How do you fill up your morning in Valparai?
Brew some tea and relish the sunrise, you could listen to rustling birds, or wearing a cardigan, you could tour the tea estate and feel the chill breeze in the air or gaze at the busy bee’s far below plucking fresh sprigs from the tea plant, or enjoy the spectacular view of the pond filled with colorful lilies and lotus or take a refreshing shower in the private silvery waterfalls.
STM or Star Tea Estate Bungalow is located at Valparai; about 100 km from Coimbatore, nestle amidst the tea plantations and misty mountains. It offers a beautiful escape from urban life with the near absence of vehicular traffic. We hired a cab from Coimbatore junction and the roads to Pollachi were almost dry. So, we thought Valparai would disappoint us as we had plans for outdoor photo-shoot… But as we moved uphill, it was a fine and scenic drive, surrounded by dense trees and tea estates.
The road to Valparai is a hill terrain with 40 hair pin bends. Two and half an hour in a car filled with two photographers, high end DSLRs, and wedding dress, we reach our destination. In the middle of tea estates, the STM bungalow stances itself as picture postcard pretty building that glows in rich yellow color. It’s a perfect place, intimidatingly beautiful for outdoor photography.
The rooms are spacious and well-maintained. Mobile network becomes unavailable over here. It drops the moment as you move up the hill. However, they have a landline facility with BSNL network in the reception for use.
They offer purely homemade cuisine which gives an at-home feel. They do inquire the meal plan from us and prepare accordingly. On day one, when we were nearby Pollachi, the Manager called us and asked us the food menu to serve for dinner. We liked the hospitality of the people here… They made our stay comfortable and memorable.
On day two, we planned for an early morning photo-shoot at 5.30 AM.
The weather had turned strikingly awesome with cool breeze that would chill up your spine. I started to shiver in my wedding dress and waited for sun-rise in eager than the photographer! We covered up almost every place in and around the STM bungalow by 8 AM.
Post-lunch, we head to the private waterfalls and tea estates owned by them. As its deep into the forest, the Manager has arranged us for the jeep. The next few hours were spent in finding the perfect place and clicking the picture. Dusk was falling as we drove back to bungalow. Even though the place is safe and fenced appropriately to avoid any animal intrusion, we were advised to stay indoors during nights and not to wander around.
On day three, we completed our early morning shoot and rested for a while. We started around 5 PM from Valparai to board our return train. Start little early as you might get held up in the traffic. It’s sheer luck that we didn’t miss our train!
You might see a great Indian hornbill or peacocks… Unfortunately, we were not able to spot any leopard or elephant throughout the trip except their footprints. There are plenty of outdoor attractions such as Monkey Falls, Nallamudi view point, Sholayar dam, Aliyar Dam, that are within easy reach.
In the tranquility of its setting and the peaceful ambience, this is the place to spend time in leisure with your families! Definitely, at the end of your trip it’ll find a place in your heart and you’ll dream of an abode over there.
We loved our stay at Star Tea Estate Bungalow! Have you been there? Comment below…