Also see: Places around Bangalore on the bank of kaveri
You get the feel of the river running nearby when you enter the sanctuary enclosing Hogenakal waterfall. Suddenly, there is plenty of vegetation and little habitation, the road keeps going down and down into the valley indicating the probability of finding a river. A 15 minute of quite drive into the forest leads you to a busy and noisy village(or call it a marketplace) or Hogenakkal.
The real action begins with the boatmen, even before you get to see the waterfall. You realize that you need a coracle to go there, and approach the boatmen expecting to pay may be a 20, 30 or 50 rupees. You would be in for a big surprised when they ask you for a 500! Heavy bargaining can bring it down considerably but they are pretty smart businessmen and they know you wont go back easily after coming this far!
This is another big waterfall on the Kaveri river after Shivanasamudra. Though not as high as the earlier one, it is equally magnificent, with the river falling into a narrow gorge in several bursts of water. There is no wide open space where you can stand and watch the fall; you need to hire a coracle and get right into the gorge to be able to see it. The boatmen can take you really close to the falling water, sometimes to make the water splash into you if you wish. River here is only a little wider than Mekedatu but much mellow, flows through a narrow channel surrounded by rocks on both sides which are carved into strange shapes by the river. Boatmen say water is probably a 100 feet deep here. The channel looks lovely and the rocks look as if they were carved by an artist!
There are many such bursts of water in Hogenakkal
Another attraction are local kids who can show you their diving skills, for a fee. They can dive for you from a height of around 30 feet into the water and climb straight up back on the rocks in no time, all for mere Rs.5 from the spectator. There is competition within them and you may be offered a discount! A little downstream to the river is a wide plane where day trippers and picnic crowd spend most of their time, but you don’t really find a good shelter anywhere there. Men can attempt a massage offered by the local masseur but is best avoided.
Hogenakal is around 150km from Bangalore. You need to take Hosur road and drive through Hosur and Krishnagiri, turn left after Krishnagiri and reach Dharmapuri. Drive into Dharmapuri and ask for directions to the fall. Another 30km drive takes you to Hogenakal. Roads are pretty good till Dharmapuri and then will slow you down a bit. Expect a two and a half hour journey. No food or accommodation available at the location and it is good to pack your lunch before you start. Starting early from Bangalore helps, as it can get really sunny as the day goes.