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Destination of the Month

Nelliyampathy, Kerala

Perched at a height of 1585 mts above the sea level in the Western Ghats, Nelliyampathy is a beautiful but little known hill-station in the picturesque southern state of Kerala, also known as "God's own country". The Nelliyampathy hills and mountains form a part of the Sahyadri ranges and comprise a chain of ridges cut off from one another by enchanting valleys of dense evergreen forests and orange plantations.

The varied heights of the peaks give the region a distinct look. The hilly terrain and thick foliage with exquisite flora and fauna provides immense opportunities for trekkers and adventure buffs. Kakatty, the first town in the area serves as an idyllic base camp for these activities. Nelliyampathy also provides great opportunities for hand gliding. Paddy farms, bio farms and orange cultivation make Nelliyampathy an ideal eco-tourism destination. Leisure tourists can just soak in the beauty of the place.

It is believed that a rich civilization existed in Nelliyampathy during the Tamil Sangam era. Blessed with ever-green forests with wildlife like Indian gaur, leopards, elephants, giant hill squirrels, monkeys, deer, porcupine and bisons, Nelliampathy is a paradise for bird-watchers. The sprawling tea gardens, coffee, cardamom and orange plantations add beauty to this scenic summer destination.

The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Nelliyampathy Hill, Padagiri, Palagapandi Estate and Pothundi Reservoir are famous sightseeing spots in the city. To reach this quaint hill station one has to take the road from Nenmara in Palaghat district to the Pothundy Dam.

The journey is an experience in itself. The cloud-caressed peaks of the majestic Nelliyampathy hill ranges enroute are a sight to behold. As the Ghat road winds its way up through 10 hairpin bends, at certain places there are breathtaking viewpoints of the valley below including a wide-angled vision of one-third of the entire Palakkad district with its extensive paddy fields forming a verdant carpet. At some points along the route, one gets a splendid view of the Palakkad Gap, which is a rare geographical phenomenon in the Western Ghats formation in this region, bringing into view, parts of the adjoining state of Tamil Nadu. During the monsoons, several eye-catching waterfalls can be seen along the route.

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 Palagapandi estate at the topmost point has a quaint bungalow, built during the period of the British rule, which has now been converted into a privately- owned resort. It holds relics of a gorgeous past.

Seethargundu viewpoint, situated in the Western Ghats at a distance of 8 km from the town, is associated with Hindu mythology. It is believed that Lord Ram, along with his brother, Lakshman, and wife, Sita, rested here during their fourteen years of exile. In the vicinity is the stunning Seethargundu falls which tumbles down from a height of 100 ft amid the green foliage. Seethargundu estate has one of the best organic farms.

The Nelliyampathy Hill is a beautiful site. Abounding in tea, coffee, orange and cardamom plantations; the hill offers exquisite views. Pothundy Reservoir at the foot of the hill is another attraction constructed on the Meenchadyppuzha and Padippuzha tributaries of the River Ayalar. Visitors can savour the beauty of the place while boating. Some distance away is a forest with massive teak trees of extraordinary height and girth.

The best time to visit Nelliyampathy is from September to May. The town is located 62 km from Palakkad, the granary of Kerala. Palakkad is a vast expanse of verdant plains interspersed with hills, rivers, mountain streams and forests. Palakkad is just 70 Km from Coimbatore Airport while Palakkad Junction Railway Station is a major railhead of the Southern Railways.