As Mahashivaratri falls on March 11 in 2023, unlike the usual month of February, Coimbatore especially Velliangiri gears up for the auspicious day amidst the ongoing pandemic situation.There are two types of people, one obviousbly being the couch potato lazing around and the other one being a hardcore adventure junkie that’s ready to put certainity and fear on the line.
If you happen to be that sparkplug of a team by spearheading it to try out some adventurous trekking then you are at the right place. If you are looking for an ideal place to test your toughness, then maybe I just might have got what you are looking for. Everything you need to know about Velliangiri hills, a breathtaking 7 hills trekking experience just around the outskirts of Coimbatore. Buckle up as we are going for a rough ride this time.
Velliangiri Hills History
Even before the term trekking started doing the rounds, Velliangiri has been the social hub for people to tame the rocks, slippery muds, tall trees and find a perfect camping spot to anchor down. But the only catch here being the sole purpose was not for the adventurous time but for spiritual enlightenment.
Velliangiri hills trekking or Saptagiri as fondly addressed by the locals is rightly admired as the Kailash of South, a chain of 7 hills, with varying altitudes pinned together by the common thread, nature and pure blissfulness. Though the actual purpose of the tiring walks seems to be the spiritual factor, there are people trying this for the toughness quotient associated with climbing the 7 strenuous hills.
The history dates back to when almighty lord Shiva decided to take a break for his spiritual enlightenment here and since people loved to call every places he chose as the Kailash, Velliangiri is also called as the Kailash of South
Interested in knowing what exactly happened with Lord Shiva? Take a look at the Vellingiri to know what happened.
Restrictions in Velliangiri 2023
Unlike the usual times where the word restrictions had little to zero screen space to share with the Velliangiri place, this year has taken a radical u-turn thanks to the ongoing Covid issues that just refuses to subside. Though the wildfire like cases has subsequently taken a back seat as a result of the thoughtful works of the corporation, the officials are less likely to loosen the restriction rope around the velliangiri hills this year.
As Isha represents Coimbatore while celebrating the auspicious Shivaratri every year with an electrifying stage show, an authentic music feast and not to forget the glittery light events that’s one of a kind which also made several head turns around the world, this year however seems to be hanging off the cliff for the celebration.
2023 saw thousands of crowds marching towards Isha, but if sources are to be believed , this year might see a lesser number as a part of the restrictions which will likely bring down the total number of attendees. Whether or not this will have a direct effect on the Velliangiri has to wait a little longer to know the final verdict.
As usual, Velliangiri will have a medical check up at the foothills to make sure everyone’s health is on point to tame down the 7 hill tiring trekking journey which is more focussed on monitoring the health of elderly people. This will more likely continue this 2023 with more restrictions and concerns for the health standards of not just elderly pilgrims, but also the whole crowd waiting to go up.
The number of pilgrims will also see a bit of downfall as there are still some travel restriction on hold outside the state, so pilgrims from overseas or North are more likely to give 2021 a miss. Though it is not advisable to wear masks while working out or walking, it has to be seen what the officials will do as a part of the pandemic restrictions during the trekking process.
Geography & Location
It is a part of the Nilgiri biosphere on the lines of the Western ghats, which also forms as a border between Kerala and Coimbatore. It is around 40kms from Coimbatore and has long been a trekking hub for devotees and adventure junkies alike. It is also the closest Kovai makkal can get to experience the adrenaline rush pumping in.
The altitude ranges of the 7 hills varies with the one hill that has the Shivan temple at a range of 6000 ft and offers an exquisite view of the city amidst the sky.
How to reach Velliangiri
There are 14D buses from Coimbatore to Poondi, or you can book a taxi directly till the foothills. You can either choose the siruvani highways from Thondamuthur that has a decent amount of traffic or choose the deserted Boluvampatti road where you get a good quality time indulging in some nature vibes. Either way you can have a look at the impeccable Adi yogi on your way.
Do you know Vellinigiri played a major role in Sadhguru choosing Poondi as the hub for the yoga center? Find out how at the Wowcoimbatore’s undiluted take on Isha center.
