This is one of the wonderful waterfalls in Tamil Nadu. It is located at a distance of 114-km from Salem and 133-km from Bangalore. It is a part of the river Cauvery and is about 250 metres above sea level. The main attraction of the falls is its vertical drop from a height of 20 metres with a thundering sound. Surrounded by mountains, Hogenakkal offers a quite holiday in comfort.
Since the waters of the Cauvery flow through a forest of herbs on their journey to Hogenakkal, bathing in these falls is considered to be good for health. The magnificent rugged mountain scenery around the falls can be better enjoyed by long walks and treks. And, as an added bonus, one can visit the giant terra-cotta village guardians, the Aiyanars, on the way to Hogenakkal.
The Smoking Rock
The broad stream of the River Cauvery gets forked at this point; forming an island from where one stream continues on while it plunges into a deep chasm to create one of the loveliest waterfalls, gives these rocks the name Hogenakkal which means "Smoking Rock" in Kannada.
The roaring waters of the river Cauvery plunge down from the plateau edge (250m) to the plains. Flowing through a wooded valley, splitting and merging and splitting again these impressive waterfalls are popular amongst travelers finding a respite after temple hopping through Tamil Nadu.
A ride in the coracles at Hogenakkal
Often referred to as basket-boats, the circular vessels called Coracles have bamboo frames covered in either black plastic or buffalo hide. They wait like black mushrooms, propped against trees or upturned on the banks of the river.
When the river is in spate, all the dark rocks are submerged, but if one goes there in February, which is among the most favored months to visit this riverine spa, there should not be any problem. Coracles are among the most successful and oldest types of watercraft in the world - a reassuring thought when one is floating in these saucer-like devices.
An oil massage is another of Hogenakkal's treats. The Malishkarans, or the masseurs, are professionals armed with oils; powder and the right knowledge of the 14 massage points in the human body. You will feel rejuvenated after a thorough massage sitting on slabs of rocks followed by a bath under cascades of flowing Cauvery water.