India is a land filled with secrets and one such secret is buried in the Kolli Hills or as the locals would call them Kollimalai. The soaring mountains is said to hide secrets as deep as the belly of the ocean. It is said that the ghost of Kolli pavai resides at the top of these mountains and devour the flesh of the passer-by. How much truth there is in the legend we do not know, what we know is Kolli hills are one of the most serene hills in South India.
Situated at a height of 1300 meters or 4265 feet, Kolli hills are spread in nearly 280 sq km area of Tamil Nadu. The hills are a part of Eastern Ghats. We do not know whether it refers to the ghost stories or to the fact that you have to pass through 70 hairpin turns to reach the top of Kolli hills.
Relatively less famous among the tourists at the moment, Kolli Hills attract a number of bikers from all over the country. If you are a biker you would certainly want to take an adventurous ride to the Kolli hills. You can take a ride from Chennai to Kolli Hills or from Trichy to Kolli Hills for a hair-raising time of life.
You can start climbing the Kolli hills from Senthamangalam. It is only 30 km to Semmendu, the top of Kolli Hills. Within this 30 km you have to face 70 hairpin bends. Some of the bends are just 200 meters from each other. This give adventurers the rides of their lifetime.
Kolli Hills has to offer a lot to normal tourists also. The mountains, the greenery, the serenity the peace, the calm, the waterfalls, the fun all can come together at one place called The Kolli Hills. If you live in or near Chennai it would be very easy for you to take a 2 or 3 day trip to The Kolli Hills.
Kolli Hills is still very close to nature and loads of tourists have not populated the area. Hence, the number of attractions to visit in Kolli Hills is limited. What is not limited is the beauty that Kolli Hills has to offer to its visitors.
Arapaleeswarar Temple dates back to 1st Century CE. With its rich cultural heritage, it attracts tourists and historians in general. It is a beautiful temple with intricate carvings built in the traditional Dravidian Style of architecture. Built by the then ruler Valvil Ori, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the main attraction while you visit Kolli Hills.
Location: Arapaleeswarar Temple, Kolli Hills, Rasipuram Taluk, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 6 AM to 12 PM, and 4 PM to 7 PM
Distance from the city center: 72 km approx.
Botanical Gardens, Kolli hill
Botanical gardens are situated just 3 km from Semmendu. These gardens are so beautiful that they capture the eyes of the hardened tourist. The rose gardens, the children’s park, numerous plants and nestled between all these are eco-friendly cottages. There is also a viewpoint in the gardens to view the scenery around. The botanical gardens are a must-visit if you go to Kolli Hills.
Location: Semmedu, Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu
Timings: Whole week – 8 am to 8 pm
Tip: Pets are not allowed inside the premises of the Botanical Garden.
Entrance fees: Rs.20 per person (for adults) Rs.10 (for children)
Distance from city center: 14 km
Tampcol Medicinal Farm
Tampcol Medicinal farms are run by the state of Tamil Nadu. They are home to thousands of medicinal plants and herbs. Most of the plants and herbs are grown in this area are used for the production of Ayurvedic medicines like Unani and Siddha. These farms are located on the way to Vaasaloorpatti while going back from Semmedu. Even if you are not interested in Ayurvedic medicines or its manufacturing, it is worthwhile to visit these farms for the sake of its sheer beauty. Being a nature lover you cannot miss an opportunity to visit the Tampcol Medicinal Farms.
Things to do in Kolli Hills
When you visit Kolli Hills, you would like to do things which will make your visit special. You cannot miss Instagramable places in the Kolli Hills. Here is a list of things you can do and make your friends jealous:
Agaya Gangai Waterfalls
Agaya Gangai Waterfalls are one of the main tourist attractions in the Eastern Ghats. You have to climb down nearly 1000 steps to get to the waterfalls. The waterfalls are around 300 meters in height splashing away to the tourists. They are beautiful and the water is pristine. You can also take a dip and get wet if the weather permits you.
They are located at a distance of 1 km from Arapaleeswarar Temple. Remember to carry ample water for your way back because the steep steps are difficult to climb.
Location: Kolli Hills, Rasipuram Taluk, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu
Best Time To Trek: Post monsoons during the months from November to January
Vasalurpatty Boat House
In the midst of the green mountains, a man-made lake is built in Kolli Hills. Situated at roughly 5 km from the city center of Vasalurpatty, this lake just takes your breath away. The boathouse is built on this lake to attract tourists.
Location: Vasalurpatty, Kolli Hills, Namakkal District, Tamil Nadu
Timings: Monday to Sunday – 6 am to 6 pm
Entry Fee: INR 5 per person
Boating Charges: INR 20 per person for a two-seater pedal boat
The Siddhar Caves
The Siddhar caves located in Kolli Hills are famous for the medicinal herbs located on each side. They are so small that only one or two persons can fit in them. Centuries ago sages visited them for traditional medicines and natural healing.
Places to visit near Kolli Hills
There are many places you can visit near Kolli Hills which will take you away from the hush and gush of daily lives:
Situated at the foot of Kolli Hills, Puliancholai is a trekker’s Paradise. It is also known as the gateway to the Kollimalai. Puliancholai consists of more than 24 identifiable trails for trekking.
Salem is a city located near the Kolli hills. Famous for silver, steel, and silk this city is soon destined to become a smart city.
Which Indian has not heard the name of the Temples of Madurai? Meenakshi Temple in Madurai is one of the most famous Hindu Temples in India. Known for its exquisite carvings, Meenakshi Temple is also considered a pilgrimage site in South India.
How to Reach Kolli Hills
Kolli hills are accessible by air, train or roads. Trips can be taken from Chennai to Kolli hills and from Salem to Kolli hills.
Trichy domestic airport is the nearest airport to reach Kolli hills. Also, you can go to the more famous airport of Chennai. You can travel by road from Chennai to Kolli Hills.
The nearest railway station is of Salem located at a distance of 90 km.
You can either travel by state-run buses or take your own transport from Chennai to kolli hills or from Salem.
Kolli Hills Hotels:
You can stay in Kolli hills hotel or Kolli hills resorts. We have mentioned a few for your convenience:
- RJ Grand Resort
One of the Kolli hills Resort is RJ Grand. You can either book it online or can go there and book it physically.
- Silverline Retreat Hotel
This Kolli Hills hotel is situated overlooking the beautiful mountains. The sheer view from the hotel will mesmerize you.
- Nallathambi Resort
If you are looking for little villas for your holidays, it would be a good idea to check out Nallathambi Resort.
- Mahendravanam vhmResort
The Kolli hills resort offers you the best deals and restaurants.
When to plan a trip
Taking a trip to Kolli hills is always a good idea. The weather is always moderate and you need not worry about too much cold except in the month of January when the weather becomes too cold to visit. You can plan your trip in the rest of the time.
Other things you can do
- You can visit the Ettukai Amman Temple
- You can take a trip to Mesilla fall and Namma Falls
- You can also take a stroll on viewpoints like Selur viewpoint, Binnam viewpoint, Sirumalai viewpoint, and Seekuparai viewpoint
- You can get to the remote Bogar Caves as well as Kayanavandhu Caves
- Stay in one of the traditional wood houses
- Go shopping for Coffee, pepper, rice, and honey which are made in Kolli hills.