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Family Vacation at Kolli hills


In the current school summer vacation season all the popular tourist places seemed to be overcrowded. We decided to explore a lesser known and offbeat destination. Kolli Hills, a hill station around 300 Kilometers from home, was finalized. 

Here's a photo tour of the family trip that turned out to be a bit adventurous and fun... 

Warning: It's a maxipost with lots of photos.

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At 5:30 AM on a wednesday morning, we started our drive. We reached Krishnagiri around 7 AM, and we pulled over  for breakfast at A2B...

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After breakfast we continued our journey. The navigation map showed the thrilling bit of the climb uphill. Yes, one has to negotiate a whopping 70 hairpin bends...
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The climb is quite picturesque...
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It was green everywhere due to the recent rains...
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I slowly negotiated the hairpin bends. 14 done, 56 to go...
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Some bends are a bit steep. Will require a switch to 1st gear...
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Finally after five and a half hours we reached RJ Grand Resorts, a small resort situated in the middle of greenery...
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We opted for a family room, a spacious room with two queen size beds. The tariff is INR 5400 per night. It includes complementary breakfast. Amenities include a swimming pool and some indoor games...
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We had lunch at the in-house restaurant. In the evening we planned to visit a nearby view point called Seekuparai. On the way to Seekuparai you can see trees with black pepper climbers. Pepper vine can be seen almost everywhere in Kolli hills...
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A nice looking tree...
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Seekuparai view point has scenic view of the nearby hills and valley...
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The jumping jacks...
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There's a store selling homemade chocolates at Seekuparai. We bought some really delish variety of chocolates...
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We returned to the resort and planned for the next day's activities. We decided to visit the Agaya Gangai waterfalls and Arapaleeswarar temple the next day. In the morning, before everyone woke up, I decided to walk around the area and check out the active birds. A farmer was taking out his cow for grazing...
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The paddy field looked nice...
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I could hear the dizzying calls of peacocks in the woods...
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I scoured the area for the elusive bird...

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Finally, I could spot a peahen atop a tree...
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Then she flew...

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You can see Angel's trumpets all over the place...
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A Red-vented Bulbul was seen next...
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A Jungle Babbler followed...
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Wife called to say it was breakfast time. On the walk back I saw some kids going to school and a farmer carrying his produce to market...
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Saw a world map on a school wall...
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And a small girl in a shop, smiled when I pointed my camera towards her...
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After breakfast we proceeded to Agaya Gangai waterfalls. It is about 11 kilometers from the resort...
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We met a few ascetics near the Arapaleeswarar temple. They guided us to visit the Panchanati stream...
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The jungle stream, Panchanati cascades down as Agaya Gangai waterfall. We stopped to see the stream...
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To reach the Agaya Gangai waterfall, one has to climb down 1196 steps. We carried some food, water, towels and changed into water-friendly  clothes... 
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We started the climb down...

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The steps are quite steep at some places. The climb down is tiring...

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I saw a Black-headed Cuckooshrike on the way down. This was the first time I was seeing this beautiful bird...
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A rock protrusion that looked like a goat head...
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There are nice sights on the way to distract you from the tiring climb down.

A Golden birdwing butterfly. India's largest butterfly...
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Supermom and son stopping the falling boulder...
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Excitedly pointing as if they discovered the waterfall...
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Agaya Ganagai is a 300 ft waterfall...
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The rock base is extremely slippery...
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Sitting under the  waterfall is an exciting experience...

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Here's a video...
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The climb up from the waterfall is extremely tiring. It took us about an hour. But there are beautiful things on the way to make you stop and admire...
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A Common Leopard butterfly...
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And the goat like rock again...

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Once we reached the top, we had lunch at a nearby shack and proceeded to the Arapaleeswarar temple...
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Beautiful Frangipani blooms...

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Thus ended day two. Day three began with a misty surprise...
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Chirps could be heard as the birds awoke...

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Black pepper leaves...

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A Yellow-billed Babbler made an appearance...

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And a Jungle babbler couple fed up of each others babbling...
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There were many instances that prompted the cliché question - why did the chicken cross the road?

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An Oriental Magpie robin appeared singing its beautiful song...

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There were many interesting sightings from the morning walk...
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From a coffee plantation...


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Some Jungle Mynas in flight...

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A Juvenile Red-whiskered Bulbul...

