Valparai nestled in the Anamalai Ranges is a beautiful hill station with tea gardens and thick forests teeming with wildlife. Valparai has been hidden from the tourist sector since long and is not commercialized but has much to offer to the explorers.
Chinnakallar Falls –
Chinnakallar Falls located about 20 km from Valparai town is the wettest place in this region. It is also called the Cherapunji of the south as it receives second highest rainfall in India. Walk on the bamboo bridge and hike to the top of the falls. You need to pay a nominal charge for visiting the Falls. Do ensure you reach the falls before four as it gets dark and you wouldn’t be allowed entrance.
Sholayar Dam is considered the second deepest dam in Asia. Drive through the long stretch of the reservoir which has some great landscapes and is a delight for the shutterbugs. You might even find sight wildlife so keep your eyes open. The huge water body takes you all along the route till Kerala. It is a eye tonic and a must visit place when in Virgin Valparai.
This place is a great view point with a jaw dropping valley in front of you. You can see the Rajamalai Falls and the Anamudi Peak which is the highest peak in South India at a distance. White specks of water are the Idli River, Pottimodi River. The valley is dense with thick vegetation and tribal settlements are also seen.
If you are lucky you might sight Velu of the Adi Muruga fame. He claims to have seen God on 24th May 1976 which was a Monday at noon. A prolific talker he has all the numbers handy be it the height of Anamudi or Nalamudi and the dates. He is sure to bless you by talking to the Sun God. A vegetarian he spends his day at the view point doubling up as a guide. A short walk takes you to an open temple the same place where he saw God.
Take a walk to the Injipara River gurgling and maneuvering through the hills of Valparai. An early morning view with the sunrise at the backdrop is the best time. You might even sight elephants walking down the banks in herds for their drink.
Wildlife in Puduthottam Tea Estate
Puduthottam Tea Estate is brimming with wildlife activity in the early hours of dawn. Indian Gaur, Hornbills, Deers, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri Langur and the Lion Tailed Macaque are very common around this area.
Valparai is well known for the Sholas or the montane evergreen grasslands. These undulating grassland patches with rare plants and animals is called Grass Hills. It is just ahead of Akka Malai and requires forest department’s permission to get an entrance.
Tea Factory Visit
A visit to Valparai is not complete without dropping at a Tea Factory and getting to know the tea making process. If you stay at the Briar Tea Bungalow they would take care of your visit and ensure all the pre requisites as regards the factory visit are taken care of.