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Published: October 20th 2015
Ooty is the most attractive place places in India. Known as Queen of Hills, it is covered with mist and clouds most of the time. It also looks good when it drizzles. So, ‘Queen of Hills’ is famous as Tourists destination. Here is my first time experience with Ooty. it was my cousins and me who planned the trip to Ooty. We were totally 6 people. At first we planned the routes to reach Ooty.
Then we found to reach Ooty there are five ways:
1) Through Mettupalayam- Coonoor to Ooty (96.6 kms , 2 hrs 45 mins)
2) Through Mettupalayam – Kothagiri to Ooty (93.7 kms, 2 hrs 48 mins)
3) Through Karamadai-Manjoor to Ooty (122 kms, 3 hrs 33 mins)
4) Through Bandipur- Gudalur to Ooty (80 kms, 2 hrs 20 mins)
5) Through Bandipur- Masinagudi to Ooty (49.7 kms, 1 hr 37 mins)
People usually take Mettupalayam- Coonoor or Bandipur-Gudalur/Masinagudi routes very often.
We were not intended to take the usual route (We booked with a travel (08682947494), who gave this advice of taking the other route). So, took the Karamadai- Mulli- Manjoor route. We started early from Coimbatore in
our Innova and travelled through Anaikatti and Manjoor. The road was awesome. We went through a deep jungle and the view was breathtaking. There were 43 hair pin bends but not very dangerous. We also saw a dam at a hair pind bend which was quite far away.
Then, we stopped at Manjoor to have our refreshment though we carried lots of snacks with us and we have preserved them for future need. Three of my cousins vomited. So, we got into a local stall. We had our chaya with some buns. Then, we proceeded on. The Manjoor-Ooty route is the most beautiful route and less populated. Most of the time we found ourselves alone on the route, only accompanied by some bikers, who were crossing us most of the time.
It was 9 am when we reached a two way road. The left one went to Avalanche lake and another straight to the Ooty. We chose the left one. We passed by a Forest rest/guest house. we had to drive through a forest to reach the lake. As, we reached there, we found the whole paradise in front of us. We hopped to the bank of the
lake. It was beautiful. It was silent and isolated. We were all in our early 20s so, we feared a bit. But, elder ones like me took the in charge and warned all not to do anything that could land us in danger. They all agreed. After taking lot of pics we moved to our vehicle. We drove back to the main road.
We had travelled for minutes, when we saw Emerald Lake and stopped our vehicle there. It was as beautiful as Avalanche Lake. after taking pictures we started moving forward. We were bit hungry at this juncture. So, grabbed some biscuits and chips packets to fill our stomach, hoping it will help. Then, we moved forward.
It was about 11 when we reached Palada, which was at the outer parts of Ooty. We saw a big palace like building. We were stunned by its infrastructure. We stopped and got of the vehicle to give it a shot. Then, we saw an arch on which ‘Good Shepherd International School’ was written. We were astonished. We kept staring at the school. We then moved from there with an awe. We entered into Ooty.
We went through Muthorai to reach Fernhills Palace. It was wonderful and splendid. it was built in a huge area and covers acres of land, which includes garden and in the middle, the palace. It was previously owned by ‘Maharaja of Mysore’ which was then turned into a luxury hotel. it looks amazing. this part of Ooty holds the most beautiful panoramic view followed by the route to Pykara falls.
We then drive towards Ooty, when we were stopped by the magnificent Avalanche hill. We took lot of shots. Then, we moved to Ooty main area. There we found the one, which we were pleased to see. It was Thendral restaurant and we were starving. We rushed to the restaurant. We had breakfast of idli, dosa and sambhar with coconut chutney. It was delicious. We had a filter coffee too.
After our delicious breakfast we moved to Rose garden. It has started drizzling. We crossed Ooty race course area to and reached Rose garden. Unlike other rose gardens, it gives a great view. In front there was a beautiful garden and at the background the range of hills which was covered with mists or clouds. We saw some of the exotic variety of roses. Very big and very small. Roses in every possible colour. The garden was in the terrace form. So, we had to move from one section to another. There were sitting areas too. Most of the people were resting there. we went through each section with taking pictures as much as we could. We sat on the grass at the last section of the garden which gave a beautiful image of Ooty. Most of the people were staring at us. after spending some time we came out.
We then, headed towards the Boat house. it had started raining. When we reached, we were told, that it was due to rain. We were disappointed.
So, we headed to our next destination, Government Botanical Garden. We drove a few minutes forward when my brother got confused about the roads at a four way cross. We asked a taxi driver standing there, he told it was ‘Charring cross’ and we have to take a straight road to reach Botanical Garden. So, we drove through and finally reached Botanical garden. The entrance itself was a great one. After buying tickets, we moved in. In front of us, was a huge and a striking colossal garden. We started from our left. We walked slowly inspecting each flora showcased there. we saw huge trees, topiaries of many shapes.. etc. It was enormous. There were flowering plants and many crotons arranged in many shapes. There was a 20 million old tree which has been fossilised. With all that stun we came to the entrance, where there was a huge grassland to sit. We bagged the middle of that area. it was wet but didn’t bother us. We were 6 but, were enjoying at the most. We played cricket there, then, tree to tree. We had become children. After all that cousins’ time we spend together, we moved out of the garden.