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It was time to check out from the resort. Some shots before leaving...
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We started our descend...
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We stopped at Solakkadu village to buy local specialties...
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Local specialties included a variety of bananas, pineapple, pepper, tamarind, cloves, jungle honey, bay leaves and many other spices. We bought all of them...

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We stopped at a view point on the way back to click a few pics...
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There's a Boating place in Kolli Hills which was forced to close due to the pandemic. Rohan was disappointed. 
But on the way back we stopped at Krishnagiri Children's park to do some boating...
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That's the end of our short vacation. Looking forward to your thoughts.

42 comments:

  1. What great photos from your vacation.
    You live in a beautiful area.
    The video of the waterfall is really beautiful.
    Our country is flat and there are no mountains, so I think this is really great to see.
    Greetings Irma

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  2. Thanks for sharing the interesting places and the beautiful flowers and critters.
    Love the Frangipani and the butterflies.
    All the best!

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  3. Your boys are growing up! Great choice you made to get away from the crowds.

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  4. Hello,
    What a wonderful vacation. You have a beautiful family. The resort looks lovely, beautiful waterfall, temple and plants. The birds and butterflies are beautiful. Great trip report and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend! PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

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  5. Amazing series of pics, Loved the post.

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  6. Thats a lot of very nice holiday photo's and some ready for National Geographic about nature like birds insects and atmosphere landscapes. Those hairpin turns stabbing every known descent in the Alps and in Norway to the crown. The silence and lack of traffic is impressive. Once again beautifully done.

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  7. Wonderful photos! The location does look incredibly remote and not crowded with tourists. The birds and scenery are wonderful.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  8. Wow! What a wonderful holiday you took and far from the madding crowds. Great series pictures Shiju, people, family, birds and landscapes. I would love to drive those hairpins both up and down.

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  9. Gorgeous captures of your holiday make for wonderful memories. Reminded me of doing those 70 hairpin bends on my Yezdi in 1982 😀

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  10. The peahen in flight photo is my favourite!

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  11. ...a beautiful area, but I won't want to drive that road.

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  12. That was an amazing adventure! Your family is delightful! The photos are wonderful to see. I really enjoyed this. (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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  13. With those hairpin turns I'm sure I'd be carsick! But, the destination and all the sights were worth it. Beautiful unique birds, and spectacular scenery. (love goat rock)
    We birders enjoyed your share today Thanks for linking in and have a wonderful day!

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  14. What a windy road, gorgeous each corners. And the Red-whiskered Bulbul, beautiful. And all about your family, they are precious.

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  15. Wow ~ What a beautiful family you have and what lovely vacation you had and your nature photography is fantastic ~ the birds, the waterfalls are stunning and the other ones too ~ namaste,


    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  16. The peahen in flight is a really fantastic shot and that waterfall is huge!!

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  17. The many hairpin turnings make the drive to your holiday destination very challenging. A good choice to get away from the crowded places to enjoy the fresh cool air and nature.

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  18. What an amazing vacation! Looking at your photos I felt like I was along with you and your beautiful family.. The drive up with all those switchback curves looks thrilling! All the tropical beauty you saw along the way is so different than what I see everyday. Seeing the temple and holy men was so interesting. The world certainly needs their prayers. The waterfall hike was a hard one but with a wonderful view and then soak in the water. Your sons will always remember this wonderful time together! Thank you for taking us along!

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  19. Wow! What a post I thorughly enjoyed it lovely photos thanks for taking us on tour with you all

    Have a vacationtastic week 👍

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  20. That looks like a lovely vacation but that windy road in with all the hair pin turns would have made me a nervous wreck.

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  21. Over 70 hairpin bends and then a walk up and down of over 1000 steps! All I can say is Wow. The butterflies look amazing as does the waterfall. A great trip for a very energetic family.

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  22. It was so nice seeing you and your lovely family on vacation. As always, your photos of your adventures are just amazing! :-)

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  23. Looks like a wonderful holiday, with a great selection of birds and butterflies along the way.

