Valparai Information
snonymous
India > States in India > India Travel > Tamil Nadu
#1
| indianature

Valparai Information

We enjoyed a wonderful week in Valparai in December 2010, thanks to all the information kindly provided by several of our India Mikers. A very big thanks to all of you.

See our full trip report with photographs posted on travelpod:
VALPARAI TRIP REPORT

I am posting below some details which I hope will be of use to those planning a visit to Valparai:

Valparai is a small town in Coimbatore District. It is surrounded by tea estates, on a plateau at approx.1200m in the Anamalai range of the Western Ghats.

How to get there:
Accessible by road from Pollachi via the Aliyar Dam through 40 scenic hairpin bends in the Anamalai mountains of the Indira Gandhi Wild Life Sanctuary .






Look out for Nilgiri Tahr at the 9th Hairpin Bend [Loam’s View Point] and for Lion Tailed Macaques and Bisons beyond Iyerpadi.


Direct public and private buses, and taxis available from Coimbatore & Pollachi. Travel time: 2-1/2 to 4 hours. Taxi fare for drop at Valparai from Coimbatore will be approx. Rs. 2000/-. We used Jagadeesan Taxi Mob: +91 94423 70007 / 95004 70007


Accessible by road from Chalakudy in Kerala via the Athirapally and Vazachal Falls and the Upper Sholayar Dam. Look out for wildlife in the Sholayar jungles. Public buses ply from Chalakudy to Valparai, taxis also available –interstate permit charge will apply. Also accessible from Munnar via Udumalpet and Pollachi.

For travel within Valparai:
Frequent public buses ply in all directions to the various estates, from the Gandhi bus stand on the one and only main road. This is a cheap and easy way to travel, giving unmatched views if you sit in the front seats. Autos and taxis also easily available, at negotiable rates.


What to see:

Aliyar / Azhiyar Dam





A beautiful lake surrounded by high mountains and dense forest, on the foothills of the Pollachi - Valparai ghat road.

Monkey Falls





Shortly after the Aliyar Lake, just off the Aliyar Valparai road. Keep your foodstuff out of sight of the waiting monkeys.

Kadamparai Dam – turn off from the Aliyar - Iyerpadi road. Permission required.

Puthuthottam Falls
– Small waterfall and stream, 4km before Valparai, visible from the main Pollachi Valparai road. Lion Tailed Macaques can be seen here.




Nirayar / Nirar Dam - turn off from the Cinchona Chinakallar road. Approx. 15km from Valparai.

Chinnakallar Falls – Gushing small falls and rapids, about 18km from Valparai, beyond Cinchona and near the Nirar Dam.





Upper Sholayar Dam






Serene, emerald blue lake 20 km from Valparai town, adjoining the Malakapara tea estate. The Manamboly forest is in the vicinity. The Kerala border lies just beyond the dam.






Balaji temple and Annai Velankanni church

In Karamalai, within the Peria Karamalai tea estate. Road goes from Iyerpadi, or from Valparai town on the Akkamalai road.






Nallamudi Poonjolai and Number Parai: In the direction of High Forest Estate, these are view points overlooking a deep valley and the Anaimudi Peak of Kerala. Clear weather required to see Anaimudi.

Grass Hills:




On a clear day, these grass topped mountains ranging from 1600m to 2300m high, are visible in the distance from most places in Valparai. Easily accessible from Akkamalai and Iyerpadi. Permission from the Forest Dept. required to visit, but tea workers in adjoining estates can be persuaded to take you there through short cuts.


Small waterfalls, gushing rapids and little streams are found in all the tea and coffee estates surrounding Valparai.













Walking through the well maintained public roads and estate pathways is an easy way to discover and enjoy these sylvan surroundings.








Some estates are fringed by forests. Consequently, wildlife like elephants, bisons, lion tailed monkeys, great hornbills, bears etc. are frequently sighted.



















The Anamalai Nature Information Centre
located on the main Aliyar - Valparai road at Iyerpadi, provides information about nature and wildlife, organizes treks etc. Open daily between 10am and 5pm.






Excursions from Valparai:
Top Slip / Parambikulam for wild life safaris. Athirapally and Vazhachal Falls.

Leeches:
Valparai is leech infested.



Expect to find them everywhere, not just in forests. The local plantation workers use an effective concoction made by crushing tobacco leaves in gingelly oil. A salt solution is as effective.

Where to eat:
Your hotel / home stay.

