Horsley Hills is a small hill station and a resort close to Madanapalle, 9 miles, in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The hill is one of the series of hills of Eastern Ghats in the peninsular India. It was earlier known as Anugu Malleamma Konda, and the locals still call it with that name.
Today the hill accommodates visitors and tourists in its more than half a dozen resorts and guest houses, both public and private, with decent amenities. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has its guest house Haritha for tourists and visitors.
A visitor can walk around the hills, and has a handful of things to see. Visit the zoo where crocodiles are also kept in a pond. One can spend some time in the temple of Yenugulla (Anugu) Mallamma Temple (The Bestower of Boons for the Seekers). There is spot named Gali Bandalu (Wind Rocks) which is a vast area of rocks sloping down and known for gusty winds. One can breathe in the surrounding landscape from the marked out viewing points: one is behind the Governor’s Bungalow and another one with a circular canopy. The viewing spots offer a panorama of the valley, nearby hillocks and dense forests of Eastern Ghats.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME: Horsley Hills
Officially, Horsley Hills is locally known as Horsleykonda, or Yenugulla Mallamma Konda (alternatively spelled Enugulla Mallamma Konda and Anugulla (Anugu) Mallamma Konda). Konda in Telugu is a hill. The hill is known as Horsley Hills but locals still refer to the hills after the local saintly woman Mallamma.
K. Subbiah, a security guard at the guest house of AP Tourism in Horsley Hills, informed that the Horsley Hills was earlier known as Anugulla Malleamma Konda. He told www.thetelugus.com that his mother referred to the hill with its local name in Telugu – Anugulla Mallamma Konda.
According to a local legend, Mallamma lived on this hill and into senility, and she was fed by the elephants and visited by people from surrounding villages for wisdom.
With the arrival and the rule of the British East India Company in the Indian subcontinent, the area was under the collectorship of W.D. Horsley (some report his initials as M. W. H. Horsley). He was the collector of Cuddapah (Kadapa) district in the Madras Presidency. He discovered the hill upon finding a local fortification and the salubrious environment. The hill has moderate temperatures in the summer, in contrast to the surrounding area which is dry and hot during most part of the year. He built his home on the hill circa 1870, and subsequently the hill was named after him eponymously for he was also known for undertaking some developmental works.
In an article for ‘Newsletter for Birdwatchers’ published September – October 1992, S. Subramanya of University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bangalore and J. N. Prasad Merlin Nature, Bangalore, wrote: “The hills are so named after M. W. H. Horsley, a member of the Indian Civil Service of the erstwhile British Raj. The Hills come within the Horsley Konda Reserve Forest and comprise an area of 47 sq.km having a total of 13 peaks in all, of which seven of them are over 1000 m elevation and highest being 1347 m above MSL. Prior to 1850, when Horsley took a fancy to this place, the hills were known as “Enugu Mallamma Konda”. The presence of vestiges of crude fortification indicates that one time it had a great local importance. Recently an excavation on top of the hills has accidentally unearthed a stone-age tool giving these hills an archaeological importance. These hills were known by the turn of century as a hill resort as a result of developmental works by Horsley.”
Before it was discovered by the British civil servant, and until first half of the twentieth century, the hill was home to Yanadi and Chenchu tribes. Yanadis and Chenchus were revered for their Punganur cows, a breed known for withstanding inclement climate. In the twenty-first century, the hills is mostly visited by people who come to work and tourists. The local vegetation is dominated by eucalyptus trees which were introduced in the area in the 1960s. One tree is named as ‘Kalyani’ a giant tree of about 40 meters in height.
www.theTelugus.com identifies to visit Horsley Hills as one of the top 12 things to do in Madanapalle.