Valparai Coimbatore - ValparaiTotal No of days - 3Dated - June 2017
Behind the wheel & ContributorVinod Kumar...know more about me
A weekend trip to Valparai with some best friends from Coimbatore. Valparai is a less commercial hill station around 100kms away from Coimbatore, although heard about the beauty of the place. It is the only hill station in the world which has 12 dams and hydro electric power stations. Valparai shares it's boundaries with Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park and Vazhachal forest. We started early morning and by lunch we reached this beautiful place. Although monsoons are the best time to visit, we had no option but to make it before the rains. The missing point was the beautiful waterfalls.
Morning breakfast at Pollachi
The entry fee point
Rs 30 per head plus camera charges
At the 6th hair pin we saw the nilgiri tahr. Very shy, and not scared. We could see them in a group of four, but in the morning one can spot them at these bends. Monkey menance is there, so keep car windows closed
Our stay was booked in Monica Bunglow, the hotel units, they also have tents. The weather is cool, the rains announcing its arrival, but the mesmerising place was above words. The carpeted tea estates and the gush wind, with the mild clouds floating was the catch point of climbing the 40 hair pins, some tough some quite easy.
Monica is the british bunglow, built in around 1925, amongst beautifully landscaped gardens, electric fences in the thick woods, is now owned by the Woodbriar group and they have made every effort to maintain it as it were.
The screeching shrill sounds of insects is what greets you, here and for the next 2 days its going to be non stop, other wise the place oozes tranquillity and beauty at every gaze.
Our rooms were huge, with two extra beds for kids, the room size replicated the bathroom size too. Food was made on demand and was homely.
The leeches are more comfortable in the wet grass, so venturing into the grass is not a good idea. A slight drizzle greeted us, with a cool and pleasant stay.
After rest we take to a drive to Woodhouse mansion nearby, its a beautiful guest house located in the midst of a forest to see a group of lion tailed macaques. Were lucky to see them so close.
Further we drive through the plantations in search of birds, elephants and bisons. The entire place has tea plants, and one can see women carrying baskets on their heads collecting leaves, the carrier trucks creak past as they take the plucked tea leaves to the processing unit.We see bisons and elephants at a distance, the thick dark forested roads have lots of birds.
Crested serpent eagle
The next day we drive to Balaji Temple. This place is about 10kms from Monica in a private estate The temple was half a km ascent from the parking place. So it was a good walk towards the temple. No photo graphy allowed inside the temple. There is also a waterfall in the estate one can take permission to trek here but the route is infested with leeches.
The parking with the lemon tea stall
The board outside the temple
drive through the tea estates
We drive to the Sholayar Dam, water is less at this time, but the views are awesome. It starts raining, probably the first rains of the season. While your drive do not miss to have tea or filter coffee from one of these small stalls. They are really tasty....
some views enroute the drive
The next day morning we return back, have lunch at Junior Kuppanna. A nice place for veg and non veg food.