Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hogenakkal Falls - The Niagara of India


Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu, India

Early March is normally not considered the best season to visit Hogenakkal Falls, but then for a trip with friends such things often don't matter. Known as the Niagara of India, this popular waterfall is located around 46 Kms from the town of Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu and around 160 Kms from Bangalore. Exactly on the border of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, it can be approached from both sides. So it was kind of funny when we ended up on the Tamil Nadu side after a good scenic drive form Bangalore. It seems the boatmen here adhere to some dressing norms, the ones on our side were dressed in blue while the ones on the opposite bank were attired in yellow.

Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu, India

The name of the waterfall is derived from two Kannada words, hoge which means smoke and kal meaning rocks thereby translating to Smoking Rocks. The Carbonatite rocks at this site are considered to be the oldest of its kind in South Asia. At Hogenakkal, the river Kaveri drops and creates numerous waterfalls as the water cuts through the rocky terrain. The thunderous sound of water crashing down from over 60 feet is something to experience. After this point the river spreads out over a wide area of sandy beaches. With its fame for medicinal baths and coracle boat rides, it is a great draw for tourists.

Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu, India

Boating is a major attraction here. Coracles, locally known as Parisal, are round boats made of bamboo with the bottoms covered by hide or plastic, with a single paddle for steering. We chose a parisal ride and the boatmen took us on a ride through the gorge right up to the waterfalls. He even got the boat under one of the falls. It was quite exhilarating despite the risk of getting my camera drenched. Sitting in the boat, looking at the water and the sky, the great rocky walls rising up on both sides, the play of light on the water surface, the wind, watching patterns, don't be surprised if the tranquility gets you doing a Rodin's The Thinker. As per the boatmen, the water in this channel can be fairly deep, up to 100 feet in places. It’s not unusual to see shops on water as hawkers move around on parisals selling snacks and soft drinks.

Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu, India

One unpleasant experience of the ride is the strong smell of fish that stays with you for almost the whole trip. Fishing is quite popular here and you can get tasty freshly caught river fish deep fried and smeared in all kinds of aromatic spices at reasonable prices. The river water is also considered medicinal and hence many tourists prefer taking a bath post a rejuvenating oil massage. Special bathing enclosures have been created for safety while bathing in the waterfall. Alternately, one can even head out to the sandy beaches for some fun in the moderate currents. Evening, we found ourselves busy taking pictures of the waterfall as the sun gradually sank below the horizon. Almost, lost one of my lenses to a monkey who seemed quite interested in photography.

Hogenakkal Falls, Tamil Nadu, India

76 comments:

  1. Wow! Beautifully taken waterfall shots,so soothing to the eye.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words Thomas. The sight of the waterfalls is even more pleasing.

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  2. wow, that´s a very beautiful waterfall. I never seen it before so I guess it is not that well known. I also like the round boat they use :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. The round boats are locally called "Parisal". The boat rides are great fun.

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    1. It sure was quite exciting. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. Sí, maravillosas fotos, me encantan estas cataratas, su luminosidad es preciosa, buenos encuadres!! Te hago el comentario en español para que practiques. Atrévete a hacer los comentarios en español!!

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    1. Realmente lo aprecio. Gracias por visitarnos y animarme a hablar en español. Todavía estoy aprendiendo. Así por favor perdóname si hay error.

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  5. Never heard of it , so beautiful images with nice, short info :)

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    1. It's a beautiful place, hopefully my blog will help more folks know and enjoy this beauty of nature. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. I can really "feel" the rush of the water.....and thankfully, I can't smell the fish ;)

    thanks for stopping by, and leaving such a kind and supportive comment!!!!

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    1. Glad you could visit and enjoyed the post :)

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  7. What a wonderful place to visit, beautiful images!

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  8. This falls is awesome! And your pictures of it are wonderful. Especially the first and last ones.

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    1. Glad you liked the waterfall pictures. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. What a fun place to visit! The falls is incredible and I love the slow shutter speed on the first and last photos! Makes the water so delicate and enticing!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. Thank you for stopping by.

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  10. The last photo is too good. I went there before many years but didn't see the floating shops!

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Glad you liked the image :)

      Commercialisation of tourist places isn't a new thing in India. I guess this was an inventive idea by some enterprising individual. In any case, this should help the locals make some money and, hopefully, works as an enticement to conserve this place.

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  11. Interesting write up and lovely captures!!

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    1. Glad you like the post. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  12. beautiful falls and rocky terrain! thanks for coming by!

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    1. I did enjoy my visit to your blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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  13. Thank you for the view and information so i could pretend to be along on the adventure . .

