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an abode the Great Indian Hornbills


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Valparai is a mid-elevation hill station with extremely rich biodiversity. The tea plantations are surrounded by evergreen forests. The drive to the town from Pollachi passes through the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary known for Elephants, Wild boars, Lion-Tailed Macaques, Indian Bison, Leopard Cats, Indian Wild Dogs, Spotted deer, Sambar deer, Leopard, Tiger, and Giant squirrels. The area is also rich in birds, including the great hornbill. Water bodies at Monkey Falls and Aliyar Dam are also seen en route. Valparai receives among the highest rainfall in the region during the monsoons (around June).

            The Valparai range is also a habitat for the Nilgiri tahr, an endemic wild ungulate. These mountain goats inhabit the high ranges and prefer open terrain, cliffs, and grass-covered hills, a habitat largely confined to altitudes from 1200 to 2600m in the southern Western Ghats. This habitat of the Anamalai mountains is home to some of the endemic species. 


The Great Indian Hornbill in Valparai



Valparai is a top biodiversity hotspot in the western ghats. Undoubtedly, Valparai is one of the best destinations in the world to see and photograph the Great Indian Hornbills. We are visiting this region in the hornbill congregation period which is going to be once in a lifetime kind of event for you. The region is also a rich elephant tract and is known to have many leopards. The Valparai range is also the habitat of Nilgiri Tahr. It is also your chance of seeing the rare and endangered lion-tailed macaque, barking deer, wild boar, and the Nilgiri langur among others. Valparai is also great place for bird watchers which. Valparai receives among the highest rainfall in the region during the monsoons.


Tour Highlights 

* 4 Days/ 3 Nights at an incredible Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

* It's your chance to witness the Congregation of the Great Hornbill.

* Other than hornbills it is a home to endangered lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, Elephants,

   Bengal tiger, Leopard, Indian gaur, Dhole, etc.

* Gives ample opportunities to photograph birds, mammals, macro, etc. in the wild.

* Expert guidance of an award-winning nature photographer Pratik Pradhan.


Day 1

Pick up from Coimbatore Airport/Railhead in the morning at 9 a.m. From Coimbatore to Valparai is 4 hrs drive through the scenic Anamalai tiger reserve. On the way we might get a chance to see and photograph Nilgiri tahr. We will reach the hotel in the afternoon. Check-in, freshen up followed by lunch. In the evening we will do our first outdoor photography session for shooting birds. After sunset back to the hotel for high-tea. followed by a discussion session on photography. Post session we will have a our dinner and retire for the night.

Day 2 

We start early in the morning we prepare ourselves for shooting majestic Great Hornbills from the viewpoint. Here's your chance to shoot habitat shots as well as portrait shots of Great hornbills. After the morning session, we will be back to the hotel for breakfast. We will be visiting a waterfall in the property which provides you with some excellent landscape opportunities. Lunch break in the noon followed by some break. In the evening we will head back again to one of the Hornbills spots where we will have a majestic view for shooting different types of perspectives.

  In the evening, photography sessions/photo reviews by Pratik Pradhan.

Day 3

Again we start early in the morning a drive through the scenic Valparai. Here we will try our luck with the endangered Old World monkeys Lion-tailed macaques. After shooting LTMs, we will be back to the hotel for breakfast. Here we can do some bird photography around the property and there's chance of seeing Crested Serpent eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Woodpeckers, Melodious Whistling thrushetc.  Afternoon we will have a lunch break followed by some relaxation. In the evening we will head back again to one of the Hornbills spots where we will have a majestic view for shooting different types of perspectives.

Day 4 

Wake up early. this will be our final session with the hornbills here you can try executing your pre-visualised picture as you will be familiar with the landscape and opportunities. Post session back to the hotel for delicious breakfast folllowed by check out from the hotel.

We start our journey towards Coimbatore Airport/Railhead.

Tour ends :)

Inclusions :

* 4 Days/3 Nights at the top biodiversity hotspot of the western ghat.

* Stay & all meals during the trip.

* Park Entry fees & charges.

* Pick up & drop from Coimbatore Airport/Railhead.

* All road transfers during the trip.

Exclusions :

* Any airfare / Railway Tickets.
* Camera fees if any.
* Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals, and beverages ordered.
* Insurance, laundry, and phone calls.
* Bottled water, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
* Anything that is not listed under ‘inclusions’.





Payment Terms:

Full amount to be paid 30 days prior to the workshop starting date.

Cancellation fees:

  • 50% of the Tour fee between 30 days before departure.

  • 100% of the Tour fee between 0-29 days before departure.

(Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for the calculation of the cancellation fees.)


By Air

          Nearest Airport for Valparai Hill station is Coimbatore Airport which is of 102 KM distance.

By Rail

Pollachi Railway station is the nearest Railway station to Valparai Hill Station which is at distance of 64KM. The major railway station is Coimbatore Railway Junction which is located at a distance of 102 KM from Valparai.

By Road

There are no. of State Govt. Buses are available from Coimbatore, Pollachi, Palani, Challakudi and Athirapalli.Valparai Hill Station is situated at a distance of 64 KM from Pollachi and from Coimbatore it is 102 KM distance from Athirapalli it is 60 KM and from Chennai it is located at a distance of 600 KM.

Recommended Equipment 

  • DSLR or Mirrorless camera body.

  • Any telephoto lens above 300mm.

  • 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, and 800mm would be ideal lenses for portraits. 

  • 70-200mm lens for some birds/ animals in the habitat shots.

  • Any wide-angle lens for landscapes.

  • Extra batteries and memory cards are mandatory.  

  • Tripod 

  • Portable Dehumidifier if you have one.


"I learned from BBC “Planet Erath” about Fan-Throated Lizard, then knew Pratik from the lizards. When I asked Pratik whether he could make an arrangement for both me and my wife to take pictures of Fan-Throated lizards of running and fighting, his answer was positive. He had not only made a good arrangement for our photo tour, but also make us try variety tastes of India food, culture and so on. He tried his best to make arrangement to satisfy us. Our goals to India could not fulfilled without help from him. This was an extraordinary trip for us, the memory will last the rest of our life."  

Cheng Chang

 Candian wildlife photographer

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