A part of the Eastern Ghats, the Kolli Hills range, is comparatively untouched by human activity and commercial exploitation, thereby retaining much of its natural splendour.
The mountains are regarded as a pilgrim destination, due to the Arapaleeswarar Temple that is supposed to contain a secret pathway to the Lord Shiva temple located in Rasipuram.
Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai in Tamil got its name from the Goddess Ettukai Amman also known as Kolli Paavai. It is considered that the hills have been guarded by the Goddess from time immemorial and her divine protection continues to this day.
A number of hiking enthusiasts, members of trekking clubs and general appreciators of nature can be seen visiting Kolli Hills throughout the year.
Agaya Gangai waterfall which cascades down from a height of 91.44 mt and surrounded by mountains on all sides is a scenic place to visit in Kolli Hills. It is located near the Arapaleeswarar Temple.
A set of steps that are more than a thousand in number, take the travellers from the temple to the bottom of the waterfall.
The steep nature of these steps make both the descent and ascent quite tiring, and people who get winded easily or those who have health problems are advised to take an extremely slow approach.
A couple of viewpoints are present on the way and offer a spot to relax for tourists. Agaya Gangai literally translates to 'Ganges of the sky' and the view from the top is breathtaking.
Tourists are advised to be on the watch out for slippery rocks close to the waterfall while witnessing its grandeur from up close.
A must visit place is the Arapaleeswarar Temple which is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Located at Periakoviloor, it is in the vicinity of the splendid Agaya Gangai waterfall.
Inscriptions dating back to the Chola period have been found at the temple according to experts in the field. A secret path to the Lord Shiva Temple at Rasipuram is believed to exist at the Arapaleeswarar Temple.
View of the temple
Photo Courtesy: Karthickbala
Seekuparai and Selur Nadu
Seekuparai and Selur Nadu refer to two viewpoints that are being developed by the Government in an effort to promote tourism in Kolli Hills.
Extremely low pollution coupled with considerably high privacy due to a lack of awareness regarding the viewpoints make Seekuparai and Selur Nadu an ideal place to visit and unwind.
Trekking, boating and meditation are some of the more popular activities carried out here whilst visitors might also enjoy idle gazing at the serene natural scenery.
Trekking is not recommended for those with health complaints as it can be quite a strain and carrying water at all times is necessary.
Masila Falls is a medium sized waterfall which is a place of interest for families holidaying due to its visually appealing nature. The falls are 200 ft in height.
A concrete pathway that extends right upto the waterfall exists and an improvised parking spot has been set up in recent times for the benefit of tourists.
This is a place where tourists love to shower in the refreshing cool waters of the falls. At the top of the Masila Falls, the Masi Periyasamy Temple is located.
The view from the temple is enchanting and the lush greenery that surrounds the waterfall adds to the feeling of being in another world altogether. This pristine location is another one of the places to visit in Kolli Hills.
Beautiful view of the waterfall.
Photo Courtesy: Native Planet
Swami Pranavananda Ashram
The Swami Pranavananda Ashram, is a place of interest in Kolli Hills and is located in Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu. Situated away from human habitation, the ashram has an aura of total divinity and peace.
The hills surrounding the Ashram are maintained by the Ashram staff that look to prevent any pollution via dumping of plastic, smoking and other means.
Breaking of tree branches and plucking of flowers are also frowned upon. It said that the Swamiji had a clear vision of the Lord Shiva during penance and built a temple dedicated to the God.
Community work including cleaning, cooking, gardening and the like, spiritual discussions and meditation are some of the activities carried out daily in the Ashram.
How to Reach Kolli Hills
By Air: The airport closest to Kolli Hills is at Trichy and is around 140 km away from the hill range. Regular flights to Trichy are available from Chennai, which is connected to most major towns.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Kolli Hills is Salem which is almost 90 km from the Hills. Trichy station is also located in the relatively close vicinity.
By Road: Kolli Hills is readily accessible by road and is connected to cities such as Chennai and Salem. Salem is well linked to Chennai, Madurai and Trichy by private as well as Government buses.