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Old 8th January 2010, 09:58   #1
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Default Three days in Valparai - Bliss!

Valparai came up as an off-beat option when I was considering a three-day break during the XMas holidays. I had already made up my mind to drive from Hyderabad to Kerala and back for the 10 day holidays - There was a wedding to attend, some visits, and some other functions too. I had to squeeze three days from that itinerary to go somewhere and just relax.

Did some research over the net, and of course the travelogue section in Team-bhp and decided to give Valparai a shot.

Accommodation seemed to be a challenge, with no good hotels in the area. I realized that I may have to go through some of the estates to get a decent accommodation in the area.

I finally found a place, and everything fell into place. The place I chose was an Estate Bungalow belonging to the Waterfall Estates. This place is around 20 Km before Valparai town. I guess this place is at a higher elevation than Valparai and slightly cooler too. Oh and quite foggy as well.

More pictures and notes coming up...
Attached Thumbnails
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3767.jpg  

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Old 8th January 2010, 10:10   #2
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That was a great find, the estate bungalow in Valparai. Waiting to hear more.
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Old 8th January 2010, 10:22   #3
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Wonderful picture there. Valparai is my favourite place, but i am still to visit there, please PM details of the estate bunglow, looking forward to more on this thread do bring in the details
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Old 8th January 2010, 10:25   #4
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We drove from Ottappalam to Valparai on Dec 28th.
  • Started in the morning around 9 am.
  • Route: Ottappalam - Palghat - Pollachi - Aliyar Dam - Valparai
  • Car: My old Santro Xing XP- with around 63K on the odo at that time.
  • Passengers: Wifey, Three kids and me.
  • Distance - 125kms from Ottapalam to Waterfall estate where we checked in. ( another 20 kms to Valparai, so the total distance to Valparai town will be 145 km from Ottapalam.
  • We took around 4 hours for the trip. with some breaks in between.
Comments on the route:
  • Terrific road from Ottapalam to Palghat. two-laned, but great surface with good shoulders etc
  • Palghat - Pollachi road is ok, with the scenery slowly changing as we progressed. Great rural scenes!
  • Pollachi - you need to look for the signs for the Valparai road, and we had to take a small detour road as a flyover was being constructed in the town on the Valparai road.
  • Once on the Pollachi Valparai road, the drive becomes more interesting.
  • We passed Aliyar dam on the way .
  • Beyond Aliyar dam, the hill section begins, and you have to take tickets at a forest checkpost - We paid around 70 Rs for the entry tickets plus for the Camera.
  • The climb starts from there, and there are over 40 hairpin bends from there to Valparai.
  • Monkey falls is a spot on the way, where we spotted a huge crowd having a great time under the waterfall. We didnt spend much time there, and moved on.
  • Throughout the climb, the road offers great scenery.
  • The road surface is good throughout.
Here are some pictures of the first part of the climb.
Attached Thumbnails
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3710.jpg  

Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3681.jpg  

Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3759.jpg  

Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3697.jpg  

Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3691.jpg  

Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3731.jpg  


Last edited by Bigzero : 8th January 2010 at 10:31.
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Old 8th January 2010, 10:46   #5
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Valparai, I am also planning a trip for a very long time, it never happened. Could you please provide the accomadation details such as cost, facilities, safety and contact numbers. Nice pictures and awaiting updates.
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Old 8th January 2010, 10:48   #6
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Thanks folks for the comments, yes, I will post details about the stay etc later in the day...
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Old 8th January 2010, 11:42   #7
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I think more details in narration would make it more interesting, the water fall looks crowded. Do continue i am here with you
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Old 8th January 2010, 12:34   #8
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Valparai is good a place to visit. Please share the accommodation details.
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:29   #9
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We drove on , negotiating hairpin bend after hairpin bend.

I had called the Waterfall folks earlier and was told that the turnout to the bungalow comes after the 28th bend.

Each of the 40 hairpin bends was marked quite well, so it was not difficult to identify the 28th bend.

It was nearing lunchtime, and I was happy that I had called up the bungalow the day before to confirm that I will be there for lunch. You are required to do this, as they dont function like a regular restaurant, where you can walk in and order food.

As for the climb, it is a fairly easy drive though there are a good number of hairpin bends. No steep climbs like you have in the Masinagudy - Kalhatti section for example. The road is well marked out, and the sides of the road are well protected with stone walls marked in bright white. Of course you have to understand that a certain discipline has to be followed while driving in the hills - by and large, most of the vehicles I encountered on the road were very disciplined.

I could find a good number of buses going up and down between Pollachi and Valparai.And some trucks too. Last but not the least, cars full of happy faces.

As we climbed, the vegetation changed gradually, and we started to see tea plantations around us. And suddenly we were engulfed in thick fog. We had to reduce our speed to avoid going off the road.

Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3771.jpg
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3772.jpg
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3773.jpg
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3775.jpg
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3776.jpg

We passed the 28th bend and some distance later, could see a small turning off to the left, next to a sign that read "Waterfall Gateway".
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3784.jpg

We were now off the main road, and this was a considerably narrow road. bang through the tea plantation.
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3786.jpg

We passed by a few buildings and continued on the road , and finally reached a small fork with a board that read "Indraprastha". Yes thats the name of the bungalow we were going to stay.
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3825.jpg

We drove on past a small gate, and there we were in front of the bungalow.
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3805.jpg

Finally!
Three days in Valparai - Bliss!-img_3813.jpg

The care taker / chef was there waiting for us, and he greeted us with genuine warmth. He helped us unload the baggage, and showed us to our room. We were looking forward to the lunch!

Details on the Bungalow, etc in next post

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Old 8th January 2010, 13:50   #10
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Nics pics! I've done this route and it's one of the best hill drives that I've done! Not sure why they record the "reason" why we're passing through, at every checkpost!

Eagerly awaiting bungalow details!

Last edited by PearlJam : 8th January 2010 at 13:52.
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Old 8th January 2010, 13:56   #11
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PearlJam,

Indraprastha has three bedrooms and shared dining room & living room - like a typical homestay.

We paid Rs 2500 a night for our room, with 200 Rs for an extra bed. You have to pay for food separately. I will give the details in the next post -

Last edited by Bigzero : 8th January 2010 at 13:57.
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Old 8th January 2010, 15:00   #12
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Hi Buddy, nice start and pictures are awesome so far. can you also post the contact details of the guys at the estate.

I just feel like driving down now
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Old 8th January 2010, 16:20   #13
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Very nice photographs. I wish I could go to this place RIGHT NOW!
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Old 8th January 2010, 16:35   #14
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You really know how to keep me coming back for more, enjoying the narration and also the photographs.
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Old 8th January 2010, 16:39   #15
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Valparai TOP's the list of desinations we have visited in south India, including Keral. The only plus point is, there are very less people around, and absolute peace.And this is the right time to go.After few years it will become crowded and full of concrete jungles like Munnar.
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