Enticing expedition through the Kolli Hills (Kollimalai)

My first ever adventure Not sure whether I was born adventurous or my reading habits has made me love travel and adventure. During my young age, used to be a lover of novels which are close to travel like the first one I could remember "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe second in its number by translations to other languages, while first is "The Bible". This time the team KeralaCelebrities have chosen a lesser-known destination, the Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai which falls under the Eastern Ghats with elevation ranging between 1,200m to 1,300m msl covering about 280sqKms. The reason behind the name "Kolli Malai" (Mountains of Death) is due to the fact that a few Tamil classic literature had documented the presence of a spirit of a maiden 'Kollipavai' aka 'Ettukkai Amman' driving the attention of people who stroll and then later kill them. 'Kollipavai' is considered as a protector of the mountain ranges. Leaving the historical significance behind, the Kolli Hills can be accessed by road and we have chosen the below route from the capital city of which the major chunk is the four-way-track. Trivandrum - Nagercoil - Madhurai - Dindigul - Karur - Karavalli to Solakkadu (70 Hairpin curves) - Silverline Retreat Hotel

The expedition to Kolli Hills - relatively a covert hill destination near to Salem - is one among the dream drive for a motorist, not just for the fact that it covers the India's only 70 hairpin curves but also for the loop and scenic road.

Karavalli - Solakkadu mountain pass remains to be in butter-smooth condition. You will also get a chance to view a lot of agricultural lands in the 6km stretch from Solakkadu to Semmedu (the Head Quarters of Kolli Hills).

We have started by about 23:00 evening and reached Silverline Retreat Hotel by 9:30 in the morning. The climate was lovely and the temperature ranged between 18°C to 28°C throughout our stay.

Even-though the hotel serve breakfast only until 09:30 a.m, on our request we have got some delicious Dosas and omelets sent to our room.

And about the stay,

"Silverline Retreat Hotel is a 3 star elegant hotel, an ideal place for unique moments not only for relaxation, but also to conduct conferences, seminars, corporate get together and many more events of your choice. Built in 2015, the buildings and surrounding of the hotel are those of a traditional south Indian village with paved alley ways, stone fountain, also garden is set with rare species of local flowers and trees. The complex has a fully equipped outdoor Gymnasium, a large children play ground with outdoor and indoor games. Free Wi-Fi, public internet corner and also private valet parking. The main attraction is that we offers high quality south, north and continental style food with fresh local products." says Silas Ebenezer, The General Manager of Silverline

We took some rest after the drive had our buffet lunch afternoon and I have chosen to have their local cuisines as always which was really awesome and started to visit the attractions of Kolli Hills.

The main tourist attractions are:

  • Aagaya Gangai water falls

  • Arappaleeswarar Temple

  • Boating Point

  • Botanical Garden

  • Selur Viewpoint

Arappaleeswarar Temple has a more of spiritual significance and tourists from Malaysia and Singapore often visit the place more often.

Another nearby spot is the Agaya Gangai waterfalls which is near to the temple and one has to climb down about 1050 stairs to get a full view of the falls. The tourists take a bit risky yet rejuvenating bath here and the falls splashdown the goodness of herbs and is believed to retain health and vigor.

By evening we thought of spending time in and around the resort, had our dinner and strolled around in the chilling cold till late night. The team had relished every moment at the place and felt rejuvenating as the air remained unpolluted, also hotel management has taken steps towards green initiative by using zero percent plastics and by using solar energy for other needs including power.

Next morning we managed wake-up before breakfast and carried-out some basic lessons of 'Surya Namaskar' as one among us is a regular practitioner. As proposed we planned to move down the hills after lunch and on the way back we stopped at 'Sollakadu' near the market place and bought some fruits to bring back home. Also we managed to try some local snacks from the place.

Snacks from Solakkadu

While moving down the hills passing over the hairpins curves the view was really magnificent and serine.

On our way back, we have taken a deviation from Tirunelveli, passing through Tenkasi - Thenmala route towards Thiruvananthapuram.

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