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Old 24th August 2015, 14:27   #1
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Post A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

This is an unplanned trip. We (myself and parents) went to a wedding ceremony last Friday near Trichy and later visited my Uncle's home (Near Thuraiyur) During dinner there came a topic on those golden days where the previous generation enjoyed at our Grand Parent's home at the foot hills of Kolli Hills, near Puliancholai. I visited this place a long ago (almost 6~7 years ago)

Wiki Source
Quote:
Puliancholai is a hamlet of about 30 families and 10-15 teashops in the dense forest region of the same name on the foot hills of Kolli Hills (Eastern Ghats) Tamil Nadu, India. It is located approximately 72 km away from Tiruchirappalli (district headquarters) by road. The nearest town (about 30 km) is Thuraiyur. Puliancholai can be also reached from Erode or Namakkal.

The area is rich in cultural heritage, being the centre of Chola architecture. Numerous temples, monuments, and other examples of architecture unique to that area dot the region. Lack of a proper shelter or basic facilities is the only limitation for long stays.

Apart from tourists, devotees come to trek up to a Shiva temple about 12 km into the forest in June and July. Apart from tourism, their main livelihood is in marginal agriculture and gathering the fruits that grow wild in the forest to sell to local markets.

A few hours travel by road would take one to Pachaimalai Hills, another hill range with a 150-ft waterfall. In the neighbouring Perambalur district there are areas like Vettakudi and Karavatti bird sanctuaries.
A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)-puliansolai.jpg

I started, "Why don't we visit Puliancholai tomorrow?" Half the crowd accepted within a couple of seconds and there came a voice from corner of the table, from my Uncle "Why not Kolli Hills? as most of you guys never visited before" Without any hesitation everyone agreed. Initially we planned to hire a Tempo Traveler as we were 10 members but with least success. We were left with the only choice of taking our own vehicles (Sunny + Venture)

Quick plans were made, next morning we started by 06:00

A little info about Kolli Hills
Wiki Source

Quote:
Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai is a tall hill range located in central Tamil Nadu in the Namakkal district. The mountains are about 1370 m in height and cover an area of approximately 280 km˛. The Kolli Hills has 70 hair pin bends to reach the top of the hills. These hills are in the Southern part of the Eastern Ghats, which is a mountain range that runs mostly parallel to the east coast of peninsular India. The mountains are relatively untouched by commercial tourism and still retain their natural beauty.

Kolli hills are featured in several works of classical Tamil literature such as Silappathigaram, Manimekalai, Purananuru and Ainkurnuru. The region was ruled by Valvil Ori around 200 C.E., who is praised as one of the seven great philanthropists of ancient Tamil Nadu. His valor and marksmanship are sung by several poets, and his exploits are a popular part of folklore.

The Mountain is named Kolli Malai behind the name of Goddess Ettukkai Amman(KolliPaavai). The region was ruled by Valvil Ori around 200 A.D., who is praised as one of the seven great philanthropists of ancient Tamil Nadu.
A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)-kolli-hills.jpg
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Old 24th August 2015, 15:00   #2
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

How To Reach:
Kolli Hills is well connected from Namakkal and Salem by Road. I'm not sure about the frequency of Public transportation but during our visit we could see frequent buses flying from Namakkal & Salem till the foothill 'Karavalli' and few buses on the ghats as well. Entry fee of 20 INR/Veh is collected at the check-post.

Ghat roads were pretty decent but very narrow at certain stretches. This makes honking a necessity to signal the on-coming traffic. Best part is there are 70 hairpin bends and some are so steep. Roads were scenic but the unavailability of parking space leave us disappointed.

PS: Puliancholai is another foothill on the opposite side of Karavalli and to reach there take Thuraiyur --> Thammampati route

What To Do:
- Enjoy the showers at 4 water falls (Agasa Gangai, Masila Aruvi, Sandhana Aruvi, Namma Aruvi) [Aruvi = Falls]
- Worship few temples
- Have fresh fruits (Pineapple, Jack fruit, Banana) Pair if pineapples were available for 30INR and jack fruits starting from 20INR
- Shop spices (Pepper plants can be easily seen on road sides)
- Enjoy the scenic views from View points / view towers

Things to remember / Note:
- The only fuel station I saw is IOCL at Semmedu. So take care to fill the fuel at foot hills itself (Before Karavalli or Namakkal / Senthamangalam)
- Couple of ATMs available only at Semeedu. Take sufficient cash before you climb up
- Take enough drinking water and snacks (no shops at certain view points)
- Only few lodges / guest houses were available. Plan in advance during peak season timing
- Check for water availability in falls before you visit
- There are mixed reviews about the food quality & taste. Typical South Indian dishes like Idly, Dosa, Paniyaram are easily available. No hi-fi hotels / restaurants available.
- Mobile network is very poor. Better to carry at least 2 different carriers. We managed with multiple carriers (Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, BSNL) but even they couldn't support at certain instances.
- Fresh fruits are available at cheaper price. A little negotiation could make them even cheaper, but hard bargaining may end up with harsh words (local people are good enough, but take care)

