Nilgiris : The Blue Mountains

Travel Experience | | April 19, 2011 at 1:07 am




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Renowned Hillstations: Ooty and Kunnoor

Things to catch: The summer fest.

Where are we?

On the threshold of the a certain princely state  known as Mysore, lies a hidden blue jewel, closely guarded by God’s own country, Kerala, to its left and the land of mysterious origins- Coimbatore on its right. As you slide on the silken bends of this mountain range, 2800 feet above sea level, slowly but surely one understands why the British were so in love with these mountains.

Welcome to the land of Nilgiris.

Days of yore…

After being nurtured by the hoysalas and cheras for centuries together, nilgiris went into the hands of British Empire. On a fine January morning, one Mr. Sullivan set out to explore the fables of these deep blue ridges. As the British flag was set to flutter after six long days on these plateaus, Nilgiri broke into the consciousness of British Raj.

The Rails of Nilgiri

By the end of 19th century, the hooting trains had arrived and if one needs an idea how picturesque it looks, get hold of a CD of Mani Ratnam’s DIL SE and catch Sharukh’s pelvic thrusts on top of these trains in CHAIYYA CHAIYYA.

If you wish to peddle through the ghats, there’s a bicycling tourney held annually, and if have your personal vehicle, be a guest to the curvy 5 hour ride through the ghats.

THE TRAVELER AND THE TOURIST-Places of interest

If you are on a vacation, add these places as must see in your bucket list.

  1. Doddabetta, the colossal peak of this range.
  2. The TIGERS ROCK-FORT(Hullikal Durg) with hush hush woods full of sky kissing pine tress(a la Aamir and Juhi’s romantic setting in QSQT).
  3. The national Park of Mukurthi.
  4. 120 mt. Unbroken Kolakumbai falls and the highest one around.

But if you are one of those day trippers or travelers, who likes a tinge of adventure hashed with this panorama catch the fairs and festivals of Nilgiris at night or surrender yourself to its brazen beauty by trekking across the ghats in daytime. Nilgiris have their own Wildlife and Environ. association to help out people with these activities.

The fringe attractions:

Planning to relax for a day more in this haven of silence and taste its slice of subtle beauty?

Then try and catch the Botanical gardens or peddle in the Ooty Lake.

If time permits, catch the montane grasslands which give you a feel of being in highlands, or mingle with the 2500 odd species of shrubs and flowering plants…yups. There’s a beauty in whispering in their ears too.

Of Sun and Raingods:

There’s a surge in Treks after the month of April till June (with the mercury hovering upto 25 deg at its wildly best) while September to December is also a good time to visit this place. Beyond that, the winter sets in and temperature dips rapidly, touching lows of almost a degree at night.

If you plan a trip in Jan or Feb, don’t forget to catch the TEA/TOURISM festival, and if you land up in May, you stand a chance to be a part of the famous ‘summer festival’, full of boat races and fruit and flower show.

Foodie tips:

Try out the ‘kaafes’ at the Ooty coffee house of plunge into the dosas and soft idlies…

Else just have a sumptuous meal at the Chinkos.

Access lanes:

With Coimbatore at 55 km and Kunnoor at 13 km, Nilgiris are a stone’s throw away from all the facilities, medical or otherwise.

So whether you plan to have a peek at its bosom, or swivel down its throat….or just put your feet up and smell wafting aroma of the tea gardens…you know where to reach…

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