At 3500 feet above sea level, on the Anamalai Mountain ranges of Western Ghats, there is an unpolluted town surrounded by green carpeted mountains, lush green forests and endless expanse of tea plantations. It is green and only green everywhere, the colour that comforts your eyes and rejuvenates your soul. Nature-loving travellers fondly call this place as “Seventh Heaven”. It is Valparai, a less explored hill station of unspoiled beauty where humans and animals live in perfect harmony with nature. There are so many amazing places to visit in Valparai that will give you an exciting experience for a lifetime.
What to Do in Valparai?
Valparai is a heavenly land blessed with evergreen forests, enchanting grasslands, spectacular waterfalls, majestic dams, picturesque mountains, and misty valleys. It is also a natural habitat for several wild animals like tigers, elephants, deer, endangered Nilgiri Tahr, and hundreds of species of birds. Photographers would love to capture various moods of nature, which shares the similar romantic essence of Munnar. Adventure fanatics can involve in trekking, either a rough trekking through the high mountains or a soft nature walk through the mesmerizing tea plantations. Valparai sightseeing will be incomplete without enjoying a thrilling elephant safari or jeep safari to spot the wild animals of the jungle.
How to reach there?
Valparai is located in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, at a distance of 64 km from Pollachi. There are mainly two routes to Valparai Tamil Nadu. One is from Coimbatore via Pollachi, which involves a distance of 105 km. You can travel by your own vehicle or hire a car from Coimbatore. Bus services are also available from Pollachi to Valparai. The route from Pollachi to Valparai has about 40 hairpin bends and offers stunning views of scenic beauty.
The other route is from Chalakudy in Kerala, located at about 25 km from Cochin International Airport. Chalakudy to Valparai is 108 km and this route has beautiful rainforests, plantations, waterfalls, dams, and breathtaking views. A trip to Valparai from Chalakudy gives a unique opportunity to visit the famous Athirapally waterfalls on the way. Though direct bus services are available from Chalakudy to Valparai, travel by cab or own vehicle will give more flexibility.
Places to Visit in Valparai
Among a number of mesmerizing destinations, we are presenting 10 best places to visit in Valparai that you should not miss when you plan your trip.
1. Aliyar Dam:
Aliyar dam, a beautiful picnic spot surrounded by misty mountains and forests, is located in the foothills of Valparai, at about 1000 feet above sea level. It is at a distance of 40 km from Valparai in the Pollachi route. It has a well-maintained park below the dam, an aquarium, a play area, and boating facilities to enjoy some memorable moments with family and children. Those who are interested in Yoga can visit The Temple of Consciousness (Arivu Thirukoil), a world-famous Yoga Centre founded by Yogiraj Vethathiri Maharaj.
2. Sholayar Dam:
Sholayar dam located at 20 km from Valparai is regarded as the second highest dam in Asia. It is nestled with the magnificent hills of Anamalai and offers scenic views. Though sufficient facilities are not available for tourists, the massive size of the dam and the tranquil environment attract several tourists who travel between Athirapally waterfalls and Valparai. Among the two reservoirs, the Lower Sholayar Dam is located deep inside the forest, and the tourists can access the Upper Sholayar Dam only. Water to the Athirapally Falls is made available by the combined waters of Sholayar Dam and Parambikulam Dam reservoirs.
3. Chinnakallar Falls:
Chinnakallar located at 15 km from Valparai is a place of geographical significance. It is known as the Chirapunji of Tamil Nadu because it receives the highest rainfall after Chirapunji. The spectacular Chinnakallar Falls is located in a deep forest that can be accessed by an adventurous trekking through a narrow path of rough bushes. Standing on a very old, gently dancing Suspensions Bridge at about 100 meters from the falls and watching the roaring falls in the dense jungles will give you a memorable experience.
4. Monkey Falls:
Monkey Falls is a magnificent waterfall situated at about 5 km from Aliyar Dam and can be reached by guided trekking through dense forests and rocky cliffs, with prior permission from the Forest Department headquarters at Pollachi. It is a good place for taking bath, but be careful of some slippery rocks that may deceive your steps. Keep your things and food items vigilantly, as numerous mischievous monkeys are roaming around.
