Ooty-Coonoor


About Ooty: Ooty also known as Udhagamandalam is the Queen of hill stations. It is the capital of Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu and one of the most popular tourist resorts in India. Nilgiris means Blue Mountains. It is a land of picturesque picnic spots which used to be popular summer and weekend getaway for the Britishers during the colonial days. It is situated at an altitude of 2,240 meters above sea level. An added attraction for the tourists to Udhagamandalam is the mountain train journey on a ratchet and pinion track which commences from Kallar, near Mettupalayam and wends its way through many hair-raising curves and fearful tunnels and chugs along beside deep ravines full of verdant vegetation, gurgling streams and tea gardens.

Duration of the Trip: This was a 3 days and 4 night’s trip from Bangalore. We started on Thursday night and return back to Monday early morning. It you want you can make this a normal weekend i.e. 2 days and 3 nights’ trip as well.

Transportation: There are direct buses available from Bangalore to Ooty but very less in count. The other way to go is go by bus till Coonoor or Coimbatore and take a bus/ cab from there. If you wish to go by train you have to go till Coimbatore and from there you have to take a bus/ cab.
We booked our ticket for going from RedBus till Coimbatore Gandhinagar bus stop which costs near about Rs. 500/- per person. We started at 10:00PM and reached by morning 7:00 AM.
For coming back to Bangalore we booked our ticket from Coonoor to Bangalore from kpntravels which costs Rs. 550/- per person. It started at 9:30 PM and reached Bangalore at 4:30 AM next day.

Details of the Trip:
Day 1: After reaching to Coimbatore, he hired a cab to reach Coonoor which costs us Rs. 900/-. The view on the way is beautiful. It took near about 2:30 hours to reach Coonoor. On the way we had our breakfast in one local South Indian restaurant. That was not much big or something but the taste was really great. After reaching Coonoor, we booked a hotel called Venkateswara Lodge which is opposite to Coonoor railway station. It costs Rs. 450/- per day. This is the best budget hotel in Coonoor we saw.
Venkateswara Lodge

After getting fresh we had our lunch in the vegetarian restaurant called Venky’s CafĂ© just below our hotel. We didn’t find any good non-vegetarian restaurant in Coonoor neither we found any good travel agency.
Then we went to Ooty by the train of Nilgiri Mountain Railways. There are two classes available in the train, First Class costs Rs. 78/- and Second Class costs Rs. 3/- (yes it is Three only). Though there is not much difference between the two classes but to avoid rush I will suggest you to book the first class ticket. It takes exactly 1 hr. to reach Ooty from Coonoor. There are five stations in between these two stations. They are Wellington, Aravankadu, Ketti, Lovedel and at last Udagamandalam (Ooty). Trains are not available always. There are particular timings for trains to Ooty from Coonoor.
Time tables of the trains for Coonoor to Ooty

Our blue colored train was running through the hill’s way. The hills were covered by carpet of green tea gardens and at the down of the hills there were small villages. The journey was awesome. I can’t describe it in words you just have to go and experience it.
In front of Train

Coonoor Railway Station from our Hotel

Train taking a sharp turn

picture taken from train
 You can go to Ooty from Coonoor by bus as well. But we never tried bus so can’t tell you the details.
After reaching to Ooty, we booked local site seeing package for next day from one of the Travel Agency, Royal Travels outside the station. There are several types of tour packages available. We booked for Ooty – Coonoor local sightseeing tour. Which cost us Rs 150/- per head.
As we don’t have much time to go anywhere that day, we preferred to go for some shopping. We hired an Auto from the railway station and went to local market. Homemade Chocolates, Eucalyptus oil, Cloves, Cinnamon, Bay Leaves, Nilgiri Tea are the main shopping attraction of Ooty. You can buy woolen goods also from there, they are good and cheap. We bought plenty of chocolates. I will suggest you not to buy the oils from market as there is a better place where you will get them best which I will tell you later. After doing some shopping again we return back to railway station and caught a train to return back to Coonoor.

