Valparai, 88 kms south-west of Coimbatore was the chosen destination. We did start out in time from Bangalore, but didn’t bargain for god-awful traffic between Salem & Coimbatore. Not to mention the numerous breaks we took and the long detour into Erode to fill LPG. When we found one right on the road just out of Tirupur. And the couple of experiments in short cuts. Sigh. The things you learn.
Valparai is not your typical weekend break. At least not from Bangalore. For a start, it’s might be a little too far – about 415/420 kms. If you are lucky or drive like Sebastian Loeb. The drive post Pollachi into Valparai is an absolute dream. You will hit the Aliyar Dam and it’s reservoir will be the focal point of all the stops that you make as you climb upto Valparai. The climb however comes with a caveat, the 40 hair pin bends give the 37 hair pins on Kalhatti into Ooty a run for it’s money. It’s a difficult choice between the drive and the scenery. The Green Hill is the only place to stay in Valparai. There are a couple of others, but might not be up the alley of most. And at around 550 per room, it’s definitely worth the money.
There is not much to do in Valparai. However, there are excellent drives around the place. The drive to Sholayar Dam is highly recommended. For the exploratory, you can then take the road into Kerala. Go to Palakkad, Calicut into Wayanad and thence to Bangalore.
But you need a really long weekend for that!
Update Early 2010: I did finagle a long weekend and go here. Trip report here.