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Old 21st May 2010, 19:21   #1
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Default White Lightning strikes Valparai

Its been a long time since I actually took a vacation with family. With my schedule dependent on my kids' school & my wife's schedule for her play school, was left with no option but to take vacation when most of India takes - summer holidays.

This meant looking at a place which is good enough to go during summers but not crowded to end up crawling in traffic trying to move around. Finally decided on Valparai, hoping that the place has some decent climate, clubbing it with a trip to Top Slip & Parambikulam.

With too many "Bollywood" style travelogues around in the forum with all those teasers / suspense filled "breaks" here is one from my side with "No Ad Breaks".

Hope I do justice to this fabulous place through my photos.

Some information on the trip.

Dates: 15th May - 20th May

15th May - Chennai - Salem (via Vellore, Krishnagiri)
16th May - Salem - Sethumadai (via Namakkal, Karur, Dharapuram, Udumalaipettai)
17th May - Sethumdadai - Valparai
18th May - Valparai
19th May - Valparai - Athirapally & back
20th May - Valparai - Chennai (via Udumalaipettai, Dharapuram, Kangeyam, Perundurai, Salem, Krishnagiri, Vellore)

PS: White Lightning = My 2005 Wagon R.
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White Lightning strikes Valparai-2.jpg  

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Old 21st May 2010, 19:27   #2
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The thread title is not appropriate considering the current climatic conditions.
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Old 21st May 2010, 19:27   #3
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What a title to start with !

Waiting to hear more about Valparai, what all can be done, different stay options etc. In short every thing!

PS: The windmills of Dharapuram/Udumalpet have become an Anthem at TBHP!

Last edited by ampere : 21st May 2010 at 19:28.
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Old 21st May 2010, 19:40   #4
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Default Sethumadai, Topslip & Parambikulam

Top Slip Reception Centre
White Lightning strikes Valparai-3.jpg
Dining Hall at Top Slip - the forest departments of Kerala & Tamil Nadu are competing with each other hard to remove any semblance of wilderness these forests have.
White Lightning strikes Valparai-4.jpg
Lovely place to have your residence
White Lightning strikes Valparai-5.jpg
Aspiring Model? - My daughter
White Lightning strikes Valparai-6.jpg
One for the Memories
White Lightning strikes Valparai-7.jpg
A brief mention on the history of Top Slip
White Lightning strikes Valparai-8.jpg
The farm house which we stayed at Sethumadai
White Lightning strikes Valparai-9.jpg
Dinner under swaying coconut trees, stars and sky.
White Lightning strikes Valparai-10.jpg
Early Morning Sunrise on the way to Topslip
White Lightning strikes Valparai-11.jpg
At the Sethumadai Check post
White Lightning strikes Valparai-12.jpg
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Old 21st May 2010, 19:52   #5
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I heard the top slip roads were closed? Have they been opened?
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Old 21st May 2010, 19:54   #6
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Default Sethumadai, Topslip & Parambikulam ...contd

Breakfast at the famous Ambuli Illam canteen at Top Slip, the dosas' costed Rs.10/- each great VFM considering they tasted good as well.
White Lightning strikes Valparai-13.jpg
On the way to Parambikulam
White Lightning strikes Valparai-14.jpg
White Lightning strikes Valparai-15.jpg

Glasshouse being built at Parambikulam information centre - possibly getting ready to be used as a "Super Luxury Accomodation" - on overkill of eco tourism
White Lightning strikes Valparai-16.jpg
Cottages at Parambikulam
White Lightning strikes Valparai-17.jpg
Sightings during the Parambikulam safari
White Lightning strikes Valparai-18.jpg
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White Lightning strikes Valparai-23.jpg
Thunukadavu Dam
White Lightning strikes Valparai-20.jpg
White Lightning strikes Valparai-21.jpg
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Old 21st May 2010, 19:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
What a title to start with !

Waiting to hear more about Valparai, what all can be done, different stay options etc. In short every thing!