Day 2: We started from Coonoor by 7:00 AM train and reached Ooty at 8:00 AM. We had our breakfast in a hotel near station and reached to Royal Travel office. They had arranged a Swaraj Mazda for 10 people group. The timing of the tour is 9:00 PM to 6:00 PM. During the day we have visited the famous places of Ooty and Coonoor.
Dodabetta Peak, which is the highest point in the district at a height of 2623m. One can see as far as the plains of Coimbatore and the Mysore plateau if the climate is clear. But it was our bad luck that the day was fully foggy hence we were not able to see.
The Botanical Garden is maintained by the Horticulture Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu and has a very wide variety of plants that include different types of roses, imported shrubs, rare flowering plants, eucalyptus trees, several old trees and even a fossilized tree trunk that is 20 million years old. There is also a beautiful Italian floral garden and for those who simply want to relax, there's always the green carpet of the well-maintained lawns.
Botanical Garden

Lawn of garden



The biggest attraction of Ooty is Boat House. An artificially created lake is being used for the permission of boating and fishing. For fishing you need have prior permission from Department of Fisheries. For boating you don’t need any permission. There are three types of boats available in Boat House i.e, Paddle Boat, Rowing Boat and Motor Boat.





Other than boating you will find toy train, different rides, shops and snacks bars. In package tour only 30 mins time is allotted to visit this place. But if you have time you can spend half a day in this park.


Mini Garden is garden near to boat house and a special attraction for kids.
Thread Garden is newest addition in Ooty. In the garden the flowers, trees, leaves, rocks, bridge, river and whatever are there, are made of thread. This is an outcome of 12 years dedicated work of more than 50 ladies using 6 crore meter of embroidery thread. No needles or machineries has been used for this purpose. This is the only garden which is made of thread across the globe. This effort nominated at Gunnies Book of World Record.



If you want you can bring souvenir of this garden. We bought one sample thread plant from there .
Valley View Point is a view point on the way to Coonoor from where you can get a full view of the local valley. This is just splendid. There are 21 villages in that valley. This is the only point from where you can get this complete view. Hindi Movie lovers, you can see the place where Sajan movie has been shoot from this view point.

Another interesting thing on the way to coonoor is, Cantonment of Wellington. Thought it is not allowed for the travel agency vehicle to stop here or taking photographs of the places inside this cantonment but you will be able to see some famous places while passing. One of them is Second World War Memorial Pillar which was built in memory of Second World War.
Wellington Golf Course is another popular place in Cantonment of Wellington. In the midst of the exotic landscape, the touch of normalcy surrounded with the unusual location makes golfing at Wellington's an attractive possibility for many people. This golf course is especially popular with film crews who film in the area. During the filming of a movie, the relaxing motion necessary for golf can counteract the stress that occurs in the filmmaking process. No wonder Wellington's Golf Course is a popular place to visit. Few songs of the movie Raja Hindustani has been shoot in this place.
After crossing this cantonment the first place which will come is Lamb's rock, an excellent picnic spot near Coonoor. It was named after the man Captain Lamb who tried in earnest to open a path to that particular point. With such a view, no wonder this man put forth such a valiant effort to reach the point. The rock is a jagged cliff that drops down several hundred feet to the lush jungle below. On the right hand is the Hulical ravine. It is possible to see the Coonoor stream some 5000 feet below. This vantage point also provides you with an excellent view of the Coimbatore plains.
Lady Canning's Seat is 8kms from Coonoor, alongside the road to Lamb’s Rock; it is the best point in the heart of the woods. It has a panoramic view of tea estates, Lamb’s Rock and even Mettupalayam is visible at a distance. Named after Lady Canning, as she liked this place.But as I already told it was a foggy day, we were not able to take any snap for these places.
Catherine Falls, also known as ‘St. Catherine's Falls’, is located in the area that surrounds Coonoor. This beautiful waterfall falls from an impressive 250 feet. It can clearly been seen from the top of Dolphin's Nose if seeing the entire waterfall as one total impression is what you are looking for.
Catherine Falls

Dolphin's Nose is an enormous rock formation that is entirely unique. The protruding rock formation looks exactly like what it is named after, a dolphin's nose. There are gigantic ravines found both to the left and right of Dolphin's Nose. In one of the ravine's you can clearly see the awe inspiring Catherine Falls with its continuing stream several thousand meters below. In the other ravine, you can spot where the Coonoor stream meets the Kotagiri stream. Both streams that are contained within these two ravines ultimately feed the Bhavani River which is located a relatively short distance away opposite of the Dolphin's Nose.
One side view from Dolphin's Nose
View of the tribal village from Dolphin's Nose

Dolphin's Nose
Catherine Falls from Dolphin's Nose

For me the most attractive place is Coonoor Tea Estate. The famous Nilgiri tea plantation is done mostly in this area.
Way to Coonoor Tea Estate

Mayur Tea Estate

Mayur Tea Estate
 In the pictures of the tea garden you see some trees in between the garden called Silever Hawk which helps to hold the rain water and soil.
Other than tea, this area is famous for eucalyptus oil, Citridora Oil, Almond Oil, Lemon Grass oil, Olive Oil, Heena Oil and Nilgiri spices. Our travel guide took us to Mayur Tea Estate which belongs to Mayur Malwani, husband of famous actress Mumtaz. More than 25,000 acres of the tea estate belongs to him. There is a shop in is tea estate where we tasted chocolate tea which I just loved.


