Kollimalai (Namakkal - Tamil Nadu)


Ok, I had 2 right guesses in the last post. That too, as the first 2 comments. Congrats Jij & Senthil. It is indeed Akash Ganga (Aagaya Gangai), Kollimalai.

This Independence Day fell on a Sunday and I was at Karur. We planned for a day trip. After brainstorming a couple of genres we decided on mountains. A couple of options later, we finalized on Kollimalai, one of the most famous places to see in Namakkal. 
2 bikes, 4 friends, 1 destination. I was excited coz this was one trip with a decently bigger number of people. But then, the next day morning, with one person with a bad hangover, we ended up with just 2 of us.
Same Apache of Mayanur and the same 2 of us and the printout of the blog posts of blogger friend Megarajan. As I got ready, a heavy downpour started. We waited for some more time, and when it finally subsided a bit, at around 8 AM, we started off. With a couple of stops in between (thanks to the rain), we finally reached the destination. In fact, we overshot the spot where we had to take a right turn and reached a point where the board directed Salem and Chennai. We took a reverse again and got the right point to turn left!!!

Guess how many hairpin bends we had to ride through to reach atop the Kolli hills? That's a whopping 70! 70 hairpin bends to reach the peak at 1300 m above sea level. Believe me, 70 odd hairpin bends. This is the highest in Tamil Nadu. It was neither too crowded nor too lonely. The wind was chill, the climate was cool, the air was moist with the rain – it was just perfect. Then as we gained altitude, we were just in midst of the clouds and it was a paradise!!!

Kollimalai is a precious herbal spot. Even the wind seemed the carry a medicated herbal essence. The hill range has been spoken of in several Tamil Literatures. I remember once in school days, I read a poem ‘Kollimalai enakkilaya Chellimalai Amme…’. from Kutraala Kuravanji. Many of the mountain kings, fondly called in Tamil Nadu as the 'Vallalgal' - like, Paari, Ori, Adhiyaman were great rulers of Kolli hills & the surrounding regions.


After stopping by for photographing, at a couple of viewpoints, we reached the peak where there was a board directing us to Arappaleeswarar Koil & Akash Ganga. We headed to the temple. We found a small hotel there where I enquired for breakfast,. The lady there asked - "why not meals (lunch)"; It was only then did I realize it was past 12 noon. After offering our prayers to Arappaleeswarar, we headed to the Mini Falls first.

From the temple, a right took us to the mini-falls and the left to the Akash Ganga. With just 100 steps to reach it, it was a really a ‘mini’ falls. Rather, it was just a stream!!!

We came back up and took the left to the Akash Ganga. Climbing down was not tough. There were some impressive viewpoints. The path went swirling down!!! Walking in the midst of the mist and fog and cloud was a great feeling!!! And after climbing down completely, there at a distance, I could spot the waterfalls. It didn’t seem big. A few more steps and the last lap was a walk through rocks & boulders – and there I was in the front of the impressive, huge, magnificent Akash Ganga. It was massive, no other better adjective for it!!!
This is called Aagaya Gangai in Tamil. The river called Pancha Nathi aka Iyaaru (5 rivers) falls down here from 300 feet to form this magnificent waterfalls. Unlike Hogenakkal, here the water was pristine and its not polluted.
Somehow, I dunno why, but I didn’t feel like venturing right below the falls. A stream of water was between me and the waterfalls. A stream less said. It was something between a stream and a river. The water current was furious!!! However, some makeshift arrangements were made to reach the waterfalls. A rope that connects with the iron rods below the falls, which is to be held to walk to the falls without getting carried away by the current!!!

