Kolli Hills – Bikers Paradise 13 & 14/06/2015

Place: Kolli Hills, Namakkal Tamilnadu

Distance: 700 km round trip
Route: Vijaynagar -> Hosuru -> Krishnagiri -> Salem -> Rasipuram -> Karavalli -> Semmudu – Kolli Hills Forest
Bikes: Yamaha R15, RE ThunderBird, TVS Apache, and Honda Unicorn
Crew:  Seena, Shaman, Srikant, Krishna, and Sagar (Myself)
Type: Water Falls, Sight Seeing 
Ideal for: Friends & Family
Budget: 1500/Head

Best of the beast: Kolli Hills

Brief about the place:
  • The mountains ranges from to  3500ft to 4500ft with the tallest peak Vettakaramalai, rising to 4663ft above sea level and covers area of 280 km². 
  • The Kolli Hills has 70  hair pin bends and hundreds of turns and twists to reach the top of the hills. 
  • Hills has two view points, a major waterfalls, 3 other small falls. A shiva temple and many other attractions.

Attraction at Kolli Hills:

  • Akaashaganga Waterfalls: The main attraction of Kolli Hills. Akasa Gangai is an enchanting 300 feet waterfall of river Aiyaru, located near Arappaleeshwarar temple it is the main attraction of Kolli Hills. 1302 steps lead down to the falls.
  •  Arapaleeswarar Temple: It is a 12th Century Shiva temple right opposite to Akash gange waterfalls.
  • Mini Falls: This is a small waterfall situated close to the Arapaleeswarar temple.
  • Botanical Gardens. This place is an ideal spot for loitering around with kids. There is a view point at the top of this Botanical Garden.
  • Masila Falls: Unpolluted waterfall is not as huge as the Akash Ganga falls, but good enough for taking bath.
  • Sikku Parai Viewpoint: Also known as Suicide point it gives an incredible view of the valley. Watching sunset is an amazing feeling.
Saturday Morning: I left my home early in the morning and reached Seena’s home by 5.30 am. Since my bike wasn’t able to withstand such a long journey I had decided to be pillion rider for Seena. Without wasting much time we headed to the assembly point – Kudlu gate. 3 other guys were already waiting for us, I was meeting all of them for the first time. After a formal greeting, we started our journey.

The journey: The medium traffic in the morning was not a big thing to deal with. We knew the journey would be long so we decided to maintain a good pace, riding at 80 kmph to 90 kmph on this smooth National Highway (NH7) was easy. As our stomach started growling we pulled over for breakfast at A2B near Shoolagiri.

At A2B near Shoolagiri

30km before Salem

After crossing Rasipuram we took a left turn which would lead to Karavalli – the base of the hill. The road transformed from broad NH to smaller roads, though the road condition was good. Another 20 km from here would lead to Karavalli.

From the Base of Kolli Hills

We could see Kolli hills stretching across many miles, the hills were looking more and more beautiful as we were nearing. How can we miss such beautiful scenery to capture in our camera? Stopped for a while for a small photo session. We finally reached the base of the hills where we had to enter the bike details at the check post. I asked the man how far is Semmudu, he replied “23 km”. Well, 23 km in ghat section with 70hairpinn bends would be exciting we told to ourselves.

Check post before the Hill starts

The 70 Hair Pin Bends: The journey started with the hair pin bend number 1/70, apart from these bends there are many twist and turns which aren’t counted. The uphill ride was thrilling, me being pillion ride was busy in taking photos and enjoying the view, Seena and other 3 riders were enjoying tricky turns. I appreciate Tamilnadu govt for such a good condition roads, there was not even a single pot throughout the stretch. As we were ascending the view from the hill was becoming more and more beautiful, we stopped at a couple of spots to enjoy the view. 23 km of the uphill ride with hundreds of twists and 70 hair pin bends took an hour to complete. We asked directions for Arrow Mansion lodge, another 8 km to reach the lodge.

Hair Pin Bend
Kolli Hills Road
View on the way
70th Hair Pin Bend
Finally, we reached our destination  at 12.30 pm, 6 hours of a long ride was tiresome. We checked into the lodge and had a short nap.

