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The Magic of the South – Ooty and Coonoor

April 16, 2014
Ooty

Eucalyptus trees and lush greenery

Ooty

Rolling hills, tea gardens, eucalyptus trees and lush greenery all around! No wonder Ooty is called – the “Queen of Hills”. Do you know Ooty is short for Udhagamandalam? Located in the Nilgiris (Blue Mountains) in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Ooty tourism attracts swarms of tourists every year. With a pleasant weather year round and bountiful of attractions, Ooty is any travellers’ paardise.

Ooty

Botanical Garden in Ooty

Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden is one of the topmost attractions of Ooty. Go there to enjoy the exquisite collection of flowering tress, rare trees species, shrubs, lilies, orchids, and some rare plants and flowers.

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
When in Ooty, don’t forget to visit this wildlife sanctuary at any cost. It is an ideal place for adventure seekers. You can spot tiger, leopard, langur, bonnet macaque, jackal, sloth bear, flying squirrel, wild boar, and what not! Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best sanctuaries in India.

Ooty Lake
Located 3 Kms from the city, Ooty Lake is an artificial lake formed by John Sullivan, the founder of Ooty. Surrounded by lofty eucalyptus trees, this lake is a scenic delight. Enjoy the views and boating here.

Ooty

Tea Gardens

Ooty Tea Factory
Ooty is well-known for its tea gardens. And not visiting Ooty Tea Factory while in the “Queen of Hills” would be a crime. Visit the tea factory to know how your favorite beverage is processed, packed and sold.

Doddabetta peak
Hardly 10km away from Ooty and standing at an altitude of 2,623 meters, the Dodabetta Peak is the highest point in the district. It is the best place to catch spectacular views and take photographs.

How to Reach:
The nearest airport to Ooty is the Coimbatore airport. The Mysore airport is about 4 hours away from Ooty. You can take Nilgiri Express which departs from Chennai at night.

Coonoor

 

Kunnur

Coonoor is known as the Hidden Valley

Located just 17 km from Ooty, lies another hill station that is equally charming and scenic. It’s Coonoor – the second largest hill station in the Nilgiri hills, Tamil Nadu, after Ooty. Known for pleasant weather, rolling tea plantations, mist-covered mountains and scenic landscape;  Coonoor is often referred to as Ooty’s twin. Smaller and quieter than Ooty, Coonoor tourism attracts hordes of tourists and offers several attractions.

Hidden Valley
The valley that surrounds Coonoor is known as the Hidden Valley. It can be accessed only through a long trek but it is all worthwhile once you get there. The lush greenery, tranquil atmosphere and panoramic views is a treat.

Kunnur

Coonoor

Sim’s Park
Situated in a deep ravine, in the north side of Coonoor railway station, Sim’s Park is a must-visit on your Coonoor trip. It is a park-cum-botanical garden located at an altitude of 1,770 m above sea level. Some of the highlights of the park-cum-botanical garden are Rudraksha (the bead tree),  temperate plants and the flowering trees scattered along the winding paths.

Dolphin’s Nose
Dolphin’s Nose offers a spectacular view of the vast expanse of the Nilgiri hills and the  Catherine Falls. It is a popular tourist attraction located 12 km from the center of Coonoor.

Kunnur

Beautiful Catherine Falls

Catherine Falls
Located at a height of 250 feet, Catherine Falls is a beautiful tourist attraction. This waterfall is located in the outskirts of the town and can also be seen from the top of Dolphin’s Nose.

How to Reach:
Fly to Coimbatore and take a cab to Mettupalayam.  Coonoor is about two hours drive from Coimbatore. If you are coming from Tamil Nadu, you can take a train to Mettupalayam railway station. From there you can take a bus or the cute little toy train up to Coonoor.

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