Several restaurants and messes along the main road, all serve freshly cooked, tasty and wholesome Tamil Nadu and Kerala style veg. and non-veg. meals and tiffin, along with their version of Chinese.

Bakeries and tea houses abound, serving freshly baked savouries, cakes etc.

We enjoyed our fare at the Plaza Hotel and at MKS Bakeries, the food at Green Hills was also good.

I did not see any “bhavan” type pure vegetarian establishment so those who refuse to eat vegetarian food from a non-veg. establishment, may have a problem.



Accommodation:

Joby's Holiday Home [Mr Thomas]: 04253 222338 / Mob: +91 94430 17893 / 94422 42338

Deepika’s Garden Hotel at Sholayar: Mob: Mr Kumaresan +91 94434 27083

Hariharan Cottage: 04253 222649 / 222014 Mob: +91 94870 25005

Murthy Mohandas Homestay: 04253 222419

Ammai Appan Cottage Homestay: 04253 222751 / Mob: +91 9443010371 / 94861 34420

Pavin House:04253 221497 / Mob: +91 94431 94353

Wood House Tea Bungalow: 04253 221105

Tea Bungalow: +91 94440 47434

Waterfall Estate Tea Bungalow: +91 94433 37022 [Rasha Karambaya]

Tea Garden Resort: Sunil: 04253 236227 / Mob: +91 8903214160

Darshan: 04253 223522

Green Hills Hotel Tel: 04253 222562

Krishna Inn: 04253 222234 Mob: +91 94435 04742

Treat Lodge: +91 94433 22981
[COLOR="Red"]Travelpod [/FONT] / Flickr


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17 Replies

#2
| indianature
OOOPS

I dont know how some of the pics have come large and some as thumbnails. These are from travelpod which doesnt seem to have the same sizing system that Flickr does.

If it is a problem and anyone wants to remove the large size, please go ahead.
[COLOR="Red"]Travelpod [/FONT] / Flickr


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#3
| Maha Guru Member
Nice detailed report and Great Pics. Yes would have preferred them all the same size: Big.

Thanks for sharing
#4
| Rebel Emeritus

Originally posted by: snonymous View Post


Joby's Holiday Home [Mr Thomas]: 04253 222338 / Mob: +91 94430 17893 / 94422 42338

Deepika’s Garden Hotel at Sholayar: Mob: Mr Kumaresan +91 94434 27083

Hariharan Cottage: 04253 222649 / 222014 Mob: +91 94870 25005

Murthy Mohandas Homestay: 04253 222419

Ammai Appan Cottage Homestay: 04253 222751 / Mob: +91 9443010371 / 94861 34420

Pavin House:04253 221497 / Mob: +91 94431 94353

Wood House Tea Bungalow: 04253 221105

Tea Bungalow: +91 94440 47434

Waterfall Estate Tea Bungalow: +91 94433 37022 [Rasha Karambaya]

Tea Garden Resort: Sunil: 04253 236227 / Mob: +91 8903214160

Darshan: 04253 223522

Green Hills Hotel Tel: 04253 222562

Krishna Inn: 04253 222234 Mob: +91 94435 04742

Treat Lodge: +91 94433 22981



:D i just stay @ my brothers place , in a nice bunglow on a tea estate overlooking the backwaters & the mountain .
I am planning for a Pongal getaway , lucky me [happy].

BTW : A nice nice place with almost no tourists !!
My Blog :namaste:

" True love means the fight has disappeared, the two have become one. Their bodies exist separately but their being has mingled. The boundaries are lost, there is no division. There is no ‘I’ and no ‘thou’, no one exists" - Osho
#5
| indianature
Thanks Narendra.

Lucky you indeed, Nomad T.
The hotel info is for lesser mortals who do not have relatives with tea bungalows there! By the way, if you get to know through your brother of any lower priced tea bungalows for vacation stay, do post the details here.
[COLOR="Red"]Travelpod [/FONT] / Flickr


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#6
| Maha Guru Member
Great detailed report, it looks lovely....maybe this is where we should head to next? Thanks for sharing.
#7
| Maha Guru Member
Excellent pictorial trip report.

Your trip report has given me some pointers as to what I missed in my visit to Valparai in September 2010. Most of us make visits to these places as tourists but you have been visiting such places as an explorer. So I would call this trip report as Valparai Exploration Report :).

I thought you would have visited Grass Hills but as you said in the report, you had better opportunity to visit grass hills in Nilgiris. From pictures I saw here and elsewhere, I got an impression that Valparai Grass Hills looked like bugyals in Garhwal Himalayas.

