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Places to visit in and around Valparai

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Koozhangal (Pebble) River

Koozhangal River, Valparai

Koozhangal River is one of the most exciting and the most preferred tourist spot in Valparai. Slow-flowing, Shallow River known for its pebble stone bottom amid verdant, grassy surrounds. The pebbles seen in the bank of the river and the zigzag shape of the river are spectacular.

Sholayar Dam

Sholayar Dam, Valparai

The Sholayar (சோழையார்) dam is supposed to the second deepest dam in Asia, but it is not this feature of the dam that strikes the most. Rather, it is the sheer size of the dam that astonishes.

Generally, one does not get a real perspective of the dam’s size as our view is limited to one entrance or at most one side of the dam. However, the Sholayar dam is very different. In the case of this reservoir, one can drive around its entire length and breadth. In fact, the road from Valparai to Athirapally falls provides stunning views of this massive water body.

The Sholayar dam is actually split into two reservoirs. One is called the Upper Sholayar dam, which we tourists have access to and the other deep in the forests is called the lower Sholayar Dam. It is the combined waters of the Sholayar and the downstream Parambikulam reservoir in Kerala that provide water to India’s Niagara – the famous Athirapally Falls.

The Sholayar Dam is situated about 20 kilometres from the hilly town of Valparai, but the reservoir waters start very close to the town itself. In fact, it criss-crosses a large area from near the town to the actual dam setting. Most of its banks are decorated with tea gardens. The ones which are not are decorated by evergreen forests.

In terms of tourist infrastructure, there is not much, but the people can enjoy a good picnic near its banks, enjoy its beauty while driving through the winding roads that connect Valparai to Chalakudy or stand right below the dam walls and enjoy the water gushing out from the open sluice gates

The Sholayar Dam is part of the Sholayar Hydroelectric Project (HEP). The project is comprises the main Sholayar Dam, the Sholayar Flanking, and the Sholayar Saddle Dam. Special permission is required to visit the dam.

This dam is a vital reservoir under the Parambikulam Aliyar Project and has a water storage capacity of 160 ft. The reservoir's overflowing waters are let into the Parambikulam Reservoir through the saddle dam.

Sholayar Dam was officially opened in 1965, the Sholayar Flanking was built in 1964 and the Sholayar Saddle Dam in 1965.

The area of the reservoir is 8.705 square km. The height of the main dam is 66 metres; its width is 430 metres, and length 430.60 metres. The Sholayar Flanking has a height of 28 metres and width of 19 metres. The Sholayar Saddle Dam is 259 metres high and 109 metres wide.

Chinna Kallar Waterfall

Chinna Kallar, Valparai

Chinna Kallar is geographically an important place in India. It is known as Cherrapunji of Tamilnadu and one of the top 5 wettest places of India.

A hanging bridge built across the river by which you have to walk to reach this place is full of enchantment and thrill. This area is always found wet and misty. A small dam followed shortly by a beautiful roaring waterfall in the dense jungle of Anamalai ranges. One must visit this place when in Valparai. Wild animals like Indian Bison, Elephants and sometimes Leopards frequent this place for water.

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Nallamudi Poonjolai

Nallamudi Poonjolai, Valparai

Nallamudi Poonjolai Viewpoint is located in one of the private tea estates. It is located 15 km from Valparai. Nallamudi valley view can be reached by a walk for about 1 km in Nallamudi tea estate. On your way, you may see fresh elephant dung, pugmarks & droppings of leopards and bears that visit here regularly at nights. Nallamudi Poonjolai offers an excellent view of Anaimudi peak (the tallest peak in south India counting 8842 Ft), several waterfalls, tribal settlements and a valley that is over 1000 feet deep.

It was an interesting viewpoint to sight the Anaimudi. The valley almost covered by dense forest with little encroachment of tea gardens as far left and tribal settlement villages below the valley. The Anaimudi was not clearly visible, except the shape like elephant back at far distance. This valley separates the states Tamilnadu and Kerala. The other side of the hills of Anaimudi is Munnar.

Monkey Falls

Monkey Falls, Valparai

Monkey Falls is a natural waterfall located in the uphill ghat on the Pollachi-Valparai road in the Anamalai Hills range. Refreshing Natural Water Fall about 6 km from Aliyar Dam is a famous and popular tourist attraction. Monkey falls is an ideal place for little children and adults to take a bath and an amazing place for a get away with our family and friends.

In case if you parked the vehicle in roadside beware of Monkeys since it will get into the vehicle and will take the things from the vehicle. Also be careful near waterfall since in some place it will make you to slip and there is a chance of acquiring injury.

