VALPARAI TOURISM | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT & TOUR PACKAGES
#100 of 23 Places to visit in Tamilnadu
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Nearest City to Valparai: Coimbatore (105 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Valparai: October to May
Peak Season: December to January & March to May
At a distance of 65 km from Pollachi, 105 km from Coimbatore, 60 km from Athirapally Falls and 600 km from Chennai, Valparai is a charming Hill Station and a municipality located in Coimbatore district of Tamilnadu. Originally known as Poonachimalai, it is one of the least explored hill stations in South India and among the top tourist places to visit in Tamil Nadu.
Situated at an altitude of 3500 feet, Valparai is a little piece of heaven tucked away in the cradle of in the Anamalai mountain range of the Western Ghats. The pollution-free hill station is surrounded by evergreen deciduous forests loaded with lakes, waterfalls, mountain peaks, and lush green valleys. Anamalai Hill Ranges is known for its pristine environment, accommodating large varieties of flora and fauna. Valparai receives among the highest rainfall in the region during the monsoons (around June).
Valparai is famed for its numerous coffee and tea plantations that are surrounded by thick forest. According to the earlier records, in 1846, Mr. Ramaswamy Mudaliyar started cultivating coffee in his estate. Afterward, the Karnatic Coffee Company began their coffee plantation here in 1864 but they could not make it profitable, hence they sold part of their land. In 1890 CE, 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. One can see the statue of Carwer Marsh at Kavarkal Estate.
Blessed with evergreen forests, majestic dams, spectacular waterfalls, rolling meadows, picturesque mountain peaks, lush green valley, and endless expanse of tea plantations, Valparai is a less explored hill station of unspoiled beauty where humans and animals live in perfect harmony with nature. Sholayar Dam, Aliyar Dam, Nallamudi Viewpoint, Loam's View Point, Balaji Temple, Monkey Falls, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnakallar Waterfalls, Birla Falls, Koolangal River, Grass Hills, Nirar Dam, etc. are some of the popular places to visit in Valparai. Besides, Valparai is also known for trekking, plantation walks, and hiking activities.
Traveling between Pollachi to Valparai is itself an exotic experience. There is around 40 steep, hairpin bends to reach Valparai from the plains of Pollachi. The drive to the town from Pollachi passes through the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary noted for Bengal tiger, elephants, boars, lion-tailed macaques, gaur, spotted deer, sambar, and giant squirrels. Also, the region is a rich elephant tract and is known to have many leopards and habitat of Nilgiri Tahr. This area is also a great place for bird watching. The Great Hornbill, the Malabar Pied Hornbill, and the Grey Malabar Hornbill are regularly seen here.
To boost tourism, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department organized a three-day summer festival at Valparai in the month of May every year. It includes sessions for children, food festivals, cricket and football matches, flower shows, folk, and tribal dances. Thousands of tourists come here to see the summer festival and enjoy the natural beauty of this secluded hill station. Valparai has plenty of accommodation options in the form of resorts, hotels, cottages, homestays, tea bungalows and Government guest houses.
Coimbatore and Kochi Airports are the nearest airports that are situated at 114 km and 129 km respectively. These are well connected by flights from all the major cities of India. Pollachi Junction is the nearest railhead which is about 65 km from Valparai. It has regular trains from Palakkad, Coimbatore, Tiruchendur, and Palani. From there, one can catch a bus or hire a cab to reach Valparai. Valparai is well-connected by bus with Pollachi, Coimbatore, Chalakudy, Tiruppur, Udumalaipettai and Palani.
Although Valparai retains cool, pleasant weather throughout the year, tourists prefer visiting the town between the months of October and May. In these months, the weather is pleasant and suitable for sightseeing. During the winter months of December and January, the mist settling in at dusk all over the hill station only enhances the beauty of the landscape! 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.