Vaalpaarai – an impromptu journey

I was supposed to write this post in August when we had been to Vaalpaarai on Independence day. But one thing after the other happened and I just left it as is. Today I was just going through those pictures and was feeling very ‘green’. The Monday was a holiday and I had been in Coimbatore (as usual) for the three day weekend. So on Sunday , during our usual visit to my sis’s home, we decide @ 9 pm that the next day we can make a trip to Ooty or Vaalpaarai. Since we already had been to Ooty recently, we decided on Vaalpaarai. No one had been there yet and we did not have the slightest idea of what to expect there. We did not want to be @ home for one day.. That was all. So called up a few people, and got a car for the next day ready and both families with kids (8 adults and 2 mini kids and a driver). We started @ around 6.30 (after a slight delay because of non availability of water in overhead tank surprisingly) and stopped in Pollachi around 7.30 or so for our breakfast where my brother and brother in law showed their patriotism by buying the flags and pinning each other 🙂 and then the climb started. Stopped in the 5th or 6th bend to feed the kids… The location had a proper view of the Aazhiyaar Dam

After that we had the 40 hairpin bend climb. We had to stop in between because my sis in law was 4-5 months pregnant and she couldnt take it for long 🙂 ( I should admire her courage to go on a trip like this with her health , but she thoroughly enjoyed it)

The first place we went was the Balaji Temple. The car had to be stopped in a place near a school. It was supposed to be a private one in a estate. But we couldnt see the temple anywhere.. We checked with a person and he said, it is just round the corner. We were so skeptical about it. Then leaving my sis’s father in law and my sis in law along with my niece (who was fast asleep), we all started off. I took my nephew with me and we marched ahead. I had to guard that kid from all the girls who were walking in that route, coz he was so cute everyone wanted to hold him and he seemed to be enjoying the attention too (baduvaa paya). It was too steep  , my mom and dad were literally out of breadth.  The temple was a nice one but no photos were allowed as it was a private one. After that, we were wondering what to do and where to go and then decided on a place called Nallamudi Pooncholai. It is supposed to be a very nice viewpoint. So we decided to see the view point before going for lunch. We had to detour to reach the place, as the road was being repaired. In the other road which we took, almost for 2 kms, there was no road, but the view as good.

 
And after reaching Nallamudi Pooncholai, we had to stop at the check point and then had to walk a km to the view point. The 1 km walk was a very steep one and almost all of us made it , with elders walking slowly. I took my niece with me and we reached the view point second (first was my dad, at times, he forgets that he is older 🙂 ) It was an amazing place. It was so steep, that while going through the tea estates, you will never guess how high the location is. This is how the view point looks like

It seems that what we see is the Munnar side of the western ghats. It was so amazing. I was stunned by the view. It was so cool…We have such places near by and still miss it.. so sad isnt.. We were waiting for others to join us and once everyone was there, took photos, spent some time and headed back down to find a place for lunch. It was already 3 pm and all the elders were very hungry. So we decided to come to Sholaiyar Dam area and find us a hotel. We did not have time for the dam but stopped to see the Dam and then went to the place nearby the dam. It was much..actually it wasnt a mess or resturant at all. It was a small house where they served food to outsiders too :). They had to cook urgently to satisfy the meal requirements of our team. Kids were fed and elders had their meal and then we started our descent to reach back to Monkey falls. We came via the Sholaiyar dam (again a little slow to help my sis in law with her throw up) and stopped in between for Tea in a place among the tea estates. They serve very good tea. On the way we saw a small falls and stopped for a while, because we were sure that by the time we come down to Monkey falls it will be beyond 6 and it will be closed.
So decided to stop here, played for a while. I took my niece and she was happy to wet her feet 🙂 and then we reached Monkey falls and Aaliyaar dam around 6.30 and they were closed. We were bit sad to miss it, but it was overall a good journey..We reached home by 8.30 for dinner.
The place is full of tea estates, and is so “Green”. It was so nice to see this place and so many waterfalls. It was a good time too. It had rained in the previous week and all the falls were full. The best part was the view point. And it was done in a day. The kids were very helpful. At any point of time only one was awake. That gave us enough time to manage them :). They took turns to sleep. (Very good kids). If we had it planned well, then we might have been able to cover a few more places, if possible. But even though it was a sudden one, it was worth it. It is a place where people nearby should visit. 
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