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Kolli Hills

Abhishek Sharma
This post originaly appeared on - https://utopiaamiddystopia.com/2019/10/29/ride-to-kolli-hills-70-hairpin-bends/Hi Guys! This is the story of how I went on a ride to the small town of Kolli Hills, which is famous for its 70 continuous hairpin bends - A motorcycle rider's paradise!Kolli Hills is a mountain range in Tamil Nadu's Namakkal district, at an average mean sea level of 1000 - 1300 meters. The village is completely raw - there is no commercialization at all. By commercialization, I mean that you can roam the streets without encountering a Mall, Mc Donalds and such. There are barely any stay options and you wouldn't even find a good restaurant here for food. This is how untouched this small sleepy town is - nicely tucked within the mountainous ranges. As they say, it is not the destination, it's the journey. This rings especially true in the case of Kolli hills. Let me explain -Itinerary Bangalore - Hosur - Krishnagiri - Salem - Kalangani - Uthiragadikkaval - 50 kms of Kolli Hills' hair pin bendsBangalore to Kalangani is a great highway, and you can maintain good speeds. It is fully developed with fuel stations, tea shops and eatries spread throughout the highway. There are barely any potholes and road conditions are great too. At Kalangani, you will have to take a left turn that will take you through the villages. These roads are again well maintained, but there will be weird speed breakers and the size of the roads is small. It is basically a one-way lane. The roads are scenic. There are huge coconut trees throughout. The local huts made by the villagers just add to the beauty of the experience. At Uthiragadikkaval, you come across a fuel station. This is the base of the hill. This station marks the beginning of the 70 hair pin bends, and it gets very dangerous from here onwards. These bends are very steep and the road is two lanes. So when a truck or a bus tries to pass through these bends, they take over the entire space and it gets very difficult to maneuver. So, constant vigilance is advised. And did I mention the pathetic quality of some stretches? There are bends where the roads are completely destroyed - what is left of such roads are just potholes And if you love riding, you know this is a blessing in disguise. You know that bad roads and a few potholes will never be enough of a deterrent to stop you from wanting to explore!I have been to Kolli Hills twice. And still thinking about it makes me want to go out and do this ride again. It's this good. Really.Stay - NPS Lake View ResortGuys! This is one of the best hotel experiences I have had all my life. Not even in my wildest dreams had I thought that I would enjoy such great hospitality at a place like this. But I did, and it was amazing!The resort has small individual cottages around a garden. These cottages have Chota Bheem wallpapers on the inside, which is supremely cute/funny, and they have a seating area outside. This offers great views in the night. Speaking of nights - those are chill. It gets freezing here. This is another thing that I was not expecting. I have been to Yercaud, and that was very hot. But Kolli hills is a different beast altogether. It gets foggy in the night and temperature falls down to very low degrees. Include a set of warm clothes when you do your packing!I have to mention the food as well. It was great. I tried non veg meal and pakodis and kept on ordering more portions - It was so good. Or maybe I was just tired with all the riding. But I strongly believe it was the food. Vallapurnadu View PointThe owner of NPS Lake View Resort recommended that I visit the Aruvi waterfalls, and check out this view point. I decided to skip the water falls because I was not in the mood. I am more of a mountains person than water. So I checked this view point out. And once again, I was speechless at the beauty of this place. The whole experience had been surreal. A small village which is completely hidden from civilization and has so many things on offer. The roads are epic, weather amazing, scenery beautiful - And they have waterfalls too. As seen in the picture, this looks like a lighthouse, and was open. So I went upstairs. This was the view -And I end this one just the way I started - with a photo of one of the bends!So, I shall leave you with my memories of this beautiful, amazing place. Here are some links I found around the internet, that can help you with your plans. Drone shot of 70 Hair Pins - Amazing! Tamil Nadu Tourism Page Don't forget to check out some of my other rides. Gandikota - Belum Caves Skinny Dipping in Butterfly Beach
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Day 18 Rameshwaram to salemIt was hard to believe that after being a part of the ride for the last 17 days we had to depart separately. And now i had to ride solo for the rest of the ride. Took a selfie together and loaded our bikes. Before leaving we checked the route as i was to go to kolli hills which had the 70 hairpin bends after that i planned to stop over at salem for the day. And mateen planned that he will ride overnight and somehow reach bangalore. After checking the route we found out that we have to ride on the same route till namakkal which was 200km from here after which i will go towards kolli hills and mateen will continue towards bangalore. So we decided that for the next 200km we will ride together. After this 200km we halted at a crossing where had our last coffee of the ride. I was not mentally prepared at the same time it was difficult for mateen as till now he was dependent on me right from the planning of the route and place to visit and halt, everything was planned by me. And he just had to follow me. He started to think that how will he reach mumbai. As this was his first long ride. Even it was a habit for me to look at the rear view mirror whether he is following me or not till today. After the coffee i asked him to leave first but he denied asking me to leave. So i made a move as we have to leave. He stood there watching me till i disappeared from his view. For the first time he will be riding long that too solo so gave him some tips as i had already done couple of solo trips. I rode towards the kolli hills. Stopped at the first hairpin bend and clicked a pic. Plan was to click pic at all the hairpin bend but that would have been too much also it started to become dark and would have spoiled the ride. Even then stopped at couple of places where the scenes were good. At one of the bend i Stopped to click a pic and there was a family taking photos and a small boy from that family exclaimed dad it’s a royal enfield he was hardly 4 to 5 yrs old we had a small chat and left. Finally reached the 70th hairpin bend and got down from the bike clicked a pic and waited there for sometime. It had already turned dark now. And i have to complete this 70 hairpin bend again to get down. So i followed the tail lights of the bolero which was going ahead as it would be easier to navigate. After sometime he stopped and asked me to overtake him thinking that i am trying to overtake him. I said you carry on i will follow you. Once coming down the hill, i had completed 140 hairpin bends in total and was happy to navigate those bends, its a feeling only a biker understands. Now salem was hardly 65 km far and only a closest city. I started for salem as per my plan to take a halt there. The roads were good and i reached there in an hour and half. Booked a hotel online and navigated to the hotel. Once entered the parking i found mateens bike already parked there. It was a surprise for me. Checked into the room and it was time to surprise him as he was not aware that i am in the same hotel. So called him up asking to have dinner together, he was surprised asking are you in the same hotel? So we had our dinner together where we also met another biker. As it was dark he didn’t want ride till bangalore so he planned to stay in salem as i told him that i will be halting at salem for today. Luckily we met.