Aliyar Dam

Aliyar Dam, Valparai

Aliyar (ஆழியாறு) Reservoir is just 20 km from Pollachi and the Aliyar Dam stands tall and proud at the foot of Valparai, in the Anamalai Range of the Western Ghats. Aliyar Dam is a huge tourist magnet thanks to its pretty parks, its aquarium and the mini theme park. If you are looking for a picnic spot, well, this is where you should head to! Aliyar Dam’s scenic environs are what makes it so popular. Surrounded by mountains capped with mist and verdant slopes with the glistening silent reservoir, it makes for an ideal place to forget the hurly burly of city life.

The Aliyar Dam was constructed during 1959-1969 across the Aliyar river, mainly for irrigation purposes. The project was commissioned in September 2002 to generate Hydro Electric Power.

Aliyar Lake receives water from Upper Aliyar Reservoir through the hydroelectric power station in Navamali and the Parambikulam reservoir through a contour canal. Aliyar dam, built as a part of Parambikulam Aliyar project (PAP), retains a large reservoir. The dam is around 2 kilometres in length.

The lowest level outlet of the reservoir is 930 feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL) and the canal intake is 980 feet above MSL. The spillway is 1,040 feet above MSL and the Full Reservoir Level is 1,050 feet above MSL. The maximum surface area is 120 acres. The volume of water at Full Reservoir Level is 109,416,000 m3. The maximum depth is 135 ft and the mean depth 55 ft . The volume development is 1.2 m. The highest inflow usually occurs during July and August. The shoreline is poorly indented, the shore development is poor and shallow and the Aquatic plants and limnology of the littoral zone is also very limited

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Upper Nirar Dam

Upper Nirar Dam, Valparai

Nirar dam has been constructed as part of the hydroelectric power project that powers many an industry and home in the plains. It also plays an important role in terms of irrigation and supplies water to places in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Nirar Dam, along with Sholayar Dam and Aliyar Dam are the three most important dams that are located in and around Valparai. The Nirar dam and its reservoir are located amidst lush green forests and hills. An expanse that seems to have frozen in time, with the old and the ancient blending seamlessly with the new. The dam does not seem to affect the natural beauty of the landscape, but serves to augment it. Nirar dam is indeed a destination that deserves its place in your itinerary.

The Nirar river takes its source from the Kattamalai Hills, and takes the name of Kollar, subsequently after its confluence with some of the streams. It runs in the South Westerly direction and falls into Edamalayar, the major tributary of Periyar river. The first work done in the highest elevation in Tamilnadu is Upper Nirar Weir with a catchment area of 29 Sqmi. The FRL is EL+3800 ft. Water will be diverted from this weir through the Upper Nirar Tunnel to the adjacent Sholayar basin.

Lower Nirar Dam

Lower Nirar Dam, Valparai

A dam across Nirar River at a lower site, about 8 km, below the Upper Nirar weir has been constructed. This dam will serve to conduct the diverted waters of Anamalai Basin to the Sholayar valley through the unlined lower Tunnel taking off from the dam site. In addition to this, the yield of the catchment between the Upper Nirar Weir and the Dam will also be diverted to the Sholayar basin.

Loam's View

 Loams View, Valparai

Loam’s view point is a beautiful viewpoint at an elevation of 780m above the sea level located in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats, in India. It's situated in the 9th hairpin bend towards Valparai from Pollachi on the Valparai Ghat Road. The road is quite risky and prone to accidents. You have to be extra careful while passing through the twists and turns that are abundant on the road.

The viewpoint is located in the asphalted State Highway 78 road, a road linking Pollachi and Valparai. The road is all though mountain ranges with 40 hairpin bends and some crazy curves. The view point is named after Mr. Loam, a British general officer who was appointed to lay this road way back in 1886.

The panoramic view from this point is excellent. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don't forget your camera with lots of memory and fully charged batteries! The viewpoint offers amazing views of the marvellous Aliyar Dam, the surrounding mountains of Western Ghats and the Pollachi town. Loam's View Point is locally known as the 9th Bend of the winding Aliyar - Valparai hill road. Hairpin bend no 9, 10, 11 and 12 are awesome points to click pictures.

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Carver Marsh View Point

Carver Marsh View Point, Valparai

It is located in Kavarakal estate en-route Valparai from Pollachi. A Statue of Sir Carver Marsh, the father of Anamalai graces this place, which is covered in mist most of the year, but when the skies are clear one can witness a breathtaking view of the Sholayar Reservoir and the Parambikulam Reservoir from the same place.

