Valparai (The Poonachimalai)
Valparai is a mesmerizing hill station located on the Anaimalai Hills range of the Western Ghats. The main attraction of the Valparai route is its 40 hairpin bends that offer spectacular scenery, tea plantations, Dams, and wildlife. The beauty of Valparai and the unpolluted air makes it a favorite tourist spot. It is considered as the must-visit road routes in India. This hill station borders with Tamil Nadu and Kerala and is placed at a height of 3,500 ft above sea level.
Top attractions in Valparai
Malakkappara is one of the beautiful hill stations encircled by Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, and Nelliyampathy hills. The route to Malakkapara through the Sholayar forest is enchanting. Riders have a fascination to drive from Chalakudy to Pollachi and vice versa. Enroute tourists can stop at Athirapally waterfalls, Vazhachal, Malakkapara, and Valparai. A favorite viewpoint is the Aliyar Dam which can be spotted from the hairpin bends. The 40 hairpin bends have different sightseeing spots and are a fascination. The journey to Malakappara is unforgettable as the mist-covered roads, tea plants with water drops, cool breeze and magical. However, it is advised to be careful while you drive through Malakkapara as the wildlife always causes a threat.
Anamalai hills often called the “The Elephant Mountain” is home to the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. The forest area which is approximately 600 sq miles is lush green with streams and wildlife in abundance. The place is blessed with all rarest species of birds and animals. A drive from Chalakudy to Pollachi, that is the route via Valparai bless you with fresh air, pleasant weather, and wildlife spotting which includes elephants, deer, tigers, and crocodiles. Nature lovers, trekkers, and mountaineers get excited by the treasures of Valparai that meet their passion. A trip to Valparai takes you to the culture, tradition, and charm of Western Ghats. The major attractions of Valparai include Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary (Anamalai Sanctuary), Thoonakkadavu Lake, Parambikulam Sanctuary Varagaliar Elephant Camp, Kolikamuthi Elephant Camp, Mt Stuart Block, etc.
Top Slip – Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary
Top Slip located within the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its greenery and woods in abundance. Situated at 800ft above sea level, Top Slip offers a spectacular view of the surroundings which is rich in flora and fauna. Filmmakers photography lovers are keen about the picture like the location of Top Slip. The name top slip is derived from the practice where logs of teak where sliding down the hills. Topslip is 2 hrs drive from Coimbatore and is home to several South Indian birds like the Wayanad Laughing thrush, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Treepie, Malabar Trogon, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, and Black-throated Munia, etc.
You will also get to see the endemic Nilgiri Langur, Indian Chevrotain, Brown Mongoose and more. Topslip is home to Medicinal Plants Interpretation Center, the first of its kind in India, cultivates medicinal plants, unique teak forests, Bamboo Forest are also located near Topslip.
Monkey falls situated in the calm and serene Annamalai Hill range is a wonderful waterfall surrounded by vegetation in abundance. A picture-perfect spot, this destination is ideal to refresh and rejuvenate your soul. The ambiance is serene and the view of the falls that spills down from 20 ft like 2 tiers is great. The monkey falls and the surroundings are full of monkeys and they are friendly too. The presence of these monkeys has given the falls the name “Monkey Falls”. Even though the monkey falls can be visited throughout the year, the best season to visit the falls in winter. People of all age groups love this place and are fascinated. Hikers, trekkers, nature lovers, and photographers flock to this place. People come individually or in groups and spend hours here lavishly.
Tea Estate Garden
People who love mountains, green and streams will fall for Tea Gardens. The sight of tea plantations like a green carpet spread over miles is very pleasing for eyes and soul. The tea bungalow is set amidst thick forest which is a perfect spot for nature lovers who are keen on bird watching and wildlife spotting. Solo riders, friends, and family will find the destination interesting. Lucky ones get a chance to spot Woodpeckers, Great Indian Hornbill, Dollarbirds, Lion-tailed Macaque, the Malabar Whistling Thrush, spot elephant herds, tiger or lion-tailed macaque, boars, leopards, bison, the giant Malabar squirrel, barking deer and more! A stay amidst the tea plantations will be a unique experience for people who are in a holiday mood.
Sholayar Dam is an astonishing sight. The size of the dam is a huge ad it is split into two reservoirs- the Upper Sholayar and the lower Sholayar Dam. Tourists have access only to upper Sholayar and the size of the Sholayar dam is astounding. Sholayar Dam is one of the contributors of water for Athirapally's Falls- India's Niagara. Chalakudy is the closest town to Sholayar Dam which lies 60 Kilometers away. The Sholayar Dam is the second-largest rock dam in Asia. The dam is blessed with nature's beauty and charm in abundance. To visit the dam, one has to take permission from the dam entrance. It is a great opportunity to explore the dam and its premises.