Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills

Arapaleeswarar, Kolli Hills

Saivite Temples - Namakkal District


Arapaleeswarar, facing east


Aramvalartha Nayaki, facing south

Other Deities

Surya, Vinayaka, Muruga with consorts, Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Saraswathi, Jeshtadevi, Kalabhairava, Navagraha, Chandran. Sanctum Niches – Dakshinamurthy, Mahavishnu, Brahma, Durga, Chandikeswara

Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills is an east-facing temple with an entrance gateway on the east side. It is at an altitude of about 1000 meters. The temple is situated in a single prakaram. The compound walls surrounding the temple have very realistic and beautiful idols of Sidhdhars including Pambatti Sidhdhar, Karuvur Sidhdhar, Sundaranandar, Kamalamuni, Idaikaadar, Vaanmeegar, Sattainadar, Konganar, Kudhambai Sidhdhar, Siva Vakkiyar, Machamuni, Korakkar, Thirumoolar, Dhanvantri, Bhogar, Pathanjali, and Ramadevar. These idols have been added in recent times. The Sanctum Sanctorum of the main deity has a Maha Mandapam that is common to both the main deity and the south-facing shrine of the Goddess. All the other shrines are around the prakaram and it is said it is possible to see the main deity, Goddess, Vinayaka, and Muruga from a single spot. The Mahalakshmi shrine has an Anjaneya idol also in it. The Aiyaru River snakes around on the north and east sides of Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills. Straight ahead in the east are the famous Agaya Gangai Waterfalls and Agastyar Cave. There is a path leading to the falls. The Aiyaru River originating in the Kolli hills is fed by several other streams and leaves Kolli Hills on its eastern side near Puliyancholai and flows in a southerly direction to join the Cauvery River at Mukkombu near Thiruchirapalli. About 3 kilometers northwest of Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills temple is the temple of the legendary Kolli Paavai.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Panchanadhi (Aiyaru River)

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vilwam (Aegle marmelos)


Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills has been mentioned in the Thirumurai Hymns of Thirunavukkarasar (2-39-4) and Thirugnanasambandar (6-70-1, 6-71-1). Both of them were contemporaries in the 7th Century CE. About 19 inscriptions have been found in Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills. The oldest of them, five in number, belong to Uthama Chola (regnal years 969-985 CE). He was the son of Kandaraditha Chola (regnal years 949-957 CE) and Chembian Mahadevi. These inscriptions dated between (980 and 985 CE)mention donations made by various people for building a dining hall, creating a pond for bathing, contributions in gold and land, donations to priests, and contributions to burn a perpetual lamp. One of these inscriptions mentions the contribution of gold to the elders of 12 villages around here by Chembian Mahadevi. The interest from this gold was to be used by the 12 villages to perform festivity rituals at Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills temple. A broken inscription of 1024 CE belongs to Rajendra Chola mentions additional land donation to the temple. Another inscription of the same king mentions gold and grain contribution to sustain the temple activities and to provide food for the musicians. An inscription of 1082 CE belonging to Kulothunga Chola I mentions the reinstatement of certain orders issued during the rule of his predecessor Rajendra Chola Devan. Four inscriptions dated between 1172 and 1173 CE of Rajathi Raja II mention contributions by hill people and land grants. Other inscriptions found here belong to later Cholas, unknown kings, and the Vijayanagar period. Recent research based on inscriptional evidence has suggested that the grave of Kandaraditha Chola is in Kolli Hills at the Cholamudayar Temple on the way to Maasila Falls.


The fishes in the Aiyaru River flowing on the north side are believed by devotees to be a form of the lord at Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills. The lingam at Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills is believed to have been discovered by a farmer while plowing the land here. The Lingam still has the mark created by the plow on the top. The ancient temple is believed to have been constructed by Val Vil Ori, the famous ruler of Kolli Hills and the surrounding areas.


Arapaleeswarar Kolli Hills is on the eastern side of the hills and can be reached from different sides. The one starting from Naducombai on the west side of the hill is the most exciting one with about 72 hairpin bends on one way. Please be careful while driving on this road as it is narrow, very steep, and has many heavy vehicles moving on it.

Stay and Food

Kolli Hills has some restaurants and resorts for food and stay.

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