The Niligiri Town – Coonoor!!

The idea of a solo trip, 36 hours of train journey, crossing 5 Indian states and reaching the destination was enough to excite me. It caused a stir in the air. The journey was from Delhi to Bangalore. The train was supposed to cross 5 sates; UP, MP, Maharashtra, AP, Telengana and finally reach Karnataka. The train was scheduled at 20:45 and since morning I was experiencing butterflies in my stomach. It was due to nervousness of first time traveling alone. Anyways! I boarded train from Nizamuddin Station and it was on time. Dinner was served immediately after the train started. The train crew was good in service and took good care of passengers. But the food was not good and I almost avoided it till I got hunger pangs. Uff! It was painful but watching the changing terrain outside was fun and I didn’t mind railway catering service serving bad food :).

 

Matteo Coffee, Bangalore

Matteo Coffee, Bangalore

After spending 2 nights and 36 hours in train, I breathed in the AC (Air Condition) city of India, Bangalore. The morning air was fresh and weather was cool. In India, you have to be careful about Auto Wallahs. They can easily fool you if you are new in the city. I was fooled too and paid almost double the fare to reach my brother’s place. I was in Bangalore for about a week; strolling streets of AC city on my own, doing cafe and restaurant hopping and buying souvenirs for the lovely people in Delhi. Spending a week there seems less to me, as Cafe Culture is so strong in Bangalore that I feel so much is still left to explore. I will some other day write about Bangalore and would rather focus on the main subject of this post.

 

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Entrance to a Village

Weekend getaway was planned to Coonoor, a hill station in Tamilnadu. Surrounded by Nilgiri Hills, it is the second largest hill station of Tamilnadu after Ooty. With years, Ooty has become more crowded and commercialized. So for a peaceful weekend, Coonoor was selected. Distance from Bangalore to Coonoor is approximately 290km and it took around 9 hours to reach there. After crossing Bandipur Forest Reserve, Karnataka and entering into Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamilnadu, there is a check post and you will be charged hefty fine for carrying alcohol with you. Tamilnadu Government doesn’t allow carrying alcohol from other state and rather promote sale of alcohol in Tamilnadu. So if you are traveling to Coonoor via Mysore, it is advisable not to carry alcohol with you as the amount of fine will be greater than amount of bottles of alcohol. Tragic Story!!

 

A bridge on the way

A bridge on the way

Anyways, surpassing huge coconut trees in Karnataka, you will be welcomed with Eucalyptus trees and tea plantation in Tamilnadu. The 36 hair pin bends that lead to Ooty gives the picturesque view of the valley which is also a part of Western Ghats. It was a moment of wow!! Greenery of Nilgiri Hills, azure sky, blossoming flowers, and clouds all added to the excitement. Transcending further on the steeped roads of hills, we finally reached “The Nest” – home stay at Coonoor. The simple rice and daal was heaven for devil (hungry stomach) in us. After having food, we decided to walk in the tea estates around the guesthouse. Sun was playing hide and seek and the houses in sun rays were looking like colorful painting. The world is beautiful painting created by Thee. Since we were short on time, the attendant at guesthouse suggested us to go to see Ralliah Dam next morning and we were warned about encountering bison on the way.

 

Ralliah Dam

Ralliah Dam

Not caring about any bison, fearless!! We got ready to visit Ralliah Dam next morning. It is a 1km uphill trek which goes from tea plantation to a forest. The walk to the dam is scenic and silent. Going uphill you will see waterfalls, wild flora including various sizes of mushrooms and at least once you will talk about Man vs. Wild. We too did :). The dam remains filled with water after monsoon being the major source of water for the town. If lucky enough you can get to see Malabar Squirrels. They have got beautiful color and it is fun to watch them :). After spending some time in peaceful surroundings of dam, we headed back to the guest house and literally had finger licking south Indian breakfast. The best part of choosing home stays is you get to eat authentic home made food of that region.

I got a tan and I read somewhere that “tans will fade but the memories will remain forever”. True that!! Memories are forever.

The journey to Coonoor was breathtaking and stay was peaceful for mind and soul. I am thankful to my brother for organizing this wonderful trip. Here is a picture journey of Coonoor.

The Nest - home stay, Coonoor

The Nest – home stay, Coonoor

The tea garden

The tea garden

People of Coonoor 1

People of Coonoor 1

People of Coonoor 2

People of Coonoor 2

The tea garden and Nilgiri Hills

The tea garden and Nilgiri Hills

The Painting

The Painting

The Tea Estate

The Tea Leaves

The view

The view

Another Painting

Another Painting

Sun rays falling on houses

Sun rays falling on houses

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Every Day Adventures in Asia
    Nov 21, 2014 @ 00:05:58

    What fun! Canoor is on my list for traveling around India.. not had a chance yet!

    Reply

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