Valparai

Valparai Tea Plantation © Shutterstock

Nilgiri tahr in Valparai Forests © Harishvara Venkat - Sanctuary Photo Library

Elephants in tea estate © Harishvara Venkat - Sanctuary Photo Library

Valparai

Tamil Nadu

As you drive and navigate the 40 hairpin bends from Azhiyar to Valparai, you can feel the gathering freshness in the air. Roll down your vehicle’s windows and breathe it in as you enjoy this panoramic drive through the plantations to the hill station of Valparai. Valparai is a mid-elevation hill station located 3,500 feet above sea level on the Anamalai Hills range of the Western Ghats. The name Anamalai translates to Elephant Hill after the elephants that still roam in large herds in the Protected Areas that dot the region. According to some of the earliest records found on the region, in 1846 a man named Ramasamy Mudaliyar started a coffee plantation here. Then in 1890, Britishers Wintil and Nordan bought land from the Madras State Government and planted tea and coffee. Carwer Marsh who had experience in tea and coffee farming assisted them in their endeavour. Carwer Marsh interacted and built a close relationship with the local people and was later known as The Father of Ana...mallais. His statue was erected on the Kavarkal Estate to honour his devotion to the people of the region. Valparai remains pleasant throughout the year with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius in the day but can go as low as 18 degrees in the winter months of December through March. June until August is the monsoon season when the hills are covered in all shades of green. The summer months of March through May could get hot with temperatures going up to 36 degrees in the daytime, but surrounded by lush forests, the cool breeze helps to cool you down
For nature and wildlife enthusiasts, the nearby Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park and Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary provide hours of wildlife viewing pleasure. Besides being a rich elephant tract, the area is also home to numerous leopards. Keep your eyes open for the beautiful golden and black lion-tailed macaques, gaur, sambar, the great whoosh of a great hornbill and giant squirrels. Valparai is also the habitat of the Nilgiri tahr, an endemic wild goat. These mountain goats can be found in the higher altitudes in the range of 1,200 to 2,600 metres above sea level in the southern Western Ghats. Watch these adept climbers navigate steep slopes with ease.
Private tea companies own large parts of the land in the region and a visit to one of the estates is sure to refresh any tea enthusiast. There are many interesting places to visit in Valparai. Sholayar dam, one of the largest reservoirs in South India is close by. Monkey Falls, Athirapally waterfalls, Koolangal River and Aaliyar and Nirar dams are other scenic water bodies in its vicinity. The Amaravathy reservoir has many crocodiles that can be seen basking on the banks. The Balaji Temple and Karamalai Annai Velankanni Church attract many pilgrims as well.
There have been many developments in the region in the past few years that have blocked the elephant’s migratory corridors. Besides this, the ever-growing tea plantations have also reduced the large mammal’s territories. Efforts are being made to identify and develop corridors to reduce any man-animal conflict. Many plantation owners have also lent their support to the cause. Your visit is crucial to support the local economy, but please also report abuse or poor practice at admin@toftindia.org.

Park Information

Getting Around the Park

It is best to hire a vehicle to take you around the region. Your lodge or tour operator would be able to arrange this for you.

PUG Lodges In This Park

Stanmore Garden Bungalow

Located on a hillock in the picturesque Anamalai Hills, this old British Tea Estate Bungalow offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and tea plantations that surround its two acres.

Other Parks To Combine

Nilgiris – Cherambadi – Mudumalai

Tamil Nadu

You can lose yourself in the lush green forests of the Nilgiris and return to experience it

Nagarhole Tiger Reserve

South India

Nagarhole is a combination of two Kannada terms, 'Nagara' meaning 'Cobra' and 'Hole' meaning

Bandipur Tiger Reserve

South India

Famous for its significant tiger and elephant population and protected sandalwood trees, Bandipur

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Plan you Indian holiday, Nepal adventure, or Bhutan visit using one of a large number of the world’s best known travel companies, or Indian based agents to put your very own itinerary together. Every travel company here has committed to drive their own sustainable travel practices, seek PUG certified accommodation providers wherever possible and support our conservation efforts.

Now you can enjoy a flawless and carefree travel itinerary to many of Indian subcontinent’s greatest wilderness destinations and combine this with its rich cultural and historic heritage.

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