March 4, 2011

Kolli Hills- Seventy Bends and a Fall...!!

Two guys, 1 bike, 1 destination and 70 hair pin bends. Yep!! You read it right. 70 hair pin bends is what you need to manoeuvre through to reach Kolli Hills or Mountains of Death. Like any other biker, this is the same numerical digit that made me head to this little known hill station. Nestled in the eastern ghats and 1300 meters above sea level, this unexplored, untouched, unconquered and unpolluted destination is yet to make itself prominent on the tourist map.

After collecting information about the route and the place from my blogger friend, Bhushavali, we started our journey from Bengaluru on a chilly morning. After the lovely ride on NH-7 till Salem, we took a deviation towards Rasipuram and then headed towards Senthamangalam. From here it is only 30 kms to Semmedu (the top of Kolli Hills). The biggest excitement was that I have never covered 70 hair pin bends during any of my travels before and this time I got to traverse it over a stretch of only 30 kms. The ride was quite different from the normal ghats as we encountered a hair pin after every 200 meters. That was an experience which would make any biker proud.

As we rode up, the weather transformed from warm to cool and the views changed colours. There are a couple of view points enroute where you can click some exceptional landscapes. After enjoying the winding ride, we reached Semmedu. The place is filled with coffee, pepper plantations and paddy fields. With a few shops, tea-stalls and a couple of options for accomodations, Semmedu is not the big attraction of these hills. It is in fact the Seekuparai viewpoint and the Agaya gangai waterfalls that brings people to this quaint hill station.

We first headed to the view point which was a few kilometers from Semmedu. The place was completely deserted with nobody in the vicinity. I was flabbergasted by the amazing view from there. The 70 hair pin bends had taken us way up and the view down from the top was breathtaking. With absolute silence for companionship we stared at the green valley, the brown hills, the blue sky and awed at the wonderful landscape. There is also a watch tower from where the views are even better. After a couple of camera clicks we headed to the Arapaleeshwar temple and then to Mini falls. A few steps down from near the temple took us to Mini falls, which is infact a stream flowing over a couple of rocks. Without wasting much time there we headed to the entrance of the Agaya gangai waterfalls.

A long walk of about 1000 steps took us to the falls. Agaya gangai is a real stunner, a water fall that will surely blow you away with its sheer beauty. I could feel water spraying on me even at a distance of 200 feet from the falls. Falling from a height of 300 feet, the thick white-in-colour water can easily be mistaken for milk over flowing from the top of the rocks. One can also venture further into the waters and enjoy the minblowing exprience standing below the falls. My cousin was quite keen on enjoying this but lack of time made us skip that. I kept gazing at the magnificent waterfalls for a long time and stood there listening to the water thrashing itself onto the rocks below. Solitude at its best...!! The climb back needs a special mention here. The steps were steep, small and we panted all the way till the top with frequent beaks after every 10 steps. Travelers must make sure they carry lots of water before they go down. On reaching the top, gulping down a few botles of water made us feel better.

 The other places which are worth visiting in Kolli hills are Masila Falls, Selur nadu, botanical garden etc. Due to lack of time we had to give it a miss and took the 70 bends to head back to Bangalore. This serene natural beauty is yet to be discovered by the travelers and tourists alike. This is an ideal weekend getaway for people from Bengaluru and Chennai. However kindly make sure to keep 2 days aside for this and do not cut it short to one day as Agaya Gangai itself would consume almost a day.

Signing Note: A destination waiting to be discovered...!!

Route- Bengaluru- Salem- Rasipuram- Senthamangalam- Kolli Hills

Distance- 295 kms


  1. Wow ! waterfalls had lot of water .

  2. Yup..lots.. and it was quite tempting to go under it.

  3. nice write-up and pics...makes me wanna go there again. I have been to Kolli so many times, but something about that place keeps me excited.

  4. Thanks Sankara... Its a beautiful place worth visiting more than once.

  5. Niran its too much .......... u didnt tell whereever u go... then put beautiful snaps here.. this is the last warning to u...whenever u go i will be there with u......

  6. i have seen writeups / pictures on kolli hills before too, but none tempted me like ur post :) well written and gr8 photos

  7. oops .... somehow open id comments with url did not work and the comment used my google profile by defauult :( hence the name in malayalam. this is sandeep (

  8. Thats so nice to hear. Thanks a lot. Btwn, no probs with the font as i can read malayalam. :)

  9. Niranjan,
    Though I've seen this post already, somehow I did not notice that you've included my name here. Thank you so much for the mention... :)

  10. For the number of queries that i asked you I felt your name definitely needs a mention here. :)

  11. The title and the images narrate the travelogue very well. Excellent post!

  12. Had never heard of this place. Thanks for highlighting it.

    1. It is a wonderful place to spend a weekend and the drive up is wonderful.



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