Last edited by Mr.Boss : 26th August 2015 at 08:51.
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Old 26th August 2015, 08:47   #3
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Post re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Route / Map:
Too many zig-zag roads. I'm covering only the list of places what we visited.
For more details, visit the below links
http://wikitravel.org/en/Kolli_Hills
http://www.holidayiq.com/Kolli-Hills...eing-1627.html
A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)-route.jpg

Ride & Riders:
1) Nissan Sunny - 4 on board
2) TATA Venture - 6 on board
Distance covered : 90km (foothill to foothill)

Few Snaps while driving uphill:

Road before Namakkal
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Entry arch at Foothills (Karavalli)
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Last edited by Mr.Boss : 26th August 2015 at 08:53.
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Old 26th August 2015, 09:03   #4
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Post re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Masila Falls:

This is a small waterfalls with water falling from a little over 100ft.

Facilities available:
- Rest rooms
- Change rooms (only for female)
- Children play area
- Sufficient parking area (No parking fee)
- Small shops (Fruits, snacks, beverages)

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Old 26th August 2015, 09:14   #5
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Arapaleeswarar Temple

Lord Shiva temple is located opposite to Agasa Ganga waterfalls.
A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)-dsc01886.jpg
Image source : Google
No snaps from my side.

History:

Quote:
According to legend, the shiva linga in the temple was found when a farmer was ploughing his land. It is said that the farmer accidentally hit the shiva linga while ploughing, and that led blood to ooze out of the statue. The small wound is said to be visible on the shiva linga even today.
Interior view
A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)-g_l4_1023.jpg

AstaLakshmi Chakra
A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)-g_l3_1023.jpg
Source

Akasa Ganga Waterfalls:

Sad part is, we skipped this spot (since half the crowd is aged around 60s) I'll be visiting Kolli hills again in near future with my friends to enjoy this water falls.

Akasa Ganga is the main tourist attraction in Kolli hills.
1050 steep steps (around 1km distance) from Arapaleeshwarar temple will take you to a 300ft high water falls.

A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)-akash-ganga-waterfall.jpg

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Last edited by Mr.Boss : 26th August 2015 at 09:30.
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Old 26th August 2015, 09:33   #6
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Post re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Sitraruvi:
Sitraruvi = Small Waterfalls

This is located adjacent to Arapaleeshwarar temple. Maintenance is pathetic and bathing doesn't give any fun here. In simple, worth for a couple of snaps.

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Old 26th August 2015, 09:39   #7
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

View Points

Couple of view points available. Seeku Parai view point & Selur Nadu view point

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Old 26th August 2015, 09:45   #8
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Misc Snaps

Miscellaneous snaps taken at
- Etukkai Amman temple
- Botanical Garden
- Boat House

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Not much snaps from this trip as the photographic gears were left at home and I hate taking snaps with mobile camera. There will be another adventurous trip including trekking and camping near future and I wish to cover as much a possible during the next trip.
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Old 26th August 2015, 10:05   #9
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Beautifully compiled! Especially the fact on that small town the other side of the foothill, gives a nice perspective about this place. Many use the Senthamangalam-Thuraiyur route to Trichy from Bangalore (hence avoid Namakkal). And in that process view these hills from a distance. Up close is always nice. Huge tourist potential exists here. It just needs some good stay options.

Last edited by ampere : 26th August 2015 at 10:09.
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Old 26th August 2015, 11:10   #10
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Lovely report and photos. Had never heard of such a place So many hidden natural beauties we have.
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Old 26th August 2015, 12:02   #11
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Thanks for the compliments guys
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Huge tourist potential exists here. It just needs some good stay options.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Had never heard of such a place So many hidden natural beauties we have.
This place is still left untouched by many tourists and away from concrete junks (unlike Ooty / Kodaikanal) This is one reason why this hill station is very much affordable. Rooms were available for as low as 400 INR and No parking fee at many places (except entry fee)
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Old 26th August 2015, 12:22   #12
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Default re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Nice pictures. I have been thinking of going there for a while now. Looks like a nice place to cover over a weekend.
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Old 26th August 2015, 13:01   #13
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Smile Re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Fantastic travelogue coupled with good snaps esp of the waterfalls makes this place a must visit. I loved the roads leading to the hills, many curves, some hair pin bends must have been fun driving on these roads. Ideal for T-BHP meets for the drive +scenery.
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Old 26th August 2015, 14:53   #14
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Default Re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Nice report! Thanks for the nice pics too. I missed a ride with my friends years back. I should plan a trip there soon - the number of hair-pin bends just makes me droool
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Old 26th August 2015, 20:21   #15
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Default Re: A Drive to Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu)

Thank you for this lovely write up on the Kolli Hills, Mr. Boss. Seventy hairpin bends! Isn't that more than the climb to Valaparai? The waterfalls look lovely too. It must have been a really beautiful drive. i would love to ride up there. I will definitely plan a trip along with my friends. Thank you once again.
Regards,
Ashok
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