OT Travel Itinerary: A 2-Day Guide To Valparai

With an abundance of waterfalls, forests, wildlife, tea estates and stunning sunrises, there's truly no place like Valparai
The verdant landscape of Valparai
The verdant landscape of ValparaiLipin Unni/Shutterstock.com

If the summer heat has got you down then we know of a place which will cheer you right up: Valparai. Situated at 1,059m above sea level, this hill station in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats is replete with forests, tea plantations and waterfalls. The ride to get here will have you on tenterhooks with numerous hairpin curves twisting this way and that.

The region is the habitat of the Nilgiri tahr and it attracts birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers hoping to get a glimpse of the great hornbill, the Malabar pied hornbill and the Malabar grey hornbill.

Here’s how you can spend a weekend getaway in Valparai, Tamil Nadu.

Day 1


The Aliyar Dam
The Aliyar DamCRYSTAL FRAME PHOTOGRAPHY/Shutterstock.com

Start your first day with a visit to the Aliyar Dam and Monkey Falls. There’s a park, garden, aquarium and play area for visitors at the reservoir. Go boating on the lake and marvel at the surrounding mountain scenery.

Next, check out the Monkey Falls next to the dam. Swim in its cool waters and let the roar of the cascading waterfall sweep you away.


The Nilgiri tahr's habitat is in the Valparai region
The Nilgiri tahr's habitat is in the Valparai regionazam24x7/Shutterstock.com

Enter the Anamalai Tiger Reserve which is in the vicinity of the waterfall. Previously known as the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, this protected area is home to various endangered species such as the Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, Indian leopard, dhole, Nilgiri tahr and lion-tailed macaque. The area is home to 15 species of birds which are endemic to the Western Ghats as well as some 315 species of butterflies.

Take a tour of the tea plantations which sprawl all across Valparai. Walk through the gardens, learn about the tea-making process and savour a cup of freshly brewed tea during your tour.


The Balaji Temple of Valparai
The Balaji Temple of Valparaishrinarayanatravels.com/Website

Visit the Karumalai Balaji Temple. The chief deity worshipped here is Lord Balaji, also known as Lord Venkateshwara. The statue of the deity inside the sanctum is made of pure gold. Visitors can meditate in the serene surroundings and reflect on their day in this charming hill station.

Day 2


The Upper Sholayar Dam
The Upper Sholayar DamJaseem Hamza/Wikimedia Commons

Trek to the Nallamudi Viewpoint and see the sunrise. The lookout oversees tea fields, panoramic valleys, mountains and waterfalls.

Afterwards, head to the Upper Sholayar Dam. It offers a mesmerising view of the backwaters and surrounding hills and there are plenty of viewpoints dotted around the area. Visitors can take a boat ride or picnic along the dam's banks. The drive to get here is gorgeous. 


Velankanni Matha Church
Velankanni Matha Churchtourmyindia.com/Website

Stop at the Chinna Kallar Waterfalls. Blanketed by forests, a narrow, winding path leads to this cascading body of water, which is often cloaked in mist.

Next, check out the Velankanni Matha Church. It was constructed in 2003 and draws a number of tourists during its annual festival in September. A small river besides the church adds to the pleasant ambience.


Tea plantations along the Kuzhankal river
Tea plantations along the Kuzhankal riverMUHAMMED SUHAIL A/Shutterstock.com

Spend your final evening at the Birla Waterfalls near the Kuzhankal river. The rush of the waterfall meets the quietude of a slow-flowing river known for its pebble-stoned bed. The river water is clean and pure and ideal for swimming in.

Where To Stay

The Monica Garden Bungalow and the Akshaya Bungalow by Sparsa are luxury stays. The Hotel Saravana Grand and the Green Hill Hotel are ideal for those on a budget. Mani’s Homestay and the Kowsiga Homestay offer affordable prices for backpackers.

Getting There

Coimbatore International Airport is 119km away while the Pollachi Junction railway station is 64km from Valparai. There are buses and taxis which travel to Valparai from Coimbatore and Chennai.

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