Valparai: A rich blend of rolling hills, mist, tea and wildlife

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Majestic rolling green hills, a veil of mist, a hesitant drizzle, and verdant thick forest brimming with wildlife – if you want to experience all this, drive away to Valparai.

Valparai is part of the Anamalai on the Western Ghats and is hardly 100 km from Coimbatore and 65 km from Pollachi. For those from Kerala, the exotic and very-less-taken road from Vazhachal via Malakkapara would take you to Valpara. This is State Highway 21.

Tea and coffee plantations, small and big waterfalls, rills, and the mighty Sholayar dam welcome travellers on this route.

Now, more facilities and attractions are being set up in Valparai. A botanical garden and a boathouse are being set up. The initial plan was to complete the work by December 2020 and throw it open for tourists by January 2021.

On July 25, the Municipal Commissioner of Valparai had inspected the ongoing works. In 2019, Tamil Nadu Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani laid the foundation stone for the works.

The Tamil Nadu government had allotted Rs.5.43 crore for the work on the botanical garden on 4.5 acre land owned by the Public Works Department.

The boathouse will come upon 4.25 acres of land adjacent to the Municipal Inspection Bungalow. Rs. 2.5 crore was earmarked for that.

Valparai is at an elevation of 4500 ft above mean sea level and holds immense nature exploration and tourism potential. Old-timers saw the place used to be a haven of wildlife and leopards used to be frequently seen in shrubs and outlying fringe areas. People in the know said till recently, people in Valparai villages used to never let small children out alone after dusk fearing leopard attacks.

The Tamil Nadu government is taking a keen interest in promoting tourism in the region. The state government is incentivising tourism businesses and resorts in Valparai and adjoining areas.

From Pollachi, one needs to negotiate 40 hairpin turns to reach Valparai.

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