We drove to our hotel Willow hill. It was an isolated hotel. we had booked two garden room. Perfect for us. We checked in. The staff was courteous and nice. He first was stunned seeing our group. Then, we told him not to worry we were cousins. He was quite convinced that we called each ‘bhaiya’ and ‘didi’ and even the way we behaved. We moved to our respective rooms. We girls first had our relaxing hot water shower, got ready and walked to our garden. Boys were already there. then, our staff called us for lunch, when we told we would like to have our lunch at the garden so, they were so kind to shift the lunch to the garden. We took at least 1 hour to finish our lunch. Then, we spend most of the time in the garden. The most amazing part the sunrise and the place becoming dark with lights getting on. Wow.. amazing one.
The next day, we got ready early. We had planned to go towards Pykara and Mudumalai which were far then, visit the places nearby. We had our breakfast before leaving. We started at 8 towards Pykara. It was drizzling. We had readhed in around 1 hr and 15 mins (we should have taken only 50 min, because we spent time in asking the route). But, the way gave a beautiful view with mountains and lake flowing by. Anyways we had now reached the lake. we were pleased to see the lake. It was quiet and away from city’s hustle-bustle. We ran to the bank. There was a jetty with around 5-6 boats. We booked a motor boat. It was 1 hour trip with surrounds all the area. we got into the boat. Our boat driver started talking to us. He asked where we were from, how we came etc. Most of the time he talked to the boys. We all were then, got busy in taking pictures while others checked out the place. With a peaceful and calm 1 hour boating we moved to bank. We spend some time at bank playing and talking. We were happy, because we were on our own with leaving parents behind at home. We got to know more about each other. Paresh who we have known as the naughtiest one, took responsibility of all the girls and was quiet most of the time. We started understanding each other.
We moved to our next destination, Pykara falls. it has stopped raining. We could see the whole place more clearly but wet everywhere. We enjoyed the climate. We reached Pykara falls. we had to walk a while to reach the falls. there were many people walking with us. Most of people were staring at us (not again). We reached the main place. It was an awe-inspiring view. We were not allowed to go near the falls. but, the water splashed on us, which gave a chill experience. The flow was moderate contrasting to the rainy weather.
We then, moved towards Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. We drove to Theppakadu via Masinagudi which has the reception for Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The way is fully covered with forests. The whole place was scaring. I held my sister’s hand tight. As we drove, the place started haunting us. the densely covered forest had made the place look dark even in the bright day light. Suddenly we saw some disturbance in the middle of the trees, there we saw two gaurs were standing and grazing. They stared at us and then moved inside the jungle. Then, we saw some deer, rabbits crossing the roads. We saw a rare owl type ( I don’t know which species it belonged to). then, we started spotting some other animals like; langurs, stags, wild boars, a buck and many peacocks.
After some kilometres drive we reached Theppakadu. We were told our own/private vehicles were not allowed inside the reserve so, we parked our vehicle. We then, booked with jungle safari. Before that we had our lunch. As, no food items were allowed inside the forest. Our jeep came after a 10 minutes wait. The guide who was about to come with us gave a brief self-intro, then, some instructions and guidelines. We nodded to each instruction he made. Then, our jeep moved. We first got scared and feared to move forward. But, our guide was genuine enough to take care of us. he told not to worry that he knows the behaviour of every animal there. after a few minutes’ drive, he showed us pond where a couple of elephants were drinking water. My gosh. We had never seen elephants so close in their habitat. All were silent. We took some pictures Zoom in plus Zoom out. It was just speechless. Suddenly, one of the elephants turned towards us, when stared at us. We got even more scared. I started taking long breaths. Our guide told we were at a safer distance so not to worry and not to get scared especially. After seeing elephants we moved forward and saw dead animal alongside the road. Our guide told, it might be a Tiger’s prey. Hearing that, it just moved us. we looked at each other. Our parents are gonna kill us. We then, moved forward slowly. We were in the middle of a jungle. We had already started realizing that. We saw many langurs with their little ones, peacocks, wild squirrels, pigeons, common monkeys, anteaters and shrews and bats. At last the thriller and scaring experience came to end. We were taken to the entrance.
We took our vehicle and drove back to Ooty as soon as possible, as, we didn’t want to be killed by an elephant or a tiger. It was getting darker. My cousin drove quickly out of the forest. We had now, passed the Pykara and entered to the plain land without any forest. We drove as fast as we could towards the hotel. Once we reached the hotel, the Mudumalai experience became the hot topic to talk about. The whole night (even after the dinner) we talked about that.
The next day we planned to go to Doddabetta Peak. it was 9.5 kms away (according to Google). After having our breakfast of veg sandwich, juices and tea, we started to Doddabetta. After a left turn from Charring cross, we started moving up, up and up.