The climate in Velliangiri, Poondi is often chill and breezy most of the times with a fresh wave of drizzled moist feel sweeping us off. The temperature drops down to almost 0 °C during winter to 41 °C in summer that has a scorching sunny vibe to it. Nevertheless, the climate of Velliangiri is often blissful enough for us to have a soothing trekking experience.
When to trek?
Forest officials wave the green flag for Velliangiri mountain trekking from mid of February to mid May exactly when the heavenly Maha shivaratri falls. There are other occasional entries during days like full moon days. But we suggest you take up the mammoth task somewhere around March to enjoy the trip to its fullest.
Checklist before Velliangiri Hills trekking (or what to check before trekking)
It’s 40 kms away from the city center, couple it up with the distance of 7 hills, it’s probably going to take eternity for you to run down to get the essentials. So we have compiled a list of ‘must-have’ stuff before you start gracing the hillocks.
Get a bamboo stick for Rs30, an investment that you will cherish as the sticks are known to provide complete support when you are climbing over the rocks and bumpy slides.
Check for water bottles and other refreshments, as there are small shops at the top of the hills for lemonades, so if you are someone that’s looking to have some quality foods then pack your own stuff.
Make sure the water bottle and foods are not in plastic containers. If it’s plastic, bid a touching farewell to those at the foothills check-post where forest officials will take away anything that’s plastic to maintain the decorum and animal safety atop.
A Lot of people climb barefoot, but if you are not on the spiritual journey get a good trekking shoe with a grippy sole to stay planted on the slippery floor.
Pack a blanket or a hoodie as the temperature drops to an all-time low at night and chances of you bunking near a rock at night are sky-high. So don’t freeze yourself, get a quality sweatshirt.
Carry a torch with you or you can get them at the small shops at the top but they will probably die real quick so get your own powerful lights with you.
The phone network is terribly weak but hey we ain’t complaining as the core idea behind this is to leave the bustling lifestyle behind. So make sure you make all the important calls up ahead before you trek.
Tips for trekking
2023 has to be given an extra dose of safety measures as a part of the self-protection drill. Make sure you have a proper face mask and ensure you don’t dispose of them on the way uphill as this place is a dense forest and those will create more harm to the environment. Avoid contacts with people who you are not sure of their medical conditions. Carrying a hand sanitiser is likely to be not entertained by the officials.
The exact trekking distance of Velliangiri is unknown so it’s always a better idea to stay pumped up for the hardest part.
Choose the right footwear before you start on your journey. Achilles tendon near the calf is the last thing you’d want to see on your trip. Get a quality hiking shoe with a mid-ankle.
There are specific training programs for hiking, especially for the legs. So never skip your leg day.
Dehydration is your worst enemy, so keep your hydrated at all costs.
Have a mock drill with your backpack at a similar terrain to stimulate your experience and then work on what you lack
Trekking at Velliangiri
It’s no secret that all the 7 hills are of different quality and height, one being technically smaller than others making it easy to conquer while some are longer and pushes you to the extreme.
These are compiled from the user’s prior experience and clubbed together to give you a bird’s eye view over the hiking experience.
The first would cost you 40 minutes to 1 hour approximately if you trekk without a break, perhaps one of the hardest hills of the 7. There are steep broken steps, plant your foot carefully, once you reach the top you will get to sea some small shops selling drinks and snacks. There are shops till the 5th hill.
The second hill on your checklist has both steps and plains and are comparatively a bit easier than the first hill. It would take you another 45 to 60 minutes.
The fourth and fifth hills are mostly plains with lush green covers on both side. You will love the fresh breeze and misty fog taking over the beautiful hills. This will take 50 to 60 minutes.
The sixth and seventh hills are the toughest of the lot, only the grittiest are going to make it. Once you climb up, you have to take a step down all the way and again climb over a steep plain. But once you have reached the sixth hill, nothing will make you want to quit. Atop the 7th hill, you will get to see a lot of statues, effigies, temples and caves.
Feel accomplished, cheer yourself and after a brief stint of relaxing be ready for your trip down.
Trekking is no walk in the park, especially during the pandemic times like the 2021 is going to prove to be more challenging, be prepared mentally and physically upfront before setting out for your hiking trip. Loved the content? Please tell us what you feel so we can give you more amazing content.