Monday, May 28, 2012

Exploring the Valparai hills on a Motorcycle

Valparai,  nestled in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu is definitely a top motorcycling destination in India. The 58 kilometer winding ghat road from Pollachi is a definite attraction and the even denser Vazhachal forest roads leading out of Valparai is an even better attraction. But, just reaching the destination is not the journey.

Shooting the pristine tea estates of Valparai
And that saying applies to Valparai as well. In fact, this quaint looking hill station has a lot to offer and exploring its beauty on a motorcycle is quite an experience. Well, to start with, if you are a wildlife lover, you will absolutely love to be inside the Anaimalai Tiger Reserve as the tea estates of Valparai and the town are right in the middle of it. Here, one can get lucky and see rich Indian wildlife like the elephants, Gaur, Lion Tailed Macaque, Leopard and many more. The Puduthotham Tea Estate is a preferred place to sight lion tailed macaques.

Gaur at Pudhuthotam Tea Estate, Valparai
And if the green tea estates warm your eyes, then simply drive to Nirar Dam, Nallamudi Poonjolai, Kurungu Mudi, Waterfall estate and Sholayar Dam. The roads to all these places are surrounded by tea estates primarily owned by the Woodbriar Group and Tata Coffee.

Sholayar Dam near Valparai is surrounded by tea estates making for a fantastic sight
In terms of large water bodies, there is Nirar Dam, Sholayar Dam and Aliyar Dam. Three great reservoirs that supply water to the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Nallamudi Poonjolai is a view point, where in the rains, one can spot as many as 20 odd waterfalls in the distance. Kurungu Mudi is another view point where the tea estates give way to forests and then the Sholayar Dam.

Serene View of the tea estates of Valparai
And for the religious tourists, there are umpteen churches and temples here that one can visit. The Muruga temple is the most famous. If all of these are not enough adventure for you, initiate descent and drive west from Valparai. This will take you to the Vazhachal forests of Kerala with its rich tropical rainforests, Vazhachal falls and the mighty Athirapally falls on the Chalakudy river. Climbing the steep paths through tea estates
And that is why I call this place as one of the best motorcycling destinations in the country. It’s diversified nature offers so much to the nature lover. Like I have said before, this is one place that is very unlike the other hill stations of India and I hope it stays that way.

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