Situated in Coimbatore district, Valparai is an attractive tourist destination of Tamil Nadu. This pollution free heavenly land is situated at about 3500 metres above sea level. Entering the forest and tea gardens of Valparai one can enjoy the presence of many streams, dams, valleys, waterfalls, high mountains, grasslands, flora and fauna. Valparai is the only hill station in the world which has 12 dams and hydroelectric power stations. The beautiful destination is truly a nature's delight and a wonderland for photography, adventure and wildlife enthusiasts.
Coimbatore is the nearest rail and air head from Valparai. Situated at a distance of 124 kms, Coimbatore airport connects this beautiful destination to almost all the major cities in the country. The rail junction of Coimbatore is about 105 kms and connects to all the major cities. Bus services are also available from Pollachi and Chalakudi. It takes about 4-6 hours to reach Valparai from either of the two places. And the route amongest the thick forest is extremely picturesque.
Summers are the best time to visit this mesmerising destination as the climate is cool and pleasant. While monsoons make this hill station extremely beautiful with greenery all across, winters can be extremely cold owing to its elevation.
Annamalai wildlife sanctuary is situated at an altitude of 1,400 meters near Pollachi with a total area of 958 sq kms. The sanctuary is filled with various fauna like green pigeon, pangolin, sloth bear, panther, elephant, tiger, gaur, deer etc.
Aaliyar dam is located at Aliyar and is famous as a picnic spot. The park near the dam is well maintained and pulls many tourists.
Birla falls is 2 km from Valparai. Watching the water fall in the midst of green tea fields is a pleasant view for eyes.
Sidhi Vinayagar temple is 5 kms from Valparai; the temple is situated in a very beautiful garden. Congreve falls is situated in Nadumalai estate, and is named after C.R.T Congreve, one of the early explorers of this hill.
Manompally forest truly provides the icing on the cake for Valparai. Graced by the Manompally river (with a few crocodiles, of course), this reserve forest provides adventurous treks, a high probability to sight some of the endangered species. There is a trekking shed (rest house) on the banks of Manompally River which doubles up as a base camp for those bent on adventure.
Grass Hills is the most beautiful, most enchanting and the most peaceful place on earth. Forming a part of Indira Gandhi National Park, Athirapally falls, 80 km drive from Valparai through one of the thickest evergreen forests in India, simulates the canopied rainforests of Amazon and Central Africa. On the way there are two other falls Charpa and Vazhachal. In Charpa falls the water plunges on to the road in the monsoon, so get ready to get drenched if you are visiting it in the rainy season.
Vazhachal waterfalls are set in the backdrop of a lush green forest near Gorges. Nallamudi- Pooncholai (valley view) can be reached through a gateway in the tea garden. From here one can have an excellent view of the Anaimudi peak, the highest peak in South India. There are few falls on the valley one of which appear as streaks. This is truly a sight to behold.
Monkey falls, one of nature''''s finest and purest sources of minerals and ayurvedic formulations, truly rejuvenates your body and mind. Loams view point gives a panoramic view of the Azhiyar dam. Consider yourself lucky if you spot endangered Nilgiri Tahr, the State animal of Tamil Nadu.
Tiger valley provides a spectacular view of Kadamparai and the upper Azhiyar projects. Wind mills situated on the plains can be a feast to the eyes, try zooming in your binoculars for a couple. Balaji temple located amidst serene tea gardens, the silence and the climate prevailing here makes it an ideal place to reinforce one''''s conviction in the almighty. There is also a play area and a lawn for the tiny tots.
Iraichal Parai falls originates from the springs in the Grass Hills and it forms the perennial Nadumalai River which flows through Valparai.
Chinna Kallar is considered to be one of the wettest places in India at par with Mawsymram, Cherrapunji and Agumbe.
There are about 8 Dams in and around Valparai namely Sholayar (one in TN and another in Kerala), Azhiyar, Parambikulam, Upper Nirar, Lower Nirar, Kadamparai and Upper Azhiyar . Each dam has significance in its own way.