Balaji Temple

Balaji Temple, Valparai

Balaji temple is one of the prominent temples in Valparai located in a nearby village of Karamalai at a distance of 10 Km from Valparai. Owned and managed by Karamalai Tea Industries, the temple amidst tea estates and sprawling hill ranges, gives us the sense of frosty and serene atmosphere. It can be reached by 500 meter walking on uphill slope as no parking facilities near by the shrine. Lord Balaji popularly known by other names like Vishnu or Venkateswara is the presiding deity. Aesthetic garden is maintained inside the temple block, which adds aroma to the air.

Upper Aliyar Dam

Places to visit in Valparai Upper Aliyar Dam View Point

The breathtaking view of Upper Aliyar Dam can be seen from Attakatti in en-route to Valparai from Pollachi. From this place only one can see the presence of the Dam because it’s inside the deep jungle. Except the government officials, no one can visit this Dam.

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Annai Velankanni Church

Annai Velankanni Church, Valparai

Karamalai Annai Velankanni Church is located in a tea estate is about 10 kms from Valparai. This place of worship is constructed in the year 2003 and is set in peaceful and tranquil environs making it ideal for those who endeavor to worship the place. A stream nearby this place is also a attraction which attracts people to this places.

Irachi Parai Waterfall

Places to visit in Valparai Irachi Parai Falls

This waterfall is located in the Karamalai tea estate near Balaji Temple. This is one of the must see location in Valparai. To visit this spot one have to get permission from Karamalai estate managment.

Water Diverting Tunnels

Water Diverting Tunnels in Valparai

These man-made tunnels is a part of Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) constructed in 1980s which is used to divert water from a reservoir to another.

Upper Nirar Tunnel
Upper Nirar tunnel connecting upper Nirar Weir and the adjacent Sholayar basin is unlined is of horse shoe shape, 20 feet diameter and 15167 Ft Long designed for a discharge of 1600 cusecs of water.

Lower Nirar Tunnel
Lower Nirar tunnel interconnects the lower Nirar Dam with the Sholayar basin is unlined is of ‘D’ shape, 22 feet diameter and 26560 feet long. It is designed for a discharge of 2500 cusecs of water.

Sholayar Power Tunnel
Sholayar tunnel interconnects the Sholayar basin with the Sholayar power house in Manampally is unlined is of ‘D’ shape, 32 feet in diameter and 9174 Ft Long designed for a discharge of 750 cusecs of water.

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Charpa Waterfall

Charpa Waterfall, Kerala

Charpa Falls is a waterfall located in Athirappilly panchayath in Thrissur district of Kerala. Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River, this waterfall lies in between the more famous Athirappilly Falls and Vazhachal Falls. It is a popular stopover for tourists who are visiting the Athirappilly and Vazhachal Falls. It is located close to the road, and during monsoon months (June to August), the water splashes onto the road. During the dry season, the water stops flowing.

Poringalkuthu

 Poringalkuthu, Kerala

Here, you will definitely experience a breathtaking view of the enchanting nature around. Here you can sight a dam built on behalf of the hydel project before independence. The dam was commissioned in the year 1959.

The dam and its premises can be enjoyed in its close proximity through boating. One can also make use of the pedal boats to experience the serene ambiance here. Enjoy the magnificent green environment around, while having a calm voyage through the water. At Poringalkuthu, you can also visit an inspection bungalow of the Kerala State Electricity Board. It is an Anglican-style building, built before independence. You will have to get prior permission to enter the dam site.

Boating Charges
15 minutes Speed Boat : Rs. 300 / person (Maximum 5 persons / trip)
15 minutes Drifting coffee Shop : Rs. 200 / person (Maximum 5 persons / trip)
30 minutes Pedal Boat : Rs. 60 / person (Maximum 2 persons / Boat)

Timing : 9.00 Hrs to 17.00 Hrs

Athirapally Waterfall

Athirapally Waterfalls, Kerala

Athirappilly Falls is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. This falls is a part of Chalakudy river and it is approximately 80 feet in height and is a marvellous cascade of frothy waters that makes its way from the Anamudi mountains of the Western Ghats.

When you land in Athirapally, you are greeted with the sight of charming green Sholayar Peaks peering over the rushing gush of the falls. Standing against the backdrop of a rustling jungle foliage, the scenery is as picturesque as it can get. Bird lovers cannot miss this place, for it is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered Hornbill species are seen. There is a pool above the falls where you can relax and unwind. To get a view of the waterfall, one needs to get down from the mountain for about 100 meters.

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Vazhachal Waterfall

Vazhachal Waterfall, Kerala

Vazhachal Falls is situated in Athirappilly Panchayath of Thrissur district in Kerala on the southwest coast of India. Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and at the edge of the Sholayar ranges, it is just 5 km from entrance of Athirappilly Falls.

