Nelliampathy is a delightful hill station blessed with green valleys, fine meadows, misty forest ranges and wonderful weather all through the year. Located about 55 km away from the district of Palakkad, the place is an ideal destination for adventure seekers who visit the picturesque spot for trekking, camp hiking and rock climbing. Accommodation is available in the form of hotels and resorts with reasonably decent facilities nearby.
Nelliampathy hills are known for their exquisite fauna varieties. About 215 species of birds and 90 species of butterflies have been recorded in these hills. Some of the rare species of birds include Grey-breasted Laughing Thrush, Great Pied Hornbill, Jerdon's Baza, Great Black Woodpecker, Oriental Broad-billed Roller, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Broad-tailed Grassbird and Nilgiri Pipit. Primates including Lion-tailed Macaque, Bonnet Macaque and Nilgiri Langur are seen here. A small population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr is also found on the grassy peaks.
Acres of estates of tea gardens sprawled along the mountainous slopes offer a pleasing vista. These were originally started by the British and later on passed over to the natives. Remnants of the colonial type bunglows with wooden interiors, fireplace and surrounded by lawns still exist here. Some of these have been converted into modern homestays. Visitors to the tea gardens can purchase fresh tea packets of export quality from the factory outlets. The state-owned vegetable and fruit farm near Kaikatty is another centre of tourist interest where one can get fresh organic fruits and vegetables like brinjal, bean, chilly and spinach at whole sale rates. The oranges especially have a high taste value. Also available are squashes and jams of fruits like pineapple, orange, passion fruit and guava. Kesavanpara and Seetharkundu are panoramic tourist places located nearby.
Nelliampathy consists of a chain of ridges cut off from one another by valleys of dense evergreen forests and orange plantations. The highest peak in the Sahya mountainous ranges forming part of the Western Ghats, is Nellikkotta or Padagiri, perched at 1585 mts above sea level. The hill country is a perfect eco-tourism destination for nature enthusiasts opting for a peaceful and blissful vacation away from the maddening rush of city life. History records show that a great rich civilization existed in this part of Palakkad during the Tamil Sangham period.
Nelliampathy experiences a cool and pleasant climate throughout the year, the temperature varying from 15 deg Celsius in December to 30 deg C in May. The lovely weather conditions prevailing at the place combined with the emerald green magic of the hills offer the traveler an experience of a lifetime.
There are at least 10 hairpin bends on the Ghat road through dense forests, leading to the hill top from where the view of the plains below, with the serene setting surrounding the Pothundy reservoir built across the rivulets of Meenchadypuzha and Padipuzha, is breathtaking. The spiraling green slopes of the ghat section are punctuated by numerous waterfalls of which the largest one at Seetharkundu falling at a height of 1000 m is a prime attraction. The hills dipped in the pristine beauty of nature are dotted with picturesque tea, coffee, cardamom, vegetable and orange plantations.
Places of interest
Nelliampathy forming part of the Ghat ranges perched at an altitude ranging from 467m – 1572 m above sea level, is a geographic paradise offering a stunning view of the Sholayar pass lying deep down in a 20-mile stretch of velvet green. The pass has a dominating influence on the climate of the region. The monsoon clouds that form over the Arabian Sea after shedding rain in Kerala move through this pass to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
Nearby attractions are the natural Meenvallam falls with some exotic flora and fauna around, the ancient Thiruvalathur temple, the pristine tropical rain forest of Silent Valley, Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary and the peacock grove of Mayiladumpara, also named Choolannoor peacock sanctuary which is dedicated to preserving the majestic peacock in its natural abode.
As for transportation, KSRTC and private buses are available from Palakkad. Buses also ply from Nenmara, only 10 km away. Taxis and jeeps can be hired by groups of travelers and these are the only modes of transport to take you to the hilltop. The railway stations nearby are Thrissur, Palakkad and Coimbatore. The nearest airports are Cochin international airport and Coimbatore airport.
Highlights: Bountiful nature - invigorating cool crisp air – aroma of tea, coffee & cardamom plantations – narrow winding road to hilltop – numerous hairpin bends – scenery - waterfalls - wildlife
Tourist spots: Orange plantations – Padagiri peak – Pothundy dam&reservoir – teak forest – Kesavanpara – vegetable&fruit farm, Kaikatty – Seetharkundu
For further details on the district, visit