From this shop you can buy tea, oils spices and other Nilgiri special stuffs.
Sim’s Park is constructed and named after J. D. Sim, the secretary of the Madras Club in 1874.It is spread over an area of about 12-hectare and this garden is built following the Japanese style. It has a huge collection of about 1,000 plant species. It is mainly noted for its annual fruit and vegetable show held in May.
Entrance of Sim's Park
Inside Sim's Park

Inside Sim's Park

Waiting room Inside Sim's Park

Flower made of plants.This is view of 1 petal
 This was the last place in our trip of the day and we started for Ooty again. As we were staying in Coonoor, we get down on the way and came back to our hotel.

Day 3 : In the morning again we came to Ooty. We booked an indica from outside the station for the trip to Pykara which costs us Rs. 800/-.This trip is also called ‘Filmi Chakkar’ as many of the films has been shoot in this places.
On the way we have seen the typical house and there temple of Todas, the local tribal of Nilgiris.
White one is house of Thodas

The brown structure in far is temple of Thodas
 There are other two types of tribal also Irodus and Kurumbus.
Other things on the way are Gimkhana club, Golf course which were not open to normal visitor. One outside view is available of these places.
Pykara is the largest river in the Nilgiris District. It is located about 20 kms from Ooty on the Ooty-Mysore road, and is considered very sacred by the Todas.
It gets down majestically in a series of cascades and the last two falls of 55 meters and 61 meters are known as Pykara Falls.
Paykara Falls

Pykara Falls

Pykara Falls
 Apart from this the state tourism department runs a boat house called Pykara Boat House from where you can hire boats for a ride.
Pykara Boat House
Pykara Boat House from boat
 

 There is a dam called Pykara Dam” which is the major source of electricity of state. But it is not allowed to go inside the dam or take any photographs of the dam.
One more dam in the in the way called Kamraj Sagar Dam, this is the place where the some part of the movie Roja has been shoot.
Kamraj Sagar Bridge
 Another attraction of this trip is the Pine Forest. It is a semi dense forest of pine tree. A part of the forest is opened for the visitors. You will get fresh honey being sold outside the forest. Famous Hindi movie Raaz (2001) was shooting in this forest.
Pine Forest
Pine Forest
River in Pine Fores
Fresh Honey
 Another famous place of this trip is Pei mund (commonly known as ninth mile) situated in the way to pykara. This is nothing but a vast expanse of grassy meadow. This is also an ideal location for picnics. Some songs of the movie Sajan had been shooting here.
Pei Mund
Pei Mund

And this was the last spot for our trip. We came back to Ooty and had our lunch and started for Coonoor. We had our bus at night 9:30 PM from Coonoor.

Note: Few things I would like to share with the readers of this blog to make theme not suffered the problem we have faced during the trip:
1. We didn’t get any hotels in Ooty as that was a national holiday in Friday and it was a long weekend, it was too much rush over there. So I would suggest you to book any hotel priory to avoid going and coming Ooty from Coonoor every day.
2. If you are traveling by bus, better go by KPN buses than redbus ones. As service of KPN is much better. Red bus will give u time at 9:30PM and will start by 11:00 PM.

Disclaimer: We went for this trip on Sept'2010. There are chances of the price and timings getting changed. Please check with hotel,bus services and  travel agent about current timings and rates.
I have tried to provide as much as details is possible for the trip. For any further clarification please feel free to contact me @ dutshilpi@gmail.com. You can also refer to Ooty official website:
http://www.ooty.com/
29 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi..

    Good information. Planning to take a note of it for myself.
    I am also planning for vacation this May.
    How was the stay in venkateshwara??
    Do you suggest it for a family with kids?

    And which year did you happen to travel...

    Have a great day.


  2. The hotel venkateshwara is very good to stay with family and kids.
    But it is in Coonoor. If you are planning to visit Ooty only then it will be better to stay in a hotel of Ooty. There you will get plenty of option for hotels.

    I went there on Sep. of the year 2010.

    Thank you very much for reading my blog and shearing your queries,comments.

    With love,
    Abir Mukherjee


  3. Anonymous Says:

    hi ,
    nicely written and very informative.... i was looking for buying some place to buy tea in coonor / ooty ..is the place mayur tea good in quality ???

    keep posting!

    thyagesh


  4. Thyagesh,

    Sorry for late reply.
    That was the place where our driver took us but the tea Quality was quite good.

