History of Valparai
According to history Ramasamy Mudaliyar began coffee plantation in Valparai in the year 1846. In the same year Karnatic Coffee Company also began their coffee plantation. However, it did not make much profit hence they sold off the land. In 1875 soldiers built roads and guest houses for Edward VII, England's Prince of Wales. The visit was later cancelled. Under the British government W Wintil and Nordan purchased a large portion of land in Valparai from Madras State Government in 1890. Wintil cleared the area completely and for tea and coffee plantation. Carwer Marsh, an experienced planter helped him in his work. He was named as the Father of Annamalais and his statue has been erected in Kavarkal Estate.
Economy of Valparai
Valparai is mainly dependent on plantation crops. Most of the people residing here are employed in the tea and coffee estates that constitute most parts of the town. Few of the important plantation companies in the town are:
* Tata Tea Estates Ltd (Tata Tea)
* Jayshree Tea Industries Ltd (Birla Group)
* Periya Karamalai Tea Estates Ltd
* Puthuthottam Tea Estate Ltd
* Woodbriar Ltd (Stanmoore Group)
* Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation (TNTPC)
* N.E.P.C Tea Ltd
* Tea Estates India Ltd (TEIL)
* Parry Agro Ltd
* Waterfalls Tea Estate Ltd
* The Bombay Burma Trading Corporation (MUDIS Group)
Wildlife of Valparai
Valparai is enclosed by evergreen forest and has a rich elephant tract. The Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the way to the town. The area is known for leopards, birds especially the great hornbill, Nilgiri Tahr, an endemic wild goat and others. The mountain goats usually reside in the high ranges in the southern Western Ghats. They can be found in altitudes ranging from 1200m to 2600m in open terrains or hills surrounded by greenery. The region was earlier spread over a huge area but due to large scale habitation and hunting the territory has now reduced considerably and is mainly concentrated in the Annamalai Hills. Tourists can see several animals like elephants, deer, lion tailed monkeys etc on their way to Valparai. Apart from these visitors can also visit the Monkey Falls and Aliyar Dam in the town. The Balaji Temple is an important pilgrimage centre visited by many devotees.
Valparai is well connected by all modes of transports. Tourists can reach the town by road from Pollachi on State Highways 78. The journey takes almost one and half hours. The Athirampalli falls can be reached through Valparai. Chalakudi is almost 130 kms from Valparai.