Nelliyampathy, also known as Ooty of the poor, is a cool hill station famous for its orange plantations. Situated in the High Ranges of the Western Ghats Nelliyampathy offers dashing views of the plains, cliffs, valleys, rivers and the forests around. it is one of the famous hill stations of South India and a breath-taking site for nature lovers.
Also known for its tea gardens, coffee and cardamom plantations, orange orchards, sparkling silver waterfalls and dense forests Nelliyampathy attracts thousands of visitors every year to enjoy its breath-taking beauty of cloud-caressed peaks and its cool climate.
Nelliyampathy is situated in the Palakkad district of Kerala and about 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Palakkad town. Even though Palakkad is one of the hottest district in Kerala Nelliyampathy has a cool climate. The hills ranges from 467 to 1572 meters in height. In order to reach Nelliyampathy one has to take the road from Nenmara to Pothundy Dam. From Nenmara, the cloud-caressed peaks of the majestic Nelliyampathy hill ranges are a sight to behold. Pothundy dam, constructed in the 19th century, is the entrance to Nelliyampathy.
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The Pothundy Dam is a picturesque locale and is a nice option as a picnic place. Boating facilities are available here. There are about 10 hairpin curves on the way to Nelliyampathy. As the ghat road winds up, you can see a lot of interesting sights on the way. At certain places, there are viewpoints from where a vast stretches of Palakkad district is visible with the extensive stretch of paddy fields forming a green carpet.
At certain places you can also see parts of Tamilnadu and the Palakkad Gap. Palakkad gap is the largest and lowest Mountain pass crossing the Western Ghats and the only break in the Western Ghats in between Kerala neighbouring states. The Palakkad gap acts as a corridor between Kerala and Tamilnadu.
You can also see tea gardens on the way. And people interested in bio farming can take a closer look on the privately managed farms situated on the way.
The top most point Palagapandy estate has a quaint bungalow, built during the period of the British rule in India, and has now been converted into a private owned resort. At Kaikatty, a community hall is available, which is usually used as a base by those interested in trekking.
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Near to Palagapandy is the famous valley view point Seetharkundu where one can have a fantastic valley view. The 100 m high waterfall is an added attraction. From Palagapandy, one can trek or go by jeep to reach Mampara, which is another breath-taking vantage point at Nelliyampathy.
The Palagapandy and its surrounding area has tea, cardamom and coffee plantations and the place is rich in wild life like Indian gaur, elephants, leopards, giant squirrel etc. and if you are lucky enough you can catch a glimpse of them. And the place is a paradise for birdwatchers.
If you are an adventure traveller, Nelliyampathy offers many opportunities for treks from Pothundy and Kalchady. The destination hilltops here range in distance from eight to 15 kilometres. The steep climb from Kollengode to the top of Seethakundu is exhilarating. Other trekking destinations like Kesavanpara, Ranimedu and Cheriyanpara are no less attractive.
All together Nelliyampathy is a perfect holiday spot for visitors in Kerala.