A chance to attend a friend's wedding at Madurai gave us yet another opportunity of exploring the state of Tamil Nadu. Since last time around, we had missed exploring the Namakkal fort, we wanted to do it this time and also as the time was very short (a day), we had to minimize the number of places we could visit. As we started our journey on Saturday morning, we were welcomed by rain and as we continued, it showed no signs of stopping. Due to the receding north east monsoons, there were heavy rains and hence we thought it would be the best to visit waterfalls. Our plan now was to explore the lovely Kollimalai /Kolli Hills, the beautiful Akashganga waterfall and a few temples around. We were fully aware that we had to cross the seventy hairpin bends to reach this amazing place courtesy our fellow bloggers - Shankara and Mitr .
|An initial View of the Kolli Hills and its Magnificent Waterfalls|
After inquiring at various places, we reached the hill base. There is a forest check post where they collected from us a minimal entry fee along with our details. Hereon, the saga of the hair pin bends started and we began to enjoy the journey more, amidst the mist, the rains, the curvy roads and the lush greenery.
|First Hair Pin Bend|
|Don't know what it really says, though we were proud to be amidst Kolli hills!!!|
|Tourist Places of Kolli Hills|
|An Awesome Morning!!!!|
|Hair Pin Bend|
|70th Hair Pin Bend|
We crossed the 70 hair pin bends and wow, what a journey it was! There were still no signs of any waterfalls anywhere. We reached a place called Semmudu, the largest village of Kolli hills. There is another check post here and they collect a fee for further entry. On inquiring about the falls here, he gave us directions telling us it was about 19 km from the check post along with an alternative option of taking a short cut, which would save us about 10 km, the chances of losing way in the latter was much easier. We took the short cut and after traveling some distance, we reached an unknown village where we spotted some hot food being served and fed ourselves sumptuously with dosas, parsthas and omelettes. In no time, we reached the Arappuleshwara Temple. It was chilly weather and we were almost shivering due to the cold. We headed towards finding the way to falls But, to our dismay , we realized that the entry to the waterfall was temporarily suspended for all, because of heavy rains. And they would open the gates only after the rains subsided until it would be safe for the public. Not being very disappointed, we inquired about another falls called the Masai falls, near Masai Periswamy temple. The locals informed us that, at this point in time, it would be difficult for us to go to the temple and the falls due to the heavy rains. From here, we proceeded to the Arappuleshwara temple and after a quick darshan, we had some hot herbal soup that was prepared locally and tasted perfect. We wrapped up and started driving towards Madurai.
|Lovely Tribal House|
|Misty and Cloudy|
|Misty Kolli Hills|
While returning, we took the longer route to make sure we don't miss anything worth watching and later realized that we had to drive through an additional 39 hairpin bends! All put together, we crossed more than 175 hair-pin bends of Kolli hills, which was a wonderful experience. There are also a few small resorts in the hills which offer accommodation. Since ours was a short trip, we didn't get chance to check out any of these resorts. Kolli hills is an ideal weekend getaway from Bangalore. Like most of the hill stations, this place is also abused by irresponsible tourists who do very little for keeping our environment safe. A humble request to the tourists, from us and all who care for our surroundings and the environment is, please do not litter, use the waste bins for throwing garbage, which is present at most of the tourist places. Avoid use of plastic wherever possible. Nature is god's gift. Help in keeping it beautiful.
Await for more hidden secrets of this place..........