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  24. I saved your post to read today when I had more time to enjoy the photos. What a fabulous trip and it's very nice to see so many photos of your family. I have 4 sons and know the joy of doing things with the boys! Your wife is very beautiful and you have a lovely family. It's amazing to see those waterfalls and I was in awe of that big butterfly! Thanks for sharing these photos and enjoy your week. Diane

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  25. What a great family holiday you had, many memories there too! I am not a fan of driving around hairpin bends as the roads are made for much smaller cars than the ones most people drive here in Australia!! Thank you for joining in this Monday’s #LifesStories on Denyse Whelan Blogs. The community of bloggers here connects us wherever we are in the world. Looking forward to seeing you in two week’s time on Monday 6 June. Winter in Southern Hemisphere & getting close to Summer in the Northern part of the world. Denyse.

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  26. What a wonderful trip you had! Loved the waterfall and the butterflies especially!

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  27. What a beautiful area, and with so many things to see! Great for your family to spend time together! When our kids were still living at home we went yearly to Yosemite Nat. park that had 3 roaring waterfalls, and many climbing opportunities (I chose to paint instead). Hairpin corners - you have to get used to them! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us:) Emille

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  28. Shiju, I loved seeing this wonderful area and love that your whole family is as adventurous as you are (and as photogenic -- you have a beautiful family!). It's really an amazing place -- that waterfall is a wonderful one. It's really great that all four of you climbed that incredible stairway (and survived looking not even a bit out of breath!). The birds are wonderful and flowers too and I very much enjoyed seeing the people you met and learning a bit about the temple and history. It is a wonderful post!! Thank you for sharing. (Also we love finding places that are not crowded with tourists. You did some good research to locate a place like this .)

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  29. Wonderful post and I thank you for sharing with us. I feel like I went on holiday with you and your handsome family. That walk down and up those steps to the falls would absolutely kill me. Wow. It's amazing how few people were around. Most vacations the photos are filled with lots of people.. Tell your wife she is beautiful for me.

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  30. A cuckooshrike. What a great name! It was fun to see the family behind the birding man. Thanks for sharing your nature adventure. Fun for all and great photos too.

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  31. What a wonderful experience. At first I feared there would be no bird pictures, but they eventually appeared! Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us.

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  32. Wow, what a great vacation. Love your beautiful photos, and seeing your beautiful family. Loved you sharing parts of your world. The goats head photo made knees weak. Don't like heights anymore, but can only imagine how awesome. You had it all in that adventure. Waterfalls are the best, and great for cooling off. The road bends and turns, not sure I could drive that, but apparently what lies at the end would be worth it. Such great photos.

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  33. Beautiful family and how great that the kids will grow up to love nature as well.......Michelle

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  34. Wow, what a gorgeous & happy family excursion you had! The dangerous road was painful to drive but rewarded you with fantastic views. I loved to see your beautiful family smiling and having fun. A great post!

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  35. Incredible views! Your beautiful family enjoyed themselves and the scenery is fantastic! Thanks.

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  36. What a wonderful vacation. Thanks for sharing it with us. Being under the waterfall looks amazing. Wow, all those hairpin turns!!

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  37. Whoa! 70 hair -pin bends?! That's a promise of gorgeous panoramas. And what a beautiful place Kolli Hills is! Lovely pictures. You guys sure had a very refreshing vacation. :)

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  38. I am so awed by your family travels, I viewed each photo and am amazed as if I was with you as well! You have a wonderful family and I think it's great that you are able to bond in your travels. I was wowed by the zigzag road, it must have been a hard climb...but I know it was worth it! Love your nature photos, each and every step you went that you took an inspiring picture.. thank you for taking us with you! :)

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  39. I really enjoyed the cyber tour. Your photographs are amazing. Your family are curious, spontaneous and their eyes all sparkle with enthusiasm. Bird images are wonderful.

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  40. Thank you for sharing your family vacation with us! I really enjoyed this photo journey. So many times I wanted to hit a like button on individual photos. I also watched the videos that show how fast the water is tumbling down. Thanks for linking on Amanda's Books and More!

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  41. It appears that you and your family had a great time. The waterfall is a most interesting site. I like the way they have poles imbedded in the rock so you can get up close yet not fall or be swept away. The Black-headed Cuckoo Shrike is an impressive bird, nice find. From my perspective the goat rock looks more like a Buffalo head, at least that was my thought was before I read your narrative. The perspective shots on the stairs are nice. Those hairpin turns would have given me an upset stomach. I love the mountains but riding in a vehicle back and forth up and down makes me queasy. If I am doing the driving it isn't as bad. Thanks so much for taking us along on your family vacation.

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