Summer is knocking at the doors. Looking for a place to chill in this summers? Are you a hill lover? Do not interested to visit in gathering? Then Ooty-Coonoor is perfect place for you my dear friend. Whatever is your tour type; friends, family or even a romantic getaway with your partner. Fully geared up in a high tour-mode, just unstoppable. The brilliant idea that flashed is a hill station with a very comfortable weather, it must be Ooty-Coonoor for you.
Surrounded by the Nilgiri mountains, the hill stations of Coonoor and Ooty make for the perfect much needed weekend, with spectacular views, tea plantations and misty winding roads.
It was mid January, 2019. We had visited Chennai for my parents’ treatment, and after that our journey for Ooty-Coonoor had been started. It was a whole night train journey, and we reached at Mettupalayam station at around 6 am. The light of the nature was revealing slowly on that time. Our driver Mukund Ji arrived to greet us at around 6:30 am. We had started our journey with lot of expectations (as I am a forever hill lover) at 6:50 am and reached at Udagamandalam ( Popularly known as ‘Ooty’) at around 8:50. In this journey we had witnessed a lot of hairpin bends, the extraordinary scenic beauties, waterfalls, rolling tea gardens.
As my father is an railway executive, we availed the facilities of CPWD guest house in a very minimal cost. It is situated just opposite to the Udagamandalam Railway station. The check in time of the guest house is 10 am, so we had to wait for approx one hour. After check in, we had freshened up and had our lunch, and then our three days Ooty – Coonoor tour had been started.
Ooty is generally known as the Queen of hills (Nilgiris), had always been in our hot-list for long, we were always mesmerized by the beautiful Tea Gardens, calm lakes and of course by the thrill of riding in the Toy Train.
After lunch, we got ready and started our first day city tour with Dodabetta peak, which is the highest peak of southern India.
Nilgiris are more popular as Blue Mountains as it is believed to be cloaked with the blue haze of the rare Kurinji blue flowers that blooms once in 12 years. The peak is also known for the medicinal plants and the rich vegetation of rhododendrons spread across the slopes of the mountain. The rich covering of the sub-alpine shrubs enhances its sheer natural beauty.
After the Dodabetta peak we headed towards the outstanding chocolate and tree factory.
It’s really nice to watch how tea leaves are prepared and packed. Smell of the tea leaves was just awesome. They also give free tea prepared from the freshly processed leaves and it tastes amazing. Before leaving, i grabbed couple of tea packets (Flavoured tea & Masala tea). Although the place is not very prominent for sight seeing but if in case you happen to be a tea lover and would want to know how tea is produced, then this would be the perfect place to start with. one can easily tour the entire factory and will be able to grasp the various stage of tea production. as this is open to public, it does attracts a lot of tourists. moreover, you one can even buy tea packets here at an affordable rate.additionally, one will be able to get a taste of different varieties of tea as the authorities out here will help you taste a sample of freshly prepared tea.
Same as for chocolate too. There are so many options for handmade various types chocolate. You can buy it, in a affordable price. Especially, i love this place for a wide range of essential oils. At the end of the day, we visited the renowned hotel ‘The Monarch’ for our evening tea and snacks, but unfortunately the authority didn’t gave the permission.
On the second day, after an early morning breakfast, we off to our second day city tour.
We headed to Pykara Lake and Pykara falls which has been a famous shooting destination for so many Bollywood & Tollywood films, Pykara lake is very calm and serene, Pykara falls almost disappeared but the lake is very scenic and definitely worth a visit. We also covered the other shooting destinations like 9th Mile, Pines forest, Kamaraj Sagar where the famous bollywood movies like DDLJ and Raaz were shot, most of these places are very populated with all the tourists but do keep this in your list if you are a movie lover. There are so many places in Ooty where the famous movie ‘Raja Hindustani’ were shot.
Then we visited the beautiful Ooty Botanical Garden. This Garden has a terraced layout and it extends up to 55 acres and lie on lower slopes of the Dodabetta peak. It ascends the slopes of this hill at a height of
2250 – 2500 meters above sea level. It is home for thousands of species both exotic and indigenous of plants, shrubs, ferns and bonsai plants. The primary attraction at this garden is the Fossil Tree Trunk which is estimated to be 20 million years old. It has wide lawns and colourful flowers and plants laid out in Italian styles. We lay down on the lawn and waited for the tiredness from all that walking to wear off.
After taking a short rest in Botanical garden, we headed towards the rose garden.
The unique climate of Ooty , is the ideal condition to grow roses .Even with its mild temperature variations, the roses are grown here throughout the year. The garden extends up to 10 acres and houses thousands of rose species including the hybrid ones, miniature roses, black and green roses, hybrid tea roses and many other varieties. We had ended our Ooty tour with a beautiful evening in Ooty lake. Though the place is little crowded, but believe me, you shouldn’t miss it.
On the next morning at around 6 am we checked out from our three days home and headed to Mettupalayam via Coonoor.
Our schedule was quite packed. First on the agenda was a visit to Sim’s Park, a sort of botanical garden with a large sorts of interesting non-native trees and plants, with many massive trees that were over a century old! One pine tree was so tall.
After approx an hour, we took a narrow, winding road past the park to the High Field Tea Estate.
To wrap up our sight-seeing for the day, our driver Mani ji started his car for Dolphin’s Nose. But this place was so crowded road and choked with tourist buses, taxis and cars parked all over the place. Rather than plunging into the chaos, we decided to stop where we were and spend some time admiring the view—which was still pretty spectacular—before heading back. On the way, we stopped at a unnamed peaceful view point, whice has a beautiful spectacular views of hills, tea garden.
The time on mobile screen reminded us that we should leave, rather the train will be missed. After two years, I can easily remember the the views, peace and all about Ooty. Really its a life time memory.
Things to remember :
1. The day time temperature in Ooty is quite high, also in winter.
2. Previously said, we had stayed in government guest house as my father availed the facilities being a government executive. So if you are going to stay here, don’t expect the service like other hotels. Remember its a government property.
3. There are so many hotels starting from 1000/-, you can check in Google for booking.
4. If you have already visited the hill station in Northern India, north-eastern India and North Bengal, don’t expect the weather and view of Ooty like this.
5. In winter, the night time temperature is quite low.
6. It is suggested that, visit Ooty after booking the hotel.
Drivers’ Contact :
Mukund – 99428 19333
Mani – 94866 87089
Post Share by – Srikana Sarkar
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