Pollachi is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway. Located 40 KMs south of Coimbatore, it has all the ingredients that make an ideal holiday destination. Pollachi has as cool and pleasant weather round the year. It has a rich wildlife, picturesque Tea plantations and Dams for Picnic spots. Top Slip, the famous wildlife reserve is just a few Kms away. Pollachi is also visited for its temples like the Maasani Amman, Aiyyapan and Subramniaswamy. The Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi film industry frequents Pollachi for its scenic locales, making it a Mini – Kodambakkam!
Pollachi is well connected to major cities by Rail, Road and Air. The nearest Airport is 40KMs away in Coimbatore. Taxis are available at Coimbatore to ply to Pollachi. The Railway line passing Pollachi is well connected with other major cities in the South. Pollachi is 400 kms from Bangalore and the road route would be via Salem, Perundurai,Tirrupur and Palladam.
Several Hotels and Farm stays are available. Hotel Lakshmi can be contacted on 04259-225620 and Hotel Sakthi at 04259-223050.
Located 37 KMs from Pollachi on Anamalai Rod, Top Slip is a beautiful wild life sanctuary ad nature reserve. Top Slip got its name from the British who named it so after periodic slipping of Timber down the Anamalai ranges. The best mode of transport to see Top Slip is on the back of an Elephant! Top Slip is also a medical plant conservation area. A strong recommendation here would be to stay overnight in the Tree House available in the reserve.
Maasani Amman Temple is dedicated to Goddess Gauriamman. The idol which is supposed to date back to the Chola times, was found while ploughing the fields in 1995. There is an interesting legend behind this Temple. In ancient times a King named Naanan used to rule Anaimalai. He was very fond of a Mango tree in his Palace Orchard and had forbidden his people from eating the fruit from this Tree. One day a group of girls were bathing in River Aliyar and one of them saw a Mango floating in the River. She took a bite and the news reached the King. The King sentenced her to death. Over time, the people of this town made a figure of the girl in the sand of the graveyard and started worshipping her as Maasani.
The Aiyyapan Temple at Pollachi was built in 1970. It has been built like the famed Sabarimalai Temple. The first kumbabeshekam was made on 12.07.1975. The idol of Aiyyapa is accompanied by Manjal Amman, Rama, Durga, Panjamuga Vinayagar, Kasi Viswanathar Visalachi, Vali Devasena Subramaniyar , Saraswati, Dhachanamoorthy, Anjineyar and KalaBairavar in the temple.
The Subramaniaswamy Temple at Pollachi goes back 800 years and was built by the Cholas. The Temple has an engraving of ‘Pollil Vaichi’ which means “The land of natural Wealth and Prosperity”. Pollachi must have been originally known as Pollil Vaichi. The Subramaniaswamy Temple has some beautiful stone carvings like five hooded serpent and zodiacal signs.
Did you know that Pollachi is Asia’s largest Jaggery market?! It is also famous for Coconuts.
Valparai is a lovely hill station perched 3500 feet above sea level in the Anamalai Hills. It is 65 Kms away from Pollachi.
Do stop at Indira Gandhi Wild Life sanctuary which falls on the way to Valparai from Pollachi. Animals available for spotting include lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri and the common Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Elephant, Gaur, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer and Wild Boar. Valparai primarily comprises of Tea Plantations and Wilderness.
Interestingly before becoming a Tea growing Area, Valparai originally was a Coffee growing Area. Ramaswami Mudaliar put up the first Coffee plantation in 1846. A British Gentleman named Carwer Marsh played a big role in deforesting the area and putting up the Tea plantations. He is fondly referred to as the Father of Anaimalais by the local populace.
Valparai is home to the unique Grass Hills. These hills sport tall grass making it a perfect habitat for wildlife such as Elephants, Boar and Cheetah.
Aliyar Dam is located on the foothills of Valparai. Located 65kms from Coimbatore, Aliyar is a terrific picnic spot. With a park, garden, aquarium, play area and a mini Theme-Park, Aliyar Dam is worth a visit.
Boating is also available in one part of the reservoir. Although Aliyar Dam is a day outing, if one wishes to stay over a forest rest house is also available.
For a travelogue on Kerala's most famous hill station, visit Enchanting Munnar.