    With love.
    Abir


  5. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Abhir,

    Info you have provided here is good. I stayed in venkateshwara too during my travel. Value for money but the service was not good and was noisy at night due to proximity to the road.

    We bought chocolate tea from another shop .. dont remember the name of the shop but found it not that good when we reached back home. The sameple they give for drinking is no where close to the taste we get when we boil the powder.

    Keep posting your trips.. just visited today and looks intresting.. You tempt me to start writing my trips.. but i end up being lazy...

    - An admirer :)


  6. Sabol Says:

    Hi Abir Mukherjee, Nice Tour. Thank you for your great sharing. Visit Hotels in Ooty


  7. Thanks Admirer, Please share your travel experience at shilpiabir@gmail.com. I will post it here with your name.

    With love,
    Abir



  8. Anonymous Says:

    hey...i was planning on a very short trip to ooty /coorg or kodai in the month of june...its just for a day or two...i will be going from coimbatore...which place would you suggest? and how long does it take to reach these places? is it better to go by train or by a mo-bike or to catch a cab / bus, cos its just for a day or two..if train, are there any railway stations close to these locations? i prefer a cool climate rather than a warm one, so wich place would be better..??


  9. @Anonymous,

    If you are based out of Coimbatore and as the duration is short, I will suggest you visit Ooty as that is near by... Ooty will take arround 4-5 hrs from Coimbatore...

    Road trip will be better as the frequency of trains are very less from Coimbatore to Ooty... Busses are very frequent and you can go by Bike as well..

    Kodaikanal will be little far as compared to Ooty...


  10. Hi Aanya,

    Considering budget, reaching at the place and booking hotel and cab will be cheap for sure.

    Regards,
    Abir


  11. Great post.......all the photos are super cool!Ooty is best hill station to get some relaxing time at placid lakes and lofty mountains


  12. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Abir ....
    Excellent review of your ooty trip .I am planning a trip to ooty & coonoor in this weekend .your review will surely help me to plan my activities in ooty .tks for posting .really admirable ...


  13. Atul Says:

    Hi Abir,

    Thanks for the excellent review. We will be going to Coonnor and then to Ooty. Any idea on transport from Coonnorr to Ooty. Are there buses available and at what frequency? We are famliy of 4 and hence want to do some pre-arrangements.

    Regards

    Atul


  14. @Atul: Busses are available in regular frequency say 15-20 mins.. Also, they have trains as per the above mentioned time table. Thats also Good.. But Have atleast 1 ride in the train...


  15. Anonymous Says:

    Excellent photos and details covered in depth.


  16. Anonymous Says:

    One correction please - the tree in the tea gardens are Silver Oaks, not Silver Hawks


  17. Anonymous Says:

    I am planning to visitOoty/Coonnor in the first week of October. Can you please suggest if it is the right time to visit.


  18. Nav Durga Says:

    How much time enough for coonoor tour? We will reach ooty in mid after noon on day 1 and then day 2 mid afternoon we move to coonoor by train and then night stay on day 2 at coonoor. then we come back to ooty on day 3 and then day 3 and day 4 at ooty. Is the planning ok.


  19. Swati Joshi Says:

    Eye pleasing clicks. Once had a trip to kotagiri, but coonoor i am yet to go there. Thanks for sharing such a valuable post about coonoor tourism.


  20. dimpy roy Says:

    Nice one. Thanks for sharing. Set in Tamil Nadu, Coonoor (Kunoor) is a quaint hill station. Enchanting views of the Nilgiri hills welcome you to this hidden hamlet. Massive tea plantations, rare fauna and flora and uncharted trekking trails offer a plethora of treats for travellers. Check out all Coonoor places to visit.


  21. This post exhibits Coonoor as a beautiful weekend gateway. Thank you for sharing it. I am eager to know more about places to visit in Coonoor. I would even plan a trip soon.


  22. Anonymous Says:

    Hi ,
    Thank you for valuable information. we are planning our ooty tour but cunnoor is not yet planned can we plan one day cunnor tour from ooty.


  23. Shilpi Dutta Says:

    There is no need to plan for Cunnoor from Ooty specially. The places to visit in Cunnoor, are already covered in the sightseeing of Ooty. So you will be good with them.. :)


  24. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for the information. Helping me in 2016 as well :)
    -Anuj


  25. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for the information. After reading this I want to go to Ooty again.



  26. MICKY Says:

    At what time is the last bus or train from OOTY to COONOOR?? How much late at night can we leave ooty to go to coonoor...



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