Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Valparai - Intoxicatingly yours !

The summer vacations this year was mostly a drab and spent running behind the hyper kids not to mention simmering in the sweltering heat indoors.The harried me needed a break even if  it was a very short one and that's how we landed in Valparai.
A quaint little hill station dotted with tea estate  all over was the perfect antidote to the cauldron that was Trichy. The picturesque place overwhelms you with its  unpolluted charm and it's like you have checked in to paradise.




With abundant lush carpeted mountains and misty curtain hanging all over, I never wanted to wake up from the dreamy state we were in for 2 whole days. 




Valparai, a hill town is located 3500 feet above the sea level on the Anaimalai hill range of the western ghats. It is roughly 65 kms from Pollachi and a good 100 kms from Coimbatore (Tamilnadu,South India). The place is high on nature and every inch of it manages to keep you mesmerized. En-route to Valparai from Pollachi is a scenic drive and passes through the Indira Gandhi Wild Life Sanctuary, Aaliyar Dam & the Monkey Falls.


Often called as the Switzerland of South India and popularly referred to as Seventh Heaven the place is surrounded by evergreen forest, greenery and lush foliage all over. As far as your eyes go, the land is a tea haven with many private tea companies having a huge stake.


The road to the top is through 40 hair pin bends that offers you such stunning view of the area below.



In one of the winding bend, we spotted a solitary Nilgiri Tahr also known as Nilgiri Ibex or simply ibex. This endemic wild goat is known as Varaiaadu (வறைஆடு ) in local areas




 Guess what makes a regular visit here - Elephants & Bisons. 




Monkeys & deers make themselves equally comfortable and can be spotted every once in a while.




We stayed at Misty Creek - Homestay. This idyllic accommodation has well furnished and clean rooms overlooking a gurgling stream. 




Located in a residential street, the stay is not very far from the Valparai town. Head to Misty Creek if you are looking for peace & calm. 24 * 7 hot water in this home stay is yet another plus. The stream as clicked from just outside our room was beautiful.



The owner of the property Mr.Frank Benjamin popularly known as Benny was a gracious host. He looked after the food requirements & also advised us on the must-visit places. Besides, he organised a Night Safari in a Tata Sumo to spot some wild animals. Armed with camera & flash-lights we looked forward to this nocturnal trip feverishly hoping a leopard might want to catch a leisurely stroll  thereby gracing us with his presence. No such luck though. However, the drive in to the dark alleys of Valparai after 11 PM was not entirely unlucky. We spotted a lone Tusker at a considerable distance  enjoying some sugarcanes. Also a bison and few wild boars were seen lazying around before disappearing in to the night.




Waking up early to the singing birds my heart lapped up all the charming hues of the morning sky even as the sun rose in the horizon.




After a hearty breakfast provided by the host, we started our sight-seeing and the first on card was the nearby Subramanya Temple.




NALLAMUDI POONJOLAI VIEW POINT :-


15 Kms from Valparai, this view point is situated in a private tea estate - Nallamudi Tea Estate. To get to the viewpoint, there is a walk of 1 km inside the estate. Along the way we see many tea pickers going about their job with a spirited fervour. My daughter fancied picking some tea leaves and had good fun doing it. On the we saw some dropping of elephant and were told that the pachyderms make a regular visit. Leopards are also said to prowl here. The view from this point is beautiful. A deep valley and a few waterfalls catch our eye.


Tea-picking by Samyu with expert guidance :D

CHINNAKALLAR WATERFALLS

This place receives the second highest rainfall in India after Cherrapunji. To visit this place there is a good walk in to the forest



SHOLAYAR DAM


Situated at a distance of 25 kms from Valparai, the drive to this place is refreshing and scenic. It is the second deepest dam in Asia and is one of the longest too !



BALAJI TEMPLE

Owned by Peria Karamalai Tea Company, it is a very beautiful temple with well tended gardens sporting such lovely flowers. The temple is on a high altitude and the steep walk on the estate housing this temple is roughly 1/2 km. The presiding deity Lord Balaji is the same like Tirupathi Venkateswara.


Besides Koozhangal River, Siddhi Vinayagar Temple, Neerar Dam, Annai Vellankanni CHurch, Grass Hills are a must visit.

The short getaway was a well enjoyed break leaving us quite refreshed and wishing for more.But we have promised ourselves to soak in the scenic beauty and further explore the area sometime soon :)


12 comments:

  1. wow , what a place isn't it ? I visited that place a couple of years back and the visuals remain fresh within me till the date . We actually visited that place during rains , kind of risky trip , but got returns worth the risk . I guess your trip was limited to just Vaalparai and the Sholayar Dam . But you can travel further and will reach Athirappily - Vazachal waterfalls in Kerala . The whole journey is bron chilling. Plush greeneries and wilderness . Elephants and bisons are common sight. No entry after 5 in the evening . Our trip was interrupted in a couple of places by the elephant herds . There is a checkpost of Kerala , if you travel some 3 hours from vaazachaal . Real adventure starts from there !!

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    1. Want book resorts and other accommodations in valparai this is the site: www.valparairesort.com

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  2. yes sree athirappily waterfalls was one thing we were looking forward to; but time constraint and such blah. we are looking forward to visiting this place again and exploring further :)
    hope u r well !

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  3. Looks like a beautiful place! Looks like you had a wonderful trip Priya..

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  4. Wow.. this brings back a lot of memories to me :) We used to visit the place a lot... before I got married.. (with parents). Used to go there for vacation with relatives... :))

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  5. Wow! Amazing place and stunning pictures
    Thank you for sharing these stunning pictures with us

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  6. Looks like a must visit place. Such beautiful pictures.

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  7. Wow! Such beautiful pictures, Priya. I somehow never heard of Valaparai earlier! :( Thanks for the reco, and for the homestay link as well. Would love to go there sometime. What is the best time to visit?

    Also, were you able to cover all those places within 2 days??! :0

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  8. thanks TGND- valparai is indeed a beautiful place. It experiences rain throughout the year thought monsoon period is roughly from June- Sep. Try & Visit barring those months for a more comfortable stay. Yup 2 days in valparai is good enough to cover it

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  9. Awesome pictures and good writeup. If you are looking for package tours from Coimbatore or Pollachi to Topslip (Anamalai Tiger Reserve), Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Valparai, Athirapally, Munnar, etc please visit http://www.grasshillstravels.com or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h-a-nACN-Y

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  10. is there any chances that we can get a bath under any falls or in CBE? My kids are so interested that i couldnt find one single falls other than in tirunelveli. thanks in advance..

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