After some time, we started to climb up the stairs. Yes, this was definitely more hectic than climbing down. It was difficult. Really really difficult. How many steps are there in Kollimalai? how many did I climb down to reach the waterfalls? Lemme tell you now, it's almost a thousand steps!!! At a point, we both ran out of breath. Somehow I managed, but my friend had a really difficult time and finally, we made it to the top. On the way, I realized the biggest mistake we did – Not carrying enough water for the climbing!!! Top tip for visiting Kolli hills - carry enough water! 
Just as we reached the end of the never-ending steps, a store had a delicious display of cool drinks (This is marketing which IIM doesn’t teach!!!). No one can resist the temptation to buy a bottle of some cool drink here. Yes, we too did.


After seeing the most important Kollimalai Tourist places of Kollimalai Waterfalls, Mini falls & Arappaleeswarar Temple, we headed to the lesser-known destinations - our next stop - the Ruined Jain Temple (Samanar Koil) which has been recently excavated which was built during the Pallava Period. A right cut from the Dharma Vidyalaya en route was the road that leads to the temple. The Ettukkai Amman temple is also pretty near to the Shiva Temple. Rather, that was what we were told. But unfortunately, with the road being built now & with the rains, the road was rather pathetic. It was impossible to drive thru it. I suggested my friend to leave the bike and take a stroll to the temples. He said ‘Leave my new bike here on the road unsupervised!!!’..??? Well, I dare not say a word after that!!! We returned and enquired about the next place – Mudhumakkal Thazhi.
Mudhumakkal Thazhi is nothing but the burial urns. This also has been recently excavated and these are megalithic burial sites. Know what, this is what I love about India. I get to witness my history right since a few millennia old!!! That’s why something that is of 16th C or 17th C (i.e. 300 to 400 yrs old) never ever excites me!!!!! This road too was muddy and pretty much non-existent. And it's been a stupidity to construct a concrete stage around it that it has lost its old charm. It is easy to miss it and we did. It’s a small concrete platform on the left of the road.
From there we tried to find the Shiva Temple which again is a Pallava Architecture and has been recently excavated. But by the time, dusk began to fall and we thought it better to start our return journey. Travelling through 70 hairpin bends is better done in daylight rather than after dusk!!!

One day is definitely not enough to venture to every other place in Kolli Hills. Kolli has around 15 to 16 places to visit. I could venture only to 3-4 in a day. So imagine your scale of stay needed to enjoy Kolli completely. Hope I’ll go there some other day to check out the left spots.
Again the 70 hairpin bends and by the time we reached Karur back, we were bloody damn hungry that we preferred to stop over at a Dhaba and have a sumptuous meal!!! The hunger, the chillness together with a single meal day long, credited to the scenario, and should I even say we ate like pigs!!!!!

The best time to visit Kollimalai is anything except rains, so Feb-Nov is ideal. If you want to skip the crowd, you may want to skip the summer holidays too that's Apr-May. So the best time to visit Kollimalai Falls is Feb-Mar and Jun-Nov.


On TamilNadu State Highway SH95 (Mohanur-Rasipuram), turn at Senthamangalam which is the base of the Kolli Hills. Head to Karavalli where the 70 hairpin bends begin. This is the final bit to reach Kollihills and there's no other route.

Senthamangalam to Kollimalai distance - 43km
Namakkal to Kollimalai distance - 55 km (via Senthamangalam)
Salem to Kollimalai distance - 93 km  (via Senthamangalam)
Karur to Kollimalai distance - 88 km (route via Namakkal, Senthamangalam)
Chennai to Kollimalai distance - 400 km (route via Tindivanam, Villupuram)

How to reach Kollimalai by bus/train:
Nearest railway station: Namakkal. Buses are available from Namakkal to Kollimalai.

There are a couple of Kollimalai resorts to stay at Kollimalai, atop the hill. There are no budget hotels or lodges there. Semmedu is the only relatively big village on the way, located 10km before reaching Kollimalai. Semmedu has a couple of resorts & hotels.
There are also Tamil Nadu Tourism Department's Resorts & Dormitories are available here. – Ph: 04286 – 247425
It would be a good idea to book rooms and then venture here. The number of resorts is really less to accommodate you if you just drop in!!!

