The Valparai-Athirampally expedition
Trip Start May 01, 2006
1Trip End May 05, 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
green hills hotel
This time I planned my weekend journey from Chennai to Valparai-Athirampally.Since there is no direct transportation between Chennai to Valparai,I took a bus to Coimbatore and from there reached Pollachi( about 40km from coimbatore ) by another bus.From Pollachi regular buses fly to Valparai every half an hour.But instead i preferred to take a cab to travel the 64KM journey from Pollachi to reach Valparai.Though Valparai is just 64KM's away from Polloachi It takes more than 3 hrs to reach the destination as there are about 40 hairpin bends enroute which goes through a thick forest clouded with mist every now and then which makes driving through this 64km journey somewat difficult.I started by 12.00 noon from Pollachi and reached Valparai at 4.30 in the evening ( I halted my taxi every now and then wherever i see a waterfall or a good hill view point which took me extra couple of hours to reach the top.Thank God,My cab driver was so very patient that he stopped at all the points i was asking him to ).Then we finally reached top by sunset and went to my room in the hotel i booked before starting my journey from Chennai( Good Lodging places are hard to find in this yet to develop hill station.But I was fortunate to find one good hotel ( Green Hills Hotel )where i lodged.So its always better to book in advance during seasons.The next day morning i started my expedition to Athirampally which is about 85km from Valparai.I hired a cab the day before and informed my cab driver about all the places i wished to visit ( I made a rough planner about some places worthy of a visit from Valparai by doing a small amount of research on the net ).To my luck this cab driver was a native of this place born and brought up entirely here who was very well versed with all the routes through the thickest of the jungles to all the curvy-curvy routes through the Tea plantations( A first time traveller can get lost in such a confusing route through all those tea plantations ).So by 5.30 in the morning we started our journey to Athirampally.We took the Chalakkudy route ( the only route from Valparai ) to reach Athirampally.The stretch of about 85km journey to Athirampally from Valparai through this Chalakkudy road was fully through thickest of the jungles.There are Forest-Checkposts every 35km's or so.On reaching Malakaparai ( We had a cup of tea here & this small teashop is beleived to be one of the best around there ) we reached the borders of Tamilnadu .So on the other side was Kerala and so from here on we have to take the Kerala permit ( about Rs300,All these formalities will be taken care by the cabdriver ) to travel further to reach our destination.From here on the route to our destination was through the thickest of the jungles.No longer we were able to see the teaplantations which was all along from the start of our journey at Valparai.The route through the Chalakkudy road was absolutely breathtaking.Full of dense green jungles ,calm,silent ( even we have the possibility to get trapped in between a herd of elephants ).I was having the feel of a forest range officer travelling through these decidous forests.Enroute I stopped my cab driver whereever i found wild Jackfruit trees( these sightings are a common thing in this route ),wild mangoes etc.My cab driver was such a very nice person that we soon bonded like brothers who were not born in the same womb.He stopped at a particular place and we tried to pluck mangoes that were hanging high enough that we have to throw stones to make them fall.We tried our level best to make atleast one mango to fall but they wre sky high that our aim was not perfect in making even a single mango to fall on ground.But to my luck there were some mangoes lying on the ground that were somewat half bitten by squirrels and could have fallen off from the top during that time.My cab driver narrated stories about encounters with the wild when he goes to the town to drop some emergency cases during night and while returning to the hills ( As there are no proper hospitals that could treat major emergency cases which were treated only at hospitals in Coimbatore which is the nearest city from Valparai about 90kms ).Like that when he used to go down for such emergency situations and travel back alone he narrated his encounters with Wild Elephants which would block roads in large numbers.He told that if the vehicle's engine and head lights get switched off these wild elephants are sure to topple up the vehicle or stab them ).In such a situation he would keep his car's engine running with headlights on close all the windows and stay there silently hours together ( For this reason he would always have 10 litres of diesel extra when he travels at night )till those elephants disperse themselves their own.Frequent encounters happen with Leopards( there are incidents of leopards killing small children,house goats,cows etc as many houses were close to these jungles.I was also puzzled why should these people have homes near such dangerous jungles.But when it comes to work we should adapt anywhere as most of these people were Teaplantations workers,Dam workers etc.I feel real pity for them
Some important information
How to get there
From Chennai take a train to Coimbatore ( best option )and a number of buses fly to Pollachi( 40kms from Coimbatore ) from Ukkadam about 5kms from Coimbatore.
From Pollachi take a bus ( there is one evry half an hour ) to Valparai.But taking a taxi is the best option as there are regular waterfalls and sightseeing spots enroute.
Good Lodging places are hard to find at Valparai.Green Hills Hotel & Lodging is a good choice ( As it has all the amenities ).
Two buses a day are there from Valparai to Athirampally.But taking a taxi through Chalakkudy road is the real best option and its an unforgettable experience in life
Take lots of snacks as its a 4 hour journey to Athirmapally and there are no hotels in and around these areas.
During rainy season there are lots of leeches in those grasses,tea plants etc.So carry salt which can be used as a weapon against leeches ( or even a lighter but u get your skin too burned ).
Dont make noises inside forests while travelling as it can act as some signals to animals.
Do not throw plastic covers,bottles inside forests as plastics can have a drastic effect in due course of time and turn hazardous substance which can destroy the eco system.
Do not use soaps or shampoos while bathing in waterfalls.Please try to preserve natures beauty.At the sametime do take care while bathing in streams or waterfalls as its full of skiddy and uneven rocks many of which contain algae.
Do try to visit Grass hills at AkkaMalai in Valparai.This is an amazing spot where you can find a rich wildlife.But entry to this spot is through permission from forest department officer which has to be taken well in advance befor startin the journey from your place
Pollachi to Valparai - taxi - Rs 1000 - Rs 1200.
Valparai to Athirampally - taxi - Rs 1500 + Rs 300 Kerala Permit
Valparai In & Around Sightseeing - taxi - Rs 1500.
( While choosing a taxi Tata Sumo is the best option as it is the only vehicle which can get inside some very steep narrow roads through hilly regions such as Suicide point and many other places around ).
So enjoi Valparai.Enjoi nature at its pristine best.Bon Voyage.
I hope you found all those details useful.For further queries mail me at