To reach the top of Kolli Hills, one must brave steep ghat roads and sharp bends, not just 10 or 20 but a total of 70 continuous hairpin bends that mark the nearly 50-km long mountain route! It’s truly one roller coaster of a ride uphill and clearly, it’s not for the faint-hearted. It can even be a nightmare for people with motion sickness, but for avid bikers, this exhilarating motorbike adventure may always be beckoning.
Where is Kolli Hills?
Kolli Hills, also called Kolli Malai, is situated in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu. A scenic mountain range in the Eastern Ghats, it lies at an altitude of 1300 m above the mean sea level. This place remains hidden under the canopy of its dense vegetation and is untouched by commercialization. Despite its unexploited natural beauty, Kolli Hills hasn’t yet claimed its well-deserving place on India’s tourism map. However, this hidden wonder doesn’t escape the notice of avid motorcycle riders rooting for adventurous road trips in India.
How to reach Kolli Hills?
Kolli Hills is situated at a distance of 200 km from Coimbatore, 258 km from Bengaluru and 360 km from Chennai. These cities act as a perfect start for a long road trip over the weekend. The mountainous road begins at Kalappanaickenpatti and leads you through the beautiful landscape (although on a rather windy path) to Semmedu – the hilltop where you find yourself amidst the serenity of the hills.
Trichy Airport and Salem railway station serve the regular tourists arriving from Bangalore, Coimbatore, and Chennai airports or railway stations. You can hire a taxi from the airport or railway station to the Kolli Hills, if you do not want to ride/drive by yourself. State-run buses are also available from these cities.
What is Riding Up the Windy Route of Kolli Hills Like?
A medley of emotions like that of amazement, excitement, and anxiety can take hold of you as you maneuver your way through the zigzag road that throws continuous challenges in the form of hairpin bends, one at every 650 m or so. The temperature dips with rising elevation and at certain points, the road gets so narrow that it cannot accommodate more than one vehicle (four-wheeler). It indeed takes a lot of mastery over your vehicle to negotiate these dangerous hairpin bends. But the real thrill lies in conquering challenges, isn’t it?
Moreover, the stone markers placed at the end of every turn may cheer you up by displaying the number of hairpin bends that you have successfully crossed, and the cool mountain breeze may sweep over you every now and then as if to refresh you.
Kolli Hills also rewards adventurous travelers with amazing views of nature. You can take them all in by pulling your vehicle up at the vantage points (although lush greenery trails alongside the entire stretch of the curvy road, do not dare to shift your focus while riding as it can be dangerous). Five major viewpoints, namely Selur, Sirumalai, Binnam, Seeku Parai, and Valappurnadu, offer panoramic views of the green hills and valleys against the clear blue skies. You cannot help but gaze in wonderment at the breathtaking scenery!
Kolli Hills Attractions
Though Kolli Hills is infamous for the winding road (Road MDR181) that cuts through it, this is not all it has got to offer to tourists. The hills are home to two temples and five waterfalls. Two of the most popular attractions in Kolli Hills are:
An ancient Shiva temple is the reason why Kolli Hills is popular as a pilgrim destination in South India. It is believed that the temple has been in existence since the Sangam period. According to folklore, the Shiva lingam enshrined in this temple was found by a farmer while he was plowing the land. When the plow hit something concrete, he noticed blood oozing from the earth. He dug further and discovered the Shiva lingam. The wound on the lingam is said to be visible even today.
Agaya Gangai Falls
A major tourist attraction in Kolli Hills, Agaya Gangai Falls is situated about 1 km from the Arapaleeswarar temple. One has to climb down nearly 1000 steps to reach the falls. The steps are steep and the climb is tiring, but the beauty of the falls is something that cannot be missed. Falling from a height of 300 ft, the silvery cascade is a sight to behold. Get a natural massage under the falls to soothe your tired muscles or take a rejuvenating dip in the pond near the rocks.
Some Facts About Kolli Hills
- Kolli Hills is named after the local Goddess Ettukai Amman, also called Kollipavai, who is said to protect the hills.
- The tropical moist evergreen forests that cover the mountains provide shelter to diverse wildlife, including endemic species.
- Several medicinal plants and herbs grow abundantly in this area.
So, Kolli Hills Road is daring you to bike your way through its 70 hairpin bends. Are you game for this challenging adventure? Spare a day on your Chennai or Bangalore itinerary for this thrilling ride and enjoy an experience of a lifetime. Get your flight tickets booked with Indian Eagle and save huge on airfare!