Sadanand
#8
| Rebel Emeritus

Originally posted by: snonymous View Post

Thanks Narendra.

Lucky you indeed, Nomad T.
The hotel info is for lesser mortals who do not have relatives with tea bungalows there! By the way, if you get to know through your brother of any lower priced tea bungalows for vacation stay, do post the details here.


2 weeks i will post about nice home-stays in valparai .
And yes , i do consider i am lucky .
;)
This lesser mortal also is looking for hotels near " aane mudi "

Originally posted by: tripsammy View Post

Great detailed report, it looks lovely....maybe this is where we should head to next? Thanks for sharing.



A must visit place .
My Blog :namaste:

" True love means the fight has disappeared, the two have become one. Their bodies exist separately but their being has mingled. The boundaries are lost, there is no division. There is no ‘I’ and no ‘thou’, no one exists" - Osho
#9
| indianature
Thanks Tripsammy and Sadanand

Sadanand, I read your Valparai report at least four times before we went there and I made my hubby read it too. In fact, even though we always had the vague intention of going there, it was only after reading your report that the intent crystallised into a concrete trip! I was looking forward to seeing those baby tahrs like in your pictures, though we did not see any tahrs in Valparai. Saw some tahrs at Avalanche later.

About Himalayan bugyals, you will know better. I have only seen Himalayan meadows on the ridge above the Jalori Pass, on the Hatu Peak, and around Narkanda. These were more like Alpine type meadows, of the type found at Avalanche by the lakeshore and at the Wenlock Downs of Ooty.

The shola - grassland mountains of the Nilgiris / Anamalais are a different type of grass - more tufty, tough grass with those small white plants that Nilgiri tahr love to eat, I dont know the name of the plant but it shines luminiscent like in the evenings. The Todas use this grass to make their traditional houses. I have some photos somewhere which I will post when I find them.

Another reason why we skipped entering the Grass Mountains of Valparai was thought of those dreadful leeches in the patch of shola forest just before the mountain. This is the entry point as you can see here:
[COLOR="Red"]Travelpod [/FONT] / Flickr


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#10
| indianature
Sadanand

I found the picture from a previous visit. This is the typical endemic grassland type found in higher elevations of the southern Western Ghats such as at Grass Hills and in the Nilgiris:



The shiny white shrub is of asteraceae family, Gnaphalium something or the other, and the clumpy tufts of grass are what is used by the Todas.

I have no idea if this is the same grassland type of the Himalayas.
[COLOR="Red"]Travelpod [/FONT] / Flickr


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#11
| Maha Guru Member
@snonymous
You are correct. The type of grass shown in your picture does not match with the grass of Gorson Bugyal (3380m). See the picture below taken in June'10.

Sadanand

PS : On a second thought, I have doubt whether they are grass or incipient stage of some wild flower plants :confused:
Attached Images
23-06-10 065.jpg 
#12
| indianature
They look a bit like some bulbous plant but I cant be sure. 3380m, my God that is high!
[COLOR="Red"]Travelpod [/FONT] / Flickr


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#13
| Maha Guru Member
This was a wonderful write-up and pictures. I grew up in Coimbatore, and like many of the things that were around you when you grew up, I've never paid any attention to Valparai and the Anamalai Hills and their - obvious from this page - many treasures! I will send on this link to my Dad who still lives in Coimbatore, I am sure he will appreciate it too!
#14
| indianature
Thanks Greenears.

Coimbatore is surrounded by so many easily accessible places of beauty.

You are right about locals not bothering about what is theirs for the asking. I went to Elephanta Island a couple of years ago, and that was after a gap of decades! Lonavala? I think I last went there as opposed to driving through, maybe 30 years ago.
[COLOR="Red"]Travelpod [/FONT] / Flickr


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#15
| Senior Member
So you are back with yet another wonderful travelogue :) Loved the shot of grass hills and the LTMs.

I am back from a hurried ride to valparai and munnar over the pongal weekend (Log up in my blog)and am so jealous now for you having spotted the LTM. Nevetheless, we spent too less time for any hope of sighting one :D

Planning to catch up with valparai again sometime (by public transport). Would like to know if permission is required from the forest officials to visit grass hills. And what about the puthuthottam estate and other private estates, where I hear one could come across bisons and varied species of birds - do we require prior permission from the authorities/owners?
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