Kolli Malai Trek – Holiday to Technology
Looks like my love for the mountains is just not over yet. This time it was the Kolli Malai Trek and I had decided to give the technology a holiday. I came across an article recently by a great writer in Tamil. His name is S. Ramakrishnan and his topic “Don’t talk too much“. He takes us through this topic with a story of a married village woman who waits for her husband’s letter that she receives once in 6 months. Later he compares her life with this generation which does not get to miss anything due to the advancement in technology like facebook, twitter, sms etc. Literally there is nothing to miss. So, I decided to give a holiday to this technology and myself. I took a bus and went in search of a dear friend of mine in Sangagiri.
We spoke, ate and slept in the balcony (that’s after a loooong time i am sleeping under this big roof looking at the stars, full moon, sky and the mountains. We even spotted a shooting star!) The next day, we decided to start from Sangagiri at 8 and reach Kolli hills and around 11 we were there.
Route: Sangagiri –> Thiruchengode –> Namakkal –> KolliHills
Namakkal is famous for the Anjaneya statue and the Narasima temple.
It’s a beautiful monolith and a must see
What is Kolli Hills?
The Mountain is named Kolli Malai behind the name of Goddess Ettukkai Amman (KolliPaavai). The region was ruled by Valvil Ori around 200 A.D., who is praised as one of the seven great philanthropists of ancient Tamil Nadu. Ori is said to have killed a lion, bear, deer and a boar with a single arrow. The hills are said to be guarded by Kollipavai also called as “Ettukkai Amman”, the local deity.
According to legend, the sages chose Kolli hills when they were looking for a peaceful place to do their penance. However, the demons invaded the hills to disrupt the penance when the sages began their rituals. The sages prayed to Kollipavai, who according to the myth, chased away the demons with her enchanting smile. The KolliPavai hills is still worshipped by the people here and her smile is revered.
This mountain is full of herbs which retains health and vigour. It is also believed that Chanakya, the author of Arthashastra was born in this area before he had migrated to the North India to pursue education at Takshashila.
What to see?
Arapaleeshwara Temple and the AagaayaGangai Waterfalls
Story of Arapaleeshwara
The mountain is a site of pilgrimage, because of the Arapaleeswarar temple, which is believed to have a secret path to the Shiva temple in Rasipuram. This Shiva temple is said to have been built by Valvil Ori in the 1st or 2nd century when he ruled this area. “Arappaleeswara sathakam” is a poem which praises Lord Arappaleeswarar. It is believed that this temple existed during the Sangam period itself.
According to legend, the shiva linga in the temple was found when a farmer was ploughing his land. It is said that the farmer accidentally hit the shiva linga while ploughing, and that led blood to ooze out of the statue. The small wound is said to be visible on the Shiva Linga even today.
About the waterfalls
You have to buy an entrance ticket(Rs. 10 per person). Steps (1000) go for a km and then you reach this beautiful waterfall. Huge iron rods have been put for the safety of the pilgrims. It’s just indescribable.
What to buy from there?
Important farm products of the mountain ranges include coffee, tea, jackfruit, pineapple, black pepper and other spices. Rice and other minor millets form the staple food of the tribal people who inhabit these mountains. The jackfruit grown on these mountains is well known for its taste and fragrance and is often soaked in wild honey that is also harvested from these mountains.
So, the next one we are thinking to go as a group is Podhigai Malai. Are you IN ?