Pollachi town lies some 40kms south of Coimbatore, just about on the Tamil Nadu – Kerala border. Pollachi features heavily in travel itineraries for southern India. Especially so, the ones focussing on wildlife tourism.
So if you happen to have a liking for birding, wildlife watching, traditional ayurvedic treatments or even stunning lush-green surroundings, Pollachi is perfect for you.
So if you’re heading there, we’ve compiled a list of the best experiences that Pollachi has to offer.
The Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is at a distance of 65kms from Pollachi. Spread across roughly 650 sq. km. the reserve is made up of hills, valleys, three large reservoirs and as many major rivers.
This diverse ecological setup hosts 39 species of mammals, 16 species of amphibians, 268 species of birds, 61 species of reptiles, 47 species of fish, 1049 species of insects & 124 species of butterflies.
Beyond wildlife spotting, the reserve provides opportunities for nature education, and sightseeing. Not to be missed is a visit to Kannimara – said to be the world’s oldest and largest living teak tree.
The Thoovanam waterfalls are inside the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, which lies at the distance of around 70kms from Pollachi. T
The waterfalls lie on the Pambar river, which is one of the three eastward flowing rivers in Kerala (the rest 41 all flow westward).
Located at a distance of 4kms from the road, and amidst the forest, you will need to trek through to get to the waterfalls.
The reason that we’ve called this experience the Thoovanam trek and not “a visit to the Thoovanam waterfalls” is that the trek through dry thorn forests, deciduous forests, riparian forests, sholas and grasslands, interspersed with plains, hillocks, rocks and cliffs which provide micro-habitats for varied forms of life, is an experience which is to be savoured by any nature lover.
You will also have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel and the famous albino bison or ‘the white bison of Manjampatti’.
The roar of the falls can be heard from more than a kilometer away, and upon reaching there, you can choose to either enjoy the fine spray while cooling off, or even take a dip in the cool water, that’ll leave you absolutely refreshed!
You can find an excellent blog-post with lots of beautiful pictures of the trek here.
Valparai is a picture-postcard-perfect town at a distance of around 65kms from Pollachi.
Valparai has a huge concentration of tea and coffee estates, which form the mainstay of its economy, while simultaneously providing views and opportunities for tourism.
The best way to experience Valparai is to drive through tea gardens dotted with shade trees where the work force (typically women) dressed in vivid saris skillfully pluck the rows of bushes, with a deft use of the fingers and thumbs.
A walk around the tea estates is a must-do as it will allow you to experience local culture by interacting with the planters. You can then arrange for a visit to a fully operational tea factory to understand the processing of the leaves.
Here, the machinery and different processes involved in producing the finished leaf of both Orthodox and CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl) manufactured tea is explained.
For the true tea aficionados, a visit the tea tasting room is a must. Here you will learn about the range of flavours of the different grades of tea produced by one of the most exquisite single-estate tea manufacturers in the world.
Lunch can be followed by a visit to rainforest restoration plots where an in-depth conversation with conservationists will help you understand how the man-animal conflict in the plateau is being managed.
Just 15kms from Pollachi is the village of Periya Negamam, famous for its village cot sarees. These vibrant sarees are highly popular in Tamil Nadu and are woven using hand-looms.
With an approximate 100,000 sarees being produced in the region annually, the village provides for the perfect opportunity to know more about, and maybe even indulge in the process of saree weaving.
A drive through rustic roads amidst quaint villages and Coconut fields will bring you to Periya Negamam. Upon reaching the village, you can visit the artisan’s houses, to witness firsthand, the nuances of the ancient craft of Saree weaving as well as dyeing.
If you feel like getting involved in the action, do participate in the process and soak the sarees in beautiful colors.
Beyond interaction with the artisans, you can choose to visit the local wholesale saree store and purchase beautiful pieces of garment, with fabric that is said to improve with every wash!
These four are our choice from the many experiences that you can enjoy while in Pollachi. Our partner property Coco Lagoon, Pollachi organises trips and guided tours for all of these experiences and more.