Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Saga of Hairpin Bends -Kolli Hills

   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
Winding Roads
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
Water Everywhere
Misty and Cloudy
Raging Clouds
Misty Kolli Hills
Magical
   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..........

21 comments:

  1. Wow...monsoon at its best and driving through 100+ hairpin bends should be exhilarating :)

    I hate these group of so called 'tourists' who visit any place only to eat, shit and drink and ravage the whole place, sick people :( I have literally carried sacks of plastic from Kodachadri while trekking!

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  2. One of the best photographical posts of yours. The hair pin bends, clouds, rains, hills, tribal huts... Its all so very mystical.
    And yeah, I completely agree with you and Santosh on the plastic issue, it really destroys the nature and eventually ends the place...

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  3. अपना चक्कर देखते है कि कि इन चक्करों में कब लग पाता है? वैसे देखने में हिमालय से कम नहीं है।

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  4. wow must have been an amazing ride!

    hope that your plea fro a clean environment is heard!

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  5. Wow!! Nice snaps and description. Sad to see the last picture.

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  6. wow! what a wonderful trip! when we visited yercaud about 5 years back, we thought of visiting kolli malai too, but me and my son were already throwing up all over the place, so we decided to give it a miss :( now i can see what we missed!

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  7. Some great pictures. Tempts me to dream of visiting it.

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  8. Another good one from you guys.. I wonder how you guys manage to travel so frequently.. :)

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  9. What a fantastic trip! You do take some incredible journeys! Thank you for sharing the beauty! Your captures are superb as always! I do so agree with the reminder not to litter! Our world is too precious to destroy it with trash! Hope you have a lovely evening!

    Sylvia

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  10. Magical monsoons...Unfortunate to miss the waterfalls due to rains..Also I don't understand how do people have the heart to spoil nature's beauty..

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  11. I can see that the drive was fun, but driving must be much more than that!! Great place, great post.

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  12. nice travel photos... in rainy season...

    photos are enlightening the beauty of nature...

    thanks

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  13. Awesome post. I just love these hills. Would love to visit them again. And Agayagangai falls is a must. One of the best I have ever seen.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  14. Driving should be challenging! Misty and cloudy photos are beautiful.

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  15. Hi Dhiraj, Glad to nominate you for this award..Hope you like it!
    http://aalayamkanden.blogspot.com/2011/12/versatile-blogger-award.html
    Cheers Priya

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  16. Great Post! I had heard about this place from quite some time, but never knew if it would be a worthy trip on my motorcycle.But after seeing the 70 hair pin bends,I am getting crazy now.Will hit this place asap.
    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Arnie
    www.arnabmaity.com

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  17. WOW, looks such a lovely place. A trip is a must. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Amazing & Awesome pics of the ghats & the hair pin bends. It is tough driving on ghat roads on a rainy day but the weather is heavenly and the scenery is most beautiful.

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  19. Wow, I love the mist and the tribal house... Nice pics.

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