A picturesque road trip from Athirampilly to Valparai
| ByWebindia123 Editor
The 83 km drive from Athirampilly in Chalakudy, Kerala to Valparai in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu though the dense forest area in 2 h 28 min is a thrilling experience.. The adrenaline rush that one feels when driving down the road abound with nature, makes it a drivers paradise..
From Kochi we take the Alwaye route and take a detour from Angamali to Athirampilly road. The route is Angamaly-Mookkannoor-Poothamkutty-Ezhattumugham-Bridge-Athirappilly. On the way, Ezattumugham is a tourist locale with rivulets and greenery, ideal for a one-day trip. From Ezattumugham, the narrow Munnurpilly plantation road inside the Plantation Corporation of Kerala, crossing the Vettilappara bridge takes you to Athirampilly.
The way to Valparai starts from Athirapilly where there is a beautiful waterfall, one of the largest in South India. Athirapilly has ample viewpoints besides 2 amusement parks and then the Charpa & Vazhachal falls.
When we enter the main path to Valparai there is a check post at Vazhachal. Permission from the forest department is required for entry to the road. 2 hrs is allowed to reach the next destination and the Kerala border, Malakkaparai - via Peringalkuthu & Sholayar. If the drive takes longer than the permitted time or if any one deviates from the route to enter the forest, they will have to pay fine and face disciplinary action from the forest department. The rules are very strict in this area…
After Peringalkuthu, there are certain sections where mobile signals wouldn't be available. There are no towns or human settlements on this road between Peringalkuthu and Malakkiparai but no safety concerns have been reported so far. . There may be restrictions for night driving on this road after 6 pm and is best avoided.
Driving past the check post, the beauty of the forest engulfs you and if you are lucky you get to see animals, birds… You get a feel of the forest when you hear the myriad sounds made by the birds. Trees line both sides of the road, so the environs is always shady and cool. The way to Malakkapara is dotted with lots of picturesque spots we can enjoy from the vehicle.. Sholayar reservoir is the major viewpoint in this route. The dam is referred to as Sholayar or Chalakkudi Dam in Kerala and Upper Sholayar dam near Valparai in Tamilnadu.
Valparai is a hill town 3500 ft above sea level on the Anamalai hill ranges of the Western Ghats. Lush green forests merge with manicured tea gardens and rich wild life. The Anamalai tiger reserve sanctuary surrounds the town, and elephants and tigers are spotted now and then. From Valparai, the drive further to reach Pollachi, down 40 hairpin bends is even more beautiful…