Friday, May 1, 2009

Valparai -The Cherapunji of South India

  • My visit , the Cherapunji of the south, left me in awe of nature. Cosily perched in the Annamalai range , Valparai is a blissful 3,500 km above sea level on the Western Ghats. Surrounded by the unique grass forests, aptly named Green Hills, it gently envelopes you in its misty and mysterious aura. The Parambikulam, Aliyar , Nirar, Sholiyar dams, the Monkey falls and the various tea and coffee estates around Valparai were all interesting places that I visited . However, it was the elephant safari at the Indira Gandhi Wildlife sanctuary that made my trip. At Rs.300 for a 30-minute ride in the woods, it was a once-in-a lifetime experience . Also, we got to stay at one of the many tree houses built in the sanctuary. These tree houses are great to stay during the day, thanks to the scenic view of the lake . Valparai's location is perhaps one of its best attributes and its ready-to-help locals more than make up for its lack of facilities, making you feel at home straightway. But the crowing glory? Breathing in gallons of herb-scented clean air , as opposed to the poisonous carbon monoxide.
  • Accommodation: Valparai has a few decent hotels to stay in. So, it's better you stay with someone you know or book accommodation at Annamalai's club or at one of the many guesthouses that dot the between Rs.500 and Rs.1000 for a day. However , if you are looking for luxury , you should head out to The Stanmore Bungalow, which is sprawling 7,500 square feet British structure. You could alternatively stay at Pollachi , the nearest town and drive up to Valparai for a truly out-of-the- world experience in the hills,provided you are ready to take on the 40 hairpins bends that you have to encounter to get there ?
  • How to get there : The nearest town is Pollachi , some 64 kms away. The drive is pleasant and exotic,a true feast of greenery for your eyes. You can also catch a flight or a train to Coimbatore.

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vineshkumar said...

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