(40km south of Nenmara and 75 km southeast of Palakkad)This fascinating hill station is at a height of 467 to 1,572m above sea level. At least 10 hairpin bends have to be negotiated on the Ghat road that passes through the breathtaking evergreen forests of the Sahya Ranges. Seethakunnu at Nelliyampathy offers a panoramic view of about one-third of Palakkad. This hill country is the delight of trekkers. The District Tourism Promotion Council of Palakkad provides good accommodation facilities here. Nelliyampathi is blessed with ever green forests with a number of wild animals like elephants, hill squirrels and bison’s. The sprawling tea gardens, coffee, cardamom and orange plantations add beauty to this wonderful summer destination. While driving towards Nelliyampathy, one has to negotiate a dozen hairpin bends with breathtaking views of valleys and mountains covered in a green blanket.
Nelliyampathy consists of mountain ranges from 500 m to 1600 m providing immense opportunities for trekkers and adventure buffs. Kakatty serves as an ideal base camp with various trekking and other facilities. Nelliyampathy also provides great opportunities for hand gliding.
Nelliyampathy is the perfect location for eco-tourism. Perched at a height of 1585 m above the sea level on the Western Ghats, Nelliyampathy is a beautiful place. Vellachimudi, Mayanmudi, Valiyavana and Vela Vanchan are some of the important peaks in this mountain range. Padagiri is the highest peak situated on the Nellikotta mountain ranges.
DO:Drive up 10 hairpin bends to the hillstation of Nelliyampathy and enjoy some spectacular views.
Celebrated as the granary of Kerala, Palakkad is a vast expanse of verdant plains interspersed with hills, rivers, mountain streams and forests. The gateway to Kerala from the North, a 40 km break in the mountain known as the Palakkad Gap gives access to this land situated at the foot of the Western Ghats. The pass act as a corridor between Kerala and neighbouring Tamil Nadu and played a major role in the trade contacts between East and West coasts of peninsular India. Deriving its name from the Malayalam words pala (Alsteria Scholaris) and Kadu (forest),this place was once a beautiful stretch of forest covered with the sweet-scented flowers of the Pala tree. A potpourri of Tamil and Kerala culture, some of the finest Carnatic musicians hail from this region which continues to be a largely agrarian society. - See more at: http://www.keralain360.com/hillstations-in-india-nelliyampathy-hill-station-palakkad-kerla#sthash.EVtCNzhn.dpuf
Fauna of Nelliampathi Hills
Located at the southern tip of the Palakkad gap, the Nelliampathi hills are known for their exquisite fauna. 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 seen in the grassy peaks.
Places near Kaikatty
There are many places worth seeing near Kaikatty. One such place is Kesavanpara, which offers a panoramic view of the land below. The tea producer A.V.Thomas & Company has a large tea garden under its Manalaroo Estate nearby. Manalaroo Estate is the highest yielding Tea estate in India. One can buy fresh tea from their garden outlet in their factory. The Orange and Vegetable Farm, run by the Government of Kerala has its office and farm near Kaikatty. The Farm sells squashes and jams of fruits like pineapple, orange, passion fruit and guava. Vegetables like brinjal, bean, chilly and spinach are also sold. Further ahead, there is another tea garden and factory owned by Veekay Tea Company under its Chandramala Estate. All the tea and coffee plantations were originally started by the British. These were later on sold to the natives. The British were very conscious and responsible about the ecology of the area, utilizing the natural resources and only what was absolutely necessary.
The houses built by the British for themselves and their managers were constructed taking into consideration, the cold climate of the region. The walls and floors are wood lined to provide insulation, with fireplace to provide heating. They also maintained good gardens in front of these houses.
Another famous tourist attraction is the Seetharkundu. It is believed that Rama, Lakshmana and Sita of the epic Ramayana had lived in the place and Sita used to offer worship with the water from a small stream. This is the Seetarkundu, which can be viewed from the top of the mountains. At a distance, the Chulliyar dam, the Meenkara dam and the town of Kollengode can be seen.
Even though the place is far away from the town, there is excellent communication facility provided by the Telephone exchange of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The telephone exchange is of the latest digital technology, connected to the outside world by optical fiber cable. A mobile network tower has been installed with phone network coverage throughout the ghat sections. The ghat road which was very narrow and scary is being widened. The workers in the plantations are mostly of Tamil origin. They are provided with labor quarters comprising of four to five units in one line, 'padi' in local language. Manalaroo Estate runs a school and a hospital for the workers and their children.
Nelliyampathy starts at Poothundy lake, where a large dam exists, mainly used for irrigation purposes. The lake and its resovoir is a major picnic spot. From Poothundy, the hill range of Nelliyampatty starts.There are about 10 hairpin bends that have to be negotiated on the way to Nelliyampathy. As the Ghat road winds its way up to Nelliyampathy, at certain places there are viewpoints from where the vast stretches of Palakkad district are visible with its extensive paddy fields forming a verdant carpet. It also offers a splendid view of the Palakkad Gap, which is a geographical phenomenon in the Western Ghats formation in this region, bringing into view, parts of the adjoining State of Tamilnadu.
The Nelliyampathy hill range has 3 distinctive landscapes
The plantation part with several plantations, orange farms and spice gardens
The rocks and hill-tops where several cliffs, rocky mountainous areas and large hill-tops, which all are for trekker's delight
The forest regions, which has some of the rare varieties of fauna and flora.
Nelliyampathy is an all around the year tourist destination with a pleasant climate all through the year. Summers during March to May have a maximum temperature of 30°C and the winters during December to February have a minimum temperature of about 15°C. Monsoons offer very heavy rainfalls during June to September.
The hill station is very imposing during the monsoons. Post monsoons and post winters are flowering seasons. Waterfalls offer eye catching experiment during monsoons and post monsoons.
Best period to visit here is September to May avoiding monsoons.
Boarding and Lodging
At Kaikatty, there is a government run guest house with boarding and lodging facility. Reservation for lodging can be made in advance. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian foods are available.
The only public transport to the outside world is the bus service run by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). These buses ply between Palakkad and Nelliampathi. There is also a KSRTC bus service from Nemmara. Within the hill areas, one has to depend on the taxi jeeps for transport. Essential items like grocery and vegetables are transported from Nemmara by jeeps.
How to reach there
Nearest Airports: Cochin International Airport and Coimbatore Airport
From Cochin Airport: Come to Thrissur - 30 km; take a taxi or bus from Thrissur bus stand to Nemmara - 48 km.
From Coimbatore Airport: Come to Palakkad - 50 km; take a taxi or bus to Nemmara - 30 km.
From Nemmara you can take a taxi or a four wheeler vehicle (jeep) to Neliiampathi.
Nearest main railway stations: Palakkad, Thrissur and Coimbatore