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  14. What a beautiful spot and so interesting that there are floating shops. I like the way you captured the falls in slower shutter speed, creating that creamy effect.

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    1. I do enjoy clicking waterfalls. Glad you enjoyed the post and pictures :)

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  15. What a lovely waterfall! I'm glad you didn't get your camera wet. I mean, who else is gonna show us such beautiful shots of India? The round boats are pretty neat, and I found it especially interesting that some were used by vendors to sell the other boaters treats. (I would've liked to see vendors selling cold bottles of water the last time we tubed down the river with friends.) As much as I like all of these photos, my favorite is the one of the vendor. I like the way the colors dance on the water.

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    1. Your comment made my day. Feels good to know someone is waiting to see pictures clicked by me :)

      Glad you enjoyed the pictures and post. Thank you for stopping by.

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  16. Love the shots. I guess the dress code is also similar to Niagara Fall custom. You get different colored ponchos there, I think blue is for US and yellow is for Canada side.

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    1. Maybe the idea came from there :)
      But the difference there is they give the ponchos to the visitors while here only the boatmen are clad in colors. One way, it is good. In places like India, we will soon end up with piles of dirty ponchos all over the place.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Gorgeous captures of the falls.

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. Appreciate your stopping by.

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  18. That is a beautiful place - great shots with the slow shutter speeds.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Hope you can also visit sometime.

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  19. What a beautiful place! You captured it nicely and I loved reading about your adventure there.
    All in all: very well done!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words. I am glad you enjoyed the pictures and the writeup :)

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  20. Great photos of a beautiful scenic spot! The narrative adds to its beauty.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Appreciate your kind words.

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  21. WOW! Such breathtaking photos! Sounds like an awesome place to visit.

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    1. It sure is a beautiful place. Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. Beautiful pictures and interesting write up...

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    1. Thank you Vineeta for the lovely compliment. Nice to see you here after a long time.

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  23. A photogenic place, that's for sure.

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    1. I do agree. I will be really happy if my photos are able to showcase even half the beauty of the place.

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  24. Beautiful photography. I agree with you, the fish smell is too overpowering, and me being a vegetarian it is really unbearable. ALso though the falls are very beautiful, the place is extremely dirty.

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    1. That unfortunately is the fault with the visitors (and Indians in general). We normally don't think twice before throwing used stuff, garbage, etc. just about anywhere, including tourist locations. As long as we can do it with reasonable amount of impunity, we do it.

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  25. I love your long exposure work, it's excellent!

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    1. Glad you liked those shots. Thanks for stopping by.

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  26. That's a pretty waterfall. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

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    1. It was actually a breathtaking sight. Wish I could have captured the whole essence of it.

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  27. you have captured the blur of the water fall beautiful. It is something that I need to practice. Happy travels and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

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    1. Glad you liked the work. You should definitely try it sometime. It's quite fun for sure.

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  28. Wow, it's so stunning and breath-taking!!

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    1. Glad you liked your visit. Thanks for stopping by.

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  29. Beautiful views of the waterfall.

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  30. It is a very beautiful waterfall Ramakant! Thank you for sharing ... I usually don't mind the smell of fish, unless they have been dead a long time. It sounds like a great adventure.

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    1. It was a nice adventure. And glad you enjoyed the waterfall pics :)

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  31. awesome pics! reminds me of a song from the movie 'Asoka' i would love to visit this place!!!

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    1. Yes. The resemblance is strong though I believe the one in Ashoka was through marble country. Hogenakkal Falls has featured in Roja and Ravan movies.

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  32. Waterfalls are always a great place to visit.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. I agree. They are fun both with and without a camera :)
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  33. Wonderful pictures..This post is tempting me to visit this place soon..:) :)

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    1. You should definitely visit it. And this time of the year, the weather should be pleasant.

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  34. Did not know that India too possess such an undisturbed natural beauty.
    Well thank you for dropping comments in my blog. I am kind of busy with my postgraduate studies as of now. I will make sure that I visit your blog. I have already joined the site and your blog has been added into my list of international bloggers.
    Cheers and have a great day ahead.

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    1. Appreciate your making time to visit and comment. Will look forward to your visits and feedback.

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  35. Gorgeous pictures, Ramakant.
    This is a place I haven't been to yet :(

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    1. You should plan a visit if you are still in Bangalore. A day trip will suffice and I think it's still a good time to visit. With summer, the day temperature will continue to soar.

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  36. Beautiful shots! also interesting is the floating shop on the parisal :) I liked the narrative too...must have been great fun for you and your friends

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Tryst with the Shutter Bug by Ramakant Pradhan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.