After a 20 minutes drive, we reached Tea Factory and Tea museum for which we have to take a right turn up from the main road to reach. The place covered by fog, but, was awesome. We went inside after paying Rs.5 for each person. We walked inside. There was a huge room where the tea leaves were kept for filtering. After that we stepped down by a narrow way inside the factory along with us was big machines like, rollers, cutters which were doing their job with a big noise. We went through each section of the tea processing. After that we came to a place where free tea were given for tasting. We grabbed each one. It was perfect for the weather. We then moved out where we saw signs, like; Chocolate making, spices, etc. We walked to that. there we saw chocolate was kept in different aluminium bases. After that there was a chocolate outlet. We bought variety of chocolates each 250 gms. We then moved to the place where there were some shops of Nilgiri oils. We bought a small bottle of eucalyptus oil which could be used for headache, cold, body pain (in short it served as a pain killer and healer).
We then headed to Doddabetta Peak. The road was zig-zag and through a dense eucalyptus forest. The air was filled with eucalyptus’ smell. We reached Doddabetta peak after a steep up. We parked our vehicle and started climbing up by a series of steps. It was becoming hard as we graduated on. The both of the path was occupied by vendors who were selling carrots, beets, fried groundnuts, tea etc. We were tired but, once we reached the peak, the whole tiredness went away. There was fog everywhere. We walked through the fog and the mist hit us. there was a watch tower. We climbed to it. But, we couldn’t see anything because of the fog. Then, we went down and walked to the peak point. It was scary as we saw a deep valley at the end. Any mistake in taking a step would lead us to fall down. We took pictures on the rock. It was quite slippery so we had to be more careful. After spending some time we came back.
We drove straight to our hotel, where we had our lunch, took some rest, packed bags and checked out. We thanked all the staff for their politeness and patience with us. they were very helpful.
We headed to Ooty Railway station. Our train Ooty to Coonoor (56140/56141) was scheduled at 6.00 pm. we reached at 5.30 pm. we took tickets and waited for half an hour. Two of our cousins didn’t come with us (as they had to bring our vehicle). Our train arrived on time. We were excited to board on. After we secured seats for everyone (it was a passenger), we started looking around for view. Our train started. It moved slowly. Many times I have heard about the train but this was the first time I’m in the train. For all of us, it was the first time and made a life time experience. our train stopped at some stations like; Lovedale, Ketti, Aravankadu and Wellington. Every station was beautiful on its own. The train moved through aisle of trees. Once there was forest one side and a depp valley at another side. Those experiences still make us to have goose bumps. Some places we were just startled by the deep forests covered with mist. Then, we saw sun setting down behind the beautiful mountains. One of the unforgettable moments in my life. Overall it was an amazing experience.
Our train reached Coonoor at 7 in the evening. We boarded out. Our other two cousins were already waiting there for us. so, we all moved to our hotel Bella Vista, which was just 1 km away. We reached there in 5 minutes. We all dumped bags in the rooms and rushed to the restaurant. There were two dining areas. The place was quiet and without any noise. After our dinner we ran back to our rooms to have a happy night sleep.
The next morning, we got ready for sightseeing. we first went to Dolphin’s Nose point. We drove through Chandra colony to reach Kinderland school road, which then extends to Dolphin’s Nose road. It took us 45 minutes to reach there. we parked our vehicle and walked to the point with our camera. The view from here was breath taking. We also saw Catherine falls in a distance which looked like a white thread. This place also gave a great panoramic view of range of hills.
After that we walked to Lamb’s rosk poit. It gave similar view but, also looked beautiful. the sun was shining in the middle of the mountains making the scene the most wonderful one.
We then, drove back to reached Sims Park. After buying the tickets we went in. It was another version of Botanical Garden but, with a lake in it. The park was a big one, big trees of many species. There were many flowing plants, looked beautiful. it was also in a form of terrace. So we had to climb down from left and climb up from right. At the right side, there was a tree of ‘Rudhraksha’. This is the first time I’m seeing a Rudhraksha tree. Many plants were arranged with a small border of many shapes, especially India and World map. After roaming around the park, we came out.
We then, discussed about the next destinations and agreed upon going to Hulikal where we decided to meet the locals. We then drove to the main city area, where we had our lunch at Saravana Bhavan. Then, drove to Hulikal. After some distance we parked our vehicle at a house and then, walked down into the tea estate. we taking some photos, when women arrived there. they asked us something in Tamil, but we didn’t understand. Then, we told we wanted to pluck the leaves. They laughed and nodded. We started plucking leaves when, they also joined us. they talked with us in a broken English. they said, they usually do this in early mornings. They came there by seeing us. then, we collected the leaves in a basket they were carrying. It was fun plucking the leaves.
After that we moved to our hotel, had dinner and went for sleep.
The next morning we had to check out. So, we came out of the hotel, thanking each staff. Then, we headed towards Coimbatore via Mettupalayam.
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