Hogenakkal Falls – Hogenakkal, India - Atlas Obscura

Hogenakkal Falls

Hogenakkal, India

The Kaveri River cuts through the rocky terrain then drops off to form these misty falls. 


In the western part of Tamil Nadu in India, the Kaveri River tumbles over rocks to create Hogenakkal Falls. Sometimes called the “Niagara Falls of India,” Hogenakkal Falls is dwarfed in size and strength by the Niagara, but it offers an impressive view nonetheless. 

The Kaveri is one of the largest rivers in India. It stretches some 500 miles across the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Hogenakkal Falls are formed where the river cuts through the rocky terrain on the border between the two states. The falls are made up of a number of individual waterfalls, which range from about 15 feet to 65 feet tall. 

Eventually, the river flattens out to sandy banks, and flows to fill the Stanley Reservoir via the Mettur Dam. Carbonatite, a type of igneous rock, forms the basis of the falls. The carbonatite rocks found at Hogenakkal are some of the oldest of their kind in South Asia, and maybe the world. 

The name Hogenakkal is derived from Kannada words hoge, meaning “smoke” and kal meaning “rock,” because the mist created when the water lands at the bottom of the falls makes it look as if the rocks are smoking.

Visitors can see Hogenakkal Falls via a boat ride down the river, and certain areas have been created as enclosures to bathe in the waters.

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