Nelliyampathy

Nelliyampathy

A spectacular hill station and the picturesque views it offers make Nelliampathy a favorite spot for photographer and travel aficionados. The fabulous hill station is located nearly 55 km from Palakkad and easily accessible through road.

Situated south if Palakkad Gap, Nelliyampathy has all the attractions of a typical hill station – coffee, tea and cardamom plantations, pleasant climate, sublime scenery and an abundance of flora and fauns. Locally called ‘poor man’s Ooty’, it offers the inhabitants of Palakkad and escape from the sweltering summer heat of the plains.

Nelliyampathy is close to the wildlife sanctuaries of Parambikulam, Anamalai and Peechi – Vazhani.The Nelliyampathy Ranges, once owned by the maharajas of Kollengode and Kochi, is now part of the Nenmara Forest Division. It consists of a chain of ridges separated by valleys that abound in evergreen and semi evergreen, teeming with wildlife.

To each Nelliampathy, one has to take the road that goes from Nenmara via Pothundy dam. There are about 10 hairpin bends between Pothundy dam and Nelliampathy.The dam itself is a picturesque locale with facilities for boating and nice spot to enjoy a picnic.

As the ghat road winds its way up to Nelliampathy, at certain places there are viewpoints fro where the vast stretches of Palakkad district are visible. With its extensive paddy fields, it looks like a vast green carpet. It also offers a splendid view of the Palakkad Gap, which is a geographical phenomenon in the Western Ghats formation in this region, bringing into view, parts of the adjoining state of Tamil Nadu.Giving another spectacular view of the greenery is at Seetharkundu, where a 100 m high Seethartkundu waterfall is located. Legend has it that Ram,Lakshman and Sita rested here for a year during their 14 years in exile.

On the way up, those interested in bio farming can take a close look at the privately managed farms and also vast expanses of tea estates managed by different plantation companies. The hills of Nellliampathy are also well known for its orange cultivation.

SIGHTS

Pothundy

A picturesque reservoir, it lies on the way to Nelliyampathy, close to the scenic village of Nemmara, and is built across two tributaries of the Ayalar River – the Meenachadypuzha and the Padipuzha.

Seetharkundu

Located within the Karuna plantations, Seethatkundu attracts visitors as much for the drive from Nelliyampathy as for the place itself. The drive offers a fabulous view of the plains, as far as Palakkad town and its surrounding countryside, besides the waterfalls, there is gnarled tree here, a major attraction. Legend has it that Rama, Sita and Lakshman once lives here, hence the name.

Mampara Grasslands

These sprawling grasslands can be reached only through a treacherous road, but it is well worth the effort for the spectacular views of the Palakkad range – verdant slops, thick forests and patchwork of lush paddy fields.

Orange and Vegetable Farm

Set up by the rulers of the erstwhile State of Cochin in 1943 to provide food for British troops and resolve a crises that arose in the land during the time, this once thriving farm has now been revived and 237 acres of land replanted with orange trees. The fruit preservation unit, located at Pulayanpara, where guavas and passion fruit are used to make delicious jams, preserves and squash, is open to visitors.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest airport is Cochin (Kochi) International Airport,180 km .The airport in Coimbatore is 150 km.

By Rail : The nearest railhead is Palakkad,60 m away.

By Road: From Kochi,Palakkad lies on NH – 47 from Thrissur.From Palakkad, take the road through Koduvayur to Nenmara. The nearest KSRTC bus stand is in Palakkad.

Where to Stay

This little known hill station has some charming options, across all budgets. The best among these is the Whistling Thrush Bungalow (080 36790421) at Poothundu Estate in Nelliampathy. With two elegant rooms set in a beautiful colonial bungalow, set amidst cardamom and coffee plantations, Whistling Thrush is a dream home stay. The minimum tariff for The Whistling Thrush Bungalow is Rs.5, 000.

Tropical Hill Resort (Tel : 04923 246236) at Padagiri is the best option in town, with a Presidential suite, double and single rooms, cottages, dormitories as well as camping tents on requests.The hotel offers a gym, basketball court and even a roller blade rink. For kids there is a petting zoo, a fish pond and a play area with swings and slides. The minimum tariff for Tropical Hill Resort is Rs.5, 000.

Greenland Farm Houses (Tel: 04923 - 202404, 246245, 246246) surrounded by forest at Palakkapandi, has all the mod cons to be expected in a secluded hill station – no multi channel cable television, though.Bonfires and barbecues can be arranged on request. They offer 20 rooms, a palygound, room service, parking, laundry and arrange taxis.

ITL Resort (Tel : 246464/357) is a unit of the DTDC.It is adequately furnished and comfortable with fairly good food. The hotel offers tow dormitories, room service, laundary, outdoor games and trekking.

HOW TO PLAN YOUR TOURS:

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Published on 02/01/2015

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