Dancing magic of Cauvery
Let us go to Hogganakkal in the rainy season; you can see the beautiful dancing of Kaveri. You can row boats under the waterfalls.
As if to escape from the shock given by two heavy water falls under the Siva samudra water bridges, Cauvery is now flowing very fast. Before it flows further, a small river called Arkkavati joins her near Kanakapura Sangameswara Siva temple. The Sangameswara stands like a witness of this confluence, which is just above the Mekathadu.
Below the confluence you can see the Cauvery without sand. The sugar sandbank between the continuous flow of the clear water in the Cauvery and the two shores filled with greenery will disappear suddenly. The flow of the Kaveri to Tamilnadu is through the narrow gorge called Mekathadu. Then Cauvery will flow 36 Km through Tamilnadu- Karnataka border. The beautiful Hogganakkaal waterfall is in this stretch.
The Kannada word Hogganakkal means 'smoking rock'. This tourist center located in Dharmapuri district in Tamilnadu is 140 Km far from Bangalore, 80 Km from Mysore and 14 Km from Salem.
The left shore of the Cauvery which is flowing through Hogganakkal is in Karnataka and the right side is in Tamilnadu. Many people come here to take a bath in the medicated water of Kaveri, which flows through the thick forests of Western Ghats and reach Hogganakkal. The tourists can bathe here safely. They can take a water journey in the round boat called 'Parasal'.
We have seen the wonderful view of the water falling from the black rocks and hitting the sky like smoke with the sound of a thunder in the movies like Aaravam, Atharvam, Roja and Naran. Other attractions of Hogganakkal are Main falls, Cini falls, Crocodile farm, Mini zoo, Cini bed (The sand banks disappearing above Mekathodu reappears here) and huge anthills.
The main things that attract the tourists to this place are the country food with fish chilli curry and fish fry. The view of Cauvery which flows towards south through Thiruchenkott and Omallur taluks and between the Seetha mala and Palamala which are known as Malankari mountains and then entering the Stanley reservoir of Mettoor dam is very enchanting.
You can go to Markkottam village in Karnataka in a round basket boat from Hogganekkal. From there you will get bus straight to M.A.Hills (Mountain of Matheswar). A journey through Veerappan forests by the banks of Cauvery will give you a different experience. To take photos you can arrange a seat on the top of the bus by influencing the conductor. The bus is always crowded. There will be vegetables and animals for the next market other than passengers.
Location: State-Tamilnadu, Dharmapuri dt.
Altitude: 750 feet above sea level admist Yelagiri Hills.
How to reach
By air: Bengaluru 140 km.
By rail: Though Salem 111 km is the major rail head, Morappur station is the nearest rail head from where trains are there to Chennai and Coimbatore.
By road: Reach Salem via Coimbatore, Bhavani, on NH 47 (165 km) and deviate to Dharmapuri from Salem on NH7 (65 km) and then to Hogenakal (46 Km). From Bengaluru one can reach Hogenakal via Hosur, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri on Nh 7(140 Km).
Just after Monsoon.
KSTDC Tourist bungalow, Ph: 080 2275869.
Hotel TamilNadu, Ph: 04342 256447, 254448.
Text & Photos: Dr. Rajan Chungath