Nelliampathy, about 60 kms from
Palakkad, is known
for its estates and mountain peaks. You can have a panoramic view of
tea, coffee and cardamom plantations all around this hill station besides the
Orange and Vegetable Farm of Kerala Government. (December is the season for
The journey through the Ghat road begins a few kilometres from Nenmara,
a town you can reach either from Thrissur (50 km) or Palakkad.(25
km) by road. The Pothundi Irrigation Dam, with a garden in
front, is about 8 km from
Nemmara on the way to Nelliampathy. Pothundi is a 19th century dam with special features. It is basically
an earth and rubble dam with a concrete core. A special mixture of lime
and jaggery was used as cement.
As you climb the Ghat road, you get a
wide-angle view of Pothundi Dam through the deciduous forests. A bird's
eye view of the dam can also be obtained from Kesavanpara, up on the
hills. Kesavanpara is a picnic spot just
a few kilometres away from the Orange farm.
Nelliampathy (Nelliampathis) refers to a broad array of hills with altitudes ranging from nearly
500 metres to well over 1500 metres above the mean sea level. The first
point at the end of the hairpin curves on the Ghat road is the Kaikatty, which is just
over 25 km from Nenmara. Then comes, the Orange Farm, Pulayanpara and
Seethargundu. The highest peak in the range is Nellikotta (also called Padagiri) which is 1585.08 metres above sea level.
Besides Kesavanpara, there are other picnic spots like Sittargundu
and Manpara at Nelliampathy. Sittargundu is on the way to Manpara. One
can see rolling hills
with cardamom, tea and coffee plantations on the way. As you go further
the road gets
rough. The journey is not for the faint hearted. It is difficult to
travel to Manpara during rainy season as the road full of
boulders would turn muddy.
From Manpara, you can have a breath taking view of farmlands, dams and
forests below as if from an aeroplane. It would be like touching the
skies when there are cloud formations. One can take photographs with
the clouds as background. At least one of the estates on the way,
discourage photography and that could be a dampener for many a
tourists. Photography is prohibited at the Pothundi dam also though the
dam could be photographed from several vantage points above.
|Palakkad Municipal road to Vazhakadavu
The road to Manpara may turn slippery during rainy season and you may have to push your vehicle up the road.
|Vazhakadavu - Kuzhalmannom
|Kuzhalmannam - Koduvayur
|Koduvayur - Vithinassery
|Vithinassery - Nemmara
|Nemmara - Kaikatty
|Kaikatty - Orange & Vegetable Farm
|Orange Farm - Manpara (approx.)
Every year hundreds of people visit Nelliampathy to admire its
spectacular views. The Nenmara Vellangi festival also attracts many
people. However, it is to be remembered that Nelliampathis have little
more to offer other than its estates, picnic spots and trekking paths.
Jeeps can be hired for a one-way trip up the hills from Nenmara for
about Rs. 200 or so.
A four-wheel driven jeep is must for the trip to Manpara unless you
prefer to walk. It is better to hire locally from Pulayanpara. The
rates could be as high as Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 for a two-way trip. (You
can go by car upto Seethargundu which is about 5 km from Pulayanpara).
There area a few resorts around including one run by the Palakkad
District Tourism Promotion Council close to the Orange Farm. A visit
may be worth it if you are already in Thrissur or Palakkad in Kerala or
Pollachi in Tamil Nadu.