Topslip

Topslip

Topslip is located in the Anamalai Mountain range 800 feet above the sea level. This is a small part in Indira Gandhi National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the niligiri Biosphere Reserve, which is separated from the Nilgiri Hills by Palghat Gap in north.

Attractions of Topslip
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary
Named after our beloved but belated Prime minister, this region is also known as the Anamalai wildlife sanctuary. Located at the heart of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, this region harbors numerous varieties of birds, animals, reptiles and amphibians.

Kolikamuthi Elephant Camp
This Camp is exclusive for elephants. They are trained and housed here. There are about 50 malaisar tribe families lodged in this area. They are professional elephant trainers and it seems as if their enigmatic skills come with the genes.

But the problem is in getting permission to visit the camp. Since it is pretty exclusive you will have to hire a government jeep to reach there and to do that you will have to get clearance from the Indira Gandhi wildlife Sanctuary Rangers… who aren’t known to be benevolent as far as clearances are concerned because their priority is forest and environment.

Elephant Pongal in the Topslip is the special festival is celebrated every year in the month of the January.

Activities to do in Topslip
1. Trekking
2. Elephant Safari
3. Vehicle Safari

Trekking Fees :
Short Trekking : Rs. 1000 / Group up to 5 Persons (2 Hrs). Extra Person : Rs. 200 / person
Medium Trekking : Rs.2500 / Group up to 5 Persons (4 Hrs). Extra Person : Rs. 500 / person
Long Trekking : Rs. 5000 / Group up to 5 person (6 Hrs). Extra person : Rs. 1000 / person

Timing : 07.00 Hrs to 14.00 Hrs

Elephant Safari Charges :
45 minutes safari : Rs. 800 / 4 pesron / Elephant

Timing : 11.00 Hrs to 14.00 Hrs

Vehicle Safari Charges :
45 minutes safari : Rs. 120 / person

Timings : 07.00 Hrs to 10.00 Hrs & 15.00 Hrs to 17.00 Hrs

Parambikulam

 Parambikulam

Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is situated at a distance of 44 km from Pollachi, adjacent to Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. Although Parambikulam belongs to the state of Kerala, it is accessible only via Pollachi in Tamilnadu. The Western Ghats mountain range along with Anamalai Hills and Parambikulam is currently under consideration for selection as an UNESCO World Heritage Site

The park was started in 1973. It was declared as Tiger Reserve during 2009 with total area of 643.66 Sq. Km., which includes core area of 390.89 Sq. Km. and 252.77 Sq. Km. Buffer areas.

Attractions of Parambikulam
Parambikulam Dam
The parambikulam Dam and the area around it located in the parambikulam sanctuary offers a wide variety of options such as Dam visits, lake cruises and Jungle safaris.. Animals such as Crocodiles,otters, Elephants, Wild boars and deers can also be spotted around the area.

Lake Thoonakkadavu
Thoonakkadavu is the beautiful lake formed by the parambikulam dam. The whole sight of the lake with its crystal clear water surrounded by lush green forests with otters playing along the banks will be very soothing. In fact it would be so beautiful and inviting that you may think about going for a swim in it. But it is inhibited with a number of crocodiles who quite surely will not be playing the role of friendly hosts if you decided to take the dip. But don’t lose heart for you can explore the beauty of the lake by taking boat cruises. A jungle Jeep must be hired in order to access this remotely situated lake.

The World's Largest Teak Tree
Kanniamra the world’s largest teak tree with an astounding girth of 6.48 m and a towering height of 48.75 m is another treat this area offers. Tree is belived to be 400 years old.Legend goes that when a tribal chief tried to cut the tree it spurted out blood and hence the tree became an idol of worship among the tribes with the name Kannimara meaning ‘Virigin Tree”.

Activities to do in Parambikulam
1. Trekking
2. Bamboo Rafting
3. Jungle Safari

Trekking Fees :
Pugmark trekking trail : Rs. 3600 / Group up to 5 persons
Elephant song trekking trail : Rs. 1200 / Group up to 5 persons.
Extra person : Rs. 200 / Person
Bear path trekking train : Rs. 1200 / Group up to 5 persons.
Extra person : Rs. 200 / person

Bamboo Rafting Charges :
30 minutes ride : Rs. 100 / person. Maximum 5 persons / trip with 4 Boatmans

Jungle Safari Charges :
3 Hours ride : Rs. 200 / person. Minimum 15 persons required.
Combo Package includes Trekking, Jungle safari, Rafting and Food : Rs. 9700 / Group up to 10 persons.
Extra person : Rs. 1000 / person

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There are endless views to enjoy and some hidden sites that we cannot disclose here