While browsing through some of fellow travelers blogs, I stumbled upon the place called Kolli hills, a hill station nestled in the Eastern Ghats located in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu about 300kms from Bangalore.
(a hairpin bend view)
Itching to venture out somewhere and had to test the Xylo for its ride and comfort, raja agreed to come along with his wife and nag pitched in too and as always guru ditched us at the last moment choosing not to come. Another aspect that lured me to plan a trip here were the inviting 70 hairpin bends to negotiate, a driver's delight in store!
The NH7 was as good as it could get with constructions and repairs in patches till Krishnagiri and from there its a cruise and after visiting a couple of temples at the small town of Namakkal, we drove towards Kolli hills or Kolli malai as its known as.
Route: Bengaluru-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Salem-Namakkal-Senthamangalam-Karavalli-Kolli hills
(Namakkal can be completely avoided as there is a diversion before Namakkal towards Senthamangalam-Karavalli). Ask for directions from the locals as its a little tricky and most of the sign boards are in Tamil language.
Good time to visit Kolli hills would be during the months of November-December when there are rains due to the North East monsoon and the hills is resplendent in a cover of green all around.
(view from the viewpoint from the highest point in the botanical garden)
Kolli hills is not as famous as other hill stations in Tamil Nadu and is famous for its herbal plants that are found in the mountain range and hence known as Herbal mountain. But what I saw in and around Kolli hills made me think it more as an garbage mountain, read this post here. Also, the weather was cooler on the top and remains pleasant throughout they year drawing lot of local tourists mainly for a weekend party or a drive to this place.
(another view from Sekuparai viewpoint)
Negotiating the 70 hairpin bends was a real treat with some wonderful valley views in spite of the mid-day heat, we took umpteen number of breaks to savor the beauty. But you need to drive with caution as some hairpin bends are narrow and the trucks, minivans just appear out of nowhere in full speed and the road is bad in patches.
We stayed at 'Nallathambi Resorts', a decent place worth the money and supposedly the best of the lot, and incidentally we enjoyed the food served. Here again, note there are hardly any eateries out of your resort and the best option would be to have it from the place you stay.
(view from Sekuparai viewpoint)
Places worth a visit when staying at Kolli hills:-
> We visited the lake (where raja and wife went on a paddle boat ride),
> the viewpoint in the botanical garden / park (got excellent views from here),
> Sekuparai viewpoint (again for some wonderful sun setting vistas)
> Akash gangai falls (need to get down the steep steps and climbing up was a herculean task), and the
(roughly 100 steps to climb down, climbing up was very tiring and exhausting)
Akash Ganga falls
> Arappaleshwar temple (the famous temple) over the one and a half days we stayed.
> We missed the Masila falls due to lack of time.
(as the sun goes down...)
(out of sight into oblivion...)
(the moon comes out in full glow!)
Overall to say, Kolli hills has the potential to be an excellent weekend getaway location if managed and maintained properly, else it's another disaster waiting to happen!