Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trip to Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu

Kolli Hills is a quiet hilly area in Tamil Nadu ranging around 3000-4000 feet above sea level; around 85 kms away off the city of Salem. On my first trip with GHAC group (a group which encourages various trips/treks with different people and this was my first such trip); it was an enjoyable experience to meet new people, amidst awesome weather and serene background.

21 of us started on a bus from Hyderabad to Salem (a 12 hour journey) and reached the city next morning 6am. To reach Kolli Hills from the city of Salem; one needs to interchange three buses to get there. We freshened up at one of the stoppages and eventually reached the start point of Kolli Malai after the last bus took us through 70 hair pin bends on a uphill road.

(As a side note, must admit I was impressed with the steering ability of those bus drivers. On every bend I thought, here we go colliding into the wall; and just at the last moment the wheel spun away leading the bus to smoothly stay on the road without a fuss.)

Post those bends, it is a 12 km trek to the Agaya Gangai waterfalls (refer link above). We had lunch (it was lunch time by the time we got here) and started off on a fun-filled trek. The route was easy, and not laborious; we stopped multiple times for photos and had good fun along the way.

Misty - green hills
The scenery around the place was full of greenery with a misty backdrop lending an easy-on-the-eye pleasant background as we walked along. The weather was an unexpected bonus as it stayed cloudy throughout the weekend with occasional bursts of rain but essentially cloudy and misty for most parts giving the place a 'serene-mysterious-uninhabited-countryside' look.
Beautiful greenery with a misty background
 Towards the evening, we stopped at an off-small-waterfall around 15-20 metres high and had a good time there. After that, we continued our walk/trek to the intended destination. As it grew dark, we accidentally separated into groups and one half of the group got lost. Walking and asking about our way (luckily there were folks who knew Tamil); we managed to find the other half after an hour of hunting.

After reaching our destination, we set up tents with the help of our group lead; and had dinner under torch lights. Our dinner was pretty basic with some energizers like chikki (i don't know its english name), dates along with ready-to-eat sambhar/lemon rice which we heated using a stove.

We set up watch in batches over our belongings for a stipulated time period during the night which was good fun until it started raining on my watch. A good night's sleep still (for most folks at least); and we were fresh and ready to move next morning.

Early morning - ghostly trees
Continuing our walk to the waterfall; we were in for a disappointment. The road to Akash Gangai waterfalls (a series of 1200 downhill steps - a real trek) was blocked because of an accident a couple of days ago. That notwithstanding; we found another mini falls and spent some good time there trying to go as close to the force of water flow. (It never ceases to amaze me what power a simple chunk of water falling from a height seems to generate).

After lunch, we were ready to go back and completed our return journey to Salem in bus and Omnis. Thereafter the bus back to Hyderabad capping off a nice weekend.

It is a little inhibiting when you plan to go on a trip with folks unknown. I am glad to say that after this trip; there are no such inhibitions and I ended up meeting and befriending a lot of folks along the way.

For further pictures, visit this link.


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  1. Kolli Hills has to be explored in a leisurely pace. Kolli Hills has been the top choice for nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts, trekking clubs and meditation practitioners among hill stations in Tamil Nadu. In comparison to other hill stations in Tamil Nadu, Kolli Hills is not commercialized, less polluted and offers unique mountain ranges.

    Our home stay is painstakingly constructed in a plantation with ecofriendly methods.
    Food will be wholesome and hygienic.. We provide both veg. and Non-veg food both south Indian , north Indian and Chinese food is offered.

    We offer soft trek to families and we provide campfire in the night.

    Clean rooms, hygienic bathrooms, fresh linen, breathing space and warm hospitality. Those are just the basics as far as we are concerned.

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  3. Ur trip was interesting.
    Wd love to go too.
    Not planning to go again ? as u missed the akash ganga waterfall.