There are several lesser known spectacular destinations in India which often are not ventured into! One such that we found recently is Valparai in Tamil Nadu. Since the British era, Valparai was known to be the hidden gem amongst the British viceroys who had their bungalows in midst of its tea estates.
Valparai is a picturesque hill station! We drove a beautiful 480 Kilometers stretch from Bangalore via Krishnagiri – Salem – Palladam – Pollachi – Valparai. Alternatively, you can fly into Coimbatore and take a cab to Valparai.
The Valparai Tea Estates!
We saw wonderful expanse of infinite tea tablelands and absolutely no commercialized drivel! We chose to stay at the Sirikundura Tea Estates (part of Briar Tea bungalows) in one of their wooden chalets. The stay was amongst abundance of tall trees which also gave scope to some fascinating bird watching opportunity!
Often times, we skip an outstanding getaway because of its lack of good accommodation. Don’t fret in this case as there are some undeniably remarkable tea estate bungalows if you are looking for places to stay! These old-fashioned British Bungalows are as old as 100 years. They are refurbished to suit the all comforts in addition to retaining its quaint picturesque charm! To me, staying in one of them was an addition to the brilliance of this destination.
Valparai is a tiny hill town. There are also guesthouses in the town if you wish to choose budget accommodation. The town itself is very colorful and because it is less touristy compared to the obvious hill stations, it is cleaner!
We also went on side trips to several waterfalls and dams with the drive around the hills surrounded by endless exquisiteness!
Things to do during your trip to Valparai
We saw a couple of things on the way and did some side trips from Valparai. Below is how you may want to consider them:
This Dam is on the foothills of Valparai. We did not exactly go to the dam but we stopped just after the Valparai check-post to get a view! This is where you can get some beautiful pictures of this Dam.
However, if you do wish to go to the dam, you can picnic here as they have a mini Theme Park as well.
A little ahead after the check-post and the dam view point (just a kilometer or two), is Monkey falls to your right. The falls were gushing with a great view; however, the location was indeed crowded with tourists!
On our second day in Valparai, we drove to Sholayar Dam! This is about 20 Kilometers away and is supposedly Asia’s second deepest dam! We reached the dam around 10AM and there were just a handful of tourists around. Evenings are apparently very crowded!
Vazhachal and Athirappilly Falls
After Sholayar Dam, we drove towards Athirappilly falls which is in Thrissur District of Kerala. It is around 80 kilometers and the drive is via Idamalayar Forest which is dense with narrow roads. Just before Athirappilly Falls and next to the forest check-post, you can see the Vazhachal Falls. Here you can buy combined tickets for Vazhachal and Athirappilly. Both these falls are astounding in the monsoon!
Tip – Athirappilly Falls is also the place where the movie Bahubali was shot. The falls are indeed majestic!
Between Vazhachal and Athirappilly Falls, is the Charpa Falls. Charpa falls is not as massive as the other two but is worth a short stop.
Valparai is pollution free and definitely worth a visit. The climate is pleasant and the drive uphill is beautiful. It is also a beautiful drive between the wildlife reserve and sightings are possible you are alert enough.
If you need some alone-time and see “lesser-to-no-tourists” around you, then you should perhaps consider Valparai for your next weekend getaway!