Dedicated to Diwesh Vibhu

Kollimalai Waterfalls Pinterest Kollimalai Waterfalls Places to see Pinterest


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. I was always fascinated by this place ,now thanks to you i know what to expect there :)

  2. 70 Hair pins.. The biker in me is urging to start right now... Great choice of mode of transport. The best way to enjoy the hills is on two wheels.
    Seems like a super place. Got to check it some time.

  3. Your photos are lovely. It's so lush and green up there.

    Love your outfit, you really suit that jade green top.

  4. Looks like you visited at the most appropriate climate (just after it rained). The Pictures help everyone visualize the feeling of the climate and make everyone wish they were there to enjoy it. I agree to the earlier comment that two wheeler is the best mode of transport for such a trip.

    The fun of climbing all the way down to the falls is in getting drenched in the cold waters of the Falls and the stream. Looks like you missed it. It is believed that the water is rich in herbal medicinal qualities as it flows through the forest.

  5. Here's video link of the falls

  6. Stunning place and excellent pictures. Best regards.

  7. Congratulations to for maintaining such a great travelogue ! Keep it up...I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, viewing fantastic photographs ! Keep it up.

  8. Sonnamathiriye Apache Photo'va pottuta...

  9. Lot of Improvement in your Photography. Wat camera it is? SLR vaangiyaacha?

  10. Make a request, not to pollute this wonderful spot.

  11. nice post and a nice place. I do plan to visit this place sometime soon. since am from bengaluru, is it possible to cover it in a day? which are the main spots that i need to visit?

    keep travelling and keep blogging. do visit my blog when you get time and do follow mw if you like it.


  12. Hi,

    I have developed a resorts in Kolli Hills, made up of swiss tents. Pls. come to our place next time.


  13. @Sathish,
    Ok.. :)

    Do venture and let me know your experiences!!!

    Thanks love.. :)

    Though I didn't get into the falls I was drenched.. And I really felt the chill when climbing down!!! :)

    Thanks dear.. :)

    Thanks love.. :)

  14. @Mentor,
    Guess this is your first visit here. Thanks for your appreciation.. Do drop in often!!! :)

    Pottuten'la... :)
    Adhe camera dhan jij.. Innum maathala..
    Made than request in my next post.. :)

    Depends. If u just wanna see the falls one day is enough. But to cover the whole lotta places (around 16/20 places), it is impossible. I suggest 3 days.. :)
    Do let me know of your trip experiences after the trip.. :)
    And thanks a lot for dropping by and commenting. Do visit often and do comment often.. :)

    That's a great news.. Will come.. :)

  15. Hai Bhushavali,

    We have updated our home page with Photo and description of your trip to Kollimalai.

    The photo and contents are taken from your blog and a link to the blog have been provided at the end.

    Thaks a lot of visiting Bangalore Trips

    " Stop littering and save environment "
    BangaloreTrips team.

  16. @Bangalore Trips,
    Thank you for putting up my blog in your webpage. I am glad that I would do my part of help to the fellow travellers who come to your site. :)

  17. Beautiful description about Kollimalai. Some day I too will be there. Thanks.

  18. @PN Subramanian,
    Do visit!!! And let me know your experiences!!!

  19. please send your travelling stories for our Big Travel magazine....abhijaan will start its abhijaan.... but without you its not possible.... please interested person send it for approval to Mr KRISHNENDU ROY(123krishnenduray@gmail.com)...YOU CAN FIRST SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH HIM in abhijaan2012.if he says ok.then send it to abhijaan.abhisek@gmail.com


  20. Hi,

    Hw many days we can stay to view all the spots

  21. keerthi revathi selviJanuary 28, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    wow beautiful location

  22. Beautiful location. What is the right time to visit this place.

    1. I'd suggest the rainy season, coz its isn't trekking so 'slippery' wouldn't be a problem and water is most in rainy season.

  23. Good coverage. What is the right time to goto Kollimalai?


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