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Hill Station

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Coimbatore): 105 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): Full Day

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 65 km from Pollachi, 105 km from Coimbatore, 60 kms from Athirapally Falls and 600 km from Chennai, Valparai is a cute Hill Station and a municipality located in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu. It lies at an altitude of about 3,500 feet on the Annamalai Hill Range of the Western Ghats and is also one of the top Tamilnadu tourist places.

This place has number of tea and coffee estates surrounded by thick forest. The climate of Valparai is most suitable for tea, coffee, cardamom and cincona trees. According to the earlier records, in 1846, Mr. Ramaswamy Mudaliyar started cultivating coffee in his private estate. Afterwards, in 1864, the Karnatic Coffee Company began their coffee plantation here but they could not make it profitable, hence they sold part of their land. In 1890, W. Wintil and Nordan bought a huge portion of land in Valparai from the Madras State Government under the British Raj. Wintil deforested the area and established tea and coffee estate. He was assisted by Carwer Marsh, an experienced planter. Carwer Marsh, owing to his dedication and hard work, later came to be known as the Father of Annamalais. A statue has been erected in Kavarkal Estate, which is dedicated to Carwer Marsh.

Chinna Kallar, in Valparai is one of the highest rainfall areas in India. There are around 40 steep, hairpin bends to reach Valparai from the plains of Pollachi. The region is also a rich elephant tract and is known to have many leopards. The Valparai range is also the habitat of Nilgiri Tahr. Tourists can also make a visit to the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one of the most prominent attractions of Valparai. At this sanctuary, travellers can spot the lion-tailed macaque, barking deer, wild boar, the Nilgiri and the common langur among others. Valparai is also great place for bird watching. The Great Hornbill, the Malabar Pied Hornbill and the Grey Malabar Hornbill are regularly seen here.

Upper Sholayar Dam (15 km) is a fantastic place to visit from Valparai. Other important places to visit include Nirar Dam (7 km), Aliyar Dam (30 km), Monkey Falls (24 km), Balaji temple (Karimalai -15 km), Velankanni Church (Karimalai - 15 km), Pancha Mugha Vinayagar Koil (Near Sholayar) etc. In addition to sightseeing, travellers can also engage in trekking and can also make a visit to the tea estates.

A three day summer festival is organized at Valparai in the month of May to boost tourism. This event includes sessions for children, food festivals, cricket and football matches. Furthermore, flower shows, folk and tribal dances are also a part of this event. Thousands of tourists come here to see the summer festival and enjoy the natural beauty.

Valparai has plenty of accommodation options in the form of resorts, hotels, cottages, home stays, tea bungalows and Government guest houses. Valparai is connected by bus with Pollachi, Coimbatore, Chalakudy and Palani.

The best time to visit Valparai is from October to November and March to May.

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