Kolli HillsFeatured in various works of Classic Tamil Literature like Manimekalai, Ainkurnuru, Purananuru and Silappathigaram Kolli Malai or Kolli Hills are the small mountain ranges which are situated in Namakkal District in Central Tamil Nadu. Kolli Hills cover approximately 280 km area and are about 1000 to 1300 m in height. Part of the Eastern Ghats, a mountain range which run parallel to the east coast, any person has to travel through 70 hair pins bends for reaching on the top of Kolli Hills.
Even today, these mountains are untouched by the commercial tourism and still have their natural beauty.
Legends of Kolli Hills:Named after Goddess Ettukkai Amman or KolliPaavi, the mountain is named as Kolli Malai. As per the legend, when some sages were looking for peaceful place for doing their penance, they chose Kolli Hills. But, when they started their rituals, some demons invaded these hills to disrupt the penance. Then the sages prayed to Goddess Kolli Paavi, who chased the demons with her enchanting smile.
Today, also the people revere her smile and the Kolli Pavai hills are worshiped. It is believed that today also the Goddess has been guarding the hill from evils. Kolli Hills are associated with various other mythological legends. Due to largely less traveled and unexplored terrain, you can also hear some eerie places in the contemporary tales.
At some places, the traveler can also heart the presence of Saptha Kannigal. Arapaleeswarar Temple is situated in the Kolli Hills. It is believed that Arapaleeswarar temple have a secret path to reach the Rasipuram Shiva Temple. Believed to be built by Valvil Ori, this temple is believed to be existed during Sangam period also. As per the legends, the Shiva Lingam in the temple was found by a farmer who was ploughing his land. It is said that the farmer hit the Shiva Lingam accidentally and blood oozed out the statue. It is said that even today the small wound is visible on the Shiva Lingam. Today also, you can read a poem, "Arappaleeswara Sathakam" which praises Lord Arrappaleeswarar.
Kolli Hills have a great historic significance. Around 200 A.D., this region was ruled by Valvil Ori who is widely known as the one of the seven great philanthropists of Tamil Nadu in ancient days. His exploit of marksmanship and valor are the popular part of the folklore and are sung by various poets. It is said that Ori killed a boar, deer, bear and lion with a single arrow.
Historic Significance of Kolli Hills:
Also, it is believed that the famous author of Arthashastra, Chanakya was born and brought upin this area. After that, he migrated to North India for pursuing education in Takshashila.
Kolli Hills have been very popular with the hiking enthusiasts, nature lovers, meditation practitioners and trekking clubs as it one of the unique mountain ranges, less polluted and not commercialized like any other hill stations. You can visit the Arappaleeswarar temple to worship the goddess, enjoy one of best waterfall, Agaya Gangai which is situated nearby. Apart from that, you can also visit botanical garden, Masila Falls, Cave House and Boat House.
Things to Do at Kolli Hills:
Distance from Salem by Road: 95.7 Kms
Best Time to Visit: June to March
Opening Hours: Everyday from 8am till 10 pm
Entry Fee: No entry fee