5. Loam’s View Point:
Loam’s View Point is one of the beautiful Valparai sightseeing places located on the 9th hairpin bend on the Pollachi-Valparai route. It is named after Mr. Mathew Loam who initiated this road construction in 1886. This platform on heaven offers breathtaking views of the Anamalai mountain ranges of the Western Ghats, blue waters of Aliyar Dam reservoir as well as stunning sunset views.
6. Nallamudi Poonjolai:
This viewpoint located in Nallamudi Tea Estate, at a distance of 15 km from Valparai, is one of the magnificent places to visit in Valparai. To access this viewpoint, you have to walk through tea plantations, and on the way you may witness fresh signs of elephant dung, or droppings of leopards, etc., indicating the presence of wildlife around. Nallamudi Poonjolai offers striking views of the Anamudi Peak, the tallest peak in South India, mighty hills and deep valleys of Anamalai, and magnificent waterfalls flowing between the steep cliffs of the mountain ranges. It is a perfect place to spend some relaxed moments immersed in the tranquility of nature.
7. Grass Hills:
Grass Hills located at 2400 m above sea level is one of the awe-inspiring places to visit in Valparai. This cool location surrounded by high green grasses on mountain slopes is a mind-blowing experience to watch and explore. This picturesque spot located at 15 km from Valparai is a protected area and a part of Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and needs special permission for trekking. Several animals like Nilgiri Tahr, elephants, bison, bear, langur, etc., can be spotted on these green Valparai hills.
8. Balaji Temple:
Balaji temple in Valparai is a famous temple owned by Peria Karamalai Tea Industries. It is located inside a Tea Estate, at about 10 km from Valparai. It has a well-maintained garden and a Children’s Park. Vehicles are not permitted near the temple and you have to trek through a steep height for about 500 meters to reach the temple premises. The temple is dedicated to Lord Balaji, a form of Lord Vishnu. The idol and pujas resemble that of Tirupathi Balaji Temple. Photography is not allowed inside the temple.
9. Karamalai Annai Velankanni Church:
Karamalai Annai Velankanni Church, recently constructed in 2003, is a famous Catholic church located inside the tea plantation on a hilly area at about 10 km from Valparai. The architecture is excellent and the environment is so beautiful and peaceful. The church is dedicated to Velankanni Matha. Several people visit this church every day in search of peace of mind and relaxation. A grand festival is celebrated here every year in the month of September.
10. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary:
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park, also known as Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, is one of the best places to visit in Valparai. It is spread over an area of around 1000 sq.km with an abundance of flora and fauna, rolling mountains, grasslands and deep valleys. Top Slip is its main tourist zone and birding area. This ecological paradise has around 8000 species of plants including several rare and endangered species. It is also an abode of a large number of animals, which include elephants, panthers, tigers, Nilgiri Tahr, Boars, Deers, Lion-tailed Macaque, Langur, etc., besides, over 500 species of resident and migratory birds. Guided trekking is allowed here and you can also involve in elephant safari and vehicle safari.
When to Visit
Valparai India can be visited any time throughout the year. However, October to March is the best season when the weather is very pleasant. Valparai experiences heavy showers during the monsoon season, between June to September. Though monsoons provide more charm to the waterfalls, trekking will be risky as well as dangerous.
Where to Stay
There are some good hotels, bungalows, and homestays in Valparai, which provide comfortable accommodation. Briar Tea Bungalows (Stanmore, Monica and Sirukundra), Chinnathurai Bungalow, Waterfalls Bungalow, Misty Creek Homestay, Silver Heights Homestay, Green Hill Hotel, etc., are some of the best stay options in Valparai.
Some Useful Travel Tips
- Most of the Valparai places to visit are located at some distance from the town, and hence it is advised to travel by cab or own vehicle, which gives more freedom and flexibility.
- Go for guided trekking, enjoy jungle safaris and have a walk amidst tea plantations.
- Drive carefully and stop only at specific spots as the roads are narrow and are often visited by wild animals.
- Carry an umbrella or raincoat and be prepared for an unexpected outburst of showers.
- Plan a trip to the famous Athirapally waterfalls in Kerala, which is just a two-hour drive from Valparai.