The Kalrayan Hills are a major range of hills situated in the EasternGhats of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Along with the Pachaimalai, Javadi, and Shevaroy hills, they separate the Kaveri River basin to the south from the Palar River basin to the north. The hills range in height from 2000 feet to 3000 feet and extend over an area of 1095 square kilometers.
The hills straddle a number of Tamil Nadu districts, extending northeast from the Salem District. The range serves as a boundary between the Salem and Villupuram districts. The Kalrayans are divided into two sections — the northern section, referred to as the Chinna ("little") Kalrayans, and the southern section, called the Periya ("big") Kalrayans. The Chinna Kalrayans average 2700 feet in height, while the Periya Kalrayans average 4000 feet.
The range as a whole is fairly smooth, with soil well-suited for plant growth. Scrub reach up to 400 metres in altitude, while deciduous forests can be found between above 800 metres. Sholas, a type of high-altitude stunted evergreen forest, can be found growing on isolated plateaus. Though the forest stand is growing, due to "habitat uniqueness, human impacts and cultural tradition," conservation efforts are needed.
Karumandurai is the big village Panchayath in Kalrayan hills, here situated in Primary school, Higher Secondary School, Primary Health Center, Police Station, regulated market, giant orchard for fruit(near 1 km) here farmers are growing all English vegetables.
The Gomukhi dam, Megam Falls and Periyar falls at the foothills are the kind of places that give you the kind of feeling you get when you splash cold, flower scented water on your face on a hot summer's day. Adventure Lovers and Trekkers will sure like Kalrayan Hill. These hills offer a temperate climate and a peaceful atmosphere. There is a beautiful botanical garden on the hills.
The tribal communities make for wonderful observations. Large part of the hill range is still unexplored and untouched except for a few secluded tribal settlements. Kallakurichi is the nearest city about 56 KMs from Kalrayan Hills while Salem is about 70 KMs.
Places of Interest
Pappanaikan Patti Dam
Official Name is Kariya Koil Reservoir Project Dam. Total height of dam is 52 feet. Salem Karumandurai Kariya koil dam is situated at 35 km from the Mecheri Badrakaliamman Temple. It’s worth to visit this dam during monsoon period. Mostly in summer this dam is dried up. Don’t expect much in mind while visiting this dam.
Periyar Falls are located in the Villupuram district of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The ideal time to visit these falls is in the months of September to December, during the post monsoon season. Periyar Falls are in close proximity with the Vellimalai village. The flow of water becomes less during the summer months and the cascade is usually flooded with the rains. The local people enjoy bathing at the Periyar Falls, as it feels quite safe. The main source of water to the cascade is the south east monsoon rainfall. Periyar falls is situated approximately 15 km away from Gomukhi Dam. Periyar Falls is situated near Vellimalai village. Normally, this falls has less water flow but it is flooded during monsoon. People from nearby area come here to take bath in the falls during monsoons. The latitude of this place is 11.808799 and longitude is 78.77665. Best season to visit here is September to December.
This waterfall is situated 5 km from Kachirayapalayam, Kallakurichi. The Latitude is 11.804851 and Longitude is 78.767853. The waterfall is 500 meters high from top of the hill whose roar can be heard from a quite good distance. Mainly, rainy season begins from July to October which comes under the South East monsoon. The waters of the cascade descend from a height of 500 meters, from the hilly range of the area. The main source of water for Megam Falls is also the south east monsoon rainfall, just as Periyar Falls. The ideal time therefore to visit the cascade is from the months of September to December.
Manimutha dam is located in Akara kottalam Village near Kallakurichi. This dam was built in the year 1970 on the banks of the River Manimukdha and hence the name was given to the dam. The total height of the dam is 20 feet. It is located near the village of Agarakottalam and is at a distance of 10 kilometers from Kallakurichi. The waters from this dam are supplied to two districts viz. Villupuram and Cuddalore.
Manimukthnadhi Dam has a maximum height of 20 feet and holds 737 Metric Cube feet of water. This dam is situated around 10 kilometers from Kallakurichi. This place can be visited all around the year.
Gomuki dam is located near Kachirayapalayam town. The Gomuki Dam is distanced at 15 kilometers from Kallakurichi. The water supplied from this dam is to the two districts i.e. Kallakurichi and Villupuram. Green and wet vegetation surrounds the circumference of the dam.
This temple was built by the King Muthyalu Nayaka during his reign in the area from 1540 AD to 1550 AD. Several inscriptions are made on the walls of the temple in the local Tamil language. Some of the monolithic ornamental pillars from the temple were taken to Pondicherry to decorate the city by the French rulers. The temple is close to the Gingee outer fort and has been in quite a rundown condition for some time.
This temple is dedicated to Nag Devta or Snake God, worshipped by the Hindus. The temple is almost 1500 years old and is largely visited by the devotees from all over India.
Kallakurichi is the nearest city. It is situated 56 km from Kalrayan Hills. Frequent Buses are available from Kallakurichi and Villupuram. Road Distance from Salem to Kalrayan Hill Forest: 71 km (29 miles)
Villupuram is the adjacent railway station where one can alight to get to Kalrayan Hills. Villupuram is easily accessible from Pondicherry and Chennai by train.
Tiruchirapalli is the nearest airport which is 175 km away.
Distance from Major nearby Cities to Kalrayan Hills: Chennai: 275 km, Coimbatore: 243 km, Tiruchirapalli: 175 km, Pondicherry: 166 km, Bangalore: 280 km. Villupuram: 133 km
Kallakurichi is the nearest town. It is situated 56 km from Kalrayan Hills. Decent Lodging facilities can be found in this town