Valparai – a hidden gem of Western Ghats

I was actually thinking that how should I describe this amazing place to anyone. So, Valparai is same for Munnar what Coonnoor is for Ooty and Vattakanal is for Kodaikanal, a non-commercial alternative to popular and highly commercial hill station. Valparai is a hidden gem in Anaimali Hills of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu.

Amazing ride to reach Valparai

An amazing six-lane National highway from Bangalore to Salem and a thrilling ride through 42 scenic hairpin bends takes you to Valparai from Bangalore. It is always fun to ride at full speed on Salem highway which is common for other several amazing places like Kodaikanal, Munnar, Kolli Hills etc. Road condition in the ghats section leading to Valparai is also great with very less number of vehicles, which serves as an ideal place for a weekend cruise ride.
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Panorama of hairpin bends in Ghats
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Tilt-shift effect

Ditch that list of ‘Things to do’

This is one of those places, where you don’t need a list of “things to do”. There is no specific viewpoint where everyone stops or wait in line for an iconic picture. The beauty of this place is that you can just roam around with no specific place in mind and at every turn, you will find a new landscape view waiting to be clicked.

All these pictures below are not from any specific viewpoint but from random locations around Valparai.

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I am Mr. Lonely

Less number of tourists

This is one of the most important factors to choose Valparai over Munnar. A large number of tourists in any place just spoil the fun:

  • The last thing anyone wants on their trip is a traffic jam which is usually very common in commercial places like Munnar, Kodaikanal etc.
  • If you are interested in photography, you can definitely share the pain of waiting for people to move out of frame to click your perfect landscape shot.
  • You can’t drive slow or just park your vehicle on the roadside if you encountered a nice view, because someone will start honking behind you.

In Valparai, there were very less number of vehicles on the road and definitely no tempo travelers filled with tourists. We were roaming around, clicking pictures wherever we wanted and setting up a tripod on the roadside without any issues.

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Day trip to Athirappilly waterfall (just 75 km)

If you are going to Valparai for more than two days, you must go to Athirappilly Waterfall. The ride through Athirappilly forest is a bliss and can be done as a day trip from Valparai. You can also check out our another post on Athirappilly Waterfall for more details.

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INFORMATION ZONE

Accommodation
There are not many options for stay in this place. We stayed in a hotel named Green Hill Hotel which is in the center of the town and provides a basic stay option at a price of Rs.1450/night (prices are higher as compared to the facilities provided).

Food
The hotel has a restaurant where the only available item on the menu was Masala Dosa. We went out to explore other options and to our surprise there were none. Yes, we didn’t find any restaurant or small shop for dinner but there were many bakeries which served great coffee/tea and different snacks sufficient as a meal replacement.

When to visit Valaparai
We went there at the end of January and it was a pleasant weather but we definitely want to go again in the monsoon when that green lush is at its peak.

Please let us know in comments if this post convinced you to visit Valaparai and also share your experiences with this amazing place.

 

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