'5' out of 5
"-Hogenakkal,a place where Cauvery river enters into Dharmapuri district,Tamilnadu.
-It is also called Niagra of India.
-Waterfalls,boating,sightseeing,aquarium, crocodile zoo,pilgrimage place,oil massage,fishing and trekking are some of the features of this place.
-Its a one of the best tourist place in Tamilnadu."
'5' out of 5
Coracle Ride: 4
Attitude of boat operators and others: 1
The Falls Entrance is 45 km West from Bangalore-Salem NH7 Highway at Dharmapuri. On that connecting road, there are few nice scenic places for photo. Be wary of thieving Rhesus Monkeys. On the way, your vehicle might be checked at the check-post.
The entire falls area is notoriously unclean, as in most places in Tamil Nadu.
You do get Street Food, which is half-cooked, hurriedly prepared in a very dirty manner, by unclean people. So have your food packed, if you're too fuzzy about having good food.
***Please be warned that most falls area are very slippery, some places having algae, mist, deep waters, & remain highly dangerous. People have lost lives. Never get into water without a life-jacket, even if you're a Swimming National Champion. It's entirely rock-filled underneath. Your life is precious for someone who loves you, for your family...***
Before entering the Falls area, you can find the open-air oil massage being done by untrained people, who falsely claim they are experts. For women, there are closed enclosures for massage, again performed by very ugly-looking, pan-chewing women. I tried their rough and tough massage. It's nice.
These oiled people/ customers then go under a mini-waterfall, which is barricaded, & then experience the power of a 100-pound not-so-cold waterfall falling on them. This actually is quite an exhilarating experience, & you feel really rejuvenated, feeling like heavens. One can actually hide behind the waterfall moving backward, take an awestruck gaze at the glassy falls, & feel its wonder unfold right in front of you. Again, when you're ready for the next hammering, walk under the Falls, & be hammered left & right naturally! That's the real natural massage people are dying for!
Come out of the Falls, dry yourself up, proceed on to the small hanging bridge, to cross over to the other side. The real scenery starts now. For the next half an hour, on your walk towards the River, you will never sate your hunger for photography. Forget the people around, just concentrate on nature, the fresh air, the feeling of mist all around, & the roars of the innumerable waterfalls, one after an other. Soak yourself in its beauty. As the water flows below your feet, while again crossing back to board a boat the feeling is just awesome. To enjoy the Falls, you have to board a round boat- coracle.
A paddled coracle boat is around 7 feet dia, 1.5 feet height, made of cane bamboo reeds, & take a total of around 7 normal adults. It is not fully waterproof; one gets the buttocks wet. But that's fun, and don't worry, you get dried up within half-an-hour in the sweltering heat.
Apply ample amount of sunscreens, if you don't wanna get dark-tanned like the locals. One needs to sit properly on the boat, squatting, evenly spread-out to create a balance. The rowsman is really an expert, and he paddles you around near the real Hogenekkal Falls area, a part of the River Cauvery that's filled with smoky waters and rocky outgrowths. It's better than Niagara at that moment. Here the boatman might do some circus, rotating the boat fast in circular fashion, trying to give you more thrill. Request him not to. Most people abide by that on a payment of Rs. 100. Yeah, that's simple extortion! But what's the big deal, you get the best experience of your life for an extra 100.
You're taken to an isolated island-like area, where you might want to spend an hour, having lunch, play your own group games.... When you're ready, you travel in the same boat back, but now over the Falls area, and not under the Falls. You move with the water, see a few otters playing around, spot birds fishing, see trees growing from the River base, and feel the power of rushing waters, the might of the River in its full glory... They take you back to the base, by which time you must've prayed twenty times for your life!"