Valparai is a hill station and a municipality, located in the district of Coimbatore, in the state of Tamil Nadu. Located at a height of approximately 3,500 feet above sea level on the Annamalai mountain range, this hill station is surrounded with lush green forests mountains.
The history of Valparai dates back to the year 1846, when Mr. Ramasamy Mudaliyar started cultivating coffee in his private estate. Afterwards, in 1864, the Karnatic Coffee Company started a coffee plantation in the region. However, the effort did not prove beneficial, therefore, it was aborted and some part of the land was sold.
In 1890, W Wintil and Nordan purchased a portion of land in Valparai from the Madras State Government. Wintil assisted by an experienced planter Carwer Marsh, planted tea and coffee in this region by deforesting the area bought by him. Carwer Marsh, owing to his dedication and hard work, later came to be known as the Father of Anamalais. A statue has been erected in Kavarkal Estate, which is dedicated to Carwer Marsh.
Tamil and Malayalam are the two languages, which are largely spoken in these areas, owing to its location in Tamil Nadu as well as its proximity to the state of Kerala. Tamil as well as Kerala cuisine are most prominent in this hill station.
Besides cuisine, a three day event is also organised in the month of May, to boost tourism. This event includes sessions for children, food festivals, cricket and football matches. Furthermore, flower shows, folk and tribal dances are also a part of this event.
In addition to festivals and events, tourists can also make a visit to the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one of the most prominent attractions of Valparai. At this sanctuary, travellers can spot the lion-tailed macaque, barking deer, wild boar, the Nilgiri and the common langur among others.
Visitors can also make a trip to the Aliyar, Sholayar and Nirar dams, which are the other popular attractions of the destination. Balaji Temple, Sidi Vinayak Temple and Annai Velankani Church are some of the other sightseeing places in Valparai. In addition to sightseeing, travellers can also engage in trekking and can also make a visit to the tea estates.
Valparai is very well connected through flights and trains as well as buses. The nearest airport to Valparai is at Coimbatore and the other nearest airports at Cochin and Madurai. Trains are also available, which are served by the Pollachi Railway Station. Valparai has its nearest rail connectivity from Pollachi which is 64 km and the major railway station at Coimbatore at 100 km distance. By road, Valparai can be reached by buses plying regularly from Pollachi and Coimbatore.
The best time to visit Valparai is from October to November and January to May.