Directions Please: After an hour of rest we came out to visit the attractions at Kolli Hills, we mainly wanted to visit the waterfall. Seena asked lodge owner for the waterfall and directions, he suggested two waterfalls which he said are nearby one is Masila Aravi and other Namba Aravi. After having a meal nearby hotel we headed in search of falls. Since there was no network (except Vodafone) we had to depend on localities for the directions. Only Seena knew little Tamil, directions were written in Tamil so we had a tough time figuring route. Finally, after roaming for an hour we reached Masila Aravi. 

Dry Waterfalls: Our heart was broken when we saw the falls, a small stream of water was flowing from a large rock. It looked like a shower than a falls. Disappointed by the falls we decided to give another falls – Namb Aravi a try.

Masil Aravi Falls: A play ground for kids near the falls
Falls from far
Oh no water!! Falls or shower?

 We headed in search of Namba Aravi waterfalls. Again with the hard effort, we found the route to the Namba Aravi falls, just before the diversion we met another group of bike riders from Bangalore. They were coming from from Namba Aravi falls, when asked they said there is no water, its waste of time to go there. In return, we said the same thing about Masila Aravi. They were heading to Shiva Temple so we decided to follow them as we had no better plans. There was a sign board near the temple ‘Mini falls 0 km and Akashgange falls 1 km’. This is what we were searching for – Akashgange falls is 1 km down which could be reached by climbing down a thousand. The entry gate to falls was closed the guard said no one is allowed to go after 3 pm, I checked my watch it was already 5 pm. We decided to come back the next day morning so we skipped temple for the next day.

Sakre view point on the way to Shiva Temple ( thanks Seena for naming it after me :P)

Sunset at Kolli Hills: After wasting whole day we at least wanted to witness the sunset from Sikku Parai View Point, without wasting a minute we started our bike. The view point was near our lodge so we had no trouble with directions.  We finally reached the view point at 6.10 pm. The view point was incredible, the panoramic view of the surroundings was breath taking. Sun vanished behind the clouds and the sky turned into black, we left the place after Sunset.

Sikku Parai View point
Surrounding mountains from Sikku Parai View point
Sun vanishing behind the clouds
Sunday Morning: Got up early in the morning and we headed to Akashgange falls at 6.30 in the morning. Reached Shiva Temple, had a little food at nearby hotels. 

Akashgange waterfalls: Climbing down 1302 steps was easier, the path goes through thick forest giving an incredible view of the beautiful valley surrounded by  mountains. As we got closer we could hear the sound of the water flowing.

Descending 1302 Steps to reach Akashgange Falls
Well constructed stais
A view point on the way
Valley surrounded by Mountains

First glimps of the falls
Last part of the trek

The falls was bigger than our expectations. In no time we all got into the water. A supporting rope had tied to help people cross the small stream. The water is hardly 5 ft deeper so crossing the stream wasn’t risky at all. We enjoyed the falls in full swing.

Akashgange Falls
Akashgange Falls
A rope support provided to cross the stream, it hardly 5ft in deep
Here we dive in

After diving in water
Getting back was a tougher task with 1305 steps to be climbed. We visited Shiva Temple and we came back to the Sikku Parai view point to have another breath taking view.

Infront of Shiva Temple
Arapaleeswarar Temple / Shiva Temple
Day view from Sikku Parai Viewpoint

Ride back: After a quick nap we checked out at 2 pm. Ride back was bit tiresome, the climate was really hot at the beginning but later it turned out to be good. Stopped for lunch near Salem. Had tasty Mango in shops beside the highway. Reached Seena’s home by 9 pm from there I came back to my room by 10 pm.

Place we stayed: Arraw Mansion Inn Kolli Hills, Tamilnadu

Don’t forget to leave a comment below. 

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  1. Hi kishor, we stayed at arrow mansion Lodge, the stay was decent but there's no food provided. The rooms are affordable as compared to other stay options there. I've updated the link in post.

  2. Kolli hills is a lovely place. Thanks for sharing more information about Kolli hills. Its an awesome place to visit. Loved reading about this place. Want to travel those places then book your bus tickets in advance in Parveen Travels to enjoy your trip.