Kolli Hills or Kolli Malai(Tamil: கொல்லி மலை) is featured in several classical Tamil literature such as Silappathigaram, Manimekalai, Purananuru and Ainkurnuru. 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. His valor and marksmanship are sung by several poets, and his exploits are a popular part of folklore. Kolli Hills is a small mountain range located in Namakkal district of central Tamil Nadu, India. The mountains are about 1,300 m in height and cover an area of approximately 280 sq.km. The road to Kolli Hills from Namakkal has 70 hair pin bends to reach the top of the hills. Kolli Hills are part of the Eastern Ghats, which is a mountain range that runs mostly parallel to the east coast of South India. The mountains are relatively untouched by commercial tourism and still retain their natural beauty.
Vegtation and Farming: Apart from its historical significance, the mountains are covered with evergreen forests, but increasing areas of forests have been cleared for farming. Important farm products of the mountain ranges include coffee, jackfruit, pineapple, banana, 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. The mountains are covered by lush green vegetation in the spring and monsoon, and are streaked with streams which add to the natural beauty. There are three reserve forests that are controlled by the Government of Tamil Nadu, namely Ariyur Solai, Kundur Nadu, Pulianjolai.The yoke is still alive in these place.
Points of interest
Agaya Gangai (Tamil: ஆகாய கங்கை) waterfalls are located in Kolli Hills of the Eastern Ghats. Panchanathi, a jungle stream, cascades down as the Agaya Gangai (En:Ganges of Sky), near the Arapaleeswarar temple atop the Kolli Hills in Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu. It is 300 ft waterfall of the river Aiyaru situated close to Arapaleeswarar temple. It is located in a valley that is surrounded by mountains on all sides.
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.
Kollimalai Maasi Periasamy
Kollimalai Masi Periasamy is a deity and kuladeivam of the Hindu people. Devotees gather to celebrate on the day of Uthiram during the tamil month of Maasi (mid Feruary to Mid March). There is another Periasmy temple in Kallathukombai near veirychettypalayam in the foot hills of kollihills. More than 100 thousand people consider this temple as their deity. Temple in Kallathukombai is under control of sozhiya vellalars.
Caves: The caves of Korakka Siddhar and Kalaanginatha Siddhar are situated near the Agaya Gangai waterfalls inside the forest area.