can get soaked by the spraying mist. Walking along many slippery rocks, you come to a serenely shaded place where the river is at a gentle flow. Sit on the cement pathways and have silent conversations with the flowing river, or just dip your feet in the refreshing water. To enjoy a 360-degree view of the place, head to the watch tower.

This place is also famous for oil massages. Hefty masseurs stand armed with various oils, ready to work at all your pains. End this spa-like experience by a bath in the waterfalls. If you are in the mood to immerse yourself in nature, you can take the coracle rides. Circular in shape and made of bamboo, the boats are natural and light. Get into one of these beauties and revel in nature’s bounty while listening to tales of film shootings and animal sightings by the boatman.

Locally known as theppa, the coracle traverses the river, twirling slowly. The coracle takes you close to the dropping point of the water, which is jaw-dropping. You could get down from the coracle and head to a pavement-cum-bridge from where you can view two different faces of the falls, aptly named Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Falls, depending on their location.

Treat your taste buds to fresh, mouth-watering fish prepared right in front of you by sari-clad women who roam around the river with gas stoves and boxes of spices.
The best time to visit Hogenakkal Falls is right after the monsoons when the river is in spate and the falls is in its grandeur. But ensure that you are armed with proper footwear, as this place is full of slippery rocks. Enjoy the spectacle of a river making its way across forests, ravines and cliffs in this heavenly setting.