Here are some pictures along with small description about the recent visit to Athirappally, Sholayar and Valparai. Some of these pictures are already shared on my facebook page.
We started afternoon on 9th January and reached Athirappally by evening. Home stays and lodges are available and our stay was at ‘Water Gate’, about 4 kilometers behind the waterfalls.
This is a view of the river in front of the resort, taken the next day morning. Then we left for seeing those amazing Athirappally and Vazhachal waterfalls. There is a small entry fee at Athirappally to watch the two waterfalls.
The walk way leading to Athirappally Waterfalls.
Athirappally Waterfalls – view from top
The view from top itself is so amazing. But even more interesting is to watch it from the bottom – for that there is a small way leading to the bottom of the falls. Its grandness and the roaring sound along with the mist is indeed a wonderful experience. The place is also a frequent shooting location.
Athirappally Waterfalls as viewed from bottom
Athirappally is an example of a segmented waterfalls, where the channel separates into more than one at the falls.
Bonnet Macaque from Athirappally
Our next point was Vazhachal, which is 8 kilometers ahead of Athirappally. Unlike Athirappally, it is a cascade type of waterfall, where water descents in steps.
There is a check post at Vazhachal, and from there the road is through the thick forest till we reach Malakkappara. There is no entry during night time. There are frequent warning boards indicating ‘wildlife crossing zone – go carefully’.
This Elephant was on the other side of the river – near Vazhachal
A view from Sholayar. This was really enchanting. It is around mid-way between Vazhachal and Malakkappara.
Some wild flowers by the road side – Sholayar
A White Browed Wagtail – Sholayar
Came out of the forest and reached Malakkappara by afternoon, covering around 41 kilometers from Vazhachal. There is a check post at Malakkappara run by Kerala. And it is advised to exit the forest road and report here well before evening, considering safety. After that there is another check post at Kerala – Tamil Nadu border, and one more on the way to Valparai after entering Tamil Nadu. The Upper Sholayar Dam can also be seen by the side of the road. Valparai is about 28 kilometers from Malakkappara and reached there by evening. ‘Sree Venkateshwara’ is a good option for stay at Valparai; it is at the town itself, just behind the bus stand.
An early morning view from Valparai
Landscapes of Valparai
The return was via Pollachi. Valparai – Pollachi route has 40 hairpin bends and the views from these places are just spectacular.
Sign boards at the first hairpin bend. No. 40/40. Take left for Pollachi.
Statue of C.A Carver Marsh (Third hairpin-bend)
Another view from the same place
Aliyar Dam as seen from hairpin bend 9/40. Kilometers of landscape can be seen from here.
Aliyar Dam can be seen by the side after coming down all the hairpin bends. The Anamalai Tiger Reserve is also nearby.
Reached Pollachi by afternoon, and from there back to Kerala. Anyway it was a wonderful place to visit.