Valparai, hidden wildlife jewel of the south
Valparai, hidden wildlife jewel of the south is a guest post by one of our readers – Rahul Taranath, one of the well known names in the wildlife space, especially in the conservation area.
Valparai – What is it and Where is it?
Valparai is located in the midst of Annamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR). This Sanctuary is near Pollachi (To Reach here straight road from hosur nearly 400 kms road is fantastic ) and also about 90 Kms. from Coimbatore. [Approx. 460 kms south of Bangalore]
Valparai is a tea and a coffee plantation amidst ATR close to 6000 acres. It has got 40 hairpins starting from Aliyar Dam a good place for landscape but we got to see some elephants while climbing up. We can see Nilgiri thars if we are lucky which is classified as endangered and are mostly seen on 11th and 13th hairpin. Can also see Nilgiri langurs which are very shy in nature.
It is an amazing place to watch wildlife and almost unknown to many. With the kind of wildlife you get to see makes Valparai, hidden wildlife jewel of the south.
We got to see lots of LTMs [lion-tailed macaques] which are endemic to Western Ghats.
There are many places to been seen of scenic beauty such as View Points, Rivers, Waterfalls, forests, estates, dams, and reservoirs. Famous ones we visited are: Sholayar dam, Aliyar Dam, Nirar Dam, Nallamudi View point to mention a few.
For stay most prefer the tea bungalows.They charge about Rs. 4500 per day with food. we stayed in a home stay over there as one of my friends work there. we got some good discounts too.
Stay options: Valparai – Briar Tea Bungalows
Number of home stay: +919443448348
Place where we stayed was decent and they charged Rs. 1800 for 3 people but food was not included but was not a bad deal at all. Food was very delicious, cooked by home stay people from the locally available fish.
How to reach there:
Valparai is a Taluk Headquarters and Hill Station in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located 3,914 feet (1,193 m) above sea level on the Anaimalai Hills range of the Western Ghats, at a distance of 100 kilometers (62 mi) from Coimbatore, 65 kilometers (40 mi) from Pollachi, 76 kilometers (47 mi) from Athirappilly and 108 kilometers (68 mi) from Chalakudy on ghat route in very deep forest. The ghat route from Valparai to Chalakudy meets the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala States at Malakkappara. There are 40 Scenic hairpin bends on the way from Pollachi up to Valparai via Aliyar Reservoir. While major portions of the land are owned by private tea companies, large forest areas continue to be out of bounds.
Rahul is a resident of Bangalore and works for Amazon and when free, you will find him in the jungles either on a sighting safari or working with the locals bettering their life!!
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PS: Please be a responsible wildlife tourist; No littering, No sounds, No feeding, no getting down from the safari jeep (when on safari), No phone calls. Remember that we are visiting their home and when we are there, let’s follow their rules.
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