Kolli Hills, a place which is not so far from Bangalore (~290 km) with 70 hair pin bends. The count of hair pin bends was the major motivation for me to include this in our bike ride’s bucket. I just love controlling the bike over sharp turns and realize the importance of those high school physics concepts while riding. I have covered Ooty(36 hair pin bends) and Valaparai (42). But, this place is having the maximum turns, which I have heard of in South India.
Dates : We went for a weekend ride to Kolli hills (25-26 June, 2016).
This time, we (my wife and I) didn’t invite anyone to ride along and make this one adventurous couple ride.
I booked a place named “Nallathambi Resort” to stay, one week in advance. I want to mention here, that there are very few accommodation options available in this place, so you need to book in advance. I had to postpone my trip by 1 week due to unavailability of the accommodation. Resort may not be an appropriate term for the property but rooms were clean and there is separate area for kids as well. It costs us 1500 rupees/ night for one room.
We stopped at A2B for breakfast on the first day before Salem, where we met few other bikers heading to other places. When we reached the resort, they had only one option for lunch which was a South Indian Thali for 100 rupees and it was value for money. They had few more options available for dinner but mainly south indian food. We tried to find other options for dinner but there was nothing great, so resort was the only best option available for us.
Places to visit
There are few view points and a waterfall named Agaya Gangai Waterfall. In the evening, clouds were dense and it could have rained at any time. We decided to go to the waterfall, which was around 12 km, in the morning and headed towards a famous view points called Wireless view point and Sekupare view point. They were around 4 km from the resort. The moment I had a first look at the valley from Sekupare, i marked the place Kolli hills with a must visit tag. The valley view was really different and I can’t describe it in words. I really missed my DSLR which we left at home, as I was not expecting such amazing landscape here. We spend around an hour at the place and headed back to the resort.
Next morning we visited the Agaya Gangai Waterfall on the way back to Bangalore. The route was more like a triangle between base of hill, resort and waterfall. It will be great if you visit waterfall while going back or coming to kolli hills. The fall was a descent one but it will be super fun if you are travelling with friends and take a bath in the fall. The only issue was reaching the waterfall. You have to go down from the hill by stairs and if I roughly count the stairs, they must be around 1000 — yes, I am not kidding. You can easily go downstairs but it requires lot of efforts to come up. It was more like a reverse trekking. Keeping this in mind, I suggest you visit the fall on your day 1 and then rest in the evening.
Bangalore to Kolli Hills
We started (me and my wife) around 6:30 am in the morning from Bangalore. Bangalore to Salem highway is one of the best, I have covered around Bangalore. I am always able to maintain the average speed of 100 km/hr on this highway. There is no traffic till salem but next 50 km from Salem to Kalangani had usual city traffic. I refueled my bike near salem (Harley needs refueling after every 200 km :P) which was a good idea as there were no options up in the hill.
After Salem, you just need to follow the direction sign for Namakkal for around 40 km, then take a left near Kalanagani. After leaving the highway there was very less connectivity, so we had to ask 1-2 times for directions.Tip : Download the offline map on wifi to avoid network issues. Road condition is little bad till base of the hill. After that starts the actual journey to cover the hairpin bends, the turns were steep but very few were the inclined ones. We were able to complete the 70 bends in half hour and finally reach the resort. The road condition was great till the top.
Return to Bangalore with Rains !
We started for bangalore around 2 pm, weather was good and it was a pleasant ride except last 20 km where there was a very heavy rain. We were completely drenched by the time we reached home around 7 pm.
I would suggest Kolli hills as a great destination for a weekend road trip, there are very less things to do but it is a nice non-commercialize place with great natural beauty and riding adventure.