PS: The windmills of Dharapuram/Udumalpet have become an Anthem at TBHP!
Windmills make up nice photographs no doubt. I stayed at the Ravi's Estate at Sethumadai and at Monica Garden Bungalow of the Stanmore group at Valparai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I heard the top slip roads were closed? Have they been opened?
They have been opened though the forests are still dry and possibly would be best to visit around 1st week of June when it would receive possibly a couple of more showers.
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:00   #8
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Thanks for that input. Will plan accordingly. By the way the last snap is very nice. The floating water body!
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:01   #9
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Valley of Evergreen forests

Parambikulam Dam

Kerala Forest Department seem to have used a lot of creativity at Parambikulam

The famous Kannimara Teak - possibly the largest living teak tree

A wonderful place to laze around - at the banks of Parambikulam reservoir
White Lightning strikes Valparai-34.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:19   #10
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Parambikulam, Top Slip, Athirapally & Valparai! Glued to this thread
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:28   #11
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Srikanth - Did you drive your white lightning inside parambikulam or did you take the safari bus? Was this a day trip from your home stay in Sethumadai or an overnight stay at Parambikulam


Nutty - your valaprai log is long overdue
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:45   #12
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Default Valparai - Sights

Lovely views as you drive up the ghats towards Valparai
White Lightning strikes Valparai-35.jpg
Monica Garden Bungalow - part of the Stanmore group. Our place of stay at Valparai.
White Lightning strikes Valparai-36.jpg
View from the Guest House
White Lightning strikes Valparai-37.jpg
White Lightning strikes Valparai-38.jpg
Sunrise
White Lightning strikes Valparai-39.jpg
Morning Safari Trip to the Puthuthottam Estates gave us a Gaur sighting
White Lightning strikes Valparai-40.jpg
and the famous LTM
White Lightning strikes Valparai-43.jpg
Through the tiny tracks of the tea estates
White Lightning strikes Valparai-42.jpg
Tea Pruning
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Jack fruits favorite of both LTMs' & elephants
White Lightning strikes Valparai-41.jpg
My day made with the lovely ten minutes spent with the group of LTMs'
White Lightning strikes Valparai-45.jpg
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:48   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Srikanth - Did you drive your white lightning inside parambikulam or did you take the safari bus? Was this a day trip from your home stay in Sethumadai or an overnight stay at
It was a day trip from Sethumadai, we parked our car at the Information Centre, and took the safari tempo traveller. Rs.140/- per person is the cost of safari. You need to have 13 people to go or you pay for the entire van. You will have to collect your tickets near the Top Slip checkpost. Kerala Forest department has a room which is manned by a guard who issues these tickets.

What I was told is these days private vehicles are not allowed all the way upto the dam.
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
It was a day trip from Sethumadai, we parked our car at the Information Centre, and took the safari tempo traveller. Rs.140/- per person is the cost of safari. You need to have 13 people to go or you pay for the entire van. You will have to collect your tickets near the Top Slip checkpost. Kerala Forest department has a room which is manned by a guard who issues these tickets.

What I was told is these days private vehicles are not allowed all the way upto the dam.
Thanks for that info.
What is the normal rooute the safari tempo takes - basically if it is a day trip what choices do one get there to do.

kannimara trek, and the tram trek - is it separately available for a day tripper? Or is it only for the ones who prefers to stay there ?
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Old 21st May 2010, 21:03   #15
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Default Valparai - Sights...contd

My kids enjoyed the stay thoroughly at the guest house
White Lightning strikes Valparai-49.jpg
White Lightning strikes Valparai-50.jpg
Every turn at Valparai would provide a spell bounding view of the green carpet
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Nirar Dam
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Sidhi Vinayak Temple, maintained by the Birla Estate, which houses a replica of the idol in the Mumbai temple made out of marble.
White Lightning strikes Valparai-55.jpg
Nalla Mudi Pooncholai - view point where one can see the Munnar side of Kerala
White Lightning strikes Valparai-57.jpg
Sholayar Dam backwaters - waiting for the monsoon to get filled up to brim again.
White Lightning strikes Valparai-58.jpg
Kids enjoying the backwaters
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View from the Upper Sholayar dam
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All of us enjoying the views offered by the dam
White Lightning strikes Valparai-61.jpg
White Lightning strikes Valparai-62.jpg
Upper Sholayar Dam
White Lightning strikes Valparai-64.jpg
White Lightning strikes Valparai-69.jpg
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