Last weekend, we went to this Tea country called Valpaarai. The place was amazing with lush green tea estates, waterfalls, elegant temples and churches! The idea came in when one of my cousins was actually looking for contacts at Valpaarai for accommodation. I was enquiring about it to certain folks there and suddenly it flashed that my friends and I as well can use the upcoming long weekend to visit the place.
It turned out to be a rewarding decision. Check out the snaps here http://picasaweb.google.co.in/shrilatha.puthi/Vaalparai as evidence for the good time that we had! There are around 40 hairpin bends (20 up and 20 down) to traverse before reaching the place. The drive was incredible. There were very few decent hotels, as the place is not yet commercially exploited.
Main highlights include tasty tea for 2 Rs., second largest dam in Asia, chat with naive school children, friendly neighbor Kiruthika, recreation/crèche centers for estate employees, dance drama/procession in a temple, coffee bar attached to a bakery shop, attending mid night mass at a church, plucking Tea leaves with special bowl-attached-scissors, Hospital Waterfalls (a hospital named ‘Waterfalls’) and getting famous by shopping black bangles! Well, it was a happening town!
Other feature is the mountain there called “Pul Medu” (Grass land) on the top. The British had a practice of burning the grass periodically to ensure its growth that would be the fodder for the cattle there. There are roads constructed till top to get the burnt grass down to the town. It looked like we need special permission to go there as it crosses the forest range. We also went to a place called Top Slip. This is a wild life sanctuary - we really could not spot any splendid wild life except for black monkeys, elephants and few birds like Kingfisher!
Full credit goes to the confident driver and the informative guide who made this trip a more memorable one!