The Verdant Valley Scapes of Valparai

The Verdant Valley Scapes of Valparai
South India welcomed us with open arms for a road trip across Kerela and Tamil Nadu. The unmatched serene beauty of Backwaters and Annamalai Hill Stations called out to a group of four adventurous friends. My husband and I, along with another couple packed our bags and headed to South India to enjoy our November holidays.

Our trip commenced from Kochi, Kerela, from where we booked a cab from Kochi to Valparai. The verdant valley scapes of Valparai are packed with lush green landscapes, streams, dams, waterfalls and beautiful flora and fauna. The Sothern hill station has tea and coffee plantations alternating with thick forests. You can find leopards, elephants, and the mighty tiger, among other animals, in the dense forests of Valparai. There are numerous birds and reptiles too. Valparai safeguards many endangered species like the lion-tailed macaques, the great Indian hornbill, the Nilgiri tahr, the flying squirrel and the giant squirrel.

This picturesque venture introduced us to the surreal landscapes of Valparai. Being a nature lover, I have fond memories of the trip to the Verdant Valleyscapes of Valparai.

1.    The Safe Haven of Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park:  Our visit to the wildlife sanctuary was an unparalleled experience. This National Park protects numerous plants and animal species unique to the Western Ghats. The majority of the fauna is endangered like the Bengal tiger, Asiatic wild dog, rusty-spotted cat, etc. There are teak and rosewood trees in the forest area. We spent time in nature in its most pristine and uncorrupted form.

2.    The Majestic Sholayar Dam: The Sholayar Dam is a hydroelectric power project in the state of Tamil Nadu. We witnessed the harmony of nature and mankind blended seamlessly in the form of the dam. The dam stores gallons of water and is a source of hydroelectric power. The park near the dam was a perfect place for our picnic lunch. Although it is not well maintained, we enjoyed the surrounding charm and our time was well spent near the dam.

3.    The Picturesque Chinnakallar Waterfall: 25kms away from Valparai is situated in the scenic Chinnakallar waterfalls. We were careful in visiting the waterfalls as it is a habitat for wild elephants. We took a local guide and planned our visit accordingly. We trekked our way to the Chinnakallar waterfall which is perfectly placed deep inside the dense forest.

4.    The Awe-inspiring Birla Falls: The Valaparai is home to many tea and coffee plantations and magnificent waterfalls. We wanted an experience of both the worlds, so we took a trip to the Birla falls. It is encapsulated by green valleys and high peaks. We were fascinated by the cascading waterfalls. We witnessed different species of flora and fauna near the waterfall.

5.    The Untouched Manampalli Forest: The rugged beauty of the Manampalli forest is one of my favorite destinations for trekking. The route to the forest is a treat to the eyes. Typical lush green valleys and mountain peaks surround the forest. The iconic lake marks the best feature of the dense forest. It looks like a pearl in a shell. We saw many wild and endangered animals amidst the green cascade of trees.

6.    The Tranquil Nallamuddi Viewpoint: We traveled for 13kms from Valparai to enjoy the calm of Nallamuddi. The gorgeous view took our breaths away. I remember my mind slowly being devoid of all thoughts and being lost in the heavenly view from Nallamuddi. I would recommend that you add this location to your bucket list.

It is fairly easy to hire a car in Kochi with a reliable driver and we recommend that you do this for the best possible experience. This trip to the verdant valley scapes of Valparai was an exploration of nature for us. The abundance of flora ad fauna showcased the unique beauty of South India. It was a break from our mundane lives as we escaped to the immaculate and artistic regions of Valparai.

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